Ben Abdelnoor smashes Lakeland 50


Ben Abdelnoor obliterated the course record to win the Lakeland 50-mile ultra race over some of the UK’s toughest trails. His winning time of 7:39:26 was over 40 minutes quicker than anyone else on the day.

Ben wore our lightweight, super-gripping Roclite shoes. He also used our Race Ultra Vest, which is part of our exciting new pack range for spring/summer 2014.

Here the 33-year-old reflects on one of the biggest wins of his career.

The Lakeland 100 is a race that has caught my imagination in a way no other race has, or probably ever will.

In each of the previous three years I’d supported the event as it passed through my hometown of Ambleside – it actually passes my front door!

In 2010, I cheered on my girlfriend in the 100-mile event. She passed through Ambleside late at night in the cold and rain, struggling and in pain, but determined to finish. I remember being quite emotional at the time.

I’d then proudly watched her finish in Coniston to take the victory after a tortuous 32 hours of running.

That same day I’d witnessed an incredible neck-and-neck battle between the awesomely talented pair of Andrew James and Jon Morgan in the Lakeland 50-mile event.

James had eventually won by a few minutes, setting a new course record of 7 hours 47 minutes in the process.

This year I took the plunge and entered the 50-mile race – which has 3,100m of ascent – making it my big target for the season.

With that in mind – together with inov-8 team-mate Paul Tierney – I won the 37-mile Old County Tops mountain race earlier this year, taking 7 hours to cover the course. I also won the recent 21-mile Wasdale race over England’s highest mountains.

Confident I had a 50-miler in my legs, my next job was to work out what pace to run at. Using the splits from Andrew James’ 2010 victory, I paced the legs from Pooley Bridge to Ambleside, and from Ambleside to Coniston.

My training consisted of long runs (2-3 hours), as well as some longer fell races (20-plus miles).

Mentally I prepared by poring over the map and memorising the route. Every climb, every twist of the path and every bit of terrain – I scrutinised them all.

I use mentally imagery a lot to help me prepare for races, and again before the Lakeland 50 I pictured myself running strong and committed throughout the course of the race. This helped build my confidence and self-belief.

Toeing the startline, I knew Marcus Scotney was the favourite to win, and with good reason. He’d won a hilly Windermere Marathon in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes, and came within 30 seconds of the course record in the Coniston Trail Marathon.

So when Marcus flew off from the start and disappeared across the fields, I tried not to panic.

By the first checkpoint at Howtown there was three of us were following Marcus, not that we could see him!

Next came a sweltering traverse along Haweswater reservoir, before we dropped into checkpoint two at Mardale.

We then hit the stiff climb up over Gatesgarth Pass, and soon I was on my own, in sole pursuit of the leader.

I say on my own, but actually I had many Lakeland 100 runners for company. They had set off the previous evening on the longer course. Without them I think I would have struggled. I don’t think it was any coincidence that my two low points in the race were the times when I had no 100-mile runners to aim for up ahead and no-one to offer, or receive, encouragement to or from.

By the time I arrived in Kentmere I’d been running for over four hours, but was still relishing the thought of every ascents.

I was finding the flat sections a bit of a struggle though, dropping to what felt like a rather slow pace a little too easily.

I was, however, buoyed when I spotted Marcus up ahead. I had hoped I’d been gaining on him but couldn’t be sure – one person I passed reckoned he was 19 minutes ahead!

I finally caught Marcus near the top of Garburn Pass. We exchanged a quick word and then I focused my mind on the long descent into Troutbeck, determined to try and open up a lead on my rival.

After Troutbeck came Ambleside, and very familiar territory! I have to admit to choking back a tear upon seeing so many friends and supporters cheering me as I headed into the checkpoint there.

I received even more encouragement in the news that Marcus was dropping out and that there was therefore a 15-minute gap back to the new second-placed runner.

Heading over the bridge in the park at Ambleside there was encouragement from my flatmate in the form of a banner marked with two arrows – the right-pointing arrow, indicating the race route over Loughrigg, was marked ‘victory’ whilst the left-pointing arrow, towards our house, read ‘cake’!

In need of further encouragement I put my earphones in and tuned in to some music. I wanted something to further fire me up. Slipknot, System of a Down, Marilyn Manson, Korn; these are my guilty pleasures. They all gave me increased drive!

Ben testing exciting new inov-8 product, including the Race Ultra Vest, in the Alps. Photo by

Ben testing exciting new inov-8 product, including the Race Ultra Vest, in the Alps. Photo by

From Ambleside it felt a long couple of hours, and a long way up the Great Langdale valley to the checkpoint at Chapel Stile.

There was little by way of incident, except for what I called ‘the man in black’. Up until seeing him I’d been fairly confident that the 15-minute lead I was told I had at Ambleside was only growing, given that I was hitting my split times.

As I skirted Blea Tarn I overtook a female 100-mile competitor, the first runner in either event I’d seen for well over an hour. A little while later I looked back to see the same lady making her way along the path, closely followed by a runner dressed in black, and shifting very quickly.

It was unlikely a 100-mile competitor would have suddenly picked up such pace, so it could only be a 50-mile competitor running a well-paced race with a strong second half.

I couldn’t believe it. How could this happen? Suddenly my vision of a glorious run into Coniston was turned on its head. I was going to have to run for my life thinking I was being chased. (I realise it could have been someone just out running, but for anyone who knows that area, it’s not a common path to take whilst out on a run).

Not until I hit the Coniston Coppermines track and headed down the final mile of road into Coniston was I sure I’d done it.

To run along the main street and receive so much support from folk sitting outside the pubs, cheering and applauding, was just about the greatest welcome I’ve ever received in a race.

I crossed the finish line in a time of 7:39:26, breaking the course record by eight minutes.

As for the ‘man in black’, I did in fact, have a 40-minute cushion at the end over the second-placed runner. The female 100-mile competitor had run from Ambleside to Coniston completely alone. So I guess it must have just been someone out for a run…

I wore my inov-8 Roclite 285 shoes (the new model of which is the Roclite 243). An excellent lightweight trail shoe, they ensured me a solid grip over rock and grass as well as plenty of cushioning over rough ground. I had no blisters, rubbing or sore spots on my feet after 50 miles of competition.

I also used the inov-8 Race Ultra Vest (available spring/summer 2014). This is, without doubt, the most comfortable pack I’ve worn whilst running. Multiple straps on the back of the vest and across the chest allow for an exact fitting. I stuffed gels into the stretchable, easy-access pockets and fitted a wide-neck 500ml drinks bottle into a hip-pocket.

Although I carried more, I consumed only four energy gels, mostly early in the race when I could still stomach them.

At some of the checkpoints I picked up a biscuit or two. Twice I tried to eat a cheese sandwich, but was unable to do so.

Fluid intake, however, was a different matter. I filled up my 500ml bottle with water, or a cola-water mix, at every checkpoint. I carried a small plastic food bag to scoop up beck water either to drink, or to cool me down by pouring it over my head, chest and neck. I’d estimate I drank around 4 litres of fluids during the race.

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Trans D’Havet – RACE SUMMARY

Trans D’Havet was the concluding race in the ISF European Skyrunning Championships. Following on from the VK and SKY race in Canazei last weekend, the 80km Trans D’Havet was always going to be a test of many aspects of human will and the power to dig deep and find something from within. However, little did we know how deep some people are able to go?


Runners assembled in Piovene Roccchette for the 0100am start. It was quite a site, local revelers were dancing and drinking while around them, lycra clad runners milled around waiting for the off. The arrival of Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Nuria Picas, Emelie Forsberg and Philipp Reiter created some additional buzz as locals and participants in the race looked for a photo opportunity or an autograph.

With five minutes to go, it was already 27 degrees, it was going to be a very hot race! Missing from the start line was Luis Alberto; he had unfortunately received some devastating personal news. After some contemplation, he decided to run. Goodness knows what he felt like. Of course we can only guess and this is not the place to pursue that thought. With his decision to race confirmed, on the stroke of one, the masses disappeared into the dark.


The route is a spectacular one, which winds through the Piccole Dolomiti between the Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige on the Pasubio and Carega group. These mountains are the setting for some of the bloodiest battles in the First World War. Starting with 1000m altitude to Mount Summano the course goes up and down taking in, Forte Rione on Monte Novegno, Monte Alba and Passo Xomo. Taking in fifty-two tunnels that have total distance of some 6km the course offer much variety. With over halfway completed, runners pass Monte Cornetto and then the final big climb to the highest point of the course at 2238m, leaving the Passo Campogrosso runners climb to the Faccaroli refuge. From here the course looks to be downhill but 12km of ups and downs await before the finish line in Valdagno.


Luis Alberto and Kilian Jornet started together and finished together. Matching each other over every meter of the 80km course, it would maybe appear that a decision was made to race the rest of the field but not each other. They had occasional time gaps but that was more due to natural breaks and feed stations. Ultimately, the decision to cross the line together was the correct one, the statement made in the finishing straight said far more that any one individual victory. Today was ’really’ about trail and Skyrunning. Kilian has a photo book titled, ‘Trail running for me is not about running’ and today both he and Luis proved it. It was an honor to witness that moment.



Csaba Nemeth from Hungry was doing a great job in the European Championships and his efforts paid off, his consistent pace and strong climbing in the growing daily temperatures secured him a third place. Podium prospect Philipp Reiter unfortunately had to pull out of the race after falling and damaging his knee.

©copyright ladies race was always going to come down to a battle between Nuria Picas and Emelie Forsberg. Emelie has had a stunning 2013 and her calendar of late has seen her race multiple times and place 2nd at Mont Blanc Marathon, 1st at Ice Trail Tarentaise, 2nd at Dolomites VK, 1st at Dolomites Skyrace and then of course she was coming to Italy to tackle 80km’s with over 5000m+ of vertical gain and ascent against a fresh Nuria.


Emelie had a small gap in the early stages but as per usual, both Emelie and Nuria ran together again, on the final big climb from Campogrosso, Emelie had a two-minute lead and then extended that, continually pulling away. With the throttle open, the gap extended and she scored a convincing victory. Equally impressive, once again she placed 10th overall.

©copyright Nuria arrived in Valdagno and looked to be a spent force. The temperatures were now around the mid 30’s and the combination of heat and pace had cooked her. She said after the race. ‘The miles just didn’t tick past today. I had to push for everyone and it was a tough day’.


©copyright third podium spot actually turned out to be an exciting battle. Taken by Uxue Fraile, less than a minute after Nuria, this confirmed the stranglehold by Spain both in the men’s and ladies events over the ultra distance.


The ISF Skyrunning European Championships have been a great success. We have seen some incredible racing over VK, Sky and Ultra and the locations, terrain and temperatures have been varied; what more could you want!

Full results and classifications of how the European rankings stand will be posted later today.



  1. Kilian Jornet (Spain) 08:59:47
  2. Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain) 08:59:49
  3. Casaba Nemeth (Hungary) 09:43:25


  1. Emelie Forsberg (Sweden) 10:21:32
  2. Nuria Picas (Spain) 10:33:34
  3. Uxue Fraile (Spain) 10:34:20


Skyrunning HERE

Trans D’Havet HERE


Trans D’Havet – location hunting


Less than 12 hours to go to the start of the 2013 ISF Skyrunning Trans D’Havet, 80km race.

Campogroso at 48km and then the final big climb of the day has some stunning vistas and landscape. Due to the 0100 start, this area will see the front runners climb up the mountain with sunrise. I’m hoping to get some great images!

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Facebook HERE

Twitter HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Episode 40 – De Gasperi, Jornet, Air, Forsberg


This is episode 40 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we have audio from Marco De Gasperi on the finish line at the Dolomites Skyrace. We have a chat with Kilian Jornet. We introduce a new regular addition to the show called ‘smilesandmiles’ with Emelie Forsberg. We have an interview with Brit, Stuart Air about his 13th placing at Ronda dels Cims and for one show only, Philipp Reiter is my co host!

00:13:20 NEWS

Hardrock 100

  1. Sebastien Chaigneau – 24:25:50 (counterclockwise course record; old record, Karl Meltzer 24:38, 2009)
  2. Troy Howard – 25:20:09
  3. Scott Jaime – 26:38:43
  1. 1.     Darcy Africa – 29:54:55
  2. 2.     Darla Askew  – 31:09:52
  3. Betsy Nye – 36:46:42

Eiger Trail

  1. Iker Karrera 11:38
  2. Urs Jenzer 12:28
  3. Konrad von Allmen 13:13
  1. Francesca Canepa 16:18
  2. KathrinZbinden 17:06
  3. Helene Ogi 17:33

Dolomites VK

  1. Kilian Jornet 32:43 – SPA – * new course record
  2. Urban Zemmer 32:50 – ITA
  3. Philip Gotsch 32:54 – IT 
  1. Antonella Confortola 41:02 – ITA
  2. Emelie Forsberg 43:01 – SWE
  3. Iva Milesova 43:09 – CZE

Dolomites Sky







00:28:31 – MARCO De GASPERI AUDIO from the Dolomites HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise

  1. 1.    Kilian Jornet (Salomon) 07:35:32 new course record
  2. 2.    Francois D’Haene (Salomon) 07:40:13
  3. 3.    Philipp Reiter (Salomon) 08:12:38


  1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) 09:11:11 new course record (and 10th overall)
  2. Christel Dewalle (Terre de Running) 10:08:58
  3. Francesca Canepa (Team Montura/Vibram) 10:31:59

Badwater 135

  1. Carlos Sa 24:38
  2. Grant Maughan 24:53
  3. Oswaldo Lopez 25:27
  1. Catherine Todd 29:55
  2. Pam Reed 30:39
  3. Meredith Dolhare 32:52

Vermont 100 (Grand Slam)

  1. Jason Lantz 15:23
  2. Chad Ricklefs 15:26
  3. Nick Clark 15:54
  4. Ian Sharman 15:57 *
  1. Larisa Dannis 18:38
  2. Traci Falbo 19:13
  3. Amy Rusiecki 19:53

Zoe Romano completes TDF route on foot and now is finishing off in Corsica – 

00:44:25 – KILIAN JORNET audio HERE

01:01:36 – BLOGS

What makes us happy? Emelie Forsberg –

“Happiness is a basic foundation in my everyday life. For me there are many ways to experience the joy in the everyday life. It´s about finding the happiness no matter what daily situation you choose to be a part of. To be satisfied with what you are doing.”

01:02:37 – SMILES AND MILES with Emelie Forsberg

No Talk Training this week but we are introducing Emelie Forsberg’s new regular slot called, Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg. Emelie will be talking about what makes her tick but also she is going to bring a much needed female element to the show, so, if you have a question or would like us to discuss a particular topic, please email Emelie at:

This initial audio, like the rest of the show was recorded on location so apologies for the audio.

01:30:58 – INTERVIEW, Stuart Air

This week’s interview is with Brit, Stuart Air. Stuart entered the 177km Ronda dels Cims, arguably one of the toughest 100 milers out there. Not only did he complete it but he placed 13th. I caught up with him after Ronda and just before he toed the line for the Ice Trail Tarentaise. At Ice Trail he proved Ronda was no fluke by placing in the top 20.

02:03:27 – UP and Coming RACES



Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 28, 2013 | website



Canadian Death Race | 125 kilometers | August 03, 2013 | website



Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | July 28, 2013 | website


Le tour du lac | 57 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


L’Orleans-Océan | 410 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 04, 2013 | website

La 6000D | 65 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

TCT 50 | 50 kilometers | August 04, 2013 | website

Trail du Tour des Fiz | 63 kilometers | July 28, 2013 | website

Ultra 6000D | 110 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website



Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 27, 2013 | website

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Juli | 108 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

Lower Saxony

STUNT 100 | 100 miles | August 03, 2013 | website


RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 | 250 kilometers | August 04, 2013 | website


Elbrus Ultra Trail | 105 kilometers | August 01, 2013 | website



2 Cara del Aneto | 69 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

Vuelta al Aneto | 100 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


UTPE – Ultra Trail Picos de Europa | 120 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


Stockholm Ultramarathon 100 km | 100 kilometers and 50km| August 03, 2013 | website



Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

United Kingdom


Oxfam Trailwalker | 100 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website

The 50 Mile Challenge | 52 miles | July 26, 2013 | website

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 26, 2013 | website

The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 27, 2013 | website


Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 03, 2013 | website



Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 09, 2013 | website


Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 03, 2013 | website


Grand Mesa 100M | 100 miles – 50 miles and 37 miles | July 27, 2013 | website

Mountain Ultra | 220 kilometers | August 02, 2013 | website

Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 02, 2013 | website


Wild Idaho 50K Enrudance Run | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2013 | website

Wild Idaho 50M Enrudance Run | 50 miles | August 03, 2013 | website


Great Cranberry Island Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | July 27, 2013 | website


Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 27, 2013 | website


Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 27, 2013 | website


Viaduct Trail 150 Mile Ultramarathon | 150 miles – 100 miles and 50 miles | July 26, 2013 | website

South Carolina

Landsford Canal 50 K | 50 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


Speed Goat 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | July 27, 2013 | website


Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2013 | website


White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | July 27, 2013 | website

Wonderland Trail | 93 miles | August 02, 2013 | website

02:06:53 – CLOSE



Speedgoat 50k Preview – The Ladies Field

SpeedgoatMy preview of the race and the men’s field can be viewed HERE, today, it’s the ladies!

The ladies field at Speedgoat doesn’t have the depth of the men’s field but a couple of names stand out. First and foremost is the name, Ruby Muir. Now our Southern Hemisphere followers will be smiling at the prospect at what this Vibram clad runner can do in Utah. She blazed a trail at Tarawera earlier this year and many of us think, me included, that several men will need to be looking over shoulders to ensure that this lady doesn’t come flying past. For me, she is the outright favourite for the win even though she has never raced in the US before. Having spoken to friends of mine who know her, they have all confirmed, she the most naturally gifted runner out on the trail.

Kerrie Bruxvoort placed second at Speedgoat last year and although she didn’t have a great day at Western States recently, I can’t help but think she will try to put that record straight in Utah

A win at UTMF in Japan does mean that Krissy Moehl has some great fitness. Nobody doubts the experience and caliber of this lady but she is more like Francesca Canepa, I see this race being a little too short and too fast. She will doubt figure up front but not top of the podium.


Francesca Canepa from Italy, also Vibram sponsored (and Montura) will becoming into this race tired, very tired. She must be… she won Ronda dels Cims, went to Wales for the World Trail Champs, she was second at Ice Trail Tarentaise and then just last weekend won the 100km Eiger Trail. Francesca is super talented on long, tough and technical terrain, I just can’t help but think that Speedgoat will be too short and not technical enough.

Jodee Adams Moore is a winner and loves the shorter distances. She will enjoy the 50km distance, the only question will come in regard to the altitude.

A real interesting name to toe the line is Danelle Ballengee. Think back to 2006, Danelle fell of a cliff had a near death experience. It makes for a fascinating read, Google it! She is an experienced Skyrunner and as Skyrunning President, Marino Giacometti says, ‘Danelle has raced in Skyrunning events for over a decade, she is quite a lady’. Danelle may not figure at the very front of the race but it’s great to see her mix it up.


Emma Roca adds to the European contingent. Third place at TNF UTMB in 2012 plus a list of results the length of my arm, does mean that Emma will mix it up with the ladies at the front.

Joelle Vaught dropped at Western States but she is a top quality runner. A great run at Speedgoat will al depend on what happened at Western States and if she has recovered.


Karine Sanson from France probably wont contest the podium but it’s great to have another European, along with Francesca taking part. Karineplaced top ten at Ice Trail recently and also figured in the top ten at Transvulcania. Without doubt she can make a similar placing here.

Finally, Anita Ortiz, Speedgoat winner from 2008 will return. She has quite a pedigree but it is almost impossible to say what her current form is like. She has been a US Mountain Running Champion several times, won Western States and she has also won Pikes Peak, so, she has a great mix of endurance, speed and altitude adaptation; she may be a surprise on the day!

Ones to watch: Alicia Shay, Julie Bryan and Bethany Lewis


Speedgoat 50k HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Kilian Jornet – win a signed photo book


If you’d like to win this book signed by Kilian Jornet.


Kilian Jornet says in this book ‘Trail running for me is not about running’ 

I have already been inundated by comments on the Talk Ultra Facebook page HERE and on my Ian Corless Facebook page HERE. However, please feel free to add your comments to this post below using the comments box. In a week or two we will select the best comment and forward the book to you via secured post.


Speedgoat 50k Preview – The Mens Field


Two ISF Skyrunning events in one day and both of them ultras! Trans D’Havet in Italy and Speedgoat in the USA. In many respects, although two races in the same series, they are chalk and cheese. Trans D’Havet is a point-to-point mountain race with some altitude, technical running and tunnels… yes, tunnels! Apparently 6km’s in total. Speedgoat is a 50km trail race in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and to clarify, the rules have been amended this year to inform all participants that they ‘must’ stick to the trail. Last years top two, Kilian Jornet and Rickey Gates are not returning but third and fourth are; Max King and Anton Krupicka. With 12,000 dollars up for grabs and $1000 premium for the first man and women to reach Hidden Peak at mile 8.3., Talk Ultra’s Mr Speedgoat and the ISF have lined up a great field of guys looking to secure points in the Skyrunning World Series (three events score)

But look at the field… Timothy Olson, Sage Canaday, Max King, Anton Krupicka, Cameron Clayton, Mike Wardian and so on, it really is a top quality field and a tough one to call.

I have to say, that despite the presence of Olson and Krupicka, I am going to to lean towards a Canaday, King and Clayton smack down with Olson and Krupicka causing some trouble in the latter stages.


Sage Canaday has performed at the top level since moving into the ultra world and although he may still be on a learning curve between 80 and 100k, I feel that this shorter race will suit his speed. He still needs to learn on technical running but as he showed at Transvulcania with the final podium place, he can nail it when required.


Max kIng in 2012 just held off Anton Krupicka in the latter stages. He made the decision to shy away from longer races in 2013 and just last weekend placed on the podium in the US Mountain Running Champs. But it wasn’t a win! He has all the speed required to win this race and although I see him as a main protagonist, I don’t see him in the top spot.


Cameron Clayton is new to ultras and has an impressive record. He has a gung ho attitude of glory or go home. He brought that to Western States and he went home… however, the shorter distance of Speedgoat will suit him and he will be out front from the gun with Sage. Question is, can he hold on?

Anton Krupicka, La Palma copyright

Anton Krupicka, La Palma copyright

Anton Krupicka will be fit, no doubt. But other than a second place at Cavalls del Vent in 2012, he has raced little and been plagued with issues. He was fired up for Transvulcania and then got a bug. He missed Ronda dels Cims to do his own project, Nolans 14 and then didn’t go well. So what can we expect? To be honest, I am not sure. Without doubt he prefers the longer distances but he placed fourth last year and as he has proved in the past, he can race well over the 50km to 50 mile distance.


Timothy Olson has just repeated his victory at Western States and will be riding high. However, Like Anton he likes the 100 mile distance. At Transvulcania 2013 when he placed fourth behind Sage, he said post race that he was just warming up. He has all the class needed to win Speedgoat but I think Canaday and Clayton may just have the edge over 50km.


Luke Nelson raced at Transvulcania and said post race that it was a learning curve. He has all the ability to mix it up but I see him somewhere between five and ten and not in the top five.

Benoit (front) at MDS copyright

Benoit (front) at MDS copyright

Benoit Laval, founder and CEO of Raidlight clothing will toe the line. He is an accomplished runner and although he placed third at Lantau 50 earlier this year and raced at Marathon des Sables, I don’t see him in contention for the podium at Speedgoat.

Michael Wardian after a prolonged rest from injury continues to bounce back with some impressive running. Although still racing on a regular basis he does seem to have eased back but in the process has had some great results. For example, just recently he ran 3:12 for 50km to set a world record indoor, a far cry from Speedgoat but you can never rule him out and almost certainly he will be running up at the front pushing the pace.

Thierry Breuil from France may mix things up however, he was recently fifth at the Trail Running Championships and although that course is nothing like Speedgoat, he may find his feet and have a great run.

Other contenders: Jorge Maravilla, Jason Loutitt and Jason Schlarb.


Speedgoat 50k – HERE

Skyrunning – HERE

A ladies preview will follow

Dolomites Skyrace RACE SUMMARY


Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg once again show incredible powers of recovery to win the ISF Skyrunning European Skyrace in the Dolomites, Canazei.

After placing first and second respectively in the Vertical Kilometer just forty eight hours previous, Kilian and Emelie excelled in the Skyrace. Emelie dominated the ladies event from start to finish but Kilian had a much tougher time. Racing his favourite sparring partner, Marco De Gasperi, they pushed each other over every meter of the Canazei course and in the end it was an explosive sprint from Kilian that provided the victory just three seconds clear of Marco.



Marco explained after the race, ‘we kept pushing, racing Kilian is always hard, he pulled away a little on the climb to Piz Boè but I always had him in sight. We had lots of snow that can provide an advantage when going downhill but can reduce pace when running on the flat or up. It was tough race!’.

I asked Kilian about racing Marco, “I was a little worried racing Marco. This race is only two hours and therefore would suit Marco. I expected him to push hard from the start and cause me some problems. I decided to run hard uphill but Marco remained in touch. The descent is long and technical and the opportunity to pull away was impossible. Ultimately it cam down to a sprint and I found that little extra.’

It was an epic battle, post race Marco was a little disappointed to once again repeat a second place behind Kilian just like at the Mont Blanc Marathon. Marco’s time will come once again. The pace at the front was so fast that Kilian and Marco both broke the old course record.

Interviews with Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi are available on the next episode of Talk Ultra out on Friday.

Tadei Pivk arrived four minutes after the dynamic duo to take the third spot on the podium, a repeat of his performance at Zegama-Aizkorri. Ionut Zinca from Romania placed fourth and Alexis Sevennec fifth making it a truly varied European podium fitting of a European Championship with representation from Spain, Italy, Romania and France.


Tadei Pivk third place overall

Tadei Pivk third place overall

Emelie Forsberg produced once again another stunning performance and dominated the ladies race. Her time of 2:26:52 was just fifty two seconds off her 2012 time and almost certainly, had Emelie had someone to push her during the race she could have broken the course record. The day after the race, relaxing in the Canazei sun she told me of her passion for running, the mountains and the sport. It is reflected in all she does. A true ambassador for the sport.

You can listen to Emelie’s new regular slot on Talk Ultra this coming Friday ‘Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg. You can email questions to her here:


Silvia Serafini produced a stunning performance for Italy and moved her way up through the field for second place and a silver medal, ten minutes behind Emelie. Spain produced third and fourth places with Nuria Dominguez and Maite Maiora and Poland completed the top five with Dominika Wisniewska.


The Dolomites SkyRace® has for many years represented an ideal playground for the world’s top athletes.  The steep technical course and spectacular panorama has runners coming back for more time and again.  Today, 540 runners finished the race – the top 60 men within half an hour of the new course record. Fans of stats will also be pleased to hear that Kilian broke the male ascent record set by Augusti Roc and Emelie Forsberg broke the female descent record set by Angela Mudge.


A total of 23 European nations were ranked to date.  Look out for the final race on July 27, when the Ultra distance will be disputed for the European title at the Trans D’Havet, Vicenza.


Italy leads the national ranking with 622 points, followed by Spain and France.  Spain leads the medal count however, with two gold and a bronze, followed by Italy and Sweden. The final ranking will be confirmed after this weekends ultra at Trans D’Havet. 

European Skyrunning Championship

Medal count

Spain – 2 gold / 1 bronze

Italy – 1 gold / 3 silver / 2 bronze

Sweden – 1 gold / 1 silver

Czech Republic – 1 bronze


National ranking

1. Italy – 622 points

2. Spain – 558 points

3. France – 480 points

4. Sweden – 380 points

5. Czech Republic – 216 points


Race results