Trofeo Kima 2014 – Race Images and Results

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What an epic Skyrunning Trofeo Kima. We have come to expect it I guess, but this year was just a classic for so many reasons. Man in form, Kilian Jornet (interview HERE) illuminated the mountains of the Valmasino with a stunning performance and new course record: 6:12:20.

I suppose it would be fair to say that we never expected anyone other than Kilian to win! However, the Catalan did have some great competition in the early stages from Nicola Golinelli and then as the race progressed, up and coming talent Manuel Merillas applied some pressure. He actually closed the gap to within 1-minute. However, nobody closes like Kilian and he upped a gear; applied the pressure and once again not only established himself as the top of the ultra, trail and mountain running world but set a new course record so that we can’t forget!

Ever present, Franco Sancassani closed out the podium in 3rd place with another top quality and consistent performance just 10-min behind Merillas.

©iancorless.com-9376Kima2014_The ladies race, a little like the men’s race had an outright winner written all over it before the start; Emelie Forsberg. No disrespect to the other ladies in the race, but Kima is made for Emelie. At the top of the first summit B.tta Roma (2894m) Emelie descended with a smile on her face and the joys of the terrain clearly expressed. When I next saw her, some time later at P. Qualido (2647m) at over halfway around the course, Emelie was in 4th place after going off course and loosing 1-hour. The happy face was gone and tears of frustration ran down her face, however, she pushed hard and gave a ‘pursuit’ master class. At the line, she made 2nd. Incredible!

Kasie Enman, although intimidated by the terrain ran a solid race and produced a top-notch win that the crowds appreciated. On the finish line, Kasie summed the race up, ‘That is the most crazy race I have ever run, wow, soooo technical.’

Emanuaela Brizio, past course record holder and two times Kima winner rounded out the podium with another consistent performance. In the last edition of the race, Emanuela finished 3rd, this time just 15-seconds behind Emelie who was 2nd.

The 17th edition of the race was run in dry conditions, however, low cloud made visibility very difficult at times, not only for the runners but also spectators. It’s the mountains! They are always the boss and we are thankful that once again that allowed us to play!

Results

MEN

  1. Kilian Jornet 6:12:20
  2. Manuel Merillas 6:28:33
  3. France Sancassani 6:38:14

LADIES

  1. Kasie Enman 7:53:42
  2. Emelie Forsberg 8:22:17
  3. Emanuela Brizio 8:30:52

RACE DAY IMAGES

 

Jo Meek on RUNULTRA

 

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Jo Meek has illuminated the ultra world in the past 18-months placing 2nd at the 28th edition of Marathon des Sables, winning The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, setting a new course record and an outright win at Iznik Ultra and then placed 5th at the iconic Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. But it didn’t end…

I caught up with Jo and wrote an article for RUNULTRA on this rising star of our sport.

Please check it out HERE

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UTMB 2014 – Race Preview

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It’s UTMB time and the race kicks off today at 1730 and currently the lights are green for go… phew!

As one would expect, a quality line up and men and ladies will toe the line to run the circular route around Mont-Blanc.

As was shown last year in the men’s race, predicting a winner, even a top-3 can be a tricky thing. One thing is for sure; Thevenard will not do the double as he won TDS just the other day. In doing so, he has become the first runner to win CCC, UTMB and TDS. I like that, it shows a level of skill and speed over multiple distances and terrain.

So, UTMB will roll out and without doubt we will see some drama on the trails. Unfortunately, last years 2nd place, Miguel Heras will not run. Once again injured! Will he ever get a break?

Francois D'Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene is a past winner on the shortened course and for me he has blossomed into one of the best 100 runners out there. His Raid de la Reunion last year and his early season win and sub 20-hours in Japan must make him a hot fave!

Luis Alberto Hernando copyright iancorless.com Luis Alberto Hernando is one guy who I would love to see make the podium. For 12-months he has been building up to this race and wins at Transvulcania and the 80km Skyrunning World Champs must put him in a great place. BUT, he hasn’t run a 100 before and he does like to push. He will need to be patient for 100km and then start racing if he wants any chance of success.

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Tofol Castanyer like Luis is stepping up to the 100. Winner of the CCC he has all the skills and ability to do something special.

 

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera completes a strong Salomon line up and is a hot favourite for the win. He is a beast on tough and technical races and for sure having disappointment with course cancellations in the past, Iker will be looking to make this one count.

Dakota Jones UROC ©iancorless.com

Dakota Jones is due a big race. Dropping from Hardrock 100 will certainly have stoked the fire for a great performance here but maybe the ankle isn’t 100%? He has done some epic days with Kilian in and around Mont-Blanc; so, let’s hope he has his day.

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote consistent at UTMB and a great record over long distance races. You won’t see him in the top-10 early on but he will close hard (as usual) eat up those who are struggling and move up the ranks. I don’t see him winning put podium is always a possibility.

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson put his eggs in the Hardrock basket and they got smashed with one of those gutsy, ‘I’m gonna finish no matter what days.’ Respect! Of course, Timmy can win this race, his success this year will all come down to how well he has recovered from HR100. If he is in shape, podium potential and of course a win is a distinct possibility.

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

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

Anton Krupicka had the race sewn up for me last year. He was on fire looking relaxed and incredible at every moment. However, the relentless injury problems ruined his day and he has been in and out of injury for 2-years. He had a couple of great early season results, Lavaredo in particular and then dropped from Speedgoat with injury. I have a feeling that Anton will win the race or not finish. I hope he has his day; it’s long overdue.

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Jez Bragg will have a solid run; he always does and like Foote, will start way back and work his way to the front. Top-10 would be a great result.

Fabian Antolinus will be an interesting inclusion. He ran a great race at Ice Trail Tarentaise and of course he has continually impressed in French races such as Templiers. UTMB? I would say a top-20 for sure and top-10 if he has a great day.

Hal Koerner is 100m beast and like Mr Meltzer can run 100’s for breakfast. His experiences with UTMB have been somewhat mixed so it is great to see him back and I hope he puts a great race together. He could surprise a few people!

Carlos Sa is a really talented athlete who races road, trail, multi-day, mountains and so on. He has all the ability and potential to create a stir in the top-5. In the past he has gone off course, so this year I hope he nails the route and pushes with the best.

Jason Schlarb has been mixing it up in Europe for a while now. This can only be a really good thing. He raced at Transvulcania and the Skyrunning 80k; so, he has an understanding of what is needed. He may make top-10?

Scott Hawker will be one of the top runners from the Southern Hemisphere who has spent time in Europe this year. Ice Trail Tarentaise would have been a great prep ground.

*****

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio dominated the race last year with arguably one of the most impressive female performances ever. A win at Lavaredo shows that the build up has been good and her recent obscurity can only mean training and training hard. She will be impossible to beat if she repeats the form and condition of 2013.

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Nuria Picas was 2nd last year in her 1st 100 and has gone on to run big races all over the world and in most cases, win them too! Without doubt, Nuria can win this race but she must be tired? In contrast to Rory who will be fresh as a daisy.

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Nathalie Mauclair winner of Reunion last year and top ranked at Western States, Nathalie brings a mix of speed, endurance and climbing ability and for me, barring issues, will make the podium!

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Fernanda Maciel like Nuria has been on the UTWT roller coaster of exhaustion. Fernanda won’t be fresh but like many of the other top ladies can produce a really strong 100 and keep pushing even when fatigued. Her 2014 results alone show what a talent she is.

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Laurence Klein, now this is an interesting inclusion. The MDS queen on this terrain leaves a huge question mark. She can run quick, for sure has run some impressive times in races such as the Ecotrail de Paris, however, this 100-mile course and vertical will be something new. Interested to see this one plays out.

Uxue Fraille is a consistent performer at around 80-100km but I think this is the first 100 she will run? Always there or thereabouts, Uxue closes well and picks off the others as they crumble. I see more of the same at UTMB.

Ashley Arnold is a question mark and the US’s hope outside Rory. I don’t think this tough mountain 100 will play to her strengths, particularly based on recent results. However, this ladies field has quality but not depth, so, top-10 for sure and top-5 if on a great day.

Rounding out the top ladies, we have 2-Brits, Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith. Both ladies raced the Skyrunning 80km and may well sneak into the top-10. Shona Stephenson has struggled at UTMB in the past but knows how to run 100’s and is top-10 potential and Meghan Arbogast, Simona Morbelli and Leila Degrave round out my ones to watch!

 

You can follow the race live via the UTMB website and Twitter

UTMB LVE HERE

 

Trofeo Kima 2014 in-depth race preview

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Don your gloves, find your helmet and prepare for the jewel in the Skyrunning crown. Trofeo Kima is here! This is THE all-out, kick ass event that Skyrunning put on and as such it is often the most anticipated. You can’t just do Kima. As Kilian Jornet said in a recent interview, It’s not about being strong or fast it’s about how you climb! You need confidence and you need self-awareness. It’s another level. It’s not about kilometres it’s about mountain experience.’

Famous throughout the mountain running world, Kima is run over seven mountain passes with 8400m of ascent/decent over the 52km course. It is an all out white-knuckle ride and not for the feint hearted. Biennial, the race has a capped field of just 250 and embraces the true spirit of Skyrunning created way back in ‘89’ when Giacometti (ISF President) first ascended and descended Monte Rosa. The fourth race in the 2014 Ultra Skyrunner® World Series, KIMA will provide, once again, a showcase for earth meeting sky – Skyrunning!

MEN

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It may come as no surprise that man on fire and 2012 winner, Kilian Jornet is the one to beat on this course. In reality, Kima is one of the most perfect courses for the Catalan. His advantage over the rest of the competition is marked and other than a disaster on race day, I think we will see Kilian top the podium and should conditions be favourable, a course record may well be on the cards! To put the severity of this course into perspective, it took Kilian 6:28:52 in 2012 to cover the 52km course. (The record stands at 6:19:03 also set by Kilian.)

Tom Owens  'running' at Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Tom Owens ‘running’ at Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Brit, Tom Owens had an incredible 2012 and pushed Kilian at many races. With over a year out of the sport, Tom is back in 2014 and although he has had a few blips, he is showing some of the fire and all out natural ability that saw him place 2nd at Kima at the last edition in a time of 6:39:28. Feeling tired at Sierre-Zinal Tom missed Matterhorn Ultraks and I can’t help but think that will pay dividends here. The last time he toed the line at Kima, he had this to say, ‘It’s the definition of Skyrunning.  Racing here is like being a kid, jumping nimbly from rock to rock and feeling full of energy.’

Paolo Gotti placed 8th in 2012 and was the winner in 2008 and 4th in 2010. It’s difficult to predict how Gotti will perform but he knows this course like the back of his hand and that is a huge advantage.

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Both Philipp Reiter and Michel Lanne placed 5th and 6th at the last edition of Kima. Philipp has been a little quiet recently with injury and although he is back running, he told me he is not in the best shape for Kima, so, he will have to miss it. Needless to say he is very disappointed. By contrast, Michel was runner up to Kilian at the Skyrunning World Championships and last weekend raced Matterhorn Ultraks and was having a great race until going off course. He dropped, saved his legs and we may well see him looking for pay back in Kima.

Nicola Golinelli effectively retired drop top level racing last year. However, he is still a highly competitive athlete and on this course, if in great shape, we can expect a top-5 performance. When you are racing fun with the pressure off a whole new experience can be enjoyed. One to watch!

Fulvio Dapit knows how to run in the mountains and has speed, experience and technical ability in abundance. Without doubt a contender for the podium should all things align. His recent victory at Dolomiti Extreme Trail can only be a good sign of things to come.

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Manuel Merillos is the new kid on the block and a hot talent. His recent 4th place at Dolomites Skyrace shows that he can trade blows with the best on a pure Skyrunning course. A definite contender for the podium!

Es Tressider is an interesting inclusion in to the line-up for this race and a runner that many of the other competitors will not be familiar with. In 2007 he set a record for the Cullin Ridge on the Isle of Skye in 3:17:28. The ridge is Britain’s premier mountain traverse and is usually attempted by 2-people in one or two days. Crossing multiple peaks over 3000ft it’s the perfect training ground for Kima.

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Jordi Bes Ginesta on his day can trade blows with the best in the world. Hailing from a ski mountaineering background he as all the skill levels required for this tough and challenging course, Top-10 potential?

Greg Vollet team manager for Salomon can never be ruled out of the mix in a race like this. He won’t win it but top-10 is always a distinct possibility. The true global appeal of Skyrunning and Kima is reflected by the inclusion of Matt Cooper and Clarke McClymont. Matt had a great run at Ronda dels Cims in 2013 and Clarke has been dreaming of Kima every since he watched the race 2-years ago.

Ones to watch: 

  • Pau Bortolo
  • Stuart Air
  • J Francisco Pinera
  • Carles Rossell
  • Yan Longfei
  • Jan Bartas
  • Phudorjee Lama Sherpa
  • Tim Stephens

Ricky Lighfoot is listed on the start sheet but may not be racing (tbc)

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LADIES

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Emelie Forsberg placed 2nd in 2012 and at the time it was her longest ever run. Leading the race to halfway, Emelie finally relinquished to Nuria Picas who went on to set a course record 7:36:21. Two years on and Emelie is a very different runner. Like Kilian, Kima will suit Emelie’s skill set and she is the outright favourite.

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Kasie Enman is currently on a European tour of Skyrunning races and Kima brings a conclusion to the trip. The technical aspects of the course, will not allow Kasie to use her outright speed. However, she is always in the mix and a podium place is a distinct possibility.

