Top ranked runners from 26 different countries will head to Scotland for the third and final 2016 Skyrunner World Series EXTREME race – the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline – on Sunday (18 September). The course is widely regarded as the most challenging mountain running race in the world, featuring long sections of exposed scrambling including the famous Aonach Eagach and Curved Ridge.
Athletes will be competing for the Skyrunner World Series EXTREME title, with likely podium positions in the series for local Fort William runner Finlay Wild, Glasgow-based Tom Owens and Edinburgh-based Jasmin Paris.
The Event is supported by Event Scotland, and will be filmed by the Adventure Show for BBC Scotland. The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline is part of the Skyline Scotland weekend of races based in Kinlochleven. The other two Skyrunner UK Series races will be held on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 September.
The women’s field for the world title is wide open. Poland’s Natalia Tomasiak, who is currently leading the series after two races, can choose her best results before shedding points. 2016 Tromsø winner, Britain’s Jasmin Paris (ranked equal second in the series with Emelie Forsberg), was placed second in Glen Coe last year, so has the advantage of knowing the course and has the points from her win at Tromsø already secure. Emelie Forsberg won the second race in the series, the Kima Trophy, but unfortunately will be absent from Glen Coe.
The men’s field is headed by series leader Tom Owens from Scotland, who has been on a winning streak this season and is considered the firm favourite. Fellow Brit Jonathan Albon, who placed second behind Tom at Tromsø (and is ranked second in the series), will surely have his eye on victory and a series win. After two races, they have the luxury of choosing their best two results. Nepali newbie Bhim Gurung is ranked third in the series after his surprise Kima win and, visa permitting, will be a strong podium contender. German Philipp Reiter, ranked fourth, is aiming for a podium slot. Scotsman Finlay Wild placed an excellent third in Tromsø, but was unable to race at Kima, and will certainly rise to the occasion on home ground. Joe Symonds won last year and will likely put in a solid performance again and it’s hard to imagine him finishing off the podium.
Image features Salomon athletes Rickey Gates and Tom Owens running in Glencoe and is courtesy of © The Africa Attachment