RAIDLIGHT’S GILET RESPONSIV 8L PACK REVIEW

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Niandi Carmont recently ran the Compressport Trail Menorca, an 85km race on the island of Menorca, Spain. Knowing the race would be semi self-sufficient, the need for a comfortable hydration system would be required. RaidLight stepped in and provided the new RAIDLIGHT GILET RESPONSIV 8L vest so that it could be tested in a ‘real’ situation. On first looks it would be easy to think that this pack is female specific, apparently no. It also comes with a hint of blue for those gentlemen who are not in touch with their feminine side.

RaidLight say:

The Responsiv 8L is a combination of bag/vest. Lightweight and ergonomic.

The Responsiv 8L race vest allows you to carry essentials and hydrate with ease, with the bonus of being ultra light at only 160 grams!

The bag has recently been awarded the prestigious Janus Design Award (2015), awarded by the Institute of French Design

 

Hydration is always an issue when you compete in a self-sufficient or semi self-sufficient trail race or even when training. There are multiple ways of carrying energy drinks and water but what most of us look for is a system that is:

  • Hassle-free – no fumbling around, fidgeting or groping
  • Provides easy access – you can hydrate easily on tricky technical sections of a course or when fatigued in the latter stages of a long trail race
  • Is quick and efficient – you can refill quickly when passing through the feed stations, wasting as little time and energy as possible
  • Is comfortable – no chafing, no bouncing, no sloshing, no leaking
  • Allows you to manage your water supply efficiently and gauge how much water/energy drink remains until the next feed station

Raidlight’s new Gilet Responsiv 8L ticks all the above boxes for me. It’s a great little pack.

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What I like:

  • It comes in 2 sizes: Small/Medium & Large/Extra Large. I used the smaller version as it’s probably more suited to the female body type and lighter runners. It also comes in grey/ pink! For the men, grey/ blue.

gilet-responsiv-8l

  • The vest is equipped with 2 micrometric adjustment systems; I have seen this before on a pair of TNF Shoes called the Boa and a TNF pack. This system provides for an even more “customized” fit. These are located on either side just under the arm openings. So there is no messing around with dangling straps and buckles to tighten. Basically, as you remove items from the pack (food, water and so on) you can adjust the pack in minute detail so that it remains close to the body.

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  • It weighs just 160g and that is ultra-light!
  • Designed to be used with RaidLight’s new soft flasks (optional extra) which come in 2 sizes either 350ml or 600ml. So depending on how far apart the feed stations are on a course and what your own personal hydration needs are, you can use either one or the other or a combination of both. The RaidLight soft flasks are also equipped with straws which make drinking on the go extremely practical. The flasks fit comfortably into the 2 front pockets and are extremely easy to remove and slip back in. I found the straws a little distracting as they came close to my face, however, on the shoulder straps, two access holes are available should you use a bladder (the pipe would feed through these on the left or right). I found that I could push the soft flask straws in here. Perfect!

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  • The pack is made of a breathable flat-seamed mesh (thermal adhesive), which doesn’t chafe and please note ladies it is very pleasant to wear over a t-shirt, a sleeveless tank or even a crop top.
  • The stability is reinforced with two pectoral buckles on the front of the pack

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  • The stash pocket on the back can be used to carry a bladder (Velcro strap supplied) or mandatory race kit. I used it to carry a survival blanket, a mobile phone, a lightweight wind stopper and some extra food

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  • There are two tiny pockets underneath the main soft flask pockets; they can be used for lip balm, sunscreen, gels, tissue paper and gels/ food. For me, this is where the pack fails and needs greater improvement. I personally found I had too little room for ‘on the go’ nutrition and I used a lightweight fuel belt to store additional energy.

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I would recommend using the Gilet Responsiv 8L for any self-sufficient race or training run. It’s ideal for short outing and longer runs but I do think the lack of food storage impacts on its use for very long self-sufficient runs. If you are racing with adequate feed stations and the opportunity to replenish liquid and food, then it’s a great pack. For me it was ideal on the Trail Menorca Costa Sud, an 85km trail race with 7 feed stations, relatively hot weather (36°C) and a course which is technical in parts but without any major difficulties. Importantly ladies, this pack is one of the most comfortable I have tried. I don’t have big boobs but as you will know, anything that doesn’t sit comfortable is a real problem. The Raidlight was great in this area and gents; you have nothing to worry about. If it works for us ladies, it will work for you too!

CONCLUSION

This is a neat little product by RaidLight that works for men and ladies. Importantly, this pack is really comfortable for ladies and the option of two different sizes (S/M, L/XL) means that you can get a pack that fits you! This can also be fine tuned with the micrometric adjustment systems. The downside is on the go access to food/ gels as storage is minimal.

The vest will be available in June 2015.

Go to RaidLIght HERE to find out more

Iznik Ultra Weekend 2015

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The 2015 Iznik Ultramarathon weekend has ended and what a weekend of racing!

The sun gods came out and allowed Iznik and the surrounding area to shine for the 130km, 80km and 46km events.

For the first time, the 2015 events all took place in a counter clockwise direction therefore allowing each event to conclude in the town of Iznik. So, previous course records and times are not comparable to 2015 results. Arguably, with maybe the exception of the 46km event, this made the racing harder.

Scotland’s Donnie Campbell and the UK’s Zoe Salt dominated the 130km event with two stunning performances. Donnie led from the front and extended his lead step-by-step as the race unfolded. Local talent Mahmut Yavuz tried his hardest to close the gap but Donnie was just too strong. Ever present Aykut Celikbas placed third after placing second in the 2014 80km event.

Zoe bided her time in the female event and eventually took the lead around he 65km mark as Mariya Niklova started to grind to a halt. Looking composed and relaxed, Zoe pulled away and not only won the ladies race but also placed fourth overall. Mariya struggled in the latter third of the race and lost huge chunks of time to Zoe, she did however manage to hold on to second place ahead of a closing Ingrid Qualizza.

In the 80km event, Asics runner Emmanuel Gault produce the race we all expected and dominated over the undulating trails and route as he traversed his way back to Iznik. Girondel Benoit placed second and Tanzer Dursan flew the Turkish flag for third place.

Placing 6th overall and first lady, Alessia De Matteis from Italy dominated the ladies race ahead of Elena Polyakova and Coraline Chapatte from Switzerland.

Jose De Pablo (Depa) looked impressive throughout the 46km event and showed his true marathon form and speed to win ahead of Raidlight CEO, Benoit Laval. Duygun Yurteri placed third.

Caterina Scaramelli from Italy ran a close contested race against Filiz Cancilar and Martine Nolan (Ireland) but held on for victory.

RACE IMAGES available to purchase HERE

Full results:

 

130km

  1. Donnie Campbell 13:23:50
  2. Mahmut Yavuz 14:31:20
  3. Aykut Celikbas 14:48:29
  1. Zoe Salt 15:14:37
  2. Mariyla Niklova 19:29:45
  3. Ingrid Qualizza 19:43:49

 

80km

  1. Emmanuel Gault 6:45:25
  2. Girondel Benoit 7:26:10
  3. Tanzer Dursun 8:40:36
  1. Alessia De Matteis 9:03:53
  2. ElenaPolyakova 10:48:57
  3. Coraline Chapatte 11:34:37

 

46km *update to results 21st April – unfortunately Jose De Pablo received a time penalty as he did not carry mandatory kit, new results are in bold.

  1. Jose De Pablo 4:03:29 *Benoit Laval 4:19:03
  2. Benoit Laval 4:19:03 *Duygun Yurteri 4:28:15
  3. Duygun Yurteri 4:28:15 *Jose De Pablo 4:28:29
  1. Catarina Scamelli 5:03:44
  2. Ziliz Cancilar 5:04:55
  3. Martine Nolan 5:09:44

All images are ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

RACE IMAGES available to purchase HERE

Iznik Ultra (in French) – TEMOIGNAGES D’IZNIK ULTRA LE 19 avril 2014

Post by – Niandi Carmont ©

Niandi Carmont & Benoit Laval

Niandi Carmont & Benoit Laval

“Nous courons, non pas parce que nous pensons que ça nous fait du bien, mais parce que nous aimons ça et que nous ne pouvons pas obtenir ce bien-être autrement … Plus notre société et notre travail restreindront notre liberté, plus il sera nécessaire de trouver une issue à cette soif de liberté. Personne ne peut dire, ‘Vous ne devez pas courir plus vite que cela, ou sauter plus haut que cela. » L’esprit humain est indomptable.”

35ème kilomètre, il en reste sept jusqu’à l’arrivée. Je me sens incroyablement fraîche. Heureuse de courir, aucune douleur, pas de baisse d’énergie. J’entre dans un petit village (Müşküle) et mes yeux se remplissent de larmes, impossible de retenir l’émotion qui me gagne.

Coraline Chapatte, 42km

Copyright ©znikultra

Copyright ©znikultra

Devant chaque porte, dans chaque petite ruelle, des villageois assis et qui applaudissent les coureurs qui passent. Ils sont là depuis des heures mais chaque fois qu’un coureur entre dans le village, c’est le même accueil: applaudissements, encouragements. Mais en plus de cela, ces villageois envoient une énergie particulière. Je vous promets, je ne suis pas quelqu’un qui pleure facilement ou qui suis particulièrement émotive, mais en l’espace de 30 secondes j’ai complètement été gagnée par l’émotion.

Et lorsque les enfants ont commencé à tendre leurs petites mains pour que je leur tape dedans et qu’un peu plus loin d’autres enfants se sont mis à courir avec moi, mon visage s’est couvert de larmes.

Vraiment impossible de décrire par des mots ce que j’ai vécu en traversant ce minuscule village. C’est comme si durant ces 800 mètres, j’étais sous l’effet d’un puissant elixir, un elixir d’authenticité et de chaleur humaine.

Benoît Laval, 42km , deuxième homme

Benoit Laval ©iancorless.com

Benoit Laval ©iancorless.com

J’ai trouvé l’organisation de l’Ultramarathon d’Iznik très pro, et les 800 coureurs sur des distances de 10km à 80km sont très bien accueillis. Caner, l’organisateur, a voulu un but au parcours, et c’est un tracé par les crêtes autour du lac d’Iznik, à gauche des montagnes enneigées, à droite le lac. Le parcours est roulant et très abordable. A deux heures d’Istanbul, c’est un formidable prétexte pour aller faire un joli voyage dans cette ville historique au fin fond de l’Europe et traverser le Bosphore pour aller faire ce trail en Asie.

Pour ma part, j’ai fait le 42km, allant faire l’Annapurna Mandala Trail la semaine suivante.

Ce parcours un peu trop roulant n’était pas à l’avantage de mon entraînement moyen, mais je me suis fait plaisir, et j’ai attrapé la 2ème place, la meilleure place que ma forme me permettait. Je retournerais à Istanbul, je retournerais à Iznik…

Jo Meek, 80km, première au classement général

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L’organisation était irréprochable. On m’a très bien accueillie que ce soit à l’inscription à la course ou les soins médicaux pendant la course ou encore l’arrivée. La communauté locale était très impliquée et tout le monde nous encourageait. Le parcours était super bien balisé et les coureurs ont emprunté des petits chemins ainsi que de la piste pour traverser des fermes, des oliviers et ensuite quelques passages sur route. Le climat exceptionnel était idéal pour faire des performances. Sans oublier le paysage spectaculaire – des pics enneigés, le grand lac ….tout cela nous pousser à aller encore plus vite. 

Gallery by iancorless.com © – all rights reserved

Speedgoat 50k Preview – The Mens Field

Speedgoat

Two ISF Skyrunning events in one day and both of them ultras! Trans D’Havet in Italy and Speedgoat in the USA. In many respects, although two races in the same series, they are chalk and cheese. Trans D’Havet is a point-to-point mountain race with some altitude, technical running and tunnels… yes, tunnels! Apparently 6km’s in total. Speedgoat is a 50km trail race in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and to clarify, the rules have been amended this year to inform all participants that they ‘must’ stick to the trail. Last years top two, Kilian Jornet and Rickey Gates are not returning but third and fourth are; Max King and Anton Krupicka. With 12,000 dollars up for grabs and $1000 premium for the first man and women to reach Hidden Peak at mile 8.3., Talk Ultra’s Mr Speedgoat and the ISF have lined up a great field of guys looking to secure points in the Skyrunning World Series (three events score)

But look at the field… Timothy Olson, Sage Canaday, Max King, Anton Krupicka, Cameron Clayton, Mike Wardian and so on, it really is a top quality field and a tough one to call.

I have to say, that despite the presence of Olson and Krupicka, I am going to to lean towards a Canaday, King and Clayton smack down with Olson and Krupicka causing some trouble in the latter stages.

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Sage Canaday has performed at the top level since moving into the ultra world and although he may still be on a learning curve between 80 and 100k, I feel that this shorter race will suit his speed. He still needs to learn on technical running but as he showed at Transvulcania with the final podium place, he can nail it when required.

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Max kIng in 2012 just held off Anton Krupicka in the latter stages. He made the decision to shy away from longer races in 2013 and just last weekend placed on the podium in the US Mountain Running Champs. But it wasn’t a win! He has all the speed required to win this race and although I see him as a main protagonist, I don’t see him in the top spot.

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Cameron Clayton is new to ultras and has an impressive record. He has a gung ho attitude of glory or go home. He brought that to Western States and he went home… however, the shorter distance of Speedgoat will suit him and he will be out front from the gun with Sage. Question is, can he hold on?

Anton Krupicka, La Palma copyright iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka, La Palma copyright iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka will be fit, no doubt. But other than a second place at Cavalls del Vent in 2012, he has raced little and been plagued with issues. He was fired up for Transvulcania and then got a bug. He missed Ronda dels Cims to do his own project, Nolans 14 and then didn’t go well. So what can we expect? To be honest, I am not sure. Without doubt he prefers the longer distances but he placed fourth last year and as he has proved in the past, he can race well over the 50km to 50 mile distance.

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Timothy Olson has just repeated his victory at Western States and will be riding high. However, Like Anton he likes the 100 mile distance. At Transvulcania 2013 when he placed fourth behind Sage, he said post race that he was just warming up. He has all the class needed to win Speedgoat but I think Canaday and Clayton may just have the edge over 50km.

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Luke Nelson raced at Transvulcania and said post race that it was a learning curve. He has all the ability to mix it up but I see him somewhere between five and ten and not in the top five.

Benoit (front) at MDS copyright iancorless.com

Benoit (front) at MDS copyright iancorless.com

Benoit Laval, founder and CEO of Raidlight clothing will toe the line. He is an accomplished runner and although he placed third at Lantau 50 earlier this year and raced at Marathon des Sables, I don’t see him in contention for the podium at Speedgoat.

Michael Wardian after a prolonged rest from injury continues to bounce back with some impressive running. Although still racing on a regular basis he does seem to have eased back but in the process has had some great results. For example, just recently he ran 3:12 for 50km to set a world record indoor, a far cry from Speedgoat but you can never rule him out and almost certainly he will be running up at the front pushing the pace.

Thierry Breuil from France may mix things up however, he was recently fifth at the Trail Running Championships and although that course is nothing like Speedgoat, he may find his feet and have a great run.

Other contenders: Jorge Maravilla, Jason Loutitt and Jason Schlarb.

Links:

Speedgoat 50k – HERE

Skyrunning – HERE

A ladies preview will follow