Anton Krupicka in Europe

Anton Krupicka talks about New Balance and his experiences of being in and around Barcelona for the Skyrunning Cavalls del Vent 2012

You Tube clip HERE

Tony Krupicka in Europe

Presented by New Balance Spain

Tony expresses his gratitude for the opportunity to race the iconic Cavalls del Vent.

As Tony says “Kilian Jornet, Miguel Heras and Tofol Castanyer are the top mountain runners in the world…. ”

Tony placed second overall in the race behind Kilian Jornet. His fellow countryman Dakota Jones placed third.

Skyrunning Calendar 2013

ISF-logo

2012 saw the  ISF take running above the clouds to new heights. The vision of Marino Giacometti and Lauri Van Houten was fulfilled with the first event, the Transvulcania La Palma and this set the stage for an incredible year of racing. The inclusion of ultra distance races made some of the worlds greatest runners realise that Skyrunning had something new to offer. Tough, technical and gnarly courses at altitude with incredible competition.

With a season over and a new year ahead, we have great pleasure in releasing the 2013 calendar. Certainly from an ultra perspective the inclusion of the Ronda dels Cims in Andorra will set the stage for a battle ‘royal’ at the 100 mile distance. This course is renowned for its difficulty and altitude gain at 13,000m. As a season final, we have UROC (Ultra Race of Champions) in Colorado. At 100km this will provide an incredible closure to what I am sure will be the best Skyrunning year ever!

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As you will know, I have had great pleasure to be at many of the events in 2012 and this will continue in 2013. I will be bringing you news, reports, articles, images, facebook posts and tweets as an exciting year above the clouds unfolds…

iancorless.comP1050621

2013 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES 

– new races, new format

Skyrunner® World Series celebrates 10 years!

November 30, 2012 Press release by Lauri Van Houten, ISF

It’s curtains up on the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series which celebrates ten years with some of the best and most exciting races across the world.  The new Series is divided into three stand-alone circuits: Sky, Ultra and Vertical, each with their own titles and prizes – clean and simple!

The introduction of the ultra distance this year wrote a new page in skyrunning.  The Series kicked off with the Transvulcania Ultramarathon on the Spanish island of La Palma, which saw probably the deepest field of world-class runners to date. The spectacular 83km course and 4,400m vertical climb will represent a major challenge to competitors in 2013 as once again the race opens the Ultra Series.

The success of the 2012 Ultra Series paved the way for our first 100-miler – the Ronda dels Cims.  With a gruelling 13,000m-elevation gain, the race will take place on the longest day under the full moon crossing the entire Principality of Andorra.

The Speedgoat 50K will be back with top runners and a fast course reaching three passes at 3,400m altitude in Snowbird, Utah, USA.

Two favourite skyrunning locations from the past also make a comeback:  Val d’Isère and Vail, Colorado.  The Ice Trail Tarentaise, 65 km with 5,000m vertical climb, will test the best against the spectacular backdrop of the Rhône-Alpes Region, site of the ’92 Winter Olympics while Vail in Denver, Colorado, will host the Ultra Race of Champions “UROC” – the Ultra Series final.  American and European legends will compete in this new 100 km race, very much at high altitude with four passes at 3,600m – a race of champions indeed.

Two of Europe’s most famous mountains feature in the Sky Series: the Mont-Blanc Marathon which will also host the KM Vertical in Chamonix the same weekend, and the new Matterhorn Ultraks, a fast, 46 km race in Zermatt, in the shadow of the world’s most famous peak will, without a doubt, attract top runners.

Spain’s long-standing testing ground of champions, the Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri, launches the Sky Series and the popular Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado USA, will again feature.  To close, yet another new venue offers both a nocturnal Vertical and the Sky Series final: Skyrunning Xtreme, a short, steep technical race towering over Italy’s famous Lake Garda.

Russia’s Mount Elbrus Vertical Kilometer® launches the entire skyrunning season and the Vertical Series on May 7.  Entirely over snow, the VK reaches an altitude of 3,450m, the world’s highest race of its kind. The Vertical Series continues with the Ribagorza Vertical Kilometer® on the site of the 2012 SkyGames® in Spain, followed by Greece’s Gerania Vertical Kilometer®, dominating the Corinthian Gulf.

See below for the full calendars in each Series.

Some numbers from the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series: nine new entries, two brand new races – 653m kilometres and 43,632 vertical climb six races located in the world’s top ski resorts (Chamonix, Zermatt, Vallnord, Val d’Isère, Snowbird, Vail) – without a doubt some of the best places to run in summer…see you there!

iancorless.comNuria Cavalls

SKY

1. SPAIN: Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri – 42k, Zegama – May 26

2. FRANCE: Mont-Blanc Marathon – 42k, Chamonix – June 30

3. USA:  Pikes Peak Marathon, Colorado – 42k – August 18             

4. SWITZERLAND:  Matterhorn Ultraks – 46k, Zermatt – August 24

5. ITALY: Skyrunning Xtreme – 23k, Limone sul Garda – October 13

ULTRA

1. SPAIN: Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 83k, La Palma May 11

2. ANDORRA: Ronda dels Cims 170k, Vallnord – June 21

3. FRANCE: Ice Trail Tarentaise 65k, Val d’Isère – July 14

4. USA: Speedgoat – 50k, Park City, Utah July 27 

5. USA: Ultra Race of Champions “UROC” -100k, Vail, September 28

 VERTICAL

1. RUSSIA: Mount Elbrus Vertical Kilometer® – May 7

2. SPAIN: Ribagorza Vertical Kilometer®, Barruera – May 18

3. FRANCE: KM Vertical, Chamonix – June 28

4. GREECE:  Gerania Vertical Kilometer®, Loutraki September 8

5. ITALYXtreme Vertical Kilometer®, Limone sul Garda – October 11

Information

Ranking points

The three best results in each Series are scored in ranking.  Ranking points in the final races of all three Series will be increased by 20%. Ranking points breakdown: 100-88-78-72-68-66-64-62-60-58-56-54-52-50 down to 2 points to 40th position for men and 15th position for women.

Legend 

SKY – races more than 22 km and less than 50 km long with at least 1,300m positive vertical climb (SkyRace® and SkyMarathon®)

ULTRA – races over 50 km long that exceed the SkyMarathon® parameters (Ultra SkyMarathon®)

VERTICAL – races with 1,000m positive vertical climb not exceeding 5 km distance (Vertical Kilometer®)

Contact:

Lauri van Houten, International Skyrunning Federation

Tel +39 335 8000061 lvanhouten@skyrunning.com

TNF 50 Miler San Francisco

Just when you thought it was the end of the season and then low and behold a 50 miler rears its head on the calendar with a stacked field, yes, The North Face Endurance 50 mile Challenge presented by Gore-Tex. The race takes place in the Marin Headlands, north of San Francisco.

*update 27/11/12 Looks like the weather is going to play a major factor this weekend with a weather front coming in. This always shakes things up and you can expect this to influence the overall results considerably.

The Men

Mike Foote – UTMB 2012

Talk Ultra interviewee Mike Wolfe is returning to the race he won last year. Mike has had a mixed 2012 so he is going to be looking for a good performance here. He told me that training had gone well and that he is in good shape. Great to hear.

Good friend of Wolfepaw is Mike Foote. Footey placed 9th last year but after a great performance at UTMB (3rd), Bighorn 100 and the recent TNF EC in Chile I am sure he will be fired up for this race.

The last time I spoke to Tony Krupicka he told me he was running the race and that he was running to win. This was on the back of his 2nd place at Cavalls del Vent. I am well aware that Tony has been training well but I am not sure if he will be present on the start? I will update as soon as I know. *update 27/11/12 Tony has stated on his blog that he will not be racing.

Sage Canaday is without doubt a potential winner for the race and I originally missed him as he was not on my start list, He set a course record at White River 50 (incredible run) and ran very strong at UROC to finish behind Max King. We also can’t rule out Dave Mackey. Dave performs consistently well at 100k and was 4th at Western States. He races a little less than others so you can be sure if he toes the line it is to run hard.

