Halfway to the SkyMasters. 69 top skyrunners already qualified.

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It’s halfway through the 2019 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series. In just 15 weeks the best of the best will line up on the shores of Lake Garda for the first ever SkyMasters – a unique race that will unveil the fastest, strongest and most technically skilled skyunner in the world. 69 athletes have already qualified and eight races remain.

A Pinnacle Event

Ever since the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series announced its new single ranking system and first ever qualifying race, top athletes from all over the world, including an influx of young and talented newcomers, have committed themselves to the official circuit. As the 2019 season, which can only be described as the most unpredictable in skyrunning history, reaches the halfway point, the race is on to secure a spot at the main event of the series – the SkyMasters.

To win the title and the 75,000€ end of season bonus pool, participants must run at least four races – of the four races two can be SuperSky Races (awarding double points) – of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series calendar. The best of each race will qualify for the SkyMasters, the final stage of the series which athletes must start in order to be eligible for the end of season prize.

 

Qualification Criteria

Halfway through the season, 69 male and female athletes have already qualified for the SkyMasters by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • Be in the Top 30 Men/Women of the Season General Ranking (standing before the Masters)
  • Be in the Top 30 Men/Women of the 52-Week Ranking two weeks prior to the Sky Masters
  • Be a Top-10 Man/Woman of a SuperSky Race
  • Be a Top-5 Man/Woman of a Sky Race
  • Be a winner (man and woman) of a nominated race in each SNS Country
  • Be the winner (man and woman) of the final ranking of a Skyrunner® National Series

Not only does the SkyMasters guarantee a highly competitive race among the sport’s best, but it’s also worth 250 points towards the overall ranking.

Jonathan Albon of Great Britain, 2018 Skyrunner Ultra Series champion and one of the top contenders for the 2019 title, explains the significance of the SkyMasters – “Although I haven’t bagged a win this season, I’ve still managed to qualify for the SkyMasters which puts me in a good position. As long as I can stay in the top five at my next races, BUFF and Tromsø, I can still do well, especially with bonus points up for grabs at Limone. It’s made the series much more competitive. A lot can happen between now and then but I think many of us are already focused on that last race.”

Jonathan Albon en route to a fourth-place finish at Tranvulcania 2019 ©MRSWS | AlexisBerg

By opening up the Skymasters to qualifiers of the 12 Skyrunner® National Series, this gives national level athletes the chance to run alongside global elites of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series. Those not eligible for the end of season bonus pool shall not walk away from the race empty-handed. A 12,000€ prize money pool will be shared equally amongst the top 10 male and female runners of the special race.

 

The Exclusive Course

Worth noting is the exclusivity of the event. The course has been redesigned specifically for the SkyMasters – greater challenge, greater reward. Although the “original” Limone Extreme Skyrace will still take place, only qualified athletes can race on the SkyMasters course. Starting on the shores of Lake Garda, the 27 km course with 2,600m of vertical gain includes an extra section of via Ferrata and a new, steep and technical downhill. An additional summit, Monte Carone, has also been added to the already very technical route with rewarding views of Lake Garda and the surrounding summits. As preparations get underway, it’s shaping up to be an event that will go down in skyrunning history.

“The SkyMasters is a turning point, something unique in this sport. The goal of the Migu Run Skyrunner this season is to find out who is the best skyrunner: the most technical, strongest and fittest mountain runner in the world. After 15 races competing in different distances and technical terrains, all the athletes will have to come together in Limone and prove who is the best. The level has been already super high, so imagine the SkyMasters! There has never been a race only for qualified athletes and this is something the athletes, media and fans want to see and experience this year. It’s going to be simply awesome.” – Albert Jorquera, SkyMan SA Athletes Manager.

 

Big Stars and Fresh Faces at the SkyMasters

Along the way, there have been a number of standout performances. Although the competition, so far, has been dominated by big names like Jonathan AlbonRuy Ueda, Ragna Debats and Megan Kimmel, we’ve also seen the rise of many new stars to the sport. Jia Erenjia of China, Théo Detienne of France, Rok Bratina of Slovenia, Gisela Carrion of Spain and Russia’s Elena Rukhliada are just some of the fresh faces who have burst onto the scene with outstanding performances in the biggest skyrunningraces of the world.

With eight races remaining, the competition continues. Stay tuned to find out who will be the masters of the sky at the grand final event on October 19th.

Check out the full list of female and male qualifiers here.