SCOTT KINABALU SUPERTRAC – First Impressions

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Spring is here and new run shoes are a plenty. Christmas takes place in December but I have to say, if you are a runner, February is stepping up to be a great month for a few surprise presents. Recently I have had new shoes from The North Face (Ultra MT, Cardiac and TR2, the Salomon S-Lab Sense 4 is due to arrive any day and several weeks back I looked at the Scott Trail Rocket and mentioned the Kinabalu.

Today we are taking a look at a new shoe from SCOTT, the KINABALU SUPERTRAC.

This is a shoe I asked Scott to make some 12-18 months ago! Having used and loved the Kinabalu (Here) I pleaded with them to come up with an 8mm drop shoe with a more aggressive sole. They have only gone and done it!

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This shoe is a winner!

Looking at current shoe trends, Scott like The North Face, Salomon and other key brands have realised that a lower drop is the way forward. For many companies, 8mm provides that sweet middle ground. New Balance, TNF and now Scott have confirmed this while Salomon pave a way with 4mm and 6mm drop shoes.

As mentioned previously, if you are after a fast trail shoe (for dry conditions) and with a lower drop (5mm), you can’t go far wrong with the Scott Trail Rocket. But if you are after a shoe that can handle mud and a multitude of different conditions then the 8mm drop, Kinabalu Supertrac may be for you!

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Carrying over many of the characteristics of the Kinabalu, the Kinabalu Supertrac in summary :

Fits like a glove, laces up nice and tight, hugs the heel without rubbing, the toe box provides a secure hold of your foot with a precise feel and grip is AGGRESSIVE!

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In Detail

The Kinabalu Supertrac introduces a new level of technical shoe and a completely new concept of superior grip. The shoes are designed to match the needs of trail and mountain runners in the most extreme conditions : mud, snow, rock and mountain! Delivering great traction on soft and rough surfaces and all within a shoe that provides great comfort, cushioning and with an 8mm drop.

It comes as no surprise to me really. As I said previously, I loved the Kinabalu. I just wanted more grip and lower drop. Scott have that now provided me with that, so this can only mean one thing: happy runner!

If you are familiar with the Kinabalu, this ‘Supertrac‘ version will feel familiar. The tongue is padded, extremely comfortable and the laces are thin and textured. Importantly, the laces stay tight when tied. Scott’s ‘Lace Locker‘ is present and this provides a no nonsense simple solution to store loose laces.

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The shoes are neutral fitting and cushioned using AeroFoam+ which provides additional cushioning, increased durability and great rebound. The upper is breathable mesh with synthetic overlays and the lower part of the shoe is constructed from EVA and rubber.

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The toe box is reinforced extremely well and will withstand some serious contact with rocks or unwanted obstacles. I usually prefer a wider shoe and the Supertrac allows for this but still holds my forefoot firm and without hot spots.

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The heel is injection moulded, plush, soft has no harsh contact points and provides a secure firm grip irrespective of when running on the flat, descending or going uphill. I had no movement at all.

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As one would expect, Scott carry over many features that we have seen on other shoes in the range. The eRIDE is a ‘rocker’ platform that is designed to guarantee a more efficient foot strike. If you already strike mid to forefoot, this may be less noticeable. However, if you are heel striking, the rocker really does roll you forward on to your toes.

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The most noticeable aspect of the shoe is the GRIP! I can’t write about the GRIP without putting it in capital letters. Boy do they GRIP…

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Think JCB meets running shoe. The outsole is extreme and made from a superior wet traction rubber compound that works really well on a multitude of surfaces. I am really impressed with just three to four runs*.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an out-and-out trail beast with great cushioning, 8mm drop and a comfort rating that will least all day, the Kinabalu Supertrac is going to be a serious contender. It has very quickly become my ‘go to’ when heading out on my local muddy trails.

Expect to see Marco De Gasperi, Elisa Desco and Joe Gray using this on the trails and mountains of Europe and the USA.

Pros:

  • GRIP
  • Cushioned
  • Spacious toe box with protection
  • True to size fit

Cons:

  • Not the lightest shoe

Details:

RRP £105

Available SS2015

Technology:

  • Lace bungee
  • Wet traction rubber
  • eRIDE Platform
  • AerFoam+
  • Self cleaning lugs
  • Upper: Mesh/ synthetic overlay
  • Lower: EVA/ Runner
  • Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 340g (UK8)
  • Sizes: US7-14

#noshortcuts

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*I will provide an updated review after 1-month and plenty of nice muddy shots to show the shoe’s durability in the upper and outsole

The 2015 11th edition of The Coastal Challenge on RUNULTRA

TCC 2015

“Anything can happen in a race that lasts multiple days and believe me, The Coastal Challenge provided more than its fair share of excitement. But as a battle raged at the front, behind, the story was one of survival, perseverance and enjoyment in equal measure.”

Read the full article  and view a selection of images from the 2015

The Coastal Challenge

HERE

A full selection of images are available HERE

And you can read daily reports with images from the race here:

Day 1 HERE

Day 2 HERE

Day 3 HERE images HERE

Day 4 HERE images HERE

Day 5 HERE images HERE

Day 6 HERE

run-ultra-logo

Episode 81 – Murphy Polyakova Zahab Laithwaite

Ep81

Episode 81 of Talk Ultra is out… Mike Murphy talks about pushing to the limits (and beyond) at The Coastal Challenge, Elena Polyakova talks about ultra running in Turkey and the up and coming Cappadocia Ultra Trail and Ray Zahab fills us in on his last expedition. Marc Laithwaite return for Talk Training and we discuss Maffetone. A Blog, Up and Coming Races, the News and Speedgoat Karl co-hosts.

00:17:09 NEWS
 
Sean O’Brien 100k
Ryan Smith 8:41
Seth Swanson 8:57
Jorge Pacheo
Magdalena Boulet 9:51
Anita Ortiz 10:40
Silke Koester 11:11
Tarawera 100k
Dylan Bowman 7:44 CR
Jorge Maravilla 8:01
Yoshikazu Hara 8:12
Ruby Muir 9:02 CR
Ruth Croft 9:14
Nuria Picas 9:40
 
MSIG Sai Kung 28k
Dai Matsumoto 2:49
Elisa Desco 3:41
 
MSIG Sai Kung 50k
Samir Tamang 4:48
Mira Rai 5:39
 
The Coastal Challenge
Iain Don Wauchope 22:29:08
Ashur Youseffi 26:09:54
Roiny Villegas 26:23:53
Veronica Bravo 29:35:20
Nikki Kimball 32:31:50
Maria Rivera 34:07:13
00:39:29 INTERVIEW
 
MIKE MURPHY pushed things to the limit at the 2015 The Coastal Challenge, in this interview we discuss his experiences in-depth.
 
Black Canyon 100k
Ford Smith 8:31 (18 years old)
Dave Mackey 8:33
Ryan Ghelfi 8:40
Caroline Boller 10:05
Angela Shartel 10:55
Gina Lucrezi 11:51
 
Red Hot 55k
Alex Nichols 3:48
Rob Krar 3:51
Jim Walmsley 3:54
Ashley Erba (19 years old) 4:29
Kara Henry 4:44
Kerrie Bruxvoort 5:03
 
Susitna 100
David Johnston 21:29
Rachel Gano 29:34
01:48:18 INTERVIEW
 
ELENA POLYAKOVA has pioneered ultra running in Turkey. In this interview we discuss her experiences and the up and coming TNF Cappadocia Ultra Trail 
 
02:20:12 INTERVIEW
 
RAY ZAHAB is no stranger to adventure, earlier this year he ventured into Patagonia. We hear all about it.
 
02:53:04 BLOG
Iain Don Wauchope writes about The Coastal Challenge – HERE
 
02:53:37 TALK TRAINING
 
Marc Laithwaite talks Maffetone
References:
 
Maffetone for Better Endurance HERE
Paleo, Maffetone and the Method HERE
03:28:23 UP & COMING RACES
 

Australia

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Victoria

Dendy Park Urban Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Cayman Islands

Off the Beaten Track | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Finland

Lapland

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 20, 2015 | website

France

Ille-et-Vilaine

Endu’Rance Trail des Corsaires | 64 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Loire-Atlantique

Le Trail du Vignoble Nantais – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Germany

Hesse

Lahntallauf 50 KM | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Rotary HK Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Italy

Tuscany

Terre di Siena 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Malaysia

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Mexico

Ultra Caballo Blanco | 50 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Bedrock50 | 53 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Taupo 155 km Great Lake Relay | 155 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Taupo 67.5 km Great Lake Relay | 67 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Waiheke Round Island 100 km Relay | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Peru

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 80K | 80 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Philippines

Davao50 | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

Luneta to Tagaytay(LU2TA) Midnight Ultramarathon 60km | 60 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Portugal

Trail Terras do Sicó | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Terras do Sicó – 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Senegal

Raid Téranga 250 | 250 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

South Africa

South African Addo Elephant 44 km Trail Run | 44 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

South African Addo Elephant 76 km Trail Run | 76 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Three Cranes Challenge | 106 kilometers | February 26, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Trail Sierras del Bandolero | 150 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Catalonia

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Essex

St Peters Way Ultra | 45 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Northumberland

Coastal Trail Series – Northumberland – Ultra | 34 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Black Warrior/Phillip Parker 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Mount Cheaha 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile | 1000 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile | 350 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Arizona

Elephant Mountain – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200 miles | February 20, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 55K | 55 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Arkansas

LOVit 100k | 100 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

LOVit 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Sylamore Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

California

Chabot Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

FOURmidable 100K | 100 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

FOURmidable 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Lake Natoma 50K | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Montara Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 100K | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Afternoon | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Morning | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 100K Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 125 Mile Endurance Race | 125 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 50K Endurance Race | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 50 Mile Endurance Race | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Run for Amma 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Run for Amma 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Salmon Falls 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Sycamore 100k | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

West Coast 50K | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

Colorado

Headless Horsetooth Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Florida

Everglades 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Everglades 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Manasota Track Club 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Louisiana

Q50 50M Ultra | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Maryland

Frozen Heart 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

New Jersey

Febapple Frozen Fifty – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Febapple Frozen Fifty – 50M | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Race Across New Mexico – Alien Encounter (4 Marathons) | 100 miles | February 27, 2015 | website

Race Across New Mexico – Heart of New Mexico (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | February 24, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Mount Mitchell Challenge | 40 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Texas

A2B2: Alamo To Border 2 | 162 miles | February 27, 2015 | website

Cowtown Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Cross Timbers Trail Runs 50M | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – Border to Border (22 Marathons) | 587 miles | March 04, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – The Wild West (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | March 06, 2015 | website

Virginia

The Reverse Ring | 71 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Washington

Lord Hill 50 Km | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

03:31:56 CLOSE
03:35:27

Links:

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

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

Website – talkultra.com

William Sichel planning on getting HIGH!

3100.3

Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel (61) has announced his race programme for 2015 which includes races as short as 40 miles and as long as 6 days in duration, but nothing as long as the 3100 mile race he finished in August last year. Read my interview HERE

One of the most eye-catching of his races will be his attempt to complete the World’s Highest Ultramarathon – ‘The High’ – in the Himalayas in August. With an average altitude of 14,500 feet/4400 metres and with two mountain passes to tackle at 18,000 feet/5500 metres, that’s almost 3½ miles high, it will require very special preparation if William is to have any chance of success.

“This event will take my right out of my comfort zone as I have never trained or competed at any kind of altitude before. There will be a lot to consider with regards to health and performance at heights like that. I will need to prepare very carefully and seek advice from those with previous experience. I’ll need to be on top of my game to complete that one.”

William will open his season by returning to the Barry 40 Mile track race in South Wales on March 8th, a race he last attempted 12 years ago. Then follows a two week warm weather training spell in Lanzarote followed by the World 6 Day Trophy in Balaton, Hungary from May 6th to the 12th – an event William won in 2011.

August will see William head east to the Himalayas for ‘The High’ – 222kms/134 miles over the mountains of Ladakh in India.

“My main event after the high altitude race in India will be the new indoor 48 hour race in Oslo in November which will provide some new record opportunities for me. This year is a very challenging schedule of races following an epic 2014 when I managed to complete the World’s Longest Footrace – 3100 miles in New York.”

You can follow and find out more about William HERE

MSIG Sai Kung 50 & Skyrunning Asian Championships: pre-race interviews

Hong Kong is certainly a place of contrasts. A pre-breakfast run along the waterfront this morning saw the whole city shrouded in a thick, yellow smog which softened the outlines of the masses of skyscrapers and high-rise apartment blocks. People bustle along the pavements whilst taxis and buses fill every meter of the chaotic roads. Even the water between the mainland and the island is crammed with boats of all sizes ferrying people or freight around seemingly 24 hours a day. Not really a promising place for a Skyrunning race then…

But an hour out of the city and Sai Kung is a leafy, charming place with a vibrant sea port and – more importantly perhaps – towering forest covered hills rising from the sea shore to the sky. Suddenly the potential for a challenging Skyrunning race and the Asian Championships is revealed.

Just after lunch Simon had a chance to catch up with a few of the elite athletes looking to make an impact on this race early in the season:

Tom Owens

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.12.27After a ruptured ankle tendon in 2013, Tom was actually happy with how he raced in 2013 and enjoyed including some long races that the surgically repaired ankle dealt with without a problem. When I asked Tom why he chose to race the Sai Kung race, he said that he had already planned on taking some time off in February to go on a warm weather training camp, to get away from the freezing temperatures that he has been enduring in Scotland all winter. As soon as the opportunity to race in Hong Kong came up, Tom changed his plans to be here.

Tom also said that after a winter of cyclo-cross and cross country racing, he thought that tactically, getting a Skyrunning race under his belt early in the season would give him an advantage later in the year.

Simon asked Tom about how cyclo-cross has played a part in his training and Tom admitted that although he really enjoys it, he is technically not as strong as he’d like to be having only taken up the sport in the last couple of years. But Tom thinks that it has given him a physical and psychological edge that he needed after his surgery.

Martin Gaffuri

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.12.45Martin is a French resident although he is soon moving to Switzerland for work, so coming to Hong Kong for a race is a great opportunity to escape the snow and run in relatively warm conditions.

The Sai Kung race also represents a chance for Martin to return to the sport he loves after a hiatus in 2014. He feels that his best result last year was in Tarawera, but around racing the 80km World Champs in Chamonix, where he came 17th, Martin lost motivation for his running and took time off, only really returning to the sport towards the end of the season with a tilt at the Rut where he took a tumble off the trail.

With his new full-time job about to start, Martin is looking forward to having some structure, aiming for more quality over quantity. This makes the 28km race in Sai Kung a perfect chance to test his legs on a relatively shorter course.

Elisa Desco

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.13.31Elisa told Simon that this is her first season Skyrunning. In fact until last year she had not raced more than 20km. She said that Zegama was a fantastic new experience for her and that, along with her brilliant run at the World Championships in Chamonix, have surprised her and given her added motivation to train and race.

Looking ahead Elisa is racing the shorter Skyrunning series in 2015 and then thinks that she might start to consider tackling some longer races. But for now she thinks that her speed on relative short distances – her road marathon debut was a very impressive 2:36 – will mean that she can compete with the best of them on the trails in the hills.

Marco De Gasperi

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.13.18On reflection Marco believes that he may have been over-trained in 2014. He told Simon that for a few crucial months in the middle of the year he felt very tired and weak. Thankfully now he has fully recovered and has trained consistently – ensuring that he isn’t over-training – so that he is ready for the Sai Kung event, which Marco sees as a significant race and a great way to start the Skyrunning season.

Sat in Sai Kung town in a cafe today, Marco looked remarkably relaxed and told Simon that whilst he is wary of the other elite athletes on the start line tomorrow, he is also not stressed and is looking forward to the trails.

Marco has an eye on races beyond the Sai Kung event. He wants to be in best possible share to race Zegama later in the year and he knows that he needs to measure out his efforts so that he can get the best from himself at the right moments.

The action starts at 7am in Hong Kong and Simon will be on the course following events. You can keep up-to-speed on twitter and check back for a race report soon.

SALOMON S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET and SALOMON S-LAB SENSE SET

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A new year and new products! Nothing is more eagerly awaited than a new offering from Salomon and today I take a look at two new race vests from the French brand, the S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET and the S-LAB SENSE SET.

Race vests have become the norm in racing now and it’s east to see why. When the product works (and some don’t) they fit like a piece of clothing, they don’t move, they cause no chaffing and they provide easy and immediate access to everything you need while still pushing the pace. I honestly don’t know who first came up with the ‘vest’ concept, what I do know is I always remember Kilian Jornet finishing and winning UTMB and holding his vest above his head!

Salomon vests and the S-LAB ADV SKIN HYDRO 12 SET can be seen in long distance races all over the world. Tweaked from one model to the next and the current incarnation has moved away from using a bladder to front mounted soft flasks. With a huge capacity, it’s often considered as one of the most ideal packs to hold all mandatory kit for a long distance race. The pack is lighter and utilises all the key features that one needs including that snug form fitting hold on the body. However, 12L capacity is not needed for shorter and faster races.

Enter the S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET and the S-LAB SENSE SET.

It’s unusual in a review that I would review two packs at once, however, these two packs are so similar that a separate review is not necessary. So, I am reviewing the SENSE ULTRA SET and I will note comments and changes as appropriate for the SENSE SET.

So what is the difference? Simple: weight and capacity. The SENSE ULTRA SET has a 3L capacity and weighs a  110g. The SENSE SET has a capacity of 1L and weighs 90g. I am pleased to say that my two test packs are different colours, the 3L is black and the 1L is red. That’s going to make things easier.

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Both packs are identical at the front and differ at the back. This is where capacity is removed or added, so, let’s look at the front first.

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This is a really sweet pack! The layout is great, comfort is awesome and the capacity is ideal for any run when mandatory kit is minimal.

Key features:

Two 500ml soft flasks in two stretch pockets.

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Two dump pockets (open ended but elasticated at the top) at the bottom of the soft flasks

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Two zipper pockets (on each side) with large capacity made from a stretch fabric.

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Open ended stretch pocket on the left shoulder strap above the bottle.

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Zipper pocket on the right shoulder strap above the bottle.

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Adjustable fitting system (left to right) with three upper and lower settings.

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Whistle.

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In Use

I have the M/L fit and it’s quite simply the most comfortable pack I have ever worn. The pack hugs the body, it does not rub and importantly under the armpits and around the neck area the cut is wide to avoid any nasty rubbing.

The soft flasks sit on the chest and do not bounce. You can drink from the bottles without removing them when required, however, I haven’t been able to do that running. I need to stop, lean over, bite the bottle, take a drink and then push on…  Soft flasks and tight fitting stretch pockets make for a tricky combination. The soft flasks and the way they fit on the body are perfect, but trying to add a full bottle back to the pocket can be tricky. With practice it does get easier and a tip is to blow back into the bottle once you have taken a drink. This inflates the bottle and makes it more rigid. I personally have always preferred bottles over bladders and soft flasks and Salomon’s positioning make this combination the best I have tested.

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The upper zipper pocket will fit a phone or a gps device. I personally use and old style waterproof phone when racing and that fits perfectly. However, on training runs I have taken an iPhone 5 in a waterproof casing. So, capacity is ideal. The pocket is tight and stretchy and therefore whatever you put in is held tight with no bounce, another plus!

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On the opposite side the open ended stretch pocket is also large enough to hold a phone but is ideally suited for maybe food items or a music player.

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The two open ended dump pockets on either side of the pack below the bottles are large enough to hold multiple gels and bars and/ or items such as gloves, hat, buff or anything similar. To give you an idea of capacity, I could fit a beanie and gloves in one side and four/ five gels or bars on the other side. Ultimately it means you have plenty of room for energy when racing. Access is dead easy. Just put your hand in and pull the items out.

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The two zipper pockets are the secret weapon on both packs. I am amazed at how spacious these pockets are. Depending on the race you are doing and also dependant on your own personal preferences; the zipper pockets will actually hold a taped seam waterproof jacket in one side and taped seam waterproof trousers in the other side!

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Salomon provided me the  S-LAB HYBRID JACKET and S-LAB HYBRID PANTS (both medium) to test (review to follow later) and these items folded up and fitted in both packs perfectly.

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Considering the SENSE SET pack is only 1L capacity, this is remarkable. Lets just look at the facts, you can fit in:

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Phone
  • 1L of fluid
  • 4-10 bars or gels
  • Hat and gloves
  • and then other extras such as Mp3, space blanket or other small items.

The SENSE ULTRA SET adds extra capacity at the rear in the form of two pockets. The SENSE SET is just a highly breathable and lightweight pack with no extras.

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A ‘kangaroo pocket’ on the on the lower third of the rear of the pack provides an easy access open ended pocket that can be added to or taken from whilst moving. The pocket is quite small and would take a windproof jacket or food items.

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The mesh back panel is actually two layers and makes an open ended deep pocket that can actually be accessed without removing the pack. It’s surprisingly roomy and should you decide not to add a jacket and trousers to the zipper pockets, this pocket can hold both items. Yes, it’s that roomy!

When running, it was easy to reach over, place my hand in the pocket and pull out my jacket. Of course, it was easier to do this if I stopped BUT this vest is very much designed about moving fast and light. It’s a performance product and as such, should you have the need to be quick… this product will allow you that comfort!

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I have reviewed many products and last year I reviewed the stripped down inov-8 race vest (review here). This for me was a great product. I loved the feel of it, I loved the capacity and I loved its usability when running. For me though, Salomon have upped the game with the SENSE ULTRA SET and the SENSE SET and produced two sublime products that are a joy to wear and use.

Considering the minimal differences between the two vests, I would almost certainly recommend that the SENSE ULTRA SET is the ideal purchase. From Salomon’s perspective, it almost feels an indulgence to have a 1L and 3L version. The added cost and added capacity of the 3L makes far more long term sense for me and lets face it, if you are running really long races, you will probably have the 12L product (or similar) anyway.

On a final note, I am seriously impressed with the capacity of both packs. The SENSE SET at 1L holds a ridiculous amount of kit for something so minimal that I question if 1L capacity is correct? The SENSE ULTRA SET wouldn’t hold all the required items for a race like UTMB but it wouldn’t come far off if you were keeping items to a minimum. That said, the SENSE ULTRA SET makes a perfect and ideal pack for racing any distance (even 100-miles) when all you need is some liquid, food, jacket, trousers, hat, gloves, space blanket, phone and a few other small items. It’s arguably the perfect pack!

Pros:

  1. Soft flasks are a dream
  2. Capacity on the front of both packs is incredible
  3. Zipper pocket is great for valuable items
  4. Open ended dump pockets great for items that you need all the time – food, hat, gloves and so on.
  5. Zipper pockets have amazing capacity
  6. You could wear the products against your skin
  7. On the SENSE ULTRA SET the rear capacity is superb and a real eye opener
  8. Weight is amazing
  9. Price is good £100 for SENSE ULTRA SET and £85 for SENSE SET

Cons:

  1. Soft flasks can be tricky to get back in the open ended pockets
  2. I am not sure how the pack would fit for lady users. The bottles would potentially sit in just the wrong place?
  3. The ‘kangaroo’ pocket on the SENSE ULTRA SET is small
  4. These are lightweight products and durability ‘may’ be an issue?

Conclusion:

I love these two packs. They actually make wearing a pack a pleasure rather than a chore and that is a real bonus. Capacity is quite mind blowing in both products and the SENSE ULTRA SET makes the most logical purchase choice as it provides more usage options. I actually found it difficult to come up with ‘cons’ for these packs they are that good!

Check out Salomon HERE

 

Salomon LogoSALOMON S-LAB SENSE ULTRA SET

©iancorless.com_Salomon-7704

Ultra-lightweight running pack designed by Salomon Athletes. The Salomon S-LAB Sense Ultra Set weighs in at 110g and is designed to carry the bare essentials in absolute comfort with a 3L capacity.

  • Motion fit trail
  • Sensifit
  • Soft twin link
  • 2 zippered pockets
  • 1 chest pocket
  • 2 soft flask
  • Zipper phone pocket
  • 2 stretch pockets
  • Back compartment
  • Kangaroo pocket
  • soft rim
  • Reflective
  • Whistle

SALOMON S-LAB SENSE SET

©iancorless.com_Salomon-7759

Ultra-lightweight running pack designed by Salomon Athletes. The Salomon S-LAB Sense Set weighs in at under 100g and is designed to carry 1L of the absolute bare essentials.

 

  • Motion fit trail
  • Sensifit
  • Soft twin link
  • 2 zippered pockets
  • 1 chest pocket
  • 2 soft flask
  • Zipper phone pocket
  • 2 stretch pockets
  • soft rim
  • Reflective
  • Whistle

Hernando, Jones and Olson for Transvulcania La Palma 2015

©iancorless.com.IMG_8491Transvulcania14

It’s only January and already the world of Skyrunning is hotting up with the announcement that 2014 Transvulcania La Palma champion and Skyrunning Ultra Distance World Champion, Luis Alberto Hernando will return to the island to defend his crown.

Luis Alberto Hernando had an incredible 2014 and his return to Transvulcania is eagerly anticipated. A true champion, the tough and challenging course is one that he relishes, however, Luis will not have things his own way!

©iancorless.com.IMG_7531Transvulcania14

Salomon Running new signing, Dakota Jones won the race in 2012 and he is back once again to test himself. Dakota raced in 2014 but had a disappointing race (his words) placing 10th. With a new team and definite plan to race theSkyrunner® World Series and Skyrunner® Continental Series, I think it is fair to say that the American will push Luis all the way to the line.

©iancorless.com.IMG_8884Transvulcania14

Timothy Olson loves the trails on the island of La Palma. In the past couple of years he has made the island his families home as he prepares meticulously for the race. Timothy is very clear, a podium place is a main objective. He came close in 2013 with 4th place and last year he placed 8th.

More athletes will be announced in the coming weeks and months as we all anticipate the 2015 Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma.

 Check out the Skyrunner® World Series calander HERE

Check out the Skyrunner®  Continental Series 2015 HERE

Check out Skyrunning HERE

Transvulcania La Palma website HERE

Sir Ranulph Fiennes to run the 2015 Marathon des Sables – Interview

sir_ranulph_fiennes_bigussiue.com

sir_ranulph_fiennes_bigissue.com

Ranulph Fiennes (March 7th 1944)

 Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been called, ‘The World’s Greatest Living Explorer.’ It’s a difficult statement to argue. Sir Ranulph’s list of achievements is quite incredible. 

Born in ‘44’ he was educated at Eton, served in the Royal Scots Greys for eight years and progressed to the Special Air Service (SAS) where he specialized in demolitions. In 68’ he joined the Army of the Sultan of Oman where he was decorated for bravery after leading several raids deep into rebel territory.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Portrait 2012_militaryspeakers

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Portrait 2012_militaryspeakers

Sir Ranulph married his first wife, Virginia (Ginny) in 1970 and between them they lead expeditions all over the world. Ginny was awarded the Polar Medal in ’87.’ Sir Ranulph has raised incredible sums of money for Marie Curie Cancer Charity as his wife, mother and sister all died from the disease within 18 months of each other (2004.)

Currently, Sir Ranulph is the only person alive to have to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface. Continually a pioneer, Sir Ranulph is ever present at pushing boundaries.

The first explorer to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported, Sir Ranulph has come a long way since leading a British Expedition on the White Nile in ’69.’

Ran, as he likes to be known, may perhaps be best known after travelling to the North Pole unaided. Dr Mike Stroud has figured heavily in Ran’s career and amongst many expeditions, two stand out! A 97-day trek across Antarctica in ‘93’ and running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents (2003.) The latter was undertaken just four months after a triple heart bypass.

In 2000, Ran attempted to walk solo to the North Pole but his sled fell through thin ice. Exposure to the ice-cold water resulted in severe frostbite and some months later, the famous ‘finger’ incident.

Having been to both Poles and participated in over 30 major expeditions, Ran summited the Eiger in 2007 and at the age of 65 (2009) he pushed the boundaries once more to be the oldest Briton ever to climb Everest after two failed attempts in 2005 (he had a heart attack) and in 2008 when he ‘went a little too quickly’ and exhaustion foiled his attempt.

After 5 years of planning, in 2012, Sir Ranulph set off on his latest expedition, ‘The Coldest Journey’ leading the first team on foot, across Antarctica during the southern winter. The expedition was brought to a sudden halt for Ran when in training he removed a glove to attend to a ski binding. Ran was evacuated for frostbite and treatment but the expedition continued without him.

In 2015, Ran will attempt the 2015 Marathon des Sables.

*****

Ranulph Fiennes Interview undertaken by Niandi Carmont at ‘The Druid Challenge’ 2-day race in November 2014. An event both Niandi and Sir Ranulph were using as preparation for Marathon des Sables in 2015.

NC: Welcome Sir Ranulph

RF: Many thanks for the invite and showing an interest.

NC: You hold multiple records, I am a little overwhelmed. You were in the army for many years, did that ignite a passion for adventure?

RF: Well when I was in Germany it was the Cold War. We had 60 70-ton tanks facing the German border waiting for the Soviets to attack… but they never did attack. So the soldiers got bored. So, we were made to run, canoe or whatever it may be. I was told I would be the running officer. I wasn’t asked, I was told! I became an expert in a week. I started to train 600 soldiers. We got to be 5th best regiment out of about 80 regiments after 4-years. All the races were 6miles though.

NC: Wow an interesting beginning and somewhat unique. What was it like to be the first person to visit both poles?

RF: Well, it was my late wife Ginny (married 38-years) who motivated me. Before we married we had done various hot expeditions in the Sahara, the Nile and Arabia. In the 70’s the British press were no longer interested in media for hot expeditions. So, no sponsorship equals no expeditions. Ginny decided we should go to cold environments. We looked at a globe and we decided that nobody had gone vertically between the poles. There was only one route!

NC: How long did this take?

RF: It took 7 years to get sponsorship. We had 1900 sponsors and raised 29 million pounds. This was in the 70’s! Nobody paid us to get sponsors so we had to work at weekends in pubs to make a living. Eventually Jennies dream was ready to go… we had a team of 52-people who had given up everything. Engineers and so on… we got a 40-year old Norwegian vessel and set off from Greenwich and arrived back 2.5 years later. We were the first to go around the earth surface vertically around the world ever and nobody else has repeated this. More people have been on the moon! So in all, 10 years!

NC: Amazing that the record still stands. So remarkable! You were the first person to cross Antarctica on foot?

RF: That was the Antarctic Continent? Antarctica changes all the time… I did coastline to coastline: Atlantic to Pacific. We completed the first crossing in ‘79’ but we used skidoos, nonetheless the first crossing side-to-side. But when we crossed the Continent that was 20-years later and that was unsupported. So, what we carried on day-1 was enough for 2000 miles without resupply. That was somewhat problematic but we did do it and we were in a bad way at the end!

NC: Problematic?

RF: We ran out of food! I started at 15.5 stone, at halfway I was 9-stone despite eating 5000 calories a day. So we had a daily deficiency of 3500 calories per day. So, we were officially starving. Mike Stroud thought this was fascinating… he is Europe’s top physiologist studying in starvation and muscle cannibalisation, so he was able to study this first hand. It had only been possible to study something like this previously at Auschwitz!

NC: You had frostbite. Many have heard the stories about you cutting your fingers off. Are they true?

Fiennes_standard.co.uk

RF: I got frostbite on a solo expedition to the Arctic Ocean. If I had had a doctor with me he would have pulled me out and got the tent out with a cooker on and avoided the frostbite. As it was, because I was alone by the time I had got out of the water… the damage was done. I was too cold too pitch a tent, start a cooker and so on. It was -48. Think about it, it was pitch black on a semi frozen sea, so I went back to the start to find land again and sent a radio message. An amazing Canadian ski pilot landed in the dark on the edge of the coast and he saved me. I was taken to hospital. I had special pressure treatment for 60-hours to lengthen the living part of the fingers on one hand. They cut off about 2-inches of the five fingers on one hand. The other hand recovered. My insurers refused to pay unless the operation was in the UK. I tried to find someone in the UK who knew something about frostbite. Navy divers are susceptible to the bends and apparently they can lose fingers. Apparently they don’t amputate until after 5-months to allow for some recovery. Five months is a long time. Every time you touch something with mummified fingers it hurts… after 2 months my wife and I decided to cut them off. We went to the garden shed. We got a Black & Decker workbench and micro saw. It took 2 days and lots of tea. Apparently a physio in Bristol said I did a great job but my surgeon was less pleased.

NC: Did it take courage and did it hurt?

RF: No, if it hurt or started to bleed I just moved further away and just made sure the bit I was cutting off was dead. It doesn’t hurt!

NC: In 2009 you summited Everest at the age of 65-years; what impact did age have on you if any?

ranulph-fiennes_mpora.com

RF: This was my 3rd Everest attempt. My 1st attempt had been somewhat risky from the Tibet side and I had a heart attack on the last night after 2-months of acclimatizing. Bad timing eh but I survived! I said I would never go back… but I was told that was a rubbish idea and that I should go from the other side.

So my 2nd attempt was from the Nepal side; which is easier. But we still failed as we passed a load of bodies including the father of my Sherpa. We passed a Swiss climber too who had summited without Oxygen but died on the way down with hypoxia.

In 2009 it was easy… I guess I understand why I had failed the first and second times. I had been trying to catch up with my British guide the second time. Competitiveness can be a bad thing. When you have had a heart attack you must obey your surgeons advice and not exceed 130bpm. So, in 2009 I took it easy and it all came together.

NC: You are obviously endurant and resilient?

RF: When I was in my 50’s I enjoyed running a great deal and I had success. In my 60’s running was no longer an option… I was jogging until about 69-years of age and that was okay, not that I ever went in for races in that decade. Jogging became shuffling and that is very annoying! Avoid geriatric status at all costs.

NC: I agree 100%. You have a great collaboration with Mike Stroud – 26-years?

RF: Mike comes up with all the ideas. For the last 5-years we have been working on an idea that involved Antarctica. Mike unfortunately had a hip problem. In the last couple of years his other hip went, it wasn’t as easy as the first one so Mike took on all the scientific side. In many ways this is more difficult and that is what he is in charge of now. We are still doing things. There was a time when Mike and I didn’t do expeditions; this was after the Antarctic crossing. We did running races. Mike led an Eco-Challenge team, which must have been one of the first in British Columbia in the Whistler Mountains. That was very enjoyable… it was a team of five and it included Rebecca Stephens the first the British lady to summit Everest, his Father who was over 70-years, the editor of Runners World and an SAS man, David Smith. Mike put the team together and introduced all of us back to running in 1995. We have also done many events as a pair such as the 7-marathons on 7-continents.

NC: He is also a friend, It’s more than running surely?

RF: You don’t choose people for expeditions because they are friends. We chose Mike Stroud in the very beginning because I was already in the Arctic. The man I was with was recalled to London and I was left with nobody. I rang my wife in England and said, ‘I need someone in 3-days who is completely ‘polar’ trained.’ Dr Mike Stroud had been a reserve on another expedition and had only just returned from Antarctica after 1-year away. Somehow he pulled it off… he managed to come away on a 3-day turnaround.

NC: You obviously relied on your wife a great deal.

RF: Absolutely! Since my wife has passed away, Mike has taken on the ‘idea’ role.

NC: Can we discuss the 7-marathons in 7-days on 7-continents?

RF: Mikes’ idea again! The New York marathon club considered themselves the best marathon club in the world. The only non New Yorker as part of this group was Dr Mike Stroud. They swore him to silence that they thought it may be possible to run 7-marathons on 7-continents in 7-days. Mike kept his word and 2-years later, Mike approached American Airlines and they said they couldn’t schedule the flights. (You need jumbo jets and 5-hours in each continent.) Delta said they couldn’t do it. United said they couldn’t do it and now 6-years had passed. It was 2003 and Mike had still kept the secret. I called Mike in 2003 about another expedition. He said great, I’ll ask the boss. They told him he could only have 1-week’s holiday as he taken so much time already. Mike phoned me and said, I can’t do your expedition but I want you to do mine! So, Mike asked me to contact British Airways and within 2-months they phoned back and said they had cracked it! They said we had to finish with New York and not Asia. Asia would need to be in the middle. Also, if we were a minute late ever they would fly without us. They wouldn’t keep passengers waiting. So, they provided 2 free first class beds and food (this was our only opportunity to rest) and yes, it was all systems go! It all went well to Argentina. We were suppose to be running on King George Island (Shetland), the night before we were due to run the ‘Argies’ blocked the landing on King George with their own planes. So we had a team meeting, Mike and myself, BBC news, a reporter from The Times and a photographer: 6-people in total. When we suddenly arrived the whole thing had been cocked up, the BBC bloke said, “I’ve got a very good friend in Santiago, I will ring him now and get him here and he will fly us to one of the other Antarctic Islands.” So we had to run one of the South American marathons locally. That night we ran a marathon and we had officials to make sure we ran an official marathon in 3:45, which was extremely stupid. The next morning we get on this plane without a worry of which island we would go to. Apparently the only island to run on would be the Falklands. You may know, but you are not supposed to fly from Argentina to the Falklands without 6-months notice. So we slept on the plane. Mike woke me up and we looked out of the plane window. We had two Tornado jets on either side of us… they made us do a force landing on a military airstrip on the Falklands. We were marched to the CO who was furious. He told us we had no permission and that we could all face prison. At this point, one of the reporters went forward and said, “Did they realise that the news and the papers would make this not look good for the army!” There was a fairly quick turnaround…

“You can run your 26. something miles locally and we will watch them every step of the way,” The CO said.

They never saw us off. Funny really.

NC: This seems extremely stressful. Running, logistics, last min changes and so on.

RF: The BBC and The Times did all that for us.

NC: Yes, but it must have been stressful.

RF: The 7x7x7 challenge was sponsored by Land Rover and they did everything for us. It was incredible. They did all the work for us and they had cars waiting for us at anytime. Land Rover and British Airways made this all possible. They had the contacts.

NC: Before the 7-challenge you had a heart attack and a double bypass. It’s amazing that you would undertake this.

RF: I was on a drip for 3-days and nights, they decided to cut me open and do a double bypass. They just decided to do this! It took 13 attempts to revive me after they sewed me up. When I woke up my late wife said, “Ran you had a heart attack 3-days ago” but I still can’t remember anything!

NC: You aborted your most recent expedition, is that the end of cold journeys for you now?

RF: We aborted the crossing but we kept the team (all 5 of them) not Mike and not me through frostbite, but we kept all the team for 8-months at 11,000 feet above sea level doing scientific work on each other. It has delighted the Royal Society and all the scientists, we raised 2.3 million dollars for blindness in Bangladesh and I went with Joanna Lumley to Bangladesh to see what they were doing with the money. For £19 they could remove cataracts from babies. Quite remarkable! For £9 they could provide spectacles to children. This means they can go to school and have opportunities in the future. We really need charity PR people to get behind us, the more money we make, the more people we can benefit.

NC: What does the future hold for you?

RF: Well, I am not allowed to talk about this until I get the nod, but I will be going to Marathon des Sables in 2015. And I am also writing another book. One book actually came out last week.

Marie Curie Logo

Get involved and support Sir Ranulph! Text RUN and a message of support to 70007 to donate £5, or you can visit his Just Giving page here:http://bit.ly/1xUB298

Find out more about Sir Ranulph and his Marathon des Sables challenge:http://bit.ly/1wvffi8

NC: Can you tell me about Agincourt, your most recent book?

Agincourt

 

Book on Amazon HERE

RF: A historian would normally write a book like Agincourt… but it turns out that I am related to Robert Fiennes from the village of Fiennes in the Pas de Calais.

NC: What an amazing story?

Niandi speaks French to Sir Ranulph and he is taken aback. He also speaks French and they enter into a short dialogue. 

Sir Ranulph comments that he could hear an accent in Niandi’s voice but not French! Niandi explains that she is South African born…

NC: So you lived in South Africa?

RF: Yes, my relatives live in South Africa. I spent the first 12-years of my life in SA.

Anyway, we digress. I decided to go to Fiennes and find my French cousins. They were wiped out at the battle of Agencourt and I found out how. One of them was part of an 18-strong commando group with the specific aim of killing King Henry V in the battle. One of them, maybe not Robert Fiennes, got to knocking the crown of his head… Two of King Henry V’s generals, one was a sheriff of Kent in Sussex. He was corrupt man; so corrupt that Henry V1 made him into the Chancellor of the Exchequer. When soldiers came back from France, 20,000 of them attacked London. The King gave the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the mob and they killed him… nasty business!

NC: I guess we are going to have to read the book. Sounds like a fascinating story. Looking at modern day adventurers, what are your thoughts on Uli Steck and Kilian Jornet?

RF: Uli is amazing, incredible… I do not understand how you can go up the Eiger in 2-hours or something ridiculous like that. He is unbelievably amazing. Both of them are just incredible.

NC: And what about your new book, what is it called?

RF: My new book will be called HEAT. Nice contrast to my other book, COLD.

“Physically I’m going to be a wreck pretty quickly.” But these challenges are fought in the mind, he says. “There’ll be a voice in my head saying I’ll have a heart attack, I’ll get hyperthermia, I’ve got a family, it’s stupid to carry on. That sort of wimpish voice tries to appear logical, finding reasons for stopping. You have to fight it. I’ve had it so many times.”

-BBC News, Tom de Castella

 

Cold

On Amazon HERE

Sir Ranulph Fiennes will participate at the 2015 Marathon des Sables. An announcememt will be made on January 8th. We hope to have follow up interviews with Sir Ranulph to help document this exciting journey.

*****

AWARDS

In 1970, Fiennes received the Sultan’s Bravery Medal.

He has also been awarded a number of honorary doctorates, in 1986, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2011

Fiennes received the Royal Geographical Society’s Founder’s Medal.

Fiennes was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993 for “human endeavour and for charitable services”

In 1986 Fiennes was awarded the Polar Medal for “outstanding service to British Polar exploration and research.”

In 1994 he was awarded a second clasp to the Polar Medal, having visited both poles.

In 2010 Justgiving named Fiennes as the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser, after raising more than £2.5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

In September 2011 Fiennes was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Science from Plymouth University and

In July 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Glamorgan.

In October 2014 it was announced that Fiennes would receive an honorary Doctorate of Science, from the University of Chester, in recognition of “outstanding and inspirational contribution to the field of exploration”. 

*****

Links and credits:

‘I am not a madman’

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2007/oct/05/features11.g21

Fiennes climbs to Everest summit

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8060649.stm

Ranulph Fiennes pulls out of Antarctic journey

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/25/ranulph-fiennes-antarctic-journey/1946571/?AID=10709313&PID=6156889&SID=w7wk81lnnmpn

The world’s greatest living explorer

http://www.militaryspeakers.co.uk/speakers/sir-ranulph-fiennes.aspx

Interview with TIME

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1900969,00.html?imw=Y

Ranulph Fiennes – Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulph_Fiennes

Who, What, Why: Is it harder to run in the Sahara Desert or the North Pole?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-30716727

A Year of Podcasting

2014 Podcast
A year comes to an end and with it an opportunity to look back. Talk Ultra podcast has a 3-year anniversary in January… Yes, 3-years!
The show has come a long way in those 36+ months and I have to say I am very proud of what we have created. The running community have been extremely supportive of the show and this has been reflected in 1000’s and 1000’s of downloads for every show all over the world. Over 162 countries! Little did we know way back in 2011 that a 3-hour plus show that talked about running would be so popular.
Our guests have always been and always will be a who’s who of ultra running. In our very small way, Talk Ultra is creating an audio history of our sport at arguably one of its most exciting periods of it’s development.
Needless to say, we thank each and every interviewee who has been so generous of their time.
Talk Training, Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg, A Meltzer Moment, The News, A Blog, Up & Coming Races and so on all add up to something quite unique but we don’t want to be complacent… not at all. We will always be looking for new ways to make the show that little bit better!
Speedgoat Karl Meltzer has been an invaluable co-host. Speedgoat says it like it is and with his history in the sport, who is going to argue with him? Injecting humour, experience and a unique perspective on the world of ultra, Speedgoat is a pleasure to work with. Thanks Karl!  When Mr Meltzer has been ‘off the radar’ I have had the pleasure of some stunning stand in co-hosts: Stevie Kremer, Holly Rush, Mike Wolfe, Kurt Decker and Niandi Carmont to name just a few.
*****
You can catch up on the last 3-years of shows HERE
*****
To keep things nice and simple, I have provided a summary and links to all the 2014 shows below – Episode 52 to Episode 77.
 *****
Just look at the list of names that have appeared in 2014…
 *****

Ellie Greenwood Max King Joe Grant Grant Maughan Lisa Smith Batchen Iain Don Wauchope Tina Lewis Timothy Olson Landie Greyling Julia Boettger Gary Robbins Adrian Saffy Michael de Haast Mimi Anderson Samantah Gash Luke Nelson Emelie Forsberg Marc Laithwaite Niandi Carmont Stevie Kremer Kim Collison Charlie Sproson Jason Schlarb Donnie Campbell Claus Rasmussen Frosty Ty Draney Caine Warburton Lizzy Hawker Sam Robson Adam Schwarz-Lowe Eirik Haugsness Daniel Doherty Kurt Decker Marco De Gasperi Kilian Jornet Adam Campbell David Johnston William Sichel Debbie Martin Consani Jo Meek Torill Fonn Rob Krar Kasie Enman Simon Forbes Renee McGregor Anton Krupicka Steve Birkinshaw Tom Owens Mark Perkins Ricardo Almeida Nicky Spinks Morgan Williams The African Attachment Greg Fell Richard Fluck Mike Wardian Nick Clark Holly Rush Rickey Gates Mike Foote Marcus Scotney Steve Spiers Robbie Britton Danny Kendall Bertie Portal Jamil Coury Jared Campbell Ryan Sandes Clare Walton Jennifer Steiman Scott Jurek Casey Morgan Fernanda Maciel Sebastien Chaigneau Rin Cobb Vlad Ixel Pavel Paloncy Johan Van De Merwe Joe Fejes Jon Steele Gemma Slaughter

*****

 

