We’re unlikely to keep our New Year Resolutions, says new study.



 A global report by TomTom into attitudes towards achieving fitness goals shows Britain is trailing in the exercise league.  The study, across eight Western countries, reveals that fewer Britons set targets than any other country – just 61 per cent.  It means nearly four in 10 people in the UK never plan a new exercise regime.

 Of those who do set fitness goals, just six per cent ‘always’ achieve them and only another 17 per cent claim they ‘almost always’ do. 

 The research showed that 48 per cent of Brits may make New Year Resolutions about improving their fitness levels in January, but few will manage to stick to them.  Over half of Britons (54 per cent) give up an exercise regime within six months – or have never even had one in the first place.

 TomTom looked at exercise and ambitions in the UK, US, France, Spain, Holland, Italy, Sweden and Germany.  Britain emerged poorly from the study of 1,000 people in each country.  It showed that, not only do many people not exercise at all, but more than one in ten (11 per cent) plan to do less exercise in the future.

Corinne Vigreux, TomTom consumer managing director said: “With people now thinking about their New Year Resolutions, understanding the goal and the motivation is the first step to achieving them – which is why we have launched our new range of GPS Sport Watches to help runners, swimmer and cyclists hit their fitness targets”.

 Across the countries surveyed, an average of 72 per cent of people set fitness goals.  While nearly a third (29 per cent) claim to hit their target most of the time, five per cent always fail.

 Good intentions seem to lag well behind actual behaviour.  Four in 10 (39 per cent) of Brits polled claim they will increase exercise in the coming year.  Yet only a quarter (26 per cent) say they have actually done so over the past 12 months. 

 When asked which exercise goals people had set for themselves in the last 12 months, just 44 per cent of British respondents cited getting fitter in general compared with the survey average of 54 per cent.  40 per cent of Brits wanted to lose weight versus 44% elsewhere;  and only 11 per cent had a specific performance goal (such as beating a certain time or being ready for a race event) as against the global average of 16 per cent.

 The study showed that nearly a quarter of people in the UK (23 per cent) exercise two to three times a week, while 11% do so at least once a day but 22 per cent never take any exercise at all.

 Americans lead the fitness league, exercising 135 days a year compared with a global average of 112, while Britons exercise for an average of just 108 days a year.

Losing weight, a sense of accomplishment and how much fun an activity is were the biggest motivators to keep exercising for 75% of people across the study – whilst improving their looks and making sure they had the right equipment to train effectively also ranked highly.

Weight loss is the biggest motivator for women to exercise, spurring on 41% – but just 28% of men.  Twice as many women (33%) worried about how they looked in certain clothes compared with men (16%).

Table 1

Average number of days exercise/participation in sport per year (average 112 days)

US 135 days

Spain 131

France 116

Sweden 115

UK 108

Germany 101

Italy 96

Holland 93 

Table 2

Percentage of people setting an exercise related goal in the past 12 months (average 72%)

Spain 82%

Italy 81%

US 75%

Sweden 75%

France 70%

Germany 70%

Holland 62%

UK 61%


One thousand people were interviewed in each of eight countries – US, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Holland, with 8000 respondents in total.

Article provided by ©TomTom – Julian Speed at Starfish Communications

Get Involved:

  1. Have you set New Year resolutions in the past? If so, dod you stick with them?
  2. Will you set a resolution for 2014?
  3. What is your resolution?
  4. Do resolutions work and if so, why?

Trail running in America & mountain races in Europe

Are there really any differences when it comes to racing in Europe & America? Runners from both sides of the Atlantic have their say about trail running on both continents.

When Michel Poletti, president of ITRA, spoke recently at the presentation of the Spain Ultra Cup about what type of international race organizations would de targeted for future membership, he affirmed that the ITRA would be particularly hoping to attract “organisations with long-distance races taking place in natural scenery“. Although this definition may sound a little vague, it is in fact quite difficult to find a common denominator that might aptly describre races taking place on both sides of the Atlantic.

Are we talking about the same kind of race on both continents? It doesn’t seem that way from what some of our top runners have to say. In any case, surely the “variations on a theme” are what make this sport so appealing, right?  What are the differences anyway, between trail running & mountain running? According to the ISF, “The difference lies in the terminology itself: trail & montain“. 


We’ve asked some of the top runners about what it is that makes racing different on both sides of the Atlantic. Here are their answers, together with our conclusions:

American races, much faster

The main difference, which everyone seems to agree on, is the greater technical difficulty of races in Europe and the faster speed of races run in the US.


As Tòfol Castanyer points out, this means that“American races are more runnable” suggesting that faster ultra-distance racers have the advantage, as opposed to mountain running specialists.

This difference has already been discussed in our article in Spanish, la diferencia entre trail running, fell running y carrera de montaña. In the US the sport is called “trail running“, whereas in Europe, terms such asmountain runningskyrunning or fell running (UK) are used. The term “trail running” obviously refers to the kind of track or path followed, whereas in Europe it’s all about “mountains“. Whereas “trail running” doesn’t necessarily imply elevation gains.


In Europe the elevation gains are usually greatersays Miguel Heras,I think that this difference is motivating for us Europeans when we go there, as it is for the Americans when they come over to Europe to compete.

Stricter rules in the US

Many of the races held in the US run through national parks, which follow a stricter legislation than we’re used to in Europe, regarding how hikers & runners should use the footpaths or trails. All these measures are imposed with the greater benefit of protecting the lanscape & natural habitat of the species found in the parks. This means that anyone wondering off the trail will be sanctioned (usually with disqualification), something that Europeans are simply not used to.


As Emelie Forsberg jokes, “I think it´s like with everything in America; trail races aren’t any different you know“. Rules are rules!

In Europe, things are very different, where, in most cases,the race course simply follows the most direct route across the mountain.


In Scotland“, for example, says Andy Symonds,” the hills are steep, there are great open spaces without trees, there is grass and bog all over the place. The result is that fell races go straight through fields and up and down hills. Race routes are driven by the shortest lines rather than by path networks”.

Consecuently, European trail runners find that they have to change their whole approach to racing, as Silvia Serafini states, “I know that in the US there are very strict rules about ‘shortcuts‘. You are out of the race if you don’t follow exactly the signed trail“. Kilian Jornet can testify to this, as he was stripped of his prize money and course record, in last year’s Speedgoat 50k for cutting switchbacks.

In Europa, it’s more competitive

So what’s Dakota Jones take on the subject? He interestingly points out that “ In America, trail running came out of a culture of hiking and mountain climbing that has its roots in solitude and escape“. Whereas, “Europeans accept mountain running more and are allowed to have more people in their races, so the scene is much more professional than anywhere else”. ” When Americans race, they are almost afraid to say they are racing, because they don’t want to betray traditional values about the purity of the sport“.



In an episode of Kilian´s Quest we can see how the young Catalonian runner meets up with running legend, Pablo Vigil. It’s interesting to compare how the two are dressed; Kilian with his specialized gear  –Suunto GPS heart rate monitor, Salomon technical shorts & training shoes, while Pablo Vigilcan be found wearing the traditional runners sorts and a pair of Nike road trainers. Although this is a simple anecdote, it does undeline the point that, in general, European runners seem to get moredressed up for the occasion!

Anna Frost comments that “Clothing differs…with fashion and trends. Euro wearing more technical lycra and USA wearing looser fitting comforts.


What’s in common? People, volunteers, the spirit of racing

There seems to be a common agreement among runners that there is one characteristic to be found on both sides of the Atlantic: the spirit of running, be it trail running in the US or fell running (UK), mountain running or skyrunning in Europe, “our mutual appreciation for the mountains & outdoor spaces”, says Alfredo Gil, Spain’s national champion. “I think we all have that in common“.


American, Stevie Kremer, also emphasises this point & recognizes the efforts of all the people, behind the scenes, who support the races: “both have incredible supporters and volunteers, without which these races would never be successful!”

It seems that, as more and more runners make the jump, from one continent to another, things are changing. As Jonathan Wyatt observes, ” We see a lot of North American runners who have learnt a lot from the European style of trail running and they are excited to bring some of these elements to North America including the more technical running trails“.


Finally, let’s just remember the words of Silvia Serafini, who defines the atmosphere of our sport perfectly, “I can’t really choose which I like most, racing in America or in Europe. I love the atmosphere, the welcome of the people, which I have found on both continents“.




© Escrito por Nigel John Wilson / David Clavera / Pablo Cantó

This article is a re post from : corredordemontana.com

It is reproduced with the full approval of corredordemontana.com and Nigel John Wilson and has not been altered or adjusted in anyway. The original article is available HERE should you wish to view it.

It is also available in Spanish HERE

All content (inc images) ©corredordemontana.com


Episode 51 – Bitter, Yates, Frost, Catmur

Episode 51 of Talk Ultra ©iancorless.com

Merry Christmas! Episode 51 of Talk Ultra is our longest show yet… yes, 4hours and 30mins of ultra chat to help you survive the Christmas period and New Year. We speak with the new 100-mile and 12-hour record holder (on a track) Zach Bitter. We have a full and in-depth interview with female ultra runner of the year (?) Michele Yates. Anna Frost provides an insightful interview on a troubled 2013 and finally we catch up with Ed Catmur who has been setting the pace on the UK ultra scene. It’s a full show! Speedgoat and Ian review the year, we have possibly the best Talk Training of 2013 with Marc Laithewaite and we catch up with Amanda in a Year in the Life of! A big thank you for all the amazing support and downloads in 2013 and we thank you in advance for your support in 2014.

Interview – Anna Frost
The 240km Coast 2 Kosciusko r!
1st Ewan Horsburgh 25:56:00
2nd Ian Gallagher 26:34:00
3rd Mathieu Dore 27:21:15
1st Jess Baker 30:04:27
2nd Sabina Hamaty 32:25:20
3rd Sharon Scholz 33:02:03
Johan Vd Merwe Johan this weekend broke the SA 24-hour record. He was the first to thank God and his wife Corine, for “without them, he just wouldn’t be able to break the 60-year old record set by Wally Hayward in 1953” – 258km
Barcelona 24, 12 and 6 hour results:
1st Jyrki Kukko 82.775 km
2nd David Sanmiguel Cervera 73.006 km
3rd Jose Mauel Riesgo Fernández 66.361km
Rebecca Cox first Brit, 6th overall 60.093 km
1st Olivier Foissac 136.56 km
2nd Steven Sleuyter 125.62 km
3rd Irina Batyreva 19.93 km
1st Pedro Sena Lopez 230.701 km
2nd Dario Sanmiguel Cervera 225.818 km
3rd Jen Salter (GB) 217.753 km
Karen Hathaway 8th
Mark Woolley 19th
Andrew Saville 23rd
Zach Bitter just run 11:59:15 for 101.66 miles (163.6km) at the Desert Solstice by Aravaipa Running – 100 miles in 11:47:21 http://www.aravaiparunning.com/desert-solstice/
Pam Smith sets a World Record 14:11:26
Review of 2013
Grand Slam
Mont Blanc
Raid de la reunion
Rob Krar – Rim-to-Rim, WSER, UROC and TNF50
Michele Yates – RRR, UROC and TNF50 one of the highlights of 2013 and without a star… I caught up with Michele and we discussed her running, her history and did you know, she was Miss Figure Colorado in 2008? – http://www.dreamliverun.com/index.html
Jon Olson – 100m record – at least for a short while
Zach Bitter – 100m record
Timmy Olson – WSER repeat win
Sharman and Clark – The Grand Slam
Rory Bosio – UTMB
Seb Chaigneau – Hardrock and Transgrancanaria
Pam Smith – WSER and 100m record
Kilian Jornet – everything! But maybe the Matterhorn record a highlight?
Emelie Forsberg – everything!
Stevie Kremer – everything!
Nickademus Hollon – Barkley and Tor des Geants
Sage Canaday
Zach Miller
Read the Highlights of 2013 HERE
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF – Amanda Hyatt
Looking ahead to 2014:
Skyrunning USA and UK, Australia, South Africa… growth continues
Hardrock 100 
Any other anticipated excitement?
Ed Catmur
TALK TRAINING – Do’s and Don’ts at Christmas Parties with Marc Laithwaite
New South Wales
Narrabeen All Nighter 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Ultramaratón Licanray – Villarrica | 70 kilometers | January 05, 2014 | website
Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Dezember | 108 kilometers | December 30, 2013 | website
Lower Saxony
6. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
6. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
SMU-Loop | 58 kilometers | December 28, 2013 | website
South Africa
Festival of Running 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | December 31, 2013 | website
Evasion Trail à Tataouine | 60 kilometers | December 29, 2013 | website
Recover from the Holidays | 50 kilometers | December 31, 2013 | website
Croom Zoom 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Croom Zoom 50 Km Run | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
HUFF 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | December 28, 2013 | website
PHUNT 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Yankee Winter Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
New Jersey
Watchung Winter Ultras Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Neusiok Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Neusiok Trail 43 Miles | 43 miles | January 04, 2014 | website
Salem Lake Shore Frosty Fifty | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
South Carolina
Harbison 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Pistol Ultra Run – 100K | 100 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Pistol Ultra Run – 100 Mile | 100 miles | January 04, 2014 | website
Pistol Ultra Run – 50K | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Boyers Furnace | 40 miles | December 28, 2013 | website
Redeye 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 01, 2014 | website
First Call 50K | 50 kilometers | January 01, 2014 | website
West Virginia
Frozen Sasquatch Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | January 04, 2014 | website
Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 150 Mile Run | 150 miles | December 27, 2013 | website
Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 35 Mile Run | 35 miles | December 28, 2013 | website
Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 75 Mile Run | 75 miles | December 28, 2013 | website


Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas ©iancorless.com


Merry Christmas to you all!

What an amazing year 2013 has been. So many wonderful places, races, experiences and people. It would just be impossible to thank everyone individually. So, I am not going to try. Rest assured, if you are reading this you have contributed in one way or the other.

I feel very blessed for the opportunities.

I thank you all for the support and the encouragement. I am sure 2014 will be another great year. I hope you will all continue to join me on the journey.

Enjoy the holidays !

The Apocalypse is coming : 100-miles and 50-miles

apoc 100 banner

The Apocalypse is coming. Conquest, Famine, War and Death.

It arrives on May 17th 2014.

Ultra running is going through a boom. Statistics show that ultra races are popping up all over the world at an alarming rate. The UK is no different, apparently, some 200 races now exist on the calendar and that is just in the UK.

The 100-mile distance by many is considered to be the Holy Grail in ultra running. To that end, Richard Weremiuk from Beyond Marathon has now added a new event to take place on May 17tt 2014.

In a partnership with ultra marathon pioneers, Racing the Planet and The National Trust, Richard and his team plan to send you on an epic journey around the Shropshire hills over 100 or 50-miles.

Are you ready to face 50 or 100 miles on an awesome new course?

Apoc100 full

River valleys, farmland, woods and rolling hills; Shropshire provides a landscape that is rich in wildlife and geology. It’s a tranquil place that is embraced by visitors and locals as a place that provides a quality environment to walk, run or just spend time outdoors.

The varied geology of the Shropshire hills provides a link between the Welsh Mountains and the Midlands. The terrain is a trail runners playground, moorland plateaus, craggy stiperstones, quarries, woods, forests and the valleys of the Long Mynd will test each and every participant as they journey to beat the riders of the Apocalypse.

Church Stretton, the race HQ, was called Little Switzerland in the late Victorian and Edwardian period due the surrounding landscape and its development as a health resort. Nestled within an area of outstanding beauty (ANOB), The area incorporates some of the oldest rocks in England. Carding Mill Valley provides a hub for the local area and as such is a great location for the race HQ.

The Race


“Any 100 mile race is a personal challenge, a chance to test your limits. This 100 miler is no exception. The race features over 5 km’s of vertical ascent and descent” says Richard Weremiuk.

With 4700m of vertical ascent and descent, only the Lakeland 100 (UTLD) appears to have more vertical gain than the Apocalypse 100 in the UK. This will be one tough challenge. But Richard always brings something unique to his races.

“The course has been ingeniously designed. It is a single complete circle, but with independent 10 mile loops at each compass point featuring the names of the four riders of the Apocalypse; Conquest, Famine, War and Death.”

Death! Now that is an ominous way to finish a 100-miler… but knowing Beyond Marathon, they do have an enthusiasm to inject some fun and humour, even a little dark humour at times.

The four 10-mile loops have been chosen for course or checkpoint characteristics and as such, they have been named appropriately.



Beyond Marathon HERE

Beyond Marathon have a reputation for providing quality races that keep costs low with no compromise on quality. Despite low entry fees (£31 for the 50 and £44 for the 100) and a restricted race entry of just 60-people, participants will get quality administration and support.

“We are keeping our ethos inline with our other races: Dusk till Dawn (day and night versions), The 12 Labours of Hercules, The Gritstone Grind, and next year we will bring you those events as well as The Millennium way ultra marathon, and Double or Nothing. It is simple; Low cost and great value for money says Richard.

If you feel a 100-miles is too far, Beyond Marathon are offering a 50 mile option which would see you head out to tackle Conquest and Famine before heading due South back to race HQ.


Navigation skills will be required, though we provide custom maps to every participant and also files in various GPS and electronic map formats.  Though the course is not officially marked, we always try and help out with some markers in tricky areas. We have endeavored to make the second half of the 100 easier to navigate, as nights are dark in Shropshire! That said the moon is almost full on May 17th, so nature may lend a helping hand. The race has great support from The National Trust and our other partners, and look forward to introducing more UK runners to the mystical Shropshire hills.



The event begins at The National Trust centre in Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton.

Heading west, participants climbing out of the Valley on Marches Way. Continuing West to Cross The Shropshire Way on Adstone Hill. Skirting around Black Rhadley to reach checkpoint 1 at mile 10.

Embarking on the West loop, the first 10-mile section confronts the runners. A climb of Corndon Hill and then Lan Fawr must be tackled before heading south to Todleth Hill, turning in an Easterly direction CP2 awaits at mile 20.

Running the length of the famous Stiperstones, passing The Devil’s chair on the way.  No time to sit down, you continue on the Shropshire Way and then head to Habberley and Longden Common to reach CP3 at mile 30.

The North loop is an easy and fairly flat section in and around Pontesbury, which will give all an opportunity to recover, though there is a small climb before you reach CP4 at mile 40.

Heading South East through Dorrington and Longnor, after The Lawley, Easthopewood is CP5 at Mile 50.

The East loop sees you head over Wenlock Edge and join the Shropshire Way and Jack Mytton Way before heading back to Easthopewood. A superb ridge run and a 10-mile trip down Wenlock Edge to reach CP7 in Moorwood.

Two very sharp climbs are on the Southern loop. Once through Craven Arms you scale Norton Camp, descend into Norton and Head uphill from Medley Park to Hanging Wood all the way to the tower on Callow Hill before heading to CP8 at Mile 80.

Wistanstow and then onto Horderley are the two next focal points and then a route direction change, heading North to climb Church Moor Hill to Cross the Shropshire Way and head steeply down into Asterton. North West to Wentnor, Norbury then along side Linley Big Wood CP9 at Mile 90.

Just 10-miles now to go on familiar terrain and the race is over. A final descent into Carding Mill completes the journey.

The course profile is shown below. It features over 15,500ft  (4700 m) of ascent and descent).

Elevation Profilev2

Race route: http://beyondmarathon.com/apocalypse-100/apocalypse-100-route/



Ultra Running Review of the Year 2013

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

What an amazing time to be involved in the sport of ultra running! The once niche minority sport has exploded to greater heights and distances in 2013. No longer is a long beard and ‘Buff’ a pre requisite of ultra running (unless you’re Rob Krar). Clean cut, young, fast is the new ‘ultra runner’ mixing it up with the old guard.
Just think back to this time last year, had you heard of Zach Miller (not the Zach Miller, but, the Zach Miller; confused?), Michele YatesRob Krar, Magdalena Boulet and Xavier Thevenard.
Racing and the opportunity to race has also increased to the extent that it is now possible to race pretty much week in and week out for 12-months of the year. Of course, this brings pluses and minuses, certainly from an elite level, runners need to be far more savvy and race clever. You can no longer race month on month and expect to win. Races now have much higher quality fields and the pace is going up. The growth of Skyrunning has been instrumental in enticing a world audience to test runners of all abilities on tough, technical and high-terrain and the feedback has been incredible. UTWT have launched a series of races above the 100-km distance and in doing so have created a ‘trail’ circuit that offers multiple terrain in multiple locations all over the world. It will be interesting to see how the inaugural year goes when 2014 comes around.
So, what are the highlights of 2013?
Ultra Runner of the Year – Men and ladies
Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Lets start with Rob Krar. I interviewed Rob just after his incredible ‘FKT’ in the Grand Canyon early in 2013 when he put the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim record at another level. At the time we discussed Western States, he was intimidated by the ‘Super Bowl’ of ultra and his first 100-miler. “I’ll give it a shot and see what happens”. Well, if you hadn’t noticed Rob pre WSER you did afterwards. Your not supposed to run WSER and get 2nd overall in your first attempt. UROC, Ultra Race of Champions was the final of the Skyrunner Ultra World Series and for some reason they had bestowed upon themselves the title, ‘The Ultra Running World Championship’. Mmmmm well, it certainly had a quality field but ‘World Championship’? I don’t think so. In the end it came down to a head-to-head between Dakota Jones and Rob Krar. Dakota looked as though he had it sewn up but on the final descent, Rob unleashed a pace that Dakota went on to say was ‘just crazy’. Rob took the win and a pattern was forming. We were all a little surprised to see Rob’s name on the start list for JFK50, primarily with TNF50 in San Francisco just two weeks later. As it happened, Rob dropped at around the 41-mile mark and went on to say that it was either ‘a great training run for TNF50 or the worst decision he had made in a while.’ It was a great training run! Rob ran a super calm, collected and mature race in San Francisco and when he took the front in the last fifth of the race he released a pace that was just incredible. Without doubt my ultra runner of the year!
Kilian Jornet and the Matterhorn ©iancorless.com
  • Of course, you can’t talk about male ultra runner and not mention Kilian Jornet. Kilian is a phenomenon. He is the star of our sport. Once again he was crowned Skyrunner World Ultra Series Champion with wins at Transvulcania and Ice Trail Tarentaise. In addition to this, Kilian was also champion of the ‘Sky’ series with 4 wins; ZegamaMont-BlancMatterhorn Ultraks and Limone Extreme. Add this a couple VK’s, a win at Canazei Sky race for the European Championships and a win at Trans D’Havet for the ‘Ultra’ Skyrunning European Championships and you would say the deal is done! But wait-a-minute, we haven’t mentioned his records for his ‘Summits’ project. A stunning new FKT for Chamonix-Mont-Blanc-Chamonix but arguably THE highlight of the year was his Matterhorn Summit. It was a sublime and surreal performance that put going to the mountains light on another level. It was without doubt my ‘moment’ of the year. You can read my ‘Matterhorn Summits Interview’ with Kilian here. Kilian is the most complete athlete I know.
Michele Yates - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

  • Michele Yates hadn’t run an ultra before 2013. Who would have thought that Ms Figure Colorado 2008 would be such an awesome talent? Well her history shows that she is a 2x Olympic Trials Marathon Competitor, she has 9 marathon wins and PB of 2:38:37. To say Michele burst on the ultra scene would be an underestimation. Her win at Indiana Trail 100 (17:35:18) almost went unnoticed but then taking top spot and the $10,000 prize at Run Rabbit Run suddenly made every one stop, look around and take notice. Placing 3rd at UROC was another sign that Michele was no one trick pony but just like Rob Krar, Michele sealed a quality 2013 with a win at TNF50. She started that race from the front and never relinquished the lead until the line. Is Michele female ultra runner of the year? Well, I would have said yes. That is until the weekend of Dec 13th/ 14th(Listen to interview with Michele on the Christmas show of Talk Ultra, Ep51 out Dec 27th)
  • Pam Smith victorious at Western States turned up at the Desert Solstice track meet run by Aravaipa Running and not only took out the win for 12-hours on the track but set a new female record for 100-miles, 14:11:26. Take your pick, Michele or Pam; it’s a tough call.
Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com
  • But wait a minute, what about Emelie Forsberg. Emelie arrived on the run scene in 2012 and instantly had success, continually placing top-3 with Anna Frost and Nuria Picas. However the break through moment came ironically this time last year, she won TNF50 in San Francisco. This seemed to change everything, Emelie arrived at Transvulcania in May 2013 and won, she followed this up with a win in ZegamaCanazeiIce Trail TarentaiseMatterhorn UltraksUROC and then went on to run her first 100-miler at the super tough Diagonale de Fous (Raid de la Reunion) and place 2nd. Do you want to vote against Emelie?
Performances of the Year
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Rory Bosio blasted around the TNFUTMB course and in the process not only obliterated the female record but placed 7th overall. Her performance was nothing short of miraculous.
  • Jon Olson set a new American record for 100-miles on the track and then just as the year came to a close, Zach Bitter broke the record with an 11:47:21 but maybe even more important, Zach set a new World Record for 12-hours (101.66 miles) beating a Yiannis Kouros record. That does not happen very often! (Zach Bitter will be in the Christmas episode of Talk Ultra, Ep 51 out Dec 27th here)
  • I have already mention Kilian and the Matterhorn but it was so good I am mentioning it twice!
  • Timothy Olson went back to Western States and won again. You can win a race once but going back and doing it again is always a true sign of a champion.
  • Seb Chaigneau took a win and CR at Hardrock 100.
  • Nickademus Hollon became the youngest person ever to not only complete Barkley but also win it. You can listen to his interview on Talk Ultra here.
Julien Chorier Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com
  • Julien Chorier produced a sublime and calculated performance at the super tough Ronda dels Cims. It was a joy and a pleasure to watch someone control and dominate a race from the front and look good all the way.
  • Sage Canaday, jeez I missed him out and he definitely deserves a mention for BanderaTarawera, Transvulcania (3rd), Lake Sonoma and Speedgoat 50k.
Francesca Canepa ©iancorless.com
  • Francesca Canepa once again had an incredible year with a great performance at Ronda dels Cims but arguably a repeat win at Tor des Geants places her well and truly at the top on ‘endurance’ lady of the year!
  • Iker Karrera nailed Tor des Geants.
  • Ricky Lightfoot went over to South Africa and raced at The Otter and not only won but put the course record at a new level, in addition he won the IAU World Title in Wales.
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Xavier Thevenard took everyone, including himself, by surprise at TNFUTMB with a controlled and impressive performance against some top competition.
Jez Bragg TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com
  • Jez Bragg completed the Te Araroa in New Zealand. An incredible journey from the northern tip of New Zealand all the way down to the southern tip. Listen here.
  • David Johnston completed the Iditarod trail Invitational in 4 days 19 hours 13 mins.Crazy fast.
  • Ian Sharman and Nick Clark went head-to-head in the Grand Slam of Ultra Running and produced possibly the most exciting competition of 2013. The pair of them produced incredibly consistent performances and showed us all that it is possible to race four 100-milers back-to-back. They didn’t only ‘complete’ but they competed. They both won a race and were never out of the front rankings. Ian Sharman ultimately had the icing on the cake with the overall fastest time and a new Grand Slam record. Respect! Interview with Ian Sharman here.
  • Paul Giblin at the West Highland Way race. 15:07 and good beating of Terry Conway’s previous CR.
Stevie Kremer Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Stevie Kremer doesn’t do ultras but she is a darn fine trail and mountain runner and what ‘Pocket Rocket’ achieved in 2013 is nothing short of miraculous. Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.
  • Ed Catmur has continued to knock out some great 100-mile performances on the GB scene with wins at North Downs Way and the Winter 100.
  • Lizzie Wraith new female CR for the Lakeland 100 in the UK.
  • William Sichel keeps running and running crazy distances and setting new records.
  • Jonas Buud didn’t win Comrades in 2013 but he ran one of the best paced races I’ve ever witnessed. He was way back in the late 30’s and slowly moved up to 3rd. Wow! Notable mention to Brit ladies, Joanna Zakrezewski and Holly Rush who placed top-10.
Surprises of the Year
  • Rob Krar – Just one word sums up the bearded warrior ‘Krarnage’.
  • Zach Miller – no, not Zach Miller, but Zach Miller. Zach rocked up at JFK50, nobody knew him and he didn’t know anyone else. He took over the lead when Rob Krar dropped at mile 41. Not only did he win but also he set the 3rd fastest time ever. Interview with Zach here.
  • Xavier Thevenard – TNFUTMB was going to be won by Anton KrupickaMiguel HerasJulien ChorierSeb Chaigneau or Mike Foote. Somebody should have told them all about CCC winner, Xavier.
  • Michele Yates – wow, what a first year in the ultra world.
Who and what to watch out for in 2014
Cameron Clayton UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Cameron Clayton has found his feet, 2013 had some mixed performances but when everything aligns he races with the best. His TransvulcaniaUROC and TNF50 performances without doubt elevates him to ‘hot’ for 2014.
Luis Alberto Hernando Haria Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Luis Alberto Hernando pushed Kilian close at Transvulcania, Zegama, finished joint first at Trans D’havet and won at Cavalls del Vent. In 2014 he plans to race TNFUTMB, now that will be interesting.
  • Magdalena Boulet had an ultra debut at TNF50 and placed 2nd. This sub 2:30 marathon runner may turn a few heads in 2014.
  • Brit, Stuart Air may raise a few eyebrows in 2014. He had a solid Ronda dels Cims, Ice Trail Tarentaise and Tor des Geants and for 2014 he has a Hardrock 100 slot!
  • Hardrock 100 had it’s draw and suddenly much of the WSER ‘lottery’ chat shifted focus to the field up at Silverton. The 2014 race is a classic in the making with Kilian JornetSebastian ChaigneauJulien ChorierJoe Grant and more. Excited? Just a little.
  • The Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix with runners from all over the world coming to race VK, SKY and ULTRA in one of the endurance capitals of the world.
  • Beards – the jury is out. Are beards fast or slow? Rob Krar, Timmy Olson and ‘Clarky’ are certainly great advocates for hairy running but Kilian, Cameron, Sage provide a strong counter argument. What are your thoughts?
And finally…
A review of any year is going to be personal. Without doubt we will all have our own highlights and favourite moments, so, I would love to read your thoughts.
Please use the form below.
Ian Corless ETR ©iancorless.com
On a personal note, 2013 was an incredible year, I feel blessed with all the opportunities I have had. To witness many of the moments I write about is a great pleasure. Of course, it’s nothing without you folks reading, looking at my photographs or listening to my podcast.
A very BIG thank you from me.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014 awaits us all…
Photography from 2013 races HERE
Calendar HERE
Podcasts HERE

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Peak District National Park in January 2014

Image ©benwinston

Image ©benwinston

The second Marmot Dark Mountains™ mountain marathon will take place in the Peak District National Park in January 2014. Race organiser, Shane Ohly from Ourea Events, elaborated on the special allure of this area.
“The Peak District has the perfect blend of high moorland areas, challenging terrain and a wonderful sense of wilderness… especially at night. Precisely because of the superb nature of the area, we have had to negotiate over a two year period with the National Trust, National Park and other agencies to secure permission for this event. We have six different courses on offer and they all take advantage of some of the best parts of Bleaklow and Kinder Scout. It promises to a superb test of competitors’ mountain running skills.
Marmot Dark Mountain - FINAL (BLACK)
Marmot Dark Mountains™ takes place on the last weekend of January each year, and the inaugural event took place in what can only be described as diabolical weather (just have a look at the videos on the event website) but Shane Ohly knows this is all part of the attraction.
“Obviously, we would all like to have a still, cloud free and moonlit night but competitors don’t enter this event unless they are up for an epic mountain running experience and it is our job to deliver this safely without compromising on the nature of the challenge. The knowledge gained from the first event shows that with experienced and vetted competitors, you can run an event in atrocious weather and allow the competitors to make decisions about their own safety. Kenny Leitch, a competitor at the 2013 event summed it up nicely.
“What an extraordinary event! I did my first mountain marathon 24 years ago and Marmot Dark Mountains™ definitely had the worst conditions ever.”
Image ©benwinston Marmot Dark Mountains - iancorless.com

Image ©benwinston Marmot Dark Mountains – iancorless.com 

As a night mountain marathon, the event presents some unique challenges to both the competitors and the organisers. This year Ourea Events has been working in collaboration with Harvey Maps to produce a bespoke ‘high contrast’ map of the event area, which shows the contours and other map detail with greater clarity than a standard map.
With the announcement of the event area, the organisers have also released details of the planner’s optimum routes. The 2014 planner, Dave Taylor, is a very experienced fell runner and Peak District local so the competitors can expect that his optimum routes really are the quickest way to complete each of the courses.
C Course = Distance 36.3km / Height Gain 1,547m
B Course = Distance 41.1km / Height Gain 1,785m
A Course = Distance 44.4km / Height Gain 1,940m
Elite Course = Distance 55.5km / Height Gain 2,635m
Short Score = 8 hours
Long Score = 10 hours
BW-Sponsors-Marmot BW-Sponsors-Silva
With the support of sponsorship from Marmot® and Silva® there is a £500 cash prize for the winning elite team at the event. This year the competition is really hotting up, with top elite runners Tim Higginbottom and Chris Near from Team Hagloffs already entered.
Tim said, “Elite mountain marathons are hard to finish let alone win; the courses are long, navigation tricky and route choices crucial. So if you take this concept, remove the half-way rest, run it overnight to make the navigation nearly impossible – and then stage it in deepest winter for good measure you have something that will stretch the best to their limit! There’s a certain type of person that enjoys a challenge this hard. See you out there!”
Date: 25th & 26th January 2014
Venue: Peak District National Park
Entry: £45 per person
Courses: Elite, A, B, C, Short Score and Long Score

TNFUTMB Registration for 2014 opens on December 19th


Registration for the 12th The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® will be open on December 19th, there will be thousands of runners who register for the world summit of trail-running which, each year, unites more than 50 000 persons (volunteers, organisers, accompanying persons, runners, local inhabitants, general public…) spread out along the paths of the 19 French, Italian and Swiss communities involved around Mont-Blanc.


tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

Already running for 11 years, it has seen an extraordinary development over that time. 10 years ago, Trail-running enticed a few enthusiasts, today this discipline has become a social phenomenon. In France, and all over the world, running in open country attracts more and more people, the trail-running market is growing rapidly and the success of the The North Face ® Ultra-Trail of Mont Blanc ® races participates widely in this expanding development. At just few hours away from the opening of the 2014 registration, it is the occasion to outline the news concerning this year’s event.

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

Three major new items for this increasingly international event:

The 2014 The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, which is taking place from August 25th – 31st, will bring together almost 7000 runners coming from all over the world (in 2013, 74 nations were represented…). No other race attracts so many nations…This year there are some new items:

1) A new race, the OCC

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® is becoming even more cross-border and international with the creation of a new race: the OCC, (Orsières-Champex-Chamonix) will start at Orsières, in the Suisse Valais, in the heart of the St Bernard country and finish in Chamonix. From now on, there is a race starting in each of the countries surrounding Mont-Blanc.

As a shorter model, this race will be accessible to lovers of middle distance (in the category Trail Ultra Medium (M) between 42 km and 69 km). Also, so that the less « Ultra » who wish to begin and to participate in the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® can find a race with a format which allows them to enter the event. The route of the OCC will give a taste of the incomparable charm of the villages on the approach to Champex and the last part of the magic of the UTMB® or the CCC®.

Essential details of the OCC

– Start: Orsières, Thursday August 28th at 08:00

– Finish: Chamonix

– Distance: 53 kilometres

– Height gain: 3 300 metres

– Maximum time: 14 hrs

– No qualifying points necessary

– Points acquired by finishers: 1 point

– Maximum number of runners: 1 000

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

2) The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® is on the Ultra-Trail® World Tour circuit

Connected to the international community of trail-running, The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has, since September 2013, been a part of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, a circuit which has just seen the light of day. It brings together the world’s most emblematic trail-running and ultra-endurance events, which share the same values and which celebrate the last to cross the line with the same passion as the first.

This circuit is an invitation to travel and discover the richness and diversity of the most beautiful races in the world. This annual international competition, the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, for its first year links 10 big races on 5 continents, with its own ranking, which will discern the holder of the title of champion of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. In agreement with the organisers four events, of which the UTMB® is one, have been selected to be a “series” of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour and will favour the gathering of elite runners.

For more information (programme, date, country, titles) concerning the running of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour: click here

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

3) The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® subscribes to the International Trail Running Association (ITRA)Exchanges between interested parties fuels progression, improvement, adaptation and thoughts and ideas for the future. It is with this objective that since 2013, The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® has been a member of theInternational Trail Running Association which unites numerous trail-running organisers, elite runners and also those of all levels, sports’ equipment brands, associations…. By creating a dynamic founded on a gathering and exchange of thoughts and ideas of all the representative players in the field of the discipline, the ITRA has set several goals:

·                   The promotion of Trail-running as a complete stand-alone sport, rich in its diversity of cultures and locations and which is accessible to all.

·                   The development of a sports ethics which leans strongly on its values and the development of environment-friendly sporting events

·                   The implementation of prevention initiatives in favour of the good health of athletes and the fight against doping.

·                   The deployment of initiatives to improve the quality of organisations and the participants’ safety.

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® participates in the ITRA to contribute to the development of a sport founded on true values, to listen to all the players in the field of trail-running and in order to continue to improve the quality of its races.

More information: click here.

2014 registration

Registration, exclusively by internet, opens on December 19th at 10:00

5 events between August 25th and 31st 2014. Please note that the departure times for the UTMB® and PTLtm have changed:

·                    PTL™: 300 km –  +28 000 m – Starts Monday at 17:30 – Chamonix (FR): open to 100 teams of 2 or 3 persons.

·                    TDS™: 119 km –  +7 250 m – Starts Wednesday at 07:00 – Courmayeur (IT): open to 1600 runners.

·                    OCC: 53 km –  +3 300 m – Starts Thursday at 08:00 – Orsières (CH): open to 1000 runners.

·                    CCC®: 101 km –  +6 100 m – Starts Friday at 09:00 – Courmayeur (IT): open to 1900 runners.

·                   UTMB®: 168 km –  +9 600 m – Starts Friday at 17:30 – Chamonix (FR): open to 2300 runners.

Qualifying races

Since 2007 facing a surge in the number of requests for registration, the organisation has set up the fairest possible selection mode. Registration for the UTMB®, CCC® and TDS™ is only possible for runners who have obtained, between January 1st 2012 and December 31st 2013, the necessary number of qualification points. The list is available on the web-site: qualifying races for the 2014 Ultra-Trail®

·                   UTMB® : 7 points acquired between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/2013 (in a maximum of 3 races)

·                   CCC® : 2 points acquired between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/2013

·                   TDS™ : 2 points acquired between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/2013

·                   OCC : no points required
The pre-registration period will be open from December 19th 2013 to January 6th 2014

If the quota is passed, a draw will be made so that the limit of the number of runners is respected.

The results will be published on January 15th 2014 at 10:00 (Paris time).

Registration is managed by over-booking, there is, therefore, no waiting list.

PTL™ special

This event is without ranking, in complete autonomy in teams 2 or 3 participants who should stay together throughout.

·                   A PTL™ team of 2 or 3 persons must, obligatorily, have at least 1 finisher from a precedent UTMB®,  PTLtm or Tor des Géants®.

·                   The team leader (obligatorily the finisher of the UTMB®, PTL™ or Tor des Géants®) registers on behalf of all his team members at the same time.

·                   Registration will be open as of December 19th 2013.

·                   Registration will be closed once the quota of 100 teams is reached.

All information concerning registration is available by clicking here.

2014 registration prices

UTMB® : 207 €

CCC® : 128 €

TDS™ : 142 €

OCC : 68 €

PTL™ : 670 €

The registration prices have been augmented to maintain the quality of the event despite its rapid growth. The development of the number of people welcomed (runners [7 000 expected in 2014], accompanying persons, general public…) generates a rise in organisational costs, particularly in the important areas of: security, reception, logistics, transport, refreshments, gifts, etc … The figures are enormous.

For example : 36 refreshment posts, 15 marquees erected at different points along the route, 10 safety shelters placed on passes by helicopter, 50 000 tuc biscuits, 2 800 kg of cheese, 20 000 persons transported, 170 buses and drivers, 50 control points, etc…

The success of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® races is, without any doubt, due to the quality of the organisation. To guarantee, once again, irreproachable logistics for the runners and those accompanying them, the visitors and the volunteers, it is essential to strengthen safety devices, reception and to professionalize certain services.

Nevertheless the price per race kilometre for the races around Mont Blanc remains amongst the lowest incomparison with organisations of the same size: Between 1.15€ and 1.30€/km (after augmentation) for this year, 2014.

Compared to:

Paris Marathon = between 70 and 115€ according to the date (between 1.7€/km and 2.73€/km)

NY Marathon = 290€ (6.9€/km)

Western State = 370$ (= 273€) (1.68€/km)

UTMF = 36 000 yen (= 258€) (1.61€/km)

Vasalopett (99km) between 180€ and 230€ according to the date… (between 1.8€/km and 2.32€/km)

In several days thousands of trail-runners will cement a dream…. December 19th, is the green light, the start of an adventure. The start of six month’s training, emotional due to some sacrifices and a lot of pleasure.

Rendezvous on August 25th for a week of partying and trail-running around the Mont Blanc country.