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Race report: Zegama-Aizkorri Maratòn, Basque Country, Spain – May 20, 2012

by Press Release
Monday 21st May 2012

KilianJornet proves his prowess as a true skyrunning champion and takes Zegama bystorm with more than a 4-minute lead ahead of Luis Hernando while Oihana Kortazar wins the women’s category

Extremely strong competition, relentless rain and snow along the three summits meant a tougher race than anticipated for many Zegama first-timers.

In the men’s race, reigning Skyrunner® World Series champion Luis Hernando led the field to the highest point in the race at 1,1551m followed closely by Kilian Jornet, who, despite the difficult conditions, comfortably romped to the finish in 3h56’08”, slicing 22” off last year’s winning time - still 1’50” short of Rob Jebb’s record set in 2005.

Britain’s Tom Owens, last year a close second to Jornet, was third today.

Standing skyrunning champion and last year’s winner, Oihana Kortazar, led from the start, closely followed by Britain’s Lauren Jeska, alternating the lead. At 32 km Kortazar cruised past Jeska to finish in 4h52’30”. (The women’s standing record is 4h38’19“ by Italian, Emanuela Brizio in 2009).

Sweden’s Emilie Forsberg was in the lead pack for the whole race until Spaniard Nuria Picas who had been pacing the leaders, overtook in the final ten kilometres, accelerating to a brilliant second position in 5h’1.28”.

One of the favourites, American Max King, 2011 World Mountain Running Champion, held third position to the summit, but suffered the 42 km distance to finish 16th.

Many of the top finishers were new to skyrunning. In competing with the world’s élite runners, they show great promise for the rest of the skyrunning season. These include: Frenchman, Michel Lannes, 4th, Sweden’s Emiie Forsberg, and Britain’s Lauren Jeska.

The Spanish runners showed their dominance in skyrunning yet again, with the two reigning skyrunning champions taking first and second places in both categories and the indomitable Kilian Jornet, first yet again.

Major industry players were represented here with strong international teams including: Adidas, Arc’teryx, Asics, inov-8, Montrail, New Balance, Pearl Izumi, Salomon, The North Face.

One of the key factors that have world-class runners coming back year after year to Zegama is the demanding 42 km course with a total of 5,472m total elevation gain and the enthusiastic support from thousands of spectators along the course, cheering every single runner every single step along the way.

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Follow the next exciting Skyrunner® World Series race – the Ziria Cross CountrySkyRace® in Greece on May 27.

Zegama-Aizkorri Maratòn race results


Skyrunner® World Series provisional ranking:



Kilian Jornet (ESP) - Salomon Santiveri – 178 points

Mike Wolfe (USA) - The North Face – 102 points

Dakota Jones (USA) - Montrail – 100 points



Nuria Picas (ESP) – FEEC - 176 points

Nikki Kimbal (USA) – The North Face -140 points

Anna Frost (NZL) – Salomon – 100 points


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