Thursday, October 29, 2009

23rd Kinabalu Climbathon 2009

Kilian Jornet wins the World Series finalKilian Jornet was crowned Skyrunning World Champion at the final of the Skyrunner® World Series in Malaysia, Sunday, October 25, his second world title.

The young Spaniard lived up to expectations by ascending the 4,095m Mount Kinabalu leading the pack of top international skyrunners then breaking away on the descent to finish in 2h40’41”, a good five minutes ahead of the second runner, Japan’s Toru Miyahara - but not fast enough to beat the course record set in 2003 by Italian Marco Degasperi in 2h36’59”.

The women’s race held the previous day had favourite Emanuela Brizio from Italy leading the course from start to finish and closing, overjoyed, 13 minutes ahead of her rival in 3h20’15”. Spain’s new star, Mireia Mirò, suffered the steep ascent but managed to gain on the downhill to close in 3h33’15”, just 46 seconds before Andorran Stefanie Jimenez who, after a season of intensive racing, took third, dashing her hopes for the Series’ second place.

Kilian Jornet Skyrunning World ChampionThe women’s race line-up reflects the final world ranking positions, with Brizio, Mirò and Jimenez placing first, second and third respectively, while the men’s ranking which had shown enormous scope with eight possible contenders, was confirmed by Jornet’s outright win, rocketing him from sixth position to World Series Champion. Spain’s Toful Castanyer in eighth, soared to second position and Britain’s Ricky Lightfoot, ranked seventh, took third in the final World Series ranking.

The team ranking had Spain in first and second positions with Selecció Catalana Curses Muntanya first, Salomon Santiveri Outdoor Team second, Italy’s Valetudo Skyrunnin third and Britain’s Saab Solomon Outdoor Team fourth.

Miro, Brizio, JimenezThe spectacular Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon made for an exciting final to the eight-race Skyrunner® World Series, where mountain runners from 35 countries competed on one of the steepest races on the circuit, 21 km long with an astounding 2,250m vertical climb over a mere 8.5 km to the summit of the mountain.

The mountain and the tropical rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are among the most important biological sites in the world with hundreds of species of flora and fauna.

Look out for the 2010 Skyrunner® World Series calendar, promising exciting new races across the world and, finally, the prospect of an Asian Skyrunning Championship which together with Europe and Pan America create a truly global circuit.

Source: International Skyrunning Federation

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