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Ultra Running, Mountain, Trail and Skyrunning Review 2014

2014

Did that just happen?

Another year draws to a close and with it many races, many experiences and many highlights. I don’t need to tell you but our niche sport is progressing at an alarming rate: more runners, more races and more standout experiences, what a year!

It is no easy task being at the top of your game in our sport anymore. Competition is high at every race and past scenarios where a runner could return to a ‘fave’ race year-after-year and win it are long gone! I don’t think we will ever see a Scott Jurek or Ann Trason dominate the sport as they did in their times.

Runners at the top of the game now need to be specific, peak for races; recover and then re peak if they want to perform. The ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) and the UTWT add to the complexity of the race calendar by adding a ‘series’ element to proceedings. The need to be at your best for a series requires planning, commitment, dedication and patience. It’s way to easy to burn out… a good year, maybe two good years and then boom, gone! We have seen this happen time-and-time again. Ask Geoff Roes, ask Anna Frost, Tony Krupicka and so on. The need to balance racing and recovery is now more than ever a key component of the ultra runners weaponry and so therefore when I review a year, I do it with a sense of hesitation.

For sure, I am going to write about several runners who have excelled, who have repeatedly blown my mind with stunning performances and against all logic have recovered, come back and won again. So as I write this, please keep in mind the above. A long ultra running life must come with balance.

Also, the following summary and notes are my highlights of 2014 so I welcome your thoughts and feedback..

2014 in summary

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Jo Meek followed on 2nd place lady in the 2013 Marathon des Sables (2013) with a course record performance in The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. Showing meticulous preparation and dedication, Jo just gave us all a glimpse of what was about to come!

 

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Ryan Sandes and Nuria Picas laid out a stall at Transgrancanaria and put on two consummate displays of ultra running prowess. Nuria lead from the front showing all the ladies a clean pair of heals whereas Ryan played the waiting game and moved through the field slowly but surely to grasp the race by the scruff of the neck in the latter stages and take a superb victory.

ryno-ryan-dgt-map-drakensberg

Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel did the DrakTraverse and in doing so they showed us that big projects in the mountains are just as exciting as racing. FKT’s love them or hate them are here to stay and I for one love the concept. Ultimately it gets back to why we all run. Ryan and Ryno with considerable help of Red Bull really put South Africa on the map and the fellas at The African Attachment produced a great film called Trevelyan to document the record.

UTMF (Ultra Trail Mt Fuji) confirmed that Nuria Picas was going to be the lady to beat in 2014. Nuria’s strength, powers of recovery and ability to push beyond the norm elevated her to a new level. Equally, Francois d’Haene showed us that he had recovered from Raid de la Reunion in 2013 and when it came to 100-miles in mountainous terrain he would be the man to beat.

Nikki Kimball on her way to victory in the 2014 MDS.

Nikki Kimball on her way to victory in the 2014 MDS.

Nikki Kimball arrived in Morocco and for the 2nd year running put an American on the top of the ladies podium and in doing so she confirmed her status as one of the best female ultra runners in the world.

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I mentioned Anna Frost above and after 12+ months in an ultra wilderness the ever smiling lady from New Zealand returned to the volcanic island of La Palma and produced not only one of the best comebacks in our sport but in the process set a new course record for the Transvulcania La Palma course.

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As Frosty made that comeback, up the trail in La Palma, Luis Alberto Hernando was having one of the best races of his life as he went toe-to-toe with Kilian Jornet. He pulled it off! He beat Kilian and in doing so he achieved something that so few have done. His emotions on the line in Los Llanos provided a special moment in the sport.

©iancorless.comStevie_Zegama

Zegama-Aizkorri had all the excitement and buzz of previous years and Kilian started a winning streak that placed his career on an all time high. By comparison, Pocket Rocket, Stevie Kremer took top honours confirming that her 2013 results were no flook (never in question) and that a repeat performance for the Skyrunning World Series was on the cards

Ellie Greenwood did it… she won Comrades and achieved the ultimate tick for her own bucket list but inspired so many Brits, Canadians and Americans in the process. It was quite a run and one that Ellie will take to the grave as a defining moment of her running. Jo Meek followed up victory in January’s The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica with 5th in South Africa; the ultra community looked on and asked the question: who is Jo Meek?

Kilian Jornet obliterates the record for Denali in Summits of my Life (11:48) – nuff said!

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Luis Alberto Hernando bolstered by his Transvulcania performance laid it all on the line in Chamonix for the Skyrunning World Champions in the 80Km Ultra event. Collapsing on the finish line not only had Luis achieved a lifelong dream but he had relegated the almost unbeatable Francois d’Haene into 2nd place. Emelie Forsberg won the ladies race against Anna Frost and Kilian Jornet proved what an incredible athlete he is by working his craft in the VK and SKY race just days after setting a new Summits of my Life record on Denali. Elisa Desco became ladies SKY world champion in a highly competitive and exciting race and Laura Orgue confirmed her outright climbing ability and was crowned VK world champion.

Steve Birkinshaw

Steve Birkinshaw produced the ultimate FKT and broke a long-standing record for the Wainwrights (518km) in the English Lakes. Summiting 214 tops with an elevation gain/loss of 36,000m Steve set a new record of 6-days and 13-hours.

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Ice Trail Tarentaise in the stunning resort of Val D’Isere allowed Francois d’Haene to once again excel in the snowy and cold mountains of this tough, technical and amazing Skyrunning course. Running head-to-head with Luis Alberto Hernando (again) with less than 20km’s to go, Francois moved ahead and took top honours. Emelie Forsberg took a back-to-back victory at the race and confirmed that her ability at the 80km distance was unmatched.

Kilian ©jordisaragossa

Hardrock 100 will go down in the history books as one of THE runs of all time. It was the most stacked field ever, it was a who’s who of ultra running and the prospect of Kilian Jornet finally getting an opportunity to test himself on what many consider to be the ultimate course was just way too exciting. Like a script from a screenplay, Kilian bided his time, pulled away, hung out waiting for Julien Chorier and then by his estimations ‘wasted’ 55-minutes in aid stations and still smashed the record. KJ’s victory guarantees an entry for next year when the course is run the opposite way; I wonder… could we see Kilian set two CR’s?

Western States was all about Rob Krar doing his thing and coming back for a repeat victory (14:53:22). This quiet unassuming man let his legs do the talking and produced what was the start of a trio of 100-mile successes. Max King in his first 100-miler set a blistering pace early on and eventually placed 5th… more on him later! Stephanie Howe was crowned ladies champion in 18:01:42.

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The Skyrunning Dolomites Skyrace was remarkable for two reasons. Laura Orgue progressed from a VK specialist to a SKY victor and remarkably Kilian Jornet, just 7-days after Hardrock ran the VK on Friday (placing top-10) and then won the SKY race on Sunday against the best in the world; ridiculous.

Sierre-Zinal, the epic mountain race in Switzerland was finally won by Pocket Rocket herself, Stevie Kremer after placing top-3 on two previous attempts. It was a defining moment for the little lady from Crested Butte and post race she said if she could only win one race, Sierre-Zinal would be it. A pattern is forming… yes, those two words: Kilian Jornet. Yes, he did it again!

©iancorless.com-0691Kima2014_

Trofeo Kima (Italy) only happens every 2-years and is arguably the jewel in the Skyrunning crown. It’s a kick-ass race of epic proportions and if I could only ever cover one race as a photographer, Kima would be it. Combining running, climbing, descending, chains, ropes, ladders and vertical drops it is a course that is made for Kilian Jornet. Needless to say the Catalan won and in doing so, he set a new course record. Emelie Forsberg look set to take the ladies crown but a lapse of concentration mid race took Emelie of course and loose approximately 1-hour. Despite chasing like a demon, Emelie could not pull back the time on ladies winner, Kasie Enman.

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The British Ultra Trail Championships crowned Jo Meek and Kim Collison as respective champions in two exciting races on the Lakeland 50 course.

Iker Karrera and Nura Picas won Buff Epic Trail in ‘testing’ conditions.

UTMB provided confirmation that Rory Bosio is one of the best female mountain runners in the world. Her 2013 course record performance was epic but as we all know, to come back and win again confirms the accolades. Nuria Picas placed 2nd and gets a nod here as her list of performances and results (on the UTWT) are off the scale. If anyone questioned who is the best 100-mile mountain runner in the world at the moment – Francois d’Haene backed up his incredible UTMF performance with an outstanding UTMB run against a stellar field.

Rob Krar backed up victory at WSER with a stunning Leadville 100 victory and set the stage for a repeat ‘Ultra Runner of the Year’ award.

Run Rabbit Run came pretty close after Leadville and to my surprise we saw Rob Krar toe the line. I was a little surprised. Rob has always been one of the more savvy runners on the circuit in that he peaks, recovers, trains and then re peaks. For Rob to run 100-miles so soon after Leadville was a surprise! Maybe the big prize bucks were a motivating factor? Anyway, what do I know… he took the win and the bucks! Nikki Kimball followed up 5th at WSER with the biggest payday victory of her career and she shed a few tears to show how much it meant.

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Skyrunning Limone Extreme confirmed Stevie Kremer as Skyrunner® Word Series Champion for the 2nd consecutive year but the big news came via Kilian Jornet. His victory in the VK confirmed him as Skyrunner® World Series Champion in all 3 Skyrunning disciplines – VK, SKY and ULTRA. If any of us needed confirmation of the Catalans all around ability, this was it!

Ultra Pirineu (Cavalls del Vent in the past) had Nuria Picas and Luis Alberto Hernando take top honours – unstoppable!

USA’s The Rut set the benchmark for Skyrunning in the USA with universal accolades about the course. It may come as no surprise that Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg took top honours and respective Skyrunner® World Series titles.

Raid de la Reunion became the Francois d’Haene show. He followed up his 2013 victory with a repeat consummate performance. Dare I say, ‘he makes 100-miles in the mountains look easy!’ Nathalie Mauclair also produced a quality back-to-back victory and along with great runs on the UTWT circuit set herself firmly at the top of the best female ultra runners in the world.

Doha finally became the venue for the 100km world championships and Ellie Greenwood backed up an incredible Comrades victory and placed herself on top of the world with a stunning performance. Big shout here too for the British ladies, Joasia Zakrzewski and Jo Meek who both placed in the top-5 ad took home team gold. Max King showed amazing depth of ability, speed and performance in taking the male victory ahead of some of the fastest men in the world.

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Iain Don Wauchope smashes the Salomon SkyRun record in South Africa and Landie Greyling tops the ladies podium.

Rounding out the year, Sage Canaday and Magdalena Boulet took top honours at San Francisco 50.

Phew…

Wait a minute! Kilian Jornet gets the last word. As I write this Mr Jornet is attempting another summit, Aconcagua. Only appropriate that we should end a year on a real high… Just below 7000m to be exact.

Get involved:

I am going to have missed races, missed performances and no doubt you will remind me of what they are. I welcome that. I’d love you all to comment (below) on what 2014 has meant to you and what/ who in your opinion deserves a tip of the hat.

MY 2014 AWARDS

  • Male ultra runner of the yearFRANCOIS D”HAENE (Rob Krar came close)
  • Female ultra runner of the yearNURIA PICAS
  • Best male performanceKILIAN JORNET for Hardrock 100
  • Best female performanceANNA FROST for Transvulcania La Palma and ELLIE GRRENWOOD at Comrades
  • Best single stage raceTROFEO KIMA
  • Best multi day raceEVEREST TRAIL RACE
  • Best FKTSTEVE BIRKINSHAW, The Wainwrights
  • Biggest surprises of 2014ZACH MILLER and the rise of JO MEEK. The AUSSIES at the Skyrunning World Championships.
  • Stand out athlete of the year – KILIAN JORNET
  • Best cinematography – The African Attachment and Seb Montaz
  • Best film – Dejame Vivir

Anything else worthy of a mention?

Personal message:

On a personal note, 2014 has been an incredible year! I have travelled the world and in the process I have attended and worked on 31-races. From the humidity of Costa Rica, to the heat of the Sahara and the cold of the Himalayas, my job has afforded me the privilege to watch, observe and photograph the best runners in the world work their craft.

 

I am eternally grateful to each and every race, race director and of course I must give huge thanks to Lauri van Houten and Marino Giacometti from the ISF for the continued support and opportunities they have afforded me in allowing me the opportunity to work on and cover the Skyrunner® World Series.

 

I must also give a huge thanks to every single person who listens to my podcast, Talk Ultra, reads this website and ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ my respective Facebook and Twitter feeds.

I am eternally thankful.

 

Now roll on 2015 and lets do it all again!

Ian Corless: El fotógrafo de Skyrunning

corredordemontana.com

I am very honoured and flattered to be interviewed by corredordemontana.com in an article titled  – Ian Corless: El fotógrafo de Skyrunning.

You can read the full interview in Spanish HERE

For my English speaking friends and followers. Here is a transcript in English.

*****

Tells us about how you got involved with Skyrunning reporting

I was invited to Transvulcania La Palma in 2012. The ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) invited media specialists from all over the world to witness what turned out to be a turning point for Skyrunning. It was a key moment. World-class athletes travelled from all over the world and in doing so created what turned out to be a classic race. It elevated Skyrunning to a new level and certainly placed Transvulcania on the ‘to do’ list of many runners.

 

How long have you been at it now?

I started to work with the ISF as a media partner after Transvulcania in 2012. I went to Zegama-Aizkorri and then followed this by attending many (but not all) Skyrunner® World Series events in 2012. In 2013 I attended most races on the calendar. As you know, the Skyrunner® World Series is made up of five races in each of the categories – VK, SKY and ULTRA. In 2014 I continued this format working on pretty much the whole calendar with the exception of the two races in the USA.

 

What exactly do you do? Does it take up all your time or do you combine your Skyrunning photography with other jobs? 

I work freelance in the world of ultra, mountain and trail running. I work on many other projects and not just Skyrunning. For example in 2014 I worked on The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, Marathon des Sables in Morocco and this month I go to Nepal for Everest Trail Race and then South Africa for the Salomon SkyRun. I have a very busy calendar and at my last count, I will have worked on thirty-one races in 2014. Depending on what my clients require will very much depend on what services I provide, however, it usually consists of writing and photography to help promote a race and provide feedback for the ultra, trail and mountain running community worldwide. In addition to all this, I have my podcast, Talk Ultra which is available every two weeks for free on iTunes and via my website.

 

Your opinion of the state of Skyrunning in 2014 and how things might develop next season

Skyrunning has grown incredibly over the past few years. We have all witnessed the boom! The vision of Lauri van Houten and Marino Giacometti is certainly coming to fruition. They had a vision of what Skyrunning may be… risks taken in 2012 at Transvulcania have paid off. However, many forget that Skyrunning dates back to 1989 when Giacometti first ascended the Monte Rosa. I most definitely believe they were ahead of the time. We are all just catching up… I also believe that Kilian Jornet has been an incredible vehicle for the sport, His rise and dominance has coincided with the growth in Skyrunning.

You will notice that the 2015 Skyrunning calendar has recently been announced and we see some changes. In addition the Skyrunner® World Series we now have the Continental Series. This shows how the sport is growing and how the ISF needs to appeal to a worldwide audience. It’s very exciting.

 

Any amazing anecdotes to tell from last season?

I am very fortunate to spend a great deal of time working with, photographing and talking to some of the best athletes in the world. I truly feel blessed. I have so many great memories and moments. If I had to pick one surreal moment, I think back to Matterhorn Ultraks. Kilian Jornet didn’t run the race but decided to take photographs and support his Salomon teammates. I had climbed just over 1000m vertical to get to a location that would allow me to photograph runners as they came to me with the Matterhorn in the background. I waited for hours, photographed all the front-runners and I was about to make my way down the long descent to make my way to the finish when I received a text from Kilian asking:

‘Are you making your way down?’

I replied, ‘yes!’

‘I will wait for you,’ Kilian said.

I added my cameras to my large pack (it weighs about 10-12kg) and then I made my way to the long and technical descent. After 10-minutes or so, I saw Kilian waiting. We then ran all the way down to the finish… it was ridiculous. I was following the best mountain runner and definitely the best downhill runner in the world with a huge pack and trying to keep up. However, Kilian was extremely kind and ran well within himself. I however was at my limit! But to follow and see his ability first hand was a highlight of the year.

 

Do you plan to be present at all ISF race events next season?

The calendar for 2015 is larger as we now have the World Series and the Continental Series, so, it will not be possible to attend all events. However, I will hopefully attending as many as possible and following the series as it unfolds.

 

How do the logistics work out when you travel to new race locations & have to discover where you need to be for your photos?

It is all about preparation. I usually arrive at a race venue two days before the race. I do my research. I look at maps, talk to staff and race officials and then I plan where I want to be to capture the best images. Longer races are easier as they allow me more flexibility. By contrast, a race like Limone Extreme is just over 2-hours from start to the first finisher, so you need to be 100% prepared. A real plus is that I am able to fulfill my passions for the sport in photography, words and podcasting but also get some exercise. I usually have to climb or hike to many of the locations I work from. Occasionally we are spoilt with a helicopter but that does not happen very often! Trofeo Kima is a perfect example where myself and other photographers/ cameramen are transported all over the course by helicopter. Kima or me is still a favourite race, it is so extreme and visually stunning.

 

Do you always find the right place to get decent pictures at races? Does it ever not quite work out?

Yes, I always ensure that I am in the correct place. That is my job. However, I may not always get ‘the’ image I want. It is what is so great about our sport and what I do. Nothing is guaranteed and I work on adrenaline to help me maximize my potential.

 

Tell us about your unfortunate “incident” at the Transvulcania 2014.

2014 has been an interesting year with a couple of incidents that I hope don’t happen again…

In May at Transvulcania La Palma I had photographed the race start and then I was making my way to the mountains to a location I had found to photograph the front-runners. On the coastal road I felt my car twitch and then I lost control. I veered to the right and lost control. A huge concrete block stopped me going over the edge. I was not going too fast but the car was completely written off. I jumped out of the car with no personal damage. I was so lucky! My first priority was that I needed to get to the mountains…

Later in the year I had a second incident. I was in Barcelona transferring to go to a race in Catalonia. I was at a restaurant and I had ALL my camera equipment and computer stolen. It was horrendous as you can imagine. My whole life in my bag: gone! It was a pretty tough two weeks that followed and my insurance only covered two thirds of the cost of all the stolen items. However, I managed to replace everything.

******

Episode 73 – Kremer, Collison, Greyling

Ep73

 

This is episode 73 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with Skyrunner World Series Champ and Mourne Skyline winner, Stevie Kremer. Kim Collison tells us all about his running and his great 2014 season. Landie Greyling discusses running in South Africa and the up and coming Salomon SkyRun. In Talk Training it is episode 3 of our navigation special with Charlie Sproson, the News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Speedgoat Karl talks busting quads.


NEWS

Mourne Skyline MTR

  1. Stevie Kremer 4:24.2 (10th overall)
  2. Jo Meek 4:30.3
  3. Diane Wilson 4:45.4
  4. Sharon Trimble 5:02.1
  5. Shileen O’Kane 5:03.1

 

  1. Kim Collison 3:57.0
  2. Eoin Lennon 3:59.4
  3. J Marshall Thomson 4:08.3
  4. Ally Beaven 4:12.0
  5. David Steele 4:15.0

INTERVIEW with Kim Collison

Raid de la Reunion

  1. Francois D’Haene 24:25:02
  2. Ludovic Pommeret 25:55:26
  3. Aurelien Collet 27:24:53
  4. Gediminus Grinius 27:25:13
  5. Javier Dominguez 28:23:43
  1. Nathalie Mauclair 31:27:28
  2. Juliette Blanchet 34:17:54
  3. Uxue Fraile 34:18:02
  4. Christine Benard 35:45:21
  5. Melanie Rousset 36:28:49

 
Templiers

Benoit Cori 6:36:49
Sylvain Court 6:39:15
Alex Nichols 6:43:14
Sage Canaday 6:45:00
Zach Miller 6:51:01

Nuria Picas 7:51:46
Juliette Benedicto 8:00:33
Magdalena Boulet 8:02:40
Maud Gobert 8:20:18
Aliza Lapierre 8:20:35

Holly Rush 6th

BLOG
 
#GirlwhatCycles Niandi Carmont tells us all about her new journey in #CyclingforRunners @girlwhatcycles – HERE
 
INTERVIEW

Stevie Kremer
 
INTERVIEW
 
Landie Greyling

GOOD, BAD & UGLY

TALK TRAINING – Navigation part 3 with Charlie Sproson

 
UP & COMING RACES

Antartica
Last Desert (Antarctica) | 250 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website

Argentina
Puna Inca Trail | 200 kilometers | November 04, 2014 | website

Australia
New South Wales
Carcoar Cup Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website
Queensland
Blackall 100 | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Blackall 100 – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | November 09, 2014 | website

Brazil
60k Aceguá a Melo | 60 kilometers | November 09, 2014 | website

Estonia
Haanja Jala100 – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website

France
Aveyron
Trail des Hospitaliers | 75 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website
Marne
SPARNATRAIL classique | 55 kilometers | November 09, 2014 | website

Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia
Bottroper Herbstwaldlauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website

Hong-Kong
Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2014 | website
Salomon LT 70 | 70 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website

India
Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 31, 2014 | website

Italy
Tuscany
Eroica Running Ultramaratona | 65 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website

Jordan
Jordan Running Adventure Race – 190 km | 190 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website
Jordan Running Adventure Race – 70 km | 70 kilometers | November 03, 2014 | website

Morocco
Trans 333 | 333 kilometers | October 31, 2014 | website
Ultra Runners Race 777+++ | 777 kilometers | October 31, 2014 | website

Namibia
100 km of Kalahari | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 14, 2014 | website

Nepal
Everest Trail Race | 160 kilometers | November 09, 2014 | website
Manaslu Trail Race | 212 kilometers | November 11, 2014 | website
NEPAL Action Asia 3 day ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Nepal Action Asia Ultra 3 day marathon 60k | 60 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 31, 2014 | website

New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Ultramarathon / Relay | 71 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 07, 2014 | website
Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
The Taniwha – 60 km | 60 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website

Oman
Oman Desert Marathon | 165 kilometers | November 07, 2014 | website

Spain
Valencian Community
Mondúber Utrail | 80 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website

Thailand
Zulu W 80 km Run | 80 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Kirklees
White Rose Ultra 60 Mile | 60 miles | November 02, 2014 | website
Northamptonshire
XNRG Druid Challenge | 84 miles | November 07, 2014 | website

Uruguay
ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 100K Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 60K Ultra | 60 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website

USA
Alabama
Pinhoti 100 | 100 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Arizona
Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
California
Almaden Hills 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Chino Hills Spring Trail Series 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Nov) | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Dirty Dare Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Rio Del Lago 100K | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Rio Del Lago 100M | 100 miles | November 08, 2014 | website
Rio Del Lago 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Two Cities Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website
Georgia
Georgia Sky to Summit 50k | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Illinois
Chicago Lakefront 50K | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Indiana
Owen Putnam State Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Owen Putnam State Forest 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 08, 2014 | website
Maryland
Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
Stone Cat 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 08, 2014 | website
Missouri
Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Nevada
Bootlegger 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Coyote Springs 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Coyote Springs 100M Trail Run | 100 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Coyote Springs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Coyote Springs 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Ragnar Relay Las Vegas | 195 miles | November 07, 2014 | website
New Hampshire
Ghost Train Ultra Race 100M | 100 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 45M | 45 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 60M | 60 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 75M | 75 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 90M | 90 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
New Jersey
NJ Trail Series One Day – 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
New York
Mendon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Oklahoma
Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2014 | website
Oregon
Silver Falls 50K Ultra Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Tennessee
Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 K Race | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Nashville Ultra Marathon 60 K Race | 60 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Nashville Ultra Marathon 70 K Race | 70 kilometers | November 01, 2014 | website
Upchuck 50K Trail Running Race | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
Virginia
Mountain Masochist Trail Run | 50 miles | November 01, 2014 | website
Paris Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | November 08, 2014 | website
Washington
First Call 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website
First Call Veterans Day 50K | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2014 | website

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Skyrunner® World Series and Continental Championships 2015

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REACH FOR THE SKY!

As one season comes to an end the planning of a new season starts and today we are pleased to announce the calendar for the Skyrunner® World Series and Continental Championships 2015.

In less than three years, Skyrunning has grown to a new level and today, the announcement of the 2015 calendar signifies a significant expansion of the sport and it truly becomes a world series with the addition of the Continental Championships.

It is a very exciting time and in conjunction with the growth of the National Series, it has never been a better time to be a Skyrunner…

Lauri van Houten, executive director for the ISF today provided the details of the new series and lists the full calendar for 2015.

The big news for 2015 is that the Series goes global – more races, more places and, now, the chance to count an extra race in the ranking.  The successful 5 SKY/5 ULTRA/ 5 VK formula stays where three results out of five are scored, but now you can choose a fourth race from the Continental Championships of your choice.

Twenty-seven races in nine countries stretch across five continentsAfrica, Australia and China make their first appearance together with the rugged mountains north of the Arctic Circle in Norway.

New Skyrunner® National Series will be announced throughout the year, so skyrunning closer to home becomes a tangible reality in: Africa, North & South America, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Oceania, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain.

Benefits in the Series and Championships include 1,700 race slots450 free entries250 accommodation and 80 travel slots. The Series final $ 25,000 is redistributed and additional prizes – not just for the winners – are on the way.

We are proud to reconfirm and thank our our partners Salomon, Active Patch 4U, Compressport, Scott Sports, inov-8, Arc’teryx and La Sportiva for their support and look forward to announcing new ones for 2015.

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2015 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES & CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

IMPORTANT please note re scoring:

Points will be available  in 3 Skyrunner® World Series races + 1 Continental Championship race for each discipline.

2015 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES

SKY

  • July 19 – Dolomites SkyRace® – 22 km, Canazei – Italy
  • August 22 – Matterhorn Ultraks 46K – Zermatt – Switzerland
  • September 5 – The Rut 25K – Montana – USA
  • October 4 – Suunto Lantau 2 Peaks – 21 km, Hong Kong – China
  • October 18 – Skyrunning Extreme – 23 km, Limone Sul Garda – Italy

ULTRA

  • May 9 – Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 75 km, La Palma – Spain
  • June 27 – Mont Blanc 80K – Chamonix – France
  • August 2 – Tromsø SkyRace® – 45 km, Tromso – Norway
  • September 6 – The Rut 50K – Montana – USA
  • September 19 – Ultra Pirineu – 103 km, Bagà – Spain

VK

  • July 10 – Kilomètre Vertical Face De Bellevarde, Val D’Isère – France
  • July 17 – Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei – Italy
  • August 1 – Tromsø Vertical Kilometer®, Tromso – Norway
  • September 4 – Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer®, Montana – USA
  • October 16 – Vertical Kilometer® Crèste de la Mugheira, Limone Sul Garda – Italy

CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

EUROPE

  • May 17 – SKY Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri – 42 km, Zegama – Spain
  • July 12 – ULTRA Ice-Trail Tarentaise – 65 km, Val d’Isère – France
  • June 26 – VERTICAL KM Vertical, Chamonix – France

AFRICA

  • July 18 – SKY Ti DoDo Trail – 25 km, Black River Gorges – Mauritius
  • July 18 – ULTRA Xtreme DoDo Trail – 50 km, Le Morne – Mauritius

ASIA

  • February 7 – SKY Sai Kung – 26 km- Hong Kong – China
  • February 7 – ULTRA Sai Kung – 50 km, Hong Kong – China

N AMERICA

  • July 19 – ULTRA Power of Four Trail – 50 km, Aspen – Colorado
  • October 3 – SKY Flagstaff SkyRace® – 39 km, Flagstaff – Arizona
  • October 4 – VERTICAL Flagstaff Vertical Kilometer®, Flagstaff – Arizona

OCEANIA

  • 11 April – ULTRA Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon®- 75 km – Australia
  • 12 April – SKY Buffalo Stampede SkyMarathon® - 41 km – Australia

 

INFO:

  • SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES PRIZES
  • US $25,000 will be awarded to each Series M/F champion.
  • SKY: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750.  ULTRA: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750. VERTICAL: $1,000 / 700 / 300.
  • SKYRUNNING CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS PRIZES
  • Medals and titles will be awarded in each discipline to M/F champions. 
  • RANKING POINTS
  • * Scoring: 3 Skyrunner® World Series results + 1 Continental Championship in each discipline
  • Ranking points in the final races of all three Series will be increased by 20%.
  • Ranking points breakdown: 100-88-78-72-68-66-64-62-60-58-56-54-52-50 down to 2 points to 40thposition for men and 15thposition for women.
  • TEAM POINTS
  • The Team & National ranking system is based on the individual points scored by the first three men and the first women of the same team obtained in all SWS races.

FOLLOW ALL THE NEWS at SKYRUNNING.COM

CALENDAR 2015 – NOW AVAILABLE to order

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2015 calendar is now available to pre order.

Delivery will be guaranteed the first week of December.

The calendar has highlights from a great 2014 racing season and includes images of ISF president, Marino Giacometti, Maite Maiora, Stevie Kremer, Jo Meek, Marco De Gasperi, Luis Alberto Hernando, Emelie Forsberg, Zaid Ait Malek, Martin Gaffuri, Kilian Jornet, Francois D’Haene and Anna Frost.

Cost will be £20.00 inc post and package within UK.

(An additional £5.00 for postage outside UK.)

To pre order, please fill in this request form, importantly, please specify postage within UK or outside UK. You will receive an invoice via Paypal.

Payments are accepted via debit card, credit card or Paypal account.

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Mourne Skyline MTR 2014 – Race Report

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Misty skies, gale force winds, relentless climbing, technical terrain and an incredible field of runners made the inaugural Mourne Skyline MTR a day to remember.

Concluding Skyrunning UK’s first year, the Mourne Skyline MTR really was a fitting end to what has been an incredible year. The course, organisation and the field of runners made this a special and unforgettable day in the mountains.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6576The addition of Skyrunner® World Series champion (2013 and 2014) Stevie Kremer did provide some icing on the Mourne cake. However, ‘Pocket Rocket’ was not isolated… Jo Meek, British Ultra Trail Champion, provided more than enough pressure on the Colorado based Skyrunner on what proved to be one of the most exciting ladies mountain races I have followed for some time. Sharon Trimble, Diane Wilson and Shileen O’Kane would bring local knowledge and fell experience to the mix making this a classic in the making.

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As expected, Kremer pushed hard from the off and after leaving the Donard Forest the trail became steeper and more technical playing to the Colorado runners strength. Although a gap opened up, it was nothing substantial and Meek maintained a gap keeping Kremer in sight. After passing over the saddle, runners were hit by gale force winds and low cloud as they headed out to Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Meelmore and then an anticlockwise loop that would eventually return them to Slieve Meelmore and then run back to the finish. Conditions were brutal… thankfully the previous nights torrential rain had disappeared. Had it not, runners and marshals would have had a very testing day!

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Wilson, Trimble and O’Kane in many respects were running for third such was the pace of the front two ladies. On the flat, Meek would catch Kremer and then pull away. The relentless and rollercoaster nature of the terrain and mountains would then allow Kremer to pull back and pass on the climbs. This to and froing made for an exhilarating competition of willpower, mental strength and endurance. The latter half of the course, on paper, looked made for Kremer as climb and after climb would allow her to open a gap. However, Meek was having none of it. Running with blinkered vision, Meek fought the technical terrain and chased. ‘I was swearing at the terrain and my own frustrations in managing my technical ability,’ said Meek. Kremer was having no easy ride too, ‘that is the hardest race I have ever done! Harder than Zegama Aizkorri it was just brutal. Relentless climbing, technical and with the wind it was just soooo hard!’

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After CP4, Kremer opened up a gap and extended this on the steep ascent to Slieve Commedagh. Battered by the winds, Kremer put her head down and now pushed hard to the highest point of the course, Slieve Donard. Turning at the summit and descending down the lead extended and on the final technical descent to Newcastle the gap really opened up eventually providing Kremer a winning time of 4:24.2 to Meek’s 4:30.3. The time gaps don’t reflect how close this race was! Post race, Meek was very philosophical, ‘I really did push and race hard but the relentless ankle twisting and gnarly terrain beat me down and in the latter stages as Kremer pulled away I eased off a little knowing that 2nd place was secure.’ Diane Wilson placed 3rd producing a great run on home soil in a time of 4:45.4.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-1133 In the men’s race, local man, Allan Bogle pushed hard in the early stages closely followed by Kim Collison, Eoin Lennon and just 5 seconds back, J Marshall Thomson. It was close, and unlike the ladies race a winner looked likely to come from any of the front contenders. Particularly when one looked at the contenders looking for honours. Ally Beaven, David Steele and Paul Navesy all showed previous results that would mean they could never be ruled out of a podium place.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-0112 ©iancorless.com_Mourne-0130 British Ultra Trail Champion, Collison showed his class at descending and moved away from the other men but Lennon was never going to relinquish the lead without a fight. These two fought a hard battle all day and Lennon showed the wounds of war as blood tricked down his leg.

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Revelation of the race, was Colorado based J Marshall Thomson (Stevie’s fiancé) who raced in the top-5 all day and despite having never raced on ‘typical’ UK terrain pulled out a top-drawer run to place 3rd. ‘That was some of the most crazy terrain I have ever run. It was relentless. The terrain was beyond technical. You had no idea where to put your feet and I can’t tell you how many times I fell over… I loved it!’ said Thomson.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6344 Collison won the race in 3:57.0 an incredible time in very tough conditions. Ryan Maxwell, race director for the Mourne Skyline MTR had predicted a win time of 4-hours, however, with conditions on the day, we expected this to be optimistic. For Collison and Lennon to both run sub-4 is a real testament to the competition between the two front men.

Thomson moved up into 3rd place and brought a truly international flavour to the men’s podium, his time of 4:08.3 reflecting his ability.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-0433The 2014 Mourne Skyline MTR has firmly established itself as a must-do race after just one edition. The combination of location, local infrastructure, great organisation, enthusiastic locals and a brutal course will guarantee that demand will be high for the 2015 edition.

Covering 35km and a total elevation gain of 3370m, the Mourne Skyline MTR is everything a Skyrunning race should be. I for one can’t wait for 2015.

RACE IMAGES HERE 

You can purchase race images HERE

RESULTS WOMEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race

Stevie Kremer 4:24.2 (10th overall)

Jo Meek 4:30.3

Diane Wilson 4:45.4

Sharon Trimble 5:02.1

Shileen O’Kane 5:03.1

RESULTS MEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race

Kim Collison 3:57.0

Eoin Lennon 3:59.4

J Marshall Thomson 4:08.3

Ally Beaven 4:12.0

David Steele 4:15.0

Mourne Skyline MTR 2014 – Race Images

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Misty skies, gale force winds, relentless climbing, technical terrain and an incredible field of runners made the inaugural Mourne Skyline MTR a day to remember.

Congratulations to Stevie Kremer and Kim Collison on two great performances.

Stevie said post race, ‘that is the hardest race I have ever done! Harder than Zegama Aizkorri it was just brutal. Relentless climbing, technical and with the wind it was just soooo hard. Kilian Jornet would love it!’

A full race report will follow.

RESULTS WOMEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race
Stevie Kremer 4:24.2 (10th overall)
Jo Meek 4:30.3
Diane Wilson 4:45.4
Sharon Trimble 5:02.1
Shileen O’Kane 5:03.1

RESULTS MEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race
Kim Collinson 3:57.0
Eoin Lennon 3:59.4
J Marshall Thomson 4:08.3
Ally Beaven 4:12.0
David Steele 4:15.0

Mourne Skyline MTR 2014 Race Preview – what a line up!

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Ryan Maxwell, race director for the Mourne Skyline MTR provides us with an in-depth preview of this coming weekend’s Mourne Skyline MTR. The final race in the 2014 Skyrunning UK calendar.

This coming weekend, will see the phenomena that is ‘Skyrunning’ reach the shores of Northern Ireland for the first time. The Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race, hosted by popular running website www.nirunning.co.uk, will see a plethora of talent take to the stunning Mourne Mountains.

The Mourne Skyline MTR will see a sell-out field, including Stevie Kremer (Team Salomon), who last weekend was crowned Skyrunner® World Series Champion, over the ‘Sky’ distance for the second time at the incredibly scenic Limone Extreme in Italy where Kremer covered a 24.5k course incorporating 2000m of ascent.  Stevie will have strong competition from Jo Meek who in 2014 became British Ultra Trail Champion, took    5th place at the iconic Comrades and won  The Coastal Challenge with a new course record.

Covering a gruelling but incredibly scenic 35k course incorporating 3,370m of ascent. The Mourne Skyline MTR includes Northern Ireland’s highest mountain, Slieve Donard, which stands at 850m above sea-level and it will be the final peak, before the athletes descend quickly into the Donard Park finish area.

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Former adventure racer and newly crowned British ultra-running Champion Kim Collison will be high in confidence after his victory at the Lakeland 50 trail race in July (2014).  This noteable achievement followed an excellent (joint) win at the notoriously tough Fellsman 61 mile ultra in the Yorkshire Dales in April (2014). Kim, who completed the Bob Graham Round in 2009, also collected a prize at the Scafell trail race and finished well up the field at the Transvulcania La Palma Ultra.

American athlete J Marshall Thomson (Dynafit) hails from Colorado and is an experienced and successful trail runner, with numerous mountain race victories to his name.  Most recently, Marshall secured a win at the Power of Four 50k in Aspen, having smashed the course record.  Looking back,Marshall also proved his worth at the Pikes Peak marathon, where he narrowly missed a podium spot after finish fourth in what was a classy field.

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Irish international Paul Teirney proved himself over 100 miles when he claimed the runners up spot at the Lakeland 100 mile race in 2012; since then, Paul, a former Wicklow Way 82 mile Ultra record holder (13 hours 38mins), finished second at the Wicklow Way Ultra in both 2013 and 2014.

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England based Jayson Cavill has been one of the most impressive performers of the inaugural Skyrunning UK Series, having placed on the podium at two of the three races.  The Pickering Running Club member followed up his second place finish at the V33K with a win at the Peaks Skyrace; he (Jayson) also won the gruelling Blakey Blitz Fell Race back in April (2014).

Paul Navesey (Centurion Ultra Running Team) is another athlete worth watching; after a note-worthy 2013, Paul has brought his form into 2014, winning the Centurion South Downs Way 50 miler in a new course record.  The talented distance runner also showed his speedy age when taking second place at the Canterbury 10 mile road race in 56:27.

Another man known for his ability over shorter distance and not mentioned above is Jens Jakob Anderson (Denmark); the ‘www.runrepeat.com’ website creator has a 5k personal best of 15:58, which he may hope to put to use on the final 3.1 mile descent off Slieve Donard to the finish in Donard Park.

On the local front, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) has already proved himself against the best in the UK this year.  In memorable foggy conditions, the City of Derry Spartan secured an excellent win at the British Championship race at Slieve Donard just before the summer.  He (Allan) went on to take sixth place in the overall British Championships standings.  Also on Allan’s CV are wins at the Balearic Mountain Running Championships inMallorca and an impressive top spot at the Lurig Challenge 2014.

Although having raced sparingly in the mountains recently, North Belfast Harriers man Andrew Annett has a classy history and if focussed on this event, he’ll play a major part at the front.  In 2013, Andrew, who was part of North Belfast Harriers winning team at the NI & Ulster (Road) Relay Championships two weeks ago, finished in thirteenth place at Snowdon International Mountain Race last year (2013).  More recently, he has clocked 1:11:31 for his first ever half marathon (on the road), and 5k and 10k bests of 15:48 and 32:38 respectively.

Established Irish international Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) will also toe the line as he prepares for the World 100k Championships in Doha (November 2014) and he’ll be joined on the men’s start line by no less than eleven Northern Ireland international’s, which will include the in-form David Steele (Newcastle AC), Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Sam Herron (Mourne Runners), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Ryan Stewart (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) amongst others.  Shane Donnelly (Acorns AC), Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers), Nicki McPeake (Unattached), Matthew Hewitt (East Coast AC) and Gary Bailey (Unattached) all have vast knowledge of the Mourne Mountains and will therefore have high hopes of finishing well up the field.

Stevie Kremer copyright Ian Corless

Stevie Kremer copyright Ian Corless

In truth, the ladies field at the Mourne Skyline MTR has attracted a lot more attention in the international press than the aforementioned men’s line-up.  Much of this is because of the addition of current Skyrunning World Series Champion Stevie Kremer (Team Salomon). The American international burst onto the scene after winning the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) ‘Long Distance’ event in 2012; Stevie proved this wasn’t a ‘one hit wonder’ when she went on to take second place at the world famous Sierre-Zinal Mountain Race in the same year.

From there, the down to earth athlete has grown in stature, winning the Limone Extreme, Marathon Du Mont-Blanc Skyrace’s in 2013, and with it, the Skyrunning World Series.  Now, Stevie is one of the superstars of the Skyrunning circuit and one of the most respected (and in-form) athletes in the World.  After wins at the Matterhorn Ultraks, Zegama and Sierre-Zinal this year, and a second place finish at the Limone Extreme Skyrace last weekend, Stevie retained her Skyrunning World Series Champion status (at ‘Sky’ distance).

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Another athlete who is in-form at the moment and will also grace the Central Promenade start-line is Jo Meek (Scott); theEngland based athlete has enjoyed an incredible 2014.  After finishing in second place at the Marathon Des-Sables in 2013 it would have been easy for Jo to sit on that success, but the dedicated runner took confidence from it and hammered into 2014, and on doing so, she (Jo) has won the Le Grand Trail du St Jacques (70k), Transylvania Trail Traverse (106k), Iznik Ultra (80k) and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Marathon (27.8 miles); interestingly, in Pembrokeshire, Jo finished in first place overall!  An excellent year was made all the better when Jo was crowned British ultra-running Champion after winning the Lakeland 50 trail race in July (2014).

The list of Champions continues in the form of Sharon Trimble (North Belfast Harriers) and Diane Wilson (Dromore AC).  Originally from Northern Ireland, Sharon is an Irish international who lives in Scotland – Alongside Sarah McCormack (’GTR’ competitor), Sharon is a World Mountain Running Championship medallist.  The 2:51:44 marathoner is also a former Scottish ultra-running Champion and a regular on the podium over all terrain; with her knowledge of the course and if she is on top form, Sharon is a real threat to Stevie and Jo.  Diane is the current Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Champion and a lady who knows the Mourne Mountains exceptionally well; Diane also won the Hill & Dale Series in 2014 and clocked a new course record when winning the Carrantuohill mountain race in Ireland; interestingly, Carrantuohill is Ireland’s highest peak.  Diane also claimed a top ten finish at the Ben Nevis mountain race in Scotland this year (2014), taking seventh place.

Former NIMRA Champion and current Northern Ireland international Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will also play a major part in proceedings.  Despite suffering a broken wrist over the summer, the talented athlete, who placed within the top ten in her Vet45 category at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in last month (September 2014).  Respected ultra-runners Susan McCartney (Up and Runners) and Joanne Curran (BARF) should also finish well up the field – Like, Shileen, Susan has enjoyed an excellent year despite setbacks. The England based athlete had knee surgery earlier this year, but has still managed to win the Mourne Way 52 mile Ultra and claim a very credible twenty second place in the CCC race at UTMB (Ultra trail du Mont-Blanc). Comrades Ultra finisher Joanne Curran has really begun to show good form beyond marathon distance and a win at the Causeway Coast Ultra earlier this month, where she came through late on, has re-iterated her potential over the longer distances.

Runner up at the Peaks Skyrace, Kim England (Pickering AC), will also perform well, as will the likes of Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), Taryn McCoy (BARF), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Violet Linton (LV), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC), Angela Stevenson (Newcastle AC) and Kathleen Monteverde (BARF).

2014 has bee the inaugural year for Skyrunning UK. The Mourne Skyline MTR is the final race of the series and looks set to be a classic!

It’s difficult to believe that in less than 12-months, Skyrunning UK has grown in to ‘the’ series to be involved in. The line up for the 2014 Mourne Skyline MTR confirms we are on the up…