This is Episode 118 of Talk Ultra and this week is going to be a short and sharp show… it’s all about the UTMB races and Trofeo Kima. We have interviews with Jo Meek who placed 2nd lady at the CCC and Damian Hall who placed 19th in the UTMB and recently completed a ‘FKT’ on the South West Coast Path in the UK. This weeks show is co hosted by Albert Jorquera.
Firstly, this show is being recorded in the USA on the day of the RUT VK and so therefore we are somewhat pressed for time… joining me is a co-host is my good buddy and fellow Skyrunning hack, Albert Jorquera.
If you haven’t guessed, Albert is from Spain!
Karl is on the AT as many of you will know, Speedboat has passed halfway on the AT. He really is doing great, racking up some daily mileage and as you can guess is going through some real highs and lows. We are posting 7-day updates on my website so please check out the links on the show notes. I need to give out a bog thanks to Red Bull who hooked us up with Eric, Karl’s chief crew and I had a chat with him on day 19.
Albert, what do you reckon, 2100 miles in under 50 days, trying to average somewhere between 45-50 miles a day?
RUNNING BEYOND BOOK well I have a first copy in my hand and I have to say I am somewhat pleased and happy. It’s taken a couple of years and at times it never felt quite real. The book in my hand confirms it is real and Spanish, German, Italian and UK versions will be available in the coming months. I believe Spain is first (September) Italy is October and the UK November. I don’t have a date on the German edition yet! – HERE
TROFEO KIMA HERE
Bhim Gurung 6:10 new CR
Marco De Gasperi 6:12
Leo Viret 6:15
Emelie Forsberg 7:49
Ruth Croft 8:02
Emanuela Brizio 8:21
Xavier Thévenard (France) won the 55k OCC race with 5:28 on the clock. Marathon des Sables sensation Rachid El Morabity (Morocco) was second, 15 minutes back. Mercedes Arcos (Spain) cruised to the front of the women’s field in 6:54.
Michel Lanne (France) in 12:10, five minutes ahead of Ruy Ueda (Japan). Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) gained the women’s victory in 13:42, 27 minutes better than second-place Jo Meek (U.K.).
INTERVIEW with JO MEEK
Pau Capell (Spain), Yeray Duran (Spain), and Franco Colle (Italy) filled the men’s podium with 14:45, 15:14, and 15:32 finish times, respectively. Delphine Avenier (France) led the women with an 18:46 winning time with Meredith Edwards (U.S.) took second 13 minutes back.
Last week we provided an update of Speedgoat Karl’s first 7-days on the ‘AT’ as he tries to set an ‘FKT.’ You can read that HERE
Karl is now 16-days into his journey and in Connecticut. Below we provide an update of days 8 to 14.
Day 8 New Hampshire
Today on all levels was challenging. After a long and challenging day yesterday, Karl continued his hike but slowed his pace down. A highlight of today was that Karl reached the summit of Mt Washington as conditions were harsh. Dense fog, cold air and gusty wind made the hike anything but easy. Karl continued after a late summit to Crawford Notch where he had a very late arrival. Though he is pushing himself, it’s important to note that getting in late also means less rest, which is critical in any situation and especially when you are trying to set a record.
Day 9 Mt Lafayette, NH
Karl left on time today, however, when reaching the Knife’s Edge, our crew could tell from his demeanour that he is becoming even more exhausted with every step. Thankfully Karl made a trail companion through the Knife’s Edge that accompanied him for a while. It’s important to remember that as much as this is a physical feat, it’s mental too! Karl said that this hiker was important because at some points he helped keep the pace steady. Karl eventually lost the hiker on the downhill but nonetheless, every person Karl runs into on this journey is important to his success. While hikers’ journeys and motivations are diverse as the trail itself, the challenges of the trail reveal the common bonds between them. Karl decided to stop one stop early at Flume Gorge to catch up on rest and recharge his body for another long day on the Green Tunnel.
Day 10 Flume Gorge, NH
Karl finished the trek through the White Mountains at the end of Day 10. Not surprisingly, the White Mountains took a toll on both Karl’s feet and mentality. Karl is starting to form blisters around the bottom of his feet, as expected Karl got to his final destination before sunset which provided him plenty of opportunity to eat a good meal and relax before getting sleep. The crew brought Karl one of his favourite foods on the train, ice cream! It lifted his spirits. Karl’s attitude is amazing. The night ended well with jokes and laughter.
Day 11 Hanover, NH
Karl picked up the pace as he headed towards the city of Hanover. Karl arrived in Hanover before expected and instead of sitting to eat and replenish, he insisted on walking while eating to keep the pace. He is an absolute machine! Karl experienced a dramatic shift in landscape as he ran through the city of Hanover – buildings and cars surrounded him as the AT guided him onwards and out of the city. While the change in scenery was welcomed, the surroundings were blurred by very severe storms in the area. A system rolled in during the morning hours and another one later in the night. Torrential rain and lightening caused Karl to arrive later than usual at 9:45pm. Though he won’t be getting normal hours of sleep to lead him into the day 12, he will have a running companion which hopefully will allow him mentally and physically to keep record speed pace.
Day 12 Wallingford, VT
Hello Vermont! Karl had a friend come and run part of the trail with him today which was instrumental in keeping good and efficient pace. Day 12 was a quick day, relatively speaking. However, there was a swarm of bees on part of the trail. Eric, (Karl’s are chief) went ahead as Karl is no fan of bees – Eric got stung! Thankfully for Karl, Eric must have given the bees all they needed and it was a clear passage. As the terrains flattens out from the White Mountains, Karl will hopefully pick up pace a little allowing him to gain more time.
Day 13 Stratton-Arlington Rd, VT
Karl continued to trek south and is crushing the pace once again with an amazing attitude. The terrain is still mountainous but nothing like the harsh terrain of the White Mountains, the Green Mountain National Forest is kinder. Karl shaved off his beard today, it prevent flies, fleas ticks and other bugs getting a free ride and it’s a little cooler! The temperatures on the trail vary a great deal but is seasonally hot. Karl finished the day early catching the crew off guard. Even Karl Sr was taken by surprise, he had intended to join Karl on the final stretch in. Cheryl (Karl’s wife) prepared dinner and the route was planned for tomorrow. Bed by 9pm and hopefully the energy batteries will be restored for tomorrow.
Day 14 Mt Greylock, MA
Karl’s morale is high as he continues south. Eric (Karl’s crew) says this is down to a new iPod with new music. It keeps Karl occupied and at pace while running. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are another key element! Some rain today and bad weather today but Karl pushed on and is till, at times, arriving earlier than anticipated at certain points. The highest point in Massachusetts, Mt Greylock was the finish for Karl’s run today. A big meal and a nice bed waited. Though the terrain is less mountainous, roots still remain throughout the trail. In moments of fatigue, this can be extremely tough. The view from Mt Greylock was that of another planet, fog was so thick they could only see 2-5 feet. Green trees that surround the trail gave it a very eerie feeling.
Current stats show Karl has covered 757.4 miles with 1432.6 remaining. Please keep in mind that these figures are current at the time of writing.
This is Episode 117 of Talk Ultra and it’s a packed show. We talk with Jonathan Albon who last year won the Tromso SkyRace and this year placed 2nd. Debbie Martin-Consani talks about running long and her recent CR at the North Downs Way 100 in the UK. We also speak to my fellow podfather and good friend, Martin Yelling, about his inspiring, ‘Long Run Home.’ The News and Niandi co-hosts.
Karl is on the AT and he is now through the first week and everything seems to be going well. Each week I will post a 7-day update on my website, days 1-7 are HERE
RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is going to be available from October in Italy with Germany, Spain and the UK following – HERE
The VK which was run the day before saw Stian Angermund confirm his form from the Skyrunning World Championships with a strong victory and Emelie Forsberg won a nail biting sprint for the line to show us all she is on her way back. Read and view images HERE.
00:16:07 INTERVIEW JONATHAN ALBON
It was a Kenyan victory for Petro Mamu ahead of the UK’s Robbie Simpson and Francesco Puppi from Italy was 3rd. In the ladies race, Michelle Maier took a great victory in 2:58 ahead of Lucy Wambui Murigi and Elisa Desco was 3rd.
120 miles over 6 stages and victory went to David Laney/ Ryan Ghelfi in the men’s race and Amanda Basham/ Keely Henninger for the women.
NORTH DOWNS WAY 100
Neil Kirby 16:46:21
James Poole 17:20:27
John Stocker 18:03:26
Debbie Martin-Consani 18:34:54 (6th overall)
Annabelle Stearns 21:41:32
Wendy Shaw 22:33:55
00:50:14 INTERVIEW DEBBIE MARTIN-CONSANI
MONTANA BRIDGE RIDGE RUN
This 20 mile race gets a mention as Jim Walmsley of Western States fane was apparently flying ahead of course record and then…. a lack of confidence saw him backtrack, WSER is obviously haunting him. Turns out he was on the correct course, he turned around and this time won but missed the record.
Gonzalo Calisto, 5th at 2015 UTMB tests positive for EPO – Compressport have now released a statement which is a really positive sign. Read HERE.
ANGELES CREST 100
Guillaume Calmaettes 19:14
Dominick Layfield 19:30
Dominick Grossman 19:57
Jenny Welch 26:51
Maria Lourdes Rivera 27:02
Selina Nordberg 28:54
SRICHIMNEY SELF-TRANSCENDENCE 3100mile
It was the 20th edition of the 3100m journey and Yuri Trosteny completed the distance first in 46 days and just 94-minutes faster than Asprihanal Aalto. Asprihanal won the race in 2015 in a record 40 days. This time he came from behind and on one day he ran 86 miles to try to steal victory – 94 minutes super close! Yuri ran consistently more than 63 miles everyday!
When this show comes out it will be the Matterhorn Ultraks in Switzerland and then the week after it’s UTMB with a super stacked field and the iconic Trofeo Kima in Italy.
This is Episode 107 of Talk Ultra. This show has so much content, we speak with Lizzy Hawker about her amazing 200km Kathmandu Valley FKT, Ryan Sandes talks about his 2015 and his new book, Trail Blazer. Gavin Sandford tells us about his amazing double Marathon des Sables challenge. Niandi catches up with past participants of the Big Red Run in Australia who will return in 2016 and Speedgoat is back from the AT.
00:01:30 Show Start
00:21:26 Niandi talks injured foot and Big Red Run
00:28:02 INTERVIEW Jamie Hildage, Big Red Run
Jamie Hildage ran the Big Red Run in Australia in a past edition and will return in 2016, Niandi caught up and had a chat about the unique challenges this race brings
01:26:11 INTERVIEW LIZZY HAWKER is back with an incredible 200km run around Kathmandu and 15000m of vertical gain. I caught up with Lizzy after 3-years in the run wilderness.
Lizzy’s race, Ultra Tour Monte Rosa has a few places available and you can enter HERE
02:00:19 INTERVIEW RYAN SANDES has a new book out called Trail Blazer. We caught up with Ryan, discussed his troubled 2015, what 2016 has in store and of course we found out about the book. Ryan asked a question in his interview, if you like to win a signed copy, you need to comment on these show note with the correct answer
03:11:56 INTERVIEW Gavin Sandford will attempt two Marathon des Sables in 2016 – a world first, all in the name of charity. You can donate HERE and contribute to his funding at Crowdfunder HERE. Talk Ultra have offered a place on the Lanzarote 2017 Training Camp (worth £800) to Gavin as a pledge to help him raise additional funds. This place will be available for £500 (saving the lucky person £300). It’s first come, first served!
Episode 90 of Talk Ultra is playing catch up. Yes folks we missed a show… Speedgoat discusses Scott Jurek on the AT. We talk Western States and have an interview with Rob Krar. We have some Richtersveld Wildrun chat from South Africa with Nikki Kimball and Georgina Ayre. We also speak to Stevie Kremer on Ultra Skymarathon Madeira. Talk Training, the News and Niandi co-hosts.
FKT for Gary Robbins – In Washington on the 95-mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, Gary Robbins ran 18:52 to cut just over two hours from Kyle Skaggs’s previous supported record, which had stood since 2006.
Many of you will be familiar with the mountain Aconcagua, primarily because of Kilian Jornet and his recent record set in December. Well recently Karl Egloff, 33 from Ecuador has broke Kilian Jornet’s record with a time of 11:52 (57-minutes quicker than Kilian) I like many others wondered, who is Karl Egloff?
I caught up with Karl just days after his impressive record on Aconcagua. I discussed in-depth his background, home life, sporting background and how he may now be considered a speed-climbing phenomenon.
This week we bring you part one of this two-part interview
KE: I’m so happy I just came back a couple of days ago from Argentina, I feel good and I’m happy, there are a lot of things going around right now and I’m happy to talk to you guys.
IC: It’s great to have you here and I really do appreciate you finding the time to talk to us. Before we talk to you about Aconcagua, a lot of people all around the world are saying who is Karl? Who is he? What his background? I said that you are 33 and you were born in Ecuador. Your father was a mounting guide if I’m correct?
KE: Yes he is and yes, I’m 33. I was born here in Quito, its very high here actually 2000+ metres. My mother was half Ecuadorian half Swiss, she met my father during studies and they made the decision to move to Ecuador and make their lives here, we three kids where all born here. My father is a mountain guide and he took me to the mountains at a very early age. He even took me as a baby in a large backpack.
I went up to the huts of our big mountains here in Ecuador and if he was climbing with a client up to around 1000 metres, I would go too… I got a in the mountains pretty young and as soon as I could talk I would just discuss mountains about mountaineering. My mother was not very happy about that, she was always telling me not to choose the mountain guide career; she was a little bit worried about it. She said it’s very difficult to be at home and to have a family, its difficult because it has the seasons. She was always telling me about other professions, but it’s kind of impossible being a son of a mountain guide. I had homework about beautiful mountains all over the world and I was always asking so much he used to say please Karl stop asking me.
When I was 15 I got the chance for the first time to climb with him the first glacier here in Ecuador. My father told me, “when you are 15 I will take you because you are at an age where you can realise what you’re doing.” Finally when I did it I was standing up on the summit and he said,
“Son, you have really a lot of energy so I think you should help me with guiding from now on.”
I guess that when things really started for me, I was guiding with him almost every weekend up to 6000 ft.
Unfortunately my mother died when I was 17, so us three kids decided to go study, I went to Switzerland. I was living in Zurich for around 8-years and during my studies I went up to the mountains every time I could; to snowboard, to go jogging and to go trekking.
I finally returned to Ecuador at 26-years old, I actually tried to be a professional football player because here in Ecuador you grow up with football, it’s much more of ‘the’ sport it’s like in the UK. Football is a religion. .
IC: Before you tell me about your football, let’s go back a little bit and talk about your father being a mountain guide and the way that you were brought up, your story is so similar to Kilian Jornet. His father worked in the mountains, his father and his family lived at a refuge, and really from babies they were just born and bred on the mountains, and of course it’s that lifestyle, that permanent lifestyle that adapts you to be maybe an athlete that not only performs exceptionally well in many sports but particular high altitude sports.
KE: I read Kilian’s book and when I was reading it, it seemed like I was reading my story and especially regarding the altitude he was at, I was living at the 2400 metres and we used to go up with my father into the mountains and down into the valley, While reading I found a similarity when Kilian said he used to go out at night without the lights and sit with the nature. I did those things with my father too. I was with nature a great deal. I was always following the paths of different animals and I constantly asked many questions to my father.
When I got bored and the clients were tired I would go to my father at night and ask, “Why isn’t the sun up already/” I was impatient but he told me,
“It’s dangerous on the mountains and you can die up there.”
I would say no, no everything is ok…
When I got older my father used to give me some slack. I could go up to the summit or climb the path for the next days trek. I had already climbed the mountains. My father would just followed me with binoculars and show me whether to go, to the left or right with his hands. So yes pretty similar as Kilian.
IC: Yeah very similar. And of course Kilian a little bit like yourself didn’t start out as a trail runner or an alpinist, he started out in ski mountaineering and skiing and you were just telling us that football was a passion for you.
KE: Yes, definitely. Football is like a religion in Ecuador, you do nothing else but soccer at school, everyone is asking for the teams. No other sport exists. So actually for me the way I feel free is to do sports; it’s like a drug That is why I used to do my homework quickly so in the afternoon I had enough time to organise another soccer game or another competition at home and so yes definitely football for me became everything. When my mother asked me what I want to do when I leave school I said, ‘I want to be a professional football player,’ and she said forget it, sports won’t get you anywhere.
My coaches said have the energy and the talent, but my mother being from South America was very conservative. Before she died she said I don’t care what you do just don’t become a mountain guide or a sportsman, now here I am, 10-years later and I am both. I tried really hard to please my mother, so I started academics. I started in Switzerland, I tried to work in other places too but I was never happy, this is the most important thing; you must follow your happiness! When I returned back to Ecuador I really had to have a year off before starting a new business and starting my new tourism agency and in those days I started to go biking.
I used my bike to go to and from the gym. There is a very funny story where a guy said to me, ‘I heard you have a lot of energy Karl, would you like to join me as a bike partner in the most important mountain bike race in Ecuador?’ I said, yes but I didn’t have any experience in competing on the bike, I lacked the technique. He just said, ‘Don’t worry come with us.’
So eventually I went with him to the mountain bike race and when I waited on the start I asked him about all the cyclists who looked so professional? His reply was so funny, ‘Professionals? Yes, this is the most important race here in Ecuador and all the international professional mountain bike racers are here.’
I was too eager but I had a great race. After a sponsor came and said, ‘Karl we want to sponsor you.’ It was great news, it was my first race and I felt under qualified but they told me not to worry and come to the office on Monday!
IC: Wow perfect, that’s nice!
KE: Yeah it was, I was 26 and I said ok, So I started to train and train and train and after 2 years I started to travel with the national team to different competitions and to championships and then finally I qualified for the world cup in 2011 in Italy as the first Columbian mountain biker. A year later I qualified for the next world cup in France and then I got invited to the professional team. I started actually to be a good biker…
IC: So it was a really exciting time to just test yourself in sport but while this was going on while you were involved in mountain biking were you still mountain guiding?
KE: I was yes, exactly. I started in 2007 at my first agency and then 5-years later I started my own company. Biking was also a big part of my life, I was really happy with biking but there is a point where it costs a lot of money, you have to go for International championships and you need to live somewhere else. So we had a family decision, we sat down and discussed my options. I was 31-years old, which is relatively old in mountain biking, so I decided to quit!
IC: It’s interesting that you say at the age of 31 there’s no future for you in biking, you were obviously very good at it and carried over fitness and strength from trekking and as a tour leader. 31 is quite young to think that there’s no possible future. Do you think back now with your running success and think you made the wrong decision?
KE: Yes of course, I think the main point here is that we live in a very conservative country were sports is not a future, you don’t grow up here with your parents saying yeah go play tennis… become professional and so on. I was criticised by my family, they said sports would not get me anywhere. I had an opportunity to work for a Swiss mountain guide company and they gave me the chance to work as a mountain guide in Kilimanjaro and a few other places. It was a great opportunity, I was getting a salary but they wanted me to focus on the job so I could manage all business here in Ecuador.
IC: So it was a career decision, a business decision and family ties to the mountain. I guess it didn’t really feel like you were giving up sport but just changing disciplines.
KE: Exactly, I was always jogging I was always training but I never competed as I never saw it as a competition. Nobody thought about running here before but now it’s the second biggest sport after football. In 2012 I quit the biking and focused on the job and in 2013 really focused on guiding and a lot of doors opened for me. I was in Nepal and other countries and I was earning for the first time in my life. For me it was like, oh finally I have money I can get a car and grow up with the company; this is why I slowed down but I never stopped completely.
IC: Cool so let me come to Kilimanjaro. That is when I first became aware of your name and funnily even though you broke kilian’s record on Kilimanjaro it still didn’t really get much recognition. It was reported in several places but it didn’t get worldwide exposure, it was a bit under the radar. But I can see now knowing your history why you would make an attempt on Kilimanjaro. With your background is the seven summits now on your mind?
KE: Exactly it all started in 2012. My friend Nicolas who is now part of my team asked me to’ rabbit’ him up to a summit; actually one of the highest mountains we have here in Ecuador. It is almost the same altitude as Kilimanjaro. We were stood in the car park and he said to me, let’s go for the record! It’s funny, I had never run on the mountain and he said that’s why I have brought you here to help me on the mountain and make you faster. I wondered if I was fast enough or if I was any good? When I reached the summit I realised I had broke the record by 25-minutes. On the way down I met Nicola and I said I was sorry for leaving him behind but he just laughed and said, ‘Don’t worry, this was the only way I could get you to realise how good you are at this.’
I continued down and broke the world record and it became big news here in Ecuador. A lot of people criticised as they said the mountain was dangerous and that people can die on the mountain. But I am a mountain guide so I know how dangerous it is.
Tune in next week for part two.
How does Karl prove and verify his records?
Read about Karl’s Kilimanjaro record and read how he managed to knock 57-minutes off Kilian Jornet’s Aconcagua record.
Day one of The Coastal Challenge is always a tough day. For many, the heat and the humidity are just too great and along with excitement and adrenaline, the early run pace is too fast and the inevitable happens. In past years runners have dropped the ball on the first day and dug so deep in to reserves that they have not been able to recover. It looks like everyone managed to hold back just a little, however, the story in camp post race was one of fatigue, dehydration and intense heat.
After a 0300 start and a three-hour bus drive to the coast, runners departed Playa del Rey at 0800 and within a couple of kilometres the intense heat and high humidity could visible seen as sweat soaked bodies pushed along the strong. Canadian, Mike Murphy was clearly intending to race hard and it was long before he started to open a gap followed by Iain Don Wauchope from South Africa, a couple of local Costa Ricans, Speedgoat Karl Meltzer and Joe Grant.
Anna Frost and Veronica Bravo raced neck-and-neck and it was very clear that an interesting battle would develop between the two. Nikki Kimball ran in third, Costa Rican, Maria Guevara and then Samantha Gash.
At Cp1 a pattern was forming as Mike Murphy and Anna Frost opened up gaps in their respective fields, Frosty just had a couple of minutes over Veronica Bravo but Murphy was extending a lead into double -figures.
In the dense forest section that followed, approximately five kilometres later Iain Don Wauchope had taken the lead in the men’s race followed by Costa Rican Roiny Villegas and Karl Meltzer. Anna Frost held a two-minute lead over Veronica Bravo and the stage looked set for a great battle. As runners passed, no sign of Mike Murphy and I was beginning to wonder what had happened?
Murphy later appeared on the trail out of the top ten; it turned out he missed a key right turn that took the runners from a fire road and into the dense jungle. Mike complained the signs had not been in place but that was not correct. The turn had been clearly marked well in advance of any runners!
