This Saturday (August 3), the Norwegian city of Tromso will host the next event of the Milgu Run Skyrunner World Series: Tromso Skyrace. A record-breaking 52 nationalities will take the ultimate test of endurance on the series’ most demanding course.
The “toughest race in the calendar” and the soul of skyrunning begins on July 31, Tromso, Norway, following a tricky 57km course, from one summit to another. Totalling 4700m in vertical gain, runners will venture from Tromsdalstind (1238m) to Hamperokken (1404m). With no less than three tortuous climbs, this course is far from ordinary.
Showing strength as well as depth, the line-up will include the 2018 champion and course record-holder Hillary Gerardi. She will be pushed hard by American team-mates Brittany Peterson, last year’s bronze medallist, and Hillary Allen, who returns with a vengeance after falling in 2017. Giving them a run for their money are the trio of Oihana Azkorbebeita of Spain, Martina Valmassoi of Italy and Holly Page of Great Britain. Page has clearly put her foot injury behind her, after her impressive third place finish at BUFF EpicTrail.
However, the real threat to the field will be Sweden’s Johanna Åström. Her fierce run at BUFF Epic Trail saw her storm to second place in her first-ever skyrace. The odds are already in her favour since Tromso happens to be her training ground and course designer, Emelie Forsberg, has been acting as her mentor.
Equally as strong, the men’s line-up also features last year’s defending champion. Jon Albon of Great Britain will return to hold on to his title. After failing to break his 2017 record of 7:00:01 last year, Albon will no doubt have a new lifetime best in his sights. This is a realistic goal with him currently positioned third in the overall rankings.
“Tromsø is an old favourite,” he said. “I love running in Norway, it’s so pure. You get to experience raw nature and get really stuck into technical terrain.”
Challenging him will be the Spaniard Zaid Ait Malek, who was less than a minute behind Albon at BUFF Epic Trail. He will be hoping to have another win under his belt, after his previous victory in the series – he will be a tough one to beat.
Ander Iñarra is certainly not to be underestimated. Iñarra sits at number seven in the overall ranking – impressive for a runner with a very modest number of race appearances.