Great Lakeland 3Day™ Preview

GL3D logo

Relaxed, friendly and an amazing mountain experience, the GL3D™ has built quite a reputation! With an emphasis on long mountain journeys and spectacular scenery, participants can expect a really excellent 3-days without complex navigation.

Image ©andrewburton

Image ©andrewburton

Trails, footpaths, ridges and valleys make up this idyllic journey through arguably one of the greatest playgrounds in the world; the English Lakes. Event HQ is at the North Eastern tip of Ullswater at the quintessential village of Pooley Bridge.

Taking place on the 3rd, 4th and 5th May 2014, the GL3D™ is a small but adventurous mountain marathon. Attracting runners and long-distance walkers, the race is renowned for its atmosphere. So much so, it has gained a reputation as one of ‘the’ events to do!

Image ©simoncaldwell

Image ©simoncaldwell

Three long and consecutive days in the mountains have built a dedicated following from competitors who are able to choose an Elite, A, B or C course. However, a unique element is the ability to choose whichever course they prefer on each day. This mix-n-match approach certainly does offer a unique format, however, should you choose all Elite or all A, B or C that is no problem, the choice is yours.

Sharing an overnight camp, the inclusion of a ‘beer tent’ certainly seems extremely popular. As you can gather, this is all about fun days on the trails. The inclusion in 2014 of the C class confirms this. Specifically aimed at walkers and slower runners.

Image ©andrewburton

Image ©andrewburton

Courses are triangular, allowing everyone to start and finish at the same location. The GL3D™ is all about maximum enjoyment. However, each participant should be competent in the mountains whether running or walking and an ability to navigate is essential. You must be self-sufficient!

Although some competitors race, many solo participants form groups to share a day in the hills. No prizes are awarded, just a slap on the back and a nod of respect from your peers.

Flexible start times between 0700-0900 (faster participants start later) reflect the relaxed nature of the event and if cramming a few extra zzz’s in your sleeping bag doesn’t tempt you, I am sure the ‘free’ tea, cakes and beer at the end of each day will.

Tempted? I bet you are…

 supported by

GL3D_Lowe_Logo_png32

Race website – http://www.greatlakeland3day.com

Entry – http://www.greatlakeland3day.com/enter/

 

The nitty-gritty

Competitors must register before starting and they can only do this on the evening of Friday 2nd May (between 1800-2200) or on the morning of Saturday 3rd (between 0600-0700). Competitors can only register at the Event Centre. At registration competitors will be issued with their map, which is pre-printed with checkpoints and control descriptions (for all courses), and their SI card. We recommend arriving on the Friday night so that everyone has an opportunity to relax, meet fellow participants and discuss the following day’s route. The night before the GL3D™ the atmosphere is always good and many competitors sneak off to a local pub for an informal gathering. Camping is available on the Friday night and this is included in the entry fee.

Competitors may also park their car at the Event Centre for the weekend at their own risk. The competitor’s beer tent will also be erected on the Friday night but GL3D™ beer is only served on the Saturday and Sunday evenings! 

 Our courses are described as Elite, A, B and C, as is usual for mountain marathons. However, it is important to note that the distances at the GL3D™ are greater. This is because our routes are more runnable (we stick to footpaths and tracks for much of the time) and the navigation is easier (generally mountain summits) than at the equivalent mountain marathon courses at the LAMM, OMM etc. We would describe our courses as roughly equivalent in terms of ‘difficulty to finish’ as the same standard mountain marathon course at one of these events. The approximate course details are:

Course Average Distance Average Time Number of Checkpoints
Elite 30 miles per day 9 hours 9
A 25 miles per day 8 hours 8
B 20 miles per day 7 hours 7
C 15 miles per day ? 1

Elite, A and B Course
These courses are definitely for runners and it is not possible for walkers to complete these courses within the cut-off times. Competitors must have finished an equivalent mountain marathon course within 50% of the winner’s time for the course that they are entering. Any competitor who is slower than 50% of the winner’s time and/or arrives at the overnight camp after the cut-off time will automatically be moved onto a shorter course for the following day.

C Course
The GL3D™ has always attracted long distance walkers but other than the most able, they have generally struggled with the long distances and significant height gain each year. Because of this, for the 2014 event we are introducing a C course (already coined the Café Class by the planning team), which will be specifically aimed at walkers or slower runners and will only have one checkpoint per day to allow competitors maximum route choice between the overnight camps… and time to visit the very best Lake District cafés!

The choice of four different courses means that competitors can choose from either an Elite, A, B or C Course. The really exciting component of the GL3D™ is that competitors simply enter the event, and then choose whichever course they prefer on the day. This could either be Elite for all three days, Elite, B then A or any ‘mix-and-match’ combination. All competitors will still share the same overnight camp.

To appear in the overall results, competitors must complete the same course each day. Obviously, on a daily basis we will publish results for each course. 

Each day competitors start anytime between 0700 and 0900 (please note that there is a 0715 Mass Start for competitors on Day 1 in 2014) and should expect to spend a long day in the hills. The first two days will be the hardest and the last day will be easier. We anticipate that everyone would have finished by 1500 on day three. 

The course will be roughly triangular with a different overnight camp each night. We will provide free tea/coffee, cakes and beer at the end of day one and two and a large, tasty meal at the end of day three.

The competitors ‘beer tent’ – a popular addition to the 2013 GL3D™- will be available at each overnight camp and can used by competitors to hangout in, cook meals in etc.

 

 

 

Britton & Meek talk Iznik Ultra

iznik LogoIznik, formerly known as Nicea is situated on a beautiful lake in the province of Bursa some 2.5 hours from Istanbul. An important center for Roman and Byzantine times, Iznik has a rich history.

iancorless.orgP1010508

The city was once surrounded by a stone wall some 14,520ft in circumference. Although this wall remains it has been punctured to allow road access.

From a tourist perspective Iznik has much to offer; peace, tranquility, an insight into local culture and of course some significant monuments such as the Yenise Gate, St Sophia Cathedral (Orhan Ghazi Mosque) and the Green Mosque (Yesil Camil) named after it’s wonderful green tiles.

iancorless.orgP1010494

Iznik also has an archaeological museum that contains mostly glass and Roman objects. In addition to this history, Iznik is also famous for tile manufacturer and Olives. Tiles from Iznik have been used to decorate many a mosque, particularly in Istanbul.

