Lead From Behind by Niandi Carmont

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“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.” – Nelson Mandela

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I just so love this quote by Mandela one of history’s truly great legendary and inspiring leaders. This guiding principle is what no doubt helped Mandela lead South Africa towards the democracy it is today, even from behind the secluded prison bars of Robbin Island.

Leading from behind is one of the most effective, rewarding and empowering leadership strategies. It goes against the traditional image we hold of great leaders, leading the troops from the front by setting the example.

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As a coach during a 2016 training camp for multi-day racing and specifically the Marathon des Sables (here), I had the opportunity to put this into practice. Marathon des Sables or “MDS” as it is affectionately called by most aficionados is a gruelling self-sufficiency multi-stage running event which takes place every year in April in the Sahara. The event is celebrating its 31st year this year and will gather over 1300 international participants at the start line on 8 April. Participants are required to carry a minimum weight of 6.5kg with a minimum calorie allowance of 2000Kcal/day covering a total distance of 250km with temperatures exceeding 45C over dunes, jebels and scorched sun-dried salt lakes.

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The pre-race training camp last week in Lanzarote provided participants with an opportunity to run long distances on consecutive days in the heat and on demanding terrain simulating that encountered in the Sahara. It also allowed them to test their equipment and exchange with coaches on nutritional and hydration strategies.

Attendees were divided into groups of differing ability depending on the objectives they had set themselves.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton

Coaching one of the groups provided me with one of the most insightful weeks on leadership, mentoring and providing feedback. How do you support and develop each participant in the group giving them the self-confidence to learn and grow? This is where leading from behind comes in. At times I would be running ahead setting the pace. Then I would slow down and run in the group egging them on to the next landmark. Other times I would drop down to the back of the pack and let them set the pace. After all isn’t it all about a balance between pushing people outside their comfort zone because you know this is what will help them have the strength to face adversity in the challenge they have set themselves? Then again you also need to be there to monitor their progress and not push them beyond their limits or dampen their enthusiasm. A fine line!

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A good leader is also a good listener. Managers are advised to listen 70% and speak 30% when providing feedback. It is surprising what you learn from coachees when you listen actively. I learnt a wealth of useful information listening to each participant in my run group. Listening gave me a better understanding of the difficulties of each and everyone: ranging from juggling personal and professional commitments to finding the time to train, fitting training around consecutive business trips, adopting a healthy nutritional strategy with a demanding work schedule and business dinners, dealing with sports injuries due to increased mileage, apprehension of the unknown, fear of failure, professional stress impacting on training performance…the list is endless. But listening helped me to be specific in my advice.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter

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A leader should also enhance competitiveness. Many in my group had set out with the objective of completing Marathon des Sables and getting that beautiful big shiny medal handed over to them by the race Director Patrick Bauer, ticking MDS off on their bucket-list of ultra-running achievements and adding it to their run CV. I know the runners in my group will cross that finish line but I also know that they can achieve much more. They showed that tenacity, grit and determination in training that will take them to the finish line at MDS.

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippman

And so my final message to my coachees after a week of learning from them about leadership, mentoring and providing feedback is:

“I won’t be there with you at the start-line although I’d love to be but I will be be tracking your progress live on-line and living every minute of the MDS experience with you.” – Niandi

 

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If you would like to join our 2017 Multi-Day Training Camp, please go HERE

View images from 2016 HERE

View daily images and summaries from 2016 HERE

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 8

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Day 8 of the 2016 Lanzarote multi-day camp was a cracker. The hottest day of the week with little or no wind, a stunning coastal route with mixed terrain, volcano climbing and descending and of course, stunning views and amazing people.

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As on all previous days, we had three run/ walk groups. Everyone managed to cover somewhere between 20 and 35km and it was interesting to see how during the week, people progressed, not only in fitness but in regard to equipment, planning and preparation.

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We also pushed everyone out of their own comfort zones with some tough climbing, very technical terrain and challenging descents. It’s all about taking things up a notch so that when race day comes around, the runners are prepared.

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“Brilliant MdS training camp in Lanzarote with organiser, coach and photographer Ian Corless and MdS 2015 champion Elisabet Barnes. 100-miles run in the week with some excellent advice and support plus great people!” – Paul Allum

Paul’s thoughts were echoed by so many of the camp attendees. Elinor Evans in particular found the whole experience enlightening and invaluable. During the weekly runs, the overnight bivouac, the volcano walk and the daily talks, Elinor realised that she had the wrong pack for her, the wrong sleeping bag, a need to address her nutrition and look at her MdS admin. Invaluable!

