After several years with a variety of different categories, in 2019, the concept of the SWS scoring system is easy to understand! In 2018 there were three categories: Sky Classic, Sky Extra and Overall (combining Classic and Extra), and you could win any of these three series. As an example, the 2018 female winners were Ragna Debats (Overall), Hillary Gerardi (Extra) and Holly Page (Classic). The men’s winners in those categories were Kilian Jornet, Pere Aurell Bove and myself, Pascal Egli.
For 2019, all types of races are put together in ONE series and there can only be one female and one male winner, which is much easier to follow for the public and for the athletes as well. There are 15 races to choose from, plus one final (the ‘Sky Masters’). The races take place in 11 (!) different countries including Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Norway and Bulgaria, and people from more than 30 different nations are participate in each race. The top 20 runners in each race will score points for the series ranking. Among these 15 races there are 4 ‘Super Skyraces’ aiming to assemble the highest and densest level of athletes by attributing bonus points. The points gained in Super Skyraces will count double the points earned in a ‘normal’ skyrace. (e.g. if you win a Super Skyrace, you get 200 points instead of the normal 100 points. If you are second, you still earn 160 points, compared with 80 for a normal skyrace).
In 2019 the super skyraces are: Transvulcania Ultramarathon (76 km, 4000 m d+), Livigno Skymarathon (35 km / 2800 m d+), Buff Epic Trail (42 km, 3000 m d+) and Zermatt Ultraks Extreme (26 km / 2800 m d+).
And how many races count? Maximum four races count: two Super Skyraces and two normal skyraces, plus the final Sky Masters. Of course you can always run more races in order to replace bad results. If you ran four normal skyraces but no Super Skyraces, in the end these four skyraces plus the final (if you qualify) will count for the end result. For the final you can only qualify if you are among the top 20 of the season, or if you finished in podium position or top ten result in one of the races. The final counts with triple points! Therefore, the theoretically best possible result is: winning two super skyraces, winning two normal skyraces and winning the finals. This gives you 2 x 100 plus 2 x 200 plus 1 x 300 points -> 900 points.