UPHILL MOUNTAIN RACES 1985-2020: VK WORLD CIRCUIT 2020 CANCELLED; ISF TO HOLD 2020 VK CHAMPIONSHIPS; WMRA TO HOLD 2020 WORLD CHAMPS AND UPHILL CIRCUIT.

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The Vertical Kilometer World Circuit has been cancelled for 2020, as communicated by its organizer, Skyman SA last week. However, despite that fact the International Skyrunning Federation issued yesterday a press release to reassure that the Vertical Kilometer will yet be included in the *Vertical category of the Skyrunning World Championships, Youth Skyrunning World Championships and Skyrunning Continental and National Championships. Information on the continuation of a commercial circuit by Skyman SA will then be issued at a later date.

 

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VERTICAL KILOMETER WORLD CIRCUIT CANCELLED. 

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The Vertical Kilometer was created as a trademark in 1994 by the skyrunning founders and is governed by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) which, in 2020, is classifying all the races that fall within the parameters with an official Certified Course Label.

Nowadays, Skyrunning VK competitions fall under two categories: On the one hand, the annual VK World Circuit which is organized by yhe swiss company Skyman SA based in Geneva, which organizes the Skyrunner World Series as well. On the other hand, the ISF still directly manages its Championships, which include the VK, Skyrace and Ultra events.

 

VK WORLD CIRCUIT 2020 CANCELLED: As of JAN 3rd the official website of the VK World Circuit posted an unexcepted message:

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the 2020 Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit has been cancelled.
A review of the official circuit is currently underway to come up with a rewarding and exciting new concept for athletes, organisers and fans.
Plans for the future of the circuit will be announced in due course.
The SkyMan Team

Following that, our staff contacted the three sides directly involved: Skyman SA, International Skyrunning Federation and the spanish mountain federation FEDME who is the national member of ISF and also holds a VP seat in the global ISF council. Having put together the info from those three sources, we now follow up the sroy to give a complete overview of the uphill mountain races for 2020 and onwards, both those within the VK trademark from Skyrunning, as well as those within the “Uphill” category originated at the World Mountain Running Championships back in 1985.

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UPHILL MOUNTAIN RACES 1985-2020: WMRA ORIGIN, SKYRUNNING VK TRADEMARK, AND FUTURE. 

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HISTORY OF UPHILL MOUNTAIN RACES (1985-2020) The first modern uphill mountain running world championship took place in1985, when the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) held its inaugural  World Mountain Running Championships, in San Vigilio di Marebbe, Italy on 23 September 1985. The long race was held over a 14k/D+1.082m course and the winner was italian Alfonso Vallicela.

The WMRA world Championships have gone on till these day, with the 35th edition just been held last November at K42 Patagonia with two events: Classic 16k and Long Distance 42k. The WMRA has chosen to hold annual World champs, yet alternating per year betwwen an “Uphill” course and a “Classic” course to accompany the “Long Distance”. As for 2020 the WMRA World Champs will be held at Haría Extreme Lanzarote an “Uphill” 10k/D+700m plus a “Long Distance” of 42k/D+1.900m.

 

Ten years after thar pioneer uphill mountain running world championship, the first Vertical Kilometer took place in Cervinia, Italy on August 20, 1994. According to its organizers, the simple formula, together with the relatively accessible challenge of racing 1,000m uphill, has seen the popularity of the VK, as it is also known, spread far and wide, counting several hundred races worldwide. Double and triple VK’s are also recognised.

According to the ISF, one of the objects of the 1994 launch of the Vertical Kilometer trademark was to carry out scientific research on the new sport of skyrunning. In 2000, the first-ever studies on human uphill performance were carried out at Geneva University by the FSA Medical Commission together with a number of eminent physiologists on ten top level skyrunners on a special treadmill with a 45% incline – the only instrument of its kind in the world. The aim of the studies was to assess the maximum performance levels on a steep incline. The results, entitled, “Energy cost of walking and running at extreme uphill and downhill slopes”, were published in 2002 by the American Physiological Society.

 

LEGAL STATUS: WMRA & SKYRUNNING. The Uphill and Vertical races from WMRA continue on, and this 2020 will see both the World Championship at Lanzarote plus the WMRA World Cup Uphill series including three events. On the other side, the use of the Vertical Kilometer trademark and/or its derivatives and intellectual property are protected by the owners and supported by the ISF.

*ISF Rules extract from http://www.skyrunning.com

2.3.4 VERTICAL – uphill races with a minimum average incline of 20% and some sections over 33% with 5 km maximum length and the trademark defining the races

2.4.4 VERTICAL KILOMETER® – Races with 1,000m vertical climb over variable terrain with a substantial incline, not exceeding 5 km in length. The Vertical Kilometer® is defined at various altitude levels (+/- 200m variable). Example: from 0 – 1,000m, 1,000 – 2,000m, 2,000 – 3,000m. A double or triple Vertical Kilometer® is also recognised.

 

THE FUTURE: It is time now to differentiate between annual circuit and Championships, both for Skyrunning (ISF) and Mountain Running (WMRA)

ANNUAL CIRCUIT: 

  • WMRA > 22nd WMRA World Cup calendar yet to be confirmed, with three Uphill candidates made public so far: Nassego (ITA) 4,2k/D+1.000m; Nordkette- Insbruck (AUT) 6k/D+1.400m and Chiavenna (ITA) 3,2k/D+1.000m.
  • ISF > VK World Circuit 2020 by Skyman SA cancelled. Under revision.

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CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020-2021

  • WMRA: 2020 World Championship at Lanzarote (14-15NOV) will hold a 10k/D+700m event. 2021 World Championship will hold a 4-7K/D+1000m. Continental Championships to be announced in further detail. U18 and Masters Championships to be announced.
  • ISF: 2020 World Championship at Val de Boi (10-12JUL) will hold a 2,8k/D+1030m event. 2022 World Championship will hold it as well.

 

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain