Northern Traverse 2016 – Day 1 Summary

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St Bees on the west coast of the UK witnessed the start of the 2016 Northern Traverse – a 190km route that crosses the north of England through three National Parks finishing in Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast. Taking in iconic mountains, valleys, moors and over 16,000 feet of ascent, the Northern Traverse is a truly spectacular and challenging event.

Starting 1000 today, the race has now been going for 12-hours and pre-reace favourite and SPINE winner, Eoin Keith is charging away into the night. It’s been an incredible first day with wall-to-wall sunshine.

As darkness envelopes the fells, it’s head-torch time or sleep time. However, you can follow ‘live’ on trackers and watch the action unfold HERE.

Here are a selection of images from day 1 primary the start in St Bees, Ennerdale, Honister Pass and Patterdale.

More images and updates tomorrow.

Race website http://www.northerntraverse.com

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Episode 104 – Candice Burt, Lucy Bartholomew, Zach Bitter

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 104 of Talk Ultra and I am pleased to say Speedgoat is back. On this show we talk with rising Australian star, Lucy Bartholomew. We speak to fast man, Zach Bitter about running 100-miles super quick and Candice Burt talks Hurt 100 and the appeal of 200-mile races.

Our show has always been and always will be free for you, the listener. If you like what we do, please consider a donation.

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HERE

00:01:30 Show Start

00:14:17 NEWS

HURT 100

1 – Jeff Browning 21:22

2 – Gary Robbins 21:55

3 – Yassine Diboun 22:39

1 – Denise Bourassa 30:24

2 – Candice Burt 31:28

3 – Junk Suzuki 32:29

00:25:36 INTERVIEW with CANDICE BURT on her 2nd place and her running history as a racer and RD.

BANDERA 100k *Golden Ticket Race

1 – Jim Walmsley 7:46 (fast!)

2 – Chris DeNucci 8:06

3 – Paul Terranova 8:38

1 – Cassie Scallon 9:19 (fast!)

2 – Vanessa Taylor 9:40

3 – Michele Yates 9:45

ZOLKAN 4 DAY in Chile

Won by Veronica Bravo and Moises Jimenez

THE SPINE 268 miles

Eoin Keith smashed the old course record  to finish in 95:17:18 (approx 15 hours quicker.) Last years winner, Pavel Paloncy finished 2nd in 100:34:58 and Pete Wilkie 3rd in 117:15:15.

Only 2 ladies finished, Zoe Thornborough 11:40:12 and Anna Buckingham 167:17:05.

In the Challenger 108 miles (shorter race) last years Spine winner, Beth Pascall smashed the CR to finish in 30:32:10, Sarah Davies 2nd 44:35:50 and Sharon Sullivan 3rd 52:24:45.

Tom Hollins was 1st man 29:37:25, Matt Bennett 30:25:33 and Scott Morley 38:26:37.

01:26:46 INTERVIEW with LUCY BARTHOLOMEW who smashed the ladies record at Bogong to Hotham is Australia

02:10:56 INTERVIEW fast man ZACH BITTER talks training for, racing and looking for that elusive super fast time for 100-miles.

UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

White Continent 50K | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2016 | website

Australia

Queensland

Beerwah at Night – 50 km | 51 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Beerwah at Night – 50 km | 51 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Cambodia

128 km | 128 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

64 km | 64 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Canada

Yukon

Yukon Arctic 100M | 100 miles | February 04, 2016 | website

Yukon Arctic 300M | 300 miles | February 04, 2016 | website

Yukon Arctic 430M | 430 miles | February 04, 2016 | website

Chad

Half TREG | 90 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

TREG | 180 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

France

Essonne

Raid 28 | 80 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Semiraid 28 | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Eure

47 km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Eure-et-Loir

Ultra Raid 28 | 120 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | January 31, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Vibram® Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail® Race | 100 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 29, 2016 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 29, 2016 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 100 km | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2016 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2016 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | January 22, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Ian Priest Memorial Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Nicaragua

Survival Run: Nicaragua | 70 kilometers | February 03, 2016 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 05, 2016 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Marathón ‘Isla del Meridiano’ – 86 km | 86 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Thailand

The North Face 100® – Thailand | 100 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

The North Face 100® – Thailand – 50 km Solo | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 05, 2016 | website

Lancashire

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Elite Course | 53 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Milton Keynes

Quadzilla | 164 kilometers | February 04, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Arizona

100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 23, 2016 | website

52K | 52 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

California

Bandit Ultra Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | January 30, 2016 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Fort Ord Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Ordnance 100K | 100 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy 50km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Florida

55K Ultra Individual Marathon (34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

55K Ultra Relay (each leg is 3.1 miles x 11 legs = 34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 05, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 25, 2016 | website

New York

100 Miler | 100 miles | January 23, 2016 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | January 23, 2016 | website

North Carolina

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

50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | January 30, 2016 | website

Maysville to Macon 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | January 30, 2016 | website

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Winter Buckeye Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

Texas

Horseshoe Trail Run 50k | 50 kilometers | January 23, 2016 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Washington

Lake Youngs NUTS 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2016 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2016 | website

St. Croix Scenic 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 24, 2016 | website

03:05:25 CLOSE

 

03:08:10

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Website – talkultra.com

Lakes Sky Ultra 2015 Race Preview

images

Skyrunning UK is booming. Already this year we have had the V3K, Peaks Skyrace and the recent ground breaking Salomon Glen Coe Skyline.

Attention now turns to the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra.

A Lakeland course that offers elevated ridgelines, breathtaking exposure, fast travel on technical mountain terrain and some classic Lakeland scrambling. Race directors Charlie Sproson and Andrew Burton say, ‘Fell running on additives. This is Skyrunning™.’

Race date is September 12th and race entries close on September 6th, so you have time to gain a last minute entry in what will be a very special race.

It’s a race route that follows on quite nicely from the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline in that the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra has plenty of vertical grind (4300m+), grade 3 scrambling, knife edge arêtes and all over 50km’s of challenging terrain.

LSU_Route_Profile_V2

It’s not a race for the feint hearted and this is reflected by the start list.

Harveys_Race_Map_Aug_Update-2

Starting on the streets of Ambleside, arguably one of the most important town in the English Lakes, runners will run this challenging course via a fully way marked route.

Who is running?

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Eirik Haugsness has been racing the Skyrunner® World Series for several years and he is the 2014 champion of the Tromso Skyrace. His presence in the English lakes is an exciting prospect as he will attempt to do battle against local talent.

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Ricky Lightfoot needs no introduction to Skyrunning and fell running aficionados and without doubt he is a favourite for overall victory on what for him is home soil. Ricky has already had a string of top performances in 2015, can he add the LSU to the list?

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Es Tressider recently raced the Glen Coe Skyline and ran much of the day in 2nd place. Unfortunately, Es faded in the latter stages of the race and missed the podium. Es’s experience in the mountains is quite incredible and if recovered, we can certainly expect him to mix it up at the front of the race.

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Damian Hall in 2015 has raced The Spine, The Dragons Back Race and just finished 32nd at UTMB (2nd Brit). LSU only comes 2 weeks after the Mont-Blanc monster so Damian may well be a little tired; we can’t rule him out though!

Ben Bardsley is an experienced fell runner and ski mountaineer. In the past he has raced at classic Skyrunning races such as Zegama-Aizkorri. Ben’s current form is a little unknown but he’s one to watch for sure.

Chris Stirling has had excellent performances at the Langdale Horseshoe, Three Shires, Great Lakes Race and has preparing for LSU for several months. His presence almost certainly will be felt at the front of the race.

 

In the ladies’ race, V3K winner and 3rd placed lady at Glen Coe Skyline, Sarah Ridgway makes an appearance and if recovered we can expect her to contest the podium once again.

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But Beth Pascall comes to the race with a set of solid results. She has placed 2nd at Lakeland 100, won The Spine, placed 2nd The Dragons Back Race and for me is the most likely lady to top the podium on the 12th September.

Shiri Leventhal has placed on the podium of multi-day races in the 4 Desert Series and in 2013 was 2nd lady at the Everest Trail Race. This course will provide a test to Shiri but it’s one that she can rise too!

©iancorless.com_GlenCoe2015-2855

Finally, Victoria Mousley is another hot contender for the top of the podium. Her experience on courses such as The Three Peaks, Tour of Pendle and Scaffell Pike Marathon will set her up nicely for a great run at LSU.

Race details can be viewed here:  HERE

Course map here: HERE

RACE ENTRY HERE (open till September 6th)

HERE

SkyrunningUKlogo

Skyrunning UK at http://www.skyrunninguk.com

 

The Berghaus Dragons Back Race Day 4 2015 – Race Images

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Day 3 took its toll on the runners in the 2015 Berghaus Dragons Back Race and on the morning of day 4; over 50% of the field had withdrawn. It’s fair to say that the Dragons Back Race is one of the toughest multiday races in the world. The relentless terrain, continuous climbing and descending, navigation, sleep deprivation and long days really do make this a toughie!

However, the terrain changed today for day 4. Green fields and rolling hills replaced the dramatic and rugged landscape of the 3 previous days.

Rolling terrain and less vertical ascent does in principal equate to more runnable terrain. However, no matter how runnable the terrain may be, you still need the legs to run! As you can imagine, the runners left in the race do have somewhat sore legs!

After a cloudy start and slight drizzle, the sun slowly broke through the grey but it did take a while; the final hours of the day were baked in glorious sunshine.

Although beautiful, the day 4 course did not have the challenging terrain of the previous days and it was another long day at 64km with 2273m of vertical gain.

It was a routine day at the front of the race with the main protagonists from the previous 3 days confirming their status as the strongest runners in a quality and determined field. Unfortunately, the front of the race did loose a top contender!

 

Jez Bragg had had a tough day during day 3 with stomach issues and then during the night he had chills, sickness and little or no sleep. He did force some breakfast down and start the day but it soon became clear he was depleted. He reluctantly pulled out of the race.

Jim Mann obviously decided that his 1hour 30min lead over the rest of the field was enough and decided to run day 4 with 2nd overall and 1st lady, Jasmin Paris. Paris was a favourite coming into the Berghaus Dragons Back Race and she has excelled showing everyone a clean pair of heals everyday and in the process she has looked fresh and confident.

Beth Pascall and Lizzie Wraith both looked strong all day, Pascall said post race said, ‘I felt as though I couldn’t go any faster but then I hit the last section. All road! I decided I had to get that over with as soon as possible so I speeded up. Just goes to show, it’s all in the head!’

Wraith came into the race with a bug and had said that she was unsure how her week would go. Obviously it has gone well and just this morning, before the race started she said, ‘If I can finish top 10, I will be over the moon.’

Equally consistent at the front end of the action has been Konrad Rawlik and Damian Hall. Rawlik is 3hour 30min ahead of Hall so we have no fears of a last minute surge on the final day. That would take some serious navigation error!

Tomorrow is the final day! It’s fair to say that anyone who has now finished the first 4 days will finish day 5. Of course, there are no guarantees – a fall, an accident or a serious navigation error could stop all that but lets cross our fingers; believe me, everyone is going to deserve the finish line.

Results day 4

1 – Jim Mann 7:58:50

2 – Jasmin Paris 7:58:54

3 – Beth Pascall 8:27:31

4 – Konrad Rawlik 8:28:25

5 – Damian Hall 8:47:52

6 – Lizzie Wraith 9:11:03

7 – Owen Rees 9:42:01

8 – Jonas Mollare 9:45:26

9 – Lawrence Eccles 10:30:20

10 – Charlie Sharpe 10:38:38

 

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race Preview 2015

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The legendary Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ will be taking place for only the third time, starting on Monday 22nd June.
The race is one of the world’s most challenging running events and follows the mountainous spine of Wales from Conwy Castle in the north, to Carreg Cennen Castle in the south. An incredible 5 day journey the route is approximately 300km long with 16,000 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain.
In September 1992, the original Dragon’s Back Race™ was held and it soon entered into running folklore for its extreme difficultly and surprise female winner. A 20-year absence and it took Shane Ohly and the Ourea Events team to revive it in 2012.  Helene Whitaker (neé Diamantides), the 1992 winner alongside Martin Stone returned to the event and incredibly finished fourth and renowned adventure and Wainwrights record holder, Steve Birkinshaw was the overall winner.  In the 2012 edition only 32 runners managed to complete the full course from 82 starters. Thhe reputation of the event as one of the hardest mountain races in the world was confirmed.
The 2015 race has once again attracted a strong field of 140 runners from Britain and around the world. It will be interesting to see how many manage to climb the iconic steps into Carreg Cennen Castle on the fifth day.
Leading Contenders
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The standout competitor in the men’s race is naturally Jez Bragg who as a UTMB winner, Fellsman and Te Araroa Trail record holder has been a force within ultra running for many years.  His top class pedigree means he attracts attention whenever he races.
However, race director Shane Ohly, does not think for a moment that a Bragg win is a foregone conclusion:
“It is a five day race over rough terrain and anything can happen. Jez, also completed a record breaking Ramsay Round the weekend before, which is an interesting approach to preparing for such an arduous event as the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™.”
Ohly continues:
“There is a strong field of both male and female runners and while I do have an opinion on who I think will win, I keep that to myself for now!”
Lining up alongside Bragg are top British mountain ultra runners including Ed Catmur and Berghaus sponsored athlete, Charlie Sharp.
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Catmur has an orienteering background that is similar to the 2012 winner Steve Birkinshaw and in recent years he has excelled at the longer endurance races. He has competed over the 100 mile distances with some very fast times, placed highly at the Skyrunning UK 3×3 and has won the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon and Spine Challenger.
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Sharp has recently joined the roster of Berghaus sponsored athletes and is a prolific racer. He runs all distances from 5k to 100 miles plus and has great success. In 2013 he raced The Spine and although not directly comparable to the Dragon’s Back Race it does show that Sharp will be a podium contender in Wales.
The main international competition would seem to be from André Jonsson. The impressive Swedish runner has a load of podium results at tough mountain races in Europe including stage wins at the GORE-TEX TransAlpine. Rumour has it that he has been training in Wales earlier this year…
There is also a cohort of other strong British runners, including the likes of Jim Mann, Konrad Rawlik and John Duggan, who Ohly believes are likely to feature high up in the field. He explains why:
“It is such a tough race. Runners get injured, some fade mentally and as Patrick Devine Wright proved in 2012, a relative unknown runner with a determined approach can record a superb result.”
Ohly continues: “It’s easy to dwell on the men’s race, but I actually think that the women’s field is more interesting with a pack of extremely talented runners. I believe that any one of these has the ability to feature at the front end of the overall race.”
Scanning though the list of female entries, Jasmin Paris, Lizzie Wraith, Beth Pascall, Carol Morgan and Joanna Zakrzewski stand out.
Paris has been tearing up the mountain racing circuit for last few years but has managed to keep a relatively low profile, despite some impressive wins. She recently smashed Nicky Spink’s Fellsman’s record by over 40 minutes and recorded the highest ever place for a female runner.
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Wraith, with superb results at the UTMB, Lavaredo Ultra Trail and a  her UTLD Lakeland 100 win (and course record) make her the one to watch. However, she has had a very bust race schedule recently with multiple races in Nepal, the GL3D and representing GB at the IAU World Trail Champs. Will Wraith be fresh for  the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ as her final target?
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Pascall in particular has impressed. Her slow and methodical run at the UTLD (Lakeland 100) and strong 2nd place behind Debbie Martin Consani was a revelation. She then followed this result up with victory at The Spine. The Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ will most certainly suit Pascall’s skill set. Finally, the dark horse, Zakrzewski is relatively unknown in the mountain running world but she is a star of world 100km athletics with team and individual medals at the world championships. A regular and high place finisher at the iconic Comrades in South Africa, most notably her success at multi-day races such as Atacama Crossing (2010) may well be more relevant to the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™.
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The Berghaus Team 
Berghaus, Britain’s leading performance outdoor brand, is the title sponsor of this iconic event and is supporting the event in many ways. Race director Shane Ohly comments:
“What is really great about working with Berghaus is the depth of talent they have within their staff and sponsored athletes. Impressively, staff members Ivan Muckle, Angela Foster, Luke O’Connor and Dan Smith will be completing a day each of the race in a relay, with Berghaus athlete, and 2012 winner, Steve Birkinshaw leading them on Day 1.” 
The relay line up looks like this:
Day 1     Steve Birkinshaw
Day 2     Ivan Muckle
Day 3     Angela Foster
Day 4     Luke O’Connor
Day 5     Dan Smith
What is fascinating about this line up is the impact that 2012 winner Steve Birkinshaw may have on the rest of the field, especially given that he is running the first, and arguably the toughest, day of the race. Certainly, the other competitors would be well advised not to race with Steve if he intends to go full throttle.
Alongside his colleagues in the relay team, Berghaus Castleford store manager Dan Gerachty, will be attempting to complete all five days alone. Certainly, he will have tales of amazing adventures to share afterwards with customers in store.
Following The Race Live
For the third edition of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™, members of the public will be able to follow the race live with GPS tracking of the competitors and a leaderboard of their positions as they pass through each checkpoint.
Award winning Slackjaw Productions will also be filming the event and publishing multiple 90 second videos on the event website as the race unfolds each day. 1992 winner Helene Whitaker will be presenting these films and providing expert commentary.
It is going to be exciting and compelling viewing, which all kicks off on Monday 22nd June.
Also, keep an eye on Twitter for updates from @DragonsBackRace and @TheRealBerghaus, @talkultra and on Facebook – facebook.com/iancorlessphotography
#DragonsBackRace.

Episode 53 – Pavel Paloncy, Marcus Scotney, Johan Van De Merwe

Ep53

Episode 53 of Talk Ultra is once again a packed show… We have two interviews from the Montane Spine race, regarded as one of the toughest races out there. We speak with Pavel Paloncy who won the 268-mile event with a new course record and Marcus Scotney who won the 106-mile Challenger event. We also speak with South African long distance runner, Johan Van De Merwe about ultra running in South Africa and his new African 24-hour record. The News, a Blog, Talk Training, Up & Coming Races, Smiles and Miles and Speedgoat is back from the Love Boat!

00:13:42
NEWS
The Spine
  1. Pavel Paloncy 110h 45min (4.5 days)
  2. Steve Holyoak 119h 26m
  3. Matt Davis 119h 28m
  1. Debbie Brupacher 153h 24min
Hurt 100
  1. Gary Robbins does it again… 21:34:00
  2. Timo Meyer 22:34:00
  3. Alex Nuun 22:50:00
  1. Gina Slaby 27:06:00
  2. Candice Burt 27:58:00
  3. Heather Anderson 29:22:00
00:14:47
INTERVIEW
I caught up with 106-mile Challenger Winner, Marcus Scotney about his win.
Sage Canaday 2:22 marathon
HK100
  1. Tirtha Bahadur Tamang 10:02 – Ryan Sandes still holds the CR
  2. Bed Bahadur Sunuwar 10:06:37
  3. Vlad Ixel 10:11:53
  1. Francesca Canepa 12:59:19
  2. Chow Pui Yan 13:32:48
  3. Agnes Cheng 13:46:36
Notables, Lizzy Hawker dropped. What happened to Cassie Scallon. Dave Mackey was doing well but faded at the end. Jez Bragg 10th. Great performances by Australian and NZ runners.
Bandera 100k
  1. Jorge Maravilla 8:02:27
  2. David Laney 8:07:06
  3. Chikara Omine 8:16:42
  1. Meghan Arbogast 10:12:57
  2. Liza Howard 10:39:00
  3. Melanie Peters 11:00:44
Rocky Raccoon coming up
I’m going to Costa Rica for the TCC with an incredible race field: Frosty, Jo Meek, Julia Bottger, Clarky, Wardian, Reiter, Martin Gaffuri and Carlos Sa – going to be pretty awesome!
01:21:48
BLOG
Ellie Greenwood, Patience Part Two on iRunFar – http://www.irunfar.com/2014/01/patience-part-two.html
“A quick summary of the last eight months would be: start getting pain in fibula, cut back running, pain continues, find out I have a stress fracture, stop running entirely for seven weeks, start running and gradually build up from 10 minutes to a marathon in 2.5 months, get new injury, cut back running, pain still there, stop running entirely for four weeks, build up slowly starting with a run/walk program at end of November. Yeah, this is a whole new level of patience.”
 
01:26:21
INTERVIEW
Niandi Carmont and myself caught up with South African distance runner, Johan Van De Merwe and we discussed SA running, Comrades and his record breaking 24-hour run that broke a long standing Wally Haywood record.
 
02:27:47
INTERVIEW
Pavel Paloncy set a new course record for the 268-mile Montane Spine Race. I caught up with him just a few days after the event when he had returned home to the Czech Republic, Website HERE
03:04:37
MELTZER MOMENT
Good
Bad
Ugly
03:09:35
TALK TRAINING with MARC LAITHWAITE
03:34:09
SMILES AND MILES with EMELIE FORSBERG
03:50:59
UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

White Continent 50K | 50 kilometers | January 26, 2014 | website

Argentina

Columbia Cruce de los Andes | 90 kilometers | February 06, 2014 | website

Australia

Tasmania

The Cradle Mountain Run | 82 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Canada

Yukon

Yukon Arctic 100M | 100 miles | January 30, 2014 | website

Yukon Arctic 300M | 300 miles | January 30, 2014 | website

Yukon Arctic 430M | 430 miles | January 30, 2014 | website

Chile

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 07, 2014 | website

Costa Rica

Coastal Challenge | 250 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

France

Seine-Maritime

Hivernale du Raid Normand | 55 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | February 02, 2014 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike 50K | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

India

Oxfam Trailwalker India | 100 kilometers | January 24, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Kaweka Klassic 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 07, 2014 | website

Peru

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

North Face Endurance Chalenge Peru 80K | 80 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Marathón ‘Isla del Meridiano’ – 86 km | 86 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Milton Keynes

Quadzilla | 164 kilometers | February 06, 2014 | website

North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Ultra – 50 Miles | 50 miles | January 25, 2014 | website

Oxfordshire

Thames Trot 50 | 50 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Surrey

The Pilgrim Challenge North Downs Way Multistage Ultra | 66 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Arizona

Antelope Canyon 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Antelope Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Coldwater Rumble 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 25, 2014 | website

Coldwater Rumble – 52K | 52 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Coldwater Rumble – 52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Arkansas

White Rock Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

California

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Fort Ord Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Ordnance 100K | 100 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Ray Miller 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Ray Miller 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Sean O’Brien 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Sean O’Brien 50M | 50 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Florida

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 07, 2014 | website

Massachusetts

Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 27, 2014 | website

Nevada

Running from an Angel 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 25, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Charlotte 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Gator Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Uwharrie 40-Mile Mountain Run | 40 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Texas

Keep on Truckin’ Trail 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 02, 2014 | website

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 01, 2014 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 24, 2014 | website

Washington

Lake Youngs NUTS 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 25, 2014 | website

Orcas Island Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Venezuela

Ultra Laguna de Urao | 65 kilometers | February 01, 2014 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 | 50 miles | January 26, 2014 | website
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Pavel Paloncy wins the 268-mile Montane Spine Race

Image ©pavelpaloncy

Image ©pavelpaloncy

Pavel Paloncy from the Czech Republic has just finished the Montane Spine Race; billed as the toughest race in Britain.

Pavel has covered the 268-mile journey fighting fatigue, sleep deprivation and some horrendous weather to not only secure victory in the 3rd edition of The Spine but also in the process set a new course record.

Montane_Spine_Logo

His finish at Kirk Yetholm has yet to have a confirmed official time, however, we have an estimation of 4 days and 14 hours 45 min (110h 45m tbc). The previous record set by Eugeni Rosello Sole of 5 days 4 hours and 52 minutes has been blown out of the water. However, we should note that conditions in a race of this length can vary so much that results and times should be assessed year-to-year. Pavel’s performance is quite remarkable!

Needless to say, Pavel is going to be looking forward to getting warm, relaxing and putting his feet up… I would guess for at least another 5-days!

Pavel has produced an incredible and outstanding performance, however, currently the race still has 35-runners out on the course. Matt Davis is in 2nd-place and has passed Bryness. Third place, Steve Holyoak has also passed Bryness and looks to be less than 2-hours behind Matt. It could all change for 2nd and 3rd. At this stage of the race, anything can happen.

*update 16th Jan 8000 : Matt Davis 119h 26m and Steve Holyoak finished 119h 28m, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Leading lady and 8th overall is Debbie Brupbacher, however, she still has a long way to go. Her last check-in was at Alston.

Montane Spine

Since the race start on Saturday, 40-runners have withdrawn from the race including last years defending champion. Although the race has had considerably less snow and ice than 2012 and 2013, conditions have been extremely harsh with low temperatures, rain, wind and snow on the high ground.

The Spine is more than a race… far more. Each and every participant should feel extremely proud for even contemplating the challenge.

As for Pavel, he isn’t human!

Who is Pavel Paloncy?

Pavel is an outdoor and sport photography specialist. He is also an adventure racer and ultra endurance sportsman. He is used to low comfort and working under extreme conditions. He is able to photograph and work in remote areas, hard to get to locations and under extreme conditions. Sounds as though he had the perfect preparation for The Montane Spine Race.

Image credit – http://www.warmpeace.cz ©pavelpaloncy

The Spine sponsored by Montane – Britain’s most brutal race

Montane_Spine_Logo

January 11th – 18th 2014

The Spine Race is a 268 mile, non-stop, winter mountain marathon encompassing the entire Pennine Way. Widely recognised as the most demanding National Trail in Britain, the Pennine Way crosses some of the most beautiful, difficult and challenging terrain found in England, including; the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park – finishing on the Scottish Borders.

Competitors have 7 days to complete the race, cut-off 168-hours.

Spine

Ironically, the UK has had a very mild, if not wet and windy, October, November and December. But with this weekend, just as The Spine is set to leave Edale the weather looks to be on the change; temperatures are looking to drop with lows of -6 deg and highs of 7 deg. It most certainly looks like a different race to last years extreme cold, ice and snow. Will the conditions make the race faster?

At 268 miles this is not a multi stage race in a Marathon des Sables style format, this race has a start and a finish. Quite simply, the first one to reach the end wins the race. So this is all about managing your effort and minimising your time resting or sleeping.

The Spine Race was first attempted in January 2012; they witnessed many courageous attempts to finish the 268 mile course. Three athletes would eventually finish. The race was won jointly by Gary Morrison and Steve Thompson, closely followed by Mark Caldwell.

In dramatic circumstances the 2013 Dare 2b Spine Race was won by Eugeni Roselló Sole in an incredible 5d 4h 52m setting a new bench mark for the race and the distance in extreme Arctic conditions. Annabel Gates completed the race as 1st Female in 7d 4h 59m.

2013 finishers:

  • Ian Bowles
  • Jin Cao
  • Mark Cooper
  • Gregory Crowley
  • Paul Dickens
  • Thomas Emke
  • Annabel Gates
  • Richard Lendon
  • Gary Morrison
  • Brian Mullen
  • Eugeni Roselló Sole

Who is running?

The Spine Race is open to anyone with appropriate experience who wishes to test themselves and compete in a truly brutal race.

As Scott Gilmour (RD for the race) says, “Runners will face the most extreme weather conditions England has to offer in a gruelling non-stop, 7 day race from Edale to Kirk Yetholm. It’s not just the conditions that are against you – your own body could become your worst enemy with tiredness, fatigue, sleep deprivation and exposure playing havoc with your performance. To finish runners must be prepared and willing to push themselves harder than ever before.”

Ones to watch in 2014 (alphabetical order):

  • Mimi Anderson – multiple world record holder and really experienced at long distances. Mimi will test the men in the field and push them all the way. “I’m under NO illusions about the difficulty of this event.  I’m looking at it as an adventure rather than a race as it’s about managing yourself properly, getting enough sleep but keeping yourself moving.”
  • Anthony Bethell – relatively new to ultra running but Anthony finished Tor des Geants and is an accomplished fell and mountain runner with a recent top placing at the Tour of Helvellyn.
  • Neil Bryant – Neil is somewhat of an endurance machine. He loves long distances and has won the Viking Way ultra and completed Trans Euorope. Now living in Chamonix he has become used to the cold, snow, ice and mountains. He will do well at the Spine.
  • Annie Garcia – regular long distance competitor with plenty of grit and determination.
  • Mark Hines – Possibly one of the most experienced athletes in the field and plenty of cold weather experience. He knows how to put his head down and keep moving forward. His experiences in the Yukon will put him at a great advantage at the Spine if the weather turns particularly bad.
  • Richard Lendon – Third time at the Spine for Richard. He finished in 2013 and knows what is required to get the job done.
  • Moses Lovstad – Moses finished Hurt100, Transgrancanaria and Tor des Geants in 2013. That puts him in a great place for the Spine.
  • Andy Mouncey – Raced at the Spine in 2013 but DNF’d, pretty sure he is going to be at this years race with more focus. He said on his blog, “This one’s been twelve months in the making, I think I’ve got the leverage this time, but the only way to know is to do.”
  • Eugeni Roselló Sole – last years winner. Enough said!
  • Charlie Sharpe – Another regular competitor at all distances. Moved up a level with his Lakeland 100 performance in 2013 but this race will be a new challenge and test.
  • Charles Sproson – Montane athlete, Charlie is very accomplished and has some notable achievements that will put him in a great place for the Spine. He’s completed the OMM multiple times, done the Bob Graham solo and more importantly completed the Dragons Back in 2012.
  • Others?

Full entrants THE SPINE HERE

Full entrants THE CHALLENGER HERE

The route

Nav

The Montane Spine Race is a 268 mile, non-stop, winter mountain marathon encompassing the entire Pennine Way. Widely recognised as the most demanding National Trail in Britain, the Pennine Way crosses some of the most beautiful, difficult and challenging terrain found in England, including; the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park – finishing on the Scottish Borders.

There are 5 checkpoints that you must visit along the route to complete the race. The CP’s are distributed evenly along the course and it is here you will receive hot food and water, resupply, beds and showers (available at 4 of 5 CP’s) and medical attention should you require it. These checkpoints run from the start to the completion of the event. The CP’s are staffed 24/7 to provide as little disruption to your race as possible. They provide a haven from the sometimes hostile weather.

Checkpoints are located at:

  • Hebden Bridge
  • Hawes
  • Middleton-in-Teesdale
  • Alston
  • and Bellingham

A resupply/ drop bag is moved by the RD for you to the next CP as you progress through the race.

Spine Map

The longest day on the race is the second day. This is the longest section of the course between CP’s (approx. 60 miles). In 2012 the average completion time for this section was between 22 and 30 hours. Most competing athletes withdrew at this point of the race.

The Spine Team also monitor the course 24/7 to ensure competitor safety and our support vehicles carry additional hydration for competing athletes (minimum 2 litres per athlete per day). Along with the course monitoring you are permitted the use of a personal support team.

Route Profile

410.5 – 431 Km (255.1 miles – 268 miles dependent on route)
11,195 m (36,729 ft) ascent
890 m (2,920 ft)  maximum height

Spine Profile

Entrants & Updates

You are able to see a list of entrants and follow the leader board HERE

Live Tracking HERE

Additional Race – Spine Challenger

The Montane Spine Challenger is a 108 mile, non-stop, 60 hour, winter mountain marathon between Edale and Hawes. This challenging and extremely technical section of the Pennine Way is not just the baby brother to the Spine Race – it is a physically and psychologically demanding route that demands concentration and respect.

The Spine Challenger is a wickedly difficult event. From appearances 60 hours looks like ample time to easily complete this course; however, appearances can be deceptive. The rugged and very technical nature of this race is mentally taxing as you have to constantly be aware of foot placement. Coupled with the limited daylight hours, and the necessity to run in the dark, you can start to build a very clear picture as to why we had only 1 official Challenger finisher in 2012.

  • RACE WEBSITE available HERE
  • Follow on Twitter @thespinerace

About Montane

MONTANE-2

For over 18 years now Montane® has worked closely with serious mountain professionals working in hostile conditions across the globe as a proving ground for garment design. From the British Antarctic Survey to Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue, the busiest Mountain Rescue team in the UK. Professionals who demand tough credentials from their clothing equipment choose Montane®.

Hole in the bucket!

Aagh, the bucket list! Is it a good thing or is it a bad thing? Some runners get so obsessed at ticking the races off and working through a list that they actually forget the most important thing; the experience.

I would much prefer to run for a lifetime with targets, goals and a ‘to do’ list than get it all over and done within five years and maybe not be able to run again through an injury.

So, to that end ‘findarace’ asked me what I considered to be the five best ultras in the UK. Now of course I am potentially opening a can of worms here. What one runner likes, another doesn’t. So, instead of trying to second-guess and be politically correct I am going to list five that I would choose.

