About talkultra

Talk Ultra is an ultra running podcast created by and hosted by Ian Corless. Ian is a runner, writer, photographer, blogger and reporter on all things to do with ultra running. This can be race reporting, interviewing, photographing, podcasting or reviewing equipment. Talk Ultra is a one stop resource for the ultra running world. www.talkultra.com

Tromsø SkyRace 2014 – Join Kilian and Emelie

 

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Imagine it… who would you most like to design a Skyrunning course? I for one would say, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. I’d then pinch myself and say, ‘nah, that will never happen. For sure they have the passion but they just won’t have the time!’

How wrong could I be!

Mark the date in your diary, September 6th 2014. The inaugural Tromsø SKYRACE will take place.

Tromso Skyrace logo

‘We wanted to start small and grow the event’ Emelie said in a recent interview. ‘Starting at sea level, the route will climb up three peaks on an out and back course  - Tromsdalstinden (1238m), Hamerokken (1404m) and then Tromsdalstinden again but via a different route.’

Tromsdalstinden: 1238m  Sálašoaivi or Sálaščohkka, is an iconic summit visible from Tromsø. The trail to climb the summit is not really technical, with a first part on grass hills and then a rocky large ridge. The downhill is on a steeper rocky trail before easy zig zags trail to the hut. The views from the summit, with Tromsø city and the fjords on the north and Hamperokken and Lyngen on the south made this mountain one of the most gorgeous landscapes of the area. 

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Hamperokken: 1404m Gáranasčohkka, is the highest mountain peak on the mainland peninsula west of the Ullsfjorden. The trail to climb the mountain starts around sea level and climbs to 1000m on a easy grass and rock slope to the first summit of the ridge, then it follows a 5 kilometers rocky ridge with some easy technical passages that can require to put the hands (mostly if it’s wet or raining!) Last 50m to the summit are a short scrambling to the top. The downhill is on a loose rock steep couloir until reach the valley. The summit designs a long ridge culminated by a thin characteristic aiguille. Being on the center of Ullsfjorden, the views of Lyngen on the east and all the Tromsø mountains around gives us a big wilderness feeling.

Racing over the classic distance of 42km’s, the course will have an elevation gain of 4300m. Grassy mountains, rocky ridges; Kilian clicked through images on his phone and showed me some of the more technical sections. ‘It’s a beautiful route’ he says, ‘it has some technical ridge running and the most amazing views. Emelie and I have run over this area many times and we knew we just had to have a race here!’

©iancorless.comIMG_5341Canazei2014

It’s very different organising a race to running one but Emelie assured me, ‘we have a great team in place. You know, we are already race directors as we put on a Skimo race in Lyngen (north Norway) during the winter. However, if possible, both Kilian and myself will run the Tromso Skyrace; I will do the shorter race and Kilian will run the longer event.’

With just 100-places available, other elites runners will hopefully take part but that is not a priority. The dynamic duo want to encourage, promote and endorse running to a community of runners who may well have not attempted or completed such an event before. It’s about giving something back to the sport and I for one know only too well that the 100-places available will be gone in a flash…

Dakota Jones for example has just been announced as a participant in the first race.

Tromso is an island located within the Arctic Circle and in September the Northern Lights will illuminate the sky. Imagine it; rugged mountains, beautiful fjords and a race second to none with an epic backdrop.

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Emelie can’t contain her excitement as we speak, ‘It’s going to be so special and super exciting!’ Kilian concurs, ‘It will be an epic race and one that will grow. We love Skyrunning and the Tromso Skyrace will echo all that is good in a Skyrunning race.’

I joke with Emelie, ‘I assume the aid stations may well be the best in any race I have witnessed?’

Laughing Emelie replies, ‘For sure, the aid stations will be great but cinnamon buns and Yogi Tea will welcome every runner as they cross the line.’

Cinnamon Buns

Images ©tromsoskyrace

Details:

ENTER HERE

ENTRY OPENS 27th JULY at 19OO (Norway time)

6 – 7 SEPTEMBER 2014

Tromso, Norway
69° North
Skyrace 42km-4300m
Miniskyrace 19km-1600m

An ECO RACE – We are lucky to run in such wild nature, and for this we need to take care to keep this area wild and clean. When we run, we will keep need this in mind. We will try our best to keep the route clean. We will mark the course with biodegradable tape, just in case some is blown away by the wind or by any accident left behind. Aid stations will only be by huts and road crossings and will use reusable glasses. We will not have any paper publications, to protect the forests.

Race WebsiteHERE

FacebookHERE

Montane ready to tackle the Lakeland 100 and 50 2014

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This weekend will see the famous MONTANE® Lakeland 100 / 50 ultra distance races take place. With over 1,100 entrants and a strong, competitive field, this year’s race is certain to raise pulses – not just amongst the runners.

©Press release by Montane

The epic ML100 race starts from the John Ruskin School in Coniston on Friday 25 July, while the shorter, speedier ML50 sets off from Dalemain on Saturday 26 July. The 50-mile event this year is a British Athletics Ultra Trail Championship event and will without doubt see some fast racing from the top ladies and top men. Will course records be broken?

Several Team Montane members will be participating and hopes are high for spots on the podium.  Stepping up to the endurance ML100 will be Debbie Martin-Consani and Steven Major.  Both have tackled the event before, however, as veterans of the course will readily admit, prior experience doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.

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Debbie is an experienced ultra distance runner with various podium finishes under her belt, amongst which finishing 1st in the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race in both the ladies and overall categories.  She has also been selected to run for Team GB for the International Association of Ultrarunners.  In 2013’s ML100, Debbie finished with a very respectable time of 26:02:00 in the ladies category, second only to Lizzie Wraith, who smashed the course record by just over 4 hrs 30 mins.

Steven took up running originally to fundraise for his son’s football team.  His first race was a 5 mile local fun run: “I found the run quite difficult, not having done enough training, but even so I got round in one piece and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie between other fun runners and organisers.  After experiencing this, I thought ‘I want to run it again’”.  Since that first 5 mile run, Steven has run longer, more difficult trail races.  This will be his third ML100.

The ML50, although it uses the second half of the ML100 course, is a completely different event.  Competitors are more tightly bunched together and competition is generally fiercer as the race distance is shorter.  Whereas ML100 participants take on average 30 hours to complete the course (the record stands at 19:50:37), the ML50 racers cross the finish line on average after 16 hours.  The current course record is 07:39:26.

Team Montane members Marcus ScotneyTony Holland and Stuart Mills are raring to compete and there will be fireworks aplenty!  All three have competed in either the ML100 or ML50 before – Stuart has previously focused on the ML100, Tony has experience of competing in both distances and Marcus has participated in the ML50.

©iancorless.com.IMG_5376IZNIK2014Marcus began running in 1994 and took on his first ultra marathon in 2008.  He has run trail, fell and road races and now concentrates on trail.  A high achiever, Marcus has numerous race wins to his name, most recently a stunning victory in the 130km Iznik Ultra in Turkey.  He returns to the ML50 after having to pull out of 2013’s race: “DNF’d at 28miles suffered with chest pain was like running up hill whilst running down down hill & breathing through a straw”.

Tony was propelled into the world of running in 2010 after being inspired by his son, who has Down’s Syndrome and regularly fundraises for the Northumberland Down’s Syndrome Support Group & Disability Activity through his running.  Initially a means of fundraising for Tony, it has transformed his life.  He is a regular on the trail running race circuit and last year set up his own specialist running store, http://www.ultra-runner.com/.  In 2012, Tony took on the ML100, but was forced to withdraw at checkpoint 9 of 14.  In 2013 he was back to tackle the ML50 and completed the course in a time of 12:18:49.  This year he will be on the start line once again for the ML50.

