William Sichel to attempt World’s Longest Certified Footrace – 3100 miles

aty_2013_03

Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel, has announced that he will be attempting to become the first Scot, first Brit and first person over 60-years of age to complete the World’s Longest Certified Footracethe Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race – within the current 52 day time limit.

Described by the New York Times as the “Mount Everest of ultra marathons”, the 18th edition of this event will, once again, take place on a half mile street circuit in Queens, New York from June 15th to August 6th this year. A small field of about a dozen runners is expected.

“I wanted to make this year in particular rather special, it being my 60th year and also my 20th in ultra distance running.  I’ve always specialised in standard road and track ultras so, to me, this is the ultimate in this type of race.  Clearly it is way beyond anything I have previously attempted and I’ll need to use all my experience to try and finish the race!”

Sri Chinmoy was an Indian spiritual master and teacher of meditation, who established himself in New York in the 1960’s and who died in 2007.  The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organise many running events world-wide, including in Scotland, England and Wales.

“My first ever standard ultra was the Sri Chinmoy 100km race in Edinburgh in 1994, which to my amazement I won. Since then I have done loads of Sri Chinmoy ultra distance events world-wide and up to 6 Days in duration. Their events are always well organised and have the best interests of the runners at heart.”

William has known about this incredible event for a long time but never thought he would be able to participate or realistically consider himself a possible finisher.

“Trying to clear a two months gap in your life isn’t easy and in fact that becomes part of the challenge. It will be the most incredible trial for me – the ultimate really in long distance running.”

For organisational reasons the race is run a bit like a stage race with the runners and organisers having an enforced break between mid-night and 6am every day.  The clock doesn’t stop of course.

So in effect the competitors have 18 hours a day to cover the daily average of 60 miles required to complete the challenge within the time limit.

“I’ve run 153 miles in a single day as a one off. In six day races I cover 80-90 miles as a daily average and in my only 1000 miles race I averaged 72 miles a day. To attempt a daily average of 60 miles, week in and week out, will need the most astonishing effort and conservation of resources.”

Welshman Abichal Watkins, was the first British person to compete in the event, finishing five times in five years, with a best performance of 54 days 11 hours in 2008.  He is now a race organiser and this year is promoting the Celtic Ultra Fest in Weston-super-Mare in September.

William is working on Project165.com in which he will attempt to have set 165 ultra running records before his 65th birthday on October 1st 2018.  Amongst William’s current 95 records he holds nine world age-group records including the fastest time to run 1000 miles.

William is dedicating Project165.com to raise funds for CLAN Cancer Support and his dedicated web page can be found here: http://www.justgiving.com/William-Sichel

Episode 57 – Johnston, Greenwood, Desert Runners Movie, Team inov-8

Ep57

Episode 57 of Talk Ultra is available – David Johnston gives us a blow-by-blow account of his record breaking run at the ITI350 (Iditarod Trail Invitational), Ellie Greenwood talks about her comeback run and win at Chuckanut 50 and her plans for 2014. We speak with Jennifer Steinman, Director of the Desert Runners Movie and Samantha Gash who appeared in the film. Team inov-8 provide some chat from the 2014 athlete retreat and Emelie Forsberg brings us smilesandmiles, a Blog, the News, Up and Coming Races and of course Speedgoat Karl Meltzer! It’s a stacked show.

I was at an inov-8 athlete retreat in the English Lakes testing products such as new apparel and shoes and then capturing images.
I caught up with some of the Team Members…
  • Tracy Dean
  • David Schneider
  • Ben Abdelnoor
 
NEWS
Tarawera 100k (65k) – Hit by bad weather so reduced

Men

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

Ladies

  1. Jo Johansen 7:02:43
  2. Claire Walton 7:11:48
  3. Dawn Tuffery 7:16:16
  4. Beth Cardelli – Salomon 7:18:54
  5. Meghan Arbogast – Scott Running 7:26:24
  6. Shona Stephenson – inov-8  7:26:24
  7. Fiona Hayvice 7:40:54
  8. Katrin Gottschalk 7:44:33
  9. Katherine Macmillan 7:44:33
  10. Sandy Nyper – Ink n Burn 7:57:24
 
Chuckanut 50k
 
Men
  1. Max King 3:35:42 with new CR
  2. David Laney 3:38:37
  3. Daniel Kraft 3:41:05
 
3 of first 4 men are Nike sponsored !
 
Ladies
  1. Ellie Greenwood 4:11:51
  2. Jodee Adams Moore 4:20:37
  3. Melanie Bos 4:38:20
I caught up with Ellie Greenwood to discuss this comeback run and find out all about her difficult 12-months.
 
AUDIO with Ellie Greenwood
 
South Carolina 24-hour Race
  1. 154.590 Harvey Lewis
  2. 133.470 Katalin Nagy
  3. 127.043 Chris Roman
  4. 125.019 Zach Bitter – dropped from race but with a new 200km record
  5. 123.134 Shannon Johnstone
Translantau 100km (Hong Kong)
  1. Jeremy Ritcey 13:04:13
  2. Chin Keung Leung 14:24:35
  3. John Ellis 14:38:24
  1. Kar Bik Tam 17:44:55
  2. Katja Fink 20:12:01
  3. Marcia Zhou 21:04:20
 
Desert Runners Film
New film has just come out charting the journey of the 2010 Racing the Planet four deserts and four people who attempted the Grand Slam; running all four in one year! I had an opportunity to speak with the director, Jennifer Steinman on the film and the undertaking of such a difficult project
 
AUDIO with Jennifer Steinman
 
Samantha Gash way back in 2010 was one of the ‘unknown’ runners who completed the Four Deserts in 2010. She became the youngest female ever to complete all four in one year and many of you will remember Samantha was on a previous show of Talk Ultra, however, I thought it prudent to have a catch up now this film is out.
DESERT RUNNERS MOVIE DISCOUNT: Listeners can enter the code ‘runners’ for 10% off the film at desertrunnersmovie.com.
 
AUDIO with Samantha Gash
BLOG – Lizzy Hawker http://lizzyhawker.com/ke-garne/
Ke garne? What to do?
“I thought I’d been smart this time. I took time (2 months) not running after the femural stress facture that prevented me racing the 2013 UTMB. I tried to be patient. I mixed up the walking and running during the Manaslu Mountain Trail and ran a bit more during the Mustang Trail Race. I allowed myself to take it slowly. I soaked up just being in those awesome places and sharing the experiences. I was gradually working back to some kind of race fitness. I raced 50km on the rim of the Kathmandu valley, slowly, not full out. So what happened?”
INTERVIEW 
David Johnston was on our show just two episodes ago discussing his epic win and new CR at Susitna 100. Just 7-days later he took on the Iditarod Trail Invitational 350-mile race. Against all logic, he not only won but smashed what many considered to be an unbreakable record… here is his story!
 
