ITRA release statement on #EPO positive for Gonzalo Calisto

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This morning I posted the long awaited statement from Gonzalo Calisto after testing positive for EPO at the 2015 UTMB. If you are new to the story, please read the posts below.

Post 1 UTMB faces positive EPO test HERE

Post 2 Michel Poletti HERE

Post 3 IAAF HERE

Post 4 Update IAAF and Catherine Poletti HERE

Post 5 Gonzalo Calisto statement HERE

Today, I have now received a statement and clarification from ITRA into the process that Gonzalo Calisto has gone through:

July 25th 2016

PREAMBLE

On June 29th  2016*, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) published on its web-site in newsletter 174 a list of athletes who had been sanctioned for doping. On this list figures M. Gonzalo CALISTO for a positive test of EPO on August 29th 2015 at the finish of the  UTMB®.

ITRA HEALTH POLICY

The term  «health policy» designates actions which  aim at increasing the prevention and the protection of the health of the sportspersons.

The ITRA, in particular, offers organisers the chance of setting up a preventative action concerning health matters. This action has neither the vocation nor the competence to be a substitute for  current national and/or international regulations regarding the anti-doping fight but has the aim of strengthening the medical supervision within the framework of the health security plan set up by the organisation. This action is led by a Medical Counsel, uniquely made up of doctors, who are able to take advice from experts of their choice and who are charged with giving consultative advice to the Race Jury on the medical state of participants.

More information about the ITRA health policy : http://itra.run/page/261/Politique_sante.html

HISTORY AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE ITRA’S HEALTH POLICY

Within the framework of the health policy set up by the ITRA, M. Gonzalo CALISTO submitted a first blood sample on May 28th 2015 at 13:077 (World Trail-Running Championships in Annecy (France) organised by the IAU in collaboration with the ITRA)

M. Gonzalo CALISTO’s  haematological profile presented several abnormal values which led to the athlete being summoned, on May 29th 2015, before the start of the race, to a meet with the event’s medical commission of 2 doctors and an expert from the Association «Athletes For Transparency» with a more specific responsibility for aspects concerning the anti-doping fight.

The Ecuadorian origin of M. Gonzalo CALISTO, which according to scientific literature, maybe be responsible for specific haematological profiles (Quito, altitude of 2850m), as well as the argument put forward by the athlete of having very regular exposure to very high altitudes  (>5500m) were retained to classify his haematological profile  as  « atypical » (rather than « abnormal ») and so authorised him to take the start of the race for the World trail-Running Championships in Annecy.

The information relating to  M. Gonzalo CALISTO’s  « atypical » profile was transmitted by telephone on May 29th 2015 to an organisation responsible for the anti-doping fight. The two possible options were retained by  the Association «Athletes For Transparency» to explain this « atypical » profile knowing that a specific genetical profile or the taking of EPO were then evoked.

The « atypical » profile of the athlete was once again brought up in a telephone conversation in June 2015 (no precise date) with an organisation responsible for the anti-doping fight.

M. Gonzalo CALISTO submitted a second blood sample on August 27th 2015 at 13:45 before the start of the UTMB® within the framework of the ITRA’s Health policy. His haematological profile once again showed several abnormalities.

With the reason, of the always possible specific genetic profile linked to his Ecuadorian origins, the athlete’s haematological profile was again classed as « atypical » and he was authorised to take the start of the UTMB®.

The ITRA learnt, on August 29th 2015 the urinary anti-doping tests at the finish had been able to specifically target M. Gonzalo CALISTO.

On April 21st 2016 information relating to  M. Gonzalo CALISTO were sent by email to the Association «Athletes For Transparency» by an organisation in charge of the anti-doping fight.

THE ITRA’S MANAGEMENT OF A POSITIVE TEST

The role of the ITRA following a positive test is:

–          To ensure the disqualification of M. Gonzalo CALISTO from events in which he would have been able to participate in during the period of disqualification  (as from August 19th, 2015).

