It’s almost the start of the new season and excitement within the Skyrunning community is growing. Elite Skyrunners are ready to compete on the highly technical courses of the most prestigious Skyraces around the world.
The 2019 season of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series is right around the corner. Kicking things off on April 21st is the brand-new Mt Awa Skyrace in the Japanese alps, followed by a high-altitude stop at the now-famous Yading Skyrun (CHN).
With over 90 elite Skyrunners from 21 different countries having already confirmed their participation in the season, the quality of competition throughout the year is guaranteed to be at an all-time high. 52 men and 33 women ranked in the 52-week ranking will compete in at least four races of the upcoming calendar.
After the announcement of 6 new skyraces, many of our past champions are thrilled about the upcoming year. With both male and female winner of the 2018 Classic Series taking their place behind the starting line in Japan, it’s looking likely to be a fierce season from the word go.
“My first destination will be in Japan. Usually the Japanese runners come to Europe, so it’s good to change sides this time.” Says Pascal Egli (SUI) Team Dynafit, winner of the 2018 Classic Series.
With a Classic Series win already under his belt, Egli has his sights set on the podium once again. “One race that can be really defining for my season is Livigno Skymarathon, I would finally like to win there.”
Egli will face some tough competition in Livigno as he will be up against the 2018 defending champion Petter Engdahl (SWE) of Team Salomon, who also placed second in the 2018 overall ranking. Engdahl will be hoping to perform his best at each race in order to qualify for the Sky Masters.
Pere Aurell (ESP) Team Merrell, winner of the 2018 Transvulcania, is also aiming to qualify for the Sky Masters. With 7 races ahead of him, including Transvulcania, where he won last year, it’s going to be a challenging season for the athlete.
And it’s the same level of competition for the girls. Holly Page (GBR) Team Adidas Terrex, female winner of the 2018 Classic Series, has also chosen Japan as her first destination of the season. “This year I am looking forward to exploring Japan with the friends I have made on the Skyrunning circuit. Someone who is happy to throw themselves down a steep rocky descent is the sort of person I like to hang out with.”
Page will be competing against by the winner of the 2017 Classic Series, Sheila Avilés (ESP) Team Adidas Terrex, in Japan who is “looking forward to another awesome year of Skyrunning”. As well as Mt Awa, Avilés will also be tackling the Matterhorn Ultraks “Extreme” and Buff Epic Trail before closing her season with ZacUP and Sky Pirineu.
Ridgerunning, via ferrate, snowfields and scrambling – there is no shortage of technical races this season. World-class athletes including Zaid Ait Malek (MAR) Team Buff and Sanna El Kott (SWE) Team Gore/Merrell, have all expressed their excitement at the truly amazing running that the mountain race calendar has to offer.
“This year I am really delighted to go back to Tromsø and to run for the very first time an iconic race like Olympus Marathon. If I had to highlight another race I’d go for Matterhorn Ultraks “Extreme” because I like this crazy stuff, these technical and beautiful races that can’t be compared with anything else.” Says Ait Malek.
In 2019, all results are counting for the same ranking. The calendar is made up of 15 sky races across 11 countries. Four of those races have the status of SuperSky Race, rewarding twice the points. The season will end at the Sky Masters on October 19th, an event reserved only for the best Skyrunner in the World. The venue of this final race will be announced soon.