Huge success for Cordillera Blanca Skyrace as it makes its Skyrunner® World Series debut. Local athletes beat European opposition to take home titles in Peru for the sixth race and first “SkyRace” of the 2023 season.
Starting at 3,300 meters in the town of Huaraz in Peru, Cordillera Blanca Skyrace, part of the UTCB event, took athletes to 4,500 meters in Callejón de Huaylas, the highest tropical mountain range in the world.
Despite being on the other side of the world for many and also being the first “SkyRace” of the season (a race awarding less points to the overall ranking) the event was a huge success with 350 participants of 22 nationalities standing behind the starting line in Peru, including Swedish twins Sanna and Lina El Kott Helander (team Merrell) from Sweden and the 2022 overall ranking champion Nico Molina (team La Sportiva) from Spain.
The race clearly favoured those acclimatised to the high-altitude with both male and female wins going to local athletes.
In the men’s race, Jose Manuel Mallma of Peru (team Civa) won by 50 seconds, completing the 26km race route with 2,000 meters of elevation gain in 2h27’38”. Gustavo Buitrago Arevalo of Colombia was second and Nestor Ruffini Oritz, also of Peru, closed the men’s podium in 2h29’46”.
In the women’s race, it was 57-year-old Trinidad Aguirre of Peru who came out on top with a winning time of 3h11’29”. Second place went to Rosalia Zegarra, also Peru, with a time of 3h19’17” and Ana Maria Pineda of Colombia was third in 3h21’59”.
Andres Olivera, race director comments:
“In the 25k field we had the best short-distance runners from this part of the world including many South American champs. There was a great participation of elite runners from Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. It was perfect weather for a skyrace in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca.”
Points have been awarded to the top 20 male and females of the race.
The top 10 will also qualify for the 2023 SkyMasters, the final race of the season. This is only as long as they complete a further 2 races of the season and the SkyMasters. More information on the rules can be found on the Skyrunner® World Series website.
Top 5 Women:
1. Trinidad Aguirre (PER) – 3h11’29”
2. Rosalia Zegarra (PER) – 3h19’17”
3. Ana Maria Pineda (COL) – 3h21’59”
4. Lorena Garcia (PER) – 3h24’42”
5. Sanna El Kott (SWE) – 3h24’48”
Top 5 Men:
1. Jose Manuel Mallma (PER) – 2h27’38”
2. Gustavo Buitrago Arevalo (COL) – 2h28’10”
3. Nestor Ruffini Oritz (PER) – 2h29’46”
4. Abraham Hernandez Cruz (MEX) – 2h30’55”
5. Octavio Chiri Chamana (PER) – 2h35’30”