Episode 68 – Campbell, Johnston, Sichel, Navigation 101

Ep68

Episode 68 of Talk Ultra – Adam Campbell talks about Hardrock 100 and that lightning strike. David Johnston discusses 6-days in the Dome. William Sichel tells us what it is like to run 3100-miles in 50-days and in Talk Training we discuss basic navigation. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.

NEWS

6-Days in the Dome

Joe Fejes 580.30 miles new USA record
48-hours Traci Falbo 242.35 miles – new record
24-hour Andrew Snope 136.98 miles

all results here – http://sixdaysinthedome.com/live-results/

INTERVIEW
 
David Johnston

My experiences with running HERE

Leadville 100

Amazing run by Rob Krar @TheNorthFace 2014 Leadville 100 champ in 16:09:30! That is some double, Western States and Leadville. Michael Aish and Ian Sharman placed 2nd/3rd at Leadville 16:38 and 16:41.

Top-3 Ladies at Leadville Emma Roca, Liza Howard and Carrie stafford – 19:38:04, 20:01:13 and 23:56:50

Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

1.Allie McLaughlin 2:33:42
2.Morgan Arritola 2:35:39
3.Shannon Payne 2:40:28

1.Sage Canaday 2:10:03
2.Aerya Weldemariam 2:10:47
3.Andy Wacker 2:11:39

Squamish 50

Great to see Adam Campbell win Squamish 50 in 4:55:08 and Ellie Greenwood taking the ladies (3rd overall too) 5:20:39

INTERVIEW
 
Adam Campbell

North Downs Way 100 Mile

Duncan Oakes 17:04:12
David Ross 17:45:48
Jeremy Isaac 18:01:29
Jenni Ball 21:54:50
Katharine Ganly 25:50:43
Monica Varachova 26:45:25
Berlin 100

Mark Perkins 13:06:52

Full results – HERE

Speedgoat update

768.3 miles in after 18-days. He started July 27th and he is currently running around 43 miles a day. Go Karl!

 
BLOG
 
Acceptance – Hardrock 100 by Timothy Olson – HERE

TALK TRAINING

Navigation 101 with Charlie Sproson from Mountain Run

Related post with images and information – HERE

 
INTERVIEW
 
William Sichel continues to impress with impressive feats. Just a couple of weeks ago, William ran 3100 miles at the Sri Chimnoy. Incredible

Related post here: HERE
 
 
UP & COMING RACES

Australia
Queensland
River Run 100 | 100 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
River Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website

Austria
Linzer Bergmarathon – 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Belgium
Flanders
Oxfam Trailwalker Belgium | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Bulgaria
Orehovo Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Persenk Ultra | 130 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Canada
Alberta
Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
British Columbia
50K Cody Claim Run | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Quebec
Chute du Diable 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Chute du Diable 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

France
Hautes-Pyrénées
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – le Grand Trail | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Isère
L’Echappée Belle – 145 km | 145 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
L’Echappée Belle – 85km | 85 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Loir-et-Cher
100km des Etangs de Sologne | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
50km de la Sologne des Rivières | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Rhône
La Nuit des Carbones – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Savoie
North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc | 166 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
OCC (Orsières – Champex – Chamonix) | 53 kilometers | August 28, 2014 | website
Petite Trotte à Léon | 300 kilometers | August 25, 2014 | website
Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie | 110 kilometers | August 27, 2014 | website
Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website

Germany
Bavaria
Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 69 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run | 240 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Greece
Meteora 100 Mile | 100 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Meteora 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Meteora 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website

Iceland
Run Iceland Adventure Trail | 110 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

India
Uttarkashi 135 | 135 miles | August 29, 2014 | website

Ireland
Connacht
Achill Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Leinster
Longford Ultra Marathon | 63 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
Munster
Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 05, 2014 | website

Italy
Aosta Valley
Courmayeur Champex Chamonix | 98 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website

Kenya
Amazing Maasai Ultra | 75 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Madagascar
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 | 250 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

Malaysia
Gunung 5 Nuang | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Star Light Ultra Ultimate Challenge | 84 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Netherlands
North Holland
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website

Norway
styrkeprøven True West | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Réunion
Cimasalazienne | 55 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

Romania
Transylvania Trail Crossing 106K | 106 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Transylvania Trail Crossing 2-Day Stage Race | 106 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website

South Africa
Peninsula Ultra Fun Run | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Sweden
UltraVasan 90K | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Switzerland
Zurich
Raidlight Sardona Ultra Trail | 82 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Anglesey
Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | August 29, 2014 | website
Cumbria
Grand Tour of Skiddaw | 44 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Greater London
T184 | 184 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Hertfordshire
Chiltern Way Ultra 100k | 100 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Chiltern Way Ultra 200k | 200 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Challenge | 106 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Isle of Wight Challenge – Half Island | 56 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Kent
Thames Gateway 100 | 103 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Thames Gateway 60 | 60 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Moray
Speyside Way Race | 36 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Wales
Survival Run: The Celts | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
The Celts 50k | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

USA
Alabama
Coldwater Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Coldwater Mountain 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Alaska
Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay | 175 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
California
Bulldog 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Headwaters Ultra – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Tahoe 200 | 200 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Tamalpa Headlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Colorado
D’Evelyn DASH 2K run/walk and carnival | 2000 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Devil Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Devil Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Ridgway 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Silverton 1000 – 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Silverton Alpine 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Florida
The Pinellas Trail Challenge | 46 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Georgia
Yeti Snakebite 50K | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Yeti Snakebite 50M | 50 miles | August 31, 2014 | website
Idaho
IMTUF 100 | 100 miles | August 29, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
The Rock Run | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Michigan
Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
North Country Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Minnesota
Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Missouri
Go! KT82 Trail Relay | 82 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Montana
Fool’s Gold 50M | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Nevada
Black Rock City 50km | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2014 | website
New York
Green Lakes 100 km Trail Race | 100 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Green Lakes 50 km Trail Race | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Annihilator 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Save the Trails 65K | 65 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Oregon
Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Pennsylvania
Baker Trail UltraChallenge | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
South Dakota
Lean Horse 50 Km | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Lean Horse Half Hundred | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Lean Horse Hundred | 100 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Utah
Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Vermont
Jay Peak 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Virginia
Iron Mountain 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
The Ring – Massanutten Trail Circuit Run | 71 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Washington
Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Wisconsin
Lake Michigan Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

CLOSE

 

LINKS

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_68_-_Campbell_Sichel_Johnston_Navigation101.mp3

ITunes HERE

Libsyn – HERE

Website – HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks 2014 – In-depth race preview

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‘Wow, it’s such a beautiful course with the glacier at Gornergrat and then of course the Matterhorn is ever present while we run.’ Emelie Forsberg

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The Matterhorn Ultraks returns, 1-year on and boy does time fly. The Skyrunner® World Series Matterhorn Ultraks is the penultimate race in the SKY series, followed by Limone Extreme, Italy in October. A magical race over 46 km with 
D+ : 3’600 m | D- : 3’600 m. Combining wild open spaces, high mountains and a course that requires climbing ability, speed and technique. The highest point is Gornergrat at 3100m and this ascent will be a test for all. Panoramic views accompany every runner for the duration of the event and the ever-present Matterhorn will dominate.

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Zermatt, the village at the foot of the Matterhorn is located on the Italian border of the Canton of Valais in the west of Switzerland. The Matterhorn is arguably the most photographed mountain in the world. Zermatt epitomizes Switzerland, high alpine, awe-inspiring and original. Almost one-third of the 4,000-metre mountains in the Alps are grouped around this word-famous health resort, which has been visited by mountaineers from all around the world since the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.

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View 2013 race image HERE

Read Kilian Jornet’s Matterhorn Summits interview HERE

RACE PREVIEW

MEN 

Kilian Jornet will be in Zermatt, however, it looks like the Catalan will be in a supporting role for the 2014 edition of the race after a hectic last few weeks and months. Luis Alberto Hernando who placed 2nd last year will also not be taking part as he prepares for UTMB, therefore, this leaves the door well and truly wide open for a new and fresh podium.

Marco, 11th August 2012 in the mountains above Zinal.

Marco, 11th August 2012 in the mountains above Zinal.

Marco De Gasperi needs no introduction. Way back in the day, Marco’s Skyrunning career started in and around the slopes of the Matterhorn. This year Marco has struggled with injury, he keeps telling me, ‘I’m getting old and I get more and more little niggles.’ We all know that when this Italian mountain goat is in form, he is unstoppable. His recent poor race at Sierre-Zinal was due to stomach issues, a problem that can hit any of us at any time. So, if Marco feels good, he is my top tip for the 1st podium place.

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne missed Ultraks last year and I am sure he will be looking to make amends this year. His 2nd place behind Kilian at the Skyrunning World Championships clearly states that Michel is great form. If he carries that form over the Zermatt, I think we can expect to see a place on the podium and if all things align, he may well take the top slot.

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Thorbjorn Ludvigsen has been on a roll lately with a series of performances that have impressed, particularly over the VK distance. His recent run at Sierre-Zinal by his own admission was below par. However, the Ultraks course will suit his strong climbing and fast running.

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Marc Pinsach placed 6th overall at Ultraks last year and not only is he a good friend and sparring partner of Kilian Jornet, he has a similar background, which bodes well for this course.

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Eirik Haugsness had a great race in the 2013 edition of the race and after a strong showing at the Skyrunning World Championships and the Dolomites Skyrace; Eirik will be gunning for top-5 and ideally the podium. It’s within reach!

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Zaid Ait Malek continues to run the Skyrunning circuit with a string of strong performances. A regular top-10, he is currently missing the form or the break that would repeat his 2013 Zegama performance. He has all the ability both as a climber and pure runner. Ultraks may well be his breakthrough race of 2014.

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Aritz Egea an ever present at Zegama-Aizkorri, Dolomites Skyrace and Sierre-Zinal will be looking for another consistent top-10 performance. Aritz complained of not feeling great at the recent Sierre-Zinal and placed just outside the top-20. An unusual blip for the Basque country runner; Ultraks will be a better race, I am sure.

Jordi Bes Ginesta was the winner of the 2013 CCC and placed 11th at Matterhorn Ultraks in 2013. His recent top-10 at Ice Trail Tarentaise, backed up with 17th at Transvulcania must give him a billing as top-10.

Florian Reichert has had a strong year of consistent performances and will be looking to improve on his 66th placing at Ultraks in 2013. That placing is not indicative of Florian’s ability and more importantly his current form.

Nicolas Pianet 13th at Ultraks in 2013 and will be looking to break top-10 this year.

Ones to watch (not in order):

  • Oscar Casal Mir
  • Marc Casal Mir 21st at Transvulcania in 2014 and an ever-present on the Skyrunning circuit.
  • Hassan Ait Chau strong showing at the recent Sierre-Zinal.
  • Dabid Garcia
  • Inaki Uribe-Etxebarria
  • Julien Navarro
  • Ryan Bak 1st place Peterson Ridge Rumble 20m and Horse Butte 10m in 2014. Recent form?
  • Mathieu Martinez 5-top results in 2013 with 2-victories at Le Grand Defi des Voseges and Trail des Marcaires
  • Es Tressider
  • Artem Rostovstev
  • Hector Haines an ever-present top performing Brit. Top-20 would be a great result.
  • Yan Longfei

LADIES

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Emelie Forsberg returns and after missing Sierre-Zinal to race a ‘home’ race, I can’t help but think that she will be super motivated to repeat her race victory form 2013. Last year, although taking a strong 1st place, Emelie complained of feeling tired with heavy legs for the whole race. Most certainly, she will be looking for fresh legs this year and she is going to need them! The competition is fierce.

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Stevie Kremer just recently finally won Sierre-Zinal after 2-years of 2nd places. In addition, this last weekend Stevie placed top-5 at the Pikes Peak ascent. Travel is a big issue for Stevie and one of the important factors is managing the fatigue that comes with it. Ultraks will be no different for the Colorado based lady. No one lady is dominating the Sky distance this year, so although Stevie can certainly win the race, like Emelie, she is going to need her ‘A’ game.

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Elisa Desco has arguably shown incredible consistency in the Skyrunner® World Series this year. Well, that was until she dropped from Sierre-Zinal with stomach issues. Current Skyrunning World Champion, we have seen Elisa go head-to-head with Stevie on many occasions and Ultraks will be no different. It’s going to be one seriously interesting race and it’s difficult to call out a winner.

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Kasie Enman has been on the comeback roll and we were seeing consistently better and better performances and as Kasie settled back into racing and training. Her recent 2nd at Speedgoat 50k was a great performance and a real confidence boost. Although Kasie had a strong run at Sierre-Zinal, I did expect her to contend the podium. However, nothing is guaranteed when you have a busy family life, 2-children and travel thrown into the mix. Now based in Europe for several weeks, Kasie may well be more relaxed, fresher and ready to thrown down the gauntlet at Ultraks. Watch out ladies!

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Maite Maiora produced an incredible performance at the 2014 Transvulcania La Palma placing 2nd and has followed up this form with a string of top-10 performances; a highlight 3rd at Zegama-Aizkorri. A consistent and regular performer on the Skyrunner® World Series, Maite will be in the mix at Ultraks looking to repeat the form from La Palma. Placing 6th at the Skyrunning World Championships against many of the same ladies present in this race, I am sure Maite will be looking to improve and make top-5.

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Stephanie Jiminez like many of the ladies above is a Skyrunning ever-present. Racing over the VK and SKY distances, Ultraks will be at the ‘longer’ end of the distances Stephanie likes to race, so, that will impact on her performance. Having said that, she knows how to run in the mountains and for sure, top-10 is a distinct possibility.

Ones to watch:

  • Leire Agirrezabala
  • Uxoa Irigoien
  • Laia Andreu Trias
  • Anna Comet I Pascua

 

Not running:

  • Kilian Jornet
  • Mike Wolfe
  • Tom Owens
  • Pablo Villa
  • Stephan Wenk

 

Race results from 2013

Men

  1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) – Salomon Santiveri – 4h43’05’’
  2. Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – adidas – 4h44’47’’
  3. Nicola Golinelli (ITA) – Arc’teryx – 4h45’57’’

Women

  1. Emilie Forsberg (SWE) – Salomon – 5h41’16’’
  2. Silvia Serafini (ITA) Salomon Agisko – 5h44’37’’
  3. Nuria Dominguez (ESP) – Buff- 5h59’19’’

LINKS:

Skyrunning HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks HERE

Race Images 2013 HERE

Berghaus Trail Chase 2014 – Summary and Images

Berghaus Trail Chase Logo

The inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase took place at the weekend in the North York Moors National Park. Organised by Shane Ohly and the team from Ourea Events, this race offered a unique format that was suitable for all abilities and experience.

Three courses: Black (white flags), Red and Blue offered three distances of varying difficulty over 2-days on way marked courses.

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A full set of race images are available to view HERE

The event HQ was located in Thinmbleby, Osmotherley. This location provided a hub for runners to assemble, register and prepare and then on the stroke of midday buses arrived to transfer runners to three different starts.

Using ski piste colour coding, runners participating in the black route would run 32.8km with 1012m elevation on day-1 and then 21.3km (814m+) on day-2.

The red route covered 25.3km (801m+) and 17.4km (582m+)

And the blue route provided an entry level race that could appeal to all abilities covering 16.6km (326m+) on day-1 and 10.1km (291m+) on day-2.

Logistically, all races on day-1 would finish at the same campsite in Chop Gate and then on the following day, black and red races would start from the overnight stop and the blue runners would be transferred to Locker Wood for the shorter last day. As one would expect, all races finished at the race HQ in Osmotherley.

©iancorless.com_IMG_2189BerghausTrailChase_2014_Vibrant heather, lush green fields, dense bracken and rugged trails along with lush green forests and bridle paths provided a stunning backdrop to all 3-races. Despite heavy rain during the overnight camp, the weather gods played ball providing everyone with a couple of excellent days running. Add to this live music, flowing beer and some excellent food in the Chop Gate village hall and Ohly and the Ourea team have the makings of a great event.

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Day-1 for all three races started as one would expect with mass starts for each respective race. The sting in the tail and the unique nature of this event became clear on day-2 when the CHASE began. Starting in finishing order of day-1, runners would leave in order with exact time gaps adhered to. The objective? Catch the runner in front and you gain a place. It brings a whole new meaning to running scared and the cat and mouse scenario adds a real element of excitement to the event.

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Post race, not only had the Berghaus Trail Chase race format provided a challenging experience for each and every participant but it had also been fun! The atmosphere was very relaxed and the whole experience had been a real positive.

Of course, racing did take place over the 2-days and some hard fought battles were run out on the trails of the North York Moors. However, it very much felt that racing was secondary to fun and enjoying the moment.

The Berghaus Trail Chase will be back in 2015. Bigger, better and I can only hope that Ohly books some great weather once again. I for one will be back.

RESULTS:

Black

  1. Duncan Archer 4:36:54
  2. Charlie Sharpe 4:47:42
  3. Steve Coates 5:07:34
  1. Stephanie Kitchen 6:06:32
  2. Michelle Hetherington 6:07:42
  3. Sam Scott 6:23:34

Full BLACK results HERE

Red

  1. Simon Jones 3:47:51
  2. Madeleine Robinson 3:56:43
  3. Alistair Nash 3:57:29

Full RED results HERE

Blue

  1. Christian McGill 2:32:25
  2. Peter Downes 2:33:22
  3. Martin Done 2:35:31

Full BLUE results HERE

 

A full set of race images are available to view HERE

Race website HERE

Final results HERE

A full set of race images are available to view HERE

 

Superior 100 2014 – The wild is calling!

Superior 100 2

Northern Minnesota is calling me…

In just 4-weeks, I will be heading out to the USA to work on and photograph the Superior 100.

Superior 100 will be my only trip to the US this year and I am really stoked to be part of a race with such an incredible history. To add to the experience, 1992 Superior 100 race winner and US ultra running legend Eric Clifton is coming back to run! Eric has a list of palmares that goes back to ‘89’ when he toed the line Vermont 100 and he only went and won the race in 15:48:59. Since then, Eric has been an ever present on the racing scene and in addition to winning Vermont 100 multiple times he has topped the podium at races such as:

  • JFK 50,
  • Old Dominion 100,
  • Mohican 100,
  • Rocky Racoon 100,
  • Bull Run 50,
  • Umstead 100,
  • Massanuten 100,
  • Crown King Scramble 50,
  • Ice Age Trail 50,
  • Kettle Moraine 100,
  • Badwater 135,
  • Mount Rushmore 100,
  • Heartland 100,
  • San Diego 100,
  • McNaughton Park 100

Eric’s most recent victory came in ‘08’ at Noble Canyon 50km. Just reading Eric’s victory list blows my mind but a take a look here, the list goes on with a plethora of top-10 places and race finishes. A true legend of the sport and I can’t wait to chat and have my horizons opened to a world and a series of races that I have only previously read about!

Superior 100

Founded in ‘91’, Superior 100 is one of the oldest 100-mile trail races in the country. Way back in the day it was one of an elite band of 10-12 100-mile races in the US. Founded by Harry Sloan, the race did have a name change some time back when it was called, Sawtooth 100, however it was changed back to its original name and that has stuck to present day.

Minnesota, the home of the Superior 100 has a long and proud ultra running history and I have to say, this Brit just can’t wait to immerse himself in the experience. Much of my year is now spent working on races all over the world. In just the last couple of years I have seen the calendar explode. To go back to a ‘pure’ race excites me and I have to say, it will be my first real experience of one the corner stones of our sport.

Superior 100 3

‘Rugged, Relentless and Remote, Superior 100 is known as one of the toughest 100mile trail races in the world!  Now known as one of the ‘legacy 100-milers’ the race is considered by many to be one of the most challenging, prestigious and beautiful 100-mile trail races in the country. None of the history or tradition of this race has been lost and it is a great event for those looking for a world-class event with a low-key, old school 100 miler feel.  The Superior Trail Race is put on by ultra runners for ultra runners.’

Be honest, how could you not be pulled in by that quote!

A point-to-point ultra marathon that is 100% trail! The race route traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range (hence the old Sawtooth 100 name) on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota.  Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world provides a stunning backdrop to a race that climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests. Crossing countless whitewater rivers and serene streams the 100-mile route meanders through mystic Boreal forests. Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center, MN hosts the start of the race and a welcome finish awaits each and every runner at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN.

I will be heading out to the US on September 2nd and heading back to ‘Blighty’ on September 8th. It’s a whistle stop tour but I plan to immerse myself in the experience, culture and I hope to meet up with so many friends, virtual or real, in and around the trails of the Superior 100.

If you are racing, spectating or crewing, good luck! An awesome experience awaits us all.

Images ©Superior Endurance Runs (Fall Races)

Don’t forget, the race also has the Moose Mountain Marathon and the Superior 50-miler all happening at the same time. (Entrants for all races HERE)

Links:

INFO:

Superior Trail Races 2014
Friday September 5th 2014


100 Mile Starts 8:00 AM
Saturday September 6th 2014

50 Mile Starts 5:30 AM


Marathon Starts 8:00 AM


Registration opens Sat March 15th

Episode 67 – Martin-Consani, Fonn, Meek, Böttger

Ep67

Episode 67 of Talk Ultra – On this weeks show we speak with Lakeland 100 and Lakeland 50 winners, Debbie Martin Conasani and Jo Meek. We speak with Norwegian powerhouse, Torill Fonn about her recent world record for running 374.999km’s in 48-hours. Julia Böttger joins us for a catch up and tells us about her running journey in Turkey and winning Ronda dels Cims. We have the News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races, Emelie Forsberg for Smile and Miles and Niandi Carmont once again joins us as co host.

NEWS

Marmot 24

24-Hour
Aurellio Antonio Olivar/ Angel Garcia – 390 points
Kenny Leitch/ Keith Masson – 380 points
Anthony Emmet/ Catriona Sutherland – 280 points
12-Hour
Sam Jenner/ James Langstraat – 100 points
Tarni Duhre/ Andrew Campbell – 90 points
Alice Lamont/ Andrew Jones  – 60 points
Lakeland 100 – race report and images HERE

Marco Consani 21:14:52
Charlie Sharpe 22:47:56
Lee Knight 23:21:48
Debbie Martin Consani 25:28:33
Beth Pascall 25:48:36
Nicky Taylor 29:37:08
INTERVIEW
 
Debbie Martin Consani won the Lakeland 100 in convincing style just recently and we caught up with er to hear about her running history and how the Lakeland 100 went.

Lakeland 50 – British Championships

Kim Collison 7:48:01
Marcus Scotney 8:06:42
Danny Kendall 8:13:39
Jo Meek 8:43:14
Lizzie Wraith 9:18:22
Bonnie Van Wilgenberg 9:31:05

 INTERVIEW with Jo Meek

Red BUll K3
3030 meters of elevation gain in a little less than 10 km: Red Bull K3 is the event that will revolutionize skyrunning. The first competition of “triple vertical kilometer” will start from Susa (Turin) on the 2nd of August, when professional athletes and amateurs will have to face the ascent to the summit of Rocciamelone, at 3538 meters high.
Marco Moletto 2:06:30
Marti Teixido 2:07:18
Nejc Kuhar 2:08:12
Laura Orgue 2:22:38
Stevie Kremer 2:29:44
Corinne Favre 2:39:27

Buff Epic Trail 100km *only 17 finishers of the main race
Iker Karrera 12:19:16
Jessed Hernandez Gispert 12:43:53
Pau Bartolo Roca 13:28:23
Nuria Picas 15:00:29 (6th overall)
Francesca Canepa 16:18:45
Marta Riba 17:31:32
Devil O the Highlands
Casey Morgan 5:13:42
Robert Turner 6:00:03
Neil MacNicol 6:02:25
Nicola Hendry 7:09:58
Noanie Heffron 7:12:56
Helen Lees 7:14:07
Mention for Karen Wallace 8:03:35 1st vet
Swiss Alpine K78

Jonas Buud 6:30:18
Beat Ritter 6:38:51
Mirco Berner 6:53:39
Denise Zimmermann 7:47:57
Claudia Kahl 8:12:50
Ornella Poltera 8:33:38
Peak SkyRace race report and images HERE
Jason Cavill 4:22:52
James Ellis 4:26:54
Tim Pleijte 4:36:54
Sally Fawcett 5:24:54
Kimberley England 5:38:13
Sasha Habgood 6:26:44
Interviews live from the event by Niandi Carmont
 
BLOG
 
‘When I ski on a steep slope, or when I solo climb (or more scrambling, I can not consider a V+ is climbing seeing what people is doing today!), or running on a glacier, I don’t do because I want to die. I have not suicidal impulses on myself. I want to be alive, I want to explore and my goal on the mountains is to find happiness, answers to my questions, improve, learn, meet new friends, see, discover, mostly, on a world that is more and more structured and looked, to feel freedom.” Kilian Jornet http://www.kilianjornet.cat/en/blog/are-mountains-the-last-space-of-freedom/

INTERVIEW

Torill Fonn from sweden (born norwegeian) last weekeend set a new nordic record in 48h running and a new world record for ladies over 45 when she ran 374 999 km at the Skovde Ultrafestival in Sweden.

SMILES and MILES with EMELIE FORSBERG

INTERVIEW – Julia Boettger
 
UP & COMING RACES

Argentina
Ultra Marathon Yaboti International – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
Yaboty Ultra Marathon | 90 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website

Australia
Northern Territory
Alice Springs 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
Queensland
Lamington Eco Challenge Two Marathons on Two Consecutive Days | 84 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website

Belgium
Flanders
100 km Dodentocht® | 100 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website
Wallonia
Trail des Fantômes – 100 km | 100 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Trail des Fantômes – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website

Canada
Alberta
Iron Legs 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
British Columbia
Arc’teryx Squamish 50 | 50 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Arc’teryx Squamish 50K | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
Fat Dog 100 Trail Race: 120 mile | 120 miles | August 15, 2014 | website
Fat Dog 100 Trail Race: 50 mile | 50 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Fat Dog 100 Trail Race: 70 mile | 70 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Ontario
Iroquoia Trail Test – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Quebec
XV de la Vallée- Trans Vallée | 66 kilometers | August 15, 2014 | website

Denmark
Sjælland
Winforce 100 km | 100 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Winforce 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website

France
Hautes-Pyrénées
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Isère
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Savoie
Trail du Galibier | 55 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
Vienne
Trail des Castors – 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website

Germany
Berlin
100MeilenBerlin | 100 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
North Rhine-Westphalia
Monschau Ultra-Marathon | 56 kilometers | August 10, 2014 | website

Iceland
Fire and Ice | 250 kilometers | August 10, 2014 | website

India
La Ultra – The High | 222 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
La Ultra – The High 111 | 111 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website

Ireland
Connacht
Connemara 100 | 100 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Ulster
Quadrathon | 169 kilometers | August 14, 2014 | website

Malaysia
Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website

Netherlands
North Holland
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website

Norway
Scandinavian Adventure Run | 50 kilometers | August 19, 2014 | website

Sweden
Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 15, 2014 | website
Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 70 km | 70 kilometers | August 15, 2014 | website
Stockholm Ultramarathon 100 km | 100 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Stockholm Ultramarathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website
Trans Scania | 246 kilometers | August 15, 2014 | website

Switzerland
Grisons
Swiss Irontrail T141 | 147 kilometers | August 15, 2014 | website
Swiss Irontrail T201 | 202 kilometers | August 14, 2014 | website
Swiss Irontrail T81 | 89 kilometers | August 15, 2014 | website
Trail Marathon 70 KM | 70 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Obwald
MOUNTAINMAN Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Vaud
Ultra Trail du Barlatay | 87 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Cornwall
Inov-8 Roseland August Trail – 32 Mile | 32 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Inov-8 Roseland August Trail – The Plague | 64 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Greater London
T184 | 184 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
South Lanarkshire
John Lucas Memorial Run | 50 miles | August 17, 2014 | website
Suffolk
Stour Valley Path 100km Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Surrey
North Downs Way 100 | 100 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Wiltshire
Salisbury 54321 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2014 | website

USA
Alaska
Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
Resurrection Pass 50 Mile Ultra Trail | 50 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Arizona
Hypnosis 62K Night Trail Runs | 62 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
California
Cinderella Trail Run 50 km (Aug) | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Cool Moon 100M | 100 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Cool Moon 50M | 50 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run (summer) | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Nine Trails 35 Mile Endurance Run | 35 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Run-de-Vous 100M | 100 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Run-de-Vous 50K | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Run-de-Vous 50M | 50 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Run on the Sly 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
Colorado
GORE-TEX TransRockies Run – Run3 | 59 miles | August 12, 2014 | website
GORE-TEX TransRockies Run – TRR6 | 120 miles | August 12, 2014 | website
Leadville Trail 100 Run | 100 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
Telluride Mountain Run | 38 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Idaho
Standhope 60K | 60 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website
Indiana
Potato Creek Trail Runs 60K | 60 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
TARC Summer Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
TARC Summer Classic 50M | 50 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Michigan
Marquette Trail 50 Kilometer | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Marquette Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Minnesota
Ragnar Relay Great River | 200 miles | August 15, 2014 | website
Montana
Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Nevada
Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight 51 km | 51 kilometers | August 10, 2014 | website
Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
New Hampshire
Hampshire 100 Ultra Trail Run | 100 kilometers | August 17, 2014 | website
New Jersey
Wildcat Ridge Romp 100k | 100 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Wildcat Ridge Romp 50k | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Wildcat Ridge Romp 50M | 50 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
New York
Beast of Burden Summer 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Beast of Burden Summer 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
North Dakota
Badlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Badlands 50 miler | 50 miles | August 09, 2014 | website
Oregon
Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Pennsylvania
Eastern States 100 | 100 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Texas
Colorado Bend – 60k | 60 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Utah
Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run | 100 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Sapper Joe Trail Race 50K | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2014 | website
Vermont
100on100 Heart of Vermont Relay | 100 miles | August 16, 2014 | website
Virginia
Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50Km | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Washington
Angels Staircase 50K | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Angels Staircase 60K | 60 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website
Wyoming
El Vaquero Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | August 09, 2014 | website

Zambia
MOSI-OA-TUNYA TRAIL | 85 kilometers | August 11, 2014 | website

CLOSE

LINKS

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ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073
Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss
Website – talkultra.com

Montane Lakeland 100 & 50 2014 race images

©iancorless.comIMG_8170UTLD2014

What an incredible weekend of racing in the stunning English Lakes. The Montane UTLD 100 and 50 mile races certainly have become two of ‘the’ must do events on the 2014 calendar. With the long term continued sponsorship of UK brand, Montane. The event has grown from very humble beginnings as an alternative to UTMB to an outright ‘must-do’ for any enthusiastic ultra runner.

Although run on the same course, the 100 and 50 events are two very different beasts. Both races are point-to-point. The 100 starts in Coniston and does a circular route around the northern lakes dropping back down from Pooley Bridge towards Windermere and then heads around Windemere Lake via Ambleside taking in the Langdale Valley and then a push over Tilberthwaite concludes what is unanimously called a ‘brutal’ event.

Not surprisingly, the ’50’ starts pretty much halfway around the 100 route, in Dalemain and is run over the exact same course as the latter half of the 100 event.

Sun and the Lakes can be a rare commodity but participants in both events had plenty of relentless heat to partner them over every step. Even during the first night, temperatures were ridiculously balmy with nothing more than a short sleeved shirt required. The second night however did throw a curve ball for 100 runners entering another night on the trails or for 50 runners finishing after 2100 hours. The heavens opened with some biblical rain… I guess for some it was a welcome cool down and refresher from the oppressive heat.

Marco Consani (21:14:52) was very much a dominant force in the 100 event. Over the early stages Marco had close competition and ran side-by-side with eventual 2nd place, Charlie Sharpe. However, when Marco took over the lead he never looked back. Climbing out of Howtown with the start of a new day he had a 30-minute lead which he continued to extend all the way to the line finishing almost 90-minutes ahead of Sharpe in 2nd (22:47:56). Lee Knight finished 3rd, 23:21:48 after pushing relentlessly for the duration of the event.

In the ladies race, Beth Pascall proved to be a revelation. Having never run longer than 60-miles before, this lady started at the front of the race and at Buttermere one wondered if she would pull off something quite special. However, experienced ultra runner and Montane athlete, Debbie Martin Consani (yes, Marco’s wife) slowly pulled back the gap and extended the lead away from Beth. Apart from a rough patch at Mardale Head, Debbie never looked in doubt of winning the race but Beth really was charging and at the line it was 25:28:33 to 25:48:36. Impressive. Nicky Taylor was 3rd lady in 29:37:08.

One thing must be said, the Lakeland 100 is a tough event. Even contemplating the start and the race deserves respect. Each and every runner who toed the line achieved a great deal. For those who finished, they have memories and experiences to take to the grave. For those who didn’t finish, they will be back… the UTLD100 get a hold like no other race.

The Lakeland 50 was a British Championship event and as such competition was higher than normal. The men’s race had Lakeland 100 winner and Montane athletes, Stuart Mills and Iznik and Spine Challenger winner, Marcus Scotney. In addition, we had Danny Kendall who just this year placed top-5 at the Marathon des Sables. Add to the mix, Kim Collison, and Lee Kemp a fast race was always on the cards. Fast it was… maybe too fast! Starting at 1130am, the heat of the day was already pushing down and when Danny Kendall says ‘it’s too hot!’ then you know it’s hot… In the early stages, a small group formed but it was Collinson who eventually snapped the elastic. Scotney came from behind and charged into 2nd place and then behind, Kendall and Mills had a tough battle for 3rd. At the line, Collinson finished in 7:48:01, Scotney 2nd in 8:06:42 and Kendall 3rd in 8:13:39.

The ladies race had Lakeland 50 course record holder, Tracy Dean racing against the female Lakeland 100 course record holder, Lizzie Wraith. For sure, it was an exciting head-to-head. However, add to the mix Jo Meek and a real battle was always going to unfold. Meek as expected pushed ahead of Wraith and Dean and never looked back. Running with 100% conviction, Meek dominated the race and never for a moment looked under threat. Dean unfortunately dropped due to illness leaving the door open for Wraith to take 2nd place and Bonnie Van Wilgenberg ran a controlled and impressive race for 3rd. Meeks run was so impressive that she placed 6th overall in a time of 8:43:14. Wraith ran 9:18:22 and Wilgenberg completed the top-3 in 9:31:05.

Full Lakeland 100 results are HERE

Full Lakeland 50 results are HERE

The Lakeland 100 and 50 are sponsored by Montane

MONTANE-2

all race images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com

Montane ready to tackle the Lakeland 100 and 50 2014

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This weekend will see the famous MONTANE® Lakeland 100 / 50 ultra distance races take place. With over 1,100 entrants and a strong, competitive field, this year’s race is certain to raise pulses – not just amongst the runners.

©Press release by Montane

The epic ML100 race starts from the John Ruskin School in Coniston on Friday 25 July, while the shorter, speedier ML50 sets off from Dalemain on Saturday 26 July. The 50-mile event this year is a British Athletics Ultra Trail Championship event and will without doubt see some fast racing from the top ladies and top men. Will course records be broken?

Several Team Montane members will be participating and hopes are high for spots on the podium.  Stepping up to the endurance ML100 will be Debbie Martin-Consani and Steven Major.  Both have tackled the event before, however, as veterans of the course will readily admit, prior experience doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.

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Debbie is an experienced ultra distance runner with various podium finishes under her belt, amongst which finishing 1st in the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race in both the ladies and overall categories.  She has also been selected to run for Team GB for the International Association of Ultrarunners.  In 2013’s ML100, Debbie finished with a very respectable time of 26:02:00 in the ladies category, second only to Lizzie Wraith, who smashed the course record by just over 4 hrs 30 mins.

Steven took up running originally to fundraise for his son’s football team.  His first race was a 5 mile local fun run: “I found the run quite difficult, not having done enough training, but even so I got round in one piece and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie between other fun runners and organisers.  After experiencing this, I thought ‘I want to run it again’”.  Since that first 5 mile run, Steven has run longer, more difficult trail races.  This will be his third ML100.

The ML50, although it uses the second half of the ML100 course, is a completely different event.  Competitors are more tightly bunched together and competition is generally fiercer as the race distance is shorter.  Whereas ML100 participants take on average 30 hours to complete the course (the record stands at 19:50:37), the ML50 racers cross the finish line on average after 16 hours.  The current course record is 07:39:26.

Team Montane members Marcus ScotneyTony Holland and Stuart Mills are raring to compete and there will be fireworks aplenty!  All three have competed in either the ML100 or ML50 before – Stuart has previously focused on the ML100, Tony has experience of competing in both distances and Marcus has participated in the ML50.

©iancorless.com.IMG_5376IZNIK2014Marcus began running in 1994 and took on his first ultra marathon in 2008.  He has run trail, fell and road races and now concentrates on trail.  A high achiever, Marcus has numerous race wins to his name, most recently a stunning victory in the 130km Iznik Ultra in Turkey.  He returns to the ML50 after having to pull out of 2013’s race: “DNF’d at 28miles suffered with chest pain was like running up hill whilst running down down hill & breathing through a straw”.

Tony was propelled into the world of running in 2010 after being inspired by his son, who has Down’s Syndrome and regularly fundraises for the Northumberland Down’s Syndrome Support Group & Disability Activity through his running.  Initially a means of fundraising for Tony, it has transformed his life.  He is a regular on the trail running race circuit and last year set up his own specialist running store, http://www.ultra-runner.com/.  In 2012, Tony took on the ML100, but was forced to withdraw at checkpoint 9 of 14.  In 2013 he was back to tackle the ML50 and completed the course in a time of 12:18:49.  This year he will be on the start line once again for the ML50.

Finally, after winning the 2013 & 2010 ML100, legendary runner Stuart Mills will try his hand at the ML50.  He joined his local running club at the age of 14 and began training in earnest in 1978.  He ran his first marathon in Rotorua, New Zealand aged 17.  Stuart’s wealth of experience has led him to a set of core race tactics: “Run as fast as I can, while I can!”

But whether all or none of our fantastic Team Montane runners cross the finish line, one thing’s for sure – this year’s race will be electric.

For further information on the Montane Lakeland 100 / 50, click here

Skyrunner® Series UK launches with V3K

V3K logo

 

It is finally here, the start of the Skyrunner® Series UK commences this weekend over the classic Welsh 3000’s in the heart of Wales.

An epic challenge awaits each and every participant as they cover 55 km’s, 15-peaks and over 4000m’s of vertical gain. ‘Where earth meets Sky’ is our ethos and the Welsh 3000’s will provide this in abundance.

Providing a classic mountain challenge, the V3K provides a point-to-point race over a route that has become revered for many a runner and walker. Crib Goch needs little introduction and provides the toughest section of the whole route.

V3K Route

Kirsch Bowker, RD for the V3K explains, ‘the launch of the Skyrunner® Series UK is a significant moment and to be involved right from the start is quite incredible for us. The route has it all from fast running to really technical rough terrain. It must rank as some of the most technical terrain covered by a UK mountain race.’

 

 

Starting in the early hours of Saturday morning, the V3K offers an incredible challenge because of the successive ascents and descents. It’s a tough challenge and one that must not be underestimated.

Approaching Elidir Fawr Llewelyn in the background_Alogo

‘The route ranks on a par with some of the races featured in the Skyrunner® World Series. Of course, the terrain in Wales may not be as high as the Alps or Dolomites but believe me, when images show the beauty and the majesty of this course, I firmly believe it will become an iconic Skyrunning race in the UK.’ Ian Corless, Director for Skyrunning UK said, ‘Kirsch and her team have done an incredible job in the build up to this race. We are now in that exciting time when the race is imminent and anticipation is high. It’s going to be a great day and an incredible start to the Skyrunner® Series UK’

‘I adore this route. I have covered every inch of this course time and time again.’ said Kirsch. ‘The hardest section of the course is down Crib y Ddysgl and then the ascent of Crib Goch and the traverse of its pinnacles.’

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Over 100-participants will toe the line from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Netherlands, China, Italy, Spain, Poland and Germany. It’s just the start the series needed and with follow on events such as The Peaks SkyRace in August, the 3×3 Ultra in early October and the Mourne Skyline MTR in Northern Ireland, the stage is set for an incredible series of races that will be expanded on in 2015 and moving forward.

A long-term aim has always been to bring the Worlds best mountain runners to our shores and provide a showcase for our sport to expand and grow. The news that Skyrunner® World Series 2013 champion, Stevie Kremer (Salomon) will race the Mourne Skyline MTR later this year is a sure sign that the V3K will be the start of something very special in the UK.

Stevie Kremer ©iancorless.com This growth would not be possible without the incredible support of the run community, enthusiastic and dedicated race organizers and importantly race sponsors. The Skyrunner® Series UK is incredibly grateful and thankful of the support and sponsorship provided by inov-8, Rocktape and Raidlight.

A final word from Kirsch, ‘we are having a festival/party at the finish with free food. We really want a crowd to welcome folk as they arrive. We really do want lots of people here!’

Skyrunning World Championships 2014 – In-Depth Preview

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Worlds collide in the endurance capital of the world this week when 28-nations congregate for the 2014 Skyrunning World championships.

*Please note, this preview will be updated with many potential changes within the coming days as we are made aware of any withdrawals.

The best-of-the-best will assemble to do battle over the classic Skyrunning distances of VK, SKY and ULTRA in the amazing endurance arena that is Chamonix. 

3400 athletes representing 28-nations will toe 3-separate start lines over an incredible weekend of racing starting on June-27th at 0400 with the 80km ULTRA event. The same day at 1600-hours the 4th edition of the Vertical Kilometer will start from the center of Chamonix. At 0700-hours on Sunday 29th, the 12th Mont-Blanc SKY Marathon will take place.

An epic weekend of racing!

The depth of talent travelling from all around the world is quite mind blowing and thus, making a prediction from such high quality fields is an endurance task in its own right. So, I have provided a list, ‘Ones to watch’ and for each race I have made my predictions that we can expect to don the podium for the ladies and the men. It’s no easy task…

No less than eight Skyrunner® World Series Champions will be present.

Some numbers for the record: 

  • 8 Skyrunner® World Series Champions
  • 28 national teams
  • 38 countries participating  
  • 46 top 20 ranked athletes 
  • 3,400 participants in the thee disciplines
  • 25,000 euros cash prizes

Individual world titles are at stake in each discipline as well as a combined title, based on the best results of two out of three races. Countries will be ranked according to the best results of three men and one woman in all three disciplines.

€ 25,000 cash prizes will be awarded and anti-doping controls will be carried out.

******

Chamonix VK The 4th annual Vertical Kilometer

Race start 16:00 Friday June 27th 

A route of pure ‘mountain’ spirit, that takes a straight and direct line from the center of Chamonix to the finish at Planpraz. Climbing 1000 vertical meters in 3.8km it’s a pure test of strength. Similar to a prologue in the Tour de France, runner’s start at timed 30-second intervals, the fastest to the summit is the winner!

The opening sections comprise of runnable trail, however, the last section is comprised of rocks and requires more commitment with notably a few aerial passages equipped with cables and ladders.

Records:

  • Kilian Jornet – 34:07
  • Christel Dewalle – 41:33

MEN

©iancorless.com.IMG_7169Transvulcania14

The Dematteis brothers will without doubt be serious contenders after strong performances at the VK at Transvulcania La Palma. Like the Super Mario Brothers, these guys bring excitement and drama to any race.

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Saul Antonio Padua last years winner will have competition this year, however, his performance in the VK last year was world class. What do you think, another win?

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Kilian Jornet fresh from another Summit of my Life record may well not have much running in his legs but it has never slowed him before and why would it slow him this time?

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Eirik Haugsness placed 3rd last year and very much feels comfortable with the effort level required for a quality performance over the VK distance. He prefers a course that allows him to run and Chamonix provides exactly such a course, at least over the first 700-meters.

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Urban Zemmer is a class act on any VK and a specialist at the discipline. However, the Chamonix VK does not really suit his style. He will be in the mix but not on top of the podium. Zemmer was Skyrunner ® World Series Champion in 2013 and despite my thoughts, would almost certainly like the World title too! He placed 5th last year.

Alexis Sevennec placed 4th last year and comes from a ski mountaineer background, as so many VK specialists do. I don’t see him making the podium but he will be close, very close!

Finally, Marco Facchinelli placed 2nd in the Skyrunner® World Series in 2013 and like Zemmer will be looking to stamp his authority on the VK.

Ones to watch:

  • Kilian Jornet (Esp)
  • Saul Antonio Padua (Col)
  • Oscar Casal Mir (And)
  • Marc Casal Mir (And)
  • Aritz Egea (Esp)
  • Martin Gaffuri (Fra)
  • Alexis Sevennec (Fra)
  • Greg Vollet (Fra)
  • Didier Zago (Fra)
  • Tom Owens (Gbr)
  • Bernard Dematteis (Ita)
  • Martin Dermatteis (Ita)
  • Marco Facchinelli (Ita)
  • Urban Zemmer (Ita)
  • Dai Matsumoto (Jap)
  • Eirik Haugsness (Nor)
  • Thorbjorn Ludvigsen (Nor)
  • Jono Wyatt (Nzl)
  • Joakim Lanz (Swe)
  • Alex Nichols (Usa)
  • Marco Moletto (Ita)

LADIES

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Christel Dewalle set a course record on the VK in 2013 and will be looking for a repeat performance. Her strength and endurance was confirmed in 2013 with a top-quality 2nd place at Ice Trail Tarentaise.

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Laure Orgue Skyrunner® World Series Champion in 2013 is a VK specialist and as shown on many occasions previously will be looking to push as hard as possible for victory in Chamonix.

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Antonella Confortola on her day is one of the best VK specialists on the circuit, particularly when using poles. The Chamonix VK may be too runnable for Antonella but she will without doubt be up at the front as she was in 2013 when she placed 3rd.

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Stevie Kremer like Emelie is not a VK specialist but her mountain ability is quite incredible. How will she perform on the VK, well, it’s a question mark? After a stunning run at Zegama-Aizkorri one can assume that Stevie will be in the mix.

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Kasie Enman flew up the early climbs at Zegama-Aizkorri and led the race early on before Stevie Kremer reeled her in and took the lead. Because the VK is a flat out effort, I can’t help but think we will see Kasie create some fireworks.

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Finally, Brit, Tessa Hill has honed and fine-tuned her VK skills in recent years and without doubt, the Chamonix course suits her running VK style. Tessa was 3rd in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series and placed on 5th at the 2013 Chamonix VK.

 Ones to watch:

  • Laura Orgue (Esp)
  • Christel Dewalle (Fra)
  • Stephanie Jiminez (Fra)
  • Janine Frost (Gbr)
  • Tessa Hill (Gbr)
  • Antonella Confortola (Ita)
  • Anna Eriksmo (Swe))
  • Landie Grayling (Sa)
  • Kasie Enman (Usa)
  • Stevie Kremer (Usa)
  • Axelle Mollaret (Fra)

  

The 12th annual Mont-Blanc SKY Marathon.

Race start 07:00 Sunday June 29th 

This year yet again athletes from 65 countries will compete in an exceptional and very technical course.

After starting from the center of Chamonix (1035m) it is a climb up the Arve valley by passing through the hamlet of Lavancher before reaching Argentiere (1250m).

In direction of Le Planet the course rejoins the Balcon Nord trail before re-descending in the direction of Montroc. Tré le Champ then it is the Col des Montets (1461m) at the heart of the Aigulles Rouges nature reserve.

