Episode 128 – Michael Wardian, Hayden Hawks and Pushpa Chandra

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Episode 128 of Talk Ultra is here and what a show… we speak in-depth with the incredible Michael Wardian after his record breaking World Marathon Challenge. We speak to star in the making, Hayden Hawks and Niandi Carmont brings us her first female ‘one-to-one’ interviews with Pushpa Chandra. We have the news, chat, gossip and of course Speedgoat co-hosts.

New Year and Talk Ultra needs your help! 

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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It was our 2017 Lanzarote Training camp and I have to say what a huge success it was. We had 40-clients who came from as far afield as Canada to take part in our 7-days of fun. It really was special and so great to get so much awesome feedback. I will post a link to images and audio feedback in our show notes.

We had some inspiring people attend and in future shows we will have audio following some of the incredible stories. To kick it off and following on from my discussion with Niandi in our last show. Niandi brings you the very first of female ‘one-to-one’ interviews with Pushpa Chandra.

00:27:30 INTERVIEW with Pushpa Chandra

01:12:28 NEWS

World Marathon Challenge

Well, the big news is Mike Wardian ran 7-marathons on 7-continents in 7-days. Wow. He ran 2:54 in Antarctica, 2:45 in South America, 2:42 in North America, 2:37 in Europe, 2:45 in Africa, 2:49 in Asia, and 2:45 in Australia. In the process he set a new world record average time of 2:45.

01:22:54 INTERVIEW with Michael Wardian

Women’s winner, Chile’s Silvana Camelio ran 4:14 in Antarctica, 3:45 in South America, 3:58 in North America, 4:08 in Europe, 4:10 in Africa, 4:34 in Asia), and 4:37 in Australia. The last result almost gave away her overall victory but she held on by just 6-minutes That 4:37 in Australia left her just six minutes ahead of China’s Guoping Xie.

The Spine

Carol Morgan blasted around the tough course in 109-hours 54-minutes – unbelievably, 43-hours quicker than the previous ladies best.

In the men’s race it looked to be a battle between two previous winners, Pavel Paloncy and Eugeni Rosello Sole but Tom Hollins came from behind and clinched victory in 99-hours 25-minutes. Tom won the 2016 edition of The Challenger, the Spines ‘fun run’ race! We hope to have an interview with Tom in the next show.

Coming up…

The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica has a super stacked field with Chema Martinez, Tom Owens, Sondre Amdahl, Jason Schlarb and so many more in the men’s race.

For the ladies we have to previous champions, Veronica Bravo and Ester Alves heading up strong competition from Elisabet Barnes and Anna Cometi.

In the US it’s the Sean O’Brien 100k.

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK

This week I will be in Amsterdam on Feb 3rd, 4th and 5th for a Trails in Motion event and Running Beyond book signing with Mud Sweat and Trails

We are going to have Running Beyond Event which will take place 3, 4 and 5th March in London, plans are progressing for that… watch this space.

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

02:36:50 INTERVIEW with Hayden Hawks

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Queensland

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 100km | 100 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 50km | 50 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Tasmania

The Cradle Mountain Run | 82 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

65 km | 65 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Canada

Yukon

Yukon Arctic 100M | 100 miles | February 05, 2017 | website

Yukon Arctic 300M | 300 miles | February 05, 2017 | website

Yukon Arctic 430M | 430 miles | February 05, 2017 | website

Chad

Half TREG | 90 kilometers | February 12, 2017 | website

TREG | 180 kilometers | February 12, 2017 | website

Chile

60K | 60 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Costa Rica

Adventure Category | 155 kilometers | February 10, 2017 | website

Expedition Category | 236 kilometers | February 10, 2017 | website

Finland

Lapland

66° North Ultra Race | 66 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

Roavve Polar Ultra 300 | 308 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

Rovaniemi 300 | 300 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

Rovaniemi 66 | 66 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

France

Aude

Gruissan Phoebus Trail | 50 kilometers | February 12, 2017 | website

Côtes-d’Armor

Défi Glazig (45 + 18) | 63 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

Brocken-Challenge | 86 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

India

Gujarat

135 Miles | 135 miles | February 10, 2017 | website

160 km | 160 kilometers | February 10, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | February 10, 2017 | website

Run the Rann 101 km | 101 kilometers | February 10, 2017 | website

Run the Rann 161 km | 161 kilometers | February 10, 2017 | website

Ireland

Kildare

Donadea 50K | 50 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Italy

Marche

Maratona sulla sabbia – Ultra maratona | 50 kilometers | February 12, 2017 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Tarawera 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Tarawera 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Tarawera 85K Ultramarathon | 85 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Marathón ‘Isla del Meridiano’ – 86 km | 86 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Region of Murcia

100 km | 100 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Thailand

100 km Run | 100 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

50 km Solo | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

66 km | 66 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

75 km Run | 75 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Jungle 100 | 100 kilometers | February 17, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 10, 2017 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – South Devon – Ultra | 34 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Oxfordshire

Thames Trot 50 | 50 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Surrey

The Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Way Multistage Ultra | 66 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

USA

Arizona

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

Pemberton Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Arkansas

White Rock Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

California

American Canyon 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Fort Ord Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Ordnance 100K | 100 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Sean O’Brian 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Sean O’Brian 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Sean O’Brian 50-Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Florida

110 With Donna Ultra Marathon | 110 miles | February 12, 2017 | website

Iron Horse 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Iron Horse 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

Iron Horse 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

Lost 118 | 118 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

Massachusetts

50 km | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

North Carolina

Uwharrie 40-Mile Mountain Run | 40 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Oregon

Bristow 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

South Carolina

Mill Stone 50K | 50 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

Rut Rogue 40s – 40 Mile 3-5 Person Relay | 40 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Rut Rogue 40s – 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Texas

100K | 100 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

100K Relay | 100 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

100 Mile | 100 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

100M Relay | 100 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | February 11, 2017 | website

50 mile | 50 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

Piney Woods TrailFest 50K | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 04, 2017 | website

Virginia

The Wild Oak Trail 100 | 100 miles | February 11, 2017 | website

Washington

Orcas Island 50K | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Wisconsin

John Dick Memorial 50K | 50 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

Venezuela

Ultra Laguna de Urao | 65 kilometers | February 04, 2017 | website

03:16:20 Close

03:21:44

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He is Karl Meltzer and I’m Ian Corless

Keep running

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Wardian nails the World Marathon Challenge

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Michael Wardian needs no introduction. The dude has been blowing our minds for years with a stunning display of running. Only recently I wrote an article for IRUN4ULTRA (here) about Wardian’s incredible 2016.

Well, ‘The Running Man’ has kicked off 2017 in fine style with the World Marathon Challenge. Yes, 7-marathons on 7-continents in 7-days.

Ask anyone, running 7-marathons back-to-back is a tough challenge but doing them with just 16-hours sleep and all at an average pace of a new world record 2:45:56 sets the mark to a whole new level The fastest marathon was in Miami where Wardian clocked 2:37:56 – he said it was a tough day!

The challenge began in Antarctica on Jan 23rd and concluded in Sydney, Australia just 7-days later. Argentina, Miami, Madrid, Morocco and Dubai filled the gap.

The previous record of 3:32:25 held by Dan Cartica was blown off the scale by Wardian who in his interview for Talk Ultra podcast discussed how tough, physically and mentally this challenge was.

The World Marathon Challenge was the brainchild of Richard Donovan (Ireland). He himself completed the challenge twice, the first time for a charity, GOAL and the 2nd time in 2012 when he lowered the elapsed record to 4-days, 22-hours and 3-minutes. The first ‘official’ challenge took place in 2015.

You can listen to a 1-hour special with Michael Wardian on Talk Ultra podcast released Friday 3rd February on this website.

