Middlefell Fell Race #inov8retreat – Wasdale, English Lakes

Day 2 of the inov-8 athlete retreat and after a morning of discussing new products (apparel, shoes and packs) for 2015, the inov-8 team and support staff travelled to Nether Wasdale for Middlefell Fell Race.

Covering 6.6-miles, runners climb to 1,700-feet on an out and back course in the heart of the English Lakes.

Dashing along roads, tracks and fields for approximately 2-miles, after Greendale, runners branched left and and started the ascent following the Wasdale route but after a short sharp and steep climb, the route then branches right at a natural fork and then ascends to the summit of  Middlefell. It’s an out and back route so after turning at the cairn at the summit, runners re trace back to the start.

David Schneider ©iancorless.com

David Schneider ©iancorless.com

Wasdalefell is normally a small fell race, but today, an influx of inov-8 athletes almost doubled the numbers and the pace! With a strong representation from the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Catalonia, France and the Basque country, this small fell race became a truly International affair.

Erik Haugsnes ©iancorless.com

Erik Haugsnes ©iancorless.com

Pre-race discussions had been all about who would take the win and how would ‘Skyrunners‘ from Switzerland, Norway and Catalonia fair against out-and-out fell runner’s?

Aritz Egea ©iancorless.com

Aritz Egea ©iancorless.com

With the flat early 2-miles over, it was great to see, Swiss runner, David Schneider leading Baque, Artiz Eregea in the early stages, This strong European representation was also backed up with Erik Haugsnes from Norway. Tom Addison and Orlando Edwards was leading the ‘local’ attack and were closely followed by Gary Priestley and Morgan Connelly.

Early morning low lying mist had lifted leaving a relatively clear day, with light winds and a bite in the air. The push to the summit was followed with a turn and quad busting descent.

Orlando Edwards ©iancorless.com

Orlando Edwards ©iancorless.com

Orlando was first to appear setting a relentless pace. Looking cool, calm and relaxed; he was giving a masterclass of fell running descending. Erik Haugsnes from Norway followed, closely pursued by Artiz Egea, Tom Addison and David Schneider.

Unfortunately, a wrong turn by Orlando on his way back to the finish messed up his race! Erik followed Orlando but soon realised his error and re-joined the course. With Aritz now in the lead, Erik and Tom followed and with 1km to go, Tom made his move and took out the win ahead of Aritz and Erik.

The ladies race had less runners participating in contrast to the men’s race. Sharon Taylor was a convincing leader from the start and finessed a clear leader ahead of Hazel Robinson and Lyn Thompson.

In true fell running fashion, the race finished at a pub and was followed with a beer and quality plate of local food.

It was a great day! A small quality race unfolded on the fells of Wasdale, and just as we all had appeared from nowhere, within just a few hours, we all disappeared again.

Skyrunner® Spain & Andorra Series announced

SNS SPAIN ANDORRA Logo-Light

After France, USA, South Africa, UK and Italy, Spain and Andorra join forces to present an imposing calendar for the Skyrunner® National Series launched today which count some of the best and most popular races on the international stage. Ultras include the Transvulcania Ultramarathon, the 112 km Mitic in Andorra and the new Ultra Pirineu (formerly Cavalls del Vent). Zegama-Aizkorri in the Sky Series and the Cara Amón Vertical KM feature in an important and exciting fifteen-race calendar.

 All the races echo the Skyrunning credo where altitude reigns, the courses are steep and demanding and excitement runs high. The Sky Series takes place entirely in “Mountain Parks” a seal of quality for the protection of the environment.

The races in the Spain & Andorra National Series are:

Vertical:

  • Cara Amón
  • Transvulcania Vertical Kilometer
  • Nit Pirineu
  • and Sitja del Llop

Sky:

  • Marató Montserrat
  • Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
  • SkyRace Vallibierna
  • SkyRace Comapedrosa
  • Marató Pirineu
  • and Montseny Marathon; and in the

Ultra: 

  • Transvulcania Ultramarathon
  • Ultra del Montseny
  • Ultra Mitic Andorra
  • and Ultra Pirineu (formerly Cavalls del Vent)

The winners of each National Skyrunner Series in the three disciplines will be awarded travel, free entry and accommodation to the first races on the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series calendar.

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The much anticipated Series offers the best of Skyrunning in two countries that have a long tradition of high-profile international races and have provided many of the world’s best athletes and champions:

Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Tofol Castanyer, Agusti Roc, Miguel Heras, Iker Karrera from Spain, the Texeido and Casal Mir brothers from Andorra and, among the ladies, Nuria Picas, Oihana Kortazar, Nuria Dominguez, Nerea Martinez, Emma Roca, Uzue Fraile, Laura Orgue… to name but a few.

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The National Series is managed by Ocisport, long-time partner of the ISF responsible for the 2006 and 2012 SkyGames® in Andorra and central to the foundation of the Skyrunner® World Series in 2003. The Series is supported by FEDME (Spanish Federation for Mountain and Climbing Sports) and FAM (Andorran Mountaineering Federation), ISF Member nations.

Check out the Skyrunner® Spain & Andorra Series at www.skyrunnerseries.es

Skyrunner® National Series

ISF Ranking 

Skyrunner® goes nationwide

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Ten years on and the Skyrunner® World Series goes nationwide. The successful 15-race model with three distances, Vertical, Sky and Ultra, will be reproduced, where possible, in many ISF member countries, which currently count 27.

Earlier last year, France was the first country to launch the Skyrunner® National Series which includes some of the best races in the country in the 42 km to 80 km range.  USA followed in December with a full calendar featuring five Sky, five Ultra and four Verticals.

National Series Logo

South Africa launched with three SkyMarathons and the new, much acclaimed Lesotho Ultra Trail in November.  Two more races are to be announced.

The UK as we know, lacks the higher altitude common to skyrunning, but it lacks nothing of the tough, challenging courses that have produced skyrunning stars of the highest level.  The first race announced earlier this month has 4,000m of vertical gain over 80 km – enough to satisfy even the most demanding Skyrunner.

Today, Italy, birthplace of skyrunning, announces their calendar, which perfectly reproduces the World Series format with five races in each discipline – Vertical, Sky and Ultra. In a country that boasts over 120 affiliated races and 90 associations, the calendar is spoilt for choice.  The National Series was created to mirror the SWS format and includes some of the country’s top races, such as the Giir di Mont, the Trans D’Havet (last year’s European Ultra Championships) and the Cervino Vertical K, where the first Vertical Kilometer took place 20 years ago at the foot of the Matterhorn.  The Italian Championships (one race per discipline), will be announced at the end of the month.

The concept of launching National Series lies in promoting the skyrunning philosophy at grass roots level and to offer runners in many different countries an opportunity to experience the skyrunning concept on home ground – to participate in well-organised, quality events with the passionate support of organisers and supporters; to enjoy spectacular courses that embody the skyrunning spirit; to push themselves further and higher on challenging terrain; to enjoy strong competition and, to reap the rewards of race and Series’ prize money.  The winners of each Series will win a place in the 2014 World Series finals (or the first 2015 races) together with travel contributions and other benefits.

Particularly welcome has been the response from National Series organisers to create races and circuits that reflect the spirit and the values of skyrunning and where, no doubt, future stars will emerge.

 Other National Series are in the pipeline, starting with one of skyrunning’s most important countries for both races and runners, Spain and Andorra.

Following on will be announcements from Australia & New Zealand, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Russia…

Skyrunner® France Series

Skyrunner® USA Series

iRunFar - an in-depth article on the US Series launch

Skyrunner® South Africa Series

Skyrunner® UK Series

Spain’s Carreraspormontana - report

Skyrunner® Italy Series

Trail running in America & mountain races in Europe

Are there really any differences when it comes to racing in Europe & America? Runners from both sides of the Atlantic have their say about trail running on both continents.

When Michel Poletti, president of ITRA, spoke recently at the presentation of the Spain Ultra Cup about what type of international race organizations would de targeted for future membership, he affirmed that the ITRA would be particularly hoping to attract “organisations with long-distance races taking place in natural scenery“. Although this definition may sound a little vague, it is in fact quite difficult to find a common denominator that might aptly describre races taking place on both sides of the Atlantic.

Are we talking about the same kind of race on both continents? It doesn’t seem that way from what some of our top runners have to say. In any case, surely the “variations on a theme” are what make this sport so appealing, right?  What are the differences anyway, between trail running & mountain running? According to the ISF, “The difference lies in the terminology itself: trail & montain“. 

ISF

We’ve asked some of the top runners about what it is that makes racing different on both sides of the Atlantic. Here are their answers, together with our conclusions:

American races, much faster

The main difference, which everyone seems to agree on, is the greater technical difficulty of races in Europe and the faster speed of races run in the US.

Tofol

As Tòfol Castanyer points out, this means that“American races are more runnable” suggesting that faster ultra-distance racers have the advantage, as opposed to mountain running specialists.

This difference has already been discussed in our article in Spanish, la diferencia entre trail running, fell running y carrera de montaña. In the US the sport is called “trail running“, whereas in Europe, terms such asmountain runningskyrunning or fell running (UK) are used. The term “trail running” obviously refers to the kind of track or path followed, whereas in Europe it’s all about “mountains“. Whereas “trail running” doesn’t necessarily imply elevation gains.

Heras

In Europe the elevation gains are usually greatersays Miguel Heras,I think that this difference is motivating for us Europeans when we go there, as it is for the Americans when they come over to Europe to compete.

Stricter rules in the US

Many of the races held in the US run through national parks, which follow a stricter legislation than we’re used to in Europe, regarding how hikers & runners should use the footpaths or trails. All these measures are imposed with the greater benefit of protecting the lanscape & natural habitat of the species found in the parks. This means that anyone wondering off the trail will be sanctioned (usually with disqualification), something that Europeans are simply not used to.

Emelie

As Emelie Forsberg jokes, “I think it´s like with everything in America; trail races aren’t any different you know“. Rules are rules!

In Europe, things are very different, where, in most cases,the race course simply follows the most direct route across the mountain.

Andy

In Scotland“, for example, says Andy Symonds,” the hills are steep, there are great open spaces without trees, there is grass and bog all over the place. The result is that fell races go straight through fields and up and down hills. Race routes are driven by the shortest lines rather than by path networks”.

Consecuently, European trail runners find that they have to change their whole approach to racing, as Silvia Serafini states, “I know that in the US there are very strict rules about ‘shortcuts‘. You are out of the race if you don’t follow exactly the signed trail“. Kilian Jornet can testify to this, as he was stripped of his prize money and course record, in last year’s Speedgoat 50k for cutting switchbacks.

In Europa, it’s more competitive

So what’s Dakota Jones take on the subject? He interestingly points out that “ In America, trail running came out of a culture of hiking and mountain climbing that has its roots in solitude and escape“. Whereas, “Europeans accept mountain running more and are allowed to have more people in their races, so the scene is much more professional than anywhere else”. ” When Americans race, they are almost afraid to say they are racing, because they don’t want to betray traditional values about the purity of the sport“.

Dakota

Sportswear

In an episode of Kilian´s Quest we can see how the young Catalonian runner meets up with running legend, Pablo Vigil. It’s interesting to compare how the two are dressed; Kilian with his specialized gear  –Suunto GPS heart rate monitor, Salomon technical shorts & training shoes, while Pablo Vigilcan be found wearing the traditional runners sorts and a pair of Nike road trainers. Although this is a simple anecdote, it does undeline the point that, in general, European runners seem to get moredressed up for the occasion!

Anna Frost comments that “Clothing differs…with fashion and trends. Euro wearing more technical lycra and USA wearing looser fitting comforts.

Frosty

What’s in common? People, volunteers, the spirit of racing

There seems to be a common agreement among runners that there is one characteristic to be found on both sides of the Atlantic: the spirit of running, be it trail running in the US or fell running (UK), mountain running or skyrunning in Europe, “our mutual appreciation for the mountains & outdoor spaces”, says Alfredo Gil, Spain’s national champion. “I think we all have that in common“.

Alfredo

American, Stevie Kremer, also emphasises this point & recognizes the efforts of all the people, behind the scenes, who support the races: “both have incredible supporters and volunteers, without which these races would never be successful!”

Stevie
It seems that, as more and more runners make the jump, from one continent to another, things are changing. As Jonathan Wyatt observes, ” We see a lot of North American runners who have learnt a lot from the European style of trail running and they are excited to bring some of these elements to North America including the more technical running trails“.

Jono

Finally, let’s just remember the words of Silvia Serafini, who defines the atmosphere of our sport perfectly, “I can’t really choose which I like most, racing in America or in Europe. I love the atmosphere, the welcome of the people, which I have found on both continents“.

Silvia

 

LINKS & CREDIT:

© Escrito por Nigel John Wilson / David Clavera / Pablo Cantó

This article is a re post from : corredordemontana.com

It is reproduced with the full approval of corredordemontana.com and Nigel John Wilson and has not been altered or adjusted in anyway. The original article is available HERE should you wish to view it.

It is also available in Spanish HERE

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