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.

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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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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.
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Interview with DAN LAWSON
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 Interview with ERIC SENSEMAN
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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.

The MDS is all about every single runner and the finish line really does focus and release the emotions as tears flows, cries of joy are heard and the embraces of Patrick Bauer, the race creator, are received. The MDS is truly a magical journey and experience. It is a life -changer for many and I personally have experienced the transformation the desert and this race brings.

The 2019 edition certainly gained additional notoriety from a wonderful dog called Cactus. he joined us on day-2 and went on to complete day-3, 4 and today, day-5. This little dog has captured the hearts and minds of the world, not only in the media. There is a lesson to be learned from Cactus – to live life free and completely. He embraced the true spirit of what MDS stands for without realising it. And, in doing so, he has reconfirmed to all of us that life is for the living. I for one, am truly blessed to have experienced Cactus and all the 800+ plus runners on a truly magical 34th edition of the iconic ~Marathon de Sables.

Marathon des Sables 2019 #MDS #MDS2019 – Stage 4 76.3km

Day-4, the feared and loved ‘long day’ of the MDS. A brutal 76.3km route that for many, personifies what the Marathon des Sables is. A journey of survival, through the varied terrain that the Sahara has to offer.

For most people, it is all about survival and getting through the day, the night and maybe the next day as easy as possible.

The day started at 0815 for the majority of the filed and the top-50 and top-5 women started at 1115 with the prospect of chasing the whole field down.

The day started to cool and cloudy and it looked like the conditions would play in to the runners hands, allowing a comfortable journey throughout the day. Not so. By 10am, the heat of the day came and it stayed that way, just a gentle breeze helping to provide some illusion of cooler temperatures.

The elite race as in previous day’s was all about two people or maybe three if we include Cactus the MDS dog.

Ragna Debats was once again on fire, For sure, she respected the long day and started at a more relaxed pace, but her speed and ability is so far ahead of the rest of the women, that she almost cruised to the line. In all honesty, Ragna’s biggest threat is possibly herself! She is chasing a top-10 ranking overall and that does come with some risk. To push in the Sahara needs a fine balance, get it wrong and dehydration could prove to be the end of an adventure. Ragna is managing everything well and looks incredible.

The real story of the long day was the rise of the UK’s Gemma Game. She looked incredible all day, ran an amazing and controlled race and she moved up the field to now make 3rd on the women’s podium. Aziza Raji ran a solid day and is still 2nd overall, approximately 36-minutes ahead of Gemma. Past winner, Meghan Hicks from the USA had a tough day of sickness and finished well down the field allowing Lauren Woodwiss to move to 4th overall.

In the men’s race, many tried to attack the boss, Rachid El Morabity, but the king of the desert is too smart. He really is a joy to watch in this terrain. He holds back, paces himself, runs within a group and at all times watches what the other runners are doing. He does not panic, he manages his effort and then all of a sudden, he moves to another gear and accelerates away to take the lead and win.

This year’s long day was no different. Attacks came from Julien Chorier, Rob Pope and even Mohamed El Morabity, but the boss watched them and then made his move. Taking another stage victory, once again ahead of his brother, Mohamed. The duo now 1st and 2nd on the overall ranking with Abdelaziz Baghazza 3rd.

The long day will be remembered for a sand-storm that cam in around 5pm. It was quite incredible as the wind brought in a blanket of grating mist that covered all the runners and bivouac making visibility impossible. Runner’s halted in their tracks not able to see a hand place ahead of them. Luckily it was a storm that lasted less than 30-minutes but the carnage was visible to see.

Covering 76.3km’s is no easy task and while the top men and women can make it look easy, the real story is about the 800+ runners who look to survive and endure the conditions to earn a respected MDS medal.

This is the MDS, the human story of fighting conditions, hunger, dehydration and pain to achieve the glory of the finish line.

As darkness came, runner’s pushed in to the void with just the glow of a headlamp and the stars for company. For many, they will also see dawn and travel through another day. MDS is truly a life changing journey.

And finally, Cactus the MDS dog. What a story. The dog joined us on day-2, ran the whole of day-3 and yes folks, he ran the long day. He has become a mascot of the 34th edition. A heart warming story that has travelled the world. Many have worried about the dogs health and his ability to run long distances.

Rest assured, this fella is a true free spirit, a true nomad, a perfectly adapted animal for the terrain. He was checked by a vet and was given the all-clear. Calls for the dog to be ‘rescued’ and taken out of Morocco are well intended but wrong in my opinion. Cactus is in his home, doing what he loves. He should be allowed that freedom. And yes, he has an owner, a hotelier in Merzouga who has confirmed Cactus’ true nomadic spirit.

Tomorrow, the marathon day and the confirmation of the 2019 MDS male and female champions.

Overall Ranking

  1. Rachid El Morabity 15:23:31
  2. Mohamed El Morabity 15:29:12
  3. Abdelaziz Baghazza 16:08:27

 

  1. Ragna Debats 18:46:11
  2. Aziza Raji 20:54:23
  3. Gemma Game 21:29:11

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