By the Diligences route the runners cross the hamlet of Buet before rejoining Vallorcine (1260m) nestled at the end f the valley on the Swiss border. The climb begins toward the Aiguillette des Posettes (2200m). Efforts are rewarded by a sumptuous panorama of the Mont-Blanc range and the Chamonix valley. Facing the Aiguille du Tour and its glacier the trail descends by following the Crete des Fretes.

After several technical passages to the village of Le Tour (1453m) it is a return to tranquility on the path that longs the Bisme stream and then to Montroc (1382m). The runners cross through the hamlet of Frasserands and Tré le Champs before rejoining the historic trail of the Mont-Blanc Cross, at the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges facing the entire massif. The path rises up to La Flegere (1875m). After traversing the beautiful Charlanon combe (1812m) there is a soft little climb inviting everyone to take in the scenery.

Then the slopes intensify before the finish at Planpraz (2050m) the intermediary station of the Brevent that offers one of the most spectacular views of the Mont-Blanc. Race description ©Club Des Sports De Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Records:

  • Kilian Jornet – 3:30:41
  • Stevie Kremer – 4:03:16

 

MEN

Check the list out below… what a line-up. Last year we had a battle royal with Kilian Jornet, Marco De Gasperi and Luis Alberto Hernando. Only Kilian returns! Marco De Gasperi is not available to race and Luis has moved up to the Ultra distance. So, what is going to happen?

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No surprise, Kilian Jornet is odds on favourite. He won last year and why wouldn’t he this year? He certainly has less running in his legs than any other year but he lives and breathes the mountains and his need to run in preparation for a running race is somewhat distorted in the way the rest of us function.

My dark horse and potential apple cart shaker is Vlad Ixel. He is not a name many European runners will know but after some quality runs in the Southern Hemisphere, I firmly believe that Vlad will be the surprise of the whole 2014 Skyrunning World championships.

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne was the joint winner of the 80km event with Francois d’Haene in 2013 and knows the mountains and terrain like the back of his hand. A recent quality performance at Zegama-Aizkorri confirms good form.

I’m pretty excited from a British perspective! We have a return to top flight racing for *Andy Symonds after a horrendous 2013 due to injury. Tom Owens pushed Kilian in 2012 and like Andy Symonds had a 2013 to forget. Oli Johnson placed 10th last year in Chamonix and Martin Cox seals the quartet of top UK talent. *injured

Zaid Ait Malek

Zaid Ait Malek

Zaid Ait Malek will smile is whole way around the marathon route and will potentially take (or just miss) the podium. He is an incredible mountain running talent.

Jono Wyatt – do I need to say anymore? He’s a mountain running legend. Jono has been there and done that for decades. You can NEVER rule him out as way saw at Sierre-Zinal last year.

Alex Nichols

Alex Nichols

USA has fast men *Alex Nichols (7th in 2013) If Alex is in great shape, it would be feasible for him to place in the top-10. However, this is a top quality field and the pressure will be on.  *injured

Didier Zago placed 6th last year but I believe he is taking a more casual approach to running these days. So my final shouts will go to Eirik Haugsness (5th last year) and up and coming star, Thorbjorn Ludvigsen.

Ones to watch:

  • Oscar Casal Mir (And)
  • Marc Casal Mir (And)
  • Vlad Ixel (Aus)
  • Miguel Caballero (Esp)
  • Aritz Egea (Esp)
  • Zigor Iturrieta Ruiz (Esp)
  • Kilian Jornet (Esp)
  • Jokin Lizeaga (Esp)
  • Augusti Roc (Esp)
  • Nicolas Bouvier (Fra)
  • Thibaut Baronian (Fra)
  • Martin Gaffuri (Fra)
  • Michel Lanne (Fra)
  • Didier Zago (Fra)
  • Martin Cox (Gbr)
  • Oli Johnson (Gbr)
  • Tom Owens (Gbr)
  • Andy Symonds (Gbr)
  • Florian Reichert (Ger)
  • Fabio Bazzana (Ita)
  • Dai Matsumoto (Jap)
  • Toru Myahara (Jap)
  • Zaid Ait Malek (Mor)
  • German Silva (Mex)
  • Tineke Van Den Berg (Ned)
  • Eirik Haugsness (Nor)
  • Thorbjorn Ludvigsen (Nor)
  • Jono Wyatt (Nzl)
  • Marcin Swierc (Pol)
  • Andre Castro (Pol)
  • Lucky Miya (Sa)
  • Marc Lauenstein (Sui)
  • Alex Nichols (Usa)

LADIES

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Stevie Kremer won the race last year with a new course record and one has to tip her as the hot favourite, particularly after her strong and dominant performance at Zegama-Aizkorri.

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Maite Mairoa is on a roll at the moment after a stunning Transvulcania and Zegama-Aizkorri performance. Maite has always been a dominant force in mountain running but this last 12-months has seen a change. She is a different runner and one that can push the best-of-the-best.

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Elisa Desco won Sierre-Zinal ahead of Stevie Kremer in 2013 and then placed behind Stevie at Zegama. This can only mean that we are in for a high quality battle in the Chamonix arena.

Kasie Enman looked like she was going to throw race predictions out of the window at Zegama-Aizkorri but faltered in the latter stages when fatigue hit. Long haul travel or mother duties could be to blame but one thing is for sure, several weeks on I think we will see a much stronger and more dominant runner who will mix things up in Chamonix.

Final shout goes to Jo Meek from the UK who will be tipping her toe in the Skyrunning world. Jo was unknown last year bur 2nd place lady at Marathon des Sables, winning The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, a win at the Iznik Ultra and CR and most recently 5th placed lady at the iconic Comrades Marathon shows that Jo has all the speed required to do well! The biggest test for Jo will be the long climbs and technical running. I’m going to be seriously interested to see how this race goes.

 Ones to watch:

  • Jo Brishetto (Aus)
  • Nuria Dominguez (Esp)
  • Maite Maiora (Esp)
  • Aline Camboulive (Fra)
  • Juliette Benedicto (Fra)
  • Stephanie Jiminez (Fra)
  • Jo Meek (Gbr)
  • Antonella Confortola (Ita)
  • Elisa Desco (Ita)
  • Silvia Serafini (Ita)
  • Sharon Broadwell (Nor)
  • Landie Grayling (Sa)
  • Zhana Vokueva (Rus)
  • Kasie Enman (Usa)
  • Stevie Kremer (Usa)

 

The Mont-Blanc ULTRA 80km

Race start 04:00 Friday 27th

In 2013 the first edition left it’s mark in everyone’s minds. The technicality, beautiful scenery and paths delighted all runners. For the first runner and the last runner, the challenge was the same! Among fatigue, visions of gorgeous mountains, capricious weather, heat and snow, all the necessary ingredients for an extraordinary event beyond the norm came together for the birth of a legend…

After an early start (4:00am) from the center of Chamonix Mont-Blanc the runners will rise directly up to the Bellachat Hut (2246m) from where they will see the first rays of sunlight shining on the summit of the Mont-Blanc. After a short rest they will leave Brevent (2525m) to descent to Planpraz (1st refreshment post). At the heart of the Aiguilles rouges, a trail will take them to the Flegere and then to the chalet des Cheseryus before descending to the Col des Montets via la Tete au Vent.

The hamlet of the Buet (1330m) will mark the beginning of a long technical loop starting with the Tré les Eaux valley, then a demanding ascent up to the Col du Corbeau (2602m). Most likely with some snow still on the ground runners will enter into Swiss territory and head up the

Col de la Terrasse (2643m). In this mineral world the descent to the Emosson dam will require keen attentiveness on the final snowfields. Very soon the pastures of the Loriaz will allow the muscles to relax after over 50km of effort. But the rest period will be short-lived because once Vallorcine is crossed (1260m) the ascent of the aiguillette des Posettes will burn the calves and pump the cardio!

Facing the Mont-Blanc the descent along a ridge will require utmost caution to get through the numerous steps and reach the village of Le Tour and then Argentiere (1260m). Runners will then re-descend along the Balcon Nord in the direction of Chamonix and take the Marathon race route in reverse.

The final difficulty will be the climb up to Signal (2200m), running next to one of Chamonix’s most famous tourist sites, the Mer de Glace. A last balcony at the foot of the Aiguilles des Grands Charmoz de Blaitiere and the Fou will take the runners to the Plan d’Aiguille (2200m), which overhangs the Arve valley. 1200m lower the finish line will honor the deserving finishers…. Race description ©Club Des Sports De Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Records 

  • Francois d’Haene and Michel Lanne – 9:45:57 (joint record 2013)
  • Caroline Cheverot 13:10:05

 

MEN 

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Luis Alberto Hernando dominated Transvulcania La Palma this year and has decided to move up from the SKY distance (placed 3rd last year) to the ULTRA distance at Mont-Blanc. On his day he is one of the best in the world and I am sure Luis will be using this race as an opportunity to understand the mountain ready for his first UTMB later in the year.

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Francois d’Haene won the race last year and after consummate performances at Raid de la Reunion and the recent UTMF, one has to say that he is odds on favourite here!

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UTMB 2013 winner Xavier Thevenard has the perfect combination of skills to excel and place on the podium. His recent performance at Transvulcania was disappointing but these things happen in racing… I think Xavier will be a podium contender. In addition, he has just had a warm up on the UTMB route with his Asics team trying to beat the sun!

Ricky Lightfoot’s presence in the race really does excite me and if he shows some of the quality and skill shown at races such as The Otter in South Africa, The World Trail Running Champs and the Three Peaks then we are in for some real excitement. 

Mike Wolfe makes the journey from the USA and loves mountains with technical trail. He has performed at the highest level at UTMB before and will be looking to transfer those experiences to the 80km course.

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Adam Campbell, Jason Schlarb, Matt Cooper, Pablo Villa and the list goes on! It’s going to be an epic race.

Ones to watch:

  • Xavier Teixido (And)
  • Matt Cooper (Aus)
  • Pieter Schaaps (Bel)
  • Chico Santos (Bra)
  • Jason Loutit (Can)
  • Jan Bartas (Cez)
  • Martin Saenz (Ecu)
  • Pao Bartolo (Esp)
  • Luis Alberto Hernando (Esp)
  • Pablo Villa ((Esp)
  • Sebastien Buffard (Fra)
  • Sylvain Couchaud (Fra)
  • Yann Curien (Fra)
  • Francois d’Haene (Fra)
  • Benoit Girondel (Fra)
  • David Pasquio (Fra)
  • Xavier Thevenard (Fra)
  • Ricky Lightfoot (Gbr)
  • Philipp Reiter (Ger)
  • Giuliano Cavallo (Ita)
  • Steffan Ruzza (Ita)
  • Yoshito Kondo (Ita)
  • Ronnie Duinkerken (Ned)
  • Phudorjee Lama Sherpa (Nep)
  • Leonardo Diogo (Pol)
  • Johan Lantz (Swe)
  • Jason Schlarb (Usa)
  • Mike Wolfe (Usa)

 

LADIES

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Anna Frost is back and in the space of just over a month has put some really tough times behind her, topped the podium with a new CR at the Transvulcania La Palma and has then followed this up with some quality training. Frosty appears to be in a great place both physically and mentally. Frosty is my hot tip but….

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Nuria Picas is in the race and Nuria has not stopped winning in 2014. She has become an unstoppable force in mountain running and ultra running. The only blip was a recent withdrawal from Zegama-Aizkorri but that shows us nothing. It was basically one race too many and Nuria had the sense to stop. Frosty and Nuria are great friends and it has been sometime since they shared trails together. Expect them to run next to each other for some time chatting and then a head-to-head battle in the latter stages.

Emelie Forsberg’s 2013 has already been extremely interesting, a bad fall wiped out her Transvulcania and this then impacted on Zegama-Aizkorri. Emelie is not used to finishing off the podium and I am 100% convinced we will see an inform and fired up Emelie in Chamonix. Plus she is going to be racing against Frosty and Nuria. Wow!

We will finally get to see Southern Hemisphere talent Ruby Muir trade blows and I for one am excited to see the outcome. Ruby shot to prominence from not only winning Tarawera in 2012, but also doing it in Vibram Five Fingers. I am unsure of the shoe choice for the 80km race, it’s irrelevant. I do know that we are in for a fast race and one that Ruby may well lead?

Fernanda

Fernanda Maciel has been trading blows with Nuria Picas on the UTWT circuit and has had a string of top-3 places to confirm that she will be in the mix in Chamonix. However, despite Fernanda’s obvious ability, I don’t think she will have the speed required for the top slot.

Finally, Brits Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith may well fly the flag for Blighty. Claire lives in Hong Kong and has been a consistent performer at the highest level. Lizzie by contrast is based in the UK and shot to prominence after winning and setting a new course record on the Lakeland 100 course.

Ones to watch:

  • Anna Frost (Nzl)
  • Ruby Muir (Nzl)
  • Fernanda Maciel (Bra)
  • Dong Li (Chn)
  • Anna Strakova (Cze)
  • Uxu Fraile (Esp)
  • Nuria Picas (Esp)
  • Lauren Gaussens (Fra)
  • Maud Gobert (Fra)
  • Claire Price (Gbr)
  • Lizzie Wraith (Gbr)
  • Alessandra Carlini (Ita)
  • Emelie Forsberg (Swe)

The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships will be an incredible showcase for running. Like you, I can’t wait for all the excitement to unfold.

Follow events online:

  • Web – Iancorless.com
  • Twitter – @talkultra
  • Facebook – facebook.com/talkultra

inov-8 Race Ultra Vest 2015 – sneak preview

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Time flies and as the saying goes, ‘Its stops for nobody!’

This definitely applies to running shoes, apparel and accessories. Twelve months ago I received my first prototype of the inov-8 Race Ultra Vest. It was quite a moment, I remember thinking at the time, wow, this pack does everything I need and more.

After months of testing, I went on to review the vest and gave the product a glowing review. Arguably the best review I have ever given any pack.

‘This new product from UK company; inov-8 may very well be the next key moment in pack design stripping away complication and providing a pack that would almost make a perfect accessory for Batman.’

I didn’t stop…

‘This product fits like a glove! I have yet to find anyone who has put this product and on not found it immediately comfortable. It just fits, pure and simple.’

And I finished off with…

‘I can’t tell you how many packs I have purchased over the years in the search for the ‘perfect’ pack. Just when I think I have found one, I find a reason not to be 100% convinced. I’d have to say that finally, in the inov-8 Race Ultra Vest I have found a product that ticks every box and makes me feel 100% confident in my choice and decision.’

My review was backed up with demand. inov-8 were inundated with pre orders, sold out stock and a series of awards that confirmed my review.

You can read that original review HERE

inov-8 awards HERE

‘100% confident!’ That is one bold statement and nearly12-months on I look back and think I was correct (at the time). I had 100% confidence in the pack and my review.

To my surprise, earlier this year at an inov-8 athlete retreat in the English Lakes I was provided a glimpse of what the future would hold for inov-8. I was blown away. New apparel that will push boundaries, a new Race Ultra 290 shoe (review HERE) and a series of new packs.

Mmmm, I was 100% confident of the 2014 Race Ultra Vest which technically would mean that the Race Ultra Vest couldn’t be improved on. I was wrong! The team at inov-8 and in particular, Matt Brown, have taken what was/ is a superb design and taken it up a level and then a little bit more.

I can’t give away too much at the moment other than many of those little niggles that was aired on forums and on my website are gone. The new packs, and I use the plural will provide everyone a pack customisable and workable for any race distance, feeding scenario and importantly, carrying scenario.

I’m still testing, looking at different configurations and feeding information back along with inov-8 team athletes. Rest assured, when this new range of products are released in 2015 they are going to be a head turner, just as the 2014 Race Vest was.

I will be looking to post a full review with images in September. This will allow me at least 3-months testing which I consider to be appropriate in finding out what does and does not work.

More information to follow…

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