Nikki Kimball to race the 150km Richtersveld Wildrun™

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Nikki Kimball, current female champion of the 254km Marathon des Sables and three-time Western States 100 miler winner will be taking part in the four day, 150km Richtersveld Wildrun™ held during the first week of June 2015 in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in South Africa.

Website HERE

Kimball, a resident of Boseman, Montana in the USA, is one of the most respected female ultra-runners in the world and her presence at the Richtersveld Wildrun™ is a fantastic opportunity for top South African runners to measure themselves against one of the best in the world.  

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A few of Kimball’s achievements include:

  • 1st female at Western States 100 miler in 2004, 2005 and 2007 (the only woman to win this race three times)
  • 1st female at the 166km Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2007
  • 1st female at her first ever attempt at the 7 day, 251km Marathon des Sables 2014.
  • The women’s supported speed record for completing the iconic Long Trail, a 438km hiking trail in Vermont, Canada. It took her 5 days, 7 hours and 42 minutes – one of the fastest five runners to accomplish this feat. 

Closer to home, Nikki finished the Comrades Marathon in 2010 in an impressive 7:26:37. She is over the moon to return to South Africa before she heads to another Western States 100 later this year:

“South Africa has had a special place in my heart since 2010 when I visited the country with teammates Kami Semick and Michael Wardian to race Comrades Marathon and raise money for Vukukhanye, an AIDS orphan charity in Chesterville near Durban,”   

While the distance of the Richtersveld Wildrun™ is what Kimball is used to racing non-stop, she is excited by the opportunity to explore the truly unique landscape of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – one of only 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world.

 “During my one and only visit to South Africa in 2010, we never reached the lands near the border of Namibia.  Each of us wanted to explore the stark beauty of this area, and my one regret from our trip was the fact that we did not tour this area.  Thus when given the chance to run Richtersveld Wildrun™, I had to change my race schedule to include this amazing event.  I cannot wait to play in the arid beauty of this rocky, hilly, truly wild piece of Africa!”

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View image galleries of

Richtersveld Wildrun™  HERE

About the Richtersveld Wildrun™ 

The 150km Richtersveld Wildrun™ takes place in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park over four days from 2 to 5 June. Starting and finishing at Sendelingsdrif, runners will get to experience a world of geological splendour. From the heights of Hellkloof pass, to the granite slabs of Tatasberg, the green swathe of the Orange River, the gargoyles of Halfmens Ridge and the crystal fields of the Sendelingsdrif plateau – every kilometre is unforgettable and participants are sure to leave the Richtersveld changed people.  The Richtersveld experience is unlike any other in the world. Botanically, this area holds 40% of the world’s succulent species, many with incredible adaptations to the harsh mountain desert environment.

Wildrun™ stage races have become known as some of Southern Africa’s premier multi-day trail running events, and Owen Middleton, founder and managing director of the organising company, Wildrunner, is proud to see the interest in Wildrun™ events shaping up internationally, particularly with top-class runners such as Kimball.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Nikki on the start line this year! I have no doubt she will be enthralled and inspired by the magnificence of the Richtersveld mountains, the people and the event,” says Owen. “The Wildrun™ events offer a unique opportunity to run in truly wild places together with a limited field of 80 other adventurous and likeminded people.” 

Since its inception in 2014, the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has had amazing support from Boundless Southern Africa and marketing manager, Roland Vorwerk was equally excited about Kimball’s decision to join this adventure.

“We are looking forward to Nikki joining the field of runners experiencing the unique natural and cultural landscape of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and meeting the communities associated with this innovative event. The Richtersveld Wildrun™ route includes many of the Park’s most spectacular features, and includes trails that very few people get to traverse.”

Peter McKuchane, general manager of Business Tourism in the Northern Cape said:

“We are excited to once again host the Richtersveld Wildrun™ and to welcome exceptional world-class athletes of the calibre of Nikki Kimball to our province. Athletes will have an opportunity to experience the incredible beauty and warm hospitality of the people of the Northern Cape.  The vast openness and rugged landscapes of this remote corner of the Northern Cape will create unforgettable memories for the participating athletes and visitors. We wish all the participants the best of luck in this destination of Extreme Adventure, Nature and Culture.”

MSIG Sai Kung 50 Skyrunning Continental Championships – Race Preview

Continental Logo

Skyrunning goes global! Normally we would be previewing the first race in the Skyrunner® World Series in April with the prospect of Transvulcania or Zegama-Aizkorri looming around the corner. Not in 2015! More races, more places and now, the chance to count an extra race in the ranking.

The successful 5/5/5 formula (VK, Sky and Ultra) stays where three results from five count but now you must include a fourth race from the Continental Championships. Step in the MSIG Sai Kung 50 in Hong Kong.

3+1Taking place on February 7th, Michael Maddess from Action Asia has assembled a high quality field that will do battle on the trails of Sai Kung after starting in Pak Tam Chung Picnic Garden. Rest assured, this race will be no picnic!

A ranking race this early in the Skyrunning season is extremely significant when one is looking to contest the Skyrunner® World Series. Early points provide a great platform on which to build a season and this is reflected with the presence of Marco De Gasperi, Elisa Desco, Kasie Enman, Tom Owens, Fulvio Dapit, Stephanie Jiminez, Alesandra Carlini, Vlad Ixel, Samir Temang, Luke Nelson, Blake Hose, Dong Li, Yan Long Fei, Mira Rai and so many more.

Two races are on offer

28km SKYRACE and the 50km ULTRA SKYMARATHON.

The SKYRACE has 1954m of vertical gain and 1941m of loss and a maximum elevation of 408m. The ULTRA SKYMARATHON has 2810m of elevation gain ad 2781m of elevation loss. Race director, Michael Maddess says,

This 50km course is tough & we believe one of the toughest 50km course in Hong Kong yet one of the most spectacular beautiful courses in Asia.”

Winning times in 2014 for the 50km event were 4:51:05 for Rudy Gilman (USA) and 6:00:59 for Cassie Scallon (USA).

PREVIEW

When a race field contains past champions, world champions and a plethora of rising talent, we know the action in Hong Kong is going to be incredible.

