Transvulcania La Palma 2014 – Results and summary

What an incredible day of racing…. Dreams can come true and today we saw the long overdue top rank victory for Luis Alberto Hernando and one seriously awesome comeback run from Anna Frost.

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The 2014 Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma was always going to be quite a race. The men’s field was stacked and although the ladies field lacked the depth of the men’s, we knew that a showdown was expected. The withdrawal of Nuria Picas in the days before the race certainly impacted on the ladies at the front end. This would leave a potential head-to-head with Frosty, 2012 champion, racing Emelie Forsberg, 2013 champion. Unfortunately, this battle came to an abrupt end when Emelie was pushed to the floor in the early stages of the race, despite trying to continue she eventually had to retire and was immediately taken to hospital for stitches and surgery.

Luis Alberto Hernando has played second fiddle to Kilian Jornet far too many times… in 2013, the Spaniard pushed the Catalan close and despite a joint victory at Trans D’Havet he never had the better of the Salomon runner. That is until today! Matching Kilian step-for-step, Luis Alberto finally made a move on the tough long descent from Roques de los Muchachos, opened up a 30-second gap which he then extended to almost 6-minutes at the line. It was a consummate performance by one of the most liked and modest runners in the world.

Luis’s win was not easy though, Sage Canaday, to my surprise; repeated his tactic of 2013 and took to the front early and pushed hard to open a gap. Like in ‘13’ the gap he opened was reeled in and then he slowly lost contact with an inform Kilian and Luis pushing at the front.

Despite high-profile talent, the expected battle with Dakota Jones, Timmy Olson and several other key players never materialized and instead we saw a return to form for Tofol Castanyer, the rise of Stephan Hugenschmidt and an incredible first ultra by Brit, Tom Owens.

©iancorless.com.IMG_9258Transvulcania14It was an incredible day, but much of the talk has centered on the incredible comeback by Anna ‘Frosty’ Frost. You would have had to have been living in a cave to not know that Frosty has been struggling for the last 18-months with injury. It was an on and off affair that could have potentially stopped the unstoppable Kiwi racing again. However, just like Roy Hobbs in ‘The Natural’, Frosty hit the ball out of the field, grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck right from the start and lead from start to finish. Incredible!

Maite Mayora was my dark horse prediction for a shock performance and she didn’t let me down… her incredible ability at mountain and Skyrunning was put to great use on the trails of the GR131 and despite this being her first ultra, Maite produced a top-quality 2nd place.

Uxue Fraile once again showed that she has the grit and determination to hold on and mop up the places for 3rd and Emma Roca showed true grit and placed 4th despite fighting an obvious leg problem. Jodee Adams-Moore looked at one stage that she would place 3rd, she actually placed 6th behind Anne Lise Rousset.

The 2014 edition of the Transvulcania La Palma was once again and incredible and inspirational day of trail and mountain running and we have the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) to thank for that. In 2012, Transvulcania was added to the Skyrunner® World Series when it had just 555 entrants, this year the entry list was 2000; four times the numbers! It just goes to show what an event this has become and for many, it is now considered a ‘bucket list race.’

A full set of race images will be posted to this website asap ©iancorless.com

Results

Results HERE

 MEN

  1. Luis Alberto Hernando – ESP adidas 6:55:41
  2. Kilian Jornet ESP Salomon 7:01:34
  3. Sage Canaday USA Hoka One One 7:11:39
  4. Tofol Castanyer ESP Salomon 7:23:56
  5. Stephan Hugenschmidt GER Salomon 7:27:10
  6. Tom Owens GBR Salomon 7:31:15
  7. Mauel Merillas ESP 7:34:55
  8. Timothy Olson 7:35:22
  9. Pablo Villa ESP Scott 7:36:12
  10. Dakota Jones USA Montrail 7:42:35

 LADIES

  1. Anna Frost NZL Salomon 8:10:41
  2. Maite Mayora ESP La Sportiva 8:48:01
  3. Uxue Fraile ESP Vibram 8:48:01
  4. Emma Roca ESP Compressport/ Buff 8:58:45
  5. Anne Lise Rousset FRA Team Race Land 9:10:29
  6. Jodee Adams-Moore USA Scott Sports 9:19:14
  7. Andrea Huser SUI 9:28:25
  8. Krissy Moehl USA Patagonia 9:29:00
  9. Frederica Boifava ITA Alpsation 9:41:32
  10. Alessandra Carlini ITA Salomon/ Agisko 9:47:25

 

Are you ready for the 2015 Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma? I am…

Skyrunning HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2014 #TCC2014 – Image Gallery

_1130985All images are available to purchase from iancorless.photoshelter.com

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Interested in the 2015 Coastal Challenge?

Early bird discounts HERE

Anna Frost – The Coastal Challenge pre race interview #TCC2014

©iancorless.com.P1100794

 

The Coastal Challenge welcomes Anna Frost for the 10th edition of the race. Frosty always smiling, always happy unfortunately though has some unfortunate news to share with us all before this years race.

We wish you all the very vest of luck Frosty!

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica celebrates its 10th anniversary with an incredible line up.

TCC Banner

The 2014 edition of The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica gets underway in less than 1-week. Runners from all over the world will arrive in San Jose in preparation for the journey down to the coast to Quepos and the 10th edition of the “TCC”.

“It’s a decade of exploring, adventuring and discovering Costa Rica and the beginning of a bright new decade to come!” Rodrigo Carazo

Rodrigo Carazo (Costa Rican architect and adventure racer) and Tim Holmstrom (race director and Lost Worlds Racing founder) have pulled together an incredible field for the race and without doubt it will arguably be one of the most competitive multi-day races of 2014.

“Reaching the 10th edition is a milestone that is both humbling and gratifying. It is a privilege and not to one to be taken lightly.  It represents a massive amount of work over those 10-years by all those involved.  As it transformed from concept to a fully realized dream, we had no idea it might weather all storms and remain 10-years later as a race that could attract runners from all over the world.  We are happy and grateful to have made it this far, accomplishing much with little more than hard work, persistence and vision. We look forward to many more years to come and making many more new friends from around the globe.” Tim Holmstrom

Elite runners will toe the line in Quepos with everyday runners, they will all have one purpose in mind, to embrace the tough and technical challenge that lies ahead of them and enjoy every moment. For many, to be on the start is already a victory; the journey will provide the icing on the cake.

Steve Diederich (http://www.thecoastalchallenge.co.uk) the UK agent for the TCC had this to say, “The Coastal Challenge has come of age and has joined the exclusive club of iconic multi-day ultras – with the added twist of a backdrop of some of the most breathtaking rainforest and coast on the planet and accompanied with now legendary catering that outclasses any other event. The TCC in 2014 is a vintage race in the making.”

Known locally as the Rainforest Run, the TCC is a 236km stage race over 6-days that weaves in and out of a lush and tropical Pacific coastline. The Talamancas – a coastal mountain range spread across the southwest corner of the country – provides not only a stunning backdrop but also many of the tough and technical challenges that the runners will face on a day-to-day basis.

Beaches that last km after km are interspersed with dirt tracks, mountain paths, dense jungle, ridges, water crossings, open plains and highland; Costa Rica is bursting with variety. In addition, add 40deg temperatures and high humidity, the TCC is no easy challenge.

Unlike other multi day races, the TCC is supported. Each day camp is moved ahead and awaits the runner’s arrival at the finish. Running light and fast, runners are able to keep equipment to a minimum and as such, racing is extremely competitive. The 2014 edition of the race is proving to be extremely exciting, particularly when one looks at the line up of runners.

Gemma Slaughter ©iancorless.com

Gemma Slaughter ©iancorless.com

Gemma Slaughter from Canada is returning as defending champion of the race. By her own admission she is a newbie to ultra running. One year on, Gemma has embraced the challenge to return to coastline of Costa Rica for what she calls, “the opportunity of a lifetime”. However, Gemma will have her hands full. Julia Bottger (Germany), Anna Frost (New Zealand) and Jo Meek will create a stunning spectacle and highly competitive race. To put this in perspective, we only need to look at some of the career highlights of these incredible ladies:

Julia Bottger ©iancorless.com

Julia Bottger ©iancorless.com

Julia Bottger

Julia is a strong and fierce runner. By her own admissions, she may not be the fastest runner on a course but she brings great strength, endurance and grit. Julia loves tough and challenging courses, without doubt she will embrace the TCC. Career highlights: TranMatinique winner 2013, Ultra Trail Atlas Tarabouki winner 2013, 2nd Sardona Ultra Trail 2013, 2nd Grand Raid des Pyrenees 2013 and in addition to these incredible results, Julia has placed 2nd at the super tough Tor des Geants in 2010 and placed 3rd at Diagonale des Fous in 2012.

“My training is going very well. As our winter is not really a winter this year I could run a lot in the mountains and do some cross training. But I noticed that my winter break was a bit too short. Last race in Martinique is not long ago. As well as I would like to focus on the Transgrancanaria race in march I have a bit of a problem on what kind of training to focus on.. But I feel great and healthy – that’s the best. I am really looking forward to the warm temperatures, beaches, new country and new people. And I am excited about doing a stage race again – has been a while. It is different from Ultratrails and very challenging. I love sleeping in a tent, having a very simple life out in the nature – so the Costa Rica Coast Challenge sounds like great fun.”

Anna Frost ©iancorless.com

Anna Frost ©iancorless.com

Anna Frost

Anna has had a tough 2013 fighting recurring injuries but the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 has allowed Anna to find a great place, not only physically but mentally. It’s going to be a pleasure to have ‘Frosty’ on the trails of Costa Rica. Career highlights:  Transvulcania La Palma winner and course record holder 2012, winner Speedgoat 50k 2012, winner La Maxi Race du Lac d’Annecy 2012 and 2nd Cavalls del Vent 2012.

“I am just super excited to be in a new and wonderfully exciting place – Costa Rica – with new and old friends. got my bikini and snorkel packed, oh and I guess some running gear would be good too!

Jo Meek ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek 

Jo Meek comes to the TCC as a relatively unknown runner, however, a stunning and strong performance at MDS in 2013 confirms that Jo will be pushing hard at this race and for me, she is a hot favourite for victory! Career highlight: 2nd overall 2013 Marathon des Sables.

“I am busy packing my bag ready for this amazing experience that lies ahead of me. I am a little nervous because I want to race the best I can but more excited than anything else. As I reflect back on my training I  am pleased. It has gone really well and because of it I qualified to represent my County (Devon) and then the South West Region which was a privilege with these ageing pins of mine.”

On a final note, we have just had news that Veronica Bravo (Chile) will attend the race. This adds a new and exciting element. Veronica is famous or should I say infamous for suffering frostbite in 2006 and then returning to running after fourteen operations. After 19-months of recuperation she returned to racing.

The men’s race is looking to be a classic in the making, defending champion and multiple TCC winner Dave James is not returning to Costa Rica, this therefore leads the door open for not only a new winner of the TCC but maybe a course record… who knows.

Philipp Reiter (Germany), Nick Clark (UK), Martin Gaffuri (France), Mike Wardian (USA), Carlos Sa (Portugal) and Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito (Spain)

It’s a top quality field!

Philipp Reiter ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter 

Philipp is an incredible talent. His growth in the professional ranks for such a young age has had many look twice and draw comparisons with his Salomon teammate, Kilian Journey. Philipp races hard but knows how to relax and enjoy the experience too. Costa Rica is going to be a dream come true for young German. Career highlights: Winner Salomon 4-trails, multiple winner of Zugspitz, winner of the TransAlpine and many more.

“I am very excited – in exactly ONE week I am sitting in the plane to central America! This year the winter here in Bavaria (south Germany) is unusual warm and almost no snow, which is very bad for skiing but good for trail running. As I usually barely run in winter time (1-2 times a month) I have done more km’s than the years before and it feels much better (if my feeling is right). I am worried about the climate change and the jet-lag of the long travel (27 hours from door to door) as I have only ONE day to make my body adapt to the 30°C and the high humidity. But I am so looking forward to explore jungle trails, see the beauty of the rainforest and to get to know new runners from all over the world! The tropical plants and wildlife is said to be unique, no need to mention the beaches of the Pacific ocean. Another thing I am afraid are snakes (brrrr) and I don’t hope to see any of them.”

Nick Clark ©iancorless.com

Nick Clark ©iancorless.com

Nick Clark 

‘Clarky’ comes to Costa Rica and the TCC as one of the most respected 100-mile runners in the world. His 2013 performance in the Grand Slam of ultra running (4 100-mile races) was nothing short of spectacular. His consistent performance at Western States 100, Hardrock 100 and other tough and challenging events places him at the ‘to-watch’ list irrespective of the race or the distance. TCC will be no different. Career highlights: Wasatch 100 winner, 2nd Leadville 100, 3rd Vermont 100, 1st Fuego Y Agua and that is just 2013

“I am very much in base-building mode for the summer season right now, and really only starting get back after it in late December after a long break post Grand Slam. That said, I have been trying to put together a few longer back-to-back runs the past few weeks to try and replicate a bit the daily grind of a stage race. Other than that I’ve been logging lots of easy paced mileage with a focus on vertical gain. I feel like I’m in decent shape, if not particularly sharp, which should be just fine for a longer stage race like the Coastal Challenge.”

Martin Gaffuri ©iancorless.com

Martin Gaffuri ©iancorless.com

Martin Gaffuri 

Martin had a breakthrough in 2013 participating on the ISF Skyrunner® World Series. Without doubt, Martin will add a surprise element to the racing and who knows, he may just turn a few heads. Career highlights: 7th Ice Trail Tarentaise, 8th UROC, 13th TNF50 and 21st Transvulcania La Palma

“So, one week to go… training only just started again after a 3 weeks break in December and all my long runs have been performed in the snow. I’m just coming home from a night out so at this very moment I’m feeling pretty… drunk. I’m most looking forward to catching up with good friends and make new ones and I’d say my only concern about this week will be to deal with mosquitos!”

Mike Wardian ©iancorless.com

Mike Wardian ©iancorless.com

Mike Wardian

What can you say about ‘Wardian. He is a prolific runner from anything from a 5k to the 135m Badwater Marathon. He is unstoppable; racing week in and week out he will often race 2-3 times a week. He has speed and endurance and in addition knows how to race over multiple days as he showed by placing 2nd overall in a previous edition of the Marathon des Sables. Career highlights: 3rd JFK50 2013, 2nd UROC 2011, 2nd IAU 100km 2011, 3rd Badwater, 11th Comrades and 3rd Marathon Des Sables plus many, many, more.

I am most looking forward to pushing my body for a week straight and to see how it does with the terrain, heat, climbs, descents, and for course the recovery…that is always interesting me.  I am also looking forward to exploring the countryside, mountains and Rain forests of Costa Rica, I have been to Costa Rica a few times but never for very long and each time I go I know I am missing a lot so this time I hope to get an even fuller and more robust experience.”

Carlos Sa ©iancorless.com

Carlos Sa ©iancorless.com

Carlos Sa

Started running ultras in 2008. In a relatively short period of time, Carlos has established himself not only as one of the top multi-day racers in the world but also as great runner in the mountains. Repeated top-10 performances at Marathon des Sables and TNFUTMB will without doubt mean that his presence will be felt a the front of the 2014 TCC. Career highlights: 4th UTMB 2012, 5th UTMB 2011, 8th Marathon des Sables 2011 and 1st Grand Raid des Pyrenees.

“I haven’t done any special preparation for the TCC. I am currently doing my normal day-to-day training for a mountain race. My objective is to enjoy this hard race, and have an adventure in a different environment. I have been told Costa Rica is unique. I would like to be in the first 5, but we shall see, I have not run any race since the last UTMB and I’m far away from my optimum capacity.”

Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito ©iancorless.com

Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito ©iancorless.com

Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito

Vicente may well not be a runner you know… however, you should! Coming into the TCC he is arguably the most prolific and successful multi-day racer around. Just recently he was the winner of the Grand To Grand Ultra in Utah and winner of Ultra India Race 2014. He has raced in Chile before and I can’t help but think he will make his presence felt each day as the racing unfolds at the 10th edition of The Coastal Challenge. Career highlights: Winner of the 4 Desert Races in 2012 – Atacama (CETRhile), Gobi (China), Sahara (Egypt) and Antartica. NB* Ryan Sandes is the only other under to achieve this but Vicente is the only person to do this in one year!

The stage is set for the 2014 The Coastal Challenge. The action starts on Sunday February 2nd and culminates at the incredible Drakes Bay 6-days later.

Daily updates will be available on via iancorless.com website and on twitter @talkultra

In addition, the TCC Facebook page HERE will have updates.

Follow #TCC2014

READ THE ARTICLE IN SPANISH HERE 

#TCC2014 Corredordemontana

Episode 51 – Bitter, Yates, Frost, Catmur

Episode 51 of Talk Ultra ©iancorless.com

Merry Christmas! Episode 51 of Talk Ultra is our longest show yet… yes, 4hours and 30mins of ultra chat to help you survive the Christmas period and New Year. We speak with the new 100-mile and 12-hour record holder (on a track) Zach Bitter. We have a full and in-depth interview with female ultra runner of the year (?) Michele Yates. Anna Frost provides an insightful interview on a troubled 2013 and finally we catch up with Ed Catmur who has been setting the pace on the UK ultra scene. It’s a full show! Speedgoat and Ian review the year, we have possibly the best Talk Training of 2013 with Marc Laithewaite and we catch up with Amanda in a Year in the Life of! A big thank you for all the amazing support and downloads in 2013 and we thank you in advance for your support in 2014.

Interview – Anna Frost
 
NEWS
 
The 240km Coast 2 Kosciusko r!
 
1st Ewan Horsburgh 25:56:00
2nd Ian Gallagher 26:34:00
3rd Mathieu Dore 27:21:15
 
1st Jess Baker 30:04:27
2nd Sabina Hamaty 32:25:20
3rd Sharon Scholz 33:02:03
 
Johan Vd Merwe Johan this weekend broke the SA 24-hour record. He was the first to thank God and his wife Corine, for “without them, he just wouldn’t be able to break the 60-year old record set by Wally Hayward in 1953″ – 258km
 
Barcelona 24, 12 and 6 hour results:
 
6 HOUR RACE RESULT:
1st Jyrki Kukko 82.775 km
2nd David Sanmiguel Cervera 73.006 km
3rd Jose Mauel Riesgo Fernández 66.361km
 
Rebecca Cox first Brit, 6th overall 60.093 km
 
12h HOUR RACE RESULT:
1st Olivier Foissac 136.56 km
2nd Steven Sleuyter 125.62 km
3rd Irina Batyreva 19.93 km
 
