The North Face Hyper-Track Guide

Copyright Ian Corless

Copyright Ian Corless

The North Face have always had a mixed response in the ultra and trail world with it’s running shoes. Some people love them, others are indifferent. The original Single Track model had many features of merit and had a strong following (I was a fan). However, runners like Tsuyoshi Kaburaki and Seb Chaigneau wanted a lighter shoe. The Single Track Hayasa was born (Review here).

Hyper-Track Guide iancorless.comP1010121

The new Hyper-Track Guide in many respects combines aspects of both shoes in what is arguably, The North Faces’s best shoe yet. Read on.

The Hyper-Track Guide are lightweight and like other manufactures the shoe appeals to the market of door-to-trail.  In addition, these shoes may very well fit a gap in the market in terms of ‘drop’. The Hyper-Track Guide with an 8mm drop nicely fills a space in the market between other models such as the Salomon Sense Ultra (4mm) and Sense Mantra (6mm) but other manufacturers such as Scott, are still producing shoes with a conventional drop. I have to say, Scott currently have the T2 Kinabalu for trail and some road running and it is setting the bar by how I judge other shoes it performs so well.


As the above image shows, a lower drop promotes a forefoot run style.


The ‘Cradle Guide*‘ helps cushion the impact and canters the heel. The forefoot facilitates the natural supination phase and provides cushion through the force peak.

*The North Face Cradle Guide™ technology offers full Phase Impact Control, a system that guides the foot through all 3 stances of the gait cycle, impact, mid foot and Toe-off. This system is engineered to provide the perfect combination of cushioning, stability and protection for any foot on any terrain, letting the hiker or runner move swiftly and lightly over backcountry trails.


Many conventional trail and road shoes have a drop of 11mm or 12mm and the current trend for improved ‘forefoot’ running is pushing manufacturers to address the need in the market for lower drop shoes. However, a lower drop isn’t for anybody and if you are a definite ‘heel strker’ you will want to ease your way into using any shoe with a lower drop. The Hyper-Track Guide may very well make that transition easier if that is what you require. At 8mm it offers a ‘middle ground’.


The sole of the shoe certainly offers more grip in comparison to previous models. Is it enough? Well, if you are heading out in the mud; no!. When a shoe has a selling point as ‘road and trail’ use a compromise is going to be made. The Hyper-Track Guide will work perfectly on hard pack trail or rocks and of course, should you wish to run on the road, it can handle that too. But as soon as you get to mud, the sole has nothing to grip with and you slide.  The sole has strategically positioned rubber pods in the outsole to give excellent grip on slick terrain and resistance to abrasion. Certainly on wet road or rocks it does the job well.



The upper is extremely breathable like other models in the The North Face range, on a cold or wet day the shoe can feel a little chilly. But that also means that should you be running in the heat, these shoes will be exceptionally cool. They are also great if you run through any water, they drain very quickly. Lightweight is a key feature and this has been maximised by having a ‘sandwich mesh’ upper. The shoes have no sewing or seams. That has to be a good thing as this reduces any potential rubbing. The upper also has TPU welded support overlays to hold the foot in place when in the shoe. This does provide added security to the foot and for such a minimal approach you can feel it work.

The sole has the key Cradle Guide feature as mentioned above. This helps or should I say ‘guides’ the foot through the three phases of the foot strike; impact, mid foot and toe off. Cushioning, stability and protection for ‘any’ foot on any terrain is what The North Face say but ultimately this shoe suits a neutral runner that is already a mid to forefoot striker OR it suits a neutral runner who wishes to progress from heel striking to mid foot striking. In use the shoe feels a little ‘stiff’ in comparison to other shoes and I put that down to the ‘Cradle’ working but also firm cushioning. IF you need that guidance the Cradle Guide may well be a good thing. If you are mechanically efficient, this may well be a little irritating at first. However, the longer you run and the more you feel the benefit of the cradle. So, ultra runners may find that as fatigue hits, the Cradle Guide may very well be a nice addition to help maintain good form. Cushioning is 16mm at the rear and 8mm at the front.

In Use

Copyright Ian Corless

Copyright Ian Corless

The shoe sizes a little large in my opinion. All my previous TNF shoes have been UK9.5 and the Hyper-Track Guide definitely has more room. The toe box has adequate room. But on a first run I did feel my foot move, particularly in the heel area. Laces are superb. They have an elastic stretchy feel and really do hold the foot in place and don’t come loose. The upper with no seams is spot on and breathability is excellent. Weight is 287g for a UK9.5 and this compares well to other comparable shoes.

On the road the shoes felt a little uninspiring. They lacked zip. However, if I started to lift the pace the feel and response certainly became far more pleasurable and responsive. But ultimately they felt hard and at slower speeds I felt as though I ‘slapped’ the ground. What it did encourage was light contact with the ground, so, I thought about my technique all the time while using them. On hard trail the feel was better providing the trail was hard, rocky or sandy. If I went to into mud then the sole offered next to no grip. But, the shoe is not designed for that type of trail. I am merely pointing out that this shoe has restrictions and if you are looking for one shoe to do all then this may well not be it.

So, my impressions are very much around this shoe being used for racing or faster sessions. Of course the term ‘racing’ is relative if we are looking at ultra running, so, if you plan to use this shoe for longer events, you may want to make sure that it will provide the comfort you need over extended periods. The Cradle Guide will certainly help with this.

Jez Bragg used this shoe extensively over the Te Araroa trail, so it does show that you can really run some long distances in them.

Quick rating:

The upper is form-fitting and flexible which made for a snug and comfortable fit in the fore and mid foot areas. The heel felt a little loose but it is possible to adjust the feel by adjusting the lace configuration. Laces are superb.

The Hyper Track is a stiff shoe. The stiffness of the sole almost makes this shoe uninspiring at times, particularly on pavement at lower speeds. Running fast in this shoe is when I felt most comfortable. The 8mm drop gets you on your mid to forefoot and you really think about technique.

The upper is light, breathable and holds the foot well. It has no seams and therefore reduces the possibility of rubbing.

In my opinion it sizes a little large so I would recommend trying the shoe on.

Weight is light at 287g for a UK9.5

Best use – Faster running on hard pack trail


The North Face HERE

Te Araroa Episode 2 – Jez Bragg

After 53 days 9 hours and 3,054 km of running, Jez Bragg crosses the finish line of Te Araroa trail arriving in Bluff — lands end on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.

“I’m just so proud of that because, it was bold, and I did pull it off. And that’s cool.” Jez Bragg

Richard Bowles – He’s at it again…

Running the Israel National Trail (INT)


Described as a hybrid of Bear Grylls and Forrest Gump, Melbourne based adventure runner Richard Bowles is set to create another record in the world of ultra-distance trail running, in one of the most fascinating countries on the planet.

Just another long distance runner? Hardly. In 2012 Richard ran over 10,500km of trails, the equivalent distance of 249 marathons, but in much different circumstances. Imagine doing Tough Mudder 10 times a week, add in to the mix some crocodile infested river crossings, an avalanche zone and an active volcano and you’re getting some sense of Richards typical week, every week, for a whole year.

Is he a bit nuts? Maybe, because he’s about embark on yet another wild adventure.

Starting on Sunday 14 April 2013 , Richard will run (and climb) atleast 80km each day along the 1009km INT that winds its way from the Red Sea in Eilat in the southernmost part of Israel to Dan in the North, near the border of Lebanon and Syria, where he plans to arrive 12 days later on April 26….or even sooner if all goes well!

The trail, described by National Geographic as one of the worlds most ‘epic trails’, was the vision of Israeli Ori Dvir, and showcases Israels impressive landscape. Traversing the arid and unforgiving Negev, along ancient Roman roads, climbing up and down craters and canyons, past historically significant sites and over mountain passes, along lush river valleys, and through the heart of the bustling Tel Aviv.