Timothy Olson would have been mentioned here but has decided not to race and run with his wife. He is keeping his powder dry for 2013. Jez Bragg is off to New Zealand and Dakota Jones is resting, so that therfeore leaves the door open…

Fast man Ian Sharman will enjoy tho terrain but just the other weekend raced well at JFK so this may spoil his chances of a top 3, however, Adam Campbell will becoming into this race relatively fresh after injury issues mid year.

Dylan Bowman has raced super hard all year with some great results. His 2nd place at Run Rabbit Run behind Speedgoat Karl and 7th at Western States should mean he will be contending at the front but will he have that turn of speed to contend with Wolfe, Foote, Sharman and Campbell?

Hal Koerner has had a stacked 2012 and performed consistently well. I see him being in the top 10 here but not at the front of the race contending for the podium.

Rickey Gates comes to this race after some super strong performances in 2012 and may very well be a dark horse. Equally Chris Kollar (he had a disappointing Western States) comes to San Fran after some really solid results at Grand Teton 50k, Ice Age 50 and the The Bear.

Francois d’Haene is coming from Europe along with his Salomon team mate, Miguel Heras and Team Manager, Greg Vollet. Francois has had a great year and just recently won the ‘Trailwalker’ with his Salomon France team mates. He has the ability but I can’t help but think it is late in the year for him… Miguel Heras is finishing off his year well after early disappointments and he will be running hard here. Greg Vollet may very well be another dark horse to move up the field and take a few runners by surprise.

The mens field is stacked and by no means have I covered everybody here but I think we will see the podium come from the above names. One other mention, Martin Cox from the UK. Look out for him.

The Ladies

Emelie Forsberg – Trofeo Kima 2012

Firstly, Frosty and Ellie Greenwood are not on the start line. Frosty needs to recover and Ellie need to rest. So that does open things up a little… if we thought the mens race was stacked, the ladies is super stacked.

Emelie Forsberg is coming over from Europe after an incredible 2012 season. Emelie would have been my top tip but I wonder if this is either one race too many or a race too late in the year? She has all the potential to win this race but I see her top 3 and not on top of the podium.

*update 27/11/12 I just had confirmation that Silvia Serafini from Salomon Carnifast will be racing. This will add some additional spice to the race. Like Emelie, Silvia is moving up distances this year and 50 miles may just be a little of her radar at the moment. But she is a fast runner and really dedicated. A star for the future for sure. She has won Skyrunnning races, won the Royal Parks Ultra in the UK and recently placed just behind Forsberg, Hawker and Picas at Templiers. She has just come back from trekking in Nepal so it will be interesting to see how she performs in this top quality field.

Lizzy Hawker will be arriving from Nepal and has arguably had a golden few months with a 5th win at UTMB, a win at Run Rabbit Run and then a win, 3rd place overall and a new CR at the iconic Spartathlon. I witnessed her run first hand at Templiers when she finished a disappointed 3rd behind Nuria Picas and loosing the sprint for 2nd to Forsberg. She will be fired up for this race and is my hot tip!

Ashley Arnold may pull something out of the bag. She has a great ultra resume with 3rd at Leadville 100 this year but has raced shorter and faster too. She may well have the  speed and endurance required that will carry her to a win.

Megan Kimmel has raced the best in Europe and will come to the race keen to perform but this is a longer race than she is used too… this also apples for Brandy Erholtz. They both have potential to shake things up.

Joelle Vaught was 2nd in 2009, 3rd last year and 4th in 2010. This year she has won Waldo 100k and Lake Sanoma 50. She knows how to run in San Fran and will be keeping a close eye of Forsberg and Hawker.

Kami Semick hasn’t raced in the US in 2012. She pulled out of Comrades and Western States but recently race Trailwalker in Hong Kong. It’s difficult to say what her form is like but I know from previous conversations with her that she only races when she can win!

Finally, Meghan Arbogast. She has the endurance and the pace!
Like the men’s race, I could go on and to be fair I could list another 10 men and women and still be completely unsure of how the race will unfold.
The San Fran 50 is a great way to start December and finish a really competitive and inspiring 2012. Roll on 2013.
Race website HERE

Looking back, Moving forward – Skyrunning

Looking back over the 2012 skyrunning season, it was, to say the least, an intensive year. It was a year of major transition from the past format of main races and trials, to the introduction of the Ultra distance and separate circuits. The transition was complicated and not without difficulties but it paved the way for a completely revised 2013 format.

The start. Ultra Cavalls del Vent. ©ISF

The season saw triumph and tragedy, great champions, bright young stars, new races and spectacular locations.

At the beginning of the season in May, the introduction of the Ultra Series wrote a new page in skyrunning history. The Transvulcania Ultra Marathon not only perfectly embodied skyrunning’s “sea to sky” concept, but had probably the deepest field of world class runners to date, including American legends like Anton Krupicka, Geoff Roes, Rickey Gates, Mike Wolfe Joe Grant and 21year-old Dakota Jones who went on to win the race.  Dakota, Tony and Joe came back for more…

Nuria Picas, winner Kima Trophy. ©ISF

The more gruelling courses typical of European skyrunning have almost surprisingly gone down well with the American runners, giving us the conviction to keep it “tough and technical“ rather than provide a watered-down version to appeal to a wider public – something to look forward to on the other side of the Atlantic next year together with a selection of the best that Europe has to offer…and our first 100-miler.

The 2012 SkyMarathon® Ultra Series has represented the first and most important encounter among top European and American Ultra runners with a level so high that all the mens’ race records in the Series were broken! Legendary ultra runners competing in the Series (apart from those mentioned above) include: Kilian Jornet, Ikker Karera, Andy Symonds, Dawa Sherpa, Francois D’Haene, Erik Clavery, Seb Chaigneau and among the women:  Nuria Picas, Anna Frost, Lizzy Hawker, Maud Gobert, Darcy Africa, and Nikki Kimball.

Kilian Jornet the sport’s top star, yet again gave a command performance taking not only the World Series combined title, but also the Ultra Series title, totalling seven outright victories and two third positions in all three disciplines.  2011 World Series champion Luis Alberto Hernando placed second and Britain’s Tom Owens moved steadily up the ranking to take third position.  Ultra Series’ runner-up was Andy Symonds and Germany’s Philipp Reiter placed third.

Emelie Forsberg, Nuria Picas, Anna Frost. Ultra Cavalls winners. ©ISFIt’s in the women’s field that the most rapid revolution lies however. Young, talented runners with no skyrunning history debut and rise to glory in just one season and, note, women are finishing in the top ten overall, closing the gender gap.  Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg is one of these ladies.  Twenty-five years-old, she ran her first skyrunning race just this year and in only one season conquered the World Series combined title in a field stacked with highly competitive Spanish runners like Nuria Picas, Blanca Maria Serrano and Nuria Dominguez.

Nuria Picas has finally shown that talent and determination go a long way by winning some of the toughest races on the Series.  She finished second after Forsberg in the World Series combined ranking and won the Ultra Series outright. Anna Frost, after a superb start at the Transvulcania Ultra, was plagued by injury throughout the season but fought tenaciously for a second position in the Ultra ranking where Forsberg placed third.

Kilian Jornet & Tony Krupicka, 1st and 2nd at Cavalls.  ©Ian Corless

Alongside Forsberg, another star was born: 23 year-old Italian, Silvia Serafini who, like Forsberg, began skyrunning just this year, testing her skills in all three disciplines to climb to third position in the world ranking.

Two world records highlighted the Vertical Kilometer® Series on the gruelling course in Fully, Switzerland with1,000 metres elevation gain over just 1.9 km distance.  The men’s record of 30’42” set by Italian Urban Zemmer is just a short step from climbing at 2,000 metres per hour – upwards! French runner Christel Dewalle set the women’s record in 36’48”.  Overall Vertical Kilometer® Series champions were Urban Zemmer and Spain’s Laura Orgué.

