Episode 101 – Mal Law, Jo Meek, Lucja Leonard

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 101 of Talk Ultra. We speak with Jo Meek who is back in form after almost a year of injury. Mal Law talks about HIGH FIVE-0 and Lucja Leonard talks all about weight loss in Talk Training. Dare I say it, but the PED debate has started in ultra, trail and mountain running and we discuss what is happening! Speedgoat is here.

00:01:31 Show Start

00:08:30 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

DRUGS, PEDs, EPO are becoming a reality in our sport READ HERE and your thoughts.

 

TNF50

1 – Zach Miller 6:12

2 – Dylan Bowman 6:20

3 – Ryan Bak 6:26

1 – Megan Kimmel 7:13

2 – Ellie Greenwood 7:23

3 – Larisa Dannis 7:25

MSIG LANTAU

1 – Francois D’Haene 5:42

2 – Eirik Haugsness

3 – Upendra Sunuwar

1 – Maud Gobert 7:08

2 – Marie McNaughton

3 – Rebecca Nakuwa

VULCANO ULTRA TRAIL 100k

1 – Cristofer Clemente 12:31 held off Joe Grant for the win

2 – Manuela Vilaseca 15:48 ran away with the ladies race ahead of Veronica Bravo

SAINT E LYON France

Benoit Cori (Templars winner) finished with Nicolas Martin joint 1st 5:07 and Corali Bugnare took out the ladies wins 6:32

HARDROCK 100 entries HERE 

WSER entries HERE

00:55:55 INTERVIEW with JO MEEK HERE

01:37:19 TALK TRAINING this week Lucja Leonard tells us how loosing weight and running changed her life HERE

02:04:09 INTERVIEW with MAL LAW and the HIGH FIVE-0 Challenge HERE

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Coast to Kosciuszko | 240 kilometers | December 11, 2015 | website

Queensland

Kurrawa to Duranbah and Return – 50 km | 50 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website

Narawntapu 50 km | 50 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website

Victoria

Duncan’s Run-Hundred | 100 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Duncan’s Run-Hundred – 50 km | 50 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

53 km | 53 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Moonrun Monteverde Ultra Trail | 62 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

French Guiana

100 Bornes du Père Noël | 100 kilometers | December 18, 2015 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Eisweinlauf | 65 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Lower Saxony

  1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website
  2. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website
  3. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website
  4. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website
  5. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website
  6. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website
  7. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 20, 2015 | website
  8. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 20, 2015 | website

India

Haryana

Running And Living – 105.5 km | 105 kilometers | December 14, 2015 | website

Running And Living Marathon and a Half – 63.3km | 63 kilometers | December 14, 2015 | website

Madagascar

Nosy Be Trail – 60 km | 60 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Sweden

Blåfrusen Ultramarathon | 70 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website

USA

Arizona

Desert Solstice 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | December 19, 2015 | website

Desert Solstice 50K Run | 50 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

California

Malibu Canyon Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Rodeo Beach 50 km | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Woodside Ramble 50K | 50 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website

Colorado

Sawmill 50K+ | 34 miles | December 12, 2015 | website

Florida

50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Ancient Oaks 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | December 19, 2015 | website

Deer Dodge 50K | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Deer Dodge 50 Miler | 50 miles | December 12, 2015 | website

Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic 50M | 50 miles | December 12, 2015 | website

Indiana

HUFF 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Seth’s Fat Ass 50 | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Ohio

Bigfoot 50K | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

First Day of Winter 50K | 50 kilometers | December 20, 2015 | website

Oregon

Frozen Trail Runfest 50K | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Bell Ringer 50k | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Lookout Mountain 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | December 19, 2015 | website

Texas

Brazos Bend 100 Miler | 100 miles | December 12, 2015 | website

Brazos Bend 50 Miler | 50 miles | December 12, 2015 | website

Houston Running Festival 100K | 100 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Houston Running Festival 100 Mile | 100 miles | December 19, 2015 | website

Houston Running Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Houston Running Festival 50 Mile | 50 miles | December 19, 2015 | website

Texas Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | December 12, 2015 | website

Texas Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | December 12, 2015 | website

Virginia

Hellgate 100K | 100 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website

Seashore Nature Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | December 19, 2015 | website

Washington

Deception Pass 50K | 50 kilometers | December 13, 2015 | website

03:01:20 CLOSE

03:04:20

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Website – talkultra.com

Can of worms! Desco, EPO, PEDs and TNF50

©iancorless.com©iancorless.com-3401

It is the TNF50 this weekend in San Francisco. iRunFar as per usual did a race preview and what a line up! The $10,000 prize money a huge incentive to attract top runners for a last big push before a well earned end of season rest.

The iRunFar article was updated on Nov 27th with a last minute entrant: Elisa Desco from Italy.

I firmly believe that many in the San Francisco race would not know who Elisa was unless they followed WMRA (World Mountain Running) or Skyrunning. Elisa in recent years has performed exceptionally well in Skyrunning and in 2014 was crowned Skyrunning World Champion for the SKY distance in Chamonix.

iRunFar went on to say:

[Added November 27] Italian mountain runner Elisa Desco was just added to the entrants list. I don’t believe she’s raced longer than 46k before, I do think this is her first race in the U.S., and I know this will probably be the flattest trail race she’s participated in, but she is a likely podium favorite. She’s been a regular on the international Skyrunning circuit for years, and this year she finished third in the Sky division of the Skyrunner World Series, including a win of the just-over-a-marathon’s-distance Matterhorn Ultraks. From 2010 to 2012, Elisa served a two-year ban from the IAAF after she tested positive for EPO at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships.

I was well aware of Elisa’s positive test and lets be clear here, since 2012 I have spent a great deal of time with Elisa and her husband, Marco De Gasperi. De Gasperi himself a 6x WMRA champion and legend in the world of mountain and Skyrunning.

Many a long night talking with Marco discussing the positive test. (I would like to be clear here and state that I am being as impartial as I possible can.) It’s a story of how Marco tried to fight to clear Elisa’s name, a story of what he considered major flaws with the testing procedure and a fight for honour. One that he eventually had to give up on. He wrote an article in 2011 on his own website. I provide a Google translation of that article, obviously this is not a perfect translation but you get the gist! HERE

From a USA perspective, Facebook exploded with a series of very angry posts. Ethan Veneklasen in particular commented on multiple channels:

I am DEEPLY disappointed to see that Elisa Desco (Italy) was added last week to the start list for this weekend’s North Face Endurance Challenge and is widely considered a favorite for the podium. From 2010-2012, Desco served a two-year ban from the IAAF for testing positive for EPO at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships.

For the last several years, we have speculated about whether doping has arrived in our beloved sport. If there was any question before, let me be clear…that day has arrived! This is VERY, VERY sad indeed. 

On a related note, I am delighted to see that US Skyrunning is taking proactive steps to move the International Skyrunning Federation toward enforcing lifetime ban for convicted dopers.

The can of worms was well and truly opened. No bad thing! It’s good to get the PED debate out in our sport and ensure at this very early stage that PED’s are not tolerated or accepted in our sport.

I 100% agree that I do not and will not tolerate drugs in any sport and of course, in particular the sport I love, watch, follow and photograph.

However, is Elisa getting a fair deal? Has this turned into a witch hunt?

The facts are when Elisa tested positive, no lifetime ban existed for doping. She was sentenced for 2-years, she did her time and she is now back. This of course does pose the question, ‘should runners be allowed back?’

Elisa has been drug tested 2-times in the last 18-months (maybe more) and both tests were clean. To clarify, one of those tests were made at the Skyrunning World Championships in Chamonix where she was crowned world champion.

Elisa may very well have taken PED’s? The ban would suggest so but Marco and Elisa 100% say not! Of course, Lance did the same and look how good a liar he was.

Should athletes receive lifetime bans? Yes, if we are 100% sure that they cheated, then yes! But I would want those tests to be 100% secure. I am not sure that is always the case and this has been discussed elsewhere. Questions have been raised about Elisa’s positive test! This is not a post to fight for Elisa, not at all. It’s a post to say that we sometimes need to take a step back and this case provides a great opportunity for debate and a catalyst for change.

Today, 5th December, Runners World have posted an article HERE and the headline says:

Ultrarunners Want Convicted Doper Out of Weekend Race

Powerful headline and some of the contents in the article make for interesting reading. 2014 race winner, Magdalena Boulet says: “I guess the kind way to say it is that I’m disappointed that the race organization allowed her into the elite field,” This was followed up with, “I don’t care if a doper served their ban and are technically eligible to race. If they still want to run for the love of the sport, they are welcome to, but I guarantee that they would slowly go away,”

Fellow podcaster, Eric Shranz commented, “For a sport that values camaraderie and inclusiveness, Desco will be on the outside of that group due to her past, and that’s a place she’s earned,” Schranz said. “But then again, maybe we need her to podium this weekend to really force an honest conversation about how we want to grow as a sport and how we’ll handle the PED problem.”

On publication of the Runners World article, Ethan Veneklasen who was very vocal on social media said via his Facebook page, “Very glad to see Runners World covering this important issue! Thanks to all who have contributed to helping get this discussion going. ‪#‎cleansport‬

I agree. This is a discussion that almost certainly needs to take place. Elisa unfortunately is now at the centre of this debate. Her presence in San Francisco is now compromised and should she decide to run, I can’t help but think it will result in an early withdrawal. This debate and all the negativity will have a huge impact on her and many reading this will say; good!

Four points are raised:

  1. Are The North Face making a mistake in allowing Desco to run? (TNF50 does not have drug testing or a policy re convicted dopers.)
  2. Should a positive test, irrespective of when that happened, mean that a runner should be banned of life?
  3. How do we confirm that a positive test is 100% positive?
  4. The ultra community have a voice, they are saying in this scenario, “Sure the rules say 2yrs and back in, but the community doesn’t!”

I often tell a story, when I was cycling at elite level. Caffeine was a banned substance. If I had too many espressos or too much Coke, I could run the risk of being positive in a test so I had to be careful. Now caffeine is okay and even gels are rammed with the stuff. You can take as much as you like and it does boost performance. But it’s legal now. What is okay and what is not ok becomes cloudy; my advice is stick to the rules. The athletes who really want to perform/ win will always look for an advantage. I just want that advantage to be a legal one. Of course in Elisa’s case the drug in question is EPO, you don’t accidentally take EPO! It would require planning, deception and money. Ultimately this is a completely different story and I firmly believe why the reaction has been so severe.

The positive test is what everyone jumps on, I get that. A definitive proof that Elisa doped!

Like I said, we all make mistakes and I get the ‘one strike and out’ scenario. However, my bank took £22 out of my account years ago. I told them they were wrong in no uncertain terms. ‘No!’ they relied. “It’s not possible for us to make this mistake.’ I battled on for 3-months. It wasn’t the money that was important, it was the principal. Eventually I had a letter from the bank confirming an error had been made due to an ‘anomaly.’

In the above scenario it was just £22. With drugs in sport and PEDS it may well be a ruined career and life ban. Of course, if we can 100% confirm that someone was cheating, lets ban them. I just want a ban to be 100% – are we there yet?

Ian Sharman, race director for the U.S. Skyrunner Series, is pushing for life bans for convicted dopers for all Skyrunning events globally: “This isn’t a reaction to an individual, but a response to the widespread doping uncovered recently in athletics in general. We can’t change our rules at this point without the rules being changed for the entire International Skyrunning Federation, so that’s where we’re aiming to make the change so we can send a clear signal that cheating isn’t acceptable,”

Anthony Forsyth commented on a Facebook in response to a comment I made:

“From my perspective the frustration is not towards Elisa, who is doing what she can, but towards TNF that are allowing her to race. There is a general consensus that we want a clean sport – on this we agree. But there is also a general consensus that those who have cheated, who have stolen prize money and results from other athletes, have had their opportunity to be a part of our sport, of our family, and have crapped with contempt on that opportunity. They are no longer welcome. The term witch hunt refers to the guessing of guilt. Guilt has been proven. Sure the rules say 2yrs and back in, but the community doesn’t. As I said, my vent is with TNF. In allowing her to race they have misunderstood our sport, our family and our values. They need to educate themselves. And people need to stop buying their stuff until they do.”

The above is a powerful statement and one that I get. Anthony is clearly saying here this has nothing to do with if ‘doing the crime, so do the time!’ It is so much more, it’s about how the community are not prepared to accept back someone into the sport even though they may now be clean. It is very much the scenario, one strike and you are out!

On a final note to add fuel to the fire. On December 2nd CONI posted:

The Public Prosecutor’s office of NADO ITALY defers 26 athletes and asks for two years of disqualification. Dismissal is suggested for another 39 cases

Read the article HERE

Dismissal for 39-cases including

DE GASPERI Marco for the disputed accusations (art. 2.3 and art. 2.4 of the Anti-Doping Sport Code);

DESCO Elisa for the disputed accusations (art. 2.3 and art. 2.4 of the Anti-Doping Sport Code);

What are your thoughts? Would love to hear them.

Read THIS by Scott athlete, Andy Symonds. He nails it for me!

UPDATE 18th December, ELISA DESCO speaks with competitor.com HERE

Episode 99 – Giblin ELS2900 Grant

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 99 of Talk Ultra we talk all about ELS2900 with RD Matt Lefort and 3rd place overall, Andy Symonds. Sophie Grant talk Raid de la Reunion and Paul Giblet from the UK wins Javekina Hundred beating Speedgoat! Niandi is here too looking like a Druid.

00:01:30 Show Start

00:07:50 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

iancorless.com 2016 Calendar, not many left! HERE

ELS2900 read HERE

00:17:15 INTERVIEW

MATT LEFORT race director for ELS2900

1 – Jokin Lizeaga 14:48

2 – Nicolas Darmaillacq 15:37

3 – Andy Symonds 16:11

 

1 – Sonia Regueiro Rodriguez 21:51

01:01:52 INTERVIEW

ANDY SYMONDS 3rd place ELS2900

OMAN DESERT MARATHON

Elisabet Barnes has one every stage and as we record she is ranked in the top-10 and is guaranteed overall female victory.

We will have Elisabet on the next show to tell us about it and tell us about her plans for 2016.

