Episode 165 – Great Himalayan Trail Special #GHT with Rayn Sandes, Dean Leslie and Ryno Griesel

Episode 165 of Talk Ultra is a Great Himalayan Trail Special to link with the release of ‘Lessons From The Edge’ film. We chat with Ryan Sandes, Ryno Griesel and Wandering Fever film maker, Dean Leslie.
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Talk Ultra is now on Tunein- just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE  You can download the Tunein APP HERE
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We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create!
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
Donate HERE
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Read about Ian’s Christmas Nepal Trek HERE
The route, plan and the equipment he will use.
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NEWS
Lessons from the Edge is the new film by Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever that tells the story of Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s epic journey on the Great Himalayan Trail. Read a review of the movie HERE.
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00:30:31 Interview with Ryan Sandes
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01:01:40 Interview with DEAN LESLIE
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01:51:36 Interview with RYNO GRIESEL
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02:41:20 CLOSE
02:44:16
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Stitcher You can listen on iOS HERE, Android HERE or via a web player HERE
Website- talkultra.com
UP & COMING RACESgo to https://marathons.ahotu.com

Lessons from the Edge – a film by Wandering Fever on Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s GHT

“LESSONS FROM THE EDGE” –  a film by Wandering Fever

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A film documenting Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s epic adventures traversing the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT).
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Dropping globally on Red Bull TV and Red Bull’s YouTube Channel on Tuesday 04 December 2018.

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FILM REVEW

Many thanks to Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever for the advanced preview of the film.

All images are screenshots from the movie and are ©wanderingfever/ Red Bull

Lessons from the Edge is not your ordinary running film and it is all the better for it. I would even go as far to say, that the film is not about running. It’s about friendship, survival, pushing to the limit, not giving in and adventure.

The film documents, South African runners, Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s attempt on the ‘GHT’ – The Great Himalayan Trail. We need to be clear here, that it is ‘their’ FKT (fastest known time) attempt on trying to beat a mark set by fellow South African, *Andrew Potter – a journey of some 1400km in 28-days.

*Lizzy Hawker and others have done other journeys on the GHT.

Sandes and Griesel know each other well and often team up for adventures; their record-breaking Drakensberg Traverse a prime example. I hope they both will forgive me, but Sandes is often the star and the media draw, while Griesel is the brains and brawn behind. I myself always fall into this trap – post the Drakensberg and GHT records, I interviewed Sandes for my podcast Talk Ultra.

Tune into the Talk Ultra Great Himalayan Trail special released Friday 7th December 2018Episode 165 –  it includes an in-depth interview with Ryan Sandes conducted just after the GHT FKT and two post film interviews with Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever and Ryno Griesel.

Podcast HERE

I seriously think that ‘Lessons from the Edge’ is finally going to give Griesel the long overdue credit he finally deserves. The guy really is a legend.

The film is made by Sandes and Griesel’s long-term friend, and good buddy of mine, Dean Leslie of Wandering Fever. I first met Dean in 2012 on the island of La Palma at Transvulcania and it is fair to say, our careers in the world of trail, ultra and mountain running have moved alongside each other ever since.

Let me be clear, I think Dean is one of the best filmmakers out there! He always manages to look beyond running and find metaphors for life, in this movie, he excels himself. 

Listen to a full and in-depth interview with Dean Leslie below:

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The Film

(Review contains spoilers)

WATCH THE FILM HERE

The words of Dean Leslie give an indication of the film and its story, “When Ryan and Ryno started the Great Himalaya Trail they knew it would be physically tough. But no one ever thought this run would be life-threatening.”

I love Nepal, so, I was hooked from the start with the amazing vistas, the beautiful Nepali people and the forever wonderful sound of ‘Namaste!’

While this journey started as an FKT, I think it’s fair to say that as the film unfolds, any FKT becomes irrelevant as one witnesses the danger, pain and discomfort both runners have to go through to achieve their finish. In a conversation with Sandes, he confirmed, “This attempt is more about an experience and amazing adventure, it is a once-in-a-lifetime type experience‚ not just a record attempt and something that I have been able to share with a true friend.”

Leslie narrates, and he has a silky-smooth calm voice that kicks off the movie and its pace. We instantly go to Sandes describing the ‘why’ of the GHT and then we see Griesel.

“Did you push it too far?” Leslie asks Griesel.

 

“No, not at all,” the answer.

Their journey would take them from the Tibetan border all the way to the Indian border in the east. Fast and light was the ethos and they carried no sleeping bags or tents, reliant on the hospitality of the Nepali people.

“If you plan an adventure with no risk, you are way too much inside your comfort zone,” says Griesel.

And from here, the story unfolds. 

Before the FKT started, they had already risked their lives on snow and ice and I was immediately thinking that they were unprepared for the challenge ahead! The film does not shy away from this and the duo explain the danger.

“It was really dangerous, a little stupid,” said Griesel and Sandes admits his lack of experience in this environment.

From the outset, one realizes that Griesel is along not only for the comradeship but for mainly for his navigation and mountain experience. Very quickly they are in extreme snow and ice that visibly shakes them up.

All the time, Leslie’s drone footage provides some amazing shots to Sande’s and Griesel’s GoPro footage.

Kids join them, and the ‘Namaste’ sounds provide a wonderful soundtrack to Sandes and Griesel’s footsteps. Leslie, correctly says in his narration, “Although the Himalaya has the most breathtaking landscape, it is the Nepali people that captures the heart.”

The conditions, the fast and light travel without doubt take a toll on the runners. The Dolpa region approaches and without doubt, fear takes hold. They manage to obtain ice axes and rope borrowed from the locals. They had to change route and with a late winter and poor conditions, the area was desolate. The duo was struggling and seriously worried.

Griesel trying to maximize his time with navigation makes a school boy error and removes his gloves.

From that point, Griesel knew his fingers had frostbite.

From here on in, the story changes.

With only 9 day’s covered, there was a long way to go and everything was looking in jeopardy. All the time, Leslie provides a narrative to the ‘real time’ narrative of Griesel and Sandes. 

Griesel sits with his hands in a bowl – it makes for gruesome viewing, but the will to carry on existed though. Some good running, a change of clothes, some sun and suddenly all was looking good. 

Annapurna region and Sandes turns 36 – what a way to spend a birthday!

Much of what follows is good and you feel a page has turned and then suddenly screams. Griesel falls and is injured. The story unfolds, and one begins to feel the pressure on the two of them and in particular, Griesel. He has feelings on failure and inadequacy in comparisons to Sandes natural running ability.

Let’s be clear hear, Griesel is turning into a hero.

 “It is not an option to quit… If I have committed to go from A to B, that is what I am going to do,” says Griesel. “Whatever we do out there is an extension of our daily lives, if you get in the habit of quitting, if that is an option, that translates to daily life…” And it is here that you really begin to understand the character of the man – his strength, his courage and some would say, his vulnerability?

The film mixes narrative and footage from Griesel and Sandes and constantly the film is interspersed with post GHT interviews to provide perspective.  

It is here that we start to ask, what are the Lessons from the Edge? 

The dilemma of Leslie and Sandes is obvious. 

“Do you pull the plug… It seems silly at this stage, it is just a run!” says Leslie.

The final third of the film explores many questions, one is quite haunting, “Are you prepared to go out and do one of these things and die?” Asks Leslie.

 

“Yes, pretty much,” responds Griesel.

To not push life to the full is a slow death anyway they say and as the footage rolls on, you are left pondering your own life questions as well as the questions that Griesel, Sandes and Leslie had to ask.

 Two mates, crossing a country and drinking tea – they live life to the full and it is these endearing moments that concludes the film with Leslie’s thoughtful narrative.

What would you do, what are your Lessons from the Edge?

 *****

Wandering Fever HERE 

Many thanks to

Dean Leslie

Ryan Sandes

Ryno Griesel

Watch the movie on Red Bull TV and Red Bull’s YouTube Channel on Tuesday 04 December 2018.

Episode 154 – Ryan Sandes, Elisabet Barnes, Ultra Mirage, Keely Henninger

Episode 154 of Talk Ultra is a packed show! We speak with Ryan Sandes about his amazing FKT with Ryno Griesel on a section of Nepal’s Great Himalayan Trail. Elisabet Barnes discusses taking a break, looking at nutrition and how to return to training and racing healthy. We speak to Amir Ben Gacem about Ultra Mirage and we offer a free place! The Godfather of Trail, Kurt Decker brings us a chat with Keely Henninger and of course, Speedgoat Karl co-hosts!
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Talk Ultra is now on Tunein – just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE  You can download the Tunein APP HERE
Talk Ultra needs your help!
We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create!
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
Donate HERE
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00:12:22 NEWS
CHUCKANUT 50K
Keely Henninger took victory ahead of Anne-Marie Madden and Gina Slaby, times 4:07, 4:15 and 4:28.
Cole Watson won in 3:36 ahead of Patrick Smyth 3:40 and Paddy O’Leary in 3:47.
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00:14:27 Interview with KEELY HENNINGER
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MIKE FOOTE SETS WR
Imagine skiing for 24-hours uphill and down again. Foote climbed a huge 61.200ft. He went up a 1020ft ski run (up and down) 60 x.
BEHIND THE ROCKS ULTRA
Courtney Dewaulter winning again ahead of Addie Bracy and Serena Wilcox.
For the men it was Kyle Pietari ahead of Jessie Rosales andEddie Aispuro. Winning time 7:48 for the men and 7:51 for the ladies… Dewaulter was 2nd!
ANTELOPE ISLAND 100
Jeff Browning doing it again at the 100! A win in 15:57 which is fast! Dana Anderson won the ladies race in 20:15.
BARKLEY
The Barkley won this year with nobody making it to the 4th or 5th lap. Gary Robbins managed a ‘fun run’ finish of 3 laps. Really tough conditions out there!
GHT FKT by Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel
Press Release:

On 1 March 2018, South African trail runners Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel bravely set out to establish a new FKT along compatriot Andrew Porter’s roughly 1400km GHT Route across the Himalayas from Hilsa to Pashupatinagar in Nepal, combining the Great Himalaya Trails High Route and Lower Cultural Route. With the previous FKT on this route standing at 28 days, 13 hours and 56 mins the two smashed the record – with 4 days to spare.

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“This has been the biggest adventure of my life, but incredibly challenging at the same time, especially mentally to just keep going day in and day out for so long,” exclaimed Sandes at the final checkpoint.

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“Traversing any of The Great Himalaya Trails has always been a dream of mine There were so many ups and downs along the route that we could never have anticipated but I’m so stoked we pushed on and made it through. Alongside my win at Western States 100 last year, this has to be one of my biggest sporting accomplishments to date!”

***

The attempt saw Sandes and Griesel traverse heavily snow-covered mountains and experience some incredibly extreme weather conditions that were unusual for this time of the year along the way. They suffered frost-bitten fingers, serious tummy bugs, breathing difficulties and a couple of near death experiences. A constant on the route, however, was the incredibly welcoming spirit of the Nepalese people who truly embody the spirit of Namaste, and welcomed the both of them into their homes.

***

“We were the first people to cross the Dolpa region since the start of winter, which made the going very difficult to navigate and very slow,” commented Griesel. “I had to keep taking my gloves off to read the maps and managed to get terrible frost bite on my fingers, which has been painful. One of the villages on our map in that region, a spot where we had hoped to get accommodation, was completely deserted. I honestly believe that if we hadn’t come across a monk and monastery that night we would have frozen to death outside.”

***

Sandes echoed Griesel’s sentiment: “The Nepalese people were amazing! We knocked on their doors late at night, two filthy dirty South Africans, who speak very little Nepalese, and they not only welcomed us into their homes without hesitation, but they have also gave us their beds and gone to sleep at neighbours so that we have accommodation!” says Sandes. “It has been humbling to meet these incredible people. I doubt anyone back home would have opened their homes to strangers as easily as the Nepalse citizens we met along the way have to us.”

***

The pair were thrown another curveball when the route they had plotted prior to leaving for the attempt, in fact turned out to be almost 200km longer than they had previously anticipated.

“The maps on the computer tend to flatten out the track quite a bit as it obviously doesn’t drop a point every single meter, so the distance you work out on the computer is actually a lot shorter than what it is really measured at,” noted Griesel. “What we experienced on the ground was far more brutal that what we had plotted out on the computer, but it was all part of the adventure.”

***

“We would like to thank the trail running community for their incredible support in the lead up to and throughout our FKT record attempt,” said Sandes. “It has been great to read all of the messages of encouragement and support. And to the Nepalese people, we can never say thank you enough for your incredible hospitality and friendliness, there is definitely no other place on earth like Nepal.”

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01:02:36  Interview with RYAN SANDES
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01:39:06 Interview with ELISABET BARNES
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Ultra Mirage El Djerid 
The Ultra Mirage© El Djerid (UMED) is the first 100km Ultra Trail taking place in the stunning Tunisian Sahara Desert. A 20-hour time limit, five checkpoints, medical and technical help to ensure safety, the UMED is open to all runners. Importantly for the fleet of foot, prize money is available totaling 10.000 euros split equally between the male and female fields.
WIN a FREE PLACE HERE
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02:24:40 Interview with AMIR BEN GACEM race director for UMED
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UP & COMING RACES go to https://marathons.ahotu.com
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    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor
    Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor – Ultra
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Devon / Exmoor National Park
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Enkarterri Extrem Trails
    Maratón Trail
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Basque Country / Zaramillo
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMountainMore info
  • Enkarterri Extrem Trails
    Ultra Trail
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Basque Country / Zaramillo
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMountainMore info
  • Enkarterri Extrem Trails
    Long Trail
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Basque Country / Zaramillo
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMountainMore info
  • Hells Hills Trail Run
    50 mile
    North America / USA / West South Central / Texas / Smithville
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Hells Hills Trail Run
    50 km
    North America / USA / West South Central / Texas / Smithville
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Inatel Piódão Trail Running
    50 km
    Europe / Southern Europe / Portugal / Inatel Piódão
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailWalkingSoloMore info
  • Jabulani Challenge
    Jabulani Challenge 45 km
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / New South Wales / Lindfield
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Kielder Ultra Trail
    80 km
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Northumberland / Kielder
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Kielder Ultra Trail
    100 km
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Northumberland / Kielder
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Kielder Ultra Trail
    50 km
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Northumberland / Kielder
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Le Grand Défi des Vosges
    Le Défi des Seigneurs
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Alsace / Bas-Rhin / Niederbronn-les-Bains
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Marató de la Fageda
    Marató
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Catalonia / Fageda
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSingle loopSoloMore info
  • Marató de la Fageda
    Trail la Fageda
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Catalonia / Fageda
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    MountainUTMB QualifierTrailRunningSingle loopSoloMore info
  • Ozark Foothills 50K/25K
    50K
    North America / USA / West North Central / Missouri / Wildwood
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Patagonia Run
    70k
    South America / Argentina / San Martín de los Andes
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Rockin K Trail Runs
    Rocking K Trail 50 Mile Run
    North America / USA / West North Central / Kansas / Kanopolis State Park, Marquette
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Shotgun Trail Blast
    50K
    North America / USA / Pacific / Oregon / Marcola
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningFlatMultiple loopsSoloMore info
  • South Downs Way 50
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / East Sussex / Eastbourne
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Squak Mountain Trail Runs
    50K
    North America / USA / Pacific / Washington / Issaquah
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Super Awesome! Kentucky Edition
    50K
    North America / USA / East South Central / Kentucky / Paducah
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Tar Springs Ranch Ultra
    50k Run/Walk/Hike
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Arroyo Grande
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMore info
  • The ONER
    The ONER Half Day Section
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Dorset / Lyme Regis
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • The ONER
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Dorset / Lyme Regis
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Trail de l’Aber-Wrac’h
    Alternative Race
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Brittany / Finistère / Le Folgoët
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Trail des 2 Rivieres
    60 km
    Africa / Eastern Africa / Réunion / Saint-Joseph
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Trail des 2 Rivieres
    60 km Relais
    Africa / Eastern Africa / Réunion / Saint-Joseph
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningRelayMore info
  • Ultramarathon des Ziban
    Africa / Northern Africa / Algeria / Biskra
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    DesertRoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Ultra Trail Barcelona
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Catalonia / Begues
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    MountainUTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Ultra Trail Barcelona
    Long Trail Barcelona
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Catalonia / Begues
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    MountainUTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run
    50 Mile
    North America / USA / South Atlantic / North Carolina / Raleigh
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    RunningSoloMore info
  • Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run
    100 Mile
    North America / USA / South Atlantic / North Carolina / Raleigh
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    Western States QualifierTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra Challenge
    Full Course
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / Wales / Penarth
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Woodside Crossover /Purisima Creek Crossover
    50K
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Woodside
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Yamacraw 50k/10k
    Yamacraw 50k
    North America / USA / East South Central / Kentucky / Stearns
    2018-04-07
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • 3 Waters Running Festival
    3 Waters 50km Ultra Marathon
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / Western Australia / Bunbury
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Brew to Brew Relay
    Solo
    North America / USA / West North Central / Missouri / Kansas City
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Cape Cod Trail Race
    50K
    North America / USA / New England / Massachusetts / East Falmouth
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Le Grand Défi des Vosges
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Alsace / Bas-Rhin / Niederbronn-les-Bains
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Les Terrasses du Lodévois
    45 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Languedoc-Roussillon / Hérault / Lodève
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Mad City Ultras
    100K
    North America / USA / East North Central / Wisconsin / Madison
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMultiple loopsSoloMore info
  • Mad City Ultras
    50K
    North America / USA / East North Central / Wisconsin / Madison
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMultiple loopsSoloMore info
  • Mad City Ultras
    50K Relay
    North America / USA / East North Central / Wisconsin / Madison
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMultiple loopsRelayMore info
  • Mount Buller Skyrun
    Mount Buller Skyrun 45 km
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / Victoria / Mirimbah
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningMore info
  • Mt Solitary Ultra
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / New South Wales / Wentworth Falls
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillyMore info
  • Super Awesome! Illinois Edition
    50K
    North America / USA / East North Central / Illinois / Metropolis
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Super Trail Nantais
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Pays de la Loire / Loire-Atlantique / Nantes
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Super Trail Nantais
    Super Trail Nantais (relais)
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Pays de la Loire / Loire-Atlantique / Nantes
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningRelayMore info
  • Trail de l’Aber-Wrac’h
    Trail Extrême Duo 55 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Brittany / Finistère / Le Folgoët
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningRelayMore info
  • Trail de l’Aber-Wrac’h
    Trail Extrême 55 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Brittany / Finistère / Le Folgoët
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Trail delle Valli Etrusche
    Ultratrail delle Valli Etrusche
    Europe / Southern Europe / Italy / Tuscany / Castiglion Fiorentino
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Trail des 2 Amants
    53 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Upper Normandy / Eure / Pîtres
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Trail des Reculées
    Les Laves
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Franche Comté / Jura / Lons-le-Saunier
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Trail du Josas
    50 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Ile de France / Yvelines / Jouy-en-Josas
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Trail So Bugey
    44 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Rhône-Alpes / Ain / Lhuis
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Trail So Bugey
    44 km Relais Duo
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Rhône-Alpes / Ain / Lhuis
    2018-04-08
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Ragnar Trail Atlanta – GA, Presented by Salomon
    Ragnar Trail Atlanta- GA, Presented by Salomon
    North America / USA / South Atlantic / Georgia / Conyers
    2018-04-13
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Zumbro 100
    Zumbro 100M
    North America / USA / West North Central / Minnesota / Zumbro Falls
    2018-04-13
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunning
*****
02:45:50 CLOSE
02:47:21
*****
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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
*****
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Website – talkultra.com

Episode 150 – Ryan Sandes and Brian Boyle

This is Episode 150 of Talk Ultra and we chat with Ryan Sandes ahead of his new and exciting FKT attempt in Nepal. Kurt Decker chats with Brian Boyle and Speedgoat is here.
*****
NEWS
Not much news this early in 2018, Ian and Karl chat about Bandera 100k and HURT 100. We also give a shout out to Dave Mackey!
*****
00:38:11 – Kurt Decker talks with BRIAN BOYLE
*****
01:01:55 – Ian Corless talks with RYAN SANDES
****
Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel FKT on GHT.
Hope you had an amazing festive season and got to enjoy a very well deserved breakJ In early March 2018, Ryan Sandes and his trail running best bud, Ryno Griesel, will be undertaking their next mission impossible in attempting to set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Holy Grail of Mountain Trails, the Great Himalaya Trail’s.Ryan and Ryno will be leaving from high altitude training in Afriski on the 5th of Feb before they head out to Nepal on the 21st of Feb.
While most of us mere mortals started off the year setting fitness goals that we hope to achieve by at least the end of 2018, Ryan Sandes and fellow Salomon athlete, Ryno Griesel, have set themselves the goal of running, and hopefully beating, the current fastest known time (FKT) for the Holy Grail of Mountain Trails, the Great Himalaya Trail. They are aiming to tackle the more than 1400km in early March and in under 28 days – that’s essentially running an ultra-marathon every day for under 28 days, in the mountains, and at breathless altitude levels.
What makes this feat so impressive? The Great Himalaya Trail attempt is a single long distance trek from the west end of Nepal across to the East end, covering a staggering 1406km, with 68 500m of ascent and 70 000m of descent, a distance that takes a normal human roughly 5 months to walk. There are currently more people who have walked on the moon than those who have completed this entire trail!
“I am really excited, but also a bit nervous to be attempting to run the Great Himalaya Trail with Ryno in a few weeks’ time,” says Ryan. “This is going to be, by far, the greatest challenge of my life. I have never covered a distance (in one go) this far on my own two feet. There are so many unknowns we are going to have to deal with along the way, but that I guess is what intrigues me most about the challenge. This distance is so great and the mountains are so big that I have not quite gotten my head around the project yet. The plan will be to take it day by day and adjust our strategy accordingly!”
The current FKT was set by fellow South African Andrew Porter in 2016, who completed the challenge in 28days 13hrs 56min.
The Great Himalaya Trail is not a single trail but rather a combination of various trails in either the upper (GHT High Route) or middle (GHT Cultural route) districts of Nepal stretching from the west to the east (or vice versa) end of the country. Ryan and Ryno will traverse the route combining the High GHT and Cultural GHT to challenge the current recognised FKT, whilst self-navigating the best possible route to link up the 12 required check-points as set by Andrew.
“I am extremely excited and humbled by the opportunity to share the Himalayas with Ryan in such a cool adventure,” says Ryno. “Researching a project of this scale, I am nervously aware that we simply cannot prepare for everything and that we will have to rely on the foundation of our friendship built from previous “epics” to find solutions on-the-go and carry each other through! I am really looking forward to it & we will take it day by day – looking after each other!” 
This challenge is a follow on project to Ryan and Ryno’s very successful 2014 Drakensberg Grand Traverse. The much larger mountains and extreme conditions in the Himalayas would be a natural progression for both of them to explore their limits. Although there will be limited points where they meet up with crew to receive permits and basic kit exchange, Ryan and Ryno will rely on local hospitality for nutrition, water and a place to sleep.
The route that Ryan and Ryno will be taking is (based on the Andrew’s current FKT) :
·         Start in the village of Hilsa on the Western Nepal/ Tibetan border and cross the following points (villages and passes).
·         Simikot at roughly 77km
·         Gamgadhi at roughly 150km
·         Jumla at roughly 193km
·         Juphal (280km) or Dunai at roughly 290km
·         Chharka Bhot at roughly 380km
·         Kagbeni at roughly 444km
·         Thorang La Pass at roughly 463km
·         Larkye La Pass at roughly 561km
·         Jiri at roughly 928km
·         Tumlingtar at roughly 1075km
·         Finishing on the Eastern Nepal/ Indian border at Pashupatinagar.
Thanks to our ability to ALWAYS be in contact, Ryan and Ryno will have live tracking throughout the traverse, and will also do regular social media updates to show how they are doing and what they are experiencing.
01:41:07
*****
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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
*****
Stitcher You can listen on iOS HERE, Android HERE or via a web player HERE
Website – talkultra.com

Great Himalayan Trail – Philippe & Anna Gatta

Philippe & Anna Gatta iancorless.com

Ultra runners and climbers Philippe and Anna Gatta started a major expedition on the 20th September that will travel the length of the Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal. Philippe and Anna are well into the journey that will change both of them, not only from a physical perspective but from within. You can read the daily blog here

Philippe Gatta aims to run the 1,700km route in under six weeks, completing the equivalent of 40 marathons in 40 days.

Anna Gatta will also be running long sections of the route with Philippe, covering 670km, with 39km of ascent and completing the equivalent of 16 marathons. In addition, she will provide essential logistical support to her husband on the sections when he is running solo.

Philippe Gatta iancorless.com

The Great Himalayan Trail (GHT) extends for 1,700km and includes over 88km of vertical gain. The route includes many passes at an altitude higher than 5,000m and two that are at 6,200m, and it navigates through some of the highest mountains in the world, including Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga.

The Gattas are facing temperatures ranging from -25 degrees Celsius to +35, will run at altitudes from 880m to over 7,000m, and in jungle terrain, forests, deserts and on glaciers.  To add even more to the challenge, on the 30th day Philippe is planning to complete a speed ascent and descent of Baruntse (7,129m).

Philippe Gatta, Anna Gatta iancorless.com

“It is amazing to look back at the last 18 months, since we decided to run the Great Himalayan Trail.  After all of the expeditions and races I have done in the past 15 years, I never thought that this would be so complex to organize.  When we climb a big mountain, we establish a base camp with all the gear we need for the following weeks.  Of course, there are limits to the amount of things we can take but that’s nothing compared to the challenge of running 40km every day, carrying all we need in small packs and across the Himalaya. There are still areas of uncertainty – about the trail in several sections and about the conditions on the trail and mountains after the monsoon – but that’s all part of the adventure.  We have both set new personal records in term of training intensity and volume and are very confident and happy about our preparation, the kit and the logistics.”

Great Himalayan Trail Map - GHT - iancorless.com

Philippe and Anna are sponsored and supported by Berghaus for this journey and will be sending updates which will be posted on the Berghaus community, Facebook and Twitter.

The journey has been troubled due to heavy snowfall and difficult conditions; here is an outtake from the 18th October, day 24.

“Yesterday Philippe called from the sat phone. He was devastated since he realized that after 10 hours of opening up a path in extreme conditions to Tilman Pass they had advanced only 2 km due to snow up to waist and hidden crevasses. Despite very hard efforts they simply couldn’t continue. Philippe said it had been harder than the summit day of Everest. He and the Sherpa return back to the Kyangin camp and have decided to not take more risks and turn back to Katmandu to analyze what parts of ght that are still possible to realize. Another pass he was supposed to do, Tashi Labsta 5800m, is not doable now neither and the 3 cols had avalanches…”

The Ultimate Trail – facts and figures

– Distance – 1,700km across Nepal

– Vertical height gained – 100km

– Temperatures ranging from -25 degrees Celsius to +35

– Altitude from 880m to 7,220m

– Jungle, glacier, forests and desert

Key sections

– Dolpo – 300km with eight passes at over 5,000m

– Philippe will be self-sufficient for seven to eight days in a remote area where he is unlikely to meet anyone.

– Philippe will use a pack with a maximum weight of 10kg, which will hold all of his equipment and food for the section.

– The Three Cols – from Everest to Makalu

– Four days above 5,000m with two technical passes at 6,200m

– Challenges will include glaciers, crevasses and abseils.

– Kangchenjunga

– 230km in a very wild region

– From rain forests to a 5,160m pass

– Lacking in good trails but littered with landslides

Follow the blog here

GHT, Great Himalayan Trail info iancorless.com