The first of the 2017 European Skyrunning Championships races kicks off this weekend in Val d’Isère, France, with a stacked field of 300 competitors heading up Europe’s highest race on July 8, 2017 in the Ultra category. The Odlo High Trail Vanoise is also valid for Skyrunner World Series ranking, is set in one of the world’s most famous ski resorts, a location close to the heart of skyrunning for the past twenty years.

Among the top favorites, several spaniards such as Luis Alberto Hernando, Dani García, Gemma Arenas or Eva García Moreda, who will be racing agains talents such as Hillary Allen, Megan Kimmel, Nicolas Martin or Dimitry Mityaev. Let us chec the program, course favorites and the full Skyrunning European Championships calendar.

Luis Alberto Hernando celebrates gold at 2016 Skyrunning Ultra World Champs




Also in the program, on Friday, July 7, the location will host the Face de Bellevarde Vertical Kilometer, seventh leg of the new VK World Circuit.

The course: Europe’s toughest Ultra is over the new course inaugurated in 2016. It starts and finishes in the centre of Val d’Isère but the gruelling challenge lies in the 68 km distance and a punishing 5,400m vertical climb which will have many participants struggling with the altitude.
Organised by the Club des Sports de Val d’Isère, the safety team have announced a slight course change due to the conditions on the glacier which will reach 3,453m, just 200m short of the Grande Motte summit, and 1.3 km less over the total distance.
The standing records are by Nicolas Martin in 9h28’34” and French woman Anne-Lise Rousset in 10h13’00”, who is unable to race this year due to injury.



The favorites: Countries competing for the medals are: Andorra, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain, with the latter a clear favourite for the gold.

  • The male favorites are led by Luis Alberto Hernando, double ITRA Trail World Champion in June at Italy, plus current Skyrunning Ultra World Champion and also 2015 European Champion here. Alternatives may come from last year’s winner and record holder, Frenchman Nicolas Martin pushing the competition backed up by Russian Dimitry Mityaev, who placed third in 2016 and Nuno Silva from Portugal. Recent spanish trail champion Dani García will also be a name to watch after his recent win at the 42k Zumaia Flysch trail and his top5 finish at the ITRA trai world Championships over 50km.


  • The women’s field is wide open with Americans Hillary Allen and Megan Kimmel who will be battling with Spaniards Gemma Arenas and Eva Moreda and Ragna Debats from the Netherlands among others.


Luis Alberto Hernando interview at the finish line of Ultra Skyrunning World Champs



Skyrunning European Championships 2017: Three disciplines  are contested this year, in the biannual European Skyrunning Championships

  • ULTRA – July 8 – High Trail Vanoise, 68 km, Val d’Isère, France
  • SKY – October 7 – Gorbeia Suzien SkyMarathon®, Basque Country, Spain
  • VERTICAL – October 13 – Vertical Kilometer® Grèste de la Mughéra, Limone sul Garda, Italy




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





Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain