Ultra Skymarathon Madeira #USM 2017 Summary – Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series

A little rain is never a great way to start a day, particularly when you have 55km of tough, challenging and mountain terrain to get over – the Ultra Skymarathon Madeira, the next race in the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series started today at 0600 from the town of Santana.

Hillary Allen had flown in from USA and after placing 2nd last year was looking for some sun and the top rung on the podium. Obstacle racing world champion and Skyrunner Series World Champion for the Extreme distance Jon Albon,  was looking for a little mud, colder temperatures and was more than happy with a little rain.

Weaving up and down mountains, around beaches, through dense undergrowth, up a riverbed and of course plenty of climbing and descending, the USM course is a unique one – It’s not an ordinary Skyrunning course!

The USM has a brutal start to the day, just 1km to warm up and then a climb of 1400m. Head torches illuminated the trail and light persistent rain followed the runners until they broke through the cloud – on the other side, blue skies and a different day.

A section of via ferrata at around 6km was followed by a little descending and a final push for the highest point of the day. Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz from France was the first to arrive and yes, it was somewhat of a surprise. He was closely followed by Russian Dimitry Mityaev and Jon Albon.

For the ladies, Hillary Allen was making her presence felt with a convincing lead of Ekaterina Mityaev and then Anna Frost followed some time later.

Descending over the summit, the cloud inversion was clearly visible – the landscape awe-inspiring. It was quite special to see so many mountains and trails all above the cloud.

Running the ridges and several more climbing sections, the front of the race didn’t change until they returned to the coast.

A descent to the sea was followed by a steep short climb and then another descent which was followed by a section of riverbed littered with boulders. Albon made his move, the obstacle course world champion was in his element and he pulled away from the Frenchman with ease. At first opening a slender gap but on the steep climb that followed, the Englishman who lives in Norway but the hammer down realizing a course record was possible. Albon crossed the line obliterating the old record of 6-hours 28-second setting a benchmark 5-hours 45-minutes.

Dunand-Pallaz held on for 2nd also breaking the old course record in 5-hours 55-minutes and Mityaev placed 3rd in 6-hours 7-minutes.

Allen’s wish came true – in the closing kilometers from the river bed, she extended her lead over the Russian and took top honors in 7-hours 4-minutes, her time just outside the course record.

Mityaev placed 2nd but looked exhausted and dehydrated when she crossed the line – a great weekend double for her! The previous day she had won the Santana Vertical Kilometer. Frost was expected next but news came in she had withdrawn on the beach section therefore opening the doorway for Catalan runner Eli Bertran. Mityaev and Bertran finished in 7-hours 34-minutes and 8-hours 35-minutes respectively.

‘USM is one of if not the hardest race I have ever done. It was relentless terrain of ups and downs, the variety is incredible and I loved the river bed section,” said Albon. ‘This race is up there with my all-time favourites. I will definitely be back!’

 

Attention now turns to Lugano next weekend were the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series continues with the Scenic Trail K113.

2017 Calendar HERE

Taming the Dragon – 2017 Dragons Back Race Preview

Jim Mann – The Berghaus Dragons Back Race

Travelling from the North of Wales to the South via the ‘Dragons Back’ – the 2017 edition of the Berghaus Dragons Back Race looks set to have all the makings of a classic. A gigantic 315km route awaits the runners as they make the journey over multiple days. 

Day 1 in its own right is a tough day in the mountains as the best of Wales provides a stunning backdrop and stage setter for the race. In past editions, the opening day has proved too much for many… will 2017 be the same? It’s expected that 30% of those who start will not begin day 2 – a frightening statistic! 

Jim Mann, winner of the 2015 edition of the race has decided to return and defend his crown. After a tough 2016, Jim has recently returned to form after in ‘Winter Round’ record breaking run. Mann completed the Charlie Ramsay Round, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round all within 1-month and set a new benchmark for the triple. 

British ultra-running pioneer Jez Bragg toed the line in 2015 but was forced to withdraw through illness, no doubt he will look to put the record straight in 2017. However, Cape Wrath 2016 champion Marcus Scotney will want to make sure he continues a winning streak of Ourea Events multi-day success with a strong performance.

Nickademus Hollon from the USA is well known in the ultra-world but may well fly under the radar of the UK based runners. Hollon was the youngest runner to complete the infamous Barkley and has placed 2nd at the Tor des Geants. He loves a challenge and although the UK mountains may well be new to him, we can anticipate a strong performance.

Alistair Hubbard and Neil Talbot may very well be the other prime contenders to take top honors on this journey through Wales. Hubbard has won the expert category on the Great Lakeland 3-Day – a great build up race to the Welsh multi-day adventure.

With the absence of Jasmin Paris, the ladies’ race is open but many are tipping Carol Morgan as a potential favorite. Her recent victory at The Spine is a standout result and it confirms that she can keep pushing even when tiredness and sleep deprivation are prevalent.

Sabrina Verjee is a regular Ourea Event competitor and participated in the 2015 Dragons Back Race where she placed 14th overall. It’s fair to say that Verjee has improved since then and she recently won the Great Lakeland 3-Day.

Italian Emanuela Marzotto came to running late in life and has made up for lost time with a sting of back-to-back performances in the world’s biggest ultras and multi-day races. Her experience in the Marathon des Sables was no doubt instrumental in her success in winning the 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra. Without doubt, she will have her hands full racing against Morgan and Varjee in Wales. 

A final nod goes to Canada’s Emily Compton who is a complete unknown on UK soil but she has accumulated a string of top-10 results dating back to 2012. Notable markers being 3rd at Vulcano Ultra Trail in 2013 and 5th at Yakima Skyline Rim 50k in 2016.

Action begins on May 20th when runners will arrive in Wales ahead of the May 21st start.

You can follow the daily action via this website in words and images and on Twitter – @talkultra and on Instagram – @iancorlessphotography

Episode 134 – Timothy Olson and Kate Driskell

Episode 134 of Talk Ultra brings you two interviews. Niandi Carmont talks with Kate Driskell who is about to take on an epic multi-day challenge and Ian talks with Timothy Olson about his return to the top of the podium. We have the news and Speedgoat is back to talk about winning again and his new film about the Appalachian Trail FKT.
00:05:50 INTERVIEW with KATE DRISKELL 
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Donate HERE
NEWS
The Three Peaks, UK
Tom Owens had victory in his grasp but went of course in the latter stage opening the doorway for Murray Strain. Tom finished 2nd and Chris Holdsworth 3rd – 2:49, 2:53 and 2:54 the times.
Victoria Wilkinson won once again and set a new CR 3:09:19. Nichola Jackson and Charlotte Morgan placed 2nd and 3rd.
The Canyons 100k
Bob Shebest and Cat Bradley took top honours results HERE
Highland Flag Race 
Rob Sinclair, Andrew Turkey and Michael Jones placed 1, 2 and 3 in 6:41 (new course record) 7:17 and 7:29.
Nicola Adams Hendry won in 8:16 ahead of Morgan Windram and Rachel Newstead in 8:37 and 8:55.
Thames Path 100
Mari Maurland and Michael Stocks took respective female and male victories in 16:55 and 14:57.
Zane Grey 50
Karl Meltzer won again in 9:32 and Amber Reimondo took the ladies honours in 11:29. Results HERE
Finally, mountaineering legend Ueli Steck was killed whilst in the Himalayas. Reports are mixed on what exactly happened, however, Steck was on Nuptse and apparently fell several 1000 feet to his untimely death. Outr thoughts go out to his family and the climbing community.
01:43:30 INTERVIEW with TIMOTHY OLSON
UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Northern Territory

TRACK Outback Race | 520 kilometers | May 17, 2017 | website

Queensland

Glasshouse 50 | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2017 | website
Glasshouse 80 | 80 kilometers | May 14, 2017 | website

Victoria

100km | 100 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
60 km | 60 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

52 km | 52 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website
Trail de Lesse 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website

Canada

Alberta

Run for the Braggin’ Rights | 50 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
Run for the Braggin’ Rights – Relay | 50 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

British Columbia

100K | 100 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50 Miles | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
The North Face Dirty Feet Kal Park 50 | 50 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website

Ontario

Seaton Trail 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Chile

Atacama Xtreme 100 Miles | 100 miles | May 19, 2017 | website
Atacama Xtreme 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 19, 2017 | website
Atacama Xtreme 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 19, 2017 | website

China

Trail de la Grande Muraille de Chine | 73 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website

Cyprus

Lionheart Run | 80 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm -100 Miles | 100 miles | May 05, 2017 | website
Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

France

Ain

La Promenade du Bûcheron | 70 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Drôme

Challenge du Val de Drôme | 153 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Les Aventuriers de la Drôme | 66 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Les Aventuriers du Bout de Drôme | 111 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Haute-Loire

50 km | 50 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website
80 km | 80 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website

Rhône

Ultra des Coursières | 102 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Var

12,5 km | 125 kilometers | May 14, 2017 | website

Yonne

The Trail 110 | 110 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
The Trail 63 | 65 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
The Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Yvelines

Trail des Cerfs – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2017 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Stromberg Extrem 54 KM | 54 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Juni | 108 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Hesse

Bilstein-Marathon BiMa 53+ | 53 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website

Greece

300 of Sparta | 378 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website
Euchidios Athlos 107.5 Km | 107 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Euchidios Hyper-Athlos 215 km | 215 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website
Heroes Ultra | 156 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Indonesia

100 km | 100 kilometers | May 05, 2017 | website
60 km | 60 kilometers | May 05, 2017 | website
Volcans de l’Extrême | 164 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website

Israel

Mountain to Valley Relay | 215 kilometers | May 10, 2017 | website

Italy

Lombardy

Laggo Maggiore Trail | 52 kilometers | May 07, 2017 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Trail | 90 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website

Kazakhstan

70 km | 70 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

Kenya

TSAVOEKIDEN | 84 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
TSAVORIDE | 84 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Tsavorun | 84 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Korea

100K | 100 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website
50k | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Madagascar

Semi Trail des Ô Plateaux | 65 kilometers | May 05, 2017 | website
Ultra Trail des Ô Plateaux | 130 kilometers | May 05, 2017 | website

Malta

55 km | 55 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

Martinique

Tchimbé Raid | 91 kilometers | May 05, 2017 | website

Mauritius

Royal Raid 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Morocco

3 étapes | 77 kilometers | May 19, 2017 | website
Trans Atlas Marathon | 280 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website
Trans Atlas Marathon “CHALLENGE” | 120 kilometers | May 12, 2017 | website

Netherlands

Drenthe

UltraRun van Gieten 50 kilometer | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Friesland

Pieter-ROG-pad Special Waddeneilanden | 450 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Kauri Ultra | 70 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Nicaragua

100k | 100 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50k | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Philippines

Hardcore Hundred Miles | 100 miles | May 19, 2017 | website
Mayon 360º | 80 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Spain

Balearic Islands

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls | 185 kilometers | May 19, 2017 | website
Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Nord | 100 kilometers | May 19, 2017 | website

Basque Country

100 km | 100 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

Canary Islands

Transvulcania Ultramaratón | 73 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail Picos de Europa 55 km | 55 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Bielersee Ultra-Marathon | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Bielersee XXL 100 Meilen | 100 miles | May 12, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Argyll and Bute

Kintyre Way Ultra Run | 66 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors Ultra 110 | 110 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

Perth and Kinross

110 Mile Ultra | 110 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
55 Mile Ultra | 55 miles | May 14, 2017 | website

Surrey

North Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website

Wiltshire

Marlborough Downs Challenge – 33 mile | 33 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

Worcestershire

Malvern Hills 105 Mile Ultra | 105 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
Malvern Hills 34 Mile Ultra | 34 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
Malvern Hills 44 Mile Ultra | 44 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
Malvern Hills 52 Mile Ultra | 53 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

USA

Alabama

Run for Kids Challenge 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

California

100 Miler | 100 miles | May 19, 2017 | website
200 Miler | 200 miles | May 18, 2017 | website
50 km | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50M Run | 50 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
Armstrong Redwoods 50K | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
Golden Gate Relay | 191 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
Gold Rush 50K | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
Horseshoe Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
Miwok 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
PCT50 Trail Run | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
Whoos in El Moro Race Spring Edition 50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Colorado

Greenland Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
Quad Rock 50 | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website

Georgia

Cruel Jewel 100 | 100 miles | May 19, 2017 | website
Cruel Jewel 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | May 19, 2017 | website

Idaho

Priest Lake 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Indiana

DWD Gnaw Bone 50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
DWD Gnaw Bone 50M | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website

Kansas

Rock On! Lake Perry 50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Maine

39.3 Mile Maine Coast Challenge | 39 miles | May 14, 2017 | website
Big A 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website

Massachusetts

43 Miler | 43 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
50 Miler | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
Ragnar Relay Cape Cod | 186 miles | May 12, 2017 | website

Michigan

Nevada

Vegas Valley Voyage 3 Day Assisted | 80 miles | May 11, 2017 | website
Vegas Valley Voyage 6 Day Assisted | 150 miles | May 11, 2017 | website

New Jersey

50K | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2017 | website

New Mexico

Cactus to Cloud Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

New York

50k | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
Kids Fun Run | 1000 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
Long Island Greenbelt Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

North Carolina

100 Mile | 100 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

Ohio

50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Oregon

50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
McDonald Forest 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Pennsylvania

50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50-Mile | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

South Carolina

Forest Freak 50k | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Knock on Wood 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 12, 2017 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
50k Ultra-marathon | 50 kilometers | May 06, 2017 | website
50 Mile Ultra-marathon | 50 miles | May 06, 2017 | website
50 Mile Ultra Relay | 50 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

Vermont

100 Miles | 100 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
200 Miles | 200 miles | May 11, 2017 | website
50 miles | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website

Virginia

100K | 100 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | May 06, 2017 | website

Washington

50 Miler | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
Lost Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website

Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | May 13, 2017 | website
Ice Age Trail 50M | 50 miles | May 13, 2017 | website
02:40:13
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Marathon des Sables 2017 Summary on IRUN4ULTRA

The 2017 Marathon des Sables concluded in April and here on IRUN4ULTRA is a summary of the daily action and a selection of images.

“It must be noted that the Marathon des Sables is so much more than elite runners going fast. The finish line is one full of stories, emotion, tears and laughter. The example of Louis from Luxembourg, Duncan Slater from the UK and so many more cannot go unnoticed.”

Go HERE to read the full post.

2017 IMAGE GALLERIES HERE

Episode 127 – Mario Fraioli and Stephanie Howe Violett

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 127 of Talk Ultra is here with an in-depth talk with coach Mario Fraioli and Stephanie Howe Violett who is back after injury, not only with a ladies’ win, but an outright victory at Bandera 100k and a slot for Western States. Niandi is going me as co-host.

00:01:28 Show Start

New Year and Talk Ultra needs your help! 

We are five year’s old this January and as a show we are proud that we have produced a wealth of content for free. The show will always be free! However, demands on time, production costs, editing really impact on Talk Ultra, therefore, if you love the show please help us out. We have set up a Patreon page and we are offering some great benefits for Patrons you can even join us on the show! This is the easiest way to support Talk Ultra and help us continue to create! 

Donate HERE

support_patreon

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is travelling the world many thanks for the support in purchasing the book. You can get a signed copy HERE. We mentioned in the last show about Running Beyond Event which will take place 3, 4 and 5th March in London, plans are progressing for that… in addition, Niandi and myself will now be in Amsterdam on Feb 3rd, 4th and 5th for a Trails in Motion event and Running Beyond book signing with Mud Sweat and Trails and I will be also going to Sofia in Bulgaria on the 17th, 18th and 19th March for a trail, mountain and Skyrunning expo.

00:14:17 NEWS

Bandera 100K

Steph Howe Violett 9:08 chicken the field and earned a WSER slot, Camille Herron 9:29 was 2nd and Nicole Kalogeropoulus was 3rd 10:06

Justin Ricks was 1st male and 2nd overall in 9:13, Jeff Ball 9:21 and Joel Frost Tift 3rd in 9:33

I caught up with Stephanie to talk about her great return to form after a year of injury, operations and fractures.

00:23:01 INTERVIEW with Stephanie Howe Violett

Hong Kong 100

Nuria Picas 11:18:57 2nd Linming Chen, 3rd Marie McNaughton, 4th Fuzhao Xiang, 5th Rachel Campbell

Yanqiao Yun 9:35:11 2n Daniel Jung, 3rd Sage Canaday, 4th Didrik Hermansen, 5th Tim Tollefson

In the UK The Spine is underway just as the snow and ice arrived.

On the last show we had an interview with Caroline Boller and with a new year starting and many of you planning a racing year, I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with Caroline’s coach, Mario Fraioli, and find out his thoughts on how to approach training and planning.

01:16:39 INTERVIEW with Mario Fraioli

UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Argentina

Columbia Cruce de los Andes | 90 kilometers | February 01, 2017 | website

Cambodia

Bayon Trail Angkor 64 km | 64 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Ultra Trail d’Angkor 128 km | 128 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Canada

Alberta

River Valley Revenge 50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Chile

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 01, 2017 | website

France

Dordogne

53 km | 53 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

53 km Relais (17+26+10) | 53 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

Essonne

Raid 28 | 80 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Semiraid 28 | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

Ultra Raid 28 | 120 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Eure

47 km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2017 | website

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Schwabacher Winter Ultra | 56 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Greece

1000K | 1000 kilometers | February 02, 2017 | website

1000 miles | 1000 miles | February 02, 2017 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike 50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Ian Priest Memorial Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

Portugal

Ultra Trilhos dos Abutres | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Lancashire

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Elite Course | 53 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Arizona

100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 21, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

50M | 50 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

52K | 52 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

California

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy 50km | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Florida

55K Ultra Individual Marathon (34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

55K Ultra Relay (each leg is 3.1 miles x 11 legs = 34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Clearwater Distance 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

IRONHEAD BROTHERS RELAY | 100 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 100M Run | 100 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 150M Run | 150 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 200M Run | 200 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 50 km Run | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 50M Run | 50 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 30, 2017 | website

New York

100 Miler | 100 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

North Carolina

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | January 21, 2017 | website

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Winter Buckeye Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

2-Person 50K Relay | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Horseshoe Trail Run 50k | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Washington

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

St. Croix Scenic 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 22, 2017 | website

02:22:57 Close

02:30:30

 

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Episode 107 – Lizzy Hawker, Ryan Sandes

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 107 of Talk Ultra. This show has so much content, we speak with Lizzy Hawker about her amazing 200km Kathmandu Valley FKT, Ryan Sandes talks about his 2015 and his new book, Trail Blazer. Gavin Sandford tells us about his amazing double Marathon des Sables challenge. Niandi catches up with past participants of the Big Red Run in Australia who will return in 2016 and Speedgoat is back from the AT.

