The Canadian Rockies witnessed an incredible race today as 500 skyrunners of 16 nationalities took to the ridges above Crowsnest Pass, Canada, for the 2024 Arc’teryx Minotaur Skyrace, the eighth race of the 2024 Merrell Skyrunner® World Series.

This challenging and exhilarating event brought together elite skyrunners from around the world to compete on a course renowned for its rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas. The 33 km route with 2,900 meters has become known as one of the hardest races of the circuit with three steep climbs, three technical downhills and two long stretches or knife-edge ridges. 

Only the most technically-skilled skyrunners are known to triumph at Minotaur Skyrace. In the men’s field, ex-Olympic skier Scott Patterson from Alaska, USA, (team Suunto) came out victorious of a race-long battle with last year’s champion Jackson Cole of New Zealand (team La Sportiva). Cole set the pace for the first two climbs, leading until Minotaur Peak. Patterson managed to catch Cole just before the summit and pulled away on the famous “shoe shredder” descent. From there, he continued to make a gap and Cole was unable to catch him. The Alaskan crossed the finish line with a time of 4h08’26”, just two minutes short of Damien Humbert’s record from 2022. Could this be the start of a new skyrunning career for the two-time Olympian who retired from cross-country skiing this year? Cole arrived at the finish line two minutes behind Patterson, followed by Johnny-Luna Lima of Brazil (team The North Face) in third. 

Patterson comments: “This race was awesome. The terrain was so varied. I’m from Alaska and the rocks there are so different to here. Jackson and I had a great race. We were together up Bluff Mountain and then he got away from me on the downhill. I was able to catch him on Minotaur Peak and then he almost caught me again on the shoe shredder. We arrived together at the aid station and then I was able to get ahead on the third climb. I was running scared the whole downhill though, expecting him to catch me. Let’s see if this is the start of a new skyrunning career for me. I just retired from skiing and now I’m looking for a new challenge”.

In the women’s race, Emma Cook-Clarke of Canada (team Arc’teryx), not only won the race for the second time but the full-time firefighter from Calgary also set a new course record of 4h52’03”, ten minutes faster than Marcela Vasinova’s record from 2023. Cook-Clarke ran almost the entire race together with Elise Poncet of France (team Arc’teryx), but was able to pull away five kilometres from the finish and claim her victory.

Poncet also finished faster than the previous record time, four minutes behind Cook-Clarke. Karina Carsolio of Mexico (team Black Diamond / Buff) closed the podium – her second time placing third at Minotaur Skyrace. 

Cooke-Clarke comments: “I didn’t expect this today. I knew I was feeling good but to come away with a new course record is a surprise! It was nice to run with my team mate Elise for almost the whole race. She really pushed me. This race is so close to my heart and I love coming back here every year. The course is amazing, so technical and beautiful with such varied terrain.”

The top ten males and females today were awarded with prize money and the top 20 will receive points towards the overall ranking.

The Arc’teryx Minotaur Skyrace was the first race of the weekend with Mercantour taking place in France tomorrow (Sunday 23rd June). 

Minotaur Skyrace full results.

All photo credits: Philipp Reiter | The Adventure Bakery


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