During 2012 Richard became the first person to run the worlds longest marked trail, the rough and remote Bicentennial National Trail of Australia traversing the treacherous and remote dividing range mountains from Melbourne to Cooktown, raising awareness and funds for mental health organisation SANE Australia along the way. Just 3 weeks after completing this incredible feat, Richard flew to New Zealand to tackle their incredibly tough and dangerous 3,054km Te Araroa Trail, and in just 65 days Richard became the first person to run the entire trail.

Combining a passion for adventure, a love for running, and a determination to make a positive contribution to the places through which he runs, Richard and the team will be choosing a worthy charity, one whose work is close to his heart and to which he feels he can offer the most benefit to. The charity partner will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Richard believes in giving back, as these adventures and the people who support him give him so much.

Run INT Project

Running 1009km on Israel’s National Trail, over mountains and deserts….and in just 12 days! Or less!!

Project Website

The Israel National Trail – 1009km winding through this most geographically and historically significant part of the world, from Eilat in the South to Dan in the North.


The question most people ask is why would anyone want to run over 80km each day for 2 weeks? Richard explains, “The trail less travelled offers the best adventures, and I’m all about challenging myself on a daily basis”.

Richard says he is keen to meet with the communities through which the trail passes, and always takes the time to do so…even when running such huge distances each day. “The highlight of the projects in 2012 was meeting people. Being welcomed into their homes, sharing stories over a meal, and enjoying the wonderful adventure that they had now become a part of”.

Who is Richard?

Richard Bowles has many years experience in the discipline of distance running and regularly runs 200km weekly on trails around Melbourne. He is the first person to ever run the worlds longest marked trail (5,330km Bicentennial National Trail, Australia) , and is the Australian Record holder of the 2010 Tenzing Hillary Mt Everest Marathon; Winner of the 2011 Tasmanian 3 Peaks Challenge (sailing and mountain running event) and Record Holder of the Wilsons Prom Ultra Marathon 2010.
For more info go to

More about the Israel National Trail

Inspiration for the trail came from Avraham Tamir, a well-known children’s book author who, at the age of 78 hiked the Appalachian Trail. Upon returning to Israel he proposed a hiking trail that wove its way from one end to the other. And so, in 1991, the Israel National Trail (INT) was born. Beginning in the far north of the country hugging the border with Lebanon, the tiny Kibbutz Dan marks the starting point. The finishing line is found some 1009km further south, where Israel’s Red Sea coast stops at the border with Egypt. To undertake the entire trail takes seasoned hikers 30 to 45 days maintaining a pace of about 30 kilometres a day.

Episode 28 Geoff Roes & Emelie Forsberg

Talk Ultra - Geoff Roes, Emelie Forsberg


Episode 28 of Talk Ultra has an interview with Geoff Roes who in the 2010 edition of Western States 100 set a new CR and became a star in the film, Unbreakable. We also have an interview with rising female star Emelie Forsberg. We discuss her incredible 2012 and what lies in store for 2013. In Talk Training we have the ‘Rockdoc’ telling us all about Kinesiology taping. We have A Year in the life of…, part 2 of our MDS special, the news, a blog, a Meltzer Moment and the up and coming races.

Show timings:

00:00:45 Start

00:13:23  A year in the life of – Amanda Hyatt

00:27:17 News

003805 Blog – Jez Bragg has just completed the Teararoa in New Zealand. Catch up on his whole experience via his blog HERE

00:38:45 Talk Training with Paul Coker from Rocktape – website HERE

01:16:05 Back to Karl

01:20:16 Geoff Roes website here

Date of Birth:
April 14, 1976

Place of Birth:
Syracuse, NY

Current Home town: 
Juneau, AK (May-Aug) & Nederland, CO (Sept-April)

Primary Race Distance:
50k and up.