The Ultimate Equipment Guide to Desert Multi-Day Racing – Hints ‘n’ Tips

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Desert running brings many challenges and running in a desert for multiple days brings a whole new set of challenges. Over 30-years ago (1984), Patrick Bauer, filled up a pack with food and water and trekked off alone into the Algerian Sahara to cover 350km’s on foot in a self-sufficient manner. Little did he know at the time, but this journey was the start of something incredible, the Marathon des Sables.

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Also read

Top Tips To Better Multi-Day Running HERE

Multi-Day Food On The Cheap HERE

MDS as it is affectionately known paved the way not only for multi-day desert racing but ‘all’ multi-day racing, be that in snow, ice, rainforest, jungle or the mountains. If multi-day racing was the mafia, MDS would be the Corleone family and Patrick Bauer would be the Godfather – Don Vito Corleone.

All multi-day races have followed and tried to replicate the MDS format, however, the reality is, I have yet to experience a race that matches the size, the scale, the organisation and awe-inspiring splendor of what Bauer and his team have created in the Sahara. Ask anyone, despite experience, despite achievement, MDS is usually ‘on the bucket list!’ It’s fair to say, that MDS is directly attributable for many new ultra-runners. You see, MDS offers more than just running, it offers a challenge, it offers something quite unique – the Sahara and the MDS strips the runner back to basics and deprives them of all luxuries so that they are stripped raw. Runners find themselves in the desert.

 

The 32nd Marathon des Sables takes place in 2017 and runners all over the world are wondering and asking the question, “What equipment do I need for the MDS?”

This question is the same for many other desert races but I need to be clear, not all races are the same. For example, MDS requires the runner to be completely self-sufficient. This harks back to Bauer’s pioneering expedition in 1984. The runner must carry ‘all’ they need for the duration of the event, the only exception being:

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Bivouac – A simple tent cover is provided at the end of each day and this tent must be shared with 7 other runners.

Water – Water is provided in bivouac and out on the course but is rationed.

Anything else the runner needs must be carried – pack, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, food, snacks, luxuries etc.…

The above format is very similar for races such as the Grand to Grand in the USA, Racing the Planet races such as Atacama, Gobi and so on.

So, items discussed in this post directly relate to a ‘self-sufficient’ race in the MDS style. To clarify, races such as Big Red Run in Australia and The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun in South Africa are ‘semi’ self-sufficient races and therefore runners can carry far less items and often bags are transported each day and therefore the runner can run light and fast. However, please keep in mind that many of the kit items and needs directly relate and are transferable.

The Detail

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Let’s be clear, it is important to note that equipment will not make you complete any race. What it can do is make the process easier and more comfortable. Equipment is something we all must take to any race and finding out what works and doing the research is part of the fun.

If you want to increase your chances of completing your chosen race, commit to the training required, get your head in the correct place and then finish off with the appropriate equipment for the job. Far too many stress about what equipment they need and neglect the appropriate training.

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Multi-day racing in its purest form should be very simple. However, over the year’s deciding what equipment to take has become increasingly more complicated.

It shouldn’t be complicated and in all honesty, it isn’t!

Here is just a simple list of absolute essentials, one could say that this list is mandatory:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Buff
  • Jacket
  • T-Shirt
  • Shorts/ Skort
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Gaiters
  • Rucksack
  • Sleeping Mat (optional)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Head Torch
  • Flip-flops or similar
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medical kit (feet etc.)
  • Spot Tracker (supplied at MDS, optional at other races)
  • Road Book (supplied)
  • Salt Tablets (supplied)
  • *Food for the required days
  • **Mandatory kit
  • ***Water

Optional items:

  • Warm jacket (usually down that packs small and light) – I consider this essential and not optional
  • Stove and Esbit fuel blocks
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Spare socks
  • Walking Poles
  • Goggles
  • Spare clothes (?)

Luxuries:

  • Mp3 player
  • Phone
  • Solar charger
  • Kitchen sink…

Perspective:

©iancorless.com_MDS2016-8805

Any multi-day race has (arguably) five types of participant:

  1. The elite races who will contest the high-ranking positions.
  2. Top age groupers who will look to race for a high place and test themselves overall.
  3. Competitive runners looking for a challenge.
  4. Those who wish to complete and not compete.
  5. Newbies who are out of their comfort zone.

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When one looks at kit and requirements, it’s easy to think that the needs of the top elites in group 1 will vary from those in group 5. I would arguably say no! All the runners need the same things; they all must carry the same mandatory kit and they all must carry the same minimum food requirement.

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I think the differences come with experience. Novices and newbies will more than likely prepare for the unknown, the ‘just in case’ scenario. Whereas top runners will be on a minimum, the absolute minimum. Groups 2- 4 are a mix of groups 1 and 5 and they fall somewhere between.

So, for me, groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 should (where possible) aim to be like group 1. The only key difference comes with shoe choice. Runners who will spend much longer on their feet and out on the course will most definitely need a shoe that can withstand that pressure and the shoe must also be good for walking. Groups 2-5 never fully appreciate (often until it’s too late) how much they will walk in a desert race.

EQUIPMENT IN DETAIL

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When looking at equipment, I am going to provide a brief synopsis and then some recommendations. I will then supply ‘my’ equipment list.

Hat – A hat is essential to keep the sun off your head; options exist that have a neck cover built in to avoid that delicate area that will almost certainly be in the sun all day.

Sunglasses – So many choice, but you need a good pair that has ideally a large lens to protect the eye. Some desert specific sunglasses include a brow pad that helps stop sweat dripping in your eye. Do you need prescription? If so, I use prescription Oakley and they are excellent. Do you need goggles? Yes and no. If you have good sunglasses with good coverage, then no. However, should a sand storm hit, it can be uncomfortable. Goggles guarantee no sand in the eyes.

Buff – A buff or even two are essential. One around the neck helps keep the sun off and you can also wet it to help reduce core temperature. In wind and sand storms, the Buff is lifted and protects mouth, nose and sometimes eyes. A spare Buff is a luxury but worth considering.

Jacket – Jacket choice will depend on sleeping bag choice. If you are using a light bag, a lightweight down jacket is an essential item. Look at Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, Yeti Companyon Strato, Mont-Bell Plasma 1000 Down, Berghaus VapourLight (not down) and/ or PHD custom made.

T-Shirt – It’s not rocket science, you will have been running in a shirt already, if it works, why change it? I read countless arguments about should it be black or white – you know what, it doesn’t matter. Look at the elite runners, they are often sponsored and have little or no choice on colour. Comfort however is key.

Shorts/ Skort – Same answer as T-Shirt.

Socks – Getting the correct socks are key for any race and like I have said for shirt and shorts, if you have socks that work, why change? So many options exist but for me I am a firm believer in Injinji toe socks.

Shoes – Shoes are personal and must be suited to you, the individual. Consider your gait (neutral, supinate or pronate), consider time on feet, consider your weight, consider how much you will walk (and then double it) also consider shoe drop and how much cushioning you need. It’s impossible to recommend any one shoe because of these variables. You will see top runners using a lighter shoe, remember, these shoes only need to last 20-30 hours. However, you may well need a shoe for 40, 50 or 60-hours. Do you need a trail shoe? No, you don’t need a trail shoe but I would say that many trail shoes are more durable as they are designed for the rough and tumble of variable terrain. Do you need an aggressive outsole? No, you don’t, but I do think some grip is better than none and therefore I would use a trail shoe over road. Protection? Toe box protection is a good idea as deserts include lots or rocks, far more than you may think. Do I need a size bigger? Shoe sizing does depend on what is ‘normal’ for you. I always recommend a thumb nail of space above the big toe, you don’t need any more than this. Recommendations of going a size is bigger is bad advice in my opinion. A shoe that is too large allows your foot to move, a moving foot causes friction, friction causes blisters and the rest is the same old story that I see at desert races all over the world. However, I would recommend a shoe with a little more width in the toe box, this will allow for some comfort as the days progress. If you are prone to feet swelling, discomfort, blisters and so on, get a strategy sorted before you head out to your chosen race.