In 2012, prize money amounting to €140,000 (including the Series’ final prizes) was awarded to 148 athletes. The figures are still small for the huge effort and incredible performances involved, but as the sport grows, prize money will do like-wise. Complimentary accommodation, travel subsidies and promotion are more ways that a top runner can benefit – and so will the sponsor.  Major industry players are now investing in trail running and many brands have top runners and teams participating in the Series.  See Team ranking

Media coverage of skyrunning events reached new heights this year from print to websites, blogs and social media, to videos, podcasts and television on a global level.  A big thanks goes to all those who followed the skyrunning heroes through thick and thin, in heat and cold and darkness, breaking news in real time and capturing high-flying emotions in images, text and videos.

Look out for the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series calendar to be announced next week.  We’ll be focussing on new events and personalities, a worldwide ranking for runners and races, regulations and safety issues as well as the announcement of the 2013 European and 2014 World Championships.

ULTRA? ultra emotional

RUN247 ‘Cavalls del Vent’ 03rd October 2012

ARTICLE LINK HERE by Ian Corless
Wednesday 3rd October 2012

Race report: Ian Corless reports after the Ultra Cavalls del Vent – Spain, September 29, 2012

On a day of rain, cold temperatures and intense racing, ultra running and in particular ultra Skyrunning opened a new chapter in our sport with some really competitive racing by ‘the best’ in the world.

Unfortunately the whole experience was somewhat overshadowed by the news on Sunday morning that Teresa Farriol, aged 48, had passed away in the night due to a cardiac arrest brought on by hypothermia. It was hollow faces, dark eyes and tears in the race hotel as elite runners, race organisers and journalists pulled together. The prize presentation was cancelled and was replaced with a one minute silence in the crowded square.

The Race

Ultra Cavalls del Vent - Spain, September 29, 2012 © Ian Corless

Photos: The start and race winner Kilian Jornet out on the course © Ian Corless

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

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

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

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

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

The cold and constant rain hit the race and the runners hard! Miguel Heras dropped, Tofol had hypothermia, Joe Grant had hypothermia and hundreds more runners had dropped from the race.

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

At Gresolet, Kilian had a two minute lead. As he passed me I asked how he felt? “I am great, it was a little cold but now I am good. I am having fun!”

Tony approached “How you feeling Tony?” “I’m good man, Kilian is just playing with me… all good though!”

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

Ultra Cavalls del Vent - Spain, September 29, 2012 © Ian Corless

Photos: Anton Krupicka on the course and Kilian finishing in a new course record © Ian Corless

Tony was stoked at the finish and rightly so. After the best part of two years of being out of the sport with injuries, his ‘return’ now seems to be confirmed. Speaking of his love for Skyrunning he said on the line “These are the races we want, vertical gain, tough gnarly climbs and altitude. We can’t get this at home, I love it”

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

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

Ultra Cavalls del Vent - Spain, September 29, 2012 © Ian Corless

Photos: Anna Frost on the course. The women’s podium: third placed Emelie Forsberg, winner Nuria Picas and Anna Frost, second © Ian Corless

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

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

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

Ultra Cavalls del Vent - Spain, September 29, 2012 © Ian Corless

Photos: An emotional race – smiles from Anton Krupicka, a hug for Nuria Picas and more smiles from Britain’s Terry Conway © Ian Corless

Cloud confuses and distorts “less cloud MORE SKY“

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

Men’s results

1 Kilian Jornet Burgada 8:42:22
2 Anton Krupicka 8:49:56
3 Dakota Jones 9:26:25

Women’s results

1 Nuria Picas Albets 10:34:42
2 Anna Frost 10:35:24
3 Forsberg Emelie 10:39:51

Click here for full results

Ultra SkyMarathon® SeriesSPAIN: TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON – La Palma – May 12
USA: Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY: Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN: Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE: La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

Click here to find out more about 2012 Skyrunner® World Series

Images from Cavalls del Vent

So many pictures… so little time!

Here is a selection of my favourite images to come out of the 2012 Cavalls del Vent part of the Ultra Skyrunnnig series.

Walking to the race start from our hotel, Frosty and Dakota relaxed with Kilian, Tony, Philipp and Terry behind.

The rush for the first corner in Baga

Kilian leading Tofol before Tofol retired

Dakota Jones running through the mist and rain at 2200m

Skyrunning is all about being above the cloud

Local hero and ladies winner, Nuria Picas

It was that cold Tony Krupicka wore a jacket with a hood!