THE DRUIDS

1 – Lee Muir 10:45:33

2 – Mark Ford 11:49:41

3 – Tim Beckett 11:51:18

 

1 – Maree Jesson 12:47:32

2 – Laura Garriod 14:20:07

3 – Katherine Barrett 14:33:52

ECOTRAIL FUNCHAL, MADEIRA – HERE

80km results HERE

1 – Arnaud Lejeune 8:30:09

2 – Fabien Antolinus 8:49:46

3 – Leonardo Diogo 9:51:17

 

1 – Anna Conclaves 12:43

2 – Hailey Fletcher 18:08:28

3 –

40km results HERE

1 – Julien Chorier 4:29:55

2 – Marco Silva 4:33:57

3 – Virgilio Ornelas 4:46:07

 

1 – Luvox Franco 5:53:43

2 – Alice Sousa 6:11:50

3 –  Marina Freitas 7:08:12

UTWT 2016 calendar

Honk Kong 100

Tarawera

Transgrancanaria

MDS

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

Ultra Trail Australia

Western States

Lavaredo

Eiger Ultra Trail

UTMB

UTMF

Diagonale des Fous

JAVELINA JUNDRED

1 – Paul Goblin 13:49

2 – Michael Carron 15:21

3 – Brett Sanborn 15:47

Speedgoat was 5th (man) 16:31

1 – Devon Yanko 14:52 and 2nd overall

2 – Tony Littlehales 19:24

3 – Tracy Dimino 20:10

01:39:46 INTERVIEW

SOPHIE GRANT Raid de la Reunion profile HERE

02:35:36 INTERVIEW 

PAUL GIBLIN

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Stromlo Running Festival – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Victoria

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Cambodia

The Ancient Khmer Path | 220 kilometers | November 27, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Trail La Transtica – Course Aventure | 115 kilometers | November 18, 2015 | website

Costa Rica Trail La Transtica – Course Extrême | 196 kilometers | November 18, 2015 | website

Egypt

100 Km Pharonic Race | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2015 | website

France

Dordogne

Trail de l’Asterius | 58 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Haute-Loire

Raid nocturne Le Puy-Firminy | 68 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Manche

A la Belle Etoile 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Nord

Trail Extrème Lillois – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Lower Saxony

  1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website
  2. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2015 | website

India

Maharashtra

Oxfam Trailwalker India – Mumbai | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2015 | website

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

Ultra K Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Luxembourg

Trail Uewersauer | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Namibia

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 13, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Molesworth Run | 84 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Portugal

Trail AM | 60 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

South Africa

Salomon Sky Run 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Salomon Sky Run 65 km | 65 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

UMNR | 79 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Tunisia

Marathon des Oasis | 120 kilometers | November 16, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Powys

Beacons Ultra | 45 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Swansea

Coastal Trail Series – Gower – Ultra | 34 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Dizzy Fifties 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Dizzy Fifties 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Dizzy Fifties 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Tranquility Lake 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Arizona

Colossal-Vail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Colossal-Vail 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Pass Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

California

Chimera 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Chino Hills Spring Trail Series 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Mt. Tam Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

San Joaquin River Trail 100K Run | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

San Joaquin River Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Florida

Cottonmouth 100 | 100 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Georgia

Tortoise and the Hare 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Illinois

Tunnel Hill 100 Miler | 100 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Tunnel Hill 50 Miler | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Maryland

JFK 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Stone Mill 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Nougat Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Nougat Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

New York

Madhattan Run | 32 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Old Glory Trail Trot 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Old Glory Trail Trot 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Old Glory Trail Trot 50 mile Relay | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Ohio

Bill’s Bad Ass | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Flying Feather 4 Miler | 43 miles | November 26, 2015 | website

Fuzzy Fandango 50 K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Upchuck 50K Trail Running Race | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | November 26, 2015 | website

Wild Hare 50K | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Wild Hare 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 50K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Virginia

50K | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Washington

Doppler 50k | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Grand Ridge 50 K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

03:05:47 CLOSE

A SPAR AGUS ;-)A spar agus

03:09:18

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Website – talkultra.com

A_GRAVATAR

Scott Els 2900 Alpine Run

pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

                                   pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

Press release from Scott Running re the Scott ELS 2900 Alpine Run

Race directors: Matt Lefort and Carles Rossell

You can listen to two interviews on Episode 99 of Talk Ultra podcast, one with Matt Lefort and the other with 3rd placed runner, Andy Symonds. The show will be released Fri 13th Nov and will be available on this website and on iTunes HERE

At midnight on October 31st, the 37 participants of the inaugural edition of the SCOTT Els2900 Alpine Run started from the Refugi Estanys de la Pera. Their goal, link all 7 peaks over 2900m high in Andorra, in less than 24h.

Unlike other ultra running events, participants were required for sole mandatory equipment a phone, a harness, two 60cm runners and a minimum of two carabiners. The rest was up to the athletes, leaving everyone’s personal experience dictate what to bring to move as fast and light as possible without putting one’s life at risk. So is the true essence of the sport, initiated 25 years ago by a handful of pioneers who did run up and down Mount Blanc and Monte Rosa. Such legends, Pep Ollé and Matteo Pellin, were actually involved into setting up the ropes to secure the Cresta dels Malhiverns section.

pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

                                    pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

Even though the risk factor is never down to zero being out in the mountains, the race organizers lowered it considerably by carefully selecting each participant based on their experience in such terrain. This is how elite athlete were denied entry, while much less popular yet highly skilled mountain people made the cut to create a crowd of humble and like minded peers.

The 70km route took the most direct line between each peaks, amounting a gruelling 6800m of elevation gain, through rocky cols, over exposed ridges, steep couloirs and even a via ferrata section that was performed at night.

pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

                                    pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

At this game, Jokin LIZEAGA (ESP) was the best on the day, taking the win in14h48, followed by Nicolas DARMAILLACQ (FRA) in 15h37 and Andy SYMONDS (UK) in 16h11 wrapping up the mens podium. The woman’s fields made of two at the start line will only see Sonia REGUEIRO RODRIGUEZ (ESP) cross the finish line at the Refugi de Coma Pedrosa in 21h51, crowning her 2015 winner of the SCOTT Els2900 Alpine Run.

True camaraderie was shown until the end where race winner Jokin welcomed the last out of the 22 runners who completed the course (Paul Marie, FRA) and popped a bottle of Cava with the whole crew who had joined to witness the scene.

pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

                                      pic by https://www.facebook.com/jordisaragossa

All images ©scott ©jordisaragossa

Find out more about the race here and SCOTT Running here 

Andy Symonds wrote an interesting post about the race HERE

Episode 97 – Bonnet Symonds Pierson

 

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 97 of Talk Ultra has an interview with Andy Symonds about his return to running and top results after prolonged injury, we speak with Remi Bonnet rising star of the VK and SKY distance and Mariepaule Pierson is back from Atacama and tells us all about it. We have Talk Training, the News and Speedboat Karl.

00:01:30 Show Start

00:07:30 NEWS

 Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

LANTAU 2 PEAKS

1 – Remi Bonnet 2:14:07

2 – Manuel Merillas 2:24:29

3 – Tadei Pivk 2:26:39

1 – Yngvild Kaspersen 2:42:04

2 – Laura Orgue 2:49:58

3 – Maite Maiora 2:51:19

00:12:56 INTERVIEW

REMI BONNET

UTAT 105km/ 6500m +

1 – Andy Symonds 13:41

2 – Julien Chorier 14:20

3 – Omar Bouhrim 15:32

1 – Andrea Huser 15:47

2 – Francesca Canepa 19:34

3 – Geraldine Leroy 23:08

Other races are 68km, 42km and 26km

WARRIOR DASH

Max King 2-years in a row wins $30,000 – F***!

CROWN OF THE CONTINENT TRAVERSE

Mike Wolfe and Mike Foote run an incredible 600-mile FKT from Missoula to Banff. We will have both Mike’s on the next Talk Ultra to tell us all about it. Read HERE

LAKE TAHOE FKT

Krissy Moehl 47:29 new record by 2-hours Read HERE

GRINDSTONE 100

1 – Brian Rusiecki 20:24

1 – Amy Rusiecki 23:36

FLAGSTAFF SKY RACE ULTRA

1 – Dan Kraft 5:49

2 – Gabe McGowan 5:54 ?

