WMRA Grand Prix. 5th race Skaala Uphill, Norway
Antonella Confotola, Italy and John Sombol, Kenya won the 5th WMRA Grand Prix race in Skaala Uphill in Norway. Sombol was only 5 seconds ahead of Jonathan Wyatt, New Zealand, six times World Trophy winner in mountain running. Despite tough winterly weather conditions 1520 participants ( new record) finished the 8th edition of the 8,2 km long mountain race with a total climb 1814 metres.
The winner John Sombol, Barakarunner, Kenya, having climbed 1680 metres of altitude of a total of 1814 metres. At 1680 metres of altitude Sombol had run away from the Norwegian summer and was whished welcome by the Norwegian winter already 15th of august. At this point Jonathan Wyatt, was 25 seconds behind. On his left side Sombol has a magnificent and breathtaking view 1680 metres of altitude above the Fjord and the startline in the village Loen. Skaala 1848 metres above sea level is the highest mountain i northern Europe having the foot in the Fjord. Photo Christian Prestegaard

Story and all photos
Christian Prestegaard

Before the race some international runners asked why a rucksack was obligatory.
After the race they didn't ask about that anymore, but were very happy to have enough warm clothes on the finsh line 1848 metres above sea level at the summit of the mountain Skaala. All participants in the competition class had to carry a rucksack / backpack weighing at least 2,5 kilos with warm clothes ( and some food ) for the race (both up and down!) because it could be cold at the top. It was the toughest and most winterly weather conditions in 8 year history of the race. Take a look at the 22 photos below !
Top 30 Ladies:
1. Antonella Confortola, Italy                1.26,35
2. Iva Milesova, Psk Olymp Praha; Czech       1.27,00
3. Guro Flatekval, Oppsal, Norway             1.27,05
4. May Britt Buer,Harding IL. Norway          1.27,50
5. Tuva Staver Toftdal,Heming IL, Norway      1.31,42
6. Merete Helgheim, Gloppen, Norway           1.33,49
7. Therese Sjursen, Bfg Fana, Norway          1.34,52
8. Norunn Stavø, Florø TIF, Norway            1.38,39
9. Helene Pemmer, Il Fri, Norway              1.39,00
10.Elisabeth Hildenes, Eid IL, Norway         1.39,43
11.Martina Tazzioli, Italy                    1.41.52
12.Line Lystad, Norway                        1.45.25
13.Elise Reiten, Norway                       1.45.44
14.Hilde Aasheim, Osterøy, Norway             1.46.25
15.Annie Ristebråten, Norway                  1.46.39
16.Malene Haukøy, IL Høyang, Norway           1.48.25
17.Nancy Sommer, Varegg, Norway               1.48,31
18.Åse Iren Sætre, Ørsta Il, Norway           1.49.46
19.Trude Eimhjellen, Norway                   1.50.04
20.Elisabeth Hole, Norway                     1.51.54
21.Mari Bruflot, Norway                       1.52.32
22.Anne Skaar, Norway                         1.52.51
23.Anne Kristin Lindvik, Norway               1.53.34
24.Jorunn Røegh, Norway                       1.53.39
25.Christina Moe Hansen, Norway               1.53.56
26.Lene Rørvik, Norway                        1.53.59
27.Vigdis G. Reigstad, Norway                 1.54.11
28.Bente Bakke Nødset, Norway                 1.54.53
29 Gunnhild Bugge, Norway                     1.55.05
30.Margot Bolstad Lynum, Norway               1.55.16

Top 30 Men:
1. John Sombol. Barakarunner, Kenya 1.09,55
2. Jonathan Wyatt, Salomon Austr, New Zealand 1.10,00
3. David Schneider,Inov-8 Switzerland 1.10,50
4. Jon Duncan, Sandnes IL, GBR 1.11,07
5. Sammy Kirui, Barakarunner, Kenya 1.12,31
6. Joseph Gray, Team USA 1.12,48
7. Øystein Sylta, SK Vidar, Norway 1.13,31
8. Kristen Skjeldal, Bulken IL, Norway 1.14,10
9. Sindre Buraas, SK Vidar, Norway 1.14,41
10.Rickey Gates, Team USA 1.14,57
11.Kjell Chr. Markset, Koll, Norway 1.15.03
12.Henry Kiplagat, Kenya 1.16.14
13.Øyvind Heiberg Sundby, Tjalve, Norway 1.16.39
14.Espen Harald Bjerke, Lillehammer, Norway 1.17.28
15.Eivind Knutsen, Oddersjå, Norway 1.18.43
16.Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset, FjellhugVereide, Nor 1.19.02
17.Joel Dyrhovden, Samnanger, Norway 1.19,20
18.Oddmund Roaldkvam, Stord, Norway 1.19.29
19.Lars Skjeset, NTNIU, Norway 1.19.33
20.Sven Nylund, MoldeOlymp, Norway 1.21.14
21.Asbjørn Berland, Norway 1.21.42
22.Håvard Gutubø Bogetveit, Norway 1.21.52
23.Øyvind Bugge, Norway 1.22.26
24.Roger Lillestøl, Norway 1.22.50
25.Richard Bartale, SK Vidar, Kenya 1.23.10
26.Arve Rindal, Norway 1.23.20
27.Erlend Drivenes, Norway 1.23.39
28.Eliud Kiptanui, SK Vidar, Kenya 1.23.49
29.Jon Meyer Tvinnereim, Norway 1.24.24
30.Ole Martin Erdal, Norway 1.24.39 

