Athletes from around the world battled it out this weekend on the technical ridges above Blairmore, Canada, for the fifth winner’s bib of the Skyrunner® World Series 2023. Last year’s runner up Jackson Cole returned for revenge and claimed victory together with Marcela Vasinova at the Minotaur Skyrace.
The 32-kilometre course with 2,817 metres of elevation gain is known to be one of the most technical race courses of the circuit.
Stepping up to the challenge was a field of the most technically-skilled skyrunners including a strong Canadian representation and many big European names.
In the men’s field, it was the 2022 runner up Jackson Cole of the USA (team La Sportiva) who came out on top. Cole took the lead from the beginning and dominated the race from the first step. He crossed the finish line with a winning time of 4h21’04” – eight minutes faster than his 2022 time, yet still fifteen minutes off Damien Humbert’s winning time last year. Cole comments:
“It was a battle. Last year I raced here and was second to Damien. I applied his strategy of going out hard to get ahead and it paid off. Every time I looked behind me there was someone on my heels but I managed to pull it off.”
In second place, finishing just 36 seconds behind Cole was Peter Frano of Slovakia (team Scarpa) who was followed 10 minutes later by Canadian runner Jessie McAuley in third.
In the female race, Marcela Vasinova fought off a strong field of women to take home the title. The Czech athlete pulled off a solid performance, taking the lead from Karina Carsolio of Mexico (team Black Diamond) at kilometre 21 and finishing strong with a time of 5h01’56” – six minutes ahead of Emma Cook-Clarke of Canada in second (Team Arc’teryx), the 2022 Minotaur Skyrace winner, and ten minutes ahead of Karina Carsolio in third. Vasinova, the female winner comments:
“This was my first time in Canada. It was a pure skyrunning course – very technical. The downhills are just crazy! The female field was very competitive today so it was a case of having to push hard until the very last moment. It wasn’t an easy one but it was stunning.”
The top 20 of Minotaur Skyrace have gained points towards the overall ranking.
The next stage of the Skyrunner® World Series will be tier two race, Cordillera Blanca Skyrace in Peru on July the 2nd.
MEN TOP 5:
- Jackson Cole (USA) Team La Sportiva – 04h21’04”
- Peter Frano (SLO) Team Scarpa – 04h21’40”
- Jessie McAuley (CAN) – 04h31’40”
- Nico Molina (ESP) Team La Sportiva – 04h34’57”
- Ryan Phebus (USA) – 04h37’14”
WOMEN TOP 5:
- Marcela Vasinova (CZE) – 05h01’56”
- Emma Cook-Clarke (CAN) Team Arc’teryx – 05h07’47”
- Karina Carsolio (MEX) Team Black Diamond – 05h11’34”
- Lindsay Webster (CAN) – 05h12’53”
- Kalie McCrystal (CAN) – 05h25’10”