by Maria E. Bellini
Coming up on the 26th of August 2018 is one of Italy’s most spectacular sky races.
The Trofeo Kima – Kima Trophy – takes place every two years, making it all the more exclusive and desirable for many a sky and trail runner worldwide.
What is the Kima Trophy?
With a race route that covers the seemingly moderate distance of ‘only’ 52km, this could seem like a perfect ‘trail race’ for the unassuming runner looking for a short ultra in spectacular surroundings. But this is a totally different ball game. We’re in the realm of some of Italy’s most extreme skyrunning. Trail runners take heed! If you don’t possess some really strong mountain skills, leave the Kima Trophy to our cousins the skyrunners!
As we were saying…. only 52km with, however, a whopping 4200 meters of level gain. Part of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series in the SkyExtra category, Kima has a field limited to only 300 world class runners – (in over 1000 applications!)
Where does the Kima Trophy take place?
The 52km race route of the Kima Trophy take place in part along the epitome of paths, the Sentiero Roma – the ‘Rome Path’ – although it’s nowhere near the City of Rome, which is several hundred miles further south! We’re in Lombardy’s Val Masino, which comes under the administrative province of Sondrio.
Historically the Val Masino was hard to reach and therefore remained fairly untouched by change. However this is real mountain territory and today along with neighboring Val di Mello is a hub for climbers and adventurers alike.
What is the Kima Trophy race route like?
To put it simply: Brutal. The Kima Trophy race route, is as technical as sky races can get. The course features 7 passes above 2500m, moraines, crags, rocks, exposed parts, ridges, and fixed ropes. It boasts a vertical climb: 4,200m ascent and 4,200m descent, with a maximum altitude of 2,950m (Check Point) at the Cameraccio Pass.
When did the Kima Trophy take place for the first time?
It was in 1995 in the early days of Italian skyrunning when the Trofeo Kima first took place, to commemorate the loss of Pierangelo Marchetti, known as ‘KIMA’.
A mountain guide in Valtellina, he lost his life during a rescue mission. It had been his idea to host a race in the area and his wish was to be carried forward by his sister, Ilde Marchetti, who went on to transform her brother’s idea – into reality.
Throughout the years the race has seen participation from legendary international sky runners. Winners include Fabio Meraldi, Mario Poletti, Corinne Favre, Mauro Gatta, Kilian Jornet, Bhim Gurung, Emanuela Brizio, Nuria Picas, and Emilie Forsberg.
So we’ll be looking forward to tuning in soon, to see who’ll be on the podium this year!
Maria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.