Gaiters – Are essential and they should be sewn and glued on to the shoe to guarantee that no sand can enter. Raidlight, MyRaceKit, WAA and Sandbaggers make versions of gaiters.

Rucksack – A rucksack is one of the most essential items for the race as it will hold on your kit for the duration of the event. Many versions exist and the type of pack you choose depends on many things: Male/ Female, Small/ Large, Tall/ Short and so on. Some packs just don’t work for some people. You also need to consider if you need a front pack to hold essential items. How will you drink on the go? How much do you plan to run in comparison to walk? I have some simple advice:

  • Keep the pack as small as possible, if you have a bigger pack you will just fill it.
  • Keep the pack simple – far too many packs are over complicated and messy
  • Keep the pack light
  • Make sure that drinks are accessible, easy to use and don’t bounce
  • See how the pack feels full with all food and then see how the pack feels with 5-days food missing.

Raidlight used to be ‘the’ pack for a multi-day race but that has changed in recent years. For sure, Raidlight are still one of the main options, however, the WAA pack is a ‘go-to’ at many races and the Ultimate Direction Fastpack is slowly but surely becoming a favourite. New entries to the market are coming from Salomon and OMM have been making packs for multi-day adventures for years.

Sleeping Mat (optional) – Inflatable, Foam or no mat. I’m a firm believer in taking a mat, the weight v comfort is a no brainer. I would also choose an inflatable mat even though it does run a risk of puncture. However, with good admin, good care, in years of using inflatable I have never had an issue. A foam mat is guaranteed to last the race but for me a large and cumbersome. OMM make a very thin foam mat that they use as the back padding for their packs – this may be a god option for the real minimalist runner. Look at products from Thermarest, Sea to Summit, Klymvit and OMM.

Sleeping bag – Like the pack, a sleeping bag is a key item is it is likely to be the largest and heaviest item (except food and water) that you will carry. A sleeping bag is important as a good night’s rest is key for day-to-day running. If you are on a budget, Raidlight offer a ‘Combi’ that is a sleeping bag that converts into a jacket. You kill two birds with one stone and the price is a bargain. However, for me it has downsides – it’s large, heavy and offers limited flexibility with temperature regulation. I will always go with a sleeping bag and down jacket scenario is this for me provides less weight, less packed size, more flexibility and the option to get warmer at night by wearing the jacket inside the bag. Problem is, this comes at a price. A lightweight down bag and jacket will be more than likely three to four times the price of the Raidlight Combi. Also, consider your size, shoulder width, height and so on. Some bags are very small whereas bags such as PHD and Yeti can be purchased in small, medium or large. Recommended bags are PHD (custom or off-the peg), Yeti, Western Mountaineering, Haglofs, OMM (not down) and Raidlight.

Head Torch – Don’t compromise, you need a good head-torch that provides enough light for running in a black desert at night. Don’t use rechargeable or a torch with gizmos. You just ideally need variable power, a red-light option so you don’t disturb others at night and it will either take AA or AAA batteries. Recommendations are Black Diamond, Petzl, Silva or LED Lenser.

Flip-flops – Free slippers that hotels give away are popular as they are small, fold and are lightweight. However, they don’t stay on and they don’t protect from thorns or stones. Cheap, lightweight plastic or rubber flip flops work for me. I have seen some improvised flip-flops made from run shoe insoles and some string. It’s that group 1 to group 5 scenario again!

Personal medical kit (feet etc.) – Foot care is essential and although many races have a medical team on hand to look after you and your feet, understanding how to do this yourself is key. learn foot care and treatment and understand how to tape your feet. Ready-made foot care kits are available such as this at MyRaceKit here

Spot Tracker (supplied at MDS, optional at other races)

Road Book (supplied)

*Food for the required days – (see clarification below). Food is very personal and it’s imperative you find out what works for you based on your size, gender, calorie burn and speed of running. The front runners will use carbohydrate and fat as fuel as they will run at a faster pace and therefore they will potentially fuel ‘during’ each stage with carbs. However, as you move through the pack going into groups 2-5 the need for fat as a fuel is more important and therefore ALL runners before heading out to any multi-stage race should ideally have taught their bodies to use fat – we have an unlimited supply of this fuel! Post run it’s important to repair, we need protein for this and re-stock energy supplies, we need carbs for this. Dehydrated meals for many runners form the basis of a morning meal and evening meal. Many options are available, some people can eat anything, others are very particular. Keep in mind allergies such as gluten intolerance and decide in advance will you go hot or cold food. For me, the additional weight of a Titanium stove and fuel is worth it for hot food and a drink. We sampled some dehydrated food in 2015 HERE. In 2015, my partner Niandi Carmont ran Marathon des Sables and we worked hard to reduce pack weight to the minimum and we made sure we dialed food choices in to provide her with her desired calorie needs but also keep weight low.

As an example:

  • Dehydrated Meals x6 672g
  • Dried Mango 93g x 4 372g
  • Porridge 59g x 7 413g
  • Coffee 1g x 10 10g
  • Peanut Butter 33g x 5 165g
  • Honey 21g x 8 168g
  • Mini Salami 10g x 10 100g
  • Tropical Mix Bag 194g
  • Sesame Bites 27g x 6 162g
  • Dried Banana Block 270g
  • Mixed Nuts 200g x 2 400g
  • Macademia Nuts Bag 153g
  • Cranberries Bag 175g
  • Pitta Wraps 296g

Total Weight 3550g

**Mandatory kit – see clarification

***Water – see clarification

MY EQUIPMENT LIST

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It’s important to note that equipment must be specific to the race you are doing and race conditions. The list below is an example of equipment for Marathon des Sables. However, if I was going to Atacama or the Grand to Grand (both self-sufficient) I would be looking at a heavier and warmer sleeping bag and a warmer jacket. Temperatures at night get much colder than the Sahara. The Grand to Grand can also have rain. If a rain jacket is on your list, the inov-8 AT/C Stormshell at 150g is hard to beat.

It’s important to note that equipment will not make you complete any race. What it can do is make the process easier and more comfortable. If you were looking for a one-stop solution, I would say that if you went away and purchased the equipment list below, you would have a comfortable and successful race. The exceptions come with shoes, that is personal and food. Food choices below are personal but a good example, you must find what works for you.

Also, note that minimum pack weight (on day one) at MDS is 6.5kg. So, you can keep purchasing lighter and lighter and then find that you are too light. I have done this. The plus side of this, is that lighter equipment allows you to take more food and/ or more options – again a good thing. For example, in my equipment list, I could go with a slightly lighter jacket, I could not take poles and I could leave the iPods at home and that would allow me 2 or 3 more dehydrated meals. However, I would prefer the equipment I want and am happy with and add 2,3,4 or 500g for the first day. Remember, the pack gets lighter as the day’s pass.

WEARING:

Hat: inov-8 or The North Face

inov-8-hat

Shirt: inov-8 AT/C Base with zip or The North Face ‘Flight’ Series – Both light and functional and allow air flow. I don’t like tight or compression as they are too hot.

inov-8-atc-t-shirt

Shorts: inov-8 AT/C 8” Short or The North Face ‘Flight’ Series – Both light and functional and allow air flow. I don’t like tight or compression as they are too hot.

inov-8-atc-trail-short

Socks: Injinji Trail Midweight or Injinji Outdoor 2.0 (which is Merino wool)

injinji-midweight

Shoes: The North Face Ultra Endurance, Scott Kinabalu Supertrac or inov-8 Trail Talon – Please note, I am a ‘neutral’ runner who prefers a moderately cushioned shoe with an 8mm drop. I would happily use any of these shoes in any multi-day race. They are comfortable, take a gaiter well, have good protection and they work excellently when walking. Remember what I said, shoes are very personal.

scott-kinabalu-supertrac

tnf-ultra-enduranceinov-8-trail-talon-275

Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Peak 3 – Has enough battery life for a whole race. If I was worried about weight I would just go with a cheap digital.

Buff: Any

Glasses: Oakley Prescription – Prizm Trail Flak 2.0 has interchangeable lenses so I can switch from clear and smoke

oakley-flak-20-xl-matte-black-black-iridium

IN THE PACK:

Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20L 520g – It’s a simple pack that is light, fits to the torso well, comes in S/M or M/L, holds two large bottles comfortably against the torso and importantly they don’t bounce and it has 3 external stretch pockets. The main compartment has a roll-top closure, so, as pack contents get less, you can roll the pack smaller to reduce any problems with contents moving around.

ultimate-direction-fastpack-20

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Jacket 180g – is super light, has a full zip and pockets, it’s a jacket I can use anywhere. I could go lighter, a little lighter, for example, the Mont-Bell is 50g lighter!

mountain-hardwear-ghost-whisperer

PHD Minimus K Sleeping Bag 380g – PHD work for me, you can have them custom made with or without zips and they are excellent. Yeti make a bag that is more than 100g lighter but I prefer the warmth and comfort of the PHD.

phd-minim-ultra-k

Thermarest Prolite Small 310g – Small, comfortable and you can double up and use it as padding in your pack.

 thermarest-prolite-small

Black Diamond Carbon Z Poles 290g – Lightweight and folding that provide 4-wheel drive when walking.

black-diamond-carbon-z-pole

Black Diamond Spot Headtorch w/ batteries and spares 120g – Powerful (200 lumens), lightweight with many varied settings.

 black-diamond-spot

Esbit Stove 11g – Small, lightweight and simple.

esbit-stove

Esbit Titanium Pot 106g – Small, lightweight and durable.

esbit-pot 

Esbit Fuel 168g

esbit-fuel

iPod Shuffle x2 64g – Life saver

Buff 16g – Essential

Spare Socks 91g – Injinji Trail Midweight or Injinji Outdoor 2.0 (which is Merino wool) 

Flip-Flops 150g – But Xero True Feel are good.

 sandals

Total Weight 2406g If I was looking to be very minimalist and as light as possible, I would not take the stove, pot and fuel and the poles, total 1831g. But, I would probably prefer the option for hot food/ drinks and work around no poles, so total weight would be 2116g.

EXTRAS:

  • Compeed 22g
  • Sportshield 8g
  • Corn Wraps 8g
  • Spork 10g
  • Pen Knife 22g
  • Compass 32g
  • Matches 20g
  • Savlon Antiseptic 18g
  • Toothpaste 36g
  • Tooth Brush 15g
  • Superglue 3g
  • Space Blanket 60g
  • Hand Gel 59g
  • Wipes 85g
  • Toilet Paper 36g
  • Safety Pins 5g
  • Ear Plugs 2g
  • Venom Pump 28g
  • Blindfold 15g
  • Sun Cream 80g
  • Whistle 15g
  • Signal Mirror 12g
  • SPOT Tracker 113g

Total Weight 806g

TOTALS:

Pack and Main Kit Contents: 2406g

Extras: 806g

Food: 3550g

Total 6762g

This pack weight includes poles and cooking utensils plus luxuries like Mp3

 (water would be added to this weight)

©iancorless.com_MDS2016_Day0_0022

IN SUMMARY

©iancorless.com_MDS2016-8441

I enjoy the process of looking at kit, looking at the options available and working out what is best for me and my situation. In some respects, I am lucky as I can test many items out in the market place and decide what I do and what I don’t like. However, trust me, products these days are so good that you can’t go wrong with almost any of the choices. Yeti, PHD, Haglofs etc. all make great sleeping bags, they will all work. Mountain Hardwear, Yeti, Mont-Bell etc. down jackets are all excellent, they all work. I could go on, but you get the picture. Like I said at the beginning, multi-day and desert racing is not complicated, don’t make it so. The only item you need to be sure on is shoes, make sure you get that right. But then again, I am sure you were running before you entered your multi-day race? You were using run shoes, be them road or trail and one must assume that they gave you no problems? If the answer is yes – why change them!

©iancorless.com_MDS2016-5188

Finally, we all love equipment and gadgets, it’s fun to go shopping and get new items. However, being physically fit and mentally strong is what will get you to the finish line – equipment is just part of the process, remember that.

Good luck!

 ©iancorless.com_MDS2016-7106

Clarification:

*Food (As required at Marathon des Sables)

He/she must select the type of food best suited to his/her personal needs, health, weather conditions, weight and backpack conditions. We remind you that airlines strictly forbid the carrying of gas (for cooking) on board either as hand luggage or otherwise. Each competitor must have 14 000 k/calories, that is to say a minimum of 2,000 k/calories per day, otherwise he/she will be penalized (see ART. 27 and 28). Any food out of its original packaging must be equipped, legibly, of the nutrition label shown on the product concerned. Any food out its original packaging must be equipped, legibly, of the nutrition label shown on the product concerned. 

**Mandatory Kit (as specified at Marathon des Sables)

  • 10 safety pins
  • Compass 1deg precision
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Disinfectant
  • Venom pump
  • Signal mirror
  • Survival blanket
  • Sun cream
  • 200-euro note
  • Passport
  • Medical certificate

***Water (as specified for Marathon des Sables)

Liaison stage: 10.5 liters per person per day

  • 1.5 liters before the start each morning,
  • 2 or 3 x 1.5 liters during the race, at check points,
  • 4.5 liters at arrival post.

Marathon stage: 12 liters per person per day:

  • 1.5 litre before the start in the morning,
  • 1.5 liters at check-points 1 and 3,
  • 3 liters at check-point 2,
  • 4.5 liters at arrival post. 

Non-stop stage: 22.5 liters per person over 2 days:

  • 1.5 liters before the start of the race in the morning,
  • 1.5 liters at check-points 1, 3, 6,
  • 1.5 or 3 liters at check-points 2, 4 and 5,
  • 4.5 liters at arrival post,
  • 4.5 liters at the bivouac.

Why not join our Multi-Day Training Camp in Lanzarote with 2015 Marathon des Sables ladies champion, Elisabet Barnes. The camp takes place in January each year.

Information HERE

©iancorless.com_MDS2015Day6-1356

Support on PATREON HERE

support_patreon

Episode 109 – Ray Zahab and Mina Guli

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 109 of Talk Ultra. We speak with inspiring adventurer and I2P ambassador Ray Zahab about his amazing Antarctica 2 Atacama expedition. We also speak with an amazing Australian lady, Mina Guli, who ran 40-marathons across 7 deserts on 7 continents in 7 weeks. We also have a little pre-MDS chat and Speedgoat is here.

01:30:00

It’s a different show this week as Ian is in the Sahara at Marathon des Sables and this show was recorded in advance and then programmed for release.

