Do you like it on your back? In your hand? Or around your waist?

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With temperatures rising and longer lighter days for many of us in Europe and North America, we can hopefully all get out and run more. But as we all know, or maybe we don’t, we need to consider several things when running in the heat:

  • It’s harder
  • You sweat more
  • You need more fluid

We need to adapt. So what happens when the mercury rises?

Question, do you prefer it:

  •  On your back?
  •  In your hand?
  •  Around your waist?

Of course I am talking about your method of hydration.

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON RUNULTRA HERE

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Tromsö Skyrace 2015 Preview – “Soul running between the sky and the sea!”

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It’s the 2nd edition of the Tromsö Skyrace and although the 2 race directors won’t thank me for adding a spotlight onto them, one has to admit that Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet as RD’s really does add a plus to an event.

If you were a cynic, you may well think that the race just uses the two Skyrunning stars as a vehicle for promotion! If you do, you could not be more wrong! Just a glance at Facebook this last 2 weeks has provided us all with a real insight into how ‘hands-on’ Kilian and Emelie have been in getting this race off the ground and ready for an increased audience.

The duo brings a true love of the mountains and a desire for technical terrain to a larger audience and with the Tromsö Skyrace the challenge is a tough one! Edition 1 had many a runner saying that it was the most extreme and technical 45km’s they had ever run. That I am sure would place a big smile on Kilian’s and Emilie’s’ faces. Using inspirational race like Trofeo Kima as an influence on the Tromsö Skyrace, the race is set to be a classic that will run for a great deal of time.

Located in Tromsö, Norway, the race embraces the wilderness and 24-hour days with fjords and glaciers as a backdrop. In the words of Kilian and Emelie, it is “Soul running between the sky and the sea!”

In summary:

  • Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg: two world-class race ambassadors
  • Tromsö, a remarkable landscape
  • Three races
  • International yet familiar race
  • Eco-responsive race

300 runners in total will arrive in Tromsö for what I am sure will be an amazing, awe inspiring experience that they will hold and cherish for a long time to come. After all, the race does take place in the Norwegian Arctic Circle.

“First we just started to talk about how cool it was that in the north we can run 24 hours in light during the summer. And then we started to talk about what we think Skyrunning is and how we would like a race that includes all the key ingredients; trails, summits, ridges off trail aid stations, a consideration for the environment and so on! We decided to make a course that comes close to the city but still has all the key ingredients that we want in a race, summits, wilderness and technical parts! We are so happy about the route!”

 

Friday will start with a Blamann VK, 2.6km in length and 1044m of vertical gain make this race a true challenge for those who like to push themselves on a steep gradient.

The Tromsdalstind Skyrace has 19km length and 1600m elevation and the key race for the weekend is the Hamperokken Skyrace which is part of the Ultra Skyrunner® World Series and has 42km length and 4100m of vertical gain.

So who is running?

VK

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Nejc Kuhar heads up a strong VK race and as Skyrunner® World Series leader for the VK distance he is a firm favourite for the title in Tromsö.

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However, Eirik Haugsness and Thorbjorn Ludvigsen are almost certainly going to want to represent themselves highly and what is a ‘local’ race.

Rising star, Remi Bonnet will also be a key contender as will Ferran Texeido but the dark horse may well be Stian Hovind so keep an eye on him, he is my dark horse for the top of the podium.

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The ladies VK race is wide open and maybe not surprisingly, Emelie Forsberg may well be a hot favourite for victory.

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Azara Garcia will almost certainly contend the podium, as will Therese Sjursen and Ekatarina Mityaaeva.

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Mira Rai will also run but I think the Nepalese runner is still finding her feet in these short vertical races. I am sure she will be looking to the Ultra on Sunday for her best performance.

 

ULTRA

I fully appreciate that 42km is not an ultra, so please don’t email in and point this out! The Tromso Skyrace gains ‘ultra’ status due to the demanding course, technicality and because of the time it will take to complete the course. As we said earlier, this is NO easy race! If in doubt, the winning time from 2014 was 6:38:30!

Men

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Skyrunning World and European Champion for the Ultra distance, Luis Alberto Hernando will toe the line in Tromso and one has to say, he is the man to beat. He has been on fire in 2014 with victory and Transvulcania, Ice Trail Tarentaise and 2nd place at the IAU World Trail Championships.

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Franco Colle equally has been a revelation in 2015. His victory at Tor des Geants in 2014 placed him on the radar for any race over 100-miles but this year he has nailed Mont-Blanc 80km and Ice Trail Tarentaise. One to watch!

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Last years winner, Eirik Haugsness is going to have his work cut-out to top the podium in 2015 but Tromso is a race that holds a special place for him and that always adds so those essential extra percentages when you need to dig deep.

Philipp Reiter has had a quiet 2015; no doubt university has placed a demand on his time. Tromso however will suit the young Germans skill set and I am almost certain we can expect to feel his presence at the front of the race.