Eyes focused, Mike pushed hard on the trail looking to pull back time and although running with great speed and style he paid a price in the intense heat and eventually slowed. However, he did pull back great junks of time and he is certainly not out of the fight.
Iain Don Wauchope held on for victory but said, “A great deal tougher than I expected, I really suffered in the heat and slowed a great deal. Everyone did! The heat was just so intense.”
Roiny Villegas placed second, Karl Meltzer placed third, Joe Grant fourth and Mike Murphy closed well to place fifth.
At Cp3 Anna Frost still had a strong lead but at Cp4, Veronica Bravo had closed and passed Frosty. Frosty suffered in the intense heat and had no option but to submerge her self in the river to reduce her core.
Veronica pulled away and gained more and more time and eventually gained over seven minutes lead. Post race Veronica said, “I almost didn’t want to pass Anna, but she waved ne through. I couldn’t believe it. I respect her so much. I just held my form, listened to my body and maintained my rhythm.” The coming days are going to be very exciting as Bravo and Frost battle for the lead.
Maria Guevara placed third ahead of Nikki Kimball and Samantha Gash placed fifth.
Day two is going to be a tough day. How will everyone feel, will they have recovered?
The Skyrunner® World Series continues at a pace just 2-weeks after the Skyrunning World Championships where Skyrunners® participated in all three classic disciplines of VK, SKY and ULTRA. Now, attention moves to Italy and the stunning town of Canazei and the amazing Dolomites for a VK and SKY race and to the USA for the ULTRA Speedgoat 50k.
Speedgoat, as the name would suggest was created by Mr Ultra himself, ‘Speedgoat Karl Meltzer. Over the years the event has increased in profile at a pace and this year, once again, sees a quality line up both in the male and female fields.
Located at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah the 50k weave a route around the mountains offering a tough and sometimes technical day out at altitude.
This is the 3rd edition of the race in the Skyrunner® World Series and it is now also included US Skyrunner® National Series.
Sage Canaday is returning after setting a course record last year with a time of 5:08. On paper, he has to be the favourite again this year. The combination of runnable terrain and 50k distance suits Sage’s strengths. He will likely go out hard and hold on… he did that last year and it worked, just!
Anton Krupicka was hot on Sage’s heels last year and with a couple of wins under his belt in 2014, the most recent at Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy, one has to think that Anton may provide a real battle this year (as last year). In reality, 50k is just way too short for Anton. In a recent interview, he told me he only starts to feel good and relaxed after 3-hours. So, expect him to be hovering somewhere in the top-10 early on and then move up.
Alex Nichols may be a surprise on the Speedgoat course and after missing a couple of races with injury; he may well be chomping at the bit for a good run here. In Zegama, thinks didn’t go too well leaving a question mark, however, on this course, with less travel and some decent prep I can’t help but think we will see Alex mix it up. Earlier this year he won Red Hot 55km and set a CR at Greenland 50k. One to watch!
Ricky Gates has just done a stint of pacing for Kilian Jornet at Hardrock 100 and if nothing else, that must make him feel fired up for a great run at Speedgoat. Ricky ran a great race in 2012 when ‘Kilian Gate’ kicked off and the whole switchback debacle. What is important is the time Ricky ran, 5:18. That places him as definite contender for top-5 this year.
Mike Wolfe looked awesome in Chamonix for the Skyrunning World Championship 80k event. Trading blows with eventual 2nd place runner, Francois D’Haene, it looked like ‘Wolfepaw’ was going to make the podium. However, in the latter stages the wheels came off and he placed 8th which for many would be a great result. However, the disappointment was clear leaving Mike with question marks. The questions soon disappeared at the sight of his newborn baby though… it’s all about perspective. Mike is a class act and he will be in the mix.
Luke Nelson placed 6th last year but he was well over 30-minutes back from Sage Canaday. Considering Luke’s record and his ability over longer races (recently won Bighorn 100) he has the technical skill set to run well at Speedgoat but may well lack the speed to keep up with the front of the race, so, top-5 would be a great result.
We can also expect to see Jorge Maravilla mixing it up and potentially Hal Koerner but it may be a little too short for Hal
Anna Frost won with Speedgoat with 6:26 in 2012 and as we all know had a prolonged period of injury and illness afterwards. Her return to form at Transvulcania La Palma and not only winning the race, but also setting a new CR was nothing less than miraculous. Frosty seems to have the ‘love’ for running back and as we all know, when you have that, the miles fly along. A recent 2nd to Emelie Forsberg at the Skyrunning World Championships shows the form is still primed and ready to be unleashed on the Speedgoat course. Like Ricky, Frosty must also feel inspired after pacing Kilian to that Hardrock record. But Frosty won’t have an easy ride…
Ellie Greenwood was missing for much of 2013 with injury but she is back and running strong. Ellie has the outright speed to win Speedgoat but may well lack some of the technical attributes of Frosty, so, that makes for an interesting battle. Ellie’s recent win at Comrades was incredible and I think we will see something special on this course.