3 – Josh Arthur 6:00

1 – Ashley Erba 6:47

2 – Meredith Edwards 7:39

3 – Jen Benna 7:47

FLAGSTAFF SKY RACE SKY

1 – Martin Anthamatten 3:59

2 – Joe Gray 4:06

3 – Tim Parr 4:39

1 – Megan Kimmel 4:29

2 – Kristi Knecht 5:04

3 – Corinne Malcolm 5:12

TNF CHALLENGE WISCONSIN

1 – Tyler Sigi 5:55

2 – Dylan Bowman (went of course) 6:28

3 – John Knudson 6:49

1 – Molly Culver 8:10

2 – Christine Murphy 8:18

3 – Emily Kratz 8:22

LAKES IN A DAY 

1 – Kim Collison 9:12:07

2 – Marcis Gubats 10:27:48

3 – Stuart Dickson 10:49:05

1 – Helen Leigh 11:00:10

2 – Sabrina Verjee 11:29:59

3 – Lucy Spain 11:58:48

 

00:48:27 INTERVIEW 

ANDREW SYMONDS

 

01:22:46 INTERVIEW

MARIEPAULE PIERSON

 

02:11:42 TALK TRAINING

TALK TRAINING – BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING read the document HERE

 

UP & COMING RACES

Andorra

Els 2900 Alpine Run | 70 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Australia

New South Wales

Buckley’s Chance 50km Off-trail Ultra | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Hume & Hovell 100 | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Hume & Hovell 50 | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Survival Run Australia 75km | 75 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Washpool/Gibraltar World Heritage Trails 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Queensland

Blackall 100 | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Blackall 100 – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

South Australia

Heysen 105 | 105 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Victoria

Ned Kelly Chase 100km – Wangaratta Fitness Fun Addicts | 100 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Austria

Bécs-Pozsony-Budapest Szupermaraton | 317 kilometers | October 19, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Q50 Costa Rica Ultramarathon | 86 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Finland

Western Finland

Wihan kilometrit – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Wihan kilometrit – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

France

Aude

Raid des Bogomiles | 96 kilometers | October 16, 2015 | website

Aveyron

Endurance Trail | 106 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Grand Trail des templiers | 71 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Intégrale des Causses | 60 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Corse-du-Sud

Corsica Coast Race – 95 km | 95 kilometers | October 29, 2015 | website

Haute-Corse

Corsica Coast Race – 170 km | 170 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Ille-et-Vilaine

Entre Palis et Mégalithes | 64 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Savoie

Grand Trail du Lac – 72 km | 72 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Röntgenlauf Ultramarathon | 63 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Greece

Rodopi Advendurun 100 miles | 100 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

India

West Bengal

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Israel

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 200 Km Run | 200 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 61 Km Run | 61 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Italy

Campania

Amalfi Coast Trail | 79 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Cormorultra | 69 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Piedmont

Lago d’Orta Ultra Trail – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Lago D’Orta Ultra Trail – 80 km | 80 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Puglia

Run & Go 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Run & Go 100 Miglia | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Ultramarathon | 81 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Sicily

Etna Tour Trail | 67 kilometers | October 29, 2015 | website

Japan

Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Jordan

Jordan Running Adventure Race – 190 km | 190 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Jordan Running Adventure Race – 70 km | 70 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Mexico

Carrera de Baja Mexican Trail | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Nepal

Everest Sky Race | 360 kilometers | October 16, 2015 | website

Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Portugal

Azores Triangle Adventure | 103 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail das Aldeias do Xisto | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Réunion

La Mascareignes | 67 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Le Grand Raid | 164 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Trail de Bourbon | 93 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

South Africa

Bonitas Golden Gate Challenge | 70 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon | 250 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultima Frontera – 166 km | 166 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultima Frontera – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultima Frontera – 83 km | 83 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultra-Trail Gran Vuelta Valle Del Genal | 125 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Tenerife Bluetrail 60 km | 59 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Tenerife Bluetrail 94 km | 94 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Trail de la Serra de Montsant | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Valencian Community

Mondúber Utrail | 80 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Sweden

Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Taiwan

UltraTaiwan 100 | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

UltraTaiwan 50 | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Stage Run | 260 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Turkey

Cappadocia Trail 60km | 62 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

The North Face Cappadocia Ultra Trail | 110 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Cumbria

Ennerdale 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Devon

East Devon Way Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

East Devon Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

East Devon Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Ultra – Red Route | 42 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Black Route | 50 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

West Devon Way Ultra – Black Route | 48 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

West Devon Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Dorset

Wessex Ridgeway Ultra – Black Route | 52 miles | October 21, 2015 | website

Wessex Ridgeway Ultra – Red Route | 42 miles | October 21, 2015 | website

Durham

Original Mountain Marathon | 52 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Hampshire

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Black Route | 52 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Blue Route | 35 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Oxfordshire

Autumn 100 | 100 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Rotherham

Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham International Trail Event | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Somerset

West Deane Way Ultra – Black Route | 51 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

West Deane Way Ultra – Blue Route | 36 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

West Deane Way Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Suffolk

Coastal Trail Series – Suffolk – Ultra | 34 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

West Sussex

Olympic Way Ultra – Black Route | 44 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Wiltshire

Clarendon Way Ultra – Black Route | 48 miles | October 22, 2015 | website

Clarendon Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 22, 2015 | website

Worcestershire

Halloween 7in7 | 295 kilometers | October 26, 2015 | website

USA

Arizona

Cave Creek Thriller 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

California

Coyote Ridge 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

EC 100 | 101 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

EC 50 | 51 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Lake Hodges 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Stinson Beach 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Twin Peaks 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Twin Peaks 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Colorado

Indian Creek 51 km | 51 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Indian Creek 52 Mile | 52 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Connecticut

Bimbler’s Bluff 50k | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Delaware

Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Florida

Jacks 50k Trail Race | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Mutual Mine 50K | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

“Running for the Bay!” 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Hawaii

Peacock Ultramarathons 100K | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Peacock Ultramarathons 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Illinois

Des Plaines River Tail 50 Miles | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Maine

The Pounder | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

The Punisher | 50 miles | October 18, 2015 | website

Maryland

Patapsco Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Surf the Murph 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Surf the Murph 50M | 50 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Missouri

Dogwood Canyon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Nebraska

G.O.A.T.z 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

New Hampshire

Ghost Train Ultra Race 100M | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 45M | 45 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 60M | 60 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 75M | 75 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 90M | 90 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Deadman Peaks Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Triple Lakes Trail 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon 50k | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon 50M | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Ohio

Stone Steps 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100K | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Oregon

Elk-Kings Mtn Traverse 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Quad State Quad Buster | 46 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK | 50 miles | October 25, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Ragnar Relay Tennessee | 196 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Texas

Big Cedar Endurance Run 100 Miler | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50K | 50 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Cactus Rose 100 Mi Trail Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Cactus Rose 50 Mi Trail Run | 50 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Trans-Pecos Ultra | 163 miles | October 18, 2015 | website

Utah

Goblin Valley Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Pony Express Trail 100 | 100 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Pony Express Trail 50 | 50 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Virginia

50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

The Wild Oak Trail 100 “Hot” TWOT | 100 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Washington

Ft. Steilacoom 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

SCOTT Cougar Mountain Series 50k | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

West Virginia

Run Around the Gorge | 69 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

02:39:23 CLOSE 

 

02:42:12

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Website – talkultra.com

Glen Coe Skyline™ – Skyrunning comes to Scotland

Glencoe-Skyline

Skyrunning will be coming to Scotland in 2015 with a world-class course based around Glen Coe. Aptly named the ‘Glen Coe Skyline™’ this race has already caused a storm of speculation as rumours of its launch swept through the mountain running community earlier this year.

