Lanzarote Training Camp 2018 Day 7

All good things come to an end…!

Today, the 2018 Lanzarote Training Camp concluded with an incredible morning in the soft-sand and dunes of Lanzarote. It was such a great day! The 40 participants of the training camp looked like (and acted like) kids in a sand pitt.

Up, down, around and over.

There was some pretty serious acrobatics and high-flying too. It is amazing how tired legs and bodies were revived after 100+ miles of running in one week still had some energy left.

The morning session was followed with an afternoon discussion about ‘the next steps’ and how to follow on the training camp both physically and mentally.

A final easy run or ‘walking with poles’ session brought the training element of the camp to an end.

Final night festivities will see maybe a few drinks downed, a group meal and dare I say, the Club La Santa disco may well get a visit.

It has been an incredible week. A huge thanks to all the participants who made it so much fun. Obviously, many thanks to Elisabet Barnes, Sondre Amdahl, Tom Evans and Marie Paule Pierson – the 2018 coaches.

Why not join our 2019 Training Camp?

More information HERE

Salomon S-Lab Peak 20 Review #Peak20

Packs for a multi-day race or a running multi-day adventure were once the domain of Raidlight. Of course, other brands ventured into the arena but it was only really the arrival of WAA that made everyone start to stop, look and see what else existed.

Packs are personal.

I think a pack becomes even more personal when one requires something to be comfortable for multiple days and also when carrying 6.5kg or more.

Salomon have now extended their ‘vest design’ to the S-LAB PEAK 20 and in doing so, they will turn the head of many a runner and make them question, is this THE pack for them for their next multi-day adventure or race.

Shape, gender, size, height and so many other variables dictate if a pack is comfortable or not and this depends on you, so, when looking at this pack I try to be impartial and when possible I always try to cross reference with a female perspective. The plus of this pack is it comes in S, M, L and XL so no compromising to be made. I am 38/40 chest and I have a medium which fits perfect.

If you are heading to the mountain for an overnight adventure, I am pretty sure the Peak 20 will work for you. However, would the pack work for a race like Marathon des Sables, Grand to Grand, Everest Trail Race or one of the 4 Desert races when one is completely self-sufficient for multiple days?

Let’s look at the packs highlights:

  • 1 main compartment with a full length zip (double slider) that open up allowing easy access and organisation of what is inside.
  • Fabrics that wick and are quick drying.
  • Three sizes – S, M and L.
  • Soft trims so no chafing.
  • Sensifit is a Salomon buzz word that ultimately means it should be the Rolls Royce of bags when coming to fit and comfort.
  • Front hydration pockets x2 (designed for 500ml soft flasks).
  • Adjustable front straps for customized fit.
  • Zipper pockets – It has 2 large pockets on the front, 2 expandable pockets on the shoulder straps and 2 top zipped mesh pockets.
  • Will take a bladder.
  • Ability to carry poles or ice axes.
  • Lightweight at 484g +/-.


This pack will work for an overnight adventure, mountain marathon race or an adventure when an excessive mandatory kit will be required. But, the big question for many will be, can this pack work for a 6-day self-sufficient race?

In a word – Yes!

Simple reasons why:

  • Yes, it can hold 2 x 750ml of liquid at the front
  • Yes, it has 4 pockets on the front that will allow immediate access to anything you will need whilst running a stage.
  • Yes, it can hold another liter to 1.5 liters on the rear in two external pockets.
  • Yes, it can hold everything you need for 6-days self-sufficiency.


The pack has a 20L capacity (typical for Marathon des Sables and comparable with the competition from Ultimate Direction, WAA, Raidlight, OMM and others) and has one large external zip on the rear that works two ways so that you can zip down or zip up depending on preference. Once open, it’s possible to access the pack easily and arrange contents. Internally there is a small mesh panel so that you divide the large compartment in two – a good thing for maybe an overnight jaunt but not required for a multi-day adventure.

It’s light, very light! It has a vest style that echoes and follows on from the designs from Salomon’s other models.

The front of the pack has two stretch pockets for soft-flasks or bottles. On top of these pockets sitting a little lower are two large pockets with zips that hold a surprising amount. On top of the shoulder straps are two stretch zip pockets that provide additional storage.

