Episode 145 – Jeff Browning and Mark Hammond

Episode 145 of Talk Ultra brings you an interview with Jeff Browning who has been dominating the 100-mile racing scene with a string of highly placed finishes – but how? Jeff tells us the secrets of his success in a fascinating interview. We also speak with Mark Hammond who placed 3rd at Western States this year. We have the news and Speedgoat Karl is co-hosting
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*****
00:10:10 NEWS
Speedgoat wins 50k a good sign for his next 100.
ELS 2900
Ne format for this year as alpinists took part as teams of two and they had to navigate. Lina and Sanna El Kott Helander won the ladies race and Dominic Trastoy and Lluis Sanvicente won the men’s, times 21:05 and 16:41 respectively.
Lakes in a Day UK
Katie Kaars smashed the ladies old CR in a new time of 10:46:29 for the 50-miles and bagged a £1000 bonus. She also placed 3rd overall.
For the men, Marcis Gubats took top honours in 10:18:39, Jack Casey 2nd in 10:43:49 and Nick Green 3rd man (4th overall) in 11:04:07.
Elizaveta Ershova and Liz Barker placed 2nd and 3rd ladies’ respectively in 11:52:54 and 12:50:31.
Report HERE
Limone Extreme SkyRace
Marco De Gasperi took the top honours and the 2017 SWS title, a fitting reward for the Skyrunning legend who started the sport aged 16! Tove Alexandersson, an orienteer world champ, took the female victory in an impressive and committed finish that saw her collapse on the line covered in blood from numerous falls.
Jan Margarit and Stefan Knopf placed 2nd and 3rd and Michelle Maier and Ragna Debats took the podium slots for the ladies.
Sheila Aviles joined De Gasperi as the 2017 SWS champ for the Sky Classic distance.
The COMBINED title was won by Jonathan Albon and Maite Maiora.
Report HERE
Moab 200
Courtney Dauwalter runs an incredible 57-hours and 52-minutes for an outright win. Sean Nakamura won the men’s race.
John Muir Trail FKT
Francois D’Haene obliterated the JMT FKT by 12 hours finishing in 2-days, 19-hours and 26-minutes. This result coming so soon after winning the UTMB!
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00:40:01 Interview with JEFF BROWNING
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02:04:27 Interview with MARK HAMMOND
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UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Puna Inca Trail | 200 kilometers | November 03, 2017 | website

Australia

Queensland

100 km | 100 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
50 km | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

South Australia

105 km | 105 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
57 km | 57 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

Victoria

100 km | 100 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
50 km | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

Canada

Ontario

50 km | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Croatia

109,8 km | 109 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
161.4 km | 161 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
57 km | 57 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Ecuador

50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

France

Aude

Raid des Bogomiles | 101 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website

Aveyron

Boffi Fifty | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Endurance Trail | 100 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
Trail des Hospitaliers | 75 kilometers | October 29, 2017 | website

Calvados

Raid solo 52 km | 52 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Corse-du-Sud

CCR Bleu Long | 86 kilometers | October 26, 2017 | website
CCR Rouge Court | 78 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
CCR Rouge Long | 166 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

Savoie

75 km | 75 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
Grand trail du lac – 80km | 80 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Röntgenlauf Ultramarathon | 63 kilometers | October 29, 2017 | website

Greece

Rodopi Advendurun 100 miles | 100 miles | October 20, 2017 | website

Hong-Kong

Salomon LT 70 | 70 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

India

Meghalaya

70k Ultra | 70 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

West Bengal

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race | 100 miles | October 29, 2017 | website

Israel

Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek – 61 Km Run | 61 kilometers | October 26, 2017 | website

Italy

Campania

Amalfi Coast Trail | 87 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Ert Rommel Trail 64k | 64 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

Piedmont

120 km | 120 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
57 km | 57 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
82 km | 82 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website

Morocco

Race Désert Marathon | 100 kilometers | October 25, 2017 | website

Nepal

Annapurna 100 | 100 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
Annapurna 50k | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
Solukhumbu Trail | 289 kilometers | October 27, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Norway

100 Miles | 100 miles | October 21, 2017 | website

Réunion

La Mascareignes | 67 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
Trail de Bourbon | 111 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website

South Africa

Bonitas Golden Gate Challenge | 70 kilometers | October 20, 2017 | website
Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon | 250 kilometers | October 26, 2017 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultima Frontera – 166 km | 166 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Ultima Frontera – 55 km | 55 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Ultima Frontera – 83 km | 83 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Catalonia

LTSM | 66 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Ultra Trail de la Serra de Montsant | 100 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail Oscos Natural | 55 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Valencian Community

Mondúber Utrail | 66 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

Sweden

Markusloppet | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

Turkey

Cappadocia Trail 60km | 61 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Salomon Cappadocia Ultra Trail® | 114 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

City of Edinburgh

50 km | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

Cumbria

Ennerdale 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Original Mountain Marathon | 52 miles | October 28, 2017 | website

Oxfordshire

Autumn 100 | 100 miles | October 21, 2017 | website

Powys

Rebellion | 135 miles | November 03, 2017 | website

Suffolk

Coastal Trail Series – Suffolk – Ultra | 34 miles | October 21, 2017 | website

Worcestershire

Halloween 7in7 | 295 kilometers | October 30, 2017 | website

USA

Arizona

100K | 100 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | October 28, 2017 | website

California

Lake Hodges 50K | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
Ragnar Relay Napa Valley | 186 miles | November 03, 2017 | website
Reebok Ragnar Napa Valley | 200 miles | November 03, 2017 | website

Colorado

50K | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
Indian Creek 51 km | 51 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Indian Creek 52 Mile | 52 miles | October 21, 2017 | website

Connecticut

Bimbler’s Bluff 50k | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
Scantic Valley Six-Hour Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | October 29, 2017 | website

Delaware

Sinnemahone Ultra Marathon 50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Florida

80 Mile Relay | 80 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
Jacks 50k Trail Race | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
“Running for the Bay!” 50K | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

Georgia

Running Dead Ultra 100M | 100 miles | October 20, 2017 | website
Running Dead Ultra 50M | 50 miles | October 20, 2017 | website

Hawaii

Peacock Challenge 55 Mile Run | 55 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
Peacock Ultramarathons 100K | 100 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Peacock Ultramarathons 50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

Kansas

Kansas Rails-to-Trails 100 Mile | 100 miles | October 28, 2017 | website
Prairie Spirit Trail Fall Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
Prairie Spirit Trail Fall Classic 50 Mile | 50 miles | October 28, 2017 | website

Louisiana

50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Maryland

Patapsco Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website

Michigan

Y’OPA Halloween Costume 5K Run | 70 miles | October 28, 2017 | website

Minnesota

Surf the Murph 50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Surf the Murph 50M | 50 miles | October 21, 2017 | website

Missouri

50K | 50 kilometers | October 29, 2017 | website

Nebraska

G.O.A.T.z 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

New Hampshire

Ghost Train Ultra Race 100M | 100 miles | October 22, 2017 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 45M | 45 miles | October 22, 2017 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 60M | 60 miles | October 22, 2017 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 75M | 75 miles | October 22, 2017 | website
Ghost Train Ultra Race 90M | 90 miles | October 22, 2017 | website

New Jersey

100 Mile | 100 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
The Teaneck 5K Walk/Run for Children with Cancer | 5000 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website

North Carolina

Allison Woods Halloween Hobble | 100 miles | October 28, 2017 | website
Triple Lakes Trail 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
Tuna Run 200 | 200 miles | October 20, 2017 | website
Tuna Run 70 | 70 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
Uwharrie 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
Uwharrie 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | October 21, 2017 | website

Ohio

Run With Scissors Double Marathon | 52 miles | October 28, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

100K | 100 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
100 Mile | 100 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
135.6 Miler | 135 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

South Carolina

Paris Mountain 50k | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Tennessee

100K | 100 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
100 Miler | 100 miles | October 21, 2017 | website
50K | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website

Texas

50k | 50 kilometers | October 21, 2017 | website
50K | 50 kilometers | October 24, 2017 | website
Cactus Rose 100 Mi Trail Run | 100 miles | October 28, 2017 | website
Cactus Rose 50 Mi Trail Run | 50 miles | October 28, 2017 | website
Trans-Pecos Ultra | 163 miles | October 22, 2017 | website

Utah

Atlas St. George | 40 miles | October 27, 2017 | website
Goblin Valley Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | October 28, 2017 | website
Pony Express Trail 100 | 100 miles | October 20, 2017 | website
Pony Express Trail 50 | 50 miles | October 20, 2017 | website

Virginia

The Wild Oak Trail 100 “Hot” TWOT | 100 miles | October 20, 2017 | website

West Virginia

33 Miles | 33 miles | October 28, 2017 | website
34 Miles | 34 miles | October 28, 2017 | website
40 Miles | 40 miles | October 28, 2017 | website

Wisconsin

50K | 50 kilometers | October 29, 2017 | website

Vietnam

120 km | 120 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
70 km | 70 kilometers | October 22, 2017 | website
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02:40:06 CLOSE
02:43:19
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Episode 139 – Adam Campbell and Chris DeNucci

Episode 139 of Talk Ultra brings and we bring you a full and in-depth interview with Adam Campbell. Adam had a horrific accident that could have so easily killed him. He has come back with a remarkable recovery and just finished Hardrock 100. Chris DeNucci has slowly but surely moved through there ultra ranks with solid performances, this year he placed 5th at Western States. We have the news, some chat and I am pleased to say, Niandi is back!
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
Talk Ultra needs your help!
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 Patrons who have helped via PATREON
Donate HERE
00:28:00 NEWS
Dolomites SkyRace
Jan Maragarit Sole took an incredible victory ahead of Davide Magnini and Skyrunning Legend Marco De Gasperi. They were separated by just 45 seconds. 2:07 the winning time on a revised course. It was the 20th edition of the race.
2016 champ Laura Orgue defended her title ahead of the USA’s Hillary Geradi and Hilde Alders from Norway 2:36, 2:37 and 2:39 respectively.
Eiger Ultra Trail
Andrea Huser does it again – I am forever amazed how much Andrea races and podiums. It is quite incredible. She is the Mike Wardian of the female ultra scene. She won in 13:46 ahead of Martina Trimmel and Helen Oli, 14:44 and 14:49.
Stephan Hugenschmidt took victory ahead of Urs Jenzer and Jordi Gamito. From a UK perspective, MDS 3rd placed male Thomas Evans was 4th. 11:01 was the winning time and a new CR, 11:15 and 11:31 for 2nd and 3rd.
The Royal Gran Paradiso
Bhim Gurung from Nepal won the race after a closely fought battle throughout the race were the front runners were separated by seconds. Andre Jonsson was 2nd ahead of Perl Aurell, times: 6:41, 6:51 and 6:52.
Maite Maiora dominated the ladies race in 8:05 ahead of Katie Schide in 8:37 and Ekaterina Mityaev in 8:48.
ETR 2017
Luis Alberto Hernando – IAU World Champ and Skyrunning European Champ has confirmed he will attend the 2017 edition along with MDS champ Elisabet Barnes.
00:40:20 Lets go to an interview with CHRIS DENUCCI 
Hardrock 100
Kilian Jornet won the race single-handedly… yep, Kilian fell early in the race, dislocated his shoulder, put it back in and then ran the race with one arm and still beat Mike Foote and Joe Grant. Kilian is slowly but surely become the master of Hardrock and we will almost certainly see him again next year hunting for a 5th victory. 24:32, 24:55 and 25:37 for the top 3 men.
Lady of the moment, Caroline Chaverot actually lead the race outright in the early stages, then went of course but still secured a convincing victory. Caroline is THE BEST female ultra and mountain runner in the world at the moment – no doubt! Darcy Piceau was 2nd and Nathalie Mauclair 3rd – Frosty was 4th. 28:31, 29:22 and 30:34 for the top-3.
Kendall Mountain Run
Jim Walmsley is back to winning and CR’s. For now he is one of the fastest ultra-runners in the world up to 100km. Ironically this race was just 12 miles. He beat the previous Joe Gray CR by 3 min to record 1:31. Kathryn Ross was the First Lady in 1:57. The ladies record is till with Stevie Kremer – 1:55.
Coming up:
Speedgoat 50k
Comapedrossa
Tromso SkyRace 31
Lakeland 100 in the UK
02:03:22 Interview with ADAM CAMPBELL 2016 Interview
03:00:27 Interview with ADAM CAMPBELL 2017 Post Hardrock Interview
UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Northern Territory

