Royal Ultra SkyMarathon® Gran Paradiso Race Summary and Images – 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series

With a course profile that looks like a shark’s dental record and with 10-peaks to ascend and descend over a 55km course, the Migu Run Skyrunner World Series went EXTREME For the first time in 2017! 4287m of vertical gain awaited the runners in the stunning location of Ceresole Reale, Italy, a stunning mountain location towered over by the stunning 4000m peak of Gran Paradiso.

Starting at 0630, a stunning day of blue skies welcomed the runners, the early morning chill soon swept away with the arrival of the sun.

Andre Jonsson who last weekend placed 4th at High Trail Vanoise was showing incredible powers of recovery leading Zaid Ait Malek, Pere Aurell,  Bhim Gurung, Benat Marmisolle, The five ran together over the first high-peak in the National Park and the second peak coming at around 12km with 2-hours 15-minutes elapsed on the clock. They were separated by seconds matching each other’s moves.

By contrast, Zegama-Aizkorri and Livigno SkyMararhon champion Maite Maiora, was showing all the ladies a clean pair of heals. She took a grasp of the race very early on and despite being chased by Katie Schide, Ekaterina Mityaev and Natalia Tomasiak amongst other.

With 4-hours elapsed, the summit of Colle della Porta at 3002m saw a surge from Pere Aurell as he ran fast through the snow fields that followed the tough climb to the summit – Andre Jonsson, Bhim Gurung and Beat Marmisolle all followed with less than a minute separating them. Following and hoping to bridge the gap was Dimitry Mityaev, Zaid Ait Malek and Hector Haines.

Maite Maiora arrived in the same location, her lead was now extended beyond 30-minutes to Katie Schide and Ekaterina Mityaev following over 10-minutes back.

The race was now on in the men’s race, the quartet watching each other and at times changing lead like in a cycling peloton however Andre Jonsson was still pushing but the elastic wouldn’t snap. Passing Colle del Nivole they had a short decent and then climbed to Colle Della Rocca Bianche at 2670m. Again, less than a couple of minutes separated the four front runners but the long descent took its toll and with the final climb to Colle del Nel at 2551m to come, the pressure was on.

Andre Jonsson and Bhim Gurung took the lead but Jonsson started to feel the pressure and although Gurung complained of feeling tired, he unleashed his incredible descending ability on the final 1000m to drop to the line to open a huge gap and take victory just like he did earlier in the year in China at Yading Skyrace. Jonsson earned an incredible 2nd place 10-minutes back, 6:51:37 to Gurung’s 6:41:24. Pere Aurell fought cramps to finish 3rd and Benat Marmisolle held off a charging Cristofer Clemente to finish 4th.

Maite Maiora crossed the line in 8:05:28 having dominated the ladies’ race. It was a stunning victory and confirms her as one of the best female Skyrunners in the world. Katie Schide finished 2nd and Ekaterina Mityaev finished 3rd, 8:37:02 and 8:48:23 respectively.

The 55km course wound through the Gran Paradiso National Park in the royal hunting grounds, hence the ‘Royal’ title, runners will compete with ibex and chamois. Starting at a lake at an altitude of 2000m, participants traversed five passes – the magnificent Gran Paradiso mountain provided a stunning backdrop towering over the race at 4061m. Moraines, rocks, streams and snowfields provide an ultimate extreme challenge.

Next race in the Migu Run Skyrunner World Series is the Dolomites SkyRace that will celebrate its 20th edition – a pure Sky Classic!

all images ©iancorless.com

A full image gallery will be uploaded to iancorless.photoshelter.com HERE

Santana Vertical Kilometer® #SVK – Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit

Ferran Teixido (Andorra) and Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) took top honours at the Santana Vertical Kilometer® on the island of Madeira. The VK is part of the new 2017 Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit – an off-spin from the Skyrunner World Series.

Starting the Vale da Lapa at an altitude of 780m, in the heart of the Laurissilva forest, the 4.8km course goes all the way up, 1003m to be exact through the impressive Madeira Natural Park.

Departing at 1-minute intervals on the stroke of 0900, the runners pushed their legs and lungs to the max as they took on this impressive race – a first for the island of Madeira.

The final part of the route consisted of a technical and demanding climb that culminated with a short section of via ferratta before reaching the emblematic point Encumeada Alta at an altitude of 1785m. From the summit, incredible views all over the island are possible.

VK specialist Ferran Teixido was one of the last competitors to start and he completed the course first in 41:48 gaining valuable points for the Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit. Vitor Jesus and Romeu Gouveia placed 2nd and 3rd.

Regular Skyrunning competitor Ekaterina Mityaeva showed great form and strength winning the ladies race in 51:37 and Salomon International athlete Anna Frost was a surprise last minute entrant – she placed 3rd.

Full results will be available HERE

Attention now turns to the Ultra SkyMarathon® Madeira which will start at 0600 on Saturday June 3rd.

 

KARL EGLOFF SETS NEW WORLD SPEED CLIMBING RECORD ON MOUNT ELBRUS AND WINS THE REDFOX ELBRUS SKYMARATHON, RUSSIA.

Kilimanjaro (2014) and Aconcagua (2015) speed climbing record holder, Karl Egloff, this past weekend set a new world record in Russia while running the RedFox Elbrus SkyMarathon.

Egloff bettered the previous record set by Vitaly Shkel from Russia by 18-minutes. The previous record of 4:38 now stands at 4-hours 20-minutes.

Starting at Azau Glade at an altitude of 2450m, the course goes up to 5642m where runners turn around and then re-trace back down to 2450m at Azau. Like the recent racing in China at the Yading Skyrunning Festival, the Elbrus race sets a new benchmark in Skyrunning. The 25km course has a lung and leg busting altitude gain of 3300m.

Now in its 8th year, thew Red Fox Elbrus race weekend has a series of races that personify the ethos of Skyrunning. In addition to a Vertical Kilometer and SkyMarathon race, the weekend also includes a ski and snowshoe race. Twenty nationalities and over 500 participants joined the action over an incredible weekend.

all images ©redfoxelbrus

With this third record, Karl gets one step closer to his objective of doing the 7 Summits records in speed climbing.

His current record for Kilimanjaro is 6:42 and Aconcagua is 11:52.

You can read about Karl Egloff HERE and HERE.

You can also listen to the podcast HERE.

Episode 81 – Murphy Polyakova Zahab Laithwaite

Ep81

Episode 81 of Talk Ultra is out… Mike Murphy talks about pushing to the limits (and beyond) at The Coastal Challenge, Elena Polyakova talks about ultra running in Turkey and the up and coming Cappadocia Ultra Trail and Ray Zahab fills us in on his last expedition. Marc Laithwaite return for Talk Training and we discuss Maffetone. A Blog, Up and Coming Races, the News and Speedgoat Karl co-hosts.

00:17:09 NEWS
 
Sean O’Brien 100k
Ryan Smith 8:41
Seth Swanson 8:57
Jorge Pacheo
Magdalena Boulet 9:51
Anita Ortiz 10:40
Silke Koester 11:11
Tarawera 100k
Dylan Bowman 7:44 CR
Jorge Maravilla 8:01
Yoshikazu Hara 8:12
Ruby Muir 9:02 CR
Ruth Croft 9:14
Nuria Picas 9:40
 
MSIG Sai Kung 28k
Dai Matsumoto 2:49
Elisa Desco 3:41
 
MSIG Sai Kung 50k
Samir Tamang 4:48
Mira Rai 5:39
 
The Coastal Challenge
Iain Don Wauchope 22:29:08
Ashur Youseffi 26:09:54
Roiny Villegas 26:23:53
Veronica Bravo 29:35:20
Nikki Kimball 32:31:50
Maria Rivera 34:07:13
00:39:29 INTERVIEW
 
MIKE MURPHY pushed things to the limit at the 2015 The Coastal Challenge, in this interview we discuss his experiences in-depth.
 
Black Canyon 100k
Ford Smith 8:31 (18 years old)
Dave Mackey 8:33
Ryan Ghelfi 8:40
Caroline Boller 10:05
Angela Shartel 10:55
Gina Lucrezi 11:51
 
Red Hot 55k
Alex Nichols 3:48
Rob Krar 3:51
Jim Walmsley 3:54
Ashley Erba (19 years old) 4:29
Kara Henry 4:44
Kerrie Bruxvoort 5:03
 
Susitna 100
David Johnston 21:29
Rachel Gano 29:34
01:48:18 INTERVIEW
 
ELENA POLYAKOVA has pioneered ultra running in Turkey. In this interview we discuss her experiences and the up and coming TNF Cappadocia Ultra Trail 
 
02:20:12 INTERVIEW
 
RAY ZAHAB is no stranger to adventure, earlier this year he ventured into Patagonia. We hear all about it.
 
02:53:04 BLOG
Iain Don Wauchope writes about The Coastal Challenge – HERE
 
02:53:37 TALK TRAINING
 
Marc Laithwaite talks Maffetone
References:
 
Maffetone for Better Endurance HERE
Paleo, Maffetone and the Method HERE
03:28:23 UP & COMING RACES
 

Australia

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Victoria

Dendy Park Urban Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Cayman Islands

Off the Beaten Track | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Finland

Lapland

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 20, 2015 | website

France

Ille-et-Vilaine

Endu’Rance Trail des Corsaires | 64 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Loire-Atlantique

Le Trail du Vignoble Nantais – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Germany

Hesse

Lahntallauf 50 KM | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Rotary HK Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Italy

Tuscany

Terre di Siena 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Malaysia

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Mexico

Ultra Caballo Blanco | 50 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Bedrock50 | 53 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Taupo 155 km Great Lake Relay | 155 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Taupo 67.5 km Great Lake Relay | 67 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Waiheke Round Island 100 km Relay | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Peru

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 80K | 80 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Philippines

Davao50 | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

Luneta to Tagaytay(LU2TA) Midnight Ultramarathon 60km | 60 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Portugal

Trail Terras do Sicó | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Terras do Sicó – 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Senegal

Raid Téranga 250 | 250 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

South Africa

South African Addo Elephant 44 km Trail Run | 44 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

South African Addo Elephant 76 km Trail Run | 76 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Three Cranes Challenge | 106 kilometers | February 26, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Trail Sierras del Bandolero | 150 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Catalonia

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Essex

St Peters Way Ultra | 45 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Northumberland

Coastal Trail Series – Northumberland – Ultra | 34 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Black Warrior/Phillip Parker 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Mount Cheaha 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile | 1000 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile | 350 miles | March 01, 2015 | website

Arizona

Elephant Mountain – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200 miles | February 20, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 55K | 55 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Arkansas

LOVit 100k | 100 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

LOVit 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Sylamore Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

California

Chabot Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

FOURmidable 100K | 100 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

FOURmidable 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Lake Natoma 50K | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Montara Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 100K | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Afternoon | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Morning | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 100K Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 125 Mile Endurance Race | 125 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 50K Endurance Race | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Razorback 50 Mile Endurance Race | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Run for Amma 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Run for Amma 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Salmon Falls 50K | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Sycamore 100k | 100 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

West Coast 50K | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

Colorado

Headless Horsetooth Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Florida

Everglades 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Everglades 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Manasota Track Club 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Louisiana

Q50 50M Ultra | 50 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Maryland

Frozen Heart 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

New Jersey

Febapple Frozen Fifty – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 21, 2015 | website

Febapple Frozen Fifty – 50M | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Race Across New Mexico – Alien Encounter (4 Marathons) | 100 miles | February 27, 2015 | website

Race Across New Mexico – Heart of New Mexico (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | February 24, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Mount Mitchell Challenge | 40 miles | February 28, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 28, 2015 | website

Texas

A2B2: Alamo To Border 2 | 162 miles | February 27, 2015 | website

Cowtown Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 01, 2015 | website

Cross Timbers Trail Runs 50M | 50 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – Border to Border (22 Marathons) | 587 miles | March 04, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – The Wild West (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | March 06, 2015 | website

Virginia

The Reverse Ring | 71 miles | February 21, 2015 | website

Washington

Lord Hill 50 Km | 50 kilometers | February 22, 2015 | website

03:31:56 CLOSE
03:35:27

Links:

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

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

Website – talkultra.com

Spartathlon 2013

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SPARTATHLON is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September of every year in Greece. Arguably, it is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra-distance races in the world because of its unique history and background.

The Spartathlon revives the footsteps of Pheidippides, an ancient Athenian long distance runner, who in 490 BC, before the battle of Marathon, was sent to Sparta to seek help in the war between the Greeks and the Persians. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta the day after his departure from Athens. Inspired by the report of the Greek historian, in 1982 five officers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF), who were also long-distance runners, traveled to Greece, led by Colonel John Foden. Their purpose was to ascertain whether it was possible to cover the 250 kilometers separating the two towns in one and a half days. The enthusiastic British team showed that the report by Herodotus was entirely plausible.

A man is indeed able to cover 250 km in less than two days and in fact in less than 40 hours. After the success of the project, the architect of the feat, John Foden, began to envision the establishment of a race that would bring long distance runners to Greece from around the world to run on the trail of the ancient runner Pheidippides. The next year a multinational team of British, Greek and other enthusiastic supporters of the idea, led by Michael Callaghan, a philhellene, organized the First International Spartathlon (Open International Spartathlon Race), wherein the name for the race combines the Greek words for Sparta and Feat.

The race was held with the approval and supervision of the Athletics Federation with the participation of 45 runners from 11 countries and included the participation of women. The organizational success of this inaugural race and its broad appeal were decisive to the subsequent establishment of the annual race.

Accordingly, in 1984 the International Association “Spartathlon” was founded. Since then a yearly race has been organized each September. Why September? Because that is the time reported by Herodotus for Pheidippides run to Sparta.

Information taken from http://www.spartathlon.gr ©Spartathlon.gr

The Race

The 2013 edition of the race will start on Friday 27th September with 350 participants and for any last minute dropouts; this entry list will be topped up from a waiting list of 160 runners.

UK entrants:

  • Mark Woolley
  • Robert Pinnington
  • Lindley Chambers
  • Claire Shelley
  • James Adams
  • Drew Sheffield
  • Martin Ilott
  • Philip Smith
  • Mathew Mahoney
  • Mimi Anderson *
  • Paul Ali
  • Mike Blamires
  • Cat Lawson
  • Steve Scott
  • Pat Robbins
  • Martin Bacon
  • Mark Hines
  • Laurence Chownsmith
  • Robbie Britton *
  • Jonathan Hall
  • Peter Johnson
  • James Elson

Countries represented:

Sweden, Poland, Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, France, Spain, Netherlands, Finland, Argentina, Portugal, China, Malta, United States, Uruguay, Belgium, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Faeroe Islands, Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and of course Greece.

Spartathlon, for many is a bucket list race. It has a magic that cannot be found at other races. The distance, strict cut-off times, the heat and so on all add to the drama. The course is conducted point-to-point and elevation ranges from sea level to 1,200 meters (3,937 ft), over tarmac road, trail and mountain footpath. Aid stations are placed every 3 to 5 km and are provisioned with food, water and other refreshments as well as the runners’ personal supplies. The race is run under police and medical supervision with doctors, physiotherapists, and emergency vehicles being on call throughout the 36-hour race duration. The race is very demanding.

The course is not the most spectacular and 153 miles of roads may not appeal to many, particularly if coming from a trail or mountain running background. However, I’ve yet to meet anyone who has run this race and not loved it. For sure, the Greeks, French, Japanese, German and now a growing UK participation love this race and demand is continuing to grow.

Lizzy Hawker raced in 2012 and not only won the ladies race in 27:02:17 but placed third overall. The outright winner was Stu Thoms from Germany in 26:28:19.

For the 2013 edition of the race, all entrants are of interest. For many, Spartathlon is a journey about completion and not competition. However, two people are of interest and for opposite reasons. Firstly, Robbie Britton from the UK is coming to Spartathlon for the first time but he is potentially an exciting prospect for the overall with a solid 100-mile result at the South Downs Way 100 in a time of 15:43:53 and 239.008km at the World 24-hour championships. Robbie has said in his blog, “I’m right excited about getting to Sparta now and can’t wait for the great challenge of this historic race. We’ve got a solid British team heading out there; including a few Grand Union Canal Race winners, one of whom is attempting a double Spartathlon and it should be a great atmosphere out there. After a strong showing from the Brits at UTMB and The Grand Slam of Ultra Running, I guess we best put a bit of effort into Spartathlon now too…” Bog here

Secondly, Mimi Anderson will be doing Spartathlon her own way in 2013… she raced in 2011 and surprised herself with her performance. So much so, this year she is coming back to do it twice! Yes, twice.

Mimi’s press release:

‘Marvellous’ Mimi Anderson, the 51 year-old grandmother from Smarden in Kent who is a triple long distance running Guinness World Record holder and already the legendary finisher of several ‘doubles’ of extreme long distance races for which the one-way normal run would be beyond most mere mortals, is about to attempt probably her most daring double – a two-way run of the iconic Spartathlon race held in Greece each year.

Traditionally there are about 20 runners from the UK each year and Mimi first ran the race in 2011 when she finished 3rd lady overall and the 1st UK finisher in 32 hours 33 minutes 23 seconds. She has decided to return in 2013 and having completed the normal race on her previous visit, she will be attempting the double this year (a distance of 306 miles), which is believed to have only ever been done once before. It has certainly never been done by anyone from Britain and no female has ever attempted it.

Mimi’s plan is to do the race first then, all being well, start the return leg at midnight on Saturday night.  She will be running the race itself to achieve the best time she can and then attempting the return leg in in the same tough 36 hours maximum time allowed for the race.

Her husband Tim and friend Becky Healey will be crewing for her during the event and the reason for starting the return leg at midnight on the Saturday is to enable the crew to get some sleep – otherwise it becomes too dangerous for them to be driving safely!

Mimi will be running to raise money for her usual cause – the 10 Million Metres Campaign, which was set up by Alex Flynn when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 4 years ago.  People can donate on the Justgiving site at www.justgiving.com/marvellousmimi1

The 2013 event for sure will be exciting for all involved and for those watching. If you would like more information, please go to the race website.

Links:

All entrants can be viewed here

Live Tracking for race day here

Dolomites Vertical Kilometer 2013 – Race Images

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Skyrunning European Championships

The ice at Ice Trail Tarentaise hasn’t even melted and just 48 hours later we ae looking ahead to the third edition of the European Skyrunning Championships which start this coming Friday, the 19th. with the Vertical Kilometer®. The series of events will have seven world champions representing sixteen nations.

Please Note:

A course recce for Trans D’Havet will take place on Tuesday July 23rd and Wednesday July 24th. You can download a PDF document with information HERE

On July 25th at 1500 we will have an introduction to Skyrunning with Salomon athlete, Philipp Reiter. This will involve a ‘live’ interview followed with Q&A and then ISF President, Marino Giacometti and Dr Roi (Sky Doc) will provide a small talk and answer questions. Information available HERE

Schedule:

The Dolomites will again host two of the events in the three-year history of the Championships.  The record on the unforgiving Vertical Kilometer® course just 2,1 km long, stands at 33’16” by world record holder Italian Urban Zemmer and Antonella Confortola in 39’13” back in 2008 when the course was inaugurated.

The classic Dolomites SkyRace® favoured by the world’s top runners offers a new challenge after record-breaking performances here this year by Kilian Jornet in 2h01’52”, and the three top women, Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg, American Kasie Enman and Spaniard Mireia Mirò – all under record time.  Forsberg’s record stands at 2h26’00”. The challenging and often technical course represents one of the toughest proving grounds for the relatively short distance: 22 km but with 1,750m climb to the summit of the Piz Boè which, at 3,152m altitude, towers above the start and finish of the race in Canazei.

The much anticipated Ultra is embodied by the Trans d’Havet, a point to point 80 km long with 5,500m vertical climb traversing the Piccole Dolomiti in the Veneto Region.  The route, technical in stretches, includes 6 km of tunnels dating back to the First World War, created by General D’Havet, to whose name the race is dedicated. At the launch this year, the men’s winning time was 10h58’44”, no doubt destined to fall with the top European runners participating here in 2013.

Participants

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Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg will test their powers of recovery and just five days after impressive victories in what many are now considering an iconic Skyrunning race, the Ice Trail Tarentaise, they will toe the line for all three events in the European Championships.

It is going to be difficult to bet against them, certainly Kilian has the ability, powers of recovery and experience to top the podium in all three events. However, Luis Alberto Hernando has pushed Kilian close in three events already in 2013 and he will most certainly be keen to move one place on the podium higher.

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Nuria Picas missed Ice Trail Tarentaise so that she could save all her energy for the ultra race, she desires the Euoropean Championship crown and keeping in mind Emelie Forsberg’s recent calendar and the fact that she will have participated in the VK and Sky race the weekend before, one has to say that Nuria may well be the favourite for the Trans d’Havet race.

Michel Lanne joint winner of the Mont Blanc Mrathon Ultra race will almost certainly be a hot favourite at Trans d’Havet along with an in-form Philipp Rieter who took third place at Ice Trail Tarentaise.

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The Sky distance race will be extremely competitive, Nicola Golinelli (4th Mont-Blanc Marathon) Florian Reichert (9th at Mont Blanc), Tadei Pivk (3rd at Zegama), Matheo Jaquemoud, Augusto Roc (three time world champion), Didier Zago and Dimitris Theodrakakos will go head-to-head for the title.

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However, so will Kilian Jornet. On this course, I don’t see Kilian loosing, however today, 17th July, we have had confirmation that Kilian’s favourite sparring partner, Marco De Gasperi will toe the line. Not only is this great news for the race but it is great news for us. No doubt after the head-to-head battle at Mont Blanc we will see a repeat performance on the slopes os Canazei.

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The ladies Sky race will be equally competitive with Emelie Forsberg, Celine Lafaye (2nd Mont Blanc), Maite Mayora Elizondo and Silvia Serafini as strong favourites. However, nobody will have an easy run with strong competiton coming from Zhanna Voueva, Laura Orgue, Stephanie JiminezRagna Debats to name but a few.

Maite Mayora Elizondo at Haria Extreme

Maite Mayora Elizondo at Haria Extreme

The Vertical at Canazei is regarded as one of the toughest. It is incredibly steep, to put this in perspective, even Kilian Jornet used ‘poles’ in 2012. Without doubt Kilian is a strong favourite but the men’s field has real quality and ‘VK’ specialists; Urban Zemmer will lead the charge for the title, closely followed by Marco Facchinelli, Tadei Pivk, Didier Zago, and Augusti Roc.

Antonella Confortola will be the hot favourite for the ladies. Emelie Fosberg will push hard but she is still learning in the VK as is Zhana Vokueva. Tessa Hill from the UK is slowly becoming a VK specialist and she stated at Mont Blanc that she was already seeing a progression from her 2012 form. The ever present Corinne Favre is always a contender, as is Laura Orgue. Sivia Serafini, Celine Lafaye, Maite Mayora Elizondo and Ragna Debats will double up with the Sky race and have every possibility to make the podium in both races.

Antonella Confortola

Antonella Confortola

To date, the sixteen countries entered are: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden.

The winning formula?  Easy: the European Skyrunning Championships are open with individual titles at stake in each discipline. Ranking is based on the sum of the highest points scored in two out of three events.  The national title is based on the score of the first three men and one woman in all three events.

Links:

Skyrunning HERE

Coverage and imagery will be provided by iancorless.com via Facebook Talk Ultra and Twitter

European Skyrunning Championships 2013

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Italy will host the third edition of the biennial championships. The Vertical and Sky disciplines will take place in Canazei, Trento, on July 19 & 21. The Ultra distance, for the first a championship discipline – will be celebrated in Vicenza, on July 27. The skyrunning “hall of fame” is unveiled

The third edition of the European Skyrunning Championships kicks off in Italy with not just Europe’s best, but no less than seven world championsrepresenting sixteen nations.  The events will mark the first European Ultra title, as well as the Vertical and Sky distances.

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Taking on all three disciplines will be super-champs Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, for whom only the sky is the limit.  A number of other athletes will take on the three-race challenge but mostly the specialists are aiming for medals in their preferred categories.

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The strong Spanish team includes 2011 Skyrunning World Champion Luis Alberto Hernando who will take on the Ultra with 2012 Ultra Champion Nuria Picas.

Luis Alberto Hernando copyright iancorless.com

 

Nuria Picas copyright iancorless.com

The twelve team members also include three-time World Champion, Agustì Roc and Vertical Champion Laura Orguè

Silvia Serafini copyright iancorless.com

Italy will be aiming at the Vertical and Sky distances with a robust line-up headed by Vertical World Champion Urban Zemmer and Antonella Confortola who took third at the recent KM Vertical in Chamonix. The Italian squad is supported by Nicola Golinelli (4th Mont-Blanc Marathon), Marco Facchinelli currently heading the SWS Vertical Series together with Marco Moletto (ranked 4th).  Silvia Serafini (4th in Mont-Blanc Marathon), will race both distances while Stephanie Jimenez will take on the SkyMarathon®.  

Many more world-class names have signed up to represent their county in the European Championships.  Among them, the strong French team: Michel Lanne, Emilie Lecomte, Matheo Jacquemoud, Didier Zago, Celine Lafaye and Corrine FavrePhilipp Reiter and promising “new” skyrunner Florian Reichert (Germany); Ferran Teixido and Oscar Casal Mir (Andorra); Zhanna Vokueva (Russia); Csaba Nemeth (Hungary); Ionut Zinca (Rumania); Tessa Hill(Great Britain).  

Emilie Lecomte copyright iancorless.com

The Netherlands are not new to skyrunning after their first experience at the 2012 SkyGames®.  They are led by Ragna Debats, 5th at Mont-Blanc Marathon. New entries include a very strong representation from the Czech Republic with no less than thirteen team members they are determined to make an impression on the international skyrunning scene.

To date, the sixteen countries entered are: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Rumenia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden.

The events kick off on July 19 in Canazei, Trento, Italy with the Vertical Kilometer®, followed by the Dolomites SkyRace® on July 21.  The Ultra distance will be disputed at the Trans d’Havet just six days later in the nearby Veneto Region on July 27.

With such a deep field in every category, records are likely to tumble.

The record on the unforgiving Vertical Kilometer® course, just 2,1 km long, stands at 33’16” by Urban Zemmer and Antonella Confortola39’13”, back in 2008 when the course was inaugurated at the SkyGames® .

Antonella copyright iancorless.com

The Dolomites SkyRace® favoured by the world’s top runners offers a new challenge after record-breaking performances last year by Kilian Jornet in2h01’52 and Emelie Forsberg, in 2h26’00. The challenging and often technical course represents one of the toughest proving grounds for the relatively short distance:  22 km but with 1,750m climb to the summit of the Piz Boè which, at 3,152m altitude, towers majestically above the start and finish of the race in Canazei.

Moving on to the much anticipated Ultra, the Trans d’Havet is an 80 km point to point with 5,500m vertical climb traversing the Piccole Dolomiti in the Veneto Region.  The route, technical in stretches, includes 6 km of tunnels. 

Course records at last year’s launch were: 10h58’44” by Daniele Palladino (ITA) and Francesca Canepa (ITA) 11h44’45’’.

The winning formula?  Easy: the European Skyrunning Championships are open with individual titles at stake in each discipline. Ranking is based on the sum of the highest points scored in two out of three events.  The national title is based on the score of the first three men and one woman in all three events.

Vertical

Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei, Trento, July 19

Sky

Dolomites SkyRace®, Canazei, Trento, July 21

Ultra

Trans d’Havet, 80k, Piovene R, Piccole Dolomiti, Vicenza – July 27

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Skyrunning Website HERE

MARATHON DES SABLES 2013 Preview

copyright Marathon des Sables

copyright Marathon des Sables

MARATHON DES SABLES 2013

The 2013 edition of the Marathon des Sables is a self-sufficient race in the South of the Moroccan desert, the event will take place from 5th to 15th April 2013. For the 18th consecutive year, it will be run under the patronage of his Majesty King Mohammed VI.

Since its creation in 1986, the Marathon des Sables has attracted over 13,000 competitors over 27 editions. From humble beginnings, the race is now the most prestigious multi-stage race in the world.

The 2013 Marathon des Sables will see 1,091 entrants toe the line. With 45 different nationalities and a strong presence from France and the UK, the 28th edition will be a memorable one.

Taking place in South Morocco, in the provinces of Errachidia and Tinghrir the race will cover 223.8km over 5 stages. It will encompass some of the most beautiful terrain in the Moroccan desert. Eagerly awaited by one and all, the dunes, ergs and dried-up wadis will delight the thousand or so entrants from the fifty plus countries across the globe.

MDS LOGO

Race Programme:

5 April 2013: Leave country of residence for Morocco (UK entrants leave on the 4th) – Arrival in Ouarzazate, bus transfer to the 1st bivouac.

6 April 2013: Administrative, technical and medical checks – Day to acclimatise.

From 7-12 April 2013: Race in progress. (The self-sufficiency begins from breakfast on the 1st leg).

12 April 2013: Prizing ceremony in desert.

13 April 2013: Charity leg for UNICEF– Transfer to Ouarzazate.

14 April 2013: Day of relaxation, festivities.

15 April 2013: Return to country of residence.

Race Logistics

Patrick Bauer affectionately describes the Marathon des Sables as a big circus. It’s like moving a city everyday… just look at what is involved.

Race management : This team comprises more than 100 people including a race HQ, race marshals, controllers, timekeepers and ranking compilers. Since 2010, the official ranking has been achieved using a “transponder” for all the competitors.

Supervision : 400 people: technical, logistical and medical skills, 100 vehicles, 2 helicopters, 1 CESSNA plane, 4 dromedaries… and the active support of the Royal Armed Forces: 21 lorries (6×6) and 40 men to supervise logistics.

Medical Assistance : A team of 50 people under Dr Frédéric COMPAGNON, DOC TROTTER supervises the runners as much on a medical level (care of feet, resuscitation…) as a mental level, both of which fail sometimes in front of the toughness of the event and the hostility of the climate.

In the 27th SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES, 3 tonnes of gear was transported and the medical team used : 5km of Elastoplast, 2,700 second-skin patches, 125 litres of disinfectant, 230 litres of drip solutions, 15,000 compresses, 2,800 pairs of surgical gloves,…

The Team

  • 115 volunteers on the course itself
  • 400 support staff overall
  • 120 000 litres of mineral water
  • 270 berber and saharan tents
  • 100 all-terrain vehicles
  • 
2 “Squirrel” helicopter and 1 “Cessna” plane
  • 6 “MDS special” commercial planes
  • 23 buses
  • 4 dromedaries
  • 
1 incinerator lorry for burning waste
  • 4 quad bikes to ensure environment and safety on race
  • 
52 medical staff
  • 6.5 kms of Elastoplast, 2 700 Compeed, 19 000 compresses 6 000 painkillers, 150 litres of disinfectant
  • 4 editing stations, 5 cameras, 1 satellite image station
10 satellite telephones, 30 computers, fax and internet

Marathon des Sables

Marathon des Sables – how did it start?

Patrick Bauer interview available HERE

1984 : At the age of 28, Patrick Bauer decided to make a journey into the Sahara. His objective was to traverse 350km’s of uninhabited desert, on foot, alone and without any possibility of encountering a single village, oasis or watering place. Totally self sufficient, Patrick entered the desert with a pack weight of 35kg containing all his water and food. The journey lasted 12 days and it was the starting point of what has now become the MARATHON DES SABLES.

Patrick Bauer, Marathon des Sables copyright www.lest-eclair.fr

Patrick Bauer, Marathon des Sables copyright http://www.lest-eclair.fr

1986 : The creation of the first MARATHON DES SABLES in the Moroccan Sahara. The 23 pioneers who took the start never imagined that their footprints would mark the start of a legendary event, which today has become unmissable on the schedule for major adventure sport meets.

1989 : 170 competitors take the start of the race and the rest is history.

I caught up with Patrick Bauer at the MDS UK expo in late 2012. You can listen to that interview (lasts 13 minutes):

talkultra.com

LISTEN HERE

The 2013 Race – who will be taking part?

1,090 competitors aged 20 to 76 are expected to take the start (definitive number on 6 April following administrative and medical checks) representing 45 different nationalities: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of El Salvador, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States.

The participants are men and women with various and varied profiles (Doctors, farmers, coppersmiths, pilots, builders, chefs, servicemen and women, students, professional athletes and retired persons…).

The 2013 MDS Challengers for the overall win

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The Female contenders for the overall win :

Laurence Klein 2012 MDS

Laurence Klein 2012 MDS

  • Laurence KLEIN (FRA) – 1st woman in 2007, 2011 and 2012, European 100km Champion.
  • Meryem KHALI (MAR) – 2nd woman in 2012. N°1082:
  • Megan HICKS (USA) – 2nd woman in 2009.
  • Simone KAYSER (LUX )– 3 victories in the MDS.


The Male contenders for the overall win : 

Mohamad Ahansal

Mohamad Ahansal

  • Salameh AL AQRA (JOR) – 1st in 2012, 2nd in 2008, 2010, 3rd in 2009, 2011.
  • Mohamad AHANSAL (MAR) – 4 victories and 2nd place 9 times.
  • Samir AKHDAR (MAR) – 6th in 2011, 7th in 2009.
  • Rachid EL MORABITY (MAR) – 1st in 2011.
  • Aziz EL AKAD (MAR) – 2nd in 2009 and 3rd in 2008 and 2012.
  • Christophe LE SAUX (FR) – 6th in 2012, 1st Guyan’trail 2011 and 2012.
  • Anton VENCELJ (SLO) – 4th in 2010, 8th in 2012.
  • Abdelaaziz TAYSS (FR) – French Cross-Country champion 2008 and 2011
  • Vincent DELEBARRE (FR) – 9th in 2005, 1st UTMB, Réunion, Templiers, etc
  • Martin FIZ (SP) – World Marathon Champion in 1995.
  • Carlos GOMEZ DE SA (POR) – 4th 2012 and 8th in 2008, 4th UTMB 2012.
  • Marco OLMO (ITA) – Top 10 in the MDS, 2 UTMB victories.
  • Antonio Filippo SALARIS (ITA) – 7th in 2012.

In 2013 I followed two runners in the build up to the 2013 Marathon des Sables. Tobias Mews placed 21st overall in the 2010 race and Stuart Rae is toeing the line for the first time in 2013. Each interview alternated on episodes of Talk Ultra but they have been joined together in one episode (lasts just under 1 hour)

talkultra.com

LISTEN HERE

2012 results (for reference)

1st : Salameh Al Aqra (JOR) in 19h59’21’’
 2nd : Mohamad Ahansal (MAR) 21’02’’ behind 3rd : Aziz El Akad (MAR) 1h38’56’’ behind

1st : Laurence Klein (FRA) in 26h15’40’’ 2nd : Meryem Khali (MAR) 1h19’38’’ behind 3rd : Karine Baillet (FRA) 1h31’07’’ behind

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The 2013 race route

  • 1st leg – 37.2k Undulating terrain, interspersed with small ergs representing 5km of small dunes (dunettes).
  • 2nd leg – 30.7km 3 djebels with 10 to 25% gradients – exceptional panoramic views.
  • 3rd leg – 38km 2 djebel sections, 2 dried-up lakes and lots of sand.
  • 4th leg – 75.7km a total of 13km of dunes and around 30km of sandy terrain.
  • 5th leg – 42.2km the final leg is a marathon with ergs, regs, a dried-up lake and wadi beds…
  • Total Distance – 223.8km

Mandatory Kit

One of the key aspects of the Marathon des Sables is what kit to take? Here is a list of ‘mandatory’ kit. Of course, you need to add to this food requirements, cooking equipment and any additional luxuries.

  1. Distress flare: For use in the event of an extreme emergency. A range in excess of several dozen metres once activated.
  2. Knife: Equipped with a metal blade, it’s obviously useful in the bivouac and it can be of service when useful in the bivouac and it can be of service when running too.
  3. Compass: Surpassing both intuition and signposting, the compass is the marathon runner’s signposting.
  4. Whistle: Slowed by problems with your health or astray of the initial route, it enables other competitors or the organisation to be alerted to your whereabouts.
  5. Lighter: An important ally after a day’s running, whenit’s time to make a fire to heat up your meal.
  6.  Anti-venom pump: Even though it’s rare to have an unpleasant encounter with a snake, the anti-venom pump is compulsory and can enable action to be pump is compulsory and can enable action to be taken quickly.
  7. Antiseptic: As the days go by, all kinds of injuries can crop up, even during the race sometimes. So whilst awaiting assistance from a Doc Trotter, antiseptic can be important prior to linking up with the medical team.
  8. Sleeping bag: To be carried for seven days, ideally it shouldn’t exceed 400g and should be suitable for temperatures of between 5°C and 10°C. Indeed, the nights are cold in the desert.
  9. Survival blanket: In the event of serious problems, the survival blanket enables you to protect yourself from both the cold and sun. It weighs in at no more than 60g.
  10. Signalling mirror: If lost, someone competing in the Marathon des Sables will want to signal his or her presence. Playing with the sun and a mirror may be an alternative prior to using a distress flare.
  11. Salt tablets: Not exactly pleasant tasting, they are nonetheless essential for avoiding dehydration.
  12. Glow sticks: The perfect marker during the long leg.
  13. Headtorch: once night falls or when wandering around the bivouac, the headtorch is essential.

I will be reporting from the 2013 event as the race unfolds and providing I am able to gain adequate access to internet, I will update my website, Facebook and Twitter with reports and images as often as possible. So please keep checking!

Kilian Jornet’s calendar 2013

Kilian Jornet copyright Ian Corless

Kilian Jornet copyright Ian Corless

Kilian Jornet has just announced his 2013 calendar. In just one glance you can see the dominance of Skyrunning. I am sure Kilian is laying his stall out and wants to be World Champion in VK, Sky and Ultra in the series.

Apart from one or two races, I will be at all of the events listed below bringing you interviews, images and audio as the action unfolds.

His 2012 placing of 3rd at Transvulcania must be a high priority on his list. I am sure he will be gunning for the win in 2013. Notably he has already stopped his skiing season allowing for more adequate preparation for the start of the 2013 season.

A surprise is a return to Raid de la Reunion. Maybe he wants a course record…?

2013 is going to be a very exciting season. I can’t wait to see it unfold.

CALENDAR

07/05/2013 – VERTICAL KILOMETER ELBRUS – RUSSIA – http://www.elbrus.redfox.ru/english/news/

11/05/2013 – TRANSVULCANIA – SPAIN – http://transvulcania13.com/index.php/en/

Kilian at Transvulcania 2012 copyright Ian Corless

Kilian at Transvulcania 2012 copyright Ian Corless

26/05/2013 – ZEGAMA AIZKORRI – SPAIN – http://www.zegama-aizkorri.com/

09/06/2013 – CERDANYA ULTRAFONS – SPAIN – http://www.ultrafons.com/

28/06/2013 – VERTICAL KILOMETER CHAMONIX – FRANCE – http://www.montblancmarathon.net/fr/

30/06/2013 – MARATON CHAMONIX – FRANCE – http://www.montblancmarathon.net/fr/

06/07/2013-07/07/2013 – KILIAN’S CLASSIK – FRANCE – http://www.traildefontromeu.com

14/07/2013 – ICE TRAIL TARANTAISE – FRANCE – http://www.icetrailtarentaise.fr/

19/07/2013-21/07/2013 – EUROPEAN SKYRUNNING CHAMPIONSHIP – ITALY – http://www.dolomiteskyrace.com/portali.asp

Kilian at Cavalls del Vent 2012 copyright Ian Corless

Kilian at Cavalls del Vent 2012 copyright Ian Corles

27/07/2013 – ULTRA SKYRUNNING DOLOMITI – ITALY – http://www.dolomiteskyrace.com/portali.asp

24/08/2013 – MATTERHORN ULTAKS – SWITZERLAND – http://www.ultraks.com/

01/09/2013 – MEET YOU MAKER – CANADA – http://www.meetyourmaker50.com/

28/09/2013 – UROC – USA – http://www.ultraroc.com

11/10/2013-13/10/2013 – LIMONE – ITALY – http://www.skybikextreme.com/

25/10/2013-27/10/2013 – GRAND RAID REUNION – REUNION ISLAND –
http://www.grandraid-reunion.com