Other hobbies or sports:
Snowshoeing, XC skiing, Mountain Biking, Bike Touring, Cooking, Writing

What MHW/Montrail gear and clothing is in your quiver for a typical day at/ on the trail? 
Montrail Mountain Masochist, Mountain Hardwear Effusion Jacket, Mountain Hardwear Fluid Race Vest, Mountain Hardwear Way Too Cool tops.

How were you introduced to your sport?
Came to Ultrarunning on my own. It just sounded fun to try to run a 50k.

What inspires you? 
I’m most inspired by getting out in the mountains and exploring new places.

What advice would you give to newcomers to (your sport) today? 
Try to enjoy every run you go out on. If you’re not enjoying the running that your doing, try some new things until you are.

What the first thing you look forward to doing after a long run / race?
Seeing friends, family, and other racers at the finish… and drinking a beer.

How do you balance your training schedule with your “real” job? 
I’m one of the lucky few in the sport whose training is my “real job.”

In 10 years I hope to be…
Getting as much satisfaction out of my life as I am now.

Six-word bio: 
Living for Now. Happy and easy.

When singing karaoke, what song do you sing to bring down the house?
Have never, and likely will never sing karaoke

What music gets you fired up?
I don’t listen to music to get fired up. The music I do listen to tends to be music which has more of the opposite effect, keeping me calm and mellow, which I think is a lot more beneficial in ultrarunning, a sport that requires so much patience and ability to take things as they come.


  • February 2012, Iditarod Trail Invitational – 1st place in foot division
  • September 2011, UROC 100k – 1st place
  • March 2011, Chuckanut 50k – 1st place, Course Record
  • July 2010, Crow Pass Crossing – 1st place, Course Record
  • June 2010, Western States 100 – 1st place, Course Record
  • November 2009, Mountain Masochist 50 – 1st place, Course Record
  • September 2009, Wasatch 100 – 1st place, Course Record
  • February 2006, Little Su 50k– 1st place, First Ultramarathon

Course records:

  • Susitna 100
  • Resurrection Pass 50
  • Resurrection Pass 100
  • Crow Pass Crossing
  • Wasatch 100
  • Mountain Masochist 50
  • North Face Endurance Challenge 50 – Bear Mountain
  • Western States 100
  • Run Rabbit Run 50
  • Chuckanut 50k
  • DRTE 100
  • UROC 100k

Geoff Roes results here

02:03:32 Emelie Forsberg website here

Member of Salomon International team and a devoted lover of the mountains. The best time is the time out in the mountains where the clock and the world outside doesn’t  count. In the summertime I run in them and in winter time I go skiing. When I’m not in out in the mountains I do some studying.

Follow me here with projects, races and my lifestyle on my my way through the mountains!

Results 2012

  • Winner of the world championship in the skyrace serie.
  • Winner of Salomon trail tour Sweden.
  • 2nd place at 3 Peaks UK
  • 3rd place at Zegama Marathon Spain
  • 1st place at Kilians Classic, France
  • 1st place and new record at Dolomites Skyrace, Italy
  • 1st place at Pikes Peak Marathon
  • 2nd place at Trofeo KIMA, Italy
  • 3rd place at Cavalls del vent, Spain
  • 1st place at Kinabalu, Malaysia

02:33:32 Back to Karl

02:40:40 Meltzer Moment

02:46:06 MDS Special – Tobias Mews

03:00:08 Up & coming Races for the next two weeks

030132 Close


Audio interview with Jezz Bragg on Te Araroa finish



February 2nd 2013 recorded less than 1 day after Jez Bragg recorded the fastest time of 53 days 9 hours and 1 min for crossing The Long PathwayTe Araroa Trail in New Zealand.

I think you can hear the emotion in his voice!


Jez conquers the Te Araroa

copyright Jamie Ashwell

copyright Jamie Ashwell

November 13th 2012 seems such a long time ago… New Zealand House in London and a press conference organized by The North Face to announce Jez Bragg’s 3000 + km journey along the Te Araroa – ‘The Long Pathway’ in New Zealand.

