History of Retezat SkyRace Intersport
Retezat SkyRace Intersport is the first competition organized by the "Sport at Any Age" Association, with its first edition having taken place on June 15, 2012. Its creation, as well as the "Trail Race" events that followed it, was a result of our goals, to do sport wherever and at any age, to contribute towards the consolidation of the mountain running community, to make the Retezat massif internationally known, as well as to reward the performance of the winners.
The beginning... year 2012
In 2012, the first edition was strongly supported by Salomon Romania and the local community from Uricani, Hunedoara, making a statement from the very start regarding the difficult course, runners having had to cross the edgy ridge at 2000m of altitude, through strenuous passages, hard climbs and very technical downhills
It was a year of search, the hardest in our short history. The second edition took place thanks to our passion for Retezat and to the huge efforts towards finding the necessary resources. Nevertheless, it was a year of trying to place the competition among the other mountain running races in Romania.
The 2014 edition, as well as the partnership with the international brand of "Intersport", meant the consolidation of our competition and doubling the number of participants. RTR Intersport 2014 was the most consistent edition, leading to the acknowledgement of the fact that the course's profile and difficulty were making it necessary to redefine the race, as a new international phenomenon made its appearance in Romania: the one of Sky Running, running at 2000m of altitude.
The 2015 edition meant the conversion from Retezat Trail Race Intersport to Retezat SkyRace Intersport, necessary change for underlining the mountaineering aspect of the race, as well as for being part of the international concept of skyrunning. The special edition brought not only a new race record, but also the participation of world elite athletes, such as Ionut Zinca, Zaid Ait Malek, Maite Maiora Elizondo or Gianfranco Danesi.
2016 was the year when Retezat SkyRace Intersport made its statement as the largest skyrunning competition in South-Eastern Europe, welcoming at the start line over 800 participants! The official race clip quickly went viral, thanks to the stunning landscapes offered by the Retezat Massif, qualifying for the top 10 most watched mountain running clips, presented by the prestigious "Trail Runner Magazine", USA.
2017 represented yet another historical mark for Retezat SkyRace Intersport. In the first 24h of registrations, more than 800 participants signed up, while the final number hit 1200. A fairy-tale edition, a difficult struggle for the runners, as well as for us, as organizers, due to the harsh weather conditions. In the end, the organizers and the field team, the heart and soul of the race, fulfilled their tasks at the highest level, so that all the participants were safe during the race, most of them having a race to remember, and especially an epic after-race party.
Run at altitude!
The courses are what makes this competition unique. These are a fusion between dirt roads, trails, chalky ridges with technical uphill-downhills, a real challenge for everybody.
The "Piule-Plesa" ridge offers a unique perspective for all the participants, while reaching the "Custura" peak, at almost 2500m of altitude will be an unforgettable experience for those able to make it to the top.
The start/finish area is hosted by the touristic complex of Cheile Butii, a welcoming place whose backyard represents the very beginning of the "Retezatul Mic" Massif.
Two of the competition's races qualify for the "SkyRunning" category, while a third one is dedicated to trekking lovers or to the ones wishing to take the first steps into mountain running.
RTR 2012 powered by Salomon: 100 participants, Male winner- Viorel Palici – 3h 37min, Female winner- Gianina Tanase – 4h 40min.
RTR 2013 powered by La Sportiva : 170 participants, Male winner- Paul Constantin Pepene - 3h 15min, Female winner- Iulia Gainariu – 4h 32min.
RTR INTERSPORT 2014: 374 participants, Male winner- Ionut Zinca – 3h 7min, Female winner- Denisa Dragomir – 3h 48min
RSR INTERSPORT 2015: 686 participants, Male winner- Ionut Zinca - 3h 3min 51sec, Female winner- Maite Maiora Elizondo - 3h 56min.
RSR INTERSPORT 2016: 722 participants, Male winner- Paul Pepene - 3h 18min 20sec, Female winner- Ingrid Mutter - 4h 14min 01sec.
RSR INTERSPORT 2017: 1218 participants, Male winner- Viorel Palici - 3h 09min 37sec, Female winner- Ingrid Mutter - 3h 50min 15sec.