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The history of the Vertical Kilometre

13 March 2023

A VK or VERTICAL KILOMETRE ® race is a 1,000m vertical climb over variable terrain over a distance not exceeding 5 km. – International Skyrunning Federation.

The first Vertical Kilometre® took place in Cervinia, Italy on August 20, 1994. The simple formula, together with the relatively accessible challenge of racing 1,000m uphill, has seen the popularity of the VK spread far and wide, counting several hundred races worldwide including the addition of kunanyi Mountain Run VK in 2022!

Legendary VK races include:

  • Dolomites VK, Canazei, Italy. (1000m / 2.6km)  
  • Kilomètre Vertical Face De Bellevarde, Val d'Isère, France. (1000m / 2.9km)
  • KM Vertical de Fully in Fully, Switzerland. (1000m / 1.9km)

Both the current women’s & men's VK world records were set at KM Vertical de Fully.

  • Women’s - 34:44 - Christel Dewalle - 2014
  • Men’s - 28:53 - Philip Götsch – 2017 

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