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Nuria Dominguez is a regular and consistent performer in the Skyrunner® World Series. In 2013 she had a string of top results: 3rd Dolomites Skyrace, 4th Trans D’Havet, 3rd at Matterhorn Ultraks and was ranked 4th in The Skyrunning World Championships. Nuria may well lack the speed of Emelie and Kasie but can more than compensate with experience of the montains.

Alessandra Carlini has had a sold 2014 and her recent 2nd at Ice Trail Tarentaise elevates the Italian to ‘one-to-watch’ at Kima. Living on the Italian coast she has very little opportunity to terrain on a mountainous course, however, this hasn’t proven to be too much of a disadvantage so far.

Emanuela Brizio past winner and course record holder and placed 3rd behind Picas and Forsberg in 2012. I doubt that Emanuela can win the race this year but 2nd place is up for grapes and if she has a great day, who knows. Forsberg only beat Brizio by 15-seconds last time!

Skyrunning legend Corinne Favre will also toe the line. Apparently she won’t be ‘racing’ but we must definitely tip a hat to the first lady of Skyrunning. She was the first world champion in 1998 and although the sport is very different today, Corinne can still hold her own. Don’t rule her out!

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Ladies to watch:

  • Judit Lamas Borras
  • Anna Eriksmo
  • Rosa Vallas Tio
  • Zuzana Urbancova

Needless to say, Kima will have a plethora of Italian talent toeing the line who will without doubt have an impact on the top-10 results for the men and in particular the ladies.

Past racers who have excelled:

Franco Sancassani 3rd in 2012

Rodrigues Bodas 7th in 2012

 Links:

Skyrunning HERE

KILIAN JORNET – The Human Carabiner

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Kilian Jornet is defining our sport and in the process is setting new records and providing inspiration to thousands, if not millions of people. Just 12-months ago, I spoke to Kilian in Zermatt. It was just days after his incredible Matterhorn Summit where he set a new record for Cervinia-Matterhorn Summit-Cervinia beating the long standing Bruno Brunod record. Looking relaxed, Kilian joins me at a table and we chat. He looks lean and in the form of his life. The sky is blue and clouds are around the base of the Matterhorn. Looking up we pause and take it in.

Interview in Spanish HERE

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It really is an incredible mountain. I turn to Kilian and ask…

IC – Do you feel nostalgic Kilian, looking up at the Matterhorn and thinking back 12-months?

KJ – Yes, I have great feelings. I-year ago I climbed from Italy (Cervinia) and today I climbed it from Switzerland (Zermatt). I have many great friends in Cervinia and very soon it will be 150-years of the Matterhorn. So many great memories; It’s such a beautiful memory.

IC – Okay, so you have just thrown this on me. You climbed the Matterhorn this morning from Zermatt?

KJ – Yes (laughs) I am not racing Matterhorn Ultraks so it’s okay. I went this morning… I was thinking to myself, it’s great weather so I decided to go. Conditions are not good though. The mountain has much more snow and the ridge was pretty icy. I had no crampons, which was a big mistake. At the summit it was very windy. I thought I might take the quick way down to Zermatt…!

IC – People say the Matterhorn is harder from Switzerland side?

KJ – The Italians say it’s harder from Cervinia and the Swiss say it’s harder from Zermatt. (He laughs) Both routes are very similar. I prefer the Italian side, it’s a narrow ridge about 500m long and you can really run. From Switzerland you go straight to the summit. It’s really beautiful and maybe a little more complicated. For me though, the Italian side is more difficult.

IC – Did you time yourself?

KJ – Hotel to hotel was 7-hours. I had planned to go down to the Italian side and come back via the pass. But the conditions were very windy and I decided to come back on the Switzerland side. It had lots of snow all the way up. I can normally climb up in good conditions in 2.5hrs but today it was 4-hours.

IC – Not the perfect time for a FKT?

KJ – No, it was really dangerous. Normally I would see 100’s of people at the summit. Today it was just me and I saw 4-people on my way down. The weather would be okay for Mont-Blanc but not here; it’s much more complicated.

 

IC – I think it’s topical we are speaking mid season. I believe the Kilian Jornet today is a different person to 1-year ago. For me, you seem to be in perfect shape. I don’t think I have seen you so fit and strong. Would you agree?

KJ – This year I feel really well. I don’t know why? I started the season in Colorado in the winter doing plenty of high altitude meters. I was great in the ski season. It was my best season in regard to my condition. I was not tired after skiing so it was a big bonus. I have raced the same number of races but I seem to be recovering so much better. I am climbing more meters and doing fewer kilometres.

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IC – It’s not unusual for you to start your run season at Transvulcania La Palma on 4-5 days running. This year you did this. You had a great race placing 2nd behind Luis. You then went to Denali and followed this with running again becoming Skyrunning World Champion. In Denali, this is not ultra running. It’s Alpinism. So tell us, what was the experience like?

KJ – It was a hard experience and fun. The weather was bad in Alaska. We stayed 21-days in the glacier and we had 3 sunny days. Everyday was snowing but we did a great number of things. We travelled very light. We would go to 4000m camp and from here everyday we would do something… we did the west ridge and then ski, we did another ridge, then I did the record, the north summit and so on. It was really nice to see. It’s possible to do something everyday. It was really interesting. I think I was surprised to come back to Chamonix and perform so well. Really I was just going to use it as training for Hardrock. In the VK I surpassed my expectation, in the marathon I knew I could do well. I lost weight in Denali.

IC – Yes for sure. You lost weight and your legs seemed smaller. Did it feel unusual to be back in Chamonix feeling like a different person?

KJ – Yes, I had small legs. It is similar to after Alpinism. It’s good for going up but coming down it has its affects.

IC – Denali unlike the Matterhorn was very much about you going and doing it. We haven’t seen the new Summits film yet, so, what did Denali involve?

KJ – It’s Skimo. You go via the plane to Anchorage and then take anther small plane to the glacier. It’s snow all the way. We didn’t take run shoes. We just used skis everyday. We had planned to acclimatize but the weather cleared and I made an attempt on the 6th day. I may have not been adapted but I was still strong. If you stay at altitude you loose strength. I had good conditions for 3-hours but the last uphill section and all the downhill had bad conditions. It was snowing and foggy. I just hoped that I could complete the summit. I added more clothes and pushed on.

IC – How do you prepare for an event like this? Do you do extensive research beforehand on maps? You make it sound casual and matter of fact but I know it’s not.

KJ – You need to be really well prepared. It’s a dangerous mountain. I looked at maps and we planned ahead, not only for the record but other adventures. I made good preparation 2-weeks before. We did 3-days to base camp and did the west ridge and ski down. It was good to see the conditions, find out what the snow was like and see if I could ski fast from the summit. You need to open your mind.

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It was great to have a small team. We were 4-people: Seb Montaz, Jordi Tosas, Vivian Bruchez and me. It’s really quick to change plans and make decisions with a small set up. For example in 5-hours I decided to attempt the record. Everyone was ready; they all knew what they had to do. It was great. Also, the team had projects that each wanted to do. All 4 of us had aspirations to achieve things whilst in Alaska.

IC – That is what is so interesting about what you do. You have very experienced people with you. In particular, Seb, he’s a great mountaineer and cameraman. We often forget he is often doing what you are doing.

KJ – For sure. You either have a small team or a big team with multiple people, helicopters, and many cameramen. The problem is budget! For example, all our team can work independently and they can all film, even myself. I like this process. We all move in the mountain, they are happy alone and that is great. We all captured images of each other. 

IC – That is going to be great to see. You followed Denali with Hardrock 100.

KJ – Three years of waiting!

IC – Yes, you got the confirmation in 2013. We all had expectations and excitement. You were racing really strong competition, Adam Campbell, Joe Grant, Seb Chaigneau, Dakota Jones, Julien Chorier and so on. You had a remarkable day; you smashed the course record. I know from pervious chats that you wasted lots of time. What was the experience like, did it live up to expectations?

KJ – It’s a beautiful race. I have run several 100-mile races and this is the best. The ambiance, the course, the spirit, it was just amazing. I arrived 1-week before and I checked all the last 100km so that I was prepared. I knew I would be in this section at night. I didn’t know the early section; I didn’t check it at all. We all started together; Seb, Adam, Timmy, Dakota and Julien. We had a big group. I felt good from the beginning. Having said that, you always feel good early. It’s just moving. After 4-5 hours I wasn’t pushing but I was pulling away. I thought to myself, maybe I will have a good day but I wanted to be cautious for the latter stages of the race. So, I waited for Julien and then I ran to km 100 with him and then the night started. After this point, I knew the course so I decided to go. It could take 9-hours if I was feeling good. I hadn’t eaten much up to this point so from here I took energy from soup and burritos. It was also really bad weather with rain and storms. I was happy to take a little time in the aid stations.

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IC – I think you were lucky and got ahead of the worst of the storms. For example Adam Campbell had a crazy time.

KJ – Yes, this is what can happen, Handies Peak is at 4800m and 30km between aid stations, so, you are on your own. If a storm comes they don’t stop the race. You need to know what to do. If you are afraid, you stop and find shelter until the storm passes. Runners need to think and that is a good thing. We all need to think what to carry and what to do.

IC – You had Frosty (Anna Frost) and Ricky Gates as pacers. What point did they pace you?

KJ – Ricky started at 100km for the first part of the night section from Sharman. He ran around 35-40km with me. In the second part it was crazy rain. We were so cold and wet. He stopped. I continued for 10-miles alone and then met Frosty for the last 10-miles.

IC – At any point did you have the course record in mind?

KJ – Yes, you have it in your mind but I don’t race for records. I like racing a great deal. I do lots of races. My priority was to win if possible and I was also thinking of the Dolomites 1-week later…

(Laughter)

KJ – I said okay, I am doing well but don’t try to get tired! I was 20-min ahead of the record and I knew that Kyle Skaggs exploded in the latter stages when he set the record. So, if I kept my pace I knew the record was possible.

IC – As winner, you are the only male with a guaranteed place for next year. Will you be back?

KJ – Yes, for sure as it alternates direction each year.

IC – The two races are different, lets forget next year. Given what you have learnt this year, if you went back in 2-years, with what you now know. Of course weather dependant. Do you think you could make big differences to the time?

KJ – Weather is crucial and of course the feelings. Some days you feel great, like a cloud. You can’t predict these days. I had one of these days at the Matterhorn and certainly Hardrock. For sure I could go faster. I stopped 56-minutes in aid stations.

IC – And you waited for Julien 20-mins? 

KJ – Yes, I think 1-hour quicker is possible should all things align.

IC – You came back from Hardrock and surprisingly raced at Dolomites Skyrace in the VK and SkyRace just days later.

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KJ – I was happy about the VK. I was feeling recovered but after 100-miles you need recovery. The VK was super good. I placed 8th which was great. It surprised me that I could push. It motivated me for the Sky race just 2-days later.

IC – Another great victory for you, amazing really!

KJ – Yes. Thanks

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IC – Trofeo Kima is just around the corner. It’s arguably one of ‘the’ key Skyraces. Do you have any plans or intentions for Kima?

KJ – It’s difficult to discuss plans. So many variables come into play. For example, I may do some mountaineering this week, which may mean I am tired. I have The Rut and Limone Extreme too this year. After a summer of rain when the sun comes out the snow tempts me, so, I can’t resist despite what races are on my calendar.

IC – I have to say, I was watching your posts about your runs this last week. Dakota and yourself doing big days in the mountains that have lasted 7-hours. With UTMB around the corner, didn’t Dakota make that mistake before?

(Laughter)

KJ – I have often done Mont-Blanc just days before UTMB. It has altitude, great training and it doesn’t take too much energy. Dakota is strong and talented. We did this with 10-days before UTMB. He will be fine. I sometimes think he thinks too much. He needs to just run… it will be interesting to see Tony, Iker, Tofol and all the rest. I think Iker will be good. Luis Alberto he will start strong but can he maintain it? Luis has one pace, hard! Maybe he will start slower. UTMB this year will be a great race.

IC – You have Aconcagua (Summits of my Life) left for this year, December yes?

KJ – Yes, I will start in November to do ski training and then I will go back to running for Aconcagua. I’m excited as it has a high summit of 7000m. It’s not technical but it’s a tough record.

IC – And the record?

KJ – I think there are a couple of records but I don’t know the times. (In 2000 Bruno Brunod, Pelissier and Meraldi climbed from Plaza de Mulas in 3-hours 40-minutes. Carlos Sa did 15:42 from National Park Horcones.)

KJ – I will go from the entrance and I will try to achieve both records. Also, Emelie Forsberg will try a female record too.

IC – Wow, nice! I guess Aconcagua will be more like the Matterhorn?

KJ – No, it’s easier. It’s rocky but not steep. The altitude is the big issue. You can get sick and have problems so the challenge is different.

IC – It doesn’t have the danger of the Matterhorn. Ultimately, you have Everest as the last big objective. Have you thought about this yet?

KJ – It’s completely different, it’s very high, 9000m. It’s very long and this is the biggest problem. It’s to go all this way without oxygen and fast. The route is technical. I will start on the north face to prepare. It’s quiet so I will have no problems with people. I will need to prepare. I will go in spring, autumn and maybe the following spring. As per usual with all mountains, any attempt will be weather dependant. I expect to have several attempts.

IC – If you achieve Everest and complete the Summit series, where do you go next? Your list is ticked off, do you think you will comeback to some races you have done before or do you think you will create a new sport, a combination of all your skill levels?

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

KJ – I have lots of projects. Today I climbed the Matterhorn, I looked around and suddenly projects appear. I think maybe I can go from here to here or in skiing I go down a steep line. It doesn’t need to be the highest or the longest. Nice mountains with not many people. I like this sport because of the beauty. I like aesthetic projects more than numbers. I have so many options to choose from.

IC – Do you think racing will still appeal?

KJ – Yes, I love racing. I love the ambiance. I also like it as training. I push I give it everything and you can’t do this alone, it’s boring. I will race for sure in skiing and maybe run less.

IC – Today I spoke to Marco De Gasperi, I took him back to ‘91’ when he was 16 and the formative days of Skyrunning. His first race!

KJ – Yes, it was Monte Rosa.

IC – Yes, Monte Rosa and he also did the VK. He reminded me of 2007 when you were 20 and you turned up at a race and placed 6th. He said you looked at him as though he was a hero. He now looks at you as the hero.

KJ – No, Marco is the hero.

--©copyright .iancorless.com.P1140350_kilian

IC – 20+ years of Skyrunning. In the last 3-years Skyrunning has become bigger than ever and it continues to grow. Would you like to see the sport progress in anyway?

KJ – Every person is a carabiner. We all pass on and provide energy and it grows. The sport keeps the values of the beginning. However, it’s not just about distance, elevation and athletics. It’s about mountains and alpinism. More people are interested in being in the mountains, it’s not just about technical terrain, and we must look at what is around us too. The sport will grow for sure. We are seeing VK’s grow and longer races. I think in central Europe it will stay as it is but it will develop in other countries, for example the US. It’s important to grow and keep quality; we must keep the spirit.

IC – In ‘89’ when Marino Giacometti ran up Monte Rosa and came back down, it was pure mountain spirit. Up and down as fast as possible. I feel that Skyrunning is starting to go back to where it was 20-years ago. Maybe because we look at sport differently; but also you are providing a great influence. Do you think there is room for another sport outside of VK, Sky and Ultra within Skyrunning, maybe an extreme event?

KJ – Yes. I think an extreme sport would be a great idea. It has been done before as you say. It’s really important though to understand that this is mountaineering fast and not running.

IC – Alpinism without the clutter?

KJ – Yes, it’s not about being strong or fast it’s about how you climb! You need confidence and you need self-awareness. It’s another level. It will come as the sport grows but it is not for all. It’s not about kilometres it’s about mountain experience.

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IC – Kilian, once again thank you so much for your time and the inspiration.

KJ – Thank you for everything.

*****

Article ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Please credit as and when appropriate when sharing

Thanks

I would like to thank Kilian Jornet for his time and generosity.

Marino Giacometti and Lauri Van Houten from the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation)

Salomon Running

Seb Montaz

Jordi Saragossa

And all the wonderful races throughout the world that provides us all the opportunity to live our dreams.

Matterhorn Ultraks 2014 – Race images and results

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The 2014 Skyrunner World Series Matterhorn Ultraks really was an incredible race. The weather showed Zermatt and the surrounding mountains in all it’s beauty and a Moroccan and American topped the podium showing how truly international Skyrunning has become.

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Moroccan Zaid Ait Malek finally fulfilled the potential he has shown in many races in 2013 and 2014 and topped the podium in Zermatt. Known for his incredible smile, Zaid really showed the rest of the field a clean pair of shoes as he blazed a trail around the Ultraks tough and challenging 46km course.

Stevie Kremer, followed impressive wins at Sierre-Zinal and Zegama-Aizkorri to complete a triple and take a dominant lead in the Skyrunner World Series. Despite a long haul flight from Colorado and only arriving at 2000 hours, the night before the race, ‘Pocket Rocket’ produced a dominant performance confirming that at the SKY distance, she is currently the one to beat!

Top 3-ladies

1. Stevie Kremer 5:18:43
2. Elisa Desco. 5:22:35
3. Maite Maiora 5:23:19

Top 3-Men

1. Ait Malek Zaïd 4:45:01
2. Bundi Gion Andrea 4:52:21
3. Egea Aritz 4:55:17

Episode 68 – Campbell, Johnston, Sichel, Navigation 101

Ep68

Episode 68 of Talk Ultra – Adam Campbell talks about Hardrock 100 and that lightning strike. David Johnston discusses 6-days in the Dome. William Sichel tells us what it is like to run 3100-miles in 50-days and in Talk Training we discuss basic navigation. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.

NEWS

6-Days in the Dome

Joe Fejes 580.30 miles new USA record
48-hours Traci Falbo 242.35 miles – new record
24-hour Andrew Snope 136.98 miles

all results here – http://sixdaysinthedome.com/live-results/

INTERVIEW
 
David Johnston

My experiences with running HERE

Leadville 100

Amazing run by Rob Krar @TheNorthFace 2014 Leadville 100 champ in 16:09:30! That is some double, Western States and Leadville. Michael Aish and Ian Sharman placed 2nd/3rd at Leadville 16:38 and 16:41.

Top-3 Ladies at Leadville Emma Roca, Liza Howard and Carrie stafford – 19:38:04, 20:01:13 and 23:56:50

Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

1.Allie McLaughlin 2:33:42
2.Morgan Arritola 2:35:39
3.Shannon Payne 2:40:28

1.Sage Canaday 2:10:03
2.Aerya Weldemariam 2:10:47
3.Andy Wacker 2:11:39

Squamish 50

Great to see Adam Campbell win Squamish 50 in 4:55:08 and Ellie Greenwood taking the ladies (3rd overall too) 5:20:39

INTERVIEW
 
Adam Campbell

North Downs Way 100 Mile

Duncan Oakes 17:04:12
David Ross 17:45:48
Jeremy Isaac 18:01:29
Jenni Ball 21:54:50
Katharine Ganly 25:50:43
Monica Varachova 26:45:25
Berlin 100

Mark Perkins 13:06:52

Full results – HERE

Speedgoat update

768.3 miles in after 18-days. He started July 27th and he is currently running around 43 miles a day. Go Karl!

