The annual meetings of the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) were held in Canazei, Italy, on July 23 as part of the Dolomites SkyRace weekend. Of the 21 member organizations of the ISF, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain, Russia, Andorra, Malaysia, Phillipines, Switzerland, and the USA had representation at the meetings.
Although Skrunning events have been conducted since 1992 (to include athletic competition and high altitude research), the ISF was not founded until 2008, following the transformation of the Federation for Sport at Altitude (FSA) which was formed in 1995. The ISF was created to promote, govern, and administer the sport of Skyrunning and similar multisport activities. Skyrunning is defined as running in the mountains above 2,000 meters altitude where the climbing difficulty does not exceed grade 2 and the incline is over 30 percent.
Skrynning and SkySports disciplines are divided into different categories to include SkyMarathon®, SkyRace®, SkyRaid®, and Vertical Kilometer®. Additionally, SkySpeed, Vertical Running, SkyTrail and UltraSkyMarathon are included though not registered trademarks. Some of the aforementioned disciplines are not yet fully defined to include the all-encompassing SkyTrail category.
As part of the general assembly in Canazei, minutes from the prior year’s meetings in Malaysia were approved, statutes were reviewed, the 2011 finances were reviewed, the budget for 2012 was approved, elections were held for open seats on the executive board, and the international calendar was presented and reviewed.
The SkyGames, held every other year, will be held in 2012 in the Pyrenees – specifically Spain. Website Events will start June 30 and run through July 8. Events in the 2012 Skyrunning World Series will be contested in Russia, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia, and the USA.
There was also a two-day ISF referee course held Friday afternoon, July 22, and Saturday morning, July 23, prior to the ISF general assembly. Attendees completing the course received official ISF referee status.
A 22km race was the featured event of the weekend held on the trails surrounding Canazei, on Sunday, July 24. The event, the 14th Dolomites Sky Race, attracted 700 international runners competing in individual and team competition. Due to snow conditions, cold (-5 Celsius) and fog on the upper sections of the course, an amended route of approximately 18km was devised. The start was also delayed by more than 90 minutes due to the weather below which included rain and temperatures hovering around 6 degrees Celsius.
Brandy Erholtz, USA, finished third in the women’s competition earning 700 euros, and a Suunto watch. “I had a blast,” said an elated Erholtz at the finish, “I only wish we could have seen the views. I’ll have to come back again when the weather conditions are better.”
Erholtz has two more races in Europe in the coming weeks and will return to Europe in September when she competes on her fourth U.S. Mountain Running Team at the World Mountain Running Championships in Albania. Next up for the 34-year-old school teacher from Evergreen, CO, is the WMRA Grand Prix Race in Austria, the SAAB Harakiri Moutain Run in Mayrhofen, which she won in 2010. She will also run the world-renowned Sierre Zinal 31km race on August 14. She finished fourth at Sierre in 2010 behind USA’s Megan Lund, Scotland’s Angela Mudge, and Laetitia Roux from France.
Complete results from the Dolomites SkyRace are available at this link. Be sure to follow the U.S. Mountain Team in September at this link and learn more about the Skyrunning program at this link.