Where the land meets the sky

March 27, 2015

The rise of running, safety and impact on the natural environment for discussion at the second day of CIMA

The evolution of mountain races in the last 25 years that have gone from being a minority sport to a boom extradeportivo has been analyzed on the opening day of the second day of CIMA. The president of the Association of Mountain Racing UK and a member of the Committee on Communication and Image of the ISF (International Federation of mountain races or ‘skyrunning’ Ian Corless, discussed the history of this sport, “some think that is recent and born in 2012 when has over twenty years. ”

Skyrunning The concept has been around a long time but only became something official in the 90s, when the Italian Marino Giacometti amounted in 1989 the peak of Monte Rosso and ran. “Giacometti formalized something that already existed and that a new sport was created when the land meets the sky, simply run has been performed for a long time in the mountains,” said Corless who recalled the testimony of another Veteran Italian rider Bruno Brunod when his grandfather had already marched through the mountains to get to work.

But officially skyrunnig history begins in 1992 with the first career in the Alps in Chamonix, was the first event of extreme sports. “It’s been a long time since I started skyrunning, and the Transvulcania has been an evolution,” Corless stated.

In 1994 other extreme events by Malaysia, Nepal, in 1995 the Federation of sports in height and in 1998 created the world’s first camp skyrunning were created. And in the XXI century, in 2008 the federation skyrunning racing, with 36 members from 31 countries was created. Mountain races are a member of the UIAAA (international organization that brings together sixty national federations).

Another uniqueness of this discipline is that parallel to its competitive career has developed a scientific research by analyzing the resistance of 165 runners in Nepal. They have created eight research groups with students from 5 countries, who have worked for twenty years.

“Today worldwide there are 600,000 athletes from 65 countries, is a big sport and growing, we have national, continental and world championships. This sport creates an incredible passion, from first to last all are ‘skyrunners’ and we can see her tears, her passion, something like in other sports, but it gives us something more, “said Corless.

Skyrunnig global competitions are organized in three modes: Vertical (1,000 meters sprints but very hilly), skyrunning (mountain races lasting 5 hours) and ultras (mountain races over 6 hours). All these modalities are articulated in the World Series and brokers must collect points for every continent. In these tests reach 30,000 athletes participating.

Benefits $ 375,000

In economic data, these tests generate a profit of $ 375,000 for the federation, is allocated $ 200,000 in travel expenses and accommodation to attract riders; spread over 125.00 dollars in prizes and $ 25,000 at exclusive prices for the World Series. “This way, athletes can make a living running these tests,” stated the British.

The next weekend will be a great career in Australia, she will follow others in Poland, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, “countries where this sport is growing very strongly. The skyrunnig is spread across continents, “he pointed Corless.

Much of the growth of this sport must also attribute it to the great media coverage is worldwide. Last year there were 848 publications; The International Federation has a page on facebook I like you 53,000 (in 2012 there were only 5,000), and
16,000 followers on twitter; The media as Independt, New York Times echoes these racetrack. “Magazines and the media do not understand why skyrunning and relish. A people like madness, “said Corless.

And of course the major sports brands sponsoring these tests, such as Salomon has produced the documentary ‘Fast and light’ (Fast and light), which is designed to scoop this morning.

“Puro mountaineering”

The world champion Skyrunning, Kilian Jornet Catalan unable to attend in person to CIMA as it is in the preparations for a carrea trails, however the figure itself was present in the film ‘Fast and light’. In this documentary Kilian Jornet both as the world champion Emelie Forsberg, and other prominent athletes skyrunnig give their views on it and conceive it as a submission to the rules that mark the mountain. Kilian Jornet is clear that the skyrunning “is not athletics is pure mountaineering. A mountain has no roads between glaciers, has ferrata. It’s not a race against yourself, but against other runners, nature and the mountain is the boss. ”

But these races are not without controversy as some mountaineers doubts about the security of athletes and their environmental impact as fragile as the high mountain area. In this regard, Corless pointed out that there is control over these competitions and that currently there are no known major accidents. And it has ruled: “It’s a race that is not made to be safe, if not dangerous, and that’s what makes it interesting. People know and he explains. It is important to control this but there must be a responsibility of the rider himself who knows what risks will run. “

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