Western States Endurance Run #WSER 2017 on IRUN4ULTRA

With 18.000ft of climb and 22.000ft of downhill, the race has in the past been full of incredible stories – Ann Trason, Scott Jurek, Nikki Kimball, Ellie Greenwood and Timothy Olson to name just a few names from an incredible 40+ years of history.

 

Over the years, the course is often discussed around the heat that the canyons bring and if it will be a snow or no snow year.

 

Let’s be clear, the 2017 WSER is going to be a snow year but it is melting.

Read the full preview on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

Episode 132 – Dean Karnazes, Wardian and the Barkely and Janine Canham

Episode 132 of Talk Ultra and we talk ‘The Road To Sparta’ with Dean Karnazes. Mike Wardian tells us how difficult it is to cover 20-miles at Barkley and Janine Canham tells us about multi-day running, the Hong Kong run scene and the 9 Dragons race.

I am going solo this week. Karl is on the road and has been for sometime promoting his up and coming movie on his Appalachian Trail FKT (info HERE) and Niandi is busy with work…

So here I am, recording solo literally just before I jump on a plane and head for Morocco and the 32nd Marathon des Sables.

Just a little info on Niandi – the cam boot is off and slowly but surely she is moving around more. Pool sessions daily and strength work in the gym are all falling into place and we have set ourselves a little 3-day fast packing for early May as a target. Running may be a way off yet, this fracture was more serious than the one a year ago.

Me? Well, I had a weekend off work with Niandi in Paris which was pretty awesome and then I followed that with a trip to Norway to work as a stills photographer on a feature film. Something new for me and I loved it… I am a real fitm fan so to work behind the scenes with the crew and actors was just incredible. I will be back in Norway at the end of April for 2 more days on set

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

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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! 

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Donate HERE

NEWS

Barkley

Well the big news is all about a little race in Tennessee that usually nobody finishes. This year one person did, John Kelly. The 15th finisher. However, his incredible victory in many ways was overshadowed by what first looked like Gary Robbins missing the 60-hour cut-off by 6-seconds. The reality was, Gary had gone off course and navigated his way back to the yellow gate the wrong way – he would have been a DQ even had he been inside the 60-hour time. It all makes for a great story and you can read more HERE. However, lets celebrate John Kelly being the 15th finisher of what is arguably, the toughest race in the world.

If you need clarification on ‘toughest’ – I caught up with Mike Wardian who got lost on lap-1 and eventually finished the first 20-mile loop outside the 12-hour cut-off.

 INTERVIEW with MIKE WARDIAN

Georgia Death Race

Avery Collins won the 74-mile race ahead of Kyle Boykin and in the process obtained a Western States slot. What has followed is a Tweet/ FB storm as Dave Mackey has called Collins out for smoking dope (a banned substance on WADA’s list). There has been much chatter with in the community and this will rumble on. Bob Shebest was 3rd.

Aliza Lapierre won the ladies race ahead of Jackie Merritt and Alondra Moody – 14:00, 14:24 and 14:58 respectively.

Kilian Jornet

Kilian announced his year! Everest figures and an attempt at the Bob Graham Round.

Surprisingly, his run calendar is full, no doubt due to the run series that is currently a little under the radar…. Mont Blanc Marathon, Sierre Zinal, a return to a super stacked UTMB and of course Hardrock 100 and Ultra Pirineu figure. From a UK perspective, KJ will race at Glen Coe which is awesome news.

Run4Water 24-hour

Jon Olsen and Gina Slaby took top honours running 154.58 and 142.38 miles respectively.

American River 50

Scott Trummer beat Zach Bitter by 13-mins 6:03 to 6:13 and Rich Hanna was 3rd. Vanessa Taylor was top lady ahead of Melissa Penwell and Kelly Cronin – 7:29, 7:37 and 8:26.

El Reventon Mountain Race

Aritz Egea is back taking a win ahead of Miguel Heras by 12-min – 3:48 to 4:00. Cristofer Clemente placed 3rd. Dominique Van Mechgelen won the ladies’ race in 5:09.

The racing scene in Hong Kong is growing and growing and I caught up with Brit, Janine Canham who has lived there for 25-years. She has witnessed the run scene grow and she tells us about her running, multi-day running and the recent 9 Dragons race.

INTERVIEW with JANINE CANHAM

Recently I was in Bulgaria with Dean Karnazes and it was just too much of an opportunity to pin him down and talk about his up and coming book The Road To Sparta which is currently being released worldwide and will be available in the UK from late April. Read more HERE

INTERVIEW with DEAN KARNAZES

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Patagonia Run 100k | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Patagonia Run 130k | 130 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

Patagonia Run 63k | 63 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Patagonia Run 84k | 84 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Running Festival Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Queensland

Wildhorse Criterium 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Wildhorse Criterium 70 km | 70 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Victoria

Down Under 135 | 135 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Western Australia

3 Waters 50km Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Belgium

Brussels Capital Region

Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

British Virgin Islands

Tortola Torture | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Diez Vista 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 108 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 69 km | 69 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

France

Ariège

Trail des Citadelles – 70 km | 73 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Bas-Rhin

Le Challenge des Seigneurs | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Le Défi des Seigneurs | 74 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

L’Intégrale | 132 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Eure

53,1 km | 53 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Finistère

Extrême Duo 54 km | 54 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Trail Extrême 54 km | 54 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Gironde

Tour du Canton de Fronsac 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Lozère

100 km | 100 kilometers | April 17, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 126 km | 126 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 144 km | 144 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 179 km | 179 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 224 km | 224 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 59 km | 59 kilometers | April 18, 2017 | website

Grand trail Stevenson 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 17, 2017 | website

Mayenne

53 km | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

53 km | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

53 km Relais 2 coureurs | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

53 km Relais 2 coureurs | 53 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

Var

La Trace des Montrieux 51 km | 51 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

L’Ultra de Signes 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Nord Eifel Ultra | 56 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Guadeloupe

GUADARUN : ultra-marathon des îles de Guadeloupe | 136 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Italy

Lombardy

BVG Trail | 73 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Kuwait

240 km RunKuwait Challenge | 240 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Malaysia

168 km | 168 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2017 | website

84 km | 84 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | April 18, 2017 | website

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

Nepal

Mustang Trail Race | 170 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Trail des Trois Vallées | 353 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

Netherlands

North Holland

Castricum Ultraloop | 60 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

New Zealand

5 Person Relay | 60 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

62 km Ultra marathon | 62 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Portugal

Gerês Trail Aventure® | 130 kilometers | April 13, 2017 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® Starter | 70 kilometers | April 13, 2017 | website

Peneda-Gerês Trail Aventure® | 280 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Singapore

64.5 km | 64 kilometers | April 14, 2017 | website

South Africa

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon | 56 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Spain

Basque Country

Long Trail | 68 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Ultra Trail | 85 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Catalonia

Half | 60 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ultra | 87 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Extremadura

LXVII Milhas Romanas | 100 kilometers | April 21, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Carmarthenshire

Pendine Sands Ultra | 32 miles | April 16, 2017 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – Exmoor – Ultra | 34 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Dorset

The ONER | 78 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

The ONER Half Day Section | 39 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

East Sussex

South Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Hampshire

Compton 40 mile Challenge | 40 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Liverpool

Liverpool to Manchester Ultra | 47 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Northumberland

100 km | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

USA

California

Diablo Trails Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Grizzly Peak 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Lake Sonoma 50 | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Oriflamme 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Ragnar Relay So Cal | 200 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Ruth Anderson 100k | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ruth Anderson 50k | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ruth Anderson 50M | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Woodside Crossover 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Colorado

50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Rattler Trail Races 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Connecticut

Traprock 50 | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Florida

100 Miles | 100 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

50 Miles | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

75 Miles | 75 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

DTR Endurance Race 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Idaho

Menan Butte Trail Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run | 150 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Iowa

Hawkeye 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Kansas

Free State Trail Runs 100 km Trail Ultra | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Free State Trail Runs 40-Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Kentucky

50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Yamacraw 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Massachusetts

Cape Cod Trail Race – Run Forward. Give Back – Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Don’t Run Boston 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

TARC 50M | 50 miles | April 15, 2017 | website

Michigan

Kal-Haven Trail Run | 33 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Minnesota

Zumbro 100M | 100 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

Zumbro Midnight 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Missouri

Double Chubb 50k | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Ozark Foothills 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Nevada

55K | 55 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

New Mexico

Spaceport America Relay Race | 200 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

North Carolina

50-KM | 50 kilometers | April 09, 2017 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

Tatur’s Lake McMurty Trail Race 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Oregon

Gorge Waterfalls 100k | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Gorge Waterfalls 50k | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 Mile Trail Run | 40 miles | April 09, 2017 | website

Texas

50K | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Brazos Bend 50 | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Utah

100k | 100 kilometers | April 07, 2017 | website

100 Mile | 100 miles | April 07, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Washington

Lumberjack 100 K Run | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Lumberjack 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Lumberjack 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | April 08, 2017 | website

Palouse 100K Relay – 2-3 runners | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Palouse 100K Relay – 4-10 runners | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Palouse 100K Solo | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2017 | website

Squak Mountain 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

West Virginia

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Wisconsin

Mad City 100K | 100 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Mad City 50K | 50 kilometers | April 08, 2017 | website

Close

02:38:00

We say this every show, but Talk Ultra is nothing without downloads and listeners so please help us spread the word.

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Importantly, go to iTunes and subscribe so that you automatically get our show when it’s released we are also available on Stitcher for iOS, Android and Web Player and now Tunein.

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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.

I’m Ian Corless

Keep running

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Website – talkultra.com

Episode 129 – Anna Frost, James Stewart and Fred Streatfield

A_GRAVATAR

Episode 129 of Talk Ultra brings you an in-depth interview with Anna Frost. We speak with the inspiring Fred Streatfield we talk with the Rocky Racoon 100 winner, James Stewart.

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 January Patrons

Rene Hess, Daniel Weston, Dan Masters, Kerstin Palmer, Sarah Cameron, Neil Catley, Sam Wilkes, Melissa Bodeau, Lindsay Hamoudi, Aaron Aaker, Simon Darmody, Philippe Lascar, Rohan Aurora, Mathew Melksham, Brian Wolfkamp, Thomas Mueller, Mark Moromisato, Jamie Oliver, Rand Haley, Ron van Liempd, Mike Hewison, Steve Milne and Rupert Hitzenberger.

Donate HERE

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This weeks show is full of inspiring interviews but you will have to forgive us for it being a little late… I blame a full-on trip to Costa Rica to cover The Coastal Challenge. It was an incredible race and full of brilliant racing and excitement. The UK’s Tom Owens dominated the men’s race ahead of Chema Martinez from Spain and the USA’s Jason Schlarb.

In the ladies race, Anna Frost from New Zealand made it third time lucky showing Spain’s Anna Comet and Portugals Ester Alves a clean pair of heals.

The 2017 edition of the race really was spectacular and on the next show we will discuss the race in detail and bring you interviews from the race.

Read all about and view images of the 2017 edition HERE

For Anna Frost it was a special race and significant in more ways than just winning. Frosty first arrived in Costa Rica in 2014 but didn’t even make the start due to doctors orders. In 2015 while leading the race, she was forced to withdraw on the penultimate day with injury. In 2017 she came back and put the demons to rest.

Frosty is an inspiring lady and it seemed only correct that Niandi had a ‘one-to-one’ with the Green of the trails.

iancorless-com_tcc2017-3949

00:03:50 INTERVIEW with ANNA FROST

00:54:50 NEWS

Moab Red Hot 55K

On the last show we interviewed Hayden Hawks and he fulfilled his promise with a win and course record at Moab Red Hot 55k. His 3:39 bettered Rob Krar’s record by 5-minutes. Marie Hogan won the ladies’ race in 4:44.

The Coastal Challenge

Anna Frost won in 27:08. Anna Comet (Spain) and Ester Alves (Portugal) were second and third in 27:58 and 28:23, respectively. Tom Owens dominated the men’s in 22:29. Chema Martinez (Spain) 23:43 and Jason Schlarb 24:34 were second and third.

Formidable 50K

Max King beat the old CR by 37-minutes to win in 3:32. Yiou Wang took the ladies win in 4:18.

Black Canyon 100K

Alex Nichols is on a roll and gets a coveted WSER slot after his win 7:55 ahead of Elov Olson and Eric Sensman. Olov also getting a WSER slot. Nicole Kalogeropoulos placed 1st for the ladies in 9:30, Clare Gallagher was 2nd and Ailsa MacDonald 3rd. First two also get WSER slots.

On the last show we discussed our Lanzarote Training Camp and one attendee stood out with an inspirational story, Niandi caught up with Fred Streatfield.

00:58:05 INTERVIEW with FRED STREATFIELD

Join us in Lanzarote, January 2018 for our MULTI-DAY TRAINING CAMP HERE

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK – I will be also going to Sofia in Bulgaria on the 17th, 18th and 19th March for a trail, mountain and Skyrunning expo.

Rocky Raccoon has been one of those races that has always attracted a high quality field early in the season for a fast 100-miles. Just think Ian Sharman… so, it’s great pleasure to catch up with fellow Brit James Stewart on his impressive 2017 victory.

01:33:22 INTERVIEW with JAMES STEWART

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Tasmania

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

50 km Relay | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Canada

Yukon

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 120 Mile | 120 miles | March 10, 2017 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 350 Mile | 350 miles | March 10, 2017 | website

Cayman Islands

Off the Beaten Track | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

France

Côtes-d’Armor

Trail des Douaniers | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Dordogne

50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Finistère

100 km | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Gard

Trail aux Etoiles | 62 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Ultra du Bout du Cirque | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Loire-Atlantique

Le Trail du Vignoble Nantais – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Puy-de-Dôme

Ultra trail de Vulcain | 81 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Tarn

Black Mountain Trail – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Hesse

50 km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Hong-Kong

Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 10, 2017 | website

Italy

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Tuscany

Terre di Siena 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Umbria

Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Nepal

Buddhist Stupa Trail Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Old Ghost Ultra | 85 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

The Hillary 80 km Trail Race | 80 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Philippines

Davao50 | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Portugal

111 km | 111 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

75 km | 75 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

South Africa

Three Cranes Challenge | 106 kilometers | February 24, 2017 | website

Spain

Andalusia

150 km | 150 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

73 km | 73 kilometers | March 03, 2017 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | February 24, 2017 | website

Transgrancanaria – Advanced | 84 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Catalonia

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 10, 2017 | website

Sweden

Ice Ultra | 230 kilometers | February 24, 2017 | website

Thailand

Columbia Trails Masters – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Bihar

Green Man Ultra | 44 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Essex

St Peters Way Ultra | 45 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Northumberland

Ultra | 34 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Telford and Wrekin

Millennium Way | 38 miles | March 05, 2017 | website

Wiltshire

Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 05, 2017 | website

USA

Alabama

Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Mount Cheaha 50K | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Alaska

Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race 45 Mile | 45 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 mile | 1000 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile | 350 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Arizona

Old Pueblo 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon 55K | 55 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Arkansas

LOVit 100k | 100 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

LOVit 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 24, 2017 | website

California

50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Orange Curtain 100K | 100 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Afternoon | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Orange Curtain 50K Morning | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Salmon Falls 50K | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Sycamore 100k | 100 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Florida

100 Miler | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

100 Mile Team Relay | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Kansas

Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Louisiana

Rouge-Orleans Ultramarathon & Team Relay | 126 miles | February 26, 2017 | website

Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

Ultra 50M Plus | 50 miles | March 05, 2017 | website

Maryland

Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Mississippi

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Missouri

Soggy Bottom 100 Miler | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Soggy Bottom 100 Mile Relay | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Soggy Bottom 40 Miler | 40 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Soggy Bottom 40 Mile Relay | 40 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

New Jersey

Lenape Trail Run | 34 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

New York

50K Run | 50 kilometers | March 05, 2017 | website

North Carolina

Mount Mitchell Challenge | 40 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Ohio

Olde Girdled Grit 50K | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

Tulsa Running Club Post Oak Lodge 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 25, 2017 | website

Pennsylvania

Naked Bavarian 40M | 40 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

South Carolina

Foothills 50k | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Texas

100K | 100 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

50K Ultra Marathon presented by Miller Lite | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Utah

Lake to Lake Relay | 50 miles | March 04, 2017 | website

Red Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | March 04, 2017 | website

Vermont

PEAK Snowshoe 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | March 10, 2017 | website

Virginia

The Reverse Ring | 71 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

Washington

Lord Hill 50 Km | 50 kilometers | February 26, 2017 | website

Orcas Island 100 | 100 miles | February 25, 2017 | website

02:21:44 Close

02:24:03

 

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Caroline Boller 50-Mile Trail Record In-Depth Interview

carolinefinish-bb50

Photo credit © Anthony Stasulli

In December 2016, female ultra-running in the USA hit a purple patch. Two Ann Trason records fell, Gina Slaby set a new outright 100-mile record lowering Trason’s 13:47:41 to 13:45:49 at Deserts Solstice Invitational and Caroline Boller lowered the USA 50-mile trail record to 5:48:01 at Brazos Bend. Caroline, aged 42-years is a Brit living in the USA and has only been running ultra’s for 4-years. I caught up with her to find out about this stunning run.

Ian: I’m joined by Caroline Boller and she’s Americas 50-mile fastest runner on the trails. How are you doing Caroline?

Caroline Boller: I’m doing very well thank you Ian.

Ian: So how does it feel running 50 miles super-fast and breaking a record that was set by Ann Trason, I mean come on, that pretty damn good isn’t it?

Caroline: Well it was a very good day, I was determined to have fun, it was my birthday so that helped to keep a positive mind-set, it was better day than I expected.

Ian: Yes, I mean what was Ann’s record 6:14 and change and you run 5:48:01, now, we have got a say that this is not on the same course and of course there’s many variables that come in with a trail record because the elevation gain, the type of surface that you’re running on but still it’s 50-miles and you’ve got to run it damn quick. What’s the thought process going in to a race like this, did you ever have a record at the back of your mind?

Caroline: The set up was more of a mark to see could if I go as fast as that and possibly faster on this course which is quite a fast course. I did have the record in mind, at the same time it was more of a personal challenge to me to try and see if I could get out there and just see how fast could I run on a trail surface; on a course that’s conducive to fast times. I thought I could probably run it sub-six on a good day, the trail was as described and then I got out there and was just having a fantastic day.

Whenever you go that fast in a 50-mile race or a long race like that you know there’s always a danger that it’s going to catch back up to you and I was willing to take that gamble and it paid off, and it doesn’t always work out like that but on this day, it did and it turned in to a great day because of it.

Ian: There’s so many things that come in into this type of performance and I’ve mentioned it before on my podcast and I’m going to go back to Ian Sherman’s win at Rocky Raccoon. Where the stars align, the weather’s perfect, the course is perfect, the person is perfect and it results in a perfect performance and arguably one can say that is how world records, course records, life time performance bests come. Do you feel that for you it was one of those days where everything just aligned?

Caroline: Well it definitely was a good day the conditions were amazing, the conditions can be quite difficult down there because it is essentially a swamp and even in the winter you can have– quite aside from the wild life there’s alligators and mosquitoes and things like that, which if you don’t like that sort of thing can throw you of a bit, but the weather was really good. It can be very humid there and we didn’t have a tone humidity in the air or at least I didn’t feel it, and the weather was quite cool.

It can also be quite warm even in December, so having an over cast day, a day that was very cool and was cool throughout. There was a little bit of wind for the second and the third loop course, three loops and second and the third loop we were buffeted a little bit by wind in some of the exposed sections of the course, but those sections were limited; I would say it was a total of maybe four or five miles throughout the whole race.

And so, I don’t think it affected me too much and I just enjoyed it and it’s one of those days where I just went in with a positive attitude. Like I said that helped me to overcome when it became tough, because it did get tough and I’m just thankful that it came together as it did because it’s very easy to give back all those early fast miles at the end and the fact that, that didn’t happen too much, I think I lost a couple of minutes from that last loop and that’s it. And other than that, my splits were very consistent throughout and yes it just came together well on the day.

Ian: Tell me about the pigs?

Caroline: The pigs were completely unexpected. I was running, it was in the first couple of miles and we’d just done a turn back and there quite a lot of runners at that point because we’d only just come out at the start right, and so I wasn’t the only one who was intimidated by these pigs but I could hear this noise in the brush and it was very loud, multiple animals snorting and you just don’t know what’s going to come out of the bushes. I was sort of thinking, no what could this be, I’m expecting it to be wild boar which is quite a bit bigger and has horns, they are much more aggressive and instead it was these pigs, they were wild pigs but they came out and they were maybe a dozen or so of them.

They came out right in front of me on the trail, just a few feet away and they streamed across the trail – stunning! If I had been there or if anyone had been there they would have completely been wiped out by this stampeding heard, but at the same time there’s part of me going, “They are so cute.” There were little baby piglets in there too, so cute. It could have been quite a different story from my racing day because you could still hear them in the brush even after the main group had passed and I thought no, I’m just going to have to chance it and go for it and I did and I was lucky enough that I did not get taken out by the pigs, I don’t think anybody did which is excellent news.

Ian: Brilliant! I was reading your report about the race and one of the things that interested me was in the latter stages of the report, you said that you felt as though there was always another runner in front of you and that you were running in second and chasing that runner, and that other runner may very well have been Ann Trason. Does visualization and mind games play a big part of getting a good performance out of yourself.

Caroline: It definitely does! The races where I am very mindful of keeping a positive attitude and of reinforcing that, in my mind I keep saying things to encourage myself and to tell myself that it’s going well – just keep at it! I sat to myself. ‘just stay there you don’t want to lose all that ground.’ Having that visualization of weather, a real runner or not, so, in this scenario I was just visualizing Ann Trason in front of me, and just following her lead which was quite fun.

In the end of the race I had a runner behind me, I passed him at about mile 45 and I was imagining that he was close on my heels and going to pass and I thought it would be quite fun to finish the race first overall, that was definitely motivating for me as well.

Ian: That must have been Michael? If I remember correctly, he was running the 100-mile race but dropped down to the 50?

Caroline: He had dropped down a couple of days before the race as he had come down with a cold, on the day he raced the 50.

Ian: On a course like this where you’re coming across other runners, how helpful is that in terms of motivation as well?

Caroline: Well the nice thing about a loop style course is that you do of course see a great deal of people. There are quite a lot of out and back sections from the course as well and you would see a lot of the same runners as you’re going around and they were all very encouraging, it makes it much more interesting! Instead of sort of just having a flat expansive road or trail, there was always something to be anticipating, I’ve got an aid station coming up here, I’m going to see my crew here, look I’ve seen that person again and they are having a strong day it’s good for them, try and encourage them on and there was always something to look at, always something to keep my mind engaged which was great.

Ian: What I find interesting is you consider yourself a rank amateur but you just set this time and that would indicate the opposite. How does that fit in your mind set?

Caroline: Well it is very hard for me to reconcile it too because I came to running later in life. I didn’t start until I was about 38, so for me it’s just been four years of plugging away. I feel that I’m only just sort of getting a handle on how to do it properly and I still don’t think I have a lot of it figured out. I mean I have yet to have a successful 100-mile race. I’m always optimistic that there’s a lot of better races still in me and I can perform better. Maybe it’s more of a personal view of myself that I’m never quite satisfied and I always want to be pushing for more.

I also see so many of these amazing women out there and of course the men too. Sometimes they make it look so effortless. Sometimes they get it right all the time and I don’t. I mean, I have races where I’ll have a good race and then I’ll have a bad race. I don’t have a ton of consistency. I do still think of myself as somebody who’s working out. I’m not quite there yet.

Ian: But in running terms you’re still in primary school, aren’t you? Because you’re only running for four years.

Caroline: Yes, that’s the hope [laughter], because I’m also 42, so you never know. At some point age catches up with you but then you see runners that are running well into their late 40s, early 50s, mid 50s and beyond. They’re so inspirational, so I know there’s more life in the legs yet.

Ian: I think age is just a number. There’s a point where you do go over a certain point and then you will get slower, but I don’t think at 42 that you’re not past the opportunities of achieving better results. You’re coached by Mario Fraioli, what does that bring to the package and how much do you learn from him?

Caroline: Well, Mario has a wealth of experience at all distances. He’s traditionally been someone who has focused on marathon and below distances with his athletes, but he also coaches ultra-runners.

The thing that appeals to me about that is that I’m keen to continue my progression on the speed end of things as well as on the endurance end of things. Mario is good at making sure that both of those aspects are covered going into any race. I feel like I don’t lose a ton of speed even when I’m training for something like a 50-mile, or 100K, or beyond that – the speed is there and it just takes a little bit of another thing if I want to then run a marathon or a 50K or something that requires quite a bit more speed and turnover.

Ian: In terms of the training that he gives you, does it look very much like a marathon training plan or do you feel as though it’s an ultra-training plan?

Caroline: Well it depends what I’m training for because I do still run marathons. When I’m training for a marathon, it is a very classic training cycle for a marathon, although I’m not very good I have to say at timing my marathons. I rarely take the opportunity to fully get me dialled in for a marathon. I tend to sort of jump into these things, and he goes, “Well, you’ve only got six weeks, so there’s not that much we can really do but we can try.” I think he’d probably love to see if I could plan it out a bit more. I am impulsive sometimes and just feel like racing.

Mario does work with me on that. But then when I’m training for an ultra, like when he was training me for Western States, the training is completely different. I mean I’m out there doing almost exclusively doing hilly, or trail runs, and lots and lots more elevation. Just even an emphasis on hill repeats climbing power, that kind of thing. Just very different, it looks very different than a marathon training cycle.

Ian: A good proportion of speed work and endurance work?

Caroline: Yes, definitely! I always keep the speed work in there. Even when we’re training for something like Western States, the speed work is always in there. It just looks a little bit different. For a marathon, if it’s a flat marathon that I’m training for, then he wants me to try and get the maximum leg turnover and speed that I can, so I’m going out and try to find the fastest surface that I can do it on. Whereas if I’m training for something like Western States, that’s not going to help me that much, so I need to do that type of work on the trail or on a hilly road, something that pushes me to maintain leg turnover at the same time as packing climbs and combining those two aspects.

Ian: When we talk about an endurance side of your training, what’s a longer run for you?

Photo credit to ©Paul Nelson

Photo credit to Paul Nelson

Caroline: If I’m training for something like 100-mile, usually I’ll try and get a 30-mile (ish) training run in there but I’ll also probably jump into a 50K and possibly 100K as well in advance to sort of get those miles in my legs. It’s not like I’m going out every weekend and cranking out 28, 30 miles. That’s just too much. We must pick the right times to do that in the cycle that is going to help me to progress. But if I’m training for something that is shorter, I mean, I didn’t anticipate doing Brazos Bend the 50-miler, or JFK 50-miler which I just did three weeks apart… I did these only on the back of the fact that I had a disappointing World Champs for the 50K road in Doha.

I knew the fitness was there. I sort of just had a long run in Doha… I had an asthma attack and it was awful. I believe in that fitness and I knew it was there, but even that training I wouldn’t say was ideal for what I tried to do both at JFK and at Brazos Bend. Again, probably if I plan these things out a little bit better maybe I could possibly improve. I don’t know. We’ll see!

Ian: You are being very modest because you were second at JFK, running 6:32. Like you say, you were at the 50K World Championships. It may have not gone the way that you wanted it to, but the point is you were there and you were representing your country. I think your best result at Western States was eighth, is that right?

Caroline: Yes.

Ian: Eighth at western states. A lot of people would be going, “I was eighth at Western States,” and, “I’m eighth at Western States.” I would probably be more impressed with your eighth at Western States than maybe your 50-mile run, but that maybe is just the geek side of me.

Caroline: [laughs]

Ian:  Western States being Western States. Where does that fit into the big picture? Because it’s fantastic to run a fast 50-miler and to beat a legend like Ann Trason. Of course, that moment in time is now documented and you will be remembered for history of running as being the person to the set that time. But also, the geeky ultra-running side of me and the ultra-running world would be impressed with a WSER 8th.

Caroline: Well yes. For me personally, and I am thrilled to have been in the top 10 because every year that race is incredibly competitive. I mean, the women who run that I have the utmost respect for, and at the same time I am always wanting to get the best performance out of myself and I don’t feel that I’ve had that on that course yet. I feel like I’ve had a very disappointing last 20, 25 miles both times that I ran it.

Particularly this year, it was a very difficult pill to swallow because I felt good. I ran a slightly more aggressive race than I had the year before. I came in well ahead of where I had been the year before at Forest Hill. I mean basically I passed a lot of the ladies’ in the Canyons and I was in third place… for something like 40-miles of Western States.

I thought this is coming together for me and then it just all fell apart. I just found that I didn’t have anything left. I don’t know if that’s physical, mental or a combination of both but I’m not satisfied with the way that those last miles went for me and I’d like to go back and do it better.

Ian: Yes.

Caroline: That’s something to me personally, that I’m not happy with. It’s nothing about the other ladies, you know?

Ian: Where do you go from here because you finished 12th at Western States this year. Your automatic qualification is not there; you’re going to have to go to a golden ticket race and get an entry. So how does that work? Is that a priority for you to pinpoint one of these golden ticket races and get a place?

Caroline: It is, but probably not for 2017.

Ian: Okay.

Caroline: I have realized that I am trying to do it all in a year and every year that comes around, I race everything from half marathons on the road, to 100-milers.

Ian: Yeah.

Caroline: Maybe I would be best served by focusing and spending one year, being a bit more specific about what I’m doing, and then come back to the trail so I feel that I can probably have a better performance. I’ve never done a 100k on the road so I’d like to do a 100k on the road. I’m mulling over whether I jump into Comrades because I think that’s always been a bucket list to me and I think it would be fantastic and suit my skill set fairly well, and then also I’ve got this bee in my bonnet about trying to run a sub 2:40 marathon. I think I can but I think I can only do that if it hasn’t been a year working focused on trail running. I don’t know what my 2017 calendar looks like for sure, because as I said I’m always one who jumps into something based on how the last race went. I’m bad at planning these things.

Ian: Okay.

Caroline: But I sort of feel like 2017 would be a great year for me to focus on a little bit more similar type of races and then focus back on the trail maybe for 2018 and see if I can have a fast race.

Ian: You’ve been 3rd at Bandera before, so that’s obviously gone well. I think what you’re saying makes sense to me and I used the term before that you’re primary school runner in terms of running. What I mean by that is you’ve only got four-years of running and of course to run well, and to run in the way that you want to run for a 100-miler takes a little bit of time and even though you’ve placed well at States maybe the transition to go into top five does mean you need more running of different types before you can nail Western States?

So, with 2016 at an end it certainly sounds as though you’re not quite sure what your targets are for this year so what happens now in this period? Is it just about recovery, speaking with your coach? Maybe looking at the calendar and deciding how to bring your training together and setting those A-races for next year?

Caroline: Yes. I will talk with Mario and we’ll go through some ideas. I’m sure he’s got some ideas as well but I know he always sort of wants to hear what excites me and what gets me fired up. Then he’ll tell me if he thinks that if I do certain races maybe they’re a bit too close together or maybe I should pick 2 out of those 3 to do, or something like that and sort of help to shape it for me. He also knows that I quite like doing races close together in a block. Like three close races together in a row.

Usually by the time the third one comes around my body is ready for it and that’s often where I have my best performance so that’s something that I like. It’s a bit unusual, some people focus on one or two big races a year and they want to make sure there’s plenty of recovery in between, but that’s something that works for me. For the time being, I’m taking it very easy now but I’m quite keen to get back to it because I’m feeling alright, you know. My body’s recovering quite well.

Ian: Yes. Well you have good weather in California?

Caroline: Yes. California, we’re very lucky it’s always lovely here. I don’t mind running in the rain though, the rainy days I find it very refreshing. So, I’ll probably still be out there doing reasonable number of miles and maintaining fitness. But maybe, maybe not as focused as it has been the last two months.

Ian: Okay, so I’m going to finish off with a question. I’m glad you’re not sitting opposite me so you can’t throw anything at me. [laughs]

You’ve just broken an Ann Trason record and Ann Trason won the Western States 14 times. Any chance of you going to Western States and getting 14 victories?

Caroline: No, I don’t. No! No! I have so much respect for Ann. I honestly don’t think that anybody is ever going to repeat that. It’s just an outstanding accomplishment. And I don’t even think there’s a chance. If I ever was lucky enough to have a strong podium finish at Western States I think I’d have to hang up my hat and say, “thank you very much. That was lovely.” I’m onto new things now. Love the race. Absolutely love it. I will always want to get there and support runners, volunteers whatever it takes to be part of it but boy! The dedication to win fourteen times. Oh! Wow! Just absolutely awestruck by that.

Ian: Caroline it’s been excellent speaking to you. Many, many congratulations on this record. I hope you manage to sit down with your coach, sort your year out and I hope to see you back to Western States and see you move up the ranking.

Caroline: Thank you very much for having me Ian.

Ultra Signup Results for Caroline HERE

©Myles Smythe of Michigan Bluff Photography

©Myles Smythe of Michigan Bluff Photography

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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

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.

 

The 32nd Marathon des Sables takes place in 2017 and runners all over the world are wondering and asking the question, “What equipment do I need for the MDS?”

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.

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

MY EQUIPMENT LIST

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Peak 3 – 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

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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.

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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.

 thermarest-prolite-small

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

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

 black-diamond-spot

Esbit Stove 11g – Small, lightweight and simple.

esbit-stove

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

esbit-pot 

Esbit Fuel 168g

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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

Jim Walmsley’s Record Breaking 2016 on I RUN 4 ULTRA

 

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In 2017 I am pleased to say that I will be writing regularly for I RUN 4 ULTRA with two or three submissions per month. My first article was about:

PETE KOSTELNICK – RUNNING ACROSS THE USA read the article HERE

My second article is about

JIM WALMSLEY’S RECORD BREAKING YEAR OF 2016

As years go, 2016 has been a cracker in the world of ultra-running. Pete Kostelnick ran Across the USA in a record time. Karl ‘Speedgoat’ Meltzer set a new ‘FKT’ on the Appalachian Trail, Zach Miller broke the TNF 50 course record with a trail blazing run and Jim Walmsley has turned heads with a display of hard and fast running that has left many wondering, what does 2017 hold for this sport?

Read the full article on I RUN 4 ULTRA HERE

RUN the RUT 2016 SKY 28km Summary and Images – Skyrunner® World Series

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An integral part of the Skyrunner® World Series, the RUT 28km is considered by many in the US and Europe to be a pure Skyrunning race with a logical course that goes up and down with an abundance of technical trail. The race offers extremely steep and technical terrain in many sections of the course and loose rock is a real hazard.

Covering 28km what this race lacks in distance is made up for in technicality and challenge. With 2375m of vertical gain this 28km course is basically the RUT 50km on steroids as it includes all 3 major climbs of its bigger brother.

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The highest point of the race comes at Lone Peak which tops out just above 3000m. Altitude, technical running and exposure from the elements, cold and strong winds makes the 28k one seriously tough race!

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Three wave starts with 5-minute gaps avoided congestion on the course with all the top elites departing in wave 1 on the stroke of 0800. Despite forecasts for inclement weather, conditions were excellent for running and maybe just a little chilly for spectating. The summit of Lone Peak was shrouded in mist and cloud and remained that way for much of the day as the wind moved one block of cloud only replace it with another.

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Dakota Jones returning to racing after a lay off with injury was the early protagonist pulling away and extending a gap over an inform Hassan Ait Chaou.

©iancorless.com_Rut2016_SKY-2998Climbing up to Lone Peak summit Dakota was looking relaxed and barring a fall or injury was looking strong for victory. Hassan equally looked relaxed and calm, constantly looking forward he had his eyes on the American in the distance with one objective, to chase him down.

©iancorless.com_Rut2016_SKY-1413Michael Barlow pushed and following behind was a small group of 3 containing Kiril Nikolov, Jan Megabit Sole and Timmy Parr.

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In the ladies race it came as no surprise that Megan Kimmel took the bull by the horns and lead the race from the front as she so often does. Victory at the 2015 edition of the race no doubt helping with her confidence levels and her ability to judge her pace and effort over the 28km. Yngvild Kaspersen pursued and behind last year’s 2nd place, Laura Orgue was holding off Najeeby Quinn and Sarah Pizzo.

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On the descent of Lone Peak as the runners made their way to the latter sections of the course, disaster struck for Dakota and he rolled an ankle that would later cause him to pull out of the race. This opened the door for Hassan and he never looked back crossing the line for a well-earned victory almost 8-minutes ahead of 2nd place. Behind all hell was breaking loose and Bulgarian Kiril put in a big effort to place 2nd ahead of Jan Megabit Sole and Michael Barlow who had a head-to-head full on sprint for the line. Timmy Parr placed 5th and Lone Peak VK winner, Andrej Fejfar placed 6th.

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It may come as no surprise that lady on fire Megan Kimmel once again pulled off another incredible Skyrunning victory showing that she is ‘the’ lady to beat at the moment. Yngvild ran a very strong 2nd and crossed the line with a huge smile just over 7-minutes back and Laura Orgue, winner of the previous days VK finished 3rd despite having taken a fall.

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Post-race, many of the runners expressed how technical the downhill section was but Megan Kimmel took it all in her stride:

“I felt good today and I was certainly more confident having run and won the race last year. The temperatures were ideal for running, yes, it was a little cold and windy at the Lone Peak summit but that didn’t last long. This is a really technical course in places and I was happy to consolidate my lead and take no risks. I will now race in Limone in October.”

Hassan Ait Chaou is certainly on form and this is a well-deserved victory:

“The race was okay, I suffered with the altitude and it caused me headaches but I kept the pace. I held myself back on the first climb and then pushed hard on the downhill. I am really happy to take this victory!”

Attention now turns to Sundays 50km event which will start at 0600 local time and the weather forecast is not good – fingers crossed! You can read a preview of the race HERE.

Results:

1    Megan Kimmel 3:36:26

2    Yngvild Kaspersen +7:05

3    Laura Orgue +19:50

 

1    Hassan Ait Chaou 3:06:40

2    Kiril Nikolov +7:55

3    Jan Megabit Sole +8:20


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

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RUN the RUT 2016 Preview – Skyrunner® World Series

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Big Sky Montana hosts the Run the Rut weekend of racing, the next step in the 2016 Skyrunner® World Series; 3-days, 3 races and 3 incredible experiences. Located between the wonderful town of Bozeman and the iconic Yellowstone Park, if ever a race existed that should combine with a holiday experience, this is it.

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Big Sky sits between Bozeman and Yellowstone and the isolated Lone Peak mountain provides a stunning backdrop for the Run the Rut races of VK, Sky and Ultra. The advantages of using a ski resort as a race hub are clear to see. Utilising what would be ski runs in winter, it’s easy to understand why the Rut has gained a reputation for providing a tough and technical test even for the most experienced runner.

In just a couple of years the Rut races have become a flagship race in the USA. This is primarily due to the technical nature of the trails. You see, access to open land and mountains is not the same as in Europe. Strict land management is in place and ‘off-trail’ races just don’t exist. The Rut have managed to work around this by using the Big Sky resort which does not have to comply with land permission issues.

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Vertical K

On Friday the VK kicks off the action from the Big Sky Resort up to the summit of Lone Peak at an altitude just short of 3000m gaining 3,632 feet in just over three miles.

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Ondrej Fejfar from the Czech Republic is potentially one of the favourites for a podium place but without doubt, Ferran Teixido is the odds-on winner as he currently heads up the SWS VK ranking. Chris Mocko (plans to run all 3 races over the weekend) placed 7th at the 2016 Western States 100 which obviously shows great ability, how that transfers to a VK is difficult to say. Experienced Skyrunner Luke Nelson who recently raced in Norway at the Tromso SkyRace will look to do the double here at the Rut also racing in the SkyRace too. Brendan Trimboli was the recent winner of Squamish 50k, again, like Mocko, it’s difficult to predict how these skills will transfer to an all out VK effort… We can expect Brendan to be in the mix. Seth Swanson is also on the start list as is Jan Margarit and both could potentially produce a surprise in this all out vertical race.

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Laura Orgue is without doubt the heads and shoulders favourite for the VK, this is her speciality. Recently she has been a little jaded and she had a below par performance at the VK in Tromso, however, I predict a victory at Lone Peak. Strong competition will come from Laura’s teammate Yngvild Kaspersen and we can anticipate Corrine Malcolm and Sarah Bard to contest the podium. As a note, Laura and Yngvild will also run the SkyRace.

SkyUltra 50km

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The ultra gains 10,500 feet of elevation and as with all the other races visits the summit of Lone Peak but in a less pleasing and aesthetic run. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great course but the SkyRace has the more logical and pure course.

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The men’s race is an interesting one with Cristofer Clemente and Matt Skyrock both returning after success in the 2015 race. Cristofer has been injured of late so this race may well provide a return to form.

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Mike Aish 2nd at the recent Leadville Silver Rush is potentially a contender for the podium and Matias Saari, Morgan Elliott and Paddy O’Leary are all expected to be in the mix with recent victories at Angels Creek 50m, Power of Four 50k and Canyons 100k respectively. Noah Brautigam placed just outside the top-10 in the same race last year and he may well contest a higher place this year. Chris Mocko would have been a contender for the podium but he will already have a VK and SkyRace in his legs. Nicholas Martin is the odds on favourite for victory and he will no doubt slip under the radar but watch out, victory is his for the taking! Finally, Roger Vinas is also one to watch.

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The ladies’ race is an interesting one with Ida Nilsson heading up the field after her impressive Transvulcania victory, however, the Rut has many technical sections and Ida does like to run… Still my tip for victory (or 2nd*)! Alicia Shay may well push Ida for the first past the post and in all honesty, it could go anyway. Ashley recently won the Flagstaff SkyRace and Alicia was 4th behind Ida at Transvulcania.

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Hillary Allen was 5th last year but has progressed considerably in the last 12-months, for me, she is a stronger runner and providing that she is fresh a higher placing is a possibility this year.

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Martina Valmassoi and Kristina Pattison placed 3rd and 4th in the 2015 edition and both have been racing and strong and consistently recently – the top 5 is wide open! Anna Comet will also race and like all the ladies mentioned before her, she has podium and almost definitely top-5 potential. Strong competition will also come from Denali Strabel, Anne Wheatly, Sarah Woerner. But I save the big surprise for the last, expect Anne Lise Rousset* to be the wild card who takes the bull by the horns and wins the race outright or at worst as a head-to-head battle with Ida for victory and takes 2nd.

SkyRace

For me, the SkyRace is the most pleasing race of the Rut weekend as the proportion of vertical gain and descent, technical running all blend together in the most logical and pleasing race.

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Marc Lauenstein after placing 2nd at Zegama-Aizkorri (behind Kilian) and recently winning Matterhorn Ultraks heads up the race along with an inform Dakota Jones. This duo certainly brings an interesting dynamic to the race and we can expect a proper head-to-head battle, especially with Dakota’s recent win at Squamish 50k and victory at Broken Arrow SkyRace. For me though, Marc gets the nod! Hassan Ait Chaou has been on fire this year and although he hasn’t taken a big victory he has always been close, recent highlights came at SkyRace Comapedrosa and Matterhorn Ultraks. Micha Steiner is a rising star of the Skyrunning ranks and we can expect him to do well, he was racing at an extremely high level at the recent Dolomites SkyRace until a couple of falls knocked his confidence. Eric Strabel may well be the one who really shakes things up as he has been a dominant force in Alaska. His results at Mount Marathon will bode well for the ascent and descent of Lone Peak. Luke Nelson, Justin Ricks, Timmy Parr are all runners who will be in the mix, the race is possibly a little short for Luke but Justin and Timmy have local knowledge – it will play a huge advantage. Kirin Nikolov, Greg Vollet (?), Ondrei Fejfar, Ted Farley, Michael Barlow and Eugeni Gil Ocana make up the other top contenders for the top-10.

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It’s fair to say the ladies’ race will be all about Megan Kimmel and Laura Orgue. It’s going to be an exciting head-to-head and one that I think Megan will take. She has been on fire and her recent victory at Matterhorn Ultraks was impressive. Laura can no doubt push Megan but with a VK in her legs and recent fatigue I think she may well be racing for 2nd. But Yngvild Kaspersen is not to be ruled out, this lady goes up and down super quick and after a break through victory in Hong Kong last year and victory at Zegama-Aizkorri in 2016, the Rut podium is there for the taking! Ragna Debats is 2nd in the SWS and is performing consistently well in 2016 – that is what the series is all about! I see her in the mix but not on top of the podium. I have Ashley Erba listed in the SkyUltra too but I think her strength may well fall in the SkyRace and considering this race is before the ultra, this is where the performance will come. Marta Molist, Sarah Pizzo, Maria Zorroza and Aitziber Ibarbia are all ones to watch for top-10 placings.

Matterhorn Ultraks 46k 2016 Race Summary and Images– Skyrunner® World Series

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The Matterhorn provides a stunning backdrop for Switzerland’s Matterhorn Ultraks race, a 46km Skyrunning race with 3600m of positive and negative gain. Now in its 4th edition, the race once again is in the Skyrunner® World Series – a magical race that provides a circular journey that starts and concludes in the picture postcard mountain town of Zermatt.

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The day started well with wispy white clouds penetrating the blue of the sky, we all knew though that it wasn’t going to last… with 2 hours of running the sky turned grey, the rain arrived and low mist enveloped the mountains; the beautiful Matterhorn was gone!

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Wild expansive space, high mountains and the 3100m Gornergrat provides the high point of the race and the first indication of how this mountain game of chess was going to play out. Christian Mathys was a surprise arrival pushing the pace closely followed by Marc Lauenstein (pre-race favourite) and Nepalese runner, Tirtha Tamang.

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In the ladies’ race, Megan Kimmel from the USA was already dictating the race and the pace opening up a substantial gap on a chasing Elisa Desco from Italy and Michaela Mertova who was looking very strong.

It’s a brutal opening 14km to open any race and as such, those opening km’s can be decisive in who crosses the finish line first.

Megan Kimmel from the USA ran hard from the gun in 2015 setting the pace against a world-class field, “Anytime you get the rhythm in the up, the down, or the flat, the body is abruptly put into one of these other actions.  It is steep enough to grind you to a walk on a lot of the uphill and has fair bits of technical descent.”

A 1000m drop from the summit is broken by a small climb at Riffelalp and then Furi follows at 24km at 1880m. Two short sharp climbs follow, the first to Schwarzsee at 2583m and approximately 28km covered. Here Mathys was leading Tamang and Launstein followed minutes behind. It was difficult to tell if Lauenstein was going through a bad patch, he just smiled and pushed on.

©iancorless.com_MatterhornUltraks2016-9763

©iancorless.com_MatterhornUltraks2016-9776

Kimmel picks up her race, “I was comfortably leading the race for the first 30k. When I mean comfortable, I mean it seemed fairly effortless in a racing sense.  I was moving with the terrain on the uphill’s and I was holding back on the descents because it was a long race with a lot of transitions.” Kimmel’s lead was substantial and she was running her own race. Behind, barring an accident, the other ladies were running for 2nd.

©iancorless.com_MatterhornUltraks2016-0053

A drop down to 2200m from Schwarzsee was followed with another 500m+ climb and then what follows is mostly a flat runnable plateau that gently weaves up, down and left to right all the way to Trift. Lauenstein had taken the lead now and was flying, Mathys chased but the gap was opening up with every minute that passed.

©iancorless.com_MatterhornUltraks2016-9838

A short kick up of 100 to 200m follows Trift and then a fast and furious drop of almost 1000m over a distance of 6km leads to the finish line in Zermatt and the assembled crowds. Lauenstein sealed victory in 4:47:01, just a few minutes outside Kilian Jornet’s course record. Mathy’s held on for an excellent 2nd in 5:51:56 and Tamang placed 3rd in 4:53:03. Once again Hassan Ait Chaou ran an excellent 4th place and last year’s winner and course designer, Martin Anthamatten finished 6th.

Kimmel, the 2015 Dolomites SkyRace winner, after strongly leading the ladies race for the whole race, clinched victory with 20+-minute lead to Michaela Mertova, their respective times 5:23:15 and 5:46:21. Cilia Chiron backed up her great Dolomites SkyRace performance with 3rd and Oihana Kortazar placed 4th. Elisa Desco who had run in 2nd place did not finish due to a fall.

Skyrunning is not just about the uphill and more often than not, it’s the downhill that determines the winner. Today was all about patience and consistency. Racing is often a mental journey as much physical, Kimmel and Lauenstein today proved this at the Matterhorn.

Results for all race HERE


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

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Episode 111 – Chris Vargo, Alicia Shay and Ida Nilsson – a Transvulcania Special

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 111 of Talk Ultra and it’s all about Transvulcania. We speak with Chris Vargo who placed 5th, Alicia Shay who placed 4th and Ida Nilsson who blasted around the course to take the ladies victory. We have the news, a chat with Holly Rush and Speedgoat Karl is back

01:03:00 Start

80 days to the AT for Karl

00:15:32 NEWS

Transvulcania

Men

  1. Luis Alberto Hernando  – 7h04’44”
  2. Nicolas Martin – 7h10’40”
  3. Sage Canaday – 7h14’16”
  4. Andy Symonds – 7h25’04”
  5. Chris Vargo – 7h26’53”

Women

  1. Ida Nilsson – 8h14’18”
  2. Anne-Lise Rousset – 8h31’53”
  3. Ruth Croft – 8h33’32”
  4. Alicia Shay – 8h49’46”
  5. Hillary Allen – 8h54’57”

00:36:54 INTERVIEW Chris Vargo and Alicia Shay

Canyons 100k

Men

  1. Paddy O’Leary 9:35
  2. Bob Shebest 10:07
  3. Lon Freeman 10:51

Women

  1. Magdalena Boulet 10:58
  2. Erika Lindland 12:22
  3. Annie Rutledge 12:24

Miwok 100k

Men

  1. Cody Reed 9:04
  2. Chiara Omine 9:13
  3. Franz Van Der Groen 9:16

Women

  1. Aliza Lapierre 10:25
  2. Bree Lambert 10:55
  3. Katie Arnold 11:16

NDW 50

No full results online yet but Holly Rush blasted around the ladies course to smash the CR and finish 4th overall (time 7:11) and Neil Kirby 6:57 for the men’s win

01:40:17 INTERVIEW Holly Rush

DOUBLE BOB GRAHAM ROUND

Nicky Spinks has done it only the 2nd person and 1st lady to complete a double BGR in 45:30

02:28:38 INTERVIEW with Ida Nilsson

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

The North Face 100 Australia | 100 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

The North Face 50 Australia | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Queensland

Glasshouse 50 | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Glasshouse 80 | 80 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

The Great Wheelbarrow Race – Mareeba to Dimbulah | 104 kilometers | May 13, 2016 | website

Victoria

Ultra Marathon 60K | 60 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

Les Bières du Diable | 100 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Bhutan

The Last Secret | 200 kilometers | May 27, 2016 | website

Canada

British Columbia

100K | 100 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

50 Miles | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Ontario

Seaton Trail 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Chile

Atacama Xtreme 100 Miles | 100 miles | May 20, 2016 | website

Atacama Xtreme 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 20, 2016 | website

Atacama Xtreme 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 20, 2016 | website

China

Trail de la Grande Muraille de Chine | 73 kilometers | May 13, 2016 | website

Cyprus

Lionheart Run | 80 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Czech Republic

M.E.T.R. 60km | 60 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Finland

Oulu

NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Ultra – 160 km | 160 kilometers | May 27, 2016 | website

France

Ain

La Promenade du Bûcheron | 70 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Trail de Haute Provence – Ultra | 72 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Aude

Challenge Cathare | 95 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Course des Seigneurs | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Cantal

La Pastourelle – Le Grand Cirque | 53 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Côtes-d’Armor

58 km | 58 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Haute-Savoie

L’intégrale | 77 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Trail des Allobroges | 64 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Haute-Vienne

Le Grand Trail du Limousin | 58 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Haut-Rhin

Trail des Marcaires | 53 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Hérault

Hérault Trail | 73 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Ultra Draille | 120 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Isère

Chartreuse Maratour | 50 kilometers | May 16, 2016 | website

Lozère

Ultra Lozère | 108 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Savoie

Grand Raid 73 | 73 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Var

12,5 km | 125 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Yonne

Oxfam Trailwalker France | 100 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Yvelines

Trail des Cerfs – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Germany

Hesse

WiBoLT | 320 kilometers | May 25, 2016 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

TorTour de Ruhr | 230 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Keufelskopf Ultra-Trail | 85 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Saar-Hunsrück-Supertrail | 128 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Thuringia

GutsMuths-Rennsteiglauf Super Marathon | 72 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Ghana

Runathlon 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | May 25, 2016 | website

Greece

Heroes Ultra | 154 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Guernsey

Guernsey Ultra | 36 miles | May 22, 2016 | website

Israel

Mountain to Valley Relay | 215 kilometers | May 18, 2016 | website

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

Nove Colli Running | 202 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Liguria

Gran Trail Rensen | 62 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Veneto

Gran Raid delle Prealpi Trevigiane | 72 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Japan

100 km | 100 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

71 km | 71 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Korea

50k | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Mayotte

Mahoraid | 70 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Drenthe

UltraRun van Gieten 50 kilometer | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

New Caledonia

Ultratrail des Cagous | 80 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Ultratrail des Cagous | 80 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Norway

80 km | 80 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Philippines

Hardcore Hundred Miles | 100 miles | May 20, 2016 | website

Portugal

Running Challenge Linhas de Torres | 100 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Trans 333 | 333 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Trans 333 Non Stop | 333 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail de São Mamede | 100 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Romania

Transylvania 100k | 100 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Transylvania 50k | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Slovenia

110 km | 110 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Spain

Balearic Islands

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls | 185 kilometers | May 20, 2016 | website

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Nord | 100 kilometers | May 20, 2016 | website

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Sud | 85 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail Picos de Europa 55 km | 55 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Bielersee Ultra-Marathon | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Bielersee XXL 100 Meilen | 100 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

Turkey

Cekmekoy 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Cumbria

Keswick Mountain Festival Ultra Trail Marathon | 50 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Old County Tops Fell Race | 37 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Devon

Forces March | 131 miles | May 25, 2016 | website

Perth and Kinross

110 Mile Ultra | 110 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

55 Mile Ultra | 55 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Shropshire

Apocalypse 100 | 100 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Apocalypse 50 | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Somerset

Westcountry Ultra 100 Miler | 100 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 miler | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Westcountry Ultra Hilly 50 miler | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Surrey

North Downs Way 50 | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Wiltshire

Marlborough Downs Challenge – 33 mile | 33 miles | May 15, 2016 | website

Wessex Ridgeway Relay | 100 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Worcestershire

Severn Challenge | 214 miles | May 26, 2016 | website

Severn Plod Ultra | 45 miles | May 27, 2016 | website

USA

Arizona

Adrenaline 65K Night Run | 65 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Grand Canyon 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Grand Canyon 50K | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Grand Canyon 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

California

100 Miler | 100 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

60 Miler | 60 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Cinderella Trail Run 50 km (May) | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Gold Rush 50K | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Me-Ow Quads | 104 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Me-Ow Siamese | 42 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Ohlone Wilderness 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

PCT50 Trail Run | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Quicksilver 100K Endurance Run | 100 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Quicksilver 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Colorado

135 km | 135 kilometers | May 13, 2016 | website

Quad Rock 50 | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

The Divide 135 Ultra | 135 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

Connecticut

Trail 2 Trail Series Kettletown Park 50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Florida

Keys 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Keys 50K Race | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Keys 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Georgia

Cruel Jewel 100 | 100 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

Cruel Jewel 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

Peach State 300 | 300 miles | May 25, 2016 | website

Run for the Heroes – 260 Mile Run Across Georgia | 260 miles | May 25, 2016 | website

Indiana

DWD Gnaw Bone 50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

DWD Gnaw Bone 50M | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Kansas

Rock On! Lake Perry 50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod | 186 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Spring Superior Trail 50 k | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

We Walk! 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Missouri

Berryman 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Nevada

Silver State 50K | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Silver State 50-Miler | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Trails of Fury 50K | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

New Hampshire

Manchester 2 Monadnock Ultramarathon | 55 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

New Jersey

Mayapple 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Mayapple 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

New Mexico

Jemez Mountain Trail Runs 50K | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Jemez Mountain Trail Runs 50-Mile | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Gamelands Ultra 100K | 100 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Gamelands Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Ohio

Playin’ Possum 50k | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Tie Dye 32 Miler | 32 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Oregon

McDonald Forest 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

50-Mile | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Dirty German 50K | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2016 | website

Dirty German 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 15, 2016 | website

South Carolina

Family Tree 100 Relay | 100 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Forest Freak 50k | 50 kilometers | May 21, 2016 | website

Knock on Wood 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Tennessee

Ragnar Relay Tennessee | 196 miles | May 13, 2016 | website

Thunder Rock 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | May 20, 2016 | website

Utah

Red Rock Relay Moab Edition | 63 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Vermont

100 Miles | 100 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

200 Miles | 200 miles | May 19, 2016 | website

50 miles | 50 miles | May 21, 2016 | website

Virginia

Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

Washington

Pigtails 150 Mile Challenge | 150 miles | May 27, 2016 | website

Pigtails 200 Mile Challenge | 200 miles | May 26, 2016 | website

Sun Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | May 22, 2016 | website

Sun Mountain 50M | 50 miles | May 22, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2016 | website

Ice Age Trail 50M | 50 miles | May 14, 2016 | website

03:50:55 CLOSE

 

03:01:24

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