Last points up for grabs at the final race of the 2019 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series before the SkyMasters. A jaw-dropping field of 90 elites go all-in at Spain’s Sky Pirineu on Saturday 5th October, plus, a surprise appearance from skyrunning legend, Emelie Forsberg.
Bagà, Spain, 30.09.2019 – It’s time to go hard or go home at this weekend’s 15th stage of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series. With so much at stake, it’s guaranteed to be a showdown between some of the most high-profile names in the sport.
Over 1,000 participants from 35 countries will take their place at the starting line of Sky Pirineu. The 37 km course with over 2,757m vertical gain is described at “pure skyrunning”. Starting in Bagà, a small town in the Spanish Pyrenees, the new route which has been specially designed for the 2019 official circuit, runs through the Cadí Moixeró Natural Park with an ascent to the highest refuge of the Eastern Pyrenees, Niu de l ‘Àliga at 2,510m.
Will History Repeat Itself for Ueda, Cardona, and Antonioli?
This Sunday, the main attraction will be the battle between “the big three” of the series: Ruy Ueda of Japan, Oriol Cardona of Spain and Daniel Antonioli of Italy. No strangers to one another, the 2019 men’s Livigno Skymarathon podium have already gone head-to-head earlier in the series with Ueda taking first, Antonioli second and Cardona third at the Italian SuperSky race. The only difference is that now, there is a lot more at stake. With only ten points separating Ueda and Cardona in the overall ranking, whoever wins here will have the advantage going into the SkyMasters.
“This will be my first time visiting Bagà and I’m really looking forward to the Catalan atmosphere. It has been two months since my last race, so the most important thing for me is to regain my racing intuition. Saying that, I’ve been preparing for the SkyMasters since September, so, if there is a chance, I aim to win this weekend at Sky Pirineu.” said Ueda.
“My goal for Sky Pirineu is simple – I want to win. Physically, I don’t know if I’m prepared but mentally, I’m very motivated. I know there is a high level at this race and it’s going to be a challenge to finish in a good position but I will try my best. It’s also a test to see how I can perform going up against my biggest rivals before for the SkyMasters which is just a few weeks away.” said Cardona.
“I will do my best to try to get on the final podium before the SkyMasters. Now that I am in the overall top 5, the competition is really heating up and the overall ranking is still very much open. I’m ready for the challenge.” said Antonioli.
The rest of the high-level men’s field includes Marco De Gasperi of Italy; Jan Margarit of Spain; Stian Angermund of Norway; the three Frenchmen: Thibaut Garrivier, Beñat Marmisolle, and Théo Detienne; and the 2017 Sky Pirineu champion and winner of the 2019 TDS by UTMB, Pablo Villa.
“Sky Pirineu is a special race for me. In 2017 I won my first long-distance race here and my first skyrunning title. In 2018 I won the marathon distance and now this year, I hope to enjoy the great atmosphere in Bagà.” said Villa of Spain.
With Garrivier, Cardona, Ueda and Antonioli all behind the starting line this Saturday, we will see the winners of all four SuperSky races of the season up against each other.
She’s Back – Emelie Forsberg Returns to Skyrunning
Much to the delight of fans all over the world, multiple skyrunning champion, Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg, will also take her place at the starting line of Sky Pirineu. Although not competing for the title this year, Forsberg expresses her excitement at participating in her first skyrace since the birth of her daughter 6 months ago:
“I am really looking to racing on Saturday. Since I made my decision, I’ve felt so excited. I love skyraces and especially because this one is in the Pyrenees. Although I’m not sure if I can keep up with the speedsters, I know it’s going to be a lot of fun to try and run fast again. The level is high and I just need to focus on doing my own race.”
Hoping to keep up with the queen of the skies is a strong field of international women including Yngvild Kaspersen of Norway, Sanna and Lina El Kott of Sweden, Great Britain’s Georgia Tindley, Antoniya Grigorova of Bulgaria and Eli Gordon of Spain.
Can Page Make It into the Top 5 Before the Skymasters?
One woman, in particular, who will have her eye on a podium position is Holly Page of Great Britain. A good result for Page at Sky Pirineu could ensure a top-five position in the ranking going into the SkyMasters. Page, who is currently seventh overall, reflects on her season so far:
“Before my injury, I had hoped to have a strong season but then had to accept just being able to run the races would be a bonus. So, I’m happy to have been able to come back to form slowly but surely,” said Page, “I’ve only done three races so far, so Sky Pirineu is an important one for me. My goal is to run as hard as I can and that’s as much as I can do at this stage. I’ve run in the area before but it’s a different course so it will be nice to be back. The Catalan’s are always excellent hosts.”
Tune in to the official Skyrunning Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this Saturday from 9 am (local time) to get all the latest updates on the 15th race of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series. It’s the last race before the SkyMasters – you don’t want to miss it.