Episode 60 – Foote, Scotney, Meek, Britton, Spiers

Ep60

Episode 60 of Talk Ultra – This weeks show has an interview with one of the best ‘closers’ in the ultra scene, Mike Foote. We have a series of interviews from the Iznik Ultra series of races, Marcus Scotney from the 130k, Jo Meek from the 80k and Robbie Britton from the marathon. We speak to British Bulldog, Steve Spiers. Marc Laithwaite is back for Talk Training. News, a Blog, Up and Coming Races and of course, Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

NEWS
 
UTMF
 
  1. Francois D’Haene 19:09:13
  2. Ryan Sandes 20:18:59
  3. Mike Foote 20:54:16
 
  1. Nuria Picas 23:27:34
  2. Fernanda Maciel 23:46:24
  3. Maria Semarjian 27:16:13
 
ONER
  1. Rob Sartin 18:19:29
  2. Tom Sutton 18:40:08
  3. Max Woods 20:13:19
  1. Nicky Taylor 18:40:10
  2. Erica Terblanche 20:36:34
  3. Melanie Hawker 21:56:54
 
Iznik Races
 
  1. 130k
  • Marcus Scotney (Montane) 12:53:59 new CR
  • Mahmut Yavuz 13:11:55
  • Zhikica Ivanovski 13:53:41
  • Bakiye Duran 19:09:39
  • Svetiana Stojanoska 22:27:08
AUDIO with Marcus Scotney
80K
  • Jo Meek (Scott Running) 6:52:17 new CR first lady and first overall
  • Aykut Celikbas 7:41:34
  • Firat Kara 7:46:07 (tbc)
  • Jo Meek (Scott Running)
  • Yasemin Goktas 9:45:34
  • Ayse Beril Basliqil 9:54:45
AUDIO with Jo Meek
Marathon
  • Robbie Britton (inov-8) 3:08:19 new CR
  • Benoit Laval (Raidlight) 3:30:38
  • Duygun Yurteri 3:31:56
  • Elena Polyakova 3:47:26
  • Aysen Solak 3:51:01
  • Helen Southcott 4:14:07
AUDIO with Robbie Britton
 
Highland Fling Race 
  1. Sondre Amdahl (Norway) 07:29:15
  2. Justin Maxwell 07:46:35
  3. Neil Macnicol 07:49:08
  1. Jo Zakrzewski 08:30:29
  2. Sally Fawcett 08:38:41
  3. Elaine Omand )8:49:33
 
SDW50 – correction to results
  1. Louise Waterman Evans 7:06:08
  2. Edwina Sutton 7:09:21
  3. Sarah Perkins 7:19:43
**correction – Gemma Carter re SDW50
Oh Ian, that is really very kind of you I know it will mean a lot to Eddy and of course, it means a lot to me (I’m not in the big league YET, so every little result counts! ) thank you… See below: 1st.Edwina Sutton- 7:09:21 2nd. Sarah Perkins-7:19:43 3rd. Gemma Carter-7:32:42
Transvulcania is next week… what a showdown awaits! In-depth preview HERE
BLOG – A Glorious Boston http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com
INTERVIEW
Mike Foote has a great reputation for starting steady and moving his way up through the field. At UTMF he gave another prime example of how to do this….
AUDIO with Mike Foote
 
 
AUDIO with Steve Spiers… the British Bulldog
 
 
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat
 
 
TRAINING TALK with Marc Laithwaite
 
 
UP & COMING RACES
 
 

Australia

New South Wales

WildEndurance 100km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

WildEndurance 50km Team Challenge | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

WildEndurance event | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Queensland

Mt Mee Classic Trail 66 km Teams race | 66 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

The Great Wheelbarrow Race – Mareeba to Dimbulah | 104 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

South Australia

Hubert 100km | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Hubert 100 Miles | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Hubert 50km | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Victoria

Macedon Ranges 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 100km | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

La Bouillonnante – 56 km | 56 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 100K | 100 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

The North Face Dirty Feet Kal Park 50 | 50 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Ontario

Seaton Trail 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

China

Trail de la Grande Muraille de Chine | 73 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm -100 Miles | 100 miles | May 02, 2014 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 miles | 50 miles | May 02, 2014 | website

Finland

Oulu

NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Ultra – 160 km | 160 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

France

Ardèche

Trail l’Ardéchois – 57 km | 57 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail l’Ardéchois | 98 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Bas-Rhin

Trail du Wurzel | 52 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Drôme

Challenge Charles & Alice | 148 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Les Aventuriers de la Drôme | 65 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Les Aventuriers du Bout de Drôme | 105 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Haute-Loire

Ultra Techni Trail de Tiranges | 50 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Oise

Trail’Oise – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Rhône

Ultra des Coursières | 103 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Savoie

Nivolet – Revard | 51 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Yonne

The Trail 110 | 110 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The Trail 63 | 65 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Lauf “Rund um Wolfach” | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Stromberg Extrem 54,4 KM | 54 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Lower Saxony

German 100 mile Trail Run | 100 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bödefelder Hollenlauf 101 KM | 101 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Bödefelder Hollenlauf 67 KM | 67 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Saarland

RAG-Hartfüßler – Trail 58 km | 58 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Greece

Doliho Ultra-Marathon | 260 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Euchidios Athlos 107.5 Km | 107 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Euchidios Hyper-Athlos 215 Km | 215 kilometers | May 09, 2014 | website

Olympian Race – 180 km | 180 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Olympian Race – 62 km | 62 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Indonesia

Volcans de l’Extrême | 164 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Causeway Crossing 100K | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Causeway Crossing 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Israel

Mountain to Valley Relay | 215 kilometers | May 15, 2014 | website

Italy

Liguria

Gran Trail Rensen | 62 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Trail | 90 kilometers | May 09, 2014 | website

Tuscany

Elba Trail “Eleonoraxvincere” | 56 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Japan

Oxfam Trailwalker Japan | 100 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Madagascar

Semi Trail des Ô Plateaux | 65 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail des Ô Plateaux | 130 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Martinique

Tchimbé du Volcan | 70 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Tchimbé Raid 110 km | 110 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Mauritius

Royal Raid 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Mayotte

Mahoraid | 70 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Peru

Jungle Ultra | 220 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Philippines

The North Face 100®, Philippines – 100 km | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The North Face 100®, Philippines – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Portugal

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115 | 116 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Ultra-Trail de Sesimbra | 55 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

La Legión 101 km | 101 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Balearic Islands

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls | 185 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Nord | 100 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Basque Country

Apuko Long Trail – 65 Km | 60 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail Apuko Extreme | 90 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Canary Islands

Transvulcania | 83 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Castile and León

101 Peregrinos | 101 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Bielersee XXL 100 Meilen | 100 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Turkey

Cekmekoy 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Argyll and Bute

Kintyre Way Ultra Run | 66 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Kintyre Way Ultra Run – Tayinloan – Campbeltown | 35 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

County of Pembrokeshire

Coastal Trail Series – Pembrokeshire – Ultra | 34 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Greater London

Thames Path 100 | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Hampshire

XNRG Pony Express Ultra | 60 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Kent

National 100K | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

National 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nottinghamshire

Dukeries Ultra 40 | 40 miles | May 11, 2014 | website

Oxfordshire

T60 Nigh Race | 60 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Wiltshire

Marlborough Downs Challenge – 33 mile | 33 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Worcestershire

Malvern Hills 53 Mile Ultra | 53 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Malvern Hills 83 Mile Ultra | 83 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Run for Kids Challenge 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Arizona

Sinister Night 54K Trail Run | 54 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

California

Armstrong Redwoods 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Badwater Salton Sea | 81 miles | May 05, 2014 | website

Canyons 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Cinderella Trail Run 50 km (May) | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Diablo 50K | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Golden Gate Relay | 191 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Me-Ow Quads | 104 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Me-Ow Siamese | 42 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Miwok 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 100K | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

PCT50 Trail Run | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Quicksilver 100K Endurance Run | 100 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Quicksilver 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Whoos in El Moro 50k | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Wild Wild West 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Colorado

Cimarron 50k Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Collegiate Peaks 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Greenland Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Quad Rock 50 | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

The Divide 135 Ultra | 135 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Georgia

Cruel Jewel 100 | 100 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Cruel Jewel 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Indiana

DWD Gnaw Bone 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

DWD Gnaw Bone 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Iowa

Market to Market Relay | Iowa | 75 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Kansas

Heartland 50 Mile Spring Race | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Rock On! Lake Perry 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Massachusetts

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod | 186 miles | May 09, 2014 | website

Wapack and Back Trail Races 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Nevada

Labor of Love 100M | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Labor of Love 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Labor of Love 50M | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Ride the Wind 100M | 100 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Ride the Wind 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

New Jersey

3 Days at the Fair – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2014 | website

New York

Long Island Greenbelt Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Rock The Ridge 50-Mile Endurance Challenge | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain 50k | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

North Carolina

OBX Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Ohio

50’s For Yo Momma 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

50’s For Yo Momma 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Oregon

McDonald Forest 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Smith Rock Ascent 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

South Carolina

Oconee 50k | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Wambaw Swamp Stomp 50 Miler Trail Run and Relay | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Xterra Myrtle Beach 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Rock/Creek Thunder Rock 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Strolling Jim 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Texas

Hog’s Hunt 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Vermont

PEAK Ultra Marathon – 500 Miles | 500 miles | May 13, 2014 | website

Virginia

Singletrack Maniac 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Washington

50K Ultradash | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

50 Mile Ultradash | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (May) | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Lost Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

West Virginia

Capon Valley 50K Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Ice Age Trail 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

 

LINKS

Transvulcania La Palma 2014 – In-depth race preview

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It’s here… the long awaited Skyrunner® World Series kicks off with what has become, in just 2-years, the iconic Skyrunning Ultra Race, Transvulcania La Palma. The race has come a long way… now considered to be one of ‘the’ races to do, the 2014 edition of the race will only cement this reputation as runners travel from all over the world to take part.

It goes without saying that a quality line-up is guaranteed for this race, however, 2014 has my appetite whet for what I consider to be arguably the most exciting and competitive race we will have ever seen on the island of La Palma. What a line up!

A simple glance at the ladies race confirms one thing, showdown! 2012 Transvulcania winner, Anna Frost returns to the island she loves after missing the 2013 edition through injury. 2013 winner, Emelie Forsberg will toe the line and the trio would not be complete without the ever present and incredibly talented, Nuria Picas*. Add Silvia Serafini, Cassie Scallon, Uxue Fraile and Jodee Adams-Moore amongst others and we have a female melting pot that is going to boil over and may well explode on the trails of the GR131.

But hold on a minute, have you seen the men’s field…? Dakota Jones, like Anna Frost, returns to the island after a year a way and will be looking to take back that ‘President’ title bestowed on him in 2012. Kilian Jornet, 2013 winner will provide the stimulus to push Dakota to a new level but lets not rule out the incredible talent and line-up that will be chomping at the bit to dislodge the 2-previous winners. Luis Alberto Hernando will have prepared all winter to be in the best possible form come May 10th, Timothy Olson, Sage Canaday, UTMB winner, Xavier Thevenard, Ricky Lightfoot, Philipp Reiter… oh boy, how long have I got?

Take out your diary, block out the weekend of May 9th, 10th and 11th and prepare yourself for what will go down as an epic running of the Transvulcania La Palma.

In addition, 2014 will see the inaugural running of the Transvulcania VK. Weaving up the zigzag path from the port of Tazacorte, an exhilarating and awe inspiring test of leg and lungpower will unfold at 1600hrs Friday, May 8th

Please note: the 2014 edition of the race is now listed as 73km and not 83.3km as on the website. In real terms, runners have said for the last couple of years that they thought that the course was short, so, this may just well be an acknowledgement. Importantly though, the route from Tazacorte Port to the finish in Los Llanos has now changed. Runners will now run along the ravine and not along the road as in previous editions. It’s difficult to say at this stage what impact this will have on the race. My initial reaction would be that a fast road ultra runner could use the previous final section to his advantage (Sage Canaday?) to pull back some time, maybe this advantage will no longer exist!

So, who’s going to win?

Ladies

The ladies race has real quality at the front but barring a disaster, I don’t think we will see any real surprises. A select group of 4-6 are outright favourites for the win and my outside tip goes to Maite Maiora Elizondo for surprise performance.

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Emelie Forsberg was unstoppable in 2013. Notable for the diversity of her racing; Emelie started the season with a win at Transvulcania and whilst also racing and winning at VK and SKY distances, Emelie crowned out her year with 2nd pace behind Nathalie Mauclair at the super tough, Raid de la Reunion, Emelie’s first ever 100-mile race. Since then, Emelie like Kilian pretty much hangs up her run shoes and spends her time on ski’s. Other than the occasional 20-30min jog and a week of running at the Salomon athlete retreat in Limone, Emelie will arrive on the start line of Transvulcania thinking to herself, ‘I wonder how this will go?’ Emelie had the same thoughts last year and secured an incredible victory over Nuria Picas. Dare I say that she almost made it look easy? I have no reason to think that 2014 will be any different and therefore Emelie is my no1 tip for the crown and a potential new course record.

©iancorless.com.IMG_2858Nuria Picas* fresh from another victory (just this last weekend) will join the ladies on the island and will without doubt bring her incredible talent, dedication and entourage to ensure that the best possible performance can be guaranteed. However, and this is a big however, her recent win at Transgrancanaria and more importantly, her win at the 105-mile UTMF in Japan on April 26th must leave the Catalan feeling a little tired and jaded. Anyone else and I would say that the occasion, fatigue and tiredness would take a heavy presence and a potential lackluster or under par performance can be expected. But I just can’t rule Nuria out… Anna and Emelie know only too well what a talent Nuria is and equally, Nuria will understand the challenge ahead. I can’t wait! Nuria has decided to rest and recover after UTMF and will not race at Transvulcania. She will prepare for Australia.

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Anna Frost arrived on the island of La Palma weeks before the 2013 edition of the race and the reality struck that she was going to have to miss the race due to ongoing injury. It was a tough decision and what followed was a year fighting with injury that forced Frosty to look within and find out what was really important. Even in February 2014 whilst attending The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, Anna was forced to reassess her objectives and take more rest. However, a recent win at the marathon distance at the Buffalo Stampede in Australia may well mean that our beloved Frosty is on her way back! Already on the island of La Palma, Frosty will be preparing mind and body for the challenge ahead. Can she win? A b s o l u t e l y! You can never rule out an inform Frosty, particularly on this course. However, it’s early days on the comeback trail and I am going to sit on the fence not wishing to add any additional pressure. Finishing healthy and uninjured will be a major victory.

Cassie Scallon has already had 2-victories in 2014. Most recently at the MSIG Sai King 50 in March and the Ray Miller 50 in February. Dating back to 2006, Cassie has been a force to be reckoned with at the 50k to 80km distance. A victory at the 100km Bandera in 2012 shows that endurance is not a problem for the Boulder based athlete. Transvulcania and its trails will suit Cassie and we will without doubt see her at the front of the race.  Cassie posted on Facebook I am terrible at recognizing broken bones in myself. This is bone #2 that I decided didn’t hurt enough to be a break, so I continued to run on it. Again I thought it was getting a little better every day, but it was actually getting worse. Not awesome.’

Jodee Adams-Moore, had a great 2013 and has showed form in 2014 at the 50k and 50-mile distances with 6 top-4 places. Jodee won Orca Island 50k in 2013 and 2014 and the Chuckanut 50k. Just recently, Jodee placed 2nd behind Ellie Greenwood at Chuckanut 50k and placed 4th at Lake Sonoma. The trails of La Palma will offer a new challenge and although we can expect to see Jodee pushing towards the front end of the race, I don’t see her making the podium.

Silvia Serafini copyright iancorless.com

Silvia Serafini is an incredible talent and has always been there or thereabouts at many of the big races. A highlight of 2013 would have been placing 2nd behind Emelie Forsberg at Matterhorn Ultraks. Silvia is not without race victories; in actual fact, her consistency has been incredible. Like so many other runners, Silvia just needs a little luck on one of the big occasions and this will elevate her and her confidence to a new level.  Silvia has injury issues and tells me that she may actually not race at all in 2014. A real shame… get well soon Silvia!

Uxue Fraile placed 5th at Transvulcania 2012 and 3rd in 2013. Add to this, top performances at Cavalls del Vent, Trans D’Havet and a recent 6th place at Transgrancanaria and you can’t rule out that Uxue will be looking for an opportunity and an opening to dislodge one of the hot favourites should they falter. On paper, Uxue does not have the outright speed to contest the podium (she was 60-min behind Emelie in 2013), however, she does have the patience and endurance for the survival game.

Maite Maiora Elizondo – my rank outsider for a surprise and potential shock in the overall classification and standings. Maite is a pure mountain runner with a reputation for performing at a high level over the SKY distance. Transvulcania at 73km will be a stretch, however, class is permanent and I predict a surprise.

Ones to watch:

  • Krissy Moehl – Not sure she is racing?
  • Alicia Shay – 3rd at Chuckanut 50k in 2013
  • Alessandra Carlini – 2nd at MSIG Sai Kung 50 in 2014
  • Natalie White
  • Maxime Cazajous
  • Hiroko Suzuki

Men

So, if you thought the ladies race was a tough one to call. Look at the quality of the men’s field. It’s a who’s who of mountain runners.

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Kilian Jornet like Emelie Forsberg will step off his skis and make the transition to running with the flick of a switch. In 2012, Kilian lost out to Dakota Jones and Andy Symonds at Transvulcania, it was a combination of elements that influenced his performance, not enough running, dehydration and a particularly hot day! In 2013, Kilian corrected these mistakes and secured victory ahead of Luis Alberto Hernando. Post the 2013 race, I asked him what he had done different? ‘I ran for 7-days before the race instead of just 3!’. Need I say more… no matter how stacked the field you can’t rule out victory for the Catalan, however, he won’t have an easy day! Many of the competition see ‘this’ race as the perfect opportunity to beat the master as he makes the transition from snow to trail.