MEN

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Yan Long Fei (50km) just the other weekend won Hong Kong 100 in 9:52. A 2:15 marathon runner, Yan must be an outright favourite for racing here at Sai Kung. Providing he has recovered? It’s a justifiable question mark.

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Marco de Gasperi (28km) needs no introduction to anyone. When in form he is an unstoppable force on any mountain course. A long time sparring partner for Kilian Jornet, Marco’s presence in Hong Kong is extremely exciting and he will be a hot favourite. Marco had a mixed 2014 with injury niggles and we sincerely hope he has been able to get fit and healthy over winter.

Vlad Ixel (50km) also ran at Hong Kong 100 but twisted an ankle just before the race; this hampered any possibility to contest the front of the race. Vlad is a fast runner who is slowly but surely making his presence felt in all the races he runs. In 2014 he spent time in Europe, which opened his eyes to the challenges that European racing brings. He will be focused on the podium at Sai Kung.

Blake Hose (50km) surprised everyone at the Skyrunning World Championships in the middle of 2014 when he placed 6th overall. In actual fact, the whole Australian Skyrunning team was a revelation. Eager to impress, Blake will look at Sai Kung as an incredible opportunity and I know that he has plans to spend time in Europe in 2015; watch out!

©iancorless.com.IMG_6959Transvulcania14Luke Nelson (50km) loves the mountains and excels at the 100-mile distance. He has been a regular at Transvulcania and has placed consistently well at Speedgoat 50k. Over the winter he has had an expended period in Patagonia, so it’s fair to assume that Luke will be in great shape.

©iancorless.com_Nepal2014_7-1046Samir Tamang (50km) placed 2nd at the TDS (UTMB sister race) and I was fortunate to watch him race day-in and day-out at the Everest Trail Race in November. He’s a super talented athlete who loves the mountains. He will be a fierce competitor at Sai Kung and don’t be surprised if he contests the podium looking for the top spot. 

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Fulvio Dapit (50km) is a regular in races all over the world. A Skyrunner in the purest form, Fulvio has experience and endurance that will play into his hands on a tough course here in Hong Kong.

David Byrne (50km)

What excites me most about racing in Hong Kong is the opportunity to test myself against top class athletes on a course that’s steep and technical. I’ve heard a lot of great things about trail running in Hong Kong and the awesome running culture there, so to experience it first hand will be special.”

David is a fast man! A 29-minute 10k confirms this. Explosive speed and strength is not always a guarantee for success on tough, mountainous and technical courses, however, David has won the Six Foot Track back in Australia. One to watch!

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens (28km)

“I’m very excited about racing in Hong Kong, especially in Sai kung, where the trails look great. It will be nice to get some warmer weather (it’s been very wet and dark in Scotland) and kick start the 2015 Skyrunning campaign with an early season race.”

Tom is one of the UK’s top fell, mountain and Skyrunners. In previous years he has excelled, in particular, 2012 and 2014. Unfortunately 2013 was a troubled year with injury but Tom is back. When in form, he can push Kilian Jornet all the way to the line and although Sai Kung comes early in the year, Tom is fit and therefore has great potential for top honours.

Martin Gaffuri (28km) moved up the ISF rankings in 2013 with a series of strong and consistent performances. However, 2014 was a troubled year. Early success at Tarawera and a good run at the Skyrunning World Championships were never really followed up with stellar performances of the previous year. With some time away from the sport and racing, it will be interesting to see if Martin has recharged his batteries for the 2015 season.

Ones to watch – Male

  • Marco Sturm
  • Mohamad Affindi Nudin
  • Chou Pin Chi
  • Dai Matsumoto
  • You Peigui

LADIES

©iancorless.com_IMG_1042Zegama14Elisa Desco (28km) is the current Skyrunning World Champion and along with a string of high profile performances in 2014 is without doubt a hot favourite for victory in Hong Kong. However, Elisa will not have things her own way!

©iancorless.com-0556Kima2014_Kasie Enman (50km)

I am excited to kick off the 2015 Skyrunning Season with the MSIG Sai Kung 50.  I finished up my 2014 racing season mid-September with a 2nd place overall ranking in the Skyrunning Ultra Series, then took a couple months of down time in my training and racing to recuperate and enjoy time with my family at home in Vermont (Northeast USA, near the Canadian border).  I am excited to have the opportunity to come to Hong Kong to see the trails and meet the trail runners here.  It will be my first time visiting and running in Asia.”

Kasie deciding to race this early in the season can only mean one thing, early season points and the opportunity to gain a foothold in the Skyrunner® World Series. Kasie had a great 2014 running strong at Zegama-Aizkorri, Speedgoat 50k and taking victory at Trofeo Kima.

Wyan Chow Pui Yan (50km) won the recent HK100 and therefore like Long Yan Fei and Dong Li, powers of recovery will be tested. Ryan has recently quit the police force to be a full time trainer and therefore allow her more time for recovery and racing. It’s an interesting and exciting prospect to see how she performs against some of the worlds best Skyrunners.

Dong Li (50km) also heads up the local talent and placed 2nd at the HK100 in 12:39 just two weeks ago. Sai Kung coming so close to HK100 will almost certainly leave Dong Li feeling a little jaded and therefore racing some of the top female Skyrunners in the world may well push her to her limits. But the talent is there for all to see.

©iancorless.com-0303Kima2014_Alesandra Carlini (50km) placed 2nd at Sai Kung in 2014 and followed up her performance with a string of top performances. Considering Allesandra lives on the Italian coast, her ability in the mountains is seriously impressive as we witnessed at Ice Trail Tarentaise and Trofeo Kima. Arguably a stronger field is assembled for 2015, however, Allesandra has the potential to contest the podium.

Mira Rai (50km) from Nepal is a previous winner of HK50 and placed 2nd at Lantau 50. All great credentials for a top performance here in Sai Kung.

Lucy Bartholomew (50km)

“Don’t think about it as one big chunk of a run. For me I break it down into checkpoints and make it into achievable amounts! It’s never going to be easy but the key is to find happiness in the toughness of it because when you get to the top it’s worth it!”

