In a thrilling display of endurance and determination, Hillary Gerardi and Lorenzo Beltrami overcame fierce competition and inclement weather to claim victory at the 2024 Hochkönig Skyrace. Despite challenging conditions, both athletes delivered outstanding performances.

Due to weather conditions, the seventh edition of the Hochkönig Skyrace was ran on an alternative course. Elite athletes faced not only the physical demands of the rugged terrain but also battled through rain, wind, and slippery paths, adding an extra layer of difficulty to an already formidable race in order to take home the sixth title of the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series season. The b-course still tackled steep climbs and descents with 32km and 2,300 meters of elevation gain. Conditions were so challenging that 30% of the male field and 50% of the female field did not finish.

In the women’s race, it was an exceptional day for Hillary Gerardi of the USA (team Scarpa). Today’s victory was the first win for Gerardi, one of the longest-standing athletes still in the circuit, since 2018. Gerardi demonstrated exceptional resilience as she led the race from the beginning, together with Ariadna Fenes of Andorra (team FAM). The American skyrunning star crossed the finish line in Maria Alm first with a time of 4:07:20, followed seven minutes later by French athlete Iris Pessey (team Scott) in second place and Ingrid Mutter of Romania (team Scarpa) in third. Fenes, although leading for the start of the race, fell back into sixth position due to an injury. 

Female winner, Gerardi, comments: 

“It was tough conditions out there today. The b-course did not disappoint. It was cold and snowy on the second climb and also some of the muddiest trails I have ever experienced but it was a great race. I went out strong and was able to pull ahead in the second climb. I twisted my ankle at one point and thought the race was over for me but I kept moving and it was ok. I feel excited for the rest of the season. It’s always a very satisfying thing to have a good result and I was able to identify some areas I still want to work on. It’s a great way to kick off the summer season… in the snow!”.

Women’s podium | photo: Antton Guaresti

In the men’s race, it was a good day for Italy who took home gold, silver and bronze. Lorenzo Beltrami (team Scarpa) showcased remarkable grit by coming out victorious of a race-long battle with fellow Italians Daniel Antonioli (team Scarpa) and William Boffeli (team Kailas) who finished second and third, respectively. Beltrami’s winning time was 3:15:26, three minutes ahead of Antonioli and four minutes ahead of Boffelli. This is Beltrami’s first SWS win of his career and therefore will surely be a day to remember.

Male winner, Beltrami, comments: 

“I’m thrilled about my first SWS victory. The race was beautiful – very muddy with snow at the top. I ran the race at my own pace and the lead switched constantly between the other Italian guys Daniel and William and I took the lead in the last climb. Right now, I’m feeling strong and I’m ready for my next stages in the SWS – Mercantour and Kaiserkrone.”

The next race of the circuit will be Madeira Skyrace on June 15th.

Full results here.


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