Zegama – Aizkorri


A highlight of the 2012 race calendar and without doubt a highlight of the 2013 calendar.

Zegama – Aizkorri has opened for pre registrations. Don’t hang around. If you want to race in the mountains on some tough technical terrain with the best in the world, then is is one for you!


Part of the 2013 Skyrunning calendar.

The 2012 edition of the race was remembered for many reasons. A stacked field (Transvulcania had happened just 7 days before) that included Max King, Kilian Jornet, Mike Wolfe, Dakota Jones, Nick Clarke, Tom Owens, Joe Grant, Ian Sharman, Luis Alberto Hernando, Nuria Picas, Emelie Forsberg, Zhanna Vokueva, Lauen JeskaOihna Kortazar and many more…


The dry and hot volcanic conditions of Tranzvulcania contrasted nicely with the torrential rain, cold temperatures, snow and thick mud of the Zegama-Aizkorri race with tough man of the ultra scene, Nick Clarke saying:

“Now that is a proper mountain race… I wasn’t ready for that!”

Zegama Profile

Race Information

Skyrunning Logo

Skyrunner World Series 2013

42.195 kilometres / 5,472 metres of accumulated height gain.

26th of May, 2013

ZEGAMA [Gipuzkoa]


A medium mountain route over the Aratz massif and the Sierra of Aizkorri which includes the four highest peaks in the Basque Autonomous Region ( Aratz – Aitzkorri –Akategi and Aitxuri ). From the town of Zegama ( 296m) you climb up to the high point of Otzaurte (652m ) and then follow a route along paths and mountain tracks of great natural beauty. It combines forests with steep rocky slopes and high grazing land. It is very technical and with a high level of difficulty.

Race Map Zegama

DATE: 26th of May, 2013

START AND FINISH: Zegama ( Guipúzcoa ) –09:00 Start.

TOTAL LENGTH: 42.195 km.



FLYING SPRINT: Aizkorri ( 22.58 km )


MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: 1.551m Aitxurri



CLIMATE: Medium mountain, possibilities of intense heat, strong winds, fog or rain.

TIME LIMIT: 8 Hours.


RECORDS: 3 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds (Rob  Jebb, masculine ).

                    4 hours, 38 minutes, 19 seconds ( Emanuela Brizio, feminine ).

DIFFICULTY: Very high.


Ultra Race of Champions

The best of the best, one course, one day?

Erm, well, not really…. UROC wanted to bill itself as the best of the best but it will be a race of the best of the best that turn up!

Joe Grant, Dakota Jones and Tony Krupicka are in Spain preparing for the 84km Cavalls del Vent Ultra Skyrunning race and this therefore leaves a few notable names missing from UROC. When you add to that Run Rabbit Run happened just a few weeks ago, it also means that Timothy Olson, Mike Wolfe, Karl Meltzer and Dylan Bowman will be doing other things and of course Geoff Roes is out of racing at the moment as is Mike Wardian…  In the ladies, Lizzy Hawker is at Spartahlon, Frosty is at Cavalls, Devon Crosby Helms is injured, so, who is left to race?

Well actually, UROC still has a very competitive field and of course the terrain and the distance will suit the fast guys and girls.

Top tip is Dave Mackey who races so well at 100k closely followed by Ian Sharman. Ian has been running super quick lately and setting a few CR’s. The distance and the speed will suit him. Dave James is toeing the line but raced Run Rabbit Run and that has got to have taken something away from a great UROC performance, however Nick Clarke will be arriving fresh, however, true to form he may well take 3rd place ;-).

Notable newbies and potential race winners are Max King and Sage Canaday. Max with a 2:14 marathon pace is super quick and although this is longer than he normally runs he always comes to a race super prepared and once again 2012 has been a great year for him with top 3 at Speedgoat and Pikes Peak plus other notable wins! Sage in a rookie year had an awesome run at White River 50 mile which didn’t quite the coverage it should have… this may keep him a little under the radar but 4th at Pikes Peak and a win at Mt Washington will mean he is one to watch

The ladies race will be won by Ellie Greenwood (I am almost certain) and she will probably figure highly in the mens race too! I don’t need to go into what Ellie has achieved as it would be easier saying what she hasn’t… the ladies race does have one or two contenders but unlike the mens race where anything can happen, the ladies race is really more about who will be 2nd and 3rd? Names to look out for are:

Ragan Petrie winner of last year’s UROC 100k, Krystle Martinez, Jacqui Palmer and Verity Breen as an outsider.

Real Time Race Splits HERE

Video Coverage HERE

Douche Grade – it’s official !

Thanks to Outside Magazine, lovers of the #douchgrade and in particular I refer to The North Face athlete MIKE WOLFE and Pearl Izumi athlete NICK CLARKE, the Douche Grade has been confirmed as an official ultra term:

ACROPHOBIA: An abnormal fear of being in high places. As the Hardrock runner’s manual reminds you “if you suffer from this and see it in the course description, you will not enjoy that location on the course.”

AID STATION: just what it sounds like. Aid stations are a runner’s lifeline in a long race. Beacons of hope that turn 50 or 100 miles into eight-10 mile increments. Think a smorgasbord of M&M’s, potato chips, powdered energy drinks, flat soda, bananas, potatoes, gels, and sometimes bacon and beer. If you’re feeling terrible, we suggest stopping to talk with volunteers. They’re usually the coolest people around.

BELT BUCKLE: The most common finisher’s prize for the heavy-hitting hundreds (Leadville, Western States, Bear, etc.). Not much for prize money in the ultra-circuit, but man, those belt buckles sure are nice.

BENCH: A naturally occurring shelf typically found between two higher points.

BONK: Severe fatigue caused by a loss of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles.

CHICKED: You can thank Dusty Olson (Scott Jurek’s longtime pacer) for this term. It’s a little derogatory, but basically means getting passed by a girl. of the debate.

CLIMB: Running uphill. (Here’s a little secret: Unless you’re in the elite crowd, most ultradistance runners don’t actually do a lot of uphill running. This is for two reasons: 1. It’s hard, and 2. usually the alternative, power hiking, will get you up the hill faster than attempting to run, while simultaneously helping conserve energy for later.)

COMPRESSION TIGHTS: Form-fitting running tights that help keep muscles warm to regulate strain/fatigue by focusing the direction of the muscle and perhaps reducing the build up of creatine kinase (muscle tissue damage). Generally good things. Plus, they make you look like a superhero.

CONDOM JACKET: A lightweight rain/wind shell.

CREW: Your support team. Typically one or two very patient friends who you’ve bribed to drive to various aid stations ahead of your arrival. Hopefully they’ll be adept at filling water bottles/bladders and offering or not offering whatever encouragement you might need. Veteran crews like to think of their job as an acronym: “Crabby Runner, Endless Waiting.”

DARTH VADER: Raspy-voiced runner who hasn’t been drinking enough water.

DNF: Did not finish (usually written in big red letters next to your name).

DROP BAG: Something in which to pack your preferential race day items (extra socks, fried sweet potatoes, headlamps, etc.). Volunteers will typically collect this motley assortment of bags on check-in day and drive them to designated aid stations for en-route access.

DOUCHE GRADE: When you’re training hard, “douche grade” is considered a bit of a cop out. It’s basically the goldilocks of trail grade. Not too flat, and not too steep. A recent trail conference in Italy placed Douche Grade at about 5.63 percent.

TOURIST DOUCHE GRADE: Just enough of an incline that you’re moving uphill, but not enough that you’d actually notice.

ELEVATION GAIN: The way runners measure the difficulty of the trail.

EURO-HIKING: A good way to execute a climb. Basically an uphill power walk, except that you keep a hand on each quad and press down a bit with each step.

FUEL: Calories, usually in the form of sugar or some gooey concoction like brown rice syrup and artificial flavoring. Yum.

FKT: Setting a non-race speed record (fastest known) time on some particular route, (e.g. Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, trans-Zion, etc.).

HYPONATREMIA: An electrolyte imbalance that typically occurs when the body’s sodium concentration is lower than normal, causing tissues to swell dangerously. While ultrarunners definitely worry about dehydration, overhydration in the case of extreme physical activity is also something to be mindful of.

MICRO-TRASH: The wrappers and other debris often left behind on the trail in the act of fueling.

MINIMALIST SHOES: Shoes designed with little or no support and no stability control. Arguments in favor: They’re closer to the natural way humans have been running for centuries (barefoot). Arguments opposed: Running long distances without some support takes its toll on the body. If you’re curious, try ‘em. You’ll probably know right away whether or not they’re going to work for you.

PACER: A very good friend who runs with you for part of a 100+ race. The use of pacers is a topic of some contention among ultrarunners (Karl Meltzer is fundamentally opposed, while others rarely race without one). Though the debate could certainly go either way, with some of the more difficult races, having a pacer is more of a security blanket than anything else. Someone to make sure you don’t deliriously wander off the trail or freeze to death on some remote section of the course.

QUAD BUSTER: A steep, downhill run, usually executed at a pace so brisk that the runner seems somewhat out of control. A quad buster late in the race can be torture particularly if followed by a section of flat trail (Bear100, we’re talking about you).

SKYRUNNING: Any sort of mountain running exceeding 2,000 meters where the incline exceeds 30 percent and the climbing difficulty does not exceed 11 degrees. Born in Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa in the early ’90s there’s now actually an International Skyrunning Federation with races in the Himalayas, Alps and even on Mount Kenya.

TRAVERSE: To move laterally along the face of a mountain.

UDO’S OIL: A miracle blend of essential fatty acids. Intake by the spoonful.

Original article available HERE