Ultra Pirineu 2016 Preview – Skyrunner® World Series

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The 2016 Skyrunner® World Series championship for the ULTRA distance will be decided in Spain this coming weekend at the Ultra Pirineu located 2-hours north of Barcelona in the Parc Natural del Cadí Moixeró.

A 110km race with 6800m of ascent, Ultra Pirineu is a seriously tough way to end a season. As the last race in the calendar, a 20% points bonus is available and therefore a good placing is required to guarantee a podium place for the 2016 series.

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Cristofer Clemente, recent winner of the RUT placed 5th at Ultra Pirineu in 2015 and this year is leading the Skyrunner® World Series ranking. He will be looking for a strong showing in the race but more importantly, he will be working out calculations to make sure that he retains his position at the top of the series.

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Roger Viñas has been a revelation in 2016 consistently racing and performing to accumulate points and place within the top-3 of the Skyrunner® World Series. His presence at Ultra Pirineu is two-fold just like Cristofer, have a good race but more importantly retain his position within the ranking.

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Legendary runner Miguel Heras, will toe the line and he is no stranger to the Ultra Pirineu. He placed 1st in the race in 2010 and 2011 and in 3rd in 2015. Miguel is one of the most talented runners in the world but is often prone to injury. When he is in-form, he is often unstoppable and he may well be looking for the good old days of 2010 and 2011 in 2016. ©iancorless.com_Transgrancanaria2016-0586

Pau Capell has consistently grown as a runner over the past few years and this was confirmed with victory at the TDS and a strong performance at Transgrancanaria earlier this year – along with Cristofer, I see Pau being a potential winner of the race. ©iancorless.com_Transgrancanaria2016-0993

Yeray Duran, although not contesting the Skyrunner® World Series is a potential winner of the race and like Pau has slowly but surely impressed over the last couple of years with strong and dominant performances. ©iancorless.com_HTV2016-2444

Dimitry Mityaev had a stunning race at High Trail Vanoise which unfortunately left him injured. However, if he is fit and has the form shown in France, he may well be a podium contender. ©iancorless.com_HTV2016-2710

Marcin Swierc currently is placed 4th in the Skyrunner® World Series and his placing and the placing of Roger Vinas and Cristofer Clemente may well be instrumental in his opportunity to move up and on to the podium – remember a 20% bonus is available.

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Nuno Silva (5th) Remigio Huaman (6th) and Fulvio Dapit (8th) are all top-10 contenders on the Skyrunner® World Series and with this race coming so late in the season, many possibilities are available for a jump upon the rankings.

Francesc Soler, Cristobal Adell and Toti Bes make up the other main contenders for the top-10 places.

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In the ladies’ race, Ida Nilsson is without doubt the hot favourite for victory after showing fine form at the season’s opener in La Palma, Transvulcania! Recently, Ida backed this up with victory at the RUT. Ida does like to run and the relentless 6800m of vertical in Spain will test her. ©iancorless.com_Rut2015-7685

The USA’s Hillary Allen (2nd on ranking) is making the long journey to Spain to participate in the final race of the series in the hope to gain more points after placing 2nd at Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira and 3rd at the RUT.

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Gemma Arenas, like Hillary, has been consistently gaining points in the Skyrunner® World Series in 2015. She won in Madeira and last year placed 4th at Ultra Pirineu. A recent ‘dnf’ at UTMB may well leave Gemma feeling a little tired? It’s all to fight for in Spain.
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Anna Comet (6th) and Kristina Pattison (5th) have been ever-presents on the 2016 series and they have both placed consistently. Here in Spain, they may well find that little extra to move up the rankings and gain additional important points. Tina Bes will also be a contender for the podium.

©iancorless.com_SWC2016-6255 A huge ball may well come from Maite Maiora who usually prefers the SKY distance. In recent years she has raced longer distances and we have seen her on the podium at races such as Transvulcania. Recently she was crowned Skyrunning World Champion at the Buff Epic. The terrain here in Spain suits this fierce competitor.

As with any race, we can expect surprises. Action starts on Saturday and you can follow as the race unfolds via the usual social media feeds and live via tracking on the race website.


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

iancorless.com is the official photographer and media partner for the Skyrunner® World Series Follow on:

Social Media Logos

Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

Salomon Glen Coe Skyline 2016 Race Summary and Images – Skyrunner® Extreme Series

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Extreme! Yes, it was… that was the consensus as the Skyline Scotland’s Salomon Glencoe Skyline drew to a conclusion after only its 2nd edition.

Last year, Skyrunning superstar Emelie Forsberg, travelled to Scotland to take part in the first edition of the race. She placed 2nd overall and won the female category. After the race she said that ‘this’ race truly is one of the best races out there!

Cut to 2016 and Skyline Scotland developed a VK race and SKY race to join the Glencoe Skyline which had gained the approval from the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) to be one of three races that would make a new ‘SkyExtreme’ category in 2016. This three race series also include Tromso SkyRace and the iconic, Trofeo Kima.

Many had said that Skyrunning in the UK was not possible.

Ask again – not one participant in the 2016 edition of the race would question the legitimacy of how extreme this race was.

Gaining Skyrunner® Extreme Series status also has a huge impact on the participants taking part. It’s fair to say, that the 2016 edition of the race had arguably one of the greatest fields ever assembled for a mountain race.

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Coming into this edition, Jonathan Albon and Tom Owens were the hot favourites to take away the title of Skyrunner® Extreme Series champion and in the ladies race, Jasmin Paris after victory in Tromso was a likely female champion.

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The race played out as expected with Tom Owens and Jon Albon pushing each other throughout the early stages of the race with strong competition coming from Marc Lauenstein, Finlay Wild and Salomon team manager, Greg Vollet. It was Jonathan Albon though that snapped the elastic pulling away for Tom Owens running on home soil. Pre-race predictions were blown out of the water and Jonathan crossed the line first in a blistering 6:33:52. To put this time in perspective, it is over 1-hour faster than the 2015 course with additional distance and vertical gain.

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Tom Owens suffered with foot issues throughout the race but battled all the time. He finished 2nd in 6:37:21. Zegama-Aizkorri and Matterhorn Ultraks winner Marc Lauenstein, although not competing for the Skyrunner® Extreme Series title was always a potential contender for victory or the podium and he didn’t disappoint in finishing 3rd in 6:54:37. As Marc came to the end of one of the more technical sections of the race, the infamous Aonach Eagach, he said, “This is one seriously technical and challenging race!”

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Local man and Ben Nevis expert, Finlay Wild placed 4th and Greg Vollet 5th, their times 7:00:57 and 7:10:19.

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In the ladies’ race, Jasmin Paris lead from the gun and although Ruth Croft did catch her at one point, Jasmin placed her foot on the gas and pulled away becoming not only a convincing Salomon Glencoe Skyline winner but also a Skyrunner® Extreme Series champion. Quite incredible when you consider that just recently she placed 6th at UTMB. Jasmin’s time of 8:15:56 will be considered a CR for this new course.

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Malene Bikken Haukoy ran a savvy race pacing herself in the early stages to move up through the field and eventually place 2nd in the ladies’ race in 8:23:04. Her podium finish in Tromso SkyRace also providing valuable points for the Skyrunner® Extreme Series.

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Sarah Ridgway is now the leader of the Skyrunning UK Series and her 3rd place on the ladies podium showed incredible consistency, her time 8:44:40.

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Ruth Croft found today’s course a challenge after placing 2nd at Trofeo Kima recently. Despite difficulties though, Ruth ran a strong race gaining valuable points for the Skyrunner® Extreme Series.

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Martina Valmassoi rounded out the top 5.

The Salomon Glencoe Skyline route features long and sustained sections of scrambling terrain, which is roughly equivalent to moderate standard rock climbing. In addition, the race traverses high and remote mountainous terrain, which is at times impossible to retreat from and may be subject to severe and rapidly changing weather. The day started in glorious sunshine but as predicted, a weather system arrived late morning making the crossing off the Aonach Eagach a wet one with limited visibility due to clag and mist.

As expected, the race had many dropouts due to the severe course and inclement weather in the latter half of the day. Ultimately though, the feedback and response has been incredible.

2016 was the start of really big things for the UK Skyrunning scene and the Salomon Glencoe Skyline is not only paving the way and setting the benchmark within the UK but also for Europe and farther afield.

RESULTS

  1. Jonathan Albon 6:33:52
  2. Tom Owens 6:37:21
  3. Marc Lauenstein 6:54:37
  4. Finlay Wild 7:00:57
  5. Greg Vollet 7:10:19
  1. Jasmin Paris 8:15:56
  2. Malene Bikken Haukoy 8:23:04
  3. Sarah Ridgway 8:44:40
  4. Ruth Croft 9:10:33
  5. Martina Valmassoi 9:14:37

Extreme Series ranking. Final*
Men
1. Jonathan Albon (GBR) – 208 points
2. Tom Owens (GBR) – 205.6 points
3. Finlay Wild (GBR) – 164.4 points
4. Andew Fallas (GBR) – 143 points
5. Sota Ogawa (JAP) – 128.4 points

Women
1. Jasmin Paris (GBR) – 220 points
2. Malene Haukøy (NOR) – 193.6 points
3. Ruth Croft (NZL) – 172 points
4. Martina Valmassoi (ITA – 152.4 points
5. Natalia Tomasiak (POL) – 127.6 points

Click on an image to view in a gallery

Images available at iancorless.photoshelter.com

Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace 2016 Results and Images

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Uncompromising mountain running, ridges, scrambles, steep ascents, boggy ground and a bucket full of technical running made the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ the UK’s Zegama! Following in the tradition of Skyrunning iconic race, Zegama-Aizkorri, the inaugural Salomon Ring of Steall has been touted by all who run it as one of the toughest 25km’s they have ever run! A sentiment echoed by race winner and Skyrunning World Champion for the VK and SKY distance, Stian Angermund: “That was one incredibly tough and beautiful race. Wow, so technical and relentless. The ridges were long and challenging and the climbing kept coming. It really is an incredible race and one that I loved. I’d love to do more races like this!”

“A variation of the classic ‘Ring of Steall’ ridge-walking route this 25km / 2,500m mountain race has spectacular views of Ben Nevis from the Mamores and includes short sections of easy scrambling.”

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Stian followed up his 2nd place in the previous day’s VK with a stunning win in an incredible 3:25:28. Race predictions stated that a 4-hour race was possible, but more like 4 to 4:15. A true reflection on the talent of the Salomon runner.

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Mamores VK winner Alexis Sevennec did a role reversal with Stian placing 2nd in3:29:04, also an ‘off-the-scale’ time.

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Adrien Perret placed 4th in the Mamores VK and today moved one step up to take the final podium place in 4:00:51.

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In the ladies’ race, Georgia Tindley did the ‘double’ winning the Mamores VK and then backing up with a stunning Ring of Steall victory in 4:39:20.

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Hollie Orr and Jessica Tullie had a neck-and-neck race for 2nd and 3rd with Hollie ‘just’ taking the 2nd podium slot, their times 4:51:53 and 4:52:29

This Skyrunning race route incorporated two lofty ridges within the Mamores, including the Devil’s Ridge, which provides a thrilling and airy traverse with Glen Nevis visible ahead and as a yawning drop far below, and Ben Nevis beyond and towering above.

The Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ is set to become a classic Skyrunning event.

Race results HERE

More images to follow and images available for purchase HERE

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Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

Glen Coe Skyline is featured in my new book, RUNNING BEYOND (information here)

RunningBeyond_JKT

Salomon Mamores #VK Vertical Kilometre 2016 Results and Images

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The Salomon Mamores VK™ kicked off the Skyline Scotland weekend of racing with the UK’s first ever VK (Vertical Kilometre) race and what an incredible success… The pure ethos of sea to summit was personified with the Mamores VK that provided all runners with a challenging 1000m vertical climb over a distance of 5km in a course that was split into thirds. Skyrunning at its best!

The first third was runnable trail that may well have lulled everyone into a false sense of security. What followed was a wall of vertical fell with no path, just a line of orange flags leading to the sky.

As the fell submitted out, an arrow pointed left and the final section was a stunning rocky ridge that lead to the summit at 1000m+.

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The Scottish weather played its part too, throwing everything at the runners in a 4-hour time window; Sun, cloud, clag, rain and strong winds. It was the luck of the draw what you received, however, for 4-runnners, the weather could have thrown anything at them and they would have still flew up the course. Experienced Skyrunners, Stian Angermund (VK world champion), Alexis Sevennec and Francois Gonon took the top 3 spots with Sevennec pipping Angermund by just 7-seconds, 42:17 to 42:25. Francois Gonon placed 3rd 44:48 and Adrien Perret was 4th in 44:57.

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In the ladies race, Georgina Tindley pipping Stephanie Provan to the top slot by 33-seconds, 54:34 and 55:01 respectively. Zoe Procter was 3rd in 58:45.

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Following the well established International Skyrunning Federation ‘VK’ format, participants followed a marked course gaining 1000m of height in less than 5km. Participants were set off at timed intervals with the winner having the fastest overall time to the summit. The Salomon Mamores VK was the UK’s first VK and feedback has been incredible. This format is just what the UK needs to spice up racing for all abilities!

Whilst physically arduous, the Salomon Mamores VK™ route does not include technical terrain that requires any scrambling or rock climbing experience. As such, the race was suitable for any runner who is up for the challenge.

RESULTS HERE

 

Social Media Logos

Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

Glen Coe Skyline is featured in my new book, RUNNING BEYOND (information here)

RunningBeyond_JKT

RUN the RUT 2016 ULTRA Summary and Images – Skyrunner® World Series

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Mike Foote, race director for ‘The Rut’ races had to make the tough call this morning at 0500 and confirm that the ULTRA race would go to a plan B route. Rain, snow, cold temperatures were all rolling in and the potential hazard to all participants was too high. It’s a decision no race director wants to make but as the day unfolded it was the correct decision.

“Due to current freezing rain conditions in the alpine and potential significant snowfall later today, we have made the tough choice to go with our plan B course for the 50k.”

The plan B route unfortunately removed all the key Skyrunning elements of the original course leaving the opening third unchanged with the first 12.1 miles remaining the same as the original course (Soul Hole-Tango-Challenger service road-Moonlight-Ullery’s Lake loop-Madison Connector-Madison Village-Moonlight Loop trail-Elkhorn trail).

The middle section of the course, Headwaters Ridge and Lone Peak sections of the original course were simply too exposed and technical to be safe for runners or safety personnel in the event of a major storm on race day and they were therefore removed.  This therefore confirmed that “Plan B” would be in place and the new route would remain approximately 50% true to the original course.  This change would mean that the course would stay off the high exposed ridgelines and not go to the summit of Lone Peak – the Skyrunning element was gone and ultimately this would have a huge impact on the race.

At Swiftcurrent lift where the runners would have turned right for the tough and challenging climb to Lone Peak followed with the technical descent off the summit was replaced with a run along an access road and a descent through a rocky boulder field before heading back up to Dakota lift and rejoining the original course for the run to the line.

In the opening 2-hours low mist hung around and temperatures were actually surprisingly warm despite the forecast and I am sure many were thinking, we could have run the original route. Then at Swiftcurrent, about 16 miles into the course the rain started to fall and then the snow. The temperatures plummeted and suddenly it was difficult to remain warm. The front end the race was moving fast and generating heat but as you moved through the pack and as time past, the pace of runners changed and those who were starting to walk were really feeling the impact of the conditions.

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With the main climbing and technical sections removed, the new route most certainly suited those who can run… Chad Trammell from Alaska was dictating the pace followed by Scott Patterson who placed 3rd in Friday’s VK. Salomon Team Manager, Greg Vollet pursued as did Cristofer Clemente and last years 3rd on the podium Matt Shyrock.

©iancorless.com_Rut2016_ULTRA-3531As the terrain became more challenging, Greg Vollet used his downhill skills to take the lead but Cristofer Clemente was playing the wise game, just as he did in Madeira. He slowly moved up into 3rd and then on the final descent he unleashed an all out effort to catch and pass Greg and Chad. Cristofer cruised into the line in 3:51:53. Greg finished +1:38 later just managing to hold off Chad who took the final podium place just 16 seconds later. Cristofer’s victory here follows on from victory in Madeira and he therefore heads the 2016 Skyrunner® World Series with everything to fight for in late September at Ultra Perineu.

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In the ladies’ race, the revised and more runnable course played into the hands of Ida Nilsson. Ida who was victorious at Transvulcania earlier this year opened up a gap in the early stages and extended it and extended it. At halfway, her lead was over 10 minutes and victory was never in doubt. Although some of the more challenging terrain may well have slowed her in the final stages, it was never enough for her to lose such a strong lead, Ida crossed the line in 4:27:30.

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Pre race favourite and winner of the High Trail Vanoise, Anne-Lise Rousset, was running a strong race no doubt being challenged by the wet and cold. But just behind her, Hillary Allen (who podium at the Rut in 2015) was pursuing closely followed by Kristina Pattison. The pressure was on and in the closing stages it was touch and go who would placed 2nd…

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Anne-Lise held on finishing +16:22 after Ida but just behind Hillary could be seen, the gap after crossing the line just 36 seconds. Kristina Pattison held on for 4th, +22:21. Martina Valmassoi who placed 3rd at the Rut last year withdrew from the race and Anna Comet Pascual finished 8th.

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Ultra Pirineu on the 24th September concludes the Ultra Skyrunner® World Series and it’s all to fight for with a 20% points bonus on offer.


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

iancorless.com is the official photographer and media partner for the Skyrunner® World Series Follow on:

Social Media Logos

Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

RUN the RUT 2016 SKY 28km Summary and Images – Skyrunner® World Series

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An integral part of the Skyrunner® World Series, the RUT 28km is considered by many in the US and Europe to be a pure Skyrunning race with a logical course that goes up and down with an abundance of technical trail. The race offers extremely steep and technical terrain in many sections of the course and loose rock is a real hazard.

Covering 28km what this race lacks in distance is made up for in technicality and challenge. With 2375m of vertical gain this 28km course is basically the RUT 50km on steroids as it includes all 3 major climbs of its bigger brother.

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The highest point of the race comes at Lone Peak which tops out just above 3000m. Altitude, technical running and exposure from the elements, cold and strong winds makes the 28k one seriously tough race!

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Three wave starts with 5-minute gaps avoided congestion on the course with all the top elites departing in wave 1 on the stroke of 0800. Despite forecasts for inclement weather, conditions were excellent for running and maybe just a little chilly for spectating. The summit of Lone Peak was shrouded in mist and cloud and remained that way for much of the day as the wind moved one block of cloud only replace it with another.

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Dakota Jones returning to racing after a lay off with injury was the early protagonist pulling away and extending a gap over an inform Hassan Ait Chaou.

©iancorless.com_Rut2016_SKY-2998Climbing up to Lone Peak summit Dakota was looking relaxed and barring a fall or injury was looking strong for victory. Hassan equally looked relaxed and calm, constantly looking forward he had his eyes on the American in the distance with one objective, to chase him down.

©iancorless.com_Rut2016_SKY-1413Michael Barlow pushed and following behind was a small group of 3 containing Kiril Nikolov, Jan Megabit Sole and Timmy Parr.

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In the ladies race it came as no surprise that Megan Kimmel took the bull by the horns and lead the race from the front as she so often does. Victory at the 2015 edition of the race no doubt helping with her confidence levels and her ability to judge her pace and effort over the 28km. Yngvild Kaspersen pursued and behind last year’s 2nd place, Laura Orgue was holding off Najeeby Quinn and Sarah Pizzo.

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On the descent of Lone Peak as the runners made their way to the latter sections of the course, disaster struck for Dakota and he rolled an ankle that would later cause him to pull out of the race. This opened the door for Hassan and he never looked back crossing the line for a well-earned victory almost 8-minutes ahead of 2nd place. Behind all hell was breaking loose and Bulgarian Kiril put in a big effort to place 2nd ahead of Jan Megabit Sole and Michael Barlow who had a head-to-head full on sprint for the line. Timmy Parr placed 5th and Lone Peak VK winner, Andrej Fejfar placed 6th.

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It may come as no surprise that lady on fire Megan Kimmel once again pulled off another incredible Skyrunning victory showing that she is ‘the’ lady to beat at the moment. Yngvild ran a very strong 2nd and crossed the line with a huge smile just over 7-minutes back and Laura Orgue, winner of the previous days VK finished 3rd despite having taken a fall.

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Post-race, many of the runners expressed how technical the downhill section was but Megan Kimmel took it all in her stride:

“I felt good today and I was certainly more confident having run and won the race last year. The temperatures were ideal for running, yes, it was a little cold and windy at the Lone Peak summit but that didn’t last long. This is a really technical course in places and I was happy to consolidate my lead and take no risks. I will now race in Limone in October.”

Hassan Ait Chaou is certainly on form and this is a well-deserved victory:

“The race was okay, I suffered with the altitude and it caused me headaches but I kept the pace. I held myself back on the first climb and then pushed hard on the downhill. I am really happy to take this victory!”

Attention now turns to Sundays 50km event which will start at 0600 local time and the weather forecast is not good – fingers crossed! You can read a preview of the race HERE.

Results:

1    Megan Kimmel 3:36:26

2    Yngvild Kaspersen +7:05

3    Laura Orgue +19:50

 

1    Hassan Ait Chaou 3:06:40

2    Kiril Nikolov +7:55

3    Jan Megabit Sole +8:20


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

iancorless.com is the official photographer and media partner for the Skyrunner® World Series Follow on:

Social Media Logos

Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

Episode 118 – Damian Hall and Jo Meek

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 118 of Talk Ultra and this week is going to be a short and sharp show… it’s all about the UTMB races and Trofeo Kima. We have interviews with Jo Meek who placed 2nd lady at the CCC and Damian Hall who placed 19th in the UTMB and recently completed a ‘FKT’ on the South West Coast Path in the UK. This weeks show is co hosted by Albert Jorquera.

Firstly, this show is being recorded in the USA on the day of the RUT VK and so therefore we are somewhat pressed for time… joining me is a co-host is my good buddy and fellow Skyrunning hack, Albert Jorquera.

If you haven’t guessed, Albert is from Spain!

Karl is on the AT as many of you will know, Speedboat has passed halfway on the AT. He really is doing great, racking up some daily mileage and as you can guess is going through some real highs and lows. We are posting 7-day updates on my website so please check out the links on the show notes. I need to give out a bog thanks to Red Bull who hooked us up with Eric, Karl’s chief crew and I had a chat with him on day 19.

Albert, what do you reckon, 2100 miles in under 50 days, trying to average somewhere between 45-50 miles a day?

