Three ISPO awards – GOLD for inov-8 Ultra Vest


It seems a long time ago that I was talking about, photographing and reviewing this new Race Vest from inov-8 (HERE).

I said in November, ‘the next key moment in pack design’ and it certainly looks to have turned a few heads and gained similar feedback from ISPO.


It comes into stores in February and I am aware from some retailers that stocks are already pre sold demand has been so high. So, if one of the new Race Vests is on your ‘yes’ list, don’t leave it too long.

You can read the update and news on the inov-8 website HERE

COMPRESSPORT® new partner for ISF 2014 Skyrunner® World Series

The ISF is pleased to announce a new partner in the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series and Skyrunning World Championships.  COMPRESSPORT®, leader in compression products designed for athletes, is a welcome addition to the other leading sports brands partnering the Series: Salomon,Arc’teryx, inov-8 and La Sportiva.

With nine World Championship titles in other sports, COMPRESSPORT® joins forces with skyrunning and a range of quality trail-specific products worn with pride by brand ambassadors of the calibre of Italian Marco De Gasperi; Spaniards Nuria PicasToti BesZigor IturrietaEmma Roca; German Florian Neuschwander, Brazilian Fernanda Maciel and Frenchmen Sébastien ChaigneauErik Clavery among 500 professional athletes who wear the products daily.

Nuria Picas, Skyrunning Ultra Champion.Photo- Nuria Picas, COMPRESSPORT® brand ambassador. © Orio Battista Viňas

In fact COMPRESSPORT® comes from a medical research background specialising in compression products for sport.  Since the company’s launch in 2008, the brand is sold in more than 70 countries.

The TRAIL Running Line aims to address athletes’ needs in extreme conditions and to improve their performance and enhance recovery.  The line includes shorts, T-shirt, quad sleeves, R2 calf sleeves and a unique sock designed specifically for trail running. Every aspect of the product is carefully studied, different morphologies are taken into account, hundreds of different yarns and fabrics are tested. Seamless construction maximises the efficiency and lifetime of the product which is rigorously tested in every production phase.

“We respond to the problems that athletes face daily. Whether to improve performance, enhance recovery or to help them in their everyday life”, says Jordi Solé, managing director of COMPRESSPORT® International.

“COMPRESSPORT® co-operates closely with athletes, scientists and physicians to meet athletes’ requirements in compression, endurance and recovery”.

“We are extremely happy to be able to co-operate with the International Skyrunning Federation. Both the ISF and COMPRESSPORT® concentrate on their athletes and their performance, so it was quite logical to enter into this partnership.”

COMPRESSPORT® will be present at all the major events in the Skyrunner® World Series and in Chamonix at the Skyrunning World Championships where the products will be on show and worn by some of the world’s top trail runners competing in these prestigious events.


Look out for these COMPRESSPORT® ambassadors on the start line of the 2014 events:

  • Marco De Gasperi – 6-time WMRA World Champion, 3rd ISF Sky Ranking
  • Nuria Picas – 2012 SWS Ultra Champion, 2nd 2013 ISF Ultra Ranking
  • Emma Roca – 15th ISF Ultra Ranking, 25th ISF Sky Ranking
  • Zigor Iturrieta – 38th ISF Ultra Ranking
  • Florian Neuschwander – 16th ISF Ultra Ranking, UTWC 2nd 2013
  • Fernanda Maciel – 1st TransGranCanaria & Mount Fuji 2012
  • Seb Chaigneau – 1st Hardrock 100 and TransGranCanaria, 8th ISF Ultra Ranking
  • Erik Clavery – 4th Diagonale des Fous 2012, 9th Les Templiers 2013

Marco De Gasperi – Vertical Kilometer® Hints ‘n’ Tips

Marco De Gasperi ©

Marco De Gasperi is a legend of mountain and Skyrunning. At the age of 16 he gained special permission to climb Monte Rosa with ISF president, Marino Giacometti and a small group of like-minded adrenaline filled mountaineers. It was the birth of Skyrunning.

The rest his history, Marco has six-world titles and a list of victories from races all over the world. Today at 36-years old, Marco is still one of the few runners who can push Kilian Jornet all the way to the line. In 2013 he did just that with an incredible race at Mont-Blanc Marathon and once again at the Dolomites SkyRace.


Born in Bormio (in the Alps) a hub for skiing and short-track skating. Living at 1200m provided Marco with advantages, however, he only found his true vocation at the age of 10-years. Marco had tried to adapt to Skiing and Nordic Skiing but the reality was soon apparent; he just didn’t have the required size and bulk required to be competitive. The mountains beckoned; daily he would leave the town, climb a peak and return in the same day.

At 12-years old an encounter with Adriano Greco introduced him to the winter past time of ski mountaineering and running in the summer months. Adriano was very much a coach and guide for Marco. He was introduced to a new aspect of sport, a new discipline that was at its birth. In 1994, Marco ran his first Vertical Kilometer® on the slopes of the Matterhorn.

Marco’s knowledge is invaluable in regard to mountains and how to run them! I chatted to the ‘legend’ while he was helping to coach future stars of the sport on a training camp in Portugal


Do you do any specific training for a Vertical Kilometer®?

My season always includes mountain races and races with plenty of climbing, so, I like to devote myself with specific training in the gym to build strength. For example, I use leg extension, leg press and other exercises such as squats. I also do up and down reps on a large box (60cm high), this is great for strength and endurance. It is also important to apply yourself outside and of course finding a steep incline of 30% and running at a smooth and consistent pace is ideal; it’s difficult to run all the way but I always try.

The Vertical Kilometer® is very demanding and runners incorporate different techniques to reach the summit in the fastest and most efficient way. Hands-on-knees and ‘poles’ are two methods; do you have a preference?

Application very much depends on the individual needs and demands of each runner and the course. For example, you will find many VK specialists come from a Ski Mountaineering background and therefore they are very well adapted and practiced with the use of poles. Certainly, when slopes become much steeper, poles offer an advantage as they help balance the center of gravity and thus provide a more advantageous position. In principal though, I prefer to try and run!

Marco De Gasperi ©

Aerobically it is very easy to just ‘tip over the edge’ with a VK, do you have any special techniques in training to help to pace yourself?

You need to train and understand the muscular and mental aspects that are required to race a VK well. The correct pace is easy to find if your mind is prepared for the challenge ahead. Take long hills in training at an easy pace, try to keep running and enjoy the process have fun! If I don’t have the possibility to train on long steep hills I like to find a short hill that is steep and I do reps at a faster pace than racing… I walk back down to allow recovery and then repeat

Walking for many will be a key element of a successful VK. I am well aware that you will try to run as much as possible. However, do you practice walking?

Long and steep mountains are very difficult, it’s all about efficiency and yes, sometimes it is far more efficient to walk. It’s about balance; I run for as long as possible but a good climber knows when to switch to maintain rhythm and speed. You want to avoid building up too much lactic acid. I consider myself to be a good ‘walker’ and I am happy to switch as and when required. As for practice, no not really, just go out in the mountains and hike. It’s a perfect way to combine fun and training.

Marco De Gasperi ©

You have already mentioned indoor training and strength work. Have you ever trained on a treadmill and what about core and stability training?

Core and stability is very important, without doubt it provides benefits. Every week I do 3-4 sessions of five key exercises to work on this. In regard to a treadmill; it’s not the best way to train for a VK but maybe you have limited options? It can obviously be better than nothing. Just make sure you have it at an incline and work hard.

In regard to particular VK training, is it better to train on shorter or longer mountains; do you have a preference?

I have many years in the sport, in my opinion; I think that too many long mountains are not good for the specific demands of a VK. In particular, as a race approaches keep sessions in the 30-50 minute bracket.