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Cristofer Clemente adds to the front-end action and has consistently performed well in 2015 with a string of top 10 placing.

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Salomon team manager, Greg Vollet can never be ruled out of the front end action and I see that Canadian Adam Campbell is on the start list but I am not sure if he will run after a sterling effort at Hardrock 100.

Local talent will provide a huge surprise factor and here Emelie provides me with some valuable inside information:

Lars Eirik Skjervheim is a member of the Norwegian ski mountaineering team and a very good runner. He has had a struggle with an injury but if he is in good shape he could be on the podium, I think?

Ola Hovdenak was 2nd in 2014 and loves technical trail.

Sven Are Paulsen is a Tromsö X- country skier, that last year got really into Skyrunning! Top 10!

Kristian Ulriksen is a fast roadrunner from Tromso; lets see how he handles the technical trails.

And finally,

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Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz, Zigor Iturrieta (in hospital for an operation), Florian Reichert, Jan Bartas and Stu Air will all figure in or around the top 10 and my dark horse tip goes to Dan Doherty who may well be the surprise package of the whole race.

 

Ladies

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Mira Rai may well excel in the tough and challenging conditions of Tromso. Her victory at Mont-Blanc 80km was a revelation but recent races at the Dolomites VK and Dolomites Skyrace were mixed. Maybe they were too short? Tromso may well be short in distance but in time, it’s a long race that will play into Mira’s hands.

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Maite Maiora is a Skyrunning specialist and specializes in the Sky distance. However, she nailed Transvulcania in 2014 and that therefore elevates her up the ‘one-to-watch’ to THE one to watch.

Australian rising star, Lucy Bartholomew will also run the race and this will be a big test. But I strongly believe it’s a test that she will rise too. The podium may well be a long shot this early in her career but I don’t think she will be too far off.

Malene Hakoy is a Norwegian ski mountaineer, she won Hornidal runt this year and placed second overall… one to watch!

Hilde Aders placed top 10 in the Dolomites VK and placed 2 in Hornidal Runt this year.

Finally, a real dark horse shout out for Shiri Leventhal; I am sure she won’t thank me for pointing a spotlight at her but she made the podium at Everest Trail Race a few years ago and may well be a surprise package. Also, Heather Ohly from the UK may well make an impact on the top-10.

Needless to say, Tromsö Skyrace is going to over a seriously exciting weekend of running in an amazing part of the world and what almost certainly will be and incredible course.

I can’t wait!

You can follow the race in words and images here at iancorless.com on Facebook HERE on Twitter @talkultra and on Instagram @iancorlessphotography

also follow Skyrunning via the official facebook page HERE on Twitter HERE and via the website HERE

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Marmot24 2015 – Race Summary and Images

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The inaugural Marmot24 took place in 2014 and it proved to be one of the most challenging races of its type on the race calendar. Using a score format, participants raced over 12 or 24 hours on tough northern Lakeland terrain. Adding to the difficulty, the weather was grim. Yes, it was one seriously tough race.

This year another tough and challenging course was created in Southern Scotland (the Lowther Hills close to Dumfries) by Gary Tompsett. Once again using a score format (all controls had the same points) the objective for participants was to visit and accumulate points from as many controls as possible spread over an area of 200 square km’s. Needless to say, the potential for any 1 or 2-man (or woman or mixed) team to gain a 100% score was almost impossible.

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However, several teams excelled in the tough conditions.

In contrast to 2014 when the 12-hour runners started at midnight, this year, all competitors started at midday. A centrally based camp would allow runners to return as often as they like to rest, sleep, eat and then go back out on the course. For the committed, they never returned until the end!

100 runners took on the challenge and although clear blue skies bathed base camp and the northern hills, the southern part of the course had looming clouds that unfortunately (unexpectedly) provided a very wet and miserable day.

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From the off it was apparent that the northern fells seemed to be the preferred choice with clusters of controls offering good point scoring potential. The terrain may well have been more demanding in regard to elevation but underfoot it was dry, firm and fast. The south by contrast was flatter but extremely boggy. This boggy ground combined with wet weather made the south of the course not ideal. But sometimes you only find this out once you have committed yourself.

Route planning was extremely varied; some teams would start south, others in the north. Clockwise or anti-clockwise. The route options were endless and thus tracking and following of the event was very much a lottery.

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One consensus for many appeared to be the potential to spend 10-12 hours on the fells, call in the HQ for food, maybe some sleep and a change of clothes and then head back out. However, once you get back in camp, immerse yourself in a warm sleeping bag, it can be difficult to get back out on what turned out to be a very chilly July night.

Rain had been falling for hours in the south and this resulted in many a runner bringing their race to an end with the 12-hour cut off. However, those who had gone north were much better prepared for a night out and some wild camped, bivvied or pushed on through.

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Jim Tinnion, a regular competitor at these events (The Spine, Dragons Back and so on) commented post race:

“Lowther Hills was a super tough location with running as rough as you can imagine and some desperate descents. Happy with 2nd mixed pair: we didn’t quite have enough to match a great run by Simon and Carmen. Amazing stars last night at a freezing bivvy. Sleeping in survival bags isn’t ideal but we got a couple of hours sleep 15 miles after dinner in the Wanlockhead Inn. Brilliant event, very highly recommended but far and away the hardest mountain marathon challenge I know of.”

Teams had travelled from all over the UK and Europe to participate in this new and ground breaking event. Post race, they all concurred that the terrain and the difficult conditions had provided them all with an ultimate test. Bogs, marshes, bracken and ferns were a new experience to the ‘Europeans’ and it was clear to see the impact. ©iancorless.com_Marmot242015-3202

Top honors in the 12-hour went to Chris Baynham-Hughes who sweeped up a remarkable 25 controls. He was fast, in control and used supreme navigational skills and fitness to dominate the tough and challenging event. He timed his run perfectly finishing at Dursideer HQ in the final 15-minutes before the midnight chime. Full 12-hour results HERE. Sarah Fuller was 1st lady and Hamish Waring and Andy Heaton were the first pair.

The 24-hour race came down to a nail biter between Peter Wilkie and Rick Ansell. These hard core mountain men stayed out all night, pushed on through and looked to gain maximum points before returning back to base. They both accumulated 36 controls but Rick Ansell took top honors as he returned just 6-minutes before Peter. They don’t get much closer than that! Full 24-hour results HERE. Barry McElearney and Graham Cleminson were the first pair and Charlotte Turner and Lydia Farzin-Nia were the first ladies pair. No solo ladies ran the event.

Post race participants recovered with a bowl of hot chilli and of course route choices and course discussions took place, one thing became apparent; he combination of tough Scottish terrain, variable weather and wide spread controls set the Marmot24 apart from other events and it’s a format that was welcomed. Roll on 2016!

A full set of race images are available HERE

Race website HERE

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Episode 91 – Boulet Nichols Robbins Forsberg

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Episode 91 of Talk Ultra brings you with interviews Mont-Blanc 80km winner, Alex Nichols, we speak with WSER ladies winner Magdalena Boulet and we also chat with Gary Robbins about his FKT. Emelie Forsberg is back for a Smiles and Miles and this week Niandi Carmont co-hosts as Karl is getting ready for Speedgoat.

00:11:38 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities http://iancorless.org/2015/04/28/nepal-appeal-nepalearthquake/

HARDROCK 100

  1. Kilian Jornet 23:28 new CR and holds records both ways now
  2. Mike Foote 25:45
  3. Adam Campbell 26:49
  1. Anna Frost 28:22
  2. Darcy Piceu 28:57 won 3 times before
  3. Darla Askew 32:05

 

ICE TRAIL TARENTAISE article HERE

1 – Luis Alberto  HERNANDO 07:43:00

2 – Manuel MERILLAS MOLEDO 07:50:27

3 – Clement MOLLIET 07:54:29

1 – Emelie FORSBERG 09:17:21

2 – Magdalena LACZAK 09:30:37

3 – Anna STRAKOVA 09:48:46

FKT for Gary Robbins – In Washington on the 95-mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, Gary Robbins ran 18:52 to cut just over two hours from Kyle Skaggs’s previous supported record, which had stood since 2006.

00:35:48 INTERVIEW

Gary Robbins

SCOTT JUREK completes the AT 46 days 8 hours 7 or is it 8 minutes? article HERE 

DOLOMITES SKYRACE article HERE

  1. Tadei Pivk 2:02:47
  2. Ionut Zinca 2:03:18
  3. Pascal Egli 2:03:46
  1. Megan Kimmel 2:25:57 – new CR
  2. Laura Orgue 2:26:58
  3. Elisa Desco 2:28:36

EIGER ULTRA TRAIL

  1. Caroline Chaverot 12:45
  2. Andrea Huser 12:52
  3. Francesca Canepa 13:13
  1. Urs Jenzer 11:44
  2. Jason Schlarb 11:50
  3. Davis Quelhas 12:27

MARCO DE GASPERI set a new FKT. He raced from Courmayeur up 15,780-foot Mont Blanc in 6:43:52, just under the previous 6:45:24 mark that had stood since 1995. The route covers nearly 50k while gaining 12,303 feet of elevation.

COLORADO 14ers RECORD After 9 days, 21 hours, and 51 minutes, Andrew Hamilton had climbed all 58 of Colorado’s 14000-foot peaks and was the new FKT holder.

