Three Americans Return From Inaugural SkySnow World Championships

Announcement from the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF). The American Trail Running Association is a longtime member of ISF and supporter of Skyrunning in the USA.

Three American athletes just competed at the inaugural SkySnow World Championships held on February 4–5, 2022, in Andalusia at the Sierra Nevada Ski and Mountain Resort, Granada, Spain. Organized by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) this championship featured a Vertical Kilometer race as well as a “classic” 12 km sky race on snow with over 900 meters of vertical climb and descent.

Mike Popejoy (Flagstaff, AZ) lead the American contingent and is a veteran of past Skyrunning World Championships and NACAC Mountain Running Championships. He was joined by Jackson Oliver (Sequim, WA) who finished 29th in the VK and Wendall Lorenzen (Sequim, WA) who finished 24th in the VK.


Mike Popejoy. Photo: @josemiguelmunoze.

Here’s what they had to say about their experience in Spain:

“This was such a great experience for me. The chance to compete against world-class runners on this type of terrain was very unique, so I’m looking forward to the continuation of SkySnow. The ISF and everyone else involved did a great job in planning and carrying out the event. With this being my first official skyrunning competition, I am excited to start training for the next one. U.S. Skyrunning is still young and I will be a strong advocate of its growth moving forward.” – Jackson Oliver

“SkySnow was such a cool experience! It was a bit smaller than other skyrunning events I’ve been to which was nice to be able to chat with other competitors and the race directors and ISF leaders! The course was cool also. It was a bit slushy but all runnable and interesting with steep slopes, a tunnel, a ton of fog, and then a break in the clouds with the sunset and the mountain peak right before sending it straight down back into town while doing 3:25/km on mixed slush and ice! Getting to meet and run with Mike and to run with Jackson again was amazing! We were a small USA contingent but a strong one – strong enough to at least make the top 10 in the team scoring! I know I have a lot more in me in regards to my potential in this discipline so I’m excited to hopefully have the chance to run it again in the future! Overall very happy with how it went!” – Wendall Lorenzen

“Given the pandemic, I felt it was unlikely that we would be able to assemble a US Skyrunning Team to appear at these Inaugural SkySnow Champs. I was thrilled to see these three fantastic athletes reach out. While Skyrunning events are scarce in the US due largely to permit and insurance reasons, the spirit of Skyrunning is alive and well. It’s encouraging to see these ambitious US athletes take their fitness to the global stage and have an opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the best Skyrunners in the world.”Ryan Kerrigan, Executive Director/Coach US Skyrunning

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