SkyRace® Comapedrosa – 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series

The tiny ski-resort of Arinsal was bustling as 300+ runners lined up to take part in the next stage of the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series, the SkyRace® Comapedrosa. The weekend also would host the ISF Skyrunning Youth World Championships over a shorter 15km course.

The SkyRace® Comapedrosa’s full course is 21km in length with a vertical ascent of well over 2,000m. The most challenging part of the course, in addition to very technical terrain, was the 1000-metre vertical climb over 2km in length to the summit of Coma Pedrosa – the highest point of the course (and Andorra) at 2,942m.

Jan Maragrit Sole, winner of last-weekends Dolomites SkyRace set the pace from the off, Rui Ueda joined him and the duo forged ahead chased by Marco De Gasperi and last year’s 2nd place at Comapedrosa, Aritz Egea

I led the race from the beginning, I felt good and I decided to push,” said Maragrit Sole on the finish line. “I reached the summit of Coma Pedrosa in the lead and it was all downhill from there to the finish line. I feel great at the moment. The USA will be next and I will race at the RUT doing the VK and SkyRace!”


The surprise of the day was without a doubt Rui Ueda, who made the pace early on. He was later passed by Marco De Gasperi after the Italian Skyrunning legend made a stunning climb to the Coma Pedrosa summit which sits just under 3000m.He flew across the finish-line, beaming and looking incredibly fresh especially when one considers just last weekend he took a podium place in the Dolomites. Ueda held off a charging Zaid Ait Malek who ran a stunning descent. Adrien Michaud finished 5th and last year’s 2nd place Aritz Egea was just outside the top-5. De Gasperi ran 2:41:50 and Ueda 2:44:54.

The course is extremely hard – the climbs are like vertical kilometers. There is no flat running in Comapedrosa. This course suits the vertical specialist but at the same time what comes up must come down and Maragrit Sole not flew up but flew down and in the process set a new course record 2:35:36.

In the female field, few were surprised at race favourite Laura Orgué’s early charge and dominating the race from the front. She climbed hard using her VK skills and by the time she reached the summit at Coma Pedrosa she had a convincing lead over Sheila Aviles Castano, race surprise Takako Takamura, Megan Kimmel and Hillary Gerardi.

For Laura Orgué though, victory was not to be today. She gave it her all but on the descent a recurring stomach issue struck causing severe pain. She continued but struggled. Avilés Castano passed and took an incredible victory in 3:17:36. Orgue held on for 2nd in 3:19:29.

I Felt good today, particularly after last weekend’s victory in the Dolomites. I lead the race from the front and then on the descent the pain hit,” Orgue said post-race. “It really is annoying but the pain is terrible. It just slowed me down. I couldn’t push and gave way my hard-earned lead. Importantly I finished 2nd and I can take away positives of how strong I felt.”

Takamura finished an incredible 3rd in 3:26:43 and the USA’s Gerardi followed 2nd in the Dolomites last weekend with 4th here in 3:28:43. Pre-race favourite Megan Kimmel, also from the USA had a tough day but finished 5th in 3:33:22.

Next up is the Tromso SkyRace in Norway – the 2nd race in the Extreme category of the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series

all images ©

Image galleries will be uploaded to

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Episode 139 – Adam Campbell and Chris DeNucci

Episode 139 of Talk Ultra brings and we bring you a full and in-depth interview with Adam Campbell. Adam had a horrific accident that could have so easily killed him. He has come back with a remarkable recovery and just finished Hardrock 100. Chris DeNucci has slowly but surely moved through there ultra ranks with solid performances, this year he placed 5th at Western States. We have the news, some chat and I am pleased to say, Niandi is back!
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00:28:00 NEWS
Dolomites SkyRace
Jan Maragarit Sole took an incredible victory ahead of Davide Magnini and Skyrunning Legend Marco De Gasperi. They were separated by just 45 seconds. 2:07 the winning time on a revised course. It was the 20th edition of the race.
2016 champ Laura Orgue defended her title ahead of the USA’s Hillary Geradi and Hilde Alders from Norway 2:36, 2:37 and 2:39 respectively.
Eiger Ultra Trail
Andrea Huser does it again – I am forever amazed how much Andrea races and podiums. It is quite incredible. She is the Mike Wardian of the female ultra scene. She won in 13:46 ahead of Martina Trimmel and Helen Oli, 14:44 and 14:49.
Stephan Hugenschmidt took victory ahead of Urs Jenzer and Jordi Gamito. From a UK perspective, MDS 3rd placed male Thomas Evans was 4th. 11:01 was the winning time and a new CR, 11:15 and 11:31 for 2nd and 3rd.
The Royal Gran Paradiso
Bhim Gurung from Nepal won the race after a closely fought battle throughout the race were the front runners were separated by seconds. Andre Jonsson was 2nd ahead of Perl Aurell, times: 6:41, 6:51 and 6:52.
Maite Maiora dominated the ladies race in 8:05 ahead of Katie Schide in 8:37 and Ekaterina Mityaev in 8:48.
ETR 2017
Luis Alberto Hernando – IAU World Champ and Skyrunning European Champ has confirmed he will attend the 2017 edition along with MDS champ Elisabet Barnes.
00:40:20 Lets go to an interview with CHRIS DENUCCI 
Hardrock 100
Kilian Jornet won the race single-handedly… yep, Kilian fell early in the race, dislocated his shoulder, put it back in and then ran the race with one arm and still beat Mike Foote and Joe Grant. Kilian is slowly but surely become the master of Hardrock and we will almost certainly see him again next year hunting for a 5th victory. 24:32, 24:55 and 25:37 for the top 3 men.
Lady of the moment, Caroline Chaverot actually lead the race outright in the early stages, then went of course but still secured a convincing victory. Caroline is THE BEST female ultra and mountain runner in the world at the moment – no doubt! Darcy Piceau was 2nd and Nathalie Mauclair 3rd – Frosty was 4th. 28:31, 29:22 and 30:34 for the top-3.
Kendall Mountain Run
Jim Walmsley is back to winning and CR’s. For now he is one of the fastest ultra-runners in the world up to 100km. Ironically this race was just 12 miles. He beat the previous Joe Gray CR by 3 min to record 1:31. Kathryn Ross was the First Lady in 1:57. The ladies record is till with Stevie Kremer – 1:55.
Coming up:
Speedgoat 50k
Tromso SkyRace 31
Lakeland 100 in the UK
02:03:22 Interview with ADAM CAMPBELL 2016 Interview
03:00:27 Interview with ADAM CAMPBELL 2017 Post Hardrock Interview


Northern Territory

The Malbunka | 133 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website
The Namatjira | 80 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website


Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website


Dirndltal Extrem Ultramarathon | 111 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website



100 km Dodentocht® | 100 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website



Canadian Death Race Ultra Marathon | 125 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

British Columbia

Fat Dog 100 Trail Race: 120 mile | 120 miles | August 11, 2017 | website

Prince Edward Island

50 km | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website



Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website


La Loire Integrale | 1025 kilometers | August 09, 2017 | website


Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website


Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website


Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


La Pastourale des Pyrénnées | 450 kilometers | August 08, 2017 | website
La Pottoka des Pyrénées | 180 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website
TransPyrénéa | 866 kilometers | August 01, 2017 | website


Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
EDF Cenis Tour 50 | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
EDF Cenis Tour 73 | 73 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
La 6000D | 63 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website



Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Lower Saxony

Süntel-Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


Himachal Pradesh

The Himalayan Crossing | 353 kilometers | August 02, 2017 | website
The SPITI | 126 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website




Aosta Valley

Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 121 km | 121 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website


Cēsis ECO Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2017 | website


100 Miles | 100 miles | August 04, 2017 | website
Bèrghem UltraRondane 400K | 400 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website


Trail du Grand Ouest | 60 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


Ultransilvania | 101 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website


Elbrus Mountain Race | 112 kilometers | August 03, 2017 | website
Elbrus Mountain Ultra | 59 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


ULTRA FATRA | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

South Africa

Merrell Whale of Trail | 53 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website



104 km | 104 kilometers | August 04, 2017 | website


55 km | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Ultra | 104 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
Ultra Trail Valls d’Àneu | 92 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


Bergslagsleden på 5 dagar | 280 kilometers | August 01, 2017 | website
Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 04, 2017 | website
Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 70 km | 70 kilometers | August 04, 2017 | website
Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website
Trans Scania | 246 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website



Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
T133 | 133 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
T214 | 214 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website


La Spéci-Men | 72 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


100 Miles | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
80 km | 80 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

City of Bristol

Kennet & Avon Canal Race | 140 miles | July 28, 2017 | website

East Riding of Yorkshire

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website


Round the Rock Ultra | 46 miles | August 05, 2017 | website


Oxford Ultra | 65 miles | August 11, 2017 | website
Thames Challenge | 184 miles | August 10, 2017 | website


Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


50 Miler | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website


Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 05, 2017 | website


North Downs Way 100 | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website



Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 11, 2017 | website


Vertigo 63K Night Trail Run | 63 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run (summer) | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
Skyline 50K | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website


100 Miles | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
102.1 Miles | 102 miles | August 04, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
51.9 Miles | 51 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
55 km | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
High Lonesome 100 | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
Silverheels 100 Mile Endurance Run | 102 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 04, 2017 | website


Toxic Trail Shirt Order | 37 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
Waiver Only – No shirt | 37 miles | July 29, 2017 | website


Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website


50 K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website


51 km | 51 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 04, 2017 | website

New Jersey

River 2 Sea Relay | 72 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

New York

50K | 50 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
55 km | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Beast of Burden Summer 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Beast of Burden Summer 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Team Relay Race | 234 miles | August 11, 2017 | website


100 Mile | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile Back Half | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website


Elkhorn Relay | 204 miles | August 11, 2017 | website
Relay | 132 miles | August 04, 2017 | website


100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Miler | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website


100K | 100 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
100 Miles | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
50K – Saturday | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
50K – Sunday | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
50 Miles | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Colorado Bend – 60k | 60 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


100K | 100 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website
100 K | 100 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run | 100 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
Speedgoat 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website


36 Miles | 36 miles | August 05, 2017 | website


Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


Bigfoot 200 Mile Endurance Run | 205 miles | August 11, 2017 | website
Volcanic 50 | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

West Virginia

Kanawha Trace 50K | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
50K Run | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
Hilloopy 100+ Relay | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website


El Vaquero Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
CLOSE 03:59:20
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2017 #VK Vertical Kilometer Youth World Championships – ISF, International Skyrunning Federation

The KV Arinsal kicked of the 2017 ISF Youth Skyrunning World Championships in the Principality of Andorra following on from the success of the inaugural event held in Italy in 2016.

Sixteen countries (double the 2016 number) from four continents participated. Competing in three age group categories:

  • A (16-17 years)
  • B (18-20 years)
  • and U23 (21-23 years)

18 medals were at stake – Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The KV Arinsal is a 3.5 km long Vertical Kilometer® which started in the town of Arinsal and finished at Alt de la Capa summit, 2,570m altitude.


16-17 age group category A

Nicolas Molina (ESP), Arnau Cases (ESP), Diego Gomes (POR), Jana Aguilar (ESP), Erin Margill (USA), Andreu Sinfreu (AND).

18-19 year-old B category

Jan Margarit (ESP), Roberto Delorenzi (SUI), Luca Lizzoli (ITA), Giorgia Felicetti (ITA), Sora Takizawa (JPN), Irati Zubizarreta (ESP).

U23 category

Alex Oberbacher (ITA), Antonio Alcalde (ESP), Daniele Felicetti (ITA), Fatima De Diego (ESP), Claudia Sabata (ESP), Barbora Chica (CZE).

Countries competing in the 2017 Youth Skyrunning Championships are: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Peru, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA.

The Youth Skyrunning World Championships are held annually in different countries with a view to developing and promoting the sport and to highlight young skyrunners, giving them an opportunity to shine on the international stage.

With thanks to the La Massana Ministry of Tourism, Federaciò Andorrana de Muntanysme (FAM) and SkyRace® Comapedrosa organisers Ocisport.


SKYRACE COMAPEDROSA Preview – 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series 

Andorra will host the seventh stage of the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series with the SkyRace® Comapedrosa coming just one week after the Dolomites SkyRace and VK that took place in Italy.

Arinsal, a small ski resort within Andorra will have 300+ runners toe the line to take on the challenging 21 km course that includes a brutal climb of 1000m to the summit of the iconic and beautiful Coma Pedrosa at 2942m. The climb even more difficult and spectacular due to its overall distance of just 2km – yes, it’s a 50% gradient!

The opening miles are road and ease the runners into winding forest trails all the way up to the Col de les Cases (1958M), a wooded area follows and from this point the runners will encounter a stretch of ridge. Pic de les Fonts at 2748m and the Pla de l’Estany follows.

Now the beautiful and challenging climb begins, a true vertical wall of more than 1000m of positive difference in about 2km. A VK within a race! Without a marked path, the runners follow markers to the summit of Comapedrosa at 2942m. Pure Skyrunning – Less Cloud, More Sky.

The descent is by the traditional route through the Estany Negre and Coma Pedrosa refuge, until reaching Arinsal where the race started.

2016 Youth Skyrunning World Championships, Italy. ©

The Skyrunning World Youth Championships will also take place on the same weekend. The first edition took place in 2016 in Italy and it was a great success. Two events, the KV Arinsal which is the classic Vertical Kilometre will take place on July 28 and the SkyRace will take place on July 30. On offer are 54 medals distributed across three age categories – 16-17yrs, 18-20yrs and 21-23yrs. Read ISF release here.

The Contenders Men

Aritz Egea is on form this year and had a great race at Comapedrosa in 2016. He has already placed 2nd at Livignio and Buff Epic and won Olympus Marathon. He is the hot favourite in Andorra.

Jan Maragrit Sole won the iconic 20th edition of the Dolomites SkyRace last weekend and I am unsure at this moment if he will race the Youth Championships or the Migu Run Skyrunner World Series? Either way he is a hot contender for victory.

Pere Aurell Bove had a great result at The Royal Gran Paradiso recently and although this event is considerably shorter and faster, he should be in the mix. He won the race in 2015.

Kiril Nikolov placed highly at Olympus Marathon and the shorter distance events suit him, he has proved this before at races like Limone.

Hassan Ait Chaou like Egea had a great race in Andorra last year and although his form doesn’t appear to be as good as 2016, you can’t rule him out!

Eugeni Gil Ocana is having a great 2017 with strong and consistent running, Comapedrosa will suit the Spanish runner. He is top-10 potential for sure and top-5 on a good day.

France’s Adrien Michaud may well stir up the front of the race but Benat Marmisolle is a likely podium contender after a strong and solid race at The Royal Gran Paradiso – the question will be if he has recovered?

Andorran brothers Oscar and Marc Casal Mir will be focused on this race and they know the course like the back of their hands.

Breaking news may well see a last-minute entry by Skyrunning legend Marco De Gasperi. If the Italian toes the line, I would predict a podium place and I have a feeling that victory is on the cards… De Gasperi has some great form now as we saw with his 3rd place in the Dolomites, just 45-seconds behind the winner.

It’s a stacked field and other names to watch are as follows:

Nicolas Bouvier Gaz, Brice Delsouiller, Jose Larralde, Jokin Lizeaga, Inaki Uribe-Etexbarria, Aitor Aiuria, Anartz Artola, Paul Riera, Sintu Vives, Ismail Razga, Pere Rullan, and many more runners from FEEC.

The Contenders Ladies

Laura Orgue just won the Dolomites SkyRace and is the defending champion at Comapedrosa. Orgue and Kimmel will have a real head-to-head battle for top honors.

Megan Kimmel is on fire this year and she loves the classic SkyRace distance. The 22km race will suit her down to the ground and as she has proven time and time again, she is the hot favourite victory.

Denise Dragomir had a very strong race in Livignio – she placed 2nd. She was strong on the climbs and fast on the descents which makes her a podium favourite.

Anne-Lise Rousset recently missed High Trail Vanoise through injury but if recovered with good training miles, she will be a definite contender for the podium.

Celia Chiron had a solid 2016 and it was a breakthrough year on the Skyrunning calendar. She has raced a great deal already in 2017 and I see her as a podium, top-5 for sure. *upadate: Celia will not run, confirmed 26th July. 

Hillary Gerardi has been a revelation in 2017 with a solid run in Livignio and just last weekend she placed 2nd at the Dolomites behind Laura Orgue. She is a good friend of Celia Chiron (the duo race together) so we may well see an interesting dynamic in the Comapedrosa race.

Anna Comet this year is racing shorter and faster races instead of the ultra-distance, she had a tough race in the Dolomites but it’s all learning curve – I think we will see an improved performance in Andorra.

Maria Zorroza is another contender for the top-5 and almost certainly the top-10, she will however have some strong competition from Aitziber Ibarbia and Oihana Azkorbebeita.

Laia Andreu rounds out the top-10 contenders and we can also expect Silvia Puigarnau, Paloma Lobera and Nuria Dominguez to be in the mix.

Race website HERE

2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series HERE

Jaybird X3 Wireless Earphone Review

If you are like me and enjoy running with music, you will appreciate a quality pair of earphones. Of course, the jury is out of music whilst running, particularly when racing. Many races have a no earphone policy so that you are as a runner are not distracted, can hear directions from marshals and hear other runners who may need to notify you of passing or potential hazards.

But for many, music is an absolute dream when running as it provides a distraction, it helps the miles click by and I know personally that many runners listen to some excellent running podcasts such as Talk Ultra as a way of catching up on interviews and news.

With the above considered, a quality pair of earphones are essential and with growing use of wireless technology and the need and or requirement to carry a phone when training or racing, respected earphone manufacturer JAYBIRD have released the X3 – an update to the X2 model.

The X3 is a wireless pair of earphones that seamlessly sinks with a compatible device. In my test scenario I synced with an iPhone 7.

Out of the box you can immediately notice that the build quality and attention to detail is excellent. They feel solid and sturdy.

Before going any further I immediately downloaded the Jaybird App from the iTunes Store on my phone. It’s called JAYBIRD MYSOUND and is available for free.

The app takes you through the process of pairing earphones with your phone, Simply put the earphones in your ear and press the middle button for approximately 4-5 seconds. You will hear instructions in the headset. Make sure that BLUETOOTH on your phone is turned on. You will see Jaybird X3 appear in the ‘My Devices‘ – select it and then you are good to go. In the iPhone App you will see a ‘Scanning’ page – this will confirm when you are connected.

Once connected, you can use the APP to customise your earphones using a five-band EQ to fine-tune the acoustics – if you prefer more bass, more treble, or whatever, you can do this here and you can also switch between a variety of presets and user-created profiles. Importantly, the profiles and custom settings save to the X3 and not the device, therefore no matter what device you are using, your preferred preset will be used.

Click on am image for clearer view:

Before use it makes sense to charge the earphones. This is done by connecting the earphones to the supplied cable. Jaybird use their own custom design for this which works excellently. But be warned, lose this charging cable and you won’t be able to just pop out and get a replacement. Accessories are HERE.

The cable is USB compatible so you can use your laptop or a stand alone plug to charge the earphones. Once charged they last for 8-hours (12 hours with the accessory) and in testing I have found this to be true. However, using for say 60-75 minutes a day, I found it was safer to recharge after 4 or 5-days to make sure. Ultra runners who go out for a long run can expect 7-8 hours.

The earphones are supplied with a small portable pouch that will hold the earphones and the charging cable. As with nearly all earphones, Jaybird also supply accessories so that you can get the perfect fit for your ears.

Three different sizes of ‘fins’ allow the earphones to stay in the ear without moving, Three varying sizes of Comply foam tips allow you to obtain a comfortable fit ‘in’ the ear. A shirt clip and two cable-shortening clips are provided – the latter useful if you want to reduce the length of the cable. I personally found no use for them as the earphones fit so well, the cable sits comfortably around the back of the neck and it caused no issues.

Attention to detail is superb and once you have the correct sized ‘fin’ and correct sized ‘Comply tip’ you should have no need to adjust them. Of course, wear and tear will eventually require replacement and this can be obtained from Jaybird.

You will see in the above picture that the ‘in-line’ control not only doubles up as the battery and re-charge point but also the place to turn on the earphones and make ‘on-the-go’ adjustments.

How to use:

  • Put the earbuds in your ears.
  • Make sure your you have previously ‘paired’ the earphones with the device you are using. In my scenario an iPhone 7.
  • Go to the Bluetooth menu on your device, and make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  • Press the middle button on the in-line control for approx 2-seconds
  • You will hear – ‘Power on’ then ‘Headphones connected’ it will then tell you how much battery is left.
  • Press ‘Play’ on the device and you are good to go.
  • You can adjust volume using the + and – on the inline control.
  • Press the middle button to start/ stop play
  • Tip – while music is playing, if you press and hold the middle button for 1-2 seconds it activates SIRI (on an iPhone) and then you can say (for example) ‘Play AC/DC’ and then the chosen music plays. Of course this can be a little hit and miss but it does work.
  • To turn off, press the middle button once. This stops music play. Then press and hold the middle button for 2-3 seconds and the you will hear, ‘Power off’.


The pairing process was easy and seamless. The X3 are without doubt the most comfy and secure running earphones I have used. Everything about them is just perfect. The cable is just the correct length to allow ones head to move left and right without pulling on the earphones. Importantly you can use the X3 as over the ear or on the ear fit.

An example here of over the ear fit.

The in-line control sits just under the right ear (if used on the ear and on the left if used over the ear) and it is easy to control and adjust while moving. The earphones themselves sit securely in the ear with the ‘fin’ holding them securely in place. The X3 is sweat proof and withstood several runs in heavy rain with no issues.

Sound is excellent and I found the ‘out-of-box’ sound to have too much treble. I used the APP to add more base and tweak the sound. A real bonus!

Connection with my phone had little or no drop out. Often a problem with wireless devices. Just keep in mind that the closer the phone is to the earphones, the more stable the connection. I personally don’t like use an arm band holder and found that my phone worked best either in my running vest or by using a small waist pack.


At £109 the Jaybird X3 may not be the cheapest earphones on the market, however, they represent excellent value for money. The sound is excellent, the APP works great for tweaking and the in-line control with voice prompts keeps you in control of the music and the battery. Fit is superb – the best running earphones I have used.

Pros and Cons


  • Sound
  • Price
  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • App
  • Wireless
  • Recharging cable is neat and tidy
  • Compact
  • Sweat proof


  • 8 hour battery will not be enough for those out for a long time
  • Lose the recharge cable and you will need a replacement from Jaybird. Not a cable you can get anywhere.


Pretty awesome product that fits, provides great sound and for a good price.

Dolomites SkyRace Race Summary and Images – 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series

The Migu Run Skyrunner World Series 2017 continued a pace with the 20th edition of the Dolomites SkyRace. It was always going to be a memorable one and the race didn’t disappoint!

Thunderstorms, rain and low cloud resulted in a delayed start by 30-minutes. It was hoped that this delay would allow the weather to clear. The rain did stop but the cloud came lower. Unfortunately, the final section of climb to the summit of Piz Boe at 3252m was pulled from the race for safety reasons. This resulted in less kilometers and less vertical gain and ascent.

Course records of course don’t count in situations like this, the previous bests held by Kilian Jornet and Megan Kimmel. Neither of these stars were running today, however, defending champions Tadei Pivk and Laura Orgue, respective 2016 winners were expected to dictate the race.

Laura Orgue did not disappoint, her 4th from the previous day’s VK soon forgotten, the Spaniard dictated the pace and looked strong throughout. At the new summit of the race her margin of lead was in the minutes and all she needed was a sold descent to Canazei to seal victory once again – she did it! Laura’s time 2:36:29 almost 90-seconds quicker than rising Skyrunning star, Hillary Geraldi from the USA who produced a stunning descent to go past early 2nd placed runner Hilde Alders who held on for 3rd, their times 2:37:55 and 2:39:55.

Silvia Rampazzo placed 4th, Zuzana Krchova 5th, Magdalena Kozielska 6th, Oihana Azkorbebetia 7th, Stephanie Jimenez 8th, Katrine Villumsen 9th and Paola Gelpi rounded out the top-10.

In the men’s race, VK and Sky specialist Remi Bonnet dictated the pace on the climb and has a substantial gab over David Magnani, Martin Anthamatten, Ruy UedaMarco De Gasperi, Jan Margarit and who’s who of Skyrunning talent. Pre-race favourite, Tadei Pivk, was in the latter half of the top-10 and not looking good!


At the high-point of the course the wild and rough descent to the line follows. It’s not for the feint hearted and Remi Bonnet was forced to reduce his pace protecting an injury that almost kept him out of the sport in 2016. This opened the doorway for David Magnani and Marco De Gasperi.

However, it was Jan Margarit who seized the bull by the horns and in his own words, “I ran the fastest descent that I could!” Fast it was, he moved from 5th to take the lead. The pressure was now on with a neck-for-neck race to the line, it was so close but Margarit held on by just 22-seconds to beat Magnani to the line, De Gasperi followed in 3rd just 23-seconds later. It was the close! A real race and just 45-seconds separated the top-3 runners – 2:06:20, 2:06:42 and 2:07:05. All credit to Skyrunning legend De Gasperi who is twice the age of the duo ahead of him.

Remi Bonnet held on for 4th, Martin Anthamatten 5th, Pascal Egli 6th, Martin Stofner 7th, Tadei Pivk 8th, Yuy Ueda 9th and Nadir Maguet rounded out the top-10.

It was a day like no other, fast racing, unpredictable weather and the confirmation of Skyrunning legends and the rise of new ones – just how a 20th edition of a race should be.

Attention now turns to this coming weekend and the Comapedrosa SkyRace in Andorra, in addition to a 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series race, the Skyrunning Youth Championships will also take place.


Dolomites Vertical Kiolmeter® #VK 2017 Summary and Images – Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit

Kicking off  a weekend of racing, the Dolomites Vertical Kiolmeter® started today celebrating 20-years of Skyrunning in Canazei, the VK now part of the newly formed Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit.

Yes, a total of 20,000m climbed and 48km’s covered, if you have raced every year? The Dolomites VK still stands as one of the best. It’s a course that goes direct to the sky in pretty much a direct line. Departing at an altitude of 1450m Skyrunners reach the high point of Spiz 2465m with a total distance of 2.4km covered. The Dolomites VK is considered one of the toughest on the circuit due to the short, steep course and underfoot, much of the terrain is grass. Poles are not essential but recommended.

Starting in waves of 20 runners, regular departures occurred until just after 10am when a gap of 20-minutes was made before the male and elite waves departing at 1030 and 1040am.

It was a beautiful day, that is until the men arrived near the summit when a storm rolled in, for the ladies, it was clear and dry.

Course records date back to 2016 and 2014 when Philip Gotsch ran an incredible 31:34 and Laura Orgue ran 38:14.

Unlike many other VK’s were runners depart in timed intervals, similar to a time-trial say in the Tour de France, in Canzaei, the runners depart together so it becomes very clear who is leading the race.

For the ladie’s this was Axel Mollaret who started like a greyhound out of the blocks and never relinquished the pace until she reached the finish line. She was well clear of the competition and this was reflected in her winning time of 37:39 – a new course record, fitting for a 20th edition.

Susanna Saapunki was next 1-minute and 24-seconds later – this is a huge gap in a VK and Victoria Kreuzer was 3rd almost another 1-minute back finishing in 40:07.

VK specialist and previous course record holder Laura Orgue was not having a good day – she finished 4th, a rarity. After the race she said, “I just had heavy legs today, I felt as though I couldn’t push and run the way I like. I am racing the SkyRace tomorrow so I hope this will have loosened me up?”

The men’s race was a close affair with Remi Bonnet back from injury and chasing an inform and flying Patrick Facchini.

Patrick was unstoppable though and missed the male course record crossing in 32:43. Post race he said, “If I had known I was close to the CR I would have found some extra energy…!”

Remi Bonnet placed 2nd in 33:17 and VK specialist and Dolomites regular, Nejc Kuhar, was 3rd in 33:52.

Attention now turns to tomorrow, Saturday, and the Dolomites SkyRace. Weather systems are currently moving in and out of Canazei and thunderstorms are rolling in. We could be in for a very exciting and dramatic day of Skyrunning!

Sandes of Time – Ryan Sandes at the 2017 #WSER Western States Endurance Run on IRUN4ULTRA

I recently caught up with South Africa’s Ryan Sandes after his impressive victory at the 2017 Western States. You can listen to a full and in-depth interview HERE on Talk Ultra podcast.

Ryan’s story is one that inspires and it just shows what is possible.

“An impulsive decision one Sunday afternoon completely changed my life back in 2008. Could I run 250km, self-supported through a Desert? Without another thought, I maxed out my credit card and entered a race I knew almost nothing about. The lead up to the Gobi Desert Race consumed me but most importantly it enabled me to dream.”

You can read the full article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

Dolomites SkyRace Preview – 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series

Twenty years, yes, twenty years the Dolomites SkyRace has existed – It’s a classic, no doubt! The simple ethos of starting low and getting high as quickly as possible and returning makes this race an ever present on the Migu Run Skyrunner World Series. In twenty years, a family has been built reflected in the Dolomites VK which is usually two days before the SkyRace and the many Children’s race that are run the day before.

Shadowed by the stunning peak of Piz Boe at 3152m, the town of Canazei hosts the start and finish of the race. At 22km in length, the race has 10km of climbing and 22km of descending. In principal, it’s a simple race that is made complex with the variables of weather, snow, ice, technical terrain, altitude and speed. It’s important to climb strong, however, the descent often proves to be a key deciding factor. What goes up, must come down and with 12km to play with, an exceptional descender can make any lost ground on the 10km climb.

4-hours 30-minutes are allocated for participants to complete the course starting and concluding in the Piazza. It’s a fast race and course records currently stand with Kilian Jornet and Megan Kimmel, their times 2:00:11 and 2:25:57 recorded in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

IMPORTANTLY the 2017 edition of the race will be longer at 23.5km with an additional 200m of vertical gain.

Added interest can be noted in the record for the ascent and descent, a key feature of this race. Augusti Roc Amador and Laura Orgue have recorded 1:16:47 and 1:29:30 of the ascent and Fabio Bonfanti and Angela Mudge hold the records for the descent, 00:43:35 and 00:58:47.

In 2016 Tadei Pivk and Laura Orgue were the champions recording times of 2:03:38 and 2:27:42 respectively.

The 2017 Edition

The 20th edition has one of the best fields ever assembled in the history of the Dolomites SkyRace. Over 100 elite runners will toe the line and therefore it is impossible to look at each runner individually. We will therefore concentrate on the potentials for top-3 and we will also look at the likely contenders for the top-10 who may well male top-5 and on a good day, may make the podium.

Notably, past winners Megan Kimmel, Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet will not be running.


Tadei Pivk heads up the men’s race as the Skyrunner World Series past champion and defending champion of the Dolomites SkyRace. Tadei had injury issues earlier in the year but has now put them behind him with a great victory in Livigno SkyRace.

Marco De Gasperi is a legend in Skyrunning and recently just missed out on victory at Zegama-Aizkorri. Marco also came close to pipping Kilian Jornet for Dolomites victory a few years back and lost out in a head-to-head sprint for the line – could this be Marco’s year? It would be a popular victory!

Alexis Sevennec crosses between ski mountaineering and Skyrunning and excels at both. He has a solid history with the Dolomites race and in 2016 had great runs at Trofeo Kima and Limone.

Hassan Ait Chaou had a stunning 2016 and seems to be lacking that extra 5% this year, however, he can never be ruled out and the distance and format of the Dolomites race suits him.

Jan Margarit is one of the rising stars within the Salomon Team and has all the potential to have a great race here in Italy. He has been a little quiet in the 2017 so far – he will hopefully come fresh to Canazei.

Martin Anthamatten is past winner of the Matterhorn Ultraks and on his day, can go head-to-head with the best. Like Sevennec he is also a skier and ski mountaineer – the crossover with Skyrunning is a formula that has been proven to work.


Pascal Egli had a solid race earlier in the year in China at Yading SkyRun and has excelled at the Dolomites race in past editions. He is most definitely a contender for the top-5.

VK specialist Marco Moletto in many respects is a surprise entry for the SkyRace, however, we can expect to by one of the front contenders if not in the lead at the summit. The question will come in regard to his descending ability?

Remi Bonnet is now finding form after many injury issues in 2016. If we look back to 2015, this young Salomon runner was unstoppable at the VK distance and he scored impressive victories at Sky races at the USA’s Rut and Italy’s Limone. If he is in great shape, we can expect top-5 and a podium if not victory is a distinct possibility.

Micha Steiner has raced Dolomites on many occasions and is always in the mix for the top-10. Could this be the year for a break out performance?

Francois Gonon may well impact on the front of the race, on his day he can mix it with the best but I am currently unsure of his form? One to watch.

Kiril Nikolov raced in China earlier in the year recently had a solid race at the Olympus Marathon in Greece. Top-10 potential for sure.

Andre Jonsson keeps racing and racing an in the past two weekends placed 4th at High Trail Vanoise and last weekend placed 2nd at the Royal Gran Paradiso – both races long and tough. The pace at Canazei may well just be too much for a tired body but who knows… Andre could pull out a surprise performance.

Another VK specialist, William Bon Mardion is showing on the start list. Like Moletto, we can expect a strong performance in the first 10km’s of the race as they climb all the way to the summit of Piz Boe – how will the 12km drop to Canazei go?

Surprises could come from anywhere with a field that has so much depth and it may well be that I have missed some key names from the extensive start list. One thing is for sure, Saturday’s 20th edition is going to be an exciting race.


Laura Orgue returns as a past winner and the fastest female to the summit, The VK specialist who runs Sky races is the odds-on favourite for victory. However, she will have run the VK race the day before and that may just take the edge off?

Ragna Debats is on the start list and would almost certainly be a contender for the podium – she is having a great year! However, I believe she will miss the Dolomites and will be looking for some rest and recovery ahead of the Tromso SkyRace in early August.

Aitziber Ibarbia is always a contender at the Sky distance and we can expect her to make an impact at the front of the race.

Ekaterina Mityaev like Ragna Debats is on the start list and would be a contender for the top-5, however, she placed 3rd just last weekend at the Royal Gran Paradiso and I believe she will miss the Dolomites race.

Hillary Gerardi from the USA had a strong performance at Livigno SkyRace and went on to have some solid results at other races such as the Chamonix VK and Pierre Menta. I think she will be a surprise package in the race and will turn a few heads.

Addie Bracy also from the USA won the USA Mountain Running Championships in 2016, so, she has plenty of speed. Placing 10th at Zegama-Aizkorri would suggest that she still has something to learn on a real mountain. Dolomites will certainly test her but top-10 is on the cards.

Maria Zorroza finished just over 1-minute clear of Bracy at Zegama-Aizkorri and some 20-minutes off the winning time. Therefore, a top-10 is a distinct possibility and a top-5 would see her having a great day!

Norway’s Hilde Alders may well have a great race in Italy. The Dolomites course will suit the Mizuno sponsored runner.

Katrine Villumsen had a solid race behind Megan Kimmel and Ragna Debats in China earlier this year – if she has a good day, a top-5 is a distinct possibility and she may well just make the podium.

Ever-present Stephanie Jimenez has raced in Canazei many times and always is in the mix – I expect no different this year.

Anna Comet has been missing so far, this year in the Skyrunning calendar after concentrating on the IAU World Trail Championships – the Dolomites will see a return to her racing fast and light in a full-on mountain race.

Names to watch:

Laia Andreu, Victoria Kreutzer, Stine Haustreis, Lisa Buzzoni, Beatrice Delflorian, Francesca Rossi, Lara Mustat, Axelle Mollaret, Svetlana Buravova, Jennifer Asp, Chiara Gianola, Susanna Tervo, Lucia Dobrucka

Full SWS Calendar available HERE

Luis Alberto Hernando and Elisabet Barnes head to Nepal – Everest Trail Race #ETR 2017

IAU World Trail Champion and Skyrunning European Champion Luis Alberto Hernando has confirmed he will join the 2017 Marathon des Sables Champion Elisabet Barnes on the start line of the 2017 Everest Trail Race.

Luis Alberto is not new to the ETR (Everest Trail Race), he participated in 2013. After winning the first stage he was unfortunately reduced to a walk but went on to complete the whole race and in the process, he had an incredible experience soaking in the best of what the Himalayas and Nepal must offer. he needs no introduction to the mountain running world, Luis Alberto is the best! His race results, experiences and friendly nature have made the Spaniard one of the most admired and respected runners in the world.

His recent victory at High Trail Vanoise crowned him the Skyrunning European Champion and in the coming weeks he is preparing for the UTMB. Nepal has an impact on a person – the people, the landscape, the scenery, the trails – it really is a magical place and Luis Alberto is obviously keen to return in November to race after his 2013 experience.

Two-time Marathon des Sables Champion Elisabet Barnes is certainly tipping her toe into new experiences and new challenges in 2017. A specialist in multi-day running, the ETR format will suit her.

However, mountains, elevation and technical terrain are all part of a new learning process. In 2017, Elisabet will test her ability at altitude and challenging terrain at Transrockies in the USA. This will be followed with a shorter multi-day race in a colder climate. The two races no doubt providing an excellent base for the 160km journey from Jiri back to Lukla via Tyengboche in November.

Tracing the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hilary, the ETR is wonderful mountain experience that all abilities can embrace. It’s tough for sure – elevation gain, technical terrain and variable temperatures bring a unique challenge. Add to this self-sufficiency (runners must carry all they need for the week but food and a tent is provided) and the race becomes so much more than about wining and times; it’s a journey for the mind and the body. First time participants are changed when they experience Nepal and the Himalayas on foot. The 2017 edition of the race will be no different. Iconic mountains such as Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Tamseku, and Makalu amongst others provide the most stunning backdrop to the race.

Excellent organization and a small field make the ETR one of ‘THE’ bucket list races in the world. Images tell the story and you can view galleries and read reports from the 2016 edition using the links provided.

2016 Image Gallery HERE

You can also read daily accounts of the 2016 edition

Day 1 HERE

Day 2 HERE

Day 3 HERE

Day 4 HERE

Day 5 HERE

Day 6 HERE

For more information and global entries go to

and UK entries to