Thanks Bipin Thapa for writing this post for us to clarify the technicalities of the World Skyrunning Series.

The Skyrunner World Series 2016 has kicked off. Mira is running. So, you would want to read this to get an idea of what is coming up for Mira and we who are supporting her over the coming months.

What is Skyrunning?

Mira Rai team Salomon, TNV

Mira Rai with the Salomon Team in Spain

Skyrunning is an high altitude endurance race, an extreme sport of mountain running above 2000 metres organized by ISF.

ISF (International Sky running Federation) organizes following competitions –

  • Skyrunner World Series
  • Skyrunning Continental Championships
  • Skyrunning World Championships
  • Skyrunner National Series

Mira is competing in her 2nd Skyrunner World Series this year.

Skyrunning world series has 4 disciplines-

  • Sky – Under 50 km; 8 races; 3 continents
  • Sky Extreme – Same parameters as Sky but super technical; 3 races, all in Europe
  • Ultra – Over 50 km; 5 races; 2 continents
  • VK – or Vertical kilometer – races with 1,000m vertical climb; 7 races; 2 continents

Mira is running the Ultra. That means she has 5 difficult races to run this year in 2 continents.

How do they rank the runners?

Following point system is followed:

  • Winner – 100 points
  • Second – 88 points
  • Third – 78 points
  • Points allocated down to 15th position
  • 20% extra points awarded in the last race

The best 4 results are totalled and the runner with the highest cumulative score wins the world series!

How did Mira do last season?

This is how the competition ended last season –

  1. Transvulcania Ultramarathon (Spain)                 Emelie Forsberg
  2. Mont Blanc 80K (France)                                   Mira Rai
  3. Tromsø SkyRace (Norway)                               Emelie Forsberg
  4. The Rut 50K (USA)                                            Emelie Forsberg
  5. Ultra Pirineu (Spain)                                          Emelie Forsberg

Mira became the runner-up losing the title to Emelie Forsberg of Sweden.

Tell me more about the races this year….

Mira will run the following races in the series this year –

Transvulcania Ultramarathon (Spain) – May 7th

The race is somewhere between 73-75 km, that includes 4,350 m of ascent crossing the major volcano making up the island of La Palma, Spain.

Emelie Forsberg won it last year.

Madeira Ultra (Portugal) – June 4th

Technical race over steep slopes of Madeira Island, 55 km long with 4,000 m vertical climb.

Skyrunning has come to Portugal for the 1st time in this series. Last year’s 3rd race of the series Tromsø SkyRace was held in Norway. Mira came second, 13 minutes behind Emelie Forsberg, finishing the race in 7:23:09 hrs.

Buff Epic – July 22 which is a 105km race featuring 8,000 m ascent around Aiguestortes National Park in Catalonia, Spain. This is also the Skyrunning World Championship so a big race for Mira.

Ultra Pirineu (Spain) – 24th September

This is the last race of the series, a 110 km mountain run with 6,800 vertigal gain, held in Barcelona. Runners competing for the prize will get 20% extra points.

Mira came 2nd last year behind Emelie Forsberg and ahead of Nuria Picas.

She finished her race in 13:43:49, just 4 minutes behind Emelie.

Wow, Emelie looks to be very strong. Can Mira run faster than her this year?

Emelie is not running the series this year, as she has withdrawn from the competition due to knee injury.

But it won’t be easy for Mira, as New Zealand runner Anna Frost is back this year.

Who is Anna Frost?

Anna is 2012 and 2014 Transvalcunia champ. When she turns up fit in the starting line up, she is a favourite.

Injury kept her out of running last year. On the course of her recovery, she found herself in Nepal, where she joined a 15 day stage race. Frost was rejuvenated by this and in a recent interview, she said this about Nepal –

“These people in Nepal have absolutely nothing but a whole lot of love and family and friends–and they’re willing to share that with you,” she says. “You’re up at 4,000 meters and it’s another 4,000 meters above you; you’re the size of a pea, and I find that incredibly empowering. It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, physically and mentally.”

Back from the hip injury, she has won Hard Rock 100 race recently.

It’s going to be really tough then…..

Yes, it is. Not only her, the top contenders for the podium are Spain’s Anna Comet, last year’s runner up at Mont Blanc which Mira won; Spain’s Uxue Fraile, USA’s Alicia Shay, Kiwi Ruth Croft etc.

So can Mira better her position from last year?

Time will tell. She is strong enough to do it. But, the most important thing for her is to enjoy the race.

And the best thing we can do is to support her.

She has already made us proud and has inspired many people around the world.

We just wish she is able to continue doing that.

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