Episode 162 – Beth Pascall, Casey Morgan, Brutal Claire and Elisabet Barnes

Episode 162 of Talk Ultra brings you a chat with Beth Pascall who placed 4th at the 2018 UTMB. We speak with Casey Morgan about injury and future plans and Brutal Claire will make us all feel lazy and inadequate in an inspiring chat. Elisabet Barnes co-hosts and tells us all about her victory and 4th overall at Ultra Mirage in Tunisia.
*****
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
*****
NEWS 00:35:36
ULTRA MIRAGE
What a day… Rachid El Morabity and Elisabet Barnes take the victory. Read the story HERE
GRINDSTONE 100
Michael Owen and Shannon Howell won the tough hundo in 20:08 and 22:22.
PIRIN SKY ULTRA
Pere Aurell ended the season as he started with victory! He kicked of the the year with victory at Transvulcania and here won again and the SWS world title. Benat Marmissolle was 2nd and Dmitry Mityaev 3rd – 7:44, 7:50 and 8:04 for the 66km with 4400m of vert!
For the women, Brittany Peterson took her first win, great result! Emily Hagwood (rising star) was 2nd and Antoniya Grigorova was 3rd, 9:01, 9:38 and 9:39.
ELS 2900
Dakota Jones and Nicke Elson took the top honours at arguably one of the most extreme races out there! Approx 70km and an estimated 6700m vert – runners in teams of two navigate all the peaks in Andorra as fast as possible by a route that they decide. They must ego to certain checkpoints but otherwise it is open to the imagination!
Husband and wife team, Konrad Rawlik and Jasmin Paris took the mixed team prize.
Only 50 people start in teams of two, 15 teams finished.
ULTRA PIRINEU
Ekaterina Mityeava finally took top honours in 15:12 ahead of Magdalena Lack and Roser Espanol, 15:56 and 16:31.
For the men, Jessed Hernandez beat Zaid Ait Malek and Jordi Gamito, 12:35, 12:40 and 13:01.
SPARTATHLON
The weather gods dropped everything on the race this year, huge congrats to Yoshihiko Ishikawa 22:54 and Zsuzsanna Maraz 27:04 for completing the distance.
*****
00:56:03 Interview with BETH PASCALL
*****
01:33:25 Interview with CASEY MORGAN
*****
02:03:33 Interview with BRUTAL CLAIRE
*****
02:56:22 CLOSE
02:57:44
*****
Share us on Facebook – Talk Ultra FB https://www.facebook.com/talkultra/
Tweet us on Twitter – Talk Ultra on Twitter https://twitter.com/Talkultra
And use good old word mouth.
Importantly, go to iTunes and subscribe so that you automatically get our show when it’s released we are also available on Stitcher for iOS, Android and Web Player and now Tunein.
Our web page at www.iancorless.com has all our links and back catalogue.
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
UP & COMING RACES go to https://marathons.ahotu.com

Episode 132 – Dean Karnazes, Wardian and the Barkely and Janine Canham

Episode 132 of Talk Ultra and we talk ‘The Road To Sparta’ with Dean Karnazes. Mike Wardian tells us how difficult it is to cover 20-miles at Barkley and Janine Canham tells us about multi-day running, the Hong Kong run scene and the 9 Dragons race.

I am going solo this week. Karl is on the road and has been for sometime promoting his up and coming movie on his Appalachian Trail FKT (info HERE) and Niandi is busy with work…

So here I am, recording solo literally just before I jump on a plane and head for Morocco and the 32nd Marathon des Sables.

Just a little info on Niandi – the cam boot is off and slowly but surely she is moving around more. Pool sessions daily and strength work in the gym are all falling into place and we have set ourselves a little 3-day fast packing for early May as a target. Running may be a way off yet, this fracture was more serious than the one a year ago.

Me? Well, I had a weekend off work with Niandi in Paris which was pretty awesome and then I followed that with a trip to Norway to work as a stills photographer on a feature film. Something new for me and I loved it… I am a real fitm fan so to work behind the scenes with the crew and actors was just incredible. I will be back in Norway at the end of April for 2 more days on set

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

NEWS

Barkley

Well the big news is all about a little race in Tennessee that usually nobody finishes. This year one person did, John Kelly. The 15th finisher. However, his incredible victory in many ways was overshadowed by what first looked like Gary Robbins missing the 60-hour cut-off by 6-seconds. The reality was, Gary had gone off course and navigated his way back to the yellow gate the wrong way – he would have been a DQ even had he been inside the 60-hour time. It all makes for a great story and you can read more HERE. However, lets celebrate John Kelly being the 15th finisher of what is arguably, the toughest race in the world.

If you need clarification on ‘toughest’ – I caught up with Mike Wardian who got lost on lap-1 and eventually finished the first 20-mile loop outside the 12-hour cut-off.

 INTERVIEW with MIKE WARDIAN

Georgia Death Race

Avery Collins won the 74-mile race ahead of Kyle Boykin and in the process obtained a Western States slot. What has followed is a Tweet/ FB storm as Dave Mackey has called Collins out for smoking dope (a banned substance on WADA’s list). There has been much chatter with in the community and this will rumble on. Bob Shebest was 3rd.

Aliza Lapierre won the ladies race ahead of Jackie Merritt and Alondra Moody – 14:00, 14:24 and 14:58 respectively.

Kilian Jornet

Kilian announced his year! Everest figures and an attempt at the Bob Graham Round.

Surprisingly, his run calendar is full, no doubt due to the run series that is currently a little under the radar…. Mont Blanc Marathon, Sierre Zinal, a return to a super stacked UTMB and of course Hardrock 100 and Ultra Pirineu figure. From a UK perspective, KJ will race at Glen Coe which is awesome news.

Run4Water 24-hour

Jon Olsen and Gina Slaby took top honours running 154.58 and 142.38 miles respectively.

American River 50

Scott Trummer beat Zach Bitter by 13-mins 6:03 to 6:13 and Rich Hanna was 3rd. Vanessa Taylor was top lady ahead of Melissa Penwell and Kelly Cronin – 7:29, 7:37 and 8:26.

El Reventon Mountain Race

Aritz Egea is back taking a win ahead of Miguel Heras by 12-min – 3:48 to 4:00. Cristofer Clemente placed 3rd. Dominique Van Mechgelen won the ladies’ race in 5:09.

The racing scene in Hong Kong is growing and growing and I caught up with Brit, Janine Canham who has lived there for 25-years. She has witnessed the run scene grow and she tells us about her running, multi-day running and the recent 9 Dragons race.

INTERVIEW with JANINE CANHAM

Recently I was in Bulgaria with Dean Karnazes and it was just too much of an opportunity to pin him down and talk about his up and coming book The Road To Sparta which is currently being released worldwide and will be available in the UK from late April. Read more HERE

INTERVIEW with DEAN KARNAZES

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Patagonia Run 100k | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Patagonia Run 130k | 130 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

Patagonia Run 63k | 63 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Patagonia Run 84k | 84 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Running Festival Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Queensland

Wildhorse Criterium 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Wildhorse Criterium 70 km | 70 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Victoria

Down Under 135 | 135 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Western Australia

3 Waters 50km Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Belgium

Brussels Capital Region

Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

British Virgin Islands

Tortola Torture | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Diez Vista 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 108 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 69 km | 69 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

France

Ariège

Trail des Citadelles – 70 km | 73 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Bas-Rhin

Le Challenge des Seigneurs | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Le Défi des Seigneurs | 74 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

L’Intégrale | 132 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Eure

53,1 km | 53 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Finistère

Extrême Duo 54 km | 54 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Trail Extrême 54 km | 54 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Gironde

Tour du Canton de Fronsac 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Lozère

100 km | 100 kilometers | April 17, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 126 km | 126 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 144 km | 144 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 179 km | 179 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 224 km | 224 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 59 km | 59 kilometers | April 18, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 17, 2017 | website

Mayenne

53 km | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

53 km | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

53 km Relais 2 coureurs | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

53 km Relais 2 coureurs | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Var

La Trace des Montrieux 51 km | 51 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

L’Ultra de Signes 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Nord Eifel Ultra | 56 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Guadeloupe

GUADARUN : ultra-marathon des îles de Guadeloupe | 136 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Italy

Lombardy

BVG Trail | 73 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Kuwait

240 km RunKuwait Challenge | 240 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Malaysia

168 km | 168 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

84 km | 84 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | April 18, 2017 | website

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

Nepal

Mustang Trail Race | 170 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Trail des Trois Vallées | 353 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Castricum Ultraloop | 60 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

New Zealand

5 Person Relay | 60 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

62 km Ultra marathon | 62 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Portugal

Gerês Trail Aventure® | 130 kilometers | April 13, 2017 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® Starter | 70 kilometers | April 13, 2017 | website

Peneda-Gerês Trail Aventure® | 280 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Singapore

64.5 km | 64 kilometers | April 14, 2017 | website

South Africa

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon | 56 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Spain

Basque Country

Long Trail | 68 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Ultra Trail | 85 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Catalonia

Half | 60 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ultra | 87 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Extremadura

LXVII Milhas Romanas | 100 kilometers | April 21, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Carmarthenshire

Pendine Sands Ultra | 32 miles | April 16, 2017 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor – Ultra | 34 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Dorset

The ONER | 78 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

The ONER Half Day Section | 39 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

East Sussex

South Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Hampshire

Compton 40 mile Challenge | 40 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Liverpool

Liverpool to Manchester Ultra | 47 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Northumberland

100 km | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

USA

California

Diablo Trails Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Grizzly Peak 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Lake Sonoma 50 | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Oriflamme 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Ruth Anderson 100k | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ruth Anderson 50k | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ruth Anderson 50M | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Woodside Crossover 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Colorado

50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Rattler Trail Races 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Connecticut

Traprock 50 | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Florida

100 Miles | 100 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

50 Miles | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

75 Miles | 75 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

DTR Endurance Race 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Idaho

Menan Butte Trail Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run | 150 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Iowa

Hawkeye 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Kansas

Free State Trail Runs 100 km Trail Ultra | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Free State Trail Runs 40-Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Kentucky

50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Yamacraw 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Massachusetts

Cape Cod Trail Race – Run Forward. Give Back – Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Don’t Run Boston 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

TARC 50M | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Michigan

Kal-Haven Trail Run | 33 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Minnesota

Zumbro 100M | 100 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Zumbro Midnight 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Missouri

Double Chubb 50k | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ozark Foothills 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Nevada

55K | 55 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

New Mexico

Spaceport America Relay Race | 200 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

North Carolina

50-KM | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

Tatur’s Lake McMurty Trail Race 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Oregon

Gorge Waterfalls 100k | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Gorge Waterfalls 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | April 09, 2017 | website

Texas

50K | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Brazos Bend 50 | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Utah

100k | 100 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

100 Mile | 100 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Washington

Lumberjack 100 K Run | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Lumberjack 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Lumberjack 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Palouse 100K Relay – 2-3 runners | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Palouse 100K Relay – 4-10 runners | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Palouse 100K Solo | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Squak Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

West Virginia

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Wisconsin

Mad City 100K | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Mad City 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Close

02:38:00

We say this every show, but Talk Ultra is nothing without downloads and listeners so please help us spread the word.

Share us on Facebook

Tweet us on Twitter

And use good old word mouth.

Importantly, go to iTunes and subscribe so that you automatically get our show when it’s released we are also available on Stitcher for iOS, Android and Web Player and now Tunein.

Our web page at www.iancorless.com has all our links and back catalogue.

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.

I’m Ian Corless

Keep running

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

Stitcher You can listen on iOS HEREAndroid HERE or via a web player HERE

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

Libsyn Player HERE and HERE

Tunein – http://tunein.com/radio/Talk-Ultra-p983452/

Website – talkultra.com

MIRA – The Movie

©iancorless.com_UltraPirineu2015-3066

“MIRA” is a gem among the many ultrarunning movies that are currently available. It’s a simple story that pulls at the heart, inspires and at all times remains humble. The movie, like Mira started small and has grown.

In 2014, Mira was unknown, but through the insight of Trail Running Nepal, Richard Bull and Lizzy Hawker, Mira found a home and a story started to unfold. Like any flame, if you provide the right conditions, the flame will grow, increase and yes, even rage.

In February 2015, Lloyd Belcher started to work on this project. Like any project of this nature, it was a risk. Would Mira perform, would the film find the funding required to complete it. Lloyd sums it up so well when he recently said:

“Thank you to all who believed in the value of this project when we started filming in Feb 2015 without any money but a vision of how we wanted to reach girls in Nepal with Mira’s inspirational story. So many have joined us on this journey and given in so many ways.”

The film is the story about Mira, a Nepali village girl on her pursuit to becoming a world-recognised mountain runner while racing primarily in the 2015 Skyrunner World Series.

©iancorless.com_Tromso2015-5182

I have to say, I have been more than fortunate to witness Mira’s growth, not only from the outside looking in but also on the trails as I have documented in words and images her inspirational rise in the sport.

©iancorless.com_Tromso2015-3808

The ridges, mountains and technical trail of Tromso, the stunning Italian Dolomites and the Spanish mountains in and around Ultra Pirineu. Mira inspired through her humility, her no-nonsense approach and a very simple approach to life. When you watch MIRA you realise why.

Unlike many other running movies, MIRA is just a great story. It’s inspiring and at times heart breaking. A fascinating watch, Mira’s life journey is told on film; from growing up in  remote Nepalese countryside with poverty, a 2-year stint in the army and a brave solo move to Kathmandu. Victory at an impromptu 50km race made Richard Bull, stop, ask questions and suddenly help Mira (along with Lizzy Hawker) take the first steps on a compelling story to competing with the best in the world.

MIRA is a film for all, runner or not, it’s just great story telling!

Watch the trailer

But most importantly rent and watch the movie. Proceeds will directly benefit initiatives to empower Nepali girls to participate in sports. 

©iancorless.com_DolomitesVK2015-9868

The movie ‘Mira’ is now available online here

 https://vimeo.com/ondemand/miraraifilm

Episode 97 – Bonnet Symonds Pierson

 

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 97 of Talk Ultra has an interview with Andy Symonds about his return to running and top results after prolonged injury, we speak with Remi Bonnet rising star of the VK and SKY distance and Mariepaule Pierson is back from Atacama and tells us all about it. We have Talk Training, the News and Speedboat Karl.

00:01:30 Show Start

00:07:30 NEWS

 Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

LANTAU 2 PEAKS

1 – Remi Bonnet 2:14:07

2 – Manuel Merillas 2:24:29

3 – Tadei Pivk 2:26:39

1 – Yngvild Kaspersen 2:42:04

2 – Laura Orgue 2:49:58

3 – Maite Maiora 2:51:19

00:12:56 INTERVIEW

REMI BONNET

UTAT 105km/ 6500m +

1 – Andy Symonds 13:41

2 – Julien Chorier 14:20

3 – Omar Bouhrim 15:32

1 – Andrea Huser 15:47

2 – Francesca Canepa 19:34

3 – Geraldine Leroy 23:08

Other races are 68km, 42km and 26km

WARRIOR DASH

Max King 2-years in a row wins $30,000 – F***!

CROWN OF THE CONTINENT TRAVERSE

Mike Wolfe and Mike Foote run an incredible 600-mile FKT from Missoula to Banff. We will have both Mike’s on the next Talk Ultra to tell us all about it. Read HERE

LAKE TAHOE FKT

Krissy Moehl 47:29 new record by 2-hours Read HERE

GRINDSTONE 100

1 – Brian Rusiecki 20:24

1 – Amy Rusiecki 23:36

FLAGSTAFF SKY RACE ULTRA

1 – Dan Kraft 5:49

2 – Gabe McGowan 5:54 ?

3 – Josh Arthur 6:00

1 – Ashley Erba 6:47

2 – Meredith Edwards 7:39

3 – Jen Benna 7:47

FLAGSTAFF SKY RACE SKY

1 – Martin Anthamatten 3:59

2 – Joe Gray 4:06

3 – Tim Parr 4:39

1 – Megan Kimmel 4:29

2 – Kristi Knecht 5:04

3 – Corinne Malcolm 5:12

TNF CHALLENGE WISCONSIN

1 – Tyler Sigi 5:55

2 – Dylan Bowman (went of course) 6:28

3 – John Knudson 6:49

1 – Molly Culver 8:10

2 – Christine Murphy 8:18

3 – Emily Kratz 8:22

LAKES IN A DAY 

1 – Kim Collison 9:12:07

2 – Marcis Gubats 10:27:48

3 – Stuart Dickson 10:49:05

1 – Helen Leigh 11:00:10

2 – Sabrina Verjee 11:29:59

3 – Lucy Spain 11:58:48

 

00:48:27 INTERVIEW 

ANDREW SYMONDS

 

01:22:46 INTERVIEW

MARIEPAULE PIERSON

 

02:11:42 TALK TRAINING

TALK TRAINING – BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING read the document HERE

 

UP & COMING RACES

Andorra

Els 2900 Alpine Run | 70 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Australia

New South Wales

Buckley’s Chance 50km Off-trail Ultra | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Hume & Hovell 100 | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Hume & Hovell 50 | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Survival Run Australia 75km | 75 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Washpool/Gibraltar World Heritage Trails 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Queensland

Blackall 100 | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Blackall 100 – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

South Australia

Heysen 105 | 105 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Victoria

Ned Kelly Chase 100km – Wangaratta Fitness Fun Addicts | 100 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Austria

Bécs-Pozsony-Budapest Szupermaraton | 317 kilometers | October 19, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Q50 Costa Rica Ultramarathon | 86 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Finland

Western Finland

Wihan kilometrit – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Wihan kilometrit – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

France

Aude

Raid des Bogomiles | 96 kilometers | October 16, 2015 | website

Aveyron

Endurance Trail | 106 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Grand Trail des templiers | 71 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Intégrale des Causses | 60 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Corse-du-Sud

Corsica Coast Race – 95 km | 95 kilometers | October 29, 2015 | website

Haute-Corse

Corsica Coast Race – 170 km | 170 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Ille-et-Vilaine

Entre Palis et Mégalithes | 64 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Savoie

Grand Trail du Lac – 72 km | 72 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Röntgenlauf Ultramarathon | 63 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Greece

Rodopi Advendurun 100 miles | 100 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

India

West Bengal

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Israel

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 200 Km Run | 200 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 61 Km Run | 61 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Italy

Campania

Amalfi Coast Trail | 79 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Cormorultra | 69 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Piedmont

Lago d’Orta Ultra Trail – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Lago D’Orta Ultra Trail – 80 km | 80 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Puglia

Run & Go 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Run & Go 100 Miglia | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Ultramarathon | 81 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Sicily

Etna Tour Trail | 67 kilometers | October 29, 2015 | website

Japan

Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Jordan

Jordan Running Adventure Race – 190 km | 190 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Jordan Running Adventure Race – 70 km | 70 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Mexico

Carrera de Baja Mexican Trail | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Nepal

Everest Sky Race | 360 kilometers | October 16, 2015 | website

Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Portugal

Azores Triangle Adventure | 103 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail das Aldeias do Xisto | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Réunion

La Mascareignes | 67 kilometers | October 23, 2015 | website

Le Grand Raid | 164 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Trail de Bourbon | 93 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

South Africa

Bonitas Golden Gate Challenge | 70 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon | 250 kilometers | October 22, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultima Frontera – 166 km | 166 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultima Frontera – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultima Frontera – 83 km | 83 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Ultra-Trail Gran Vuelta Valle Del Genal | 125 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Tenerife Bluetrail 60 km | 59 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Tenerife Bluetrail 94 km | 94 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Trail de la Serra de Montsant | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Valencian Community

Mondúber Utrail | 80 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Sweden

Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Taiwan

UltraTaiwan 100 | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

UltraTaiwan 50 | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Stage Run | 260 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Turkey

Cappadocia Trail 60km | 62 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

The North Face Cappadocia Ultra Trail | 110 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Cumbria

Ennerdale 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Devon

East Devon Way Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

East Devon Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

East Devon Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 20, 2015 | website

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Ultra – Black Route | 53 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Ultra – Red Route | 42 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Black Route | 50 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Blue Route | 32 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

Two Moors Way Ultra – Red Route | 43 miles | October 19, 2015 | website

West Devon Way Ultra – Black Route | 48 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

West Devon Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Dorset

Wessex Ridgeway Ultra – Black Route | 52 miles | October 21, 2015 | website

Wessex Ridgeway Ultra – Red Route | 42 miles | October 21, 2015 | website

Durham

Original Mountain Marathon | 52 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Hampshire

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Black Route | 52 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Blue Route | 35 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Sussex Border Path Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Oxfordshire

Autumn 100 | 100 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Rotherham

Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham International Trail Event | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Somerset

West Deane Way Ultra – Black Route | 51 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

West Deane Way Ultra – Blue Route | 36 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

West Deane Way Ultra – Red Route | 44 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Suffolk

Coastal Trail Series – Suffolk – Ultra | 34 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

West Sussex

Olympic Way Ultra – Black Route | 44 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Wiltshire

Clarendon Way Ultra – Black Route | 48 miles | October 22, 2015 | website

Clarendon Way Ultra – Red Route | 37 miles | October 22, 2015 | website

Worcestershire

Halloween 7in7 | 295 kilometers | October 26, 2015 | website

USA

Arizona

Cave Creek Thriller 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

California

Coyote Ridge 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

EC 100 | 101 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

EC 50 | 51 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Lake Hodges 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Stinson Beach 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Twin Peaks 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Twin Peaks 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Colorado

Indian Creek 51 km | 51 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Indian Creek 52 Mile | 52 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Connecticut

Bimbler’s Bluff 50k | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Delaware

Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Florida

Jacks 50k Trail Race | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Mutual Mine 50K | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

“Running for the Bay!” 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Hawaii

Peacock Ultramarathons 100K | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Peacock Ultramarathons 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Illinois

Des Plaines River Tail 50 Miles | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Maine

The Pounder | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

The Punisher | 50 miles | October 18, 2015 | website

Maryland

Patapsco Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Surf the Murph 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Surf the Murph 50M | 50 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Missouri

Dogwood Canyon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

Nebraska

G.O.A.T.z 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

New Hampshire

Ghost Train Ultra Race 100M | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 45M | 45 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 60M | 60 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 75M | 75 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Ghost Train Ultra Race 90M | 90 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Deadman Peaks Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Triple Lakes Trail 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon 50k | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon 50M | 50 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Ohio

Stone Steps 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100K | 100 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Oregon

Elk-Kings Mtn Traverse 50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Quad State Quad Buster | 46 miles | October 17, 2015 | website

Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK | 50 miles | October 25, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Ragnar Relay Tennessee | 196 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Texas

Big Cedar Endurance Run 100 Miler | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50K | 50 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Cactus Rose 100 Mi Trail Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Cactus Rose 50 Mi Trail Run | 50 miles | October 24, 2015 | website

Trans-Pecos Ultra | 163 miles | October 18, 2015 | website

Utah

Goblin Valley Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

Pony Express Trail 100 | 100 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Pony Express Trail 50 | 50 miles | October 16, 2015 | website

Virginia

50K | 50 kilometers | October 17, 2015 | website

The Wild Oak Trail 100 “Hot” TWOT | 100 miles | October 23, 2015 | website

Washington

Ft. Steilacoom 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2015 | website

SCOTT Cougar Mountain Series 50k | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2015 | website

West Virginia

Run Around the Gorge | 69 kilometers | October 24, 2015 | website

02:39:23 CLOSE 

 

02:42:12

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Lantau 2 Peaks 2015 – Race Summary and Images

©iancorless.com_Lantau2Peaks2015-4482

Hong Kong is a cacophony of noise, colour and experiences. Add heat and high humidity and it provides a very unique setting for the 4th race in the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series.

The race run by Action Asia Events starts and finishes in Tung Chung on Lantau Island and as the name suggests, takes in the 2 peaks; Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak. In just 23km’s the races climbs and drops a total of 3975m. ‘Steps’ offer unique terrain that signifies a Hong Kong race and ones’ ability to go up and down is taken to a new level by this demanding terrain.

Two days of great Hong Kong weather unfortunately deteriorated the day before the race and many of the elite runners’ worst fears came true on race day when rain continued to fall accompanied by gale force winds that were rated as a level-3 typhoon. It’s not that elite runners don’t like running in the rain; not all. However, slick stone steps with a layer of water are a potential accident waiting to happen in any scenario, add ‘racing’ to the max and pushing the pace require a leap of faith. The wind was so strong at times you would be lifted of your feet and thrown like a piece of rubbish on the trail.

Yes, the 2015 Lantau 2 Peaks was one to remember!

The race was ultimately about the rising of two stars; Remi Bonnet and Yngvild Kaspersen. Young guns having some fun with a smile and a passion. They really did show the rest of the field a master-class in running in the extremely tough conditions.

Race Report

Runners had arrived in Hong Kong a couple of days before the race to check out the course, adjust to the humidity and explore a little of what Hong Kong has to offer. Two days of excellent weather unfortunately turned sour the day before the race as storms came in from the sea, torrential rain and the possibility of a typhoon!

The island of Lantau provides a very different race experience to what one can expect in Europe. Stairs (stone steps irregularly placed) provide a key element of the course not only going up but coming down. The wet adds an additional element and one that would test each and every runner on race day.

Starting in Tung Chunk at 0730, the runners had a fast and furious start over 2km’s before the climbing would start to the first peak of the day, Sunset Peak. The predicted typhoon hit in a force 3 making conditions ‘off-the-scale’ as rain flooded down the mountain creating impromptu rivers and waterfalls. Add to this gale force winds that would lift you off your feet and the stage was set for an epic battle.

For the men, Remi Bonnet pushed the pace from the gun ahead of Manuel Merillas and Aritz Egea, in pursuit Tadei Pivk, Marco De Gasperi and the remainder of the elite runners were spread out over the mountain. Yngvild Kaspersen like Remi set a blistering pace at the front, behind Laura Orgue pursued and then Elisa Desco and Maite Maiora.

Over Sunset Peak (3rd highest in Hong Kong) steps provided a sharp and sudden drop to CP1 and the 2nd climb to Lantau Peak at 934m. The hard steps, slick conditions and fierce competition made the course extremely challenging.

Pushing upward to Lantau, the trail closed in, opened up and then intersperses steps once again. The course requires a unique style of running (or hiking) as the irregular height and depth of the steps makes finding a rhythm awkward.

Pre race, Laura Orgue had said, “Hong Kong will be an absolutely different race to what we are used to.” She was correct. The combination of mixed terrain and inclement weather on race day all made for a unique challenge.

Remi Bonnet and Yngvild Kaspersen were leading the respective men’s and ladies’ races with two master-class performances, one could even say they made it look easy! At the summit of Lantau Peak, barring an accident they both would be crowned 2015 champions. But with a huge drop from the summit and slick conditions to contend with, the final rankings were still open.

With 23km’s covered and 1987m of vertical gain and more importantly maybe, 1988m of vertical loss, Remi arrived triumphant at Citygate in Tung Chung, a circular trip completed taking in the Lantau 2 Peaks in a time of 02:14:07. Manuel Merillas fought a hard battle for 2nd and Tadei Pivk took 3rd place ahead of a charging Greg Vollet. Artiz Egea who had run in 3rd place earlier dropped to 5th.

Yngvild Kaspersen won the race for the ladies in 02:42:04 and Laura Orgue held on to 2nd. Maite Maiora in the closing stages overhauled Elisa Desco on the descent and placed 3rd. Stevie Kremer placed 5th having struggled with jet lag having only landed in Hong Kong the night before the race after 24-hours of travel.

Results:

  1. Remi Bonnet 2:14:07
  2. Manuel Merillas 2:24:29
  3. Tadei Pivk 2:26:39
  1. Yngvild Kaspersen 2:42:04
  2. Laura Orgue 2:49:58
  3. Maite Maiora 2:51:19

RANKING

Sky Series ranking provisional results (after Lantau 2 Peaks & US Continental Championships)
Men

1. Tadei Pivk (ITA) Crazy Idea – 366 points
2. Manuel Merillas (ESP) Mammut/Compressport – 332 points
3. Tom Owens (GBR) Salomon- 268 points
3. Ionut Zinca (ROU) Valetudo – 268 points
5. Aritz Egea (ESP)E MF  – 252 points

Women
1. Laura Orguè (ESP) Salomon – 364 points
2. Elisa Desco (ITA) SCOTT Sports/Compressport – 350 points
3. Maite Maiora (ESP) La Sportiva – 322 points
4. Megan Kimmel (USA) Asics – 300 points
5. Stevie Kremer (USA) Salomon – 254 points

Full results HERE

Hong Kong and the Lantau 2 Peaks – First Impressions

 

©iancorless.com_Lantau2Peaks2015-3966Hong Kong, it’s a place I have wanted to visit for sometime! The noise, the bustle of life, it has an energy that is far removed from many places that I visit. Nepal I suppose in some ways come close but only on a noise level, here everyone has the latest phone, computer, camera and so on

It’s a long way from the UK or anywhere in Europe. A short 1 –hour flight to Amsterdam, a couple of hours’ stopover and then a 10.5-hour flight through the night and of course 7-hours time difference. You arrive mid morning but you feel like you be wrapped up in bed.

Once you leave the air conditioned confines of the airport or train station, the heat hits you. It’s like someone just turned a hair dryer on and the humidity? It’s uncomfortably high.

Most normal people would get a couple of hours sleep. A little RnR maybe? No, not us. The Salomon team were on my flight; Greg Vollet (team manager), Remi Bonnet, Laura Orgue, Martina Valmassoi and Yngvild Kaspersen. It’s a multi-national bunch with France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Norway represented.

Active people don’t like being compressed in a cylindrical tube for any length of time, especially 10.5-hours. So it was a quick turnaround at the hotel, check-in, drop luggage in room, shower and go for lunch before heading out on the Lantau 2 Peaks course. Lunch was an interesting navigation of what felt like a lucky dip. We ticked boxes on a menu card and hoped for the best. Some of our choices were excellent, some average and the less we discuss the pork balls, the better!

Lantau 2 Peaks by Action Asia Events after all is why we are all here. Lantau is the 4th race in the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series for the SKY distance and the top male and female honours are all to play for.

Our early arrival in HK affords an opportunity to check out the 2nd section of the course, from Cp1 to the finish; it is one we seize. I get to look at some possible photo spots and loosen off from the travel, the Salomon team get a 13-14k mountain run in.

Running is easy! Navigating our way across Hong Kong via 2 trains, no ‘blue’ taxi’s meant that a bus was the only option. As it turned out it was a great adventure.

So here we are.

We have consumed food, used public transport, christened the trails and as darkness falls the place is coming to life in a glow of neon lights and sounds.

Hong Kong is an exciting place!

Lantau 2 Peaks (Hong Kong) 2015 Race Preview

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-6057

Exciting and vibrant Hong Kong hosts the Lantau 2 Peaks this coming weekend, the 4th race in the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series. Following on from the RUT 25km and just 3 weeks before the series final in Limone, the Lantau 2 Peaks is going to be a very exciting race!

Located at Citygate, Tung Chung the race has a total distance of 23km’s and an elevation gain of 1987m. It’s a very tough course that will involve and require plenty of hands-on-knee action. The race website warns:

Please make sure you do hill training before competing in this category as you will be climbing some of the biggest peaks in Hong Kong.

Estimated winning time for the 23km is 3 hours which puts the course into perspective, especially when one also considers the cut-off time is 8 hours.

Lantau 2 Peaks profile

 

MEN

Ionut Zinca, Remi Bonnet, Marco De Gasperi, Tadei Pivk, Manuel Merillas, Aritz Egea, Hassan Ait Chaou, Iban Letamendi and Greg Vollet head up a world-class field and as one can imagine, it will be a battle royal for top honors.

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-5142Remi Bonnet is the new kid on the block and showed everyone a clean pair of heals at the RUT VK and SKY race with 2 stand out performances. The race here in Hong Kong will suit his racing style, particularly coming so close after the challenging USA course.

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-0389

Tadei Pivk placed 2nd at the RUT behind Remi Bonnet and just seconds ahead of Marco de Gasperi. Tadei has had a great 2015 with stand out performances at Zegama-Aizkorri and the Dolomites SkyRace. He will be looking to get ahead of the rest of the field and score another 100% points to lead the world series ranking going into Limone Extreme.

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-5864

Marco De Gasperi can never be rules out in ‘any’ SKY race. The 20+km distance is Marco’s forte and it’s a distance that he excels at. His recent FKT’s and 3rd place performance at the RUT show that he has plenty of great form.©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-1901

Ionut Zinca adds even more firepower to the front of the race and he is an ever-present on the Skyrunner® World Series and one who consistently places on the podium. The battle here in China is a tough one but Ionut has the race to most certainly take one of the top-3 slots and of course, he can win the race!

©iancorless.com-0271Kima2014_

Manuel Merillas was a rising star in 2014 and he has followed that up in 2015 with another string of tope performances. He has been a little quiet lately which will mean that he comes to Lantau with fresh legs. Considering the quality of this field it’s extremely difficult to say who will and who will not make the podium. Manuel for sure is podium material but we already have 4 runners listed above who potentially will take those slots… like I said, it’s going to be quite a battle!

©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-1889

Aritz Egea rounds up the hot favourites for the podium. Like Ionut Zinca, Aritz is a strong and consistent performer on the Skyrunner® World Series. Expect him to go out hard and potentially lead the race in the early stages. The question mark will come if he can hold on to that lead?

LADIES

Just like in the men’s race, the ladies race has a plethora of top female talent who in 2015 have excelled in the SKY distance: Laura Orgue, Yngvild Kaspersen, Stevie Kremer, Maite Maiora, Elisa Desco, Azara Garcia, Martina Valmassoi and Hanny Alston.

©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-2241

Elisa Desco in many respects heads up the ladies as arguably the most rounded athlete for this course. Her mixed ability to descend as well as she climbs makes her a hot contender to top the podium. Her recent victory at Matterhorn Ultraks confirms this. However, Elisa has had a mixed year?

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-5299

Laura Orgue is a VK specialist who has started to race more often at the SKY distance. Strong performances at the RUT and the Dolomites have elevated Laura as ‘one-to-watch’ and I expect a podium placing here in Hong Kong. Climbing ability has sometimes been let down by descending, however, Laura is improving with every race.

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-0840

Stevie Kremer has been racing in Europe less in 2015 and as a result has increased her profile within the USA. No stranger to Hong Kong, Stevie will be without doubt a force at the front of the race. In the early stages we can expect her to be up at the front with Laura as they charge up the climbs. My gut reaction says Laura, Elisa and Stevie may well be 1,2,3 but in what order?

©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-2299

 

Yngvild Kaspersen like Remi Bonnet is Salomon’s new secret weapon(s) for the future. Without doubt a star in the making, Yngvild has consistently run strong performances over VK and SKY distance. She won the Tromso SkyRace and placed 2nd in the VK just 1-second behind Emelie Forsberg. One to watch!

©iancorless.com_DolomitesSkyRace2015-2318

Maite Maiora has raced a great deal in 2015 and Lantau 2 Peaks adds to an already impressive list. On her day, Maite can run with the best and win. For me though, this has been a long season and the edge required for victory may well be missing. Don’t get me wrong though, she will be in the mix.

©iancorless.com_ITT2015-8847

Azara Garcia won at Zegama-Aizkorri and looked set for an incredible 2015. Injury hit though. If fully recovered, Azara may well topple the whole race and come out with victory despite my 1, 2, 3 predictions. Without doubt she will be fresh and hungry.

©iancorless.com_Rut2015-7650

Martina Valmassoi raced at the RUT and made the podium for the ultra distance; her 1st ultra! She comes to Hong Kong as a potential contender for a top placing. The question will come down to how fast she can turn the legs over? By all accounts, she is a great descender!

Hanny Allston rounds up the top contenders. The Aussie orienteer has turned heads recently and comes to Hong Kong as a potential dark horse who may well create quite a stir.

Needless to say, I have previewed the elite runners who are travelling to China to participate on the Lantau 2 Peaks race. Without doubt, local talent will figure in the overall results. So, if you have an ear to the ground and know of any hot tips for the win, please let us know.

Race website HERE

You can follow the stories through words and images on this website, via Twitter @talkultra, on Instagram @iancorlessphotography and on Facebook at facebook.com/iancorlessphotography.

In addition, the official Skyrunning Facebook page (here) and Twitter @skyrunning_com will have regular updates and news.

MSIG Sai Kung 50 & Skyrunning Asian Championships: pre-race interviews

Hong Kong is certainly a place of contrasts. A pre-breakfast run along the waterfront this morning saw the whole city shrouded in a thick, yellow smog which softened the outlines of the masses of skyscrapers and high-rise apartment blocks. People bustle along the pavements whilst taxis and buses fill every meter of the chaotic roads. Even the water between the mainland and the island is crammed with boats of all sizes ferrying people or freight around seemingly 24 hours a day. Not really a promising place for a Skyrunning race then…

But an hour out of the city and Sai Kung is a leafy, charming place with a vibrant sea port and – more importantly perhaps – towering forest covered hills rising from the sea shore to the sky. Suddenly the potential for a challenging Skyrunning race and the Asian Championships is revealed.

Just after lunch Simon had a chance to catch up with a few of the elite athletes looking to make an impact on this race early in the season:

Tom Owens

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.12.27After a ruptured ankle tendon in 2013, Tom was actually happy with how he raced in 2013 and enjoyed including some long races that the surgically repaired ankle dealt with without a problem. When I asked Tom why he chose to race the Sai Kung race, he said that he had already planned on taking some time off in February to go on a warm weather training camp, to get away from the freezing temperatures that he has been enduring in Scotland all winter. As soon as the opportunity to race in Hong Kong came up, Tom changed his plans to be here.

Tom also said that after a winter of cyclo-cross and cross country racing, he thought that tactically, getting a Skyrunning race under his belt early in the season would give him an advantage later in the year.

Simon asked Tom about how cyclo-cross has played a part in his training and Tom admitted that although he really enjoys it, he is technically not as strong as he’d like to be having only taken up the sport in the last couple of years. But Tom thinks that it has given him a physical and psychological edge that he needed after his surgery.

Martin Gaffuri

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.12.45Martin is a French resident although he is soon moving to Switzerland for work, so coming to Hong Kong for a race is a great opportunity to escape the snow and run in relatively warm conditions.

The Sai Kung race also represents a chance for Martin to return to the sport he loves after a hiatus in 2014. He feels that his best result last year was in Tarawera, but around racing the 80km World Champs in Chamonix, where he came 17th, Martin lost motivation for his running and took time off, only really returning to the sport towards the end of the season with a tilt at the Rut where he took a tumble off the trail.

With his new full-time job about to start, Martin is looking forward to having some structure, aiming for more quality over quantity. This makes the 28km race in Sai Kung a perfect chance to test his legs on a relatively shorter course.

Elisa Desco

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.13.31Elisa told Simon that this is her first season Skyrunning. In fact until last year she had not raced more than 20km. She said that Zegama was a fantastic new experience for her and that, along with her brilliant run at the World Championships in Chamonix, have surprised her and given her added motivation to train and race.

Looking ahead Elisa is racing the shorter Skyrunning series in 2015 and then thinks that she might start to consider tackling some longer races. But for now she thinks that her speed on relative short distances – her road marathon debut was a very impressive 2:36 – will mean that she can compete with the best of them on the trails in the hills.

Marco De Gasperi

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 22.13.18On reflection Marco believes that he may have been over-trained in 2014. He told Simon that for a few crucial months in the middle of the year he felt very tired and weak. Thankfully now he has fully recovered and has trained consistently – ensuring that he isn’t over-training – so that he is ready for the Sai Kung event, which Marco sees as a significant race and a great way to start the Skyrunning season.

Sat in Sai Kung town in a cafe today, Marco looked remarkably relaxed and told Simon that whilst he is wary of the other elite athletes on the start line tomorrow, he is also not stressed and is looking forward to the trails.

Marco has an eye on races beyond the Sai Kung event. He wants to be in best possible share to race Zegama later in the year and he knows that he needs to measure out his efforts so that he can get the best from himself at the right moments.

The action starts at 7am in Hong Kong and Simon will be on the course following events. You can keep up-to-speed on twitter and check back for a race report soon.

MSIG Sai Kung 50 Skyrunning Continental Championships – Race Preview

Continental Logo

Skyrunning goes global! Normally we would be previewing the first race in the Skyrunner® World Series in April with the prospect of Transvulcania or Zegama-Aizkorri looming around the corner. Not in 2015! More races, more places and now, the chance to count an extra race in the ranking.

The successful 5/5/5 formula (VK, Sky and Ultra) stays where three results from five count but now you must include a fourth race from the Continental Championships. Step in the MSIG Sai Kung 50 in Hong Kong.

3+1Taking place on February 7th, Michael Maddess from Action Asia has assembled a high quality field that will do battle on the trails of Sai Kung after starting in Pak Tam Chung Picnic Garden. Rest assured, this race will be no picnic!

A ranking race this early in the Skyrunning season is extremely significant when one is looking to contest the Skyrunner® World Series. Early points provide a great platform on which to build a season and this is reflected with the presence of Marco De Gasperi, Elisa Desco, Kasie Enman, Tom Owens, Fulvio Dapit, Stephanie Jiminez, Alesandra Carlini, Vlad Ixel, Samir Temang, Luke Nelson, Blake Hose, Dong Li, Yan Long Fei, Mira Rai and so many more.

Two races are on offer

28km SKYRACE and the 50km ULTRA SKYMARATHON.

The SKYRACE has 1954m of vertical gain and 1941m of loss and a maximum elevation of 408m. The ULTRA SKYMARATHON has 2810m of elevation gain ad 2781m of elevation loss. Race director, Michael Maddess says,

This 50km course is tough & we believe one of the toughest 50km course in Hong Kong yet one of the most spectacular beautiful courses in Asia.”

Winning times in 2014 for the 50km event were 4:51:05 for Rudy Gilman (USA) and 6:00:59 for Cassie Scallon (USA).

PREVIEW

When a race field contains past champions, world champions and a plethora of rising talent, we know the action in Hong Kong is going to be incredible.

MEN

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Yan Long Fei (50km) just the other weekend won Hong Kong 100 in 9:52. A 2:15 marathon runner, Yan must be an outright favourite for racing here at Sai Kung. Providing he has recovered? It’s a justifiable question mark.

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Marco de Gasperi (28km) needs no introduction to anyone. When in form he is an unstoppable force on any mountain course. A long time sparring partner for Kilian Jornet, Marco’s presence in Hong Kong is extremely exciting and he will be a hot favourite. Marco had a mixed 2014 with injury niggles and we sincerely hope he has been able to get fit and healthy over winter.

Vlad Ixel (50km) also ran at Hong Kong 100 but twisted an ankle just before the race; this hampered any possibility to contest the front of the race. Vlad is a fast runner who is slowly but surely making his presence felt in all the races he runs. In 2014 he spent time in Europe, which opened his eyes to the challenges that European racing brings. He will be focused on the podium at Sai Kung.

Blake Hose (50km) surprised everyone at the Skyrunning World Championships in the middle of 2014 when he placed 6th overall. In actual fact, the whole Australian Skyrunning team was a revelation. Eager to impress, Blake will look at Sai Kung as an incredible opportunity and I know that he has plans to spend time in Europe in 2015; watch out!

©iancorless.com.IMG_6959Transvulcania14Luke Nelson (50km) loves the mountains and excels at the 100-mile distance. He has been a regular at Transvulcania and has placed consistently well at Speedgoat 50k. Over the winter he has had an expended period in Patagonia, so it’s fair to assume that Luke will be in great shape.

©iancorless.com_Nepal2014_7-1046Samir Tamang (50km) placed 2nd at the TDS (UTMB sister race) and I was fortunate to watch him race day-in and day-out at the Everest Trail Race in November. He’s a super talented athlete who loves the mountains. He will be a fierce competitor at Sai Kung and don’t be surprised if he contests the podium looking for the top spot. 

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Fulvio Dapit (50km) is a regular in races all over the world. A Skyrunner in the purest form, Fulvio has experience and endurance that will play into his hands on a tough course here in Hong Kong.

David Byrne (50km)

What excites me most about racing in Hong Kong is the opportunity to test myself against top class athletes on a course that’s steep and technical. I’ve heard a lot of great things about trail running in Hong Kong and the awesome running culture there, so to experience it first hand will be special.”

David is a fast man! A 29-minute 10k confirms this. Explosive speed and strength is not always a guarantee for success on tough, mountainous and technical courses, however, David has won the Six Foot Track back in Australia. One to watch!

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens (28km)

“I’m very excited about racing in Hong Kong, especially in Sai kung, where the trails look great. It will be nice to get some warmer weather (it’s been very wet and dark in Scotland) and kick start the 2015 Skyrunning campaign with an early season race.”

Tom is one of the UK’s top fell, mountain and Skyrunners. In previous years he has excelled, in particular, 2012 and 2014. Unfortunately 2013 was a troubled year with injury but Tom is back. When in form, he can push Kilian Jornet all the way to the line and although Sai Kung comes early in the year, Tom is fit and therefore has great potential for top honours.

Martin Gaffuri (28km) moved up the ISF rankings in 2013 with a series of strong and consistent performances. However, 2014 was a troubled year. Early success at Tarawera and a good run at the Skyrunning World Championships were never really followed up with stellar performances of the previous year. With some time away from the sport and racing, it will be interesting to see if Martin has recharged his batteries for the 2015 season.

Ones to watch – Male

  • Marco Sturm
  • Mohamad Affindi Nudin
  • Chou Pin Chi
  • Dai Matsumoto
  • You Peigui

LADIES

©iancorless.com_IMG_1042Zegama14Elisa Desco (28km) is the current Skyrunning World Champion and along with a string of high profile performances in 2014 is without doubt a hot favourite for victory in Hong Kong. However, Elisa will not have things her own way!

©iancorless.com-0556Kima2014_Kasie Enman (50km)

I am excited to kick off the 2015 Skyrunning Season with the MSIG Sai Kung 50.  I finished up my 2014 racing season mid-September with a 2nd place overall ranking in the Skyrunning Ultra Series, then took a couple months of down time in my training and racing to recuperate and enjoy time with my family at home in Vermont (Northeast USA, near the Canadian border).  I am excited to have the opportunity to come to Hong Kong to see the trails and meet the trail runners here.  It will be my first time visiting and running in Asia.”

Kasie deciding to race this early in the season can only mean one thing, early season points and the opportunity to gain a foothold in the Skyrunner® World Series. Kasie had a great 2014 running strong at Zegama-Aizkorri, Speedgoat 50k and taking victory at Trofeo Kima.

Wyan Chow Pui Yan (50km) won the recent HK100 and therefore like Long Yan Fei and Dong Li, powers of recovery will be tested. Ryan has recently quit the police force to be a full time trainer and therefore allow her more time for recovery and racing. It’s an interesting and exciting prospect to see how she performs against some of the worlds best Skyrunners.

Dong Li (50km) also heads up the local talent and placed 2nd at the HK100 in 12:39 just two weeks ago. Sai Kung coming so close to HK100 will almost certainly leave Dong Li feeling a little jaded and therefore racing some of the top female Skyrunners in the world may well push her to her limits. But the talent is there for all to see.

©iancorless.com-0303Kima2014_Alesandra Carlini (50km) placed 2nd at Sai Kung in 2014 and followed up her performance with a string of top performances. Considering Allesandra lives on the Italian coast, her ability in the mountains is seriously impressive as we witnessed at Ice Trail Tarentaise and Trofeo Kima. Arguably a stronger field is assembled for 2015, however, Allesandra has the potential to contest the podium.

Mira Rai (50km) from Nepal is a previous winner of HK50 and placed 2nd at Lantau 50. All great credentials for a top performance here in Sai Kung.

Lucy Bartholomew (50km)

“Don’t think about it as one big chunk of a run. For me I break it down into checkpoints and make it into achievable amounts! It’s never going to be easy but the key is to find happiness in the toughness of it because when you get to the top it’s worth it!”

Lucy is the junior Skyrunning World Champion and so therefore Sai Kung will be a steep learning curve for the young Australian. Coached by Emelie Forsberg, Lucy is a rising star in the sport.

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Stephanie Jiminez (28km) is a last minute entry to the race and is always a force to be reckoned with. Consistently strong on VK courses and SKY distances races, Stephanie can push the pace and the competition to the edge.

Ones to watch – Female

  • Hsiao Shiang Chong
  • Ho JoChun
  • Shiho Iwadate

All the action starts in the early hours of Saturday February 7th.

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Stuart Air heads to Honk Kong for the MSIG Sai Kung 50

Stuart Air at Ice Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Stuart Air at Ice Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Brit, Stuart Air (Scott Running) heads to Hong Kong this weekend to participate in the MSIG Sai Kung 50. Stuart had an incredible 2013, new to Skyrunning, he performed exceptionally well at the very tough Andorra Ultra Trail, Ronda dels Cims with a 13th place. Stuart then followed this up with a top placing at Ice Trail Tarentaise against world class competition.

Post Ronda dels Cims ≠©iancorless.com

Post Ronda dels Cims ≠©iancorless.com

Not content with two tough races, Stuart placed himself on the start line of Tor des Geants. Placing well overall, Stuart set a fastest time for any Brit at the event.

Stuart’s participation at MSIG Sai Kung 50 starts 2014 on the right foot, arguably, Stuart has an incredible year ahead. Hardrock 100 awaits… yes, Stuart was extremely fortunate to be drawn out of the hat and will now line up against one of the most competitive fields ever assembled at the race.

Stuart very much considers himself an Alpinist; embracing the opportunity to go to the mountains, fast and light, Stuart loves vertical and technical terrain.

Coming from a relatively mild but wet UK winter, Stuart feels prepared for the challenge ahead, ‘Training has gone well in the Lake District and Wales’ Stuart said in an interview by Michael Maddess, ‘I have clocked up 60-70 miles and 4000m of vertical per week. The weather has been a challenge, but strong winds, rain and snow all help with the training.’

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