Episode 100 – Elisabet Barnes and Anna Comet


This is Episode 100 of Talk Ultra. Yes, episode 100! We speak with multi-day expert Elisabet Barnes about her recent victory at Oman Desert Marathon and plans for 2016. We also speak to Anna Comet Pascual who won the Everest Trail Race in 2014 and just recently in 2015 and in addition made a huge impression on the 2015 Skyrunning calendar. Niandi talks cycling in Talk Training and Speedgoat is back!

100 episodes! wow

“100 episode is not that far….!” you gotta say it Speedgoat!

00:01:30 Show Start

00:20:16 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

iancorless.com 2016 Calendar, not many left! HERE


JFK 50

1 – Jim Walmsley 5:47

2 – Graham Peck 5:49

3 – Robert Bond 5:58

1 – Sarah Bard 6:31

2 – Lorraine Young 7:16

3 – Lauri Dymond 7:27


1 – Anna Comet 25:44

2 – Jo Meek 27:20

3 – Julia Boettger 28:42

1 – Bhim Gurung 20:24

2 – Roger Vilardeli 22:54

3 – Joan Esparto 24:31


1 – Bruce Arnett 13:56

2 – Pedro DeLa Barca, AJ Calitz and Christian Grayling all 2nd 14:57

1 – Landie Grayling 18:05

2 – Misty Weyers 21:36

3 – Riana van der Merwe 26:16


Notable result here as Mike Bialick ran a super fast 12:52 coming very close to Ian Sharman’s 12:44 at Rocky Raccoon. Needless to say, no other runners came close to Mike and we plan to catch up with him for the next show!


Nikki Kimball got herself another 100-mile victory in 23:19 and Mark Hammond won for the men in 18:59.


1 – Rachid El Morabity 13:19

2 – Evgini Giyva 13:53

3 – Sami Alsaidi 14:15

1 – Elisabet Barnes 18:37

2 – Aziza Alraji 20;32

3 – Silvia Amodio 22:46


01:09:09 TALK TRAINING this week Niandi Carmont tells us about how she has included cycling in her training. Read Cycling for Runners HERE




New South Wales

Coast to Kosciuszko | 240 kilometers | December 11, 2015 | website


Bruny Island Ultra Marathon | 64 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Alpine Challenge 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

Alpine Challenge 100 Mile | 100 miles | November 28, 2015 | website

Alpine Challenge 60 km | 60 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


Desafio das Serras 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

Burkina Faso

Ultra AFRICA Race | 213 kilometers | December 04, 2015 | website


The Ancient Khmer Path | 220 kilometers | November 27, 2015 | website

Cape Verde

Boavista Salt Marathon | 71 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

Boavista Ultramarathon – 150 km | 150 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Del Mar a la Cima – 60 km | 60 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website



Le Grand Menestrail | 53 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website


Trail Toulouse Métropole | 50 kilometers | November 29, 2015 | website


La Saintélyon | 72 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website


Trail du Tour du Canton – 82 km | 82 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Lower Saxony

  1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website
  2. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website
  3. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website
  4. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website
  5. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website
  6. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website


Kleiner KoBoLT | 106 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

KoBoLT | 140 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Runathlon 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

Runathlon 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

Runathlon 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


Feat in the Footsteps of Minos | 70 kilometers | November 29, 2015 | website


Tamil Nadu

Nilgiris 100 km Men-Only Ultra | 100 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

Nilgiris 100 km Women-Only Ultra | 100 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website

Nilgiris 50 km Men-Only Ultra | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

Nilgiris 50 km Women-Only Ultra | 50 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website



Trail del Cinghiale | 60 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


Putrajaya 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

Putrajaya 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 28, 2015 | website

Putrajaya 52 km | 52 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

Putrajaya 78 km | 78 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


100 km of Namib Desert | 100 kilometers | November 29, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Kepler Challenge Mountain Run | 60 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Mafate Trail Tour | 65 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website



Ultra Trail Sierra Norte 105 km | 105 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


Marató de Muntanya l’Ardenya 63 km | 63 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

Marató de Muntanya l’Ardenya 63 km | 63 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

United Kingdom


Coastal Trail Series – Dorset – Ultra | 34 miles | December 05, 2015 | website


Gatliff 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 29, 2015 | website



McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50K | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

Solemates’ Thanksgiving Tryptophun Rhun 100 Miler | 100 miles | November 28, 2015 | website


Calero Park 50K Run | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

High Desert 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website

Santa Barbara Red Rock 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 29, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge California 50K | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge California 50 Mile | 50 miles | December 05, 2015 | website


Caloosahatchee Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website

The Guana River 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | December 06, 2015 | website


Pine Mountain 40 | 40 miles | December 06, 2015 | website


Arctic Frog 50K | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Hitchcock Hundred 100 Miler | 100 miles | December 05, 2015 | website

Hitchcock Hundred 50 Miler | 50 miles | December 05, 2015 | website


Big Dog Trail Run 50 K | 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


TARC Fells Trail Ultra 32M | 32 miles | December 05, 2015 | website

TARC Fells Trail Ultra 40M | 40 miles | December 05, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Derby 50k Ultra Run | 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website


Civil War Relay | 52 miles | December 06, 2015 | website

South Carolina

Last Chance 50k Trail Run and Relay | 50 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Isle du Bois 54 km Trail Run | 54 kilometers | December 05, 2015 | website


Team Relay | 50 miles | December 05, 2015 | website


Ghost of Seattle 50K | 50 kilometers | November 28, 2015 | website

01:56:38 CLOSE



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

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

Website – talkultra.com

Multi-Day Training Camp Schedule Jan 28th – Feb 4th 2016

Multi-Day Camp Image

Located at the iconic Club La Santa resort, our training camp will provide you with all the knowledge, experience and practical training you need to make your next multi-day adventure a success.  Hosted by Ian Corless and 2015 ladies Marathon des Sables champion, Elisabet Barnes,

The 2016 multi-day training camp in conjunction with:


Lanzarote offers a variety of terrain that can be found in many desert races and therefore it’s the ideal training ground to prepare and acclimatize for an up and coming challenge.

The camp will provide workshops where it will be possible to discuss and test apparel and specific multi-day kit.

You’ll be able to try dehydrated food and test your hydration strategy in a real situation.

You’ll spend a night out under the stars in your sleeping bag and importantly, you’ll be able to test your pack and work out what works and what doesn’t work.

In addition to all this you’ll have 7 days of training geared towards your targets based around your ability and experience. This camp is for everyone; experienced or novice.

Club La Santa as a resort offers a great base and all facilities are included. This is great for relaxation, an opportunity to cross train or more importantly it’s perfect for friends and family to join you as a plethora of opportunities are available.


The purpose of any training camp is to provide you with specific information and training designed specifically to help you with your future objectives. Although you may run (train) more in this condensed week, it’s not designed to break you! Therefore, all training sessions are flexible and you can dip-in and dip-out as required. Most importantly, just as in any race, we will have a very mixed ability base. You will therefore train at your appropriate pace with like minded people.

Each day will be broken down into one or two specific training sessions, one workshop and leisure time.

Club La Santa as a resort is a great destination for a training camp due to its proximity to Morocco, mixed terrain and the excellent facilities available within the Club La Santa complex. Over 30 different sports are available ‘free’ to anyone staying within the complex and of course they can be included within your schedule or during your free time.

Apartments at Club La Santa are functional and consist of a lounge/ diner with kitchen, bedroom with 2 x single beds and a bathroom. The lounge area coverts to 1 or 2 single beds. Apartments are for 2 adults sharing and 1 or 2 children can join for free as required.

Club La Santa has 4 restaurants: Atlantico is a buffet restaurant, Pool Bar is located outside near the swimming pools and is great for lunch, casual drinks and evening dinner, La Plaza and El Lago are based within the complex and offer a more formal dining experience. La Santa village is less than 2-miles from the CLS resort and a selection of excellent local restaurants are available. Finally, apartments do offer the option to self cater, however, you will find that evenings in CLS are about getting together, relaxing as a group or in smaller groups and bonding. Just as you would in bivouac.


This schedule may tweak or change due to situations beyond our control.


Thursday 28th

Travel to Arrecife from the UK. Easyjet offer a selection of very affordable flights from London, Bristol, Midlands and Liverpool. Ideally an arrival time at CLS before 1700 hours is preferable.

A taxi from Arrecife airport to CLS is 35-50 euros and that is for 1-4 people. Journey time is less than 30-minutes. Where possible, we can look at journey times and connect people prior to departure so it will be possible to share taxi costs.

1700 – 1900 Meet and greet at the Sports Bar within CLS.

1930 Group dinner and welcome at the Pool Bar (food payable locally)

Friday 29th

Important – unless otherwise stated, all sessions will meet at the run track. Please be punctual. All sessions will start on time.


0900 – 1200 Coast run to Famara and return. This is a flat run along mixed terrain (sand, lava, rocks) to the coastal town of Famara and then return back to CLS. This is an out and back route and therefore suitable for all abilities.

12-00 – 1500 Lunch and relaxation.


1500 – 1700 What goes in the multi-day rucksack

1730 Optional easy 20-40min run or walk.

1900 Drinks and the Sports Bar.

2000 Dinner as a group or as per your requirements.

Saturday 30th

Meet 0830 CLS Reception

©iancorless.com_MDS2015Day3-68620900 – 1530 Volcano Walks – 5 hours trekking over 3 different routes catered for all abilities. This is an organized CLS excursion and is suitable for all providing an opportunity to sight see and gain time on feet. Make sure you have sun cream, water and snacks. An official guide and a snack is provided. This is for adults only, apologies for anyone who may be travelling with children.


1730 – 1900 Food and Hydration for the multi-day adventure (workshop and talk).

1930 Drinks at the Sport Bar.

2000 Dinner – as a group or as per your requirements.

Sunday 31st

0800 – 1200 Coastal run to Timanfaya over mixed undulating terrain. This run has some challenging terrain, a little scrambling and provides an excellent opportunity to test oneself.

1200 – 1500 Lunch and relaxation. ©iancorless.com_MDS2015Day2-0398

1500 – 1630 Foot care what to do and what not to do.

1700 – 1800 Easy run of 20, 40 or 60min.

1930 Meet Sports Bar.

2000 Dinner as a group or as per your requirements.

Monday 1st

0700 – 0800 Optional pre breakfast run.


0900 – 1200 Rucksack discussion (look at Raidlight, WAA, Ultimate Direction, OMM) We discuss fitting, packing and how to ensure that the pack you choose is specific to your needs and how to pack.


1200 – 1500 Lunch and relaxation.

1530 Run and Bivouac – This will provide all of you with an opportunity to test your pack, sleeping bag, clothing, food, hydration, cooking options and dehydrated food in a real situation. We will run/ hike out of CLS camp departing at 1700 for an estimated 3-4 hours. We will then bivouac and depart the following morning back to CLS early.


*Note – due to logistics and functionality we will not be able to provide shelter for the bivouac, so, if you wish you can bring a bivvy bag or you can buddy up with another runner and share a 2-man tent. Alternatively, you can sleep under the stars (weather depending). We strongly recommend that you bring a sleeping matt even though you may wish not to use or carry one when racing. Also, your multi-desert sleeping bag may well be a little cool for a bivouac night in February! Please bring long sleeve base layer and tights. We also recommend that you bring a lightweight jacket (down) for added evening and/ or sleeping warmth. This is all very specific and applicable to a typical evening in a desert race. We will be available to provide any help and advice prior to departure to ensure that you have all you need.

Tuesday 2nd

0700 Depart bivouac and head back to CLS.

1200 – 1500 Lunch and relaxation.

1530 – 1700 Debrief from bivouac run. Lessons learnt, what worked and what didn’t work.

1730 Easy 30min run or walk.

1900 Drinks at Sport Bar.

2000 Dinner as a group or as per requirements.

Wednesday 3rd

0900 – 1200 Run/ walk with dune/ sand familiarization and technique.

1200 – 1500 Lunch and relaxation.


1500 What can go wrong and how to prevent it. Be prepared workshop!


1600 Shoe choice and gaiters.

1730 – 1830 Coast run/ walk – out and back route for all abilities.

1930 Drinks at the Sports Bar.

2000 Farewell group meal. 

Thursday 4th


0700 – 1000 Coastal run for all abilities with pack and putting into practice everything learned during your week in Lanzarote. We appreciate that Thursday is departure day, so this run is optional and a bonus for those who can make it. You can obviously cut this run short at anytime, hence the out and back route.

Thursday am/pm return back to the UK.

Please book your taxi or bus at CLS reception.


This training camp is designed to provide an insight into the demands that a multi-day adventure will bring. It is aimed at all abilities and although training and adaptation is a key element of the camp, it is not the most important aspect. Your week in Lanzarote has been designed to provide you with all the information you will need in a ‘real’ environment so that you can ask questions and make mistakes during your training week, not during your race. Leave nothing to chance!

Places are limited and the camp is currently over 50% full.

Camp cost £800 (early booking discounts now have expired, apartments and places now on application)

This includes a self catering apartment on a share basis. Inclusion in the above schedule and access to all facilities within the Club La Santa complex. 

non-running partner cost is £500 or £530.00 if they wish to attend the Volcano walk which is suitable for all abilities.

Balance deadline is now due on booking due to the proximity of the training camp.

What is not included?

Food and drinks are all payable locally. Any additional day trips or excursions and flights/ transfers to and from the UK and internal transfers to and from the airport in Lanzarote.

How to book?




Episode 93 – Kimmel Zundel Donovan


Episode 93 of Talk Ultra has an interview with lady on fire, Megan Kimmel. We also speak to Harald Zundel about running long and super hard races. We also speak with Greg Donovan about running the 4 Deserts Grand Slam and the Big Red Run in Australia. Speedgoat is with us and we have some new music and new logo!


00:04:43 NEWS


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

You will notice a few changes in episode 93 of Talk Ultra. Yes, we have some new music, a new logo and over the coming weeks and months we will start to add some new interview sections.


Notable as Rob Krar pulled out….. UTMB?

Jenn Shelton and Kathryn Ross won the ladies event

Florian Nueschwander won the male race and Shannon Thompson won the ladies

Results HERE


1 – Kilian Jornet 2:33:13

2 – William Rodriguez 2:33:17

3 – Robbie Simpson 2:33:34

1 – Lucy Wambui Murigi 2:56:48

2 – Megan Kimmel 3:02:08

3 – Elisa Desco 3:03:08


1 – Alex Nichols 3:46

2 – Abu Diriba 3:54

3 – Ricky Gates 3:55

1 – Hirut Guangul 4:29

2 – Hayley Benson 4:45

3 – Kim Dobson 4:46


1 – Ed Catmur 18:02 (the CR is 15:44:39 set by Ed!) apparently the weather was great?

2 – Ally Watson 18:11:15

3 – Jeremy Isaac 18:56:54

1 – Sally Ford 19:20:40

2 – Maryann Devally 21:17:56

3 – Mari Mauland 21:24:37


1 – Gavin Woody 64:12:35

2 – Gennadii Tertychnyi 65:34:38

3 – Harald Zundel 70:32:30

1 – Gia Madole 73:28:42

2 – Van Pahn 79:00:35

3 – Tina Ure 85:14:40


00:28:32 INTERVIEW 



FAT DOG 120 miler

Nick Hollon 25 hr 7min

Bethany Lewis 30 hours



Mike Wardian 21:21 new CR

Jay Lemos 24:18

Tsutomu Bessho 24:37

Kathleen Cusick 24:57

Robin Watkins 27:30

Jennifer Brunet 29:41

Frosty and Missy is currently taking on the Nolans 14ers and FINISHED •Breaking News

Coming up Squamish, Leadville UTMB, Glen Coe, Matterhorn Ultraks


01:02:19 INTERVIEW

GREG DONOVAN read up and enter the Big Red Run HERE


01:57:46 INTERVIEW





Northern Territory

The Malbunka | 133 kilometers | August 27, 2015 | website

The Namatjira | 80 kilometers | August 27, 2015 | website


Kuranda to Port Douglas Ultra Trail Marathon | 64 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website



Oxfam Trailwalker Belgium | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Orehovo Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Persenk Ultra | 130 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


British Columbia

Black Spur Ultra – 100km | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Black Spur Ultra – 100km Relay | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Black Spur Ultra – 50km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Squamish 50 | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Squamish 50/50 | 130 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Squamish 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website

TrailStoke Ultra | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Chute du Diable 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Chute du Diable 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website



Ultra-Trail Côte d’Azur Mercantour | 140 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website


Ultra du Montcalm | 65 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


Grand Raid des Pyrénées – le Grand Trail | 80 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website


La Traversée Nord | 85 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

L’Echappée Belle Intégrale | 144 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


100km des Etangs de Sologne | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

50km de la Sologne des Rivières | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


La Nuit des Carbones – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website


North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) | 166 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Orsières – Champex – Chamonix (OCC) | 53 kilometers | August 27, 2015 | website

Petite Trotte à Léon (PTL) | 300 kilometers | August 24, 2015 | website

Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website



Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 70 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website

GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run | 240 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Athens-Sparta | 245 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website


Fire and Ice | 250 kilometers | August 31, 2015 | website



Uttarkashi 135 | 135 miles | August 28, 2015 | website



Achill Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | August 29, 2015 | website


Longford Ultra Marathon | 63 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website


Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 04, 2015 | website


Aosta Valley

Courmayeur Champex Chamonix (CCC) | 98 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS) | 119 kilometers | August 26, 2015 | website


Hakusan Geotrail 100 K | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Hakusan Geotrail 250 K | 250 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


Gunung 5 Nuang | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


North Holland

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Great Naseby Water Race 100 km | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 160 km | 160 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 60 km | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


styrkeprøven True West | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


80 K | 80 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

80K Relay | 80 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website


Cimasalazienne | 55 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website


Dracula 106K | 106 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

Dracula 106K 2-Day Stage Race | 106 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

South Africa

Namaqua Quest | 110 kilometers | August 26, 2015 | website

Peninsula Ultra Fun Run | 80 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website



8K | 78 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Fjällmaraton Bydalsfjällen 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

UltraVasan 90K | 90 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


50 km of Wild Pig | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

United Kingdom


Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | September 04, 2015 | website


Ridgeway Challenge | 86 miles | August 29, 2015 | website


Grand Tour of Skiddaw | 44 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

Greater London

London 2 Cambridge Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

T184 | 184 miles | August 28, 2015 | website


Chiltern Way Ultra 100k | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Chiltern Way Ultra 214k | 214 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Speyside Way Race | 36 miles | August 22, 2015 | website



Javelina Jangover 100K Night Trail Run | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Javelina Jangover 50K Night Trail Run | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Javelina Jangover 75K Night Trail Run | 75 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Bulldog 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Castle Peak 100k | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Castle Peak 100K | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Diablo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Headwaters Ultra – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Pioneer Spirit 50M | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Tamalpa Headlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Devil Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Devil Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Leadville Trail 100 Run | 100 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Silverton Alpine 50K | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


Yeti Snakebite 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Yeti Snakebite 50M | 50 miles | August 30, 2015 | website


Resort to Rock 60K | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website


Fool’s Gold 50M | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Fool’s Gold 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Ghosts of Yellowstone | 100 miles | August 21, 2015 | website

Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 21, 2015 | website

Mystery Ranch 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Rampage the Roots Montana’s Ultra Challenge 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


51 km | 51 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Black Rock City 50km | 50 kilometers | September 02, 2015 | website

New Hampshire

MadAthlete Emerald Necklace 3-Day Stage Race | 80 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

MadAthlete Emerald Necklace 3-Day Stage Race 2-Person Relay | 80 miles | August 21, 2015 | website

New York

Green Lakes 100 km Trail Race | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Green Lakes 50 km Trail Race | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Twisted Branch Trail Run | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 28, 2015 | website

Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website


Baker Trail UltraChallenge | 50 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

South Dakota

50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Lean Horse Half Hundred | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Lean Horse Hundred | 100 miles | August 22, 2015 | website


Habanero Hundred 100k | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Habanero Hundred 100 miler | 100 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Habanero Hundred 50k | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Reveille Peak Ranch – 60km | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website


Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

02:36:45 CLOSE




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

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

Website – talkultra.com

Recent Printed Publications for iancorless.com

TCC Lead Page

The first few months of 2015 have been very rewarding and I have had several articles and features printed worldwide in a series of top ranking magazines.

From the rainforests of Costa Rica, to heat of the Sahara. Anton Krupicka looking broken at Transgrancanaria, Joe Grant between a rock and a hard place at The Coastal Challenge and Sir Ranulph Fiennes beating the heat at the Marathon des Sables.

Here are the magazines with links

Like The Wind HERE

Runners World HERE

Trail Running Magazine HERE

Competitor HERE

Outdoor Fitness HERE

Here is a selection of the printed articles. All my tear sheets can be viewed HERE

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.43.40

MDS 2015 Darren Outoor Fitness UTLD Runners World 2015 TCC 2015 Trail Running Mag MDS Sir Ranulph Fiennes captured_spread

Marathon des Sables 2015 #MDS2015 – Race Images


The 30th edition of the iconic Marathon des Sables is over! What a race… we all knew that race director, Patrick Bauer would create something special and he did not disappoint.

Tough stages and the longest days had runners tackling 92km’s, the longest stage ever in the 30 year history of the race.

Rachid El Morabity (20:21:39) won the men’s race once again in true style and Elisabet Barnes (26:42:13) showed pure class in winning every stage of the ladies race. A race summary will follow.

Below is a selected portfolio that encompasses the 30th edition of the race. A full image gallery will be uploaded to iancorless.phtoshelter.com in due course.

All images ©iancorless.com

He must be CRACKERS! Part One of an interview with James Cracknell

Crackers 1

In a previous life, James Cracknell spent too much time mucking about in a boat with big blokes wearing too much Lycra. He was lucky enough to win gold medals at the Sydney and Athens Olympics. After that he stupidly rowed across the Atlantic and did a race to the South Pole (both filmed by the BBC).


After Antarctica he decided the cold wasn’t for him and entered the Marathon des Sables where he did okay and came 12th. At the time that was the highest place a Briton had ever come until Danny Kendall upstaged the Olympian.

James’s MDS progress was filmed by the Discovery Channel. This was followed with another film documenting a journey from LA to New York: cycling from LA to Death Valley running through Death Valley then remounting and cycling Route 66 to Lake Erie, rowing Lake Erie then cycling to New York and finally swimming to the Statue of Liberty.


Unfortunately James didn’t complete this journey as a fuel truck in Arizona hit him! Placed in a coma and a two-month stay in a Phoenix hospital, James was close to the edge. It’s been a long journey and one that is ongoing.

Read the full (part one) article on RUN ULTRA HERE 


FOOD for THOUGHT – What freeze-dried food for multi-day racing?

All Food 3

Article ©Niandi Carmont

Niandi Carmont is taking on the 30th edition of the Marathon des Sables. No stranger to endurance events, Niandi regularly competes in ultras all over the world. However, it has been 10-years since she last toed the line at MDS and although an occasional freeze-dried meal has been consumed on some weekend fast-packing, eating out of a packet or packets for a whole week was going to take some getting used to! It’s a no brainer to test food in advance of a race, particularly one as expensive as MDS. You don’t want to ruin your race with poor food choices…

Running a mult-day race? Check out our 2016 training camp http://d.pr/f/18cqZ

Niandi had always planned to take ‘real’ food such as Billtong, Parmesan Cheese, nuts and other similar portable and high calorie foods. However, Niandi’s main meal of the day will be a freeze-dried option. The question of hot food or cold food is a dilemma that you will each need to work out. Needless to say, all these food options can be eaten with hot or cold water.


I recently discovered a great site specializing in freeze-dried foods for outdoor and endurance events. I am taking part in MDS 2015, a multi-stage self-sufficiency event and therefore I need high calorie food in lightweight packages. I contacted LYOPHILISE.COM to test 5 of the dishes on the menu!

My choice was limited to:

  • Evening meals as I will be taking some of my own favorite snacks during the day. Having said that, this site also provides breakfasts, desserts, snacks, MDS packs, drinks and so on… all for the adventure/ multi-stage and/or endurance athlete.
  • High calorie to weight ratio. I want to limit the weight of my pack to the minimum requirement of 6.5kg and so my selection was based on high calorie/ low weight foods.
  • Preferably gluten-free options.

Well after a weekend spent subjecting my palate to 5 freeze-dried haute gastronomie dishes, here’s my feedback:

Peppered Beef with Rice & Vegetables by Travellunch €4.95/€8.90

Peppered Beef

This meal comes in 2 formats. A single portion or a double portion; I really liked this dish. Very tasty and very morish, I could easily eat this as a meal replacement. The texture is great. The rice absorbs all the water and provides the dish with just the right texture – it’s not soggy, soupy or gooey like so many freeze-dried dishes. And it is seasoned with just the right amount of pepper and spices. What I like too is that all the flavorings are natural and guys, who usually need more calories, can have double portions as this dish comes in 2 formats. The dish is relatively high in carbs so perfect fuelling before the long stage especially if you consume a double portion. Or alternatively it can be used as replenishment after the long stage when you are running low on carbs. What I liked less was the packaging – Travellunch could make their packets easier to open. When you’re in a self-sufficiency event you really want something that’s easy to cut open and reseal. It’s also great value for money compared to some of the other brands at 4.45€ for a single portion. I’ll be taking 3 of these to MDS.

Peppered Beef Before

Nutritional Values:

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 392
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 1651
Energy value per product (Kcal) 980
Energy value per product (kJ) 4127,5
Protein per 100 g 9.9
Protein per bag (g) 24.75
Carbohydrates per 100 g 59.6
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 149
Fats per 100 g 12.7
Fats per bag (g) 31.75


Rice, tomatoes, beef (5%), roast onions, red pepper, natural flavorings


  • Price: *****
  • Taste: *****
  • Energy/Weight ratio: ****
  • Nutritional Value: ****
  • Convenience: ***

Mild Curried Beef & Rice by Expedition Foods €8.95

Curried Beef Rice

This is another of my favorites and I’ll be taking a couple of these to MDS too! Of all the meals I tried this was definitely the tastiest. Again this is a meal I would happily eat as a meal replacement. It’s mildly spicy and although it is a curry dish it is not hot. It’s very palatable. The diced and sliced vegetables are a great little touch to this dish. The texture is great too – nothing soggy and watery or bland about this dish – with a little imagination I could be sitting in the local curry house….In comparison with the previous rice & beef dish, this one has a considerably higher fat content and is lower in carbs. The bag is really easy to open and reseal so very practical. What’s great about this dish is that you can also prepare it with cold water so if you feel like a meal during the long stage at night you can just whip this out and add some water – bear in mind that the re-hydration time will be much longer.

FullSizeRender (3)


  • Price: **
  • Taste: ****
  • Energy/Weight ratio: *****
  • Nutritional Value: *****
  • Convenience: *****              

Nutritional Values:

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 532
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 2218
Energy value per product (Kcal) 808
Energy value per product (kJ) 3372
Protein per 100 g 17
Protein per bag (g) 25,1
Carbohydrates per 100 g 41
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 61,9
Fats per 100 g 33
Fats per bag (g) 50


Rice, onions, minced beef (9,5%), tomato puree, carrots, vegetable oil, green beans, potato, yoghurt, sugar, cornflour, garlic, curry powder, salt, pepper,


Chickpea Curry with Rice by Trek ‘n Eat €6.95

Chickpea Curry Packet

This dish was far too hot and spicy for me! I definitely can’t see myself eating this after a day’s running in the desert! It’s supposed to stand for 10 minutes to re-hydrate but I found that the chickpeas were hard and crunchy. The dish just didn’t do it for me. The lack of taste and blandness might have something to do with the fact that it is gluten-free and also very low in fat.


FullSizeRender (5)


  • Price: ****
  • Taste: *  
  • Energy/Weight ratio: ***
  • Nutritional Value: ***
  • Convenience : **  

Nutritional Analysis :

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 334
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 1396
Energy value per product (Kcal) 601.2
Energy value per product (kJ) 2512.8
Protein per 100 g 9.3
Protein per bag (g) 16.74
Carbohydrates per 100 g 68
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 122.4
Fats per 100 g 2.3
Fats per bag (g) 4.14


52% rice, 22% chickpeas, sugar, onions, iodised table salt, spices, apple, maltodextrine, paprika, mustard, coriander, cayenne pepper.


Cod and Potato Casserole by Real Turmat €9.90


Bland and tasteless. Not very appetizing looking and watery/soupy even after re-hydration. Tastes very floury and more like some bad potato/fish soup rather than a casserole as the name suggests. Very good energy to weight ratio with 501cal/100g and high in both fats and carbs. Another gluten-free option but not for me.

Cod Before



  • Price: *     
  • Taste: *
  • Energy/Weight ratio: *****
  • Nutritional Value: ****
  • Convenience : **

Nutritional Analysis :  

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 501
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 2090
Energy value per product (Kcal) 536
Energy value per product (kJ) 2230
Protein per 100 g 13
Protein per bag (g) 14
Carbohydrates per 100 g 39
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 42
Fats per 100 g 31
Fats per bag (g) 33 

Ingredients :

Potato, cod pâté 18 % (cod 88%, potato flour, salt), sour cream, green pepper, carrot, onion, wheat flour, soybean oil, fish bouillon, salt and seasoning (celery).



Nasi Goreng Packet

A gluten-free dish and of Indonesian origin. I chose this dish having eaten a lot of Nasi Goreng in the Netherlands. The dish has quite a lot of flavor but the texture is a little odd like so many freeze dried dishes. However, the apricots, sultanas and spices add a nice touch to the dish and the meal is quite flavorsome. Once again the packet is not as practical to open and reseal as other brands. It’s very high in carbs and relatively low in fats compared to some of the other dishes with a very good weight to calorie ratio. Definitely a dish to be consumed pre or post a long day.


  • Price: ****
  • Taste: ***
  • Energy/Weight ratio: *****
  • Nutritional Value: ****
  • Convenience : **

Nutritional Analysis :        

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 394
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 1662
Energy value per product (Kcal) 492
Energy value per product (kJ) 2077
Protein per 100 g 11.9
Protein per bag (g) 14.875
Carbohydrates per 100 g 60.2
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 75.25
Fats per 100 g 11.8
Fats per bag (g) 14.75


Ingredients: rice, hydrogenated vegetable fat, starch partly modified, chicken (6%), apricots, shrimps (3%), whey product, maltodextrin, salt, butter powder, onions, chicken broth, sultanas, natural flavoring, herbs, spices, spice extracts. Contains: celery.

For more information on the site and to order meals online:



  • Lyophilise is a very comprehensive site with an impressive list of different freeze-dried brands.
  • The customer service is very friendly & professional.
  • Delivery is fast if the products are in stock.
  • There is an on-line customer service.
  • They provide gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian options.
  • There provide special MDS packs that offer a one-stop shopping scenario.



Marathon des Sables 2015 (30th Edition) – RACE PREVIEW


MDS, Marathon des Sables, The Toughest Race in the World… whatever you want to call it, the 30th edition is just around the corner. Think about it, 30-years. It’s quite incredible how this race has grown and has become ‘the’ multiday race to do irrespective of experience. It was the first and arguably is still the best offering an ultimate adventure for novice and experienced runner.

Many a runner has started a passion for running at MDS and as such; the race will always be an important landmark for many. But it’s more than a race. It’s an experience, it’s escape and it’s a challenge.


The combination of self-sufficiency, life in bivouac and running 250-km’s through the heat of the Sahara is something that those that have experienced it will never forget. It is the story of life, a story of men and women who have come to the heart of the desert to rid themselves of the superficial to keep only the essentials and get in touch with their true selves.

For the past three decades, some 18,000 runners have signed up for this experience, so, with the imminent running of the 2015 edition, it’s fair to say that race will see a great number of participants returning to ‘celebrate’ a very important birthday.


Lasting six days participants must be self-sufficient carrying everything they need in a pack. Water is provided but rationed and a tent (bivouac) is provided each evening that must be shared with seven other participants.

The 2015 edition of the race will be 250-km’s offering a series of challenges that will test the mind and body in equal measure. Dunes, djebels, ergs and dried-up lakes offer a stunning backdrop that must be traversed. Battling against sand, heat and above all the mind completing the 30th edition of the Marathon des Sables will be a dream come true for those who toe the line.


THE ROUTE for 2015

Stage 1 – Sunday 5th April

Here we have a very uneven playing field and a sufficient number of kilometers to make their presence felt. Competitors will have to run, avoid the obstacles and climb the surrounding uphill sections. The first dunes are between CP1 and CP2. It is fair to say that day-1 of the 30th MARATHON DES SABLES will be a long one.

Stage 2 – Monday 6th April

Those who imagine the desert to be flat are in for a surprise. Three steep little climbs form this second leg, with gradients reaching 30%… A new kind of roller-coaster ride which will open up landscapes that will be a sight to behold.

Stage 3 – Tuesday 7th April

Sand will be omnipresent today with some stony sections and some dried-up lakes. There will be a little something for everyone with some uphill sections here and there.

Stage 4 – Wednesday 8 / Thursday 9 April

A tough initial climb will hurt the legs, especially as it’s going to be a long day. Indeed this particular day will be the longest leg in the history of the MDS. And if that wasn’t enough, a climb of nearly a kilometer up a djebel awaits. At the summit runners will have 360° panoramic views. As for the descent, well it’s steep! After that, runners then traverse dunes, dried-up lakes and more dunes!

Stage 5 – Friday 10 April

Today’s route has a mixture of terrain that are hallmarks of the MDS, it’s a classic day!

Stage 6 -Saturday 11 April – SOLIDARITY UNICEF legs

For the majority of the participants, this leg is
a time for reflecting on the experience of this fine human adventure and is a united show of awareness before returning to civilization.



Antoine Guillon was second three times, third once and fourth three times in the Diagonale des Fous in addition, he is always well placed in the UTMB. Offered a place by the UTWT, Antoine will try his luck in the 30th MDS for the first time. Antoine just placed 3rd at Transgrancanaria, so his form is good. Can he recover in time?


Christophe Le Saux never seazes to amaze me with his relentless racing calendar, he was 10th in 2014, 9th in 2013, 6th in 2012.


Carlos Sà is a regular at MDS and has a wealth of talent and experience to excel. He was 4th last year’s, 7th in 2013. 4th in 2012 and 8th in 2011.

Dave Mackey has been one of the top American ultra runners for many years and he has excelled at the 100-km distance. His participation at MDS marks a new departure for him and it will be interesting to see how he handles racing over multiple days.

Javier Teixido Marti-Ventosa is the 2014 winner of the Andorra Ultra-Trail Ultra-Mitic (112km).


Danny Kendall gets a nod from a UK perspective. He placed 5th last year and we can only hope that he moves up the rankings with a podium place. He knows the race, he knows the conditions and he understands survival in the Sahara; he just needs to bring it all together once again.

All six will be attempting to topple the Moroccan and Jordanian supremacy by keeping a close eye on the following:


Mohamad Ahansal like his brother, Lahcen needs no introduction. He has 15 participations in the MDS, which includes 5 victories. He has been 2nd no less than 9 times and 3rd in 2014.

Abdelkader El Mouaziz placed 7th in 2014 on his first participation, he will be looking to improve in 2015.

Samir Akhdar has had several participations at MDS placing 6th in 2011 and 7th in 2009. 

Salameh Al Aqra is always smiling and a great presence in the race, he was 1st in 2012, 2nd in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 and placed 3rd in 2009 and 2011.

In the female contingent:


Laurence Klein targets her 4th victory after making the podium in 2014 and 2013.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1020570

Meghan Hicks champion in 2013, missed 2014 through injury and will be setting her sights on a 2nd win.

Liza Howard is the holder of a number of 100-mile race records and American champion over 100km and 50 miles in 2011, should have what it takes to treat the United States to a third crown in a row after Nikki Kimball and Meghan Hicks.

Jolanda Linschooten gets a heads up from my friend Jeroen Krosse and he says, ‘one to watch’ for sure. So I agree, she is one to watch. Jolanda has been 2nd and 4th before!

Claire Morrisey is the British hope who returns after placing 7th in 2014.


Moroccan Lahcen Ahansal, ten-time winner of the
MDS between 1997 and 2007 is
making a comeback this year after six years
absence. “I wanted to hook back up with this race through
a goal that isn’t purely competitive, but also human”, admits
the athlete who has agreed to act as a guide to the partially
sighted German runner, Harald Lange. “After pulling off the
challenge of securing 10 victories, I now want to rack up 20
participations. And why not be around for the 40th and 50th
editions too?” It should be said that Lahcen has not forgotten
his encounter with this legendary race, which has transformed his life. “I looked on with curiosity and amazement as the 23 athletes took the start of the first edition in 1986. From then on, I constantly dreamt that I, a nomadic child, would participate in this race. It has spurred on my life and created in me such a strong desire for sporting and human emancipation that I moved mountains to make my dream a reality some seven years later. It’s thanks to this race that I’ve become the man I am today.” Also of note, is the fact that another blind runner will participate in this edition as Didier Benguigui is returning with his guide, Gilles Clain, to celebrate his 11th edition.

The “4 Dinosaurs MDS” team comprises two French runners, Christian Ginter and François Cresci, one Moroccan, Karim Mosta and one Italian, Paolo Zubani, none of whom wanted to miss the 30th anniversary of the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES. Between them, these four passionate runners already boast a total of 105 participations, which amounts to 27 out of 29 editions for the restaurant owner-chef Christian Ginter and 26 for the other three. “The idea of creating a team of veterans came about in the tent last year”, beams Karim Mosta, the cheerful leader of this group of friends, who wouldn’t miss this key stage

The famous British explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, is embarking on a new adventure at 71 years of age. After earning the title of first man to reach the North and South Poles via land, the first person to traverse the Antarctic entirely on foot and the oldest Briton to climb Everest at 65 years of age, he now wants to become the oldest Briton to etch his name on the list of SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES 2015’ medalists.

