Italian Tadei Pivk and American Megan Kimmel close the intense 2016 Skyrunner® World Series season, crowned Sky Series champions in Limone on Italy’s Lake Garda today.
Men’s race winner at the Limone Extreme SkyRace® was Frenchman Alexis Sevennec who stole the show with a surprise win, closing in 2h46’49”. Another surprise was second man, Briton Hector Haines, almost unknown on the skyrunning circuit, while Bulgarian Kiril Nikolov placed an excellent 3rd in the race – and the final rankings.
The Sky Series champion title stays with Tadei Pivk, despite not racing due to fever. His two outright wins in Livigno and Dolomites together with his points in Yading and Zegama guaranteed his victory for the second year running. Spaniard Hassan Ait Chaou was the only possible contender for the title but serious cramps during the race put him in 10th place although still able to hold on to the 2nd ranking slot.
The women’s field was fought to the bitter end in an exciting race where the title was contended between ranking leader Megan Kimmel and Laura Orgué. In the second part of the race, with Laura leading, it looked as though the race and the title would be hers again. After losing the title last year and finishing an uncomfortable 6th, Megan was determined to take the crown home. “I certainly enjoyed the race more than last year!” she exclaimed. “This year I had a lot more patience so I tried to pace myself.” Evidently her tactics paid off, with Laura closing 2nd in the race and the rankings.
Céline Lafaye placed 3rd and Caroline Chaverot, Skyrunning Ultra World Champion, a very close 4th at her first attempt in the Sky category. It was a great weekend for French competitors to show off their skyrunning skills if we add today’s winner Sevennec and yesterday’s Vertical winner and Series champion, Christel Dewalle.
An incredibly stacked field of 740 runners took part. Notable absentees today were 2015 Vertical and SkyRace® winner, Switzerland’s Rémi Bonnet and Italy’s Marco De Gasperi, delayed with flight problems. A race favourite and new skyrunning sensation, Jan Margarit was forced to retire with injury.
The 27 km race, now in its fourth year, starts and finishes by the lake, passing through the old town of Limone and olive and lemon groves. Above, often steep and challenging, the course climbs along rocky limestone paths and ridges for a total of 2,480m.
It was right on the shores of the lake, now illuminated by a full moon after Friday’s violent thunderstorms, that the Vertical and Sky Champions were crowned on Saturday evening. The 2016 Skyrunner® World Series end of season bonus pool awarded the top three men and women of each Series with cash prizes amounting to €36,000 over the four categories.
Alpina Watches, Official Watch of the 2016 Skyrunner® World Series awarded a prestigious Horological Smartwatch to each of the Vertical and Sky Series champions: Philip Goetsch and Christel Dewalle and Tadei Pivk and Megan Kimmel.
Since the start of the season in May, thousands of athletes from 36 countries have competed in the four Skyrunner® World Series categories: Vertical, Sky, Ultra and Extreme. Interesting to note apart from the strong French podium is the participation from Northern countries, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain and Netherlands and an American heading the ranking in what, until recently, has been a Spanish and Italian dominated sport.
The 2016 Skyrunner® World Series is over, but before we can get our breath back, anticipation is mounting for the 2017 calendar where new races and new places will be announced shortly.
Limone Extreme SkyRace® results
- Alexis Sevennec (FRA) Scott Running – 2h46’49”
- Hector Haines (GBR) – 2h51’41”
- Kiril Nikolov (BUL) – 2h52’04”
- Rok Bratina (SLO) – 2h52’12”
- Marco Moletto (ITA) La Sportiva – 2h52’28”
- Megan Kimmel (USA) Asics – 3h17’35”
- Laura Orgué (ESP) Salomon – 3h18’42”
- Céline Lafaye (FRA) Optisport – 3h19’22”
- Caroline Chaverot (FRA) Hoka – 3h20’03”
- Ragna Debats (NED) FEEC – 3h20’47”
Sky Series rankings
- Tadei Pivk (ITA)
- Hassan Ait Chaou (ESP)
- Kiril Nikolov (BUL)
- Pablo Villa (ESP)
- Alexis Sevennec (FRA)
- Megan Kimmel (USA)
- Laura Orgué (ESP)
- Yngvild Kaspersen (NOR)
- Ragna Debats (NED)
- Marta Molist (ESP)