 
BLOG
 
Acceptance – Hardrock 100 by Timothy Olson – HERE

TALK TRAINING

Navigation 101 with Charlie Sproson from Mountain Run

Related post with images and information – HERE

 
INTERVIEW
 
William Sichel continues to impress with impressive feats. Just a couple of weeks ago, William ran 3100 miles at the Sri Chimnoy. Incredible

Related post here: HERE
 
 
UP & COMING RACES

Australia
Queensland
River Run 100 | 100 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
River Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website

Austria
Linzer Bergmarathon – 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Belgium
Flanders
Oxfam Trailwalker Belgium | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Bulgaria
Orehovo Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Persenk Ultra | 130 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Canada
Alberta
Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
British Columbia
50K Cody Claim Run | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Quebec
Chute du Diable 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Chute du Diable 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

France
Hautes-Pyrénées
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – le Grand Trail | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Isère
L’Echappée Belle – 145 km | 145 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
L’Echappée Belle – 85km | 85 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Loir-et-Cher
100km des Etangs de Sologne | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
50km de la Sologne des Rivières | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Rhône
La Nuit des Carbones – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Savoie
North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc | 166 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
OCC (Orsières – Champex – Chamonix) | 53 kilometers | August 28, 2014 | website
Petite Trotte à Léon | 300 kilometers | August 25, 2014 | website
Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie | 110 kilometers | August 27, 2014 | website
Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website

Germany
Bavaria
Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 69 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run | 240 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Greece
Meteora 100 Mile | 100 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Meteora 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Meteora 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website

Iceland
Run Iceland Adventure Trail | 110 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

India
Uttarkashi 135 | 135 miles | August 29, 2014 | website

Ireland
Connacht
Achill Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Leinster
Longford Ultra Marathon | 63 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
Munster
Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 05, 2014 | website

Italy
Aosta Valley
Courmayeur Champex Chamonix | 98 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website

Kenya
Amazing Maasai Ultra | 75 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Madagascar
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 | 250 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

Malaysia
Gunung 5 Nuang | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Star Light Ultra Ultimate Challenge | 84 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Netherlands
North Holland
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website

Norway
styrkeprøven True West | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Réunion
Cimasalazienne | 55 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

Romania
Transylvania Trail Crossing 106K | 106 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Transylvania Trail Crossing 2-Day Stage Race | 106 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website

South Africa
Peninsula Ultra Fun Run | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Sweden
UltraVasan 90K | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Switzerland
Zurich
Raidlight Sardona Ultra Trail | 82 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Anglesey
Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | August 29, 2014 | website
Cumbria
Grand Tour of Skiddaw | 44 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Greater London
T184 | 184 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Hertfordshire
Chiltern Way Ultra 100k | 100 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Chiltern Way Ultra 200k | 200 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Challenge | 106 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Isle of Wight Challenge – Half Island | 56 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Kent
Thames Gateway 100 | 103 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Thames Gateway 60 | 60 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Moray
Speyside Way Race | 36 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Wales
Survival Run: The Celts | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
The Celts 50k | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

USA
Alabama
Coldwater Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Coldwater Mountain 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Alaska
Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay | 175 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
California
Bulldog 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Headwaters Ultra – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Tahoe 200 | 200 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Tamalpa Headlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Colorado
D’Evelyn DASH 2K run/walk and carnival | 2000 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Devil Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Devil Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Ridgway 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Silverton 1000 – 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Silverton Alpine 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Florida
The Pinellas Trail Challenge | 46 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Georgia
Yeti Snakebite 50K | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Yeti Snakebite 50M | 50 miles | August 31, 2014 | website
Idaho
IMTUF 100 | 100 miles | August 29, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
The Rock Run | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Michigan
Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
North Country Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Minnesota
Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Missouri
Go! KT82 Trail Relay | 82 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Montana
Fool’s Gold 50M | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Nevada
Black Rock City 50km | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2014 | website
New York
Green Lakes 100 km Trail Race | 100 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Green Lakes 50 km Trail Race | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Annihilator 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Save the Trails 65K | 65 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Oregon
Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Pennsylvania
Baker Trail UltraChallenge | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
South Dakota
Lean Horse 50 Km | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Lean Horse Half Hundred | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Lean Horse Hundred | 100 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Utah
Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Vermont
Jay Peak 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Virginia
Iron Mountain 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
The Ring – Massanutten Trail Circuit Run | 71 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Washington
Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Wisconsin
Lake Michigan Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

CLOSE

 

LINKS

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_68_-_Campbell_Sichel_Johnston_Navigation101.mp3

ITunes HERE

Libsyn – HERE

Website – HERE

Navigation 101 – A basic introduction

©iancorless.com.IMG_4906GL3D_Day1

Navigation with a compass is not something that is difficult to grasp. In reality, it is as simple as 1,2,3.

In a new series of Navigation 101 tutorials, we are teaming up with Charlie Sproson from Mountain Run to provide a simple series of articles in conjunction with audio interviews to help guide you to safe navigation.

©iancorless.com.IMG_6014GL3D_Day1

If you are heading to any trails, mountains or if you are in a new area looking to explore, a detailed map of the area (1:25.000) and a compass should be part of your all important mandatory kit. More importantly, the knowledge of how to use a map with a compass is essential.

©iancorless.com.IMG_5125GL3D_Day1

A compass is a magnetic needle floating in liquid that responds to the Earth’s magnetic field. It’s amazingly simple but equally amazing. Several options are available when purchasing a compass, for running (or hiking), an orienteering compass is ideal.

 Expedition54_35861-9011

I personally recommend a compass with a magnifying glass; it’s not essential but can certainly help when fine detail is required.

Your compass will have:

  • A base plate, depending on your make and model, it may have one ruler or several.
  • A rotating bevel marked with N, W, S, E and 360 degrees around the circle.
  • A magnetic needle. This will usually be red.
  • Cardinal lines.
  • A direction of travel arrow.

©iancorless.com_Compass

North (N), West (W), South (S) and East (E) are your key elements of a compass making up 360 degrees and as one would expect, they are 90 degrees apart (4×90 = 360).

Taking these four key navigation points one step farther, these degrees are also split into finer tuning such:

North East (NE) – 45 degrees

South East (SE) – 135 degrees

South West (SW) – 225 degrees

And North West (NW) – 315 degrees

These principal points add to the 4-main directional points and thus provide 8-pricipal points that we are able to use in basic navigation.

Making oneself familiar with the compass and these 8-key directions points is a great way to start.

Compass Face

We can take the compass one step on and break it down into 16-points such as North North East (NNE) or East South East (ESE), however, that will come in a later post when we progress from basic navigation to intermediate navigation.

Taking a Bearing

©iancorless.com_IMG_5329Marmot24_2014_

First and foremost, ensure you have the appropriate map for your area in a suitable scale: usually 1:25.000 is ideal.

Remember, North is the top of the map. It’s imperative you orientate the map correctly.

To take a bearing you need to know where you currently are, point A and where you would like to go, point B.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

screenshot_396

 

1: On the map align the left or the right edge of the compass base through landmarks. In this scenario we will use A and B. Make sure the direction of travel arrow is pointing toward B.

screenshot_397

 

2: Turn the compass dial until NORTH on the compass lines up with NORTH on the map. As a tip and help, the meridian lines on your compass should line up with the maps North/ South grid lines (if available).

screenshot_399

3: Now rotate your body, compass in hand and align the direction arrow with the red compass needle. Read the bearing* and follow the direction of travel arrow to your destination, in this scenario, point-B.

Now…?

GO

 

Easy isn’t it?

*Map bearings and field bearings can differ. For example, in the USA this can be 30 degrees and in the west 20 degrees. This is called ‘DECLINATION’ and will be discussed in our next post when we look at intermediate navigation.

Hints n Tips

  1. Understand maps and spend time in the comfort of your home looking at and analysing maps of areas that you know well. It will make things easier to understand.
  2. Know and understand scale. For example, 1:25.000 means 1 unit in the map is the equivalent to 25.000 units.
  3. Maps have LATITUDE (East to West) and LONGITUDE (North to South).
  4. An Altimeter (many modern GPS sports watched contain this but you must calibrate it) is extremely useful in conjunction with your map and compass, particularly in any orienteering event. However, this is beyond basic navigation.
  5. A GPS (Garmin or similar) and/ or an IPhone with ‘apps’ such as OS Locate are great back ups that can offer security to a basic navigator. However, never rely on such tools as batteries can die, gps signals fade and of course, you may just possibly break or loose such a device. In the early days of navigation, these tools may just help provide you with a much-needed security blanket.

©iancorless.com_IMG_6434BerghausTrailChase_2014_

Common Sense

  1. Check weather forecasts and only adventure out when you are sure of clear weather. Once you have progressed and feel comfortable with your navigation, you can experiment in less favourable conditions.
  2. Don’t venture out alone. Safety comes with numbers.
  3. Inform family, friends or neighbours your intended plans and provide a timescale.
  4. Make sure you have clothing, food and liquid for the worst case scenario and be prepared.
  5. It’s good to test yourself but understand your limits and don’t overreach.

More information:

Charlie Sproson has provided the advice and experience in creating this post. You can hear a full interview in episode 68 of Talk Ultra podcast ‘free’ on iTunes HERE (published Friday 22nd Aug 2014).

Charlie is the creator of Mountain Run based in the UK

Mountain Run

 

In conjunction with our series of podcasts and informative documents, Charlie and iancorless.com plan to arrange a basic navigation day (weekend) in the English Lakes. Dates tbc. If you are interested, please use the form below to express your interest.

Credits – Map images 1,2,3 go are copyright ©SILVA

Disclaimer – this post is geared at a novice runner or hiker looking to venture into navigation. It is purposely written to offer a simple and basic introduction to a compass and how to use it. Please be sensible and understand the dangers that can arise from a lack of preparation.

 

 

 

Matterhorn Ultraks 2014 – In-depth race preview

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‘Wow, it’s such a beautiful course with the glacier at Gornergrat and then of course the Matterhorn is ever present while we run.’ Emelie Forsberg

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The Matterhorn Ultraks returns, 1-year on and boy does time fly. The Skyrunner® World Series Matterhorn Ultraks is the penultimate race in the SKY series, followed by Limone Extreme, Italy in October. A magical race over 46 km with 
D+ : 3’600 m | D- : 3’600 m. Combining wild open spaces, high mountains and a course that requires climbing ability, speed and technique. The highest point is Gornergrat at 3100m and this ascent will be a test for all. Panoramic views accompany every runner for the duration of the event and the ever-present Matterhorn will dominate.

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Zermatt, the village at the foot of the Matterhorn is located on the Italian border of the Canton of Valais in the west of Switzerland. The Matterhorn is arguably the most photographed mountain in the world. Zermatt epitomizes Switzerland, high alpine, awe-inspiring and original. Almost one-third of the 4,000-metre mountains in the Alps are grouped around this word-famous health resort, which has been visited by mountaineers from all around the world since the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.

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View 2013 race image HERE

Read Kilian Jornet’s Matterhorn Summits interview HERE

RACE PREVIEW

MEN 

Kilian Jornet will be in Zermatt, however, it looks like the Catalan will be in a supporting role for the 2014 edition of the race after a hectic last few weeks and months. Luis Alberto Hernando who placed 2nd last year will also not be taking part as he prepares for UTMB, therefore, this leaves the door well and truly wide open for a new and fresh podium.

Marco, 11th August 2012 in the mountains above Zinal.

Marco, 11th August 2012 in the mountains above Zinal.

Marco De Gasperi needs no introduction. Way back in the day, Marco’s Skyrunning career started in and around the slopes of the Matterhorn. This year Marco has struggled with injury, he keeps telling me, ‘I’m getting old and I get more and more little niggles.’ We all know that when this Italian mountain goat is in form, he is unstoppable. His recent poor race at Sierre-Zinal was due to stomach issues, a problem that can hit any of us at any time. So, if Marco feels good, he is my top tip for the 1st podium place.

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne missed Ultraks last year and I am sure he will be looking to make amends this year. His 2nd place behind Kilian at the Skyrunning World Championships clearly states that Michel is great form. If he carries that form over the Zermatt, I think we can expect to see a place on the podium and if all things align, he may well take the top slot.

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Thorbjorn Ludvigsen has been on a roll lately with a series of performances that have impressed, particularly over the VK distance. His recent run at Sierre-Zinal by his own admission was below par. However, the Ultraks course will suit his strong climbing and fast running.

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Marc Pinsach placed 6th overall at Ultraks last year and not only is he a good friend and sparring partner of Kilian Jornet, he has a similar background, which bodes well for this course.

©iancorless.comIMG_7387Canazei2014

Eirik Haugsness had a great race in the 2013 edition of the race and after a strong showing at the Skyrunning World Championships and the Dolomites Skyrace; Eirik will be gunning for top-5 and ideally the podium. It’s within reach!

©iancorless.com_IMG_0753SierreZinal_2014_

Zaid Ait Malek continues to run the Skyrunning circuit with a string of strong performances. A regular top-10, he is currently missing the form or the break that would repeat his 2013 Zegama performance. He has all the ability both as a climber and pure runner. Ultraks may well be his breakthrough race of 2014.

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Aritz Egea an ever present at Zegama-Aizkorri, Dolomites Skyrace and Sierre-Zinal will be looking for another consistent top-10 performance. Aritz complained of not feeling great at the recent Sierre-Zinal and placed just outside the top-20. An unusual blip for the Basque country runner; Ultraks will be a better race, I am sure.

Jordi Bes Ginesta was the winner of the 2013 CCC and placed 11th at Matterhorn Ultraks in 2013. His recent top-10 at Ice Trail Tarentaise, backed up with 17th at Transvulcania must give him a billing as top-10.

Florian Reichert has had a strong year of consistent performances and will be looking to improve on his 66th placing at Ultraks in 2013. That placing is not indicative of Florian’s ability and more importantly his current form.

Nicolas Pianet 13th at Ultraks in 2013 and will be looking to break top-10 this year.

Ones to watch (not in order):

  • Oscar Casal Mir
  • Marc Casal Mir 21st at Transvulcania in 2014 and an ever-present on the Skyrunning circuit.
  • Hassan Ait Chau strong showing at the recent Sierre-Zinal.
  • Dabid Garcia
  • Inaki Uribe-Etxebarria
  • Julien Navarro
  • Ryan Bak 1st place Peterson Ridge Rumble 20m and Horse Butte 10m in 2014. Recent form?
  • Mathieu Martinez 5-top results in 2013 with 2-victories at Le Grand Defi des Voseges and Trail des Marcaires
  • Es Tressider
  • Artem Rostovstev
  • Hector Haines an ever-present top performing Brit. Top-20 would be a great result.
  • Yan Longfei

LADIES

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Emelie Forsberg returns and after missing Sierre-Zinal to race a ‘home’ race, I can’t help but think that she will be super motivated to repeat her race victory form 2013. Last year, although taking a strong 1st place, Emelie complained of feeling tired with heavy legs for the whole race. Most certainly, she will be looking for fresh legs this year and she is going to need them! The competition is fierce.

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Stevie Kremer just recently finally won Sierre-Zinal after 2-years of 2nd places. In addition, this last weekend Stevie placed top-5 at the Pikes Peak ascent. Travel is a big issue for Stevie and one of the important factors is managing the fatigue that comes with it. Ultraks will be no different for the Colorado based lady. No one lady is dominating the Sky distance this year, so although Stevie can certainly win the race, like Emelie, she is going to need her ‘A’ game.

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Elisa Desco has arguably shown incredible consistency in the Skyrunner® World Series this year. Well, that was until she dropped from Sierre-Zinal with stomach issues. Current Skyrunning World Champion, we have seen Elisa go head-to-head with Stevie on many occasions and Ultraks will be no different. It’s going to be one seriously interesting race and it’s difficult to call out a winner.

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Kasie Enman has been on the comeback roll and we were seeing consistently better and better performances and as Kasie settled back into racing and training. Her recent 2nd at Speedgoat 50k was a great performance and a real confidence boost. Although Kasie had a strong run at Sierre-Zinal, I did expect her to contend the podium. However, nothing is guaranteed when you have a busy family life, 2-children and travel thrown into the mix. Now based in Europe for several weeks, Kasie may well be more relaxed, fresher and ready to thrown down the gauntlet at Ultraks. Watch out ladies!

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Maite Maiora produced an incredible performance at the 2014 Transvulcania La Palma placing 2nd and has followed up this form with a string of top-10 performances; a highlight 3rd at Zegama-Aizkorri. A consistent and regular performer on the Skyrunner® World Series, Maite will be in the mix at Ultraks looking to repeat the form from La Palma. Placing 6th at the Skyrunning World Championships against many of the same ladies present in this race, I am sure Maite will be looking to improve and make top-5.

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Stephanie Jiminez like many of the ladies above is a Skyrunning ever-present. Racing over the VK and SKY distances, Ultraks will be at the ‘longer’ end of the distances Stephanie likes to race, so, that will impact on her performance. Having said that, she knows how to run in the mountains and for sure, top-10 is a distinct possibility.

Ones to watch:

  • Leire Agirrezabala
  • Uxoa Irigoien
  • Laia Andreu Trias
  • Anna Comet I Pascua

 

Not running:

  • Kilian Jornet
  • Mike Wolfe
  • Tom Owens
  • Pablo Villa
  • Stephan Wenk

 

Race results from 2013

Men

  1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) – Salomon Santiveri – 4h43’05’’
  2. Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – adidas – 4h44’47’’
  3. Nicola Golinelli (ITA) – Arc’teryx – 4h45’57’’

Women

  1. Emilie Forsberg (SWE) – Salomon – 5h41’16’’
  2. Silvia Serafini (ITA) Salomon Agisko – 5h44’37’’
  3. Nuria Dominguez (ESP) – Buff- 5h59’19’’

LINKS:

Skyrunning HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks HERE

Race Images 2013 HERE

Berghaus Trail Chase 2014 – Summary and Images

Berghaus Trail Chase Logo

The inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase took place at the weekend in the North York Moors National Park. Organised by Shane Ohly and the team from Ourea Events, this race offered a unique format that was suitable for all abilities and experience.

Three courses: Black (white flags), Red and Blue offered three distances of varying difficulty over 2-days on way marked courses.

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A full set of race images are available to view HERE

The event HQ was located in Thinmbleby, Osmotherley. This location provided a hub for runners to assemble, register and prepare and then on the stroke of midday buses arrived to transfer runners to three different starts.

Using ski piste colour coding, runners participating in the black route would run 32.8km with 1012m elevation on day-1 and then 21.3km (814m+) on day-2.

The red route covered 25.3km (801m+) and 17.4km (582m+)

And the blue route provided an entry level race that could appeal to all abilities covering 16.6km (326m+) on day-1 and 10.1km (291m+) on day-2.

Logistically, all races on day-1 would finish at the same campsite in Chop Gate and then on the following day, black and red races would start from the overnight stop and the blue runners would be transferred to Locker Wood for the shorter last day. As one would expect, all races finished at the race HQ in Osmotherley.

©iancorless.com_IMG_2189BerghausTrailChase_2014_Vibrant heather, lush green fields, dense bracken and rugged trails along with lush green forests and bridle paths provided a stunning backdrop to all 3-races. Despite heavy rain during the overnight camp, the weather gods played ball providing everyone with a couple of excellent days running. Add to this live music, flowing beer and some excellent food in the Chop Gate village hall and Ohly and the Ourea team have the makings of a great event.

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Day-1 for all three races started as one would expect with mass starts for each respective race. The sting in the tail and the unique nature of this event became clear on day-2 when the CHASE began. Starting in finishing order of day-1, runners would leave in order with exact time gaps adhered to. The objective? Catch the runner in front and you gain a place. It brings a whole new meaning to running scared and the cat and mouse scenario adds a real element of excitement to the event.

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Post race, not only had the Berghaus Trail Chase race format provided a challenging experience for each and every participant but it had also been fun! The atmosphere was very relaxed and the whole experience had been a real positive.

Of course, racing did take place over the 2-days and some hard fought battles were run out on the trails of the North York Moors. However, it very much felt that racing was secondary to fun and enjoying the moment.

The Berghaus Trail Chase will be back in 2015. Bigger, better and I can only hope that Ohly books some great weather once again. I for one will be back.

RESULTS:

Black

  1. Duncan Archer 4:36:54
  2. Charlie Sharpe 4:47:42
  3. Steve Coates 5:07:34
  1. Stephanie Kitchen 6:06:32
  2. Michelle Hetherington 6:07:42
  3. Sam Scott 6:23:34

Full BLACK results HERE

Red

  1. Simon Jones 3:47:51
  2. Madeleine Robinson 3:56:43
  3. Alistair Nash 3:57:29

Full RED results HERE

Blue

  1. Christian McGill 2:32:25
  2. Peter Downes 2:33:22
  3. Martin Done 2:35:31

Full BLUE results HERE

 

A full set of race images are available to view HERE

Race website HERE

Final results HERE

A full set of race images are available to view HERE