the INTERVIEWS Season 1 – Episode 10 : David Horton

A professor of health sciences at Liberty University for 33 years, Horton’s prolific running career began in 1977 while pursuing his doctorate in physical education at the University of Arkansas. Since 1977, Horton has ran over 160 ultra-marathons, 30 marathons coast to coast of the continental U.S. and has held records for running both the Appalachian Trail (1991) and the Pacific Crest Trail (2005). Horton’s record-setting completion of the Appalachian Trail took 52 days and nine hours to complete – an average of approximately 41.7 miles per day. Taken from ‘Liberty Champion.
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First recorded in 2012
Episode 1h 0m 30s
Talk Ultra back catalogue HERE
*****
Hosted on ANCHOR (HERE) the INTERVIEWS will also be available to listen on many other players, including SPOTIFY (HERE).
ANCHOR app on Apple HERE and Google HERE
Download links will be added in due course.
Apple Podcasts HERE
Breaker HERE
Castbox
Google Podcasts HERE
Overcast HERE
Pocket Casts  HERE
RadioPublic HERE
Spotify HERE
Stitcher
*****
TALK ULTRA podcast will be released as normal providing you long shows as it has always done with ideally two shows per month. The back catalogue will be released randomly via the INTERVIEWS and not chronologically.
*****

Transgrancanaria 2020 Race Summary

Pau Capell and Pablo Villa won the Transgracanaria HG Classic 2020 after reaching the finish-line in Faro de Maspalomas in the same time of 13:04:10 after an exciting battle of 128km.

Kaytlyn Gerbin, after placing 2nd in 2019, become the champion in women’s category breaking the course record for travelling from the north to south after starting Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Starting at 2300 hrs on Friday March 6th, it soon became clear that an epic night and day of racing lay ahead with Chinese runners, Fuzhao Xiang and Peiquan You leading the way.

However, behind the duo, 2nd in 2019, Kaytlyn Gerbin was running a measured race following past Transgrancanaria winner, Azara Garcia who had taken the race by the horns.

For the men, 2nd at Western States in 2019, Jared Hazen and Pau Capell followed with Pablo Villa not far behind.

Teror was the first marker and it was soon clear that an epic night of racing lay ahead.

The arrival of dawn at the iconic Roque Nublo was a key indicator of how the 2020 race would play out with Villa arriving ahead of Capell leading by a slender margin. 

For the women, Garcia lead Gerbin but it was clear to see that the writing was on the wall and Gerbin would soon make a more and take the lead. Xiang followed in 3rd.

With a marathon distance to go, anything could happen and while Gerbin took control of the women’s race, Villa and Capell ran side-by-side, each testing the other with attempts to break the other. At 15km to go, the deadlock remained.

“In the race we gave everything and we tried to win…But we could not raise more battle and in the final km’s we agreed to enter together!” – Pablo Villa

They crossed the line in 13:04, some 20-minutes slower than the 2019 time recored by Capell. Dylan Bowman had a great edition of the race moving up the field to take the final podium place, a great result after a difficult time away from the sport with injury. The UK’s Harry Jones placed 4th.

Gerbin moved up one place from 2019 and secured a supreme victory with a course record, a fantastic result especially when one considers she won the 6-day, 230km multi-stage The Coastal Challenge just 3-weeks ago.

Garcia having fought from the front faded in the latter stages of the race and although at one point her 2nd place looked safe, a determined Xiang closed the gap and then passed her creating an epic battle. The Chinese runner was too strong, she finished 2nd ahead of the Spaniard. 

Women

1. Kaytlyn Gerbin. 15:14:39

2. Fuzhao Xiang. 15:25:40

3. Azara García. 15:31:36

 

Men

1. Pablo Villa. 13:04:10

1. Pau Capell. 13:04:10

3. Dylan Bowman. 13:40:28

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New VK2 Circuit Announced

 

Exciting news from the FSA for a new VK2 circuit

The Vertical Kilometer® doubles in distance with a whole new circuit of five events all taking place in Italy, the home of skyrunning! The VK2 circuit is tailor-made for those who love vertical running and high altitude, the new circuit will bring those two elements together and yes, it will take your breath away, both visually and physically!

This new VK2 challenge brings together emblematic races, with three races that exceed an altitude of 3,000m. The circuit has 10,333m of ascent alone, with an average gradient of 30% and sections with over 50%.

The iconic Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc will provide participants the opportunity to test themselves in a truly alpine environment, fast and light, on snowfields with micro-crampons and in climbing sections with a harness and helmet.

The VK2 starts on June 20 from Alagna Valsesia with the AMA VK2 which reaches the altitude of 3,260m at Punta Indren, through pastures, stony ground and snowfields.

On June 28 the Double Vertical K2 at the highest fort in Europe on the summit of Mount Chaberton at 3,130m on the border with France.

On July 5, it’s the K2 Valtellina Extreme Vertical Race where you reach the summit of Cima Pisello at 2,272m.

In the spotlight, Mont Blanc with the UYN K2000 will be on August 1st. Starting in Courmayeur, the steep path climbs under the SkyWay cable car to Punta Helbronner at 3,460m to satisfy athletes and the public with breathtaking views.

The VK2 circuit concludes with the Gran Finale on 20 September with La Direttissima K2000 which starts from Piazza del Duomo in Trento to reach the 2,098m of the summit of Monte Bondone. Here, 25% extra points are up for grabs.

RANKING:

For the final ranking, the three best placements will be considered.  Each race assigns to the first 15 men and women, points to climb from 100 to 10 with 25% more at the Grand Finale. In all races, free entries and accommodation are assigned to the winners of the following race, and the VK2 Trophy is up for grabs, with cash prizes for the winners of the circuit.

For the many lovers of vertical, the VK2 represents a race towards the sky on steep paths, rocks and snowfields to run and climb in pure skyrunning style – all uphill!

CALENDARIO VK2

AMA VK2 – Punta Indren (3.260m) Alagna (VC)

DOPPIO VERTICAL K2 – Monte Chaberton (3.130m) Cesana (TO)

K2 VALTELLINA EXTREME VERTICAL RACE – Cima Pisello (2.272m) Talamona (SO)

UYN K2000 – Punta Helbronner (3.560m) Courmayeur (AO)

LA DIRETTISSIMA K2000* – Monte Bondone (2.098m) Trento (TN)

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Episode 183 – Kaytlyn Gerbin, Cody Lind and Janine Canham

Episode 183 of Talk Ultra brings you interviews with Kaytlyn Gerbin and Cody Lind, the winners of the 2020 The Coastal Challenge. We also chat with Janine Canham about her 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Speedgoat co-hosts.
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Talk Ultra is now on Tunein – just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE  You can download the Tunein APP HERE
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We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create! 
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
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00:25:15 KAYTLYN GERBIN
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01:15:09 CODY LIND
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01:58:30 JANINE CANHAM
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Total 03:26:40
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Please listen to the INTERVIEWS – please follow the show
Hosted on ANCHOR (HERE) the INTERVIEWS will also be available to listen on many other players, including SPOTIFY (HERE).
ANCHOR app on Apple HERE and Google HERE
Download links will be added in due course.
Apple Podcasts HERE
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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
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Transgrancanaria 2020 Preview

The 2020 Transgrancanaria gets underway at 2300 hrs this coming Friday. Runners from all over the world will race the length of the island taking in many of the sights and iconic places that make Gran Canaria such a desirable place for a trail running holiday.

The men’s race is headed up by the defending champion (and 2017/2018 champ) and 2019 UTMB champion, Pau Capell. Without doubt, he is the hot favourite for 2020 victory.

The line-up this year is a hot list of talent and Jared Hazen and Pablo Villa are two hot contenders to shake the Pau Capell show. Villa rocketed up the elite rankings in recent years and notably won TDS with a consummate and dominant performance, if he shows this form in Gran Canaria, we will see an epic battle. A recent signing to the adidas Terrex team, we can expect to see Villa a great deal in 2020.

Hazen is a speed merchant and if one looks at the 2019 Western States, we see him squeezed between Jim Walmsley and Tom Evans for 2nd place and a super-fast time that would have normally won the race. He recently placed 5th at Hong Kong 100 which shows good form, the question will be how quickly he can climb and descend?

Dylan Bowman has been a tough time of late, but when on form, he is unstoppable. He excels in the mountains too, he has been 7th at UTMB and 2nd at TDS, if on form, Bowman can rock the Transgrancanaria podium.

Diego Pazos has placed 3rd at Transgrancanaria and a top-5 is a distinct possibility and if all goes well, the podium could beckon him. It would take a remarkable performance for him to win.

Gediminas Grinius has a great history with Transgrancanaria and has placed 2nd. Having run the ‘Grand Slam’ of ultras in 2019 his ability to last the distance is not in question, will he have the speed to push the podium?

Ones to watch:

PEIQUAN YOU, MATHIEU BLANCHARD, HARRY JONES, ROBERT HAJNAL, LUÍS FERNANDES, SANGE SHERPA and I will put my head on the block as a dark horse being, PETER VAN DER ZON.

Elite list here

Kaytlyn Gerbin placed 2nd here last year, placed 6th at Western States and recently (three weeks ago) won The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. Without doubt, Gerbin is a favourite here in Gran Canaria. The question mark will come on her recovery post TCC.

Azara Garcia has experience of Gran Canaria, she won in 2017! On her day, is one of the best in the world. As the tattoo on her leg says, she is the storm and she will bring it to the race.

Mimmi Kotka has excelled at 100km or less with victories at CCC and Mont Blanc 90km to name just two. However, above 100km she has struggled to get things right? On paper, she is a favourite for victory in Gran Canaria.

Audrey Tanguy won the 2019 TDS (and the 2018 edition) and that relates to Gran Canaria very well. She is a class act who manages to mix distances, terrain and speed. She is a hot favourite for the 2020 Transgrancanaria title.

Fuzhao Xiang, Kaci Lickteig, Andrea Huser, Nathalie Mauclair and Fernanda Maciel are an incredible force of five who all will impact on the top-10 and if they have good day’s, they will impact on the top-5 and podium.

Ones to watch:

LISA BORZANI, ILDIKO WERMESCHER, LEIRE MARTINEZ HERRERA and CLAIRE BANNWARTH.

Elite list here

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CORONAVIRUS disease COVID-19 basic advice

COVID-19 aka CORONAVIRUS is creating chaos and panic over the world and rightly so. For sure, the media has taken hold of it and created a scenario of fear, however, after SARS respecting any potential pandemic is no bad thing.

I am not a medical expert but I travel and I travel a great deal. With much of my work taking places at races, public gatherings and in locations throughout Europe and beyond, I wanted to understand what I was dealing with and pass on my thoughts.

I was in Hong Kong in January for a race. As I landed and transferred to meet the RD for dinner, the race was cancelled… Yes, the virus and reaction to it was changing by the hour.

I decided to cut my trip short, escape Hong Kong and return to the UK so that it would not impact on future work.

As February comes to a close, the situation is now greater than one month ago with the virus appearing in New Zealand, Italy and many more locations.

The Virus

CDC have listed several points on the virus:

  • The virus is spread mainly person-to-person.
  • Between people in close contact, less than 6-feet.
  • Via respiratory droplets when coughing or sneezing by an infected person.
  • Touching surfaces or an object that has the virus on it – this is then passed on when the person then touches eyes, nose or mouth.
  • It appears that people who are infected are most contagious when at their sickest.
  • Some virus spreading may be possible before people show symptoms.

You will have seen many images coming from China and Hong Kong showing everyone wearing masks. Do not be fooled into thinking this is a completely safe thing to do – masks have issues and problems:

You only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person WITH the virus.

Wear a mask if YOU are coughing and sneezing, this stops potential spreading.

Masks are only effective when combined with frequent hand cleansing.

Masks MUST be worn correctly and changed regularly.

Tips for mask use:

  • Clean hands with alcohol based cleanser.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps.
  • Do not touch the mask whilst wearing, if you do, cleanse hands.
  • If mask becomes damp, replace.When removing mask, do not touch the front, remove from behind and discard immediately.

As a runner or endurance athlete, the last thing we want is a virus that impacts on breathing. Covid-19 needs to be respected, despite what you may think about the media and its scaremonger tactics.

Cases are now reaching close to 100,000 and the situation is changing daily.

Incubation period is up to two weeks and this is why the virus is spreading worldwide, it is so difficult to track and contain. Once a positive case is found, it is too late as more will be infected and then the reverse pyramid scenario starts.

What can you do?

Look after personal hygiene.

Avoid public places and gatherings.

When traveling, avoid travel through highly infected areas. Particularly important for long-haul travel. Much better to pass through the Middle East (for now) than pass through China, Hong Kong or Bangkok.

Face masks have a place but understand the restrictions that they have.

Public toilets, bars, restaurants etc etc are a potential perfect storm for passing on the virus, so, avoid in areas of potential or real risk.

As I write, the W.H.O says we are at a ‘Decisive Point’ in the outbreak.

Cases in the UK have risen (19) and New Zealand, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Nigeria have announced first cases. The stock markets across the globe have plunged under the fear of recession. Cases have been confirmed above 84,000 and currently 2867 deaths (sources The Independent and Worldometers)

The Swiss government has banned events with more than 1000 people and already we have seen mass participation events cancelled globally.

NBC has confirmed the virus has spread to at least 40 countries worldwide. It says cases in the USA have been limited but warns, “Americans should prepare for the spread of the virus in communities.”

Ultimately, COVID-19 currently is spreading, we personally need to be aware of risks and mitigate as appropriate. With each passing day, more news comes in and it can be terrifying but let’s keep perspective too, the common Flu can kill up to 646,000 people per year (medicinenet.com) – the figure coming from the US Centers for Disease Control.

So, be careful out there and keep a perspective of the risk, start to do the following now:

Wash hands frequently.

Maintain social distancing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately.

Do not cough or sneeze in public.

Be safe!

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The MIRA RAI Initiative

I was fortunate in November 2019 to visit the home of Mira Rai in a remote part of Nepal.

I first met Mira, in 2015 as she rose through the racing ranks in Europe. Her ensuing story of success on the trails and then giving back to her community is the stuff of dreams. From our first encounter, I knew she was special. She was strong, dedicated and had a strength of character based on survival, perfect for long-distance running. She spoke no English, had a huge infectious smile and laughed when we couldn’t communicate, simply saying “Namaste.”

My images and story of the journey is now available in Trail Runner Magazine in the USA. Spread over 5-spreads/ 10-pages.

I met her parents, walked the trails, visited her school, shared meals, fed the animals and shared a magical time in Bhojpur.

As I went through the doorway, the bright and intense outside light gave way to darkness. It took a while for my eyes to adjust. A small window on the left allowed some light to penetrate the darkness and behind a pillar, I could see the outline of a woman, a glowing fire and simmering pan to her right.

Mira Rai’s mother looked up and her smile broke the darkness. Huge white teeth with a gap in the middle provided the warmest welcome. She gestured to the floor and we sat.

“Namaste” was universally offered with hands pushed together, palm against palm as though praying. Three metal plates were laid out and large portions of sticky rice were added, then vegetables and small pieces of chicken. Dahl was added to a small bowl for each person and we enjoyed our first dahl baht.

We were deep in Nepal, isolated in the green verdant lands of Bhojpur, the home of Mira Rai.

Trail Runner Magazine available HERE

The Mira Rai Foundation HERE

VIEW THE FULL IMAGE GALLERY HERE

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the INTERVIEWS Season 1 – Episode 9 : Scott Jurek

Named one of the greatest runners of all time, Scott Jurek has become a living legend.  He has claimed victories in nearly all of ultrarunning’s elite trail and road events including the historic 153-mile Spartathlon, the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135-Mile Ultramarathon, and—his signature race—the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which he won a record seven straight times. Scott has also taken the running world by storm with his 2015 Appalachian Trail speed record, averaging nearly 50 miles a day over 46 days—and the United States all-surface record in the 24-Hour Run with 165.7 miles: 6.5 marathons in one day. Off the trail, Scott is a New York Times-bestselling author for his memoir, Eat & Run, has been prominently featured in countless publications, and is a star of the international bestseller, Born To Run. More than just a champion, Scott is a true student and ambassador of the sport, known to stay at finish lines cheering until the last runner crosses. When not racing, he donates his time to many non profit organizations and is an avid volunteer in the areas of environmental conservation, fitness and health. A passionate advocate for vegetarianism, he follows a 100% plant-based diet, which he credits for his endurance, recovery and consistent twenty year racing career. He believes that everyone can run an ultra and everyone can access their body’s innate capacity to heal. Through writing, public speaking, and consulting, Scott takes joy in encouraging people of all fitness levels to take the next step toward vibrant health. (Taken from scottjurek.com©)
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First recorded in 2012
Episode 0h 30m 30s
Talk Ultra back catalogue HERE
*****
Hosted on ANCHOR (HERE) the INTERVIEWS will also be available to listen on many other players, including SPOTIFY (HERE).
ANCHOR app on Apple HERE and Google HERE
Download links will be added in due course.
Apple Podcasts HERE
Breaker HERE
Castbox
Google Podcasts HERE
Overcast HERE
Pocket Casts  HERE
RadioPublic HERE
Spotify HERE
Stitcher
*****
TALK ULTRA podcast will be released as normal providing you long shows as it has always done with ideally two shows per month. The back catalogue will be released randomly via the INTERVIEWS and not chronologically.
*****

the INTERVIEWS Season 1 – Episode 8 : Pyramid Session by Audiofuel

Interval training gives really good bang for buck. A short session can give your metabolism a boost which is great for those looking to stay trim. For those wanting to run faster, intervals give fixed periods of fast tempo running.
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Enjoy a Pyramid Session brought you you by Audiofuel.
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At 22 minutes, this is the shortest and least intense of our intervals sessions. The efforts go from 30 seconds to 90 seconds and the fastest cadence is 180 BPM. Each effort has a 60 second recovery. This is our most popular intervals session, and a great place to start if you’re new to intervals.
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First recorded in 2012
Episode 0h 30m 32s
Talk Ultra back catalogue HERE
*****
Hosted on ANCHOR (HERE) the INTERVIEWS will also be available to listen on many other players, including SPOTIFY (HERE).
ANCHOR app on Apple HERE and Google HERE
Download links will be added in due course.
Apple Podcasts HERE
Breaker HERE
Castbox
Google Podcasts HERE
Overcast HERE
Pocket Casts  HERE
RadioPublic HERE
Spotify HERE
Stitcher
*****
TALK ULTRA podcast will be released as normal providing you long shows as it has always done with ideally two shows per month. The back catalogue will be released randomly via the INTERVIEWS and not chronologically.
*****

The Coastal Challenge #TCC2020 – Day 6 23km

The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica’s number one multi-day race concluded on Drake Bay today, a 23km loop of ‘the best’ of Costa Rica all wrapped up in a wonderful 23km.

The run manages to bring together, all that has gone before in the previous 5-days, running through rivers, crossing waterfalls, fire road, secluded coves, rainforest trails, single-track, suspension bridges and of course, wonderful empty beaches.

It was a day of fun, with all the major podium positions decided, with the exception of the women’s 3rd podium place after a stunning day 4 by Ashton Keck Keck educing the gap to 8-minutes to Abelone Lyng who suffered badly in the closing 17km of day 4.

Keck Keck pushed from the off and Lyng did not respond, the heart was willing but the body had no reserves to push and push hard. Lyng had accepted the loss of the podium place before the stage 6 start and enjoyed a victory loop of a job well done and 4th overall.

The men’s race was a loop of honour with the top-3 men staying side-by-side all the way to the line, Erick Agüero and Andy Symonds congratulating Cody Lind on an incredible 2020 victory.

“I am so happy, I gave it all on day-5 for the win and to secure the top of the podium, it has been an incredible week of such diversity”

Kaytlyn Gerbin despite taking the foot of the gas still won the last stage making it 6 out of 6.

“I trained for this thinking it would be as hard as a 100-mile race, but the multi-day format is so much harder. It’s nice to get things done in one go. To get up day-after-day and race again has been a learning curve but I have loved it.” Gerbin said on the finish. “I have raced hard and was tested but I had some reserves, you are never quite sure how hard to push. For this race you need to be an all-rounder to win as it has so much variety.”

Natalia López Arrieta once again ran a solid day, like Gerbin, she had no need to push and she finished comfortably with second place secured.

For most people, to have a podium place and then lose it would be heart breaking, but Abelone Lyng had a real sense of perspective:

“I was broken after stage 5 and I knew I could not ‘race’ the last day, but I was convinced I would finish, even if that meant crawling. I have no complaints… What is there to complain about? I am privileged to have run in Costa Rica, the start near Quepos and finish at Drake Bay. I have travelled by foot and the experiences and memories will last a lifetime – Pura Vida as the Costa Rican’s would say!”

Ashton Keck Keck had a tough last day and ran the stage of her life to secure the podium place. Her joy was tangible and she will have great memories.

Each competitor though is a champion, The Coastal Challenge is not an easy race, not at all. To finish is a huge achievement and all who received their medal should be proud. Now it is time to relax, enjoy the beach and a beer, swim in the sea, go snorkelling and enjoy the hard won rest.

Ranking Overall:

Men:

Cody Lind 22:42:33

Erick Agüero 23:01:19

Andy Symonds 23:15:49

Women:

Kaytlyn Gerbin 27:31:57

Natalia López Arrieta 29:40:34

Ashton Keck Keck 32:54:54