Rondane 100 2020 Race Preview

Many areas of Scandinavia have been very fortunate amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic to see a return to racing. The iconic Besseggen took place in June and in the following weeks, we have witnessed races, albeit low-key with restrictions appear.

Now, on August 15th,  the Rondane 100 will take place (also a 50 mile event) with reduced capacity and sold out races.

The 2020 edition will no doubt be different to other editions, but race director, Erik Haugland and his team have been working hard to put on an event that complies with all the necessary protocols in these challenging times without ruining the integrity of the event and the experience of the runners. 

‘We want as many as possible to enjoy Norwegian wilderness and Norwegian mountains.’

 Covering 963 square km’s, Rondane National Park is the oldest national park in Norway, established in 1962. The park contains ten peaks above 2000m, an excellent run challenge in itself! The highest peak being Rondeslottet at 2178m.

With a mild climate, the terrain is unique, especially above the tree line where little grows; lichen, rocks and a barren landscape.

Folldal, an old mining village, is the hub for the race activity with the Rondane 100 starting and finishing here. Dovre and Alvdal Vestfjell frame the village. 

Photo ©abelonelyng – http://www.abelonelyng.com

A long and tough race, the race provides an opportunity to experience 2000m summits, a land full of reindeer, mining heritage and traces from the last ice-age.

‘We have used our own trail running experience and created a race in our own beautiful backyard. A tribute to stunning nature, majestic mountains, to trail running and ultrarunning culture.’

A 4-hour drive from Oslo and a 7-hour drive from Bergen, Folldal and the Rondane 100 is a race that is easily accessed from outside of Norway, with many flights daily from Europe, however, for 2020, the Rondane races will mainly have only Scandinavian participants due to global restrictions on travel.

Photo ©abelonelyng – http://www.abelonelyng.com

The main event gets underway at 0500 on Saturday August 15th – Rondane 100 will take place on 85% path, minimal gravel road and almost no tarmac.

There are five key aid stations, Nygruva, Dørålseter, Straumbu, Breijøseter and Grimsbu. The race concludes at 1800 hours on Sunday 16th.

A full list of participants is available HERE 

Photo ©abelonelyng – http://www.abelonelyng.com

WOMEN

Molly Bazilchuk heads up the women’s race and many consider her a top-tip for the overall podium. Molly has won Ultra Tour Monte Rosa, EcoTrail Oslo and placed 14th at CCC.

Lena-Britt Johansen won Lofoten Ultra Trail 100 in 2017 and won the 50-mile event in 2019, no doubt a strong challenger for the podium in Rondane. Inger Haugland has experience 24-hours on a track and has placed 2nd at Black River 100 mile race.

Liss Vallestrand has won Sora Moria 100 and is experienced over 24-hours. A hot favourite in Rondane.

Elisabeth Angermund-Vik also comes to the race with a great pedigree over the 60km distance, however, the 100 will be a test. The same applies for Inger Aaberg, a 3rd place at Honindal Rundt a  good indicator though.

Katrine Andersen placed 2nd at the Cumbria Way Ultra (73 miles) in the UK, which shows the long game is part of her repertoire. 

Gro Silijan Hjukse has won Nordmarka 100km and placed well at Soria Moria. Liv Richter is another one to watch after winning Backyard Ultra Norway and placing 7th at Ultra Trail Capetown in 2018. 

MEN

Close to 100 men will contest the Rondane 100 with only 7 runners coming from outside of Norway. 

Erik-Sebastien Krogvig is the Norwegian National Champion and comes to Rondane with excellent results from Lavaredo where he placed 3rd and 3rd at Honindal Rundt. 

Vegard Triseth has won Sora Moria 100 2019 and placed 2nd in 2020. That experience will be invaluable over the Rondane 100.

Paul Ogier from France could well break up the Norwegian party with a string of top results, notably victory at EcoTrail Also 50km and Honindal Rundt. He has placed 18th at CCC and 6th at the tough High Trail Vanoise – one to watch!

Rondane 100 ambassador Aasmund Kjøllmoen Steien is a successful biathlete and who comes to Rondane with no experience of ultra-trail running… May he surprise us?

Patrick Stangbye is also one to watch along with his Sky Blazer team members, however, in any 100-mile race there are no guarantees. Anything can happen and that is what makes the racing so exciting.

The only thing to do is tune in on August 15/16 and watch the action unfold.

Rondane 100 Facebook HERE

Rondane 100 Instagram @rondane100

For live updates of the race in real time, tune in to @abelonely on Instagram. Her blow-by-blow account of the 100-mile race will be availble on IG story.

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Monte Rosa AMA VK2 – Summary and Images

The weather in the mountains can never be guaranteed, and this weekends Monte Rosa Skymarathon was today postponed one-day, to allow bad weather to disappear and hopefully provide an incredible day’s racing – albeit one day late!

However, the sister event, the AMA VK2 did take place as it did not reach the high points of Monte Rosa. However, the start was delayed from 0830 to 1000 to allow for a better weather window.

The race takes place on mountain trails with demanding uphill sections, exposed areas, steep pastures, scree and snow fields. Severe environmental and weather conditions plays a huge factor in the race. Starting in Alagna, the race covers 2000 vertical meters and concludes at an altitude of 3,260m.

It was a day of mood and atmosphere as the mist and clag moved in an out. The 30com of snowfall from the previous night making conditions wonderfully challenging.

VK specialist showed the whole race a clean pair of heals powering over the 2000m in 1hr 42 min (tbc). Behind was Givanni Bosio and Milesi Davide taking 2nd and 3rd place.

In the women’s race, Iris Pessey had a very tight battle with Corinna Ghirardi and Ilaria Veronese – the trio finished all within 1-minute – a really epic battle.

VIEW THE FULL VK2 IMAGES HERE

Tomorrow the Monte Rosa Skymarathon will go ahead with a revised start time of 0530 (originally 0600) and currently, the plan is the race will have a full route. Temperatures are expected to be very warm as the day progresses and of course this may impact on snow conditions.

Race website HERE

Race Facebook page HERE

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A Day in the Cumbre Nueva to Punta de las Roques – Transvulcania Ultramarathon

©iancorless.com_LaPalma2015-5563

Yesterday, I planned a little outing with Niandi. No plans really, in all honesty, we didn’t even know which section of the Transvulcania course we would go on. The main problem with running on the Transvulcania course is logistics. In real terms, you always need to run out-and-back routes.

We ended up going to El Pilar, an early and key aid station that comes approximately one third into the Transvulcania race. It’s about a 50-min drive from Tazacorte (where I am staying) which is the end of the GR131 route before the final push up to Los Llanos and the finish of the Transvulcania race.

El Pilar allows easy access to the Volcano Route section and a direct option back to the coast and  Fuencaliente lighthouse, as such, it is the route most people take.

We decided to go north, head out of El Pilar and follow the GR131 into the Cumber Nueva in the direction of Roques de los Muchachos.

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Leaving El Pilar, looking out to the west you get to see Los Llanos, Tazacorte and the sea in the distance. These tropical, muddy, forest trails provide the Transvulcania runners some of the easiest running so far in the race but eventually this comes to an end at Reventon Pass and the climb up to Punta de los Roques.

©iancorless.com_LaPalma2015-4547

The Cumbre Nueva and following sections are for me one of the most stunning sections of the Transvulcania route. From Reventon Pass to Punta de los Roques in particular is stunning! Onwards to Pico de las Nieves, the trails open up and the push to Roques de los Muchachos leads to the final drop to Tazacorte . Mixing rocky terrain with stunning vegetation, the route is incredible from a running and visual perspective. It is also very prone to an inversion; where the cloud drops below the high points creating a stunning almost dream like backdrop.

©iancorless.com_LaPalma2015-4851

The mist comes in, visibility is reduced, the temperature drops and suddenly you feel like you are in a different place. You question, ‘will the good weather come back?’

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Then suddenly, you break through the cloud, the white fluffy clouds are below and a wonderful blue backdrop adds an amazing palette to run or walk against.

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Single track trails of good running constantly creep up beyond 2000m to Punta de los Roques and the Refugio. Here stunning views of the Caldera de Taburiente are possible and off in the distance, the observatories of Roques de los Muchachos can be seen.

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Around every corner a surprise. It doesn’t matter if you are running or walking, these trails offer so much.

The Transvulcania route is always a constant surprise and I am always amazed at how the terrain, weather, vegetation and views change as you move through the route. Our day in the Cumber Nueva was a special one, topped off with this stunning image as Niandi ran around a mountain corner, the inversion clearly visible and if one image sums up skyrunning, this may be it.

©iancorless.com_LaPalma2015-5563

You can view daily images from our stay in La Palma HERE

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