The worldâ€™s best trail runners to compete for the top spot in the Alps.
All trail running aficionados will be turning their attentions towards Chamonix, France over the weekend of the 27th-29th June 2014 as the SkyRunning circus rolls into town for the annual world championships.
The race series is going from strength to strength and this weekend Chamonix will be home to no less than 9 SkyRunning Champions led by world stars includingÂ Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, Luis Alberto Hernando, Tofol Castanyer, Stevie Kremer, Nuria Picas, Urban Zemmer, AgustĂ¬ Roc, Laura OrguĂ¨.
Over the weekend, athletes will compete in three different races; the Sky distance (42km marathon), Ultra (80km) and the Vertical Kilometre.
You might not expect it but many of the top athletes will be taking part in more than one of the disciplines too.
Out of the world top 20 rankings, 15 athletes will compete in the Sky distance, 14 in the Ultra and 17 in the Vertical.
All-in-all 3400 athletes will compete in the three races and 7000 runners in total will take part in the weekendâ€™s activities.
There are several nationalities being represented at the championships, with Spain, France and Italy being the stand-outs. The nations break down as follows;
Spain: Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Nuria Picas, Tofol Castanyer, Laura OrguĂ¨, Uxue Fraille, Maite Maiora, AgustĂ¬ Roc, Artiz Egea, Jokin Lizeaga, Nuria Dominguez.
France: The host country with the biggest field of participants.
Francois Dâ€™Haene, Michel Lanne, Xavier ThĂ©venard â€“ respectively 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 80K last year; Christel Dewalle, MathĂ©o Jacquemoud, Alexis Sevennec, William Bon Mardion, Thibault Baronian, Axelle Mollaret StĂ©phanie Jimenez, Maud Gobert, Mikael PasĂ©ro.
Italy:Â Urban Zemmer, Antonella Confortola, Silvia Serafini, Elisa Desco, Tadei Pivk, brothers Bernard and Martin Dematteis EAA champions, Marco Moletto, 2010 World Champion Nicola Golinelli, Federica Boifava.Great Britain: Tom Owens and Andy Symonds are back racing after a year offÂ Â joined by Ricky Lightfoot and Tessa Hill.
New Zealand: Anna Frost, Jonathan Wyatt and Ruby Muir. After her recent Transvulcania victory, Anna is back in great shape after a difficult year.
USA: 2013 Sky Series champion Stevie Kremer, 2011 WMRA champion Kasie Enman, Alex Nichols, Cameron ClaytonÂ and Ultra running icon Mike Wolfe.
Andorra: the consistently strong Teixido and Casal brothers.
Canada: Land of great distances and Ultra runners:Â Tina Lewis, Jason Loutit, and Adam Campbell.
Robust teams will participate from Japan with Dai Matsumoto and Torhu Myahara; from the Czech Republic starring Anna Straka (Pichrtova), five-time winner at Sierre-Zinal, and Robert Krupicka.
From Brazil, ultra runner Fernanda Maciel; from Switzerland Marc Lauenstein and Candide Gabioud among others.
Completing the ISF member countries participating with teams will be Greece, Poland and Russia and, for the first time in an international skyrunning competition: Australia, China, Netherlands, Portugal and South Africa.
Individual world titles are at stake in each discipline as well as a combined title, based on the best results of two out of three races. Countries will be ranked according to the best results of three men and one woman in all three disciplines.
â‚¬ 25,000 cash prizes will be awarded and anti-doping controls will be carried out.
On the launch of the announcement, Marino Giacometti, ISF President, commented:Â â€śWeâ€™re proud to present the World Championships in Chamonix and, with the support of the Club des Sports, weâ€™re confident the events will be a perfect showcase for skyrunning and draw the best athletes in the world for some intense competition.â€ť
For more info head toÂ www.skyrunning.com.