Finally, after winning the 2013 & 2010 ML100, legendary runner Stuart Mills will try his hand at the ML50.  He joined his local running club at the age of 14 and began training in earnest in 1978.  He ran his first marathon in Rotorua, New Zealand aged 17.  Stuart’s wealth of experience has led him to a set of core race tactics: “Run as fast as I can, while I can!”

But whether all or none of our fantastic Team Montane runners cross the finish line, one thing’s for sure – this year’s race will be electric.

For further information on the Montane Lakeland 100 / 50, click here

Marmot24™ and Marmot Dark Mountains™ get Petzl sponsorship

Lyon Equipment, the distributors of Petzl in the UK and Ireland, has today announced a wide-ranging new sponsorship deal with Ourea Events. The agreement will see Petzl, the Worlds leading headlamp brand, becoming an event partner for both Marmot24™ and Marmot Dark Mountains™.
Both races involve lots of nocturnal action and Petzl, with it highly innovative headlamp range, makes a logical partner for these events. Marmot24™ consists of 24-hours non-stop mountain marathon racing and the inaugural race takes place at the beginning of August in the Lake District. Marmot Dark Mountains™ is firmly established as one of the most serious and challenging mountain races in the UK, with dusk to dawn racing in January each year. Both events require competitors to navigate, race and remain safe in the mountains at night.
In addition to become an event partner for these two prestigious races, Petzl will also become a supporting sponsor for the Dragon’s Back Race™, Berghaus Trail Chase™, Great Lakeland 3Day™, Cape Wrath Ultra™ and the Rab Mountain Marathon™.  This wide ranging new sponsorship will strongly associated Petzl with many of the leading mountain running events in the UK for the next three years.
Shane Ohly, Managing Director of Ourea Events said, “Petzl products are superb and their headlamps are a natural companions to our events, which often challenge product and people in equal measure!”
Image ©iancorless.com - Marmot Dark Mountains

Image ©iancorless.com – Marmot Dark Mountains

He continued, “I fondly remember my first Petzl Zoom headtorch in the early 1990’s and don’t think I have been without a Petzl headtorch of some kind since then. With such a wide and innovative range of headlamps there is definitely an appropriate Petzl product for all our competitors at all our different events”. I am looking forward to working with Lyon Equipment and Petzl”.
Martin Bergerud, Brand Manager for Petzl at Lyon Equipment added, “We are genuinely excited to be linked to and working with Ourea Events as Event Partners on the Marmot 24 and Marmot Dark Mountain Marathon and as supporting sponsors to all their other current and future iconic events that they organise. They deliver eye exciting yet challenging events where having dependable and practical product designed for the task are key, an ideal playground for Petzl”.
For more than 30 years Petzl has led the way in as an innovator in the research, design and manufacture of quality headlamps. From humble beginnings, when Fernand Petzl fashioned the first helmet-mounted light for caving, headlamps were refined over time, until he created the ‘Zoom’ model, which, with its rotating bezel as a switch and focus adjuster, became a seminal outdoor product well into the 21st century. At the same time, international praise grew for all of Petzl’s climbing and mountaineering equipment.
Petzl now provides a comprehensive range of hands-free lighting for many outdoor activities from alpinism to fishing and night-running to canyoning. Utilising the very best LED and battery technology you can choose from the iconic TIKKA range the proven MYO RXP, illuminate a tree from 120 with the ULTRA, have the security of the back up of an E+LITE in your rucksack or delve into the future with the latest REACTIVE LIGHTING featured torches such as the TIKKA R+ and the revolutionary NAO.
For further Information about:
Ourea Events, visit www.OureaEvents.com or contact Shane Ohly on 07771516962 or ShaneOhly@OureaEvents.com
Petzl and Lyon Equipment, visit www.lyon.co.uk/outdoor/ or contact Martin Bergerud on 015396 26338 ormartinb@lyon.co.uk
Please note – Press release provided by Ourea Events

Dolomites SkyRace 2014 – Results and initial images

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Kilian Jornet (Salomon) has done the unthinkable… just 7-days after winning and setting a new course record at the legendary Hardrock 100 in America, the Catalan has won the Dolomites SkyRace.

