mountain range

mountain range

Russia: "Europe's highest peak" snow joke for these runners

46m ago
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1. M/S Race starts 2. W/S Runners flood up mountain 3. W/S Mountain face 4. W/S Mountain side 5. W/S Runners in single file 6. SOT. Oksana Stefashina, the female Skymarathon winner, said: "I've been climbing since I was 20 years old. It all began with walks and stuff like that. Later I discovered the mountains of the Caucasus Natural Reserve. Although heights there reach a maximum of 3,000 metres, for me, these mountains were breathtakingly high." 7. M/S Runner completes race 8. M/S Runner completes race 9. M/S Man and woman running 10. M/S Man and woman complete Sky Runner World Series: Mount Elbrus stage 11. W/S Flag blows in icy wind SCRIPT Russia: "Europe's highest peak snow joke for these runners Facing strong winds and temperatures as low as -20 degrees celcius, an elite group of sky runners took part in the opening Russian stage of the Sky Runner World Series on Mount Elbrus, on May 9. Pounding up the icy slopes of one the world's highest peak might not be to everyone's taste but for a select few the daunting task is a natural high. Standing at 5,642 m (18,510 ft), the dormant volcano, located in the western Caucasus mountain range in Russia, is huge. Straddling the border between Europe and Asia, those who profess Mount Elbrus to be in Europe, make it the continent's highest peak. Despite taking place on Victory Day, when Russia commemorates its defeat of Nazi Germany, the race was won by an Italian. Triumphing over both the conditions and his fellow sky runners, Marco Facchinelli ran the three-kilometre course up the western face in record time. The 32-year-old took just three and a half hours to scale the mountain, shaving 11 seconds off last year's winning time. It was victory number two for Facchinelli, following his triumph in this year's vertical kilometre event. But it's not just competition which draws sky runners to some of the world's most hostile mountain sides. For one woman, the chance to revel in dramatic alpine scenery is also a major draw card. Oksana Stefashina, the female Skymarathon winner, said: "I've been climbing since I was 20 years old. It all began with walks and stuff like that. Later I discovered the mountains of the Caucasus Natural Reserve. Although heights there reach a maximum of 3,000 metres, for me, these mountains were breathtakingly high". With their appetites whetted, the sky runners now move on to Spain where they will take part in more breath-taking action. Competitors build up ranking points across the season as they chase top spots in the three stand-alone circuits: Sky, Ultra and Vertical. Each event has its own title and prizes.