Coros VERTIX Adventure GPS Watch Review

The Coros VERTIX multisport GPS is designed for adventure that goes beyond the usual realms of running, cycling, triathlon and so on. One could arguably say that the VERTIX is geared to mountaineers, explorers and adventurers who need a premium product, built to withstand the demands of extreme sport and with a battery that will last for the most arduous and time-consuming adventures.

Using sapphire glass, titanium DLC bezel, waterproof to 150m and a stunning autonomy of 60-hours in regular GPS mode and a whopping 150-hours in UltraMax mode, the VERTIX is quite simply a stunning unit that competes with surpasses the competition.

But is it the best watch out there?

Coros have been taking the GPS world by storm, just look on social media in forums and you will see that Suunto, Garmin and Polar users are defecting to Coros. The main reason, battery and of course, price point is significant too. The APEX and APEX PRO have paved the way for the VERTIX.

From the off, I am going to be clear and straightforward, IF you need mapping and music on your GPS, the VERTIX is not for you. Now of course, updates happen all the time and most certainly, there may well be updates to come that add these features to a VERTIX, but for now, they don’t exist.

Also, the VERTIX price point brings it much more in line with premium models from Garmin and Suunto, so, the money saving of purchasing a VERTIX is less of an attraction in comparison to purchasing an APEX, for example.

The VERTIX has the most extravagant packaging I have ever witnessed for a watch. It comes in its own case (similar the sealed cases I use for cameras) which basically for the off says, ‘adventure!’ While initially impressed I then questioned the logic and the eco values of such a case. It is an overkill! But I then went on to find that once the contents are removed, there are padding inserts to convert the case to a product that can be used for other purposes. That is a nice touch.

Top Tip – Download the COROS app to your phone before turning the watch on. The simple reason for this is that a QR code appears on the watch face at start up. Using this QR code and the camera on your phone seamlessly connects the two and you are ready to get set up. I wish someone had told me this in advance.

In the case, the watch face sits independently, and you need to attach the watch straps. The fastening system is very slick and while a small feature, it adds to the premium feel. You can change straps and purchase additional colour options if you wish.

Cables, instructions and so on sit below the watch face and straps.

Unlike many GPS units, the VERTIX just has three buttons on the right-hand side, the middle button the key one. Top right is for the light, the bottom is for the menu (hard and prolonged press) and acts as a ‘back’ button, the middle button (digital crown) works on press and rotate. The rotate superb for navigating quickly.

Coros Vertix ©coros

The rear of the watch face has an optical sensor and importantly, this includes a SpO2 sensor which measures pulse oxygen levels. This feature most definitely helps place the VERTIX at the adventure/ explore and mountaineering end of the GPS world. But Coros are not the only company to do this…Fitbit and Garmin, to name just two, have this feature on several products.

The charging port is a simple oblong and comes with some small plastic covers (inside the case) that allow you to cover and protect this area when not charging.

Nice Feature: In set-up, you can choose right- or left-hand use. I very often put my watch on my right hand when doing sport/ adventure as it means that the buttons are away from my hand and wrist. It means that accidentally pressing buttons when scrambling, climbing and so on can’t happen. On the VERTIX you can specify left hand but rotate the face which places the three buttons away from wrist/ hand. A nice touch. The one downside is that the words on the watch face ‘Light’ and ‘Back/lap’ will be reversed. No big deal.

THE COROS APP

All initial set-up is done via the Coros app on your phone. It’s intuitive and straightforward, initially you are guided through the process. Watch and phone connection is via Bluetooth, there is no Wi-Fi capability.

Once set up, in the app you will see four key images at the bottom of the screen: GraphRunnerShield and Watch.

WATCH ICON

Click on the WATCH and you are given a menu of 9 key images that includes: 

Workout data – Customisation – Firmware Update

My Training – My Training Plan – My Route

Watch Face – GPS Satellite – Data Notifications

Watch Face is a good start place so that you can decide on the look of the watch and what info is provided when on your wrist for day-to-day use. There are a couple of obvious ones which everyone seems to use. You can also change colour options.

Data Notifications allows you to decide what alarms, info, alerts you get from key things such as calls, text messages, email, Facebook, WhatsApp and so on and so on. I have them all off, I just don’t need that info when exercising but in day-to-day use as a watch, some alerts are useful. It all depends on the user.

Select Workout shows what sports are covered by the VERTIX. Surprisingly this list is rather small with just 23 sports. A prime example is there is no ‘walk’ just a ‘hike’ option. Okay, you may well say there may be little difference between the two but for me, there is. So that irritated me. When you click on a sport, let’s say RUN. You are then provided options of how your watch screen will look. Choose the option that is best for you. You can do this for every sport.

Customisation allows you to access the ‘Workout Menu’ and ‘Toolbox’ so that you can make them personal to you and your needs. Basically, smartphone configuration of data fields. Notably there is Running Power and running efficiency metrics such as leg stiffness, contact time, cadence and so on.

Firmware Update basically connects to your watch and informs you if you are up to date or if an update is available. It’s a no brainer, keep the VERTIX updated.

My Training allows you to download verified programs from coros.com or building a workout for yourself. Click on ‘add workout’ then ‘create program’ then choose a sport: Run, Bike, Swim or Strength. Now you can add a session, in Run for example, you can add a warmup, then intervals/ sets and a cool down. It’s a nice feature and ideal to keep you honest and on track if you need some real structure to your training. As an example, I created a session: 15 min warm up, 8 x 1-mile on 5min rest followed with 15 min warm down. I created a name, saved it and then synced with my watch via the app. This session is now on the VERTIX ready for when I need it. Storage is not indefinite; it will hold 20 workouts on the watch.

My Training Plan works in just the same way as ‘My Training’ allowing you to add days and weeks of training.

My Route allows 10 routes to be added to the VERTIX for navigation. Click on ‘Import from Library’ and then ‘How to add a route’ takes you through a step-by-step process. I found it easy and seamless. Helps if you have apps on your phone such as maps.me or footpath as you export GPX files.

GPS Satellite Data tells you if you are up to date and if you need to update.

GRAPH ICON

Here you say an update of the day broken down in:

  • Active Energy
  • Exercise Time.
  • Steps.
  • Heart Rate
  • Sleep
  • Training Load
  • Fitness Index
  • Fitness Level

RUNNER ICON

Here you can see a list of all your workouts as an overview. You can then click on a workout to get more in-depth data. It will show a map of say a run, distance covered, workout time, average pace and so on and so on.

It is detailed, visually appealing and tells everything you need to know about an exercise session.

So, if you don’t want to be on Strava or other platforms, perfect. Here you can see important metrics:

  • Pace
  • Cadence
  • Stride Length
  • Running Power
  • Elevation
  • Heart Rate
  • Heart Rate Zones
  • Training Effect
  • Lap Splits

In all honesty, there is no need for Strava or any other 3rd party product. The information provided in the Coros App will keep even the nerdiest nerd happy.

Information on stride length, cadence and power are three areas I have looked at and analyzed realizing that these areas are useful in making me a more efficient version of me.

SHIELD ICON

Here you can access your profile, and this is where you add weight, gender, height etc.

In addition, you can access:

  • Workout Programs
  • Training Plans
  • Navigation Routes Library
  • Muscle Heatmap
  • Record

Under ‘3rd Party Apps’ you can link your watch and information to Strava, TrainingPeaks, Final Surge and so on.

USING THE WATCH

Once you have been through the app, set everything up, you can now start training! Screen resolution is 240px and 64 colours and when not backlit, not always easy to read. Click the top right button and the screen illuminates for approximately 9-seconds and it is easy to read.

The VERTIX auto-locks and I like this. It stops any accidental button pressing. To unlock, you need to rotate the digital grown. Once rotated, press the digital crown and you will be given the menu. By turning the digital crown up or down, the menu rotates. I really like this, it’s easy to do and I found it no problem even when wearing gloves, albeit gloves that are not too thick. When at the sport you want, press the crown in. You will see ‘Start’ another press and then you will be updated on connection to satellites and heart rate. Once connected, press again and of you go.

Top Tip: If you want to add ANT+ accessories or any other item, this can be done in the ‘settings’ menu.

In RUN there are options to choose structure or focused training options such as Aerobic TrainingInterval or Anaerobic. In most scenarios, I choose the sport I want, wait for connection and press start. Off I go. You can custom all sports.

When training, you can scroll through screens with the digital crown, and you can record laps by pressing the bottom button. Remember, you may need to change if the watch auto-locks otherwise you will need to rotate the digital crown to ‘open’ the watch.

Touch screen is also possible, you can switch between screens via swiping.

If you wish to pause, you can press the digital crown.

If you have finished a workout, press and hold the digital crown and it will count down, 3,2,1 and saved. The workout is then added to the Coros App on your phone and if you have set up third party connection, Strava for example will be updated with the session. You need to open the app with the watch close to upload the workout.

NAVIGATION

No mapping. Yes, no mapping which is a huge surprise, especially if Coros want to differentiate from the APEX Pro and compete with say, Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. However, there is enhanced navigation that includes the use of checkpoints. Basically, upload a GPX file to the Coros App that has pre-defined locations, they could be aid stations in a race? Sync to the VERTIX and when navigating, information is provided to the next checkpoint that includes distance and elevation. Very useful if racing. However, internal memory in the VERTIX is limited, so make sure you delete any stored files not required. The best may to upload GPX is use mapping apps on your phone, say, maps.me, Footpath or similar. Export a GPX and then ‘save’ to the Coros app. It was very easy to do. For me personally as a wearer of glasses, mapping does not work on a watch, it’s too small and there is too much information. A bread crumb to navigate is fine. Also, there is touch screen functionality, helpful with moving a breadcrumb nav screen. BUT, and I will say this again, for the VERTIX not to have mapping, it makes the competition more appealing for what is the same price point. Coros are very good updating and progress but the lack of memory on the VERTIX will probably mean that the next Coros watch addresses this, has memory and most likely mapping.

WORKOUT PROGRAMS

All workout programs can be fully customized and loaded on to devices. For the purpose of testing, I prioritised the run modes but there are many options for bike, swim, run and so on. Notable, the strength category uses heat map and has different workouts for muscle groups. Heat map indicates recovery.

Menu is accessed by a long press of the bottom button. Here you find the following:

  • Navi Settings
  • Map
  • Satellite Signal
  • Stopwatch
  • Timer
  • Alarm
  • Watch Face
  • Night Mode
  • System
  • Save Location
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Compass
  • Broadcast HR
  • Oximeter
  • Battery Usage
  • Metronome
  • UltraMax

ACCURACY AND DATA

In all my testing I have used the VERTX alongside an Apple iWatch for every session and on many occasions, I have used a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar too.

Below is the same run viewed in: Coros, Strava and Apple Watch apps.

GPS, I guess I could deep dive into the accuracy of the GPS and analyze every intricate detail. However, whenever I use a GPS unit or read a review, I often just want to know does it work and is it accurate? Using GPS and GLONASS, the VERTIX tracks position and is consistently reliable.

Quite simply, the VERTIX was in line with the iWatch and more so with the Fenix 6 Pro Solar. In countless runs, between the VERTIX and the FENIX 6 the difference was less than 100m and the mapped routes excellent. The iWatch had less accuracy +/- 1 to 400m. Having said that, on a 20km run (for me) I am not going to worry about 400m +/-. If I was an elite or Olympic athlete, it may well be super important.

In UltraMax mode GPS data is only recorded for 30-seconds in every 120-second window. This is how the battery life is extended, of course, accuracy is impacted. Motion sensors, algorithms and individual running model complete the 90-seconds when GPS is not recording.

Quite simply, the VERTIX is doing its job.

Heart rate viewed as above in the app.

Heart rate data was compared to a chest strap comparison and I was impressed. One thing is important, make sure the watch is pressed firmly against the wrist and tight. If it is loose and bouncing around, you are going to get mixed and inaccurate results. Hair on the arm, sweat and even a tattoo can impact on accuracy. Viewing the data in the Coros App is clear and while not exactly the same as the chest strap, they are will within the parameters one would accept. 

You can see pace, cadence, stride, power, elevation and HR all in one view.

SpO2 Feature Hold down the lower right button. Rotate the toolbox menu to Sp02. Press the digital crown and you will be shown the relevant screen. Note: altitude performance is shown at 2500m+ On the display you will see your altitude and SpO2.

Battery is one of the standout features of the VERTIX. It’s so good, you can almost forget about it. On receiving, I gave the watch a full charge.

As an example, I wore the watch for 17-days, did 17 runs totaling 34 hours and still had 10% battery remaining. This was in the ‘normal’ GPS mode. That is outstanding and quite simply one of THE selling features of the VERTIX and ultimately why one would choose this over say a Suunto, Fenix or Polar. For perspective, run 1-hour a day and use the VERTIX only for running and it will last 8-weeks!

Recently I did #feb406 running the dates of February which totalled 406km. I did this all on one battery charge and that included standby time too.

I think Garmin have obviously been losing many sales due to the autonomy of the Coros APEX and more importantly the VERTIX, that just recently they released the ENDURO which is boasting incredible battery life that competes with and exceeds the VERTIX. Weirdly, the cost of this unit is eye watering and amazingly it does NOT have mapping! I honestly believe that for those sports people who are going to spend big bucks on a GPS unit, mapping is the one thing that may well tip the edge and why the VERTIX will compete against the FENIX 6 PRO for sales – for many, maps and music will swing it. But if battery is the be all and end all, and for many it is, the VERTIX is a wow.

SUMMARY

In many respects, my summary of the VERTIX could be the paragraph above in regard to battery. Quite simply, battery is the hero of the VERTIX and why it would and should be at the top of your GPS list if looking for a premium unit that lasts and lasts.

However, there is far more to the VERTIX than ‘just’ battery. There is no hiding away from the fact that the VERTIX is here to steal the glory from Garmin and Suunto. Place the VERTIX next to a FENIX 6 and they pretty darn look similar, they are almost the same size, the VERTIX a little more depth in the case. The VERTIX being lighter but it has all the build qualities as one would expect in a premium unit.

Coros are without doubt being aggressive and they want market share, this is great for the consumer as they are pushing boundaries at a far greater pace than much of the competition. It amazes me that they do not have mapping and music on the VERTIX… But I am sure it is coming!

Price – The VERTIX retails at £539.99. The Fenix 6 Pro Solar £729.99 and the Fenix 6 Pro £599.99. The new Garmin Enduro £699.99. Suunto 9 £449.00. Polar Vantage 2 £449.00. As you can see, the VERTIX is not a budget option. The APEX and APEX Pro gained traction (I believe) based on pricing and battery autonomy. The VERTIX now has stand out battery but a price that is alongside and comparable with the other brands and in some cases, more expensive. 

So, why would you buy the VERTIX?

If you have been using Garmin, Suunto, Polar or whatever for some time, you will be invested in the brand and therefore will not switch on a whim, after all, a GPS is an investment. However, if you have constantly needed more autonomy, Coros are going to keep distracting you, this happened with the APEX models and now the VERTIX takes it to another level. Garmin have obviously realised this and are trying to compete with the ENDURO but at £699.99 that is a big ask – for me, it makes no sense, even if the battery life is longer than the VERTIX – Garmin say 80hrs in GPS and 300hrs in max mode compared to 60/150 for the VERTIX. Trust me, after using the VERTIX, I and pretty much anyone else does not need more autonomy.

Ultra-running, adventuring, exploring, multi-day adventures, fast packing and so on, the VERTIX is for you. Climbers will be enticed by blood oxygen monitoring and its capabilities at altitude. The features, such as power are also another key sell point for any athlete.

Ultimately, if you need mapping the breadcrumb navigation may well just not be enough for you and this is where the dilemma comes – until Coros update with mapping! On a personal note, I wear glasses and require glasses to read. I can follow a breadcrumb trail on a watch as it is clear and simple, I can’t navigate a GPX route on a watch with mapping – basically there is just too much info. So, IF I do need to refer to map/ GPX route I do that on a stand-alone device or I use additional software on my phone, such as FOOTPATH.

Notably, all watch controls are via the app, there is no desktop equivalent like with other brands. You can log in on the Coros website, but there is little to no additional extras. So, if you have a Garmin, move to Coros, the difference is huge. But, the Coros app is great, works and does the job.

The VERTIX is quality, has a great weight, sits nicely on the wrist and the app is excellent.

Key features:

  • Titanium bezel
  • Sapphire glass
  • 150mm water resistance
  • Battery
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • Left/ right hand use and settings
  • Digital Crown
  • Stride, cadence, power and so on
  • HR monitor
  • Barometer, altimeter and compass
  • Training structures
  • Interchangeable wrist straps 

The VERTIX is highly recommended. Coros website here.

No frills, hard core, designed for adventure, excellent build and amazing battery, it is a winner! BUT the omission of mapping, storage, NFC, Music and a couple of other features may well mean that the VERTIX is not for you, especially when the competition is at a similar price. But this is where the VERTIX battery steps in! The Fenix 6 for example, can’t match on autonomy even with solar. I don’t think the VERTIX price helps, if Coros really want the VERTIX to sell, it needs to be (based on UK prices) probably £100 cheaper.

For me, I have everything I need in the VERTIX and I won’t be exchanging it for anything else. The battery is a standout and I love this aspect of the watch. For perspective, my day-to-day watch is an Apple iWatch and that is still my day watch when home and I can charge it every day. I like the features of the iWatch, the screen, the integration with my Mac life. But out on the trails, in the mountains, adventuring or doing whatever, the VERTIX excels.

Watch was provided by Coros to test, this is not a paid review.

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10 Top Tips for Multistage and Multi-Day Racing

Running is running yes? Anyone can do it! Well I guess the answer is yes. However, variables come in to play. Running is broken down into many different distances, from 100m to 100-miles and beyond. The longer we run, the more the challenges and requirements on a runner change. Running for multiple days or running a multistage race on mixed terrain throws up many different scenarios. Over the years I have spoken with many champions who have raced in the sands of the Sahara, the forests of Costa Rica and the mountainous paths of Nepal. They all provide me with similar hints ’n’ tips to a successful multistage race.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR A MULTISTAGE

1 – RUNNING IN THE SAND

Desert races are very popular. Marathon des Sables for example is the father of multistage racing and over the years, many races have followed in the MDS format. A desert race is never all dunes but some races have more soft sand than others, so, be prepared. To avoid getting tired it’s important to read the terrain. Carve your own path running on fresh sand and when possible, run along the ridges. In smaller dunes (dunettes) it can be beneficial to run in tracks left by others, at all times, run light as though running on ice – you don’t want to sink in the sand!

2 – HYDRATION

Dehydration is a real risk in any race, particularly a self-sufficient race where water is rationed. The risks of dehydration increase when the mercury rises and a lack of cover comes. A desert for example will be open, have intense heat but humidity will be low. By contrast, a jungle such as those found in Costa Rica may well have plenty of tree cover and streams to cool off in but the humidity will be through the roof. In both scenarios it’s important to drink regularly. Take small and regular sips of water and supplement lost salt with salt tablets. Races like Marathon des Sables provide salt tablets at aid stations and they recommend dosage. Other races you will need to think of this and plan accordingly. Also think about food choices on the trail and when in camp – food rich in minerals and salts will also help you. Importantly, multistage racing is about management from day-to-day and this is what can trip people up. Think about the event as a whole and make sure you recover after each day – rehydrating is as important post a run as when running.

3 – BLISTERS

Many a multistage race is ruined by bad personal management of feet. Think about this well in advance of the race by choosing socks and shoes that work for you. Also choose shoes appropriate for the terrain you will be racing on. A shoe for MDS will be very different to a shoe for the Himalayas for example. By all means take advice on shoes from previous competitors BUT you are unique and your needs are unique. Do you pronate? Do you supinate? Do you need a low or high drop? Do you prefer a cushioned shoe or a more minimalist shoe? What about grip, do you need any? Do you need to fit gaiters? The questions can go on and on and only you can make a choice. If all this is new to you. Go to a running store that understand runners and can provide expert and impartial advice. They will assess you and your run style and provide advice. One consideration for multistage racing is that your foot ‘can’ possibly swell due to variables such as heat, running day-after-day and so on. Your foot will not go longer, but it may go wider. So, think about shoes that have some room in the toe box. Don’t purchase shoes that are 1 or 2 sizes larger – this is poor advice. Larger shoes will only allow your foot to move… a moving foot causes friction, friction increases the risk of soreness and soreness will lead to a blister. Also think about walking. Many people choose a shoe because they are good to run in… But how do they feel when you walk? Remember, a multistage race can involve a great deal of walking!

Do you have sensitive feet? If so, you can prepare your feet in the run-up to an event. Also make sure your nails are trimmed back. While racing, if you have blisters, stop and get them treated as soon as possible. Take responsibility and learn basic footsore before an event. You need to make sure you can make any necessary treatments. Finally, many races have a medical team that are provided to look after you and your feet. Don’t hesitate to use them, but remember, there may be a big line waiting. Self-care is an excellent way to make sure that you are ready to run in your own timeline.

4 – BALANCED PACK

Not all multistage races are the same. The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, for example, is not self-sufficient so a runner only needs to carry liquid, snack food and any ‘mandatory’ kit. By contrast, a self-sufficient multistage race requires you to carry everything. A simple rule is keep everything as light as possible and keep your pack balanced. Luxuries really are luxuries in a race over multiple days so really ask yourself, do I need to take that? You will need mandatory kit as specified by the race and in addition you will need (as a guide):

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping matt
  • Warm layer
  • Spare socks
  • Food (minimum calories are specified per day)

Clothes, shoes, hat, sunglasses –  but you will be wearing these so they don’t go in the pack.

That’s it. Keep it simple and if at all possible, get your pack with its contents as close the minimum weight as specified by the race.

By general consensus, a luxury item is considered a music player (or 2) such as an iPod shuffle.

Also remember that minimum pack weight will be without water, so, if your pack weighs 6.5kg, you will have to add 1.5kg on the start line on day 1. This is where a front pack or a pack where bottles sit on the front works really well. Bottles on the front help balance the front and the back and provide a greater running experience. Also, think about items your need whilst running… it’s not a good idea having them in the back, they need to be at the front so you can access them ‘on-the-go!’

Many packs are available to choose from and you will see two or three are very popular – WAA, Ultimate Direction and Raidlight. Choosing a pack is light choosing shoes; we are all personal. However, keep a pack simple, make sure it’s comfortable and make sure it has little or no bounce when running/ walking.

Consider joining a multistage/ multi-day training camp HERE

5 – PROTECT FROM THE SUN

The sun can be a killer in any race, single stage or multistage – use sun protection and apply it daily. Also use products like arm coolers, a hat and a buff. At aid stations or whilst racing, you can keep these wet which will help cool you. Particularly the buff. If you overheat, slow down and apply cold/ water to the back of the neck. Use UV protective clothing and the jury is out on if clothing should be tight or loose. This often comes down to personal preference.

6 – EAT WELL

Any multistage race is quickly broken down into three phases – running, eating and sleeping. Food is a really important part of any race as it has to perform many functions. Most importantly, it has to sustain you so you will need carbohydrate, protein and fat. Individual requirements will vary but carbs will restore energy, protein will repair and fat is essential as this is one of the primary fuel sources for a multistage race. Remember though, our bodies have an unlimited reserve of fat. It’s important to understand that your diet whilst training may well be very different to when racing. In training you may well have eaten less carbs to teach your body to use fat, but when racing, you need to recover and be ready to run/race again the next day. Have variety in your food as your palette will change with fatigue, dehydration and heat. Real foods are good but dehydrated food also has a place. You also need to decide if you will require a stove for heating water? Don’t think twice about stepping up a little on the organization’s requisite minimum daily dose of 2,000 calories a day, remember though, it’s all weight!

7 – REST

Rest is crucial and how much you get will depend on how fast you run. Front runners have no shortage of rest time, however, those at the back of the race get minimal rest. Make sure you have a good sleeping bag that is warm enough for you and is as light and packs small as possible. You can save weight by not carrying a sleeping matt – general consensus says that carrying one is worthwhile as sitting and sleeping is much more comfortable. Matts come in two types: inflatable or sold foam. Inflatable matts work really well, pack small but you run the risk of a puncture without diligence. Foam matts won’t puncture but they can be bulky.

Make sure you have a warm layer for comfort, temperatures drop with darkness. A jacket (usually down) will also allow you to add warmth while sleeping if required. A lightweight sleeping bag and down jacket is preferable (by general consensus) over a combination sleeping bag that turns into a jacket. A jacket and bag offers flexibility, weighs less and packs smaller but will be considerably more expensive.

8 – PACE

Remember that you have entered a race that lasts multiple days. Spread your effort and have the big picture in mind – pace yourself. Don’t set off too quickly and consider race profiles, distances and cut-off times. YOU take responsibility of when you need to be at checkpoints. A day with a great deal of climbing, soft sand or technical train will take longer, allow for this and be prepared. Most multistage races have a long day and it’s fair to say it is the most feared day – keep some energy back for that day. Remember, the long day often has a generous time allowance so don’t be worried by taking a sleep break midway through.

9 – KEEP ON TRACK

Most races will have markers for you to follow but be sensible and self-aware of the challenge. If a race requires you to carry a map and compass, then please understand how to use them. Carry a Spot Tracker for safety and if you use a GPS such as Suunto or Garmin, remember that these watches plot a route that you can use to backtrack. In a race like MDS it is difficult to go off course due to the volume of people, remember though that dunes are not way-marked and you will be given a bearing to run off. If you are alone or in the dark, an understanding of how this works is a positive.

10 – ENJOY IT

A multistage journey often offers so much more than any single-day race. It’s an experience like no other and friends made in the desert, jungle or mountains will stay with you forever. Also remember that this journey is a hark back to a more primitive and simple time – embrace that. Leave gadgets at home and live a simple life for a week – I guarantee it will change you!

contributions from

Elisabet Barnes, Danny Kendall, Jo Meek, Nikki Kimball and Laurence Klein

Please support this website. I believe everyone deserves to read quality, independent and factual articles – that’s why this website is open to all. Free press has never been so vital. I hope I can keep providing independent articles with your help. Any contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to help finance regular content. Please support me on Patreon HERE.

Episode 159 – KILIAN JORNET Bob Graham Special

Episode 159 of Talk Ultra is a Bob Graham Round special with a full and in-depth interview with Kilian Jornet. In addition, we bring you two interviews with Paul Aitken and Steve Birkinshaw who helped pace Kilian, amongst others, on this record breaking FKT.
*****
Talk Ultra is now on Tunein- just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE  You can download the Tunein APP HERE
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We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create! 
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
Donate HERE
*****
THE SHOW
On July 8th 2018, Kilian Jornet departed the Moot Hall, Keswick looking to break the 36-year old Billy Bland FKT for the Bob Graham Round.
You can read how the day unfolded HERE.
Kilian not only broke the ‘unbreakable’ but he set a time that was 1-hour 1-minute quicker than the previous best.
Kilian joins us to tell the story.
*****
00:01:44 Interview with KILIAN JORNET
*****
00:54:02 Interview with PAUL AITKEN
*****
01:10:56 Interview with STEVE BIRKINSHAW
*****
01:27:49 CLOSE
01:30:00
*****
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If you would like to support Talk Ultra, become a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
*****
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Website- talkultra.com
UP & COMING RACESgo to https://marathons.ahotu.com

Lakes In A Day 2017 Preview

The 2017 Lakes In A Day is upon us.

50 miles, 4000m of vertical gain, a journey on foot from the very top of the Lake District at Caldbeck to the very bottom, at Cartmel, via the stunning Helvellyn Ridge and the western shoreline of Lake Windermere.

Endurance, technical skill and the ability to navigate are all required to complete this event. Maps for the race are provided with a very clearly defined route which must be adhered to,  unlike many ‘true’ navigation events, the use of a GPS is allowed and a GPX route is provided for runners in advance so that they can download it.

The summit of Blencathara comes early in the race with wonderful exposed ridge of Hall’s Fell leading runners to lower ground before the tough and challenging climb to Helvellyn.

Grizedale Tarn follows before heading up Fairfield and dropping down to Ambleside.

From Ambleside, the course profile and route changes considerably taking in the lower fells as the route weaves around Lake Windemere. Newby Bridge is the gateway to the final section and the finish in Cartmel.

Race director, James Thurlow of Open Adventure is nut shy of putting some pounds up for a course record… In 2015 he gave £500 to the respective male and female winners. In 2016 the records stood and no money was claimed. For 2017, the purse rolls over to £1000 for a ladies and/ or male course record.

  • Men will need to to beat the speedy Kim Collison who set 9 hours and 12 minutes.
  • Ladies will need to beat Helen Leigh and her time of 11 hours 0 minutes.

Who stands a chance?

Well, Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn is coming from a stunning Lakeland 50 win and course  record and a solid outing at the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline. Katie has been out on the course checking the route and looks prepared to give it a go!

The nature of the event, the distance and the elevation gain means that pretty much every runner will go onto the night. Remember it’s the UK in October, with luck, the weather gods will be kind!

Notably, Richard Leafe (Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park, England’s largest National Park) has chosen The Lakes In A Day as his first ultra.

Live tracking will be available and the site is online now for you to share to family and friends: HERE

The trackers will be updating runner location every minute!  Post event you will be able to download GPX files for the strava addicts and review the event as a replay online.

Full race information is HERE

Full entry list is available HERE

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Episode 113 – Cape Wrath Ultra and Northern Traverse

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 113 of Talk Ultra and We have a show with a selection of audio from participants who took part in the 8-day, 400km Cape Wrath Ultra (Ita Marzotto, Jenny Davis, Louise Watson, Luke Robertson, Richard Beard and Ted Kristensson)and the 190-mile, single stage, Northern Traverse (Angela White, Clare Turton and Eoin Keith). We have the news and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.

NEWS

COMRADES

Men

  1. David Gatebe 5:18:18 new record
  2. Ludic Mamabolo 5:24:05
  3. Bongmusa Mthembu 5:26:39

notable 8th – Max King 5:37:27

  1. Charge Bosman 6:25:55
  2. Caroline Wostmann 6:30:44
  3. Kajsa Berg 6:39:04

2 Americans in the top-10, Sarah Bard 4th in 6:42 and Colleen De Reuck (aged 50) 7th 6:50:21

ULTRA SKYMARATHON MADEIRA – HERE

Men

  1. Cristofer Clemente 6:00 new CR
  2. Dimitrios Theodorakakos 6:09
  3. Luis Fernanndeez 6:11
  1. Gemma Arenas 6:58
  2. Hillary Allen 7:13
  3. Anna Frost 7:17

all ladies under Stevie Kremer’s 7:33 from 2015

GOLDEN GATE DIRTY THIRTY

Men

  1. Chris Vargo 4:30
  2. Josh Arthur 4:54
  3. Jason Schlarb 4:55
  1. Alicia Shay 5:30
  2. Clare Gallagher 5:46
  3. Taylor Nowin 5:58

GRAND UNION CANAL RACE

Andy Jordan 25:49 ahead of Barry Miller 27:22 and Ian Thomas 27:43

Cass Chisolh, 1st lady and 4th overall 29:25, Katherine Ganly 31:49 and Georgina Harrison 32:05

Rob Young – marathonmanUK has started his Transcontinental run record (2766 miles) on May 14th. He started with an 81 mile day 1…. He is now in Missouri HERE

Damian Hall set a FKT for the South West Coast Path in the uk – 10 days, 15 hours and 18 minutes

Francois d’Haene set a new FKT on the GR20 in Corsica, breaking the old record by 1 hour – 31 hours 6 minutes

Cape Wrath Ultra HERE

  1. Marcu Scotney 41:40:50
  2. Thomas Adams 45:59:20
  3. Pavel Paloncy 52:22:38
  1. Ita Marzotto 66:53:12
  2. Louise Staples 68:02:02
  3. Laura Watson 68:42:11

INTERVIEW audio from Cape Wrath Ultra

Northern Traverse HERE

  1. Eoin Keith 51:38:15
  2. John Knapp 57:08:29
  3. Tim Laney 58:41:00
  1. Anne Greeen 86:34:31
  2. Hisayo Kalahari 87:57:54
  3. Angela White 88:27:07
  4. Angela’s charity:

Follow at: http://pushboundaries.co.uk/

Donate at https://www.justgiving.com/PushingBoundaries/

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/PushBoundaries

INTERVIEW audio from Northern Traverse

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Queensland

Endura 50K | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Gold Coast 50 Miler | 50 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Runners ConneXion 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Austria

100km Wien | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

50km Wien | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Scenic 100 | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Scenic 55 | 55 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Bulgaria

Vitosha 100km Mountain Super Trail | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Canada

British Columbia

55K Ultra | 55 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Vancouver 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Vancouver 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Vancouver 62.5 km | 62 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Vancouver 75.8 km | 75 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Vancouver 87.9 km | 87 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Ontario

100 Km | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

50 Km | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Ultimate Canuck | 92 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Chile

Ultra Trail Putaendo – 60 km | 60 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail Putaendo – 80 km | 80 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

China

Gobi March 2016 | 250 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Czech Republic

Krakonosova Stovka 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 17, 2016 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

La Grande Courasse | 61 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Aube

Team Trail Intermarché | 180 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

Troyes à l’aube de l’enfer d’Éric Peters | 180 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

Bouches-du-Rhône

Grand Raid de Camargue | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Cantal

Ultra-Trail Puy Mary Aurillac | 105 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Drôme

Les Drayes du Vercors 60 km | 60 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Essonne

Relais Trail du Gâtinais | 66 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Trail 91 km | 91 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Haute-Loire

100 km | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Le Grand Trail du Saint Jacques | 71 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Hautes-Alpes

Trans Écrins | 80 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Haute-Savoie

80km du Mont-Blanc | 80 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

L’esprit Angolon | 60 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Trail des Crêtes du Chablais – 70 km | 70 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Hautes-Pyrénées

Aneto trail de la Haute – Bigorre | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Hérault

6666 Occitane | 105 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Grand Raid 6666 | 110 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Lozère

Aubrac Circus Trail | 55 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Manche

Défi des Barjos | 65 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Défi des Grands Barjos | 115 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

La 1/2 Barjo | 50 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

La Barjo | 100 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Raid de l’Archange | 270 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Morbihan

Grand Raid 56 Golfe du Morbihan | 177 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Trail des Coteaux de l’AA- 55 km | 55 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Montan’Aspe : la Piste Noire | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Saône-et-Loire

tour du canton | 60 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Var

Entre les deux rives | 57 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Grand Tour du Verdon | 83 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Vosges

Le Grand Trail de la Vallée des Lacs | 85 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Le trail de la Vallée des Lacs – Trail Long | 55 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Supertrail | 60 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

SuperTrail XL | 79 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Ultratrail | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Hesse

Oxfam Trailwalker Deutschland | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Eifel Ultramarathon | 51 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Forest Marathon – 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Forest Marathon – 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Kildare

Stonemad Multi Stage Marathon – Day 1 Ultra Marathon | 62 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Stonemad Multi Stage Marathon – Day 2 Ultra Marathon | 55 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Wicklow

Celtic 6 Day Stage Race 133K | 133 kilometers | June 20, 2016 | website

Celtic 6 Day Stage Race 210km | 210 kilometers | June 20, 2016 | website

Italy

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Magraid | 100 kilometers | June 17, 2016 | website

Liguria

Avatrail – 54 km | 54 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Puglia

Ultramaratona del Gargano | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Veneto

103 km | 103 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

53 km | 53 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Lavaredo Ultra Trail | 119 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

Japan

100 km | 100 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

100 km | 100 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

71 km | 71 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

72 km | 72 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Namibia

Richtersveld Wildrun | 200 kilometers | June 13, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Gelderland

55 km | 55 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Norway

UltraBirken | 55 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Portugal

Ultramaratona Caminhos do Tejo – 144 km | 144 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Ultramaratona Caminhos do Tejo – 57 km | 57 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Réunion

Grand Raid 97.4 | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Serbia

100 km Run Palic | 100 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Slovakia

Štefánik Trail | 140 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Tenerife Bluetrail 60 km | 59 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Tenerife Bluetrail 94 km | 94 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Catalonia

Cadí Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Volta Cerdanya Ultraresistència – VCUR 122K | 122 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Madrid

Gran Trail Peñalara | 110 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

Gran Trail Peñalara 60km | 60 kilometers | June 24, 2016 | website

Oxfam Intermón Spain – Madrid | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Sweden

Jättelångt | 68 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Switzerland

Berne

100km run Biel | 100 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Neuchâtel

Trail de l’Absinthe | 75 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Ticino

Scenic Trail – 54 km | 54 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Cambridgeshire

Pathfinder March | 46 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Cornwall

Endurancelife Classic Quarter Ultra Marathon | 49 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

County Borough of Conwy

V3K Ultra Extreme | 89 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

V3K Ultra Marathon | 53 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Cumbria

The Wall Ultramarathon – Challenger | 69 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

The Wall Ultramarathon – Expert | 69 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

The Wall Ultramarathon – Relay | 69 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Three Rings of Shap | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

East Dunbartonshire

West Highland Way race | 153 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

East Sussex

South Downs Way 100 | 100 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Circular Ultimate Challenge | 78 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Northern Ireland

Mourne Way Ultra Marathon | 84 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

USA

California

50M | 50 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Big Basin Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Burton Creek Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

Canyon Meadow 50 km Trail Run (May) | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Rodeo Valley Trail Run Spring 50K | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Shadow of the Giants 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Georgia

50K | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Idaho

River of No Return 108K Endurance Run | 108 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

River of No Return 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Indiana

50K | 50 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Kansas

50k Relay | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

50k Solo | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Maine

6-Pack (6 Person) | 200 miles | June 24, 2016 | website

Standard Relay Team (7-12 Person) | 200 miles | June 24, 2016 | website

Ultra Relay Team (4-6 Person) | 200 miles | June 24, 2016 | website

Maryland

Mason-Dixon Trail Longest Day 100K Challenge | 100 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

Vegan Power 50K | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Michigan

40 mile through-the-night run | 40 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

North Country Trail Relay | 63 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Montana

50K | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

50 Mile | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Nebraska

187 miles | 187 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

187 miles Relay | 187 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

New Mexico

Angel Fire Endurance 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Angel Fire Endurance 50K Run | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Angel Fire Endurance 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

New York

50K Green Race Relay | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Manitou’s Revenge Ultramarathon and Relay | 54 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie 50 Mile | 50 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Ohio

Mohican Trail 100M Trail Run | 100 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Mohican Trail 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Oregon

100K | 100 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Mary’s Peak 50K Trail Running Race | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

Relay | 170 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

Relay | 200 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

Laurel Highlands Ultra’s 50 K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 11, 2016 | website

Laurel Highlands Ultra’s 77 Mile Trail Run | 77 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Rachel Carson Trail Challenge | 34 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

South Dakota

Black Hills 100 Mile | 100 miles | June 24, 2016 | website

Tennessee

Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race | 60 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

Utah

100 Mile | 100 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

50 Mile | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back | 192 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

Virginia

Eastern Divide Ultra | 50 kilometers | June 18, 2016 | website

OSS/CIA 50 Mile Night Run | 50 miles | June 11, 2016 | website

Washington

Echo Valley 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 12, 2016 | website

Echo Valley 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | June 12, 2016 | website

Emory Corwine Memorial Ruck Race | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Kaniksu 50 | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Rattlesnake Ridge Run 50K | 50 kilometers | June 19, 2016 | website

West Virginia

Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Ahnapee Summer Solstice 50 Mile Relay Run | 50 miles | June 18, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Chicago | 194 miles | June 10, 2016 | website

Wyoming

Bighorn Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

Bighorn Trail 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | June 17, 2016 | website

Bighorn Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | June 17, 2016 | website

CLOSE

 

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Northern Traverse 2016 – Day 2 Summary

©iancorless.com_NorthernTraverse2016-8563

“We seek him here, we seek him there,

Those photographers seek him everywhere.

Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell?

That damned, elusive Eoin Keith”

– a mis-quoted Baroness Emma Orczy

Eoin Keith is on fire, he is blasting through checkpoints and burning up the trail. I tried to catch him this morning and missed by about 10-minutes at Nine Stands. I even expected a faster pace and navigated ahead on the trail so that I could run towards him…. a lack of 3G failed me and when I finally goy an update on my tracker it told me the bad news. Eoin had passed but by the narrowest of margins.

I remained on the higher ground and was blasted by the strong icy winds to John Knapp and Matt Neale come through. The front three are relatively equally spaced at the time of writing (1400 Tuesday), Eoin is probably getting close to Richmond? If only I could get 3G.

The 190 mile journey is taking its toll and runners are now spread over a large area, the last runner is David Taylor (I believe) and he is climbing out of Patterdale – puts Eoin Keith’s pace into perspective.

Day 2 conditions are good with great visibility, just a strong, cold wind to contend with.

Ship will be a key aid station in the coming hours and evening for the back markers, equally, Richmond important for the from markers.

How long will Eoin Keith stay in Richmond? My guess, not long… Robin Hood Bay is starting to appear quite close

Follow the race live on tacking HERE

Check outage race website http://www.northerntraverse.com

NorthernTraverselogo

The Cape Wrath Ultra™ 2016 – Day 8 THEY DID IT!

No words, just pictures – 400km, 8 days, from Fort William to Cape Wrath.

The Cape Wrath Ultra™ 2016 concludes

Overall results, final rankings and leaderboard and news about the 2018 Cape Wrath Ultra can be found at http://www.capewrathultra.com

CapeWrathLogo

The Cape Wrath Ultra™ 2016 – Day 7

©iancorless.com_CapeWrath2016-2689

The big man in the sky did it again, he refreshed the batteries in the big sun torch and then shone it down on the Highlands of Scotland – it was ‘another’ incredible day!

Departing Inchadamph between 0700-0900, the 62 runners remaining in the race headed north on the penultimate day of the 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra. Passing Loch Glencoul and then traversing over Air da Loch, the runners then passed around the stunning Loch Glendhu before climbing up and over to Cp1 on the A838.

A long tough section of technical trail culminated in Cp2 and then the final kilometres wound up and down on a stunning road around Loch Inchard into the day 7 bivouac – Kinlochbervie.

Do I need to say who won day 7?

Marcus Scotney has been in impressive form during this race – he has looked relaxed, calm and in control in every moment and it has been impressive to watch. He has paced himself and at all times has looked capable of going faster or moving into another gear if required. He won the day in 6:42:05.

Thomas Adams has also been incredibly consistent but today on stage 7 the fatigue was starting to hit, he fought hard but didn’t look as fresh as other days finishing in 8:28:58. Pavel Paloncy has looked tired all week and has at all times looked to be fighting the terrain. No doubt, Paloncy is a tough and gritty runner. Today he finished 5th 8:59:23.

A notable mention must go to Andrew Biffen and Ian White who finished 4th and 5th on the stage and they have both improved as the week has passed. Ian White though is till 1-hour of Paloncy for overall 3rd,

But anyone who contemplated this race has required grit and with just 1 day left, the 59 runners left in the race will almost look at the final 16-mile day as a ‘recovery’ day.

Swollen feet, aching knees, tired bodies, fatigued minds and a desire ‘to get this done,’ has pushed all the runners to complete an incredible challenge – the Cape Wrath Ultra is a tough race!

Overall standings after day-6

  1. Marcus Scotney 39:03:22
  2. Thomas Adams 42:51:45
  3. Pavel Paloncy 48:31:11

Ladies leader, Ita Emanuela Marzotto had a tough day 7 finishing in 3rd place in 12:51:37, not helped by a minor fall in the final mile. She looked a little shocked at the finish, a sit down and some RnR did the trick though.

Louise Staples won the day in 11:23:18 followed by Louise Watson in 12:19:21 – both ladies have been consistent and fought hard all week and have really impressed.

Overall standings after day-6

  1. Ita Manuela Mariotto 49:03:02
  2. Laura Watson 51:18:08
  3. Louise Staples 52:11:49

Tomorrow is the last day, a 16-mile jaunt to the tip of the UK – Cape Wrath.

Follow the Cape Wrath Ultra on http://www.capewrathultra.com

CapeWrathLogo

The Cape Wrath Ultra™ 2016 – Day 5

©iancorless.com_CapeWrath2016-1257

A chilly wind and cloud greeted the runners for the first couple of hours of day 5, don’t worry, it didn’t last long and what followed was blue skies and white fluffy clouds… why do people say the weather is ‘always’ bad in Scotland?

In all honesty, the 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra really has hit a purple patch of weather, not only providing the runners with stunning clear views (easier navigation), but wonderful sunshine tempered by just a subtle breeze. This race would be very different with inclement weather and clag – very different!

27 miles faced the runners today and a moderate 1400m of climbing. Departing from Kinlochewe between 0700-0900 double-track roads and relatively little elevation took the runners to the Fisherfield mountains and one of the most impressive views on Scotland (apparently). From the Fisherfield Mountain, and  corner of Lochn Fada, the views off to the distance are impressive. An early incentive to tick off the miles.

From here it was long trek to CP1 through Bealach Nan Croise and the mountains of Beinn Tarsuinn, Mullach Coire Mhic Fearchair and Sgurr Bann made for a stunning backdrop. On the final stretch of the day while heading to Inverdael, Loch Broom loomed the left and Ullapool could be seen in the distance. It was an impressive day, once again!

Overall standings did not change and in all honesty, the finishing format (at least at the front) has little variation – I wonder, will someone blow up? Have a bad day? Go of course?

The level of consistency (for all runners) is quite impressive, it really takes some tenacity, grit and determination to bang out these distances day-after-day.

Marcus Scotney and Ita Emanuela Marzotto, once again were the male and female 1st placed runners on the day, that is 5 out of 5 for Scotney, and their times were equally impressive, 4:08:45 and 6:24:09. I have to say, Scotney looks like he has another gear spare should he need it – I don’t think he will!

Thomas Adams again played bridesmaid in 4:36:01 and Stuart Macdonald today pipped Pavel Paloncy to 3rd place on the stage, 5:02:33 to 5:07:43.

Louise Staples and Laura Watson finished 2nd and 3rd in the lades race, 6:42:21and 6:48:37 respectively.

The multiple days, accumulative distance, fatigue and tired, sore bodies are now looking to the end in Cape Wrath. With 3-days to go it is in sight BUT tomorrow is a big day and unfortunately some won’t make it! The ice cream at the end of day 5 will have helped though.

Overall standings after day-5

  1. Marcus Scotney 25:12:43
  2. Thomas Adams 26:34:51
  3. Pavel Paloncy 30:15:06
  1. Ita Manuela Mariotto 38:08:00
  2. Laura Watson 39:25:09
  3. Louise Staples 39:47:05

Follow the race via the Cape Wrath Ultra website http://www.capewrathultra.com

CapeWrathLogo

The Cape Wrath Ultra™ 2016 – Day 4

©iancorless.com_CapeWrath2016-3156

Day 4 of the Cape Wrath Ultra was a stunner, no, it was amazing! The early morning cold temperatures and icy wind lifted to show the highlands in their true magnificence and what a course… today was arguably THE day of the Cape Wrath Ultra.

Just 69 runners (from 95) are left in the race, yes, the first 3-days have really started to hit! Although day-4 was a ‘recovery’ day (heard in the camp this morning!) of 22 miles, it was still a day of epic challenges and one seriously beautiful course. In particular, the section of trail from CP1 (on the A896) in the Glen Torridon that weaved it’s way up and up via a stony path between Spidean a Choire Leith and Spidean Coire nan Clach to the amazing cauldron that backed onto Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair. This is a stunning place! Despite tired legs, fatigue, pain and no matter what ailments, this place put a smile on every single participants face.

It may come as no surprise that Marcus Scotney once again lead the charge. He was instructed by event director, Shane Ohly, that under no circumstances must he start before 0900. For the remaining runners, the start window of 0700-0900 was open and many, despite fatigue, still decided to leave early in the hope that they would be back in camp to gain additional rest at the end of the day.

Finishing in Kinlochewe, Scotney stopped the clock in 4:05:52 and although Thomas Adams had been very close to hime at the midway point, he lost more time at the finish with a 4:22:22. Ian White finished 3rd and Pavel Paloncy finished 4th, their respective times 4:41:23 and 4:42:32 – looks like we may have a fight on our hands for 3rd place with Paloncy just 9-minutes advantage.

For the ladies, Ita Emanuela Marzotto was back on form today, with a definite, ‘I love the mountains!’ as she moved past me on the trail. Her time of 6:14:51 extended her lead over Laura Watson (overall ladies 2nd place) who finished in 6:42:26. However, 2nd lady on the stage and 3rd lady overall, Louise Staples stopped the clock in 6:34:04. We may have a battle on our hands for the ladies podium?

Ultimately, today was all about blue skies, white clouds and the stunning highlands, even Marcus Scotney stopped to grab some photos on his phone! Today was a special day and one that all the runners will not forget.

Roll on day 5 which once again is a (relative) shorter day of 27-miles and 1400m+ to Inverlael.