In the realm of skyrunning, where the mountains echo with the footsteps of the fearless and the skies witness the soaring spirits of adventurers, we stand on the precipice of a new era. It is with great anticipation and profound admiration that we introduce to you the future guardians of the sky, the torchbearers of mountain running excellence – the contenders of the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series U23 Category, proudly vying for the prestigious Esteban Olivero Trophy in 2024.

This year marks a momentous occasion as we unveil the U23 category, a beacon of hope and promise for the young talents whose aspirations reach for the peaks and whose dreams are etched in the contours of the mountains. With unwavering determination and unyielding passion, these extraordinary athletes embark on a journey that transcends boundaries, igniting the trails with their fervor and illuminating the skies with their indomitable spirit.

The following races shall award points for the U23 Ranking:

  • Calamorro Skyrace – Spain
  • Skyrace des Matheysins – France
  • Skyrace des Gorges du Tarn – France
  • Skyrace du Mercantour – France
  • Cordillera Blanca Skyrace – Peru
  • 2Peaks Skyrace – South Korea
  • Sagalassos Skyrace – Spain
  • Marató dels Dements – Spain (FINAL) 

The category will only be available to athletes born from January 2001 to December 2003. The ranking will take into consideration the young athlete’s best TWO race results plus the FINAL. Athletes can ONLY score points for the U23 ranking at selected YOUTH RACES. These races are all official Merrell Skyrunner® World Series races, therefore the same course as the adults, but have been selected because they are less distance and elevation compared to other races in the circuit. Only the final will be a separate race with less distance than the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series SkyMasters and will be a 21K race. 

Meet the Contenders:

Female athletes of the U23 Category

Alba De Mendiolagoitia (ESP) Club Deportivo Alpino Benalmádena (21 years) 

Best performances: Maraton Bandolera (3rd), Rute Promesa (5th), Tajos Skyrace (1st). 

Social Media:

Carrodilla Cabestre (ESP) La Sportiva (20 years) 

Best performances: Cortina Skyrace (4th). 

Social Media: 

Rio Townsend (USA) Dynafit (18 years) 

Best performances: Speed Goat (4th), Broken Arrow Skyrace (17th). 

Social Media: 

Anna Verdet (FRA) The North Face (21 years) 

Best performances: Maxi-Race (3rd), Val Tho Summit (3rd), Tour des Lacs (4th). 

Social Media: 

Mariana Prudencio (POR) Runners Do Demo (18 years)

Best performances: Trilhos dos Abutres (5th), Estrela Curto (2nd), Louzan1000 (2nd). 

Social Media: 

Nikola Matkova (SLO) Zolna Skyrunning Team (21 years) 

Best performances: Mosovce Trail (3rd) 

Social Media: 

Rebecca Kohne (ZFA) Asics (21 years) 

Best performances: Table Mountain (3rd), Mont-Rochelle Skyrace (3rd), YCC (8th).  

Social Media: 

Maria Loufeki (GRE) Scott Running (22 years) 

Best performances: Metsovo Trail (6th). 

Social Media: 

Núria Tarragó (ESP) Sidas Matryx

Best performances: YCC (6th), VK WC (3rd), Mont-Blanc SemiMarathon (1st). 

Social Media: 

Ona Aspa (ESP) Salomon

Social Media: 

Males athletes of the U23 Category: 

Konstantinos Paradeisopoulos (GRE) Team Scarpa (22 years)

Best performances: Trail du Saint-Jacques (1st), Grossglockner Ultra-Trail (1st), Marathon du Mont-Blanc (15th). 

Social Media: 

Brendan Morden (CAN) 

Best performances: Argentrail (1st), Whistler Alpine (5th), Marathon du Mont-Blanc (28th). 

Social Media: 

Álvaro Osanz (ESP) Adidas Terrex (21 years) 

Best performances: CanFrancCanFranc (3rd), El Paso Up-Down (6th), Val D´aran (3rd). 

Social Media:  

Benjamin Townsend (USA) Dynafit (20 years) 

Best performances: Broken Arrow Skyrace (30-48th), SpeedGoat (17th). 

Social Media: 

Marcos Villamuera (ESP) Scarpa / 226ers (19 years)

Best performances: Kangas Mountain (1st), El Paso Up-Down (2nd), YCC (6th).  

Social Media: 

Clement Bruchon (FRA) Nike Trail (22 years) 

Best performances: Festival des Templiers (1st), Marathon Du Mont Blanc (3rd), SkyRhune (26th). 

Social Media: 

Jan Torrella (ESP) Salomon (20 years)

Best performances: Ultra Pirineu (2nd), Golfo del Issola Trail (22nd), Trail Rocacorba (1st).  

Social Media: 

Ed Brewer (GBR) University of Cambridge Hare and Hounds (UOC Hare & Hounds) (21 years) 

Best performances: Matterhorn Ultraks 32nd

Social Media: 

William D’arcy (GBR) British Biathlon

Gontzalo Murgoitio (ESP) Brooks (23 years)

The next stage of the MSWS24

The next stop on the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series 2024 takes us back to Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain. Calamorro Skyrace will host the second stage of MSWS24 on Saturday, April 6th, starting at 5:00 PM. Expect a stellar lineup of athletes, including those competing in the U23 category – Trofeo Esteban Olivero, making their debut.

Sponsors’ Presence in Calamorro Skyrace 

During Calamorro Skyrace, Merrell will offer test runs of their latest Long Skyfire 2 and Skyfire 2 shoes. Stop by the Merrell booth the day before or on race day to try them out!

Additionally, Deuter will provide the opportunity to test their TRAICK backpacks in 5L and 9L variants.

Make sure to take advantage of the best in sports nutrition from BIX Hydration and grab our official merchandise collection from PRESSIO that will be showcased on the Skyrunner World Series Booth during the packet pick-up! 

We’ll see you at Calamorro Skyrace! 🏃‍♂️🏔️🏃‍♀️


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