Skyrunner® World Series 2014 Preview

Skyrunner-World-Series-90

 

In just over one month’s time, it all begins again, the Skyrunner® World Series fires up on the island of La Palma with what has become, in just two-years, an iconic Skyrunning race, Transvulcania La Palma.

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To many, the growth and resurgence of Skyrunning in the last couple of years, triggered by the ISF (International Skyrunning Federations) foresight to hold a conference, ‘Less Cloud, More Sky’ after the 2012 Transvulcania may have many new Skyrunners thinking that our sport is just a few years old… They couldn’t be further from the truth!

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Kilian Jornet’s new movie, Déjame Vivir, the second in his ‘Summits of My Life’ project, documents his 2013 season; wonderfully capturing the history of the sport of Skyrunning. ‘Fila’ clad Skyrunners pushing boundaries on snow capped peaks around the world on old footage from Transworld Sport. Conversations with Bruno Brunod about the Matterhorn summit record and of course, ISF President, Marino Giacometti talking candidly to camera.

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Born on the slopes and summits of Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc, Skyrunning dates back to 1989 when Giacometti set a record running from the village of Alagna to the summit of Monte Rosa. It was a new sport, a sport of Alpinism without the clutter of ropes and heavy packs. It was about going fast and light to the mountains, summiting and returning as fast as possible. A sport where earth meets sky!

‘There is nothing new in Skyrunning. It is just now that everyone is catching up with our vision from so many years ago,’ Giacometti explained, ‘The creation of an ultra series of races is just what the Skyrunner® series required in 2012. Today we have a new breed of runner who is actively looking for technical, steep and demanding courses over longer distances.’

ISF_World_championships_Logo_4.11In addition, 2014 will see the Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix, arguably, the endurance capital of the world. It will be a great showcase for the sport and it coincides perfectly with the ever-expanding Skyrunner® National Series.

Kilian Jornet & Marco De Gasperi Mont-Blanc Marathon ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet & Marco De Gasperi Mont-Blanc Marathon ©iancorless.com

The inclusion and growth of the Skyrunner® National Series has also shown the sport we love reach new heights. Just recently Canada announced a new series under the watchful eye of Adam Campbell, the USA series has been created by Ian Sharman and one-by-one more series follow; South Africa, Australia & New Zealand, United Kingdom and Russia to name just a few.

Lauri Van Houten (ISF Executive Director) understands better than anyone why Skyrunning has captured today’s runners hearts and minds, ‘It’s a different angle on traditional trail running and mountain running. Skyrunning captures the spirit and tough technical challenges runners are looking for today.’

Transvulcania La Palma will kick-start the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series and once again, fifteen iconic races over the classic distances of VK, SKY and ULTRA will see the worlds best Skyrunners®, do battle on the slopes and peaks of the worlds mountains.

 

Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

An exciting year of high altitude drama awaits; Anna Frost, Nuria Picas and Emelie Forsberg will join new Skyrunners® Krissy Moehl, Jodee Adams-Moore and Cassie Scallon on the slopes of the Fuencaliente lighthouse on the weekend of May 10th.

Just two weeks later, Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando will go head-to-head with Tom Owens and Zaid Ait Malek on the legendary slopes of Zegama-Aizkorri.

Tom Owens - Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens – Trofeo Kima

A new year, a new Skyrunner® World Series and without doubt, new memories and moments that will be remembered in years to come! 

Don’t miss out on the Skyrunner® World Series 2014.

 Calendar:

SKY

ULTRA

VERTICAL

Ranking points

The three best results in each Series are scored. Ranking points in the final races of all three Series will be increased by 20%. Ranking points breakdown: 100-88-78-72-68-66-64-62-60-58-56-54-52-50 down to 2 points to 40th position for men and 15th position for women.

Total prizes:  US $ 25,000. Titles and prizes will be awarded in each Series as follows:

SKY: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750.  ULTRA: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750. VERTICAL: $1,000 / 700 / 300.

 

*Entry is direct with organizers.

Slots and benefits are available for 2013 SWS and ISF Ranked athletes.

Team manager’s contact: info@skyrunning.com for entry details and partnerships

 

*Legend

SKY – races more than 22 km and less than 50 km long with at least 1,300m positive vertical climb (SkyRace® and SkyMarathon®)
ULTRA – races over 50 km long that exceed the SkyMarathon® parameters (Ultra SkyMarathon®) 
VERTICAL – races with 1,000m positive vertical climb not exceeding 5 km distance (Vertical Kilometer®)

 

Skyrunner®,SkyRace®, SkyMarathon®, Vertical Kilometer® are registered trademarks

 

Skyrunning HERE

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2014 SKYRUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Entry Guidelines

ENTRY GUIDELINES

2014 SKYRUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

June 27-29, 2014, Chamonix, France

2014-world-champs

The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships sold out in days! However, don’t despair. Places are available, 18 in total, across all three disciplines, VKSKY and ULTRA based on ISF World Ranking Points or experience/ results for 2012 and 2013 in the SWS (Skyrunner World Series).

