Ultra Running Review of the Year 2013

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

What an amazing time to be involved in the sport of ultra running! The once niche minority sport has exploded to greater heights and distances in 2013. No longer is a long beard and ‘Buff’ a pre requisite of ultra running (unless you’re Rob Krar). Clean cut, young, fast is the new ‘ultra runner’ mixing it up with the old guard.
Just think back to this time last year, had you heard of Zach Miller (not the Zach Miller, but, the Zach Miller; confused?), Michele YatesRob Krar, Magdalena Boulet and Xavier Thevenard.
Racing and the opportunity to race has also increased to the extent that it is now possible to race pretty much week in and week out for 12-months of the year. Of course, this brings pluses and minuses, certainly from an elite level, runners need to be far more savvy and race clever. You can no longer race month on month and expect to win. Races now have much higher quality fields and the pace is going up. The growth of Skyrunning has been instrumental in enticing a world audience to test runners of all abilities on tough, technical and high-terrain and the feedback has been incredible. UTWT have launched a series of races above the 100-km distance and in doing so have created a ‘trail’ circuit that offers multiple terrain in multiple locations all over the world. It will be interesting to see how the inaugural year goes when 2014 comes around.
So, what are the highlights of 2013?
Ultra Runner of the Year – Men and ladies
Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Lets start with Rob Krar. I interviewed Rob just after his incredible ‘FKT’ in the Grand Canyon early in 2013 when he put the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim record at another level. At the time we discussed Western States, he was intimidated by the ‘Super Bowl’ of ultra and his first 100-miler. “I’ll give it a shot and see what happens”. Well, if you hadn’t noticed Rob pre WSER you did afterwards. Your not supposed to run WSER and get 2nd overall in your first attempt. UROC, Ultra Race of Champions was the final of the Skyrunner Ultra World Series and for some reason they had bestowed upon themselves the title, ‘The Ultra Running World Championship’. Mmmmm well, it certainly had a quality field but ‘World Championship’? I don’t think so. In the end it came down to a head-to-head between Dakota Jones and Rob Krar. Dakota looked as though he had it sewn up but on the final descent, Rob unleashed a pace that Dakota went on to say was ‘just crazy’. Rob took the win and a pattern was forming. We were all a little surprised to see Rob’s name on the start list for JFK50, primarily with TNF50 in San Francisco just two weeks later. As it happened, Rob dropped at around the 41-mile mark and went on to say that it was either ‘a great training run for TNF50 or the worst decision he had made in a while.’ It was a great training run! Rob ran a super calm, collected and mature race in San Francisco and when he took the front in the last fifth of the race he released a pace that was just incredible. Without doubt my ultra runner of the year!
Kilian Jornet and the Matterhorn ©iancorless.com
  • Of course, you can’t talk about male ultra runner and not mention Kilian Jornet. Kilian is a phenomenon. He is the star of our sport. Once again he was crowned Skyrunner World Ultra Series Champion with wins at Transvulcania and Ice Trail Tarentaise. In addition to this, Kilian was also champion of the ‘Sky’ series with 4 wins; ZegamaMont-BlancMatterhorn Ultraks and Limone Extreme. Add this a couple VK’s, a win at Canazei Sky race for the European Championships and a win at Trans D’Havet for the ‘Ultra’ Skyrunning European Championships and you would say the deal is done! But wait-a-minute, we haven’t mentioned his records for his ‘Summits’ project. A stunning new FKT for Chamonix-Mont-Blanc-Chamonix but arguably THE highlight of the year was his Matterhorn Summit. It was a sublime and surreal performance that put going to the mountains light on another level. It was without doubt my ‘moment’ of the year. You can read my ‘Matterhorn Summits Interview’ with Kilian here. Kilian is the most complete athlete I know.
Michele Yates - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

  • Michele Yates hadn’t run an ultra before 2013. Who would have thought that Ms Figure Colorado 2008 would be such an awesome talent? Well her history shows that she is a 2x Olympic Trials Marathon Competitor, she has 9 marathon wins and PB of 2:38:37. To say Michele burst on the ultra scene would be an underestimation. Her win at Indiana Trail 100 (17:35:18) almost went unnoticed but then taking top spot and the $10,000 prize at Run Rabbit Run suddenly made every one stop, look around and take notice. Placing 3rd at UROC was another sign that Michele was no one trick pony but just like Rob Krar, Michele sealed a quality 2013 with a win at TNF50. She started that race from the front and never relinquished the lead until the line. Is Michele female ultra runner of the year? Well, I would have said yes. That is until the weekend of Dec 13th/ 14th(Listen to interview with Michele on the Christmas show of Talk Ultra, Ep51 out Dec 27th)
  • Pam Smith victorious at Western States turned up at the Desert Solstice track meet run by Aravaipa Running and not only took out the win for 12-hours on the track but set a new female record for 100-miles, 14:11:26. Take your pick, Michele or Pam; it’s a tough call.
Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com
  • But wait a minute, what about Emelie Forsberg. Emelie arrived on the run scene in 2012 and instantly had success, continually placing top-3 with Anna Frost and Nuria Picas. However the break through moment came ironically this time last year, she won TNF50 in San Francisco. This seemed to change everything, Emelie arrived at Transvulcania in May 2013 and won, she followed this up with a win in ZegamaCanazeiIce Trail TarentaiseMatterhorn UltraksUROC and then went on to run her first 100-miler at the super tough Diagonale de Fous (Raid de la Reunion) and place 2nd. Do you want to vote against Emelie?
Performances of the Year
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Rory Bosio blasted around the TNFUTMB course and in the process not only obliterated the female record but placed 7th overall. Her performance was nothing short of miraculous.
  • Jon Olson set a new American record for 100-miles on the track and then just as the year came to a close, Zach Bitter broke the record with an 11:47:21 but maybe even more important, Zach set a new World Record for 12-hours (101.66 miles) beating a Yiannis Kouros record. That does not happen very often! (Zach Bitter will be in the Christmas episode of Talk Ultra, Ep 51 out Dec 27th here)
  • I have already mention Kilian and the Matterhorn but it was so good I am mentioning it twice!
  • Timothy Olson went back to Western States and won again. You can win a race once but going back and doing it again is always a true sign of a champion.
  • Seb Chaigneau took a win and CR at Hardrock 100.
  • Nickademus Hollon became the youngest person ever to not only complete Barkley but also win it. You can listen to his interview on Talk Ultra here.
Julien Chorier Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com
  • Julien Chorier produced a sublime and calculated performance at the super tough Ronda dels Cims. It was a joy and a pleasure to watch someone control and dominate a race from the front and look good all the way.
  • Sage Canaday, jeez I missed him out and he definitely deserves a mention for BanderaTarawera, Transvulcania (3rd), Lake Sonoma and Speedgoat 50k.
 
Francesca Canepa ©iancorless.com
  • Francesca Canepa once again had an incredible year with a great performance at Ronda dels Cims but arguably a repeat win at Tor des Geants places her well and truly at the top on ‘endurance’ lady of the year!
  • Iker Karrera nailed Tor des Geants.
  • Ricky Lightfoot went over to South Africa and raced at The Otter and not only won but put the course record at a new level, in addition he won the IAU World Title in Wales.
 
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Xavier Thevenard took everyone, including himself, by surprise at TNFUTMB with a controlled and impressive performance against some top competition.
Jez Bragg TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com
  • Jez Bragg completed the Te Araroa in New Zealand. An incredible journey from the northern tip of New Zealand all the way down to the southern tip. Listen here.
  • David Johnston completed the Iditarod trail Invitational in 4 days 19 hours 13 mins.Crazy fast.
  • Ian Sharman and Nick Clark went head-to-head in the Grand Slam of Ultra Running and produced possibly the most exciting competition of 2013. The pair of them produced incredibly consistent performances and showed us all that it is possible to race four 100-milers back-to-back. They didn’t only ‘complete’ but they competed. They both won a race and were never out of the front rankings. Ian Sharman ultimately had the icing on the cake with the overall fastest time and a new Grand Slam record. Respect! Interview with Ian Sharman here.
  • Paul Giblin at the West Highland Way race. 15:07 and good beating of Terry Conway’s previous CR.
Stevie Kremer Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Stevie Kremer doesn’t do ultras but she is a darn fine trail and mountain runner and what ‘Pocket Rocket’ achieved in 2013 is nothing short of miraculous. Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.
  • Ed Catmur has continued to knock out some great 100-mile performances on the GB scene with wins at North Downs Way and the Winter 100.
  • Lizzie Wraith new female CR for the Lakeland 100 in the UK.
  • William Sichel keeps running and running crazy distances and setting new records.
  • Jonas Buud didn’t win Comrades in 2013 but he ran one of the best paced races I’ve ever witnessed. He was way back in the late 30’s and slowly moved up to 3rd. Wow! Notable mention to Brit ladies, Joanna Zakrezewski and Holly Rush who placed top-10.
Surprises of the Year
  • Rob Krar – Just one word sums up the bearded warrior ‘Krarnage’.
  • Zach Miller – no, not Zach Miller, but Zach Miller. Zach rocked up at JFK50, nobody knew him and he didn’t know anyone else. He took over the lead when Rob Krar dropped at mile 41. Not only did he win but also he set the 3rd fastest time ever. Interview with Zach here.
  • Xavier Thevenard – TNFUTMB was going to be won by Anton KrupickaMiguel HerasJulien ChorierSeb Chaigneau or Mike Foote. Somebody should have told them all about CCC winner, Xavier.
  • Michele Yates – wow, what a first year in the ultra world.
Who and what to watch out for in 2014
Cameron Clayton UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Cameron Clayton has found his feet, 2013 had some mixed performances but when everything aligns he races with the best. His TransvulcaniaUROC and TNF50 performances without doubt elevates him to ‘hot’ for 2014.
Luis Alberto Hernando Haria Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Luis Alberto Hernando pushed Kilian close at Transvulcania, Zegama, finished joint first at Trans D’havet and won at Cavalls del Vent. In 2014 he plans to race TNFUTMB, now that will be interesting.
  • Magdalena Boulet had an ultra debut at TNF50 and placed 2nd. This sub 2:30 marathon runner may turn a few heads in 2014.
  • Brit, Stuart Air may raise a few eyebrows in 2014. He had a solid Ronda dels Cims, Ice Trail Tarentaise and Tor des Geants and for 2014 he has a Hardrock 100 slot!
  • Hardrock 100 had it’s draw and suddenly much of the WSER ‘lottery’ chat shifted focus to the field up at Silverton. The 2014 race is a classic in the making with Kilian JornetSebastian ChaigneauJulien ChorierJoe Grant and more. Excited? Just a little.
  • The Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix with runners from all over the world coming to race VK, SKY and ULTRA in one of the endurance capitals of the world.
  • Beards – the jury is out. Are beards fast or slow? Rob Krar, Timmy Olson and ‘Clarky’ are certainly great advocates for hairy running but Kilian, Cameron, Sage provide a strong counter argument. What are your thoughts?
And finally…
 
A review of any year is going to be personal. Without doubt we will all have our own highlights and favourite moments, so, I would love to read your thoughts.
Please use the form below.
Ian Corless ETR ©iancorless.com
On a personal note, 2013 was an incredible year, I feel blessed with all the opportunities I have had. To witness many of the moments I write about is a great pleasure. Of course, it’s nothing without you folks reading, looking at my photographs or listening to my podcast.
A very BIG thank you from me.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014 awaits us all…
LINKS:
Photography from 2013 races HERE
IMAGES book HERE
Calendar HERE
Podcasts HERE

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

Episode 43 – Kilian Jornet, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Jez Bragg, Rory Bosio, Nuria Picas and Jo Meek

TU43

EPISODE 43

Sept 6th

Episode 43 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we have an extended and in-depth interview with Kilian Jornet about his Matterhorn Summit record. We have a selection of audio from the TNFUTMB – Rory Bosio, Anton Krupicka, Joe Grant, Nuria Picas and Jez Bragg. We speak to Jo Meek who placed 2nd lady at MDS and what the future holds for her. We have Talk Training, the News a blog, smiles and miles with Emelie Forsberg and of course, Mr Speedgoat.

