Skyrunning ANZ is excited to announce that for the first time we will have representation at the Youth World Skyrunning Championships. It has been a goal of ours to send athletes to the event since its inception. As Mel Parry from Mountain Sports said recently, “We need to encourage more young people to take to the trails and give the Skyrunning challenge a go. These are the future of the sport.” It’s thanks to the support of the likes of Mel and her partner Sean, as well as Terry Davis of Highland Events in New Zealand, that Skyrunning can exist in our region. So it’s not only exciting, but a testament to the dedication of the race directors, to finally have some young guns headed to Europe to take on the world.
The event is being held from August 2nd to 4th at the legendary Gran Sasso Skyrace in L’Aquila, Italy. There will be a Vertical kilometre as well as a Skyrace of 15 or 21km depending on the age group. Representing New Zealand will be Yonni Kepes, who at 19 years of age has racked up plenty of racing, from 10km right up to 100 miles. Currently based in Europe during his gap year, he has set his sights on conquering some of the bigger international events, and the Youth World Champs is certainly going to test him out. From Australia we have Brayden Funk toeing the line. An Adelaide local, he’s been an avid trail runner for a few years with great results including 1st U/21 at the Buffalo Stampede 20km in 2017, 3rd in the Mt Buller Skyrun 22km in 2018 and 30th in the Zermatt Matterhorn Ultraks 20km.
Sponsoring the team is The North Face Australia and New Zealand, who are longtime supporters of Skyrunning ANZ. We are incredibly privileged to have them onboard and look forward to seeing our athletes proudly wearing their uniforms in a couple of weeks time. Brand Marketing Coordinator, Gus MacGregor, was fast to show his support for the team. “We’re really excited to be able to get behind these aspiring young athletes. Exploring the outdoors, and your personal limits, are core values of ours and there’s no doubting that’s exactly what the Australian and New Zealand Youth Skyrunning team are doing. We can’t wait to see how they go in Italy! Regardless of the results, it will be a great experience and a valuable part of their development in the sport.”
More information about the event can be found here: http://www.gransassoskyrace.it/