Kasie Enman was flying at Zegama-Aizkorri and that was after a red-eye flight, no sleep and jet lagged. Powering up the climbs in the lead, we thought a surprise win was on the cards. It wasn’t to be, the fatigue hit in the latter stages and she placed 5th. Kasie is on the comeback trail after having a baby and I can’t help but think she will get stronger and stronger. Kasie’s performances at the Skyrunning World Championships were creditable but not reflective of her ability. Kasie’s 4th in the SKY race shows the improvements are coming and the podium at Speedgoat may be in her grasp.
Tina Lewis may well be a dark horse! Tina has been away from racing for sometime and although entered in several races in 2014, she was a no show. However, her daily exploits on Facebook are inspiring and if she can bring it all together on race day, I think we will see a potential top-5?
Other ladies to watch who will mix it up with the front:
Kerrie Bruxvoort, Ashley Arnold, Bethany Lewis, Joelle Vaught and of course so many more…
Another year will soon be over, it will be January and you will be feeling the effects of all those extra calories and you will realize that you are way behind with your training… yes, Spring is just around the corner and irrespective of your 2014 events distance, your are going to need to kick start your training and get in shape! What better way to get the ball rolling or should I say, the legs running than a week in Morocco.
Epic Marathon Camps are ideal for runners of all ability and provide the opportunity to train and learn with like-minded individuals in a fantastic location, close to Marrakesh, Morocco.
The foothills of the Atlas Mountains will become your playground. Alice Morrison and Charlie Shepherd will be your hosts for the week along with coaches, Holly Rush and Karl Zeiner.
Combining excellent facilities with superb views and a high level of comfort. The hotel for the week has two swimming pools, a spa, and numerous different areas in which to exercise or relax. The venue’s style and philosophy fits perfectly; to offer a traditional Moroccan experience in comfort and style and with access to some superb scenery that is perfectly suited to physical training.
‘It’s quite simple, both Charlie and myself have entered the Marathon des Sables for 2014. Charlie has great experience of Morocco and has already coordinated multiple camps in the area, it seemed logical that we should extend our portfolio to a run specific camp,’ explained Alice.
Holly Rush is a TeamGB athlete and in 2013 placed 7th lady at the highly competitive Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. In addition to this, Holly won a Bronze medal at the World Mountain Marathon Championships.
Karl Zeiner recently placed 16th overall at the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the UK and brings an extensive knowledge of marathon and ultra marathon training to the camp.
I asked Holly about her expectations of the camp and what participants can expect…
‘We are specifically targeting runners who want to get away from the January blues at home and get stuck into some focused, specific endurance training with like minded people in beautiful surroundings.’ Holly said with a look of eagerness on her face, ‘The January camps will be a great way to kick start the New Year with a possible eye on a spring marathon or ultra.’
Morocco is the ideal place to enjoy some winter sun without a long haul flight and yet once you arrive it will feel like you could be in another world. Participants will have the opportunity to train on a variety of surfaces, road, trail, sand and of course hills so every run can be different.
The camp can be as involved as each individual person requires. The team will offer plenty of easy running, all guided of course so that it’s possible to investigate the surroundings. Specific session will be mixed in to the week, threshold, marathon race pace, reps and hill repeats will keep everyone literally on there toes.
A unique selling point of EMC (Epic Marathon Camps) will be the magnificent location, high-end accommodation and facilities and of course the knowledgeable staff with quality training.
‘The camp will provide the perfect running experience allowing each and every person with one-to-one sessions with Holly and Karl.’ Explained Charlie. ‘It doesn’t stop there… days are based around running, core building, stretching and in the evenings lectures will be available about specific subjects to help progress each participants individual progression in the sport they love. Tired and aching bodies will be eased with in-house massage as required.’
Running is not only about miles, it is also about the food we eat and how we can enhance food choices so that we become efficient in every aspect of the sport. To that end, a nutritionist will be available for the whole week (a keen runner and cyclist herself) inspirational, balanced and incredible cuisine will be provided. You know you are on to a winner when the chef says, ‘I would never sacrifice taste for calories’.
Places are limited for the January training camps, January 11th to 18th/ January 19th to 26th.
The price for the all-inclusive week (transfers to-and-from the airport in Morocco, food, soft drinks, laundry and all services from the coaches) will be £1,495 for seven days (excl flights)
Please use the enquiry form below to receive a special £50 discount from the Epic Marathon Camps team.
The 2nd Annual Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Endurance Run, held in the terrific little town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The race starts on Friday, September 13, 2013 at midday
I cant help but hear ‘Speedgoat’ Karl Meltzer in my head… jogging along allowing all the fast guys to shoot of in search of the $10,000 first prize and singing the song aloud. It happened last year (not singing the song, but allowing the others to shoot off) and look what happened. One-by-one they fell by the wayside and the old goat himself reeled them in and schooled them all on how to run a 100-miles. Karl should know; he has won enough.
Once again he is playing down his chances of winning the 2013 edition RRR. In last weeks Talk Ultra (Ep43) we discussed at length his form and reading between the lines, I know he is ready. He wasn’t ready at Western States early in 2012 due to niggles and still pulled out 10th, however just a few weeks later, just like Seb Chaigneau at TNFUTMB, the exertions of a tough 100 at WSER took its toll and he dropped from Hardrock 100.
Karl, with his own race done and dusted, the Speedgoat 50k, he finally found some down time and concentrated on getting fit and healthy for the RRR and for Karl, there’s nothing quite like a $10,000 purse to motivate him… ask his wife, she got a new bathroom out of the race last year! (Or was it a kitchen?)
Joe Grant also had a troublesome Hardrock 100 and although he was super motivated to top the podium he just didn’t have the right day. It may very well have been his early season Iditarod still making demands on his body or ultimately, it may have just been a bad day! However, he seems to have got his head in a great place and certainly his recent trip to Europe as support and crew for Anton Krupicka has given him a new lease of life and all those mountain miles may well transfer to something special at RRR.
Ever present force over the 100k distance, Dave Mackey will hope to bring that speed to RRR and pull off a win at 100-miles. Although he has had some good 100 performances, notably 2nd at WSER, he has never quite hit the nail on the head like he has done over the shorter 100k-distance. He nearly rectified this at San Diego 100 earlier this year but unfortunately that went pear-shaped due to course errors. He is due a win!
Jason Schlarb I am pretty sure will be looking to put the record straight at RRR this year after a great start to the 2012 race that went completely problematic and frustrating due to going off course. For me, he is the dark horse of the favourites and don’t be surprised if he leads early on but manages to hold on!
Timothy Olson gets my final mention. Yes, I am mentioning Timothy last. Not because I don’t think he can win but you have to consider his season and because just the other week he placed 4th at TNFUTMB. I am pretty sure the $10,000 first prize is the attraction here and that has to be a motivating factor. However, he dug deep at TNFUTMB and used all his physical and mental reserves to reach the line. It could go either way for Timothy at RRR. Irrespective of what happens, he has had a great year with results at Tarawera, Transvulcania La Palma and of course, the defense of his WSER crown.
Behind this front five is a group of runners just waiting for the opportunity to steal the carrot from the other Rabbits. Keep an eye on Jeff Browning, Jason Loutitt, and if Dave James is in a good place, he may well push the others for the podium.
The ladies race is potentially a little more open than the men’s race however; it does have some key names that stick out. In particular a rejuvenated and in-form Nikki Kimball. I interviewed Nikki after her incredible 2nd place at the 2013 Western States and for sure, she has found a new balance. She is racing less and when she races, she wants to perform. Her lining up at RRR can only mean one thing!
Darcy Africa is another hot ‘fave’ for the RRR crown coming from another great win at Hardrock 100. She is consistent over the longer distances as her 2012 season shows. Without doubt she will be pushing the pace at the front here!
I predicted Cassie Scallon would have a great race at WSER based on her performances over shorter distances and her natural speed. However, the big dance didn’t go well and she is untested at 100-miles. I still think we will see her rectify the situation in Steamboat Springs and contend for a podium place at least.
One-to-watch goes to Jennifer Benna. She ran a great 100 earlier this year and then went to Transvulcania La Palma but pulled out early saying things just didn’t feel right. WSER didn’t go well either so redemption is required at RRR.
Finally, last years 2nd place at RRR, Rhonda Claridge returns and with another solid performance at Hardrock 100 she will be looking to move one place higher and take home the $10,000 pot.
Jeez, I missed Pam Smith. Thanks Speedgoat. For sure, Pam Smith coming from winning the 2013 Western States changes the dynamic of RRR and she will be gunning for the win. Of course Pam will be the one who all the ladies will be watching. Her main priority will be ‘chicking’ Speedgoat again though and of course taking the big bucks!
Race Line up is here if you’d like to point out any contenders for the podium.