The Malbunka | 133 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website
The Namatjira | 80 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website

Queensland

Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website

Austria

Dirndltal Extrem Ultramarathon | 111 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Belgium

Flanders

100 km Dodentocht® | 100 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website

Canada

Alberta

Canadian Death Race Ultra Marathon | 125 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

British Columbia

Fat Dog 100 Trail Race: 120 mile | 120 miles | August 11, 2017 | website

Prince Edward Island

50 km | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website

France

Haute-Corse

Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website

Haute-Loire

La Loire Integrale | 1025 kilometers | August 09, 2017 | website

Haute-Savoie

Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website

Isère

Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website

Jura

Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Pyrénées-Orientales

La Pastourale des Pyrénnées | 450 kilometers | August 08, 2017 | website
La Pottoka des Pyrénées | 180 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website
TransPyrénéa | 866 kilometers | August 01, 2017 | website

Savoie

Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
EDF Cenis Tour 50 | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
EDF Cenis Tour 73 | 73 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
La 6000D | 63 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Lower Saxony

Süntel-Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

India

Himachal Pradesh

The Himalayan Crossing | 353 kilometers | August 02, 2017 | website
The SPITI | 126 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Ireland

Munster

Italy

Aosta Valley

Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 121 km | 121 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website

Latvia

Cēsis ECO Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Madagascar

Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Mongolia

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2017 | website

Norway

100 Miles | 100 miles | August 04, 2017 | website
Bèrghem UltraRondane 400K | 400 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website

Réunion

Trail du Grand Ouest | 60 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Romania

Ultransilvania | 101 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website

Russia

Elbrus Mountain Race | 112 kilometers | August 03, 2017 | website
Elbrus Mountain Ultra | 59 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Slovakia

ULTRA FATRA | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

South Africa

Merrell Whale of Trail | 53 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Spain

Aragon

104 km | 104 kilometers | August 04, 2017 | website

Catalonia

55 km | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Ultra | 104 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
Ultra Trail Valls d’Àneu | 92 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Principality of Asturias

Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Sweden

Bergslagsleden på 5 dagar | 280 kilometers | August 01, 2017 | website
Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 04, 2017 | website
Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon 70 km | 70 kilometers | August 04, 2017 | website
Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website
Trans Scania | 246 kilometers | August 11, 2017 | website

Switzerland

Grisons

Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
T133 | 133 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
T214 | 214 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website

Valais

La Spéci-Men | 72 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Turkey

100 Miles | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
80 km | 80 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

City of Bristol

Kennet & Avon Canal Race | 140 miles | July 28, 2017 | website

East Riding of Yorkshire

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

England

Round the Rock Ultra | 46 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

Gloucestershire

Oxford Ultra | 65 miles | August 11, 2017 | website
Thames Challenge | 184 miles | August 10, 2017 | website

Hampshire

Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Somerset

50 Miler | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

Stirling

Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

Surrey

North Downs Way 100 | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

USA

Alaska

Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 11, 2017 | website

Arizona

Vertigo 63K Night Trail Run | 63 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

California

Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run (summer) | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
Skyline 50K | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website

Colorado

100 Miles | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
102.1 Miles | 102 miles | August 04, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
51.9 Miles | 51 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
55 km | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
High Lonesome 100 | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
Silverheels 100 Mile Endurance Run | 102 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 04, 2017 | website

Florida

Toxic Trail Shirt Order | 37 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
Waiver Only – No shirt | 37 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Minnesota

Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Montana

50 K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

Nevada

51 km | 51 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 04, 2017 | website

New Jersey

River 2 Sea Relay | 72 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

New York

50K | 50 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
55 km | 55 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Beast of Burden Summer 100 Miler | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Beast of Burden Summer 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
Team Relay Race | 234 miles | August 11, 2017 | website

Ohio

100 Mile | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile Back Half | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Oregon

Elkhorn Relay | 204 miles | August 11, 2017 | website
Relay | 132 miles | August 04, 2017 | website

Pennsylvania

100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Miler | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website
50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Tennessee

100K | 100 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
100 Miles | 100 miles | August 05, 2017 | website
50K – Saturday | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
50K – Sunday | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
50 Miles | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Colorado Bend – 60k | 60 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Utah

100K | 100 kilometers | July 30, 2017 | website
100 K | 100 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run | 100 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
Speedgoat 50K Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website

Vermont

36 Miles | 36 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

Virginia

Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Washington

Bigfoot 200 Mile Endurance Run | 205 miles | August 11, 2017 | website
Volcanic 50 | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | August 05, 2017 | website

West Virginia

Kanawha Trace 50K | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website

Wisconsin

50K | 50 kilometers | July 29, 2017 | website
50K Run | 50 kilometers | August 06, 2017 | website
Hilloopy 100+ Relay | 100 miles | July 29, 2017 | website

Wyoming

El Vaquero Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | August 05, 2017 | website
CLOSE 03:59:20
04:07:11
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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.
Keep running
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Sandes of Time – Ryan Sandes at the 2017 #WSER Western States Endurance Run on IRUN4ULTRA

I recently caught up with South Africa’s Ryan Sandes after his impressive victory at the 2017 Western States. You can listen to a full and in-depth interview HERE on Talk Ultra podcast.

Ryan’s story is one that inspires and it just shows what is possible.

“An impulsive decision one Sunday afternoon completely changed my life back in 2008. Could I run 250km, self-supported through a Desert? Without another thought, I maxed out my credit card and entered a race I knew almost nothing about. The lead up to the Gobi Desert Race consumed me but most importantly it enabled me to dream.”

