Spain’s Laura Orgué and American JP Donovan took the win at the Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer®, Friday, August 1, the first of the weekend’s trio of skyrunning races at Big Sky resort, Montana, USA.
Orgué loves Lone Peak and Lone Peak loves her. She not only celebrated her third consecutive win here, but also clinched The Rut 28K the following day after two podium places in 2016 and 2015. Among her achievements she is also 2016 Skyrunning Vertical World Champion.
The Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer® is exactly 1,107m of uphill lung-busting ascent over a three-mile (4.8 km) climb to the summit which, at 3,403m altitude, overlooks America’s biggest ski resort, aptly named Big Sky. The race is capped at 200 runners.
Orgué summited in 54’29” leaving her 2015 52’20” course record intact. The rest of the podium was all-American with Jennifer Kunzman, second in 1h08’38” and Beth Shumate in 1h09’46”, third.
“It was a good day today and I felt good,” Orgué commented. “I took the lead very early and realised I was pulling away, so I eased off the pressure and took a convincing win. I have the 28K race tomorrow so this was ideal for me to loosen up. The weather was great today and the skies clear.”
Short and steep is catching on in America and JP Donovan from Lake Tahoe, Nevada took the men’s win. “I have done several VK’s, Broken Arrow and Tahoe. VK is my style and I am so glad we have these races in the US now. I like it when it gets steep. I was running around fourth place and then moved to second – the steeper the better! I made the move very late and took the lead. I have the 28K tomorrow so I am really looking forward to that. These races are so great and I hope to get over to Europe and do the classic Skyrunning races – that would be the dream ticket!”
Mike Popejoy from Flagstaff (AZ) placed second in 48’48”. Don’t let’s forget race organiser Mike Foote is also a runner, albeit specialised in the longer distances. He upped his 2016 fourth place to close the podium an excellent third in 50’06”.
After her win, Orgué now rises to second on the Vertical World Circuit rankings while fellow countryman Jan Margarit climbs from seventh to sixth. The standing ranking leaders are Norwegian Stian Angermund-Vik and Italian Stephanie Jimenez.
The three disciplines, Vertical Kilometer®, Sky and Ultra events were also valid for the American Skyrunning Championships, one of the International Skyrunning Federation’s Continental Championships.
Almost 2,500 runners from 17 countries took part in the weekend’s five events here.
The race was the 12th on the new Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit which counts 18 races in eight countries where the six best results are counted for the final ranking.
Next race up on the calendar is the Salomon Marmores VK in Scotland on September 15.
1. JP Donovan (USA) – 47’27”
2. Mike Popejoy (USA) – 48’48”
3. Mike Foote (USA) – 50’06”
4. Scott Patterson (USA) – 51’18”
5. Jan Margarit Sole (ESP) – 51’41”
1. Laura Orgué (ESP) – 54’29”
2. Jennifer Kunzman (USA) – 1h08’38”
3. Beth Shumate (USA) – 1h09’46”
4.Rachel Poulton (USA) – 1h10’44”
5. Emily Kipp (USA)- 1h14’51”
About Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit
The Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit has been created in 2017 as a spin-off of the long standing Skyrunner® World Series. It is governed by the rules and regulations of the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF).
The circuit was designed to celebrate the Vertical Kilometer® in as many races as possible worldwide.
The Vertical Kilometer® is a race with 1,000m vertical climb over variable terrain with a substantial incline, not exceeding five kilometres in length. A double or triple Vertical Kilometer® is also recognised.