00:01:30 Show Start

00:21:26 Niandi talks injured foot and Big Red Run

00:28:02 INTERVIEW Jamie Hildage, Big Red Run

Jamie Hildage ran the Big Red Run in Australia in a past edition and will return in 2016, Niandi caught up and had a chat about the unique challenges this race brings

01:00:51 NEWS

TRANSGRANCANARIA

1 – Didrik Hermansen 13:41:48

2 – Gediminas Grinius 13:45:08

3 – Pau Capell and Diego Pazos 14:11:02

1 – Caroline Chaverot 15:23:40

2 – Andrea Huser 17:21:43

2 – Uxue Fraile 17:28:05

WAY TO COOL 50K

David Roche 3:19

Jorge Maravilla 3:22

Dylan Bowman 3:23

Megan Roche 3:42

Yiou Wang 3:43

Anne Mae Flynn 3:59

UTMB line up announced for 2016 – wow! See HERE

01:26:11 INTERVIEW LIZZY HAWKER is back with an incredible 200km run around Kathmandu and 15000m of vertical gain. I caught up with Lizzy after 3-years in the run wilderness.

Lizzy’s race, Ultra Tour Monte Rosa has a few places available and you can enter HERE

02:00:19 INTERVIEW RYAN SANDES has a new book out called Trail Blazer. We caught up with Ryan, discussed his troubled 2015, what 2016 has in store and of course we found out about the book. Ryan asked a question in his interview, if you like to win a signed copy, you need to comment on these show note with the correct answer

03:11:56 INTERVIEW Gavin Sandford will attempt two Marathon des Sables in 2016 – a world first, all in the name of charity. You can donate HERE and contribute to his funding at Crowdfunder HERE. Talk Ultra have offered a place on the Lanzarote 2017 Training Camp (worth £800) to Gavin as a pledge to help him raise additional funds. This place will be available for £500 (saving the lucky person £300). It’s first come, first served!

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Queensland

Wildhorse Criterium 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

Wildhorse Criterium 70 km | 70 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

Croatia

Istratrek Trail Race | 60 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

France

Ariège

Trail des Citadelles – 70 km | 73 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

Eure

11km | 110 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

Haut-Rhin

Trail du Petit Ballon | 52 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

Morbihan

Trail du Kreiz Breizh Bras | 55 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

52 km | 52 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

Yvelines

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Germany

Hesse

Eschollbrücker Ultra-Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Nord Eifel Ultra | 56 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Greece

100k | 100 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

50k | 50 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Guadeloupe

GUADARUN : ultra-marathon des îles de Guadeloupe | 136 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Hungary

BSI Half Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 95 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Balatonfüred – Siófok | 51 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

Ireland

Dublin

Wicklow Way Ultra | 51 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Italy

Tuscany

Ultratrail delle Valli Etrusche | 50 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

Veneto

Ultrabericus | 65 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Malaysia

TITI 100KM | 100 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

TITI 50KM | 50 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

Morocco

Morocco Tizi N’Trail | 120 kilometers | March 25, 2016 | website

Nepal

Annapurna Mandala Trail | 250 kilometers | April 01, 2016 | website

Kathmandu West Valley Rim 50km | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

New Zealand

50 km Mountain Run | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Northburn Station 100 km Mountain Run | 100 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Triple Peaks Challenge | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Peru

ASIA Eco Trail 65K | 65 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Philippines

CEBU50 Trail Ultramarathon – Aspirant | 54 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

TRD80 Ultramarathon | 80 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Réunion

Caldeira Trail | 74 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Semi Transrun | 75 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Ultra | 140 kilometers | March 25, 2016 | website

South Africa

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon | 56 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Spain

Catalonia

Half | 60 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Ultra | 87 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Sweden

Silva Ursvik Ultra – 75 km | 75 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Andhra Pradesh

Oldham Way Ultra | 40 miles | March 20, 2016 | website

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

East Sussex

Coastal Trail Series – Sussex – Ultra | 34 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Highland

2XU Jogle | 860 miles | April 01, 2016 | website

Lancashire

The Canalathon 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

The Canalathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

The Canalathon 75 km | 75 kilometers | March 27, 2016 | website

Liverpool

Liverpool to Manchester Ultra | 47 miles | March 26, 2016 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors 55 Ultramarathon | 55 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Lake Martin 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Lake Martin 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Oak Moutain 50+ | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Alaska

White Mountains 100 | 100 miles | March 27, 2016 | website

Arizona

Old Man 52K | 52 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Ultra Adventures Monument Valley 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Ultra Adventures Monument Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Ultra Adventures Monument Valley 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 20, 2016 | website

Arkansas

3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 18, 2016 | website

California

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 100 Miler | 100 miles | March 31, 2016 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50K | 50 kilometers | March 31, 2016 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 31, 2016 | website

Canyon Meadow 50 Km Trail Run (March) | 50 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

Nine Trails 35 Mile Endurance Run | 35 miles | March 26, 2016 | website

Old Goats 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Old Goats 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 26, 2016 | website

Old West Trails 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 01, 2016 | website

Colorado

High Line Canal 100K | 100 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Florida

Cross Florida Route 40 Romp | 116 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Cross Florida Route 40 Romp – 2 Person Relay | 116 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Fort Clinch 100M | 100 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Fort Clinch 50M | 50 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Georgia

Georgia Death Race | 60 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Idaho

Pickled Feet 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | March 25, 2016 | website

Maryland

50K HAT Run | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Hat Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Mississippi

Spring Equinox 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Spring Equinox 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Nevada

Vegas Moonlight Ultra 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Badwater Cape Fear 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Badwater Cape Fear 51.4 Mile | 51 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

North Dakota

Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra Run Experience 100K | 100 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra Run Experience 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Pacific

Sac River Ultramarathon | 50 miles | March 23, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

Lt. J. C. Stone 50K UltraMarathon | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Mt. Tammany 10 | 40 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

South Carolina

XTERRA Hickory Knob Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Tennessee

Music City Trail Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Texas

Prickly Pear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

The Grasslands 50-Mile | 50 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Antelope Island 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Antelope Island 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 19, 2016 | website

Vermont

PEAK Snowshoe 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | March 18, 2016 | website

Virginia

Elizabeth’s Furnace Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Terrapin Mountain 50km | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Washington

Badger Mountain Challenge 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | March 25, 2016 | website

Badger Mountain Challenge 50k Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Badger Mountain Challenge 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | March 25, 2016 | website

Chuckanut 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

West Virginia

Haulin’ in the Holler 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 26, 2016 | website

Vietnam

50k | 50 kilometers | March 19, 2016 | website

Ultra ASIA Race | 160 kilometers | March 20, 2016 | website

03:41:13 CLOSE

Ian will be at UTAX HERE

03:43:29

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

The North Face #TNF Ultra Endurance Shoe Review

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3919A couple of weeks ago I took a look at the TNF Ultra TRII, I said then that TNF are really getting their act together with run shoes. The recent products from the brand have continued to impress and the addition of the ULTRA ENDURANCE adds another quality shoe that offers runners another option to tackle the trails. The current TNF line up is as follows:

ULTRA TRII read my review HERE

ULTRA CARDIAC read my review HERE

ULTRA MT read my review HERE

and the ULTRA ENDURANCE

In a review toward the end of 2015, when I compared many leading shoes against each other (not all shoes I must stress) the Ultra Cardiac very nearly took top honours, it was just pipped by the Scott Kinabalu Supertrac. (Read the review HERE).

If I did that review now, I strongly feel that the battle between the Scott Kinabalu Supertrac and the TNF Ultra Endurance may well be even closer but the Supertrac would still get the nod from me due to the outsole which is extreme and made from a superior wet traction rubber compound that works really well on a multitude of surfaces, overall comfort and flexibility.

To provide some clarification, we need to look at the current TNF line up and see how (in simple terms) the shoes are to be used so that you can decide which shoe is for you:

ULTRA TRII – Is a dry trail, light and fast shoe for a runner who like a more minimalist feel. Cushioning is 8mm/ 16mm and It has an 8mm drop.

ULTRA CARDIAC – Is a cushioned trail/ mountain shoe that feels plush, fits snugly and works well and on dry trail, wet rock and very moderate mud. Cushioning is 12mm/ 20mm and it has an 8mm drop.

ULTRA MT – Has an aggressive outsole and is designed for off-road use in mud, mountains and demanding terrain. Cushioning is 9mm/ 17mm and it has an 8mm drop.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3927

Enter the ULTRA ENDURANCE – 9mm/17mm with 8mm drop.

This new shoe from the TNF brand sits somewhere between the CARDIAC and MT and as you would expect, has an 8mm drop. I like this! But then again I would… I am a real fan of 8mm drop shoes and as I have said many times before, this drop sits in the perfect middle ground that can work for most people. TNF have obviously thought about this and hence the continuity between the ‘ULTRA’ range. It’s also fair to say that as the name suggests, the ‘ULTRA’ shoes are designed for running longer and therefore 8mm will be more forgiving.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3960

Slipping the shoe on, it does feel different to the CARDIAC but more similar to the MT. This primarily due to the gusseted tongue which is secured within the shoe – this holds the foot firmer and in addition reduces the chance of debris getting in the shoe. It’s a winning combination that I love.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3930

The front (toe box) is wider than both the CARDIAC and MT and therefore allows the toes to splay a little more. Protection at the front is excellent with a very reinforced toe box bumper that will definitely protect against all those unplanned collisions with rocks, stones or other debris.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3948

Heel box is plush, padded and holds the foot secure and has FlashDry technology.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3963

Key features of many TNF shoes is ‘Snake Plate’ and the ‘Cradle,’ these two elements are present here in the Ultra Endurance and add to the overall benefits of the shoe.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3941

Snake Plate adds protection to the forefoot of the shoe and protects against rocks/ impact and so on, TNF vary the plates from one shoe to the next depending on what they consider to be necessary. In other shoes this would be called a rock plate.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3932

The cradle is designed to hold the rear of the foot more secure and stable.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3938

The upper is breathable and most importantly seamless, therefore reducing the chance of rubbing, hot spots or the chance of blisters. The upper is welded TPU with suede overlays.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3944

The outsole is Vibram Megagrip which is making an appearance on countless shoes in the trail world. I need to clarify here that Vibram don’t only make one Megagrip outsole (see here). They do many variations, so, please check! A classic example is the outsole on say the TNF ULTRA CARDIAC and TNF ULTRA ENDURANCE – they use Megagrip but they each have three different variations of the product. The Ultra Cardiac having a more subtle version, the Ultra Endurance a more aggressive outsole for mixed terrain and to draw comparisons, the Scott Kinabalu Supertrace (has a special Scott outsole) that is basically just aggressive, extreme and made from a superior wet traction rubber compound that works really well on a multitude of surfaces.

For example:

Ultra Cardiac outsole:

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraCardiac-7017

Ultra Endurance outsole:

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3946

Scott Kinabalu Supertrac outsole:

©iancorless.com_ScottSupertrac-5061

Cushioning in the Ultra Endurance is single-density compression folded EVA which does a great job of allowing you to feel the ground but provide enough cushioning for a long day out.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3937

IN USE

The upper is seamless and snug and the gusseted tongue is a real pleasure which holds the foot firm. The toe box feels noticeably more roomy in comparison to say the Cardiac or MT.  The shoe feels relatively light but not super light. You really feel as though you are wearing a shoe that will take a battering. This in many respects is reflected in the shoes name, Ultra Endurance.

8mm drop for me is perfect, it provides a drop that allows me to run longer and when I can’t keep my form, the extra height allows for some compensation. As I mentioned above, this is obviously something that TNF have really thought about and the whole ‘Ultra’ range of shoes has an 8mm drop. This is also great as it means I can seamlessly move from one who to the other shoe without having a shock. A clear example of this is that I have been doing road runs in the Ultra TRII and I have been out in the really muddy stuff in the MT.

The shoe works well in mud but it’s not an out-and-out shoe for muddy trails, better get the MT if that is what you need. The Ultra Endurance is a great trail/ mountain shoe that works well and transitions from a multitude of surfaces. As I mentioned above, I believe it would give the Scott Kinabalu Supertrac a run for it’s money as a potential best ‘all rounder!’

To emphasise a point, if you were looking to but just one shoe that could handle many terrains and provide you with happy and many days out on the trail, then the Ultra Endurance would be a good place to start. It’s not a great road shoe, but it will gladly provide a cushioned and responsive ride for road sections between trail. It’s not an excellent performer in very muddy conditions but it does provide some grip that will allow you to progress. Where the shoe excels is when all these elements combine, say on a long training run, long hike or a race when you may well be mixing from road to trail, to rocks, to mud, to scree and so on, here the Ultra Endurance works so well.

It’s a shoe that excels of dry trail, rocky trail (wet or dry) and some road. It has actually become a real favourite when travelling when space is limited and I need a ‘one shoe does all’ scenario. Feel for the ground is good and has improved the more I have run. The first few runs felt a little hard and flat but the shoe bedded in nicely. The Vibram® Megragrip sole is as mentioned, almost becoming a standard feature on trail shoes. the version applied to the Ultra Endurance compliments the shoe perfectly.

Grip in mud is compromised, it always is in a shoe that is designed for trail. That is not a criticism as the shoe is definitely designed to be an all rounder. If you need out-and-out grip and a shoe that will just be used for soft-ground, mud, fells or other messy terrain, you’d be better looking at the TNF Ultra MT or a fell shoe from say inov-8 – the Mudclaw 300 for example is a great off-road shoe.

The heel box holds the foot secure with no slipping. It’s snug and reassuring.

The relatively seamless upper and sewn in tongue really holds the foot secure and has given me no hot spots. It’s a real bonus and it’s great to see that TNF are incorporating this more. For anyone who has used a Salomon S-Lab shoe with ‘endofit,’ a gusseted tongue really is just so much more comfortable. Although the TNF version is different to the Salomon version, similarities can be drawn.

The shoe has a neutral fit as does all the TNF ‘Ultra’ range and so therefore you could add an insert or orthotic if required. Drop is 8mm. Sizing is true to size, I take a UK9.5 in most shoes and my Ultra Endurance is UK9.5. However, due to the wider toe box the shoe does feel different to the Cardiac or MT so you may want to just make sure by trying in-store.

This is not the lightest shoe on the market but I don’t think that is really an issue. It’s not trying to be the lightest. What it does, is offer cushioning, protection and longevity in an attractive package that will last for many days, weeks and months. The colour-way of blue and yellow also looks pretty swish.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraEndurance-3952

Conclusion

This shoe is a great all-rounder and may well be a perfect ‘one shoe’ purchase for anyone who is looking for something that can do many things well. It excels on dry trails and loose surfaces such as scree, stones, sand etc. Grip from the Vibram sole is good on wet rocks and the shoes transition from trail to road well and the cushioning allows for plenty of happy miles.

The Ultra Endurance can handle mud as part of a mixed terrain trail run but if you wanted an out-and-out shoe for muddy trail, this is not it. It’s a really solid shoe with some serious toe protection, a plus for anyone heading out into mountainous terrain.

I have been working with and running myself in harsh, rocky, desert like terrain in Lanzarote, La Palma and so on and I think the Ultra Endurance would potentially make a great shoe for someone participating in a multi-day race like the Marathon des Sables. The combination of features sits well, the slightly wider toe box, protection, grip and cushioning all combine to make it a great shoe for such an adventure. I will feedback on this after the 2016 Marathon des Sables where I will test the shoe daily.

To draw a comparison, I think those runners who have enjoyed the inov-8 Race Ultra 290 will find the TNF Ultra Endurance very appealing. The plus side being the TNF who has more grip.

The TNF ULTRA ENDURANCE alternative colour-way

The-North-Face-Ultra-Endurance-Shoes-SS16-Offroad-Running-Shoes-Silver-Grey-Pompeian-SS16-2

The inov-8 RACE ULTRA 290

Inov-8-Race-Ultra-290-Shoes-SS16-Offroad-Running-Shoes-Grey-Red-Black-SS16-5054167431

The downsides are minimal for me. It’s a slightly heavier shoe and I have touched on the reasons why above. Longevity in TNF shoes has been an issue in the past so I will hold judgement on this and feedback. Currently after 100+ miles of mixed terrain, the shoes are holding up well with no issues.

The North Face say: With its Vibram® Megagrip outsole, Snake Plate™ forefoot protection and Ultra Protect™ CRADLE™ stability, the Ultra Endurance will keep you tearing up the trail without tearing up your feet. CRADLE™ technology provides extra heel stability on uneven terrain, a gusseted tongue keeps loose trail debris out, while the rigid-yet-flexible ESS Snake Plate™ delivers on lightweight, heavy duty forefoot protection.

▪Welded TPU and suede mid-foot support overlays

▪Molded-TPU toe cap for protection

▪Gusseted tongue for protection from trail debris

▪Ultra Protect™ CRADLE™ heel-stability technology

▪Single-density, compression-molded EVA midsole

▪Vibram® Megagrip outsole for durable sticky traction in all conditions

▪ESS Snake Plate™ forefoot protection

▪Cushioning 9mm front/ 17mm rear

▪8 mm offset

▪Weight per shoe 260g+/- for a UK8

▪Approximate Weight Pair: 510 g

TNF Technologies explained:

Snake Plate™

The patent-pending Snake Plate™ consists of a forefoot plate that winds back and forth between the medial and lateral sides of the foot. Because it is not one solid element, it is not as uncompromisingly rigid from side to side and front to back. The result is a forefoot plate that allows the foot to do what it is physiologically designed to do: flex, bend, and contort to changing terrain. At the same time, the Snake Plate™ delivers rigidity where and when it is still needed. The thickness, composition and size of the Snake Plate™ vary from style to style as appropriate. For example, a thicker, more rigid Snake Plate™ addresses the technical, ever-changing demands of a mountain run. A thinner, more flexible Snake Plate™ reconciles flexibility with a decreased demand for protection while on smoother dirt paths.

Vibram® Outsole Technologies

The North Face® collaborated with Vibram, long respected for quality and durability, to create various outsoles (Vibram® Humbolt Outsole, Vibram® Mikeno Outsole, Vibram® Walsh Outsole, and Vibram® Rubber Outsole Compound) with superior traction, stability and protection.