–          To ensure the non-participation in any race which is a member of the ITRA during the period of  M. Gonzalo CALISTO’s period of suspension, from March 17th 2016 to March 17th 2018. (The start of the period of sanction (March 17th 2016) is determined by the “test authority” in relation to the provisional suspension, interviews, appeals made by the athlete, etc….)

Patrick BASSET – President of the ITRA Health Commission

Pierre SALLET – President of the Association Athletes For Transparency

ITRA performance profile – Gonzalo Calisto HERE


ITRAperformanceprofile

******

I would welcome clarification and statements from Gonzalo Callisto’s sponsors, MOVISTAR and COMPRESSPORT. I would welcome clarification from races that Gonzalo Calisto participated in after August 2015 – how will they proceed?

As usual I welcome your thoughts in this story and process

Gonzalo Calisto releases #EPO #UTMB Statement (English Version)

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One week ago, the mountain, ultra and trail running world found out that Gonzalo Calisto tested positive after placing 5th at the 2015 UTMB. If you are coming to this new, may I suggest you read my posts in order as listed below as they will provide information and also chronologically provide an insight into my investigations.

Post 1 HERE

Post 2 Michel Poletti HERE

Post 3 IAAF HERE

Post 4 Update IAAF and Catherine Poletti HERE

 

Gonzalo Calisto has now released a statement via his Facebook page in Spanish and I have had a translation done. Please keep in mind that a translation may lose some of the uniqueness of the original, however, I do feel that what we have below provides an excellent insight.

As with all posts relating to this matter, I welcome your feedback.

Gonzalo introduces this by saying:

Thank you all for your support, I’ve taken a few days to be able to collect all this information and share it with you.
We will continue with the head held high, we’ll see you soon in the mountains!!!

I’m not a professional runner. I’m an amateur, with dreams which mantain my passion for adventure. Plainly, experiences in nature are my day-to-day targets, for every train and every run. I have never ran for prizes, or medal or recognizement, least of all for money. During these 13 years full of adventures I have filled my spirit with livings and learnings, and I have had the luck to share them with lots of generations of adventurers on lots of countries. During these years, I have witnessed exponential grow of trailrunning all over the world, and today trailrunning has lots of fans on my country on lots of running events.
Physiology: I have always been fascinated for the mountains, specially for the tall ones. I learnt to run there, to go up and down, walking and running, pushing myself and learning how the nature and strenght of the mountains fills our body and spirit. Ecuador, due to its geographical situation – Quito its capital 3000m above sea level – mountains with different heights and terraings and even different weather. Due to this, it is a privileged playground to train and go outdoors. Sport events are usually run on mountain and in zones, which go fron 3000 to 4500m+. Our bodies adapt to the high altitude and our blood is dense, which allows oxigenation. This process does not happen on sea level, and this training in altitude is scientifically known and used by lots of athletes to improve performance. It is called ‘altitude training’ and it’s a natural process. Legal At a country level, in Ecuador Trail running is not registered as a sport. No federation guides it, and it is not regulated by any ministery or govenrnment agency. Every trailrun event is private, and there are no licenses to ‘legally’ compete nor standarised rules. At an international level, Trail running is availed by the different athletic federations on the diferent countries, and runners have a local ranking to run on some important events. So, inside this called ‘elite’ they got licenses granted by their respective federations. These licenses somehow guarantee sport protocols between runners and sport event organizations.
IAAF is the organization which handles rules on elite athletics at a world level. IAAF runs an world ultratrail championship, but does not avail more trail events, as they are not considered ‘big events’ such as olimpic or panamerican games. This way, UTMB is not on their list.
AFLD: The French Agency against doping is the organization who takes care of doping on sport events on France.
ITRA: The Internationan Association of Trail Running, is an organization wich mantains a ranking based on an index generated based on the performance of a given athlete in different runs.
EPO: The eritropoyetin hormone, is an hormone which makes blood dense. It is naturally generated on hypoxic conditions, such as high altitude..
UTMB: UTMB is the most prestigious long-distance trailrun, which goes arond the Mont-Blanc. It is a private event, with no prices in money, which gathers 2500 runners from all around the world. 300 of them are ‘elite’ or ‘professional’. UTMB has its own ranking, based on the points gained for the participants in different sport events which UTMB avails.
CASE: During the UTMB I went on a doping control, before the depart and another after the run. This test marked positive, showing presence of EPO, but without specifying which kind of EPO was found, nor the EPO levels.
AFLD was the one who ran these tests and the one who reported the case to the IAAF.
I asked for the analysis, but I could never review the exact results. Altough IAAF regulates professional sport they have make public the results obtained.
However, they have not considered that I am not a professional athlete. I don’t have a license and I don’t belong to any federation, so the have no jurisdiction on ‘punishing’ me.
UTMB organisation had no knowledge on this case until it was public on social networks. This shows also the lack of coordination between these two organizations.
Positive test should be analized in the ‘B’ take to ratificate EPO presence. This second test should ratificate the first positive and its levels or mark the first test as a false positive. This second test is usually done upon solicitation from the federation which the athlete belongs to, which is usually the one who extends the license to the athlete. In my case, as I don’t have a license, UTMB should make me firm a provisional license to allow me to participate with the ‘elite’ ones. I never firmed that document. Besides, they should make sure that I got all the information and knowledge about all the ‘elite’ protocols; information that never was told to me.
In this case, I was without legal support from any ferederation or government; and to go agains the positive I should take all expenses on myself. These expenses are above my resources, as I’m a person from Ecuador against an international French agency.
With all these I want to point out that legal resources that have judged and sentenced me are not enough, as they lack of the ‘bases’ to coordinate events, regulators and rules to apply to non-professional athletes. We amateurs take the expenses on ourselves without no federation. So, I can’t use my right to defend myself, rigth that every juridic rule on the world has and I cannot use. To end In my country, we the ecuator runners must ask our Ecuator Running Federation to register trailrunning as a sport, to grant licenses to high-level runners who want to take part on international events and support and avail the main running events in Ecuador. Also, the Ecuatorian federation should take care also of the andti-doping tasks and generate a runners ranking at an international level, we must estabish compatible parameters between international event organizers and the federations; improve the information and make sure that the athletes know the category where they are going to run, and to make sure that they know the anti-pogind rules applicable.
I’m with the anti-doping. I like clean game and I have never intentionally used anything to artificially improve my performance. But we must be coherent with runner’s real life, specially on countries where these sports have no international rules, and work to create a clear and safe platform to run high performance sports on.
I wonder, are the anti-doping tests really fit? do they take into account genetic trace of the runners (feeding, origin, training) before publishing results?
Is it OK to judge a non-professional runner, which does not make a living with trailrunning the same way we do with a professional?
Is it OK to run anti-doping tests without the legal coverage for non-licensed runners which will have difficults to claim their rights?
Conclusion:
I’m probably the first case on this. I’m not a professional. I don’t have a license. I live and train between 3000 and 5000 masl. I have dense blood. I got a top-5 on an international running event with professional runners from all Europe which clearly know the rules. I came to the UTMB controls without the complete knowledge of high competition protocols. I have no license and no legal support fom a federation and I consider that methods used on me are not equity, transparent and impartial. There are other sports -such as the IronMan series- where they take into account the runner condition (amateur or professional) to skip these kind of polemic situation due to the lack of legal support and information on the professional protocols.
Questions
Why my case was reported by the IAAD and the UTMB organization had no idea on what was going on?
Why the rules from IAAF, AFLD and UTMB are not compatible with the positive anti-doping test from an amateur runner?
Under which authority IAAF punished me for 2 years?
I’m not a federated runner. Why the UTMB does not have a professional runner list?
Why UTMB is not registered with the IAAF avail?
Why they let me run without a federative license in a category where they are going to do controls which need this license?
I want my case to clarify and modify the trailrunning world rules.
*******
We welcome your feedback on this post?
  • For me, it raises many question marks and the most important is the fact that Gonzalo tested positive in August 2015. The AFLD/IAAF confirmed a ban in March 2016 and then this was published on the IAAF website in June.
  • Gonzalo Calisto will have known about this positive test for sometime and chose to do nothing! The above statement has come about because his positive test has been made public.
  • We still have no news from his sponsors, Movistar and Compressport.
  • Amateur or professional, rules are rules and doping is doping!
  • Gonzalo Calisto has raced since UTMB and July 2016 and gained results, why have these races not made a statement and why have they not disqualified him?

Many more questions will come….

Statement from Michel Poletti UTMB® re: EPO Positive Test

It is never nice to have to report and document on doping, particularly in a sport I love. However, in the past 24-hours many questions have been raised re a positive test for EPO at the worlds largest trail running event, the UTMB®

I must thank Robbie Biritton for bringing the positive test of Gonzalo Calisto to the limelight. I recommend that you read my post from earlier today HERE.

This positive test raised many questions. Most importantly, how was it possible that the IAAF could have this information available to the public and the UTMB® or UTWT not notify the world media and runners of this positive decision?

I was proactive and I emailed UTWT and UTMB® and within a relatively short period of time, the UTMB® released a ‘press release’ which acknowledged all our claims. You can read that HERE.

Problem is, myself and many of the ultra running community still have many questions. How was it possible that Robbie, myself and other journalists were the ‘first’ to release this information?

And I quote:

Dear UTMB®
Many thanks for this and thank you for responding so quickly.
It does pose some serious questions though and I would like clarification why it has taken myself (and a few others) to bring this to everyones attention.
How long have the UTMB known about this positive test?
Kind regards,
Ian

This evening I have received a reply from Michel Poletti.  He provides the following answers to my question?

Dear Ian,

We have learned this news this morning at 7 AM (Paris time) by an email from Anne who has been asked by other journalists.

Indeed, the anti-doping procedure is so discreet that :
– the organizer has no information about the doping controls operated on his race
– when a national or international federation make a decision, this decision is published on the web site of the federation, with no other announcement
Thus, if an organizer want to know something about the anti-doping controls which were made on his race, he should need to look every day on the web site of the federations…or to wait to be warned by someone else…

Do not hesitate to ask for any other question

Best regards

I have to say that I welcome this response. However, I struggle with it…. I responded:

I appreciate your email and I thank you for the clarification.
I am somewhat bemused and perplexed by this situation? 
I became aware of this some 12 hours before the UTMB organisation? I find this hard to believe… this has been ‘public’ knowledge on the IAAF website since June 24th. Are you telling me, that it was myself that informed UTMB of a positive test?
The IAAF have found Gonzalo Calisto ‘positive’ of EPO at ‘in competition testing’ after placing 5th at ‘the’ most prestigious trail running event in the world and they did not inform the race, you or Catherine?
Could I ask the following please?
1. Why are you not informed of a positive test?
2. Which authority took the test and on who’s authority?
3. Who does Gonzalo Calisto approach to review the test?
4. Under who’s authority is Gonzalo Calisto suspended from racing?
These are fundamental points and please rest assured, I want to ensure that Gonzalo Calisto is not the subject of a witch hunt.
*****
I will inform you of a reply when I receive it.

BREAKING NEWS – Disqualification of a runner from the 2015 UTMB®

Disqualification of a runner from the 2015 UTMB®

The UTMB® organisation has today seen the list of recent infringements concerning the rules of anti- doping published by the IAAF and the penalties applied to the offenders.
Gonzalo Calisto (Ecuador) is included in the list of athletes who are suspended, following a positive result of an anti-doping test which was carried out in Chamonix on August 29th 2015 at the finishing line of the UTMB®.

Read my original post HERE

Consequently, Gonzalo Calisto (ranked 5th in the UTMB® 2015) has been officially disqualified and has been instructed to return his trophy and finisher’s jacket. The 2015 official results will be corrected as soon as possible on the UTMB® web-site.

The trophies given to the top ten men were unique works of art, each runner placed from 5th to 9th place will receive a new plaque, while the 10th runner will receive the trophy to which he is entitled.

At the same time, the organisation would like to remind you that to maintain the spirit of the event, and its authenticity, a health policy has been in place for the UTMB® since 2008.

It includes, in particular, a preventive initiative regarding health matters. This action is carried out in collaboration with Athletes for Transparency (since 2008) and the ITRA (since 2014).This action has neither the vocation, nor the competence to be a substitute for current national and international regulations concerning the fight against doping but has the objective of reinforcing the medical supervision wished for by the Organisation and it may allow for a better orientation of doping tests prompted by various anti-doping organizations.

UPDATES

UTMB PRESS RELEASE HERE
MICHEL POLETTI RESPONSE HERE
IAAF RESPONSE HERE

Episode 106 – The Coastal Challenge 2016 Special #TCC2016

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 106 of Talk Ultra. This show is all about The Coastal Challenge multi-day race in Costa Rica. We talk in-depth about Niandi’s experience and we bring you a selection of interviews to give you a feel for the race.

Book writing – RUNNING BEYOND will be released in November 2016 by Aurum Publishing.

00:01:04 Show Start

00:04:58 NEWS

ACONCAGUA – Fernanda Maciel established the first women’s FKT on , Aconcagua, earlier this month and I caught up with her immediately afterwards.

06:07:00 INTERVIEW

Fernanda said at the time should the weather be okay for a 2nd attempt that she would return. Return she did to established the first women’s FKT on the longer route. She traveled from the Horcones entrance gate to the summit and back – 60 kilometers and 4,100 meters of climb in 22:52. The mens record is almost have this time set by Karl Egloff who took the record from Kilian Jornet

ADDO ELEPHANT in South Africa

“As the only national Park in the world that offers visitors a chance to see the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and the southern right whale and the great white shark in the marine area), we’re thrilled to be hosting the race again this year,” says Fayroush Ludick, SANParks Regional Communications Manager. “Because athletes will be running through areas of the park that they wouldn’t traditionally have access to, they will experience the park and its residents as never before.”

1 – Bennie Roux and Tom Adams finished together 21:45:08

2 – Chris Darke 22:24

3 – Ryno Griesel 24:55

1 – Linda Doke 29:25:34

2 – Kim Van Kets 33:34:12

ROCKY RACCOON 100 

1 – Ian Sharman 13:45, Paul Terranova 2nd and Will Swenson 3rd.

1 – Sabrina Little ran the 2nd fastest lasted time of 14:55, Amy Clark and Olga Buber were 2nd

and 3rd.

Notably, WSER legend Gordy Ainsleigh ran 28:31 to gain his WSER entry slot which many feel should have been guaranteed anyway!

TARAWERA

Jonas Buud won the race in 8:00 followed by David Bryne in 8:22 and Ryan Sandes 3rd in 8:30

Fiona Hayvice won the ladies race in 10:34 despite Ruby Muir leading for much of the race and then dropping with injury. Melissa Robertson and Fiona Eagles placed 2nd and 3rd with 10:56 and 11:24.

This weekend as the show comes out Transgrancanaria will be staring and it is quite a stacked field, certainly the first big race of 2016. Read the preview HERE

01:16:56 INTERVIEW THE TCC INTERVIEWS

Read the daily reports from Costa Rica HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2016 – The Full Story HERE

Images from The Coastal Challenge 2016 HERE

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

100km | 100 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

55 km | 55 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Dirty Duo 50 km Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Yukon

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 120 Mile | 120 miles | March 11, 2016 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 350 Mile | 350 miles | March 11, 2016 | website

Costa Rica

51 km | 51 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

France

Gard

Trail aux Etoiles | 58 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Ultra du Bout du Cirque | 100 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Ille-et-Vilaine

Endu’Rance Trail des Corsaires | 64 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Le Poilu | 51 kilometers | March 13, 2016 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Hong-Kong

Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 11, 2016 | website

Translantau 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Hungary

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 195 kilometers | March 17, 2016 | website

Italy

Umbria

Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website

Malaysia

KubUltra 60 | 60 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Old Ghost Ultra | 85 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Te Houtaewa Challenge 60 km Open Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Waiheke Round Island 100 km Relay | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Philippines

All Women Ultra-Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Portugal

75 km | 75 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

South Africa

Om Die Dam 50 km Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Spain

Andalusia

150 km | 150 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

73 km | 73 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | March 04, 2016 | website

Transgrancanaria – Advanced | 84 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Catalonia

Marxa dels Castells PLUS | 81 kilometers | March 13, 2016 | website

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 11, 2016 | website

UT les Fonts – Trail de les Fonts | 70 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Valencian Community

84 km | 84 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Sri Lanka

The Wild Elephant Trail | 210 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Taiwan

100 km | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

120 km | 120 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

60 km | 60 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Aberdeen City

D33 Ultra | 33 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Bihar

Green Man Ultra | 44 miles | March 05, 2016 | website

Bradford

Haworth Hobble | 32 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

Wiltshire

Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 05, 2016 | website

Arizona

50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

50M | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Old Pueblo 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 05, 2016 | website

Arkansas

3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

California

Deo 50K | 50 kilometers | March 13, 2016 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Razorback 100K Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website

Razorback 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

Razorback 50K Endurance Race | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2016 | website

Razorback 50 Mile Endurance Race | 50 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Florida

100K Individual | 64 miles | March 13, 2016 | website

100K Team ( 3-4 Person Teams ) | 64 miles | March 13, 2016 | website

50K Individual | 32 miles | March 13, 2016 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50M | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Georgia

Bear Blaster 50k | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Kentucky

50 mile run | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

60k | 60 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Maryland

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Mississippi

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 05, 2016 | website

Nevada

50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

50M | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

New Jersey

Lenape Trail Run | 34 miles | March 05, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Graveyard 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Graveyard 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Long Course | 39 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Ohio

Green Jewel 50K Fun Run | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

Naked Bavarian 40M | 40 miles | March 06, 2016 | website

South Carolina

Foothills 50k | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Red Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2016 | website

Vermont

PEAK Snowshoe 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Virginia

50K | 50 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

50 mile | 50 miles | March 12, 2016 | website

Thomas Jefferson 100k | 100 kilometers | March 12, 2016 | website

02:39:31 CLOSE

02:47:13

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Enter The Coastal Challenge 2017 HERE

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The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 6 Results and Summary

©iancorless.com_TCC2016-1360

Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

The stunning Drake Bay hosted the final day of the 2016 The Coastal Challenge. It’s an idyllic location located within the Osa Peninsula. Turquoise seas, blue skies and lush tropical vegetation make it one the most iconic places in Costa Rica.

The final day is to all intents and purposes a victory lap. Racing only really takes place if overall top positions are close, in the 2016 race, gaps between the top 3 were wide enough to make the day neutralised. However, despite this, Chema Martinez from Spain wanted to run and from the sound of the gun at 0615 he pushed hard at the front of the race and crossed the line alone for the final stage victory.

Iain Don-Wauchope, kicked back, puled out his GoPro and let the runners go ahead of him; it was a day of fun ahead.

Carlos Sa pushed the pace in one last effort to maybe take 2nd but when Gonzalo Callisto caught him and ran at his side with 50% of the day covered, they eased back and enjoyed the run for home.

©iancorless.com_TCC2016-1613

The ladies race was well and truly over and Elisabet Barnes and Ester Alves ran the whole stage together, side-by side and they soaked up the Costa Rican ambience. They partied while running.

©iancorless.com_TCC2016-1768

The final day is not without challenges though, an early run through a river bed, the crossing of a waterfall, hot running through open plantations and then a return journey to the beach finish at Drake Bay while weaving in and out of the stunning coastline.

The 2016 TCC will be remembered quite simply in just a few words:

Brutal, Beautiful and Hot!

It may well have been one of the hottest editions and word in and amongst the camp confirms that the race really has been a true test. MDS 2015 champion and Oman Desert Cup Champion, Elisabet Barnes, confirmed the thoughts of many on the finish line:

“This has been possibly one of the best races I have ever run. It has so much variety, so many challenges, no two days are the same and I have well and truly been pushed beyond my limits. The combination of such mixed terrain, intense heat and high humidity really do this make this race an ultimate challenge. But in and amongst this, the camp is relaxed, the food provided by the race incredible and the whole Costa Rican experience is one I will not forget. It has been special, really special.”

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Damian Hall from the UK has placed in the top 50 at UTMB, been on the podium at The Spine and The Dragons Back and he also found TCC a true test placing 5th overall.

“The heat has been punishing, combined with humidity was brutal. The terrain has been so varied, it’s runnable at times but then other times you are just drawing along. It’s a seriously challenging race and the line-up has been top quality, I am really happy with 5th. The camp sites are amazing, the food has been brilliant and all-in-all it’s been a fantastic experience.”

Iain Don-Wauchope and Ester Alves are the 2016 champions, but to be honest, it may well sound like a cliche, any runner who survived this incredible 6-day experience deserves the ultimate respect.

It has been an awesome edition and talk now turns to 2017. Who will be back? Word in camp just hours after the race confirms that a few familiar names will return…

The overall standing in the ladies’s race are now:

  1. Ester Alves 33:04:32
  2. Elisabet Barnes 33:46:20
  3. Amy Gordon 42:18:15

Full ladies’s results HERE

The overall standings in the men’s race are now:

  1. Iain Don-Wauchope 24:25:11
  2. Gonzalo Calisto 25:27:38
  3. Carlos Sa 25:46:59

Full men’s results HERE

Stage 6 is a wonderful looped lap of drake Bay – a victory lap.

Full race results HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 5 Results and Summary

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Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

Today was hot, very hot and very long! The longest stage of the 2016 The Coastal Challenge may well have been one of the most beautiful but 50km under the intense Costa Rican heat really did test every single runner int the race.

For the first time in the races’ 12-year history, the stage had an extra 4km. It doesn’t sound a great deal but at times it was technical and in addition, a new long beach section, a water crossing via boat and a stunning wooden rope bridge added to the days attractions.

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The cool temperatures from the 0530 start soon disappeared and the intense, uncompromising heat arrived to punish the runners, the only consolation coming at the end with the stunning Drake Bay.

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Chema Martinez finally found his Costa Rican legs and ran the stage side-by-side with race leader, Iain Don-Wauchope. They looked to be cruising on what was a very tough day. Don-Wauchope having run and won TCC in 2015 could appreciate the new course:

“The new additions are really stunning, no fantastic. But they are tough and challenging. The beach section was extremely tough due to the high tide. We had to run the tree line which made it difficult. But it’s a beautiful new addition to the race.” – Iain Don-Wauchope.

Crossing the sea to river inlet by boat, Both Martinez and Don-Wauchope took an extended break to cool off and then finished off the stage in style by cruising to the line together.Gonzalo Callisto finished 3rd and secured his 2nd overall.

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It was a similar story in the ladies race however it was less planned. Ladies race leader Ester Alves took the lead relatively early on and at one point had extended her lead to approximately 30-minutes. A couple of navigation errors reduced this to just 1-minute in the latter stages of the race and with just 8km to go, Elisabet Barnes and Alves ran together to the line.

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“It was the correct thing to do,” Alves said after the race. “There was nothing left to race for in the final km’s and I enjoyed the time talking with Elisabet.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Elisabet Barnes:

“I was feeling very rough this morning with a very dodgy tummy and took me 20km’s to feel good. Ester pulled away and there was nothing I could do. I eventually caught her but we once again entered a very technical section and she once again pulled away. We finally came together again after the rope bridge with 8km to go, running together was a pleasure after a great battle. Today was beautiful but so hot!”

The race concludes tomorrow with what will be a victory lap of Drake Bay and the National Park. The 2016 TCC has been an incredible race; very tough but many will remember it because of the intense heat.

The overall standing in the ladies’s race are now:

  1. Ester Alves 7:42:49
  2. Elisabet Barnes 17:42:49
  3. Tbc

Full ladies’s results HERE

The overall standings in the men’s race are now:

  1. Iain Don-Wauchope 5:4130
  2. Chema Martinez 5:41:30
  3. Gonzalo Calisto 5:52:16

Full men’s results HERE

Stage 6 is a wonderful looped lap of drake Bay – a victory lap.

Full race results HERE

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The Coastal Challenge 2016 #TCC2016 – Stage 2 Results and Summary

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Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

It was an 0345 start to day 2, a 0400 breakfast and then a 0530 start with the rising of the sun. Camp 1 bivouac was in an idyllic location next to the Savegre river and it appeared that everyone had had a good night, if not a little too short for some!

Departing camp, the course went immediately up with a long climb that was at times technical. Iain Don-Wauchope feeling very content after day 1 unfortunately rolled his ankle very early on and was forced to tike some time out due to dizziness. This allowed Carlos Sa and Gonzalo Callisto to pull away. However, as the summit of the climb approached, Don-Wauchope had clawed his way back to the duo and was looking strong.

In the ladies race, day 1 leader Elisabet Barnes was well aware that day 2 would be a battle due to the technical uphill start. Ester Alves comes from a Skyrunning and mountain running background and therefore, the early sections of the course played into her hands. At the summit, Alves had a lead of approximately 7-minutes and the ladies race was on!

The heat had arrived and with it the humidity. It was going to be a hot day and with no clouds in the sky, the conditions would be relentless for the runners.

Don-Wauchope bided his time and decided at Cp2 it was time to apply the pressure:

“I rolled my ankle on day 1 and protected it. To roll it again on day 2 was just annoying. Having taken some time to compose myself and close the gap back to Sa and Calico, I decided that my moment to extend my lead was from Cp2. I upped the pace and Sa went with me. He held on for quite sometime before I finally make the gap. I was protecting my ankle all the day though. To win again feels great. I still think the racing is not over, Sa and Calico look strong.” – Iain Don-Wauchope.

Don-Wauchope pulled away and Sa and Calico ran together in pursuit. Calico looked relaxed all day and was often seen running with a GoPro. He is racing, no doubt but he’s also enjoying the journey.

The overall standings in the men’s race are now:

  1. Iain Don-Wauchope 6:30:56
  2. Gonzalo Calisto 7:05:14
  3. Carlos Sa 7:10:56

Full men’s results HERE

Alves was in her element on the mountain terrain and used it to her advantage to slowly close the gap between her and Barnes. As the running became more consistent, Barnes started to slowly cut away at the gap Alves had created. We all soon realised that we had a real race on our hands.

“I felt much better in the heat today,” Alves said. “This course and place is amazing, the views are incredible and I am loving the race. To win today’s stage is a real bonus.”

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It was a sentiment echoed by Barnes, “The course is incredible but extremely tough. Combined with the heat and the humidity it’s just brutal. I knew that I was always going to lose time this morning on that technical climb and I have to accept that Alves is stronger than me on those sections. I used my running speed to close the gap today but over the final km’s on the beach when I had hoped to push harder, I had nothing left to give. It’s very close now with another very technical start to tomorrow’s stage; I have a race on my hands.”

Alves looked strong over the final 10-15km’s of today’s route, several river and sea crossings spiced up the race and the action but she didn’t waiver.

The overall standing in the ladies’s race are now:

  1. Elisabet Barnes 9:01:20
  2. Ester Alves 9:02:53
  3. Amy Gordon 11:15:53

Full ladies’s results HERE

Stage 3 is a tough day and the longest so far. The early stages of the race are very technical with a long run through a river bed that includes scrambling. The crossing of a waterfall and an extremely tough climb and then a long descent to the beach with a short final road section to camp. It’s a day where Don-Wauchope will be put under pressure but the real race will come between Alves and Barnes. Expect Barnes to lose time early on and then the big question will be, can she close the gap and reel Alves in.

Full race results HERE