AUDIO with David Johnston
 
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat
 
SMILESANDMILES with Emelie Forsberg
 
UP AND COMING RACES

Algeria

Ultramarathon des Ziban | 100 kilometers | March 27, 2014 | website

Argentina

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

Croatia

Istratrek Trail Race | 60 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

France

Yvelines

Eco Trail de Paris IDF – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Eco Trail de Paris IDF – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Hesse

Eschollbrücker Ultra-Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Greece

Antiparos Ultra 100 | 100 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

Hungary

BSI Half Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 95 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Balatonfüred – Siófok | 51 kilometers | March 23, 2014 | website

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

India

Sandakphu 70 Mile Himalayan Race | 70 miles | March 23, 2014 | website

Ireland

Leinster

Wicklow Way Ultra | 51 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Italy

Lombardy

100 km di Seregno | 100 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

60 km di Seregno | 60 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

UMS Ultramaratona Milano Sanremo | 280 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Luxembourg

La GranDucale – 55 km | 55 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Montenegro

Ultra-Maraton Montenegro | 100 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | March 27, 2014 | website

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

New Zealand

Northburn Station 100 km Mountain Run | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Northburn Station 50 km Mountain Run | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Portugal

Inatel Piódão Trail Running – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

TrailRunning BRIMZ “Guzmán el Bueno” X Sierra Morena – 60 km | 60 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Extremadura

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

Valencian Community

La Perimetral | 65 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Wreckers Challenge | 50 miles | March 23, 2014 | website

Dorset

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

East Sussex

Coastal Trail Series – Sussex – Ultra | 34 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors 55 Ultramarathon | 55 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Lake Martin 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Lake Martin 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Oak Moutain 50+ | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Arizona

Mesquite Canyon 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

California

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 100 Miler | 100 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50K | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Canyon Meadow 50 Km Trail Run (March) | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Old Goats 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Old Goats 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

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

Florida

Croom Trail 50K Fools Run | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Croom Trail 50M Fools Run | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Georgia

DoubleTop 100 100k | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

DoubleTop 100 100M | 100 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Idaho

Pickled Feet 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | March 28, 2014 | website

Illinois

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

Kansas

Prairie Spirit Trail 100 Mile Ultra Race | 100 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Prairie Spirit Trail 50 Mile Ultra Race | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

Maryland

50K HAT Run | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Hat Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Mississippi

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

Missouri

Forrest Gump Challenge 50 Mile Ultra-marathon | 50 miles | March 29, 2014 | website

New Jersey

NJ Ultra Festival – 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 100M Trail Race | 100 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 50M Trail Race | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Ohio

Fools 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Oregon

Gorge Waterfalls 100k | 100 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

Gorge Waterfalls 50k | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Pennsylvania

Lt. J. C. Stone 50K UltraMarathon | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Texas

The Grasslands 50-Mile | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Utah

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

Antelope Island 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Antelope Island 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Moab 100K | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Moab 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 22, 2014 | website

Moab 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

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

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

Virginia

Terrapin Mountain 50km | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Washington

Badger Mountain Challenge 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | March 28, 2014 | website

Badger Mountain Challenge 50k Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Chuckanut 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2014 | website

Dizzy Daze 100K | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

Dizzy Daze 50K | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website

WSU 100K Relay & Solo Race | 100 kilometers | March 30, 2014 | website

West Virginia

Haulin’ in the Holler 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2014 | website
CLOSE

David Johnston Interview – Iditarod Trail Invitation 350 #ITI350 and Susitna 100

dave family

 

“This year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational begins in a couple days and I’m looking forward to watching what David Johnston does this time around. Will his recent 18-hour assault of the Susitna 100 hinder his ITI performance? Not many people would be bold enough to run a 100-miler as hard as they can a week before a 350 mile race in which they are trying to run as fast as possible, but Dave is one of the most bold racers I’ve ever come across. He’s also one of the most upbeat, happy, and likeable people you will ever meet. I’ve talked in the past about how ‘unbreakable’ I feel Steve Reifenstuhl’s foot record is at the ITI, but Dave might just be the one person who is crazy enough to try, and talented/experienced enough to pull it off. A year ago I would have said, no way could Dave ever run the ITI as fast as Steve did, but after his amazing run there last year, and his jaw dropping performance at Susitna last week, he has proven that it is within his grasp if the trail conditions are in his favor. He simply has an ability to drag a sled for long distances on snow really, really, really well. I would love to be out there giving it a go beside him, but that will have to wait for another year (or a few) for me. For now I’ll just have to settle for rooting for Dave from the warmth and comfort of my house here in Colorado. Go get ‘em, buddy!”

by Geoff Roes (posted on Facebook, Feb 21st 2014)

Geoff sums it up perfectly. I personally followed the Iditarod Trail Invitational closely last year (2013) as I had arranged with Joe Grant to monitor his progress with a series of step-by-step interviews to record his journey as he prepared for his first attempt at this epic 350-mile race. After the race in a candid catch up, Joe continued to be amazed by what the race leader, David Johnston had achieved, when I mentioned to Joe about my interview with David he said, ‘That’s awesome Ian. Look forward to hearing about it. Dave continues to run phenomenal races on these winter courses. Can’t wait to see what he does at the ITI this year.’

 

I caught up with David just 5-days after he set an incredible new course record at the Susitna-100. Running a time of 18:22, this smashed Geoff Roes 2007 record of 21:43 out of the park.

Believe it or not, today, Sunday 23rd February 2014, David won’t be at home with his feet up recovering, he will be on the start line of the ITI350 to see what he can do… again!

 

 INTERVIEW

IC: In last years punishing 350-mile ITI race, ultra runner David Johnston endured countless problems; sleep deprivation and hallucinations, nausea and diarrhea, sinus problems and a strained right knee. The soles of his feet were numb when he crossed the finish line, and the numbness persisted for more than a week afterward. (From http://www.adn.com)

But David Johnston returns for more!

DJ: Thanks Ian, great to be here.

IC: Last year we followed Joe Grant step-by-step as he prepared for the ITI. It was great to get an insight how he prepared and then catch up afterwards. One thing he said continually was. “This guy David Johnston has had an incredible run, what he has achieved is incredible’. From the outside looking in, the ITI is a small community. Not many know about this race. The 350-mile or the just crazy 1000-mile race; what is it for you that attracts you to this race and severity of course.

DJ: Living in Alaska is the big draw. You know, we Alaskans think of ourselves as locals, we cut our teeth on the shorter races and it gets in your blood and you think what is next? The ITI sits up there as the top shelf whiskey and you long to do it. So it’s great to get the opportunity and when you do, you give it your best.

IC: You completed the 2013 race in 4hrs 13min short of the previous record (considered unbeatable) did you go out for the record or did you just see how it goes?

DJ: When I started the race last year I think my main goal was to see if I could run the whole way. I didn’t know if I could do that. When I started off I was with Joe Grant. We were together for the first 30-miles. He asked, ‘what are you going to do?’ I said you know what, ‘Joe, I am gonna see if I can run the whole way.’ He replied by saying, ‘your nuts, you can’t run the whole way’. But I thought to myself I am gonna try… In the first 150-miles I went through some tough times. At mile 135 I left Fingerlake checkpoint and it was do or die. I probably shouldn’t have left but I was like an animal. I thought I would put my head down and just go for it. I hit mile 200 and I thought, you know what, I am close to the record. I thought lets go for it. I ran as hard as I could… even with 50-miles left I had to run within 10-hours (5-miles per hour). That is pretty much top speed on snow…

IC: That’s crazy! It would be hard enough trying to do that on fresh legs at the beginning but after 4-days? Wow; crazy.

DJ: (laughs) I pulled it off for a while but with 40-miles left I was on pace and then the snow started at it came harder and harder. My effort was reduced to 3-miles per hour and I could see it slipping away. I thought this is all I have got! I definitely had to put up with Mother Nature but that is this race! It was the first time I had ever decided to just go for it… You just don’t know what you will get?

IC: How do you just go for it when it is a 350-mile race in such tough conditions? You have touched on that you live in the environment so you will be far more savvy and aware of what you can and can’t do and of course what will and won’t work. I know that in the process Joe Grant went through, there are certain things that he had to guess. Once at the end, his learning curve was complete. Joe realized what he would do next time and things he wouldn’t do. Do you think that the success for you is that you know what works?

DJ: Yes, it’s a huge part of it. I learn daily. You learn the basics the first time but you never stop learning.

IC: Of course you have just completed Susitna-100 and we will come on to that soon. However it would be rude not to discuss your ITI350 from 2013 but part of the reason I am not talking in depth is because today, Sunday 23rd, you are about to go and do it all again… just 7-days after Susitna. What are the tips that you could provide for anyone competing in something like this?

DJ: Practice and practice. Get out with a sled everyday. Wear the shoes that you are going to wear and prepare the mind. The mentality of it can’t be underestimated. Get out in the cold conditions and get used to what you will have to endure. If you have an indoor track near your home, don’t use it! You need to be out and in the conditions to get ready. It’s just little things. It is interesting, in the snow I run so much better than on dry ground. I think it’s the excitement and the energy of the snow. The whiteness. You know, Christmas is my favourite holiday. Maybe it’s just like Christmas all the time. I can’t repeat my performances on dry land, that is a long term aim for me but something about the snow energizes me.

IC: I opened up our chat mentioning all those things; sleep deprivation and hallucinations, nausea and diarrhea, sinus problems and a strained right knee. How do you mentally focus to get yourself putting one front in front of the other? Is this natural or have you had to work on it?

DJ: You know what, luck plays a big part. Some days it just doesn’t work but I think of cold beer or a great song to help me push through. You know, the benefit of these races is that you just don’t have too many points that you can drop! So, even when you are low you have no choice but to continue. You know, you hit mile 60 and feel like death in a normal race and you can drop because it’s easy, so this is a big plus to racing out here. You are forced to go on.

IC: In terms of food and nutrition, how do you sustain yourself from day-to-day? The interview in adn.com mentions, Smarties and Pop Tarts. Is simple food and simple sugars the way to fuel yourself or do you need a good hot meal at an aid station?

DJ: I’m a big guy with size 12 feet so I need fuel. My biggest problem is my stomach. So that is 75% of the battle with me. If I can figure out how to make my stomach cooperate I will do fine. I am really careful taking in stuff. When my body allows it, I will eat what I can… hot meal or whatever. When my bodies complaining, that is when I kinda just nibble on Smarties or a piece of Pop Tart to try and keep some calories going in. The Susitna-100 last week I ran on probably only 200-calories. With the effort I was putting out I couldn’t take anything. I try to eat well the week and night before any race. It’s a weak link for m. I’d love to work it out one day.

dave susitna

IC: Okay, you mentioned Susitna-100, which happened just last weekend. You raced at Hurt-100 earlier this year, Gary Robbins won once again but you had a tough race and you dropped at 60-miles. Did that play on your mind going into the Susitna race or are the 2-races just so different it wasn’t an issue. I know Hurt was very hot and humid!

DJ: It was a huge disappointment. I went to Hurt in the best shape I have had for years. I was gunning for a top-3 position. I started out at a pace that I thought would do that but I just started to fall apart. The course is brutal. You know, up here in the winter you can’t come close to getting anything like that Hurt course. The other guys were flying over roots and rocks. No way I could run like that… I thought I could go out and tough it out and forge on but by mile 60 I was reduced to a stumbling walk and I thought, I gotta pull the plug. So, lining up at Susitna last week that was on my shoulders. You have 100’s of your friends at the line watching and they are supporting so you want to do your best. It was definitely a determining factor to go hard and not stop.

IC: Can you give us an insight into the course and the race, what is it like?

DJ: Oh man it is a neat race! You line up at a famous Iditarod dog mush kennel. You line up with 75-biker, 40-runners and 20 or so skiers and they say go…! This year it was so icy. It’s unique; it’s a race that I would recommend anyone to try. Particularly if they want to do the ITI or other winter races that require qualification. I’m not kidding you; at least 10-miles was like running on an ice rink. It was glare ice. On the rivers or lakes it was glare ice. This year was all about shoes. At the start I checked shoes and I was thinking, mmm, some of you guys will have an interesting run. Shoe experience is invaluable. I strapped on some new ice bug racing flats and those things grip like Spiderman. They are not a100-mile shoe so I got pretty beat up but when I hit the ice I started running 8-min miles. My sled would start to overtake me…

(Laughter)

IC: Okay, so that is how you broke the record?

DJ: Conditions were excellent. You know I went into this race a 60-mile brutal training run in Hawaii and so the confidence of the training and my preparation was excellent.

IC: Geoff Roes set the record in 2007. His time is over 2-hours slower than what you achieved this year. I guess having listened to what you have just said, I guess the ice wasn’t a bad thing because you knew and were prepared to run well in those conditions. You had the correct shoes but of course a big advantage is that the slid glides instead of you pulling it in soft snow.

DJ: The sled weighed about 24lbs with everything in it. As you say, it got great glide. The thing with a course record, every few years the course changes a little. Maybe 50% of the course was different? The distance is always spot on, always 100-miles but the courses are not the same. Also, when Geoff ran in 2007 he wasn’t in his prime. I think he would definitely have beaten his previous time with his form of a few years ago.

IC: You ran 18:22 and Geoff ran 21:43. A big difference! When you run a race like this and when conditions are good do you think about CR’s or is it a case of I will see how it goes?

dave training

DJ: I didn’t think about a CR. The courses are too unpredictable. I am hoping they keep this new course for a while but it will take a real effort to be at the time I have set, 18:22 will be super tough. I would almost say it is going to be impossible. My goal before the race was to break 20-hours. Only a few people knew this before the race and they shook their heads thinking it was crazy! I started out at a pace faster than 20-hours. Conditions for skiers were terrible. One of the top skiers was with me for a long time, at mile 35 he skies up behind me and says, ‘don’t you think you went out a little too fast this year?’ I agreed with him but thought, you can’t go back now so I put my head down and pushed on.

IC: Did you have any bad points?

DJ: Mile 45 or so I guess. I hit that point and my stomach was saying I don’t like you anymore. I was getting low on energy. I had a 10-mile stretch when I was struggling. I was thinking to myself that maybe I had gone out too fast. I had no choice. I wasn’t going to let myself down again so I stared at the snow and pushed as hard as I could. At mile 55 I cam out the other side; I think my body was using fat as fuel, I could tell the difference. At mile 60 you hit a resort that is road accessible and my 2-kids and wife met me. That picked me up. I actually hung out for 20-minutes with them. It was a great burst of energy. I realized the last 40-miles just needed to be done!

IC: So at 60-miles you hung out for 20-minutes. So, at this pint you weren’t covering ground… maybe the CR could be 20-min quicker? (Both laugh)

DJ: Normally I would have taken a 5 to10-min break but they had driven out to see me. We sat at the table while they ate… I couldn’t eat but I sat talking and shivering (laughs). The temperature was sort of cold but not cold if you know what I mean. I chattered my teeth and decided it was time to push on. My wife was begging me to slow down, ‘I don’t want to find you lying on the trail.’ My son told me I was nuts! It was great to see them, I just didn’t think about the time. Also the course was so hard. I took a beating out on the trail so the rest may have well been good. For the final 10-miles I was running 9-min mile pace which was great.

IC: Considering Susitna was last weekend and today, you embark on the ITI350, was this a long-term plan or have you just seized an opportunity?

DJ: This was always a long-term plan. It started 12-months ago after the 2013 ITI350. I knew I would do both races. In regard to how hard I would run Susitna I didn’t know that until a week before the race. I was doing one of my daily 10-mile runs with a sled and I was flying. I knew conditions were going to be opportune so I had to take advantage. When the gun went at Susitna I embraced the conditions and went hard. I hope the damage is done… a week is not long recovery especially when going into a 350-mile race. I went out a couple of days ago for a 5-mile run with the sled and I didn’t move too fast (laughs). I guess we will find out how the ITI350 goes. Many are shaking heads thinking I am crazy but hey, I have to give it a go.

IC: I guess you can start, see how it goes and you will know relatively quickly if it is a good idea or really a bad idea. I suppose the only thing that may happen, it may take a day before you feel good?

DJ: Yeah. We are starting to get some fresh snow; I was hoping for the super fast conditions but we have had fresh snow; which will slow things down. It is amazing what a few inches of snow can do. Just 3-inches can slow you down by 1-mile per hour. But I am going to go for it!

IC: You did 4-days 19-hours 14-mins last year and you were 37-hours ahead of 2nd. What’s the competition like this year.

DJ: I have some great competition. It’s hard to distinguish because you have runners doing both 350 and 1000-mile races. But everyone does the 350! So the harden 1000-mile races push hard for 350-miles and then rest for a day before pushing on for the 1000-mile journey. Tim Hewitt is one of the world’s best winter endurance athletes. John Logar raced with Joe Grant last year and I would say that Parker Rios will perform; he won Arrowhead in 2013.

IC: Well, I am really looking forward to following the action as the race unfolds. It has been really great to speak to you before the ITI350 and post Susitna. I am really looking forward to catching up with you after this year’s race so that we can have a blow-by-blow account of the 2014 ITI350 was like.

DJ: Thank you so much… I hope it’s a good blow-by-blow!

 

Notes and links:

All images ©davidjohnston

The Iditarod Trail Invitational

iditarod-route

The Race

The Iditarod Trail Invitational is the world’s longest human powered winter ultra. Beginning in Knik, Alaska it follows the Iditarod Trail to McGrath covering 350 miles. Ironically this is called the ‘short race’. They also have a ‘long race’ covering 1100 miles finishing at Nome, Alaska. Support is minimal. Two snow machines ride ahead of the leaders providing a broken trail to McGrath. Food drops are provided at 130 miles, 210 miles and in even numbered years a feed is provided at ‘Cripple‘ and odd numbered years at ‘Iditarod‘.

That’s it!

Between checkpoints, racers are solo or may work with each other. If they continue to ‘Nome’ for the 1100 mile journey once past McGrath it os solo all the way apart from a food drop at ‘Ruby‘. After that they can use village stores, mail packages ahead or possibly use a school for a warm nights rest. Hard core!

Somehow this quote seems a little understated: Tim Hewitt, six time finisher of the 1100 mile race said:

“It’s the toughest race in the world.”

History

The Iditarod Trail Invitational follows the historic Iditarod Trail. The famous sled dog route runs 1000 miles through frozen Alaska every March since 1973 in memory of those brave individuals who brought the important serum to Nome in 1925 during a diphterie outbreak. Using bicycles as a means of transportation on Alaska’s frozen rivers and tundra might seem a little odd and a crazy idea, but men looking for gold around 1900 that couldn’t afford a dog team actually used what they then called a “wheel” and followed the gold rush from Dawson City to Nome on the Yukon River on bicycles.

How do you get in?

This is the most remote and longest winter ultra race in the world.
Competitors in the human powered event go through an interview process with race organizers Bill & Kathi Merchant.

If they have the skills and knowledge to be self sufficient in cold weather, such as high altitude mountaineering experience or previous arctic expeditions they can enter the race.
Prior finishes in races such as the following are qualifying events.

 

 

 

The Coastal Challenge – Stage 6 – Drakes Bay to Drakes Bay

©iancorless.com.P1130916 All good things must come to an end and today on the beaches of Drakes Bay, the 10th edition of the 2014 The Costal Challenge came to a close.

©iancorless.com._1150551

It has been an epic race that has thrown daily excitement from all angles. The men’s race in particular has been a nail biter with a constant battle for the top slot. However, Mr.Consisitent, Mike Wardian produced the goods on a daily basis with some of the most impressive running I have had the pleasure to witness. Jeez does Mike like to win and boy does he know how to dig deep!

Mike Wardian TCC2014 Champion ©iancorless.com

Mike Wardian TCC2014 Champion ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek from the UK dominated the 10th edition producing a stand out performance on a daily basis. Setting her stall out on day-1, Jo won with a convincing 45-min margin. However, she didn’t relax, consistently pushing, consistently running scared, Jo took each day as an individual race and on the beach at Drake she was crowned the 2014 Champion.

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Today’s stage was very much a celebration of the previous 5-days racing. With the ‘GC’ established, a unanimous decision was made by all the front-runners that stage-6 would be a Tour de France style victory lap.

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

It was great to see the fun and the laughter between all the runners on the trails. Tired and aching bodies once again managed to produce another effort to cover the wonderful circular route of the Corcovado National Park.

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Pura Vida TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Pura Vida TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Starting with a gentle road incline, participants dropped into a long river section before climbing out and negotiating rocks and a waterfall. Climbing up through lush green vegetation, they then ran through plains and plantation fields before finally making the journey back to the start by weaving in and out of the coast. Beach after beach, cove after cove the finish line at Drakes was a welcome and well earnt reward for each and every participant.

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

It was quite a sight to see the top-5 men run to the line as one!

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Michael Wardian said post race, “The Coastal Challenge was a test in so many ways. So much varied terrain. It suited different strengths and weaknesses. I feel really honoured to have the over all victory. The other guys really did push me and I had to fight… I guess it’s a shame a race can only have one winner. But it was a pleasure to have a victory loop on the last day. A memory I won’t soon forget.”

Julia Bottger TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Julia Bottger TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Julia Bottger and Jo Meek ran together early in the stage but Bottger said post race, “that was by far the most beautiful stage. I was just having fun out there so I hope Jo didn’t mind I pushed on ahead.” As Meek crossed the line, the relief was clear, “I really did not have anything left today. I just took it easy and had comfort in my almost 60-min lead. It’s been a real honour to have such an incredible race with such wonderful people.” Veronica Bravo smiled her way around the TCC course and placed a solid 3rd place. Her joy was visible on the line as the realisation that a tough week was over.

Veronica Bravo TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Veronica Bravo TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Finish lines are all about emotion and I love to see 6-days effort unfold in a split second. Cheers and laughter, hugs and screams; it’s why we all do our sport.

Carlos Sa TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Carlos Sa TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Nick Clark TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Nick Clark TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Beneito TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Beneito TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

 

Philipp Reiter TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

The Coastal Challenge is one of the toughest races out there… relentless heat, plenty of climbing and multiple terrain variations require a runner to be ‘rounded’. Each and every person, first or last, can take comfort in a great achievement and the medal should take pride of place as a just reminder of what was achieved in February 2014.

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

TCC2014 ©iancorless.com

Pura Vida!

RESULTS Stage-6

  1. Mike Wardian  all same time
  2. Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito
  3. Philipp Reiter
  4. Marti Gaffuri
  5. Nick Clark
  1. Julia Bottger
  2. Jo Meek
  3. Veronica Bravo

Results and times to follow

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Confirmed

  1. Wardian 23:26:23
  2. Beneito +0:25:32
  3. Reiter +0:31:31
  1. Meek 29:17:19
  2. Bottger +0:57:02
  3. Bravo +3:07:06

Episode 54 – Gary Robbins & Vlad Ixel

A Gravatar

This is episode 54 of talk Ultra we speak with Gary Robbins on his repeat victory at Hurt 100 and his plans for 2014. We also speak to rising star, Vlad Ixel who recently placed 3rd overall at HK100. We have the news, a blog, up and coming races and of course Speedgoat Karl.

NEWS
 
Results Coldwater Rumble
  1. Catlow Shipeck 15:09:52
  2. Tsutomu Nagata 16:14:21
  3. Jeremy Bradford 18:29:30
  1. Gina Dhaliwai 20:05:43
  2. Katelyne Fishbeck 21:00:52
  3. Emz Eliason 23:26:14
Arrowhead 135
  1. Scott Hoberg 43:26:00
  2. Juhn Storkamp 46:30:00
  3. Alicia Hudelson 47:59:00 and 1st lady
Rocky Raccoon coming up with Pam Smith and Michele Yates and Ian Sharman.
Looks like Michele is going to shoot for a new CR… also, Ian Sharman.
 
Shaun O’Brian 50 coming up
 
 

On the recent episode of Talk Ultra I interviewed Johan Van De Merwe. For those who don’t know, running in SA can sometimes be a little risky… however, has anyone ever experienced this anywhere else in the world?

 
“My mid-week long run was cut short at the 18km mark by two robbers with knives. Had to walk 7km’s back home on my socks. Took my shoes and bottle-belt but luckily left my Garmin!!” Johan Vd Merwe
 
BLOG

“Just as the worldwide running community suspected, it turns out that the supposed “18-year-old” Ethiopian, Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa, who won the Standard Dubai Marathon Sunday, January 20th, in a near world-record time of 2:04:32 is not 18 years of age. It turns out that the brand new “world junior” record holder is actually just 12. When interviewed shortly after his race he said, “When I grow up I want to be an Injera and Wat Chef.”

Mekonnen currently trains between 175 and 190 kilometres per week. His training week includes a three hour long run, done without a watch, as well as a two interval sessions. One is a fartlek session, the other is made up of long intervals, “I run two kilometre repeats at 9000 metres elevation in 6:20 with a one minute jog recovery 10 times,” said the shy athlete as he played on the village swing set. Mekonnen’s next goal is a sub-27 minute 10,000 metres during the IAAF Diamond League, this spring.”
 
TALK TRAINING
 
with Karl Meltzer preparing to run your first long ultra, be that 100km or 100-miles
Hint’s n Tips
1. Choose a race
2. What time period to prepare
3. Key sessions
4. Recovery
5. Core & Strength
6. Warm up races
7. Prepare the mind
8. How long is long in training
9. The taper
10. the race

INTERVIEW

Gary Robbins once again returned to the tough and technical HURT100 course and came away with another victory. We caught up with him for a blow-by-blow account and he tells us his plans for 2014.

 
INTERVIEW
 
Vlad Ixel from Australia recently placed 3rd overall at the HK100 ahead of impressive runners such as Vajin Armstrong, Dave Mackey and Jez Bragg. We caught up with him to find out about his story and expectations for the coming year.
 
MELTZER MOMENT
 
Good
Bad
Ugly
 
UP & COMING RACES
 

Australia

Queensland

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 100km | 100 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 50km | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Victoria

Dendy Park Urban Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

Trail des bosses – 65 km | 65 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Chad

TREG | 170 kilometers | February 12, 2014 | website

Chile

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 07, 2014 | website

Finland

Lapland

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 14, 2014 | website

France

Aude

Gruissan Phoebus Trail | 50 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

Aveyron

Trail des Ruthènes | 65 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

Côtes-d’Armor

Défi Glazig (45 + 18) | 63 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

Brocken-Challenge | 86 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

India

Run the Rann 101 km | 101 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Italy

Marche

Maratona sulla sabbia – Ultra maratona | 50 kilometers | February 09, 2014 | website

Jordan

Sahara Race | 250 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

Nicaragua

Fuego y Agua 100k | 100 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Fuego y Agua 100k Relay | 100 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Fuego y Agua 50k | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Fuego y Agua Survival Run | 70 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 07, 2014 | website

Philippines

Hardcore Hundred Miles | 100 miles | February 21, 2014 | website

Senegal

100 km du Sénégal | 100 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

South Africa

Three Cranes Challenge | 106 kilometers | February 20, 2014 | website

Wild Coast Ultra | 270 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Sweden

Ice Ultra | 230 kilometers | February 14, 2014 | website

Thailand

The North Face 100® – Thailand | 100 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

The North Face 100® – Thailand – 50 km Solo | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – South Devon – Ultra | 34 miles | February 08, 2014 | website

Kent

Moonlight Challenge | 32 miles | February 15, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Black Warrior/Phillip Parker 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Alaska

Little Su 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Susitna 100 | 100 miles | February 15, 2014 | website

Arizona

Black Canyon Trail 100K Run | 100 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Pemberton Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200 miles | February 21, 2014 | website

Arkansas

Sylamore Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

California

American Canyon 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Bandit Ultra Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

West Coast 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Florida

Destin 50K Beach Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

Destin 50M Beach Ultra | 50 miles | February 16, 2014 | website

Iron Horse 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Iron Horse 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 15, 2014 | website

Iron Horse 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 15, 2014 | website

Manasota Track Club 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 07, 2014 | website

Kansas

Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Nevada

Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 100 Miler | 100 miles | February 15, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Maysville to Macon 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | February 08, 2014 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | February 16, 2014 | website

Oregon

Bristow 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Hagg Lake 50k Trail run | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

South Carolina

Mill Stone 50K | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Texas

Cross Timbers Trail Runs 50M | 50 miles | February 15, 2014 | website

Piney Woods TrailFest 50K | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Valentine Golden Hearts 50K | 50 kilometers | February 09, 2014 | website

Valentine Romantic Couples 50K | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2014 | website

Valentine Romantic Couples 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 08, 2014 | website

Utah

Moab’s Red Hot 55K | 55 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

Virginia

Holiday Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

The Wild Oak Trail 100 | 100 miles | February 08, 2014 | website

Washington

Fishline 50K | 50 kilometers | February 09, 2014 | website

Woolley Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2014 | website

CLOSE
LINKS

Grand to Grand Ultra 2013

Not much opportunity to upload images from the trail, so apologies. Here are a few images in the build up to the race. More to follow as and when possible.

Run Rabbit Run 2013 – Race Preview

runrabbitrun_logo2.41-250x300

 

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Goes the farmer’s gun

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

 

The 2nd Annual Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Endurance Run, held in the terrific little town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The race starts on Friday, September 13, 2013 at midday

I cant help but hear ‘Speedgoat’ Karl Meltzer in my head… jogging along allowing all the fast guys to shoot of in search of the $10,000 first prize and singing the song aloud. It happened last year (not singing the song, but allowing the others to shoot off) and look what happened. One-by-one they fell by the wayside and the old goat himself reeled them in and schooled them all on how to run a 100-miles. Karl should know; he has won enough.

Once again he is playing down his chances of winning the 2013 edition RRR. In last weeks Talk Ultra (Ep43) we discussed at length his form and reading between the lines, I know he is ready. He wasn’t ready at Western States early in 2012 due to niggles and still pulled out 10th, however just a few weeks later, just like Seb Chaigneau at TNFUTMB, the exertions of a tough 100 at WSER took its toll and he dropped from Hardrock 100.

Karl, with his own race done and dusted, the Speedgoat 50k, he finally found some down time and concentrated on getting fit and healthy for the RRR and for Karl, there’s nothing quite like a $10,000 purse to motivate him… ask his wife, she got a new bathroom out of the race last year! (Or was it a kitchen?)

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010198

Joe Grant also had a troublesome Hardrock 100 and although he was super motivated to top the podium he just didn’t have the right day. It may very well have been his early season Iditarod still making demands on his body or ultimately, it may have just been a bad day! However, he seems to have got his head in a great place and certainly his recent trip to Europe as support and crew for Anton Krupicka has given him a new lease of life and all those mountain miles may well transfer to something special at RRR.

Ever present force over the 100k distance, Dave Mackey will hope to bring that speed to RRR and pull off a win at 100-miles. Although he has had some good 100 performances, notably 2nd at WSER, he has never quite hit the nail on the head like he has done over the shorter 100k-distance. He nearly rectified this at San Diego 100 earlier this year but unfortunately that went pear-shaped due to course errors. He is due a win!

Jason Schlarb I am pretty sure will be looking to put the record straight at RRR this year after a great start to the 2012 race that went completely problematic and frustrating due to going off course. For me, he is the dark horse of the favourites and don’t be surprised if he leads early on but manages to hold on!

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson gets my final mention. Yes, I am mentioning Timothy last. Not because I don’t think he can win but you have to consider his season and because just the other week he placed 4th at TNFUTMB. I am pretty sure the $10,000 first prize is the attraction here and that has to be a motivating factor. However, he dug deep at TNFUTMB and used all his physical and mental reserves to reach the line. It could go either way for Timothy at RRR. Irrespective of what happens, he has had a great year with results at Tarawera, Transvulcania La Palma and of course, the defense of his WSER crown.

Behind this front five is a group of runners just waiting for the opportunity to steal the carrot from the other Rabbits. Keep an eye on Jeff Browning, Jason Loutitt, and if Dave James is in a good place, he may well push the others for the podium.

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

The ladies race is potentially a little more open than the men’s race however; it does have some key names that stick out. In particular a rejuvenated and in-form Nikki Kimball. I interviewed Nikki after her incredible 2nd place at the 2013 Western States and for sure, she has found a new balance. She is racing less and when she races, she wants to perform. Her lining up at RRR can only mean one thing!

Darcy Africa is another hot ‘fave’ for the RRR crown coming from another great win at Hardrock 100. She is consistent over the longer distances as her 2012 season shows. Without doubt she will be pushing the pace at the front here!

I predicted Cassie Scallon would have a great race at WSER based on her performances over shorter distances and her natural speed. However, the big dance didn’t go well and she is untested at 100-miles. I still think we will see her rectify the situation in Steamboat Springs and contend for a podium place at least.

One-to-watch goes to Jennifer Benna. She ran a great 100 earlier this year and then went to Transvulcania La Palma but pulled out early saying things just didn’t feel right. WSER didn’t go well either so redemption is required at RRR.

Finally, last years 2nd place at RRR, Rhonda Claridge returns and with another solid performance at Hardrock 100 she will be looking to move one place higher and take home the $10,000 pot.

Jeez, I missed Pam Smith. Thanks Speedgoat. For sure, Pam Smith coming from winning the 2013 Western States changes the dynamic of RRR and she will be gunning for the win. Of course Pam will be the one who all the ladies will be watching. Her main priority will be ‘chicking’ Speedgoat again though and of course taking the big bucks!

 Links

  • Race Line up is here if you’d like to point out any contenders for the podium.
  • Race website here
  • Course description here
  • Athlete tracking here

 

Sierre-Zinal Race Preview 2013

©copyright .iancorless.com.iancorless.orgSierre Zinal 1sirrezinalIt’s a birthday year for this iconic mountain race. 40 years! To celebrate, the race organisation have invited many a past winner.

Considered to be one of the finest mountain races in the world. It was once written that it is to mountain races what the New York Marathon is to marathons. It is the oldest mountain race found in its category in Europe’s mountains.

The location is incredible. Of all the races I attended in 2012, Sierre-Zinal left some incredible memories… you see, the Zinal basin is just an incredible place. Also called, ‘the Race of Five 4000m Peaks’ when you stand in Zinal, look to the Matterhorn, you fully appreciate why. It is quite stunning.

©copyright .iancorless.com.iancorless.orgP1040536sirrezinal

Sierre-Zinal, which takes place in the heart of Valais’ Alps, offers its participants a significant challenge: distance – 31 km, 2200m ascent and 800m descent. Incredible scenery, a warm atmosphere and exceptional organisation explain the success and longevity of this challenge.

As Jonathan Wyatt (record holder of both Sierre-Zinal and the Jungfrau Marathon, as well as a multiple world mountain racing champion) wrote, ‘As a mountain racer you must experience the tradition and history of this race.’

The course records are held by Jonathan Wyatt at 2:29:12 set in 2003 and Anna Pichrtova 2:54:26 set in 2008. If anyone fancies breaking a record in 2013, it would be a great pay day! A CR and a win this weekend, would earn the lucky person 3,000 Swiss Francs.

Legendary Pablo Vigil is a special guest this year. He participated and won the race years back and has become an ambassador for the race and has been instrumental in ensuring a strong American contingent at the race, for example, Stevie Kremer may very well have not participated in 2012 had it not been for Pablo.

This years race, as in any year will have names missing and I guess the big omission will be Marco De Gasperi. He is choosing to race in Italy. So, who will be lining up from the impressive 40-year history of the race?

MEN

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1080586

Despite Kilian Jornet telling me he was having a rest post Trans D’Havet so that he could prepare for his Matterhorn Summits attempt and the ISF Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks later in August, it would appear the proximity to Zinal is just too much temptation for him. So, he will make the trip from Cervinia and line up in Sierre for what he says will be a ‘fun’ run. Read into that what you will. When I see Kilian’s name on a start sheet he always must be considered for the podium… however, he may just kick back and enjoy the day. Read my interview with Kilian HERE

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1080155_Snapseed

Sage Canaday is travelling to the race after a strong victory at Speedgoat 50k and although he will be new to the course, I have to think it will suit him. He will need to ensure that he is near  the front in the early stages for the long climb, but once up, the course flattens and he will be able to open up and let his natural speed do the work. If he has a good day and is pushed, we may well see a new course record.

iancorless.orgIancorless_transvulcania_019

Max King has raced at Sierre-Zinal before and from memory he didn’t have a great race. He was around 20th and I think the European style of racing was just too different from what he was used to. However, he is a very different person now. In actual fact, Max raced at the 2012 Zegama-Aizkorri, however, that race was as problematic as his 2011 Sierre-Zinal. It’s a tough call for Max. Definitely top 10 potential and of course he has all the ability to be on the podium. But will he get over the European demons?

Course record holder, Jonathan Wyatt is back at the race and although his pedigree and his history elevates him to a high-profile within the race, one has to wonder how he will perform against top-level competition who are some years younger than him. He still runs and races regularly, but as he told me in Chamonix, it is for fun. We will see ‘Jono’ figure for sure… his ability will set him apart from so many other runners but I think the podium is an option.

iancorless.comiancorless.comP1060841cavallsdelventcavallsdelvent

Tofol Castanyer is finding form after early season injury issues and recently placed 2nd at Giir di Mont. Like Kilian, he will also race at Matterhorn Ultraks. This race won’t tire or affect his Matterhorn performance so we can expect him to run hard and that can only really mean one thing, a podium place is without doubt in his grasp.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1160125

Rickey Gates also raced at Giir di Mont and placed just behind Tofol. He is obviously finding form after a slightly problematic Ice Trail Tarentaise. Sierre-Zinal will suit him and his speed.

Cesar Costa has finished 2nd at Sierre-Zinal three times, he knows the course like the back of his hand and in the 40th edition will most certainly want to move one place up the podium for the win. He will without doubt be a favourite. Local knowledge and being slightly under the radar to the American runners will play into his hands. He will push hard and for sure, top 3 is an expectation.

Vajin Armstrong from New Zealand has been in Europe for some time. Sage Canaday for sure will be well aware of what this man can do after racing each other at Tarawera in New Zealand earlier this year. Vajin has speed and considering he has had some great results recently: 2nd at Zugspitz behind Philipp Reiter, 2nd at the K78 Swiss Alpine Marathon, one can’t help but think that he will shake things up and turn some heads at the finish in Zinal.

LADIES

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It all started 12 months ago and the progression has been incredible. Stevie Kremer lined up at Sierre-Zinal completely blown away by the competition and experience that surrounded. Cut to the finish of the race and she was 2nd on the podium. What has followed is a meteoric race in the sport and without doubt, Stevie comes to the 2013 Sierre-Zinal race as my outright favourite. Listen to my recent interview with Stevie HERE

Ladies Winner

Aline Camboulives won the race in 2012. She has experience and ability and for sure, I see her on the podium. But I think Stevie has moved on and has the all the potential to take the race to Aline and not only push her to the finish but to go past her.

Megan Lund is a name I am familiar with but in all honesty, I know little about her. Stevie Kremer has told me that she has great potential and is one to watch on this course. I am aware that she won the race in 2010 but her European performances are few and far between. She has had a baby and as Stevie said, don’t you come back stronger after a baby!?

Ladies Podium

Celine Lafaye has been up at the front of all the Skyrunning races and I don’t see Sierre being any different. She has all the ability and potential to win this race and if she has a good day, she will push Stevie at the front of the race.

Local lady, Maud Mathys finished 3rd last year and will come to the race knowing full well that Stevie is the one to watch. I anticipate she will keep as close to Stevie as possible and try to pull something out of the bag in the latter stages of the race. However, she was five minutes behind Stevie in 2012 and Stevie has moved on. Has Maud progressed at the same level?

Lizzy Hawker

Lizzy Hawker turned up and ran literally at the last minute in 2012. Once again she will toe the line in 2013. I anticipate a top 10 finish but not the podium. Like last year, she will use this as a prep race for her attempt at another UTMB title. Lizzy has also had injury issues and although UTMB is only weeks away, she is still on the road back!

Zhana Vokueva will also be looking to push at the front of the race. She recently raced in the Dolomites at the Skyrunning European Championships but it wasn’t a great weekend for her. She will be looking to get back into form and for sure, would like to repeat or go better than her 5th place in 2012.

Stephanie Howe has just won Speedgoat 50k and like Sage Canaday, that has got to be a great boost going into this race. If she has recovered well from Speedgoat, Stephanie may well be the person to push Stevie all the way to the finish. It will be interesting to see what unfolds.

Finally, 2001 Sierre-Zinal champ and GB mountain running legend, Angela Mudge will toe the line. She has recently raced at a very high level and with some impressive results. I see Angela being a dark horse to the new runners who will know her name but may well dismiss her due to her lack of high profile racing of late.

Without doubt it will be an exciting men’s and ladies race.

Links:

Sierre-Zinal website HERE

Episode 41 – Kremer, Clark, Mills, Whitehead

TU41

Episode 41 of Talk Ultra – We speak to Stevie Kremer 12 months on after she burst on the Skyrunning scene with a 2nd at Sierre-Zinal. We have 15 mins of fame with double leg amputee, Richard Whitehead. An interview with Lakeland 100 winner, Stuart Mills. A catch up with Nick Clark on the Grand Slam of ultra. Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg. The news, a blog, up and coming races. Marc is back for Talk Training and of course, Speedgoat co hosts!

00:07:30 NEWS

Speedgoat 50k

  1. Sage Canaday  5:08:07
  2. Anton Krupicka  5:09:36
  3. Jason Schlarb 5:19:34
  4. Max King 5:29:02
  5. Justin Yates  5:42:24
  6. Luke Nelson  5:47:09
  7. Timothy Olson  5:47:10
  8. Jason Loutitt  5:49:35
  9. Michael Barlow  5:53:37
  10. Ryan Smith  5:53:51
  1. Stephanie Howe  6:17:02 
  2. Jodee Adams-Moore  6:18:06
  3. Ruby Muir   6:25:54
  4. Emma Roca  6:41:21
  5. Krissy Moehl  6:43:54
  6. Becky Wheeler  6:48:43
  7. Silke Koester  6:52:16
  8. Erica Baron  6:55:46
  9. Anita Ortiz 7:02:18
  10. Francesca Canepa  7:05:14

Stockholm 100k

Steve Way 6:40:14, Linus Holmsater 7:24:18 and Frijof Fagerlund 7:29:01

Trans D’Havet

Men

  1. Kilian Jornet (Spain) 08:59:47
  2. Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain) 08:59:49
  3. Casaba Nemeth (Hungary) 09:43:25

Ladies:

  1. Emelie Forsberg (Sweden) 10:21:32
  2. Nuria Picas (Spain) 10:33:34
  3. Uxue Fraile (Spain) 10:34:20

Lakeland 100

  1. Stuart Mills 22:17:50
  2. Charlie Sharpe 23:02:45
  3. Ed Batty 23:07:40
  1. Lizzie Wraith 24:15:06 (smashed old CR)
  2. Debbie Martin Consani 26:02:00,
  3. Julie Gardner 28:16:47

Lakeland 50

  1. Ben Abdelnoor 7:39:26
  2. Riichard Ashton 8:20:58
  3. Robin Houghton 8:33:30
  1. Katherine Brougham 9:44:10
  2. Alice Briscoe 10:35:42
  3. Rachel Ball 10:43:43

WMRA – 10. WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running

Mitjia Kosovelj won Andrew Davies from Wales 2nd and Ionut Zinca 3rd

Antonella Confortola won Omella Ferrara 2nd and Anna Celisnska 3rd. Have to give a shout out to Claire Gordon from Scotland who was 4th and Anna Lupton from England who was 5th

Hal Koerner and Wolfe – FKT on JMT -HERE 

Ann Trason to run a 100 in September – Idaho Mountain Trail Ultra Festival – HERE

Now the iconic Sierre-Zinal is coming up this weekend. I remember being at this race last year… pre race I got chatting to this shy girl who just seemed a little uncomfortable being surrounded by some of the best in the world. Needless to say, this shy girl performed out of her skin and finished second on the podium. One year on, I catch up with Stevie Kremer and find out what the last 12 months have been like and what the future holds.

00:42:38 INTERVIEW Stevie Kremer

01:16:20 BLOG

We have given Stuart Mills, the Lakeland 100 winner plenty of coverage this week with a long interview, however, his interview does go very much hand-in-hand with his blog… so, this weeks blog is ultrastu.blogspot.co.uk

You can read his very unique and in-depth analysis of how he races. Word of warning… make yourself a coffee. It’s a long one!

Blog HERE

01:17:00 15 MIN OF FAME with Richard Whitehead – http://www.richardwhiteheadrunsbritain.com/

HERE

01:32:40 TALK TRAINING – Marc Laithwaite is back after a busy couple of months. Not only has he been training for an Ironman but also he is the RD for the Lakeland 50 and 100.

01:57:55 SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsberg – smilesandmiles@yahoo.com

02:20:40 INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Brit, Stuart Mills. Stuart as you will hear has a very unusual approach to running… or should I say, training and racing. Without doubt it works! Just the other week, Stuart once again won the Lakeland 100 for a second time. In this in-depth interview we discuss everything. I am sure you will find it fascinating.

03:23:30 MELTZER MOMENT – It’s good, good, good this week

03:29:52 CLARKY’S CORNER – It’s two down and two to go for Clarky and the other ‘Slammers’. Leadville is just around the corner. We catch up with Nick, discuss how Vermont went and what lies ahead…

03:44:22 RACES

Belgium

Trail des Fantômes – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Arc’teryx Squamish 50 | 50 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

Arc’teryx Squamish 50K | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Ontario

Iroquoia Trail Test – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Quebec

XV de la Vallée- Trans Vallée | 66 kilometers | August 16, 2013 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Ultra Marathon Bornholm | 100 kilometers | August 11, 2013 | website

France

Hautes-Pyrénées

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Isère

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Savoie

Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Trail du Galibier | 55 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 69 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Berlin

100MeilenBerlin | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Ireland

Ulster

Quadrathon | 169 kilometers | August 15, 2013 | website

Kenya

Kenya Highlands Race | 75 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Mongolia

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Sweden

Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 16, 2013 | website

Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 70 km | 70 kilometers | August 16, 2013 | website

Trans Scania | 246 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Switzerland

Grisons

Swiss Irontrail T141 | 136 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Swiss Irontrail T201 | 201 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Swiss Irontrail T71 | 66 kilometers | August 23, 2013 | website

Trail Marathon 70 KM | 70 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Obwald

MOUNTAINMAN full | 80 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Vaud

Ultra Trail du Barlatay | 81 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

United Kingdom

England

ashmei 33 Mile Trail Run | 33 miles | August 18, 2013 | website

North Downs Way 100 | 100 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

USA

Alaska

Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 09, 2013 | website

Resurrection Pass 50 Mile Ultra Trail | 50 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

California

Rattlesnake 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Run-de-Vous 100M | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Run-de-Vous 50M | 50 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Run on the Sly 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | August 18, 2013 | website

Colorado

GORE-TEX TransRockies Run – Run3 | 59 miles | August 13, 2013 | website

GORE-TEX TransRockies Run – TRR6 | 120 miles | August 13, 2013 | website

Leadville Trail 100 Run | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Michigan

Marquette Trail 50 Kilometer | 50 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Marquette Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Minnesota

Ragnar Relay Great River | 200 miles | August 16, 2013 | website

Nevada

Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight 51 km | 51 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

New Jersey

Wildcat Ridge Romp 100k | 100 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Wildcat Ridge Romp 50k | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Wildcat Ridge Romp 50M | 50 miles | August 10, 2013 | website

New York

Beast of Burden Summer 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 17, 2013 | website

Oregon

Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 17, 2013 | website

Utah

Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run | 100 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

Vermont

100on100 Heart of Vermont Relay | 100 miles | August 18, 2013 | website

Washington

Angels Staircase 50K | 50 kilometers | August 11, 2013 | website

Angels Staircase 60K | 60 kilometers | August 11, 2013 | website

Wyoming

El Vaquero Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | August 10, 2013 | website

03:46:44 CLOSE

03:51:01

LINKS

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

Website – talkultra.com