The Coastal Challenge 2016 Race Preview

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The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica celebrates it’s 12th year with an incredible line up once again!

The 2016 edition of The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica gets underway on February 14th, yes, valentines day! It’s appropriate, most people fall in love with Costa Rica. Runners from all over the world will arrive in San Jose in preparation for the journey down to the coast and the 12th edition.

“Reaching the 12th edition is humbling and gratifying. It is a privilege and not to one to be taken lightly. We are happy and grateful to have made it this far.” – Rodrigo Carazo

Rodrigo Carazo has pulled together an incredible line-up for the race and without doubt it will arguably be one of the most competitive multi stage races of 2016 with the 2015 Marathon des Sables ladies champion, Elisabet Barnes heading up the ladies field and 2015 champion and course record holder, Iain Don-Wauchope returning after his incredible 2015 performance and course record.

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“Twelve years of exploring, adventuring and discovering Costa Rica and the beginning of a bright new era to come!” Rodrigo Carazo

RD - Rodrigo

RD – Rodrigo

Elite runners will toe the line in Quepos with everyday runners, they will all have one purpose in mind, to embrace the tough and technical challenge that lies ahead of them and enjoy every moment.

Known locally as the Rainforest Run, the TCC is a 236km stage race over 6-days that weaves in and out of a lush and tropical Pacific coastline. The Talamancas – a coastal mountain range spread across the southwest corner of the country – provide not only a stunning backdrop but also many of the tough and technical challenges that the runners will face on a day-to-day basis

Steve Diederich (HERE) the UK agent for the TCC had this to say:

 “A backdrop of some of the most breathtaking rainforest and coast on the planet, The Coastal Challenge has joined the exclusive club of iconic multi-day ultras.”

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Beaches that last km after km are interspersed with dirt tracks, mountain paths, dense jungle, ridges, water crossings, open plains and highland; Costa Rica is bursting with variety. In addition, add 40deg temperature and high humidity, the TCC is no easy challenge.

TCC is a supported race and each day camp is moved ahead of the runners. Running light and fast, equipment is kept to a minimum and as such, racing is extremely competitive. The 2016 edition of the race is proving to be extremely exciting, particularly when one looks at the line up of runners.

 

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2016 will see an incredible line up of runners and in the men’s Chema Martinez (José Manuel (“Chema”) Martínez Fernández) brings super fast 10,000m and maybe more importantly, marathon running speed to the TCC. A 2:08 marathon runner, Chema cut his multi-day teeth at Marathon des Sables in 2015 and TCC will allow him to run fast without the weight of a pack.

CarlosSa

Carlos Sa has run at the TCC before but made a huge navigational error on day 1 which ruined any chance of overall success. A runner who inspires through inspiration, Carlos has a varied list of results with highlights coming with 1st place at Badwater 135, 4th at the Marathon des Sables and a string of top-10 places in races all over the world, including UTMB.

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Miguel Capo Soler has placed 3rd at Marathon des Sables (2013) and shows great pedigree in multi-day and single day running. TheTCC will suit his running style but he will need to watch out for all the local ‘Tico’ talent: Ashur Youseffi, Roiny Villegas and Frederico Pacheco.

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A surprise package may well come from Brit, Damian Hall. The other runners in the race will almost certainly not know Damian but recent success at the UK’s Dragon Back Race, The Spine and last year a top-50 result at UTMB means that he will certainly be in contention in the top-5.

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Finally returning champ, Iain Don-Wauchope from South Africa impressed everyone in 2015 with how he made what is a very tough course look (relatively) easy.  This year he has said in advance that training has been sporadic and that he has suffered with some over training issues. What’s important is, he is back.

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The ladies race has less depth than in previous years and defending champion, Veronica Bravo is taking a year away from the race. However, two ladies will battle on this course. Ester Alves from Portugal had an impressive 2015 with a very full calendar, maybe too full! High quality and world-class performances were sometimes followed with less impressive performances due to fatigue. A former road cyclist, her transition to trail came in 2014. Top performances are 8th at UTMB, 6th at Transgrancanaria and 7th at Transvulcania.

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Elisabet Barnes is a lady on fire at the moment, particularly in multi-day racing. Her 2015 victory at Marathon des Sables (she won every stage) was followed up with a repeat performance in Oman. Having just completed a multi-day training camp in Lanzarote (here), Elisabet went into the heat chamber to prepare for Costa Rica’s humidity. It’s going to be exciting to see Elisabet race this TCC course. Recent sonship with Raidlight and a full calendar of multi-day racing in 2016 will see Elisabet race at MDS, Richtersveld Wildrun, Big Red Run and Grand to Grand.

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“This race will bring a whole new experience. I expect it to be more technical than what I am used to and I know from the heat chamber sessions I have done that the humidity will make it very tough. I am really looking forward to the challenge though and to visiting Costa Rica for the first time” – Elisabet Barnes

Racing starts on Sunday very early and I will be posting daily reports and images on this website as and when internet connection allows.

You can view the race route below.

Follow the race on Twitter @talkultra on Instagram @iancorlessphotography and on Facebook facebook.com/iancorlessphotography

#TCC2016

Episode 104 – Candice Burt, Lucy Bartholomew, Zach Bitter

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 104 of Talk Ultra and I am pleased to say Speedgoat is back. On this show we talk with rising Australian star, Lucy Bartholomew. We speak to fast man, Zach Bitter about running 100-miles super quick and Candice Burt talks Hurt 100 and the appeal of 200-mile races.

Our show has always been and always will be free for you, the listener. If you like what we do, please consider a donation.

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HERE

00:01:30 Show Start

00:14:17 NEWS

HURT 100

1 – Jeff Browning 21:22

2 – Gary Robbins 21:55

3 – Yassine Diboun 22:39

1 – Denise Bourassa 30:24

2 – Candice Burt 31:28

3 – Junk Suzuki 32:29

00:25:36 INTERVIEW with CANDICE BURT on her 2nd place and her running history as a racer and RD.

BANDERA 100k *Golden Ticket Race

1 – Jim Walmsley 7:46 (fast!)

2 – Chris DeNucci 8:06

3 – Paul Terranova 8:38

1 – Cassie Scallon 9:19 (fast!)

2 – Vanessa Taylor 9:40

3 – Michele Yates 9:45

ZOLKAN 4 DAY in Chile

Won by Veronica Bravo and Moises Jimenez

THE SPINE 268 miles

Eoin Keith smashed the old course record  to finish in 95:17:18 (approx 15 hours quicker.) Last years winner, Pavel Paloncy finished 2nd in 100:34:58 and Pete Wilkie 3rd in 117:15:15.

Only 2 ladies finished, Zoe Thornborough 11:40:12 and Anna Buckingham 167:17:05.

In the Challenger 108 miles (shorter race) last years Spine winner, Beth Pascall smashed the CR to finish in 30:32:10, Sarah Davies 2nd 44:35:50 and Sharon Sullivan 3rd 52:24:45.

Tom Hollins was 1st man 29:37:25, Matt Bennett 30:25:33 and Scott Morley 38:26:37.

01:26:46 INTERVIEW with LUCY BARTHOLOMEW who smashed the ladies record at Bogong to Hotham is Australia

02:10:56 INTERVIEW fast man ZACH BITTER talks training for, racing and looking for that elusive super fast time for 100-miles.

UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

White Continent 50K | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2016 | website

Australia

Queensland

Beerwah at Night – 50 km | 51 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Beerwah at Night – 50 km | 51 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Cambodia

128 km | 128 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

64 km | 64 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Canada

Yukon

Yukon Arctic 100M | 100 miles | February 04, 2016 | website

Yukon Arctic 300M | 300 miles | February 04, 2016 | website

Yukon Arctic 430M | 430 miles | February 04, 2016 | website

Chad

Half TREG | 90 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

TREG | 180 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

France

Essonne

Raid 28 | 80 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Semiraid 28 | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Eure

47 km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Eure-et-Loir

Ultra Raid 28 | 120 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | January 31, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Vibram® Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail® Race | 100 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 29, 2016 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 29, 2016 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 100 km | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2016 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2016 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | January 22, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Ian Priest Memorial Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Nicaragua

Survival Run: Nicaragua | 70 kilometers | February 03, 2016 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 05, 2016 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Marathón ‘Isla del Meridiano’ – 86 km | 86 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Thailand

The North Face 100® – Thailand | 100 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

The North Face 100® – Thailand – 50 km Solo | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 05, 2016 | website

Lancashire

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Elite Course | 53 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Milton Keynes

Quadzilla | 164 kilometers | February 04, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Arizona

100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 23, 2016 | website

52K | 52 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

California

Bandit Ultra Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | January 30, 2016 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Fort Ord Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Ordnance 100K | 100 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy 50km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Florida

55K Ultra Individual Marathon (34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

55K Ultra Relay (each leg is 3.1 miles x 11 legs = 34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 05, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 25, 2016 | website

New York

100 Miler | 100 miles | January 23, 2016 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | January 23, 2016 | website

North Carolina

50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | January 30, 2016 | website

Maysville to Macon 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | January 30, 2016 | website

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Winter Buckeye Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Texas

Horseshoe Trail Run 50k | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Washington

Lake Youngs NUTS 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

St. Croix Scenic 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 24, 2016 | website

03:05:25 CLOSE

 

03:08:10

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SKYRUNNING UK 2016 Calendar Announced

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SKYRUNNING UK CALENDAR 2016

To keep you all excited and on your toes, Skyrunning UK are pleased to announce several key changes that will be implemented in 2016.

Prize Money

All Skyrunning UK races in 2016 will have a minimum prize purse of £500 awarded as £125, £75 and £50 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female.

UK Series

The Skyrunning UK Series will be implemented in 2016 and at the end of the year a male and female champion will be crowned. Points are awarded as outlined HERE. To qualify for the series, runners must participate and finish in a minimum of 4-races. Points are accumulated and the male and the female with the most points are the Skyrunning UK 2016 Series Campions. It is possible to run all Skyrunning UK races and use your best 4 performances for the ranking.

UK Series Prizes

In addition to prize money awarded at each race, the male and female 2016 Skyrunning UK Champions will receive:

  • Free entry into all Skyrunning UK races in the following year.
  • Guaranteed entry into a 2017 Skyrunner World Series event with 2-nights accommodation.
  • Prizes from Skyrunning UK sponsor, Raidlight

Needless to say, Skyrunning UK is booming!

Less Cloud, More Sky.

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V3K Ultra Skyrunning – June 18th

Distance/ascent: 55km, 4,000m

Main mountains and terrain type: The 15 highest mountains in Wales, Snowdon massive (including Crib Goch), Glyderau (inluding Tryfan) and Carneddau expect gnarly ground, a knife edged arete, grade 1 scrambles, boulder fields, scree and some great gentle grassy slopes to finish

The V3K crosses the best of Wales – gnarly edges, rocky inclines and grassy slopes. food. You’ll need to be mountain savvy with a good head for heights, confident scrambling technical terrain and be prepared for the greatest mountain day of your life.

Race entry HERE

Lakes Sky Ultra

Lakes Sky Ultra – July TBC* 

Distance/ascent: 54km/4300m

Main mountains and terrain type: Fairfield, Helvellyn, Swirral, Casty Cam & Striding Edge, Pinnacle Ridge, High Street and Red Screes. Its a mixture of single track trails, technical rocky ground and open fell. This is a race of 2 halves, with very technical running & graded rock scrambling in the 1st half, then faster and easier running on good trails for the second half. The course ascends and descends some of the most classic ridge lines taking in 3 of the most iconic scrambles in the Lakes.

The course is fast & furious. Be lulled into the race by ascending Fairfield via Dove Crag,then punished by Helvellyn’s Edges and the ascent to Pinnacle Ridge. Luckily there’s Patterdale CP & the second half to recover if your legs can still take it!

Note – New LSU propose a new addition for 2016. A SKY race. More news to follow via Skyrunning UK.

Race entry HERE

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Peak SkyRace – August 6th (tbc)*

Distance/ascent: 47km/ 2000m+.

The route is based on a local fell running challenge called the 5 Trigs. The race principally follows public footpaths passing close to or over the tops of Axe Edge, Roaches, Shuttlingsloe, Shinning Tor and Burbedge Edge. Competitors will cross fields, moorland, limestone and millstone grit peaks/escarpments.

Peak SkyRace is an ideal introduction to Skyrunning in the UK. The Peak District cannot compete with the altitude and ruggedness of the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. However do not think that this course will be easy, pacing is crucial. Go out too fast and you will pay the price in the later stages where most of the ascent and technical descent is found.

Race entry HERE * Entries will open when land permissions have been granted

Glencoe-Skyline

Glen Coe Skyline – September 16th, 17th and 18th 

Distance/ascent: 53km / 4200m+

Main mountains and terrain type: Buachaille Etive Mor, Bidean nam Bian, Aonach Eagach Ridge: extremly remote and serious Scottish mountains.

A route that dances along the jagged and lofty mountainous horizons above Scotland’s most famous Glen and Pass, with long and serious sections of grade III scrambling. Skills needed: scrambling, endurance, running

Note – New additions for 2016

There will be a VK Friday evening 16th September and a 25km ‘Ring of Steall‘ SkyRace race on the Saturday 17th (same high mountainous terrain at Glen Coe Skyline but without the technical scrambling sections).

Race entry HERE

 

3x3logo

3×3000 80k Ultra – September 24th

Distance/ascent:  80km / 4101m+

Main mountains and terrain type: Scafell Pike – Steep rocky terrain  throughout. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike is a vast boulder field. Initial part of descent is steep & covered with loose rocks.

Helvellyn – Long ascent then rolling mountain trails along the beautiful Helvellyn ridge line. Skiddaw – A long & steep climb on grassy terrain, summit scree/slate, fast descent on gravel/stone trails.

A unique ultra running event linking the Lake District’s highest mountains-Scafell Pike, Helvellyn & Skiddaw. Designed by 2013 World Trail Running Champion Ricky Lightfoot, the route offers a journey through the full spectrum of classic Lake District fell terrain.

Race entry HERE

Mourne Skyline MTR

Garmin Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race – October 22nd

Distance/ascent:  35km/ 3370m+

Main mountains and terrain type:  The course covers the highest peaks in  the Mourne Mountains, including Slieve Donard (850m), starting at sea-level on Newcastle Promenade and winding it’s way uphill onto forest and mountain trails, all surrounded by the most stunning scenery.

The seaside start, alongside the relentlessly tough (yet spectacular) course has proved popular with athletes.  You will need mountain-trail experience, endurance and courage for the race, which is technical in places.  Some speed will also help on the flat and fast sections, and the final 5k descent!

Race entry HERE* Please note entries will open on St Patricks Day (March) 2016.

******

Download this information in PDF HERE

LINKS

Go to Skyrunning UK on Facebook HERE

Go to the Skyrunning UK website HERE

Follow on Twitter @skyrunninguk

Kilian Jornet’s new book – The Invisible Border

Kilian Jornet

“Three men and a mountain, three men and an impossible adventure. An expedition to the most untamed Nepal, that of distant horizons and most remote peaks, with improbable climbs, intrepid descents, challenges, risks, dangers and life and death decisions. An expedition that is both an investigation, an escape and a reunion, where emotions and feelings are multiplied and feeling under the skin; where words, silences and memories acquire new depths.”

 

With humility and simplicity, Kilian Jornet invites us on his second book to run, to go further and to dare to explore the invisible border that separates sadness to happiness, life and death.

“This second book is more of a personal quest in search of both physical and emotional boundaries.”

The book is available (HERE) in Catalan, Spanish and French. Unfortunately no English version is available yet. It is possible to sign up for news here

On Amazon HERE

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FAST and LIGHT Salomon SRTV – Skyrunning

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Watch the film, Fast and Light at the bottom of this article

A trickle of piano noise from the local music school weaves its way through open window shutters left ajar to allow some breeze… the heat of the day can be stifling. It feels and sounds like a scene in a movie. Cobbled streets, stone arches, a wonderful old square, the chatter of children playing and the smell of a freshly brewed cappuccino in the air.

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Biella, or should I say, the International Skyrunning Federation HQ (and home of Lauri van Houten and Marino Giacometti) is atop a hill in a walled village close to the Aosta valley, just over an hour from Chamonix and in close proximity to Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn. It seems the perfect location for the home of pure mountain running. Biella lies in the foothills of the Alps in the Bo mountain range near Mt. Mucrone and Camino.

It is midway through the 2014 season, between Ice Trail Tarentaise and Trofeo Kima, I spend time with Lauri and Marino in Biella at their home in the mountains (Casina) Corteno Golgi and at Trofeo Kima to get an inside look at what makes this couple tick and how the Skyrunning calendar and its logistics fall into place. The African Attachment with Greg Fell, Dean Leslie and Kelvin Trautman were also filming for Salomon Running. Today, 20th Oct the preview film will be made live. ‪#‎FastandLight‬ is for me a special moment. I hope you enjoy the film and the related articles and images that are currently published worldwide to coincide with the films release.

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Mountains dominate the life of Marino and Lauri. It’s not a job; it’s a passion that dominates 12+ hours of every day. You will see the dynamic duo at all the Skyrunner® World Series races every year. In total, that is 15-events in 3-disciplines, VK, SKY and ULTRA. But these worldwide events are just the visible face of what the ISF does! Behind the scenes it’s a frenetic highly pressured scene of telephone calls, emails, logistical planning and negotiations that make the Skyrunner® World Series tick.

“We moved here as the sports brand Fila were based here. In the 90’s they were a key sponsor for Skyrunning,” says Lauri van Houten, Executive Director for the International Skyrunning Federation, “When Fila folded, we were left with a dilemma; should we stay or should we go? Stay we did and it feels natural and relaxed to be here now.”

It’s a scenario far removed from 1989 when Giacometti set a record running from the village of Alagna to the summit of Monte Rosa. 25-years of mountain running and today, iconic names such as Bruno Brunod and Fabio Meraldi are once again being talked about in the same breath as Kilian Jornet.

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Bruno Brunod

“Older generations were already Skyrunners. My grandfather crossed the mountains working for example. ‘We’ as Skyrunners added more speed but in essence it has always been the same thing, Skyrunners have always existed.” Bruno Brunod says. 

“What I liked was going quickly to the summit. I felt the same when I was a kid in the pastures, I always ran up and down the summits that surrounded me. It is something I felt inside, something I liked.”

In 2012, Skyrunning went through a revival. After careful and strategic planning, the ISF launched the new Sky Ultra Marathon Series with Transvulcania La Palma and a seminar, ‘Less Cloud, More Sky.’ The sport moved up a notch and became something that runners all over the world aspired to. It’s been called the ‘the next big thing’ but as Giacometti explains:

“There is nothing new in Skyrunning. It is just now that everyone is catching up with our vision from so many years ago.”

BIELLA

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Biella is a wonderful place. Calm and relaxing, to me, it is typically Italian. Located opposite a music school, the ISF headquarters and home of Marino Giacometti and Lauri van Houten resonate a calm and tranquility that seems far removed from the full-on days in and around and Skyrunner® World Series.
The sun shines and the daily bustle of Italian life provides a wonderful soundtrack that penetrates ones’ mind. Cars rumble over cobbled streets as they scoot off to work, mothers are heard chastising their child©iancorless.comIMG_5035ren as they amble to school. The click of an espresso machine and that wonderful noise as pressured water works its way through fresh coffee and the smell, oh the smell! Nothing beats a fresh coffee in the morning. It’s 7am and Marino is kicking off his day with a good strong shot of the dark stuff before donning glasses and opening his computer.

The office is adorned with memorabilia from 20+ years of travel and racing. The door plaque sums it up’ Skyrunners.’ In the corner, magazines are stacked in chronological order documenting a lifetime in sport.

Lauri joins us looking a little tired. Yesterday was another 18-hour day. It’s normal… it shouldn’t be but it is!

“What does a normal day look like for you Lauri?” I tentatively ask, knowing full well the answer.

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“How long have you got? I have no idea; I am speechless. I am a person that gets bored easy. This job is NEVER boring! I may have 5-spreadsheets open, 50 e-mails to look at, and a schedule of things to address and amend and then I need to coordinate with athletes, teams, team managers and race directors and media. My day starts with email. I often think oh my goodness and then the first forty or so emails arrive and then a daily grind starts. In addition to this, sometimes language is a challenge. I speak English, Italian, German but I have emails from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Afghanistan and so on. As I said, my day is never boring.”

Trofeo Kima is just around the corner. For many, me included, ‘Kima’ is the epitome of Skyrunning. Kilian Jornet sums it up well when he says:

“Picture a mountain terrain that has no paths, amidst glaciers; it is all crests, rocks, stretches of via Ferrata and all over a course that stretches 50-km. Kima is not athletics, it is mountaineering; pure Skyrunning!”

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Preparations are well underway for the race and in just 24-hours we will all need to travel to Milan for a press conference and then a journey will follow to the mountains, to Corteno Golgi and a stay at Marino’s mountain house, the ‘Casina’ before an onward journey to the Kima race itself.

“I m a hub, the person in the middle,” says Lauri. “But often you can’t plan how a day will unfold. I have a ‘to do’ list that obviously needs to get done but then things happen daily that need to be addressed immediately. It’s all about time management and you just can’t stick to a too rigid schedule as the guidelines constantly move and change. Kima is imminent and therefore many questions and problems arise. We also have a press conference in Milan, that requires work.”

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Marino looks over at us, he peeps over his glasses and smiles. My question. “Tell me where you come in Marino?” Seems to suggest that I am implying he does nothing.

“Now it’s difficult. We have so many races. I look at race profiles initially and it is easy to see from a quick glance what will and will not make a good Skyrunning race. Remember, my experience was mountaineering but we had to adapt my dreams for a worldwide audience. I look for mountains and mountains provide races and opportunities. I also need to consider locations, countries and how the schedule comes together.”

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The phone rings and Marino joins Fabio Meraldi in a conversation. Walking out of the office into the sunlight, Marino strides around the garden in animated discussion. The Italian sounds like bird song and with arms waving and gesticulating, plans are made for Kima and a series of interviews that will be filmed by The African Attachment on a new film about Skyrunning called, ‘Fast and Light.’

“Tell me about Trofeo Kima, because you designed this course, yes?”

“Kima is on the course of the Sentiero Roma. It’s a well known via ferrata route. It crosses the group of technical mountains in the area and passes through all the 7-refuges. We did the race in reverse for safety reasons but it is still a very technical race and ultimately it has become a beacon of Skyrunning. Ironically, for a Skyrunning race the course does not go to the summits! It is just not possible. However, it is a pure expression of Skyrunning.”

It is easy to look at the ISF calendar and see the Skyrunner® World Series and think easy! However, it takes 365-days to make those 15+ days happen. When one season ends, plans start immediately, if not before for the following season.

“We are no longer race organisers.” Lauri says, “We did in the past! We organised many races in logistically difficult places, such as Tibet, Mexico, Nepal and so on. I think we organised over 80-races! The World Series is a collection of races that we coordinate.”

Marino was a visionary and many like to call him the ‘Father’ of Skyrunning.

“Skyrunning differs to other sports and this is the discipline we launched in the late 1990’s. Skyrunning has always existed; all across the world it is just that it became a formalised sport. I therefore consider myself the father of Skyrunning for the aspect of race organisation because when it started 25-years ago nobody talked about this.”

Emails ping on arrival, the phone rings repeatedly and I suddenly realise that our day is going to be way too busy to continue discussing the working life of the ISF. Taking a place at my desk, I open my laptop and get on with my work in preparation for Kima. I sneak an opportunity pre lunch to stroll around the town, take in a cappuccino and photograph Biella. Lunch provides a break and in true Italian fashion, everything stops. It provides an opportunity to relax, take in a glass of wine and eat fresh and wholesome food in a meze style.

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“Marino is brilliant,” Lauri says as she pours white wine into my glass. “He took on the role of food shopping and preparation to allow me more time to work on logistics. It really is a life saver.”

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Marino is a fit man, he is lean, dark skinned from many hours outdoors and one may well think that is to be expected from someone who heads up the ISF and the sport of mountain running. It would be easy to assume that Marino spends 4 to 8-hours a day on the mountains, fulfilling his dreams and working his ISF role in and around his passion! In reality, Marino cycles or runs for 30-minutes a day. Somewhere deep inside I wonder, does he have regrets and then I find myself asking the question, “Do you regret the decisions you made all those years ago, to race direct and not race?”

“I made my choices. What can I say, for 2 to 3-years I was very disappointed with myself. I had run around Everest for example, but not to the top. Now I can’t go back. It’s a question of mountain mentality; I was born in a small valley, a small village with no sun in winter. You try to survive everyday and this forms your mentality. In my next life I hope to relax and enjoy simple pleasures.”

“But you must have dreams, aspirations. Do you have a bucket list; do you want to achieve anything else?”

“I want to go back to the mountains… it is just a dream! In 2016 I would like to go to the Everest North Face with Bruno and Kilian. I know it is impossible… but I can dream.”

It’s not often that I am stuck for words, but as I look into his eyes I feel sad. To me it seems as though Marino has given up on his personal dreams.

“Do you believe you can only live your dreams when you leave Skyrunning behind?”

“Skyrunning is our baby. But the baby has grown up. We would be lost without Skyrunning and we will be on board for as long as we can but obviously, in the near future we will hand over more duties to other people. Many of the people we work with are all very knowledgeable and passionate. That is stimulating and exciting. Skyrunning is here to stay, as we both are, have no fear!”

BIELLA gallery:

MILAN – Trofeo Kima press conference

Milan is not far away and it’s on our way to the ‘Casina’ thus making the Kima press conference logical and workable into a day of travel. We are late but Marino drives like an Italian! A clean white shirt, Armani jeans and Mr ISF looks pretty darn dapper. Lauri is dressed in black with large shades. I suddenly feel very British. Italians do ‘style’ with ease and of course, where better to look sharp than Milan. I have no choice, I am on a working trip and my wardrobe doesn’t extend to looking cool.

It’s hot in the city and the traffic irritates me after the quiet of Biella. Walking into a large office block we are escorted to the 4th floor and Kima delegates greet us. It’s all kisses and handshakes. Old friends meet new friends and the banter is relaxed.

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A large table with place names adds formality to the event. Marino takes his place and the conference begins. It’s a show for local press and global papers and all part of the valued process to promote the ISF, Skyrunning and give valued exposure to race sponsors.

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Post the conference, a meeting takes place and Kima is discussed. Great emphasis is placed on schedules in regard to the helicopter. Kima is so technical and demanding that a helicopter is the only way to transport media around the event. Bad weather; no media!

Helicopters are expensive but at Kima we often have 2-helicopters at our disposal for 8+ hours. It may well be why I enjoy the race so much. It’s an adventure. Believe me, to be afforded the opportunity to see the worlds best runners on arguably the best course is something I will never take for granted.

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“We have to do these press conferences, it’s important for all concerned but it’s a drain on our valuable time and for every hour, minute and second we are here, more and more emails and questions flood into our respective in-boxes,”Lauri says as we rush to the car for our onward journey to the Casina. “It has a knock on effect for tomorrow and the days after, what can you do?”

CASINA – Corteno Golgi 

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The ‘Casina’ is a mountain house in Corteno Golgi close to Marino’s birthplace of San Antonio. Spread over 2-floors it is almost two completely different buildings. Upstairs is all wood, a combination of rustic/ modern and a wonderfully relaxing place that has been heavily influenced by Lauri. Downstairs is the original building, un-touched for years and one that harks back to Marino’s past. The garage is a Skyrunning museum of ice axes, helmets, shoes, race bibs, clothing, videos and old slides.

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Surrounded by green fields and mountains on either side I suddenly see Marino in a new light. He his home! He points at peaks and explains his childhood; his passions and I suddenly feel very honoured and privileged.

“The African Attachment (TAA) arrive tomorrow Ian and you are going to be able to spend a couple of days in the mountains with Marino. They are filming a piece on Skyrunning and they want to take Marino back to his childhood, revisit old haunts and film Marino running in the mountains.”

I met Dean Leslie and Greg Fell from TAA at Transvulcania La Palma back in 2012 and since then we have kept in-touch and often crossed paths at races all over the world. I am excited at the guys arriving and the opportunity to work alongside them and shoot stills, a real perk of the job. Photographer, Kelvin Trautman is directing the film and although I haven’t met him before, we soon hit it off and I realise that what is in store; two awesome days in the mountains.

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The evening is amazing. The sky is adorned with clouds and as we climb with cameras, Marino runs to the instructions of Kelvin.

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Looking for ridges and technical lines, Marino embraces the challenge and is arguably having the most fun he has had in ages.

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Days don’t get much better than this… at the summit of Monte Padrio the light is incredible and as the sun disappears for the day we are rewarded with a colour palette of orange, red and gold. Marino is in silhouette on the Skyline and I realise I am in a moment, a moment that I won’t ever forget.

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Sleep is not something you need when working with the ISF. The following day starts early with a short drive and we are suddenly looking at Marino’s childhood home.

Marino's childhood home

Marino’s childhood home

Marino laughs as he recounts boyhood memories. “I used to go mushroom picking in this area.”

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Following him up the trail, Kelvin wants Marino to go back 50-years to those mischievous days as a boy. Immediately Marino finds a mushroom, he removes his Buff and ties a knot in one end to create a cloth bag. Moving left to right on the trail, the bag slowly fills with the rewards from the land.

“In the Valle Campo Vecchio I would go skinny dipping in the river.”

Marino may well have regretted this sentence as just an hour later he was running along grass banks barefoot and then submerging himself in the ice cold river water from the mountains.

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Today, Marino may well have fulfilled some of those dreams that he thought might not ever come back. It was special.

The warmth of the log burner in the Casina provided that ultimate feeling of contentment that one longs for after a day in the mountains. Marino’s body was aching, his legs heavy from the repeated running but beneath a tired façade I knew he had had a good. Red wine had been decanted to glasses and dinner was moments away.

As we relax into the evening, the Casina provided a very different ambiance to Biella. It’s more relaxed. The pressures and deadlines still exist, they have not gone away but the mountains and mountain life make us all realize why we are here. It provides perspective.

Eager to resume my questions from the previous day, I hold back. Now is not the time… it has been a great day, a great couple of days and we need to savour the moments.

“We have plans for some very exciting races at high altitude that will be very technical in future years.  2012 was an important stepping-stone. Less Cloud. More Sky was an important phase in the development of Skyrunning. One thing that was apparent is the desire from runners for technical and high altitude sport. So, here we are following our heritage for a new era.”

My concerns of talking shop are eroded away as Lauri brings our conversation to present day.

“So, am I correct in assuming that we won’t see races like Templiers or UROC in future ISF race calendars?” I ask.

“We needed to expand, to grow and introduce Skyrunning to a new audience. Templiers and UROC allowed this to a certain extent but we will go back to our roots moving forward. In America it is harder to find courses but we are working on this. UROC was a high altitude race just not technical. The Rut has shown we can find the correct style of course. We would love to do a race from Cervinia or Chamonix to the summit of Mont-Blanc but we can’t do this for everyone!”

“Do you think it is a happy coincidence that the revival of Skyrunning coincides with the rise of Kilian Jornet?”

“Absolutely, however, it is no coincidence. Bruno Brunod was Kilian’s hero. Kilian followed his dreams and the inspiration Bruno provided, Kilian is now the epitome of Skyrunning. When we first met Kilian in 2006, he impressed immediately. He was a natural Skyrunner. We all know the history; he was born in the mountains and as such he has just developed in an organic way. As I said, a natural.”

Kilian Jornet

Conversation turns to the day’s events; Lauri is eager to enquire how filming went. We laugh as Marino explains in detail his plunge in the ice-cold water of the river and how his fingers turned blue.

“Kelvin worked Marino hard today with his demands but it was great fun. This area, the mountains and the small village are all quite special. I can understand completely why Marino loves to escape here.”

Another fried mushroom is removed from the platter and added to my plate. To think, just this morning Marino was collecting these very mushrooms from his childhood haunts. He had prepared them in the traditional manner and the simple delicacy provided the perfect accompaniment to the surroundings and company.

The Casina gallery:

Filming with The African Attachment gallery:

TROFEO KIMA

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Emelie Forsberg looked into the lens of the TAA camera, smiled in a way that only Emelie can and with a nervous and infectious giggle whispered the words:

“Two years ago in my first year of racing I was fortunate to race at Trofeo Kima. I looked at this course and thought; really… you can run a race on this course?”

©iancorless.com-8663I too had found my first Kima experience equally mesmerising. My breath had been taken away by the drama and severity of the course. I had never seen anything quite like it and the impact was profound. Hopping from one section of the course to another via helicopter added some serious icing to the Kima cake.

A vertical wall of rock and suddenly a flash of red and white. Kilian appears, hand-over-hand as he descends via chains and then flies past us with a wave as though running a 5k. He looks so incredibly relaxed.

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Kasie Enman is the first lady and this provides some confusion. Emelie Forsberg had had a convincing lead; what had happened? Finally, Emelie arrives 5th lady, in tears but running like a demon. She had gone off course and lost almost an hour. Trying to claw back time she takes risks; 4th place, 3rd place and then 2nd, was it possible to take back victory?

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Unfortunately, no! Kasie Enman held on to a convincing lead and the records will show that the American was the 2014 Kima ladies champion. In the male race, Kilian Jornet had the race of his life and in doing so broke his own course record.

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Fabio Meraldi makes an appearance and like a long lost son is embraced into the arms and hearts of the Skyrunning throng:

“I remember the feeling, like a drug, feeling this moving energy… I still get goose-bumps just talking about it.”

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The party atmosphere continues and minutes after the award ceremony, clouds turn from grey to black and a warning clap of thunder alerts everyone that a change is coming. The heavens open and rain falls from the sky like a series of rods being thrown. It’s a biblical storm and we all look at each other and simultaneously shake our heads. Lauri relays our thoughts, “Wow, thank god this rain and storm did not arrive during the race.”

Another race over, another successful event but there is no rest. This evening a glass of red and a nice meal but tomorrow it’s back to the grind. Another race is only weeks away and like déjà vu the process will repeat itself.

“Lauri, and you, your dreams?”

“To expand Skyrunning and see the growth continue with the collaboration from those who love the sport as we do.”

“Will you ever be able to let go?”

“Why, why would I want to let go? This is my life: I love it. Maybe I would like less stress but I like challenges, I like work and I don’t like to be bored.”

I smile knowing full well that her words are true and that in all honesty, I already knew the answer.

“One thing is for sure, I won’t be in the Bahamas filing my nails everyday, I can guarantee that will never happen.”

 

The KIMA galleries:

******

FastandLight Salomon SRTV

Fast and Light is released on October 20th 2015 at 1600 via Salomon SRTV HERE

Credits and thanks

Quotes from Bruno Brunod, Fabio Meraldi, Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet are taken from the film, FAST and LIGHT. ©TheAfricanAttachment and ©SalomonRunning.

Many thanks to Lauri van Houten and Marino Giacometti the ISF and Skyrunning.

Many thanks to Trofeo Kima and all the staff.

All images and content ©iancorless.com

A series of articles will be published worldwide to coincide with the release of Fast and Light and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the editors and creatives involved in this process.

Look out for articles in: Adventure Types – Australia/ NZ, Canadian Running Magazine – Canada, Trail Chile – Chile, TRAIL Magazin – Germany, Ski Alper – Italy, Trail Run – Japan, Poland, ALERG – Romania, Running The Cape – South Africa, Outdoor Fitness Magazine – UK, Like The Wind – UK, Nature Trail – France, Spain and many more.

 

Limone Extreme SkyRace 2015 – Race Summary and Images

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Another season of Skyrunning concluded in Limone sul Garda with the Limone Extreme SkyRace, the final race in the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series. As expected, it was a day of high emotions that ultimately resulted in blood, sweat, tears and elation.

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Although race day conditions were ideal, a new course had been created after the thunderstorms of Thursday night and Friday morning. The resulting race although the same distance (23km) had an additional 800m of elevation and descent. Work it out! 23km and 2800m of elevation gain and descent, that can only mean one thing; pain!

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One thing became clear though post race, although this new course was tougher it had a unanimous nod from all the runners that the additional difficulty was a good thing; that’s Skyrunning for you!

Final races in a series can often have a forgone conclusion of who will be crowned respective male and female Skyrunner® World Series champions, not here in Limone. It was wide open and all to fight for.

Click on the images to view pre race photographs:

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In the men’s race, Remi Bonnet once again proved that we have a star in the making. He followed on from the previous nights VK victory with a world-class SKY performance that left every other runner in the race trailing in his wake. It was stunning to watch. This course is tough, don’t doubt it! Remi ran every step. He has an incredible style, almost shuffling as he moves from left-to-right foot in small movements. It’s incredibly effective and ultimately impossible to follow. Despite him winning the race outright, he could not follow up his Skyrunner® World Series victory for the VK distance as he did not have a result on a Continental race, had he had this, he may well have been the 2015 champion?

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Behind Remi, series leader, Tadei Pivk grabbed the bull by the horns and followed the young Swiss runner with 100% determination. His style on the climbs was in complete contrast to Remi; he almost fought the terrain! On the final long descent back down to the Lake and the finish line in Limone, I had expected Tadei to close the gap as he descends incredibly well. Alas no, the day was not for him but his 2nd place gave him the ultimate prize of the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series title.

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Ever present Manuel Merillas, also a strong contender for the overall series ran a well paced race and moved from 6th, 5th and 4th to finally finish 3rd. It was a great result and ultimately secured his 2nd place in the Skyrunner® World Series rankings ahead of Martin Anthamatten who took the final podium slot despite finishing 13th on the day, no doubt carrying over fatigue from his recent victory in the USA.

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In the ladies race a hotly anticipated battle between Laura Orgue and Megan Kimmel really came to fruition and as always happens in these scenarios, somebody wins, somebody looses. Laura Orgue already had the Skyrunner® World Series title for the VK distance secure before Friday’s VK race and she made the very sensible decision not to race and save her legs for the following day and Saturday’s Sky race.

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Running at the front of the race, the VK specialist really embraced the additional 800m of vertical gain and used all her climbing skills to pull off a stunning victory. It was a gutsy ‘give it everything’ performance and one that Maite Maiora tried to spoil. They traded blows throughout the day and Laura managed to squeeze ahead and find those extra percentages of performance to finish just 17-seconds ahead of the La Sportiva runner.

Could Megan Kimmel finish 3rd and secure the world series title?

No! A tough day in the office and carried over fatigue from a recent victory in the USA’s Flagstaff race resulted in Megan feeling tired all day. Of course, the additional 800m of vert didn’t help. Megan finally finished 6th and just had to accept that ‘these things happen!’

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Oihana Kortazar followed up a great run from the previous days VK with the final podium place ahead of Elisa Desco and Yngvild Kaspersen.

A season comes to an end and with it we have memories, emotions and passion. The 2015 Skyrunner® World Series champions are:

Laura Orgue and Remi Bonnet are the SWS champions for the VK distance.

Laura Orgue and Tadei Pivk are the SWS champions for the SKY distance.

Emelie Forsberg and Luis Alberto Hernando are SWS champions for the ULTRA distance.

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Attention now turns to 2016 and the calendar of races that will once again secure the hearts and minds of the mountain running community.

Less Cloud, More Sky!

Results

  1. Laura Orgue 3:18:50
  2. Maite Maiora 3:19:07
  3. Oihana Kortazar 3:22:24
  4. Elisa Desco 3:28:00
  5. Yngvild Kaspersen 3:28:40
  1. Remi Bonnet 2:45:25
  2. Tadei Pivk 2:51:08
  3. Manuel Merillas 2:52:52
  4. Jokin Lizeaga2:53:55
  5. Aritz Egea 2:55:47

Moments from the finish line, click on images to view larger:

RACE DAY IMAGES – more images to follow as soon as wifi becomes available

Check out my Facebook page HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Limone Extreme VK 2015 – Summary and Images

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Laura Orgue and Remi Bonnet are crowned 2015 Skyrunner® World Series Champions for the VK distance in Limone on the shore of Lake Garda at the 4th edition of the Limone Extreme race.

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Torrential rain and thunderstorms the previous night and morning of the VK resulted in a course change instigated by the race organisation for safety reasons. The resulting course was very different to the original route and considerably longer at 6km. Less steep, less technical and considerably more runnable. Of course this may very well have changed the dynamic of the race but the usual protagonists for the VK distance still performed at the highest level.

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VK specialist Urban Zemmer dictated the early pace showing his all around ability to run and drop his hands on his knees and grind out a fast pace on the steeper gradients. However, it was rising star of the sport, Remi Bonnet, who finally made his presence felt at the front. Too many observers this was expected after his recent performances at the RUT in the USA and his most recent victory at Lantau 2 Peaks in Hong Kong. Tromso VK winner, Stian Angermund placed 3rd ahead of Hannes Perkmann VK ever-present Jonathan Wyatt in 5th.

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In the ladies’ race, Laura Orgue already had the Skyrunner® World Series title sewn up based on previous victories. Despite this, her plan was to run the VK and SKY. However, in the days before the VK, Laura had picked up a virus and decided it was best to miss the distance she loves:

Hard decision today, I need to rest instead of race in the VK. I’m not feeling 100% so I have decided to recover for tomorrow’s SKY race of 23km and 2800m of elevation!”

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Last minute entrant and VK specialist, Christel Dewalle was the fastest lady on the day and lead from the front constantly trailed by Antonella Confortola, Maite Maiora and Norwegian rising star, Yngvild Kaspersen who moved up to 2nd in the overall rankings.

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The ladies’ positions remained this way all the way to the line with Spanish runner Oihana Kortazar taking the 5th spot.

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A total of 296-runners toed the line of the VK which started at the picturesque location of Marconi lakefront on the shores of Lake Garda. The overall elevation gain of the new route was 1200m+ in a distance of 6km.

Attention now turns the SKY race which will start today, Saturday at 1200 local time. This course has also been changed due to Thursday nights and Friday mornings excessive weather. The new route has an additional 800m of vertical gain which makes what was a tough race, exceptionally tough!

RESULTS

1-Christel Dewalle (50’48”)

2-Antonella Confortolla (53’12”)

3-Maite Maiora (53’46”)

4-Yngvild Kaspersen (54’58”)

5-Oihana Kortazar (56’27”)

 

1-Rémi Bonnet (43’51”)

2-Urban. Zemmer (44′)

3-Stian Angermund. (44’13”)

4-Hannes Perkmann (44’26”)

5-Jono Wyatt (44’43”)

 

Skyrunner® World Series ranking 2015:

  1. Laura Orgue
  2. Yngvild Kaspersen
  3. Maite Maiora

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  1. Remi Bonnet
  2. Nejc Kuhar
  3. Ferran Teixido

Limone sul Garda also provided a location for the Skyrunning AGM where the 2014 calendar, 2015 calendar and the future of the sport was discussed.

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Less Cloud, More Sky!

Episode 97 – Bonnet Symonds Pierson

 

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 97 of Talk Ultra has an interview with Andy Symonds about his return to running and top results after prolonged injury, we speak with Remi Bonnet rising star of the VK and SKY distance and Mariepaule Pierson is back from Atacama and tells us all about it. We have Talk Training, the News and Speedboat Karl.

00:01:30 Show Start

00:07:30 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

LANTAU 2 PEAKS

1 – Remi Bonnet 2:14:07

2 – Manuel Merillas 2:24:29

3 – Tadei Pivk 2:26:39

1 – Yngvild Kaspersen 2:42:04

2 – Laura Orgue 2:49:58

3 – Maite Maiora 2:51:19

00:12:56 INTERVIEW

REMI BONNET

UTAT 105km/ 6500m +

1 – Andy Symonds 13:41

2 – Julien Chorier 14:20

3 – Omar Bouhrim 15:32

1 – Andrea Huser 15:47

2 – Francesca Canepa 19:34

3 – Geraldine Leroy 23:08

Other races are 68km, 42km and 26km

WARRIOR DASH

Max King 2-years in a row wins $30,000 – F***!

CROWN OF THE CONTINENT TRAVERSE

Mike Wolfe and Mike Foote run an incredible 600-mile FKT from Missoula to Banff. We will have both Mike’s on the next Talk Ultra to tell us all about it. Read HERE

LAKE TAHOE FKT

Krissy Moehl 47:29 new record by 2-hours Read HERE

GRINDSTONE 100

1 – Brian Rusiecki 20:24

1 – Amy Rusiecki 23:36

FLAGSTAFF SKY RACE ULTRA

1 – Dan Kraft 5:49

2 – Gabe McGowan 5:54 ?

3 – Josh Arthur 6:00

1 – Ashley Erba 6:47

2 – Meredith Edwards 7:39

3 – Jen Benna 7:47

FLAGSTAFF SKY RACE SKY

1 – Martin Anthamatten 3:59

2 – Joe Gray 4:06

3 – Tim Parr 4:39

1 – Megan Kimmel 4:29

2 – Kristi Knecht 5:04

3 – Corinne Malcolm 5:12

TNF CHALLENGE WISCONSIN

1 – Tyler Sigi 5:55

2 – Dylan Bowman (went of course) 6:28

3 – John Knudson 6:49

1 – Molly Culver 8:10

2 – Christine Murphy 8:18

3 – Emily Kratz 8:22

LAKES IN A DAY 

1 – Kim Collison 9:12:07

2 – Marcis Gubats 10:27:48

3 – Stuart Dickson 10:49:05

1 – Helen Leigh 11:00:10

2 – Sabrina Verjee 11:29:59

3 – Lucy Spain 11:58:48

 

00:48:27 INTERVIEW 

ANDREW SYMONDS

 

01:22:46 INTERVIEW

MARIEPAULE PIERSON

 

02:11:42 TALK TRAINING

TALK TRAINING – BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING read the document HERE

 

UP & COMING RACES

Andorra

Els 2900 Alpine Run | 70 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Australia

New South Wales

Buckley’s Chance 50km Off-trail Ultra | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Hume & Hovell 100 | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Hume & Hovell 50 | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Survival Run Australia 75km | 75 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Washpool/Gibraltar World Heritage Trails 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Queensland

Blackall 100 | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Blackall 100 – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

South Australia

Heysen 105 | 105 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Victoria

Ned Kelly Chase 100km – Wangaratta Fitness Fun Addicts | 100 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Austria

Bécs-Pozsony-Budapest Szupermaraton | 317 kilometers | October 19, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Q50 Costa Rica Ultramarathon | 86 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Finland

Western Finland

Wihan kilometrit – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Wihan kilometrit – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

France

Aude

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

Aveyron

Endurance Trail | 106 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Grand Trail des templiers | 71 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Intégrale des Causses | 60 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Corse-du-Sud

Corsica Coast Race – 95 km | 95 kilometers | October 29, 2015 | website

Haute-Corse

Corsica Coast Race – 170 km | 170 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Ille-et-Vilaine

Entre Palis et Mégalithes | 64 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Savoie

Grand Trail du Lac – 72 km | 72 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Röntgenlauf Ultramarathon | 63 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Greece

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

India

West Bengal

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Israel

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 200 Km Run | 200 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 61 Km Run | 61 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Italy

Campania

Amalfi Coast Trail | 79 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Cormorultra | 69 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Piedmont

Lago d’Orta Ultra Trail – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Lago D’Orta Ultra Trail – 80 km | 80 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Puglia

Run & Go 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Run & Go 100 Miglia | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Ultramarathon | 81 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Sicily

Etna Tour Trail | 67 kilometers | October 29, 2015 | website

Japan

Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Jordan

Jordan Running Adventure Race – 190 km | 190 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Jordan Running Adventure Race – 70 km | 70 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Mexico

Carrera de Baja Mexican Trail | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Nepal

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

Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Portugal

Azores Triangle Adventure | 103 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail das Aldeias do Xisto | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Réunion

La Mascareignes | 67 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Le Grand Raid | 164 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Trail de Bourbon | 93 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

South Africa

Bonitas Golden Gate Challenge | 70 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon | 250 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultima Frontera – 166 km | 166 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultima Frontera – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultima Frontera – 83 km | 83 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultra-Trail Gran Vuelta Valle Del Genal | 125 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Tenerife Bluetrail 60 km | 59 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Tenerife Bluetrail 94 km | 94 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Trail de la Serra de Montsant | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Valencian Community

Mondúber Utrail | 80 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Sweden

Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Taiwan

UltraTaiwan 100 | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

UltraTaiwan 50 | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Stage Run | 260 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Turkey

Cappadocia Trail 60km | 62 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

The North Face Cappadocia Ultra Trail | 110 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Cumbria

Ennerdale 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Devon

East Devon Way Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

East Devon Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

East Devon Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Ultra – Red Route | 42 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Black Route | 50 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

West Devon Way Ultra – Black Route | 48 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

West Devon Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Dorset

Wessex Ridgeway Ultra – Black Route | 52 miles | October 21, 2015 | website

Wessex Ridgeway Ultra – Red Route | 42 miles | October 21, 2015 | website

Durham

Original Mountain Marathon | 52 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Hampshire

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Black Route | 52 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Blue Route | 35 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Oxfordshire

Autumn 100 | 100 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Rotherham

Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham International Trail Event | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Somerset

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

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

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

Suffolk

Coastal Trail Series – Suffolk – Ultra | 34 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

West Sussex

Olympic Way Ultra – Black Route | 44 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Wiltshire

Clarendon Way Ultra – Black Route | 48 miles | October 22, 2015 | website

Clarendon Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 22, 2015 | website

Worcestershire

Halloween 7in7 | 295 kilometers | October 26, 2015 | website

USA

Arizona

Cave Creek Thriller 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

California

Coyote Ridge 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

EC 100 | 101 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

EC 50 | 51 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Lake Hodges 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Stinson Beach 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Twin Peaks 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Twin Peaks 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Colorado

Indian Creek 51 km | 51 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Indian Creek 52 Mile | 52 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Connecticut

Bimbler’s Bluff 50k | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Delaware

Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Florida

Jacks 50k Trail Race | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Mutual Mine 50K | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

“Running for the Bay!” 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Hawaii

Peacock Ultramarathons 100K | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Peacock Ultramarathons 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Illinois

Des Plaines River Tail 50 Miles | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Maine

The Pounder | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

The Punisher | 50 miles | October 18, 2015 | website

Maryland

Patapsco Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Surf the Murph 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Surf the Murph 50M | 50 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Missouri

Dogwood Canyon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Nebraska

G.O.A.T.z 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

New Hampshire

Ghost Train Ultra Race 100M | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 45M | 45 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 60M | 60 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 75M | 75 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 90M | 90 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Deadman Peaks Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Triple Lakes Trail 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon 50k | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon 50M | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Ohio

Stone Steps 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100K | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Oregon

Elk-Kings Mtn Traverse 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Quad State Quad Buster | 46 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK | 50 miles | October 25, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Ragnar Relay Tennessee | 196 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Texas

Big Cedar Endurance Run 100 Miler | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50K | 50 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Cactus Rose 100 Mi Trail Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Cactus Rose 50 Mi Trail Run | 50 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Trans-Pecos Ultra | 163 miles | October 18, 2015 | website

Utah

Goblin Valley Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

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

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

Virginia

50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

The Wild Oak Trail 100 “Hot” TWOT | 100 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Washington

Ft. Steilacoom 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

SCOTT Cougar Mountain Series 50k | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

West Virginia

Run Around the Gorge | 69 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

02:39:23 CLOSE 

 

02:42:12

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Limone Extreme 2015 – Race Preview

 

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Limone Extreme brings to a close the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series and what a year it has been! It only seems like 5-minutes ago that Luis Alberto Hernando and Emelie Forsberg crossed the finish line at Transvulcania Ultramarathon. Of course, these two Skyrunner’s concluded their ‘ultra’ years with Skyrunner® World Series titles at Ultra Pirineu. It was an incredible year for them both, they are the respective World, European and Skyrunner® World Series champions for the distance.

Limone has hosted the Skyrunner® World Series finals for the past 2-years and once again it will provide the arena to conclude the VK and the SKY distances. The VK is spectacular as it is run under the illumination of head torches as the runners climb 1000m under darkness.

The following day is the SKY race and what a race we have in store.

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Megan Kimmel and rising star Remi Bonnet head up a world-class field that is without doubt a who’s who of Skyrunning. It’s all to fight for.

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MEN

Remi Bonnet, although victorious at the RUT and Lantau 2 Peaks will not be able to contend the Skyrunner® World Series title even if he wins at Limone. Unfortunately, he does not have a +1 race as required in the ranking for 2015. On recent form, one has to say that he is the one to beat. Limone represents a perfect challenge for the young Swiss runner and the distance currently falls into his ‘perfect’ distance.

It’s going to be no easy race though!

Francois Gonon, Marco De Gasperi, Ionut Zinca, Manuel Merillas, Tom Owens, Thorbjorn Ludvigsen, Tadei Pivk, Thibault Baronian, Aritz Egea, Martin Anthamatten and a strong contingent from La Sportiva that includes Marco Moletto will all look to topple Bonnet from the top. Add last years’ winner Petro Mamu and Zach Miller from the USA and we have what may well be one of the most exciting races of the year.

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Manuel Merillas was in form in Hong Kong and scored valuable 2nd place points and when the race was over he said, the fight goes on! He is a fierce competitor and the Limone course will suit him.

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Tadei Pivk tops the SWS and he will be looking for a top drawer performance to maintain his foothold at the top of the rankings. He is going to have a tough battle on his hands but as he has proved in the past at Zegama, Dolomites and so on, he can do it!

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Aritz Egea will go out hard, lead from the front and try to hold on for grim life to the end. He has had a great year this year and with a series of top results. He will be in the mix at Limone but he will need a great run to make the podium.

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Marco De Gasperi had a bad day at Lantau 2 Peaks and was frustrated with his run. Here on ‘home-soil’ he will hopefully revel on the terrain and he will look to repeat his victory from 2012.

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Ionut Zinca was returning from injury at Lantau 2 Peaks and lacked that ‘zip’ that comes from racing regularly. With a race in his legs, he may well find that his form is back for a race in which he has performed well at before.

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Petro Mamu beat Kilian last year and that is no easy task, so he can’t be ruled out this year. However, even if he wins it will have no impact on the SWS series as he has not contended any other races. His journey to the shores of Lake Garda are for financial gain should he win the price purse.

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Zach Miller also will not contest the SWS but he is a runner who only knows how to run one way; hard and fast. His hold on for your life approach scares the hell out of me and maybe him sometimes, but it makes for exciting racing. I just wonder if this race is too short for his running style?

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Tom Owens loves running up and down fast and has all the skill sets required to excel on this Limone course. That is fell running for you! He had a good run at the RUT has been back home in Scotland lately doing what he loves most; running in the mountains.

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Martin Anthamatten won Ultraks, recently beat Joe Gray in the USA and is on fire. Could Limone be a great end to the year?

Current SWS rankings have Tadei Pivk topping the podium for the series with 366-points, Manuel Merillas 2nd with 332-points and Tom Owens 3rd with 268-points. The final race of the series has a bonus of 20% so who will come out on top?

LADIES

The SWS Ladies ranking currently is Laura Orgue, Elisa Desco, Maite Maiora and importantly Megan Kimmel in 4th – points are 364, 350, 322, and 300 respectively.

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Megan Kimmel has been on fire this year and is the odds on favourite for victory in Limone and in reality, she is the one to beat for the SWS. Her ability to hold her own uphill and then descend fast is what is setting her apart in 2015. The only glitch came at Matterhorn Ultraks when she ran out of steam while leading the race. The SKY distance though when at 20-25km is perfect for the American.

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Laura Orgue has been a revelation at the SKY distance. Always considered a VK specialist, she has grown into the longer distances and has performed exceptionally well. She is the eternal 2nd after Dolomites, the RUT and Lantau. Can she win in Limone? I anticipate Laura to lead the charge to the first summit, the question will come if she can hold on for the drop back to the lake.

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Elisa Desco may well upset the apple cart. She will need a perfect day and Megan to have a below par day. I don’t see that happening. Although placing 4th in Hong Kong, Elisa had an awful race due to the typhoon conditions.

