Zegama Aizkorri 2014 – Pre Race Images

©iancorless.com_IMG_3459Zegama14

The 2014 edition of the Skyrunning Zegama-Aizkorri starts today, Sunday 24th at 0900 in the town of Zegama.

Read my in-depth race preview HERE

Images and stories will be posted throughout the day (and afterwards) so please stay tuned to this website, @talkultra on Twitter and Facebook.

Episode 47 – Bowman, Abdelnoor, Hill, Forsberg

Ep47 iancorless.com

Episode 47 of Talk Ultra and we speak with Dylan Bowman, after placing 5th at Western States, Dylan was looking forward to tackling UTMB, however, things didn’t go quite to plan. Lakeland 50 winner, Ben Abdelnoor talks about training and fell running and we catch up with Tessa Hill who has just had a very succesful season on the Skyrunning circuit. Emelie Forsberg talks Diagonale des Fous in Smiles and Miles, Marc Laithwaite talks winter in Talk Training. We have the News, a Blog, Up and Coming races and Speedgoat talks golf…

Himalayan Trail – Philippe Gatta and Anna – http://iancorless.org/2013/10/29/great-himalayan-trail-philippe-anna-gatta/

00:13:42 NEWS

Diagonale des Fous (Reunion)

Men:

Francois D’Haene 22:58

Freddy Thevenin 25:40:16

Pascal Blanc 25:47:18

 Ladies:

Nathalie Mauclair 28:45:32

Emelie Forsberg 31:29:05

Christine Benard 34:19:40 

Javelina Jundred

Men:

Hal Koerner 14:56:53

Catlow Shipek 15:59:58

Joe Grant 16:50:10

 Ladies:

Rhonda Claridge 18:34

Emz Eliason 20:58:55

Erin Churchill 22:56:21

La Course des Templiers

Men 1 Thomas Lorblanchet 6h43min04
2 Xavier Thévenard 6h47min46
3 Michel Lanne 6h48min34

Ladies 1 Nuria Picas Albets (ESP) 7h57min49
2 Malika Coutant (FRA 8h19min19
3 Aurélia Truel (FRA 8h21min47

Ceasers Camp 100-miles only 10 finishers

Stuart Wilkie 21:42

Mick Barnes 22:31

David Rowe 22:48 

OMM

Elite

  1. Nick Barrable and Gustav Bergman 9:21:12
  2. Steve Birkinshaw and Kim Collinson 9:29:11
  3. Sander Vaher and Timo Sild 9:35:45

Mixed -Jasmin Paris and Konrad Rawlik 11:40:00

Female – Heather Dawe and Andrea Priestley 14:43:27

Full resultshttp://www.theomm.com/events/omm2013/

00:38:50 15 MINS of FAME – Tessa Hill

01:00:00 BLOGS

‘And somehow I reached the finish line of my first 100 miler. I don´t have enough words to describe the feelings. It was bigger than all my races I have done before. This was just something greater.’

http://emelieforsberg.com

01:03:55 Interview – BEN ABDELNOOR

01:24:28 TALK TRAINING – with Marc Laithwaite

01:48:12 INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Dylan Bowman. Dylan has not been running ultras for too long, however, he has impressed right from the start. Earlier this year he placed 5th at Western States and was in Europe and ready to run UTMB but unfortunately he picked up an injury while training. 

02:30:54 MELTZER MOMENT 

GOOD

BAD

UGLY

02:37:40 SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsbergsmilesandmiles@yahoo.com

03:02:36 RACES

Argentina

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

Australia

New South Wales

Carcoar Cup Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Great North Walk 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Great North Walk 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 09, 2013 | website

Queensland

Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

 

France

Aveyron

Trail des Hospitaliers | 75 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Marne

SPARNATRAIL classique | 55 kilometers | November 10, 2013 | website

 

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Lower Saxony

KILL 50 | 50 miles | November 09, 2013 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bottroper Herbstwaldlauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 10, 2013 | website

 

Hong-Kong

Salomon LT 70 | 70 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

India

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

Italy

Tuscany

Eroica Running Ultramaratona | 65 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

 

Morocco

Trans 333 | 333 kilometers | November 15, 2013 | website

 

Namibia

100 km of Namib Desert | 100 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 15, 2013 | website

 

Nepal

Everest Trail Race | 160 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

NEPAL Action Asia 3 day ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | November 01, 2013 | website

Nepal Action Asia Ultra 3 day marathon 60k | 60 kilometers | November 01, 2013 | website

 

New Zealand

Steelformers Around the Mountain | 100 miles | November 09, 2013 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

The Taniwha – 60 km | 60 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

United Kingdom

Northamptonshire

XNRG Druid Challenge 2013 | 84 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

