South African Skyrunning Series kicks off with successful Ingeli Skymarathon®

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The South African Skyrunner® Series 2014 blasted off to an exciting start with the successful staging of the Ingeli Skymarathon® this weekend.

Ingeli Dubbed “the green mamba of trail running” for the several nasty “bites” of ascent the route delivered, the 42km course through the Ingeli mountain range in Kwa-Zulu Natal covered 2100m of vertical gain, making it one of the toughest races of this distance in the province.

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The race was won in 3:37:19 by one of South Africa’s up and coming trail stars Lucky Miya (Saucony), who dominated the race after overtaking early leader Jock Green (Salomon) after the 9km mark. Prodigal Khumalo (Mr Price) finished in a close 2nd place (3:42:05), followed by Lesotho Ultra Trail winner Andrew Hagan (Vibram Fivefingers) just six minutes later.

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“My race strategy was to start conservatively and then pick up the pace as I needed to, depending on the competition. I realised on the first climb that I was stronger than the other guys so I pushed hard and opened a gap. The course had a good mix of steep climbs and descents, and long runnable forest sections. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to win a skyrunning race, so I’m very excited,” said Miya.

Ladies winner Su Don-Wauchope (The North Face) ran a very strong race, leading the women’s field from the start and finishing in an impressive 5th position overall in 4:16:29. South African ultra-distance trail running champion in 2013 Tracy Zunckel (Salomon/Race Food) finished in 2nd place (4:35:42), followed by Erika Walker in 3rd position, almost a full hour behind Don-Wauchope.

The ladies race was always going to be between Don-Wauchope and Zunckel, both strong climbers and both living at fairly high altitude in the foothills of the Berg region.

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“I knew Tracy was going to be strong, she always is, particularly over longer distances. I was worried I had started out too fast, but I’ve been doing a lot of hill training, and felt very strong on the ups. I approached the long descent cautiously, and once I got into the forest I tried to relax and stride out. I had a great day and had legs all the way to the finish!” said an elated Don-Wauchope.

Miya’s and Don-Wauchope’s wins secure both runners entries for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships to be held in June in Chamonix, France.

“I’m so excited to have the chance to compete in an international Skyrunning race and be able to show the world how capable I am as a runner,” said Miya.

Being part of the South African Skyrunner® Series, points were allocated to the first 40 men and 15 women finishers of the Ingeli Skymarathon® by the South African Skyrunning Association (SASA). Next up in the Skyrunner® Series 2014 will be the Matroosberg Skymarathon® in October.

Ingeli Skymarathon® race organiser Andrew Booth says the Ingeli Skymarathon® is unique.

“The Ingeli mountain has huge allure – it’s an uninhabited wilderness of grasslands, wetlands, rocks and trails, where proteas grow, and antelope and caracal roam wild. The race was an enormous success. The front end of the men’s field was particularly competitive – there was no room to slack for Lucky and he had to push hard the whole way.”

All photo credits: ©Anthony Grote | www.anthonygrote.com

Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 4 (The Long Day)

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Tough, very hot and exhausting was the general consensus in bivouac. Starting with a tough ascent of a Jebel, also featured in the 2013 race, the long day was going to be brute. Dunes, salt flats; a wonderful passage of a high ridge and plenty of sand and dunes was going to be a test for all.

Al Aqra once again started from the gun and broke tradition. Instead of blowing up and loosing pace, he seemed to get faster and coverd the 82km stage in a crazy 7:14.Second place was taken by race leader, El Morabityok  almost 30min later, 7:37:18. Sa placed 3rd in 7:40:19 and importantly from a UK perspective, Kendall continued his best MDS performance so far with 6th place, 8:04.

Kimballshowed her class and experience starting slowly and nce she had started to pull away the gap tinued to grow and she not only secured a stage winning performance but also (barring disaster) ran a race winning stage. Speaking after the stage, Kimball said that adjusting to the heqt in stages 1 to 3 was essential and that once settled she could run her own race on the 82km leg. Klein unfortunately seemed to have the demons of 2013 looming over head and never looked comfortable. Running to CP3 in the heqt of the day Klein looked distresed by the heat. Soldiering on, Klein finished the stage 5th in 12:06:48, almost 2hrs behind Kimballs 10:48:38.

Morrisey from Ireland finished 2nd in 11:36:10 and must be cursing the bqd luck of stage 1 when she was unwell. Pierron placed 3rd and Roux 4th.

Top Brit Julie Donovan finished a little further down the classification but still holds 5th overall.

GC with one stage to go:

Men:

El Morabity 16:53:56

Al Aqra 17:03:19

Ahanal 17:14:17

Kendall 5th 18:07:49

Ladies:

Kimball 24:11:08

Klein 25:11:00

Roux 25:38:08

Donovan 5th 28:16:19

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Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 5

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What a day for the Brits… Morrisey won the ladies race ahead of Roux and Kimball and Kendall placed 2nd behind a flying El Mouaziz.
The final official day of the 29th Marathon des Sables came to a conclusion today over a classic marathon distance in the sands of the Sahara. From the outside looking in, it would appear that the leading ladies and men were happy with the overall standings and raced pretty much together. However, Morrisey had something to prove… had she not had a terrible first day due to illness, we may well be looking at a different set of results for the ladies GC, however, as we all know, that is racing… Morrisey pushed the pace throughout and a little like Meek in 2013 stamped her authority on the final stage taking out the win in 4:35:23. Roux from France placed 2nd, 4:52:47 and Kimball and Klein placed 3rd and 4th respectively in times of 4:53:41 and 4:54:19. Kimball looked extremely happy with her foray into a miltiday race and Klein was respectful in defeat.
El Morabity and Al Aqra ran side by side throughout the final day, both happy with 1st and 2nd places. Ahansal trailed a little behind also confident his third place was secure. However, at the front of the race, Elmouaziz used his 2:06 marathon pace to set the sand alight and take a convincing stage victory in 3:11:22. I cannot help but think that he will be back, learning curve over and ready to push the front of the race in the 30th edition. Kendall pe race told me he was going to go for it and go for it he did. Not only did he need to maintain a 1 min lead over Solaris he also had the possibiliy to chase Sa for 4th. As the day unfolded, Sa matched Kendall, however, in the latter stages, Kendall pushed and placed 2nd on the stage with a stunning run, 3:22:26 and Sa finished less than 1 min later in 3:23:12.
El Morabity, Al Aqra and Ahansal placed 5th, 6th and 7th confident that the GC would nt change.
The 29th MDS has been a tough and hot race… the hardest; maybe. Each and every runner, first to last achieved something very special in Morocco this year. To see the joy, the tears, the passion and the pain released on the final finish line is a joy to behold. Medal in hand, memories to last forever. The 29th MDS is done. A short charity stage takes place on Saturday and the the parties begin… a hotel, a shower, clean beds and plenty of food.
The MDS is quite a race and no sooner will this race be over and preparations will begin for 2015; the 30th edition.

Men

  1. El Morabity 20:27:37
  2. Al Aqra 20:37:09
  3. Ahansal 20:50:58
  4. Sa 21:24:58
  5. Kendall 21:30:15

Ladies

  1. Kimball 29:04:49
  2. Klein 30:05:19
  3. Roux 31:30:56
  4. Pierron 32:29:47
  5. Donovan 33:37:17

Great result for Brit ladies: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Donovan, Leakey, Morrisey and Young

Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 3

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Stage 3 of the 29th edition of the MDS wil be remembered for heat and dunes. It had both in abundance! With over 20km of dunes in a 37km stage, it was always going to be tough and it was.
Ahansal and Al Aqra pushed the pace in the early stages with El Moriaty playing it cool. However, El Moriaty pushed after cp1 and once again showed his impressive form. Equally, fast man and MDS novice is showing that dunes are not slowing his 2:06 marathon pace. The two, once again placed 1 and 2, 2:58:47 and 2:59:37. Ahansal had a better day and despite pushing hard early on placed 3rd in 3:00:46. Brit, Kendall purposely had an easier day and placed 9th in 3:20:32 keeping some powder dry for tomorrows long 82km day.
Kimball from the USA finally took the reigns in the ladies ra:ce and finished 4min clear of pre race favourite, Klein; 4:24:53 to 4:28:26
Roux is proving to be the new French darling wth another third place. It is all to plaf for tomorrow and I think Kimball will come into her own on a long and tough stage.
British interest took a jump with Donovan placing 7th and Morrisey and Young pipping her to the line.

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Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 2

Al Aqra (previous MDS winner) went from the gun the morning and set a relentless pace that only El Moriaty could match. A third of the way into the stage they ran side by side but the pace took its toll, Al Aqra faded allowing a repeat victory in 3:13:43 for El Moriaty. Fast man, Elmouaziz but his 2:06 pace to good use and finished just over 1min back with Al Aqra taking 3rd in 3:21:11.
Ahansall could not take the pace today and finished 4th just 30 secs ahead of Brit, Danny Kendall in 3:23:05.
Klein once again provided a very familiar pattern for the ladies race with a solid stage win just 11min clear of Kimball in 4:30:08. Roux from France placed 3rd in 5:03 and Brit, Donovan placed 4th, 5:15:33.
The heat once again was relentless today with apparently 50deg recorded. The tough course and extreme temperqtures are impacting on all the racers with over 20 drop outs yesterday and more today. Stage 3 continues the format with high temperatures forecast and almost 30km of dunes….

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Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 1

Day 1 was a tough and exciting day in the dunes of the Sahara. Arguably one of the toughest first days on record. The sand was relentless as was the heat… mid 40s.
Rachid El Moriaty and Mohamad Ahansal used local knowledge to advantage and placed 1 and 2 on the day, 3:04:06 and 3:05:08 respectively.
2:06 marathon runner Elhouaziz used his speed to make up for navigation errors to place 3rd, 3:12:26.
Top Brit Danny Kendall, 10th in 2013 placed 5th in 3:19:40.
Laurence Klein used her experience and speed for a convincing stage victory over Nikki Kimball from the USA. However, Laurence does not look as relaxed as previous years, 4:05:37 and 4:16:33 respectively.
Julie Bryan from the USA was third 35min back and top Brit was Julie Donovan in 5th.

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What camera d’ya use mate?

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My bags are packed. Have I forgot anything? I hate that question… how many times do you need to go through your kit to make sure nothing is missing!

To be honest, I rarely unpack these days. I go to a race, come home, wash the clothes in my bag and then immediately re-pack. ‘It’s a no brainer,’ as Kevin Bacon would say.

You actually don’t need much for the desert, a mountain or a hotel. A sleeping bag, sleeping matt, shorts, t-shirts, warm jacket, warm tourers, thermal top for in the evening, a hat, a buff (maybe-2), good sunglasses and a pair of ‘goggles’ should the wind be blowing and few other small ‘essentials.’

Darn it, I forgot my cameras…

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I often get asked what cameras I use? So I thought it was time to give a run through of some of the equipment I will take to a race.

I have a reputation for using Panasonic GH3 cameras. They are well built, smaller (and lighter) than a conventional DSLR and what always tipped the scales for me was my ability to run with them. They have been my tools of choice on races and trails for the past 2-years. However, just recently I had a complete overhaul of my equipment and I have moved to the Canon D6.

I’m not going to go into specs… it’s boring. But trust me, low light quality is superb, focus tracking is excellent and although considerably heavier than my ‘P’s’ the D6 are built like tanks and with the correct lenses are weather sealed; a huge bonus!

Like most travel/ sports photographers, I use two bodies with a wide to standard set up on one camera and a medium to long set up on the other.

F2.8 lenses are the norm offering low light functionality, however, they have two drawbacks; price and weight. Weight and the ability to move is essential for me and I therefore use F4 lenses – the incredible 17mm-40mm and the 70-200mm (with image stabilisation). I use two prime lenses, 50mm F1.8 and the 85mm F1.8 for portraits. Importantly, the D6 is a full frame digital camera so the lenses are ‘true’ focal length.

It’s a simple set up but importantly it works, I have flexibility and retain the ability to move quickly as and when necessary. The recent purchase of a ‘sports’ camera rucksack makes this task even easier!

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I can actually access the pack without removing it from my waist allowing perfect on-the-go access. Finally, with the addition of a monopod, tripod and other small gadgets, my ‘must have’ is one flash and in many cases, two flash that I can use ‘remotely.’ By remote, I mean operated ‘off camera’ to either create effect or a more natural light.

That’s it! No real surprises, no fancy gimmicks, not even the ‘most’ expensive cameras (not by a long way). My set up is fast, functional, high quality and as I have always said, if you have all the gear and no idea, you may be better off at home!

Kit list:

  • Canon D6 with additional hand/ battery grips
  • 17-40mm F4 USM lens
  • 20-200mm F4 USM ‘IS’ lens
  • 50mm F1.8
  • 85mm F1.8
  • 430 EX Flash
  • Wireless TTL flash remotes
  • Tripod. monopod and other gadgets

Jamil Coury – Running for fun at Barkley ‘aka’ The trail that eats its young

Jamil Coury Barkley

‘Lazarus. A sadist? I had a perspective about him. He is soft spoken. He is a great guy. He is kind of like your inspirational High School or College coach. He is going to make you to dig deep. He is going to push you to that edge and push to see who you really are once you strip away the layers. I thought I was done after 2-loops. I got to that point where I was already thinking about my race report, ‘How the Barkley beat me.’ I rose above it; I found that extra to get through that 3rd loop. So, Lazarus does want to see you succeed but he wants participants to not believe they can do it, to push through so much to get to the end. That is why the course is a genius thing… most events design a course to help you finish, they want you to finish. This race is opposite, they do everything to help you fail.’

IC: The Barkley marathons have just finished, once again, only one person finished the full five loops; Jared Campbell. Today I am speaking to Jamil Coury who finished the ‘fun run’ (60-miles) at his first attempt. You survived?

JC: I did, I somehow survived. It was beyond expectations of how difficult it would be. I read the stories, I read the book, I have talked to friends but I was blown away by how difficult this race is!

IC: can you put it into words? I know friends who have gone to this race with high expectations but the course has chewed them up and thrown them out with only 1-loop at the mot covered.

