Cavalls del Vent 2013 – Race Preview

screenshot_348

The 2012 edition of the Ultra Cavalls del Vent turned out to be a classic race. It’s inclusion on the ISF Skyrunner World Series attracted a stellar field and fans around the world of true mountain running had a stunning display from the men’s and ladies races.

Kilian Jornet, Anton Krupicka and Dakota Jones inspired with stunning performances and the ladies race proved to be a thriller, with arguably the three best mountain runners in the world going head-to-head for the Ultra Cavalls del Vent crown. At the line it was local girl, Nuria Picas who took the crown from a charging Anna Frost and Emelie Forsberg.

However, the event was marred with bad weather and unfortunately the loss of life. Teresa Farriol who had placed 14th lady in the 2011 event unfortunately came into difficulty during the night and although she received expert medical help, she passed away.

Our sport should be challenging and we all acknowledge accidents happen. Needless to say the mood after the 2012 race was subdued but safety has always been and always will be paramount at the Ultra Cavalls del Vent.

Article on the 2012 event HERE

Anton Krupicka race report HERE

The Race

screenshot_347

Now in its fifth edition, the UCdV will once again attract top mountain runners to participate in an ultra endurance mountain race crossing the mythical trek in the Cadi Moixero National Park. The route is 100km long and has a total elevation gain of 6668m, the highest point of the course coming at approximately 14km at Niu de L’Aliga (2400m). The course takes in eight huts and starts and ends in the quiet town of Baga. In comparison to previous editions, the route has been extended from 84km to 100km and the cut off time has also been extended to 28 hours.

screenshot_346

Potential Winners

One thing is for sure the 2013 edition of the race has nowhere near the stacked field of 2012. But what may be missing in depth is compensated for with quality, particularly in the men’s field. The ladies have a couple of stand out names and although not confirmed yet, Nuria Picas did say that she would return for her ‘home’ race.

Men

Tofol Castanyer, Cavalls del Vent ©iancorless.com

Tofol Castanyer, Cavalls del Vent ©iancorless.com

Tofol Castanyer has raced at Cavalls del Vent before, he placed 2nd in 2011 in a time of 8:42 (for 84k) and in 2013 he unfortunately had to drop with hypothermia. So far, 2013 has been mixed with some injury issues and stomach problems in one or two races, however, his recent form at Transalpine should ring alarm bells for all his completion. Without doubt a hot favourite for the win.

Luis Alberto Hernando, Haria Extreme ©iancorless.com

Luis Alberto Hernando, Haria Extreme ©iancorless.com

Luis Alberto Hernando is a class act and 2013 has seen him move up the distances in a long-term bid to race at TNFUTMB. He has repeatedly played second fiddle to Kilian Jornet and has been one of only a small handful to really push the Catalan to the line.  He was seconds behind at Zegama-Aizkorri, finished joint first at Trans D’Havet and once again, just finished a minute or so in arrears at Matterhorn Ultraks. Luis can win Cavalls del Vent, no doubt.

Zigor Iturrieta, Trans D'Havet ©iancorless.com

Zigor Iturrieta, Trans D’Havet ©iancorless.com

Zigor Iturrieta like Tofol raced in 2011 and placed 5th overall. He has the potential for a strong performance here; the terrain and distance suit him. However, he has already raced a lot in 2013 and one has to wonder how fresh he will be.

Jordi Bes will be racing on home soil. He recently won the CCC and must come to Cavalls with high hopes of a podium finish. He knows the area well and placed 9th at the 2011 edition. One-to-watch for sure.

Gerard Morales Ramirez placed 10th and the 2011 edition and last year, in a much higher quality field placed 8th. He will come with high hopes of hopefully moving into the top five and if all things go well, maybe even a podium slot.

Felipe Artigue Rodriguez is a runner I know little about, however, he placed 10th overall at the 2012 edition of Cavalls del Vent at the knowledge will be extremely useful for 2013. I don’t see him as a contender for the podium but I am sure he hopes to improve on his overall placing.

Terry Conway (2nd place) Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com

Terry Conway (2nd place) Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com

Finally, Terry Conway from the UK raced at Cavalls del Vent and was a victim of the bad weather. Since then, Terry has struggled with below par performances at Ronda dels Cims and the Lakeland 100. He didn’t finish either event. He recently secured a top fifty place at TNFUTMB and this will be a great boost for him. Providing he is fresh and recovered from TNFUTMB, he has all the potential of a good run and make the top ten.

Other names to watch out for: Carlos Santasusana Bayona and Pau Bartola Roca.

Cavalls del Vent 2012 ©iancorless.com

Cavalls del Vent 2012 ©iancorless.com

Ladies

Nuria Picas, Cavalls del Vent  ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas, Cavalls del Vent ©iancorless.com

Nuria Picas is not on the start list so I am going here from conversations with her post TNFUTMB. She confirmed for me that if her recovery was good, she would line up at her ‘home’ race and run. If she does, she is the outright favourite for the race win, even with a tough 100-miles in her legs from her circular tour of Mont Blanc and 2nd place!. Nuria is a class act, her 10:34 from the 2012 edition of the race smashed the previous course record and when you consider her consistency over all distances, not many ladies beat her. This year over the 80km distance and less she has consistently placed second to Emelie Forsberg, however, that will have no impact here!

Placing 6th at Cavalls del Vent in 2012, Laia Andreu Trias is the next lady with top billing. In 2013, she has won several races; La Vall de Nuria, Vertical Sobrepuny, Curse de Muntanya Sotabranques and Curs Mossos d’Esquadra, so, she has form. Should Nuria not run, Laia is a potential winner and for sure, a hot possibility for a podium place.

Teresa Nimes Peres has potential to make the top 10 and if she has a good day, she will be pushing for the top five and maybe even the podium. In 2013 she placed 8th at Trans D’Havet and in 2012 Teresa was 15th at La Grande Course des Templiers, 11th at Cavalls del Vent, 19th at TNFUTMB and 9th at Transvulcania.

Christina (Tina) Bes is a ski mountaineer and has a list of palmares the length of my arm. However, her ability as a runner in the mountains is relatively unknown to me. One thing I have learnt though is that a quality Ski Mountaineer very often makes a great mountain runner! A dark horse?

Finally, Natercia Martins Silvestre placed 3rd at the 80km Grand Raid des Pyrenees in 2012 and was 2nd at Ultra Trail das Aldeias do Xisto. In 2013 she had a win at the Trail de Perialara 80km, so, she has form. It will be interesting to see what she can do in the Cadi Moixero National Park.

I am absolutely sure that the 2013 edition of the Ultra Cavalls del Vent will be an exciting race with many surprises. For sure, the addition of 16km will make a big difference to the final outcome.

If you’d like to follow the race, go HERE

 

 

Terry Conway pre race interview Ronda dels Cims 2013

Terry Conway at Cavalls del Vent copyright iancorless.com

Terry Conway at Cavalls del Vent copyright iancorless.com

Lakeland 100 winner and course record holder, Terry Conway speaks to Ian ahead of the 2013 Ronda dels Cims. This will be Terry’s biggest race challenge yet. A race over 100 miles with altitude gain over 12,000m is not something that is easy to prepare for while living in the UK. However, Terry has paced his home in the English Lakes and has trained hard to prepare himself for the challenge ahead.

YouTube HERE

Links:

 

 

Ronda dels Cims – important update

screenshot_283

Important update for race participants – Ronda dels Cims, Andorra

Please check the essential items HERE

UPDATE

Spring is late, very late! After regular inspections of the course some small modifications have been made to ensure safety. The intention of the race organisation is to maintain the original route as much as possible, however, safety is paramount. Alternative routes may be applied in case of thunderstorms.

In certains sections it will be necessary to walk because of snow and high altitude. Where applicable these sections will be marked and additional staff will be available.

Ultimately, a magnificent and unforgettable experience lies ahead; a big party.

Additional equipment required:

Please ensure you have ALL mandatory kit as specified in article 21 of the rules.

Crampons for snow

In view of the exceptional snow coverage of this year, you are recommend to equip yourself with crampons. They will allow you to progress safely on hardly sections. Numerous models are available, our shops associates (Carving, Roc Vertical, Altitud, Sensació) are able to supply you. You can also acquire in our information chalet before the race.

RACE PREVIEW HERE

Logo_Skyrunning_World_Series

Press Release from Skyrunning:

The second Ultra Series race tours Andorra’s highest peaks featuring some of the world’s best endurance athletes.

 

Ronda dels Cims is not just rated as the world’s toughest 100 miler – it’s a fact! 

 

With 13,000 metres vertical climb across 15 summits between 2,400m and 3,000m altitude, it’s not a race for the faint-hearted. The second race in the Skyrunner® Ultra Series after Transvulcania in May, it represents skyrunning’s first event at this distance, drawing inspiration from the technical mountain heritage that distinguishes skyrunning. Due to late and heavy snow falls, much of the course will be on snow, and safety measures are being taken by the organisers.

 

Lizzy Hawker’s much anticipated participation dissolved with the sad news of her injury and that she will be unable to take part. 

 

Featuring in the women’s élite field are Spaniard Nerea Martinez (Salomon Santiveri), winner of this year’s Transgrancanaria, she set the Ronda dels Cims record in 2012 in 35h31’21’’Emilie Lecomte (Quechua) winner of the 2012 Diagonale des Fous hundred-miler and 5th at Transvulcania;  Salomon’s Julia Boettger from Germany was third at Diagonale des Fous;  and team mate Hiroko Suzuki from Japan was 2nd in the UTMF.  Italy’s Francesca Canepa (Team Vibram) placed 2nd at the UTMB behind Lizzy Hawker.

 

Salomon’s Julien Chorier, winner of the Hardrock 100 in 2011 and last year’s UTMF where he placed 2nd this year, heads the men’s field.  Strongly favoured is Spaniard Salvador Redondo, second in last year’s Ronda dels Cims and Andorra’s own Xavier Teixido, (FAM) placed 6th in the 112 km distance, the Andorra Ultra Trail. From Japan, Kenichi Yamamoto, 1st in the Grand Raid des Pyrenees (160km) and 3rd at the UTMF.

 

Americans Jared Campbell (La Sportiva) won the Hardrock in 2010, placing 13th

last year and Dave James, 2012 US 100 Mile National Champion and long distance specialist should enjoy the distance, but will he enjoy the altitude? AustralianMatt Cooper (Salomon) was 5th in TNF100. 

 

Italy’s Bruno Brunod is a living skyrunning legend.  After a long break from running he’s back to try his hand at the ultra distance.  Bruno’s mighty curriculum includes winning the first World Champion title in 1998 from where he went from strength to strength leaving a trail of wins and records behind him including the standing Matterhorn ascent and descent which superstar Kilian Jornet will attempt this year.   

 

Fellow countryman Nico Valsesia (Salomon Agisko) fears no distance.  He comes from a series of great adventures, which include 2nd and 5th places in the 4,800 km coast to coast RAAM bike race and crossing the world’s largest salt lake in Bolivia.  This year he will attempt ISF President, Marino Giacometti’s skybike record from Genoa to the summit of Mont Blanc.

 

Talking of records, the incredible men’s race record was set by Spaniard Miguel Heras in 2011 in 30h04’28”. It’s unlikely any records will be broken this year with snow still lying on the course.  The organisers are well prepared with 400 volunteers, extra signage and the athletes will be equipped with chips and GPS.

 

More than 300 runners will compete in the race, which is programmed to take place on the longest day and lit by the full moon creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

 

Ronda dels Cims organisers, Gérard Martinez and Valérie Lafleur are convinced that “this fifth edition will mark our history. The athletes will never forget their participation in Andorra. We are working hard to provide an exceptional experience for runners and their companions. The competition is hard, but it has a human dimension that makes it extraordinary”.

Ronda dels Cims, Andorra 170km Preview

screenshot_283

It’s only 170km’s long. Don’t worry; it only has 13,000m of vertical gain and loss. It’s 94% single track, 5% path/trail and 1% on road so you can make up some time! It has 13 aid stations, starts on Friday 21st June at 0700 and you have 62 hours to complete the event. Easy! I don’t think so…

Logo_Skyrunning_World_SeriesTwelve months ago on the island of La Palma, Skyrunning held a conference post Transvulcania La Palma and pre Zegama-Aizkorri. The conference was called, ‘Less Cloud, More Sky’. It assembled some of the best ultra runners from around the world, team managers, ancillary staff and journalists. The purpose was to help forge a direction for the sport. To cut a long story short, what was apparent was the need for technical courses that would attract and test the best runners in the world. Also, the 100-mile distance, for many, was perceived as the one distance that Skyrunning did not cover. Twelve months down the road, or should I say the trail and we have Ronda del Cims, now in its fifth year. Possibly one of the toughest, gnarly 100 mile races on the planet.

With less than a month to the start of one of the most important mountain competitions, the ‘Andorra Ultra Trail Vallnord’, a series of races starting at 10km and culminating in the main event, the 170km Ronda dels Cims.

Over 2,000 athletes will arrive in Ordino, Andorra from June 20th to 23rd to participate in an event that for them will be a tough and life changing personal challenge. In simple terms, the races on offer are hard, technical and pure. They offer a total immersion in nature and as such, must be completely respected.

The 2013 edition of the race will be particularly challenging. Due to a harsh and prolonged winter, several peaks and mountain passes will almost certainly have snow. Believe me, the fifth edition of the Ronda dels Cims has all the makings of a classic. So. Lets look who are the likely contenders in the female and male race over the 170km distance.

LADIES

The ladies race has all the makings of being a classic. We have some very tough mountain ladies taking part, all in with a chance of winning this race!

