Everest Trail Race #ETR2012 Day 2 Image Gallery



Results top-3 stage 2

  1. Samir Temsang 4:14:06
  2. Phudorje Lama Sherpa 4:14:12
  3. Zigor Iturrieta 4:31:05
  1. Anna Comet 5:01:46
  2. Kerry Sutton 6:10:00
  3. Yangdi Lama Sherpa tbc

Everest Trail Race #ETR2014 Day 1 Image Gallery




Results top-3 for stage 1


  1. Samir Temsang 2:30:01
  2. Phudorje Lama Sherpa 2:30:39
  3. Zigor Iturrieta 2:56:46
  1. Anna Comet 3:16:16
  2. Kerry Sutton 3:36:35
  3. Yangdi Lama Sherpa 3:56:33



Everest Trail Race #ETR2014 – Stage 2


Day 2 #ETR2014

Day 2 of the Everest Trail Race is the toughest of the race: fact! It’s a brutal exercise in climbing and one that takes place at attitude stretching each and every participant to the limit.

Starting in Bhandar runners have the pleasure of running downhill along some twisting and technical trail before crossing a suspension bridge that stretches over Kinja Khola River. What follows is a lung busting and leg-sapping climb to Golla at just over 3000m. A little respite and then climbing starts again firstly to Ngaur and then onward to the highest point of the ETR; Pikey Peak at 4063m. From the summit at Pikey Peak an amazing Himalayan vista awaited but the runners had to work for it… really work for it! Dropping down a tough technical descent for several kilometres, a tough short climb is the sting in the tail to the arrival at Jase Bhanjyang at 3600m.

As one would expect Nepalese runners Samir Temsang and Phudorje Lama Sherpa set the pace for today. To be honest, they have a huge natural advantage on this high altitude terrain and they put this to great use. One again they ran together all day and in a repeat of day-1, Samir opened up just a short gap in the final meters to take the stage win and a slender lead overall. Zigor Iturrieta ran a stronger race today and looked in his element on the tough terrain. At the summit of Pikey Peak he laughed and joked and ran away sprinting… he may just get better as each day passes?

The ladies race was a repeat of day-1 with Anna Comet running strong and controlled from the front. Poles in hand, Anna powered her way up Pikey Peak with a huge smile and after the technical descent crossed the finish line with a repeat stage win. Kerry Sutton from the UK performed exceptionally well at altitude and produced a strong consistent performance to consolidate her 2nd-overall. Yangdi Lama Sherpa finished 3rd but says that she isn’t feeling too great at the moment. These things happen in multi-day racing and as we all know, anything can happen!

It was a tough day with many runners coming close to the cut-off time. Officially we only have one runner not making the cut-off and although he will be allowed to continue (if he feels he can) he will be withdrawn from the overall classification.

As camp settles to what will be a cold night under canvas (-12) ladies race leader Anna Comet has been sick and so we have some question marks for day-3.

Results top-3

  1. Samir Temsang 4:14:06
  2. Phudorje Lama Sherpa 4:14:12
  3. Zigor Iturrieta 4:31:05


  1. Anna Comet 5:01:46
  2. Kerry Sutton 6:10:00
  3. Yangdi Lama Sherpa



Day 3 Jase Bhanjyang – Karikola


is 37.4km and for a change has more descending (4110m) than ascending (2512m).


Starting in Jase Bhanjyang runners will pass through Jumbesi, Phurteng, Salung, Taksindu and then from Jubhing the race finishes with a tough climb to the stunning monastery at Kharikola.

Everest Trail Race #ETR2014 Stage 1


Day 1 #ETR2014

The Everest Trail Race (ETR) 2014 started today at the stroke of 0900 in the small Nepalese town of Jiri.

Low mist but a relatively mild night afforded everyone a comfortable nights rest before the action started. The sound of horns and a local group of musicians enticed the runners on to the trails for what will be a life-changing journey.

The Himalayas are beyond beautiful and impressive… it’s almost difficult to find the words and although stage-1 for the ETR doesn’t reach the high mountains or break the tree line, the day is impressive non the less.

Phudorje Lama Sherpa set the early pace but was soon joined by fellow Nepal teammate, Samir Temsang. The two seemed to work together throughout the stage and slowly but surely they stretched the elastic over experienced Spanish ultra runner, Zigor Iturrieta. Temsang in the latter stages opened up a small lead and finished just ahead of Phudorje by 38-seconds. Zigor however was 26-minutes back after the challenging first day of just 21.5km and 3700m+/- of elevation.

Anna Comet started the ladies race from the front and looked impressive throughout the day. She continued to open up a convincing lead of British entrant, Kerry Sutton who finished just over 20-minutes back. 2013 second place, Yangdi Lama Sherpa finished 3rd a further 20-minutes behind Kerry.

It’s only day-1 and a very tough stage lies ahead for day with some tough climbing to the highest point of the race. The top-3 runners in both the ladies and men’s fields are only separated by 30-miutes so a tough day of running lies ahead.

Results top-3

  1. Samir Temsang 2:30:01
  2. Phudorje Lama Sherpa 2:30:39
  3. Zigor Iturrieta 2:56:46


  1. Anna Comet 3:16:16
  2. Kerry Sutton 3:36:35
  3. Yangdi Lama Sherpa 3:56:33



Episode 74 – Anderson, Gash, Nelson, Forsberg


Episode 74 of Talk Ultra has Mimi Anderson and Samantha Gash talking about their epic South African journey. Luke Nelson talk about his running career, recent 100-mile success and how going out hard can pay off! Melie Forsberg is back for Smiles & Miles and Marc Laithwaite talks the long run in Talk Training. Tne News, a Blog, up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.


Skyrunner(R) World Series and Continental Series announced for 2015 – HERE

LIKE THE WIND pop-up – photo workshop, Seb, Jez Bragg

Kilian Jornet blogs about his passion for photography – HERE

Samantha Gash & Mimi Anderson
Luke Nelson


Marc Laithwaite is back with how long should your long run be?



Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2014 | website

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website
The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website

The Ancient Khmer Path | 220 kilometers | November 28, 2014 | website

Costa Rica
Transtica Costa Rica’c-venture – Course Aventure | 120 kilometers | November 19, 2014 | website
Transtica Costa Rica’c-venture – Course Extrême | 195 kilometers | November 19, 2014 | website

100 Km Pharonic Race | 100 kilometers | November 21, 2014 | website

Raid nocturne Le Puy-Firminy | 68 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website
Trail Extrème Lillois – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Lower Saxony
1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Kleiner KoBoLT | 106 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
KoBoLT | 140 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2014 | website

Ultra K Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

Trail Uewersauer | 50 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

Putrajaya 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Putrajaya 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Putrajaya 52 km | 52 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Putrajaya 78 km | 78 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 14, 2014 | website

New Caledonia
Evolo Kura to Mount | 300 kilometers | November 28, 2014 | website

New Zealand
Kauri Ultra | 70 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Molesworth Run | 84 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website

Arrábida Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website
Trail AM | 60 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website

Mafate Trail Tour | 65 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

South Africa
Salomon Sky Run 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Salomon Sky Run 65 km | 65 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

Marathon des Oasis | 111 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Beacons Ultra | 45 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Coastal Trail Series – Gower – Ultra | 34 miles | November 15, 2014 | website

Dizzy Fifties 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Dizzy Fifties 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Dizzy Fifties 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Tranquility Lake 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Pass Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Chimera 100K | 100 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Chimera 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Malibu Canyon Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website
Mt. Tam Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
San Joaquin River Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
San Joaquin River Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Spirit of the Rock 50M | 50 miles | November 23, 2014 | website
Wild Sebastian 100 Fall Edition – 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Wild Sebastian 100 Fall Edition – 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Wild Sebastian 100 Fall Edition – 75 Miles | 75 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
JFK 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Stone Mill 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Nougat Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Nougat Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
New York
Madhattan Run | 32 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Flying Feather 4 Miler | 43 miles | November 27, 2014 | website
Texas Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Texas Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Wild Hare 50K | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Wild Hare 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Doppler 50k | 50 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website
Grand Ridge 50 K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website



ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073
Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss
Website – talkultra.com

Julia Boettger prepares for the Salomon SkyRun

Julia Bottger ©iancorless.com

Julia Bottger ©iancorless.com

Julia Boettger loves and excels at long and hard races. Raid de la Reunion, Tor des Geants and epic solo journeys ‘just for fun’ show all of us what a multi-talented ultra runner she is.

In 2014, Julia started the season placing 2nd at The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica and what followed was a series of top quality results that reached a peak with an outright victory at Andorra Ultra Trail – Ronda dels Cims.

In just one week, Julia will toe the line at the Salomon SkyRun in South Africa. I caught up with Julia to find out how she feels and how the preparation has gone.


How have the last couple of months been from a racing perspective?

I had a great season with mixture of racing and running my own projects. The last successful race I did was the Transalpine Run which was unusual for me but we I had fun. It made a change to all the long distance runs I did during the summer.


How’s training going – have you done anything specific for SA?

Well for the moment I am doing a lot of long runs in the mountains. It has been hard to keep up motivation for training, as this season has been very long. However, I always really enjoy being out in the mountains all day. I have had to keep in mind to speed up or to do more elevation so that it is specific for the SkyRun.

Maybe you have been brushing up on your navigation and looking at some maps?

I already run most of the time with maps and on new trails etc. So I’m not too bad with navigation or orientation. But I think in a race it will be different.

Are you intimidated by the navigation element of the SkyRun?

Yes. South Africa is a completely different country, which I do not know at all. Weather, landmarks etc. will be completely different from my local terrain: the Alps.

The course sounds extreme, particularly if the weather turns. Have you researched the course?

Not yet. I will speak to my friend Stephan Repke who did the race two times and I will ask him about race specifics and the course. 

Michael De Haast has put up a great price purse should somebody post a great time, is that an incentive for you?

I just learned about this incentive … but no – this run will be a big adventure for me and the goal is to get to the finish line and to survive. If I can do it in a course record (which I don’t think so) it will be fantastic.

Have you been to SA before?

No. It will be my first time. I am looking forward to new experiences. People, landscape, and animals – everything will be different, new!

South Africa is one of the places I have always wanted to explore and to learn about. To run in nature, to experience the original freestyle trail running of the Salomon SkyRun will be inspiring. I like to challenge myself on long distance courses and the SkyRun will be definitely be a different kind of ultra distance challenge. But beside the race I am glad to have the opportunity to meet local people and to spend some time with them.

Everest Trail Race #ETR2014 – Travel to Jiri


Departing in five 16-seater mini buses, participants of the Everest Trail Race made the long, twisty and at times stressful journey from Kathmandu to Jiri for the start of the 2014 edition. It’s a rollercoaster journey up single -rack roads, a frenetic and constant beeping of horns and a multitude of bends that would leave the most hardened rollercoaster freak with a turning tummy.

Our lunch stop at Karidunga was a welcome break from the journey. While runners found a space and enjoyed the view of the Himalayas, off into the distance I walked looking for some local colour. You never have to go far, Ladies working in fields, men weaving basket wear and children playing; all have wonderful smiles.

They seem to embrace tourists and actually seem to enjoy the process of having a photo taken. Off course it’s all the more appealing if they receive a ‘token’ for their efforts…

Weathered faces show the lines from years of toil from harvesting crops. Children have round faces, wonderful colour and piercing eyes and a cheeky smile. In all honesty, I could photograph these people all day. They fascinate me.

Back on the buss the toing and froing continued and finally our arrival at Jiri came. We had been on the road 8-hours and the glow of our yellow TNF tents glowing as the day began to loose its light was more than a welcome sight.

Water collection, tent allocation and final preparations underway for tomorrows race day. A mug of hot tea warms as the departing of the sun takes the heat away and the temperature slowly drops… little by little venturing to zero and then suddenly it drops below. ‘Don’t worry’ Pasang Sherpa says, ‘it will only be -3 tonight.’


Day 1 commences at 0900 Thursday 13th November.

ETR Stg1

Jiri (1850m) to Bhandar (2050m) – 21.5km 3795m+

The stage has two summits, one at 2400m and the high point of the day at Deurali Pass 2700m before descending to the finish at Bhandar.

Day 2 Preview:

ETR Stg2

ETR Stg2 Profile




Lion King aims for the Sky – AJ Calitz

Image ©redbull

Image ©redbull

 AJ Calitz lines up for the high-intensity Red Bull LionHeart event and just one week later will toe the line at the ultra-distance Salomon SkyRun.The two races will require a particular change in gears particularly as Calitz is attempting to stand on the podium at both events. 

Two years ago Calitz set the pace at the inaugural Red Bull LionHeart, a 4, 4-kilometre duel from the base of Cape Town’s Lion’s Head peak to the top and back down again. Rather than a mass start, the race pits runners against each other in a head-to-head duel. Contenders run again and again, knocking out rivals on their climb up the ranks. Last year Calitz defended his title and beat Thabang Madiba by a mere 11 seconds to claim his second LionHeart title – and setting a new course record (26:46) at the same time.

Calitz has been training on Lion’s Head in preparation for this year’s event, which takes place on Saturday 15 November. When asked how he aims to pull back more seconds from his previous record runs, Calitz replies, “It is always possible to go faster; I am a lot faster on the downs this year”. 

He finds the stretch of jeep track to be the hardest section of the course. “Coming down from the top is quite a rush!” he adds.

Calitz is back for the third time. Aside from defending his crown, he is attracted to the race because of its man-on-man heat setup. “Whoever is prepared to hurt the most will win,” he says.

AJ Calitz at Zegama-Aizkorri

AJ Calitz at Zegama-Aizkorri

A week later Calitz transitions physically – and mentally – from the fast-paced action of LionHeart to the 100-kilometre mountain race, Salomon SkyRun. He has been out in the Witteberg mountains, familiarising himself with the route and the terrain.

“Yes, it helps a lot to be familiar with the course; route knowledge is 60% of the race at this event. To be fair, with racing at altitude and living at sea level I have to manage my expectations.”

Last year the race was cut short due to bad weather. Howling wind, torrential ice-rain and fog brought dangerous conditions to the mountains and Calitz, who was chasing race leader Iain Don-Wauchope, was nearly hypothermic and he withdrew from the race. He learned from this experience.

“Last year was rough,” he says of his first experience at SkyRun. “I learned that I should start slower because it is a long day out. Also, I have to focus on navigation, pacing and nutrition from the start.”


Red Bull LionHeart website (www.redbulllionheart.com).

The Salomon SkyRun (www.skyrun.co.za) starts before sunrise on Saturday, 22 November 2014 from the town of Lady Grey in the Eastern Cape.  The most up-to-date content during the race will appear on the event organiser’s Facebook page (Pure Adventures).

Everest Trail Race #ETR2014 – Kathmandu


An incredible day exploring the sights, sounds, colours and meeting the people of Kathmandu. What an incredible place.

Located at the top of a hill, our day started with a visit to Swayambhunath (affectionately known as the Monkey Temple).

Swayambhunath (Devanagari: स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप; sometimes romanized Swoyambhunath) is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The Tibetan name for the site means ‘Sublime Trees’ (Wylie:Phags.pa Shing.kun), for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. However, Shing.kun may be a corruption of the local Nepal Bhasa name for the complex, Singgu, meaning ‘self-sprung’. For the Buddhist Newars in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice, Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it is second only to Boudhanath.

The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, the number one (in Devanagari script) is painted in the fashion of a nose. There are also shops, restaurants and hostels. The site has two access points: a long stairway with 365 steps, leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which is from the top of the hill to the east; and a car road around the hill from the south leading to the southwest entrance. The first sight on reaching the top of the stairway is the Vajra. Tsultrim Allione describes the experience:

We were breathless and sweating as we stumbled up the last steep steps and practically fell upon the biggest vajra (thunder-bolt scepter) that I have ever seen. Behind this vajra was the vast, round, white dome of the stupa, like a full solid skirt, at the top of which were two giant Buddha eyes wisely looking out over the peaceful valley which was just beginning to come alive.[2]

Much of Swayambhunath’s iconography comes from the Vajrayana tradition of Newar Buddhism. However, the complex is also an important site for Buddhists of many schools, and is also revered by Hindus.

From Swayambhunath we took a short bus ride and then walked around the vibrant streets of Kathmandu. It’s a cacophany of noise mixed with people, cars and colour. The people are warm, welcoming, happy and friendly despite obvious poverty that is on display no matter where you look.

Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमाडौं [kɑʈʰmɑɳɖu]; Nepal Bhasa: येँ देय्‌) is the capital and largest municipality of Nepal. It is the only city of Nepal with the administrative status of Mahanagarpalika (Metropolitan City), as compared to Up-Mahanagarpalika (Sub-Metropolitan City) or Nagarpalika (Municipality). Kathmandu is the core of Nepal’s largest urban agglomeration located in the Kathmandu valley consisting of Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur and a number of smaller communities. Kathmandu is also known informally as “KTM” or the “tri-city”. According to the 2011 census, Kathmandu has a population of close to 1 million people. The municipal area is 50.67 square kilometres (19.56 sq mi)  and has a population density of 3000per km² and 17000 per km square in city.

The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal.[6] It is surrounded by four major mountains: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley is part of three districts (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur), has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal’s population.

Historically, the Kathmandu Valley and adjoining areas were known as Nepal Mandala. Until the 15th century, Bhaktapur was its capital when two other capitals, Kathmandu and Lalitpur, were established. During the Rana and Shah eras, British historians called the valley itself “Nepal Proper”. Today, Kathmandu is not only the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, but also the headquarters of the Bagmati Zone and the Central Development Region of Nepal.

Kathmandu is the gateway to tourism in Nepal. It is also the hub of the country’s economy. It has the most advanced infrastructure of any urban area in Nepal, and its economy is focused on tourism, which accounted for 3.8% of Nepal’s GDP in 1995–96. Tourism in Kathmandu declined thereafter during a period of political unrest, but since then has improved. In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top 10 travel destinations on the rise in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia.

The city has a rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years, as inferred from inscriptions found in the valley. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Most of Kathmandu’s people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. There are people of other religious beliefs as well, giving Kathmandu a cosmopolitan culture. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language in the city. English is understood by Kathmandu’s educated residents. Content ©wikipedia

Tomorrow, Tuesday 12th is an early start as we all leave Kathmandu and head to Jiri for an overnight camp and then the race starts Wednesday.

Stage 1 – Preview

ETR Stg1

ETR Stg1 Profile

Km 0. Departure from campsite with initial direction 150o. Follow main pathway that crosses Bhandar. At the end of the village, cross the wooden covered bridge, turn left immediately and followmainpathwayparalleltotheriver (maintaineddescenttillKm3,7).

Km 1,04. Take footpath on the right and go down crossing several times the main pathway. Km 3,7 (1.523 m). Turn right crossing the bridge (maintained ascent till Km 9,8).

Km 9,8. Arrival to the pass that leads to the Golla village (Gompa). Take the footpath on the left that leads to the village exit and to the CP2.

Km 10 CP2 . Come out following the path on the right. Terrain combining flat sections and slight ups and downs till Km 12.

Km 12. Take the detour on the left and follow the marked path. Maintained climbing inside the forest till Km 13,5 where we reach a hill with flags. Follow marked pathway inside the forest.

Km 16,9 (3625 m.). Find a clearing and enter again the forest with direction 170o. Follow marked pathway.

Km17. Anewclearing. Initialdirection150otillenteragaintheforest.

Km17,5(3.772m.).Comeout oftheforest.Followmarkedpathandturnleftafterfewmeters to start climb to the Pike Peak (4.065 m). Follow marked path. We will identify the summit because of the prayer flags.

Km 19,5 CP3. Reach the Pike Peak summit. Go down the marked path till a Many Wall (3.989 m). Take marked path on the left. Go down along a technical zone. CAUTION!.

Km 21,5. (3.950 m). Clearing. Turn left and go on till pass with Mani Wall (3.500 m). Km 23,7 (3.783 m). Pass by a group of 3 chorten and follow pathway. Km26,5(3.265m).Turnleft crossingtheriver.Followmarks.Km 28. Taktur.