Please enjoy and share

00:24:52 INTERVIEW

Elisabet Barnes pre MDS HERE

00:45:35 INTERVIEW 

Sondre Amdahl pre MDS HERE

01:04:30 INTERVIEW 

RAY ZAHAB In February 2016, Ray Zahab (CAN), Jen Segger (CAN) and Stefano Gregoretti (Italy) set out on a unique and challenging expedition that spanned 100 degrees celsius on the thermometer. The team journeyed from -50°C (-58F) to +50°C (120F) over 1,500km, on mountain bikes and foot, crossing both Baffin Island in Canadian winter, and the Atacama Desert in Chilean summer. Website HERE

01:53:00 INTERVIEW

MINA GULI  From 1 February to 22nd March, 2016 Mina did something nobody in the world that has ever done before – she ran across 7 deserts on 7 continents in just 7 weeks.  She did it for one reason – to raise awareness about the water crisis. To show the world in pictures and in images, what the water crisis looks like, and to highlight the fact that left unchanged, our water use will increase unsustainably – to a point where by 2030 we will have a 40% greater demand for water than supplies available. Website HERE

THIRST HERE

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Australia

Queensland

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Victoria

50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Maroondah Dam 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

La Bouillonnante – 56 km | 56 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

British Virgin Islands

Tortola Torture | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Canada

British Columbia

50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Chile

Ultra Fiord 100K | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

Ultra Fiord 70K | 70 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

China

Dalian 100 | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Dalian 50 | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 108 miles | April 15, 2016 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 69 km | 69 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

Ultra Trail des Balcons d’Azur (80+25) | 105 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail des Balcons d’Azur (UTBA) | 80 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Aveyron

Le Saint-Guiral | 60 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Trail du Capuchadou | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Trans Aubrac | 105 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra du Pas du Diable | 120 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Bas-Rhin

Trail du Wurzel | 52 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Dordogne

100 km de Belvès en Périgord Noir | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Morbihan

118 km | 118 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

64 km | 64 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Relais 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Oise

Trail’Oise – 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Seine-Maritime

Le RaDicAtrAil – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Le RaDicAtrAil – 57 km | 57 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Var

La Trace des Montrieux 51 km | 51 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

L’Ultra de Signes 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Vosges

Trail des Roches | 73 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Lauf “Rund um Wolfach” | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Hesse

Bilstein-Marathon BiMa 53+ | 53 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Lower Saxony

HeXenStieg Ultralauf | 219 kilometers | April 21, 2016 | website

Hexentanz | 104 kilometers | April 22, 2016 | website

Saxony

Saxonian Mt. Everestmarathon | 84390 meters | April 16, 2016 | website

Greece

Doliho Ultra-Marathon | 255 kilometers | April 22, 2016 | website

Hungary

Mátrabérc Trail | 55 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Indonesia

Volcans de l’Extrême | 164 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Israel

The Sea to Jerusalem 70 km Ultra | 70 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

50 KM di Romagna | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2016 | website

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Sicily

Lafuma Volcano Trail | 72 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Tuscany

The Abbots Way | 125 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Tuscany Crossing Val d’Orcia 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Tuscany Crossing Val d’Orcia 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Japan

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 112 km | 112 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 72 km | 72 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 100 km Challenge | 100 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 118 km Challenge | 118 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 71 km Challenge | 71 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Mexico

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

Nepal

Mustang Trail Race | 170 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Limburg

Limburgs Zwaarste 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Portugal

Arrábida Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® | 130 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® Starter | 70 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115 | 116 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Peneda-Gerês Trail Aventure® | 280 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Serbia

Great East Trail 81.372 km | 81 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Great South Trail 91.483 km | 91 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Great West Trail 85.063 km | 85 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Medium East Trail 59,271 km | 59 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Medium West Trail 57.679 km | 57 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Extreme Trail 133.614km | 133 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail 107.414 km | 107 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

South Africa

Loskop Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

The Hobbit Journey 90 km | 100 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Spain

Balearic Islands

Trail Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana | 62 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana | 102 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Canary Islands

Anaga Ultratrail 88 km | 88 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Catalonia

Oxfam Intermón Spain – Girona | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Valencian Community

CSP-115 | 118 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

MIM Marató i Mitja | 63 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Sweden

100 miles | 100 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

200 Miles | 200 miles | April 15, 2016 | website

50 miles | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

50 Miles Night | 50 miles | April 17, 2016 | website

Turkey

Iznik 130K Ultramarathon | 130 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Orhangazi Ultra Marathon 80K | 80 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

East Lothian

2x25K Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors 160 ‘The Ring Of Steele’ | 160 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

The Fellsman | 60 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Grand Viduta Stage Race | 43 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

Arkansas

Ouachita Trail 50 Km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ouachita Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

California

50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

50km | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

50 Miles | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Diablo Trails Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Folsom Lake Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Mokelumne River 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Mokelumne River 50M | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Rodeo Beach Rumble 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ruth Anderson 100k | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ruth Anderson 50k | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ruth Anderson 50M | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Colorado

100K | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

50 Mile | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Desert R.A.T.S. 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Desert R.A.T.S. Double Marathon | 52 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Rattler Trail Races 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Connecticut

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 100k | 100 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50k | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50M | 50 miles | April 24, 2016 | website

Traprock 50 | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Delaware

Trap Pond 50K | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Florida

DTR Endurance Race 50k | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

JWCorbett 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

JWCorbett 50M | 50 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Georgia

100k | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

100M | 100 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Double Top 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Double Top 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Double Top 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Running Dead Ultra 100M | 100 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Running Dead Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Running Dead Ultra 50M | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

SweetH20 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Idaho

Menan Butte Trail Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Weiser 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Weiser 50k Ultra Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Kansas

Free State Trail Runs 100 km Trail Ultra | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Free State Trail Runs 40-Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Kentucky

Vol State 500K 2 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Vol State 500K 3 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Vol State 500K 4 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

Don’t Run Boston 50K | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

TARC 50M | 50 miles | April 17, 2016 | website

TARC Spring Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Michigan

Running Fit Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Traverse City Trail Running Festival 50k Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Trail Mix Race MN – 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Missouri

Double Chubb 50k | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Nebraska

Double Half Mary+5 | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

New York

Sybil Ludington 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

North Carolina

100 Mile | 100 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Leatherwood Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Leatherwood Ultras 50M | 50 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Run the Rock Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Oregon

Roseburg to Coos Bay Relay | 67 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

3 Person Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

6 Person Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Hyner Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Solo Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

The Ironmasters Challenge – 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Texas

50K | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Brazos Bend 50 | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Utah

Salt Flats 100 | 100 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

Salt Flats 50K | 50 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Salt Flats 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

Washington

50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Capitol Peak 50 miler | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Mt. Si 50K Relay & Ultra Runs | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Mt. Si 50 Mile Relay & Ultra Runs | 50 miles | April 24, 2016 | website

Spokane River Run 50K | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Yakima Skyline Rim 50k | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Washington D.C.

Relay | 150 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

West Virginia

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Chippewa 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

02:58:30 CLOSE

 

03:07:04

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

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

Website – talkultra.com

Episode 93 – Kimmel Zundel Donovan

TALK ULTRA LOGO

Episode 93 of Talk Ultra has an interview with lady on fire, Megan Kimmel. We also speak to Harald Zundel about running long and super hard races. We also speak with Greg Donovan about running the 4 Deserts Grand Slam and the Big Red Run in Australia. Speedgoat is with us and we have some new music and new logo!

 

00:04:43 NEWS

 

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities https://iancorless.org/2015/04/28/nepal-appeal-nepalearthquake/

You will notice a few changes in episode 93 of Talk Ultra. Yes, we have some new music, a new logo and over the coming weeks and months we will start to add some new interview sections.

TRANSROCKIES

Notable as Rob Krar pulled out….. UTMB?

Jenn Shelton and Kathryn Ross won the ladies event

Florian Nueschwander won the male race and Shannon Thompson won the ladies

Results HERE

SIERRE-ZINAL

1 – Kilian Jornet 2:33:13

2 – William Rodriguez 2:33:17

3 – Robbie Simpson 2:33:34

1 – Lucy Wambui Murigi 2:56:48

2 – Megan Kimmel 3:02:08

3 – Elisa Desco 3:03:08

PIKES PEAK MARATHON

1 – Alex Nichols 3:46

2 – Abu Diriba 3:54

3 – Ricky Gates 3:55

1 – Hirut Guangul 4:29

2 – Hayley Benson 4:45

3 – Kim Dobson 4:46

NORTH DOWNS WAY 100

1 – Ed Catmur 18:02 (the CR is 15:44:39 set by Ed!) apparently the weather was great?

2 – Ally Watson 18:11:15

3 – Jeremy Isaac 18:56:54

1 – Sally Ford 19:20:40

2 – Maryann Devally 21:17:56

3 – Mari Mauland 21:24:37

BIGFOOT 200

1 – Gavin Woody 64:12:35

2 – Gennadii Tertychnyi 65:34:38

3 – Harald Zundel 70:32:30

1 – Gia Madole 73:28:42

2 – Van Pahn 79:00:35

3 – Tina Ure 85:14:40

 

00:28:32 INTERVIEW 

HARALD ZUNDEL

 

FAT DOG 120 miler

Nick Hollon 25 hr 7min

Bethany Lewis 30 hours

  1.  

EASTERN STATES 100

Mike Wardian 21:21 new CR

Jay Lemos 24:18

Tsutomu Bessho 24:37

Kathleen Cusick 24:57

Robin Watkins 27:30

Jennifer Brunet 29:41

Frosty and Missy is currently taking on the Nolans 14ers and FINISHED •Breaking News

Coming up Squamish, Leadville UTMB, Glen Coe, Matterhorn Ultraks

 

01:02:19 INTERVIEW

GREG DONOVAN read up and enter the Big Red Run HERE

 

01:57:46 INTERVIEW

MEGAN KIMMEL

 

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Northern Territory

The Malbunka | 133 kilometers | August 27, 2015 | website

The Namatjira | 80 kilometers | August 27, 2015 | website

Queensland

Kuranda to Port Douglas Ultra Trail Marathon | 64 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website

Belgium

Flanders

Oxfam Trailwalker Belgium | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Bulgaria

Orehovo Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Persenk Ultra | 130 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Black Spur Ultra – 100km | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Black Spur Ultra – 100km Relay | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Black Spur Ultra – 50km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Squamish 50 | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Squamish 50/50 | 130 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Squamish 50K | 50 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website

TrailStoke Ultra | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Quebec

Chute du Diable 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Chute du Diable 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

Ultra-Trail Côte d’Azur Mercantour | 140 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

Ariège

Ultra du Montcalm | 65 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Hautes-Pyrénées

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – le Grand Trail | 80 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Isère

La Traversée Nord | 85 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

L’Echappée Belle Intégrale | 144 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Loir-et-Cher

100km des Etangs de Sologne | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

50km de la Sologne des Rivières | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Rhône

La Nuit des Carbones – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

Savoie

North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) | 166 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Orsières – Champex – Chamonix (OCC) | 53 kilometers | August 27, 2015 | website

Petite Trotte à Léon (PTL) | 300 kilometers | August 24, 2015 | website

Tour de la Grande Casse | 62 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Allgäu Panorama Ultra Trail | 70 kilometers | August 23, 2015 | website

GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run | 240 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Greece

Athens-Sparta | 245 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

Iceland

Fire and Ice | 250 kilometers | August 31, 2015 | website

India

Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi 135 | 135 miles | August 28, 2015 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Achill Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

Leinster

Longford Ultra Marathon | 63 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Munster

Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 04, 2015 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Courmayeur Champex Chamonix (CCC) | 98 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS) | 119 kilometers | August 26, 2015 | website

Japan

Hakusan Geotrail 100 K | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Hakusan Geotrail 250 K | 250 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Malaysia

Gunung 5 Nuang | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Great Naseby Water Race 100 km | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 160 km | 160 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 60 km | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Norway

styrkeprøven True West | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Peru

80 K | 80 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

80K Relay | 80 kilometers | August 28, 2015 | website

Réunion

Cimasalazienne | 55 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Romania

Dracula 106K | 106 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

Dracula 106K 2-Day Stage Race | 106 kilometers | September 04, 2015 | website

South Africa

Namaqua Quest | 110 kilometers | August 26, 2015 | website

Peninsula Ultra Fun Run | 80 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Spain

Aragon

8K | 78 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Sweden

Fjällmaraton Bydalsfjällen 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

UltraVasan 90K | 90 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Taiwan

50 km of Wild Pig | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Anglesey

Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | September 04, 2015 | website

Buckinghamshire

Ridgeway Challenge | 86 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

Cumbria

Grand Tour of Skiddaw | 44 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

Greater London

London 2 Cambridge Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

T184 | 184 miles | August 28, 2015 | website

Hertfordshire

Chiltern Way Ultra 100k | 100 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Chiltern Way Ultra 214k | 214 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Moray

Speyside Way Race | 36 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

USA

Arizona

Javelina Jangover 100K Night Trail Run | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Javelina Jangover 50K Night Trail Run | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Javelina Jangover 75K Night Trail Run | 75 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

California

Bulldog 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Castle Peak 100k | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Castle Peak 100K | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Diablo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Headwaters Ultra – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Pioneer Spirit 50M | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Tamalpa Headlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Colorado

Devil Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Devil Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Leadville Trail 100 Run | 100 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Silverton Alpine 50K | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Georgia

Yeti Snakebite 50K | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Yeti Snakebite 50M | 50 miles | August 30, 2015 | website

Idaho

Resort to Rock 60K | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Michigan

Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Montana

Fool’s Gold 50M | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Fool’s Gold 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Ghosts of Yellowstone | 100 miles | August 21, 2015 | website

Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 21, 2015 | website

Mystery Ranch 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Rampage the Roots Montana’s Ultra Challenge 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Nevada

51 km | 51 kilometers | August 30, 2015 | website

Black Rock City 50km | 50 kilometers | September 02, 2015 | website

New Hampshire

MadAthlete Emerald Necklace 3-Day Stage Race | 80 kilometers | August 21, 2015 | website

MadAthlete Emerald Necklace 3-Day Stage Race 2-Person Relay | 80 miles | August 21, 2015 | website

New York

Green Lakes 100 km Trail Race | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Green Lakes 50 km Trail Race | 50 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Twisted Branch Trail Run | 100 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Oregon

Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 28, 2015 | website

Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Baker Trail UltraChallenge | 50 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

South Dakota

50 km | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Lean Horse Half Hundred | 50 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Lean Horse Hundred | 100 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Texas

Habanero Hundred 100k | 100 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Habanero Hundred 100 miler | 100 miles | August 22, 2015 | website

Habanero Hundred 50k | 50 kilometers | August 22, 2015 | website

Reveille Peak Ranch – 60km | 60 kilometers | August 29, 2015 | website

Washington

Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 29, 2015 | website

02:36:45 CLOSE

 

02:38:35

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes to run the 2015 Marathon des Sables – Interview

sir_ranulph_fiennes_bigussiue.com

sir_ranulph_fiennes_bigissue.com

Ranulph Fiennes (March 7th 1944)

 Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been called, ‘The World’s Greatest Living Explorer.’ It’s a difficult statement to argue. Sir Ranulph’s list of achievements is quite incredible. 

Born in ‘44’ he was educated at Eton, served in the Royal Scots Greys for eight years and progressed to the Special Air Service (SAS) where he specialized in demolitions. In 68’ he joined the Army of the Sultan of Oman where he was decorated for bravery after leading several raids deep into rebel territory.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Portrait 2012_militaryspeakers

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Portrait 2012_militaryspeakers

Sir Ranulph married his first wife, Virginia (Ginny) in 1970 and between them they lead expeditions all over the world. Ginny was awarded the Polar Medal in ’87.’ Sir Ranulph has raised incredible sums of money for Marie Curie Cancer Charity as his wife, mother and sister all died from the disease within 18 months of each other (2004.)

Currently, Sir Ranulph is the only person alive to have to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface. Continually a pioneer, Sir Ranulph is ever present at pushing boundaries.

The first explorer to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported, Sir Ranulph has come a long way since leading a British Expedition on the White Nile in ’69.’

Ran, as he likes to be known, may perhaps be best known after travelling to the North Pole unaided. Dr Mike Stroud has figured heavily in Ran’s career and amongst many expeditions, two stand out! A 97-day trek across Antarctica in ‘93’ and running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents (2003.) The latter was undertaken just four months after a triple heart bypass.

In 2000, Ran attempted to walk solo to the North Pole but his sled fell through thin ice. Exposure to the ice-cold water resulted in severe frostbite and some months later, the famous ‘finger’ incident.

Having been to both Poles and participated in over 30 major expeditions, Ran summited the Eiger in 2007 and at the age of 65 (2009) he pushed the boundaries once more to be the oldest Briton ever to climb Everest after two failed attempts in 2005 (he had a heart attack) and in 2008 when he ‘went a little too quickly’ and exhaustion foiled his attempt.

After 5 years of planning, in 2012, Sir Ranulph set off on his latest expedition, ‘The Coldest Journey’ leading the first team on foot, across Antarctica during the southern winter. The expedition was brought to a sudden halt for Ran when in training he removed a glove to attend to a ski binding. Ran was evacuated for frostbite and treatment but the expedition continued without him.

In 2015, Ran will attempt the 2015 Marathon des Sables.

*****

Ranulph Fiennes Interview undertaken by Niandi Carmont at ‘The Druid Challenge’ 2-day race in November 2014. An event both Niandi and Sir Ranulph were using as preparation for Marathon des Sables in 2015.

NC: Welcome Sir Ranulph

RF: Many thanks for the invite and showing an interest.

NC: You hold multiple records, I am a little overwhelmed. You were in the army for many years, did that ignite a passion for adventure?

RF: Well when I was in Germany it was the Cold War. We had 60 70-ton tanks facing the German border waiting for the Soviets to attack… but they never did attack. So the soldiers got bored. So, we were made to run, canoe or whatever it may be. I was told I would be the running officer. I wasn’t asked, I was told! I became an expert in a week. I started to train 600 soldiers. We got to be 5th best regiment out of about 80 regiments after 4-years. All the races were 6miles though.

NC: Wow an interesting beginning and somewhat unique. What was it like to be the first person to visit both poles?

RF: Well, it was my late wife Ginny (married 38-years) who motivated me. Before we married we had done various hot expeditions in the Sahara, the Nile and Arabia. In the 70’s the British press were no longer interested in media for hot expeditions. So, no sponsorship equals no expeditions. Ginny decided we should go to cold environments. We looked at a globe and we decided that nobody had gone vertically between the poles. There was only one route!

NC: How long did this take?

RF: It took 7 years to get sponsorship. We had 1900 sponsors and raised 29 million pounds. This was in the 70’s! Nobody paid us to get sponsors so we had to work at weekends in pubs to make a living. Eventually Jennies dream was ready to go… we had a team of 52-people who had given up everything. Engineers and so on… we got a 40-year old Norwegian vessel and set off from Greenwich and arrived back 2.5 years later. We were the first to go around the earth surface vertically around the world ever and nobody else has repeated this. More people have been on the moon! So in all, 10 years!

NC: Amazing that the record still stands. So remarkable! You were the first person to cross Antarctica on foot?

RF: That was the Antarctic Continent? Antarctica changes all the time… I did coastline to coastline: Atlantic to Pacific. We completed the first crossing in ‘79’ but we used skidoos, nonetheless the first crossing side-to-side. But when we crossed the Continent that was 20-years later and that was unsupported. So, what we carried on day-1 was enough for 2000 miles without resupply. That was somewhat problematic but we did do it and we were in a bad way at the end!

NC: Problematic?

RF: We ran out of food! I started at 15.5 stone, at halfway I was 9-stone despite eating 5000 calories a day. So we had a daily deficiency of 3500 calories per day. So, we were officially starving. Mike Stroud thought this was fascinating… he is Europe’s top physiologist studying in starvation and muscle cannibalisation, so he was able to study this first hand. It had only been possible to study something like this previously at Auschwitz!

NC: You had frostbite. Many have heard the stories about you cutting your fingers off. Are they true?

Fiennes_standard.co.uk

RF: I got frostbite on a solo expedition to the Arctic Ocean. If I had had a doctor with me he would have pulled me out and got the tent out with a cooker on and avoided the frostbite. As it was, because I was alone by the time I had got out of the water… the damage was done. I was too cold too pitch a tent, start a cooker and so on. It was -48. Think about it, it was pitch black on a semi frozen sea, so I went back to the start to find land again and sent a radio message. An amazing Canadian ski pilot landed in the dark on the edge of the coast and he saved me. I was taken to hospital. I had special pressure treatment for 60-hours to lengthen the living part of the fingers on one hand. They cut off about 2-inches of the five fingers on one hand. The other hand recovered. My insurers refused to pay unless the operation was in the UK. I tried to find someone in the UK who knew something about frostbite. Navy divers are susceptible to the bends and apparently they can lose fingers. Apparently they don’t amputate until after 5-months to allow for some recovery. Five months is a long time. Every time you touch something with mummified fingers it hurts… after 2 months my wife and I decided to cut them off. We went to the garden shed. We got a Black & Decker workbench and micro saw. It took 2 days and lots of tea. Apparently a physio in Bristol said I did a great job but my surgeon was less pleased.

NC: Did it take courage and did it hurt?

RF: No, if it hurt or started to bleed I just moved further away and just made sure the bit I was cutting off was dead. It doesn’t hurt!

NC: In 2009 you summited Everest at the age of 65-years; what impact did age have on you if any?

ranulph-fiennes_mpora.com

RF: This was my 3rd Everest attempt. My 1st attempt had been somewhat risky from the Tibet side and I had a heart attack on the last night after 2-months of acclimatizing. Bad timing eh but I survived! I said I would never go back… but I was told that was a rubbish idea and that I should go from the other side.

So my 2nd attempt was from the Nepal side; which is easier. But we still failed as we passed a load of bodies including the father of my Sherpa. We passed a Swiss climber too who had summited without Oxygen but died on the way down with hypoxia.

In 2009 it was easy… I guess I understand why I had failed the first and second times. I had been trying to catch up with my British guide the second time. Competitiveness can be a bad thing. When you have had a heart attack you must obey your surgeons advice and not exceed 130bpm. So, in 2009 I took it easy and it all came together.

NC: You are obviously endurant and resilient?

RF: When I was in my 50’s I enjoyed running a great deal and I had success. In my 60’s running was no longer an option… I was jogging until about 69-years of age and that was okay, not that I ever went in for races in that decade. Jogging became shuffling and that is very annoying! Avoid geriatric status at all costs.

NC: I agree 100%. You have a great collaboration with Mike Stroud – 26-years?

RF: Mike comes up with all the ideas. For the last 5-years we have been working on an idea that involved Antarctica. Mike unfortunately had a hip problem. In the last couple of years his other hip went, it wasn’t as easy as the first one so Mike took on all the scientific side. In many ways this is more difficult and that is what he is in charge of now. We are still doing things. There was a time when Mike and I didn’t do expeditions; this was after the Antarctic crossing. We did running races. Mike led an Eco-Challenge team, which must have been one of the first in British Columbia in the Whistler Mountains. That was very enjoyable… it was a team of five and it included Rebecca Stephens the first the British lady to summit Everest, his Father who was over 70-years, the editor of Runners World and an SAS man, David Smith. Mike put the team together and introduced all of us back to running in 1995. We have also done many events as a pair such as the 7-marathons on 7-continents.

NC: He is also a friend, It’s more than running surely?

RF: You don’t choose people for expeditions because they are friends. We chose Mike Stroud in the very beginning because I was already in the Arctic. The man I was with was recalled to London and I was left with nobody. I rang my wife in England and said, ‘I need someone in 3-days who is completely ‘polar’ trained.’ Dr Mike Stroud had been a reserve on another expedition and had only just returned from Antarctica after 1-year away. Somehow he pulled it off… he managed to come away on a 3-day turnaround.

NC: You obviously relied on your wife a great deal.

RF: Absolutely! Since my wife has passed away, Mike has taken on the ‘idea’ role.

NC: Can we discuss the 7-marathons in 7-days on 7-continents?

RF: Mikes’ idea again! The New York marathon club considered themselves the best marathon club in the world. The only non New Yorker as part of this group was Dr Mike Stroud. They swore him to silence that they thought it may be possible to run 7-marathons on 7-continents in 7-days. Mike kept his word and 2-years later, Mike approached American Airlines and they said they couldn’t schedule the flights. (You need jumbo jets and 5-hours in each continent.) Delta said they couldn’t do it. United said they couldn’t do it and now 6-years had passed. It was 2003 and Mike had still kept the secret. I called Mike in 2003 about another expedition. He said great, I’ll ask the boss. They told him he could only have 1-week’s holiday as he taken so much time already. Mike phoned me and said, I can’t do your expedition but I want you to do mine! So, Mike asked me to contact British Airways and within 2-months they phoned back and said they had cracked it! They said we had to finish with New York and not Asia. Asia would need to be in the middle. Also, if we were a minute late ever they would fly without us. They wouldn’t keep passengers waiting. So, they provided 2 free first class beds and food (this was our only opportunity to rest) and yes, it was all systems go! It all went well to Argentina. We were suppose to be running on King George Island (Shetland), the night before we were due to run the ‘Argies’ blocked the landing on King George with their own planes. So we had a team meeting, Mike and myself, BBC news, a reporter from The Times and a photographer: 6-people in total. When we suddenly arrived the whole thing had been cocked up, the BBC bloke said, “I’ve got a very good friend in Santiago, I will ring him now and get him here and he will fly us to one of the other Antarctic Islands.” So we had to run one of the South American marathons locally. That night we ran a marathon and we had officials to make sure we ran an official marathon in 3:45, which was extremely stupid. The next morning we get on this plane without a worry of which island we would go to. Apparently the only island to run on would be the Falklands. You may know, but you are not supposed to fly from Argentina to the Falklands without 6-months notice. So we slept on the plane. Mike woke me up and we looked out of the plane window. We had two Tornado jets on either side of us… they made us do a force landing on a military airstrip on the Falklands. We were marched to the CO who was furious. He told us we had no permission and that we could all face prison. At this point, one of the reporters went forward and said, “Did they realise that the news and the papers would make this not look good for the army!” There was a fairly quick turnaround…

“You can run your 26. something miles locally and we will watch them every step of the way,” The CO said.

They never saw us off. Funny really.

NC: This seems extremely stressful. Running, logistics, last min changes and so on.

RF: The BBC and The Times did all that for us.

NC: Yes, but it must have been stressful.

RF: The 7x7x7 challenge was sponsored by Land Rover and they did everything for us. It was incredible. They did all the work for us and they had cars waiting for us at anytime. Land Rover and British Airways made this all possible. They had the contacts.

NC: Before the 7-challenge you had a heart attack and a double bypass. It’s amazing that you would undertake this.

RF: I was on a drip for 3-days and nights, they decided to cut me open and do a double bypass. They just decided to do this! It took 13 attempts to revive me after they sewed me up. When I woke up my late wife said, “Ran you had a heart attack 3-days ago” but I still can’t remember anything!

NC: You aborted your most recent expedition, is that the end of cold journeys for you now?

RF: We aborted the crossing but we kept the team (all 5 of them) not Mike and not me through frostbite, but we kept all the team for 8-months at 11,000 feet above sea level doing scientific work on each other. It has delighted the Royal Society and all the scientists, we raised 2.3 million dollars for blindness in Bangladesh and I went with Joanna Lumley to Bangladesh to see what they were doing with the money. For £19 they could remove cataracts from babies. Quite remarkable! For £9 they could provide spectacles to children. This means they can go to school and have opportunities in the future. We really need charity PR people to get behind us, the more money we make, the more people we can benefit.

NC: What does the future hold for you?

RF: Well, I am not allowed to talk about this until I get the nod, but I will be going to Marathon des Sables in 2015. And I am also writing another book. One book actually came out last week.

Marie Curie Logo

Get involved and support Sir Ranulph! Text RUN and a message of support to 70007 to donate £5, or you can visit his Just Giving page here:http://bit.ly/1xUB298

Find out more about Sir Ranulph and his Marathon des Sables challenge:http://bit.ly/1wvffi8

NC: Can you tell me about Agincourt, your most recent book?

Agincourt

 

Book on Amazon HERE

RF: A historian would normally write a book like Agincourt… but it turns out that I am related to Robert Fiennes from the village of Fiennes in the Pas de Calais.

NC: What an amazing story?

Niandi speaks French to Sir Ranulph and he is taken aback. He also speaks French and they enter into a short dialogue. 

Sir Ranulph comments that he could hear an accent in Niandi’s voice but not French! Niandi explains that she is South African born…

NC: So you lived in South Africa?

RF: Yes, my relatives live in South Africa. I spent the first 12-years of my life in SA.

Anyway, we digress. I decided to go to Fiennes and find my French cousins. They were wiped out at the battle of Agencourt and I found out how. One of them was part of an 18-strong commando group with the specific aim of killing King Henry V in the battle. One of them, maybe not Robert Fiennes, got to knocking the crown of his head… Two of King Henry V’s generals, one was a sheriff of Kent in Sussex. He was corrupt man; so corrupt that Henry V1 made him into the Chancellor of the Exchequer. When soldiers came back from France, 20,000 of them attacked London. The King gave the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the mob and they killed him… nasty business!

NC: I guess we are going to have to read the book. Sounds like a fascinating story. Looking at modern day adventurers, what are your thoughts on Uli Steck and Kilian Jornet?

RF: Uli is amazing, incredible… I do not understand how you can go up the Eiger in 2-hours or something ridiculous like that. He is unbelievably amazing. Both of them are just incredible.

NC: And what about your new book, what is it called?

RF: My new book will be called HEAT. Nice contrast to my other book, COLD.

“Physically I’m going to be a wreck pretty quickly.” But these challenges are fought in the mind, he says. “There’ll be a voice in my head saying I’ll have a heart attack, I’ll get hyperthermia, I’ve got a family, it’s stupid to carry on. That sort of wimpish voice tries to appear logical, finding reasons for stopping. You have to fight it. I’ve had it so many times.”

-BBC News, Tom de Castella

 

Cold

On Amazon HERE

Sir Ranulph Fiennes will participate at the 2015 Marathon des Sables. An announcememt will be made on January 8th. We hope to have follow up interviews with Sir Ranulph to help document this exciting journey.

*****

AWARDS

In 1970, Fiennes received the Sultan’s Bravery Medal.

He has also been awarded a number of honorary doctorates, in 1986, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2011

Fiennes received the Royal Geographical Society’s Founder’s Medal.

Fiennes was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993 for “human endeavour and for charitable services”

In 1986 Fiennes was awarded the Polar Medal for “outstanding service to British Polar exploration and research.”

In 1994 he was awarded a second clasp to the Polar Medal, having visited both poles.

In 2010 Justgiving named Fiennes as the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser, after raising more than £2.5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

In September 2011 Fiennes was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Science from Plymouth University and

In July 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Glamorgan.

In October 2014 it was announced that Fiennes would receive an honorary Doctorate of Science, from the University of Chester, in recognition of “outstanding and inspirational contribution to the field of exploration”. 

*****

Links and credits:

‘I am not a madman’

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2007/oct/05/features11.g21

Fiennes climbs to Everest summit

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8060649.stm

Ranulph Fiennes pulls out of Antarctic journey

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/25/ranulph-fiennes-antarctic-journey/1946571/?AID=10709313&PID=6156889&SID=w7wk81lnnmpn

The world’s greatest living explorer

http://www.militaryspeakers.co.uk/speakers/sir-ranulph-fiennes.aspx

Interview with TIME

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1900969,00.html?imw=Y

Ranulph Fiennes – Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulph_Fiennes

Who, What, Why: Is it harder to run in the Sahara Desert or the North Pole?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-30716727