It’s impossible to convey or express the ability that Kilian Jornet harnesses within his slender frame. The word, ‘Legend’ is used a great deal in our sport but in Kilian Jornet we have someone that not only deserves the title but almost re-defines it.

  1. Kilian Jornet 2:03:50
  2. Ionut Zinca 2:05:20
  3. Tadei Pivk 2:05:21
  4. Manuel Merillas 2:07:29
  5. Alexis Sevennec 2:07:54

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Laura Orgue (Salomon) produced an incredible weekend doube, winning the VK on Friday and the SkyRace on Sunday. The incredible uphill machine opened up a huge gap on the ascent to Piz Boe and held off a charging Emelie Forsberg who moved up from 4th, some 7-minutes back at the summit to just over a minute at the line. Incredible racing!

  1. Laura Orgue 2:26:17
  2. Emelie Forsberg 2:27:40
  3. Maite Maiora 2:31:58
  4. Christel Dewalle 2:35:53
  5. Anna Kozielska 2:36:23

Full Results to view HERE

RACE IMAGES HERE

 

Kids racing – Dolomites SkyRace, Canazei

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Great to see an afternoon of sport dedicated to runners of the future in Canazei. Athletes from Team Salomon Running were on hand to help out, pace, support and motivate.

Jono Wyatt paced one group and apparently found the pace a little tough at the front. Tom Owens just 1-week after placing 3rd at Ice Trail Tarentaise had to ease back in the 1.8km race as the pace was relentless.

Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg were on hand to cheer and support.

Great atmosphere, great buzz and the sun was shining throughout. A great day and great way to give back to the sport.

 

Dolomites Vertical Kilometer #VK 2014 – Race Day Images

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Incredible sunshine, clear skies and huge crowds welcomed runners from all over the world for Canazei Vertical Kilometer, part of the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series.

Runners departed in waves of approximately 25-runners to tackle the steep and grassy slopes of the VK.

For the men, last years 2nd place Urban Zemmer produced a dominant performance pulling away from his La Sportiva teammates, Nejc Kuhar and Marc Moletto for a convincing win. Last years winner Kilian Jornet placed 7th which was an incredible performance comjng just days after his Hardrock 100 win and course record.

For the ladies, VK specialist Laura Orgue fought off a strong battle from Christel Dewalle and Antonella Confortola, last years winner placed 3rd.

Men

  1. Urban Zemmer 32:51
  2. Nejc Kuhar 33:45
  3. Marc Moletto 34:04
  4. Philip Gotsch 34:18
  5. Rhorbjorn Ludvigsen 34:31

Ladies

  1. Laura Orgue 38:14
  2. Christel Dewalle 38:34
  3. Antonella Confortola 39:36
  4. Victoria Kreuzer 40:42
  5. Francesca Rossi 41:30

 

Dolomites SkyRace 2014 Race Preview

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Hot on the heels of the Dolomites VK, just 2-days later, a super stacked field of elite and non-elite runners will tackle the incredible slopes of the Dolomites. Starting in the town of Canazei, the Skyrunner® World Series Dolomites SkyRace® has for many years represented an ideal playground for the world’s top athletes.  The steep technical course and spectacular panoramas it offers has runners coming back for more time and again.  On Sunday, 600+ runners will start the race. Last year, Kilian broke the male ascent record set by Augusti Roc to Piz Boe and Emelie Forsberg broke the female descent record set by Angela Mudge.

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The quality of runners, particularly in the men’s field is very deep and therefore a surprise could come from anywhere.

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Kilian Jornet has just run 100-miles and as you read this he will be toeing the line in the Vertical Kilometer. Kilian says he feels good but he is absolutely sure that the running and winning of Hardrock 100 will impact on his performances in the Dolomites. I can understand his caution… however; we are talking about Kilian Jornet so topping the podium in Canazei is a distinct possibility.

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Tadei Pivk had a great race last year taking the 3rd podium place and a repeat performance on a course he knows well is a distinct possibility. Marco De Gasperi will not race this year due to injury so does that open the door for Tadei?

Ionut Zinca and Alexis Sevennec rounded out the top-5 last year over 7-minutes behind a storming Kilian Jornet. Both Ionut and Alexis appear to be in great form at the moment. Ionut in particular is currently lying 4th in the Skyrunner® World Series so he will be looking for more valuable points.

Zaid Ait Malek - Haria Extreme

Zaid Ait Malek – Haria Extreme

Aritz Egea and Zaid Ait Malek are extremely strong performers over the SKY distance and we have seen them both excel at races such as Zegama-Aizkorri and last years, Limone Extreme. At the Skyrunning World Champions in Chamonix, Aritz ran a great race with a top-10 finish. However, Zaid had a bad day at the office after looking like podium potential in the early stages.

Erik Dagsson Haugsness inov-8

Erik Dagsson Haugsness inov-8

Eirik Haugsness had the race of his life at the Skyrunning World Championships producing an excellent top-10 performance in the wet and cold conditions. Eirik has all the potential for a repeat top-10 performance in this super stacked field and should things go well, a top-5 is a distinct possibility.

Bernard Dematteis and Martin Dematteis are an exciting addition the SkyRace and they will be looking to bring fast running and vertical climbing ability to contest with the front of the race. They showed everyone a clean pair of heals in Transvulcania running one of the shorter races and it’s fair to say that this duo will potentially cause some fireworks in Canazei.

David Schneider has been quiet this year and may well just sneak under the radar. We saw some excellent performances from David in 2013 and this will be his first Skyrunning race for 2014, I expect he will want to make an impact.

Who else is hot!

Thorbjorn Ludvigsen

Nicolas Pianet

Matheo Jacquemoud

Miguel Caballero

Manuel Merillos

Jordi Bes Ginesta

Fabio Bazzana

 

Ones to watch:

Etienne Van Gasse

Oscar Casal Mir

Marc Casal Mir

Hassan Ait Chau

Dabid Garcia

Inake Uribe

Es Tressider

Espen Mikkelsen

Matteo Piller Hoffer

Marco Viscentini

Gionni Morocutti

Michele Zannier

Marco Errath

Marco Marcuzzi

Mirco Lazzara

Michele Vicario

Marco Segrado

Andrea De Bona

Eric Diaz

David Lopez

Dani Tristany

Alfredo Gil

Paolo Bert

Michele Tavernaro

Aleksander Ivakin

Just Sociats

Pere Aurell

Josep Vines

Pere Rullan

Antonio Roldan

Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com

Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com

Emelie Forsberg decided not to run the Vertical Kilometer as she felt she needed a little more recovery and easier running after her victory at the tough (and long) Ice Trail Tarentaise just last weekend. This is a wise move and on this pure Skyrunning course, Emelie is hot favourite for the win.

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Maite Maiora placed 4th behind Emelie last year almost 11-minutes back, however, Maite is a different runner this year and I personally think we can expect to see her pushing closer to the front.

Antonella Confortola is spreading her works from her favourite VK distance and tackling the slopes of Piz Boe. Antonella will be a contender for the podium as will the other VK specialist, Laura Orgue. Laura doesn’t seem to run many races outside the VK distance, however, when she does she performs at the highest level. These two ladies will bring an interesting dynamic to the race. 

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Stephanie Jiminez is a pure short distance mountain runner and VK specialist and the Dolomites SkyRace will suit her skill set. Stephanie will be in the mix, pushing all the other ladies to the line.

Victoria Wilkinson from the UK is an exciting prospect. A string of top quality results and performances on home soil bode well for a strong performance here in the Dolomites. The biggest question marks will come in adaptation to altitude and the tough, long, steep and technical terrain that this course offers.

Celine Lafaye has had a quiet 2014 but can’t be ruled out of a top-5 performance. I am just not sure of her current form?

 

Ones to watch:

Leire Agirrezabala

Uxoa Irigoien

Paola Romanin

Maria Dimitria Theocharis

Laia Andreu Trias

Montse Martinez Guerrero

Anna Comet

Lisa Buzzoni

Chiara Gianola

Eva Moreda

 

Race Results from 2013:

Men

1. JORNET KILIAN (ESP) SALOMON SANTIVERI – 2h00’11”

2. DE GASPERI MARCO (ITA) GS FORESTALE – 2h00’14”

3. PIVK TADEI (ITA) CRAZY IDEA – 2h04’10”

4. ZINCA IONUT (ROU) VALETUDO SKYRUNNING – 2h07’26”

5. SEVENNEC ALEXIS (FRA) CRAZY IDEA – 2h07’58”

Women

1. FORSBERG EMELIE (SWE) SALOMON 2h26’52”

2. SERAFINI SILVIA (ITA) SALOMON AGISKO – 2h36’55”

3. DOMINGUEZ NURIA (ESP) TEAM ESPANA – 2h37’41

4. MAIORA MAITE (ESP) TEAM ESPANA – 2h37’58

5. WISNIEWSKA DOMINIKA (POL) – TEAM POLAND – 2h40’30”

 

Skyrunning HERE

Dolomites SkyRace HERE

 

Vertical Kilometre Canazei, Dolomites 2014 Race Preview

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The Vertical Kilometre located in the heart of Canazei is one of the toughest and most beautiful VK’s in the Skyrunner® World Series.

Starting in a lush green field the course takes a direct line to the summit, initially through dense forests the course then opens up to show the Dolomite mountain range in all their beauty.

The course is not technical at all. However, what is misses in technicality is compensated for in gradient and difficulty. The whole course is grass and forest path and as such is very slippery, especially if the ground has had recent rain. In sections, the course is well over a 50% gradient and therefore, the use of poles is almost essential.

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Unlike Chamonix or the recent Val D’Isère VK, the Canazei VK is run in ‘waves’ and not individually with ‘timed’ starts. This therefore creates an interesting dynamic on the mountain and also brings an element of tactics into play as we saw in 2013 when Kilian Jornet made a move in the final 100-meters to move past to fellow runners, take the lead and not only win the race but set a course record.

Waves will have approximately 25-runners and the key elite waves will depart (local time) 11:00, 11:04 (ladies) and 11:08.

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The start list for 2014 as usual is extremely impressive and we can certainly expect to see a battle royal on the steep grassy slopes of Canazei.

Men

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Remarkably, just days after winning and setting a new course record at Hardrock 100, Kilian Jornet will toe the line not only in the VK but the SKY race. Under normal circumstances one would have to say that any runner would be tired… but this is Kilian! So, he’s the favourite.

Urban Zemmer will push Kilian as in 2013 and this time will be waiting and prepared should Kilian ‘make a move’ in the final meters. If Zemmer has the strength, he will look to turn the tables in 2014.

©iancorless.com.IMG_7169Transvulcania14

The Dematteis brothers, Bernard and Martin will definitely be contesting the top-5 places and how they perform will very much depend if they decide to use ‘poles.’ They are pure runners and although one can run this VK course, I would say that you are at a disadvantage without them! To put this in perspective, even Kilian uses poles and that doesn’t happen very often.

2013 3rd place, Philip Gotsch returns and although I am not up to date on his current form, one has to give top billing based on his 2013 performance.

Marco Moletto will hopefully bring his top-quality VK form to Canazei and almost certainly will be looking to be in the mix at the front end of the race. His winning performance 36:50 at Val D’Isere will give him a boost, however, the competition is greater in the Dolomites.

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Nejc Kuhar had a strong showing in Val D’Isere (2nd just 8-secs behind Moletto) at the VK Face Bellevarde and although the Dolomites VK course has different characteristics, we can expect the La Sportiva runner to be close to the top-5.

Eirik Haugsnes had a disappointing Chamonix VK but followed up with a great performance in the Chamonix Sky race. Eirik like to run VK’s and therefore this VK may not suit his skill set. It will be interesting to see if he uses poles.

Nadir Maguet, Thorbjorn Ludvigsen, Alexis Sevennec and Tadei Pivk will all be in the mix. It’s anyone’s to call.

Ones to watch:

  • Matheo Jacquemoud
  • Marco Facchinhelli
  • Dabid Garcia
  • Inaka Uribe
  • William Bon Mardion
  • Joan Freixa Marcelo
  • Marc Pinsach
  • Juan Navarro

Ladies  

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2013 champion Antonella Confortola returns and on a course were poles play an integral part in race success, one has to tip Antonella for the win again. Last weekend, Antonella paced 2nd behind Laura Orgue in Val D’Isere saying that, ‘I ran too hard in the early stages.’ However, Antonella beat her VK time for the same course set some 10-years earlier.

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Laura Orgue despite her skiing background is less familiar with poles and this may put her at a disadvantage on this course. But, Laura knows how to run VK’s and she will be in the mix for sure.

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Emelie Forsberg says she is still learning how to run a VK but she placed 2nd on this course in 2012, so we may very well see a repeat performance despite Emelie placing out of the top-3 in Val D’Isere.

Christel Dewalle cannot be ruled out of any VK race and she is a last minute entry here in Canazei. Last weekend, Christel won the ‘Altispeed’ race in Val D’Isere.

Iva Milesova was only 8-seconds behind Emelie in 2013 and if the Czech runner has the same form, top-5 is a great possibility. It will all come down to the speed of the race and if anyone can match the pace set by Confortola.

Maite Mairoa and Stephanie Jiminez will both be in the mix and although great mountain vertical runners they are not as familiar with using poles. I believe that doth will use them for Canazei so it will be interesting to see how they get on.

Ones to watch:

  • Celine Lafaye
  • Leire Agirrezabala
  • Uxoa Irigoien
  • Francesca Rossi
  • Alba Xandri

 

Links:

Skyrunning HERE

Dolomites Skyrace and VK website HERE

2013 race summary HERE

Race results 2013:

  1. Kilian Jornet 32:43 – SPA – * new course record
  2. Urban Zemmer 32:50 – ITA
  3. Philip Gotsch 32:54 – ITA
  1. Antonella Confortola 41:02 – ITA
  2. Emelie Forsberg 43:01 – SWE
  3. Iva Milesova 43:09 – CZE

Speedgoat 50k 2014 Race Preview

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The Skyrunner® World Series continues at a pace just 2-weeks after the Skyrunning World Championships where Skyrunners® participated in all three classic disciplines of VK, SKY and ULTRA. Now, attention moves to Italy and the stunning town of Canazei and the amazing Dolomites for a VK and SKY race and to the USA for the ULTRA Speedgoat 50k.

Speedgoat, as the name would suggest was created by Mr Ultra himself, ‘Speedgoat Karl Meltzer. Over the years the event has increased in profile at a pace and this year, once again, sees a quality line up both in the male and female fields.

Located at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah the 50k weave a route around the mountains offering a tough and sometimes technical day out at altitude.

This is the 3rd edition of the race in the Skyrunner® World Series and it is now also included US Skyrunner® National Series.

Men

Sage Canaday UROC ©iancorless.com

Sage Canaday UROC ©iancorless.com

Sage Canaday is returning after setting a course record last year with a time of 5:08. On paper, he has to be the favourite again this year. The combination of runnable terrain and 50k distance suits Sage’s strengths. He will likely go out hard and hold on… he did that last year and it worked, just!

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka was hot on Sage’s heels last year and with a couple of wins under his belt in 2014, the most recent at Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy, one has to think that Anton may provide a real battle this year (as last year). In reality, 50k is just way too short for Anton. In a recent interview, he told me he only starts to feel good and relaxed after 3-hours. So, expect him to be hovering somewhere in the top-10 early on and then move up.

Alex Nichols Chamonix ©iancorless.com

Alex Nichols Chamonix ©iancorless.com

Alex Nichols may be a surprise on the Speedgoat course and after missing a couple of races with injury; he may well be chomping at the bit for a good run here. In Zegama, thinks didn’t go too well leaving a question mark, however, on this course, with less travel and some decent prep I can’t help but think we will see Alex mix it up. Earlier this year he won Red Hot 55km and set a CR at Greenland 50k. One to watch!

Ricky Gates has just done a stint of pacing for Kilian Jornet at Hardrock 100 and if nothing else, that must make him feel fired up for a great run at Speedgoat. Ricky ran a great race in 2012 when ‘Kilian Gate’ kicked off and the whole switchback debacle. What is important is the time Ricky ran, 5:18. That places him as definite contender for top-5 this year.

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Mike Wolfe looked awesome in Chamonix for the Skyrunning World Championship 80k event. Trading blows with eventual 2nd place runner, Francois D’Haene, it looked like ‘Wolfepaw’ was going to make the podium. However, in the latter stages the wheels came off and he placed 8th which for many would be a great result. However, the disappointment was clear leaving Mike with question marks. The questions soon disappeared at the sight of his newborn baby though… it’s all about perspective. Mike is a class act and he will be in the mix.

Luke Nelson placed 6th last year but he was well over 30-minutes back from Sage Canaday. Considering Luke’s record and his ability over longer races (recently won Bighorn 100) he has the technical skill set to run well at Speedgoat but may well lack the speed to keep up with the front of the race, so, top-5 would be a great result.

We can also expect to see Jorge Maravilla mixing it up and potentially Hal Koerner but it may be a little too short for Hal

Ladies

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Anna Frost won with Speedgoat with 6:26 in 2012 and as we all know had a prolonged period of injury and illness afterwards. Her return to form at Transvulcania La Palma and not only winning the race, but also setting a new CR was nothing less than miraculous. Frosty seems to have the ‘love’ for running back and as we all know, when you have that, the miles fly along. A recent 2nd to Emelie Forsberg at the Skyrunning World Championships shows the form is still primed and ready to be unleashed on the Speedgoat course. Like Ricky, Frosty must also feel inspired after pacing Kilian to that Hardrock record. But Frosty won’t have an easy ride…

Ellie Greenwood was missing for much of 2013 with injury but she is back and running strong. Ellie has the outright speed to win Speedgoat but may well lack some of the technical attributes of Frosty, so, that makes for an interesting battle. Ellie’s recent win at Comrades was incredible and I think we will see something special on this course.

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Kasie Enman was flying at Zegama-Aizkorri and that was after a red-eye flight, no sleep and jet lagged. Powering up the climbs in the lead, we thought a surprise win was on the cards. It wasn’t to be, the fatigue hit in the latter stages and she placed 5th. Kasie is on the comeback trail after having a baby and I can’t help but think she will get stronger and stronger. Kasie’s performances at the Skyrunning World Championships were creditable but not reflective of her ability. Kasie’s 4th in the SKY race shows the improvements are coming and the podium at Speedgoat may be in her grasp.

Tina Lewis may well be a dark horse! Tina has been away from racing for sometime and although entered in several races in 2014, she was a no show. However, her daily exploits on Facebook are inspiring and if she can bring it all together on race day, I think we will see a potential top-5?

Other ladies to watch who will mix it up with the front:

Kerrie Bruxvoort, Ashley Arnold, Bethany Lewis, Joelle Vaught and of course so many more…

Skrunning HERE

Speedgoat 50k website HERE