 

Uruguay

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 100K Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 60K Ultra | 60 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

 

USA

Alabama

Pinhoti 100 | 100 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

California

Almaden Hills 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Chino Hills Spring Trail Series 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Nov) | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Folsom Lake Trail Run – Fall 50K | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

San Lorenzo River Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Two Cities Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Georgia

Georgia Sky to Summit 50k | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Idaho

NorthWest Nazarene University 100 Mile Run & Relay | 100 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Indiana

Owen Putnam State Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Owen Putnam State Forest 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Maryland

Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Massachusetts

Stone Cat 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Missouri

Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Nevada

Bootlegger 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 100M Trail Run | 100 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Las Vegas | 195 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

New Jersey

NJ Trail Series One Day – 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

New York

Mendon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Oklahoma

Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Tennessee

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 K Race | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 60 K Race | 60 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 70 K Race | 70 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Upchuck 50K Trail Running Race | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Virginia

Mountain Masochist Trail Run | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Washington

First Call Veterans Day 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

03:05:23 CLOSE

03:09:40

LINKS:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_47_-_Bowman_Abdelnoor_Hill_Forsberg.mp3 

Website - talkultra.com

 

Skyrunning UK – the first steps

Skyrunninguk logo sign offIt has been a long season… the 2013 Skyrunner World Series came to a close in early October on the shores of Lake Garda at the impressive Limone Extreme race. The Skyrunner ULTRA title had been concluded just weeks earlier in Vail, Colorado at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) but at Limone Extreme, VK and SKY champions were crowned confirming the closure of an incredible 2013 season.

It would be nice to sit back, relax and reflect. Oh no, time stands till for nobody, the 2014 Skyrunner World Series needs to be confirmed and announced, in addition, 2014 has the Skyrunning World Championships taking place in Mont-Blanc (here) at the Mont-Blanc Marathon weekend. Champions, male and female will be announced for the distances of VK, SKY and ULTRA.

An exciting year awaits!

Luis Alberto Hernando at Matterhorn Ultraks

Luis Alberto Hernando at Matterhorn Ultraks

The growth os Skyrunning has exploded in the past 2-years, the catalyst, Transvulcania La Palma in May 2012. Arguably, the worlds ‘best’ descended on a small island in the Canaries and although the ULTRA distance was new to Skyrunning, a transformation was made and suddenly, Skyrunning became the next big thing! The foresight of Marino Giacometti (President ISF) and Lauri Van Houten (Executive Director ISF) was rewarded with a big thumbs up from all who attended!

La Palma, Transvulcania La Palma 2012 ©iancorless.com

La Palma, Transvulcania La Palma 2012 ©iancorless.com

Skyrunning today is growing and at an alarming rate. The Skyrunner World Series has now established itself as one of ‘the’ series to do and we are seeing this reflected in the diversity of the nations taking part but also the diversity in the athletes. We are seeing many runners participating in several disciplines and in certain scenarios, such as Kilian Jornet, we are also seeing them crowned champion in multiple disciplines.

We are not only seeing the ‘regulars’ perform. Skyrunning are being rewarded with new athletes and teams, take a look at Arc’teryx and inov-8. They have taken the bull by the horns and seized an opportunity, not only have they created teams to perform at this high level but they have created apparel and shoes that work in this demanding sport. In 2013, Arc’teryx had UK based athlete, Tessa Hill create some stunning results in the VK and SKY distance, in addition, inov-8 had great success with UK based Anna Lupton and with Alex Nichols (USA) who placed third on the Skyrunner SKY World Series podium.

Tessa Hill and Anna Lupton, Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

Tessa Hill and Anna Lupton, Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

For years, the UK have provided a hard core of athletes who have raced and won on this world stage; Angela Mudge, Ricky Lightfoot, Andy Symonds, Tom Owens and so on… in many respects, these UK runners progressed from a minority sport in the UK, ‘Fell Running’ and participated in a minority sport in Europe called ‘Skyrunning’.

That is all changing and the time is now right, for the UK to progress and not only create a UK based series but also create stimulus within the UK to encourage UK based runners to travel to Europe and farther afield to experience Skyrunning on a global scale.

Salomon athlete, Andy Symonds sums it up very well,

Skyrunning was born in Italy, twenty years ago. For me it’s always represented the best of European and until recently – mainly Italian – racing. It’s about racing high up, on real mountains, on real mountain terrain. The fun comes from the race courses which go to summits, along exposed ridges, gaining incredible views, and from moving fast in a competitive environment over this sort of terrain.

Andy Symonds Trofeo Kima ©iancorless.com

Andy Symonds Trofeo Kima ©iancorless.com

The UK may lack the altitude of the Italian Alps, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do the same thing on our own moderately sized mountains, fells and hills! It’s great to see the sport branching out of Italy, with national series now launching in France, Australia/NZ the UK and no doubt shortly elsewhere.

The future of proper mountain running will probably lie in the hands of the Skyrunning Associations and I’ll be supporting that growth and hoping to help guide things in a good direction!’

Andy is right! the time is perfect.

Welcome to Skyrunning UK

It is early days for Skyrunning UK and 2014 will almost certainly be a transformative year. We are well aware that Skyrunning in the UK will be a challenge… we don’t have too many 2000m+ peaks! However, as Andy says, ‘The UK may lack the altitude of the Italian Alps, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do the same thing on our own moderately sized mountains, fells and hills!’

To that end, an athlete commission has been created to help guide the sport within the UK from a grass roots level. We already have established and respected runners signed up and confirmed:

  • Ricky Lightfoot (Salomon)
  • Anna Lupton (inov-8)
  • Tom Owens (Salomon)
  • Ben Abdelnoor (inov-8)
  • Andy Symonds (Salomon)

Within the coming weeks, several other athletes will be added to the commission and this will guarantee that the direction of Skyrunning in the UK is not only in good hands but will also consider the well established traditions of fell and trail running.

Skyrunning UK will work in harmony and respect existing races and traditions within the UK.

To interact and get involved, please make sure you:

  • ‘Like’ the Skyrunning UK Facebook page HERE
  • ‘Follow’ on Twitter HERE
  • and sign up to ‘Follow’ our website HERE

Limone Extreme SKY race report

Kilian Jornet and Stevie Kremer Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

It was always going to be a classic race… the male SKY Skyrunner World Series title was sewn up with a dominant Kilian Jornet securing maximum points form three out of five qualifying races. However, the ladies race was a completely different story. Just ten points separated the leader, Emelie Forsberg from fellow Salomon teammate, Stevie Kremer.

Kilian Jornet Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

At the finish line on the shores of Lake Garda, Kilian Jornet once again proved his supremacy with another stunning victory. For the ladies, Stevie Kremer confirmed her incredible mountain running and descending ability to take not only the victory in Limone but also the Skyrunner World Series title.

Stevie Kremer Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

We have witnessed some incredible performance in the 2013 Skyrunner World Series over three distances; VK, SKY and ULTRA. Limone Extreme provided a stunning close to the 2013 season and we are left with some well-established names confirming that they are true champions but in addition, we have several new names on the Skyrunning scene that will most certainly build anticipation for the 2014 season.

Antonella Confortola leading on the first climb

Antonella Confortola leading on the first climb

Antonella Confortola after taking second place in the VK on Friday night had been unsure if she would start the Sky race on Sunday. Start she did and using her impressive abilities at climbing she led the way on the long steep and technical climb. Stevie Kremer followed closely in second and Emelie Forsberg was third and already loosing some ground. Emelie has had an incredible season and just over one week ago took victory and the overall Skyrunner World Series title for the Ultra distance. UROC in Colorado was Emilie’s first 100k-race and as such, she openly admitted it had taken far more out of her than she anticipated.

Emelie Forsberg Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

Stevie by contrast had raced a couple of shorter races the weekend before and arrived at Limone ready for action. After alternating the lead with Antonella, Stevie finally made her move and although she says that she can’t descend very well, she used every ounce of her ability to hold off Antonella and Emelie to win by over seven minutes. On the line Stevie said, “I was running down that final descent scared, it was twisty and technical but I just didn’t want to look back. I ran as fast as I could. It worked!”

Stevie Kremer with Skyrunning legend and Limone course designer, Fabio Meraldi

Stevie Kremer with Skyrunning legend and Limone course designer, Fabio Meraldi

Kilian Jornet bided his time in the men’s race but when he made his move he just pulled away and secured not only another impressive victory, but also another World Series title. Kilian didn’t have it easy though.

Kilian Jornet Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com

On the first climb, new signing for inov-8, David Schneider led the way followed by Aritz Egea and Ionut Zinca. Salomon team manager, Greg Vollet (finally finished eleventh) was showing some stunning climbing ability holding a top five place along with up and coming star, Zaid Ait Malek from Morocco all the way to the summit.

Greg Vollet leading Zaid Ait Malek

Greg Vollet leading Zaid Ait Malek

One of the pre race favourites and second overall in the Skyrunner World Series, Luis Alberto Hernando was having a tough day protecting an injury, however true to his great sportsmanship he soldiered on knowing full well that I had no possibility to make a top ten position. A true champ!

Luis Alberto Hernando

Luis Alberto Hernando

Kilian made his move and a battle followed for the second and third podium places. Ionut Zinca finally pulled away from Aritz Egea and finished just one minute behind Kilian and thirty seconds ahead of Artiz. Showing great potential for 2014 season, David Schneider turned a few heads with a great fourth place with Zaid Ait Malek fifth.

Ionut Zinca second place

Ionut Zinca second place

The 2013 season has shown some incredibly diverse and consistent performances, Alex Nichols from the US in his first season participating in the Skyrunner World Series placed eighth at Limone Extreme and this elevated him to third overall in the World Series.

Alex Nichols third overall in the Skyrunner world Series

Alex Nichols third overall in the Skyrunner world Series

A similar story for Arc’teryx athlete, Tessa Hill, not only did she have a great VK on Friday but she placed fourth on the day. Anna Lupton (inov-8) from the UK also proved that fell/mountain runners can perform with the best on high and technical mountain courses in Europe.

Tessa Hill with fellow Brit, Anna Lupton

Tessa Hill with fellow Brit, Anna Lupton

The influx of new names such as Thorbjorn Ludvigsen and Leire Aguirezabala and responding great performances show all of us that Skyrunning is not only in a great place for the future but that the participants are eager for true mountain courses that test the mind as well as the body,

Roll on 2014!

IMAGES from the Limone Extreme race are available to view HERE or purchase HERE

Skyrunning website HERE

WIN, Stevie Kremer’s signed race number HERE

Results taken from ISF website:

Limone Extreme race results

Men

1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) Salomon –  2h17’03

2. Ionut Zinca (ROU) Valetudo Skyrunning Italia – 2h18’27”

3. Aritz Egea (EMF) – 2h18’53”

4. David Schneider (AUT) inov-8 – 2h20’40”

5. Zaid Ait Malek –  2h21’09”

Women

1. Stevie Kremer (Salomon Agisko) – 2h46’13”

2. Antonella Confortola (GS Forestale) – 2h53’58”

3. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 2h54’54”

4. Tessa Hill (Arc’teryx) –  2h58’20”

5. Leire Aguirrezabala (EMF) – 2h58’54”

Sky Series Final Ranking (provisional)

Men

1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) – Salomon

2. Luis Hernando (ESP) adidas Trail Running

3. Alex Nichols (USA) invo-8

4. Jokin Lizeaga (ESP) – EMF

5. Aritz Egea (ESP) EMF

Women

1. Stevie Kremer (USA) – Salomon Agisko

2. Emelie Forsberg (SWE) – Salomon

3. Silvia Serafini (ITA) – Salomon Agisko

4. Nuria Dominguez (ESP) – Buff

5. Anna Lupton (GBR) – inov-8

Teams

1. FEEC

2. Salomon

3. EMF

4. inov-8

5. Salomon Agisko

Limone Extreme Race Preview – the 2013 Skyrunner VK and SKY World Series final.

ISF Logo 2013 ORNG+GREY TRANS

The 2013 Skyrunner World Series comes to an end in Italy this coming weekend at the Limone Extreme amidst the stunning backdrop of Lake Garda. It has been an incredible year, three disciplines; VK, SKY and ULTRA have been raced throughout the world over a total of fifteen races (five in each discipline). The ULTRA championship was decided in Vail, Colorado where Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg were crowned Skyrunner Ultra World Champions. This coming weekend, world champions will be announced in the VK and SKY disciplines.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1030770

The Limone Extreme course was designed by Skyrunning legend, Fabio Meraldi. As one would expect, it is a true Skyrunning race with steep, sharp vertical over technical terrain. For example, the VK has 1,100m gain in 3km, climbing from the shores of Lake Garda, the race is extremely unique as it takes place as light fades and the course becomes illuminated by torches.

The SKY course by contrast is very similar to the course in Canazei. At 23.5km it is a short race, however, in contrast to the Dolomites race it does have less vertical ascent. Starting at Lake level runners will tackle 2002m of vertical ascent over a looped course. At the summit, stunning views of the surrounding area and lake are offered, however, participants will have no time to enjoy the view; a long and technical descent to the lake awaits. Often open and exposed, this course requires 100% concentration. Skyrunning legend, Marco De Gasperi set the men’s record of 2:13:34 in 2012 and Deborah Cardone holds the ladies best in a time of 3:02:08.

THE SKY RACE

MEN’S RACE

Kilian Jornet ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet (Salomon) irrespective of his performance at Limone will be crowned World Champion. His three victories in previous races means he is unbeatable. It once again proves Kilian’s ability as a runner but also his ability over multiple distances. One thing is for sure though, he likes to win and he likes to race. The Limone Extreme course will suit his skill levels and it will also fulfill his desires to be at one with the mountain. Without doubt he is an outright favourite for the win.

Luis Alberto Hernando ©iancorless.com

With the absence of Marco De Gasperi due to injury, Kilian will have his hands full with Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas). Kilian and Luis have had an incredible season pushing each other to new levels and better performances as they both attempted to win the ULTRA and SKY series. Luis currently second overall on the SKY series will be looking to consolidate that position and coming from a recent win at Cavalls del Vent he will be looking to maybe topple Kilian and finish the series by topping the podium ahead of the Catalan.

Tofol Castanyer ©iancorless.com

Following Luis at Cavalls del Vent, Tofol Castanyer (Salomon) will join the party on Lake Garda. Tofol has had a very mixed season. Plagued with injury and bad luck, the latter half of his season has seen a return to form. The Limone course suits his natural abilities. *not racing 08/10/13

Alex Nichols ©iancorless.com

Alex Nichols (inov-8) has the skill level and speed to move up from 4th overall on the SKY series and move ahead of Jokin Lizeaga Mitxelena (EMF). The two are separated by just 32-points. It will require a top performance by Alex. In the past, Alex has often commented that his descending has let him down, however, just recently he flew down the descent at Pikes Peak proving that he has been working on this!

Erik Dagsson Haugsness inov-8

Erik Dagsson Haugsness inov-8

Unfortunately, Nicola Golinelli (Arc’teryx) who is currently 5th on the ranking will not perform due to injury; this leaves the door open for Erik Dagsson Haugsness (inov-8) to chase his teammate, Alex. Whatever the outcome, UK brand inov-8 will be extremely happy to have two runners in or around the top five in the first season competing in the Skyrunner World Series.

Zaid Ait Malek - Haria Extreme

Zaid Ait Malek – Haria Extreme

One name to watch and look out for in the Limone race is Zaid Ait Malek. This quiet Moroccan has had an incredible season consistently making the podium, often behind Luis Alberto Hernando, however he is without doubt a star for the future. He raced earlier in 2013 at Zegama-Aizkorri and placed an excellent 4th but he has progressed and matured in the following months.

Finally, David Schneider is making a first time appearance for inov-8 at Limone Extreme and it shows how as a brand, inov-8 are looking to the future. They are already committed to a 2014 season and they are laying the foundation now. David is an accomplished runner and comes from a strong orienteering background. He attracted the attention of inov-8 with an 11th overall at the highly respected Sierre-Zinal race earlier this year. Limone will be a great initiation into Sky racing and the technicality it brings.

Other names to watch:

Dai Matsumoto, Ryan Bak, Florian Reichert, Eric Diaz Martin, Didier Zago

Fulvio Dapit, and Nicola Golinelli.

LADIES RACE

Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com

It is very much a Salomon showdown for Limone with Emelie Forsberg, Stevie Kremer and Silvia Serafini going head-to-head not only for the final race win but the overall title. In real terms, the outright world title will be decided between Emelie Forsberg and Stevie Kremer. These two pocket rockets have had an incredible season and excitement is most certainly building as we anticipate who will come out on top in Italy. Separated by just ten points, 288 to 278, Stevie and Emelie will have a battle royal ahead. I for one can’t wait to see how this one unfolds. Emelie has been Miss Consistent in 2013 showing a skill and ability level beyond her years.

Stevie Kremer ©iancorless.com

Stevie Kremer has been equally impressive. Stevie produced maybe one of the performances of the year with an incredible win and course record at Mont Blanc Marathon. Stevie’s biggest issue may very well be out of her control, she can actually make the long trip from Colorado just two days before the race.

Silvia Serafini ©iancorless.com

Silvia Serafini has blossomed into an incredibly consistent and dominant runner. She gives herself quite a punishing schedule, regularly racing and regularly winning at all disciplines. Currently 3rd in the SKY ranking with 226 points she would need a podium finish and Emelie and Stevie not to finish or finish outside of the points to move up the classification. Irrespective of overall positions, Silvia, racing in Italy will be looking to push as hard as possible and hopefully win the race outright.  *injured 08/10/13

Oihana Kortazar ©iancorless.com

Oihana Kortazar returns to SKY racing after a quiet 2013 and has all the ability and talent to push her Salomon teammates all the way and don’t be surprised if she is on the podium at the finish. *not racing 08/10/13

Anna Lupton ©iancorless.com

Anna Lupton (inov-8) currently placed 6th overall will be looking for a strong and consistent performance to consolidate her 2013 season. The podium may just be out of reach but keep an eye on her.

Finally I am going to tip a hat to Brit, Tracy Dean. This will be her first ever Skyrunning race. Tracy is a strong fell runner and has recently represented GB at the world trail championships. I don’t think we will see her up at the front end but it will be interesting to see how she performs.

Other names to watch:

Maud Gobert and Tessa Hill.

THE VERTICAL KILOMETER

A race within a race! Our attention splits for the Limone VK, for once, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg are not in contention for the overall World title. However, they will both most certainly be looking for outright victory in the Limone race. Emelie and Kilian have not placed an emphasis on the VK circuit this year and therefore have not accumulated enough points to qualify, however, when they have raced the VK distance they have performed consistently well. Kilian won in Canazei and placed 2nd at Mont Blanc, Emelie by contrast was 4th at Mont Blanc and 2nd at Canazei; both will be up at the front in Limone.

Urban Zemmer leading at Canazei VK

Urban Zemmer leading at Canazei VK

The men’s race is a who’s who of VK racing with the top seven in the rankings performing. Marco Facchinelli is currently leading with 236-points followed by Ferran Teixido Marti Ventosa 2nd with 216-points. In 3rd Joan Freixa Marcelo, 180-points and then the real interest starts, Urban Zemmer, 2012 champion and current VK world record holder is chomping at the bit with 168-points. Interestingly, Marco Facchinelli will need to finish in the top three if he wants to keep the world title, however, should Urban Zemmer win and Facchinelli drop to 4th, the title could be Zemmer’s. It is going to be an interesting race.

Other names to watch:

Oscar Casal Mir 5th, Xavier Teixido Marti Ventosa 6th, Marco Moletto 7th. And in addition, Erik Dagsson Haugsness (inov-8) will compete in the VK in addition the SKY race.

Antonella Confortola at Canazei VK

Antonella Confortola at Canazei VK

Vanessa Ortega Trancon currently leads the VK series with 236-points closely followed by Alba Xandri Suets on 228-ponts and the 2012 VK champion, Laura Orgue is 3rd with 188-points. Brit Tessa Hill is 4th with 156-points and it is all to play for. The addition of Emelie Forsberg and Antonella Confortola will add an interesting element to this race as they are both more than capable of taking the 1st and 2nd places, if this happens, 3rd place and the points awarded will be very important in deciding who will be the 2013 Skyrunner VK World Champion.

An exciting weekend of racing is about to unfold; the VK takes place on Friday and the SKY race Sunday.

LINKS

Follow the action as it unfolds on twitter @talkultra on Facebook HERE and via this website.

Skyrunning HERE

Limone Extreme HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks Race Summary

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The inaugural Skyrunner World Series,  Matterhorn Ultraks, saw a stellar field line up in the centre of Zermatt, Switzerland at 0700, Saturday 24th August to do battle over 46 km in the fourth race of the ‘Sky’ series.

Salomon duo, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg topped the podium in what is proving to be a stunning and dominant year for the pair of them. Kilian Jornet, racing after his incredible ‘Matterhorn Summit’ set only couple of days previously expressed how beautiful the course was. On questioning, he said, ‘I felt a little tired today after the efforts of Wednesday, but this course was really beautiful and it was nice to be on the other side of the Matterhorn’.

Emelie Forsberg had a similar response, ‘Wow, it’s such a beautiful course with glacier at Gornergrat and then of course the Matterhorn ever present while we run. However, my legs felt heavy today… I don’t understand it! To be honest, I don’t like it…’ laughing she continued, ‘I’m really happy to win, it has been a great first edition’.

Departing Zermatt at 0700 with the arrival of day light, runners departed and headed upwards to the highest point of the course at nearly 3000m to the ‘Scott Summit’ at Gornergrat. First runner to arrive was Egea Caceres Aritz in 1:40:36 (winning the Scott summit prize) closely followed by Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) and Kilian Jornet (Salomon).Not only was the race moving much faster than pre race predictions but also some of the main anticipated protagonists were having a tough day. Philipp Reiter (Salomon) and Tofol Castanyer (Salomon) had stomach issues and had to restrain their efforts, Philipp would go on to finish 19th but Tofol was forced to withdraw. Cameron Clayton Salomon) from the US who had placed top 5 at Pikes Peak just the previous weekend was also struggling with some chest issues.

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Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) was the first lady to arrive at the ‘Scott Summit’ followed by team mates, Oihana Kortazar (Salomon) and Silvia Serafini (Salomon). Emelie continued to push at the front of the race and at Schwarzee she looked comfortable and relaxed. However, behind Silvia Serafini was caharging and not only had she closed the gap on Emelie but she had moved into second place.

