Episode 36 – Ultrapedestrian Ras, Kremer, Calitz, Davies, Cardelli, Browy


Episode 36 of Talk Ultra – Stevie Kremer and AJ Calitz talk to us from Zegama-Aizkorri. We speak to Brendan Davies and Beth Cardelli respective winners from TNF100 in Australia. An inspirational 15 minutes of fame with Eric Browy, Talk Training is about Knees with Mitch from StrideUK. Our interview is with UltraPedestrian Ras. Speedgoat (Karl Meltzer) is back, we have a blog, the news and of course, the up and coming races.

Show Notes:

00:00:45 Start
00:16:30 News with Speedgoat
00:24:50 AJ Calitz talks to Ian after his run at Zegama-Aikorri.

Trail runner Andre ‘AJ’ Calitz is a record-setting South African trail runner. Over the past two years he has won numerous local races, frequently setting new records on challenging courses. He is sponsored by the outdoor brand K-Way. In just the past six months Calitz ascended Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge a record 11 times between sunrise and sunset to win the K-Way Platteklip Charity Challenge. He then won the two-day Grootvadersbosch Trail Run, where he set new records on both days. At the end of August, running in wind and rain, Calitz won the 80-kilometre Hi-Tec Peninsula Ultra Fun Run (PUFfeR) and set a new record time of six hours, 59 minutes and 36 seconds, becoming the first runner to set a sub-7 hour time on the original, full-distance route. In 2012 Calitz placed second at The Otter, a 42-kilometre trail run on the iconic Otter Hiking Trail. Even more impressive was that Andre, together with race winner Iain Don-Wauchope, became the first runners to break the 4h30 barrier. Both runners broke the course record set last year by Ryan Sandes. Although Calitz is a relative newcomer to trail running, his pedigree is impressive. He has been a multiple All Africa Triathlon Champion, South African Duathlon and Triathlon Champion and South African Cycling Champion. He also holds silver medals for Two Oceans and Comrades finishes.

00:46:00 Back to News
00:50:20 Stevie Kremer talk to Ian after a stunning third place Zegama-Aizkorri.
Stevie Kremer, burst on the U.S. trail running scene  with a few notable races in Colorado. She moved to Italy in 2012 and performed beyond expectations at Sierre-Zinal with an incredible second place. Stevie finished seventh in the World Mountain Running Championships 8.8K uphill race on Sept. 2 in Temu-Ponte di Legno, Italy, and then won the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge at the 42.2K Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland the following weekend.
01:04:35 News
01:07:25 Brendan Davies not only won the TNF 100 in Australia but he broke Kilian Jornet’s two year old course record.
I live in the Blue Mountains and work in Western Sydney. In my day job, I am a Special Education school teacher; kids call me Mr D.  I’ve been a school teacher for over 10 years and love it. It has been both a very challenging and rewarding career thus far. But I am a runner, always have been and always will be. I have recently been selected on the International Inov-8 team – a dream come true which will take me wider and further than I ever thought, to some of the most spectacular places on Earth like Mt Fuji and Mt Blanc. Another great honour was to be named by my ultra running peers and the governing body of ultra running in Australia – AURA, as the 2012 Australian Ultra Runner of the Year.
01:20:06 Beth Cardelli topped the podium in the ladies race at TNF100.
I really only started running after being involved with my husbands 2007 Sydney Trailwakler Team. We had a pretty slow time and I knew I could do the distance a lot faster. Since then I have focused on becoming a better runner. HERE
01:32:50 Back to News
01:43:50 BlogRob Krar on iRunFar HERE
01:48:40 Talk Training with Mitch from Stride UK
02:12:55 Interview with Ultrapedestrian Ras – website HERE
I expound my ideas, experiences, philosophies and half-assed schemes simply as documentation of the immense blessing that is my life. I am uneducated and underemployed, and in many ways not what is typically considered a productive member of society, and my words should be understood within this context.
02:51:55 Meltzer Moment with Speedgoat
02:59:00 15 Min of Fame with Eric Browy

