Merry Christmas and Thanks


2016 has been an incredible year. I have travelled to more races, worked with some incredible people, interviewed inspirational athletes from all walks of life and I launched Running Beyond Book.

As one year comes to an end, it’s always good to give thanks. I want to thank all the races and race directors worldwide that have asked me to cover their races; I started my race coverage in Costa Rica and concluded it Nepal with a whole string of stunning locations and places in between.

Skyrunning for an incredible calendar of races – VK, SKY, ULTRA and in 2016 we launched EXTREME, it really is such an inspiring race series.

So many magazines, websites and resources that have used my content throughout the year.

Karl ‘Speedgoat’ Meltzer has once again provided another year of co-hosting with Talk Ultra and somehow along the way he managed to set a ‘FKT’ on the Appalachian Trail.

Niandi Carmont has been invaluable with her support – without that, what I do would not be possible and in addition, she has been working at many of the races I have attended as writer and podcaster. I hope 2017 is a great year for her as she progresses her run coaching.

Finally, all of you who read the articles, view the images and listen to the podcast – a huge thanks!

Have a great end to 2016 and I wish you all a successful 2017.

Lead From Behind by Niandi Carmont


“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.” – Nelson Mandela


I just so love this quote by Mandela one of history’s truly great legendary and inspiring leaders. This guiding principle is what no doubt helped Mandela lead South Africa towards the democracy it is today, even from behind the secluded prison bars of Robbin Island.

Leading from behind is one of the most effective, rewarding and empowering leadership strategies. It goes against the traditional image we hold of great leaders, leading the troops from the front by setting the example.


As a coach during a 2016 training camp for multi-day racing and specifically the Marathon des Sables (here), I had the opportunity to put this into practice. Marathon des Sables or “MDS” as it is affectionately called by most aficionados is a gruelling self-sufficiency multi-stage running event which takes place every year in April in the Sahara. The event is celebrating its 31st year this year and will gather over 1300 international participants at the start line on 8 April. Participants are required to carry a minimum weight of 6.5kg with a minimum calorie allowance of 2000Kcal/day covering a total distance of 250km with temperatures exceeding 45C over dunes, jebels and scorched sun-dried salt lakes.


The pre-race training camp last week in Lanzarote provided participants with an opportunity to run long distances on consecutive days in the heat and on demanding terrain simulating that encountered in the Sahara. It also allowed them to test their equipment and exchange with coaches on nutritional and hydration strategies.

Attendees were divided into groups of differing ability depending on the objectives they had set themselves.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton

Coaching one of the groups provided me with one of the most insightful weeks on leadership, mentoring and providing feedback. How do you support and develop each participant in the group giving them the self-confidence to learn and grow? This is where leading from behind comes in. At times I would be running ahead setting the pace. Then I would slow down and run in the group egging them on to the next landmark. Other times I would drop down to the back of the pack and let them set the pace. After all isn’t it all about a balance between pushing people outside their comfort zone because you know this is what will help them have the strength to face adversity in the challenge they have set themselves? Then again you also need to be there to monitor their progress and not push them beyond their limits or dampen their enthusiasm. A fine line!


A good leader is also a good listener. Managers are advised to listen 70% and speak 30% when providing feedback. It is surprising what you learn from coachees when you listen actively. I learnt a wealth of useful information listening to each participant in my run group. Listening gave me a better understanding of the difficulties of each and everyone: ranging from juggling personal and professional commitments to finding the time to train, fitting training around consecutive business trips, adopting a healthy nutritional strategy with a demanding work schedule and business dinners, dealing with sports injuries due to increased mileage, apprehension of the unknown, fear of failure, professional stress impacting on training performance…the list is endless. But listening helped me to be specific in my advice.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter


A leader should also enhance competitiveness. Many in my group had set out with the objective of completing Marathon des Sables and getting that beautiful big shiny medal handed over to them by the race Director Patrick Bauer, ticking MDS off on their bucket-list of ultra-running achievements and adding it to their run CV. I know the runners in my group will cross that finish line but I also know that they can achieve much more. They showed that tenacity, grit and determination in training that will take them to the finish line at MDS.

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippman

And so my final message to my coachees after a week of learning from them about leadership, mentoring and providing feedback is:

“I won’t be there with you at the start-line although I’d love to be but I will be be tracking your progress live on-line and living every minute of the MDS experience with you.” – Niandi



If you would like to join our 2017 Multi-Day Training Camp, please go HERE

View images from 2016 HERE

View daily images and summaries from 2016 HERE

A Day in the Cumbre Nueva to Punta de las Roques – Transvulcania Ultramarathon


Yesterday, I planned a little outing with Niandi. No plans really, in all honesty, we didn’t even know which section of the Transvulcania course we would go on. The main problem with running on the Transvulcania course is logistics. In real terms, you always need to run out-and-back routes.

We ended up going to El Pilar, an early and key aid station that comes approximately one third into the Transvulcania race. It’s about a 50-min drive from Tazacorte (where I am staying) which is the end of the GR131 route before the final push up to Los Llanos and the finish of the Transvulcania race.

El Pilar allows easy access to the Volcano Route section and a direct option back to the coast and  Fuencaliente lighthouse, as such, it is the route most people take.

We decided to go north, head out of El Pilar and follow the GR131 into the Cumber Nueva in the direction of Roques de los Muchachos.


Leaving El Pilar, looking out to the west you get to see Los Llanos, Tazacorte and the sea in the distance. These tropical, muddy, forest trails provide the Transvulcania runners some of the easiest running so far in the race but eventually this comes to an end at Reventon Pass and the climb up to Punta de los Roques.


The Cumbre Nueva and following sections are for me one of the most stunning sections of the Transvulcania route. From Reventon Pass to Punta de los Roques in particular is stunning! Onwards to Pico de las Nieves, the trails open up and the push to Roques de los Muchachos leads to the final drop to Tazacorte . Mixing rocky terrain with stunning vegetation, the route is incredible from a running and visual perspective. It is also very prone to an inversion; where the cloud drops below the high points creating a stunning almost dream like backdrop.


The mist comes in, visibility is reduced, the temperature drops and suddenly you feel like you are in a different place. You question, ‘will the good weather come back?’


Then suddenly, you break through the cloud, the white fluffy clouds are below and a wonderful blue backdrop adds an amazing palette to run or walk against.


Single track trails of good running constantly creep up beyond 2000m to Punta de los Roques and the Refugio. Here stunning views of the Caldera de Taburiente are possible and off in the distance, the observatories of Roques de los Muchachos can be seen.


Around every corner a surprise. It doesn’t matter if you are running or walking, these trails offer so much.

The Transvulcania route is always a constant surprise and I am always amazed at how the terrain, weather, vegetation and views change as you move through the route. Our day in the Cumber Nueva was a special one, topped off with this stunning image as Niandi ran around a mountain corner, the inversion clearly visible and if one image sums up skyrunning, this may be it.


You can view daily images from our stay in La Palma HERE


Episode 74 – Anderson, Gash, Nelson, Forsberg


Episode 74 of Talk Ultra has Mimi Anderson and Samantha Gash talking about their epic South African journey. Luke Nelson talk about his running career, recent 100-mile success and how going out hard can pay off! Melie Forsberg is back for Smiles & Miles and Marc Laithwaite talks the long run in Talk Training. Tne News, a Blog, up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.


Skyrunner(R) World Series and Continental Series announced for 2015 – HERE

LIKE THE WIND pop-up – photo workshop, Seb, Jez Bragg

Kilian Jornet blogs about his passion for photography – HERE

Samantha Gash & Mimi Anderson
Luke Nelson


Marc Laithwaite is back with how long should your long run be?



Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | November 20, 2014 | website

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website
The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website

The Ancient Khmer Path | 220 kilometers | November 28, 2014 | website

Costa Rica
Transtica Costa Rica’c-venture – Course Aventure | 120 kilometers | November 19, 2014 | website
Transtica Costa Rica’c-venture – Course Extrême | 195 kilometers | November 19, 2014 | website

100 Km Pharonic Race | 100 kilometers | November 21, 2014 | website

Raid nocturne Le Puy-Firminy | 68 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website
Trail Extrème Lillois – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Lower Saxony
1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
1. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Kleiner KoBoLT | 106 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
KoBoLT | 140 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong | 100 kilometers | November 14, 2014 | website

Ultra K Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

Trail Uewersauer | 50 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

Putrajaya 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Putrajaya 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Putrajaya 52 km | 52 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Putrajaya 78 km | 78 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 14, 2014 | website

New Caledonia
Evolo Kura to Mount | 300 kilometers | November 28, 2014 | website

New Zealand
Kauri Ultra | 70 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Molesworth Run | 84 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website

Arrábida Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website
Trail AM | 60 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website

Mafate Trail Tour | 65 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

South Africa
Salomon Sky Run 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Salomon Sky Run 65 km | 65 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website

Marathon des Oasis | 111 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Beacons Ultra | 45 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Coastal Trail Series – Gower – Ultra | 34 miles | November 15, 2014 | website

Dizzy Fifties 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Dizzy Fifties 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Dizzy Fifties 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Tranquility Lake 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Pass Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Chimera 100K | 100 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Chimera 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Malibu Canyon Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 16, 2014 | website
Mt. Tam Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
San Joaquin River Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
San Joaquin River Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Spirit of the Rock 50M | 50 miles | November 23, 2014 | website
Wild Sebastian 100 Fall Edition – 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Wild Sebastian 100 Fall Edition – 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Wild Sebastian 100 Fall Edition – 75 Miles | 75 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
JFK 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Stone Mill 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 15, 2014 | website
Nougat Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
Nougat Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website
New York
Madhattan Run | 32 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Flying Feather 4 Miler | 43 miles | November 27, 2014 | website
Texas Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Texas Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Wild Hare 50K | 50 kilometers | November 22, 2014 | website
Wild Hare 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 22, 2014 | website
Doppler 50k | 50 kilometers | November 23, 2014 | website
Grand Ridge 50 K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 15, 2014 | website


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Episode 62 – Comrades, Wardian, Meek, Clark


Episode 62 of Talk Ultra ia a Comrades Special show. We have a full and in-depth interview with Michael Wardian who is looking for a top-10 placing. Live from Durban, we speak to Jo Kelsey (Meek) who is having her first experience of this race. Nick Clark joins us to discuss UTMF, WSER and the up and coming Salomon SkyRun South Africa. We have a ladies perspective on running with children in Talk Training. The News, a Blog and joining me as a special Comrades Marathon co-host we have 2013 7th placed lady, Holly Rush.

This show is dedicated to Manya Claassen – RIP


‘As you all know, Niandi my partner has run Comrades 13-times. She has been on the show and discussed it… this year she returns for her 14th. IT IS THE ULTIMATE HUMAN RACE, you need to experience it to fully understand the emotions and the coming together of so many people. For Niandi, this year will be the hardest race ever, not only Comrades but of all the races she has done. I’m very sad to say that last week, Niandi’s sister, Manya, lost a 6-year long battle with cancer. Words can’t express the loss but despite everything she went through, she was and is one of the strongest ladies I have ever known. I remember Manya running Comrades with Niandi whilst in remission a few years ago. I was glued to the live feed whilst home in the UK. The emotions when she crossed the line will last with me forever… on June 1st, at the crow of the cockerel, Niandi will run one more time, not for herself but for her sister, her sisters children and her family… run strong, run free, run proud.’ Ian Corless
Niandi Carmont has asked that we read these words on her behalf:
‘It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
― Ursula Le Guin
She was so perky and positive. I’ll will remember her this way.
Sifting through my e-mail I came across this message by my sister. These were words she’d written about a friend who like herself had lost the struggle against breast cancer. Manya had helped the same friend complete the Manya-Tough-One, a race in honour of breast cancer survivors.
Manya called herself a survivor. She was both a survivor and tough. And she loved a challenge. Nothing would irk her more than the words You can’t do that! Once she put her mind to something she did it, irrespective of the difficulty and the dissuasive arguments.
She ran 3 Comrades 2000, 2003 and 2010 – the latter in remission from breast cancer! Manya climbed Kiliminjaro, trekked Europe’s toughest hike the GR20 in Corsica with me, flew over at the drop of a hat to hike the UTMB route, did a crash course on artificial slopes in South Africa to ski on the black slopes in the Alps, bought a road bike and entered the Argus for the fun of it, drove from Jo’burg along the Mozambican coast on her own, transported tons of cement in her SUV to lay the foundations of a house she was building whilst raising 2 generations of kids.
I can honestly say she had no regrets – she lived life to the full and loved life. Manya’s leitmotiv was Carpe Diem but at the same time she was generous and thoughtful of those she loved giving of her time and energy especially to her sons Nathan and Dylan who meant the world to her.
I will miss my little sister – as will her boys, her family and all her friends.
THIS IS SKYRUNNING…. WATCH THE VIDEO Can you imagine it, one day, hopefully these scenes in the Lakes, the Peaks, Welsh mountains HERE


1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon) 3h48’38”

2. Marco De Gasperi (SCOTT Sports) 3h50’38”

3. Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) 3h50’57”

4. Ionut Zinca (Valetudo Skyrunning Italia) 3h53’14”

5. Zaid Ait Malek (Buff) 3h55’06”



1. Stevie Kremer (Salomon) 4h46’44”

2. Elisa Desco (SCOTT Sports) 4h50’21”

3. Maite Mayora (La Sportiva) 4h51’48”

4. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) 4h52’11”

5. Kasie Enman (Salomon) 4h53’35”

TNF100 Australia
  1. Stu Gibson – 9:31:11
  2. Andrew Tuckey (The North Face) – 9:31:??
  3. Brendan Davies (Inov-8) – 9:53:10
  4. Jonathan O’Loughlin – 9:53:30
  5. Ben Duffus (Hoka OneOne) – 9:56:16
  1. Núria Picas (Buff) – 10:57:46
  2. Joelle Vaught (Montrail) – 11:45:15
  3. Fernanda Maciel (The North Face) – 11:47:52
  4. Gill Fowler (La Sportiva) – 11:56:01
  5. Claire Walton – 12:05:30
GUCR – 145 miles
1st Pat Robbins 26:20