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Luis Alberto Hernando is without doubt looking for that opportunity to take the crown away from Kilian. Luis, for me, is one of the greatest mountain runners in the world. Modest, professional and pure class; he is without doubt one of the few runners who can take Kilian to an edge and hold him there. Luis, along with Marco De Gasperi pushed Kilian to better performances in 2013. It was down to the line at Zegama-Aizkorri and a hand-in-hand finish at Trans D’Havet after personal circumstances dictated a truce between the two warriors. At Everest Trail Race in November, Luis picked up an injury that forced him to only walk, he told me then, I have time, I only have one thing I need to be ready for… Transvulcania! Excited is an understatement.iancorless.orgIancorless_TVraceday_424

Dakota Jones went ‘AWOL’ in the early part of 2013 seeking new experiences. A red-hot performance at San Juan Solstice 50m was followed with ‘dns’ at TNFUTMB, as he didn’t feel as though he had adequate preparation time. Dakota re-focused and concentrated on UROC. Victory seemed secure in Colorado; however, a charging Rob Krar stole Dakota’s glory in the latter stages of the race. Since then, Dakota has travelled racing at low-key multi day races and a recent quality performance at the Buffalo Stampede in Australia. Dakota’s return to Transvulcania is eagerly anticipated. It’s a re-match of Balboa and Creed proportions…

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Sage Canaday I think was still learning last year. Sage had plenty of natural speed and wanted to run every ultra in the same way he would run a marathon… go out hard, hold on and finish in glory. On many occasions this worked; Bandera 100km, Lake Sonoma, Cayuga Trails and Speedgoat 50k, however, it was a tightrope existence. At Tarawera he just about held off a charging Timmy Olson and at Transvulcania, Sage slowed along with Cameron Clayton and opened the door for Kilian and Luis Alberto. One year on with a repeat victory at a shortened Tarawera and 3rd place behind a dominant Zach Miller at Lake Sonoma, I think we will Sage run a more cautious first half of TV and look to be more in the mix in the latter stages. He can win for sure!

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Timothy Olson 8th at Ray Miller 50 and 3rd at the recent Transgrancanaria knows all about peaking for a race. A repeat back-to-back victory at Western States in 2013 confirms this. The question for me is Timothy looking for a Transvulcania victory or is he looking for another solid and consistent performance on the road to Hardrock 100? Don’t get me wrong, I am not questioning Timothy’s ability, performance or dedication, on the contrary, I am actually saying that his focus can very often be at the sacrifice of other races. Of course, if a podium place or win is up for grabs, Timothy will dig deep and seize the opportunity. I expect top-5 and wouldn’t be surprised with an out and out win. What do you think?

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010566Xavier Thevenard was the surprise winner of the 2013 TNFUTMB, a result, considered by many to be one of the performances of the year! It would be fair to say, that Xavier, to many, was an unknown runner. However, this would be a great injustice. In 2013 alone, Xavier placed 11th at Transvulcania, 3rd at 80km du Mont-Blanc and closed out the year with 2nd at Templiers. His 2013 performance at Transvulcania was 1-hour behind the lead men; one year on one can’t help but think that with renewed confidence the gap will be much less.

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Tofol Castaner is a great mountain runner and on his day can push with the best in the world. His record at Cavalls del Vent proves this, 2nd in 2013 and 2011. However, he shot to worldwide ultra fame with his dominant CCC performance at the 2012 edition of the race covering the distance in 8:57:04. He will be in the mix.

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Philipp Reiter placed 11th in 2012 and 12th at the 2013 edition of Transvulcania. Always on the verge of a big result, his 2012 season was beginning to look like the big time was just around the corner… victories at the Maxi Race in Annecy, Zugspitze Supertrail and Salomon 4 Trails. Add to this Gore-Tex Transalpine and 5th at a stacked Cavalls del Vent and 2013 was a season to be grasped. However, the season lacked any big victories that many of us had expected, arguably his best performance came at Ice Trail Tarentaise placing 3rd behind Kilian Jornet and Francois D’Haene. 2014 started well with some great running at The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. At Transgrancanaria (82kmr race) Philipp placed 8th, a disappointing performance for him. A constant issue whilst racing has been his stomach and getting this to cooperate with the intensity of racing. If Philipp gets this inline, we will see him regularly back in the top-10, more likely the top-5 and every now and again, the top-3.

Ricky Lightfoot for me has the no1 slot to cause a massive upset on May 10th and come away with a surprise top-3 and even victory. I personally think Ricky has all the right combination of abilities to take the rest of the field on and just as Andy Symonds did in 2012, rock them all to the core. His course record at The Otter in South Africa was a sublime run and when you add to that an IAU World Trail title, you have all the necessary elements of speed, technical ability and endurance that will make a difference on La Palma. Just this last weekend, Ricky took the crown at the iconic Three Peaks fell race in the UK. The only negative has been a recent knee injury that may very well take the edge of what may have been possible at Transvulcania.

Tom Owens was missed in the 2013 season. After an inspirational year in 2012 were Tom really did chomp at the heels of Kilian Jornet, 2013 was always going to be, what can Tom do next? It soon transpired to be very little… Tom was plagued with injury and lost a year. Playing the patience game, Tom is back. He has had a couple of good trail marathon wins recently and placed 2nd behind Ricky Lightfoot at Three Peaks. Transvulcania will be a long race for Tom and that for sure will count against him, however, I have seen him race and seen the skill set this guy holds. If he has a good day, don’t be surprised to see him create a shock!

Giuliano Cavallo placed 9th at Transvulcania in 2012 against a top quality field. He had injury issues in 2013 but still managed victories at Alpago Ultratrail and Gran Trail Courmayer. Top-10 once again is a distinct possibility.

Martin Gafurri had a great 2013 Skyrunning season and although he placed just outside the top-20 at Transvulcania, based on his recent top-10 at Tarawera, I think we will see Martin make more impact this year. *running the marathon not the ultra

Jason Schlarb had a break through run at Run Rabbit Run 100-miler taking out the win in 2013. Add to this, top-3 places at Speedgoat 50k, San Juan Solstice and Leona Divide one can conclude that Jason has the required speed and endurance to compete with the best. Ultimately though, Jason’s Transvulcania performance will all come down to how he manages the lava trails, the technical caldera and the 18km descent to Tazacorte. If all those elements fall into place, Jason will be up amongst the top-10.

Vajin Armstrong is an ever present podium hogger in the Southern Hemisphere. Always top-3, the big win has somehow eluded him. For the past 4-years Vajin has raced Tarawera for example and placed, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd. He has plenty of speed and on his day will be in the mix at any race. In 2013, Vajin spent a great deal of time in Europe placing 2nd at Zugspitz and the Swiss Alpine Marathon all good preparation for what a Skyrunning race will throw at him. However, at TNFUTMB his race didn’t go too well. Transvulcania and the quality of the field will provide Vajin with a real test and if he’s having a good day he may well be in the mix but I don’t see him on the podium.

Fulvio Dapit placed 4th at Ice Trail Tarentaise in 2013. Transvulcania will be a test for sure but he does have the ability to create a stir up at the front.

Robbie Britton gets the final nod. He has been on La Palma for over a month preparing. He has endurance and speed but lacks the climbing and descending ability to compete with the best Skyrunners. In addition, this will be Robbie’s first Skyrunning race. Without doubt it will be a learning curve but he does have the ability to make waves should all go well.

Ones to watch:

  • Jordi Bes Ginesta winner of the CCC in 2013
  • Josh Arthur 4th at Run Rabbit Run and 7th at the recent Ray Miller 50
  • Luke Nelson 11th at UROC and 6th at Speedgoat
  • Stu Air 8th at Tor des Geants and 18th at Ice Trail Tarentaise (*recently injured)
  • Johan Lantz 9th at Rocky Raccoon 100-mile in 2014
  • Ty Draney 8th at Ronda dels Cims
  • David Laney 2nd at Bandera 100km and Chuckanut 50km
  • Ryan Ghelfi 4th at Chuckanut 50k and 6th at Lake Sonoma.
  • Sylvain Couchaud 23rd at Transvulcania in 2013 and 4th 80km du Mont-Blanc
  • Santiago Obaya 5th at Transgrancanaria in 2013
  • Stu Air – Top 10 at Ice Trail Tarentaise and Tor des Geants finisher
  • Kim Collinson won the Fellsman in the UK recently
  • Oscar Casal
  • Marc Casal
  • Dani Tristany
  • David Lopez
  • Marcin Swierc
  • Valentin Vergilyush
  • Isaac Riera
  • Nil Gurt
  • Xavier Musach
  • Adriana Grosu
  • Roberto Sancho Martin
  • Maxime Cazajous
  • Yoann Stuck
  • Ryan Bak

One thing is for sure. A great weekend of racing lies ahead on the island of La Palma

I will be on the island reporting, photographing and providing news as it happens.

Make sure you follow on Facebook, Twitter and of course, here, on this website.

Links:

Transvulcania website HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Transvulcania La Palma – A Guide HERE

Transvulcania VK HERE

Transvulcania 2013 Images HERE

Transvulcania 2013 preview HERE

 

Iznik Ultra 2014 – Race Summary

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British runners dominate the Iznik Ultra race series, Iznik, Turkey.

Located just 2-hours away from Istanbul, Iznik is very much a quiet holiday resort for those in the know. Situated on an idyllic lake, the town comes to life as the Iznik Series of races arrive in town. The idea of Caner Odabasoglu (a keen ultra runner himself) and now in its 3rd edition, the races is very much a highlight of the Turkish racing season.

Offering 4-race distances, 130km, 80km, a classic marathon and a 10km, Caner and his team from MCR Racesetter have provided an opportunity for all. The 130km race is the longest single stage ultra in Turkey and therefore it appeals and has a loyal following from the ever-growing Turkish ultra running community.

In just 3-years, the races have grown in numbers. US ultra runner Amy Sproston raced the 80km in 2013 and set a new CR proving that interest and international appeal in Iznik and ultra running in Turkey is on the up! In 2014 a strong British contingent crossed the channel and joined runners from France, China, South Africa, Germany, Australia and New Zealand making the races a truly international event. Arriving in Bursa prepared for a stunning weekend of racing; the race or the racing didn’t disappoint.

130K

Marcus Scotney Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Marcus Scotney Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

On the stroke of midnight in Iznik Square, participants ventured out onto a clockwise loop of Iznik Lake. The harder and more challenging part of the course, the first 60km would run in darkness, whilst the flatter and far more runnable sections would be taken in daylight. From the off runners separated with a small lead pack pushing the pace. However, Marcus Scotney (Montane) and Akin Yeneceli forged ahead and opened up a convincing lead ahead of John Bayne from New Zealand by the 11km mark. At cp1, Edwards arrived first closely followed by runner after runner. Something was wrong and it soon became clear that our front two runners had gone off course.

Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

By the time they arrived well over 30-minutes had elapsed and Scotney had visible and vocal frustration at the dilemma, ‘That’s it, it’s all ruined now… what a waste!’ What followed was a master class in pacing and distance running, one-by-one, Scotney moved his way up the field using each runner ahead as a carrot. Closing the gap to 26-mins, 22-mins, and 16-mins and by the time he arrived at the 60-km mark Marcus was 4th with 6-mins to catch up. All the early protagonists who had set the early pace had faded whereas Scotney had become stronger and stronger. The big question mark would be could he hold on? Chasing Yavuz and Ivanovski from Macedonia, Scotney eventually took the lead of the race and never looked back. A course record had always been on Scotney’s mind and his wish came true, despite an epic detour, he arrived in Iznik 12 –hours, 53-minutes and 59-seconds later. The effort of his endeavor was clear to see. Mahmut Yavuz retained local celebrity status with 2nd place and Zhikica Ivanovski placed 3rd.

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The ladies race was a low-key affair with just 3-entrants. Previous 130km winner, Elena Polyakova would not defend her title after injury issues and therefore decided to race the marathon. This provided an open stage for local ultra runner and legend, Bakiye Duran to shine. Shine she did! Bakiye covered the course from start to finish in the lead with only Svetiana Ivanovski to worry about.

  1. Marcus Scotney (Montane) 12:53:59 new CR
  2. Mahmut Yavuz 13:11:55
  3. Zhikica Ivanovski 13:53:41
  1. Bakiye Duran 19:09:39
  2. Svetiana Stojanoska 22:27:08

80k

Jo Meek Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek (Scott Running) and Tracy Dean (inov-8) set a blistering pace in the 80km race. Dean leading Meek over the first 10km with just a 1-min lead but at cp1, Meek took over the lead and never relinquished it. Dean pursued all day keeping Meek in her sights never allowing the gap to grow beyond 1-2 mins. However, stomach issues struck for Dean and post race she went on to say that she continually felt as though she was struggling and never felt comfortable. Meek however had her blinkers on and was pushing not only for the outright win but a new course record, a record set by Amy Sproston!

Aykut Celikbas Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Aykut Celikbas Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Aykut Celikbas (very much a pioneer of the Turkish ultra scene) had chased the dynamic duo of Dean and Meek all day and eventually moved into 2nd place after Dean dropped at 60-km.

Tracy Dean Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Tracy Dean Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Meek ran like a woman possessed, without doubt she is currently one of the most exciting prospects in the UK ultra running scene as her 2nd place at the 2013 Marathon des Sables and her victory at the 2014 The Coastal Challenge confirms. In the final 10km with flat trail and road, Meek pushed and crossed the line in sub 7-hours blasting the old CR to a new level. Celikbas and Kara placed 2nd and 3rd but the day belonged to Meek.

With Dean out of the race, Yasemin Goktas and Ayse Beril Basliail took 2nd and 3rd places in the female race. 

  1. Jo Meek (Scott Running) 6:52:17 new CR first lady and first overall
  2. Aykut Celikbas 7:41:34
  3. Firat Kara 7:46:07 (tbc)
  1. Jo Meek (Scott Running)
  2. Yasemin Goktas 9:45:34
  3. Ayse Beril Basliqil 9:54:45

Marathon

Robbie Britton Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Taking the front of the race in the opening meters, Robbie Britton (inov-8) continued to extend his lead over the opening km’s and never looked back. Running strong with a permanent smile on his face, Britton reveled in the warmth of a sunny Turkish day and put to good use all his training of the past month on the island of La Palma in preparation for Transvulcania.

Benoit Laval Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Benoit Laval Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Benoit Laval (Raidlight) was Britton’s closest rival but it soon became clear, as each checkpoint came, that Britton was continually extending his lead the only question mark; what margin would he win by? On the line, Britton set a new CR of 3:08:19, a great time for a hilly and undulating marathon. Laval placed 2nd in 3:30:38 and Duygun Yurteri 3rd just over 1-min later 3:31:56.

Elenya Polyakova Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Elenya Polyakova Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Elena Polyakova is an ever-present runner at the Iznik series of races and a previous 130km champion. Due to injury, Polyakova decided to play safe and run the marathon, however, her class shone and not only did she place 4th overall but she had a convincing victory ahead of Aysen Solak and Brit, Helen Southcott in 3rd.

  1. Robbie Britton (inov-8) 3:08:19 new CR
  2. Benoit Laval (Raidlight) 3:30:38
  3. Duygun Yurteri 3:31:56
  1. Elena Polyakova 3:47:26
  2. Aysen Solak 3:51:01
  3. Helen Southcott 4:14:07

10k

Robbie Britton (inov-8) and Tracy Dean (inov-8) not content with racing in the 80km and marathon distances also towed the line for the 10km fun run the following day and both topped the podiums, Britton running a solid 34-min was impressive after his marathon exploits just 24-hours earlier.

©iancorless.com.IMG_5488IZNIK2014

Iznik Ultra ©iancorless.com

Results: HERE

RACE IMAGES HERE

All images credit ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

Britton & Meek talk Iznik Ultra

iznik LogoIznik, formerly known as Nicea is situated on a beautiful lake in the province of Bursa some 2.5 hours from Istanbul. An important center for Roman and Byzantine times, Iznik has a rich history.

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The city was once surrounded by a stone wall some 14,520ft in circumference. Although this wall remains it has been punctured to allow road access.

From a tourist perspective Iznik has much to offer; peace, tranquility, an insight into local culture and of course some significant monuments such as the Yenise Gate, St Sophia Cathedral (Orhan Ghazi Mosque) and the Green Mosque (Yesil Camil) named after it’s wonderful green tiles.

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Iznik also has an archaeological museum that contains mostly glass and Roman objects. In addition to this history, Iznik is also famous for tile manufacturer and Olives. Tiles from Iznik have been used to decorate many a mosque, particularly in Istanbul.

Iznik Lake provides a backdrop to the Iznik Ultra series of races. It is appropriate that each race should include such a historically important natural feature. Great courses, demanding terrain, small un-spoilt villages and plenty of climbing (at least in the early stages) makes Iznik a great location for racing and leisure.

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In just two weeks time, runners will travel from around the world and congregate on the shores of the lake for a weekend of competitive racing. I caught up with Robbie Britton (inov-8) and Jo Meek (Scott Running) and asked them a few questions about this journey into the unknown..

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

1. What is the attraction to travelling to Turkey?

RB: Turkey is one of the countries in Europe that has been on my list to visit for a number of years now and running a race is by far the best way to see as much as possible! Turkey’s culture and history, alongside the rugged, mountainous landscape for the Iznik ultra is really attractive to me.

JM: It’s a place that I haven’t been to before so that is really appealing. I feel very fortunate that a passion such as running is providing me with this great opportunity.

2. Are you aware on an ultra scene in Turkey… what do you think the competition will be like?

RB: I’ve met a couple of Turkish ultra runners in the UK but I didn’t know much about the ultra running scene in Turkey. I like competition so I am really looking forward to the opportunity to race on new terrain against new competition.

JM: No, I wasn’t specifically aware of any races held in Turkey but I did not imagine for a moment that it would not have a running scene. I regard to competition, I never underestimate anyone when I race, especially when local runners know the tracks and trails first hand.

Robbie Britton, The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton, The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

3. How is your training, have you been doing anything specific?

RB: Looking at the race profile for the Iznik race has made me add a few extra hills to my training, I have been really working on going up and down! I’m currently training in La Palma so hopefully the hills and the sun here will get me ready!

JM: Since returning from the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica (which Jo won) I have taken a few weeks off to recover, move house and start a new job. I have been learning new run routes; which always makes for runs longer than planned! I have been very specific lately working on my strength for the hills and speed for the flat.

4. Why race distance did you choose this distance?

RB: I’m racing the marathon distance, a little shorter than usual for me but it looks like a tough event! The ups and downs look very similar to the profile at Transvulcania La Palma so I see it as a good chance to race some tough ascents and fly down some steep downhill! 

JM: I have chosen the 80km route because my main goal will be Comrades Ultra (South Africa) in June. The Iznik race provides me with great distance to race over without encroaching too much into the training that proceeds it with fatigue and depletion. 

Robbie Britton. The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton. The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

5. Do you plan to do a little sight seeing, what interests you?

RB: As someone who studied Archaeology at university, I hope to be able to see some of the fantastic sites that Turkey has to offer. I just hope there isn’t anything on the race route that causes me to stop and forget about the race! I’m also looking forward to travelling through Istanbul as it strikes me as a city with a lot of life and excitement!

JM: I would love to see more of the country whilst given this opportunity to visit but unfortunately my annual leave entitlement is exhausted. I remember being dragged around Ephesus as a small child and secretly being totally impressed by such a place so I know Turkey has a lot to offer but I’m sure I’ll return. 

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica. ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica. ©iancorless.com

6. What’s next on the calendar after Iznik?

RB: A few weeks after Iznik I will be back in the hills for the Transvulcania La Palma 80k Skyrunning race in the island of La Palma. 2014 is the year of the mountains for me!

JM: After Iznik I will continue to train hard and devote myself to Comrades for me and then the Lakeland 50. Two totally different races so a lot of training and adaptation required!

Runners will travel to Turkey on Thursday April 17th and racing starts at midnight Friday 18th for the 131km race. The 80km and classic marathon distance races will commence on Saturday April 19th.

Iznik Profile

Follow the action from the Iznik series of races via:

  • iancorless.com
  • facebook.com/talkultra
  • @talkultra on twitter

If you would like to race this year, it’s not too late… go to www.iznikultra.com and sign up! You wont regret it!

Local knowledge:

Bursa (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbuɾsa]) is a city in Turkey, located in northwestern Anatolia, within the Marmara Region. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and one of the most industrialized metropolitan centers in the country. The city is also the administrative center of Bursa Province.

Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar (meaning “God’s gift”) during the Ottoman period, while a more recent nickname is Yeşil Bursa (meaning “Green Bursa”) in reference to the parks and gardens located across its urban fabric, as well as to the vast and richly varied forests of the surrounding region. The ski resort of Mount Uludağ towers over it. The mountain was called the Mysian Olympus by the Romans who lived there before. Bursa has rather orderly urban growth and borders a fertile plain. The mausoleums of the early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa and the city’s main landmarks include numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period. Bursa also has thermal baths and several museums, including a museum of archaeology.

The shadow play characters Karagöz and Hacivat are based on historic personalities who lived and died in Bursa. Bursa is also home to some of the most famous Turkish dishes such as İskender kebap, specially candied marron glacés, peaches and Turkish Delight. Bursa houses the Uludağ University, and its population can claim one of the highest overall levels of education in Turkey. The historic towns of İznik (Nicaea), Mudanya and Zeytinbağı are all situated in Bursa Province.

Reference ©wikipedia

Transvulcania La Palma 2014 – the excitement begins!

Dakota is back! But so are Kilian and Emelie, Anna Frost, Luis Alberto Hernando, Sage Canaday and Timothy Olson…the star-studded cast doesn’t end here however! Read the press release by the ISF on the up and coming, 2014 Transvulcania La Palma.

The Transvulcania Ultramarathon on the Spanish island of La Palma has made quite a name for itself.  Just a small speck in the Atlantic ocean, the race chosen to launch the Skyrunner® Ultra Series in 2012 has grown to represent a hub for many of the world’s top ultra runners, and has never looked back. This year, a Vertical Kilometer® up the gruelling downhill, gives a new twist.   

The extraordinary line-up is headed by Salomon superstars Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) winners here last year and 2013 Skyrunner® World champions.  However, look out for 2012 winners, Anna Frost (Salomon), and Dakota Jones (Montrail), returning to the Transvulcania stage after a year’s absence from the skyrunning scene. Anna’s 2012 record still stands.

 Sage Canaday (Hoka One One) 3rd last year, arrives fresh from his second win at Tarawera in New Zealand and is joined by Timothy Olson (TNF) 4th, who successfully started off the season with a third place at the recent Transgrancanaria. 

The strong American line-up doesn’t end here, but first, let’s take a look at the other big-league Spanish runners:  Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas), always a podium placer, he crossed the line hand in hand with Kilian to share the gold at the European Championships and moved on to win Cavalls del Vent.  The question is, can he pare down those 4’ that separated him from Kilian last year?  Tofol Castanyer (Salomon), 2nd at Cavalls, Agustí Roc (inov-8) three-time SWS champion and Jordi Bes (FEEC),CCC winner, join the mix. 

From France – UTMB winner Xavier Thevenard (TNF), 11th in 2013, is no doubt looking to move up for a podium spot;  Patrick Bringer (Sigvaris Sports), 5th, is making a determined come-back, together with Martin Gafurri (New Balance) 19th and a great top-10 at Tarawera recently and first-timer Sylvain Couchaud (Mizuno), 4th at the Mont-Blanc 80K.

Among the top ranked talent, Germany’s Philipp Reiter (Salomon) finished an excellent 12th last year, despite illness, and Florian Neuschwander (16th ISF ranking) who, like many other first timers, will fulfil a dream running this iconic race.

Tom Owens - Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens – Trofeo Kima

From the UK, an array of impressive newcomers to the race: Tom Owens (Salomon), 2nd behind Kilian at Kima 2012, is up and running after a year-long lay-off. Ricky Lightfoot (Salomon), 2013 AIU Champion and 2009 Zegama winner is joined by Stu Air (SCOTT Sports) and Robbie Britton (inov-8).

Robbie Britton - inov-8

Robbie Britton – inov-8

From Italy, Giuliano Cavallo (Salomon) 9th in 2012, returns after a year’s absence from running, together with Fulvio Dapit (Crazy Idea), a consistently top performer in the Sky distance over the years, he now moves up to tackle his first 83K.

Tackling their first “European” style race will be top Americans, Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi), Jason Schlarb (Altra), David Laney and Ryan Ghelfi (Nike Trail Team) and Ty Draney (Patagonia), while teammate Luke Nelson is back for more.

Emelie Forsberg - Transvulcania 2013

Emelie Forsberg – Transvulcania 2013

The women’s field too, represents the deepest in the five-year history of the race with new competition coming from across the Pond. The stacked field is headed by Salomon’s Emelie Forsberg and Anna Frost, respectively 2013 and 2012 winners. Nuria Picas (Buff) UTMB (2nd) and Cavalls winner, after a hard-fought 2ndplace last year, she returns with a victory from the recent Transgrancanaria under her belt.  Look out for Emma Roca (Buff), 3rd at UTMB, and Uxue Fraile(Vibram) 3rd here, another Spanish talent who is steadily but surely racking up the podiums. 

 

Nuria Picas - Transvulcania 2013

Nuria Picas – Transvulcania 2013

Italy’s young star Silvia Serafini (Salomon), 4th on the ISF Sky Ranking, has set her sights on the longest race of her rocketing career.  Also from Italy, Federica Boifava, 5th at the European Championships and new talent Alessandra Carlini, 2nd  in the Mont-Blanc 80K.  From France, Aurelia Truel (2nd IAU and 3rd at Les Templiers and Maud Gobert, 6th here in 2012.

Anna Frost

Anna Frost

Three top level American runners taking up the challenge are Krissy Moehl (Patagonia), UTMF winner, Jodee Adams-Moore (SCOTT Sports), 2nd at Speedgoat, and Cassie Scallon (Salomon) winner at Lake Sonoma and the recent MSIG Sai Kung 50 in Hong Kong. 

From Japan, Hiroko Suzuki (Salomon), 2nd at UTMF last year, may find the distance a little short and the elevation a little high for her long distance running skills. 

The Ultramarathon presents a daunting 8,525m ascent and descent over the 83 km course, which starts at sea level on the Atlantic coast and travels along the island’s backbone to the summit of the volcano at 2,423m before descending again to the sea and finishing in the town of Los Llanos.  The records to beat are:6h54’09” Kilian Jornet (2013) and 8h11’31” Anna Frost (2012).

The Vertical Kilometer® ascends the steep cliff face from the sea front at Tazacorte for 6.6 km single track with a 40% incline before settling into a “flatter” final section to finish at 1,160m altitude.  The overall incline averages 30%.

The world’s top Vertical specialists will race on this newly designed course for the first time, with the super-strong La Sportiva team headed by World ChampionUrban Zemmer and top ranked athletes Marco Facchinelli, Marco Moletto, Nejc Kuhar and Nadir Mague.

Brothers Bernard and Martin Dematteis and Oscar and Marc Casal (Race Land) also stand out in the men’s field. 

The women’s field is strongly represented by Salomon with World Champion Laura Orgue together with Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost, Silvia Serafini and Antonella Confortola, joined by Sierre Zinal winner Elisa Desco.

Kilian Jornet, like his team mates, Emelie, Anna and Silvia, will,of course, race both! 

Note the dates:

May 8, Transvulcania Vertical Kilometer®, and May 10, Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

Links:

Follow on Twitter @talkultra

Follow on Facebook – Here

Skyrunning Here

Credits:

  • Press Release ©ISF 
  • All images ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton fired up for Skyrunning debut

robbie britton3. Cr#1A5B1D3

 

The new team inov-8 recruit has revelled in a phenomenal past 12 months and is now looking ahead to a 2014 calendar stacked with some of the world’s toughest ultra distance races.

Having smashed the course record at the recent 66-mile Pilgrims Challenge, Robbie is now preparing for his Skyrunning debut at Transvulcania La Palma the first race in the 2014 Skyrunner World Series.

Robbie britton2. Cr#1A5B1D1

In his first inov blog, 27-year-old Robbie writes:

“My 2014 season is underway and I’ve already snared two victories, including the two-day Pilgrims Challenge 66-miler on the North Downs Way. Four years ago the Pilgrims Challenge took me a total of 15 hours to complete, and the on the second day alone I was running for nine hours. This year I broke the course record, clocking a total time of 8 hrs 8 mins for the two days combined. Next up is Transvulcania, on the island of La Palma, one of the Canary Islands. This is the first race in the 2014 Skyrunner World Series calendar and all the world’s best ultra-distance mountain runners will be there. I have been to La Palma once before, taking in a few epic days in the mountains before setting off to sail the Atlantic in a boat built by a crazy old man advertising for crew on Gumtree! At 51 miles, Transvulcania is a little bit short for me but it has more ascent – there’s 2,000m in the first 11 miles – than the 24-hour stuff. I will go there, chuck myself in the mix and see what happens. I am always up for challenging myself. After that I have the World 24hr Running Championships. The target this year is a top-10 finish. I’m already feeling good about my chances as I feel fitter and stronger than I was last year. And what year would be complete without a trip to the Alps? The 103-mile TNF Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) was shortened due to awful weather conditions the last time I ventured to Chamonix in 2012, but the atmosphere of the race got into my blood and this year I will return. I can’t wait.”

In 2013, Robbie won the high-profile 2013 South Downs Way 100 miler in a new course record, ran at the World 24hr Running Championships and completed the gruelling 152-mile Spartathlon race in Greece.

Next month Robbie will attend inov-8’s 2014 UK and European athlete retreat, to be held in the Lake District.

Robbie Britton1. Cr#1A5B1C4