2017 #UTMB® Ultra Trail Mont Blanc Race Preview

The 2017 UTMB is upon us and yes, it may well be the best line-up ever for this big loop of France, Italy and Switzerland which starts and finishes in the iconic mountain resort of Chamonix shadowed by the impressive and iconic Mont-Blanc.

The race for many has become the race to do and this is reflected in the growth of the main race, the UTMB and the growth of the sister events – TDS, CCC, PTL and the recent addition of OCC.

Image ©UTMB

Departing at 1800 hrs on Sep 1st, the UTMB race goes in a loop via Les Contamines, La Balme, Les Chapieux, Lac Combal, Col Checrouit, Courmayer, Refuge Bertone, Refuge Bonati, Arnouvaz, La Fouly, Champex-Lac, Plan de L’au, Trient, Vallorcine, Col Des Montets, La Flegere and finally Chamonix.

Image ©UTMB

The route is 171km in length with 10.000 mt of vertical gain and a maximum time limit of 46-hours and 30-minutes.

2300 runners will toe the line for the 2017 edition, it is part of the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT).

LADIES

The ladies race will once again be an interesting one with the return of the 2016 champion Caroline Chaverot, 2016 2nd place, Andrea Huser, 5th placed Magdalena Boulet, 8th placed Kaori Niwa and 10th placed Sophie Grant.

However, this only provides a small glimpse of the potential top-10 for the 2017 UTMB.

Nuria Picas, Stephanie Howe (now Violett), Emilie Lecomte, Fernanda Maciel, Kaci Lickteig, Gemma Arenas are without doubt contenders for the top positions and yes, victory.

Also keep an eye on a couple of dark horses, in particular Beth Pascall from the UK.

On 2016 and 2017 performances, Caroline Chaverot is the head and shoulders favourite for 2017 victory. Her recent win at Hardrock 100 was super impressive and although 2017 started with a glitch at Transgrancanaria, Chaverot is now back in winning ways and looks set to match her incredible 2016. For me, she is the best female ultra-runner in the world at the moment.

Andrea Huser just races and races and last year came very close to Chaverot, 25:15:40 to Huser’s 25:22:56. In all honesty and no disrespect to Huser, this closeness was due to Chaverot having problems and not Huser speeding up. In reality, I think Chaverot can (and possibly will) win the UTMB with a clear 1-hour margin. Can Huser place 2nd again? Yes for sure, however, she will have her hands full.

Nuria Picas has all the potential to win the race but I am not convinced that she has 25 hours of running in her at the moment? She just placed 3rd at Tromso SkyRace which was a great training day but UTMB is going to require a completely different strength.

Magdalena Boulet is going to know what she is in for this year and therefore may well have a better race. She placed 2nd at Western States and in the following weeks and months has recovered and prepared for the big dance in France. I think we may well see her on the podium this year!

Kaci Lickteig and Stephanie Howe Violett were hot favourites for Western States and they both had tough days. Lickteig has said in advance of this year’s UTMB that she is not here to race. Howe Violett though will be here to race and for me she is a hot favourite for the podium and should all things align, she is a potential winner. She was 8th in 2015.

The UK’s Beth Pascall may well be the surprise package of the 2017 race taking the American’s by surprise and yes, even the Europeans. She is a great long distance runner and loves mountain terrain. She is also a great 24-hour runner and that is a key feature for the UTMB – running 100-miles at UTMB is not the same as running 100-miles on another course. Jasmin Paris placed 6th last-year and I think Pascall can match this and potentially go top-5.

Emilie Lecomte, Fernanda Maciel, Kaori Niwa, Aliza Lapierre, Gemma Arenas, Yulia Baykova, Sophie Grant, Amanda Basham, Amy Sproston,  and Joelle Vaught are all potential top-10 runners amongst a very competitive and stacked field.

  • CHAVEROT, Caroline
  • PICAS, Núria
  • BOULET, Magdalena
  • HUSER, Andrea
  • LICKTEIG, Kaci
  • ST LAURENT, Alissa
  • HOWE VIOLETT, Stephanie
  • ARENAS ALCAZAR, Gemma
  • MAJER, Ewa
  • EMMERSON, Kellie
  • BES GINESTA, Cristina
  • VAUGHT, Joelle
  • BASHAM, Amanda
  • LECOMTE, Emilie
  • PASCALL, Beth
  • CHOW, Pui Yan
  • MACIEL, Fernanda
  • LAPIERRE, Aliza
  • BLANCHET, Juliette
  • SPROSTON, Amy
  • NIMES PEREZ, Teresa
  • BRUINS, Robyn
  • MEHL, Lisa
  • BERRY, Tara
  • BARD, Christelle
  • BAYKOVA, Yulia
  • DIEZ FONTANET, Laia
  • VILASECA, Manuela
  • ANDREY, Sophie
  • MCRAE, Sally
  • GRANT, Sophie
  • BOS, Melanie
  • ALVES, Ester
  • NIWA, Kaori
  • EDWARDS, Meredith
  • TROUP, Anna
  • CHIALVO, Martina
  • VARGAS, Adriana
  • CAMACHO ORTEGA, Noelia Patricia
  • SANTOS SOUSA, Lucinda
  • FÖRSTER, Basilia
  • VERJEE, Sabrina

MEN

Ludovic Pommeret took victory in 2016 in 22:00:22 and was followed by Gediminas Grinius, Tim Tollefson, David Laney, Javi Dominguez, Zach Miller, Sebastien Camus, Julien Chorier, Giulio Ornati and Juan Maria Jimenez. A stout top-10 of which we see many return.

The 2016 race was interesting one that saw Miller go off at a reckless pace, blow-up, recover and somehow manage to finish 6th. We also saw how pacing and patience is a key element for a successful UTMB, completely reflected in Pommeret’s victory – he was in the lead early on, he dropped to 50th about 25% in the race and then somehow came back!

With such a stacked field one if the biggest questions will be, ‘who will make it beyond Courmayer?’ As in previous years, many hot favourites will fall by the wayside with pressure on a pace that is too fast early on.

I said in the ladies preview that running 100-miles (more actually – 172km) at the UTMB is not the same as running 100-miles say on a typical US course. I think this can be clearly explained when one looks at say Anton Krupicka. He had success and results at 100-miles that took 14-16 hours, UTMB requires a minimum 20-hour effort and in reality a 20-24 hour effort if you are going to be top-10. This makes a huge difference and therefore, I will put my neck on the line now and say that Walmsley, Miller and Canaday will struggle in the final 25% of the race.

I am jumping ahead though.

With a certain Kilian Jornet returning to the race, I do believe that everyone else is running for 2nd. This is not something that I ever like to write but with all due respect to the rest of the competition, if Kilian is on form I just don’t see anyone coming close. I will also say, that if the weather conditions are good, we will see him not only win the race but I do think we have the potential of a 19-hour finish and a new course record. Jornet is coming back to this race for one reason – the race! He wants the competition, he wants to be pushed and he wants to be the best of the best. Victory will be a priority and then a CR if that is feasible and possible.