JC: I had only seen about 2-miles of the course before race day. Much of the trail is cross-country, you occasionally have a little good trail but mostly your navigating and struggling to remain upright and move forward. It was interesting at the start. The field is probably 50/50; those with experience and those that are virgins. My plan was to stick with veterans and use them to help me on the first lap. A buddy, Alan had finished 4 fun runs so he was a great person to follow. We probably had a group of 10 in the early stages. At the first book it was like a feeding frenzy; a scene out of the movie, ‘The Hunger Games.’ We all wanted our pages ASAP so we didn’t loose the veterans. It was high intensity. It was like survival, I just wanted to keep those guys in sight.

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IC: From following the race, a nail in the coffin was the weather. You had some really horrible stuff thrown at you.

JC: We did! It was calm at the start but then it started raining and it didn’t let up. We then had snow and high winds on the peaks. It really took people out. Either they weren’t prepared or it was so cold that they goy hypothermic.

IC: Your strategy was to follow so that you could get around loop-1. Did that work for you?

JC: Yes it did but I was working too hard for so early in the race. I sort of had no choice… I stayed with the group and made it around without too much issue. It was a good strategy.

IC: How difficult was the terrain? We hear the stories, we see some pictures and of course a movie is imminent about the Barkley. I have also interviewed avid Horton, Nick Hollon and Jared Campbell. They all say it’s your worse nightmare… it rips you up and it has so much climbing. Is it that bad?

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JC: Yes for sure. The course is designed to push you to your limits and then find out what happens when you reach that point. You are going through wood, cross-country, you rock climb, you try to traverse muddy climbs, you go through briers that rip you apart and the mud, oh the mud; I think I will have nightmares about the mud. It was just crazy. Plus everything was so steep. I had done calculations and compared it to Hardrock 100. I am used to that terrain but some of these climbs are just like mountain climbing. I used poles on loop-2 and 3 and you are just digging in, pulling, grabbing trees, whatever you can to keep going. You feel like you will fall off!

IC: Stats show for the full race that it has almost 60,000 ft. of vertical in comparison to 33,000 for Hardrock. That’s just crazy… even Nolan’s had 45,000ft. In the fun run you will have around 37,000ft.

JC: The loops are little subjective. They say the loops are 20-miles but they are more 24-25 miles.

IC: What time did you do the first loop in?

JC: We started at 0645 so I guess just a little over 9-hours. I think 5 of us came in together.

IC: Okay, that’s pretty good.

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JC: We were going to do a 20-min turnaround but I headed out first. I wanted a head start and I felt they were stronger than me.

IC: Did you alternate for this loop?

JC: No, loops 1 and 2 are the same direction, 3 and 4 or the opposite direction and 5 is your choice but it depends if you are with someone else for the last loop. They won’t allow 2-people to do the same loop.

IC: With 1-loop done did you feel confident to retrace or is it not that easy?

JC: I felt comfortable for parts. In the middle in the mountains it started to get tough. The f1st loop went so quickly with so many little changes, left, right and so on. Plus it was going to be dark. My plan was to get as far as possible before darkness came. Lazarus the RD told us we needed to be prepared for a cold night. So, I took extra clothes and that was critical. I had enough gear. I must say, having been with people on loop-1 it was nice to be alone on loop-2 and use my skills to navigate. It was kind of exciting. I think I made it to book-4 with no issues.

IC: That’s good going. In the races history many don’t even get this far… mentally how difficult was it, so many different aspects; fatigue, navigation, temperatures which caused you the most distress?

JC: After book-4 it started to rain and sleet. I was getting cold and my hands were really cold. I was getting concerned and nervous. I was wondering to myself, I hope I can make it and then I saw lights! The group caught me. I would say that your body just gets sore. All the climbing adds up and you question, can I do this? The night, the conditions, it is just survival. The race has no aid stations, no helpers; you are against yourself and the elements. You are trying to stay alive.

IC: I guess that’s a bonus. Once you are on a loop you have no choice but to go to the end of at least that loop. I guess the problem comes when you get to the end of a loop. Making yourself go back out must be really tough… it’s a huge commitment.

JC: Oh yeah. Interestingly though, because it’s a big loop, the course is surrounded by groomed trail that they call ‘quitters roads.’ Literally you can be back in camp in a hour or so. It’s a huge mental challenge to quit. It’s easy to get out of a situation but it also makes it hard to go on. At the end of loop-2 I was not in a good shape. It was impossible to think of a 3rd loop. I knew it would take so long, I knew all the climbs that I would have to do and I was questioning how could I do it, and how could I get to the books.

IC: So you’re sitting with warm clothes, food and thinking of lap-3, what was happening around you, how many were left in the race.?

JC: Jared was already out on loop-3. We had seen him on the reverse loop at one of the book stations, 2nd I think, so we were near the end of our loop-2. Jared was hours ahead. I was with about 3-4 other guy’s. We had our little pack. As we approached the end of loop-2 we all discussed our plans. Nearly everyone was going to take a 1-hour break. I got back to camp but my crew would not let me stop. I was coming up with all sorts of excuses… my foot hurts, my ‘this’ hurts and so on. Deep down I didn’t want to quit but that is the Barkley game. I just kept doing what I was supposed to do; eat, caffeine, dry clothes and then I kind of just got moving again. I left with John Todd.

