CYCLING for RUNNERS – The Introduction

 

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Welcome to CYCLING for RUNNERS in conjunction with Scott Sports

Over the coming months and year, Ian Corless and Niandi Carmont in conjunction with SCOTT SPORTS will bring you CYCLING FOR RUNNERS.

Ian, Niandi and a series of special guests will provide you with a series of articles from a male and female perspective on how cycling can benefit you as a runner.

Providing simple and clear information, we will write about our experiences, we will tell you about equipment, provide hints and tips and most importantly, we will provide you with a series of training plans that you can incorporate week by week, month by month to make you a better runner through cycling.

We know 3-types of runner:

  1. The runner who is injured
  2. The runner who is recovering from injury
  3. And thirdly, the runner who is about to be injured

Of course, we joke, but many of you will agree there is some real truth in the joke. Running is not bad for you, however, taken to extremes or if rushed, the impact of repetition can damage and break us. Sometimes a couple of easy days are all we need and then we are able to resume full training. But as often happens, a couple of easy days may not be enough and our eagerness to push and get back to full training causes us to take risks and then the inevitable happens, we break!

Don’t get us wrong. If you want to be a good runner, you need to run. However, we don’t always thing big miles, double day runs or running everyday is necessary. It’s all about balance and ultimately what level we are running at and what our objectives are. As we see it, runners fall into four distinct groups:

  • Group 1: Weight loss/ recreational runner
  • Group 2: Budding enthusiast
  • Group 3: Good age group runner
  • Group 4: Elite/ pro or top-level runner

We could break the groups down again but ultimately, for the purposes of explanation, these four groups will suffice.

Group 1 runner’s will run typically three times a week (maybe four) and they will run twice in the week and once at weekend. During the week they will train from 20-60min and at the weekend they will extend their running beyond an hour. Mileage will be 30-50 miles per week.

Group 2 are pretty dedicated and savvy accumulating three to four runs during the week and running once or twice at the weekend. Sunday will typically be a long run of 90+ min and on Tuesday and maybe Thursday they will add some speed or strength running. Mileage will be 50-75 miles per week.

Group 3 runner’s are very similar to group 2, however, they are running six days a week, they double up runs on a couple of days and at weekend they may do back-to-back longer runs. Mileage will hover around 80-miles per week.

Group 4 are pushing the envelope, they run twice a day, four to five days a week and run long, fast and high during the weekend. They typically hover around 100-miles per week.

We generalise above and of course we will be able to find extremes in all the scenarios. However, the four groups provide a picture. We think the risk of injury is high for all the groups and relatively equal. Why?

Well, group 1 for example will be less experienced (typically) and will have less run history and therefore although the time on feet is less, the percentage risk is high based on experience.

Group 4 by contrast will have loads of experience, they have been involved in sports for years and they are knowledgeable. Risk comes for them from volume and because they are often on the edge looking for small performance gains.

For us, this is where cycling for runners can come in!

Cycling provides a great low impact exercise that can be done in or outdoors, it can be very controlled and importantly it can be as easy or as hard as you like.

Yes, if you want to be a great runner, you need to run. BUT cycling can add to your running and not take away from it…

Just think, how many of you have said, ‘I am just popping out for an easy run!’

Is there such a thing as an ‘easy run?’

In terms of effort, yes! For sure, you can run slow, easy and controlled keeping your heart rate down, keeping your cadence light and just tick-over. But, you are still in contact with the ground. You are still ‘impacting’ with the surface beneath you and you are still passing your body weight through all your muscles, tendons and joints. Recovery runs are not about fitness, they are about loosening off and in many cases, we use recovery runs just to make us feel better. So, why not incorporate some cycling as active recovery?

Long runs can really impact on your body. Hours of running adapt you to the demands that will be placed on you when you race but sometimes we will run the risk of pushing too far and risking injury. Long bike rides on hilly terrain for example can be used to provide multiple hours of low impact exercise. Hours where you can push harder than running without the risk of damaging knees, muscles and ligaments. If incorporated with long runs, you have a great way to do back-to-back sessions while reducing impact injury risk.

Speed can damage our fragile bodies, particularly our muscles and tendons. However, run speed work incorporated with cycling speed work can stress the aerobic system and it will stretch us physically and mentally in new ways.

Hill reps provide great aerobic stress pushing us to our threshold limits, however, what goes up, must come down. Often, it is the running downhill that causes damage. Of course, we need to train for this in running, it’s important. However, cycling hill reps incorporated into a structured training plan can provide a great stimulus that will progress your fitness level and once again, the impact implications are low.

Finally, cycling can just be a blast. It’s a great way to head out and see a new place; arguably, we can cover more distance in less time on a bike. If nothing else, cycling may well just provide you with a well-earned break from running. Cycling will freshen your mind, it will freshen your body and I guarantee, your running will improve.

Part one of cycling for runners will be released on Wednesday October 1st and we will look at the basics to get you started:

  • The bike.
  • How to ensure you have a good fit.
  • Dos and Don’ts of cycling.
  • And we will list 5-points why cycling can make YOU a better runner.
Philipp Reiter Cycling

Philipp Reiter Cycling

To kick things off, Salomon International athlete, Philipp Reiter will also give us his thoughts on why cycling works for him as a trail, mountain and ultra runner.

Stay tuned.

Join us on STRAVA

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Thanks to SCOTT SPORTS for the support and backing

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Check out SCOTT HERE

CYCLING for RUNNERS PAGE HERE

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Grand to Grand Ultra 2013

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North America’s first and only self-supported stage race. Grand to Grand Ultra is a 268 km (167 mile) foot-race from the edge of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, to the Grand Staircase. Competitors cross a variety of terrain — sand dunes, slot canyons, mesas, buttes and hoodoos — over six stages in seven days.

In just over a week the race will be underway. An exciting and inspirational journey for all those involved, starting on 22nd September and finishing on 28 September, 2013. The course covers approx 167 miles (268 km) over 6 stages in 7 days.

Participants will encounter a mix of desert and other terrain including hard packed sand, soft sand, sand dunes, forest trails, shallow river crossings, rocky roads and slot canyons. The starting line is situated at the north rim of the Grand Canyon with breathtaking vistas at an altitude of 5203 feet (1586 meters). Campsite 1, which is your campsite on the evening before the start of the race, is close by.

The finish line is on the summit of the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase and provides participants with a rewarding view back over the course that you will have just completed. From an altitude of 9030 feet (2752 meters), look back over the cliffs and enjoy the most amazing panoramic landscape of your journey framed by hoodoos and two billion year old rock formations

Throughout the course, you will trek by geological mesas, buttes and cliffs and enter into a series of unique canyons, hollows and valleys. Part of the long stage will have you cross the majestic coral pink sand dunes. You will cross a tributary of the Virgin River, which you will follow before taking you into an isolated slot canyon. Keep an eye out for wildlife and flora along the route including the endangered California Condors, big horn sheep, mule deer and unique cacti.

Be prepared for a unique experience which few people on earth will ever see, never mind hike and run through.

I will ba attending the Grand to Grand for the first four days and I will be capturing images and reporting back stories. Pretty sure it is going to be a great experience!

RUNshots – an inspired run image a day

Runshots

 

Everyday, an inspired run image straight into your inbox.

Follow at: www.runshots.com

Twitter at: @runshots

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Leadville 100 – Men’s Race Summary

Did you read the script for the 2013 men’s Leadville 100? It went something like this…

2011 winner, Ryan Sandes would return fired up for victory after missing Western States due to injury. Ryan, the outright favorite would be pushed by Ultra legend, Scott Jurek. Scott after a few years away from competitive running would return to the 100-mile distance and push for the win. Mike Aish, fast man from New Zealand would learn lessons from his 2012 blow up and contend for the podium. A race within the race would continue with Grand Slam leaders, Ian Sharman and Nick Clark would push each other to the limits racing the third 100 in seven weeks but due to added fatigue would not contend for the podium!

So how did I think the race would pan out? Well, I thought Aish would take the lead relatively early on. Using his natural speed he would gain a gap and then spend much of the first half of the race looking behind him…  Ryan Sandes and Scott Jurek would match each other stride for stride all the way to Hope Pass and then the race would start. They would pick up pacers and then Sandes would slowly move away, catch Aish, move past and then Jurek would pursue. In the process Aish would blow but not enough to stop the race. With Jurek in second place, Sharman and Clark would now pursue. They would both catch Aish and Clark would move away and reduce some of his time gap on Sharman and thus making the final race in the ‘Slam’ a really exciting nail biter. The podium would be Sandes, Jurek and Clark.

Well, you may as well rip that script up. The race is done and what a race. What initially appeared to be a race with very few surprises up at the front end, it actually turned into a really exciting nail biter and it just goes to show that the 100-mile distance and in particular, those that race the distance can never be counted on for being predictable.

The Race

With a 0400 start, the early pace was steady. However, at May Queen, mile 13.5 a lone Ian Sharman was in the lead by just under two minutes with all the main contenders chasing. Wasn’t Sharman supposed to be a little tired? This was his third 100n in seven weeks… either he knew something that we didn’t or he was on a suicide mission.

At mile 22 ‘Powerline’ we got back on script with Mike Aish taking the lead. He was alone and out in front. That’s more like it. We are back on prediction and this race is settling nicely.

Behind Aish the chasers had fragmented a little but we had no big surprises, well, no big surprises other than Scott Jurek was a little further back than expected, but with less than 25% of the race done, this was surely the experience of a master of his craft keeping calm.

Aish continued to push and at Twin Lakes he was 10 minutes inside Matt Carpenter’s CR split. Okay, we started to ask the question, how much had Aish learnt from his blow up in 2012 and were we about to witness and incredible performance? When second place arrived, Aish had an eighteen-minute lead. Wow, this was getting exciting.

It was early days but at 40-miles of the Leadville course covered and Aish having a commanding lead of approximately twenty minutes over Sandes, Sharman, Clark, Jurek, Catalano and so on, a counter move was going to need to come or Aish was going to need to slow.

At Hopeless Pass, mile 44.5 signs of fatigue started to show on Aish. Sandes, Clark and Sharman had closed to within fifteen minutes. The big news here came from Scott Jurek; he was thirty-four mins down on Aish and although in sixth place was obviously struggling. The pre race script was starting to be rewritten.

Winfield and the 50-mile turn point. A key moment in the race and an opportunity for runners to collect pacers. Of course, the other big advantage here is that you get an opportunity to look at the gaps between runners and also how they look. Sharman arrived in second place and had closed to within eleven minutes of Aish. Clark arrived five minutes after Sharman and the news came that Ryan Sandes was dropping from the race. He was in severe hip and back pain and took the wise choice to retire. It was a sad moment for Ryan, his 2012 season was incredible and 2013 has been plagued by problems. Ryan sent me a message; “I have had some bad luck the last few months. Never nice to DNF but was hobbling with my back …. Getting old;) thanks for all.” Of course, Ryan will be back and his decision to drop without doubt is the best long-term decision.

Scott Jurek was now in fifth place and just under thirty minutes behind Sharman. Were we going to witness a classic Jurek comeback?

Returning through Hopeless AS at mile 55.5, Sharman had closed to within six minutes of Aish. Was it really possible that Sharman and Clark racing the third 100 in seven weeks would contend the top slot at Leadville?

At mile 60, Aish and Sharman were together, Clark was third and Jurek was fourth fifty-five minutes back. The 2013 Leadville 100 was turning into an epic race and of course, we had the race within the race for the Grand Slam.

Returning to Half Pipe at mile 70, Sharman had taken the lead, Clark was second 16.5 minutes in arrears and Aish was third and obviously paying for his early efforts. We know had a scenario that in all reality, I had not anticipated. Of course Sharman and Clark had every possibility of winning Leadville but not during the Grand Slam with tired bodies. Would we really see these two battle it out?

At Half Pipe, Aish rested for fourteen minutes. Yes, fourteen minutes. I suppose the luxury of his time gap of Jurek allowed for this and the pace of Sharman and Clark made him realize he was fighting for third.

With twenty miles to go, Clark was just under seventeen minutes behind Sharman. It was all to play for… twenty miles is a long with eighty miles in tired legs.

May Queen, mile 86,5 and Clark had closed a little, the gap was just under fifteen minutes. Armed with the news, Sharman dug deep pushed, he later said on twitter, “Thank you everyone for all the messages. Overwhelmed by the responses about ‪#‎LT100. Hurt like hell at the end.”

At the finish, a victorious Ian Sharman crossed the line in 16:30. He had opened up his gap on Nick Clark by thirty-three minutes. Mike Aish most definitely had learnt from his 2012 experience and held on for third.

It was an incredible race and I need to give huge credit to Bryon Powell and the iRunFar team for providing the step-by-step action via twitter.

I wouldn’t normally write such a detailed account about a race that I had not attended, but the action that unfolded in Leadville may well turn out to be one of those iconic races we all remember. To see two runners, Sharman and Clark, perform at such a high level when so far into the Grand Slam is inspirational. In addition, it also provides a lesson for us all. A 100-miles is a long way, anything can happen and no matter how we think a race may unfold, every now and again, the book gets thrown out of the window and we are treated to an inspiring and iconic race. In addition, Mike Aish also showed that taking a break to recoup and recharge is no bad thing, his fourteen-minute break did him no harm and he still made the podium.

