Kids racing – Dolomites SkyRace, Canazei

©iancorless.comIMG_6865Canazei2014

Great to see an afternoon of sport dedicated to runners of the future in Canazei. Athletes from Team Salomon Running were on hand to help out, pace, support and motivate.

Jono Wyatt paced one group and apparently found the pace a little tough at the front. Tom Owens just 1-week after placing 3rd at Ice Trail Tarentaise had to ease back in the 1.8km race as the pace was relentless.

Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg were on hand to cheer and support.

Great atmosphere, great buzz and the sun was shining throughout. A great day and great way to give back to the sport.

 

Ice Trail Tarentaise 2014 – Race Day Images & Report

©iancorless.comIMG_0945

 

Race day images from the 2014 Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise

Race start images HERE

Press conference images HERE

It was a tough day in the mountains with low mist, persistent rain and at times, very cold temperatures. Francois d’Haene, runner up in 2013 and winner in 2012 was one again on top of the podium with a strong and dominant performance.

Equally, 2013 champion, Emelie Forsberg produced a great back-to-back performance and lead the ladies race from beginning to end.

Newly crowned Skyrunning Ultra World Champion, Luis Alberto Hernando was a key protagonist for much of the race but decided to drop in the latter stages. We can only assume that fatigue was an issue after his impressive performance in Chamonix!

Tom Owens from the UK ran at the from of the race all day and although he gave a place away in the latter stages to Fabian Antolinos from France (who placed 2nd), he was really pleased with a podium place.

Francesca Canepa had expected to be a force in the ladies race, however, an early fall took her out  leaving the podium places wide open. Allessandra Carlini (Italy) and Maud Gobert (France) battled for much of the day and it was Carlini who managesd to sprint for the line and take 2nd.

Men 

  1. Francois d”Haene 7:38
  2. Fabian Antonilos 7:56
  3. Tom Owens 8:02

Ladies

  1. Emelie Forsberg 9:25
  2. Allessandra Carlini 9:42
  3. Maud Gobert 9:42+

Attention now turns to Canazei and the Dolomites. This coming Friday is a VK and on Sunday it is the Dolomites Skyrace which will see both Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet race.

All images available to purchase at iancorless.photoshelter.com

 

Ice Trail Tarentaise 2014 – Race Start Images

©iancorless.comIMG_4061

The 2014 Ice Trail Tarentaise got underway at 0400 Sunday 13th July. It was a wet start but temperatures were mild and everyone was enthusiastic at the tough challenge that would be ahead.

Ones to watch in the men are Francois d’Haene winner of the ITT in 2012 and 2nd in 2013 behind Kilian Jornet and Luis Alberto Hernando who beat Francois in Chamonix just 2-weeks ago.

For the ladies, Emelie Forsberg 2013 champion returns but she will have strong competition from Francesca Canepa and Maud Gobert amongst others.

Race Preview HERE

Episode 65 – Krupicka, Birkinshaw, Owens, Forsberg

Ep65

This is episode 65 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with Anton Krupicka about injury, Hardrock 100, Lavaredo Ultra Trail, future plans and the Bob Graham Round. Steve Birkinshaw recently set a new FKT for the Wainwrights. An epic journey in the Lakeland fells, Steve tells us all about it. Brit Tom Owens made the podium in the Skyrunning World Champs and we chat about the past 18-months and the future. Emelie talks smilesandmiles, a website, news, up and coming races.

NEWS
 
Western States - HERE
 
  1. Rob Krar 14:53:24 2nd fastest WSER Olson has record of 14:46:44 (2012)
  2. Seth Swanson 15:19
  3. Dylan Bowman 15:36:41
  1. Steph Howe 18:01:42
  2. Larissa Dannis 18:29:18
  3. Natahlie Mauclair 18:43:57
Skyrunning World championships ULTRA – HERE
 
  1. Luis Alberto Hernando 10:52:52
  2. Francois d’Haene 10:29:33
  3. Ben Duffus 10:52:33
  1. Emelie Forsberg 12:38:49
  2. Anna Frost 12:46:52
  3. Magadelena Laczak 12:58:51
Skyrunning World Championships SKY – HERE
 
  1. Kilian Jornet 3:23:39
  2. Michel Lanne 3:25:50
  3. Tom Owens 3:26:20
  1. Elisa Desco 3:53:33
  2. Megan Kimmel 3:54:51
  3. Stevie Kremer 3:55:36
INTERVIEW with Men’s 3rd place TOM OWENS
 
Skyrunning World Championships VK - HERE
 
  1. Kilian Jornewt 34:18
  2. Bernanrd Dematteis 34:36
  3. Urban Zemmer 34:37
  1. Laura Orgue 41:29
  2. Stevie Kremer 41:37
  3. Christel Dewalle 41:50
Lavaredo Ultra Trail - HERE
  1. Anton Krupicka 12:42:31
  2. Mike Foote 12:57:38
  3. Gediminas Grinius 13:01:22
  1. Rory Bosio 14:29:54
  2. Francesca Canepa 14:45:55
  3. Katia Fori 15:57:27
La Montagn’ Hard 60k (three races 104km, 60km and 38k)
 
  1. Nicolas Mordelet 8:21:31
  2. Baptiste Robin 8:35:31
  3. Matthieu Bourguignon 8:40:53
  1. Holly Rush 9:03:43 (8th overall)
  2. Emelie Duhamel 11:01:42
  3. Delphine Biollaz 11:13:20
10 Peaks
 
  1. Nicky Spinks 18:26:43
  2. Paul Nelson 20:15:20
  3. Ben Thompson 20:15:28
2nd lady was Annie Garcia… 10-hours after Nicky!
 
Skyrunning UK V3K
 
  1. Michael Clifford 8:19:30
  2. Jayson Cavill 8:39:00
  3. Chris Baynham-Hughes 9:11:00
  1. Liz Barker 10:29:48
  2. Claire Maxted 12:36:01
  3. Sasha Habgood 12:49:23
Next UK Skyrunning race is the Peaks Skyrace on August 3rd
This coming weekend, actually as this show is released… Hardrock 100 will take place. Arguably one of the most anticipated races of 2014. Can Kilian win and can he set a course record? HERE
In Val d’Isere the Skyrunner(R) World Series continues with a VK (HERE) on Friday and the brilliant Ice Trail Tarentaise (HERE) on Sunday.
Just one week later, we continue with the Dolomites and a VK and SKY race in Canazei
 
Contribute to Talk Ultra - HERE
BLOG
 
Holly Rush has joined the real world and started a blog with her recent race win - HERE Luis Alberto Hernando has an updated website that is definitely worth a look - HERE
INTERVIEW
STEVE BIRKINSHAW recently broke a Joss Naylor record for the Wainwrights – an epic journey of 511km’s and 214 summits. I caught up with Steve just days after his journey to hear all about the experience
SMILES and MILES with EMELIE FORSBERG
 
INTERVIEW
 
ANTON KRUPICKA is back! In this in-depth interview we talk Hardrock, injury, Lavaredo, future plans and the Bob Graham Round
 
UP & COMING RACES
 

Andorra

Ronda dels Cims | 170 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Ultra iniciàtic | 103 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Ultra mític | 112 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Australia

Queensland

3 Marathons in 3 Days | 126 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge | 96 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Victoria

You Yangs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 20, 2014 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

ASICS Xtrails – Red Bull Trail Sprinter Houffalize – 110 km | 110 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

ASICS Xtrails – Red Bull Trail Sprinter Houffalize – 77 km | 77 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Trail de Lesse 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 20, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

TrailStoke Ultra | 60 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Ontario

The North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario 50 Km | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Finland

Lapland

NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 125 km | 125 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

France

Aveyron

Tripou-Trail – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Corrèze

L’EDFi du Lac | 100 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Le Tour du Cardant | 65 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Finistère

100 km de Cléder | 100 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Gard

Grand trail Stevenson 151 km | 151 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 171 km | 171 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 225 km | 225 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 57 km | 57 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Haute-Corse

Restonica Trail – 68 km | 68 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail di Corsica | 105 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Haute-Garonne

Aneto 3404 | 60 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Haute-Loire

La Loire Integrale | 1025 kilometers | July 16, 2014 | website

Haute-Savoie

Inter Lac Trail – L’intégrale | 77 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Haut-Rhin

Trail du Pays Welche | 50 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Isère

Maratrail des Passerelles du Monteynard | 55 kilometers | July 20, 2014 | website

Jura

Un Tour en Terre du Jura – Jour 1 | 55 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Un Tour en Terre du Jura – Jour 2 | 55 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Un Tour en Terre du Jura – L’intégrale | 110 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Lozère

Grand trail Stevenson 70 km | 70 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 90 km | 90 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Grand trail de la Vallée d’Ossau | 73 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Savoie

Ice Trail Tarentaise Val d’Isère | 65 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

la 6D Treck | 100 kilometers | July 23, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail du Beaufortain | 103 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Juli | 108 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Bärenfels Ultra Trail | 64 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Guadeloupe

Rèd Mammel | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

Ultra Transkarukera | 120 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

Iceland

Laugavegur Ultra Marathon | 55 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

India

The SPITI | 126 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

ZENchallenge Ladakh – 100K | 100 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Ireland

Leinster

Stonemad Multi Stage Marathon – Day 1 Ultra Marathon | 62 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Stonemad Multi Stage Marathon – Day 2 Ultra Marathon | 55 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Munster

Keith Whyte Waterfront Ultra Marathon | 36 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Italy

Lombardy

Marathon Trail Lago di Como – Classico | 115 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Marathon Trail Lago di Como – Medio | 64 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Piedmont

Tre Rifugi Val Pellice Trail | 54 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Veneto

Asolo 100 km | 100 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Asolo 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Mauritius

Xtreme Dodo Trail | 50 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Mongolia

Mongolia Action Asia 3 day ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | July 18, 2014 | website

Mongolia Action Asia 3 day ultra marathons 60k | 60 kilometers | July 18, 2014 | website

Namibia

Namib Desert Challenge | 220 kilometers | July 21, 2014 | website

Windhoek Lager Fish River Canyon Ultra – 65 km | 65 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Windhoek Lager Fish River Canyon Ultra – 96 km | 96 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Slovakia

Nízkotatranská stíhačka | 100 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

South Africa

Griffin 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Rhodes Trail Run | 52 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Washie 100 | 100 miles | July 11, 2014 | website

Spain

Basque Country

Ehunmilak | 168 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

G2handiak | 88 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Castile and León

Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 105 KM | 105 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 60 KM | 60 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

Sweden

GAX 100 miles | 100 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Eiger Ultra Trail E101 | 101 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Eiger Ultra Trail E51 | 51 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Valais

Trail Verbier St-Bernard – 110 km “La boucle” | 110 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Trail Verbier St-Bernard – 61 km “La traversée” | 61 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Turkey

RunFire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon | 220 kilometers | July 18, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Buckinghamshire

Chiltern Ultra Challenge “Intro” 50km Ultra | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

East Riding of Yorkshire

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 25, 2014 | website

Essex

Saffron Trail Ultra | 70 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Hertfordshire

Fairlands Valley Challenge – 50km | 50 kilometers | July 20, 2014 | website

North Yorkshire

Lyke Wake Race | 42 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Oxfordshire

Race to the Stones | 100 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

USA

Arkansas

Midnight 50K | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

California

Angeles Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Badwater Ultramarathon | 135 miles | July 21, 2014 | website

CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Jul) | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Cuyamaca 3 Peaks 50K | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Golden Gate Trail Run 50 km (summer) | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Pacifica 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Ragnar Trail Tahoe | 136 miles | July 11, 2014 | website

Colorado

Crawford 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Hardrock 100 Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 11, 2014 | website

Leadville Silver Rush 50 | 50 miles | July 13, 2014 | website

Idaho

Beaverhead 100K Endurance Run | 100 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Beaverhead 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

McCall Trailrunning 40 Mile Classic | 40 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Kansas

Honey Badger 100 Mile Ultra Road Race | 100 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Psycho Psummer 50K | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Montana

Devil’s Backbone 50 Miles | 50 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Thunderbolt Creek 50 Km | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Nevada

Tahoe Rim Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Tahoe Rim Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Tahoe Rim Trail 50M | 50 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Oregon

Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

South Carolina

Cremator 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Bullet Creek 50K | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Bullet Creek 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Texas

El Scorcho | 50 kilometers | July 13, 2014 | website

Muleshoe Bend – 60k | 60 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Utah

Skyline Mountain 50 Trail Run | 50 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Speed Goat 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Vermont

Vermont 100k Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | July 19, 2014 | website

Washington

Grey Rock 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage | 190 miles | July 18, 2014 | website

Wild Woman Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

Wisconsin

DWD Devil’s Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | July 12, 2014 | website

DWD Devil’s Lake 50M | 50 miles | July 12, 2014 | website

Junkyard Dog 50K | 50 kilometers | July 19, 2014 | website

 
 
CLOSE
Show links:

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

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

Website – talkultra.com

Episode 64 – Smith Batchen, Perkins, Almeida, Rasmussen

 

 

Ep64

 

This is episode 64 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with one of the Queens of ultra running, Lisa Smith Batchen. Mark Perkins talks about his win and course record at SDW100 and Ricardo Almeida gives us a minimalist perspective of running Comrades. We speak with Claus Rasmussen in about transitioning to minimalist and barefoot running. The News, a Blog, Talk Training, Up & Coming Races and Speedgoat.

NEWS
 
Zugspitz Ultratrail
 
  1. Stephan Hugenschmidt 10:36:50
  2. Cris Clemente 11:14:39
  3. Dan Doherty 11:30:26
  1. Anne-Marie Flammersfield 13:53:21
  2. Helene Ogi 15:19:27
  3. Elena Polyakova 15:51:22
 
South Downs Way 100 – Miles
 
  1. Mark Perkins14:03:54
  2. Richard La Cock 15:11:28
  3. David Ross 15:58:54
 
INTERVIEW with race winner Mark Perkins
 
  1. Sharon Law 18:51:03
  2. Karen Hathaway 20:11:11
  3. Emily Gelder 20:11:15
 
West Highland Way Race 95 – miles
 
  1. Paul Giblin 14:20:11
  2. Robbie Britton 14:47:48
  3. Matt Williamson 16:05:07
  1. Fiona Ross 18:54:04
  2. Rosie Bell 19:02:19
  3. Keziah Higgins
 
Bighorn 100
 
  1. Luke Nelson 19:10:15
  2. Patrick McGlade 19:39:03
  3. Benjamin Bucklin 20:34:20
  1. Missy Gosney 24:30:40
  2. Gwen Scott 25:54:38
  3. Jamie Fink 26:05:05
 
Race the Sun - Asics Team ran the the UTMB route from dawn and they had to compile the route before sunset. They did it 15:41:35. They raced in relay against a team called Team Enduro. Article in the Guardian HERE
 
Steve Birkinshaw completes the Wainrights – 511km with 214 peaks (36,000m of vertical) – 6 days and 13 hours. Information HERE
 
Western States - going to be exciting! Race preview HERE
 
Skyrunning World Championships - VK, SKY and ULTRA. Race preview HERE
 
Lavaredo to take place with Anton Krupicka and Rory Bosio
 
We have the first race on the Skyrunning UK calendar, the V3K over the Welsh 3000’s – good luck everyone!
 
Contribute to Talk Ultra - HERE
 
BLOG
 
New website and blog - http://www.antonkrupicka.com/blog/
INTERVIEW
Ricardo Almeida gives us a minimalist viewpoint on running Comrades
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat 
 
 
INTERVIEW
 
Lisa Smith-Batchen is a queen of ultra running. An inspiring lady who has achieved so much to benefit others. On July 1st, Lisa will attempt Badwater 135 4-times, back-to-back with 2-ascents of Mt Whitney. HERE
TALK TRAINING with Marc Laithwaite
INTERVIEW
Claus Rasmussen gives us an insightful talk on barefoot/ minimalist running and how to transition, adapt and progress in a safe and manageable way if this is something you would like to try. In addition, he tells us about a future challenge… website HERE
 
UP & COMING RACES
 

Andorra

Ronda dels Cims | 170 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Ultra iniciàtic | 103 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Ultra mític | 112 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Australia

Queensland

3 Marathons in 3 Days | 126 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

The Big Red Run | 250 kilometers | July 02, 2014 | website

Austria

Traunsee Bergmarathon | 70 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Veitscher Grenzstaffellauf | 54 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Belgium

Canada

Alberta

The Sinister 7 | 146 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

British Columbia

Scorched Sole Ultra 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Scorched Sole Ultra 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Scorched Sole Ultra 50 Miles | 50 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Nunavut

Northwest Passage Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | July 07, 2014 | website

Northwest Passage Ultra Marathon | 55 kilometers | July 09, 2014 | website

Ontario

Creemore Vertical Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Quebec

The Ultimatexc – 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

France

Ardennes

Ardennes Méga Trail | 93 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Le Roc La Tour | 54 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Aube

Team Trail Intermarché | 180 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Haute-Corse

Ultra Trail di Corsica | 105 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Haute-Garonne

Trail du Crabère – L’Ours | 72 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Hautes-Alpes

Grand Raid du Queyras | 132 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Raid du Queyras | 58 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

UltraChampsaur | 72 kilometers | July 06, 2014 | website

Haute-Savoie

80km du Mont-Blanc | 80 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

La Montagn’hard 100 | 103 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

La Montagn’hard – 60 | 60 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Isère

Trail du Grand Duc | 86 kilometers | June 29, 2014 | website

Morbihan

Grand Raid 56 Golfe du Morbihan | 177 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Raid 56 Golfe du Morbihan | 86 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Trail 56 Golfe du Morbihan | 56 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Nièvre

Morvan Oxygène Trail | 61 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Pyrénées-Orientales

Ultra trail du CANIGÓ | 84 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Savoie

L’Etoile Savoyarde | 352 kilometers | July 07, 2014 | website

Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise | 72 kilometers | July 06, 2014 | website

Seine-Maritime

Trail Nocturne du Raid Normand | 55 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Germany

Thuringia

Thüringen ULTRA | 100 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Greece

Olympus Mythical Trail | 104 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

India

The Himalayan Crossing | 360 kilometers | July 08, 2014 | website

The SPITI | 126 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Italy

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 121 km | 121 kilometers | July 04, 2014 | website

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 04, 2014 | website

Tuscany

Pistoia-Abetone Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | June 29, 2014 | website

Veneto

Lavaredo Ultra Trail | 118 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Japan

Lake Saroma 100k Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | June 29, 2014 | website

Lake Saroma 50k Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | June 29, 2014 | website

Norway

Hornindal Rundt 75 km | 75 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Poland

Transjura Basic | 165 kilometers | July 04, 2014 | website

Transjura Hard | 195 kilometers | July 04, 2014 | website

Transjura Middle | 100 kilometers | July 04, 2014 | website

Portugal

Ultra Trail Serra da Freita | 70 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Réunion

Grand Raid 97.4 | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Romania

Transylvania Trail Crossing 100K | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Transylvania Trail Crossing 2-Day Stage Race | 100 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Transylvania Trail Crossing 50K | 50 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

South Africa

Washie 100 | 100 miles | July 11, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Al Andalus Ultimate Trail | 230 kilometers | July 07, 2014 | website

Aragon

Ultra Trail Sobrarde “Peña Montañesa” | 65 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Basque Country

Ehunmilak | 168 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

G2handiak | 88 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website

Castile and León

Ultramarathon Atapuerca Aranda de Duero | 160 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Madrid

Gran Trail Peñalara | 110 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Gran Trail Peñalara 60km | 60 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Gran Trail Peñalara 80km | 80 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Oxfam Intermón Spain – Madrid | 100 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Sweden

Lapland Ultra | 100 kilometers | June 27, 2014 | website

Swedish Alpine Ultra | 107 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Switzerland

Neuchâtel

Swiss Jura Nature Trail – 100 km | 175 kilometers | July 06, 2014 | website

Swiss Jura Nature Trail – 350 km | 350 kilometers | July 06, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

County Borough of Conwy

V3K Ultra Extreme | 89 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

V3K Ultra Marathon | 53 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Cumbria

10 Peaks The Lakes – Long Course | 73 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

10 Peaks The Lakes – Xtreme | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Greater London

Grand Union Challenge 100K | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Grand Union Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Highland

Great Glen Ultra | 72 miles | July 05, 2014 | website

Sefton

Tour of Merseyside | 52 miles | July 06, 2014 | website

USA

California

Ragnar Trail Tahoe | 136 miles | July 11, 2014 | website

Rancho Canada del Oro and Calero Park 50K | 50 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Western States Endurance Run | 100 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Colorado

Hardrock 100 Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 11, 2014 | website

North Fork 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

North Fork 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Silverton Double Dirty 30 | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Minnesota

Afton Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

New York

Finger Lakes Fifties 50 K | 50 kilometers | July 05, 2014 | website

Finger Lakes Fifties 50 Miles | 50 miles | July 05, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Dusk to Dawn 50 Miler | 50 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Ohio

Blue Blazes Ultra | 172 kilometers | July 10, 2014 | website

Oklahoma

Midnight Madness | 50 miles | July 04, 2014 | website

South Dakota

Black Hills 100 | 100 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Black Hills 100k | 100 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Black Hills 50M | 50 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Texas

Pedernales Falls – 60km | 60 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Utah

Moab’s Alpine to Slickrock | 50 miles | July 05, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back | 192 miles | June 27, 2014 | website

Washington

Taylor Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 28, 2014 | website

Wyoming

Happy Jack Endurance Races 100 Mile | 100 miles | June 28, 2014 | website

Skyrunning World Championships 2014 – In-Depth Preview

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Worlds collide in the endurance capital of the world this week when 28-nations congregate for the 2014 Skyrunning World championships.

*Please note, this preview will be updated with many potential changes within the coming days as we are made aware of any withdrawals.

The best-of-the-best will assemble to do battle over the classic Skyrunning distances of VK, SKY and ULTRA in the amazing endurance arena that is Chamonix. 

3400 athletes representing 28-nations will toe 3-separate start lines over an incredible weekend of racing starting on June-27th at 0400 with the 80km ULTRA event. The same day at 1600-hours the 4th edition of the Vertical Kilometer will start from the center of Chamonix. At 0700-hours on Sunday 29th, the 12th Mont-Blanc SKY Marathon will take place.

An epic weekend of racing!

The depth of talent travelling from all around the world is quite mind blowing and thus, making a prediction from such high quality fields is an endurance task in its own right. So, I have provided a list, ‘Ones to watch’ and for each race I have made my predictions that we can expect to don the podium for the ladies and the men. It’s no easy task…

No less than eight Skyrunner® World Series Champions will be present.

Some numbers for the record: 

  • 8 Skyrunner® World Series Champions
  • 28 national teams
  • 38 countries participating  
  • 46 top 20 ranked athletes 
  • 3,400 participants in the thee disciplines
  • 25,000 euros cash prizes

Individual world titles are at stake in each discipline as well as a combined title, based on the best results of two out of three races. Countries will be ranked according to the best results of three men and one woman in all three disciplines.

€ 25,000 cash prizes will be awarded and anti-doping controls will be carried out.

******

Chamonix VK The 4th annual Vertical Kilometer

Race start 16:00 Friday June 27th 

A route of pure ‘mountain’ spirit, that takes a straight and direct line from the center of Chamonix to the finish at Planpraz. Climbing 1000 vertical meters in 3.8km it’s a pure test of strength. Similar to a prologue in the Tour de France, runner’s start at timed 30-second intervals, the fastest to the summit is the winner!

The opening sections comprise of runnable trail, however, the last section is comprised of rocks and requires more commitment with notably a few aerial passages equipped with cables and ladders.

Records:

  • Kilian Jornet – 34:07
  • Christel Dewalle – 41:33

MEN

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The Dematteis brothers will without doubt be serious contenders after strong performances at the VK at Transvulcania La Palma. Like the Super Mario Brothers, these guys bring excitement and drama to any race.

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Saul Antonio Padua last years winner will have competition this year, however, his performance in the VK last year was world class. What do you think, another win?

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Kilian Jornet fresh from another Summit of my Life record may well not have much running in his legs but it has never slowed him before and why would it slow him this time?

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Eirik Haugsness placed 3rd last year and very much feels comfortable with the effort level required for a quality performance over the VK distance. He prefers a course that allows him to run and Chamonix provides exactly such a course, at least over the first 700-meters.

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Urban Zemmer is a class act on any VK and a specialist at the discipline. However, the Chamonix VK does not really suit his style. He will be in the mix but not on top of the podium. Zemmer was Skyrunner ® World Series Champion in 2013 and despite my thoughts, would almost certainly like the World title too! He placed 5th last year.

Alexis Sevennec placed 4th last year and comes from a ski mountaineer background, as so many VK specialists do. I don’t see him making the podium but he will be close, very close!

Finally, Marco Facchinelli placed 2nd in the Skyrunner® World Series in 2013 and like Zemmer will be looking to stamp his authority on the VK.

Ones to watch:

  • Kilian Jornet (Esp)
  • Saul Antonio Padua (Col)
  • Oscar Casal Mir (And)
  • Marc Casal Mir (And)
  • Aritz Egea (Esp)
  • Martin Gaffuri (Fra)
  • Alexis Sevennec (Fra)
  • Greg Vollet (Fra)
  • Didier Zago (Fra)
  • Tom Owens (Gbr)
  • Bernard Dematteis (Ita)
  • Martin Dermatteis (Ita)
  • Marco Facchinelli (Ita)
  • Urban Zemmer (Ita)
  • Dai Matsumoto (Jap)
  • Eirik Haugsness (Nor)
  • Thorbjorn Ludvigsen (Nor)
  • Jono Wyatt (Nzl)
  • Joakim Lanz (Swe)
  • Alex Nichols (Usa)
  • Marco Moletto (Ita)

LADIES

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Christel Dewalle set a course record on the VK in 2013 and will be looking for a repeat performance. Her strength and endurance was confirmed in 2013 with a top-quality 2nd place at Ice Trail Tarentaise.

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Laure Orgue Skyrunner® World Series Champion in 2013 is a VK specialist and as shown on many occasions previously will be looking to push as hard as possible for victory in Chamonix.

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Antonella Confortola on her day is one of the best VK specialists on the circuit, particularly when using poles. The Chamonix VK may be too runnable for Antonella but she will without doubt be up at the front as she was in 2013 when she placed 3rd.

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Stevie Kremer like Emelie is not a VK specialist but her mountain ability is quite incredible. How will she perform on the VK, well, it’s a question mark? After a stunning run at Zegama-Aizkorri one can assume that Stevie will be in the mix.

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Kasie Enman flew up the early climbs at Zegama-Aizkorri and led the race early on before Stevie Kremer reeled her in and took the lead. Because the VK is a flat out effort, I can’t help but think we will see Kasie create some fireworks.

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Finally, Brit, Tessa Hill has honed and fine-tuned her VK skills in recent years and without doubt, the Chamonix course suits her running VK style. Tessa was 3rd in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series and placed on 5th at the 2013 Chamonix VK.

 Ones to watch:

  • Laura Orgue (Esp)
  • Christel Dewalle (Fra)
  • Stephanie Jiminez (Fra)
  • Janine Frost (Gbr)
  • Tessa Hill (Gbr)
  • Antonella Confortola (Ita)
  • Anna Eriksmo (Swe))
  • Landie Grayling (Sa)
  • Kasie Enman (Usa)
  • Stevie Kremer (Usa)
  • Axelle Mollaret (Fra)

  

The 12th annual Mont-Blanc SKY Marathon.

Race start 07:00 Sunday June 29th 

This year yet again athletes from 65 countries will compete in an exceptional and very technical course.

After starting from the center of Chamonix (1035m) it is a climb up the Arve valley by passing through the hamlet of Lavancher before reaching Argentiere (1250m).

In direction of Le Planet the course rejoins the Balcon Nord trail before re-descending in the direction of Montroc. Tré le Champ then it is the Col des Montets (1461m) at the heart of the Aigulles Rouges nature reserve.

By the Diligences route the runners cross the hamlet of Buet before rejoining Vallorcine (1260m) nestled at the end f the valley on the Swiss border. The climb begins toward the Aiguillette des Posettes (2200m). Efforts are rewarded by a sumptuous panorama of the Mont-Blanc range and the Chamonix valley. Facing the Aiguille du Tour and its glacier the trail descends by following the Crete des Fretes.

After several technical passages to the village of Le Tour (1453m) it is a return to tranquility on the path that longs the Bisme stream and then to Montroc (1382m). The runners cross through the hamlet of Frasserands and Tré le Champs before rejoining the historic trail of the Mont-Blanc Cross, at the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges facing the entire massif. The path rises up to La Flegere (1875m). After traversing the beautiful Charlanon combe (1812m) there is a soft little climb inviting everyone to take in the scenery.

Then the slopes intensify before the finish at Planpraz (2050m) the intermediary station of the Brevent that offers one of the most spectacular views of the Mont-Blanc. Race description ©Club Des Sports De Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Records:

  • Kilian Jornet – 3:30:41
  • Stevie Kremer – 4:03:16

 

MEN

Check the list out below… what a line-up. Last year we had a battle royal with Kilian Jornet, Marco De Gasperi and Luis Alberto Hernando. Only Kilian returns! Marco De Gasperi is not available to race and Luis has moved up to the Ultra distance. So, what is going to happen?

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No surprise, Kilian Jornet is odds on favourite. He won last year and why wouldn’t he this year? He certainly has less running in his legs than any other year but he lives and breathes the mountains and his need to run in preparation for a running race is somewhat distorted in the way the rest of us function.

My dark horse and potential apple cart shaker is Vlad Ixel. He is not a name many European runners will know but after some quality runs in the Southern Hemisphere, I firmly believe that Vlad will be the surprise of the whole 2014 Skyrunning World championships.

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne was the joint winner of the 80km event with Francois d’Haene in 2013 and knows the mountains and terrain like the back of his hand. A recent quality performance at Zegama-Aizkorri confirms good form.

I’m pretty excited from a British perspective! We have a return to top flight racing for *Andy Symonds after a horrendous 2013 due to injury. Tom Owens pushed Kilian in 2012 and like Andy Symonds had a 2013 to forget. Oli Johnson placed 10th last year in Chamonix and Martin Cox seals the quartet of top UK talent. *injured

Zaid Ait Malek

Zaid Ait Malek

Zaid Ait Malek will smile is whole way around the marathon route and will potentially take (or just miss) the podium. He is an incredible mountain running talent.

Jono Wyatt – do I need to say anymore? He’s a mountain running legend. Jono has been there and done that for decades. You can NEVER rule him out as way saw at Sierre-Zinal last year.

Alex Nichols

Alex Nichols

USA has fast men *Alex Nichols (7th in 2013) If Alex is in great shape, it would be feasible for him to place in the top-10. However, this is a top quality field and the pressure will be on.  *injured

Didier Zago placed 6th last year but I believe he is taking a more casual approach to running these days. So my final shouts will go to Eirik Haugsness (5th last year) and up and coming star, Thorbjorn Ludvigsen.

Ones to watch:

  • Oscar Casal Mir (And)
  • Marc Casal Mir (And)
  • Vlad Ixel (Aus)
  • Miguel Caballero (Esp)
  • Aritz Egea (Esp)
  • Zigor Iturrieta Ruiz (Esp)
  • Kilian Jornet (Esp)
  • Jokin Lizeaga (Esp)
  • Augusti Roc (Esp)
  • Nicolas Bouvier (Fra)
  • Thibaut Baronian (Fra)
  • Martin Gaffuri (Fra)
  • Michel Lanne (Fra)
  • Didier Zago (Fra)
  • Martin Cox (Gbr)
  • Oli Johnson (Gbr)
  • Tom Owens (Gbr)
  • Andy Symonds (Gbr)
  • Florian Reichert (Ger)
  • Fabio Bazzana (Ita)
  • Dai Matsumoto (Jap)
  • Toru Myahara (Jap)
  • Zaid Ait Malek (Mor)
  • German Silva (Mex)
  • Tineke Van Den Berg (Ned)
  • Eirik Haugsness (Nor)
  • Thorbjorn Ludvigsen (Nor)
  • Jono Wyatt (Nzl)
  • Marcin Swierc (Pol)
  • Andre Castro (Pol)
  • Lucky Miya (Sa)
  • Marc Lauenstein (Sui)
  • Alex Nichols (Usa)

LADIES

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Stevie Kremer won the race last year with a new course record and one has to tip her as the hot favourite, particularly after her strong and dominant performance at Zegama-Aizkorri.

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Maite Mairoa is on a roll at the moment after a stunning Transvulcania and Zegama-Aizkorri performance. Maite has always been a dominant force in mountain running but this last 12-months has seen a change. She is a different runner and one that can push the best-of-the-best.

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Elisa Desco won Sierre-Zinal ahead of Stevie Kremer in 2013 and then placed behind Stevie at Zegama. This can only mean that we are in for a high quality battle in the Chamonix arena.

Kasie Enman looked like she was going to throw race predictions out of the window at Zegama-Aizkorri but faltered in the latter stages when fatigue hit. Long haul travel or mother duties could be to blame but one thing is for sure, several weeks on I think we will see a much stronger and more dominant runner who will mix things up in Chamonix.

Final shout goes to Jo Meek from the UK who will be tipping her toe in the Skyrunning world. Jo was unknown last year bur 2nd place lady at Marathon des Sables, winning The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, a win at the Iznik Ultra and CR and most recently 5th placed lady at the iconic Comrades Marathon shows that Jo has all the speed required to do well! The biggest test for Jo will be the long climbs and technical running. I’m going to be seriously interested to see how this race goes.

 Ones to watch:

  • Jo Brishetto (Aus)
  • Nuria Dominguez (Esp)
  • Maite Maiora (Esp)
  • Aline Camboulive (Fra)
  • Juliette Benedicto (Fra)
  • Stephanie Jiminez (Fra)
  • Jo Meek (Gbr)
  • Antonella Confortola (Ita)
  • Elisa Desco (Ita)
  • Silvia Serafini (Ita)
  • Sharon Broadwell (Nor)
  • Landie Grayling (Sa)
  • Zhana Vokueva (Rus)
  • Kasie Enman (Usa)
  • Stevie Kremer (Usa)

 

The Mont-Blanc ULTRA 80km

Race start 04:00 Friday 27th

In 2013 the first edition left it’s mark in everyone’s minds. The technicality, beautiful scenery and paths delighted all runners. For the first runner and the last runner, the challenge was the same! Among fatigue, visions of gorgeous mountains, capricious weather, heat and snow, all the necessary ingredients for an extraordinary event beyond the norm came together for the birth of a legend…

After an early start (4:00am) from the center of Chamonix Mont-Blanc the runners will rise directly up to the Bellachat Hut (2246m) from where they will see the first rays of sunlight shining on the summit of the Mont-Blanc. After a short rest they will leave Brevent (2525m) to descent to Planpraz (1st refreshment post). At the heart of the Aiguilles rouges, a trail will take them to the Flegere and then to the chalet des Cheseryus before descending to the Col des Montets via la Tete au Vent.

The hamlet of the Buet (1330m) will mark the beginning of a long technical loop starting with the Tré les Eaux valley, then a demanding ascent up to the Col du Corbeau (2602m). Most likely with some snow still on the ground runners will enter into Swiss territory and head up the

Col de la Terrasse (2643m). In this mineral world the descent to the Emosson dam will require keen attentiveness on the final snowfields. Very soon the pastures of the Loriaz will allow the muscles to relax after over 50km of effort. But the rest period will be short-lived because once Vallorcine is crossed (1260m) the ascent of the aiguillette des Posettes will burn the calves and pump the cardio!

Facing the Mont-Blanc the descent along a ridge will require utmost caution to get through the numerous steps and reach the village of Le Tour and then Argentiere (1260m). Runners will then re-descend along the Balcon Nord in the direction of Chamonix and take the Marathon race route in reverse.

The final difficulty will be the climb up to Signal (2200m), running next to one of Chamonix’s most famous tourist sites, the Mer de Glace. A last balcony at the foot of the Aiguilles des Grands Charmoz de Blaitiere and the Fou will take the runners to the Plan d’Aiguille (2200m), which overhangs the Arve valley. 1200m lower the finish line will honor the deserving finishers…. Race description ©Club Des Sports De Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Records 

  • Francois d’Haene and Michel Lanne – 9:45:57 (joint record 2013)
  • Caroline Cheverot 13:10:05

 

MEN 

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Luis Alberto Hernando dominated Transvulcania La Palma this year and has decided to move up from the SKY distance (placed 3rd last year) to the ULTRA distance at Mont-Blanc. On his day he is one of the best in the world and I am sure Luis will be using this race as an opportunity to understand the mountain ready for his first UTMB later in the year.

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Francois d’Haene won the race last year and after consummate performances at Raid de la Reunion and the recent UTMF, one has to say that he is odds on favourite here!

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UTMB 2013 winner Xavier Thevenard has the perfect combination of skills to excel and place on the podium. His recent performance at Transvulcania was disappointing but these things happen in racing… I think Xavier will be a podium contender. In addition, he has just had a warm up on the UTMB route with his Asics team trying to beat the sun!

Ricky Lightfoot’s presence in the race really does excite me and if he shows some of the quality and skill shown at races such as The Otter in South Africa, The World Trail Running Champs and the Three Peaks then we are in for some real excitement. 

Mike Wolfe makes the journey from the USA and loves mountains with technical trail. He has performed at the highest level at UTMB before and will be looking to transfer those experiences to the 80km course.

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Adam Campbell, Jason Schlarb, Matt Cooper, Pablo Villa and the list goes on! It’s going to be an epic race.

Ones to watch:

  • Xavier Teixido (And)
  • Matt Cooper (Aus)
  • Pieter Schaaps (Bel)
  • Chico Santos (Bra)
  • Jason Loutit (Can)
  • Jan Bartas (Cez)
  • Martin Saenz (Ecu)
  • Pao Bartolo (Esp)
  • Luis Alberto Hernando (Esp)
  • Pablo Villa ((Esp)
  • Sebastien Buffard (Fra)
  • Sylvain Couchaud (Fra)
  • Yann Curien (Fra)
  • Francois d’Haene (Fra)
  • Benoit Girondel (Fra)
  • David Pasquio (Fra)
  • Xavier Thevenard (Fra)
  • Ricky Lightfoot (Gbr)
  • Philipp Reiter (Ger)
  • Giuliano Cavallo (Ita)
  • Steffan Ruzza (Ita)
  • Yoshito Kondo (Ita)
  • Ronnie Duinkerken (Ned)
  • Phudorjee Lama Sherpa (Nep)
  • Leonardo Diogo (Pol)
  • Johan Lantz (Swe)
  • Jason Schlarb (Usa)
  • Mike Wolfe (Usa)

 

LADIES

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Anna Frost is back and in the space of just over a month has put some really tough times behind her, topped the podium with a new CR at the Transvulcania La Palma and has then followed this up with some quality training. Frosty appears to be in a great place both physically and mentally. Frosty is my hot tip but….

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Nuria Picas is in the race and Nuria has not stopped winning in 2014. She has become an unstoppable force in mountain running and ultra running. The only blip was a recent withdrawal from Zegama-Aizkorri but that shows us nothing. It was basically one race too many and Nuria had the sense to stop. Frosty and Nuria are great friends and it has been sometime since they shared trails together. Expect them to run next to each other for some time chatting and then a head-to-head battle in the latter stages.

Emelie Forsberg’s 2013 has already been extremely interesting, a bad fall wiped out her Transvulcania and this then impacted on Zegama-Aizkorri. Emelie is not used to finishing off the podium and I am 100% convinced we will see an inform and fired up Emelie in Chamonix. Plus she is going to be racing against Frosty and Nuria. Wow!

We will finally get to see Southern Hemisphere talent Ruby Muir trade blows and I for one am excited to see the outcome. Ruby shot to prominence from not only winning Tarawera in 2012, but also doing it in Vibram Five Fingers. I am unsure of the shoe choice for the 80km race, it’s irrelevant. I do know that we are in for a fast race and one that Ruby may well lead?

Fernanda

Fernanda Maciel has been trading blows with Nuria Picas on the UTWT circuit and has had a string of top-3 places to confirm that she will be in the mix in Chamonix. However, despite Fernanda’s obvious ability, I don’t think she will have the speed required for the top slot.

Finally, Brits Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith may well fly the flag for Blighty. Claire lives in Hong Kong and has been a consistent performer at the highest level. Lizzie by contrast is based in the UK and shot to prominence after winning and setting a new course record on the Lakeland 100 course.

Ones to watch:

  • Anna Frost (Nzl)
  • Ruby Muir (Nzl)
  • Fernanda Maciel (Bra)
  • Dong Li (Chn)
  • Anna Strakova (Cze)
  • Uxu Fraile (Esp)
  • Nuria Picas (Esp)
  • Lauren Gaussens (Fra)
  • Maud Gobert (Fra)
  • Claire Price (Gbr)
  • Lizzie Wraith (Gbr)
  • Alessandra Carlini (Ita)
  • Emelie Forsberg (Swe)

The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships will be an incredible showcase for running. Like you, I can’t wait for all the excitement to unfold.

Follow events online:

  • Web – Iancorless.com
  • Twitter – @talkultra
  • Facebook – facebook.com/talkultra

Montane JAWS 10 Ultra Distance Race Pack Review

 

Jaws 10 front

Jaws 10

Montane know a thing or two about lightweight. Arguably, they are one of the first companies truly to push the boundaries of going light to the mountains with single layer clothing. For over 18-years, Montane have developed and tweaked ideas and recently they have moved into trail and mountain running. It was a natural progression. Involvement on the Lakeland 100 and 50-mile races has progressed to sponsorship of The Spine and the Yukon Arctic Ultra amongst others. Involvement in these races and the development of a trail running team is an invaluable process for a brand that are looking to push boundaries and we as consumers benefit from this explorative work. Let’s face it the Minimus Jacket and Pants have become almost essential items for anyone requiring light, functional fully waterproof outer layers for demanding sports. So, I was excited to see Montane’s new packs in late 2013 and even happier to get hold of samples to test in 2014.

In summary, Montane have developed 3 new run packs and 1 waist belt. The packs are as follows:

Fang 5

Jaws 10

Dragon 20

and as the name would suggest each have a capacity of 5, 10 and 20 liters. The waist best, Bite 1, is a stretch trail running belt that holds one bottle and has a small waterproof pocket for essential items.

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The packs have many of the same features and for the purpose of a review I have the Jaws 10, which sits nicely in the middle of the range and ultimately, if you were only going to purchase 1-pack for many running scenarios, this pack would offer the most options excluding any OMM type of event.

Montane say, ‘The Jaws 10 is the world’s most weather resistant ultra distance trail running pack. Designed for mountain trails in wet or changeable conditions, it uses RAPTOR Hydroseal waterproof fabric and fully taped seams to help protect kit from the elements. Through its stretch body fit, the new MONTANE® Freelight Chassis provides an even weight balance whilst trail running and keeps the weight away from the lower back allowing for nimble agility. With a super lightweight 10 liter storage capacity, two specially adapted MONTANE® water bottles and a bladder compartment, the Jaws 10 is perfect for ultra distance race events or long trail days.’

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On first look, the Jaws 10 conforms to many of the ‘new’ packs on the market. It has a ‘vest’-fitting fitting scenario that fits and hugs the body like a piece of clothing. We could argue all day about which company first invented this system and to be honest, I don’t know than answer. For many though, Salomon rightly or wrongly get the recognition and I am not going to argue, The S-Lab vest was a key moment that changed how run packs are designed. Montane are following the trend but with a difference.

The Pack

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At first glance, you notice the bottles on the shoulder straps and then you take a second look and contemplate the fastening system. They look like they are held by 2-elastic bungees. They are but the bottle has a specially developed clip (not dissimilar to a pen) that hooks into a specially reinforced pocket on the shoulder straps. This system is actually quite ingenious and really is thinking out of the box.

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Below the left hand bottle is a small open-ended stretch mesh pocket for small essentials that are required while running. On the opposite side is a larger mesh pocket added on top of a zipper pocket. The zipper pocket would be ideal for valuable items such as phone, gps, money or small camera. Above these pockets is a series of elasticated loops that would hold a bladder feed tube if this was your preferred drink method.

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A whistle is attached to the front of the pack on a small cord and the pack is fastened with an adjustable chest stretch that hooks onto reinforced loops. Lower down the pack a large/ wide adjustable stretch Velcro holds the pack close to ones body.

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On the rear the pack splits into 3.

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The zip on the left allows access to the bladder pocket (bladder not supplied) which would offer additional storage should you wish to just use bottles.

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The right zip is sealed and taped and offers a large waterproof pocket.

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On the face of the pack is a zipped mesh pocket for smaller items.

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On the lower section of the pack is an elasticated adjustable cord for attaching poles and the pack has an external draw cord should you wish to compress the pack. On the right hand side is a hole to allow the bladder pipe to exit and run around the pack, under the arm to the front of the pack.

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On the side are two large stretch mesh panels that allow the pack to conform to your body and adjust with movement.

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The pack in use

The Jaws 10 comes in 2-sizes*: S/M and M/L. I was literally the borderline measurement and received a M/L from Montane.

*For our SS15 season, Montane have introduced new chest sizes for the Jaws 10 and Fang 5 – they both now come in S/M and M/L..  Chest measurements of the wearer respectively are: 76-97 cm (S/M) and 97-112 cm (M/L).

The pack didn’t feel too large but I was adjusting to the tightest fitting. So, it would be interesting to try the S/M and see if I noticed any difference in fit. On the body, the Jaws 10 fits snuggly just as all vest products should. Under the arms I didn’t feel too compressed and the lightweight and stretchy mesh in this area allowed the pack to adjust and conform to my body movement. I can’t help but think that Montane missed a trick in this area! The stretch panels under the arms are large and may well have provided another storage option by adding an open top mesh pocket on each side. It would have been perfect for bars, gels, hat, gloves and so on.

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Adjusting the pack to the body is done via the sternum strap, it can be moved up and down.

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An elasticated belt that sits just below the rib cage provides the main adjustment. It’s interesting to see a brand using this method as most manufacturers have now moved away from this. Adjustment was easy and secure and the elastic does allow for fine tune adjustment and expansion while wearing. As stated, the Jaws 10 fits like clothing, however, the added pressure this elasticated belt provides may not be to everyone’s liking?

©iancorless.com_S0222127MontaneJaws10 The key USP of this pack are the bottles and the way they fasten. It’s a little like putting a pen in your shirt pocket… the specially designed bottles have a clip that slips into a reinforced pocket on each shoulder strap and the bottle is then held in place with a top and bottom bungee cord.

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In use, the bottles never came loose which I have to say was a surprise! The design really is quite clever and moving bottles and then replacing them on the go is a breeze. Again, much easier than I expected!

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However, for me the bottles have far too much bounce when running. Not only do they move up and down but left to right. With each bottle full I felt a little like one of the ladies from Baywatch (heavy chested) running along the beach and wearing no bra! I did get used to the bounce over repeated runs, however, for me it’s not something I could tolerate. I must stress here that I personally have never been a fan of bottles on shoulder straps, particularly when they are allowed to move around. The recent invention of soft flasks and mesh pockets have addressed this issue and eradicated bounce. In my opinion, it’s a far more preferable way to hold liquid in this area of the body. I can’t speak for the ladies, but I don’t see how this pack could be comfortable for the female anatomy, especially when one considers the placement of the bottles in relation to a ladies chest? (We will come back to you on this with a female viewpoint)

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The zippered pocket below the right bottle is ideal for a valuable item such as phone, gps, money or iPod and has room for several items.

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The mesh pocket attached here is great for gels, bars or similar but it ‘s not the ‘Tardis’ so you will be restricted.

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On the opposite side is another mesh pocket, however, this is smaller than the right hand side and only really for small items such as salt tabs, shot blocks or similar.

I preferred the feel of the pack with a bladder and the rooting system works well bringing the feed pipe out of the lower right hand side of the rear pack and rooting it under the arm while securing it in elastic loops. You can then place the feed nozzle at your preferred heights for feeding hassle free. Of course, you can use a bladder with bottles that would potentially provide you with 3-4lts of liquid storage, a real plus in some self-sufficient events. But, if you don’t use the bottles you are left with two wasted spaces on the shoulder straps and elastic bungee hanging loose!

The waterproof compartment on the rear will fit ‘mandatory kit’ for most events and I include UTMB or Lakeland 100 if you pack smartly. The main issue is that the pocket is just an open pocket with no compartments, so, fill it up and off you go. Should you need something it will be a case of rummaging around and finding it or potentially lifting everything out one-by-one until you find what you need. It’s a pay off! One compartment will be less weight than several compartments, so, you pay your money and make your choice. The waterproof compartment and zip is a real plus. I poured water over it, submerged the pack and used it in rain and it did not leak. The zips also have a ‘garage’ to add security and sealing, The outer rear mesh pocket is ideal for small things and it does expand, The bladder pocket adds additional storage should you need it. For most people, if you are planning doing a one-day race or a 100-mile event, this pack will provide a great lightweight option. In addition the Jaws 10 has bungee cords for poles and a compression bungee to tighten the pack should it be required.

Conclusions

The Jaws 10 really fits well and is extremely comfortable (for men) providing you like the adjustable elastic chassis. It’s a light breathable product that functions extremely well on the trail when racing or training. The bottles are an ingenious idea, work well but bounce around too much for me! Storage is good (but not great) and the addition of a waterproof pocket is a unique addition but may very well over engineer something that can be solved with a plastic bag? Using a bladder is easy and very comfortable and the separate pocket allows for on the go filling and replacing. Storage pockets are adequate but are less capacious than like for like products. The Jaws 10 has many great features and pluses but I firmly believe that a few tweaks would make what is a good pack a much better pack. For example, the addition of ‘dump’ pockets under the arms would increase storage for the essentials we all need when running long events.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Adjustable
  • Waterproof compartment
  • Will take bladder and bottles
  • Bladder compartment can be used for storage
  • Will hold poles
  • Unique bottles that are easy to use
  • Two size options

Cons

  • Bottles have too much bounce
  • On the go storage is minimal
  • Montane only bottles so I suggest you purchase spares
  • Not convinced how practical for ladies?

 *****

Tech Specs provided by Montane

CONSTRUCTION

  • Main body fabric constructed from super lightweight RAPTOR Hydroseal waterproof fabric that has a PU inner coating and a silicone outer face
  • MONTANE® Freelight Chassis constructed from lightweight CONTACT Flyte Mesh that is fast drying and highly breathable
  • Fully taped internal seams in the main pack compartment
  • Bound seams on the chassis give stronger, neater edges
  • YKK semi-auto zips that lock shut and are rustle free
  • All zip openings feature zip garages to help prevent weather ingress

MONTANE® FREELIGHT CHASSIS

  • Technically tailored ergonomic MONTANE® Freelight Chassis vest designed for body hugging load carrying comfort during movement over long distances and whilst running
  • Front stretch Velcro lower body adjustment enables chassis to grip the body whilst running
  • Chassis elastication also allows the user’s rib cage to expand freely for unrestricted breathing during exertion
  • Low profile sternum stretch adjustment with adjustable hook and multiple attachment points
  • 2 x MONTANE® customized water bottles with unique easy clip to harness for rapid hydration
  • Water bottle is anti-roll, curved to fit to chest / torso
  • Right hand front zipped storage pocket with stretch mesh
  • Lower right and left hand front sleeve pockets with stretch mesh
  • Upper left hand chest gear loop on shoulder straps
  • Trekking pole attachment point with low profile ‘penny cordlock’ adjustment that is easy to access whilst on the move
  • Removable whistle accessory for mountain and race safety

MAIN COMPARTMENT

  • Two way YKK Aqua Guard® MONTANE® semi-auto main body zip that has been laser cut and bonded into opening
  • External pocket with stretch mesh panel
  • External drawcord provides rear pack compression and additional storage with low profile ‘penny cordlock’ adjustment
  • Hydration bladder pocket behind rear back panel with stretch loops for hydration tube on chassis

Top lightweight hang loop

Colours:

Black / Blue spark zips / Blue spark trims

Blue spark / Kiwi zips / Kiwi trims

Weight: 281.5g / 9.9oz

Size: S/M and M/L

Fit: Active Mountain

Activities: Fast Alpine / Mountain Walking / Alpine Running / Mountain Marathon / Trail Running

RRP: £85.00

Montane products are available to view HERE

******

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inov-8 Race Ultra Vest 2015 – sneak preview

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Time flies and as the saying goes, ‘Its stops for nobody!’

This definitely applies to running shoes, apparel and accessories. Twelve months ago I received my first prototype of the inov-8 Race Ultra Vest. It was quite a moment, I remember thinking at the time, wow, this pack does everything I need and more.

After months of testing, I went on to review the vest and gave the product a glowing review. Arguably the best review I have ever given any pack.

‘This new product from UK company; inov-8 may very well be the next key moment in pack design stripping away complication and providing a pack that would almost make a perfect accessory for Batman.’

I didn’t stop…

‘This product fits like a glove! I have yet to find anyone who has put this product and on not found it immediately comfortable. It just fits, pure and simple.’

And I finished off with…

‘I can’t tell you how many packs I have purchased over the years in the search for the ‘perfect’ pack. Just when I think I have found one, I find a reason not to be 100% convinced. I’d have to say that finally, in the inov-8 Race Ultra Vest I have found a product that ticks every box and makes me feel 100% confident in my choice and decision.’

My review was backed up with demand. inov-8 were inundated with pre orders, sold out stock and a series of awards that confirmed my review.

You can read that original review HERE

inov-8 awards HERE

’100% confident!’ That is one bold statement and nearly12-months on I look back and think I was correct (at the time). I had 100% confidence in the pack and my review.

To my surprise, earlier this year at an inov-8 athlete retreat in the English Lakes I was provided a glimpse of what the future would hold for inov-8. I was blown away. New apparel that will push boundaries, a new Race Ultra 290 shoe (review HERE) and a series of new packs.

Mmmm, I was 100% confident of the 2014 Race Ultra Vest which technically would mean that the Race Ultra Vest couldn’t be improved on. I was wrong! The team at inov-8 and in particular, Matt Brown, have taken what was/ is a superb design and taken it up a level and then a little bit more.

I can’t give away too much at the moment other than many of those little niggles that was aired on forums and on my website are gone. The new packs, and I use the plural will provide everyone a pack customisable and workable for any race distance, feeding scenario and importantly, carrying scenario.

I’m still testing, looking at different configurations and feeding information back along with inov-8 team athletes. Rest assured, when this new range of products are released in 2015 they are going to be a head turner, just as the 2014 Race Vest was.

I will be looking to post a full review with images in September. This will allow me at least 3-months testing which I consider to be appropriate in finding out what does and does not work.

More information to follow…

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*****

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inov-8 – Race Ultra™ 290 – Shoe Review

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inov-8 release their first ever ultra running shoe and we were lucky enough to get hold of a test pair 3-months ago, albeit in a UK8. That ruled myself out of any run testing but Niandi Carmont stepped up to the mark and gave the new Race Ultra™ 290′s a beating in the build up to Comrades. Here are her thoughts.

The Race Ultra™ 290’s is a first for UK shoe manufacturer, inov-8 but definitely not the last based on my testing of them. I picked up these shoes in the middle of March, so, I have had them for exactly 3-months; a perfect test period for any shoe!

In preparation for the 2014 Comrades I was reluctant to do all my training on road. Funny really, I used to be a ‘roadie.’ However, like so many others, after finding trail I have been reluctant to go back to the hard stuff… Road running was going to require a lot of motivation so I decided to alternate between trail and road just to get the miles in and to keep my motivation going. The Race Ultra™ 290’s proved to be the perfect shoe when mixing things up.

Usually it takes me a while to get used to new shoe models never mind new brands. I was a little anxious this time as this was my first experience of inov-8 footwear. I was pleasantly surprised – I required no adaptation or transition. The shoe has a slipper-like feel and is a perfect compromise in terms of cushioning and weight (290g/UK8). The gusseted tongue is padded, holds the foot firm and the thin laces pull tight, stay tight and provide reassuring security to my foot irrespective of the conditions. The toe box is wide, spacious and certainly has room for swelling feet should the need arise from multiple hours of running. Toe protection comes from a reinforced area that actually extends all the way around the shoe.

Prone to foot injuries I need cushioning but usually find it hard to get a trail shoe that is able to offer:

  • Cushioning.
  • Lightweight.
  • Good grip.

The Race Ultra™ 290 ticks all these boxes. Yes I know you can get lighter shoes. Yes I know you can get more cushioning and yes I know I can get a shoe with more grip. The secret of the Race Ultra™ 290 is that it has averaged all these elements and comes up with a great all round package. So much so, that I would say if you were looking for one shoe to do all things, you wouldn’t go wrong with a pair of these!

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Injected with EVA, the footbed is 6mm with 10mm at the front and 18mm at the rear offering a heel to toe drop of 8mm. Inov-8 as a brand have pioneered the transition to a lower drop shoes for 11-years and the Race Ultra™ 290 may well provide ultra-runners seeking to transition say from 12/13mm drop shoes towards a more minimalist drop a perfect opportunity. Equally, if you run in 6/4/3 or zero drop shoes, the 8mm may well provide you with a more ‘relaxed’ day on the trails. After all, this is the purpose of the Race Ultra™ 290. It’s all about making hours on trail and/ or road more pleasurable and less tiresome but this depends on your own run style and preferences. For me 8mm sits very well for longer runs. The flatter outsole ensures a stable ride without the loss of proprioception and as the hour’s pass and fatigue sets in, the 8mm drop and added cushioning are welcome.

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Transitioning from road to trail is not an issue as obviously this shoe has been designed specifically for this purpose. It’s without doubt an all round shoe that excels on hard pack trail events that may include road and rocky sections. Tested on dry sun baked French trail that incorporated a mixture of hard clay, stones and rocks the Ultra 290 excelled, in softer / grassy sections the ‘Tri Endurance’ compound provided confidence. Should the trail become very boggy and/or muddy, grip is compromised. This is to be expected in a shoe that is trying to be all things in one package. However, if these sections are short and provide a very small percentage of your run (say 10-20%) this is a compromise worth making for the comfort and security the shoe will provide for the remainder of your run.

Race Ultra 290 2[1][2]

On UK trail it proved to be a good all-weather shoe offering good grip for a multitude of conditions. Door-to-Trail is a term that is being used quite considerably at the moment and I do feel that the Race Ultra™ 290 fits well in this bracket.

A nice little non-negligible feature for the runner with smelly feet is the patented X-STATIC® foot bed, ensuring that the bacteria feeding on sweat will be kept at bay! I’ve had these shoes for a while, they have been through mud, wet and grass and I guarantee they are completely odourless!

The shoe also has the option to take custom Race Ultra™ Gaiters (available separately). They clip onto inov-8’s unique on-the-shoe attachment system. This is very cool. The shoe has attachment points built in and thus allows the gaiter to be added or removed as required with minimum fuss. I don’t use gaiters very often, however, having tried these I think I will use them more. They stopped mud and stones entering the shoe from the top and to be honest, once on, I didn’t even know I was using them. I can see this feature being added to more shoes in the inov-8 range. Should you wish to use the gaiter with other shoes, a fastener is supplied to make this possible.

A feature I would have liked is a more trail-friendly lacing system that offers a place to secure or store excess lace when the shoes are tied. It’s a minor quibble and may very well have been an omission as this would be redundant if the gaiter was worn.

In conclusion, inov-8’s new Race Ultra™ 290 shoe will be a hit. I am sure of it. If you are already an inov-8 user this may well be your new ‘go to’ shoe for your daily runs when an ‘all rounder’ is just what you need. If you are new to ultra running and only want one shoe, this will be perfect place to start. I really can’t find any negatives about this shoe other than the obvious…. If it’s really muddy you won’t have enough grip but that isn’t a criticism of the shoe, it’s more about having the wrong shoe for the job.

Check out inov-8 HERE

Shoe will be available from July 2014

 

Niandi Carmont

Niandi Carmont - Niandi is South African born, a former resident of Paris, she now lives in the UK. A runner for over 20-years; Niandi has completed Comrades Marathon 13-times, Washie 100 2-times and has finished well over 100 marathons and ultras  all over the world. Currently residing in the UK, Niandi splits her work life between the UK and France.

 ******

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