INTERVIEW available from the press conference HERE

With a departure date of Dec 4th and a start date of Dec 12th, Jez’s journey was always going to be an epic. But this was no ordinary journey. An addition to running from the tip of the north island to Bluff at the bottom of the south island, Jez would also cross all water sections by his own power.

His crew of Mark Taylor (father in law) and Jamie Ashwell (long term friend) as you can imagine have been integral to the success of this journey. Mark is an experienced Kayaker and this would provide great support for Jez in the water crossings. In particular, the crossing of the Cook Strait.


Jamie is a dab hand in the kitchen and knows Jez well. As Jez said on numerous occasions “you need the people around you to understand you. I will have lots of highs and lows on this epic journey”. The team housed in a modest camper van would be spending some 50+ days together living and breathing each others air.

Dedicated crew

Dedicated crew

Jez had the dream of running the Te Araroa when Paul Charteris, organizer of the Tarawera ultra in New Zealand mentioned it to him. It was approximately 3 years ago. The trail at that stage was not completed but with a proposed opening date of December 2011 Jez decided to pitch the idea for funding to The North Face. A key element of TNF backing is that each year they take ideas from sponsored athletes and discuss the pros and cons. Lizzy Hawker had benefited from this in the past with her Nepal crossing. With the idea submitted, Jez crossed his fingers… it worked! The idea was approved and it was all systems go.

Of course best-laid plans occasionally hit a glitch. With planning well underway and dates set, Jez and the team heard that Richard Bowles had started on the Te Araroa and planned to run the whole length… “these things happen and you can’t plan for it” said Jez “although Richard will now be the first person to run the whole trail it won’t be the same as mine. I will do this under my own power for the whole length and in addition, I plan to go for a fastest known time

Mike Wolfe, fellow TNF teammate and respected ultra runner in his own right had also been brought into the mix. Initially the plan was for Mike to join Jez when he reached the south island and then pace and help him along as he battled the tougher sections of the course. When I caught up with Jez after his crossing of the Cook Strait and just as he started to run in the south he confirmed that Mike would no longer be joining him. Mike had been suffering with some injury and as desperate as he was to join Jez for that ‘lifetime’ journey he had to be sensible and hold back “Jez is killing it man” Mike said, “he is doing such an awesome job, I don’t think it’s getting enough attention. What Jez is doing is awesome. It breaks my heart to have to say no at this stage. Believe me I have labored over this decision

You can listen to my interview with Jez just after he had crossed from north to south in episode 26 of Talk Ultra HERE go to 01:09:30

The Long Pathway - Jez BraggWhat is the Te Araroa?



Te AraroaThe Long Pathway – is a continuous 3,000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff. It is described on the official website as the ultimate 120 day New Zealand experience (Jez did it in 53 days).

The Te Araroa is a different kind of trail. Its boundaries are the natural boundaries of New Zealand. It links settlements, townships and cities. It has a multitude of experience on offer; cultural, natural and historic. Starting at the sea and finishing at the sea when en route you explore tombolos, volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys.

As Jez found out. It’s one seriously tough trail. He started by running for miles and miles along desolate beach. He was then on thick, muddy and gnarly trail. Sometimes going up, sometimes going down. He expressed “it is more of a route than a trail. A trail would imply that I have marked path but more often than not I am just trying to get across sections as best as I can. It is so difficult, incredibly beautiful but ultimately it has been like running in a jungle. It’s been tough!”


I am amazed at what I have been eating” said Jez “I normally wouldn’t eat cooked breakfasts but Jamie has been incredible providing me with eggs and bacon in the morning. To be honest, I just can’t eat enough”. What is interesting that after a problematic early 2012 season and constant stomach issues, Jez found out he was gluten intolerant “once I knew, the transformation was remarkable, within just two weeks I was a changed person

This dietary knowledge has been crucial in the success of this expedition. It was only a month or so before his December departure date that Jez had wondered if the journey would be possible.