To clarify, it’s all about experiences, views and challenges for me, so, you are not going to see a road ultra in this list as I don’t think we have anything in the UK that could compete with Comrades. Had London to Brighton still been a road run, it would have almost certainly made the list. Also, your not going to see the GUCR (Grand Union Canal Race) at the risk of some abuse from those who ‘love’ this race I just personally think life is too short to run for hours and hours on a canal tow path. Also, distance isn’t everything. I am not a distance snob and therefore for me, a good race is a good race, 30 miles, 50 miles or 100(+) miles makes no difference.

Here goes in chronological order:

January – The SPINE 268-mile non-stop across the Pennine Way HERE

Having said that distance isn’t everything and then here I go with a ridiculous 268-mile race that takes place in January. yes, January. So, if distance wasn’t enough you have to contend with cold weather, ice, snow, wind and whatever else the UK can throw at you. The appeal? Well this race is non-stop so it brings in a real element of tactics, endurance, planning and basically leave your brain at the door challenge.

Taking place on the entire Pennine Way it is arguably the most demanding National Trail in Britain. Beautiful, difficult and challenging it includes the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park – finishing on the Scottish Borders.

Open to anyone with appropriate experience who wishes to test themselves and compete in a truly brutal race. The first edition was in 2012 and only 3 finished.

April – HIGHLAND FLING 53 miles HERE

The Highland Fling Ultra, is a trail race over the southern section of the famous West Highland Way Path (you can cover the full 95 miles in August in the West Highland Way race) Starting in Milngavie (close to Glasgow) and finishing in the scenic village of Tyndrum.  The route is almost entirely on trails and thus traffic-free. Varied terrain and stunning scenery makes this a truly enjoyable experience.

In addition to the solo runners, there are club competitions, and a four-person relay race. All runners must be 21 years old or over (18 for the relay). 53 miles you must cover the distance within the 15-hour time limit and you must run unsupported, however, you are allowed drop bags at checkpoints.

June – UTSW 100 miles, 60 miles and 100m relays HERE

The UTSW is a brute… offering two distances at 60 and 100 miles believe me you are no wimp choosing the 60-mile option. The 100-mile race starts in Charlestown in the southwest corner of Cornwall. Heading east on the South West Coast Path crossing the beautiful Fowey estuary by ferry before continuing on to the to the quaint fishing town of Looe. Here you will leave the South West Coast Path for a while and head inland mostly following the Smugglers Way. Continuing north you will come to the famous Jamaica Inn. Bodmin Moor is the next obstacle.

If you plan on the 60-mile option, Bodmin is your start point.  Brown Willy the highest point in Cornwall is the next landmark and then you have a cross county trek which comes to an end at Boscastle. Here you head west along the South West Coast Path to Tintage. Now heading west you will hit the Camel Estuary where a ferry will transport you across to Padstow. Padstow to Watergate Bay are the final 20 miles with a finish at the Watergate Bay Hotel. Don’t underestimate this race! This course is brutal, beautiful and challenging.

July – Lakeland 100 and 50 HERE

For me, the Lakeland 100 and 50 is everything that an ultra should be. A challenging course, beautiful course, great organization and an iconic race. In it’s short history the race has become possibly the premier 100 miler in the UK. Taking in a circular route of the English Lakes the race starts and finishes in Coniston. It is a navigation event but you are provided with a detailed route book and you are allowed GPS. For many participants, regular ‘recces’ are essential to ensure that race day runs smoothly. The 50-mile option starts half way around the 100-mile route and is a wonderful race it it’s own right. In actual fact, I would almost tip my head towards the ‘50’ as it can be raced and ultimately a more enjoyable experience may be obtained. It depends what you are after?

The route encompasses the whole of the Lakeland fells, it includes in the region of 6300m of ascent. The route is almost entirely on public bridleways and footpaths but does have one or two small sections of road to make connections with trail. The route takes in the Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale and Buttermere before arriving in Keswick. From here the route heads to Matterdale and continues over to Haweswater before returning via Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater to the finish at Coniston.

August – North Downs Way 100 and 50 HERE

The race begins in Farnham at the Western end of the North Downs and works its way through some of the best of the English countryside.

Key landmarks are: Puttenham, Guildford, Ronmore Common, Box Hill, Reigate Hill, Merstham, Oxted, Knockholt Pound, Wrotham, Holly Hill, Medway Bridge, Detling, Hollingbourne, Harrietsham and Charing before dropping down into Wye and the finish.

Organized by Centurion Running this race is part of a ‘Grand Slam’ based around the American system of 4 x 100 mile races in 1 year. The addition of 50 mile options makes this a great series of races and in comparison to UTSW and the Lakeland courses this is an ideal opportunity to tackle 50 or 100 trail miles over an ‘easier’ course.

Notable others:

  • West Highland Way (June) 95 miles
  • Ring of Fire (August) 131 miles in 3 days
  • Ridgeway (August) 85miles
  • Dragon’s Back (September) 200 ‘ish’ miles

And I could go on……