On the sides of the vest are adjustable cords that pull the pack closer to the body or allow the pack to be looser.

On the top of the rear of the pack above the zip, is a central cord pull. Pull this and the yellow cord that wraps around the pack pulls tighter and compresses the contents. Great when the pack is full to make everything tight and secure but especially useful as the days pass when racing and the pack contents become less.


The pack tapers and as you can see from this side-view is narrow at the bottom and then opens up wider as one gets closer to the top. On both sides is an open topped stretch pocket that will take a bottle or other items.

The pack has thin blue padding that does not sit inside the pack but on the outside and underneath the mesh back. The is ingenious as it has been designed so that it can be removed.

It is held in place by small metal buckles that attach to web loops. I removed the padding and used my sleeping mat inside the pack as my padding. Ingenious – not only do you save weight but your mat doubles up as protection when running and sleeping.

The two-way external zip is great to allow access to upper items or lower items in the pack without having to un-zip the whole pack. Importantly, when un-zipped it’s easy to access the inside and arrange items. An internal mesh panel can be used to split the pack into two halves. For some this may be useful but if like me you use the sleeping mat inside, you can only have one large compartment. It’s a great space and like any pack, you will want to play around with how you pack your contents to find the correct balance. As a tip I recommend you leave your sleeping bag out when packing. Put all the contents in and then add the sleeping bag filing in all the empty spaces – you will be amazed how a lightweight down bag will compress.

The external cord the wraps around the pack is designed to be pulled tight and compress the contents. This is adjusted on the rear of the pack just above the zip.

Simply hold the buckle and pull the cord. The cords pulls tight and compresses to make the pack smaller and tight – perfect! You can make this even tighter by pulling the cords on the side and then taking up the the slack by the top adjustment. This on days 3, 4, and 5 will be just incredible at making the pack smaller and smaller as contents are used up.
On the shoulder straps, the yellow cord is also present under the two shoulder zip pockets. Pull the cord here and take up the slack and you pull the top of the pack closer to your back.

 On the sides of the pack between the bottom rear and the front lower pockets there is a yellow cord on each side – again this allows you to pull the bottom of the pack as close to your back as you require.

In a nutshell, this level of adjustment is just perfect and is the best of all packs I have tried.

 The front of the pack is classic Salomon vest design but with some differences. Fitting to the torso comes via 3 straps. Two go right to left and one goes left to right. These attach via a black plastic hooks to a yellow cord.

They can be moved up or down and they can also be made tighter or looser. In particular, this will be useful for lady runners who need to adjust the pack to fit around their chest. It’s a method that works and the on-the-go adjustment is welcome.

There are two stretch pockets that are designed for soft-flasks. This for me caused concern as I was under the impression that they would only hold 500ml. Not so! These pockets will take the Hydrapak SF750 soft-flasks and you can drink from these without the need to remove them.

Prefer straws? The Hydrapak 600ml bottles with straws will fit.

Prefer hard bottles? This is where I needed to think outside the box… OMM make very slim 500ml bottles and they fit like a glove.

Have no fears, you can carry enough water up at the front. Also, lets not forget the two external pockets. In my tests, I had 2x 500ml OMM flasks on the rear too. So, at a minimum you could carry 1litre or 2litres with 2 bottles on the rear. At a max you could carry 3litres with 1.5 up front and 1.5 at the rear.

UPDATE on the bottle situation. I finally obtained 2x 750ml Raidlight bottles with straws and they fit like a glove to the front pockets!

The two pockets that sit below the bottles are a real welcome addition. They are easy to get at. They have great capacity, trust me, you need no more additional space up front, especially when one considers the two additional sip pockets on the shoulder straps. These pockets are less spacious but they will take a phone, snacks or other essentials.


There is an attachment system for poles that comes over the right shoulder. I personally though would probably attach to bungee cords to the front of the pack so that I can place the poles across my chest when not in use.

Fit is sweet and with all the adjusters you can really get this pack close to your torso. It fits like a piece of clothing and there are no rough edges – all the seams are soft. Salomon actually say that the pack may be worn against the skin and it will feel like apparel.

At 484g it’s light.


This pack is still under test and things such as longevity, strength, weaknesses, durability and so on have not been tested as it’s too early to say.

However, what I can say is that this is the best pack I have tested for running when the contents are heavy and I require 20L capacity.

I have long been a fan of the Ultimate Direction Fastpack as I loved its simplicity and no nonsense approach to the task of carrying many items and weight. The Salomon S-Lab Peak 20 has now become my new favourite.

It’s not without flaws – what pack is? The yellow cord compression works like a dream but it can be a little tricky to set up – it’s a small price to pay though.

The front bottle pockets almost certainly require soft-flask use or using the OMM 500ml bottles. I personally would always caution against soft-flasks for a multi-day, if they puncture, you are screwed. However, the Hydrapak soft-flasks are more durable than much of the competition and they have never let me down. The 600 or 750 versions work with the vest – perfect.

We will follow up with some action shots of the pack and an overall summary from a male and female perspective in the coming weeks, for now, this pack gets an ‘A’ for awesome.

Photo below is copyright Ricky Gates – he’s currently using a prototype Peak 20 with front pack. Interesting!

You can read Ricky’s specs and the contents of the pack on his Facebook page #transamerica 

In use at Everest Trail Race, November 2016

Some comments:

Paul Wilson Used one on the spine race. It was ace. Did most of my training with an ultimate direction fast pack then seen got the Salomon pack. Which proved to be far better.

Jana Studzinska Tested on fully self supported solo running trip across Serra de Tramuntana. Can’t recommend more.

Sito Castello perfecta para la Everest Trail Race.

Robert Kampczyk Cool bag. Like it because my complete Photo Equipment can insert.

What Salomon say:

Ideal for alpine running, superlight mountaineering or fast hiking, the streamlined S-LAB Peak 20 set uses our trail running knowledge to move fast in the mountain, with stretch fit and complete stability. With convenient access to the 20L compartment, both the pack and the load are easily compressed for maximum stability under partial load. It includes front storage solutions for two 500ml soft flasks and essentials and possibility to carry poles, ice axes…

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable fit
  • Breathability

Back systems
MotionFit Trail
Sensifit (pack)

Load Management
Soft Twin Link
Compression quick lace
Top and bottom sensi load lifter

Pockets & compartments
2 front soft hydration elastic pockets
2 front zipped large pockets
2 shoulder expandable pockets
2 top zipped mesh pocket

Carrying system
4D Pole holder

Opening & closure
Wide front opening with double sliders

Soft trims
Apparel sizing
Patent pending

PVC free
Elastic Power mesh
Fast wicking fabrics
70D Nylon Double Ripstop, Waterproof 500mm
70D Nylon Triple Ripstop – Silicone coating, Waterproof 500mm
Elastic Jersey

Pack weight (lb oz) : 17.073
Pack weight (g) : 484
Pack volume (l) : 20
Pack volume (ci) : 1220

Lanzarote Training Camp 2017 – Day 8


All good things come to an end and today, unfortunately, was the last full day of the 2017 #multidaytrainingcamp.

It started at 0800 with a run to our hill rep volcano (by popular demand) and after a 30-minute easy run, we then played on one of the most amazing natural obstacle courses that provided everyone with a great workout and stunning views.

A short break and then at 1100 we had a 2-hour talk on nutrition looking at the day-to-day needs of a runner at a typical self-sufficient multi-day race. All aspects were covered and of course a few surprises made many of the camp attendees raise an eyebrow and then quickly write a note to make sure they didn’t forget these pearls of wisdom for the future.

Lunch was followed with our last group runs. By popular demand they were easy, really easy. Elisabet ran 8km at ‘long-stage’ pace to provide an insight for the ‘faster’ runners of how to pace an 80+km stage. Niandi and Ian ran nice and easy for 12-15km and Marie-Paule took the walkers out for a long 5-6 hour hike.

That’s it.

I will update more in the coming days on the many highs of the 2017 camp.

As I write this, the bar is open and many camp attendees are practicing re-hydrating… it would be a shame to miss out!

Want to join us in 2018? Go HERE

Lanzarote Training Camp 2017 – Day 5


Now THAT was a stunning day!

0700 and meeting at the run track at Club La Santa was not, in the majority, most peoples idea of fun. However, the glow of head torches and an easy run of around 1-hours around the trails and lagoon of CLS, very much set everyone up for a perfect day in Lanzarote.

Breakfast was followed by two talks. Rich Carpenter discussed his first Marathon des Sables in 2016 and talked us through his whole preparation and race. He pointed out what worked and what didn’t and he also provided some invaluable personal ‘tips’ that many could take away to improve their own future multi-day experience.

Ian and Niandi then discussed the travel to Morocco, what everyone could expect and they provided invaluable hints-and-tips to make the bivouac experience more pleasurable until the race started.

Lunch and an afternoon break was followed by a run run to a volcano and a series of hill reps. I guess it was a session many feared… But, by unanimous feedback, the session has been the most exciting, the most welcomed and the most inspiring. Everyone loved it!

It was inspirational to see some runners push themselves to their physical limit, while others conquered a fear of climbing, exposed ridges and technical terrain. It was a real winning session and one that set everyone up perfectly for evening drinks in the bar and a relaxing and casual dinner.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is a big day with a long run out and back along the coast.

Interested in our 2018 Training Camp? Go HERE

Lanzarote Training Camp 2017 – Day 1


The snow, the ice, the rain and the cold arrived in the UK. Temperatures plummeted. Lanzarote was the only place to be and thank goodness our multi-day training camp is now an annual fixture.

Elisabet Barnes, Niandi Carmont and myself arrived on this majestic Canary island of Lanzarote, two days ahead of our 2017 camp to put logistics in place and do a final check of some of the run routes we will use.

Blue skies and 20 degree temperatures greeted us. The bright blue sky, the warm rays immediately rejuvenating us from the cold and dark of the UK. No confirmation is needed but within seconds we know only too well why we do this camp at this time of year.

Today was all about settling in but it would be rude not to get out on the trails as the day came to a close. Using one of our training run routes, we ran, climbed and scrambled one of the many volcanoes that are located on this island. It was a magical way to end the day.

Wednesday, we will do a full long run route recce and then on Thursday, our clients will arrive from all over the world to start a full-on week learning how best to train, prepare and plan for a multi-day race. Lanzarote is the perfect environment for this.

Out 2017 #multidaytrainingcamp is underway!

Long Term Goal Setting and Planning for Ultra Running

The Long Term Goal


Recently I have produced several articles that have been created to help runners formulate a plan for a new year of racing and training. The articles have been as follows:

  • Planning a Running and Racing Year HERE
  • To Base Train or not to Base Train HERE
  • Base Training HERE
  • How long should the long run be? HERE
  • In addition, I wrote several articles on walking and how important it is to practice this for:
  • Ultra running HERE
  • Walking with poles HERE
  • Walking efficiency when climbing HERE

Recently I was involved in a series of discussions about the Marathon des Sables, not the 2016 edition of the race but the 2017 and 2018 editions of the race. One thing that became very clear is the panic and apprehension many runners feel about a goal that may well be a ‘one-off’ or lifetime goal.

Experienced runners will know how to goal set, they will know how to periodise and plan their training so that they hopefully arrive at a target event in peak form. This was discussed in Planning a Running and Racing Year (HERE). However, goals that go beyond one macrocycle (one year) require a much greater perspective and overview. If you are new to running, well, it can be just terrifying.

A great deal of advice can be extremely counter productive as it makes many runners feel inadequate, inexperienced, lacking confidence and in the worse scenarios even questioning if they should even go ahead with the race.

Let’s be clear. Everyone is an individual, I have yet to find two runners who need the same training plan or structure. However, certain scenarios work for all and it is with this in mind that I am writing this post.


Why set a long term goal?

Long term goals provide incredible motivation to step out of the door and to train. You will have heard the saying, ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it!’

To that end, iconic races such as UTMB and Marathon des Sables, are races that for many are the ultimate race, they are races to be built up to and therefore a macrocycle is not enough time to prepare; hence long term goal setting.

Irrespective of experience, two key words come in to play when setting a long term plan: Structured and Progressive.

In this scenario, I am using goal setting for Marathon des Sables.


A macrocycle is one training year and this is broken down into mesocycles. It may sound like a fancy word but a mesocycle is a series of blocks of training that make up one macrocycle. For purposes of explanation, let’s assume that you are running the Marathon des Sables which takes place in April 2018.

I always recommend getting a year planner so that you get a big picture of what lies ahead. Fourteen months may seem like a long way off, it is, no need to panic, but also don’t become complacent. What’s important here is experience. I am therefore going to have two runners.

Runner A has run a marathon, runs to keep fit and has set the lifetime goal of Marathon des Sables. Priority is completion.

Runner B has been running for years, eats marathons for breakfast, races ultra races regularly and is going to Marathon des Sables as a challenge, to test him or herself and plans to compete over complete.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out that runner A and runner B need completely different training plans and strategies. Keeping in mind that A has less experience, more insecurities and a great deal of anxiety about the big target, I will talk through the possible planning cycle for A.

Let’s break down the macrocycle. As I said, we have fourteen months to play with, so a schedule may look like this:

Phase 1: Feb, Mar, Apr, May with C race objective (marathon).

Phase 2: June, July, Aug with B race objective (50k to 50m).

Phase 3: Sep, Oct, Nov with A race objective (multi-day race)

Phase 4: Dec, Jan with B race objective and/ or specific warm weather training camp.

Phase 5: Feb, Mar.

Phase 6: Apr – A race.

Phase 1

Is all about consistent and regular running based on available time, ability and commitments. Set yourself a C race target for the end of this period. It could be a half marathon or even a marathon. It’s always good to have intermediate targets to work to and we often use C and  B races as stepping stones to an A race, in this scenario, Marathon des Sables.

Be realistic here, it’s important. Ask yourself a couple of key questions:

How many days can I train?

How many hours a week can I train?

We are going to assume that running three/four days is possible every week with a fourth/ fifth day for cross training and strength work. A microcycle (week) in phase 1 may well look like:

  • Tuesday – key day
  • Thursday – key day
  • Saturday – Cross training
  • Sunday – key day

In phase 1 we want to just walk, run or walk/ run and build a base of fitness from which to build. No need to rush in and panic. Be sensible and progressive. A safe way to do this is build for three weeks and on the fourth week rest and recover, Yes, rest and recovery is just as important as running.

Use the 10-20% rule and never add more time than this to each run. An example for the first month may look like:


Over this phase, you would eventually cap the length of time for the Tuesday and Thursday runs at 60 to 90-minutes and the Sunday run would progress to 3-hours 30-minutes as follows:


Use this system in phase 1 building week on week over four months to lay a great foundation of progressive miles and time on feet. If you have built progressively, your Sunday long run will have progressed to over three hours which puts you in a great place for a C run target.

A marathon would be a good C target at the end of phase 1. You wouldn’t taper for a race like this, it would be a training run that would be added to your plan.

Phase 2

You have phase 1 under your belt and the confidence of completing a C target. Phase 2 now builds and at the end of this phase you will have a B race target as a goal. This race should be challenging but not so challenging that it becomes intimidating or breaks you. If you ran a half marathon as a C race, then your B race could be a marathon. If your C race was a marathon, then your B race may be a 50k or up to a 50-mile race if you feel that training is going very well?

It’s also important now to think ahead to Phase 3 and an intermediate A race target that will motivate you and boost your confidence for phase 4, 5 and 6.

Also think about planning and booking heat chamber sessions or equivalent for the final build up phase just before the race; this usually takes place in the final 2-3 weeks and sessions go quickly.

In the UK, a race takes place in November called the Druids. It’s a three day race where runners take on a marathon for three consecutive days. It’s a perfect ‘mini’ Marathon des Sables scenario and a great opportunity to test clothing, pack, fitness and build confidence.

Assuming that four days training are still possible and that you have had no injury issues or problems, we can now progress training building on endurance in the long runs and adding some faster/ strength sessions during the week.

A week may look like this:

  • Tuesday – Hills.
  • Thursday – Speed
  • Saturday – Cross training and strength.
  • Sunday – Long run.

As in phase 1, progression is really important and the plan would actually change and evolve over this period with each month looking different.


The above plan is a guide and this is where a run coach can step in and provide structure and remove the guess work away from how the plan is put together. It’s all about placing the right emphasis at the right place and at the right time.

You will see how month 3 changes from months 1 and 2 so that it is specific to the B target at the end of this mesocycle.

Phase 3

You have just completed your longest run in a B race, be that 50k, 50m or somewhere in-between and your confidence is sky high. You now have an A race on the horizon (November) that involves three back-to back marathons and suddenly your appreciation of what is required is much clearer. You respect the Marathon des Sables target but now it is less intimidating as you have moved your way up through logical and incremental steps.

Another three month phase of training that allows is to fine tune and hone in on the racing skills required.

As you may expect, phase 3 starts with recovery from your B race target. You will need to cross train or just run easy for 3-4 days. By the time the weekend comes around, you will feel as though recovery is well on the way, don’t rush. Take your time and the following week run easy Tuesday and Thursday for up to 60-minutes and then do 60 and a 90-minute run on Saturday and build on the Sunday run. An example of phase 3 is below. Please remember, YOU are an individual with specific needs and what I provide below is a possible structure leading to an A race in November.


The A race at the end of November provides a significant marker in your training. The experience will allow you an opportunity to find out what worked, what didn’t work, how your kit worked, what was good, what was bad and so on.

December is now upon you and Phase 4 is an opportunity to look at weaknesses and work on them so that you are in great shape to take on Phase 5 which is the final period before your key race.

1. If you lacked endurance in your November A race, keep working on consistency and build endurance with time on feet.

2. If you lacked speed and want to run faster, December is a perfect opportunity to cut back on distance and long runs and add some speed work.

3. Due to the demands of running with a pack, running long and all the associated fatigue, make sure that you incorporate a strength and core routine to make you a stronger runner. It’s easy to say here, ‘I don’t have the time!” You do, cut down your run time on a Tuesday and Thursday and free up time for strength and core. Maybe you can even find an extra day in your week (Wednesday) to allow you to work on this. Alternatively, work on strength and core at home maybe while watching television? The time is there, you just need to find it and be creative.

4. Practice walking. Effective and fast walking is a key weapon to a successful race in any long ultra or multi-day race.

With a new year coming, April and the heat of the Sahara looms on the horizon. January provides a perfect opportunity for a warm weather training camp just as the weather is wet, miserable and cold in Europe.


In conjunction with 2015 ladies Marathon des Sables champion Elisabet BARNES, we run a week long camp in Lanzarote that provides the perfect opportunity to test everything in a real situation. We even provide a bivouac experience. You can ready daily posts and view images from the 2016 camp HERE and you can listen to client feedback below:


Phase 5 is the last phase and ultimately you have 6 weeks to get prepared and ready for your key race. If you attended a training camp you will now have a full appreciation of everything that you need to do. That may be changing kit, more time on feet, looking at nutrition or even a combination of all elements

Now is the time to make sure you have all your admin sorted – insurance, medical, compulsory kit and so on.

Don’t leave anything to chance now. If in doubt about equipment, contact MyRaceKit, they are able to provide expert advice in regard to everything that you will need.

Think about heat and how you will adapt. With luck, back in phase 2 or 3 you will have thought ahead and booked time in a heat chamber. Ideally this will take place in the final 2-3 weeks before the race. No sessions booked? Train in a gym with additional layers, take a sauna, do Bikram Yoga etc

Again, consistency is key here. You have been training for this long term goal for sometime, don’t do anything silly, don’t do a long run that is really long; you up your chances of injury risk. Remember, training is about ALL the sessions you have done and not just one session


Phase 6 is race time.

Be organised, be prepared, think of everything and have the race of your life.

It’s in this final phase when you are so close that little things can go wrong. Be prepared as best as you can. You can’t account for the unexpected but reduce chances of anything going wrong by taking no risks.

The information provided above is designed to provide an outline and a guide on how to plan for a long term goal. Although you may be able to take this plan away and use it, please be sensible and assess your own experience, fitness and goals. Importantly, the scenario provided is with a multi-day race in mind, you would need to tweak and adjust this for a single stage race or a mountain ultra for example.

I can’t emphasise enough that we are all individual, so you need to find out what works for you.

Good luck.


If you enjoyed this article, think about becoming a Patron and supporting Talk Ultra podcast and this website on Patreon HERE


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


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.


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:


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


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.


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 (?)


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



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.


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.


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.



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



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.


Hat: inov-8 or The North Face


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.


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.


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


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.



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



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.


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!


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.


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


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


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


Esbit Stove 11g – Small, lightweight and simple.


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


Esbit Fuel 168g


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.


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.


  • 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


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)




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!


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!



*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




Episode 109 – Ray Zahab and Mina Guli


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.


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




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

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



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


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

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



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

British Virgin Islands

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


British Columbia

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


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

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


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

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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

02:58:30 CLOSE




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Lanzarote Multi-Day Training Camp 2016 – Day 3


The 2016 Lanzarote multi-day training camp really got underway today with a full day of activity. This morning was a 4-hour run or hike over some very specific terrain that provided every participant a full-on appreciation of what terrain they may encounter at a race such as Marathon des Sables.

Mitch Keene, on the training camp with his wife, said post run:

“It was great to experience the sort of terrain that we are likely to come across when we get to the real event. To understand what it is like to run in some deep sand. It was also great camaraderie on the run. It’s good to know that there is going to be people around you who are in the same sort of position as you are and learning from them. And then there is just some basic stuff like understanding that wearing very short socks is a bad idea when running in the sand. So really simple stuff that you think you know when you set off but don’t. The whole learning experience is phenomenal out here and I really enjoyed it.”

The morning session took a relatively flat run out over very mixed terrain (sand, rock, lava, dunes) in three groups. Elisabet Barnes leading the runners who are able to hold a faster and more consistent pace. Niandi Carmont leading the runners who will run and occasionally walk and then Marie-Paule Pierson leading a small group who intend to walk the whole event. Ian Corless moved from one group to the next.


“It’s nice meeting people who actually want to talk to you while you are running. I have found it quite difficult taking up running again on my own and going to events on my own,” said Leon Clarance. “People are usually polite but today people were actually chatting about their own experiences and it was nice to meet some likeminded people.”


At the coastal resort of Famara, everyone turned 180-deg and the re-traced along the coastline but this time taking in the small mountains and hills that back on to the sea in this area. At times rocky and technical, everyone had a real insight into the complex terrain that one may encounter in a multi-day event. At the summit, one or two runners experimented with foot care and treatment; a key element of successful multi-day competition.


“It’s ben a real eye opener,” said Alan Guthrie. “I have been behind with my training and today I managed my longest session for some time in some very specific terrain that directly relates to my chosen event; Marathon des Sables. It’s been a tough session but I have loved every minute of it.”


Post run stretching relaxed tired muscles and 2-hour break was followed with a talk and discussion called, ‘What goes in the Multi-Day Pack?’

And just when the runners thought it was time to relax and chill-out an ‘optional’ 20-30min shake out run fired everyone up for one last effort, making the day a very successful and tiring one. Evening drinks, relaxing chat and good food was extremely welcome. Tomorrow we have a structured group walk in the Timanfaya National Park in a series of volcanoes followed with a talk on nutrition and hydration.

Many thanks to MyRaceKit, Raidlight, OMM, PHD, inov-8, Scott Running and Berghaus for the support.

If you would like to take part in a multi-day training camp like this, dates have been set for 2017 and it’s possible to book HERE

Click on an image to view today’s gallery

Episode 98 – Wolfe Leventhal Cameron


Episode 98 of Talk Ultra is a packed show, we speak with Mike Wolfe about his epic Crown of Continent Traverse with Mike Foote. Shirt Leventhal, ladies winner of Atacama talks about racing multi-day races and Sarah Cameron tells us how cycling made her a excel at running. The News, Up and Coming Races and Niandi co-hosts.

00:01:35 Show Start

00:10:21 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


1 – Ellie Greenwood 7:58

2 – Jasmin Nunige 8:04

3 – Anne Lise Rousset 8:24

1 – Benoit Cori 6:44

2 – Nicolas Martin 6:47

3 – Tofol Castanyer 6:48


1 – Antoine Guillon 24:17:40

2 – Sebastien Camus 24:41:50

3 – Freddy Thevenin 25:17:48

1 – Nuria Picas 28:11:14

2 – Emelie Lecomte 28:12:32

3 – Andrea Husser 28:38:53 and on the last show we mentioned that she won UTAT

MOURNE SKYLINE MTR report and images HERE

1 – Ian Bailey 3:51:22 new CR

2 – Dan Doherty 4:04:07

3 – Eoin Lennon 4:07:45

1 – Diane Wilson 4:33:26

2 – Helen Brown 4:42:12

3 – Shilled O’Kane 4:50:19

UTWT 2015 Ranking

1 – Antoine Guillon

2 – Gediminas Grinius

3 – Freddy Thevenin

1 – Nuria Picas

2 – Dong Li

3 – Nathalie Maculair

AUTUMN 100 in the UK 

1 – James Elson 14:35:40

2 – Chris Brookman 15:06:53

3 – Duncan Oakes 15:19:29

1 – Sarah Morwood 16:13:58

2 – Sally Ford 18:11:31

3 – Melissa Arkinstall 18:51:14


Golden ticket races








New points system 2016 will accept old and new but from 2017 new system only –

In summary old system required 9-points from 3-races for UTMB, new system will be 15-points from 3 races. CCC/ TDS was 3 from 2 and now 7 from 2 and OCC was 1 from 1 and now 3 from 2.

00:24:28 INTERVIEW 



with SARAH CAMERON check out Cycling for Runners HERE

01:56:40 INTERVIEW



Mike Wolfe and Mike Foote run an incredible 600-mile FKT from Missoula to Banff. We will have both Mike’s on the next Talk Ultra to tell us all about it. Read HERE



Noroeste Argentina Trail – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 03, 2015 | website

Noroeste Argentina Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 03, 2015 | website

Puna Inca Trail | 200 kilometers | November 05, 2015 | website


New South Wales

Carcoar Cup Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website


Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website



50 km | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website


North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website


Haanja Jala100 – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website



Trail des Hospitaliers | 75 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website


SPARNATRAIL classique | 55 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website


Lower Saxony

KILL 50 | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bottroper Herbstwaldlauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website


Salomon LT 70 | 70 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website



100 km | 100 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

75 km | 75 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

West Bengal

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website


Bromo Tengger Semeru 102K | 102 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 170K | 170 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 70K | 70 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website


Le Défi Bleu | 58 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

TransMartinique | 133 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


150 km | 150 kilometers | November 05, 2015 | website

90 km | 90 kilometers | November 05, 2015 | website


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


Everest Trail Race | 160 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Manaslu Trail Race | 212 kilometers | November 10, 2015 | website

Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

New Zealand

60 km | 60 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 06, 2015 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


Oman Desert Marathon | 165 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website


Amazon Race Forest 65k | 65 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website


Azores Triangle Adventure | 103 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Trail Europe Croisière | 90 kilometers | November 04, 2015 | website


Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

United Kingdom


Dusk’til Dawn Ultra | 50 miles | October 31, 2015 | website


White Rose Ultra 60 Mile | 60 miles | November 01, 2015 | website


Druids Challenge Ridgeway Multistage Ultra | 84 miles | November 06, 2015 | website


Glen Ogle 33 Ultra | 33 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 100K Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 60K Ultra | 60 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website



Pinhoti 100 | 100 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


100K | 100 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | October 31, 2015 | website


CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Nov) | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Rio Del Lago 100M | 100 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Two Cities Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website


Regular Team (3-6 runners) | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Ultra Team (2 runners) | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


Georgia Sky to Summit 50k | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


Chicago Lakefront 50K | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website


Owen Putnam State Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Owen Putnam State Forest 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


Kingman Kong Runathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website


Stone Cat 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


Bootlegger 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Las Vegas | 195 miles | November 06, 2015 | website

New Jersey

NJ Trail Series One Day – 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

New York

Mendon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website


50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 K Race | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 60 K Race | 60 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 70 K Race | 70 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


50K | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 100 Miler | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50K | 50 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Muleshoe 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


Mountain Masochist Trail Run | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website


First Call Veterans Day 50K (November) | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website


120 km | 120 kilometers | November 10, 2015 | website

70 km | 70 kilometers | November 10, 2015 | website

02:30:15 CLOSE



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