You can’t run without energy” Jez explained “when you don’t absorb the calories or when the calories you eat cause problems, you only have one solution, stop or find out what is wrong

Jamie, armed with this knowledge has been able to make sure that Jez has had the food he needs in the quantities he needs and of course it has all been gluten free!

The ‘Tardis’ the modest camper van has been HQ for the whole trip providing a well needed bed for Jez and the team but very often Jez has camped wild or used huts to maximize time on the trail. Of course, The North Face has been instrumental in providing Jez with all the required kit to make this happen.

Although the plan for each day was not fixed in advance, a strategy was always formulated on the morning or the night before. Mark and Jamie would arrange to meet Jez on the trail at certain points to replenish supplies and provide support.


Everything would be ready allowing Jez to replenish or eat and then be back out on the trail asap. If Jez stayed out on the trail a pack would be prepared in advance – tent, clothes, sleeping bag, jetboil, food and most importantly a satellite phone.






Jez was married not long before he headed out to New Zealand. In addition to this, Christmas Day would be spent on some trail. Not an ideal way to start a new marriage? But Gemma seems to have thrived on seeing Jez achieve. She travelled out to New Zealand after Christmas and has been able to see the transformation in Jez. This transformation is physical, of course, she has seen the ravages of all those miles and the deficit in calories but the change will be one many of us won’t see. It is the change that will be within him. Nobody will know some of the personal battles and demons that Jez will have faced while putting one front in front of the other.

Mark my words; once Jez has recovered from this journey I think we will see a ‘new’ Jez on race start lines. All the accumulated miles and hours on the trail and the mental hardness will be transferred into winning performances.


Without doubt and I know Jez will be the first acknowledge this, that Mark, Jamie, Gemma and her mum, Hiliary have been an integral element of this whole journey. He may have been out on the trail running but the planning, support and backing has come from a camper van. Even down to home cooked food and homemade cakes.

Job done

53 days, 9 hours and 1 min. Job done! The previous record was 62 days set by Richard Bowles.

Jez initially had planned to complete the Journey by the end of January and he most certainly would have had had he not been hit with stomach issues on the south island. After a late finish, 3am! Jez had a fever. Understanding his body very well he knew he was in trouble. After resting and taking medication he finally responded but ultimately lost three days…

And I quote Jez:

“At a 1601hrs this afternoon, 53 days 9 hours and 1 minute after setting from Cape Regina, I finally completed my long journey down the Te Araroa trail, arriving in Bluff – lands end on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Gathered there waiting were my crew, Mark & James, my wife Gemma, my mum and my mother-in-law, Hilary. Damiano from the Storyteller Collective was there capturing the moment on photo and video, just has he done so magnificently throughout the expedition. They sprayed me with champagne and we danced around the landmark yellow finger post like we’d just won the lottery. There were bystanders around too, probably wondering what the heck was going on, but none of us gave a hoot. It was raw emotion for me; all my heart and soul, sweat and tears, had been put into realizing this moment, and it almost happened too suddenly to take it all in. I’ve been a robotic state for most of the time since I started – in my own little bubble – and I think it’s going to take several days to snap out of it. My body is also going to want to know what the heck is going on when I don’t run tomorrow; so I think some wind down jogging/ walking is going to be important”

02nd February 2012 – I am scheduled to catch up with Jez as soon as possible. He is currently in New Zealand to the 7th and then will go to Thailand.


February 2nd 2013 recorded less than 1 day after Jez Bragg recorded the fastest time of 53 days 9 hours and 1 min for crossing The Long Pathway – Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand.

I think you can hear the emotion in his voice!


Follow Jez on his blog HERE

The North Face HERE

He has done it…! Congrats Jez

Jez on the Long Pathway

“At a 1601hrs this afternoon, 53 days 9 hours and 1 minute after setting from Cape Reigna, I finally completed my long journey down the Te Araroa trail, arriving in Bluff – lands end on the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Gathered there waiting were my crew, Mark & James, my wife Gemma, my mum and my mother-in-law, Hilary. Damiano from the Storyteller Collective was there capturing the moment on photo and video, just has he done so magnificently throughout the expedition. They sprayed me with champagne and we danced around the landmark yellow finger post like we’d just won the lottery. There were bystanders around too, probably wondering what the heck was going on, but none of us gave a hoot. It was raw emotion for me; all my heart and soul, sweat and tears, had been put into realizing this moment, and it almost happened too suddenly to take it all in. I’ve been a robotic state for most of the time since I started – in my own little bubble – and I think it’s going to take several days to snap out of it. My body is also going to want to know what the heck is going on when I don’t run tomorrow; so I think some wind down jogging/ walking is going to be important”


We will be catching up with Jez to hear him tell us in his own words how this adventure has impacted upon him and his running.

It certainly has been a most stunning journey.

Many congratulations Jez!

Catch up on his story and all the images via his blog HERE

Jez Bragg – APPLAUSE please

Copyright Jez Bragg and team

Copyright Jez Bragg and team

“So with those two big back to back days complete, I’m now just a smidgen over 250 kilometres from Bluff. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about the finish now. I’m starting to visualise the end, and think about the day I wake up and don’t need to run. That is starting to appeal more and more. This has been quite some journey, and my body is starting to get rather weary.”

Yes, Jez has just 250km to go to set a new record for covering ‘The Long Pathway‘ in New Zealand, Teararoa.

Despite some sickness he has battled through and as he says above, the end is in sight.

Many congratulation Jez on what has been an epic journey.

 I’m starting to visualise the end, and think about the day I wake up and don’t need to run.

I’m starting to visualise the end, and think about the day I wake up and don’t need to run.

Make sure you read his blog HERE

Episode 26 – Talk Ultra

TU 26

A super stacked show and maybe our longest yet… our main interview is with The North Face athlete, Mike Wardian. We speak with inspirational film makers and ultra runners, JB & Jennifer Benna from JourneyFilm. Live from the Te Araora trail in New Zealand we speak with The North Face athlete, Jez Bragg on his incredible journey. We have our first ‘A year in the life of…‘ chat, Talk Training with Marc Laithwaite, A Meltezer Moment with Speedgoat Karl, the News with Ian Sharman, a blog post, 15mins of fame and of course the up and coming races.

Show Notes:


00:00:45 Show start and introduction

00:12:45 Interview with JB Benna & Jennifer Benna of Journey Film

Journeyfilm is a film production and distribution company that focuses
on adventure, sports, and travel. Established in 1999, the company is
led by filmmaker JB Benna, a USC Cinema/TV graduate and outdoor
enthusiast with an adventure resume that includes the 2,700 mile
Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe Rim 100 Mile Endurance Run.
Since its launch, Journeyfilm has produced documentaries such as The
Runner (David Horton’s 2,700 mile run of The Pacific Crest Trail),
UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons * 50 States * 50 Days (Dean Karnazes’s
North Face Challenge), Spinning Southward (a 16,000 Mile Bike Journey
from Alaska to Chile for the Brain Tumor Foundation) and GoLite’s Andy
Skurka and his 7000 Mile Trek. Benna and his team are also committed
to raising awareness for conservation, simpler living, and greater
appreciation of the world.

00:46:20 ‘A Year in the Life of…‘ is a new addition to Talk Ultra. For 2013 we will follow two people on their ultra journeys. This week we speak with Amanda Hyatt.

00:55:10 Back to the show

00:58:10 The News with Ian Sharman as guest co host

01:09:30 Interview with The North Face athlete, Jez Bragg live from New Zealand as he makes his process along ‘The Long Pathway’ the Te Araroa Trail. You can read and listen to my interview with Jez from The North Face press conference HERE and an update HERE. Also a first video has been added HERE

01:37:00 Back to the news

01:50:45 15 mins of Fame – this week we speak to Amanda Boldy and Sarah Gardner Hall. October 2012 Amanda entered a competition to win a prize to go to The Ocean Floor race in Egypt. Running 160 miles non stop departing at the beginning of February. She only went a won it… we speak to Amanda and Sarah with just 2 weeks to go before an adventure of a lifetime.