01:27:00 INTERVIEW

AKEX NICHOLS

TALK TRAINING 

How to pick the correct shoe article HERE

02:11:26 INTERVIEW

MAGDALENA BOULET

02:54:23 SMILES AND MILES with Emelie Forsberg

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Altra Centennial Park Ultra100km | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

Altra Centennial Park Ultra 50km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

Queensland

Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Austria

Dirndltal Extrem Ultramarathon | 111 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Canada

Alberta

Canadian Death Race | 125 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Quebec

Pandora 24 Ultra X Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Ecuador

RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 | 250 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Finland

Lapland

NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 125 km | 125 kilometers | July 24, 2015 | website

NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 55K | 55 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

France

Haute-Corse

Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

Haute-Loire

La Loire Integrale | 1025 kilometers | August 05, 2015 | website

Haute-Savoie

Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Isère

Défi de l’Oisans | 200 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

Jura

Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Savoie

Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

EDF Cenis Tour 50 | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

EDF Cenis Tour 73 | 73 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

La 6000D | 63 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Juli | 108 kilometers | July 31, 2015 | website

Brandenburg

Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Lower Saxony

Süntel-Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Guadeloupe

Rèd Mammel | 50 kilometers | July 24, 2015 | website

Ultra Transkarukera | 120 kilometers | July 24, 2015 | website

India

Himachal Pradesh

The Himalayan Crossing | 353 kilometers | July 27, 2015 | website

The SPITI | 126 kilometers | July 30, 2015 | website

Indonesia

Les Foulées de la Soie en indonénie | 100 kilometers | August 06, 2015 | website

Mount Rinjani Ultra | 52 kilometers | August 07, 2015 | website

Ireland

Munster

Keith Whyte Waterfront Ultra Marathon | 36 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Sicily

Etna Trail | 64 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 121 km | 121 kilometers | July 24, 2015 | website

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 24, 2015 | website

Veneto

Trans d’Havet Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Latvia

Cēsis ECO Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Madagascar

Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Mauritius

Trail des 7 Couleurs | 120 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Mongolia

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 05, 2015 | website

Peru

Moyobamba Trail Running Festival | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Philippines

TransCebu Ultramarathon 105 Km | 105 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

TransCebu Ultramarathon 55 Km | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Portugal

Ultra-Trail Nocturno da Lagoa de Óbidos | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Réunion

Trail du Grand Ouest | 60 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Russia

Elbrus Mountain Race by adidas outdoor | 105 kilometers | July 30, 2015 | website

Golden Ring Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

Golden Ring Ultra Trail 100 | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2015 | website

Singapore

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Spain

Aragon

Calcenada Vuelta al Moncayo – 104 km | 104 kilometers | August 07, 2015 | website

Gran Trail Aneto-Posets | 109 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Vuelta al Aneto | 58 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Cantabria

Trail La Herradura de Campoo – 55 km | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Trail La Herradura de Campoo – Trail Etapas 28+32 | 60 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Catllaràs | 55 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Sweden

Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 07, 2015 | website

Switzerland

Grisons

Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Obwald

MOUNTAINMAN Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Ticino

Ultra Race – 130 km | 128 kilometers | August 07, 2015 | website

Ultra Race – 80 km | 81 kilometers | August 07, 2015 | website

Valais

La Spéci-Men | 72 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Turkey

RunFire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon | 220 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

East Riding of Yorkshire

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 24, 2015 | website

The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

England

Round the Rock | 48 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Round the Rock Ultra Marathon | 48 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Hampshire

Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Stirling

Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

USA

Alaska

Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 07, 2015 | website

Arizona

Vertigo 63K Night Trail Run | 63 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Arkansas

Full mOOn 50K | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

California

Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Badwater 135 | 135 miles | July 28, 2015 | website

Big Basin Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2015 | website

Harding Hustle 50K | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Montaña de Oro 50km | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

San Francisco Ultramarathon | 52 miles | July 26, 2015 | website

Colorado

Grand Mesa 100M | 100 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Grand Mesa 37.5M | 60 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Grand Mesa 50M | 50 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Never Summer 100km | 100 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Ouray 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 31, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | August 07, 2015 | website

Wild West Relay | 200 miles | July 31, 2015 | website

Idaho

Wild Idaho 50K Enrudance Run | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Wild Idaho 50M Enrudance Run | 50 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Maine

Down East Sunrise Trail Team Relay | 102 miles | July 24, 2015 | website

Maryland

Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Montana

HURL Elkhorn 50 K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

HURL Elkhorn 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Nevada

Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | July 31, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Mattamuskeet Death March | 100 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

The March | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Ohio

Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Burning River 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Oregon

Cascade Lakes Relay | 132 miles | July 31, 2015 | website

Elkhorn Relay | 203 miles | August 07, 2015 | website

Relay | 132 miles | July 31, 2015 | website

Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50M | 50 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Viaduct Trail 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Viaduct Trail 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Utah

Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run | 100 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Speedgoat 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventure Tushars 100 Mile | 100 miles | July 31, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventure Tushars 93K | 93 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Vermont

Moosalamoo Ultra – 36 M | 36 miles | August 01, 2015 | website

Virginia

Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

Washington

Bigfoot 200 Mile Endurance Run | 205 miles | August 07, 2015 | website

Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (August) | 50 kilometers | August 01, 2015 | website

White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | July 25, 2015 | website

03:11:15 CLOSE

03:14:45

Show links:

Website – talkultra.com

Tips for the Trail – Downhill Demon

 

©iancorless.com_Matterhorn2015-0893Running downhill is a skill mastered by the greatest fell / mountain runners. Watching someone descending at speed can leave the average runner in awe of the effortless speed and control. Technically if you’re running downhill it should be easy right? Gravity is pulling you down the hill so it’s all free speed… right? Unfortunately not.

