As Hard as a Rock -Jason Schlarb on IRUN4ULTRA

Jason Schlarb is ‘the man!’ – Let’s face it, anyone who can go head-to-head with ‘KJ’ and finish alongside him at Hardrock 100 is doing something right. Jason just placed 3rd at The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica and while we downed one or three ‘Imperials’ we discussed what 2017 has in store.

Read the article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

REVIEW of 2016 in Trail, Mountain, Ultra and Skyrunning

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As a year comes to end, it’s always nice to be able to look back and appreciate some of the highlights that all come together that allows one to decide if it was a good or bad year. For me personally, 2016 was a cracker and I am truly thankful for all the opportunities that came up.

Looking back and deciding on what a highlight is, is of course a tricky thing. It’s very personal and it also requires a great memory. So, I will declare right from the off that these are ‘my’ highlights and yes, I am going to miss some key performances, runners, experiences and so on that should be in the list. So, please feel free to comment and remind me.

It would make sense to start in January and move through to December in a logical way… I am not going to do that, I am writing this off the cuff.

Jim Walmsley has been on fire in 2016 and ironically, despite an amazing run and course record at JFK50, FKT’s for the Rim-to-Rim and Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon and countless other victories, it will be his Western States performance that well and truly cements Jim as one of the most exciting runners to rise in 2016. He said pre Western States that he was there to win and win with a course record. He flew along the trails and at one point was almost 30-minutes under the record. As he passed 90-miles everyone was re-writing the history books and then boom! Jim went off course. I caught up with a full and in-depth interview with Jim and you can listen to that HERE and read it HERE. Jim for many is the male Ultra-runner of the Year with victories at Stagecoach Line 55km, Franklin Mountains Trail Run, Lake Sonoma, Mesquite Canyon, Moab Red Hot 55k, Bandera 100k and the recent JFK50. 2017 is going to be a very exciting one.

Rob Young set off on a journey Across the USA looking for a new record, fame, glory and an opportunity to raise a load of money for charity. Somewhere along the way he lost a grasp of reality, perspective and ruined what was a remarkable story be cheating and deceiving the whole ultra running community. Ultimately, Rob is a story of an individual who tried to do good and maybe we should ask what went wrong rather than preach about his morals.

That brings me on to Mark Vaz. What is it with FKT’s and delusional behaviour? Mark seemed to think that running from Land’s End to John O’Groats 31-hours quicker than anyone else for the 860-mile journey was a good idea. It’s not even a convincing lie. As many pointed out, the god of ultra -running, Yiannis Kouros, couldn’t have done it as quick as Mr. Vaz claimed… oh dear!

Pete Kostelnick by contrast embraced the FKT concept and showed the world that the claims made by Rob Young are possible by smashing a 30+ year old Guinness record out of the ether by running Across the USA a full 4-days quicker than anyone else. As records go, this is an absolute doozy and when you look deep and hard into this 40+ day journey, you soon start to understand the difficulty and complexity of running 70+ miles a day. You can listen to an in-depth interview with Pete HERE and read the story HERE. In addition, we must also add to this story, Pete’s incredible and record breaking run at Badwater 135. This achievement has been overshadowed by the USA run but as a stand alone run, it’s also a cracker.

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Karl Meltzer did it, he finally completed the Appalachian Trail in a new record breaking time after failing on two previous occasions.  His time was some 10-hours quicker than Scott Jurek’s set in 2015, however, Karl did run in the opposite direction and has said, post run, he feels that they are two records. Notably, Karl helped Scott in 2015 and Scott helped Karl in 2016. It’s a remarkable story and one that truly reflects our sport of ultra-running. Karl’s record of 45-days, 22-hours and 38-minutes now sits in the record books and well and truly establishes Karl as one of ‘the’ greatest ultra-runners in the world. This is also backed up with his 38 100-mile victories and 5 victories at Hardrock 100. Listen to the in-depth interview HERE and read HERE

Talking of Hardrock 100, Kilian Jornet and Jason Schlarb held hands and crossed the line together in 2016. It was a wonderful moment that split the ultra-running audience in two. Some would have preferred a race to the line while others discussed the wonderful gesture and statement this moment made. Whichever camp you sit in, it was back-to-back victories for Kilian and a career defining moment for Jason Schlarb. Something he discussed in my in-depth interview HERE. For equality, we also need to mention Anna Frost nailing a back-to-back ladies victory. As I understand it, these three Musketeers will all return in 2017.

Aaron Denberg got a bee in his bonnet about Hardrock 100 lottery and decided to create a law suit. Many believe Mr. Denberg makes some good points but questioned if his approach was the correct one? Hardrock 100 released statements and have since removed the payment of a fee by each runner to enter the lottery, something which was apparently illegal! This will run and run (pardon the pun) but ultimately, is Hardrock a victim of it’s own success?

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Caroline Chaverot for me, without doubt, female ultra-runner of the year. This French lady has been on fire all the way from victory in Transgrancanaria early in the year to a most recent win in Hong Kong on December 2nd. Along the way, Caroline won UTMB, became Skyrunning World Champion for the ultra distance and won the IAU World Trail Championships in Portugal. Add to these incredible results, victories at Madirea Island Ultra Trail, Mont-Blanc 80km and the UTWT world title for 2016 and I lower my head and bow to Queen Caroline. Plus she has made the lottery for Hardrock in 2017… exciting!

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Adam Campbell survives a horrific fall and not only lives to tell the tale but has a remarkable recovery, listen to the interview HERE and read HERE

Lizzy Hawker sneaked from under the radar and once again picked up the gauntlet testing her personal boundaries and voyage of self-discovery. After years of injury, Lizzy completed the GHT (Great Himalayan Trail). A 1600km, east to west journey across Nepal. It was, as Lizzy promised, a “beautiful, rough, hard and unforgettable journey”. It was about many things, but also about trying to raise money to give opportunities to Nepali runners, particularly girls, for whom one chance can be a catalyst for much wider change.

Damian Hall set a new FKT on the UK’s South West Coast Path 10-hours, 15-minutes and 18-seconds for the 630-mile jaunt.

Jeff Browning, what a year…! Winner Hurt 100, 3rd at Western States, 4th at Hardrock 100 and 4th at Run Rabbit Run – that is some year, the WSER/Hardrock double a stand out and fastest combined time.

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Kilian Jornet won Hardrock 100 and attempted to summit Everest. The Summits Of My Life project continues on into 2017 after Kilian and his team decided to pull the plug on a 2016 attempt as weather detonated.

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Emelie Forsberg was quiet in 2016 after damaging her ACL and having an operation, she did however return to Trofeo Kima and put the record straight with a victory… she hopes the course record will come in 2018 when the race will take place once again. Emelie discussed her injury HERE

Beth Pascall went from strength-to-strength in 2016 and elevated the Lakeland 100 (UK) record to a whole new level by placing 4th overall. Listen to her interview HERE

Zach Miller did what he always does and lead from the front. At UTMB many predicted, me included, that it was going to be a story of glorious victory with a stunning ‘off-the-front’ performance or carnage with a monumental blow-up! In reality it was both, the blow-up came and he somehow managed to hold on for grim death to still get a top-10 place, he will win this race one day! Jump forward to December and Zach did it again at San Francisco 50. This time he had company and many are saying that ‘this’ race was one of the highlights of the year as Zach and Hayden Hawks traded blows at the front. Zach won with a course record and he took home the $10,000 prize. Hayden finished just 2-minutes back. Note that name! If you want to know what it’s like to put it ALL on the line, take a look at Zach’s final 2-minutes of that incredible 5:56:03 run.

Andrew Miller became the youngest winner of the iconic Western States and today, myself and so many others still know very little about this 20-year old. Certainly, Jim Walmsley had an impact on the kudos and plaudits that Andrew should have received. Running 15:39:36 at WSER takes some doing but I can’t help but think that Biology and chemistry are a priority as Andrew starts his sophomore year at Northern Arizona University. He will be back at WSER in 2017!

Kaci Lickteig has been nailing it and nailing it and finally got the Western States victory that she has longed for and then contrasted it with victory at the Bear 100. You can listen to Kaci’s post Western States interview HERE

Andrea Huser runs and races it would appear ‘every’ weekend. She is relentless. As I understand it, Andrea raced on thirteen occasions but I may have missed some/ She had victories at Raid de La Reunion Swiss Irontrail T201 Eiger Ultratrail 101km, Lavaredo, Trail d’Albertville, Trail Des Allobroges and Maxi-Race Annecy. Phew… any other year and the lack of Caroline Chaverot and Andrea would be female ultra-runner of the year.

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Luis Alberto Hernando won Transvulcania, became Skyrunning World Champion for the ultra distance and became IAU World Trail Champion. That is a solid year and Luis has raced less having become a Dad. Had his feet not fallen apart at UTMB, he may well have been in the running with Jim for male ultra-runner of the year.

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Diego Pazos is a name to watch and has surprised many in 2016. He’s my heads-up for the future. He had a notable result at Transgrancanaria early in 2016 but what followed was quite incredible, his victory at Mont-Blanc 80km a highlight!

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Didrik Hermansen won Transgrancanaria and then placed 2nd at Western States. That is solid and shows real diversity. What will 2017 hold for him? Listen HERE and as Sondre corrects me, Didrik ran 6:45 and 6:38 for 100k.

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Running Beyond Book was released in October and November to a worldwide audience and has been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish and of course is available in English. Containing 240-pages, this large coffee table books documents the sport of trail, ultra, mountain and skyrunning in images and words, HERE

Dan Lawson (UK) won the IAU 24 Hour European Championships in 2016 with a distance of 261.843 kilometres (162.702 mi).

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Jasmin Paris has elevated herself to a whole new level in 2016. This quiet and shy fell runner set new records for the UK’s ‘Rounds’ and in the process placed 6th at UTMB (her first 100) won Tromso SkyRace, won Glencoe Skyline, became the Skyrunner World Series Extreme Champion 2016 and in addition to countless other races, also placed on the podium at the Skyrunning World Championships for the ultra distance behind Caroline Chaverot. Interviews with Jasmin Paris HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

Joe Grant set a new record on the 14’ers in 31-days by cycling between trailheads and then summiting all the 14’ers (50+ of them) on foot to then return back to his cycle and then continue on his journey. He was self-sufficient for the whole trip. “I did set a speed record, but that wasn’t my goal,” says Grant, 33, an accomplished ultrarunner who finished second at the 2012 Hardrock 100. “The goal was to challenge myself and see the state, although the previous record served as a reference for how long I could take.” taken from trailrunningmag.

Megan Hicks also completed a ’14’ journey, the Nolans 14 in Colorado. She completed the journey in 57:19:19 to the summit of the 14th peak and then completed the journey back to the Fish Hatchery Trailhead in under 60-hours – 59:36. Her time is the fastest ever completed by a woman.

Nicky Spinks continues to inspire and while she may have lost her ‘Round’ records to Jasmin Paris, she went on to set a new benchmark with a record for a double Bob Graham Round – Nick is an inspiration! You can listen to an interview with her HERE

Ludovic Pommeret ran the most controlled and impressive UTMB ever moving from not being in contention to slowly but surely ticking off the runners ahead and taking the crown at the largest ultra in the world. Add to this victory four other victories and Ludovic is one to keep an eye on in ’17.’

Caroline Boller set new American Trail 50-mile record 5:48:01

Gina Slaby set new female 100-mile WR 13:45:49 for ‘any’ surface, Anne Trason had the previous record of  13:47:41 set in the early 90’s.

Skyline Scotland achieved a first with Glencoe Skyline achieving Skyrunner World Status in the Extreme category and as such, the 2016 edition of the race had arguably one of the best fields assembled on UK soil for a mountain race. HERE

Jon Albon transitioned from obstacle racing (something he still does and excels at) to Skyrunning and won the 2016 Skyrunner World Series Extreme category. We are going to see more of him in 2017! HERE

Samantha Gash ran across India in a project called ‘Run India’ as a means to create awareness and raise money. Covering over 3000km you can listen to her story in episode 125 of Talk Ultra out on Friday 16th December.

Ida Nilsson started the year with a win in Transvulcania, she took victory at The Rut and then in early December won San Francisco 50. Without doubt, Ida is a star of the future. Listen to Ida talk about Transvulcania HERE

Stu Leaney breaks Michael Wardian’s 50km treadmill record by just 7-seconds

Mina Guli ran 40-marathons across 7 deserts on 7 continents in 7 weeks to raise awareness for water, listen to the interview HERE

Jason Schlarb started his year by prepping for Hardrock 100 by skiing the course, listen to the interview HERE

Skyrunning and the world series (SWS) elevated to new heights with an increased circuit that traveled the globe and the addition of the new Extreme series.

And finally (maybe), Donnie Campbell just recently set a new Winter Ramsay Round record to finish a very solid year!

******

So what have I missed? 

I am well aware that I will have missed some key performances in 2016 and I welcome you commenting and letting me know. Of course, many performances, races or experiences will resonate on a personal level for you. I can think of many British performances that are worthy of a nod – Jo Meek’s 2nd at the CCC, Paul Giblin 5th at Western States, Joasia Zakrzewski’s medal at the 100k World Champs for example.

Be great to hear from you…

Jason Schlarb to run The Coastal Challenge 2017 #TCC2017

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Jason Schlarb shot to notoriety after winning Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race in 2013. What has followed is a rise through the ultra ranks. A 4th place at UTMB placed Jason as one of the most successful Americans ever to perform at the big dance in Chamonix – a race that has proven elusive for Americans to crack until recently. The true sign of a true champion is when they go back to a race and win again… Jason did this at Run Rabbit Run winning again in 2015. However, all previous results pale into insignificance after Jason crossed the line hand-in-hand with Kilian Jornet at the 2016 Hardrock 100.

Hardrock, a low-key event in comparison to some of the big ‘hundos’ is for many the epitome of the mountain ultra world – with 100 miles to cover and relentless vertical gain at altitude, it is the grandad event that all other races look up to. For Jason to win it alongside arguably the greatest mountain runner in the world is a huge accolade.

However, before Jason ran the Hardrock 100 event, in winter of the same year, he covered the Hardrock 100 route on skis – a first! It was quite the event and experience and what followed was an immersion into the heat of the Sahara.

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Jason raced the 2016 Marathon des Sables and found it a real challenge, I wondered, what was it about multi-day racing that appeals to him, after all, he has a reputation of being a single stage racer.

“One of the aspects of stage racing I appreciate the most, is being able to spend quality time with other athletes over multiple days. There are great opportunities to make life long friends at stage races. I really look forward to reuniting with my Norwegian Altra teammate Sondre Amdahl at TCC. Sondre and I have raced together on a number of occasions and we both raced at Marathon des Sables, he placed 8th and I was 12th. I wouldn’t mind setting things right and beating Sondre at the Costal Challenge in February :)”

But I wondered, is racing for multiple days harder than racing for one day?

“Stage racing creates prolonged drama, excitement and amazing entertainment for both spectators and athletes alike, what is there to not like about that? Stage racing, to me, is far more difficult. One must perform well day-after-day and juggle an extended game of being patient and balancing effort.”

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At Marathon des Sables I had noticed that a lack of rest and a lack of calories made the Sharan challenge difficult for Jason, although TCC is not a completely self-sufficient race, I asked Jason what are the challenges he thinks he may encounter during The Coastal Challenge?

“For me, the Coastal Challenge presents a unique obstacle of performing well in a hot and humid climate while living and training in a snowy and cold climate. I will also need to focus on speed training this winter to be ready for faster, lower altitude running verse my usual high altitude, mountain running. Staying blister and generally injury free over multiple days of racing is also a big task at the Coastal Challenge.”

Snow and cold temperatures are not ideal preparation for the heat, humidity, rainforests, long stretches of beaches and technical trail of Costa Rica – is this going to be perfect running terrain or a real challenge?

“Traveling through wild lands is always a thing of perfection in my mind, but that perfection always presents challenge – that’s why we do it! I love Costa Rica. My family lived there for 2 years while I was at University, so, I always look forward to going back.”

©iancorless.com_MDS2016-1834You have already mentioned that you will have snow and cold temperatures to deal with in the build up to TCC. You have also said that you will need some speed but will you do any specific training for Costa Rica and what are the race plans for later in 2017?

“TCC is my only winter race this year, so most all of my training this winter will be geared towards performing well at TCC. Transvulcania in May will be my next focus race followed by a return to Hardrock 100 in July and hopefully Grand Raid/Diagonal des Fous in October.”

Have you thought about equipment, shoe choices and other details for the race?

“I have not figured out my race kit for TCC yet. While I almost always race in Altra Paradigms, I am pretty confident I will be racing in a different, higher traction shoe called the Altra King MT (coming out next year). I’ll use a Ultimate Direction racing vest, but besides that, I have some work to do selecting equipment.”

TCC and Costa Rica has a reputation for being a relaxed and enjoyable race – do you think holidays that combine a race are a good idea?

“Absolutely. I’ve paired holiday travel both alone and with my family my whole trail running career. Europe, New Zealand, Iceland, you name it! Importantly though, holiday and racing can be two in the same for me, but it isn’t easy to do. I have failed before at properly managing the balance (UTMB this last summer, for example) between traveling, holiday, fun, training and racing abroad. Balancing things with clear boundaries, a plan and discipline is essential. As far as enjoying myself before and after each stage, that just depends on the day, my mood, physical condition, performance etc…”

As one season comes to an end and Jason prepares for 2017, I ask what he is most looking forward to?

“I look forward to escaping winter for a fantastic world class event in Costa Rica. I am very excited to both prepare for and experience the Costal Challenge.”

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The Coastal Challenge is a multi-day race over 6-days starting in the southern coastal town of Quepos, Costa Rica and finishing at the stunning Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, The Coastal Challenge is an ultimate multi-day running experience.

Intense heat, high humidity, ever-changing terrain, stunning views, Costa Rican charm, exceptional organisation; the race encompasses Pura Vida! Unlike races such as the Marathon des Sables, ‘TCC’ is not self-sufficient, but don’t be fooled, MDS veterans confirm the race is considerably harder and more challenging than the Saharan adventure.

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Hugging the coastline, the race travels in and out of the stunning Talamanca mountain range via dense forest trails, river crossings, waterfalls, long stretches of golden beaches backed by palm trees, dusty access roads, high ridges and open expansive plains. At times technical, the combination of so many challenging elements are only intensified by heat and high humidity that slowly but surely reduces even the strongest competitors to exhausted shells by the arrival of the finish line.

The Coastal Challenge which will take place Feb 10th – 19th, 2017.

All images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

ENTRIES ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE 2017 EDITION
Email: HERE

Website: HERE

Facebook: HERE

Twitter: @tcccostarica

More information:

Read the full 2016 race story HERE

View and purchase images for the 2016 race HERE

Follow #TCC2017

 

Episode 115 – Jason Schlarb, Speedgoat Karl, Elisabet Barnes

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This is Episode 115 of Talk Ultra and we have an interview with Hardrock 100 winner, Jason Schlarb. We also speak with Elisabet Barnes about her Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun and Big Red Run double. Speedgoat Karl is with us on the countdown to the AT and of course we have the news from around the world.

00:16:46 Karl on the AT – http://atrecord.redbull.com/karl-meltzer-mobile/p/1

00:32:00 NEWS

HARDROCK

Kilian Jornet and Jason Schlarb 22:58 – 2nd fastest time

Xavier Thevenard 23:57

Jeff Browning 4th and what a double with WSER and now the fastest accumulated time

Anna Frost 29:02 5th fastest

Emma Roca 29:36

Bethany Lewis 31:57

00:48:30 INTERVIEW JASON SCHLARB

EIGER ULTRA TRAIL

Results:

Diego Pazos 11:39 – appears to be on fire with a podium in Transgrancanaria, win at MB80k and now this!

Mathis Dippacher 12:04

Jordi Gamito Baus 12:08

Notable – Ueli Steck was 26th in 14:35

Andrea Huser 13:09

Kathrin Götz 13:39

Juliette Blanchet 13:43

ANDORRA ULTRA TRAIL – Ronda dels Cimes

Nahuel Passerat 31:33

Kenichi Yamamoto

Nicola Bassi

Lisa Borzoi 37:25

Missy Gosney

Marta Poretti

DOLOMITES SKYRACE and VK

Tadei Pivk 2:03

Stian Overgaard 2:04

Martin Anthamatten 2:05

Laura Orgue 2:28

Elisa Desco 2:30

Celia Chiron 2:32

VK

Philip Goetsch set a new CR once again in 31:34 and Laura Orgue won the ladies race in 38:31, just 17 seconds shy of her own CR.

SPEEDGOAT 50K

Hayden Hawkes 5:25:04

Alex Nichols 5:27:42

Taste Pollmann 5:51:52

Abby Rideout 6:50:41

Kelly Wolf 7:13:46

Magdalena Boulet 7:30:10

Robert Young of the U.K. the controversy goes on…

Gonzalo Calisto, 5th at 2015 UTMB tests positive for EPO see the posts HERE

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Timmy Olson – American Tarzan. Discovery Channel HERE When Tim gets low on energy, he goes into his trademark “Animal Mode,” and enters the “Pain Cave” to get through it – training which will serve him well in the jungle!”

Coming up – Skyrunning World Champs this weekend HERE

02:07:00 INTERVIEW ELISABET BARNES

03:10:16 AUDIO – the meaning of life see the post HERE

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Queensland

Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

River Run 100 | 100 kilometers | July 31, 2016 | website

River Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 31, 2016 | website

Canada

Quebec

Pandora 24 Ultra X Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 23, 2016 | website

China

Les Foulées de la Soie en Chine | 56 kilometers | July 31, 2016 | website

France

Drôme

86km | 86 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Haute-Corse

Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | July 31, 2016 | website

Haute-Garonne

52 km | 52 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

52 km Relais | 52 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

Haute-Savoie

Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 31, 2016 | website

Isère

Défi de l’Oisans | 200 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

Jura

Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Savoie

La 6000D | 63 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail du Beaufortain | 105 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

Brandenburg

Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Guadeloupe

Rèd Mammel | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2016 | website

Ultra Transkarukera | 120 kilometers | July 22, 2016 | website

Iceland

Hengill Ultra 50km | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Hengill Ultra 81km | 81 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

India

Himachal Pradesh

The Himalayan Crossing | 353 kilometers | July 26, 2016 | website

The SPITI | 126 kilometers | July 29, 2016 | website

Indonesia

Mount Rinjani Ultra | 52 kilometers | July 29, 2016 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Sicily

Etna Trail | 64 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 121 km | 121 kilometers | July 29, 2016 | website

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 29, 2016 | website

Veneto

Trans d’Havet Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Kenya

Amazing Maasai Ultra | 75 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Madagascar

Boby Trail | 80 kilometers | August 05, 2016 | website

Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Namoly Trail | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2016 | website

Mongolia

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 03, 2016 | website

Philippines

TransCebu Ultramarathon 105 Km | 105 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

TransCebu Ultramarathon 55 Km | 55 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

Russia

Elbrus Mountain Race by adidas outdoor | 105 kilometers | August 04, 2016 | website

Golden Ring Ultra Trail T100 | 100 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

Golden Ring Ultra Trail T50 | 50 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

South Africa

Griffin 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 23, 2016 | website

Washie 100 | 100 miles | July 22, 2016 | website

Spain

Aragon

Calcenada Vuelta al Moncayo – 104 km | 104 kilometers | August 05, 2016 | website

Gran Trail Aneto-Posets | 109 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Vuelta al Aneto | 58 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Catalonia

105 km | 105 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

55 km | 55 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Ultra | 104 kilometers | August 05, 2016 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Sweden

Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 05, 2016 | website

Switzerland

Grisons

Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Valais

La Spéci-Men | 72 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Turkey

Gökhan Türe Ultra | 90 kilometers | July 22, 2016 | website

Long Course | 75 kilometers | July 22, 2016 | website

Medium Course | 60 kilometers | July 22, 2016 | website

RunFire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon | 220 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Cumbria

Lakes Sky Ultra | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

East Riding of Yorkshire

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 29, 2016 | website

The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

Hampshire

Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Scotland

Run the Blades | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

USA

Arkansas

Full mOOn 50K | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

California

Harding Hustle 50K | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Ragnar Trail Tahoe | 136 miles | July 22, 2016 | website

Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

San Francisco Ultramarathon | 52 miles | July 31, 2016 | website

Colorado

50 Mile | 50 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

Grand Mesa 100M | 100 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

Grand Mesa 37.5M | 60 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Grand Mesa 50M | 50 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

Never Summer 100km | 100 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Ouray 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 05, 2016 | website

Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 05, 2016 | website

Maine

Down East Sunrise Trail Team Relay | 102 miles | July 22, 2016 | website

Maryland

Rosaryville 50k Trail Runs | 50 kilometers | July 24, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

New York

50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2016 | website

North Carolina

The March | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Oregon

Cascade Lakes Relay | 132 miles | July 29, 2016 | website

Relay | 132 miles | July 29, 2016 | website

Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2016 | website

Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50M | 50 miles | July 23, 2016 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Washington

White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

West Virginia

Kanawha Trace 50K | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

50K | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2016 | website

Hilloopy 100+ Relay | 100 miles | July 30, 2016 | website

03:14:00 CLOSE

03:17:15

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

Episode 72 – Schlarb, Campbell, Rasmussen

Ep72

Episode 72 of Talk Ultra has a full and in-depth interview with Jason Schlarb after his recent 4th place at the 2014 UTMB. Donnie Campbell talks about his running career and winning the recent 3×3 80km High Terrain Events in the UK and Claus Rasmussen talk about running Spartathlon… in sandals. The News a Blog, UP & Coming Races and Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

NEWS

Kilian is King! Skyrunner World Series Champion for VK, SKY and ULTRA

Limone Extreme SKY results:
Petro Mamo 2:14:25
Kilian Jornet 2:14:55
David Schneider 2:19:58
Maite Maiora 2:47:05
Stevie Kremer 2:49:03
Elisa Desco 2:52:40
3×3 80k
Donnie Campbell 8:28:56
Lee Kemp 8:38:49
Ed Batty 9:00:17
Ed Catmur 9:23:48
Stephen Birkinshaw 9:29:24
Lizzie Wraith 10:42:23
Sally Ozanne 10:50:18
Kerstin Rosenqvist 11:12:21
Jamie Aarons 11:18:02
Lauren Woodwiss 12:15:08
INTERVIEW with Donnie Campbell
 
GRINDSTONE 100

Jeff Browning 18:34:40
Brian Rusiecki 19:08:01
Michael Owen 19:32:26

Robin Watkins 22:53:13
Megan Stegmiller 23:35:41
Jacqueline Palmer 25:04:56

LIKE THE WIND pop-up – week of activities HERE

STEVIE KREMER in UK 

BLOG
 
Jez Bragg on the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa –HERE
 
INTERVIEW

Carl Rasmussen ran the 2014 Spartathlon in sandals
 
INTERVIEW
 
Jason Schlarb placed 4th at the recent UTMB
GOOD, BAD & UGLY

 
UP & COMING RACES

Australia
Australian Capital Territory
Stromlo Running Festival – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Stromlo Running Festival – 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
New South Wales
Hume & Hovell 100 | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Hume & Hovell 50 | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Washpool/Gibraltar World Heritage Trails 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
South Australia
Heysen 105 | 105 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Victoria
Go the Extra Mile Melbourne | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Ned Kelly Chase 100km – Wangaratta Fitness Fun Addicts | 100 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website

Austria
Bécs-Pozsony-Budapest Szupermaraton | 317 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website

Cameroon
Challenge des Montagnes F4 | 160 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website

Costa Rica
Q50 Costa Rica Ultramarathon | 86 miles | October 18, 2014 | website

France
Aveyron
Endurance Trail | 106 kilometers | October 24, 2014 | website
La course des templiers | 71 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
Corse-du-Sud
Corsica Coast Race – 95 km | 95 kilometers | October 29, 2014 | website
Haute-Corse
Corsica Coast Race – 170 km | 170 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Ille-et-Vilaine
Entre Palis et Mégalithes | 64 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Saône-et-Loire
Com Com Trail 68km | 68 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Savoie
Grand Trail du Lac – 72 km | 72 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website

Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia
Röntgenlauf Ultramarathon | 63 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website

Greece
Rodopi Advendurun 100 miles | 100 miles | October 17, 2014 | website

India
Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 31, 2014 | website

Israel
Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2014 | website
Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | October 24, 2014 | website
Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 200 Km Run | 200 kilometers | October 24, 2014 | website
Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 61 Km Run | 61 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

Italy
Campania
Amalfi Coast Trail | 79 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Emilia-Romagna
Tartufo Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Tartufo Trail 66 km | 66 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Ultramaratona del Tricolore – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Cormorultra | 69 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Piedmont
Lago d’Orta Ultra Trail – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Lago D’Orta Ultra Trail – 80 km | 80 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Sardinia
Sardinia Ultramarathon | 81 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website

Japan
Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website

Mexico
Carrera de Baja Mexican Trail | 100 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website

Morocco
Trans 333 | 333 kilometers | October 31, 2014 | website
Ultra Runners Race 777+++ | 777 kilometers | October 31, 2014 | website

Nepal
Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 31, 2014 | website

New Zealand
Blackmores XTERRA Trail Challenge Waihi Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website

Portugal
Ultra Trail das Aldeias do Xisto | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website

Réunion
La Mascareignes | 67 kilometers | October 24, 2014 | website
Le Grand Raid | 164 kilometers | October 23, 2014 | website
Trail de Bourbon | 93 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

South Africa
Bonitas Golden Gate Challenge | 70 kilometers | October 23, 2014 | website
Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon | 250 kilometers | October 30, 2014 | website
Ultra-Trail® Cape Town – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Ultra-Trail® Cape Town – 62 km | 62 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

Spain
Andalusia
Ultima Frontera – 166 km | 166 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Ultima Frontera – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Ultima Frontera – 83 km | 83 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Ultra-Trail Gran Vuelta Valle Del Genal | 125 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Canary Islands
Tenerife Bluetrail 60 km | 59 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Tenerife Bluetrail 94 km | 94 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Castile and León
Ultra de Gredos | 82 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Catalonia
Ultra Trail de la Serra de Montsant | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website

Sweden
Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

Tanzania
Kilimanjaro Stage Run | 260 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Zanzibar Ultra Trail | 100 kilometers | October 24, 2014 | website

Thailand
TU100 | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
TU50 | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

Turkey
Cappadocia Trail 60km | 62 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Cappadocia Ultra Trail | 110 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

United Kingdom
Cumbria
Ennerdale 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Derbyshire
Dusk’til Dawn Ultra | 50 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Devon
East Devon Way Ultra | 53 miles | October 21, 2014 | website
Two Moors Way Ultra | 50 miles | October 20, 2014 | website
Dorset
Wessex Ridgeway Ultra | 52 miles | October 22, 2014 | website
Durham
Original Mountain Marathon | 52 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Hampshire
Sussex Border Path Ultra | 49 miles | October 24, 2014 | website
Rotherham
Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham International Trail Event | 50 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
Suffolk
Coastal Trail Series – Suffolk – Ultra | 34 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
West Berkshire
Winter 100 | 100 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
West Sussex
Vangard Way Ultra | 44 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Wiltshire
Clarendon Way Ultra | 48 miles | October 23, 2014 | website

USA
Arizona
Cave Creek Thriller 50K | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
California
100 Mile Endurance Challenge | 100 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
Coyote Ridge 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Lake Hodges 50K | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
Stinson Beach 50 km | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Whiskeytown 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Connecticut
Bimbler’s Bluff 50k | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Delaware
Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Florida
Mutual Mine 50K | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
“Running for the Bay!” 50K | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
Illinois
Des Plaines River Tail 50 Miles | 50 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
Forest Glen 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Kansas
Lake Perry Rocks! 50K | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Prairie Spirit Trail “Fall Classic” 50K Ultra Race | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Prairie Spirit Trail “Fall Classic” 50 Mile Ultra Race | 50 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Maine
The Pounder | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
The Punisher | 50 miles | October 19, 2014 | website
Maryland
Fire on the Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
Massachusetts
TARC Fall Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Minnesota
Surf the Murph 50K | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Surf the Murph 50M | 50 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Missouri
Dogwood Canyon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
Spirit of the Osage 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Nebraska
G.O.A.T.z 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
Nevada
Las Vegas 100K | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Las Vegas 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
Las Vegas 150K | 150 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Las Vegas 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
North Carolina
Table Rock Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Table Rock Ultras 50 Miles | 50 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
Triple Lakes Trail 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Ohio
Stone Steps 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
Oklahoma
Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100K | 100 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 18, 2014 | website
Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 50K | 50 kilometers | October 18, 2014 | website
Pennsylvania
Quad State Quad Buster | 46 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK | 50 miles | October 19, 2014 | website
Tennessee
Ragnar Relay Tennessee | 196 miles | October 24, 2014 | website
Texas
Cactus Rose 100 Mi Trail Run | 100 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Cactus Rose 50 Mi Trail Run | 50 miles | October 25, 2014 | website
Utah
Goblin Valley Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website
Pony Express Trail 100 | 100 miles | October 17, 2014 | website
Pony Express Trail 50 | 50 miles | October 17, 2014 | website
Washington
Ft. Steilacoom 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 19, 2014 | website
SCOTT Cougar Mountain Series 50k | 50 kilometers | October 26, 2014 | website
West Virginia
Run Around the Gorge | 69 kilometers | October 25, 2014 | website

CLOSE

 

LINKS

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

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

Website – talkultra.com

UTMB 2014 – Race Preview

tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com

It’s UTMB time and the race kicks off today at 1730 and currently the lights are green for go… phew!

As one would expect, a quality line up and men and ladies will toe the line to run the circular route around Mont-Blanc.

As was shown last year in the men’s race, predicting a winner, even a top-3 can be a tricky thing. One thing is for sure; Thevenard will not do the double as he won TDS just the other day. In doing so, he has become the first runner to win CCC, UTMB and TDS. I like that, it shows a level of skill and speed over multiple distances and terrain.

So, UTMB will roll out and without doubt we will see some drama on the trails. Unfortunately, last years 2nd place, Miguel Heras will not run. Once again injured! Will he ever get a break?

Francois D'Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene is a past winner on the shortened course and for me he has blossomed into one of the best 100 runners out there. His Raid de la Reunion last year and his early season win and sub 20-hours in Japan must make him a hot fave!

Luis Alberto Hernando copyright iancorless.com Luis Alberto Hernando is one guy who I would love to see make the podium. For 12-months he has been building up to this race and wins at Transvulcania and the 80km Skyrunning World Champs must put him in a great place. BUT, he hasn’t run a 100 before and he does like to push. He will need to be patient for 100km and then start racing if he wants any chance of success.

©iancorless.com_IMG_5982SierreZinal_2014_

Tofol Castanyer like Luis is stepping up to the 100. Winner of the CCC he has all the skills and ability to do something special.

 

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera ©iancorless.com

Iker Karrera completes a strong Salomon line up and is a hot favourite for the win. He is a beast on tough and technical races and for sure having disappointment with course cancellations in the past, Iker will be looking to make this one count.

Dakota Jones UROC ©iancorless.com

Dakota Jones is due a big race. Dropping from Hardrock 100 will certainly have stoked the fire for a great performance here but maybe the ankle isn’t 100%? He has done some epic days with Kilian in and around Mont-Blanc; so, let’s hope he has his day.

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote, UTMB 2012 ©iancorless.com

Mike Foote consistent at UTMB and a great record over long distance races. You won’t see him in the top-10 early on but he will close hard (as usual) eat up those who are struggling and move up the ranks. I don’t see him winning put podium is always a possibility.

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson put his eggs in the Hardrock basket and they got smashed with one of those gutsy, ‘I’m gonna finish no matter what days.’ Respect! Of course, Timmy can win this race, his success this year will all come down to how well he has recovered from HR100. If he is in shape, podium potential and of course a win is a distinct possibility.

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka, Cavalls del Vent, 2012 ©iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka had the race sewn up for me last year. He was on fire looking relaxed and incredible at every moment. However, the relentless injury problems ruined his day and he has been in and out of injury for 2-years. He had a couple of great early season results, Lavaredo in particular and then dropped from Speedgoat with injury. I have a feeling that Anton will win the race or not finish. I hope he has his day; it’s long overdue.

Jez Bragg TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Jez Bragg will have a solid run; he always does and like Foote, will start way back and work his way to the front. Top-10 would be a great result.

Fabian Antolinus will be an interesting inclusion. He ran a great race at Ice Trail Tarentaise and of course he has continually impressed in French races such as Templiers. UTMB? I would say a top-20 for sure and top-10 if he has a great day.

Hal Koerner is 100m beast and like Mr Meltzer can run 100’s for breakfast. His experiences with UTMB have been somewhat mixed so it is great to see him back and I hope he puts a great race together. He could surprise a few people!

Carlos Sa is a really talented athlete who races road, trail, multi-day, mountains and so on. He has all the ability and potential to create a stir in the top-5. In the past he has gone off course, so this year I hope he nails the route and pushes with the best.

Jason Schlarb has been mixing it up in Europe for a while now. This can only be a really good thing. He raced at Transvulcania and the Skyrunning 80k; so, he has an understanding of what is needed. He may make top-10?

Scott Hawker will be one of the top runners from the Southern Hemisphere who has spent time in Europe this year. Ice Trail Tarentaise would have been a great prep ground.

*****

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Rory Bosio dominated the race last year with arguably one of the most impressive female performances ever. A win at Lavaredo shows that the build up has been good and her recent obscurity can only mean training and training hard. She will be impossible to beat if she repeats the form and condition of 2013.

©iancorless.com.IMG_2050

Nuria Picas was 2nd last year in her 1st 100 and has gone on to run big races all over the world and in most cases, win them too! Without doubt, Nuria can win this race but she must be tired? In contrast to Rory who will be fresh as a daisy.

Nathalie Mauclair ©iancorless.com

Nathalie Mauclair winner of Reunion last year and top ranked at Western States, Nathalie brings a mix of speed, endurance and climbing ability and for me, barring issues, will make the podium!

©iancorless.com.IMG_2996

Fernanda Maciel like Nuria has been on the UTWT roller coaster of exhaustion. Fernanda won’t be fresh but like many of the other top ladies can produce a really strong 100 and keep pushing even when fatigued. Her 2014 results alone show what a talent she is.

iancorless.comP1080213

Laurence Klein, now this is an interesting inclusion. The MDS queen on this terrain leaves a huge question mark. She can run quick, for sure has run some impressive times in races such as the Ecotrail de Paris, however, this 100-mile course and vertical will be something new. Interested to see this one plays out.

Uxue Fraille is a consistent performer at around 80-100km but I think this is the first 100 she will run? Always there or thereabouts, Uxue closes well and picks off the others as they crumble. I see more of the same at UTMB.

Ashley Arnold is a question mark and the US’s hope outside Rory. I don’t think this tough mountain 100 will play to her strengths, particularly based on recent results. However, this ladies field has quality but not depth, so, top-10 for sure and top-5 if on a great day.

Rounding out the top ladies, we have 2-Brits, Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith. Both ladies raced the Skyrunning 80km and may well sneak into the top-10. Shona Stephenson has struggled at UTMB in the past but knows how to run 100’s and is top-10 potential and Meghan Arbogast, Simona Morbelli and Leila Degrave round out my ones to watch!

 

You can follow the race live via the UTMB website and Twitter

UTMB LVE HERE

 

Transvulcania La Palma 2014 – In-depth race preview

©copyright .iancorless.com._1110251

It’s here… the long awaited Skyrunner® World Series kicks off with what has become, in just 2-years, the iconic Skyrunning Ultra Race, Transvulcania La Palma. The race has come a long way… now considered to be one of ‘the’ races to do, the 2014 edition of the race will only cement this reputation as runners travel from all over the world to take part.

It goes without saying that a quality line-up is guaranteed for this race, however, 2014 has my appetite whet for what I consider to be arguably the most exciting and competitive race we will have ever seen on the island of La Palma. What a line up!

A simple glance at the ladies race confirms one thing, showdown! 2012 Transvulcania winner, Anna Frost returns to the island she loves after missing the 2013 edition through injury. 2013 winner, Emelie Forsberg will toe the line and the trio would not be complete without the ever present and incredibly talented, Nuria Picas*. Add Silvia Serafini, Cassie Scallon, Uxue Fraile and Jodee Adams-Moore amongst others and we have a female melting pot that is going to boil over and may well explode on the trails of the GR131.

But hold on a minute, have you seen the men’s field…? Dakota Jones, like Anna Frost, returns to the island after a year a way and will be looking to take back that ‘President’ title bestowed on him in 2012. Kilian Jornet, 2013 winner will provide the stimulus to push Dakota to a new level but lets not rule out the incredible talent and line-up that will be chomping at the bit to dislodge the 2-previous winners. Luis Alberto Hernando will have prepared all winter to be in the best possible form come May 10th, Timothy Olson, Sage Canaday, UTMB winner, Xavier Thevenard, Ricky Lightfoot, Philipp Reiter… oh boy, how long have I got?

Take out your diary, block out the weekend of May 9th, 10th and 11th and prepare yourself for what will go down as an epic running of the Transvulcania La Palma.

In addition, 2014 will see the inaugural running of the Transvulcania VK. Weaving up the zigzag path from the port of Tazacorte, an exhilarating and awe inspiring test of leg and lungpower will unfold at 1600hrs Friday, May 8th

Please note: the 2014 edition of the race is now listed as 73km and not 83.3km as on the website. In real terms, runners have said for the last couple of years that they thought that the course was short, so, this may just well be an acknowledgement. Importantly though, the route from Tazacorte Port to the finish in Los Llanos has now changed. Runners will now run along the ravine and not along the road as in previous editions. It’s difficult to say at this stage what impact this will have on the race. My initial reaction would be that a fast road ultra runner could use the previous final section to his advantage (Sage Canaday?) to pull back some time, maybe this advantage will no longer exist!

So, who’s going to win?

Ladies

The ladies race has real quality at the front but barring a disaster, I don’t think we will see any real surprises. A select group of 4-6 are outright favourites for the win and my outside tip goes to Maite Maiora Elizondo for surprise performance.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1080904_Snapseed

Emelie Forsberg was unstoppable in 2013. Notable for the diversity of her racing; Emelie started the season with a win at Transvulcania and whilst also racing and winning at VK and SKY distances, Emelie crowned out her year with 2nd pace behind Nathalie Mauclair at the super tough, Raid de la Reunion, Emelie’s first ever 100-mile race. Since then, Emelie like Kilian pretty much hangs up her run shoes and spends her time on ski’s. Other than the occasional 20-30min jog and a week of running at the Salomon athlete retreat in Limone, Emelie will arrive on the start line of Transvulcania thinking to herself, ‘I wonder how this will go?’ Emelie had the same thoughts last year and secured an incredible victory over Nuria Picas. Dare I say that she almost made it look easy? I have no reason to think that 2014 will be any different and therefore Emelie is my no1 tip for the crown and a potential new course record.

©iancorless.com.IMG_2858Nuria Picas* fresh from another victory (just this last weekend) will join the ladies on the island and will without doubt bring her incredible talent, dedication and entourage to ensure that the best possible performance can be guaranteed. However, and this is a big however, her recent win at Transgrancanaria and more importantly, her win at the 105-mile UTMF in Japan on April 26th must leave the Catalan feeling a little tired and jaded. Anyone else and I would say that the occasion, fatigue and tiredness would take a heavy presence and a potential lackluster or under par performance can be expected. But I just can’t rule Nuria out… Anna and Emelie know only too well what a talent Nuria is and equally, Nuria will understand the challenge ahead. I can’t wait! Nuria has decided to rest and recover after UTMF and will not race at Transvulcania. She will prepare for Australia.

©iancorless.comP1210649

Anna Frost arrived on the island of La Palma weeks before the 2013 edition of the race and the reality struck that she was going to have to miss the race due to ongoing injury. It was a tough decision and what followed was a year fighting with injury that forced Frosty to look within and find out what was really important. Even in February 2014 whilst attending The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, Anna was forced to reassess her objectives and take more rest. However, a recent win at the marathon distance at the Buffalo Stampede in Australia may well mean that our beloved Frosty is on her way back! Already on the island of La Palma, Frosty will be preparing mind and body for the challenge ahead. Can she win? A b s o l u t e l y! You can never rule out an inform Frosty, particularly on this course. However, it’s early days on the comeback trail and I am going to sit on the fence not wishing to add any additional pressure. Finishing healthy and uninjured will be a major victory.

Cassie Scallon has already had 2-victories in 2014. Most recently at the MSIG Sai King 50 in March and the Ray Miller 50 in February. Dating back to 2006, Cassie has been a force to be reckoned with at the 50k to 80km distance. A victory at the 100km Bandera in 2012 shows that endurance is not a problem for the Boulder based athlete. Transvulcania and its trails will suit Cassie and we will without doubt see her at the front of the race.  Cassie posted on Facebook I am terrible at recognizing broken bones in myself. This is bone #2 that I decided didn’t hurt enough to be a break, so I continued to run on it. Again I thought it was getting a little better every day, but it was actually getting worse. Not awesome.’

Jodee Adams-Moore, had a great 2013 and has showed form in 2014 at the 50k and 50-mile distances with 6 top-4 places. Jodee won Orca Island 50k in 2013 and 2014 and the Chuckanut 50k. Just recently, Jodee placed 2nd behind Ellie Greenwood at Chuckanut 50k and placed 4th at Lake Sonoma. The trails of La Palma will offer a new challenge and although we can expect to see Jodee pushing towards the front end of the race, I don’t see her making the podium.

Silvia Serafini copyright iancorless.com

Silvia Serafini is an incredible talent and has always been there or thereabouts at many of the big races. A highlight of 2013 would have been placing 2nd behind Emelie Forsberg at Matterhorn Ultraks. Silvia is not without race victories; in actual fact, her consistency has been incredible. Like so many other runners, Silvia just needs a little luck on one of the big occasions and this will elevate her and her confidence to a new level.  Silvia has injury issues and tells me that she may actually not race at all in 2014. A real shame… get well soon Silvia!

Uxue Fraile placed 5th at Transvulcania 2012 and 3rd in 2013. Add to this, top performances at Cavalls del Vent, Trans D’Havet and a recent 6th place at Transgrancanaria and you can’t rule out that Uxue will be looking for an opportunity and an opening to dislodge one of the hot favourites should they falter. On paper, Uxue does not have the outright speed to contest the podium (she was 60-min behind Emelie in 2013), however, she does have the patience and endurance for the survival game.

Maite Maiora Elizondo – my rank outsider for a surprise and potential shock in the overall classification and standings. Maite is a pure mountain runner with a reputation for performing at a high level over the SKY distance. Transvulcania at 73km will be a stretch, however, class is permanent and I predict a surprise.

Ones to watch:

  • Krissy Moehl – Not sure she is racing?
  • Alicia Shay – 3rd at Chuckanut 50k in 2013
  • Alessandra Carlini – 2nd at MSIG Sai Kung 50 in 2014
  • Natalie White
  • Maxime Cazajous
  • Hiroko Suzuki

Men

So, if you thought the ladies race was a tough one to call. Look at the quality of the men’s field. It’s a who’s who of mountain runners.

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Kilian Jornet like Emelie Forsberg will step off his skis and make the transition to running with the flick of a switch. In 2012, Kilian lost out to Dakota Jones and Andy Symonds at Transvulcania, it was a combination of elements that influenced his performance, not enough running, dehydration and a particularly hot day! In 2013, Kilian corrected these mistakes and secured victory ahead of Luis Alberto Hernando. Post the 2013 race, I asked him what he had done different? ‘I ran for 7-days before the race instead of just 3!’. Need I say more… no matter how stacked the field you can’t rule out victory for the Catalan, however, he won’t have an easy day! Many of the competition see ‘this’ race as the perfect opportunity to beat the master as he makes the transition from snow to trail.

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Luis Alberto Hernando is without doubt looking for that opportunity to take the crown away from Kilian. Luis, for me, is one of the greatest mountain runners in the world. Modest, professional and pure class; he is without doubt one of the few runners who can take Kilian to an edge and hold him there. Luis, along with Marco De Gasperi pushed Kilian to better performances in 2013. It was down to the line at Zegama-Aizkorri and a hand-in-hand finish at Trans D’Havet after personal circumstances dictated a truce between the two warriors. At Everest Trail Race in November, Luis picked up an injury that forced him to only walk, he told me then, I have time, I only have one thing I need to be ready for… Transvulcania! Excited is an understatement.iancorless.orgIancorless_TVraceday_424

Dakota Jones went ‘AWOL’ in the early part of 2013 seeking new experiences. A red-hot performance at San Juan Solstice 50m was followed with ‘dns’ at TNFUTMB, as he didn’t feel as though he had adequate preparation time. Dakota re-focused and concentrated on UROC. Victory seemed secure in Colorado; however, a charging Rob Krar stole Dakota’s glory in the latter stages of the race. Since then, Dakota has travelled racing at low-key multi day races and a recent quality performance at the Buffalo Stampede in Australia. Dakota’s return to Transvulcania is eagerly anticipated. It’s a re-match of Balboa and Creed proportions…

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Sage Canaday I think was still learning last year. Sage had plenty of natural speed and wanted to run every ultra in the same way he would run a marathon… go out hard, hold on and finish in glory. On many occasions this worked; Bandera 100km, Lake Sonoma, Cayuga Trails and Speedgoat 50k, however, it was a tightrope existence. At Tarawera he just about held off a charging Timmy Olson and at Transvulcania, Sage slowed along with Cameron Clayton and opened the door for Kilian and Luis Alberto. One year on with a repeat victory at a shortened Tarawera and 3rd place behind a dominant Zach Miller at Lake Sonoma, I think we will Sage run a more cautious first half of TV and look to be more in the mix in the latter stages. He can win for sure!

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Timothy Olson 8th at Ray Miller 50 and 3rd at the recent Transgrancanaria knows all about peaking for a race. A repeat back-to-back victory at Western States in 2013 confirms this. The question for me is Timothy looking for a Transvulcania victory or is he looking for another solid and consistent performance on the road to Hardrock 100? Don’t get me wrong, I am not questioning Timothy’s ability, performance or dedication, on the contrary, I am actually saying that his focus can very often be at the sacrifice of other races. Of course, if a podium place or win is up for grabs, Timothy will dig deep and seize the opportunity. I expect top-5 and wouldn’t be surprised with an out and out win. What do you think?

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010566Xavier Thevenard was the surprise winner of the 2013 TNFUTMB, a result, considered by many to be one of the performances of the year! It would be fair to say, that Xavier, to many, was an unknown runner. However, this would be a great injustice. In 2013 alone, Xavier placed 11th at Transvulcania, 3rd at 80km du Mont-Blanc and closed out the year with 2nd at Templiers. His 2013 performance at Transvulcania was 1-hour behind the lead men; one year on one can’t help but think that with renewed confidence the gap will be much less.

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Tofol Castaner is a great mountain runner and on his day can push with the best in the world. His record at Cavalls del Vent proves this, 2nd in 2013 and 2011. However, he shot to worldwide ultra fame with his dominant CCC performance at the 2012 edition of the race covering the distance in 8:57:04. He will be in the mix.

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Philipp Reiter placed 11th in 2012 and 12th at the 2013 edition of Transvulcania. Always on the verge of a big result, his 2012 season was beginning to look like the big time was just around the corner… victories at the Maxi Race in Annecy, Zugspitze Supertrail and Salomon 4 Trails. Add to this Gore-Tex Transalpine and 5th at a stacked Cavalls del Vent and 2013 was a season to be grasped. However, the season lacked any big victories that many of us had expected, arguably his best performance came at Ice Trail Tarentaise placing 3rd behind Kilian Jornet and Francois D’Haene. 2014 started well with some great running at The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. At Transgrancanaria (82kmr race) Philipp placed 8th, a disappointing performance for him. A constant issue whilst racing has been his stomach and getting this to cooperate with the intensity of racing. If Philipp gets this inline, we will see him regularly back in the top-10, more likely the top-5 and every now and again, the top-3.

Ricky Lightfoot for me has the no1 slot to cause a massive upset on May 10th and come away with a surprise top-3 and even victory. I personally think Ricky has all the right combination of abilities to take the rest of the field on and just as Andy Symonds did in 2012, rock them all to the core. His course record at The Otter in South Africa was a sublime run and when you add to that an IAU World Trail title, you have all the necessary elements of speed, technical ability and endurance that will make a difference on La Palma. Just this last weekend, Ricky took the crown at the iconic Three Peaks fell race in the UK. The only negative has been a recent knee injury that may very well take the edge of what may have been possible at Transvulcania.

Tom Owens was missed in the 2013 season. After an inspirational year in 2012 were Tom really did chomp at the heels of Kilian Jornet, 2013 was always going to be, what can Tom do next? It soon transpired to be very little… Tom was plagued with injury and lost a year. Playing the patience game, Tom is back. He has had a couple of good trail marathon wins recently and placed 2nd behind Ricky Lightfoot at Three Peaks. Transvulcania will be a long race for Tom and that for sure will count against him, however, I have seen him race and seen the skill set this guy holds. If he has a good day, don’t be surprised to see him create a shock!

Giuliano Cavallo placed 9th at Transvulcania in 2012 against a top quality field. He had injury issues in 2013 but still managed victories at Alpago Ultratrail and Gran Trail Courmayer. Top-10 once again is a distinct possibility.

Martin Gafurri had a great 2013 Skyrunning season and although he placed just outside the top-20 at Transvulcania, based on his recent top-10 at Tarawera, I think we will see Martin make more impact this year. *running the marathon not the ultra

Jason Schlarb had a break through run at Run Rabbit Run 100-miler taking out the win in 2013. Add to this, top-3 places at Speedgoat 50k, San Juan Solstice and Leona Divide one can conclude that Jason has the required speed and endurance to compete with the best. Ultimately though, Jason’s Transvulcania performance will all come down to how he manages the lava trails, the technical caldera and the 18km descent to Tazacorte. If all those elements fall into place, Jason will be up amongst the top-10.

Vajin Armstrong is an ever present podium hogger in the Southern Hemisphere. Always top-3, the big win has somehow eluded him. For the past 4-years Vajin has raced Tarawera for example and placed, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd. He has plenty of speed and on his day will be in the mix at any race. In 2013, Vajin spent a great deal of time in Europe placing 2nd at Zugspitz and the Swiss Alpine Marathon all good preparation for what a Skyrunning race will throw at him. However, at TNFUTMB his race didn’t go too well. Transvulcania and the quality of the field will provide Vajin with a real test and if he’s having a good day he may well be in the mix but I don’t see him on the podium.

Fulvio Dapit placed 4th at Ice Trail Tarentaise in 2013. Transvulcania will be a test for sure but he does have the ability to create a stir up at the front.

Robbie Britton gets the final nod. He has been on La Palma for over a month preparing. He has endurance and speed but lacks the climbing and descending ability to compete with the best Skyrunners. In addition, this will be Robbie’s first Skyrunning race. Without doubt it will be a learning curve but he does have the ability to make waves should all go well.

Ones to watch:

  • Jordi Bes Ginesta winner of the CCC in 2013
  • Josh Arthur 4th at Run Rabbit Run and 7th at the recent Ray Miller 50
  • Luke Nelson 11th at UROC and 6th at Speedgoat
  • Stu Air 8th at Tor des Geants and 18th at Ice Trail Tarentaise (*recently injured)
  • Johan Lantz 9th at Rocky Raccoon 100-mile in 2014
  • Ty Draney 8th at Ronda dels Cims
  • David Laney 2nd at Bandera 100km and Chuckanut 50km
  • Ryan Ghelfi 4th at Chuckanut 50k and 6th at Lake Sonoma.
  • Sylvain Couchaud 23rd at Transvulcania in 2013 and 4th 80km du Mont-Blanc
  • Santiago Obaya 5th at Transgrancanaria in 2013
  • Stu Air – Top 10 at Ice Trail Tarentaise and Tor des Geants finisher
  • Kim Collinson won the Fellsman in the UK recently
  • Oscar Casal
  • Marc Casal
  • Dani Tristany
  • David Lopez
  • Marcin Swierc
  • Valentin Vergilyush
  • Isaac Riera
  • Nil Gurt
  • Xavier Musach
  • Adriana Grosu
  • Roberto Sancho Martin
  • Maxime Cazajous
  • Yoann Stuck
  • Ryan Bak

One thing is for sure. A great weekend of racing lies ahead on the island of La Palma

I will be on the island reporting, photographing and providing news as it happens.

Make sure you follow on Facebook, Twitter and of course, here, on this website.

Links:

Transvulcania website HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Transvulcania La Palma – A Guide HERE

Transvulcania VK HERE

Transvulcania 2013 Images HERE

Transvulcania 2013 preview HERE

 

Transvulcania La Palma 2014 – the excitement begins!

Dakota is back! But so are Kilian and Emelie, Anna Frost, Luis Alberto Hernando, Sage Canaday and Timothy Olson…the star-studded cast doesn’t end here however! Read the press release by the ISF on the up and coming, 2014 Transvulcania La Palma.

The Transvulcania Ultramarathon on the Spanish island of La Palma has made quite a name for itself.  Just a small speck in the Atlantic ocean, the race chosen to launch the Skyrunner® Ultra Series in 2012 has grown to represent a hub for many of the world’s top ultra runners, and has never looked back. This year, a Vertical Kilometer® up the gruelling downhill, gives a new twist.   

The extraordinary line-up is headed by Salomon superstars Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) winners here last year and 2013 Skyrunner® World champions.  However, look out for 2012 winners, Anna Frost (Salomon), and Dakota Jones (Montrail), returning to the Transvulcania stage after a year’s absence from the skyrunning scene. Anna’s 2012 record still stands.

 Sage Canaday (Hoka One One) 3rd last year, arrives fresh from his second win at Tarawera in New Zealand and is joined by Timothy Olson (TNF) 4th, who successfully started off the season with a third place at the recent Transgrancanaria. 

The strong American line-up doesn’t end here, but first, let’s take a look at the other big-league Spanish runners:  Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas), always a podium placer, he crossed the line hand in hand with Kilian to share the gold at the European Championships and moved on to win Cavalls del Vent.  The question is, can he pare down those 4’ that separated him from Kilian last year?  Tofol Castanyer (Salomon), 2nd at Cavalls, Agustí Roc (inov-8) three-time SWS champion and Jordi Bes (FEEC),CCC winner, join the mix. 

From France – UTMB winner Xavier Thevenard (TNF), 11th in 2013, is no doubt looking to move up for a podium spot;  Patrick Bringer (Sigvaris Sports), 5th, is making a determined come-back, together with Martin Gafurri (New Balance) 19th and a great top-10 at Tarawera recently and first-timer Sylvain Couchaud (Mizuno), 4th at the Mont-Blanc 80K.

Among the top ranked talent, Germany’s Philipp Reiter (Salomon) finished an excellent 12th last year, despite illness, and Florian Neuschwander (16th ISF ranking) who, like many other first timers, will fulfil a dream running this iconic race.

Tom Owens - Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens – Trofeo Kima

From the UK, an array of impressive newcomers to the race: Tom Owens (Salomon), 2nd behind Kilian at Kima 2012, is up and running after a year-long lay-off. Ricky Lightfoot (Salomon), 2013 AIU Champion and 2009 Zegama winner is joined by Stu Air (SCOTT Sports) and Robbie Britton (inov-8).

Robbie Britton - inov-8

Robbie Britton – inov-8

From Italy, Giuliano Cavallo (Salomon) 9th in 2012, returns after a year’s absence from running, together with Fulvio Dapit (Crazy Idea), a consistently top performer in the Sky distance over the years, he now moves up to tackle his first 83K.

Tackling their first “European” style race will be top Americans, Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi), Jason Schlarb (Altra), David Laney and Ryan Ghelfi (Nike Trail Team) and Ty Draney (Patagonia), while teammate Luke Nelson is back for more.

Emelie Forsberg - Transvulcania 2013

Emelie Forsberg – Transvulcania 2013

The women’s field too, represents the deepest in the five-year history of the race with new competition coming from across the Pond. The stacked field is headed by Salomon’s Emelie Forsberg and Anna Frost, respectively 2013 and 2012 winners. Nuria Picas (Buff) UTMB (2nd) and Cavalls winner, after a hard-fought 2ndplace last year, she returns with a victory from the recent Transgrancanaria under her belt.  Look out for Emma Roca (Buff), 3rd at UTMB, and Uxue Fraile(Vibram) 3rd here, another Spanish talent who is steadily but surely racking up the podiums. 

 

Nuria Picas - Transvulcania 2013

Nuria Picas – Transvulcania 2013

Italy’s young star Silvia Serafini (Salomon), 4th on the ISF Sky Ranking, has set her sights on the longest race of her rocketing career.  Also from Italy, Federica Boifava, 5th at the European Championships and new talent Alessandra Carlini, 2nd  in the Mont-Blanc 80K.  From France, Aurelia Truel (2nd IAU and 3rd at Les Templiers and Maud Gobert, 6th here in 2012.

Anna Frost

Anna Frost

Three top level American runners taking up the challenge are Krissy Moehl (Patagonia), UTMF winner, Jodee Adams-Moore (SCOTT Sports), 2nd at Speedgoat, and Cassie Scallon (Salomon) winner at Lake Sonoma and the recent MSIG Sai Kung 50 in Hong Kong. 

From Japan, Hiroko Suzuki (Salomon), 2nd at UTMF last year, may find the distance a little short and the elevation a little high for her long distance running skills. 

The Ultramarathon presents a daunting 8,525m ascent and descent over the 83 km course, which starts at sea level on the Atlantic coast and travels along the island’s backbone to the summit of the volcano at 2,423m before descending again to the sea and finishing in the town of Los Llanos.  The records to beat are:6h54’09” Kilian Jornet (2013) and 8h11’31” Anna Frost (2012).

The Vertical Kilometer® ascends the steep cliff face from the sea front at Tazacorte for 6.6 km single track with a 40% incline before settling into a “flatter” final section to finish at 1,160m altitude.  The overall incline averages 30%.

The world’s top Vertical specialists will race on this newly designed course for the first time, with the super-strong La Sportiva team headed by World ChampionUrban Zemmer and top ranked athletes Marco Facchinelli, Marco Moletto, Nejc Kuhar and Nadir Mague.

Brothers Bernard and Martin Dematteis and Oscar and Marc Casal (Race Land) also stand out in the men’s field. 

The women’s field is strongly represented by Salomon with World Champion Laura Orgue together with Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost, Silvia Serafini and Antonella Confortola, joined by Sierre Zinal winner Elisa Desco.

Kilian Jornet, like his team mates, Emelie, Anna and Silvia, will,of course, race both! 

Note the dates:

May 8, Transvulcania Vertical Kilometer®, and May 10, Transvulcania Ultramarathon.

Links:

Follow on Twitter @talkultra

Follow on Facebook – Here

Skyrunning Here

Credits:

  • Press Release ©ISF 
  • All images ©iancorless.com

Run Rabbit Run 2013 – Race Preview

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Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Goes the farmer’s gun

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

 

The 2nd Annual Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Endurance Run, held in the terrific little town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The race starts on Friday, September 13, 2013 at midday

I cant help but hear ‘Speedgoat’ Karl Meltzer in my head… jogging along allowing all the fast guys to shoot of in search of the $10,000 first prize and singing the song aloud. It happened last year (not singing the song, but allowing the others to shoot off) and look what happened. One-by-one they fell by the wayside and the old goat himself reeled them in and schooled them all on how to run a 100-miles. Karl should know; he has won enough.

Once again he is playing down his chances of winning the 2013 edition RRR. In last weeks Talk Ultra (Ep43) we discussed at length his form and reading between the lines, I know he is ready. He wasn’t ready at Western States early in 2012 due to niggles and still pulled out 10th, however just a few weeks later, just like Seb Chaigneau at TNFUTMB, the exertions of a tough 100 at WSER took its toll and he dropped from Hardrock 100.

Karl, with his own race done and dusted, the Speedgoat 50k, he finally found some down time and concentrated on getting fit and healthy for the RRR and for Karl, there’s nothing quite like a $10,000 purse to motivate him… ask his wife, she got a new bathroom out of the race last year! (Or was it a kitchen?)

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Joe Grant also had a troublesome Hardrock 100 and although he was super motivated to top the podium he just didn’t have the right day. It may very well have been his early season Iditarod still making demands on his body or ultimately, it may have just been a bad day! However, he seems to have got his head in a great place and certainly his recent trip to Europe as support and crew for Anton Krupicka has given him a new lease of life and all those mountain miles may well transfer to something special at RRR.

Ever present force over the 100k distance, Dave Mackey will hope to bring that speed to RRR and pull off a win at 100-miles. Although he has had some good 100 performances, notably 2nd at WSER, he has never quite hit the nail on the head like he has done over the shorter 100k-distance. He nearly rectified this at San Diego 100 earlier this year but unfortunately that went pear-shaped due to course errors. He is due a win!

Jason Schlarb I am pretty sure will be looking to put the record straight at RRR this year after a great start to the 2012 race that went completely problematic and frustrating due to going off course. For me, he is the dark horse of the favourites and don’t be surprised if he leads early on but manages to hold on!

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson gets my final mention. Yes, I am mentioning Timothy last. Not because I don’t think he can win but you have to consider his season and because just the other week he placed 4th at TNFUTMB. I am pretty sure the $10,000 first prize is the attraction here and that has to be a motivating factor. However, he dug deep at TNFUTMB and used all his physical and mental reserves to reach the line. It could go either way for Timothy at RRR. Irrespective of what happens, he has had a great year with results at Tarawera, Transvulcania La Palma and of course, the defense of his WSER crown.

Behind this front five is a group of runners just waiting for the opportunity to steal the carrot from the other Rabbits. Keep an eye on Jeff Browning, Jason Loutitt, and if Dave James is in a good place, he may well push the others for the podium.

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

The ladies race is potentially a little more open than the men’s race however; it does have some key names that stick out. In particular a rejuvenated and in-form Nikki Kimball. I interviewed Nikki after her incredible 2nd place at the 2013 Western States and for sure, she has found a new balance. She is racing less and when she races, she wants to perform. Her lining up at RRR can only mean one thing!

Darcy Africa is another hot ‘fave’ for the RRR crown coming from another great win at Hardrock 100. She is consistent over the longer distances as her 2012 season shows. Without doubt she will be pushing the pace at the front here!

I predicted Cassie Scallon would have a great race at WSER based on her performances over shorter distances and her natural speed. However, the big dance didn’t go well and she is untested at 100-miles. I still think we will see her rectify the situation in Steamboat Springs and contend for a podium place at least.

One-to-watch goes to Jennifer Benna. She ran a great 100 earlier this year and then went to Transvulcania La Palma but pulled out early saying things just didn’t feel right. WSER didn’t go well either so redemption is required at RRR.

Finally, last years 2nd place at RRR, Rhonda Claridge returns and with another solid performance at Hardrock 100 she will be looking to move one place higher and take home the $10,000 pot.

Jeez, I missed Pam Smith. Thanks Speedgoat. For sure, Pam Smith coming from winning the 2013 Western States changes the dynamic of RRR and she will be gunning for the win. Of course Pam will be the one who all the ladies will be watching. Her main priority will be ‘chicking’ Speedgoat again though and of course taking the big bucks!

 Links

  • Race Line up is here if you’d like to point out any contenders for the podium.
  • Race website here
  • Course description here
  • Athlete tracking here