24 HOUR RACE RESULT:
1st Pedro Sena Lopez 230.701 km
2nd Dario Sanmiguel Cervera 225.818 km
3rd Jen Salter (GB) 217.753 km
 
Karen Hathaway 8th
Mark Woolley 19th
Andrew Saville 23rd
 
Zach Bitter just run 11:59:15 for 101.66 miles (163.6km) at the Desert Solstice by Aravaipa Running – 100 miles in 11:47:21 http://www.aravaiparunning.com/desert-solstice/
 
Pam Smith sets a World Record 14:11:26
 
Review of 2013
Races:
Transvulcania
TNF50
WSER
Skyrunning
Zegama
Grand Slam
Mont Blanc
Raid de la reunion
 
People:
Rob Krar – Rim-to-Rim, WSER, UROC and TNF50
 
Michele Yates – RRR, UROC and TNF50 one of the highlights of 2013 and without a star… I caught up with Michele and we discussed her running, her history and did you know, she was Miss Figure Colorado in 2008? – http://www.dreamliverun.com/index.html
 
Jon Olson – 100m record – at least for a short while
Zach Bitter – 100m record
Timmy Olson – WSER repeat win
Sharman and Clark – The Grand Slam
Rory Bosio – UTMB
Seb Chaigneau – Hardrock and Transgrancanaria
Pam Smith – WSER and 100m record
Kilian Jornet – everything! But maybe the Matterhorn record a highlight?
Emelie Forsberg – everything!
Stevie Kremer – everything!
Nickademus Hollon – Barkley and Tor des Geants
Sage Canaday
Zach Miller
 
Read the Highlights of 2013 HERE
 
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF – Amanda Hyatt
 
Looking ahead to 2014:
 
Skyrunning USA and UK, Australia, South Africa… growth continues
UTWT
Hardrock 100 
Any other anticipated excitement?
 
INTERVIEW
 
Ed Catmur
 
 
TALK TRAINING – Do’s and Don’ts at Christmas Parties with Marc Laithwaite
 
INTERVIEW
 
 
 
MELTZER MOMENT
GOOD 
BAD 
UGLY 
 
RACES
 
Australia
New South Wales
Narrabeen All Nighter 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
 
Chile
Ultramaratón Licanray – Villarrica | 70 kilometers | January 05, 2014 | website
 
Germany
Bavaria
Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Dezember | 108 kilometers | December 30, 2013 | website
Lower Saxony
6. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
6. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
 
Netherlands
Limburg
SMU-Loop | 58 kilometers | December 28, 2013 | website
 
South Africa
Festival of Running 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | December 31, 2013 | website
 
Tunisia
Evasion Trail à Tataouine | 60 kilometers | December 29, 2013 | website
 
USA
Alabama
Recover from the Holidays | 50 kilometers | December 31, 2013 | website
Florida
Croom Zoom 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Croom Zoom 50 Km Run | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Indiana
HUFF 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | December 28, 2013 | website
Maryland
PHUNT 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Michigan
Yankee Winter Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
New Jersey
Watchung Winter Ultras Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Neusiok Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Neusiok Trail 43 Miles | 43 miles | January 04, 2014 | website
Salem Lake Shore Frosty Fifty | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
South Carolina
Harbison 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Tennessee
Pistol Ultra Run – 100K | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Pistol Ultra Run – 100 Mile | 100 miles | January 04, 2014 | website
Pistol Ultra Run – 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Virginia
Boyers Furnace | 40 miles | December 28, 2013 | website
Redeye 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 01, 2014 | website
Washington
First Call 50K | 50 kilometers | January 01, 2014 | website
West Virginia
Frozen Sasquatch Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Wisconsin
Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 150 Mile Run | 150 miles | December 27, 2013 | website
Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 35 Mile Run | 35 miles | December 28, 2013 | website
Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 75 Mile Run | 75 miles | December 28, 2013 | website
 
CLOSE

Links:

The North Face Endurance Challenge, San Francisco, 50-mile Championships Preview (Ladies)

San Francisco 50 TNFEC50

The North Face Endurance Challenge continues to cause a lack of sleep and the red eye continues with a look at the ladies field. Without doubt, just like the men’s field, we have a line up here to create enough excitement to continue on through the Christmas period and into the New Year.

Emelie Forsberg Ice-Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Emelie Forsberg Ice-Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Emelie Forsberg returns and after the year she has had and in addition to being defending champion, how could we possibly not think that Emelie would not win this race! Emelie oozes talent and she’s one of the nicest people I know to boot. This makes the perfect trail running package. 2012 was a great year for Emelie; she burst onto the scene at Zegama-Aizkorri and then continued through ‘12’ going head-to-head with Anna Frost and Nuria Picas. To be honest, you could have no better peers to learn from and learn Emelie did. By the end of the year she had progressed to longer distance racing at Cavalls del Vent and then followed that up with a sublime performance at San Fran for not only the win but also the big bucks prize money! 2013 saw the progression continue and Emelie is now regarded as arguably one of the best ultra/ mountain runners in the world. Transvulcania La Palma, Zegama-Aizkorri, Trans D’Havet, UROC and most recently a 2nd place in her first 100-miler at the super tough Raid de la Reunion (Diagonale des Fous). However, Emelie has not had it her own way in 2013. Twice she has been relegated by another star of the future, Stevie Kremer. Emelie post ‘Reunion’ was tired and quite rightly she removed her Salomon shoes and had a rest. Unfortunately she also picked up some illness which ultimately meant 20-days of no exercise. She recently got back on skis and other than the odd 30-minute run has done arguably no run training for the last 6-8 weeks. However, you can’t rule Emelie out in any race she enters, in addition, it looks like Emelie will have no other than Kilian Jornet on ‘pacing’ duty in this race. At least that is what she said last week… of course Kilian would need to agree and then decide if he can keep up with her!

Stephanie Howe UROC ©iancorless.com

Stephanie Howe UROC ©iancorless.com

Steph Howe placed 2nd behind Emelie at UROC and placed 2nd behind Emelie at San Fran last year, without doubt, Stephanie would have been my hot tip for potential victory this year. However, this is all academic, word is on the TNF grapevine that Stephanie will not run. I have emailed Stephanie for a confirmation on this. From Stephanie: “Hi Ian, I’m not racing I’m taking a break to prepare for the 2014 season. I raced a lot this year and battled a lot of injuries. I want to give myself a break so I can kick butt next year.”

Cassie Scallon will push Emelie and everyone else in this race. Without doubt, Cassie is probably one of the best 50-mile female racers in the US at the moment. Anyone who can put 20+ minutes into Rory Bosio needs to be highly respected and elevated to ‘hot favourite’ status. Cassie hasn’t really excelled beyond 50-miles and I therefore wonder that even if Emelie is not her ‘best’ shape, she may well be able to pull on the power and experiences gained in some of her longer races and find that ‘extra’ that may just give her the win.

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio may well have pulled off female performance of the year after her incredible performance at TNFUTMB. Rory obliterated the ladies field and pretty much obliterated the men’s field. Her 7th place overall is really quite ridiculous and therefore one has to assume that if Rory is in good shape a place on the podium is secure. However, Rory can run hot and cold. She told me in Chamonix that she is not competitive, that she just loves to run… I am not sure about that, I saw plenty of competitive grit in and around Mont-Blanc but I also witnessed someone having a blast! The 100-mile distance may well suit Rory more and of course, with such a great UTMB done and dusted, Rory may well be happy to represent her TNF sponsor and have a fun day on the trails.

Michele Yates UROC ©iancorless.com

Michele Yates UROC ©iancorless.com

If Michele Yates pulls off a win at TNFEC50 not only will she have had an incredible final 3-months of 2013 but she will also have topped the podium on prize money. Her win at Run Rabbit Run, 3rd place at UROC and then of course possible win in San Fran could arguably provide $20K+ in rewards. That is serious money and just goes to show how the sport is moving. Ultimately though, Michele must be feeling a little tired and jaded. But hey, so are Emelie, Rory, Cassie and the rest… Michelle can win this race, no doubt.

Anna Frost La Palma ©iancorless.com

Anna Frost La Palma ©iancorless.com

Anna Frost has had a tough year. The 2011 champion of San Francisco 50 when in form is unstoppable. However, 2013 has been a tough year for Frosty, she has been plagued by health issues and ultimately if Frosty makes the start line here and has a trouble free and unpressured run, that is a bonus. Recently she has spent 6-8 weeks in Morocco and Nepal with Lizzy Hawker. Although participating in races, she has had no pressure and the priority has been to enjoy the trails and find inner piece and health. I think she has found it. All emphasis and priority at San Francisco must be about preparation for 2014. Run well Frosty, we all want to see you back in 2014 with the strength, dominance and force of your 2012 Transvulcania La Palma performance.

My wild card is Magdalena Lewy-Boulet. Who you may ask? Well, Magdalena gained my attention earlier this year when she raced in Poland at the WMRA championships. She placed 11th at that race but I don’t think that performance shows her potential. Magdalena is a 2:26 marathon runner and as far as I know, I don’t think any other lady in the San Fran field has a marathon time even close to this? In addition, Magdalena is a 2x Bronze medalist at the IAAF World Cross Country Champs (team comp). San Francisco may well provide the platform and the terrain to allow this Polish lady to let rip and cause some devastation.  In a side note, Magdalena won the San Francisco Marathon in 2002. Watch this space!

