THE BUFFALO STAMPEDE brings Skyrunning to Australia

iancorless.com

“The purest form of mountain running … getting to the top of a mountain and back down again as quickly as possible. It’s the athlete versus the mountain. It’s not for the faint‐hearted. It’s definitely a significant challenge and the athlete needs to know what they are doing.’ Marcus Warner

For the very first time, Australia has a new trail running event which is part of the internationally prestigious Skyrunning brand that attracts top athletes to the top of the world, where earth and sky meet.

Officially launched today, the Buffalo Stampede in the Victorian alpine country is expected to attract a bumper field of talented local and overseas runners as it forms the foundation stone of a planned Australia‐New Zealand Skyrunning series.

©buffalostampede

©buffalostampede

To be staged on April 5 and 6 next year (2014), it is hoped that ultimately the Buffalo Stampede will join the elite list of Skyrunning World Series events like the Mont Blanc Marathon in France, Speedgoat 50 in the USA and the Mount Elbrus Vertical Kilometre in Russia.

Skyrunning as a recognised discipline traces its roots back to Italian mountaineer Marino Giacometti and fellow enthusiasts who started pioneering races and records on famous European peaks like Mont Blanc in the 1990s.

Today the sport is managed by the International Skyrunning Federation and features superstars like Spanish alpine master Kilian Jornet.

Kilian Jornet, Matterhorn ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet, Matterhorn ©iancorless.com

Marcus Warner, the president of Skyrunning Australia and New Zealand, says the Buffalo Stampede embodies what Skyrunning is all about: “The purest form of mountain running … getting to the top of a mountain and back down again as quickly as possible. It’s the athlete versus the mountain. It’s not for the faint‐hearted. It’s definitely a significant challenge and the athlete needs to know what they are doing.’

The Buffalo Stampede, Warner says, will finally “put Australia on the map’’ of Skyrunning because it will finally convince overseas runners that Australia possesses the terrain to stage a serious mountain running challenge. “Elevation is really what drives the difficulty of it. [The organisers] have really sought out the most extreme mountain in Australia that really embodies Skyrunning because of how steep it is. Nearly 5000m [of elevation gain] over 75km is up there with some of the best races in the world. [Elite overseas runners] are going to go away pretty sore and pretty beat up from this race.’’

Lauri Van Houten, Executive Director of the ISF had this to say, “Of course we’re very excited about the launch of ANZ skyrunning in the capable hands of Marcus Warner and his associates and with the support of an ambassador like Anna Frost.  In global terms Skyrunning has been active in Malaysia and the Philippines for many years and more recently,  South Africa and China. Australia and New Zealand was included as an ISF member at our last General Assembly and, as the home of many great runners, they can’t help but make their mark on the sport!”

Mick Donges - ©buffalostampede

Mick Donges – ©buffalostampede

The Buffalo Stampede has been organised by Sean Greenhill from the respected outdoor adventure company Mountain Sports.

A passionate trail runner himself, Greenhill already stages popular trail running events like the Glow Worm Tunnel Marathon and the Sydney Trailrunning Series.

He chose Mount Buffalo National Park in Victoria as the venue for the Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon (75km) and Buffalo Stampede SkyMarathon (41.4km) because it is one of the few areas in Australia where he could satisfy the exacting Skyrunning rules about vertical gain.

No other runs in Australia over similar distances will have as much climbing as the Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon (4545m) and the Buffalo Stampede SkyMarathon (2924m).

“I can’t think of a marathon in Australia that comes within 500m of gain of the Mount Buffalo SkyMarathon,’’ Greenhill says. “They are, in terms of elevation gain over distance, the most difficult events of their kind in Australia.’’

And because it is the eroded magma chamber of an extinct volcano, Mount Buffalo boasts a spectacular granite terrain like no other peak in the Snowy Mountains.

Greenhill also chose Mount Buffalo because it allows him to start the Buffalo Stampede events in the beautiful town of Bright, which he loves for its alpine scenery, fine food, local produce, boutique beer and outdoor sports culture.

Trail to Cathedral ©buffalostampede

Trail to Cathedral ©buffalostampede

Clayton Neil, the manager for economic development with Bright’s Alpine Shire Council, said: “We see the Buffalo Stampede as a really strong addition to our events calendar that really aligns with where we are heading. It embraces being active in nature and living life outside. Bright has always been a popular place for people who love the outdoors and this event takes that to another level.’’