The provisional route starts at the Glencoe Mountain Resort and, via the West Highland Way, reaches and ascends Buachaille. A full traverse of Bidean nam Bian ensues before dropping down into Glen Coe to then climb up to Sgorr nam Fiannaidh. There is then an extended traverse of the entire Aonach Eagach ridge, before rejoining the West Highland Way and descending into Glen Coe Pass via the Devil’s Staircase and returning to Glencoe Mountain Resort. The provisional route statistics are approximately 45km with 4500m of ascent.

As many experienced hill walkers and climbers have pointed out, this route covers some of the most challenging mountain terrain in the UK with long sections of exposed and serious Moderate standard rock climbing. 

1-ShaneOhly-Photo-IanCorless.com_MDM2015-8268

Shane Ohly

Race Director Shane Ohly explained:

 “I am not trying to create another fell or trail race, but bring to the UK World class Skyrunning and a course that has World class challenges. It is not meant to be easy, and a course of this caliber has inherent risk. We are not creating another mass participation running event, rather, a world-class course for experienced and competent participants. The Glen Coe Skyline™ is a fusion of mountain running and alpinism where competitors need to be skilled at both disciplines to negotiate the course.” 

Indeed, there has been a hotly debated forum thread about the Glen Coe Skyline™ on the popular UKClimbing / UKHillWalking website, and in response, Ohly has provided a detailed Q&A about the race, which is available HERE.

http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=7189

Leading British Skyrunners were quick to endorse the route with Tom Owens from the Salomon International Team saying,

 “Wow – This will be a seriously brilliant and challenging route,” whilst teammate Any Symonds said, “Excellent! Glen Coe Skyline. Couldn’t get much of a better setting and route for a Sky Race in the UK.”

Ohly continued, “The Glen Coe Skyline™ follows in the finest tradition of the most prestigious Skyrunning races and competing on such challenging and technical terrain is not without precedent.” 

For an event that has not even happened, the Glen Coe Skyline™ is already one the most talked about races on the UK calendar and it is clearly challenging many observers’ perceptions of what mountain running is.

Ian Corless from Skyrunning UK provided further context to the race, “The UK may lack high mountains but we have unique terrain and what we lack in altitude can be compensated for with challenging routes as we have seen at the V3K and the Mourne Skyline MTR. The Glen Coe Skyline™ however takes Skyrunning UK to the next level! Having experienced the iconic Trofeo Kimain Italy in 2012 and 2014, I was inspired to extend that experience to a UK and worldwide audience but on UK soil. Shane Ohly and his team have put my dream into reality. The Glen CoeSkyline™ will arguably be the toughest race in the UK and takes it inspiration from the Skyrunner World Series races such as the Dolomites, Zegama-Aizkorri and Tromso SkyRace’s®. The Glen Coe Skyline™ will not be for everyone though; it is a challenging race over a tough and technical course. It harks back to Marino Giacometti’s vision of Skyrunning that was created on the slopes of Monte Rosa in the late 80’s.” 

The organisers have been careful to consider the impact the race may have on other recreational users of Glen Coe and have been working with the National Trust for Scotland who are the major landowner.

3-GaryTompsett-Summit

Gary Tompsett

Rebecca Amiel, Individual Giving Manager, from the National Trust for Scotland said “We are delighted to be involved in Scotland’s first skyrunning event at Glencoe.  We look forward to welcoming participants who may never have visited Glencoe to take in its beauty as they complete this challenging event. The National Trust for Scotland is Scotland’s largest conservation charity and relies on membership and donations to care for these wonderful places.  The magnificent landscape of Glencoe is loved by so many, yet cared for by so few which is why it’s so important to raise the profile of our conservation work. Find out more about the Footpath Fund and mountain conservation at www.footpathfund.org.uk

Ohly added, “Each year Ourea Events™ (the company organising the Glen Coe Skyline™) donates 1% of its total income to charitable environmental organisations at the forefront of the protection of the mountain environment. The business has been a member of 1% of the Planet since day one because, whilst we always seek to mitigate our environmental impact, we understand that we do still have some form of impact, but our policies over the years have given some very attributable payback”.

OureaEventsLogo(500x500-cropped) copy

Entries will open at 9pm on Monday 13th April 2015

 

For further Information about:

Ourea Events visit www.OureaEvents.com or contact Shane Ohly on 07771516962 or ShaneOhly@OureaEvents.com

Glen Coe Skyline visit www.GlenCoeSkyline.com

SkyrunningUK visit http://skyrunninguk.com or contact Ian Corless on 07725813457 or iancorless@mac.com

 

Key Event Information

Website: www.GlenCoeSkyline.com

Date: Saturday 22nd August 2015

Venue: Glencoe Mountain Resort, Scotland

Entries Open: Monday 13th April 2015

Courses: 45km with 4,500m ascent (TBC)

Zegama – Aizkorri 2013 Preview

Zegama - Aizkorri

Zegama – Aizkorri needs no introduction to those who follow Skyrunning. It is a course that has created many a story over the years.

Located in a natural park, Aizkorri-Aratz, it brings respect and excitement to every mountain runner that toes the line.

Zegama Map iancorless.com

In July 2002, the Village Council decided to revitalise and bring life to the local area, in order to achieve these objectives the Zegama-Aizkorri Mountain Marathon Association was created. Today, the AIA-renovated Alpine Marathon has a reputation in the world as one of the world’s most prestigious mountain marathons.

Part of the Skyrunner World Series it is the ultimate mountain marathon test. In 2008 the European Championships were hold on this very course. When Kilian Jornet was asked about Zegama, he quite simply said:

“Zegama? It’s Zegama!”

Zegama Profile

In other words, nothing more needs to be said. It has a reputation that demands respect from the higher echelons of the mountain running world.

2012 Summary

Zegama followed just 7 days after Transvulcania La Palma in 2012 and therefore we almost had a re run of the La Palma race. Of course, conditions were a little different. The dry heat of La Palma was replaced by torrential rain, mud, cold and the occasional snow blizzard.

The American contingent who had raced well on La Isla Bonita transferred en-mass to mainland Spain with a couple of additions. Nick Clark representing Pearl Izumi and the ‘hot tip’, Max King. Max had everything in is his favour; speed and a mountain pedigree.

As it happened, the American contingent had a lesson on European mountain running and never got in contention. For many of them they could hardly stand up in the tough conditions and as Nick Clark crossed the line he exclaimed

“Now THAT is a mountain race!”.

It was a shock to the system. Dakota Jones victorious just a week earlier had taken the race easy, a pre-race plan as he had nothing to prove after topping the podium at Transvulcania. In comparison, Kilian Jornet had something to prove and now had some running in his legs… midway through the race he applied the pressure and once again proved that he is the king of the mountains.

In the ladies race Oihana Kortazar showed her dominance over this Sky distance and we started to get a glimpse of a star in the making, Emelie Forsberg. Nuria Picas also set her stall out for a year-long process of podium places over all distances, from marathon to ultra. Anna Frost tired after a dominating Transvulcania performance decided not to race at Zegama and keep some powder dry for another day.

2013

* PLEASE LOOK FOR UPDATES posted 26th April marked in BLUE

The 2013 race is going to see some great representation from top ranking teams: Salomon, New Balance, Adidas, La Sportiva, Arc’teryx, Valetudo Skyrunning, Inov-8 and Scott.