Iznik Lake provides a backdrop to the Iznik Ultra series of races. It is appropriate that each race should include such a historically important natural feature. Great courses, demanding terrain, small un-spoilt villages and plenty of climbing (at least in the early stages) makes Iznik a great location for racing and leisure.

iancorless.orgP1010454

In just two weeks time, runners will travel from around the world and congregate on the shores of the lake for a weekend of competitive racing. I caught up with Robbie Britton (inov-8) and Jo Meek (Scott Running) and asked them a few questions about this journey into the unknown..

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

1. What is the attraction to travelling to Turkey?

RB: Turkey is one of the countries in Europe that has been on my list to visit for a number of years now and running a race is by far the best way to see as much as possible! Turkey’s culture and history, alongside the rugged, mountainous landscape for the Iznik ultra is really attractive to me.

JM: It’s a place that I haven’t been to before so that is really appealing. I feel very fortunate that a passion such as running is providing me with this great opportunity.

2. Are you aware on an ultra scene in Turkey… what do you think the competition will be like?

RB: I’ve met a couple of Turkish ultra runners in the UK but I didn’t know much about the ultra running scene in Turkey. I like competition so I am really looking forward to the opportunity to race on new terrain against new competition.

JM: No, I wasn’t specifically aware of any races held in Turkey but I did not imagine for a moment that it would not have a running scene. I regard to competition, I never underestimate anyone when I race, especially when local runners know the tracks and trails first hand.

Robbie Britton, The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton, The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

3. How is your training, have you been doing anything specific?

RB: Looking at the race profile for the Iznik race has made me add a few extra hills to my training, I have been really working on going up and down! I’m currently training in La Palma so hopefully the hills and the sun here will get me ready!

JM: Since returning from the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica (which Jo won) I have taken a few weeks off to recover, move house and start a new job. I have been learning new run routes; which always makes for runs longer than planned! I have been very specific lately working on my strength for the hills and speed for the flat.

4. Why race distance did you choose this distance?

RB: I’m racing the marathon distance, a little shorter than usual for me but it looks like a tough event! The ups and downs look very similar to the profile at Transvulcania La Palma so I see it as a good chance to race some tough ascents and fly down some steep downhill! 

JM: I have chosen the 80km route because my main goal will be Comrades Ultra (South Africa) in June. The Iznik race provides me with great distance to race over without encroaching too much into the training that proceeds it with fatigue and depletion. 

Robbie Britton. The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton. The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

5. Do you plan to do a little sight seeing, what interests you?

RB: As someone who studied Archaeology at university, I hope to be able to see some of the fantastic sites that Turkey has to offer. I just hope there isn’t anything on the race route that causes me to stop and forget about the race! I’m also looking forward to travelling through Istanbul as it strikes me as a city with a lot of life and excitement!

JM: I would love to see more of the country whilst given this opportunity to visit but unfortunately my annual leave entitlement is exhausted. I remember being dragged around Ephesus as a small child and secretly being totally impressed by such a place so I know Turkey has a lot to offer but I’m sure I’ll return. 

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica. ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica. ©iancorless.com

6. What’s next on the calendar after Iznik?

RB: A few weeks after Iznik I will be back in the hills for the Transvulcania La Palma 80k Skyrunning race in the island of La Palma. 2014 is the year of the mountains for me!

JM: After Iznik I will continue to train hard and devote myself to Comrades for me and then the Lakeland 50. Two totally different races so a lot of training and adaptation required!

Runners will travel to Turkey on Thursday April 17th and racing starts at midnight Friday 18th for the 131km race. The 80km and classic marathon distance races will commence on Saturday April 19th.

Iznik Profile

Follow the action from the Iznik series of races via:

  • iancorless.com
  • facebook.com/talkultra
  • @talkultra on twitter

If you would like to race this year, it’s not too late… go to www.iznikultra.com and sign up! You wont regret it!

Local knowledge:

Bursa (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbuɾsa]) is a city in Turkey, located in northwestern Anatolia, within the Marmara Region. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and one of the most industrialized metropolitan centers in the country. The city is also the administrative center of Bursa Province.

Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar (meaning “God’s gift”) during the Ottoman period, while a more recent nickname is Yeşil Bursa (meaning “Green Bursa”) in reference to the parks and gardens located across its urban fabric, as well as to the vast and richly varied forests of the surrounding region. The ski resort of Mount Uludağ towers over it. The mountain was called the Mysian Olympus by the Romans who lived there before. Bursa has rather orderly urban growth and borders a fertile plain. The mausoleums of the early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa and the city’s main landmarks include numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period. Bursa also has thermal baths and several museums, including a museum of archaeology.

The shadow play characters Karagöz and Hacivat are based on historic personalities who lived and died in Bursa. Bursa is also home to some of the most famous Turkish dishes such as İskender kebap, specially candied marron glacés, peaches and Turkish Delight. Bursa houses the Uludağ University, and its population can claim one of the highest overall levels of education in Turkey. The historic towns of İznik (Nicaea), Mudanya and Zeytinbağı are all situated in Bursa Province.

Reference ©wikipedia

Episode 57 – Johnston, Greenwood, Desert Runners Movie, Team inov-8

Ep57

Episode 57 of Talk Ultra is available – David Johnston gives us a blow-by-blow account of his record breaking run at the ITI350 (Iditarod Trail Invitational), Ellie Greenwood talks about her comeback run and win at Chuckanut 50 and her plans for 2014. We speak with Jennifer Steinman, Director of the Desert Runners Movie and Samantha Gash who appeared in the film. Team inov-8 provide some chat from the 2014 athlete retreat and Emelie Forsberg brings us smilesandmiles, a Blog, the News, Up and Coming Races and of course Speedgoat Karl Meltzer! It’s a stacked show.

I was at an inov-8 athlete retreat in the English Lakes testing products such as new apparel and shoes and then capturing images.
I caught up with some of the Team Members…
  • Tracy Dean
  • David Schneider
  • Ben Abdelnoor
 
NEWS
Tarawera 100k (65k) – Hit by bad weather so reduced

Men

  1. Sage Canaday – Hoka One One  5:33:38
  2. Yun Yan Qiao – The North Face  5:52:30
  3. Vajin Armstrong – MacPac 5:59:49
  4. Mike Aish – Mizuno 5:58:37
  5. Scott Hawker – Hoka One One 6:06:32
  6. Martin Gaffuri – New Balance 6:21:31
  7. Moritz Auf De Heidi 6:22:21
  8. Mike Wardian – Hoka One One 6:28:46
  9. Matt Murphy 6:36:27
  10. Manuel Lago 6:37:30

Ladies

  1. Jo Johansen 7:02:43
  2. Claire Walton 7:11:48
  3. Dawn Tuffery 7:16:16
  4. Beth Cardelli – Salomon 7:18:54
  5. Meghan Arbogast – Scott Running 7:26:24
  6. Shona Stephenson – inov-8  7:26:24
  7. Fiona Hayvice 7:40:54
  8. Katrin Gottschalk 7:44:33
  9. Katherine Macmillan 7:44:33
  10. Sandy Nyper – Ink n Burn 7:57:24
 
Chuckanut 50k
 
Men
  1. Max King 3:35:42 with new CR
  2. David Laney 3:38:37
  3. Daniel Kraft 3:41:05
 
3 of first 4 men are Nike sponsored !
 
Ladies
  1. Ellie Greenwood 4:11:51
  2. Jodee Adams Moore 4:20:37
  3. Melanie Bos 4:38:20
I caught up with Ellie Greenwood to discuss this comeback run and find out all about her difficult 12-months.
 
AUDIO with Ellie Greenwood
 
South Carolina 24-hour Race
  1. 154.590 Harvey Lewis
  2. 133.470 Katalin Nagy
  3. 127.043 Chris Roman
  4. 125.019 Zach Bitter – dropped from race but with a new 200km record
  5. 123.134 Shannon Johnstone
Translantau 100km (Hong Kong)
  1. Jeremy Ritcey 13:04:13
  2. Chin Keung Leung 14:24:35
  3. John Ellis 14:38:24
  1. Kar Bik Tam 17:44:55
  2. Katja Fink 20:12:01
  3. Marcia Zhou 21:04:20
 
Desert Runners Film
New film has just come out charting the journey of the 2010 Racing the Planet four deserts and four people who attempted the Grand Slam; running all four in one year! I had an opportunity to speak with the director, Jennifer Steinman on the film and the undertaking of such a difficult project
 
AUDIO with Jennifer Steinman
 
Samantha Gash way back in 2010 was one of the ‘unknown’ runners who completed the Four Deserts in 2010. She became the youngest female ever to complete all four in one year and many of you will remember Samantha was on a previous show of Talk Ultra, however, I thought it prudent to have a catch up now this film is out.
DESERT RUNNERS MOVIE DISCOUNT: Listeners can enter the code ‘runners’ for 10% off the film at desertrunnersmovie.com.
 
AUDIO with Samantha Gash
BLOG – Lizzy Hawker http://lizzyhawker.com/ke-garne/
Ke garne? What to do?
“I thought I’d been smart this time. I took time (2 months) not running after the femural stress facture that prevented me racing the 2013 UTMB. I tried to be patient. I mixed up the walking and running during the Manaslu Mountain Trail and ran a bit more during the Mustang Trail Race. I allowed myself to take it slowly. I soaked up just being in those awesome places and sharing the experiences. I was gradually working back to some kind of race fitness. I raced 50km on the rim of the Kathmandu valley, slowly, not full out. So what happened?”
INTERVIEW 
David Johnston was on our show just two episodes ago discussing his epic win and new CR at Susitna 100. Just 7-days later he took on the Iditarod Trail Invitational 350-mile race. Against all logic, he not only won but smashed what many considered to be an unbreakable record… here is his story!
 
AUDIO with David Johnston
 
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat
 
SMILESANDMILES with Emelie Forsberg
 
UP AND COMING RACES

Algeria

Ultramarathon des Ziban | 100 kilometers | March 27, 2014 | website

Argentina

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

Croatia

Istratrek Trail Race | 60 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

France

Yvelines

Eco Trail de Paris IDF – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Eco Trail de Paris IDF – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Hesse

Eschollbrücker Ultra-Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Greece

Antiparos Ultra 100 | 100 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

Hungary

BSI Half Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 95 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Balatonfüred – Siófok | 51 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 21, 2014 | website

India

Sandakphu 70 Mile Himalayan Race | 70 miles | March 23, 2014 | website

Ireland

Leinster

Wicklow Way Ultra | 51 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Italy

Lombardy

100 km di Seregno | 100 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

60 km di Seregno | 60 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

UMS Ultramaratona Milano Sanremo | 280 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Luxembourg

La GranDucale – 55 km | 55 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Montenegro

Ultra-Maraton Montenegro | 100 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | March 27, 2014 | website

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Northburn Station 100 km Mountain Run | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Northburn Station 50 km Mountain Run | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Portugal

Inatel Piódão Trail Running – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

TrailRunning BRIMZ “Guzmán el Bueno” X Sierra Morena – 60 km | 60 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Extremadura

LXVII Milhas Romanas | 100 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Valencian Community

La Perimetral | 65 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Wreckers Challenge | 50 miles | March 23, 2014 | website

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 21, 2014 | website

East Sussex

Coastal Trail Series – Sussex – Ultra | 34 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors 55 Ultramarathon | 55 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Lake Martin 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Lake Martin 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Oak Moutain 50+ | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Arizona

Mesquite Canyon 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

California

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 100 Miler | 100 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50K | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Canyon Meadow 50 Km Trail Run (March) | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Old Goats 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Old Goats 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Florida

Croom Trail 50K Fools Run | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Croom Trail 50M Fools Run | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Georgia

DoubleTop 100 100k | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

DoubleTop 100 100M | 100 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Idaho

Pickled Feet 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | March 28, 2014 | website

Illinois

Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run | 150 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Kansas

Prairie Spirit Trail 100 Mile Ultra Race | 100 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Prairie Spirit Trail 50 Mile Ultra Race | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Maryland

50K HAT Run | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Hat Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Mississippi

Gulf Coast Interstate Relay – Ride or Run | 263 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Missouri

Forrest Gump Challenge 50 Mile Ultra-marathon | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