NEWS

UTMB

  1. Xavier Thevenard (ASICS/France) – 20:34:57 New course record; Old course record: Kilian Jornet – 20:36:43 – 2011
  2. Miguel Heras (Salomon/Spain) – 20:54:08
  3. Javier Dominguez (Spain-Basque) – 21:17:38
  4. Timothy Olson (The North Face/USA) – 21:38:23
  5. Mike Foote (The North Face/USA) – 21:53:19
  6. Julien Chorier (Salomon/France) – 22:08:11
  7. Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) – 23:14:16
  8. Arnaud Lejeune (Hoka One One/France) – 23:18:05
  9. John Tidd (Spain) – 23:18:27
  1. Jez Bragg (The North Face/United Kingdom) – 23:50:01

AUDIO with Jez Bragg and Anton Krupicka/ Joe Grant

  1. Rory Bosio (The North Face/USA) – 22:37:26 New course record; Old course record: Krissy Moehl – 24:56:01 – 2009
  2. Núria Picas (Buff/Spain-Catalana) – 24:32:20
  3. Emma Roca (Hoka One One/Spain-Catalana) – 24:48:14
  4. Katia Fori (Technica/Italy) – 27:48:45
  5. Silvia Trigueros (Spain) – 28:13:12
  6. Gill Fowler (La Sportiva/Australia) – 28:50:30
  7. Maria Semerjian (France) – 29:34:30
  8. Manuela Vilaseca (Brazil) – 30:17:02
  9. Juliette Blanchet (France/Raidlight) – 30:24:08
  10. Audrey Meyer (France) – 30:50:47

AUDIO with Rory Bosio and Nuria Picas

CCC

RESULTS
1 – Jordi BES
2 – Sébastien CAMUS
3 – Daniel GARCIA GOMEZ

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Caroline CHAVEROT
2 – Mercedes ARCOS ZAFRA
3 – Delphine AVENIER

TDS

RESULTS
1 – Arnaud JULIA BONMATI
2 – Antoine GUILLON
3 – Mattia RONCORONI

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Nathalie MAUCLAIR
2 – Claire PRICE
3 – Lisa BORZANI

Ring of Fire thanks to sam Robson for the info

1st Richard Ashton (no. 04) 22hrs 56 min

2nd Gavin Felton (no. 30) 23 hrs 30 min

3rd Christoph Pistek (no. 81) 23hrs 41 min

4th James Ashworth (no. 06) 24 hrs 22 min

5th Richard Heath (no. 44) 24 hrs 25 min6th

Michelle Bowen (no. 10) 25 hrs 33 min

UTWT News so the UTWT was announced.

  1. January 18th Vibram Hing Kong 100
  2. March 1st The North Face Transgrancanaria
  3. March 15th Vibram Tarawera 100km
  4. April 4th to 14th Marathon des Sables
  5. April 25th Ultra Trail Mt Fuji
  6. June 27th The North Face Lavaredo Trail
  7. June 29th Western States
  8. August 29th The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

The UTWT will propose an international competitive circuit in partnership with the International Trail Running Association. The events should already be open to the widest public and will offer ‘everyone’ a unique chance, throughout each year, to participate. Question: How does that relate to Western States with limited capacity and demand far outweighing places available? Also, Marathon des Sables… UK entrants for example are on a three year waiting list.

In each race points are awarded to every runner and therefore at the end of the year, a male and female UTWT world champion will be announced. To attract elite athletes, certain events will have Ultra Trail Series status and these will offer more important weighting in the ranking. (I assume this will be for races like Western States?)

Runners will be presented with a Passport. This can be ordered online before the end of the year, it was not made clear if these passports need to be paid for? When you complete a race, you are awarded a visa, this is added to your passport and shows your completion.

The minimum race distance will be 100km, races must have had two previous editions to qualify and already have 500 minimum participants (again, Western States has less than 400). A minimum of twenty countries will be represented and be emblematic venues.

So, how do you become World Champ?

All finishers in every race will be awarded points according to his performance. These points will be added to the International ranking and updated after each race. This ranking will be available on line at the UTWT website. The circuit will be an International competitive circuit in partnership with the ITRA (International Trail Running Association).

As mentioned, a limited number of races will be called Ultra Trail Series and you may only use two best performances from these races in building up points for the world title. In total, three races score, so, you could have two UTS races and one other.

A world champion lady and male will be announced each year.

READ MORE HERE

Wasatch this weekend… plus will Nick have his ‘Slam’ confirmed. Oh dear, Steve Baugh, why didn’t you just phone him… $80! Posted on the Grand Slam website at the end of August!

The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ Committee and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run Committee do not endorse, recognize, or ratify anyone or their times involved in the so-called “unofficial” grand slam of ultrarunning. Likewise we do not support, encourage, or sustain anyone involved in this pursuit.

We continue to recognize, applaud, and award the runners who are legitimately registered in and officially complete The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™.

We also remind all who are observing or otherwise involved that the term “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™” is a trademark of The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ entity, and only those who are official entrants and finishers of The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™ are entitled to use the term “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning™” in whatever form (including in any form that might cause trademark confusion) in connection with their running endeavors.

BLOGS

Stoke the Fire by Joe Grant at Alpine-works.com

I would tell them inspire instead of trying to win races. Don’t even worry if you finish first or 100th. It doesn’t make any difference because there’s going to be another race later. If you win, everybody forgets it in a few days anyway, and if you lose, nobody remembers, but the inspiration you give will last forever because you’ll get other people to run well. We try too hard to run well and be logical. And I think it’s much better if you go out and make it so everybody gets to the first mile very fast and they’re wildly afraid because the logic has been thrown to the dust. Gerry Lindgren (advice to distance runners)

INTERVIEW with Jo Meek

TALK TRAINING – Marc Laithwaite

MAIN INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Kilian Jornet about his incredible Matterhorn Summit record breaking run. I have to say that I feel very honored that Kilian provided so much of his free time to discuss this in such great depth. It’s a fascinating interview.

MELTZER MOMENT – Good, Bad and Ugly

SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsberg – smilesandmiles@yahoo.com

RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Altra Centennial Park Ultra100km | 100 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Altra Centennial Park Ultra 50km | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Queensland

Glasshouse 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Glasshouse 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Austria

“GRAWE” 50km Lauf | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

“NKE Austria” 100km Lauf | 100 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Belgium

Ecotrail de Bruxelles – 80 km | 81 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Canada

Alberta

Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Lost Soul 50 Km Ultra | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Ontario

Haliburton Forest Trail 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 km Race | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Quebec

The North Face Ultra-Trail Harricana de Charlevoix (UTHC) – 65 km | 65 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

France

Bas-Rhin

Grand Trail du HK ” The Magic Trail” | 52 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Haute-Garonne

Trail des Olympiades du Canton d’Aurignac – 60 km | 60 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Isère

Ultra Trail du Vercors | 80 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Lot

Figeac – St-Cirq-Lapopie – Conques : du 20 au 24 septembre 2013 | 208 kilometers | September 20, 2013 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Trail de la côte d’Opale – 62 km | 62 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Savoie

Ecotrail – trail long | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Vendée

Bol d’Air – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Vosges

L’infernal Trail des Vosges – 160 km | 158 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

L’infernal Trail des Vosges – 72 km | 72 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Georgia (საქართველო)

Kazbegi Mountain Ultramarathon | 53 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Stromberg Extrem 54,4 KM | 54 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon September | 108 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

P-Weg Ultramarathon | 67 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Dorint-RUN50 | 50 kilometers | September 20, 2013 | website

India

Khardung La Challenge | 72 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Indonesia

Indo Ultra | 130 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Tor des Géants | 330 kilometers | September 08, 2013 | website

Veneto

Troi dei Cimbri | 53 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Malaysia

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 100K | 100 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Most Beautiful Thing Ultra Trail Marathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Poland

7 Valleys Run Ultramarathon of the Festival | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Switzerland

Valais

Trail des Dents-du-Midi | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

United Kingdom

England

Bullock Smithy | 56 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

XNRG Toad Challenge 2013 | 90 miles | September 20, 2013 | website

Scotland

River Ayr Way Challenge | 44 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

USA

California

Diablo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Endure the Bear 100 Miler | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Endure the Bear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Headlands Hundred | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Headlands Hundred 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | September 20, 2013 | website

Colorado

Flaming Foilage Relay | 160 miles | September 13, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Rocky Mountain National Park Traverse | 39 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Run Rabbit Run 50 Mile Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Illinois

Evergreen Lake Ultra – 43 Miles | 43 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Kansas

Hawk 50 | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Hawk Hundred 100 mile Trail Run | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Hawk Hundred 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Maryland

BRRC Gunpowder Keg Ultra 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Michigan

Freak 50K | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 06, 2013 | website

Peace, Love & 50 mile | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Minnesota

Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Superior Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

Nebraska

Bohemian Alps 50 Kilometer Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

New Hampshire

Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | September 15, 2013 | website

Ohio

Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Oklahoma

Do-Wacka-Do 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Oregon

McKenzie River Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Pennsylvania

Pine Creek Challenge 100K | 100 kilometers | September 07, 2013 | website

Pine Creek Challenge 100M | 100 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

South Carolina

Long Cane 50K Ultra Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Long Cane 55M Ultra Trail Run | 55 miles | September 15, 2013 | website

Tennessee

Bartlett Parks Ultras 40M | 40 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Bartlett Parks Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

Bartlett Parks Ultras 50M | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Utah

Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Virginia

Odyssey 40 Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | September 07, 2013 | website

The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 06, 2013 | website

Washington

Plain 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

Wisconsin

The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 Km | 50 kilometers | September 14, 2013 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 14, 2013 | website

CLOSE

LINKS:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_43_-_Jornet_Krupicka_Grant_Bragg_Bosio_Picas.mp3

Website – talkultra.com

RACE IMAGES The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010566Once again, the races of The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® have gathered at the heart of the valley more than 50 000 people who came from around the world to be a part of this celebration of ultra running. Today early afternoon, the young frenchman, Xavier Thévenard from the Jura région won the TNFUTMB, along with an absolutely incredible performance by TNF athlete, Rory Bosio who not only set a new course record but placed 7th overall.

Transvulcania Press Conference

Press conference Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Press conference Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Fernanda Maciel, Timothy Olson, Emelie Forsberg, Kilian Jornet, Nuria Picas, Anton Krupicka and Luis Alberto Hernando attended the 2013 Transvulcania La Palma press conference at Hotel Sol Palma on the morning of Thursday May 9th.

It was a buzz of activity as press from all over the world discussed the exciting prospect of the battles that would unfold on the beautiful trails of La Palma.

Timothy Olson Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Timothy Olson Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Timothy Olson, “I am just excited to be able to race in Europe. I have spent many days in the last two weeks running the trails here and it is fantastic. A beautiful island and beautiful trails”.

Anton Krupicka Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Anton Krupicka Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Anton Krupicka was in La Palma for the 2012 edition of the race but was unable to race. “I am thrilled to be back” he said, “I decided last year when I watched the race that I would return and test myself on this course. It’s a course that just makes so much sense and of course, it is beautiful”.

Fernanda Maciel Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Fernanda Maciel Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

As we all know, Anna Frost will not be running in the 2013 edition of the race. Fernanda Maciel, Emelie Forsberg and Nuria Picas all expressed sadness that the 2012 winner and course record holder would not be able to race.

Nuria Picas Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Nuria Picas Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Emelie said, “Of course we are sad. I have raced and run with Anna so much. Not to have her with us is a great shame but a priority for Anna is that she gets well and thinks about running and running well into the future”.

Emelie Forsberg Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Emelie Forsberg Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Luis Alberto Hernando had some laughs with the press and Kilian Jornet at the prospect of running his first ultra against some of the best in the world. Kilian also smiled and teased his sparring partner. It will be great to see how this battle unfolds.

Kilian Jornet Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Kilian Jornet Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Luis Alberto Hernando Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Luis Alberto Hernando Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

A common bond was expressed by all. Transvulcania is a beautiful race on a beautiful island. In just 48 hours runners will be spread all over the 83km’s of the GR131 between Fuencaliente and Los Llanos and we will be rewarded with two new champions.

Follow @talkultra on Twitter and Talk Ultra on Facebook for updates.

copyright Ian Corless

copyright Ian Corless

Transvulcania La Palma – The Elites

logo-en

Just five days to go to the 2013 Transvulcania La Palma on the island of La Palma in the Canaries. Without doubt one of the racing highlights of the 2013 calendar. It is a who’s who of ultra running and here is the current confirmed line up for May 11th.

Make sure you follow all the race build up by Talk Ultra. I will be uploading images and commentary to Facebook, Twitter and this website. In addition, I will be conducting pre race audio and video interviews.

On race day we will keep you informed of all the action, phone connections allowing. Rest assured, we will be providing all the information and excitement as this iconic event unfolds.

2013 Confirmed Elite Entrants

Mohamad Ahansal – UVU

Nicola Bassi – Vibram

Jennifer Benna – Hoka One One

Patrick Bringer

Miguel Caballero – La Sportiva

Adam Campbell – Arc’teryx

Sage Canaday – Scott Sports

Cameron Clayton – Salomon

Sylvain Couchaud – New Balance

Yann Curien – Sigvaris Trail

Francois D’Haene – Salomon

Nuria Dominguez

Emelie Forsberg – Salomon

Uxue Fraile – Adidas

Anna Frost – Salomon *Anna will not race see HERE

Maud Gobert – Adidas *update 7th May, Maud will not race

Lidia Gomez – Studio54, Helly Hansen, Team A

Joe Grant – Inov-8

Miguel Heras – Salomon Santiveri *update 7th May, Miguel will not race

Luis Alberto Hernando – Adidas Trail Running

Zigor Iturrieta

Dave James

Kilian Jornet Burgada – Salomon Santiveri

Anton Krupicka – New Balance

Emelie Lecomte – Quechua

Thomas Lorblanchet – Team Asics

Fernanda Maciel – The North Face

Giuseppe Marazzi – Vibram

Nathalie Mauclair – Lafuma France

Sebastien Nain – Vibram

Luke Nelson – Patagonia Ultra Running Team

Santiago Obaya

Timothy Olson – The North Face

Nuria Picas – FEEC/Buff

Yanis A Povea

Philipp Reiter – Salomon

Gustavo Reyes – Salomon

Stefano Ruzza – Vibram

Karine Sanson

Armando Teixeira – Salomon Portugal

Xavier Thevenard – Team Asics Trail

Sean Van Court – Vibram

Information

Links

  • Skyrunning – HERE
  • Tranvulcania Race Website – HERE
  • Talk Ultra Facebook – HERE
  • Talk Ultra Twitter – HERE

The Gap between US & Europe…

Americans on tour

Last weekend I was standing around in the pouring 45F rain in the town square of Zegama in the Basque Country of northern Spain.  Montana mountain runner Mike Wolfe had just crossed the finish threshold of the Zegama-Aizkorri SkyMarathon in 14th place as the top American and was still visibly amped up about the weather, the course, his race.

“I was passing people like crazy on the climbs, and I consider myself comfortable on technical trails, but these guys just go nuts on the downhills.  I’ve never seen people run downhill like that before!”

Hearing that from such an accomplished mountain athlete as Mike helped me realize the true gap that currently exists between long distance mountain races in the U.S. versus those in Europe.

Read the great post in full by Anton Krupicka HERE