Opportunity to help USA Youth Skyrunners


My name is John Kerrigan.

I have been a High School teacher and  Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field Coach for over 40 years. I am also an assistant coach for the USA Youth Skyrunning team. Skyrunning is one of the oldest sports known to man. It has been part of the culture since "Ootzi"  ( the Iceman) ran from village to village over the summits of mountains in the Italian and Austrian Alps, 6000 years ago. Today thousands of individuals from over 50 countries compete in the two disciplines of skyrunning; the Vertical kilometer ( a run straight up a mountain) and the skyrun - a distance race along the crest of mountains. When viewed from the valleys below, it appears that runners have been dropped from the sky- hence the name skyrunning. 
My son Ryan and I have been coaching USA youth to compete in the World Junior Skyrunning Championships since 2017.
Here is a short video from the 2021 championships in Italy to show some youth skyrunners in action
The World Youth Skyrunning Championships provides a unique experience for USA youth runners.
It brings together like-minded youth from all over the world  that love to run in the mountains.
At the  World Youth Championships our USA  runners (ages 15- 22) get to compete against youth runners from over 30 countries. Many of the youth sky runners from international teams are fully-funded by their countries of origin. They receive a team uniform, skill training, education, equipment and experience running with other adult and youth sky runners from their countries in preparation for the World Youth Championships. Spain alone has over a dozen skyrunning "academies" These are equivalent to our US ski academies that have produced many of our Alpine and Nordic Olympians. Italy now has a Skyrunning major at the University in L' Aquila.

Since our mountain ranges are many and very spread out, our American youth don't have the opportunities to train with one another and build a unifying team spirit. Many of the international youth runners live in a specific mountain region in their respective countries; Spain- the Pyrennes, France and Switzerland, the Alps, Italy the Apennines and Alps, Norway and Sweden, the Scandes mountains, Czech Republic, the Sudeten mountains. Our mountain ranges are thousands miles apart. The distance between the Cascades of Washington State and the Green Mountains where I live in Vermont is over 4,000 miles. We have had youth runners that started running in their own backyards of the Sierras (California), Chugiaks ( Alaska) Wasatch (Utah), Rockies( Colorado), Tetons ( Wyoming), Blue Ridge,(Virginia) and the list goes on.
Despite these disadvantages our American Youth Skyrunners have made an impression on the world stage. In 2018 and in 2019 Sophia Sanchez from the Lake Tahoe Region of California placed first among all youth women. Also in 2019 Mikey Connelly  (who trains near Mt. Marathon, Alaska) received the bronze medal for U 18 youth male runners. Our USA team although one of the fewest in number, consistently finishes in the top 5 in the team score.
Presently, youth representing the USA have to be fully individually funded. They have to provide their own transportation and accommodations. My son Ryan and I have dug deep into our own pockets the past few years to cover entrance and licensing fees, groceries and helped with accommodations and transportation. Only those runners that have the support of their families have been able to make the trip.

Ryan and I hope to add to the evolution of running in the USA. Presently in the U.S. there are youth programs for many sports; soccer, ice hockey, nordic and alpine skiing, baseball, football, gymnastics, swimming, track&field, etc.. It is only after high school and college that most Americans are exposed to trail and mountain running. It is our hope to develop a pipeline of sky runners in this country. We hope to add to the strong culture of running in the USA by exposing more American youths to skyrunning. We would like to give skyrunning an identity in the United States of America! 

We would like ALL youth runners that have a love for running in the mountains to enjoy this opportunity. The pool of youth sky runners representing the USA should reflect the diversity of our mountain cultures.  In the past several talented native-american sky runners have reached out to us for support. Other than offering some encouragement,  guidance and a little coaching, there is little else we can do to help. 

We would like to show the world that USA skyrunners are determined, diverse and strong. Most of all we would like to enhance a sense of belongingness among all runners living and training in the vast and diverse mountain ranges of the U.S . In our physical  and emotional contacts with each other we hope to gain strength as a nation of skyrunners. We are like no other nation on earth.  Our strength is in our diversity. We hope to develop our own unique brand of esprit de corps!  Can you help us make this happen?

Funds raised:

Will help talented, hard - working youth runners, despite their financial status, attend the  Skyrunning World Youth Championships in Andorra the summer of 2022

Enable us to host  skyrunning clinics that will bring together like minded youths from many different USA mountain environments 

To stage a series of skyrunning races, possibly culminating in a USA Youth Championship

See the link below for more information on us skyrunning:


# runwithoutceilings

Thank You 

John Kerrigan 
Assistant US Skyrunning Coach
Run Vermont Hall of Fame 2019  

Now accepting applications for World Youth Championships in Andorra July 22 and 24.  Appication is here:https://www.ridgelineathletics.com/skyrunning/

Deadline for applications is May 20th. We have received applications from youth runners from Maine to Alaska. We have several spots available. 

  • Ameen Khalil Batah 
    • $10 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Laura Brines 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Bob Touchette 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
See all


John Kerrigan 
Moretown, VT