IC: Tough call eh, must have been so tempting to fall asleep and stay warm?

JC: A plus for sure was the weather, it was really improving, and it was something to look forward to. It really got me back out there to see it. I wasn’t sure if I would make the loop but I thought, get out, enjoy the day and see what happens.

IC: Did you do the final loop solo?

JC: I was mostly with John and Alan. We left loop-3 together and we just headed out and sort of took it as it came. We made the first book together and then we teamed up and worked book-to-book. Every now and again I took my own line but we always met up at books and we worked as a team, especially later. We were moving so slowly. We were going to be so close to the cut-off. We had a 40-hour cut off to hit and in comparison to our 9-hour 1st loop, the 3rd was taking 16-hours. The night and the poor weather had taken so much… we never made it back after that, we were depleted on calories. We each would lead on sections and do navigation, it was a push though for the last hours, last books. We knew we would be close.

IC: And your finishing time?

JC: We did 39:56, so we had 4-mins to spare…

IC: Yikes!

JC: Yep, very close.

IC: That must have been a pressured final hour?

JC: Hell yeah, the last book we had to get to had a climb called checkmate, it’s a super steep climb. We got to where the book should be but we couldn’t find the book. We kept walking past it and we had precious minutes to spare. We were panicking. The book was under a rock; it was in front of us but hidden. It sure added some drama. We ran the final 2-miles into camp. I think everyone in camp was more nervous than us!

IC: for sure, I was following on line and it was captivating, really touch and go.

JC: It was quite the experience. Nice to be under 40-hours.

IC: That would have been tough had you not made it.

JC: I was happy to get 3-loops. Under the time limit is a bonus.

IC: And you have the 3-loops are you tempted by 5?

JC: I am, yes! 

IC: Something sick in that decision I think!

JC: Yes. Beforehand I was doing the math and I thought I could do 5. But the reality was different. I didn’t do the course justice. I didn’t prepare. Jared had a 40,000ft vertical day in training over a 23-hour period getting ready for Barkley. That is insane! I am looking forward to doing proper training and heading back next year. Knowing the course helps too. I enjoyed being alone and navigating, I look forward to more of that.

IC: The 52-hour record for the 5-loops, do you think that will go down or do you think Lazarus will try to keep making the course harder?

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JC: Apparently this year’s course is the toughest they have had. Only really a 5-looper could answer that. We had 13-books this year too which is the most they have had. It’s tough to say, Jared was in great shape and he did almost 58-hours. For me this year it would be tough to imagine 5-loops.

IC: Yes, it’s a different ball game. The mental and physical jump is massive. Can I ask about the course, Jared for example is a great runner and a great hiker? Is this course about being a great hiker?

JC: It’s a mix. You definitely need to be comfortable on steep and technical terrain. You need to be comfortable on rocks, trees, bushes and kind of efficiently moving around this ever-changing terrain. Hikers do really well. You just need lots of time outdoors on tough terrain.

IC: Is it possible to say what percentage you ran in comparison to hike?

JC: It was lots of hiking… I don’t know percentages. I certainly could have run more on loop-3. We definitely walked runnable sections due to fatigue. You can’t think too much, you just need to do what you can.

IC: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to attempt Barkley?

JC: Vertical and vertical. Go across country, don’t use trail, go rough trail and practice navigation. Also get used to carrying a pack, you will need a pack with additional clothing, food and water. Also get used to night and how to function in bad conditions. Be specific. I am certainly going to do lots and lots of vertical; Nick Hollon, Jared and many others confirm this.

IC: Finally, entry to Barkley is infamous, how do you get in?

JC: No.

IC: Funny…

JC: Exactly, you need to know people, talk to them, you need to be told how to get in. It is what it is. It’s a unique part of the event…

……..

Audio with Jamil Coury will be uploaded to Episode 59 of Talk Ultra available April 18th.

Jared Campbell will be on a future edition of the show discussing his 2014 victory

You can listen to Nickademus Hollon talk about Barkley HERE

 

Info:

The Barkley Marathons is a 100-mile run and a 60-mile ‘fun run’ held annually in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee in late March or early April.

The course itself, which has changed distance, route, and elevation many times since its inaugural run in 1986, currently consists of a 20-mile (32 km) loop with no aid stations except water at two points along the route and the runner’s parked car at the beginning of the loop.

Runners of the 100 Mile version run this loop five times, with loops three and four being run in the opposite direction and loop five being runner’s choice. Runners of the 60 mile ‘fun run’ (considered to be harder than Hardrock) complete three circuits of the loop.

With 54,200 feet (16,500 m) of accumulated vertical climb, the 100 mile run is considered to be one of the more challenging ultramarathons held in the United States, if not the world.

In addition to running, competitors must find between nine to eleven books, the number varies per year, and remove the page corresponding to the runner’s race number from each book as proof of completion.

The cut-off time for the 100 mile race is 12 hours per loop, and the cut-off for the 60 mile version of the race is 40 hours overall, which averages out to approximately 13 hours and 20 minutes per loop. Since the race’s inception in 1986, only fourteen runners out of about 800 have completed the 100 mile race within the official 60 hour cut-off (Mark Williams 1995, David Horton and Blake Wood 2001, Ted “Cave Dog” Keizer 2003, Jim Nelson and Mike Tilden 2004, Brian Robinson 2008 (55:42:27), Andrew Thompson 2009, Jonathan Basham 2010, Brett Maune 2011, Brett Maune 52:03:08 (new course record), Jared Campbell 56:00:15, John Fegyveresi 59:41:21 for 2012, Nick Hollon 57:39:24, Travis Wildeboer 58:41:45 for 2013, Jared Campbell 57:53:20 for 2014).

In 2006 nobody finished even the 60 mile ‘fun run’ in under 40 hours. The best women’s achievement is Sue Johnston’s 66 miles (106 km) in 2001.

The race is limited to 35 runners and usually fills up quickly the day registration opens. Potential entrants must complete an essay on “Why I Should be Allowed to Run in the Barkley.” The race starts at different times each year and is signaled by the lighting of a cigarette.

The course was designed by Gary Cantrell. His idea for the race was inspired upon hearing about Martin Luther King, Jr‘s assassin James Earl Ray escaping from prison, and making it only 8 miles (13 km) after running 55 hours in the woods. Cantrell said to himself “I could do at least 100 miles.”

Thus, the Barkley Marathons was born.

Content @wikipedia

 

Great Lakeland 3Day™ Preview

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Relaxed, friendly and an amazing mountain experience, the GL3D™ has built quite a reputation! With an emphasis on long mountain journeys and spectacular scenery, participants can expect a really excellent 3-days without complex navigation.

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Image ©andrewburton

Trails, footpaths, ridges and valleys make up this idyllic journey through arguably one of the greatest playgrounds in the world; the English Lakes. Event HQ is at the North Eastern tip of Ullswater at the quintessential village of Pooley Bridge.

Taking place on the 3rd, 4th and 5th May 2014, the GL3D™ is a small but adventurous mountain marathon. Attracting runners and long-distance walkers, the race is renowned for its atmosphere. So much so, it has gained a reputation as one of ‘the’ events to do!

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Image ©simoncaldwell

Three long and consecutive days in the mountains have built a dedicated following from competitors who are able to choose an Elite, A, B or C course. However, a unique element is the ability to choose whichever course they prefer on each day. This mix-n-match approach certainly does offer a unique format, however, should you choose all Elite or all A, B or C that is no problem, the choice is yours.

Sharing an overnight camp, the inclusion of a ‘beer tent’ certainly seems extremely popular. As you can gather, this is all about fun days on the trails. The inclusion in 2014 of the C class confirms this. Specifically aimed at walkers and slower runners.

Image ©andrewburton

Image ©andrewburton

Courses are triangular, allowing everyone to start and finish at the same location. The GL3D™ is all about maximum enjoyment. However, each participant should be competent in the mountains whether running or walking and an ability to navigate is essential. You must be self-sufficient!

Although some competitors race, many solo participants form groups to share a day in the hills. No prizes are awarded, just a slap on the back and a nod of respect from your peers.

Flexible start times between 0700-0900 (faster participants start later) reflect the relaxed nature of the event and if cramming a few extra zzz’s in your sleeping bag doesn’t tempt you, I am sure the ‘free’ tea, cakes and beer at the end of each day will.

Tempted? I bet you are…

 supported by

GL3D_Lowe_Logo_png32

Race website – http://www.greatlakeland3day.com

Entry – http://www.greatlakeland3day.com/enter/

 

The nitty-gritty

Competitors must register before starting and they can only do this on the evening of Friday 2nd May (between 1800-2200) or on the morning of Saturday 3rd (between 0600-0700). Competitors can only register at the Event Centre. At registration competitors will be issued with their map, which is pre-printed with checkpoints and control descriptions (for all courses), and their SI card. We recommend arriving on the Friday night so that everyone has an opportunity to relax, meet fellow participants and discuss the following day’s route. The night before the GL3D™ the atmosphere is always good and many competitors sneak off to a local pub for an informal gathering. Camping is available on the Friday night and this is included in the entry fee.

Competitors may also park their car at the Event Centre for the weekend at their own risk. The competitor’s beer tent will also be erected on the Friday night but GL3D™ beer is only served on the Saturday and Sunday evenings! 

 Our courses are described as Elite, A, B and C, as is usual for mountain marathons. However, it is important to note that the distances at the GL3D™ are greater. This is because our routes are more runnable (we stick to footpaths and tracks for much of the time) and the navigation is easier (generally mountain summits) than at the equivalent mountain marathon courses at the LAMM, OMM etc. We would describe our courses as roughly equivalent in terms of ‘difficulty to finish’ as the same standard mountain marathon course at one of these events. The approximate course details are:

Course Average Distance Average Time Number of Checkpoints
Elite 30 miles per day 9 hours 9
A 25 miles per day 8 hours 8
B 20 miles per day 7 hours 7
C 15 miles per day ? 1

Elite, A and B Course
These courses are definitely for runners and it is not possible for walkers to complete these courses within the cut-off times. Competitors must have finished an equivalent mountain marathon course within 50% of the winner’s time for the course that they are entering. Any competitor who is slower than 50% of the winner’s time and/or arrives at the overnight camp after the cut-off time will automatically be moved onto a shorter course for the following day.

C Course
The GL3D™ has always attracted long distance walkers but other than the most able, they have generally struggled with the long distances and significant height gain each year. Because of this, for the 2014 event we are introducing a C course (already coined the Café Class by the planning team), which will be specifically aimed at walkers or slower runners and will only have one checkpoint per day to allow competitors maximum route choice between the overnight camps… and time to visit the very best Lake District cafés!

The choice of four different courses means that competitors can choose from either an Elite, A, B or C Course. The really exciting component of the GL3D™ is that competitors simply enter the event, and then choose whichever course they prefer on the day. This could either be Elite for all three days, Elite, B then A or any ‘mix-and-match’ combination. All competitors will still share the same overnight camp.

To appear in the overall results, competitors must complete the same course each day. Obviously, on a daily basis we will publish results for each course. 

Each day competitors start anytime between 0700 and 0900 (please note that there is a 0715 Mass Start for competitors on Day 1 in 2014) and should expect to spend a long day in the hills. The first two days will be the hardest and the last day will be easier. We anticipate that everyone would have finished by 1500 on day three. 

The course will be roughly triangular with a different overnight camp each night. We will provide free tea/coffee, cakes and beer at the end of day one and two and a large, tasty meal at the end of day three.

The competitors ‘beer tent’ – a popular addition to the 2013 GL3D™- will be available at each overnight camp and can used by competitors to hangout in, cook meals in etc.

 

 

 

Episode 58 – Sandes, Walton, Kendall, Portal, Rush

Ep58

This is episode 58 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with Ryan Sandes about his record breaking run with Ryno Griesel on the DrakTraverse. We speak to Brit, Claire Walton who placed 2nd lady at the highly competitive, Tarawera Ultra. As part of our MDS coverage, we have a catch up with Danny Kendall who is arguably the UK’s most consistent MDS performer, we also speak to actor, Bertie Portal who is going to the MDS for the first time. Talk Training is an extended edition with Holly Rush. Holly placed 7th lady at the 2013 Comrades and in this episode we discuss how to prepare for this iconic road ultra. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and of course Speedgoat.

 
NEWS
 
Drakensberg Traverse
 
Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel set a new record for the DrakTraverse – 41 hours 49 mins beating the previous record by over 18-hours
 
AUDIO – Ryan Sandes
 
Barkley - Jared Campbell does it again!
 
White Mountains 100 - Joe Grant wins the run section with a new CR in just over 17-hours
 
Hardmoors 55
 
  1. Bert Goos 8:09:27
  2. Dan Anderson 8:19:00
  3. Matty Brennan 8:53:23
  1. Charmaine Horsfall 8:59:26
  2. Shelli Gordon 9:35:29
  3. Emma David 10:13:15
 
Northburn Station 100-mile
 
  1. Wouter Hamelick 24:33:45
  2. Greig Hamilton 27:05:14
  3. Andrew Redinger 27:39:27
 
  1. Jean Beaumont 26:24:30
  2. Becky Nixon 34:58:15
  3. Tayebeh Alireazee 40:02:56
 
Skyrunning UK announces the Peaks SkyRace for August 3rd
 
Marathon des Sables starts this weekend, Sunday August 6th. I will be at the race reporting and photographing the action. It’s an iconic race and one that inspires so many… on the last show, we spoke with Danny Kendall who placed 10th in 2013. I caught up with him again just days before departure to find out how is final training has gone.
 
AUDIO – Danny Kendall
 
MDS is renowned for the variety of people it attracts. It is very much a ‘bucket list’ race. This year, actor, Bertie Portal is taking part. He has appeared in films such as The Kings Speech, My Week with Marilyn and The Iron Lady… what has attracted an actor to the Sahara. I caught up with Bertie to hear his story
 
AUDIO – Bertie Portal
BLOG - Joe Grant lists his thoughts on the week before White Mountains 100 and lists his kit. Go to alpine-works.com
INTERVIEW - Claire Walton took many by surprise with her stunning 2nd place at Tarawera earlier this year. I caught up with her to discuss her background, the Tarawera race and what the future holds.
 
AUDIO – Claire Walton
 
TALK TRAINING - A special Talk Training this week with Holly Rush. Holly placed 7th lady at the 2013 Comrades, arguably the largest and most iconic road ultra in the world. In this episode we discuss the race and how to prepare.
 
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat
 
UP & COMING RACES
 

Argentina

Patagonia Run 100k | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Patagonia Run 63k | 63 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Patagonia Run 84k | 84 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Running Festival Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Queensland

Nerang State Forest 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Victoria

Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon | 75 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Western Australia

3 Waters 50km Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Bunbury 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Diez Vista 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

China

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 100 miles | April 11, 2014 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 105 km | 105 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Denmark

Midtjylland

Gudenaa Trail Challenge | 75 kilometers | April 18, 2014 | website

France

Aveyron

Trans Aubrac | 105 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Bas-Rhin

Le Challenge des Seigneurs | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Le Défi des Seigneurs | 74 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Le Grand Défi des Vosges | 58 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

L’Intégrale | 132 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Bouches-du-Rhône

Trail Sainte Victoire 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Jura

Le Savagnin | 58 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Lot

Cahors (Lot) – Eauze (Gers) : du 5 au 8 avril 2013 | 187 kilometers | April 11, 2014 | website

Marne

Trail du Pays d’Argonne – 55 km | 55 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Rhône

Le Crêt de l’Oiseau | 63 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Var

Mountain Azur Run | 58 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Germany

Hesse

Bilstein-Marathon BiMa 53+ | 53 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Waldhopper 70Km Landschaftslauf | 70 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Saarland

Keep on Running St. Wendel | 52 kilometers | April 11, 2014 | website

Saxony

Saxonian Mt. Everestmarathon | 84390 meters | April 12, 2014 | website

Greece

Ireland

Connacht

Connemara Ultramarathon | 39 miles | April 06, 2014 | website

Italy

Latium

UltraTrail dei Monti Cimini | 80 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Jordan

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Morocco

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Nepal

Everest Ultra | 65 kilometers | April 07, 2014 | website

Mustang Trail Race 2014 | 200 kilometers | April 15, 2014 | website

Netherlands

Limburg

Limburgs Zwaarste 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

North Holland

Castricum Ultraloop | 60 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Oxfam Trailwalker NZ | 100 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Norway

Bergen Maratonkarusellen no3 – 1 1/2 Marathon | 63 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Bergen Maratonkarusellen no3 – Ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Philippines

Mayon 360º | 80 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Réunion

Caldeira Trail | 74 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

South Africa

Loskop Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Anaga Ultratrail 88 km | 88 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Trail Muntanyes de la Costa Daurada | 90 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Extremadura

LXVII Milhas Romanas | 100 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Sweden

Silva Ursvik Ultra – 75 km | 75 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Täby Extreme Challenge 100 miles | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

TEC 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

TEC 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Calderdale

The Calderdale Hike – Long | 36 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor – Ultra | 34 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

East Sussex

South Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Glasgow City

Glasgow – Edinburgh Double Marathon | 55 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Gloucestershire

Cotswold Way Challenge Multistage Ultra | 57 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

USA

Arizona

Crown King Scramble 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

California

American River 50-mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Grizzly Peak 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Lake Sonoma 50 | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Oriflame 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Oriflamme 50k | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Woodside Ramble Spring 50K | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Delaware

Trap Pond 50K | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Florida

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 100 Miles | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 75 Miles | 75 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Georgia

SweetH20 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Potawatomi 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run | 150 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Potawatomi 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Kansas

Rocking K Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Michigan

Traverse City Trail Running Festival 50k Run | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Minnesota

Trail Mix Race Minnesota 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Zumbro 100k | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2014 | website

Zumbro 100M | 100 miles | April 11, 2014 | website

Zumbro Midnight 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Mississippi

Gulf Coast Interstate Relay – Ride or Run | 263 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Cedar Island 40 | 42 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Umstead 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Oklahoma

Tatur’s Lake McMurty Trail Race 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Oregon

Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | April 13, 2014 | website

Shotgun Trail Blast 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Pennsylvania

Hyner Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

South Carolina

Blind Pig 100K Ultra Marathon | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Blind Pig 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

XTERRA Hickory Knob Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Power to the Tower 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

War at Windrock – 3 stages race | 51 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Texas

Hells Hills 50 km Endurance Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Hells Hills 50 Mile Endurance Trail Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Utah

Zion 100k | 100 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Zion 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Zion 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Vermont

Twin State 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Twin State 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 06, 2014 | website

Virginia

Bull Run Run 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Washington

Alger Alp 50k | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Lumberjack 100 K Run | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Lumberjack 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Lumberjack 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Squak Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

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