In a weekend stacked with events, champions and records, it was a happy ending for everyone with Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg on the podium of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series’ Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, the third and final race of the Sky Extreme category.
Winners of the Sky Exteme, scoring the best results of two out of three races, were Briton Jonathan Albon and Spain’s Maite Maiora.
True to expectations, the star couple Jornet and Forsberg not only took the win but also smashed the course records. Jornet’s time was 6h25’39” and Forsberg’s 7h53’30”. The pair are organisers of the Tromsø SkyRace®, part of the Series, so they enjoy both an organiser’s and runner’s perspective, no doubt preferring the latter.
Jornet commented, “That’s pure Skyrunning, the kind of race that I have always dreamed about. Glencoe Skyline is absolutely the one to do!”
The spectacular playground in the heart of the Scottish Highlands is probably one of the toughest races on the Series. With a distance of 55 km and 4,700m vertical climb, the technical difficulty borders on alpinism with technical ridges, scrambling sections and rapidly changing weather conditions making the surface slippery and muddy.
Second man was 2016 winner and Sky Extreme champion Jonathan Albon in 6h31’ with Frenchman Alexis Sévennec closing the podium in 6h40’. The first half of the race had followers holding their breath as it was run in a tight pack of four, including Nepal’s Bhim Gurung. After 35 km, Jornet and Albon broke away leaving the outcome between the two of them. Every so often, they chatted with each other along the way. It was on the final downhill that Jornet changed gear to open a 6’ gap across the finish line to the cheering of fans and spectators and breaking Albon’s 2016 record.
Albon was not at all unhappy with his second place, taking the Sky Extreme title for the second time and having raced against the unquestionable skills of the world’s number one.
American Megan Kimmel was just 2’ off Forsberg for the first part of the race but was unable to hold the pace finishing in 8h14’57”. Forsberg closed with a new record to crowds of fans waving the blue and white Scottish flag. “I so love this race and Scotland. It reminds me of Norway but it is also so different, just amazing!’ Third was Dutch woman Ragna Debats, currently leading the Ultra and Overall rankings, in 8h22’55”.
Sunday’s race was the culmination of three events on the Series’ calendar, which included the Sky, Ultra and Extreme categories as well as a VK on the Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit. 1,300 runners from 30+ countries took part.
“It’s been an incredible personal journey for everyone involved in the race – the organisers, the volunteers, the international runners and the home runners,” commented race director Shane Ohly. “All the Salomon Skyline Scotland weekend’s events are very special but the Glencoe Skyline is a pinnacle race that personifies skyrunning. It feels like a privilege and an honour to be responsible for the race.”
The events were also valid for the Series’ Overall rankings, based on the five best results of each category. Albon leads followed by Pere Aurell and André Jonsson while Ragna Debats heads the women’s ranking, with Kimmel in second and Hillary Allen in third.
Next race on the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series is just a week away with the final of the Sky Ultra in the Spanish Pyrenees with the Salomon Ultra Pirineu.
Salomon Glen Coe Skyline results
- Kilian Jornet (ESP) – 6h25’39”
- Jonathan Albon (GBR) – 6h31’45”
- Alexis Sévennec (FRA) – 6h40’34”
- Bhim Gurung (NEP) – 6h56’30”
- Max King (USA) – 7h00’38”
- Emelie Forsberg (SWE) – 7h53’30”
- Megan Kimmel (USA) – 8h14’57”
- Ragna Debats (NED) – 8h22’55”
- Malene Blikken Haukøy (NOR) – 8h26’53”
- Beth Pascall (GBR) – 8h34’14”
The weekend’s events:
MIGU RUN SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES
Saturday 16 September – Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace
Saturday 16 September – Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra
Sunday 17 September – Salomon Glen Coe Skyline