Mourne Skyline MTR 2014 – Race Report

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6614

Misty skies, gale force winds, relentless climbing, technical terrain and an incredible field of runners made the inaugural Mourne Skyline MTR a day to remember.

Concluding Skyrunning UK’s first year, the Mourne Skyline MTR really was a fitting end to what has been an incredible year. The course, organisation and the field of runners made this a special and unforgettable day in the mountains.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6576The addition of Skyrunner® World Series champion (2013 and 2014) Stevie Kremer did provide some icing on the Mourne cake. However, ‘Pocket Rocket’ was not isolated… Jo Meek, British Ultra Trail Champion, provided more than enough pressure on the Colorado based Skyrunner on what proved to be one of the most exciting ladies mountain races I have followed for some time. Sharon Trimble, Diane Wilson and Shileen O’Kane would bring local knowledge and fell experience to the mix making this a classic in the making.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-0142

As expected, Kremer pushed hard from the off and after leaving the Donard Forest the trail became steeper and more technical playing to the Colorado runners strength. Although a gap opened up, it was nothing substantial and Meek maintained a gap keeping Kremer in sight. After passing over the saddle, runners were hit by gale force winds and low cloud as they headed out to Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Meelmore and then an anticlockwise loop that would eventually return them to Slieve Meelmore and then run back to the finish. Conditions were brutal… thankfully the previous nights torrential rain had disappeared. Had it not, runners and marshals would have had a very testing day!

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6382

Wilson, Trimble and O’Kane in many respects were running for third such was the pace of the front two ladies. On the flat, Meek would catch Kremer and then pull away. The relentless and rollercoaster nature of the terrain and mountains would then allow Kremer to pull back and pass on the climbs. This to and froing made for an exhilarating competition of willpower, mental strength and endurance. The latter half of the course, on paper, looked made for Kremer as climb and after climb would allow her to open a gap. However, Meek was having none of it. Running with blinkered vision, Meek fought the technical terrain and chased. ‘I was swearing at the terrain and my own frustrations in managing my technical ability,’ said Meek. Kremer was having no easy ride too, ‘that is the hardest race I have ever done! Harder than Zegama Aizkorri it was just brutal. Relentless climbing, technical and with the wind it was just soooo hard!’

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6734 copy

After CP4, Kremer opened up a gap and extended this on the steep ascent to Slieve Commedagh. Battered by the winds, Kremer put her head down and now pushed hard to the highest point of the course, Slieve Donard. Turning at the summit and descending down the lead extended and on the final technical descent to Newcastle the gap really opened up eventually providing Kremer a winning time of 4:24.2 to Meek’s 4:30.3. The time gaps don’t reflect how close this race was! Post race, Meek was very philosophical, ‘I really did push and race hard but the relentless ankle twisting and gnarly terrain beat me down and in the latter stages as Kremer pulled away I eased off a little knowing that 2nd place was secure.’ Diane Wilson placed 3rd producing a great run on home soil in a time of 4:45.4.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-1133 In the men’s race, local man, Allan Bogle pushed hard in the early stages closely followed by Kim Collison, Eoin Lennon and just 5 seconds back, J Marshall Thomson. It was close, and unlike the ladies race a winner looked likely to come from any of the front contenders. Particularly when one looked at the contenders looking for honours. Ally Beaven, David Steele and Paul Navesy all showed previous results that would mean they could never be ruled out of a podium place.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-0112 ©iancorless.com_Mourne-0130 British Ultra Trail Champion, Collison showed his class at descending and moved away from the other men but Lennon was never going to relinquish the lead without a fight. These two fought a hard battle all day and Lennon showed the wounds of war as blood tricked down his leg.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6622

Revelation of the race, was Colorado based J Marshall Thomson (Stevie’s fiancé) who raced in the top-5 all day and despite having never raced on ‘typical’ UK terrain pulled out a top-drawer run to place 3rd. ‘That was some of the most crazy terrain I have ever run. It was relentless. The terrain was beyond technical. You had no idea where to put your feet and I can’t tell you how many times I fell over… I loved it!’ said Thomson.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-6344 Collison won the race in 3:57.0 an incredible time in very tough conditions. Ryan Maxwell, race director for the Mourne Skyline MTR had predicted a win time of 4-hours, however, with conditions on the day, we expected this to be optimistic. For Collison and Lennon to both run sub-4 is a real testament to the competition between the two front men.

Thomson moved up into 3rd place and brought a truly international flavour to the men’s podium, his time of 4:08.3 reflecting his ability.

©iancorless.com_Mourne-0433The 2014 Mourne Skyline MTR has firmly established itself as a must-do race after just one edition. The combination of location, local infrastructure, great organisation, enthusiastic locals and a brutal course will guarantee that demand will be high for the 2015 edition.

Covering 35km and a total elevation gain of 3370m, the Mourne Skyline MTR is everything a Skyrunning race should be. I for one can’t wait for 2015.

RACE IMAGES HERE 

You can purchase race images HERE

RESULTS WOMEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race

Stevie Kremer 4:24.2 (10th overall)

Jo Meek 4:30.3

Diane Wilson 4:45.4

Sharon Trimble 5:02.1

Shileen O’Kane 5:03.1

RESULTS MEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race

Kim Collison 3:57.0

Eoin Lennon 3:59.4

J Marshall Thomson 4:08.3

Ally Beaven 4:12.0

David Steele 4:15.0

Episode 52 – Fejes, Slaughter, Steele, Kremer

Ep52 Talk Ultra ©iancorless.com

Episode 52 of Talk Ultra We have a full show with two in-depth interviews about running really long… Joe Fejes recently won the Aravaipa Running 6-day event by clocking up 555+ miles and beating running legend, Yiannis Kouros in the process. By contrast, we speak to UK runner Jon Steele who tackled ‘The Hill’ ultra; 160-miles of hill rips on a 2.9m course in under 48-hours. Gemma Slaughter, The Coastal Challenge winner from 2013 talks to us about her expectations as she prepares for the 2014 edition. Emelie Forsberg is back for smilesandmiles, Marc is with us for Talk Training and believe it or not, Speedgoat is on a cruise! That’s great for Talk Ultra as we have the lovely Stevie Kremer joining us as co host.

00:11:31 – NEWS
 
Rob Krar UROY
Michele Yates UROY
Zach Bitter male performance (11:47:21 for 100-miles)
Rory Bosio female performance (7th at UTMB and new CR)
 
The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica is coming (3-wks) up and for the 10th anniversary it has a stacked field – Anna Frost, Mike Wardian, Nick Clark, Julia Bottger, Philipp Reiter and Jo Meek. In addition, we have last year female champion returning, Gemma Slaughter. Gemma turned up at the race in 2013 a novice and exceeded all her expectations. This year she will return, not only to defend her title but to race against tougher competition. I caught up with Gemma to discuss last years race and her expectations for this year!
 
00:16:08 – Interview – Gemma Slaughter
 
Breaking news for TCC – Carlos Sa and Martin Gaffuri will join the race!
 
Aravaipa Running 6-day
Joe Fejes 555.35m – also USA men’s record
Yiannis Kouros 551.15m – World 55-59 record
Ed Ettinghausen 476.61m – USA 50-54 record
 
1st lady – Liz Bauer 415.72m
 
I caught up with Joe Fejes for an in-depth chat about the 6-day and you can listen to that later in the show…
 
Skyrunning UK is launched with the 3x3Ultra
 
Tour of Helvellyn
  1. Ed Catmur 5:48:17
  2. Andrew Fallas 6:01:50
  3. Anthony ‘Forest’ Bethell 6:15:43
  1. Tracy Dean 6:49:31
  2. Nicky Spinks 7:25:07
  3. Carol Morgan 8:00:29
 
00:57:22 – Blog of the week – Zach Bitter’s 100-mile report on iRunfar – http://www.irunfar.com/2013/12/zach-bitter-us-100-mile-and-12-hour-track-world-records-report.html
00:57:46 – Talk Training – with Marc Laithwaite
 
01:33:30 – Interview with Jon Steele
 
02:25:20 – Interview with Joe Fejes
 
03:15:17 – Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg
03:31:45 – Up and Coming races for the next two weeks:

Australia

Queensland

Bogong to Hotham | 64 kilometers | January 12, 2014 | website

Hares And Hounds 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

Victoria

Two Bays Trail Run 56km | 56 kilometers | January 12, 2014 | website

Brazil

BR 135 Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 17, 2014 | website

BR 217 Ultramarathon | 217 miles | January 17, 2014 | website

Brazil 135 Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 17, 2014 | website

France

Essonne

Raid 28 | 80 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Semiraid 28 | 50 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Eure-et-Loir

Ultra Raid 28 | 120 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Trail du Sancy/ Mont-Dore – 80 km | 80 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Schwabacher Winter Ultra | 56 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Lower Saxony

7. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

7. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

8. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 100 KM | 100 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

8. Lauf PSV Winterlaufserie 50 KM | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Nord Eifel Ultra | 56 kilometers | January 12, 2014 | website

India

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

Ultra India Race | 210 kilometers | January 15, 2014 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 100 km | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2014 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2014 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night 75 km | 75 kilometers | January 17, 2014 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) | 75 kilometers | January 17, 2014 | website

Dutch Coast Ultra by Night (Summer Edition) – 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 17, 2014 | website

New Zealand

Hutt River Trail Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Spain

Valencian Community

GR10-Xtrem Valencia Ultra Trail | 93 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Thailand

Columbia Trails Masters – 50K | 50 kilometers | January 12, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Anglesey

Coastal Trail Series – Anglesey – Ultra | 34 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

Buckinghamshire

Country to Capital | 45 miles | January 11, 2014 | website

Derbyshire

Montane Spine Race | 268 miles | January 11, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Nicholas Wilson Memorial Tashka Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Arizona

San Tan Scramble – 50K | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

California

Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | January 11, 2014 | website

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

Pacifica Foothills Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

San Diego 50 | 50 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

Steep Ravine 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Florida

Long Haul 100K | 100 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Long Haul 100M | 100 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

Hawaii

Hilo To Volcano 50k Ultra Marathon and Relay | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

H.U.R.T. 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

Idaho

Wilson Creek Frozen 50k | 50 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Iowa

Tripple D Winter Ultramarathon Run | 50 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

New York

The Beast of Burden Winter 100 Miler | 100 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

North Carolina

Weymouth Woods 100k Trail Run | 100 kilometers | January 18, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Swampstomper 50k | 50 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Texas

Bandera 100km | 100 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

Bandera 50km | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

Big Bend 50 | 50 kilometers | January 19, 2014 | website

Utah

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

Virginia

Willis River 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 12, 2014 | website

Washington

Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 11, 2014 | website

Capitol Peak Mega-Fat Ass 34 miles | 36 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

Wisconsin

Frozen Otter Ultra Trek – 32 Miles | 32 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

Frozen Otter Ultra Trek – 64 Miles | 64 miles | January 18, 2014 | website

03:38:00 – Close
 
03:44:48
LINKS: