Iznik Ultra Weekend 2015

©iancorless.com_Iznik2015-3831

The 2015 Iznik Ultramarathon weekend has ended and what a weekend of racing!

The sun gods came out and allowed Iznik and the surrounding area to shine for the 130km, 80km and 46km events.

For the first time, the 2015 events all took place in a counter clockwise direction therefore allowing each event to conclude in the town of Iznik. So, previous course records and times are not comparable to 2015 results. Arguably, with maybe the exception of the 46km event, this made the racing harder.

Scotland’s Donnie Campbell and the UK’s Zoe Salt dominated the 130km event with two stunning performances. Donnie led from the front and extended his lead step-by-step as the race unfolded. Local talent Mahmut Yavuz tried his hardest to close the gap but Donnie was just too strong. Ever present Aykut Celikbas placed third after placing second in the 2014 80km event.

Zoe bided her time in the female event and eventually took the lead around he 65km mark as Mariya Niklova started to grind to a halt. Looking composed and relaxed, Zoe pulled away and not only won the ladies race but also placed fourth overall. Mariya struggled in the latter third of the race and lost huge chunks of time to Zoe, she did however manage to hold on to second place ahead of a closing Ingrid Qualizza.

In the 80km event, Asics runner Emmanuel Gault produce the race we all expected and dominated over the undulating trails and route as he traversed his way back to Iznik. Girondel Benoit placed second and Tanzer Dursan flew the Turkish flag for third place.

Placing 6th overall and first lady, Alessia De Matteis from Italy dominated the ladies race ahead of Elena Polyakova and Coraline Chapatte from Switzerland.

Jose De Pablo (Depa) looked impressive throughout the 46km event and showed his true marathon form and speed to win ahead of Raidlight CEO, Benoit Laval. Duygun Yurteri placed third.

Caterina Scaramelli from Italy ran a close contested race against Filiz Cancilar and Martine Nolan (Ireland) but held on for victory.

RACE IMAGES available to purchase HERE

Full results:

 

130km

  1. Donnie Campbell 13:23:50
  2. Mahmut Yavuz 14:31:20
  3. Aykut Celikbas 14:48:29
  1. Zoe Salt 15:14:37
  2. Mariyla Niklova 19:29:45
  3. Ingrid Qualizza 19:43:49

 

80km

  1. Emmanuel Gault 6:45:25
  2. Girondel Benoit 7:26:10
  3. Tanzer Dursun 8:40:36
  1. Alessia De Matteis 9:03:53
  2. ElenaPolyakova 10:48:57
  3. Coraline Chapatte 11:34:37

 

46km

  1. Jose De Pablo 4:03:29
  2. Benoit Laval 4:19:03
  3. Duygun Yurteri 4:28:15
  1. Catarina Scamelli 5:03:44
  2. Ziliz Cancilar 5:04:55
  3. Martine Nolan 5:09:44

All images are ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

RACE IMAGES available to purchase HERE

Episode 85 – Marathon des Sables Special

EP85

Episode 85 is a 30th anniversary MDS special with Niandi Carmont co-hosting and discussing her race in depth. We speak with ladies champ, Elisabet Barnes and Darren Grigas and Ian Knight tell us all about their races. Robbie Britton also joins us and provides an insight into his 3rd place at the IAU 24-hour champs. The News, Up and Coming races and hopefully some RnR.
NEWS
 
IAU 24-hour
Reus Florian 263.899
Szynal Pawel 261.181
Robbie Britton 261.140
INTERVIEW – ROBBIE BRITTON
Katalin Nagy 244.495
Traci Falbo 239.740
Maria Jansson 238.964
Buffalo Stampede SkyRace
Stevie Kremer 4:26
Hanny Alston 4:31
Mira Rai 4:52
Blake Hose 3:59
David Byrne 4:20
Michel Lanne 4:22
Buffalo Stampede Ultra
Tom Owens 8:17
Andrew Tuckey 8:28
Marty Lurkes 8:53
Landie Greyling 9:40
Beth Cardelli 9:59
Julie Quinn 10:05
Lake Sonoma 50
Alex Varner 6:09 CR
Ryan Bak 6:23
Jared Hazen 6:31
Steph Howe 7:08 CR
Cassie Scallon 7:22
Ashly Erba 7:36
BLOG
 
INTERVIEWS – ELISABET BARNES, IAN KNIGHT and DARREN GRIGAS
 
UP & COMING RACES
 

Austria

Tiroler Abenteuerlauf 60 KM | 60 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Belgium

Brussels Capital Region

Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Wallonia

La Bouillonnante – 56 km | 56 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

British Virgin Islands

Tortola Torture | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Canada

Ontario

Pick Your Poison 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Chile

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

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

China

Dalian 100 | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Dalian 50 | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Shangri-La 100k | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Shangri-La 50k | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Croatia

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

100 Miles of Istria – 105 km | 105 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm -100 Miles | 100 miles | May 01, 2015 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 miles | 50 miles | May 01, 2015 | website

Ethiopia

Ethiopian Lakes Trail | 85 kilometers | April 27, 2015 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

Ultra Trail des Balcons d’Azur (79+25) | 104 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail des Balcons d’Azur (UTBA) | 79 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Ardèche

Trail l’Ardéchois – 57 km | 57 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Ariège

Trail des Citadelles – 70 km | 73 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Aveyron

Trail du Capuchadou | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Trail “Le Roc de la Lune” – 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Trans Aubrac | 105 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Bas-Rhin

Le Challenge des Seigneurs | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Le Défi des Seigneurs | 74 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Le Grand Défi des Vosges | 58 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

L’Intégrale | 132 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Dordogne

100 km de Belvès en Périgord Noir | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Morbihan

Bretagne Ultra Trail – 115 km | 115 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Bretagne Ultra Trail – 63 km | 63 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Seine-et-Marne

Grand Trail du Sonneur | 66 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail de la Brie des Morin | 87 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Seine-Maritime

Le RaDicAtrAil – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Le RaDicAtrAil – 56 km | 56 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Var

French Ultra Festival – 50 km Marche | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Vosges

Trail des Roches | 73 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Lauf “Rund um Wolfach” | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon April | 108 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Lower Saxony

HeXenStieg Ultralauf | 219 kilometers | April 24, 2015 | website

Hexentanz | 104 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Bärenfels 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Saxony

Saxonian Mt. Everestmarathon | 84390 meters | April 18, 2015 | website

Saxony-Anhalt

Harzquerung – 51 km | 51 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Greece

300 of Sparta | 378 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Doliho Ultra-Marathon | 255 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Hungary

Mátrabérc Trail | 55 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

India

Sandakphu 70 Mile Himalayan Race | 70 miles | April 26, 2015 | website

Israel

Mountain to Valley Relay | 215 kilometers | April 29, 2015 | website

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

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

50 KM di Romagna | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Lombardy

UMS Ultramaratona Milano Sanremo | 280 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Sicily

Lafuma Volcano Trail | 80 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Tuscany

The Abbots Way | 125 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Tuscany Crossing Val d’Orcia 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Tuscany Crossing Val d’Orcia 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Japan

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 112 km | 112 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 72 km | 72 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 100 km Challenge | 100 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 118 km Challenge | 118 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 71 km Challenge | 71 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Madagascar

Semi Trail des Ô Plateaux | 65 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail des Ô Plateaux | 130 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Nepal

Everest Ultra | 65 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Mustang Trail Race | 170 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Trail des Trois Vallées | 353 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Netherlands

Limburg

Limburgs Zwaarste 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Poland

Beskidzka 160 Na – Long Distance | 84 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Portugal

75 km | 75 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® | 130 kilometers | April 30, 2015 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® Starter | 70 kilometers | April 30, 2015 | website

Peneda-Gerês Trail Aventure® | 280 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Serbia

Fruska Gora Ultra Plus | 111 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

South Africa

Loskop Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Slow-Mag Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

The Hobbit 100 | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

TrailRunning BRIMZ “Guzmán el Bueno” X Sierra Morena – 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Balearic Islands

Trail Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana | 62 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Ultra Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana | 102 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Anaga Ultratrail 88 km | 88 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Catalonia

Long Trail Barcelona | 69 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Oxfam Intermón Spain – Girona | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Barcelona | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Sweden

Täby Extreme Challenge 100 miles | 100 miles | April 19, 2015 | website

Täby Extreme Challenge 50 miles | 50 miles | April 19, 2015 | website

Tunisia

100km of Sahara | 110 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Ahotu_7e740fcacd0b51330fbaTurkey

Iznik 130K Ultramarathon | 130 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Orhangazi Ultra Marathon 80K | 80 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

East Dunbartonshire

Highland ‘Fling’ | 53 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Northumberland

Kielder Ultra Trail 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Kielder Ultra Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Kielder Ultra Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

North Yorkshire

The Fellsman | 60 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Worcestershire

The Evesham Ultra | 46 miles | April 26, 2015 | website

United States Minor Outlying Islands

Brazos Bend 50 | 50 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Grand Viduta Stage Race | 43 miles | April 24, 2015 | website

Race Across Alabama – Border to Border (7 Marathons) | 210 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Arkansas

Ouachita Trail 50 Km | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Ouachita Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

California

Diablo Trails Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Folsom Lake Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Leona Divide 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Leona Divide 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Lost Boys 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Mokelumne River 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Mokelumne River 50M | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Rodeo Beach Rumble 50K | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Ruth Anderson 100k | 100 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Ruth Anderson 50k | 50 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Ruth Anderson 50M | 50 miles | April 19, 2015 | website

Sierra Azul Challenge 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Sierra Azul Challenge 50 Miles Run | 50 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Colorado

Cheyenne Mtn. Trail 50K Race | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

C.U.R.E Ultra’s 100K | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

C.U.R.E Ultra’s 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

C.U.R.E Ultra’s 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Desert R.A.T.S. 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Desert R.A.T.S. Double Marathon | 52 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Rattler Trail Races 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Connecticut

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 100k | 100 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50k | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50M | 50 miles | April 26, 2015 | website

Traprock 50 | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Florida

DTR Endurance Race 50k | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

JWCorbett 50K | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

JWCorbett 50M | 50 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Georgia

DoubleTop 100 100k | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

DoubleTop 100 100M | 100 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Double Top 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Double Top 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Double Top 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Race Across Georgia – Border to Border (7 Marathons) | 194 miles | April 27, 2015 | website

Race Across Georgia – Silver Comet (4 Marathons) | 107 miles | April 27, 2015 | website

SweetH20 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Idaho

Menan Butte Trail Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Weiser 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Weiser 50k Ultra Relay | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Illinois

Earth Day 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Indiana

Indiana Trail 100 | 100 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Indiana Trail 50 | 50 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Kansas

FlatRock 101K Ultra Trail Race | 101 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Free State Trail Runs 100 km Trail Ultra | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Free State Trail Runs 40-Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Kentucky

Vol State 500K 2 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 23, 2015 | website

Vol State 500K 3 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 23, 2015 | website

Vol State 500K 4 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 23, 2015 | website

Yamacraw 50k | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Maryland

C&O Canal 100 | 100 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Don’t Run Boston 50K | 50 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

TARC 50M | 50 miles | April 19, 2015 | website

TARC Spring Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Michigan

Running Fit Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Traverse City Trail Running Festival 50k Run | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Trail Mix Race MN – 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Missouri

Double Chubb 50k | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Frisco Railroad Run 50k Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Frisco Railroad Run 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Nevada

Henderson Trail Classic 55K Trail Race | 55 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

New York

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

Sybil Ludington 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Cures for Colors 100 Mile Run/Walk | 100 miles | April 25, 2015 | website

Leatherwood Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Leatherwood Ultras 50M | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Run the Rock Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Hyner Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

The Ironmasters Challenge – 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Texas

Hog’s Hunt 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

The Aoudad 50K | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Utah

Salt Flats 100 | 100 miles | April 24, 2015 | website

Salt Flats 50 | 50 miles | April 24, 2015 | website

Virginia

Bel Monte 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Bel Monte 50 mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Promise Land 50K | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Washington DC 50K | 50 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Washington DC 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 18, 2015 | website

Washington

Capitol Peak Ultra Marathon – 50 mile | 50 miles | April 26, 2015 | website

Capitol Peak Ultra Marathon – 55 km | 55 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Mt. Si 50K Relay & Ultra Runs | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Mt. Si 50 Mile Relay & Ultra Runs | 50 miles | April 26, 2015 | website

Palouse 100K Relay – 2-3 runners | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Palouse 100K Relay – 4-10 runners | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Palouse 100K Solo | 100 kilometers | April 18, 2015 | website

Snake River Island Hop 100K | 100 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Snake River Island Hop 50K | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

Spokane River Run 50K | 50 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

XTERRA Spring Eagle 50K | 50 kilometers | April 26, 2015 | website

Yakima Skyline Rim 50k | 50 kilometers | April 19, 2015 | website

Wisconsin

Chippewa 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2015 | website

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03:01:23
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Race Day Nutrition (Part Four) – Marc Laithwaite

©iancorless.com_MDS2015Day1-9809

So last week (part three HERE) we discussed carbohydrate absorption and the role of insulin, this week, we are going to look at how to take foods on board whilst competing, to avoid stomach problems and maximise performance.

I’m having issues getting energy, what’s the solution?

Your stomach and gut acts a little like a sieve. If you pour water into it, the water passes straight through without any problems. If you pour a milkshake into the same sieve, it will pass through, but will take a little more time and will slowly drip. If you throw solid food into a sieve, it stays exactly where it is. The only way to pass solid food through a sieve would be to mix it up with water and make a thin enough solution, which could then start to drip through.

The solution which enters your stomach, is therefore very important in terms of performance. During endurance events, we eat and drink to get energy, but if the food sits in your stomach, then you aren’t actually getting any energy into your bloodstream. Not only are you receiving less energy, you are also likely to get some kind of stomach problems.

Isotonic is just the tonic

Isotonic refers to a solution which is a similar concentration to fluids in the body. Solutions of 7% are generally referred to as isotonic, this means that 7g of carbohydrate in 100ml of water is isotonic. You can count grams and millilitres as the same thing, so the calculation is simple, 100ml / 7g = 7%.

Drinks bottles generally come in 2 different sizes, 500ml and 750ml so based on the 100ml / 7g rule, the calculations would be as follows:

500ml water + 35g carbohydrate = Isotonic

750ml water + 52.5g carbohydrate = Isotonic

Some solutions are less concentrated than isotonic fluids. For example, water has no carbohydrate in it and no calories, this is classed as hypotonic (hypo = low / less than). Solutions which are more concentrated than isotonic fluids, are classed as hypertonic (hyper = high / more than). An example of a hypertonic solution would be a smoothie.

That’s fine for drinks but what about solid food?

Many athletes choose to eat solid food during their event. As stated above, anything which is above 7% solution is hypertonic. Therefore, all energy bars and solid food is hypertonic. This means that if you wish to absorb solid food effectively, you must add sufficient water to make a 7% solution. For example, a standard energy bar is approximately 50-60g in total weight. We said earlier that 7g in 100ml of fluid would be a 7% solution, so that means you would have to drink 7-800ml of water with each energy bar to make at isotonic solution (56g is 7% of 800ml). In ultra running events, there’s often solid food such as sandwiches at feed stations, so get into the habit of estimating the portion size, e.g. what does 60g of cheese sandwich look like! Eating sandwiches, pasta and cake can very quickly result in a large mass of food gathering in your stomach. As for gels, they work the same way. A single gel contains 20-30g of carbohydrate (you need to read the packet). A gel with 21g would require 300ml to make a 7% solution.

Why is solution an issue?

Taking energy bars, gels and other solid food provides energy, but you have to take a lot of fluid to create an isotonic solution in your stomach. If you fail to take sufficient fluid you will have a thick ‘hypertonic’ solution in your stomach which may not digest and may well lead to stomach problems.

Don’t forget the 60g per hour rule

As we’ve said in previous blogs, it’s unlikely that you can absorb more than 60g per hour of carbohydrate so eating too much food can have a negative impact upon digestion. Eating too much may lead to food gathering in the stomach and leading to feelings of bloating or sickness. The carbohydrate ‘maltodextrin’ seems particularly prone to doing this and all carbohydrate drinks and gels tend to consist of maltodextrin (pretty much every energy drink on the market is the same, it’s flavoured maltodextrin).

It’s known that when you get an accumulation of carbohydrate in the stomach, due to excess food intake, the body is forced to dilute the solution. The strong solution sitting in the stomach starts to draw water other parts of the the body, into the stomach, to dilute the solution and aid digestion and absorption. This action of drawing fluid into the stomach is termed ‘osmosis’.

It’s important to remember that if you do take too much energy, coupled with a lack of fluid, not only are you likely to get stomach issues, the energy will also fail to reach your blood stream and exercising muscles where it is needed. In simple terms, more food may provide you with less energy.

Practical advice:

  1. You need to stick to the 60g limit for carbohydrate intake
  2. A solution of 7% is not always attainable, aim for 10% as a minimum start point for intake:

60g energy powder + 600ml water per hour
60g energy bar + 600ml water per hour
60g of gels (2-3) + 600ml water per hour

  1. You can mix the above, e.g. 30g carbohydrate powder and 30g gels every hour, plus 600ml of water.
  2. Think about what’s the easiest to calculate and what the easiest to obtain during the event. Knowing how much energy is in drinks which are handed up at aid stations or adding your own powder on the go is not really feasible so gels and bars are often simpler to use and to quantify. In truth, you really have no idea what’s being handed up in the drinks bottles, so water is always the safe option.
  3. Feeding is easier when cycling compared to running, so if you’re doing Ironman triathlon, the bike feeding is critical to set you up for the run. If you’re running an ultra, the slower pace can help, but little and often applies.
  4. Little and frequent works best for digestion. A gel every 20-30 minutes or half a bar every 30 minutes is better than a full bar every hour. You still need to drink the correct amount of water to account for solution.
  5. Drinking water only with bars and gels has the benefits of ‘freshening your mouth’. Energy drinks, gels and bars can leave you with a constant sticky taste.

What about the food content?

There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that eating too much carbohydrate may also impact upon digestion and potential stomach problems. If you are prone to stomach issues, then gels with a higher fat content may well work best. There are some very scientific high fat gels on the market, mainly in the US, but if you Google for peanut butter flavour gels, that’s a simple option and you can easily get those in the UK. If you don’t like peanut butter flavour, there’s not much option!

The final step

Ok, so here’s your homework. Go and purchase gels or bars, which you intend to use for your event and take a look at the wrapper. What’s the total weight in grams of the product and what does the content add up to? Remember, a gel may have added water, so a 40g gel may contain 20g of carbohydrate. Don’t just use the actual product weight, you need to check the weight of the ingredients and use that as your gauge. Work out how many you will need and how often you will eat them. If your event uses specific products e.g. Ironman use Powerbar, it’s a lot easier to use these on the day and save yourself the hassle of carrying a lot of product.

Hydration?

That’s coming next week

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

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Race Day Nutrition (Part Three) – Marc Laithwaite

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day4B-1685

Last week we showed you how to calculate the amount of carbohydrate used during cycling and running, in order for you to produce a structured plan for race nutrition. This week, we begin the process of looking at what and when to eat on race day and the first step, is to explain the basic physiology.

Missed part one (here) and part two (here)

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates or ‘sugars’ are a prime source of fuel when exercising and unfortunately, as explain in previous blog posts, they are relatively limited. The term for stored carbohydrate is ‘glycogen’ and we store glycogen in the muscles (to use for movement) and in the liver (to supply sugar to the brain and maintain blood sugar levels)

There are different types of carbohydrates, but ultimately, they are all broken down to glucose as this is what we use as our prime fuel. When you eat or drink carbohydrate, it first goes into your stomach. We can’t absorb carbohydrates through the stomach wall, so they progress from there into the intestines and are absorbed through the intestine wall

The rate of absorption

The carbohydrates you eat are broken into glucose and pass through the intestine wall into the blood stream. Remember that in recent blogs, we’ve stated that the limit for this seems to be around 60g per hour of glucose. Depending upon the type of carbohydrate and how it is consumed (drink or solid food), the time taken for the carbohydrate to be broken down and absorbed will vary.

Many of you will have heard of the ‘Glycemic Index’. This scale was designed with diabetics in mind and it dictates how quickly foods are broken down and absorbed through the intestine wall. To measure the GI of a food is relatively simple (but complex at the same time). The process is to give someone a specific food, then take blood samples at regular intervals for the next hour to see how rapidly the blood sugar (glucose) levels rise.

The ‘GI’ scale runs from 1-100. Foods with a low score will take longer to reach the blood and give a more consistent supply (slow drip feed). Foods which enters the blood stream quickly, will give a more immediate spike in the blood sugar levels. Pure glucose has a score of 100 as that will lead to a rise in blood glucose more quickly than anything else.

The role of insulin

The reason why the GI scale is so important for diabetics, is the ‘insulin response’. A rise in blood glucose will lead to a rise in blood insulin, which is the hormone responsible for removing glucose from the blood and pushing it into the liver and the muscles.

Your daily diet should be made up of foods low on the GI scale. It you eat foods which are high on the GI scale throughout the day, this results in repeated sugar spikes and subsequent insulin spikes. Over time, your insulin will become less effective (overuse can lead to it becoming less sensitive to glucose). The reduced sensitivity can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes (insulin doesn’t work correctly). You may think, as an athlete, you are not susceptible to type 2 diabetes, but you’d be wrong. It is critical for you that your insulin works correctly, so you should be doing everything in your powers to ensure it does.

The secondary issue relating to insulin, is the impact upon fat metabolism. It reduces the amount of circulating fat by encouraging storage in fat tissue. In terms of your daily diet and metabolism, this has significant consequences upon weight loss and fat use. Constant spikes in blood glucose and insulin will reduce the amount of fat you metabolise throughout the day.

Are we discussing daily diet in this blog or race day nutrition?

Okay, I am going off track a bit, but I think it’s important to understand the foundations. As an athlete, you need a constant and balanced supply of energy to complete your training sessions and to recover quickly. Therefore, you should be eating to encourage a more stable metabolism and that is derived from low to moderate GI foods, NOT high GI foods.

So how does this work during racing?

  1. If you are racing an endurance event, you really need to ensure that you have a steady supply of glucose, without disrupting fat metabolism. A large spike in glucose and insulin, could inhibit fat metabolism, which means you’ll be forced to use more glycogen and run out more quickly.
  1. There are times when you may well need a rapid rise in blood glucose. If you have an extreme low point in the race and find yourself sitting on the road side, you may need an ‘instant hit’. Under such circumstances, you need the quickest glucose spike possible to get you back on your feet. At times like this, who cares about insulin!!

Here’s the thing, if you do scenario number 1 correctly, then you shouldn’t experience scenario number 2. The other issue is that products that are sold to deal with scenario number 2 (high energy, quick acting gels) are being used for scenario number 1. If you are half way through a 12 hour event and your energy levels are feeling relatively good, should you take a product which gives you an instant spike in glucose and insulin? Remember, we are aiming for a ‘constant’ and ‘balanced’ blood glucose level, we are trying to avoid blood glucose ‘fluctuations’.

So this blog is not what I intended when I started typing and none of the original planned information has made the page. Needless to say, this 4 part ‘race nutrition’ series is not going to be 4 parts.

A critical point to take away is that over the years of giving advice, we’ve found that the daily diet can have a huge impact upon training and racing performance. In particular, cutting out high GI foods can lead to a dramatic change in metabolism and enhance your fat utilisation.

Your homework for this blog is to take a look at the glycemic index. You’ll find this very interesting and you’ll probably find that many of the foods you presumed to be ‘sugar spiking’ are not and vice versa.

What if I said that Coke had a score of 60, whilst mashed potato AND jacket spuds had a score of 90 (that means mashed potato and jacket spuds can give more of a sugar spike than Coke!!)

You’ll notice that there is also something called ‘glycemic load’. This takes the volume of food into account e.g. you can’t compare a full jacket spud with a teaspoon of glucose as the volume is very different. Don’t worry about that for now, it’ll over-complicate the matter!

Take a look for yourself, and see what’s low and high. There’s loads of them on the internet, Google glycemic index table. Next week we’ll look at the foods you eat during the event. How can you manipulate the use of drinks, bars and gels to maintain a steady blood glucose supply and avoid the fluctuations that we have discussed above. See… I told you there was a point to this blog.

Until then, stay healthy.

– Marc Laithwaite

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

Endurance Store Logo

Episode 84 – Hawker Canaday Kimball

Ep84

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

Argentina

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

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

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

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

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

Queensland

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

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

Victoria

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

Western Australia

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

Canada

British Columbia

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

Chile

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

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

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

Croatia

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

France

Bouches-du-Rhône

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

Haute-Loire

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

Jura

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

Rhône

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

Germany

Hesse

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

Guadeloupe

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

Indonesia

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

Ireland

Connacht

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

Israel

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

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

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

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

Italy

Latium

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

Piedmont

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

Tuscany

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

Jordan

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

Morocco

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

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

Nepal

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

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

Netherlands

North Holland

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

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

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

Norway

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

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

Philippines

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

Portugal

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

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

South Africa

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

Spain

Catalonia

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

Extremadura

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

United Kingdom

Calderdale

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

Carmarthenshire

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

Devon

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

Dorset

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

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

East Sussex

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

Glasgow City

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

Hampshire

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

Highland

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

Surrey

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

USA

Arizona

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

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

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

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

California

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida

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

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

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

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

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

Illinois

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

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

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

Indiana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iowa

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

Kansas

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

Louisiana

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

Massachusetts

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

Michigan

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

Minnesota

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

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

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

Mississippi

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

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

Missouri

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

Nebraska

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

New York

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

North Carolina

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

Ohio

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

Oklahoma

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

Oregon

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

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

South Carolina

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

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

Tennessee

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

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

Texas

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

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

Utah

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

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

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

Virginia

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

Washington

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

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

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

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

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

Wisconsin

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

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

Zimbabwe

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

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

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

Race Day Nutrition (Part One) – Marc Laithwaite

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day5-2539

In recent articles, we’ve discussed the 2 main fuel sources for endurance exercise (fat and carbohydrate) and how you should optimise your body to burn fat, thereby allowing you to save precious carbohydrate stores. When it comes to race day then the game and the rules change completely. As a recap, when training you should:

1. Ride or run at the correct intensity or follow a specific protocol such as Maffetone
2. Avoid fluctuations in intensity, remember that average heart rate or power output are NOT the critical figures, it’s TIME IN ZONE that counts
3. Eat foods which are balanced with low GI carbohydrates and fats to encourage fat usage and avoid sugar spikes
4. Avoid gels and sugar products based on point 3 above

If you follow the above guidance, over a 12-16 week training period, you can teach your body to utilise a greater amount of fat as fuel and also to use less calories overall, making you more economical. The important thing to remember is that ‘training’ and ‘racing’ are 2 separate things and your fuelling approach should reflect this.

What happens during the race?

Okay, let’s presume that you have trained correctly and maximised your fat burning potential and fuel economy. You reach the first event of the year and when riding or running at race pace you are using 700kcal per hour, 50% of which comes from carbohydrate and 50% of which comes from fat. You only need to worry about the carbohydrate loss as that’s the one which is critical, so let’s focus on the 350kcal of carbohydrate which equates to 88 grams of carbohydrate (4 kcal per gram).

The limitation of carbohydrate intake

Here’s the big problem, you can only absorb approximately 60g of carbohydrate per hour. Imagine that there are small boats, which ‘ferry’ carbohydrate across the intestine wall into your blood stream. Unfortunately you only have so many ‘ferry boats’ so no matter how much carbohydrate you throw in there, the amount which can be ferried is limited to a pretty standard 60g. For our example above, that means that you’re going to fall short. You’re using 88 grams per hour and you can only replace 60 grams per hour. That’s a 28 gram / 112 kcal per hour deficit.

So I can’t just eat more?

Unfortunately not. If you eat more, it’s unlikely to be digested and will simply sit in your stomach or intestines without providing energy. There are a lot of people who suffer from gastric problems during long distance events and this is generally caused by eating too much food which they are unable to digest. It’s really important that you understand, eating more food doesn’t mean you’ll have more energy and it may well mean that you’ll face stomach upsets. I stress this point knowing how obsessed Ironman athletes in particular become with regards to feeding on the bike.

A deficit of 112 Kcal per hour doesn’t sound too bad

No, it doesn’t. But that is based on the presumption that you are only using 700kcal per hour, bigger people and less efficient people may be using more. It’s also based on the assumption that 50% is coming from fat and that may not be the case at all, in fact, as much as 80-100% may be coming from carbohydrate. What makes this worse is that bigger people can’t necessarily take on board more fuel, the 60g limit still pretty much applies. It’s a gut issue, it’s not about how big your muscles are and how much you can store in there.

So the 3 things you might want to know are:

1. How many calories do I burn per hour?
2. How many of them come from fat and carbohydrate?
3. How much should I be taking in as a consequence?

As a start point, you can probably work out your calorie usage by using a heart rate monitor or power meter. Run or ride at race pace and it’ll do the calculation for you, although the power meter is a lot more accurate than the heart rate monitor, it’s still a start point. Warm up, then do an hour at your ‘race pace’ and work out the figures. It’s amazing how many people who consider their training and racing to be ‘serious’, still have no clue how many kcal they use when racing. How can you have any grasp of nutrition requirements without knowing this figure? Once you’ve calculated that figure, apply the following rule:

80/20: If you are struggling to ride 50 miles / run 15 miles even when fuelling yourself throughout, then apply the 80/20 rule. That means 80% of your fuel is carbohydrate and 20% is fat.

65/35: If you can ride 50 miles / run 15 miles comfortably using fuel, then apply the 65/35 rule. That means 65% of your fuel is carbohydrate and 20% is fat.

50/50: If you can ride 50 miles / run 15 miles comfortably without using any fuel whatsoever, then apply the 50/50 rule. That means 50% of your fuel is carbohydrate and 50% is fat.

Are those figures accurate?

Absolutely not, I just made them up. They are by no means 100% accurate but they will give you a good start point and will allow you to calculate an approximate figure. The running figures are less ‘straight forwards’ than the cycling, as the impact of running can really fatigue your legs, so you may find 15 miles difficult, even if your fat burning and fuel economy is good. for cycling, the impact is low, so it’s more likely governed by metabolism and fuel.

Ok, so what’s the next step?

Here’s what we’re going to do. Prior to next week you are going to do a 1 hour ride or run at your ‘race pace’ and then using your cycle power meter, GPS or heart rate monitor, calculate how many calories per hour you are using when exercising at that intensity. I feel this is a pretty important thing for you to understand if you are to race successfully. It’s easy with a power meter for cycling, it does the maths for you. Most heart rate monitors will use your age and weight to work out kcal per hour. There are some tools on the internet such as: http://www.braydenwm.com/calburn.htm which can help to give you a basic idea.

Go forwards my endurance friends and do the maths, next week, we will be looking at planning your intake.

Until then, stay healthy.

– Marc Laithwaite

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

Endurance Store Logo

JEZ and the DRAGON

Jez and the Dragon

“…it kind of draws upon my all around hill skills really. My ability to look after myself in tricky weather situations, navigate my way between checkpoint stations and just generally manage myself and be safe. Whilst it is a race there’s a kind of survival element, there’s definitely a lot of appeal in all that. I think that UK ultra-running traditionally drew upon all those skills with mountain marathons and similar events. It’s nice to go back and do a big event based on those elements and test myself in different ways. It brings excitement and gets my adrenaline going.” – Jez Bragg

 

You can read the full article on Jez Bragg on RUNULTRA HERE

run-ultra-logo

The Berghaus Dragons Back Race™

The legendary Dragon’s Back Race™ follows the mountainous spine of Wales from Conwy Castle to Carreg Cennen Castle. This incredible 5-day journey is approximately 300 kilometres long with 17,000 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain. It is not a trail race.

The original Dragon’s Back Race™ happened in September 1992 and ever since, it has been whispered about with a mix of awe and trepidation. Its reputation had reached legendary status with fell, mountain and ultra runners the World over by September 2012 when the second Dragon’s Back Race™ happened.

The Dragon’s Back Race™ is one of the hardest mountain races in the World.

The next race will be the 22nd-26th June 2015. If you are considering entering or just want to experience the awesome challenge offered by the Dragon’s Back Race™ we strongly recommend that you watch the multi award winning film of the 2012 race.

Potential competitors should read the information here>>>.

Shane Ohly
Race Director

RUNNER – A Short Story about a Long Run : Lizzy Hawker

Lizzy Hawker

RUNNER tells a story, it uncovers a journey of the physical, mental and emotional challenges that runners go through at the edge of human endurance. From a school girl running on the streets of London to breaking records on the worlds mountains and toughest races, Lizzy Hawker is an inspiration to anyone who would like to see how far they can go, running or not.

“Lizzy never ceases to enthuse, inspire and amaze! She knows what it truly means to live life to the absolute fullest, step out of your comfort zone and truly test your limits. So much more than a book about running, this memoir is about an enthralling life journey replete with peaks and troughs, highs and lows and many twists and turns. Most importantly, Lizzy reminds all of us to never stop exploring, discovering and challenging ourselves to do more than we think possible.” – Chrissie Wellington MBE

Runner - Lizzy HawkerLizzy Hawker needs no introduction. Often called the Queen of UTMB, her running has inspired many… me included. Her ability to run tough, relentless mountain trail races has also been matched with road running.

100km Women’s World Champion,  five times winner of the UTMB, record holder for the 24-hour and the first woman to stand on the overall winners’ podium at the iconic Spartathlon; Lizzy is a formidable force irrespective of the distance or terrain.

Lizzy’s remarkable spirit was recognised in 2013 when she was awarded National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award for running 320km in the Himalayas from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu.

RUNNER provides an insight into the mind of one of the most inspiring ladies in the ultra world, Lizzy Hawker.

Order the book HERE

*****

We will have an exclusive interview with Lizzy in the coming weeks so please watch this space.

RUNNER will be published on April 2nd 2015 £12.99 Paperback by Aurum Press

We have two editions to give away as prizes.

Please answer the following question on post your answer on this website:

“How many times has Lizzy won UTMB and what was the fastest time?”

Two winners will be announced after April 18th

Lizzy Hawker website HERE

Aurum Publishing HERE

 

Pacing Strategy – Marc Laithwaite

Pace

Over the last 4 weeks, we’ve discussed how you can manipulate your diet to enhance fat burning and your endurance performances. This week, we look at the missing piece of the jigsaw, which is training intensity and more importantly, pacing strategy.

The basics of fat metabolism for endurance athletes are simple and based on 2 key factors. First, you can change your diet in some way to enhance fat usage (e.g. riding / running fasted). Next, you can adopt a ride / run strategy (intensity and pacing), which encourages fat usage during training and racing. You can opt to do only one or the other of these things. But in reality, if you couple them both together you’ll have the biggest impact.

We’ve discussed diet, so today we are going to talk about ride and run strategy in terms of pacing and intensity, for running and cycling. So let’s outline some of the basic things, which you may already know and if not, you need to know:

  1. I stressed last week that every session should have a key objective and therefore a key intensity to obtain that objective. The biggest error is people doing ‘hard stuff too easy’ and ‘easy stuff too hard’. Generally they are linked by the fact that if you do the ‘easy stuff too hard’ you’re too knackered the following day to do the ‘hard stuff hard’. As a result, everything tends to fall into a grey, middle area.
  2. The 2 key objectives of the long easy session for ironman competitors or marathon and ultra runners are generally to utilise fat for better fuel economy and to ‘complete the distance’ (time in the saddle or time on feet). If you don’t ride at the correct intensity, you will hit neither of those objectives, due to the following problems:
  3. At lower intensities, total energy expenditure (kcal per hour) is lower and fat usage is higher. This means that only a small amount of energy comes from carbohydrates and your body has the opportunity to practice using fat, which is necessary for the process to become more efficient. OBJECTIVE 1: If you do not run / ride at the correct intensity, you will not develop effective fat burning.
  4. Because riding and running at a higher intensity uses more energy and generates more muscular fatigue, it’s not rocket science that you will have to stop earlier. This is NOT just based on fat / fuel usage, there are other factors at play related to muscle damage and fatigue. As a result, many ironman triathletes or marathon and ultra runners are not reaching target distances and stopping short on long rides or runs. OBJECTIVE 2: If you do not run / ride at the correct intensity, you will not be able to reach your target distances for your training rides and runs.

As outlined above, the 2 key objectives are enhancing fuel use and maximising distance and to achieve both, the intensity must be correct. If you’re using Maffetone as discussed 4 weeks ago, then you’re all set. If you’re not then for most people, the intensity we are discussing is zone 1, which is comfortable conversation pace.

You can use heart rate to monitor your training intensity and cyclists can also use power devices to do the same job. Let’s take heart rate as an example and consider the following scenario as an example:

Tom has a zone 1 cycling heart rate of 118-128 and uses his heart rate monitor when completing all his ironman cycle training. We know that Tom will maximise both his fat usage and can maximise his training distance by holding his heart rate steady within Zone 1.

Avoiding the spikes

One key thing to take into account when riding in Zone 1 is avoiding spikes. If Tom completed his long Sunday ride and reported an average heart rate of 124, it first appears that he has ridden to plan. Unfortunately upon closer inspection, he spent half his time at a heart rate of 148 climbing hills and the other half of his time at 100 rolling down the other side, thereby generating an average of 124. Whilst the AVERAGE looks correct, the TIME IN ZONE was very poor.

Every time you push hard on hills and allow your heart rate to rise out of Zone 1, your metabolism switches from high fat usage to high carbohydrate usage. Not only is there a switch to carbohydrate, you guzzle the fuel as if there’s no marathon to come. I would liken this to driving your car and every time you reach a hill, changing into first gear and flooring the accelerator, for those old enough to remember you can also pull the choke out for good measure.

OBJECTIVE 1: Tom is not practicing fat burning during his ride. Every time he pushes on the hills, fat usage ‘drops out’ and only returns when the body has stabilised a few miles later.

OBJECTIVE 2: Tom is guzzling fuel at such a high rate, he completes 60 miles of his planned 100 mile ride and is pretty knackered so calls it a day. Tom feels that despite the event being 112 miles (plus the marathon to follow), 60 will suffice. Good luck with that one Tom.

Q: Surely if I’m riding harder that’s more beneficial as my fitness will improve?

A: Not really, you’ve failed on both key objectives. If your training is planned correctly, you should be doing other sessions which will include ‘harder riding or running’ to cover that aspect of fitness.

Where does this all this go wrong?

  1. Riding very hilly courses makes it difficult to keep heart rate in zone 1 and it also makes it difficult to ‘flat line’ heart rate, keeping it constant and avoiding spikes. You need to really focus on ‘backing off’ on the climbs and using a heart rate or power meter as a guide.
  2. Riding in a group makes this problem 10 times worse as most cyclists will naturally want to show their counterparts (tends to be relevant for blokes, not women) that they are stronger than anyone else in the group. As a result, Sunday rides can tend to be a short hard interval up each hill, followed by long periods of recovering and spinning at low intensity.

Key points to take away:

  1. Ride to zone and most important, you need to take out the spikes on the hills, to maximise metabolic benefits.
  2. Start easy on your ride. There is a real tendency amongst amateur athletes to ride way too hard in the first hour or two, which results in a huge drop off later in the ride (again, this is more likely in groups). Hold back and soft pedal for the first couple of hours to allow a long aerobic warm up and better energy levels later in the ride.
  3. If you ride with others, your options are to explain the benefits to them and change their mentality, let them go on the hills, change your group or ride alone.
  4. If you are riding more consistently in zone 1, you should make every effort to maximise distance. If you are currently riding 60 miles or running 13 miles in training, by dropping and controlling the heart rate, you should be capable of increasing the distance and progressing closer to 100 for cycling or 20 for running.

– Marc Laithwaite

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

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Marathon des Sables 2015 (30th Edition) – RACE PREVIEW

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MDS, Marathon des Sables, The Toughest Race in the World… whatever you want to call it, the 30th edition is just around the corner. Think about it, 30-years. It’s quite incredible how this race has grown and has become ‘the’ multiday race to do irrespective of experience. It was the first and arguably is still the best offering an ultimate adventure for novice and experienced runner.

Many a runner has started a passion for running at MDS and as such; the race will always be an important landmark for many. But it’s more than a race. It’s an experience, it’s escape and it’s a challenge.

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The combination of self-sufficiency, life in bivouac and running 250-km’s through the heat of the Sahara is something that those that have experienced it will never forget. It is the story of life, a story of men and women who have come to the heart of the desert to rid themselves of the superficial to keep only the essentials and get in touch with their true selves.

For the past three decades, some 18,000 runners have signed up for this experience, so, with the imminent running of the 2015 edition, it’s fair to say that race will see a great number of participants returning to ‘celebrate’ a very important birthday.

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Lasting six days participants must be self-sufficient carrying everything they need in a pack. Water is provided but rationed and a tent (bivouac) is provided each evening that must be shared with seven other participants.

The 2015 edition of the race will be 250-km’s offering a series of challenges that will test the mind and body in equal measure. Dunes, djebels, ergs and dried-up lakes offer a stunning backdrop that must be traversed. Battling against sand, heat and above all the mind completing the 30th edition of the Marathon des Sables will be a dream come true for those who toe the line.

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THE ROUTE for 2015

Stage 1 – Sunday 5th April

Here we have a very uneven playing field and a sufficient number of kilometers to make their presence felt. Competitors will have to run, avoid the obstacles and climb the surrounding uphill sections. The first dunes are between CP1 and CP2. It is fair to say that day-1 of the 30th MARATHON DES SABLES will be a long one.

Stage 2 – Monday 6th April

Those who imagine the desert to be flat are in for a surprise. Three steep little climbs form this second leg, with gradients reaching 30%… A new kind of roller-coaster ride which will open up landscapes that will be a sight to behold.

Stage 3 – Tuesday 7th April

Sand will be omnipresent today with some stony sections and some dried-up lakes. There will be a little something for everyone with some uphill sections here and there.

Stage 4 – Wednesday 8 / Thursday 9 April

A tough initial climb will hurt the legs, especially as it’s going to be a long day. Indeed this particular day will be the longest leg in the history of the MDS. And if that wasn’t enough, a climb of nearly a kilometer up a djebel awaits. At the summit runners will have 360° panoramic views. As for the descent, well it’s steep! After that, runners then traverse dunes, dried-up lakes and more dunes!

Stage 5 – Friday 10 April

Today’s route has a mixture of terrain that are hallmarks of the MDS, it’s a classic day!

Stage 6 -Saturday 11 April – SOLIDARITY UNICEF legs

For the majority of the participants, this leg is
a time for reflecting on the experience of this fine human adventure and is a united show of awareness before returning to civilization.

RUNNERS TO WATCH

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Antoine Guillon was second three times, third once and fourth three times in the Diagonale des Fous in addition, he is always well placed in the UTMB. Offered a place by the UTWT, Antoine will try his luck in the 30th MDS for the first time. Antoine just placed 3rd at Transgrancanaria, so his form is good. Can he recover in time?

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Christophe Le Saux never seazes to amaze me with his relentless racing calendar, he was 10th in 2014, 9th in 2013, 6th in 2012.

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Carlos Sà is a regular at MDS and has a wealth of talent and experience to excel. He was 4th last year’s, 7th in 2013. 4th in 2012 and 8th in 2011.

Dave Mackey has been one of the top American ultra runners for many years and he has excelled at the 100-km distance. His participation at MDS marks a new departure for him and it will be interesting to see how he handles racing over multiple days.

Javier Teixido Marti-Ventosa is the 2014 winner of the Andorra Ultra-Trail Ultra-Mitic (112km).

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Danny Kendall gets a nod from a UK perspective. He placed 5th last year and we can only hope that he moves up the rankings with a podium place. He knows the race, he knows the conditions and he understands survival in the Sahara; he just needs to bring it all together once again.

All six will be attempting to topple the Moroccan and Jordanian supremacy by keeping a close eye on the following:

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Mohamad Ahansal like his brother, Lahcen needs no introduction. He has 15 participations in the MDS, which includes 5 victories. He has been 2nd no less than 9 times and 3rd in 2014.

Abdelkader El Mouaziz placed 7th in 2014 on his first participation, he will be looking to improve in 2015.

Samir Akhdar has had several participations at MDS placing 6th in 2011 and 7th in 2009. 
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Salameh Al Aqra is always smiling and a great presence in the race, he was 1st in 2012, 2nd in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 and placed 3rd in 2009 and 2011.

In the female contingent:

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Laurence Klein targets her 4th victory after making the podium in 2014 and 2013.

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Meghan Hicks champion in 2013, missed 2014 through injury and will be setting her sights on a 2nd win.

Liza Howard is the holder of a number of 100-mile race records and American champion over 100km and 50 miles in 2011, should have what it takes to treat the United States to a third crown in a row after Nikki Kimball and Meghan Hicks.

Jolanda Linschooten gets a heads up from my friend Jeroen Krosse and he says, ‘one to watch’ for sure. So I agree, she is one to watch. Jolanda has been 2nd and 4th before!

Claire Morrisey is the British hope who returns after placing 7th in 2014.

INSPIRING STORIES:

Moroccan Lahcen Ahansal, ten-time winner of the
MDS between 1997 and 2007 is
making a comeback this year after six years
absence. “I wanted to hook back up with this race through
a goal that isn’t purely competitive, but also human”, admits
the athlete who has agreed to act as a guide to the partially
sighted German runner, Harald Lange. “After pulling off the
challenge of securing 10 victories, I now want to rack up 20
participations. And why not be around for the 40th and 50th
editions too?” It should be said that Lahcen has not forgotten
his encounter with this legendary race, which has transformed his life. “I looked on with curiosity and amazement as the 23 athletes took the start of the first edition in 1986. From then on, I constantly dreamt that I, a nomadic child, would participate in this race. It has spurred on my life and created in me such a strong desire for sporting and human emancipation that I moved mountains to make my dream a reality some seven years later. It’s thanks to this race that I’ve become the man I am today.” Also of note, is the fact that another blind runner will participate in this edition as Didier Benguigui is returning with his guide, Gilles Clain, to celebrate his 11th edition.

The “4 Dinosaurs MDS” team comprises two French runners, Christian Ginter and François Cresci, one Moroccan, Karim Mosta and one Italian, Paolo Zubani, none of whom wanted to miss the 30th anniversary of the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES. Between them, these four passionate runners already boast a total of 105 participations, which amounts to 27 out of 29 editions for the restaurant owner-chef Christian Ginter and 26 for the other three. “The idea of creating a team of veterans came about in the tent last year”, beams Karim Mosta, the cheerful leader of this group of friends, who wouldn’t miss this key stage

The famous British explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, is embarking on a new adventure at 71 years of age. After earning the title of first man to reach the North and South Poles via land, the first person to traverse the Antarctic entirely on foot and the oldest Briton to climb Everest at 65 years of age, he now wants to become the oldest Briton to etch his name on the list of SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES 2015’ medalists.

At 83 years of age, Joseph Le Louarn will be the most senior participant in this 30th edition. “I said that I’d stop in 2012, at 80, but with the energy drummed up by this anniversary, I couldn’t resist,” smiles the runner who has always loved ‘ambitious projects’. Indeed some three years ago he was quoted as saying “Card games and meals for retired people aren’t for me. I need to move; I need goals. I want to stay fit for as long as possible.”

A native of Luxembourg, Simone Kayser Diederich, 3-time champion of the MARATHON DES SABLES (2002, 2004 and 2005), will take the start of this 30th edition to celebrate her 60th birthday and her 14th participation. It’s a similar scenario for Moroccan Nadia Dadoun, 56, who will celebrate her 16th participation in this SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES 2015, which is a record number of entries among the event’s female contingent.

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CRAZY STATS:

  • 150 volunteers to supervise the race,
  • 450 general support staff,
  • 120,000 liters of bottled mineral water,
  • 300 Berber and Saharan tents,
  • 120 all-terrain vehicles and trucks,
  • 2 Squirrel helicopters and 1 Cessna plane,
  • 8 Transavia ‘MDS special’ commercial planes,
  • 30 buses,
  • 4 dromedaries,
  • 1 incinerator lorry for burning waste,
  • 5 quad bikes to monitor race environment and safety,
  • 72 medical staff,
  • 2.3kms of Elastoplast,
  • 12,200 compresses,
  • 6,000 painkillers,
  • 150 liters of disinfectant,
  • 1 editing bus,
  • 5 cameras,
  • 1 satellite image station,
  • 10 satellite telephones,
  • 30 computers, fax and internet,
  • 18,000 competitors since 1986
  • 30% returning competitors, 70% international, 30% French, 
17% women, 45% veterans, 
30% in teams, 
10% walkers, 
90% alternate walking and running,
  • 14 km/hr.: average maximum speed, 3 km/hr.: average minimum speed,
  • 15 years of age for the youngest competitor and the oldest, 83!

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QUOTES

  • “The MARATHON DES SABLES is the United Nations. The runners come from all over the world, share the same emotions and help one another. All the boundaries are erased. We should take inspiration from it.” – Kirk McCall (United States)
  • “This event isn’t just a sporting activity. It’s a mental and philosophical process. In the desert, nature puts us back in our place at the heart of this environment. The MARATHON DES SABLES opens up new perspectives to us. People often think we’re crazy, but maybe they’re the crazy ones!” – Fernando Jose Castro Cabral (Brazil)
  • “The MARATHON DES SABLES represents Mecca. I come here for an annual pilgrimage. It purifies me.” – Amine Kabbaj (Morocco)
  • “Running in the desert purges me and enables me to empty my mind. I want to discover the desert by experiencing it from the inside. Each day, I recite a poem along the course. To think about poetry whilst running is a fantastic mental luxury. To run and be elsewhere through your thoughts… The sobriety of the desert is a source of inspiration.” – Duc Le Quang (Vietnam)
  • “In the MARATHON DES SABLES, you learn to rediscover and appreciate the simple pleasures. On top of that there is this solidarity between the runners. You run and you come across someone from Colombia, Portugal or China. You don’t know them but you share a moment with them. These encounters are worth all the money in the world.” – Nicolas Esterhazy (Belgium)

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Twenty-Nine years of victories.

Here is a who’s who of those 29-years.

1986 – Michel GALLIEZ (FRANCE) – Christiane PLUMERE (FRANCE)

1987 – Bernard GAUDIN (FRANCE) – Marie-Ange MALCUIT (FRANCE)

1988 – Bernard GAUDIN (FRANCE) – Marie-Ange MALCUIT (FRANCE)

1989 – Hassan SEBTAOUI (FRANCE) – Marie-Claude BATTISTELLI (FRANCE)

1990 – Hassan SEBTAOUI (FRANCE) – Claire GARNIER (FRANCE)

1991 – Hassan SEBTAOUI (FRANCE) – Monique FRUSSOTE (FRANCE)

1992 – Mohamed BENSALAH (MOROCCO) – Monique FRUSSOTE (FRANCE)

1993 – Mohamed BENSALAH (MOROCCO) – Irina PETROVNA (RUSSIA)

1994 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Valentina LIAKHOVA (RUSSIA)

1995 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Béatrice REYMANN (FRANCE)

1996 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Anke MOLKENTHIN (GERMANY)

1997 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Rosanna PELLIZZARI (ITALY)

1998 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Rosanna PELLIZZARI (ITALY)

1999 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Lisa SMITH (USA)

2000 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Pascale MARTIN (FRANCE)

2001 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Franca FIACCONI (ITALY)

2002 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUXEMBOURG)

2003 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Magali JUVENAL (FRANCE)

2004 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUXEMBOURG)

2005 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUX)

2006 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Géraldine COURDESSE (FRANCE)

2007 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2008 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Touda DIDI (MOROCCO)

2009 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Touda DIDI (MOROCCO)

2010 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Monica AGUILERA (SPAIN)

2011 – Rachid EL MORABITY (MOROCCO) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2012 – Salameh AL AQRA (JORDAN) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2013 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Meghan HICKS (USA)

2014 – Rachid ELMORABITY (MOROCCO) – Nikki KIMBALL (USA)

 

RACE SCHEDULE 2015

 

  • 3 April 2015 – Leave country of residence/Morocco – Arrival in Ouarzazate, bus transfer to 1st bivouac
  • 4 April 2015 – Administrative, technical and medical checks – Day to acclimatize 
  • From 5 to 10 April 2015 – Race in progress (The self-sufficiency begins from breakfast on the 1st leg)
  • 11 April 2015 – Solidarity UNICEF leg – (end of dietary self-sufficiency) – Transfer to Ouarzazate
  • 12 April 2015  – Day of relaxation
  • 13 April 2015 – Return to country of residence

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Marathon des Sables – A history in brief

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1984: At 28 years of age, Patrick Bauer decided to make for the Sahara to try to traverse a 350km expanse of uninhabited desert, on foot, alone, where he wouldn’t come into contact with a single village, oasis or watering place. Totally self-sufficient, with a rucksack weighing 35kg and containing water and food, he set off on a journey that was to last 12 days. It was the starting point of what was to become the MARATHON DES SABLES.

1986: The creation of the first MDS in the Moroccan Sahara. The 23 pioneers who took the start never imagined that their footprints would mark the start of a legendary event, which has today become a must among the major adventure sport meets. The creation of a non-mechanical competition in the Moroccan sands offers adventure runners a wealth of new prospects.

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1987: Creation of the MDS logo: the face of a runner covered by a keffiyeh, the eyes protected by a pair of sunglasses and the pipette from the runner’s water container clenched between the teeth.

1989: 170 competitors take the start of the race.

1991: The gulf drama puts the MDS at a disadvantage and the financial partners withdraw. Fortunately some runners answer the call. For these competitors, the true victory lies in meeting athletes from different backgrounds and their communion in the desert around the same goal. Sport proves once again that it can bring people together and create bonds.

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1992: One and the same regulation for everyone. This year sees the establishing of unexpected draconian tests, to ensure that each participant properly transports all his or her gear from one end of the course to the other. A 30-point charter is drawn up.

First participation by the Moroccan Lahcen Ahansal

1994: Arrival of the Doc Trotters at the event.

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1995: 10th anniversary. Since the start, over 1,500 men and women have left their footprint and their passion in the desert. Installation of water-pump for the inhabitants of the village of Ighef n’rifi (South of Er-Rachidia) – an idea by competitor Gilles Flamant and backed by Rolland Barthes and Patrick Bauer. Its success is to be repeated again and again

1996: First participation by Mohamed, a younger sibling of Ahansal. The two Moroccan brothers set off together and rank 4th and 5th respectively.

1997: This year heralds the start of the Ahansal saga. Morocco is honored with Lahcen’s first victory. He beats his two pursuers by nearly 30 minutes, despite them being international long-distance running champions.

1999: A mobile hospital on the MDS comes into being. There are around thirty practitioners on the ground, with doctors and nurses joining the caravan. A dedicated helicopter and ten all-terrain vehicles track the competitors each day. On- board these vehicles there are doctors of course, as well as high-tech equipment. The village boasts a genuine field hospital.

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2000: Internet puts in an appearance in the large MDS village. The organization decides to broadcast the texts and photos of the race live, day after day. The competitors can communicate with their nearest and dearest and receive messages of encouragement.

2001: For the first time the long leg, traditionally called “The 70”, exceeds the 80km barrier to reach 82km. The threshold of 240km is also surpassed since the 16th MARATHON DES SABLES spans 243km. Another first relates to the fact that there are no Moroccans on the podium this year.

2002: This edition is punctuated by a sandstorm, involving headwinds, which lasts the entire week. The doctors invent a machine for ‘low pressure cleansing’ to rinse out the runners’ eyes. Despite the difficult conditions, there are few retirements to report as the wind considerably reduces the temperature.

2005: The Luxembourg runner Simone Kayser is the first woman to win 3 MARATHON DES SABLES. For this 20th edition, the total number of runners exceeds 700 for the first time, with no fewer than 777 runners taking the start.

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2006: A drying wind and very high humidity levels cause damage to the runners’ bodies. Despite additional allocations of water, a whole series of retirements ensues. There are a total of 146 retirements ultimately, which equates to double that of the previous record… Race management decides to shorten the long leg by over 10km given how tired the runners seem.

2008: The Solidarité MDS association is created. The aim: to develop projects to assist children and disadvantaged populations in the domains of health, education and sustainable development in Morocco. 

2009: MDS is disrupted by flooding and the 1st and 6th stages are not able to take place. To avoid the flood zones, the organization is obliged to improvise new legs on a day-to-day basis. In this way, the edition goes down in legend for its 3rd leg, which is the longest ever contested: 92km of sand, loose stones and rocks… The leg even sees the retirement of Lahcen Ahansal… At the prize giving the 2 winners admit to having competed in their hardest MDS. However, it was also the shortest: 202km.

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2010: For its 25th edition, the number of participations reaches a record high of 1,013 participants. It is to be the longest MARATHON DES SABLES. It spans 250 kilometers with a course considered by former entrants to be the most difficult ever organized.

2012: A dramatic turn of events on the longest leg as the then leader in the overall standing, Rachid El Morabity (MAR) injures himself one kilometer from the finish. Medical examinations reveal a serious muscular lesion in the quadriceps. After over five years on the 2nd or 3rd step of the podium, Jordanian Salameh Al Aqra secures the title.

2013: 1,027 competitors on the start line make this a new participation record. New feature: a final “Charity” stage sponsored by UNICEF and traversing the Merzouga dunes round off the race. Sportswise, Mohamad Ahansal and Megan Hicks are the champions of the 231.5km event. On a human level, all of the finishers pull off their crazy bet.

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2014: 2011 winner, Moroccan Rachid El Morabity (MAR) wins the overall ranking and takes Mohamad Ahansal’s crown. In the women’s category, another American stamps her mark, Nikki Kimball. The French revelation is one Michaël Gras, 22 years of age, 8th overall and top Frenchman. A major athletics star, Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj lines up to take the start of Saturday’s Unicef Charity leg.

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FOLLOW THE 2015, 30th EDITION on this WEBSITE in words and images.

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