Lizzy Hawker, 2012 UTMB copyright Ian Corless

Lizzy Hawker, 2012 UTMB copyright Ian Corless

Lizzy Hawker (The North Face) needs no introduction. Unlike Emilie, Lizzy has no specialization. She is an out and out ultra runner and performs to the highest level on road, trail or mountains. A multiple champion at the TNFUTMB she will bring all that experience to Ronda dels Cims. In the latter half of 2012 she had a real purple patch with wins at a shortened TNFUTMB, Spartathlon and Run Rabbit Run. However, she did have injury issues over the Christmas period. They have now cleared up and to get 2013 rolling she raced at Annapurna 100k and won the ladies race. She then decided to break her own personal record running from Everest base camp to Kathmandu (319km/ 198m) in 63 hours and 08 minutes (here) smashing her previous record. Not content with running for 63 hours, Lizzy then raced the 277km Mustang Trail Race and was 2nd overall. However, just recently she entered the 24-hour championships and pulled out. Apparently all is well with Lizzy and her focus is now on Ronda dels Cims. I have to say, that Lizzy has not only the potential to win the ladies race but the race outright.

UPDATE June 6th, An email from Lizzy “As it turns out I’ve just had an MRI confirming a stress fracture in my foot. So, Hardrock would have been off the cards, and now I also have to pull out of Ronda del Cims.”

Francesca Canepa copyright iancorless.com

Francesca Canepa copyright iancorless.com

Francesca Canepa (Team Vibram) placed 2nd to Lizzy Hawker at the reduced TNFUTMB in 2012 but then just seven days later lined up at the Tor des Geants and won it. An incredible double. Like many other ladies in this race, she loves tough and technical. The distance will not be a problem for her and when in form, she can push Lizzy, Emilie, Nerea and the rest right to the line. A very exciting addition to the race.

Emilie Lecomte far right, Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Emilie Lecomte far right, Transvulcania 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Long distance specialist Emilie Lecomte (Quechua) from France comes to Andorra after a very successful 2012. She set a new course record on the GR20 long trail in Corsica and she won the tough and technical, 100m Diagonale des Fous (Raid de la Reunion) on Reunion Island. She recently raced at Transvulcania La Palma and although placed 5th overall she was 2 hours behind race winner, Emelie Forsberg. Without a doubt, Ronda dels Cims is a completely different race to Transvulcania and for sure, Emilie will revel in the tough and technical aspects that this race brings.

Nerea Martinez copyright cmdsport.com

Nerea Martinez copyright cmdsport.com

Nerea Martinez (Salomon Santiveri) has already had a successful 2013. She won the 119km Transgrancanaria, won the Apuko 83km, won the Royal Raida 79km and just last month, won the 115km Ultra Trail Madeira. Wow! That is some start to 2013 and looking at her schedule, she has lots more planned! Without doubt she is in form but two of those races in the last two months, Transgrancanaria and Ultra Trail Madeira have been tough and long days out, 17h: 16m and 19h: 15m respectively. One has to question if these will leave Nerea a little jaded for Ronda dels Cims, if not, watch this space.

Julia Boettger copyright iancorless.com

Julia Boettger copyright iancorless.com

Julia Boettger (Salomon) is equally at home on the long tough trails. In 2012 she was on the podium behind Emilie Lecomte at Diagonal des Fous so she has all the required credentials, strength and mental fortitude to battle over a very tough and technical 170km. She was due to race Transgrancanaria earlier in 2013 but picked up a virus in the days before. She was due to race the 115km Penyagolosa Trails but she either did not start or pulled out. Ronda dels Cims will be her first big race in 2013 and without doubt she will arrive prepared for the battle. 

Update, 18th June. Julia has had to withdraw from the race for personal reasons.

Hiroko Suzuki (Salomon) gets a notable mention as another name to watch.  Hiroko placed 2nd in UTMF in 2012 and was 4th at Tor des Geants. Without doubt she has experience of long tough races and will be one to watch.

Karine Sanson will also perform to the best of her ability and push all the way.

MEN

Julien Chorier copyright mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Julien Chorier copyright mudsweatandtears.co.uk

The men’s field on paper has less depth than the ladies field. The out-and-out favorite is Julien Chorier. He excels on tough and technical terrain and as a previous winner of Hardrock 100, he will come to Ronda dels Cims understanding 100% what is required to win the race. In early 2012 he won the 100m UTMF in Japan. When TNFUTMB was shortened he left Chamonix and like Emilie Lecomte he made an attempt on the GR20 in Corsica. His plan was to break Kilian Jornet’s record time. However, the weather was against him. Just a few months ago he returned to Japan and this time he placed 2nd at UTMF. Renowned for meticulous preparation, he will be racing in Andorra with only objective, to win!

Jared Campbell copyright La Sportiva

Jared Campbell copyright La Sportiva

*Breaking news… no sooner had I done this preview and I was made aware that Jared Campbell (La Sportiva) would be toeing the line at Ronda dels Cims. Why has this now been confirmed? Well, he ‘tweeted’ this just a few hours ago… “The Andorra course (Ronda dels Cims) looks to be in primo condition! Is it bad that this gets me excited?”

Jared without doubt brings a whole new mix to the men’s race. He is notorious for tough and technical races. Without doubt he will embrace the course in Andorra and embrace the challenge it will bring. One of the very few to finish Barkley, Jared will tough this course out to the bitter end. He recently ran at Pocatello 50 and said he had tired legs but that will have been a training run for the end of June and then Hardrock 100.

BL5GCUQCQAAfjgd

bruno

Bruno Brunod (Team Forte di Bard) is a legend in Skyrunning. Born in 1962 he has a list of achievements that we can only bow down to and acknowledge:

Record ascent and descent of Matterhorn from Cervinia in 3 hours and 14 minutes. Record of ascent and descent of the Monte Rosa from Gressoney in 4 hours and 45 minutes. Record ascent and descent of Aconcagua in 5 hours and 57 minutes. Record ascent of Kilimanjaro on the Marangu route in 5 hours and 38 minutes. Record ascent of Mount Elbert in 1 hours and 54 minutes. Just like Kilian Jornet, he is a true Alpinist. I have very little knowledge of his recent attempts and endeavors but his palmares alone mean that he should be respected and certainly he will be one-to-watch.

Matt Cooper copyright mattcooper.com.au

Matt Cooper copyright mattcooper.com.au

Matt Cooper (Salomon Australia) is currently training in Chamonix preparation for the race. He was 5th at TNF 100 in 2012 and may add an element of the unknown to the front of the race. He was due to race Bogong to Hotham in January but that race was cancelled. At Cradle Mountain Ultra (82k) he placed 3rd, recently won the 100k Alpine Challenge in 12:31 so he looks to be coming in to form.

Terry Conway at Cavalls del Vent copyright Ian Corless

Terry Conway at Cavalls del Vent copyright Ian Corless

Terry Conway (X-Bionic) from the UK is new to Skyrunning. In the UK he has had great success with wins and course records on the Lakeland 100 course but his recent trips to Europe to run at Cavalls del Vent and then La Course des Templiers gave no real indication of his ability to perform against much more competitive fields. In early 2013 he raced at Ultra Trail Barcelona and placed 3rd. He has been out on the Lakeland fells and mountains in recent months gaining time on his legs and accumulating as much vertical as possible. However, the trails in Andorra are a long way removed from those in the UK.

Dave James, The Coastal Challenge copyright iancorless.com

Dave James, The Coastal Challenge copyright iancorless.com

Dave James from the US has been immersing himself in Skyrunning recently. He raced at Transvulcania La Palma, Zegama-Aizkorri and now he will line up at Ronda dels Cims. Dave has a pedigree. He is a 100m US champion and has a fastest 100m time of just over 13 hours. However, he is just not used to the technical terrain that Andorra will throw at him. He is spending time on the course in the coming weeks. It will be a big learning curve buy he is under no illusions of what lies ahead.

Ty Draney copyright door5.com

Ty Draney copyright door5.com

Ty Draney (Patagonia Ultra Running Team) from the US is 38 years old and has over a decade of ultra running experience to fall back on. Way back in 2003 he placed 4th at Bear 100, a race that he then went on to win in 2008. He has placed top 20 at Hardrock 100 and most recently won Grand Teton 100m in 2009, placed 3rd at Grindstone 100m in 2010 and was 5th at The Bear in 2012. His recent form is open to question and a 27th placing at Gorge Waterfalls 50k in March leaves us with little indication of he will perform over 100+m tough mountain miles.

Finally, Nico Valesia (Salomon Agisko) I know little about. His most recent results are as follows: 1st Trail Bianco di Cesana 24 km,  1st Mini Trail di Gargallo,  2nd Trail Lago di Como 106 km,  2nd Trail del LAgo d’Orta 63 km,  7th Trail Oulx 48 km.

18th June, Nico has had to withdraw with an injury

One thing is for sure, Ronda dels Cims will be an incredible few days of ultra mountain trail running. Although I have highlighted the ‘elite’ runners one cannot rule out local talent who will have knowledge and experience of the trails, conditions and mountain. It will be very exciting!

Ones to watch:

Oscar Perez Lopez (2012 winner of the race), Uli Calmbach, Kenichi Yamamoto , Hugues Vos, Pep Ballester Gomes, John Todd, Amando Jorge Teixeira, Jean-Hugues Vos, Pep Ballester Gomes, Jordi Comas Corral, Jordi Codina Ventura and Marc Llucià Fleitas.

You will be able to follow the action unfold via Twitter, Facebook and via iancorless.com 

  • The race website is HERE
  • Skyrunning HERE

Skyrunning 2012 Elite Listing

ISF

ULTRA

The Ultra distance races selected in 2012 were held in the following countries: Andorra, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Réunion, Italy, Spain, USA.  The ranking is based on the best three results of the year – or two results, plus one from 2011, taking into account the top 15 men’s and 10 women’s results in each race.

lavery-leads-lorblanchet-4393

The athletes are listed in alphabetical order according to their nationality.

ELITE MEN

AUSTRIA

Wagner Thomas

CANADA

Campbell Adam

FRANCE

Antolinos Fabien, Bringer Patrick, Buffard Sebastien, Camus Sebastien, Chaigneau Sebastien, Chorier Julien, Clavery Erik, Court Sylvain, Curien Yann, D’Haene Francois, Durand Maxime, Gault Emanuel, Guillon Antoine, Lanne Michel, Le Saux Christophe, Lejeune Arnaud, Lorblanchet Thomas, Martin Nicolas, Pasero Mikael, Pianet Nicolas, Rancon Julien

GERMANY

Reiter Philipp

GREAT BRITAIN

Conway Terry, Symonds Andy, Sharman Ian, Grant Joe (?)

HUNGARY

Nemeth Csaba

ITALY

Cavallo Giuliano, Dapit Fulvio

JAPAN

Kaburaki Tsuyoshi, Yamamoto Kenichi

NEPAL

Sherpa Dachhiri Dawa

PORTUGAL

Sa Carlos, Teixeira Armando Jorge

SOUTH AFRICA

Sandes Ryan

SWITZERLAND

Rey Jean-Yves

SPAIN

Bes Jordi, Castanyer Tofol, Jornet Kilian, Karrera Iker, Heras Miguel, Merillas Manuel, Perez Lopez Oscar, Sanchez Sebas

SWEDEN

Buud Jonas

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Bowman Dylan, Clark Nicholas, Clayton Cameron, Foote Michael, Gates Rickey, Grant Joe, Jaime Scott, Jones Dakota, King Maxwell, Koerner Hal, Krupicka Anton, Mackey Dave, Maravilla Jorge, Meltzer Karl, Olson Timothy, Pedatella Nicholas, Tidd John, Tiernan Zeke, Wolfe Mike

ULTRA

ELITE WOMEN

anna-frost-4437

BRAZIL

Maciel Fernanda

FRANCE

Chastel Veronique, Combarieu Maud, Favre Corinne, Gobert Maud, Herry Karine, Lecomte Emilie, Martin Sandra, Motto Ros Sandrine, Valero Anne

GERMANY

Bottger Julia, Calmbach Andrea

GREAT BRITAIN

Hawker Elisabeth, Greenwod Ellie

HUNGARY

Wermescher Ildiko

ITALY

Canepa Francesca, Fori Katia

NEW ZEALAND

Frost Anna

SPAIN

Fraile Uxue, Iruretagoyena Leire, Martinez Nerea, Picas Nuria, Roca Emma

SWEDEN

Forsberg Emelie

USA

Africa Darcy, Bosio Rory, Bruxvoort Kerrie, Claridge Rhonda, Howe Stephanie, Howard Elizabeth, Kimball Nikki, Lewis Tina, Moehl Kristin, Nordell Ashley

See the 2012 élite listings: Sky and Vertical

Updated January 16, 2013

Skyrunning Logo

Cavalls del Vent Post Race Report

 

Ultra? Ultra emotional…

On a day of rain, cold temperatures and intense racing, ultra running and in particular ultra Skyrunning opened a new chapter in our sport.

Despite alternativerace options available all over the world, many of the worlds best decided to head to Spain and race at the SkyrunningUltra Cavalls del Vent‘, an 84.2km race with 6098m of altitude change.

Kilian Jornet, Dakota Jones, Tony Krupicka, Tofol Castanyer, Miguel Heras, Joe Grant, Philipp Reiter, Anna Frost, Emelie Forsberg, Nuria Picas and Emma Rocca all decided to do battle in what turned out to be an incredibly testing day.

At Refugio Niu de L’Aliga the race format was starting to unfold with Kilian leading the race followed closely by Tofol and then several minutes back Miguel Heras. Dakota Jones and Philipp Reiter soon came into sight and then Tony Krupicka. Although minutes separated them all, one thing became apparent. It was cold!

 

Thick mist made visibility difficult and it was biting cold on hands. Kilian seemed in his element running in short sleeves but nearly all the other runners wore jackets. Including Tony!

Emelie Forsberg was the first lady to come into sight. Somewhat of a surprise… not because she didn’t have the ability but because the plan was to ease into her ‘first’ 50 miler. Frosty followed and then a very cool and relaxed looking Nuria Picas.

 

The cold and constant rain hit the race and the runners hard! Miguel Heras dropped, Tofol had hypothermia, Joe Grant had hypothermia and at the last count some 200+ runners have dropped from the race. Certainly those who will go into the night are in for a tough time.

Tony Krupicka moved up through the field, moved ahead of Dakota and a format was set. Kilian and Tony swapping the lead and Dakota following.

 

At Gresolet, Kiliian had a 2 min lead. As he passed me I asked how he felt?

“I am great, it was a little cold but now I am good. I am having fun!”

Tony approached “How you feeling Tony?”

“I’m good man, Kilian is just playing with me.. all good though!”

Some of the press with me at this point wondered if Tony would win? To be honest, no disrespect to Tony but Kilian seemed in control and was glad of company. Dakota was now some 30 min in arrears with Philipp Reiter in 4th. This order remained until the final climb when Kilian accelerated leaving Tony behind. Kilian crossed the line with a new CR of 8:42:22. Tony crossed the line in 2nd beating the old CR too with 8:49:56 and Dakota 9:26:25.

 

Tony was stoked at the finish and rightly so. After the best part of 2 years being out of the sport his ‘return’ now seems to be confirmed. His return is a new return with a love for Skyrunning. He said on the line “these are the races we want, vertcal gain, tough gnarly climbs and altitude. We can’t get this at home, I love it”

 

Dakota was happy with 3rd but said he had hoped for better and that he never felt quite on his game!

 

Emelie Forsberg in the ladies race pushed ahead and at one point had a 15 min lead with Frosty and Nuria chasing. However the gap was closed and over the final 2 hours a battle started. My money was on Nuria, she had told me at ‘Kima’ that this was the race she wanted and I guess it showed. In the latter stages Emelie was dropped and Nuria ran into the finish victorious in10:34:42 beating her 2011 winning time by over an hour. Frosty finished in 2nd 10:35:24 and Emelie jumped for joy in 10:39:51.

 

Frosty said “Everything hurts. I won’t be able to walk tomorrow. I dug deeper that I have ever had to go, I am happy for Nuria and I am happy for me”

 

Emelie in only her 2nd ultra and first 50 miler was elated. She told me “I felt really good and still do. My legs are not hurting but it was mind… in the latter stages when I had to fight I couldn’t focus but I am super happy”

 

Cavalls del Vent was an incredible day. It showed us all what is great about our sport. Wonderful courses, great running, new runners showing potential for the future, established runners confirming that they are the best, a return to form for Tony and of course immense comradeship. I am in the hotel ‘Press Room’ surrounded by all of them… Kilian on the sofa chatting, Tony and Dakota on the web, Frosty and Emelie giggling, Philipp and Terry discussing the next time to pose naked. All individual but all one.

Cloud confuses and distorts “less cloud MORE SKY

The next event in the Ultra Skyrunning series is ‘Templiers’ in the South of France. The date is October 28th and rest assured I will be at the race to bring you images, stories and a podcast from the final race in the series.

Faces of Cavalls

Cavalls del Vent Recce part ‘deux’

Philipp Reiter “let’s go out for an hour… we can run an out and back”

Kilian Jornet “I would like to run up to checkpoint 2 at 2500m”

Everybody “ok, cool, lets do that!”

Kilian and Emelie get in the ‘Kilian Kar‘. Philipp, Terry and myself get in pepecar.com and then we head at breakneck speed ignoring the left and right hand side of the road and get to the Coll de Pal and 2070m.

Philipp, Terry and myself roll out of the car ready for action. Kilian emerges from the ‘Kilian Kar‘ with a secret potion…. mmmmmmmm what is it?

Kilian and Emelie get into the running straight away…. Terry follows and Philipp is feeling a little unwell; the drive I think?

Knees hurting I follow as best as I can but I know they will soon be out of sight. I put a long lens on the camera… a great tip when you can’t keep up! You look close but actually you are miles away….

In to the distance they go. Around me isolation and beautiful views. I still manage to capture some lovely images of the ‘elites’ in action. A joy to watch unfold… I will wait for them to return and shoot them in full flight!

They never did 😉 But that’s another story…

Here is Philipp Reiters download from his Suunto Ambit HERE

Cavalls del Vent Recce

Dodgy knees or not I was going out on the course with Terry Conway and Salomon athlete, Philipp Reiter.

Philipp has been here for about a week so he knew exactly where when and how! We had a short drive, parked the car, avoided being eaten alive by about 6 dogs on a farm and then headed UP! and UP and UP.