“The Training Camp in my opinion was exceptional and far exceeded my expectations. The whole program start to finish pushed everyone to achieve their potential while taking into account the wide variety of abilities. All of the coaches were supportive and challenging and while clearly experts in their field never made novices like me feel stupid. The information we got was priceless and the blend of commercialism and a genuine desire to want to help people achieve their goal of competing or completing MDS was incredibly well done. I wouldn’t just recommend this to future MDS competitors I’d suggest you add it to your Compulsory Kit list! Simply brilliant!” – Simon Dunn

Listen to camp attendee feedback HERE

“Fantastic week in magical terrain with lovely people – thank you Ian, Elisabet, Niandi and Marie-Paule – Sahara countdown is ON.” – Elinor Evans

The morning run of 3-5 hours was followed with a relaxing lunch and then an afternoon Q&A which addressed many of the issues raised during the week and allowed everyone to clarify and appease their minds ahead of their next multi-day race.

The day finished with 20-30min cool down run and then an evening group meal and drinks. It has been an incredible week and one that has provided inspiration for all concerned. Roll on 2017.

‘How was your holiday?’ ask the lads at work. 

‘Amazing’ I say. ‘Look at these pictures’. ‘That’s how to round tape to ensure you minimize the risk of blisters’. Blank looks. 

‘See her? She’s the 2015 MdS champion putting the needle into my foot’. 

More indifference. 

‘Lads, this is the same you fat bastards going to Weston Karting centre at the weekend and Jensen Button turning up to do the safety briefing’. 

They still don’t get it. 
‘Did you learn much in Lanzarote darling?’. 

‘I certainly did. The WAA bag is a goner. It would be like taking a knife to gun fight. Ok, it would be like taking a clutch bag to an all day shopping trip. You know, when only a tote will do’. 

A nod of understanding, but really boredom turning to neutrality at best. 
‘Was it fun running Daddy?’ ‘It was. Midpack daddy is certainly going to need more fat than carbs to keep him going in the dunes girls’. 

‘Did you bring us back any sweets?’. 

‘No’. 

‘Can we watch TV?’ 
‘How was the volcano mate?’. ‘Wonderful. It was cold, but the stars were out and we all had an amazing time’. 

‘Get much sleep?’ 

‘Yes. In fact I’ve found it hard to sleep since without the sound of Elaine gently rustling inside her tent next to me’.  

These people don’t understand me anymore…. I miss #Lanzarote 
– Rich Carps

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If you would like to take part in the 2017 Multi-Day Training Camp, please go HERE

Many thanks for the support of MyRacekit, OMM, Raidlight, PHD. Scott Running, inov-8 and Berghaus.

“Really great few days, some invaluable experience and some valuable miles in the legs. Kit choice, food, packing the bag now all things I’m ready for. Thank you to the organisers and thank you to the fellow participants for making it such a nurturing environment in which to prepare for the MdS.” – Leon Clarance

Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 2

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The Lanzarote 2016 multi-day training camp got underway today with an easy 1-hour run along the coastal trails of La Santa to Famara.

In total, we have a group of 27 runners with a broad range of 2016 objectives such as Marathon des Sables (Morocco), The Coastal Challenge (Costa Rica), Big Red Run (Australia), Cape Wraith Ultra (UK) and the Everest Trail Race (Nepal).

It’s always great to see so many runners of mixed ability come together with one goal in mind; completion of a challenging multi-day race!

Tomorrow, 4-hours of classic desert terrain awaits the runners as they depart in three groups lead by Elisabet Barnes, Niandi Carmont and Marie-Paule Pierson. Ian Corless, camp co-ordinator and planner, will move through the groups, running out-and-back to ensure that everyone is on track and comfortable.

In the afternoon, a group talk and discussion followed with an easy 30-60 min run.

Lanzarote, situated off the coast of Morocco provides the perfect environment to simulate many of the conditions that runners will experience in a classic multi-day race; wind, sand, rocks, tough terrain, climbs and maybe even a little scrambling.

If you are interested in a multi-day training, dates for 2017 have been set and you can view HERE

Many thanks to the following brands for helping with this camp:

MyRaceKit, OMM, inov-8, Berghaus, PHD, Raidlight, Scott Running

 

CALENDAR 2016 iancorless.com – Order now!

1

The 2016 iancorless.com calendar is now available to order.

Price £20.00 (free postage UK)

Delivery is guaranteed on or before December 7th with the first batch of calendars being posted in early November. Numbers are limited and will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

To order a calendar please use the contact form below.

Featured races in the calendar are:

Marmot Dark Mountains, The Coastal Challenge, The Dragons Back Race, Marathon des Sables, Tranvulcania Ultramarathon, Richtersveld Wildrun, The Rut, Glen Coe Skyline, Ultra Pirineu, Everest Trail Race and the Dolomites SkyRace.

