The forecast announces an intense weekend of skyrunning at Big Sky Resort in America’s wild Montana mountains. Valid for the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series Sky Classic and Sky Ultra rankings, The Rut 28K kicks off on Saturday, September 2 followed by the The Rut 50K on Sunday.
Lone Peak, at 3,403m altitude is the star of the show for all the events and shares the stage with top ranked athletes from both categories as well as Friday’s Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer® on the Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit.
Sky Classic leader Aritz Egea from Spain’s Basque Country, with just a few days’ rest after a fourth position at Matterhorn Ultraks 46K, is aiming for precious points in the final rankings, but the The Rut 28K with 2,375m of grueling vertical climb doesn’t represent the only challenge. Very strong competition will be coming from Bulgarian Kiril Nikolov and Spain’s Jan Margarit, respectively second and third here last year. Add fellow Spaniards Eugeni Gil, Eduard Hernandez and Julen Martinez, brothers Marc and Oscar Casal Mir from Andorra and Swiss runners Rémi Bonnet and Pascal Egli, the podium could have some surprises in store.
Spain’s Laura Orgué will try to improve her third-place last year. The women’s field includes Americans Hillary Gerardi, Kristina Pattison and Addie Bracy, with Glykeria Tziatzia from Greece among the podium contenders.
The course records were both set by last year’s winners Hassan Ait Chaou in 3h06’39” and Megan Kimmel in 3h36’23”.
Sunday’s The Rut 50K will see Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando, 2016 Skyrunning World champion and 2017 European champion aiming for the Series’ Ultra title after renouncing his participation in the UTMB. He will be joined by Spain’s Pere Aurell, Andorran Xavier Teixido, Nuno Silva from Portugal and from the USA, Matt Shryock, Timmy Olsen and Rob Krar among the top runners.
Dutch woman Ragna Debats, 2016 race winner, 2017 European Ultra champion, is flying high – leading the Sky Classic and Overall, she’s also second on the Ultra and Extreme rankings – an incredible achievement. She will decide last-minute whether to go for the Sky Classic or the Ultra. Likewise Kristina Pattison, in fourth last year, is leaving her options open. With Ultra ranking leader Hillary Allen injured, the podium is anyone’s guess.
With an extra 20% bonus points for the Sky Ultra ranking the top spots will be strongly contended.
A brutal 3,200m vertical climb awaits them, with the highest point reaching the Lone Peak summit. The standing course records were set by skyrunning super stars Kilian Jornet in 5h09’31” in 2014 and by Emelie Forsberg in 6h25’44” in 2015.
The three disciplines, Vertical Kilometer®, Sky and Ultra are also valid for the American Skyrunning Championships.
Almost 2,500 runners from 17 countries are ready to take part in the weekend’s five events, with fingers crossed for the weather which last year forced course cuts.