It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: this Saturday, the world’s best skyrunners will be crowned at the 2022 SkyMasters hosted by Gorbeia Suzien in the Basque Country, Spain.
Final preparations are underway for the final race of the 2022 Skyrunner® World Series and it’s shaping up to be the party of the season. Around 70 of the world’s best skyrunners will attend the 2022 SkyMasters, all of which have either qualified throughout the season or been specially selected as Wild Cards.
The weekend-long event kicks off this Friday with a press event in none other than San Mames football stadium, Bilbao. The SkyMasters race will take place the following morning at 09:00 am and is sure to attract fans and spectators from afar. Those not there can tune in and watch the entire race broadcasted LIVE. In true Basque style, the race will be followed by a prize giving party for all runners, including a roasted pig in the center of the town.
To add to the exclusivity of the race, a brand-new 33 km with 2,500 meters vertical gain, SkyMasters course has been created which features an additional climb to the summits of Igalirrintza (1,304 m) and Lekanda (1,309 m) – two of Gorbea National Parks spectacular peaks that have never before in the history of the event been visited. The route includes muddy paths, rocky tracks and wide, green, wild-horse meadows, typical of the Basque Country.
With more than double points up for grabs, awarded to the top 20 male and females, the stakes are high. The international lineup for the grand final is as spectacular as the event itself. All top 10 females of the overall ranking will toe the line of Saturday’s race.
The ladies who will be battling it out for the top spot include current leader, Oihana Akorbebeitia of Spain (team Merrell); Iris Pessey of France (team Scott Running), Lindsay Webster of Canada (team Craft), Maite Maiora of Spain (team Raidlight) and Martina Cumerlato of Italy (team La Sportiva).
In the men’s field, overall ranking leader Damien Humbert of France (team TSL Outdoors) is looking like the favorite to win the season title. He faces tough competition from the likes of Nico Molina of Spain (team La Sportiva), Raul Butaci of Romania (team Merrell) and Ander Inarra of Spain (team Merrell).
Not to be forgotten: not only will the champion of the overall season ranking be crowned but also the winner of the SkyMasters. Those not competing for the overall title but for the SkyMasters race alone include Wildcard Jan Margarit of Spain (team La Sportiva), Ryan Atkins of Canada (team Craft), Garmin Epic 2022 champion Raul Oritz of Spain, Bernard Cheruiyot of Kenya (team Merrell) and in the women’s field, Sandra Sevillano of Spain (team Millet), Marcela Vasinova of the Czech Republic (team Salomon) and many, many more.
The highest scoring athletes of the entire Skyrunner® World Series season will be rewarded with the bonus prize money pool of 35,000 €, distributed evenly amongst the top male and female competitors of the overall ranking.
Who will shine the brightest this weekend? Join us in the Basque Country or tune in to the Live streaming this weekend to find out.
Overall ranking top 5 women before SkyMasters:
Oihanna Azkorbebeitia – ESP – Team Merrell – 316 points
Iris Pessey – FRA – Team Scott Running – 300 points
Lindsay Webster – CAN – Team Craft – 290 points
Maite Maiora – ESP – Team Raidlight – 270 points
Martina Cumerlato – ITA – Team La Sportiva – 192 points
Overall ranking top 5 men before SkyMasters:
Damien Humbert – FRA – Team TSL Outdoors – 288 points
Christian Mathys – SUI – Team Biel / Bienne Athletics – 260 points
Nicolas Molina – ESP – Team La Sportiva – 246 points
Ander Inarra – ESP – Team Merrell – 244 points
Raul Butaci – ROM – Team Merrell – 216 points