You can read the full article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

Episode 138 – Ryan Sandes and Hillary Allen

Episode 138 of Talk Ultra brings and we bring you a full and in-depth interview with Western States 2017 Champ – Ryan Sandes. We also bring you an interview with the USA’s Hillary Allen who is very much pioneering a path for female mountain runners in Europe. We have the news, ultra chat and this weeks co-host is the 2017 Marathon des Sables champion, Elisabet Barnes.
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00:18:26 NEWS
Firstly, as we record this Hardrock is kicking off. Going to be an exciting race this year… my predictions are for Caroline and Kilian taking the wins. You Elisabet? You have raced against Frosty, Nathalie is a teammate, you were at TCC with Jason – you have some real insight into the runners this year…
High Trail Vanoise and European Championships
Luis Alberto Hernando proves once again he is one of their best in the world by taking victory ahead of Arnaud Durand-Pallaz and Dimitry Mityaev and in the process becoming Skyrunning European Champion. For the ladies’ Megan Kimmel (on fire at the moment) took victory ahead of Ragna Debats and Mimmi Kotka. Ragna was crowned 2017 European Champion.
Buff Epic Trail (series of races)
Eugeni Gil beat Skyrunner World Series leader Aritz Egea (Classic distance) and Adrien Michaud was 3rd – times4:08,4:11and4:16.
Oihana Azkorbebeitia pipped Celia Chiron in a very close finish – just 26 seconds!5:07was the winning time. Laura Sola placed 3rd in5:10.
Ronda del Cims
Antoine Guillon and Lisa Borzani won the ‘classic’ 170km event which has a whopping 13,500m of vert! This year they had a new event, the Euforia which at 233k proved a challenge too far for many… Julian Morcillo and Nahuel Passerat took the victories.
Mount Marathon
Ever since Kilian and Emelie went and raced in Alaska, Mt Marathon is now a one-to-watch and this year Scott Patterson took the male win and Allie Ostrander for the women. Emelie Forsberg still holds the ladies’ record.

00:33:11 Lets go to an interview with HILLARY ALLEN
Badwater 135
Wataro Lino took the 2017 title in 24:56:19 ahead of Marco Bonfiglio and Harvey Lewis III. The almost ‘unbetable’ Pete Kostelnick finished 6th in 28:18 – he also had a below par IAU 24hr champs.
Sandra Villines was ladies’ champ ahead of Amy Costa and Pamela Chapman-Markle – times 34:34:43, 35:30:19 and 35:48:31 respectively.
IAU 24 HR Champs
Patrycja Berenznowska ran an incredible 160.5 miles to take the ladies win – wow! For the men, it was a nail biter with Yoshihiko Ishikawa beating Johan Steene by less than 1-mile! 166.26 to 166.61.
FKT news – Andrew Hamilton finishedthe Nolans14 in 53h 42m going north to south. Apparently he started with 30 miles already in his legs… he tagged the Mount of the Holy Cross first making it 15 peaks not 14.
WESTERN STATES
Well, Western was a surprise huh? I have written about my thoughts on Jim Walmsley but I welcome your outlook Elisabet?
It was a day of surprises and the ladies’ race was an open book with many of the pre-race favourites having bad days – only Magda Boulet rallied for 2nd behind an inspired Cat Bradley taking the win.
My thoughts on Jim Walmsley and Lighting The Fire HERE
Good friend Ryan Sandes ran a classy well placed race to take a huge victory – so well deserved.
01:50:24 Interview with RYAN SANDES
UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Queensland

96 km | 96 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
River Run 100 | 100 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website
River Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website

Victoria

You Yangs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

La Chouffe Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website

Brazil

Ultraaratona dos Perdidos | 105 kilometers | July 14, 2017 | website

Bulgaria

65km Tryavna Ultra | 65 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Broken Goat 50K | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Ontario

50 Km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
GORE-TEX 50 Mile | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website

Quebec

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Pandora 24 Ultra X Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 22, 2017 | website

Finland

Lapland

135 km | 135 kilometers | July 14, 2017 | website
55 km | 55 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

France

Corrèze

L’EDFi du Lac | 100 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Le Tour du Cardant | 65 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Drôme

86km | 86 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Eure

Tour de France en Courant | 2750 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Haute-Garonne

52 km | 52 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website
52 km Relais | 52 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website

Hautes-Alpes

Sky Race Max de Montgenèvre | 57 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Sky Race Max de Montgenèvre | 57 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Isère

La Grande Course | 65 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website
Oisans trail tour relais 2 | 80 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
Oisans trail tour relais 4 | 80 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
Oisans trail tour relais 5 | 80 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Jura

L’intégrale | 110 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Relais de 2 coureurs | 110 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Grand trail de la Vallée d’Ossau | 73 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Savoie

62 km Mad’ Trail | 62 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Ultra Trail du Beaufortain | 105 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Juli | 108 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Brandenburg

Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Greece

Kronion Ultra | 70 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Iceland

Laugavegur Ultra Marathon | 55 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
The Iceland Trek | 84 kilometers | July 14, 2017 | website

India

Jammu and Kashmir

120 km | 120 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Back to Back Marathon | 84 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
Back to Back Ultra | 78 miles | July 22, 2017 | website
Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | July 22, 2017 | website

Italy

Piedmont

Bettelmatt Trail – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
BUT – 83 km | 83 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Sicily

Etna Trail | 64 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 121 km | 121 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website
Südtirol Ultra Skyrace – 66 km | 66 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website

Veneto

Asolo 100 km | 100 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Asolo 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Trans d’Havet Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Kenya

Amazing Maasai Ultra | 75 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Mauritius

Xtreme Dodo Trail | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website

Papua New Guinea

Kokoda Ultra Marathon | 96 kilometers | July 26, 2017 | website

Philippines

Catarman 2 Allen Northern Samar | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
TransCebu Ultramarathon 105 Km | 105 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
TransCebu Ultramarathon 55 Km | 55 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website

Portugal

Running Challenge Linhas de Torres | 100 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Romania

Marathon 7500 Elite | 90 kilometers | July 14, 2017 | website
Ultransilvania | 101 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website

Russia

Golden Ring Ultra Trail T100 | 100 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website
Golden Ring Ultra Trail T50 | 50 kilometers | July 23, 2017 | website

Singapore

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Slovakia

Nízkotatranská stíhačka | 100 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Sierra Nevada | 103 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
USN Trail | 62 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Aragon