Joelle Vaught has had a great 2013 season with a string of wins; Foothills 50k, McCall Trailrunning Classic 40m, Pocatello 50, Silver Plate 50 and Wilson Creek 50. A recent 2nd place at Waldo 100k continues and confirms Joelle’s ability over the 50-60 mile distance. Joelle placed 13th at San Francisco last year which arguably is a below par performance that may well be attributed to just a ‘bad day’ or the conditions did not suit her. I am pretty sure that based on recent form she will be looking to come back and improve on her previous best of 2nd in 2009.

Aliza Lapierre with 3rd and 6th place at Western States in recent years has to be a contender for the crown in San Francisco. Aliza recently raced Vermont 50 and beat her old course record with a time of 7:01 so her form is good. Looking at her records, Aliza also has wins and CR’s at Bull Run 50, Stone Cat 50, Pineland Farms 50 and Bandera 100k in the last 3-years so the combination of distance and speed is going to suit her.

Finally, Ashley Arnold is the 2013 Leadville Champion and therefore gets a nod here. However, her 2013 results are sparse and on ultrasignup her only other result for this year is a win at White River 50m in 8:28. Your guess is as good as mine?

In a similar vein to the men’s field, although the top-3 is likely to come from one the ladies above, it is quite possible that one of the ladies below will pull something out of the bag and create a surprise

Keri Bruxvoort – 5th at UROC and arguably she should be in the list above considering she won Run Rabbit Run 50m too.

Melanie Bos – second at Hurt 100 in 2013

Megan Kimmel – more a short distance runner with 2 victories in 2013

Catrin Jones – notable result in 2013 was 2nd behind Steph Howe at Gorge waterfalls and a win at Squamish 50

So there you have it… if you missed the men’s preview, you can read it HERE 

  • Who are your picks for the ladies and men’s race?
  • Who will surprise us?
  • Who will under perform?

Anna Frost, Nick Clark & Michael Wardian join the line up for the 2014, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica

Gemma Slaughter, The Coastal Challenge, ©iancorless.com

The words are still ringing true in my ears, ‘the tenth edition of The Coastal Challenge is going to be special, very special indeed’.

Just two months ago we announced that Philipp Reiter and Julia Bottger (both Salomon) would join Jo Meek (2nd lady at the 2013 Marathon des Sables) and 2013 ladies TCC winner, Gemma Slaughter in the line up of the 2014 TCC. Today we go one step further…

TCC 2014 iancorless.com

Anna Frost (Salomon), Michael Wardian (The North Face) and Nick Clark (Pearl Izumi) have confirmed participation in the 2014 edition of the race making it one of the most competitive multi day races on the calendar for 2014. Rodrigo Carazo, race director for the TCC confirmed that it is a ‘dream come true’ to have such a quality field at the race.

‘I have raced in Costa Rica before doing The North Face Endurance Challenge Costa Rica in 2013 and I was lucky enough to have won it and I love racing in heat and humidity, makes me feel like home as Washington, DC gets sweltering in the summer months.  I just try and stay small and move fast…’ Mike Wardian

The warmth of Costa Rica, blue skies, varied terrain; it’s a wonderful way to start a new year. The multi day format of the TCC allows all involved an incredible challenge.

Anna Frost ©iancorless.com

Frosty (Anna Frost) when I spoke to her was really excited at the challenges that would lie ahead. ‘Costa Rica is exotic to me. A place I have never been but it intrigues me with images of its beautiful coast lines, native bush that seems a little bit like home (NZ) to me and the bright clear blue sea that is so luring. So when I heard there was a stage race that covers this coastline I wanted to know more.’

Frosty has raced over multiple days before, in early 2013 she participated in Chile and as we chat, she is currently in Nepal at the Manasulu Trail. One of the best female runners out there she is also a threat to many of the men she races as she proved with her stunning victory at the 2012 Transvulcania La Palma.

Anna Frost ©iancorless.com

‘Stage racing is so fun. You are really going somewhere and you get to see so much along the way. The camps between stages are wonderful for spending time with new and old friends. It is really a challenge to get up each morning with aches and pains and stiffness from the days before but you know the whole team feels like that too so you just get moving and really enjoy the day.’

Michael Wardian is equally no stranger to multiple day racing. He is the highest ever placed American at the Marathon des Sables securing 3rd overall at the 2010 edition. He is also a prolific racer, he has been a 50km champion three times, he has held multiple world records, raced the 135-mile Badwater Ultra Marathon in Death Valley and by contrast ran 2:21 at the US Olympic Trials in Houston, 2012.

Mike Wardian iancorless.com‘I definitely enjoy the challenges of multi-day races as there are a lot of factors to account for besides just running and that intrigues me and inspires me. I think of all the things I learned in my previous outings at multi day races; to be as light as possible and balance your energy expenditure throughout the race but also, and this is a little contrarian, but to push more than you think possible because it is possible to recover quicker than you think. I also, take care of the small things because over a week of racing they can make all the difference.’

