Rab Mountain Marathon 2014

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Over 500 runners assembled in the English Lakes for 2-days of Mountain Marathon action in what turned out to be two great days.

Although the sun only penetrated the thick cloud a couple of times, the weather was dry and as per usual, the Lakes provided a perfect backdrop to two tough days.

RACE IMAGES available HERE

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A score event (long and short), participants competed in solo or teams of two and as one would expect, the mix of ability was wide. One of the appeals of the RMM.

A rolling start on both days, 8:30 to 10:30 on Saturday and 07:00 to 09:00 on Sunday avoided snakes of runners and thus ensured everyone had to hone their ‘nav’ skills in finding the appropriate controls.

One thing that was great to see on both days, was huge smiles and a real enjoyment of the event irrespective of ability or speed.

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Day 1 provided a couple of very obvious controls relatively close to camp 1 to start and then there field of 500 spread over a wide area. The faster runners covering quite some ground to gain maximum points and by contrast, the walkers took a more direct line and less controls to camp 2.

Starting just west of the A6, day 1 went as far north as Mardale Head and Blea Water and west of Stony Cove Pike. In the south, the faster runners could venture below the River Kent.

Stewart Bellamy (300 points) was the stand out solo competitor and Andrew Stirk/ Adam Higgins (290 points) were the leading team of two after day 1 in the long course. Jackie Scarf and Phil Scarf had a 20 point lead in the short score (235 points) and Luke Gordon (210 points) was the leading solo.

©iancorless.com_RabMM14_-2915A strong wind blowing from the south potentially was going to make overnight camp interesting. However, with all runners back the wind suddenly dropped making the evening a calm, still and very warm night.

An early start had participants departing in two start windows, 0700-0800 and 0800-0900. With the exception of just a few, nearly all participants headed south before then heading east and making the way back to day 1 start camp.

A corridor of controls made this section of the course busy with runners coming from all directions as they tried to take accumulate as many points as possible.

Tough terrain and warm temperatures made day 2 all about covering ground fast as controls were much closer together and therefore points were really up for grabs. Steve Bellamy once again lead the way with 240 points with Daniel Gooch and Jon Moulding both raised their individual games with 245 and 240 points respectively. Two man team Andrew Stirk/ Andrew Higgins looked to be moving fast all day but finished 4th with 235 points. However, Stirk/Higgins still held on to 2nd overall behind Steve Bellamy and Daniel Gooch placed 3rd.

Short score competitors had a shake around on day 2 with day 1 leaders, Jackie & Phil Scarf placing 2nd behind Steve Wilson and Peter Stobbs. Patrick Butlin finished 3rd ahead of day 1 2nd place, Luke Gordon. However, the overall results remained unchanged with Team Scarf 1st (425 points), Luke Gordon 2nd (390) and Tim Martland (360) 3rd.

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Shane Ohly as race director and the Ourea Events Team bring slick organisation to difficult terrain and along with the course planning skills of Charlie Sproson, these events are a must do on the calendar. It’s been a busy year for the team, it all started in January with Marmot Dark Mountains. The Rab Mountain Marathon concludes 2014 but already plans are in motion for 2015 and remember, it’s a Dragons Back year! Arguably one of the toughest challenges in the UK

Results are HERE

Ourea events HERE

RACE IMAGES available HERE

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Like The Wind – Action Photography Workshop w/ Ian Corless

 

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Photo ©covadongafernandezcue

We are really delighted to announce a very special event at the Pop-Up: an action photography workshop with the one and only Ian Corless. This is a man who not only takes some of the most beautiful, inspiring and exciting photos of ultra trail running, but he is an ultra trail runner himself, so he really knows what he’s talking about.

LtW_ImageLogos_signatureThis workshop is going to be a perfect opportunity to hone your own photography skills and learn from one of the best. Tickets are limited so that everyone on the course gets as much from it as possible, so if you fancy upping your camera game, this is the one for you!

Event information and booking HERE

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Rab Mountain Marathon 2014 Preview

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The 8th Rab Mountain Marathon™ will be held on the 27th and 28th September 2014. The Rab Mountain Marathon™ is a two-day fell running and navigation challenge for solos and pairs with an overnight camp.

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The Rab Mountain Marathon kicks off this weekend at 0830. Two days of navigation and running will unfold in the English Lakes using the popular score format.

Now in it’s 8th year, the Rab Mountain Marathon has become an iconic race that has visited many stunning locations, the Cheviot Hills, Derwent Fells, Snowdonia, Howgills and this year it once again returns to the English Lakes.

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Taking on challenging mountain terrain, participants need to be competent and confident at moving fast over tough terrain. As usual, the is the UK and runners will need to be prepared for the worst despite a recent spell of really good weather in the UK.

As one would expect, the Rab Mountain Marathon will take place over rough, steep and technical mountain terrain. Many sections of the course will be isolated and if bad weather comes in, everyone needs to be prepared.

©iancorless.com.IMG_5731GL3D_Day1The race format is ‘score’ as this tests navigation skills and avoids snakes of runners going from point-to-point. A rolling start window of 2-hours will spread the runners out and electronic timing is used to track the runners. As normal, different class options are available (including walking) and it’s possible to participate as a solo or team of two.

It’s hard to highlight some standout competitors for 2014. If I were to place a bet on the top Long Score competitors it would be between Adam Stirk and Andrew Higgins (who are a pair) and Stewart Bellamy (solo). Adam and Andrew finished 3rd last year behind Steve Birkinshaw (1st in 2013) and Alex Pilkington (2nd in 2013) both of whom are not taking part this year. They were also 2nd at the Highlander in 2013.

Stewart Bellamy is a strong runner and whilst he may not have featured in the results of recent mountain marathons, he did win the GL3D in 2013.

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The Rab Mountain Marathon’s approach is designed to be relaxed and less formal and structured than that of the OMM, which will take place next month.

Shane Ohly, race director for Ourea Events says, ‘But hey the Rab isn’t really about the elite runners and there is some super generous support from Rab who are providing vouchers to the value of about £10,000 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd across a huge range of categories. Check them out here: HERE

At registration on the Friday evening or Saturday morning, competitors can view a Master Map of the competition area which will give a full overview of the event area being used plus provide details of any out of bounds areas, map corrections etcetera. The event Master Map will not be over-printed with any control points.

So there you have it… two days of navigational fun in the English Lakes. It’s possible to follow a live stream HERE and a free APP has been created. Details HERE

Apps can be downloaded here:

iOShttp://bit.ly/1wwcbDKAndroidhttp://bit.ly/1AUZNhj

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Race Website HERE

Rab Apparel HERE

Rab Twitter HERE

Join STEVIE KREMER in London for a run and talk

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Meet Stevie Kremer

Freestak on behalf of Ian Corless and Talk Ultra

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 from 18:30 to 22:30 (BST)

London, United Kingdom

Stevie Kremer has had an exceptional 2014, the highlight of which has to be winning the Matterhorn Ultraks 46K in a new course record, her third win in the Skyrunner® World Series SKY distance. This victory along with wins at Zegama-Aizkorri and Sierre-Zinal has secured another Skyrunner World Series title for 2014 which will conclude at Limone Extreme on October 11th.

Stevie will join us for a run, talk and Q&A opportunity just days after Limone Extreme on route to the final Skyrunning UK event in 2014, the Mourne Skyline MTR which will take place in Ireland on October 18th.

Stevie has had a whirlwind couple of years, in 2013 she was crowned Skyrunner® World Series champion after securing victory ahead of Emelie Forsberg at the final race of the year in Italy. This year, in addition to three victories at Zegama-Aizkorri, Sierre-Zinal and Matterhorn Ultraks, Stevie won the combined title at the Skyrunning World Championships in Chamonix.

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Ian Corless, photographer/ writer at iancorless.com and creative director/host of Talk Ultra, has set up the opportunity for a group of runners to join Stevie for a run on Hampstead Heath followed by a Q&A session over a few drinks. This event has been set up in collaboration with freestak Ltd and Like the Wind magazine.

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The run will last between 45 and 60 minutes and will just be a social event at an easy pace. Afterwards there will be a chance to order dinner at the pub where we will be retiring to catch up with Stevie and ask all the burning questions we have for her.

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FAQs

What are my transport/parking options?

The nearest tube to the pub is Kentish Town or Gospel Oak on the Overground. For more informationclick here.

Can I leave bags at the venue?

You can leave bags at the venue and someone will stay with them while everyone goes running. We can’t take responsibility for any loss or damage to items left however.

Will there be food available?

The pub cooks fresh dishes which can be ordered in advance. Everyone who books a ticket will be contacted before the event to see if they want to order some food.

What do I get for my money?

Everyone who pays for a place on the run will get a drink after the run. Food will be extra and can be paid for at the bar.

PLEASE NOTE – This is a ticket ONLY event and numbers are very limited (just 30-places). You can purchase a ticket HERE for £5.00.

Location:

The Dartmouth Arms
35 Dartmouth Park Rd
London
NW5 1SP 

United Kingdom

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 from 18:30 to 22:30 (BST)

Minnesota Nice on RUN ULTRA

Minnesota Nice

Arguably the happiest runner and most grateful runner I have ever witnessed, Kevin Langton illuminated the trails. ‘Thank you for being here guys and supporting.’ Running with a smile and grin, whenever he passed he repeated, ‘Thank you for being here guys and supporting.’ You’ve got to love this sport… despite the difficulty, despite the fatigue, despite sore legs and being mentally tired, Langton’s smile never slipped, the positivity never waivered. Oberg, 93-miles, Langton’s family welcomed him with a hug and high fives, ‘let’s get this done’ he said.

‘Great job man you are looking so good,’ I shout.

‘Thank you for being here guys and supporting.’

Minnesota nice!

Read the full article on RUN ULTRA HERE 

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Episode 70 – Meltzer, Doherty, Haugsnes, Schwarz-Lowe

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Episode 70 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with the winner of Superior Endurance Runs (Fall Races), Adam Schwarz-Lowe, Eirik Eirik D Haugsnes talks Tromso Skyrace and Daniel Doherty tells us all about placing in the top-10 at Tor des Geants. Talk Training has part 2 of our Navigation 101 and we have the News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and I am pleased to say… Speedgoat Karl Meltzer is back as co host with an in-depth chat on his AT attempt.

NEWS

Run Rabbit Run
wow – KRAR!

Rob Krar 17:40:05
Josh Arthur 18:33:05
Jeff Browning 19:06:43
Ryan Gelfi 19:38:24
Nick Clark 19:50:15

Nikki Kimball 21:14:36
Kerrie Bruxvoort 22:49:02
Darcy Piceu 22:52:40
Leslie Howlett 25:08:12
Hannah Green 29:04:40

Ultravasen 
UltraVasan 90 Men 1 Jonas Buud (SWE) 6:02:03 2 Steven Way (GBR) 6:12:28 3 Jarle Risa (NOR) 6:23:38 4 Didrik Hermansen (NOR) 6:24:03 5 John Henry Strupstad (NOR) 6:28:04
UltraVasan 90 Women 1 Holly Rush (GBR) 7:09:04 2 Mimmi Kotka (SWE) 7:22:35 3 Lena Gavelin (SWE) 7:26:02 4 Sophia Sundberg (SWE) 7:34:26 5 Margrethe Løgavlen (NOR) 7:43:03

The Rut – article HERE

Sage struggled with the technical second half favoured by Kilian, closed second in 5h20’27”. Kilian finished a fast 5h09’33”Manuel Merillas (Mammut), a new young talent from Spain leading the Series, climbed from 4th position at 30 km to finish third in 5h29’20”. Britain’s Tom Owens (Salomon) was an excellent 4th and American Paul Hamilton (The North Face) last year’s race winner, took 5th
Emelie Forsberg was race winner in 6h32’42”. Kasie closed in 6h38’05” and Anna in 6h49’25”. Canadian Ellie Greenwood was 4th and American Hilary Allen, 5th. Series leader, Italian Alessandra Carlini, took 8th.

Trofeo Kima – article HERE

MEN
Kilian Jornet 6:12:20
Manuel Merillas 6:28:33
France Sancassani 6:38:14
LADIES
Kasie Enman 7:53:42
Emelie Forsberg 8:22:17
Emanuela Brizio 8:30:52

Tor des Geants

Colle Franco 71h 49m
Nichademus Hollon 76h 25m
Guillon Antoine 79h 02m and Le Saux Christophe 79h 02m

Lecomte Emilie 85h 53m
Borzani Lisa 94h 43m
Zimmerman Denise 98h 27m

INTERVIEW

We caught up with Dan Doherty who produced a top performance and placed 6th overall

Superior 100 – article HERE

100-mile
Adam Schwarts-Lowe 21:58:32
Michael Borst 22:52:28
Nathan Leehman 23:26:47
Mallory Richard 27:32:27
Frayah Bartuska 29:56:58
Johanna Ylanen 31:08:10
50m-mile
Chris Rubesch 8:56:33
Forrest Tracy 9:23:47
Alex Kurt 9:35:24
Kristin Rognerud
Annie Behrend 13:03:34
Shelly Groenke 13:41:38

Tromso SkyRace – article HERE
1. Eirik Dagssøn Haugsnes – 6:38:30 2. Ola Hovednak – 6:49:39 3. Kilian Jornet – 6:49:55 4. Stian H-Angemund – 7:09:46 5. Sondre Stier Thorbergsen – 8:17:08
Female category
Hana Krajnikova – 9:49:48

Ultra 168 had a round up of results for the Southern Hemisphere HERE

Surf Coast Century: Saw a fantastic new course record from Kellie Emmerson in the ladies 100kms, taking it out in 9:29. In the men’s race, it was a tie for 2nd place  As Dave Eadie and Brendan Davies held hands over the line. We often joke about joint finishes, but there’s no malice there

Glasshouse 100km : Cameron Munro took out first place in a speedy 17:17, nearly two hours ahead of second place. While Deb Nicholl did the ladies proud finishing in 19:31.

GNW 100-mile : Clarke McClymont celebrated a big birthday by notching up a cracking win in the 100 miler in a time of 20:56. The ladies title was taken out by Sonia McDermott in an excellent time of 25:39.

INTERVIEW

We caught up with Eirik Haugsness to discuss Tromso Skyrace and his 2014 season

BLOG
 
For the first time in Talk Ultra history, I am actually going to put forward one of my own posts here – Minimal, Maximal or the curious question of Drop – HERE

 
INTERVIEW

Adam Schwartz-Lowe won the Superior 100 after placing 2nd twice before, we caught up for a chat about the race and his previous running.

 
TRAINING TALK

We follow up from our ‘Basic’ Navigation 101 with ‘Intermediate. Once again Charlie Sproson co-hosts this segment

UP & COMING RACES

Australia
Queensland
Spiny Cray Ultra – 58 km | 58 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
South Australia
Yurrebilla Trail 56km Ultra | 56 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Western Australia
Waterous Trail on Foot 50 | 50 miles | September 27, 2014 | website

Austria
Wörthersee Trail-Maniac 114 K | 114 kilometers | September 19, 2014 | website
Wörthersee Trail-Maniac 57 K | 57 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Wörthersee Trail Maniak 114K Superior | 114 kilometers | September 19, 2014 | website
Wörthersee Trail Maniak 57K | 57 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

Brazil
Jungle Marathon Brazil – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 02, 2014 | website
Jungle Marathon Brazil – 240 km | 242 kilometers | October 02, 2014 | website

Canada
British Columbia
Frosty Mountain Ultra Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Great Lake Walk and Ultramarathon | 56 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Ontario
Run Off the Grid 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Sears Great Canadian Run – Toronto | 141 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
That Dam Hill – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Quebec
Tour du Massif – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

Chile
Patagonian International Marathon – 63K | 63 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website

France
Aveyron
100 km de Millau | 100 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Côte-d’Or
Alésia Trail – La Vercingétorix | 51 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Haute-Loire
Le Grand Trail du Saint Jacques | 70 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Le Trail du Gévaudan | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Haute-Savoie
Trail des Aiguilles Rouges | 50 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Ille-et-Vilaine
100 km de la Vallée du Semnon | 100 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
50 km de la Vallée du Semnon | 50 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Loir-et-Cher
Ultrail de Beauval | 65 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Lot
Espagnac – Conques : du 20 au 24 septembre 2013 | 208 kilometers | September 19, 2014 | website
Morbihan
Ultra des vagues – Le tour par les sentiers côtiers | 83 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Nord
La Contrebandière | 65 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Savoie
Ecotrail – trail long | 50 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
Seine-et-Marne
Impérial Trail – 64 km | 64 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

Germany
Baden-Württemberg
KuSuH Trail 100 | 100 miles | September 26, 2014 | website
Bavaria
Churfranken Trailrun | 73 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
Mittelbayerische Landkreislauf | 61 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Lower Saxony
Volkslauf ” Gesund beginnt im Mund” – 52.8 km | 52 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
North Rhine-Westphalia
50 km von Hitdorf | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2014 | website
Rhineland-Palatinate
Dorint-RUN50 | 50 kilometers | September 19, 2014 | website

Greece
Spartathlon | 245 kilometers | September 26, 2014 | website

Ireland
Munster
Glen of Aherlow Loop De Loop Ultra Trail Run | 39 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Ulster
Mourne Mountain Marathon Elite 55k | 55 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Udderly Mad 63K Ultra Moo | 63 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website

Isle of Man
Isle of Man Mountain Ultra | 51 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website

Italy
Campania
Ultra Trail degli Dei | 75 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Magredi Mountain Trail 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 03, 2014 | website
Piedmont
Trail del Moscato – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Trail di Oulx – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
Tuscany
Montanaro Trail | 50 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website

Japan
Akita Nairiku 100km Marathon | 100 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Akita Nairiku 50km Marathon | 50 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Muraoka Ultra Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Muraoka Ultra Marathon – 66K | 66 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
Muraoka Ultra Marathon – 88K | 88 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website

Morocco
UltraTrail Atlas Toubkal | 105 kilometers | October 02, 2014 | website

Nepal
Godawari 50km | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website

Netherlands
South Holland
Den Haag Ultra Marathon | 68 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website

Norway
Nordmarka Ultra Challenge | 82 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website

Poland
Beskidy Ultra Trail – 150K | 150 kilometers | October 03, 2014 | website
Beskidy Ultra Trail – 220K | 220 kilometers | October 03, 2014 | website

Portugal
Grande Trail da Serra d´Arga – Ultra Trail | 53 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website

Romania
Unicredit Leasing Transmaraton – Double Marathon | 84 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

Singapore
Craze Ultra 100 miles | 100 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Craze Ultra 101 km | 101 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Craze Ultra 78 km | 78 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

Slovakia
Ponitrianska Stovka | 105 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

South Africa
100 Capital Classic – 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 19, 2014 | website
100 Capital Classic – 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Cape Town Festival of Running 100K | 100 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Cape Town Festival of Running 100 Miler | 100 miles | September 27, 2014 | website

Spain
Catalonia
Matagalls-Montserrat | 83 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
RialpMatxicots Extrem | 82 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Ultra Pirineu | 103 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Madrid
100 km Madrid-Segovia | 100 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
50 km Madrid Trail | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

Sweden
Black River 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Black River 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website

Switzerland
Valais
Humani’Trail Les Diablerets | 55 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Trail des Dents-du-Midi – Super Trail | 57 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Trail des Dents-du-Midi – Trail découverte | 57 kilometers | September 19, 2014 | website
Vaud
Ultratour du Leman | 173 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Cornwall
Atlantic Coast 3-Day Challenge | 78 miles | October 03, 2014 | website
Derbyshire
High Peak 40 Mile Challenge | 40 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Glasgow City
Clyde Stride Ultra Marathon | 40 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Gloucestershire
Cotswold Way Century 100mi | 102 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Northern Ireland
Causeway Coast Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Northumberland
Pennine Way 1 Ultra | 77 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
Redcar and Cleveland
Hardmoors 60 | 60 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Shropshire
Double or Nothing | 70 miles | September 19, 2014 | website

USA
Alabama
Autumn Equinox 32 Mile Ultra | 32 miles | September 21, 2014 | website
Birmingham Stage Race – 2 Days | 36 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Birmingham Stage Race – 3 Days | 53 miles | September 26, 2014 | website
Alaska
Equinox Ultra Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Arizona
Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 mile Ultra & Relay | 100 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Mogollon Monster 100 | 106 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
California
Berkeley Trail Adventure – 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Coastal 50K | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Kodiak 100 Mile UltraMarathon | 100 miles | September 19, 2014 | website
Kodiak 50 Mile UltraMarathon | 50 miles | September 19, 2014 | website
Noble Canyon 50k | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | September 19, 2014 | website
Tahoe 72 | 72 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Tahoe Double Marathon | 52 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Colorado
The Bear Chase Race 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 28, 2014 | website
The Bear Chase Race 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | September 28, 2014 | website
Georgia
Georgia Jewel 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Georgia Jewel 35 Mile Run | 35 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Georgia Jewel 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Idaho
Priest Lake 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Kansas
FlatRock 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
FlatRock 50K Ultra Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Maryland
Ragnar Relay Washington D.C. | 200 miles | October 03, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
Hancock Shaker Village 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Michigan
DWD Hell 50K | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
DWD Hell 50M | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Hungerford Games 50-Mile Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Montana
Yellowstone-Teton 100-Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Yellowstone-Teton 50 Mile Endurance Race | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
New Hampshire
Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
New Jersey
The Mountain Madness 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
New York
Chautauqua Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Chautauqua Ultras 50 Mi | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Ragnar Relay Adirondacks | 210 miles | September 26, 2014 | website
Shawangunk Ridge 32-Mile Trail Run/Hike | 32 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Shawangunk Ridge 74-Mile Trail Run/Hike | 74 miles | September 19, 2014 | website
Virgil Crest 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Virgil Crest 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Run for the Horses 50 Mile Ultra-Marathon | 50 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Ohio
100 Not Yo Momma’s – 100K | 100 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
100 Not Yo Momma’s – 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
100 Not Yo Momma’s – 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
100 Not Yo Momma’s – 75K | 75 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Hocking Hills Indian 60K Run | 60 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Oregon
Columbia River Power 50K | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Flagline 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 21, 2014 | website
Mountain Lakes 100 | 100 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Pacific
Sac River Ultramarathon | 50 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
Pennsylvania
Trails 4 Tails Ultra Run | 40 miles | September 20, 2014 | website
Texas
Lighthouse Hill Ranch 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website
Lost Loop 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Utah
Bear 100 | 100 miles | September 26, 2014 | website
Elk 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Grand to Grand Ultra | 160 miles | September 21, 2014 | website
Vermont
Vermont 50 Ultra Run | 50 miles | September 28, 2014 | website
Virginia
Belmead Trail Fest 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Belmead Trail Fest 50M | 50 miles | September 27, 2014 | website
GrindStone 100 | 101 miles | October 03, 2014 | website
Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions 100K | 100 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Uber Rock 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Washington
Cle Elum Ridge 50K | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website
Wyoming
Sundance 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 27, 2014 | website

Vietnam

Mountain Marathon Vietnam – 70 km | 70 kilometers | September 20, 2014 | website

CLOSE

LINKS

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

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

Website – talkultra.com

Minimal, Maximal or the curious question of Drop

Back in the day, I would go to a run store, ask for a neutral shoe and then try several models. I would pick the shoes that felt good and if they all felt good, I would pick by criteria such as brand and/ or colour. Job done. I would then go and run. Initially I played safe (looking back) picking shoes with a little more cushioning. However, as I got fitter and faster, my shoes got lighter. Seemed to make sense. At no point did I know what ‘drop’ the shoes had. I didn’t even know what drop was and in all honesty, I probably only considered drop in 2009/ 2010.

Ian on Bike

Coming from a cycling background, running was not something that came natural but I improved through triathlon. Eventually ultra running attracted me; I was looking for something new. I wanted something that intimidated me… running long always intimidates me!

I had big legs; plenty of muscles from cycling and triathlon, so, the longer I ran, the more muscle problems I had. Just part of the challenge I thought. Then I saw Hoka One One whilst running races in France and I thought, maybe all that cushioning will help?

Hoka Mafate Waterproof

I started using Hoka One One way back in 2010. I was using the original Mafate when pretty much nobody in the UK even realised what these shoes existed. I had all the comments, clown shoes, platform shoes, ridiculous and so on.

Of course, most people were correct. They did look somewhat ridiculous but considering I had been introduced to the shoes on ‘local’ terrain (France) I found the acceptance across the Channel more acceptable. Particularly in mountain races when running down long and/ or technical descents was the norm.

The plush ride from maximal shoes was something quite unique. Like running on marshmallow I would say. I loved the feeling and I started using the Bondi B for road runs in addition to the Mafate for trail. Cut a long story short, I sold Hoka One One in the UK and really pushed them. Yes. I loved them that much.

I listened to warnings from minimalist runners and other brands and then one by one, I would see runners switch and then other shoe brands ‘add’ more cushioning to shoes. Hoka One One were ahead of the times…

Ironically, as ‘maximal’ took hold, I defected.

Yes, in 2012 I walked away from maximal and never looked back. For me, it all started with niggling knee injuries. At first it was nothing I could pinpoint. At the time I was racking up the miles and running twice daily. I put it down to ‘just’ run pain. You know, the pain we all get and ignore… I won a race in Turkey (60km) but struggled in the closing stages with severe knee pain and later, when I toed the line at Lakeland 50 (looking for top-10) the knees gave in and from that moment, I stopped racing.

Of course I made a few errors. I didn’t address the issues early enough and I stuck my head in the sand and thought the problems would go away: no!

Stopping running for a while was the only way and in time I addressed many issues and points. My knee issues were caused by running in maximal shoes; the added cushioning, the ‘roll’ and the softness all combined with 100’s of miles in training equalled failure!

Turns out maximal shoes were not for me, or my knees.

Of course, this is a little controversial.

Maximal shoes are a new technology and therefore I don’t think we currently have full feedback on the pros and cons of this type of shoe. I guess I had a 2/3-year head start. The initial benefits touted to consumers were:

  • More comfort
  • Less impact
  • Plush ride
  • Run downhill quicker
  • And so on…

The opposition said:

  • Lack of feel with the ground
  • Too much roll
  • Too cushioned
  • And so on…

In time, I had to agree. For me, I was in the latter camp. Having said that, had I not had issues, maybe I would still be running in maximal shoes, who knows?

In the past 2-years I have in many ways learnt to run again. Getting a feel for the ground beneath me, trying to run with better technique and I have run considerably less. I am not a minimalist runner… I didn’t go down the Vibram route. But what I did do was use less cushioning. I actually just went back to shoes similar that I used in my running/ triathlon days… I used to call them ‘flats.’

Many people don’t realise, but Hoka One One and other similar brands use ‘low-drop.’ Altra for example use zero drop. So, I was already adapted to low drop running. I wouldn’t say my technique was perfect, but I have always been a mid to forefoot striker so basically I just needed to feel the ground again.

In my opinion, maximal shoes caused 3-key issues FOR ME. And I stress here, for me.

1: The added cushioning didn’t allow me to feel the ground. I therefore was ‘hitting’ the ground harder with every foot strike. Of course the cushioning masked this. So, to get feeling, I hit the ground harder, the cushioning compressed and then recoiled. Think about it, my muscles and my knees were working harder but in a different way. All those foot strikes, all the accumulated minutes, hours and miles.

2: The height and cushioning of the shoes caused me to roll. On flat surfaces the cushioning would compress and I would roll inward. The more cushioning, the more I could roll. Again, times this by all the foot strikes… not an issue for isolated runs but when you run day after day and twice a day, that builds up! On technical terrain, the cushioning offered more protection for sure, but again I was rolling and twisting far more than in a less cushioned shoe. My knees were being taken out of align all the time.

I like to equate the roll to the comparison of an F1 car and a bus. Take an F1 car around a corner at speed and it won’t sway or deviate. Take a bus around a corner and it will lean and possibly tip over. This is how I look at run shoes… or more importantly less cushioning in comparison to more cushioning.

3: I also feel that the cushioning made me a lazy runner. I was carefree because the cushioning masked so much. I also became weaker in my legs… I let the shoes do the work.

I think I could only really appreciate the above once I stopped using ‘maximal’ shoes and returned back to basics. I have spent the last 2-years running in shoes with normal or less cushioning and I have tested shoes with various drop; typically 4mm to 8mm.

Now many of you may question many aspects of what I mention above. That’s good! This article is not meant to give you hard facts. I want you to question and assess your running, your form, your contact with the ground and your running well being.

I am not promoting barefoot, minimalist, low drop or maximal. I am giving you scenarios and experiences that I have accumulated over time.

I could say, ‘do this!’

But ultimately, that is when issues arise. Doing ‘this’ is perfect for one athlete but not another. Sometimes you have to get it wrong to find out if you are doing it right.

Maximal is a current trend. Ironically, I went maximal just when most people went minimal… ‘Born to Run’ has lots to answer for! As Vibram clad warriors ran around me, I bounced along like Tigger.

Was I correct? NO!

Was minimalists correct? NO!

To some extent, we had both followed fads. For many, going minimalist and ‘learning to run again’ over a constructive and gradual period was and may very well be, the best thing they have ever done. But for every converted sole, we have a runner (or maybe multiple runners) who are broken at the side of the trail with stress fractures, damaged calf muscles or achilles problems.

But, going maximal (for me) was no better. I didn’t ease into maximal, I went in head over heels committed myself and the cushioning allowed me to get away with it… for a while!

If I learnt one lesson, GRADUAL is a key word. Be that maximal, minimal low drop or whatever…

Fads will come and go.

This conversation will continue in years to come and without doubt, we will be looking at a new aspect of run technique. It’s the nature of things.

But, running and the ability to run is god given. We are designed to run. So in future, when you have children, maybe nurture your child from the feet up. Start from the ground and let evolution do its work.

In retrospect, Chris McDougall was right, we are ‘Born to Run’ the problem is, we have actually devolved as runners.

Fashion and fads will come and go.

Take your time and if it aint broke… don’t break it! Otherwise it may well take you 2-years to get back on the right trail.

Like me!

Kilian and Emelie ROCK THE RUT 2014

©iancorless.comIMG_5813Canazei2014_kilian

The general consensus seemed to be that The Rut offered a 50k course that mixed up the best of American trail running with a combination of pure European style Skyrunning.

‘The Rut is the first Ultra Series final to be held in the USA and was designed and organized by world-class ultra runners Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe specifically to fit Skyrunning parameters. The Rut 50K counts 6,080m vertical meters ascent and descent with the highest point reaching the 3,403m summit of Lone Peak in Montana’s aptly named Big Sky resort.’ Said Lauri van Houten, ISF. The summit was also the destination of Friday’s Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer®1,000m vertical climb and at just under 4.6 km long, Mike Foote briefed the runners pre-race, ‘This is a true mountain course so please treat it with the respect it deserves!’

In truth, one could say that the 50K course was a true leveller.

It allowed the fast trail runner’s, Sage Canaday and Ellie Greenwood for example to go head-to-head against the Skyrunners; Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. Add to the mix runners like Kasie Enman who have delved into both worlds and succeeded and we had a great event to watch and follow.

©JordiSaragossa

©JordiSaragossa

Using the ‘Transvulcania’ approach, Sage pushed hard from the gun, pulling away he opened up a gap of 3-minutes on Kilian Jornet. However, as the terrain kicked up, Mr KJ started to close. It was 90-seconds, then level and then a gradual lead. Slowly but surely, Kilian pulled away showing a consummate display of running ability, not only on easy trails, but also on the tough, steep and technical. At the line, Kilian was victor. Another incredible win to his list of palmares accumulated in 2014. The only blip coming at Transvulcania where he placed 2nd after stepping off ski’s just days earlier. Another Skyrunner® World Series title in the bag and I have to ask the question once again, ‘Is Kilian Jornet THE most rounded athlete in the world?’ His achievements and humility blow my mind.

©JordiSaragossa

©JordiSaragossa

Emelie Forsberg by comparison ran a race that I could have scripted. Frustrated by the ‘detour’ at Trofeo Kima, Emelie used her emotions to grab the Rut by the horns and push from the off. Pulling away from the rest of the ladies, Emilie’s victory was never really in question. Kasie Enman closed a little in the latter stages but settled for the bridesmaid position, a priority holding off Anna Frost in third. Outright speed didn’t help Ellie Greenwood who ran a great race for 4th. Ultimately, the mountain, the technicality and the altitude became a leveller.

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Like Kilian, Emelie rounds out another year with a Skyrunner® World Series victory. They are the King and Queen of the ultra Skyrunning world. Mixing raw athletic ability and gift with the animal instincts of an Ibex. They are not unbeatable, but just now, they are both at the top of their game.

Results from ©ISF

Sage struggled with the technical second half favoured by Kilian, closed second in 5h20’27”. Kilian finished a fast 5h09’33”. Manuel Merillas (Mammut), a new young talent from Spain leading the Series, climbed from 4th position at 30 km to finish third in 5h29’20”. Britain’s Tom Owens (Salomon) was an excellent 4th and American Paul Hamilton (The North Face) last year’s race winner, took 5th

Emelie Forsberg was race winner in 6h32’42”. Kasie closed in 6h38’05” and Anna in 6h49’25”. Canadian Ellie Greenwood was 4th and American Hilary Allen, 5th. Series leader, Italian Alessandra Carlini, took 8th.

 

Ones to watch for 2015:

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Rising star, Spanish runner Manuel Merillas fulfilled early season potential as displayed at Transvulcania, Ice Trail Tarentaise, Dolomites Skyrace and Kima with 3rd place. I don’t need to tell you, he is one to watch for the future.

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Tom Owens once again came away with another top-5 and confirmed himself as the top British mountain runner in the world. Nobody has pitted themselves against such top quality fields and come away with the goods like Tom. It was a hark back to 2012 when Tom pushed Kilian close on several occasions. 2014 is very much the comeback year after a disastrous 2013 with injury, I can’t help but think that Tom will step up another level in 2015.

©iancorless.com-9583Kima2014_Kasie Enman has paved the way for running mums! Sounds a touch corny I know but Kasie returned to top flight running in ‘14’ just 10-months after her 2nd child. We all wondered how it would go… Kasie included. In her first race, Zegama-Aizkorri, Kasie was at the front pushing. We all thought, hold on a minute, that wasn’t the plan. She did eventually succumb to the distance and pressure from ladies behind; however, it was an indicator of what was to come. Race after race, Kasie has improved and recently secured a victory at Trofeo Kima. With 2014 in her system, I am excited to see what 2015 will hold.

Anna Frost ©iancorless.com

Anna (Frosty) Frost needs no introduction and to be honest, Frosty shouldn’t really be in my ‘ones to watch’ as we all know her ability. However, pre May 2014, Frosty had a tough time finding form, health and equilibrium. I am pleased to say after a resounding Transvulcania win and CR, a 2nd at the Skyrunning World Champs, a victory at Speedgoat 50k and now 3rd at The Rut that Frosty is back… watch out ladies in 2015! And Frosty, keep the racing as you have in ‘14’. Less is more.

©iancorless.com-0303Kima2014_Finally, Alessandra Carlini has worked real hard in 2014 and did top the ranking. Considering this lady lives on the Italian coast with no mountains to train on, her performances have been excellent. If Alessandra can work on some specific training for 2015 she may well be a force to reckon with.

Skyrunning has blossomed and grown. We only need to look at the ‘Likes’ on the Skyrunning FB page to the explosion that his happening before our eyes. The runners want high and technical. The fans want high and technical and the development and spread of the National Series is showing that Skyrunning is here to stay… it may have been around for 20-years, it’s not our fault that everyone is just catching up. Yes, that was the vision of Marino Giacometti back in ‘89’ when he scaled Monte Rosa.

2015 will soon be here and with it new adventures and new experiences for all.

Less cloud, more sky!

Skyrunner® Ultra Series final results 2014 

Men

  1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon) – 308 points
  2. Sage Canaday (Hoka One One) – 284 points
  3. Manuel Merillas (Mammut) – 250 points

Women

  1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 308 points

2nd equal: Anna Frost (Salomon) Kasie Enman (Salomon) – 294 points

inov-8 Race Ultra Vest 2015 *New Product Review

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The 2013 incarnation of the inov-8 Race Vest was a revelation. It was arguably the most simple and minimalist pack on the market that fit and functioned perfectly for the task at hand. It had a unique design, the ability to carry 2-bottles and/ or bladder and in addition it had a series of really useful and importantly, ‘usable’ pockets. No pack is perfect, however, I did say the Race Vest was close.

Many agreed. The pack sold incredibly well and it won awards.

However, it did have some restrictions. In reality, the pack was perfect for 1-day races when minimal mandatory kit was required. But if you where doing a longer event such as UTMB then the original pack had limited space. I actually was able to put all my mandatory kit in the pack but I had to be creative and yes, I had to have the smallest and lightest kit available.

©iancorless.com_S0152108RaceUltraVest2015I personally don’t think this is a fault of the pack! The original Race Vest had a use and if used in the scenario for which it was intended, then it was arguably one of the best packs available.

When the product became available to purchase (early 2014), a few tweaks had been made from the original prototype, which I was using. The key change was in the upper. My pack would allow the 2-bottles to fit low (near the rib cage) or high on the shoulder straps. After testing, many people commented that the shoulder straps rubbed around the neck, so, Matt Brown, the designer, reworked the design, narrowed the straps (which did provide a better fit) but unfortunately this meant you couldn’t fit the bottles in the upper position. A real shame in my opinion! More importantly, original retail samples had a couple of question marks on durability. Many runners complained of some less than perfect construction. This was soon nipped in the bud but as we all know, this is never a good thing.

Below, the original Race Ultra Vest with bottles: 

For_web_Race_Ultra_vest

Jump to the inov-8 athlete retreat in the English Lakes, spring 2014. A weekend of running: looking at new shoes, apparel and accessories for the coming year (2015). Needless to say, as a running aficionado, I love this. I love to see how a brand takes past and current ideas, develops them and comes up with something new. The new apparel looked incredible, new shoes were promising; particularly the new Ultra 290 shoe and then we saw the packs… the new Race Vest.

Similarities could be drawn to the original 2013/2014 model but boy oh boy. This was a complete overhaul taking all the features from the original, adding tweaks and then coming up with something new. inov-8, Matt Brown and the rest of the team had pimped their packs!

No longer was one pack available but three: 5ltr, 10ltr in this style and a larger 24ltr for mountain marathon or multi-day events. Using the ‘vest’ fitting system, these new packs in one word are awesome.

I said in my original Race Vest review back in 2013 that ‘This new product from UK company; inov-8 may very well be the next key moment in pack design stripping away complication and providing a pack that would almost make a perfect accessory for Batman.’

It was a bold statement and one that I still hold. However, that unique innovation has moved up a step and lessons have been learnt.

©iancorless.com_S0182111RaceUltraVest2015

So, what is new?

  • Larger capacity (3 different sizes)
  • Pole fitting attachments
  • Redesigned vest
  • New soft flasks with extended drinking straws
  • Dump pockets
  • Zipper pockets

I have 2-packs for testing, the 5ltr and 10ltr. They are exactly the same, obviously the only difference being capacity. For the purpose of this review, I have tested and photographed the 10ltr as I feel this will be the most popular option. However, I will say that the 5ltr does have far more capacity than the original Race Vest despite them being arguably, on paper, the same size!

My test product is a prototype and I am aware of some tweaks that will be made based on my review and the feedback I provide. So please refer to this review and I will update with any key changes and revisions that may happen over the coming weeks/ months.

The vest fits like a glove. I never expected anything else. You put it on and immediately it is like adding another piece of well fitting clothing. Unlike the original Race Vest, this pack will not have adjustment straps on the side. Therefore, the pack will come in a variety of sizes so that you can get the product that fits you! I believe this will be S/M and M/L and fit has been tweaked under the arm to a better fit under the arm from my prototype.

Why no side straps?

Well, two large ‘dump pockets’ have been added to the pack. It made sense. This was an area not utilised in the original design and now you have 2-easy access pockets for food, clothing or any other item you may need.

For me though, these dump pockets make the ideal location for storing the new soft flasks. This wasn’t the original idea of designer, Matt Brown. However, after 1-week of testing, I contacted Matt and told him of the way I was using the pack. It made perfect sense to me. It had the bottles in an easy access and comfortable place, the new ‘extended straws’ meant that I could feed as and when I wanted without removing them and if I needed to refill, I could just pull them out, take off the top, fill and replace. In addition, you could still use the dump pockets for additional storage either under or over the soft flasks. I typically put my gloves, Buff or other essential items in this area. Being a photographer, I have often replaced one soft flask with a camera. Yes, they are that adaptable.

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On the front of the pack, you have zip pocket on either side. These pockets are for the soft flasks, however on my prototype they were a little too small and tight. For me, they are perfect for valuable items such as phone/ money/ credit card or similar. Matt Brown has confirmed for me that the zipper pockets have been re-designed and made larger accommodating the flasks with ease and comfort, ‘I used the updated sample at CCC and kept the bottles in the zipper pockets, a lot easier to remove and get back in again,’ said Matt. So, the choice will be yours? I do recommend you try options and see what works for you.

Several other stretch pockets are available that work well for keys, food and or gels.

 

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The front fastening system has also changed from the original. This pack no longer uses the quick release system that some found fiddly on the previous vest (I didn’t). Now it has 2-fixed straps, upper and lower and both use the classic male/ female quick release fastening system.

The rear of the pack has 2-zippers: one on the outside of the pack that allows access to an uncluttered open pocket.

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On the reverse, the part of the pack that would sit against your back, has a zipper that would allow direct access to a bladder should you wish to use one.

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Of course, this is perfect, especially in long events when you are carrying mandatory kit. You don’t want to be pulling kit out to get to a bladder. In addition, elastic cords have been added to the top and bottom to attach poles.

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The large open pocket (10ltr version) held with ease:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Buff
  • Gloves
  • Base layer
  • Compass
  • Gps
  • Phone
  • Arm warmers
  • Beanie
  • Gels/ bars

And I still had space to squeeze other items in. No question, it’s perfect for a UTMB style event or similar. Should you carry fewer items, the adjustable bungee drawstring on the pack will allow you to compress unwanted space.

The pack has an optional (purchase extra) 2ltr bladder that sits within a temperature control sleeve and this easily slides into the rear zipper pocket. The feed pipe is insulated and can be used on the left or right hand side of the vest. Ideal should you require the option to carry 3ltrs of liquid: 2ltrs in the rear and 1ltr at the front two soft flasks.

IN USE 

It may come as no surprise that I find the pack perfect. I have yet to find an issue with any aspect of the design.

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The soft flasks with extended straws are a revelation and make ‘on the go’ drinking a breeze. It also makes refilling very easy.

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The vest fits like a glove, does not bounce and is extremely comfortable even when filled to capacity.

Fabrics are light and breathable as the original. Of course with any vest, you are going to get a hot spot on your back. You can’t avoid that with this style of product. Having said that, I have yet to find a pack that doesn’t do this…

10464062_10152436307373891_1576851184164900850_nThe rear large zippered pocket requires some thinking when packing, as it is just an open space. You push things in and keep pushing. I recommend if using a bladder, add this first and then pack. Place the items you are likely to need less at the bottom and then work your way up leaving the most essential items at the top. It’s not rocket science but good to think ahead. Once the bladder is in place, you don’t need to remove it as it has a separate zipper access thus allowing refilling as and when required. It works really well. As mentioned previously, you can fit all mandatory kit (UTMB requirement) in the spacious pocket.

You can attach poles to the rear. I tried but didn’t find this to be a good option for me. More often than not, the new folding poles such as Black Diamond or Leki are shorter in length. This makes fastening more awkward and problematic. To resolve this, I attached two adjustable bungees to the shoulder straps and I store my poles folded across my chest; works for me and makes storing and access to the poles easier. It’s a personal thing.

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The multiple front packets provide immediate access to anything I needed whilst running. I had a phone, camera, bars, gels, keys and money all at hand. Perfect. The front zipper pockets add extra security if not used for the soft flasks.

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I used the two large dump pockets for my soft flasks and then placed gloves, buff and some snack items on top. This works great but you need to think when coming into an aid station… if you just pull out the soft flask, what is on top will hit the deck!

 action photos ©marcuswarner

Conclusion

I raved about the original Race Vest (2013/14 model) and hailed it as arguably the ‘perfect’ pack. In refection, I was wrong. It was perfect to a point. The new range of packs (in 3-sizes) have addressed the issue of storage (or lack of) and with the addition of soft flasks with straws, these packs offer everyone the opportunity not only to get the right size to fit them but also the correct capacity for your needs. For me, if you were only going to purchase one pack, the 10ltr would be the most logical option.

Although we haven’t done a full test from a female perspective, initial feedback has been good. As I am sure you can imagine, this very much depends on the lady and the chest size.

We will update this review with a female viewpoint ASAP.

Finally, inov-8 has come up with another winner. I’d recommend this pack to anyone and everyone. The 10ltr does have some strong competition from many other key brands so ultimately it will all come down to personal taste. But if you are ordering online without seeing the product have confidence, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out inov-8 HERE

Availability? This pack is a 2015 model and as such will retail in early 2015. Pre orders and enquiries should be sent to inov-8

Price? 5L £110 / 10L £120 inc bottles

Note: I was asked on Facebook about a lack of negative comments. It’s simple really, I don’t have any. My comments re the zipper pockets being too small and tight was my big gripe which ironically made me look at storing the soft flasks in the dump pockets. Matt Brown, the designer has reworked these pockets and as he says, he personally used the pack for CCC with no issues. I do hope to get a couple of images from Matt to show this tweak to the design.