Hong Kong and the Lantau 2 Peaks – First Impressions


©iancorless.com_Lantau2Peaks2015-3966Hong Kong, it’s a place I have wanted to visit for sometime! The noise, the bustle of life, it has an energy that is far removed from many places that I visit. Nepal I suppose in some ways come close but only on a noise level, here everyone has the latest phone, computer, camera and so on

It’s a long way from the UK or anywhere in Europe. A short 1 –hour flight to Amsterdam, a couple of hours’ stopover and then a 10.5-hour flight through the night and of course 7-hours time difference. You arrive mid morning but you feel like you be wrapped up in bed.

Once you leave the air conditioned confines of the airport or train station, the heat hits you. It’s like someone just turned a hair dryer on and the humidity? It’s uncomfortably high.

Most normal people would get a couple of hours sleep. A little RnR maybe? No, not us. The Salomon team were on my flight; Greg Vollet (team manager), Remi Bonnet, Laura Orgue, Martina Valmassoi and Yngvild Kaspersen. It’s a multi-national bunch with France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Norway represented.

Active people don’t like being compressed in a cylindrical tube for any length of time, especially 10.5-hours. So it was a quick turnaround at the hotel, check-in, drop luggage in room, shower and go for lunch before heading out on the Lantau 2 Peaks course. Lunch was an interesting navigation of what felt like a lucky dip. We ticked boxes on a menu card and hoped for the best. Some of our choices were excellent, some average and the less we discuss the pork balls, the better!

Lantau 2 Peaks by Action Asia Events after all is why we are all here. Lantau is the 4th race in the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series for the SKY distance and the top male and female honours are all to play for.

Our early arrival in HK affords an opportunity to check out the 2nd section of the course, from Cp1 to the finish; it is one we seize. I get to look at some possible photo spots and loosen off from the travel, the Salomon team get a 13-14k mountain run in.

Running is easy! Navigating our way across Hong Kong via 2 trains, no ‘blue’ taxi’s meant that a bus was the only option. As it turned out it was a great adventure.

So here we are.

We have consumed food, used public transport, christened the trails and as darkness falls the place is coming to life in a glow of neon lights and sounds.

Hong Kong is an exciting place!

Episode 96 – Hillary Allen and Marie-Paule Pierson


Episode 96 has a full and in-depth with Hillary Allen, rising star of the Skyrunning ranks. We also speak with Marie-Paul Pierson who takes on the challenge of her lifetime: Atacama. We have the News, Up and Coming Races and Speedboat is back!

00:18:50 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities http://iancorless.org/2015/04/28/nepal-appeal-nepalearthquake/


1 – Florian Reus 23:17:31

2 – Dan Lawson 23:53:32

3 – Kim Hansen 23:54:37

1 – Katalin Nagy 25:07:12

2 – Alyson Venti 26:50:51

3 – Szilvia Lubics 29:18:44

Mention for Debbie Martin Consani who placed 5th and in 30:36 and Isobel Wykes 7th in 32:33. Plus a huge congrats to Marvellous Mimi Anderson who placed14th lady in 35:07:41 and then ran back and did the double!


1 – Uxue Fraile 25:34:02

2 – Fernanda Maciel 26:44:25

3 – Aliza Lapierre 26:44:25

1 – Gediminas Grinius 20:40:58

2 – Arnaud Lejeune 21:54:51

3 – Jeff Browning 22:01:01

BEAR 100

1 – Mick Jurynec 19:01

2 – Dominiick Layfield 20:35

3 – Jesse Haynes 20:35

1 – Angela Shartel 22:34

2 – Cat Bradley 23:04

3 – Jenn Shelton 24:27


1 – Jason Schlarb 18:05

2 – Bob Shebest 19:13

3 – Andrew Skurka 20:12

1 – Emma Roca 21:42

2 – Emily Richards 22:00

3 – Kerrie Bruxvoort 22:54


1 – Kilian Jornet 12:03

2 – Zaid Ait Malek 12:12

3 – Miguel Heras 12:20

1 – Emelie Forsberg 13:39

2 – Mira Rai 13:43

3 – Nuria Picas 14:13


1 – Jonas Buud 6:22

2 – Asier Cuevas 6:35

3 – Giorgio Calcaterra 6:36

1 – Camille Heron 7:08

2 – Kasja Berg 7:20

3 – Marlja Vrajic 7:27


1 – Magdalena Boulet 10:03:29

2 – Larisa Dannis 10:25:41

3 – Kaci Lickteig 10:56:22

1 – Justin Houck 8:53:22

2 – Mario Mendoza 9:12:09

3 – Ford Smith 9:47:17

Tor des Giants was stopped due to bad weather, Patrick Board did complete the course though in 80 hours 20 minutes. Denise Zimmerman was declared the ladies champion.

Andrew Hamilton set a new FKT for the Nolans 14 of 53 hours 39 mins – 1 hour better than John Robinsons previous FKT.

01:02:03 INTERVIEW


Fancy a multi-day TRAINING CAMP – look HERE

Multi-Day Camp Image

01:38:25 INTERVIEW


02:21:02 UP & COMING RACES


La Pachamama 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

La Pachamama 53 km | 53 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

La Pachamama 73 km | 73 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


New South Wales

Freedom Trail Run – 50k | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


Bribie Beach Bash 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website


Great Ocean Walk 100 km Trail Run | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Great Ocean Walk 100 mile Trail Run | 100 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Western Australia

Oxfam Trailwalker Australia – Perth | 100 kilometers | October 09, 2015 | website



Iron Horse Ultra 100 Km (CAN) | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Iron Horse Ultra 100 Miles (CAN) | 100 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

Nova Scotia

Valley Harvest Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


Run for the Toad 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Bromont Ultra 160 km | 160 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Bromont Ultra 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Bromont Ultra 80 km | 80 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Tour du Massif – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Valamar Trail 53 | 53 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Valamar Trail 73 | 73 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Eastern Finland

Vaarojen Ultramaraton | 86 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website



Trail Edelweiss | 55 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website


Grand Raid des Cathares | 170 kilometers | October 15, 2015 | website

Raid des Bogomiles | 96 kilometers | October 16, 2015 | website


66 km | 66 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website


Trail du Viaduc des Fauvettes 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


A Paolina | 70 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Trail de Mauves en Vert – 50 km | 53 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website


100 Miles Sud de France | 100 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

Grande Traversée Mer Montagne | 110 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website


100 km | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

100 km Relais | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website



Herbstlauf Schloss Thurn Hobbylauf | 87 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

50 km von Hitdorf | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Niederrhein Ultra 100Km Nachtlauf | 100 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website

Niederrhein Ultra 200 Km Nonstop Lauf | 200 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Rodopi Advendurun 100 miles | 100 miles | October 16, 2015 | website


Challenger – Whole Course | 78 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Prohiker – Round-trip Course | 156 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website


