Lakes Sky Ultra 2015 Race Preview

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Skyrunning UK is booming. Already this year we have had the V3K, Peaks Skyrace and the recent ground breaking Salomon Glen Coe Skyline.

Attention now turns to the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra.

A Lakeland course that offers elevated ridgelines, breathtaking exposure, fast travel on technical mountain terrain and some classic Lakeland scrambling. Race directors Charlie Sproson and Andrew Burton say, ‘Fell running on additives. This is Skyrunning™.’

Race date is September 12th and race entries close on September 6th, so you have time to gain a last minute entry in what will be a very special race.

It’s a race route that follows on quite nicely from the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline in that the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra has plenty of vertical grind (4300m+), grade 3 scrambling, knife edge arêtes and all over 50km’s of challenging terrain.

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It’s not a race for the feint hearted and this is reflected by the start list.

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Starting on the streets of Ambleside, arguably one of the most important town in the English Lakes, runners will run this challenging course via a fully way marked route.

Who is running?

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Eirik Haugsness has been racing the Skyrunner® World Series for several years and he is the 2014 champion of the Tromso Skyrace. His presence in the English lakes is an exciting prospect as he will attempt to do battle against local talent.

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Ricky Lightfoot needs no introduction to Skyrunning and fell running aficionados and without doubt he is a favourite for overall victory on what for him is home soil. Ricky has already had a string of top performances in 2015, can he add the LSU to the list?

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Es Tressider recently raced the Glen Coe Skyline and ran much of the day in 2nd place. Unfortunately, Es faded in the latter stages of the race and missed the podium. Es’s experience in the mountains is quite incredible and if recovered, we can certainly expect him to mix it up at the front of the race.

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Damian Hall in 2015 has raced The Spine, The Dragons Back Race and just finished 32nd at UTMB (2nd Brit). LSU only comes 2 weeks after the Mont-Blanc monster so Damian may well be a little tired; we can’t rule him out though!

Ben Bardsley is an experienced fell runner and ski mountaineer. In the past he has raced at classic Skyrunning races such as Zegama-Aizkorri. Ben’s current form is a little unknown but he’s one to watch for sure.

Chris Stirling has had excellent performances at the Langdale Horseshoe, Three Shires, Great Lakes Race and has preparing for LSU for several months. His presence almost certainly will be felt at the front of the race.

 

In the ladies’ race, V3K winner and 3rd placed lady at Glen Coe Skyline, Sarah Ridgway makes an appearance and if recovered we can expect her to contest the podium once again.

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But Beth Pascall comes to the race with a set of solid results. She has placed 2nd at Lakeland 100, won The Spine, placed 2nd The Dragons Back Race and for me is the most likely lady to top the podium on the 12th September.

Shiri Leventhal has placed on the podium of multi-day races in the 4 Desert Series and in 2013 was 2nd lady at the Everest Trail Race. This course will provide a test to Shiri but it’s one that she can rise too!

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Finally, Victoria Mousley is another hot contender for the top of the podium. Her experience on courses such as The Three Peaks, Tour of Pendle and Scaffell Pike Marathon will set her up nicely for a great run at LSU.

Race details can be viewed here:  HERE

Course map here: HERE

RACE ENTRY HERE (open till September 6th)

HERE

SkyrunningUKlogo

Skyrunning UK at http://www.skyrunninguk.com

 

Nepal Appeal – #NepalEarthquake

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I have been very fortunate to visit Nepal and work on the Everest Trail Race twice, I hope to return again in 2015.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the beauty of the place, it’s magical in its chaos. But no matter how beautiful the scenery is, the people really are the highlight; so warm, so giving, so generous and they smile… they smile a great deal!

The current tragedy that is facing Kathmandu and all the surrounding areas is heart breaking.

It’s never easy to watch a tragedy unfold and listen to the appeals of charities. I made a donation, I worked on the principal that no matter how much I gave, if we all do the same then it amounts to a bigger total that can be used for good.

It actually took my partner, Niandi, to think of the idea but she said, ‘why don’t you sell images as prints and donate the money?’ 

I then thought of my FACES of NEPAL project. I diid this in November 2014 and the whole series of images are available on my website iancorless.net

The idea was so simple it was beautiful. So, that is what is happening. All the ‘FACES of NEPAL‘ are now available to purchase as a print and prices start from as little as £7.00 for a 6″x4″ paper print. Look at this as adopting a person and helping someone in Nepal in this difficult time. ALL MONEY FROM THE PRINT SALES WILL BE DONATED.

Please view the image gallery HERE

All proceeds will go to OXFAM using the donation page here.

To purchase a print click on the red ‘Buy It’ button and then you will be provided with three options. Paper Prints offer the cheapest solution and prices start at £7.00 for a print.

Many thanks.

NAMASTE

Interview with MARSHALL ULRICH

Marshall Ulrich Interview

 

There was one day though when Jean lay in her bed at home in a darkened room, battered and exhausted from all that disease was doing to her. The gloomy scene made me claustrophobic. My wife was wasting away in a lightless cabin I wanted to run and I told her so.

 

“How can you leave me right now? How can you be so callous? I need you. I’m so tired. Please stay.”

 

“I have to run.”

 

“Don’t do. Please, god I’m alone.”

 

I looked at her desperate to go. I left. I ran and I still regret it.

 

Marshall Ulrich has run more than 120 ultra marathons averaging over 125 miles each. He has completed 12 expedition-length adventure races, and climbed the ‘Seven Summits’ all on his first attempts. Is he, ‘the ultimate endurance athlete?’

He finished the first-ever circumnavigation on foot of Death Valley National Park, about 425 miles in one of the hottest, driest places on earth. He ranked this expedition as tougher than ascending Mount Everest, but not as challenging as his record setting transcontinental run of more than 3,000 miles from San Francisco to New York City, which was the subject of his book and memoir; Running on Empty.

In his sixties, Marshall inspires adventurers, active and armchair athletes, and a growing general audience by sharing his experiences and defying the ideas of “too far,” “too old,” and “not possible.”

I caught up with this amazing man to get a glimpse into what makes him tick.

You can read the full interview on RUNULTRA HERE

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Trail Running Magazine Feb/Mar 2015

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Check out the latest edition of TRAIL RUNNING Magazine Feb/Mar 2015

It has a nice ‘DPS’ on the Everest Trail Race (HERE) by yours truly and a whole host of other great info for the budding and experienced trail runner.

  • Trail Running, the UK’s only mag dedicated to the adventurous world of off-road running, is on sale now!
  • FREE with this issue – Start Running Now training guide with expert fitness and nutrition plans for every level from 5k to marathon.
  • Run all winter with confidence – We share the secrets from 14 elite trail runners from running on snow and ice to motivation to get outside in the first place
  • Trail Running Saved My Life – From binge drinking and public nakedness to race wins and a GB vest, be inspired by our exclusive interview with elite endurance athlete Robbie Britton, plus more athletes and readers saved by trails
  • Easy Quick Fitness – how to lose flab and run faster with no extra training effort!Ditch the gym – no expensive memberships, get fit by running with our easy 2-week plan
  • Run your first ultra – go from 10k to 30 miles with our 24-week plan from the Mammut Dig Deep Races experts
  • Gear tests – Budget trail shoes, winter gilets, hydration bottles, bumbags & packs and the top 20 running apps
  • Chocolate’s good for you! – Made you look, yes, we reveal the healthy way to enjoy this treat

View HERE online

Subscribe HERE

Episode 78 – Fiennes, Ulrich, Macy, Tortorich

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Episode 78 of Talk Ultra celebrates its third anniversary with interviews with two legends, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Marshall Ulrich. We also speak to adventure racer turned ultra runner, Travis Macy and in Talk Training we chat with America’s Angriest Trainer, Vinnie Tortorich. The News, Up & Coming Races and of course, Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

00:09:13 NEWS
Across the years
David Johnston 551.148 miles
Sue Scholl 437.769 miles
all results – HERE
 
Kilian Jornet 12:49 for Aconcagua – HERE
00:24:21 INTERVIEW
 Sir Ranulph Fiennes – read about Sir Ranulph HERE

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been called, ‘The World’s Greatest Living Explorer.’ It’s a difficult statement to argue. Sir Ranulph’s list of achievements is quite incredible.

Born in ‘44’ he was educated at Eton, served in the Royal Scots Greys for eight years and progressed to the Special Air Service (SAS) where he specialized in demolitions. In 68’ he joined the Army of the Sultan of Oman where he was decorated for bravery after leading several raids deep into rebel territory.

Sir Ranulph married his first wife, Virginia (Ginny) in 1970 and between them they lead expeditions all over the world. Ginny was awarded the Polar Medal in ’87.’ Sir Ranulph has raised incredible sums of money for Marie Curie Cancer Charity as his wife, mother and sister all died from the disease within 18 months of each other (2004.)

Currently, Sir Ranulph is the only person alive to have to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface. Continually a pioneer, Sir Ranulph is ever present at pushing boundaries.

The first explorer to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported, Sir Ranulph has come a long way since leading a British Expedition on the White Nile in ’69.’

Ran, as he likes to be known, may perhaps be best known after travelling to the North Pole unaided. Dr Mike Stroud has figured heavily in Ran’s career and amongst many expeditions, two stand out! A 97-day trek across Antarctica in ‘93’ and running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents (2003.) The latter was undertaken just four months after a triple heart bypass.

In 2000, Ran attempted to walk solo to the North Pole but his sled fell through thin ice. Exposure to the ice-cold water resulted in severe frostbite and some months later, the famous ‘finger’ incident.

Having been to both Poles and participated in over 30 major expeditions, Ran summited the Eiger in 2007 and at the age of 65 (2009) he pushed the boundaries once more to be the oldest Briton ever to climb Everest after two failed attempts in 2005 (he had a heart attack) and in 2008 when he ‘went a little too quickly’ and exhaustion foiled his attempt.

After 5 years of planning, in 2012, Sir Ranulph set off on his latest expedition, ‘The Coldest Journey’ leading the first team on foot, across Antarctica during the southern winter. The expedition was brought to a sudden halt for Ran when in training he removed a glove to attend to a ski binding. Ran was evacuated for frostbite and treatment but the expedition continued without him.

In 2015, Ran will attempt the 2015 Marathon des Sables.

BLOG
Summits of my Life – Aconcagua HERE
01:11:55 INTERVIEW
Marshall Ullrich 

The ultimate endurance athlete, Marshall Ulrich has run more than 120 ultramarathons averaging over 125 miles each, completed 12 expedition-length adventure races, and climbed the Seven Summits all on his first attempts.

He finished the first-ever circumnavigation on foot of Death Valley National Park, about 425 miles in one of the hottest, driest places on earth, during the most blistering month in U.S. history (July 2012). He’s ranked this expedition as tougher than ascending Mount Everest, but not as challenging as his record-setting transcontinental run of more than 3,000 milesfrom San Francisco to New York City, which was the subject of his memoir, Running on Empty.

In his sixties, Marshall inspires adventurers, active and armchair athletes, and a growing general audience by sharing his experiences and defying the ideas of “too far,” “too old,” and “not possible.”

01:45:36 INTERVIEW
Travis Macy sponsored by Hoka One One and Vitargo

Travis Macy summited glacial peaks in the French Alps, rapelled into cavernous limestone caves in China, and ran through parched deserts in Utah.  Most famously, he won the Leadman, a high-altitude combination trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain biking race, 100-mile mountain biking race, 10K run, and 100-mile trail run.  Macy accomplished it without exceptional strength, speed, flexibility, high tech performance labs, or performance-enhancing drugs.  His secret?  A precise and particular outlook he calls the “Ultra Mindset,” principles for daily life which are neither mysterious nor the sole province of ascetics or elite athletes: embrace fear, rewrite stories we tell ourselves, and master the art of seeking help, among others.  By applying the Ultra Mindset principles to other areas of life, anyone can find success that otherwise would have been impossible.

More about The Ultra Mindset here.

Available for purchase here.

02:30:38 TALK TRAINING
Vinnie Tortorich

Vinnie Tortorich (born September 27, 1962), is an author, radio and podcast host, fitness trainer, and model based in Beverly Hills, California.

In 2012, he started the “Angriest Trainer” podcast HERE with co-host Anna Vocino, who was best known for the self-improvised show “Free Radio” on Comedy Central. as a personal trainer is working with Hollywood celebrities and Ironman triathletes.

In July 2013 Vinnie released his second book called “Fitness Confidential.”

In October 2014, Vinnie launched Pure Vitamin Club, an online subscription-based business selling an original multivitamin/multimineral formula.

 
03:33:58 UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | January 15, 2015 | website

Australia

Queensland

Bogong to Hotham | 64 kilometers | January 11, 2015 | website

Victoria

Two Bays Trail Run 56km | 56 kilometers | January 11, 2015 | website

Brazil

Brazil 135 Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 14, 2015 | website

Brazil 281 Relay | 281 miles | January 14, 2015 | website

France

Essonne

Raid 28 | 80 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Semiraid 28 | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Eure-et-Loir

Ultra Raid 28 | 120 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Schwabacher Winter Ultra | 56 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Lower Saxony

7. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

7. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

8. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

8. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Nord Eifel Ultra | 56 kilometers | January 11, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Vibram® Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail® Race | 100 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

India

Ultra India Race | 220 kilometers | January 21, 2015 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 100 km | 50 kilometers | January 09, 2015 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 09, 2015 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | January 09, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Hutt River Trail Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Serbia

Mojstir Extreme km Trail Run 100 | 100 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Spain

Valencian Community

GR10-Xtrem Valencia Ultra Trail | 93 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Sweden

W-R-T Sandsjöbacka Trail Marathon – 68 km | 68 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Thailand

Columbia Trails Masters – 50K | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Anglesey

Coastal Trail Series – Anglesey – Ultra | 34 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Buckinghamshire

Country to Capital | 45 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Derbyshire

Montane Spine Race | 268 miles | January 10, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Nicholas Wilson Memorial Tashka Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Arizona

San Tan Scramble – 50K | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

California

Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | January 10, 2015 | website

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2015 | website

Long Beach Enlightened Ultra 100K | 100 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Long Beach Enlightened Ultra 100 Mile | 100 miles | January 10, 2015 | website

Long Beach Enlightened Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Long Beach Enlightened Ultra 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 10, 2015 | website

Pacifica Foothills Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Race Across California – Border to Border (10 Marathons) | 266 miles | January 16, 2015 | website

Race Across California – Desert Challenge (4 Marathons) | 107 miles | January 23, 2015 | website

Race Across California – Urban Challenge (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | January 16, 2015 | website

San Diego 50 | 50 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Steep Ravine 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Florida

Clearwater Distance 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Long Haul 100K | 100 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Long Haul 100M | 100 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Georgia

Savannah Rails to Trails 50K | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Hawaii

H.U.R.T. 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Idaho

Wilson Creek Frozen 50k | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Illinois

Frozen Gnome 50K | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Iowa

Tripple D Winter Ultramarathon Run | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

New Jersey

The Batona 50K | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

The Batona 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 18, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Weymouth Woods 100k Trail Run | 100 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Ouachita Switchbacks 50K | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Swampstomper 50k | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Texas

Bandera 100km | 100 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Bandera 50km | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Big Bend 50 | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2015 | website

Virginia

Willis River 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Washington

Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Capitol Peak Mega-Fat Ass 34 miles | 36 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Pullman Winter Ultra Series 50K | 50 kilometers | January 10, 2015 | website

Wisconsin

Frozen Otter Ultra Trek – 32 Miles | 32 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Frozen Otter Ultra Trek – 64 Miles | 64 miles | January 17, 2015 | website

Show length 03:43:00

 

SHOW LINKS

Sir Ranulph Fiennes to run the 2015 Marathon des Sables – Interview

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Ranulph Fiennes (March 7th 1944)

 Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been called, ‘The World’s Greatest Living Explorer.’ It’s a difficult statement to argue. Sir Ranulph’s list of achievements is quite incredible. 

Born in ‘44’ he was educated at Eton, served in the Royal Scots Greys for eight years and progressed to the Special Air Service (SAS) where he specialized in demolitions. In 68’ he joined the Army of the Sultan of Oman where he was decorated for bravery after leading several raids deep into rebel territory.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Portrait 2012_militaryspeakers

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Portrait 2012_militaryspeakers

Sir Ranulph married his first wife, Virginia (Ginny) in 1970 and between them they lead expeditions all over the world. Ginny was awarded the Polar Medal in ’87.’ Sir Ranulph has raised incredible sums of money for Marie Curie Cancer Charity as his wife, mother and sister all died from the disease within 18 months of each other (2004.)

Currently, Sir Ranulph is the only person alive to have to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface. Continually a pioneer, Sir Ranulph is ever present at pushing boundaries.

The first explorer to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported, Sir Ranulph has come a long way since leading a British Expedition on the White Nile in ’69.’

Ran, as he likes to be known, may perhaps be best known after travelling to the North Pole unaided. Dr Mike Stroud has figured heavily in Ran’s career and amongst many expeditions, two stand out! A 97-day trek across Antarctica in ‘93’ and running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents (2003.) The latter was undertaken just four months after a triple heart bypass.

In 2000, Ran attempted to walk solo to the North Pole but his sled fell through thin ice. Exposure to the ice-cold water resulted in severe frostbite and some months later, the famous ‘finger’ incident.

Having been to both Poles and participated in over 30 major expeditions, Ran summited the Eiger in 2007 and at the age of 65 (2009) he pushed the boundaries once more to be the oldest Briton ever to climb Everest after two failed attempts in 2005 (he had a heart attack) and in 2008 when he ‘went a little too quickly’ and exhaustion foiled his attempt.

After 5 years of planning, in 2012, Sir Ranulph set off on his latest expedition, ‘The Coldest Journey’ leading the first team on foot, across Antarctica during the southern winter. The expedition was brought to a sudden halt for Ran when in training he removed a glove to attend to a ski binding. Ran was evacuated for frostbite and treatment but the expedition continued without him.

In 2015, Ran will attempt the 2015 Marathon des Sables.

*****

Ranulph Fiennes Interview undertaken by Niandi Carmont at ‘The Druid Challenge’ 2-day race in November 2014. An event both Niandi and Sir Ranulph were using as preparation for Marathon des Sables in 2015.

NC: Welcome Sir Ranulph

RF: Many thanks for the invite and showing an interest.

NC: You hold multiple records, I am a little overwhelmed. You were in the army for many years, did that ignite a passion for adventure?

RF: Well when I was in Germany it was the Cold War. We had 60 70-ton tanks facing the German border waiting for the Soviets to attack… but they never did attack. So the soldiers got bored. So, we were made to run, canoe or whatever it may be. I was told I would be the running officer. I wasn’t asked, I was told! I became an expert in a week. I started to train 600 soldiers. We got to be 5th best regiment out of about 80 regiments after 4-years. All the races were 6miles though.

NC: Wow an interesting beginning and somewhat unique. What was it like to be the first person to visit both poles?

RF: Well, it was my late wife Ginny (married 38-years) who motivated me. Before we married we had done various hot expeditions in the Sahara, the Nile and Arabia. In the 70’s the British press were no longer interested in media for hot expeditions. So, no sponsorship equals no expeditions. Ginny decided we should go to cold environments. We looked at a globe and we decided that nobody had gone vertically between the poles. There was only one route!

NC: How long did this take?

RF: It took 7 years to get sponsorship. We had 1900 sponsors and raised 29 million pounds. This was in the 70’s! Nobody paid us to get sponsors so we had to work at weekends in pubs to make a living. Eventually Jennies dream was ready to go… we had a team of 52-people who had given up everything. Engineers and so on… we got a 40-year old Norwegian vessel and set off from Greenwich and arrived back 2.5 years later. We were the first to go around the earth surface vertically around the world ever and nobody else has repeated this. More people have been on the moon! So in all, 10 years!

NC: Amazing that the record still stands. So remarkable! You were the first person to cross Antarctica on foot?

RF: That was the Antarctic Continent? Antarctica changes all the time… I did coastline to coastline: Atlantic to Pacific. We completed the first crossing in ‘79’ but we used skidoos, nonetheless the first crossing side-to-side. But when we crossed the Continent that was 20-years later and that was unsupported. So, what we carried on day-1 was enough for 2000 miles without resupply. That was somewhat problematic but we did do it and we were in a bad way at the end!

NC: Problematic?

RF: We ran out of food! I started at 15.5 stone, at halfway I was 9-stone despite eating 5000 calories a day. So we had a daily deficiency of 3500 calories per day. So, we were officially starving. Mike Stroud thought this was fascinating… he is Europe’s top physiologist studying in starvation and muscle cannibalisation, so he was able to study this first hand. It had only been possible to study something like this previously at Auschwitz!

NC: You had frostbite. Many have heard the stories about you cutting your fingers off. Are they true?

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RF: I got frostbite on a solo expedition to the Arctic Ocean. If I had had a doctor with me he would have pulled me out and got the tent out with a cooker on and avoided the frostbite. As it was, because I was alone by the time I had got out of the water… the damage was done. I was too cold too pitch a tent, start a cooker and so on. It was -48. Think about it, it was pitch black on a semi frozen sea, so I went back to the start to find land again and sent a radio message. An amazing Canadian ski pilot landed in the dark on the edge of the coast and he saved me. I was taken to hospital. I had special pressure treatment for 60-hours to lengthen the living part of the fingers on one hand. They cut off about 2-inches of the five fingers on one hand. The other hand recovered. My insurers refused to pay unless the operation was in the UK. I tried to find someone in the UK who knew something about frostbite. Navy divers are susceptible to the bends and apparently they can lose fingers. Apparently they don’t amputate until after 5-months to allow for some recovery. Five months is a long time. Every time you touch something with mummified fingers it hurts… after 2 months my wife and I decided to cut them off. We went to the garden shed. We got a Black & Decker workbench and micro saw. It took 2 days and lots of tea. Apparently a physio in Bristol said I did a great job but my surgeon was less pleased.

NC: Did it take courage and did it hurt?

RF: No, if it hurt or started to bleed I just moved further away and just made sure the bit I was cutting off was dead. It doesn’t hurt!

NC: In 2009 you summited Everest at the age of 65-years; what impact did age have on you if any?

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RF: This was my 3rd Everest attempt. My 1st attempt had been somewhat risky from the Tibet side and I had a heart attack on the last night after 2-months of acclimatizing. Bad timing eh but I survived! I said I would never go back… but I was told that was a rubbish idea and that I should go from the other side.

So my 2nd attempt was from the Nepal side; which is easier. But we still failed as we passed a load of bodies including the father of my Sherpa. We passed a Swiss climber too who had summited without Oxygen but died on the way down with hypoxia.

In 2009 it was easy… I guess I understand why I had failed the first and second times. I had been trying to catch up with my British guide the second time. Competitiveness can be a bad thing. When you have had a heart attack you must obey your surgeons advice and not exceed 130bpm. So, in 2009 I took it easy and it all came together.

NC: You are obviously endurant and resilient?

RF: When I was in my 50’s I enjoyed running a great deal and I had success. In my 60’s running was no longer an option… I was jogging until about 69-years of age and that was okay, not that I ever went in for races in that decade. Jogging became shuffling and that is very annoying! Avoid geriatric status at all costs.

NC: I agree 100%. You have a great collaboration with Mike Stroud – 26-years?

RF: Mike comes up with all the ideas. For the last 5-years we have been working on an idea that involved Antarctica. Mike unfortunately had a hip problem. In the last couple of years his other hip went, it wasn’t as easy as the first one so Mike took on all the scientific side. In many ways this is more difficult and that is what he is in charge of now. We are still doing things. There was a time when Mike and I didn’t do expeditions; this was after the Antarctic crossing. We did running races. Mike led an Eco-Challenge team, which must have been one of the first in British Columbia in the Whistler Mountains. That was very enjoyable… it was a team of five and it included Rebecca Stephens the first the British lady to summit Everest, his Father who was over 70-years, the editor of Runners World and an SAS man, David Smith. Mike put the team together and introduced all of us back to running in 1995. We have also done many events as a pair such as the 7-marathons on 7-continents.

NC: He is also a friend, It’s more than running surely?

RF: You don’t choose people for expeditions because they are friends. We chose Mike Stroud in the very beginning because I was already in the Arctic. The man I was with was recalled to London and I was left with nobody. I rang my wife in England and said, ‘I need someone in 3-days who is completely ‘polar’ trained.’ Dr Mike Stroud had been a reserve on another expedition and had only just returned from Antarctica after 1-year away. Somehow he pulled it off… he managed to come away on a 3-day turnaround.

NC: You obviously relied on your wife a great deal.

RF: Absolutely! Since my wife has passed away, Mike has taken on the ‘idea’ role.

NC: Can we discuss the 7-marathons in 7-days on 7-continents?