Many congratulations to all.

Attention now turns to final race in the Grand Slam, Wasatch. It will only take Ian Sharman to have a so, so day and for Nick to be flying… exciting!

I will be catching up with Nick for the next episode of Talk Ultra so make sure you check out Episode 42 out on Friday 23rd August.

What is the Grand Slam?

The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning award is recognition for those who complete four of the oldest 100 mile trail runs in the U.S. The “Slam” consists of officially finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year. The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award was established in 1986, when Tom Green was the first finisher.

Results:

MEN

  1. Ian Sharman 16:30 (4th fastest time)
  2. Nick Clark 17:06
  3. Mike Aish 18:28
  4. Kyle Pietari 18:37
  5. Andrew Catalano 18:43
  6. Timo Meyer 19:04
  7. Eric Sullivan 19:17
  8. Scott Jurek 19:21
  9. Bob Africa 19:38
  10. Javier Montero 19:45

LADIES

  1. Ashley Arnold 20:25
  2. Saheen Sattar 22:42
  3. Keila Merino 22:47
  4. Katrin Silva 23:16
  5. Becca Hall 23:43
  6. Kara Henry 23:50
  7. Abby Mcqueeney Menamonte 24:06
  8. Maddy Hribar 24:24
  9. Nicole Struder 24:25
  10. Maggie Nelson 24:37

Sierre-Zinal Race Preview 2013

©copyright .iancorless.com.iancorless.orgSierre Zinal 1sirrezinalIt’s a birthday year for this iconic mountain race. 40 years! To celebrate, the race organisation have invited many a past winner.

Considered to be one of the finest mountain races in the world. It was once written that it is to mountain races what the New York Marathon is to marathons. It is the oldest mountain race found in its category in Europe’s mountains.

The location is incredible. Of all the races I attended in 2012, Sierre-Zinal left some incredible memories… you see, the Zinal basin is just an incredible place. Also called, ‘the Race of Five 4000m Peaks’ when you stand in Zinal, look to the Matterhorn, you fully appreciate why. It is quite stunning.

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Sierre-Zinal, which takes place in the heart of Valais’ Alps, offers its participants a significant challenge: distance – 31 km, 2200m ascent and 800m descent. Incredible scenery, a warm atmosphere and exceptional organisation explain the success and longevity of this challenge.

As Jonathan Wyatt (record holder of both Sierre-Zinal and the Jungfrau Marathon, as well as a multiple world mountain racing champion) wrote, ‘As a mountain racer you must experience the tradition and history of this race.’

The course records are held by Jonathan Wyatt at 2:29:12 set in 2003 and Anna Pichrtova 2:54:26 set in 2008. If anyone fancies breaking a record in 2013, it would be a great pay day! A CR and a win this weekend, would earn the lucky person 3,000 Swiss Francs.

Legendary Pablo Vigil is a special guest this year. He participated and won the race years back and has become an ambassador for the race and has been instrumental in ensuring a strong American contingent at the race, for example, Stevie Kremer may very well have not participated in 2012 had it not been for Pablo.

This years race, as in any year will have names missing and I guess the big omission will be Marco De Gasperi. He is choosing to race in Italy. So, who will be lining up from the impressive 40-year history of the race?

MEN

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Despite Kilian Jornet telling me he was having a rest post Trans D’Havet so that he could prepare for his Matterhorn Summits attempt and the ISF Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks later in August, it would appear the proximity to Zinal is just too much temptation for him. So, he will make the trip from Cervinia and line up in Sierre for what he says will be a ‘fun’ run. Read into that what you will. When I see Kilian’s name on a start sheet he always must be considered for the podium… however, he may just kick back and enjoy the day. Read my interview with Kilian HERE

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Sage Canaday is travelling to the race after a strong victory at Speedgoat 50k and although he will be new to the course, I have to think it will suit him. He will need to ensure that he is near  the front in the early stages for the long climb, but once up, the course flattens and he will be able to open up and let his natural speed do the work. If he has a good day and is pushed, we may well see a new course record.

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Max King has raced at Sierre-Zinal before and from memory he didn’t have a great race. He was around 20th and I think the European style of racing was just too different from what he was used to. However, he is a very different person now. In actual fact, Max raced at the 2012 Zegama-Aizkorri, however, that race was as problematic as his 2011 Sierre-Zinal. It’s a tough call for Max. Definitely top 10 potential and of course he has all the ability to be on the podium. But will he get over the European demons?

Course record holder, Jonathan Wyatt is back at the race and although his pedigree and his history elevates him to a high-profile within the race, one has to wonder how he will perform against top-level competition who are some years younger than him. He still runs and races regularly, but as he told me in Chamonix, it is for fun. We will see ‘Jono’ figure for sure… his ability will set him apart from so many other runners but I think the podium is an option.

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Tofol Castanyer is finding form after early season injury issues and recently placed 2nd at Giir di Mont. Like Kilian, he will also race at Matterhorn Ultraks. This race won’t tire or affect his Matterhorn performance so we can expect him to run hard and that can only really mean one thing, a podium place is without doubt in his grasp.

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Rickey Gates also raced at Giir di Mont and placed just behind Tofol. He is obviously finding form after a slightly problematic Ice Trail Tarentaise. Sierre-Zinal will suit him and his speed.

Cesar Costa has finished 2nd at Sierre-Zinal three times, he knows the course like the back of his hand and in the 40th edition will most certainly want to move one place up the podium for the win. He will without doubt be a favourite. Local knowledge and being slightly under the radar to the American runners will play into his hands. He will push hard and for sure, top 3 is an expectation.

Vajin Armstrong from New Zealand has been in Europe for some time. Sage Canaday for sure will be well aware of what this man can do after racing each other at Tarawera in New Zealand earlier this year. Vajin has speed and considering he has had some great results recently: 2nd at Zugspitz behind Philipp Reiter, 2nd at the K78 Swiss Alpine Marathon, one can’t help but think that he will shake things up and turn some heads at the finish in Zinal.

LADIES

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It all started 12 months ago and the progression has been incredible. Stevie Kremer lined up at Sierre-Zinal completely blown away by the competition and experience that surrounded. Cut to the finish of the race and she was 2nd on the podium. What has followed is a meteoric race in the sport and without doubt, Stevie comes to the 2013 Sierre-Zinal race as my outright favourite. Listen to my recent interview with Stevie HERE

Ladies Winner

Aline Camboulives won the race in 2012. She has experience and ability and for sure, I see her on the podium. But I think Stevie has moved on and has the all the potential to take the race to Aline and not only push her to the finish but to go past her.

Megan Lund is a name I am familiar with but in all honesty, I know little about her. Stevie Kremer has told me that she has great potential and is one to watch on this course. I am aware that she won the race in 2010 but her European performances are few and far between. She has had a baby and as Stevie said, don’t you come back stronger after a baby!?

Ladies Podium

Celine Lafaye has been up at the front of all the Skyrunning races and I don’t see Sierre being any different. She has all the ability and potential to win this race and if she has a good day, she will push Stevie at the front of the race.

Local lady, Maud Mathys finished 3rd last year and will come to the race knowing full well that Stevie is the one to watch. I anticipate she will keep as close to Stevie as possible and try to pull something out of the bag in the latter stages of the race. However, she was five minutes behind Stevie in 2012 and Stevie has moved on. Has Maud progressed at the same level?

Lizzy Hawker

Lizzy Hawker turned up and ran literally at the last minute in 2012. Once again she will toe the line in 2013. I anticipate a top 10 finish but not the podium. Like last year, she will use this as a prep race for her attempt at another UTMB title. Lizzy has also had injury issues and although UTMB is only weeks away, she is still on the road back!

Zhana Vokueva will also be looking to push at the front of the race. She recently raced in the Dolomites at the Skyrunning European Championships but it wasn’t a great weekend for her. She will be looking to get back into form and for sure, would like to repeat or go better than her 5th place in 2012.

Stephanie Howe has just won Speedgoat 50k and like Sage Canaday, that has got to be a great boost going into this race. If she has recovered well from Speedgoat, Stephanie may well be the person to push Stevie all the way to the finish. It will be interesting to see what unfolds.

Finally, 2001 Sierre-Zinal champ and GB mountain running legend, Angela Mudge will toe the line. She has recently raced at a very high level and with some impressive results. I see Angela being a dark horse to the new runners who will know her name but may well dismiss her due to her lack of high profile racing of late.

Without doubt it will be an exciting men’s and ladies race.

Links:

Sierre-Zinal website HERE

Episode 41 – Kremer, Clark, Mills, Whitehead

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Episode 41 of Talk Ultra – We speak to Stevie Kremer 12 months on after she burst on the Skyrunning scene with a 2nd at Sierre-Zinal. We have 15 mins of fame with double leg amputee, Richard Whitehead. An interview with Lakeland 100 winner, Stuart Mills. A catch up with Nick Clark on the Grand Slam of ultra. Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg. The news, a blog, up and coming races. Marc is back for Talk Training and of course, Speedgoat co hosts!

00:07:30 NEWS

Speedgoat 50k

  1. Sage Canaday  5:08:07
  2. Anton Krupicka  5:09:36
  3. Jason Schlarb 5:19:34
  4. Max King 5:29:02
  5. Justin Yates  5:42:24
  6. Luke Nelson  5:47:09
  7. Timothy Olson  5:47:10
  8. Jason Loutitt  5:49:35
  9. Michael Barlow  5:53:37
  10. Ryan Smith  5:53:51
  1. Stephanie Howe  6:17:02 
  2. Jodee Adams-Moore  6:18:06
  3. Ruby Muir   6:25:54
  4. Emma Roca  6:41:21
  5. Krissy Moehl  6:43:54
  6. Becky Wheeler  6:48:43
  7. Silke Koester  6:52:16
  8. Erica Baron  6:55:46
  9. Anita Ortiz 7:02:18
  10. Francesca Canepa  7:05:14

Stockholm 100k

Steve Way 6:40:14, Linus Holmsater 7:24:18 and Frijof Fagerlund 7:29:01

Trans D’Havet

Men

  1. Kilian Jornet (Spain) 08:59:47
  2. Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain) 08:59:49
  3. Casaba Nemeth (Hungary) 09:43:25

Ladies:

  1. Emelie Forsberg (Sweden) 10:21:32
  2. Nuria Picas (Spain) 10:33:34
  3. Uxue Fraile (Spain) 10:34:20

Lakeland 100

  1. Stuart Mills 22:17:50
  2. Charlie Sharpe 23:02:45
  3. Ed Batty 23:07:40
  1. Lizzie Wraith 24:15:06 (smashed old CR)
  2. Debbie Martin Consani 26:02:00,
  3. Julie Gardner 28:16:47

Lakeland 50

  1. Ben Abdelnoor 7:39:26
  2. Riichard Ashton 8:20:58
  3. Robin Houghton 8:33:30
  1. Katherine Brougham 9:44:10
  2. Alice Briscoe 10:35:42
  3. Rachel Ball 10:43:43

WMRA – 10. WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running

Mitjia Kosovelj won Andrew Davies from Wales 2nd and Ionut Zinca 3rd

Antonella Confortola won Omella Ferrara 2nd and Anna Celisnska 3rd. Have to give a shout out to Claire Gordon from Scotland who was 4th and Anna Lupton from England who was 5th

Hal Koerner and Wolfe – FKT on JMT -HERE 

Ann Trason to run a 100 in September – Idaho Mountain Trail Ultra Festival – HERE

Now the iconic Sierre-Zinal is coming up this weekend. I remember being at this race last year… pre race I got chatting to this shy girl who just seemed a little uncomfortable being surrounded by some of the best in the world. Needless to say, this shy girl performed out of her skin and finished second on the podium. One year on, I catch up with Stevie Kremer and find out what the last 12 months have been like and what the future holds.

00:42:38 INTERVIEW Stevie Kremer

01:16:20 BLOG

We have given Stuart Mills, the Lakeland 100 winner plenty of coverage this week with a long interview, however, his interview does go very much hand-in-hand with his blog… so, this weeks blog is ultrastu.blogspot.co.uk

You can read his very unique and in-depth analysis of how he races. Word of warning… make yourself a coffee. It’s a long one!

Blog HERE

01:17:00 15 MIN OF FAME with Richard Whitehead – http://www.richardwhiteheadrunsbritain.com/

HERE

01:32:40 TALK TRAINING – Marc Laithwaite is back after a busy couple of months. Not only has he been training for an Ironman but also he is the RD for the Lakeland 50 and 100.

01:57:55 SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsberg – smilesandmiles@yahoo.com

02:20:40 INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Brit, Stuart Mills. Stuart as you will hear has a very unusual approach to running… or should I say, training and racing. Without doubt it works! Just the other week, Stuart once again won the Lakeland 100 for a second time. In this in-depth interview we discuss everything. I am sure you will find it fascinating.

