Episode 129 – Anna Frost, James Stewart and Fred Streatfield

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Episode 129 of Talk Ultra brings you an in-depth interview with Anna Frost. We speak with the inspiring Fred Streatfield we talk with the Rocky Racoon 100 winner, James Stewart.

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 January Patrons

Rene Hess, Daniel Weston, Dan Masters, Kerstin Palmer, Sarah Cameron, Neil Catley, Sam Wilkes, Melissa Bodeau, Lindsay Hamoudi, Aaron Aaker, Simon Darmody, Philippe Lascar, Rohan Aurora, Mathew Melksham, Brian Wolfkamp, Thomas Mueller, Mark Moromisato, Jamie Oliver, Rand Haley, Ron van Liempd, Mike Hewison, Steve Milne and Rupert Hitzenberger.

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This weeks show is full of inspiring interviews but you will have to forgive us for it being a little late… I blame a full-on trip to Costa Rica to cover The Coastal Challenge. It was an incredible race and full of brilliant racing and excitement. The UK’s Tom Owens dominated the men’s race ahead of Chema Martinez from Spain and the USA’s Jason Schlarb.

In the ladies race, Anna Frost from New Zealand made it third time lucky showing Spain’s Anna Comet and Portugals Ester Alves a clean pair of heals.

The 2017 edition of the race really was spectacular and on the next show we will discuss the race in detail and bring you interviews from the race.

Read all about and view images of the 2017 edition HERE

For Anna Frost it was a special race and significant in more ways than just winning. Frosty first arrived in Costa Rica in 2014 but didn’t even make the start due to doctors orders. In 2015 while leading the race, she was forced to withdraw on the penultimate day with injury. In 2017 she came back and put the demons to rest.

Frosty is an inspiring lady and it seemed only correct that Niandi had a ‘one-to-one’ with the Green of the trails.

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00:03:50 INTERVIEW with ANNA FROST

00:54:50 NEWS

Moab Red Hot 55K

On the last show we interviewed Hayden Hawks and he fulfilled his promise with a win and course record at Moab Red Hot 55k. His 3:39 bettered Rob Krar’s record by 5-minutes. Marie Hogan won the ladies’ race in 4:44.

The Coastal Challenge

Anna Frost won in 27:08. Anna Comet (Spain) and Ester Alves (Portugal) were second and third in 27:58 and 28:23, respectively. Tom Owens dominated the men’s in 22:29. Chema Martinez (Spain) 23:43 and Jason Schlarb 24:34 were second and third.

Formidable 50K

Max King beat the old CR by 37-minutes to win in 3:32. Yiou Wang took the ladies win in 4:18.

Black Canyon 100K

Alex Nichols is on a roll and gets a coveted WSER slot after his win 7:55 ahead of Elov Olson and Eric Sensman. Olov also getting a WSER slot. Nicole Kalogeropoulos placed 1st for the ladies in 9:30, Clare Gallagher was 2nd and Ailsa MacDonald 3rd. First two also get WSER slots.

On the last show we discussed our Lanzarote Training Camp and one attendee stood out with an inspirational story, Niandi caught up with Fred Streatfield.

00:58:05 INTERVIEW with FRED STREATFIELD

Join us in Lanzarote, January 2018 for our MULTI-DAY TRAINING CAMP HERE

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK – I will be also going to Sofia in Bulgaria on the 17th, 18th and 19th March for a trail, mountain and Skyrunning expo.

Rocky Raccoon has been one of those races that has always attracted a high quality field early in the season for a fast 100-miles. Just think Ian Sharman… so, it’s great pleasure to catch up with fellow Brit James Stewart on his impressive 2017 victory.

01:33:22 INTERVIEW with JAMES STEWART

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Tasmania

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

50 km Relay | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Canada

Yukon

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 120 Mile | 120 miles | March 10, 2017 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 350 Mile | 350 miles | March 10, 2017 | website

Cayman Islands

Off the Beaten Track | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

France

Côtes-d’Armor

Trail des Douaniers | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Dordogne

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Finistère

100 km | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Gard

Trail aux Etoiles | 62 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Ultra du Bout du Cirque | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Loire-Atlantique

Le Trail du Vignoble Nantais – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Tarn

Black Mountain Trail – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Hesse

50 km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Hong-Kong

Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 10, 2017 | website

Italy

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Tuscany

Terre di Siena 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Umbria

Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Nepal

Buddhist Stupa Trail Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Old Ghost Ultra | 85 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

The Hillary 80 km Trail Race | 80 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Philippines

Davao50 | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Portugal

111 km | 111 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

75 km | 75 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

South Africa

Three Cranes Challenge | 106 kilometers | February 24, 2017 | website

Spain

Andalusia

150 km | 150 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

73 km | 73 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | February 24, 2017 | website

Transgrancanaria – Advanced | 84 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Catalonia

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 10, 2017 | website

Sweden

Ice Ultra | 230 kilometers | February 24, 2017 | website

Thailand

Columbia Trails Masters – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Bihar

Green Man Ultra | 44 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Essex

St Peters Way Ultra | 45 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Northumberland

Ultra | 34 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 05, 2017 | website

Wiltshire

Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 05, 2017 | website

USA

Alabama

Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Mount Cheaha 50K | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile | 1000 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile | 350 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Arizona

Old Pueblo 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 55K | 55 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Arkansas

LOVit 100k | 100 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

LOVit 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 24, 2017 | website

California

50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Orange Curtain 100K | 100 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Afternoon | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Morning | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Salmon Falls 50K | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Sycamore 100k | 100 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Florida

100 Miler | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

100 Mile Team Relay | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Kansas

Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Louisiana

Rouge-Orleans Ultramarathon & Team Relay | 126 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Ultra 50M Plus | 50 miles | March 05, 2017 | website

Maryland

Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Mississippi

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Missouri

Soggy Bottom 100 Miler | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Soggy Bottom 100 Mile Relay | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Soggy Bottom 40 Miler | 40 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Soggy Bottom 40 Mile Relay | 40 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

New Jersey

Lenape Trail Run | 34 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

New York

50K Run | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

North Carolina

Mount Mitchell Challenge | 40 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Ohio

Olde Girdled Grit 50K | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Pennsylvania

Naked Bavarian 40M | 40 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

South Carolina

Foothills 50k | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Texas

100K | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

50K Ultra Marathon presented by Miller Lite | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Utah

Lake to Lake Relay | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Red Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Vermont

PEAK Snowshoe 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | March 10, 2017 | website

Virginia

The Reverse Ring | 71 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Washington

Lord Hill 50 Km | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Orcas Island 100 | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

02:21:44 Close

02:24:03

 

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Website – talkultra.com

Kaci Lickteig – Dreams Do Come True on IRUN4ULTRA

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 ‘Western States definitely was the race of my life. Everything came together so perfectly that day. I had a once in a lifetime race day experience. I had only dreamed of winning Western States and wanted some day for that to happen. All the stars aligned and I could win. To be among the winners list is surreal…I admire and respect all those women and men who have won. It’s such an honour to have my name listed as a winner of Western States 100.’

Kaci Lickteig ran her first ultra in 2012 aged 25-years. A small lady, she does pack a punch. It’s all wonderfully echoed by her nickname ‘Pixie Ninja’ – that sums up Kaci in a nutshell.

Some may say, 3rd time is a charm. It certainly is the case with Western States 100. The rise of this lady has been gradual but logical – 6th in 2014, 2nd in 2015 and yes, you’ve guessed it, top spot in 2016. The ‘WSER’ is rolling course, which begins in Squaw Valley, California. It climbs more than 5500m and descends nearly 7000m before reaching the finish in Auburn some 100-miles later. It’s the ‘Grail of Trail!’

Read the full article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

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Superior 100 2016 Race Summary

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Packet pick-up was as bustling and busy as usual. It was s series of high fives and hello’s as the runners entered the hall to collect numbers ahead of the next day’s Superior 100. Traversing the Sawtooth Mountains on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches Northern Minnesota near the Canadian Border, the Superior 100 course parallells the North-Shore of Lake Superior. The race rolls along a series of sawtooth peaks with breath-taking vistas.

It’s a race with history and a race that is unique, very unique.

I was last at this race in 2014 and I was blown away by the experience. Believe me, folks down in Minnesota are some of the nicest you will ever meet. I wrote an article on my last trip called Minnesota Nice. I had wondered if my 2016 experience could live up to the 2014 experience.

The simple answer, yes!

As in 2014, I was looked after by Kurt Decker who works for TC Running. TC is the ‘go-to’ place for running shoes and apparel in the Twin Cities area and Kurt, well, Kurt is the ‘Godfather of Trail’ in this area. Kurt and the TC Running crew man an awesome aid station at Oberg (95-miles) on the Superior route and as the last aid before the 103-mile finish line, it’s a really important one. Music, fresh food, open fire, incredible crew and an abundance of chairs make this an oasis that is difficult to leave for that final 7-mile push for the line.

Gooseberry Falls State Park (Minnesota) is the start line for the race, the finish comes at Lutsen 103.3-miles later, just short of the Canadian border. A 38-hour cut-off, 13 aid stations and 6400m+ of elevation gain and descent make this race one of the toughest in the USA.

iancorless-com_superiot2016-4422As race director, John Storkamp says,’ it’s Rugged, Relentless and Remote.’ It is. Taking place on almost 100% single-track, Superior 100 is a special race of mud, tree roots, rocks and a never ending green tunnel of trees that pulls runners to the finish line. The race is one of the oldest 100-mile races in the USA and with a capped field of just 250 runners it has a feel that is akin to Western States or Hardrock 100. Founded in 1991 when there was no more than a dozen 100-mile trail races in the USA, back then if you wanted to run a 100, you had choices like Western States (’74), Old Dominion (’79), Wasatch (’80), Leadville (’83), Vermont (’89), Angeles Crest (’86), Mohican (’90), Arkansas Traveller (’91) and Superior (’91).  Superior quickly earned its reputation!

Superior 100 is old school.

You can view the runners portraits from the 100 HERE

You can view race images HERE

You can purchase race images HERE

The 2016 Race

The 20% chance of rain was looking less and less likely on the start line of the 2016 edition of the Superior 100. Fresh coffee was free flowing and the 250 runners who would toe the line milled around chatting and talking about the day, night, day and possible 2nd night that lay ahead. It was chilled, calm, relaxed and un-cluttered. At the stroke of 0800 Storkamp released the runners and almost immediately the race fragmented with the podium contenders leading the race. At the rear, many participants were already walking with a full understanding of the task ahead – better to ease in and finish strong and not the other way around.

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Joe Uhan, Jeff Vander Kooi, Adam Schwarz-Lowe, Doug Kleemier, Ben Vanhoose, Joshua Nichols, Brian Klug and Timbo Jenkins amongst others dictated the early pace. It soon became apparent that it was going to be a hot and humid day. Timbo Jenkins arrived first at Split Rock River where a stunning view of the surrounding landscape and Lake Superior was provided. With approximately 9-miles covered Jenkins started to walk. He looked us in the eye and said, ‘this is not where I am supposed to be… how did I end up leading the race?’ It was Timbo’s first 100 and as is often the case, he was feeling good in the first 10-miles. Schwarz-Lowe, Uhan and the other main contenders followed and at aid 1, Frank Pipp was 6-minutes behind Jenkins.

In the ladies’ race, it was a relaxed start for two-time winner (2014 and 2015) Mallory Richard and three-time winner, Susan Donelly (who was running her 16th Superior 100, yes, 16th). I have a simple rule for long races, watch what the experienced runners do and copy it, if you can. In this scenario, it was relatively easy for the other ladies to copy as experience was saying, taking it nice and slow and steady!

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Carla Goulart lead the race followed by Mallory Richard 5-minutes later. Amy Broadmore, Tina Johnson, Janet Hausken, Tracy Denbleyker and then a group of 4 or 5 followed within a 30-minute window.

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At 20-miles, Richard had drawn level with Goulart in the ladies’ race and Janet Hausken was trailing 20-minutes later – the race was starting to take shape. Jenkins despite his comments at 9-miles had somehow continued to pull away from the rest of the men’s field. It was a brave move for a rookie ‘hundo’ runner and his 7-minute gap over Kleemier, Schwarz-Lowe, Peltonen and Uhan was looking good.

Silver Bay came just 5-miles later and any hard work by Jenkins was undone as 2014 champion, Schwarz-Lowe drew level along with pre-race favourite, Uhan. The writing was starting to appear on the wall. Importantly, Frank Pipp, also running his first 100 had closed to 4th and trailed the front group by just 5-minutes. In the ladies’ race, Richard was opening up a gap and the remaining ladies could only see her run off into the distance. Goulart was still holding a strong 2nd place over 30-minutes ahead of Janet Hausken and Tina Johnson was another 8-minutes back.

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At MT Trudee it was all change, in just a short section of trail, Pipp had caught the front men and passed them. No easy task! Uhan followed 6-minutes back and Schwarz-Lowe was another 2-minutes later. Early leader Jenkins was 4th 28-minutes behind Pipp and it was looking like he had made the classic rookie mistake of going out too fast – ‘I’m feeling rubbish; I may quit’ he shouted as he went past. Kurt shouted, ‘keep plugging buddy, it’s a 100-miles, anything can happen!’

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For the ladies’, Richard was in the form of 2014 and 2015 and was grabbing the 2016 race by the scruff of its neck. At Tettegouche her lead was 12-minutes over Hausken. Early raced leader Goulart was cooked and had now dropped back to 5th lady over 30-minutes behind the leader. Crystal Hutchings and Tina Johnson had moved into 3rd and 4th with the experienced Susan Donnelly in 7th.

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Finland at just over 50-miles signified in the midway point of the race and it was soon becoming apparent the impact a day of sun and humidity was having on the race – exhaustion, dehydration and fatigue was the order of the day! Richard was now in a race against herself and ultimately the other men in the race, her lead over 2nd place was 2 hours and 12 minutes. But guess what, early race leader Goulart has found some inner strength and closed the gap from 5th to be back in 2nd 8-minutes ahead of Johnson. Was this going to be one of those incredible comebacks?

In the men’s race it was a similar story for Jenkins. He was still running in 4th but he hadn’t dropped and he was closing the gap on Schwarz-Lowe in 3rd and Uhan in 2nd. Pipp was still leading the race by over 30-minutes now and many thought he was either on for an incredible first 100-miler victory or a potential detonation over the next couple of hours.iancorless-com_superior2016-7125

Darkness was now upon the race and the 20% of chance of rain came… the only problem being that 20% became 100% and for a good 8-10 hours the heavens saturated the Superior 100 course making what is already slippery and challenging terrain even more challenging.

Pipp pushed on at the front of the race with no pacer. At Crosby Manitou his lead was 50-minutes over Uhan and Jenkins had had one of those great comebacks to be sitting in 3rd level with Schwarz-Lowe. Richard was now not only obliterating the ladies race but she was lying 6th overall level with Steven Graupner. Johnson, Hausken and Hoff were all now running for 2nd.

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Cramer Road at 79.9-miles signified a significant marker with the final 25% of the race ahead, it’s here that places can change as a full day of running takes its toll. Despite this being a first 100, Pipp was showing no sign of flagging. On the contrary, he was looking strong! He arrived with 14:49 elapsed and believe it or not, early race leader Jenkins was back in 2nd with 16:09 elapsed and Uhan back at 16:23 and Schwarz-Lowe was 4th in 16:41. If Pipp didn’t blow up the race was his, but the fight for 2nd was wide open. Richard arrived in the ladies race with 17:37 elapsed and I am sure she had eyes on the men in-front of her. Johnson was still in 2nd but 4-hours back and experienced Superior runner, Donnelly had moved all the way up to 3rd, her 16th finish was looking guaranteed.

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Kurt was waiting at Oberg with his TC Running aid station. The pancakes were cooking, the music was playing and at 02:45 Pipp arrived like a train. It was 3-hours later that Jenkins arrived still in 2nd. Remember, he nearly dropped at 30-miles… anything can happen in a 100! However, Uhan and Schwarz-Lowe had closed the gap and the trio left together. With just over 7-miles to go, this was going to be one hell of a finish.

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Pipp crossed the line in 20:24:00 a superior, Superior 100 champion. His run for a rookie 100-mile runner was incredible. Uhan had run a clever and smart race, he had saved something for those closing challenging miles and he pulled away from Jenkins and Schwarz-Lowe. His finish 22:46 was a solid 8-minutes ahead of Jenkins who had no doubt had the race of his life… he had managed to pull ahead of Schwarz-Lowe and take the final podium place by just 1-minute. But this only tells half the story. In the closing miles, under darkness, tired, fatigued and lacking focus, Jenkins had run into a head height true branch that cut his head open sending him flat to the ground. Somehow he managed to pick himself up and find the effort and pace to hold off a charging Schwarz-Lowe.

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Richard finished next, first lady and 5th overall with a new course record 23:51. Her performance was stunning and almost looked effortless. It was impressive! Tina Johnson finished 2nd and Stephanie Hoff 3rd, 29:50 and 30:52 respectively. Queen of the Superior 100 finished 4th in 31:07 and in doing so, achieved her 16th buckle.

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What followed was a long day and night of struggle and strife. Some achieved their goals, others failed to complete the challenge that they had set themselves. There was no failure… just undone business. You see, Superior 100, more than any other 100 I have witnessed is so much more than a race, it’s an experience. It’s a low-key traditional race experience and one that I encourage anyone to participate in. It’s a special race and if the 100 is too far, a 50-mile and classic marathon distance takes place on the same course and concludes at the same venue. I have often used this quote and having witnessed the highs and lows of the 2016 Superior 100, I am going to use it again for all those who have unfinished business.

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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

 

Check out Superior Trail Races and consider being one of the lucky 250 in 2017

HERE

Race Images are available HERE

UTMB – Ultra Trail Mont-Blanc announce the elite field for the 2016 edition

UTMB

The 2016 edition of the UTMB will take place this August, for 13-years the race has made a rendezvous in the endurance capital of the world, Chamonix!

In preparation for the 2016 edition, the organisation have just announced the elite level competitors that will compete, head-to-head, with 7500 runners over the four races – CCC, OCC, TDS and UTMB.

The main event, the UTMB, is a 170km journey that takes in 3 countries with a total elevation gain of 10,000m. A time limit of 47 hours is provided to give the 2300 runners an opportunity to complete the journey.

So who is running?

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

LADIES:

  • Rory Bosio
  • Stephanie Howe
  • Caroline Chaverot
  • Magdalena Boulet
  • Andrea Huser
  • Alissa St Laurent
  • Francesca Canepa
  • Uxue Fraile
  • Frederica Boifava
  • Gemma Arenas Alcazar
  • Fernanda Maciel
  • Jasmin Paris
  • Cristina Bes Jineta
  • Pui Yan Chow
  • Meghan Arbogast
  • Denise Zimmermann
  • Emelie Lecomte
  • Ildiko Wermescher
  • Amy Sproston
  • Kerrie Wlad

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Now in anyones book, that is a quality ladies line-up. The most notable name missing is of course Nuria Picas. I have highlighted the hot favourites for overall victory and definite wild card of Jasmin Paris for a surprise podium place.

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MEN:

  • Luis Alberto Hernando
  • Tofol Castaner
  • Dylan Bowman
  • Zach Miller
  • Miguel Heras
  • David Laney
  • Stephan Hugenschmidt
  • Timothy Olson
  • Seth Swanson
  • Ryan Sandes
  • Jason Schlarb
  • Gediminas Grinius
  • Pau Bartolo
  • Jordi Bes
  • Tim Tollefson
  • Fabien Antolinus
  • Jorge Maravilla
  • Ryan Ghelfi
  • Ludovic Pommeret
  • Didrik Hermansen
  • Julien Chorier
  • Andy Symonds
  • Thomas Lorblanchet
  • Ryan Kaiser
  • Arnaud Lejeune

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WOW! That may well be THE elite field assembled in any race ever… It’s a seriously exciting line-up and just look at how many bold names are in that line-up! In all honesty, the whole list could be bold as victory could come from anywhere.

So with several months to go, we have already seen Caroline Chaverot and Didrik Hermansen lay down seriously strong performances at Transgrancanaria.

Elite line-ups for TDS, CCC and OCC are as follows:

Notable names in the TDS are Ruth Croft and Lisa Borzoi for the ladies and in the men’s race, Franco Colle, Pau Capell, Travis Macy and Sondre Amdahl amongst others.

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CCC ones to watch: Jo Meek, Holly Rush and Manikala Rai fo the ladies and Sage Canaday, Michel Lanne and Freddy Thevenin amongst others for the men’s race.

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Who in your opinion will make top 3 in the respective male and female races at the 170km UTMB event?

Please comment below:

The Long Run – How long should it be?

The Long Run

Recently I have produced several articles (links below) on planning your training, walking for ultra running, base training, speed work and now I ask the question, how long should the long run be?

Short distance runners often run over distance in training. Think about it, a 10km runner may run a long slow half marathon to build endurance. A half marathon runner may run a long and slow steady 16-miles in preparation for a fast race.

This all falls apart when we go to the marathon and beyond. How often have you heard in marathon training that the long run should be 21/22 miles or 3 hours and 30 minutes in preparation for a race.

Long runs and adapting for an endurance run such as an ultra comes from not one run but a combination of all runs. It’s about your accumulative run history. They all add up to make you an endurance machine.

First and foremost, consistency is key and long runs should be progressive and based on ability and experience. A long run should test you but not break you.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON RUNULTRA HERE

Make sure you catch up on other resources that will help you plan your 2016 season:

Planning a Running and Racing Year HERE

To Base Train or not To Base Train? HERE

Base Training HERE

We also have a series of articles on walking and climbing:

Training to Walk for Ultra, Trail and mountain Races HERE

Walking, Running and Climbing with Trekking Poles HERE

Running and Walking Efficiency when Climbing HERE

Episode 99 – Giblin ELS2900 Grant

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 99 of Talk Ultra we talk all about ELS2900 with RD Matt Lefort and 3rd place overall, Andy Symonds. Sophie Grant talk Raid de la Reunion and Paul Giblet from the UK wins Javekina Hundred beating Speedgoat! Niandi is here too looking like a Druid.

00:01:30 Show Start

00:07:50 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

iancorless.com 2016 Calendar, not many left! HERE

ELS2900 read HERE

00:17:15 INTERVIEW

MATT LEFORT race director for ELS2900

1 – Jokin Lizeaga 14:48

2 – Nicolas Darmaillacq 15:37

3 – Andy Symonds 16:11

 

1 – Sonia Regueiro Rodriguez 21:51

01:01:52 INTERVIEW

ANDY SYMONDS 3rd place ELS2900

OMAN DESERT MARATHON

Elisabet Barnes has one every stage and as we record she is ranked in the top-10 and is guaranteed overall female victory.

We will have Elisabet on the next show to tell us about it and tell us about her plans for 2016.

THE DRUIDS

1 – Lee Muir 10:45:33

2 – Mark Ford 11:49:41

3 – Tim Beckett 11:51:18

 

1 – Maree Jesson 12:47:32

2 – Laura Garriod 14:20:07

3 – Katherine Barrett 14:33:52

ECOTRAIL FUNCHAL, MADEIRA – HERE

80km results HERE

1 – Arnaud Lejeune 8:30:09

2 – Fabien Antolinus 8:49:46

3 – Leonardo Diogo 9:51:17

 

1 – Anna Conclaves 12:43

2 – Hailey Fletcher 18:08:28

3 –

40km results HERE

1 – Julien Chorier 4:29:55

2 – Marco Silva 4:33:57

3 – Virgilio Ornelas 4:46:07

 

1 – Luvox Franco 5:53:43

2 – Alice Sousa 6:11:50

3 –  Marina Freitas 7:08:12

UTWT 2016 calendar

Honk Kong 100

Tarawera

Transgrancanaria

MDS

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

Ultra Trail Australia

Western States

Lavaredo

Eiger Ultra Trail

UTMB

UTMF

Diagonale des Fous

JAVELINA JUNDRED

1 – Paul Goblin 13:49

2 – Michael Carron 15:21

3 – Brett Sanborn 15:47

Speedgoat was 5th (man) 16:31

1 – Devon Yanko 14:52 and 2nd overall

2 – Tony Littlehales 19:24

3 – Tracy Dimino 20:10

01:39:46 INTERVIEW

SOPHIE GRANT Raid de la Reunion profile HERE

02:35:36 INTERVIEW 

PAUL GIBLIN

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Stromlo Running Festival – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Victoria

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Cambodia

The Ancient Khmer Path | 220 kilometers | November 27, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Trail La Transtica – Course Aventure | 115 kilometers | November 18, 2015 | website

Costa Rica Trail La Transtica – Course Extrême | 196 kilometers | November 18, 2015 | website

Egypt

100 Km Pharonic Race | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2015 | website

France

Dordogne

Trail de l’Asterius | 58 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Haute-Loire

Raid nocturne Le Puy-Firminy | 68 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Manche

A la Belle Etoile 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Nord

Trail Extrème Lillois – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Lower Saxony

  1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website
  2. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2015 | website

India

Maharashtra

Oxfam Trailwalker India – Mumbai | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2015 | website

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

Ultra K Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Luxembourg

Trail Uewersauer | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Namibia

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 13, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Molesworth Run | 84 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Portugal

Trail AM | 60 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

South Africa

Salomon Sky Run 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Salomon Sky Run 65 km | 65 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

UMNR | 79 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Tunisia

Marathon des Oasis | 120 kilometers | November 16, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Powys

Beacons Ultra | 45 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Swansea

Coastal Trail Series – Gower – Ultra | 34 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Dizzy Fifties 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Dizzy Fifties 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Dizzy Fifties 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Tranquility Lake 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Arizona

Colossal-Vail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Colossal-Vail 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Pass Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

California

Chimera 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Chino Hills Spring Trail Series 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Mt. Tam Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

San Joaquin River Trail 100K Run | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

San Joaquin River Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2015 | website

Florida

Cottonmouth 100 | 100 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Georgia

Tortoise and the Hare 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Illinois

Tunnel Hill 100 Miler | 100 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Tunnel Hill 50 Miler | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Maryland

JFK 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Stone Mill 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Nougat Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Nougat Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

New York

Madhattan Run | 32 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Old Glory Trail Trot 50K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Old Glory Trail Trot 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Old Glory Trail Trot 50 mile Relay | 50 miles | November 14, 2015 | website

Ohio

Bill’s Bad Ass | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Flying Feather 4 Miler | 43 miles | November 26, 2015 | website

Fuzzy Fandango 50 K | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Upchuck 50K Trail Running Race | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | November 26, 2015 | website

Wild Hare 50K | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

Wild Hare 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 50K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

Virginia

50K | 50 kilometers | November 21, 2015 | website

50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | November 21, 2015 | website

Washington

Doppler 50k | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2015 | website

Grand Ridge 50 K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 14, 2015 | website

03:05:47 CLOSE

A SPAR AGUS 😉A spar agus

03:09:18

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

A_GRAVATAR

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® #UTMB 2015 In-Depth RACE PREVIEW

Logo_UTMB

It’s the end of August and that can only mean one thing, UTMB. 

UTMB has become one of if not THE mountain races to do. In many respects it is almost a victim of its own success. More and more runners want to participate in the big circular dance around the Mont-Blanc but the trails can only take so many people.

I could enter into a debate about the points system but I won’t. I actually think it’s a solution to an ever increasing problem that UTMB organisation face and as such we all know the score, we know what we need to run the race and ultimately we have a choice.

Should points come from qualifying races? Yes, why not!

Should races pay a fee to supply those points? Yes, why not!

I know my last comment will create some debate but to be honest, the fee to ITRA is relatively small and the cost per head is minimal and the races that offer points gain entries. However, I do think another option exists for points.

Why not let all races provide points? Say 0.5 points for an easy trail race of say 50km and then points increase by 0.5 up to a maximum 4-points for a big mountain ultra. If you then want the points, you the runner pay for each 0.5 point you receive. That way, the person who wants/ needs the points pays and the race and other runners don’t pay. Seems logical to me and in actual fact, I think it would generate even more money for ITRA and the UTMB. I welcome your thoughts on that and boy oh boy what a way for me to start a preview on the 2015 race.

UTMB is part of the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) and as such offers points to a larger circuit. Francois D’Haene and Nuria Picas were 2014 champions.

UTWT-Logo_NEWS

Well, I was supposed to be in Chamonix for this race but at the 11th hour I have decided not to attend. It was a tough decision and one that I didn’t take lightly. Particularly now that I am seeing all the social media posts of all the runners and spectators arriving in the endurance capital of the world.

The reality is I have been on the road since January with little or no break and next week I travel to the USA for over a week which is then followed by a succession of weekends travelling and providing photography and writing for a succession of races. I personally had great potential to break )ver training one may say), so, home I am staying and for once a relaxing weekend.

The main event starts at 1800 Friday 28th August. I always feel a little ashamed when I say the main event as a whole series of tough and challenging races take place during UTMB week. For example, the ridiculous PTL, the tough TDS, the challenging CCC and the OCC but I only have so much time and the UTMB draws the crowd and the most stacked field. For the first year, UTMB will not be a TNF event and the new sponsor Columbia, Mountain Hardwear and Montrail has a tough act to follow, I wonder if we will notice any difference?

One thing is for sure, the men’s and ladies’ races are stacked. Darn it, I used that word again! Let’s try again – A plethora of talent has arrived in Chamonix to do battle on this super tough and iconic 100+ mile course that circles Mont-Blanc.

MEN

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Tofol Castanyer made the podium last year and with no Francois D’Haene he for me has the nod for victory. He has been quiet lately no doubt keeping the powder dry and although not very experienced over 100-miles he is a super savvy and experienced mountain runner with the solid Salomon team who can offer support and backup.

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Luis Alberto Hernando should win UTMB but he won’t. Nothing would please me more to see Luis top the podium in Chamonix but the reality is, he is not a 100-mile runner (not yet anyway). Put him on a course from 50km-80km and he is unstoppable. Put him on a 100km course and he may or may not win but will podium. Put him on 100m route and he will go great for the first 80km and then fade. This is not helped by entering UTMB tired. He won Transvulcania, placed 2nd at the IAU World Trail Champs, won Ice Trail Tarentaise and then placed 2nd at Tromso Skyrace looking distinctly whacked at the end. That was only a few weeks ago and I just don’t see the recovery and training working in Luis’s favour. I hope I am wrong!

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Miguel Heras, well who knows? If he is fit and on fire he could win and almost certainly podium. However, he is extremely injury prone and his performances could come with a flick of a coin. In 2015, Miguel has been much more low key, he has raced but without any pomp and circumstance and that was intentionally so. Placing 2nd behind Thevenard in 2013, Miguel WANTS to win the UTMB and this may well just be the year!

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The Salomon trio is rounded out with Ryan Sandes. This is a really interesting inclusion into the UTMB mix. Ryan can climb, can run fast and is endurant (Drakensberg Traverse) and therefore may well have the essential credentials to podium at the least and may well just win. Certainly, Salomon could repeat the trio of results that we have seen in pervious years. Ryan has had a mixed 6-months with injury, a last minute withdrawal from Western States and I therefore think he is going to be super focussed on this race. One to watch!

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Sage Canaday enters the 100-mile distance for the first time and as great a runner as he is, I don’t see him making the podium. Controversial I know. He has the speed for sure. He has the climbing and descending but I have no reason to think he has the race plan or strategy for what will be at best a 20-hour race. Like Luis Alberto I would expect strength and dominance over the first 100km and then a fade. But he has been in Chamonix preparing and he is a student of the sport. He may very well have hidden himself away, changed everything about his training and come up with the perfect 100-mile training plan? A 5k track session (in 16min) just 3-days before the race suggest otherwise though.

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Xavier Thevenard won the race (surprisingly) in 2013 and then seemed to implode with the pressure. Last year he took the attention of himself and ran the TDS and won it. In doing so, he became the only runner to have won the CCC, TDS and UTMB; impressive! So the facts speak for themselves, super talented and obviously can perform with the best if the pressure is off. Will the pressure be on for 2015 is the question? I think it will but less than in previous years and that may just allow him to run his own race and find his 2013 legs and head. Good luck.

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Julien Chorier impressed the hell out of me a couple of years ago at Ronda dels Cims with a consummate performance. He loves the mountains and he can run fast too. He was 2nd to Ryan Sandes at Transgrancanaria in 2014 and 2nd to Kilian at Hardrock 100. A recent 6th at Western States shows us that all is in place for a great run and that’s why I give him a nudge over Gediminas.

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Gediminas Grinius has been a revelation. His rise in the sport over the last 18-months has been remarkable and you know what, he could win UTMB. He ran a great UTMB last year (5th), won Transgrancanaria and placed 4th at Western States. Expect him to be out of the mix early on and then he will close out super hard and fast.

Stephan Hugenschmidt is my dark horse and potential big surprise of the 2015 UTMB. He had a breakthrough 5th at Transvulcania, won Zugspitz and had a great result at Transalpine.

We are now in the territory of surprise packages and believe me, some of the fellas mentioned below will figure highly in the run for the podium and top-10.

Seth Swanson has been 2nd at Western States 2-years on the run and I still know very little about him. My head says he will need a UTMB run to find his legs before he can comeback and mix it up at the very front. However, nobody expected him to place 2nd at WSER and then go back and do it again!

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Sebastien Chaigneau is the old guard of the race, the wily old fox that everyone loves. Seb has had a tough couple of years and as time has passed, the competition has got faster. I’d love him to find some of that old form, that 100-mile sparkle and dish out to the newbies.

Jeff Browning may well be the best prospect from an American perspective as he is a true mountain man. But he may well lack some of the essential European speed.

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Franco Colle won Tor des Geants and then earlier this year placed 2nd at Mont-Blanc 80km. In addition, he has been at the IAU World Trail Championships, ran (and won) a Skyrunning exhibition event in Cervinia and recently ran Tromso Skyrace. Potential dark horse for UTMB!

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Sondre Amdahl like Gediminas has been a revelation. He is committed, sometimes too committed but I love his passion. He prepared meticulously for Transgrancanaria and placed 4th, went out to the USA to prepare for WSER and placed 15th and has spent recent months preparing in Chamonix for UTMB. Top-10 potential and maybe around 5th if he has a great day.

 

Best of the rest

 

Francois Faivre – 7th at UTMB last year.

Carlos Sa – He could win it but more than likely a top-10.

Pascal Giguet – Top-10 at Mont-Blanc 80km.

Ryan Smith – a Brit who may well be a real dark horse.

Robbie Britton – local lad, 3rd at the 24-hour and 7th at Tarawera. Placed just outside top-50 at UTMB last year but has been in Chamonix for months which will either mean he is in fine form or broken. I think the former. Good luck Robbie.

Yeray Duran – Always strong at Transgrancanaria.

Paul Giblin – another Brit with all the potential to spring a surprise.

Kim Collison – Another multi talented Brit who has speed and endurance.

Joe Grant – We all know Joe and what he can do.

Danny Kendall – The UK’s top MDS performer, not new to UTMB and this may well be his best year.

Jesse Haynes – Great at WSER but in Europe, who knows?

John Tidd – Won’t win but absolutely solid performer.

Stone Tsang – Every chance for a stunning or latter ‘teens’ performance.

Yoshikazu Hara – same as Stone?

 

I could go on….

 

LADIES 

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Neck on the line, this race is for Nuria Picas and I personally think she is going to have the race of her life and win it with a consummate performance. This is no way a reflection on the competition, just an observation of Nuria and an understanding of how this lady ticks. For the past 2-years, Nuria has raced a ridiculous schedule and still placed 2nd twice behind Rory Bosio. This year, Nuria has been quiet. Very quiet. A win at Transgrancanaria and then what? I will tell you, training and preparation. She will be on fire!

©iancorless.com_Transgrancanaria15-4457

Caroline Chaverot though has also been on fire! In the last 18-months Caroline has exploded with a series of remarkable performances that would suggest a solid UTMB is on the cards. Her victories at Lavaredo and the Eiger confirm that she can perform on the big days out.

Nathalie Mauclair beat Caroline at the IAU Word Trail Championships but that really draws no comparison to UTMB. However, Caroline beat Nathalie at Lavaredo. Take your pick! On paper, I would say Nathalie will be better over the longer distance and time that UTMB will offer and her victories at Diagonale des Fous will put her in a great place both physically and mentally for that.

The upset may well come from Stephanie Howe and I am sure that TNF and the USA would like nothing more than Steph picking up where Rory Bosio left off. Stephanie’s 3rd at WSER left her feeling tired but by all accounts, she has prepared well for the circle of the big white mountain. She has the speed, I just wonder if she has the legs for the climbs and descents and a 24+ hour run in her?

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Francesca Canepa may make the podium? I have always been impressed how Francesca can race UTMB and then just a week later race Tor des Geants. One thing is for sure, I don’t think we will see Francesca at Tor this year after last years’ controversy. 2014 was a great year for the Italian (until Tor) and then it all seemed to go to bits. Understandable really. So coming into UTMB we have little to go on, other than 3rd at the Eiger but she was 30min of the winning time. UTMB may well be a redemption year!

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Uxue Fraille has always impressed with her patience and calculated running. She is a diesel. Expect her off the pace early on and close well. She placed 5th last year and a repeat performance is a distinct possibility.

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Fernanda Maciel is solid on the UTWT circuit and although I don’t see her taking the top slot on the podium, top-5 is a distinct possibility and if she has a great day, the podium may well be hers. Fernanda spent a great deal of time at altitude over Christmas (too long) and this tired her. Let’s hope she is recovered and ready to race hard in Chamonix.

Darcy Piceu is an interesting addition and after that ding-dong with Frosty at Hardrock I am really eager to see what she can do here in France. She placed 3rd in 2011 in just under 29-hours, she will need to run much faster than that this year! One thing is for sure, the distance and time on feet will be no issue, the question mark will be recovery post Hardrock?

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Ester Alves from Portugal has already raced a great deal in 2015 with a string of top placing’s and I have no reason to think that a strong performance is a distinct possibility here. But by strong I mean top-10. A recent tumble at Ice Trail Tarentaise won’t have helped her preparation but she is strong and committed.

Lisa Borzani races and races and races. At TDS in 2015 she placed 2nd. I see her a consistent performance for a top-10 but not victory or the podium.

Nicole Struder ran 14:22 at Rocky Raccoon 100-mile. That’s fast! But she will need to add 10-hours of running to that Rocky time at a minimum for UTMB and through in some serious mountains. So although I see her potentially having a good race, I don’t think that those USA trail legs will handle the European mountains.

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My dark horse for the ladies is Veronica Bravo. She is a super strong adventure racer, has the mind for the long game and 100% commitment. She may not win but I expect she may turn a few heads and UTMB race day looks like it will be a hot one; she loves the heat! Earlier this year she won The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica.

Amy Sproston is a tough one to call. She won Hurt 100 but UTMB is a faster race with tougher competition.

Sally McRae may well offer the best prospects of a top USA performance outside those of Howe. Sally has been top-10 at WSER twice and although UTMB is a big step up from Western, she may well have the race to mix it up.

Gill Fowler from Australia may well rock the apple cart. She was 4th at Lavaredo, yes somewhat off the front pace but a top-10 at UTMB is on the cards.

 

Ones to watch

 

Shona Stephenson – Top-10 at UTMB before.

Sarah Morwood – 11th at UTMB previously.

Manu Vilaseca

Caroline McKay

Denise Bourassa

 

And so many more….

RACE WEBSITE HERE

Schedule HERE

Ultratrail TV HERE

Follow LIVE HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superior 100 2014 – Minnesota Nice!

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John Storkamp, race director for the Superior 100 told all competitors at the pre race briefing, ‘Look around, because you may well not see everyone back at the finish. The Superior 100 is rough, rugged and relentless.’

Race images available HERE

John Storkamp - race director

John Storkamp – race director

A point-to-point race, the route traverses the ‘Sawtooth Mountain Range’ in northern Minnesota. Taking part on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT), starting at Gooseberry Falls State Park and concluding in Lutsen, 100-miles later.

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It’s a trail of immense diversity and one that is constantly shadowed at all times by the impressive and dominant Lake Superior. Terrain, as the Storkamp suggests, is relentless. With a low point of 183m and a high point of 558m, the race doesn’t get high, however, the repeated nature of the course (Sawtooth profile) offers no opportunity for recovery or rest. Add to the mix, brooks, mud, rocks, tree roots and a rollercoaster of small climbs; the Superior 100 is considered one of the toughest races in the USA. It’s reflected in the current course record of 21:02. Crossing the line in Lutsen is no easy task… Ask each and every finisher, in fact, you don’t need to ask, the gaunt and hollow expression on each and every face shows each mile and each minute and hour that has been undertaken to achieve the buckle!

©iancorless.com-1025Superior100Run in almost perfect weather conditions, Superior 100 2014 was an experience to embrace. Have you heard the term, ‘Minnesota Nice?’ (A stereotypical behaviour of Minnesota residents to be courteous, reserved, welcoming and mild-mannered) Well believe me, this Brit was submerged in it from registration, during the race and beyond.

‘It’s so awesome that you are here, thanks for coming!’ I can’t tell you how many times I heard this phrase during my incredible weekend. No matter at what point in the race, no matter how sleep deprived they were, each an every runner would go out of their way to express warmth. It’s humbling. Of course, it’s in the nature of the people but my host for the weekend, Kurt Decker assured me, ‘These folks are genuinely the salt of the earth, they mean every word but this weekend they have taken it up a notch.’

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Imagine being on the trail in the middle of the night, a runner appears and we shout, ‘Looking good, keep it going, you are doing great!’ the runner stops, looks us in the eyes, grabs our respective hands and shakes them, ‘Thank you guys for being here and supporting, it’s really appreciated.’

Minnesota nice!

No matter how nice these folks are, racing did go down at the weekend and at the front end Kyle Pietari and Michael Borst dictated the early pace followed by Nathan Leehman, Adam Schwartz-Lowe, John Cameron and John Horns, the 2013 race winner.

©iancorless.com-0916Superior100Ultra running legend in these parts, Eric Clifton made his presence felt in the early stages but faded and eventually dropped.

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Eric Clifton running early on in possibly the worst run tights… ever!

In the ladies, 2013 1st place winner and 2nd overall, April Cole looked set be a dominant force pushing consistently hard throughout, however, at the summit of Carlton Peak with just under 90-miles covered she complained of being cooked. To my surprise April dropped at Sawbill with just over 90-miles covered.

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April at Bean and Bear

Adam Schwartz-Lowe had been the bridesmaid on 2-occasions at Superior, 2012 when Steve Moore set the 21:02:41 CR and 2011. After a sub-20 run at Western States earlier this year, Schwartz-Lowe wanted this win, however, Pietari and Borst had different ideas. At halfway, Wisconson runner Borst had pulled away and from Pietari who was paying for the early pace, so much so he would eventually drop. Running without a pacer, Schwarz-Lowe went in pursuit from the Finland aid (51.2) and as he ran past he aptly said, ‘I smell rabbit in front of me.’

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The rabbit took some catching though! Running only his 2nd 100, Borst looked to have the race dialled after dnf’ing his 1st 100 at Zumbro earlier this year. Experience paid off though, at Sonju Lake Road the gap was 8-minutes, at Sugarloaf (72.3-miles) it was 5-minutes and then at Cramer Road (77.9-miles) it was 2-minutes. From here on in, the guys ran together for an hour until eventually Schwartz-Lowe pulled away gaining a 1-minute advantage at Temperance (85-miles) and 24-minutes at Sawbill (90.7-miles). The hay in the barn could be smelt and as the race progressed the gap tweaked open. At the final aid, Schwartz-Lowe didn’t hang around, a quick re-supply, a few questions on the location of the 2nd place runner and then he scooted off up the trail.

Adam at Oberg just over 7-miles to go

Adam at Oberg just over 7-miles to go

From here on in, Borst consolidated his 2nd place looking relaxed and happy, his pacer doing a great job to keep the motivation high. Leehman took a seat at Oberg and although the temptation to hang out and chill was tempting, he rejuvenated himself and pushed on for the final podium place after a welcome ‘Monster’ drink from 4th place runner, Cameron’s crew.

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With April Cole out of the race, the ladies race became a war of attrition and I saw each lady as they climbed up and over Sawbill with 90.7 miles covered. Embracing the relentless nature of the race they pushed on through never failing to offer a smile and a thank you. Ultimately at the line, the gaps were quite wide with Mallory Richard taking the victory ahead of Frayah Bartuska and Johanna Ylanen.

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Ladies winner, Mallory Richard

 

 

100-mile races are tough, no matter what the terrain is like. Here in Minnesota on the Superior Hiking Trail, John Storkamp and the Rock Steady Running crew have a gem. A gem of epic proportions… if you like your trail tough and gnarly and your people warm and welcoming, then Minnesota is for you!

Believe me, it’s Minnesota Nice!

Race website – HERE

RACE RESULTS

100-mile

  1. Adam Schwarts-Lowe 21:58:32
  2. Michael Borst 22:52:28
  3. Nathan Leehman 23:26:47
  1. Mallory Richard 27:32:27
  2. Frayah Bartuska 29:56:58
  3. Johanna Ylanen 31:08:10

 

50m-mile

  1. Chris Rubesch 8:56:33
  2. Forrest Tracy 9:23:47
  3. Alex Kurt 9:35:24
  1. Kristin Rognerud
  2. Annie Behrend 13:03:34
  3. Shelly Groenke 13:41:38

 

Marathon

  1. Ben Kampf 3:32:27
  2. James Sorenson 3:49:30
  3. Ryan Braun 04:00:11
  1. Jayna Tilstra 4:53:31
  2. Kelly Johnson 4:56:10
  3. Heather Weckwerth 5:20:01

Race images available HERE

KILIAN JORNET – The Human Carabiner

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Kilian Jornet is defining our sport and in the process is setting new records and providing inspiration to thousands, if not millions of people. Just 12-months ago, I spoke to Kilian in Zermatt. It was just days after his incredible Matterhorn Summit where he set a new record for Cervinia-Matterhorn Summit-Cervinia beating the long standing Bruno Brunod record. Looking relaxed, Kilian joins me at a table and we chat. He looks lean and in the form of his life. The sky is blue and clouds are around the base of the Matterhorn. Looking up we pause and take it in.

Interview in Spanish HERE

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It really is an incredible mountain. I turn to Kilian and ask…

IC – Do you feel nostalgic Kilian, looking up at the Matterhorn and thinking back 12-months?

KJ – Yes, I have great feelings. I-year ago I climbed from Italy (Cervinia) and today I climbed it from Switzerland (Zermatt). I have many great friends in Cervinia and very soon it will be 150-years of the Matterhorn. So many great memories; It’s such a beautiful memory.

IC – Okay, so you have just thrown this on me. You climbed the Matterhorn this morning from Zermatt?

KJ – Yes (laughs) I am not racing Matterhorn Ultraks so it’s okay. I went this morning… I was thinking to myself, it’s great weather so I decided to go. Conditions are not good though. The mountain has much more snow and the ridge was pretty icy. I had no crampons, which was a big mistake. At the summit it was very windy. I thought I might take the quick way down to Zermatt…!

IC – People say the Matterhorn is harder from Switzerland side?

KJ – The Italians say it’s harder from Cervinia and the Swiss say it’s harder from Zermatt. (He laughs) Both routes are very similar. I prefer the Italian side, it’s a narrow ridge about 500m long and you can really run. From Switzerland you go straight to the summit. It’s really beautiful and maybe a little more complicated. For me though, the Italian side is more difficult.

IC – Did you time yourself?

KJ – Hotel to hotel was 7-hours. I had planned to go down to the Italian side and come back via the pass. But the conditions were very windy and I decided to come back on the Switzerland side. It had lots of snow all the way up. I can normally climb up in good conditions in 2.5hrs but today it was 4-hours.

IC – Not the perfect time for a FKT?

KJ – No, it was really dangerous. Normally I would see 100’s of people at the summit. Today it was just me and I saw 4-people on my way down. The weather would be okay for Mont-Blanc but not here; it’s much more complicated.

 

IC – I think it’s topical we are speaking mid season. I believe the Kilian Jornet today is a different person to 1-year ago. For me, you seem to be in perfect shape. I don’t think I have seen you so fit and strong. Would you agree?

