The 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series launched today with the legendary Transvulcania Ultramarathon, first of the Series Ultra category races.
Twenty-six-year-old Timothy Lee Freriks has just written his name in Skyrunning history. Like Swede Ida Nilsson who won the race for the second consecutive time, both launched their international careers on the Skyrunner® World Series. Freriks, an unknown from Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, came out to the island of La Palma almost by chance.
“I was training in the US with Jim Walmsley and Hayden Hawks. Jim just pitched an idea to come out here. It all happened very quick, just a couple of weeks ago actually. He encouraged me to go as training was going really well. He thought this would be the perfect event to come out to.” It couldn’t have been a better match. Completely surprised by his victory, he added, “It feels great. Just unbelievable – the fans here are incredible, everything about the atmosphere here is just amazing!“
Without three-time winner and record holder, Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernando who was racing in the shorter distances here, the men’s field was left wide open. Out of the blue, Freriks powered confidently all along the course to victory taking the win in 7h02’03”, 9’ short of Hernando’s 6h52’39” 2015 record. UTMB winner, Ludovic Pommeret took second place in 7h18’15” and Moroccan Zaid Ait Malek placed third in 7h26’31”.
In the women’s race, again Nilsson triumphed, this time with the record: 8h04’17”, crushing Anna Frost’s 2014 record of 8h10’41”. An ecstatic Nilsson held the lead comfortably from start to finish. For Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Rousset it was a repeat performance, closing second in 8h32’15” while American Hillary Allen bettered her 2016 fifth position to close third in 8h38’46”.
With 2,000 participants from 45 countries lining up on the spectacular pre-dawn start line on the Atlantic ocean, yet again, the Transvulcania Ultramarathon has proved it’s iconic status on the international running scene after joining the Skyrunner® World Series in 2012. The course climbs a daunting 4,350m vertical climb over a 74 km course to the Roques de las Muchachas at 2,462m altitude before descending again to sea level and finishing with a punishing 5 km ascent to the town of Los Llanos where thousands of animated spectators greet the runners.
Together with a VK, marathon and half marathon course, the events attracted some 3,600 runners from no less than 60 countries.
The 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series features 22 races in 11 countries. Today’s race represented the first of the Sky Ultra category where the three best results out of eight are counted for the final ranking and prizes. The end of season bonus pool amounts to €60,000.
Provisional race results
1. Timothy Lee Freriks (USA) – 7h02’03”
2. Ludovic Pommeret (FRA) – 7h18’15’15”
3. Zaid Ait Malek (MAR) – 7h26’31”
4. Nicolas Martin (FRA) – 7h28’08”
5. Daniel Jung (ITA ) – 7h35’05”
1. Ida Nilsson (SWE) – 8h04’17”
2. Anne-Lise Rousset (FRA) – 8h32’15”
3. Hillary Allen (USA) – 8h38’46”
4. Ragna Debats (NED) – 8h45’22”
5. Eva Maria Moreda (ESP) – 9h03’45”
Next stop on the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series will be the Zegama-Aizkorri in the Sky Classic category in Spain’s Basque Country on May 28, while for more action in the Ultra category, check out the Ultra SkyMarathon® Madeira on June 4.