Episode 228 – The Chamonix Tapes – Yngvild Kaspersen

Welcome to ‘The Chamonix Tapes’ an inside look at the adidas Terrex Team during the 2022 UTMB.

Starting on Sunday August 21st and running through to UTMB 2022, there will be a series of podcast releases for your audio pleasure in ‘The Chamonix Tapes.’

In episode 3, we speak with Yngvild Kaspersen who has just become a doctor after lengthy study and trying to balance a running career.

“It took me longer than normal to finish Med school… I took longer years so that I could focus in study and running. I wanted to do my education properly but also not miss out on opportunities.”

#oneteam

#unitedbysummits

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Stranda Fjord Trail Race 2022

Alexandra Narkowicz ©iancorless

It was burned in my memory, waiting at Fremste Blåhornet at 0430, daylight was already arriving, but the sun had not risen, there was just a promise of what was to come. The first runner arrived quite literally as the sun peaked over the mountains and a glow of orange started to come illuminating Stranda Fjord, the mountains ahead and the runner. It was one of ‘those’ days you wish for as a runner and photographer.

Sunrise 2021

The 2021 Stranda Fjord Trail Race and, the 100km event was truly magical. Norway, Stranda, Slogen and the whole route has never looked so good.

Jump ahead one year and the 2022 edition was a completely different story. Ahead of race day, the weather forecast was greatly discussed both by runner’s and race team. A decision was made, the 48km and 25km races would go ahead as planned but the 100km event would have two key sections removed, the technical and airy ridge after Fremste Blåhornet would be removed and the out-and-back to the summit of Slogen – both considered too risky and dangerous in the expected weather.

With all the attention on the Golden Trail Series 25km event, the 100km was very much a secondary event. Starting at 0200, the 100km race would have already been going for 9-hours before the start of the GTS race. Yes, the 100km event is THAT tough.

Epic, beautiful and brutal are three words that sum up the racing and route here in Stranda, that is in good weather. In bad weather… Well, you can work it out. The physical and mental challenge is huge.

However, the Stranda Fjord Trail Race located in Møre go Romsdal, is one of the most truly spectacular experiences. The 100km distance offering a full and immersive 360 experience of what this magical area of Norway has to offer.

The 25km, 48km and 100km races are tough, challenging, and brutal and should not be underestimated. There is little easy running here, the climbing is hard and steep, the descents even on a dry day can be horrendous, in the wet, they are as one person said, “Terrifyingly slippery despite what shoes you use!’

Let’s be honest, Norway as a location is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world, and as a runner or outdoor enthusiast, the options and possibilities are endless, be that in the south or north.

Stranda is located on one of the west Norwegian fjords, part of the Sunnmøre region, often accessed via ferry from Liabygda. It can also be accessed by road via Lom. For most, the easiest way to travel is to fly to Ålesund and then travel 50km by bus.

2022 was significant with the 25km being a stage of the Salomon Golden Trail Series, this event alone brought in more than 600-participants and many of the world’s best mountain and trail runners. The 4000 population of Stranda increased by approximately 30% over race weekend, an amazing boost for the local community. GTS brought a European razzamatazz to the event with live broadcasts, commentary, interviews, group runs and huge social presence – it was arguably the biggest promotion of trail running in Norway since the inception of the Tromso SkyRace which ironically was taking place on the same day further north.

There was huge anticipation of how the racing would go, key favourites such as Sara Alonso and Manuel Merillas would have a hard job of beating ‘local’ favourites of Jon Albon (Brit living in Norway) and Emelie Forsberg (Swedish) who has been living and running in Norway for many years. The inclement weather, challenging conditions and brutally slippery rock only played into the hands of those with local knowledge.

Jon Albon won the race in a new course record – amazing in the challenging conditions. Manuel Merillas (Esp) and Bart Przedwojewski (Pol) placed 2nd and 3rd ahead of Frederic Trancard (Era) and Davide Magnini (Ita)

For the women, we saw the rise of Sophia Laukli (USA) who won the event ahead of Elise Poncet (Fra) and Emelie Forsberg. Blandine HIrondel (Far) placed 4th and Sara Alonso 5th.

The stories post-race was truly mud, sweat and tears. Arguably the most challenging and technical race of the GTS and what a way to shine a light on Norway and its incredible landscape. I am sure there are many runners now thinking and planning future adventures in this epic playground.

The 48km race, a big challenge but considerably more achievable than the 100k uses much of the opening miles of the 100km route, however, after reaching the summit of Fremste Blåhornet at 1478m returns to Stranda via Heimste Blåhornet, Løfonnfjellet and Rødesthornet. The route passes through Stranda start/ finish and continues on another loop summiting at Roaldshornet at 1230m and then following on to Blåfjellet and Skurdahornet before descending all the way down to the finish line.

Lasse Aleksander Finstad placed first ahead of Tolga Rambovski Olcay and Torbjørn Breansœter, 6:34, 6:50 and 7:07 respectively.

Mirjam Saarheim placed 7th overall and clinched female victory in 7:26. Jingling Tang and Anna Louise Astand Sørlie ran 7:50 and 8:02 to round out the podium.

©iancorless

Offering a 360 counterclockwise experience of this stunning area of Norway, the 100km route is a beast. It is quite simply stunning, even in bad weather. However, the physical and mental tenacity required to complete the race cannot be fully explained. This is reflected in only 33 participants finishing.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY HERE

The course does contain some areas where you can switch off and just run, but they are few and far between. The opening miles may offer an illusion of the severity to come. The hard work starts to really kick in with approximately 20km covered at Liavarden. What follows are walls of grass, rock, scree, stone slabs, technical ridges, relentless vertical climbing, and challenging descending.

©iancorless

Reaching the summit of Fremste Blåhornet at 1478m and 23km the route was changed to avoid a technical ridge. The terrain that followed was rocky, slow, and brutal especially in the persistent rain and cold temperatures.

The aid station on the road of Dalevegen at 28km distance was followed by easy running before an extremely steep and challenging out-and-back climb to Storhornet at 1309m.

©iancorless

Liasætra aid station followed and then easy trail running to Patchellhytta DNT cabin. Here, the out -and-back to the summit of Slogen was removed – a shame but absolutely the correct call in the conditions.

Left in the valley and runners make their way to Velleseter, Brunstadsætra, Storevatnet, and then the road section crossing and aid station that leads to the final section of the course, 80km covered.

©iancorless

The climb to summit Roaldshornet at 1230m is long and relentless, the summit at 86km and it would be easy to think it’s all downhill from here. Considering what has gone before, it’s fair to say that it is. Eventually the 100km joins with the final section of the 48km track and the run in to the finish is welcome and hard earned.

©iancorless

Mathis Dahll Fenre battled with Vermund Upper Garden for victory, the duo separated by just 1-minute, 16:00 and 16:01 respectively. Thomas Wallin-Andersen placed 3rd in 16:59.

For the women, Wenfei Lie had led the early sections of the race ahead of Alexandra Narkowicz and although the duo was together on the climb to the final summit at Roaldshornet, Alexandra had more reserves to take victory in19:13 to 19:55 for Wenfei. Margrethe Fjetland rounded the podium.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY HERE

One thing is for sure, running 25km, 48km or 100km in this area of Norway is not easy, ask anyone who toed the line of the respective distances. There is something truly magical here, 2021 opened up this area of Norway to the world, 2022 has elevated Stranda as a ‘must go’ location. I can only encourage and emphasise that you ‘need’ to add Stranda Fjord Trail Race to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed with the experience, BUT come prepared, you are going to earn that finish medal.

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A night in an AuroaHut – Rondane, Norway.

©iancorless

Norway has opened up endless possibilities when it comes to outdoor adventures. Camping and fast packing two obvious highlights. However, every now and again, something with a little more comfort and uniqueness can be an attraction and temptation, especially when running and exploring.

Scandinavia is all about outdoor experiences and there are many who are offering a ‘unique’ opportunity to experience nature. AuroraHut is one such company.

©iancorless

For clarity, our stay in the ‘Arctic Dome-Eco Camp Rondane’ should have originally been in a heated dome, situated on land – a prize Abelone won in a completion in 2021.

©Arctic Dome-Eco Camp Rondane

Time was against us, as was the availability of the domes and then a last-minute trip to Rondane provided the opportunity to seize a free AuroraHut for the night… So, we took it!

Rondane area

Rondane is located 4-hours from Oslo in Eastern Norway and is known for its rolling landscape, extreme cold temperatures in winter and the amazing Moskus (Musk Ox) which is definitely a ‘to-do’ when visiting, maybe as part of a tour?

©iancorless

AuroaHut – An igloo boat that takes glamping to another level. It’s a moveable luxury that can float or be located on land based on or around attractions. A key feature is the ability to move the AuroraHut based on weather and seasons, particularly important in places such as Norway with harsh winters. It can also be placed next to other AuroraHuts to facilitate family accommodation or groups. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless.

Our AuroraHut should have been placed on Høvringsvatne lake surrounded by mountains (see below) and wide-open space near Smuksjøseter Fjellstue – a perfect location providing a sense of isolation but with the luxury of the AuroraHut. More information HERE.

Unfortunately, on arrival we were told our AuroraHut had been re-located lower down the valley due to a harsh winter and the Høvringsvatne lake being frozen. The new location – a small lake surrounded by cabins and next to the Høvringen Høgfjellshotell (see below).

©iancorless

Not what we wanted and had we been paying we would have most definitely complained.

©iancorless

The AuroraHut requires isolation! It is effectively a floating greenhouse made up of glass panels that offers panorama views. Great views for those inside out to nature, but also great views inside from anyone outside to the AuroraHut and us! The lake was close to a road, close to cars and behind multiple cabins; not what you want.

©iancorless

Inside is simple as one would expect. Access is from a floating wooden platform and through a keypad door that requires an access code. As one enters, there is a small entrance space, immediately to the right a very small kitchen area with two burners and minimal storage area. To the left, coat hangers and a small space for storage and directly opposite a small toilet area behind a curtain. The main space is occupied with a comfortable double bed and a 180-240degree vista from left to right. The roof is also glass, perfect at night for looking at the sky. Luxuries come with some modern lighting, USB ports, wifi and a music system. Ultimately, it’s a glorified tent.

©iancorless

We were fortunate to have great weather, blue skies, sun, clouds and relaxing on the bed with a glass of wine and music playing was wonderful. We just looked out and enjoyed the view… Then a family of four walked past on the road, stopped and looked in at us. The moment was gone. Again, had I been paying for my stay I would have been complaining! You may think I am laboring this point too much, but at 3000-3500 Nok per night (£250-£290) you want the correct experience.

©iancorless

We had running water but unfortunately this ran out in the evening and never came back. A huge frustration but gladly, this was compensated for by me thinking ahead and ensuring the kettle was full of water ready for morning coffee. The kitchen is well designed cramping everything in to a small space. But you would not want to cook, anything other than boiling water for pasta and heating a sauce for said pasta would be too much. We had already anticipated this a brought a cool bag with all we required for a relaxed dinner – cold meats, salad, vegetable, cheese, bread, and a good quantity of wine. The only places to eat are either outside (a bench and wood burning heater are available) or on the bed. It was a chilly night, so we relaxed on the bed and enjoyed the experience.

Outdoor seating and wood burner for a cozy night,

Our evening was spent chatting, relaxing, enjoying a glass of wine and we even enjoyed a movie while eating our bodyweight in sweet treats. It was a great escape.

A great opportunity to relax.

It’s July in Norway, so, it doesn’t go dark… Well, not until midnight and then it comes light around 0230, so, a blindfold is required if you want a dark sleeping experience. The glass roof is open and clear so fantastic for lying back and looking up to the sky. This experience would be enhanced in winter when the stars would shine and with luck, you may see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis from which the AuroraHut gets its name.

An excellent sleep was enhanced with the gentle movement of the AuroraHut on the lake as the wind rocked us. Abelone did wonder if she would get seasick – all was good.

Morning was compromised with a lack of running water. We relaxed but soon departed for our onward journey.

©iancorless

We had a great night; we enjoyed the experience and uniqueness of the AuroraHut but it was all tainted by a poor location that spoiled what could have been a truly magical and special night. AuroaHut needs and requires isolation, space, and the opportunity to feel alone – we did not get this.

More of this please!

As experiences go, I would recommend an AuroraHut experience and I am most definitely tempted to re-experience this in winter, surrounded by snow with dark long days and the sky illuminated with the Aurora Borealis. But, one night is enough in my opinion, there is no need for additional nights – the uniqueness, joy and wow factor come in 24-hours. If running, this one would be a real treat amidst a running adventure, however, the lack of a shower would make me choose a hotel.

Ultimately, AuroraHut is one of those ‘things to do!’ and the experience should be special and memorable.

©iancorless

More information about Eco Camp Rondane is HERE

If you are curious about AuroaHut, we were, information is HERE

Rondane National Park HERE

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Kilian Jornet and Camper create a new brand NNormal

Kilian at Glen Coe Skyline

Who would have thought that Kilian Jornet would leave his sponsor, Salomon?

The duo seemed in perfect synergy:

Salomon is Kilian.

Kilian is Salomon.

Kilian skyrunning in Scotland.

As Kilian said on the 30th November 2021, ‘I remember like it was yesterday in the summer of 2003, a friend of a friend gave me a few pairs of trail running shoes. This guy was the director of marketing for Salomon Spain. From that moment on, Salomon not only came a sponsor but a life partner…’

Together, Salomon and Kilian dreamed big… ‘From winning trail and skimo races to climbing high mountains. I was able to make dreams come true that I didn’t even believe possible, and it was in large part thanks to this team.’

Kilian at the iconic Trofeo Kima – a skyruning classic.

For many of us, me included my journey in trail, mountain, ultra and skyrunning coincides with Kilian’s meteoric rise to be the ‘GOAT’ – Greatest Of All Time. We have absorbed his journey, jaws have dropped at his ability, we have had our minds blown by his escapades but now, a new period of history will be made.

I first met Kilian in 2012 and I feel lucky to have shared his journey, notably in skyrunning which Kilian holds very close to his heart. Ask Kilian who provided him the motivation to pursue his dreams and set goals and he will respond with, ‘Bruno Brunod, Fabio Meraldi, Marino Giacometti and Marco De Gasperi.’ This was reflected in his ‘Summits of my Life’ project and particularly his record on the Matterhorn.

Kilian and the Matterhorn.

Since November, we have all looked back and remembered our journey with Kilian and wonder what is next?

Notably, there have been significant changes for Kilian in recent years. His relationship with Emelie Forsberg, his life in Norway and the arrival of two children most certainly would make one assess and look ahead to a different future. But importantly, the planet, environment and going ‘Green’ has been a very important part of the ‘new’ Kilian. So, it is or was fair to assume that any new project would have ecology at its core.

Image ©kilianjornet from IG

We have been teased. On the 2nd of February Kilian posted a video of him running with his shoes blurred. He called it, ‘Testing.’

On February 14th he ran a 100-mile race, the Tjörnarparsen Ultra in Skåne, much of the attention was about what was on his feet.

February 23rd he announced his 2022 calendar: Pierra Menta, Zegama, Hardrock 100, Sierre Zinal and UTMB. It was a classic KJ year starting with skimo, a return to the iconic Zegama, Hardrock 100 which is maybe Kilian’s favourite race, the fast and athletic Sierre Zinal and the surprise, UTMB.

On March 5th, Kilian announced he would no longer partner with Suunto, a significant departure as Suunto and Salomon go hand-in-hand. On March 7th, he announced he had joined Coros.

IG teaser ©kilanjornet

Finally, March 21st we are teased with, ‘Want to find out what’s behind the pixels of the last few months?’ There were some clues in the post, notably the sign-up details linking to The Normal Company, S.L. Which in turn links to Mountainlife SL and again links to Lymbus who manage Kilian. One thing was for sure, links to Mallorca and the brand ‘Camper.’

Well now, that future is disclosed.

It seems a lifetime since November 30th but today, March 2022, Kilian announces his project.

NNormal – Kilian Jornet and Camper will blaze a new trail with NNormal.

A new outdoor sportswear brand, designed and tested between the coasts of Mallorca and the fjords of Norway. The brand’s first products will be launched this Fall. The name reflects the Norway/ Mallorca (Nor-way + Mal-lorca) – designed in Mallorca and tested in Norway.

Kilian speaks on the new project:

“Sharing the same values was a strong motivation to start this project. We agreed that we need a new way of thinking and acting in relation to our environment and outdoor activities… We want to be very honest on how we produce the equipment and on the role the company wants to play for the society and the environment. This means transparency and working to avoid overconsumption by building products that are durable.”

©jaime de diego

Notably, CEO of Camper, Miguel Fluxà commented:

“Building a new brand is always a very exciting adventure, although we are aware of the challenges involved… We are complementary partners of NNormal. Having the opportunity to conceive it with someone like Kilian is unique: to combine performance with personal responsibility strongly resonates with our DNA. He brings his strong product development expertise and unique vision of the outdoor world, while Camper brings innovation, shoemaking, and design know-how.”

The NNormal assortment will be launched in FW22 in Europe & North America via nnormal.com and specialist outdoor and running stores. The first drop will be limited, focusing on footwear, apparel and accessories for trail running and hiking. Kilian Jornet—the first ambassador of the NNormal team which will be revealed in the coming weeks—will wear them during this year’s race season.

Welcome to NNormal. Your Path, No Trace.

THOUGHTS

As mentioned above, until early March, Kilian’s new project was a ?. However, with research, it was possible to find out certain things and all my research led to Mallorca and Camper, so, it’s interesting to see that confirmed. Tofol Castanyer is ex Salomon and lives on Mallorca – no doubt instrumental in helping Kilian. As for the new team, it goes without saying Emelie Forsberg will join NNormal but it is not confirmed. There are also some other key names linked if you know where to look… For now, I will hold those names for fear of upsetting any future announcement. However, they can be seen here: https://www.nnormal.com/en/community/

As expected, a strong reference to respecting nature and ecology is paramount and the mission statement includes a reference to products that should be repairable, reusable, or repurposed or recyclable. Camper have already pioneered this with several projects. https://www.camper.com/en_GB/content/social_responsibility

The brand wishes to explore new ways to do things with product, sustainability, business, and social responsibility.

Of course, Kilian and his team will be able to pave a new way and lead by example. That will be relatively easy with Camper backing the project. Of course, the question mark will come how paving a new way still makes the business profitable and viable.

One thing is for sure, this new project will raise a few eyebrows. Camper and run shoes are not the obvious synergy. But Camper has the money and experience and no doubt, this partnership with Kilian must go back many months if not years. A shoe takes a long time to develop, especially a shoe that Kilian will endorse.

“All talk and no action equate to nothing. We know it’s not what we say, but what we do, that defines who we are.”

To conclude, the NNormal manifesto

We run for simple reasons and with a clear mind.

1. We blaze our own trail

Someone once said, we are our dreams… and if we don’t dream, we are no longer

alive. Our unique creative path drives us to give back to people and the planet.

2. Our home is outdoors

We’re passionate about outdoor sports—but above all we’re people. Reaching

the summit is also about the emotions and memories of everyone who’s come

with us on our journey.

3. We empower simplicity

Simplicity means that with less, we can do more. The simplest solution will be

the most efficient, but also the most difficult to imagine.

4. We take responsibility

In the outdoors, just as in life, you rely on the strength of your partners. We won’t

lose our way because there is no set way. We’re responsible for all our actions,

good or bad.

5. We act louder than we speak

All talk and no action equate to nothing. We know it’s not what we say, but what

we do, that defines who we are.

©jaime de diego

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Stranda Fjord Trail Race 2021 Race Summary

Kristian Aalerud arriving at the first summit at 0500 hours.

The words epic, beautiful and brutal get used a great deal in ultra-running and I get it. For many of us, any journey can entail all those things on a personal level and that is why you toe the line…

However, here in Stranda Fjord, Møre go Romsdal, Norway, one of the most truly spectacular experiences is waiting for you to toe the line.

Missing in 2020 due the Coronavirus pandemic, the Stranda Fjord Trail Race returned with three races, 25km, 48km and the new 100km distance. The latter offering a full and immersive 360 experience of what this magical area of Norway has to offer.

VIEW THE IMAGE GALLERY HERE

Let’s be honest, Norway as a location is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world, and as a runner or outdoor enthusiast, the options and possibilities are endless, be that in the south or north.

Stranda, part of the Sunnmøre region, is a small place located on one of the west Norwegian fjords. Often accessed via ferry from Liabygda, it can also be accessed by road from Grodås. In proximity to Alesund, Åndalsnes, Loen and others, it’s a wonderful and magical area to explore.

No better place for sunrise!

The 25km and 48km races use much of the opening miles of the 100km route, however, after reaching the summit of Fremste Blåhornet at 1478m they return to Stranda via Heimste BlåhornetLøfonnfjellet and Rødesthornet. The 25km then concludes in Stranda and the 48km continues for another loop summiting at Roaldshornet at 1230m and then following on to Blåfjellet and Skurdahornet before descending all the way down to the finish line. Both races are tough, challenging, and demanding and should not be underestimated. There is little easy running here, the climbing is hard, the descents can be tricky, and the terrain varies in technicality, at times harsh on the body and mind, the only easy running is in the final sections of road to the finish line. This is reflected in the winning times, Jack Kosky 6:16:21 and Sara-Rebekka Færø Linde 7:14:34 taking top honours in the 48km and Anders Haga and Anita Iversen Lilleskare winning the 25km in 2:31:01 and 3:12:17 respectively.

Øystein Røen

The main event of the weekend, the 100km race. Is for many only a dream. To say it’s tough would not do the course justice, it’s mind blowing in the challenge. Beautifully brutal as one runner said. Offering a 360 clockwise experience of this stunning area of Norway, the Stranda Fjord Trail Race 100km route is quite simply, one of the most stunning routes I have experienced.

Relentless is the only way to describe. The course does contain some areas where you can switch off and just run, but they are few and far between.  The opening miles maybe offering many a false illusion of the severity to come. The hard work starts to really kick in with approximately 20km covered at Liavarden. What follows are walls of grass, rock, scree, stone slabs, technical ridges, vertical climbing and challenging descending.

The race is truly a hands on experience.
Linda Hovde had lead the race early on, probably starting to hard.

Reaching the summit of Fremste Blåhornet at 1478m, 23km covered, and every runner was under no illusion of the challenge ahead. The terrain rocky, slow and hard, the panoramic views at sunrise quite simple stunning. Following on to Lissje Blåhornet and a technical ridge section offered exposure and scrambling before dropping down to the valley and easier running to the aid station on the road of Dalevegen and 28km distance.

Descending Slogen

A short section of road was followed with more climbing, an out-and-back to another peak and then the Liasætra aid station.

Easy running before Slogen.

Valley running to Patchellhytta DNT cabin and then the relentless out-and-back climb to the iconic Slogen at 1564m. This climb being one of the highlights of the route offers a challenge, especially near the top when hands-on-knee climbing turns to scrambling and easy climbing.

The final push to Slogen summit.
The view from Slogen.

The summit offering a stunning panorama but there is little time to enjoy the view. Descending via the way you came, eventually you turn left in the valley and make your way to Velleseter, Brunstadsætra, Storevatnet, and then the road section that leads to the final section of the course, 80km covered.

Felix Weber approaching Roaldshornet.

The climb to summit Roaldshornet at 1230m is long, the summit at 86km and it would be easy to think it’s all downhill from here. Considering what has gone before, it’s fair to say that it is. Eventually the 100km joins with the final section of the 48km track and the run in to the finish is welcome and hard earned.

Rocks and more rocks.

Be warned, this route is tough!

Kristian Aalerud set a hard pace at the start of the race and while nobody really knew how long this 100km would take, best estimations were 17-hours for the winning time. Kristian crossed in 15:49:31. A spectacular time.

Øystein Røen for much of the day had run in 2nd place, however, Felix Weber moved ahead to take the 2nd podium spot, Øystein settling for 3rd, 17:03:12 and 17:25:38 respectively.

Ida Jahren Herud ran a smart race

Ida Jahren Herud ran a smart race, easing in to the day and eventually taking over the lead to finish in 22:25:12. Linda Hovde had lead the race early on, probably starting too hard she slipped down the field and eventually finishing in 28:29:34 in 2nd place. They were the only two women to complete the course!

In total, 20 completed the distance reflecting the severity of the challenge. It’s also important to note that the start list was drastically reduced to ongoing restrictions from the Covid pandemic.

One thing is for sure, running 25km, 48km or 100km in this area of Norway is not easy, ask anyone who toed the line of the respective distances.

There is something truly magical here, I can only encourage and emphasise that you ‘need’ to add Strand Fjord Trail Race to your bucket list.

Beautiful and Brutal!

You will not be disappointed with the experience of racing here, BUT come prepared, you are going to earn that finish medal.

RACE WEBSITE HERE

Slogen

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The Arctic Triple Ultra-Trail 2021 Results

The Arctic Triple Ultra-Trail series of races concluded in Svolvær, Lofoten today after two stunning days of racing. With distances at 12km, 24km, 48km and 80km, there is a distance for everyone! The whopping 100-mile race, that journeys the length of this stunning archipelago started with a boat ride from Reine to the races start line in Kirkefjord.

It’s difficult to some up in any meaningful words how truly spectacular this stunning part of Norway is, Lofoten has distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains, peaks, open sea, sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands.

The Arctic Triple races bring a stunning trail and road running experience that links the best of the area with a stunning journey on foot, which for the brave starts in Kirkefjord, a 100-mile journey ahead.

Travelling from the south west, the races encapsulate the entire group of islands from Moskenesøy to Austvågøy. Passing through an amazing scenery of mountain ridges, white beaches, green hills and grey cliffs – almost the entire time the ocean is in view. All the races conclude in Svolvær, next to the ocean with 80km, 48km, 24km and 12km races all taking part of the respective sections of the 100-mile route.

The 100-mile started at midday on Friday June 4th, the 80km at 0900 the following day, the 48km at 1300 and the remaining two races, 24 and 12km at 1600 and 1700. In addition, there is a 100-mile and 50-mile relay.

View the IMAGE GALLERY for The Arctic Triple.

With 24-hours of daylight, darkness was no issue for any runner to deal with and incredible wall-to-wall sunshine made the journey for all, a truly remarkable experience. The only problematic conditions arrived during the nighttime hours when a heavy mist and cooler temperatures rolled in from the sea.

A full report on the journey, the landscape and the race routes will follow in the coming days.

Race Results

100-Mile

Terje Sandness 26:36:43

Lena-Britt Johansen 31:34:16

80-km

Gaute Løset 10:20:46

Tore Bergbjørn 11:09:44

48km

Sylvia Nordskar 5:33:03

Joanes Veka Tretli 6:05:34

24km

Pavel Serov 2:28:39

Marlene Jasund 2:55:46

12km

William Fjellheim Urliksen 1:03:17

Elisabeth Brevik 1:24:49

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Haglöfs L.I.M Essens Jacket Review

Haglöfs have been a premium brand for more than a century developing outstanding outdoor products that combine a strong sense of Swedish heritage with a commitment to sustainability and innovation. The launch of L.I.M (Less Is More) personified the essence of lightness. In Spring 2020, Haglöfs updated the L.I.M Series – lightweight, high-performance products that deliver uncompromised performance when taken up mountains and into the wilderness, anywhere in the world.

The L.I.M Essens Jacket Men is currently my go-to jacket for any running or mountain adventure, quite simply, it’s the best product I have tried. It combines three key elements perfectly: low weight, small pack size and warmth.

Quite simply, ‘Essens’ is the essence of lightness. The warmth and very low weight is attributed to extremely light and durable material and first-class goose down with 800 CUIN filling. Importantly, the down is treated with fluorocarbon-free DWR which works so well that the filling stays dry for up to 10,000 minutes with exposure to wet conditions. 

This is a game changer… Down has always been known to have the lowest weight and smallest pack size, however, previous incarnations would mean that any wet or damp weather would leave the filling useless.

Now, with fluorocarbon-free DWR, down has all the benefits ans wet weather performance of a synthertic filling such as Primaloft, but with the huge advantages of low weight and packing size of down. The Nikwax Hydrophobic Down can be washed with an appropriate Nikwax (Nikwax Down Wash Direct) product.

Fit is superb both in female and male versions with excess fabric reduced to a minimum. Features are minimal and notably there is no hood, no chest pocket and two hand pockets with no zips, to save weight.

The jacket will fold and compress in to one of these pockets if required.

It has a mini-box quilted construction which ensures the down is spread evenly over the jacket leaving no cold spots. The fill is 800 CUIN. The DWR repels water and dirt making the Essens a perfect all-year round insulating layer.

A full-length zipper allows flexibility in regulatimg temperature and for cold conditions it has a high nick with chin guard. The bottom of the jacket and cuffs have a simple elastic construction to reduce drafts and maintain low weight.

IN USE

The Essens jacket has been with me on all my runs since receiving the product. I pretty much always run with a pack and due to the Essens low weight, small pack size and flexibility in all weathers, there has never been a reason not to take it. My male medium weighs 160g which is up there as one of the lightest down jackets available. The ability to maintain loft and insulation irrespective of conditions has been a game changer, be that on a run from home or more notably on a multi-day fastpack when weight v warmth is key. This is a product that works for any adventure, be that in the snowy mountains or for example on stage race like Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert. Fit is neither slim or spacious, it seems to fit just right with enough flexibility in the arms, the back and sleeve length are optimised for outdoor use. Added to a merino base layer, it provide incredible warmth on cold days. Should you stop for a break, it provides ideal insulation to retain warmth before heading off again. On tough, challenging and wild days, the Essens is a superb insulating layer underneath a waterproof such as Haglöfs L.I.M Jacket which has minimalist design, is easy to pack, light and made from GORE-TEX Paclite® PLUS.

CONCLUSION

There is nothing to dislike in the L.I.M Essens Jacket, in all honesty it is the best I have tried. The warmth and comfort is incredible for such a lightweight jacket. The packing size and weight is difficult to beat. As I said, there is no reason not to take this on any run as it is the perfect insulating layer, irrespective of the weather.

RRP £200 available in 4-colours, sizes XS to XL male and female versions.

To clarify, this is not a paid review.

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

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Episode 201 – Simen Holvik

Episode 201 of Talk Ultra has a chat with #phantamsm24h runner, Simen Holvik and we discuss his 2021 July FKT plans in Norway.


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NEWS

INTERVIEW : SIMEN HOLVIK

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Kilian Jornet #kilianPhantasm24h Part Two!

Kilian Jornet, Trofeo Kima 2014

On October 26th 2020 I released via this website that Kilian Jornet would take on a 24-hour run at the Måndalen Stadium in Norway on November 8th.

This post was news to the ultra running world and it created a stir. It was BIG news. Just the thought that mountain man, climber, skier, alpinist, explorer and adventurer, Kilian Jornet, would contemplate running around a 400m loop was, well, crazy!

Kilian ‘Skyrunning’ at the iconic Trofeo Kima.

My news was copied, posted, re-quoted, shared and many media took my content, provided no credit and then shared the story.

Ironically, the news was short lived. Kilian direct messaged me to say he was too injured to contemplate this and then said via social media:

“Wow! I was all the day out and saw this just now 😅 Thanks for the idea guys!! At the moment I’m trying to get back from a injury (literally did my first run since last weekend) but why not to try to run something that long in the future..”

Suddenly, all the media who had posted were left perplexed and while many supported my news, I received countless negative comments, questions and basically nasty comments. I think the assumption was I had posted fake news, to coin a phrase.

I had been with Kilian at Hytteplanmila 10km Road Race (HERE) where he ran 29:59 in his first ‘official’ road race. He told me of a niggling injury and that he would take a week off. In the following days (w/c Oct 19th), I heard news of the 24-hour attempt. This came from multiple sources, primarily athletes who were being invited to join Kilian on November 8th at Måndalen Stadium.

“In fact, the assault on the 24-hour challenge was scheduled for the first week of November, but Kilian was forced to delay it due to the discomfort that appeared after running his first 10 km race on asphalt, the Hytteplanmila, in 29 ‘ 59 ” in mid-October.” – Albert Jorquera writing for Runedia

It was difficult to confirm the story. That is until Sunday October 25th when a post on Norsk Ultra was made public. It was only a matter of time before this news became available for all.

I wrote my article HERE and reached out for quotes. The post once live went viral. I guess the rest is history… The announcement today by Salomon and Kilian is vindication, albeit the date of the event was wrong (injury doesn’t work to dates), of my original post.

*****

November 15th, Salomon and Kilian Jornet released simultaneously.

kilianphantasm24 announcement.

The date may have changed (due to injury) but the location and the concept remain the same. Kilian Jornet will run 24-hours on a track.

HERE

©Salomon

#kilianphantasm24

The release of the news by Salomon is extremely welcome and it so wonderful to hear the Kilian will push himself on a new stage. The original concept was an attempt to break the record of ultrarunnning legend Yiannis Kouros. The reality is 756 laps of a 400m track. Yiannis set the world record at 188.590-mile.

The event will take place at *Måndalen Stadium, and should have happened on the weekend of November 21/22 and as per my original post, the provision of +/- 2-days may need to be considered for weather. (*Lymbus who manage Kilian confirm the location to be Måndalen.)

Kilian writing on Facebook

The attempt has now been pencilled for Friday 27th November with a 1030 am start – to be confirmed! Weather looks cloudy with some sun but temperatures could drop to -7 if long term forecasts are to be relied on.

https://www.salomon.com/phantasm24.

Salomon say, “The start time of Kilian’s Phantasm24 challenge is slightly weather dependent…”

Currently, weather forecasts are very poor with 70/80% chance of snow and temperatures between -1 and -3 during the day, they would be much colder at night. The stadium Måndalen Stadium is outdoor and this in itself brings a whole new dynamic to any 24-hour should this be the confirmed location. Norway in November, minimal daylight and cold temperatures, this will be a tough 24-hour.

To follow all the health prevention measures against the Covid pandemic, the challenge will be closed to the public. But it will be possible to watch live HERE

Phantasm shoe – Kilian used this for the 10km road race.

Titled #kilianphantasm24 – the project will see Kilian push new personal boundaries and at the same time, provide exposure for the Phantasm shoe. I am currently aware (tbc) of several other high-profile athletes who ‘may’ join Kilian on the track, Didrik Hermansen, Simen Holvik, Sebastian Conrad and two more, Harald Bjerke and Jo Inge Norum I believe.

“My hopes are to set a new national record and to have the honor to run 24 hours with these fantastic people.” – Simen Holvik

Didrik Hermansen Oslo 2020.

“So, now we all know! Going to be exiting. I will do the 24h, zero degrees.. hopefully no wind!” – Didrik Hermansen.

For perspective, to break the Yiannis Kouros world record, any runner would need to be able to cover an incredible 7.875-miles per hour. Statistics show that from the ‘test’ run by Kilian earlier in August 2020 that this objective may be possible? He ran 84.89km in 5:58:13 with an average 4:13/km pace. The numbers speak for themselves, it’s a huge undertaking, especially on an outdoor tack. However, it is going to be fascinating to see what happens with each journey of the 400m.

“…and now I am super excited to test myself doing something that long (and far from what I like) but where I will learn so much and grow as an athlete. (And probably doing this 24h in a track because I love that pain feeling.)”

Kilian Jornet, Twitter

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

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Episode 198 – Mike McLean, Molly Bazilchuk and Jack Scott

Episode 198 of Talk Ultra brings interviews with Michael McLean, winner of the 120km Thailand by UTMB, Molly Bazilchuk who won the  first edition of the Rondane 100 in Norway and Jack Scott from the UK about his recent FKT.


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NEWS

Check FKT website for latest updates https://fastestknowntime.com/

Tim Tollefson and Nicole Bitter win at Javelina.

Pau Capell continued his personal projects and followed up UTMB and Trail Menorca solo by running in Tenerife starting at the sea, summiting Mt Teide and then dropping back down to sea level setting a new FKT 6:13:20 for the 55km route.

REVIEWS:

La Sportiva VK Boa shoe review HERE
Moonlight head lamp review HERE
inov-8 Roclite Pro boot review HERE

In other news…


00:11:11 INTERVIEW : MIKE MCLEAN

01:09:00 INTERVIEW : MOLLY BAZILCHUK

1:52:15 INTERVIEW : JACK SCOTT

02:22:06

Episode 198

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