National Capital Territory of Delhi

Bhatti Lakes 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

Bhatti Lakes 220 km | 220 kilometers | October 02, 2015 | website

Bhatti Lakes 50 Mile | 50 miles | October 02, 2015 | website

Isle of Man

Isle of Man Mountain Ultra | 51 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website



100 km | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Tartufo Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Tartufo Trail 66 km | 66 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Magredi Mountain Trail 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 02, 2015 | website

Magredi Mountain Trail 40 Mile | 40 miles | October 03, 2015 | website


Morenic Trail | 109 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Eroica Running Ultramaratona | 65 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website


Ultra Trail le vie di San Francesco Long Way | 124 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail le vie di San Francesco Medium Way | 66 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Trans Kansai | 200 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


70 km | 70 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Everest Sky Race | 360 kilometers | October 16, 2015 | website

Godawari 50km | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Mount Everest Extreme Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | October 05, 2015 | website

Royal Penguin Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | October 05, 2015 | website



Herfst Ultraloop Berg en Dal | 60 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Blackmores XTERRA Trail Challenge Waihi Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website


120K | 120 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

60K | 60 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

90K | 90 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Réccua Douro Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

South Africa

Extreme | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Legends 68km Ultra Marathon | 68 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Ultra-Trail® Cape Town – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Ultra-Trail® Cape Town – 62 km | 62 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website



Long Trail Guara Somontano | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Guara Somontano | 102 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Castile and León

Ultra de Gredos | 82 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Valencian Community

Ultra Trail Del Rincon 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Del Rincon 170 km | 170 kilometers | October 09, 2015 | website


Holaveden Ultra | 52 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Sörmland Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website



Les Défis du Jubilé – 52 km | 52 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Les Défis du Jubilé – 68 km | 68 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Les Défis du Jubilé – 71 km | 71 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website


Trail Vallée de Joux – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


50 km of Wild Pig | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Macmillan Way Ultra – Black Route | 51 miles | October 15, 2015 | website

Macmillan Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 15, 2015 | website

Macmillan Way Ultra – Red Route | 45 miles | October 15, 2015 | website

Robin Hood Ultra – Black Route | 50 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

Robin Hood Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

Trent Valley Ultra – Black Route | 56 miles | October 02, 2015 | website

Trent Valley Ultra – Blue Route | 36 miles | October 02, 2015 | website

Trent Valley Ultra – Red Route | 47 miles | October 02, 2015 | website


Greensand Way Ultra – Black Route | 54 miles | October 12, 2015 | website

Greensand Way Ultra – Blue Route | 35 miles | October 12, 2015 | website

Greensand Way Ultra – Red Route | 45 miles | October 12, 2015 | website


Atlantic Coast 3-Day Challenge | 78 miles | October 02, 2015 | website


3×3000 Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Lakes in a Day | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


Stone Circles Ultra – Black Route | 54 miles | October 04, 2015 | website

Stone Circles Ultra – Red Route | 41 miles | October 04, 2015 | website

East Sussex

50 Mile Overnight Run | 50 miles | October 03, 2015 | website


Harcamlow Way Ultra – Black Route | 49 miles | October 11, 2015 | website

Harcamlow Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 11, 2015 | website


Herefordshire Trail Ultra – Black Route | 51 miles | October 06, 2015 | website

Herefordshire Trail Ultra – Red Route | 38 miles | October 06, 2015 | website


Monarch’s Way Ultra – Black Route | 58 miles | October 07, 2015 | website

Monarch’s Way Ultra – Blue Route | 40 miles | October 07, 2015 | website

Monarch’s Way Ultra – Red Route | 49 miles | October 07, 2015 | website


Leicestershire Ultra – Black Route | 45 miles | October 08, 2015 | website

Leicestershire Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 08, 2015 | website


Ickneild Way Ultra – Black Route | 55 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Ickneild Way Ultra – Blue Route | 34 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Ickneild Way Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


Hereward Way Ultra – Black Route | 54 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

Hereward Way Ultra – Blue Route | 40 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

Hereward Way Ultra – Red Route | 47 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

North Yorkshire

“Round Ripon” Ultra Studley Roger | 35 miles | October 03, 2015 | website


Oxfordshire RidgeWay Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 13, 2015 | website

Oxfordshire RidgeWay Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 13, 2015 | website


Shropshire Way Ultra – Black Route | 55 miles | October 05, 2015 | website

Shropshire Way Ultra – Blue Route | 34 miles | October 05, 2015 | website

Shropshire Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 05, 2015 | website

The Longmynd Hike | 50 miles | October 03, 2015 | website


West Deane Way Ultra – Black Route | 51 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

West Deane Way Ultra – Blue Route | 36 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

West Deane Way Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 16, 2015 | website


Downslink Ultra | 38 miles | October 04, 2015 | website


Gower Ultra 50 | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


White Horse Trail Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 14, 2015 | website

White Horse Trail Ultra – Red Route | 39 miles | October 14, 2015 | website



Canyon De Chelly Ultra | 55 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Flagstaff 56K Endurance Run | 56 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Flagstaff Sky Race 55K | 55 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Pony Express 12-Person Relay Race | 200 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

Pony Express 2-Person Relay Race | 200 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

Pony Express 6-Person Relay Race | 200 miles | October 09, 2015 | website


Arkansas Traveller 100 | 100 miles | October 03, 2015 | website


Boggs Mountain Boogie 50k | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Cuyamaca 100K Endurance Run | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Dick Collins Firetrails 50 | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Euchre Bar Massacre 50 M | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Owen’s Peak Man vs Horse 50K Trail Adventure | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Pacifica Summit Run 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Skyline to the Sea 50km | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Whoos in El Moro 50k | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Widowmaker Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website


24 Hrs of Boulder – 100 K | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

24 Hrs of Boulder – 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

24 Hrs of Boulder – 50 K | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Animas Surgical Hospital Durango 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website


John Holmes 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website


Foothills 50K Frenzy | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Farmdale 33 Mile Trail Runs | 33 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Farmdale 50 Mile Ultra Trail Run | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


Market to Market Relay | Iowa | 75 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

The Runner’s Flat 50K | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


Heartland 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Lake Perry Rocks! 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Cloudsplitter 100K | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Cloudsplitter 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

Cloudsplitter 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Children of the Cane 100K | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Children of the Cane 100 Miler | 100 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

Children of the Cane 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


50K Run | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

50 Mile Run | 50 miles | October 11, 2015 | website


BRRC Gunpowder Keg Ultra 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Washington D.C. | 200 miles | October 02, 2015 | website


50 M | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

TARC 100 | 100 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


  1. O. T. 50K| 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website
  2. O. T. 50K Relay| 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website


Le Grizz Ultramarathon | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Ultramarathon | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


Market to Market Relay | Nebraska | 78 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

New Hampshire

Pinnacle Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website

New York

Can Lake 50 K | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Can Lake 50 Mile | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Tesla Hertz 100K Run | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Tesla Hertz 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Tesla Hertz 50K Run | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Tesla Hertz 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Pilot Mountain to Hanging Rock Ultra 50K Run | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Pilot Mountain to Hanging Rock Ultra 50- Mile Run | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


Columbia River Power 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Blues Cruise 50k Trail Ultra | 50 kilometers | October 04, 2015 | website

Green Monster 50K Trail Challenge | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Oil Creek Trail Runs 100 Miles | 100 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

Oil Creek Trail Runs 50K | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Oil Creek Trail Runs 50 Miles | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website

South Carolina

Swamp Rabbit Urban Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Cumberland Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


100k | 100 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

50k | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Hunter Gatherer 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

McKinney Roughs 50K | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Survival Run: Hunter Gatherer | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website


Pony Express Trail 100 | 100 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Pony Express Trail 50 | 50 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Red Rock Relay Park City Edition | 65 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


GrindStone 100 | 101 miles | October 02, 2015 | website


Baker Lake 50k | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

Bigfoot 100k Endurance Run | 100 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

Bigfoot 120 Mile Endurance Run | 120 miles | October 09, 2015 | website

Defiance 50K | 50 kilometers | October 10, 2015 | website

West Virginia

West Virginia Trilogy – Day One 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 09, 2015 | website

West Virginia Trilogy – Day Two 50 Mile | 50 miles | October 10, 2015 | website


Glacial 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 11, 2015 | website

Glacial 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | October 11, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin Kettle Moraine State Park 50 Km | 50 kilometers | October 03, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin Kettle Moraine State Park 50 Mile | 50 miles | October 03, 2015 | website

02:21:32 CLOSE 



Listen Here

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

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Episode 95 – Scott and Jenny Jurek #AT Appalachian Trail Special


Episode 95 of Talk Ultra is a completely different show. We are devoting the episode to Scott Jurek and his wife Jenny. Scott Jurek completed the Appalachian Trail on July 12th covering the 2189-miles in 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes. It was a journey of incredible highs and lows, not only for Scott but also for Jenny. In this show we hear from both Scott and Jenny and and provide an insight into what it’s like to run and crew for such an epic and awesome journey… enjoy!

Show links:

Website – talkultra.com
Here is a blow-by-blow account of Scott’s incredible journey in words and pictures of his record breaking Appalachian Trail FKT (HERE)

©iancorless.com.Scott Jurek

A creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person’s career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill, or workmanship.

Scott Jurek called it his masterpiece and rightly so. We can all now look back at his incredible 2200 mile journey along the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine and acknowledge what he has achieved. Jennifer Pharr Davis had set the benchmark in 2011 in a time of  46 days 11 hours and 20 minutes for a supported thru hike. The speed hike record, unsupported is held by Mathew Kirk in a time of 58 days 9 hours and 40 minutes.

Scott Jurek completed the AT on July 12th 2015 in a time of:

46 days 8 hours 7 minutes

Undertaking the AT is a serious business. The demands that are placed on all involved are huge, you only need to ask Karl Meltzer what is required and he will tell you. It’s a beast and one that mustn’t be rushed in to. (Listen Karl’s in-depth chat on Scott and the AT on Ep90 HERE of Talk Ultra)

Months if not years of preparation go into a record so it came as a surprise when Scott Jurek announced on May 27th:

Embarking on a big adventure tomorrow, something I’ve always wanted to do. The time is now!

What has followed is an incredible journey. I encourage you to read my post HERE before continuing on.

What is the AT?

*The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km)[a] long, though the precise length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. The trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The path is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, and managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads and farms.

The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Others have managed to perform a “round-trip” of the trail where they thru-hike from one end to the other and then turn around to thru-hike the trail the other way, otherwise known as a “yo-yo.” Many books, memoirs, web sites and fan organizations are dedicated to these pursuits.

An unofficial extension known as the International Appalachian Trail continues north into Canada and to the end of the range, where it enters the Atlantic Ocean. Other unofficial extensions head south into Florida, creating what is known as the Eastern Continental Trail.

The Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail form what is known as the Triple Crown of long–distance hiking in the United States.*

                         *content ©wikipedia

Below is a bow-by-blow account of Scott’s AT record as posted on his Facebook page in words and images. I don’t need to say more. What Scott has achieved is quite incredible. Bravo!


May 28th

Image ©luisescobar

Appalachian Trail Day 1 in the books! Departed Springer Mountain at 5:56am EDT, arrived at Unicoi Gap, 13:16:42 elapsed time. 52.9 miles, 11,400′ ascent and 12,100′ descent. Lots of fog and a little light rain early, then sun and mega humidity. Finding my groove and feeling good. Patience is key; it’s a long way to Maine! Hoping to have live tracking tomorrow.

May 29th

May 29th

Appalachian Trail Day 2 check! Departed Unicoi Gap at 5:49am EDT, arrived at Rock Gap, at 7:14pm EDT, 13:25:28. 53.0 miles, 12,942′ ascent and 12,230′ descent.

May 30th

May 30th

Going into the sunset hours tonight. After lots of rain today and a stiff dose of North Carolina Gnarl—aka long climbs and burly descents— this sunset on Bushnell Knob, 3,697′ is a welcome relief. 8:30pm, 48 miles in and 4 more to go!

May 31st

Image ©luisescobar

Appalachian Trail Day 4: Service was limited in Smokies and another long day on the trail. These mountains are making me earn it! Departed Yellow Creek Gap at 5:49am EDT, arrived at Newfound Gap, at 9:20pm EDT, 15:29:22. 48.5 miles (Garmin had 50.6), 13,694′ ascent and 11,702′ descent. Entered another state, Tennessee and did 40 miles in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Had rough 4 hours midday and was so sleepy. It’s been hard sleeping at night due to fatigue in the legs. Took a 20-minute nap near Spence Field Shelter and came back to life. Got up the observatory tower for 360-degree views of the Smokies. Very impressed with the mountains here!

June 1st

Image ©luisescobar

Appalachian Trail Day 5 update: Started the day with old and new friends at Newfound Gap at 6:49am EDT, arrived at Lemon Gap at 11:04pm EDT, 16:15:59. 52.7 miles, 11,627′ ascent and 11,702′ descent. Enjoyed seeing the rest of the Smokies and got a good dose of thunderstorms well into the night. No cell reception from Lemon Gap, hence the delay. Hoping I can end a little earlier tonight to catch up on some sleep!

June 2nd and 3rd

Appalachian Trail Days 6 & 7: Got my first real shower today instead of sponge baths at the van all week. Covered over 300 miles in 6 days, the most I have ever done in a week and feeling some effects. Monday morning departed Lemon Gap at 5:53am EDT, arrived at Devil Fork Gap, at 10:07pm EDT, 16:14:28, 49.4 miles, 11,958′ ascent and 12,103′ descent. Last night my left quad developed a severe strain due to compensating for my right patella femoral joint (kneecap) that became irritated coming down from the Smokies. Today I walked into Erwin, TN from Devil Fork Gap, 33.1 miles. Staying positive and need to get the quad back in order over the next two days. Otherwise I’m enjoying being out on the trail and meeting more thru hikers. I got to spread a little trail magic today to “No Poles” who needed a new pair of shoes and I had an extra pair of Brooks RunningCascadias. Onward!

