Episode 79 – Amdahl Pascall Kimball

Ep79

Episode 79 of Talk Ultra is another packed show! We speak with HK100 2nd placed runner, Sondre Amdahl. We also speak to the female winner of the UK’s, The Spine, Beth Pascall. Nikki Kimball discusses her incredible 2014 season with victory at Marathon Des Sables, top-5 at Western States Endurance Run and winning Run Rabbit Run. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

00:05:11 NEWS
 
HK100
 
Long-Fei Yan 9:52:42
Sondre Amdahl 9:59:46
Antoine Guillon 10:30:02
Pui Yan Wyan Chow 12:24:56
Dong Li 12:39:54
Lisa Borzani 12:50:38
00:13:27 INTERVIEW
 
Sondre Amdahl check out his website HERE
 
The Spine
 
Pavel Paloncy 79:34 and Beth Pascall 90:59 –  It is the longest non-stop foot race in the UK, set against the unforgiving British winter. 268 miles of ice, snow, cold and savage winds. You have 7 days to complete the race from Edale to Kirk Yetholm.
 
01:08:45 INTERVIEW
 
Beth Pascall
 
HURT 100
 
Michael Arnstein 21:29
Alex Nunn 21:47
Nick Hollon 22:42
Amy Sproston 26:22
Alicia Woodside 28:10
Kiyomi Kuroda 31:22
 
02:04:38 BLOG
Sondre Amdahl – Diagonale des Fous race report – HERE
 
02:05:30 INTERVIEW
 
Nikki Kimball – Finding Traction film HERE
 
03:05:10 UP & COMING RACES
 

Argentina

Columbia Cruce de los Andes | 90 kilometers | February 05, 2015 | website

Queensland

Beerwah at Night – 50 km | 51 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 100km | 100 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn 50km | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Chad

TREG | 170 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Chile

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 05, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Coastal Challenge | 250 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

France

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | February 01, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

India

Thar Desert Run – 100 miles | 100 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 135 Miles | 135 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 160 km | 160 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 80 km | 80 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 30, 2015 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2015 | website

New Zealand

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Nicaragua

Survival Run: Nicaragua | 70 kilometers | February 04, 2015 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Thailand

The North Face 100® – Thailand | 100 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

The North Face 100® – Thailand – 50 km Solo | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Lancashire

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Elite Course | 53 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Milton Keynes

Quadzilla | 164 kilometers | February 05, 2015 | website

Surrey

The Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Way Multistage Ultra | 66 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Arizona

Coldwater Rumble 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 24, 2015 | website

Coldwater Rumble – 52K | 52 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Coldwater Rumble – 52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Beeline and Beyond (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Border to Border (15 Marathons) | 405 miles | January 28, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Valley of the Sun (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | January 30, 2015 | website

California

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | January 24, 2015 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Fort Ord Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Ordnance 100K | 100 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Race Across California – Desert Challenge (4 Marathons) | 107 miles | January 23, 2015 | website

Spooner’s Cove 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy 50km | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Florida

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Skydive Ultra 100M Run | 100 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Skydive Ultra 50 km Run | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Skydive Ultra 50M Run | 50 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 26, 2015 | website

New York

The Beast of Burden Winter 100 Miler | 100 miles | January 24, 2015 | website

North Carolina

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Texas

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile | 100 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Winter Festival Goat 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Winter Festival Goat 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 31, 2015 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Washington

Lake Youngs NUTS 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 31, 2015 | website

Venezuela

Ultra Laguna de Urao | 65 kilometers | January 24, 2015 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2015 | website

 
CLOSE

03:19:19

Links:

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

FROST – KIMBALL – GASH : The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica 2015

TCC Ladies 2015

The 2015 multi-day The Coastal Challenge gets underway in less than 3-months. Runners from all over the world will arrive in San Jose in preparation for the journey down to the coast to Quepos and the 11th edition of the “TCC.”

After a stellar line-up for the 10th edition, Rodrigo Carazo and the TCC team have once again excelled in providing a top quality elite line up making TCC arguably one of the ‘must-do’ multiple day stage races in the world.

Come race day, elite runners will toe the line in Quepos with everyday runners, with one purpose in mind, to embrace an ultimate challenge in the remarkable Talamancas.

Unlike other multi day races, the TCC is supported. Each day camp is moved ahead and awaits the runner’s arrival at the finish. Running light and fast, runners are able to keep equipment to a minimum and as such, racing is extremely competitive. The 2015 edition of the race is proving to be extremely exciting, particularly when one looks at the line up of runners.

Heading up the ladies field is a trio of hot talent that will without doubt make the race one to remember.

KIMBALL – FROST – GASH

NIKKI KIMBALL

Nikki Kimball on her way to victory in the 2014 MDS.

Nikki Kimball on her way to victory in the 2014 MDS.

Nikki Kimball is a legend of female ultra running. A multiple winner of the iconic Western States her palmares are longer than my arm… just this year, Nikki won Run Rabbit Run 100 and the 29th Marathon des Sables. Nikki’s presence in Costa Rica is a defining moment for the TCC. It is a confirmation of the credibility of the race and Nikki’s years of experience will be something to embrace, not only for the other runners but all those involved in the experience.

‘I loved MDS and am excited to add TCC to my stage racing experience.  I’ve run MDS, Transrockies (3 times), Jungle Marathon and each was very special in its own way.  Each experience will help me in my preparation for TCC.  Transrockies, like TCC, transported runner gear and set up their tents, which gives me a sense of racing daily with the speed allowed by running without gear.  The Jungle Marathon exposed me to rain forest and the accompanying heat and humidity.  And MDS gives me a more recent experience of racing in extreme conditions against great competition. I absolutely loved, though occasionally hated, each event. As for direct comparison with MDS, a few points are obvious: I will be exchanging dry oppressive heat, for humid oppressive heat; varied types of sandy surfaces for wet and rocky footing; desert vistas for close forests and ocean views; and nearly full self sufficiency for the relative luxury of camps with food and sleeping supplies I do not need to carry.  I recommend MDS very highly to fellow runners, and believe I will finish TCC similarly impressed.’

Running without a pack and all the weight, do you think it will be a fast race?

‘I actually love the challenge of carrying my entire kit for MDS, but am looking forward to the freedom from gear that TCC will give. Yes, the running is much faster without a heavy pack, and TCC will be very fast in places.  Hopefully the technical elements will slow the pace down a bit, as I run more on strength, endurance and technical skill than speed.  This is particularly true in the winter when nearly all my training is done on skis.  I think anyone peaking her running training for TCC will be running quickly.’

How excited are you to race in Costa Rica?

‘As we said growing up in Vermont, I’m wicked psyched!  Seriously, running has given me access to parts of the world I would never otherwise see.  And I’ve run in Mexico and South America, but never run between the two.  I feel I gain so much from playing with other languages, exploring other cultures and environments, and bonding with runners throughout the world.  I cannot wait, not only to run in Costa Rica, but to spend a few days before the event picking up a few more Spanish phrases, meeting local people and splashing in the water while knowing that my friends at home are playing on top of a much colder form of water.’

You will be racing against Anna Frost and Samantha Gash amongst others…. does this excite you?

‘I do not know Samantha, but I very much look forward to meeting her.  And, like anyone who has spent time with Anna, I absolutely adore her.  I love racing with/against anyone, and Anna is certainly a great talent.  But more than that, she is a fantastic person with a depth of character that far exceeds her running achievements. I get to hang with Anna for a week, and that is always great.  For that matter, every stage and ultra race I’ve been in (and over 16 years there have been many) attracts great people.  From volunteers to elite athletes to less experienced racers looking to see what’s possible, the people of this sport keep me doing it.  I’m excited by the top end competition and just as excited to hear stories from TCC participants I have yet to meet.’

 

ANNA FROST

Anna Frost Skyrunning World Championships 2014 - Chamonix

Anna Frost Skyrunning World Championships 2014 – Chamonix

Anna Frost arrived in Costa Rica for the 10th edition but unfortunately couldn’t race due to an injury set back which was really disappointing for the New Zealander. However, Costa Rica was a cathartic process… Frosty followed up her TCC experience with victory and a course record at Transvulcania La Palma, Speedgoat 50k and Bear 100.

‘I gained so much energy and pleasure out of just being in Costa Rica that I came home almost injury free. I cant wait to get back to explore further and see all of the course. The atmosphere is so much fun, great food, wonderful campsites, beautiful beaches and rain forests and HOT weather! IM SO EXCITED!’

The Coastal Challenge is a supported multi-day race and therefore allows runners to run fast and free. Looking at the quality of the ladies field, I asked Frosty about the 2015 race and if she expected it to be fast?

‘There are a lot of fast trails and dirt roads, long flat beach sections and smooth trails. But in between that there is hard, steep, trail-less, muddy, rain forest covered dirt, spiders, noises? and more to keep the challenge high. But luckily the race has many aid stations so you don’t need to carry too much which means you can move as fast as possible through all of that!’

Nikki Kimball has won MDS and WSER and Sam Gash has just run for 1-month all over South Africa, two real solid runners. How excited are you to test yourself over the multi-day format against these ladies?

‘It will be fantastic to share this race with them. They are both super strong girls and also great friends, so it is going to be so much FUN!’

You ran your first 100-miler recently, do you think that will be a benefit in Costa Rica?

‘Definitely. With each race I undertake I am beginning to understand more about myself, my limits, and what challenges me. This process allows me new ways to overcome obstacles. It will be good to put what I have learnt in practice.’

‘Visiting Costa Rica again. The people and places we see along the way are wonderful! And being able to share that with all the other runners in the Coastal Challenge is so awesome!’

 

SAMANTHA GASH

Samanha Gash ©samanthagash

Samanha Gash ©samanthagash

Samantha Gash is the youngest lady to ever complete ‘The Four Deserts’ and was one of the featured runners in the film, ‘The Desert Runners.’ Just last week, Sam has completed an epic journey…

‘Oh boy I have just been on an adventure of a lifetime, one that took me close to 2 years to prepare for. I ran with Mimi Anderson from the UK and side-by-side we ran an ultra every day for 32-days through some pretty challenging terrain. Our run focused on supporting a South African based initiative, so it was pretty special to run through some incredibly remote & rural locations.’

‘It was great preparation for Costa Rica in the sense that a multi day format suits me. However my run along South Africa was an expedition not a race, so the pace was very different. It’s been less than a week since I’ve finished the biggest physical & mental challenge of my life so I’m looking forward to letting both recover for the month of November. Come December I will evaluate how my body is going & hopefully begin to train for the Coastal Challenge. Once I start training again I will need to put my legs through some serious speed work.’

Kimball and Frost need no introduction. Are you looking forward to racing them? 

‘Geez these ladies are of a different caliber to me and I predict they will place at the top of field outright. I’ve met Anna a couple of times so I’m looking forward to catching up again & meeting Nikki too. Just to race with them both will be an absolute pleasure; they have had incredible years. Great to see Anna dominate in her first 100-miler; I had no doubt she would also excel over that distance.’ 

I recently watched ‘The Desert Runners’ again and I must say I love the film and the experiences that you all had, how significant was that process for you?  

‘When I did the 4 deserts it was my first experience to ultra running. I fondly look back on that year (2010) as it started my passion into a sport & lifestyle I never really knew existed. What I love about multi stage racing is the relationships you develop with other competitors & volunteers over the duration. Of course there are moments when you are intensely racing but then there are other moments where you are relaxed and are enjoying banter with people you’ve just met. Some of the closest people in my life are people I’ve met in these types of races. I also like the build up you can have over the days. I tend to start a touch more conservatively to let my body adapt and then work into the longer stages.’ 

You have been fortunate to travel with racing. Costa Rica will be a new experience for you, are you excited?

‘The setting for the race looks spectacular and Rodrigo seems like a top-notch race director. I am also drawn to the race because it offers variety in terrain – mountains, river crossing, single track, rock and glorious beaches.’

Would you like to join these incredible ladies in Costa Rica?

Entries are open in the UK HERE

or HERE for outside the UK.

Links

Official race website HERE and Facebook HERE

You can view images from previous editions HERE

And race day reports from 2014 and 2013 HERE

Marathon des Sables, 29th Edition, Race Preview

MDS Logo

It begins again, the Marathon des Sables! Now in its 29th year, the epic multiday race in the Sahara is considered by many the Father of stage racing. Often called ‘The Toughest Race on Earth’ we all know that it isn’t but one thing is for sure… it’s no walk in the park.

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

iancorless.comP1030603Heat, sand, survival, reduced calories and self sufficiency pushed to the limits will test each and everyone of the 1079 participants who will toe the line in South Morocco.

iancorless.comP1080964

 Participants from France will represent 30% of the field and over 45 other nations make up the remaining 70% with the UK providing the largest contingent. The provinces of Errachidia and Tinghrir will host the 2014 Marathon des Sables over 6-stages with a total distance of 250km’s. An easy day will be 30km and the longest day, 75km. It’s a wonderful way, albeit a tough and challenging way to embrace the Moroccan dessert.

iancorless.com_1090422

The 2013 edition of the race was noted as ‘one of the toughest’ in the races prestigious history, 2014 will be no different; traversing ergs, djebels, stony plateaus, dried-up lakes (wadis) and of course lush oasis. Occasional passing traditional villages and encampments of nomads, the 29th edition of the Marathon des Sables promises to be a ‘secret garden’ of the Sahara.

iancorless.comP1090053

Described by race founder, Patrick Bauer as ‘the greatest show on earth’, his comparisons to a circus are apt. The Marathon des Sables really is a large circus like operation on a scale that is second to none. Volunteers number 130 to supervise the race, 430-general staff support the race and 300-local Berbers man the bivouac. All-terrain vehicles number 120, 8 ‘MDS’ planes, 25-buses, 4-dromederies, 1-incinerator lorry, 5-quad bikes and 2-helicopters keep the show on the road. Add to this 52-medical staff, journalists, photographers and you really have what I have come to call, the ‘Cirque de Sahara’, it’s quite special.

 iancorless.com_1090777

A race with a history, the Marathon des Sables dates back to 1984 when Patrick Bauer, aged 28, ventured into the Sahara to traverse solo a 350km journey with a pack weighing 35kg. It was an ultimate self-sufficient expedition that lasted 12-days.

 iancorless.com_1090790

Inspired by the experience, in 1986 the first edition was created, just 23-pioneers embarked on what must have been ‘the ultimate’ expedition. Who would have thought those formative years would have laid the foundations for what is, without question, the father of multiple day racing. The race has had memorable moments; in ‘1991’ the Gulf drama had an impact on the race, ‘1994’ the arrival of Doc Trotters, ‘1995’ the 10th anniversary, ‘1996’ Mohamed Ahansal participates for the first time, ‘1997’ Lahcen Ahansal wins his first MDS one of many),  ‘2000’ internet arrives in the Sahara, ‘2001’ the ‘long’ day exceeds 70km, ‘2002’ a week of sandstorms and wind, ‘2009’ flooding at the MDS, ‘2010’ the 25th edition and finally, in ‘2013’, solar energy arrives in bivouac. What does ‘2014’ hold for us…?

iancorless.com_1090603

Results recap

2013

  1. 1. Mohamad Ahansal (MAR) 18:59:35
  2. 2. Salameh Al Aqra (JOR) 00:41:40 deficit
  3. 3. Miguel Capo Soler (ESP) 1:19:56 deficit
  1. 4. Meghan Hicks (USA) 24:42:01
  2. 5. Joanna Meek (UK) 00:00:59 deficit
  3. 6. Zoe Salt (UK) 02:21:57 deficit

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2014 Preview

Ladies

2013 female winner, Meghan Hicks unfortunately will not return to the Sahara this year. Meghan would have loved nothing more than to defend her title, however, Meghan has received an injury and has had no other option but to retire; a real shame.

Laurence Klein

Laurence Klein

Jo Meek and Zoe Salt will not return, this leaves the floodgates open for 2011 and 2012 champion, Laurence Klein (Fra) to return and dominate the race. Laurence dropped from the 2013 edition of the race with dehydration whilst in the lead. I have no doubts, Laurence will return, 1-year wiser, 1-MDS wiser and with lessons learnt. Laurence raced at Gruissan Phoebus Taril 50km in February this year and won, in the process, she also placed 20th overall. She’s in form!

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball (USA) looks to be the hot US replacement for Meghan Hicks and I have no doubt that this formidable lady can push Laurence all the way to the line. It’s a showdown that I am really looking forward to watching unfold. Nikki returned to Western States in 2013 and placed 2nd, she was also 2nd at Run Rabbit Run 100-miler… would you like to bet against her? *UTWT entrant

Simone Kayser from Luxemburg has 3-MDS (2002, 2004 and 2005) victories and returns in 2014. With past experience, knowledge of multi-day racing and an understanding of the Sahara, Simone will also test the podium positions. However, her current form is unknown.

Men

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Salameh Al Aqra and Mohamad Ahansal have battled ‘royal’ in the dunes of the Sahara for years. In 2009, Ahansal won, Al Aqra was 3rd, in 2010 it was Ahansal 1st, Al Aqra 2nd, 2011 Ahansal placed 2nd and Al Aqra 3rd, 2012 Al Aqra took honours relegating Ahansal to bridesmaid, however, last year, Ahansal once again regained his crown with Al Aqra chasing the locals heals. Both return in 2014 and based on past records you have to tip Ahansal with his 5-victories and 9-second places to dominate once again.

Mohammed Ahansal

Mohamad Ahansal

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Salameh Al Aqra

Rachid El Moriaty won in the race in 2011 and in doing so placed Ahansal in 2nd by just 7-minutes. He’d do well to repeat that performance.

Miguel Capo Soler is arguably the hot prospect to place Mohammed and Salameh under pressure, his 2013 3rd place will without doubt have ignited a fire and a desire within him to take his performance one step further and move up one notch on the podium and if all goes well, two notches to reign supreme.

Carlos sa

Carlos sa

Carlos Sa, 4th in the 2013 edition will do all he can to infiltrate the podium and if his form is good, he may very well upset the front of the race. His 2013 season was quite spectacular, in particular, his win at Badwater a highlight and his 4th at the 2012 TNFUTMB establishes him as ‘hot’ for the podium at the 29th edition. *UTWT entrant

Miguel Heras certainly is a surprise entrant for MDS and I guess this is a significance of the *UTWT flexing its muscle and introducing runners who we would not normally see at a multi-day race. This is a good thing! However, Miguel had to withdraw from Transgrancanaria with injury issues and I am not sure currently his status? Should he race he will without doubt bring an interesting dynamic to the race. When in form, he is world class and one of the best ultra runners in the world, Miguel has proved this time and time again and is 2nd place at the 2013 TNFUTMB proves this. I hope he’s fit, firing on all cylinders and ready to bring his ‘A’ race to the Sahara.

Danny Kendall

Danny Kendall

UK hopes are in the legs and lungs of Danny Kendall. A ‘regular’ at the MDS, Danny has consistently worked hard on his training, racing strategy and in in 2013 he placed 10th overall, the best ever performance by a Brit. The podium may well be out of reach but anything higher than 9th will be something to celebrate and embrace.

Cyril Cointre also takes a *UTWT place and will be a potential force at the front of the race. Cyril placed 8th at Transgrancanaria and 11th and HK100 in the last 2-months. Will he be recovered.

Wild card may well be Abdelkader El Mouaziz who has 13 sub 2:10 marathons! He hasn’t run the MDS before and that speed may well transfer well to the dunes and terrain of the Sahara, however, one has to wonder what if? Mouaziz won London Marathon in 1999 and 2001; in addition, he also won New York in 2000 and Madrid in 1994. He may well be nowhere near his glory days but Mouaziz is an exciting addition to the 29th edition.

Who else to watch:

Christophe Le eaux

Christophe Le Seaux

Marco Olmo

Marco Olmo

Christophe Le Saux – 9th at MDS 2013

Marco Olmo – 13th at MDS 2013

Anything can happen and without doubt, 2014 will throw up some surprises and names that we have never heard of before. 2013 was no different and that is what makes this sport so exciting and exhilarating.

What does the 2014 course look like?

Leg No.1 – Sunday 6 April

We get straight to the point and attack hard with a good fifteen kilometers or so of dunes in total on this first leg. Our imagination transports us into the shoes of British explorer, Sir Wilfred Thesiger, or to the very core of superb cinema, which were a wonder to us all!

Leg No.2 – Monday 7 April

This is coloured by fields of dunettes on the mountainside and a vast reg plateau, where the marathon runners will be able to really show what they’re made of at over 16km/hr. An abandoned adobe village, a dried-up lake crossing, a small erg with some beautiful dunes, an extensive plateau of black rock, the negotiation of a remote village and a djebel climb will make up the varied menu of this long second leg, where managing ones effort will take on its full meaning.

Leg No.3 – Tuesday 8 April

After 8km of running on fair terrain, the sand will put in an appearance again prior to a djebel ascent where a fabulous erg can be perceived at the bottom of the valley. There the runners will again negotiate some high dunes to make CP2, from where they will discover an ancient town, in ruins and perched on a hill, before making the night’s bivouac.

Leg No.4 (referred to as the long leg or the 80) – Wednesday 9 / Thursday 10 April

An ultra flat plateau running along a series of dunettes will form today’s backdrop before the runners traverse a wadi and hopefully get a bird’s eye view of the desert from up high after a tough little climb of around thirty-minutes. The landscape is truly breathtaking! Once you make it to the valley, you can make out a fabulous little erg followed by vast plateaus and a succession of djebels. The images here are strikingly beautiful and herald the discovery of an impressive sandy valley. Here, a laser beam will guide runners surprised by the cover of darkness. Participants will then link onto terrain dotted with crevasses before traversing a long, winding, sandy wadi and finally the bivouac. It will be important to follow the markers!

Leg No.5 (Marathon leg) – Friday 11 April

A long plateau of black reg will lead the runners into the ‘Out of Africa’ valley before they link onto a mountainous path, which will guide them to the bottom of a deep wadi. It’s a place where a number of villagers have taken up residence along this dried up river in which the palm trees are kings and agriculture is the only resource. A vast plateau peppered with dunes and dunettes will lead the competitor to the bivouac in this final timed leg.

Leg No.6 (the solidarity leg) – Saturday 12 April

As they make for the small village that will play host to the final finish destination, the competitors, sponsors and families that form the caravan will be able to appreciate the beauty and softness of the landscape in the ambience of closeness and sharing that is synonymous with this UNICEF leg (which supports projects benefiting disadvantaged children). For the majority of participants, this walk gives them time to reflect on this beautiful human adventure and collectively realize their accomplishments before getting back to civilization.

Links:

Follow the 2014 Marathon des Sables on www.iancorless.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/talkultra and on Twitter @talkultra

Updates will be posted daily as and when possible based on wifi connection and gps. Please be patient. I will do all I can to upload images and daily reports.

Info:

*UTWTIn 2013, the event became part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour Series, which groups together the major Ultra Trail races across all the different continents. The MARATHON DES SABLES will represent Africa in this circuit, where the distance (at least 100km), the site, the participation (at least 500 at the start), the internationality (at least 20 nations) and the length of existence (at least two editions) determines which events are selected. Beyond these sporting criteria, moral and ethical values, sporting equity, respect for oneself and others, as well as a respect for the environment, must be brought to the fore. Such values have always been conveyed by the MARATHON DES SABLES. 10 races, 5 continents, 150 global elite athletes… the Ultra-Trail® World Tour 2014 draws together the superlatives to provide the biggest number of runners with a world tour of the most prestigious races off the beaten track. Indeed, through their specific features, the #UTWT races illustrate the true diversity of the trail. Their sporting formats call for participants to have a real ability to adapt. As such you need a range of very different qualities to be a contender for victory! The MARATHON DES SABLES, the 4th leg of the 2014 tour, ranks among the ‘series’ races. As such, the number of points won in this event is increased, which makes it a decisive race in the bid for the #UTWT 2014 champion’s title. Participating in the Ultra-Trail® World Tour gives everyone a chance to discover unique cultural and sporting features. All the continents will be visited: Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. So many opportunities to enrich one’s sporting culture, to create new friendships and to feed on emotions and perhaps, one day, be a ‘finisher’ in every one of the events!

 

Episode 39 – Nikki Kimball, Nick Clark, Alex Nichols, Florian Reichert

TU39

Nick Clark returns for Clarky’s Corner with an update on his Western States and a look ahead to his next 100 in the Grand Slam. We have an interview with Ultra Running legend, Nikki Kimball about her running career and another podium finish at Western States. Alex Nichols talks Mont Blanc Marathon and in Talk Training we speak with Florian Reichert about the transition from road running to trail and mountains.

00:00:00

00:00:45 INTRO 

00:09:21 NEWS

Western States

  1. Pam Smith (La Sportiva) – 18:37:21
  2. Nikki Kimball (The North Face) – 19:21:43
  3. Amy Sproston (Montrail) – 19:25:11
  4. Meghan Arbogast (SCOTT Sports) – 19:30:50
  5. Rory Bosio (The North Face) – 19:52:09
  6. Aliza Lapierre (Salomon) – 20:04:46
  7. Emily Harrison (AdiUltra) – 20:28:40
  8. Denise Bourassa (Patagonia) – 21:44:37
  9. Leila Degrave (Inov-8) – 21:59:26
  10. Abby McQueeney Penamonte – 22:36:29

 

  1. Timothy Olson (The North Face) – 15:17:27
  2. Rob Krar – 15:22:05
  3. Mike Morton (Allied Van Lines) – 15:45:21
  4. Ian Sharman (SCOTT Sports) – 16:20:25
  5. Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 16:32:18
  6. Nick Clark (Pearl Izumi) – 16:56:23
  7. Jesse Haynes (INKnBURN) – 17:44:36
  8. Paul Terranova – 17:56:29
  9. Yassine Diboun (Inov-8) – 18:44:02
  10. Karl Meltzer (Hoka One One) – 18:51:55

00:21:27 CLARKEYS CORNER –Nick Clark ran the 2013 Western States and now lines up for his second 100 in the Grand Slam just a few weeks later. 

Mont Blanc Marathon

Men

1° Kilian Jornet 3h30’41 NEW COURSE RECORD

2° Marco De Gasperi 3h31’42

3° Luis-Alberto Hernando-Alzaga 3h36’14

Ladies

1° Stevie Kremer 4h03’16 NEW COURSE RECORD

2° Emelie Forsberg 4h25’10

3° Céline Lafaye 4h35

00:40:37 INTERVIEW with Alex Nichols

Vetical Kilometer

Men

1. Saul Antonio Padua (COL) – 34’34”

2. Kilian Jornet (ESP) – Salomon – 34’53”

3. Erik-Dagssøn Haugsnes (NOR) – Il Pioner – 35’02”

4. Alexy Sevennec-Verdier (FRA) – Crazyonisag – 35’10”

5. Urban Zemmer (ITA) – La Sportiva – 35’40”

Women

1. Christel Dewalle (FRA) – Team Terre de Running – 41’33”

2. Laura Orgué (ESP) – Salomon Santiveri – 42’53”

3. Antonella Confortola (ITA) – Salomon – 42’55”

4. Emelie Forsberg (SWE) – Salomon – 44’55”

5. Tessa Hill (GBR) – Arc’teryx – 45’39”

 

Lavaredo Ultra Trail

Mens:

1.         Spehler Sebastien            07:39:35

2.         Wolfe Mike  08:13:47

3.         Geronazzo Ivan     08:14:15

 

Ladies:

1.         Cheryl Beatty          09.31.09

2.         Federica Boifava  09.54.56

3.         Lizzie Wraith            09.57.14

World Trail Championships

  • Gold – Ricky Lightfoot (Great Britain and NI) 5:36:03
  • Silver – Florian Neuschwander (Germany) 5:45:16
  • Bronze – Julien Rancon (France) 5:54:21

 

  • Gold – Nathalie Mauclair (France) 6:38:45
  • Silver – Aurelia Truel (France) 6:55:51
  • Bronze – Maria Chiara Parigi (Italy) 7:00:30

 

Dodo Trail 50k in Mauritius

  1. Rene Paul Vitry 5:39:30
  2. Vishal Ittoo 5:46:36
  3. Fabrice Armand 5:48:06

 

  1. Cecile Ciman 7:15:03
  2. Marie Noelle Bourgeois 7:23:46
  3. Helene Haegel 7:39:40

01:15:51 BLOGS – Dylan Bowman – Western States http://dylanbowman.com/2013/07/western-states-100/

‘My race was playing out perfectly.  The early morning miles were appropriately subdued and I had the pleasure of sharing time with many men whom I idolize and consider to be good friends.  Shortly after Red Star Ridge, Rob Krar and I fell into a similar pace and remained together for virtually all of the ensuing 45 miles.  In my mind, we were executing things perfectly – sitting behind the lead pack early before methodically and intentionally moving through the field in the middle third of the race.’

01:17:00 TALK TRAINING –On this weeks talk training we speak with Arc’teryx and inov-8 athlete Florian Reichert about his transition from middle distance and road running to trail/ mountain running and his participation on the Skyrunning World Series

01:46:25 INTERVIEW –This week we speak to a legend of female ultra running, her Western States history alone sets her apart,  she won the race in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and she was 4th in 2009, 3rd in 2010 and 2011, 5th in 2012 and just this year placed 2nd.– Nikki Kimball

02:34:10 MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat Karl

02:37:37 RACES – Up and coming races for the next two weeks worldwide

Australia

Queensland

Kokoda Challenge | 96 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

 

Costa Rica

Maratón Internacional Challenge IRAZU – 62 km | 62 kilometers | July 21, 2013 | website

 

France

Aveyron

Tripou-Trail – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

Bas-Rhin

Trail du Pays Welche | 50 kilometers | July 14, 2013 | website

Corrèze

L’EDFi du Lac | 100 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

Le Tour du Cardant | 65 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

Finistère

100 km de Cléder | 100 kilometers | July 21, 2013 | website

Haute-Loire

Grand trail Stevenson – Course Individuels | 165 kilometers | July 12, 2013 | website

Grand trail Stevenson – Relais | 167 kilometers | July 12, 2013 | website

La Loire Integrale | 1025 kilometers | July 17, 2013 | website

Savoie

Ice Trail Tarentaise Val d’Isère | 65 kilometers | July 14, 2013 | website

la 6D Treck | 100 kilometers | July 24, 2013 | website

Ultra Trail du Beaufortain | 103 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

 

Germany

Rhineland-Palatinate

Bärenfels Ultra Trail | 64 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

 

India

La Ultra – The High | 222 kilometers | July 23, 2013 | website

La Ultra – The High 111 | 111 kilometers | July 23, 2013 | website

ZENchallenge Ladakh – 100K | 100 kilometers | July 21, 2013 | website

 

Mongolia

Mongolia Action Asia 3 day ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

Mongolia Action Asia 3 day ultra marathons 60k | 60 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

 

South Africa

Griffin 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 20, 2013 | website

Washie 100 | 100 miles | July 19, 2013 | website

 

Spain

Basque Country

Ehunmilak | 168 kilometers | July 12, 2013 | website

G2handiak | 82 kilometers | July 12, 2013 | website

 

Turkey

RunFire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon | 220 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

 

United Kingdom

England

Fairlands Valley Challenge – 50km | 50 kilometers | July 21, 2013 | website

Lyke Wake Race | 42 miles | July 13, 2013 | website

The 50 Mile Challenge | 52 miles | July 26, 2013 | website

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 26, 2013 | website

Scotland

Clyde Stride Ultra Marathon | 40 miles | July 13, 2013 | website

 

USA

Arkansas

Midnight 50K | 50 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

California

Badwater Ultramarathon | 135 miles | July 15, 2013 | website

Cuyamaca 3 Peaks 50K | 50 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

Colorado

Hardrock 100 Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 12, 2013 | website

Leadville Silver Rush 50 | 50 miles | July 14, 2013 | website

Kansas

Psycho Psummer 50K | 50 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

Montana

Devil’s Backbone 50 Miles | 50 miles | July 13, 2013 | website

Nevada

Tahoe Rim Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 20, 2013 | website

Tahoe Rim Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

Tahoe Rim Trail 50M | 50 miles | July 20, 2013 | website

Oregon

Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 13, 2013 | website

Pennsylvania

Viaduct Trail 150 Mile Ultramarathon | 150 miles | July 26, 2013 | website

South Carolina

Cremator 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | July 20, 2013 | website

Texas

El Scorcho | 50 kilometers | July 21, 2013 | website

‘The Shoe’ at Muleshoe Bend LCRA Park – 60k | 60 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

Vermont

Vermont 100k Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | July 20, 2013 | website

Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | July 20, 2013 | website

Washington

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage | 190 miles | July 19, 2013 | website

Wisconsin

DWD Devil’s Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | July 13, 2013 | website

DWD Devil’s Lake 50M | 50 miles | July 13, 2013 | website

Wyoming

Happy Jack Endurance Races 100 Mile | 100 miles | July 13, 2013 | website

02:39:35 SHOW CLOSE

02:46:20 END

LINKS and DOWNLOADS:

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Website – talkultra.com

Western States Endurance Run Preview

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In a recent interview with Rob Krar about his incredible ‘FKT’ (fastest known time) on the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim we discussed the up and coming Western States. Humble and respectful he called it the Super Bowl of ultra running. You have to agree, Western States is the Super Bowl of 100-mile events.

 

June 29th in Squaw Valley, once again an incredibly talented male field will toe the line to do battle over probably the most iconic 100-mile race on the calendar. It may not be the hardest but it has history. Way back in ‘73’ when Gordy Ainsleigh’s horse went lame, he had two choices; not to take part in the iconic 100-mile horse race called the Tevis Cup or run it… now of course, way back then running the course was the most ridiculous idea ever. But Gordy, ever the maverick, brushed caution aside and tackled the heat to arrive in Auburn. The stage was set and the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run was created.

 

The race – Male

 

So, Ryan Sandes wont join the party due to injury, shame! However, the men’s field has enough quality names to make the 2013 edition of the race an exciting one. We have a champ and previous course record holder returning after a 16 year gap, we have last years champ and course record holder, we have the new and the old. This year could be an exciting race because of the variables and unpredictability of those involved.

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Timothy Olson as the remaining champion and course record holder, of course gets top billing. His recent 4th place at Transvulcania La Palma was a real indicator that his form was coming. I went out for a run with him just days after the race and he was moving fast and effortless, no sign of a tough 80km race in his legs. He said, “I could have done with the finish line being a little farther away, I was just getting warmed up”.  Early 2013 season form wasn’t too shabby either with win at Bandera 50k, 2nd Ray Miller, and 2nd at Tarawera behind Sage Canaday in New Zealand. His relative silence post Transvulcania should worry the competition; he has been training and training hard. Can he go faster than his incredible 14:46:44 set in 2013?

 

Brit, Nick Clark in a recent interview with me ahead of this year’s race said, “I am running to win, I feel good this year. I have started my three week taper and I don’t know, maybe this could be my year!” Nick is super consistent over the 100-mile distance and demands respect from his peers. He ran 15:44 last year for 3rd place and almost certainly he is going to need to run that quick, if not quicker if he wants to be in contention for a podium place. Even more impressive is that Nick is taking on the Grand Slam. However, it’s one race at a time and he plans to run all of them as hard as he can. A win at Fuego Y Agua he says was so long ago that it has no real meaning for Western States but his 10th at Lake Sonoma recently was a little disappointing by his standards. However, as we keep saying, 100 miles is a different race altogether.

 

Sixteen years ago, Mike Morton set a course record at Western States and then disappeared into running wilderness. A combination of injury and work commitments took him away from the sport. However, just a couple of years ago he came back on the scene with a comeback not dissimilar to that of Robert Redford playing Roy Hobbs in the film, ‘The Natural’. Mike seems to be able to churn out 100-mile races in 13:11 and win them. He had an incredible 2012 with multiple 100-mile wins, a win and missing the CR at Badwater 135 and then setting an American 24-hour record of 172+ miles. He has been relatively quiet lately which can only mean one thing, he is preparing! You would say that age may well be against him, but this is Mike Morton… will 2013 have one of the greatest comebacks in sport ever, a win for Mike Morton? It is a distinct possibility!

 

Hal Koerner has been quiet recently and it is impossible to gauge what his form is like. Having said that, his reputation precedes him and his list of palmares confirms that he will always be in the mix. His win at the 2012 Hardrock 100 confirms that he can always pull something special out of the bag when required.

 

Ian Sharman has consistently improved at WSER and last year placed 5th with a great run. However, by Ian’s standards he has been very quiet lately. He pushed himself a little too hard in the latter stages of 2012, basically, one race too many and he has had some niggling knee issues. He went to Fuego Y Agua but didn’t run. He has had a couple of top 5 placing’s in recent months and most recently he raced a multi-stage race in the rainforests of Peru. Although lying in 2nd place overall he didn’t finish the last stage as he felt niggling pain in his troublesome knee. So, the jury is out. In addition, like Nick Clark, Ian will run the Grand Slam. His original intention was to run each race to the best of his ability and see what happens. He prepares well and understands the demands of each race so you can’t rule him out of the top 10.

 

Dave Mackey 4th in 2012 and in doing so broke Tsuyoshi Kaburaki’s ‘Masters’ time with 15:53:36. He has always raced consistently over the 100km distance but has never had quite the luck over the 100-mile distance. In early 2012 he was second at Bandera 100k behind a storming Sage Canaday but a great indicator of form is the recent San Diego 100. Dave was blazing a trail at the front of the race until he went of course at around the 60-mile mark. Although initially disappointing, this may actually be a blessing in disguise for WSER. He definitely has podium potential if his day goes well.

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Cameron Clayton young, brash and bold has laid it all on the line and said he plans to just run! No caution for the demands of 100 miles, he will go for glory. Cameron, like Sage Canaday is new to ultra running, he has enthusiasm to take on the best and see what happens. I have to say I like his approach. In an interview with him post Transvulcania (he placed 7th) he said then that his intentions for Western States would be to go for glory, “I may not get the chance to run at Western States again so I need to run for the win. If I don’t top the podium, that is fine, at least I will have tried”. So there you have it, WSER will be Cameron’s first 100 outing, it’s a fair prediction to say that we will see him at the head of the race in the early stages, question is, will he pull along some others or will they allow him to head on up the trail on his own?

 

Rob Krar like Cameron is new to the 100-mile distance but he is giving it 100% respect. He is a little daunted by the distance and as he said in my interview with him, “I just don’t know what to expect, my rim-t0-rim-to-rim is my longest ever run at just over 40 miles, Western States is a completely different experience”. Rob, like Mike Morton is also a come back story, originally a track and field athlete he ran 1500m and holds an impressive 1:06 for a half marathon. He has only ever run one road marathon and that was around 2:30, so, he has speed. His win and CR at Leona Divide 50 turned heads but his Grand Canyon double crossing time took breaths away… if he brings that speed to WSER anything is possible. He is a real unknown but I can’t help but think we will see a surprise!

 

Karl Meltzer needs no introduction! He has wanted to run at WSER for years and now he finally he has the chance, however, his build up has not been ideal with a problematic calf. Last week he told me that he is pretty sure it is all cleared up now and that he had just had 10 days of consecutive running. Karl said, “I finally feel that a top 10 place is now possible, we will have to see”. With over 30 wins at the 100-mile distance, Karl brings experience to the race. Just like Run Rabbit Run last year, he will allow the main contenders to head off up the trail and as he gets warm (around 60 miles) he will then slowly but surely start to pick them off. A podium place is unlikely but a top 10 is a distinct possibility. I certainly hope so! Top 10 will give him a guaranteed slot for 2014 and then he can run the Grand Slam.

 

Dylan Bowman placed 7th at 2012 WSER and has had a couple of great performances at Ray Miller 50 and Miwok 60k. Considering the depth of the 2013 field a top 10 placing is highly likely, the question is, can he embrace early season form and move into the top 5.

 

Jorge Maravilla and Joe Uhan placed 8th and 9th respectively at the 2012 race but both runners have had relatively quiet times lately. Jorge placed 3rd at UROC in late 2012 and recently was joint winner at the Great Wall Marathon in China with his Salomon teammates, but it’s difficult to predict what form Jorge and Joe will bring to this years race. It is fair to assume that no news is good news and that they will arrive on the start line ready to push hard.

 

The list could go on but here is a selection of other notable names that will almost certainly drift into the top 20 and of course, on a good day, they may even make top 10.

 

Yassine Diboun, Trent Briney, Andy Jones Wilkins, Gustavo Reyes, Nick Pedatella (also going for Gran Slam), Paul Terranova (ran the Grand Slam last year) and finally, Jacob Rydman.

 

Notable non-starters for the 2013 are as follows:

 

Ryan Sandes who pushed the pace at the front last year, placed 2nd overall and in doing so, also broke Geoff Roes old course record. Needless to say, we are all disappointed that Ryan can’t make it. He unfortunately twisted his ankle on a training run and needs to allow for recovery. Fellow South Africa, the Comrades King, Bruce Fordyce is also a no show due to injury. Bruce would not have contested the overall placing but to have 9x Comrades Marathon winner on the WSER course would have been special. He told me via email that he has carried over his place for 2014.

 

 

Notable no-racers:

The 2013 race has a quality field, however, we have notable omissions: Kilian Jornet, Anton Krupicka, Dakota Jones, Geoff Roes, Sage Canaday, Julien Chorier, Max King, Mike Wolfe, Mike Foote, Joe Grant and so on.

 

The race – Female

 

With no Ellie Greenwood, no Lizzy Hawker, no Kami Semick, and no Krissy Moehl I have to say I can’t help but feel a little cheated with the ladies field. Don’t get me wrong, we have some great talent ready to toe the line but I do feel as though it’s about who is not here than who is…

 

Having said that, Rory Bosio was 2nd in 2012 and she returns this year as odds on favorite. At 28 years old she manages to go about her run life with very little fuss or exposure. She keeps herself to herself but she has some impressive results that we should all be shouting about. She has run WSER three times; 4th in 2010, 5th in 2011 and of course, 2nd in 2012. Do you see the progression! 2013 may very well be the year the she has a 1st next to her name. She placed 4th at Lake Sonoma recently and was 2nd at Way to cool earlier in 2013, not results that you would predict a WSER win on, but she knows how to run this race!

 

I am going to stick my neck out here and say that Cassie Scallon has every possibility of not only making the podium or winning the race! The only question mark comes from a fall she took at Cayuga Trails a couple of weeks ago. Had she not pulled out of that race and been in tip top form she would have been my prediction for the win. She earned her WSER slot at Lake Sonoma and after missing the race last year; I can’t help but feel that she will be fired up for this edition. Of course, she hasn’t run this race before and experience counts for a great deal!

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Talking of experience, Nikki Kimball has plenty. Nikki placed 5th in 2012 but look at her history; she won the race in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and she was 4th in 2009, 3rd in 2010 and 2011. That his some history! Now in her early 40’s you may well say that age is against her but you just can’t rule her out. She has been troubled with injuries but without doubt the 2012 Transvulcania La Palma was a turning point for her, she finished that race in tears. Not because of pain but joy that things had gone well. Her recent form is difficult to predict as she too pulled out of Cayuga Trails.

 

Another newbie, Emily Harrison brings speed to the WSER arena. She has a marathon PB of 2:32 and although that may not be a prediction of a good Western States performance, it does show that the speed is available if needed. She earned her place at JFK50 when she placed 2nd behind Ellie Greenwood and recently she has had a win at Moab Red Hot 55k. Emily has the potential to pull something out of the back and may very well make the podium.

 

Aliza Lapierre was 3rd last year and it almost feels disrespectful to wait this long before mentioning her but she has had surgery and only returned to running in late April, early March of this year. Her form for WSER is an unknown but if one thing in her favor is that she will be fresh and keen to perform. That counts for a great deal when it gets hard.

 

Tina Lewis, Amy Sproston, Ashley Nordell and Meghan Arbogast all return after placing 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively in 2012.

 

Certainly I see Ashley Nordell moving to a higher place for 2013 and she has the potential to make top 5 should all go well.

 

Tina Lewis placed best of the bunch in 2012 and although injury has caused serious issues in the build up to this years race, her win at Leadville in the latter half of last year has to mean that, if fit, she will improve on her 7th.

 

Amy Sproston won Ray Miller 50, Iznik Ultra 80k and was 3rd at Lake Sonoma all in the first half of 2013. A 100km champion she has speed and although 100 miles may not be her distance you have to say that in this ladies field, should things go right, a placing higher than 8th awaits.

 

Meghan Arbogast may well be a dark horse of the race… you just can’t rule her out! She proved this by beating Rory Bosio to the top slot at Way to Cool 50k. Last year she ran just under 20 hours (19:54) and I think she will need an ‘18’ time to contest the front of the race but she can do it, don’t rule her out.

Joelle Vaught has been top 10 at WSER before in 2010 when she ran 20:19. Certainly if she wants to place top 10 in 2013 she needs to be looking at sub 20. Her win at Pocatello 50 (to put things in perspective, she beat her own course record by just over 20 minutes) recently would suggest that a surprise may well come from Joelle.

 

Jennifer Benna recently turned up at Transvulcania La Palma and dropped early on saying that it just didn’t feel right. To travel that far and drop so early shows some real commitment to the bigger picture, that being WSER. She has already won a 100 this year at Zion 100 way back in April (probably why she didn’t feel great in May) I think Jennifer has the potential to make the top 10 but she will need a good day.

 

My final tip is Pam Smith, she has run WSER before and has placed 10th in 2010 and 2011. She hasn’t run under 20 hours but if she managed to match her previous best of 20:40, another top 10 may well just be hers, just!

 

Ones to watch:

 

Kerrie Bruxvoort, Denise Bourassa and Rhonda Claridge.

 

Provide us with your feedback:

  • What are your predictions for the men’s and ladies races?
  • Who will surprise us this year?
  • Will the course record go in either race?
  • Who isn’t racing that you had hoped would be?

LINKS:

WSER website HERE

Skyrunning 2012 Elite Listing

ISF

ULTRA

The Ultra distance races selected in 2012 were held in the following countries: Andorra, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Réunion, Italy, Spain, USA.  The ranking is based on the best three results of the year – or two results, plus one from 2011, taking into account the top 15 men’s and 10 women’s results in each race.

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The athletes are listed in alphabetical order according to their nationality.

ELITE MEN

AUSTRIA

Wagner Thomas

CANADA

Campbell Adam

FRANCE

Antolinos Fabien, Bringer Patrick, Buffard Sebastien, Camus Sebastien, Chaigneau Sebastien, Chorier Julien, Clavery Erik, Court Sylvain, Curien Yann, D’Haene Francois, Durand Maxime, Gault Emanuel, Guillon Antoine, Lanne Michel, Le Saux Christophe, Lejeune Arnaud, Lorblanchet Thomas, Martin Nicolas, Pasero Mikael, Pianet Nicolas, Rancon Julien

GERMANY

Reiter Philipp

GREAT BRITAIN

Conway Terry, Symonds Andy, Sharman Ian, Grant Joe (?)

HUNGARY

Nemeth Csaba

ITALY

Cavallo Giuliano, Dapit Fulvio

JAPAN

Kaburaki Tsuyoshi, Yamamoto Kenichi

NEPAL

Sherpa Dachhiri Dawa

PORTUGAL

Sa Carlos, Teixeira Armando Jorge

SOUTH AFRICA

Sandes Ryan

SWITZERLAND

Rey Jean-Yves

SPAIN

Bes Jordi, Castanyer Tofol, Jornet Kilian, Karrera Iker, Heras Miguel, Merillas Manuel, Perez Lopez Oscar, Sanchez Sebas

SWEDEN

Buud Jonas

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Bowman Dylan, Clark Nicholas, Clayton Cameron, Foote Michael, Gates Rickey, Grant Joe, Jaime Scott, Jones Dakota, King Maxwell, Koerner Hal, Krupicka Anton, Mackey Dave, Maravilla Jorge, Meltzer Karl, Olson Timothy, Pedatella Nicholas, Tidd John, Tiernan Zeke, Wolfe Mike

ULTRA

ELITE WOMEN

anna-frost-4437

BRAZIL

Maciel Fernanda

FRANCE

Chastel Veronique, Combarieu Maud, Favre Corinne, Gobert Maud, Herry Karine, Lecomte Emilie, Martin Sandra, Motto Ros Sandrine, Valero Anne

GERMANY

Bottger Julia, Calmbach Andrea

GREAT BRITAIN

Hawker Elisabeth, Greenwod Ellie

HUNGARY

Wermescher Ildiko

ITALY

Canepa Francesca, Fori Katia

NEW ZEALAND

Frost Anna

SPAIN

Fraile Uxue, Iruretagoyena Leire, Martinez Nerea, Picas Nuria, Roca Emma

SWEDEN

Forsberg Emelie

USA

Africa Darcy, Bosio Rory, Bruxvoort Kerrie, Claridge Rhonda, Howe Stephanie, Howard Elizabeth, Kimball Nikki, Lewis Tina, Moehl Kristin, Nordell Ashley

See the 2012 élite listings: Sky and Vertical

Updated January 16, 2013

Skyrunning Logo

Transvulcania La Palma – Running Fitness UK Oct2012

Some more great publicity for a very special race, the 2012 Transvulcania La Palma.

Published in RUNNING FITNESS October 2012

Part of the ISF International Skyrunning Federation ULTRA series

Ultra SkyMarathon® Series

*SPAIN:  TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON – La Palma – May 12 
USA:  Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY:  Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN:  Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE:  La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

You can download the article in PDF HERE

Speedgoat 50k 2012 – Ultra Skymarathon Series

Start training now….. cuz’ it’s gonna hurt!

What else would you expect from Speedgoat Karl Meltzer. In 1989, Karl moved to Utah and in his own words became a ‘ski bum’. But in 1990 he started to run and in 1996 he became an ultra runner. To date he has 55 race wins, 47 of them in ultras. He has won Hardrock 100 5 times, Wasatch 100 6 times, Massannutten 100 3 times and in addition to this he has run the Appalachian Trail, 2176 miles in 54 days, 21 hrs and 12 min and recently, in 2010, he did the Red Bull Human Express running from CA to St Joseph, MO a distance of 2064 miles in 40 days. So, he likes races that are tough, long or a combination of both.

Speedgoat 50k is no different. What it lacks in distance it makes up for in severity and vertical gain.

This race consists of 11,420′ of total climbing. With the whole race taking place above 7600′, with the majority above 9200′. Karl is proud when he says:

“it is the most technical race east and west of Snowbird Ski Resort.”

Rocky, Rooty, snowy, very steep hills, even steeper descents all over nasty, wet rocky terrain. If you like a fast 50k, this race is NOT for you. Needless to say, there is nothing easy about it. If you enjoy tough races, this race is for you.

photo by Jared Campbell

The 2012 edition of the Speedgoat 50k is now part of the new Skyrunning Ultra Skymarathon Series. The first race in the series was the 80km Transvulcania La Palma in the Canaries, won by Dakota Jones in the mens race and Anna Frost in the ladies race.

Ultra SkyMarathon® Series

*SPAIN:  TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON – La Palma – May 12 
USA:  Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY:  Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN:  Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE:  La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

Race Director – Speedgoat Karl Meltzer

The addition of Skyrunning to the Speedgoat 50K means that it’s profile for this year will be greatly increased. When I spoke to Karl, his excitement was palatable:

“I’m stoked, the race is gonna be sick. We have a stacked field and in the mens race it is almost impossible to predict who will triumph the field it is so competitive. Anton Krupicka is using this race as his ‘comeback’ after a long lay off, last years winner Nick Clark will toe the line and from Europe we have Thomas Lorblanchet from France, young star Philipp Reiter and of course the ‘king’ himself, Kilian Jornet from Spain. In the ladies race we have a great field but it’s less deep than the mens and providing that Frosty (Anna Frost) is fit and well she is the out and out favourite but Nikki Kimball will be hot on her heels”

Karl also added;

“This year we are proud to announce a $10,000 prize purse, with a few extra $1000 for incentive bonuses on the mountain. Top 3 runners will recieve the cash awards.”

So as Karl has pointed out this is a stacked field. But who will win the race and can the course record of 5:43:20 set by Kevin Shilling set in 2010 be taken down… certainly one would think that if the record is going to fall, this may very well be the year!

Predictions MEN:

Anton Krupicka has been racking up his training and made the decision not to race at Hardock and make sure that his recovery from injury was more controlled. Speedgoat 50k is his first race in 18 months and one has to assume that if he is turning up, he is turning up to race!

Anton Krupicka

Kilian Jornet missed Western States after a tragedy during one of his ‘Summits‘ attempts but returned to racing form with a Vertical K win at Mont Blanc and then a win in the Mont Blanc Marathon. He was then in Spain for the Kilian Classic and then this coming weekend, 20-22nd July he will be racing in Italy at the Skyrunning Dolomites race. The Speedgoat will certainly suit Kilian.

Kilian Jornet

Nick Clark had seemed a little despondent with his racing form in early 2012. He had expressed to me on several occasions that he just wan’t ‘firing’ on all cylinders. Particularly his race in Zegama made him re think. But re think he did and once again turned up at Western States and came away with a podium place. Nick has won the Speedgoat before and holds the third fastest time on the course at 5:46:38. You can never rule Nick out.

Nick Clark

Max King is not an ultra runner as such but he is a mountain runner and on paper is the fastest marathon runner at the race. Max also had a disappointing race at Zegama but the 50k distance and this course may very well play into his hands.

Max King

Joe Grant has previously run the Speedgoat race and holds one of the fastest top 10 times with 6:12:15 (almost half an hour slower than Nick) but in 2012 he has increased strength and has excellent form. However, Speedgoat falls just 2 weeks after Hardrock 100 and after a superb 2nd place at that super tough 100 miler one has to ask if Joe will have recovered to be able to ‘race’ at Speedgoat.

Jason Loutitt is a top mountain runner and has placed 2nd at the IAU Ultra Trail Championships, has won Hurt 100 and is quick over the marathon distance. All these elements make him a real contender for the Speedgoat title.

We said this field was stacked and from Europe we have Thomas Lorblanchet and Philipp Reiter, both of these runners raced at Transvulcania La Palma and placed well. Philipp in particular has won several races and most recently was victorious at the Salomon 4 Trails. The fifth fastest time ever recorded at Speedgoat was set by Erik Storheim with 6:08:42 in 2009 he has race experience and along with Nick Pedatella they may prove to be the dark horse outsiders.

Predictions LADIES:

Anna Frost is the out and out favourite after a stunning run at the Transvulcania La Palma, she not only obliterated the ladies record but made big inroads to the overall results and nearly creep into the top 10 overall. However, she has recently posted on her blog “Currently placing a question mark over this race with fatigued legs still keeping my two feet on the ground.” so we are unsure if she will race…

Frosty – Anna Frost

Nikki Kimball is back on form! No doubt. She showed some real emotion on the finish line of the Transvulcania La Palma with a stunning 3rd place and then pre Zegama with tired legs I asked her how she intended to race “I’m gonna kick ass!” and she did placing in the top 10. Her most recent top 5 at Western States in 18:31 is a further indication that she will be turning up at Speedgoat to run and race hard.

Nikki Kimball

Meghan Arbogast is fast! Certainly she is more suited to the flatter, fast courses and she excels on the road. She placed 10th lady at Western States in 19:45. Meghan will be up at the front of the ladies race and the shorter distance may well play into her speed hands!

A fight for the podium may very well come from Julie Bryan who has had two wins in 2012, admittedly over shorter terrain and more notably Kerrie Bruxvoort who has won 3 50k races; Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, Greenland Trail and Mesquite Canyon. My outsider would be Bethany Lewis.

 

photo by Jared Campbell

You can hear pre race chat and post race chat with race director, Karl Meltzer in a Meltzer Moment on Talk Ultra. Episode 14 will be released on Friday July 27th with pre race chat and episode 15 released on Friday August 10th will have analysis, results and hopefully some interviews from the race. Shows are available on iTunes and Libsyn

Race Website HERE

Skyrunning (ISF) HERE

The Long Trail – Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball rocks!

For sure, this girl has a no messing attitude. I remember her saying to me at Zegama just after she had placed 3rd lady at Transvulcania La Palma, my legs hurt but I am gonna ‘kick ass’. Love it!

Nikki has just run another Western States and placed 5th but in August she has a new project… ‘The Long Trail’

Nikki will plan to run 273 miles of extreme terrain in 4 days.

Synopsis:

In an age where obesity is the #1 killer in America, THE LONG TRAIL, a one-hour HD co-production of Bozeman-based Fours Five Productions and MontanaPBS, will present the inspirational story of Montana resident and top-ranked endurance athlete Nikki Kimball’s quest to run Vermont’s 273-mile Long Trail in just four days. What drives her to attempt such an incredible feat? The film will follow Nikki’s journey from its beginning—training and racing in the mountains near her home in Montana—to her actual record attempt in Vermont next summer. Breaking the Long Trail record is a jewel among endurance runners. From France to Brazil, Nikki’s traveled the world competing as a member of the United States 100k and Mountain Running Teams. She’s won the Western States 100 Mile three times and holds the course record for the Bridger Ridge Run. Her race resume puts her among the greatest distance runners of our generation. But the Long Trail breaks runners. Our film will show how Nikki survives this incredible ordeal, in her quest to push the limits of what people consider possible both physically and psychologically.

Throughout the film interviews with today’s leading evolutionary biologists, including David Carrier, featured in Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run and Bernd Heinrich, author of Why We Run, will explain the science and history behind Nikki’s incredible undertaking. For Nikki, this well-publicized run on America’s first long distance hiking trail is more than a chance to inspire people to be active and spend time outdoors, it’s her way of encouraging women and girls to take an equal place for themselves in professional sports. THE LONG TRAIL will utilize a mix of Steadicam, DSLR, POV, and ultra high-speed cameras to give this film a riveting, exciting aesthetic of Nikki’s inspiring adventure. In addition to providing an inside look into contemporary running culture, this film will give viewers a new perspective on the endurance of the human body and spirit, and informing us all us, regardless of our sex, of our true potential and inspiring us to reach it.

Who is Nikki Kimball (as if you didn’t know) – in her own words…

I grew up a few miles from the Long Trail, just south of its heavily wooded, often muddy course from Brandon Gap to Sherburn Pass. In early memories, I am standing with my parents atop Killington Peak, jumping into Little Rock Pond after a long hike with friends, rappelling off Deer Leap during summer camp. In high school I ran, skied, and snowshoed on the Long Trail and its extensive network of side trails. From these early experiences grew a life-long passion for endurance off-road sports. While in college in the early 90’s, I heard that some men from the U.S. Ski Team set a record for the fastest completion of the Long Trail. At the time I skied decently, but did not run fast, nor had I ever run longer than three hours. I did not know how long the trip took them, or even if what I had heard was true. Still the thought intrigued me. But mostly, the intriguing thought remained buried, a dormant seed, for nearly two decades.

Since leaving Vermont for further school and work, I’ve continued running, skiing, and snowshoeing. My resume includes eleven national championship titles and membership on thirteen national teams across three different sports. I ran in Asia, helping the U.S. Ultramarathon Team win gold. I ran in South Africa in a team effort to raise tens of thousands of dollars for orphans of HIV/AIDS. I competed in Europe and South America, on roads, alpine trails, and in jungles. I chose graduate school in physical therapy, a career which allows me to help injured athletes return to their sports, their passions. As a physical therapist, I worked in London, New York, and Montana. Now the Long Trail is calling me home. The seed planted so long ago began to sprout in the fall of 2010 when I proposed to my sponsor, The North Face, that they finance a planned September 2011 attempt the break the fastest know time record for an end-to-end trek of the Long Trail. By the following August all was ready. A teammate would join me for the attempt. We had trained all year for the run. Plans were solid. Nothing would stop us. Hurricane Irene was not in the plan.

During the final weekend of August 2011, Irene dumped 15 inches in parts of Vermont. 2000 miles away, I watched videos of wreckage. I called home (my parents and brother still live in Vermont) frequently. My friends and family were safe and healthy. Vermont’s landscape and infrastructure were not safe and healthy, however. The state closed over 260 roads, many miles of which were completely washed away. People lost businesses and homes. Images of iconic covered bridges floating roughly down violently swollen rivers lead feature stories on national news. As I watched and read news of the destruction, I cried. I cried over the loss of landmarks which play key roles in my memory. I cried for those who lost homes, family businesses, and jobs. And I cried because I lost my chance to complete the project that was the focus of an entire year of training and preparation. And then I cried because I felt guilty about mourning my loss, while others lost so much more.

So I decided to continue with my plan, delaying the attempt for a year until the summer of 2012.  I want to help Vermont recover.  Most roads are open.  Crews cleared out the most obvious destruction.  Hurricane Irene is an interesting memory for most people not directly affected by its wrath.  Big donations of money and volunteer muscle power have slowed.  Trails, back roads, and other property remain badly damaged.  I love Vermont.  I still call it home, as it was my first home.  I love the Long Trail where I learned to run technical trails.  I want now, more than ever, to eclipse the 4 day, 12 hour, and 46 minute record set by Jonathan Basham in 2009.  And though that record important to me, it leads me to a much more important goal.  I hope to generate at least $10,000 for the repair and maintenance of the Long Trail and its network of beautiful side trails.

Western States 2012

A smack down was predicted and a smack down happened.

The 2012 Western States will go down in history as a most remarkable race.

Firstly, we had the initial disappointment of a no show by Kilian Jornet. Please don’t get me wrong; his decision to pull out after the sudden death of his friend and ski mountain partner, Stephane Brosse was completely understandable considering the proximity to the race. However, not to have Kilian toe the line did mean that the main contender for the title would not be mixing it up at the front.

This though did not dent what was a class male field. In many respects it was a who’s who of current ultra running…. Having said that it did also miss two other key protagonists, current Western States record holder, Geoff Roes and Anton Krupicka. Roes has had a recent spell of poor performances and was lined up to run Hardrock but has decoded to go back to the drawing board and re build over the coming months. Krupicka has been out of racing for over a year after a series of problems, he too had targeted Hardrock but has now delayed his comeback saying that he hopes to be on the Leadville start line.

So, pre race who was in with a shout at taking the win. From a Talk Ultra poll the outright public favorite was Ryan Sandes, closely followed by last years second place, Mike Wolfe. I could completely understand tipping Wolfeman, a great competitor, plenty of speed, good in the mountains and I guess with no Kilian he was potentially lined up to move one place forward and take the win. Ryan Sandes ‘Sandman’ as he affectionately is known of course is super talented… just a few weeks earlier he had won The North Face 100 in Australia, He had won Leadville in 2011 and of course his record in multistage races was without question. However, despite that win at Leadville, this was his first race against a stacked field. How would he fair?

Timothy Olson was my pre race favorite. This is a super talented runner who has found a new lease of life. He has a great story… almost a film script. An ex drug addict turned ultra runner. You couldn’t make the story up! My other tip was ‘warrior’ Nick Clark. Nick did a great double last year placing 3rd at Western States and then two weeks later getting 3rd place at Hardrock. Other contenders included Jez Bragg, 3rd and 4th previously, could he move up. Dave Mackey, 2011 ultra runner of the year, super quick and last years 8th place Ian Sharman, Dave Riddle, Mike Wardian and I could go on…

The ladies race was equally stacked but contenders seemed to be much tighter. Last years winner, Ellie Greenwood was coming from a 2nd place at Comrades just three week earlier. Nobody doubted Ellie’s ability, the question was the damage that a super hard Comrades may have had on her body and what effects this would have over 100 miles. Lizzy Hawker was returning from injury but over this distance and terrain she is unstoppable. Kami Semick was also returning from injury, she had purposely missed Comrades to prepare for Western States. The ever present Nikki Kimball was firing on all cylinders again in 2012 and after a couple of great runs at Transvulcania and Zegama, she too could put pressure on at the front. Meghan Arbogast, Krissy Moehl, Rory Bosio, Aliza Lapierre and a whole host of others would be in contention.

Key elements for 2012 would be a lack of snow and a return to the ‘proper’ course. In addition to this, it turned out that temperatures on race day would be uncharacteristically chilly. Many of the runners complained about the cold over the first 30-40 miles. But of course these cooler temperatures are really advantageous over the 100-mile distance when trying to manage hydration, food and pacing. Not necessarily good weather but fast weather…

As expected, the men’s race was quick with Wolfe and Olson dictating the early pace with Clark, Bowman, Sandes, Mackey and Sharman all in contention. Sandes in particular seemed to be running a smart ace holding back in about 6th place and controlling his effort.

In the ladies race, Hawker ran hard and put 14 minutes into Greenwood who was chasing. Greenwood didn’t seem too worried though, she had commented at around the 30-mile mark that she was happy with her pace and this was a 100-mile race… wise words!

What happened over the 100 miles of Western States will go down in history. Olson pushed at the front as Sandes moved up through the field. Clark went through a bad patch but rallied to move up into 3rd place while Wolfe who had either been in 1st or 2nd place for much of the race faded and moved back… Mackey moved to 4th closely followed by Sharman and this made the top 5 men. But what was key was how Olson and Sandes pushed each other… Olson finally moving away and boy how did he move away. He crossed the finish line in 14:46 knocking nearly 20 mins of Roes previous course record! As a testament to both Sandes and Olson, the pace that they had made during the event also gave Sandes the second fastest time ever with a 15:03 just dipping under Roes CR time. Mackey who placed 4th also broke Kaburaki’s masters course record with a time of 15:53:36.

Image by Bryon Powell iRunFar.com

In the ladies race, just after Devils Thumb Greenwood had suddenly pulled back 12 mins on Hawker and was just 2 mins behind. Then she was 14 mins ahead. Not only did she completely annihilate the women’s field she started to wipe out the men’s field ‘chicking’ some top quality runners. The question marks on if Greenwood would be recovered from Comrades now seemed crazy. She became the Terminator, focused on one goal, the finish line. When she entered the stadium at the finish she had blown Ann Trason’s long-standing Western States record out of the atmosphere by some 50 minutes setting a time of 16:47:19. Arguably creating one of the most outstanding ultra running performances ever. It’s too early to call her the ‘new’ Ann Trason and to be honest it would be unfair to do so. Ultra Running now is a much bigger sport than when Ann ran, the fields are more competitive, the competition is greater and to dominate as Greenwood did at Comrades and then Western States for me puts her on a pedestal so high that it is going to take someone remarkable to come and knock her off it. In addition to this, Greenwood is the most smiley, happy and generous of runners. She has it all.

Image by Bryon Powell iRunFar.com

Greenwoods performance was also followed by some other wonderful female performances from Rory Bosio proving that she is no ‘fluke’ at Western States. She has placed 4th and 5th in the past and now placing 2nd with 18:08:06 (1h 20m behind Greenwood), Aliza Lapiere who placed 6th last year now placed 3rd with 18:18:29, Krissy Moehl ran a smart race and moved through the field to 4th in 18:29:15 and Nikki Kimball proving that her form is good 5th with 18:3:39. Lizzy Hawker fought hard after a fast start and one can only assume that her injury meant thet she wasn’t quite in fighting form for Western states but one can’t help but think that this will just be the start for her, she came in 6th with 18:31:39.

When all is said and done, 2012 was the year that records tumbled. Olson set a new benchmark for the men’s race and Greenwood set a record that will stand the test of time. So much so, I think only she could beat it!

One key feature of the race was the weather. No snow, great trail conditions and cool temperatures all came together to make 2012 a fast year. This doesn’t happen often. So, these records may very well be around for some time and if they do I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. In Olson and Greenwood we have two worthy winners who have illuminated the ultra world with two remarkable performances.

Talk Ultra will be interviewing Ellie Greenwood on Tuesday 26th June and Nick Clark 27th/28th June for the next edition of the show. Of course, Ian Sharman will also be discussing the ‘news’ and giving us an insight into his 5th place. The next episode will be released on Friday 29th June so please tune in