Kilian Jornet and Maude Mathys make history at Sierre-Zinal report by Salomon Running

 ZINAL, SWITZERLAND – Sierre-Zinal is a legendary trail race because of its nearly five decades of history and revered athletic performances, and on Sunday along its famed trails in the Swiss Alps another trail running legend added yet another chapter to both his own storied legacy and the race’s as well. Setting out with a blazing fast pace, Spain’s Kilian Jornet (Team Salomon) ran away from one of the most competitive trail running fields in recent memory to win in 2:25:35, shattering Jonathan Wyatt’s longstanding course record of 2:29:12 by three minutes and 37 seconds. It was Jornet’s seventh win at Sierre-Zinal in nine tries. 

📷Kilian at the 2014 Sierre-Zinal

On the women’s side, Switzerland’s Maude Mathys* (Team Salomon) also broke the Sierre-Zinal course record, winning in 2:49:20 to best Anna Pichrtova’s 2008 time by nearly five minutes.

*(In 2015 Mathys was reprimanded for an ADRV for using clomiphene, a fertility drug which features on the WADA Prohibited List under section S4: Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. Mathys was let off with a warning as the drug was being taken in the hope of getting pregnant.)

Both Jornet and Mathys won from the front, surging to the lead on the challenging early uphill. As part of the second season of the Golden Trail World Series, Sierre-Zinal had another deep, talented field.

That seemed to bring the best out of the athletes taking to the starting line at the fourth stop of the six-race Series.Jornet was chased valiantly by 2016 winner *Petro Mamu from Eritrea, who also broke the former course record, finishing just 56 seconds behind the Spaniard in 2:26:31.

*(Petro Mamu (ERI) tested positive at the doping control in Premana after both the World Mountain Running Championships and the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. Mamu received a nine-month ban starting on 19 September 2017 after admitting to the findings and co-operating with the IAAF (reduced from 2 years).  All results of his  following 30 July 2017 were cancelled.  The substance being a medication normally used to assist with Asthma.)

American runner Jim Walmsley (Team Hoka), competing for the first time at Sierre-Zinal, was 3rd in an impressive 2:31:52. Juan Carlos Carera was 4th in 2:32:52 and Great Britain’s Robbie Simpson was 5th in 2:33:55.

Kilian Jornet grabbed the lead a few strides into the race and was alone from there on out. The course gains 2,200 meters from the start in Sierre to the finish line in the idyllic alpine village of Zinal, rolling along before a big downhill finish. Jornet wasted no time letting the competition know he was going for broke. At the Chandolin checkpoint he was ahead of Mamu by two minutes 1:05:59 and in hot pursuit of the course record set by Wyatt in 2003.

“I checked the time after the climb from the start and I knew it was good,” Jornet said. “I expected a couple guys to come with me on the first climb like Petro and Davide Magnini, but I was alone from the start after a few hundred meters. I have big respect for the record of Jonathan. He was a leader of the sport so to follow in his footsteps is a great feeling. This is special of all the victories.”

Jornet set his sights on the 31km Sierre-Zinal race with a dedicated training regimen that he knew was necessary if he was to approach the record of Wyatt. He scaled back his racing schedule this season to focus his training in an attempt to see just how fast he could be.

“I usually average about 15 races per year, and there have been years where I did 50 races between trail running and ski-mo, so you don’t train. You race and recover,” Jornet said after his win. “The goal this year was to focus on training and see if it makes a difference in the performance. I always target to win, but I plan a strategy in each race so I don’t really race full-out because I know I have another race just after, sometimes the next week. This year, the goal was to give everything and not have to worry about recovering for the next race. And I was six minutes faster than my best time here so it seemed to work. I thought it was possible to break the record, but I thought I’d be counting seconds.”

After winning in his 2019 debut at Zegama-Aizkorri Mountain Marathon in June, Jornet was appearing in his second Golden Trail World Series race of the season. Next, he will set his sights on the oldest trail race in America, the Pikes Peak Mountain Marathon in Colorado, the fifth stop of the 2019 Golden Trail World Series, on August 25th

In the women’s race, Mathys made sure Jornet wasn’t the only one breaking a record on the day. Her time of 2:49:20 was five minutes ahead of fellow Swiss Judith Wyder (Team Salomon) who finished in 2:54:20, and it broke the former course record of 2:54:26 by five minutes and six seconds. Wyder was also under the former record by six seconds. 

