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US Skyrunner Series Announces 2016 Race Schedule

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The US Skyrunner Series has announced its 2016 race schedule, with 15 races at locations as varied as New York, California, Montana and Texas—the constant being stunner scenery, ample vertical and tough competition. (See below for a list of races.)

Skyrunning began in the early 1990s with a group of climbers and mountain runners in the European Alps. Its events are designed to test endurance and mountain-running skill through steep climbs and often-technical terrain.

The sport is divided into three distinct “disciplines”: Ultra (races over 50K), Vertical (5K or less with at least 1,000 meters—3,280 feet—of vertical gain) and Sky (races between 22K and 50K with at least 1,300 meters—4,265 feet—of vertical). Runners in each category score points from their best three races and battle it out for a piece of the $40,000 national prize purse.

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A view of Silverton, Colorado, from the high point of the Kendall Mountain Run. Photo by Ian Sharman/US Skyrunning

“Our race directors put in a lot of hard work to create the best high-alpine events possible and to capture the European style of Skyrunning over here in the States,” writes Ian Sharman, the director of US Skyrunning, in an email to Trail Runner.

Next year’s races begin in June and extend through October, but it’s a good idea to plan ahead—many Skyrunner races are popular and sell out quickly.

Sky

1. NEW YORK: Whiteface Sky Race

Wilmington / July 10

19 miles, 9,000 feet elevation gain

2. COLORADO: Kendall Mountain Run

Silverton / July 23

12 miles, 3,750 feet

3. MONTANA: The Rut

Big Sky / September 3

25K, 7,000 feet

4. WASHINGTON: Crystal Mountain Sky Marathon

Crystal Mountain Resort / September 17

26 miles, 8,000 feet

5. ARIZONA: Flagstaff Sky Race

Flagstaff / October 1

39km, 8,000 feet

Ultra

1. CALIFORNIA: Tahoe Sky Ultra

Lake Tahoe / June 19

50+ K, 10,000 feet

2. COLORADO: Audi Power of 4

Aspen Snowmass / August 7

50K, 7,900 feet

3. MONTANA: The Rut

Big Sky / September 4

50K, 10,000 feet

4. TEXAS: Franklin Mountains Trail Run

El Paso / September 10

50K, 10,000 feet

5. ARIZONA: Flagstaff Sky Race

Flagstaff / October 2

55K, 10,000 feet

Vertical

1. CALIFORNIA: Tahoe VK

Lake Tahoe / June 18

2. NEW YORK: Whiteface VK

Wilmington / July 9

3. COLORADO: Audi Power of 4 VK

Aspen-Snowmass / August 6

4. MONTANA: Lone Peak VK

Big Sky / September 2

5. ARIZONA: Flagstaff Sky Race VK

Flagstaff / October 1

More: What Skyrunning Is All About (video)

Correction: A previous version of this article mixed up the dates of the Whiteface Vertical K and Sky Race. The races have been updated with the correct dates.