Skyrunning is a mountain running sport in which athletes compete on a course that leads through mountains. The sport was conceived by Marino Giacometti, an Italian Mountaineer, and his fellow climbers, who pioneered races in the Alps during the 1990's. Currently, skyrunning is a popular sport with athletes from several countries competing in races around the world.
Skyrunning is considered as an extreme sport that requires a great deal of courage, strength and endurance to compete. The races are conducted at heights above 6,600ft with inclines exceeding 30%. The climbing difficulty though is II° grade or lower which allows the athlete to still be able to run.
There are various types of skyrunning races based on the distance and difficulty. Races vary from short distance races with steep verticals to long-distance marathon races. There are also ultra skyrunning marathons races that are becoming increasingly popular.
International Skyrunning Federation is the highest governing body for the sport that is responsible for conducting races and promoting the sport. ISF conducts several races that include locations like the Alps, Mount Kenya, the Himalayas, and the Mexican volcanoes. There are over 200 skyrunning races conducted every year in which excess of 30,000 athletes take part.
- Fell Running — running and racing done off-road or on any over upland country, with a significant hill component.
- Cross Country Running — individuals or teams run races which involve courses over natural terrain.
- Marathon — a distance running athletics event over 42.2 km.
- Adventure Racing — an event combining two or more endurance disciplines, such as Orienteering, Cross-Country Running, Mountain Biking, Paddling and Climbing. It is also called Expedition Racing.
- Tower Running — grueling races up tall man-made structures. Also known as Stair Climbing.