The Coastal Challenge ©iancorless.comThe Coastal Challenge is not self sufficient, it’s about covering distances in an efficient manner and as fast as possible but at the end of the day, your food is prepared and you can sleep and relax in your own tent, does that mean we can expect some fast running?

‘I actually have only done one multi-day without having to carry a kit, the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage race in India and without the responsibility to carry all you gear for the week, I expect the pace to be wicked fast and I am looking forward to pushing it.’

Michael-boys 2013-big sur

Michael will not have his own way at TCC, for sure Philipp Reiter will also be keen to push the pace but 2013 Grand Slam participant, Nick Clark will be joining the party in Costa Rica and if anyone knows how to run hard over multiple days, it’s him! In 2013, ‘Clarky’ raced Ian Sharman over four 100-mile races in 12-weeks. It was an incredible battle and one that made everyone in the ultra world turn around with open mouths. Not only did Sharman and Clarky beat the previous best accumulative time but they both each had victories and in the end it came down to the wire for the overall title. A title, which Sharman just won.

ForesthillWS2013 Nick Clark iancorless.com

I asked Clarky about Costa Rica and how he will adapt for the heat and humidity for the 10th edition of the TCC?

‘I actually haven’t been to Costa Rica before. Last year I raced in Nicaragua at the Fuego y Agua 100k. Nonetheless, I’m sure conditions will be much the same. Coming from mid-winter in Colorado, the transition to 95+ degree heat and high humidity in Central America is very tough, but I felt like I handled it decently last year. January and February have always been base-building months for me as I prepare for goal races in the summer, so I definitely won’t be sharp, but any time I toe a start line I have my race face on. That will be the case in Costa Rica for sure, especially as it looks like there will be good competition to race against.’ 

NickClarkLS50_2012 Nick Clark iancorless.com

You have a reputation for being one of the best 100-mile runners out there, but what about multi day racing, is that something you have done before?

‘I’ve never done a multi stage race before, so I’m excited to work through some new race dynamics and strategies. I have also never been to Costa Rica, so I’m really looking forward to the vacation aspect too, especially as I’m planning on bringing out the whole family.’

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1070278

That is a great aspect of the TCC race. It’s possible to bring families and the team are able to provide logistics and entertainment outside of the racing. It’s a fantastic selling point. As a runner you can fulfill your passions and desires but not at the expense of family time.

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

On a final note, I asked Clarky and Frosty what plans lie ahead for 2014. TCC is in February, so, a full year awaits!

‘Firstly, fingers crossed my body is healthy! And then I have so many things I want to achieve. I really want to race Hardrock 100 so I need to qualify with a 100-miler. I haven’t decided which one yet but maybe Wasatch. The new Buffalo Stampede Sky Run, Transvulcania, Mt Blanc 80km are all on my list, it’s very exciting!’

Frosty has a passion to run but her running is so much more. It’s about experiences, making friends and spending quality time, something that she is convinced she will find in Costa Rica.

Clarky loves to race and race hard, having consistently been close to winning at the iconic Western States, I wondered if that would become a primary target for 2014, after alI, he wouldn’t have three 100’s to follow it?

‘I plan on running Western States again in June, Hardrock 100 if I get in through the lottery, and then the Steamboat 100 in the fall. Other than that, I’ll be looking to take on a couple of FKT (Fastest Known Times) adventure routes in the mountains.’ 

The stage is set for the 2014 edition of the race. It will, without doubt be the most spectacular edition of the race and possibly the fastest. It’s not too late to get a last minute entry before the prices go up.

Steve Diederich, the UK agent for The Coastal Challenge has made several places available to coincide with this announcement. In addition, a 5% discount will be offered to the first five applicants.

Steve had this to say, ‘The TCC in 2014 is a vintage race in the making. Joining an exclusive club of iconic multi-day ultras, the excitement of what the 10th edition has in store really is something that we all can’t wait to see unfold’

Race dates: 2nd to 9th February 2014

If you would like to attend the 2014 event and take advantage of a 5% discount, please use the contact box below.

The Coastal Challenge website HERE

IMAGES FROM THE 2013 EDITION ARE AVAILABLE HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise 2013 – Pre race images and photo shoot

©copyright .iancorless.com._1060163

Now part of the Skyrunner World Series, the Ice Trail Tarentaise will see a return of the 2012 winner, Francois D’Haene compete against Kilian Jornet, Philipp Reiter, Rickey Gates, Nico Valsesia, Jordi Bes Ginesta, Nicolas Pianet and Vincent Delaberre. For the ladies, the reigning champion, Anne Valero will not defend her title but don’t worry; the ladies field is extremely competitive. Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost, Francesca Canepa and Shona Stephenson will do battle on the glaciers and peaks of the ‘Tarentaise’; only one will be crowned the ice queen.

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