Recent Printed Publications for

TCC Lead Page

The first few months of 2015 have been very rewarding and I have had several articles and features printed worldwide in a series of top ranking magazines.

From the rainforests of Costa Rica, to heat of the Sahara. Anton Krupicka looking broken at Transgrancanaria, Joe Grant between a rock and a hard place at The Coastal Challenge and Sir Ranulph Fiennes beating the heat at the Marathon des Sables.

Here are the magazines with links

Like The Wind HERE

Runners World HERE

Trail Running Magazine HERE

Competitor HERE

Outdoor Fitness HERE

Here is a selection of the printed articles. All my tear sheets can be viewed HERE

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.43.40

MDS 2015 Darren Outoor Fitness UTLD Runners World 2015 TCC 2015 Trail Running Mag MDS Sir Ranulph Fiennes captured_spread

Hardrock 100 Lottery Results

hardrock-100-logoIn case you missed it, the Hardrock 100 lottery results were announced on Saturday. Ironically, many ultra fans were following #TNF50 in San Francisco via twitter and as the race unfolded, updates from Hardrock 100 came in lighting up twitter with all sorts of excitement and anticipation for the 2014 race.

From the Hardrock 100 site:

“Thanks to the whole Board of Directors and our host board member Blake Wood, our 2014 Lottery was a hoot and went without a wrinkle. The starter list will be updated on Ultrasignup in the next few days. See Hardrock 100 Entrant List on Ultrasignup for the list once it is ready.”

“In the meantime, see the image below for a snapshots of the starters list! That is the posterboard with the actual physical tickets taped in place. Did you doubt that we actually draw tickets??”

Image ©hardrock100

Image ©hardrock100

If you are not familiar with Hardrock 100 and the race. Each year only two people are guaranteed an entry; last years male and female winners, so, in this case that is Sebastien Chaigneau and Darcy Africa.

The rest is a lottery and a lottery for very few places.

The 2013 draw saw a change in how these tickets are drawn but firstly you can’t just throw your name in the hat. Each person must comply to entry criteria:

“The Hardrock Hundred is a “post-graduate” run. For safety reasons, not as an attempt at elitism, we cannot accept novice runners. The challenges faced during the HRH are much more than the exertion and fatigue expected from running 100 miles, and require the ability to navigate the course with uncertain conditions that may include:
  • High Elevation
  • Long, steep climbs
  • Extended distance and time between aid stations
  • Severe weather, including heat, cold, rain, hail, and lightning
  • Water and snow crossings
  • Exposure to potential for falls
Any runner attempting the HRH must understand that these challenges exist and they must be prepared to make decisions for his or her own safety under uncertain conditions without any expectation of assistance. While there is no guarantee that the runner is prepared for every eventuality, finishing a qualifying event gives some evidence of being prepared for the HRH. Finishing a qualifying event additionally improves the chances for a runner to finish the HRH” taken from Hardrock 100 website ©hardrock100

You can read the full qualification criteria HERE

So the Lottery, how did it work this year and what changes were made? Taken form Hardrock 100 website ©hardrock100

Each year, we are faced with the difficult problem of how to choose 140 starters from nearly six times that many applicants, while still respecting the values that make Hardrock Hardrock. The Board feels that our ideal mix of runners would be 25% first-time Hardrockers, 25% veterans (i.e. >= 5-time finishers), and 50% everyone else. To preserve this mix, we are replacing our single weighted lottery with three weighted lottery pools, each with its own wait list:

  1. First-timers – 35 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has never started a Hardrock. The intention is to increase the likelihood for applicants with many DNS’s to get into the run. Modeling suggests that giving applicants 2^N tickets, where N is the number of previous DNSs, will ensure that those with the most DNSs will get in, while still giving first-time applicants a chance. “DNS” includes both those who were on the wait list and those who withdrew from either the wait list or start list.
  2. Veterans – 35 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has five or more Hardrock finishes, with the following qualification: an applicant who DNFs in two consecutive attempts beginning in 2012 will be placed into the “Everyone else” pool until they complete the run in a subsequent year. Applicants will get one ticket for each previous Hardrock finish. The number in this pool is about the same as the number of 5-time finishers bypassing the lottery in each of the past few years, and so comes close to preserving this feature.
  3. Everyone else – 70 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone not in one of the previous two lotteries. The algorithm for ticket allocation will be unchanged from the current one. Modeling suggests that the chances of being selected from this lottery will be better than under the current system.

Runners not selected in the first two lotteries WILL NOT be rolled over into the third lottery. If fewer than 35 “veterans” apply, the unused slots will be added to the “everyone else” pool.

A separate wait list will be maintained for each lottery. When a runner withdraws from the start list, a runner will be taken from the wait list for the lottery from which the withdrawn runner was chosen.

The previous year’s winners will continue to bypass the lottery, but they will count against the lottery pool they would have been in.

The Outcome

First and foremost, the big news is Kilian Jornet’s name came out of the hat and this not only creates a great buzz about what he can do at this race but also it is one step closer for Kilian completing his ‘bucket list’. He is without doubt going to put a great emphasis on this race in 2014 and late last night he tweeted:

“in the @hardrock100 🙂 I will need to (re)think about next summer calendar…”

The prospect of Kilian racing against Seb Chaigneau is something that excited us all but then the names continued to be drawn form the tub:

Jared Campbell – regular Hardrock entrant and winner in 2010. This year Jared did the Hardrock and Ronda dels Cims double.

Joe Grant – once again has an angel sitting on his shoulder and gets an opportunity to come back and win his dream race. Second in the past behind Hal Koerner he is going to want to seize this opportunity after a troublesome 2013 race.

Julien Chorier – winner of Ronda dels Cims in 2013 and winner of Hardrock 100 in 2011. He is going to bring meticulous planning to this race and without doubt elevates the competition to a higher level.

Timothy Olson – Western States two times winner now gets a chance to compete at the iconic Hardrock and against a top quality field.

Dakota Jones – Dakota prepared meticulously for this race in 2012 and maybe just too meticulously leaving his best performance on the route in training. Dakota, like Joe is going to relish this opportunity to come back and move up the podium.

Tsuyoshi Kaburaki – regular performer at TNFUTMB, he will like all the others be in his lament on this course.

Ty Draney – competitor at Ronda dels Cims this year and along with Jared Campbell, someone who loves the rough and tough terrain.

Scott Jaime – maybe less well known (particularly in the UK) but he has finished Hardrock multiple times and that counts for a great deal on a course like this.

Finally, a mention for Brit, Stuart Air. Stuart is relatively new on the ultra scene but in 2013 he completed Ronda dels Cims and Tor des Geants. He may not be in the league of some of the names above but expect a surprise… he has time to prepare and focus.

Two notable names are high up on the wait list, both drawn no2 which almost certainly means they will get a run; Adam Campbell and Jeff Browning.

Notable names that did not get an entry are quite long, however, a couple stand out. In particular:

Anton Krupicka – shame really, TK in this line up would have made the race an absolute classic.

Iker Karrera – equally, Iker after his Tor des Geants performance would have relished Hardrock with this current field.

Nick Clark – can you imagine if Nick had made the cut too; wow.

Ian Sharman

Mike Wolfe

Gary Robbins

Mike Foote and so on…

The ladies race has less depth than the men’s field but reigning champion Darcy Africa is going to take some beating. She has the race dialled now and knows how to not only pace it, but also win it!

Rhonda Claridge – placed 2nd at Hardrock in 2012 and therefore will be able to push at the front of the race with a complete understanding of what will be required to win the race.

Jen Segger – has just had a baby and so may still be in shell shock at the prospect of taking on the Hardrock course, however, she did tweet yesterday that surely going up and down mountains with a baby on your back is good training!

Helen Cospolitch – had hoped to nail a solid TNFUTMB in 2013 but it didn’t go to plan, so, the prospect of Hardrock 100 is going to be a great boost going into the Christmas period.

Diana Finkel – was 3rd at Bear 100 and has won Hardrock 100 four times in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2009 and 2010 Diana was 3rd and 2nd overall respectively. Need I say anymore… Darcy Africa is going to need to pull out all the stops for a 2014 victory.

As it currently stands I think that covers the main contenders for the ladies race and looking at the wait lists, it doesn’t appear that any other big hitters stand a chance of a run. More notable, are the ladies who didn’t get a place:

Kerrie Bruxvoort

Nikki Kimball

Claire Price

Joelle Vaught

Jenn Benna

Meghan Arbogast

And Ann Trason amongst others.

Without doubt, the 2014 Hardrock 100 is looking like a classic race in the making, certainly from a male perspective. If the weather is good, one can anticipate one of the fastest Hardrock races in history and we may well see a course record.

Don’t know about you, but July 11th 2014 is going to be an exciting prospect.

Hardrock 100 website HERE

Joe Grant – Transvulcania 2013

Joe Grant Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Joe Grant Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Arc’teryx athlete, Joe Grant chats with Ian about his recovery from the Iditarod Trail Invitational and about he is excited to once again to return to La Palma.

Joe has the advantage over much of the competition to have experienced the Transvulcania course before. In 2012 he raced well to place just outside the top 10. He hope to improve on that this year….!

YouTube HERE


  • Joe Grant – HERE
  • Arc’Teryx – HERE
  • Transvulcania 2013 – HERE
  • Skyrunning – HERE




Joe Grant heads to La Palma

Joe Grant with Ian Sharman at the 2012 edition of the race - copyright Ian Corless

Joe Grant with Ian Sharman at the 2012 edition of the race – copyright Ian Corless

TWO months after conquering 350 miles of frozen wilderness in Alaska, hardcore inov-8 athlete Joe Grant is preparing to make his racing comeback – this time on much drier ground.

The 29-year-old overcame exhaustion and pain to smash the epic Iditarod Trail Invitational – an event described by organisers as the world’s longest human powered winter ultra-marathon – in just six days.

Now, fired up by his joint-second place finish in Alaska, Joe is ready to go head-on with the rest of the planet’s elite mountain runners this summer.

His first assignment is this weekend’s 52-mile Transvulcania ultra-marathon monster on the island of La Palma in the Atlantic Ocean.

The gruelling race, which features 4,415m of elevation gain over volcanic and technical terrain, is the first in the Skyrunner world ultra series and, as a result, the entry list is stacked with extreme talent.

Joe placed joint 11th on La Palma last year before recording an outstanding second-place finish at the 2012 Hardrock 100-mile race in the US – achievements he wants to better this year.

“I’m super excited to kick off the skyrunning season with this now classic race in the series,” said Joe, who was born in Oxford in the UK, raised in France and Spain, and now lives in Colorado, US.

“The course is spectacular, the crowds are fantastic and the race is about as competitive as it gets.

“Following the ITI (Iditarod Trail Invitational), I went to Japan and trained hard while I was there.

“I’m feeling fit and ready to race.

“Knowing the course is also helpful, and I hope to improve on last year’s time and place.

“Transvulcania will set me up nicely in preparation for the Hardrock 100, which takes place in July.”

Joe will wear shoes from inov-8’s trailroc™ and roclite™ ranges to race over trails and mountains across the world in 2013.

He added: “The super-lightweight trailroc 235s will be spot on for this weekend’s tough course.


Arc’teryx announce team for Skyrunner World Series

Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor brand and ISF partner, announces their six-man team participating in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series. 

Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor brand and ISF partner, announces their six-man team participating in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series.  From the US, charismatic and eclectic runner Joe Grant is back for more and will race the Ultra Series starting with the Transvulcania Ultramarathon on May 11 where he placed 12th last year as well as a 2nd place at Hardrock 100 and a second place at the 350-mile long Iditarod Trail Invitational, the legendary Alaskan sled dog race.  He’s also aiming at the Sky Series’ new Ultraks 46K in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Adam Campbell

Adam Campbell

Canadian distance runner Adam Campbell, plagued with injury last year, has got big plans for the SWS Ultra Series and he’ll be toeing the line at Transvulcania with Grant in the first of the Series Ultra races which he describes as, “a global race series in some of the most iconic mountain settings and over some very rough and technical terrain”. The SWS in a nutshell.

Italy’s Nicola Golinelli will be tackling both the Sky and Vertical Series.  Last year, he chalked up two third places in the Vertical K and a fourth position at the Giir di Mont, Premana, Italy.  He will debut at the highly competitive Zegama-Aizkorri marathon on May 26 where he placed 5th in 2011.

Frenchman Didier Zago, like Golinelli, will aim for both Sky and Vertical races, starting off with the Cara Amón Vertical Kilometer® on May 18, site of the 2012 SkyGames® in northern Spain.

Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill

Briton Tessa Hill joins Zago in the two disciplines and skyrunning new comer Florian Reichert from Germany, will race the Sky Series, launching at Zegama.

An intensive season of highly competitive racing faces the runners, from the short steep Vertical Kilometers to the marathon distance Sky Series and the grueling Ultra Series.  With no less than five world champions competing, one thing is for sure – everyone will be racing for the love of it.  Champions or not, unquestionably the driving force behind every SWS participant lies their passion for running in the mountains.

Follow news on the athletes on Facebook and Twitter and

Joe Grant and the Iditarod Trail Invitational


6 Days 8 hours and 47 minutes – he did it!

TO tackle an epic 350-mile race across the lonely frozen wilderness of Alaska requires an athlete to be extreme and committed.

Inov-8 / Arc’teryx athlete Joe Grant proved he has both qualities in hardcore measures, overcoming exhaustion and pain to finish the Iditarod Trail Invitational in joint-second place.

Joe has been interviewed twice on Talk Ultra in the build up to the ITI and you can listen to those episodes:

We will have a post ITI interview with Joe Grant on Episode 31 or 32 of Talk Ultra

Described by organisers as the world’s longest human powered winter ultra-marathon, Joe raced on foot across frozen rivers and swamplands, through forests and over mountains to complete the course in 6 days, 8 hours and 47 minutes.

He did so pulling a sled weighing 35lb/15kg and taking in just 13 hours of sleep throughout.

The 29-year-old, who is part of a new global inov-8 team of athletes set to push boundaries and stretch limits in 2013, said:

“It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

“It was relentless, every day it felt like I’d done 100 miles.

“I slept for just 13 hours in six days and none of that was what you would call really good sleep.”

Born in Oxford in the UK, raised in France and Spain, and now based in Colorado, US. Joe took part in the 2013 Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) race that saw 19 competitors on foot and 29 others on bikes complete the 350-mile route between Knik and McGrath.

There were just seven checkpoints on the course where food and lodging was available. Between checkpoints racers had only each other.

Joe said:

“Form the start it was hard.

“We left Knik at 2pm on the opening 57 miles to the first checkpoint at Yentna Station. I hoped to arrive there in the middle of the night at the latest. I eventually got there at 6.35am. I was wrecked, it felt like I’d done double the distance.

“The soft snow had made it tough going, and it was a relief to get inside and eat. I slept for about an hour and a half and left feeling surprisingly great.

“The next 30 miles to Skwenta Roadhouse took another nine hours. I’d planned to sleep for four hours at this point. I ended up sleeping for six hours. It didn’t, however, have the required effect and I left, at midnight, feeling banged up.

“That night on the course was a rough one for me. It was actually quite warm by Alaskan standards, above freezing level, and the snow was like mashed potato.

“Then, between the checkpoints at 130 mile (Winterlake) and 165 miles (Puntilla), and with the surroundings becoming more remote, I hit the wall. I had no choice but to bivvy down in the snow. I couldn’t sleep though, I felt like I was losing my mind. After getting into my bag fully I lay there and shivered for two hours.

“I eventually got into Puntilla at 7.30am. I was so miserable. Then the best thing all race happened – fellow competitor John Logar walked in. We hit the trail again, this time together, and to have that companionship was great.

“We charged up the big climb that followed then dropped down to the next checkpoint at Rohn (at 210 miles).

“Despite having John there with me, I arrived at Rohn destroyed, probably the most destroyed I’ve ever felt. Knowing there was still 140 miles to do to the finish, it seemed impossible. I thought about giving up, but after some soup and rest we set off on the next 90-mile section.

“Arriving at the last checkpoint at Nikolai knowing there was only 50 miles to go, I thought I’d feel improved, but instead my body rebelled in the heat of the hut and I started to feel feverish, so we didn’t stay long.

“Between Nikolai and the finish in McGrath, the temperature fell to -25C. Myself and John crashed and burned several times, lying down on our packs and falling asleep. We’d then get back up and go again.

“With 345 miles done and just five left to go, unbelievably we took a wrong turn that cost us a couple of miles. I think out of sheer frustration more than anything else, we turned around and ran the final seven miles to McGrath!

“With the sweat freezing to our bodies, we rolled across the finish line. I had given every last ounce of anything that was in my body to the race.”

With the 350-mile epic now in his locker, Joe will turn his attention to drier trails and plans to go head-on with the world’s best mountain runners at the opening race in the 2013 Skyrunner ultra series.

May’s 83km Transvulcania La Palma ultra-marathon monster on the island of La Palma in the Atlantic Ocean, which features 4,415m of elevation gain, was last year won by Dakota Jones, with Joe in joint 11th.

Joe went on to record an outstanding second place finish at the 2012 Hardrock 100-mile race in the US – an achievement he wants to better this year.


Joe wore inov-8’s roclite™ 286 GTX boot for the ITI

Clothing supplied by Arc’teryx

Iditarod Trail Invitational website and 2013 results: