Episode 157 – Sue Ding, Lucy Bartholomew and Kris Brown

Episode 157 of Talk Ultra is a full and packed show as Kurt Decker brings you a Western States special chatting with Kris Brown and Lucy Bartholomew. Ian brings you a full and in-depth chat with Sue Ding who was the first Malaysian woman ever, to complete the Marathon des Sables.
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NEWS
 
LIVIGNO SKYMARTHON read HERE
 
The day was all about Petter Engdahl, the young skier/ runner dominated the race from the front and although he had some close competition at times, he blitzed the course with an incredible performance finishing in 3:33:26 ahead of Pascal Egli 3:38:01 and David Sinclair from the USA, a surprise 3rd in 3:39:16.
The ladies’ race was a close run epic with Laura Orgue and Sheila Aviles trading blows throughout. It was touch and go who would win, eventually it was Laura 4:10:11 to 4:10:45. Elisa Desco, wife of RD Marco De Gasperi, made a great return to racing after her 2nd child to take 3rd. in 4:19:45.
 
MONTE ROSA SKYMARATHON preview HERE
 
So now, 2018, 25-years in the making, the sport’s founders present an exclusive new event, this time in teams of two, roped together to race in true skyrunning style across moraine, snow fields and glaciers for 35 kilometres with an astonishing 7,000m ascent and descent.
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00:19:16 Interview with SUE DING
 
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BROKEN ARROW 52km
 
Jimmy Elam won in 4:54 ahead of Nick Elson and Jeff Mogavero 5:05 and 5:10.
Megan Kimmel dominated the ladies’ race in 5:30 ahead of Rea Kolbl and Rory Bosio, 5:48 and 5:52.
 
MOUNT WASHINGTON RR
 
Cesare Maestri in 1:00:53 the first European to win the race. For the ladies’ Kim Dobson in 1:11:42
 
MOZART 100K
 
Florian Grasel pipped the UK’s Damian Hall, 10:29 to 10:29 and Alexander Rabensteiner 3rd 10:32.
Martina Trimmel, Sarah Morwood and Veronica Limberger went 1,2,3 in 11:57, 12:12 and 12:21.
 
LAVAREDO has a packed field:
 
Fulvio Dapit, Pau Capell, Hayden Hawks, Scott Hawker, Michel Lanne, Stephan Hugenschmidt, Diego Pazos, Tim Tollefson and more…
 
Fernanda Maciel, Nuria Picas, Beth Pascall, Keely Henninger, Clare Gallagher, Mira Rai. Kelly Wolf and more…
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01:40:00 Interview with KRIS BROWN
 
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02:04:48 Interview with LUCY BARTHOLOMEW
 
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UP and COMING RACES
 
Check out the world ultra calendar on https://marathons.ahotu.comyou can do a specific search for the ultra calendar HERE
 
Ultramarthon calendar HERE
 
Race calendar for JULY 2018 HERE
 
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02:27:26 CLOSE
 
02:29:36
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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.
 
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UP & COMING RACESgo to https://marathons.ahotu.com

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

A_GRAVATAR

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

00:16:46 NEWS

WESTERN STATES

Andrew Miller 15:39

Didrik Hermansen 16:16

Jeff Browning 16:30

notable Paul Giblin from UK 5th 16:53

Kaci Lickteig 17:57 4th fastest lady ever

Amy Sproson 18:54

Devon Yanko 19:10

00:27:42 INTERVIEW KACI LICKTEIG

RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER WILDRUN

Results:

Joanna Williams 22:23:01

Tobias Mews 22:42:00

Dawid Kaswarie 23:07:34

Daniel Meyes 25:18:20

Linda Doke 25:43:52

John Cuff 26:41:19

Ryno Bakkes 26:52:04

Elisabet Barnes 27:01:56

Christiaan Vorster 27:23:19

Stephen Cunliffe 28:23:19

01:04:45  INTERVIEW with JOANNA WILLIAMS

BIG RED RUN

Results:

Elisabet Barnes 19:47:39

Jamie Hildage 20:54:34

Andy Dubois 21:25:02

Top 3 ladies:

Elisabet Barnes 19:47:39

Helen Durand 23:35:04

Anna Bennett 25:54:10

Top 3 men:

Jamie Hildage 20:54:34

Andy Dubois 21:25:02

Braddan Johnson 22:29:18

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

LAVAREDO

Andy Symonds 12:15:06 new CR

Gediminas Grinius 12:23:06

Javi Dominguez 12:36:45

Andrea Huser 14:32:39

Uxue Fraile 15:13:09

Fernanda Maciel 15:20:57

MONT BLANC 80K

Caroline Chaverot 11:40 (winner Transgrancanaria)

Diego Pazos 10:52 (3rd at Transgrancanaria)

MOUNT MARATHON

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

Nick Elson

Eric Strabel

Christy Marvin 51:02

Yngvild Kaspersen

Denali Forager Stabel

WMRA in Slovenia

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

Alessandro Rambaidini beat Marco De Gasperi and Mitja Kosovelj

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

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

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

02:14:00 INTERVIEW JIM WALMSLEY

UP & COMING RACES

Andorra

Celestrail | 83 kilometers | July 16, 2016 | website

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

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

Australia

Queensland

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

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

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

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

Victoria

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

Belgium

Wallonia

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

Brazil

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

Bulgaria

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

Canada

Alberta

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

British Columbia

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

Ontario

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

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

Quebec

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

Finland

Lapland

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

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

France

Corrèze

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

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

Finistère

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

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

Gard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haute-Corse

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

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

Haute-Loire

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

Haut-Rhin

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

Isère

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

Jura

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

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

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

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

Savoie

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

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

Germany

Bavaria

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

Rhineland-Palatinate

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

Greece

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

Iceland

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

Italy

Piedmont

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

Veneto

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

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

Japan

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

Madagascar

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

Mauritius

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

Norway

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

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

Poland

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

Portugal

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

Romania

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

Singapore

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

Slovakia

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

South Africa

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

Spain

Andalusia

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

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

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

Aragon

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

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

Basque Country

Ehunmilak | 168 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

G2handiak | 88 kilometers | July 08, 2016 | website

Cantabria

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

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

Sweden

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

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

Switzerland

Berne

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

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

Valais

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

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

Turkey

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

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

United Kingdom

Buckinghamshire

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

Essex

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

Glasgow City

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

Kent

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

Oxfordshire

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

Shropshire

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

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

Somerset

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

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

USA

California

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado

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

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

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

Idaho

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

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

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

Illinois

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

Indiana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kansas

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

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

Maryland

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

Massachusetts

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

Montana

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

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

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

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

Nevada

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

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

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

Ohio

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

Oregon

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

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

Relay | 69 miles | July 16, 2016 | website

Texas

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

Utah

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

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

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

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

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

Vermont

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

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

Washington

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

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

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

Wisconsin

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

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

03:10:46 CLOSE

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

 

03:14:23

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

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Website – talkultra.com

Episode 102 – Sally McRae, Mike Bialick, Mark Gillett

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 102 of Talk Ultra. Happy Christmas everyone! We speak with Mike Bialick about that storming 100 mile run, Sally McRae talks all about her running and finding balance and we have a tribute to fellow photographer, Mark Gillett who sadly passed away. Niandi co-hosts.

00:01:31 Show Start

00:19:10 NEWS

Divinio San Francisco, walking the streets of La Palma HERE

Running the Caldera de Taburiente rim, Roques de los Muchachos HERE

DESERT SOLSTICE INVITATIONAL

Zach Bitter ran 11:40:55 for 100-miles – he went through 50 in 5:33 and 100k in 6:58 he broke his own 100 record by 7min but missed the world record which is still a good chunk of time away.

Katalin Nagy dropped from the 24-hour but won the 100 in 14:48 and set a US Track record for 200k in 19:19:05

BARCELONA 24HR

Well done to Marco Consani winning ‪#‎barcelona24‬ with 256km (159miles) course record and PB. Now that’s awesome and a long way!

RUN CLEAN, GET DIRTY – http://runcleangetdirty.org/athletes/

00:37:08 INTERVIEW  with MARK GILLETT

00:52:41 INTERVIEW with MIKE BIALICK

02:19:30 INTERVIEW with SALLY McRAE

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

Narrabeen All Nighter 100 km | 100 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Dezember | 108 kilometers | December 30, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Tsuen Wan, Ta Shek Wu, Fo Tan | 115 kilometers | January 01, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail Tai Mo Shan | 162 kilometers | January 01, 2016 | website

Yuen Long, Ta Shek Wu, Fo Tan | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Nepal

50 km | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

78 km | 78 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

The North Face® Kathmandu Ultra 50km | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

The North Face® Kathmandu Ultra 80km | 78 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Limburg

SMU-Loop | 58 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

South Africa

Festival of Running 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | January 01, 2016 | website

Sri Lanka

50 km | 50 kilometers | December 27, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Recover from the Holidays | 50 kilometers | December 31, 2015 | website

California

Woodside 50 km | 50 kilometers | December 27, 2015 | website

Woodside Trail 50km Run | 50 kilometers | December 27, 2015 | website

Florida

Croom Zoom 100 Km Run | 100 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Croom Zoom 50 Km Run | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Louisiana

Wild Azalea Trail Challenge 50 | 50 miles | January 02, 2016 | website

Michigan

Yankee Winter Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

North Carolina

Salem Lakeshore Frosty 50k | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Salem Lakeshore Frosty 50k | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Salem Lakeshore Frosty 50k Relay | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Salem Lakeshore Frosty 50k Relay | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Salem Lake Shore Frosty Fifty | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Tennessee

100K | 100 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

100 Miler | 100 miles | January 02, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | January 02, 2016 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | December 26, 2015 | website

Virginia

Boyers Furnace | 40 miles | December 26, 2015 | website

Redeye 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 01, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Tuscobia Winter Ultramarathon 150 Mile Run | 150 miles | January 08, 2016 | website

02:19:28 CLOSE 

Finally we want to thank you for all the support over the last 12-months. Difficult to believe that another year has passed. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and we hope 2016 is awesome!

02:22:52

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Nick Clark counts down to Salomon SkyRun

Nick Clark

Nick Clark is one of the most respected 100-mile runners in the world. He is known for being tough and getting the job done! Born in the UK he moved to the US way back and started notching up a list of stunning ultra results that dates back to 2006.

He placed 4th at Western States and won Wasatch 100 in 2010. In 2011, ‘Clarky’ did an impressive double of placing 3rd at Western States and then 3rd at Hardrock 100 just 2-weeks later.

For many though, Nick elevated his profile in 2013 when he went head-to-head with Ian Sharman in the Grand Slam of ultra running. In an epic battle, the two US based Brits traded blows in one of the most exciting moments in our sport. Sharman came out on top but only just… Clark has often joked that after he won the last race, Wasatch he was the Grand Slam record holder in 2013 until Sharman finished. It takes some doing just completing four 100-mile races but to place 6th at Western States, 3rd at Vermont, 2nd at Leadville and then win Wasatch blows my mind!

Clark started 2014 with The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, his first multi-day race… he went on to say it was one of the toughest races he has done. At UTMF he placed 10th and recently he placed 5th at Run Rabbit Run. The only blip this year came at Western States when he toughed out a 47th place… a real bad day at the office!

And now the Salomon SkyRun in South Africa looms. I caught up with Nick to find out about his expectation are for what will be a tough day out in the Drakensberg mountains.

How have the last couple of months been from a racing perspective?

Up and down, I guess. I had a terrible run at Western States this year – I think I was burned out on the race – then came back and had a much better run at the Run Rabbit Run 100 in September, filling me with a good level of confidence for the SkyRun.

How’s training going; have you been training specifically for South Africa?

As noted above, I’m just looking to get into the mountains and to get into remote, steep terrain with some navigational elements thrown in. Off trail and steep is the mantra.

Maybe you have been brushing up on your navigation and looking at some maps?

I’m forever looking at maps dreaming up fun routes in the mountains. It is for this reason that I’m so excited about Sky Run.

Are you intimidated by the navigation element of the SkyRun?

Absolutely not. It adds a unique and seriously fun, in my opinion, element to racing in the mountains.

The course sounds extreme, particularly if the weather turns. Have you researched the course?

Not in depth, but I will. I plan to be as prepared as I possibly can be for this event.

A strong local contingent will be toeing the line… Iain Don Wauchope, AJ Calitz and so on… do you know much about them?

No, but thanks for the heads up. I’ll seek these guys out and assuming I can keep up, probably slot in behind for much of the course. Working together with friends in the mountains is one of the best parts about hitting remote routes.

Michael De Haast has put up a great price purse should somebody post a great time, is that an incentive for you?

Ask me halfway through the route. I have no idea how stout that time really is. If I’m on schedule through halfway and feeling strong, then I’ll definitely be motivated to go after it. If not, then I’ll just continue to enjoy the primary reason for being in South Africa: enjoying a new mountain range and culture.

Have you been to SA before?

First time. I am seriously excited. I’m really looking forward to connecting with the South African running community, eating some local delicacies, and getting stuck into those Witteberg Mountains.

The South Africa Sky Run provides a truly unique opportunity to race in a remote and scenic mountain location. For me the best part about the event is the navigational aspect. Having no markers to follow means that I’ll need to be in tune with the topography and hyper-conscious of my location in relation to that topography. In my experience, the navigational piece really helps to connect with the particular location I am traveling through, which in turn adds a level of appreciation for the terrain that you just don’t get if you’re racing head down through a landscape. I look forward to bringing home a beautiful mental picture of the Witteberg Mountains to share with friends and family.

 

The Salomon SkyRun takes place on November 22nd and you can view the official website HERE.

The Witteberg is a South African mountain range just off the south-west corner of Lesotho. The range, which rises to 2408 metres, stretches for about 60km from Lundin’s Nek in the east to Lady Grey in the west. The range lends its name to the Witteberg Series, the uppermost fossiliferous sequence of the Cape System of sedimentary rocks in South Africa. The race starts in the town of Lady Grey which is famous for its annual Nativity Play and its quaint houses and incredible scenery. Discover the wonder of Balloch cave along the route with it bushman art and idyllic setting nestled between some of the highest peaks in the Witteberg.

The Witteberg range is one of the most picturesque places in South Africa with some distinctive peaks like Avoca and Halston Peaks dominating the skyline.

The Terrain:

The Salomon SkyRun is true mountain running with a variety of terrain from hiking paths that lead you up to the tower, some jeep track is a welcome relief from the majority of the terrain which is on the mountain side as this is a self-supported and self-navigation the route choice is very much in the hands of the individual competitors. Once you have left the town of Lady Grey behind the beauty and remoteness of these mountains soon engulfs you and it is not uncommon to run for the entire race without seeing much civilization around you except those involved in the race.

The fauna and flora is incredible and there are over 650 plant and 80 animal species know to habitat the mountains of the Witteberg.