The Ultimate Equipment Guide to Desert Multi-Day Racing – Hints ‘n’ Tips

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Desert running brings many challenges and running in a desert for multiple days brings a whole new set of challenges. Over 30-years ago (1984), Patrick Bauer, filled up a pack with food and water and trekked off alone into the Algerian Sahara to cover 350km’s on foot in a self-sufficient manner. Little did he know at the time, but this journey was the start of something incredible, the Marathon des Sables.

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Also read

Top Tips To Better Multi-Day Running HERE

Multi-Day Food On The Cheap HERE

How to choose a sleeping bag HERE

MDS as it is affectionately known paved the way not only for multi-day desert racing but ‘all’ multi-day racing, be that in snow, ice, rainforest, jungle or the mountains. If multi-day racing was the mafia, MDS would be the Corleone family and Patrick Bauer would be the Godfather – Don Vito Corleone.

All multi-day races have followed and tried to replicate the MDS format, however, the reality is, I have yet to experience a race that matches the size, the scale, the organisation and awe-inspiring splendor of what Bauer and his team have created in the Sahara. Ask anyone, despite experience, despite achievement, MDS is usually ‘on the bucket list!’ It’s fair to say, that MDS is directly attributable for many new ultra-runners. You see, MDS offers more than just running, it offers a challenge, it offers something quite unique – the Sahara and the MDS strips the runner back to basics and deprives them of all luxuries so that they are stripped raw. Runners find themselves in the desert.

If you have entered MDS or another self-sufficient multi-day race or adventure, you will be asking, “What equipment do I need?”

This question is the same for many other desert races but I need to be clear, not all races are the same. For example, MDS requires the runner to be completely self-sufficient. This harks back to Bauer’s pioneering expedition in 1984. The runner must carry ‘all’ they need for the duration of the event, the only exception being:

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Bivouac – A simple tent cover is provided at the end of each day and this tent must be shared with 7 other runners.

Water – Water is provided in bivouac and out on the course but is rationed.

Anything else the runner needs must be carried – pack, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, food, snacks, luxuries etc.…

The above format is very similar for races such as the Grand to Grand in the USA, Racing the Planet races such as Atacama, Gobi and so on.

So, items discussed in this post directly relate to a ‘self-sufficient’ race in the MDS style. To clarify, races such as Big Red Run in Australia and The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun in South Africa are ‘semi’ self-sufficient races and therefore runners can carry far less items and often bags are transported each day and therefore the runner can run light and fast. However, please keep in mind that many of the kit items and needs directly relate and are transferable.

The Detail

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Let’s be clear, it is important to note that equipment will not make you complete any race. What it can do is make the process easier and more comfortable. Equipment is something we all must take to any race and finding out what works and doing the research is part of the fun.

If you want to increase your chances of completing your chosen race, commit to the training required, get your head in the correct place and then finish off with the appropriate equipment for the job. Far too many stress about what equipment they need and neglect the appropriate training.

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Multi-day racing in its purest form should be very simple. However, over the year’s deciding what equipment to take has become increasingly more complicated.

It shouldn’t be complicated and in all honesty, it isn’t!

Here is just a simple list of absolute essentials, one could say that this list is mandatory:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Buff
  • Jacket
  • T-Shirt
  • Shorts/ Skort
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Gaiters
  • Rucksack
  • Sleeping Mat (optional)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Head Torch
  • Flip-flops or similar
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medical kit (feet etc.)
  • Spot Tracker (supplied at MDS, optional at other races)
  • Road Book (supplied)
  • Salt Tablets (supplied)
  • *Food for the required days
  • **Mandatory kit
  • ***Water

Optional items:

  • Warm jacket (usually down that packs small and light) – I consider this essential and not optional
  • Stove and Esbit fuel blocks
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Spare socks
  • Walking Poles
  • Goggles
  • Spare clothes (?)

Luxuries:

  • Mp3 player
  • Phone
  • Solar charger
  • Kitchen sink…

Perspective:

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Any multi-day race has (arguably) five types of participant:

  1. The elite races who will contest the high-ranking positions.
  2. Top age groupers who will look to race for a high place and test themselves overall.
  3. Competitive runners looking for a challenge.
  4. Those who wish to complete and not compete.
  5. Newbies who are out of their comfort zone.

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When one looks at kit and requirements, it’s easy to think that the needs of the top elites in group 1 will vary from those in group 5. I would arguably say no! All the runners need the same things; they all must carry the same mandatory kit and they all must carry the same minimum food requirement.

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I think the differences come with experience. Novices and newbies will more than likely prepare for the unknown, the ‘just in case’ scenario. Whereas top runners will be on a minimum, the absolute minimum. Groups 2- 4 are a mix of groups 1 and 5 and they fall somewhere between.

So, for me, groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 should (where possible) aim to be like group 1. The only key difference comes with shoe choice. Runners who will spend much longer on their feet and out on the course will most definitely need a shoe that can withstand that pressure and the shoe must also be good for walking. Groups 2-5 never fully appreciate (often until it’s too late) how much they will walk in a desert race.

EQUIPMENT IN DETAIL

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When looking at equipment, I am going to provide a brief synopsis and then some recommendations. I will then supply ‘my’ equipment list.

Hat – A hat is essential to keep the sun off your head; options exist that have a neck cover built in to avoid that delicate area that will almost certainly be in the sun all day.

Sunglasses – So many choice, but you need a good pair that has ideally a large lens to protect the eye. Some desert specific sunglasses include a brow pad that helps stop sweat dripping in your eye. Do you need prescription? If so, I use prescription Oakley and they are excellent. Do you need goggles? Yes and no. If you have good sunglasses with good coverage, then no. However, should a sand storm hit, it can be uncomfortable. Goggles guarantee no sand in the eyes.

Buff – A buff or even two are essential. One around the neck helps keep the sun off and you can also wet it to help reduce core temperature. In wind and sand storms, the Buff is lifted and protects mouth, nose and sometimes eyes. A spare Buff is a luxury but worth considering.

Jacket – Jacket choice will depend on sleeping bag choice. If you are using a light bag, a lightweight down jacket is an essential item. Look at Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, Yeti Companyon Strato, Mont-Bell Plasma 1000 Down, Berghaus VapourLight (not down) and/ or PHD custom made.

T-Shirt – It’s not rocket science, you will have been running in a shirt already, if it works, why change it? I read countless arguments about should it be black or white – you know what, it doesn’t matter. Look at the elite runners, they are often sponsored and have little or no choice on colour. Comfort however is key.

Shorts/ Skort – Same answer as T-Shirt.

Socks – Getting the correct socks are key for any race and like I have said for shirt and shorts, if you have socks that work, why change? So many options exist but for me I am a firm believer in Injinji toe socks.

Shoes – Shoes are personal and must be suited to you, the individual. Consider your gait (neutral, supinate or pronate), consider time on feet, consider your weight, consider how much you will walk (and then double it) also consider shoe drop and how much cushioning you need. It’s impossible to recommend any one shoe because of these variables. You will see top runners using a lighter shoe, remember, these shoes only need to last 20-30 hours. However, you may well need a shoe for 40, 50 or 60-hours. Do you need a trail shoe? No, you don’t need a trail shoe but I would say that many trail shoes are more durable as they are designed for the rough and tumble of variable terrain. Do you need an aggressive outsole? No, you don’t, but I do think some grip is better than none and therefore I would use a trail shoe over road. Protection? Toe box protection is a good idea as deserts include lots or rocks, far more than you may think. Do I need a size bigger? Shoe sizing does depend on what is ‘normal’ for you. I always recommend a thumb nail of space above the big toe, you don’t need any more than this. Recommendations of going a size is bigger is bad advice in my opinion. A shoe that is too large allows your foot to move, a moving foot causes friction, friction causes blisters and the rest is the same old story that I see at desert races all over the world. However, I would recommend a shoe with a little more width in the toe box, this will allow for some comfort as the days progress. If you are prone to feet swelling, discomfort, blisters and so on, get a strategy sorted before you head out to your chosen race.

Gaiters – Are essential and they should be sewn and glued on to the shoe to guarantee that no sand can enter. Raidlight, MyRaceKit, WAA and Sandbaggers make versions of gaiters.

Rucksack – A rucksack is one of the most essential items for the race as it will hold on your kit for the duration of the event. Many versions exist and the type of pack you choose depends on many things: Male/ Female, Small/ Large, Tall/ Short and so on. Some packs just don’t work for some people. You also need to consider if you need a front pack to hold essential items. How will you drink on the go? How much do you plan to run in comparison to walk? I have some simple advice:

  • Keep the pack as small as possible, if you have a bigger pack you will just fill it.
  • Keep the pack simple – far too many packs are over complicated and messy
  • Keep the pack light
  • Make sure that drinks are accessible, easy to use and don’t bounce
  • See how the pack feels full with all food and then see how the pack feels with 5-days food missing.

Raidlight used to be ‘the’ pack for a multi-day race but that has changed in recent years. For sure, Raidlight are still one of the main options, however, the WAA pack is a ‘go-to’ at many races and the Ultimate Direction Fastpack is slowly but surely becoming a favourite. New entries to the market are coming from Salomon and OMM have been making packs for multi-day adventures for years.

Sleeping Mat (optional) – Inflatable, Foam or no mat. I’m a firm believer in taking a mat, the weight v comfort is a no brainer. I would also choose an inflatable mat even though it does run a risk of puncture. However, with good admin, good care, in years of using inflatable I have never had an issue. A foam mat is guaranteed to last the race but for me a large and cumbersome. OMM make a very thin foam mat that they use as the back padding for their packs – this may be a god option for the real minimalist runner. Look at products from Thermarest, Sea to Summit, Klymvit and OMM.

Sleeping bag – Like the pack, a sleeping bag is a key item is it is likely to be the largest and heaviest item (except food and water) that you will carry. A sleeping bag is important as a good night’s rest is key for day-to-day running. If you are on a budget, Raidlight offer a ‘Combi’ that is a sleeping bag that converts into a jacket. You kill two birds with one stone and the price is a bargain. However, for me it has downsides – it’s large, heavy and offers limited flexibility with temperature regulation. I will always go with a sleeping bag and down jacket scenario is this for me provides less weight, less packed size, more flexibility and the option to get warmer at night by wearing the jacket inside the bag. Problem is, this comes at a price. A lightweight down bag and jacket will be more than likely three to four times the price of the Raidlight Combi. Also, consider your size, shoulder width, height and so on. Some bags are very small whereas bags such as PHD and Yeti can be purchased in small, medium or large. Recommended bags are PHD (custom or off-the peg), Yeti, Western Mountaineering, Haglofs, OMM (not down) and Raidlight. Read HERE

Head Torch – Don’t compromise, you need a good head-torch that provides enough light for running in a black desert at night. Don’t use rechargeable or a torch with gizmos. You just ideally need variable power, a red-light option so you don’t disturb others at night and it will either take AA or AAA batteries. Recommendations are Black Diamond, Petzl, Silva or LED Lenser.

Flip-flops – Free slippers that hotels give away are popular as they are small, fold and are lightweight. However, they don’t stay on and they don’t protect from thorns or stones. Cheap, lightweight plastic or rubber flip flops work for me. I have seen some improvised flip-flops made from run shoe insoles and some string. It’s that group 1 to group 5 scenario again!

Personal medical kit (feet etc.) – Foot care is essential and although many races have a medical team on hand to look after you and your feet, understanding how to do this yourself is key. learn foot care and treatment and understand how to tape your feet. Ready-made foot care kits are available such as this at MyRaceKit here

Spot Tracker (supplied at MDS, optional at other races)

Road Book (supplied)

*Food for the required days – (see clarification below). Food is very personal and it’s imperative you find out what works for you based on your size, gender, calorie burn and speed of running. The front runners will use carbohydrate and fat as fuel as they will run at a faster pace and therefore they will potentially fuel ‘during’ each stage with carbs. However, as you move through the pack going into groups 2-5 the need for fat as a fuel is more important and therefore ALL runners before heading out to any multi-stage race should ideally have taught their bodies to use fat – we have an unlimited supply of this fuel! Post run it’s important to repair, we need protein for this and re-stock energy supplies, we need carbs for this. Dehydrated meals for many runners form the basis of a morning meal and evening meal. Many options are available, some people can eat anything, others are very particular. Keep in mind allergies such as gluten intolerance and decide in advance will you go hot or cold food. For me, the additional weight of a Titanium stove and fuel is worth it for hot food and a drink. We sampled some dehydrated food in 2015 HERE. In 2015, my partner Niandi Carmont ran Marathon des Sables and we worked hard to reduce pack weight to the minimum and we made sure we dialed food choices in to provide her with her desired calorie needs but also keep weight low.

As an example:

  • Dehydrated Meals x6 672g
  • Dried Mango 93g x 4 372g
  • Porridge 59g x 7 413g
  • Coffee 1g x 10 10g
  • Peanut Butter 33g x 5 165g
  • Honey 21g x 8 168g
  • Mini Salami 10g x 10 100g
  • Tropical Mix Bag 194g
  • Sesame Bites 27g x 6 162g
  • Dried Banana Block 270g
  • Mixed Nuts 200g x 2 400g
  • Macademia Nuts Bag 153g
  • Cranberries Bag 175g
  • Pitta Wraps 296g

Total Weight 3550g

**Mandatory kit – see clarification

***Water – see clarification

EQUIPMENT LIST as an example

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It’s important to note that equipment must be specific to the race you are doing and race conditions. The list below is an example of equipment for Marathon des Sables. However, if I was going to Atacama or the Grand to Grand (both self-sufficient) I would be looking at a heavier and warmer sleeping bag and a warmer jacket. Temperatures at night get much colder than the Sahara. The Grand to Grand can also have rain. If a rain jacket is on your list, the inov-8 AT/C Stormshell at 150g is hard to beat.

It’s important to note that equipment will not make you complete any race. What it can do is make the process easier and more comfortable. If you were looking for a one-stop solution, I would say that if you went away and purchased the equipment list below, you would have a comfortable and successful race. The exceptions come with shoes, that is personal and food. Food choices below are personal but a good example, you must find what works for you.

Also, note that minimum pack weight (on day one) at MDS is 6.5kg. So, you can keep purchasing lighter and lighter and then find that you are too light. I have done this. The plus side of this, is that lighter equipment allows you to take more food and/ or more options – again a good thing. For example, in my equipment list, I could go with a slightly lighter jacket, I could not take poles and I could leave the iPods at home and that would allow me 2 or 3 more dehydrated meals. However, I would prefer the equipment I want and am happy with and add 2,3,4 or 500g for the first day. Remember, the pack gets lighter as the day’s pass.

WEARING:

Hat: inov-8 or The North Face

inov-8-hat

Shirt: inov-8 AT/C Base with zip or The North Face ‘Flight’ Series – Both light and functional and allow air flow. I don’t like tight or compression as they are too hot.

inov-8-atc-t-shirt

Shorts: inov-8 AT/C 8” Short or The North Face ‘Flight’ Series – Both light and functional and allow air flow. I don’t like tight or compression as they are too hot.

inov-8-atc-trail-short

Socks: Injinji Trail Midweight or Injinji Outdoor 2.0 (which is Merino wool)

injinji-midweight

Shoes: The North Face Ultra Endurance, Scott Kinabalu Supertrac or inov-8 Trail Talon – Please note, I am a ‘neutral’ runner who prefers a moderately cushioned shoe with an 8mm drop. I would happily use any of these shoes in any multi-day race. They are comfortable, take a gaiter well, have good protection and they work excellently when walking. Remember what I said, shoes are very personal. My favourite shoe is the Nike Wildhorse for this type of adventure.

inov-8-trail-talon-275

Watch: Suunto Ambit  – Has enough battery life for a whole race. If I was worried about weight I would just go with a cheap digital.

Buff: Any

Glasses: Oakley Prescription – Prizm Trail Flak 2.0 has interchangeable lenses so I can switch from clear and smoke

oakley-flak-20-xl-matte-black-black-iridium

IN THE PACK:

*Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20L 520g – It’s a simple pack that is light, fits to the torso well, comes in S/M or M/L, holds two large bottles comfortably against the torso and importantly they don’t bounce and it has 3 external stretch pockets. The main compartment has a roll-top closure, so, as pack contents get less, you can roll the pack smaller to reduce any problems with contents moving around. *This pack has had some upgrades and changes.

Worth considering now new packs from Montane such as the Trailblazer 30 and the OMM Phantom 25

ultimate-direction-fastpack-20

 

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Jacket 180g – is super light, has a full zip and pockets, it’s a jacket I can use anywhere. I could go lighter, a little lighter, for example, the Mont-Bell is 50g lighter!

mountain-hardwear-ghost-whisperer

PHD Minimus K Sleeping Bag 380g – PHD work for me, you can have them custom made with or without zips and they are excellent. Yeti make a bag that is more than 100g lighter but I prefer the warmth and comfort of the PHD.

phd-minim-ultra-k

Thermarest Prolite Small 310g – Small, comfortable and you can double up and use it as padding in your pack.

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Black Diamond Carbon Z Poles 290g – Lightweight and folding that provide 4-wheel drive when walking.

black-diamond-carbon-z-pole

Black Diamond Spot Headtorch w/ batteries and spares 120g – Powerful (200 lumens), lightweight with many varied settings.

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Esbit Stove 11g – Small, lightweight and simple.

esbit-stove

Esbit Titanium Pot 106g – Small, lightweight and durable.

esbit-pot 

Esbit Fuel 168g

esbit-fuel

iPod Shuffle x2 64g – Life saver

Buff 16g – Essential

Spare Socks 91g – Injinji Trail Midweight or Injinji Outdoor 2.0 (which is Merino wool) 

Flip-Flops 150g – But Xero True Feel are good.

 sandals

Total Weight 2406g If I was looking to be very minimalist and as light as possible, I would not take the stove, pot and fuel and the poles, total 1831g. But, I would probably prefer the option for hot food/ drinks and work around no poles, so total weight would be 2116g.

EXTRAS:

  • Compeed 22g
  • Sportshield 8g
  • Corn Wraps 8g
  • Spork 10g
  • Pen Knife 22g
  • Compass 32g
  • Matches 20g
  • Savlon Antiseptic 18g
  • Toothpaste 36g
  • Tooth Brush 15g
  • Superglue 3g
  • Space Blanket 60g
  • Hand Gel 59g
  • Wipes 85g
  • Toilet Paper 36g
  • Safety Pins 5g
  • Ear Plugs 2g
  • Venom Pump 28g
  • Blindfold 15g
  • Sun Cream 80g
  • Whistle 15g
  • Signal Mirror 12g
  • SPOT Tracker 113g

Total Weight 806g

TOTALS:

Pack and Main Kit Contents: 2406g

Extras: 806g

Food: 3550g

Total 6762g

This pack weight includes poles and cooking utensils plus luxuries like Mp3

 (water would be added to this weight)

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IN SUMMARY

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I enjoy the process of looking at kit, looking at the options available and working out what is best for me and my situation. In some respects, I am lucky as I can test many items out in the market place and decide what I do and what I don’t like. However, trust me, products these days are so good that you can’t go wrong with almost any of the choices. Yeti, PHD, Haglofs etc. all make great sleeping bags, they will all work. Mountain Hardwear, Yeti, Mont-Bell etc. down jackets are all excellent, they all work. I could go on, but you get the picture. Like I said at the beginning, multi-day and desert racing is not complicated, don’t make it so. The only item you need to be sure on is shoes, make sure you get that right. But then again, I am sure you were running before you entered your multi-day race? You were using run shoes, be them road or trail and one must assume that they gave you no problems? If the answer is yes – why change them!

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Finally, we all love equipment and gadgets, it’s fun to go shopping and get new items. However, being physically fit and mentally strong is what will get you to the finish line – equipment is just part of the process, remember that.

Good luck!

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Clarification:

*Food (As required at Marathon des Sables)

He/she must select the type of food best suited to his/her personal needs, health, weather conditions, weight and backpack conditions. We remind you that airlines strictly forbid the carrying of gas (for cooking) on board either as hand luggage or otherwise. Each competitor must have 14 000 k/calories, that is to say a minimum of 2,000 k/calories per day, otherwise he/she will be penalized (see ART. 27 and 28). Any food out of its original packaging must be equipped, legibly, of the nutrition label shown on the product concerned. Any food out its original packaging must be equipped, legibly, of the nutrition label shown on the product concerned. 

**Mandatory Kit (as specified at Marathon des Sables)

  • 10 safety pins
  • Compass 1deg precision
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Disinfectant
  • Venom pump
  • Signal mirror
  • Survival blanket
  • Sun cream
  • 200-euro note
  • Passport
  • Medical certificate

***Water (as specified for Marathon des Sables)

Liaison stage: 10.5 liters per person per day

  • 1.5 liters before the start each morning,
  • 2 or 3 x 1.5 liters during the race, at check points,
  • 4.5 liters at arrival post.

Marathon stage: 12 liters per person per day:

  • 1.5 litre before the start in the morning,
  • 1.5 liters at check-points 1 and 3,
  • 3 liters at check-point 2,
  • 4.5 liters at arrival post. 

Non-stop stage: 22.5 liters per person over 2 days:

  • 1.5 liters before the start of the race in the morning,
  • 1.5 liters at check-points 1, 3, 6,
  • 1.5 or 3 liters at check-points 2, 4 and 5,
  • 4.5 liters at arrival post,
  • 4.5 liters at the bivouac.

Why not join our Multi-Day Training Camp in Lanzarote with 2015 Marathon des Sables ladies champion, Elisabet Barnes. The camp takes place in January each year.

Information HERE

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Support on PATREON HERE

support_patreon

Episode 114 of Talk Ultra – Kaci Lickteig, Jim Walmsley and Joanna Williams

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 114 of Talk Ultra and we have two interviews from Western States – Ladies champion Kaci Lickteig and the incredible Jim Walmsley who looked to break all WSER records only to go off course at 92 miles. We also speak with Joanna Williams, the outright winner from South Africa’s Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun. We have the news, ultra chat and Ryan Sandes co-hosts!

00:16:46 NEWS

WESTERN STATES

Andrew Miller 15:39

Didrik Hermansen 16:16

Jeff Browning 16:30

notable Paul Giblin from UK 5th 16:53

Kaci Lickteig 17:57 4th fastest lady ever

Amy Sproson 18:54

Devon Yanko 19:10

00:27:42 INTERVIEW KACI LICKTEIG

RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER WILDRUN

Results:

Joanna Williams 22:23:01

Tobias Mews 22:42:00

Dawid Kaswarie 23:07:34

Daniel Meyes 25:18:20

Linda Doke 25:43:52

John Cuff 26:41:19

Ryno Bakkes 26:52:04

Elisabet Barnes 27:01:56

Christiaan Vorster 27:23:19

Stephen Cunliffe 28:23:19

01:04:45  INTERVIEW with JOANNA WILLIAMS

BIG RED RUN

Results:

Elisabet Barnes 19:47:39

Jamie Hildage 20:54:34

Andy Dubois 21:25:02

Top 3 ladies:

Elisabet Barnes 19:47:39

Helen Durand 23:35:04

Anna Bennett 25:54:10

Top 3 men:

Jamie Hildage 20:54:34

Andy Dubois 21:25:02

Braddan Johnson 22:29:18

*Audio for Big Red Run to follow in the next show

LAVAREDO

Andy Symonds 12:15:06 new CR

Gediminas Grinius 12:23:06

Javi Dominguez 12:36:45

Andrea Huser 14:32:39

Uxue Fraile 15:13:09

Fernanda Maciel 15:20:57

MONT BLANC 80K

Caroline Chaverot 11:40 (winner Transgrancanaria)

Diego Pazos 10:52 (3rd at Transgrancanaria)

MOUNT MARATHON

David Norris 41:26 broke KJ’s record from last year by 22 secs

Nick Elson

Eric Strabel

Christy Marvin 51:02

Yngvild Kaspersen

Denali Forager Stabel

WMRA in Slovenia

Annie Conway from UK world champ! ahead of Antonella Confortola and Lucija Krkoc

Alessandro Rambaidini beat Marco De Gasperi and Mitja Kosovelj

Robert Young of the U.K. appears to have succumbed to a foot injury somewhere around Indianapolis, falling short in his attempt at a Guinness world record for the transcontinental run. The tracker has not moved since June 17. Though no concrete resolution was reached on the claims of cheating, the run’s final week was mired in controversy and is likely to remain a polarising topic? “Skins’ are investigating… HERE

Timmy Olson – American Tarzan. Discovery Channel HERE When Tim gets low on energy, he goes into his trademark “Animal Mode,” and enters the “Pain Cave” to get through it – training which will serve him well in the jungle!”

Coming up – Hardrock 100, High Trail Vanoise, Dolomites SkyRace and the Skyrunning World Champs

02:14:00 INTERVIEW JIM WALMSLEY

UP & COMING RACES

Andorra

Celestrail | 83 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Ronda dels Cims | 170 kilometers | July 15, 2016 | website

Ultra mític | 112 kilometers | July 15, 2016 | website

Australia

Queensland

1&1/2 | 63 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

3 Marathons in 3 Days | 126 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

3 Marathons in 3 Days | 126 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge | 96 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Victoria

You Yangs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 17, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

La Chouffe Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 17, 2016 | website

Brazil

Ultraaratona dos Perdidos | 105 kilometers | July 15, 2016 | website

Bulgaria

65km Tryavna Ultra | 65 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Canada

Alberta

Sinister 7 Ultra | 100 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

British Columbia

Broken Goat 50K | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Ontario

The North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario 50 Km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Quebec

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Finland

Lapland

NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 125 km | 125 kilometers | July 15, 2016 | website

NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 55K | 55 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

France

Corrèze

L’EDFi du Lac | 100 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Le Tour du Cardant | 65 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Finistère

100 km de Cléder | 100 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

57 km | 57 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Gard

Grand trail Stevenson 110 km | 110 kilometers | July 17, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 126 km | 126 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 144 km | 144 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 179 km | 179 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 224 km | 224 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 55 km | 55 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 59 km | 59 kilometers | July 18, 2016 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 65 km | 65 kilometers | July 17, 2016 | website

Haute-Corse

Restonica Trail – 69 km | 69 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail di Corsica | 110 kilometers | July 07, 2016 | website

Haute-Loire

Le Puy-en-Velay – Conques (Juillet) | 208 kilometers | July 07, 2016 | website

Haut-Rhin

Trail du Pays Welche | 50 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Isère

La Grande Course | 65 kilometers | July 14, 2016 | website

Jura

L’intégrale | 120 kilometers | July 14, 2016 | website

Relais de 2 coureurs | 120 kilometers | July 14, 2016 | website

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Grand trail de la Vallée d’Ossau | 73 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Savoie

Grand Parcours | 64 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Ice Trail Tarentaise Val d’Isère | 65 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Juli | 108 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Bärenfels Ultra Trail | 64 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Greece

Kronion Ultra | 70 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Iceland

Laugavegur Ultra Marathon | 55 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Italy

Piedmont

BUT – 85 km | 85 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Veneto

Asolo 100 km | 100 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Asolo 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Japan

Oxfam Trailwalker Japan | 100 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Madagascar

Racing Madagascar | 150 kilometers | July 19, 2016 | website

Mauritius

Trail des 7 Couleurs | 120 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Norway

Hornindal Rundt 75 km | 75 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Ultra NORWAY Race | 160 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

Poland

TriCity Trail 80+ | 80 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Portugal

Ultra 75 km | 75 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Romania

Marathon 7500 Elite | 90 kilometers | July 15, 2016 | website

Singapore

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Slovakia

Nízkotatranská stíhačka | 100 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