New Jersey

NJ Ultra Festival – 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 100M Trail Race | 100 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 50M Trail Race | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Ohio

Fools 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Oregon

Gorge Waterfalls 100k | 100 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Gorge Waterfalls 50k | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Pennsylvania

Lt. J. C. Stone 50K UltraMarathon | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Texas

The Grasslands 50-Mile | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 21, 2014 | website

Antelope Island 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Antelope Island 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Moab 100K | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Moab 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Moab 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Zion 100k | 100 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Zion 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Virginia

Terrapin Mountain 50km | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Washington

Badger Mountain Challenge 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | March 28, 2014 | website

Badger Mountain Challenge 50k Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Chuckanut 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Dizzy Daze 100K | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Dizzy Daze 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

WSU 100K Relay & Solo Race | 100 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

West Virginia

Haulin’ in the Holler 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website
CLOSE

Image Preview #inov8retreat

An incredible and inspiring weekend in the heart of the English Lakes with a committed team of athletes and employees of inov-8. It’s been a real pleasure to spend quality time discussing the brand, apparel and shoes. Watch out in 2015, inov-8 have some seriously quality products coming your way!

Here are just a small selection of images as a teaser….

all images are ©iancorless.comall rights reserved

No reproduction please.

Check out inov-8 at http://www.inov-8.com

Trail Running Magazine – Skyrunning

AprMay14 low res

 

The new issue of Trail Running is on sale now! In selected WHSmiths,
Asda, Booths, Co-op, Martin McColls, Sainsbury¹s, Spar & all good
newsagents.
Or subscribe & save at www.greatmagazines.co.uk/tr

Episode 56 – Sandes, Jurek, Morgan, Chaigneau, Maciel, Kendall

Ep56

 

Episode 56 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we have a Transgrancanaria special with a whole series of interviews. We speak with Scott Jurek, Sebastien Chaigneau, Casey Morgan, 3rd place lady, Fernanda Maciel and we have an in-depth chat with race winner, Ryan Sandes. In addition, we have a chat with top Brit at the MDS, Danny Kendall who returns this year to hopefully move higher up the field. The news, a blog and of this week only, a new co-host, Niandi Carmont.

What we have both been up to?

NEWS

AUDIO with SCOTT JUREK 
 
Transgrancanaria
  1. Ryan Sandes Salomon/Red Bull : 14:27:42
  2. Julien Chorier  Hoka One One/ Compressport “14:36:28
  3. Timothy Olson The North Face : 14:39:03
  4. Yeray Duran : 15:06:54
  5. Antoine Guillon WAA : 15:17:30
  6. Sondre Amdahl : 15:28:35
  7. Javier Dominguez Vibram : 15:46:06
  8. Cyril Cointre WAA : 15:47:08
  9. Dylan Bowman Peral Izumi : 15:59:13
  10. Casey Morgan Salomon 16:00:31
AUDIO with CASEY MORGAN
 
AUDIO with SEBASTIEN CHAIGNEAU
  1. Nuria Picas Buff : 16:44:55
  2. Francesca Canepa Montura : 17:29:18
  3. Fernanda Maciel 17:31:57
  4. Ildko Wermescher Mammut :18:50:45
  5. Uxue Fraile Vibram 19:21:00
  6. Nerea Martinez Salomon 19:21:00
  7. Magdalena Ostrowska-Dolegowska : 20:27:02
  8. Ester Alves : 23:03:10
  9. Laureda Tirepied : 23:10:44
  10. Helen Allison : 23:40:48
AUDIO with FERNANDA MACIEL
ITI350 and ITI1000
David Johnton was on the last show and after smashing the Susitna 100 record just 7-days later took on the ITI350. He was on the last show if you need and insight and he will be on our next show! Amazingly, he smashed the CR thought by many to be unbeatable by an incredible, 4d 1h 38m – broke record by 13h 22m set by Steve Refenstuhl
Jeff Oatley gonna smash the 1000m in around 10-days
MSIG Sai Kung 50
 
  1. Rudy Gilman 4:51
  2. Siu Keung Tsang 5:05
  3. Brendan Davies 5:15
Brit Stu Air – 8th
  1. Cassie Scallon 6:00
  2. Allesandra Carlini 6:05
  3. Joe Joe SuiPing Fan 6:11
St Peters Way Ultra
  1. Richard Ashton – new CR 5:34
  2. Christopher Howe 5:59
  3. Keith Moule 7:03
  1. Naomi Newton Fisher 8:20
  2. Fiona McNeils 9:58
  3. Nicki Edwards 10:13
4 Refugios non-stop Argentina – 70k
  1. Dakota Jone 7:18
  2. Sergio Jesus Trecaman 7:51
  3. Carlos Galosi 8:12
  1. Laura Lucero 9:40
  2. Sonia Beartriz 10:32
  3. Yanet Guzman 11:18
 
ADDO Elephant 76km
  1. Quintin Honey 8:05
  2. Mike Els 8:45
  3. Miema Murray (lady) 9:22

INTERVIEW with DANNY KENDALL

 

BLOG

Zach Bitter

Big Fat Theory

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the ratio of fat and carbohydrate expenditure while running at varying paces.”

INTERVIEW with RYAN SANDES

 
UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Victoria

Maroondah Dam 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 16, 2014 | website

Razorback 58K Run | 58 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 58K Run (March) | 58 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 64K Run | 64 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 64K Run (March) | 64 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 68K Run (March) | 68 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Dirty Duo 50 km Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Yukon

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 120 mile | 120 miles | March 14, 2014 | website

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 350 mile | 350 miles | March 14, 2014 | website

France

Pas-de-Calais

Trail Bullygeois des Poilus – 55 km | 55 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

Hong-Kong

Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Translantau 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Hungary

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 21, 2014 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 195 kilometers | March 20, 2014 | website

India

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 135 Miles | 135 miles | March 14, 2014 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 160 km | 160 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

Italy

Umbria

Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

Veneto

Ultrabericus | 65 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Madagascar

Nosy Be Trail – 65 km | 65 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Tarawera 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Tarawera 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Tarawera 85K Ultramarathon | 85 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Te Houtaewa Challenge 60 km Open Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Triple Peaks Challenge | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Philippines