Jornet does have three teammates toeing the line and they are a formidable quartet of Francois d’Haene, Tofol Castanyer and Miguel Heras. All four of these guys can win the race and in particular, d’Haene is an odds on favourite to push Jornet and should the Catalan falter, he will be there to take over the reigns. In terms of strategy, I see the Salomon quartet running together in the first 50% of the race behind the front but close enough to pounce should they need to. Jornet will be chatting and looking for company before he and d’Haene pull away in pursuit of the front. In the latter 20/25% of the race, Jornet will pull away, catch any front protagonists and take the win. Castanyer and Heras may well be top-10 with d’Haene 2nd. They have all the potential to go 1,2,3 as in 2014.

I make it sound easy don’t I. It’s 100-miles and therefore of course it is not! Anything can happen.

Jim Walmsley and Zach Miller are no doubt going to head up the front of the race, however, if they have learnt from previous exploits it would make sense that they reign themselves in over the first half of the race. Their fans will want them to go hard or go home, but, if either of them want to win the race, patience will be key. I see Miller having the edge over Walmsley. We all know Walmsley can run fast – really fast. He proved this recently at Speedgoat 50k but that race is 50k and not 172k! Miller has been injured and of course this may well impact on his ability to have a good race in 2017?

The strongest potential for US success will come from Tim Tollefson (3rd in 2016), David Laney (4th in 2016), Jason Schlarb, Dylan Bowman, Jeff Browning, Sage Canaday and Western States 2016 champ, Andrew Miller.

That is one serious US line-up and if Jornet wasn’t running, I would have potentially said that 2017 was the year when we could see an American win the men’s race!

Tollefson missed 2nd last year by just 4-minutes and Laney 3rd by 11-minutes.

It is worth noting though that the winning time in 2016 was almost one hour slower than in 2015 when Xavier Thevenard ran 21:09. That is significant especially with Jornet and d’Haene racing!

BUT, think back to 2014 when d’Haene won in 20:11:44, Castanyer 2nd in 20:55:42, Iker Karrera 20:55:42 and Jason Schlarb 4th in 21:39:44. The top-3 (all Salomon) went under Thevenard’s 2015 winning time – that is a wake-up call for everyone racing the 2017 edition!

Remember too that the course has changed over the last few years!

On paper, based on times, Jason Schlarb has the best potential to impact the podium and his potential may well have increased evermore with his early withdrawal from Hardrock 100 with illness. He is going to be fresh!

Tollefson, Laney are the obvious contenders for top-5, they have done it before but Browning is an incredible force over 100-miles – he is patient, loves to climb and he gets the job done. Equally, Bowman is going to be raring to go for this year. We may well see the top-10 full of US runners – it is going to be a great year for them.

Luis Alberto Hernando would have been my tip for the podium but he has decided not to race – a real shame. He would have really had am impact on the front of the race if inform.

Therefore Xavier Thevenard has to be a key favourite. He is the only person to have won UTMB, TDS, CCC and OCC – impressive! He does blow hot and cold sometimes though, particularly if the pressure is on him. If he keeps a low-profile in the build up to the 2017 race I think will see him once again have a great race.

Gediminas Grinius nails the 100-mile distance and was 5th in 2014 and 2nd last year. He will be in the mix for sure but if it is a fast year, I don’t think he has the pace for a 20-hour finish.

Didrik Hermansen does have the pace but may not have the endurance, having said that, he won Transgrancanaria and was 2nd at Western States in 2016.

Pau Capell has been so consistent and is an exciting prospect at the 2017 UTMB, he won Transgrancanaria and placed 2nd at Madeira Island Ultra Trail – both races taking 13-hours. He is going to need to race for 30% (minimum) longer in Chamonix and that will be a huge learning curve.

The UK’s Andy Symonds ran the UTMB in 2016 and detonated, he will be back this year more focused. He has the potential for a great race.

Julien Chorier recently participated in Ironman Nice with a 10-hour 22-minute finish – very solid for a tough (bike) course. It’s interesting prep for UTMB but Chorier is a class act and he has been top-10 at UTMB before. He knows how to run the race. I don’t think he has the speed now to be top-3 but he has the staying power and he can pick of places and move up the ranking in the latter stages of the race.

Javier Dominguez, Vaidas Zlabys, Sebastien Camus, Yeray Duran, Scott Hawker, Carlos Sa, Sebastien Chaigneau, Yoshikazu Hara, are all potential top-10 runners… this distance and this race is so unpredictable and it rarely goes to plan or script.

From a UK perspective, Casey Morgan, Kim Collison, Damian Hall and Danny Kendall will toe the line. Hall in particular having consistently solid races.

What are your thoughts, who are going to be the surprises?

Here is the list of elite men:

  • WALMSLEY, Jim
  • JORNET BURGADA, Kilian
  • D’HAENE, François
  • CANADAY, Sage
  • MILLER, Zach
  • THEVENARD, Xavier
  • HERAS HERNANDEZ, Miguel Angel
  • TOLLEFSON, Tim
  • CASTANYER BERNAT, Tofol
  • BOWMAN, Dylan
  • SCHLARB, Jason
  • GRINIUS, Gediminas
  • SYMONDS, Andrew
  • CAPELL, Pau
  • LANEY, David
  • HERMANSEN, Didrik
  • DOMINGUEZ LEDO, Javier
  • ZLABYS, Vaidas
  • MILLER, Andrew
  • BES, Jordi
  • GAMITO, Jordi
  • PAZOS, Diego
  • HAWKER, Scott
  • SANCHEZ SAEZ, Sebastian
  • CAMUS, Sébastien
  • ORNATI, Giulio
  • CHORIER, Julien
  • GAY, Anthony
  • GHELFI, Ryan
  • PASERO, Mikael
  • DURAN LOPEZ, Yeray
  • ANGUITA BAYO, Manuel
  • ROVERA, René
  • BROWNING, Jeff
  • HARA, Yoshikazu
  • SA, Carlos
  • FERNANDES, Luís
  • CHAIGNEAU, Sebastien
  • HAJNAL, Robert
  • SOLE DUOCASTELLA, Francesc
  • GORCZYCA, Bartosz
  • KRIZ, Zdenek
  • FISTER, Gerald
  • COUCHAUD, Sylvain
  • BERNAD BLASCO, Victor
  • AMAT ASENCIO, Daniel
  • GRASEL, Florian
  • MORGAN, Casey
  • SHERPA, Sangé
  • PFANDLBAUER, Andreas
  • JAQUA, Nate
  • COLLISON, Kim
  • YANG, Jiagen
  • RODRIGUEZ BARREIRO, Alvaro
  • HALL, Damian
  • BROGNIART, Stéphane
  • FREITAS, Francisco
  • DOBERT, Steeve
  • SANCHEZ CASALS, Carles
  • DI GIACOMO, Fabio
  • STEPHAN, Quentin
  • LARROTCHA, Juan Jose
  • DOI, Takashi
  • BACKHAUSEN, Majell
  • SCHJØLBERG, Hallvard
  • DE SALVADOR, Marco
  • VINAGRE CRUZ, Alberto
  • REYES, Gustavo
  • CHAVET, Cedric
  • NOURRY, Yann
  • DIBOUN, Yassine
  • SUGA, Satoru
  • DIOGO, Leonardo
  • PARRA HERNANDEZ, Vicente
  • PARIS, Thomas
  • MENDIZABAL, Adur
  • MALARDE, Christophe
  • VIEUX, Florian
  • DROZ, Gaël
  • OUTTERS, Benoît
  • WAGNER, Thomas
  • EVANGELISTI, Michele
  • TEJERO, Sergio Luís
  • BUFFARD, Sébastien
  • GASC, Mickael
  • VERMILYEA, Andrew
  • COUCHOUD, Fabrice
  • LAYFIELD, Dominick
  • EVARTS, Roman
  • RESTORP, Petter
  • HERRERO, Albert
  • DEPERRAZ, Stephane
  • CATALAN, Iñaki
  • SKURKA, Andrew
  • BUCKLIN, Benjamin
  • NAMKUNG, Evan
  • LEFRANC, Julien
  • VIOLETT, Zachary
  • FUCHS, Sebastian
  • LAVY, Jeremy
  • PIGOIS, Thomas
  • FARIA, Manuel
  • LUJAN MALDONADO, Agustin
  • JUNG, Frédéric
  • CUCCO, Francesco
  • KENDALL, Danny
  • IINO, Wataru
  • BESSARD, Yann
  • BERNINI, Stefano
  • VALENTINE, Rick
  • MOLIN, Ivano
  • CASANOVAS, Ramon
  • DAVID, Benjamin
  • CAUCHON, Jean-Francois
  • MATSUNAGA, Hiroaki
  • CARCANO, Gaetano
  • ESCUDERO, Israel
  • GU, Bing
  • POMMIER, Jean
  • CALMETTES, Guillaume

UTMB Information HERE

 

UTMB 2017 Draw and Elite Names

iancorless-com_runningbeyondbook-21-of-278

The results for the 2017 UTMB were announced on January 12th 2017 at 10.00 (Paris time) and what a draw! The list of persons registered and runners files can be viewed at http://www.ultratrailmb.com, all those entered will be confirmed by email.

Those runners lucky in the draw then have a period of 14 days, January 12th to 25th 2017, to definitively finalise their registration by paying, by credit-card, the balance of the registration price and sending in all the required supporting documents.

It’s a big day for many, dreams are made and broken with the opening of an email.

From a global perspective, a look at the elite start list provides an opportunity to whet ones appetite and imagine the race that will unfold for the UTMB and the races that also that happen in and around the main event, the CCC, TDS and OCC.

In 2016, many considered that the line up in the UTMB was the best ever, well, 2017 may have topped it?

The Top Men for 2017

  • Francois D’haene – Two time UTMB winner and countless other 100 victories.
  • Gediminas Grinius – 2nd at UTMB in 2016.
  • Julien Chorier – 8th at UTMB in 2016 but super solid at the distance.
  • Miguel Heras – Looking for 2013 form when he placed 2nd.
  • Luis Alberto Hernando – Hw wants this! 2nd in 2015.
  • Xavier Thevenard – Champ in 2013 and 2015 the winner of ‘all’ UTMB races – CCC, TDS and OCC.
  • Tofol Castanyer – 2nd in 2014.
  • Pau Capell –  TDS winner stepping up to the big dance.
  • Yeray Duran – Stepping up but 2nd at TDS in 2016.
  • Diego Pazoz – Mont-Blanc 80km winner – an intersting prospect!
  • Andy Symonds – Tried in 2016 but pulled out, he has a big race in him.
  • Carlos Sa – 8th in 2014 and an ever-present.
  • Kim Collison – Arguably the UK’s best hope for a top result.
  • Francesc Sole – 7th at UTMB in 2015.
  • Didrik Hermansen – 2nd at Western States in 2016 and winner at Transgrancanaria

And then look at the talent that will join from the USA:

  • Tim Tollefson – 3rd at UTMB last  year
  • Andrew Miller – Western States winner 2016
  • Sage Canaday – Unfinished business at UTMB
  • Jeff Browning – 2016 double with 3rd and 4th at Western States and Hardrock
  • Dylan Bowman – 4th at Lake Sonoma in 2016
  • David Laney – Placed 3rd and 4th at UTMB
  • Jim Walmsley – Unstoppable in 2016, UTMB is going to be a seriously exciting outing for him and us!

But it doesn’t stop there, there other names to consider, the list goes on!

The Top Women for 2017

  • Caroline Chaverot – Defending champ and un-stoppable in 2016.
  • Nuria Picas – 2nd twice, she wants the top slot.
  • Andrea Huser – Relentless, races week-in and week-out, 2nd in 2016.
  • Emelie Lecomte – Tor des Geants champ.
  • Beth Pascall – Lakeland 100 winner and course record could excel on this big loop.
  • Sophie Grant – Has had two top UTMB placings.
  • Gemma Arenas – Excelled in the Skyrunning ranks in 2016, Ultra SWS champ.
  • Juliette Blanchet – 4th last year.

And then look at the talent that will join from the USA:

  • Kaci Lickteig – Western States champ, Bear 100 champ and ultra-runner of the year – exciting!
  • Magdalena Boulet – 5th at UTMB last year.
  • Stephanie Howe – Western States 2014 champ who looks to be back after 2016 full of injury. Previously 8th at UTMB.
  • Sally McRae – 11th at the 2016 Western States.
  • Meredith Edwards – 2nd at TDS.
  • Aliza Lapierre – Solid performer recently raced MDS in 2015 4th at Western States.

Ones to watch:

Kaori Niwa, Christina Bes, Laia Diez, Joelle Vaught, Alissa St Laurent and many more…

CCC and TDS has always felt like a side show to the UTMB but Zach Miller in many ways changed all that with a show boat victory and we are now seeing the CCC as real stepping stone to UTMB with a highly competitive field.

Notably for 2016, Megan Kimmel, Hilary Allen, Nathalie Mauclair, Maite Maiora and Anna Comet amongst others will go head-to-head in the ladies’ race.

For the men, the prospect of what Hayden Hawks is exciting, especially when one considers Tom Owens and Ryan Sandes will toe the line. Add to the mix Erik Clavery, Ludovic Pommeret, Jorge Maravilla, Ben Duffus, Michael Borst, Marcin Swierc and Aurelien Collet and you have a very exciting race.

TDS will see Rory Bosio head up a quality ladies’ field that includes Lucy Bartholomew and, Dong Li and Lizzie Wraith. For the men, Paul Giblin and Michel Lanne are followed by Samir Tamang, Arnaud Lejeune and many more.

The 2017 UTMB week of races, look set to be a very exciting prospect.

Now, get training!

Tor des Geants 2013 – Race Preview

tordesgeant-_logo_net

Today is the day. The Tor des Geants begins and 757 brave souls will depart to tackle 330km’s in an individual way. Sounds funny doesn’t it, an individual way, but you see, the organization do not impose any compulsory stages. You start and it is the first to the finish. The runner who completes the race in the shortest time is the outright winner and therefore, this race is not only about putting one foot infront of the other, it is also about when you stop and for how long. It is a tactical race.

Map

The race is the first of its kind to cover an entire region. Taking place in the Gran Paradiso National Park and the Mont Ayic Regional Park, the route takes in the spectacular paths at the foot of the highest ‘Four Thousanders’ in the Alps.

It is a unique race. It is survival!

Young American, Nickademus Hollon, the youngest ever runner ever to complete the infamous ‘Barkley’ has been specifically training in the area for months and just yesterday he said:

“Tomorrow I embark on probably one of my greatest ultra-running adventures to date. The Tor des Geants. 330km (205miles) and 24,000m (79,000ft) of elevation gain. I’ll be honest with you all, my minimum goal is 72hrs, that’s 4hrs beneath the previous years course record. To do this I’ll need my mind, body and spirit all aligned. Quite like the magic that possessed me during the fifth loop of the Barkley Marathons this year. I’ll be calling on that again shortly. I ask that you all be the wind at my back and help propel me forward : ) This will hopefully be a great leap forward for the United States in the Spain dominant European running world. Thank you all for your past and continued support!”

The Tor des Geants will start on the 8th September at 1000am and the imposed deadline of 1600 hrs September 14th is in place. A maximum allotted time of 150 hours.

Participants must have the following mandatory equipment:

◦       A backpack

◦       A supply of water (1 liter minimum)

◦       ACup

◦       Food supply/reserve

◦       Two torches in good working condition with replacement batteries

◦       Survival blanket

◦       Whistle

◦       Adhesive elastic tape for making bandages or a strapping (mini 80cm x 3 cm)

◦       Water-proof gear for protection against bad weather conditions in the mountains

◦       Running trousers or leggings covering at least the knees

◦       Hat or bandana

◦       gloves

◦       phone

◦       altimeter

◦       warm clothing

The Route

The race starts and finishes in Courmayeur. The route takes place through the two High Aosta Valley roads. Participants, can choose their speed and must complete the race in less than 150 hours. Runners are partially independent and more than 40 supply points are available throughout the route

Measuring 330 km long with 24,000 vertical meters, the route takes the High Road No. 2 to the lower valley. The return is the Haute Route No. 1 to Valdigne and Courmayeur. It crosses in particular the natural park of Mont Avic National Park Gran Paradiso. During the race the runners will pass 25 passes at over 2000 meters, 30 lakes and reach a high point of 3300 meters.

Winning times from 2012:

Oscar Perez 75h 56m 31s

Francesca Canepa 85h 33m 56s

Who should you watch?

First things first. 330km is a long way and anything can happen. 757 runners are listed on the start sheet and of course I don’t know all of them or even pretend to. I have selected several people that I know and who do well over this type of terrain and distance. Without doubt I will miss several names, so, if you know a ‘one to watch’ let us know on the reply form below.

The Men

Last year’s winner, Oscar Perez is back and gets no1 billing. He knows the route, the course and knows how to manage the race, come out the other side and win.

Gregoire Millet, 2nd in 2012 is back and will be looking to go one place higher and top the podium. He was only three hours behind Oscar last year and I am sure he will have been looking at his stretgy and thinking, how can I make up three hours? Less sleep maybe…

Christophe Le Saux at MDS 2013 ©iancorless.com

Christophe Le Saux at MDS 2013 ©iancorless.com

Christophe Le Saux is also back. Like Oscar, he knows the course like the back of his hand and he knows how to manage his effort. He placed 2nd in 2011 in a time of 84:09:46 and 3rd in 2012 in 80:14:14.

Pablo Criado Toca at Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com

Pablo Criado Toca placed 3rd in 2011 and returns this year. His time of 89:43:07 is a long way from Oscar’s 75:56:31 but as I keep saying, anything can happen and experience is paramount in a race like this.

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera is the big name joining the fold and as many of you will know, this Salomon athlete is meticulous in his planning. Iker however isn’t coming to this race fresh. He recently raced and won the Grand Raid des Pyrenees (160km and 10,000m+) in 24:54:56 which was just on the 24th August. For sure, great prep but that must leave you tired? Iker is one to watch and potentially win at Tor.

We have mentioned Nickademus Hollon, he hasn’t raced here before and he has been very open about the challenge ahead. However, he has been in the mountains for weeks and been all over the course. He knows what he is doing! Without doubt, Tor des Geants is as much about the brain as the legs and Nickademus is a master of this. He has proven it with a finish at Barkley. I think we will see Nickademus create a surprise in the Aosta valley.

Arnau Julia Bonmata ©iancorless.com

Arnau Julia Bonmata ©iancorless.com

Arnau Julia Bonmata won TDS last weekend and like Francesca Canepa, he attempts the double! It’s a tough ask, particularly when you look at the competition at the front. He’s a great guy and if anyone can pull something out of the bag, it is Arnau but he is going to feel his TDS efforts for sure.

Of course I have to mention Bruno Brunod. I don’t think Bruno will contest the win but a legend of Skyrunning deserves a tip of the hat. I wonder; what can he do…? I also wonder if we may well see Kilian Jornet pop up on route to offer some support and encouragement.

Stuart Air leading Terry Conway at Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com

Stuart Air leading Terry Conway at Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com

Finally, a surprise package may very will come from Brit, Stuart Air. Stuart placed in the top 20 at Ronda dels Cims and then Ice Trail Tarentaise. He will be pretty much unknown to all the others in the race but he has grit, determination and he comes to this race prepared. A surprise package for sure!

Other names to watch: Franco Collè, Mario Gazzola and Patrick Bohard.

The Ladies

Francesca Canepa ©iancorless.com

Francesca Canepa ©iancorless.com

Francesca Canepa pulled off the remarkable double in 2012. She placed 2nd behind Lizzy Hawker at the shortened TNFUTMB and then just 7 days later, turned up at Tor des Geants and won in 85:33:56. Francesca has had a great year and her win at the tough Ronda dels Cims is surely a great sign for Tor. However, she dropped from last weeks TNFUTMB. Francesca is odds on favorite.

Patricia Penza placed 2nd in 2011 in a time of 102:25:42 and placed 3rd last year in 97:06:15. It’s all about experience and being able to put one foot infront of the other. Patricia may not be the fastest but she can last the distance and time and sometimes that is all it can take to win!

Giuliana Arrigoni placed 3rd in 2011 and was just a minute slower that Patricia Penza. Pretty sure she will be back to move up the podium and be one place higher than Patricia in 2013.

Sonia Glarey is back after a strong 2nd place in 2012, her time of 96:59:54 was nearly twelve hours slower than Francesca, but if Francesca is not 100% we may see that gap close and a real battle unfold.

Nerea Martinez  ©iancorless.com

Nerea Martinez ©iancorless.com

Nerea Martinez is also on the start list but I had heard rumours of injury. This has not ben confirmed. If she is in good shape and fresh I predict a podium place.

Australian, Samantha Gash is also on the start sheet. This will very much a departure for Samantha. However, she is used to long days and repetitive days on the trails. The Tor course though is something very different to what she has experienced in the past. It may well just be a big learning curve but she does have the grit to push, survive and make it to the front of the race. It’s an exciting prospect and one the Europeans won’t be expecting.

Other names to watch: Moses Lovstad, Giuliana Arrigoni, Cecile Bertin, Fedrica Bifana, Patrizia Cantore and Janet Ng.

Live Tracking:

Episode 43 – Kilian Jornet, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Jez Bragg, Rory Bosio, Nuria Picas and Jo Meek

TU43

EPISODE 43

Sept 6th

Episode 43 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we have an extended and in-depth interview with Kilian Jornet about his Matterhorn Summit record. We have a selection of audio from the TNFUTMB – Rory Bosio, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Nuria Picas and Jez Bragg. We speak to Jo Meek who placed 2nd lady at MDS and what the future holds for her. We have Talk Training, the News a blog, smiles and miles with Emelie Forsberg and of course, Mr Speedgoat.

NEWS

UTMB

  1. Xavier Thevenard (ASICS/France) – 20:34:57 New course record; Old course record: Kilian Jornet – 20:36:43 – 2011
  2. Miguel Heras (Salomon/Spain) – 20:54:08
  3. Javier Dominguez (Spain-Basque) – 21:17:38
  4. Timothy Olson (The North Face/USA) – 21:38:23
  5. Mike Foote (The North Face/USA) – 21:53:19
  6. Julien Chorier (Salomon/France) – 22:08:11
  7. Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) – 23:14:16
  8. Arnaud Lejeune (Hoka One One/France) – 23:18:05
  9. John Tidd (Spain) – 23:18:27
  1. Jez Bragg (The North Face/United Kingdom) – 23:50:01

AUDIO with Jez Bragg and Anton Krupicka/ Joe Grant

  1. Rory Bosio (The North Face/USA) – 22:37:26 New course record; Old course record: Krissy Moehl – 24:56:01 – 2009
  2. Núria Picas (Buff/Spain-Catalana) – 24:32:20
  3. Emma Roca (Hoka One One/Spain-Catalana) – 24:48:14
  4. Katia Fori (Technica/Italy) – 27:48:45
  5. Silvia Trigueros (Spain) – 28:13:12
  6. Gill Fowler (La Sportiva/Australia) – 28:50:30
  7. Maria Semerjian (France) – 29:34:30
  8. Manuela Vilaseca (Brazil) – 30:17:02
  9. Juliette Blanchet (France/Raidlight) – 30:24:08
  10. Audrey Meyer (France) – 30:50:47

AUDIO with Rory Bosio and Nuria Picas

CCC

RESULTS
1 – Jordi BES
2 – Sébastien CAMUS
3 – Daniel GARCIA GOMEZ

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Caroline CHAVEROT
2 – Mercedes ARCOS ZAFRA
3 – Delphine AVENIER

TDS

RESULTS
1 – Arnaud JULIA BONMATI
2 – Antoine GUILLON
3 – Mattia RONCORONI

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Nathalie MAUCLAIR
2 – Claire PRICE
3 – Lisa BORZANI

Ring of Fire thanks to sam Robson for the info

1st Richard Ashton (no. 04) 22hrs 56 min

2nd Gavin Felton (no. 30) 23 hrs 30 min

3rd Christoph Pistek (no. 81) 23hrs 41 min

4th James Ashworth (no. 06) 24 hrs 22 min

5th Richard Heath (no. 44) 24 hrs 25 min6th

Michelle Bowen (no. 10) 25 hrs 33 min

UTWT News so the UTWT was announced.

  1. January 18th Vibram Hing Kong 100
  2. March 1st The North Face Transgrancanaria
  3. March 15th Vibram Tarawera 100km
  4. April 4th to 14th Marathon des Sables
  5. April 25th Ultra Trail Mt Fuji
  6. June 27th The North Face Lavaredo Trail
  7. June 29th Western States
  8. August 29th The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

The UTWT will propose an international competitive circuit in partnership with the International Trail Running Association. The events should already be open to the widest public and will offer ‘everyone’ a unique chance, throughout each year, to participate. Question: How does that relate to Western States with limited capacity and demand far outweighing places available? Also, Marathon des Sables… UK entrants for example are on a three year waiting list.

In each race points are awarded to every runner and therefore at the end of the year, a male and female UTWT world champion will be announced. To attract elite athletes, certain events will have Ultra Trail Series status and these will offer more important weighting in the ranking. (I assume this will be for races like Western States?)

Runners will be presented with a Passport. This can be ordered online before the end of the year, it was not made clear if these passports need to be paid for? When you complete a race, you are awarded a visa, this is added to your passport and shows your completion.

The minimum race distance will be 100km, races must have had two previous editions to qualify and already have 500 minimum participants (again, Western States has less than 400). A minimum of twenty countries will be represented and be emblematic venues.

So, how do you become World Champ?

All finishers in every race will be awarded points according to his performance. These points will be added to the International ranking and updated after each race. This ranking will be available on line at the UTWT website. The circuit will be an International competitive circuit in partnership with the ITRA (International Trail Running Association).

As mentioned, a limited number of races will be called Ultra Trail Series and you may only use two best performances from these races in building up points for the world title. In total, three races score, so, you could have two UTS races and one other.

A world champion lady and male will be announced each year.

READ MORE HERE

Wasatch this weekend… plus will Nick have his ‘Slam’ confirmed. Oh dear, Steve Baugh, why didn’t you just phone him… $80! Posted on the Grand Slam website at the end of August!

The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ Committee and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run Committee do not endorse, recognize, or ratify anyone or their times involved in the so-called “unofficial” grand slam of ultrarunning. Likewise we do not support, encourage, or sustain anyone involved in this pursuit.

We continue to recognize, applaud, and award the runners who are legitimately registered in and officially complete The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™.

We also remind all who are observing or otherwise involved that the term “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™” is a trademark of The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ entity, and only those who are official entrants and finishers of The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ are entitled to use the term “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™” in whatever form (including in any form that might cause trademark confusion) in connection with their running endeavors.

BLOGS

Stoke the Fire by Joe Grant at Alpine-works.com

I would tell them inspire instead of trying to win races. Don’t even worry if you finish first or 100th. It doesn’t make any difference because there’s going to be another race later. If you win, everybody forgets it in a few days anyway, and if you lose, nobody remembers, but the inspiration you give will last forever because you’ll get other people to run well. We try too hard to run well and be logical. And I think it’s much better if you go out and make it so everybody gets to the first mile very fast and they’re wildly afraid because the logic has been thrown to the dust. Gerry Lindgren (advice to distance runners)

INTERVIEW with Jo Meek

TALK TRAINING – Marc Laithwaite

MAIN INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Kilian Jornet about his incredible Matterhorn Summit record breaking run. I have to say that I feel very honored that Kilian provided so much of his free time to discuss this in such great depth. It’s a fascinating interview.

MELTZER MOMENT – Good, Bad and Ugly

SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsberg – smilesandmiles@yahoo.com

RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Altra Centennial Park Ultra100km | 100 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Altra Centennial Park Ultra 50km | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Queensland

Glasshouse 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Glasshouse 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Austria

“GRAWE” 50km Lauf | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

“NKE Austria” 100km Lauf | 100 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Belgium

Ecotrail de Bruxelles – 80 km | 81 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Canada

Alberta

Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Lost Soul 50 Km Ultra | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Ontario

Haliburton Forest Trail 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 km Race | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Quebec

The North Face Ultra-Trail Harricana de Charlevoix (UTHC) – 65 km | 65 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

France

Bas-Rhin

Grand Trail du HK ” The Magic Trail” | 52 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Haute-Garonne

Trail des Olympiades du Canton d’Aurignac – 60 km | 60 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Isère

Ultra Trail du Vercors | 80 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Lot

Figeac – St-Cirq-Lapopie – Conques : du 20 au 24 septembre 2013 | 208 kilometers | September 20, 2013 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Trail de la côte d’Opale – 62 km | 62 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Savoie

Ecotrail – trail long | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Vendée

Bol d’Air – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Vosges

L’infernal Trail des Vosges – 160 km | 158 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

L’infernal Trail des Vosges – 72 km | 72 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Georgia (საქართველო)

Kazbegi Mountain Ultramarathon | 53 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Stromberg Extrem 54,4 KM | 54 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon September | 108 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

P-Weg Ultramarathon | 67 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Dorint-RUN50 | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2013 | website

India

Khardung La Challenge | 72 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Indonesia

Indo Ultra | 130 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Tor des Géants | 330 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Veneto

Troi dei Cimbri | 53 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Malaysia

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Poland

7 Valleys Run Ultramarathon of the Festival | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Switzerland

Valais

Trail des Dents-du-Midi | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

United Kingdom

England

Bullock Smithy | 56 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

XNRG Toad Challenge 2013 | 90 miles | September 20, 2013 | website

Scotland

River Ayr Way Challenge | 44 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

USA

California

Diablo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Endure the Bear 100 Miler | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Endure the Bear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Headlands Hundred | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Headlands Hundred 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | September 20, 2013 | website

Colorado

Flaming Foilage Relay | 160 miles | September 13, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Rocky Mountain National Park Traverse | 39 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Run Rabbit Run 50 Mile Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Illinois

Evergreen Lake Ultra – 43 Miles | 43 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Kansas

Hawk 50 | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Hawk Hundred 100 mile Trail Run | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Hawk Hundred 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Maryland

BRRC Gunpowder Keg Ultra 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Michigan

Freak 50K | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 06, 2013 | website

Peace, Love & 50 mile | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Minnesota

Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Superior Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Nebraska

Bohemian Alps 50 Kilometer Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

New Hampshire

Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Ohio

Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Oklahoma

Do-Wacka-Do 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Oregon

McKenzie River Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Pennsylvania

Pine Creek Challenge 100K | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Pine Creek Challenge 100M | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

South Carolina

Long Cane 50K Ultra Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Long Cane 55M Ultra Trail Run | 55 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Tennessee

Bartlett Parks Ultras 40M | 40 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Bartlett Parks Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Bartlett Parks Ultras 50M | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Utah

Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Virginia

Odyssey 40 Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Washington

Plain 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Wisconsin

The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 Km | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

CLOSE

LINKS:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_43_-_Jornet_Krupicka_Grant_Bragg_Bosio_Picas.mp3

Website – talkultra.com

RACE IMAGES The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010566Once again, the races of The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® have gathered at the heart of the valley more than 50 000 people who came from around the world to be a part of this celebration of ultra running. Today early afternoon, the young frenchman, Xavier Thévenard from the Jura région won the TNFUTMB, along with an absolutely incredible performance by TNF athlete, Rory Bosio who not only set a new course record but placed 7th overall.

The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 2013 – Ladies Preview

UTMB logo. iancorless.com ©ultratraildumontblanc

UTMB logo. iancorless.com ©ultratraildumontblanc

It was always going to be touch and go… unfortunately, it is go. Lizzy Hawker has struggled with injury for much of 2013 and despite running at Sierre-Zinal recently, Lizzy has been forced to withdraw from the 2013 TNF UTMB with another stress fracture. Of course, this is devastating news for Lizzy and the race. Lizzy is the Queen of UTMB and we want her here, not only so that she can chase the course record she so desires but also to allow the other ladies to race the best.

Another main contender for the overall, Emelie Lecomte has been forced to withdraw due to injury. Emelie is a strong performer over the long races and a lovely person. I for one am disappointed not to see her toe the line. She placed on the podium at Ronda dels Cims earlier this year but has struggled ever since.

So, who are the ladies to watch? 

©copyright .iancorless.com._1060310

Francesca Canepa (Vibram/Montura) was 2nd in 2012 and then just one week later turned up at Tor des Geants and won! Without doubt, a remarkable double. Francesca likes long, tough and hard races. For sure, a shortened TNF UTMB as it was in 2012 in theory, would normally not suit her yet she still placed 2nd. That has to be a worry of all those that will line up against her on Friday. This year she has raced and raced. A very impressive and dominant win at Ronda dels Cims is probably the most significant result going into this race, however, Francesca placed well at Ice Trail Tarentaise and won the Eiger Trail. Recently she ran Speedgoat (not a race for her) and she placed 10th. All in all, Francesca is the outright favourite for this year’s race now that Lizzy and Emelie are not running.

©iancorless.com.iancorless.orgIancorless_utmb791facesofutmb

Emma Rocca (Buff) placed 3rd last year and is a consistently good performer with plenty of experience. For example, she has raced at Marathon des Sables (2nd in 2011) and just recently had a great run at Speedgoat with 4th place. That shows great depth over multi stage, single stage and also shorter faster courses. Without doubt, Emma is podium potential once again for this year’s race.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1170664

The most exciting prospect for the 2013 race is Nuria Picas (Buff). This is Nuria’s first 100-mile race and that for sure will be the biggest stumbling block. However, if she can hold the reins back, take it easy over the first two thirds and then use her speed and skill in the final third, then we may well see Nuria top the podium. Nuria had an incredible 2012 dominating the Skyrunning calendar, she had three great wins at Trofeo Kima, Cavalls del Vent and Templiers, and she also placed second behind Frosty at Transvulcania. 2013 has been an equally great year, however, she has been chasing Emelie Forsberg around the Skyrunning calendar and has placed a super consistent second at Transvulcania, Zegama-Aizkorri and most recently Trans D’Havet. She is without doubt one to watch!

Three US ladies make my ‘hot contenders’ for this year and first up is Amy Sproston (Montrail). Amy is a 100k champ and placed top 10 at last-years UTMB with 8th overall. On paper, Amy can most certainly be top 5 at UTMB and if she has a great day, maybe top 3. Significantly, she placed 3rd at Western States, two places ahead of Rory Bosio. However, I think we will see those roles reversed in the Alps but as we all know, anything can happen.

Meghan Arbogast (Scott) was in Zermatt last weekend for the Matterhorn Ultraks but she only ran the short race as a loosen up for this weekends fun. She was looking strong, relaxed and confident. Her 4th place at Western States certainly means that everything is in place for a great tour of the Alps. In 2012, Meghan placed 12th at UTMB and for sure she can move up and be top 10. A great day and she may well push top 5.

Rory Bosio (The North Face) placed 4th in the 2012 race over the shortened course and was some time behind Francesca Canepa. Rory’s recent 5th place at Western States is obviously a great race and a great boost, however, I for one thought she would make the podium. Post WSER, Rory has spent plenty of time in Europe and therefore will come to the race adapted and ready to push for the podium and top slot.

©copyright .iancorless.com._1050223

Shona Stephenson (inov-8) is making the long journey from Australia and arrived a day or so ago. Shona has already spent time in the Alps racing at the Mont Blanc VK, Mont Blanc Marathon and Ice Trail Tarentaise (she dropped about two thirds in). She also spent a great week with the inov-8 team testing new apparel and shoes in the mountains. Earlier this year she was performing consistently well with a win at Tarawera, a great 2nd place at UTMF and a win at Northburn 100. She like the longer and harder races and although she has limited European racing experience, if she is in the right frame of mind and feeling good, then we may well see Shona on the podium and I would expect a top 10 to be guaranteed.

Katia Fori (Technica) has raced twice at UTMB before placing 5th and 7th. Of course, being an Italian is a great advantage, as she will understand the terrain, mountains and the weather. This is a key to racing well over the Alpine course. In addition, she knows how to survive and spend a long time in the wilderness; her 4th place at the Tor des Geants proves this. In reality, I don’t see Katia making the top 5 but it only takes one or two to have a bad day and Katia to have a great day!

Helen Cospolich (The North Face) is a three times finisher at UTMB, her best performance came in 2011 with 6th. She has the super strong TNF team behind her and although she placed just inside the top 20 last year (17th), I would imagine that she could do better. It all comes down to the day! This year looks to be dry and warmer (at least in the day) and that will make her feel better for sure.

iancorless.comP1050205

Another TNF (The North Face) athlete is Ligia Madrigal. Ligia is Costa Rican and I actually ran with her on several occasions at this year’s multi-stage, The Coastal Challenge; a race she has won and placed 2nd at in previous years. This year she didn’t have a great race and dropped. Although she places well in Central and South American races, UTMB will be a steep learning curve for her. She will do well to place in the top 20 and if she makes the top 10, she will have had a great race.

Completing the TNF line up is Ru-Ling Xing. I would be lying if I knew much about Ru-Ling however; her stats show top 10 results at TNF 100k in China and 3rd at Vibram 100k. She has raced at UTMB before but finished outside the top 20, if she edges into the top 20 this year she will have had a good race.

Nora Senn has placed 3rd overall at the tough UTMF in 2012; great grounding for the UTMB. Earlier this year she won Lantau 100k so I am sure she will be looking to put the record straight after dropping from UTMB last year. She has the potential to surprise a few people, however, best-case scenario will be top 10. I don’t see Nora contest the podium.

The ladies race may not have as many possibilities as the men’s race, but with Lizzy Hawker not in the race, it is wide open for a really exciting and competitive race up at the front.

Without doubt I will have missed several ladies who will make the top 10 and for sure make the top 20, so, if you know anyone let me know.

  1. Who do you think will win?
  2. Will we see a surprise performance from one of the ‘100’ newbies?
  3. Who will be the best placed US runner?

UTMB kit with Jez Bragg

screenshot_330

The TNF UTMB is just around the corner and in a previous episode of Talk Ultra I discussed with The North Face athlete, Jez Bragg what he uses for this 160km mountain race. It seemed topical that we should give you all an opportunity to listen to this once again and refresh your minds.

Get your check list and out and go through it step-by-step with Jez.

images

 

 

LISTEN HERE

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Jez_Bragg_-_UTMB_Kit.mp3

Equipment list as required by TNF UTMB race organisation:

In order to participate in these events, a set of obligatory equipment is required. However it is important to note it is the minimum necessary and that each trail-runner must adapt it according to their needs. It is important, in particular, not to choose clothing that is the lightest possible weight in order to gain a few grams, but to choose items which will give real protection against the cold, windy or snowy mountain weather, therefore giving a good level of security and performance.

Obligatory material :

  • mobile phone with option enabling its use in the three countries
    (put in one’s repertoire the security numbers of the organisation, keep it switched on, do not hide one’s number and do not forget to set off with recharged batteries)
  • personal cup or tumbler 15cl minimum (water bottle not acceptable)
  • stock of water minimum 1 litre,
  • two torches in good working condition with replacement batteries,
  • survival blanket 1.40m x 2m minimum
  • whistle,
  • adhesive elastic band enable making a bandage or a strapping (mini 100cm x 6 cm),
  • food reserve,
  • jacket with hood and made with a waterproof (recommendation: minimum 10,000 Schmerber) and breathable (recommendation: RET lower than 13) membrane (Gore-Tex or similar) which will withstand the bad weather in the mountains.
  • long running trousers or leggings or a combination of leggings and long socks which cover the legs completely,
  • Additional warm midlayer top: One single midlayer long sleeve top for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 180g (Men, size M)
    OR a two piece clothing combination of a long sleeve baselayer/midlayer for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 110g (Men, size M) and a windproof jacket* with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) protection
  • cap or bandana
  • warm hat
  • warm and waterproof gloves
  • waterproof over-trousers

* The windproof jacket does not replace the mandatory waterproof jacket with hood

Required by the frontier police forces :

  • identity papers

Very strongly recommended :

  • Knife or scissors with which to cut the self-adhesive elasticised bandage
  • walking poles for security on slippery ground in case of rain or snow
  • a change of warm clothes indispensable in the case of cold weather, rain or injury
  • the sum of 20 € minimum (in order to cover the unexpected….)

Advised (list not definitive) :

Telescopic sticks, change of clothing, compass, knife, string, sun cream, Vaseline or anti-chaffing cream, needle and thread,…

All clothing must be the runner’s size and without alteration since leaving the factory.
You will carry this material in a pack which must be tagged at the race-bib distribution and is not exchangeable during the race.

If you decide to use poles, you must keep them throughout the whole of the race… It is forbidden to start without sticks and recover them up along the way.
No poles will be allowed in the spare’s bags.

 

A full list of UTMB specific equipment is available via The North Face by going HERE

Jez Bragg website HERE

Francesca Canepa wins Ronda dels Cims

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1120977Francesca Canepa is a name you may not be too familiar with, however, you should be… for those who don’t know this incredible lady, read HERE

In 2012, she placed 2nd behind Lizzy Hawker on the shortened TNF UTMB course and then just seven days later, yes, just seven days later she raced Tor de Geants and won it! She know how to race long and she has the mental focus and survival instincts to conquer on demanding courses.

At Ronds dels Cims she paced herself in the early stages and only took over the lead from Emilie Lecomte after cresting a mountain summit at 50k. From this point she never looked back and slowly pulled away from all the competition.

An incredibly strong run that placed her in the top 20 overall.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1120978 ©copyright .iancorless.com.P1130004 ©copyright .iancorless.com.P1130007 ©copyright .iancorless.com.P1130013 ©copyright .iancorless.com.P1130014 ©copyright .iancorless.com.P1130017 ©copyright .iancorless.com.P1130030

TNF UTMB mandatory kit

The North Face Ultra Trail Mont Blanc are emphasising early the need to be prepared for the challenge that will undertake all participants in 2013.

Do not underestimate this course!

copyright TNFUTMB

copyright TNFUTMB

The last three years have largely shown that in the mountains, even in summer, it can be very cold, it can rain or snow and temperatures can drop below -10 degrees.

In brief conditions even if not extreme can make an event a lot more complicated than if it were taking place in good weather. Over the years, we have tried to progress in an attempt to make certain that you are always safe, and that you will find all along the route teams of doctors, nurses and general assistance should you need them. However nothing replaces your aptitude to avoid or overcome dangerous situations. You are the first and most important element as far as own safety due to your preparation, your experience and the equipment which you carry with you.

The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® is a trail which will lead you to spend more than 24 hours in the mountains including at least one entire night.

Be prepared!

Obligatory material

  • mobile phone with option enabling its use in the three countries
    (put in one’s repertoire the security numbers of the organisation, keep it switched on, do not hide one’s number and do not forget to set off with recharged batteries)
  • personal cup or tumbler 15cl minimum (water bottle not acceptable)
  • stock of water minimum 1 litre,
  • two torches in good working condition with replacement batteries,
  • survival blanket 1.40m x 2m minimum
  • whistle,
  • adhesive elastic band enable making a bandage or a strapping (mini 100cm x 6 cm),
  • food reserve,
  • jacket with hood and made with a waterproof (recommendation: minimum 10,000 Schmerber) and breathable (recommendation: RET lower than 13) membrane (Gore-Tex or similar) which will withstand the bad weather in the mountains.
  • long running trousers or leggings or a combination of leggings and long socks which cover the legs completely,
  • Additional warm midlayer top: One single midlayer long sleeve top for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 180g (Men, size M)
    OR a two piece clothing combination of a long sleeve baselayer/midlayer for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 110g (Men, size M) and a windproof jacket* with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) protection
  • cap or bandana
  • warm hat
  • warm and waterproof gloves
  • waterproof over-trousers

* The windproof jacket does not replace the mandatory waterproof jacket with hood

UTMB press release

2013 will continue to see the international success of the four events of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®! Yet again this year trail-runners from the world over will be at the rendezvous, keen to attend to face the challenge, and despite the increase in the number of qualification points necessary this year (7 instead of 5 for the UTMB®, 2 instead of 1 for the CCC®).

As in 2012, 3 600 candidates were unable to validate their registration this year due to lack of places.

UTMB® [Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®] : 3 countries – 168 km and 9 600 meters of vertical gain in semi-autonomy. 2300 runners at the start on Friday at 16:30 from Chamonix to Chamonix in 46 hours max.

CCC® [Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix] : countries – 100 km and 5 950 meters of vertical gain in semi-autonomy.    1 900 runners at the start on Friday at 9:00 from Courmayeur to Chamonix in 26 hours max.

TDS® [sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie] : 119 km and 7 250 meters of vertical gain in semiautonomy. 1400 runners at the start on Wednesay at 7:00am from Courmayeur to Chamonix in 33 hours max.

PTL® [la Petite Trotte à Léon] : 3 countries – 300 km and 24 000 meters of vertical gain in complete autonomy. A non-stop adventure race without rankings open to 80 teams Start on Monday at 22:00 from Chamonix to Chamonix in 138 hours

Registration figures

Pre-registration was closed on the January 8th with a record number of 10 105 candidates (of whom 10.3% were women) for the 4 events of the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.

The UTMB® and the CCC® were over subscribed. It is obvious that the organisation are proud of the popularity and success of the event but a serious draw was necessary and will mean that numerous trail-runners will have to postpone their dream for at least another year.

It is worth remembering that those who were unlucky in the 2012 draw were able to register without going through the draw this year. The limit of numbers for each event meant that there was a draw for the UTMB® and the CCC®. 2 500 requests for registration for the UTMB® and 1 100 for the CCC® were not able to be accepted this year.

The TDSTM registers a score in permanent progression, with more than 1 300 requests. It may, taking into account over-booking, accept round 500 runners form the more than 3 600 unlucky in the draw for the UTMB® or the CCC®.

Full card equally for the PTLTM for which registration closed on January 3rd, with 88 teams registered.

A reminder that each race is limited to the number of participants possible in order to respect the quality of the race for the runners, the security, the environment and the quality of the organisation.

The The North Face® Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc® races are welcoming 74 nations:

A record number in the field of open country races!

International participation is as always important with a record level of 49.6% who are not French.

In the lead France with only 50.4%. Then there is Spain with (9.5%) and Italy (8.9%). It is worth noting that Japan is in 5th position with 3.6% of the participants.

The nations represented are : Albania / Algeria / Andorra / Argentina / Australia / Austria / Belgium / Belarus / Bolivia / Brazil / Bulgaria / Canada / Chile / China / Colombia / Costa Rica / Croatia / Czech Republic / Denmark /  Ecuador / England / Estonia / Finland / France / Gabon / Germany / Greece / Hungary / Iceland / Indonesia / Iran / Ireland / Israel / Italy / Japan / Jordan / Latvia / Lithuania / Luxembourg / Malaysia / Malta / Mexico / Moldavia / Monaco / Morocco / Netherlands / New Zealand / Niger / Northern Ireland / Norway / Peru / Philippines / Poland /  Portugal / Rumania / Russia / Scotland / Serbia / Singapore / Slovakia / Slovenia / South Africa / South Korea / Spain / Sweden / Switzerland / Thailand / Turkey / Ukraine / Uruguay / Venezuela / United States of America / Wales / Zimbabwe

A world-wide success which confirms the The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc® as a trail-running event which has become a dream for trail runners from all over the world.