After throwing away a scholarship and getting kicked out of college for partying too much, my guest enlisted in the Army in June of 2002. As soon as he arrived at his unit, he was deployed to Iraq in the beginning of 2003, here he truly learned the meaning of what a Soldier was and more than anything that just because someone was not his blood they could be his brother. His brother had been killed when he was younger and he had gone through life not expecting to every have that relationship with anyone again. He found that in the Army. After returning home, with less people than we departed with he struggled while being back at Ft. Hood, He didn’t admit that he had any problems, It was a difficult thing for him to handle all of the loss that had happened while being deployed so he just “soldiered on” and self-medicated himself with alcohol and partying in my non-working hours. In 2005 he was deployed again and he was injured in March  2006. Team RWB HERE
03:23:25 Races
03:27:00 Close


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Brendan Davies – what’s next?

Brendan Davies TNF100 supplied by Brendan Davies

Brendan Davies TNF100 supplied by Brendan Davies

I first spoke to Brendan Davies (36) in the latter part of 2012. A schoolteacher, he was motivated by the escape that running provided. On the horizon was the Tarwaera Ultra in New Zealand. This race was being billed as the really big kick-start to the 2013 season. It had a stacked field with Sage Canaday, Timothy Olson, Anton Krupicka (who didn’t race), members of the Salomon International Team and of course all the local talent such as Vajin Armstrong, Mick Donges and Grant Guise. Brendan was relishing the opportunity to race… deep down though he had a bucket list. Brendan had a desire to travel and to race the best ultra runners in the world. As 2012 came to a close and 2013 started, Brendan was rewarded for his commitment, dedication and ability with a position in the Inov-8 International Team. Dreams would become a reality…

IC: Brendan, it is great to catch up with you once again.

BD: Thanks Ian, it is great to be back

IC: The last time we spoke you had aspirations for racing in Europe and a calendar that would fulfill your bucket list. 2013 is looking great… you must be happy.

BD: Absolutely. I have some great races planned. I have raced at Tarawera, UTMF and now TNF100. I go to Europe in June for Mont Blanc marathon and I hope to do UTMB.

IC: That would be awesome; UTMF was quite a race and a new experience. You had a great race in 5th place but I guess very different to racing in Australia?

BD: Definitely, the amount of elevation and the length of the climbs is just something else. You can’t get that in Australia. We don’t have the high mountain ranges. Our mountains are hills in world standards. We have hills not long climbs. I was certainly tested on the long climbs… what I found is that European men can go uphill so much quicker. They had a better technique. Something I really need to work on. I was slower on the climbs.

IC: I guess from your perspective when you train at home in NSW (New South Wales) you always run. I know that may sound stupid but if you train in the high mountains you have no option, particularly around Chamonix; it just isn’t possible to run everything. You must become efficient at hiking and walking. I guess you are going to work on that?

BD: Absolutely, that is probably the most important thing I learnt at UTMF. If I had the opportunity to race at UTMF again that is the thing I would really work on. I made the mistake of not doing enough research but I never anticipated the walking aspect. It is something I am now going to work on and I will find tough climbs and I will work and work to get stronger for the European races.

IC: What is it like racing in Japan; I would imagine the Japanese are passionate?

BD: Oh yes, they love the running. We had Japanese men in the field and the crowd really got behind them. Great organization and the RD put loads of effort into making everyone feel welcome. The race itself was very difficult. 9000m+ of elevation but I thought it may have been runnable… it definitely wasn’t. It was scrambling and rock climbing in sections. Massive climbs that gave you no opportunity for a rhythm. Thankfully road sections between climbs kept me in the race. Early on I was in 3rd place and then on the first big climb the European men such as Seb Chaigneau and Julien Chorier just pulled away. They cleaned me up on the climb. The race fluctuated for me. I finally settled into 5th place and I held that.

IC: I presume weather was an important factor. Japan at this time of the year must be chilly.

BD: It was nice during the day. The locals said how lucky we had been to get sunshine. However at night it dropped below zero. At the highest point of the course it was very cold.

IC: The experience at the finish, they had a local winner so I guess that must have been fantastic for the locals, however, for you it must have been emotional. This was a big race and big learning curve.

BD: I was absolutely over the moon. I can’t explain the emotions. It was just such an epic and brutal event.  When I saw the finish I took my pack off, threw it in the air and high fived the crowd. It was such a relief. I was overcome by emotion. It was such a tough event. I used every trick in the book to get to the finish. My body and mid were absolutely smashed at the end… I had given it everything!

IC: Nice to hear that even the elite have to fight hard and dig deep to reach the finish line. What was your lowest point?

BD: I don’t think I really had a low point in the race. My nutrition and hydration went really well. I was happy. If I had a low point it was probably the last leg. It had the most brutal climb I have ever done in my life. This beat everything and I am including rock climbing. I had to scramble, it was muddy, it was so tough and it went on and on. At the top it went on for 7km and switched back on itself repeatedly. It was just incredibly tough. My quads were smashed to oblivion.

IC: How was your recovery post UTMF?

BD: I had some rest and I had some massage. Everything post UTMF was all about getting ready for the TNF 100. It is Australia’s biggest race.

Brendan Davies - Inov-8

Brendan Davies – Inov-8

IC: TNF 100, what an incredible race eh? Not only did you win it but also you set a new CR!

BD: I feel pretty good today; I think it is all just sinking in. It has hit me what I achieved. I never expected it, a real bonus to set the new CR too. Actually I had no idea of my time in the race. It was only when I finished that I found out the time. I knew I was having a strong race because I know that course and I was running sections that sometimes I walk, so, I knew it was going to be good.

IC: What do you put it down too? You have been super motivated this year. In our previous chats you have said what you would like to do and achieve. Everything is now falling into place with Inov-8, the International Team, a top five at UTMF, do you think that you are in a really good place with your running at the moment? Also, UTMF was only a few weeks ago but you obviously recovered and came back stronger from that experience?

BD: I truly believe that everything I have done in the last six years has been building to the performance at the TNF 100. This year in particular I have been so focused about my running and where and what I wanted to achieve. All those little 1% gains and ticking boxes. It is paying off. I have been waiting for a performance like this; I knew it wasn’t far away. Certainly UTMF and TNF were two big races. I was always going to run both and race them. Months ago I treated them like a block of races. I planned a way to recover from UTMF and use it as a way to benefit the TNF 100. I truly believe UTMF prepared me mentally plus having the aerobic capacity to run 100 miles almost made 100km insignificant. Instead of struggling at the back end of the 100km I had a lot more power in the 80-100km section. So, doing 100 miles as most definitely helped. The hills at UTMF were so much harder, the course was tougher and in comparison TNF 100 was easier so it put me in a great place.

IC: After UTMF that was one thing we discussed, UTMF was such an eye opener for you that it made you realize what else was out there. Suddenly what was difficult on home ground suddenly became easier and your mental balance shifted

BD: Absolutely. Shona Stephenson and I both said the same thing after UTMF. Of course, you can’t just say that and not have a plan. I went straight into recovery mode post UTMF, I didn’t train much but I kept my race legs by doing a half marathon and a 10k. I thought it was a good plan. Both high intensity races that would keep my race legs. The TNF 100 is the no1 race in Australia. It is what counts.

IC: Makes perfect sense. When you have raced 100 miles and then three weeks later you are not going to get any fitter, what you need is recovery and maintaining your top edge. Exactly what you did!

BD: Exactly my plan. UTMF essentially was my last long, long run for UTMF. I saw that as a positive.

IC: Going into the race, Ryan Sandes was without doubt the favorite so what was your thought process when he dropped at CP2?

BD: No, no way. I met Ryan last year and he is a great guy. I have always welcomed international guests to our races. I want the sport to grow in Australia and Ryan is a real powerhouse in the sport. I look at it, as he is someone to test myself against. I have been able to run against Kilian and Ryan, I have watched them, studied them and I have emulated what they have done. I have listened and learned and I have got a little bit closer each year.

IC: Well you surpassed your expectations this year. It is quite incredible. When Ryan dropped at CP2 that left you out in front dictating the pace is that something you don’t mind?

