Ice Trail Tarentaise Press Conference Images 2014

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The Skyrunner World Series – Ice Trail Tarentaise gets underway at 0400 Sunday 13th July from the town of Val D’Isere, France.

A press conference was held today, 1100hrs with many of the top elite runners assembled.

Luis Alberto Hernando and Emelie Forsberg, were crowned Skyrunning World Champions just 2-weeks ago in Chamonix. Will they be triumphant in Val D’Isere?

Luis will have strong competition from Francois d’Haene who placed 2nd to Kilian Jornet in the 2013 edition. In addition, we can expect strong performances from Tom Owens, Fulvio Dapit, Fabien AntolinosCaine Warburton, Vlad Ixel, Matt Cooper plus many more!

Francesca Canepa from Italy has been a last minute entry and will pressure Emelie along with Nuria Dominguez.

You can read a race preview HERE

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Vertical Kilometer Val d’Isere Skyrunner® World Series

Gallery

This gallery contains 66 photos.

  Race results for the Vertical Kilometer Face Bellevarde Marco Moletto 36:50 Nejc Kuhar 36:58 Augusti Roc 37:18 Nadir Maguet 37:27 Alexis Sevennec 37:46 Laura Orgue 40:52 new CR Antonella Confortola 42:30 Axelle Mollaret 44:45 Francesca Rossi 44:51 Stephanie Jimenez … Continue reading

Vertical Kilometer Bellevarde Face 2014 – Race Preview

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Val d’Isere has a great history with the Vertical Kilometer, way back in ‘96’ the ISF were the first to organize a VK here!

A time lapse of 9-years since 2005 and Val d’Isere has re connected with the ethos of the VK using the Olympic Bellevarde Face. For many years, Marco De Gasperi held the VK world record here of 34-minutes and 41-seconds until the Italian was dethroned by a fellow countryman and VK specialist; Urban Zemmer.

The Vertical Kilometer has traditionally started at the foot of the Olympic Bellevarde face on “the board” in the heart of the Parc des Sports Charles Diebold in the center Val d’Isere.

The route then takes the greater part of what was the route of the men’s downhill Olympic Winter Games ski route (1992), won by Austrian Patrick Ortlieb.

It’s a tough course; 2.9Km’s in length and reaches an altitude of 2809m. Average gradients over the course are 35%, however, in places it reaches 63% as presented in the first hundred meters.

Including steep passages at 49% and 56% gradient, the sting comes with the famous passage of the Columbine at 55%. Followed by gentle slopes of the Great Wall (51%) a refreshment station is provided before the push to the line passing ‘Catherine Dent’ (50%) and then a finish loop passes the Bellevarde restaurant and the arrival is at a wooden start cabin at an altitude of 2809m.

Records: 

Men: Marco DE GASPERI (ITA) en 34’51” (2003)

Women: Antonella CONFORTOLA (ITA) en 42’48” (2002) 

Stats: 

  • Finish Elevation: 2 809 m
  • Length: 2 905 m
  • Altitude gain: 1000 m
  • Maximum Gradient: 63 %
  • Minimum Gradient: 15 %
  • Average Gradient: 35 %

The Vertical Kilometer Bellevarde Face is part of the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series and will be followed by the Ice Trail Tarentaise 2-days later (preview for the ITT HERE)

Who is racing in 2014?

MEN

Urban Zemmer

Urban Zemmer

Urban Zemmer is a VK specialist and this course will suit his style. Urban is odds on favourite for victory.

©iancorless.com_©iancorless.com-1607MontBlancVK_2014

Aritz Egea

Aritz Egea a consistent performer in mountain races over the Sky distance, his recent top placing at the Mont-Blanc VK bodes well.

Marco Facchinelli like Zemmer specializes in the VK distance and he was 2nd in the Skyrunner® World Series 2013. Withdarwn

Marco Moletto finished offthe 2013 Skyrunner® World Series podium with 3rd place and therefore will be in contention in Val d’Isere.

Ferran Texeido

Thorbjorn Ludvigsen

Thorbjorn Ludvigsen

Thorbjorn Ludvigsen

Augusti Roc currently 4th in the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series

Nil Cardona

Marc Casal Mir

Oscar Casal Mir

David Garcia

Marc Pinsach

 

LADIES

Laura Orgue

Laura Orgue

Laura Orgue Skyrunner® World Series VK champion in 2013 and recently crowned VK World Champion in Chamonix id hot favourite for the top spot.

Antonella Confortola at Canazei VK

Antonella Confortola at Canazei VK

Antonella Confortola course record holder and a formidable force in any VK.

Stevie Kremer

Stevie Kremer

Stevie Kremer placed 2nd in her 1st VK in Chamonix and with no other race to hold back for, Stevie may just top the podium. Withdarwn

Emelie Forsberg needs to introduction, great going uphill and downhill. Emelie will be in the mix for the podium.

Christel Dewalle like Emelie will run the VK and the Ultra and stands a great chance to be on both podiums.

Kasie Enman placed 6th in Chamonix.  Withdarwn

Stephanie Jimenez

Oihana Azkorbebeitia

Celine Lafaye

 LINKS

Skyrunning HERE

Race websites

Ice Trail Tarentaise 2014 Race Preview

Ice Trail Tarentaise

The stunning alpine village of Val d’Isère is the official home of the next two races in the Skyrunner® World Series: the Ice Trail Tarentaise and Bellvarde Vertical Kilometer. The ITT starts and concludes in this beautiful mountain retreat and as the name suggests, it is also the source of the Isère River. The Isère flows through some of the most iconic mountain landscape available. It is a haven for alpinists wanting to test themselves on the iconic slopes of Meribel, Val Thorens, Courchavel; it is affectionately known as the ‘Le Trois Vallees’.

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The Tarentaise valley and the Ice Trail Tarentaise in many respects personify what Kilian Jornet has been pursuing for years, the term ‘Alpinism’ is often perceived as climbing but it is so much more.

The race route has over 60 km’s above 2000m altitude and with a highest point of 3653m at ‘Grande Motte’ this is a race not to be taken lightly. Memories of the Tour de France flood into my mind when I discuss this region, however, other than the highest paved mountain pass at the ‘Col de L’Iseran’ at 2770m, no bicycles will be seen.

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Traversing glaciers, ascending and descending summits such as ‘Aiguille Pers’ at 3386m, participants in the 2014 Ice Trail Tarentaise will no doubt have a full appreciation of what Kilian and others like him strive for when they coin the term, Alpinism.

Ropes, ladders, way markers, peaks at over 3000m and 5000m +/- ascent and descent guarantees that not all those who toe the line will see the finish. It is a tough-tough race, no doubt!

65km / 5000mD + –

Starting July 13, 2014 at 04:00 / Centre station Val d’Isère.

Men

Luis Alberto Hernando

Luis Alberto Hernando

Luis Alberto Hernado is on a roll in 2014. Victor at Transvulcania La Palma and recently crowned Skyrunning World Champion for the Ultra distance in Chamonix, one has to say that Luis is the hot favourite for glory in Val d’Isère. Running with 100% commitment, Luis is a frightening force on any trail or mountain and his commitment is motivating. Tempered with a wonderful friendly nature, Luis is without doubt an increasingly popular choice by ultra, trail and Skyrunning aficionados. I for one hugely respect Luis’s ability and his approachable, modest and friendly nature. Luis has great experience of snow and ice and although the ITT field has depth, this may well be a re run of Hernando and d’Haene going head-to-head.

Francois d'Haene

Francois d’Haene

François d’Haene ran toe-to-toe with Kilian Jornet for the 2013 edition of the ITT and it was only in the latter stages of the race that Kilian clicked up a gear and pulled away for victory. Francois, like Luis is an extremely talented and likeable guy! I know this isn’t a personality contest but the addition of good characteristics helps. Francois produced a remarkable UTMF victory a couple of months ago and just last week placed 2nd behind Luis in Chamonix for the Skyrunning worlds. I have to say that I think that Francois may just have the edge of Luis on this course. One thing is for sure; it’s going to be real close and a great battle.

Ricky Lightfoot had to miss the Skyrunning worlds due to work pressure so I am really excited to se him toe the line in Val d’Isère. He’s an incredible talent and may well just slip under the radar at Tarentaise. In 2013 Ricky had a couple of incredible results, particularly at The Otter in South Africa and IAU World Trail Championships. In 2014, Ricky beat Tom Owens at the iconic Three Peaks fell race, so, we can expect a great performance. Withdrawn

Tom Owens

Tom Owens

Tom Owens ran his first ultra in May at Transvulcania La Palma and placed well within the top-10 with a world-class performance. At Zegama-Aizkorri the impact of Transvulcania took its toll and although Tom had a great run it was probably a little below expectation. Jump to one week ago and Tom made the final podium slot behind Kilian Jornet and Michel Lanne at the SKY distance in the Skyrunning World Championships. Ice Trail will be a real test and adventure for Tom but I think we can expect to see him in the mix.

Fulvio Dapit placed 4th at this race last year and I have no reason to think that an equal or better performance can be expected in 2014. The only question mark will come in regard to Fulvio’s recovery. He raced at Lavaredo Ultra Trail just 7-days ago and was a dominant force over the first half of the race.

Caine Warburton

Caine Warburton

Caine Warburton from Australia was one of the Aussie trio who placed in the top-10 in Chamonix. Needless to say, this has placed Caine from well under the radar to a ‘one-to-watch.’ Ice Trail Tarentaise however will be a very different race to the one experienced in the Skyrunning World Champs. Caine’s performance will come down to 2-key elements: recovery post Chamonix and his ability to run on snow and ice. He’s a top-10 contender.

Matt Cooper is another Aussie who raced in Chamonix but he had a below par performance, particularly if we compare it to his 2013 Ronda dels Cims performance. I personally think that Ice Trail may well suit Matt’s skill set and although the podium may be ambitious, a top-5 and certainly top-10 is a distinct possibility.

Pau Bortololo Roca has placed in and around the top-10 consistently at high-key races. In 2014, Pau has won 2-races: Ultra Trail Barcelona and Transgrancanaria 82km. Unless a disaster happens at the front of the race, I don’t see Pau a contender for the win but top-5 is a distinct possibility and should all things align, the podium is not out of reach.

Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz placed 7th at the 2013 CCC showing a skill level that will transfer to Ice Trail and place the Team Adidas runner a contender for top-10. A recent 11th place at the Maxi Race in Annecy and top-10 at Mont-Blanc 80km shows he has great form. However, Aurelien may only race the VK? (tbc)

Ones to watch:

Marc Casal Mir – 21st at Transvulcania La Palma 2014.

Scott Hawker – 7th at Lavaredo Ultra Trail just 7-days ago.

Jordi Bes Ginesta – 17th at Transvulcania La Palma 2014.

 

Ladies

Emelie Forsberg Ice-Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Emelie Forsberg Ice-Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

I don’t wish to put a down on the ladies race but I just don’t see anyone coming close to Emelie Forsberg if she has anything like the form she displayed at the Skyrunning World Championships. Emelie showed everyone a clean pair of ‘Sense’ last year and dominated the ladies race by almost 1-hour. Her performance was so strong that the ever smiley and happy Swede ‘chicked’ most of the men’s field. Emelie is outright winner barring an accident and top-10 contender overall ((maybe even top-5!)

Maud Gobert is racing less these days, however, when she races she personifies that class is permanent as shown in Chamonix 7-days ago with another top quality performance. Maud may have all the potential to take either podium slot.

Anna-Lise Rousset placed 5th at Transvulcania La Palma in 2014 and will be looking to repeat that performance in Val d’Isère. In reality, 2nd or 3rd on the podium will be the target. Ice Trail will be a new challenge though; one can’t look at the distance of 65km and think it will be easy. It’s a whole new ball game.

Alesandra Carlini

Alesandra Carlini

Alessandra Carlini has moved up a level recently and although I see her offering no contest to Emelie, she will be in the mix fighting for the podium and most definitely a top-5 possibility. In 2014, Alessandra placed 2nd at MSIG Sai Kung 50 and 10th at Transvulcania La Palma.

Laia Andreu Trias has only two significant results that I am aware of and both of those come from Cavalls del Vent: 6th in 2012 and 3rd in 2013.

Ones to watch:

Judit Lamas Borraz

Alexis Traub

Info

2013 results Top-10 Men

  1. Jornet 7:35:32
  2. d’haene 7:40:13
  3. Reiter 8:12:38

2013 results Top-10 Ladies

  1. Forsberg 9:11:11
  2. Dewalle 10:08:58
  3. Canepa 10:31:59

Skyrunning website HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise website HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise Race Report

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Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg excel at the ISF Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise. With over 60 km’s above 2000m altitude and with a highest point of 3653m at ‘Grande Motte’ this is a race not to be taken lightly. Memories of the Tour de France flood into my mind when I discuss this region, however, other than the highest paved mountain pass at the ‘Col de L’Iseran’ at 2770m, no bicycles will be seen.

The Tarentaise valley and the Ice Trail Tarentaise in many respects personify what Kilian Jornet has been pursuing for years, the term ‘Alpinism’ is often perceived as climbing but it is so much more. Traversing glaciers, ascending and descending summits such as ‘Aiguille Pers’ at 3386 m, participants in the 2013 Ice Trail Tarentaise will no doubt had a full appreciation of what Kilian and others like him strive for when they coin the term, Skyrunning. You see, Skyrunning is Alpinism but without the clutter, it’s about being light and moving fast.

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Val D’Isère, 0400 on Sunday 14th July, 600+ runners departed for one of the most challenging races they would ever experience. With a total distance of 65km’s, 5000m+  positive gain and over 60% of the course in snow, the race would ultimately be the most challenging Skyrunning race ever encountered by all the participants.

The 2012 race winner, Francois D’Haene dictated the early pace with Rickey Gates and Kilian Jornet. At Tignes after following a river trail and an early climb the field was already spreading out. Emelie Forsberg had opened a gap on the female competition and was already pulling away.

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Darkness was now being replaced by the arrival of a new day and blue skies, temperatures started to rise but temperatures did drop to as low as -3deg on the first big challenge of the day, the Grande Motte at 3653m, this would see participants climb 1800m  in under10km. The ascent included traversing a glacier (YakTrax compulsory) and then a 70deg climb that included sections of Via Ferrata. At the summit, km17, Kilian, Francois and Rickey continued to establish a lead over a chasing Fulvio Dapit and Philipp Reiter.

Christel Dewalle and Ronda dels Cims winner, Francesca Canepa pursued Emelie Forsberg but the pattern was set for the whole race. Emelie was in her element, and although she said post race that it was the hardest race she had ever done, she also admitted that she loved every step of it, ‘this is pure Skyrunning, it is what I love about this sport, the ability to combine mountains, snow, running and ice to combine together in one of the most challenging sports’.

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The descent from Col Fours at 2976m to Pont Neige at 2530m now had Francois D’Haene and Kilian Jornet establishing a lead over the rest of the field that would not be relinquished. A small section of road and a right turn at Cascade ultimately proved to be one of the hardest sections of the course. Climbing from 2700m to the Col Pers at 3009m and then Pointe Pers 3386m resulted in many runners failing to meet cut-off times or drop with fatigue at Cascade. Marcus Warner from Ultra168 said, ‘that broke peoples spirits, I have buried the feeling it created; I had to look inside and decide if I wanted to put myself through it. However, I found that inner strength and moved on. The terrain was hard pack snow on the north side to waist deep soft snow. It sucked life from within me, the final 300m was a treadmill of slate and scree, I felt I was going nowhere’.

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At the iconic Col de L’Iseran, the highest road in Europe the final challenge awaited, the 300m ascent to the Tunnel Lessieres at km56. It was in the final stages of this climb on the tough and technical rock section that Kilian moved ahead of Francois and pulled away to take another incredible win. Emelie Forsberg looked relaxed and comfortable, her lead was convincing and a victory was guaranteed. Christel and Francesca continued to hold second and third place and this format would not change to the finish line.

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The 2013 ISF Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise will be remembered in years to come as an iconic day in Skyrunning history. Along with Zegama-Aizkorri, Trofeo Kima and Canazei in the Dolomites, the ‘ITT’ will become a flagship event. It will test elites and non-elite runners to the limit and as many said post race, ‘km for km, that is the hardest race I have ever done’

RACE PHOTOGRAPHY HERE

RACE START IMAGES HERE

PRE RACE IMAGES HERE

PRE RACE INTERVIEW with EMELIE FORSBERG HERE

Men:

  1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon) 07:35:32 new course record
  2. Francois D’Haene (Salomon) 07:40:13
  3. Philipp Reiter (Salomon) 08:12:38

Ladies:

  1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) 09:11:11 new course record (and 10th overall)
  2. Christel Dewalle (Terre de Running) 10:08:58
  3. Francesca Canepa (Team Montura/Vibram) 10:31:59

Links:

FULL RESULTS HERE

Skyrunning HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise 2013 – Pre race images and photo shoot

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Now part of the Skyrunner World Series, the Ice Trail Tarentaise will see a return of the 2012 winner, Francois D’Haene compete against Kilian Jornet, Philipp Reiter, Rickey Gates, Nico Valsesia, Jordi Bes Ginesta, Nicolas Pianet and Vincent Delaberre. For the ladies, the reigning champion, Anne Valero will not defend her title but don’t worry; the ladies field is extremely competitive. Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost, Francesca Canepa and Shona Stephenson will do battle on the glaciers and peaks of the ‘Tarentaise’; only one will be crowned the ice queen.

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Ice Trail Tarentaise Preview

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Ice Trail Tarentaise sends the chills down our spines as we prepare ourselves for the third event in the ISF Skyrunner Ultra World Series.

The stunning alpine village of  Val d’Isère is the official home of the Ice Trail Tarentaise. The race starts and concludes at this beautiful mountain retreat and as the name suggests, it is also the source of the Isère River. The Isère flows through some of the most iconic mountain landscape available. It is a haven for alpinists wanting to test themselves on the iconic slopes of Meribel, Val Thorens, Courchavel. ‘Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) is a ski region in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département of France, to the south of the town of Moûtiers, partly in the Vanoise National Park. As implied by its name, the area originally consisted of three valleys: Saint-BonAllues, and Belleville. The skiing area has since been extended into a ‘fourth’ valley, the Maurienne valley. It is adjacent to Val Thorens, but can also be accessed using a long gondola lift from Orelle.

The Tarentaise valley and the Ice Trail Tarentaise in many respects personify what Kilian Jornet has been pursuing for years, the term ‘Alpinism’ is often perceived as climbing but it is so much more.

The race route has over 60 km’s above 2000m altitude and with a highest point of 3653m at ‘Grande Motte’ this is a race not to be taken lightly. Memories of the Tour de France flood into my mind when I discuss this region, however, other than the highest paved mountain pass at the ‘Col de L’Iseran’ at 2770m, no bicycles will be seen.

Traversing glaciers, ascending and descending summits such as ‘Aiguille Pers’ at 3386 m, participants in the 2013 Ice Trail Tarentaise will no doubt have a full appreciation of what Kilian and others like him strive for when they coin the term, Skyrunning. You see, Skyrunning is Alpinism but without the clutter, it’s about being light and moving fast.

Ropes, ladders, way markers, peaks at over 3000m and 5000m +/- ascent and descent guarantees that not all those who toe the line will see the finish. It is a tough tough race; no doubt!

The inaugural event was due to take place in 2011 however severe weather left the organization with no choice but to cancel, however, the 32km ‘Altispeed’ did take place (no easy option). Despite extreme conditions Damien Vouillamoz won the race in just over three and a half hours and Virginie (Virg) Govignon in 5:14. Virg just recently took part in one of the shorter events at Ronda dels Cims placing third, Andorra is now her home and the passion and love for the mountains are strong.

The arrival of the 2012 edition was eagerly anticipated, the shortened version in 2011 had wet many appetites, and success rates had been around approximately 50%, what would a full course offer? Despite initial weather concerns the race went ahead. Francois D’Haene from Salomon and Anne Valero from Mizuno were respective winners in times of 8:16:35 and 11:20:13 respectively.

Just three years old and only in its second edition, the 2013 Ice Trail Tarentaise will now offer a challenge to elites and non-elites that only many could have wished for. Now part of the Skyrunner World Series, the Ice Trail Tarentaise will see a return of the 2012 winner, Francois D’Haene compete against Kilian Jornet, Philipp Reiter, Rickey Gates, Nico Valsesia, Jordi Bes Ginesta, Nicolas Pianet and Vincent Delaberre. For the ladies, the reigning champion, Anne Valero will not defend her title but don’t worry; the ladies field is extremely competitive. Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost, Julia Boettger, Silvia Serafini, Shona Stephenson and Emilie Lecomte will do battle on the glaciers and peaks of the ‘Tarentaise’; only one will be crowned the ice queen.

MEN

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Kilian Jornet – Considering the nature of this course, it’s location, severity, difficulty and true ‘Alpinist’ routes one would be foolish not to tip Kilian Jornet as a favorite for this race. As Lauri Van Houten points out, “Alpinism is traditional mountaineering with the big boots and all the gear – Skyrunning is doing the same stuff faster without all the gear…. Kilian will love it’. The race in many respects reads like one of his ‘Summits’ attempts and as such will suit him perfectly. With incredible results already achieved in 2013; Transvulcania, Zegama and Mont Blanc Marathon, one can’t help but think that Ice Trail Tarentaise is a race that will not only show him at his best but also it will be a race that he is eagerly waiting for.

Francois D'Haene 2012 TNFUTMB copyright iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene 2012 TNFUTMB copyright iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene – returns as the 2012 champion and for sure that will be a great advantage. Francois had an extremely successful 2012 with a top placing at Transvulcania but I am sure his TNFUTMB win will be the one he remembers most. He is currently in great form and for sure he will be pushing Kilian at the front.

Philipp Reiter Transgrancanaria copyright iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter Transgrancanaria copyright iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter – has incredible talent and recently won his first ever 100km race in Germany. He his experienced in the snow and without doubt this will play a big advantage in a race so demanding. He has shown in the past at races such as the extremely technical, Trofeo Kima, that he has all around ability. This will all come into play on this extremely tough and challenging race.

Rickey Gates – has been a little quiet of late. He always has a much smaller and tighter calendar in comparison to other runners but when he races, you know he will be in great shape. Top placing’s at the 2012 Transvulcania and a win at Speedgoat will carry over to this year and provide Rickey with a great base to compete against his Salomon teammates.

Nico Valsesia – is not shy of long distances. Arguably he is known for long cycling events like riding across America in the ‘RAAM’. His recent form is unknown as he should have toed the line at the 170km Ronda dels Cims.

Jordi Bes Ginesta – is a Catalan ski mountaineer and mountain runner and one has to say that ‘Ice Trail’ will play to all his abilities. His palamares are excellent in SkiMo with top ten placing’s in Spanish Championships, European Championships and World Championships. He was eighth in the 2009 world Skyrunning Championships and although I don’t think he will fight for a top three place you should definitely see him within the top ten.

Fulvio Dapit – is no stranger to Skyrunning and will come into the Ice Trail Tarentaise with a clear understanding of what needs to be done to compete at the front of the field. Fulvio was 2011 winner at the tenth edition of Monterosa Skyrace, he placed seventh at 2012 Zegama and recently had some success at Sardinia Trail, however, his form coming to Val D’Isère is not clear. Not a podium contender but a possible top ten.

Nicolas Pianet – has been racing since March and most notably raced the ‘Trail de Faverges Icebreaker 44km’ he placed third behind Patrick Bringer but one can almost certainly assume it was a preparation event for Ice Trail. His most recent race was Mont Blanc Marathon, he placed eleventh behind a strong and dominant Kilian Jornet. Nicolas has potential to mix things up at Tarentaise but he won’t contend the podium.

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Vincent Delabarre – previous winner of TNFUTMB and currently leading courses on the UTMB route will come into this race with plenty of mountain and snow experience. Invaluable! He raced earlier in the year at Marathon des Sables, a somewhat different experience to what lies ahead in Val D’Isère.

LADIES

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Emelie Forsberg – tops my table for the ladies race, just the other weekend she finished second to a flying Stevie Kremer at Mont Blanc Marathon, however, although she was fairly and squarely beaten, illness played an issue on the day. This was confirmed when just two days later she set a new female record for Chamonix-Mont Blanc-Chamonix in 8hrs 10min. Like Kilian, her SkiMo and mountain background will see her perform to her strengths on the Ice Trail course. A clear favorite.

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Francesca Canepa – fresh from a dominant performance at Ronda dels Cims will feel at home on the trails of the Tarentaise valley. She likes tough, technical and hard races. Francesca also has speed when required; her second place to Lizzy Hawker at the shortened 2012 TNFUTMB proves this. It will certainly be interesting to see how Francesca performs against Emelie Forsberg and Nuria Picas on this demanding course.

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Julia Boettger – loves long, hard and technical races. Tor des Geants and Raid de la Reunion are just two notches in her impressive resume. However, her recent form is unknown, she missed the start of Transgrancanaria due to illness and a main target for the year, the 170km Ronda dels Cims had to be missed for personal reasons. The recent Lavaredo Trail also saw Julia miss the start line, so, she will either come to Ice Trail fresh and ready to perform or a little under raced. withdrawn, confirmation 09th July 2013

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Anna Frost – had a troublesome winter and missed a race she loves, Transvulcania. However, she is back on her way to full fitness. Her recent performances at the Mont Blanc VK and Marathon show that she is not in full fitness but reassuringly this means that Frosty is easing her way back into 2013 instead of pushing too hard too soon. Without doubt she is a class act and I have never seen anyone with an ability to push so deep when the need arises. Her performance at Cavalls del Vent in 2012 was a personification of this. If she wants to win Ice Trail, Frosty could find something within herself to give it a go. Anna has podium potential without a doubt.

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Nuria Picas – missed Mont Blanc Marathon and will arrive in Tarentaise fresher than some of her rivals. Rumor has it that Nuria is running the 2013 UTMB so a very different Nuria may well toe the line for the ultra races in the Skyrunning series than we saw in 2012. Without doubt she has speed and ability, her 2012 season was remarkable, however, twice in 2013 she has placed second to Emelie Forsberg; Transvulcania and Zegama. Maybe her training for TNFUTMB is taking the edge off the speed? If so, her endurance and her ability to survive over a longer event may well be the difference between first and second in the Tarentaise Valley. Nuria, providing she has no problems will be on the podium for sure and ultimately I see the race being between her and Emelie.

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Shona Stephenson – has loved the whole European experience. The Australia based inov-8 athlete has had a great 2013 so far with some great 100-mile results, particularly in Japan at UTMF100. Without doubt this ability to endure and dig deep will be essential in Val D’Isère. However, her experience of snow, ice and extreme cold is limited and without doubt this will be a big disadvantage. She has the ability to be at the front of the race but the whole experience may well just be one big learning curve that she needs to take a step back from and accept that what will be, will be.

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Emilie Lecomte – placed top five at Transvulcania and then placed third at the super tough Ronda dels Cims. She loves races that are tough, long and technical. The winner of the 2012 Raid de la Reunion and course record holder for the GR20 long trail in Corsica, Emilie will without doubt push hard at the front of this race. Her experience in Andorra was mixed; she was dominating the race over the first third but then struggled with fatigue and a lack of energy over the latter half. For Emilie to finish showed incredible guts and determination,  you will see Emilie show that same spirit here, if all goes well she may very well make the podium.

The Ice Trail Tarentaise has all the makings to be an incredible and exciting race, which will be nothing like what we have experienced before. The combination of altitude, ice, climbing and descending will almost certainly provide some shocks and surprises. Who are your picks to win the third ISF Skyrunning Ultra event?

Stats:

The Ice-Trail Tarentaise (ITT), for the record, counts 65 km with 5,000m vertical ascent and descent, reaches a high point of 3,653m and touches five peaks skimming the 3,000m mark in Val d’Isère July 14.  Snow is not an option!

Notes:

It’s true that mountains at 3,000m offer a challenge to all who set foot here.  This year’s heavy snowfalls add an element of adventure (and technique) to test the most skilled skyrunners.  However, recent warm weather has taken its toll and much of the snow has melted although stretches on snow will remain.

The organisers will issue a statement regarding the course and safety measures after a meeting held this afternoon so check for updates which will be issued on this site, Facebook and the race website over the next few days.

Links:

Skyrunning HERE

2013 Calendar – Race Coverage

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

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

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

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

So what does 2013 have in store?

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

2013 CALENDAR

January

February

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

RainforestRunHeader

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

March

April

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

DRAYMDS2012-04-14-3437

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

turkey

May

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

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

zegama

June

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

Perfil2012Ronda

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

Mont Blanc Marathon

July

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

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

Image courtesy of Trans D'Havet

Image courtesy of Trans D’Havet

August

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

ultraks

September

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

G@G

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

uroc

October

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

extreme

November

Everest Trail Race

December