Compressport Trail Menorca – Cami de Cavalls 2018 Race Summary

The Compressport Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls is a series of races, five in total, that take a 360-degree journey around the stunning island of Menorca. The shortest distance 32km’s and the longest, 185km’s.  Rocks, technical trail, beautiful beaches, turquoise sea, lush green vegetation and coves that are hidden away that need to be discovered. The weekend of racing offers a simple concept, to provide runners of all ability an opportunity to see the best of what Menorca has to offer over. distances of 32km, 55km, 85km, 100km and 185km.

The TMCDC is the main event stating and concluding in Ciutadella in two waves, the first at 0830 and the second, for faster runners, at 1430.

Anything can happen in185km’s and the ladies’ race had its fair share of action and changes. Gemma Avelli was a clear favourite coming into the race as the 2017 champion. Despite cooler temperatures, less heat and no intense sun, things did not go well for the defending champion and shows forced to withdraw at 30km.

For the remainder of the day and into the night, Alice Modignani took the race by the scruff of the neck and dictated the pace ahead of Sasha Roig. The night took its toll and by dawn, Eva Orives had the lead. Tina Ameller also had passed Modignani and was now 15-minutes behind the leader. 

Timing her race to perfection, Ameller closed gap and in the final 20km and took the lead, no doubt local knowledge providing a great help. Orives finished 2nd over 30-minutes later and Modignani fought hard for the final podium place with just over. 1-minute to spare over. 4th place. 

Ameller at the finish gave her thoughts, “I didn’t expect it as last year I had to retire. The only thing I wanted to do was to finish it one way or another. I corrected my mistakes. I ran very slowly for the first 100 km, but in the end it’s about your level of endurance. At Cala en Bosc I took the lead, but I had to run. During the last kilometers people were really encouraging me. I’m absolutely elated and now I’m going to enjoy it.” 

Antoine Guillon was a firm favourite in the men’s race, he won last year, knows the island and 100-miles seems to cause this long-distance specialist little or no problems. He started the day relaxed hovering around 10th place. But after 20km’s he took the lead with. Gerard Morales and. The duo ran side-by-side for much of the first 100km. Pere Luis Garau like Guillon had started the day relaxed but finally moved to. 3rd in pursuit of the duo. 

Guillon finally made a move around the 115km mark, the pace too fast for Morales. Guillon pushed on, now Luis Garau and Morales were together, workings a team and the question was all about whether they could close the gap?

At 130km, the aid station Cala en Porter, confusion hit as Morales and Luis Garau arrived first. Unfortunately, Guillon had got lost and wasted a valuable 35-minutes. Showing pure class, Guillon closed the gap to the duo and then pushed ahead, no doubt frustrated by his error. Luis Garau matched the Frenchman and Morales slowly slipped back to 3rd place. 

The duo pushed at the front and it is unclear if Guillon could not drop Luis Garau or if they decided to finish together? Finish together they did, hand-in-hand, and just 3-minutes off Guillon’s 2016 course record time. It was great moment for Luis Garau, you could see his emotion on the finish line and Guillon gave him respect, “Pere Luís is very strong and I’m happy to have reached the finish line alongside him. I’ll return to Menorca next year to try to get under 19 hours, as I have realised that it’s possible for me to do that”.

Morales finished 3rd just over 10-minutes later looking very tired, a job well done achieving the final podium place.

Men’s Result

  1. Pere Luis Garau and Antoine Guillon 19:21:21
  2. Gerard (Blacky) Morales19:32:01
  3. Marc Sole 20:58:27
  4. Carlos Herrero 21:23:44

Full results HERE

Women’s Results  

  1. Tina Ameller. 26:56:53
  2. Eva Orives 27:31:09
  3. Alice Modignani 28:38:27
  4. Maria Fiol. 28:39:55
  5. Buha. Bali30:01:35

Full results HERE

Race Images available HERE

Trail Menorca – Cami De Cavalls 2018

The Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls is a group of races that show the islands beauty to its full potential. Five races encompass the whole of the island by following the way-marked ‘Cami de Cavalls’ route.

Walking or running 32km’s to 185km’s, there is possibly no better way to embrace the island of Menorca.

Three day’s of running and five races. The TMCDC (Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls)is the longest race at 185km’s, starting in Ciutadella at 0830 and 1430, runners take in the whole perimeter of the island in a clockwise direction to finish back where they started. They have 46-hours to complete the journey! A quality elite line-up will contest the distance and the men’s race includes Gerard Morales, Antoine Guillon, Eugeni Rosella, Casey Morgan, Pere Lluis Garau, Isma Marques, Toni Contesti and Miguel Capo. For the ladies’ Gemma Aveli, Tere Nimes, Alice Modignani-Fasoli and Tina Ameller.

The TMCN (Trail Menorca Costa North) (100km) starts at 0030h but finishes at the opposite end of the island after weaving in, out and up and down the jagged north coast.

At 0600, the 85km TMCS (Trail Menorca Costa South) starts in Es Castell located in the east at 0600. There is a stark contrast in terrain the west and east. The west is rugged, aggressive and relentless whereas the east is lush and the journey south is a plethora of coves, beaches, rock and of course turquoise sea that makes Menorca so appealing to tourists.

The 32km TCN (Trekking Costa North) starts in Addaia at 0800. Running into coves, forest, beaches and trail turn Menorca into a playground illuminated by the moon and the glow of head torches.

And finally, at 0900 on day 2, the TCS (Trekking Costa South) 55km runners start their journey back to Ciutadella from Calan Porter.

Trail Menorca have a simple concept to provide runners of all ability an opportunity to experience the best of Menorca. Of course, it’s a huge challenge for the race organisation to cover so many races over so much terrain, however, they have been doing this for many years and the race grows in stature each time. Menorca has a casual, relaxed way of life, for one weekend, the island becomes alive with athletes as they journey around the island.

“I was amazed by the beauty, the varying terrain and the scenery. The final 20km of the 85km event although flat were brutal. I had just not anticipated that the terrain would be so technical,” said Elisabet Barnes post race in 2015. Two bloody knees confirmed her effort and commitment.

“I have to agree, this island was a surprise. I run in Mallorca a great deal,” said Casey Morgan. “I had not anticipated that the island would be as flat as it is but in sections the trail is extremely technical. The contrast from north to south is also quite amazing. It’s a beautiful island.”

The next pedition will soon be underway as runners from all over the world arrive in Menorca from May 16th in anticipation of the 2018 Cami de Cavialls.

More reading:

HERE

HERE

Transvulcania Ultramarathon 2018 Race Summary and Images

The second race of the 2018 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series kicked today on the island of La Palma (La Isla Bonita). The stunning Fuencaliente lighthouse once again providing an epic backdrop as 1000+ head-torches rushed north for a 74km journey  of tough and challenging terrain on the islands iconic GR131 route. It was a day of mixed temperatures and the Route of the Volcanoes was bathed in glorious sun as the runners broke through a cloud inversion before heading to the mist, grey and damp of El Pilar. Pushing onwards, the wind increased causing a challenging chill that resulted in many runners reaching for wind proofs. As often happens on La Palma, push through the cloud and a new weather system awaits, it was no different for the 2018 Transvulcania. Running around the Caldera to Roques de Los Muchachos, intense heat and blue skies greeted the runners all the way. Dropping back down to the sea and Tazacorte Puerto, the only thing that remained was the final challenging climb to the finish in Los Llanos.

For the ladies’ 2016 and 2017 champion and pre-race favorite Ida Nilsson lead the charge and she never really looked back. It was a strong performance.

As often happens, the chasing group can change as the brutality of the Transvulcania route takes its toll. Monica Comas from Spain placed 2nd just 6-minutes behind Ida.

The American contingent of Kelly Wolf and Brittany Peterson placed 3rd and 4th ahead of Russia’s Ekaterina Mityaeva, their times 8:49, 8:59 and 9:13 respectively.

The men’s race proved to be a real revelation… despite the early efforts of Cody Reed, he faded around the 20km mark and then all the main contenders and protagonists made their moves. It was a close race and the long descent to Tazacorte Puerto was always going to be decisive. Pere Aurell Bove held a lead over Dmitry Mityaev, Thibaud Garriver, Marco De Gasperi and Xavier Thevenard. For perspective, it is arguably one of the closest top-5 the race has experience, 7:37, 7:38, 7:42, 7:44 and 7:47 respectively. It is fair to say, that for Pere Aurelio, this is one of the biggest victories of his career and one that he will savour for a long time.

Image gallery available HERE

Route Summary:

Leaving Fuencalientie lighthouse, black sandy trails lead to Los Canarios. From here, the route weaves in and out of pine forests – underfoot the trails are good, at times technical but it is as the runners break the tree line that the challenging volcano sections await. The arrival of the sun provides some clarity and the push begins to El Pilar and notable marker in the race progression.

At least 5km of relatively flat and easy running follow El Pilar. It provides an opportunity for the ‘runners’ to stretch their legs and either extend or reclaim lost time. A left turn and suddenly they are climbing again, high trees with a canopy of green shelter the runners and then from El Reventon the true splendor of this mountain range is exposed with Roques de los Muchachos visible in the distance.

The harder sections of technical running around the Caldera, combined with heat and altitude provided the next challenge. From the high point, dropping 2400+m in 18km requires legs and nerves of steel. Believe me, it’s one hell of a ride. The early sections are open and the heat hits hard. Tree cover finally arrives and underfoot the single-track changes from dusty sand perpetuated with rocks to sand trail covered with a blanket of pine needles. In the latter stage pine needles giveaway to rocks and then the final zig-zag steep path to the port follows.

At Tazacorte Puerto, a short run along the beach, a technical run through a gulley and then a relentless claim all the way to the finish line in Los Llanos would decide the overall winner of the 2018 Transvulcania La Palma

Transvulcania Ultramarathon 2018 Race Preview

Transvulcania is upon us! Since 2012, the race has been an ever-present in the Skyrunner World Series and now it is acclaimed the world over as a pinnacle event. Taking place on the Isla Bonita (the beautiful island) of La Palma, the race personifies the pure ethos of Skyrunning. It is a wonderfully logical race route that starts next to the sea in the south of the island and concludes on the west of the island in the town of Los Llanos. The route offers 74km’s of amazing trails, wonderful views and technical trail and some real vertical ascent (4350m) and descent (4057m) that tests the legs, lungs and mind of the most experienced runner.

Taking place on the GR131, Rute del Bastion, the route starts low and climbs and climbs into the National Park of the Caldera de Taburiente. Runners then traverse the rim to Roques de Los Muchachos before dropping over 2400m in one leg busting drop of 18km’s to the sea and Tazacorte Puerto before a final push upwards to the finish in Los Llanos.

A decade of Transvulcania and La Palma magic. In 2009, just 378 runners toed the line, in 2018, 2000 runners will embark on the majestic journey. One only has to look at past winners of the race to understand the importance of Transvulcania on the world running map – Luis Alberto Hernando Kilian Jornet, Miguel Heras, Dakota Jones, Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost and the 2017 champions, Ida Nilsson and Tim Freriks.

As in previous year’s the race has a stellar line-up of world-class talent and notably includes the Italian Skyrunning master, Marco De Gasperi. For Marco, this race will be a departure for him as he will arguably race one of the longest races ever in his remarkable career. He is, one of the first ever official Skyrunner’s who has pioneered and paved a way for the rest. His inclusion in the 2018 Transvulcania is an exciting prospect.

Competition will come from all sides, in particular Xavier Thevenard who comes to the race with incredible results, however, he has raced at Transvulcania before and has always seemed to just miss the performances shown at the UTMB series of events which he has dominated. Will 2018 be his year?

Zaid Ait Malek is a pure Skyrunner. He placed 3rd last year and this year may well place 2nd or take the top slot. The race is there for the taking and Zaid has all the skills to make it happen.

Jason Schlarb raced in La Palma last year and had a solid result. He knows the race now and will be finely tuned to move up the ranks and potentially break into the top-5.

Dmitry Mityaev has risen in the Skyrunning ranks over the last few year’s with a string of excellent performances. He has got better and better and it is fair to say we can expect a solid performance in La Palma. He prefers the longer distances, so, Transvulcania may well be ideal for the Russian.

Michel Lanne rarely these days but when he does, he always excels. He has won CCC and TDS and last-year had a great run in Norway at Tromso SkyRace. For me, on his day, Michel is a potential winner for Transvulcania.

Franco Colle was missing in 2017 from the Skyrunning ranks but he is back. A past winner of the Rut 50km, Franco is an experienced Skyrunner who will make his presence felt in La Palma.

With a stellar line-up, other contenders to watch are as follows:

Morgan Elliott – 2016 and 2017 Skyrunner National Series champion.

Cody Reed – 2nd Bandera 100km and winner of Mt Bachelor 50km.

Cole Watson – 1st Canyons Endurance Run 50km.

Daniel Jung – 2nd Hong Kong 100 in 2017.