Ultra Protect™

A shank plate for torsional rigidity and consistent underfoot feel.

The North Face #TNF Ultra TRII Shoe Review

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06121

I keep saying it but TNF are really getting their act together with run shoes, no doubt the signings of Timmy Olson, Rob Krar and so on are having a huge influence in how the brand not only look at run shoes, but design them. The Ultra TRII is a shoe that has elite (or should I say fast) runners written all over it. It’s a light shoe designed to tackle long runs that can include road and dry trail trail. Ultralight, this durable running shoe has been designed with a glove-like fit and the non aggressive Vibram® soles provides excellent traction.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06080

The TRII is an update to the award-winning Ultra TR and the shoe has the same exceptional traction and featherlight ripstop construction that has taken influences from track shoes or a racing flat.

The TRII has an 8mm drop which for me is just perfect, I keep saying it but 8mm (for me) is the perfect all round drop and particularly when running longer, the 8mm allows for a little more leeway when technique gets sloppy with fatigue.

 

These shows feel fast before you even run in them. A neutral shoe, they are designed for runners with a good run style. When you slip them on, they feel like slippers and the tongue of the shoe is attached to the upper enhancing that glove like feel. Toe protection is minimal but the shoe has ‘Snake Plate’ and the TNF ‘Cradle’ to offer excellent protection for road or trail.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06087

The heel ‘Cradle’ in particular is something that TNF have used for sometime and it most certainly helps with foot positioning, support and energy return.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06095

The shoe has ‘Airmesh’ and is designed to keep the foot cool and thus avoid hot spots, using FlashDry™ fibres in the lining adds to the plush feel. The upper is ripstop fabric from the tent industry and it therefore should be very durable. The shoe has a suede forefoot and the black/ silver upper contrasts nicely against the brightly coloured sole.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06098

Cushioning is good with 8mm at the front and 16mm at the rear, drop as mentioned is 8mm. The weight is very good at 230g (UK8).

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06110

The sole is Vibram, say no more. It works exceptionally well for its intended use; dry trail, rocky terrain or road.

In Use

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06073

The shoe feels great the first time you slip it on and the upper is seamless and snug. The shoe feels light and fast but yet it still has plenty of cushioning for long runs.

8mm drop for me is perfect, it provides a drop that allows me to run longer and when I can’t keep my form, the extra height allows for some compensation, especially with the 16mm cushioning at the rear.

The shoe is not for muddy runs, not at all. It’s a shoe that excels of dry trail, rocky trail (wet or dry) and road. It has actually become my preferred road shoe and at least once or twice a week I have used this shoe for shorter/ faster road sessions. They feel great and actually encouraged me to run faster. Feel for the ground is great and the Vibram® full-length road-to-trail outsole engineered for optimal traction and balance really does a great job.

On trail, the shoes feel great and for example, I can see this shoe have a great influence from Rob Krar. I can almost certainly see him blazing a trail to another Western States victory in a shoe like the TRII. As mentioned, it’s a dry trail shoe and on the odd occasion when I have encountered mud, the shoe has had little grip. That is not a criticism as the shoe is definitely not designed for anything other than dry, slick or rocky trail.

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06082

The heel box holds the foot secure with no slipping. It’s snug and reassuring. The toe box is generous but not wide, so you would need to try the shoes on if you have a wider foot. Because this shoe is designed for faster running and due to the influences from track spikes, the TRII should have a snug feel as this adds to the security when running on technical trail. It’s all about personal preferences, for me, they are spot on!

©iancorless.com_TNFUltraTRII-06099

The relatively seamless upper and sewn in tongue really holds the foot secure and has given me no hot spots, the very breathable upper obviously adds to this.

Sizing is true to size. I use a UK9.5 and this shoe fits perfectly.

Conclusion

Using the ripstop technology and minimising cushioning definitely has definitely paid off. The upper is very breathable, the laces are slightly textured and stay fastened; ideal! The Vibram sole has enough grip for the intended purpose.

It’s a great shoe for those who want something light, fast, 8mm drop and will run on road and dry trail. It’s not an all rounder and therefore if you are looking for a ‘one shoe does all’ this is not it. It’s a shoe to add to other shoes and one that you will use every now and gain for specific runs. It would make a great race shoe.

Fernanda Maciel summits Aconcagua

Image ©FernandaMaciel - The North Face, Red Bull, Compressport

             Image ©FernandaMaciel – The North Face, Red Bull, Compressport

Fernanda Maciel (The North Face, Red Bull, Compressport) reached the summit of Aconcagua – ascent and descent time of Aconcagua, Argentina (6962m) in 14 hours, 20 minutes.

Following in the footsteps of Kilian Jornet (here) and Karl Egloff (here), Fernanda has gone on to say:

I left the Base Camp at 5am to the summit. The dawn plenty of stars and moon was inspiring me, the mountain was all white because it had snowed a lot the day before my intent. I felt motivated and grateful to have such a beautiful night on the mountain. When I reached 5,500m (Nido de Condores) my toes were frozen, I had to stop and warm up them for a few minutes on the fire of a jetboil. Then I kept strong with good feelings towards the summit, but I was very slow in each sections because there was too much snow. Impossible to run or walk fast because I had to open tracks until the ascent. The Travesia (6.200m) was a long section having snow covering my knee. One of my crampons’s broken there. When I arrived in Canaleta (6.700m) the sky was dark, the snow storm started and I could not see anything ahead. I went up with difficulty but lucky to have good feelings in so high altitud. After 9h50min I reached the summit (around 3pm) and I felt like a bird, exhausted but with wings to fly free. A sensation of being in a vacuum, without tears, without smiles, just observing my breath and my passion for the mountains from my heart. I loved being there with a calm soul. I’ve been in Aconcagua summit with a blue sky before, but now everything was White. – Fernanda Maciel

I caught up with Fernanda yesterday, Sunday 8th Feb just as she returned back to her hotel to recover. You can hear the interview HERE and in the next episode of Talk Ultra.

Fernanda Maciel ©iancorless.com

Fernanda Maciel ©iancorless.com

 

Listen directly below:

Episode 98 – Wolfe Leventhal Cameron

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 98 of Talk Ultra is a packed show, we speak with Mike Wolfe about his epic Crown of Continent Traverse with Mike Foote. Shirt Leventhal, ladies winner of Atacama talks about racing multi-day races and Sarah Cameron tells us how cycling made her a excel at running. The News, Up and Coming Races and Niandi co-hosts.