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK well I have a first copy in my hand and I have to say I am somewhat pleased and happy. It’s taken a couple of years and at times it never felt quite real. The book in my hand confirms it is real and Spanish, German, Italian and UK versions will be available in the coming months. I believe Spain is first (September) Italy is October and the UK November. I don’t have a date on the German edition yet! – HERE

00:32:00 NEWS

TROFEO KIMA HERE

  1. Bhim Gurung 6:10 new CR
  2. Marco De Gasperi 6:12
  3. Leo Viret 6:15
  1. Emelie Forsberg 7:49
  2. Ruth Croft 8:02
  3. Emanuela Brizio 8:21

UTMB WEEKEND

OCC

Xavier Thévenard (France) won the 55k OCC race with 5:28 on the clock. Marathon des Sables sensation Rachid El Morabity (Morocco) was second, 15 minutes back. Mercedes Arcos (Spain) cruised to the front of the women’s field in 6:54.

CCC

Michel Lanne (France) in 12:10, five minutes ahead of Ruy Ueda (Japan). Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) gained the women’s victory in 13:42, 27 minutes better than second-place Jo Meek (U.K.).

INTERVIEW with JO MEEK

TDS

Pau Capell (Spain), Yeray Duran (Spain), and Franco Colle (Italy) filled the men’s podium with 14:45, 15:14, and 15:32 finish times, respectively. Delphine Avenier (France) led the women with an 18:46 winning time with Meredith Edwards (U.S.) took second 13 minutes back.

UTMB

  1. Ludovic Pommeret 22:00:02
  2. Gediminas Grinius 22:26:05
  3. Tim Tollefsen 22:30:28
  4. David Laney 22:41:14
  5. Javi Dominguez 22:44:16
  6. Zach Miller 22:54:26
  1. Caroline Chaverot 25:15:40
  2. Andrea Huser 25:22:56
  3. Uxue Fraile 27:10:22
  4. Juliette Blanchet 27:37:18
  5. Magdalena Boulet 28:18:05
  6. Jasmin Paris 28:34:35

INTERVIEW with DAMIAN HALL

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Great North Walk 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Great North Walk 100 Miles | 100 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Queensland

Glasshouse 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Glasshouse 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Victoria

100 km | 100 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Walhalla Wound-Up – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Western Australia

Oxfam Trailwalker Australia – Perth | 100 kilometers | September 16, 2016 | website

Austria

“GRAWE” 50km Lauf | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

“NKE Austria” 100km Lauf | 100 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Wörthersee Trail-Maniac 114 K | 114 kilometers | September 16, 2016 | website

Wörthersee Trail Maniak 114K Superior | 114 kilometers | September 16, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

55 km | 55 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Brazil

Desafio das Serras 80 km | 80 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Canada

Alberta

Lost Soul 100 Km Ultra | 100 kilometers | September 09, 2016 | website

Lost Soul 100 Mile Ultra | 100 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

Lost Soul 50 Km Ultra | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

British Columbia

50K Cody Claim Run | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Finlayson Arm 50k Fat Ass | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Mount Robson 50km Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Ontario

Haliburton Forest Trail 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 km Race | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Haliburton Forest Trail 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Quebec

125 km | 125 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

65 km | 65 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Chute du Diable 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Chute du Diable 80 km | 80 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Croatia

Ucka Trail – 73 km | 73 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Denmark

Nordjylland

100 Miles – Around the isle of Mors | 100 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

Ultra-Trail Côte d’Azur Mercantour | 140 kilometers | September 02, 2016 | website

Ardèche

100 km | 100 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

60 km | 60 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

70 km | 70 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

90 km | 90 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Bas-Rhin

Grand Trail du HK ” The Magic Trail | 54 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail du Haut-Koenigsbourg 108 km | 108 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Cantal

Trail des 6 burons | 65 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Isère

Ultra Trail du Vercors | 88 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Lot

Trail Vallée Cere et Dordogne – 53 km | 53 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Trail de la côte d’Opale – 62 km | 62 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Rhône

La Nuit des Carbones – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 09, 2016 | website

Vendée

Bol d’Air – 50 km | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Vosges

L’Infernal 110 | 110 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

L’infernal 160 | 158 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

L’Infernal 210 | 210 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

L’infernal 72 | 72 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run | 240 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

P-Weg Ultramarathon | 73 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Hungary

2x25k Relay | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Hammer 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Iceland

Run Iceland Adventure Trail | 110 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

India

Jammu and Kashmir

Khardung La Challenge | 72 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Tamil Nadu

Chennai Trail Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Ireland

Kerry

Dingle Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 02, 2016 | website

Italy

Aosta Valley

Tor des Géants | 330 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Sellaronda Trail Running | 56 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Japan

100 km | 100 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Mauritius

50 km | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Gelderland

53 km | 53 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Marton-Wanganui Ultramarathon | 66 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Norway

Telemark’s Toughest | 81 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Philippines

100K Champioship | 100 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

100K Relay | 100 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

50K Challenge | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Poland

7 Valleys Run Ultramarathon of the Festival | 100 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Bieg 7 Dolin – Ultramaraton – 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Bieg 7 Dolin – Ultramaraton – 66 km | 66 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Romania

Ciucas X3 Ultramaraton | 105 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Singapore

Craze Ultra 100 miles | 100 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Craze Ultra 101 km | 101 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Craze Ultra 78 km | 78 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Slovenia

Marathon Celje-Logarska dolina – 75 km | 75 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

South Africa

50 km | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Bonitas Sunday Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Hout is Goud Day-Breaker | 80 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Spain

Castile and León

The Way of Legends | 250 kilometers | September 16, 2016 | website

Catalonia

Ultra Trail dels Comtes d’Erill | 82 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Turkey

Frig Vadileri Ultramaratonu 60K | 60 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Anglesey

Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | September 02, 2016 | website

Argyll and Bute

Tiree Ultramarathon | 35 miles | September 04, 2016 | website

Cumbria

The La Sportiva Grand Tour of Skiddaw | 44 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

England

Oxford to Henley Challenge | 84 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Oxfordshire

Thames Path Challenge 100km | 100 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Thames Path Challenge 50km | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Powys

10 Peaks Brecon Beacons – Long Course | 89 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

10 Peaks Brecon Beacons – Short Course | 58 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Stockport

Bullock Smithy | 56 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

USA

Alaska

Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay | 175 kilometers | September 09, 2016 | website

Arizona

Javelina Jangover 100K Night Trail Run | 100 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Javelina Jangover 50K Night Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Javelina Jangover 75K Night Trail Run | 75 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Paatuwaqatsi Run 50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

California

Headlands 100mi | 100 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Headlands 50mi | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Headlands 75mi | 75 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Kodiak 100 Mile UltraMarathon | 100 miles | September 16, 2016 | website

Kodiak 50 Mile UltraMarathon | 50 miles | September 16, 2016 | website

Los Pinos 50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Tahoe 200 | 200 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

Colorado

Devil on the Divide 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Flaming Foilage Relay | 160 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

Hideaway Hundred 100 Miler | 101 miles | September 04, 2016 | website

Hideaway Hundred 50K | 33 miles | September 05, 2016 | website

Hideaway Hundred 50 Miler | 50 miles | September 04, 2016 | website

Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Ultra Marathon | 100 miles | September 16, 2016 | website

Florida

The Pinellas Trail Challenge | 46 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Wildcat 100 km | 100 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Wildcat 100 Miler | 100 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Idaho

Moscow Mountain Madness | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Illinois

50K | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Double-Ender 25k | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Kansas

Hawk 100 | 100 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Hawk 50 | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Maine

Last Man Standing | 100 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Maryland

Ragnar Relay Washington D.C. | 200 miles | September 16, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

TARC Fall Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

TARC Fall Classic 50 M | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Michigan

Freak 50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Hallucination 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

LSD 100K | 100 kilometers | September 09, 2016 | website

Peace, Love & 50 mile | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile | 100 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

Superior Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

Missouri

Forrest Gump Challenge 50 Mile Ultra-marathon | 50 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Montana

The Rut 50K | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Nebraska

Bohemian Alps 50 Kilometer Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

New Mexico

50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

50 miles | 50 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

New York

Shawangunk Ridge 74-Mile Trail Run/Hike | 74 miles | September 16, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Weymouth Woods 50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Oklahoma

3 Half Marathons in 3 Days | 39 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

3 Marathons in 3 Days | 78 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

DoWackaDo 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

DoWackaDo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Oregon

McKenzie River Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Pine Creek Challenge 100K | 100 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Pine Creek Challenge 100M | 100 miles | September 11, 2016 | website

Tennessee

Stanky Creek 50K | 50 kilometers | September 11, 2016 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Utah

Red Rock Relay Zion Edition | 187 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

Vermont

Jay Peak 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Virginia

Iron Mountain 50 mile Trail Run | 50 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Odyssey 40 Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | September 10, 2016 | website

The Blude Ridge Relay | 208 miles | September 09, 2016 | website

The Ring – Massanutten Trail Circuit Run | 71 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Washington

Centennial Trail Run | 37 miles | September 03, 2016 | website

Day Two- (September 7) 50k | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50K | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

Volcanic 50 | 50 kilometers | September 03, 2016 | website

West Virginia

Charlies Challenge | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Lake Michigan Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | September 04, 2016 | website

Wyoming

Sundance 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | September 10, 2016 | website

CLOSE

 

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Website – talkultra.com

RUN the RUT 2016 Preview – Skyrunner® World Series

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Big Sky Montana hosts the Run the Rut weekend of racing, the next step in the 2016 Skyrunner® World Series; 3-days, 3 races and 3 incredible experiences. Located between the wonderful town of Bozeman and the iconic Yellowstone Park, if ever a race existed that should combine with a holiday experience, this is it.

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Big Sky sits between Bozeman and Yellowstone and the isolated Lone Peak mountain provides a stunning backdrop for the Run the Rut races of VK, Sky and Ultra. The advantages of using a ski resort as a race hub are clear to see. Utilising what would be ski runs in winter, it’s easy to understand why the Rut has gained a reputation for providing a tough and technical test even for the most experienced runner.

In just a couple of years the Rut races have become a flagship race in the USA. This is primarily due to the technical nature of the trails. You see, access to open land and mountains is not the same as in Europe. Strict land management is in place and ‘off-trail’ races just don’t exist. The Rut have managed to work around this by using the Big Sky resort which does not have to comply with land permission issues.

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Vertical K

On Friday the VK kicks off the action from the Big Sky Resort up to the summit of Lone Peak at an altitude just short of 3000m gaining 3,632 feet in just over three miles.

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Ondrej Fejfar from the Czech Republic is potentially one of the favourites for a podium place but without doubt, Ferran Teixido is the odds-on winner as he currently heads up the SWS VK ranking. Chris Mocko (plans to run all 3 races over the weekend) placed 7th at the 2016 Western States 100 which obviously shows great ability, how that transfers to a VK is difficult to say. Experienced Skyrunner Luke Nelson who recently raced in Norway at the Tromso SkyRace will look to do the double here at the Rut also racing in the SkyRace too. Brendan Trimboli was the recent winner of Squamish 50k, again, like Mocko, it’s difficult to predict how these skills will transfer to an all out VK effort… We can expect Brendan to be in the mix. Seth Swanson is also on the start list as is Jan Margarit and both could potentially produce a surprise in this all out vertical race.

