Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun™ 2016

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I am fortunate to travel to many races and work as a photographer and journalist. In 2015, I traveled to South Africa with Nikki Kimball and Olympic rower, James Cracknell for the Richtersveld Wildrun.

It was an incredible experience and I have to say, a highlight of my year. I recently wrote in an online article for AVAUNT Magazine (HERE):

“The simple act of running, placing one foot in-front of the other as a method of transport takes us back to our roots, our basic instincts. In search of a place to sleep, to hunt for food; it is about being in the wild, surviving and fulfilling a primal need.”

Richtersveld Wildrun | Avaunt Magazine-1

In 2016, the race goes one step further and becomes ‘Transfrontier.’ The race will now pass over the Orange River and in to Namibia.

After two years the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has become known as one of the toughest, most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar. In 2016 however, this iconic event takes on a new shape to become the first cross-border trail running event in the world; extending to a linear 200km, five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia through the heart of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place  – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!”said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.

The new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition, including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders. On day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia and the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon. This 50km day will take runners into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle and rich in wildlife such as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0853After a long, tough day, runners will spend the evening in the canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.

Race dates are 13-17 June 2016 and entries open midday October 21st

International entries HERE

European entries HERE

The overall race distance for 2016 will be 200km and the daily distances will be – 36.3km + 32.1km + 34km + 48.3km + 21.3km.

Terrain is very mixed, varied and stunning and requires adaptation to sandy terrain, heat, climbing, remoteness and an ability to run with a GPS.

Need help with training, join my 2016 multi-day training camp in Lanzarote.

Details are HERE

Multi-Day Camp Image

Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.

“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience.”

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If you need inspiration, check out the film from 2015 below.

You can also view photo galleries HERE

 

If you would like more information please use the form below or use the above links.

Richtersveld Wildrun 2015 Day 4

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The final day of the 2015 Richtersveld Wildrun concluded today with a course record day for Thabang Madiba and Katya Soggot.

It was a tough final day with technical trail, tough climbs, technical descents and amazing views.

James Cracknell was a no start to day 4, his swollen ankle far too painful to run on. James had handled the previous days mountains in his stride but the flatter 10km of the course was just too much. Reduced to a walk he contemplated undertaking the final day but during the night the pain continued and ultimately he made the correct call. At 38.3km it was a challenging last day that started with a long and steady climb over the first 17.5km to Akkedis Pass and then the fun started. Technical trail, ridge running, single track, slip sliding descents and incredible crystal fields would lead the runners once again to the Orange River and the finish in Sendlingsdrif. For many, it was a day of running together, overall classifications wouldn’t change and in the spirit of running for fun, the whole field embraced the last day and enjoyed it. However, one person decided that a course record was possible.

Thabang arrived at the technical ridges at Halfmens Ridge running like a man possessed, shifting from left foot to right foot he made the terrain look easy. He was on a mission and he did it. A final day course record confirmed his incredible skill and ability on this tough, challenging and incredibly beautiful course. Katya Soggot was once again crowned ladies champ and Nikki Kimball secured 2nd place ahead of Karoline Hanks.

Results Overall

Thabang Madiba 13:55:38

Dayle Wheeler 15:16:24

Filippo Faralla 16:46:25

 

Katya Soggot 15:26:57 (3rd overall)

Nikki Kimball 16:31:20 (4th Overall)

Karoline Hanks 16:46:19 (5th overall)

 

Full results HERE

Men:

A Day on Fells – Wolf’s Pit, Peak District

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A fun weekend in Sheffield for ShAFF (Sheffield Adventure Film Festival) and the opportunity to take American ultra running legend, Nikki Kimball to experience a fell race.

It was a blast. I had so much fun… a course like this for 100-miles would be great! – Nikki Kimball

Well, I am not sure that anyone else in the race would fancy running the route eighteen times to make up the required 160-km but hey, we know what Nikki means (I think!).

The Peak District played ball and the sun came out. Great day!

Wolf’s Pit, Peak District

  • Date & time: Sun 22nd Mar 2015 at 11:00
  • Country: England
  • Region: Peak District
  • Category: AS
  • Website: www.wolfspitfellrace.org.uk
  • Distance: 9km / 5.6m
  • Climb: 450m / 1476ft
  • Venue: Shatton, nr Bamford, Hope Valley.
  • Grid ref: 196825
  • Skills & experience: ER, PM, LK, NS
  • Minimum age: 16

The North Face® Transgrancanaria® 2015 – Race Preview

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Transgrancanaria kicks off the first race of an ever growing European calendar and just as has happened in previous years, a stellar field will assemble on the island for what is always a tough and challenging series of races.

For the men, we have some of the 2014 big hitters missing: Ryan Sandes, Julien Chorier, Timothy Olson and Sebastien Chaigneau. That leaves the podium wide open… you’ll soon see though, Transgrancanaria has no shortage of male talent gunning for the top slot.

For the ladies, 2014 champion Nuria Picas returns along with Fernanda Maciel who placed 3rd. The only significant name not starting is Francesca Canepa.

The third race of the 2015 Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) looks all set for an epic battle.

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MEN

The competition among male runners will be tough and exciting. Many elite runners already know the race but we need to watch out for several names that are racing for the first time who stand a great chance to contest the podium.

Iker Karrera, Anton Krupicka, Pau Bartoló, Sondre Amdahl, Carlos Sa, Gediminas Grinius, Yeray Durán, Antoine Guillon and Javier Domínguez arguably head up the elite field but there are no guarantees of victory…

Experience always provides an advantage; previous editions of Transgrancanaria have shown that this course offers many surprises due the tough and challenging terrain. Joe Grant, Brendan Davies, Sebastien Buffard, Anthony Gay, Sylvain Couchaud, Cyril Cointre, Christophe Le Saux and Yan Longfei will all ensure that the ‘hot’ contenders will have to fight hard for victory.

Who’s shooting for the podium?

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.comIker Karrera has all the potential to be an unstoppable force at Transgrancanaria. He has a great combination of strength, speed and endurance; Ail essential ingredients for success at Transgrancanaria. Iker’s 2013 Tor des Geants and Eiger Ultra Trail performances and arguably, he would have been a potential 2014 UTMB winner had an unstoppable Francois d’Haene not turned up.

©copyright .iancorless.com._1080340Anton Krupicka had a couple of low-key successes in 2014 with Jemez 50 and the Dirty 30; both great comeback races that precluded a strong and impressive Lavaredo. This had us all thinking Anton is back! Unfortunately, it all went pear shaped at UTMB when his body shut down. If Anton is ‘on’ then he will push at the front and contesting the win. The distance suits his racing style and the technicality will play into his hands.

Gediminas Grinius had a stunning 2014 with 3rd, 4th and 5th places at Lavaredo, UTMB and Raid de la Reunion. Three tough races! Based on these performances, Gediminas has all the potential to podium once again and should all things align, he may even win.

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Carlos Sa is an ever-consistent performer who performs exceptionally well on a multitude of surfaces, distances and temperatures. Think: Badwater, UTMB and Marathon des Sables. Without doubt Carlos will be in the mix, definite top-10 material and if he has a great day, the top-5 is not beyond him.

Sondre Amdahl like Gediminas Grinius had a great 2014. He placed 6th at Transgrancanaria last year and then 7th at UTMB. His recent 2nd at HK100 is a sure sign that he is in form. He has prepared meticulously for Transgrancanaria… he even moved to the island! 2015 may very well provide an opportunity for a breakthrough performance?

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Pau Bartoló won the 2014 CCC and a tough and challenging Transgrancanaria course will play into his skill set. He’s going to need a great day to make an impression on the podium but this island has a habit of jawing runners up. A little patience early on may well pay dividends later.

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Brendan Davies is a guy who likes to run, a win at TNF100 and top-10 at Western States proves this. However, he always seems less positive on technical courses and as we all know, Transgrancanaria has plenty of this. If Brendan can find his legs and get in a rhythm, he will be a contender.

Javi Dominguez was 7th last year and followed that up with a solid 5th Raid de le Reunion. He’s a shoe in for top-10 but the podium will likely elude him unless several other runners crumble (possible on this course) and he as a great day!

Antoine Guillon is part of the unstoppable WAA team who somehow seems to manage racing almost every race in the UTWT calendar and still come out with great results as his 3rd, 4th and 5th at Tor des Geants, UTMF and Transgrancanaria show. I see no reason why Antoine wouldn’t make top-5 again!

©iancorless.com.IMG_1749Yeray Duran was 4th last year and is always fired up for what is his ‘home’ race. His form however can be little unpredictable, so, I’m going to sit on the fence; he could very well have a brilliant day or a disappointing day. Let’s go for the former… top-5!

Yan Long Fei won HK100 ahead of Sondre Amdahl arguably to his incredible sub 2:15 marathon speed. Ultimately though, Transgrancanaria is not going to all Yan many opportunities to open the after burners and run… I see Yan having a similar race to Brendan; they could both potentially struggle with the technicality.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day6-2991Plenty of other great male runners in this race and any of them could shine. For example, Joe Grant will like this course, how he performs very much depends on his recovery from The Coastal Challenge, which he raced in early February.

 

LADIES

©iancorless.com.IMG_2858The female field can often lack depth, but not at Transgrancanaria… 2014 champion Núria Picas heads up the ladies race along with 2014 3rd place, Fernanda Maciel. Nikki Kimball fresh from The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica will also be a major contender.

From Europe, Caroline Chaverot, Emilie Lecomte, Denise Zimmerman, Ildiko Wemescher and Elena Polyakova are the main contenders but they will need to suppress competition from American and Canadian: Aliza Lapierre and Stephanie Case. Manuela Vilaseca, Dong Li, Wyan Chow, Nerea Martínez, Xari Adrián, Silvia Trigueros and last but not least, Claire Walton make this arguably one of the strongest female fields we have seen at Transgrancanaria.

Who’s shooting for the podium?

©iancorless.com.IMG_2053Nuria Picas was unstoppable last year winning or making the podium in pretty much every race she ran. Kicking off 2015 with a podium place at UTMF was clear sign that Nuria was running herself in to form. I think she will show the ladies a clean pair of heels at Transgrancanaria and take a strong and decisive victory.

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Fernanda Maciel placed 3rd last year and arguably gave 2nd place away to Francesca Canepa (who has decided not to race) after having a to-and-fro battle with the Italian. Fernanda had a strong 2015 consistently making the podium in UTWT races. Recently, she has had an extended period at Aconcagua and all that altitude must be advantageous.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day4-2099Nikki Kimball needs no introduction, she has been there and done it: from Western States to UTMB. Nikki, like Joe Grant raced The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica and by contrast to Joe, I don’t think TCC will have fatigued her, on the contrary, it will have provided a great kick-start for a potential podium performance in Gran Canaria.

Aliza Lapierre placed 5th at Templiers in 2014 and has won Bandera 100k. I can’t help but think that a ‘running’ course would play into Aliza’s hands more than this course, however, she has loads of class and we can expect that to shine through for a potential top-5.

Emilie Lecomte copyright iancorless.comEmelie Lecomte lacks outright speed but she is a pure mountain lover and she has endurance in abundance. The tougher the better! Emilie has set records on the GR20, excelled at Tor Des Geants, Raid de la Reunion and Ronda dels Cims.

Nerea Martinez and Emelie are made from the same mold and ironically have very similar race histories. Top-10 for sure and don’t expect Emelie and Nerea to finish next to each other in the results.

Wyan Chow won HK100 and may well upset things a little. I don’t see victory coming Wyan’s way but a podium is a possibility. Similarly, Dong Li who placed 2nd at HK100 and Sai Kung 50 will almost certainly make top-10 but the podium is a long shot.

A surprise may come Caroline Chaverot who placed 5th at Mont Blanc 80K in 2014 and my dark horse is Claire Walton and possibly Elena Polyakova.

Stephanie Case gets a nod as a last minute entry.

Follow the race in images and posts on Facebook HERE and on Twitter HERE

 

Note:

Elite runners will not be seen just in the Ultra race but also in the Advanced race of 83 km. The Advanced has been included this year for the first time in the Spain Ultra Cup® Aml Sport HG and will start from Moya town. Furthermore, this race will allow runners score points for the Championship of the Canary Islands. Zaid Ait Malek, from Morocco, Jorge Aubeso, Pau Capell, Judit Franch, Laia Díez, Yolanda Fernández, among a number of local runners from the Canary Islands, are the ones who will keep the level of this race very high.

Additionally, last year winner Nuria Domínguez will participate in the Marathon and the Polish Tomasz Kilsz, winner of Marathon in 2013, will run this year the Starter race. Efrén Segundo, Trail Series, Championship and Cup of the Canary Islands winner, will participate in the Promo race.

 

What is the UTWT? 

The aim of the UTWT is to gather the most important races of the five continents and to offer the runners the opportunity to discover new landscapes while running. These races also show how diverse trail running can be: steep mountains on Gran Canaria, strenuous uphill in the Alps, paths in California, hills and beaches in Hong Kong or the Moroccan desert.

The proposed races are made for runners with high adaptability and each and every of them is unique: The North Face® Transgrancanaria®, Vibram® Hong Kong 100, Tarawera Ultramarathon, Marathon des Sables, The North Face® 100 Australia, The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra-Trail®, Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, Eiger Ultra-Trail®, Ultra-Trail® du Mont-Blanc, Ultra-Trail® Mt.Fuji® and Le Grand Raid de la Réunion. All these races require different skills in order to win or to be one of the finishers.

The Coastal Challenge #TCC2015 Day 6 Drake Bay

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TCC 2015 Day 6 Drake Bay 

23.7km

450m +

 Six days, five stage wins and four course records, what more can we say about the stunning running of South African, Iain Don Wauchope! Iain had no need to race the last day… he says he didn’t! He ran easy, GoPro in hand and had a blast… and still broke a course record.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day6-0400Race director, Rodrigo Carazo said post race:

“I never thought anyone could run this fast on this course. Iain has dominated and made a really tough course seem easy.”

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“This is no easy course. It’s a really tough event and I didn’t feel great on day one and two put I have got better as the days progresses. I have loved every moment. It’s a stunning race and the last day around Drake Bay is just so special.”

– Iain Don Wauchope

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Breaking news over the night was that second place on GC, Canadian Mike Murphey was taken to hospital with severe dehydration. It’s a great shame. Mike battled to the end to take overall victory and unfortunately he has paid a price. Just goes to show how tough this race is!

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day6-0765 Mike’s departure from the race moved the Costa Rican duo of Ashruf Youseffi and Roiny Villegas into second and third but the battle wasn’t over… Roiny saw this as an opportunity and pushed hard throughout the final stage. Opening up a gap, Ashruf was clearly having a bad day. At the line, Roiny had clawed back a chunk of time but not enough to take the second podium place.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day6-3157The ladies race turned into a procession and a celebration. The top five ladies ran side-by-side throughout the race and embraced the scenery and the friendship that The Coastal Challenge has provided. Veronica Bravo’s victory is more than welcomed by the local Costa Rican community and the TCC team; a world-class athlete and adventure racer “Vero’ will run UTMB in 2015 and Costa Rica and Chile anticipate great things!

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day6-3347Another Costal Challenge draws to a close. What a race… It’s a tough, challenging multi-day race that constantly provides mixed terrain, relentless heat and high humidity to make it one of the toughest races out there. Joe Grant, Karl Meltzer, Nikki Kimball, Anna Frost, Mike Murphey and Iain Don Wauchope all toed the line of the 2015 TCC and they unanimously agree;

“that is one seriously tough race!”

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Overall Classification *times to follow

  1. Veronica Bravo – Chile – 29:35:20
  2. Nikki Kimball – USA – 32:31:50
  3. Maria Rivera – Costa Rica – 34:07:13
  1. Iain Don Wauchope – South Africa – 22:29:08
  2. Ashur Youssefi – Costa Rica – 26:09:54
  3. Roiny Villegas – Costa Rica – 26:23:53

The Coastal Challenge #TCC2015 Day 5 Race Images

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Race summary HERE

The Coastal Challenge 2015 #TCC2015 Day 3 Dominical Beach – Ventanas Beach

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Dominical Beach – Ventanas Beach

48km

2450+ ascent

 Day three of the TCC is always a significant stage! Combining extremely mixed terrain it suits no one style of particular runner, however, if you are a balanced runner, the stage can play to your hands.

Iain Don Wauchope was stinging a little after loosing the lead after a stunning stage 2 run by Mike Murphey. Kicking off the day, Iain made it very clear that he wanted to make this a race and if Mike wanted to keep overall victory, he was going to have to keep pushing.

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The race started with a long section of ‘running’ in a riverbed. It was a run that was part swimming and part bouldering. For those in the know, Iain is a repeat winner of The Otter in South Africa, a race that incorporates all these elements. In his element, Iain slowly opened a lead and at Nauyaca Waterfalls he was clearly showing Mike his intentions.

As the day progressed, the gap between the two front men continued to open as Iain gained time on Mike. A long, tough and technical descent from cp2 was followed by kilometre after kilometre of hot and stunning beach. The sting in the tail; a small dense forest section and then 4km’s of hot tarmac road. With temperatures well over 30-degrees and humidity through the roof Iain showed stunning form by not only winning the stage with a new course record but he had gained enough time over Mike to take the race lead by 1minute and 51seconds.

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Mike Murphey had had some nutritional problems during the stage but ultimately, I think he paid the price for pushing so hard on day two with a course record run. Mike’s legs looked like he had been in a war with thorn bushes… they were scarred, cut and grazed from the dense forests. At the end of the beach he was a spent force and he seized the opportunity to submerge himself in a rock pool before pushing on for the line.

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Joe Grant unfortunately had a very restricted run due to spraining his ankle the previous day. Joe ran and finished the stage, but any chance of a podium place is now gone. Joe’s misfortune opened up a door way for the local Costa Rican talent, and they currently hold third (Ashur Youssefi), fourth (Roiny Villegas) with Speedgoat Karl in 5th overall.

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In the ladies race, Anna Frost ran a smart day matching Veronica Bravo step-by-step. From the moment they started, till the moment they crossed the finish line, the duo never left each other’s side. In many respects, Frosty can run this way all the way to the end now and play safe. The question mark will come if Veronica feels strong one day and takes a risk to pull back the time between the two of them? This is always a risky tactic, push too hard and you may blow up opening a doorway for third place to gain time.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day3-0447Nikki Kimball once again placed third on the stage running as solidly as ever. The heat had taken its toll. But then again, every runner showed very clearly the drain from the course and the weather on their faces. Tough terrain, relentless heat and high humidity make for a brutal combination and this is what sets The Coastal Challenge apart from other multi-day races. It really is tough!

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*Images to follow when we can find some wii

  1. Iain Don Wauchope – South Africa – 4:43:12
  2. Mike Murphey – Canada- 4:59:17
  3. Ashur Yussefi – Costa Rica – 5:30:55
  1.  Anna Frost – Australia – 6:25:02
  2. Veronica Bravo – Chile – 6:25:02
  3. Nikki Kimball -USA – 6:52:58

 

 

The Coastal Challenge #TCC2015 Day 2 Savegre Valley to Dominical Beach

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TCC 2015 Day s Savegre Valley – Dominical Beach

39km

2250+ ascent

Days don’t come much more exciting than day two of The Coastal Challenge… could Frosty pull back the time lost to Veronica Bravo? Could Mike Murphey refocus after going off course on day 1, loosing a chunk of time to Iain Don Wauchope and then going into the red trying to pull back time?

Well the simple answer is yes!

Both Frosty and Mike Murphey showed incredible powers of recovery and lead the race  from the front.

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Frosty took an early lead from Veronica Bravo and slowly but surely extended her lead as day-2 threw everything at her; tough climbs, sections of fire trail, gnarly descents, km’s of fire trail, water crossings and then a long hot stretch of relentless beach.

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“Today was true Costa Rican; jungle, trail, beaches and wonderful people… oh, and darn hot! I felt good for 20km but I didn’t like the fast section of road but I was able to push to the end. A good day” – Anna Frost.

As the finish came, Frosty had clawed back all lost time on day-1 and took the overall lead of the ladies classification. Veronica Bravo didn’t have a bad day… Frosty was just having a great day. Veronica looked strong and relaxed mile-after-mile and always gave a smile.

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Nikki Kimball rounded out the top-3 for the ladies and as we expected, Nikki is just pacing herself. Post race Nikki said, “I am just off ski’s and the heat and humidity is relentless. It’s so different to Marathon des Sables where the heat is dry. But then again, I am not in the shape I was in for the 2014 MDS?”

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Mike Murphey pushed and pushed, slowly pulling away and extended a lead over Joe Grant who he had run with over the first climb and descent. Running so hard in this heat, humidity and with such mixed terrain was a consummate performance. Mike certainly showed his speed, endurance and commitment, so much so it gave Mike a course record for the Savegre Valley – Dominical Beach stage. Mike had said the previous day,

“I love some motivation and to chase, so I plan to go for it. I need to pull back the time I lost from going off course and then gain some time for the lead. I love that.”

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Joe Grant had felt really good and matched Mike step-by-step in the early stages while Iain Don Wauchope (day-1 stage winner) chased some 90-seconds to 2-minutes back. But Joe rolled his ankle and then had to run cautiously.

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Eventually, Joe and Iain joined forces and ran the final stages together but Mike was long gone… they crossed the line almost 30-minutes back confirming Mike as the new race leader with Iain in 2nd and Joe in 3rd.

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1-Mike Murphey – Canada- 4:03:57
2- Joe Grant – UK – 4:32:22
3- Iain Don Wauchope – South Africa – 4:32:22

 

1st – Anna Frost – 4:57:20
2nd – Veronica Bravo – 5:21:05
3rd – Nikki Kimball – 5:35:10

Overall classification to follow (times)

Mike Murphey and Anna Frost are current leaders.

 

 

 

The Coastal Challenge #TCC2015 Day 1 Playa de Ray – Savegre Valley

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TCC 2015 Day 1 Playa de Ray – Savegre Valley

36.4km

850m+ ascent

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day1-9696 Day one of The Coastal Challenge is always a tough day. For many, the heat and the humidity are just too great and along with excitement and adrenaline, the early run pace is too fast and the inevitable happens. In past years runners have dropped the ball on the first day and dug so deep in to reserves that they have not been able to recover. It looks like everyone managed to hold back just a little, however, the story in camp post race was one of fatigue, dehydration and intense heat.

After a 0300 start and a three-hour bus drive to the coast, runners departed Playa del Rey at 0800 and within a couple of kilometres the intense heat and high humidity could visible seen as sweat soaked bodies pushed along the strong. Canadian, Mike Murphy was clearly intending to race hard and it was long before he started to open a gap followed by Iain Don Wauchope from South Africa, a couple of local Costa Ricans, Speedgoat Karl Meltzer and Joe Grant.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day1-0642Anna Frost and Veronica Bravo raced neck-and-neck and it was very clear that an interesting battle would develop between the two. Nikki Kimball ran in third, Costa Rican, Maria Guevara and then Samantha Gash.

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At Cp1 a pattern was forming as Mike Murphy and Anna Frost opened up gaps in their respective fields, Frosty just had a couple of minutes over Veronica Bravo but Murphy was extending a lead into double -figures.

In the dense forest section that followed, approximately five kilometres later Iain Don Wauchope had taken the lead in the men’s race followed by Costa Rican Roiny Villegas and Karl Meltzer. Anna Frost held a two-minute lead over Veronica Bravo and the stage looked set for a great battle. As runners passed, no sign of Mike Murphy and I was beginning to wonder what had happened?

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Murphy later appeared on the trail out of the top ten; it turned out he missed a key right turn that took the runners from a fire road and into the dense jungle. Mike complained the signs had not been in place but that was not correct. The turn had been clearly marked well in advance of any runners!

Eyes focused, Mike pushed hard on the trail looking to pull back time and although running with great speed and style he paid a price in the intense heat and eventually slowed. However, he did pull back great junks of time and he is certainly not out of the fight.

Iain Don Wauchope held on for victory but said, “A great deal tougher than I expected, I really suffered in the heat and slowed a great deal. Everyone did! The heat was just so intense.”