THIS weekend, participants will be lining up at the start of the Sierra Nevada Vertical Kilometer (VK) Race, which sees competitors take on 1000m of elevation over distances up to just 5km.

Taking place on Sunday, July 4, at 10am, athletes will make their way uphill, from the start point of Plaza de Andalucia de Pradollano, scrambling over rocky terrain, until they reach the road near the Stadium chairlift, 3,100m high.

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The VK Open Championship is returning to Sierra Nevada on July 4th

Participating in the event are a number of high profile athletes, including Ingrid Ruiz, Georgina Gabarro, Albert Ferrer, Inigo Alzola, Veronica Sanchez, David Vida, and reigning champion Alberto Gamero. 

The VK Open Championship has been running for 11 years, with nine races in six countries, including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Norway and Bulgaria. 

The final will be in Italy, on October 15.

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Participants will have to climb 1000m of rocky terrain over less than 5km

“Last year, the race was unable to go ahead and it’s great that Sierra Nevada has been able to recover a good part of its summer sport,” said Jesus Ibanez, CEO of Cetursa Sierra Nevada. “It’s an impressive and visual race, which can be viewed at any point.”

The very first Vertical Kilometer took place in Cervinia, Italy on August 20, 1994 and was won by Italian Ettore Champretavy, completing it in just 40 minutes 44 seconds.

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It has since grown in popularity, with hundreds of races all over the world, as well as double and triple VKs too.

The current champion for the fastest ever VK is Philip Goetsch, with a time of just 28 minutes 54 seconds. 

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