Why is it so difficult?

1. When you run downhill you have to ‘brake’ your speed. Each time your foot hits the ground you use your thigh muscles to brake your descent. This braking places a specific stress on your muscles which causes a lot of damage, (that’s why they are so sore the next day).

2. Part of the reason for this ‘braking’ is the fact that you naturally land heel first and you are in effect ‘leaning backwards’. Ok, so when you’re actually running, you’re not ‘leaning backwards’, you are vertical. But, if you think about the angle of the slope away from you, then technically you are leaning backwards!

3. The braking takes place when your feet are on the ground, so the less your feet are on the ground, the better! If your stride is quite slow and your feet stay on the ground for a long time, there’s a lot of braking and a lot of strain on the muscles.

So what’s the plan?

1. Lean forwards slightly, this reduces the ‘lean back’ position and encourages you to land on your forefoot rather than your heel. By doing this, you reduce the braking effect.

2. You need to increase your cadence and get your feet moving quickly. By leaning forwards you’ll naturally gain speed, your feet and legs need to be able to keep up with that speed or you’ll end up braking again.

3. Relax and stay in control. Running downhill quickly, contrary to popular belief, is not for the brainless and brave. It’s not about ‘letting go’ and descending out of control with legs and arms flailing in all directions. It’s a purposeful forwards lean, mid foot strike with a fast cadence and minimal ground contact.

If I speed up, won’t I cause more damage?

1. People think if they run slower down the hill, it’ll cause less damage. Unfortunately that’s not always the case as the ‘braking’ is the cause of the damage. If you brake less, then you save your legs and you go quicker! However, be sensible about this, if you’re running a trail marathon or ultra race, perhaps descending at top speed (in particular the early stages of the race) is not the best plan.

Practice it this weekend, it’s all downhill from here!

Marc Laithwaite

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

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Emelie Forsberg to race the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline

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It’s with great pleasure that I can announce that Salomon International Athlete, Skyrunning Ultra World Champion and recently crowned Skyrunning Ultra European Champion, Emelie Forsberg, will run the first edition of the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline (Scotland) in August 2015.

Speaking after the Dolomites VK and just before the Dolomites SkyRace (where she placed 4th) Emelie confirmed that she will travel to the UK on August 20th to participate in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline.

Emelie in recent years has become one of the most important mountain/ skyrunners in the world after a string of high profile victories and podium performances in distances ranging from VK to 100-miles.

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Ironically, it all started in 2012 when Emelie raced The Three Peaks (UK) where she placed 2nd behind Sarah O’Neil. This race was quickly followed by running the iconic Zegama-Aizkorri where she placed 3rd after an incredible display of downhill running behind Oihana Kortazar and Nuria Picas. We knew then that Emelie was special!

Arguably, Emelie was unstoppable in 2013 and victory at Transvulcania Ultramarathon, Trans D’Havet and other high profile races only confirmed that a new multi-talented star was amongst us.

Known for her incredible strength, endurance and break neck downhill running, she has also become an inspiration to men and ladies all over the world by her infectious passion and love of life which she daily shares via social media. No matter how hard the race, no matter how tough the conditions are, no matter how bad she is feeling, Emelie is guaranteed to provide a smile.

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Emelie recently has an incredible start to 2015. A last minute decision to run Transvulcania Ultramarathon (off skis) was rewarding once again with a dominating victory. This was followed with a new course record and victory at the iconic Mount Marathon in Alaska.

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Just days after the Mount Marathon victory, Emelie raced the VK Face Bellevarde in Val d’Isere (as a loosen up) and then 2 days later won the 65km Ice Trail Tarentaise and was crowned Skyrunning European Champion 2015.

What a week! Mount Marathon and now European champion in ultra-distance Skyrunning! I’m really happy. I climbed summits and glacier and ran on beautiful trails. Thank you everyone standing along the course talking to me and cheering me on.”

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Never one to rest, 5 days after the ITT, Emelie ran the Dolomites VK and then placed 4th at the highly competitive Dolomites SkyRace just 2 days later.

“I need a little rest now but I am so looking forward to Scotland and this incredible course!”

Emelie’s presence in the UK is something that fans of mountain and trail running have wanted for some time, so, to finally have this come to fruition is extremely exciting. From day one my aim and desire with Skyrunning UK has been driven in providing UK runners challenging courses that would give them an insight into what is available in Europe. However, with careful planning and some great work with quality race directors, we are slowly but surely building a series of races that can offer a challenge to anyone! This was proven in 2014 when Stevie Kremer raced the Mourne Skyline MTR. Emelie’s presence in Scotland later this year is a dream come true but it’s only the beginning. I had a plan that in 3 years we would bring a host of world class talent to the UK to race and I can now see that coming to fruition, it’s a really exciting time!

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Shane Ohly form Ourea Events along with Gary Tompsett have worked tirelessly to put the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline race together and it hasn’t been without some raised eyebrows and concern (excellent article HERE). But the plan has been very clear from the start:

“We are not creating another mass participation fell or trail running event, but rather a world class Skyrunning course for experienced and competent participants. The Glen Coe Skyline is a fusion of mountain running and alpinism where competitors need to be skilled at both disciplines to negotiate the course.”

On hearing that Emelie would run the inaugural Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, Shane was very clear in his thought process:

“It is an honor that Emelie has decided to race at the inaugural Salomon Glen Coe Skyline and I am delighted that this world class Skyrunning course we have conceived has attracted a Skyrunning World and European Champion.”

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Emelie will not have an easy race! Finlay Wild, Es Tressider, Jim Mann and Dragons Back Race 2015 ladies champion (also 2nd overall) Jasmine Paris will also run the race.

‘We sincerely hope that aspirational races like the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline will contribute to the growth of the sport both in terms of participation and general awareness within the wider running and outdoor community within the UK,” said Ohly.

 

“I would love to see the same kind of community engagement and atmosphere at a UK SkyRace as I have personally experienced at European skyRaces like Zegama-Aizkorri. Certainly this is my goal for the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline and we will be working hard to achieve this.”

The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ follows in the finest tradition of the most prestigious Skyrunning races, fusing mountain running and alpinism in a pure test of speed, endurance and skill on an uncompromising, world-class course.

The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ will take place on Saturday 22nd August 2015 and will be part of the Skyrunner UK Series. The event is only suitable for highly experienced competitors and all aspirant entrants will be vetted for experience.

Entries are limited to 200 max. The current entry list is HERE.

Information

Skyrunning UK can be found at www.skyrunninguk.com

The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline can be found at www.glencoeskyline.com

Contacts

Ian Corless – iancorless@skyrunninguk.co.uk

Shane Ohly – shaneohly@oureaevents.com

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Xtreme Dodo Trail Mauritius 2015 Preview

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Excitement is brewing not only in Mauritius but also in South Africa with just five days to go before the small Indian Ocean island stages the 2015 Skyrunner® African Continental Championships with the Xtreme Dodo Trail and the Ti Dodo Trail.

Sunday’s race will be the fifth edition of the two Dodo races, but the first time they have been included by the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) on the global skyrunning calendar. The Xtreme Dodo Trail (XDT), with a distance of 50km and vertical gain of 3 500m, qualifies an Ultra Skymarathon®, while the 25km Ti Dodo Trail (TDT) with its 1 500m vertical gain, is a Skyrace®. The exciting part for South African skyrunning is that both of the races are included in the 2015 national South African Skyrunner® Series.

©iancorless.com_SkyRun14-5102#ETRkathmanduAt least three of South Africa’s top trail runners will be racing for podium placing in the XDT: Landie Greyling will be defending her 2014 ladies title, while Thabang Madiba, fresh from the recent World Long Distance Trail Championships in France, and ever-strong Christiaan Greyling are both strong contenders.

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Last year’s winner and race favourite Ricky Lightfoot (UK) will be looking for a back-to-back victory in the XDT to add to his numerous wins, the most widely known being his outright lead throughout the 2013 World Ultra Trail championships in Wales.

©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-2169Other international trail runners making up the elite contingent in the XDT include Laura Orgue (Spain), Maite Majora (Spain) and Simon Paillard (France).

©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-2319Set in the southwest region of Mauritius, the route of the XDT begins on the Le Morne peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural significance, and finishes at the Riverland Sports Centre in Tamarin, making full use of the mountains in the area. While the highest altitude reached will only be 828m, the route profile shows that virtually the only section of the race that is neither ascent nor descent is the six or so kilometres of tar section at the start.

The remainder of the route, explains race director Yannick de Speville, varies from rough to extremely technical. Over the seven major climbs that make up the route, runners will experience roots, rocks, mud, slippery grass, river crossings, a couple of very steep roped sections, and some dramatic descents. Views will be panoramic and breathtaking.

Conditions on race day also won’t be easy – while the temperature will being the mild mid-twenties, running in the humidity in Mauritius is hard work.The TDT Skyrace® starts three hours after the XDT, tracking the same route through the Black River Gorge area and sharing the same finish line in Tamarin after 25km.

Runners from 16 countries will be racing the two events, including Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Madagasca, Malaysia, Mauritius Reunion, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and the USA.

“We are very proud to be the first race in the Indian Ocean to become part of the Skyrunning family. Both the 50km Xtreme Dodo Trail and the 25km Ti Dodo trail are part of the 2015 African Continental Championship because they ideally suite the criteria of skyrunning: technical, very steep climbs, mainly off-road tracks to the peaks, and great scenic views. It is a result of the success of the previous four editions of these races that we have achieved this recognition. The Dodo Trail has been an international event since inception, with great runners like Dawa Sherpa, Erik Clavery, Pascal Blanc and Ricky Lightfoot coming to compete over the years. Now being part of the global skyrunning calendar opens the races even more to the world. We look forward to welcoming more and more international runners to future editions,” says De Speville.

Race website HERE
Race info HERE
Race Specs

Date: Sunday the 26th of July 2015

Start: The Morne

Finish: Riverland

Distance: 50 km

Maximum altitude: 828 m

Vertical climb: 3500 m

Start time: 5h30

Estimated winner’s time: 5h30

Maximum race time: 15 hours

Number of runners: 250 maximum

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Skyrunning Dolomites SkyRace 2015 – Race Images and Summary

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What an incredible day in the Dolomites as the 18th edition of the Skyrunning Dolomites SkyRace took place. At just 22km, this race has always been fast and furious and although great climbing ability is essential, the race can only be won with a great downhill too.

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Saul Paul Rodriguez and Laura Orgue (2014 champion) were the first 2 runners to reach the high point of the course, the summit of Piz Boe. In many respects, it was no surprise! These 2 athletes are VK specialists and this course without a doubt played into their hands.

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Megan Kimmel was always going to be a dark horse coming into this race, the American has excelled in Skyrunning races before, in particular the Mont-Blanc Marathon. At the summit, Kimmel trailed Orgue by a couple of minutes bet she unleashed an incredible display of downhill running to not only win the race but set a new course record in 2:25:57. Orgue after the race said she felt great, much better than in Friday’s VK and therefore she was happy, ‘I made a slight navigational mistake on the descent and lost time but I am happy!’

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Elisa Desco and Emelie Forsberg both made up ground and time on the descent and finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

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Race revelation, Pascal Egli follows Rodriguez up the climb and behind we had the usual contenders; Aritz Egea, Ionut Zinca and Tadei Pivk. Unfortunately, Rodriguez can’t descend as strongly as he climbs. Slowly but surely he was caught and passed by Egli, Zinca and Pivk.

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At break neck speed, these elite runners descended like stones rolling down a mountain and Pivk closed from 4th to take an impressive victory over Zinca 2nd and Egli 3rd. Rodriguez finally finished 4th.

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The Dolomites SkyRace is a classic Skyrunning race following the ethos and principles created by Giacometti in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Start low, run to the summit and come back down in the most direct and fastest way possible.

Long may the Dolomites SkyRace continue.

Results:

  1. Tadei Pivk 2:02:47
  2. Ionut Zinca 2:03:18
  3. Pascal Egli 2:03:46
  1. Megan Kimmel 2:25:57 – new CR
  2. Laura Orgue 2:26:58
  3. Elisa Desco 2:28:36

All images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Skyrunning Dolomites VK 2015 – Race Summary

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The stunning VK course in Canazei was greeted with clear skies and warm sun as runners assembled at the start today for the 8th edition of the Skyrunning Dolomites VK.

 

First runners departed at 0930 but the elite runners had to wait till 1130 for the men and 1135 for the ladies before they were un-leashed on the tough, steep gradients that finish 1000m in the Sky!

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Urban Zemmer was the odds on favourite for the race and he started as he meant to go on; pushing from the front at a relentless pace that defied the gradient. However, Zemmer was not alone. Philip Goetsch slotted in behind him and marked him step-by-step.

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As they approached the final 150m, Goetsch was tucked in behind Zemmer drafting like a cyclist. In the finale 50m or so, he made his move and unleashed a devastating sprint that one would have though impossible on such a steep and rutted incline. So impressive was his performance that it resulted in a new course record!

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Zemmer held on for 2nd place with a clear margin and Saul Padua Rodriguez also jumped a place in the closing stages and moved from 4th to take the final podium place.

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Just as Zemmer was expected to dominate the men’s race, Laura Orgue was also hotly tipped as the ladies’ winner. Christel Dewalle didn’t agree with this prediction! Fresh from the Val d’Isere VK where she podiumed, Dewalle pushed this VK course to its limits and it was clear to see the determination and dedication in her eyes. She was victorious over surprise 2nd Eli Ann Dvergsdal and Laura Orgue placed 3rd.

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Attention now turns to the SkyRace on Sunday. Preview HERE

The field is stacked and we anticipate a battle royal in the men’s and ladies’ races.

  1. Christel Dewalle 00:38:21
  2. Eli Anne Dvergsdal 00:39:34
  3. Laura Orgué 00:40:02
  1. Philip Goetsch 00:32:38 – new CR
  2. Urban Zemmer 00:32:54
  3. Saul Padua Rodriguez 00:34:03

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Tips for the TRAIL – Shoe Choice

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Following on from Marc Laithwaites’ series of articles (HERE) that covered many aspects of our sport (butter in coffee? Posture? Hydration?) we now have series of articles on ‘Tips for the TRAIL’ –  from Marc and Ian.