Although the Buffalo Stampede races will be among Australia’s toughest, they are open to entry from anyone, with no qualifying needed.

Up for grabs in the Buffalo Stampede are tickets to the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships to be held next June in the famed French alpine resort of Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc

A three‐day Buffalo Stampede training camp based in Bright will be hosted by top Australian trail runners Brendan Davies and Hanny Allston from January 17 to 19.

Brendan Davies  inov-8 ©iancorless.com

Brendan Davies inov-8 ©iancorless.com

Davies raced in the Skyrunning Mont Blanc Marathon this year and will be competing in the Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon in April in the hope of winning a ticket back to the slopes of Mont Blanc for the Skyrunning World Championships.

Davies, a Mountain Sports ambassador for the Buffalo Stampede, said: “The Skyrunning label brings with it a lot of credibility. It puts [Australia] on the world map as a destination for the world’s elite trail runners. For Australian runners, it gives us the capacity to dip our feet into the Skyrunning series without having to travel overseas. It’s just a plus for the sport. I see it as a real positive for everyone. I’m going to be going all out for that race.’’

Race Stats:

Ultra Stampede

  • 75.5km
  • Elevation gain 4545m
  • Elevation loss 4545m
  • Max altitude 1380m
  • 8 aid stations
  • 15 hour cut off

Stampede Marathon

  • 41.4km
  • Elevation gain 2924m
  • Elevation loss 1941m
  • Max altitude 1380m
  • 4 aid stations
  • 10 hour cut off

Go to www.buffalostampede.com.au for more details about the Buffalo Stampede.
Sean Greenhill is available for interviews on 0409 047 714 or via sean@mountainsports.com.au

LINKS

  • More information on Skyrunning available HERE
  • Buffalo Stampede on Facebook HERE
  • Buffalo Stampede on Twitter HERE
  • Race Website HERE
  • Skyrunning ANZ website HERE
  • Skyrunning ANZ on Facebook HERE
  • Skyrunning ANZ on Twitter HERE

2013 Calendar – Race Coverage

Just four days into a new year and my diary is full…. or so to speak.

2012 was an incredible year. So many new things and new opportunities. The success of Talk Ultra was incredible and in just a couple of weeks the show will be 1 year old! In addition to the podcast I diversified my photographic skills and in conjunction with writing I shifted away from working as a ‘commercial photographer’ in the advertising world (I till do some commissions) and started to concentrate on running, runners, races and the world around this.

I am extremely grateful to Skyrunning for the support and backing in providing me with the opportunity to attend so many great events. I am also extremely grateful and thankful (in no particular order) to

Of course articles and photography would mean nothing without an outlet and I would like to thank:

So what does 2013 have in store?

Here is a list of races that I will be attending as a photographer and journalist in 2013.

2013 CALENDAR

January

February

01st – 10th COSTA RICA: The Coastal Challenge. Official Race Website HERE

RainforestRunHeader

28th – 7th SPAIN: Lanzarote (training camp)

March

April

04th -18th MOROCCO: Marathon des Sables. Official Race Website HERE

DRAYMDS2012-04-14-3437

18th – 22th TURKEY: Iznik Ultra TBC  Official Race Website HERE

turkey

May

09th -17th SPAIN: Skyrunning Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 83k, La Palma. Official Race Website HERE

iancorless.comP1040137

24th – 27th SPAIN: Skyrunning Zegama-Aizkorri. Official Race Website HERE

zegama

June

20th – 24th ANDORRA: Skyrunning Ronda dels Cims – 170k, Vallnord. Official Race Website HERE

Perfil2012Ronda

27th -1st July FRANCE: Skyrunning KM Vertical, Chamonix & Mont-Blanc Marathon. Official Race Website HERE

Mont Blanc Marathon

July

12th -15th FRANCE: Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise – 65k, Val d’Isère. Official Race Website HERE

image_115

18th  – 20th ITALY: European Skyrunning Championships. Official Race Website HERE

Image courtesy of Trans D'Havet

Image courtesy of Trans D’Havet

August

23rd – 26th SWITZERLAND:  Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks – 46k, Zermatt. Official Race Website HERE

ultraks

September

22nd – 28th Sept (Race Dates) my schedule 19th to 26th USA: Grand to Grand Ultra – Official Race Website HERE

G@G

24th -01st Oct (dates tbc)  USA: Skyrunning Ultra Race of Champions “UROC” -100k, Vail. Official Race Website HERE

uroc

October

10th -14th  ITALY:  Skyrunning Xtreme – Vertical Kilometer® & SKY RACE, Limone sul Garda. Official Race Website HERE

extreme

November

Everest Trail Race

December

 

Episode 23 – King, Kremer & Davies

We speak to man of the moment Max King after his incredible wins at UROC and JFK50. Oz fast man, Brendan Davies talks about the ultra scene down under and his win at GNW100. Pocket Rocket Stevie Kremer tells us what it’s like to move from the US to Italy and race at the highest level. Talk Training with Marc Laithwaite is about run shoes. We have the news with Ian Sharman, a blog post with Ellie Greenwood, up and coming races and of course Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

Libsyn – HERE

ITunes HERE

RSS – HERE

Website – talkultra.com

Show Notes

00:00:00

00:00:45 show start

00:22:00 Interview with Brendan Davies website here

Apart from running, I enjoy a lot of other sports; mountain biking, adventure racing, rogaining, skin/scuba diving and still play social squash. I guess I do these things as I love pushing my mind and body to the limits and being rewarded with fitness, health and friendships that have positive impacts on all aspects of my life. It also gives me the quiet time I need to process all the garbage that life throws at you.

00:51:46 News with Ian Sharman

01:11:00 Interview with Stevie Kremer here

01:32:45 Back to the news

01:38:30 Blog – Ellie Greenwood blog post here

It gets to this time of year and with one racing year winding down it’s time to start planning a little for the following year.  My schedule is never set in stone and I’m sure there will be changes before hitting some of these start lines.

01:42:07 Talk Training with Marc Laithwaite – run shoes

02:09:05 Interview with Max King

Date of Birth:
February 24, 1980

Place of Birth:
Sacramento, CA

Current Home town: 
Bend, OR

Primary Race Distance:
Hmm, 3k to 50 mile. What’s primary mean anyway?

Other hobbies or sports:
Shoes, running up hills, skiing, mountain biking

What MHW/ Montrail gear and clothing is in your quiver for a typical day at/ on the trail? 
Rogue Racers
Effusion Tights
Geist Jacket
Wicked Lite L/S
Power Stretch Glove
If it’s nice then the Ultra Refueler Shorts and Way2Cool shirt.

How were you introduced to your sport? 
I wasn’t always a “team player” and I was terrible at ball sports. I used to crush the other kids in the PE mile though so I went out for track in 7th grade.

What inspires you?
Lots of things: A cold stormy run through deep forest on a flowing single track trail, seeing someone else make a huge breakthrough after months or years of hard training, or just the pre-race adrenaline that comes when all the best racers toe the line.

What advice would you give to newcomers to (your sport) today? 
It’s all about having fun and working hard. There are no special secrets to anyone’s running success, it’s all hard work.

What’s your favorite pre race meal? 
A Hammer Bar or oatmeal.

What the first thing you look forward to doing after a long run / race? 
Eating, I like to eat. A lot. It might not show but I run to eat and I eat to run.

How do you balance your training schedule with your “real” job? 
I quit my real job.

Do you have any pre-race/ pre-competition rituals? 
Sure, but I can’t tell you or it would jinx my superstitions.

In 10 years I hope to be…
Doing the same thing I’m doing today. I envy those guys that are still improving at 40+ and hope that I’ll be doing the same.

Six-word bio:
Pain is weakness leaving the body.

When singing karaoke, what song do you sing to bring down the house? 
If I could even sing, it would be: Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

What music gets you fired up? 
Linkin Park

If you were a super hero, who would you be? 
Wolverine, he’s just plain bad ass. And yes, I’m a comic book geek.

02:48:40 Back to Karl

02:55:56 A Meltzer Moment with Speedgoat Karl

03:00:00 Up & coming races for the next two weeks

03:01:10 Show close

03:05:24

 

Douche Grade – it’s official !

Thanks to Outside Magazine, lovers of the #douchgrade and in particular I refer to The North Face athlete MIKE WOLFE and Pearl Izumi athlete NICK CLARKE, the Douche Grade has been confirmed as an official ultra term:

ACROPHOBIA: An abnormal fear of being in high places. As the Hardrock runner’s manual reminds you “if you suffer from this and see it in the course description, you will not enjoy that location on the course.”

AID STATION: just what it sounds like. Aid stations are a runner’s lifeline in a long race. Beacons of hope that turn 50 or 100 miles into eight-10 mile increments. Think a smorgasbord of M&M’s, potato chips, powdered energy drinks, flat soda, bananas, potatoes, gels, and sometimes bacon and beer. If you’re feeling terrible, we suggest stopping to talk with volunteers. They’re usually the coolest people around.

BELT BUCKLE: The most common finisher’s prize for the heavy-hitting hundreds (Leadville, Western States, Bear, etc.). Not much for prize money in the ultra-circuit, but man, those belt buckles sure are nice.

BENCH: A naturally occurring shelf typically found between two higher points.

BONK: Severe fatigue caused by a loss of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles.

CHICKED: You can thank Dusty Olson (Scott Jurek’s longtime pacer) for this term. It’s a little derogatory, but basically means getting passed by a girl. of the debate.

CLIMB: Running uphill. (Here’s a little secret: Unless you’re in the elite crowd, most ultradistance runners don’t actually do a lot of uphill running. This is for two reasons: 1. It’s hard, and 2. usually the alternative, power hiking, will get you up the hill faster than attempting to run, while simultaneously helping conserve energy for later.)

COMPRESSION TIGHTS: Form-fitting running tights that help keep muscles warm to regulate strain/fatigue by focusing the direction of the muscle and perhaps reducing the build up of creatine kinase (muscle tissue damage). Generally good things. Plus, they make you look like a superhero.

CONDOM JACKET: A lightweight rain/wind shell.

CREW: Your support team. Typically one or two very patient friends who you’ve bribed to drive to various aid stations ahead of your arrival. Hopefully they’ll be adept at filling water bottles/bladders and offering or not offering whatever encouragement you might need. Veteran crews like to think of their job as an acronym: “Crabby Runner, Endless Waiting.”

DARTH VADER: Raspy-voiced runner who hasn’t been drinking enough water.

DNF: Did not finish (usually written in big red letters next to your name).

DROP BAG: Something in which to pack your preferential race day items (extra socks, fried sweet potatoes, headlamps, etc.). Volunteers will typically collect this motley assortment of bags on check-in day and drive them to designated aid stations for en-route access.

DOUCHE GRADE: When you’re training hard, “douche grade” is considered a bit of a cop out. It’s basically the goldilocks of trail grade. Not too flat, and not too steep. A recent trail conference in Italy placed Douche Grade at about 5.63 percent.

TOURIST DOUCHE GRADE: Just enough of an incline that you’re moving uphill, but not enough that you’d actually notice.

ELEVATION GAIN: The way runners measure the difficulty of the trail.

EURO-HIKING: A good way to execute a climb. Basically an uphill power walk, except that you keep a hand on each quad and press down a bit with each step.

FUEL: Calories, usually in the form of sugar or some gooey concoction like brown rice syrup and artificial flavoring. Yum.

FKT: Setting a non-race speed record (fastest known) time on some particular route, (e.g. Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, trans-Zion, etc.).

HYPONATREMIA: An electrolyte imbalance that typically occurs when the body’s sodium concentration is lower than normal, causing tissues to swell dangerously. While ultrarunners definitely worry about dehydration, overhydration in the case of extreme physical activity is also something to be mindful of.

MICRO-TRASH: The wrappers and other debris often left behind on the trail in the act of fueling.

MINIMALIST SHOES: Shoes designed with little or no support and no stability control. Arguments in favor: They’re closer to the natural way humans have been running for centuries (barefoot). Arguments opposed: Running long distances without some support takes its toll on the body. If you’re curious, try ‘em. You’ll probably know right away whether or not they’re going to work for you.

PACER: A very good friend who runs with you for part of a 100+ race. The use of pacers is a topic of some contention among ultrarunners (Karl Meltzer is fundamentally opposed, while others rarely race without one). Though the debate could certainly go either way, with some of the more difficult races, having a pacer is more of a security blanket than anything else. Someone to make sure you don’t deliriously wander off the trail or freeze to death on some remote section of the course.

QUAD BUSTER: A steep, downhill run, usually executed at a pace so brisk that the runner seems somewhat out of control. A quad buster late in the race can be torture particularly if followed by a section of flat trail (Bear100, we’re talking about you).

SKYRUNNING: Any sort of mountain running exceeding 2,000 meters where the incline exceeds 30 percent and the climbing difficulty does not exceed 11 degrees. Born in Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa in the early ’90s there’s now actually an International Skyrunning Federation with races in the Himalayas, Alps and even on Mount Kenya.

TRAVERSE: To move laterally along the face of a mountain.

UDO’S OIL: A miracle blend of essential fatty acids. Intake by the spoonful.

Original article available HERE