It was a day of records and rejoicing with Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernando and American Megan Kimmel taking the win and setting new records in Europe’s highest race, the Odlo High Trail Vanoise®, Val d’Isère, France, Saturday, July 8. The race is the fourth stage of the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series Ultra category which counts eight races overall. The event also represented the European Skyrunning Championships.
Some 300 competitors from 18 countries – almost double last year’s entries – toed the 4 am start line in one of the world’s most famous ski resorts, Val d’Isère where the second edition of the race took place. Rated as one of the most technically challenging races in France, the 68 km course climbs over snowfields and glacier to the summit of the Grande Motte at 3,653m and touches on the Col de Iseran at 2,764m. Precarious conditions at the top meant the 5,400m vertical climb was reduced by 200m for safety reasons.
“The race was really hard and the level was really high today. I’m really happy to win,” said Hernando. “The first half of the race went really well with fresh temperatures but on the second ascent I really felt the sun. It was hot!”
Both of today’s winners, Hernando and Kimmel, enter the Ultra category ranking in sixth position, while Russian Dmitry Mityaev and American Hillary Allen continue to head the standings after four races. The final scoring is based on three best results out of eight races and will award the winners the titles and an end of season bonus pool cash prize.
Kimmel commented, “I felt alright going into the race and I certainly had no expectations. My only objective was to finish today.
“I was fine with the altitude but the accumulation of vertical gain started to drain my legs. I think Ragna looked really strong today so even till the last moment I thought it might be her day. It was pretty enjoyable I must say!”
Beautiful weather, a high mountain and a highly successful race – definitely a case of “Less cloud. More Sky!”
Just one week away, the next race on the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series heads for the first of the Sky Extreme races, the Royal Ultra SkyMarathon Gran Paradiso in Northern Italy on July 16.
Odlo High Trail Vanoise results
- Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – 8h17’05”
- Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (FRA) – 8h31’04”
- Dmitry Mityaev (RUS) – 8h43’10”
- André Jonsson (SWE) – 8h57’38”
- Remigio Huaman (PER) – 9h06’21”
- Megan Kimmel (USA) – 9h46’05”
- Ragna Debats (NED) – 9h52’10”
- Mimmi Kotka (SWE) – 10h30’21”
- Hillary Allen (USA) – 10h33’52”
- Michaela Mertova (CZE) – 10h44’30”