The front of the race took shape, Kilian Jornet and Luis Alberto Hernando run together, step-by-step just as they have so many times before this year. However, just before Trift on the plateau with Matterhorn providing a stunning backdrop, Kilian opened up a gap that he would maintain all the way to the finish for another victory.

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Behind Kilian and Luis a really great battle was unfolding, Sierre-Zinal Marc Lauerstein had been caught by Nicola Golinelli (Arc’teryx) and with another great surge, Nicola followed up his impressive performance at Mont Blanc Marathon with 3rd place on the podium here in Zermatt. Swiss runners, Marc Lauenstein, Sierre-Zinal winner, and Ultraks ambassador Martin Anthamatten were fourth and fifth respectively.

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The women’s field was comfortably led by Emelie Forsberg,  Silvia Serafini once again showed that with each race she is becoming more experienced, more confident and more dominant. Her impressive showing at the Dolomites Skyrace was followed up here with another great 2nd place.

Oihana began to weaken and loose time leaving third place open for Nuria Dominquez (Buff) to take third, Anna Lupton (inov-8) from the UK had a great run for fourth and Ragna Debats (FEEC) placed fifth. Anna said on the finish line, ‘that is the most incredibly beautiful race I have ever done but it was also the hardest’.

Four teams from Spain competed in the event, counting no less than five men and five women in the top ten.  A result that confirms Spain’s dominance in the sport.

The Sky Series final, hosted by the Limone Extreme, will take place in Italy on the slopes above Lake Garda on October 13, where the world’s top skyrunners will compete and the champions will be crowned.

RACE DAY IMAGES HERE

Race results

Men

1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) – Salomon Santiveri – 4h43’05’’

2. Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – adidas – 4h44’47’’

3. Nicola Golinelli (ITA) – Arc’teryx – 4h45’57’’

Women

1. Emilie Forsberg (SWE) – Salomon – 5h41’16’’

2. Silvia Serafini (ITA) Salomon Agisko – 5h44’37’’

3. Nuria Dominguez (ESP) – Buff- 5h59’19’’

More information at skyrunning.com

Matterhorn Ultraks – Race Day Images

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The Skyrunner World Series Matterhorn Ultraks took place today, August 24th. A first edition race covering 46km around the iconic Matterhorn. Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg were crowned winners.

Here are a selection of images from the day.

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RUNshots – an inspired run image a day

Runshots

 

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Arc’teryx Squamish 50 race summary

Adam

This weekend 500 trail runners from across the globe descended on Squamish BC for what is known as one of the toughest Ultra races on the circuit. Vancouverite Adam Campbell took first place in the 50 mile with a time of 7 hours and 37 mins in  a hard fought battle with Squamish local Jason Loutitt, who finished  second  at 7 hours and 40 mins.

In the women’s 50 mile circuit -American Kristin Moehl took first place in 9 hours and 37 mins over local Lisa Polizzi at 9 hours and 39 mins – another closely fought race.

No longer a fringe sport, ultra running now attracts top international athletes and marathoners who want to push to the next level and challenge themselves on uneven terrain. This weekend runners from 9 different countries, 23 states and 7 provinces took part in 3 different race distances over the course of the day.

With distances of 50 miles, 50km and 23km to choose from, each of the runs is uniquely about pushing personal limits –  pushing those limits hard and pushing them far.  On the 50 mile course,  the back half is more difficult than the first. To reach the finish line is victory in itself.

Gary Robbins, one of the two main organizers and no stranger to Ultra Running, couldn’t be happier with how the event went and the finishers’ reactions to how incredibly tough the course was.

“ Nothing pleases me more than having my fellow ultra runners loathe me while they are running this course and many an expletive was issued at me as they crossed the line – but ultra runners have a peculiar sense of humour – they need it to get through these races, I know they enjoyed every bit of the pain!”

“The conditions were great, weather was perfect and it was impressive to see how close some of the top finishers were; all the distances were tightly fought, highly completive races”- Robbins, who personally greeted almost every finisher at the race, adds that “watching everyone else come over the line – that’s truly what makes this event so rewarding. The first time ultra runners, the average daily runners, all pushing their own personal limit, that’s truly inspiring!”

Squamish

The event, now in its second year, is sponsored by North Vancouver based Arc’teryx, a brand that is no stranger to extremes. The company had its own team of runners participating over the 3 distances..

Adam Campbell, the  overall first place finisher in the 50 Mile (7:37:23); Anne- Marie Madden, who took the podium as the first place winner in the women’s 23km (2:08:13); and Catrin Jones, who placed first in the women’s 50km (5:51:52).

Jones, who is relatively new to ultra running, chose one of the hardest courses to “ease” into the sport, but said she was extremely pleased with her achievement considering she hadn’t felt as prepared as she had wanted to be.