Lucy is the junior Skyrunning World Champion and so therefore Sai Kung will be a steep learning curve for the young Australian. Coached by Emelie Forsberg, Lucy is a rising star in the sport.

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Stephanie Jiminez (28km) is a last minute entry to the race and is always a force to be reckoned with. Consistently strong on VK courses and SKY distances races, Stephanie can push the pace and the competition to the edge.

Ones to watch – Female

  • Hsiao Shiang Chong
  • Ho JoChun
  • Shiho Iwadate

All the action starts in the early hours of Saturday February 7th.

You can follow our reports and stories on this website.

 Facebook and on Twitter @talkultra

Race website HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Skyrunning Twitter feed @skyrunning_com

Skyrunning Facebook page HERE

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SALOMON S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET and SALOMON S-LAB SENSE SET

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A new year and new products! Nothing is more eagerly awaited than a new offering from Salomon and today I take a look at two new race vests from the French brand, the S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET and the S-LAB SENSE SET.

Race vests have become the norm in racing now and it’s east to see why. When the product works (and some don’t) they fit like a piece of clothing, they don’t move, they cause no chaffing and they provide easy and immediate access to everything you need while still pushing the pace. I honestly don’t know who first came up with the ‘vest’ concept, what I do know is I always remember Kilian Jornet finishing and winning UTMB and holding his vest above his head!

Salomon vests and the S-LAB ADV SKIN HYDRO 12 SET can be seen in long distance races all over the world. Tweaked from one model to the next and the current incarnation has moved away from using a bladder to front mounted soft flasks. With a huge capacity, it’s often considered as one of the most ideal packs to hold all mandatory kit for a long distance race. The pack is lighter and utilises all the key features that one needs including that snug form fitting hold on the body. However, 12L capacity is not needed for shorter and faster races.

Enter the S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET and the S-LAB SENSE SET.

It’s unusual in a review that I would review two packs at once, however, these two packs are so similar that a separate review is not necessary. So, I am reviewing the SENSE ULTRA SET and I will note comments and changes as appropriate for the SENSE SET.

So what is the difference? Simple: weight and capacity. The SENSE ULTRA SET has a 3L capacity and weighs a  110g. The SENSE SET has a capacity of 1L and weighs 90g. I am pleased to say that my two test packs are different colours, the 3L is black and the 1L is red. That’s going to make things easier.

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Both packs are identical at the front and differ at the back. This is where capacity is removed or added, so, let’s look at the front first.

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This is a really sweet pack! The layout is great, comfort is awesome and the capacity is ideal for any run when mandatory kit is minimal.

Key features:

Two 500ml soft flasks in two stretch pockets.

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Two dump pockets (open ended but elasticated at the top) at the bottom of the soft flasks

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Two zipper pockets (on each side) with large capacity made from a stretch fabric.

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Open ended stretch pocket on the left shoulder strap above the bottle.

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Zipper pocket on the right shoulder strap above the bottle.

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Adjustable fitting system (left to right) with three upper and lower settings.

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Whistle.

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In Use

I have the M/L fit and it’s quite simply the most comfortable pack I have ever worn. The pack hugs the body, it does not rub and importantly under the armpits and around the neck area the cut is wide to avoid any nasty rubbing.

The soft flasks sit on the chest and do not bounce. You can drink from the bottles without removing them when required, however, I haven’t been able to do that running. I need to stop, lean over, bite the bottle, take a drink and then push on…  Soft flasks and tight fitting stretch pockets make for a tricky combination. The soft flasks and the way they fit on the body are perfect, but trying to add a full bottle back to the pocket can be tricky. With practice it does get easier and a tip is to blow back into the bottle once you have taken a drink. This inflates the bottle and makes it more rigid. I personally have always preferred bottles over bladders and soft flasks and Salomon’s positioning make this combination the best I have tested.

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The upper zipper pocket will fit a phone or a gps device. I personally use and old style waterproof phone when racing and that fits perfectly. However, on training runs I have taken an iPhone 5 in a waterproof casing. So, capacity is ideal. The pocket is tight and stretchy and therefore whatever you put in is held tight with no bounce, another plus!

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On the opposite side the open ended stretch pocket is also large enough to hold a phone but is ideally suited for maybe food items or a music player.

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The two open ended dump pockets on either side of the pack below the bottles are large enough to hold multiple gels and bars and/ or items such as gloves, hat, buff or anything similar. To give you an idea of capacity, I could fit a beanie and gloves in one side and four/ five gels or bars on the other side. Ultimately it means you have plenty of room for energy when racing. Access is dead easy. Just put your hand in and pull the items out.

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The two zipper pockets are the secret weapon on both packs. I am amazed at how spacious these pockets are. Depending on the race you are doing and also dependant on your own personal preferences; the zipper pockets will actually hold a taped seam waterproof jacket in one side and taped seam waterproof trousers in the other side!

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Salomon provided me the  S-LAB HYBRID JACKET and S-LAB HYBRID PANTS (both medium) to test (review to follow later) and these items folded up and fitted in both packs perfectly.

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Considering the SENSE SET pack is only 1L capacity, this is remarkable. Lets just look at the facts, you can fit in:

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Phone
  • 1L of fluid
  • 4-10 bars or gels
  • Hat and gloves
  • and then other extras such as Mp3, space blanket or other small items.

The SENSE ULTRA SET adds extra capacity at the rear in the form of two pockets. The SENSE SET is just a highly breathable and lightweight pack with no extras.

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A ‘kangaroo pocket’ on the on the lower third of the rear of the pack provides an easy access open ended pocket that can be added to or taken from whilst moving. The pocket is quite small and would take a windproof jacket or food items.

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The mesh back panel is actually two layers and makes an open ended deep pocket that can actually be accessed without removing the pack. It’s surprisingly roomy and should you decide not to add a jacket and trousers to the zipper pockets, this pocket can hold both items. Yes, it’s that roomy!

