Statement from ISF re Speedgoat 50k

Marino Giacometti, ISF President, in reply to the Speedgoat issue comments:

“It’s taken a while for us to get all the feedback together but here goes:

The ISF board  conferred with the new Athletes Commission, ATRA and the organiser, Karl Meltzer and we came to the following decision:

Everyone concurs that runners must stay on the course.  However, as things stand only guidelines exist in America.  In this case there was no written regulation at Speedgoat – something Karl says he will include in the future.

On Kilian’s own admission he cut the course and ran by skyrunning rules.  It seems that possibly some of the other runners did the same.

As a race on the World Series calendar, ISF rules state that organisers’ rules must be adhered to and in the case of a dispute ISF rules will prevail.

We respect the organiser’s difficult decision and will apply a 3 minute penalty* to Kilian which means he maintains first place in the race and consequently 100 points for the Ultra Series ranking. *Penalty (6.15 COMPETITOR’S RACE CONDUCT – a) Competitors must follow the course markings on sight, go through all the checkpoints…..) and (6.16.1 A penalty from three minutes to disqualification will be applied for: c) Not following the race course signage, voluntarily or otherwise…

We believe that it’s correct to assign the record to the second runner  (Rickey) who ran the designated course.  Whether Kilian gets the prize or not is exclusively up to the organiser and we already know that decision.

I’d like to add that the majority of skyrunning races worldwide (not just in Europe) take place in parks or protected areas and generally are capped for this reason – as well as for safety reasons of course.   (The ISF rules (4.22)  and (3.13) address  these environmental issues).

Regarding the Pikes Peak precedent in 2004, the situation was different.  The rules there state clearly no switchback cutting.  The winner, Agustì Roc, was disqualified and given a 20 minute penalty which meant he dropped some places and received the relevant points for his final position.

Everyone we consulted agreed that there’s a need in the future for race organizers to publish clear, simple and written regulations and, with the new Athletes Commission, we’ll be reviewing ours as well!! A pre-race briefing should also be held to illustrate the regulations and the course to all the competitors.  We’re actually working on standardizing this for all organizers, so it should be easier for everyone all round.  Certainly it’s not easy to find a compromise but “rules are rules” and, as Anna Frost says “let’s keep it simple”!


Speedgoat 50K & Giir di Mont

Two great races – many great champions. Winners at Saturday’s Speedgoat 50k , the second World Series Ultra, were Kilian Jornet and Anna Frost.  Jornet finished in 5h14’10” breaking the course record.  Rickey Gates was a close second in 5h18’27”  followed by Max King (5h23’10”) and Anton Krupicka (5h23’36”) 4th in a great come-back after his long lay-off. You can read my pre-race predictions here

The result was not without controversy however as Jornet was declared winner but his record and prize-money withheld for ‘cutting switchbacks….. I will be interviewing Speedgoat Karl for a ‘Meltzer Moment’ on episode 15 of Talk Ultra so make sure you tune into the show to hear what he has to say.

Anna Frost, despite worries of not being on top form, led the race from start to finish. Kerrie Bruxvoort was second while local runners Sarah Evans and Emily Sullivan where third and fourth, respectively.

Back in Europe at Italy’s Giir di Mont, predictions aside, no-one was ready for American Kasie Enman’s triumphant win and record together with Tofol Castanyer’s great come-back in a stacked men’s field.  Brit Tom Owen’s was second and Luis Alberto Hernando, third.

The men’s field was an exciting match with Rumenian Ionut Zinca leading strongly in the first part of the race, before ceding to pressure on the final ascent from Hernando, with Castanyer and Owens alternating the lead. Owens was hampered on the final downhill due to severe blisters from last week’s Dolomites SkyRace® but managed a heroic second position.

In the women’s field it was Enman’s race from start to finish, breaking the course record and closing 14 minutes ahead of her competitors.  Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg kept a steady second place throughout most of the race, to be overtaken by Silvia Serafini – Italy’s new skyrunning hope.  No doubt last week’s superb record at the Dolomites SkyRace® took its toll on Forsberg who slipped down to fifth position. Oihana Kortazar finished third, not on her best form and Blanca Maria Serrano, fourth.

After the weekend’s races, the Skyrunner® World Series ranking is lead by Luis Alberto Hernando, Kilian Jornet and Tom Owens and Emelie Forsberg, Blanca Maria Serrano and Kasie Enman.

On August 9th I will be heading out to Switzerland to report live and record some interviews at the next World Series’ race on August 12 with another star-studded line-up at the Course de Sierre Zinal in Switzerland.

Follow us on twitter and Facebook for latest updates.

Skyrunner® World Series ranking

New Horizons for the ISF

Another important step marks the rapidly changing face of skyrunning as the ISF takes on the 100-mile distance.

The rule was approved at the ISF AnnualGeneral Assembly which took place in Spain on July 6 during the SkyGames®.   Members representing the 22 countries in person or by proxy attended the meeting, chaired by President, Marino Giacometti.

The new Secretary General was elected in the form of skyrunner Nina Dacanay from the Philippines who no doubt will bring, among her many qualities, competence and efficiency together with a strong passion for promoting the sport.

New blood on the Management Committee includes Evgeny Kolchanov (Russia), Ian Sharman (Great Britain) and Fabio Menino (Italy) – all three runners.   In fact, key runners were elected to stand on the Athletes’ Commission, namely Anna Frost (NZL) Joe Grant (USA) together with Fabio Menino and Ian Sharman.   Their input will be invaluable in the development and strategy of the sport and to represent a voice for runners everywhere.

The athlete has always represented the number one focus for the skyrunning management and, at the beginning of the season, a seminar was held on the island of La Palma, Spain, with a view to gaining insight from the sport’s principal players – what runners really want and how they would like to see the sport develop.  “Less Cloud. More Sky” was the title, emblematic of the new horizons skyrunning aims to explore.

Running legends representing different disciplines, countries and brands attended the three-day seminar from May 14 – 16, together with a number of the most representative media outlets from four continents.

Representing the ISF were president Marino Giacometti and VPs Lauri van Houten and Dr Sergio Giulio Roi.  The superstar athletes attending were: KilianJornet, Iker Karrera, Anna Frost, Seb Chaigneau, Maud Gobert, Francois d’Haene, Thomas Lorblanchet, Florent Troillet, Gustavo Reyes, Csaba Nemeth, GiulianoCavallo and Americans Anton Krupicka, Mike Wolfe, Geoff Roes, Joe Grant, Ian Sharman, Nick Clark, Nikki Kimball, Transvulcania winner Dakota Jones and World Mountain Running champions Max King and Marco De Gasperi…..

For a new generation of runners the skyrunning past, illustrated with slides and videos, was an eye-opener. The topics examined included:  the social media phenomenon, sponsorships and the industry – how these relate to the runners – and back to the industry; why a federation was created; how it interacts with the athletes; and the federation’s spirit and values.

The feedback from runners has proven invaluable in indicating the way forward and, just two months later, in giving runners a place and a voice on the Federation’s Management Committee and Athletes’ Commission.

Thanks to the success of “Less Cloud. More Sky” another seminar is programmed for 2013.

Episode 14 – Hal Koerner


Episode 14 of Talk Ultra is now available and I interview a legend of the sport. Hal Koerner has been running ultras since 1999 and has a list of results second to none.

He recently won Hardrock 100 making him one of only two runners (Scott Jurek the other) to have done the Western States and Hardrock double.

On the show we discuss Hardrock and take a look back over his stunning career.

Hal is owner of Rogue Valley Runners

The show is available on iTunes, Libsyn and talk

Taking a break S2 E05

Gathered for Kilian’s Classik in the Pyrenees, the team takes time out together on Kilian’s home turf. They run and they have fun! What if that’s their secret…?

Once again another great Salomon Running video filmed by The African Attachment.

If you ever wonder why you run or wonder why you perform well, surely the secret must be because you love what you do. This movie for me sums up that enjoyment, the pleasure of running and enjoying the trails with like minded people.

Dolomites Sky Race

Records fall at the 2012 Dolomites Skyrace with Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg taking the respective wins in the male and female races. The Dolomites Skyrace is part of the ISF Skyrunning World Series.

The mens race:

photo by Skialper

Kilian Jornet ran 2:01:52 beating the previous course record by nearly 3 minutes. In second place some 4:39 in arrears was Alin Ionut Zinca with a finish time of 2:06:31 and third place went to Mitjia Coseweli in 2:06:58.

Brit Tom Owens finished 7th in 2:09:45

The ladies race:

To confirm the dominance of Salomon Running (they took the top three places), Emelie Forsberg ran a superb race to not only take the win but set a female course record in 2:26:00 on the dot, over 4 mins quicker than Antonella Confortola who set the record of 2:30:09 in 2008. Second place behind Emelie was Kasie Enman in 2:28:09 and in third was Mireia Miro in 2:30:08.

Previous records:

  • Mens record set in 2007 by Mitja Kosovelj 2:04:53
  • Womens Record set in 2008 by Antonella Confortola 2:30:09

The Route

The race is 22 km long (10 km uphill, 12 km downhill), the path changes from earth to gravel. The race begins and ends in Piazza Marconi, Canazei m. 1450, the maximum height of Piz Boo is 3.152 m., the uphill altitude is 1.750 m. The course is marked with flags. Refreshments are available at Passo Pordoi (2.239), Pordoi saddle (2.829 m.), Boè (2.871 m.), Pian Schiavaneis. Runners must reach Passo Pordoi in 1 hour and 5 minutes and Forcella Pordoi in 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Race Link:  DOLOMITES SKYRACE® – Canazei, Trento – July 2

Speedgoat 50k 2012 – Ultra Skymarathon Series

Start training now….. cuz’ it’s gonna hurt!

What else would you expect from Speedgoat Karl Meltzer. In 1989, Karl moved to Utah and in his own words became a ‘ski bum’. But in 1990 he started to run and in 1996 he became an ultra runner. To date he has 55 race wins, 47 of them in ultras. He has won Hardrock 100 5 times, Wasatch 100 6 times, Massannutten 100 3 times and in addition to this he has run the Appalachian Trail, 2176 miles in 54 days, 21 hrs and 12 min and recently, in 2010, he did the Red Bull Human Express running from CA to St Joseph, MO a distance of 2064 miles in 40 days. So, he likes races that are tough, long or a combination of both.

Speedgoat 50k is no different. What it lacks in distance it makes up for in severity and vertical gain.

This race consists of 11,420′ of total climbing. With the whole race taking place above 7600′, with the majority above 9200′. Karl is proud when he says:

“it is the most technical race east and west of Snowbird Ski Resort.”

Rocky, Rooty, snowy, very steep hills, even steeper descents all over nasty, wet rocky terrain. If you like a fast 50k, this race is NOT for you. Needless to say, there is nothing easy about it. If you enjoy tough races, this race is for you.

photo by Jared Campbell

The 2012 edition of the Speedgoat 50k is now part of the new Skyrunning Ultra Skymarathon Series. The first race in the series was the 80km Transvulcania La Palma in the Canaries, won by Dakota Jones in the mens race and Anna Frost in the ladies race.

Ultra SkyMarathon® Series

USA:  Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY:  Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN:  Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE:  La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

Race Director – Speedgoat Karl Meltzer

The addition of Skyrunning to the Speedgoat 50K means that it’s profile for this year will be greatly increased. When I spoke to Karl, his excitement was palatable:

“I’m stoked, the race is gonna be sick. We have a stacked field and in the mens race it is almost impossible to predict who will triumph the field it is so competitive. Anton Krupicka is using this race as his ‘comeback’ after a long lay off, last years winner Nick Clark will toe the line and from Europe we have Thomas Lorblanchet from France, young star Philipp Reiter and of course the ‘king’ himself, Kilian Jornet from Spain. In the ladies race we have a great field but it’s less deep than the mens and providing that Frosty (Anna Frost) is fit and well she is the out and out favourite but Nikki Kimball will be hot on her heels”

Karl also added;

“This year we are proud to announce a $10,000 prize purse, with a few extra $1000 for incentive bonuses on the mountain. Top 3 runners will recieve the cash awards.”

So as Karl has pointed out this is a stacked field. But who will win the race and can the course record of 5:43:20 set by Kevin Shilling set in 2010 be taken down… certainly one would think that if the record is going to fall, this may very well be the year!

Predictions MEN:

Anton Krupicka has been racking up his training and made the decision not to race at Hardock and make sure that his recovery from injury was more controlled. Speedgoat 50k is his first race in 18 months and one has to assume that if he is turning up, he is turning up to race!

Anton Krupicka

Kilian Jornet missed Western States after a tragedy during one of his ‘Summits‘ attempts but returned to racing form with a Vertical K win at Mont Blanc and then a win in the Mont Blanc Marathon. He was then in Spain for the Kilian Classic and then this coming weekend, 20-22nd July he will be racing in Italy at the Skyrunning Dolomites race. The Speedgoat will certainly suit Kilian.

Kilian Jornet

Nick Clark had seemed a little despondent with his racing form in early 2012. He had expressed to me on several occasions that he just wan’t ‘firing’ on all cylinders. Particularly his race in Zegama made him re think. But re think he did and once again turned up at Western States and came away with a podium place. Nick has won the Speedgoat before and holds the third fastest time on the course at 5:46:38. You can never rule Nick out.

Nick Clark

Max King is not an ultra runner as such but he is a mountain runner and on paper is the fastest marathon runner at the race. Max also had a disappointing race at Zegama but the 50k distance and this course may very well play into his hands.

Max King

Joe Grant has previously run the Speedgoat race and holds one of the fastest top 10 times with 6:12:15 (almost half an hour slower than Nick) but in 2012 he has increased strength and has excellent form. However, Speedgoat falls just 2 weeks after Hardrock 100 and after a superb 2nd place at that super tough 100 miler one has to ask if Joe will have recovered to be able to ‘race’ at Speedgoat.

Jason Loutitt is a top mountain runner and has placed 2nd at the IAU Ultra Trail Championships, has won Hurt 100 and is quick over the marathon distance. All these elements make him a real contender for the Speedgoat title.

We said this field was stacked and from Europe we have Thomas Lorblanchet and Philipp Reiter, both of these runners raced at Transvulcania La Palma and placed well. Philipp in particular has won several races and most recently was victorious at the Salomon 4 Trails. The fifth fastest time ever recorded at Speedgoat was set by Erik Storheim with 6:08:42 in 2009 he has race experience and along with Nick Pedatella they may prove to be the dark horse outsiders.

Predictions LADIES:

Anna Frost is the out and out favourite after a stunning run at the Transvulcania La Palma, she not only obliterated the ladies record but made big inroads to the overall results and nearly creep into the top 10 overall. However, she has recently posted on her blog “Currently placing a question mark over this race with fatigued legs still keeping my two feet on the ground.” so we are unsure if she will race…

Frosty – Anna Frost

Nikki Kimball is back on form! No doubt. She showed some real emotion on the finish line of the Transvulcania La Palma with a stunning 3rd place and then pre Zegama with tired legs I asked her how she intended to race “I’m gonna kick ass!” and she did placing in the top 10. Her most recent top 5 at Western States in 18:31 is a further indication that she will be turning up at Speedgoat to run and race hard.

Nikki Kimball

Meghan Arbogast is fast! Certainly she is more suited to the flatter, fast courses and she excels on the road. She placed 10th lady at Western States in 19:45. Meghan will be up at the front of the ladies race and the shorter distance may well play into her speed hands!

A fight for the podium may very well come from Julie Bryan who has had two wins in 2012, admittedly over shorter terrain and more notably Kerrie Bruxvoort who has won 3 50k races; Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, Greenland Trail and Mesquite Canyon. My outsider would be Bethany Lewis.


photo by Jared Campbell

You can hear pre race chat and post race chat with race director, Karl Meltzer in a Meltzer Moment on Talk Ultra. Episode 14 will be released on Friday July 27th with pre race chat and episode 15 released on Friday August 10th will have analysis, results and hopefully some interviews from the race. Shows are available on iTunes and Libsyn

Race Website HERE

Skyrunning (ISF) HERE

Collective Dreams – Ryan Sandes

The fellas at The African Attachment have once again come up with some video gold for Salomon Running.

This time it features Ryan Sandes at Western States Endurance Run 100 miler.

As you know, Ryan set a super fast time and placed 2nd overall behind Timothy Allan Olson.

Great run Ryan!

ULTRArunning Magazine – Transvulcania

Really pleased today to finally get some proofs from ULTRARUNNING magazine on my article on the Transvulcania La Palma which I attended earlier this year as part of Skyrunning’s new ultra series of races.

Ultra SkyMarathon® Series

USA:  Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY:  Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN:  Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE:  La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

This article is in the July issue. You may download the article HERE

Please go to the website to view and subscribe to the magazine HERE

Badwater 135

Monday 16th July and once again runners will be lining up to face the heat of Death Valley.

2012 for me is an interesting year for the race, we are seeing the old guard toe the line: Marshall Ullrich (aged 61), Pam Reed (aged 51) and Dean Karnazes (aged 49)  all notable starters. Oswaldo Lopez (aged 40) will be hoping to cross the line in first place but the person to watch will be 100 mile man of the moment, Mike Morton (aged 40).

He has a reputation at the moment of not only winning all the ‘100’s’ he enters but also winning them quickly. Typically around the 13 hour mark!

Until Timmy Olson came along and smashed all Western States records into oblivion, Mike Morton’s previous record at WS set in 1997 was considered to be the ‘best’ Western States time even though Geoff Roes set a faster time.

You may or may not know that Mike Morton disappeared from the running scene for years, 14 to be exact. Problems with injury, a re focus on life priorities and ‘911’ all had a major impacts on his decisions. Talk Ultra caught up with Mike Morton in episode 7 and you may like to listen HERE or on iTunes

Needless to say, Mike Morton toeing the line at Badwater is an exciting prospect. I for one am really eager to see how he tackles this race. Will he respect the heat and the distance or will he run in his ‘unique’ way, running hard and hoping to survive?

I can’t help but think it will be a combination of the two – a respect for what is without doubt a tough and incredible challenge but I also think that he will push himself as hard as he possibly thinks he can in the hope that he not only wins the race but wins it in a time that sets a new benchmark.

It would be rude not to conclude this preview of Badwater without mentioning Arthur Webb – we had Arthur on Talk Ultra episode 10 as a ’15 min of Fame’ when we interviewed Scott Jurek – Arthur is heading out to Badwater, once again to hopefully complete the race for the 15th time! Yes, the 15th time aged 70 years – incredible. I wish you all the very best Arthur!

You can read up on Badwater HERE

They will have a webcast that you can follow HERE and results will be available HERE