June 4th

Appalachian Trail Day 8 update: Yesterday was National Running Day and I found it ironic that I couldn’t run. Hope you all ran some miles for me! I had a good time on the trail, started in Erwin, TN at River Rd/Unaka Springs Rd 6:15am EDT, ascent 10,019′, descent 6414′, 37 miles to Carvers Gap at 9:27pm. 15:12:48 my knee and quad are slowly starting to rebound, it was good to have more ascent than descent. Today is a lot of downhill so we’ll see how everything holds up.

Photo from last night’s sunset on Roan Mountain, the 5th highest point on the AT. I didn’t know that several of the highest peaks are in the South!

June 5th

June 5th

Appalachian Trail Day 9 update: Yesterday morning leaving Carvers Gap had some of the best views I’ve seen so far from several open balds, a really beautiful section. Departed at 6:16am, ascent 7568′, descent 10,485′, arrived at Dennis Cove Rd at 8:22pm, 38.8 miles total 14:06:52

June 6th

June 6th

Appalachian Trail Day 10 update: Crossing a state border is always a thrill as it marks definitive progress. Stoked to make it to Virginia! Departed Dennis Cove Rd at 6:13am, ascent 10,088′, descent 10,495′, arrived in Damascus,10:07pm, 50.3 miles, 15:54:15. Huge thank you to The Duck House for putting us up last night and to the locals who joined me for some miles today and gave Jenny the morning off. No wonder they call this the “friendliest town on the AT!”

June 7th

June 7th

They say a picture is a thousand words. El Venado and The Jurker are back!

June 9th

Appalachian Trail Day 14: This is Jenny Jurek checking in for Scott. He wanted me to post an update for him since he hasn’t had cell service the last 3 nights. Day 11 Damascus to Fox Creek, over the high point of Virginia, Mt Rogers, and saw the wild ponies at Massie Gap, 41.4 miles. Day 12 Fox Creek to VA 625, 51.8 miles. Day 13 VA 625 to Dismal Falls got to run with Clark Zealand in the morning and stopped by the party at the falls in the evening, 48.4 miles. Day 14, today he has two 20+ mile unsupported sections and we should be in Roanoke tomorrow where he can hopefully post another update.

Yes, I’m trying to fatten him up so we do appreciate all the vegan treats people have been bringing him. Thank you! PS if you ever see me in a McDonalds parking lot it’s because they have free Wi-Fi!

June 11th

Appalachian Trail Day 16: Good morning from Roanoke! Started up to McAfee Knob today with a great group of locals and the Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke crew, thank you! Day 14 started at Dismal Falls and ended on a rocky and technical route to VA 613 Mountain Lake Rd, 51.6 miles. Day 15 was a hot/humid morning with a fun scramble off of Dragons Tooth and cooler temps to end at VA 311, 46 miles. Knee is feeling good and I am enjoying Virginia so far!

June 13th

June 13th

Milestones: Came upon these on the trail as I was making my way to Highway US 60 in the dark, finishing another hot and humid 50-mile day. Hard to believe we are over 800 miles into this 2,189-mile journey!

June 15th

June 15th

Appalachian Trail Day 20: Started the morning run with an old friend at mile 905.8 in Shenandoah National Park. Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer has attempted to break the AT record twice and will give it one more go next year. Super psyched to share some miles and catch up with this guy who knows a thing or two about the trail ahead.

June 16th

Image ©luisescobar

Appalachian Trail Day 17 crossed the longest footbridge on the AT over the James River and ended at US 60, 50.4 miles.

Day 18 lots of climbing up to Bald Knob, The Priest and Three Ridges and took a swim in the Tye River during the heat of the day, finished at Humpback Gap, 47.5 miles.

Day 19 entered my second National Park and welcomed the smoother footing through Shenandoah to Skyline 66.7, 51.9 miles.

Day 20 welcomed a nice breeze and my second mama bear sighting with two cubs on the trail, finished at Hogwallow Gap, 54.2 miles. Today is a new day!

Day 21: Three weeks! A quick recap of the last few days: Day 16 started at VA 311 and rolled into Jennings Creek, 48 miles.

June 17th

Live from I70 footbridge, mile 1035 of the Appalachian Trail. Hard to believe if I headed west I’d be home in Boulder/Denver. Feels good to be hitting familiar latitudes!

June 18th

Completed the four state challenge yesterday: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania in a day. Made it to PA in the daylight and finished a 49 mile day after 54 and 57 mile days. First time in a while that I’ve finished before dark, feels so good! Maryland was a little training gym for the rocks of Pennsylvania!

June 19th

June 19th

This happened yesterday: HALFWAY!

June 22nd

Appalachian Trail Day 21 started at Hogwallow Gap in Shenandoah National Park and ended at a road construction site at Keys Gap, 57.1 miles.

Day 22 Rickey Gates joined the team for two days on his way to Mount Washington Hill Climb; it’s always nice to see another familiar face. I completed the four state challenge (VA, WV, MD, PA) and met a lot of great folks including a big group from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, finished in light rain at Old PA 16, 49.5 miles.

Day 23 crossed the official halfway point and ended at the ATC Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, 54.7 miles.

Day 24 so many great people all day kept me going to Greenpoint School Rd, 59.7 miles.

Day 25 ran through Hurricane Bill into the night over some rocky terrain to Hawk Mountain Rd, 52.3. My buddy Russell brought me Thai food from NYC and Vegan Treats delivered two boxes of out of these world desserts, which made everything better.

Today, I slept in! Ran with Glen Redpath, Nathan Echols and a bunch of locals all day and cut it short at Wind Gap to catch up on sleep, 45.5 miles.

Day 26: Happy Summer Solstice! It’s an AT tradition to hike naked today but my fear of ticks got the better of me. Good night!

June 23rd

June 23rd

Appalachian Trail Day 27 started at Wind Gap, entered the state of New Jersey, took a nap, and finished way past my bedtime at High Point State Park, 58.3 miles.

Day 28: I startled a large black bear this morning and then came upon “Mama Bear” and her 3 kids “Strongman” and “Little Butt” (5 year old twins) and “Spicy Guy” age 11. They thru-hiked from Springer Mt to Harpers Ferry last year and this year are completing the second half to Katahdin completely self supported. Trail tough kids, built to last!

June 24th

June 24th

Appalachian Trail Day 29: Just ran over the lowest point of elevation on the entire AT, the Bear Mountain Zoo at 124′ (38m), right before crossing over the Hudson River. Kinda gives a new meaning to one of my favorite album’s opening lyric “New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.”

Amazing to be back in the Empire State, thanks for the love! Can somebody please bring me a vegan cinnamon roll from Peace Food Cafe?

June 25th

June 25th

Throwback Thursday to Day 4 of the Appalachian Trail running across Fontana Dam, TN with the love of my life. Without her this journey would be impossible. She is my lifeline and makes sure this ship keeps heading north. Jenny inspires me to keep putting one foot in front of the other when it seems impossible. Hard to believe how far we’ve come, Day 30 today! This one is for you babe!

June 26th

June 26th

Appalachian Trail Day 30: Almost through Connecticut and onto Massachusetts tomorrow!

June 27th

Sunset from unnamed pond. The last two days in Connecticut and Massachusetts I’ve been noticing the subtle transitions to New England and the Northeast. Good night from Bear Mountain Road, MA!

June 28th

June 28th

Appalachian Trail Day 33: A storm greeted me last night and sent me off this morning at the top of Mt Greylock (3491′) the highest point in Massachusetts. Strong winds blew several trees down on the trail and I saw a large porcupine under one of them. Hoping this weather doesn’t hang around too long as I head into Vermont, or as the local hikers say, “Vermud.”

June 29th

Happy Monday Morning! Everyday on the trail I eat at least one smoothie or shake, as it’s an efficient way to down calories and protein. Here is one of my favorite summer recipes, Avocado Key Lime Pie. Since this one is more like a dessert, I prefer to eat it in a bowl! So Delicious Dairy Free is having a Celebrity Shake Off and if my recipe receives the most votes they will donate $25,000 to my charity of choice Every Mother Counts. Please help support this amazing organization that helps make pregnancy and childbirth safe for mothers around the world. Vote today!

June 30th

June 30th

July 1st

July 1st

Appalachian Trail Day 36: It’s been the rainiest June in Vermont in 130 years so it’s only fitting that my last few miles were in a torrential downpour. Yesterday was a rough one but I was pumped to cross my second to last state line this morning. Hello New Hampshire!

July 3rd

July 3rd

Appalachian Trail Day 38: Twenty-minute predawn cat nap after an epic all-nighter from NH 25A to Galehead Hut in the White Mountains, 48.4 miles. Surreal traveling over granite mountains under a waning moon. Good times with Timmy O’Neill, Andrew Drummond and former AT FKT record holder Andrew Thompson who joined us for some miles and imparted his sage wisdom. Huge thank you to the guys who found us on the trail bearing gifts of avocado maki and vegan pizza!

July 4th

Rise and shine!

July 5th

July 5th

Appalachian Trail Day 39: Perfect temps and views from the Northern Presidential Traverse on Independence Day, I’ve been looking forward to this section and it did not disappoint. Happy 4th, everyone!

July 6th

July 6th

Appalachian Trail Day 40: Coming to you live from the magic hour in MAINE!!!

July 8th

Appalachian Trail Day 43: 2000 miles down, 189.2 to go. Getting closer!

8th July

July 9th

Appalachian Trail Day 44: Kennebec River crossing this morning with my buddy Topher Gaylord. Reminded me of being a kid again! HUGE thank you to Adventure Bound John and Mandy for making this possible.

July 9th

July 12th

Appalachian Trail Day 46: My first view of Katahdin today, hard to put into words.

July 12

July 12th – Part 2

Appalachian Trail Day 46.5: Yes, this is happening.

July 12 pt2


Scott Finish



Follow Scott Jurek on Facebook HERE

Website HERE

Purchase his book HERE

You can read all about  the AT HERE

Ultra Pirineu 2015 Race Preview


The Skyrunner® World Series for 2015 for the Ultra distance draws to a close in Spain at the Ultra Pirineu. It’s amazing how time flies; it only seems weeks ago that I was writing about Transvulcania.

Taking place on September 201th, Ultra Pirineu follows on from the RUT and as such, it will be an exciting race.

Runners will assemble in the Cade Moixero National Park to do battle over a very challenging race. The 110km race is the main event and the one that gains the most attention. With 6800m of vertical gain it’s a race that will push each and every Skyrunners’ legs and lungs to the limit.


Luis Alberto Hernando, Skyrunning World and European Champion for the ultra distance will be looking to repeat his victory from 2014. Would you want to bet against him? Luis has been on fire in 2015 with victories at Transvulcania and Ice Trail Tarentaise. Add to this podium finishes at Tromso SkyRace and UTMB and for sure Luis will be a hot favourite for victory.


However, a certain Kilian Jornet running on home ground may well scupper Luis’s plans. Kilian has had a quitter year in 2015 as he has concentrated on his Alpinrunning projects but that did not stop repeating his 2014 victory at Hardrock 100 and in the process he now holds the course record for both directions.

“I am very excited about competing at home again as this was the very first race I competed in. There is an incredible level of competition this year, so a show is guaranteed.” – Kilian Jornet

And Kilian has hit the nail on the head, rising star of the sport Manuel Merillas (winner in 2011) will run. Manuel is still looking for the big win but a string of high placing and podium finishes will almost certainly guarantee that he is pushing the pace with the rest at the front.


Franco Colle just the other weekend won the RUT in the USA and has now decided to miss Tor des Geants to content the podium on Spain. Currently Franco leads the Skyrunner World ~Series for the ultra distance and he will bo looking to gain maximum points and the bonus that come with it to secure the overall position in the ranking, it won’t be an easy task!


Cristofer Clemente was 2nd at the RUT also and now lies 2nd on the ranking for the SWS. He did have some question marks over if he would race here in Spain due to the proximity of the USA race, however, I can’t help but think he will give the race a go and he will see what happens. At 110km it’s a long tough race for this late in the season.

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

UTMB duo, Miguel Heras and Tofol Castanyer both had troubled races this year on the big loop of Chamonix and so they will no doubt be looking to put the record straight here. As we all know, on their day they are 2 of the best ultra mountain runners in the world. They also both have a great history with this race.



Ricky Lightfoot has once again had another incredible 2015 mixing up his race distances and experiences with diverse races races such as Ultra Skymarathon Madeira, DoDo Trail in Mauritius and of course his local fell races in the UK.  *may not race due to illness, me missed the Lakes Sky Ultra?

Jessed Hernandez placed 3rd in 2014 and he will be looking to move up 1 or 2 places in 2015 but the odds may well be stacked against him with such a quality line-up. Yeray Duran, Philipp Reiter and Miguel Caballero will also contend the top 5 but there are more runners than places; who will come out on top?


Nuria Picas has made a home at Ultra Pirineu, it’s ‘her’ race and 2015 will be the 5th time she will toe the line looking for another victory. Her recent blip at UTMB will soon be behind her and she will no doubt looking to put the record straight on home ground. We can all think back to that epic battle between Anna Frost, Emelie Forsberg and Nuria Picas in 2012.

“I am delighted to see that world renowned international athletes are once again coming here, it’s a race that deserves consideration.” – Nuria Picas



Emelie Forsberg ran her very first 80km race at Ultra Pirineu (then called Cavalls del Vent) in 2012. She placed 3rd! What has followed has been an incredible rise in the sport of Skyrunning. While Nuria pursued the UTWT, Emelie has gone on to dominate Skyrunning races worldwide, the 2015 edition of Ultra Pirineu will once again see these two dominant and inspiring ladies once again go head-to-head. It’s an exciting prospect.


Nepalese sensation Mira Rai will also race. Her victory at the Mont-Blanc 80km turned heads and I think it’s fair to say that the 110km distance will suit her running style.


Anna Comet has been a revelation in 2015 and has consistently placed on the podium. Like Nuria, Anna is placing a great emphasis on Ultra Pirineu as she considers it a home race. The ‘home’ advantage really motivates and Anna’s recent non-racing will almost certainly mean that she will be fresh for an epic battle.

Ester Alves, Julia Boetger, Gemma Arenas and Roser Espanol will also be looking to mix it up at the front of the race. Ester in particular has seemed unstoppable in 2015 after going from one race to the next.

You can follow the stories through words and images on this website, via Twitter @talkultra, on Instagram @iancorlessphotography and on Facebook at facebook.com/iancorlessphotography.

In addition, the official Skyrunning Facebook page (here) and Twitter @skyrunning_com will have regular updates and news.



A new MAGBOOK hits the shelves in the UK today called THE RUNNER. It wall also be available at: http://www.magbooks.com

Please support the magazine with a purchase in-store or online

I have several photos and features in the magazine, primarily one on the Marathon des Sables (10-pages) where I look at the impact of the race on the FACES of 3 runners including 2015 MDS ladies champion, Elisabet Barnes.

Spread 1

I also have a 10-page feature on THE GREAT LAKELAND 3 DAY.

Spread 1

Finally, they did a little feature on yours truly. ‘IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL.’

ianProfile_The Runner

Lakes Sky Ultra 2015 Race Preview


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

Attention now turns to the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra.

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

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

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


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


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

Who is running?


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

Race details can be viewed here:  HERE

Course map here: HERE

RACE ENTRY HERE (open till September 6th)



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


Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® #UTMB 2015 In-Depth RACE PREVIEW


It’s the end of August and that can only mean one thing, UTMB. 

UTMB has become one of if not THE mountain races to do. In many respects it is almost a victim of its own success. More and more runners want to participate in the big circular dance around the Mont-Blanc but the trails can only take so many people.

I could enter into a debate about the points system but I won’t. I actually think it’s a solution to an ever increasing problem that UTMB organisation face and as such we all know the score, we know what we need to run the race and ultimately we have a choice.

Should points come from qualifying races? Yes, why not!

Should races pay a fee to supply those points? Yes, why not!

I know my last comment will create some debate but to be honest, the fee to ITRA is relatively small and the cost per head is minimal and the races that offer points gain entries. However, I do think another option exists for points.

Why not let all races provide points? Say 0.5 points for an easy trail race of say 50km and then points increase by 0.5 up to a maximum 4-points for a big mountain ultra. If you then want the points, you the runner pay for each 0.5 point you receive. That way, the person who wants/ needs the points pays and the race and other runners don’t pay. Seems logical to me and in actual fact, I think it would generate even more money for ITRA and the UTMB. I welcome your thoughts on that and boy oh boy what a way for me to start a preview on the 2015 race.

UTMB is part of the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) and as such offers points to a larger circuit. Francois D’Haene and Nuria Picas were 2014 champions.


Well, I was supposed to be in Chamonix for this race but at the 11th hour I have decided not to attend. It was a tough decision and one that I didn’t take lightly. Particularly now that I am seeing all the social media posts of all the runners and spectators arriving in the endurance capital of the world.

The reality is I have been on the road since January with little or no break and next week I travel to the USA for over a week which is then followed by a succession of weekends travelling and providing photography and writing for a succession of races. I personally had great potential to break )ver training one may say), so, home I am staying and for once a relaxing weekend.

The main event starts at 1800 Friday 28th August. I always feel a little ashamed when I say the main event as a whole series of tough and challenging races take place during UTMB week. For example, the ridiculous PTL, the tough TDS, the challenging CCC and the OCC but I only have so much time and the UTMB draws the crowd and the most stacked field. For the first year, UTMB will not be a TNF event and the new sponsor Columbia, Mountain Hardwear and Montrail has a tough act to follow, I wonder if we will notice any difference?

One thing is for sure, the men’s and ladies’ races are stacked. Darn it, I used that word again! Let’s try again – A plethora of talent has arrived in Chamonix to do battle on this super tough and iconic 100+ mile course that circles Mont-Blanc.



Tofol Castanyer made the podium last year and with no Francois D’Haene he for me has the nod for victory. He has been quiet lately no doubt keeping the powder dry and although not very experienced over 100-miles he is a super savvy and experienced mountain runner with the solid Salomon team who can offer support and backup.


Luis Alberto Hernando should win UTMB but he won’t. Nothing would please me more to see Luis top the podium in Chamonix but the reality is, he is not a 100-mile runner (not yet anyway). Put him on a course from 50km-80km and he is unstoppable. Put him on a 100km course and he may or may not win but will podium. Put him on 100m route and he will go great for the first 80km and then fade. This is not helped by entering UTMB tired. He won Transvulcania, placed 2nd at the IAU World Trail Champs, won Ice Trail Tarentaise and then placed 2nd at Tromso Skyrace looking distinctly whacked at the end. That was only a few weeks ago and I just don’t see the recovery and training working in Luis’s favour. I hope I am wrong!

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

Miguel Heras, well who knows? If he is fit and on fire he could win and almost certainly podium. However, he is extremely injury prone and his performances could come with a flick of a coin. In 2015, Miguel has been much more low key, he has raced but without any pomp and circumstance and that was intentionally so. Placing 2nd behind Thevenard in 2013, Miguel WANTS to win the UTMB and this may well just be the year!

©iancorless.com_South Africa14-5983

The Salomon trio is rounded out with Ryan Sandes. This is a really interesting inclusion into the UTMB mix. Ryan can climb, can run fast and is endurant (Drakensberg Traverse) and therefore may well have the essential credentials to podium at the least and may well just win. Certainly, Salomon could repeat the trio of results that we have seen in pervious years. Ryan has had a mixed 6-months with injury, a last minute withdrawal from Western States and I therefore think he is going to be super focussed on this race. One to watch!


Sage Canaday enters the 100-mile distance for the first time and as great a runner as he is, I don’t see him making the podium. Controversial I know. He has the speed for sure. He has the climbing and descending but I have no reason to think he has the race plan or strategy for what will be at best a 20-hour race. Like Luis Alberto I would expect strength and dominance over the first 100km and then a fade. But he has been in Chamonix preparing and he is a student of the sport. He may very well have hidden himself away, changed everything about his training and come up with the perfect 100-mile training plan? A 5k track session (in 16min) just 3-days before the race suggest otherwise though.

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

Xavier Thevenard won the race (surprisingly) in 2013 and then seemed to implode with the pressure. Last year he took the attention of himself and ran the TDS and won it. In doing so, he became the only runner to have won the CCC, TDS and UTMB; impressive! So the facts speak for themselves, super talented and obviously can perform with the best if the pressure is off. Will the pressure be on for 2015 is the question? I think it will but less than in previous years and that may just allow him to run his own race and find his 2013 legs and head. Good luck.

Julien Chorier Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com

Julien Chorier impressed the hell out of me a couple of years ago at Ronda dels Cims with a consummate performance. He loves the mountains and he can run fast too. He was 2nd to Ryan Sandes at Transgrancanaria in 2014 and 2nd to Kilian at Hardrock 100. A recent 6th at Western States shows us that all is in place for a great run and that’s why I give him a nudge over Gediminas.


Gediminas Grinius has been a revelation. His rise in the sport over the last 18-months has been remarkable and you know what, he could win UTMB. He ran a great UTMB last year (5th), won Transgrancanaria and placed 4th at Western States. Expect him to be out of the mix early on and then he will close out super hard and fast.

Stephan Hugenschmidt is my dark horse and potential big surprise of the 2015 UTMB. He had a breakthrough 5th at Transvulcania, won Zugspitz and had a great result at Transalpine.

We are now in the territory of surprise packages and believe me, some of the fellas mentioned below will figure highly in the run for the podium and top-10.

Seth Swanson has been 2nd at Western States 2-years on the run and I still know very little about him. My head says he will need a UTMB run to find his legs before he can comeback and mix it up at the very front. However, nobody expected him to place 2nd at WSER and then go back and do it again!


Sebastien Chaigneau is the old guard of the race, the wily old fox that everyone loves. Seb has had a tough couple of years and as time has passed, the competition has got faster. I’d love him to find some of that old form, that 100-mile sparkle and dish out to the newbies.

Jeff Browning may well be the best prospect from an American perspective as he is a true mountain man. But he may well lack some of the essential European speed.


Franco Colle won Tor des Geants and then earlier this year placed 2nd at Mont-Blanc 80km. In addition, he has been at the IAU World Trail Championships, ran (and won) a Skyrunning exhibition event in Cervinia and recently ran Tromso Skyrace. Potential dark horse for UTMB!


Sondre Amdahl like Gediminas has been a revelation. He is committed, sometimes too committed but I love his passion. He prepared meticulously for Transgrancanaria and placed 4th, went out to the USA to prepare for WSER and placed 15th and has spent recent months preparing in Chamonix for UTMB. Top-10 potential and maybe around 5th if he has a great day.


Best of the rest


Francois Faivre – 7th at UTMB last year.

Carlos Sa – He could win it but more than likely a top-10.

Pascal Giguet – Top-10 at Mont-Blanc 80km.

Ryan Smith – a Brit who may well be a real dark horse.

Robbie Britton – local lad, 3rd at the 24-hour and 7th at Tarawera. Placed just outside top-50 at UTMB last year but has been in Chamonix for months which will either mean he is in fine form or broken. I think the former. Good luck Robbie.

Yeray Duran – Always strong at Transgrancanaria.

Paul Giblin – another Brit with all the potential to spring a surprise.

Kim Collison – Another multi talented Brit who has speed and endurance.

Joe Grant – We all know Joe and what he can do.

Danny Kendall – The UK’s top MDS performer, not new to UTMB and this may well be his best year.

Jesse Haynes – Great at WSER but in Europe, who knows?

John Tidd – Won’t win but absolutely solid performer.

Stone Tsang – Every chance for a stunning or latter ‘teens’ performance.

Yoshikazu Hara – same as Stone?


I could go on….




Neck on the line, this race is for Nuria Picas and I personally think she is going to have the race of her life and win it with a consummate performance. This is no way a reflection on the competition, just an observation of Nuria and an understanding of how this lady ticks. For the past 2-years, Nuria has raced a ridiculous schedule and still placed 2nd twice behind Rory Bosio. This year, Nuria has been quiet. Very quiet. A win at Transgrancanaria and then what? I will tell you, training and preparation. She will be on fire!


Caroline Chaverot though has also been on fire! In the last 18-months Caroline has exploded with a series of remarkable performances that would suggest a solid UTMB is on the cards. Her victories at Lavaredo and the Eiger confirm that she can perform on the big days out.

Nathalie Mauclair beat Caroline at the IAU Word Trail Championships but that really draws no comparison to UTMB. However, Caroline beat Nathalie at Lavaredo. Take your pick! On paper, I would say Nathalie will be better over the longer distance and time that UTMB will offer and her victories at Diagonale des Fous will put her in a great place both physically and mentally for that.

The upset may well come from Stephanie Howe and I am sure that TNF and the USA would like nothing more than Steph picking up where Rory Bosio left off. Stephanie’s 3rd at WSER left her feeling tired but by all accounts, she has prepared well for the circle of the big white mountain. She has the speed, I just wonder if she has the legs for the climbs and descents and a 24+ hour run in her?


Francesca Canepa may make the podium? I have always been impressed how Francesca can race UTMB and then just a week later race Tor des Geants. One thing is for sure, I don’t think we will see Francesca at Tor this year after last years’ controversy. 2014 was a great year for the Italian (until Tor) and then it all seemed to go to bits. Understandable really. So coming into UTMB we have little to go on, other than 3rd at the Eiger but she was 30min of the winning time. UTMB may well be a redemption year!


Uxue Fraille has always impressed with her patience and calculated running. She is a diesel. Expect her off the pace early on and close well. She placed 5th last year and a repeat performance is a distinct possibility.


Fernanda Maciel is solid on the UTWT circuit and although I don’t see her taking the top slot on the podium, top-5 is a distinct possibility and if she has a great day, the podium may well be hers. Fernanda spent a great deal of time at altitude over Christmas (too long) and this tired her. Let’s hope she is recovered and ready to race hard in Chamonix.

Darcy Piceu is an interesting addition and after that ding-dong with Frosty at Hardrock I am really eager to see what she can do here in France. She placed 3rd in 2011 in just under 29-hours, she will need to run much faster than that this year! One thing is for sure, the distance and time on feet will be no issue, the question mark will be recovery post Hardrock?


Ester Alves from Portugal has already raced a great deal in 2015 with a string of top placing’s and I have no reason to think that a strong performance is a distinct possibility here. But by strong I mean top-10. A recent tumble at Ice Trail Tarentaise won’t have helped her preparation but she is strong and committed.

Lisa Borzani races and races and races. At TDS in 2015 she placed 2nd. I see her a consistent performance for a top-10 but not victory or the podium.

Nicole Struder ran 14:22 at Rocky Raccoon 100-mile. That’s fast! But she will need to add 10-hours of running to that Rocky time at a minimum for UTMB and through in some serious mountains. So although I see her potentially having a good race, I don’t think that those USA trail legs will handle the European mountains.


My dark horse for the ladies is Veronica Bravo. She is a super strong adventure racer, has the mind for the long game and 100% commitment. She may not win but I expect she may turn a few heads and UTMB race day looks like it will be a hot one; she loves the heat! Earlier this year she won The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica.

Amy Sproston is a tough one to call. She won Hurt 100 but UTMB is a faster race with tougher competition.

Sally McRae may well offer the best prospects of a top USA performance outside those of Howe. Sally has been top-10 at WSER twice and although UTMB is a big step up from Western, she may well have the race to mix it up.

Gill Fowler from Australia may well rock the apple cart. She was 4th at Lavaredo, yes somewhat off the front pace but a top-10 at UTMB is on the cards.


Ones to watch


Shona Stephenson – Top-10 at UTMB before.

Sarah Morwood – 11th at UTMB previously.

Manu Vilaseca

Caroline McKay

Denise Bourassa


And so many more….


Schedule HERE

Ultratrail TV HERE











Berghaus Trail Chase 2015 Day 2 – Race Images and Summary


Overnight camp had been a relaxed and casual affair as the heat of day 1 subsided to leave a calm night. Beer and cider flowed in the village hall, Joey (Joey’s Coffee) had his coffee machine in full flow and a duo of folk artists provided a mellow soundtrack as runners rested, re-hydrated (sort of) and re-loaded energy stores for day 2 of the Berghaus Trail Chase.

Starting as on day 1, runners had 3 courses to run (black, red or blue) to head back to base camp and race start (from Saturday) in Osmotherley. It was a shorter day for all but with some added pressure! Yes, the CHASE was on.

Starting in finishing order, runners were released with time gaps respected and as such if you ‘CATCH’ the runner infrontt of you, you have gained a place!

It’s a great idea and one that adds some real buzz and adrenaline to events. Leading lady in the blue category Niandi Carmont post race said:

“I didn’t think I was that competitive but I was caught by 2nd and 3rd ladies on an early climb in the blue race and then I waited, paced myself off the 2 of them and then ran as hard as I could to go past them and then hold them off. It was so exciting but also so stressful; in a good way! I am just glad today was 14km in length. I loved it.”

This sentiment was echoed by another runner as the sun greeted everyone back at the finish.

“I normally don’t push myself when I race but this format really added a different angle to racing and it’s so inspiring. I had visions I was in a Tour de France time trial.”

For once, the UK provided a perfect weekend of sunny warm weather, the only blip came during the night when a few light showers came. However, they were welcome. It broke the humidity of day 1 and although day 2 was sunny and warm it lacked the oppression of day 1 that caused so many runners to suffer.

The North Yorkshire Moors were resplendent with shades of green and vibrant lavender providing a natural palette that added to colourful racing.



  • Simon Jones
  • Charmaine Horsfall


  • William Normand
  • Niandi Carmont


  • Chris Stockdale
  • Catriona Curtis

Full results and times:

Results 1

Race Results 2

Full results are available HERE


Berghaus Trail Chase 2015 – Day 1 Images and summary



Three spectacular courses located in the North York Moors National Park provided the setting for the 2015 edition of The Berghaus Trail Chase. Starting on Saturday, runners were transported from the event centre to their respective starts for the adventure to begin. Using a colour-coded format pioneered in skiing (black, red and blue), Shane Ohly RD at Ourea events offered three fully way marked courses: long course as one would expect is black, middle course red and the shortest course will be blue.

Starting 12:30 (red) 13:00 (black) and 14:00 (blue), all three courses converged at the same overnight campsite at the end of the first day. The only difference for runners will was the distance covered. Day-1 camp provided a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with an emphasis on an opportunity to relax, have fun and share stories of the adventure day-1 provided. A village hall was available with live folk music, bar and food.

It was a hot day on the trails and many suffered in the latter stages primarily due to dehydration.

Sam Thompson was the 1st finisher for the black route in 3:52:11, Charmaine Horsfall was the 1st lady 3:52:52.

David Camm was the 1st finisher for the red route in 3:05:12 and Catriona Curtis was the 1st lady in 3:32:48

Liam Swann was the 1st finished for the blue route in 1:21:55 and Niandi Carmont was the 1st lady in 1:40;37.

(Results will be available for pairs on the race website)

Sunday is when the real excitement begins and the true ‘chase’ commences. Runners will depart in the order they finished on day-1. The objective? Front-runners will try to hold the lead and respective places while behind a battle will commence as they CHASE the runner in front. It’s simple, catch a runner, you gain a place!

A real head-to-head race will develop and tactics will come into play. Go out too hard and you may blow up… go out to easy and you will possibly loose places. The Berghaus Trail Chase brings an innovative format to trail running and one that not only provides a new incentive and experience to each and every runner, but also really does put the fun back into racing.


Skyrunning Dolomites VK 2015 – Race Summary


The stunning VK course in Canazei was greeted with clear skies and warm sun as runners assembled at the start today for the 8th edition of the Skyrunning Dolomites VK.


First runners departed at 0930 but the elite runners had to wait till 1130 for the men and 1135 for the ladies before they were un-leashed on the tough, steep gradients that finish 1000m in the Sky!

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-0986 ©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1004

Urban Zemmer was the odds on favourite for the race and he started as he meant to go on; pushing from the front at a relentless pace that defied the gradient. However, Zemmer was not alone. Philip Goetsch slotted in behind him and marked him step-by-step.


As they approached the final 150m, Goetsch was tucked in behind Zemmer drafting like a cyclist. In the finale 50m or so, he made his move and unleashed a devastating sprint that one would have though impossible on such a steep and rutted incline. So impressive was his performance that it resulted in a new course record!


Zemmer held on for 2nd place with a clear margin and Saul Padua Rodriguez also jumped a place in the closing stages and moved from 4th to take the final podium place.


Just as Zemmer was expected to dominate the men’s race, Laura Orgue was also hotly tipped as the ladies’ winner. Christel Dewalle didn’t agree with this prediction! Fresh from the Val d’Isere VK where she podiumed, Dewalle pushed this VK course to its limits and it was clear to see the determination and dedication in her eyes. She was victorious over surprise 2nd Eli Ann Dvergsdal and Laura Orgue placed 3rd.

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1155 ©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1172

Attention now turns to the SkyRace on Sunday. Preview HERE

The field is stacked and we anticipate a battle royal in the men’s and ladies’ races.

  1. Christel Dewalle 00:38:21
  2. Eli Anne Dvergsdal 00:39:34
  3. Laura Orgué 00:40:02
  1. Philip Goetsch 00:32:38 – new CR
  2. Urban Zemmer 00:32:54
  3. Saul Padua Rodriguez 00:34:03

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved