Zegama – The Living Legend Celebrates 15 Years With a Star Line-Up

Published by Mountainblog on .

It’s that time of year when all eyes focus on the small Basque town of Zegama, a legend on the Skyrunner® World Series calendar since 2004. The Zegama-Aizkorri attracts a consistently strong field and this year is no exception.



The stellar men’s field is led by seven-time winner Kilian Jornet, heading confidently to the event after closing the ski-mountaineering season and a period of training in the mountains. Needless to say he’s billed as favourite.

Last year’s winner, Italian Tadei Pivk, placed second in the Sky Series ranking after the Yading Skyrun opening race in China. The extreme high altitude racing will not doubt play in his favour for the podium. He’s joined by Luis Alberto Hernando, fresh from his third Transvulcania win and with only two weeks to recover, he’s aiming for a podium place.

The men’s front runners continue with: Manuel Merillas, 2nd in last year’s race, and, in the top ten 2015 Sky Series ranking:  Rémi Bonnet, Aritz Egea, Tom Owens, Pere Rullan and Hassan Ait Chaou.

More potential top finishers include Zaid Ait Malik (8th at Transvulcania), Alfredo Gil, Sintu Vives, Jessed Hernadez, Eirik Haugsnes, Jokin Lizeaga and Marc Lauenstein. Look out for Peruvian Remigio Huaman (7th at Transvulcania) and Columbian Saul Padua, recent winner at the Transvulcania VK.

Marco De Gasperi and Ionut Zinca, top finishers last year, are absent.

With the women’s elite field depleted due to injury: Emelie Forsberg, Laura Orgué, Elisa Desco and Paula Cabrerizo, 2nd in last year’s race, the contest will be between a super-strong Spanish contingent and American Megan Kimmel, who took on the Sky Series last year for the first time to take the second slot in the ranking. She is also leading the current Series after her win in Yading, China.  Norwegian Yngvild Kaspersen from Norway ranked 8th last year and shows great promise.

The Spaniards are headed by last year’s race winner Azara Garcia who suffered injury for a great part of the year and is back for more. Similarly, Maite Maiora (ranked 4th) she recently recovered from injury and could be podium material.  Back after time out for another child is Oihana Kortazar placed third in last year’s race and was ranked 6th.  Add local athlete Aitziber Ibarbia , ranked 9th and  Eva Moreda (10th). Contenders from the Ultra Series include Gemma Arenas (11th), Marta Molist and Ester Alves from Portugal.

The records to beat? 3h48’13” set by Kilian Jornet in 2014 and the long standing women’s record of 4h38’19” by Emanuela Brizio in 2008.

The 42 km course with a tough 5,472m ascent and descent offers a consistently gruelling challenge, in part due the changeable weather, often cold, damp and certainly muddy. After 15 years, the popularity of this event continues to grow and that special element unique to this race lies in the thousands of locals lining the length of the course cheering on the runners, every single one of them, every part of the way.

Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott,Compressport and Salomon.

Check out our live tracking system on the day.

INFO: Skyrunning