At 83 years of age, Joseph Le Louarn will be the most senior participant in this 30th edition. “I said that I’d stop in 2012, at 80, but with the energy drummed up by this anniversary, I couldn’t resist,” smiles the runner who has always loved ‘ambitious projects’. Indeed some three years ago he was quoted as saying “Card games and meals for retired people aren’t for me. I need to move; I need goals. I want to stay fit for as long as possible.”

A native of Luxembourg, Simone Kayser Diederich, 3-time champion of the MARATHON DES SABLES (2002, 2004 and 2005), will take the start of this 30th edition to celebrate her 60th birthday and her 14th participation. It’s a similar scenario for Moroccan Nadia Dadoun, 56, who will celebrate her 16th participation in this SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES 2015, which is a record number of entries among the event’s female contingent.



  • 150 volunteers to supervise the race,
  • 450 general support staff,
  • 120,000 liters of bottled mineral water,
  • 300 Berber and Saharan tents,
  • 120 all-terrain vehicles and trucks,
  • 2 Squirrel helicopters and 1 Cessna plane,
  • 8 Transavia ‘MDS special’ commercial planes,
  • 30 buses,
  • 4 dromedaries,
  • 1 incinerator lorry for burning waste,
  • 5 quad bikes to monitor race environment and safety,
  • 72 medical staff,
  • 2.3kms of Elastoplast,
  • 12,200 compresses,
  • 6,000 painkillers,
  • 150 liters of disinfectant,
  • 1 editing bus,
  • 5 cameras,
  • 1 satellite image station,
  • 10 satellite telephones,
  • 30 computers, fax and internet,
  • 18,000 competitors since 1986
  • 30% returning competitors, 70% international, 30% French, 
17% women, 45% veterans, 
30% in teams, 
10% walkers, 
90% alternate walking and running,
  • 14 km/hr.: average maximum speed, 3 km/hr.: average minimum speed,
  • 15 years of age for the youngest competitor and the oldest, 83!



  • “The MARATHON DES SABLES is the United Nations. The runners come from all over the world, share the same emotions and help one another. All the boundaries are erased. We should take inspiration from it.” – Kirk McCall (United States)
  • “This event isn’t just a sporting activity. It’s a mental and philosophical process. In the desert, nature puts us back in our place at the heart of this environment. The MARATHON DES SABLES opens up new perspectives to us. People often think we’re crazy, but maybe they’re the crazy ones!” – Fernando Jose Castro Cabral (Brazil)
  • “The MARATHON DES SABLES represents Mecca. I come here for an annual pilgrimage. It purifies me.” – Amine Kabbaj (Morocco)
  • “Running in the desert purges me and enables me to empty my mind. I want to discover the desert by experiencing it from the inside. Each day, I recite a poem along the course. To think about poetry whilst running is a fantastic mental luxury. To run and be elsewhere through your thoughts… The sobriety of the desert is a source of inspiration.” – Duc Le Quang (Vietnam)
  • “In the MARATHON DES SABLES, you learn to rediscover and appreciate the simple pleasures. On top of that there is this solidarity between the runners. You run and you come across someone from Colombia, Portugal or China. You don’t know them but you share a moment with them. These encounters are worth all the money in the world.” – Nicolas Esterhazy (Belgium)


Twenty-Nine years of victories.

Here is a who’s who of those 29-years.

1986 – Michel GALLIEZ (FRANCE) – Christiane PLUMERE (FRANCE)

1987 – Bernard GAUDIN (FRANCE) – Marie-Ange MALCUIT (FRANCE)

1988 – Bernard GAUDIN (FRANCE) – Marie-Ange MALCUIT (FRANCE)






1994 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Valentina LIAKHOVA (RUSSIA)

1995 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Béatrice REYMANN (FRANCE)




1999 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Lisa SMITH (USA)

2000 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Pascale MARTIN (FRANCE)





2005 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUX)

2006 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Géraldine COURDESSE (FRANCE)

2007 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2008 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Touda DIDI (MOROCCO)

2009 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Touda DIDI (MOROCCO)

2010 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Monica AGUILERA (SPAIN)

2011 – Rachid EL MORABITY (MOROCCO) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2012 – Salameh AL AQRA (JORDAN) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2013 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Meghan HICKS (USA)





  • 3 April 2015 – Leave country of residence/Morocco – Arrival in Ouarzazate, bus transfer to 1st bivouac
  • 4 April 2015 – Administrative, technical and medical checks – Day to acclimatize 
  • From 5 to 10 April 2015 – Race in progress (The self-sufficiency begins from breakfast on the 1st leg)
  • 11 April 2015 – Solidarity UNICEF leg – (end of dietary self-sufficiency) – Transfer to Ouarzazate
  • 12 April 2015  – Day of relaxation
  • 13 April 2015 – Return to country of residence


Marathon des Sables – A history in brief


1984: At 28 years of age, Patrick Bauer decided to make for the Sahara to try to traverse a 350km expanse of uninhabited desert, on foot, alone, where he wouldn’t come into contact with a single village, oasis or watering place. Totally self-sufficient, with a rucksack weighing 35kg and containing water and food, he set off on a journey that was to last 12 days. It was the starting point of what was to become the MARATHON DES SABLES.

1986: The creation of the first MDS in the Moroccan Sahara. The 23 pioneers who took the start never imagined that their footprints would mark the start of a legendary event, which has today become a must among the major adventure sport meets. The creation of a non-mechanical competition in the Moroccan sands offers adventure runners a wealth of new prospects.


1987: Creation of the MDS logo: the face of a runner covered by a keffiyeh, the eyes protected by a pair of sunglasses and the pipette from the runner’s water container clenched between the teeth.

1989: 170 competitors take the start of the race.

1991: The gulf drama puts the MDS at a disadvantage and the financial partners withdraw. Fortunately some runners answer the call. For these competitors, the true victory lies in meeting athletes from different backgrounds and their communion in the desert around the same goal. Sport proves once again that it can bring people together and create bonds.


1992: One and the same regulation for everyone. This year sees the establishing of unexpected draconian tests, to ensure that each participant properly transports all his or her gear from one end of the course to the other. A 30-point charter is drawn up.

First participation by the Moroccan Lahcen Ahansal

1994: Arrival of the Doc Trotters at the event.


