David Johnston Interview – Iditarod Trail Invitation 350 #ITI350 and Susitna 100

dave family

 

“This year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational begins in a couple days and I’m looking forward to watching what David Johnston does this time around. Will his recent 18-hour assault of the Susitna 100 hinder his ITI performance? Not many people would be bold enough to run a 100-miler as hard as they can a week before a 350 mile race in which they are trying to run as fast as possible, but Dave is one of the most bold racers I’ve ever come across. He’s also one of the most upbeat, happy, and likeable people you will ever meet. I’ve talked in the past about how ‘unbreakable’ I feel Steve Reifenstuhl’s foot record is at the ITI, but Dave might just be the one person who is crazy enough to try, and talented/experienced enough to pull it off. A year ago I would have said, no way could Dave ever run the ITI as fast as Steve did, but after his amazing run there last year, and his jaw dropping performance at Susitna last week, he has proven that it is within his grasp if the trail conditions are in his favor. He simply has an ability to drag a sled for long distances on snow really, really, really well. I would love to be out there giving it a go beside him, but that will have to wait for another year (or a few) for me. For now I’ll just have to settle for rooting for Dave from the warmth and comfort of my house here in Colorado. Go get ’em, buddy!”

by Geoff Roes (posted on Facebook, Feb 21st 2014)

Geoff sums it up perfectly. I personally followed the Iditarod Trail Invitational closely last year (2013) as I had arranged with Joe Grant to monitor his progress with a series of step-by-step interviews to record his journey as he prepared for his first attempt at this epic 350-mile race. After the race in a candid catch up, Joe continued to be amazed by what the race leader, David Johnston had achieved, when I mentioned to Joe about my interview with David he said, ‘That’s awesome Ian. Look forward to hearing about it. Dave continues to run phenomenal races on these winter courses. Can’t wait to see what he does at the ITI this year.’

 

I caught up with David just 5-days after he set an incredible new course record at the Susitna-100. Running a time of 18:22, this smashed Geoff Roes 2007 record of 21:43 out of the park.

Believe it or not, today, Sunday 23rd February 2014, David won’t be at home with his feet up recovering, he will be on the start line of the ITI350 to see what he can do… again!

 

 INTERVIEW

IC: In last years punishing 350-mile ITI race, ultra runner David Johnston endured countless problems; sleep deprivation and hallucinations, nausea and diarrhea, sinus problems and a strained right knee. The soles of his feet were numb when he crossed the finish line, and the numbness persisted for more than a week afterward. (From http://www.adn.com)

But David Johnston returns for more!

DJ: Thanks Ian, great to be here.

IC: Last year we followed Joe Grant step-by-step as he prepared for the ITI. It was great to get an insight how he prepared and then catch up afterwards. One thing he said continually was. “This guy David Johnston has had an incredible run, what he has achieved is incredible’. From the outside looking in, the ITI is a small community. Not many know about this race. The 350-mile or the just crazy 1000-mile race; what is it for you that attracts you to this race and severity of course.

DJ: Living in Alaska is the big draw. You know, we Alaskans think of ourselves as locals, we cut our teeth on the shorter races and it gets in your blood and you think what is next? The ITI sits up there as the top shelf whiskey and you long to do it. So it’s great to get the opportunity and when you do, you give it your best.

IC: You completed the 2013 race in 4hrs 13min short of the previous record (considered unbeatable) did you go out for the record or did you just see how it goes?

DJ: When I started the race last year I think my main goal was to see if I could run the whole way. I didn’t know if I could do that. When I started off I was with Joe Grant. We were together for the first 30-miles. He asked, ‘what are you going to do?’ I said you know what, ‘Joe, I am gonna see if I can run the whole way.’ He replied by saying, ‘your nuts, you can’t run the whole way’. But I thought to myself I am gonna try… In the first 150-miles I went through some tough times. At mile 135 I left Fingerlake checkpoint and it was do or die. I probably shouldn’t have left but I was like an animal. I thought I would put my head down and just go for it. I hit mile 200 and I thought, you know what, I am close to the record. I thought lets go for it. I ran as hard as I could… even with 50-miles left I had to run within 10-hours (5-miles per hour). That is pretty much top speed on snow…

IC: That’s crazy! It would be hard enough trying to do that on fresh legs at the beginning but after 4-days? Wow; crazy.

DJ: (laughs) I pulled it off for a while but with 40-miles left I was on pace and then the snow started at it came harder and harder. My effort was reduced to 3-miles per hour and I could see it slipping away. I thought this is all I have got! I definitely had to put up with Mother Nature but that is this race! It was the first time I had ever decided to just go for it… You just don’t know what you will get?

IC: How do you just go for it when it is a 350-mile race in such tough conditions? You have touched on that you live in the environment so you will be far more savvy and aware of what you can and can’t do and of course what will and won’t work. I know that in the process Joe Grant went through, there are certain things that he had to guess. Once at the end, his learning curve was complete. Joe realized what he would do next time and things he wouldn’t do. Do you think that the success for you is that you know what works?

DJ: Yes, it’s a huge part of it. I learn daily. You learn the basics the first time but you never stop learning.

IC: Of course you have just completed Susitna-100 and we will come on to that soon. However it would be rude not to discuss your ITI350 from 2013 but part of the reason I am not talking in depth is because today, Sunday 23rd, you are about to go and do it all again… just 7-days after Susitna. What are the tips that you could provide for anyone competing in something like this?

DJ: Practice and practice. Get out with a sled everyday. Wear the shoes that you are going to wear and prepare the mind. The mentality of it can’t be underestimated. Get out in the cold conditions and get used to what you will have to endure. If you have an indoor track near your home, don’t use it! You need to be out and in the conditions to get ready. It’s just little things. It is interesting, in the snow I run so much better than on dry ground. I think it’s the excitement and the energy of the snow. The whiteness. You know, Christmas is my favourite holiday. Maybe it’s just like Christmas all the time. I can’t repeat my performances on dry land, that is a long term aim for me but something about the snow energizes me.

IC: I opened up our chat mentioning all those things; sleep deprivation and hallucinations, nausea and diarrhea, sinus problems and a strained right knee. How do you mentally focus to get yourself putting one front in front of the other? Is this natural or have you had to work on it?

DJ: You know what, luck plays a big part. Some days it just doesn’t work but I think of cold beer or a great song to help me push through. You know, the benefit of these races is that you just don’t have too many points that you can drop! So, even when you are low you have no choice but to continue. You know, you hit mile 60 and feel like death in a normal race and you can drop because it’s easy, so this is a big plus to racing out here. You are forced to go on.

IC: In terms of food and nutrition, how do you sustain yourself from day-to-day? The interview in adn.com mentions, Smarties and Pop Tarts. Is simple food and simple sugars the way to fuel yourself or do you need a good hot meal at an aid station?

DJ: I’m a big guy with size 12 feet so I need fuel. My biggest problem is my stomach. So that is 75% of the battle with me. If I can figure out how to make my stomach cooperate I will do fine. I am really careful taking in stuff. When my body allows it, I will eat what I can… hot meal or whatever. When my bodies complaining, that is when I kinda just nibble on Smarties or a piece of Pop Tart to try and keep some calories going in. The Susitna-100 last week I ran on probably only 200-calories. With the effort I was putting out I couldn’t take anything. I try to eat well the week and night before any race. It’s a weak link for m. I’d love to work it out one day.

dave susitna

IC: Okay, you mentioned Susitna-100, which happened just last weekend. You raced at Hurt-100 earlier this year, Gary Robbins won once again but you had a tough race and you dropped at 60-miles. Did that play on your mind going into the Susitna race or are the 2-races just so different it wasn’t an issue. I know Hurt was very hot and humid!