So, what are some of my highlights of 2014? Always a difficult one as every guest is special, but here are a few I really enjoyed for so many varied reasons.
Pavel Paloncy in Episode 53
David Johnston in Episode 57
Jared Campbell in Episode 59
Rickey Gates in Episode 61
Morgan Williams in Episode 63
Anton Krupicka and Steve Birkinshaw in Episode 65
Rob Krar in Episode 66
William Sichel in Episode 68
Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi in Episode 69
Jason Schlarb in Episode 72
Luke Nelson in Episode 74
Tina Lewis and Timmy Olson in Episode 76
and finally,
Episode 77 was a super packed show.
*****
Please remember the show is available on STITCHER, iTUNES, RSS
Go to our Facebook page HERE and ‘Like’ us
please ‘Follow’ us on Twitter @talkultra
*****
Episode 77  It’s our Christmas Special. Ian and Karl discuss 2014 and some of our highlights. We have in depth interviews with Ellie GreenwoodMax KingJoe Grant and Grant Maughan. Importantly, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to joining you on your ultra journies in 2015.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 76 has a catch up interview with Lisa Smith Batchen on her Badwater Quad. We speak with Iain Don Wauchope about his record breaking Salomon SkyRun and we have two inspiring  chats with Tina Lewis and Timmy Olson. The news, Up and Coming Races and Speedboat Karl.
Episode 75 is all about the Salomon Skyrun and South Africa. We bring an interview with the ladies winner Landie Greyling. We also talk with the ladies 2nd place, Julia Boettger. Gary Robbins placed 2nd overall and discusses in-depth his race and co hosts the show. We bring sounds from Moketsi Game Ranch, experiences from Cape Town and talk Skyrun with Adrian Saffy and Michael de Haast.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 74 has Mimi Anderson and Samantha Gash talking about their epic South African journey. Luke Nelson talk about his running career, recent 100-mile success and how going out hard can pay off! Emelie Forsberg is back for Smiles & Miles and Marc Laithwaite talks the long run in Talk Training. The News, a Blog, up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.
Episode 73 and on this weeks show we speak with Skyrunner World Series Champ and Mourne Skyline winner, Stevie KremerKim Collison tells us all about his running and his great 2014 season. Landie Greyling discusses running in South Africa and the up and coming Salomon SkyRun. In Talk Training it is episode 3 of our navigation special with Charlie Sproson, the News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Speedgoat Karl talks busting quads. 
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 72 has a full and in-depth interview with Jason Schlarb after his recent 4th place at the 2014 UTMB. Donnie Campbell talks about his running career and winning the recent 3×3 80km in the UK and Claus Rasmussen talk about running Spartathlon… in sandals. The News a Blog, UP & Coming Races and Speedgoat Karl.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 71 we speak to Frosty who not only ran her first 100-miler but won it with a new CR. Ty Draney talks about his career and we discuss running the Bear 100… twice! Caine Warburton discusses running in the Southern Hemisphere and the comparisons with Europe. Lizzy Hawker announces a race and Sam Robson tells us what it’s like being the first Brit at the iconic Spartathlon. The News, a Blog, Up and Coming races and Speedgoat.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 70 we speak with the winner of Superior 100, Adam Schwarz-LoweEirik Haugsness talks Tromso Skyrace and Daniel Doherty tells us all about placing in the top-10 at Tor des Geants. Talk Training has part 2 of our Navigation 101 and we have the News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and I am pleased to say… Speedgoat is back as co host with an in-depth chat on his AT attempt.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 69 is going to be a little different… we are recording live from a RV in the middle of Minneapolis. My co host is Kurt Decker from Twin Cities Running Co. This weeks interviews are quite special, we speak with Italian mountain running legend, Marco De Gaspreri and man of the moment, Kilian Jornet. The news a blog and the up and coming races.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 68 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.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 67 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.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 66 on this weeks show e catch up with Rob Krar after his incredible Western States. Kasie Enman is on the comeback trail after her 2nd child and we chat after a stellar 2nd place at Speedgoat 50k. Simon Forbes just this last weekend won Race to the Stones in the UK… a great result but Simon has an incredible story. In Talk Training we talk nutrition with Renee McGregor. The News, a Blog, Smile and Miles with Emelie Forsberg, Up and Coming Races and Pocket Rocket is back… Stevie Kremer.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 65 On this weeks show we speak with Anton Krupicka about injury, Hardrock 100, Lavaredo Ultra Trail, future plans and the Bob Graham Round. Steve Birkinshaw recently set a new FKT for the Wainwrights. An epic journey in the Lakeland fells, Steve tells us all about it. Brit Tom Owens made the podium in the Skyrunning World Champs and we chat about the past 18-months and the future. Emelie talks smilesandmiles, a website, news, up and coming races.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 64 Lisa Smith-Btachen tells us all about her incredible career and the challenge of running Badwater 135 4-times back-to-back with 2 Mt Whitney ascents. Mark Perkins discusses his win and CR at SDW100. Ricardo Almeida gives us a minimalist viewpoint of Comrades. Claus Rasmussen discusses minimal running and tells us of an up and coming challnege and Marc Laithwaite is back in Talk Training. The News, a Blog, Up and Coming Races and of course, Speedgoat Karl.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 63 We have a great interview with Queen of the Fells, Nicky Spinks. An in-depth interview with Morgan Williams all about the Bob Graham Round and we speak to Greg Fell from The African Attachment about what it’s like producing iconic ‘trail’ films such as Travailen, Wandering Fever and the Salomon series of films. We also catch up with Jo Meek on that incredible 5th place at Comrades and in Talk Training, we speak with the UK’s expert, Richard Fluck on kidneys and the effects of NSAID’s. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Speedgoat is back from the wilderness….
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 62 a Comrades Special show. We have a full and in-depth interview with Mike Wardian who is looking for a top-10 placing. Live from Durban, we speak to Jo Meek who is having her first experience of this race. Nick Clark joins us to discuss UTMF, WSER and the up and coming Salomon Skyrun South Africa. We have a ladies perspective on running with children in Talk Training. The News, a Blog and joining me as a special Comrades co-host we have 2013 7th placed lady, Holly RushImportantly, this show is dedicated to Manya Claassen – RIP
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 61 of Talk Ultra – Anna Frost tells us all about the incredible comeback at Transvulcania. Rickey Gates talks running in the UK with Scott Jurek and the Bob Graham Round. Eirik Haugsnes discusses his 2014 season and Emelie Forsberg is back in smilesandmiles with a sore hand. Michael de Haast, race director for the Salomon SkyRun in South Africa talks us through the course and tells us about a great opportunity. The News, a Blog, Up and Coming Races and our favourite, Pocket Rocket, Stevie Kremer co-hosts the show.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 60 of Talk Ultra – This weeks show has an interview with one of the best ‘closers’ in the ultra scene, Mike Foote. We have a series of interviews from the Iznik Ultra series of races, Marcus Scotney from the 130k, Jo Meek from the 80k and Robbie Britton from the marathon. We speak to British Bulldog, Steve SpiersMarc Laithewaite is back for Talk Training. News, a Blog, Up and Coming Races and of course, Speedgoat Karl. 03:09:50
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 59 of Talk Ultra – This weeks show is a Marathon des Sables and Barkley Marathons special. We have daily chats from the Sahara with top Brit and 5th overall, Danny Kendall. By contrast, we also have daily chats with actor, Bertie Portal who undertook the challenge of a lifetime at his first MDS. Barkley Marathons are infamous and we speak with rookie ‘fun run’ finisher Jamil Coury and we also speak with two time finisher and 2014 champ, Jared Campbell. The News, a Meltzer Moment, Up & Coming Races and of cousre Speedgoat Karl.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 58 of Talk Ultra – Ryan Sandes discusses his record breaking FKT on the DrakTraverse with Ryno GrieselDanny Kendall and Bertie Portal discuss Marathon des Sables in the days before the 29th edition starts and 2nd placed lady at Tarawera, Claire Walton talks about her running, Tarawera and what the future holds. Talk Training is a Comrades special with Holly Rush, a Blog, the News, Up & Coming Races and of course, Speedgoat.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 57 of Talk Ultra – David Jonston gives us a blow-by-blow account of his record breaking run at the ITI350 (Iditarod Trail Invitational), Ellie Greenwood talks about her comeback run and win at Chuckanut 50 and her plans for 2014. We speak with Jennifer Steiman, Director of the Desert Runners Movie and Samantha Gash who appeared in the film. Team inov-8 provide some chat from the 2014 athlete retreat and Emelie Forsberg brings us smilesandmiles, a Blog, the News, Up and Coming Races and of course Speedgoat! It’s a stacked show.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 56 of Talk Ultra is a Transgrancanaria special. We have am in-depth interview w/ race winner Ryan Sandes. Chat w/ Scott JurekCasey MorganFernanda Maciel and Sebastien Chaigneau. In addition, we have Danny Kendall, top-10 Brit for the 2013 MDS talk about his preparation for this years race. The News, a Blog and Up & Coming Races.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 55 of Talk Ultra – We have a Coastal Challenge special with an interview with male overall winner, Mike Wardian. Jo Meek, ladies overall winner talks about her training and preparation for the TCC race and Nick Clark discusses how stage racing compares to 100-milers. We have an interview with the 2013 ITI350 winner and recent Susitna 100 winner and new course record holder, David Johnston before he embarks, once again on the ITI350 just one week after his impressive Susitna win! A special Talk Training on nutrition specific to Marathon des Sables with Rin Cobb (PND Consulting). Emelie Forsberg is back for smilesandmiles and of course we have the News, Up and Coming Races and Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 54 of Talk Ultra – Gary Robbins once again returned to the tough and gnarly Hurt 100 and came away with another victory, in this weeks show he tells us all about it and his plans for 2014. HK100 took place just a couple of weeks ago and young Australian sensation, Vlad Ixel placed 3rd overall in a top quality field, we interviewed him about his running and what the future hold. Talk Training as ‘Hint’s n Tips for running from Speedgoat himsel, the News, a Blog, Up and Coming races.. another great show in store!
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 53 of Talk Ultra is once again a packed show… We have two interviews from the Montane Spine race, regarded as one of the toughest races out there. We speak with Pavel Paloncy who won the 268-mile event with a new course record and Marcus Scotney who won the 106-mile Challenger event. We also speak with South African long distance runner, Johan Van De Merwe about ultra running in South Africa and his new African 24-hour record. The News, a Blog, Talk Training, Up & Coming Races, Smiles and Miles and Speedgoat is back from the Love Boat!
Website – talkultra.com
Episode 52 – We have a full show with two in-depth interviews about running really long… Joe Fejes recently won the Aravaipa Running 6-day event, Across the Years by clocking up 555+ miles and beating running legend, Yiannis Kouros in the process. By contrast, we speak to UK runner Jon Steele who tackled ‘The Hill’ ultra; 160-miles of hill rips on a 2.9m course in under 48-hours. Gemma Slaughter, The Coastal Challenge winner from 2013 talks to us about her expectations as she prepares for the 2014 edition. Emelie Forsberg is back for smilesandmiles, Marc is with us for Talk Training and believe it or not, Speedgoat is on a cruise! That’s great for Talk Ultra as we have the lovely Stevie Kremer joining us as co host.
Website – talkultra.com
 *****
THANK YOU FOR THE AMAZING SUPPORT
Ian & Speedgoat

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