RF: Mikes’ idea again! The New York marathon club considered themselves the best marathon club in the world. The only non New Yorker as part of this group was Dr Mike Stroud. They swore him to silence that they thought it may be possible to run 7-marathons on 7-continents in 7-days. Mike kept his word and 2-years later, Mike approached American Airlines and they said they couldn’t schedule the flights. (You need jumbo jets and 5-hours in each continent.) Delta said they couldn’t do it. United said they couldn’t do it and now 6-years had passed. It was 2003 and Mike had still kept the secret. I called Mike in 2003 about another expedition. He said great, I’ll ask the boss. They told him he could only have 1-week’s holiday as he taken so much time already. Mike phoned me and said, I can’t do your expedition but I want you to do mine! So, Mike asked me to contact British Airways and within 2-months they phoned back and said they had cracked it! They said we had to finish with New York and not Asia. Asia would need to be in the middle. Also, if we were a minute late ever they would fly without us. They wouldn’t keep passengers waiting. So, they provided 2 free first class beds and food (this was our only opportunity to rest) and yes, it was all systems go! It all went well to Argentina. We were suppose to be running on King George Island (Shetland), the night before we were due to run the ‘Argies’ blocked the landing on King George with their own planes. So we had a team meeting, Mike and myself, BBC news, a reporter from The Times and a photographer: 6-people in total. When we suddenly arrived the whole thing had been cocked up, the BBC bloke said, “I’ve got a very good friend in Santiago, I will ring him now and get him here and he will fly us to one of the other Antarctic Islands.” So we had to run one of the South American marathons locally. That night we ran a marathon and we had officials to make sure we ran an official marathon in 3:45, which was extremely stupid. The next morning we get on this plane without a worry of which island we would go to. Apparently the only island to run on would be the Falklands. You may know, but you are not supposed to fly from Argentina to the Falklands without 6-months notice. So we slept on the plane. Mike woke me up and we looked out of the plane window. We had two Tornado jets on either side of us… they made us do a force landing on a military airstrip on the Falklands. We were marched to the CO who was furious. He told us we had no permission and that we could all face prison. At this point, one of the reporters went forward and said, “Did they realise that the news and the papers would make this not look good for the army!” There was a fairly quick turnaround…

“You can run your 26. something miles locally and we will watch them every step of the way,” The CO said.

They never saw us off. Funny really.

NC: This seems extremely stressful. Running, logistics, last min changes and so on.

RF: The BBC and The Times did all that for us.

NC: Yes, but it must have been stressful.

RF: The 7x7x7 challenge was sponsored by Land Rover and they did everything for us. It was incredible. They did all the work for us and they had cars waiting for us at anytime. Land Rover and British Airways made this all possible. They had the contacts.

NC: Before the 7-challenge you had a heart attack and a double bypass. It’s amazing that you would undertake this.

RF: I was on a drip for 3-days and nights, they decided to cut me open and do a double bypass. They just decided to do this! It took 13 attempts to revive me after they sewed me up. When I woke up my late wife said, “Ran you had a heart attack 3-days ago” but I still can’t remember anything!

NC: You aborted your most recent expedition, is that the end of cold journeys for you now?

RF: We aborted the crossing but we kept the team (all 5 of them) not Mike and not me through frostbite, but we kept all the team for 8-months at 11,000 feet above sea level doing scientific work on each other. It has delighted the Royal Society and all the scientists, we raised 2.3 million dollars for blindness in Bangladesh and I went with Joanna Lumley to Bangladesh to see what they were doing with the money. For £19 they could remove cataracts from babies. Quite remarkable! For £9 they could provide spectacles to children. This means they can go to school and have opportunities in the future. We really need charity PR people to get behind us, the more money we make, the more people we can benefit.

NC: What does the future hold for you?

RF: Well, I am not allowed to talk about this until I get the nod, but I will be going to Marathon des Sables in 2015. And I am also writing another book. One book actually came out last week.

Marie Curie Logo

Get involved and support Sir Ranulph! Text RUN and a message of support to 70007 to donate £5, or you can visit his Just Giving page here:http://bit.ly/1xUB298

Find out more about Sir Ranulph and his Marathon des Sables challenge:http://bit.ly/1wvffi8

NC: Can you tell me about Agincourt, your most recent book?

Agincourt

 

Book on Amazon HERE

RF: A historian would normally write a book like Agincourt… but it turns out that I am related to Robert Fiennes from the village of Fiennes in the Pas de Calais.

NC: What an amazing story?

Niandi speaks French to Sir Ranulph and he is taken aback. He also speaks French and they enter into a short dialogue. 

Sir Ranulph comments that he could hear an accent in Niandi’s voice but not French! Niandi explains that she is South African born…

NC: So you lived in South Africa?

RF: Yes, my relatives live in South Africa. I spent the first 12-years of my life in SA.

Anyway, we digress. I decided to go to Fiennes and find my French cousins. They were wiped out at the battle of Agencourt and I found out how. One of them was part of an 18-strong commando group with the specific aim of killing King Henry V in the battle. One of them, maybe not Robert Fiennes, got to knocking the crown of his head… Two of King Henry V’s generals, one was a sheriff of Kent in Sussex. He was corrupt man; so corrupt that Henry V1 made him into the Chancellor of the Exchequer. When soldiers came back from France, 20,000 of them attacked London. The King gave the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the mob and they killed him… nasty business!