00:01:35 Show Start

00:10:21 NEWS

Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities HERE

TRAINING CAMP in Lanzarote with Elisabet Barnes 28th Jan to Feb 4th HERE

TEMPLIERS

1 – Ellie Greenwood 7:58

2 – Jasmin Nunige 8:04

3 – Anne Lise Rousset 8:24

1 – Benoit Cori 6:44

2 – Nicolas Martin 6:47

3 – Tofol Castanyer 6:48

RAID DE LA REUNION

1 – Antoine Guillon 24:17:40

2 – Sebastien Camus 24:41:50

3 – Freddy Thevenin 25:17:48

1 – Nuria Picas 28:11:14

2 – Emelie Lecomte 28:12:32

3 – Andrea Husser 28:38:53 and on the last show we mentioned that she won UTAT

MOURNE SKYLINE MTR report and images HERE

1 – Ian Bailey 3:51:22 new CR

2 – Dan Doherty 4:04:07

3 – Eoin Lennon 4:07:45

1 – Diane Wilson 4:33:26

2 – Helen Brown 4:42:12

3 – Shilled O’Kane 4:50:19

UTWT 2015 Ranking

1 – Antoine Guillon

2 – Gediminas Grinius

3 – Freddy Thevenin

1 – Nuria Picas

2 – Dong Li

3 – Nathalie Maculair

AUTUMN 100 in the UK 

1 – James Elson 14:35:40

2 – Chris Brookman 15:06:53

3 – Duncan Oakes 15:19:29

1 – Sarah Morwood 16:13:58

2 – Sally Ford 18:11:31

3 – Melissa Arkinstall 18:51:14

ENTRY FOR WESTERN STATES

Golden ticket races

BANDERA 100K

SEAN O’BRIAN 100K

BLACK CANYON 100K

GEORGIA DEATH RACE

GORGE WATERFALLS 100K

LAKE SONOMA 50K

UTMB

New points system 2016 will accept old and new but from 2017 new system only – http://ultratrailmb.com/fr/page/87/Liste%20des%20courses%20qualificatives.html

In summary old system required 9-points from 3-races for UTMB, new system will be 15-points from 3 races. CCC/ TDS was 3 from 2 and now 7 from 2 and OCC was 1 from 1 and now 3 from 2.

00:24:28 INTERVIEW 

SHIRI LEVENTHAL

01:13:30 TALK TRAINING

with SARAH CAMERON check out Cycling for Runners HERE

01:56:40 INTERVIEW

MIKE WOLFE

CROWN OF THE CONTINENT TRAVERSE

Mike Wolfe and Mike Foote run an incredible 600-mile FKT from Missoula to Banff. We will have both Mike’s on the next Talk Ultra to tell us all about it. Read HERE

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Noroeste Argentina Trail – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 03, 2015 | website

Noroeste Argentina Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 03, 2015 | website

Puna Inca Trail | 200 kilometers | November 05, 2015 | website

Australia

New South Wales

Carcoar Cup Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Queensland

Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

Canada

Ontario

50 km | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Colombia

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

North Face Endurance Challenge Columbia – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

Estonia

Haanja Jala100 – 100 km | 100 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

France

Aveyron

Trail des Hospitaliers | 75 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

Marne

SPARNATRAIL classique | 55 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

KILL 50 | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bottroper Herbstwaldlauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Salomon LT 70 | 70 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

India

Karnataka

100 km | 100 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

75 km | 75 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

West Bengal

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Indonesia

Bromo Tengger Semeru 102K | 102 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 170K | 170 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website

Bromo Tengger Semeru 70K | 70 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website

Martinique

Le Défi Bleu | 58 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

TransMartinique | 133 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Morocco

150 km | 150 kilometers | November 05, 2015 | website

90 km | 90 kilometers | November 05, 2015 | website

Namibia

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 13, 2015 | website

Nepal

Everest Trail Race | 160 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Manaslu Trail Race | 212 kilometers | November 10, 2015 | website

Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

New Zealand

60 km | 60 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 06, 2015 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Oman

Oman Desert Marathon | 165 kilometers | November 06, 2015 | website

Peru

Amazon Race Forest 65k | 65 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Portugal

Azores Triangle Adventure | 103 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Trail Europe Croisière | 90 kilometers | November 04, 2015 | website

Sweden

Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Derbyshire

Dusk’til Dawn Ultra | 50 miles | October 31, 2015 | website

Kirklees

White Rose Ultra 60 Mile | 60 miles | November 01, 2015 | website

Northamptonshire

Druids Challenge Ridgeway Multistage Ultra | 84 miles | November 06, 2015 | website

Stirling

Glen Ogle 33 Ultra | 33 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Uruguay

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 100K Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 60K Ultra | 60 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Pinhoti 100 | 100 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Arizona

100K | 100 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | October 31, 2015 | website

California

CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Nov) | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Rio Del Lago 100M | 100 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Two Cities Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 01, 2015 | website

Florida

Regular Team (3-6 runners) | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Ultra Team (2 runners) | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Georgia

Georgia Sky to Summit 50k | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Indiana

Owen Putnam State Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Owen Putnam State Forest 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Kansas

Kingman Kong Runathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Stone Cat 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Missouri

Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Nevada

Bootlegger 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Las Vegas | 195 miles | November 06, 2015 | website

New Jersey

NJ Trail Series One Day – 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

New York

Mendon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Oklahoma

Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 08, 2015 | website

Oregon

50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 K Race | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 60 K Race | 60 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 70 K Race | 70 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | October 31, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 100 Miler | 100 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50K | 50 kilometers | October 30, 2015 | website

Big Cedar Endurance Run 50 Miler | 50 miles | October 30, 2015 | website

Muleshoe 50K | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Virginia

Mountain Masochist Trail Run | 50 miles | November 07, 2015 | website

Washington

First Call Veterans Day 50K (November) | 50 kilometers | November 07, 2015 | website

Vietnam

120 km | 120 kilometers | November 10, 2015 | website

70 km | 70 kilometers | November 10, 2015 | website

02:30:15 CLOSE

02:36:03

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com