Mathys was 3rd at the Dolomyths Sky run in Italy a couple of weeks back, but on Sunday she used her strength in the uphill to put distance between herself and the field in the early going. She was more than three minutes ahead at the Chandolin checkpoint and was never seen again by the rest of the pack.  

Italy’s Silvia Rampazzo (Team Tornado) was 3rd with another strong effort on the Golden Trail World Series. She finished in 2:56:17. New Zealand’s Ruth Croft (Team Scott) continued her amazing consistency with a 4th place finish in 3:01:56, while  France’s Anais Sabrié was 5th in 3:01:58.  

ABOUT THE GOLDEN TRAIL SERIES:

The elite runners of the Golden Trail World Series are trying to earn points in the season-long chase for a spot in the Grand Final, which will take place in Nepal in October. The athletes must participate in three of the six races during the series in order to be eligible for the final. The top-10 men and women with the most points in their three best races will earn a trip for themselves and a person of their choice to the Grand Final. The overall final standings (and the men’s and women’s champions) of the Golden Trail World Series will be determined again by the runners’ three best finishes during the season, plus their result at the Grand Final.  

 

For up-to-date Golden Trail World Series standings

Photo credits: Martina Valmassoi and Jordi Saragossa

 

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Jasmin Paris breaks The Spine

Jasmin Paris has long been regarded as the Queen of British mountain running! Her record on the Bob Graham Round and other rounds, her victories in skyrunning and her down to earth, no nonsense approach have endeared her to all fans of the sport. 

Yesterday, she won The Spine, a 268-mile run billed as the UK’s toughest race race, in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. It was a record breaking performance that not only provided victory in the female race, but an outright victory. Even more stunning was her time… It obliterated the existing female record of 109 hours 54 minutes and more notably, the men’s record of 95 hours 17 minutes set by Eoin Keith.

The gap between male and female competitors in ultra running has always been closer – the longer the race, the better women perform. Ann Trason proved this many years ago and more recently, Rory Bosio placed in the top-10 at UTMB. However, Jasmin’s victory here at The Spine is  turning heads and rightly so.

To provide perspective, she has just appeared on the UK’s BBC Breakfast Show!

Starting on Sunday January 13th at 8am from Edale, Jasmin soon set her stall out running with past winners Eoin Keith and Eugeni Rosello. The trio pulled away, opened a gap and those in the know, me included, wondered could Jasmin pull something special off.

At Hawks, Eugeni and Jasmin forged away from Eoin. It’s not unusual for the lead to change in such a long race as sleep requirements vary and therefore one can expect many variables. At Alston, Eugeni slept as fatigue and sleep deprivation took its toll. Jasmin saw this as an opportunity and pushed on.

At Greenhead, Jasmin had a lead of close to 2 hours. But one sleep and a charging Eugeni could change all that… No! Jasmin seemed unstoppable and took little rest. It was soon becoming clear that Jasmin was not only in a race to win outright but set an overall course record.

Strong winds, cold and rain were relentless but conditions in comparison to past editions were good – there was no snow to slow the pace.

A recent mother, news came out that in addition to obliterating the race at a ridiculous speed, she was actually expressing milk when she took a break! And talking of breaks, over the duration of the 268 mile journey, this amazing inov-8 athlete slept less than 8 hours.

At the finish, Jasmin’s story had become world news. Social media was illuminated with her story and mainstream media was suddenly interested in our niche sport of ultra running.

This victory makes us start to ask a question about records and in future, should races just have one classification and one course record? Jasmin and others before her, have proven that women can compete and more importantly, beat the best-of-the-best. 

It’s a stunning era for the sport and Jasmin is a true ambassador and role model to take the ultra running torch into a new era.

Many congratulations Jasmin!

Update:

Eugeni Rosello looked set for 2nd place but had to withdraw just 6km from the finish. The mountain safety team escorted him off the hill – such a sad end for a valiant battle. This opened the door for Eoin Keith who was 1st male and 2nd overall.

 

Episode 125 – Zach Miller, Caroline Boller, Samantha Gash

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 125 of Talk Ultra is our Christmas Show – Happy Christmas everyone! We have interviews with Zach Miller, Caroline Boller and Samantha Gash. We also have a review of the year and Niandi Carmont is co-hosting.

00:01:30

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is travelling the world and of course I recommend it as a great Christmas present… we mentioned in the last show about Running Beyond Event which will take place 3, 4 and 5th March in London, plans are progressing for that… in addition, Niandi and myself will now 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 and I will be also going to Sofia in Bulgaria on the 17th, 18th and 19th March for a trail, mountain and Skyrunning expo.

Need a run coach for 2017? Check out coaching with Ian and Niandi HERE

00:18:26 NEWS

Read the REVIEW of 2016 article HERE

00:23:00 INTERVIEW with Caroline Boller

01:30:35 INTERVIEW with Samantha Gash

02:20:45 INTERVIEW with Zach Miller

UP & COMING RACES

Belgium

Wallonia

53 km | 53 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website

French Guiana

100 Bornes du Père Noël | 100 kilometers | December 16, 2016 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

  1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website
  2. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website
  3. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM| 100 kilometers | December 18, 2016 | website
  4. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM| 50 kilometers | December 18, 2016 | website

USA

California

Woodside Ramble 50K | 50 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website

Florida

Ancient Oaks 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | December 17, 2016 | website

Indiana

HUFF 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website

Ohio

First Day of Winter 50K | 50 kilometers | December 18, 2016 | website

Tennessee

Lookout Mountain 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | December 17, 2016 | website

Texas

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

Houston Running Festival 100K | 100 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website

Houston Running Festival 100 Mile | 100 miles | December 17, 2016 | website

Houston Running Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website

Houston Running Festival 50 Mile | 50 miles | December 17, 2016 | website

Virginia

Seashore Nature Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | December 17, 2016 | website

 

03:30:00 Close

03:34:18

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Website – talkultra.com

Skyrunning Dolomites VK 2015 – Race Summary

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-0685

The stunning VK course in Canazei was greeted with clear skies and warm sun as runners assembled at the start today for the 8th edition of the Skyrunning Dolomites VK.

 

First runners departed at 0930 but the elite runners had to wait till 1130 for the men and 1135 for the ladies before they were un-leashed on the tough, steep gradients that finish 1000m in the Sky!

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-0986 ©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1004

Urban Zemmer was the odds on favourite for the race and he started as he meant to go on; pushing from the front at a relentless pace that defied the gradient. However, Zemmer was not alone. Philip Goetsch slotted in behind him and marked him step-by-step.

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1039

As they approached the final 150m, Goetsch was tucked in behind Zemmer drafting like a cyclist. In the finale 50m or so, he made his move and unleashed a devastating sprint that one would have though impossible on such a steep and rutted incline. So impressive was his performance that it resulted in a new course record!

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1062

Zemmer held on for 2nd place with a clear margin and Saul Padua Rodriguez also jumped a place in the closing stages and moved from 4th to take the final podium place.

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1132

Just as Zemmer was expected to dominate the men’s race, Laura Orgue was also hotly tipped as the ladies’ winner. Christel Dewalle didn’t agree with this prediction! Fresh from the Val d’Isere VK where she podiumed, Dewalle pushed this VK course to its limits and it was clear to see the determination and dedication in her eyes. She was victorious over surprise 2nd Eli Ann Dvergsdal and Laura Orgue placed 3rd.

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1155 ©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-1172

Attention now turns to the SkyRace on Sunday. Preview HERE

The field is stacked and we anticipate a battle royal in the men’s and ladies’ races.

  1. Christel Dewalle 00:38:21
  2. Eli Anne Dvergsdal 00:39:34
  3. Laura Orgué 00:40:02
  1. Philip Goetsch 00:32:38 – new CR
  2. Urban Zemmer 00:32:54
  3. Saul Padua Rodriguez 00:34:03

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

He has done it…! Congrats Jez

Jez on the Long Pathway

“At a 1601hrs this afternoon, 53 days 9 hours and 1 minute after setting from Cape Reigna, I finally completed my long journey down the Te Araroa trail, arriving in Bluff – lands end on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Gathered there waiting were my crew, Mark & James, my wife Gemma, my mum and my mother-in-law, Hilary. Damiano from the Storyteller Collective was there capturing the moment on photo and video, just has he done so magnificently throughout the expedition. They sprayed me with champagne and we danced around the landmark yellow finger post like we’d just won the lottery. There were bystanders around too, probably wondering what the heck was going on, but none of us gave a hoot. It was raw emotion for me; all my heart and soul, sweat and tears, had been put into realizing this moment, and it almost happened too suddenly to take it all in. I’ve been a robotic state for most of the time since I started – in my own little bubble – and I think it’s going to take several days to snap out of it. My body is also going to want to know what the heck is going on when I don’t run tomorrow; so I think some wind down jogging/ walking is going to be important”

DL_020213_TeAraroa_165

We will be catching up with Jez to hear him tell us in his own words how this adventure has impacted upon him and his running.

It certainly has been a most stunning journey.

Many congratulations Jez!

Catch up on his story and all the images via his blog HERE

Sandes in the Canyon

Ryan Sandes has just set a new record for the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Ryan had to abandon his Fish River Canyon Trail Run record attempt in 2011 due to heavy rains. The record for the 85km trail run was originally set on the 13th of July 1990 by South Africans Ronnie Muhl and Bruce Matthews – both seasoned Comrades runners – in a time of 11hrs 42min. It was then beaten by 3 Namibian locals Russell Paschke, Charlie du Toit and Coenraad Pool on the 16th of August 2003 in a time of 10hrs 54min.

Not liking to be beaten, Ryan decided he would have another go at the record in August 2012.

Charlie du Toit is quoted as saying  “This canyon is not for the faint hearted and an attempt to run it should not be taken light heartedly”.

Ryan had this to say:

“I know this challenge is going to extremely tough, especially coming off the back of my running the Western States 100miler in the USA at the end of June, but I can’t wait to get back into the canyon. The record attempt will be filmed by the African Attachment / Wandering Fever so I will keep everyone posted on where and when you can watch it,” 

copyright Ryan Sandes

The Fish River Hiking Trail starts at Hobas and ends 85 kilometres (53 mi) further south at Ai Ais. The trail has no facilities and hikers usually fast pack through in 3 to 5 days. Ryan completed the trail in an impressive time just sneaking under 7 hours with a time of 6:57.

Due to flash floods and high summer temperatures which frequently exceed 45°C, the hike is only open in winter. The season starts 1 May and ends 15 September (winter time in the Southern Hemisphere).

Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia. It is the second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep.

The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants. The river usually floods in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais is situated.

Upstream the river runs through horizontal dolomite strata. These strata formed part of the canyon about 650 million years ago when plate movement cracked the earth, the first process in the formation of the Fish River Canyon.

Lower down, a granite complex system is exposed to form a characteristic river bed that results in forms like Fingerspitze. In this area, a fault runs north-south, which accounts for the gorge-like channel and the presence of hot sulphurous springs.

You can read more about Ryan here

You may like to listen to Talk Ultra and our interview with Ryan here

The African Attachment who have documented Ryan’s career and are making a film about him can be checked out here

Information on the Fish River Canyon is available here

 

…six impossible things…

Timothy Olson – Western States 2012

…sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Fairy tales do come true; they do!

Timothy Allen Olson was a drunk and a drug taker. Not content with whom he was as a person; he sought a false confidence offered to him by his friends in booze and illegal substances.

As he says, it was easy for him to enjoy this ‘new me’. But it was a false life. A life that made him unhappy and a life that he felt was going to lead in only one direction… even ending up in jail and on probation didn’t wake him up to the reality of life.

Living in a depressed state he told me of the downward spiral and how one day, stood in the shower crying he decided he wanted to end his life. He’s not proud of it. In actual fact he now thinks the opposite. He says:

“It makes me real sad to think of that now considering when I have so much to live for”

This moment helped define the person he has now become! Feeling a need to prove the world wrong and of course himself, Timothy decided to stop being weak and to start living!

He started to run daily. In time the alcohol and drugs disappeared and the endorphin fix that running gave him became a lifesaver. Free from the addictions and substances that had potentially ruined his life, Timothy looked for new purpose. He started coaching track and cross country at a local High School. He made running fun for them and in the process of doing so, he found a new life.

With college over he went on a road trip. He lived a simple life running trails with his new buddy, a small dog and although ultra running was something he was not aware of, he knew that he wanted to be out in the open, running and taking in the beautiful Western vistas.

Turns out that coffee played an instrumental change in his whole new existence… or should I say the lady serving the coffee. Timothy knew that Krista was the one for him. He plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date. It didn’t take long for both of them to realize that they had found ‘the one’.

With a baby due in August, Timothy and Krista have a full and wonderful life ahead of them. As they decorate the baby’s room in preparation for the arrival, they have been writing favorite quotes on the wall. A favorite of Timothy’s is from Alice In Wonderland:

“…sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

It would seem that after storming to victory at the iconic 2012 Western States 100 mile Endurance Run in a course record time of 14:46 that Timothy Allen Olson, his wife Krista and the new unborn baby really do have the confirmation that fairy tales can come true!

You can listen to a full interview with Timothy Allen Olson on Talk Ultra episode 12 via:

iTunes – talkultra or HERE