Monterosa Sky Marathon – Guidi raises to the top!
A great sporting event. Europe’s highest race has made history and is now legend.
Are they aliens? People who set off at 4 a.m. to run 36 km with a total 7,000 metres of elevation difference over mountain passes and glaciers? That’s what we all wondered when we saw the (magnificent) pictures of the Monterosa Sky Marathon, much more than a sporting event, which brought the Valsesia area to national attention on Saturday 25 June.
This skyrunning race in pairs followed the original route first completed in 1992, with only a minor modification: due to the weather conditions in recent months, the snow level had dropped considerably, and slight changes were necessary to avoid the steep gully at 3,200 m, which was impassable, thereby making the whole route approximately one kilometre longer.
Participating athletes started from Alagna Valsesia, 1,192 m, and reached Stazione Indren at 3,260 m, passing by Bocchetta delle Pisse, 2,396 m. They continued on to Rifugio Gnifetti, 3,647 m, then passed Colle del Lys, 4250 m, and finally reached Capanna Margherita, at 4554 m.
After a short stop to regain their strength, the runners literally buzzed off, taking the same way back. The route ran along mountain trails with challenging uphill and downhill stretches, over snowy parts and ski slopes, through glaciers and crevasses, exposed sections, steep pastures and scree, often in severe weather and environmental conditions, exceeding an altitude of 4,500 m and totalling a 36 km return length and a 7,000 m elevation gain from end to end.
298 participants from 23 countries took part in the event, confirming its international dimension.
The winning team, formed by Franco Collé, from Val d’Aosta, and Tadei Pivk, from Friuli, reached the finish line in 5 h 11’ 35”.
A multinational team, formed by Stephanie Kröll from Austria and Mexican Karina Carsolio, won the women’s race in 6h 43’ 31”.
The AMA VK2, completed the day programme – a dual Vertical Kilometer® solo race that started from Alagna Valsesia, at 1,192 m, ran through Bocchetta delle Pisse, 2,396 m, and summited at Stazione Indren (where snow fields started to appear) at an altitude of 3,260 m, totalling 9 km and an impressive 2,086 m vertical climb. Though slightly less demanding than the AMA, the VK2 is still quite challenging: the runners need to be extremely fit, well-trained, and have a sound experience at high altitudes, as they have to run on steep, exposed trails often covered in snow and on scree, facing the same weather conditions as in the AMA.
One could now wonder: what does Guidi have to do with this? Well, undeniably a lot: this year, Guidi decided to sponsor the event. The Company’s logo was clearly visible in the most spectacular points along the route, which received good media coverage.
We were delighted to sponsor the Monterosa Ski Marathon for the first time. This is a high-profile sporting event that has helped promote the local area, which we have a strong bond with, at an international level. Our mountains are an extraordinary heritage that needs to be protected and promoted, and they also embody durability and resistance – the core features of our truly rock-solid products. We feel we are an integral part of this unique environment, where business and nature coexist harmoniously, declared Daniele Guidi.