1995: 10th anniversary. Since the start, over 1,500 men and women have left their footprint and their passion in the desert. Installation of water-pump for the inhabitants of the village of Ighef n’rifi (South of Er-Rachidia) – an idea by competitor Gilles Flamant and backed by Rolland Barthes and Patrick Bauer. Its success is to be repeated again and again

1996: First participation by Mohamed, a younger sibling of Ahansal. The two Moroccan brothers set off together and rank 4th and 5th respectively.

1997: This year heralds the start of the Ahansal saga. Morocco is honored with Lahcen’s first victory. He beats his two pursuers by nearly 30 minutes, despite them being international long-distance running champions.

1999: A mobile hospital on the MDS comes into being. There are around thirty practitioners on the ground, with doctors and nurses joining the caravan. A dedicated helicopter and ten all-terrain vehicles track the competitors each day. On- board these vehicles there are doctors of course, as well as high-tech equipment. The village boasts a genuine field hospital.


2000: Internet puts in an appearance in the large MDS village. The organization decides to broadcast the texts and photos of the race live, day after day. The competitors can communicate with their nearest and dearest and receive messages of encouragement.

2001: For the first time the long leg, traditionally called “The 70”, exceeds the 80km barrier to reach 82km. The threshold of 240km is also surpassed since the 16th MARATHON DES SABLES spans 243km. Another first relates to the fact that there are no Moroccans on the podium this year.

2002: This edition is punctuated by a sandstorm, involving headwinds, which lasts the entire week. The doctors invent a machine for ‘low pressure cleansing’ to rinse out the runners’ eyes. Despite the difficult conditions, there are few retirements to report as the wind considerably reduces the temperature.

2005: The Luxembourg runner Simone Kayser is the first woman to win 3 MARATHON DES SABLES. For this 20th edition, the total number of runners exceeds 700 for the first time, with no fewer than 777 runners taking the start.


2006: A drying wind and very high humidity levels cause damage to the runners’ bodies. Despite additional allocations of water, a whole series of retirements ensues. There are a total of 146 retirements ultimately, which equates to double that of the previous record… Race management decides to shorten the long leg by over 10km given how tired the runners seem.

2008: The Solidarité MDS association is created. The aim: to develop projects to assist children and disadvantaged populations in the domains of health, education and sustainable development in Morocco. 

2009: MDS is disrupted by flooding and the 1st and 6th stages are not able to take place. To avoid the flood zones, the organization is obliged to improvise new legs on a day-to-day basis. In this way, the edition goes down in legend for its 3rd leg, which is the longest ever contested: 92km of sand, loose stones and rocks… The leg even sees the retirement of Lahcen Ahansal… At the prize giving the 2 winners admit to having competed in their hardest MDS. However, it was also the shortest: 202km.


2010: For its 25th edition, the number of participations reaches a record high of 1,013 participants. It is to be the longest MARATHON DES SABLES. It spans 250 kilometers with a course considered by former entrants to be the most difficult ever organized.

2012: A dramatic turn of events on the longest leg as the then leader in the overall standing, Rachid El Morabity (MAR) injures himself one kilometer from the finish. Medical examinations reveal a serious muscular lesion in the quadriceps. After over five years on the 2nd or 3rd step of the podium, Jordanian Salameh Al Aqra secures the title.

2013: 1,027 competitors on the start line make this a new participation record. New feature: a final “Charity” stage sponsored by UNICEF and traversing the Merzouga dunes round off the race. Sportswise, Mohamad Ahansal and Megan Hicks are the champions of the 231.5km event. On a human level, all of the finishers pull off their crazy bet.


2014: 2011 winner, Moroccan Rachid El Morabity (MAR) wins the overall ranking and takes Mohamad Ahansal’s crown. In the women’s category, another American stamps her mark, Nikki Kimball. The French revelation is one Michaël Gras, 22 years of age, 8th overall and top Frenchman. A major athletics star, Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj lines up to take the start of Saturday’s Unicef Charity leg.

Content and information provided by ©marathondessables

FOLLOW THE 2015, 30th EDITION on this WEBSITE in words and images.


Marathon des Sables Hints ‘n’ Tips on RUNULTRA from JoMeek, Danny Kendall and Nikki Kimball

MDS Hints_n_Tips


Running the Marathon des Sables or any other multi-day race? Read some of the Hints ‘n’ Tips from Nikki Kimball, winner of the 2014 MDS, Jo Meek, 2nd at the 2013 MDS and winner, course record holder for The Coastal Challenge and Danny Kendall, highest male British finisher, MDS 2014.

The Marathon des Sables dates back to 1984 when a 28-year old Patrick Bauer ventured into the Sahara to traverse solo a 350km journey. It was the ultimate self-sufficient expedition. Lasting 12-days, Patrick carried all he required in a 35kg pack. Inspired by the experience, the first edition was created in 1986; just 23-pioneers embarked on that journey… a journey into the unknown.

Who would have thought those formative years would have laid the foundations for what is, without question, the father of multi-day racing. In 2015 the race is 30-years old. It’s quite remarkable, The MDS as it is known has had memorable moments; in ‘91’ the Gulf drama had an impact on the race, in ‘94’ the arrival of Doc Trotters medical team, in ‘96’ Mohamed Ahansal participated for the first time, in ‘97’ Lahcen Ahansal won his first MDS, in ‘2000’ internet arrived in the Sahara, in ‘01’ the long day exceeded 70km, in ‘02’ a week of sandstorms and wind made the journey extra difficult, in ‘09’ the MDS had flooding and in ‘13’ solar energy arrived.

Much has been written about how to survive at the Marathon des Sables. With the 30th edition looming on the horizon I caught up with previous winner, Nikki Kimball, 2nd placed lady in 2013, Jo Meek and the UK’s highest ever male finisher, Danny Kendall to pass on some words of wisdom.



Darkness to Light

Darkness to LightThe Marathon des Sables needs no introduction. It has been hailed as one of the toughest races in the world. Like it or love it, it has produced some wonderful and epic stories.

One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I marvel at the front runners moving fast through the dunes, up a jebel and ignoring the heat. However, the middle of the field and those who struggle each day to make the cut off no doubt provide me with incredible inspiration.

Gilles and Didier have provided such thoughts on numerous occasions.

Tears stream down his face as he sobs uncontrollably. Gilles, all smiles, pulls away and kisses him on each cheek with a passion seldom seen. It’s a moment to savor! They are the last two runners on the course and the moment epitomizes all that the Marathon des Sables represents. It shows a bond between two people and confirms all that is good and pure in human nature and ultra running.
Read the full article on RUNULTRA HERE