The breathtaking landscapes of the Gorges du Tarn provided the perfect backdrop for an electrifying 22nd edition of the Skyrace this year. Amidst fierce competition and challenging terrains, Oihana Kotazar of Spain (team Salomon) and Roberto Delorenzi of Switzerland (team Brooks) emerged as the champions, showcasing exceptional endurance and skill at the fourth race of the 2024 Merrell Skyrunner® World Series.

 In the women’s race, Kotazar dominated from beginning to end. The Spanish athlete crossed the finish line with a new course record of 2h51’58”. Although Therese Arvik of Norway crossed the finish line second, a thirty-minute penalty was issued by the official ISF referee due the wrong route being taken. Second place, therefore, went to Julia Font, also of Spain (team Brooks) with a time of 2h54’57”.

Kotazar, the female champion comments: “It feels amazing to win here. It was a short and technical course with many climbs and technical parts that I didn’t expect but it was so beautiful. Until kilometre 11, I was really struggling but after that I felt good and in the last four kilometres I felt my best and was able to finish strong with a good time, so it was a satisfying win for sure”.

In the men’s race, Delorenzi took home his third win of the season and a new course record of 2h19’26”. The Swiss star also held his lead from beginning to end. This is his third win of the season and after completing four races already, Delorenzi has all he needs to qualify for the final, Marato del Dements in November. Antonio Martínez of Spain (team Asics) finished in second, just 10 seconds behind.

Delorenzi, the male champion comments: “The race went well today. This kind of up and down course really suits me. My strategy was to start fast and gain a gap and then try to keep that until the end, and it worked! I was happy I could manage to do it. Three out of four wins this year in the Merrell Skyrunner World Series circuit is something special.”

Top 5 women and men, photos: Antton Guaresti

The real stars of the show, however, were the young guns who gave everyone a run for their money – Carrodilla Cabastre and Iu Net, both of Spain (both team La Sportiva). These young athletes stole the show with their remarkable feats, placing third in the overall ranking in a stacked field of experienced elite runners although both being under 23 years old and in the U23 category.

Cabastre’s eyes filled with tears as she crossed the finish line. The young star commented: “This is a dream come true. I have been watching skyrunning at home for years, dreaming of the day I can podium and today that dream came true. It was a beautiful race and a pleasure to compete against these other strong women.”

Net comments: “I was with Antonio and Jan the whole of the race with Antonio setting the pace. I wanted to do well, so a podium at my first Skyrunner World Series race is almost unbelievable for me. I am so happy that things went well today and I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Seana Forbes, SWS athlete manager comments: “This event celebrated not only the triumphs of seasoned champions but also the emergence of new talents poised to shape the future of skyrunning. It’s great that we can give the young athletes the recognition they deserve with the U23 ranking and we are very impressed to see how well they are performing.

The Gorges du Tarn Skyrace, renowned for its challenging routes and stunning scenery, delivered an unforgettable experience for athletes and fans with a live broadcast worldwide. 

The next race of the circuit is Mexico Sky Challenge, Orizaba, Mexico on the 26th of May.

Full results can be found here. 


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