CYCLING for RUNNERS – The Introduction

 

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Welcome to CYCLING for RUNNERS in conjunction with Scott Sports

Over the coming months and year, Ian Corless and Niandi Carmont in conjunction with SCOTT SPORTS will bring you CYCLING FOR RUNNERS.

Ian, Niandi and a series of special guests will provide you with a series of articles from a male and female perspective on how cycling can benefit you as a runner.

Providing simple and clear information, we will write about our experiences, we will tell you about equipment, provide hints and tips and most importantly, we will provide you with a series of training plans that you can incorporate week by week, month by month to make you a better runner through cycling.

We know 3-types of runner:

  1. The runner who is injured
  2. The runner who is recovering from injury
  3. And thirdly, the runner who is about to be injured

Of course, we joke, but many of you will agree there is some real truth in the joke. Running is not bad for you, however, taken to extremes or if rushed, the impact of repetition can damage and break us. Sometimes a couple of easy days are all we need and then we are able to resume full training. But as often happens, a couple of easy days may not be enough and our eagerness to push and get back to full training causes us to take risks and then the inevitable happens, we break!

Don’t get us wrong. If you want to be a good runner, you need to run. However, we don’t always thing big miles, double day runs or running everyday is necessary. It’s all about balance and ultimately what level we are running at and what our objectives are. As we see it, runners fall into four distinct groups:

  • Group 1: Weight loss/ recreational runner
  • Group 2: Budding enthusiast
  • Group 3: Good age group runner
  • Group 4: Elite/ pro or top-level runner

We could break the groups down again but ultimately, for the purposes of explanation, these four groups will suffice.

Group 1 runner’s will run typically three times a week (maybe four) and they will run twice in the week and once at weekend. During the week they will train from 20-60min and at the weekend they will extend their running beyond an hour. Mileage will be 30-50 miles per week.

Group 2 are pretty dedicated and savvy accumulating three to four runs during the week and running once or twice at the weekend. Sunday will typically be a long run of 90+ min and on Tuesday and maybe Thursday they will add some speed or strength running. Mileage will be 50-75 miles per week.

Group 3 runner’s are very similar to group 2, however, they are running six days a week, they double up runs on a couple of days and at weekend they may do back-to-back longer runs. Mileage will hover around 80-miles per week.

Group 4 are pushing the envelope, they run twice a day, four to five days a week and run long, fast and high during the weekend. They typically hover around 100-miles per week.

We generalise above and of course we will be able to find extremes in all the scenarios. However, the four groups provide a picture. We think the risk of injury is high for all the groups and relatively equal. Why?

Well, group 1 for example will be less experienced (typically) and will have less run history and therefore although the time on feet is less, the percentage risk is high based on experience.

Group 4 by contrast will have loads of experience, they have been involved in sports for years and they are knowledgeable. Risk comes for them from volume and because they are often on the edge looking for small performance gains.

For us, this is where cycling for runners can come in!

Cycling provides a great low impact exercise that can be done in or outdoors, it can be very controlled and importantly it can be as easy or as hard as you like.

Yes, if you want to be a great runner, you need to run. BUT cycling can add to your running and not take away from it…

Just think, how many of you have said, ‘I am just popping out for an easy run!’

Is there such a thing as an ‘easy run?’

In terms of effort, yes! For sure, you can run slow, easy and controlled keeping your heart rate down, keeping your cadence light and just tick-over. But, you are still in contact with the ground. You are still ‘impacting’ with the surface beneath you and you are still passing your body weight through all your muscles, tendons and joints. Recovery runs are not about fitness, they are about loosening off and in many cases, we use recovery runs just to make us feel better. So, why not incorporate some cycling as active recovery?

Long runs can really impact on your body. Hours of running adapt you to the demands that will be placed on you when you race but sometimes we will run the risk of pushing too far and risking injury. Long bike rides on hilly terrain for example can be used to provide multiple hours of low impact exercise. Hours where you can push harder than running without the risk of damaging knees, muscles and ligaments. If incorporated with long runs, you have a great way to do back-to-back sessions while reducing impact injury risk.

Speed can damage our fragile bodies, particularly our muscles and tendons. However, run speed work incorporated with cycling speed work can stress the aerobic system and it will stretch us physically and mentally in new ways.

Hill reps provide great aerobic stress pushing us to our threshold limits, however, what goes up, must come down. Often, it is the running downhill that causes damage. Of course, we need to train for this in running, it’s important. However, cycling hill reps incorporated into a structured training plan can provide a great stimulus that will progress your fitness level and once again, the impact implications are low.

Finally, cycling can just be a blast. It’s a great way to head out and see a new place; arguably, we can cover more distance in less time on a bike. If nothing else, cycling may well just provide you with a well-earned break from running. Cycling will freshen your mind, it will freshen your body and I guarantee, your running will improve.

Part one of cycling for runners will be released on Wednesday October 1st and we will look at the basics to get you started:

  • The bike.
  • How to ensure you have a good fit.
  • Dos and Don’ts of cycling.
  • And we will list 5-points why cycling can make YOU a better runner.
Philipp Reiter Cycling

Philipp Reiter Cycling

To kick things off, Salomon International athlete, Philipp Reiter will also give us his thoughts on why cycling works for him as a trail, mountain and ultra runner.

Stay tuned.

Join us on STRAVA

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Thanks to SCOTT SPORTS for the support and backing

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Like the Wind Pop-UP : Photography with Ian Corless

Photo ©covadongafernandezcue

Photo ©covadongafernandezcue

Are you a budding photographer? Do you want to learn from an expert? Then the Like the Wind Pop-Up has the answer – a masterclass and workshop with the one and only Ian Corless, the man behind many of the most inspiring and moving photos from the ultra and mountain running scene.

This will be a chance to learn from an expert about all the things it takes to create a great photo of a runner. Bring your camera and leave with information and inspiration. Details on how to book will be released in the next few days, but for now… who’d be interested in signing up for this?

Provisional date : Thursday October 30th1400 to 16/1700.

Like the Wind Pop-Up – what is it?

Like the Wind was conceived as a way for the running community to share each others stories – a magazine dedicated to collecting words, images and art that coveys what it is to be a runner. We want every piece to evoke something about running.

Happily, the running community, around the world, has embraced the magazine and enjoyed reading – and contributing – stories. Now, with two successful issues under our belts, we have decided to go beyond bringing runners together online and through the pages of the magazine. We are going to bring them together in a physical space.

The Like the Wind Pop-Up will be in the heart of the creative hub that is Shoreditch in east London. There will be space for brands who want to support the Pup-Up, there will be film nights, inspiring talks, guided runs and a launch party to rival the one that we held for the launch of the first issue of Like the Wind.

For one week, there will be a home for running stories in central London. Runners will be able to come and meet one another, interact with the magazine, buy limited edition artwork from the artists who have appeared on the pages, check out some of the finest running brands and generally have their running mojo given a boost.

We hope that as many runners as possible will join us and make this a special week for Like the Wind and everyone associated with it.

You can find out more about our Pop Up Gallery here.

Superior 100 2014 – Minnesota Nice!

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John Storkamp, race director for the Superior 100 told all competitors at the pre race briefing, ‘Look around, because you may well not see everyone back at the finish. The Superior 100 is rough, rugged and relentless.’

Race images available HERE

John Storkamp - race director

John Storkamp – race director

A point-to-point race, the route traverses the ‘Sawtooth Mountain Range’ in northern Minnesota. Taking part on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT), starting at Gooseberry Falls State Park and concluding in Lutsen, 100-miles later.

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It’s a trail of immense diversity and one that is constantly shadowed at all times by the impressive and dominant Lake Superior. Terrain, as the Storkamp suggests, is relentless. With a low point of 183m and a high point of 558m, the race doesn’t get high, however, the repeated nature of the course (Sawtooth profile) offers no opportunity for recovery or rest. Add to the mix, brooks, mud, rocks, tree roots and a rollercoaster of small climbs; the Superior 100 is considered one of the toughest races in the USA. It’s reflected in the current course record of 21:02. Crossing the line in Lutsen is no easy task… Ask each and every finisher, in fact, you don’t need to ask, the gaunt and hollow expression on each and every face shows each mile and each minute and hour that has been undertaken to achieve the buckle!

©iancorless.com-1025Superior100Run in almost perfect weather conditions, Superior 100 2014 was an experience to embrace. Have you heard the term, ‘Minnesota Nice?’ (A stereotypical behaviour of Minnesota residents to be courteous, reserved, welcoming and mild-mannered) Well believe me, this Brit was submerged in it from registration, during the race and beyond.

‘It’s so awesome that you are here, thanks for coming!’ I can’t tell you how many times I heard this phrase during my incredible weekend. No matter at what point in the race, no matter how sleep deprived they were, each an every runner would go out of their way to express warmth. It’s humbling. Of course, it’s in the nature of the people but my host for the weekend, Kurt Decker assured me, ‘These folks are genuinely the salt of the earth, they mean every word but this weekend they have taken it up a notch.’

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Imagine being on the trail in the middle of the night, a runner appears and we shout, ‘Looking good, keep it going, you are doing great!’ the runner stops, looks us in the eyes, grabs our respective hands and shakes them, ‘Thank you guys for being here and supporting, it’s really appreciated.’

Minnesota nice!

No matter how nice these folks are, racing did go down at the weekend and at the front end Kyle Pietari and Michael Borst dictated the early pace followed by Nathan Leehman, Adam Schwartz-Lowe, John Cameron and John Horns, the 2013 race winner.

©iancorless.com-0916Superior100Ultra running legend in these parts, Eric Clifton made his presence felt in the early stages but faded and eventually dropped.

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Eric Clifton running early on in possibly the worst run tights… ever!

In the ladies, 2013 1st place winner and 2nd overall, April Cole looked set be a dominant force pushing consistently hard throughout, however, at the summit of Carlton Peak with just under 90-miles covered she complained of being cooked. To my surprise April dropped at Sawbill with just over 90-miles covered.

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April at Bean and Bear

Adam Schwartz-Lowe had been the bridesmaid on 2-occasions at Superior, 2012 when Steve Moore set the 21:02:41 CR and 2011. After a sub-20 run at Western States earlier this year, Schwartz-Lowe wanted this win, however, Pietari and Borst had different ideas. At halfway, Wisconson runner Borst had pulled away and from Pietari who was paying for the early pace, so much so he would eventually drop. Running without a pacer, Schwarz-Lowe went in pursuit from the Finland aid (51.2) and as he ran past he aptly said, ‘I smell rabbit in front of me.’

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The rabbit took some catching though! Running only his 2nd 100, Borst looked to have the race dialled after dnf’ing his 1st 100 at Zumbro earlier this year. Experience paid off though, at Sonju Lake Road the gap was 8-minutes, at Sugarloaf (72.3-miles) it was 5-minutes and then at Cramer Road (77.9-miles) it was 2-minutes. From here on in, the guys ran together for an hour until eventually Schwartz-Lowe pulled away gaining a 1-minute advantage at Temperance (85-miles) and 24-minutes at Sawbill (90.7-miles). The hay in the barn could be smelt and as the race progressed the gap tweaked open. At the final aid, Schwartz-Lowe didn’t hang around, a quick re-supply, a few questions on the location of the 2nd place runner and then he scooted off up the trail.

Adam at Oberg just over 7-miles to go

Adam at Oberg just over 7-miles to go

From here on in, Borst consolidated his 2nd place looking relaxed and happy, his pacer doing a great job to keep the motivation high. Leehman took a seat at Oberg and although the temptation to hang out and chill was tempting, he rejuvenated himself and pushed on for the final podium place after a welcome ‘Monster’ drink from 4th place runner, Cameron’s crew.

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With April Cole out of the race, the ladies race became a war of attrition and I saw each lady as they climbed up and over Sawbill with 90.7 miles covered. Embracing the relentless nature of the race they pushed on through never failing to offer a smile and a thank you. Ultimately at the line, the gaps were quite wide with Mallory Richard taking the victory ahead of Frayah Bartuska and Johanna Ylanen.

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Ladies winner, Mallory Richard

 

 

100-mile races are tough, no matter what the terrain is like. Here in Minnesota on the Superior Hiking Trail, John Storkamp and the Rock Steady Running crew have a gem. A gem of epic proportions… if you like your trail tough and gnarly and your people warm and welcoming, then Minnesota is for you!

Believe me, it’s Minnesota Nice!

Race website – HERE

RACE RESULTS

100-mile

  1. Adam Schwarts-Lowe 21:58:32
  2. Michael Borst 22:52:28
  3. Nathan Leehman 23:26:47
  1. Mallory Richard 27:32:27
  2. Frayah Bartuska 29:56:58
  3. Johanna Ylanen 31:08:10

 

50m-mile

  1. Chris Rubesch 8:56:33
  2. Forrest Tracy 9:23:47
  3. Alex Kurt 9:35:24
  1. Kristin Rognerud
  2. Annie Behrend 13:03:34
  3. Shelly Groenke 13:41:38

 

Marathon

  1. Ben Kampf 3:32:27
  2. James Sorenson 3:49:30
  3. Ryan Braun 04:00:11
  1. Jayna Tilstra 4:53:31
  2. Kelly Johnson 4:56:10
  3. Heather Weckwerth 5:20:01

Race images available HERE

Jo Meek on RUNULTRA

 

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Jo Meek has illuminated the ultra world in the past 18-months placing 2nd at the 28th edition of Marathon des Sables, winning The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, setting a new course record and an outright win at Iznik Ultra and then placed 5th at the iconic Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. But it didn’t end…

I caught up with Jo and wrote an article for RUNULTRA on this rising star of our sport.