DJ: It was a huge disappointment. I went to Hurt in the best shape I have had for years. I was gunning for a top-3 position. I started out at a pace that I thought would do that but I just started to fall apart. The course is brutal. You know, up here in the winter you can’t come close to getting anything like that Hurt course. The other guys were flying over roots and rocks. No way I could run like that… I thought I could go out and tough it out and forge on but by mile 60 I was reduced to a stumbling walk and I thought, I gotta pull the plug. So, lining up at Susitna last week that was on my shoulders. You have 100’s of your friends at the line watching and they are supporting so you want to do your best. It was definitely a determining factor to go hard and not stop.

IC: Can you give us an insight into the course and the race, what is it like?

DJ: Oh man it is a neat race! You line up at a famous Iditarod dog mush kennel. You line up with 75-biker, 40-runners and 20 or so skiers and they say go…! This year it was so icy. It’s unique; it’s a race that I would recommend anyone to try. Particularly if they want to do the ITI or other winter races that require qualification. I’m not kidding you; at least 10-miles was like running on an ice rink. It was glare ice. On the rivers or lakes it was glare ice. This year was all about shoes. At the start I checked shoes and I was thinking, mmm, some of you guys will have an interesting run. Shoe experience is invaluable. I strapped on some new ice bug racing flats and those things grip like Spiderman. They are not a100-mile shoe so I got pretty beat up but when I hit the ice I started running 8-min miles. My sled would start to overtake me…

(Laughter)

IC: Okay, so that is how you broke the record?

DJ: Conditions were excellent. You know I went into this race a 60-mile brutal training run in Hawaii and so the confidence of the training and my preparation was excellent.

IC: Geoff Roes set the record in 2007. His time is over 2-hours slower than what you achieved this year. I guess having listened to what you have just said, I guess the ice wasn’t a bad thing because you knew and were prepared to run well in those conditions. You had the correct shoes but of course a big advantage is that the slid glides instead of you pulling it in soft snow.

DJ: The sled weighed about 24lbs with everything in it. As you say, it got great glide. The thing with a course record, every few years the course changes a little. Maybe 50% of the course was different? The distance is always spot on, always 100-miles but the courses are not the same. Also, when Geoff ran in 2007 he wasn’t in his prime. I think he would definitely have beaten his previous time with his form of a few years ago.

IC: You ran 18:22 and Geoff ran 21:43. A big difference! When you run a race like this and when conditions are good do you think about CR’s or is it a case of I will see how it goes?

dave training

DJ: I didn’t think about a CR. The courses are too unpredictable. I am hoping they keep this new course for a while but it will take a real effort to be at the time I have set, 18:22 will be super tough. I would almost say it is going to be impossible. My goal before the race was to break 20-hours. Only a few people knew this before the race and they shook their heads thinking it was crazy! I started out at a pace faster than 20-hours. Conditions for skiers were terrible. One of the top skiers was with me for a long time, at mile 35 he skies up behind me and says, ‘don’t you think you went out a little too fast this year?’ I agreed with him but thought, you can’t go back now so I put my head down and pushed on.

IC: Did you have any bad points?

DJ: Mile 45 or so I guess. I hit that point and my stomach was saying I don’t like you anymore. I was getting low on energy. I had a 10-mile stretch when I was struggling. I was thinking to myself that maybe I had gone out too fast. I had no choice. I wasn’t going to let myself down again so I stared at the snow and pushed as hard as I could. At mile 55 I cam out the other side; I think my body was using fat as fuel, I could tell the difference. At mile 60 you hit a resort that is road accessible and my 2-kids and wife met me. That picked me up. I actually hung out for 20-minutes with them. It was a great burst of energy. I realized the last 40-miles just needed to be done!

IC: So at 60-miles you hung out for 20-minutes. So, at this pint you weren’t covering ground… maybe the CR could be 20-min quicker? (Both laugh)

DJ: Normally I would have taken a 5 to10-min break but they had driven out to see me. We sat at the table while they ate… I couldn’t eat but I sat talking and shivering (laughs). The temperature was sort of cold but not cold if you know what I mean. I chattered my teeth and decided it was time to push on. My wife was begging me to slow down, ‘I don’t want to find you lying on the trail.’ My son told me I was nuts! It was great to see them, I just didn’t think about the time. Also the course was so hard. I took a beating out on the trail so the rest may have well been good. For the final 10-miles I was running 9-min mile pace which was great.

IC: Considering Susitna was last weekend and today, you embark on the ITI350, was this a long-term plan or have you just seized an opportunity?

DJ: This was always a long-term plan. It started 12-months ago after the 2013 ITI350. I knew I would do both races. In regard to how hard I would run Susitna I didn’t know that until a week before the race. I was doing one of my daily 10-mile runs with a sled and I was flying. I knew conditions were going to be opportune so I had to take advantage. When the gun went at Susitna I embraced the conditions and went hard. I hope the damage is done… a week is not long recovery especially when going into a 350-mile race. I went out a couple of days ago for a 5-mile run with the sled and I didn’t move too fast (laughs). I guess we will find out how the ITI350 goes. Many are shaking heads thinking I am crazy but hey, I have to give it a go.

IC: I guess you can start, see how it goes and you will know relatively quickly if it is a good idea or really a bad idea. I suppose the only thing that may happen, it may take a day before you feel good?

DJ: Yeah. We are starting to get some fresh snow; I was hoping for the super fast conditions but we have had fresh snow; which will slow things down. It is amazing what a few inches of snow can do. Just 3-inches can slow you down by 1-mile per hour. But I am going to go for it!

IC: You did 4-days 19-hours 14-mins last year and you were 37-hours ahead of 2nd. What’s the competition like this year.

DJ: I have some great competition. It’s hard to distinguish because you have runners doing both 350 and 1000-mile races. But everyone does the 350! So the harden 1000-mile races push hard for 350-miles and then rest for a day before pushing on for the 1000-mile journey. Tim Hewitt is one of the world’s best winter endurance athletes. John Logar raced with Joe Grant last year and I would say that Parker Rios will perform; he won Arrowhead in 2013.

IC: Well, I am really looking forward to following the action as the race unfolds. It has been really great to speak to you before the ITI350 and post Susitna. I am really looking forward to catching up with you after this year’s race so that we can have a blow-by-blow account of the 2014 ITI350 was like.

DJ: Thank you so much… I hope it’s a good blow-by-blow!

 

Notes and links:

All images ©davidjohnston

The Iditarod Trail Invitational

iditarod-route

The Race

The Iditarod Trail Invitational is the world’s longest human powered winter ultra. Beginning in Knik, Alaska it follows the Iditarod Trail to McGrath covering 350 miles. Ironically this is called the ‘short race’. They also have a ‘long race’ covering 1100 miles finishing at Nome, Alaska. Support is minimal. Two snow machines ride ahead of the leaders providing a broken trail to McGrath. Food drops are provided at 130 miles, 210 miles and in even numbered years a feed is provided at ‘Cripple‘ and odd numbered years at ‘Iditarod‘.

That’s it!

Between checkpoints, racers are solo or may work with each other. If they continue to ‘Nome’ for the 1100 mile journey once past McGrath it os solo all the way apart from a food drop at ‘Ruby‘. After that they can use village stores, mail packages ahead or possibly use a school for a warm nights rest. Hard core!

Somehow this quote seems a little understated: Tim Hewitt, six time finisher of the 1100 mile race said:

“It’s the toughest race in the world.”

History

The Iditarod Trail Invitational follows the historic Iditarod Trail. The famous sled dog route runs 1000 miles through frozen Alaska every March since 1973 in memory of those brave individuals who brought the important serum to Nome in 1925 during a diphterie outbreak. Using bicycles as a means of transportation on Alaska’s frozen rivers and tundra might seem a little odd and a crazy idea, but men looking for gold around 1900 that couldn’t afford a dog team actually used what they then called a “wheel” and followed the gold rush from Dawson City to Nome on the Yukon River on bicycles.

How do you get in?

This is the most remote and longest winter ultra race in the world.
Competitors in the human powered event go through an interview process with race organizers Bill & Kathi Merchant.

If they have the skills and knowledge to be self sufficient in cold weather, such as high altitude mountaineering experience or previous arctic expeditions they can enter the race.
Prior finishes in races such as the following are qualifying events.

 

 

 

UROC – Ultra Race of Champions

uroc

Registration opens today. Will you be toeing the line (for the Ultra Race of Champions) on September 28th in Breckenridge?

 www.ultraroc.com

The season closing race for the Ultra Skyrunning Championships. Of course it’s some 9 months away. But as the race fills up and you are made aware of ‘who’ is taking part in this race, you don’t want to look back and think… I wish I had entered in January!

Skyrunning Logo

Vail, Colorado, January 15th, 2013 – Registration for the Ultra Race of Champions, the Championship for the sport of ultra distance running is set to open on January 15th 2013 at 12 noon mountain standard time (MST), or 2pm eastern standard time (EST) at http://www.ultraroc.com. The date for the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions will be September 28th.

“We are very excited,”

says J. Russell Gill III, Ultra Race of Champions Event Director and Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports CEO.

“A lot of work goes into making this event possible, and it will be thrilling to see it all come together on race day. With UROC as the Skyrunner® World Series Ultra Final, I cannot wait to see how to field shapes up this year. We have already been getting inquiries from several top runners, whose names are right now top secret. After we open registration and as we confirm some of the elite athletes, we will be posting them regularly on the race website and on Facebook.”

“UROC is open to everyone,”

says Francesca Conte, Ultra Race of Champions President,

“and I am very excited to see what kind of response we get from the international audience, particularly from Europe. The International Skyrunning® Federation has been promoting the event as the Series final for months, and a lot of our Facebook Likes have been from Europe”.

Several factors contribute to the appeal of the race. As the ultra running championship, the race attracts most of the elite runners from the USA. As the Skyrunner® World Series Ultra Final, the race will now attract an even larger international field, and many of the best European athletes. The spectacular backdrop of the Colorado Rockies and the point to point course from Breckenridge to Frisco, to Copper Mountain, to Minturn and to finish in Vail Village is a big draw for runners of all backgrounds passionate about running in the mountains. Lastly, the Vail name is nationally and internationally recognized as a summer destination location.  The point to point course is contingent upon US Forest Service permit approval.

Runners will be able to register beginning on January 15th, 2013 at www.ultraroc.com

So what you waiting for….

The Runner

I was posting on Facebook about two incredible films that are currently available for ‘download’ to your laptop or home computer. The first is a new film called ‘A Fine Line‘ and is the first film that will document Kilian Jornet‘s ‘Summits of my Life‘ project (available here).

DOWNLOADTHEFILM

The other is ‘Unbreakable‘, JB Benna’s inspirational film about Western States (available here). I guess it’s a movie that many of you will have seen but it’s ‘download’ release is a great opportunity to have it with you for viewing when travelling.

Unbreakable_The_Western_States_100_Poster_v1_13.5x20

The release of the two above films prompted me to look back and think on one of my favourite run movies of all time. ‘The Runner‘.

the runner

Journeyfilm’s THE RUNNER follows Extreme UltraRunner David Horton through the desert sun, the high snowbound mountain passes, the pain, the emotion, and his revelation. Join him as he runs more than 40 miles per day for 66 consecutive days in an attempt to set the speed record on the 2,700 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

I interviewed David Horton on Episode 4 of Talk Ultra so if you haven’t listened, check it out. He is an inspirational character in the ultra world. Available in iTunes HERE

Director and former PCT thru-hiker JB Benna follows Horton’s journey and discovers who he really is. Learn about UltraRunning, the PCT, and the history of this amazing person through interviews with today’s best endurance athletes, his family, and David himself.

A great adventure, a movie that makes you laugh, and a movie that makes you cry.

What drives David to such extreme challenges?

What does it take to become THE RUNNER?

Transvulcania La Palma – Running Fitness UK Oct2012

Some more great publicity for a very special race, the 2012 Transvulcania La Palma.

Published in RUNNING FITNESS October 2012

Part of the ISF International Skyrunning Federation ULTRA series

Ultra SkyMarathon® Series

*SPAIN:  TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON – La Palma – May 12 
USA:  Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY:  Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN:  Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE:  La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

You can download the article in PDF HERE

New Horizons for the ISF

Another important step marks the rapidly changing face of skyrunning as the ISF takes on the 100-mile distance.

The rule was approved at the ISF AnnualGeneral Assembly which took place in Spain on July 6 during the SkyGames®.   Members representing the 22 countries in person or by proxy attended the meeting, chaired by President, Marino Giacometti.

The new Secretary General was elected in the form of skyrunner Nina Dacanay from the Philippines who no doubt will bring, among her many qualities, competence and efficiency together with a strong passion for promoting the sport.

New blood on the Management Committee includes Evgeny Kolchanov (Russia), Ian Sharman (Great Britain) and Fabio Menino (Italy) – all three runners.   In fact, key runners were elected to stand on the Athletes’ Commission, namely Anna Frost (NZL) Joe Grant (USA) together with Fabio Menino and Ian Sharman.   Their input will be invaluable in the development and strategy of the sport and to represent a voice for runners everywhere.

The athlete has always represented the number one focus for the skyrunning management and, at the beginning of the season, a seminar was held on the island of La Palma, Spain, with a view to gaining insight from the sport’s principal players – what runners really want and how they would like to see the sport develop.  “Less Cloud. More Sky” was the title, emblematic of the new horizons skyrunning aims to explore.

Running legends representing different disciplines, countries and brands attended the three-day seminar from May 14 – 16, together with a number of the most representative media outlets from four continents.

Representing the ISF were president Marino Giacometti and VPs Lauri van Houten and Dr Sergio Giulio Roi.  The superstar athletes attending were: KilianJornet, Iker Karrera, Anna Frost, Seb Chaigneau, Maud Gobert, Francois d’Haene, Thomas Lorblanchet, Florent Troillet, Gustavo Reyes, Csaba Nemeth, GiulianoCavallo and Americans Anton Krupicka, Mike Wolfe, Geoff Roes, Joe Grant, Ian Sharman, Nick Clark, Nikki Kimball, Transvulcania winner Dakota Jones and World Mountain Running champions Max King and Marco De Gasperi…..

For a new generation of runners the skyrunning past, illustrated with slides and videos, was an eye-opener. The topics examined included:  the social media phenomenon, sponsorships and the industry – how these relate to the runners – and back to the industry; why a federation was created; how it interacts with the athletes; and the federation’s spirit and values.

The feedback from runners has proven invaluable in indicating the way forward and, just two months later, in giving runners a place and a voice on the Federation’s Management Committee and Athletes’ Commission.

Thanks to the success of “Less Cloud. More Sky” another seminar is programmed for 2013.

…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

 

Transvulcania La Palma – The Movie

 

A hard and extreme Ultramarathon, proof that only men of iron and women of steel can overcome, many try, many want to, but only a few will achieve the goal. The body is pushed to extremes in a race that all who participate call spectacular, breathtaking, addictive, and challenging. The 2012 event included a stellar line up with athletes travelling from all over the world to take part. To reach the goal of the finish line is everybody’s dream but the reality is not an easy one… welcome to the fourth edition of the Salomon Transvulcania Nature Trail