When running, it was easy to reach over, place my hand in the pocket and pull out my jacket. Of course, it was easier to do this if I stopped BUT this vest is very much designed about moving fast and light. It’s a performance product and as such, should you have the need to be quick… this product will allow you that comfort!

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I have reviewed many products and last year I reviewed the stripped down inov-8 race vest (review here). This for me was a great product. I loved the feel of it, I loved the capacity and I loved its usability when running. For me though, Salomon have upped the game with the SENSE ULTRA SET and the SENSE SET and produced two sublime products that are a joy to wear and use.

Considering the minimal differences between the two vests, I would almost certainly recommend that the SENSE ULTRA SET is the ideal purchase. From Salomon’s perspective, it almost feels an indulgence to have a 1L and 3L version. The added cost and added capacity of the 3L makes far more long term sense for me and lets face it, if you are running really long races, you will probably have the 12L product (or similar) anyway.

On a final note, I am seriously impressed with the capacity of both packs. The SENSE SET at 1L holds a ridiculous amount of kit for something so minimal that I question if 1L capacity is correct? The SENSE ULTRA SET wouldn’t hold all the required items for a race like UTMB but it wouldn’t come far off if you were keeping items to a minimum. That said, the SENSE ULTRA SET makes a perfect and ideal pack for racing any distance (even 100-miles) when all you need is some liquid, food, jacket, trousers, hat, gloves, space blanket, phone and a few other small items. It’s arguably the perfect pack!

Pros:

  1. Soft flasks are a dream
  2. Capacity on the front of both packs is incredible
  3. Zipper pocket is great for valuable items
  4. Open ended dump pockets great for items that you need all the time – food, hat, gloves and so on.
  5. Zipper pockets have amazing capacity
  6. You could wear the products against your skin
  7. On the SENSE ULTRA SET the rear capacity is superb and a real eye opener
  8. Weight is amazing
  9. Price is good £100 for SENSE ULTRA SET and £85 for SENSE SET

Cons:

  1. Soft flasks can be tricky to get back in the open ended pockets
  2. I am not sure how the pack would fit for lady users. The bottles would potentially sit in just the wrong place?
  3. The ‘kangaroo’ pocket on the SENSE ULTRA SET is small
  4. These are lightweight products and durability ‘may’ be an issue?

Conclusion:

I love these two packs. They actually make wearing a pack a pleasure rather than a chore and that is a real bonus. Capacity is quite mind blowing in both products and the SENSE ULTRA SET makes the most logical purchase choice as it provides more usage options. I actually found it difficult to come up with ‘cons’ for these packs they are that good!

Check out Salomon HERE

 

Salomon LogoSALOMON S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET

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Ultra-lightweight running pack designed by Salomon Athletes. The Salomon S-LAB Sense Ultra Set weighs in at 110g and is designed to carry the bare essentials in absolute comfort with a 3L capacity.

  • Motion fit trail
  • Sensifit
  • Soft twin link
  • 2 zippered pockets
  • 1 chest pocket
  • 2 soft flask
  • Zipper phone pocket
  • 2 stretch pockets
  • Back compartment
  • Kangaroo pocket
  • soft rim
  • Reflective
  • Whistle

SALOMON S-LAB SENSE SET

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Ultra-lightweight running pack designed by Salomon Athletes. The Salomon S-LAB Sense Set weighs in at under 100g and is designed to carry 1L of the absolute bare essentials.

 

  • Motion fit trail
  • Sensifit
  • Soft twin link
  • 2 zippered pockets
  • 1 chest pocket
  • 2 soft flask
  • Zipper phone pocket
  • 2 stretch pockets
  • soft rim
  • Reflective
  • Whistle

Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team announced – IAU World Trail Championships 2015

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Jo Meek at Lakeland 50

News from ©britishathletics.org.uk

A 12-strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland team has been selected for the IAU World Trail Championships, Annecy, France on Saturday 30 May. Ricky Lightfoot, champion in 2013 will lead the team.

Ricky recorded a time of 5:36.03 two years ago but struggled with injury in 2014. When in form, Ricky is an unstoppable force on the trails and he will be looking to build his fitness in the coming months to top the podium in Annecy.  Paul Giblin was the highest placed Briton at the IAU World 100km Championships in Doha last November where he placed 11th, a great performance! Paul also won and broke the course record at the West Highland Way race in 2014. He is going to be one to watch, for sure.

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Also joining the strong senior men’s team will be 2014 Lakeland 50 winner Kim Collison who just this last weekend stormed to victory with Adam Perry at the Marmot Dark MountainsPaul Raistrick was the 2011 Commonwealth Ultra-trail running Championships 12th place finisher. Tom Owens had an incredible return to form in 2014 and placed highly at all the Skyrunner World Championship events. In just over one week, Tom will ine up in Hong Kong for the Sai Kung, the first race in the Skyrunning Continental ChampionshipsLee Kemp will also be endeavouring to place highly in the field and guide the team to a podium placing.

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Jo Meek needs no introduction to readers of this website. I have been talking Jo up ever since meeting her at Marathon des Sables in 2013 and what she has achieved since is quite incredible. In 2014, Jo won the TCC in Costa Rica, won Iznik Ultra, placed 5th at Comrades, won Lakeland 50 and then placed fourth at the IAU World 100km Championships in Qatar. Needless to say Jo is one to watch in Annecy.

Holly Rush will join Jo and after some excellent runs in 2014, in particular a great showing at La Course Templiers (against a strong field) a win at Ultravasen and part of the Asics Outrun the Sun team.  Lizzie Wraith is the Lakeland 100 course record holder and was a recent victor of the 3×3 in the UK. Without doubt, Lizzie will be looking to peak for Annecy. Sarah FawcettSarah Morwood and Bonnie Van Wilgenburg add plenty of experience to the women’s team.