NC: I guess we are going to have to read the book. Sounds like a fascinating story. Looking at modern day adventurers, what are your thoughts on Uli Steck and Kilian Jornet?

RF: Uli is amazing, incredible… I do not understand how you can go up the Eiger in 2-hours or something ridiculous like that. He is unbelievably amazing. Both of them are just incredible.

NC: And what about your new book, what is it called?

RF: My new book will be called HEAT. Nice contrast to my other book, COLD.

“Physically I’m going to be a wreck pretty quickly.” But these challenges are fought in the mind, he says. “There’ll be a voice in my head saying I’ll have a heart attack, I’ll get hyperthermia, I’ve got a family, it’s stupid to carry on. That sort of wimpish voice tries to appear logical, finding reasons for stopping. You have to fight it. I’ve had it so many times.”

-BBC News, Tom de Castella

 

Cold

On Amazon HERE

Sir Ranulph Fiennes will participate at the 2015 Marathon des Sables. An announcememt will be made on January 8th. We hope to have follow up interviews with Sir Ranulph to help document this exciting journey.

*****

AWARDS

In 1970, Fiennes received the Sultan’s Bravery Medal.

He has also been awarded a number of honorary doctorates, in 1986, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2011

Fiennes received the Royal Geographical Society’s Founder’s Medal.

Fiennes was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993 for “human endeavour and for charitable services”

In 1986 Fiennes was awarded the Polar Medal for “outstanding service to British Polar exploration and research.”

In 1994 he was awarded a second clasp to the Polar Medal, having visited both poles.

In 2010 Justgiving named Fiennes as the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser, after raising more than £2.5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

In September 2011 Fiennes was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Science from Plymouth University and

In July 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Glamorgan.

In October 2014 it was announced that Fiennes would receive an honorary Doctorate of Science, from the University of Chester, in recognition of “outstanding and inspirational contribution to the field of exploration”. 

*****

Links and credits:

‘I am not a madman’

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2007/oct/05/features11.g21

Fiennes climbs to Everest summit

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8060649.stm

Ranulph Fiennes pulls out of Antarctic journey

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/25/ranulph-fiennes-antarctic-journey/1946571/?AID=10709313&PID=6156889&SID=w7wk81lnnmpn

The world’s greatest living explorer

http://www.militaryspeakers.co.uk/speakers/sir-ranulph-fiennes.aspx

Interview with TIME

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1900969,00.html?imw=Y

Ranulph Fiennes – Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulph_Fiennes

Who, What, Why: Is it harder to run in the Sahara Desert or the North Pole?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-30716727

Faces of Nepal – limited edition book

1

Due to popular demand I have produced a limited edition small landscape book (13cm x 10cm) on my photography undertaken on a recent working trip to Nepal to photograph the Everest Trail Race.

FACES of NEPAL

Is very much fuelled by a passion for photography, the intrinsic beauty in every single persons face and of course the magic of Nepal.

“Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.” 
― Dan Thompson, Following Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas

Printed on 200gm paper on 24-pages with a super gloss finish. The book is hard bound and will last a lifetime. Only 30-books have been printed and all books can be signed (if requested) on the inside front cover with a personal message.

PRICE

£20.00 plus £2 UK postage or £5 postage outside the UK

To order

In the footsteps of Hillary on RUNULTRA

The Footsteps of Hillary

“I see a woman carrying wood to her home. I stop her and ask for a photograph. Without hesitation she stops, looks me in the eye and patiently waits while I work my craft. Her face is leathered, full of lines and adorned with gold jewelry. She is beautiful. I can’t even remotely pinpoint her age but her face tells me a multitude of stories. Each line an experience. A story of laughter, a story of childhood and I am sure many stories of hardship.”

Read the full article on RUNULTRA HERE

run-ultra-logo

Faces of Nepal

©iancorless.com_Nepal2014_7-1013#ETRkathmandu

“Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.” 
― Dan Thompson, Following Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas

 

© copyright iancorless.com – no reproduction please

Everest Trail Race #ETR2014 Day 6 Image Gallery

©iancorless.com_Nepal2014_9-3348

Race Summary for Stage 6 HERE