Episode 134 of Talk Ultra brings you two interviews. Niandi Carmont talks with Kate Driskell who is about to take on an epic multi-day challenge and Ian talks with Timothy Olson about his return to the top of the podium. We have the news and Speedgoat is back to talk about winning again and his new film about the Appalachian Trail FKT.
00:05:50 INTERVIEW with KATE DRISKELL
Talk Ultra is now on Tunein – just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE You can download the Tunein APP HERE
Talk Ultra needs your help!
We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create!
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
Tom Owens had victory in his grasp but went of course in the latter stage opening the doorway for Murray Strain. Tom finished 2nd and Chris Holdsworth 3rd – 2:49, 2:53 and 2:54 the times.
Victoria Wilkinson won once again and set a new CR 3:09:19. Nichola Jackson and Charlotte Morgan placed 2nd and 3rd.
The Canyons 100k
Bob Shebest and Cat Bradley took top honours results HERE
Highland Flag Race
Rob Sinclair, Andrew Turkey and Michael Jones placed 1, 2 and 3 in 6:41 (new course record) 7:17 and 7:29.
Nicola Adams Hendry won in 8:16 ahead of Morgan Windram and Rachel Newstead in 8:37 and 8:55.
Thames Path 100
Mari Maurland and Michael Stocks took respective female and male victories in 16:55 and 14:57.
Zane Grey 50
Karl Meltzer won again in 9:32 and Amber Reimondo took the ladies honours in 11:29. Results HERE
Finally, mountaineering legend Ueli Steck was killed whilst in the Himalayas. Reports are mixed on what exactly happened, however, Steck was on Nuptse and apparently fell several 1000 feet to his untimely death. Outr thoughts go out to his family and the climbing community.
Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
Episode 128 of Talk Ultra is here and what a show… we speak in-depth with the incredible Michael Wardian after his record breaking World Marathon Challenge. We speak to star in the making, Hayden Hawks and Niandi Carmont brings us her first female ‘one-to-one’ interviews with Pushpa Chandra. We have the news, chat, gossip and of course Speedgoat co-hosts.
New Year and Talk Ultra needs your help!
We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create!
Many thanks to our January Patrons
Rene Hess, Daniel Weston, Dan Masters, Kerstin Palmer, Sarah Cameron, Neil Catley, Sam Wilkes, Melissa Bodeau, Lindsay Hamoudi, Aaron Aaker, Simon Darmody, Philippe Lascar, Rohan Aurora, Mathew Melksham, Brian Wolfkamp, Thomas Mueller, Mark Moromisato, Jamie Oliver, Rand Haley, Ron van Liempd, Mike Hewison, Steve Milne and Rupert Hitzenberger.
It was our 2017 Lanzarote Training camp and I have to say what a huge success it was. We had 40-clients who came from as far afield as Canada to take part in our 7-days of fun. It really was special and so great to get so much awesome feedback. I will post a link to images and audio feedback in our show notes.
We had some inspiring people attend and in future shows we will have audio following some of the incredible stories. To kick it off and following on from my discussion with Niandi in our last show. Niandi brings you the very first of female ‘one-to-one’ interviews with Pushpa Chandra.
00:27:30 INTERVIEW with Pushpa Chandra
World Marathon Challenge
Well, the big news is Mike Wardian ran 7-marathons on 7-continents in 7-days. Wow. He ran 2:54 in Antarctica, 2:45 in South America, 2:42 in North America, 2:37 in Europe, 2:45 in Africa, 2:49 in Asia, and 2:45 in Australia. In the process he set a new world record average time of 2:45.
01:22:54 INTERVIEW with Michael Wardian
Women’s winner, Chile’s Silvana Camelio ran 4:14 in Antarctica, 3:45 in South America, 3:58 in North America, 4:08 in Europe, 4:10 in Africa, 4:34 in Asia), and 4:37 in Australia. The last result almost gave away her overall victory but she held on by just 6-minutes That 4:37 in Australia left her just six minutes ahead of China’s Guoping Xie.
Carol Morgan blasted around the tough course in 109-hours 54-minutes – unbelievably, 43-hours quicker than the previous ladies best.
In the men’s race it looked to be a battle between two previous winners, Pavel Paloncy and Eugeni Rosello Sole but Tom Hollins came from behind and clinched victory in 99-hours 25-minutes. Tom won the 2016 edition of The Challenger, the Spines ‘fun run’ race! We hope to have an interview with Tom in the next show.
The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica has a super stacked field with Chema Martinez, Tom Owens, Sondre Amdahl, Jason Schlarb and so many more in the men’s race.
For the ladies we have to previous champions, Veronica Bravo and Ester Alves heading up strong competition from Elisabet Barnes and Anna Cometi.
In the US it’s the Sean O’Brien 100k.
RUNNING BEYOND BOOK
This week I will be in Amsterdam on Feb 3rd, 4th and 5th for a Trails in Motion event and Running Beyond book signing with Mud Sweat and Trails
We are going to have Running Beyond Event which will take place 3, 4 and 5th March in London, plans are progressing for that… watch this space.
I will be also going to Sofia in Bulgaria on the 17th, 18th and 19th March for a trail, mountain and Skyrunning expo
2016 has been an incredible year. I have travelled to more races, worked with some incredible people, interviewed inspirational athletes from all walks of life and I launched Running Beyond Book.
As one year comes to an end, it’s always good to give thanks. I want to thank all the races and race directors worldwide that have asked me to cover their races; I started my race coverage in Costa Rica and concluded it Nepal with a whole string of stunning locations and places in between.
Skyrunning for an incredible calendar of races – VK, SKY, ULTRA and in 2016 we launched EXTREME, it really is such an inspiring race series.
So many magazines, websites and resources that have used my content throughout the year.
Karl ‘Speedgoat’ Meltzer has once again provided another year of co-hosting with Talk Ultra and somehow along the way he managed to set a ‘FKT’ on the Appalachian Trail.
Niandi Carmont has been invaluable with her support – without that, what I do would not be possible and in addition, she has been working at many of the races I have attended as writer and podcaster. I hope 2017 is a great year for her as she progresses her run coaching.
Finally, all of you who read the articles, view the images and listen to the podcast – a huge thanks!
Have a great end to 2016 and I wish you all a successful 2017.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.”– Nelson Mandela
I just so love this quote by Mandela one of history’s truly great legendary and inspiring leaders. This guiding principle is what no doubt helped Mandela lead South Africa towards the democracy it is today, even from behind the secluded prison bars of Robbin Island.
Leading from behind is one of the most effective, rewarding and empowering leadership strategies. It goes against the traditional image we hold of great leaders, leading the troops from the front by setting the example.
As a coach during a 2016 training camp for multi-day racing and specifically the Marathon des Sables (here), I had the opportunity to put this into practice. Marathon des Sables or “MDS” as it is affectionately called by most aficionados is a gruelling self-sufficiency multi-stage running event which takes place every year in April in the Sahara. The event is celebrating its 31st year this year and will gather over 1300 international participants at the start line on 8 April. Participants are required to carry a minimum weight of 6.5kg with a minimum calorie allowance of 2000Kcal/day covering a total distance of 250km with temperatures exceeding 45C over dunes, jebels and scorched sun-dried salt lakes.
The pre-race training camp last week in Lanzarote provided participants with an opportunity to run long distances on consecutive days in the heat and on demanding terrain simulating that encountered in the Sahara. It also allowed them to test their equipment and exchange with coaches on nutritional and hydration strategies.
Attendees were divided into groups of differing ability depending on the objectives they had set themselves.
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton
Coaching one of the groups provided me with one of the most insightful weeks on leadership, mentoring and providing feedback. How do you support and develop each participant in the group giving them the self-confidence to learn and grow? This is where leading from behind comes in. At times I would be running ahead setting the pace. Then I would slow down and run in the group egging them on to the next landmark. Other times I would drop down to the back of the pack and let them set the pace. After all isn’t it all about a balance between pushing people outside their comfort zone because you know this is what will help them have the strength to face adversity in the challenge they have set themselves? Then again you also need to be there to monitor their progress and not push them beyond their limits or dampen their enthusiasm. A fine line!
A good leader is also a good listener. Managers are advised to listen 70% and speak 30% when providing feedback. It is surprising what you learn from coachees when you listen actively. I learnt a wealth of useful information listening to each participant in my run group. Listening gave me a better understanding of the difficulties of each and everyone: ranging from juggling personal and professional commitments to finding the time to train, fitting training around consecutive business trips, adopting a healthy nutritional strategy with a demanding work schedule and business dinners, dealing with sports injuries due to increased mileage, apprehension of the unknown, fear of failure, professional stress impacting on training performance…the list is endless. But listening helped me to be specific in my advice.
“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”— Rosalynn Carter
A leader should also enhance competitiveness. Many in my group had set out with the objective of completing Marathon des Sables and getting that beautiful big shiny medal handed over to them by the race Director Patrick Bauer, ticking MDS off on their bucket-list of ultra-running achievements and adding it to their run CV. I know the runners in my group will cross that finish line but I also know that they can achieve much more. They showed that tenacity, grit and determination in training that will take them to the finish line at MDS.
“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippman
And so my final message to my coachees after a week of learning from them about leadership, mentoring and providing feedback is:
“I won’t be there with you at the start-line although I’d love to be but I will be be tracking your progress live on-line and living every minute of the MDS experience with you.” – Niandi
If you would like to join our 2017 Multi-Day Training Camp, please go HERE
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
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
RAID DE LA REUNION
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
Episode 85 is a 30th anniversary MDS special with Niandi Carmont co-hosting and discussing her race in depth. We speak with ladies champ, Elisabet Barnes and Darren Grigas and Ian Knight tell us all about their races. Robbie Britton also joins us and provides an insight into his 3rd place at the IAU 24-hour champs. The News, Up and Coming races and hopefully some RnR.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Jo Meek (Scott Running) 6:52:17 new CR first lady and first overall
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 (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.
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.
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
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.
When Scott asked me to test the Women’s T2 Kinabalu, I was very excited to try out a brand of shoe that is not as well known to UK and French trail runners… ‘Scott make bikes don’t they?’ was a typical comment!
Love at first sight… Like most female trail runners, I like a run shoe to look good and admittedly on the outside it’s a sexy shoe – bright green, sporty and light-weight.
But what about the technical and practical specs which are equally important? Well, after having tested the shoe on 200km of intense rocky mountainous terrain in France over one week, I can definitely confirm it is:
• Energy efficient
The above qualities were exactly what I was looking for and all my expectations were met.
Durability, stability and eRide™ Technology
Usually after intense weeks on hard trail terrain like that, my trail shoes “have done their time” but I was surprised to find that the soles were hardly worn. I have an atypical and asymmetrical running gait, which means I heel strike heavily on one foot and the wear shows after only a few runs on my trail shoes. Not the Scotts though. But then the Scott shoe is built using the patented and scientifically-researched SCOTT’s eRide™ Technology – that unique rocker shape creating a very stable midstance which heel strikers like me strive for. Initially it took a few runs to get used to but I quickly felt the benefit of the rocking motion provided by the shoe and it meant I was heel-striking less and running more efficiently.
The shoe has an 11mm drop; in this current climate of ‘low drop is best’ it may mean the T2 will be snubbed by many! Don’t be too hasty. In use, this shoe feels like a much lower drop shoe, primarily due to the eRide™ (rocker). It keeps you on your forefoot with good technique. They are a pleasure to run in.
After the week on rock French trail my soles had hardly worn. My podiatrist who is an avid cyclist took one look at them and said “this is true Scott quality, great grip, rolling resistance, durability and ride quality”.
Shortly after that I departed on a 10-day multi-stage event to Northern India, Rajasthan and as I had luggage restrictions, was faced with the dilemma of taking only one pair of run shoes. I knew I would be doing a mix of trail, desert, tarmac and dirt road. No hesitation, my multi-purpose, train-adaptable Scotts were in my luggage. Although a winter shoe, they were perfect on all types of terrain. I had no issues transitioning from the Thar Desert to the tarmac road leading to the Taj Mahal. Conditions were hot and humid and as much as the shoes kept my feet dry and warm on muddy, wet British towpath and boggy fells, the breathable mesh upper equally kept my feet cool in Rajasthan. And although I didn’t use gaiters as the desert/dune stages were not too long, I had very little sand in my shoes.
The shoe features an Aerofoam midsole for reduced weight and it’s definitely lightweight at 265g (UK8) a bonus for me, especially over long ultra-distances or long training sessions. More importantly – it is lightweight but not at the expense of durability or stability. After several runs the midsole ‘bedded’ in and started to mould to my foot providing additional comfort. The sock liner is perforated and the midsole has ‘drainage’ ports to allow water to escape; great for water crossings or wet weather running.
Comfort and adaptability to varied terrain.
Comfort with a capital “C”. This is an important criterion for me whatever the shoe ….but even more so if I’m going to be running long distances on arduous, rocky terrain. Not a blister or hot spot and no chafing. I ran in mud, on dry dusty rocks, shingle, slippery descents – the shoe adapted to all the changes in terrain and weather. Not surprising as the shoe features wet traction rubber and a water-drainage system. The grip in muddy terrain is great and much appreciated by runners like me who prefer a drier terrain. I felt as in control tackling muddy, British bog as I did on dusty and slippery rocky mountainous French trail or even running down shingly, stony descents.
I also liked the bungee lacing system (elastic on the front of the shoe to stow laces) – extra security for a runner like myself who doesn’t want to be tripping over loose laces on a tricky, technical descent.
All in all, this is definitely a great winter shoe with great protection and traction at minimal weight.
Needless to say Scott thinks about us ladies too, not only as far as the colour is concerned but also the female-specific fit. By the way, I opted for the bright green colour but the shoe comes in a trendy girly pink too!
Love them! And I get noticed to:
“Are you wearing Scotts? Didn’t know they made trail shoes!” I get asked.
“Well you bet! And pretty damn good ones at that!” I quickly reply.
Niandi is South African born, a former resident of Paris, she now lives in the UK. A runner for over 20-years; Niandi has completed Comrades Marathon 13-times, Washie 100 2-times and has finished well over 100 marathons and ultras all over the world. Currently residing in the UK, Niandi splits her work life between the UK and France.