2nd Jon Kinder 27:48
3rd Stuart Gillet 29:35
7th Isobel Wykes 31:18 (1st Lady)
14th Heike Bergman 33:18 (2nd Lady)
19th Natasha Farid-Doyle 34:35 (3rd Lady)
Richard La Cock 7:05:12
John Melbourne 7:47:36
Thomas Jeffrey 7:52:40
Annabelle Streams 8:18:32
Gemma Carter 8:36:15
Deborah Turner 8:54:36
Speedgoat Karl Meltzer puts in another day at the office at the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run this past weekend.  Karl punched the clock for his 4th win at Massanutten in 18:40:23 extending his world record at the 100 Mile distance to 36 wins and counting.  Karl’s win comes on the heels of a 100k win and course record in early April at the Zion 100k. 
Michael Wardian talk about his preparation for the 2014 Comrades
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat 
Jo Meek speaks to us live from the Hilton, Durban just days before the race
TALK TRAINING with mum, Sue Fisher
Nick Clark talks UTMF, WSER and the up and coming Salomon SkyRun –


Fiambala Desert Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Fiambala Desert Trail 80K | 80 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


New South Wales

Sydney Trailfest | 100 kilometers | June 06, 2014 | website


Endura 50K | 50 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Gold Coast 50 Miler | 50 miles | June 08, 2014 | website

Runners ConneXion 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Western Australia

Kep Track 100km Ultra Marathon II | 100 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website

Kep Track 75km Ultra Marathon II | 75 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website


The Last Secret | 200 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website


British Columbia

Vancouver 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Vancouver 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Vancouver 62.5 km | 62 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Vancouver 75.8 km | 75 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Vancouver 87.9 km | 87 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Ragnar Relay Niagara Ontario | 192 miles | May 30, 2014 | website


Ultra Trail Putaendo | 60 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Gobi March 2013 | 250 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website

Gobi March 2014 | 250 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website

Czech Republic

Craft Gemini Maraton | 84 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Mammut Ultramaraton | 85 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website



Nordisk eXtrem maraton X50 | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Nordisk eXtrem maraton X70 | 70 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Bramming 100K Ultramaraton | 100 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Bramming 50K Ultramaraton | 50 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website


Western Finland

Perniön 60 km | 60 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

SUOMI-RUN 100 km | 100 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website



Trail de Guerlédan – 56 km | 56 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website


Trail des Allobroges | 64 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Trail du Gypaète | 73 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Trail du Lac d’Annecy – Maxi Race | 86 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website

Trail du Lac d’Annecy – XL Race | 87 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Trail du Hautacam – 50 km | 59 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website

Week-end Trail Pyrénées | 60 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Le Grand Trail du Limousin | 68 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


6666 Occitane | 105 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website

Grand Raid Occitan | 165 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website


La Transju’trail – 70 km | 72 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website


Ultra Lozère | 108 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Ultra D Day Trail | 100 miles | June 12, 2014 | website


Trail du Massif d’Ecouves en Pays d’Alançon – 61 km | 61 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website


Trail des Pyramides Noires – 100 km | 100 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Euskal Trails – Ultra Trail | 130 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website

Trail des Villages | 80 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website

Trail Gourmand | 50 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website


Ultra Trail de Côte-d’Or – 105 km | 105 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Verdon Canyon Challenge – 110 km | 110 kilometers | June 13, 2014 | website


100 km de Vendée | 100 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website



Schefflenzer Ultralauf – 100 km | 100 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Schefflenzer Ultralauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Lower Saxony

EulenburgTrail 100 Meilen | 100 miles | May 30, 2014 | website

EulenburgTrail 96 km | 96 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website

HiLL50 | 52 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website

SchnupperUltra | 64 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

TorTour de Ruhr | 230 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Saar-Hunsrück-Supertrail | 128 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Ultra-Trail: 85 km, 2800 hm | 85 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Volcano Trail – Le Grand Raid | 51 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Ultrabalaton | 212 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Magraid | 100 kilometers | June 13, 2014 | website


Avatrail | 50 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website


Trail del Monte Soglio – Gir Lung | 63 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Sardegna Lakes Trail | 150 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Vigolana Trail | 65 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Dolomiti Extreme Trail | 53 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Hida Takayama Ultra Marathon -100 km | 100 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Hida Takayama Ultra Marathon – 72 km | 72 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website



Pieter-ROG-pad Special Waddeneilanden | 300 kilometers | June 12, 2014 | website

New Caledonia

Ultratrail des Cagous | 80 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Romerike 50 | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Caminhos do Tejo | 146 kilometers | June 13, 2014 | website


Fundu Moldovei 3-day staged 115km ultra | 115 kilometers | June 09, 2014 | website

Fundu Moldovei Ultra Romania | 115 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Štefánik Trail | 140 kilometers | June 13, 2014 | website

South Africa

Comrades Marathon | 89 kilometers | June 01, 2014 | website


Basque Country

Euskal Herria Mendi Erronka | 65 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Castile-La Mancha

Quixote Legend | 166 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website


Trail Els Bastions® | 52 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Ultra Els Bastions® | 90 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Jättelångt | 68 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Ladonia Crossing 100K | 100 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Ladonia Crossing 50K | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website



100km run Biel | 100 kilometers | June 13, 2014 | website

United Kingdom


Endurancelife Classic Quarter Ultra Marathon | 49 miles | June 07, 2014 | website


Dartmoor Discovery | 32 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

East Sussex

Norman Conquest 100 | 108 miles | May 31, 2014 | website

Norman Conquest 50 | 51 miles | May 31, 2014 | website


Northants Ultra | 35 miles | June 01, 2014 | website

Northern Ireland

Mourne Way Ultra Marathon | 84 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Oxfam Trailtrekker Ireland – 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website



Big Basin Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Canyon Meadow 50 km Trail Run (May) | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

DRTE 100K | 100 kilometers | May 30, 2014 | website

DRTE 100 Mile | 101 miles | May 30, 2014 | website

San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Santa Barbara 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Shadow of the Giants 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Golden Gate Dirty Thirty – 50K | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Trail 2 Trail Series Chatfield Hollow State Park 50K | 50 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website


Pocatello 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Pocatello 50 Mile Trail Run | 51 miles | June 07, 2014 | website


Flint Hills Trail 40 Mile | 40 miles | May 31, 2014 | website


TARC 100 | 100 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

TARC 100 – 50 Miler | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website


Yankee Springs Trail Double Marathon | 84 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

New Jersey

Mayapple 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

Mayapple 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website

New York

Cayuga Trails 50 | 50 miles | June 01, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Badwater Cape Fear | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie 50 Mile | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website


Buckeye Buster 50 | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Buckeye Buster 50K | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 31, 2014 | website


Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race | 60 miles | June 13, 2014 | website


Squaw Peak 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website


PEAK Ultra Marathon – 100 Miles | 100 miles | May 31, 2014 | website

PEAK Ultra Marathon – 50 miles | 50 miles | May 31, 2014 | website


Old Dominion 100 Cross Country Run | 100 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Washington, DC 50K | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Washington, DC 50 Mile | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website


Beacon Rock 50k | 50 kilometers | June 08, 2014 | website

Echo Valley 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Echo Valley 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Rainier to Ruston 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Rainier to Ruston 50M Ultra | 50 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Vashon Island 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Vashon Ultramarathon 50k | 50 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website


Kettle Moraine 100 km Trail Run | 100 kilometers | June 07, 2014 | website

Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Kettle Moraine 38 Mile Night Fun Run | 38 miles | June 07, 2014 | website

Ragnar Relay Chicago | 194 miles | June 06, 2014 | website



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Scott T2 Kinabalu Review – Ladies Shoe

Scott T2 Kinabalu Ladies ©scottrunning

Scott T2 Kinabalu Ladies ©scottrunning

Review by Niandi Carmont

When Scott asked me to test the Women’s T2 Kinabalu, I was very excited to try out a brand of shoe that is not as well known to UK and French trail runners… ‘Scott make bikes don’t they?’ was a typical comment!

Love at first sight… Like most female trail runners, I like a run shoe to look good and admittedly on the outside it’s a sexy shoe – bright green, sporty and light-weight.

But what about the technical and practical specs which are equally important? Well, after having tested the shoe on 200km of intense rocky mountainous terrain in France over one week, I can definitely confirm it is:

•      Durable

•      Comfortable

•      Lightweight

•      Energy efficient

•      Stable

The above qualities were exactly what I was looking for and all my expectations were met.

Durability, stability and eRide™ Technology

Scott eRide

Usually after intense weeks on hard trail terrain like that, my trail shoes “have done their time” but I was surprised to find that the soles were hardly worn.  I have an atypical and asymmetrical running gait, which means I heel strike heavily on one foot and the wear shows after only a few runs on my trail shoes. Not the Scotts though. But then the Scott shoe is built using the patented and scientifically-researched SCOTT’s eRide™ Technology – that unique rocker shape creating a very stable midstance which heel strikers like me strive for. Initially it took a few runs to get used to but I quickly felt the benefit of the rocking motion provided by the shoe and it meant I was heel-striking less and running more efficiently.

Scott T2 Kinabalu Sole

The shoe has an 11mm drop; in this current climate of ‘low drop is best’ it may mean the T2 will be snubbed by many! Don’t be too hasty. In use, this shoe feels like a much lower drop shoe, primarily due to the eRide™ (rocker). It keeps you on your forefoot with good technique. They are a pleasure to run in.

After the week on rock French trail my soles had hardly worn.  My podiatrist who is an avid cyclist took one look at them and said “this is true Scott quality, great grip, rolling resistance, durability and ride quality”.

photo 4

Shortly after that I departed on a 10-day multi-stage event to Northern India, Rajasthan and as I had luggage restrictions, was faced with the dilemma of taking only one pair of run shoes.  I knew I would be doing a mix of trail, desert, tarmac and dirt road. No hesitation, my multi-purpose, train-adaptable Scotts were in my luggage. Although a winter shoe, they were perfect on all types of terrain. I had no issues transitioning from the Thar Desert to the tarmac road leading to the Taj Mahal. Conditions were hot and humid and as much as the shoes kept my feet dry and warm on muddy, wet British towpath and boggy fells, the breathable mesh upper equally kept my feet cool in Rajasthan. And although I didn’t use gaiters as the desert/dune stages were not too long, I had very little sand in my shoes.


Scott Aerofoam

The shoe features an Aerofoam midsole for reduced weight and it’s definitely lightweight at 265g (UK8) a bonus for me, especially over long ultra-distances or long training sessions. More importantly – it is lightweight but not at the expense of durability or stability. After several runs the midsole ‘bedded’ in and started to mould to my foot providing additional comfort. The sock liner is perforated and the midsole has ‘drainage’ ports to allow water to escape; great for water crossings or wet weather running.

Comfort and adaptability to varied terrain.

Comfort with a capital “C”. This is an important criterion for me whatever the shoe ….but even more so if I’m going to be running long distances on arduous, rocky terrain. Not a blister or hot spot and no chafing. I ran in mud, on dry dusty rocks, shingle, slippery descents – the shoe adapted to all the changes in terrain and weather.  Not surprising as the shoe features wet traction rubber and a water-drainage system. The grip in muddy terrain is great and much appreciated by runners like me who prefer a drier terrain. I felt as in control tackling muddy, British bog as I did on dusty and slippery rocky mountainous French trail or even running down shingly, stony descents.

I also liked the bungee lacing system (elastic on the front of the shoe to stow laces) – extra security for a runner like myself who doesn’t want to be tripping over loose laces on a tricky, technical descent.

photo 2

All in all, this is definitely a great winter shoe with great protection and traction at minimal weight.


Needless to say Scott thinks about us ladies too, not only as far as the colour is concerned but also the female-specific fit. By the way, I opted for the bright green colour but the shoe comes in a trendy girly pink too!

Scott T2 Kinabalu Pink


Love them! And I get noticed to:

“Are you wearing Scotts? Didn’t know they made trail shoes!” I get asked.

“Well you bet! And pretty damn good ones at that!” I quickly reply.


  • Weight 260g for UK8
  • Drop 11mm
  • eRideComposite push-through plate
  • AeroFoamWet traction rubber
  • Lace bungy
  • Upper: Mesh/Synthetic Overlays
  • Lower: EVA/rubber

Scott T2 Kinabalu Men’s Review HERE

About the reviewer – Niandi Carmont


Niandi is South African born, a former resident of Paris, she now lives in the UK. A runner for over 20-years; Niandi has completed Comrades Marathon 13-times, Washie 100 2-times and has finished well over 100 marathons and ultras  all over the world. Currently residing in the UK, Niandi splits her work life between the UK and France.

Emotions of 2012

What a year! what a year indeed… it is the last day of 2012 and like so many others I wanted to sit down, reflect on what has happened and put a post together documenting some of the special moments of 2012. But as I looked back, so many sprung to mind… many moments I witnessed through social media such as Facebook and Twitter and others I witnessed first hand. So I have decided to select key moments that I witnessed personally, however, before I do that I do want to give a ‘nod’ to some key moments that I didn’t witness first hand…

Australian Pat Farmer finally made it to the South Pole after starting at the North Pole (view here). Pat is a multiple world record holder for endurance running. He has run around Australia and across North America twice.

Salomon launched the Sense. A shoe that created a stir and a buzz that could only be compared to the same sort of buzz around an iPhone, iPad or equally another key moment of 2012, the Suunto Ambit.

Ryan Sandes arguably one of the best ultra performers in 2012 started of his year in style with a win at the Vibram 100km in Hong Kong.


Micah True passed way from heart related issues while out running in Mexico. The ultra community bonded together as initially he was lost for days causing Scott Jurek and Chris McDougall (Micah was made famous in the book ‘Born to Run‘) to travel to Mexico and aid the search for him.

Jez Bragg won the Fellsman race for the 3rd time in preparation for his attempt on winning the UTMB. Unfortunately Jez was plagued throughout 2012 with stomach issues. We are pleased to say that he now seems to have rectified these issues and is currently blazing a trail on ‘The Long Pathway‘ in New Zealand.

Kilian Jornet announced his new project ‘Summits of my Life‘. A long term project that will take four years, during which he will travel to the greatest mountain ranges in the world attempting to climb some of the most breathtaking peaks and come back down again as fast as he can. Unfortunately on the first project, the crossing of Mont Blanc, the project was struck with disaster as Kilian’s ski guide and partner for the project, Stéphane Brosse fell to his death. Kilian devestated by the incident spent time with Stéphane’s family and withdrew from Western States.


The big dance, Western States did not disappoint with two incredible performances and two course records. Timothy Olson beat Geoff Roes record with an incredible performance made all the sweeter when you hear his incredible life story… (listen to our interview on Talk Ultra) Ellie Greenwood confirmed herself as possibly the greatest female ultra runner of the moment breaking Ann Trason‘s long standing (considered by many unbeatable) course record.

Ellie greenwood

Dakota Jones after a storming win at Transvulcania La Palma went to Hardrock 100 as the one to beat… as it happened, Hal Koerner took the win with Joe Grant in second place.

Speedgoat 50K raised the question about trail, course markings and when and when you should not deviate from a course… ultimately our one and only Speedgoat made a decision that relegated Kilian Jornet from the top of the podium and replaced him with his team mate Rickey Gates. It all got a little crazy and of course RD’s will now make sure they specify the ‘rules’ when putting a race briefing together.

UTMB – It rained, it snowed, the cloud came in, the course got shortened and Lizzy Hawker won her fifth UTMB albeit NOT the UTMB as it was not a full course, so, Lizzy will be back! Francois d’Haene however was very pleased with his win over the shortened course.

Just a week after the UTMB, Francesca Canepa from the Vibram Team turned up at the super tough and long Tor des Geants and won it… amazing considering just 7 days before she was second behind Lizzy Hawker.

Lance Armstrong… need I say more!

Mike Morton had an incredible 2012 with a stunning performance at Badwater 135 just missing the CR by 75 seconds. In addition to this, Mike ran and won may 100’s all around the 13 hour mark. However his performance of the year came in Poland at the 24 hour Championships. Running 277.54 kms he dislodged Scott Jurek as the Amercan holder and set a new benchmark.

Kilian Jornet went back to his ‘Summits‘ project and set a second record on Mont Blanc. This time crossing from Italy (Courmayer) to France (Chamonix) in 8hrs 40min. Article here


Fresh from a record attempt over Mont Blanc, Kilian Jornet went to Mt Kinabalu Climbathon in Borneo as part of the Skyrunning calendar, won and became World Champion…. again! Of course this race had some controversy as it didn’t go to the summit. Another outstanding performance was that of Emelie Forsberg, she won the ladies race and in doing so confirmed herself as one of the most talented and dominant females of 2012. Kilian now warmed up went over to Reunion Island and took on the tough ‘Raid de la Reunion‘. He made it look easy and he even had time to do interviews at the feed stations during the race… without doubt, Kilian is one of the most talented and gifted athletes in the world.


Max King and Ellie Greenwood blazed a trail and set records (once again) at JFK 50… oh, did I mention Max’s run at UROC and did I mention Karl Meltzer and Lizzy Hawker winning at Run Rabbit Run… of course, what about Miguel Heras and Emelie Forsberg at San Francisco 50Darn it…. so many great moments…. what about Lizzy Hawker at Spartathlon, second overall and a new female record.

So finally Skyrunning announce the new calendar for 2013 and the big news is a simpler format, the inclusion of a 100 mile race and a season final in America at the Ultra Race of Champions. Without doubt (I am biased) Skyrunning was a game changer in 2012 and the new calendar has already created great excitement for the coming year…


Believe me, the above list is by no means comprehensive and I am sure I will look back and think… ooh, what about this and what about that… I could go on.

But now here is my pick of personal moments from a great year. Rest assured, I am picking one month; one moment!


Talk Ultra was launched and thank goodness the format of an ultra running podcast that was more than just interviews was accepted. Taking the risk to do a ‘long show’ seemed to pay off and the loyal followers and support has been fantastic. I can’t thank you all enough for the growth of the podcast and 2013 will see it grow!



For the 7th year running I went out to Club La Santa on Lanzarote and had another incredible week training in the sun with friends and clients. It has become a fixture in my year and never fails to disappoint. 2013 will see us arrive on the Canary Island once again for more fun in the sun.



A race fixture on my calendar for several years, the EcoTrail de Paris came around once again and I went out to Paris with Niandi for another great weekend of running and spending time in our favourite city. As it turned out we both had terrible races and DNF’d at the same time… you can always learn something!



I was fortunate enough to be invited over to Turkey to take part in and report on the inaugural Iznik Ultra. I had only been to Turkey once before, many many years before and that was to the South. So I  was very excited to spend time in Istanbul with Niandi and then head down to Iznik. The race was superb offering a selection of race distances over a varied course. Both Niandi and myself took part in the 60k event. I was pleased to come away with a win and Niandi made the podium in 2nd place in the ladies race.



May signified a change in my year and very much set a format for what was to come… I was invited to the Transvulcania La Palma on the island of La Palma. Skyrunning had assembled one of the most competitive fields in ultra you will ever see or witness. It turned out to be a who’s who of ultra running. The whole experience is a memory I will never forget… training on the trails pre and post race with the best in the world, witnessing the race were Dakota Jones ran an incredible course record for the win and were Frosty (Anna Frost) set and smashed the old course record in what was to be one of the best performances of the year. This was followed with the conference ‘Less Cloud, More Sky‘ providing the ultra community an opportunity to help establish a direction for the sport in the future. We all then packed up and moved to mainland Spain for ‘Zegama‘ but that’s another story…



Zegama arrived and the heat and sun of La Palma was replaced with rain and mud. Lots of mud. Kilian Jornet just 7 days earlier had collapsed on the finish line at Transvulcania La Palma with exhaustion. At Zegama he showed his recovery powers and showed everyone in the race how to run in the cold, wet and mud. Oihana Kortazar took out the win for the ladies ahead of Nuria Picas who was slowly becoming ‘runner of the year’.

Nuria Picas - Zegama

Nuria Picas – Zegama


The Pyrenees and an invitation from ARC’TERYX to go and test out the new clothing range called ‘Endorphin‘ on the Skyrunning Ribargoza VK course. Great friends, great memories and some stunning scenery.

Arcteryx - Pyrenees


Wow – Trofeo Kima and one of the most impressive run courses I have ever seen. I was told by Lauri Van Houten before the event that this course would blow my mind. Little did I expect what lay ahead… 6 hours being flown around via helicopter on the most stunning and awe inspiring run terrain I have ever witnessed. Kilian Jornet won the mens race and Nuria Picas won the ladies race. A stunning stunning race that signifies everything that Skyrunning is. Want to enter…? Don’t hold your breath. This race happens only every other year and typically only has about 125 places available.

Kilian 4


Berga in September, the weather breaks and Cavalls del Vent turns into a race of survival. Despite runners struggling with hypothermia the race produced a classic. The mens race was competitive seeing Kilian Jornet once again taking the win but this time ahead of Tony Krupicka finally finding some form after over 18 months out of the sport due to injury. Finishing off the podium was Dakota Jones. The ladies race produced the race of the year for me… so often in the longer distance races we see an outright winner crossing the line with 10’s of minutes to spare… not here! Nuria Picas, Frosty and Emelie Forsberg pushed each other right to the line with Nuria taking the win on home ground.



Southern France in the town of Millau. The temperatures dropped and I slowly froze myself following the La Course des Templiers, the final in the Skyrunning calendar. I will remember this race for the incredible win by Nuria Picas ahead of a sprinting Emelie Forsberg who put Lizzy Hawker into third place. In addition to this, Kilian Jornet and Nuria Picas were crowned World Champions. Incredible performers in an incredible series of races.



The quiet town of Begeggi on the Italian coast and the Berg Trail. I had an invite from Salomon Carnifast to follow and photograph the race to help promote the first edition of the race. The race was being attended by mountain running legend, Marco de Gasperi. In the weeks before the race I contacted Stevie Kremer who had moved from America to Italy earlier in the year. We had met at Sierre-Zinal where Marco de Gasperi won the race and Stevie placed second. Marco unfortunately went of course in the Berg Trail and therefore spoiled any chances of a win. Stevie however showed her class winning the ladies race convincingly and placed top 10 in the overall. A name to watch for the future…



After a stunning year of following races, reporting and photographing I finally took some time out and headed back to the island of La Palma with my partner Niandi to play on the Transvulcania La Palma course. Two weeks of perfect weather and stunning trails provided the perfect end to a stunning year. It was great to spend that time on the trails in our own space and in our own time. Running when we could, hiking when we couldn’t run and walking when no other option was left… the latter half of the year was plagued by knee issues for me and although they havent gone, my time on the Transvulcania course with Niandi was a real highlight in an incredible year!


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support I have received in 2012. From race organisers, athletes, team managers, brand managers and all those connected to the sport I love. In particular I would like to thank Niandi for her patience. I also need to give a special mention to Lauri Van Houten and Marino Giacometti from Skyrunning for the trust they placed in me for 2012 and the continued trust for 2013.

It has been an awesome year and 2013 is already looking like another year of moments, emotions and memories.

Sincere thanks to all of you