03:23:30 MELTZER MOMENT – It’s good, good, good this week

03:29:52 CLARKY’S CORNER – It’s two down and two to go for Clarky and the other ‘Slammers’. Leadville is just around the corner. We catch up with Nick, discuss how Vermont went and what lies ahead…

03:44:22 RACES

Belgium

Trail des Fantômes – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Arc’teryx Squamish 50 | 50 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

Arc’teryx Squamish 50K | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Ontario

Iroquoia Trail Test – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Quebec

XV de la Vallée- Trans Vallée | 66 kilometers | August 16, 2013 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Ultra Marathon Bornholm | 100 kilometers | August 11, 2013 | website

France

Hautes-Pyrénées

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Isère

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Savoie

Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Trail du Galibier | 55 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 69 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Berlin

100MeilenBerlin | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Ireland

Ulster

Quadrathon | 169 kilometers | August 15, 2013 | website

Kenya

Kenya Highlands Race | 75 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Mongolia

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Sweden

Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2013 | website

Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 70 km | 70 kilometers | August 16, 2013 | website

Trans Scania | 246 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Switzerland

Grisons

Swiss Irontrail T141 | 136 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Swiss Irontrail T201 | 201 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Swiss Irontrail T71 | 66 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Trail Marathon 70 KM | 70 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Obwald

MOUNTAINMAN full | 80 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Vaud

Ultra Trail du Barlatay | 81 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

United Kingdom

England

ashmei 33 Mile Trail Run | 33 miles | August 18, 2013 | website

North Downs Way 100 | 100 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

USA

Alaska

Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 09, 2013 | website

Resurrection Pass 50 Mile Ultra Trail | 50 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

California

Rattlesnake 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Run-de-Vous 100M | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Run-de-Vous 50M | 50 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Run on the Sly 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Colorado

GORE-TEX TransRockies Run – Run3 | 59 miles | August 13, 2013 | website

GORE-TEX TransRockies Run – TRR6 | 120 miles | August 13, 2013 | website

Leadville Trail 100 Run | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Michigan

Marquette Trail 50 Kilometer | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Marquette Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Minnesota

Ragnar Relay Great River | 200 miles | August 16, 2013 | website

Nevada

Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight 51 km | 51 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

New Jersey

Wildcat Ridge Romp 100k | 100 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Wildcat Ridge Romp 50k | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Wildcat Ridge Romp 50M | 50 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

New York

Beast of Burden Summer 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Oregon

Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Utah

Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run | 100 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Vermont

100on100 Heart of Vermont Relay | 100 miles | August 18, 2013 | website

Washington

Angels Staircase 50K | 50 kilometers | August 11, 2013 | website

Angels Staircase 60K | 60 kilometers | August 11, 2013 | website

Wyoming

El Vaquero Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

03:46:44 CLOSE

03:51:01

LINKS

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Website – talkultra.com

 

 

Marathon des Sables – Running Fitness

MDS spread 1

 

MDS spread 2Very pleased to have a four page spread in the September edition of Running Fitness on the Marathon des Sables. Please support the magazine by purchasing a copy in your local store for £2.99 or online at http://www.runningfitnessmag.com

 

Stuart Mills – Lakeland 100

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By 2013 race winner, Stuart Mills

The MONTANE® Lakeland 100 is widely regarded as the ‘premier’ ultra trail race in the UK.  2013 was the event’s sixth year and the third time that I had run it.  On my first attempt in 2010, I managed to win in a time of 24:10:54.  When I returned in 2012, although I ran twenty five minutes quicker, finishing in 23:45:48, the standard of UK ultra trail racing during the two year gap had improved significantly and I only managed to finish in fifth place.  So coming into this year’s race, although I was satisfied with my preparation and was therefore expecting to race quicker than 2012, what my finish position would be was totally unknown.

#The variety of pacing strategies adopted by ultra trail athletes during a 100 mile race is huge.  Some prefer to start slowly, progressively working their way through the field.  Others adopt a consistent pace approach and attempt to run steady throughout the entire race.  Me?  I have a simple pacing approach; “Run as fast as I can, while I can!”  I therefore start extremely fast while I am fresh and feeling strong and then simply try to ‘hang on’ and not let too many runners overtake me.  This approach was therefore implemented at 6:00pm on Friday 26th July 2013, as the race commenced at Coniston in warm, sunny conditions.  Take a look at the data in the image gallery above this report which illustrates the amazingly large variation in pacing strategies adopted by the leading runners.

iancorless.orgIancorless045#Although the race is called the MONTANE® Lakeland 100, it is actually 105 miles in length, split into fifteen legs, where one is able to refuel and rehydrate at the checkpoint at the end of each leg.  Even though I was running probably ‘ridiculously’ fast, I arrived at the first checkpoint at Seathwaite in second place around one minute behind the lead runner, Ken Sutor.  Following a short stop where within an instant I had consumed a cup of water at the checkpoint, the two of us left together and continued to run extremely fast, especially when taking into account that we still had a little less than one hundred miles to go.  We reached the checkpoint at the end of leg two, located at Boot, pretty well together.  I again passed through the checkpoint very quickly and continued on to leg three, now running on my own, as Ken spent more time refuelling.

#My fuelling strategy for this race was slightly different to previously.  As there is a large range of food available at each checkpoint, previously I had tended to consume probably only one or two gels during the entire race and get the majority of my fuel by eating the checkpoint food.  Earlier this year I discovered TORQ Gels.  Apparently they have been available for nearly ten years, but tend to be used mainly by mountain bikers or triathletes.  They are awesome!  So this year, the plan was to take on one gel every 45 minutes.  I therefore started the race carrying fourteen gels, which would fuel me to the Dalemain checkpoint, where I would be able to pick up more gels to get me to the end of the race from my drop bag.  I also decided that I would be very strict on myself in consuming one gel every forty five minutes.  In some of my previous races I perhaps had not taken on board enough fuel, so I didn’t want to make the same mistake again.  The evidence from scientific literature suggests that probably one gel every 20 – 30 minutes is ideal for endurance performance, but the research is not carried out on 100 mile running events, where “the normal limits do not apply”! So I decided every 45 minutes should be plenty.

iancorless.orgIancorless093#During the next two legs, as I ran through Wasdale Head, then over the two tough climbs of Black Sail Pass and Scarth Gap, the surrounding scenery was unbelievable, with a sunset creating amazing colours to light up the landscape.  As I approached checkpoint four at Buttermere, I had no idea how far ahead of the other 273 runners I was.  Whilst I am racing I try to focus on what I am doing and try to ignore what others are doing.  I can’t control their pace, so I try not to pay my competition much attention.  I run hard and fast in order to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, therefore let my actual finish position ‘look after itself’!

iancorless.orgIancorless101#I started leg five (over Sail Pass to Braithwaite) and although night had fallen, it wasn’t actually that dark.  There was an amazingly bright moon within a clear night sky.  On occasions the headtorches of the chasing runners behind me attracted my attention and reminded me that I was in a highly competitive ultra trail race.  However, I reminded myself to focus on the present moment, not to worry about what other runners were doing, to enjoy the amazing journey that I was on and appreciate just how fortunate I was that I was fit and healthy enough to experience this truly amazing challenge that I was part way through.  The night time just seemed to ‘fly past’ and it became daylight as I reach checkpoint eight located at Dalemain, having completed 59 miles since leaving Coniston.

