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Snow is still covering much of the high 4 July Trail, where on 3 July the Sky Marathon is due to be run, and for the moment sky racers who want to try out the course are being stopped at an altitude of 2,200 metres.

Since 2000, the 4 July Trail Sky Marathon has had a junior partner, the half marathon of Val Brandet and the Salina Pass. And it’s this trail that this year, on Sunday 3 July, will be in the headlines, with the first trial of the FSA Italian Sky Running Championships 2005.

This means that it’s no longer merely a trail for kids to try out on, or for those wanting to practise for the classic 42 km: it’s a real challenge for top level competitive athletes. Actually, it’s had this status now for a few years, with an impressive list of champions competing over its 22,645 km across the Salina Pass (which is, after all, at 2,430 mt): Ambrosi, Bonfanti, Agostini, Semperboni, Fregona, Heczková, Cavalli, Cerutti, Bendotti, Brizio, Pellissier and others.

Entries for both races already number several dozen, and it’s easy to predict that the 250 + 250 bibs available will be used up before the official closing date for entries, 25 June. There are also one or two entries from abroad, despite the fact that the 11th Davide Trophy is not a world championship trial as it was in the two previous years, though it will be once again in 2006. Then, as the 4 July Trail is one of the first races of the season, the new FSA 2005 membership cards will be on sale during the event, with a whole range of advantages.

Other innovations are the increase in prizes (to a total of 81), and the recent decision to include with the gifts for each participant a certificate of participation donated by, with satellite photo of the race, time taken and finishing place. Once again, for the second year, Winning Time Running will be recording times electronically, and results will be published in real time on the web.

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