Please check it out HERE

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UTMB 2014 – Race Preview

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It’s UTMB time and the race kicks off today at 1730 and currently the lights are green for go… phew!

As one would expect, a quality line up and men and ladies will toe the line to run the circular route around Mont-Blanc.

As was shown last year in the men’s race, predicting a winner, even a top-3 can be a tricky thing. One thing is for sure; Thevenard will not do the double as he won TDS just the other day. In doing so, he has become the first runner to win CCC, UTMB and TDS. I like that, it shows a level of skill and speed over multiple distances and terrain.

So, UTMB will roll out and without doubt we will see some drama on the trails. Unfortunately, last years 2nd place, Miguel Heras will not run. Once again injured! Will he ever get a break?

Francois D'Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene is a past winner on the shortened course and for me he has blossomed into one of the best 100 runners out there. His Raid de la Reunion last year and his early season win and sub 20-hours in Japan must make him a hot fave!

Luis Alberto Hernando copyright iancorless.com Luis Alberto Hernando is one guy who I would love to see make the podium. For 12-months he has been building up to this race and wins at Transvulcania and the 80km Skyrunning World Champs must put him in a great place. BUT, he hasn’t run a 100 before and he does like to push. He will need to be patient for 100km and then start racing if he wants any chance of success.

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Tofol Castanyer like Luis is stepping up to the 100. Winner of the CCC he has all the skills and ability to do something special.

 

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera completes a strong Salomon line up and is a hot favourite for the win. He is a beast on tough and technical races and for sure having disappointment with course cancellations in the past, Iker will be looking to make this one count.

Dakota Jones UROC ©iancorless.com

Dakota Jones is due a big race. Dropping from Hardrock 100 will certainly have stoked the fire for a great performance here but maybe the ankle isn’t 100%? He has done some epic days with Kilian in and around Mont-Blanc; so, let’s hope he has his day.

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote consistent at UTMB and a great record over long distance races. You won’t see him in the top-10 early on but he will close hard (as usual) eat up those who are struggling and move up the ranks. I don’t see him winning put podium is always a possibility.

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson put his eggs in the Hardrock basket and they got smashed with one of those gutsy, ‘I’m gonna finish no matter what days.’ Respect! Of course, Timmy can win this race, his success this year will all come down to how well he has recovered from HR100. If he is in shape, podium potential and of course a win is a distinct possibility.

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka had the race sewn up for me last year. He was on fire looking relaxed and incredible at every moment. However, the relentless injury problems ruined his day and he has been in and out of injury for 2-years. He had a couple of great early season results, Lavaredo in particular and then dropped from Speedgoat with injury. I have a feeling that Anton will win the race or not finish. I hope he has his day; it’s long overdue.

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Jez Bragg will have a solid run; he always does and like Foote, will start way back and work his way to the front. Top-10 would be a great result.

Fabian Antolinus will be an interesting inclusion. He ran a great race at Ice Trail Tarentaise and of course he has continually impressed in French races such as Templiers. UTMB? I would say a top-20 for sure and top-10 if he has a great day.

Hal Koerner is 100m beast and like Mr Meltzer can run 100’s for breakfast. His experiences with UTMB have been somewhat mixed so it is great to see him back and I hope he puts a great race together. He could surprise a few people!

Carlos Sa is a really talented athlete who races road, trail, multi-day, mountains and so on. He has all the ability and potential to create a stir in the top-5. In the past he has gone off course, so this year I hope he nails the route and pushes with the best.

Jason Schlarb has been mixing it up in Europe for a while now. This can only be a really good thing. He raced at Transvulcania and the Skyrunning 80k; so, he has an understanding of what is needed. He may make top-10?

Scott Hawker will be one of the top runners from the Southern Hemisphere who has spent time in Europe this year. Ice Trail Tarentaise would have been a great prep ground.

*****

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio dominated the race last year with arguably one of the most impressive female performances ever. A win at Lavaredo shows that the build up has been good and her recent obscurity can only mean training and training hard. She will be impossible to beat if she repeats the form and condition of 2013.

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Nuria Picas was 2nd last year in her 1st 100 and has gone on to run big races all over the world and in most cases, win them too! Without doubt, Nuria can win this race but she must be tired? In contrast to Rory who will be fresh as a daisy.

Nathalie Mauclair ©iancorless.com

Nathalie Mauclair winner of Reunion last year and top ranked at Western States, Nathalie brings a mix of speed, endurance and climbing ability and for me, barring issues, will make the podium!

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Fernanda Maciel like Nuria has been on the UTWT roller coaster of exhaustion. Fernanda won’t be fresh but like many of the other top ladies can produce a really strong 100 and keep pushing even when fatigued. Her 2014 results alone show what a talent she is.

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Laurence Klein, now this is an interesting inclusion. The MDS queen on this terrain leaves a huge question mark. She can run quick, for sure has run some impressive times in races such as the Ecotrail de Paris, however, this 100-mile course and vertical will be something new. Interested to see this one plays out.

Uxue Fraille is a consistent performer at around 80-100km but I think this is the first 100 she will run? Always there or thereabouts, Uxue closes well and picks off the others as they crumble. I see more of the same at UTMB.

Ashley Arnold is a question mark and the US’s hope outside Rory. I don’t think this tough mountain 100 will play to her strengths, particularly based on recent results. However, this ladies field has quality but not depth, so, top-10 for sure and top-5 if on a great day.

Rounding out the top ladies, we have 2-Brits, Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith. Both ladies raced the Skyrunning 80km and may well sneak into the top-10. Shona Stephenson has struggled at UTMB in the past but knows how to run 100’s and is top-10 potential and Meghan Arbogast, Simona Morbelli and Leila Degrave round out my ones to watch!

 

You can follow the race live via the UTMB website and Twitter

UTMB LVE HERE

 

KILIAN JORNET – The Human Carabiner

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Kilian Jornet is defining our sport and in the process is setting new records and providing inspiration to thousands, if not millions of people. Just 12-months ago, I spoke to Kilian in Zermatt. It was just days after his incredible Matterhorn Summit where he set a new record for Cervinia-Matterhorn Summit-Cervinia beating the long standing Bruno Brunod record. Looking relaxed, Kilian joins me at a table and we chat. He looks lean and in the form of his life. The sky is blue and clouds are around the base of the Matterhorn. Looking up we pause and take it in.

Interview in Spanish HERE

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It really is an incredible mountain. I turn to Kilian and ask…

IC – Do you feel nostalgic Kilian, looking up at the Matterhorn and thinking back 12-months?

KJ – Yes, I have great feelings. I-year ago I climbed from Italy (Cervinia) and today I climbed it from Switzerland (Zermatt). I have many great friends in Cervinia and very soon it will be 150-years of the Matterhorn. So many great memories; It’s such a beautiful memory.

IC – Okay, so you have just thrown this on me. You climbed the Matterhorn this morning from Zermatt?

KJ – Yes (laughs) I am not racing Matterhorn Ultraks so it’s okay. I went this morning… I was thinking to myself, it’s great weather so I decided to go. Conditions are not good though. The mountain has much more snow and the ridge was pretty icy. I had no crampons, which was a big mistake. At the summit it was very windy. I thought I might take the quick way down to Zermatt…!

IC – People say the Matterhorn is harder from Switzerland side?

KJ – The Italians say it’s harder from Cervinia and the Swiss say it’s harder from Zermatt. (He laughs) Both routes are very similar. I prefer the Italian side, it’s a narrow ridge about 500m long and you can really run. From Switzerland you go straight to the summit. It’s really beautiful and maybe a little more complicated. For me though, the Italian side is more difficult.

IC – Did you time yourself?

KJ – Hotel to hotel was 7-hours. I had planned to go down to the Italian side and come back via the pass. But the conditions were very windy and I decided to come back on the Switzerland side. It had lots of snow all the way up. I can normally climb up in good conditions in 2.5hrs but today it was 4-hours.

IC – Not the perfect time for a FKT?

KJ – No, it was really dangerous. Normally I would see 100’s of people at the summit. Today it was just me and I saw 4-people on my way down. The weather would be okay for Mont-Blanc but not here; it’s much more complicated.

 

IC – I think it’s topical we are speaking mid season. I believe the Kilian Jornet today is a different person to 1-year ago. For me, you seem to be in perfect shape. I don’t think I have seen you so fit and strong. Would you agree?

KJ – This year I feel really well. I don’t know why? I started the season in Colorado in the winter doing plenty of high altitude meters. I was great in the ski season. It was my best season in regard to my condition. I was not tired after skiing so it was a big bonus. I have raced the same number of races but I seem to be recovering so much better. I am climbing more meters and doing fewer kilometres.

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IC – It’s not unusual for you to start your run season at Transvulcania La Palma on 4-5 days running. This year you did this. You had a great race placing 2nd behind Luis. You then went to Denali and followed this with running again becoming Skyrunning World Champion. In Denali, this is not ultra running. It’s Alpinism. So tell us, what was the experience like?

KJ – It was a hard experience and fun. The weather was bad in Alaska. We stayed 21-days in the glacier and we had 3 sunny days. Everyday was snowing but we did a great number of things. We travelled very light. We would go to 4000m camp and from here everyday we would do something… we did the west ridge and then ski, we did another ridge, then I did the record, the north summit and so on. It was really nice to see. It’s possible to do something everyday. It was really interesting. I think I was surprised to come back to Chamonix and perform so well. Really I was just going to use it as training for Hardrock. In the VK I surpassed my expectation, in the marathon I knew I could do well. I lost weight in Denali.

IC – Yes for sure. You lost weight and your legs seemed smaller. Did it feel unusual to be back in Chamonix feeling like a different person?

KJ – Yes, I had small legs. It is similar to after Alpinism. It’s good for going up but coming down it has its affects.

IC – Denali unlike the Matterhorn was very much about you going and doing it. We haven’t seen the new Summits film yet, so, what did Denali involve?

KJ – It’s Skimo. You go via the plane to Anchorage and then take anther small plane to the glacier. It’s snow all the way. We didn’t take run shoes. We just used skis everyday. We had planned to acclimatize but the weather cleared and I made an attempt on the 6th day. I may have not been adapted but I was still strong. If you stay at altitude you loose strength. I had good conditions for 3-hours but the last uphill section and all the downhill had bad conditions. It was snowing and foggy. I just hoped that I could complete the summit. I added more clothes and pushed on.

IC – How do you prepare for an event like this? Do you do extensive research beforehand on maps? You make it sound casual and matter of fact but I know it’s not.

KJ – You need to be really well prepared. It’s a dangerous mountain. I looked at maps and we planned ahead, not only for the record but other adventures. I made good preparation 2-weeks before. We did 3-days to base camp and did the west ridge and ski down. It was good to see the conditions, find out what the snow was like and see if I could ski fast from the summit. You need to open your mind.

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It was great to have a small team. We were 4-people: Seb Montaz, Jordi Tosas, Vivian Bruchez and me. It’s really quick to change plans and make decisions with a small set up. For example in 5-hours I decided to attempt the record. Everyone was ready; they all knew what they had to do. It was great. Also, the team had projects that each wanted to do. All 4 of us had aspirations to achieve things whilst in Alaska.

IC – That is what is so interesting about what you do. You have very experienced people with you. In particular, Seb, he’s a great mountaineer and cameraman. We often forget he is often doing what you are doing.

KJ – For sure. You either have a small team or a big team with multiple people, helicopters, and many cameramen. The problem is budget! For example, all our team can work independently and they can all film, even myself. I like this process. We all move in the mountain, they are happy alone and that is great. We all captured images of each other. 

IC – That is going to be great to see. You followed Denali with Hardrock 100.

KJ – Three years of waiting!

IC – Yes, you got the confirmation in 2013. We all had expectations and excitement. You were racing really strong competition, Adam Campbell, Joe Grant, Seb Chaigneau, Dakota Jones, Julien Chorier and so on. You had a remarkable day; you smashed the course record. I know from pervious chats that you wasted lots of time. What was the experience like, did it live up to expectations?

KJ – It’s a beautiful race. I have run several 100-mile races and this is the best. The ambiance, the course, the spirit, it was just amazing. I arrived 1-week before and I checked all the last 100km so that I was prepared. I knew I would be in this section at night. I didn’t know the early section; I didn’t check it at all. We all started together; Seb, Adam, Timmy, Dakota and Julien. We had a big group. I felt good from the beginning. Having said that, you always feel good early. It’s just moving. After 4-5 hours I wasn’t pushing but I was pulling away. I thought to myself, maybe I will have a good day but I wanted to be cautious for the latter stages of the race. So, I waited for Julien and then I ran to km 100 with him and then the night started. After this point, I knew the course so I decided to go. It could take 9-hours if I was feeling good. I hadn’t eaten much up to this point so from here I took energy from soup and burritos. It was also really bad weather with rain and storms. I was happy to take a little time in the aid stations.

Kilian ©jordisaragossa

IC – I think you were lucky and got ahead of the worst of the storms. For example Adam Campbell had a crazy time.

KJ – Yes, this is what can happen, Handies Peak is at 4800m and 30km between aid stations, so, you are on your own. If a storm comes they don’t stop the race. You need to know what to do. If you are afraid, you stop and find shelter until the storm passes. Runners need to think and that is a good thing. We all need to think what to carry and what to do.

IC – You had Frosty (Anna Frost) and Ricky Gates as pacers. What point did they pace you?

KJ – Ricky started at 100km for the first part of the night section from Sharman. He ran around 35-40km with me. In the second part it was crazy rain. We were so cold and wet. He stopped. I continued for 10-miles alone and then met Frosty for the last 10-miles.

IC – At any point did you have the course record in mind?

KJ – Yes, you have it in your mind but I don’t race for records. I like racing a great deal. I do lots of races. My priority was to win if possible and I was also thinking of the Dolomites 1-week later…

(Laughter)

KJ – I said okay, I am doing well but don’t try to get tired! I was 20-min ahead of the record and I knew that Kyle Skaggs exploded in the latter stages when he set the record. So, if I kept my pace I knew the record was possible.

IC – As winner, you are the only male with a guaranteed place for next year. Will you be back?

KJ – Yes, for sure as it alternates direction each year.

IC – The two races are different, lets forget next year. Given what you have learnt this year, if you went back in 2-years, with what you now know. Of course weather dependant. Do you think you could make big differences to the time?

KJ – Weather is crucial and of course the feelings. Some days you feel great, like a cloud. You can’t predict these days. I had one of these days at the Matterhorn and certainly Hardrock. For sure I could go faster. I stopped 56-minutes in aid stations.

IC – And you waited for Julien 20-mins? 

KJ – Yes, I think 1-hour quicker is possible should all things align.

IC – You came back from Hardrock and surprisingly raced at Dolomites Skyrace in the VK and SkyRace just days later.

©iancorless.comIMG_6249Canazei2014_kilian

KJ – I was happy about the VK. I was feeling recovered but after 100-miles you need recovery. The VK was super good. I placed 8th which was great. It surprised me that I could push. It motivated me for the Sky race just 2-days later.

IC – Another great victory for you, amazing really!

KJ – Yes. Thanks

©iancorless.comIMG_2670Canazei2014_kilian

IC – Trofeo Kima is just around the corner. It’s arguably one of ‘the’ key Skyraces. Do you have any plans or intentions for Kima?

KJ – It’s difficult to discuss plans. So many variables come into play. For example, I may do some mountaineering this week, which may mean I am tired. I have The Rut and Limone Extreme too this year. After a summer of rain when the sun comes out the snow tempts me, so, I can’t resist despite what races are on my calendar.

IC – I have to say, I was watching your posts about your runs this last week. Dakota and yourself doing big days in the mountains that have lasted 7-hours. With UTMB around the corner, didn’t Dakota make that mistake before?

(Laughter)

KJ – I have often done Mont-Blanc just days before UTMB. It has altitude, great training and it doesn’t take too much energy. Dakota is strong and talented. We did this with 10-days before UTMB. He will be fine. I sometimes think he thinks too much. He needs to just run… it will be interesting to see Tony, Iker, Tofol and all the rest. I think Iker will be good. Luis Alberto he will start strong but can he maintain it? Luis has one pace, hard! Maybe he will start slower. UTMB this year will be a great race.

IC – You have Aconcagua (Summits of my Life) left for this year, December yes?

KJ – Yes, I will start in November to do ski training and then I will go back to running for Aconcagua. I’m excited as it has a high summit of 7000m. It’s not technical but it’s a tough record.

IC – And the record?

KJ – I think there are a couple of records but I don’t know the times. (In 2000 Bruno Brunod, Pelissier and Meraldi climbed from Plaza de Mulas in 3-hours 40-minutes. Carlos Sa did 15:42 from National Park Horcones.)

KJ – I will go from the entrance and I will try to achieve both records. Also, Emelie Forsberg will try a female record too.

IC – Wow, nice! I guess Aconcagua will be more like the Matterhorn?

KJ – No, it’s easier. It’s rocky but not steep. The altitude is the big issue. You can get sick and have problems so the challenge is different.

IC – It doesn’t have the danger of the Matterhorn. Ultimately, you have Everest as the last big objective. Have you thought about this yet?

KJ – It’s completely different, it’s very high, 9000m. It’s very long and this is the biggest problem. It’s to go all this way without oxygen and fast. The route is technical. I will start on the north face to prepare. It’s quiet so I will have no problems with people. I will need to prepare. I will go in spring, autumn and maybe the following spring. As per usual with all mountains, any attempt will be weather dependant. I expect to have several attempts.

IC – If you achieve Everest and complete the Summit series, where do you go next? Your list is ticked off, do you think you will comeback to some races you have done before or do you think you will create a new sport, a combination of all your skill levels?

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

KJ – I have lots of projects. Today I climbed the Matterhorn, I looked around and suddenly projects appear. I think maybe I can go from here to here or in skiing I go down a steep line. It doesn’t need to be the highest or the longest. Nice mountains with not many people. I like this sport because of the beauty. I like aesthetic projects more than numbers. I have so many options to choose from.

IC – Do you think racing will still appeal?

KJ – Yes, I love racing. I love the ambiance. I also like it as training. I push I give it everything and you can’t do this alone, it’s boring. I will race for sure in skiing and maybe run less.

IC – Today I spoke to Marco De Gasperi, I took him back to ‘91’ when he was 16 and the formative days of Skyrunning. His first race!

KJ – Yes, it was Monte Rosa.

IC – Yes, Monte Rosa and he also did the VK. He reminded me of 2007 when you were 20 and you turned up at a race and placed 6th. He said you looked at him as though he was a hero. He now looks at you as the hero.

KJ – No, Marco is the hero.

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IC – 20+ years of Skyrunning. In the last 3-years Skyrunning has become bigger than ever and it continues to grow. Would you like to see the sport progress in anyway?

KJ – Every person is a carabiner. We all pass on and provide energy and it grows. The sport keeps the values of the beginning. However, it’s not just about distance, elevation and athletics. It’s about mountains and alpinism. More people are interested in being in the mountains, it’s not just about technical terrain, and we must look at what is around us too. The sport will grow for sure. We are seeing VK’s grow and longer races. I think in central Europe it will stay as it is but it will develop in other countries, for example the US. It’s important to grow and keep quality; we must keep the spirit.

IC – In ‘89’ when Marino Giacometti ran up Monte Rosa and came back down, it was pure mountain spirit. Up and down as fast as possible. I feel that Skyrunning is starting to go back to where it was 20-years ago. Maybe because we look at sport differently; but also you are providing a great influence. Do you think there is room for another sport outside of VK, Sky and Ultra within Skyrunning, maybe an extreme event?

KJ – Yes. I think an extreme sport would be a great idea. It has been done before as you say. It’s really important though to understand that this is mountaineering fast and not running.

IC – Alpinism without the clutter?

KJ – Yes, it’s not about being strong or fast it’s about how you climb! You need confidence and you need self-awareness. It’s another level. It will come as the sport grows but it is not for all. It’s not about kilometres it’s about mountain experience.

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IC – Kilian, once again thank you so much for your time and the inspiration.

KJ – Thank you for everything.

*****

Article ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Please credit as and when appropriate when sharing

Thanks

I would like to thank Kilian Jornet for his time and generosity.

Marino Giacometti and Lauri Van Houten from the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation)

Salomon Running

Seb Montaz

Jordi Saragossa

And all the wonderful races throughout the world that provides us all the opportunity to live our dreams.

Episode 68 – Campbell, Johnston, Sichel, Navigation 101

Ep68

Episode 68 of Talk Ultra – Adam Campbell talks about Hardrock 100 and that lightning strike. David Johnston discusses 6-days in the Dome. William Sichel tells us what it is like to run 3100-miles in 50-days and in Talk Training we discuss basic navigation. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.

NEWS

6-Days in the Dome

Joe Fejes 580.30 miles new USA record
48-hours Traci Falbo 242.35 miles – new record
24-hour Andrew Snope 136.98 miles

all results here – http://sixdaysinthedome.com/live-results/

INTERVIEW
 
David Johnston

My experiences with running HERE

Leadville 100

Amazing run by Rob Krar @TheNorthFace 2014 Leadville 100 champ in 16:09:30! That is some double, Western States and Leadville. Michael Aish and Ian Sharman placed 2nd/3rd at Leadville 16:38 and 16:41.

Top-3 Ladies at Leadville Emma Roca, Liza Howard and Carrie stafford – 19:38:04, 20:01:13 and 23:56:50

Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

1.Allie McLaughlin 2:33:42
2.Morgan Arritola 2:35:39
3.Shannon Payne 2:40:28

1.Sage Canaday 2:10:03
2.Aerya Weldemariam 2:10:47
3.Andy Wacker 2:11:39

Squamish 50

Great to see Adam Campbell win Squamish 50 in 4:55:08 and Ellie Greenwood taking the ladies (3rd overall too) 5:20:39

INTERVIEW
 
Adam Campbell

North Downs Way 100 Mile

Duncan Oakes 17:04:12
David Ross 17:45:48
Jeremy Isaac 18:01:29
Jenni Ball 21:54:50
Katharine Ganly 25:50:43
Monica Varachova 26:45:25
Berlin 100

Mark Perkins 13:06:52

Full results – HERE

Speedgoat update

768.3 miles in after 18-days. He started July 27th and he is currently running around 43 miles a day. Go Karl!

 
BLOG
 
Acceptance – Hardrock 100 by Timothy Olson – HERE

TALK TRAINING

Navigation 101 with Charlie Sproson from Mountain Run

Related post with images and information – HERE

 
INTERVIEW
 
William Sichel continues to impress with impressive feats. Just a couple of weeks ago, William ran 3100 miles at the Sri Chimnoy. Incredible

Related post here: HERE
 
 
UP & COMING RACES

Australia
Queensland
River Run 100 | 100 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
River Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website

Austria
Linzer Bergmarathon – 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Belgium
Flanders
Oxfam Trailwalker Belgium | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Bulgaria
Orehovo Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Persenk Ultra | 130 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Canada
Alberta
Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
British Columbia
50K Cody Claim Run | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Quebec
Chute du Diable 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Chute du Diable 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

France
Hautes-Pyrénées
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – le Grand Trail | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Isère
L’Echappée Belle – 145 km | 145 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
L’Echappée Belle – 85km | 85 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Loir-et-Cher
100km des Etangs de Sologne | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
50km de la Sologne des Rivières | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Rhône
La Nuit des Carbones – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Savoie
North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc | 166 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website
OCC (Orsières – Champex – Chamonix) | 53 kilometers | August 28, 2014 | website
Petite Trotte à Léon | 300 kilometers | August 25, 2014 | website
Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie | 110 kilometers | August 27, 2014 | website
Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website

Germany
Bavaria
Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 69 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run | 240 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Greece
Meteora 100 Mile | 100 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Meteora 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Meteora 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website

Iceland
Run Iceland Adventure Trail | 110 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

India
Uttarkashi 135 | 135 miles | August 29, 2014 | website

Ireland
Connacht
Achill Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Leinster
Longford Ultra Marathon | 63 kilometers | August 24, 2014 | website
Munster
Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 05, 2014 | website

Italy
Aosta Valley
Courmayeur Champex Chamonix | 98 kilometers | August 29, 2014 | website

Kenya
Amazing Maasai Ultra | 75 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Madagascar
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 | 250 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

Malaysia
Gunung 5 Nuang | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Star Light Ultra Ultimate Challenge | 84 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Netherlands
North Holland
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website
Zomer Editie Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | August 22, 2014 | website

Norway
styrkeprøven True West | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

Réunion
Cimasalazienne | 55 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

Romania
Transylvania Trail Crossing 106K | 106 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
Transylvania Trail Crossing 2-Day Stage Race | 106 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website

South Africa
Peninsula Ultra Fun Run | 80 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Sweden
UltraVasan 90K | 90 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

Switzerland
Zurich
Raidlight Sardona Ultra Trail | 82 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Anglesey
Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | August 29, 2014 | website
Cumbria
Grand Tour of Skiddaw | 44 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Greater London
T184 | 184 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Hertfordshire
Chiltern Way Ultra 100k | 100 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Chiltern Way Ultra 200k | 200 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Challenge | 106 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Isle of Wight Challenge – Half Island | 56 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Kent
Thames Gateway 100 | 103 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Thames Gateway 60 | 60 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Moray
Speyside Way Race | 36 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Wales
Survival Run: The Celts | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
The Celts 50k | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website

USA
Alabama
Coldwater Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Coldwater Mountain 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Alaska
Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay | 175 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
California
Bulldog 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Headwaters Ultra – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Tahoe 200 | 200 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Tamalpa Headlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Colorado
D’Evelyn DASH 2K run/walk and carnival | 2000 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Devil Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Devil Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Ridgway 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Silverton 1000 – 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Silverton Alpine 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Florida
The Pinellas Trail Challenge | 46 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Georgia
Yeti Snakebite 50K | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Yeti Snakebite 50M | 50 miles | August 31, 2014 | website
Idaho
IMTUF 100 | 100 miles | August 29, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
The Rock Run | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Michigan
Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 05, 2014 | website
North Country Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Minnesota
Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Missouri
Go! KT82 Trail Relay | 82 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Montana
Fool’s Gold 50M | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Nevada
Black Rock City 50km | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2014 | website
New York
Green Lakes 100 km Trail Race | 100 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Green Lakes 50 km Trail Race | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Annihilator 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Save the Trails 65K | 65 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Oregon
Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 22, 2014 | website
Pennsylvania
Baker Trail UltraChallenge | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
South Dakota
Lean Horse 50 Km | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2014 | website
Lean Horse Half Hundred | 50 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Lean Horse Hundred | 100 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
Utah
Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
Vermont
Jay Peak 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website
Virginia
Iron Mountain 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 05, 2014 | website
The Ring – Massanutten Trail Circuit Run | 71 miles | August 30, 2014 | website
Washington
Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 23, 2014 | website
PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2014 | website
Wisconsin
Lake Michigan Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | August 31, 2014 | website

CLOSE

 

LINKS

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_68_-_Campbell_Sichel_Johnston_Navigation101.mp3

ITunes HERE

Libsyn – HERE

Website – HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks 2014 – In-depth race preview

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‘Wow, it’s such a beautiful course with the glacier at Gornergrat and then of course the Matterhorn is ever present while we run.’ Emelie Forsberg

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The Matterhorn Ultraks returns, 1-year on and boy does time fly. The Skyrunner® World Series Matterhorn Ultraks is the penultimate race in the SKY series, followed by Limone Extreme, Italy in October. A magical race over 46 km with 
D+ : 3’600 m | D- : 3’600 m. Combining wild open spaces, high mountains and a course that requires climbing ability, speed and technique. The highest point is Gornergrat at 3100m and this ascent will be a test for all. Panoramic views accompany every runner for the duration of the event and the ever-present Matterhorn will dominate.

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Zermatt, the village at the foot of the Matterhorn is located on the Italian border of the Canton of Valais in the west of Switzerland. The Matterhorn is arguably the most photographed mountain in the world. Zermatt epitomizes Switzerland, high alpine, awe-inspiring and original. Almost one-third of the 4,000-metre mountains in the Alps are grouped around this word-famous health resort, which has been visited by mountaineers from all around the world since the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.

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View 2013 race image HERE

Read Kilian Jornet’s Matterhorn Summits interview HERE

RACE PREVIEW

MEN 

Kilian Jornet will be in Zermatt, however, it looks like the Catalan will be in a supporting role for the 2014 edition of the race after a hectic last few weeks and months. Luis Alberto Hernando who placed 2nd last year will also not be taking part as he prepares for UTMB, therefore, this leaves the door well and truly wide open for a new and fresh podium.

Marco, 11th August 2012 in the mountains above Zinal.

Marco, 11th August 2012 in the mountains above Zinal.

Marco De Gasperi needs no introduction. Way back in the day, Marco’s Skyrunning career started in and around the slopes of the Matterhorn. This year Marco has struggled with injury, he keeps telling me, ‘I’m getting old and I get more and more little niggles.’ We all know that when this Italian mountain goat is in form, he is unstoppable. His recent poor race at Sierre-Zinal was due to stomach issues, a problem that can hit any of us at any time. So, if Marco feels good, he is my top tip for the 1st podium place.

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne missed Ultraks last year and I am sure he will be looking to make amends this year. His 2nd place behind Kilian at the Skyrunning World Championships clearly states that Michel is great form. If he carries that form over the Zermatt, I think we can expect to see a place on the podium and if all things align, he may well take the top slot.

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Thorbjorn Ludvigsen has been on a roll lately with a series of performances that have impressed, particularly over the VK distance. His recent run at Sierre-Zinal by his own admission was below par. However, the Ultraks course will suit his strong climbing and fast running.

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Marc Pinsach placed 6th overall at Ultraks last year and not only is he a good friend and sparring partner of Kilian Jornet, he has a similar background, which bodes well for this course.

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Eirik Haugsness had a great race in the 2013 edition of the race and after a strong showing at the Skyrunning World Championships and the Dolomites Skyrace; Eirik will be gunning for top-5 and ideally the podium. It’s within reach!

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Zaid Ait Malek continues to run the Skyrunning circuit with a string of strong performances. A regular top-10, he is currently missing the form or the break that would repeat his 2013 Zegama performance. He has all the ability both as a climber and pure runner. Ultraks may well be his breakthrough race of 2014.

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Aritz Egea an ever present at Zegama-Aizkorri, Dolomites Skyrace and Sierre-Zinal will be looking for another consistent top-10 performance. Aritz complained of not feeling great at the recent Sierre-Zinal and placed just outside the top-20. An unusual blip for the Basque country runner; Ultraks will be a better race, I am sure.

Jordi Bes Ginesta was the winner of the 2013 CCC and placed 11th at Matterhorn Ultraks in 2013. His recent top-10 at Ice Trail Tarentaise, backed up with 17th at Transvulcania must give him a billing as top-10.

Florian Reichert has had a strong year of consistent performances and will be looking to improve on his 66th placing at Ultraks in 2013. That placing is not indicative of Florian’s ability and more importantly his current form.

Nicolas Pianet 13th at Ultraks in 2013 and will be looking to break top-10 this year.

Ones to watch (not in order):

  • Oscar Casal Mir
  • Marc Casal Mir 21st at Transvulcania in 2014 and an ever-present on the Skyrunning circuit.
  • Hassan Ait Chau strong showing at the recent Sierre-Zinal.
  • Dabid Garcia
  • Inaki Uribe-Etxebarria
  • Julien Navarro
  • Ryan Bak 1st place Peterson Ridge Rumble 20m and Horse Butte 10m in 2014. Recent form?
  • Mathieu Martinez 5-top results in 2013 with 2-victories at Le Grand Defi des Voseges and Trail des Marcaires
  • Es Tressider
  • Artem Rostovstev
  • Hector Haines an ever-present top performing Brit. Top-20 would be a great result.
  • Yan Longfei

LADIES

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Emelie Forsberg returns and after missing Sierre-Zinal to race a ‘home’ race, I can’t help but think that she will be super motivated to repeat her race victory form 2013. Last year, although taking a strong 1st place, Emelie complained of feeling tired with heavy legs for the whole race. Most certainly, she will be looking for fresh legs this year and she is going to need them! The competition is fierce.

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Stevie Kremer just recently finally won Sierre-Zinal after 2-years of 2nd places. In addition, this last weekend Stevie placed top-5 at the Pikes Peak ascent. Travel is a big issue for Stevie and one of the important factors is managing the fatigue that comes with it. Ultraks will be no different for the Colorado based lady. No one lady is dominating the Sky distance this year, so although Stevie can certainly win the race, like Emelie, she is going to need her ‘A’ game.

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Elisa Desco has arguably shown incredible consistency in the Skyrunner® World Series this year. Well, that was until she dropped from Sierre-Zinal with stomach issues. Current Skyrunning World Champion, we have seen Elisa go head-to-head with Stevie on many occasions and Ultraks will be no different. It’s going to be one seriously interesting race and it’s difficult to call out a winner.

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Kasie Enman has been on the comeback roll and we were seeing consistently better and better performances and as Kasie settled back into racing and training. Her recent 2nd at Speedgoat 50k was a great performance and a real confidence boost. Although Kasie had a strong run at Sierre-Zinal, I did expect her to contend the podium. However, nothing is guaranteed when you have a busy family life, 2-children and travel thrown into the mix. Now based in Europe for several weeks, Kasie may well be more relaxed, fresher and ready to thrown down the gauntlet at Ultraks. Watch out ladies!

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Maite Maiora produced an incredible performance at the 2014 Transvulcania La Palma placing 2nd and has followed up this form with a string of top-10 performances; a highlight 3rd at Zegama-Aizkorri. A consistent and regular performer on the Skyrunner® World Series, Maite will be in the mix at Ultraks looking to repeat the form from La Palma. Placing 6th at the Skyrunning World Championships against many of the same ladies present in this race, I am sure Maite will be looking to improve and make top-5.

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Stephanie Jiminez like many of the ladies above is a Skyrunning ever-present. Racing over the VK and SKY distances, Ultraks will be at the ‘longer’ end of the distances Stephanie likes to race, so, that will impact on her performance. Having said that, she knows how to run in the mountains and for sure, top-10 is a distinct possibility.

Ones to watch:

  • Leire Agirrezabala
  • Uxoa Irigoien
  • Laia Andreu Trias
  • Anna Comet I Pascua

 

Not running:

  • Kilian Jornet
  • Mike Wolfe
  • Tom Owens
  • Pablo Villa
  • Stephan Wenk

 

Race results from 2013

Men

  1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) – Salomon Santiveri – 4h43’05’’
  2. Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) – adidas – 4h44’47’’
  3. Nicola Golinelli (ITA) – Arc’teryx – 4h45’57’’

Women

  1. Emilie Forsberg (SWE) – Salomon – 5h41’16’’
  2. Silvia Serafini (ITA) Salomon Agisko – 5h44’37’’
  3. Nuria Dominguez (ESP) – Buff- 5h59’19’’

LINKS:

Skyrunning HERE

Matterhorn Ultraks HERE

Race Images 2013 HERE

Superior 100 2014 – The wild is calling!

Superior 100 2

Northern Minnesota is calling me…

In just 4-weeks, I will be heading out to the USA to work on and photograph the Superior 100.

Superior 100 will be my only trip to the US this year and I am really stoked to be part of a race with such an incredible history. To add to the experience, 1992 Superior 100 race winner and US ultra running legend Eric Clifton is coming back to run! Eric has a list of palmares that goes back to ‘89’ when he toed the line Vermont 100 and he only went and won the race in 15:48:59. Since then, Eric has been an ever present on the racing scene and in addition to winning Vermont 100 multiple times he has topped the podium at races such as:

  • JFK 50,
  • Old Dominion 100,
  • Mohican 100,
  • Rocky Racoon 100,
  • Bull Run 50,
  • Umstead 100,
  • Massanuten 100,
  • Crown King Scramble 50,
  • Ice Age Trail 50,
  • Kettle Moraine 100,
  • Badwater 135,
  • Mount Rushmore 100,
  • Heartland 100,
  • San Diego 100,
  • McNaughton Park 100

Eric’s most recent victory came in ‘08’ at Noble Canyon 50km. Just reading Eric’s victory list blows my mind but a take a look here, the list goes on with a plethora of top-10 places and race finishes. A true legend of the sport and I can’t wait to chat and have my horizons opened to a world and a series of races that I have only previously read about!

Superior 100

Founded in ‘91’, Superior 100 is one of the oldest 100-mile trail races in the country. Way back in the day it was one of an elite band of 10-12 100-mile races in the US. Founded by Harry Sloan, the race did have a name change some time back when it was called, Sawtooth 100, however it was changed back to its original name and that has stuck to present day.

Minnesota, the home of the Superior 100 has a long and proud ultra running history and I have to say, this Brit just can’t wait to immerse himself in the experience. Much of my year is now spent working on races all over the world. In just the last couple of years I have seen the calendar explode. To go back to a ‘pure’ race excites me and I have to say, it will be my first real experience of one the corner stones of our sport.

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‘Rugged, Relentless and Remote, Superior 100 is known as one of the toughest 100mile trail races in the world!  Now known as one of the ‘legacy 100-milers’ the race is considered by many to be one of the most challenging, prestigious and beautiful 100-mile trail races in the country. None of the history or tradition of this race has been lost and it is a great event for those looking for a world-class event with a low-key, old school 100 miler feel.  The Superior Trail Race is put on by ultra runners for ultra runners.’

Be honest, how could you not be pulled in by that quote!

A point-to-point ultra marathon that is 100% trail! The race route traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range (hence the old Sawtooth 100 name) on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota.  Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world provides a stunning backdrop to a race that climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests. Crossing countless whitewater rivers and serene streams the 100-mile route meanders through mystic Boreal forests. Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center, MN hosts the start of the race and a welcome finish awaits each and every runner at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN.

I will be heading out to the US on September 2nd and heading back to ‘Blighty’ on September 8th. It’s a whistle stop tour but I plan to immerse myself in the experience, culture and I hope to meet up with so many friends, virtual or real, in and around the trails of the Superior 100.

If you are racing, spectating or crewing, good luck! An awesome experience awaits us all.

Images ©Superior Endurance Runs (Fall Races)

Don’t forget, the race also has the Moose Mountain Marathon and the Superior 50-miler all happening at the same time. (Entrants for all races HERE)

Links:

INFO:

Superior Trail Races 2014
Friday September 5th 2014


100 Mile Starts 8:00 AM
Saturday September 6th 2014

50 Mile Starts 5:30 AM


Marathon Starts 8:00 AM


Registration opens Sat March 15th