South Africa

Rhodes Trail Run | 52 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Al Andalus Ultimate Trail | 230 kilometers | July 11, 2016 | website

Ultra Sierra Nevada | 103 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

USN Trail | 62 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Aragon

Distancia Maratón – 111 km | 111 kilometers | July 07, 2016 | website

Distancia Media Maratón – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 07, 2016 | website

Basque Country

Ehunmilak | 168 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

G2handiak | 88 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

Cantabria

Trail La Herradura de Campoo – 55 km | 55 kilometers | July 17, 2016 | website

Trail La Herradura de Campoo – Trail Etapas 28+32 | 60 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Sweden

GAX 100 miles | 100 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Swedish Alpine Ultra | 107 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Eiger Ultra Trail E101 | 101 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Eiger Ultra Trail E51 | 51 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Valais

La traversée | 61 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

X-Alpine | 111 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Turkey

80K Ultra Maraton | 80 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Erciyes Ultra Sky Trail 64k-3000m+ | 64 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Buckinghamshire

Chiltern Ultra Challenge “Intro” 50km Ultra | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Essex

Saffron Trail Ultra | 70 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Glasgow City

Clyde Stride Ultra Marathon | 40 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Kent

The 50 Mile Challenge | 52 miles | July 10, 2016 | website

Oxfordshire

Race to the Stones | 100 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Shropshire

Wenlock Olympian Run | 50 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Wenlock Olympian Walk | 50 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Somerset

Ham & Lyme 100k | 100 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Ham & Lyme 50k | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

USA

California

Badwater 135 | 135 miles | July 18, 2016 | website

CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Jul) | 50 kilometers | July 17, 2016 | website

Golden Gate Trail Run 50 km (summer) | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Mt. Disappointment 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Mt. Disappointment 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

Pacifica 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Rancho Canada del Oro and Calero Park 50K | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Colorado

Hardrock 100 Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 15, 2016 | website

Leadville Silver Rush 50 | 50 miles | July 10, 2016 | website

Sheep Mountain 50 Mile Endurance Run | 51 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Idaho

Beaverhead 100K Endurance Run | 100 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Beaverhead 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

McCall Trailrunning 40 Mile Classic | 40 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Illinois

Calumet Region trail Relay | 40 miles | July 17, 2016 | website

Indiana

110 Miles HIgh School (up to 7 runners) | 110 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

110 Miles Open (5-7 runners) | 110 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

110 Miles Superhuman (2 runners) | 110 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

110 Miles Ultra (3-4 runners) | 110 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

55 Miles Open (5-7 runners) | 55 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

55 Miles Superhuman (2 runners) | 55 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

55 Miles The Gump (1 runner) | 55 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

55 Miles Ultra (3-4 4unners) | 55 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Kansas

Honey Badger 100 Mile Ultra Road Race | 100 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

Psycho Psummer 50K | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Maryland

Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

The Rock Run | 50 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Montana

50 Mile | 50 miles | July 15, 2016 | website

Devil’s Backbone 50 Miles | 50 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Seeley Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2016 | website

Thunderbolt Creek 50 Km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Nevada

Tahoe Rim Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Tahoe Rim Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Tahoe Rim Trail 50M | 50 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Ohio

Buckeye Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Oregon

50K | 50 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

Relay | 69 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Texas

Muleshoe Bend – 60k | 60 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Utah

Skyline Mountain 50 Trail Run | 50 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

Speedgoat 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Ultra Adventures Capitol Reef 100 Mile | 100 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

Ultra Adventures Capitol Reef 50K | 50 kilometers | July 10, 2016 | website

Ultra Adventures Capitol Reef 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 10, 2016 | website

Vermont

Vermont 100k Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Washington

Grey Rock 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage | 190 miles | July 15, 2016 | website

Wild Woman Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

DWD Devil’s Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | July 09, 2016 | website

DWD Devil’s Lake 50M | 50 miles | July 09, 2016 | website

03:10:46 CLOSE

Many thanks to Ryan Sandes for co-hosting this show.

 

03:14:23

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

Stitcher You can listen on iOS HERE, Android HERE or via a web player HERE

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

Website – talkultra.com

Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun 2016 on RUNULTRA

Richtersveld

“South African trail running pioneer Linda Doke and 2015 Marathon des Sables female champion, Elisabet Barnes placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in the ladies’ race. Both ladies summing up their experiences with a similar thought process, “What an incredible privilege it was to spend 5 days running through this magnificent part of the world on the Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun®. Sometimes it takes experiencing places like this to remind us how just how fragile and yet so powerful nature is, and how unbelievably insignificant we are in the bigger scheme of things.” – Linda Doke –

Read the full article: HERE

runultra-logo

Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun 2016 – The Faces of the final day

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8564

Here are the faces of the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun, today, Friday 17th June they will run the final 26km to complete the ‘transfrontier’ run.

A relaxed day with a late start, making sure we maximise the amazing natural hot springs before the final chip to the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort. Around the first bend, the runners find themselves climbing up a short cut, before turning a corner on a long stretch of Fish River Canyon. An unsuspecting slot ravine swallows everyone up from the river, taking them on an exploration to the east of the Fish River Canyon on well-worn game trails. Climbing to a high point before winding  back to cross the Fish River Canyon again. Running up another dry wash following Zebra trails to below a climb to the peak above the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and a magnificent view over the mountain wilderness surrounds. A technical descent brings the runners back to the Fish River and soon cheers bring everyone to the finish of the Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun®.

Race images will be available on iancorless.photoshelter.com

 

Richtersveldwildrun

Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun 2016 – Stage Four

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-5411

Today, the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun really did go wild with an early morning crossing of the Orange River and two days in Namibia.

It really was an incredible day!

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8473

Leaving the magnificent De Hoop Camp on the banks of the Orange River, runners were transported by a small rubber dingy on groups of 4-6 with a series of staggered starts on the Namibian side.

Race images will be available on iancorless.photoshelter.com

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8588

From here, the runners had a short run down stream for a few kilometres before reaching a small section of ‘main’ jeep track that runs past Oom Kobus Jansen’s old farm.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8703

A runnable climb up Jansen’s Aloof follows to the base of Zebra pass, so named for the clear trail created by the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra – a species of zebra especially adapted to arid and desert environments.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-5010

What followed will be one of the most memorable sections of the day and maybe of the race for some, following a wild game trail rollercoaster down Zebra Kloof to meet with the enormous Fish River Canyon.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8940

Once in the canyon, it’s a steady and hard fought battle up the Fish River Canyon to the Wilderness Hot Springs Camp to enjoy a welcome rest in natural hot springs.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8827

Today, Elisabet Barnes found her legs and in her own words said, “I had a great day, I loved it!” Starting in the 2nd to last group, Elisabet caught all the runners before her and held off the top 3 runners of Tobias Mews, Jo Williams and David Kaswari all the way to the line but a slight navigation mishap in the final km allowed David Kaswari to pass her and with a sprint he took the stage victory – Elisabet finished 2nd.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8886

Jo Williams and Tobias Mews finished just behind Elisabet and Tobias commented, “It was a tough day today, we made a few navigational errors and the terrain dictated that we needed to walk certain sections. The course and the route though was just amazing. It was a highlight of the week, it combined the best of the Richtersveld and Fish River Canyon was just amazing… I was sad to finish but I was also glad it was no longer; it was a tough day!”

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-5121

Ultimately, it was a tough day and a tough day for all. The runners ran into the night and head-torches glowed in the pitch black night as the final runners ran into camp, 12+hours after starting.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-5203

Highlights of the day were discussed around camp fires under African skies with plates of hot stew – talk of Zebra, Ostrictch, Kudu and incredible sights. The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun really did come to life today and as Owen Middleton (race director) said at the pre-race briefing, the opportunity to run and spend time in this wilderness is a complete privilege. It’s not our right to be here but an immense and memorable opportunity. It’s one the runners will not forget!

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-5075

Overall, although not yet confirmed, the top 3 ladies and top 3 men positions will not have changed.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-4985

Tomorrow is the final day and at 36km, it will be a welcome shorter day but it has 3 climbs and a 300m technical descent to the finish at AI-AIS HOT SPRINGS RESORT.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-5312

Ranking after stage 4 (tbc)

  1. Jo Williams
  2. Tobias Mews
  3. Dawid Kaswarie
  4. Daniel Meyes 
  5. Stephen Cunliffe
  6. Linda Doke 
  7. Elisabet Barnes

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day4-8982

Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun 2016 – Stage Three

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4057

Golden light illuminated the ‘Springbok Flats’ and moody blue clouds provided a stunning contrast to the opening miles of day 3 of the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun.

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It was a stunning start to the day. As the runners progressed across the flats, they were spotlit as they worked their way to one of the key highlights not only of the day but the whole Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun – the Tattasberg Boulders.

Race images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4783

Huge balls of rock, some the size of houses, leave an impression on the mind and eyes. Following a line of markers (the only section of the race to be marked for safety reasons) the runners weaved a route up, over and around the huge marbles of stone and at the top they then worked their way down to the valley and a downhill run to the Orange River. Across the water, Namibia and stage 4 of the race.©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4286

But first, 10km’s of sandy trails would lead in to camp and the stunning setting on the banks of the river.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-8304

As per day 2, the race had several start times, the first starting 1hour earlier than day 2 – 0700, 0730, 0800 and 0830.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4485

David Kaswarie, Tobias Mews and Jo Williams dictated the earlier pace to cp1 and then David pulled away and opened up a gap. At one point he had gained 15 minutes but after the Tattasberg boulders, the flat running allowed Tobias and Jo to close the gap to 10 minutes at the Orange River and below 5 minutes at the finish line. David finished in 4:08 and Tobias and Jo 4:10. David must really be kicking himself with his error on day 1, he would now be leading the race…

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4504 ©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4513

Elisabet Barnes found her legs today and after the run she said, “I had a great day today, I was worried about the boulders but I loved the section and once we got into the final 15km i could run, I love to run and it was great to open up my stride and gain some time!”

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-8345

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4414

Linda Doke by contrast had a less successful day, “There was too much running today, I prefer the more technical stuff.” Linda lost time to Elisabet Barnes but her 2nd place is still secure.

In the men’s race, Tobias Mews still holds a convincing lead as does Jo Williams in the ladies race.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4372

Tomorrow, the runners go ‘transfrontier’ and cross into Namibia and the Fish River Canyon.

Stage Results day three:

David Kaswarie 4:08:11

Tobias Mews and Jo Williams 4:10:04

Daniel Meyes 4:42:48

Elisabet Barnes 4:46:41

John Cuff 4:53:09

Sue Peterkin 5:11:52

Linda Doke 5:12:37

Ryno Bakkes 5:18:34

Christiaan Vorster 5:21:54

Ranking after stage 3

  1. Jo Williams 12:44:00
  2. Tobias Mews 13:03:02
  3. Dawid Kaswarie 13:29:29
  4. Daniel Meyes 1`4:46:48
  5. Stephen Cunliffe 14:52:07
  6. Linda Doke 14:54:10
  7. Elisabet Barnes 15:43:38

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-8241 ©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-8249 ©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-8263

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Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun 2016 – Stage Two

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A chilly night welcomed a beautiful clear morning and as the sun book the horizon, the ambiance in camp glowed with the sun. Starting in 4 specific groups based on finishing times from day one, the 43 runners departed at 0800, 0830. 0900 or 0930.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day2-7739

It was a game of cat and mouse as the fast runners pursued those in front. David Kaswarie who had received a 1 hour time penalty on day 1 pushed hard, nobody a little perturbed with his demotion… he would be leading the race otherwise.

Tobias Mews and Jo Williams however, hardly let David out of sight and made sure that he was within eye view for most of the day.

Race images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com

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Linda Doke in the ladies race ran a controlled race and paced herself for a consistent ladies 2nd place once again and 7th on the stage.

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Elisabet Barnes who had a tough day 1 placed 3rd on the stage maintaining her overall 3rd position, however, it was touch and go during the night and the morning if she would start day 2 – her multiple falls on day 1 had left her bruised but more importantly, she may well have a very serious sprain to the left hand.

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The medics did a good job with the application of supportive taping but Elisabet was strongly advised, “No racing and whatever you do, do not fall!”

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Post race, Elisabet commented, “I had a good day today but I didn’t push the pace. When I could run, I did and I loved it. On the more technical sections, of which there are many, I eased back and relaxed – a fall today and my race would be over!”

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day2-3289

Stephen Cunliffe after a great day 1 fell in the boulders and unfortunately badly sprained his ankle today after running with Tobias and Jo, he finished in 6th place but he had some real disappointment and hopes he will be able to run tomorrow.

“I was running with Tobias and Jo, we were taking it in turns to lead the way and navigate. I turned around at one point and took my eyes off the trail, a big mistake as my ankle just twisted.”

The stage, as one would expect of this region, was a stunner. Easy early running eased everyone into the stage. A gradual climb on good paths, followed by a descent was the prelude to more technical running and the feared river bed that was littered with boulders. This section provided a gateway to the final 4-5km of easy running to the line.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day2-3516

In general terms, day 2 had considerably less navigation problems as all the runners are finally getting a feel for the map and gps units. However, there were a coupe of real errors that added some considerable time to one or two runners days.

Tomorrow, the runners will face the incredible Tattasberg Boulders and they will then finish the day on the banks of the Orange River with a stunning camp 3.

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day2-3743©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day2-7810

Tobias Mews, who is leading the men’s race commented on his day, “People talk about the loneliness of the long distance runner, but the Richtersveld is to be shared. Mutual gasps of wonder should be appreciated with others, it’s lovely to make friends as we run and in Jo I have found a bond -it’s great to run with someone else and share the journey.”

©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day2-2996

Stage Results day two:

  1. David Kaswarie 3:53:35
  2. Tobias Mews and Jo Williams 4:06:08
  3. Ryno Bakkes 4:29:15
  4. Daniel Meyes 4:29:52
  5. Stephen Cunliffe 4:32:48
  6. Linda Doke 4:40:51
  7. Christian Forster 4:41:50
  8. Elisabet Barnes 4:59:02
  9. Gavin Shang 5:00:01

Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun™ 2016

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-1791

I am fortunate to travel to many races and work as a photographer and journalist. In 2015, I traveled to South Africa with Nikki Kimball and Olympic rower, James Cracknell for the Richtersveld Wildrun.

It was an incredible experience and I have to say, a highlight of my year. I recently wrote in an online article for AVAUNT Magazine (HERE):

“The simple act of running, placing one foot in-front of the other as a method of transport takes us back to our roots, our basic instincts. In search of a place to sleep, to hunt for food; it is about being in the wild, surviving and fulfilling a primal need.”

Richtersveld Wildrun | Avaunt Magazine-1

In 2016, the race goes one step further and becomes ‘Transfrontier.’ The race will now pass over the Orange River and in to Namibia.

After two years the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has become known as one of the toughest, most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar. In 2016 however, this iconic event takes on a new shape to become the first cross-border trail running event in the world; extending to a linear 200km, five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia through the heart of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place  – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!”said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.

The new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition, including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders. On day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia and the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon. This 50km day will take runners into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle and rich in wildlife such as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0853After a long, tough day, runners will spend the evening in the canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.

Race dates are 13-17 June 2016 and entries open midday October 21st

International entries HERE

European entries HERE

The overall race distance for 2016 will be 200km and the daily distances will be – 36.3km + 32.1km + 34km + 48.3km + 21.3km.

Terrain is very mixed, varied and stunning and requires adaptation to sandy terrain, heat, climbing, remoteness and an ability to run with a GPS.

Need help with training, join my 2016 multi-day training camp in Lanzarote.

Details are HERE

Multi-Day Camp Image

Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.

“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience.”

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0449

If you need inspiration, check out the film from 2015 below.

You can also view photo galleries HERE

 

If you would like more information please use the form below or use the above links.

Richtersveld Wildrun™ goes TRANSFRONTIER

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0413

After two years the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has become known as one of the toughest, most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar. In 2016 however, this iconic event takes on a new shape to become the first cross-border trail running event in the world; extending to a linear 200km, five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia through the heart of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-0939“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place  – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-0946The new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition, including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders. On day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia and the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon. This 50km day will take runners into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle and rich in wildlife such as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0853After a long, tough day, runners will spend the evening in the canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.

Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.

“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience,” he said.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0449Tamaryn Middleton, general manager of Wildrunner, was very excited to launch the new route and said:

“To be the first to cross an international border in a trail running event and to be in such an iconic part of Namibia as the Fish River Canyon is awesome – we can’t wait to take a new group of adventurers on this epic journey.”

The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun™ will take place from 13-17 June 2016 and entries will open 21 October 2015 

Interested? Contact the UK agents for the race using the contact form below.