At each checkpoint, in addition to taking on food and drink, one also has to ‘dib’ into an electronic timing box.  This information is then automatically loaded onto the race website, enabling all my family and friends to track my progress from anywhere in the world, including my brother tracking my progress in New Zealand.

Having dibbed 1st at seven consecutive checkpoints, I reflected on how my family and friends would be reacting to my good progress and found myself getting excited about the prospect of holding onto my lead for the remaining 46 miles and getting back to Coniston to record the win!  At that point it was nine hours since I had seen another runner, way back at checkpoint two, however at the last two checkpoints I was informed of the time gaps to the following runners – 14 minutes at the end of leg six, but only 10 minutes at the end of leg seven.  I found myself wondering what may happen during the upcoming legs; would they catch me?  When might they catch me?  Would I be able to keep in contact with them? Etc. Fortunately, I managed to snap myself out of this potential performance inhibiting thought process and reminded myself to take one leg at a time and most of all just enjoy every moment, during that moment!

iancorless.orgIancorless104#As I completed legs nine and 10, that took me first to Howtown and then over High Kop (the highest point of the route at 670m) and onward to Mardale Head, the heat from the sun on another glorious day was making its presence known.  It was getting pretty hot!  Having lived in Britain for over twenty years since emigrating from New Zealand, the one thing I have learnt to deal with is the contrasting British weather, often being colder than one would like.  So at that point, with the British weather finally coming right for a decent summer, the last thing I was going to do was to complain about it.  As the sun seemed to get brighter and more powerful, making me feel hotter, I was absolutely loving it.  “Yes, give me heat!  Yes, give me more!” I was chanting out loud, knowing that other runners may be reacting less positively to this beautiful hot summer’s day.

From Mardale Head, there were still five legs to complete totalling 29.4 miles, however, there was an overarching feeling that one is now on the ‘home straight’, not that the route is flat.  No, there were plenty of tough climbs to get over including Gatesgarth Pass on leg 11 and then Garburn Pass on leg 12, before reaching checkpoint 12 at Ambleside.

#Whether it was the effects of the heat, or the tough climbs, or the technically challenging underfoot conditions of loose boulders/gravel, or simply that I had run non-stop overnight for over 18 hours (I don’t really know), getting through legs 11 and 12 had been pretty challenging.  So when I was told at Ambleside that I was being chased down, not just by Ed Batty, who had been in 2nd place at around 10 – 20 minutes for the previous 15 hours, but also by two other runners, Charlie Sharpe and Richie Cunningham, who are known for adopting the ‘start slow / burst through the field and finish strong’ strategy, I wasn’t really surprised.  But the key issue was, how was I going to respond to being hunted down?

iancorless.orgIancorless121I’ve highlighted that I attempted to focus on myself and disregard my competitors.  But by now, having been in the lead for now nearly 18 hours, the thought of winning was getting strong – the desire to win, the anticipated satisfaction of crossing the finish line first…  The thought of losing the lead at this late stage, as at Ambleside there was only 15.6 miles to go, would be ‘heart breaking’, it would be devastating, it wouldn’t be fair!  Was I going to simply let it happen?  No!  I decided that if they were going to beat me, they were going to have to work extremely hard.  So I started on leg 13 with a really determined mind-set, which resulted in a substantial increase in my running pace.

#The section of the route during leg 13 that travels through Elterwater to Chapel Stile is simply ‘picture postcard’.  Therefore whilst maintaining my determination, I also had to remind myself continually to ‘take it all in’, enjoy this amazing moment, during this present moment.  Although I was working really hard and finding it pretty ‘tough’, this section of the race was probably the most enjoyable, the most satisfying.  I was extremely pleased with myself and the way that I had responded to the news of being chased down at Ambleside.  I was also happy with the substantial increase in my running speed since Ambleside.  Although ‘suffering’ I was really ‘buzzing’!

As I reached checkpoint 13 I interrogated one of the volunteers – what was my time gap now?  How far behind were they?  How much time had they gained during the last leg?  He informed me that the gap had been further reduced!  I couldn’t believe it.  How could that be?  I had been running really well for the last five miles, but they had still gained time on me.

As you may have gathered, with it now being nearly 20 hours since the race had started, my mind wasn’t functioning correctly.  The time gap the volunteer was referring to was the time gap change from checkpoint 11 to checkpoint 12.  Not leg 13 that I had just run strongly over.  I didn’t really take this on board, so I panicked even more.  Right, let’s now give it everything.  I just can’t get overtaken now!  Some supporting runners who I knew were doing their best to try to calm me down, but I wasn’t really listening to them.  I took off on the penultimate leg knowing that even more effort was required!

iancorless.orgIancorless127#In what seemed like barely a few minutes, but was in fact one hour and thirty minutes, I reached the final checkpoint at Tilberthwaite.  Although the leg had been tough, it also had been extremely satisfying.  I had run well.  In fact comparing this leg time to my leg 14 times from my two races in 2010 and 2012, I had run it 25 and 24 minutes quicker respectively!

The last leg involved one final tough climb before dropping down to the finish at Coniston.  I worked hard up the steep incline and then as I reached the summit I asked two runners who were watching to have a good look back along the track to see if they could view those runners that had been ‘haunting’ me, chasing me down for the last few hours.  They were nowhere to be seen!  The watching runner wanted to shake my hand to congratulate me, as I crested the summit.  I refused as I hadn’t yet won the race, but at that moment in time I knew I would win the MONTANE® Lakeland 100 for the 2nd time. This realisation drained all of my focus.  All of my energy immediately vanished.  I therefore absolutely struggled on the steep descent, struggled along the gravel road and then struggled even more along the final half mile of smooth road as I ran through Coniston to reach the finish line.

I crossed the finish line having completed the most amazing clockwise journey of the Lake District in 22:17:50.  Nearly one and a half hours quicker than my 2012 finish time.  There was a large crowd cheering me which I tried to take on board, but not only is the body pretty shattered, the mind is also not fully functioning.  However, over the next hour or so, I gradually recovered and enjoyed welcoming and chatting to the other runners as they finished their equally challenging but amazing journey of the Lake District.

Although the time gap had only been 13 minutes at my ‘panic attack’ at checkpoint 13 at Chapel Stile, the huge increase in focus, effort, intensity I put in following this point resulted in the gap increasing to 45 minutes at the finish line, with Charlie Sharpe finishing 2nd (23:02:45), having managed to overtake long time 2nd place holder Ed Batty during the final leg, for Ed to finish 3rd in 23:07:40.  The wait for the 1st women to finish wasn’t long, with Lizzie Wraith winning in the time of 24:15:06, finishing in 8th place overall; an outstanding performance.

Over the next 16 hours there was a continuous stream of weary runners crossing the finish line.  As the 40hour cut-off time passes, the final two competitors to complete the 105 miles, Steve Harvey and Paul Brown, cross the finish line in the time of 40:21:58 in 123rd and 124th place.

Out of the 274 runners that had taken on the challenge of the 105 mile journey of the Lake District, 150 of them were unable to successfully complete it.  There are many reasons for such a high non-completion, which equates to a 55% drop-out rate, however, no matter what the end result, every runner that stepped up to the start line to take on the amazingly demanding challenge of the MONTANE® Lakeland 100 is in essence a winner. Some may be disappointed with their performance; however I would imagine most, like myself, are feeling a real sense of pride at having really challenged and extended themselves.  Each runner will have their own individual story, but if their story is anything like mine, the end result is that they are a stronger and richer person.

Thanks to absolutely everyone that was involved in making the MONTANE® Lakeland 100 the most fantastic successful event one could ever do.  Thanks to everyone that helped me on my journey in both the preparation for and the accomplishment of it.  Your support is really, really appreciated, and I know one thing for sure, I would not have been able to achieve such a successful performance without this support.  A huge thank you.

Original post on – Montane Website HERE

All photography copyright iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet – An Interview

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As another day draws to an end and the sun creeps behind the mountains, I catch up with Kilian Jornet outside his hotel on the outskirts of Canazei in the Dolomites. Looking fresh and relaxed he is on his iPhone, no doubt tweeting and replying to many of the messages he will have received congratulating him on another stunning win in the ISF Skyrunning Dolomites Skyrace. Just forty-eight hours earlier he had also won the Dolomites Vertical Kilometer.

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Kilian needs no introduction. He is without doubt the leading example of everything that is great about our sport, not only on the trails, but also off them. He is the superstar of the sport. Always in the limelight, always in demand, I have been fortunate to see both sides in close quarters for some time now. It’s not just racing! Kilian has so many demands placed upon him, that it is miraculous that he can perform at the consistently high level that he does.

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After our chat he must prepare for a long drive to Switzerland the following day for a four-hour meeting. Returning the same day to Canazei he will then leave for Verona, attend a meeting and then depart for the ISF Skyrunning Trans D’Havet ultra, he will attend three stores to do signings, photos and maybe go for a run. It is a hectic, full on, non-stop life. Despite all this, despite all the pressures placed upon him, I have never witnessed him say no to a photograph or an autograph. His dedication to the sport, his fans and al those around him is remarkable, so, when I ask to take up some of his valuable time for a chat it is always with a sense of guilt… I, just like you, want to hear what he has to say; I want his thoughts and his input. But at the same time, I also want to leave him, let him relax and just find some downtime away from the buzz that his ability as a runner attracts.

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So, when I chat, although I would love that full hour with him so that I can go deep, ask about his life, talk through his progression I don’t. I set myself a fifteen-minute deadline, conscious of the fact that when I ask in the future, I hope, Kilian will always say yes!

Racing at the Dolomites Skyrace just hours before he had a close race; just three seconds…. Not many people can push Kilian to the line like that!

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IC – Another great win Kilian and this time you had a real battle on your hands with your old adversary, Marco De Gasperi. You won by just three seconds, an incredible race!

KJ – Yes, a hard and incredible race. It’s always great to race Marco and today was very hard. During the race it’s hard and then it is beautiful afterwards. This is how we like it.

IC- Many people think that when they see a start list with your name on it, that you are automatically going to win. However, when we see Marco’s name, it’s great because we know he will push you along… Luis Alberto Hernando can do this too. Do you relish the opportunity to race these people so that you are pushed?

KJ – I think people think I am going to win but in my mind it is not like that. When I see Marco or Luis is in a race I think, this is going to be super hard. For sure, it is motivating. I relish competition. For the last three weeks I have done many races, for example the VK I have just done and the Skyrace when competition is tough that is what I like. I knew here at the Skyrace it would be tough against Marco. He likes short distances and I knew that he would go hard from the start. I needed to push myself. It may be easy from the outside to look in and think I am going to win but it is much harder than this.

IC – I agree, we all know your ability. Your skill in the mountains and your skill as a runner are without question. It is unfair to assume that you can race Ice Trail, the VK, The Skyrace and then go to Trans D’Havet and for us all to assume that you will win… when you approach a race like the Dolomites Skyrace and particularly this year with lots of snow, you must think that plays to your advantages, is that correct?

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KJ – I know this race. I know the route quite well. I have raced here twice before. The snow wasn’t great for racing this year. It was soft, so not ideal to race fast. The snow wasn’t an advantage this year, however, it was more of an advantage to know the route. When I started with Marco I pushed on the uphill, at the top I had 20 seconds so I thought, we will do the downhill together. The downhill you need the correct line, so it was important to get the best line and if you are in front or if you have someone in front it is easy to follow, so, it would have been impossible to drop Marco. I was sure we would finish together. For me, I thought Marco would be stronger uphill. I thought he would start fast. But when I was with him uphill, I knew it would be a race to the line.

IC – Now Emelie Forsberg keeps tweeting about sprint sessions and interval work. The last time I spoke to her, she told me that she was going to make you do some speed work! After that VK finish when you sprinted from third place to take the win and then in the Skyrace finish you won by three seconds, does that mean you are not telling us something?

(Laughs)

KJ – I am improving in my sprint for sure. I am not a sprinter, in SkiMo I am a bad sprinter, but yes, I always have a little speed for the last meters. It is something I never train so I need to work on this, it’s good for me to train and work on this. Sometimes when you follow someone it’s better… last week we tried to catch Chamois, it was impossible but good for sprint training.

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IC – Well it has worked! I mentioned the VK. The VK here is a tough course, very steep. I actually went up myself, boy it was tough and steep. Watching you three race up, I am guessing you placed yourself in third so that you could surprise the others. Did you have a race plan to use this tactic?

