PHOTOS: Kurdistan Region embraces 'skyrunning' for first time on Mount Safeen
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Hiking groups on Friday gathered at the foot of Safeen Mountain in rural tracts of the Kurdistan Region's province of Erbil to undertake a new challenge: athletic running in altitudes of 1,500 meters or higher.
The event, the first of its kind in the autonomous region, was organized by the Kurdistan Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, which had engaged nearly 40 different hiking groups across multiple provinces, districts, and localities.
“We wanted to introduce this sport to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” Hemin Ameen, a member of the federation, told Kurdistan 24 on Friday.
In the version of the sport being implemented here, all skyrunning is conducted on land located over 1,500 meters above sea level, for which Mount Safeen is an ideal venue.
Male runners ran for six kilometers while their female peers undertook a three-kilometer course.
The area is located in Shaqlawa district within northeastern Erbil province, part of the Zagros mountain range.
In 1992, Italian Marino Giacometti founded the International Skyrunning Federation, which coordinates and regulates the sport's discipline worldwide with the motto of, "Less cloud. More Sky.”