The Merrell Skyrunner® World Series is gearing up for an extraordinary weekend of elite skyrunning events, featuring races on two continents. The Minotaur Skyrace presented by Arc’teryx in Canada and the Mercantour Skyrace in France will take place on June 22nd and 23rd, respectively, giving athletes on both sides of the world a chance to shine bright on the skyrunning stage.

Minotaur Skyrace: North America’s Ultimate Challenge

The weekend kicks off on June 22nd, 07:00 am (local time) with the eighth race of the 2024 season, the Minotaur Skyrace presented by Arc’teryx in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada. This race is renowned for its rugged and technical terrain, spanning a 33-kilometer course with over 2,900 meters of elevation gain in the Rocky Mountains. The race is known to be one of the most technical courses in the series, featuring 3 significant climbs, remote ridges, and technical descents – including the legendary “Shoe Shredder”.

The only race in North America has attracted top skyrunners from this part of the word. In the men’s field, reigning champion Jackson Cole of the New Zealand (team La Sportiva) will be returning to defend his title. Cole will be up against Brazil’s Johnny Luna-Lima (team The North Face); Morgan Elliot of the USA (team Merrell); local favourite, Jessie McAuley (team Arc’teryx); French athlete Martin Kern (team Arc’teryx); olympic skier Scott Patterson of Canada; and the dark horse to keep on eye on, David Hedges of the USA. 

In the women’s field, Canadian athlete Emma Cook-Clarke (team Arc’teryx) will return after placing 2nd in 2023 and 1st in 2022. Karina Carsolio of Mexico (team Black Diamond) is back after placing 3rd in 2023 and taking home a winner’s bib at the Mexico Sky Challenge. Arc’teryx athletes Johanna Astrom of Sweden, Henriette Albon of Norway and Elise Poncet of France are all part of the mix to make it an interesting day!

Crowsnest Pass is currently experiencing cooler temperatures than normal for June, and the course has more snow on it than we have seen in past years. It will be interesting to see how the weather affects the athletes’ performance on race day.

Mercantour Skyrace: An Alpine Adventure

On June 23rd, the skyrunning party continues and the focus shifts to the Alpes-Maritimes region of France for the Mercantour Skyrace. This race covers a demanding 30-kilometer course with 2,150 meters of elevation gain, traversing the scenic trails of Mercantour National Park. Participants will face technical trails, high mountain passes, and stunning panoramic views, making it a favorite among skyrunners.

The race boasts an impressive field of elite men. The 2019 overall champion Run Ueda of Japan will make his return to the circuit, choosing Mercantour as his 2024 season opener. Others to look out for are Lorenzo Beltrami of Italy (team Scarpa); Spanish athletes, Alain SantamariaJan Margarit (both team Salomon), Dimas Pereira (team Asics) and Alejandro Forcades (team Nnormal); Sebastien Poesy of France (team Brooks); and Under 23 athlete Brendan Morden of Canada.

In the women’s field Marcela Vasinova of the Czech Republic will be behind her first starting line of the season and is likely to be the favourite to win. Others include Noemie Vachon of France (team Brooks); Naiara Irigoyen of Spain (team Salomon); Ariadna Fenes of Andorra (team FAM); Olivia Magnone of Italy; Amelie Bertschy of Switzerland (team ON Running); and U23 athlete, Nuria Tarrago of Spain (team Sidas Matryx).

A Global Celebration of Skyrunning

This weekend’s events highlight the global appeal and diversity of the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series. Hosting races on two continents demonstrates the series’ commitment to showcasing the best of skyrunning across varied and iconic landscapes. The Minotaur Skyrace and Mercantour Skyrace will bring together elite athletes and passionate skyrunning fans, ensuring an unforgettable weekend of competition and camaraderie.

More info on Minotaur Skyrace

More information on Mercantour Skyrace 

More information on the Merrell Skyrunner® World Series


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