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.
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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
As one season comes to an end the planning of a new season starts and today we are pleased to announce the calendar for the Skyrunner® World Series and Continental Championships 2015.
In less than three years, Skyrunning has grown to a new level and today, the announcement of the 2015 calendar signifies a significant expansion of the sport and it truly becomes a world series with the addition of the Continental Championships.
It is a very exciting time and in conjunction with the growth of the National Series, it has never been a better time to be a Skyrunner…
Lauri van Houten, executive director for the ISF today provided the details of the new series and lists the full calendar for 2015.
The big news for 2015 is that the Series goes global – more races, more places and, now, the chance to count an extra race in the ranking. The successful 5 SKY/5 ULTRA/ 5 VK formula stays where three results out of five are scored, but now you can choose a fourth race from the Continental Championships of your choice.
Twenty-seven races in nine countries stretch across five continents. Africa, Australia and China make their first appearance together with the rugged mountains north of the Arctic Circle in Norway.
New Skyrunner® National Series will be announced throughout the year, so skyrunning closer to home becomes a tangible reality in: Africa, North & South America, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Oceania, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain.
Benefits in the Series and Championships include 1,700 race slots, 450 free entries, 250 accommodation and 80 travel slots. The Series final $ 25,000 is redistributed and additional prizes – not just for the winners – are on the way.
We are proud to reconfirm and thank our our partners Salomon, Active Patch 4U, Compressport, Scott Sports, inov-8, Arc’teryx and La Sportiva for their support and look forward to announcing new ones for 2015.
2015 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES & CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
IMPORTANT please note re scoring:
Points will be available in 3 Skyrunner® World Series races + 1Continental Championship race for each discipline.
2015 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES
July 19 – Dolomites SkyRace® – 22 km, Canazei – Italy
August 22 – Matterhorn Ultraks 46K – Zermatt – Switzerland
September 5 – The Rut 25K – Montana – USA
October 4 – Suunto Lantau 2 Peaks – 21 km, Hong Kong – China
October 18 – Skyrunning Extreme – 23 km, Limone Sul Garda – Italy
May 9 – Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 75 km, La Palma – Spain
June 27 – Mont Blanc 80K – Chamonix – France
August 2 – Tromsø SkyRace® – 45 km, Tromso – Norway
September 6 – The Rut 50K – Montana – USA
September 19 – Ultra Pirineu – 103 km, Bagà – Spain
July 10 – Kilomètre Vertical Face De Bellevarde, Val D’Isère – France
July 17 – Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei – Italy
August 1 – Tromsø Vertical Kilometer®, Tromso – Norway
September 4 – Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer®, Montana – USA
October 16 – Vertical Kilometer® Crèste de la Mugheira, Limone Sul Garda – Italy
May 17 – SKY Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri – 42 km, Zegama – Spain
July 12 – ULTRA Ice-Trail Tarentaise – 65 km, Val d’Isère – France
June 26 – VERTICAL KM Vertical, Chamonix – France
July 18 – SKY Ti DoDo Trail – 25 km, Black River Gorges – Mauritius
July 18 – ULTRA Xtreme DoDo Trail – 50 km, Le Morne – Mauritius
February 7 – SKY Sai Kung – 26 km- Hong Kong – China
February 7 – ULTRA Sai Kung – 50 km, Hong Kong – China
July 19 – ULTRA Power of Four Trail – 50 km, Aspen – Colorado
October 3 – SKY Flagstaff SkyRace® – 39 km, Flagstaff – Arizona
October 4 – VERTICAL Flagstaff Vertical Kilometer®, Flagstaff – Arizona
11 April – ULTRA Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon®– 75 km – Australia
12 April – SKY Buffalo Stampede SkyMarathon® – 41 km – Australia
SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES PRIZES
US $25,000 will be awarded to each Series M/F champion.
Are there really any differences when it comes to racing in Europe & America? Runners from both sides of the Atlantic have their say about trail running on both continents.
When Michel Poletti, president of ITRA, spoke recently at the presentation of the Spain Ultra Cup about what type of international race organizations would de targeted for future membership, he affirmed that the ITRA would be particularly hoping to attract “organisations with long-distance races taking place in natural scenery“. Although this definition may sound a little vague, it is in fact quite difficult to find a common denominator that might aptly describre races taking place on both sides of the Atlantic.
Are we talking about the same kind of race on both continents? It doesn’t seem that way from what some of our top runners have to say. In any case, surely the “variations on a theme” are what make this sport so appealing, right? What are the differences anyway, between trail running & mountain running? According to the ISF, “The difference lies in the terminology itself: trail & montain“.
We’ve asked some of the top runners about what it is that makes racing different on both sides of the Atlantic. Here are their answers, together with our conclusions:
American races, much faster
The main difference, which everyone seems to agree on, is the greater technical difficulty of races in Europe and the faster speed of races run in the US.
As Tòfol Castanyer points out, this means that“American races are more runnable” suggesting that faster ultra-distance racers have the advantage, as opposed to mountain running specialists.
This difference has already been discussed in our article in Spanish, la diferencia entre trail running, fell running y carrera de montaña. In the US the sport is called “trail running“, whereas in Europe, terms such asmountain running, skyrunning or fell running (UK) are used. The term “trail running” obviously refers to the kind of track or path followed, whereas in Europe it’s all about “mountains“. Whereas “trail running” doesn’t necessarily imply elevation gains.
“In Europe the elevation gains are usually greater“says Miguel Heras,“I think that this difference is motivating for us Europeans when we go there, as it is for the Americans when they come over to Europe to compete.
Stricter rules in the US
Many of the races held in the US run through national parks, which follow a stricter legislation than we’re used to in Europe, regarding how hikers & runners should use the footpaths or trails. All these measures are imposed with the greater benefit of protecting the lanscape & natural habitat of the species found in the parks. This means that anyone wondering off the trail will be sanctioned (usually with disqualification), something that Europeans are simply not used to.
As Emelie Forsberg jokes, “I think it´s like with everything in America; trail races aren’t any different you know“. Rules are rules!
In Europe, things are very different, where, in most cases,the race course simply follows the most direct route across the mountain.
“In Scotland“, for example, says Andy Symonds,” the hills are steep, there are great open spaces without trees, there is grass and bog all over the place. The result is that fell races go straight through fields and up and down hills. Race routes are driven by the shortest lines rather than by path networks”.
Consecuently, European trail runners find that they have to change their whole approach to racing, as Silvia Serafini states, “I know that in the US there are very strict rules about ‘shortcuts‘. You are out of the race if you don’t follow exactly the signed trail“. Kilian Jornet can testify to this, as he was stripped of his prize money and course record, in last year’s Speedgoat 50k for cutting switchbacks.
In Europa, it’s more competitive
So what’s Dakota Jones take on the subject? He interestingly points out that “ In America,trail running came out of a culture of hiking and mountain climbingthat has its roots in solitude and escape“. Whereas, “Europeans accept mountain running more and are allowed to have more people in their races, so the scene is much more professional than anywhere else”. ” When Americans race, they are almost afraid to say they are racing, because they don’t want to betray traditional values about the purity of the sport“.
In an episode of Kilian´s Quest we can see how the young Catalonian runner meets up with running legend, Pablo Vigil. It’s interesting to compare how the two are dressed; Kilian with his specialized gear –Suunto GPS heart rate monitor, Salomon technical shorts & training shoes, while Pablo Vigilcan be found wearing the traditional runners sorts and a pair of Nike road trainers. Although this is a simple anecdote, it does undeline the point that, in general, European runners seem to get moredressed up for the occasion!
Anna Frost comments that “Clothing differs…with fashion and trends. Euro wearing more technical lycra and USA wearing looser fitting comforts.
What’s in common? People, volunteers, the spirit of racing
There seems to be a common agreement among runners that there is one characteristic to be found on both sides of the Atlantic: the spirit of running, be it trail running in the US or fell running (UK), mountain running or skyrunning in Europe, “our mutual appreciation for the mountains & outdoor spaces”, says Alfredo Gil, Spain’s national champion. “I think we all have that in common“.
American, Stevie Kremer, also emphasises this point & recognizes the efforts of all the people, behind the scenes, who support the races: “both have incredible supporters and volunteers, without which these races would never be successful!”
It seems that, as more and more runners make the jump, from one continent to another, things are changing. As Jonathan Wyatt observes, ” We see a lot of North American runners who have learnt a lot from the European style of trail running and they are excited to bring some of these elements to North America including the more technical running trails“.
Finally, let’s just remember the words of Silvia Serafini, who defines the atmosphere of our sport perfectly, “I can’t really choose which I like most, racing in America or in Europe. I love the atmosphere, the welcome of the people, which I have found on both continents“.
This article is a re post from : corredordemontana.com
It is reproduced with the full approval of corredordemontana.com and Nigel John Wilson and has not been altered or adjusted in anyway. The original article is available HERE should you wish to view it.
Mathéo and I synchronised our watches, switched on the stopwatch and gave each other five for luck before starting to run. It was 4:50 am, and it wasn’t cold in the church square in Chamonix. We were in shorts and thermal T-shirts, but nerves and excitement probably did not let us think about anything other than the challenge ahead. Mont Blanc, as majestic as ever, was just waking up and, from the square, we could spot the headlamps of those who had spent the night at the mountain refuge and were now preparing to reach the summit.
We are ascending well, within the estimated time. Upon arriving at the crack of Grands Mulet, we rope together for safety reasons as large amounts of snow have accumulated there this year. Halfway up, we spot Seb and Vivien, who have come to give us support and to film us. The sun is barely rising and the scenery is breathtaking. We are both using sticks to help us to climb and move faster. The marks we gouged into the ground a few days ago have lasted, and we follow them, so we can move fast and carry on with the ascent.
Kilian’s Quest will be no longer and the new project?
It will start this year, 2012 and commence to 2015. It’s a new departure that will see Kilian attempt to improve the record ascent and descent of some of the most iconic, high and complicated world’s mountains.
His adventure will start with Crossing Mont Blanc. The first one will be on skis going from Champex to Contamines taking in some of the major peaks of the massif and of course, those peaks will be followed with some crazy descents. Apparently he will be undertaking this trip with two companions. His second Mont Blanc crossing will be from Courmayer to the summit of Mont Blanc.
This will be the challenge for 2012 and one assumes that he will then concentrate on his running and skiing for the remainder of the year before his plans continue in 2013.
2013 will see attempts on key European Summits. He will start in Russia and Mt Elbrus. Following this he will go to the Cervino and then finally he will go to Mont Blanc and attempt the record set in 1990 for the PA Goblet. Arguably the Cervino will be the toughest challenge, Bruno Brunod still holds the time of just under 3hrs 15m for this tough and technical mountain.
In 2014 he will go to America and attempt two high peaks, one in the North and one in the South. In the north he will attempt McKinley and in the south he will attempt Aconcagua in South America.
The culmination of this ambitious project will be in 2015.
As you can imagine, if you are going to finish a project like this, you may as well finish on a high! Yes, the highest point – Everest. Kilian plans to go up and down 8488 meters as quickly as possible.
This project confirms that Kilian is like a river. Ever moving, ever bending and flexible to changes. He is possibly one of the most gifted athletes ever. A natural runner, skier, cyclist and so on…
He loves a challenge and this new project takes him to a whole new level of personal development. He is still so young that one but can’t help wonder what incredible achievements he make in his lifetime.
Kilian will not undertake these challenges alone and will have a pool of resources available to him. He will also call on several people to help facilitate, one of whom will be his sister. Other names are to be confirmed.
From Kilian’s website, updated 29/05/2012 17:58pm:
Today I am here to put forward a new project I have had in mind for some time. When I was a child, I had a photo of Cervino on my bedroom wall, I read Mesner’s books and I used to flick through my parents’ photos searching for mountains to dream about. This project has its roots in that time but it has been dormant until today.
Summits of my Life is a 4-year project, in which we intend to run the length of the world’s greatest mountain ranges, trying to climb and descend some of the most spectacular mountains in the world as quickly as possible.
By no means does this project mean that I am leaving Trail Running or mountain skiing behind. On the contrary, given my passion for mountains, I want to pioneer the most alpinist part of my being and I believe I am now ready to attempt this.
The project will start off this summer with two itineraries at the birthplace of Alpinism, where the very first climbers began to dream of reaching summits. Both will be in the Mont Blanc mountain range. The first will be on skis from Champex to Contamines, reaching some of the most important summits and doing some of the most spectacular descents. Stephane and Mateo will ski alongside me. The second will be from Courmayeur to Chamonix reaching the summit of Mont Blanc, ascending the Italian southern face and descending the northern face.
In 2013 I’m going to attempt to break ascent and descent records of the most important summits in Europe, beginning with the highest, Mount Elbrus, in Russia. The next one, Mount Cervino, is possibly the most difficult to break, with an impressive time of 3h14m achieved by Bruno Brunod. At a technical level and in terms of risk taking, this mountain will definitely be the toughest. The last attempt in 2013 will be to do Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix, for which P.A.Goblet’s record has held since 1990.
In 2014 we are going to cross the Atlantic to reach the two highest American summits: Mount Aconagua in South America with its nearly 7,000m altitude and famous winds and Mount McKinley or Denali in Alaska, a summit with especially tough weather conditions.
The target for 2015 will be to climb up and down Mount Everest as fast as possible
I am a competitor. I like to compete, to go beyond, to search for my limits. This is the reason why this project is based on striving to break records and to do fast ascents of those mountains that mean most to me. But records and times should only be important whilst running. Once back at the bottom, they should vanish. They serve to stimulate you, to find the limits inside yourself; they should be a mere intrinsic motivation. This is why this project is not only about breaking records or climbing up and down mountains fast and with little equipment. It is also about transmitting values. I don’t mean to say they are the right values, the ones to follow, but they are the ones I was given and those I want to pass on.
Violoncello player Lluís Claret once told me some words I will never forget. “The voice of many people is in your sound…Our sound, our voice, is also the testimony of those we have admired and loved, those who have influenced and taught us.” Mountains have taught me a great deal, I owe them who I am, and also those who showed me the way to know the mountains, those who took me there and those I took there. They all filled my life with certain values, and it wouldn’t make sense to break records without them.
The team taking part in this project is equally small. Apart from myself, there is Sebastien Montaz, who is going to shoot the films with little equipment, trying to find spectacular images. Here is a video he has prepared to show you the philosophy underlying the films he intends to shoot during this project.
Apart from Seb, there is the Lymbus team, led by Jordi, who will be in charge of all communication with the media and who will find the way to make this project possible.
In some mountains I will count on the help of good friends and renowned alpinists, Jordi Tosas and Jordi Corominas, whom I totally respect and trust. I thank them for their experienced guidance.
Likewise, and although this is an entirely personal venture, the brands which are supporting me know about the project and will be backing me in my challenge. On some occasions, and given the particular nature of the project, very special equipment will be required which we will work on together with these brands. I also thank them for their trust and support in this endeavour.
Given the magnitude of this project, we are looking for a main sponsor to help us guarantee that it will be carried out. Over the last months, efforts have been focused on technical aspects. As of now, an important challenge begins which is to find the resources to carry it out. But, as we always say, willingness can move mountains.
This is an open project because you never know what tomorrow might bring, let alone the next 4 years. Many friends, local guides, people from the different regions will give me a hand with the routes, logistics, training or cheering me on at each challenge. We won’t pick the best or fastest alpinists or managers. Instead, those who accompany us will be friends and those who have trained and shared adventures with me.
Simplicity is the other value I wish to put forward. There is no doubt that technique and technology aid man to reach far and run fast but what for? Walter Bonatti distinguished between “Man’s alpinism” and “Technique’ alpinism.” We’ll try to be as naked as possible in the presence of nature, with the least possible equipment so as to feel and face the mountain with no intermediaries. Great means are not necessary to do the things that fill one the most. The simpler the means, the more personal and greater the value we lay on them.
The idea I will try to convey throughout all this time is that we are part of this world, just one more part, no more or less important, just like any animal, stone or tree. We are all equally significant. “The Earth is not an inheritance from our ancestors, but a heritage for our children.” (Indian proverb). We’ll try to be as silent as possible in the mountains, so that our steps are hardly heard, and as ecological and economical as possible.
And finally, a sentence by the great writer Pablo Cohelo, “There is only one thing that stops dreams from coming true; the fear of failure.” I am aware this is a very ambitious and hard project. But one must be ambitious, know where the hazards are and risk failure. Without trying, dreams remain dreams, and we’ll never know who we really are. In the end, we’ll understand the dream is not about breaking records, but rather about the ways to reach the summit, and failure isn’t about not reaching the summit or stopping the chronometer a few minutes later, but about not being able to take this path.
To finish this presentation, I’d like to show you some images. There will be very few of us on the mountains during the ventures, but we’ll show you what the mountains and the people we meet teach us. So at the end of each season, in October-November, some short films (5-8 minutes long) will be displayed on our website. And during the autumn, a longer film will be produced summarizing the experiences of each season.
To start with, and as an image is worth a thousand words, here are some images that will show you better what I mean.