Jo Meek Q&A in trailrunnermag.com

©iancorless.com_1160267

The eyes tell the story—they look through you. Deep in focus, almost blinkered like a horse, Jo Meek has only one purpose. To run as fast and as efficiently as possible over six days and win the 10th edition of the 2014 The Coastal Challenge (TCC) in Costa Rica.

I had seen this look once before, at the end of stage 1 of the 2013 Marathon des Sables in Morocco. Sitting in a bivouac, Meek, 36, of Fair Oak, New Hampshire, had just excelled on the first day of the race. I, like others, looked around in wonder and asked the question, “Who is Jo Meek?”

By the end of that 28th Marathon des Sables, no more questions needed to be asked. Meek placed second at her first Marathon des Sables behind Trail Runner Contributing Editor Meghan Hicks.

Switching from the dunes of the Sahara to the beaches and rainforest of Costa Rica was always going to be a cathartic moment for Meek, particularly when one considered the slated seasoned competition: Julia Bottger, Veronica Bravo and Anna “Frosty” Frost. Unfortunately, Frosty had to withdraw from the race just days before the start. While disappointed at not having the opportunity to test herself against one of the best female mountain-ultrarunners in the world, Meek was unfazed: “It changes nothing. I am here to race and race hard. I would have loved to have Anna push me but you know what? I can push myself pretty hard.”

Read the full article HERE

Jo Meek trailrunnermag.com

Marathon des Sables 2014 #MDS2014 Images – Stage 5

©iancorless.com.IMG_1458MDS2014

The 29th edition of the Sultan Marathon des Sables.

STAGE 5 RICH MERZOUG / IGADOUN TARHBALT 42.2KM

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved
No reproduction or sharing please.

Marathon des Sables 2014 #MDS2014 Images – Stage 4 (The Long Day)

©iancorless.com.IMG_4124MDS2014

The 29th edition of the Sultan Marathon des Sables.

STAGE 4 BA HALLOU / RICH MERZOUG 81.5KM

MDS2014 Stg4

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved
No reproduction or sharing please.

Marathon des Sables 2014 #MDS2014 Images – Stage 3

©iancorless.com.IMG_9787MDS2014

The 29th edition of the Sultan Marathon des Sables.

STAGE 3 OUED MOUNGARF / BA HALLOU 37.5KM

MDS2014 Stg3

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved
No reproduction or sharing please.

Marathon des Sables 2014 #MDS2014 Images – Stage 2

©iancorless.com.IMG_7746MDS2014

The 29th edition of the Sultan Marathon des Sables.

STAGE 2 ERG ZNAIGUI / OUED MOUNGARF 41KM

MDS2014 Stg2

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved
No reproduction or sharing please.

Marathon des Sables 2014 #MDS2014 Images – Arrival and registration

©iancorless.com.IMG_6045MDS2014

The 29th edition of the Sultan Marathon des Sables.

Arrival and registration for the race

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved
No reproduction or sharing please.

Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 4 (The Long Day)

©iancorless.com.IMG_3324
Tough, very hot and exhausting was the general consensus in bivouac. Starting with a tough ascent of a Jebel, also featured in the 2013 race, the long day was going to be brute. Dunes, salt flats; a wonderful passage of a high ridge and plenty of sand and dunes was going to be a test for all.

Al Aqra once again started from the gun and broke tradition. Instead of blowing up and loosing pace, he seemed to get faster and coverd the 82km stage in a crazy 7:14.Second place was taken by race leader, El Morabityok  almost 30min later, 7:37:18. Sa placed 3rd in 7:40:19 and importantly from a UK perspective, Kendall continued his best MDS performance so far with 6th place, 8:04.

Kimballshowed her class and experience starting slowly and nce she had started to pull away the gap tinued to grow and she not only secured a stage winning performance but also (barring disaster) ran a race winning stage. Speaking after the stage, Kimball said that adjusting to the heqt in stages 1 to 3 was essential and that once settled she could run her own race on the 82km leg. Klein unfortunately seemed to have the demons of 2013 looming over head and never looked comfortable. Running to CP3 in the heqt of the day Klein looked distresed by the heat. Soldiering on, Klein finished the stage 5th in 12:06:48, almost 2hrs behind Kimballs 10:48:38.

Morrisey from Ireland finished 2nd in 11:36:10 and must be cursing the bqd luck of stage 1 when she was unwell. Pierron placed 3rd and Roux 4th.

Top Brit Julie Donovan finished a little further down the classification but still holds 5th overall.

GC with one stage to go:

Men:

El Morabity 16:53:56

Al Aqra 17:03:19

Ahanal 17:14:17

Kendall 5th 18:07:49

Ladies:

Kimball 24:11:08

Klein 25:11:00

Roux 25:38:08

Donovan 5th 28:16:19

©iancorless.com.IMG_4017 ©iancorless.com.IMG_3966 ©iancorless.com.IMG_3807 ©iancorless.com.IMG_3415 ©iancorless.com.IMG_0482 ©iancorless.com.IMG_0382

Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 5

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

What a day for the Brits… Morrisey won the ladies race ahead of Roux and Kimball and Kendall placed 2nd behind a flying El Mouaziz.
The final official day of the 29th Marathon des Sables came to a conclusion today over a classic marathon distance in the sands of the Sahara. From the outside looking in, it would appear that the leading ladies and men were happy with the overall standings and raced pretty much together. However, Morrisey had something to prove… had she not had a terrible first day due to illness, we may well be looking at a different set of results for the ladies GC, however, as we all know, that is racing… Morrisey pushed the pace throughout and a little like Meek in 2013 stamped her authority on the final stage taking out the win in 4:35:23. Roux from France placed 2nd, 4:52:47 and Kimball and Klein placed 3rd and 4th respectively in times of 4:53:41 and 4:54:19. Kimball looked extremely happy with her foray into a miltiday race and Klein was respectful in defeat.
El Morabity and Al Aqra ran side by side throughout the final day, both happy with 1st and 2nd places. Ahansal trailed a little behind also confident his third place was secure. However, at the front of the race, Elmouaziz used his 2:06 marathon pace to set the sand alight and take a convincing stage victory in 3:11:22. I cannot help but think that he will be back, learning curve over and ready to push the front of the race in the 30th edition. Kendall pe race told me he was going to go for it and go for it he did. Not only did he need to maintain a 1 min lead over Solaris he also had the possibiliy to chase Sa for 4th. As the day unfolded, Sa matched Kendall, however, in the latter stages, Kendall pushed and placed 2nd on the stage with a stunning run, 3:22:26 and Sa finished less than 1 min later in 3:23:12.
El Morabity, Al Aqra and Ahansal placed 5th, 6th and 7th confident that the GC would nt change.
The 29th MDS has been a tough and hot race… the hardest; maybe. Each and every runner, first to last achieved something very special in Morocco this year. To see the joy, the tears, the passion and the pain released on the final finish line is a joy to behold. Medal in hand, memories to last forever. The 29th MDS is done. A short charity stage takes place on Saturday and the the parties begin… a hotel, a shower, clean beds and plenty of food.
The MDS is quite a race and no sooner will this race be over and preparations will begin for 2015; the 30th edition.

Men

  1. El Morabity 20:27:37
  2. Al Aqra 20:37:09
  3. Ahansal 20:50:58
  4. Sa 21:24:58
  5. Kendall 21:30:15

Ladies

  1. Kimball 29:04:49
  2. Klein 30:05:19
  3. Roux 31:30:56
  4. Pierron 32:29:47
  5. Donovan 33:37:17

Great result for Brit ladies: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Donovan, Leakey, Morrisey and Young

Marathon des Sables 2014 Stage 3

Stage 3 MDS2014
Stage 3 of the 29th edition of the MDS wil be remembered for heat and dunes. It had both in abundance! With over 20km of dunes in a 37km stage, it was always going to be tough and it was.
Ahansal and Al Aqra pushed the pace in the early stages with El Moriaty playing it cool. However, El Moriaty pushed after cp1 and once again showed his impressive form. Equally, fast man and MDS novice is showing that dunes are not slowing his 2:06 marathon pace. The two, once again placed 1 and 2, 2:58:47 and 2:59:37. Ahansal had a better day and despite pushing hard early on placed 3rd in 3:00:46. Brit, Kendall purposely had an easier day and placed 9th in 3:20:32 keeping some powder dry for tomorrows long 82km day.
Kimball from the USA finally took the reigns in the ladies ra:ce and finished 4min clear of pre race favourite, Klein; 4:24:53 to 4:28:26
Roux is proving to be the new French darling wth another third place. It is all to plaf for tomorrow and I think Kimball will come into her own on a long and tough stage.
British interest took a jump with Donovan placing 7th and Morrisey and Young pipping her to the line.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage