UTMB 2014 – Race Preview

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

It’s UTMB time and the race kicks off today at 1730 and currently the lights are green for go… phew!

As one would expect, a quality line up and men and ladies will toe the line to run the circular route around Mont-Blanc.

As was shown last year in the men’s race, predicting a winner, even a top-3 can be a tricky thing. One thing is for sure; Thevenard will not do the double as he won TDS just the other day. In doing so, he has become the first runner to win CCC, UTMB and TDS. I like that, it shows a level of skill and speed over multiple distances and terrain.

So, UTMB will roll out and without doubt we will see some drama on the trails. Unfortunately, last years 2nd place, Miguel Heras will not run. Once again injured! Will he ever get a break?

Francois D'Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene is a past winner on the shortened course and for me he has blossomed into one of the best 100 runners out there. His Raid de la Reunion last year and his early season win and sub 20-hours in Japan must make him a hot fave!

Luis Alberto Hernando copyright iancorless.com Luis Alberto Hernando is one guy who I would love to see make the podium. For 12-months he has been building up to this race and wins at Transvulcania and the 80km Skyrunning World Champs must put him in a great place. BUT, he hasn’t run a 100 before and he does like to push. He will need to be patient for 100km and then start racing if he wants any chance of success.

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Tofol Castanyer like Luis is stepping up to the 100. Winner of the CCC he has all the skills and ability to do something special.

 

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera completes a strong Salomon line up and is a hot favourite for the win. He is a beast on tough and technical races and for sure having disappointment with course cancellations in the past, Iker will be looking to make this one count.

Dakota Jones UROC ©iancorless.com

Dakota Jones is due a big race. Dropping from Hardrock 100 will certainly have stoked the fire for a great performance here but maybe the ankle isn’t 100%? He has done some epic days with Kilian in and around Mont-Blanc; so, let’s hope he has his day.

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote consistent at UTMB and a great record over long distance races. You won’t see him in the top-10 early on but he will close hard (as usual) eat up those who are struggling and move up the ranks. I don’t see him winning put podium is always a possibility.

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson put his eggs in the Hardrock basket and they got smashed with one of those gutsy, ‘I’m gonna finish no matter what days.’ Respect! Of course, Timmy can win this race, his success this year will all come down to how well he has recovered from HR100. If he is in shape, podium potential and of course a win is a distinct possibility.

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka had the race sewn up for me last year. He was on fire looking relaxed and incredible at every moment. However, the relentless injury problems ruined his day and he has been in and out of injury for 2-years. He had a couple of great early season results, Lavaredo in particular and then dropped from Speedgoat with injury. I have a feeling that Anton will win the race or not finish. I hope he has his day; it’s long overdue.

Jez Bragg TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Jez Bragg will have a solid run; he always does and like Foote, will start way back and work his way to the front. Top-10 would be a great result.

Fabian Antolinus will be an interesting inclusion. He ran a great race at Ice Trail Tarentaise and of course he has continually impressed in French races such as Templiers. UTMB? I would say a top-20 for sure and top-10 if he has a great day.

Hal Koerner is 100m beast and like Mr Meltzer can run 100’s for breakfast. His experiences with UTMB have been somewhat mixed so it is great to see him back and I hope he puts a great race together. He could surprise a few people!

Carlos Sa is a really talented athlete who races road, trail, multi-day, mountains and so on. He has all the ability and potential to create a stir in the top-5. In the past he has gone off course, so this year I hope he nails the route and pushes with the best.

Jason Schlarb has been mixing it up in Europe for a while now. This can only be a really good thing. He raced at Transvulcania and the Skyrunning 80k; so, he has an understanding of what is needed. He may make top-10?

Scott Hawker will be one of the top runners from the Southern Hemisphere who has spent time in Europe this year. Ice Trail Tarentaise would have been a great prep ground.

*****

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio dominated the race last year with arguably one of the most impressive female performances ever. A win at Lavaredo shows that the build up has been good and her recent obscurity can only mean training and training hard. She will be impossible to beat if she repeats the form and condition of 2013.

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Nuria Picas was 2nd last year in her 1st 100 and has gone on to run big races all over the world and in most cases, win them too! Without doubt, Nuria can win this race but she must be tired? In contrast to Rory who will be fresh as a daisy.

Nathalie Mauclair ©iancorless.com

Nathalie Mauclair winner of Reunion last year and top ranked at Western States, Nathalie brings a mix of speed, endurance and climbing ability and for me, barring issues, will make the podium!

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Fernanda Maciel like Nuria has been on the UTWT roller coaster of exhaustion. Fernanda won’t be fresh but like many of the other top ladies can produce a really strong 100 and keep pushing even when fatigued. Her 2014 results alone show what a talent she is.

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Laurence Klein, now this is an interesting inclusion. The MDS queen on this terrain leaves a huge question mark. She can run quick, for sure has run some impressive times in races such as the Ecotrail de Paris, however, this 100-mile course and vertical will be something new. Interested to see this one plays out.

Uxue Fraille is a consistent performer at around 80-100km but I think this is the first 100 she will run? Always there or thereabouts, Uxue closes well and picks off the others as they crumble. I see more of the same at UTMB.