BD: I lead from the front, pretty much from Km 1. You have a little out and back section just after CP2 and it is great as you get to see the competition. I turned and expected to see Ryan. But it was Vajin Armstrong and I had no sign of Ryan so I assumed something must have gone wrong. I didn’t let it affect my performance. I have raced Vajin several times and he has had the better of me, so I respected him as much as Ryan. It kept me motivated to keep going. I didn’t look back; I don’t believe it is a good thing. I needed to keep going and run my own race. Even at the finish I was asking if anyone was on my tail. Running at the front you run scared, you need to be motivated.

IC: The Blue Mountains are your home territory; I guess you know these trails like the back of your hand. What’s it like to win and set a CR on home soil?

BD: It is so special for me. I was in a race that has a small community. The ultra running community is small. I know so many people in the race, front, middle and back. It was so special to share the moment with so many people. The race is in my back yard. It is very significant. A very special moment to be able to share it.

IC: Southern Hemisphere running is going through a renaissance, you, Shona Stephenson, Beth Cardelli, Ruby Muir, Vajin Armstrong amongst others are leading the way. What does the future hold in store for you all?

BD: We are going to be more of a force in international big races. We are going to encourage a new generation of ultra trail runners. I was speaking to people after TNF 100, I spoke to a guy who was 21yrs old who finished seventh, he came up to me and humbled me by saying that I was his inspiration. Many others said this. That touches me and it also signifies how the sport is growing. We are going to get a new breed of runners that are faster, better and more focused than myself. They will lead to the way and it will go from strength to strength.

IC: You are in Europe for the Mont Blanc marathon in June. You will be representing Inov-8 as part of the International Team, how excited are you about being part of this team but also running in the Skyrunning calendar.

BD: I am honored. I have always worn inov-8 so when I was asked on to the team it was such a great honor. To be around other international runners will be a great experience. I also think my Inov-8 teammate Shona Stephenson will really prove what a great runner she is when she gets to Europe. She has gone from strength-to-strength. The longer the race the better she goes. I am really excited to see the other athletes too to see what they can do. I will be a great experience. I am just really happy that Inov-8 has backed us.

IC: Brilliant, what lies ahead for you post Mont Blanc?

BD: Possibly Ice Trail Tarantaise but I am not sure it will fit in my schedule, we shall see. Maybe I will come back to Australia and then I will focus on the road. I want to get my road marathon time under 2:30, I did a 50k in Canberra two weeks before UTMF and I could have gone under 2:30 in that race. So, that will be on my agenda leading up to the world 100k championships in late October in South Africa. I would like to be in the 6:30’s for 100k. So, the latter half of 2013 will be about road running.

IC: Look forward to catching up in Europe. Certainly 2013 is going to be a really exciting year for you.

BD: Thanks so much Ian.

TNF 100 Results:


  1. Brendan Davies 09:16:12 new CR beating Kilian Jornet’s previous best
  2. Vajin Armstrong 09:42:22
  3. Andrew Tuckey 09:44:52


  1. Beth Cardelli 11:01:08 (12th overall)
  2. Joanne Brischetto 11:44:35
  3. Shona Stephenson 11:45:38



  • TNF 100 full race results HERE
  • Skyrunning Calendar HERE
  • Inov-8 HERE
  • Brendan Davies : runmrd.blogspot.co.uk

Beth Cardelli – TNF 100, Australia

courtesy of - bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk

courtesy of – bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk

Beth Cardelli (33) only started running in 2007. Just this past weekend, Beth blasted around the TNF 100 course in Australia and set a new course record breaking her own previous best by some seventeen minutes.

