Now in its fourth year, the successful Broken Arrow Skyrace has added a new element to the five day, four distance festival of off-road racing – the World Mountain Running Association’s (WMRA) World Cup. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and a stones throw from scenic Lake Tahoe, Broken Arrow’s challenging 26 km race will serve as round #2 in a seven race series where the world’s best mountain runners compete for points and the title of world cup champion.
The 21st edition of the WMRA World Cup features seven classic mountain running races in seven different countries with a combined distance of 140 km and 9300 meters of elevation gain (D+) and 5600 meters of descent (D-). A total prize pool across all of the races will be 56,000 euro. To learn more about the World Cup and the athletes scheduled to compete, read the WMRA’s pre-race announcement on their website.
As the name suggests, these events are Skyraces and the first races in the 2019 Skyrunner USA Series. Starting on Friday with a race invented by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF), the vertical kilometer or VK. From the Start at the base of Squaw Valley Resort, the VK climbs 3100 feet in only 5 km to Squaw Peak. Like the VK, 26 km and even longer 52 km feature large amounts of steep climbing and descending. For those runners new to Sky events, the 11 km is a great entry level race with plenty of challenges. All the races have one thing in common, high elevation, epic views and endless sky.
In addition to being part of the WMRA World Cup, the 26 km is the second selection race for the US Long Distance Mountain Running Team. The top man and woman will earn automatic spots on the team scheduled to compete in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on November 16 in Argentina.
As part of the WMRA World Cup, Skyrunner USA Series and a selection race for an official USA Track & Field team, the Broken Arrow Skyraces are subject to anti-doping tests conducted by USADA – the United States Anti-Doping Agency. USADA could conduct unannounced tests of top finishers and/or a random selection of athletes on race day.
Regardless of the federations and organizations involved, the real heroes of the Broken Arrow Skyrace will be the over 1400 athletes from over 10 countries and of all ability levels who will hit the trails and run to the sky. Some of the top American elite athletes scheduled to compete in the 26 km include 2011 World Mountain Running Champion Kasie Enman (Huntington, VT) and 2016 World Mountain Running Champion Joseph Gray (Colorado Springs, CO). Joining them will be 2010 Winter Olympian and former US Mountain Running Team member Morgan Arritola, 2009 USATF Mountain Running Champion and World Mountain Running Championship team gold medalist Christine Lundy (Sausalito, CA), 2019 US Trail Team member Sam Sahli (Evergreen, CO) and Michael Wardian (Arlington, VA), the 2014 USATF 50 Mile Road National Champion and verteran of the IAU 100 km World Championships.
Top international athletes include 2018 Spartan Race US Champion Lindsay Webster (Canada), 2017 World’s Toughest Mudder Champion Rea Kolbl (Slovenia), current WMRA World Cup leader Andrew Douglas (Great Britain), 2001 World Mountain Running Championship runner-up Emanuele Manzi (Italy), 2018 Italian Mountain Running Relay Champion Henri Aymonod (Italy), World Mountain Running Championship & Pikes Peak Ascent veteran Fujio Miyachi (Japan), 2018 North American Obstacle Course Racing Championship (NORAM) Champion Ryan Atkins (Canada).
There are big names in the other Broken Arrow Skyraces including 2018 USATF 50 km Trail Champion David Sinclair (Peru, VT), 2016 World Mountain Running Championships team gold medalist Hayden Hawks (Cedar City, UT), 2018 Pikes Peak Marathon winner and course record holder Megan Kimmel (Ridgway, CA) and 2018 US Long Distance Mountain Running team member Sandi Nypaver (Boulder, CO).
Broken Arrow skyrace weekend isn’t just about the racing. There will be loads of fun activities for runners, their families and supporters alike. Located on the iconic Tram Face at Squaw Valley Resort, the Tahoe Via Ferrata towers above The Village at Squaw Valley. A Via Ferrata, which means “Iron Road” in Italian, is a protected hiking and climbing experience that scales the iconic rock face.
There will also be a vendor village where runners can learn about all the great new products available to trail runners. Among the over 20 companies participating are American Trail Running Association corporate members Leki (poles) and Tecnica (shoes).
To learn more about what to do in Squaw Valley this weekend and all the vendors you can visit, check out the Broken Arrow Skyrace website. See you in Squaw!
[Connections – e.g. disclosures: American Trail Running Association founder and executive director Nancy Hobbs is the treasurer of the World Mountain Running Association and will be posting updates from the race along with ATRA director of marketing Richard Bolt. The Broken Arrow Skyrace is a member of ATRA, as is Trail Racing Over Texas (TROT). TROT owner and event director Rob Goyen is also director of the Skyrunner USA Series. ATRA is also an associate member of the International Skyrunning Federation.]