TRD80 Ultramarathon | 80 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Portugal

Território Circuito Centro 3a Etapa – Vila de Rei – K67 – Ultra Trail | 67 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Território Circuito Centro 3a Etapa – Vila de Rei – Trail Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Senegal

Raid Téranga 250 | 250 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Slovakia

Kysucká Stovka | 120 kilometers | March 07, 2014 | website

South Africa

Om Die Dam 50 km Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Trail Sierras del Bandolero | 150 kilometers | March 07, 2014 | website

Catalonia

Marxa dels Castells PLUS | 81 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

UT les Fonts – Trail de les Fonts | 70 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Taiwan

Southern Cross-Island Road Ultra Marathon – 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Southern Cross-Island Road Ultra Marathon – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Tunisia

100 Miles Camelus | 100 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

45 Miles Camelus | 45 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Aberdeen City

D33 Ultra | 33 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Deeside Way Ultra | 33 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Bradford

Haworth Hobble | 32 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 21, 2014 | website

Somerset

Exmoor Ultra – 40 Miles | 40 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Wiltshire

Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 09, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Arizona

Monument Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Monument Valley 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Old Man 52K | 52 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Arkansas

3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

California

Coyote Cohorts Backbone Trail Ultra | 68 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Lake Natoma 50K | 50 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Old West Trails 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Rodeo Valley Trail Run Spring 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Whoos in El Moro 50k – Race #2 | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Colorado

High Line Canal 100K | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Florida

DWD Green Swamp 50K | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50M | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Lost 118 | 118 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Georgia

Georgia Death Race | 60 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Kentucky

Land Between The Lakes 50 mile run | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Land Between The Lakes 60k | 60 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Louisiana

Q50 50M Ultra | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Maryland

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Graveyard 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Graveyard 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Reservoir Park 50K | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Ohio

Buzzard Day 50k | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Green Jewel 50K Fun Run | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 16, 2014 | website

Music City Trail Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Texas

Prickly Pear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 21, 2014 | website

Virginia

Elizabeth’s Furnace Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Washington

Centennial Trail Run | 37 miles | March 08, 2014 | website
CLOSE
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He is Karl Meltzer and I’m Ian Corless
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LINKS

The North Face® Transgrancanaria 2014 pre race and press conference images

Ryan Sandes ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes ©iancorless.com

Sebastien Chaigneau ©iancorless.com

Sebastien Chaigneau ©iancorless.com

Tension builds ahead of the 2014 The North Face® Transgrancanaria with runners arriving from all over the world to take part in the second race of the UTWT (Ultra Trail World Tour).

You can read an in depth race preview HERE

Important news from the last couple of days are key withdrawals from the ladies race; firstly Julia Bottger has decided that recent racing and training stress has left a niggling leg injury a disaster waiting to happen and so therefore has made the wise and cautious decision not to start. Nathalie Mauclair was without doubt a potential winner of this years race and unfortunately she too has withdrawn  saying that she too has a niggling leg injury and that she doesn’t feel ready.

In the men’s race, Miguel Heras once again has picked up an injury in the build up to the race and his problematic injury issues continue. Will he be ready for Marathon des Sables?

The 125km The North Face® Transgrancanaria  starts at midnight on Friday and images and updates will be provided on this website, Talk Ultra Facebook and @talkultra on Twitter as and when possible.

Thursday evening saw a presentation of some of the key athletes in this years race.

Nuria Picas ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas ©iancorless.com

 

William Sichel settles for age-group win in Taiwan

Taipei48

 

Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel had to settle for an age-group win and 14th overall, with his distance of 156.069 miles  in the Taipei 48 Hour Road race which ran from February 14th-16th in the Taiwanese capital.

“I started strongly but after about 4 or 5 hours I could feel that I hadn’t fully recovered from my epic run in Arizona in January.  I just kept going, but had to accept a lesser distance than I would normally achieve in this type of event.”

William has had an incredibly successful, but hectic, last few months of competitive action going back to August when he was runner-up and set a world age-group record at the British UltraFest 6 Day race in Abingdon, England.  Then came runner-up spot again in the Monaco 8 Day race in November followed by  4th overall and 17 records (including another world-age group one) in the Arizona 6 Day over the New Year.

The Taipei event was incredibly popular with over 1700 runners taking part in the 12 hour and 24 hour relay events which took place concurrently with the 48 hour event.  A noisy festival of ultra marathon   competition.

“It’s time now for some rest and recovery and then a few months of hard training before my next competitive outing which will be announced shortly.”

William is working on Project165.com in which he will attempt to have set 165 ultra running records before his 65th birthday on October 1st 2018.  Amongst William’s current 95 records he holds nine world age-group records including the fastest time to run 1000 miles.

David Johnston Interview – Iditarod Trail Invitation 350 #ITI350 and Susitna 100

dave family

 

“This year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational begins in a couple days and I’m looking forward to watching what David Johnston does this time around. Will his recent 18-hour assault of the Susitna 100 hinder his ITI performance? Not many people would be bold enough to run a 100-miler as hard as they can a week before a 350 mile race in which they are trying to run as fast as possible, but Dave is one of the most bold racers I’ve ever come across. He’s also one of the most upbeat, happy, and likeable people you will ever meet. I’ve talked in the past about how ‘unbreakable’ I feel Steve Reifenstuhl’s foot record is at the ITI, but Dave might just be the one person who is crazy enough to try, and talented/experienced enough to pull it off. A year ago I would have said, no way could Dave ever run the ITI as fast as Steve did, but after his amazing run there last year, and his jaw dropping performance at Susitna last week, he has proven that it is within his grasp if the trail conditions are in his favor. He simply has an ability to drag a sled for long distances on snow really, really, really well. I would love to be out there giving it a go beside him, but that will have to wait for another year (or a few) for me. For now I’ll just have to settle for rooting for Dave from the warmth and comfort of my house here in Colorado. Go get ‘em, buddy!”

by Geoff Roes (posted on Facebook, Feb 21st 2014)

Geoff sums it up perfectly. I personally followed the Iditarod Trail Invitational closely last year (2013) as I had arranged with Joe Grant to monitor his progress with a series of step-by-step interviews to record his journey as he prepared for his first attempt at this epic 350-mile race. After the race in a candid catch up, Joe continued to be amazed by what the race leader, David Johnston had achieved, when I mentioned to Joe about my interview with David he said, ‘That’s awesome Ian. Look forward to hearing about it. Dave continues to run phenomenal races on these winter courses. Can’t wait to see what he does at the ITI this year.’

 

I caught up with David just 5-days after he set an incredible new course record at the Susitna-100. Running a time of 18:22, this smashed Geoff Roes 2007 record of 21:43 out of the park.

Believe it or not, today, Sunday 23rd February 2014, David won’t be at home with his feet up recovering, he will be on the start line of the ITI350 to see what he can do… again!

 

 INTERVIEW

IC: In last years punishing 350-mile ITI race, ultra runner David Johnston endured countless problems; sleep deprivation and hallucinations, nausea and diarrhea, sinus problems and a strained right knee. The soles of his feet were numb when he crossed the finish line, and the numbness persisted for more than a week afterward. (From http://www.adn.com)

But David Johnston returns for more!

DJ: Thanks Ian, great to be here.

IC: Last year we followed Joe Grant step-by-step as he prepared for the ITI. It was great to get an insight how he prepared and then catch up afterwards. One thing he said continually was. “This guy David Johnston has had an incredible run, what he has achieved is incredible’. From the outside looking in, the ITI is a small community. Not many know about this race. The 350-mile or the just crazy 1000-mile race; what is it for you that attracts you to this race and severity of course.

DJ: Living in Alaska is the big draw. You know, we Alaskans think of ourselves as locals, we cut our teeth on the shorter races and it gets in your blood and you think what is next? The ITI sits up there as the top shelf whiskey and you long to do it. So it’s great to get the opportunity and when you do, you give it your best.

IC: You completed the 2013 race in 4hrs 13min short of the previous record (considered unbeatable) did you go out for the record or did you just see how it goes?

DJ: When I started the race last year I think my main goal was to see if I could run the whole way. I didn’t know if I could do that. When I started off I was with Joe Grant. We were together for the first 30-miles. He asked, ‘what are you going to do?’ I said you know what, ‘Joe, I am gonna see if I can run the whole way.’ He replied by saying, ‘your nuts, you can’t run the whole way’. But I thought to myself I am gonna try… In the first 150-miles I went through some tough times. At mile 135 I left Fingerlake checkpoint and it was do or die. I probably shouldn’t have left but I was like an animal. I thought I would put my head down and just go for it. I hit mile 200 and I thought, you know what, I am close to the record. I thought lets go for it. I ran as hard as I could… even with 50-miles left I had to run within 10-hours (5-miles per hour). That is pretty much top speed on snow…

IC: That’s crazy! It would be hard enough trying to do that on fresh legs at the beginning but after 4-days? Wow; crazy.

DJ: (laughs) I pulled it off for a while but with 40-miles left I was on pace and then the snow started at it came harder and harder. My effort was reduced to 3-miles per hour and I could see it slipping away. I thought this is all I have got! I definitely had to put up with Mother Nature but that is this race! It was the first time I had ever decided to just go for it… You just don’t know what you will get?

IC: How do you just go for it when it is a 350-mile race in such tough conditions? You have touched on that you live in the environment so you will be far more savvy and aware of what you can and can’t do and of course what will and won’t work. I know that in the process Joe Grant went through, there are certain things that he had to guess. Once at the end, his learning curve was complete. Joe realized what he would do next time and things he wouldn’t do. Do you think that the success for you is that you know what works?

DJ: Yes, it’s a huge part of it. I learn daily. You learn the basics the first time but you never stop learning.

IC: Of course you have just completed Susitna-100 and we will come on to that soon. However it would be rude not to discuss your ITI350 from 2013 but part of the reason I am not talking in depth is because today, Sunday 23rd, you are about to go and do it all again… just 7-days after Susitna. What are the tips that you could provide for anyone competing in something like this?

DJ: Practice and practice. Get out with a sled everyday. Wear the shoes that you are going to wear and prepare the mind. The mentality of it can’t be underestimated. Get out in the cold conditions and get used to what you will have to endure. If you have an indoor track near your home, don’t use it! You need to be out and in the conditions to get ready. It’s just little things. It is interesting, in the snow I run so much better than on dry ground. I think it’s the excitement and the energy of the snow. The whiteness. You know, Christmas is my favourite holiday. Maybe it’s just like Christmas all the time. I can’t repeat my performances on dry land, that is a long term aim for me but something about the snow energizes me.

IC: I opened up our chat mentioning all those things; sleep deprivation and hallucinations, nausea and diarrhea, sinus problems and a strained right knee. How do you mentally focus to get yourself putting one front in front of the other? Is this natural or have you had to work on it?

DJ: You know what, luck plays a big part. Some days it just doesn’t work but I think of cold beer or a great song to help me push through. You know, the benefit of these races is that you just don’t have too many points that you can drop! So, even when you are low you have no choice but to continue. You know, you hit mile 60 and feel like death in a normal race and you can drop because it’s easy, so this is a big plus to racing out here. You are forced to go on.

IC: In terms of food and nutrition, how do you sustain yourself from day-to-day? The interview in adn.com mentions, Smarties and Pop Tarts. Is simple food and simple sugars the way to fuel yourself or do you need a good hot meal at an aid station?

DJ: I’m a big guy with size 12 feet so I need fuel. My biggest problem is my stomach. So that is 75% of the battle with me. If I can figure out how to make my stomach cooperate I will do fine. I am really careful taking in stuff. When my body allows it, I will eat what I can… hot meal or whatever. When my bodies complaining, that is when I kinda just nibble on Smarties or a piece of Pop Tart to try and keep some calories going in. The Susitna-100 last week I ran on probably only 200-calories. With the effort I was putting out I couldn’t take anything. I try to eat well the week and night before any race. It’s a weak link for m. I’d love to work it out one day.

dave susitna

IC: Okay, you mentioned Susitna-100, which happened just last weekend. You raced at Hurt-100 earlier this year, Gary Robbins won once again but you had a tough race and you dropped at 60-miles. Did that play on your mind going into the Susitna race or are the 2-races just so different it wasn’t an issue. I know Hurt was very hot and humid!

DJ: It was a huge disappointment. I went to Hurt in the best shape I have had for years. I was gunning for a top-3 position. I started out at a pace that I thought would do that but I just started to fall apart. The course is brutal. You know, up here in the winter you can’t come close to getting anything like that Hurt course. The other guys were flying over roots and rocks. No way I could run like that… I thought I could go out and tough it out and forge on but by mile 60 I was reduced to a stumbling walk and I thought, I gotta pull the plug. So, lining up at Susitna last week that was on my shoulders. You have 100’s of your friends at the line watching and they are supporting so you want to do your best. It was definitely a determining factor to go hard and not stop.

IC: Can you give us an insight into the course and the race, what is it like?

DJ: Oh man it is a neat race! You line up at a famous Iditarod dog mush kennel. You line up with 75-biker, 40-runners and 20 or so skiers and they say go…! This year it was so icy. It’s unique; it’s a race that I would recommend anyone to try. Particularly if they want to do the ITI or other winter races that require qualification. I’m not kidding you; at least 10-miles was like running on an ice rink. It was glare ice. On the rivers or lakes it was glare ice. This year was all about shoes. At the start I checked shoes and I was thinking, mmm, some of you guys will have an interesting run. Shoe experience is invaluable. I strapped on some new ice bug racing flats and those things grip like Spiderman. They are not a100-mile shoe so I got pretty beat up but when I hit the ice I started running 8-min miles. My sled would start to overtake me…

(Laughter)

IC: Okay, so that is how you broke the record?

DJ: Conditions were excellent. You know I went into this race a 60-mile brutal training run in Hawaii and so the confidence of the training and my preparation was excellent.

IC: Geoff Roes set the record in 2007. His time is over 2-hours slower than what you achieved this year. I guess having listened to what you have just said, I guess the ice wasn’t a bad thing because you knew and were prepared to run well in those conditions. You had the correct shoes but of course a big advantage is that the slid glides instead of you pulling it in soft snow.

DJ: The sled weighed about 24lbs with everything in it. As you say, it got great glide. The thing with a course record, every few years the course changes a little. Maybe 50% of the course was different? The distance is always spot on, always 100-miles but the courses are not the same. Also, when Geoff ran in 2007 he wasn’t in his prime. I think he would definitely have beaten his previous time with his form of a few years ago.

IC: You ran 18:22 and Geoff ran 21:43. A big difference! When you run a race like this and when conditions are good do you think about CR’s or is it a case of I will see how it goes?

dave training

DJ: I didn’t think about a CR. The courses are too unpredictable. I am hoping they keep this new course for a while but it will take a real effort to be at the time I have set, 18:22 will be super tough. I would almost say it is going to be impossible. My goal before the race was to break 20-hours. Only a few people knew this before the race and they shook their heads thinking it was crazy! I started out at a pace faster than 20-hours. Conditions for skiers were terrible. One of the top skiers was with me for a long time, at mile 35 he skies up behind me and says, ‘don’t you think you went out a little too fast this year?’ I agreed with him but thought, you can’t go back now so I put my head down and pushed on.

IC: Did you have any bad points?

DJ: Mile 45 or so I guess. I hit that point and my stomach was saying I don’t like you anymore. I was getting low on energy. I had a 10-mile stretch when I was struggling. I was thinking to myself that maybe I had gone out too fast. I had no choice. I wasn’t going to let myself down again so I stared at the snow and pushed as hard as I could. At mile 55 I cam out the other side; I think my body was using fat as fuel, I could tell the difference. At mile 60 you hit a resort that is road accessible and my 2-kids and wife met me. That picked me up. I actually hung out for 20-minutes with them. It was a great burst of energy. I realized the last 40-miles just needed to be done!

IC: So at 60-miles you hung out for 20-minutes. So, at this pint you weren’t covering ground… maybe the CR could be 20-min quicker? (Both laugh)

DJ: Normally I would have taken a 5 to10-min break but they had driven out to see me. We sat at the table while they ate… I couldn’t eat but I sat talking and shivering (laughs). The temperature was sort of cold but not cold if you know what I mean. I chattered my teeth and decided it was time to push on. My wife was begging me to slow down, ‘I don’t want to find you lying on the trail.’ My son told me I was nuts! It was great to see them, I just didn’t think about the time. Also the course was so hard. I took a beating out on the trail so the rest may have well been good. For the final 10-miles I was running 9-min mile pace which was great.

IC: Considering Susitna was last weekend and today, you embark on the ITI350, was this a long-term plan or have you just seized an opportunity?

DJ: This was always a long-term plan. It started 12-months ago after the 2013 ITI350. I knew I would do both races. In regard to how hard I would run Susitna I didn’t know that until a week before the race. I was doing one of my daily 10-mile runs with a sled and I was flying. I knew conditions were going to be opportune so I had to take advantage. When the gun went at Susitna I embraced the conditions and went hard. I hope the damage is done… a week is not long recovery especially when going into a 350-mile race. I went out a couple of days ago for a 5-mile run with the sled and I didn’t move too fast (laughs). I guess we will find out how the ITI350 goes. Many are shaking heads thinking I am crazy but hey, I have to give it a go.

IC: I guess you can start, see how it goes and you will know relatively quickly if it is a good idea or really a bad idea. I suppose the only thing that may happen, it may take a day before you feel good?

DJ: Yeah. We are starting to get some fresh snow; I was hoping for the super fast conditions but we have had fresh snow; which will slow things down. It is amazing what a few inches of snow can do. Just 3-inches can slow you down by 1-mile per hour. But I am going to go for it!

IC: You did 4-days 19-hours 14-mins last year and you were 37-hours ahead of 2nd. What’s the competition like this year.

DJ: I have some great competition. It’s hard to distinguish because you have runners doing both 350 and 1000-mile races. But everyone does the 350! So the harden 1000-mile races push hard for 350-miles and then rest for a day before pushing on for the 1000-mile journey. Tim Hewitt is one of the world’s best winter endurance athletes. John Logar raced with Joe Grant last year and I would say that Parker Rios will perform; he won Arrowhead in 2013.

IC: Well, I am really looking forward to following the action as the race unfolds. It has been really great to speak to you before the ITI350 and post Susitna. I am really looking forward to catching up with you after this year’s race so that we can have a blow-by-blow account of the 2014 ITI350 was like.

DJ: Thank you so much… I hope it’s a good blow-by-blow!

 

Notes and links:

All images ©davidjohnston

The Iditarod Trail Invitational

iditarod-route

The Race

The Iditarod Trail Invitational is the world’s longest human powered winter ultra. Beginning in Knik, Alaska it follows the Iditarod Trail to McGrath covering 350 miles. Ironically this is called the ‘short race’. They also have a ‘long race’ covering 1100 miles finishing at Nome, Alaska. Support is minimal. Two snow machines ride ahead of the leaders providing a broken trail to McGrath. Food drops are provided at 130 miles, 210 miles and in even numbered years a feed is provided at ‘Cripple‘ and odd numbered years at ‘Iditarod‘.

That’s it!

Between checkpoints, racers are solo or may work with each other. If they continue to ‘Nome’ for the 1100 mile journey once past McGrath it os solo all the way apart from a food drop at ‘Ruby‘. After that they can use village stores, mail packages ahead or possibly use a school for a warm nights rest. Hard core!

Somehow this quote seems a little understated: Tim Hewitt, six time finisher of the 1100 mile race said:

“It’s the toughest race in the world.”

History

The Iditarod Trail Invitational follows the historic Iditarod Trail. The famous sled dog route runs 1000 miles through frozen Alaska every March since 1973 in memory of those brave individuals who brought the important serum to Nome in 1925 during a diphterie outbreak. Using bicycles as a means of transportation on Alaska’s frozen rivers and tundra might seem a little odd and a crazy idea, but men looking for gold around 1900 that couldn’t afford a dog team actually used what they then called a “wheel” and followed the gold rush from Dawson City to Nome on the Yukon River on bicycles.

How do you get in?

This is the most remote and longest winter ultra race in the world.
Competitors in the human powered event go through an interview process with race organizers Bill & Kathi Merchant.

If they have the skills and knowledge to be self sufficient in cold weather, such as high altitude mountaineering experience or previous arctic expeditions they can enter the race.
Prior finishes in races such as the following are qualifying events.

 

 

 

Scott Trail Rocket Shoe

Scott Trail Rocket

Following on from the extremely successful and popular T2 Kinabalu (review HERE and ladies review HERE) Scott have produced an out and out trail running race shoe aptly named the Trail Rocket.

Sporting many features from the T2 Kinabalu this new incarnation in principal is a completely different beast. The aggressive outsole from the T2 is gone leaving a shoe (and grip) that will fly along on dry and hard pack trail, however, if mud is your thing on first impressions the T2 will be a far better choice.

Scott Trail Rocket SoleFollowing the trend for low drop shoes, the Trail Rocket now has a 5mm heel to toe drop in comparison to the 11mm drop of the T2. However, don’t look at this as an either/ or option. The T2 and Trail Rocket are worlds apart and as such the appropriate shoe should be chosen depending on many factors. I very much see owners of the T2 purchasing the Trail Rocket for faster and shorter sessions and Trail Rocket owners looking to purchase the T2 for longer days when terrain could be very unpredictable.

Scott Trail Rocket UpperThe upper is very breathable with a wide toe box, snug heel compartment that provides a solid and secure fit and importantly, toe protection is good should you have any unwanted encounters with rocks or obstacles on the trail. The shoe is designed to work well with or without socks, the choice is yours. Sizing is true to size, however, if you are going without socks you may want to check what works for you. Lacing is solid and depending on your preferred lacing method the shoe holds firm to the foot and is extremely comfortable. The laces themselves have stretch and once tied hold firm and don’t come loose. Missing from the front of the shoe is the elastic bungee that could hold and retain excess lace (see T2 review). I don’t understand this? It was a simple addition that added no weight but provided a really practical solution to a problem that exists for all runners unless you use Salomon!

Scott Trail Rocket Pair

They are lightweight and versatile trail shoes designed for maximum performance for racing and fast training and as such they won’t appeal to everyone. The minimalistic design in combination with the eRide™ Technology promotes an efficient, natural and fast running style. Arguably, the eRide™ (rocker) is not required for this model of shoe as a 5mm drop will almost certainly mean that your run form should already be good and mid to forefoot landing is normal. However, should you be transitioning to lower drop shoes the eRide™ will help guide you on your way.

eRide

As you would expect, the shoes weigh in at a light 260g (UK9) which is obviously due to the minimalist design and Aerofoam.

Aerofoam

Forefoot cushioning is 17.5 and rear cushioning 22.5 providing a shoe that still provides good cushioning and protection. How far can you run in them? Well it very much depends on your form, adaptation and technique. Without doubt I think we will see many efficient runners covering 100-miles in this shoe, however, for many it will be a great mountain marathon shoe, 50k or 50-mile race option shoe.

Scott Trail Rocket Side

Importantly, the shoe has no rock plate and that my prove an issue for many?

Slipping the shoe on you have that confirmed comfort feeling inherited from the T2 Kinabalu, so, it’s fair to say that if you are a fan of its beefier brother you are going to like the Trail Rocket.

You zip along feeling very light and although this is considered a more minimalist racing shoe, overall comfort is great.

On road it performs exceptionally well, that is a real bonus for many of us who may need to transition to trail either by connecting roads or maybe you need to access trail with a jog to and from home.

On hard trail and rock you fly along. The Trail Rocket has great response and promotes a faster pace… that may or may not be a good thing? Certainly if you are new to ultra racing or looking to complete rather than compete, the Trail Rocket may not be the shoe for you. I would recommend the T2 and use the Trail Rocket for faster training sessions or shorter trail races.

The lack of a rock plate was noticeable when on continued rocky or gnarly ground. It wasn’t an issue or caused any problems, BUT if I was doing a long race over continually tough and technical terrain then this would become a problem and for sure, my feet would be tired. This is not a fault of the shoe, one just needs to choose the appropriate shoe for the terrain and length of session

Ultimately, the Trail Rocket is a great shoe. It doesn’t replace the T2 in any way, in actual fact it compliments it and I therefore I see Trail Rocket owners having a pair of T2′s and vice versa.

Recommended!

Specs:

  • Drop 5mm
  • Upper – mesh with synthetic overlays
  • Lower – eva/ rubber

Scott Running website HERE