Tricky question for you Marco, other than yourself (obviously) who do you regard to be the best runners at the VK distance?

You are very kind! I am going to split this. Urban Zemmer with poles, Berny Dermatteis without using poles and Valentina Belotti. I guess it comes as no surprise that these runners are all Italian but the records show that they have the fastest times.

Finally Marco, if you had to provide three invaluable tips for running a Vertical Kilometer® what would they be?

  1. Do 6-7 reps 3 times on a trail that is not too steep, rest by walking down.
  2. Make sure you have easier days between hard sessions
  3. To race and perform well on race day, your legs must be very relaxed and recovered.


Marco De Gasperi is a true champion, not only on the trails and slopes of the mountains but also off them. A gentleman, professional and perfect ambassador for our sport, he gives of his time and experience freely.

As always, it’s a pleasure to speak and learn more about such a wonderful athlete. Thanks Marco!

SWS Vertical Kilometer® Calendar 2014

SPAIN: Transvulcania Vertical Kilometer® – May 8
FRANCE: VK Face de Bellevarde, Val d’Isère – July 11
ITALY: Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei – July 18
USA: Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer® – September 12
ITALY:  Vertical Grèste de la Mughéra, Limone sul Garda – October 10


Vibram® Hong Kong 100 2014 – Race Preview

Hong Kong 100 Logo

The Hong Kong 100 course starts in Pak Tam Chung on the east side of Hong Kong’s New Territories and winds its way west along coastal paths, across beaches, through ancient villages, over hills and through valleys before finishing after the descent of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest peak (at 957m). The 100km journey climbs over 4,500m and much of the climbing is in the second half of the course.

Hong Kong 100

The first race in the new UTWT (Ultra Trail World Tour) will have many eyes upon it as this new series starts. The announcement of the UTWT at the 2013 TNFUTMB gained very mixed responses from those who attended the press conference. I for one questioned the inclusion of races like Marathon des Sables and Western States. However, although the initial press conference left many question marks, the UTWT have progressed and started to assemble not only a solid of list of races but also an ever expanding list of racers who will take part. In real terms, runners who are looking to participate in the UTWT series of events are currently limited. If we look at HK100 this ultimately comes down to: Dave Mackey, Jez Bragg, Francesca Canepa, Lizzy Hawker and some members of the WAA Team. However, a series must start somewhere and the next race in New Zealand, Tarawera, will see a more international runners and ever expansive field. It will be interesting to see how UTWT progresses.

Hong Kong 100 course_profile

So let’s look at the action for Hong Kong 100

Participant list – HERE

1608 runners are listed for the 2014 edition of the race with a very strong contingent from and Vibram. As you can image, going through the list, many names are unknown to me, so, if I have missed a ‘local’ runner to the Hong Kong race scene that may well show a presence at the front, please let me know and provide some additional stats.

Below I have listed the ‘key’ runners in alphabetical order.

Fabrice Armand (Salomon) –  Has raced well at the Dodo Trail 50k placing 2nd and 3rd in 2011 he placed 10th at Diagonale des Fous however recent results are a little sparse.

Vajin Armstrong (Macpac)  Had a great 2013 with 2nd 2013 Kepler Challenge, 2nd at Swiss Alpine Marathon 2013, 2nd at TNF 100 Australia, 3rd at Tarawera. He did race at TNFUTMB but that didn’t quite go to plan. Without doubt HK100 will suit Vajin. Expect to see him up front.

Pascal Blanc (Hoka) 3rd at Mafate Trail Tour, 3rd at Diagonale des Fous, 5th at Extreme Dodo Trail has all the required skills and ability to race well at HK100. Certainly the race profile in the latter stages will suit him and his Diagonale des Fous experience will be invaluable.


Jez Bragg (TNF)  this time last year was running from the top-to-the-bottom of New Zealand on the Te Araroa Trail. His 2013 season was very much influenced by his ability to recover from such a supreme effort. However, Jez did place 11th at UTMB and 17th Cortina Trail. Jez decided to miss TNF50 in December which was probably a wise move. Pretty sure Jez will be focused on doing well here.

Francesca Canepa - Ronda dels Cims ©

Francesca Canepa – Ronda dels Cims ©

Francesca Canepa (Montura-Vibram) One of my runners of 2013. Francesca is just an animal and I mean that in the nicest way. Francesca not only races a lot (maybe too much?) but she also knows how to win. Without doubt she likes races that are tough, technical and involve lots of climbing. The latter half of HK100 will suit Francesca and most certainly, as other ladies fade with the effort, Francesca will just be getting warmed up! Expect her to release a supreme effort in the latter 30% of the race. After checkpoint 8 she will move up embracing Needle Hill, Grassy Hill and the finish at Tai Mo Shan. Her results from 2013 speak volumes: 1st Andorra Ultra Trail, 1st Tor des Geants, 1st Trail de Vulcain, 1st Eiger Trail, 3rd Ice Trail Tarentaise, 4th UROC. Hot favourite!

Cyril Cointre (WAA) Cyril has some great results and he may very well show a presence in the top-10 if he has a good day? His 2013 results are significant: 1st Ultra Trail du Vercors, 1st Defi de L’Oisans, 3rd at Ultra-Trail du Pay Mary Aurillac, 9th at UTMF, 8th Transgrancanaria.


Vincent Delebarre (WAA) had a mixed 2013. Top drawer performance at Ice Trail Tarentaise and then mixed performances at other races. I got to see him up close at MDS and UTMB and on both occasions he had some real tough patches. However, he came out the other end and survived. He has the potential of a good race at HK100; it’s just difficult to predict. 2013 results: 3rd at Ultra Trail Atlas Toubaki, 1st Le Quecha Tour de Fiz, 8th Ice Trail Tarentaise, 31st at MDS and 145th at UTMB

Antoine Guillon (WAA) Without doubt will like the HK100 course. Another quality performance at Diagonale des Fous and his 2nd place at TDS set him up well for the HK100. Like Francesca Canepa, I expect to see Antoine remain strong in the latter stages of the race, so, expect to see hime work up through the field. Results: 2nd behind Kilian Jornet at Diagonale des Fous 2012 and 4th in the 2013 edition behind Francois d’Haene, 7th at UTMF and 2nd at TDS.

Scott Hawker (Hoka One One Australia) I don’t know much about Scott and his results are very much Southern Hemisphere based, so, it’s difficult for me to say how he will stack up against the competition. One to watch for sure… 2013 results: 1st at Six Inch Trail 46k, 5th at Great Ocean Walk 100km, 1st at Kep Track 100km, 1st at Truth of Consequences.


Lizzy Hawker (TNF) Needs no introduction, in 2013 Lizzy was 1st Annapurna 100km, 1st Mt Everest 60km and 5th at Swiss Alpine Marathon, however, she was plagued by injury early in 2013, tried to get ready for UTMB and then got injured again. So, post August Lizzy had to recover and get well. Spending time in Morocco with Frosty, Lizzy then moved over to Nepal and has spent months in the mountains, walking and hinking but recently she has been back out running. Her form for the HK100 is unknown? It may very well be a first race back and a test, however, should Lizzy be in form, expect a great battle with Francesca Canepa and last years winner; Claire Price.

Ram Kumar Katri was 3rd at the 2013 HK100 and therefore must be a hot tip for this year’s race.

Olya Korzh (Salomon) placed 3rd in the ladies race at HK100 last year and also had some great results with a win at TMBT and 2nd at MSIG Sai Kung 50. Local knowledge will be a big advantage and of course her previous podium will provide her with confidence to race hard.


Christophe Le Saux (WAA) races all over the world week-in and week-out, always in or around the front of the race you can expect him to do the same at HK100 but I don’t see him threatening top-3.  2013 results: 9th at MDS, 13th at UTMF and 16th at Transgrancanaria

Dave Mackey (Hoka One One) Arguably the big hitter at HK100. Dave is one of the best 100k runners around. Although he has performed well at the 100-mile distance (particularly WSER) he has never quite nailed the distance like the 100k. Dave was one of the very first runners to sign up for UTWT, so, not only will he be looking for a top performance at this race, he will also be looking for consistency in the series. 2013 results: 1st at Rodeo Valley 50k, 2nd Bandera 100km, 5th at Lake Sonoma and 8th at TNF50

Nerea Martinez (Salomon) like Francesca Canepa loves hard races. A definite contender for overall victory and without doubt a top-10 finisher should all go well. Another lady who races a great deal and I can’t help but think some performances are affected by this? In 2013, racing regularly served Nerea well: 1st Transgrancanaria, 1st UTAX, 1st royal Raid Mauritius, 2nd Tor des Geants and 2nd at UTAT. Impressive!

Fabrice Perrin (UTWT) gets a mention here, not because he will contest the front of the race but because he is the UTWT Manager. He has finishes in previous years at: UTMF, UTMB, CCC and Grand Raid des Pyrenees amongst others

Claire Price (Salomon) last years HK100 winner and new course record holder; a record previously held by Lizzy Hawker. Crtainly to have Lizzy, Claire and Francesca in the same race is very exciting. I just hope they are all in good form! Clare is a consistent performer has her 2013 results show:  1st 2013 atHK100, 2nd at TDS and 8th UTMF

Jeremy Ritcey (Salomon) has the potential to do well at HK100. In 2013 he was 2nd at Lantau 100, 5th at HK100 and 16th at TNF100. Experience is always a big factor in any race… I wonder if he can improve on 5th?

Cassie Scallon (Salomon) another USA entrant who had some excellent results in 2013. Her recent 5th place at TNF50 in December obviously means that she is in good shape. However, Cassie’s wins at Tussey Mountainback 50, Ice Trail 50 and in particular, Lake Sanoma 50 mean that she has great potential (and speed) to push all the other ladies. Another great sign is Cassie’s 8th place at Run Rabbit Run 100-miler proving she has endurance too.

Siu Keung Tsang (champion Sysyem Adventure Team) 2nd HK100 in2013 and1st Lantau 50 must be a hot tip for this years race. However, I was told by a friend that he may well be not 100% at the moment, so, we will have to see. In 2013 we expected ‘Stone’ to do well at UTMB, he placed 18th, so, the jury is out on how his 2014 HK100 will go.

Results 2013:

  1. YanQiao Yun 10:16:06
  2. Siu Keung Tsang 10:19:43
  3. Ram Kumar Katri 10:19:59
  1. Claire Price 11:58:04
  2. Chiaki Jjelddahl 13:04:10
  3. Olya Korzh 13:10:40
  • Race Dates:18th – 19th January
  • Cut off : 32-hours

Race website: HERE

Live tracking will be available during the event.  To track any participant’s progress on PCs, iPads and large tablet, use this link.  For smartphones, use this link.  For live tracking on google map, use this link.

For participants who would like Facebook updates of your arrival at each CP (except CP1) posted on your wall, please register by using this link.

Skyrunner® goes nationwide



Ten years on and the Skyrunner® World Series goes nationwide. The successful 15-race model with three distances, Vertical, Sky and Ultra, will be reproduced, where possible, in many ISF member countries, which currently count 27.

Earlier last year, France was the first country to launch the Skyrunner® National Series which includes some of the best races in the country in the 42 km to 80 km range.  USA followed in December with a full calendar featuring five Sky, five Ultra and four Verticals.

National Series Logo

South Africa launched with three SkyMarathons and the new, much acclaimed Lesotho Ultra Trail in November.  Two more races are to be announced.

The UK as we know, lacks the higher altitude common to skyrunning, but it lacks nothing of the tough, challenging courses that have produced skyrunning stars of the highest level.  The first race announced earlier this month has 4,000m of vertical gain over 80 km – enough to satisfy even the most demanding Skyrunner.

Today, Italy, birthplace of skyrunning, announces their calendar, which perfectly reproduces the World Series format with five races in each discipline – Vertical, Sky and Ultra. In a country that boasts over 120 affiliated races and 90 associations, the calendar is spoilt for choice.  The National Series was created to mirror the SWS format and includes some of the country’s top races, such as the Giir di Mont, the Trans D’Havet (last year’s European Ultra Championships) and the Cervino Vertical K, where the first Vertical Kilometer took place 20 years ago at the foot of the Matterhorn.  The Italian Championships (one race per discipline), will be announced at the end of the month.

The concept of launching National Series lies in promoting the skyrunning philosophy at grass roots level and to offer runners in many different countries an opportunity to experience the skyrunning concept on home ground – to participate in well-organised, quality events with the passionate support of organisers and supporters; to enjoy spectacular courses that embody the skyrunning spirit; to push themselves further and higher on challenging terrain; to enjoy strong competition and, to reap the rewards of race and Series’ prize money.  The winners of each Series will win a place in the 2014 World Series finals (or the first 2015 races) together with travel contributions and other benefits.

Particularly welcome has been the response from National Series organisers to create races and circuits that reflect the spirit and the values of skyrunning and where, no doubt, future stars will emerge.

 Other National Series are in the pipeline, starting with one of skyrunning’s most important countries for both races and runners, Spain and Andorra.

Following on will be announcements from Australia & New Zealand, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Russia…

Skyrunner® France Series

Skyrunner® USA Series

iRunFar – an in-depth article on the US Series launch

Skyrunner® South Africa Series

Skyrunner® UK Series

Spain’s Carreraspormontana – report

Skyrunner® Italy Series

UK runner needed to join 7 International runners – 100- miles in June

Ultra D.Day Trail

I was recently contacted by Sebastien Chaigneau (The North Face) to be involved in a project to celebrate the D-Day landings in Normandy, June 6th 1944.

2014 is the 70th anniversary!

The Project

Representing 7 important nations from the D-Day landings, 7-ultra runners will join 7-soldiers from prestigious military academies:

  • The United States Military Academy West Point
  • The French Special Military School of Saint-Cyr
  • The British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
  • The Canadien Royal Military College Saint-Jean
  • The officer of the Army School in Dresden

14-athletes will run 100-miles together and will stop at ‘check-points’ that will not only allow some downtime but will also allow an opportunity to commemorate past events.

This ‘Ultra-Trail’ will use a majority of paths and trails with respect of the environment and natural spaces.

D-Day Ultra Trail Routes

“Honoured to be named as one of 7 international runners (along with 7 military runners) running together for 100 miles along the landing beaches/commemoration sites of France in June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings that changed the name of our game. Change your game by writing your own rules!” Jason Loutitt

The runners (tbc)

  • USA = Dian Van DEREN
  • GERMANY = Philip REITER and Thomas WAGNER
  • POLAND = Natalia SIERANT


Starting at 0400hrs on Thursday June 12th at Utah Beach, the 14-runners will progress along the 100-mile route with the objective to finish at the ‘Memorial’ in Caen at 1400hrs Friday June 13th.

It’s an incredible opportunity

This is an incredible opportunity for a UK ultra runner to be involved in a moment in history.


If you think it is, please email explaining why you think you should be considered and please provide a running CV.


Please note:

  • You must be able to run 100-miles within 32-hours, including breaks within the context of this D-Day project.
  • You must be available ideally June 11th – June 14th tbc.
  • All expenses will be covered
  • Deadline for application – January 22nd.

This event will be open to the public and the media. You will be representing your country in a key moment in history. Please, only email if you are serious and committed.

I am able to provide a PDF document that outlines the whole experience with more specific details should you require it.

Pavel Paloncy wins the 268-mile Montane Spine Race

Image ©pavelpaloncy

Image ©pavelpaloncy

Pavel Paloncy from the Czech Republic has just finished the Montane Spine Race; billed as the toughest race in Britain.

Pavel has covered the 268-mile journey fighting fatigue, sleep deprivation and some horrendous weather to not only secure victory in the 3rd edition of The Spine but also in the process set a new course record.


His finish at Kirk Yetholm has yet to have a confirmed official time, however, we have an estimation of 4 days and 14 hours 45 min (110h 45m tbc). The previous record set by Eugeni Rosello Sole of 5 days 4 hours and 52 minutes has been blown out of the water. However, we should note that conditions in a race of this length can vary so much that results and times should be assessed year-to-year. Pavel’s performance is quite remarkable!

Needless to say, Pavel is going to be looking forward to getting warm, relaxing and putting his feet up… I would guess for at least another 5-days!

Pavel has produced an incredible and outstanding performance, however, currently the race still has 35-runners out on the course. Matt Davis is in 2nd-place and has passed Bryness. Third place, Steve Holyoak has also passed Bryness and looks to be less than 2-hours behind Matt. It could all change for 2nd and 3rd. At this stage of the race, anything can happen.

*update 16th Jan 8000 : Matt Davis 119h 26m and Steve Holyoak finished 119h 28m, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Leading lady and 8th overall is Debbie Brupbacher, however, she still has a long way to go. Her last check-in was at Alston.

Montane Spine

Since the race start on Saturday, 40-runners have withdrawn from the race including last years defending champion. Although the race has had considerably less snow and ice than 2012 and 2013, conditions have been extremely harsh with low temperatures, rain, wind and snow on the high ground.

The Spine is more than a race… far more. Each and every participant should feel extremely proud for even contemplating the challenge.

As for Pavel, he isn’t human!

Who is Pavel Paloncy?

Pavel is an outdoor and sport photography specialist. He is also an adventure racer and ultra endurance sportsman. He is used to low comfort and working under extreme conditions. He is able to photograph and work in remote areas, hard to get to locations and under extreme conditions. Sounds as though he had the perfect preparation for The Montane Spine Race.

Image credit – ©pavelpaloncy

The Mother – Salomon Running TV S03 E04

screenshot_493“Running to me is a way to keep happy…” Kasie Enman

Kasie Enman hails from the small town of Huntington, Vermont where she lives with her husband and family. She was World Mountain Running Champion in 2011 and had a string of podiums in the 2012 SkyRunning Series before falling pregnant with her second child.

In this episode we discover Kasie’s home and family life as she shares her thoughts and feelings on running during pregnancy.


Another great film from Salomon Running and The African Attachment that shows us the importance of balance and passion.

Kasie Enman is not your normal runner!  2011 World Mountain Running Champion, Olympic Trials Team Member, 2012 winner of the Skyrunning Giir di Mont and 2:39 marathon runner (Marathon PB 2:37:14 set in 2008) just 9-months after her first child was born.

Kasie has said many times before that her priorities changed after the birth of her first child;

“I’m not the same person any more in terms of priorities. Running is no longer as important as it used to be and I have to work a lot harder at hanging on to my goals and not letting opportunities pass me by.” credit

©TheAfricanAttachment ©salomonrunning


“That’s When I Knew” & “Birth”
By SignPost
Written for The African Attachment & SRTV

Triumph Sports Bra Review – Hybrid Star P

Hybrid Star FrontI’ve been trying to get my hands on a pair of these for a while… I mean the Sports bra of course! Triumph don’t do a product for my ‘Moob’ size so I had to ask Niandi Carmont to step in with the ‘real thing’ and do a thorough test of the Hybrid Star P.

Breast Tissue and Running

Mammary glands, breasts, boobs ……whatever you wish to call those exercise-unfriendly puppies were not meant or designed for intense exercise in mind. This does not mean that we as female athletes weren’t meant to exercise but that our breasts need extra support and protection when we do.

Apart from the obvious discomfort of wearing ill-fitting, ineffective support, why is it so important to us? There are multiple reasons for this:

  • The breasts’ rich vascular supply makes them particularly vulnerable to internal bleeding.
  • Excessive bounce or motion during exercise may cause pain and aggravate sagging or stretch marks.
  • Bouncing breasts make most women feel self-conscious.

So what is breast tissue exactly? Well, breasts (sorry guys!) are chiefly composed of hormone-sensitive mammary glands, fatty tissue and connective tissue. So there is absolutely no muscle there ….. The pectorals major and minor muscles lie underneath the breasts, but the breasts themselves have no supporting ligaments or muscle tissue.

Choosing the correct sports bra

There are many on the market and the best would be to try them on as we are all different in terms of cup size, back size, skin sensitivity and exercise requirements. The best way to judge is try the bra on and jump and jog in front of the changing-room mirror. There should be zero bounce!

A compressive bra, which functions like a binder is better for a woman with small breasts (A or B cup size). A woman with large breasts (C cup size and larger) needs a firmer, supportive bra that encapsulates the breasts individually.

Hybrid Star Front

TRIUMPH’S Triaction Hybrid Star Non-Wired Sports Bra

I recently tested a range of Triumph’s sports bras and was particularly impressed with this model. I have always seemed to struggle with getting the right bra as I am a B cup but have a wide back so find the bras are either too tight-fitting across my back and chafe and cut into the skin or the cup size is too big and does not offer adequate support. I usually take a 36B but for this particular model 34B was a good fit. The bra comes in a variety of colors: white, black with red trim, grey with pink trim.

This particular model is designed for extreme level activity (running) although Triumph also makes sports bras for medium and high intensity. The Hybrid can also be used for other forms of intense exercise like power walking and speed hiking.

Hybrid Star Rear

The material is soft, comfortable and fast-drying with great wicking properties. There’s nothing worse than changing your run top for a dry one after an event and having to put up with a clammy, sweaty cold bra underneath.

The encapsulating cups are firmly molded and fit nicely over your breasts offering great support and comfort. There is no chafing from the straps which are extra wide, slightly padded at the top and impact absorbing.

Another feature I really appreciate is that the bra is non-wired and for me that is a condition sine qua non – I’ve had so many bras leave chafing, red markets under breasts due to wire, tight elastic or seams.

It is also unlike many sports bras in that it fastens with hook and eye so easy to put on and remove after an event.

During my run I felt comfortable, there was zero bounce and no unpleasant red marks from chafing under the breasts and shoulder straps.

And if you like to look when you exercise like I do, it looks great under sports clothing – none of this flattened breast look – you actually look curvy without the bounce!

The product retails at about £40 which is good value if you look at rival products offering similar quality.



Use the form below to enter. The two wittiest comments on why a Sports Bra is cool will win you the Bra of choice. 

Fusion Star

Triumph Fusion Star N 34B

The TriAction Fusion Star N sports bra features:

  • Pleasantly soft and quick-drying fabrics with an antibacterial effect that perfectly adapt to your run.
  • Highly breathable, moisture wicking fabric ensures optimum wearing comfort.
  •  Seam free tailoring and a special bonding technique prevent annoying seams.
  • Non-wired comfort and support.

Triumph Fusion Star W 34B

The TriAction Fusion Star W bra features:

  • Pleasantly soft quick-drying fabric
  • Optimum moisture-wicking
  • High breathability
  • Odor regulating and anti-bacterial effect
  • No annoying seams – bonding technique
  • Comfort wire which flex and adapt to your movement.