Emelie Forsberg pushing hard in the early parts of the race

Dakota Jones

The day before the race, Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg, Philipp Reiter and Terry Conway running to CP2 on the Cavalls del Vent course

The stunning scenery and views that we all missed on race day

Terry running on our day 1 recce

Emelie bouncing across the finish

Tony & Kilian on the finish line

Nuria triumphant

and finally a photo that sums up the sadness that we all felt, the day after the race when we all learned that during the night a female runner had passed away due to cardiac arrest induced via hypothermia. Our thoughts and best wishes go out the family.

Cavalls del Vent Post Race Report

 

Ultra? Ultra emotional…

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Tony approached “How you feeling Tony?”

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Cloud confuses and distorts “less cloud MORE SKY

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

Terry has landed ! Cavalls del Vent

It’s a real busy weekend ahead and I have been so wrapped up in travel and prep for Cavalls del Vent that actually thinking about UROC – Ultra Race of Champions and Spartathlon hadn’t slipped my mind but finding the time to just provide an update was difficult! So I thought I would use the wee hours of the morning before breakfast to write something up.

I am in Baga with an hour or so before breakfast and the opportunity to head out on the Cavalls course at 0900 with Philipp Reiter, Emelie Forscberg, Terry Conway and maybe Kilian!

Terry and myself arrived yesterday and met Anna Frost’s sister, Sarah, at the airport to be good citizens and provide her with a lift. After a few comedy moments… the first being Terry deciding it was a good idea to rent a car from pepecar.com !

We hit the road and then ended up getting stuck at the ‘tolls’ by being completely in the wrong lane! Yeah Yeah, I know. I am used to the tolls in France but Spain is different. We finally managed to back up the traffic, ruin a toll gate by sticking Euro coins in a ‘card slot’ and then somehow managed to get in the correct lane after some subtle lane dodging.

We met Frosty, Dakota Jones, Philipp, Emelie and Tony K was hiding somewhere and had some chill time at a ‘secret’ Salomon holding camp (joke) 20 minutes away from the race village. Terry terrified Philipp telling him how good he is and how he was going to ‘take him down’ when it came to race day! (another joke)

An hour or so later Terry and myself finished off our journey providing Philipp and Emelie with a lift to our race hotel. We are at the foot of the mountains and dusk was just arriving!

Terry had some very unusual pre race prep. He laid out his Salomon Sense and then prepared dinner….. whoa! No way Terry. Not baby food tonight mate, we are going to the restaurant….

Dinner was pretty awesome. We met Philipp and then Emelie joined us with a new arrival at the hotel, Kilian Jornet. So, Terry had been in Spain approximately 3-4 hours and within that short space of time had met Frosty chatted with Dakota, missed Tony, chewed the fat with Philipp and Emelie and was now spending a couple of hours with Kilian over dinner as we discussed his ‘Summits of my Life’ project, talked about his recent Mont Blanc Crossing, his VO2 test the previous day (92 by the way… wow) and what his plans are at Cavalls, Raid de la Reunion and what 2013 has in store… pretty awesome!

So there you have it. We are in Cavalls, Terry is like a kid in a sweet shop and in an hour we will be on the Cavalls course seeing what lies in store for the race on Saturday.

Oh, UROC and Spartathlon…. I will be back later 😉

A way of life

The TAA (The African Attachment) boys once again coming up with some wonderful footage for Salomon Running TV S2 episode 08 ‘A way of life’ featuring the ISF Skyrunning race Pikes Peak and some footage of Leaville 100.

Great to hear Tony Krupicka say that the important thing is to run…. racing is a bonus.

ULTRArunning Magazine – Transvulcania

Really pleased today to finally get some proofs from ULTRARUNNING magazine on my article on the Transvulcania La Palma which I attended earlier this year as part of Skyrunning’s new ultra series of races.

Ultra SkyMarathon® Series

*SPAIN:  TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON – La Palma – May 12 
USA:  Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY:  Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN:  Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE:  La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28

This article is in the July issue. You may download the article HERE

Please go to the website to view and subscribe to the magazine HERE