Zegama this year is two weeks after Transvulcania and although that would work well for additional recovery, it doesn’t necessarily work well for travel budgets, so, we wont have Sage Canaday, Timothy Olson, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant and the ‘other names’ joining the Zegama party.

The Mens Race

Kilian Jornet copyright Ian Corless

Kilian Jornet copyright Ian Corless

Kilian Jornet will be a dominating force at Transvulcania La Palma and I see him on top of the podium, two weeks recovery is a life-time for Kilian and after his dominating performance in 2013 I see him replicating the win at Zegama. He has just flown around the Transvulcania La Palma course and set a new course record. Respect!

His sparing partner, Marco De Gasperi, a legend in mountain and Skyrunning unfortunately has now pulled out of the race with a knee problem. This is a great shame, we all love to see Kilian and Marco go head-to-head.

Marco De Gasperi copyright Ian Corless

Marco De Gasperi copyright Ian Corless

This almost certainly means that we will have a re run of the 2012 Zegama race and also the 2013 Transvulcania… Kilian’s main competition will now come from Luis Alberto Hernando. Luis was second behind Kilian at Zegama last year and is almost certainly in some of the best form of his life at the moment. He pushed hard at Transvulcania just over a week ago and was leading the race at the final summit, ultimately loosing his lead to Kilian on the descent. His race on the island of La Palma is even more impressive considering it was his first ultra.

Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Missing from Transvulcania and deciding to run the ‘Sky’ distance in 2013 is Andy Symonds. Andy comes from a traditional fell/ mountain running background and just like Tom Owens, he will love the conditions here. Both Andy and Tom have withdrawn from Zegama I am afraid. In an email from Andy Symonds, he says, “We’re both injured!! can you believe it.. Tom’s got some pretty bad tendon rumpture in his foot and I’m limping with a duffed iliopsoas… neither of us have run for several weeks (much more for Tom). And so, no Zegama this year.. booo.. :-(” A real shame not to have these two top performers at the race. Speedy recovery guys.

Andy Symonds copyright Ian Corless

Andy Symonds copyright Ian Corless

Miguel Heras missed Transvulcania due to injury so we currently have a question mark if he will run at Zegama. In form he is one of the best runners in the world, so, he will most definitely mix it up at the front. Tofol Castanyer recently raced the Three Peaks in the UK and had a good race but was not used to the ‘navigation’ element of UK fell running, he too has the potential to win, particularly when running on Spanish soil.

Tofol Castanyer copyright Ian Corless

Tofol Castanyer copyright Ian Corless

Miguel Heras copyright Ian Corless

Miguel Heras copyright Ian Corless

Michel Lanne from France had a great race over the tough and technical trail at Trofeo Kima in 2012 and has been racing regularly in the build up to this Spanish race. He will arriving in form and ready to take on the front of the race. Just this week he has been on the trails with Kilian.

Inov-8 have Alex Nichols and Ben Bardsley taking part and they may very well be two dark horses. Ben is well versed in fell and mountain running and will almost certainly come into the race a little under the radar… one person who knows and respects Ben’s ability is Andy Symonds. Expect a surprise! Also watch out for South African fast man, AJ Calitz, he may well struggle a little with the terrain, technicality and temperatures at Zegama. But a surprise can come from anywhere…

Other contenders are Michel Rabat, Nicholas Pianet, Dai Matsumoto, Toru Miyahara, Dawa Sherpa, Dave James and Daniele Capelletti.

The Ladies Race

Emelie, Frosty, Maud, Lizzy, Nuria copyright Ian Corless

Emelie, Frosty, Maud, Lizzy, Nuria copyright Ian Corless

The ladies race will be a battle royal and although the men’s field has a top quality field I can’t help but think that some real excitement and a nail biting finish will come from this select group of women. Of course, Oihana Kortazar is returning to hopefully repeat her 2012 victory. She will be fresh as she will have not raced at Transvulcania. However, I am going to go out on a limb and predict a podium place, if not a win for Stevie Kremer. Stevie (from the US and now living in Italy) may not be a name too familiar to many but believe me, she has all the class and ability to create some waves over the ‘Sky’ distance in 2013. She has just recently placed on the podium in a very tough race in Italy (overall podium, not the ladies) and after seeing her perform at Sierre Zinal and other races, I think Stevie will be the surprise package of Zegama.

Stevie Kremer copyright Ian Corless

Stevie Kremer copyright Ian Corless

Nuria Picas once again had a great race at Transvulcania 2013 and will come to Zegama ready to push hard and go full speed for the win. She had an incredible 2012 season and performed over all distances always making the podium and in most cases, she stood on top of the podium. She is a true champion and a great ambassador for the sport.

Nuria Picas copyright Ian Corless

Nuria Picas copyright Ian Corless

Emelie Forsberg had a superb race in 2012 and she will be back fighting for the podium. She can go downhill like no other and as she showed last year, she took the final descent at break neck speed and got on the podium. She is wiser, stronger and more experienced now. She is going to be fired up after her incredible run at Transvulcania and just missing Frosty’s CR by a couple of minutes. I think back 12 months when I first met Emelie, Zegama really was her first big race… boy she has come such a long way in twelve months. What does the future hold for her?

Trofeo Kima 2012 copyright Ian Corless

Trofeo Kima 2012 copyright Ian Corless

Silvia Serafini is also another great potential for a podium place. I don’t see her on top of the podium… she is still very much a lady who likes speed and good running terrain BUT she is learning fast and has heaps of talent and ability. Just this last weekend, the 18th May, she set a new CR in The Great Wall run in China.

Silvia Serafini - copyright Ian Corless

Silvia Serafini – copyright Ian Corless

Anna Frost gets a notable mention. She won’t be racing this year. She missed Transvulcania due to injury but just this last week has had some good news and she is now back on the trails, albeit slowly and one step at a time. She will be back!

Anna Frost 'Frosty' copyright Ian Corless

Anna Frost ‘Frosty’ copyright Ian Corless

Emanuela Brizio will lead the rest of the ladies gunning for one of those coveted podium slots. Maud Gobert, Stephanie Jimenez, Debora Cardone, Sarah Ridgeway and Anna Lupton make up the main contenders for the 2013 edition.

Links

Calendar

SKY
1. SPAIN: Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri – 42k, Zegama – May 26
2. FRANCE: Mont-Blanc Marathon – 42k, Chamonix – June 30
3. USA:  Pikes Peak Marathon – 42k, Manitou Springs, Colorado – August 18
4. SWITZERLAND: Matterhorn Ultraks – 46k, Zermatt – August 24
5. ITALY: Skyrunning Xtreme – 23k, Limone sul Garda – October 13

Philipp Reiter – new kid on the block?

Philipp Reiter at the finish of Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter at the finish of Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Just days before the 2013 edition of the TNF Transgrancanraia on the island of Gran Canaria, I spent several days with Ryan Sandes, Julia Bottger and Philipp Reiter. Philipp had literally just come of his skis and had hardly run for 3 months. In the 83km race he lined up against a strong field and by the time the race was over he had taken the 2nd spot on the podium behind Ryan Sandes, once again proving that his incredible 2012 was no accident.

Julia Bottger, Philipp Reiter and Ryan Sandes in Gran Canaria copyright Ian Corless

Julia Bottger, Philipp Reiter and Ryan Sandes in Gran Canaria copyright Ian Corless

IC: I am joined by, ‘wonder kid’ Philipp Reiter.

PR: Hi Ian.

IC: We went out on the trails yesterday and you immediately flew off. You were like a rabbit in headlights. For the last 2-3 months you have done no running. What is it that enables you to step off skis and start running as though you have never stopped?

PR: Yes you are right. I can step of skis and run immediately. You must remember that ski mountaineering is hard work and I do plenty of ascents so I am fit. If you stay fit in all kinds of sports then it’s not such a problem. Actually, it is good to have a break. I am keen and eager to run now.

IC: I get asked a lot about how significant skiing and ski mountaineering is in the winter. For example, Emelie Forsberg, Kilian Jornet, Nuria Picas and so on all put run shoes away for the winter months. What are the real benefits that it gives your running?

PR: It’s a different movement but it’s not as different as cycling for example. We do lots of elevation and that is great for fitness. As you say a break is good, as much for the mind as the body. Maybe it’s not as different as we think.

IC: What lies ahead in 2013 for you?

PR: I have Transvulcania La Palma in May and then I have a German race to do, the Zugspitze. I will attempt the Skyrunning series but not Andorra. That is much too long for me. I will also not do UROC. I think my highlight this year will be the Transalpine. I like the west route and it will be beautiful. They have changed some stage villages so we have 3 or 4 new stages.

Philipp Reiter stretching his legs on an evening run in Gran Canaria copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter stretching his legs on an evening run in Gran Canaria copyright Ian Corless

IC: You mention Transvulcania. The 2012 edition was one of the highlights of the race year, it gad a stacked field. This year’s race again has an incredible field. In 2012 you had a difficult race at La Palma. Relatively early on you had issues with your leg but you soldiered on and still managed a top 20 finish. You crossed the line with Joe Grant. What is your mindset for 2013? You have made big improvements in the last 12 months; you must be looking forward to this year’s edition.

PR: Yes I had a big problem in 2012. I wanted to stop after 20km. I don’t know how I finished. It’s a big mystery. I have no real idea what happened. I had to sit down and I had tears. It was very unusual. But I pushed on and achieved a finish, so if I can get through the race like this then I am optimistic for 2013. Mentally I am strong. I am now sure that whatever comes my way I have the ability to push on. Also, running Transalpine in 2012 with Iker Karrera made me much stronger. I am no longer the new kid on the blog!

IC: 2012 was a year that I feel ultra running changed. I think Transvulcania was instrumental in this. The level of quality on a start line changed so many things. But I also feel the emergence of your self and Emelie Forsberg was significant. You personally had so many great results. Can you recap?

PR: I won Super Trail and I beat my own course record. I wanted to keep less than 7 hours and I did it. I then won Salomon 4 Trails and I beat Francois d’Haene and Thomas Lorblanchet. It was a great result. I won by 2 minutes over a 4-day stage race. It was incredible. In the Skyrunning ultra series I was 3rd overall against some of the best runners in the world. That was behind Kilian Jornet and Andy Symonds.

Philipp Reiter at Cavalls del Vent copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter at Cavalls del Vent copyright Ian Corless

Also at Cavalls del Vent I was freezing for 7 hours out of 10 but I did not give up. I gained so much mental strength. Anything is possible. You just have to force yourself to go on and not give up. But the best result was the win with Iker Karrera at Transalpine. I wasn’t prepared for Transalpine. I was actually in Chamonix to watch TNF UTMB. The course got changed and Iker decided not to run. He said “do you want to start Transalpine with me tomorrow” I said, “yes of course”. We left and drove through the night. We arrived at midnight and then had to start the next morning. We had no time to get excited.

IC: That was crazy. I remember it well. The announcement came that the course was changed and then runners like Julien Chorier pulled out and decided to run the GR20 and then I heard that Iker, who had really focused on UTMB just thought I am not running a short distance and as you say, Transalpine was the alternative. I know you are only 21, if I think back to 21, that’s a long time… I remember that I had no fear. Do you feel that is your situation? Do you think, if I am given an opportunity I am going to say yes, because what is the worse that can happen.

PR: I definitely think lets just give it a go. As you say, I am 21 years old so if it doesn’t go well I can always go back and try again.

IC: When we talk about the runners you race against and the calendar you raced last year. You personally have such great potential ahead of you. I have said many times that I think you and Emelie are the future stars of the sport. You will lead the direction of the sport. Does that put a weight on your shoulders? Salomon as a sponsor, do they put pressure on you?

Philipp Reiter copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter copyright Ian Corless

PR: I have no direct pressure on me from Salomon. It is more that I need to act professionally. It sort of happened without me realizing. For example, I love running, I would run anyway but I used to run and nobody would be interested but now I run and people want photographs and autographs. I need to be professional at all times. I literally could spend 2 hours each evening just answering emails. But that is the package and I accept it. I am very fortunate. I do ask myself do I really want it but then again, I guess I have no option now. I started my own website and then I think, do I really want it!

IC: Yes, we discussed this over dinner last night, the topic of social media. Yes, I am partially to blame. It’s my job to interview, chat, photograph and then distribute it. It benefits you, it benefits the races, it benefits the sponsors, and it is a complete package. But ultimately it has far more pluses than negatives. Do you ever think we will reach a point were things revert, or do you now see that your future lies in running?

PR: I would say at the moment that my studying has nothing to do with sport. I want to be a teacher of mathematics and biology. I will have training away from sport so I have options. I want to have a difference between a hobby, which is now becoming professional and my job afterwards. I post of Facebook and I write on my blog. I enjoy that. It is about me showing and sharing my experiences. I see myself as a speaker for the sport. It’s also funny. I get some great responses, I have funny comments and I love to have fun too and make the most of what I have. I like to create stories too such as running a vertical k indoors by running up and down stairs of a business premises. I like to create ideas.

The very serious Philipp Reiter copyright Ian Corless

The very serious Philipp Reiter copyright Ian Corless

IC: You almost seem to never take your self too seriously. For example, if I point a camera at you, you pull a funny face and smile. But the other side of that is that you are also very serious and precise. You have a duality to your personality. Do you find the balance comes easy?

PR: Training you have to be strict. I think the biggest lie would be that I think it is always fun… it’s not, sometimes I really do need to motivate myself to train. I have to talk to myself some days and force myself out of the door. You have to be focused and disciplined. I have no short cuts. You must put the time in and work hard. Natural ability helps but you must work and work hard. I have my fun side and I like to balance my hard work with fun. All work with no play is no fun at all. We don’t do this sport to get rich. We do it because we love it. We would run and be in completion without the professional side, it is also about meeting people and spending time with people I like such as Ryan Sandes, Julia Bottger, Miguel Heras and Emelie Forsberg. I really remember these special moments. I have met people from all over the world. I am very lucky.

IC: You mentioned you are not in the sport for money. I think that pretty much every elite ultra runner that I have interviewed has said the same thing. You have all come into the sport because of a passion. But it is changing; several races have big prize money. For example, $10,000 first prize, will that change the sport and do you think it will become more common.

PR: I’m not sure. Money changes sport for sure. I don’t know, I don’t have an answer for that.

IC: I don’t think any of us know. I guess that is why we ask the question. Certainly we don’t want running or should I say ultra running to follow cycling. That would be a disaster. I don’t think we have any issues at the moment in our sport but you do have to think of the responsibility that we all have in the sport of controlling it. For example lets say I could give you two race options. A bucket list race with no prize money and a race you don’t like but with big prize money that you have a very good chance to win. Which would you choose?

PR: (laughs) Yes, I think I would choose the race with the money. I guess it’s a sad thing but we all need money.

IC: Without doubt we need money to survive and money is not always available in our sport so it does make sense that financial demands have a decision in your race choice.

When did you get into the sport Philipp, what did you do pre 2012?