Fulvio Dapit – Consistent Skyrunner with great experience. 

Pau Bartolo – 1st at Buff Epic Trail in 2017 and 1st TDS 2015.

Alfredo Gil – 8th Dolomites SkyRace.

Pere Aurell – 4th at The Rut and 3rd at Royal Gran Paradiso.

Thibaud Garrivier – 6th at OCC and Marathon du Mont-Blanc 2017.

Ivan Camps – 5th at Ultra Pirineu.

Francesc Sole – 7th at UTMB and 6th at Ultra Pirineu.

Peter Kienzl – Long distance runner won won 360 Transgrancanaria.

Stephen Wassather – 1st Silver State 50 and 4th Bandera 100km

Jan Bartas – 4th Devil’s Ridge and 8th High Trail Vanoise.

Plus many more…

The ladies’ race has the 2016 and 2017 returning champion and course record holder, Ida Nilsson. In all honesty, if Ida shows any potential of her 2017 form, she will be unstoppable in 2018. She knows the course and has the speed and skills.

Ekaterina Mityaeva like her husband, Dmitry, has grown in experience and stature over the last few years and we can expect her to bring that experience to La Palma. The podium is a distinct possibility! 

Anna Mae Flynn has won Speedgoat 50km and placed 3rd at Lake Sonoma 50, two races that indicate a solid performance at Transvulcania. However, racing in Europe is always different than the US. I still think we will see something solid from this lady.

Cassie Scallon has won Bandera 100km and so we know the distance will not be an issue. In 2017 she had two notable wins at Gorge Waterfalls and Nine Trails.

Brittany Peterson has won Moab Red Hot 55km and placed 2nd at the 50km event at Run Rabbit Run. She is a slid runner with a good skill set that should transfer over to Transvulcania well.

Kelly Wolf may well be a dark horse after her recent win at Tararwera in New Zealnd. Arguably though, her 2nd at Speedgoat 50km and victory at Flagstaff SkyRace is more indicative of a good performance in La Palma.

Francesca Canepa prefers the longer distance races and although she brings a wealth of experience I believe the Italian will lack the speed required to penetrate the top 5.

Emilie Lecomte like Francesca is a long distance specialist and although she will perform well, it is unlikely she has the speed for the podium.

Meredith Edwards placed 2nd at TDS which confirms that climbing is not an issue, the question mark will be does she have the speed required to make the podium?

Eva Moreda is a solid Skyrunner who placed 5th in the 2017 Skyrunner World Series.

Ildiko Wermescher 3rd at TDS, 2nd at Swissalpine T133 and 2nd Swiss Irontrail confirms that Ildiko can run and handle the vert, however, I think Transvulcania may well be around 30km too short for a podium performance.

Laura Besseghini won the 2016 Dolomite Sky Run and in 2017 won Valmalenco Ultra Trail.

Paloma Lobera potentially could impact on the top-10 but lacks the pace or speed for the podium. She placed 8th at Matterhorn Ultraks in 2017.

Zuzana Bartasova – 7th at Trofeo Kima in 2016.

Natalia Roman – 1st Ultratrack Supramonte 2016 and 2nd Mustang Trail Race 2017.

Juan Maria Jimenez – 10th UTMB and 7th Oman Desert Marathon

Maylis Drevon – 11th Transvulcania 2017 and 2nd Marathon du Mont-Blanc 80km.

Plus many more…

Race Website HERE

As a point of note, other races take place over the Transvulcania weekend:

In the marathon, a key name to watch out for is Ryan Sandes, and in the half marathon, Stian Angermund-Vik for the men and Laura Orgue for the ladies.

Action starts on Thursday with the Vertical Kilometer Transvulcania Binter starting in Tazacorte Puerto at 1700 hrs.

The main events take place on Saturday with Transvulcania starting at 0600 and it is estimated that the first finisher will arrive in Los Llanos around 1230pm.

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Yading VK 2018 Summary and Images – Yading Skyrunning Festival

Lung busting, calf bulging and full-on max heart rate was the order of the day for the Yading VK, the first event of the 2018 Yading Skyrunning Festival taking place in the Yading National Park, China.

The VK is notable not only for its stunning location, but also for the altitude that the race takes place at… It is the only VK in the world to go from 4000m to 5000m.

The day started with blue skies and glorious sunshine but as the 11am start approached the sky started to turn grey and a few specks of the predicted snow started to fall. It was a day of very mixed weather, at times sunny and hot, at other times bitterly cold and snowing.

– Bed Sunuwar

From the gun, Nepali runner Bed Sunuwar dictated the pace and as he approached the glacial lake in the final 25% of the race, he looked set for victory. However, last years winner, Douji from China had different ideas.

– Douji

He passed the Nepali relegating him to second. France’s ultra-running legend Francois D’Haene placed 3rd using the VK as altitude training for a long season ahed and tomorrow’s Kora Ultra.

– Francois D’Haene

Lina Elkott dictated the pace and never looked in doubt of clinching victory. She made the altitude and 1000m of vertical gain look relatively easy.

– Lina Elkott

Hillary Gerardi who has raced extensively on the Skyrunning circuit for the last 18 months showed great form placing second ahead of the winner’s sister, Sanna Elkott.

– Hillary Gerardi

– Sanna Elkott

Times for this VK are considerably longer than more traditional VK’s which are usually under 5km’s. This race has special consideration and covers a distance of 7km.

Many competitors took part and the difficulty of the terrain and altitude could be seen on their faces.

Attention now turns to tomorrow am when the Yading SkyRace and Kora Ultra will take place. Both events start at 0700.

Top 3 Men and Women

  1. Douji
  2. Bed Sunuwar
  3. Francois D’Haene
  1. Lina Elkott
  2. Hillary Gerardi
  3. Sanna Elkott

IMAGES available HERE

Full timings and results will be posted at http://yadingskyrun.livetrail.run/

Marathon des Sables 2018 #MDS2018 – Stage 5

What a day! The 2018 Marathon des Sables concluded today on the edge of the Mezouga dunes on what will bee remembered as one of the toughest marathon stages in the races history.

The day started at 0700 with the majority of the field departing in strong winds and sand storms. The top 200 departed 90-minutes later also in sand storms.

The winds never eased and for the duration of the day, the runners encountered a full-on headwind all the way to the line.

The course was in comparison to other stages of this years race, a relatively easy one despite some large dunes in the final third. However, the combination of cooler temperatures, relentless wind, and drifting sand made for a tough day.

In reality, the race was over yesterday for the podium places and Rachid El Morabity and Magdalena Boulet were crowned 2018 Marathon des Sables champions. On the day, Magdalena won the final stage in 4:19:39 and Rachid placed 4th in 3:31:41.

The overall men’s final podium stands as:

  1. Rachid El Morabity 19:35:49
  2. Mohamed El Morabity 20:01:28
  3. Merile Robert 20:41:00
  4. Abdelkader El Mouaziz 20:51:59
  5. Gediminas Grinius 21:31:23

Gemma Game from the UK followed up a solid and consistent week placing 2nd on the final stage. 4:29:31 to Magdalena’s 4:19:39. Bouchra Eriksen placed 3rd in 4:30:58 and without doubt has been a revelation this year. Natalia Sedykh won the first three stages, gained a 1-hour time penalty, had very sore knees and stomach issues to have a very tough week in the Sarah. Today she placed 4th in 4:39:25 ahead of the USA’s Jacqueline Mariash in 4:40:22.

The overall female final podium stands as:

  1. Magdalena Boulet 25:11:19
  2. Bouchra Erksen 26:36:00
  3. Gemma Game 27:00:23
  4. Natalia Sedykh 28:26:56
  5. Anna Marie Watson 29:04:43

Of course, the final day is all about emotion and runner’s of all abilities a lifetime goal and achievement. Many a tear is shed on the finish line as Patrick Bauer embraces each and every runner, kisses them on the cheek and places a medal around their necks.

MDS is more than a running race. It is a life changing adventure of 250 km’s with intense highs and lows, elation and pain, laughter and crying. The bonds created in the Sahara are not forgotten. The pain and the joy will be remembered.

Tomorrow, a short stage of 7.7km transitions the runners from the Sahara and back to buses for the journey back to civilisation – a shower, some food, drinks, a bed and clean white sheets. Believe me, everyone has earned it!

Full Results HERE

Ultra Mirage© El Djerid #UMED 2018 Race Package

Join Marathon des Sables champions, Rachid El Morabity, Elisabet Barnes and the Ultra Mirage© El Djerid 2017 champion, Mohamed El Morabity for the ultimate 100km desert experience. Soft sand, rocks, small dunes, dried river beds, oasis and a multitude of soft-sand, Ultra Mirage© El Djerid is a single-stage race to test the minds and legs of runners who are looking for a new adventure.

The Ultra Mirage© El Djerid (UMED) is the first 100km Ultra Trail taking place in the stunning Tunisian Sahara Desert. A 20-hour time limit, five checkpoints, medical and technical help to ensure safety, the UMED is open to all runners. Importantly for the fleet of foot, prize money is available totaling 10.000 euros split equally between the male and female fields.

Rachid running at the 2017 MDS Peru which he won.

Tunisia and in particular the area of the Djerid was the background of famous movies including Star Wars and the English Patient just to name a few. The diversity and the beauty of the Djerid makes it a major attraction for tourists from all around the world. Tozeur is the main city of this area, it is very well known for its stunning surroundings with a mixture of Rocky Mountains, valleys, salt lakes and desert dunes and most of all for the generosity of its people.

Elisabet Barnes at the 2017 Marathon des Sables.

“Ultra Mirage© El Djerid 100K’s first edition was full of emotions! It was one of those moments where total strangers gather in a single event to release the best humanity has to offer: friendship, kindness, camaraderie, sport, courage, endurance, perseverance, love, compassion, respect, just to name a few, and all of that in the most amazing surrounding of the Sahara Desert! For 2018, we are looking to build on that outstanding success, organizing a race which will be bigger on all fronts, from the number of runners which should top 300, to a more diverse path and scenery! Hope to see you at the starting line on the 29th of September 2018!!” Amir Ben Gacem, Race Director.

The race will take place on September 29th 2018, and a special package price has been arranged for 350 euro:

  • Domestic flights from Tunis
  • Ground transport
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in a 4* hotel
  • Race entry
  • Race Shirt, cap, bag, medal and certificate

It’s an incredible package at a stunning price. Runners expected to fly into Tunis Carthage Airport (connected to all major European cities) at their own cost. Departure will be on Friday 28th September from Tunis to Tozeur international airport. Return on Sunday 30th September late afternoon.

Planning schedule:

Friday 28th September

16:00 Meeting at Tunis-Carthage Airport

17:30 Departure to Tozeur

18:40 Arrival at Tozeur-Nefta Airport

18:45 Transfer to Hotel

19:00 Check-in / Dinner / Race Briefing

 

Saturday 29th September

05:00 Breakfast opens

05:45 Departure to start line by bus

06:00 Last bus departs

06:30 Arrival at start line / Ultra Mirage village

07:00 Race starts

 

Shuttle buses will assure runners transfer from Ultra Mirage village to hotel every hour.

 

Sunday 30th September

03:00 Race finish

06:00 Breakfast opens

11:00 Closing ceremony

14:00 Transfer to Tozeur-Nefta Airport

16:00 Departure to Tunis

17:10 Arrival at Tunis-Carthage Airport

 

WIN A FREE PLACE

In conjunction with Amir Ben Gacem and Ultra Mirage© El Djerid we are offering readers of this website and listeners to Talk Ultra podcast the opportunity to win a 350-euro package place.

The winner will need to cover return costs to Tunis.

QUESTION:

Name the home planet of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movie?

Race Information and entry

Race website HERE

Enter the race HERE

Facebook page HERE

Episode 153 – Beth Pascall, Pavel Paloncy, Mike Ambrose, Golden Ring Ultra.