All results

Video from the Norwegian Television 1
The winner Antonella Confortola, Italy, having climbed 1780 metres of altitude with only 2 minutes more to run to the finish line at the summit og the mountain Skaala 1848 metres above the fjord below. Magnificent view down to the village Loen and Nordfjord. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Jonathan Wyatt, New Zealand, representing Team Salomon Austria, won the Skaala Uphill Race in 2008 in 1.08.42 , 14 seconds ahead of the Norwegian Mountainrunner Jon Tvedt. Jon Tvedt has the race record in 1.08.39 set in 2007. This year Jonathan finished in 1.10.00, five seconds behind John Sombol.
Guro Flatekval, Oppsal, Norway. Third position only 30 seconds behind the winner Confortola. Photo Christian Prestegaard
David Schneider, Inov-8 Switzerland. Third position in 1.10.50. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Jon Dunchan, Sandnes IL, GBR. Nr. 4. , 1.11.07. Photo Christian Prestegaard
May Britt Buer, Harding IL, Norway, Nr. 4. 1.27.50. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Joseph Gray, Team USA, 6th position. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Tuva Staver Toftdal, Heming, Norway. 5th position . 1.31.42. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Kristen Skjeldal, Bulken IL, Norway. 8th position. 1.14.10. Skjeldal is a former Olympic champion in Cross Country Skiiing for Team Norway in 4 X 10k relay. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Merete Helgheim, Gloppen, Norway. 6th position. 1.33.49. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Sindre Buraas, SK Vidar, Norway, won the World Trophy in Mountain Running Uphill for Junior in 2008. Yesterday he finished Skaala Uphill in 9th position , 1.14.41. Photo Christian Prestegaard.
Rickey Gates, Team USA, 10th position. 1.14.57. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Therese Sjursen, BFG Fana, Norway. 7th position. Photo Christian Prestegaard
The Finish Line at the summit of the mountain Skaala 1848 metres above sea level in Loen was crowded when 1500 participants set a new record for the race. Foto Christian Prestegaard
The Norwegian World Champion in cross-country skiing Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (left) , Øyvind Heiberg Sundby, Team Mountain Running Norway and Joseph Gray, Taem USA are preparing to give entusiastic support for the young and promising Norwegian Cross Country Skier and Mountain Runner Tuva Staver Toftdal ( 5th position). You can see her in black and 8 photos above this photo. Photo Christian Prestegaard
The Norwegian World Champion in cross-country skiing Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset won the Skaala Uphill Race in 2004 in 1.15.11. This year he is 100% focused on the Winter-Olympics 2010 in Vancouver and Skaala Uphill was a 1 hour and 19 minutes workout on his way to another gold-medal. He was world champion in 2007 in 50k. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Martina Tazzioli, Italia, Finished in 11th position in 1.41.52. At this point she can see the finish line at the famous and spectacular Skaala Tower ( see photo above) for the first time. She has only 25 metres more to climb in 150 metres of running distance. Photo Christian Prestegaard
One week ago Richard Bartale, Kenya, won the Buff Fanaraaken Uphill ( www.fanaraaken.com) ahead of Henry Kiplagat, Kenya, Kristen Skjeldal Norway and Joseph Gray USA. In Skaala Uphill Bartale was far behind them and finished in 25th position in 1.23.10. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Helene Pemmer, IL Fri, Norway finished in 9th position , 1.39.00. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Top international masters
Oddmund Roaldkvam, Stord IL, Norway set a new impresssing age record 1.19.29 in agegroup 50-54 and total 18th position. Photo Christian Prestegaard
Norunn Stavø, Florø TIF, Norway won agegroup 50-54 in 1.38.39 that placed her in total 8th position. Photo Christian Prestegaard
More info about the Skaala Uphill race;
on www.skaala.no
race director Erik Brendefur. tel +47 90999997.
E-mail: erik@alexandra.no

Christian Prestegård
Head of Mountain Running inside the Norwegian Athletics Federation
Editor www.kondis.no/motbakke

Tlf. + 47 99 52 11 99
E-mail: christian@prestegaard.no