Denisa Dragomir

Denisa Dragomir

Image credit: Alexis Berg

Higher and faster and always better: the success curve of exceptional skyrunner Denisa Dragomir leads just as steeply upward as her mountain runs. In 2021, the Romanian runner won the Skyrunning World Series. High time to introduce the Merrell athlete to

Denisa Dragomir steht auf einem Felsen

How Denisa Dragomir came to run

Denisa likes to tell that it was running that chose her, not her choosing to run. But let's take it one step at a time. It all started at a tender elementary school age, when little Denisa was eager to participate in a running race like her cousin. She wanted to prove to everyone that she could do it just as well as the older kids. But Denisa was much too young to start and ran outside the classification.

At that time, running was more fun and games. But even at that age, the ambitious girl wanted to get better and better, to learn more and more. At the age of 14, Denisa's passion for athletics was firmly anchored. Her favorite discipline in her youth was the hurdles. There she won junior titles over 1000, 2500 and 3000 meters.

However, the transition to seniors was not seamless for her. She suffered injuries, things didn't go well in the competitions, and after a series of setbacks and failures, the doubts came. Denisa considered quitting running altogether. But then she discovered running in the mountains for herself.

Denisa Dragomir beim Skyrunning

The first mountain run made it "click

In 2010 Denisa participated in her first mountain race, which she won. This earned her the qualification for the Junior European Championships. Victories and successes on long distances followed. Over the years, Denisa won five bronze medals at the World Long Distance Championships. But it really "clicked" for her when she took her first win in a skyrunning competition.

"I realized I was made for skyrunning. The adrenaline took over my mind. The mountains gave me the new opportunity and challenge I needed, because I didn't want to end my athletic career so soon."

Now she has been competing in what is arguably the most technically demanding discipline of trail running for more than seven years and she is far from tired of it. The racing circus takes her to ever new venues. She is fascinated by the different challenges of the various routes. "Trail running is more than sport. For me, it's about always discovering new mountains, understanding them and respecting them at the same time."

Patience leads Denisa to success in trail running

Even if Denisa is constantly testing her own limits, she knows that it doesn't help to want too much or to rush things. Because even for an exceptional mountain runner like her, success comes only after lots of training. "Running taught me that you have to approach everything gradually and with a lot of patience. I learned and experienced firsthand what each workout means, how to achieve your goals, and most importantly, how each mistake can help you become a better version of yourself."

That's why, even after successes, she stays focused on the next race. She doesn't follow any special rituals at the start, just tries to focus as best as she can on what's in front of her and why she's at the start. Her mental strength makes her one of the most successful trail athletes in skyraces, competitions that take place at altitudes above 2,000 meters and on which parts of the course climb more than 30 percent.

Denisa Dragomir beim Laufen auf dem Trail

Skyrunning crown after five victories

Finally, in 2021, Denisa was crowned champion of the Skyrunning World Series and world champion in skyrunning. Behind her were five victories in exciting landscapes and in front of fascinating backdrops, such as the Hochkönigman or the Limone Skyrace. And a lot can be expected from her in the coming years - not only in competitions, but also in her own projects.

For example, she amazed with a best time of only 1:52 hour over three 2500 meter peaks in her home country Romania. "I love this sport. Every day I run is a joy. Every day I have the chance to become a better version of myself and learn from my own mistakes. And I can share my experience with people who are just starting out like athletes who want to reach their goals."

Denisa Dragomir in a nutshell:

Sport type:Trail Running
Birthday:August 22, 1992
Height:165 cm
Born in:Câmpulung Muscel, Romania
Place of residence:Brasov, Romania
Instagram:About 6400 followers
Achievements:World and European champion skyrunning, 5 x bronze mountain running world championships long distance.

With this shoe skyrunning champ Denisa Dragomir runs:


The MTL (Merrell Test Lab) is all about radical innovations that enable athletes from the Merrell Trail Team to run even faster and longer.

The LONG SKY 2 accompanies Denisa uphill and downhill. It was developed for trail running: To withstand constantly changing conditions and different surfaces, it is quick-drying, breathable and, with its FloatPro Foam midsole, lightweight yet incredibly comfortable.

RRP: 130 euros