Episode 153 of Talk Ultra is a packed show with multiple interviews… We speak with Beth Pascall who was 1st Brit and 4th lady at Transgrancanaria. We speak with 3 time winner of The Spine Race – Pavel Paloncy. We also chat with Michael from Russia’s Golden Ring Ultra and finally, Kurt Decker brings us chat with Mike Ambrose. Speedgoat co-hosts.
*****
Talk Ultra is now on Tunein – just another way to make the show available for those who prefer not to use iTunes – HERE  You can download the Tunein APP HERE
Talk Ultra needs your help!
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!
Many thanks to our Patrons who have helped via PATREON
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*****
00:16:56 NEWS
WAY TO COOL 50K
Ladia Albertson Junkans won in 3:44, Brittany Peterson 3:46 and Elizabeth Ryan 3:56
Max King 3:18, Jared Hazen 3:18:33 and Gus Gibbs 3:20
IDITAROD
Ever present David Johnston once again won but this time with Gavin Woody – 5 days, 10hrs and 23min.
TRANSGRANCANARIA 125km
Pau Capell did it again on a new course winning in 12:42 ahed of Aurelien Collet who led the race for much of the day, he finished in 12:56 and Cristofer Clemente was 3rd 13:22.
For the ladies it was a surprise win for Magda Lack ahead of the indestructible Andrea Huser and Ekaterina Mityaeva 3rd – 15:18, 15:58 and 16:12.
The UK’s Beth Pascall was 54th.
*****
00:28:15  Interview with BETH PASCALL
*****
Golden Ring Ultra – The Golden Ring Ultra-Trail® 100 is a trail race for runners of all backgrounds and levels of experience.
It’s no coincidence that the race is held in the town of Suzdal…
Founded in the 11th century, Suzdal is one of the oldest towns in Russia and home to more than 300 unique historical sites and monuments from ancient Rus, including several that have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Awarded federally protected status in 1967 and surrounded by expansive forests and fields, Suzdal offers visitors a chance to travel back in time.
Set against this breathtaking landscape across which a millennium’s-worth of history has unfolded, the Golden Ring Ultra-Trail® 100 is designed for those who yearn for new adventures, discovering untapped strength within themselves, and finding total freedom in the outdoors.
*****
01:14:10 Interview with GOLDEN ULTRA RUSSIA
*****
01:32:06 Interview with MIKE AMBROSE
*****
02:01:14 Interview with PAVEL PALONCY
*****
UP & COMING RACES go to https://marathons.ahotu.com
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    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • D33 Ultra From Epic Shit
    D33 Ultra
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / Scotland / Aberdeen City / Duthie Park, Aberdeen
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningOut & backSoloMore info
  • Dirty Duo
    50 km
    North America / Canada / British Columbia / North Vancouver
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Haworth Hobble
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Bradford / Haworth
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Humanity Direct Amersham Ultra
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Buckinghamshire / Amersham
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Labor of Love
    50M
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Nevada / Lowell Canyon
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMore info
  • Labor of Love
    50K
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Nevada / Lowell Canyon
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Land Between The Lakes Trail Runs
    60k
    North America / USA / East South Central / Kentucky / Grand Rivers
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Land Between The Lakes Trail Runs
    50 mile run
    North America / USA / East South Central / Kentucky / Grand Rivers
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Le Trail des Poilus
    Le poilu
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Nord-Pas-de-Calais / Pas-de-Calais / Ablain-Saint-Nazaire
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Marin Ultra Challenge
    50K
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Fort Baker, Sausalito
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Marin Ultra Challenge
    50 Mile
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Fort Baker, Sausalito
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Motatapu Icebreaker Off Road Marathon
    R&R Sport 49 km Team Adventure Run
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Motatapu Station
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillyMore info
  • Old West Trails Fest
    50K Ultra
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Borrego Springs
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    DesertTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Oxfam Trailwalker NZ
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Whakatāne
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailWalkingTeam effortMore info
  • Prickly Pear 50K & 10 Mile Trail Runs
    50K Trail Run
    North America / USA / West South Central / Texas / San Antonio
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Relais de Nuit de Melesse
    Relais Hors stade non officiel
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Brittany / Ille-et-Vilaine / Melesse
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Run for Amma
    50K
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Portola Valley
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Saipan Marathon
    50K
    Oceania / Micronesia / Northern Mariana Islands / Saipan
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningOut & backMore info
  • SARR Prickly Pear 50K/10M/5K
    50K Trail Run Non-SARR Member
    North America / USA / West South Central / Texas / San Antonio
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • SARR Prickly Pear 50K/10M/5K
    50K Trail Run – SARR Member
    North America / USA / West South Central / Texas / San Antonio
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Six Foot Track Marathon
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / New South Wales / Katoomba
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Te Houtaewa Challenge Marathon
    62 km Ultra marathon
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Far North
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    SandTrailRunningMore info
  • Te Houtaewa Challenge Marathon
    5 Person Relay
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Far North
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    SandTrailRunningMore info
  • Triple Peaks Challenge
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Havelock North
    2018-03-10
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Ard Trail Raidlight
    L’Ard Trail
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Centre / Loiret / Ardon
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Fall Creek Falls 50K and Half Marathon
    50K
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Pikeville
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Imber Ultra
    Imber Ultra Marathon
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Wiltshire / Westbury
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Marxa dels Castells
    Marxa dels Castells PLUS
    Europe / Southern Europe / Spain / Catalonia / Ceravera
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningHillySingle loopSoloMore info
  • Trail del Marganai
    54
    Europe / Southern Europe / Italy / Sardinia / 09015 Domusnovas CI, Italy
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Trans-saint-paulienne
    Trail sud ardéchois
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Rhône-Alpes / Ardèche / Saint-Paul-le-Jeune
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Zululand Ultra Marathon
    56 km
    Africa / Southern Africa / South Africa / Nongoma
    2018-03-11
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Ecotrail Paris
    45 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Ile de France / Paris
    2018-03-15
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • 3 days of Syllamo
    50K
    North America / USA / West South Central / Arkansas / Mountain View
    2018-03-16
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • 3 days of Syllamo
    North America / USA / West South Central / Arkansas / Mountain View
    2018-03-16
    Multiday race
    TrailMultiday RaceSoloMore info
  • Les Traces du Nord Basse Terre
    154 km
    North America / Caribbean / Guadeloupe / Lamentin
    2018-03-16
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50-100 km Team Challenge
    Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / New South Wales / Palm Beach
    2018-03-16
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50-100 km Team Challenge
    Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / New South Wales / Palm Beach
    2018-03-16
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50-100 km Team Challenge
    Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / New South Wales / Palm Beach
    2018-03-16
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • 3 days of Syllamo
    50 Mile
    North America / USA / West South Central / Arkansas / Mountain View
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Badwater Cape Fear
    Badwater Cape Fear 50 km
    North America / USA / South Atlantic / North Carolina / Bald Head Island
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Badwater Cape Fear
    Badwater Cape Fear 51.4 Mile
    North America / USA / South Atlantic / North Carolina / Bald Head Island
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RunningMore info
  • Caldeira Trail
    Africa / Eastern Africa / Réunion / Ste-Rose
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Chuckanut 50K
    Chuckanut 50 K
    North America / USA / Pacific / Washington / Bellingham
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSingle loopSoloMore info
  • Coastal Trail Series – Sussex
    Coastal Trail Series – Sussex – Ultra
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / East Sussex / Birling Gap
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Ecotrail Paris
    Trail 80 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Ile de France / Paris
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    Night RaceCountrysideCityForestUTMB QualifierTrailRunningUndulatingPoint to PointSoloMore info
  • Elizabeth’s Furnace Fat Ass 50K
    North America / USA / South Atlantic / Virginia / Front Royal, VA
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Hardmoors 55 Ultramarathon
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / North Yorkshire / Helmsley
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Lake Martin 100
    27 Mile Trail Race
    North America / USA / East South Central / Alabama / Lake Martin
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Lake Martin 100
    50 Mile Trail Race
    North America / USA / East South Central / Alabama / Lake Martin
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Lake Martin 100
    100 Mile Trail Race
    North America / USA / East South Central / Alabama / Lake Martin
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Lt. J. C. Stone 50K Road UltraMarathon
    Lt. J. C. Stone 50K UltraMarathon
    North America / USA / Mid-Atlantic / Pennsylvania / North Park, Allegheny County
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Mesquite Canyon
    50M
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Arizona / Waddell
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Mesquite Canyon
    50K
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Arizona / Waddell
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Montaña de Oro
    50km
    North America / USA / Pacific / California / Los Osos
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Music City Trail Ultra
    50K
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Pegram
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • Northburn Station 100 miler Mountain Run
    Northburn Station 100 km Mountain Run
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Cromwell
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Northburn Station 100 miler Mountain Run
    50 km Mountain Run
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / New Zealand / Cromwell
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    MountainTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Om Die Dam
    50 km Marathon
    Africa / Southern Africa / South Africa / Hartbeespoort
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMore info
  • Pistol Ultra Run
    100K
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Alcoa
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Pistol Ultra Run
    50 Mile
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Alcoa
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    Night RaceRoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Pistol Ultra Run
    50K Relay
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Alcoa
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningRelayMore info
  • Pistol Ultra Run
    50K
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Alcoa
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Pistol Ultra Run
    100 Miler
    North America / USA / East South Central / Tennessee / Alcoa
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • The Grasslands Trail Runs
    The Grasslands 50-Mile
    North America / USA / West South Central / Texas / Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Ultrabericus
    Twin Lui&Lei
    Europe / Southern Europe / Italy / Veneto / Vicenza
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningHillyRelayMore info
  • Ultrabericus
    Trail Integrale
    Europe / Southern Europe / Italy / Veneto / Vicenza
    2018-03-17
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningHillySoloMore info
  • 5tot50vankrimpen
    50km
    Europe / Western Europe / Netherlands / South Holland / Krimpen aan den IJssel
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • 5tot50vankrimpen
    45km
    Europe / Western Europe / Netherlands / South Holland / Krimpen aan den IJssel
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningMore info
  • Ergysport Trail du Ventoux
    46 km
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur / Vaucluse / Mont Ventoux
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    SnowMountainTrailRunningMore info
  • Les Traces du Nord Basse Terre
    47 km
    North America / Caribbean / Guadeloupe / Lamentin
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Le Trail du Souffle
    Trail Long (42 à 80km)
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Ile de France / Seine-et-Marne / Larchant
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningMore info
  • Millennium Way
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / Telford and Wrekin / Newport
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    RunningSoloMore info
  • Oldham Way Ultra Weekend
    Red Rose Ultra
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / Andhra Pradesh / Castleshaw
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Trail du Petit Ballon & Circuit des Grands Crus
    Le Petit Ballon
    Europe / Western Europe / France / Alsace / Haut-Rhin / Rouffach
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningMore info
  • Trilhos do Paleozóico
    Ultra Trilho do Paleozóico
    Europe / Southern Europe / Portugal / Valongo
    2018-03-18
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningSoloMore info
  • BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    Europe / Eastern Europe / Hungary / Siófok
    2018-03-22
    Multiday race
    RoadMultiday RaceSoloMore info
  • BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Siófok – Fonyód
    Europe / Eastern Europe / Hungary / Siófok
    2018-03-22
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Badacsony – Balatonfüred
    Europe / Eastern Europe / Hungary / Siófok
    2018-03-22
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    BSI Half Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    Europe / Eastern Europe / Hungary / Siófok
    2018-03-22
    Multiday race
    RoadMultiday RaceSoloMore info
  • BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget
    Europe / Eastern Europe / Hungary / Siófok
    2018-03-22
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon
    BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Balatonfüred – Siófok
    Europe / Eastern Europe / Hungary / Siófok
    2018-03-22
    Ultramarathon
    RoadRunningSoloMore info
  • Morocco Tizi N’Trail
    Africa / Northern Africa / Morocco / Essaouira
    2018-03-22
    Multiday race
    DesertSeaside / LakesideTrailMultiday RaceMore info
  • Antelope Island Buffalo Run
    100 Mile
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Utah / Antelope Island
    2018-03-23
    Ultramarathon
    UTMB QualifierTrailRunningSoloMore info
  • Jurassic Coast Challenge
    Europe / Northern Europe / United Kingdom / England / Dorset / Weymouth
    2018-03-23
    Multiday race
    UTMB QualifierTrailMultiday RaceSoloMore info
  • Oxfam Trailwalker Australia – Melbourne
    50 km
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / Victoria / Wheelers Hill
    2018-03-23
    Ultramarathon
    TrailWalkingMore info
  • Oxfam Trailwalker Australia – Melbourne
    100 km
    Oceania / Australia and New Zealand / Australia / Victoria / Wheelers Hill
    2018-03-23
    Ultramarathon
    TrailWalkingMore info
  • Pickled Feet 24/12/6 Hour Runs
    Pickled Feet 100 Mile Run
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Idaho / Eagle Island State Park
    2018-03-23
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningFlatSoloMore info
  • Pickled Feet 24/12/6 Hour Runs
    Pickled Feet 100 Mile Relay
    North America / USA / Mountain Region / Idaho / Eagle Island State Park
    2018-03-23
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunningFlatRelayMore info
  • SciaccheTrail
    SciaccheTrail, 47 km, 3000m +
    Europe / Southern Europe / Italy / Liguria / Monterosso al mare, Cinque Terre
    2018-03-23
    Ultramarathon
    TrailRunning
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inov-8 PARKCLAW 275 GTX REVIEW

I have to be honest, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to using inov-8’s new shoe offering, the PARKCLAW 275 (I tested the GTX – Gore Tex). Why? Well, inov-8 have always impressed by producing shoes that are specific to a runner’s need – typically, getting a grip in muddy trail. Over recent years though, many new inov-8 shoes have appeared that have merged that ‘specificity’ and in all honesty, I have always been impressed by what has been on offer.

The PARKCLAW though just didn’t entice me.

I have to say, I was a little silly. It turns out that the PARKCALAW 275 is a great shoe and in all honesty, it’s a shoe that will appeal to so many.

Many runners want a shoe that does more than just one thing. The PARKCLAW is going to be that shoe. Good on the road, good on dry trails, good on rocks, cushioned, wide toe box, 8mm drop and great feel.

Inov-8 have produced a real surprise!

THE SHOE

Maybe the ‘PARK’ in the name signifies the ever-growing parkrun community that every weekend assemble all over the world and bang out a 5k amongst friends. Let’s face facts, it’s a huge community and if you can get a slice of that pie, it’s a great thing for any brand. But many of those runners may want to mix things up with a little road-to-trail or easy trail runs. This is where the PARKCLAW can step in!

I need to clarify here that the PARKCLAW is a shoe that works for any runner. I have been using it on my road loops of 5, 8 and 12km and they have been great. Equally, they have been excellent on my local canal tow path and forest trails.

The shoe has an ‘in-between’ outsole that provides grip for trail but not too much grip for road. The lugs at 4mm are semi-aggressive but importantly are close together so road running feels good. META-FLEX at the front allows the shoes to bend near the metatarsals and at the rear is a Dynamic Fascia Band. Three different lug colours are present which show how the different compounds ensure grip on different surfaces.

Drop is 8mm which is now pretty much standard, gone are the days of 12mm drop and higher. 8mm drop is a perfect starting point for most runners and particularly nice if running longer.

Fit is neutral and true to size. I always use a UK9.5 and these are perfect.

Toe box is wide – 5 on inov-8’s fit scale (here) so all you Hobbits should have a huge smile.

Cushioning is 12mm at the front and 20mm at the rear which provides a plush feel and not at the compromise of losing a feel for the ground. The Cushioned ride comes from Powerflow+ which does a great job at protecting but not at the loss of energy return. Combined with META-FLEX the Powerflow+ makes the propulsive phase a pleasure.

The upper is classic inov-8, breathable and lightweight. It has support on either side of the lacing section which pulls in to hold the foot firm once laces are adjusted accordingly. Importantly there are double eyelets at the top, so you can lock-lace should you wish. The heel area is plush as always with inov-8 and there is additional support to hold the foot firm and help with gait. The tongue is padded and gusseted. Toe box is reinforced and protected.

IN USE

This is a very comfy shoe. Slipper like in feel and it was easy to pull them on and run with no bedding in. I was amazed at how comfortable they are. The Cushioning is unlike any other inov-8 shoe I have used. Maybe similar to a TRAIL TALON.

The key thing for many will be the wide toe box. Hobbits you will love them! I am fortunate that I can use precision shoes and then enjoy and benefit of a wide toe box when I want to be more relaxed and allow my foot to splay. The PARKCLAW is really comfy.

Gusseted tongue is padded and a real winner. Keep saying it, all shoes should have a gusseted tongue just makes sense!

The lacing is standard and it’s possible to adjust and get a great fit and feel. I used the additional eyelet at the top to ‘lock-lace’ but found I didn’t need it, the shoe fitted so well.

Running on the road is a real pleasure with excellent comfort, great feel and great energy return. At no point did I feel I was in a trail shoe. Transition to hard trail was seamless. The PARCLAW is a great all-rounder and one-stop shop for those who need something that can do a little of everything.

The 4mm lugs handled grass, rock and trail both in wet and dry but when the trails became muddy, grip was compromised. The lugs are too close together and not long enough to get the required purchase. This is not a criticism, it’s just a fact! Quite simply, if you are needing a shoe with greater off-road grip, you need another model of inov-8. The PARKCLAW is not intended for this job!

SUMMARY

The PARKCLAW  275 is a real surprise. It’s a shoe that you can use day in and day out when you are mixing terrain. A great example would be say living in London and going for a long run when you mix road with sections of trail in Regents Park, Hyde Park and so on. The shoe though equally sits as a road shoe or dry trail shoe. I had no issue using the PARKCLAW 275 for either purpose.

The toe box is wide, and this may well be a real deciding factor for many. I know so many runners who need or prefer a wide fit – look no further.

The PARKCLAW would actually make a great shoe for a race like Marathon des Sables when an out-and-out trail shoe is not required but when cushioning and wide toe box is welcome. It is definitely a contender.

The PARKCLAW 275 will never be great on muddy technical terrain. The outsole is not aggressive enough and the wide ‘5’ fit would make the shoe feel sloppy and lacking precision.

Ultimately, I think inov-8 created this shoe as an ‘introduction’ shoe. A way of enticing roadies to trail. In doing so, they have created a stand-alone shoe which I have been using daily, and yes, it’s equally great as a walking shoe.

A jack of all trades is never brilliant at any one thing but the PARKCLAW 275 does a great job at making the mix and transition.

Finally, I tested the GTX version, so, should you wish, you can also keep your feet warm and dry by letting no water in. Of course, GTX doesn’t let water out too, so, if the water comes in over the top of the shoe, your feet will stay wet. Always with considering! However, over the winter months I could feel the benefit of the Gore Tex on cold days.

PARKCLAW 275 on inov-8 HERE

 

inov 8 X-TALON 210 Shoe Review

The inov 8 X-TALON range for 2018 has had a reworking. Always a tricky subject, especially with such a classic shoe in the inov 8 line-up. But as history shows, this shoe is 10-years old and has had many incarnations.

So, what is different for 2018?

Well, first and foremost, STICKY GRIP. This new outsole compound is inov 8’s new secret weapon for holding a runner on the ground when conditions are challenging, in particular, wet and slippery rocks.

The second key aspect is the reworking of the shoes upper. Now depending which X-TALON you have, the upper will be different. For example, I have just reviewed the X-TALON 230 HERE and the upper on the 230 is a world away from the upper on the 210.

So, here goes!

THE SHOE

Orange! Whoa, yep, you are going to be seen coming in these babies on your first outing. I strongly suggest, going in the garden and rubbing them in the soil before venturing out. I wore sunglasses for the first day of testing. I joke obviously, but the 210 is a bright shoe, one could easily be put off by the colour, but let’s face it, if you are using the shoe in the place it is intended for, they are only bright for one outing!

In comparison to the X-TALON 230 (here) the 210 appears super light and airy – funny as there is only 20g difference between the shoes. The upper is light, very breathable and has the now traditional inov 8 overlays that gives the upper its structure. They are light and fast and gladly they have a gusseted tongue to give a slipper like feel. They feel very different to the 230’s – I would go as far to say that they are not comparable. They are completely two different shoes. So, whereas in the past you may have two pairs of X-Talon’s with different drops and have a similar feel between the two, now that is not the case. So, if you fancy 230’s with more cushioning, 6mm drop and a tough upper, make sure you try them first.

The 210 is 1 arrow, so, 3mm drop. Fit is scaled as 2, so, they are at the narrow end of inov 8’s fit gauge but not as narrow as the 230’s which scale as 1. Have to say, I prefer the fit of the 2.

The outsole, like the 230’s, is STICKY GRIP with classic 8mm lugs – a winning combo!

Cushioning is pretty minimal with 6mm at the front and 9mm at the rear.

This is a shoe that has racing written all over it.

MORE DETAIL

The fit is slipper like and the 2-grade fit is pretty sweet allowing a little room for toe splay but not at the loss of control or precision when running. Of course, fit is all relative and based on an individual’s foot. However, I keep saying this, if you want a shoe for fast and technical running, it can’t be sloppy. It must fit and hold the foot – the 210’s does this perfectly.

The upper is very soft and flexible. The fit and security all comes from the overlays and in particular the 5 that lead to the lace eyelets.

The overlay extends round to the front of the shoe and the outsole extends up to provide a little toe protection. Toe protection is minimal, especially when one compares to the 230’s!

The upper is very breathable and there is method to this! inov 8 are recommending this shoe for the obvious fell, mountain, trail, obstacle course running but with the new addition of swim/run – a fast growing sport! Cleverly, the upper does not absorb or retain water and it has been Designed to actively encourage water (or sweat even) to escape. Obviously, this is key for swim/run but I can also see this being a great feature for any races or courses where one may be in and out of water. For example, the 210 would be a great shoe for the multi-stage race in Costa Rica, The Coastal Challenge – here participants on certain stages are in and out of water all the time. The heal box is snug, comfortable, holds the foot perfectly and caused no issues .

The outsole is a key feature of the 210 just as in the 230. STICKY GRIP is the new secret weapon. Basically, it’s a new compound of outsole that is softer and stickier than previous inov 8 outsoles. In mud, on trails, on fells etc there is little noticeable difference as the 8mm lugs do the job they have all done. What is noticeable is the additional grip on rock, particularly when wet. This is a great USP and maybe even more so for this shoe with a possible swim/run audience. 

IN USE

Unlike the 230, I slipped the 210 on and they immediately felt great – slipper like and definitely no breaking in required. I wore them around my home and soon didn’t notice them.

The 2 fit is as mentioned is narrow/ precision but not super narrow and I really liked the feel – this was helped by the soft upper and the gusseted tongue. The shoes upper combination works really well and once I adjusted the laces to personal feel and preference, I just knew that I was going to be happy in them.

With minimal cushioning and 3mm drop, this is not a shoe for everyone, or maybe I should clarify and say, that for some people, it is a shoe they should use sparingly. It’s a fast and light shoe designed for an efficient runner. The shoe is very flexible and just urges you to push on with the META FLEX on the outsole really helping with the propulsive phase.

Although cushioning is relatively minimal, the EVA FUSION works really well and providing excellent comfort. The shoes are so low to the ground, they are a little like taking a F1 car out for a drive. Hoka One One shoes for example would be a double decker bus.

A mile of road had me clipping along, right on my toes and then I suddenly realized I didn’t have the fitness for the pace the shoes made me want to run. So, racers out there are going to love this feel! On a muddy tow path, the 8mm studs gripped as they have always done and I had 100% confidence, the low-drop adding to that secure feel.

The 210 certainly gets you on your toes. I purposely tried to run slower and heal strike to get a feel of how the shoe would respond – it just felt all wrong. So, I speeded back up and got back on my toes.

On a wet grassy bank, the outsole gripped away and in the really thick mud that followed, I was over my ankles with soft, wet, brown stuff. Here I noticed two things, the 8mm lugs were trying to gain purchase in the harder ground below, at times they did, at times they didn’t – that is the nature of thick mud. One thing is for sure, in most other shoes I would have hit the deck! The second thing I noticed was how the shoes filled with mud but noticeably on the harder trail that followed, the shoes squelched and squelched, and I could see the mud escape from the uppers! I normally miss a small river on my run, yes, to avoid getting my feet wet, but I had to test the swim/ run capability. Apart from the water being bloody freezing, the shoes and uppers worked a treat. I was really impressed to see the water escape as I ran down the follow-on trails.

Wet rocks have been a hit and miss affair with inov 8 in the past but I can confirm, just as I found in the 230’s (here) that the new STICKY GRIP is a huge step forward for the inov 8 outsole. It is definitely getting more purchase and thus providing more security which in turn allows one the confidence to run at speed.

Most of my runs in the 210 have been between 5-12 miles. I haven’t gone past 100 minutes in any one run and in all honesty, for me, I would probably say 2-hours would be the max I would want to run in such a light, minimal and low-drop shoe. But that is me! My preferred drop is 6 or 8mm and most scenarios I prefer a little more cushioning. A light, fast and efficient runner I am sure could run longer in them!

Nearly all my runs have 1 mile of road at the start and end. With 108 miles in the 210 I can see the impact of the road sections, but it is not worrying. In all honesty, the 210 should only be used off-road and if I could, that is what I would do. The reality for most of us though is that a little road will always appear in our runs, so it is good to get a feel of the durability of the new STICKY GRIP. It’s still too early to say what that life is.

With extensive experience in Skyrunning races, I see the 210 being a perfect match for VK’s and SKY races (typically 20-30km) – in particular, the STICKY GRIP outsole would be most welcome on the technical, rocky and often wet ridges that can be encountered say in the Dolomites or the Alps.

CONCLUSION

The 210 is a winning shoe for efficient runners who want to be low to the ground feeling the terrain as though running barefoot without the discomfort. The combination of the light upper, precision fit and new sticky outsole makes them really stand out as a shoe distance racing shoe for fell, mountain and OC races. The upper certainly works really well at expelling water, so, if swim/run is your thing, they will be worth a look.

At 3mm drop and minimal cushioning, the 210 is definitely not for everyone. Certainly, I could not run in a shoe like this every day, but I think it’s fair to say that inov 8 don’t intent that to be the case. By way of clarity, the 210’s are a 2-seater car that sits in the garage, only to be used every now and again, whereas normally every day you drive around, say in a Ford Focus. Maybe the X-Talon 230’s are the Ford Focus and the X-Talon 210 is the Porsche 911?