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Laura Orgue is without doubt the heads and shoulders favourite for the VK, this is her speciality. Recently she has been a little jaded and she had a below par performance at the VK in Tromso, however, I predict a victory at Lone Peak. Strong competition will come from Laura’s teammate Yngvild Kaspersen and we can anticipate Corrine Malcolm and Sarah Bard to contest the podium. As a note, Laura and Yngvild will also run the SkyRace.

SkyUltra 50km

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The ultra gains 10,500 feet of elevation and as with all the other races visits the summit of Lone Peak but in a less pleasing and aesthetic run. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great course but the SkyRace has the more logical and pure course.

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The men’s race is an interesting one with Cristofer Clemente and Matt Skyrock both returning after success in the 2015 race. Cristofer has been injured of late so this race may well provide a return to form.

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Mike Aish 2nd at the recent Leadville Silver Rush is potentially a contender for the podium and Matias Saari, Morgan Elliott and Paddy O’Leary are all expected to be in the mix with recent victories at Angels Creek 50m, Power of Four 50k and Canyons 100k respectively. Noah Brautigam placed just outside the top-10 in the same race last year and he may well contest a higher place this year. Chris Mocko would have been a contender for the podium but he will already have a VK and SkyRace in his legs. Nicholas Martin is the odds on favourite for victory and he will no doubt slip under the radar but watch out, victory is his for the taking! Finally, Roger Vinas is also one to watch.

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The ladies’ race is an interesting one with Ida Nilsson heading up the field after her impressive Transvulcania victory, however, the Rut has many technical sections and Ida does like to run… Still my tip for victory (or 2nd*)! Alicia Shay may well push Ida for the first past the post and in all honesty, it could go anyway. Ashley recently won the Flagstaff SkyRace and Alicia was 4th behind Ida at Transvulcania.

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Hillary Allen was 5th last year but has progressed considerably in the last 12-months, for me, she is a stronger runner and providing that she is fresh a higher placing is a possibility this year.

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Martina Valmassoi and Kristina Pattison placed 3rd and 4th in the 2015 edition and both have been racing and strong and consistently recently – the top 5 is wide open! Anna Comet will also race and like all the ladies mentioned before her, she has podium and almost definitely top-5 potential. Strong competition will also come from Denali Strabel, Anne Wheatly, Sarah Woerner. But I save the big surprise for the last, expect Anne Lise Rousset* to be the wild card who takes the bull by the horns and wins the race outright or at worst as a head-to-head battle with Ida for victory and takes 2nd.

SkyRace

For me, the SkyRace is the most pleasing race of the Rut weekend as the proportion of vertical gain and descent, technical running all blend together in the most logical and pleasing race.

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Marc Lauenstein after placing 2nd at Zegama-Aizkorri (behind Kilian) and recently winning Matterhorn Ultraks heads up the race along with an inform Dakota Jones. This duo certainly brings an interesting dynamic to the race and we can expect a proper head-to-head battle, especially with Dakota’s recent win at Squamish 50k and victory at Broken Arrow SkyRace. For me though, Marc gets the nod! Hassan Ait Chaou has been on fire this year and although he hasn’t taken a big victory he has always been close, recent highlights came at SkyRace Comapedrosa and Matterhorn Ultraks. Micha Steiner is a rising star of the Skyrunning ranks and we can expect him to do well, he was racing at an extremely high level at the recent Dolomites SkyRace until a couple of falls knocked his confidence. Eric Strabel may well be the one who really shakes things up as he has been a dominant force in Alaska. His results at Mount Marathon will bode well for the ascent and descent of Lone Peak. Luke Nelson, Justin Ricks, Timmy Parr are all runners who will be in the mix, the race is possibly a little short for Luke but Justin and Timmy have local knowledge – it will play a huge advantage. Kirin Nikolov, Greg Vollet (?), Ondrei Fejfar, Ted Farley, Michael Barlow and Eugeni Gil Ocana make up the other top contenders for the top-10.

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It’s fair to say the ladies’ race will be all about Megan Kimmel and Laura Orgue. It’s going to be an exciting head-to-head and one that I think Megan will take. She has been on fire and her recent victory at Matterhorn Ultraks was impressive. Laura can no doubt push Megan but with a VK in her legs and recent fatigue I think she may well be racing for 2nd. But Yngvild Kaspersen is not to be ruled out, this lady goes up and down super quick and after a break through victory in Hong Kong last year and victory at Zegama-Aizkorri in 2016, the Rut podium is there for the taking! Ragna Debats is 2nd in the SWS and is performing consistently well in 2016 – that is what the series is all about! I see her in the mix but not on top of the podium. I have Ashley Erba listed in the SkyUltra too but I think her strength may well fall in the SkyRace and considering this race is before the ultra, this is where the performance will come. Marta Molist, Sarah Pizzo, Maria Zorroza and Aitziber Ibarbia are all ones to watch for top-10 placings.

Matterhorn Ultraks 46k 2016 Race Summary and Images– Skyrunner® World Series

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The Matterhorn provides a stunning backdrop for Switzerland’s Matterhorn Ultraks race, a 46km Skyrunning race with 3600m of positive and negative gain. Now in its 4th edition, the race once again is in the Skyrunner® World Series – a magical race that provides a circular journey that starts and concludes in the picture postcard mountain town of Zermatt.

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The day started well with wispy white clouds penetrating the blue of the sky, we all knew though that it wasn’t going to last… with 2 hours of running the sky turned grey, the rain arrived and low mist enveloped the mountains; the beautiful Matterhorn was gone!

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Wild expansive space, high mountains and the 3100m Gornergrat provides the high point of the race and the first indication of how this mountain game of chess was going to play out. Christian Mathys was a surprise arrival pushing the pace closely followed by Marc Lauenstein (pre-race favourite) and Nepalese runner, Tirtha Tamang.

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In the ladies’ race, Megan Kimmel from the USA was already dictating the race and the pace opening up a substantial gap on a chasing Elisa Desco from Italy and Michaela Mertova who was looking very strong.

It’s a brutal opening 14km to open any race and as such, those opening km’s can be decisive in who crosses the finish line first.

Megan Kimmel from the USA ran hard from the gun in 2015 setting the pace against a world-class field, “Anytime you get the rhythm in the up, the down, or the flat, the body is abruptly put into one of these other actions.  It is steep enough to grind you to a walk on a lot of the uphill and has fair bits of technical descent.”

A 1000m drop from the summit is broken by a small climb at Riffelalp and then Furi follows at 24km at 1880m. Two short sharp climbs follow, the first to Schwarzsee at 2583m and approximately 28km covered. Here Mathys was leading Tamang and Launstein followed minutes behind. It was difficult to tell if Lauenstein was going through a bad patch, he just smiled and pushed on.

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Kimmel picks up her race, “I was comfortably leading the race for the first 30k. When I mean comfortable, I mean it seemed fairly effortless in a racing sense.  I was moving with the terrain on the uphill’s and I was holding back on the descents because it was a long race with a lot of transitions.” Kimmel’s lead was substantial and she was running her own race. Behind, barring an accident, the other ladies were running for 2nd.

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A drop down to 2200m from Schwarzsee was followed with another 500m+ climb and then what follows is mostly a flat runnable plateau that gently weaves up, down and left to right all the way to Trift. Lauenstein had taken the lead now and was flying, Mathys chased but the gap was opening up with every minute that passed.

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A short kick up of 100 to 200m follows Trift and then a fast and furious drop of almost 1000m over a distance of 6km leads to the finish line in Zermatt and the assembled crowds. Lauenstein sealed victory in 4:47:01, just a few minutes outside Kilian Jornet’s course record. Mathy’s held on for an excellent 2nd in 5:51:56 and Tamang placed 3rd in 4:53:03. Once again Hassan Ait Chaou ran an excellent 4th place and last year’s winner and course designer, Martin Anthamatten finished 6th.

Kimmel, the 2015 Dolomites SkyRace winner, after strongly leading the ladies race for the whole race, clinched victory with 20+-minute lead to Michaela Mertova, their respective times 5:23:15 and 5:46:21. Cilia Chiron backed up her great Dolomites SkyRace performance with 3rd and Oihana Kortazar placed 4th. Elisa Desco who had run in 2nd place did not finish due to a fall.

Skyrunning is not just about the uphill and more often than not, it’s the downhill that determines the winner. Today was all about patience and consistency. Racing is often a mental journey as much physical, Kimmel and Lauenstein today proved this at the Matterhorn.

Results for all race HERE


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

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Matterhorn Ultraks 46k 2016 Race Preview – Skyrunner® Extreme Series

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The stunning Matterhorn provides the stunning backdrop for Switzerland’s Matterhorn Ultraks race, a 46km Skyrunning race with 3600m of positive and negative gain – the next race in the Skyrunner® World Series 2016. It’s a magical race that provides a circular journey that starts and concludes in the picture postcard mountain town of Zermatt.

Wild expansive space, high mountains and the 3100m Gornergrat provides the high point of the race where the ever present lone peak of the Matterhorn shadows the race and runners with its majestic beauty.

Zermatt, located 1600m above altitude provides the focal point for this high altitude race. It’s a town of contrasts, tourists flood in to trawl the streets, shop and snap ‘selfies’ while in and amongst them, hardcore mountaineers head upwards with packs, ropes, cramp-ons and ice axes. Like a photo on a luxury box of chocolates, Zermatt is a beautiful place steeped in history. It’s a logical start and finishing place for such an iconic race.

Renowned for its tough opening kilometers, the Matterhorn Ultraks immediately heads to the sky via Sunnegga at 2260m all the way to the high point Gornergrat at 3130m. It’s a brutal 14km to open any race and as such, those opening km’s can be decisive in who crosses the finish line first.

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2015 Champions, Martin Anthamatten and Elisa Desco return to Switzerland for the 4th edition of the race and as such they are the favourites. Desco just last weekend placed 3rd at Sierre-Zinal, the question mark will be, as she recovered? For Anthamatten, his last performance was at the Skyrunning World Championships.

It’s fair to say the men’s race is wide open, no doubt impacted upon by the recent Tromso SkyRace and next weekend’s Trofeo Kima. SWS race leader, Tadei Pivk is currently injured and that leaves an opening for valuable points.

Bhim Gurung who won the inaugural Yading race excelled at the high altitude in China and although this race tops out at 3100m in Switzerland, it will not register on the Nepalese runner’s radar. Strong competition and maybe the hot favourite will be Marc Lauenstein.

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Hassan Ait Chou has a solid history in Zermatt and his recent podium at the SkyRace Comapedrosa indicates that he may well be in for a good run. Pablo Villa, Oscar Casal Mir and Marc Casal Mir will also contend the podium along with Adrien Michaud.

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Lining up against Desco is Megan Kimmel who had a stunning race in 2015 only to later in the latter stages. Something tells me that won’t happen this year and for me, she is odds on favourite for victory!

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Oihana Kortazar leads the other podium contenders after a recent top placing at SkyRace Comapedrosa and Celia Chiron who placed 3rd at the Dolomites SkyRace will no doubt be looking for a repeat performance. Ragna Debats, Aziziber Ibarbia and Marta Molist are other top runners who will be at the ‘pointy’ end of the race!

Course records were set in 2013 by Kilian Jornet and 2014 by Stevie Kremer, their respective times 4:43:05 and 5:18:43.

Race day is Saturday 20th August and the Matterhorn Ultraks 46k race will get underway at 0730


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

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