Bonnie Van Wilgenberg at Lakeland 50

Bonnie Van Wilgenberg at Lakeland 50

The full Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the IAU World Trail Championships in Annecy, France:

Senior Men:

Ricky Lightfoot
Paul Giblin
Kim Collison
Tom Owens
Lee Kemp
Paul Raistrick

Senior Women:

Jo Meek
Holly Rush
Sally Fawcett
Lizzie Wraith
Sarah Morwood
Bonnie Van Wilgenburg

Marathon des Sables Hints ‘n’ Tips on RUNULTRA from JoMeek, Danny Kendall and Nikki Kimball

MDS Hints_n_Tips

 

Running the Marathon des Sables or any other multi-day race? Read some of the Hints ‘n’ Tips from Nikki Kimball, winner of the 2014 MDS, Jo Meek, 2nd at the 2013 MDS and winner, course record holder for The Coastal Challenge and Danny Kendall, highest male British finisher, MDS 2014.

The Marathon des Sables dates back to 1984 when a 28-year old Patrick Bauer ventured into the Sahara to traverse solo a 350km journey. It was the ultimate self-sufficient expedition. Lasting 12-days, Patrick carried all he required in a 35kg pack. Inspired by the experience, the first edition was created in 1986; just 23-pioneers embarked on that journey… a journey into the unknown.

Who would have thought those formative years would have laid the foundations for what is, without question, the father of multi-day racing. In 2015 the race is 30-years old. It’s quite remarkable, The MDS as it is known has had memorable moments; in ‘91’ the Gulf drama had an impact on the race, in ‘94’ the arrival of Doc Trotters medical team, in ‘96’ Mohamed Ahansal participated for the first time, in ‘97’ Lahcen Ahansal won his first MDS, in ‘2000’ internet arrived in the Sahara, in ‘01’ the long day exceeded 70km, in ‘02’ a week of sandstorms and wind made the journey extra difficult, in ‘09’ the MDS had flooding and in ‘13’ solar energy arrived.

Much has been written about how to survive at the Marathon des Sables. With the 30th edition looming on the horizon I caught up with previous winner, Nikki Kimball, 2nd placed lady in 2013, Jo Meek and the UK’s highest ever male finisher, Danny Kendall to pass on some words of wisdom.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON RUNULTRA HERE

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Marmot Dark Mountains 2015 – Provisional results and Images

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The heavens opened the day before the Marmot Dark Mountains and the promise of a snowy course disappeared with each rain drop.

In many respects it was a shame. Many, including me, was excited by the prospect of a night time race with cold chilly temperatures, a clear sky and a layer of the white stuff. However, it was not to be!

More importantly, the 2015 Marmot Dark Mountains took place with no rain… yes, no rain! Conditions were less than perfect though. The ground was sodden with the previous days torrential rain and melted snow and although the evening started relatively calm the wind increased hour-by-hour and by the early hours of the morning, the wind and wind chill was having an impact on everyone.

Taking place in the Howgills, runners started to race at 1900-hours with elite duo Alex Pilkington and Tim Higginbottom first off! Kim Collison and Adam Perry departed at1940-hours and it was immediately apparent that they were on a mission!. Completing the top trio, Steve Birkinshaw partnered with Jim Mann and they departed at 2000-hours chasing the other runners down.

What followed was a masterclass of navigation and speedy running from Collison and Perry. They blazed a trail around the Howgills and the ‘projected’ best case scenario finish time of 11-hours was blown out the fells when the finish line dibber confirmed a time of 8-hours and 34-minutes. Quite incredible.

Higginbottom and Pilkington had had some problems early on finding a control. Equally, Birkinshaw and Mann had also had a  problem. However, Birkinshaw said after the race that his form was just not up to running at the required pace. Hardly surprising after his Wainwrights record.

There were four linear courses that follow the standard Elite, A, B and C format of ordinary mountain marathons and two score format courses. Feedback post race was excellent and a dry night on the fells was extremely welcome.

Results below are provisional and will be confirmed by Ourea Events asap.

Elite

1st Kim Collison / Adam Perry 08:34:54

2nd Steve Birkinshaw / Jim Mann 10:41:46

A

1st and 1st Mix Catherine Litherland / Ross Litherland 09:49:54

2nd Andy Thompson / Rob Brown 10:10:35

3rd Chris Baynham-Hughes / Max Wainwright 10:51:05

1st Women and 4th Steph Jones / Sally Ozanne 11:26:51

1st and 1st Vet Bryan Stadden / Andy Creber 09:15:33

2nd and 2nd Vet Tim Martland / Jim Allen 09:51.35

3rd Jamie Rennie / David Rennie 10:02:02

C

1st Greg Weatherhead / Kevin Drew 07:55:21

2nd James Parratt / Neil Garrido 09:21:14

3rd and 1st Mix Emma Van Der Gucht / James Pawson 09:34:30

Long Score

1st David Adcock / Ben Turner 404 in 10:00:33

2nd and 1st Mix Digby Harris / Kirsty Hewitson 295 in 09:55:28

3rd and 1st Female Jo Gillyon / Catherine Evans

4th and 1st Vet Simon Caldwell / Carmen Elphick

Short Score

1st, 1st Mix, 1st Vet Jonathan Aylward / Kate Boobyer 235 in 07:38:37

2nd and 2nd Mix Scott Collier / Anne Edwards 235 in 07:42:15

3rd Darryl Watton and Andy Bell

The Howgill Fells are hills in Northern England between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. The fells are bounded by the River Lune to the north by upper reaches of the River Lune and to the east by the River Rawthey. The Howgill Fells include two Marilyns: The Calf – 2,218 ft (676 m) and Yarlside – 2,096 ft (639 m) and a number of smaller peaks, including five Hewitts. Parts of the southern Howgill Fells lie within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, though they have been within the modern county of Cumbria since the county boundary changes in 1974. They were originally shared by the West Riding of Yorkshire and WestmorlandThe name Howgill derives from the Old Norse word haugr meaning a hill or barrow, plus gil meaning a narrow valley. – wikepedia

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Episode 79 – Amdahl Pascall Kimball

Ep79

Episode 79 of Talk Ultra is another packed show! We speak with HK100 2nd placed runner, Sondre Amdahl. We also speak to the female winner of the UK’s, The Spine, Beth Pascall. Nikki Kimball discusses her incredible 2014 season with victory at Marathon Des Sables, top-5 at Western States Endurance Run and winning Run Rabbit Run. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

00:05:11 NEWS
 
HK100
 
Long-Fei Yan 9:52:42
Sondre Amdahl 9:59:46
Antoine Guillon 10:30:02
Pui Yan Wyan Chow 12:24:56
Dong Li 12:39:54
Lisa Borzani 12:50:38
00:13:27 INTERVIEW
 
Sondre Amdahl check out his website HERE
 
The Spine
 
Pavel Paloncy 79:34 and Beth Pascall 90:59 –  It is the longest non-stop foot race in the UK, set against the unforgiving British winter. 268 miles of ice, snow, cold and savage winds. You have 7 days to complete the race from Edale to Kirk Yetholm.
 
01:08:45 INTERVIEW
 
Beth Pascall
 
HURT 100
 
Michael Arnstein 21:29
Alex Nunn 21:47
Nick Hollon 22:42
Amy Sproston 26:22
Alicia Woodside 28:10
Kiyomi Kuroda 31:22
 
02:04:38 BLOG
Sondre Amdahl – Diagonale des Fous race report – HERE
 
02:05:30 INTERVIEW
 
Nikki Kimball – Finding Traction film HERE
 
03:05:10 UP & COMING RACES
 

Argentina

Columbia Cruce de los Andes | 90 kilometers | February 05, 2015 | website

Queensland

Beerwah at Night – 50 km | 51 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 100km | 100 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 50km | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Chad

TREG | 170 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Chile

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 05, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Coastal Challenge | 250 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

France

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | February 01, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

India

Thar Desert Run – 100 miles | 100 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 135 Miles | 135 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 160 km | 160 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 80 km | 80 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 30, 2015 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2015 | website

New Zealand

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Nicaragua

Survival Run: Nicaragua | 70 kilometers | February 04, 2015 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Thailand

The North Face 100® – Thailand | 100 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

The North Face 100® – Thailand – 50 km Solo | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Lancashire

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Elite Course | 53 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Milton Keynes

Quadzilla | 164 kilometers | February 05, 2015 | website

Surrey

The Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Way Multistage Ultra | 66 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Arizona

Coldwater Rumble 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 24, 2015 | website

Coldwater Rumble – 52K | 52 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Coldwater Rumble – 52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Beeline and Beyond (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Border to Border (15 Marathons) | 405 miles | January 28, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Valley of the Sun (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | January 30, 2015 | website

California

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | January 24, 2015 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Fort Ord Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Ordnance 100K | 100 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Race Across California – Desert Challenge (4 Marathons) | 107 miles | January 23, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy 50km | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Florida

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Skydive Ultra 100M Run | 100 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Skydive Ultra 50 km Run | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Skydive Ultra 50M Run | 50 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 26, 2015 | website

New York

The Beast of Burden Winter 100 Miler | 100 miles | January 24, 2015 | website

North Carolina

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Texas

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile | 100 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Winter Festival Goat 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Winter Festival Goat 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Washington

Lake Youngs NUTS 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Venezuela

Ultra Laguna de Urao | 65 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

 
CLOSE

03:19:19

Links:

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Hernando, Jones and Olson for Transvulcania La Palma 2015

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It’s only January and already the world of Skyrunning is hotting up with the announcement that 2014 Transvulcania La Palma champion and Skyrunning Ultra Distance World Champion, Luis Alberto Hernando will return to the island to defend his crown.

Luis Alberto Hernando had an incredible 2014 and his return to Transvulcania is eagerly anticipated. A true champion, the tough and challenging course is one that he relishes, however, Luis will not have things his own way!

©iancorless.com.IMG_7531Transvulcania14

Salomon Running new signing, Dakota Jones won the race in 2012 and he is back once again to test himself. Dakota raced in 2014 but had a disappointing race (his words) placing 10th. With a new team and definite plan to race theSkyrunner® World Series and Skyrunner® Continental Series, I think it is fair to say that the American will push Luis all the way to the line.

©iancorless.com.IMG_8884Transvulcania14

Timothy Olson loves the trails on the island of La Palma. In the past couple of years he has made the island his families home as he prepares meticulously for the race. Timothy is very clear, a podium place is a main objective. He came close in 2013 with 4th place and last year he placed 8th.

More athletes will be announced in the coming weeks and months as we all anticipate the 2015 Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma.

 Check out the Skyrunner® World Series calander HERE

Check out the Skyrunner®  Continental Series 2015 HERE

Check out Skyrunning HERE

Transvulcania La Palma website HERE

CYCLING for RUNNERS – Article 6 Indoor Intensity

 

Cycling for Runners HEADER2

A new year can be a daunting thing… the excitement and buzz of Christmas is over and suddenly 12-months lie ahead. Many of you may well have already planned early season targets or even objectives for the whole year. However, as I know only too well, for every person who has planned key targets, there will be another person who has planned nothing. So, before you do anything, take some time out and decide on your targets for the coming year. Please remember, these targets do not need to be racing targets. They could be FKT’s, personal projects or even an expedition. Once you have dates in a diary, you will find structuring your training so much easier. It provides perspective!

Did December go well for you?

December can be a tough month. It’s so easy to be distracted and miss training but don’t worry. If you maintained 3-4 sessions per week you are going to be in a great place to build your fitness in 2015.

It goes without saying that if you weren’t injured you will have been out running, be that on the trails or the treadmill. We hope that you managed to include a couple of cycling sessions? Ideally you will have done one easy session spinning the legs to help recovery from running and one ‘faster’ session either on the road or on an indoor trainer to help build stamina and strength

Niandi has been doing several indoor sessions as recovery and she wrote about them HERE

Me? Well you know what, the winter arrived in the UK, the ice came and so did the snow. For me it was perfect. I love running in the cold and snowy conditions. However, cycling outdoors was not an option. Thank goodness for the indoor trainer (Turbo Trainer) and I applied the session we outlined in Article 5 (Here) and I also cycled easy for 30 minutes with a high cadence for recovery.

Here is a summary of the session:

Warm up for 10-minutes ‘spinning’ your legs in an ‘easy’ gear. This is all about getting blood flowing, loosening stiff and/ or tight muscles and preparing for the session ahead.

Session: Perform 2 minutes at 80% of maximum heart rate (keeping cadence on or around 90) – You will need to use your cycling gears to add resistance and provide the necessary difficulty level for you elevate your heart rate. Monitor your HRM with a quality item – We use Suunto Ambit 3 Peak and Ambit 2 units

Recover for 2-minute ‘spinning’ your legs as in the warm up.

Repeat the 2-minute session with 2-minute recovery for an additional 5-times (making a total of 6 in week-1). *In week 2 do 7-repetitions, in week 3 do 8-repetitions and in week 4 do 10-repetitions.

I hit the reps building up the 2-minute intervals over a 4-week period and it felt great.

If you are anything like me, you will not want to loose those gains made over December and January so in February we are going to build with four sessions that you can do indoors or outdoors. 

THE SESSIONS

If you don’t already know, training indoors on a bike is hard; I love it! You have no escape, no rest and your cadence, HRM, legs and sweat rate do not lie. Did I mention sweat! Boy do I sweat indoors. Even with a window open and a fan on me I am like a running tap with water pouring out of me. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated particularly during and after all sessions.

This month we have four sessions for you, one for each week and most of them include the same warm up and warm down. I call this: 5,4,3,2,1.

How does it work?

Your bike gearing will usually have two cogs at the front, for simplicity, we will call this the big ring and the small ring. Typically, a racing bike will have a 52/39 set up. The numbers refer to teeth on the cog. The ‘39’ makes gearing easier in comparison to the ’52.’

shimano-da9000-cset-zoom

At the back you will have a selection of gears, if your bike is relatively new it will probably have 10-cogs.

shimano-da9000-cass-zoom

The rear cogs start small (harder gear) and get larger (easier gear) and step up/ down progressively so that you can maintain an ‘ideal’ cadence (90) irrespective of the terrain. Your rear gearing may look like this:

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25

 The above numbers refer to ‘teeth’ on the rear cogs.

Shimano Dura Ace  press camp 2012 - Kortrijk/Belgium..For example, 39×23 may be used on a steep climb when you need an easier gear or by comparison, if you are riding down a steep hill with the wind behind you, you may use 52×12.

If you are not used to cycle gearing, the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 will help you.

Depending on your experience, strength, fitness and experience. You may do this session on your small ring (easier) at the front of the bike or the big ring (harder.). I do my sessions on the ‘52’ cog. I am an ex cyclist with experience and bike strength and therefore adapted to pushing harder gears. Remember, you are using cycling to enhance running!

Start as follows:

  • 52*x25 for 5 minutes aiming for 90+ cadence
  • 52*x23 for 4 minutes aiming for 90+ cadence
  • 52*x21 for 3 minutes aiming for 90+ cadence
  • 52*x19 for 2 minutes aiming for 90 cadence
  • 52*x17 for 1 minute aiming for 90 cadence

 *Note, if you wanted this gearing to be easier you would replace the ’52’ (big ring) with say a ’39’ (small ring) for example.

By the time you reach the final minute you will be completely warm, your heart rate will have slowly elevated and the gearing will be ‘challenging’ but sustainable. Your heart rate will be in the 70-75% zone of max hear rate.

Now the sessions:

The sessions below can be done on the road or on an indoor trainer. It goes without saying that for such specific sessions, an indoor trainer would be preferable as you can control the whole session. If you do try the sessions outside, you will need a good long stretch of flat road. Undulating roads would make this session impossible.

Hints ‘n’ Tips

  • Use a heart rate monitor. It’s great to get the feedback. I have included my hear rate profiles recorded via my Suunto for the sessions below.
  • Have water handy – you will need it.
  • If training indoors use a fan or train near an open window.
  • Keep your pedalling technique smooth, don’t fight the bike.

Week 1: 40-minute session

©iancorless.com_Scott_Turbo-7662

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 warm up

*Move up 1 additional gear, for me this would be 52×16 and maintain a 90 cadence for 5 minutes. You can expect your heart rate to rise as you maintain the effort.

Drop back down to 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 and repeat the warm up – this loosens the legs and adds souplesse.

Repeat the above set* but in the final minute push really hard to maximal effort. At the end of the final minute you will have a good idea of your maximum hear rate (MHR).

Cool down with 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 but in reverse finishing with just 1 minute in the easiest gear. This works as a great cool down.

Week 1 heart rate data - Ian Corless

Week 1 heart rate data – Ian Corless

Week 2: 1-hour session

©iancorless.com_Scott_Turbo-7635

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 warm up

*Stay in the final gear you used for the 1-minute in the warm up and maintain a 90+ cadence for 30 minutes building your effort throughout the session.

Cool down with 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 but in reverse finishing with just 1 minute in the easiest gear. This works as a great cool down.

Week 2 heart rate data - Ian Corless

Week 2 heart rate data – Ian Corless

Week 3: 40-minute session

©iancorless.com_Scott_Turbo-7675

4, 3, 2, 1 warm up (we miss the 5-min section this time)

Move up 1 additional gear, for me this would be 52×16 and maintain a 90 cadence for 4-minutes and then step up 1-gear (for me this is 52×15) and work hard for 1-minute. At the end of 1-minute drop back down one gear, for me 52×16 and repeat 4min/ 1min for four more times (total five repetitions)

Cool down with 5-minutes spinning in your start gear, for me, this would be 52×25

Week 3 heart rate data - Ian Corless

Week 3 heart rate data – Ian Corless

Week 4: 1-hour session

©iancorless.com_Scott_Turbo-7659

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 warm up

Move up 1 additional gear, for me this would be 52×16 and maintain a 90 cadence for 4-minutes and then step up 1-gear (for me this is 52×15) and work hard for 1-minute. At the end of 1-minute drop back down one gear, for me 52×16 and repeat 4min/ 1min for five more times (total six repetitions)

Cool down with 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 but in reverse finishing with just 1 minute in the easiest gear. This works as a great cool down.

