It was an intense weekend of skyrunning in America’s Far West at Big Sky, Montana where two Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series races valid for the rankings took place with some of the best international runners looking for points.
Lone Peak, at 3,403m altitude, was central to the events. Saturday’s The Rut 28K, valid for the Sky Classic ranking, saw Spain’s Laura Orgué take the win after placing second and third in 2015 and 2016. Underlining her talent for the uphill, she won the previous day’s Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer® on the new Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit. On the 2,375m climb, Orgué was in a class of her own, closing 13’ ahead of her rivals in 3h50’13”. The rest of the podium was all-American with Taylor Nowlin in second and Hillary Gerardi in third.
Spaniard Aritz Egea nailed it ahead of Switzerland’s Pascal Egli who had led the race almost to the finish before he missed a turn leaving the win to Egea who closed in 3h15’49”, with Egli just 3’ behind. Spaniard Jan Margarit took third just one minute later.
Egea continues to lead the Sky Classic rankings and Margarit now rises to fifth. With her third place here, Hillary Gerardi now leads the ranking with Orgué in third.
The Rut 28K results
- Aritz Egea (ESP) – 3h15′49”
- Pascal Egli (SUI) – 3h19′09”
- Jan Margarit (ESP) – 3h20′31”
- Kiril Nikolov (BUL) – 3h21′40”
- JP Donovan (USA) – 3h22′48”
- Laura Orgué (ESP) – 3h50’13”
- Taylor Nowlin (USA) – 4h03’21”
- Hillary Gerardi (USA) – 4h16’03”
- Michela Adrian (USA) – 4h22’59”
- Addie Bracy (USA) – 4h31’48”
The Rut 50K rounded off the weekend’s events on Sunday, offering an extra 20% bonus points for the Sky Ultra ranking. With 3,200m vertical climb to Lone Peak, the altitude represented just one of the challenges.
As anticipated, 2016 Skyrunning World champion and 2017 European champion, Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando dominated. By the time he reached Lone Peak summit he was 10’ ahead of the competition, finishing in 5h10’, 14’ ahead of Americans Morgan Elliot, second and Scott Patterson, third in 5h33’. Spaniard Pere Aurell, thanks to his fourth place now leads the Overall rankings.
Race favourite Ragna Debats from the Netherlands not only clinched the win in 6h13’, but she crushed the course record set by Emelie Forsberg in 2015 by an incredible 12’ and finished 13th overall! Americans Brittany Peterson was a close second in 6h18’ and Kristina Pattison took third in 6h37”.
“This was such a great race!” exclaimed Debats. “I felt really good after coming here straight after Ultraks. The altitude is tough but I managed it well. The scenery and trails here are magnificent, so much so that I relaxed in the race a little too much and the 2nd lady caught me near the summit of Lone Peak. I had to work hard again on the descent but I opened up a gap and won so I am happy.”
Debats is flying on all the rankings, after yesterday’s race, she now tops the Sky Ultra ranking, replacing Hillary Allen who is injured. She continues to lead the Overall rankings and is second on the Sky Classic and Sky Extreme, a laudable performance. An extra 20% bonus points were awarded here for the Sky Ultra ranking.
The three disciplines, Vertical Kilometer®, Sky and Ultra were also valid for the American Skyrunning Championships.
Almost 2,500 runners from 17 countries took part in the weekend’s five events that are growing every year. On the Skyrunner® World Series calendar since 2014, the races were designed and organised by world-class ultra runners Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe specifically to fit skyrunning parameters and that’s just what they do!
The Rut 50K results
- Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – 5h10’15”
- Morgan Elliott (USA) – 5h2411”
- Scott Patterson (USA) – 5h33’09”
- Pere Aurell (ESP) – 5h39’33”
- Chad Trammell (USA) – 5h43’12”
- Ragna Debats (NED) – 6h13’54”
- Brittany Peterson (USA) – 6h18’56”
- Kristina Pattison (USA) – 6h37’40”
- Anna Dalton (USA) – 6h43’01”
- Phoebe Novello (USA) – 7h37’00”
Next up on the calendar is the Devil’s Ridge 60K in China’s Gobi desert on September 9, while no less than four events covering all the categories will take place in Scotland between September 16 and 17: Salomon Ring of Steal, Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra, Salomon Glen Coe Skyline as well the Salomon Marmores VK® on September 15.