Les Templiers race coverage

Coverage for the 2012 ultra Skyrunning Les Templiers starts today with photos, tweets and facebook posts coming live from Millau.

Runners from around the world will arrive, register and prepare for Sunday’s race.

Race day coverage will start at approximately 4am and run all day. You can read a preview of the race HERE.

I will be covering key points of the race as follows:

  • Peyrelau – old village
  • Route Alleyrac – provides a view of Causse Noir it’s a technical spot
  • St Jean des Balmes/ La Rougarie
  • Roquesaltes – a protected sight with a giant stone arch
  • Montmejean – old castle
  • La Roque Ste Margurite – old cobbled streets witht he beginning of an ascent to Larzac
  • Massebiau – old bridge and descent to Larzac
  • La Pouncho D’ Agast – a highpoint view of Millau
  • La Grotte Du Hibou – the owls cave
  • Finish – Millau

Photographs will be tweeted live and uploaded to facebook as and when possible and images will be uploaded to my blog with a report and summary the evening after the race.

Please spread the word and encourage following the race. This is the final of the ultra World series. Kilian Jornet will be crowned champion but the ladies race is open… it’s going to be an exciting race!

A race preview from Skyrunning is available below:

Les Templiers pre-dawn start. ©Festival des Templiers

The final of the Skyrunner® Ultra Series raises the curtains on the 72 k Course des Templiers in Millau, France on October 28 with a larger-than-life start-line that has become the hallmark of skyrunning events.

Sunday’s race will pit the world’s top runners against each other and particularly the women’s field is set for battle with stars like Anna Frost, Nuria Picasand Emelie Forsberg competing for the Ultra Champion title.  Maud Gobert, last year’s winner, will not only have to deal with the top three ranked runners but will face heavy-duty competition from Lizzy Hawker, Silvia Serafini and Francesca Canepa.  The men’s title has, to all effects, already gone to Kilian Jornet who boasts 300 points – unattainable even if Andy Symonds wins.

Andy Symonds is of course a firm favourite for a repeat performance and other British runners feature strongly as podium contenders: Tom Owens, ranked 3rd in the recent World Series final in Malaysia, will no doubt excel, while Terry Conway, forced to retire at the Ultra Cavalls del Vent, is ready for another shot at a big international event.

©Festival des Templiers

Spain’s Miguel Heras who, like Conway, was a victim to the weather at the last event, is a consistent top performer. Of the French runners competing in the Ultra Series, Francois d’Haene, fourth at Transvulcania and 6th here last year is joined by Greg Vollet, while sadly Thomas Lorblanchet, second last year, and three-times race winner, is injured.

The end of the long racing season is taking its toll and counts several other notable absentees which include American Dakota Jones, Germany’s Philipp Reiter and Italy’s Giuliano Cavallo.  (See Ultra Series ranking)

Look out for Stephanie Jimenez (France) and Fulvio Dapit (Italy), a husband-and-wife team but respectively Salomon and La Sportiva on the racing scene. Both are recent Ultra “converts” who are expected to perform well in this incredibly deep field which also includes past race winner, Nepal’sDawa Sherpa, together with a long list of first-rate French runners.

With such a dazzling line-up let’s not forget all the 2,500 competitors who will face a total 3,200 metres of ascent and ascent along 73 kilometres together with a forecast of… zero temperatures.  The steep rocky course along the secret paths of the Templars promises to close the season in the best possible way where everything can only be described as “ultra”.

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