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Maite Maiora has raced a great deal in 2015 and has always comes up with the results! She recently placed 3rd in Lantau 2 Peaks under tough conditions and she will be coming to Limone looking to make the podium once again. Don’t rule her out, she is a fierce competitor.

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Yngvild Kaspersen like Remi Bonnet is shaking up the SKY distance. It’s so great to see these 20-year olds rise in the sport. Her victories at Tromso and Lantau were quite spectacular, at Limone she will need a little luck on her side to take the top slot. Like Remi, Yngvild does not have a +1 and so therefore cannot qualify for the SWS.

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Stevie Kremer has won in the past here and been crowned SWS champion. 2015 has been a mixed year for the pocket rocket. For example, at Hong Kong she flew in the night before the race after almost 20-hours in the air. I guess it will be a similar story in Limone. The reality is, despite how talented you are, you can’t give those % gains away against this quality of field. Stevie will be in the mix for sure.

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Emelie Forsberg* and Kasie Enman will also race the SKY distance and as we all know, either of them could win. *My gut reaction is that Emelie will enjoy the run and let the ladies battle out the SWS and Kasie will push hard and finish just outside the top-3.

*As I expected, Emelie has decided not to race: “I decided not to! I prefer beeing super fresh before my winter season in both mind and body!”

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Watch out for Azara Garcia (winner at Zegama-Aizkorri) Oihana Kortazar and Martina Valmassoi who podiumed at the RUT ultra.

VK

Could Remi Bonnet and Laura Orgue do the ‘Limone Double?’ It is very possible and what a story that would make.

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Remi for sure has the ability and skill to nail a tough VK and then less than 12-hours later run a SKY race and win. So yes, he is an odds on favourite for the win.

Francois Gonon though will most certainly create a stumbling block for him. Particularly after that impressive VK in Chamonix what seems like lifetime ago. However, the format in Limone is different. It’s not a time trial set off in 30-second intervals, it’s a mass start and therefore early positioning is critical. It may not suit the fast Scott runner?

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Martin Anthamatten and Stian Angermund may well infiltrate the podium places. Particularly Stian, he loves a VK as he showed at Tromso.

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We can’t talk VK without strong mentions for Urban Zemmer, William Bon Mardion, Nijc Kuhar, Nadir Maguet and Marco Moletto. These 5 runners all run for La Sportiva and they VK specialists. Urban has won here in the past. Can he do it again? Expect them all to figure in or around the top-5.

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As mentioned, Laura Orgue like Remi will be the odds on favourite for the victory. I don’t really see anyone beating her! She could save her legs for the following days SKY race but that is not her style, for me, she will go all out.

We can expect a strong challenge to come from Kasie Enman, Yngvild Kaspersen, Victoria Kreuzer, Beatrice Delflorian, Francesca Rossi and Serena Vittori.

All the action starts on Friday with a night time VK and then the SKY race takes place on Saturday.

Limone Extreme’s addition into the Skyrunner® World Series, has seen the race grow by 400% since 2012. 2015 will have 1,000 particpants in the two races (760 and 240 respectively).

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

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

Lantau 2 Peaks 2015 – Race Summary and Images

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Hong Kong is a cacophony of noise, colour and experiences. Add heat and high humidity and it provides a very unique setting for the 4th race in the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series.

The race run by Action Asia Events starts and finishes in Tung Chung on Lantau Island and as the name suggests, takes in the 2 peaks; Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak. In just 23km’s the races climbs and drops a total of 3975m. ‘Steps’ offer unique terrain that signifies a Hong Kong race and ones’ ability to go up and down is taken to a new level by this demanding terrain.

Two days of great Hong Kong weather unfortunately deteriorated the day before the race and many of the elite runners’ worst fears came true on race day when rain continued to fall accompanied by gale force winds that were rated as a level-3 typhoon. It’s not that elite runners don’t like running in the rain; not all. However, slick stone steps with a layer of water are a potential accident waiting to happen in any scenario, add ‘racing’ to the max and pushing the pace require a leap of faith. The wind was so strong at times you would be lifted of your feet and thrown like a piece of rubbish on the trail.

Yes, the 2015 Lantau 2 Peaks was one to remember!

The race was ultimately about the rising of two stars; Remi Bonnet and Yngvild Kaspersen. Young guns having some fun with a smile and a passion. They really did show the rest of the field a master-class in running in the extremely tough conditions.

Race Report

Runners had arrived in Hong Kong a couple of days before the race to check out the course, adjust to the humidity and explore a little of what Hong Kong has to offer. Two days of excellent weather unfortunately turned sour the day before the race as storms came in from the sea, torrential rain and the possibility of a typhoon!

The island of Lantau provides a very different race experience to what one can expect in Europe. Stairs (stone steps irregularly placed) provide a key element of the course not only going up but coming down. The wet adds an additional element and one that would test each and every runner on race day.

Starting in Tung Chunk at 0730, the runners had a fast and furious start over 2km’s before the climbing would start to the first peak of the day, Sunset Peak. The predicted typhoon hit in a force 3 making conditions ‘off-the-scale’ as rain flooded down the mountain creating impromptu rivers and waterfalls. Add to this gale force winds that would lift you off your feet and the stage was set for an epic battle.

For the men, Remi Bonnet pushed the pace from the gun ahead of Manuel Merillas and Aritz Egea, in pursuit Tadei Pivk, Marco De Gasperi and the remainder of the elite runners were spread out over the mountain. Yngvild Kaspersen like Remi set a blistering pace at the front, behind Laura Orgue pursued and then Elisa Desco and Maite Maiora.

Over Sunset Peak (3rd highest in Hong Kong) steps provided a sharp and sudden drop to CP1 and the 2nd climb to Lantau Peak at 934m. The hard steps, slick conditions and fierce competition made the course extremely challenging.

Pushing upward to Lantau, the trail closed in, opened up and then intersperses steps once again. The course requires a unique style of running (or hiking) as the irregular height and depth of the steps makes finding a rhythm awkward.

Pre race, Laura Orgue had said, “Hong Kong will be an absolutely different race to what we are used to.” She was correct. The combination of mixed terrain and inclement weather on race day all made for a unique challenge.

Remi Bonnet and Yngvild Kaspersen were leading the respective men’s and ladies’ races with two master-class performances, one could even say they made it look easy! At the summit of Lantau Peak, barring an accident they both would be crowned 2015 champions. But with a huge drop from the summit and slick conditions to contend with, the final rankings were still open.

With 23km’s covered and 1987m of vertical gain and more importantly maybe, 1988m of vertical loss, Remi arrived triumphant at Citygate in Tung Chung, a circular trip completed taking in the Lantau 2 Peaks in a time of 02:14:07. Manuel Merillas fought a hard battle for 2nd and Tadei Pivk took 3rd place ahead of a charging Greg Vollet. Artiz Egea who had run in 3rd place earlier dropped to 5th.

Yngvild Kaspersen won the race for the ladies in 02:42:04 and Laura Orgue held on to 2nd. Maite Maiora in the closing stages overhauled Elisa Desco on the descent and placed 3rd. Stevie Kremer placed 5th having struggled with jet lag having only landed in Hong Kong the night before the race after 24-hours of travel.

Results:

  1. Remi Bonnet 2:14:07
  2. Manuel Merillas 2:24:29
  3. Tadei Pivk 2:26:39
  1. Yngvild Kaspersen 2:42:04
  2. Laura Orgue 2:49:58
  3. Maite Maiora 2:51:19

RANKING

Sky Series ranking provisional results (after Lantau 2 Peaks & US Continental Championships)
Men

1. Tadei Pivk (ITA) Crazy Idea – 366 points
2. Manuel Merillas (ESP) Mammut/Compressport – 332 points
3. Tom Owens (GBR) Salomon- 268 points
3. Ionut Zinca (ROU) Valetudo – 268 points
5. Aritz Egea (ESP)E MF  – 252 points

Women
1. Laura Orguè (ESP) Salomon – 364 points
2. Elisa Desco (ITA) SCOTT Sports/Compressport – 350 points
3. Maite Maiora (ESP) La Sportiva – 322 points
4. Megan Kimmel (USA) Asics – 300 points
5. Stevie Kremer (USA) Salomon – 254 points

Full results HERE