The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships will comprise three Skyrunning disciplines:

  • Vertical Kilometer®
  • SkyMarathon®
  • Ultra SkyMarathon®
©iancorless.com
©iancorless.com

OPEN ENTRY

Entry is open to individual athletes, teams and nations. As you will know, all three races are NOW FULL however, we are able to offer 6-places in each race (18-places in total)

RANKING

− Titles and medals will be awarded to individuals and nations

− Individuals will be ranked in each race

− The Combined World Champion title is based on the best results of the

Vertical Kilometer® & SkyMarathon®

− National ranking will be based on the best results of three men and one woman of each nation across all three disciplines

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©iancorless.com

ENTRIES

− 2 entries are reserved for each ISF Member Nation

− 2 entries are reserved for 2013 National Skyrunning Champions (in countries where they exist)

− 2 entries per nation are reserved for athletes included in the top 100 of the 2013 ISF World Ranking

 

Skyrunninguk will allocate places to those runners who have participated in the Skyrunner World Series in 2013 and 2012 and preference will be given to athletes who appear in the ISF World Ranking available HERE

SLOTS ARE AVAILABLE (based on ISF Ranking) as follows:

ULTRA

  1. Ian Sharman
  2. Ricky Lightfoot
  3. Iain Ridgway
  4. Claire Price
  5. Lizzie Wraith

Special consideration – Stuart Air

*Places available on merit and experience

©iancorless.com
©iancorless.com

SKY

  1. Rob Simpson
  2. Joe Symonds
  3. Oli Johnson
  4. Anna Lupton
  5. Tessa Hill
  6. Jasmin Paris

Reserves: Hector Haines, Carl Bell, Ricky Lightfoot, Karl Gray, Rob Jebb, Samuel Tosh, Emma Clayton, Angela Mudge

VK

  1. Robbie Simpson
  2. Tessa Hill

*Places available based on merit and previous experience

If you would like to accept a place or enquire about an opportunity to race, please email skyrunninguk@yahoo.co.uk

Any available places will be offered based on experience and past performances in Skyrunning races/ results.

INFO:

World Championships - HERE

Race Website - HERE

 

Ultra Running Review of the Year 2013

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

What an amazing time to be involved in the sport of ultra running! The once niche minority sport has exploded to greater heights and distances in 2013. No longer is a long beard and ‘Buff’ a pre requisite of ultra running (unless you’re Rob Krar). Clean cut, young, fast is the new ‘ultra runner’ mixing it up with the old guard.
Just think back to this time last year, had you heard of Zach Miller (not the Zach Miller, but, the Zach Miller; confused?), Michele YatesRob Krar, Magdalena Boulet and Xavier Thevenard.
Racing and the opportunity to race has also increased to the extent that it is now possible to race pretty much week in and week out for 12-months of the year. Of course, this brings pluses and minuses, certainly from an elite level, runners need to be far more savvy and race clever. You can no longer race month on month and expect to win. Races now have much higher quality fields and the pace is going up. The growth of Skyrunning has been instrumental in enticing a world audience to test runners of all abilities on tough, technical and high-terrain and the feedback has been incredible. UTWT have launched a series of races above the 100-km distance and in doing so have created a ‘trail’ circuit that offers multiple terrain in multiple locations all over the world. It will be interesting to see how the inaugural year goes when 2014 comes around.
So, what are the highlights of 2013?
Ultra Runner of the Year – Men and ladies
Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Lets start with Rob Krar. I interviewed Rob just after his incredible ‘FKT’ in the Grand Canyon early in 2013 when he put the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim record at another level. At the time we discussed Western States, he was intimidated by the ‘Super Bowl’ of ultra and his first 100-miler. “I’ll give it a shot and see what happens”. Well, if you hadn’t noticed Rob pre WSER you did afterwards. Your not supposed to run WSER and get 2nd overall in your first attempt. UROC, Ultra Race of Champions was the final of the Skyrunner Ultra World Series and for some reason they had bestowed upon themselves the title, ‘The Ultra Running World Championship’. Mmmmm well, it certainly had a quality field but ‘World Championship’? I don’t think so. In the end it came down to a head-to-head between Dakota Jones and Rob Krar. Dakota looked as though he had it sewn up but on the final descent, Rob unleashed a pace that Dakota went on to say was ‘just crazy’. Rob took the win and a pattern was forming. We were all a little surprised to see Rob’s name on the start list for JFK50, primarily with TNF50 in San Francisco just two weeks later. As it happened, Rob dropped at around the 41-mile mark and went on to say that it was either ‘a great training run for TNF50 or the worst decision he had made in a while.’ It was a great training run! Rob ran a super calm, collected and mature race in San Francisco and when he took the front in the last fifth of the race he released a pace that was just incredible. Without doubt my ultra runner of the year!
Kilian Jornet and the Matterhorn ©iancorless.com
  • Of course, you can’t talk about male ultra runner and not mention Kilian Jornet. Kilian is a phenomenon. He is the star of our sport. Once again he was crowned Skyrunner World Ultra Series Champion with wins at Transvulcania and Ice Trail Tarentaise. In addition to this, Kilian was also champion of the ‘Sky’ series with 4 wins; ZegamaMont-BlancMatterhorn Ultraks and Limone Extreme. Add this a couple VK’s, a win at Canazei Sky race for the European Championships and a win at Trans D’Havet for the ‘Ultra’ Skyrunning European Championships and you would say the deal is done! But wait-a-minute, we haven’t mentioned his records for his ‘Summits’ project. A stunning new FKT for Chamonix-Mont-Blanc-Chamonix but arguably THE highlight of the year was his Matterhorn Summit. It was a sublime and surreal performance that put going to the mountains light on another level. It was without doubt my ‘moment’ of the year. You can read my ‘Matterhorn Summits Interview’ with Kilian here. Kilian is the most complete athlete I know.
Michele Yates - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

  • Michele Yates hadn’t run an ultra before 2013. Who would have thought that Ms Figure Colorado 2008 would be such an awesome talent? Well her history shows that she is a 2x Olympic Trials Marathon Competitor, she has 9 marathon wins and PB of 2:38:37. To say Michele burst on the ultra scene would be an underestimation. Her win at Indiana Trail 100 (17:35:18) almost went unnoticed but then taking top spot and the $10,000 prize at Run Rabbit Run suddenly made every one stop, look around and take notice. Placing 3rd at UROC was another sign that Michele was no one trick pony but just like Rob Krar, Michele sealed a quality 2013 with a win at TNF50. She started that race from the front and never relinquished the lead until the line. Is Michele female ultra runner of the year? Well, I would have said yes. That is until the weekend of Dec 13th/ 14th(Listen to interview with Michele on the Christmas show of Talk Ultra, Ep51 out Dec 27th)
  • Pam Smith victorious at Western States turned up at the Desert Solstice track meet run by Aravaipa Running and not only took out the win for 12-hours on the track but set a new female record for 100-miles, 14:11:26. Take your pick, Michele or Pam; it’s a tough call.
Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com
  • But wait a minute, what about Emelie Forsberg. Emelie arrived on the run scene in 2012 and instantly had success, continually placing top-3 with Anna Frost and Nuria Picas. However the break through moment came ironically this time last year, she won TNF50 in San Francisco. This seemed to change everything, Emelie arrived at Transvulcania in May 2013 and won, she followed this up with a win in ZegamaCanazeiIce Trail TarentaiseMatterhorn UltraksUROC and then went on to run her first 100-miler at the super tough Diagonale de Fous (Raid de la Reunion) and place 2nd. Do you want to vote against Emelie?
Performances of the Year
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Rory Bosio blasted around the TNFUTMB course and in the process not only obliterated the female record but placed 7th overall. Her performance was nothing short of miraculous.
  • Jon Olson set a new American record for 100-miles on the track and then just as the year came to a close, Zach Bitter broke the record with an 11:47:21 but maybe even more important, Zach set a new World Record for 12-hours (101.66 miles) beating a Yiannis Kouros record. That does not happen very often! (Zach Bitter will be in the Christmas episode of Talk Ultra, Ep 51 out Dec 27th here)
  • I have already mention Kilian and the Matterhorn but it was so good I am mentioning it twice!
  • Timothy Olson went back to Western States and won again. You can win a race once but going back and doing it again is always a true sign of a champion.
  • Seb Chaigneau took a win and CR at Hardrock 100.
  • Nickademus Hollon became the youngest person ever to not only complete Barkley but also win it. You can listen to his interview on Talk Ultra here.
Julien Chorier Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com
  • Julien Chorier produced a sublime and calculated performance at the super tough Ronda dels Cims. It was a joy and a pleasure to watch someone control and dominate a race from the front and look good all the way.
  • Sage Canaday, jeez I missed him out and he definitely deserves a mention for BanderaTarawera, Transvulcania (3rd), Lake Sonoma and Speedgoat 50k.
 
Francesca Canepa ©iancorless.com
  • Francesca Canepa once again had an incredible year with a great performance at Ronda dels Cims but arguably a repeat win at Tor des Geants places her well and truly at the top on ‘endurance’ lady of the year!
  • Iker Karrera nailed Tor des Geants.
  • Ricky Lightfoot went over to South Africa and raced at The Otter and not only won but put the course record at a new level, in addition he won the IAU World Title in Wales.
 
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Xavier Thevenard took everyone, including himself, by surprise at TNFUTMB with a controlled and impressive performance against some top competition.
Jez Bragg TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com
  • Jez Bragg completed the Te Araroa in New Zealand. An incredible journey from the northern tip of New Zealand all the way down to the southern tip. Listen here.
  • David Johnston completed the Iditarod trail Invitational in 4 days 19 hours 13 mins.Crazy fast.
  • Ian Sharman and Nick Clark went head-to-head in the Grand Slam of Ultra Running and produced possibly the most exciting competition of 2013. The pair of them produced incredibly consistent performances and showed us all that it is possible to race four 100-milers back-to-back. They didn’t only ‘complete’ but they competed. They both won a race and were never out of the front rankings. Ian Sharman ultimately had the icing on the cake with the overall fastest time and a new Grand Slam record. Respect! Interview with Ian Sharman here.
  • Paul Giblin at the West Highland Way race. 15:07 and good beating of Terry Conway’s previous CR.
Stevie Kremer Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Stevie Kremer doesn’t do ultras but she is a darn fine trail and mountain runner and what ‘Pocket Rocket’ achieved in 2013 is nothing short of miraculous. Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.
  • Ed Catmur has continued to knock out some great 100-mile performances on the GB scene with wins at North Downs Way and the Winter 100.
  • Lizzie Wraith new female CR for the Lakeland 100 in the UK.
  • William Sichel keeps running and running crazy distances and setting new records.
  • Jonas Buud didn’t win Comrades in 2013 but he ran one of the best paced races I’ve ever witnessed. He was way back in the late 30′s and slowly moved up to 3rd. Wow! Notable mention to Brit ladies, Joanna Zakrezewski and Holly Rush who placed top-10.
Surprises of the Year
  • Rob Krar – Just one word sums up the bearded warrior ‘Krarnage’.
  • Zach Miller – no, not Zach Miller, but Zach Miller. Zach rocked up at JFK50, nobody knew him and he didn’t know anyone else. He took over the lead when Rob Krar dropped at mile 41. Not only did he win but also he set the 3rd fastest time ever. Interview with Zach here.
  • Xavier Thevenard – TNFUTMB was going to be won by Anton KrupickaMiguel HerasJulien ChorierSeb Chaigneau or Mike Foote. Somebody should have told them all about CCC winner, Xavier.
  • Michele Yates – wow, what a first year in the ultra world.
Who and what to watch out for in 2014
Cameron Clayton UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Cameron Clayton has found his feet, 2013 had some mixed performances but when everything aligns he races with the best. His TransvulcaniaUROC and TNF50 performances without doubt elevates him to ‘hot’ for 2014.
Luis Alberto Hernando Haria Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Luis Alberto Hernando pushed Kilian close at Transvulcania, Zegama, finished joint first at Trans D’havet and won at Cavalls del Vent. In 2014 he plans to race TNFUTMB, now that will be interesting.
  • Magdalena Boulet had an ultra debut at TNF50 and placed 2nd. This sub 2:30 marathon runner may turn a few heads in 2014.
  • Brit, Stuart Air may raise a few eyebrows in 2014. He had a solid Ronda dels Cims, Ice Trail Tarentaise and Tor des Geants and for 2014 he has a Hardrock 100 slot!
  • Hardrock 100 had it’s draw and suddenly much of the WSER ‘lottery’ chat shifted focus to the field up at Silverton. The 2014 race is a classic in the making with Kilian JornetSebastian ChaigneauJulien ChorierJoe Grant and more. Excited? Just a little.
  • The Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix with runners from all over the world coming to race VK, SKY and ULTRA in one of the endurance capitals of the world.
  • Beards – the jury is out. Are beards fast or slow? Rob Krar, Timmy Olson and ‘Clarky’ are certainly great advocates for hairy running but Kilian, Cameron, Sage provide a strong counter argument. What are your thoughts?
And finally…
 
A review of any year is going to be personal. Without doubt we will all have our own highlights and favourite moments, so, I would love to read your thoughts.
Please use the form below.
Ian Corless ETR ©iancorless.com
On a personal note, 2013 was an incredible year, I feel blessed with all the opportunities I have had. To witness many of the moments I write about is a great pleasure. Of course, it’s nothing without you folks reading, looking at my photographs or listening to my podcast.
A very BIG thank you from me.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014 awaits us all…
LINKS:
Photography from 2013 races HERE
IMAGES book HERE
Calendar HERE
Podcasts HERE

TNFUTMB Registration for 2014 opens on December 19th

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Registration for the 12th The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® will be open on December 19th, there will be thousands of runners who register for the world summit of trail-running which, each year, unites more than 50 000 persons (volunteers, organisers, accompanying persons, runners, local inhabitants, general public…) spread out along the paths of the 19 French, Italian and Swiss communities involved around Mont-Blanc.

TNF UTMB IMAGES HERE

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

Already running for 11 years, it has seen an extraordinary development over that time. 10 years ago, Trail-running enticed a few enthusiasts, today this discipline has become a social phenomenon. In France, and all over the world, running in open country attracts more and more people, the trail-running market is growing rapidly and the success of the The North Face ® Ultra-Trail of Mont Blanc ® races participates widely in this expanding development. At just few hours away from the opening of the 2014 registration, it is the occasion to outline the news concerning this year’s event.

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

Three major new items for this increasingly international event:

The 2014 The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, which is taking place from August 25th – 31st, will bring together almost 7000 runners coming from all over the world (in 2013, 74 nations were represented…). No other race attracts so many nations…This year there are some new items:

1) A new race, the OCC

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® is becoming even more cross-border and international with the creation of a new race: the OCC, (Orsières-Champex-Chamonix) will start at Orsières, in the Suisse Valais, in the heart of the St Bernard country and finish in Chamonix. From now on, there is a race starting in each of the countries surrounding Mont-Blanc.

As a shorter model, this race will be accessible to lovers of middle distance (in the category Trail Ultra Medium (M) between 42 km and 69 km). Also, so that the less « Ultra » who wish to begin and to participate in the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® can find a race with a format which allows them to enter the event. The route of the OCC will give a taste of the incomparable charm of the villages on the approach to Champex and the last part of the magic of the UTMB® or the CCC®.

Essential details of the OCC

- Start: Orsières, Thursday August 28th at 08:00

- Finish: Chamonix

- Distance: 53 kilometres

- Height gain: 3 300 metres

- Maximum time: 14 hrs

- No qualifying points necessary

- Points acquired by finishers: 1 point

- Maximum number of runners: 1 000

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

2) The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® is on the Ultra-Trail® World Tour circuit

Connected to the international community of trail-running, The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has, since September 2013, been a part of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, a circuit which has just seen the light of day. It brings together the world’s most emblematic trail-running and ultra-endurance events, which share the same values and which celebrate the last to cross the line with the same passion as the first.

This circuit is an invitation to travel and discover the richness and diversity of the most beautiful races in the world. This annual international competition, the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, for its first year links 10 big races on 5 continents, with its own ranking, which will discern the holder of the title of champion of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. In agreement with the organisers four events, of which the UTMB® is one, have been selected to be a “series” of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour and will favour the gathering of elite runners.

For more information (programme, date, country, titles) concerning the running of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour: click here

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

3) The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® subscribes to the International Trail Running Association (ITRA)Exchanges between interested parties fuels progression, improvement, adaptation and thoughts and ideas for the future. It is with this objective that since 2013, The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has been a member of theInternational Trail Running Association which unites numerous trail-running organisers, elite runners and also those of all levels, sports’ equipment brands, associations…. By creating a dynamic founded on a gathering and exchange of thoughts and ideas of all the representative players in the field of the discipline, the ITRA has set several goals:

·                   The promotion of Trail-running as a complete stand-alone sport, rich in its diversity of cultures and locations and which is accessible to all.

·                   The development of a sports ethics which leans strongly on its values and the development of environment-friendly sporting events

·                   The implementation of prevention initiatives in favour of the good health of athletes and the fight against doping.

·                   The deployment of initiatives to improve the quality of organisations and the participants’ safety.

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® participates in the ITRA to contribute to the development of a sport founded on true values, to listen to all the players in the field of trail-running and in order to continue to improve the quality of its races.

More information: click here.

2014 registration

Registration, exclusively by internet, opens on December 19th at 10:00

5 events between August 25th and 31st 2014. Please note that the departure times for the UTMB® and PTLtm have changed:

·                    PTL™: 300 km -  +28 000 m - Starts Monday at 17:30 - Chamonix (FR): open to 100 teams of 2 or 3 persons.

·                    TDS™: 119 km -  +7 250 m - Starts Wednesday at 07:00 - Courmayeur (IT): open to 1600 runners.

·                    OCC: 53 km -  +3 300 m - Starts Thursday at 08:00 – Orsières (CH): open to 1000 runners.

·                    CCC®: 101 km -  +6 100 m - Starts Friday at 09:00 - Courmayeur (IT): open to 1900 runners.

·                   UTMB®: 168 km -  +9 600 m - Starts Friday at 17:30 - Chamonix (FR): open to 2300 runners.

Qualifying races

Since 2007 facing a surge in the number of requests for registration, the organisation has set up the fairest possible selection mode. Registration for the UTMB®, CCC® and TDS™ is only possible for runners who have obtained, between January 1st 2012 and December 31st 2013, the necessary number of qualification points. The list is available on the web-site: qualifying races for the 2014 Ultra-Trail®

·                   UTMB® : 7 points acquired between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/2013 (in a maximum of 3 races)

·                   CCC® : 2 points acquired between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/2013

·                   TDS™ : 2 points acquired between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/2013

·                   OCC : no points required
The pre-registration period will be open from December 19th 2013 to January 6th 2014

If the quota is passed, a draw will be made so that the limit of the number of runners is respected.

The results will be published on January 15th 2014 at 10:00 (Paris time).

Registration is managed by over-booking, there is, therefore, no waiting list.

PTL™ special

This event is without ranking, in complete autonomy in teams 2 or 3 participants who should stay together throughout.

·                   A PTL™ team of 2 or 3 persons must, obligatorily, have at least 1 finisher from a precedent UTMB®,  PTLtm or Tor des Géants®.

·                   The team leader (obligatorily the finisher of the UTMB®, PTL™ or Tor des Géants®) registers on behalf of all his team members at the same time.

·                   Registration will be open as of December 19th 2013.

·                   Registration will be closed once the quota of 100 teams is reached.

All information concerning registration is available by clicking here.

2014 registration prices

UTMB® : 207 €

CCC® : 128 €

TDS™ : 142 €

OCC : 68 €

PTL™ : 670 €

The registration prices have been augmented to maintain the quality of the event despite its rapid growth. The development of the number of people welcomed (runners [7 000 expected in 2014], accompanying persons, general public…) generates a rise in organisational costs, particularly in the important areas of: security, reception, logistics, transport, refreshments, gifts, etc … The figures are enormous.

For example : 36 refreshment posts, 15 marquees erected at different points along the route, 10 safety shelters placed on passes by helicopter, 50 000 tuc biscuits, 2 800 kg of cheese, 20 000 persons transported, 170 buses and drivers, 50 control points, etc…

The success of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races is, without any doubt, due to the quality of the organisation. To guarantee, once again, irreproachable logistics for the runners and those accompanying them, the visitors and the volunteers, it is essential to strengthen safety devices, reception and to professionalize certain services.

Nevertheless the price per race kilometre for the races around Mont Blanc remains amongst the lowest incomparison with organisations of the same size: Between 1.15€ and 1.30€/km (after augmentation) for this year, 2014.

Compared to:

Paris Marathon = between 70 and 115€ according to the date (between 1.7€/km and 2.73€/km)

NY Marathon = 290€ (6.9€/km)

Western State = 370$ (= 273€) (1.68€/km)

UTMF = 36 000 yen (= 258€) (1.61€/km)

Vasalopett (99km) between 180€ and 230€ according to the date… (between 1.8€/km and 2.32€/km)

In several days thousands of trail-runners will cement a dream…. December 19th, is the green light, the start of an adventure. The start of six month’s training, emotional due to some sacrifices and a lot of pleasure.

Rendezvous on August 25th for a week of partying and trail-running around the Mont Blanc country.

Kilian Jornet – Summits of my Life – Mont Blanc

Image ©kilianjornet ©summitsofmylife

Image ©kilianjornet ©summitsofmylife

Nº2 2013: EUROPEAN SUMMITS – MONT-BLANC

Mathéo and I synchronised our watches, switched on the stopwatch and gave each other five for luck before starting to run. It was 4:50 am, and it wasn’t cold in the church square in Chamonix. We were in shorts and thermal T-shirts, but nerves and excitement probably did not let us think about anything other than the challenge ahead. Mont Blanc, as majestic as ever, was just waking up and, from the square, we could spot the headlamps of those who had spent the night at the mountain refuge and were now preparing to reach the summit.

We are ascending well, within the estimated time. Upon arriving at the crack of Grands Mulet, we rope together for safety reasons as large amounts of snow have accumulated there this year. Halfway up, we spot Seb and Vivien, who have come to give us support and to film us. The sun is barely rising and the scenery is breathtaking. We are both using sticks to help us to climb and move faster. The marks we gouged into the ground a few days ago have lasted, and we follow them, so we can move fast and carry on with the ascent.

Read the full report HERE

 

INOV-8 RACE ULTRA pack/vest review

Brendan Davies inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Brendan Davies inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Inov-8 Race Ultra Vest/ Pack

Please note*

Please note inov-8 have now updated the fit of the Race Ultra Vest for production. This has reduced the width of the top front pocket, resulting in it no longer being able to hold the 500ml flat water bottle. It does, however, still have capacity to hold the 250ml soft flask available with the Race Ultra 0.25.

It used to be simple; get rucksack, add a few essential items, grab a bottle of energy drink and off you go! However, the rucksacks used were more often than not, developed for hiking and thus Issues arose. The packs had too much bounce, a lack of specific functions related to running and more importantly, the need to access items such as food and liquid whilst on the go was non existent.

A boom in rucksack development followed. Brands developed new ranges of product, initially they were a reworking of already existing packs. As demand increased, new lines and new ranges came to fruition and suddenly an array of run specific items came on the market. We were spoilt for choice.

If you are like me, you will have tried many of these products in the search for the ‘perfect product’. Some items have come close but ultimately I have always wanted to make a tweak here or a tweak there. Bottles, bladder or combination of both, the decision will split people. Small capacity, large capacity; ultimately you need both. So, when looking at reviewing any new product one has to take into account many options and variables and then judge a pack on those merits and how well it fulfills those needs and demands. Rarely does a product come along that you can 100% say, ‘this is the perfect pack’.

For many, the launch of the Salomon S-Lab 5ltr pack started the current revolution and design in form fitting, vest like garments that could carry essential equipment, provide immediate access to essentials whilst still being able to carry 2ltrs of liquid in a bladder or the option to also have bottles.

But I can hear you say, so and so did it before Salomon and such and such did ‘x’ with ‘y’ product. I am not going to disagree; I am just highlighting a key moment in pack design that has heavily influenced the current trend for ‘vest’ like products.

Of course, Salomon soon realized that 5ltrs was not enough capacity, particularly for long mountain races such as the TNFUTMB. So, when Kilian Jornet lined up at UTMB several years ago, he had a new, 12ltr pack. It was a key moment in pack development and design. For many, the Salomon S-Lab 12 ltr has been and currently is one of the most popular packs for any racing and/or training.

Step in inov-8 with new Race Ultra Vest.

This new product from UK company; inov-8 may very well be the next key moment in pack design stripping away complication and providing a pack that would almost make a perfect accessory for Batman.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Following current trends, the Race Ultra Vest is a pack that is worn like an item of clothing. It is extremely minimal in design and offers one large ‘stretchable’ mesh pocket on the rear that is open ended with a zigzag elastic cord on the exterior to adjust compression.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

The front splits into a left and right side and replicates pockets/function. Two large angled stretchable pockets hold two newly designed inov-8 ‘flat’ bottles that sit close to and under the rib cage offering easy access and importantly, no bounce!

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

They are held in place with elastic cords to eradicate the bottles falling out.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Above these angle pockets are two large chest pockets that are ideal for storing large items OR they provide the option to house the two flat bottles in a higher position, freeing the angled pockets for storage. It comes down to personal preference.

In addition, two other smaller pockets sit on the chest section offering a place to hold mobile phone, camera, food, gels or other similar items and one pocket has an elastic cord to attach keys too.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

The product is light, open and has a unique adjustable fastening system. On both sides of the pack four straps attach the front to the rear and these are independently adjustable allowing for a perfect fit dependent on load.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

At the front, two chest straps have three ‘quick release’ fastening options (top, middle and bottom) that allow you to move straps higher or lower to ensure that you have restriction free movement.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

This is particularly important for ladies who will obviously require the option to adjust and control how straps fit in and around breasts…

Finally, the pack does come with a 2ltr bladder that sits within a temperature control sleeve and this easily slides into the rear open pocket. The feed pipe is insulated and can be used on the left or right hand side of the vest. Ideal should you require the option to carry 3 liters of liquid; 2 liters in the rear and 1 liter at the front in two bottles.

IN USE

This product fits like a glove! I have yet to find anyone who has put this product and on not found it immediately comfortable. It just fits, pure and simple. The adjustably of the four side straps and two front straps does mean that it can fit pretty much any body shape.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

When running it does not move. No bounce whatsoever.

Accessibility to bottles is superb in either of the two storage places. I personally found that I liked the bottles lower, sitting under my ribcage. Depending on your body shape and size, you may prefer the bottles in the higher position? One drawback of the lower position is that your arms may rub the bottles as you move left-to-right in the running motion… not an issue I experienced. Removing bottles whilst running was easy, just pull the red cord, remove the bottle, drink, push back in and then re attach the cord over the neck of the bottle.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Upper access pockets on the chest provided immediate access to anything I needed whilst running. I had a phone, camera, bars, gels, keys and money all at hand. Perfect.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

The rear pocket requires some thinking when packing, as it is just an open space. You push things in and keep pushing. The pack stretches and molds to the contents allowing what looks like a small space to become spacious. Pack this well and place a lightweight jacket or raincoat at the top and you can actually reach over your shoulder and remove the top item from the pack without stopping. A real bonus for the ‘racers’ amongst you. If you have fewer items in the pack, you can remove any bounce or excess room with the adjustable elastic cord.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Poles or additional items can be added to the pack via several black nylon loops that have been added to the pack in strategic places. You may need to purchase some elastic cord and be creative with how you work this but it is a great additional way to get exactly what you personally need. For example, I added my poles across my chest allowing me the option to add and remove them at will. So much better than attaching to the rear and the complications this brings.

Unlike other vests, the Race Ultra does not get too hot. The main reason for this is the open design. Under the arms you have no fabric, just two straps on each side, therefore are flow is increased and importantly, internal heat can escape. In addition, the fabric and materials used are very light. This not only keeps the overall weight of the product down but it also does allow heat to pass through it. On your back you can’t help but have a hot spot. I have you to find a pack or vest that does not d o this, even those that have a framework that helps or reduce back contact.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

The big question is, can you fit all the required kit for a long 100-mile race such as TNFUTMB into the pack? The answer is yes, but you need to be creative and pack light/ small. Inov-8 have developed a whole new range of apparel that works in conjunction with this pack (reviews to follow) such as seamed waterproof jacket with hood, seamed waterproof over trousers, warm insulated layer, base layer, hat, gloves and so on. It would be fair to say though that for most people, with normal conventional run clothing and wet weather gear such as specified in the mandatory kit list at most long races, particularly for TNFUTMB, it would be a squeeze to get it all in. This is the only negative comment I have found in regard to this pack. But to clarify, with small, lightweight and ultimately expensive products, you can do it. It depends what is important for you and your specific needs, Remember the is called a ‘race’ product and as such, one would naturally assume that the user, male or female, will be looking to be as small and as light as possible.

inov-8 Race Ultra ©iancorless.com

Finally, taking up space on one of the quick release options on the front of the pack is a removable whistle.

CONCLUSION

I can’t tell you how many packs I have purchased over the years in the search for the ‘perfect’ pack. Just when I think I have found one, I find a reason not to be 100% convinced. I’d have to say that finally, in the inov-8 Race Ultra Vest I have found a product that ticks every box and makes me feel 100% confident in my choice and decision.

If I had one issue, it would be for longer races when high demands on mandatory kit are required. Unless you have the latest up to date smallest and lightest products, you will struggle to fit everything in this pack.

However, I can’t help but think inov-8 is already thinking about a solution for that!

Weight (pack stripped) 195g. In stores Feb.
Price £80. This includes two bottles, insulation sleeve and reservoir with insulated tube.

inov-8 website HERE news HERE

Many thanks to inov-8 for the opportunity to test and review. In addition, I would like to thank all the inov-8 athletes who made themselves available to facilitate the photo shoot. In this particular case, Brendan Davies was extremely patient while obtaining images of the Race Ultra.

Disclosure:

I attended an apparel test week in and around Chamonix at the invite of inov-8. I was supplied all products, apparel and shoes free of charge to test and review. I have used and tested all items for at least 3-months and my reviews are impartial based on the pros and cons of each specific item

Mountain Man – Robbie Simpson

Pg1 Men's Running

 

Photography by iancorless.com

iancorless.photoshelter.com

Seb Chaigneau – Get Ready for S4 EP07

©copyright .iancorless.com._1080347

Great season for Sebastien Chaigneau who start his ultra season in Canaria for the Transgrancanaria, 120kms – 7000D+ that he won. Seb then travelled to Japan to discover the asian culture of trail across at the Ultra trail Mount Fuji, 160 kms — 9000D+, where he took the third place.

©copyright .iancorless.com._1080251During July, Sebastien was in the Colorado, US for the Hardrock 100, a 160kms with more of 10 000D+ and 3300m of altitude average. He won the race with the best time for the anti-clockwise direction

.
A six week gap between the Hardrock 100 and the TNFUTMB. For the recovery, it’s a real challenge for Seb. Unfortunately, after 30kms of the race, he needed to stop because of fatigue.
The 2013 edition of the TNFUTMB®  had sun and every runner had an opportunity to  do the full tour of the Mont-Blanc. And the party was more beautiful with the presence of American’s runner like Anton Krupicka, Timothy Olson, Michael Foote, Mike Wolf and also Rory Bosio. They competed against great european runners like Julien Chorier, Jonas Buud, Miguel Herras, Carlos Sà… but the nice surprise came from the young french runner, Xavier Thevenard who won the UTMB®in 20h38.

Seb is a legend… enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP_s9vcg2v0

Kilian Jornet & Emelie Forsberg rescued fromAiguille du Midi

image ©emelieforsberg

image
©emelieforsberg

“Once again I got
a lesson, the weather and the conditions set the rules, we play and
the mountain decides. I’m nothing out there! Scary Saturday. Thank
you thank you thank you PGHM Chamonix Mont-Blanc.
” Emelie Forsberg

This is a translation from an article in La Dauphine (original HERE

copyright ©ledauphine and ©Philippe CORTAY

This article is for information only
and is not a representation of my personal thoughts or opinions on
the situation that occured.

 

On the evening of Saturday 7th September, PGHM had to land from a caravan to recover
two “climbers”, a man and a woman on the North Face of the
Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix on the Frendo Spur. Called in the late afternoon, rescuers were unable to take off with the helicopter service due to bad weather announced for nearly a week.

But what the team of the Gendarmerie mountaineering Chamonix does not say (as is the rule in Gendarmerie) is the identity of one of the rescued: the icon of the trail and ski mountaineering Kilian Jornet. The woman who accompanied him (Emelie Forsberg) was dressed lightly. The issue in the world of mountaineering is: when are tights and sneakers appropriate on the North Face of Mont Blanc?

They have been warned repeatedly. Jean-Louis Verdier (guide and assistant in charge of security in the mountains, Chamonix) stated that, “mountain practice must be undertaken with adequate equipment so that you can face bad weather. I’m very angry when I see the continued rise of sneakers despite our requests”. Guides are repeatedly angry as the meet more and more trailers in sneakers as they follow Kilian Jornet in the examples he gives on the route of Mont Blanc. They all run a great risk as they follow the Catalan hero. Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg both issued a message of thanks to PGHM Chamonix via Facebook.
Kilian said,
“now and then, the mountain reminds us that she is stronger … and everyday teach us lot of lessons!”.

Emelie Forsberg,
also via social media said, “Once again I got a lesson, the weather and the conditions set the rules, we play and the mountain decides. I’m nothing out there! Scary Saturday. Thank you thank you thank you PGHM Chamonix Mont-Blanc .