PR: I have not been trail running very long. I came from ski mountaineering background. I started when I was about 14 yrs or 15yrs old. I had seen an advert for a race near my home and I asked my parents could I take part. They said of course but that I would need to train. I wasn’t sure I wanted to train but I thought, why not, lets give it a go. I managed to perform okay in a relatively small field and then I became addicted. I enjoyed it so much. Especially going to the bakery after the training sessions, it was a good motivation. I guess it was like a bribe. A local shop owner asked me if I wanted to do the next races for them. I thought I am trained now so I carried on. I made it to the National Team very quickly. That sounds impressive but not as impressive as you may think. During the off season I decided I needed to keep fit so I hiked with my poles and then one day I saw a guy running. I thought, okay, I will try that too!

IC: What year was this?

PR: 2009.

IC: So you see someone running and I guess 2010 was your first season running, the transformation has been so quick. Particularly on a world stage. You came to prominence in 2012 but you got Salomon German sponsorship based on your German results.

PR: Yes, in 2010 it was my first year. I tool part in the Transalpine and my partner for the race was already in the Salomon team. Salomon sponsored Transalpine and they like the fact that I was so young. I even look younger than I actually I am so thy asked would I like to join the team. Wow I thought, usually I have to do the asking so of course I said yes! I got famous in Germany at Zugspitze.

IC: So you progress in Germany and then you get onto the Salomon International team with Greg Vollet as a manager. We have spoken about Greg and his vision for the sport in the past. He definitely is a driving sport in the sport at the moment. Does he have a big involvement in your progression?

PR: Yes, definitely. Greg says that we must create our own image. He helps me achieve what I want but in a very careful way. We talk about everything. I am never forced to race, I really like that.

Philipp Reiter and Andy Symonds at Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter and Andy Symonds at Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

IC: So with the vision of Greg, Salomon as a sponsor and age on your side; what does the future hold for you? We spoke about Kilian in the past, he is only in his mid 20’s but he feels as though he has been around for decades because he has achieved so much. Do you see your progression as similar to Kilan’s and I remember you saying at Trofeo Kima that you said you want to ne Kilian, Do you still want to be him?

PR: I want to beat him! (laughs) What he has achieved is amazing. I want to do it step by step. This year I will do my first 100k. Next year I may go longer and of course I want to run the big races like UTMB or Raid de la Reunion. I have so many options ahead of me. I am just 21 so I don’t want to do too many things too soon. I want goals for the future.

IC: You have an old head on a young body. It’s great that you are patient and looking long term. Kilian had his bucket list and it is now pretty much ticked of. Do you have a list that you are building and when that list is ticked of, do you think you will move into a new realm like Kilian with his ‘Summits’?

PR: I don’t know. I have no idea what the future holds. As long as I am enjoying it and having fun I will continue. A day just has 24 hours. I have to study, I have sport and work but I have many things I would like to do that I don’t have time for. When I have achieved my goals, for sure I will continue with sport but I also want to be a father, I want a family.

IC: Philipp it’s been a pleasure speaking to you. It’s always fun. I’d like to wish you all the very best for 2013. It’s going to be a great year ahead. I can’t wait for Transvulcania La Palma.

PR: Thank you. It has been great fun.

This is part of a new series of interviews Skyrunning ‘The Interviews’ you can also view this on th ISF website HERE

Skyrunning World Series Participants 2013

Skyrunning Image Banner 2_Snapseed

SWS – champions choice

Building on the 2012 Skyrunner® World Series success and the introduction of the Ultras, 2013 prepares for an even bigger star-studded cast.

ISF-logo

The line-up of champions is headed by 2012 SWS winners Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg and Nuria Picas, joined by past world champions Emanuela Brizio, Oihana Kortazar, Luis Alberto Hernando and Tofol Castanyer and WMRA champions Marco De Gasperi and Stevie Kremer.

Nuria Picas copyright Ian Corless

Nuria Picas copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter copyright Ian Corless

Philipp Reiter copyright Ian Corless

Emelie Forsberg copyright Ian Corless

Emelie Forsberg copyright Ian Corless

With some of the big American ultra legends crossing the pond last year to get a taste of skyrunning, the word is out!  Joining them this year: Anton Krupicka, Dakota Jones, Rickey Gates, Mike Foote, Timothy Olson, Joe Grant….

Kilian and Tony Krupicka copyright Ian Corless

Kilian and Tony Krupicka copyright Ian Corless

Dakota Jones copyright Ian Corless

Dakota Jones copyright Ian Corless

It’s full immersion for Kilian Jornet who, with his unique skills, will participate in no less than all three Series:  Vertical, Sky and Ultra!

Kilian Jornet copyright Ian Corless

Kilian Jornet copyright Ian Corless

Lizzy Hawker will be toeing the start-line at the Series’ first 100-miler while Anna Frost will take part in both the Sky and the Ultra Series.  The mix includes Phillip Reiter and Julia Böttger from Germany, top French names:  Francois d’Haene, Julien Chorier, Michel Lanne, Yann Curien, Maud Gobert and Stephanie Jimenez, Britons Andy Symonds and Tom Owens, Canada’s Adam Campbell.

Marco de Gasperi - copyright Ian Corless

Marco de Gasperi – copyright Ian Corless

Anna Frost copyright Ian Corless

Anna Frost copyright Ian Corless

Strong team participation is engaged right across the Series headed by the heavy-duty Salomon team as well as hefty, international line-ups from inov-8, La Sportiva, Salomon Agisko and Arc’teryx, The North Face, Haglöfs, Montrail, Scott as well teams from Spain, Italy, Russia, Japan

Take a look at the mix here.  Have we got everybody?

You’re still in time to join the throng and remember, if you’re competing in the World Series, there’s always a slot available for you.

Follow us for who goes where as the skyrunning season unfolds.

Follow the action on Skyrunning HERE

Follow on Talk Ultra HERE

On Twitter @talkultra

Salomon Fellraiser

Andy Symonds and Ricky Lightfoot very much pioneered the Salomon Fellcross, as the inside of the shoe says ‘Designed in the Alps‘. They tested the shoe and made tweaks to the design that would ensure that a shoe came to the market that was perfect for the job!

Salomon Fellraiser

In 2013, a Fellcross 2 is certainly on the cards but fresh from the Outdoor Retail Show in the US the Salomon Fellraiser has emerged. Due SS 13?

Low to the ground? The Fellraiser is lower to the ground and apparently more flexible than previous models in the Salomon range. A 7mm drop (tbc) with a supposed12mm of cushioning at the front and 19mm at the back, this shoe will certainly become popular on muddy and gnarly trail. It has aggressive traction and a contragrip outsole with a fast drying and lightweight upper.An EVA midsole should provide great feel and enhance quick transition from one foot to the other.

UPDATE 1st Feb

Many thanks to Gripmaster who has been testing these shoes, he has confirmed the ‘drop’ at 6mm with forefoot cushioning at 6mm and rear cushioning at 12mm. He says “the new profile is quite cool, better on rock than the fellcross 1, so more usable in the alps that way..”

Is this ‘the new‘ Speedcross? Who knows… it certanly seems as though it is an offering in the ‘Speedcross’ arena. Certainly, the lower drop, if confirmed, will be appealing. But I have already seen new colourways of the Speecdross 3 for 2013 so this almost certainly will be an addition to the Salomon range.

It’s also lightweight, current stats are showing 230g for a UK8.5 (tbc)

Of course until I get my hands on a pair of shoes, look at them and test them, I can provide no more information. Rest assured, news will soon follow.

Salomon Website HERE