Episode 58 – Sandes, Walton, Kendall, Portal, Rush

Ep58

This is episode 58 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with Ryan Sandes about his record breaking run with Ryno Griesel on the DrakTraverse. We speak to Brit, Claire Walton who placed 2nd lady at the highly competitive, Tarawera Ultra. As part of our MDS coverage, we have a catch up with Danny Kendall who is arguably the UK’s most consistent MDS performer, we also speak to actor, Bertie Portal who is going to the MDS for the first time. Talk Training is an extended edition with Holly Rush. Holly placed 7th lady at the 2013 Comrades and in this episode we discuss how to prepare for this iconic road ultra. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and of course Speedgoat.

 
NEWS
 
Drakensberg Traverse
 
Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel set a new record for the DrakTraverse – 41 hours 49 mins beating the previous record by over 18-hours
 
AUDIO – Ryan Sandes
 
Barkley - Jared Campbell does it again!
 
White Mountains 100 - Joe Grant wins the run section with a new CR in just over 17-hours
 
Hardmoors 55
 
  1. Bert Goos 8:09:27
  2. Dan Anderson 8:19:00
  3. Matty Brennan 8:53:23
  1. Charmaine Horsfall 8:59:26
  2. Shelli Gordon 9:35:29
  3. Emma David 10:13:15
 
Northburn Station 100-mile
 
  1. Wouter Hamelick 24:33:45
  2. Greig Hamilton 27:05:14
  3. Andrew Redinger 27:39:27
 
  1. Jean Beaumont 26:24:30
  2. Becky Nixon 34:58:15
  3. Tayebeh Alireazee 40:02:56
 
Skyrunning UK announces the Peaks SkyRace for August 3rd
 
Marathon des Sables starts this weekend, Sunday August 6th. I will be at the race reporting and photographing the action. It’s an iconic race and one that inspires so many… on the last show, we spoke with Danny Kendall who placed 10th in 2013. I caught up with him again just days before departure to find out how is final training has gone.
 
AUDIO – Danny Kendall
 
MDS is renowned for the variety of people it attracts. It is very much a ‘bucket list’ race. This year, actor, Bertie Portal is taking part. He has appeared in films such as The Kings Speech, My Week with Marilyn and The Iron Lady… what has attracted an actor to the Sahara. I caught up with Bertie to hear his story
 
AUDIO – Bertie Portal
BLOG - Joe Grant lists his thoughts on the week before White Mountains 100 and lists his kit. Go to alpine-works.com
INTERVIEW - Claire Walton took many by surprise with her stunning 2nd place at Tarawera earlier this year. I caught up with her to discuss her background, the Tarawera race and what the future holds.
 
AUDIO – Claire Walton
 
TALK TRAINING - A special Talk Training this week with Holly Rush. Holly placed 7th lady at the 2013 Comrades, arguably the largest and most iconic road ultra in the world. In this episode we discuss the race and how to prepare.
 
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat
 
UP & COMING RACES
 

Argentina

Patagonia Run 100k | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Patagonia Run 63k | 63 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Patagonia Run 84k | 84 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Running Festival Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Queensland

Nerang State Forest 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Victoria

Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon | 75 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Western Australia

3 Waters 50km Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Bunbury 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Diez Vista 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

China

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 100 miles | April 11, 2014 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 105 km | 105 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Denmark

Midtjylland

Gudenaa Trail Challenge | 75 kilometers | April 18, 2014 | website

France

Aveyron

Trans Aubrac | 105 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Bas-Rhin

Le Challenge des Seigneurs | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Le Défi des Seigneurs | 74 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Le Grand Défi des Vosges | 58 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

L’Intégrale | 132 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Bouches-du-Rhône

Trail Sainte Victoire 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Jura

Le Savagnin | 58 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Lot

Cahors (Lot) – Eauze (Gers) : du 5 au 8 avril 2013 | 187 kilometers | April 11, 2014 | website

Marne

Trail du Pays d’Argonne – 55 km | 55 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Rhône

Le Crêt de l’Oiseau | 63 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Var

Mountain Azur Run | 58 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Germany

Hesse

Bilstein-Marathon BiMa 53+ | 53 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Waldhopper 70Km Landschaftslauf | 70 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Saarland

Keep on Running St. Wendel | 52 kilometers | April 11, 2014 | website

Saxony

Saxonian Mt. Everestmarathon | 84390 meters | April 12, 2014 | website

Greece

Ireland

Connacht

Connemara Ultramarathon | 39 miles | April 06, 2014 | website

Italy

Latium

UltraTrail dei Monti Cimini | 80 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Jordan

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Morocco

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Nepal

Everest Ultra | 65 kilometers | April 07, 2014 | website

Mustang Trail Race 2014 | 200 kilometers | April 15, 2014 | website

Netherlands

Limburg

Limburgs Zwaarste 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

North Holland

Castricum Ultraloop | 60 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Oxfam Trailwalker NZ | 100 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Norway

Bergen Maratonkarusellen no3 – 1 1/2 Marathon | 63 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Bergen Maratonkarusellen no3 – Ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Philippines

Mayon 360º | 80 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Réunion

Caldeira Trail | 74 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

South Africa

Loskop Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Anaga Ultratrail 88 km | 88 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Trail Muntanyes de la Costa Daurada | 90 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Extremadura

LXVII Milhas Romanas | 100 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Sweden

Silva Ursvik Ultra – 75 km | 75 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Täby Extreme Challenge 100 miles | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

TEC 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

TEC 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Calderdale

The Calderdale Hike – Long | 36 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor – Ultra | 34 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

East Sussex

South Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Glasgow City

Glasgow – Edinburgh Double Marathon | 55 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Gloucestershire

Cotswold Way Challenge Multistage Ultra | 57 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

USA

Arizona

Crown King Scramble 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

California

American River 50-mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Grizzly Peak 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Lake Sonoma 50 | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Oriflame 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Oriflamme 50k | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Woodside Ramble Spring 50K | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Delaware

Trap Pond 50K | 50 kilometers | April 13, 2014 | website

Florida

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 100 Miles | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 75 Miles | 75 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Georgia

SweetH20 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Potawatomi 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run | 150 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Potawatomi 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Kansas

Rocking K Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Michigan

Traverse City Trail Running Festival 50k Run | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Minnesota

Trail Mix Race Minnesota 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Zumbro 100k | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2014 | website

Zumbro 100M | 100 miles | April 11, 2014 | website

Zumbro Midnight 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Mississippi

Gulf Coast Interstate Relay – Ride or Run | 263 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Cedar Island 40 | 42 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Umstead 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Oklahoma

Tatur’s Lake McMurty Trail Race 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Oregon

Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | April 13, 2014 | website

Shotgun Trail Blast 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Pennsylvania

Hyner Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

South Carolina

Blind Pig 100K Ultra Marathon | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Blind Pig 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

XTERRA Hickory Knob Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Power to the Tower 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

War at Windrock – 3 stages race | 51 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Texas

Hells Hills 50 km Endurance Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Hells Hills 50 Mile Endurance Trail Run | 50 miles | April 05, 2014 | website

Utah

Zion 100k | 100 kilometers | April 04, 2014 | website

Zion 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 04, 2014 | website

Zion 50K | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2014 | website

Vermont

Twin State 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 06, 2014 | website

Twin State 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 06, 2014 | website

Virginia

Bull Run Run 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Washington

Alger Alp 50k | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Lumberjack 100 K Run | 100 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

Lumberjack 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Lumberjack 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 12, 2014 | website

Squak Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2014 | website

CLOSE
Links

Déjame Vivir w/ Kilian Jornet now available

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1000608

KILIAN JORNET RELEASES DÉJAME VIVIR SECOND FILM OF HIS PROJECT SUMMITS OF MY LIFE

The film chronicles the challenges experienced while climbing Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Mount Elbrus as part of the Summits of My Life project. The film includes close-up and personal moments of Kilian Jornet’s life, as well as those of his friends who have accompanied him in these challenges.

“Déjame Vivir reflects a way to approach mountains. It explanis what we do but espcially why we do it, where our motivation came from by going back to the origins of this sport. The title intends to reflect what we do and represent that we want to go to the mountain the way we like it, being aware of the risks and what can happen but without pretending to be role models to anyone” said Jornet.

Puigcerdà, March 27th 2014 Kilian Jornet releases Déjame Vivir (Let Me Live), the second film of his personal project Summits of My Life. This 62-minute film directed by Seb Montaz, shows the challenges Jornet and his friends faced on mountains around Europe during 2013. The film, shot in five languages, portrays Kilian Jornet defying his own limits to make a childhood dream come true by following in the footsteps of the pioneers of Skyrunning to become the World Champion.

Déjame Vivir shows attempts to break records on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Mount Elbrus. Intimately portrayed and unveiling the human side, each challenge is also a reflection of the values that sustain the project Summits of My Life. Déjame Vivir is, ultimately, a collage of experiences that allow the viewer to get to know Kilian Jornet and what he does from a much closer viewpoint.

Kilian declared: “Déjame Vivir reflects a way to see the mountains, mine and a group of friends that we like to go explore the mountains in a light and dynamic and where disciplines get mixed and we can either run, ski, climb… The film explanis what we do but especially why we do it, and where our motivation came from, going back to the pioneers of this sport. I think it’s a movie where spectatos will understand that, at the end, what is important in projects is not the final goal but the way we challenge ourselves to get there”

©copyright .iancorless.com.iancorless_DSC7992facesofkima

The title of the film is not accidental, as director Seb Montaz explains: “Kilian often sang the song Déjame Vivir during filming. At that time, I did not know what the lyrics meant. But he then explained that the song title meant: “let me live” and I found that had quite a symbolic meaning: one person, Kilian, who wants to be allowed to fulfil his dreams. This is also the underlying philosophy of the project Summits of My Life, and so we thought that was quite appropriate.”

The film will be available for download or purchase on DVD as of today, March 27th at 7pm on the Summits of My Life website, although the official presentation will take place in the coming months.

A FILM FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT AFRAID TO LIVE

The second year of the Summits of My Life challenges began on Mont Blanc in July, where Jornet managed to break the ascent speed record with a time of 04h 57′. As well a sporting success, this story is also a hymn to friendship, as Jornet did not want to attempt the record alone and so he went with his friend Matheo Jacquemoud. Although the latter suffered a fall during descent and Jornet had to finish the journey alone, he has always stated that it was a joint record.

In late August, in pursuit of a childhood dream, Kilian Jornet broke the ascent and descent record on the Matterhorn, in a time of 2h 52′. Bruno Brunod, who held the previous record and had been Jornet’s idol since childhood, also stars in this part of the film. In fact, Déjame Vivir follows in the footsteps of the pioneers of Skyrunning, a group of mountaineers who conceived a different way to approach the mountains: using the minimum of materials with the objective of breaking speed records. Kilian Jornet, together with all those who practice this sport, are the legacy of that generation of mountaineers led by Bruno Brunod and Marino Giacometi, among others. The film is, thus, also a tribute to these pioneers who inspired Jornet.

In September, and to put an end to the second year of challenges, Kilian Jornet, Seb Montaz and some members of the technical staff travelled to the Caucasus for a record attempt on Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Following the Elbrus Race, a mythical race that climbs up to the summit of Elbrus at 5,642m, Jornet tried to beat the existing record. Bad weather conditions forced him to abandon without reaching the summit. Undoubtedly, another example of the inner philosophy of Summits of My Life, a project that highlights the idea that the experiences and knowledge acquired along the way are what matters, rather than the actual fulfilment of a goal.

Déjame Vivir puts all these challenges as well as other everyday scenes into images that help us to get to know athlete Kilian Jornet more intimately. Nourished by the feats of past heroes of this sport, Kilian adapts it to our times. A person who asks to be allowed to live according to his own philosophy and values and who surrounds himself by loved ones, not fearing to face upcoming challenges. For example, this year, 2014, Jornet will attempt to break speed records on McKinley (6,196m) and Aconcagua (6,959m).

PRESENTATIONS OF DÉJAME VIVIR

Déjame Vivir world premier will be an online broadcast on March 27th. This will allow the Project’s worldwide audience to view it simultaneously. So, at 7pm central European time an online connection to the project website will be established and Jornet himself is going to present Déjame Vivir. The official trailer of the film will also be broadcast.

Various screenings in different cities will follow, the dates of which are yet to be confirmed. The first one will be in Barcelona sometime in May with a similar format to A Fine Line, which gathered together as many as 1,500 spectators at the Palau de la Música. Apart from these presentations, the film will be available on DVD or for downloading from the project website. The campaign Friends of Summits of My Life is open to those who identify with the project values and are willing to contribute to it. Summits of My Life is Kilian Jornet’s personal project, in which he will try to set ascent and descent records for the most important mountains on the planet. The project lasts four years, and is planned to culminate in 2015 with the record attempt on the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. Summits of My Life is closely linked to certain values and to a purist and minimalist way of understanding mountains, which is why the climbs will be as self-sufficient as possible, searching in this way for the maximum bond between man and mountain.

The Project will be recorded in four films, which will show the experiences of each year. The first, « A Fine Line », directed by Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, narrates the first year of the project and is an emotional journey across the spectacular peaks of the Alps in the company of a small group of extraordinary mountains athletes in search of their own particular idea of happiness.

Read my interview with Kilian Jornet

Just days after his successful MATTERHORN SUMMIT. HERE

You can also listen to the interview on Ep43

Episode 43 – We have an extended and in-depth interview with Kilian Jornet about his Matterhorn Summit record. We have a selection of audio from the TNFUTMB – Rory Bosio, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Nuria Picas and Jez Bragg. We speak to Jo Meek who placed 2nd lady at MDS and what the future holds for her. We have Talk Training, the News a blog, smiles and miles with Emelie Forsberg and of course, Mr Speedgoat.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_43_-_Jornet_Krupicka_Grant_Bragg_Bosio_Picas.mp3
ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073
Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss
Website – talkultra.com

en_download

 

WEB: http://www.summitsofmylife.com

BLOG: http://blog.summitsofmylife.com/

F : http://www.facebook.com/Summitsofmylife

T :www.twitter.com/Summitsofmylife

 

RYAN SANDES – Drakensberg Traverse Interview #DrakTraverse

©iancorless.com.IMG_2606

Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel embarked on the ultimate Drakensberg adventure – the Drakensberg Grand Traverse.

Spanning parts of the Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces of South Africa, as well as the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, the unmarked route has broken many an adventurer.     Griesel and Cobus van Zyl set the previous Drakensberg Grand Traverse (DGT) record, of 60 hours 29 mins.

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

 

Fighting the elements and the terrain, Sandes and Griesel brokee the existing record by an incredible 18 hours to complete the traverse in 41 hours and 49 minutes on 25 March 2014. (Intro by Kelly Burke fluxcom.co.za)

I had the opportunity to catch up with Ryan just hours after his finish to discuss the epic adventure and ground breaking run.

Images ©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

 ryno-ryan-dgt-map-drakensberg

IC I bet you are a little tired?

 

RS Just a little Ian, I’m deprived of sleep but I have been catching up. I ‘m really pleased with how the DrakTraverse went. It was an awesome experience and adventure.

 

IC This attempt has been followed worldwide, 2-years in the planning, can you give us an insight into what this has meant. In particular Ryno, he held the previous record.

 

RS The Drakensberg Mountains (Dragon Mountains) they are the biggest mountain range in South Africa. They are iconic for any mountain sport. The thing with them is that they are extremely remote and very difficult to get too. The Drakensberg Traverse is a journey from one side to the other.  Starting in the north, we finish in the south. Along the way you have six peaks to traverse and several checkpoints. You have to self-navigate and be self-sufficient. There are no proper trails, so basically you have to make your own route. The terrain is brutal. We did plenty of recces over the final 6-months to decide on the best route and that takes a great deal of effort. Ryno has grown up in these mountains and he knows them really well. For me it was important that I came and understood the mountains and the terrain. I wanted to spend as much time as possible here to figure out what the terrain is about. It was an emotional experience to cross the finish line; it has been a dream for both of us. To see it all come together is great.

 

IC The previous record of 60:29:30 as you said was the first time anyone had approached this with a ‘faster’ approach and of course Ryno was involved in this. Ryno and Cobus put the record at a new benchmark; however you guys have smashed that! You ran instead of hiking, you had minimal sleep, you travelled very light, the record now stands at 41:29, is that a solid record or do you think ‘we’ could go quicker?

 

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

RS I’m sure it would be possible to go a couple of hours quicker, however, everything would need to align. We did the best that we could and we had brilliant weather conditions. We were very lucky. I’m not going to look back and say we could have done this, or could have done that. We are both really happy. So many factors come into play with a record like this, you can get really fast runners that on paper should do really well but with this course so many factors come into play, luck being part of it! I’m amazed at how un-runnable the route is. Certain sections you can run quite quickly but mostly the terrain is brutal and unforgiving. I looked at this as an adventure as much as anything, it’s nice to have the time but the journey was the most important thing. The concept of starting in one place and finishing in another place and completing the traverse is what matters.

 

IC Some of the photographs (Kelvin Trautman) that have been publicized are stunning; they really show the terrain and the beauty. I also know The African Attachment were filming, when can we see some footage of the journey?

 

RS We will have some footage available early next week I think? Everyone will work hard to get this done ASAP. I think the actual video of the whole project will be coming out in 6-weeks or so.

Video Here

 http://www.redbull.com/en/adventure/stories/1331642891250/footrace-across-the-dragons-back

IC That’s cool, boy, they have a few long days and nights ahead.

 

RS For sure!

 

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

IC An early image showed you going down the chain ladders traversing a sheer rock face. The terrain is crazy as you have said, how beat up are you both?

 

RS We did the chain ladders at night. I don’t enjoy heights so I was please to do them in the dark. On the recces we did them in the day and I ‘froze-up’ a little. The terrain is tough but I don’t feel too bad. My feet are pretty battered and they are sore but generally all is good. I have a few hotspots, my toes are swollen, my ankles are sore but that is all down to the unforgiving nature of the terrain. You are constantly running on sharp rocks or boulder hopping. The camber is difficult and that is continually hard. I think we both came out pretty well when all is considered. I would always prefer physically tired over mentally tired. The sleep deprivation was very tough. I struggled both mornings with a lack of sleep and I had the sleep monsters.

 

IC Ryno has a strong adventure racing background so he is used to 6+ days on the edge. Did he push you?

 

RS I think we complimented each other very well. I was nervous beforehand that Ryno wouldn’t let me sleep but we both decided on a power nap of 30-mins at the same time. But I couldn’t sleep. I was cold. I tossed and turned. We had no sleeping bags because we wanted to travel so light… that frustrated me. Later we managed sleep after 2-hours more running. Just 10-mins. It’s so cold that you can’t sleep any longer. A powernap is quite incredible. It was a new experience but that is what I wanted… I wanted a new challenge, something that would push me mentally and physically. I got what I asked for! Funny, during the night I could hear helicopters and I could see reflections in the water but it was just my imagination.

 

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

IC The high point was 3482m at Thabana Ntlenyana, was this also the toughest part of the course?

 

RS For me it wasn’t the toughest part for me. We had many peaks to climb; some of the harder sections are in the final section. Smaller peaks but you are going up and down. The second last climb is just a vertical rock face that lasts 800m or so, it was fine in training but extremely tough during the event after 190 km. In general I really enjoyed the course and the severity. I tried to take in as much as I could. We were so lucky with weather, no rain at all! I’m at the finish now in a hotel and thunderstorm is raging…

 

IC Without a doubt, on that terrain in those conditions, rain alone could cause serious problems. You both traveled extremely light. You both had just Salomon S-Lab vests. Can you give us an insight into what you did carry?

 

RS For sure, the idea for us was about going fast and light. We wore shorts, t-shirt and visor. Obviously shoes and socks and we carried 2-jackets each. I find that 2-jackets are warmer when it gets really cold. My hands can get cold so I had 2-sets of gloves, a thin pair and a waterproof pair. We had a space blanket (bivvy style) between us… a large one that we could both get inside and keep warm if required. I am sure Transgrancanaria guys will be happy about that…!

 

IC You had to get that one in?

 

(Laughter)

 

RS I also had a first aid kit, sun cream but mostly we had food. It probably accounted for 80%. We had to be fully self-supported so we carried everything and took water from streams. I had some bars, chomps, a few gels, peanuts and some Red Bull shots. I think I took too much sweet stuff; I couldn’t face it in the latter stages.

 

IC That is often the case in longer events; the longer the event and the more you crave savory food. Did you purify the water?

 

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

©kelvintrautman ©redbullZA

RS We just drank from the streams. We chose flowing water. We were really high up so it’s fresh. You can get cattle so I suppose it was a calculated risk. If it’s flowing you are usually ok.

 

IC 204km in a time of 41hrs 49mins; is it the hardest thing you have ever done?

 

RS Mentally it was tough. Pushing through the sleep monsters I found difficult. Personally it is one of the biggest things I have ever done. I am surprised how good I feel less than 24-hours later… I don’t think it has kicked in yet. I am not sure the traverse and our achievement has kicked in. It was really challenging at times but it was so new for me that I just continually enjoyed it. I embraced every moment; it was a great 2-days in the mountains.

 

IC You tweaked your ankle in the first 2-hours. After your injury issues from 2013, how much did this stress you?

 

RS Yes that was the most worrying moment. Ironically, I fell in the first hour and gashed my hand and then 2-hours later I did my ankle. It was a worrying time and it played on my mind. I became nervous. That is the main thing about that terrain and particularly at night; if anything goes wrong you can be in serious problems. I ran scared for a couple of hours but I settled. My ankle feels good today so that is reassuring. I need a few days with my feet up and then hopefully back to training.

 

IC I’m impressed that you want to start training again so quickly! This event was about 2 of you. How important was it having Ryno along; he has a great knowledge and experience of this region?

 

RS For sure, Ryno was instrumental in this journey. I couldn’t have done this without him. His knowledge of the mountains and the effort he has put in is extremely special. To share the Traverse with him has been incredible. Ryno has been over this route for 7-8 years. He has done the Traverse 3 or 4 times now. He has even tried it in winter with half the course covered in snow. We formed a special bond. I am really grateful. We fulfilled a dream.

 

IC Recovery is paramount but in 30-days or so you will be lining up at UTMF in Japan.

 

RS Jeez, it’s that soon…

 

(Laughter)

 

IC I was thinking exactly the same Ryan; it’s not far away. You’ve had a great start to 2014 with Transgrancanaria and now the DrakTraverse, is UTMF a good idea coming so soon?

 

RS I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I need to listen to my body, recover and then slowly come back. I am not going to get any fitter. It’s just about getting fresh and recovered. I will have some fatigue in my legs but I will be okay I think, I will hold back. I did the same after Transgrancanaria, I only had 3-weeks between that race and the Traverse. That worked well but I listened, the second recovery week I felt flat so I had more rest. I am really looking forward to Japan and the opportunity to run Mt Fuji is great. Then I will think about Western States.

 

IC Western States is the next big thing. You are going to want to improve on 2nd but you will be a marked man!

 

RS Yes for sure but WSER is a stacked race. Anyone in the top-20 can win. It’s an iconic race and a great vibe.

 

IC Great… feet up and start the recovery. Really appreciate you finding the time to speak so soon after the event. Many congratulations to you, Ryno and all the team.

 

RS Anytime, thank you so much for all the support and for everything that you do for the sport.

INTERVIEW NOW AVAILABLE IN SPANISH

HERE

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Links:

Ryan Sandes HERE

Ryno Griesel HERE

Red Bull HERE

Salomon HERE

 

©Video content,  The African Attachment HERE

©Photography, Kelvin Trautman HERE

 

 

SANDES and GRIESEL achieve #DrakTraverse record

Image ©kelvintrautman

Image ©kelvintrautman

At 00h00 on Monday, 24 March 2014, trailblazers Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel embarked on the ultimate Drakensberg adventure – the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. The two battled the elements and intense fatigue to break the existing record by an incredible 18 hours to complete the traverse in 41 hours and 49 minutes on 25 March 2014.

Spanning parts of the Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces of South Africa, as well as the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, the unmarked route has broken many an adventurers heart with only 3 official records set since the route was first run 15 years ago. The previous Drakensberg Grand Traverse (DGT) record, of 60 hours 29 mins, was set by Griesel and Cobus van Zyl.

A tired, but remarkably upbeat, Ryan Sandes was elated at completing the attempt and achieving a new record. “This attempt started as a seed more than 2 years ago…to have finished it now feels quite surreal. We felt good from the start & knew if the weather held, we would have a great chance of breaking the record. However, until you cross the line, you can’t be too sure. There were a few anxious moments when I tweaked my ankle 2 hours into the attempt & I was worried that it might mean the end so soon. Running through the night was challenging at some of the more technical parts, but it really helped to have Ryno there. He knows the mountain like the back of his hand & it was reassuring to have someone so experienced with me.”

Griesel was equally complimentary of his teammate. “Ryan has got to be the best runner in the world when it comes to these conditions. Running the DGT, as opposed to speed hiking, takes a greater toll on your body than I realised. I became dehydrated during the first day and had a couple of tough hours, but Ryan pushed us through it and kept me going.” When asked how he was feeling, Griesel summed it up in one word: ‘Privileged’. “It was such an incredible experience to see this dream of ours realised after years of planning and to enjoy so much support from friends, family & strangers from around the world.”

ryno-griesel ©kelvintrautman

ryno-griesel ©kelvintrautman

In order for the attempt to be official Sandes and Griesel had to start and the Sentinel Car Park and end at the Bushman’s Neck Border Post. As there is no set route for the DGT, one can choose any route to do so as long as one passes eight checkpoints along the way including The Chain Ladders, the Mont-aux-Sources summit at 3282m and the highest of the all the summits (and the highest point in Southern Africa) Thabana Ntlenyana Summit at 3482m.

Both of the athletes cited the sunrise from this summit as something that would stay with them forever. As Griesel said, “The sunrise this morning from Thabana was a special moment and we both stopped for a few seconds to appreciate the view. It was both inspiring & humbling to greet the day from such a vantage point.”

Part of the equipment the athletes carried was a mobile tracking system that tracked their movements across the mountains. This data was fed into an interactive website – http://www.redbull.co.za/draktraverse – that tracked distance, time against previous record and conditions live. The site attracted more than 20 000 visitors from all over the world over the course of the event and users were able to show their support for the athletes by sharing live data from the site.

Ryan Sandes ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes ©iancorless.com

With his DGT record in the bag, Sandes now has his sights set on Ultra Trial Mount Fuji in April, before he comes back to South Africa to participate in the Wings for Life World Run in Franschhoek in May.

Marathon des Sables, 29th Edition, Race Preview

MDS Logo

It begins again, the Marathon des Sables! Now in its 29th year, the epic multiday race in the Sahara is considered by many the Father of stage racing. Often called ‘The Toughest Race on Earth’ we all know that it isn’t but one thing is for sure… it’s no walk in the park.

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

iancorless.comP1030603Heat, sand, survival, reduced calories and self sufficiency pushed to the limits will test each and everyone of the 1079 participants who will toe the line in South Morocco.

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 Participants from France will represent 30% of the field and over 45 other nations make up the remaining 70% with the UK providing the largest contingent. The provinces of Errachidia and Tinghrir will host the 2014 Marathon des Sables over 6-stages with a total distance of 250km’s. An easy day will be 30km and the longest day, 75km. It’s a wonderful way, albeit a tough and challenging way to embrace the Moroccan dessert.

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The 2013 edition of the race was noted as ‘one of the toughest’ in the races prestigious history, 2014 will be no different; traversing ergs, djebels, stony plateaus, dried-up lakes (wadis) and of course lush oasis. Occasional passing traditional villages and encampments of nomads, the 29th edition of the Marathon des Sables promises to be a ‘secret garden’ of the Sahara.

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Described by race founder, Patrick Bauer as ‘the greatest show on earth’, his comparisons to a circus are apt. The Marathon des Sables really is a large circus like operation on a scale that is second to none. Volunteers number 130 to supervise the race, 430-general staff support the race and 300-local Berbers man the bivouac. All-terrain vehicles number 120, 8 ‘MDS’ planes, 25-buses, 4-dromederies, 1-incinerator lorry, 5-quad bikes and 2-helicopters keep the show on the road. Add to this 52-medical staff, journalists, photographers and you really have what I have come to call, the ‘Cirque de Sahara’, it’s quite special.

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A race with a history, the Marathon des Sables dates back to 1984 when Patrick Bauer, aged 28, ventured into the Sahara to traverse solo a 350km journey with a pack weighing 35kg. It was an ultimate self-sufficient expedition that lasted 12-days.

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Inspired by the experience, in 1986 the first edition was created, just 23-pioneers embarked on what must have been ‘the ultimate’ expedition. Who would have thought those formative years would have laid the foundations for what is, without question, the father of multiple day racing. The race has had memorable moments; in ‘1991’ the Gulf drama had an impact on the race, ‘1994’ the arrival of Doc Trotters, ‘1995’ the 10th anniversary, ‘1996’ Mohamed Ahansal participates for the first time, ‘1997’ Lahcen Ahansal wins his first MDS one of many),  ‘2000’ internet arrives in the Sahara, ‘2001’ the ‘long’ day exceeds 70km, ‘2002’ a week of sandstorms and wind, ‘2009’ flooding at the MDS, ‘2010’ the 25th edition and finally, in ‘2013’, solar energy arrives in bivouac. What does ‘2014’ hold for us…?

iancorless.com_1090603

Results recap

2013

  1. 1. Mohamad Ahansal (MAR) 18:59:35
  2. 2. Salameh Al Aqra (JOR) 00:41:40 deficit
  3. 3. Miguel Capo Soler (ESP) 1:19:56 deficit
  1. 4. Meghan Hicks (USA) 24:42:01
  2. 5. Joanna Meek (UK) 00:00:59 deficit
  3. 6. Zoe Salt (UK) 02:21:57 deficit

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2014 Preview

Ladies

2013 female winner, Meghan Hicks unfortunately will not return to the Sahara this year. Meghan would have loved nothing more than to defend her title, however, Meghan has received an injury and has had no other option but to retire; a real shame.

Laurence Klein

Laurence Klein

Jo Meek and Zoe Salt will not return, this leaves the floodgates open for 2011 and 2012 champion, Laurence Klein (Fra) to return and dominate the race. Laurence dropped from the 2013 edition of the race with dehydration whilst in the lead. I have no doubts, Laurence will return, 1-year wiser, 1-MDS wiser and with lessons learnt. Laurence raced at Gruissan Phoebus Taril 50km in February this year and won, in the process, she also placed 20th overall. She’s in form!

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball (USA) looks to be the hot US replacement for Meghan Hicks and I have no doubt that this formidable lady can push Laurence all the way to the line. It’s a showdown that I am really looking forward to watching unfold. Nikki returned to Western States in 2013 and placed 2nd, she was also 2nd at Run Rabbit Run 100-miler… would you like to bet against her? *UTWT entrant

Simone Kayser from Luxemburg has 3-MDS (2002, 2004 and 2005) victories and returns in 2014. With past experience, knowledge of multi-day racing and an understanding of the Sahara, Simone will also test the podium positions. However, her current form is unknown.

Men

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Salameh Al Aqra and Mohamad Ahansal have battled ‘royal’ in the dunes of the Sahara for years. In 2009, Ahansal won, Al Aqra was 3rd, in 2010 it was Ahansal 1st, Al Aqra 2nd, 2011 Ahansal placed 2nd and Al Aqra 3rd, 2012 Al Aqra took honours relegating Ahansal to bridesmaid, however, last year, Ahansal once again regained his crown with Al Aqra chasing the locals heals. Both return in 2014 and based on past records you have to tip Ahansal with his 5-victories and 9-second places to dominate once again.

Mohammed Ahansal

Mohamad Ahansal

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Salameh Al Aqra

Rachid El Moriaty won in the race in 2011 and in doing so placed Ahansal in 2nd by just 7-minutes. He’d do well to repeat that performance.

Miguel Capo Soler is arguably the hot prospect to place Mohammed and Salameh under pressure, his 2013 3rd place will without doubt have ignited a fire and a desire within him to take his performance one step further and move up one notch on the podium and if all goes well, two notches to reign supreme.

Carlos sa

Carlos sa

Carlos Sa, 4th in the 2013 edition will do all he can to infiltrate the podium and if his form is good, he may very well upset the front of the race. His 2013 season was quite spectacular, in particular, his win at Badwater a highlight and his 4th at the 2012 TNFUTMB establishes him as ‘hot’ for the podium at the 29th edition. *UTWT entrant

Miguel Heras certainly is a surprise entrant for MDS and I guess this is a significance of the *UTWT flexing its muscle and introducing runners who we would not normally see at a multi-day race. This is a good thing! However, Miguel had to withdraw from Transgrancanaria with injury issues and I am not sure currently his status? Should he race he will without doubt bring an interesting dynamic to the race. When in form, he is world class and one of the best ultra runners in the world, Miguel has proved this time and time again and is 2nd place at the 2013 TNFUTMB proves this. I hope he’s fit, firing on all cylinders and ready to bring his ‘A’ race to the Sahara.

Danny Kendall

Danny Kendall

UK hopes are in the legs and lungs of Danny Kendall. A ‘regular’ at the MDS, Danny has consistently worked hard on his training, racing strategy and in in 2013 he placed 10th overall, the best ever performance by a Brit. The podium may well be out of reach but anything higher than 9th will be something to celebrate and embrace.

Cyril Cointre also takes a *UTWT place and will be a potential force at the front of the race. Cyril placed 8th at Transgrancanaria and 11th and HK100 in the last 2-months. Will he be recovered.

Wild card may well be Abdelkader El Mouaziz who has 13 sub 2:10 marathons! He hasn’t run the MDS before and that speed may well transfer well to the dunes and terrain of the Sahara, however, one has to wonder what if? Mouaziz won London Marathon in 1999 and 2001; in addition, he also won New York in 2000 and Madrid in 1994. He may well be nowhere near his glory days but Mouaziz is an exciting addition to the 29th edition.

Who else to watch:

Christophe Le eaux

Christophe Le Seaux

Marco Olmo

Marco Olmo

Christophe Le Saux – 9th at MDS 2013

Marco Olmo – 13th at MDS 2013

Anything can happen and without doubt, 2014 will throw up some surprises and names that we have never heard of before. 2013 was no different and that is what makes this sport so exciting and exhilarating.

What does the 2014 course look like?

Leg No.1 – Sunday 6 April

We get straight to the point and attack hard with a good fifteen kilometers or so of dunes in total on this first leg. Our imagination transports us into the shoes of British explorer, Sir Wilfred Thesiger, or to the very core of superb cinema, which were a wonder to us all!

Leg No.2 – Monday 7 April

This is coloured by fields of dunettes on the mountainside and a vast reg plateau, where the marathon runners will be able to really show what they’re made of at over 16km/hr. An abandoned adobe village, a dried-up lake crossing, a small erg with some beautiful dunes, an extensive plateau of black rock, the negotiation of a remote village and a djebel climb will make up the varied menu of this long second leg, where managing ones effort will take on its full meaning.

Leg No.3 – Tuesday 8 April

After 8km of running on fair terrain, the sand will put in an appearance again prior to a djebel ascent where a fabulous erg can be perceived at the bottom of the valley. There the runners will again negotiate some high dunes to make CP2, from where they will discover an ancient town, in ruins and perched on a hill, before making the night’s bivouac.

Leg No.4 (referred to as the long leg or the 80) – Wednesday 9 / Thursday 10 April

An ultra flat plateau running along a series of dunettes will form today’s backdrop before the runners traverse a wadi and hopefully get a bird’s eye view of the desert from up high after a tough little climb of around thirty-minutes. The landscape is truly breathtaking! Once you make it to the valley, you can make out a fabulous little erg followed by vast plateaus and a succession of djebels. The images here are strikingly beautiful and herald the discovery of an impressive sandy valley. Here, a laser beam will guide runners surprised by the cover of darkness. Participants will then link onto terrain dotted with crevasses before traversing a long, winding, sandy wadi and finally the bivouac. It will be important to follow the markers!

Leg No.5 (Marathon leg) – Friday 11 April

A long plateau of black reg will lead the runners into the ‘Out of Africa’ valley before they link onto a mountainous path, which will guide them to the bottom of a deep wadi. It’s a place where a number of villagers have taken up residence along this dried up river in which the palm trees are kings and agriculture is the only resource. A vast plateau peppered with dunes and dunettes will lead the competitor to the bivouac in this final timed leg.

Leg No.6 (the solidarity leg) – Saturday 12 April

As they make for the small village that will play host to the final finish destination, the competitors, sponsors and families that form the caravan will be able to appreciate the beauty and softness of the landscape in the ambience of closeness and sharing that is synonymous with this UNICEF leg (which supports projects benefiting disadvantaged children). For the majority of participants, this walk gives them time to reflect on this beautiful human adventure and collectively realize their accomplishments before getting back to civilization.

Links:

Follow the 2014 Marathon des Sables on www.iancorless.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/talkultra and on Twitter @talkultra

Updates will be posted daily as and when possible based on wifi connection and gps. Please be patient. I will do all I can to upload images and daily reports.

Info:

*UTWTIn 2013, the event became part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour Series, which groups together the major Ultra Trail races across all the different continents. The MARATHON DES SABLES will represent Africa in this circuit, where the distance (at least 100km), the site, the participation (at least 500 at the start), the internationality (at least 20 nations) and the length of existence (at least two editions) determines which events are selected. Beyond these sporting criteria, moral and ethical values, sporting equity, respect for oneself and others, as well as a respect for the environment, must be brought to the fore. Such values have always been conveyed by the MARATHON DES SABLES. 10 races, 5 continents, 150 global elite athletes… the Ultra-Trail® World Tour 2014 draws together the superlatives to provide the biggest number of runners with a world tour of the most prestigious races off the beaten track. Indeed, through their specific features, the #UTWT races illustrate the true diversity of the trail. Their sporting formats call for participants to have a real ability to adapt. As such you need a range of very different qualities to be a contender for victory! The MARATHON DES SABLES, the 4th leg of the 2014 tour, ranks among the ‘series’ races. As such, the number of points won in this event is increased, which makes it a decisive race in the bid for the #UTWT 2014 champion’s title. Participating in the Ultra-Trail® World Tour gives everyone a chance to discover unique cultural and sporting features. All the continents will be visited: Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. So many opportunities to enrich one’s sporting culture, to create new friendships and to feed on emotions and perhaps, one day, be a ‘finisher’ in every one of the events!

 

Vibram Tarawera 2014 Race Summary

Tarawera_logo_rectangular

 

Kapiti’s Jo Johannsen only started running a year ago and she’s raced just a handful of times.

But on Saturday, she blitzed some of the world’s best trail runners in the central North Island’s Vibram Tarawera Ultramarathon.

Johannsen, 33, took the lead about 15km after the Rotorua Redwoods start. Showing powerful composure in difficult conditions, she steadily opened a nine-minute gap over Claire Walton (UK) and Dawn Tuffery (NZ), stopping the clock at 7hrs 2min after 69 demanding kilometres.

“I felt comfortable the whole way,” Johannsen said at the Lake Okareka finish, while pelted by heavy rain. “I was just making sure my legs were ticking over,  tick-tick-tick-tick, and keeping my back straight.”

“I didn’t know what to expect beforehand — if I could keep up with the elites. I’m so new to all this. But I must be doing something right!”

Jo Johannsen © Graeme Murray

Jo Johannsen © Graeme Murray

She reckons she’s become “obsessed” with ultra trail running the last year, packing in 30 hours a week training, starting at 4am before work. According to her running friend and crew support at the Tarawera Ultra, she also has mental toughness in spades.

“I like pushing it to the limit,” is how Johannsen expressed it.

In the face of Cyclone Lusi, the Ultramarathon had revised courses of 69 km and 55km. The field of 850 from 28 countries still experienced the Bay of Plenty’s lakes and bush clad slopes. But the forecast proved accurate and there was no question race director, Paul Charteris made the right call in revising the route.

Sage Canaday  © Graeme Murray

Sage Canaday © Graeme Murray

The men’s title was superbly defended by 2013 Tarawera Ultramarathon champion, Sage Canaday of Colorado, USA — whose online blog was a key inspiration for Johannsen.

Canaday was one of a large bunch that formed over the early kilometres, alongside other contenders including Kiwi’s Michael Aish, Vajin Armstrong and Scott Hawker and Mike Wardian from the USA.

Top Coast to Coast athlete Sam Clark of Whakatane dangled out front until about the 20km mark, at which stage Canaday, Aish and Armstrong moved clear.

“After Millar road [about half way] I made my big move on a very hard mile uphill. I kept pushing. I didn’t look back,” Canaday recounted. Fifteen kilometres later, he’d established a seven-minute lead, and by the finish, that had more than doubled.

Canaday kept the effort dialled up all the way, finishing in 5hrs 33min.

“You’re always on a fine line,” he said. “It was an honour to win for a second year – I love New Zealand and this race and it was great to be back.”

Second place in the men’s race went to China’s Yun Yanqiao, who put in a sterling display of smart pacing, moving up from fourth spot over the challenging Okataina Trail, which peaks out at almost 700m.

Yanqiao has little English, but his delight was abundantly clear: “Very enjoyed! In China [there are] no trails this way,” he said, beaming. His time was 5hrs 52min.

Next home was a trio of flying kiwis, with Armstrong (5hrs 57min) besting Aish by under a minute, and Hawker another eight minutes back. As late as 3 kilometres to go, Armstrong and Aish were almost neck and neck.

“For me it’s a learning curve — I left it all out there,” said Aish, who’s just starting out on the trails after retiring from road racing four years ago. “But Sage was in a different category today.”

  • Report by: Jim Robinson ©
  • Images by: Graeme Murray ©

RESULTS

Men

  1. Sage Canaday – Hoka One One  5:33:38
  2. Yun Yan Qiao – The North Face  5:52:30
  3. Vajin Armstrong – MacPac 5:59:49
  4. Mike Aish – Mizuno 5:58:37
  5. Scott Hawker – Hoka One One 6:06:32
  6. Martin Gaffuri – New Balance 6:21:31
  7. Moritz Auf De Heidi 6:22:21
  8. Mike Wardian – Hoka One One 6:28:46
  9. Matt Murphy 6:36:27
  10. Manuel Lago 6:37:30

Ladies

  1. Jo Johansen 7:02:43
  2. Claire Walton 7:11:48
  3. Dawn Tuffery 7:16:16
  4. Beth Cardelli – Salomon 7:18:54
  5. Meghan Arbogast – Scott Running 7:26:24
  6. Shona Stephenson – inov-8  7:26:24
  7. Fiona Hayvice 7:40:54
  8. Katrin Gottschalk 7:44:33
  9. Katherine Macmillan 7:44:33
  10. Sandy Nyper – Ink n Burn 7:57:24

GB international joins world champions at Salomon Trail Team UK

R-Simpson-Jungfrau-2012

Top sky and mountain runner Robbie Simpson has joined some of the UK’s finest trail, fell and mountain running talent at the Salomon Trail Team UK for 2014, bolstering the team to be one of the strongest domestic trail teams in the world. With such talent as Ricky Lightfoot, Tom Owens, Angela Mudge, Andy Davies and Emma Clayton already on the UK team, Simpson’s addition to the squad for 2014 will create even more interest for the team on the UK and global stage.
The world-class team of UK athletes will be unveiled at Coed y Brenin, Wales this weekend, as the 11-strong team meets for the annual training and product summit, along with its fledgling squad of five junior athletes, Salomon Avenir.
The full line-up of the UK-based team for 2014 is:
2014 Salomon Trail Team UK
 
Emma Clayton
Rob Hope
Ricky Lightfoot
Angela Mudge
Tom Owens
Rob Samuel
Andy Davies
Joe Symonds
Robbie Simpson
Katie Walshaw
Nathan Jones
 
Salomon Avenir line-up for 2014
 
Georgia Malir
Max Nicholls
James Hall
Andrew Lawler
Iolo Hughes
Speaking about his move back to the team which helped kick-start his international career some 4 years ago, Simpson states:

 

“Over the summer I was in the Alps for four months and started seeing some of the new Salomon range at a lot of big races. A few months later a conversation at a wedding with Tom Owens was what got things started. He suggested trying some of these shoes I’d seen to see how I found them. My feet are a bit strange so I wasn’t sure if they would get on well with them. After trying the Sense Ultra I knew it was the perfect shoe for mountain racing and it suited my feet really well. I tried some of the other new shoes like the Fellcross and got on very well with that too. After that I knew it was the right decision. I was very fortunate that Salomon were prepared to give me a chance on the team for 2014.
 
“It will be great to be working with some of the world’s top mountain and trail runners. I would say already I’ve been learning from these athletes for at least five years now and they have been definitely helped me develop. Angela (Mudge) has won pretty much every race I’ve competed in whether in Scotland or Europe so she knows so much about how everything works. Her knowledge has been very valuable to me and I still have a lot to learn. Tom and Ricky also have a lot of experience and I am very keen to learn from them too; especially about the long mountain and trail races which they are so good at. I’m hoping I can continue to improve and be a strong addition to the team.”
Commenting on some of the changes to the product in the last few seasons Robbie is impressed with what he has seen to date:
“Lots of very great kit has been developed in the last few years! Now there is a great range of off road shoes that can cope with anything from fast smooth trails to thick mud and fells. Previously the range was a bit restricted so there was a lack of a very light racing shoe or a very aggressive fell shoe; this has changed now. The Sense Ultra is one of my favourite shoes that I have tried and I look forward to using it on the mountains this season. It’s incredibly light and fast but has enough grip for most conditions. I’ve run up big hills on rough terrain in the shoe but also set road PB’s in it! I think this would be perfect for most Alpine races with reasonably good trails and also for flat races.
 
“The Fellcross is another great shoe that gets taken out for the really wet or muddy conditions. It has very aggressive grip and is also very comfortable on long runs. I think it would be the best shoe for most UK hill and fell races. As well as these I have tried the Fellraiser which is another shoe with very good grip but it also copes well with firmer ground like forest tracks. It’s perfect for runs of mixed terrain where you need good grip and it is very comfortable.”
 
After another very strong season in 2013 which saw the Scot pull-off a tremendous 5th place finish at the world-renowned Sierre-Zinal race, Robbie has spent some time this winter honing his speed on the roads of Scotland, with PBs and wins at such events as the Cupar 5 (24:02) and a win at the Inverness Half Marathon (66:03) only this weekend. Looking ahead to the coming year he concludes:
“The aim is to run at the European and World championships plus some other big mountain races like Sierre Zinal once again. Last year I was very happy with my season in the Alps but this year I want to perform even better. I’m planning to go to the Alps for a few months over the summer so I can focus on preparing well and get used to racing against some of the world’s best. In the months before then I will be aiming to improve my road PB’s and also to do a few hill races to get in as good shape as possible.”
Commenting on Simpson’s addition to the team for 2014, team co-ordinator Matt Ward states:
 
“We are very pleased to see Robbie back with Salomon in 2014. He was on the squad as a teenager, which was perhaps a little young for someone to be thrown into a brand team with so many top-class internationals and this is one of the reasons that we brought in the Avenir squad project with senior team ‘mentors’. Robbie is now 22 and has matured over the last 2-3 years to be one of the UK’s brightest trail and mountain running talents, so naturally we are very happy to have secured him on the team for the coming season. 
 
“However, the UK team is much more one one athlete. We have some of the best athletes in the world on the team for 2014 and Robbie will hopefully gel into what has been a phenomenal set-up under the guidance of Tim Lloyd over the last decade or so. This weekend we will all meet in Wales to discuss the season ahead, look at product from our main sponsors Salomon, Suunto, Petzl, Super Feet and Kinetica, share some runs on the amazing trails of Coed y Brenin, and hopefully have a little fun whilst we are at it!”

Episode 56 – Sandes, Jurek, Morgan, Chaigneau, Maciel, Kendall

Ep56

 

Episode 56 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we have a Transgrancanaria special with a whole series of interviews. We speak with Scott Jurek, Sebastien Chaigneau, Casey Morgan, 3rd place lady, Fernanda Maciel and we have an in-depth chat with race winner, Ryan Sandes. In addition, we have a chat with top Brit at the MDS, Danny Kendall who returns this year to hopefully move higher up the field. The news, a blog and of this week only, a new co-host, Niandi Carmont.

What we have both been up to?

NEWS

AUDIO with SCOTT JUREK 
 
Transgrancanaria
  1. Ryan Sandes Salomon/Red Bull : 14:27:42
  2. Julien Chorier  Hoka One One/ Compressport “14:36:28
  3. Timothy Olson The North Face : 14:39:03
  4. Yeray Duran : 15:06:54
  5. Antoine Guillon WAA : 15:17:30
  6. Sondre Amdahl : 15:28:35
  7. Javier Dominguez Vibram : 15:46:06
  8. Cyril Cointre WAA : 15:47:08
  9. Dylan Bowman Peral Izumi : 15:59:13
  10. Casey Morgan Salomon 16:00:31
AUDIO with CASEY MORGAN
 
AUDIO with SEBASTIEN CHAIGNEAU
  1. Nuria Picas Buff : 16:44:55
  2. Francesca Canepa Montura : 17:29:18
  3. Fernanda Maciel 17:31:57
  4. Ildko Wermescher Mammut :18:50:45
  5. Uxue Fraile Vibram 19:21:00
  6. Nerea Martinez Salomon 19:21:00
  7. Magdalena Ostrowska-Dolegowska : 20:27:02
  8. Ester Alves : 23:03:10
  9. Laureda Tirepied : 23:10:44
  10. Helen Allison : 23:40:48
AUDIO with FERNANDA MACIEL
ITI350 and ITI1000
David Johnton was on the last show and after smashing the Susitna 100 record just 7-days later took on the ITI350. He was on the last show if you need and insight and he will be on our next show! Amazingly, he smashed the CR thought by many to be unbeatable by an incredible, 4d 1h 38m – broke record by 13h 22m set by Steve Refenstuhl
Jeff Oatley gonna smash the 1000m in around 10-days
MSIG Sai Kung 50
 
  1. Rudy Gilman 4:51
  2. Siu Keung Tsang 5:05
  3. Brendan Davies 5:15
Brit Stu Air – 8th
  1. Cassie Scallon 6:00
  2. Allesandra Carlini 6:05
  3. Joe Joe SuiPing Fan 6:11
St Peters Way Ultra
  1. Richard Ashton – new CR 5:34
  2. Christopher Howe 5:59
  3. Keith Moule 7:03
  1. Naomi Newton Fisher 8:20
  2. Fiona McNeils 9:58
  3. Nicki Edwards 10:13
4 Refugios non-stop Argentina – 70k
  1. Dakota Jone 7:18
  2. Sergio Jesus Trecaman 7:51
  3. Carlos Galosi 8:12
  1. Laura Lucero 9:40
  2. Sonia Beartriz 10:32
  3. Yanet Guzman 11:18
 
ADDO Elephant 76km
  1. Quintin Honey 8:05
  2. Mike Els 8:45
  3. Miema Murray (lady) 9:22

INTERVIEW with DANNY KENDALL

 

BLOG

Zach Bitter

Big Fat Theory

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the ratio of fat and carbohydrate expenditure while running at varying paces.”

INTERVIEW with RYAN SANDES

 
UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Victoria

Maroondah Dam 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 16, 2014 | website

Razorback 58K Run | 58 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 58K Run (March) | 58 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 64K Run | 64 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 64K Run (March) | 64 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Razorback 68K Run (March) | 68 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Dirty Duo 50 km Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Yukon

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 120 mile | 120 miles | March 14, 2014 | website

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 350 mile | 350 miles | March 14, 2014 | website

France

Pas-de-Calais

Trail Bullygeois des Poilus – 55 km | 55 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

Hong-Kong

Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Translantau 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Hungary

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 21, 2014 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 195 kilometers | March 20, 2014 | website

India

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 135 Miles | 135 miles | March 14, 2014 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 160 km | 160 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

Italy

Umbria

Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

Veneto

Ultrabericus | 65 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Madagascar

Nosy Be Trail – 65 km | 65 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Tarawera 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Tarawera 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Tarawera 85K Ultramarathon | 85 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Te Houtaewa Challenge 60 km Open Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Triple Peaks Challenge | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Philippines

TRD80 Ultramarathon | 80 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Portugal

Território Circuito Centro 3a Etapa – Vila de Rei – K67 – Ultra Trail | 67 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Território Circuito Centro 3a Etapa – Vila de Rei – Trail Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Senegal

Raid Téranga 250 | 250 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Slovakia

Kysucká Stovka | 120 kilometers | March 07, 2014 | website

South Africa

Om Die Dam 50 km Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Trail Sierras del Bandolero | 150 kilometers | March 07, 2014 | website

Catalonia

Marxa dels Castells PLUS | 81 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

UT les Fonts – Trail de les Fonts | 70 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Taiwan

Southern Cross-Island Road Ultra Marathon – 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Southern Cross-Island Road Ultra Marathon – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Tunisia

100 Miles Camelus | 100 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

45 Miles Camelus | 45 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Aberdeen City

D33 Ultra | 33 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Deeside Way Ultra | 33 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Bradford

Haworth Hobble | 32 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 21, 2014 | website

Somerset

Exmoor Ultra – 40 Miles | 40 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Wiltshire

Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 09, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Arizona

Monument Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Monument Valley 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Old Man 52K | 52 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Arkansas

3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 14, 2014 | website

California

Coyote Cohorts Backbone Trail Ultra | 68 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Lake Natoma 50K | 50 kilometers | March 09, 2014 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Old West Trails 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Rodeo Valley Trail Run Spring 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Whoos in El Moro 50k – Race #2 | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Colorado

High Line Canal 100K | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Florida

DWD Green Swamp 50K | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50M | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Lost 118 | 118 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Georgia

Georgia Death Race | 60 miles | March 15, 2014 | website

Kentucky

Land Between The Lakes 50 mile run | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Land Between The Lakes 60k | 60 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Louisiana

Q50 50M Ultra | 50 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Maryland

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Graveyard 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Graveyard 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | March 08, 2014 | website

Reservoir Park 50K | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Ohio

Buzzard Day 50k | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Green Jewel 50K Fun Run | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 16, 2014 | website

Music City Trail Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Texas

Prickly Pear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2014 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 21, 2014 | website

Virginia

Elizabeth’s Furnace Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2014 | website

Washington

Centennial Trail Run | 37 miles | March 08, 2014 | website
CLOSE
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He is Karl Meltzer and I’m Ian Corless
Keep Running !
LINKS

Race Report – The North Face Transgrancanaria 2014

Ryan Sandes at Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes at Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

“The Canary Islands Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing announces Ryan Sandes as winner of The North Face Transgrancanaria 2014. The arguments explained by the South African runner has been accepted by the arbitral team and the disqualification has been corrected.”

Excitement on the trails almost faded into insignificance on the morning of Sunday Mar 2nd as a press release was released claiming that Julien Chorier would be crowned 2014 Transgrancanaria champion and that Ryan Sandes would be disqualified for a failure to comply with mandatory kit as specified in the race rules.

A couple of hours of frantic activity followed and eventually a resolution found! The incidence arose due to a misunderstanding in regard to a space blanket, which was translated into the word, ‘cover’ by the local race official. Ryan understood cover to mean jacket and produced the item from his pack. The official noted this as a noncompliance of race rules and of course the rest is now history. Discussions will go on in regard to this situation, certainly, errors were made. A simple discussion with Ryan and officials prior to any statement would most certainly have been preferable in contrast to the media frenzy that preceded the awards ceremony.

Ryan Sandes Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Ultimately, Ryan was crowned champion and Timothy Olson summed up everyone’s sentiment post the decision, ‘I’m really pleased to hear this. Great decision. Ryan is a great athlete and true professional. He’s a great ambassador.’

The Race

Transgrancanaria 2014 ©iancorless.com

Transgrancanaria 2014 ©iancorless.com

The 2014 Transgrancanaria was always going to be a great race, tough 125km technical course with vertical gain and loss to make the most seasoned trail runner squirm in pain. Add to the course a top-quality men’s and ladies field and we had the makings of a classic.

Pre race we had a couple of notable drops from the line-up, Nathalie Mauclair was expected to be a real presence in the ladies race but she decided her form was not where she needed it to be. Julia Bottger also dropped with a niggling leg injury. In the men’s race, Jez Bragg withdrew before making the journey to Gran Canaria due to a cold, in contrast, Jez’s TNF teammate, Mike Wolfe arrived in Gran Canaria only to come down with flu like symptoms in the days before the race. Miguel Heras’s injury problems continued and he too unfortunately didn’t make the race

Starting at midnight in Agaete, runners would endure tough, technical terrain and relentless climbing before arriving at the finish in Faro de Maspalomas in an expected winning time of 14-hours. At the toll of midnight, runners disappeared into the night. Conditions in comparison to the 2013 edition of the race were good; light rain, some mist and blustery winds caused little problems. Ryan Sandes and Sebastien Chaigneau ran smart races in the early stages allowing time to get in the flow. Ryan in particular showed incredible maturity and patience and gave a master class in how to work your way up through the field and finish in the top slot. For nearly half of the race, Ryan was just on the edges of the top-10, British runner Casey Morgan said post race, ‘He really knew what he was doing and he looked so relaxed and calm. For sure, he was running within himself and I was just waiting for him to take off.’ Take off he did, just after the 70km mark Ryan was lying in 4th-place and in contrast to the 3 –runners in front of him, he looked relaxed and on a mission. Moving up in to 3rd and then 2nd, Ryan finally took the lead with just under 20km to go. Pushing from the front, Ryan couldn’t be complacent… Julien Chorier and Timothy Olson were pursuing. At the line, Ryan had opened up a 9-minute margin confirming that not only is he one of the best ultra distance runners in the world but also that patience is a precious commodity in any race.

Sebastien Chaigneau Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Sebastien Chaigneau Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Sebastien Chaigneau had looked like a potential winner early in the race. He was the defending champion after all and he knows the trails well. Like Ryan, Seb had paced himself well early in the race and then took over the lead. Running relaxed but with focus, Seb traded blows with Arnaud Julia (Buff) and local runner, Yeray Duran (Yeray placed 5th at CCC in 2013) was arguably a revelation and surprise of the day, despite his 3rd place at the 2013 edition of Transgrancanaria, against such strong competition in 2014, I personally thought he would finish lower down the top-10.

However, Seb dropped with dehydration and Arnaud dropped having run too hard in the early stages of the race. This allowed the two main protagonists and pre race favourites, Julien Chorier and Timothy Olson to take control of the race.

Arnaud Julia Transvulcania ©iancorless.com

 Timothy ran a smart race and respected the terrain and the competition. Taking over the lead at just over halfway, Timothy battled with Julien until Ryan passed them both. Post race, Timothy was very happy with his race, ‘It beat me up; I like that, that’s why I do them. It was a beautiful and technical course. It’s a race I will do it again’.

Timothy Olson Transvulcania ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson Transvulcania ©iancorless.com

Julien Chorier impressed me at the 2013 Ronda dels Cims and without doubt was a potential favourite for the top title here on the island of Gran Canaria. Meticulous in preparation, Julien would bring a clever strategy to the race and having run the whole race in or around the top-5, one just wondered ‘when’ he would make his move. With Timothy out in front, the stage had looked set for an American win, however, a charging Ryan Sandes changed that and when Timothy faltered in the latter stage, Julien pounced to take 2nd place just 2.5mins ahead of the American.

Julien Chorier Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Julien Chorier Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

It was Ryan Sandes day. After a troubled 2013, 2014 is certainly looking to be a great year for the South African. In just two weeks he will attempt an FKT in South Africa and then attention will focus on the Holy Grail of ultra; Western States.

Nuria Picas & Ryan Sandes Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas & Ryan Sandes Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

*Notable mention to Brit, Casey Morgan who ran an incredible race for 10th overall

Ladies

Nuria Picas Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas came into Transgrancanaria as a pre race favourite and the Catalan did not disappoint. Starting slowly over the first 10km she took the lead ahead of Francesca Canepa and then never looked back. Pre race Nuria had said how important it would be to have reserves for the latter stages; however, Nuria didn’t need to worry. Her consistency of effort was superb. Without doubt, Nuria’s 2nd place at the 2013 TNFUTMB has provided incredible confidence in how to run long and technical trail.

Nuria Picas Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

With Nathalie Mauclair and Julia Bottger out of the race, in reality, 2nd place and 3rd place was always going to be a battle between Francesca Canepa and Fernanda Maciel.

Fernanda Maciel Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Fernanda Maciel Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Fernanda looked to have 2nd place sewn up and post race, she told me, ‘I was told I had a 30-45 minute lead over Francesca and I think I became a little complacent. In the latter stages of the race the terrain became easier and more runnable which played into Francesca’s hands. We arrived at the last feed station together and Francesca didn’t stop.’

Needing to eat and hydrate may very well have cost Fernanda 2nd on the podium, we will never know, certainly missing the last feed was not an option!

Francesca Canepa Transgrancanaria ©Iancorless.com

Francesca Canepa Transgrancanaria ©Iancorless.com

Francesca had an incredible 2013 dominating long distance racing, however, she found the trail on Gran Canaria a little too technical for her style of running. For much of the day she ran in 3rd place but in the latter stages, Francesca found some extra energy, closed the gap on Fernanda and managed to take 2nd place by just under 3-minutes.

Attention will now turn to UTMF in Japan; many of the runners at Transgrancanaria will be present to do battle once again on very different terrain. I wonder, who will come out on top?

RESULTS

Ryan Sandes Salomon/Red Bull : 14:27:42

Julien Chorier  Hoka One One/ Compressport “14:36:28

Timothy Olson The North Face : 14:39:03

Yeray Duran : 15:06:54

Antoine Guillon WAA : 15:17:30

Sondre Amdahl : 15:28:35

Javier Dominguez Vibram : 15:46:06

Cyril Cointre WAA : 15:47:08

Dylan Bowman Peral Izumi : 15:59:13

Casey Morgan Salomon 16:00:31

Nuria Picas Buff : 16:44:55

Francesca Canepa Montura : 17:29:18

Fernanda Maciel 17:31:57

Ildko Wermescher Mammut :18:50:45

Uxue Fraile Vibram 19:21:00

Nerea Martinez Salomon 19:21:00

Magdalena Ostrowska-Dolegowska : 20:27:02

Ester Alves : 23:03:10

Laureda Tirepied : 23:10:44

Helen Allison : 23:40:48

Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel to attempt ‘DGT’ – Drakensberg Grand Traverse

Fresh from an incredible victory at Transgrancanaria, Ryan Sandes will attempt the 220km Drakensberg Grand Traverse with Ryno Griesel.

The Drakensberg Grand Traverse (DGT) is a 220km route, traversed from the north to the south of the Drakensberg mountain range in South Africa. Unmarked, the route is extremely difficult and technical and spans parts of the Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal province as well as the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

Ryan Sandes at Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes at Transgrancanaria ©iancorless.com

Gavin and Lauri Raubenheimer first made the traverse in 1999 in a time of 105-hours 39-mins. With only 3-official records and 15-failed attempts, the DGT is a serious undertaking. Ryno Griesel and Cobus Van Zyl were the last to set a record in 2010 shattering the 1999 time. Griesel and Van Zyl set a new benchmark, 60-hours 29-min and 30-secs.

ryno-griesel ©kelvintrautman

ryno-griesel ©kelvintrautman

Ryno Griesel will return to the DGT in 2014, this time with Ryan Sandes,  “I am really excited to be running the Drakensberg Grand Traverse with Ryno, it’s going to be one of the biggest adventures of my life,” says Ryan. “The route is extremely challenging and the slow nature of the terrain makes the Traverse that much harder. I always want to see how far I can push my own boundaries and for me this is going to be the ultimate test.”

 

Ryan Sandes ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes ©iancorless.com

“It will be an all or nothing attempt” Ryan commented after winning the 125km Transgrancanaria. Scheduled for the last week of March, this record attempt will come just 2-weeks after the Transgrancaria. It’s a testament to Ryan’s level of fitness and dedication to the sport he loves.

“It will either be a great training run or a mistake,” explained Ryan “I feel really good and although Transgrancanaria was a hard effort, I feel confident I will be in good shape for the DGT. You have to remember, the DGT trail is very hard and technical, so it is not all about running, it’s about hiking and covering ground efficiently.”

The run will be completely self-sufficient with no support, pacers or crews. Sandes and Griesel must carry all they need; however, they are allowed to use a GPS to aid navigation.

Griesel commented on redbull.com that over recent years the record has moved from hiking to faster and lighter hiking. Griesel and Sandes are the first to approach the DGT from a purely run perspective; sleep will be a rare commodity and thus it brings many elements of self-awareness. Fatigue, tiredness and navigating while still trying to cover ground quickly and efficiently will mean both are tested to the full!

Griesel and Sandes can be followed on www.redbull.co.za/draktraverse

The website will plot their live GPS location onto an online map.

Links:

  • Ryan Sandes - http://ryansandes.com
  • Ryno Griesel - http://www.rynogriesel.co.za
  • Red Bull - http://www.redbull.com/za/en
  • Salomon - http://www.salomon.com/sg/activity/trail-running.html