KJ – It’s a very particular VK, I have raced here three times before and I never felt good. So I was a little afraid, not afraid, I mean not confident. For all three races, (VK, Sky and Ultra) the VK is the race I was less confident about. It is a specialist race and it suited runners like Urban Zemmer. I was thinking before the start that I needed to relax and then when I saw that I was in good shape I tried to follow Urban, he is the best at this discipline. I was following and in the steep parts he was super strong, it was really difficult to be in touch with him. When it was less steep I could run and I felt better. It was okay. I needed to make sure I didn’t loose time or contact. When I saw the finish, I thought it was perfect for the sprint.

IC – It was an impressive sprint. I watched a clip on YouTube, you put your poles together, you went down the outside and then that final 50m is a wall. You have to grit your teeth and get up as quick as possible. Now one thing that many were interested in, is the fact that you used poles. Not something that you use a lot, the VK here is so steep that it would be foolish not to use them. What advantages do they bring?

KJ- I don’t use poles often for running but in SkiMo I use them everyday! I am extremely used to them. For years I used them everyday for 6-7 months. It is a particular exercise that you need to work on. On a VK like this it is like having four legs because you have the arms and upper body and you can really push. So when it is really steep it makes a big difference.

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IC – Canazei is over and in 5-6 days you will race at Trans D’Havet*, it is the third event in the European Skyrunning Championships, you will be up against Luis Alberto Hernando, he will be arriving at that race fresh. You have lots of racing in your body, how do you think this race will be go?

KJ – It will be a great fight, I haven’t seen the list of other racers but I am sure it will be quality. I am in good shape. I am strong. Mont Blanc Marathon a few weeks ago was a fast race, Ice Trail Tarentaise was like a long training session and then the two races here makes it hard but I am good. I hope I can keep this shape for one week and then I will rest. Yes, it will be hard, Luis is strong this season and of course he hasn’t raced recently, he is focused on Trans D’Havet it is going to be hard but the hardest part of the race is the 0100am start… that is horrible.

(Laughter)

*Kilian and Luis Alberto raced head-to-head at Trans D’Havet and both crossed the line together in what will be seen as a defining moment of the sport, read my race report HERE

IC – You flippantly talk about races such as Mont Blanc and Ice Trail. Particularly Ice Trail, you said it was easy but everybody else thought it was super tough… you are here now for the VK and Sky but you have missed your Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix record… super impressive! A fantastic achievement, many look and find it difficult to comprehend how someone under human power can do something like this. What is it in the Summits project that has illuminated the fire within you to push to new depths?

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KJ – Summits it is about pushing in the mountains. It is about being light. It is more than records, a record is nice but it is about being light and moving fast. How light can I be in the mountains? If you are light you need to be fast to be safe. Mont Blanc took a lot of time. We had too much snow early season, I attempted  ‘CMBC’ after Mont Blanc Marathon but it wasn’t the correct time. The snow wasn’t correct. The week before my attempt I was in the mountains everyday to form an opinion on when was the best time and when the best day would be. It was all about timing. It is not like a race. Here you need to be in the mountains, to understand. Every mountain is different; you need to understand how it works how it breathes. I had perfect conditions for my attempt and the perfect day. I was with Mateo Jacquemoud for all the uphill and most of the downhill so it was just pushing, pushing each other. (Note – Mateo fell on the downhill and insisted that Kilian carry on)

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IC – You mentioned a couple of great points. The one I concentrate on most is the need of understanding the mountain. It is very easy for people to follow Talk Ultra, websites or blogs and look at what you do and think, Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix, I can do that! But it is a real risk, a real understanding of the mountain is required, you make it look easy, I know that it is not. Do you feel you have a responsibility to those who follow you?

KJ – I saw Alex Honnold do soloing in Yosemite, I saw Ueli Steck doing the north face of the Eiger, and it is not because of this that I would do an attempt. It is inspiring but it is important not to follow. We can all have our goals, our own summits, but of course when we do these things, we have a responsibility. Chamonix is accessible, many people climb every year, and I am not dangerous but every year people die. That is because of rock falls, avalanches etc… you need to know the mountain, you need to know yourself and you need to know your limits. We take risks when we go, of course, but we accept those risks based on our ability.

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IC – It is about your personal summits and about you understanding what risks you can take, about how light, how fast you can go?

KJ – Yes, it is about knowing each persons capacity and knowing the conditions, the mountain conditions change daily. Maybe one day you have the capacity and conditions but the next day it changes. I know people who climb a mountain and then they say it was easy… It is not like that! Today they climbed but another day maybe more wet, cold, snowing and everything changes; it is no longer the same mountain. Nobody is stronger than the mountain. You need to understand that, you need to take time, spend time in the mountains and understand them.

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IC – The Matterhorn will be your next summit?

KJ – After Trans D’Havet I will take a break. I plan to stay more than one month without a race to recover and then prepare for the Matterhorn. It is a technical mountain. Bruno Brunod has a record of 3:14. It is a technical route that is not difficult BUT if I fall, I will die! I need to know the route very well, I need to spend time on the mountain, and I need to learn every step.

IC – And the process? Will it be going on the mountain everyday, working routes and understanding how the mountain adapts to the weather?

KJ – Yes I will be in Cervinia (Italian side of the Matterhorn) with my van and I will stay for at least a month. I know many guides in the area and I also know that it has too much snow at the moment but during this time I will go up and down, up and down etc… I need to know everything. I think Bruno climbed thirty times before the record attempt; so, I need to go up 10-15 times at least.

IC – And your attempt, will that come before or after the ISF Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks?

KJ – It depends on the weather? I planned Mont Blanc for May but snow made it impossible… I actually did it in June! I have planned the Matterhorn for late August or early September, however, the mountain will decide.

Image taken by Kilian Jornet, Friday Aug 2nd w/ Emelie Forsberg at the summit of the Matterhorn copyright: Kilian Jornet

Image taken by Kilian Jornet, Friday Aug 2nd w/ Emelie Forsberg at the summit of the Matterhorn copyright: Kilian Jornet

IC – Kilian, thank you so much for your time. I wish you all the very best for the coming months.

KJ – Thank you so much Ian, see you at the Matterhorn!

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1080586You can listen to this interview on Episode 40 of TALK ULTRA – HERE 

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LINKS:

  • Dolomites Vertical Kilometer HERE
  • Dolomites Vertical Kilometer IMAGES HERE
  • Dolomites Skyrace HERE
  • Dolomites Skyrace IMAGES HERE
  • Trans D’Havet HERE
  • Trans D’Havet IMAGES HERE
  • Kilian Jornet HERE
  • Summits of my Life HERE
  • Salomon Running HERE