Kilian Jornet, a winner of many of the brutal ultra-trails has set numerous records such as Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and so on, but where is the security in that? In Kilian’s defense, Christophe Profit in his time also made the first solo Bonatti Pillar of the Dru in climbing shoes and light canvas pants.

Article taken from Le Dauphine and translated 8th Septmber 2013.

09th September,
Kilian Jornet has released a post on his website HERE
Translation
“On September 8, I was making a run to the north face of the Aiguille de Midi, the Frendo spur track, one that I had previously done very light. It was a good time to leave well
before the bad weather and we had climbing equipment (ice and rock) necessary. I was short-sighted to think that there would be warmer temperatures and not to take more jackets. In the last rocky ledge we lost a lot of time taking the wrong route. At 50 meters from the summit of the Aiguille de Midi, the weather degenerated quickly and continued to do so, it could haven endangered myself and company. I decided to call the PGHM. It is the PGHM who got us to the top of the Needle, no more worries, we were a little cold. I want to take this opportunity to thank the work as always of the very professional and efficient mountain rescue.”
“This is a warning that the mountain is hard and even if you are careful it is dangerous, and we must be humble in the face of it because this was our fault, especially when one is lighter. We must accept and be aware of the risks we want to take individually and those that join us, depending on our personal ability, technical ability as well as our experience.” Kilian Jornet.
Emelie Forsberg has also posted a heartfelt and honest post at emelieforsberg.com
Iam I not humble enough? Have I the wrong picture of what I actually can do in the mountains? Have I overestimated my abilities?
Kilian and I went out climbing on Frendo Saturday morning. We had checked the weather, checked the route and we had in our mind that we could do the epron pretty fast. We estimated the time with the experience we had before. We know that we can move pretty fast in that kind of terrain.
We went climbing in a good pace. And when we reached the icy ridge we had only been out for a few hours. I thought to myself that woooha this must go really wrong if we don´t make it up there before 5 pm.
After the icepart we decided to go more in the rocks instead of the most common way up that was on the steep ice. That was in our plan the whole way, because we didn´t bring the proper gear for the ice. And that we knew before we started.
On the rock, I started to became a bit stressed. I was finding a way up that was a bit loose and I also didn´t have the best feelings after the icepart where I hurted my foot.
We took time climbing up, rappelling down, trying to find another way and so on we did for a while.
I became so cold and I couldn´t focus my thought very well. I was stressed and felt captured. We started to talk about possibilities. Rappelling down or try to do the last part even if we didn´t know if we could reach the summit that way or the last way out; call the rescue.
That was a hard decision it´s hard to know if we (I) could have manage go on without danger. I think that I could have manage all my power to go on, but with the cold and stress I had I really wasn´t sure about the risk Tahat t meant.
At 4.30 we called the rescue. They couldn´t make it with the helicopter so it took some time. When they came they was professional and everything went smooth.
One thing I wished is that they could have given us an estimated time of arrival. 5 hours of staying in the cold or power up for making a safe rappelling. I don´t know what was the best.
Afterwards I have thought a lot about this and I have came up with some answers to my first questions.
We underestimated the conditions and we didn´t make up a plan B if we would take longer time than normal.
And to the question why are you out on Frendo with only running shoes? I guess everyone needs to find his own way to approach things. And for me as a runner and a “hobby” climber I love the light way to approach mountains. This is how I want to do it. And this is how I feel comfortable. What is important is that we need to find our own comfortzon.
I thought Frendo was inside my zone, but with the conditions it was and the stupid mistake I did to not take a lot of extra warm clothes. It went wrong. I can also blame myself for being the weakest in the ropeteam. Without me I think Kilian would have been able to rappelling down or find a way up. And now people who don´t like this way of approaching mountains are very happy to say- look what we told you- this is wrong.
We are people. We make mistakes and learn from them. But this is still the way I love to be in the mountains. Light and fast.

Notes:

Ultimately, I think many people have been waiting for this to happen. They have been waiting for Kilian to need help and now that he has they have jumped on it and are using this against him…

Everyday, people are rescued in the mountains. Some people just shouldn’t be there and they get caught out, others are experienced and situations change and create hazard and danger. It is the nature of the beast. Kilian in particular is experienced and knowledgeable. For sure, he made an error on clothing, he has admitted that, but he was prepared for climbing. He had all the necessary equipment (ropes, ice axe etc etc). Like so many others before him, situations changed and he made the correct decision to seek outside help. His ‘experience’ kicked in. He assessed the situation, looked at the options, evaluated the pros and cons and his conclusion was to sit tight and make a call. He isn’t the first and he for sure won’t be the last.

We can all learn!

I have been very open with Kilian and Emelie on the adventures that they pursue in the mountains when talking and interviewing them. On several occasions I have been keen to clarify that what they do is dangerous and demands respect. Both Kilian and Emelie are experienced in the mountains and understand the risks that they take. They are trying to find a personal summit and for them, the summit becomes increasingly more dramatic. Is this right or wrong? I am inspired, I look on in awe and I know MY ability. I know that I could not do what they do and therefore I know my place. The question comes for those who don’t know individual abilities and the ones who think they are much better than they actually are. Ultimately, acknowledge your limits and be safe one and all. The mountains are a dangerous place, be prepared for the worst and respect the environment in which you play and seek adventure. Thank goodness both Kilian and Emelie are safe and acknowledge the role that PGHM Chamonix Mont-Blanc played.

UTWT press releases

Following on from the press conference for the launch of the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) three press releases have been made available via a special link on the UTWT website.

Although many questions are still unanswered it may provide an insight into the long term objectives and motivations.

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