Week 4 heart rate data - Ian Corless

Week 4 heart rate data – Ian Corless

NOTE: The above cycling sessions would replace a faster run session in each week and I would still recommend one or even maybe two other cycle sessions per week for recovery. On the recovery sessions just use an easy gear and ‘spin’ with 90+ cadence. Make sure you drink if training indoors, it gets really hot!

©iancorless.com_Scott_Turbo-7619

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ShAFF OIA Industry Hangout – Ian Corless shortlisted

ShAFF-Logo_2012

This year’s Industry Hangout looks to build on the success of last year’s, bringing together more industry professionals from a range of film makers, photographers, media and commissioning organisations.

This year’s Industry Hangout will also feature the first year of an annual award for Contribution to Adventure Film and Photography. Images, both moving and static, have become increasingly important in the outdoor industry and the award looks to recognise outstanding contribution in the calendar year Jan 1stDecember 31st 2014. While there are multiple awards for individual films it is hoped that this new award will encompass not just film makers and photographers but also those working to promote and distribute adventure film and photography. The award is sponsored by the Industry Hangout sponsors, the Outdoor Industries Association, and features a custom made bowl designed and made by legendary climber Johnny Dawes. The award will be presented at the beginning of the hangout by OIA CEO Andrew Denton.

Voting for the award is only open to industry professionals invited to the Industry Hangout with a shortlist of nominees drawn up after extensive consultation throughout the industry.

Check out the ShAFF website HERE

“Needless to say I am really honoured and flattered to be shortlisted for an award. I guess I am also somewhat embarrassed to be called a ‘legend’ as I am definitely not and it also makes me feel old! All of the names below are well known within the adventure world and for me to be associated let alone shortlisted is extremely satisfying. I love what I do and I do what I love.” – Ian Corless

The Shortlist:

Martyn Ashton: For Road Bike Party 2

Martyn Ashton is often described as a mountain biking legend and has been credited with turning trials from a niche form of riding into the sport it is today. After the phenomenal success of his Road Bike Party, Martyn was working on the sequel when an accident during a trials display  left him paralyzed from the waist down. Not giving up however Martyn completed Road Bike Party 2 with the help of  Danny MacAskill and Chris Akrigg. “Road Bike Party 2″ was released on 10/Dec/2013, and like the first episode became a success making it one of the most influential bike films of 2014 with more than 7.5 Millions views and 66.000 likes in the first month alone.

BMC TV: For adventure film and photography distribution

Over the last year the BMC has really embraced the digital world and through their BMC TV channel have both commissioned and made accessible a range of videos covering all aspects of the outdoors. Through sponsorship the BMC has helped finance films on hill walking, climbing and mountaineering throughout 2014 and has provided a platform for several exclusive projects.

Ian Burton: For As the Crow Flies

Ian Burton broke the stranglehold of Alastair Lee and Paul Diffley in picking up the coveted People’s Choice Award at Kendal Mountain Festival for his film As the Crow Flies. With no chance of re-shoots in a constantly moving expedition from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in a straight line Ian used the latest technology to shoot through the night on record breaking kayak legs and created the atmosphere and feeling of an exhausting project. The finished film reaffirms the value of “live” expedition filming after a period of more “glossy” productions taking the awards

Lisa Cook: For promotion of adventure film and photography

The most reluctant nominee on the shortlist Lissa Cook handles publicity and promotion for a portfolio of clients that put adventure film and photography in fron of literally tens of thousands of people annually. As PR for Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, Buxton Adventure Festival, Steep Edge and the European Outdoor Film Tour Lissa probably watches more films a year than anybody in the country and is instrumental in the organisation of the festivals themselves.

Ian Corless: For adventure photojournalism

Another legend in his sport, Ian Corless is the name trail and ultra runners turn to whenever they want the latest news, views, reviews and interviews from around the world. With 78 episodes already produced, Ian’s Talk Ultra is the most respected podcast available for runners and his Skyrunning reports have been groundbreaking. As a photographer, journalist, and broadcaster Ian Corless has been the pre-eminent name in endurance running in 2014

Alastair Lee: For the Brit Rock Tour

2014 saw multiple award winning film maker Alastair Lee take a new direction; taking a series of short films on tour around the UK rather than a single “blockbuster” as in the previous 3 years. The response was astounding with packed audiences up and down the country following the Rheged Premiere. With over 5000 “bums on seats” the tour broke all known records for an adventure film tour. Through co-hosting with community groups the tour also helped raise funds for numerous causes including Mountain Rescue.

Steep Edge/Vertebrate Publishing: For Distribution of adventure film and photography

Since joining the Vertebrate stable Steep Edge has rapidly become the dominant distribution platform for downloading and streaming adventure films, froviding access via computer and mobile to hundreds of films for thousands of people. Covering a wide range of sports and activities Steep Edge regularly update with the latest trends and most watched films promoted through social media. Vertebrate Publishing, meanwhile, have continued their domination of the outdoor book market and produced the stunning Jon Griffith volume Alpine Exposures.

John Summerton: For promotion of adventure photography

When John Summerton and his team produced the first edition of Sidetracked magazine the whole adventure world took notice. In a single issue the publication changed the face of adventure publishing, raising the bar on content and production quality. Universally acclaimed the magazine has gone on to build on its initial success with equally high standard second and third issues.

Stu Thompson: For The Ridge

With over 27 and a half million hits The Ridge has been the adventure hit of the year. The stunning film of Danny MacAskill taking on the infamous Cuillin Ridge on Skye took the world by storm and cemented Stu Thompson and Cut Media’s position as one of the world’s leading film producers. Taking on the natural features of the knife edge ridge as opposed to man made obstacles opened up the film to a new audience of outdoor enthusiasts and maintained MacAskills position as a world leader.

Lukasz Warzecha: For Wild Women

Where do you start with trying to recount the influence of Lukasz Warzecha in 2014? From amazing images from the Ice Climbing World Cup to a National Geographic assignment on Skye his images his been everywhere. In producing the Wild Wome series, however, he highlighted the talents of some of the UKs leading female adventure athletes while encouraging greater participation in front of and behind the lens.