TRAIL Tips 1: Choose the Shoes

We get a lot of questions about footwear for trail running. There is no single pair of shoes which will be suitable for every race. Fact! You may have to compromise grip for cushioning, or cushioning for grip and your shoe selection will be based various factors such as the following:

  1. The kind of terrain you are running or racing on.
  2. The distance you are racing and the time on feet.
  3. Your running style.
  4. Risks to injury
  5. What drop?
  6. Minimal or maximal?

Here’s our simple guide to selecting shoes:

1. Shoes can generally be split into ‘TRAIL’ or ‘FELL/MOUNTAIN’. Trail shoes tend to have more cushioning and are designed for hard packed trails such as canal towpath and forest track. Fell/Mountain shoes tend to have less cushioning but a more aggressive grip and are more suited to muddy tracks or running ‘off the paths’ on rough terrain. Wearing Fell/Mountain shoes could potentially cause problems on hard packed tracks due to the repeated impact and Trail shoes for example could potentially have insufficient grip and stability for severe ‘off track’ running.

2. Stability (how likely are you to twist your ankle) is better in Fell/Mountain shoes as they are lower to the ground (less cushioning), thereby improving balance, control and feel. However, Trail shoes don’t always need the same level of stability and control as a fell shoe  as hard pack tracks and trails provide a more even and predictable surface than rocky, ‘off track’ routes.

3. Minimalist or ‘barefoot’ shoes have been popular in recent years, due largely to the book ‘Born to Run’. There is a current shift by shoe manufacturers away from the minimalist trend, towards over-cushioning. Minimalist shoes were popular as a means of encouraging runners to land on their forefoot, rather than their heel. But think carefully before going to an ‘over’ cushioned shoe or a minimalist shoe! This article may add perspective HERE.

4. You don’t need to buy ‘minimalist’ shoes to encourage forefoot running. Forefoot running may well be natural for you but a shoes ‘drop’ will encourage and promote a running style. The drop is the difference between the thickness of the heel and the thickness of the forefoot. For example, if the heel cushioning is 12mm thick and the forefoot 8mm  thick, the drop is 4mm. The lower the drop and the more likely you are to run on the forefoot. The higher the drop, the more likely you are to heel strike. It’s not the amount of cushioning (minimal or maximal) which dictates forefoot or heel strike, it’s the difference between heel and forefoot. But be careful, don’t fall in to the trap of thinking low drop is best just because you see so many elite runners using this type of shoe. If in doubt, go for a 8mm drop shoe which sits nicely in the middle ground.

5. The current trend for over-cushioned shoes can include the ‘rocker system’. This encourages heel striking and a smooth roll onto the forefoot, rather than a harsh braking normally associated with heel striking.

6. Road shoes (and some trail/ mountain shoes) tend to fall into 2 distinct categories: Neutral V Support. People who pronate (roll in) excessively wear support and those who don’t wear neutral. Trail and Fell shoes tend not to come in both options, almost all are neutral and there are very few support options (but some do exist, the Salomon Seedcross a good example). If you are running over uneven terrain, your ankle position is rarely neutral, it’s only when you are repeatedly running on hard/flat surfaces (road or treadmill) that you can control your foot by choosing support or neutral shoes.

So when you head off to the store to purchase a pair of run shoes for off road, ask yourself some key questions.

  1. What terrain will I be running on?
  2. Do I require good cushioning or less cushioning?
  3. What drop do I want (zero, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 are standard) ?
  4. Do I require a ‘precision’ fit in the toe box which provides more control or do I require a roomy toe box?
  5. How far am I going to be running in these shoes?
  6. Do I require any stability and support?

Remember, no one shoe will do all things well. That is why so many different shoes exist on the market. However, we don’t all have an unlimited budget. So in many scenarios, we often look for a one shoe fix. Some shoes are out there that do fit that ‘one shoe does all scenario,’ you just have to remember that usually when the trail gets very wet, very muddy or very technical, this is when the biggest compromise is made.

You only need to look at the recent ‘City Trail’ shoes or ‘Door to Trail’ shoes that are available and it doesn’t take long to realise that manufacturers also want to help you with that magic one shoe does all.

This website has many shoe reviews and here is a few of our most recent favourites:

  1. Salomon S-Lab 4 SG HERE
  2. Salomon S-Lab 4 HERE
  3. Salomon Sense Mantra 3 HERE
  4. The North Face HERE
  5. Scott Supertrac HERE
  6. Scott Trail Rocket HERE
  7. Montrail HERE
  8. inov-8 212 HERE
  9. inov-8 Terraclaw HERE
  10. inov-8 Baregrip 200 HERE