This Sunday, July 28, 661 runners of 28 nationalities will climb the highest mountain in the principality of Andorra for Skyrace Comapedrosa. With race veterans going head to head with new skyrunning stars, the tenth race of the 2019 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series season promises an exciting clash of generations on a short, fast and intense course.
Young Stars Lead the Field
At just 21 km, Andorra’s only Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series Skyrace may be the shortest in the calendar, but it is also the steepest. With almost 2,300m of vertical gain, what it lacks in distance, it makes up for in speed and technicality.
“I like fast and steep races and that’s what Comapedrosa is all about.” says Rok Bratina, one of the promising new talents attracted to the intense profile of this weekend’s race. The Slovenian athlete leads the field of rising stars that includes 20-year-old Théo Detienne of France who finished ahead of Bratina in second place at Skyrace des Matheysins.
We can expect big things this weekend from Bratina in particular. After suffering from an injury which caused him to miss the 2018 season, the young Slovenian, who has produced nothing but good results in the past, is now fully focused on Andorra and making his return to the skyrunning scene.
“After Skyrace des Matheysins I just did two short races for training in Italy. One of them also counted for the Skyrunner Italy Series and I won it. Otherwise my focus has fully been on Comapedrosa. I feel fresh and with just three skyraces in my legs, I can’t wait to run again and fight for the top position.” says Bratina.
“Rok is one of my biggest competitors of this race but I will not underestimate the Casal Mir brothers. They know the race and terrain very well so right now; they are my biggest threat.” says Nikolov, who returns to this course for a third time.
One athlete who is neither a newcomer nor a veteran, but will surely stir things up, is 2017 Skyrace Comapedrosa champion and last-minute addition to the lineup, Jan Margarit of Spain. “I’m really excited to return to skyrunning and moreover to Skyrace Comapedrosa. I will give my best and try to get my spot for the SkyMasters final in Limone. Comapedrosa is a race that I love, so hopefully, it will be another great show on Sunday.”
These new talents will have to contend with a number of experienced skyrunners and race veterans who have the advantage of knowing the ins and outs of the course. These include local brothers, Oscar and Marc Casal Mir; Marc Pinsach of Spain and Kiril Nikolov of Bulgaria.
Sheila Avilés after losing her fight for the podium at the unforgiving Skyrace Comapedrosa 2018 – ©MRSWS / Albert Jorquera
Two big names in the female field are Sheila Avilés of Spain and Sanna El Kott of Sweden. After an unforgettable sprint finish in 2018 that saw Avilés lose her podium position to El Kott by a matter of seconds, Avilés will be looking for revenge. After two SuperSky Race victories in Livigno and BUFF® Epic Trail, she’s also looking like the one to beat. “I want to change my feelings towards this race after a disappointing fourth place finish last year.” explains Aviles. “I won in 2017 and it is such an emotional memory, so I want to come back and win this time again.”
As in the men’s field, both Avilés and El Kott will be put through their paces by a number of rising stars. Gisela Carrion of Spain has already proven that she’s the new kid on the block after taking home a third-place finish at Livigno SkyMarathon against a stacked field of elites. Elena Rukhlyada is another one to watch out for. The Russian power woman beat the likes of USA’s Hillary Gerardi at Skyrace des Matheysins to secure her first win at her first Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series skyrace – she’s definitely not to be underestimated.