“I’m training for the Francophone Games at the moment, where I’ll be representing Canada in the marathon, so I’ve been focusing on road running rather than trails so I was a little scared as well as excited going into this. There was a lot of diversity in the course, tough climbs and scrambles, lots of big power hikes but some beautiful rolling switchbacks and wood work too. A challenging course set in a beautiful area, ultimately I loved it!”

For 2014, the Arc’teryx Squamish 50 is set to become a Trail Race Festival held over three consecutive days. The idea-is to incorporate a film festival element into the event.  Watch for the next Arc’teryx Squamish 50 to take place August 8,9 &10, 2014.

Full Results HERE

Arc’teryx Squamish 50

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ARC’TERYX SQUAMISH 50 ULTRA RACE GETS SET FOR SECOND YEAR OF SUCCESS

(VANCOUVER, BC) Aug 10 2013 – No longer a fringe sport, ultra running attracts not only top athletes but marathoners who want to push to the next level and challenge themselves on uneven terrain. This weekend, 600 such runners are arriving in Squamish BC, for what is slated as one of the toughest ultra races on the trail circuit.

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It feels like survival. The Arc’teryx Squamish 50 ultra run is a really TOUGH race.  There’s even disclaimer on the sign up page to discourage first time racers!

The 50 mile course, 85% of it single track, has 3800m/12,000ft of climb and descent. Technical and wild, it’s also grueling, remote and punishing terrain, albeit with stunning views. Welcome to ultra running, Canadian style.

But in only its second year of existence, the Arc’teryx Squamish 50  sold out in its first two weeks.  And this weekend, August 10, 2013 an international roster of 600 runners from 9 countries will put themselves through the paces, running courses of 50 miles, 50km and 23km.

The event is sponsored by Arc’teryx, based out of North Vancouver, BC, a brand that is no stranger to extremes.

Relatively new as a sport, ultra running covers distances longer than a marathon. The runs are uniquely about pushing personal limits, pushing those limits hard and pushing them far.  At Squamish, the back half of the 50 is more difficult than the first. To reach the finish line is victory.

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Gary Robbins, one of the two main organizers of the Squamish 50 and no stranger to Ultra Running himself, credits the striking surge in popularity of these races to an

“Experienced road running/marathon community that’s looking for a new challenge and a younger generation that’s going straight onto the trails. In addition there is a growing mainstream culture with an intense focus on personal journeys and fitness. Ultra running is no longer looked upon as a fringe sport pursued by extremists, as much as it’s an extreme challenge that is doable by the vast majority of the population.”

Having a local high performance outdoor brand sponsor the event underlines the intensity of both the course and the event. Robbins is quick to note that.

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“Arc’teryx was the very first brand Geoff (Langford) and I approached about coming on board as our title sponsor. Arc’teryx has a heritage of quality, innovation, style, and mountain culture that instantly helped our event gain international exposure and credibility.”

Lawyer and local Arc’teryx athlete Adam Campbell describes ultra runs this way; “There are certain races that you do to see how you stack up against the rest of the world and then there are certain races where you’re looking at this incredible scenery under insane fatigue. Your senses become quite heightened.” Campbell, one of the world’s top flight runners, will be competing in this year’s event. Also in the exclusive field are Americans Karl Meltzer, current World Record holder of the most 100 mile victories of all time (34); and Krissy Moehl, ultra running superstar and recent winner of the Mt Fuji 100 miler in Japan. Canadians David le Porho, Lisa Polizzi, Nicola Gildersleeeve, Catrin Jones and Jason Loutitt are strong contenders, as are dark horses Nathan Barrett of Vancouver and Stacey Cleveland from Penticton.

“This is our home turf and it’s this tough terrain that we design our products for, ”says Laura Fergusson, North American Events and Athletes Manager for Arc’teryx. “We have athletes participating who are true competitors and working with Geoff Langford and Gary Robbins on this event is a positive partnership for our brand. It’s a huge win.”

The 50 mile course begins at 5:30 am, Saturday August 10, with a final cut-off of 9:30pm. That is 16 hours of suffering. Not quite true. Suffering implies there is no benefit, no reward and with these views, challenges and the camaraderie of going to the brink and surviving, that is simply not the truth.

Race start times:

5.30 am = Start for the 50 mile race – start line is Ocean front.

8.00 am = Start for the 23km race – start line is Quest University

9.00 am = Start for the 50km race – start line is Alice Lake Provincial Park

Expected first race finishers:

23km – about 9:45am

50m – about 1:15pm

50k – about 1:30pm

*All races finish down town Squamish from about 9.30 am* onwards

PRESS RELEASE provided by Arc’teryx