KJ – This year I feel really well. I don’t know why? I started the season in Colorado in the winter doing plenty of high altitude meters. I was great in the ski season. It was my best season in regard to my condition. I was not tired after skiing so it was a big bonus. I have raced the same number of races but I seem to be recovering so much better. I am climbing more meters and doing fewer kilometres.

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IC – It’s not unusual for you to start your run season at Transvulcania La Palma on 4-5 days running. This year you did this. You had a great race placing 2nd behind Luis. You then went to Denali and followed this with running again becoming Skyrunning World Champion. In Denali, this is not ultra running. It’s Alpinism. So tell us, what was the experience like?

KJ – It was a hard experience and fun. The weather was bad in Alaska. We stayed 21-days in the glacier and we had 3 sunny days. Everyday was snowing but we did a great number of things. We travelled very light. We would go to 4000m camp and from here everyday we would do something… we did the west ridge and then ski, we did another ridge, then I did the record, the north summit and so on. It was really nice to see. It’s possible to do something everyday. It was really interesting. I think I was surprised to come back to Chamonix and perform so well. Really I was just going to use it as training for Hardrock. In the VK I surpassed my expectation, in the marathon I knew I could do well. I lost weight in Denali.

IC – Yes for sure. You lost weight and your legs seemed smaller. Did it feel unusual to be back in Chamonix feeling like a different person?

KJ – Yes, I had small legs. It is similar to after Alpinism. It’s good for going up but coming down it has its affects.

IC – Denali unlike the Matterhorn was very much about you going and doing it. We haven’t seen the new Summits film yet, so, what did Denali involve?

KJ – It’s Skimo. You go via the plane to Anchorage and then take anther small plane to the glacier. It’s snow all the way. We didn’t take run shoes. We just used skis everyday. We had planned to acclimatize but the weather cleared and I made an attempt on the 6th day. I may have not been adapted but I was still strong. If you stay at altitude you loose strength. I had good conditions for 3-hours but the last uphill section and all the downhill had bad conditions. It was snowing and foggy. I just hoped that I could complete the summit. I added more clothes and pushed on.

IC – How do you prepare for an event like this? Do you do extensive research beforehand on maps? You make it sound casual and matter of fact but I know it’s not.

KJ – You need to be really well prepared. It’s a dangerous mountain. I looked at maps and we planned ahead, not only for the record but other adventures. I made good preparation 2-weeks before. We did 3-days to base camp and did the west ridge and ski down. It was good to see the conditions, find out what the snow was like and see if I could ski fast from the summit. You need to open your mind.

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It was great to have a small team. We were 4-people: Seb Montaz, Jordi Tosas, Vivian Bruchez and me. It’s really quick to change plans and make decisions with a small set up. For example in 5-hours I decided to attempt the record. Everyone was ready; they all knew what they had to do. It was great. Also, the team had projects that each wanted to do. All 4 of us had aspirations to achieve things whilst in Alaska.

IC – That is what is so interesting about what you do. You have very experienced people with you. In particular, Seb, he’s a great mountaineer and cameraman. We often forget he is often doing what you are doing.

KJ – For sure. You either have a small team or a big team with multiple people, helicopters, and many cameramen. The problem is budget! For example, all our team can work independently and they can all film, even myself. I like this process. We all move in the mountain, they are happy alone and that is great. We all captured images of each other. 

IC – That is going to be great to see. You followed Denali with Hardrock 100.

KJ – Three years of waiting!

IC – Yes, you got the confirmation in 2013. We all had expectations and excitement. You were racing really strong competition, Adam Campbell, Joe Grant, Seb Chaigneau, Dakota Jones, Julien Chorier and so on. You had a remarkable day; you smashed the course record. I know from pervious chats that you wasted lots of time. What was the experience like, did it live up to expectations?

KJ – It’s a beautiful race. I have run several 100-mile races and this is the best. The ambiance, the course, the spirit, it was just amazing. I arrived 1-week before and I checked all the last 100km so that I was prepared. I knew I would be in this section at night. I didn’t know the early section; I didn’t check it at all. We all started together; Seb, Adam, Timmy, Dakota and Julien. We had a big group. I felt good from the beginning. Having said that, you always feel good early. It’s just moving. After 4-5 hours I wasn’t pushing but I was pulling away. I thought to myself, maybe I will have a good day but I wanted to be cautious for the latter stages of the race. So, I waited for Julien and then I ran to km 100 with him and then the night started. After this point, I knew the course so I decided to go. It could take 9-hours if I was feeling good. I hadn’t eaten much up to this point so from here I took energy from soup and burritos. It was also really bad weather with rain and storms. I was happy to take a little time in the aid stations.

Kilian ©jordisaragossa

IC – I think you were lucky and got ahead of the worst of the storms. For example Adam Campbell had a crazy time.

KJ – Yes, this is what can happen, Handies Peak is at 4800m and 30km between aid stations, so, you are on your own. If a storm comes they don’t stop the race. You need to know what to do. If you are afraid, you stop and find shelter until the storm passes. Runners need to think and that is a good thing. We all need to think what to carry and what to do.

IC – You had Frosty (Anna Frost) and Ricky Gates as pacers. What point did they pace you?

KJ – Ricky started at 100km for the first part of the night section from Sharman. He ran around 35-40km with me. In the second part it was crazy rain. We were so cold and wet. He stopped. I continued for 10-miles alone and then met Frosty for the last 10-miles.

IC – At any point did you have the course record in mind?

KJ – Yes, you have it in your mind but I don’t race for records. I like racing a great deal. I do lots of races. My priority was to win if possible and I was also thinking of the Dolomites 1-week later…

(Laughter)

KJ – I said okay, I am doing well but don’t try to get tired! I was 20-min ahead of the record and I knew that Kyle Skaggs exploded in the latter stages when he set the record. So, if I kept my pace I knew the record was possible.

IC – As winner, you are the only male with a guaranteed place for next year. Will you be back?

KJ – Yes, for sure as it alternates direction each year.

IC – The two races are different, lets forget next year. Given what you have learnt this year, if you went back in 2-years, with what you now know. Of course weather dependant. Do you think you could make big differences to the time?

KJ – Weather is crucial and of course the feelings. Some days you feel great, like a cloud. You can’t predict these days. I had one of these days at the Matterhorn and certainly Hardrock. For sure I could go faster. I stopped 56-minutes in aid stations.

IC – And you waited for Julien 20-mins? 

KJ – Yes, I think 1-hour quicker is possible should all things align.

IC – You came back from Hardrock and surprisingly raced at Dolomites Skyrace in the VK and SkyRace just days later.

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KJ – I was happy about the VK. I was feeling recovered but after 100-miles you need recovery. The VK was super good. I placed 8th which was great. It surprised me that I could push. It motivated me for the Sky race just 2-days later.

IC – Another great victory for you, amazing really!

KJ – Yes. Thanks

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IC – Trofeo Kima is just around the corner. It’s arguably one of ‘the’ key Skyraces. Do you have any plans or intentions for Kima?

KJ – It’s difficult to discuss plans. So many variables come into play. For example, I may do some mountaineering this week, which may mean I am tired. I have The Rut and Limone Extreme too this year. After a summer of rain when the sun comes out the snow tempts me, so, I can’t resist despite what races are on my calendar.

IC – I have to say, I was watching your posts about your runs this last week. Dakota and yourself doing big days in the mountains that have lasted 7-hours. With UTMB around the corner, didn’t Dakota make that mistake before?

(Laughter)

KJ – I have often done Mont-Blanc just days before UTMB. It has altitude, great training and it doesn’t take too much energy. Dakota is strong and talented. We did this with 10-days before UTMB. He will be fine. I sometimes think he thinks too much. He needs to just run… it will be interesting to see Tony, Iker, Tofol and all the rest. I think Iker will be good. Luis Alberto he will start strong but can he maintain it? Luis has one pace, hard! Maybe he will start slower. UTMB this year will be a great race.

IC – You have Aconcagua (Summits of my Life) left for this year, December yes?

KJ – Yes, I will start in November to do ski training and then I will go back to running for Aconcagua. I’m excited as it has a high summit of 7000m. It’s not technical but it’s a tough record.

IC – And the record?

KJ – I think there are a couple of records but I don’t know the times. (In 2000 Bruno Brunod, Pelissier and Meraldi climbed from Plaza de Mulas in 3-hours 40-minutes. Carlos Sa did 15:42 from National Park Horcones.)

KJ – I will go from the entrance and I will try to achieve both records. Also, Emelie Forsberg will try a female record too.

IC – Wow, nice! I guess Aconcagua will be more like the Matterhorn?

KJ – No, it’s easier. It’s rocky but not steep. The altitude is the big issue. You can get sick and have problems so the challenge is different.

IC – It doesn’t have the danger of the Matterhorn. Ultimately, you have Everest as the last big objective. Have you thought about this yet?

KJ – It’s completely different, it’s very high, 9000m. It’s very long and this is the biggest problem. It’s to go all this way without oxygen and fast. The route is technical. I will start on the north face to prepare. It’s quiet so I will have no problems with people. I will need to prepare. I will go in spring, autumn and maybe the following spring. As per usual with all mountains, any attempt will be weather dependant. I expect to have several attempts.

IC – If you achieve Everest and complete the Summit series, where do you go next? Your list is ticked off, do you think you will comeback to some races you have done before or do you think you will create a new sport, a combination of all your skill levels?

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

Kilian Jornet-iancorless.com ©sebmontaz all rights reserved

KJ – I have lots of projects. Today I climbed the Matterhorn, I looked around and suddenly projects appear. I think maybe I can go from here to here or in skiing I go down a steep line. It doesn’t need to be the highest or the longest. Nice mountains with not many people. I like this sport because of the beauty. I like aesthetic projects more than numbers. I have so many options to choose from.

IC – Do you think racing will still appeal?

KJ – Yes, I love racing. I love the ambiance. I also like it as training. I push I give it everything and you can’t do this alone, it’s boring. I will race for sure in skiing and maybe run less.

IC – Today I spoke to Marco De Gasperi, I took him back to ‘91’ when he was 16 and the formative days of Skyrunning. His first race!

KJ – Yes, it was Monte Rosa.

IC – Yes, Monte Rosa and he also did the VK. He reminded me of 2007 when you were 20 and you turned up at a race and placed 6th. He said you looked at him as though he was a hero. He now looks at you as the hero.

KJ – No, Marco is the hero.

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IC – 20+ years of Skyrunning. In the last 3-years Skyrunning has become bigger than ever and it continues to grow. Would you like to see the sport progress in anyway?

KJ – Every person is a carabiner. We all pass on and provide energy and it grows. The sport keeps the values of the beginning. However, it’s not just about distance, elevation and athletics. It’s about mountains and alpinism. More people are interested in being in the mountains, it’s not just about technical terrain, and we must look at what is around us too. The sport will grow for sure. We are seeing VK’s grow and longer races. I think in central Europe it will stay as it is but it will develop in other countries, for example the US. It’s important to grow and keep quality; we must keep the spirit.

IC – In ‘89’ when Marino Giacometti ran up Monte Rosa and came back down, it was pure mountain spirit. Up and down as fast as possible. I feel that Skyrunning is starting to go back to where it was 20-years ago. Maybe because we look at sport differently; but also you are providing a great influence. Do you think there is room for another sport outside of VK, Sky and Ultra within Skyrunning, maybe an extreme event?

KJ – Yes. I think an extreme sport would be a great idea. It has been done before as you say. It’s really important though to understand that this is mountaineering fast and not running.

IC – Alpinism without the clutter?

KJ – Yes, it’s not about being strong or fast it’s about how you climb! You need confidence and you need self-awareness. It’s another level. It will come as the sport grows but it is not for all. It’s not about kilometres it’s about mountain experience.

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IC – Kilian, once again thank you so much for your time and the inspiration.

KJ – Thank you for everything.

*****

Article ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Please credit as and when appropriate when sharing

Thanks

I would like to thank Kilian Jornet for his time and generosity.

Marino Giacometti and Lauri Van Houten from the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation)

Salomon Running

Seb Montaz

Jordi Saragossa

And all the wonderful races throughout the world that provides us all the opportunity to live our dreams.

Montane Lakeland 100 & 50 2014 race images

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What an incredible weekend of racing in the stunning English Lakes. The Montane UTLD 100 and 50 mile races certainly have become two of ‘the’ must do events on the 2014 calendar. With the long term continued sponsorship of UK brand, Montane. The event has grown from very humble beginnings as an alternative to UTMB to an outright ‘must-do’ for any enthusiastic ultra runner.

Although run on the same course, the 100 and 50 events are two very different beasts. Both races are point-to-point. The 100 starts in Coniston and does a circular route around the northern lakes dropping back down from Pooley Bridge towards Windermere and then heads around Windemere Lake via Ambleside taking in the Langdale Valley and then a push over Tilberthwaite concludes what is unanimously called a ‘brutal’ event.

Not surprisingly, the ’50’ starts pretty much halfway around the 100 route, in Dalemain and is run over the exact same course as the latter half of the 100 event.

Sun and the Lakes can be a rare commodity but participants in both events had plenty of relentless heat to partner them over every step. Even during the first night, temperatures were ridiculously balmy with nothing more than a short sleeved shirt required. The second night however did throw a curve ball for 100 runners entering another night on the trails or for 50 runners finishing after 2100 hours. The heavens opened with some biblical rain… I guess for some it was a welcome cool down and refresher from the oppressive heat.

Marco Consani (21:14:52) was very much a dominant force in the 100 event. Over the early stages Marco had close competition and ran side-by-side with eventual 2nd place, Charlie Sharpe. However, when Marco took over the lead he never looked back. Climbing out of Howtown with the start of a new day he had a 30-minute lead which he continued to extend all the way to the line finishing almost 90-minutes ahead of Sharpe in 2nd (22:47:56). Lee Knight finished 3rd, 23:21:48 after pushing relentlessly for the duration of the event.

In the ladies race, Beth Pascall proved to be a revelation. Having never run longer than 60-miles before, this lady started at the front of the race and at Buttermere one wondered if she would pull off something quite special. However, experienced ultra runner and Montane athlete, Debbie Martin Consani (yes, Marco’s wife) slowly pulled back the gap and extended the lead away from Beth. Apart from a rough patch at Mardale Head, Debbie never looked in doubt of winning the race but Beth really was charging and at the line it was 25:28:33 to 25:48:36. Impressive. Nicky Taylor was 3rd lady in 29:37:08.

One thing must be said, the Lakeland 100 is a tough event. Even contemplating the start and the race deserves respect. Each and every runner who toed the line achieved a great deal. For those who finished, they have memories and experiences to take to the grave. For those who didn’t finish, they will be back… the UTLD100 get a hold like no other race.

The Lakeland 50 was a British Championship event and as such competition was higher than normal. The men’s race had Lakeland 100 winner and Montane athletes, Stuart Mills and Iznik and Spine Challenger winner, Marcus Scotney. In addition, we had Danny Kendall who just this year placed top-5 at the Marathon des Sables. Add to the mix, Kim Collison, and Lee Kemp a fast race was always on the cards. Fast it was… maybe too fast! Starting at 1130am, the heat of the day was already pushing down and when Danny Kendall says ‘it’s too hot!’ then you know it’s hot… In the early stages, a small group formed but it was Collinson who eventually snapped the elastic. Scotney came from behind and charged into 2nd place and then behind, Kendall and Mills had a tough battle for 3rd. At the line, Collinson finished in 7:48:01, Scotney 2nd in 8:06:42 and Kendall 3rd in 8:13:39.

The ladies race had Lakeland 50 course record holder, Tracy Dean racing against the female Lakeland 100 course record holder, Lizzie Wraith. For sure, it was an exciting head-to-head. However, add to the mix Jo Meek and a real battle was always going to unfold. Meek as expected pushed ahead of Wraith and Dean and never looked back. Running with 100% conviction, Meek dominated the race and never for a moment looked under threat. Dean unfortunately dropped due to illness leaving the door open for Wraith to take 2nd place and Bonnie Van Wilgenberg ran a controlled and impressive race for 3rd. Meeks run was so impressive that she placed 6th overall in a time of 8:43:14. Wraith ran 9:18:22 and Wilgenberg completed the top-3 in 9:31:05.

Full Lakeland 100 results are HERE

Full Lakeland 50 results are HERE

The Lakeland 100 and 50 are sponsored by Montane

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all race images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com