02:00:30 Blog by Emelie Forsberg. Emelie discusses her incredible 2012 season and you can read that HERE – ‘The Year of 2012’

02:01:00 Talk Training with Marc Laithwaite we discuss year planning and setting objectives.

02:22:40 Interview with The North Face athlete Mike Wardian. Mike is without doubt one of the most formidable ultra runners (and marathon runners) in the world. He has a reputation for running lots of races… he doesn’t only run but he wins them too. Unfortunately for the latter half of 2012 he has had a series of injuries. We catch up with him to discuss his progress and find out about his career.

38 years old, Arlington, VA-United States of America Father of 2 young boys (Pierce-5 years old & Grant-3 years old) BLOG HERE

Current Results:

  • 2nd place at 2011-Disney Marathon
  • 3rd place at 2011-ING Miami Marathon
  • 14th place at Empire State Building Run Up
  • 1st place at 2011 Lower Potomac Marathon-set Guinness World Record-Fastest Marathon as Superhero (Spider Man)
  • 3rd place at 2011 Shamrock Marathon
  • 1st place at 2011 National Marathon (5 time winner)
  • 19th place at Two Oceans Marathon (56K)-First USA
  • 11th place at Comrades Marathon (87K)-First USA
  • 3rd place at The North Face Endurance Challenge-50 Miler
  • 1st place at The North Face Endurance Challenge-1/2 Marathon
  • 13th place and Olympic Trails Qualifier (2:17:49)-Grandma’s Marathon
  • 3rd Place at Badwater Ultra Marathon
  • 1st Place at Grant and Pierce Indoor Marathon (4 days after Badwater)
  • 1st Place at San Francisco Marathon
  • 1st Place at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K-Kansas City
  • 1st Place at The North Face Endurance Challenge 1/2 Marathon-Kansas City
  • 2nd Place at the Kauai Marathon
  • 2nd Place and Silver Medalist at 100K World Championships and First ever Team Gold Medal for 100K World Team for USA-The Netherlands
  • 2nd Place at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) 100K

Previous Results:

  • 1st at 2010 ING Miami Marathon
  • 1st at 2010 Delaware Marathon
  • 1st at 2010 National Marathon-Washington, DC
  • Bronze Medal at 2009 & 2010 50K World Championships-Gibraltar, Gibraltar
  • 3rd Place at 2010-100K World  Championships-Gibraltar, Gibraltar
  • 6th Place at 2009-100K World Championships-Torhout, Belgium
  • USATF National Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010 USATF 50K National Championships
  • USATF National Champion: 2008-USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships
  • USATF National Champion: 2008-USATF 100K
  •  Accolades:
  • IAU Ultra Runner of the Year 2010
  • USATF Ultra Runner of the Year-2008 & 2009  & 2010 & 2011
  • New York Road Runners Ultra Runner of the Year: 2009

03:13:40 Back to the show

03:19:30 A Meltzer Moment with Speedgoat Karl

03:29:34 Up & Coming Races for the coming two weeks

03:31:30 Close



Jez Bragg – Te Araroa video 1



As many of you will know, I have been following Jez Bragg very closely on his New Zealand expedition running ‘The Long Pathway‘ called the Te Araroa Trail.


I caught up with Jez before he departed for New Zealand at a press conference in London. You can see that post and listen to an audio interview HERE

Episode 26 of Talk Ultra will be out this Friday and will contain an interview with Jez which we made on Monday 7th just after his succesful crossing of the Cook Strait. We discuss the expedition so far and what is to come on the South Island. Make sure you check out Talk Ultra this week HERE

In the meantime here is a video to wet your appetite