To order a calendar please tick the calendar box and then your preferred postal preference – UK, Europe or outside Europe (please tick only one postbox). You will receive an invoice via PayPal and once paid a confirmation.

Episode 84 – Hawker Canaday Kimball

Ep84

Episode 84 of Talk Ultra has an interview with Sage Canaday talking about coaching and training, Lizzy Hawker tells us all about her new book and Nikki Kimball talks TCC, fell running, her new film and racing in South Africa. Talk Training, the News, Up and Coming Races and Speedgoat.
00:13:48 NEWS
 
Barkley
Fair play to Jamil Coury but nobody finished….
Chuckanut 50k
David Laney 3:40
Andrew Benford 3:40
Brett Hornig 3:35
Magdalena Boulet 4:13
Catrin Jones 4:25
Cassie Scallon 4:29
 
Gorge Waterfalls
Justin Houck 9:22 CR
Chris Denucci 9:49
Ben Stern 9:59
Michele Yates 11:03 CR
Joell Vaught 11:10
Olga Nevtrinos 11:20
Ryan Sandes sets FKT on Table Mountain and Red Bull sets up a website to see if you can beat it…
Kilian tells us about his 2015 plans as does Timmy Olson
 
Sage Canaday going to run UTMB
 
Marathon des Sables kicks off…. Preview HERE
00:35:18 INTERVIEW
 
SAGE CANADY provides us with an insight into his coaching and training ethos and how he applies them to his own racing HERE
01:29:00 BLOG
 
What goes in the MDS pack? Read HERE
01:30:55 INTERVIEW
 
LIZZY HAWKER has been away from the running scene with injury. However, she has used the time wisely writing a book called RUNNER. We catch up with her, discuss the book and you have an opportunity to win one of two copies.
WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK HERE
Purchase the book HERE
 
02:16:03 TALK TRAINING
Marc Laithwaite talks all about race pacing. Read the blog post HERE
02:44:50 INTERVIEW
 
NIKKI KIMBALL talks about The Coastal Challenge, her new film, fell racing and heading to South Africa
Finding Traction movie HERE
03:31:20 UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Patagonia Run 100k | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Patagonia Run 63k | 63 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Patagonia Run 84k | 84 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Running Festival Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Queensland

Wildhorse Criterium 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 05, 2015 | website

Wildhorse Criterium 70 km | 70 kilometers | April 05, 2015 | website

Victoria

Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon | 75 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Western Australia

3 Waters 50km Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Diez Vista 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Chile

Ultra Fiord 100K | 100 kilometers | April 17, 2015 | website

Ultra Fiord 100M | 100 miles | April 16, 2015 | website

Ultra Fiord 70K | 70 kilometers | April 17, 2015 | website

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 100 miles | April 17, 2015 | website

France

Bouches-du-Rhône

Trail Sainte Victoire 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Haute-Loire

L’Ultra trace de St Jacques | 740 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Jura

Le Savagnin | 58 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Rhône

Ultra Beaujolais Villages Trail | 110 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Germany

Hesse

Bilstein-Marathon BiMa 53+ | 53 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Guadeloupe

GUADARUN : ultra-marathon des îles de Guadeloupe | 136 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

Indonesia

Trans Sumbawa 200 Miles | 200 miles | April 08, 2015 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Connemara Ultramarathon | 39 miles | April 12, 2015 | website

Israel

Race the Promised Land Ultra | 124 kilometers | April 16, 2015 | website

The Sea to Jerusalem 144 km Ultra | 144 kilometers | April 16, 2015 | website

The Sea to Jerusalem 54 Ultra | 54 kilometers | April 16, 2015 | website

The Sea to Jerusalem 70 km Ultra | 70 kilometers | April 17, 2015 | website

Italy

Latium

UltraTrail dei Monti Cimini | 80 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Tuscany

Elba Trail “Eleonoraxvincere” | 54 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Jordan

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 03, 2015 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | April 16, 2015 | website

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 03, 2015 | website

Nepal

Annapurna Mandala Trail | 250 kilometers | April 15, 2015 | website

Buddhist Stupa Trail Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Castricum Ultraloop | 60 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

De Zestig van Texel – 120 km | 120 kilometers | April 06, 2015 | website

De Zestig van Texel – 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 06, 2015 | website

Norway

Bergen Maratonkarusellen no3 – 1 1/2 Marathon | 63 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Bergen Maratonkarusellen no3 – Ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Philippines

Mayon 360º | 80 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Portugal

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115 | 116 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

South Africa

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon | 56 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

Spain

Catalonia

24 hores del Cap de Creus | 87 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Extremadura

LXVII Milhas Romanas | 100 kilometers | April 10, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Calderdale

The Calderdale Hike – Long | 36 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Carmarthenshire

Pendine Sands Ultra | 32 miles | April 05, 2015 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor – Ultra | 34 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Dorset

The ONER | 78 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

The ONER Half Day Section | 39 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

East Sussex

South Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Glasgow City

Glasgow – Edinburgh Double Marathon | 55 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Hampshire

Compton 40 mile Challenge | 40 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Highland

2XU Jogle | 860 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Surrey

North Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | April 05, 2015 | website

USA

Arizona

Solemates Prescott Circle Trail 100 Miler | 104 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Solemates Prescott Circle Trail 150 Miler | 156 miles | April 09, 2015 | website

Solemates Prescott Circle Trail 200 Miler | 208 miles | April 09, 2015 | website

Solemates Prescott Circle Trail 50 Miler | 52 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

California

American River 50-mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Grizzly Peak 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

Lake Sonoma 50 | 50 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Oriflamme 50k | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Woodside Crossover 50K | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Florida

Croom Trail 50K Fools Run | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

Croom Trail 50M Fools Run | 50 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 100 Miles | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Wild Sebastian 100 Spring Edition – 75 Miles | 75 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Illinois

Potawatomi 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run | 150 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Potawatomi 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Indiana

2 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

3 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

4 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

5 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

6 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

7 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

8 Person Team | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Iowa

Hawkeye 50k | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Kansas

Rocking K Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Louisiana

LUR’s Sleepy 50K | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Cape Cod Trail Race – Run Forward. Give Back – Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Michigan

Kal-Haven Trail Run | 33 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Zumbro 100k | 100 kilometers | April 10, 2015 | website

Zumbro 100M | 100 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Zumbro Midnight 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Mississippi

Gulf Coast Interstate Relay – Ride or Run | 263 miles | April 03, 2015 | website

Race Across Mississippi – Border to Border (7 Marathons) | 192 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Missouri

Ozark Foothills 50K | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Nebraska

Double Half Mary+5 | 50 kilometers | April 10, 2015 | website

New York

100 Mile PEACE Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | April 17, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Cedar Island 40 | 42 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Tatur’s Lake McMurty Trail Race 50K | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Oregon

Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | April 12, 2015 | website

Shotgun Trail Blast 50K | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

South Carolina

Blind Pig 100K Ultra Marathon | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Blind Pig 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Power to the Tower 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

War at Windrock – 3 stages race | 51 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Texas

Hells Hills 50 km Endurance Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 04, 2015 | website

Hells Hills 50 Mile Endurance Trail Run | 50 miles | April 04, 2015 | website

Utah

Zion 100k | 100 kilometers | April 10, 2015 | website

Zion 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 10, 2015 | website

Zion 50K | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Virginia

Bull Run Run 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Washington

Alger Alp 50k | 50 kilometers | April 12, 2015 | website

Lumberjack 100 K Run | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Lumberjack 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Lumberjack 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 11, 2015 | website

Squak Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Wisconsin

Mad City 100K | 100 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Mad City 50K | 50 kilometers | April 11, 2015 | website

Zimbabwe

33 Miler | 33 miles | April 12, 2015 | website

33 Miler Relay | 33 miles | April 12, 2015 | website

03:35:32 CLOSE
03:41:11
LINKS:

The 2015 11th edition of The Coastal Challenge on RUNULTRA

TCC 2015

“Anything can happen in a race that lasts multiple days and believe me, The Coastal Challenge provided more than its fair share of excitement. But as a battle raged at the front, behind, the story was one of survival, perseverance and enjoyment in equal measure.”

Read the full article  and view a selection of images from the 2015

The Coastal Challenge

HERE

A full selection of images are available HERE

And you can read daily reports with images from the race here:

Day 1 HERE

Day 2 HERE

Day 3 HERE images HERE

Day 4 HERE images HERE

Day 5 HERE images HERE

Day 6 HERE

run-ultra-logo

Episode 81 – Murphy Polyakova Zahab Laithwaite

Ep81

Episode 81 of Talk Ultra is out… Mike Murphy talks about pushing to the limits (and beyond) at The Coastal Challenge, Elena Polyakova talks about ultra running in Turkey and the up and coming Cappadocia Ultra Trail and Ray Zahab fills us in on his last expedition. Marc Laithwaite return for Talk Training and we discuss Maffetone. A Blog, Up and Coming Races, the News and Speedgoat Karl co-hosts.

00:17:09 NEWS
 
Sean O’Brien 100k
Ryan Smith 8:41
Seth Swanson 8:57
Jorge Pacheo
Magdalena Boulet 9:51
Anita Ortiz 10:40
Silke Koester 11:11
Tarawera 100k
Dylan Bowman 7:44 CR
Jorge Maravilla 8:01
Yoshikazu Hara 8:12
Ruby Muir 9:02 CR
Ruth Croft 9:14
Nuria Picas 9:40
 
MSIG Sai Kung 28k
Dai Matsumoto 2:49
Elisa Desco 3:41
 
MSIG Sai Kung 50k
Samir Tamang 4:48
Mira Rai 5:39
 
The Coastal Challenge
Iain Don Wauchope 22:29:08
Ashur Youseffi 26:09:54
Roiny Villegas 26:23:53
Veronica Bravo 29:35:20
Nikki Kimball 32:31:50
Maria Rivera 34:07:13
00:39:29 INTERVIEW
 
MIKE MURPHY pushed things to the limit at the 2015 The Coastal Challenge, in this interview we discuss his experiences in-depth.
 
Black Canyon 100k
Ford Smith 8:31 (18 years old)
Dave Mackey 8:33
Ryan Ghelfi 8:40
Caroline Boller 10:05
Angela Shartel 10:55
Gina Lucrezi 11:51
 
Red Hot 55k
Alex Nichols 3:48
Rob Krar 3:51
Jim Walmsley 3:54
Ashley Erba (19 years old) 4:29
Kara Henry 4:44
Kerrie Bruxvoort 5:03
 
Susitna 100
David Johnston 21:29
Rachel Gano 29:34
01:48:18 INTERVIEW
 
ELENA POLYAKOVA has pioneered ultra running in Turkey. In this interview we discuss her experiences and the up and coming TNF Cappadocia Ultra Trail 
 
02:20:12 INTERVIEW
 
RAY ZAHAB is no stranger to adventure, earlier this year he ventured into Patagonia. We hear all about it.
 
02:53:04 BLOG
Iain Don Wauchope writes about The Coastal Challenge – HERE
 
02:53:37 TALK TRAINING
 
Marc Laithwaite talks Maffetone
References:
 
Maffetone for Better Endurance HERE
Paleo, Maffetone and the Method HERE
03:28:23 UP & COMING RACES
 

Australia

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Victoria

Dendy Park Urban Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Cayman Islands

Off the Beaten Track | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Finland

Lapland

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 20, 2015 | website

France

Ille-et-Vilaine

Endu’Rance Trail des Corsaires | 64 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Loire-Atlantique

Le Trail du Vignoble Nantais – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Germany

Hesse

Lahntallauf 50 KM | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Rotary HK Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Italy

Tuscany

Terre di Siena 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Malaysia

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Mexico

Ultra Caballo Blanco | 50 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Bedrock50 | 53 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Taupo 155 km Great Lake Relay | 155 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Taupo 67.5 km Great Lake Relay | 67 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Waiheke Round Island 100 km Relay | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Peru

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 80K | 80 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Philippines

Davao50 | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

Luneta to Tagaytay(LU2TA) Midnight Ultramarathon 60km | 60 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Portugal

Trail Terras do Sicó | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Terras do Sicó – 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Senegal

Raid Téranga 250 | 250 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

South Africa

South African Addo Elephant 44 km Trail Run | 44 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

South African Addo Elephant 76 km Trail Run | 76 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Three Cranes Challenge | 106 kilometers | February 26, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Trail Sierras del Bandolero | 150 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Catalonia

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Essex

St Peters Way Ultra | 45 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Northumberland

Coastal Trail Series – Northumberland – Ultra | 34 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Black Warrior/Phillip Parker 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Mount Cheaha 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile | 1000 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile | 350 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Arizona

Elephant Mountain – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200 miles | February 20, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 55K | 55 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Arkansas

LOVit 100k | 100 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

LOVit 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Sylamore Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

California

Chabot Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

FOURmidable 100K | 100 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

FOURmidable 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Lake Natoma 50K | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Montara Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 100K | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Afternoon | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Morning | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 100K Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 125 Mile Endurance Race | 125 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 50K Endurance Race | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 50 Mile Endurance Race | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Run for Amma 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Run for Amma 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Salmon Falls 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Sycamore 100k | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

West Coast 50K | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

Colorado

Headless Horsetooth Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Florida

Everglades 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Everglades 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Manasota Track Club 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Louisiana

Q50 50M Ultra | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Maryland

Frozen Heart 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

New Jersey

Febapple Frozen Fifty – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Febapple Frozen Fifty – 50M | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Race Across New Mexico – Alien Encounter (4 Marathons) | 100 miles | February 27, 2015 | website

Race Across New Mexico – Heart of New Mexico (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | February 24, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Mount Mitchell Challenge | 40 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Texas

A2B2: Alamo To Border 2 | 162 miles | February 27, 2015 | website

Cowtown Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Cross Timbers Trail Runs 50M | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – Border to Border (22 Marathons) | 587 miles | March 04, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – The Wild West (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | March 06, 2015 | website

Virginia

The Reverse Ring | 71 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Washington

Lord Hill 50 Km | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

03:31:56 CLOSE
03:35:27

Links:

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Iain Don Wauchope (aka Gandalf) writes about winning The Coastal Challenge 2015

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On Sunday, 25 January, at 15:30pm I departed my home in the Drakensberg, South Africa, and embarked on the longest and most challenging trip of my life. I finally arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Wednesday, 28 January. Actually, I only arrived at my hotel at 17:30 after taking 3 local buses from the airport to Poasito where I had booked a hotel room for the next few nights. In total, 82 hours had elapsed since I had left home! Not only was this trip long and testing in duration, it was extremely stressful and proved to be a bigger challenge than the actual trail running race that was the purpose of my trip to Costa Rica.

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The Coastal Challenge is a 6-day, 225km, supported trail run through the tropical rainforests of the South Western region of Costa Rica, Central America. All runners bring along their own tents, sleeping mats, sheets, mosquito nets etc. The organisers provide the meals, the overnight camping venues, transport for your bag, a well-marked route, aid stations on each day’s route and the usual back-up crew of media, medics, volunteers and logistics people. All runners are treated the same whether you are an international trail running legend or a local Costa Rican that the organisers haven’t even heard of before.

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For me, this race was a true test of perseverance and a reminder of how important it is to maintain a positive mental outlook no matter how bad the situation seems. I struggled for the first 2 days with headaches, my legs feeling lethargic, without rhythm and generally out-of-sorts. It felt as though my body was fighting off a bug or possibly still recovering from my arduous trip. Nevertheless, I kept plugging away and just tried to enjoy the journey and the beautiful surroundings. Despite how I was feeling and the results of each day, it was a privilege and honour to be in Costa Rica running through forests, rivers and beaches that most people would never get to experience.

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As it turned out, the final result of day 1 was not bad. Mike Murphy, the Canadian, was galloping off ahead in the lead, looking mighty fit, when he failed to see the course markings and continued in the wrong direction. As a result, I found myself in the lead and somehow managed to maintain that lead all the way to the end. It was extremely hot towards the end of the stage and it required a lot of mental effort to keep going all the way to the finish. I only had about 6 minutes on Ashur Yousseffi, a local Costa Rican, but about 14 minutes on Mike. There was no doubt that Mike was in great shape and the fastest runner on the day. I would have to keep an eye on him. As expected Karl Meltzer had started slowly and make good progress towards the latter stages. Joe Grant struggled in the heat, as did everyone else. I just seemed better able to adapt to the conditions and get to the finish quickest despite not feeling great.

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Day 2 started with a steep climb from our lovely overnight campsite at Rafiki Lodge. Mike immediately took the lead closely followed by Joe and I. While I kept an eye on Mike and Joe, I remained focused on myself maintaining a constant pace that I was comfortable with at that stage. By the top of the climb Mike and Joe had a few minutes on me and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see them again. So I continued to slog away up and through an overgrown track through the jungle, not feeling great but moving forward. By the 2nd check point / aid station, another local Costa Rican, Jeffrey Portuguez, had caught up to me while Mike had extended his lead to about 10 minutes. Joe was only 3 minutes ahead so I was hoping we could reel him in at some point. The section towards checkpoint 3 was flatter along a good gravel road but it was also getting very hot. Jeffrey dropped off the pace along this section but I was also suffering, so I stopped to buy a coke at a local shop. Shortly thereafter, at checkpoint 3, I was surprised to catch Joe; he had rolled his ankle badly and was hobbling along. We headed off together to tackle the last section along a long open beach; it was hot and we were both suffering a bit. It was great to have some company for this last stretch and I was very relieved to finally reach the end of day 2 alongside a new friend. Mike had a stormer of a run; he set a new stage record and finished almost 30 minutes ahead of us. That evening I mentioned to someone that the only way to beat Mike would be to chop his legs off! He had a 16-minute lead, I still wasn’t feeling 100% and he looked like he was ready to take on the world! Little did I know that he was having a few issues of his own that would soon escalate into more serious problems.

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Day 3 started in much the same way as the first 2 days. Mike sped off from the start and the rest of us followed. I needed a few minutes to warm up and then started feeling okay. I soon realised that Mike wasn’t gaining any more distance on me and I slowly caught up to him. I knew we had a rocky river section ahead of us and I suspected that I would be able to negotiate the slippery rocks better than Mike. As it turned out, this was a critical part of our race and the turning point of our dual. We arrived at the river section together. I focused on just getting over the rocks and through this river section as efficiently as possible. Mike, on the other hand, was struggling over the rocks and kept falling and slipping. He lost his sunglasses and most of his pre-mixed race juice. He grew increasingly angry with himself and I knew I should keep the pressure on by moving swiftly through this tricky section. After 10km, we arrived at checkpoint 1 together. The big difference was that Mike had expended a lot of energy up until this point. He was battered and bruised with numerous cuts on his legs, he had lost his sunglasses and his pre-mixed race fuel and, more importantly, this was now playing on his mind. Incidentally, I had also lost my cap but I didn’t worry too much about it. I filled up my bottles, grabbed some delicious fruit and then ducked off into the bush to alleviate a bit of diarrhoea.

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Soon thereafter, we trotted off from checkpoint 1 together and immediately started a climb out of the valley. Mike dropped back half a stride and then a full stride. I was feeling good so I increased my tempo slightly. I knew I had to take advantage while I was feeling good and Mike was struggling. Even though I was aware of Mike, I remained focused on myself realising that it was still a long way to go to the finish on day 6. I got into a comfortable rhythm, kept myself well hydrated and as cool as possible. Towards the end of the day we had a long beach section to negotiate. It was very hot and, without my peak, the sun felt more intense than usual. I attempted to make a plan with a large leaf to provide some protection from the blazing sun, but it only lasted about 500m. Despite feeling good at the start of the beach section, by the time I reached the other end of the beach I was suffering and really feeling the heat. To everyone’s relief, including mine, there was an Eden-like freshwater stream and plunge pool as the route left the beach and entered the forest. I submerged by body in the cool water, gulped down some oh-so-refreshing water and then started the slog up the steep forest track towards the final checkpoint. From there it was a blistering hot 4km stretch along tar towards the finish. I didn’t want to over-exert myself but I also didn’t want to lose any advantage that I had built up over Mike. Keep in mind that you have no idea of the time gaps between yourself and those behind you; I didn’t know whether Mike was 3 minutes or 30 minutes behind me and how he was feeling or moving. So I just kept trudging along towards the finish. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive in a new stage record time of 4:43, beating the previous record by almost 33 minutes. Mike arrived about 16 minutes later, also under the old stage record. Overall, I was now leading Mike by less than 2 minutes. The race was on!

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Day 4 was another big day starting with a long, steep climb and ending with a very steep descent with a total ascent of 2950m. Mike was a little more tentative at the start and didn’t go tearing off as usual. As soon as we hit the first climb he fell off the pace again. I applied the same strategy as in the previous stages; I kept going at a good, steady pace that I knew that I could sustain all the way to the finish. My body was feeling better each day and I was now in the groove of running on a daily basis in the hot and humid conditions. Interestingly, the long and steep descent towards the end of the day was actually very dry.

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It reminded me of running back home in South Africa with brown, dry grass and dusty paths. My legs felt very good over the last few kilometres and I had a nice spring in my stride. This was a good place to be after 4 days of tough running. In contrast, Mike was taking strain and had fallen again on his elbow. This elbow later became infected and added to his health issues. Nevertheless, he wasn’t giving up and kept persevering all day long. My time of 3:58 was more than 20 minutes faster than the previous stage record and almost 40 minutes faster than Mike. I know had a comfortable lead but anything can happen in a multi-day event so I didn’t want to take my foot off the accelerator.

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Day 5 was the last tough day and the longest in distance of the race. We were greeted overnight with some rain and started the day’s run in a gentle drizzle. The road conditions were good for the first 16 kilometres and with the cooler temperatures this made for a relatively fast pace. I was happy to tick along at my pace and soon found myself running alone up front. Shortly after the first check point the route headed onto a smaller forest road that had recently been graded. In fact, I passed the grader and other trucks at the start of this forest section. Consequently, the next section was very muddy and slippery. Even gentle gradients became almost impossible to run up. Instead of fighting through this section of about 16 kilometres, I once again focused on getting through the mud as efficiently as possible. Once I was through the slippery quagmire, I was able to pick up the tempo again and head towards the finish at Drake Bay. Despite the testing conditions I was very surprised to beat the previous stage record by 3 minutes. Unfortunately for Mike, this was the day that his body starting shutting down. He put in a huge effort just to reach the finish line unassisted but he was clearly in some serious trouble. The medics were very quick to attend to him and he was ultimately admitted to hospital the following morning with multiple health issues.

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Mike’s withdrawal from the race left the door wide open for Ashur and Roiny to fight it out for 2nd and 3rd place overall. The final day’s stage was only about 24 kilometres and in the end Ashur secured a well-earned 2nd place with Roiny about 10 minutes back in 3rd. I decided to run the last day just like I had run all the other stages and managed to set another stage record.

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In summary, I won 5 out of 6 stages, I set records in the last 4 stages and I set a new overall record by almost an hour. I surpassed all my own expectations and was very grateful that I did not experience any major problems. What appeared to be problems for me in the early stages were, in fact, minor in comparison to what others endured, especially Mike. The beautiful setting of the finish at Drake Bay, the wonderful people and fantastic weather (despite the humidity it’s great to be in the sun!) made my victory even more enjoyable.

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While any stage race over this distance requires careful body management, a distinguishing feature of this particular race is learning to deal with the very high humidity and high temperatures. As expected, correct hydration, nutrition and recovery are vital components of this jungle race. And don’t forget to look after your feet and to avoid infections from cuts and grazes while negotiating the trails! Most importantly, remember to maintain a positive attitude and enjoy the beautiful surroundings; Costa Rica has tremendous biodiversity and is a paradise waiting to be explored.

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All in all, The Coastal Challenge is a great event that tests your physical fitness and mental toughness to the maximum. However, what I will remember most about this unique event are the wonderful people that I met along the way. The local race organiser, Rodrigo Carazo is a gem. This guy has done some of the most amazing backpacking trips, adventure racers and explorations that I have ever heard about. Furthermore, he has a fantastic team of workers and volunteers, from the cooks to the medics to the aid station crew to the sweepers. A bunch of great people who have a single purpose, to make The Coastal Challenge as enjoyable as possible for each and every participant.

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Entries for the 2016 The Coastal Challenge are now available online.

Please go to tcccostarica.com and thecoastalchellenge.co.uk

 

The Coastal Challenge 2015: Easy on the Eyes, Tough on the Runners

TCC2015 runnersworld.com

 

Justin Mock writes for runnersworld.com about the 2015 The Coastal Challenge and talks with Speedgoat Karl Meltzer and Joe Grant.

“There’s no motel room, no shower, no air conditioning. That would be a lot easier,” Meltzer laughed. “It’s 110 degrees in your tent, you just lie there in a pool of sweat.”

You can read the full article HERE

View The Coastal Challenge 2015 image gallery by iancorless.com

HERE

Entries for the 2016 event, open today, Friday 13th 2015

For full details and to reserve your slot now, contact your region’s agent or email us directly at INFO@TCCCOSTARICA.COM. Pura vida!

North America – Tim Holmstrom: tim@thecoastalchallenge.com – Limited Slots!

USA: Krista Baker: racequesttravel@gmail.com – Limited Slots!

United Kingdom, South Africa – Steve Dietrich: info@thecoastalchallenge.co.uk – Limited Slots!

Spain, Morocco, Portugal – Olivier Sepulchre: oliviersep@gmail.com – Limited Slots!

Canada – Hailey Van Dyk: hailey@runlikeagirl.ca – Limited Slots!

Central America, South America, Caribbean – Rodrigo Carazo & Sergio Sánchez: info@tcccostarica.com – Limited Slots!

Ever wondered, what is too much in an ultra?

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Ever wondered, what is too much in an ultra?

Canadian, Mike Murphy last week ran The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. He was having a battle royal with South African, Iain Don Wauchope. Showing real grit, on day two Mike pulled back a huge time deficit (due to going off course on day one) and took over the race lead.

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Mike then lost the lead again on day three. The stage was set for a head-to-head battle but Mike started to suffer… on the evening of day five (with just one day left) Mike was pulled out of the race by the medics and eventually ended up in hospital.

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All is okay and Mike is now back in Canada. But he just sent me this message:

“I’m ALIVE! Got home from the hospital (Vancouver) last night, and my issues/injuries seem to stable and/or improving. The list is:
Broken Radius, Arm/elbow infection, Heat stroke, Hyponatremia, Blood loss (causing anemia).”

Believe me, Mike is one of the most committed runners I have ever witnessed in a race. Costa Rica and The Coastal Challenge offered each and every competitor a unique set of challenges. Lets face it, that is the attraction isn’t it? Relentless heat, high humidity, long stretches of open beach, dense forest, fire roads, water crossings, technical river beds and a plethora of other challenges.

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But can you be too committed in a race?

Welcome your thoughts and have you ever pushed yourself too far?