Jose Manuel Quispe and Karina Carsolio win the 11th stage of the 2024 Merrell Skyrunner® World Series.

Whilst others struggle to walk at 4,500 meters above sea level, this Sunday, the 7th of July, elite athletes from around the world pushed their bodies to the limit at the Cordillera Blanca Skyrace, Peru. 

The incredible 23 km skyrace course, with 2,000 meters of elevation gain, began at the starting line near Huaraz city at 3,300 meters above sea level. The route follows a trail that crosses the local community of Unchus in the direction to Pitek, where things start to get a bit more serious. Via ferrata and ropes lead to the highest part of the course at 4,500 meters where skyrunners will be able to appreciate the turquoise lagoon and the snow-capped Churup

Despite being on the other side of the world for most athletes, there was an international field, including many of the world’s best skyrunners.

In the end, it was the 2023 champion, Jose Manuel Quispe (team Merrell CIVA) of Peru who triumphed over the men. Quispe led the whole race and crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 2h03’58”. Luca Del Pero of Italy (team Scarpa), finished second after an exciting battle with locals Joseph Mamani and Joel Pumacayo, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Fifth place went to Daniel Antonioli of Italy (team Scarpa).

In the women’s race, it was Karina Carsolio of Mexico (team Buff / Black Diamond) who came out victorious. Carsolio was able to overtake Emma Cook-Clarke of Canada (team Arc’teryx) on the downhill and stormed to victory with a time of 2h37’19’. Cook-Clarke followed in second place, less than a minute behind and Hillary Gerardi of the USA (team Scarpa / Black Diamond) closed the podium in third place. Ana Maria Pineda of Columbia (team Merrell) was the fourth woman of the day and fifth place went to Leida Diaz of Peru.

The race was also part of the U23 Trofeo Esteban Olivero, therefore points were also awarded to the Youth Category. Marcos Villamuera of Spain (team Scarpa) was the first place U23 male and Lizeth Natali Flores of Peru, the first place woman. 

After Peru, the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series will have a small breather before travelling to Switzerland for the Matterhorn Ultraks Extreme in Zermatt on the 23rd of August 2024.

Full results for Cordillera Blanca Skyrace here: https://finisherdata.com/resultados/ultra_trail_cordillera_blanca?id_event=283

All photo credits: Antton Guaresti


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