The Limone Skyrace features 2,000m of elevation gain packed into a 23km course
The 2014 Skyrunner World Series reaches its conclusion this weekend on the steep mountains above Lake Garda, Italy and we are set to field our strongest team of the year. Saturday’s 23km Limone Extreme Skyrace may be one of the shortest in the five-race Sky Series but with a fierce 2,000m of elevation gain packed in it is far from and end-of-season stroll.
We will have 11 athletes on the start line in Limone, with three making their skyrunning debuts. Fresh from winning the 2014 English Fell Running Championship, Tom Addison will join world number-one obstacle course racer Jonathan Albon and Gary Priestley in getting a first taste of skyrunning. Three more UK athletes in the shape of Oli Johnson, Anna Lupton and Victoria Wilkinson will join the trio of debutants. Like Tom, Victoria is a 2014 English Fell Running Champion and knows a strong run at Limone will propel her up the Sky Series rankings having already recorded a 6th place finish in the Dolomites Skyrace (Italy) and a 9th spot at Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland).
Three of our athletes will make their skyrunning debuts in Limone, including world number-one obstacle course racer Jon Albon
Aritz Egea (Basque), Eirik Haugsnes (Norway), David Schneider (Austria) and Jokin Lizeaga (Basque) sit 4th, 9th, 10th and 31st respectively in the rankings going into the final race of the season. Both Aritz and David will be hoping to build on their performances in last year’s Limone race when they placed 3rd and 4th respectively. Alex Nichols (US) finished 8th in the same event 12 months ago and will be back in Limone again this year hoping for another top-10 spot.
Eirik, as well as Robbie Britton (UK), will also compete in Friday’s Limone Vertical Km race, which sees competitors blast up a 1080m mountain side on a course that covers less than 3km.
Looking ahead to his first skyrace, Jon Albon, who won the classic 32km Welsh 1000m Peaks Race in June, said: “It will be my first taste of skyrunning and I’m really looking forward to it. During the race I will, as always, try and keep a cool head and stay relaxed, working on the uphill sections and enjoying the downhill parts. As part of my training I have been doing a lot more hill running, so it will be interesting to see how I get on against the skyrunning professionals.”