The global trail running calendar for 2017 moves on: We first presented the Ultra Trail World Tour 2017, with 23 races, then we brought you those other 23 that are part of Skyrunner World Series 2017, arriving with new formats, new races and more money for elite runners.

Today we announce the brand new Vertical Kilometer World Circuit, with 17 races that for the first time stands alone from its origin at the Skyrunner Wold Series. From a local perspective, trail runners in Spain are quite happy to see foru events in Spain included: KV Transvulcania, KV Zegama, KV Fuente De and Vertical Cabanera.






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Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of the Vertical Kilometer® – uphill mountain running races that climb for 1,000m over less than 5 km – the discipline now sports its very own tour launching today with sixteen races in eight countries. The circuit is a Skyrunner® World Series spin-off.

The 2017 Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit features the world’s shortest and fastest races, the first and only triple VK, some 20-year-old classics and some exciting new ones. With the aim of expanding in the future, the number of races may be increased throughout the season.

From sea to sky, up cliff faces, volcanoes, mountain summits and ski runs, this gravity-defying sport is for anyone ready to push their limits up these lung-busting ascents.

The current world record stands at 29’42” set in Fully, Switzerland, in 2014 by Italian Urban Zemmer. The 46- year-old “Vertical Machine” set the record at the incredible speed of 2,020m per hour and has won nearly every important VK race, title and championship. The women’s world record is held by Frenchwoman Christel Dewalle set the same year on the same course in 34’44”.


Invented in 1994 by the skyrunning founders and now governed by the International Skyrunning Federation, the Vertical Kilometer® concept was two-fold: to give everyone a taste of skyrunning without the need for specific training or acclimatisation; and to carry out scientific research on uphill performance over a relatively short distance and steady incline.

Studies established the ideal incline to be around 35% but some of the fastest performances have been on stretches exceeding 50% – steeper than a staircase!

Born in the Alps, the first Vertical Kilometer® took place in Cervinia, Italy, on the lower slopes of the Matterhorn and was won in a time of 40’44” by Italian Ettore Champretavy. Two years later, in 1996, more than two minutes were sliced off the time on the Face de Bellevarde in Val d’Isère, France by skyrunning legend, Bruno Brunod in 38’29”.


The simple formula, together with the relatively accessible challenge of racing 1,000m uphill, has seen the popularity of the VK spread far and wide. The typically steep slopes of the Alps and Pyrenees are home to more than 120 VK’s, which now can be found further afield in countries with diverse terrains such as Canada, China, Greece, Japan, UK, USA, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia.

The new Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit is set to attract VK specialists from across the globe together with all those runners who want to get a high from just touching the sky.

A € 10,000 prize purse will be awarded to the circuit champions based on the 6 best results out of 16 races which may increase during the season.





Photogallery by Mayayo at VK World Championships 2016. 




Sky Classic; Sky Extreme y Ultra.


SKY CLASSIC: Eleven races, ranging in distance from the 21k at Comapedrosa to the 46k at Zermatt. Rankings include 20% bonus points given out at Zegama, Matterhorn and Limone. The title goes to the best  five results among the eleven races.

  • May 2 Yading Skyrun, 30 km, China
  • May 28 *Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri, 42 km, Spain
  • June 18 Livigno SkyMarathon®, Italy
  • June 24 Olympus Marathon, Greece
  • July 8 Buff Epic Trail 42KM, Spain
  • July 22 Dolomites SkyRace, 22 km, Canazei, Italy
  • July 30 SkyRace Comapedrosa, 21 km, Andorra
  • August 26 *Matterhorn Ultraks «46K», Zermatt, Switzerland
  • September 2 The Rut 25K, Montana, USA
  • September 16 Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, 29km, Kinlochleven, UK
  • October14 *Skyrunning Extreme – 23 km, Limone sul Garda, Italy



Salida Limone Extreme 2015. Foto: Mayayo.

Start Limone Extreme 2015. Photo: Mayayo


SKY EXTREME: Four races for the most technical and diferential category in Skyrunning. The winner comes out of the best tow results, with Tromso enjoying a 20% bonus for the rankings.

  • July 16 Royal Gran Paradiso, 53 km, Ceresole Reale, Italy
  • August 5 *Tromsø SkyRace®, 53 km, Tromsø, Norway
  • September 17 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, 55 km, Kinlochleven, UK
  • August 26 Matterhorn Ultraks «X-K», Zermatt, Switzerland – TBC subject to course
Matterhorn UltrakS. Techo de carrera 3.300m

Matterhon Ultraks: Race summit at 3.089m Gornergrat.


       SKY ULTRA: Up to eight ultras here, including spanish Transvulcania and Ultrapirineu, ranging in length from the 50k at The Rut to the 113k offered at the new addition at Lugano. High Trail Vanoise wil be the one to enjoy a 20% bonus here and winner comes out of the best three results.

  • May 13 Transvulcania Ultramarathon, 75 km, La Palma, Canaries, Spain
  • June 3 Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira, 55 km, Madeira, Portugal
  • June 9 Scenic Trail 113K, Lugano, Switzerland
  • July 8 *High Trail Vanoise, 68 km, Val d’Isère, France
  • August 12 Devil’s Ridge Ultra 80K, Gobi Desert, China – TBC
  • September 3 The Rut 50K, Montana, USA
  • September 16 Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra, 100 km, Kinlochleven, UK
  • September 23 Ultra Pirineu, 110 km, Bagà, Spain
Luis Alberto Hernando, campeón Transvulcania 2016.

Luis Alberto Hernando, winner Transvulcania 2016. Photo: Mayayo.





Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain