Episode 150 – Ryan Sandes and Brian Boyle

This is Episode 150 of Talk Ultra and we chat with Ryan Sandes ahead of his new and exciting FKT attempt in Nepal. Kurt Decker chats with Brian Boyle and Speedgoat is here.
*****
NEWS
Not much news this early in 2018, Ian and Karl chat about Bandera 100k and HURT 100. We also give a shout out to Dave Mackey!
*****
00:38:11 – Kurt Decker talks with BRIAN BOYLE
*****
01:01:55 – Ian Corless talks with RYAN SANDES
****
Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel FKT on GHT.
Hope you had an amazing festive season and got to enjoy a very well deserved breakJ In early March 2018, Ryan Sandes and his trail running best bud, Ryno Griesel, will be undertaking their next mission impossible in attempting to set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Holy Grail of Mountain Trails, the Great Himalaya Trail’s.Ryan and Ryno will be leaving from high altitude training in Afriski on the 5th of Feb before they head out to Nepal on the 21st of Feb.
While most of us mere mortals started off the year setting fitness goals that we hope to achieve by at least the end of 2018, Ryan Sandes and fellow Salomon athlete, Ryno Griesel, have set themselves the goal of running, and hopefully beating, the current fastest known time (FKT) for the Holy Grail of Mountain Trails, the Great Himalaya Trail. They are aiming to tackle the more than 1400km in early March and in under 28 days – that’s essentially running an ultra-marathon every day for under 28 days, in the mountains, and at breathless altitude levels.
What makes this feat so impressive? The Great Himalaya Trail attempt is a single long distance trek from the west end of Nepal across to the East end, covering a staggering 1406km, with 68 500m of ascent and 70 000m of descent, a distance that takes a normal human roughly 5 months to walk. There are currently more people who have walked on the moon than those who have completed this entire trail!
“I am really excited, but also a bit nervous to be attempting to run the Great Himalaya Trail with Ryno in a few weeks’ time,” says Ryan. “This is going to be, by far, the greatest challenge of my life. I have never covered a distance (in one go) this far on my own two feet. There are so many unknowns we are going to have to deal with along the way, but that I guess is what intrigues me most about the challenge. This distance is so great and the mountains are so big that I have not quite gotten my head around the project yet. The plan will be to take it day by day and adjust our strategy accordingly!”
The current FKT was set by fellow South African Andrew Porter in 2016, who completed the challenge in 28days 13hrs 56min.
The Great Himalaya Trail is not a single trail but rather a combination of various trails in either the upper (GHT High Route) or middle (GHT Cultural route) districts of Nepal stretching from the west to the east (or vice versa) end of the country. Ryan and Ryno will traverse the route combining the High GHT and Cultural GHT to challenge the current recognised FKT, whilst self-navigating the best possible route to link up the 12 required check-points as set by Andrew.
“I am extremely excited and humbled by the opportunity to share the Himalayas with Ryan in such a cool adventure,” says Ryno. “Researching a project of this scale, I am nervously aware that we simply cannot prepare for everything and that we will have to rely on the foundation of our friendship built from previous “epics” to find solutions on-the-go and carry each other through! I am really looking forward to it & we will take it day by day – looking after each other!” 
This challenge is a follow on project to Ryan and Ryno’s very successful 2014 Drakensberg Grand Traverse. The much larger mountains and extreme conditions in the Himalayas would be a natural progression for both of them to explore their limits. Although there will be limited points where they meet up with crew to receive permits and basic kit exchange, Ryan and Ryno will rely on local hospitality for nutrition, water and a place to sleep.
The route that Ryan and Ryno will be taking is (based on the Andrew’s current FKT) :
·         Start in the village of Hilsa on the Western Nepal/ Tibetan border and cross the following points (villages and passes).
·         Simikot at roughly 77km
·         Gamgadhi at roughly 150km
·         Jumla at roughly 193km
·         Juphal (280km) or Dunai at roughly 290km
·         Chharka Bhot at roughly 380km
·         Kagbeni at roughly 444km
·         Thorang La Pass at roughly 463km
·         Larkye La Pass at roughly 561km
·         Jiri at roughly 928km
·         Tumlingtar at roughly 1075km
·         Finishing on the Eastern Nepal/ Indian border at Pashupatinagar.
Thanks to our ability to ALWAYS be in contact, Ryan and Ryno will have live tracking throughout the traverse, and will also do regular social media updates to show how they are doing and what they are experiencing.
01:41:07
*****
Share us on Facebook – Talk Ultra FB https://www.facebook.com/talkultra/
Tweet us on Twitter – Talk Ultra on Twitter https://twitter.com/Talkultra
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.
*****
Stitcher You can listen on iOS HERE, Android HERE or via a web player HERE
Website – talkultra.com

Sandes of Time – Ryan Sandes at the 2017 #WSER Western States Endurance Run on IRUN4ULTRA

I recently caught up with South Africa’s Ryan Sandes after his impressive victory at the 2017 Western States. You can listen to a full and in-depth interview HERE on Talk Ultra podcast.

Ryan’s story is one that inspires and it just shows what is possible.

“An impulsive decision one Sunday afternoon completely changed my life back in 2008. Could I run 250km, self-supported through a Desert? Without another thought, I maxed out my credit card and entered a race I knew almost nothing about. The lead up to the Gobi Desert Race consumed me but most importantly it enabled me to dream.”

You can read the full article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

Episode 122 – Kostelnick – Sandes – Morgan

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 122 of Talk Ultra and we have a 1 hour interview with Pete Kostelnick all about his amazing, record breaking run across the USA. Ryan Sandes talks Raid de la Reunion and Casey Morgan talks about Madeira’s EcoTrail Funchal and the Everest Trail Race. The show is co-hosted by my good buddy from the Twin Cities, Kurt Decker.

 

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is now published and available worldwide HERE

00:16:43 NEWS

CLEANSPORT COLLECTIVE http://cleansport.org

Professional pledge

  1. I pledge to honor myself, competitors, sponsors, sport and society by choosing to stay clean of performance enhancing drugs. Choosing to not play by the rules steals from hard working athletes who choose to do the right thing and challenges the health and integrity of sport. I will be a positive example in the community as an advocate and ambassador for clean sport. I pledge that I have and will always train clean, compete clean and live clean. 
  2. I agree to be an outspoken advocate of clean sport
  3. I agree to donate $25,000 to CSC charity partner if I ever test positive

*plus other pledges for brands, amateurs etc

Lanes of Change

Awareness

We are in this together. The more voices that speak in unity, the stronger we are.

Testing

It is time to intervene. Through our partners, we will support, aid and equip current drug testing regimes with the best and most updated tools and research.

Advocacy

We are a community with purpose. It is about the ecosystem of sport working together. We want it to be known that we support people over performances, and we celebrate honesty, integrity and transparency above all.

Restoration

We are human, and we all make mistakes. Together with our partners, we provide a safe place for those who have doped or spoke out against those that have.

IAU TRAIL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  1. Luis Alberto Hernando 8:20
  2. Nicolas Martin 8:30
  3. Benoit Cori 8:30
  1. Caroline Chaverot 9:39 – for me, THE ultra runner of the year!
  2. Azara Garcia 9:44
  3. Ragna Debats 9:47

VK FULLY

  1. Nadir Maguet 30:17
  2. Urban Zemmer 30:28
  3. Marco Moletto 30:28 and Kilian Jornet 30:33
  1. Christel Dewalle 35:57
  2. Beatrice Delflorian 38:42
  3. Serena Vittori 39:04

TEMPLIERS 76K

Miguel Heras (Spain). Now 41 years old, Heras turned back the clock with his second-straight win, adding to September victory at Ultra Pirineu. Here, Heras overtook Jared Hazen (U.S.) with some 6k to go to win in 6:45. Hazen used a mid-race surge to break things open and then held on for second in 6:49. Cedric Fleureton (France) was third in 6:56.

Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland) won Ultravasan for the second time, and went on to run 8:00 here for the win, improving on last year’s finish by four minutes. Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) stepped up in distance and ran strong for a second-place 8:13. I Núria Picas (Spain), who had seesawed with Kaspersen throughout, was third in 8:22.

IAU 24 HOUR

Dan Lawson from the UK took out the win (Dan has placed 3rd at Badwater and 2nd at Spartathlon) with 162 miles – ouch! Ondrej Velicka 2nd with 160 miles.

Maria Jansson set a new European record 155.74 miles – ouch! Patricia Bereznowska was 2nd with 150 miles.

RAID DE LA REUNION

  1. Francois dHaene 23:44 that is 3 victories in 4 years
  2. Antoine Guillon 24:15
  3. Javi Dominguez 24:36 – who has had an incredible and consistent year
  1. Andrea Huser 28:00
  2. Juliette Blanchet 29:26
  3. Emma Roca 30:10

00:50:00 INTERVIEW with RYAN SANDES

JAVELINA JUNDRED

Zach Bitter 13:30 beating Hal Koerner’s benchmark 13:47

Brett Sanborn 15:15

Ryan Kaiser 16:40

Dana Anderson 21:03

Adela Salt 21:32

Amy Rasor 22:17

Heather Anish Anderson sets new FKT for the 800 mile Arizona Trail – 19 days, 17 hours and 9 minutes

ECOTRAIL FUNCHAL MADEIRA

In the 80km race, Julien Chorier lead from the front and had a stunning day on the trails of Madeira. He arrived in Funchal looking strong. Casey Morgan placed 2nd just 6-minutes behind the Frenchman and Javi Bodas was 3rd, 19-minutes later. For the ladies, Wasmes Wasmes took a conniving victory 14-minutes ahed of Nadia Meroni and Sylvie Benech was 3rd, 1-hour after 2nd place.

01:28:07 INTERVIEW with CASEY MORGAN

DAVE MACKEY – an amazing and inspiring story unfolds

On Monday, October 24, Pete Kostelnick broke the longstanding record for running across the U.S. Kostelnick linked the San Francisco and New York City Halls in 42 days, 6 hours, bettering a 1980 46-day, 8-hour record set by Frank Giannino, Jr. Other than a lone zero-mile day early in the run, Kostelnick knocked out 70-plus miles day after day.

02:05:54 INTERVIEW PETE KOSTELNICK

UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

The Last Desert (Antarctica) | 250 kilometers | November 18, 2016 | website

Argentina

Noroeste Argentina Trail – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2016 | website

Noroeste Argentina Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2016 | website

Australia

New South Wales

Carcoar Cup Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

SURVIVAL RUN AUSTRALIA | 50 kilometers | November 18, 2016 | website

Survival Run Australia 75km | 75 kilometers | November 18, 2016 | website

Queensland

Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

Victoria

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Upstream 50km Challenge | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Colombia

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

Egypt

100 Km Pharonic Race | 100 kilometers | November 18, 2016 | website

France

Haute-Loire

Trail 70 km | 70 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Marne

SPARNATRAIL classique | 55 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Nord

Trail Extrème Lillois – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Territoire de Belfort

Belfortrail 55 km | 55 kilometers | November 11, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Lower Saxony

KILL 50 | 50 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bottroper Herbstwaldlauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

Hong-Kong

Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong | 100 kilometers | November 18, 2016 | website

India

Karnataka

100 km | 100 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

75 km | 75 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Maharashtra

100 km | 100 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

160 km | 160 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

75 km | 75 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Tamil Nadu

Nilgiris 100 km Men-Only Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Nilgiris 100 km Women-Only Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Nilgiris 50 km Men-Only Ultra | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Nilgiris 50 km Women-Only Ultra | 50 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Indonesia

100K | 100 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

50K Relay | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 102K | 102 kilometers | November 04, 2016 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 170K | 170 kilometers | November 04, 2016 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 70K | 70 kilometers | November 04, 2016 | website

Italy

Sicily

Etna Tour Trail | 67 kilometers | November 09, 2016 | website

Nepal

Everest Trail Race | 160 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

Manaslu Trail Race | 212 kilometers | November 08, 2016 | website

New Zealand

60 km | 60 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 04, 2016 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Oman

Oman Desert Marathon | 165 kilometers | November 04, 2016 | website

Peru

Amazon Race Forest 65k | 65 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Portugal

Trail Europe Croisière | 90 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Taiwan

50 km | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Thailand

TU50 | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Kirklees

100 Mile | 100 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

60 Mile | 60 miles | November 06, 2016 | website

Northamptonshire

Druids Challenge Ridgeway Multistage Ultra | 84 miles | November 11, 2016 | website

Powys

Beacons Ultra | 45 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Stirling

Glen Ogle 33 Ultra | 33 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Swansea

Coastal Trail Series – Gower – Ultra | 34 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Worcestershire

Halloween 7in7 | 295 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Pinhoti 100 | 100 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Arizona

50K | 50 kilometers | November 04, 2016 | website

50 mile | 50 miles | November 04, 2016 | website

Colossal-Vail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Colossal-Vail 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Pass Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

California

Chimera 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Nov) | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Mt. Tam Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Regular Team (12-Person) | 200 miles | November 11, 2016 | website

Rio Del Lago 100M | 100 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Two Cities Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

Ultra Team (6-Person) | 200 miles | November 11, 2016 | website

Florida

Cottonmouth 100 | 100 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Regular Team (3-6 runners) | 50 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Ultra Team (2 runners) | 50 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Georgia

Georgia Sky to Summit 50k | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Illinois

Tunnel Hill 100 Miler | 100 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Tunnel Hill 50 Miler | 50 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Indiana

50K 2-Peson Relay | 50 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

50K 4-Person Relay | 50 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

50K Solo | 50 kilometers | November 13, 2016 | website

Owen Putnam State Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Owen Putnam State Forest 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Kentucky

50K | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Maryland

Fire on the Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | November 06, 2016 | website

Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Stone Mill 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | November 12, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

Nougat Trail 100K | 100 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Nougat Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Stone Cat 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Missouri

Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Nevada

Ragnar Relay Las Vegas | 195 miles | November 04, 2016 | website

New Jersey

NJ Trail Series One Day – 50K | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

The Batona 50K | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

The Batona 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

New York

Mendon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Ohio

Fuzzy Fandango 50 K | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Oregon

50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Tennessee

50K | 50 kilometers | November 12, 2016 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 K Race | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 60 K Race | 60 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 70 K Race | 70 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Texas

Big Cedar Endurance Run 100 Miler | 100 miles | November 04, 2016 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50K | 50 kilometers | November 04, 2016 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50 Miler | 50 miles | November 04, 2016 | website

Muleshoe 50K | 50 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 50K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | November 05, 2016 | website

Virginia

Mountain Masochist Trail Run | 50 miles | November 05, 2016 | website

03:09:24 CLOSE

HEADS UP – I will be in Nepal for the next two weeks so, I won’t be putting out a ‘normal’ show. However, I have something special lined up. As many of you will know, Adam Campbell had a near fatal climbing accident just 9 weeks ago. I am pleased to say the recovery and healing process is going well. I caught up with Adam and I discussed the whole process and what lessons we can all learn from this in a 1-hour special. Episode 123 of Talk Ultra will be published automatically on Friday October 18th with a simple introduction and close.

 

03:18:01

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

Stitcher You can listen on iOS HEREAndroid HERE or via a web player HERE

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

Website – talkultra.com

RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER WILDRUN 2016 – Entries close soon!

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0853

“The simple act of running, placing one foot in-front of the other as a method of transport takes us back to our roots, our basic instincts. In search of a place to sleep, to hunt for food; it is about being in the wild, surviving and fulfilling a primal need.”

Richtersveld Wildrun | Avaunt Magazine-1

VIEW ON AVAUNT HERE

Join 2015 Marathon des Sables champion, Elisabet Barnes, South Africa’s unstoppable Linda Doke and the UK’s Tobias Mews in the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun.

Linda Doke, Zinal, Switzerland - image ©iancorless.com

Linda Doke, Zinal, Switzerland – image ©iancorless.com

The 2015 edition of the race was an incredible, mind-blowing journey but in 2016, the race goes one step further and becomes ‘Transfrontier.’ The race will now pass over the Orange River and in to Namibia.

Elisabet Barnes 2016 The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica (2nd place lady).

Elisabet Barnes 2016 The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica (2nd place lady).

Known as one of the most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar the Richtersveld Wildrun™ takes a new direction and in doing so become a cross-border trail running event; a worlds first! Extending to a linear 200km race, the five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia goes through the heart of the stunning /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place  – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!”said Owen Middleton,” MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.

Tobias Mews, The Dragon's Back Race 2015.

Tobias Mews, The Dragon’s Back Race 2015.

Including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders, the new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition but on day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia. Yes, the race will go into the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon made famous by Ryan Sandes.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0156

It’s no easy addition to the race, runners will need to cover 50km into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle. Rich in wildlife, runners will have a once in a lifetime experience with a possibility of seeing Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe. It’s the race of a lifetime!

Tobia Mews is no stranger to incredible races, his recent book release called ’50 Race To Run Before You Die’ looks like it will need a new chapter, 51 Races…

“I am so looking forward to this race. For me it’s the epitome of adventure running wrapped up in one of the most stunning places on earth. And it’s partly Ian Corless‘s fault for producing such amazing photos from last year.” – Tobias Mews

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-0939

After a long, tough day in Namibia, runners will spend the evening in a canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.

Race dates are 13-17 June 2016

ENTRY CLOSES VERY SOON, APRIL 1st

International entries HERE

European entries HERE

The overall race distance for 2016 will be 200km and the daily distances will be – 36.3km + 32.1km + 34km + 48.3km + 21.3km.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0346

Terrain is very mixed, varied and stunning and requires adaptation to sandy terrain, heat, climbing, remoteness and an ability to run with a GPS.

Need help with multi-day training? join our 2017 multi-day training camp in Lanzarote.

Details are HERE

Multi-Day Camp Image

Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.

“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience.”

 

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0771

If you need inspiration, check out the film from 2015 below.

You can also view photo galleries HERE

Richtersveld Wildrun 2015 Day 4

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-1791

 

The final day of the 2015 Richtersveld Wildrun concluded today with a course record day for Thabang Madiba and Katya Soggot.

It was a tough final day with technical trail, tough climbs, technical descents and amazing views.

James Cracknell was a no start to day 4, his swollen ankle far too painful to run on. James had handled the previous days mountains in his stride but the flatter 10km of the course was just too much. Reduced to a walk he contemplated undertaking the final day but during the night the pain continued and ultimately he made the correct call. At 38.3km it was a challenging last day that started with a long and steady climb over the first 17.5km to Akkedis Pass and then the fun started. Technical trail, ridge running, single track, slip sliding descents and incredible crystal fields would lead the runners once again to the Orange River and the finish in Sendlingsdrif. For many, it was a day of running together, overall classifications wouldn’t change and in the spirit of running for fun, the whole field embraced the last day and enjoyed it. However, one person decided that a course record was possible.

Thabang arrived at the technical ridges at Halfmens Ridge running like a man possessed, shifting from left foot to right foot he made the terrain look easy. He was on a mission and he did it. A final day course record confirmed his incredible skill and ability on this tough, challenging and incredibly beautiful course. Katya Soggot was once again crowned ladies champ and Nikki Kimball secured 2nd place ahead of Karoline Hanks.

Results Overall

Thabang Madiba 13:55:38

Dayle Wheeler 15:16:24

Filippo Faralla 16:46:25

 

Katya Soggot 15:26:57 (3rd overall)

Nikki Kimball 16:31:20 (4th Overall)

Karoline Hanks 16:46:19 (5th overall)

 

Full results HERE

Men:

Richtersveld Wildrun 2015 Day 3

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0413

Today the Wildrun lived up to expectations and really did become a wild run! The weather cleared, the winds dropped and the rain disappeared and we were all treated to a very special South African day.

Today’s course was special!

Notably, the Tatasberg Mountain is one of the most impressive sections of ‘trail’ I have ever witnessed. I use the term trail very loosely as it was a combination of scrambling and boulder hopping, not only on the way up but down. It was an intimidating section for some. A fear of heights not recommended. However, in pain, fear or discomfort on the climb was rewarded with incredible views. It was stunning!

Racing started at 0800 with separate waves; 0800, 0830, 0900 and 0930; slower runners starting first and faster runners in the last wave as per the previous day. Early running was relatively easy but the views were stunning. Particularly as early morning cloud cleared.

By the time the runners reached the climb of Tatasberg at approximately 16km, Thabang and all the usual suspects had pretty much caught all the early starters with the exception of 3 people.

Thabang made the boulders look easy as he hopped from one to the next. The other runners used a little more caution and a natural gap opened. Katya Soggot and Dayle Wheeler closely followed James Cracknell as he pursued Thabang, occasionally helping each across the larger boulders. Nikki Kimball trailed a little but only by minutes. At the summit the boulders started to clear providing the occasional opportunity to run.

The bottom of the climb opened up to a wide plateau and then a clear zigzag trail lead to the lush Orange River and across the water, Namibia. Lush green vegetation populated the left and right banks. It was a stunning contrast to what had come before. Running along the river banks, the sound of flowing water, birds and the occasional baboon made this day, arguably the best one yet.

Camp was located next to the river and of course, a braai was prepared for the arriving runners. Thabang Madiba arrived first (once again) closely followed by Katya Soggot, Dayle Wheeler, Karoline Hanks, Nikki Kimball and Filippo Faralla. But today really wasn’t about the racing, it was the course that was the hero. It was the Richtersveld National Park that had completely blown the minds of every runner and every runner on the Richtersveld Wildrun race.

James Cracknell had a tough day, his groin strain and twisted ankle from the previous day reducing him to a frustrating walk. He is currently unsure if day 3 is possible for him. He’s a stubborn and committed competitor and after travelling all this way, once has to think that he will fight his way through the last day even if it is slowly!

 

Results 

Thabang Madiba 3:24:03

Dayle Wheeler 3:32:31

Katya Soggot (1st lady) 3:32:31

Nikki Kimball (2nd lady) 3:49:10

Filippo Faralla (3rd man) 4:04:10

Karoline Hanks 4:04:10

 

Nikki Kimball has now moved up into 2nd overall, 10 minutes ahead of Karolin Hanks.

 

Men:

Thabang Madiba 3:24:03

Dayle Wheeler 3:32:31

Filippo Faralla 4:04:10

 

Ladies:

Katya Soggot 3:32:31

Nikki Kimball 3:49:10

Karoline Hanks 4:04:10

 

Richtersveld Widrun 2015 Day 2

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay22015-8875

What a night! The wind blew, gusted and lifted tents off the ground. We were told yesterday that the last time it rained in the Richtersveld was August 2014. Well believe me, when the weather changes; it really changes!

The excitement continued into the morning and although the rain subsided (for a little while), the wind was going to be with the runners all day. Starting in three separate groups, 0800, 0830 and 0900 the field were split based on finish times from day 1; slower runners starting first at 0800 and faster runners starting last at 0900.

James Cracknell, the 2-time Olympic Gold Medallist for rowing finally joined the race after an epic journey of 48 hours. He departed Poland at 1900 on Sunday after commentating at the Rowing European Championships. He flew back to the UK, then flew to Joburg and followed with a connecting flight to Upington. The journey was finished off with 10 hours in the car to the race day 2 start line.

James arrive at 0800 in camp just giving him 60 minutes to sort out his equipment and get his head ready for a day on South African trails.

As expected, Thabang Madiba showed everyone a clean pair of heels as he slowly pulled away from Katya Soggot, Dayle Wheeler, Nikki Kimball and James Cracknell. Conditions were tough throughout the day and the beautiful Richtersveld landscape was shrouded by mist and permanent rain that varied in intensity.

Climbing and descending to Cp1 the runners once again climbed up and over the pass at  Tswayiberg before then dropping down into the technical riverbed that would lead to the finish.

Thabang at this stage was already leading by over 10 minutes, behind Katya Soggot, Nikki Kimball and Dayle Wheeler pursued with James Cracknell not far behind. James was certainly struggling on the slick wet rocks as he slid from left foot to right with the occasional shout of ****ing hell! A groin strain picked up at London Marathon adding to his frustrations.

At the line, Thabang Madiba completed the 36km stage in 3:14:03 with Soggot, Wheeler and Kimball crossing the line together in 3:33:35. Cracknell held on fighting some severe discomfort to finish in 3:41:56.

Georgina Ayre who had run well on day 1 frustratingly repeated Nikki Kimball’s error and made a navigational mistake by taking the wrong riverbed. This mistake was costly, as she finished the day 1 hour behind Soggot and Kimball. Karoline Hanks was 3rd lady on the day in 4:03:23.

As the day came to a close, a break in the weather came and with it the sun, a welcome return! Everyone has fingers crossed for a warm and sunny day 3 at the Richtersveld Wildrun.

Results Overall

Thabang Madiba 6:45:35

Dayle Wheeler 7:14:49

Katya Soggot (1st lady) 7:25:22

Karoline Hanks (2nd lady) 8:13:05

Nikki Kimball (3rd lady) 8:13:06

Filippo Faralla (3rd man) 8:13:10

Richtersveld Wildrun 2015 Day 1

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay12015-7975

Day 1 0f the Richtersveld Wildrun got underway today on the stroke of 8am. It was a day of blue skies, white fluffy clouds and BIG landscapes as runners travelled from Sendelingsdrift to Dekoi covering 35.1km.

Pre race favourite Thabang Madiba ran a sold first day after initial worries about using a GPS for navigation. However, after a Navigation 101 master-class, he settled early and after Cp1 was heard saying, ‘The GPS is working great!’ Not having to worry about navigation allowed Thabang (from Pretoria) was allowed to run free and at the end of the day he had pulled away from 2nd place Dayle Wheeler by 10 minutes. Filippio Faralla finished 3rd man but was 5th on the stage.

Nikki Kimball for the ladies played a savvy waiting game in the early stages by running in 3rd place. She was actually 5 minutes behind Katya Soggot (Cape town) at Cp1. But at the end of the ‘Five Sisters” (5 consecutive mountains) she had taken the lead and was looking strong. A navigational error unfortunately ruined all the hard work… by the time Nikki realised her mistake, the damage was done and she needed to back track. “What can I say, I made a mistake! I switched off a little as I was running on a very defined path and when I eventually realised I was off course, I knew the damage was done,’ said Nikki post race.

Katya Soggot took over the lead but didn’t realise her position until she received information from the next control. From here on in it was a formality, Katya just needed to run a consistent effort and the day would be hers. Karoline Hanks who had run in 2nd for most of the day consolidated her position and Georgina Ayre finished 3rd.

Nikki unfortunately finished 4th 20 minutes behind the ladies leader. It was an expensive mistake

As day 1 came to a close, the winds started to increase and with it rain! To put this in perspective, the last time it rained in the Richtersveld was August 2014. With day 1 over, runners may well be in for a cooler and possible wet night. Conditions are expected to continue into the morning with hopefully dry conditions arriving at 11am.

British Olympic rower, James Cracknell unfortunately missed day 1 due to an extension by the BBC for him to continue commentary at the rowing championships in Poland. However, he is expected to arrive late in to camp on Tuesday and will start day 2 on Wednesday. Of course he will not be able to contend overall classification but our plans are for him to do day 1 at the end alone.

Results 

Thabang Madiba 3:31:33

Dayle Wheeler 3:41:15

Filippio Faralla 4:09:47

 

Katya Soggot 3:51:48

Karoline Hanks 4:09:42

Georgina Ayre 4:15:33

Please note, we have been trying to upload images but the storms are taking out our wifi connections making the process extremely difficult.

Here is a selection – more images to follow

Richtersveld Wildrun™ 2015 – This Week!

richtersveld-page_0

It is days before the second Richtersveld Wildrun™ kicks off and anticipation is building for what promises to be a tight race through one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.

This four day, 150km stage race is one of the most challenging trail runs in South Africa and runners can expect to take on a harsh, mountainous desert as they are tested to the limit. Similar in format o the iconic Marathon des Sables, ‘Wildrun’ is notably different in that runners are not self sufficient: equipment is transported for them and food is provided.

At the front of the field, three of Southern Africa’s top trail runners and an American ultra-running legend will go toe-to-toe as they battle it out for top spot. Bernard Rukadza and Katya Soggot will both return to defend their titles and will come up against the likes of South African long distance trail running champion, Thabang Madiba and three-time Western States 100 mile champion, Nikki Kimball.   Both Rukadza and Madiba have been enjoying superb form in 2015 with Rukadza securing his second straight ProNutro AfricanX title in March and Madiba taking second place at the same race and at the Otter African Trail Run in October 2014. Madiba will be hoping to go one better at the Wildrun™ and take first place, but he will be up against it thanks to Rukadza’s form and route experience from the 2014 event. This is also the first time Madiba is taking on a run of this magnitude and he will have to adapt quickly to stay in the hunt.

Day 2 of the 2014 Richtersveld Wildrun, 'Die Koei' to Hakkiesdoring, Northern Cape, South Africa on 5th June 2014

“Stage racing is one of the races that helps to find your strength in running. You learn to push while in pain and learn techniques to apply to survive all stages. A win will be a big bonus for me but I’m looking forward to give all my best,” said Madiba.

In the ladies field, Katya Soggot will be representing South Africa off the back of a string of victories in the Western Cape, including the Spur Silvermine Mountain XL, Spur Cape Summer Trail Series™, Three Peaks Challenge, Matroosberg Challenge and Jonkershoek and Helderberg Mountain Challenges. She has been virtually unbeatable locally and will relish the opportunity to measure herself against an ultra-runner of Kimball’s calibre. With three Western States 100 titles as well as an Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and Marathon des Sables title, Kimball is one of the top ultra runners of her time and will be hard to beat, but Soggot’s experience from the 2014 event is sure to come in handy.

“The magnitude of untouched wilderness, the comfort and welcome at every rest camp, and the elves who made it so. My feet touched where angels fear to tread. I never dreamt I would have the privilege to relive such an experience and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Boundless Southern Africa and Wildrunner for the opportunity,” – Katya Soggot

Since its inception in 2014, the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has had amazing support from Boundless Southern Africa and marketing manager, Roland Vorwerk was equally excited about the quality of racing anticipated.

“The Richtersveld Wildrun™ route includes many of the Park’s most spectacular features, and includes trails that very few people get to traverse. We are looking forward to these runners experiencing the unique natural and cultural landscape of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and meeting the communities associated with this innovative event.”

Mens Four Medal Ceremony

From a British perspective, Olympic rower and all around endurance athlete, James Cracknell was scheduled to race the 4 day Richtersveld Wildrun. However, James already had a commitment in place to commentate for the BBC on a rowing event in Poland. This race commentary was due to finish in time to allow James to travel to South Africa. Unfortunately, the commentating has been extended by one day and although James will still travel to South Africa he will arrive late and miss day one of the race. Needless to say, James is somewhat perturbed by this. Never happy taking the easy option, James and myself are currently looking at doing day 1 of the race at the end. Of course, this would mean a solo run but the team at Wildrunner have confirmed that they can make this happen. So, although James will not be able to compete head-to-head with other runners, we will have an overall time for the 4 day run that we can compare to other competitors.

“What more can be said other than this is going to be one hell of a race! Bernard Rukadza has been on fire in the Cape recently, winning everything from marathons to short Spur Trail Series™ events, but Thabang Madiba comes with the South African long distance trail champion label and arguably more endurance experience. I can’t wait to see these two trail heavy weights going head to head, solo, and in the magical Richtersveld desert,” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner – the events company behind the Wildrun™.

You will be able to follow the Richtersveld Wildrun through images and words here on this website, via Twitter @talkultra, on Facebook HERE and on Instagram @iancorlessphotography

Join Cracknell, Kimball and a quality line up at Richtersveld Wildrun, SA.

richtersveld-page_0

It’s game on at the Richtersveld Wildrun™

At the sharp end of this year’s 150km, 4 day Richtersveld Wildrun™ race will be three of Southern Africa’s best trail runners, an American ultra-running legend and a double Olympian gold medallist.

©iancorless.com_TCC2015_Day4-2099

Bernard Rukadza and Katya Soggot will both return to defend their titles and will come up against the likes of South African long distance trail running champion, Thabang Madiba, American ultra-running legend, Nikki Kimball and global adventure extraordinaire, James Cracknell.

Mens Four Medal Ceremony

The friendly Cape-based Zimbabwean and current Richtersveld Wildrun™ record holder, Rukadza, comes off his second straight victory at the ProNutro AfricanX with teammate, AJ Calitz and will be confident that he can defend his Richtersveld Wildrun™ title. He put in a dominant performance at the inaugural event in 2014, winning three of the four stages and thus goes into this year’s event with a distinct advantage over Madiba. “I know the route from running it last year and I definitely want to win again. I always want to push and improve my time and am looking forward to racing Thabang. He’s very good and it will be fantastic,” he said.

Day 2 of the 2014 Richtersveld Wildrun, 'Die Koei' to Hakkiesdoring, Northern Cape, South Africa on 5th June 2014

Defending champion, Bernard Rukadza will return to the Richtersveld Wildrun™ from 2-5 June 2015. Image by Kelvin Trautman

 

Gauteng-based Madiba, on the other hand, will be giving his all and plans to push the limits as he gains more experience in stage racing. He has set his sights firmly on improving his second place at the ProNutro AfricanX, but is philosophical on his approach to the Wildrun™. “Stage racing is one of the races that helps to find your strength in running. You learn to push while in pain and learn techniques to apply to survive all stages. It is only a matter of surviving and reaching the finish line. I’ve never done 150km in four days before and I’m super excited to give it a try. Life becomes interesting when you try new things and get out of your comfort zone. A win will be a big bonus for me but I’m looking forward to give all my best,” he said.

SA long distance trail champion, Thabang Madiba at the Outeniqua Traverse. He will be taking on Bernard Rukadza at the Richtersveld Wildrun™. Image by Kelvin Trautman

SA long distance trail champion, Thabang Madiba at the Outeniqua Traverse. He will be taking on Bernard Rukadza at the Richtersveld Wildrun™. Image by Kelvin Trautman

“What more can be said other than this is going to be one hell of a race! Bernard has been on fire in the Cape recently, winning everything from marathons to short Spur Trail Series™ events, but Madiba comes with the South African long distance trail champion label and arguably more endurance experience. I can’t wait to see these two trail heavy weights going head to head, solo, and in the magical Richtersveld desert,” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner – the events company behind the Wildrun™.

Also in the hunt, and sure to be nipping at the heels of Rukadza and Madiba, is second time Richtersveld Wildrun™ challenger, Filippo Faralla as well as British adventurer, James Cracknell.

Soggot vs Kimball

Katya Soggot will be defending her title at the Richtersveld Wildrun™ and facing competition such as Nikki Kimball and Karoline Hanks. Image by Dylan Haskin

Katya Soggot will be defending her title at the Richtersveld Wildrun™ and facing competition such as Nikki Kimball and Karoline Hanks. Image by Dylan Haskin

In the ladies field, Katya Soggot will be representing South Africa off the back of victories at the Spur Silvermine Mountain XL, Spur Cape Summer Trail Series™, Three Peaks Challenge, Matroosberg Challenge and fourth place at the Otter African Trail Race, to name but a few. Soggot’s continuous achievements will come in handy as she is up against three-time Western States 100 champion, previous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champ and current Marathon des Sables champion, Nikki Kimball.

Other top lady runners who are worth keeping an eye on, include the female winner of the 2014 Rhodes Ultra Trail Run and uber-experienced ultra-trail runner Karoline Hanks; third placed female at the Wildcoast Wildrun™ 2014 Harriet Cullinan; and second placed female at the 100km Cederberg Traverse, Georgina Ayre.

“Last year, the ladies race was very amicable, with Katya and Tracy Zunckel running together for a large portion of the time. This year will be so exciting to watch, with at least five really strong contenders for the title. Katya will be looking to defend her title, with the advantage of knowing the route and Nikki is certainly a tough challenger,” says Tamaryn Middleton, general manager of Wildrunner. “Karoline Hanks is also extremely strong and comfortable with self-navigation so is definitely one to watch.”

Soggot has said she has amazing memories from the Richtersveld Wildrun™ in 2014 and is ecstatic to go back again. “The magnitude of untouched wilderness, the comfort and welcome at every rest camp, and the elves who made it so. My feet touched where angels fear to tread. I never dreamt I would have the privilege to relive such an experience and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Boundless Southern Africa and Wildrunner for the opportunity,” she said.

Since its inception in 2014, the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has had amazing support from Boundless Southern Africa and marketing manager, Roland Vorwerk was equally excited about the quality of racing anticipated. “The Richtersveld Wildrun™ route includes many of the Park’s most spectacular features, and includes trails that very few people get to traverse. We are looking forward to these runners experiencing the unique natural and cultural landscape of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and meeting the communities associated with this innovative event.”

Do you fancy joining these incredible athletes in South Africa?

Limited places are available through the UK agent. Please use the contact.