Skyrunning UK announce new race:
It’s no easy task… 15-peaks all over 900m (3,000ft) in 55-km’s. This is the challenge that awaits those who are brave enough to join the journey of the Welsh 3000’s in the V3K Ultra; the new addition to the Skyrunning UK calendar and the Skyrunner® Series UK.
Skyrunning UK embraces tough and technical challenges; the V3K with over 4000m’s of vertical gain is exactly what a Skyrunning race in the UK should be. Where earth meets sky is our ethos and the Welsh 3000’s will provide this in abundance.
Kirsch Bowker, RD for the V3K explains, “It’s an incredible and exciting opportunity. I have followed Skyrunning for the last couple of years. The launch of the Skyrunner® Series UK is a significant moment and to be involved right from the start is quite incredible for us.” This range of mountains provides an absolute classic point-to-point race, starting withSnowdon and finishing with Foel Fras, arguably the toughest section will be Crib Goch. The route will involve scrambling, hand-on-knees climbing and it certainly isn’t a route for those who may be scared of heights. “The route has been my life, I have covered this route time and time again. I adore it,”said Bowker “The idea for the race has been a long-term project. I undertook this with two friends; unfortunately one of those friends has now passed away so this race is a tribute. I know the mountains personally.”
Iain Ridgway, an experienced International mountain fell and ultra runner had this to say, “Superb, it’s about time the Welsh 3000’s received some serious attention, this will generate more interest in a challenge to Colin Donnelly’s record (set in 1988), which is up there with the Bob Graham as one of the all time great UK mountain records. The route has it all from fast running to really technical rough terrain. It must rank as some of the most technical terrain covered by a UK mountain race.”
“The hardest section is down Crib y Ddysgl and then the ascent of Crib Goch and traverse of its pinnacles. That’s followed by almost 2500ft descent to Nant Peris and soon after a 3000ft ascent of Elidir which is a long drag,” Iain says with an obvious excitement about the route “later on you have a steep unrelenting 2000ft descent ofTryfan followed by an immediate re-ascent of 2000ft Pen Yr Ole Wen and then fast running over the Carneddau, so those who cope with those and have good legs from then on will do well.”
The V3K is unique as a UK route because of its successive 2-3000ft ascents and descents (plus many smaller ones). It is going to test each and every participant.
Are you up to the challenge?
Join us on the start line of the V3K Ultra, June 28th, 2014. Enter HERE
Race date: 28th June 2014
Elevation: 4000m +/-
Race venue: Nant Gwynant
Race website: http://www.vegan-welsh-3000s.co.uk/#/v3k/4574002192
Get involved with Skyrunning UK:
What does this have to do with NiRunning, you may ask?
Well, NiRunning’s Ryan Maxwell is part of the Skyrunning UK athlete commission, which includes respected athletes Ricky Lightfoot, Andy Symonds, Anna Lupton, Tom Owens and Ben Adelnoor (read about it HERE).
On top of this, there has been huge interest in Skyrunning, both the well-establish World Series and the new Skyrunning UK events, from athletes in Northern Ireland. We spoke to Aaron Shim, who has entered the first Skyrunning UK event, the 3×3 Ultra in Keswick, England – He said “I have been watching the Skyrunning Series for a while now, so the thought of a National Series is really exciting. I have entered the 3×3000 80k Ultra Trail which happens on Saturday 4th October 2014 in the Lake District. I will likely enter more events once the full calendar is released, although a few of us are quietly hoping for a Northern Irish Skyrunning event. We have some of the best trails in the UK, and it would be great to have the best of the best here competing for the Skyrunning national title.’
Justin Maxwell, who competed in the World Skyrunner Series in 2013 (Transvulcania 83k Ultra, Zegama Marathon, Marathon du Mont Blanc and Matterhorn Ultraks 46k Ultra), added: “The addition of V3k event to the Skyrunning UK calendar is fantastic. With 15 peaks over 3000 feet high its certainly a tough one. Reviewing the course, I feel that this welsh race is similar in terrain to some of the World Series events that I have competed in, without the altitude. The amount of ascent (4000 metres over 55k) and the technical rugged descents are very similar to the Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon in the Basque region of Northern Spain, which has about 2700m of ascent over 42k. UK athletes Robb Jebb and Tom Owens have both had successful races there. I am excited by the opportunity to race this type of course, closer to home.
I have noticed a big increase in the popularity of Skyrunning in Northern Ireland, you only have to look at the entries going in for the recently announced UK events and some of their online forums to see that a lot of the chat is coming for NI based competitors. That coupled with the desire and enthusiasm of local runners and mountain running clubs to compete in, and organise trips to, some of the classic European Skyrunning events, such as Zegama, Mont Blanc, Matterhorn Ultraks and Limone Extreme shows a massive increase in popularity for the sport here. I believe that both the V3k and the 3x 3000 80k Ultra trail event will suit anyone who has experience in our own Mourne Mountains. I foresee a few reps of Slieve Donard and long days in the mountains this Spring and summer.”
Respected mountain runner, Richard Bell, has also experienced the atmosphere of a Skyrunning event, having completed the Limone Extreme Skyrace in Italy last year (2013). When we asked Richard what Skyrunning meant to him, he replied, “To me Skyrunning is about testing yourself in inspirational places; it is big race razzmatazz and adventure; it is about a different type of running in the clouds with ‘oh my’ climbs and pulse quickening terrain; in short, c’est magique!” – You can check out Richard race review of the Limone Extreme Skyrace HERE.