WHY WE RUN with Lizzy Hawker and Ian Corless

“…For Ian, Ultra Running is not about the race, so much as the race is an excuse for the real limelight that is the humility of the people in the locations of the races. In his photographs, the runners become a part of the landscape; creating an honest vision of unison between earth and person. The runners do not dominate the pictures but rather majestically intertwine with the scenery; showing how the runners are simultaneously merging with their location and going beyond the landscape. The runners are found to be a discrepancy to the sites they are in; it is this discrepancy that highlights the nature of running as natural and yet an oddity to what is natural. The dichotomy between natural and unnatural is a demonstration of basic human life, where we live our routines, yet we aim to achieve more and to become better versions of ourselves. Running, as such, becomes a representation of life. Running is not a reaction to the natural but an enhancement of it. To run is to evolve and to become better than your previous self.” – Yara Kair

WHY WE RUN

It’s 6 pm on a Wednesday, and a keen audience gathers in London’s The Conduit to listen to Lizzy Hawker and Ian Corless talk about their experiences as runners, Lizzy as a competitive long-distance runner and Ian as an extreme sports photojournalist. Most, if not all, of the people in the room, were either runners themselves or interested in becoming runners. Whichever the case, the theme of the evening was to understand the reason behind running.

Read the full articleHERE

Many thanks to Lizzy Hawker for her inspiration, hosting by Sophie and the support of myRaceKit for an incredible evening in London with like-minded people at The Conduit.

You can view highlight portfolio of my photography on the HOME screen of my website

HERE

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Monte Rosa AMA VK2 – Summary and Images

The weather in the mountains can never be guaranteed, and this weekends Monte Rosa Skymarathon was today postponed one-day, to allow bad weather to disappear and hopefully provide an incredible day’s racing – albeit one day late!

However, the sister event, the AMA VK2 did take place as it did not reach the high points of Monte Rosa. However, the start was delayed from 0830 to 1000 to allow for a better weather window.

The race takes place on mountain trails with demanding uphill sections, exposed areas, steep pastures, scree and snow fields. Severe environmental and weather conditions plays a huge factor in the race. Starting in Alagna, the race covers 2000 vertical meters and concludes at an altitude of 3,260m.

It was a day of mood and atmosphere as the mist and clag moved in an out. The 30com of snowfall from the previous night making conditions wonderfully challenging.

VK specialist showed the whole race a clean pair of heals powering over the 2000m in 1hr 42 min (tbc). Behind was Givanni Bosio and Milesi Davide taking 2nd and 3rd place.

In the women’s race, Iris Pessey had a very tight battle with Corinna Ghirardi and Ilaria Veronese – the trio finished all within 1-minute – a really epic battle.

VIEW THE FULL VK2 IMAGES HERE

Tomorrow the Monte Rosa Skymarathon will go ahead with a revised start time of 0530 (originally 0600) and currently, the plan is the race will have a full route. Temperatures are expected to be very warm as the day progresses and of course this may impact on snow conditions.

Race website HERE

Race Facebook page HERE

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Episode 172 – JOHN KELLY – ‘The Grand Round’

Episode 172 of Talk Ultra is here… We bring you a full and in-depth interview with John Kelly about his amazing journey to attempt The Grand Round  in the UK and the Godfather of Trail, Kurt Decker is co-hosting.
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Speedgoat is currently on ‘The Longtrail” with Belz (his crewman from the AT)
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NEWS
TRANSVULCANIA HERE
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TRAIL MENORCA HERE
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ZEGAMA
Eli Anne Dvergsdal won in 4:36 and finished just 1:39 off Maite Maiora‘s2017 course record. Elisa Desco was a second in 4:47 and Amandine Ferrato was third, only eight seconds behind Desco. King Kilian Jornet won the race for a record ninth time, his time 3:52. Revelation (mark this name) Bartłomiej Przedwojewski was second in 3:55 and Thibaut Baronian was third in 3:56.
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USM – Ultra Skymarathon Madeira
Pere Aurell beat Beñat Marmissolle by 2mins, 6:06 to 6:08. Daniel Jung was a close third in 6:12. Maria Koller won in 7:20. Ekaterina Mityaeva was second in 7:22 and Ester Casajuana was third in 7:34
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ULTRA TRAIL STARA PLANINA HERE
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ISRAEL NATIONAL TRAL FKT on SIDETRACKED HERE
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TENERIFE BLUE TRAIL PREVIEW HERE
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VJ SPORT MAXx SHOE REVEW HERE
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01:50:00
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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
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UP & COMING RACES go to https://marathons.ahotu.com

Fred. Olson TENERIFE BLUE TRAIL 2019 Preview

Fred. Olson TENERIFE BLUE TRAIL is a trail running event that offers five modalities with different characteristics for people with or without disabilities, designed so that mountaineers and athletes with different levels of experience and physical fitness can participate. In this way, Tenerife Bluetrail pursues a clear objective of integration: TRAIL RUNNING FOR ALL.

The Ultra (102km) of the Fred. Olson Tenerife Blue Trail is particularly tough: it involves considerable climbs and descents and a long stretch of the run in a mountainous area at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. The maximum height of 3,555 metres is reached just below the summit of the iconic Teide. The other categories also involve difficulties and risks, inherent in the natural environment where they are performed. Due to the environment and mountains, sometimes extreme temperatures can be experienced, particularly for this in the ultra who depart just before midnight and must climb to Teide in almost complete darkness with cold temperatures.

THE FIVE RACES:

Ultra 102km

The star race of the Fred. Olsen Tenerife Bluetrail 2019 a brutally tough and challenging race of 101.5km’s. It’s an amazing concept race that is truly logical as it offers a traverse of the island, from sea, to summit and returning back to the sea. The highest point of the race is the iconic Mt Teide at 3550m. Made up mostly of paths and tracks, the route also includes a small section of asphalt, just 13%. An allocated 24-hours is provided to complete the event. Departing from Playa Fanabe at 2330 on June 8th, the route will pass through La Quinta, Ifonche, Vilaflor de Chasna, Degollada de Guajara, Roques de Garcia, Pico Viejo, La Rambleta, Montana Blanca, Lomo Hurtado, Recibo Quemado, Ladera de Tigaiga, Chanajiga, Tigaiga, El Asomadero, El Mirador de la Corona, Mirador San Pedro and Rambla de Castro before finishing in Puerto de la Cruz.

Trail 67km

This 66 km trail will start at 6:00am, June 8th, in Vilaflor (Santa Catalina St.). Departing from 1,387 m above sea level and reaching 2,520 m at its highest point, this race will be comprised by paths (55%), tracks (32%) and asphalt (13%). The total elevation gain for this race is 7,886 m. The maximum time for completion will be 14 hours.

Marathon 43km

The third edition of this 43 km marathon will be held on June 8(9:00 am). This race will be comprised by paths (50%), tracks (29%) and asphalt (21%).

Media 20km

This 20 km race (half-marathon) will also start on June 8th at 8 am. It will depart from Plaza de San Agustín, los Realejos, and the runners will have 4 hours to get to the finish line. This race will be comprised by paths (32%), tracks (18%) and asphalt (50%).

Reto 8km/ 3.7km/ 1.2km

The Bluetrail Challenge will be held again in this 9th edition, with an 8.4 km and a 1.2 km race. It will be held on June 8.

In the Ultra race 3 runners stand out and they occupied the places of the podium last year:!

Yeray Durán returns and was the winner with 12:57 last year.  Sangé Sherpa was 2nd in 2018 and will be looking for victory and finally, José Antonio González who placed 3rd in 2018 will be looking to place higher.

Also look out for David Lutzardo, Santiago García Soria, José Antonio Luna and Italian Gianluca Gaelati.

Leire Martínez heads up the ladies race with last years winner, Azara Garcia missing the race. Azara’s time of 14:21 will take some beating! Look out for Sonia Escuriola, Marta Muixí and Marta Escudero. Important to also note that Maria Lorena Ramirez will also toe the line.

More than 2,500 participants will toe the line in one of the four races that make up the 2019 Fred Olson TENERIFE BLUE TRAIL. Notably, world renowned, Pau Capell will race the marathon!

Race website HERE

Start list for 2019 HERE

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Running Beyond Paperback

Running Beyond Book https://d.pr/x98q9D

 

 

Ultra Trail Stara Planina 2019 Race Summary – Serbia skyrunning

Stara Planina which roughly translates to ‘Old Mountain’ is known to many as The Balkan mountain range which is in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The highest peaks of the Balkan Mountains are in central Bulgaria. Botev at 2,376 m the highest. On the border between Bulgaria and Serbia, the Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea.

Stara Planina, one of the most beautiful and most authentic nature reserves that hides the highest mountain peak in Serbia – Midžor at 2,169 meters above sea level. Endless stretches of untouched nature, vast mountain pastures and forests rich in forest fruit and herbs, picturesque villages and interesting folklore.

Ultra Trail Stara Planina kicked off on Friday at midday with the 130km race which has a whopping vertical gain of 5870+. It was a race which was enveloped in mist and rain, but the relentless rain and storms that were forecast, thankfully did not appear.

On Saturday at 0700 three other races that make up Ultra Trail Stara Planina started from the Stara Planina ski resort – 36km with 2370+ the 57km 2350+ and 94km 3890+. The latter race would run till the early hours of Sunday morning and all other races would conclude on Saturday.

Saturday was a mixed bag of weather with dense fog and mist lasting through to midday and then an afternoon of glorious sunshine that allowed the amazing landscape that this area has to offer to finely shine through.

400 runners from over 25 countries assembled to experience Ultra Trail Stara Planina.

This area is a hidden gem. It’s remote, beautiful and wild. To run here, one feels truly remote and isolated from the outside world. The only glimpses of life coming from remote villages where time has stood still. Gostuša talking to a woman in her late sixties, she had never ventured from her village – she told me of how a now derelict building was once a disco. It’s hard to imagine that some 50-years ago a disco was required in a small isolated village. What was a local shop, now boarded up, closed and crumbling to the ground – the demand for supplies making the shop redundant as over the years, villagers have moved away leaving just 20 residing.

To experience the ‘real’ life of a place, one gains an insight into a journey. If it wasn’t for running and adventure, maybe these gems of Serbia would disappear completely?

Posters pasted on walls notify the passing of loved ones and it’s hard not to feel a little sad that in year’s to come, no posters will be posted as the locals, the core of the community will have all disappeared leaving ghost towns in the mountains.

Green lush vegetation with winding trails interweave through this area providing relentless challenging terrain that continuously goes up and down.

Then the arrival of a village, refreshment, a chance to stop, replenish and refuel before heading back out to experience more of the wilds of Serbia.

This area is very inaccessible by vehicle, just 10km’s can take over a hour by a 4×4 vehicle – the runners therefore are truly privileged to experience a testing and challenging journey with the experience of summiting the highest peak of Midžor at 2,169 meters above sea level. To get there though, this year, they had to experience dense mist and snow on the course.

Topli Do a hidden gem like Gostuša but there is more life here, the village is bigger and although much is falling down and wasting away, it has a raw and natural beauty.

Runners here arrive from different directions with Marshalls ever vigilant to ensure that they go in the correct direction.

A highlight, depending on which race you are running, is a technical descent from Midžor or equally, a technical climb for the 130km runners.

In the village of Gostuša an old hall is used as a major aid station where drop bags, a change of clothes and warm food is available.

Finally, for all races, Plaža signifies the final section of the race with stunning views over the mountains and for those who have time to stop, they can look back and trace the journey they have travelled.

Stara Planina ski resort, for all races signifies the end of a truly epic day or days in the heart of the Serbian landscape. The journey of 36km, 57km, 94km or 130km over.

Results:

130km

1 – Nedjalkov Balazs
2 – Jovica Spajić
3 – Danijel Loncarević

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Nela Lazarević
2 – Ivona Velimirović
3 – Ivana Stanković

94km

1 – Dusan Bazic
2 – Duško Momić
3 – Mariya Nikolova

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Mariya Nikolova
2 – Cecilia Papay-Sar
3 – Kristina Radović

57km

1 – Dejan Todevski
2 – Filip Todorovski
3 – Dimitar Todorovski

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Snezana Djuric
2 – Agata Labedzka
3 – Tatjana Jovanović

36km

1 – Srdjan Mate
2 – Marko Popin
3 – Marko Ilic

WOMEN RESULTS
1 – Marija Djordjević
2 – Alana Munnik
3 – Lidija Radulovic

FULL RESULTS HERE

IMAGE GALLERIES AVAILABLE HERE

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OTSO Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls 2019 – RACE in IMAGES

The Otso Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls is a group of races that show the islands beauty to its full potential. The whole of the island by following the way-marked ‘Cami de Cavalls’ route is 185km and this race is the ‘highlight’ of the weekend. The other races vary in distance from 100km down to 27km and these races either journey south or north to provide a full 360 experience of Menorca.

Trail Menorca have a simple concept to provide runners of all ability an opportunity to experience the best of Menorca. Of course, it’s a huge challenge for the race organisation to cover so many races over so much terrain, however, they have been doing this for many years and the race grows in stature each time. Menorca has a casual, relaxed way of life, for one weekend, the island becomes alive with athletes as they journey around the island.

Antoine Guillon has won the past three events and knows the route like the back of his hand. Throughout the night, he maintained a rhythm and slowly ate away at the 15 minutes that separated himself from Pere Garau. The duo finished together, hand-in-hand in 2018. In Calan Porter (130 km) they ran together and stayed that way to the finish line, once again holding hands, bettering their time of last year by 39-minutes. The duo also broke the Frenchman’d CR of 19:18:53 set in 2017. The Catalan Lluis Ruiz finished in third place with a time of 20:16.

Lucia Pasamar gave a masterclass to finish in 22:07:39 ahead of two times champion, Laia Díez who crossed the finish line in second position, 22:33:57. The duo broke the record 24:46 held by Gemma Avellí since 2017. Eva Orives placed 3rd.

Gerard Morales demonstrated how important the 100 km TCMN race was to him by completing it in just 9:05′ – a great time for this tough and challenging course. Toni Forit & Jaume Fanals placed 2nd and 3rd.

Leticia Pérez and Karina Raquel Gómez placed 1st and 2nd for the women with Tére Álvarez completing the podium.

Mallorcan Guillem Caldés was the surprise winner in the 85 km TMCS race with Raul Delgado placing 2nd. Miquel Pons placed 3rd.

Carolina GuillenBeatriz Delgado and Gemma Vilajosana were 1,2 and 3 for the women.

Pau Capell, current Ultra-Trail World Tour champion, dominated a strong trio of Damián Ramis and Isaac Riera.

 Silvia Grey took victory ahead of Claudia Tremps and Doriane Aubert placed 3rd.

Jordi Gamito but the demons of last weekend’s Transvulcania to rest with victory in the 58km event. Miquel Capo placed 2nd and Roberto Aguilar 3rd.

Angels Llobera won the women’s race ahead of the UK’s Rebecca Ferry and Manu Vilaseca placed 3rd, no doubt a little tired from a heavy race calendar.

Marco de Gasperi was proclaimed the winner of the 27 km STCN race. The Italian mountain running legend finished in 1:47:30 – an incredible time for the terrain and distance. Guillem Seguí placed 2nd ahead of Miguel Espinosa.

Ana Maria Llompart ran a strong race to beat Deborah Cortes into 2nd place and Susana Seguí took the final podium spot.

IMAGE GALLERIES HERE

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Running Beyond Paperback

 

Episode 171 – Dan Lawson #training for by MyRaceKit. and Eric Senseman

Episode 171 of Talk Ultra is here… We bring you a full and in-depth interview with Dan Lawson talking about his Jordan FKT, his ReRun Project and ’ Training for…’ UTMR in conjunction with MyRaceKit. We also bring you an interview with Eric Senseman and Elisabet Barnes co-hosts.
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Talk Ultra is now on Tunein- just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE  You can download the Tunein APP HERE
Talk Ultra needs your help! 
We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons… you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create! 
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
Donate HERE
NEWS
MDS 2019
Read the full story and view the images HERE
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TRAINING FOR…
In a series of new podcasts and articles, ’TRAINING FOR…’ will bring you discussion with runners on how they will prepare for their next big adventure.
This is brought to you by myRaceKit – the multi-stage and ultra-running specialist store  www.myracekit.com
Interview with DAN LAWSON
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 Interview with ERIC SENSEMAN
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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
02:38:40
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UP & COMING RACES go to https://marathons.ahotu.com

Marathon des Sables 2019 #MDS #MDS2019 – Stage 5 42.2km

Rachid El Morabity and Ragna Debats are the 2019 champions of the iconic Marathon des Sables.

Today. stage 5, ‘The Marathon Stage’ concluded just a short distance away from Tafraout. It was a day that started with cool temperatures as runners climbed the infamous, Djebel Oftal after a 3km warm up.

As the minutes ticked by, the sky cleared, the weather warmed up and the runners were treated to a classic MDS day and a truly beautiful course that provided the best of the Sahara.

Dunes, rocky plateau, salt flats, the oasis of El Maharch, gentle climbs, soft-sand descents and then a run in to the finish backed by a mountain range.

Despite early attacks in the men’s race including his brother Mohamed, Rachid El Morabity once again won the final stage and became the 2019 champion of the MDS once again. He really is the desert king. Mohamed El Morabity placed 2nd overall with Abdelaziz Baghazza completing the podium.

For the women, it may come as no surprise that Ragna Debats made 5 stage wins out of 5 and completely dominated the women’s race.

Credit must go to local runner, Aziza Raji who battled throughout the week to secure a very solid 2nd place for Morocco. Also, Gemma Game from the UK had a tough day-1 but battled and moved her way through the field throughout the week and once again rounded out the podium with 3rd place.