Sore knees pretty much ok as long I kept going up. Terry kindly taped my knees so I somehow looked like an inverted Panda. However, I needed tape on my lungs! Five weeks of no running, altitude and two fast fellas up front that could kick my ass when I was flying fit and I was breathing out of every orifice… mostly the one at the back!

We ‘rivalled’ Kilian Jornet with a photo to compete with ‘his’ photo from the top of Mont Blanc (you know the one) and all in all we had a great time.

My knees got pretty beat up descending from 2300m but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Here is Philipp Reiters Suunto Ambit download to view HERE

Terry now realises what lies in store. I quote

“A world of pain… pure enjoyment. It’s like nothing I have run before. The climbs are so much longer and I found the altitude difficult. I was wheezing a fair bit this morning. I have a realisation of what lies ahead and maybe the gap between myself and the elites. No matter what, I am going to embrace the day and the opportunity”

Cavalls del Vent Preview

IV edition of Ultra Cavalls del Vent, September 29th/30th

Total distance 84.2k Acc Altitude Change 12,180m Altitude Change 6098m

Bagà will reunite again this year the best trail running athletes of the world to celebrate the Ultra Cavalls del Vent (Salomon Nature Trails) race held in the national park Cadí-Moixero on the 29th of September.

The fourth edition of the Ultra Cavalls del Vent becomes a special date of the national and international calendar as one of the events of the Skyrunner World Series.

1000 entrants and 84.2 km of personal challenge, to test the limits of the body exceeding over 12,000 accumulated vertical meters in the privileged natural environment of the Cadi-Moixeró national park

The 2012 edition of the race is looking as though it may very well turn out to be an iconic race primarily for the inclusion of some key runners from Europe, the United States and New Zealand.

You can red the Skyrunning press release HERE

So who are the favourites?

MEN

**update 24th September Kilian Jornet now confirmed as a last minute entrant. This turns the race on it’s head a little and one has to say that despite such a quality field one can’t really bet against the ‘mountain master’. Only just last week he completed his Mont Blanc Crossing as part of his ‘Summits of my Life‘. With that ticked off as it were he obviously feels comfortable and content to race at Cavalls del Vent before heading out to Reunion Island to race against Joe Grant and Tony Krupicka at the Raid de le Reunion.

Tofol Castanyer fresh from victory at the CCC and a stunning time will certainly be one to beat on this course.

Miguel Heras has been plagued by injuries but only a couple of weeks ago placed 2nd at another mountainous Skyrunning event, Sentiero Grigne and therefore a return to form is certainly on it’s way.

Dakota Jones started off his Skyrunning account in fine form at Transvulcania La Palma. He raced Hardrock 100 with a top finish and he is now in Europe for several months. He was supporting friends at UTMB, he has been out running with Kilian Jornet and at Sentiero Grigne placed 4th overall behind Heras. The longer distance of Cavalls will suit Dakota and without a doubt he will be up at the front.

Joe Grant was second at Hardrock 100, loves the mountains, trains with Tony Krupicka and this course will suit him. However, he is planning on racing at Raid de Reunion (Diagonale des Fous) and he therefore may save a little for that.

Tony Krupicka like Joe Grant is also racing the Raid de Reunion and I was under the impression that he was running at Cavalls del Vent, however, he is not on the start list. Needless to say, if he is racing he will be up at the front. **update 24th September, Tony is now confirmed.

Philipp Reiter goes from strength to strength and performs well at every race he turns up at. He was up at the front at Trofeo Kima and just recently had a great win with Iker Karrera at the Transalpine. Philipp will be top five here!

Terry Conway is my rank outsider… needless to say I have an interest here. I was influential in getting Terry to the start line. It will no doubt be a baptism of fire. The altitude, the terrain and the field may well get to him, but, I think he will adapt and perform well. If he gets top 10 it will be an incredible result. His performance at the Lakeland 100 and beating his own course record by two hours means he is without doubt in form.

LADIES

Anna Frost can never ever be ruled out in a mountain race. However she has been injured and this is a comeback race. In true fashion though she has been out on the course training. She will go for the win, no doubt!

Nuria Picas is in fine form, always performs consistently and this is her home. She told me at Trofeo Kima that this was the A race for the year. Expect a real fight up at the front from Nuria.

Emelie Forsberg loves to run and she has all the ability needed to win this race. Her descending skills are superb and as she proved at Pikes Peak, if she is allowed some space she can push hard and take a win.

Emma Roca is local, placed top 3 at UTMB and will perform well here. On a good day she will be top 3 but in this field I see her placing just off the podium.

I will be Tweeting live from the race and uploading interviews, photos and audio as and when I can. Follow the race @talkultra or on Facebook HERE