In such a short space of time she has had an incredible rise in the sport. Stand out performances have been:


  • The North Face 100km 2009 – 13:32 2nd
  • Sydney Trailwalker 100km 2009 – 13:25 1st
  • Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail Marathon 2009 – 3:32 1st


  • Bogong to Hotham 64km 2010 – 9:00 1st
  • The North Face 100km 2010 – 12:16 1st
  • Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail Marathon 2010 – 3:17 1st
  • Great North Walk 100M 2010 – 25:23 1st CR


  • Bogong to Hotham 64km 2011 – 8:14 1st CR
  • Cradle Mountain 82km 2011 – 9:46 1st
  • Six Foot Track 45km 2011 – 4:10 3rd
  • Mt Solitary 45km 2011 – 5:39 1st CR
  • San Fancisco Zombie Runner Half Marathon (USA) 2011 – 1:47:22 1st CR
  • Western States 100M (USA) 2011 – 22:16 12th
  • Willy to Billy 34km 2011 – 2:40 1st
  • Luxmore Grunt 27km 2011 – 2:30:12 3rd


  • Lapstone Lap Race 6hr 2012 – 60km 6:07 1st CR
  • The North Face 100km 2012 – 11:18 1st CR
  • Glow Worm Tunnel Marathon 2012 – 4:36 2nd
  • Centennial Park Ultra 100km 2012 – 9:22 1st CR
  • Great North Walk 100km 2012 – 12:36 1st CR


  • Tarawera Ultra Marathon 100km 2013 – 11:43 2nd
  • The North Face 100km – 11:01 1st and new CR

Beth said in her race report about the 2013 TNF 100:

“I have a certain affinity with this event. It is in the Blue Mountains and I love the Blue Mountains. It traverses some of my favorite locations with stunning views. It was my first 100km event and first big ultra. I ran in the inaugural event (2008), which was held shortly after I started running. During the first event all I could think about was just finishing and perhaps getting a silver belt buckle (then available for sub 20hr finishers). I trained as hard as I could and was absolutely stoked to finish, and more so to have done it in 15:30. The lead guys and girls in that year’s race managed to finish in 10:22 and 12:45 respectively. I was in absolute awe of their athletic ability and couldn’t comprehend how people were capable of traversing such difficult terrain in the times they did. They must have been exceptional athletes to accomplish such incredible times.”


I caught up with Beth just a couple of days after her incredible run and found out a little more about what makes her tick!

IC: Beth you just had a stunning run at TNF 100 in Australia, welcome!

BC: Thank you so much, it’s a real pleasure. I listen to Talk Ultra all the time so it is an honor for me.

IC: Can I go back in time and ask how you started running. Am I correct in saying that you didn’t run pre 2007?

BC: That is correct. I was never a runner; I enjoyed netball and bush walking. It is only when I moved house with my husband to a new area and we joined a local running club to meet new people that things started to progress. My running took off. I started to run longer distances. I did my first 10k with the running club. It took me ages to recover. (laughs) It took me quite a while to adapt my body but I took my time.

IC: Why ultra, what made you think ultra would be good?

BC: I didn’t have lots of speed and I preferred longer distances. I found that I could run for hours but not really run fast. I didn’t seem to tire over long distances. I was definitely more endurant.

IC: You have progressed and come a long way in a short space of time. In 2009 you placed 2nd at TNF 100. That was impressive.

BC: Yes, things have progressed in the last few years. Way back in 2009 I didn’t have lots of races to choose from. Now if I look at the females, the 2nd and 3rd place runners at TNF 100 this year would have won the race with the times they have run in 2009. It’s all about progression.

IC: I guess from your perspective being based in the Southern Hemisphere do you ever think to yourself, okay, I am in a big country but ultra running is a small minority. I may be a big fish in a small ultra pond here but how would I compare to European and American runners?

BC: Yes, I never really thought about it like that but I have always thought about running in Australia and I admit we are sort of sheltered. I look at the USA and European runners and wonder if I could run that fast… it is amazing the times they run. Whenever I have an opportunity to compare myself I will, it is awesome.

IC: In 2011 you went to Western States and this provides comparisons. We can look at it and compare you to some of the best runners in the world. That gives you and your performances a perspective. You placed 12th, you must have been very happy and positive with that?

BC: That was a favorite race experience. Going over seas and racing an incredible field. All I want to do is go back. I know I can do better now. I just want another go! But that is the point of ultra, you do an event and when you have done it you think, I can go back, I can do better. It is important to have goals and to strive for something.

IC: Currently in Southern Hemisphere running who is your main female competition?

BC: Shona Stephenson and Ruby Muir for sure. Shona is incredible; she can run back-to-back races without much recovery. I can’t do that. It is incredible. I got to run with Hanny Allston at the weekend, she is powerful. I don’t think she was focused on TNF100 but if she really wanted to she could fly through that course. She is someone to watch out for.

IC: You mention the course, what is it about that course you like, you perform consistently well?

BC: I train on the course a lot. It helps mentally, I know what is coming. It provides strength. I also have a house in the Blue Mountains. I love to train in that area.

IC: What is the course like in comparison to European mountains or lets say Western States.

BC: Well I haven’t raced in Europe so I can’t really compare. I have raced mainly in Australia but in comparison to WS I found it an amazing trail to run. The trails are smooth and the scenery is pretty. Hard to compare the two. I got sick at WS due to altitude so I missed lots… but TNF100 certainly requires more hiking. Having said that, they are both very runnable courses. The course has variety, lots of trail, mountains and road.

IC: In 2012 at TNF100 you set a CR, what was your ambition for 2013. Did you just want to win or did you want a time?

BC: I got 11:18 last year so I wanted to go sub 11:00 this year. I just missed it by 1 minute. But as you say I got a new CR. I tried hard but I just missed my target… next year?

IC: When you are racing, what inspiration do you take from the men as you placed high overall too?

BC: The guys are pretty good when I catch them. I have a chat with them. It’s funny; I always seem to see the same guys in the same place as the years before. It’s like the race is on repeat.

IC: Like déjà vu?

BC: Yes, absolutely. Even at the beginning the same things happen. Funny how this happens but you have to run your own race and take the rough with the smooth and do your best. If you catch people, you catch them and that is good, it’s a distraction and it helps take your mind away from the moment.

IC: What is your training like; do you break your training down into a structured format?

BC: I do hover around a 100k a week. I try to do a couple of quality runs but I do lots of ‘junk’ miles. Time on my feet. I am told it is not the most effective way to train but I find I don’t get injured and it works for me. For the time being anyway. Every second weekend in the months leading up to The North Face to put in solid training sessions of up to 50km on sections of the course.

IC: It works!

BC: For the time being… I always look ahead and try to get information. For example I listen to Talk Ultra to find out what others are doing I mix that into my training…

courtesy of - bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk

courtesy of – bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk

IC: Glad to hear you listen to Talk Ultra!

BC: (laughs) Absolutely!

IC: Apart from running, do you work?

BC: I am a director for a center involved with child care. I work 0700-0900 and then 1430-1830 so that split shift allows for training and rest.

IC: Perfect for training.

BC: Yes, I can often get an afternoon nap.

IC: Now that you have a new CR and the TNF100 out of the way, what is next?

BC: In five weeks I have Lavaredo Trail in Italy and then I have a couple of other plans.

IC: Other races, what are they?

BC: I am doing a VK and the European Skyrunning Championships.

IC: Fantastic!

BC: That is the plan anyway.

IC: I will be at the VK and the championships.

BC: Awesome, cool. Be nice to meet up.

IC: VK, wow that is going to be new for you.

BC: Yes, I am going to be really interested in that, I can’t do a VK in Australia.

IC: The Europeans will be a great race. Another new experience. Very exciting for you… once you have the Skyrunning bug you will want to come back more.

BC: It’s a great opportunity to plan holidays and racing together.

IC: Great to catch up for just a brief chat. Many congratulations on a great TNF100 and I look forward to catching up later in the year.

BC: Thank you so much. It has been great and as you say, really looking forward to catching up in Europe.

courtesy of - bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk

courtesy of – bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk

TNF 100 Results:


  1. Beth Cardelli 11:01:08 (12th overall)
  2. Joanne Brischetto 11:44:35
  3. Shona Stephenson 11:45:38


  1. Brendan Davies 09:16:12 new CR beating Kilian Jornet’s previous best
  2. Vajin Armstrong 09:42:22
  3. Andrew Tuckey 09:44:52


  • TNF 100 full race results HERE
  • Lavaredo Trail race HERE
  • Skyrunning Calendar HERE
  • Beth Cardelli : bethcardelli.blogspot.co.uk