Running up and down the mountains with an average altitude of 2,000 MASL as a sports discipline is basically the gist of skyrunning.
It was an idea conceptualized by Italian mountaineer, Marino Giacometti. In the early 90’s, he and some fellow climbers started races on Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa in the Alps. Currently, it is managed by the International Skyrunning Federation formed in 2008. That’s like the FIFA in football.
October 24, 2009 - me and my good friend Jules had a chance to participate in a race with best female skyrunners in the world. It was held in Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. It was dubbed as the toughest and steepest mountain race and the final and deciding leg of the winners for the Skyrunner World Series. This made us go “what the heck were we thinking joining something like that?!”. Nah, scratch that, we did not think, we just went for it. If we even put the slightest effort thinking about it, we won’t even have the guts to join.
Aside from us – the two little adventurers, the Philippines also sent its official, well-trained delegates under the Philippine Skyrunning Association (PSA). You would be proud to know that PSA is also one the members of the International Skyrunning Federation. You would even be prouder to know that at the last Kinabalu Climbathon, Cebu’s marathon queen - Liezel Limindas bagged 6th place and brought home 700 USD and a medal.
With numerous mountains scattered around our country and a nation filled with running and climbing enthusiasts, I firmly believe that this is a sport that would definitely bring out or produce highly competitive sky runners.
I am not yet a member of PSA. I feel a bit intimidated to join but at the same time, I feel excited at the prospect of being able to run in the mountains. This provides an opportunity to see mountains in a new light. Part of their mission is to conserve nature which is something that is important to me.
This weekend, me and Jules – yes us, the crazy adventurers would be joining the Salomon Mountain Run Experience with the PSA. It is a trail running event sponsored by Salomon, ROX and Darlington (they gave us freebies at the orientation and they said there’s more to come, yipee!). I am so excited to go because we could use some tips on trail running. For several months, we were just doing things on our own. Most of the info we got regarding trail running were from about.com. Hehehe! It’s not called skyrunning yet, because the mountain has to be at least 2,000 MASL but this would be a great experience.
ISF website : http://www.skyrunning.com
PSA site : http://www.pinoyskyrunners.multiply.com
ROX Site : http://roxphilippines.multiply.com/
2009 Kinabalu Climbathon Results : http://climbathon.sabahtourism.com/
My blog on the Climbathon : Here