Ashley Arnold is a question mark and the US’s hope outside Rory. I don’t think this tough mountain 100 will play to her strengths, particularly based on recent results. However, this ladies field has quality but not depth, so, top-10 for sure and top-5 if on a great day.

Rounding out the top ladies, we have 2-Brits, Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith. Both ladies raced the Skyrunning 80km and may well sneak into the top-10. Shona Stephenson has struggled at UTMB in the past but knows how to run 100’s and is top-10 potential and Meghan Arbogast, Simona Morbelli and Leila Degrave round out my ones to watch!

 

You can follow the race live via the UTMB website and Twitter

UTMB LVE HERE

 

KILIAN JORNET – The Human Carabiner

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Kilian Jornet is defining our sport and in the process is setting new records and providing inspiration to thousands, if not millions of people. Just 12-months ago, I spoke to Kilian in Zermatt. It was just days after his incredible Matterhorn Summit where he set a new record for Cervinia-Matterhorn Summit-Cervinia beating the long standing Bruno Brunod record. Looking relaxed, Kilian joins me at a table and we chat. He looks lean and in the form of his life. The sky is blue and clouds are around the base of the Matterhorn. Looking up we pause and take it in.

Interview in Spanish HERE

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It really is an incredible mountain. I turn to Kilian and ask…

IC – Do you feel nostalgic Kilian, looking up at the Matterhorn and thinking back 12-months?

KJ – Yes, I have great feelings. I-year ago I climbed from Italy (Cervinia) and today I climbed it from Switzerland (Zermatt). I have many great friends in Cervinia and very soon it will be 150-years of the Matterhorn. So many great memories; It’s such a beautiful memory.

IC – Okay, so you have just thrown this on me. You climbed the Matterhorn this morning from Zermatt?

KJ – Yes (laughs) I am not racing Matterhorn Ultraks so it’s okay. I went this morning… I was thinking to myself, it’s great weather so I decided to go. Conditions are not good though. The mountain has much more snow and the ridge was pretty icy. I had no crampons, which was a big mistake. At the summit it was very windy. I thought I might take the quick way down to Zermatt…!

IC – People say the Matterhorn is harder from Switzerland side?

KJ – The Italians say it’s harder from Cervinia and the Swiss say it’s harder from Zermatt. (He laughs) Both routes are very similar. I prefer the Italian side, it’s a narrow ridge about 500m long and you can really run. From Switzerland you go straight to the summit. It’s really beautiful and maybe a little more complicated. For me though, the Italian side is more difficult.

IC – Did you time yourself?

KJ – Hotel to hotel was 7-hours. I had planned to go down to the Italian side and come back via the pass. But the conditions were very windy and I decided to come back on the Switzerland side. It had lots of snow all the way up. I can normally climb up in good conditions in 2.5hrs but today it was 4-hours.

IC – Not the perfect time for a FKT?

KJ – No, it was really dangerous. Normally I would see 100’s of people at the summit. Today it was just me and I saw 4-people on my way down. The weather would be okay for Mont-Blanc but not here; it’s much more complicated.

 

IC – I think it’s topical we are speaking mid season. I believe the Kilian Jornet today is a different person to 1-year ago. For me, you seem to be in perfect shape. I don’t think I have seen you so fit and strong. Would you agree?

KJ – This year I feel really well. I don’t know why? I started the season in Colorado in the winter doing plenty of high altitude meters. I was great in the ski season. It was my best season in regard to my condition. I was not tired after skiing so it was a big bonus. I have raced the same number of races but I seem to be recovering so much better. I am climbing more meters and doing fewer kilometres.

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IC – It’s not unusual for you to start your run season at Transvulcania La Palma on 4-5 days running. This year you did this. You had a great race placing 2nd behind Luis. You then went to Denali and followed this with running again becoming Skyrunning World Champion. In Denali, this is not ultra running. It’s Alpinism. So tell us, what was the experience like?

KJ – It was a hard experience and fun. The weather was bad in Alaska. We stayed 21-days in the glacier and we had 3 sunny days. Everyday was snowing but we did a great number of things. We travelled very light. We would go to 4000m camp and from here everyday we would do something… we did the west ridge and then ski, we did another ridge, then I did the record, the north summit and so on. It was really nice to see. It’s possible to do something everyday. It was really interesting. I think I was surprised to come back to Chamonix and perform so well. Really I was just going to use it as training for Hardrock. In the VK I surpassed my expectation, in the marathon I knew I could do well. I lost weight in Denali.

IC – Yes for sure. You lost weight and your legs seemed smaller. Did it feel unusual to be back in Chamonix feeling like a different person?

KJ – Yes, I had small legs. It is similar to after Alpinism. It’s good for going up but coming down it has its affects.

IC – Denali unlike the Matterhorn was very much about you going and doing it. We haven’t seen the new Summits film yet, so, what did Denali involve?

KJ – It’s Skimo. You go via the plane to Anchorage and then take anther small plane to the glacier. It’s snow all the way. We didn’t take run shoes. We just used skis everyday. We had planned to acclimatize but the weather cleared and I made an attempt on the 6th day. I may have not been adapted but I was still strong. If you stay at altitude you loose strength. I had good conditions for 3-hours but the last uphill section and all the downhill had bad conditions. It was snowing and foggy. I just hoped that I could complete the summit. I added more clothes and pushed on.

IC – How do you prepare for an event like this? Do you do extensive research beforehand on maps? You make it sound casual and matter of fact but I know it’s not.

KJ – You need to be really well prepared. It’s a dangerous mountain. I looked at maps and we planned ahead, not only for the record but other adventures. I made good preparation 2-weeks before. We did 3-days to base camp and did the west ridge and ski down. It was good to see the conditions, find out what the snow was like and see if I could ski fast from the summit. You need to open your mind.

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It was great to have a small team. We were 4-people: Seb Montaz, Jordi Tosas, Vivian Bruchez and me. It’s really quick to change plans and make decisions with a small set up. For example in 5-hours I decided to attempt the record. Everyone was ready; they all knew what they had to do. It was great. Also, the team had projects that each wanted to do. All 4 of us had aspirations to achieve things whilst in Alaska.

IC – That is what is so interesting about what you do. You have very experienced people with you. In particular, Seb, he’s a great mountaineer and cameraman. We often forget he is often doing what you are doing.

KJ – For sure. You either have a small team or a big team with multiple people, helicopters, and many cameramen. The problem is budget! For example, all our team can work independently and they can all film, even myself. I like this process. We all move in the mountain, they are happy alone and that is great. We all captured images of each other. 

IC – That is going to be great to see. You followed Denali with Hardrock 100.

KJ – Three years of waiting!

IC – Yes, you got the confirmation in 2013. We all had expectations and excitement. You were racing really strong competition, Adam Campbell, Joe Grant, Seb Chaigneau, Dakota Jones, Julien Chorier and so on. You had a remarkable day; you smashed the course record. I know from pervious chats that you wasted lots of time. What was the experience like, did it live up to expectations?

KJ – It’s a beautiful race. I have run several 100-mile races and this is the best. The ambiance, the course, the spirit, it was just amazing. I arrived 1-week before and I checked all the last 100km so that I was prepared. I knew I would be in this section at night. I didn’t know the early section; I didn’t check it at all. We all started together; Seb, Adam, Timmy, Dakota and Julien. We had a big group. I felt good from the beginning. Having said that, you always feel good early. It’s just moving. After 4-5 hours I wasn’t pushing but I was pulling away. I thought to myself, maybe I will have a good day but I wanted to be cautious for the latter stages of the race. So, I waited for Julien and then I ran to km 100 with him and then the night started. After this point, I knew the course so I decided to go. It could take 9-hours if I was feeling good. I hadn’t eaten much up to this point so from here I took energy from soup and burritos. It was also really bad weather with rain and storms. I was happy to take a little time in the aid stations.

Kilian ©jordisaragossa

IC – I think you were lucky and got ahead of the worst of the storms. For example Adam Campbell had a crazy time.

KJ – Yes, this is what can happen, Handies Peak is at 4800m and 30km between aid stations, so, you are on your own. If a storm comes they don’t stop the race. You need to know what to do. If you are afraid, you stop and find shelter until the storm passes. Runners need to think and that is a good thing. We all need to think what to carry and what to do.

IC – You had Frosty (Anna Frost) and Ricky Gates as pacers. What point did they pace you?

KJ – Ricky started at 100km for the first part of the night section from Sharman. He ran around 35-40km with me. In the second part it was crazy rain. We were so cold and wet. He stopped. I continued for 10-miles alone and then met Frosty for the last 10-miles.

IC – At any point did you have the course record in mind?

KJ – Yes, you have it in your mind but I don’t race for records. I like racing a great deal. I do lots of races. My priority was to win if possible and I was also thinking of the Dolomites 1-week later…

(Laughter)

KJ – I said okay, I am doing well but don’t try to get tired! I was 20-min ahead of the record and I knew that Kyle Skaggs exploded in the latter stages when he set the record. So, if I kept my pace I knew the record was possible.

IC – As winner, you are the only male with a guaranteed place for next year. Will you be back?

KJ – Yes, for sure as it alternates direction each year.

IC – The two races are different, lets forget next year. Given what you have learnt this year, if you went back in 2-years, with what you now know. Of course weather dependant. Do you think you could make big differences to the time?

KJ – Weather is crucial and of course the feelings. Some days you feel great, like a cloud. You can’t predict these days. I had one of these days at the Matterhorn and certainly Hardrock. For sure I could go faster. I stopped 56-minutes in aid stations.

IC – And you waited for Julien 20-mins? 

KJ – Yes, I think 1-hour quicker is possible should all things align.

IC – You came back from Hardrock and surprisingly raced at Dolomites Skyrace in the VK and SkyRace just days later.

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KJ – I was happy about the VK. I was feeling recovered but after 100-miles you need recovery. The VK was super good. I placed 8th which was great. It surprised me that I could push. It motivated me for the Sky race just 2-days later.

IC – Another great victory for you, amazing really!

KJ – Yes. Thanks

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IC – Trofeo Kima is just around the corner. It’s arguably one of ‘the’ key Skyraces. Do you have any plans or intentions for Kima?

KJ – It’s difficult to discuss plans. So many variables come into play. For example, I may do some mountaineering this week, which may mean I am tired. I have The Rut and Limone Extreme too this year. After a summer of rain when the sun comes out the snow tempts me, so, I can’t resist despite what races are on my calendar.

IC – I have to say, I was watching your posts about your runs this last week. Dakota and yourself doing big days in the mountains that have lasted 7-hours. With UTMB around the corner, didn’t Dakota make that mistake before?

(Laughter)

KJ – I have often done Mont-Blanc just days before UTMB. It has altitude, great training and it doesn’t take too much energy. Dakota is strong and talented. We did this with 10-days before UTMB. He will be fine. I sometimes think he thinks too much. He needs to just run… it will be interesting to see Tony, Iker, Tofol and all the rest. I think Iker will be good. Luis Alberto he will start strong but can he maintain it? Luis has one pace, hard! Maybe he will start slower. UTMB this year will be a great race.

IC – You have Aconcagua (Summits of my Life) left for this year, December yes?

KJ – Yes, I will start in November to do ski training and then I will go back to running for Aconcagua. I’m excited as it has a high summit of 7000m. It’s not technical but it’s a tough record.

IC – And the record?

KJ – I think there are a couple of records but I don’t know the times. (In 2000 Bruno Brunod, Pelissier and Meraldi climbed from Plaza de Mulas in 3-hours 40-minutes. Carlos Sa did 15:42 from National Park Horcones.)

KJ – I will go from the entrance and I will try to achieve both records. Also, Emelie Forsberg will try a female record too.

IC – Wow, nice! I guess Aconcagua will be more like the Matterhorn?

KJ – No, it’s easier. It’s rocky but not steep. The altitude is the big issue. You can get sick and have problems so the challenge is different.

IC – It doesn’t have the danger of the Matterhorn. Ultimately, you have Everest as the last big objective. Have you thought about this yet?

KJ – It’s completely different, it’s very high, 9000m. It’s very long and this is the biggest problem. It’s to go all this way without oxygen and fast. The route is technical. I will start on the north face to prepare. It’s quiet so I will have no problems with people. I will need to prepare. I will go in spring, autumn and maybe the following spring. As per usual with all mountains, any attempt will be weather dependant. I expect to have several attempts.

IC – If you achieve Everest and complete the Summit series, where do you go next? Your list is ticked off, do you think you will comeback to some races you have done before or do you think you will create a new sport, a combination of all your skill levels?

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

KJ – I have lots of projects. Today I climbed the Matterhorn, I looked around and suddenly projects appear. I think maybe I can go from here to here or in skiing I go down a steep line. It doesn’t need to be the highest or the longest. Nice mountains with not many people. I like this sport because of the beauty. I like aesthetic projects more than numbers. I have so many options to choose from.

IC – Do you think racing will still appeal?

KJ – Yes, I love racing. I love the ambiance. I also like it as training. I push I give it everything and you can’t do this alone, it’s boring. I will race for sure in skiing and maybe run less.

IC – Today I spoke to Marco De Gasperi, I took him back to ‘91’ when he was 16 and the formative days of Skyrunning. His first race!

KJ – Yes, it was Monte Rosa.

IC – Yes, Monte Rosa and he also did the VK. He reminded me of 2007 when you were 20 and you turned up at a race and placed 6th. He said you looked at him as though he was a hero. He now looks at you as the hero.

KJ – No, Marco is the hero.

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IC – 20+ years of Skyrunning. In the last 3-years Skyrunning has become bigger than ever and it continues to grow. Would you like to see the sport progress in anyway?

KJ – Every person is a carabiner. We all pass on and provide energy and it grows. The sport keeps the values of the beginning. However, it’s not just about distance, elevation and athletics. It’s about mountains and alpinism. More people are interested in being in the mountains, it’s not just about technical terrain, and we must look at what is around us too. The sport will grow for sure. We are seeing VK’s grow and longer races. I think in central Europe it will stay as it is but it will develop in other countries, for example the US. It’s important to grow and keep quality; we must keep the spirit.

IC – In ‘89’ when Marino Giacometti ran up Monte Rosa and came back down, it was pure mountain spirit. Up and down as fast as possible. I feel that Skyrunning is starting to go back to where it was 20-years ago. Maybe because we look at sport differently; but also you are providing a great influence. Do you think there is room for another sport outside of VK, Sky and Ultra within Skyrunning, maybe an extreme event?

KJ – Yes. I think an extreme sport would be a great idea. It has been done before as you say. It’s really important though to understand that this is mountaineering fast and not running.

IC – Alpinism without the clutter?

KJ – Yes, it’s not about being strong or fast it’s about how you climb! You need confidence and you need self-awareness. It’s another level. It will come as the sport grows but it is not for all. It’s not about kilometres it’s about mountain experience.

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IC – Kilian, once again thank you so much for your time and the inspiration.

KJ – Thank you for everything.

*****

Article ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Please credit as and when appropriate when sharing

Thanks

I would like to thank Kilian Jornet for his time and generosity.

Marino Giacometti and Lauri Van Houten from the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation)

Salomon Running

Seb Montaz

Jordi Saragossa

And all the wonderful races throughout the world that provides us all the opportunity to live our dreams.

Matterhorn Ultraks 2014 – Race images and results

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The 2014 Skyrunner World Series Matterhorn Ultraks really was an incredible race. The weather showed Zermatt and the surrounding mountains in all it’s beauty and a Moroccan and American topped the podium showing how truly international Skyrunning has become.

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Moroccan Zaid Ait Malek finally fulfilled the potential he has shown in many races in 2013 and 2014 and topped the podium in Zermatt. Known for his incredible smile, Zaid really showed the rest of the field a clean pair of shoes as he blazed a trail around the Ultraks tough and challenging 46km course.

Stevie Kremer, followed impressive wins at Sierre-Zinal and Zegama-Aizkorri to complete a triple and take a dominant lead in the Skyrunner World Series. Despite a long haul flight from Colorado and only arriving at 2000 hours, the night before the race, ‘Pocket Rocket’ produced a dominant performance confirming that at the SKY distance, she is currently the one to beat!

Top 3-ladies

1. Stevie Kremer 5:18:43
2. Elisa Desco. 5:22:35
3. Maite Maiora 5:23:19

Top 3-Men

1. Ait Malek Zaïd 4:45:01
2. Bundi Gion Andrea 4:52:21
3. Egea Aritz 4:55:17

Matterhorn Ultraks 2014 – In-depth race preview

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

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

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

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View 2013 race image HERE

Read Kilian Jornet’s Matterhorn Summits interview HERE

RACE PREVIEW

MEN 

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

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

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

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

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ones to watch (not in order):

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

LADIES

©iancorless.comIMG_3167Canazei2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ones to watch:

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

 

Not running:

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

 

Race results from 2013

Men

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

Women

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

LINKS:

Skyrunning HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks HERE

Race Images 2013 HERE

Seven wacky world records you’ll never believe ©redbull

kilian-jornet-record-mckinley Image © 2014 Summits of My Life

kilian-jornet-record-mckinley Image © 2014 Summits of My Life

Great to see Kilian Jornet and Steve Birkinshaw listed in this Red Bull article, ‘Seven wacky world records you’ll never believe.’

Steve Birkinshaw

Mountain-running 36 vertical kilometres

Type: Distance Record
Who: Steve Birkinshaw
Where: England
Hazards: Bad weather, injury, exhaustion
Insanity level: 6
Status: Done

Listen Steve Birkinshaw talked about this on Talk Ultra, episode 65 HERE

The stats speak for themselves: 512km in distance, 36km straight up, 214 peaks. Running all the way. That’s the impossible challenge ultra runner Steve Birkinshaw set himself around a loop of England’s hill country, the Lake District…..

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Kilian Jornet

A lightning ascent of America’s highest mountain

Type: Speed climbing/skiing
Who: Kilian Jornet
Where: Denali, USA
Hazards: Cold, altitude, storms, exposure, avalanches
Insanity Level: 9
Status: Done

It’s impossible to write about records in the mountains without mentioning one man – Kilian Jornet. The Spanish mountain athlete has broken so many of them it’s difficult to know which one to select……

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

All content ©redbull.com

RedBullMediaProducts_image_left_223x250

Ryan Sandes goes back to his roots

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©craigkolesky

Trail running extraordinaire, Ryan Sandes, who by the way is currently leading the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) rankings, is going back to where it all began and will be taking part in RacingThePlanet’s seventh Roving Race, on the picturesque island of Madagascar from the 31st of August 2014 to the 6th of September 2014.

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“I am really excited to be travelling to Madagascar for the first time, to take part in Racing the Planet Madagascar. This is going to be an epic experience with lots of wild life and some pretty crazy conditions,” says Ryan. “As this is a self-supported multi day race I will need to get used to running with a 7-9kg backpack again. I have taken a 4 week break after Western States 100, so I am feeling well rested and looking forward to the next adventure.”

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Starting from the beaches of the Indian Ocean, the course follows the coast along white sandy beaches, lush green rice paddies and across vast savannah. It includes Baobab trees, red and grey limestone formations known as Tsingy and a mixture of flora and fauna found only in Madagascar. The format of the course follow is the same as previous races in the 4 Deserts Race Series – 250km, 7 day, 6-stage completely self-supported endurance race.

Madagascar, sometimes known as the Eighth Continent, is the world’s fourth largest island. As with previous RacingThePlanet races that Ryan has taken part in, on day’s 1 to 4, competitors will run 40km each day, then have a long day on day 5 – 80km – and a short 10km sprint on the last day for the final finish line.

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With temperatures averaging between 30-40°C accompanied by humidity, Ryan should be in his comfort zone. Approximately 250 competitors from 40 countries around the world will compete, made up of roughly 80% male and 20% female competitors. The race leaders are expected to complete the race in around 26 hours, with the slower competitors taking up to 70hours. For more info on the race please visit the race website or follow Ryan Sandes and Facebook and Twitter.

Ryan was kind enough to forward d me the excellent photo at the header of this post.

‘Here’s a photo you are welcome to use of me running with crocs. Credit is Craig Kolesky. See you soon!’ Ryan Sandes

I asked Ryan, ‘Is it a real situation or a photo comp?’

His reply, ‘No it’s real;-) we put Perspex on water for me to land on but I was nervous – the crocs weren’t too big though. Only big enough to eat my leg, not my whole body;-)’

We wish the ‘Sandman’ all the very best on his journey back in time.

Giir di Mont 2014 results – It’s Kilian and Emelie!

Kilian Jornet at the Dolomites SkyRace 2014

Kilian Jornet at the Dolomites SkyRace 2014

Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg top the podium at the 22nd edition of Giir di Mont in Italy.

Kilian Jornet set a new course record 3h12’36 once again placing Ionut Zinca in 2nd place ahead of Salomon teammate, Thor Ludvigsen.

Emelie Forsberg just one week after placing 2nd to Laura Orgue in Canazei topped the podium ahead of Skyrunning legend, Emanuela Brizio and Silvia Rampazzo.

Fulfilling pre race expectations, Spain and Sweden did not disappoint with respective winners, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg dominating the 900 strong 2014 edition and the 22nd running of the iconic, Giir di Mont.

Kilian Jornet placed 1st, 8’43 ahead of the Romanian Ionut Zinca and 9’08” on the Norwegian Thor Ludvigsen. Setting another course record, if any confirmation was needed, Kilian Jornet is at the forefront of trail, mountain and Skyrunning. His incredible career goes from strength-to-strength. The last 2-weeks in particular have seen the Catalan dominate and set a new course record at Hardrock 100, just days later place the top-10 in the Canazei VK. With minimal recovery, Kilian then raced and won the Dolomites SkyRace and now and incredible victory and course record at Giir di Mont. He is unstoppable!

Emelie Forsberg at the Dolomites SkyRace 2014

Emelie Forsberg at the Dolomites SkyRace 2014

Emelie Forsberg like Kilian is also pushing herself with a busy race schedule. Triumphant at Ice Trail Tarentaise, Emelie just 7-days ago placed 2nd at the Dolomites SkyRace and now victory at Giir di Mont. Emanuela Brizio placed 2nd 6’31 behind the Swede and Silvia Rampazzo was 10’12 back.

The Giir di Mont course id 32km’s long and has 2400m of vertical. Pat of the Italian Skyrunning National Series, the race has long been one of the iconic Skyrunning races and is on many a runners bucket list.

Results and Info from original Italian text on: http://www.giirdimont.it ©

Results HERE 

MALE

1 Kilian Jornet Salomon 3:12:36

2 Ionut Zinca Valetudo Skyrunning Italy 3:21:19

3 Thor Ludvigsen Salomon 3:21:44

4 Fabio Bazzana Salomon 3:22:26

5 Zaid Ait Malek Buff Pro Team 3:24:32

 

FEMALE

1 Emelie Forsberg Salomon 4:06:25

2 Emanuela Brizio Valetudo Skyrunning Italy 4:12:56

3 Rampazzo Silvia Valetudo Skyrunning Italy 4:16:37

4 Deborah Benedetti AS Premana 4:33:22

5 Teocharis Dimitra Team Aldo Moro Paluzza Dynafit 4:34:21

Episode 66 – Krar, Enman, Forbes, McGregor

Ep66This is episode 66 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show e catch up with Rob Krar after his incredible Western States. Kasie Enman is on the comeback trail after her 2nd child and we chat after a stellar 2nd place at Speedgoat 50k. Scott Forbes just this last weekend won Race to the Stones in the UK… a great result but Scott has an incredible story. In Talk Training we talk nutrition with Renee McGregor. The News, a Blog, Smile and Miles with Emelie Forsberg, Up and Coming Races and Pocket Rocket is back… Stevie Kremer.

NEWS

HARDROCK 100 results iRunFar
 
·      Kilian Jornet – 22:41:33
·      Julien Chorier – 25:07:56
·      Adam Campbell – 25:56:46
·      Jeff Browning  – 26:58:59
·      Scott Jaime  – 27:46:14

·      Darcy Piceu – 29:49:58
·      Betsy Kalmeyer – 37:57:22
·      Betsy Nye – 42:22
·      Tina Ure – 42:45
·      Suzanne Lewis – 42:55

 
SPEEDGOAT 50K

·      Sage Canaday  – 5:12:30
·      Paul Hamilton – 5:31:15
·      Alex Nichols  – 5:33:30
·      Rickey Gates  – 5:46:36
·      Mike Wolfe – 5:53:17

·      Anna Frost – 6:42:00
·      Kasie Enman  – 6:43:48
·      Ellie Greenwood – 6:53:04
·      Hillary Allen  – 7:03:57
·      Kerrie Bruxvoort  – 7:12:41

INTERVIEW with KASIE ENMAN
 
Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise

  • Francois D’Haene 7:38
  • Fabian Antonilos 7:56
  • Tom Owens 8:02
     
  • Emelie Forsberg 9:25
  • Allessandra Carlini 9:42
  • Maud Gobert 9:42+
  • Skyrunning Dolomites SkyRace
     
  • Kilian Jornet 2:03:50
  • Ionut Zinca 2:05:20
  • Tadei Pivk 2:05:21
  • Manuel Merillas 2:07:29
  • Alexis Sevennec 2:07:54·
  • Laura Orgue 2:26:17
  • Emelie Forsberg 2:27:40
  • Maite Maiora 2:31:58
  • Christel Dewalle 2:35:53
  • Magdalena Kozielska 2:36:23
     
     
    DODO TRAIL
     
    ·      Ricky Lightfoot 5:19:21 new CR
    ·      Jean Pierre Grondin 5:55:30
    ·      Jeannick Boyer 6:02:54
     
    ·      Landie Greyling 6:49:10
    ·      Estelle Carret 6:51:55
    ·      Andrea Clemons 8:37:35 
    BLOG
     
    Dakota Jones has ab excellent write up on Hardrock 100 on iRunFar – http://www.irunfar.com/2014/07/falling-off-edges-hardrock-2014.html

     
    INTERVIEW

    ROB KRAR produced the 2nd fastest run ever at the 2014 Western States. We caught up with him just a few days after the race for a chat.

    SMILES and MILES with EMELIE FORSBERG

    TALK TRAINING with Renee McGregor lead nutritionist
     
     
    INTERVIEW
     
    SIMON FORBES won the Race to the Stones in the UK which is impressive. However, he has a fascinating back story.

     
    UP & COMING RACES
     
    Australia
    Australian Capital Territory
    Bush Capital 60 km Ultra | 63 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Queensland
    Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website

    Austria
    Dirndltal Extrem Ultramarathon | 111 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Pitztal-Gletscher Trail Maniak 95K | 95 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Belgium
    Flanders
    100 km Dodentocht® | 100 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website

    Canada
    Alberta
    Canadian Death Race | 125 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Quebec
    Trans Gaspesia | 260 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Finland
    Lapland
    NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 125 km | 125 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 55K | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    France
    Haute-Corse
    Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Haute-Savoie
    Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Isère
    Défi de l’Oisans | 200 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Jura
    Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Loiret
    L’Orleans-Océan | 410 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Savoie
    Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    La 6000D | 65 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    TCT 50 | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    TCT 73 | 73 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Ultra 6000D | 110 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Germany
    Bavaria
    Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Brandenburg
    Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Lower Saxony
    Süntel-Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Guadeloupe
    Rèd Mammel | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    Ultra Transkarukera | 120 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

    Italy
    Aosta Valley
    Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Piedmont
    Terra Acqua Cielo Wild Trail | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Sicily
    Etna Trail | 64 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Veneto
    Trans d’Havet Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Latvia
    Cēsis ECO Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Madagascar
    Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Mauritius
    Trail des 7 Couleurs | 120 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Mongolia
    Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 06, 2014 | website

    Portugal
    Ultra-Trail Nocturno da Lagoa de Óbidos | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Réunion
    Trail du Grand Ouest | 60 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Romania
    VLC Ultra TrailRun Petrimanu 56 | 56 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Russia
    Elbrus Mountain Race | 105 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website

    Serbia
    Tara Challenge | 61 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Tara Ultramarathon | 115 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Spain
    Andalusia
    Subida Granada Pico Veleta | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Aragon
    Calcenada – 104 km | 104 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website
    Gran Trail Aneto-Posets | 109 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Vuelta al Aneto | 58 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Castile and León
    Gredos Infinite Run – 120 km | 120 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 105 KM | 105 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 60 KM | 60 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

    Catalonia
    BUFF® Epic Trail Aigüestortes | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Cadí Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ultra Catllaràs | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Principality of Asturias
    Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Sweden
    Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website

    Switzerland
    Grisons
    Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Thailand
    Bangkok Ultra Trail Festival – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Turkey
    DASK ADAM Anatolian Mountain marathon – Long Course | 75 kilometers | August 07, 2014 | website
    DASK ADAM Anatolian Mountain marathon – Medium Course | 60 kilometers | August 07, 2014 | website

    United Kingdom
    Cumbria
    The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 25, 2014 | website
    England
    Round the Rock | 48 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Round the Rock Ultra Marathon | 48 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Hampshire
    Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Kent
    The 50 Mile Challenge | 52 miles | July 28, 2014 | website
    North Yorkshire
    Oxfam Trailtrekker GB (North) – 100 km | 100 kilometers | July 31, 2014 | website
    Oxfam Trailtrekker GB (North) – 65 km | 65 kilometers | July 31, 2014 | website
    Stirling
    Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 02, 2014 | website

    USA
    Alaska
    Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    Arizona
    Vertigo 63K Night Trail Run | 63 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    California
    Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 52.4 Ultramarathon | 52 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Skyline 50K | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Colorado
    Grand Mesa 100M | 100 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Grand Mesa 37.5M | 60 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Grand Mesa 50M | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Mountain Ultra | 220 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website
    Mount Werner Classic – 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ouray 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 01, 2014 | website
    Idaho
    Standhope 60K | 60 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website
    Wild Idaho 50K Enrudance Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Wild Idaho 50M Enrudance Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Maryland
    Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Minnesota
    Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Mississippi
    Big Butts 100K | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Big Butts 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Montana
    HURL Elkhorn 50 K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    HURL Elkhorn 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Nevada
    Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    North Carolina
    Mattamuskeet Death March | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ohio
    Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Oregon
    Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50M | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Pennsylvania
    Viaduct Trail 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | July 27, 2014 | website
    Viaduct Trail 150 Mile Ultramarathon | 150 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Viaduct Trail 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 27, 2014 | website
    South Carolina
    Landsford Canal 50 K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Vermont
    Moosalamoo Ultra – 36 M | 36 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Virginia
    Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Washington
    Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (August) | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website

    CLOSE

3:51:35

Tromsø SkyRace 2014 – Join Kilian and Emelie

 

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Imagine it… who would you most like to design a Skyrunning course? I for one would say, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. I’d then pinch myself and say, ‘nah, that will never happen. For sure they have the passion but they just won’t have the time!’

How wrong could I be!

Mark the date in your diary, September 6th 2014. The inaugural Tromsø SKYRACE will take place.

Tromso Skyrace logo

‘We wanted to start small and grow the event’ Emelie said in a recent interview. ‘Starting at sea level, the route will climb up three peaks on an out and back course  – Tromsdalstinden (1238m), Hamerokken (1404m) and then Tromsdalstinden again but via a different route.’

Tromsdalstinden: 1238m  Sálašoaivi or Sálaščohkka, is an iconic summit visible from Tromsø. The trail to climb the summit is not really technical, with a first part on grass hills and then a rocky large ridge. The downhill is on a steeper rocky trail before easy zig zags trail to the hut. The views from the summit, with Tromsø city and the fjords on the north and Hamperokken and Lyngen on the south made this mountain one of the most gorgeous landscapes of the area. 

captura-de-pantalla-2014-07-22-a-les-15-57-08

 

Hamperokken: 1404m Gáranasčohkka, is the highest mountain peak on the mainland peninsula west of the Ullsfjorden. The trail to climb the mountain starts around sea level and climbs to 1000m on a easy grass and rock slope to the first summit of the ridge, then it follows a 5 kilometers rocky ridge with some easy technical passages that can require to put the hands (mostly if it’s wet or raining!) Last 50m to the summit are a short scrambling to the top. The downhill is on a loose rock steep couloir until reach the valley. The summit designs a long ridge culminated by a thin characteristic aiguille. Being on the center of Ullsfjorden, the views of Lyngen on the east and all the Tromsø mountains around gives us a big wilderness feeling.

Racing over the classic distance of 42km’s, the course will have an elevation gain of 4300m. Grassy mountains, rocky ridges; Kilian clicked through images on his phone and showed me some of the more technical sections. ‘It’s a beautiful route’ he says, ‘it has some technical ridge running and the most amazing views. Emelie and I have run over this area many times and we knew we just had to have a race here!’

©iancorless.comIMG_5341Canazei2014

It’s very different organising a race to running one but Emelie assured me, ‘we have a great team in place. You know, we are already race directors as we put on a Skimo race in Lyngen (north Norway) during the winter. However, if possible, both Kilian and myself will run the Tromso Skyrace; I will do the shorter race and Kilian will run the longer event.’

With just 100-places available, other elites runners will hopefully take part but that is not a priority. The dynamic duo want to encourage, promote and endorse running to a community of runners who may well have not attempted or completed such an event before. It’s about giving something back to the sport and I for one know only too well that the 100-places available will be gone in a flash…

Dakota Jones for example has just been announced as a participant in the first race.

Tromso is an island located within the Arctic Circle and in September the Northern Lights will illuminate the sky. Imagine it; rugged mountains, beautiful fjords and a race second to none with an epic backdrop.

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Emelie can’t contain her excitement as we speak, ‘It’s going to be so special and super exciting!’ Kilian concurs, ‘It will be an epic race and one that will grow. We love Skyrunning and the Tromso Skyrace will echo all that is good in a Skyrunning race.’

I joke with Emelie, ‘I assume the aid stations may well be the best in any race I have witnessed?’

Laughing Emelie replies, ‘For sure, the aid stations will be great but cinnamon buns and Yogi Tea will welcome every runner as they cross the line.’

Cinnamon Buns

Images ©tromsoskyrace

Details:

ENTER HERE

ENTRY OPENS 27th JULY at 19OO (Norway time)

6 – 7 SEPTEMBER 2014

Tromso, Norway
69° North
Skyrace 42km-4300m
Miniskyrace 19km-1600m

An ECO RACE – We are lucky to run in such wild nature, and for this we need to take care to keep this area wild and clean. When we run, we will keep need this in mind. We will try our best to keep the route clean. We will mark the course with biodegradable tape, just in case some is blown away by the wind or by any accident left behind. Aid stations will only be by huts and road crossings and will use reusable glasses. We will not have any paper publications, to protect the forests.

Race Website – HERE

Facebook – HERE

Dolomites SkyRace 2014 – Results and initial images

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Kilian Jornet (Salomon) has done the unthinkable… just 7-days after winning and setting a new course record at the legendary Hardrock 100 in America, the Catalan has won the Dolomites SkyRace.

It’s impossible to convey or express the ability that Kilian Jornet harnesses within his slender frame. The word, ‘Legend’ is used a great deal in our sport but in Kilian Jornet we have someone that not only deserves the title but almost re-defines it.

  1. Kilian Jornet 2:03:50
  2. Ionut Zinca 2:05:20
  3. Tadei Pivk 2:05:21
  4. Manuel Merillas 2:07:29
  5. Alexis Sevennec 2:07:54

©iancorless.comIMG_3077Canazei2014

Laura Orgue (Salomon) produced an incredible weekend doube, winning the VK on Friday and the SkyRace on Sunday. The incredible uphill machine opened up a huge gap on the ascent to Piz Boe and held off a charging Emelie Forsberg who moved up from 4th, some 7-minutes back at the summit to just over a minute at the line. Incredible racing!

  1. Laura Orgue 2:26:17
  2. Emelie Forsberg 2:27:40
  3. Maite Maiora 2:31:58
  4. Christel Dewalle 2:35:53
  5. Anna Kozielska 2:36:23

Full Results to view HERE

RACE IMAGES HERE