Gran Trail Aneto-Posets | 109 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
Vuelta al Aneto | 58 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Cantabria

Sweden

Swedish Alpine Ultra | 107 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Eiger Ultra Trail E101 | 101 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Eiger Ultra Trail E51 | 51 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Valais

Swiss Alps 100 | 160 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Swiss Alps 50 | 80 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Turkey

100 Miles | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
75 km | 75 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
80K Ultra Maraton | 80 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
ORDU Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | July 14, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Buckinghamshire

Chiltern Ultra Challenge “Intro” 50km Ultra | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

City of Bristol

Kennet & Avon Canal Race | 140 miles | July 28, 2017 | website

Cumbria

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

East Riding of Yorkshire

The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website

Glasgow City

Clyde Stride Ultra Marathon | 40 miles | July 15, 2017 | website

Hertfordshire

Fairlands Valley Challenge – 50km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website

Oxfordshire

100 km | 100 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Day 1 50km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Day 2 50km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website

Scotland

50K | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Shropshire

Wenlock Olympian Run | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website
Wenlock Olympian Walk | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website

USA

Arkansas

Full mOOn 50K | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

California

50 km | 50 kilometers | July 16, 2017 | website
Harding Hustle 50K | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
Ragnar Trail Tahoe | 136 miles | July 21, 2017 | website
Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
San Francisco Ultramarathon | 52 miles | July 23, 2017 | website
Santa Barbara 100K | 100 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Santa Barbara 100 Mile | 101 miles | July 14, 2017 | website

Colorado

Hardrock 100 Endurance Run | 100 miles | July 14, 2017 | website
High Lonesome 100 | 100 miles | July 28, 2017 | website
Never Summer 100km | 100 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Idaho

McCall Trailrunning 40 Mile Classic | 40 miles | July 15, 2017 | website

Kansas

Psycho Psummer 50K | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Maine

Down East Sunrise Trail Team Relay | 102 miles | July 21, 2017 | website

Maryland

Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Rosaryville 50k Trail Runs | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website

Montana

50 Mile | 50 miles | July 14, 2017 | website
50 Miles | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website
Seeley Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | July 14, 2017 | website

Nevada

Tahoe Rim Trail 100M | 100 miles | July 15, 2017 | website
Tahoe Rim Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Tahoe Rim Trail 50M | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website

New York

50K | 50 kilometers | July 28, 2017 | website

Oregon

44 Mile | 44 miles | July 22, 2017 | website
67 Mile | 67 miles | July 22, 2017 | website
Relay | 69 miles | July 22, 2017 | website
Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 22, 2017 | website
Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50M | 50 miles | July 22, 2017 | website

Texas

60k | 60 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website

Vermont

Vermont 100k Endurance Race | 100 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race | 100 miles | July 15, 2017 | website

Washington

50K | 50 kilometers | July 15, 2017 | website
Emory Corwine Memorial Ruck Race | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website
Kaniksu 50 | 50 miles | July 15, 2017 | website
Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage | 190 miles | July 14, 2017 | website
CLOSE
02:58:20
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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 and she is Elisabet Barnes.
Keep running
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Jim Walmsley and Lighting the Fire – Western States 2017

Ryan looked at me and asked, “You going for sub-14?” It was a gut check moment where I realized I needed to commit to myself on what my goals were for the day. So, I said “Yeah Baby!” and Ryan pulled back and let me go.”

So, guess what, Jim Walmsley didn’t win Western States. Yes. Who’d have thought it? Well actually, I think a great deal of people thought he wouldn’t win but the pre-race Western States PR machine got rolling and before I knew it and ultra-fans around the world knew it, Jim had got the Cougar and the buckle and the race was over.

Thing was, the race hadn’t even started!

Don’t get me wrong, Jim inspired the ultra-running audience in 2016 with some great racing, stunning FKT’s and an almost fairy tale Western States. Yes, it was an almost fairy tale because as we now all know, he went of course whilst in the lead and then walked it in way off the top-10. 

It was a day of what might have been. 

I interviewed Jim post Western States and you can listen to the audio HERE and read the interview HERE. I like Jim, I like someone who really believes in their ability. Is it arrogance, yes, I think it is. But I didn’t believe then and I don’t believe now that Jim’s arrogance was designed to upset anyone – on the contrary, I think Jim desired to be liked.

Post the 2016 Western States it came as no surprise that the ball started to roll and as expected, Jim got a sponsor (Hoka One One) received invites and gained plenty of air time. It was going to happen, it’s the way the world is. However, in and amongst all this buzz, Andrew Miller, the guy who won Western States was almost forgotten. I tried to interview him but he didn’t reply… his victory was so unexpected that Salomon (who he is sponsored by) who had a photographer following the other Salomon runners had not planned to follow the young gun up front who took victory. Andrew’s victory was remarkable and yes, he was the youngest ever champ! I neglected the story as so many others did because the media and buzz was about Jim. 

Cut to 2017 and Jim was back with more great form, fast running and FKT’s. He stuck his neck out early on and said that a ’14’ at Western States was his target and that is what he’d do! 

No keeping the powder dry, no reservations, no question marks – it was clear cut, “I will run 14 -hours.”

We heard it so many times that everyone started to believe it and as the 2017 Western States approached, like I said earlier on, it almost felt that the Cougar and the buckle had been awarded.

I’ll hold my hands up, I said Jim would win but I also clearly stated that I felt that the person to beat Jim on race day was Jim. Running too fast, too hard, not respecting the conditions and not respecting the competition would be the downfall of Jim and it was.

In my opinion, Jim ran a very poorly judged race. He learnt nothing from 2016 and the mistakes made and he went and repeated them. I believe that the PR machine had snowballed so much that maybe Jim had lost perspective?

You see racing is not the same as an FKT. Racing is about being first across the line and that doesn’t need to be a fast time, it just needs to be faster than everyone else.

Everything was against Jim? 

He talked his race up with a level of transparency that the ultra-community embraced. They loved his goals and strategy. In the week before the race a film was released that delved into why Jim runs and how it was an escape from inner demons. We all love an inner-demon story and let’s face it, ultra-running is full of troubled souls. As a community, we could all relate to this story and how the redemptive powers of a long run heals us.

Video here

Jim was on a pedestal and while some would want to see him stumble and fall, the majority were rooting for him – they wanted him to have the moment that was ‘snatched’ away from him in 2016.

On analysis though, Jim losing the Western States in 2016 wasn’t because he went of course, it was because (in my opinion) he ran too fast and too hard and he blew-up. The signs were there with his swim at the Rucky Chucky, his navigation error was no doubt due to a lack of concentration with fatigue.

So, cut to 2017 with 8 of last year’s top-10 returning and some serious new competition, Jim would have to run smart to win. I said pre-race, “I personally think Jim should try and win the race and forget CR’s, especially with the snow. If he does that, I think he will win. However, the only person that is going to beat Jim in my opinion is Jim himself by racing too hard and too fast looking for that time.” 

I went on to say, “The surprises, although not surprises to trail running fans may well come from outside last year’s top-10. Ryan Sandes is back and he’s addicted after placing 2nd in 2012. I don’t think he can beat Walmsley in a toe-for-toe run but if his form and fitness is good, the podium is a possibility. For me though, Alex Nichols and Jonas Buud are the ones to potentially upset the apple cart in what is essentially a runner’s race. Both guys excel at running fast and Nichols gets the nod for handling the vert and snow.”

Listen to the pre-race chat (and post-race chat) from experienced old hands like Ian Sharman, Jeff Browning and so on. They knew it was going to be a day of grinding out a finish. Ryan Sandes has been 2nd at Western States, he knew what was in store, he’s won Leadville, won Transgrancanaria and he is known from coming from behind to take control in the latter third to clinch victory. Alex Nichols, new to the 100-mile distance but with a Run Rabbit Run victory under his belt, all these runners respected what was ahead.

Did Jim respect what was ahead?

Ryan looked at me and asked, “You going for sub-14?” It was a gut check moment where I realized I needed to commit to myself on what my goals were for the day. So, I said “Yeah Baby!” and Ryan pulled back and let me go.”

Credit @mykehphoto Instagram

Jim will be applauded for that commitment, but what was that commitment based on, was it the snow he was running on at the time that was sapping everyone’s strength and causing them to hold back? 

At the top of the escarpment he already had 7-minutes on the competition, a lead that he would extend beyond 30-minutes.

“…but then immediately you get into the high country. What ended up happening is that it was icy, rugged and lots of falling, and pretty slow. I came through the 16-mile split like one minute off the year before, but I was way more efficient in 2016.”

Quote from runnersworld.com interview here.

But all the early efforts would come back to haunt him as the heat of the canyons started to punish an already tired body. The pace Jim had decided to run would give him a course record (note I don’t say victory) but it wasn’t sustainable. He dropped at mile 78. Whereas Sandes and the competition ran smart races and let’s look at the finish times, victory came with a time of 16:19:37, Alex Nichols 2nd in 16:48:23 and Mark Hammond 16:52:57. 

Compare to 2016 when Andrew Miller won in 15:39:36 or Rob Krar’s 2015 time of 14:48:59. As Western States veteran Ian Sharman said, ‘That was the toughest Western States I have ever run.” If perspective were needed, he’s done 8 and finished in the top-10 every time.

It certainly appeared Jim had all the signs and either ignored them believing his own pre-race PR or when he fully realized it was too late…

“I really wanted to slow down and try to maintain a more comfortable, easy pace and take care of myself really well. I would try to take a little more time through aid stations to slow down that rhythm, but I was still clicking good splits. Usually that’s a good thing and nice, but it ended up being the downfall. Not being able to slow down meant I was just overheating. Around Devil’s Thumb [mile 48] things got warm. Michigan Bluff [mile 55] is a hot climb. I was pretty beat up by the time I got to the top of Michigan Bluff.”

Quote from runnersworld.com interview here.

Jim is a great runner. He will win Western States, I am sure of it. But for now, he is a great 100km ‘ish’ runner, he has the results and FKT’s to prove it. However, at the 100-mile distance, thus far, he’s yet to prove he can run the pace he wants for that final 30 or so miles. As Speedgoat Karl Meltzer always says, “The race only begins here!”

If Jim had run slower, could he have won the race? 

I am aware I am going to open myself up for some criticism here but let’s face it, EVERYONE was talking about Jim pre-Western states – post race, it’s all gone a little quiet.

I personally feel somewhat a fraud writing another article about Jim when really, I should be writing about Ryan Sandes and how he has slowly but surely persevered to win the race he has always wanted to win – it has not been an easy journey. The rise of Alex Nichols, arguably one of the most talented runners out there – he’s excelled in Europe, topped podiums in Skyrunning and now has clinched two 100-mile victories. Believe me, the USA has a potential UTMB champion in Alex as he has already laid down the platform with victories at Mont-Blanc 80km. And let’s not forget the ladies, look what happened in that race with a surprise victory from Cat Bradley and how the ‘sure’ podium potential of Magda, Kaci and Steph didn’t pan out the way we expected – Magda placed 2nd and Kaci and Steph fought the ultra-demons for a hard-fought finishes way below their pre-race expectations.

This isn’t an anti-Jim post. It’s a post to generate some debate and analysis on many aspects our sport, not only Jim’s Western States performance.

Placing a runner on a pedestal can only mean that a fall will come, is that fair to that runner? I wonder in retrospect if Jim now thinks all the pre-race PR was a good thing? I also wonder, will Jim race a different way in the future?  

We’ve seen it before with Zach Miller, Hayden Hawks and yes Tim Freriks who have, ‘Gone big or gone home!’ Tim pulled it off at Transvulcania with a stunning win, Zach and Hayden have pulled it off too but by equal measure, but they have also failed. Is the failure part just an occupational risk? You know, ‘you win some, you lose some!’

Jim is an exciting racer and Western States certainly gained some additional PR in 2017 with a fireball on the start line. But as the fireball said post-race, “Sometimes when you’re not careful trying to set off fireworks you light yourself on fire.” 

I love Jim’s style, his enthusiasm and transparency and in the weeks and months to come, Jim will do much self-analysis. He’s surrounded by supporters and they are dedicated to the cause, they don’t want him to run any other way, they want him to go big or to go home!

Jim ran beyond his limits and found his own. He laid this all out for everyone to see and in defeat he has been saluted and humbled. 

A new chapter begins.

Credits:

@mykehphoto Instagram and runnersworld.com interview here.

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

FIZKULTURA, Bulgaria w/ Dean Karnazes, Sean Conway and more!

Inspiration comes in many forms and ways. I have just been to Sofia, Bulgaria for Fizkultura – a one day event put together by Begach Running Club. The event is geared towards inspiring Bulgarian runners to embrace new challenges, it may be just to start running, or maybe move from marathon to ultra-running, or why not try something bold and new like creating their own running challenge.

My participation was facilitated by the Begach Running Club and the British Embassy – I was joined by ‘the beard!’ The crazy, inspiring and distinctive looking adventurer, Sean Conway

Arriving in the early hours of Friday morning, Sean and myself were working right from the off with a breakfast at the Embassy and an improvised individual presentation – good job this ‘on-the-spot’ request didn’t phase us… some years back, I’d have immediately melted into a ball of nerves; not now!

Sofia is without a doubt Eastern European in feel and architecture. There are bold, brazen and striking monuments everywhere to remind us that Russia is not far away. But I was surprised. The centre had a distinct feeling of wealth with a multitude of high-end shops, plenty of bars and a huge selection of hotels. A backdrop of impressive snow-capped mountains made me feel relaxed.

A drive to the mountains and a leisurely lunch (in an incredible restaurant) provided us all with an opportunity to bond. It’s here that I had a little more time to get to know Sean and extend my introduction to Irina Daniela from Romania who is slowly but surely inspiring Romanians to run and notably empowering women to siege their futures by foot power. Irina recently ran a sub 3h for the marathon and in doing so has shown what is possible for the women of Romania. She’s a striking person – tall (too tall for Sean and myself), great figure, long dark hair and striking features. It’s easy to see how she will inspire those around her. She’s a bundle of energy and enthusiasm but Fizkultra is her first big ‘gig’ out of her homeland. Website here.

Sean by contrast looks like a lion under a mane of ginger. He’s a small and a slight figure who brims with confidence and an accent that’s hard to work out – South African, Irish and British public school make an interesting mix that is captivating to the ear. He casually talks of his up and coming challenge of cycling ridiculous daily distances in Australia to set a new world record. He has a simple motto – to be the first or the fastest – it works for him! His list of achievements is impressive, but more on that later. Website here.

It was early evening before I finally met Dean Karnazes. Dean, aka ‘Marathon Man’ is someone who I have emailed and spoke too on many times but this is my first face-to-face. He taps me on the shoulder. I turn, he grabs my hand and pulls me in close in a tight embrace and says, ‘Ian, finally, good to see you man!’ For once I feel tall, Dean is my height and we are both taller than Sean and if Irina had not been in our presence, for once I may well have been the tallest – just! However, Dean looks incredible – he’s ripped, chiseled, has a Californian tan and he’s swearing shorts. His legs bulge with muscles and I suddenly realize that the reality of meeting Dean didn’t disappoint. This guy, for me, helped change the way the sport of ultra has grown in the last 10-years. It was his book, Confessions of an all Night Runner’ that suddenly made ‘others’ aware of the crazy sport of running long; ultra-running! Website here.

Dinner took place in ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and we joke, discuss love, life, running and politics. Bed soon arrives for Dean, he has no idea what day or time it is. Jet lag has hit hard and he leaves early. Our trio relax with our hosts and a late-night walk back to our hotel is followed with a night-cap in the bar. I felt at home with my two new friends and like all good new friendships, 12-hours have made them both feel like lifelong friends. We laughed the night away till bed finally called.

FIZKULTURA

Dean kicked off the day 0945. Short clad, the audience welcome him with rapturous applause and he quickly goes into a 30-minute presentation that gives an overview of his running. Of course, it’s an impossible task – he has achieved so much! Despite the launch of his recent book, ‘The Road to Sparta,’ Dean takes us back on a journey to his first book as Fizkultura coincides with its release in Bulgarian. Many of you will know those early stories of taking the shoes out of the garage on his 30th birthday and then running 30-miles. His first Western States, Badwater 135 and running a marathon at the South Pole. It’s classic ‘Dean’ and the audience lap it up.

Irina power dresses and looks like an air hostess wearing a suit, shirt, scarf and ridiculous high-heels. Sean and myself refuse to stand close to her… The style of dress was important, Irina’s background was in banking and she wanted to show everyone that it has been possible to still be a business professional and a runner. “My Story’ was about dreaming, having no limits and empowering herself, other women and yes, men, to wear run shoes and find out what is possible. The story of how she achieved sub-3, one of the fastest female performances for a Romanian and how her dreams may well lead to Olympic selection.

Antoniya Grigorova, Bulgaria’s top female ultra-runner, talked about her plans, planning and training in preparation for running the longest trail in Bulgaria: Kom-Emine. A journey of 600km. A professional athlete she provided an insight into the mind, the training and the nutrition of what the journey will take.

Lunch was followed with the lion roaring. Sean was in fine form and told the story of his world’s longest triathlon with great skill and humor. He was a natural on the stage and it’s fair to say the audience loved him. His presentation was interspersed with still images and small videos that documented the journey – and what a journey! A bent bamboo bike, a Sunday roast dinner blended into liquid form for lunch, skinny dipping in an icy river and his face being stung constantly by jelly fish while swimming.

I followed Sean and what an act to follow. My talk was always going to be a visual one as I planned on taking that audience around the world with a selection of races and images from Running Beyond (here). Of course, I had to provide some context on my journey and my opening dialogue provided a glimpse on how I got to where I am today.

Boyan Petrov is a legend in Bulgaria. An Alpinist, he talked us through the training, the planning and the equipment required to climb 8000+m peaks without oxygen. He’s one of the few climbers to make 3 x 8000m peak in one year, something he has done twice. He also discussed the dream of climbing all 8000+m peaks – more people have been to space than done this!

The day concluded with Dimitrina Sivkova talking about trauma prevention and getting back in shape.

It was an incredible day of challenges, feats, adventure, goals, inspiration and living a life with barriers or restrictions. The takeaway was, ‘make dreams happen!’ Dean concluded his talk with a famous quote, it’s not new but it’s apt and it somehow summed up exactly what Fizkultura was trying to achieve:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Despite tiredness and fatigue, an evening dinner in a vegan and vegetarian restaurant provided us all with an opportunity to discuss the day – we were all motivated. We of course were reminded that the following day, Sunday, there was a race in a local park running a 600m loop and two events, a 12-hour and 6-hour race called Project 360. A small selection of runners would start at 0630 looking to log mileage and a qualifying time for Spartathlon. The main event would start at 0900 with a 6-hour event that would allow runners to do as little or as much as they required. Travel plans scuppered any

Despite tiredness and fatigue, an evening dinner in a vegan and vegetarian restaurant provided us all with an opportunity to discuss the day – we were all motivated. We of course were reminded that the following day, Sunday, there was a race in a local park running a 600m loop. A small selection of runners would start at 0630 looking to log mileage and qualifying time for Spartathlon. The main event would start at 0900 with a 6-hour event that would allow runners to do as little or as much as they required. Travel plans scuppered any participation plans for me but I went and cheered on with Irina for an hour and of course, we just had to run a loop with ‘Marathon Man!’

Watch Dean in the video HERE

I love the fact that despite jet-lag, bust days of presenting and travel, Dean rocked up to the start line and run for 6-hours. He personifies his name.

I must say, I was sad to leave Sofia, my new friends and a great, developing running community. Dean, Sean, Irina and myself were there to inspire others but we left inspired. We were each individually energized by our time in Bulgaria. Sean will be bashing out the bike miles for Australia, Irina will be looking for the speed and endurance for a fast marathon, Dean? well, Dean will just keep running and running and me; travel, photography and telling stories. I love to do that and the story of Fizkultura and Bulgaria is a special one – a personal one!

Thanks to:

A huge thanks to the British Embassy, Elenko Elenkov, Begach Running Club and the many new Bulgarian runners who hosted, entertained and looked after us – Alexander, Milen, Vladi and so many more.

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Kaci Lickteig – Dreams Do Come True on IRUN4ULTRA

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 ‘Western States definitely was the race of my life. Everything came together so perfectly that day. I had a once in a lifetime race day experience. I had only dreamed of winning Western States and wanted some day for that to happen. All the stars aligned and I could win. To be among the winners list is surreal…I admire and respect all those women and men who have won. It’s such an honour to have my name listed as a winner of Western States 100.’

Kaci Lickteig ran her first ultra in 2012 aged 25-years. A small lady, she does pack a punch. It’s all wonderfully echoed by her nickname ‘Pixie Ninja’ – that sums up Kaci in a nutshell.

Some may say, 3rd time is a charm. It certainly is the case with Western States 100. The rise of this lady has been gradual but logical – 6th in 2014, 2nd in 2015 and yes, you’ve guessed it, top spot in 2016. The ‘WSER’ is rolling course, which begins in Squaw Valley, California. It climbs more than 5500m and descends nearly 7000m before reaching the finish in Auburn some 100-miles later. It’s the ‘Grail of Trail!’

Read the full article on IRUN4ULTRA HERE

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Episode 127 – Mario Fraioli and Stephanie Howe Violett

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Episode 127 of Talk Ultra is here with an in-depth talk with coach Mario Fraioli and Stephanie Howe Violett who is back after injury, not only with a ladies’ win, but an outright victory at Bandera 100k and a slot for Western States. Niandi is going me as co-host.

00:01:28 Show Start

New Year and Talk Ultra needs your help! 

We are five year’s old this January and as a show we are proud that we have produced a wealth of content for free. The show will always be free! However, demands on time, production costs, editing really impact on Talk Ultra, therefore, if you love the show please help us out. 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! 

Donate HERE

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RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is travelling the world many thanks for the support in purchasing the book. You can get a signed copy HERE. We mentioned in the last show about Running Beyond Event which will take place 3, 4 and 5th March in London, plans are progressing for that… in addition, Niandi and myself will now be in Amsterdam on Feb 3rd, 4th and 5th for a Trails in Motion event and Running Beyond book signing with Mud Sweat and Trails and I will be also going to Sofia in Bulgaria on the 17th, 18th and 19th March for a trail, mountain and Skyrunning expo.

00:14:17 NEWS

Bandera 100K

Steph Howe Violett 9:08 chicken the field and earned a WSER slot, Camille Herron 9:29 was 2nd and Nicole Kalogeropoulus was 3rd 10:06

Justin Ricks was 1st male and 2nd overall in 9:13, Jeff Ball 9:21 and Joel Frost Tift 3rd in 9:33

I caught up with Stephanie to talk about her great return to form after a year of injury, operations and fractures.

00:23:01 INTERVIEW with Stephanie Howe Violett

Hong Kong 100

Nuria Picas 11:18:57 2nd Linming Chen, 3rd Marie McNaughton, 4th Fuzhao Xiang, 5th Rachel Campbell

Yanqiao Yun 9:35:11 2n Daniel Jung, 3rd Sage Canaday, 4th Didrik Hermansen, 5th Tim Tollefson

In the UK The Spine is underway just as the snow and ice arrived.

On the last show we had an interview with Caroline Boller and with a new year starting and many of you planning a racing year, I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with Caroline’s coach, Mario Fraioli, and find out his thoughts on how to approach training and planning.

01:16:39 INTERVIEW with Mario Fraioli

UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

Antarctic Ice 100k | 100 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Argentina

Columbia Cruce de los Andes | 90 kilometers | February 01, 2017 | website

Cambodia

Bayon Trail Angkor 64 km | 64 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Ultra Trail d’Angkor 128 km | 128 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Canada

Alberta

River Valley Revenge 50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Chile

El Cruce Columbia | 103 kilometers | February 01, 2017 | website

France

Dordogne

53 km | 53 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

53 km Relais (17+26+10) | 53 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

Essonne

Raid 28 | 80 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Semiraid 28 | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

Ultra Raid 28 | 120 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Eure

47 km | 50 kilometers | January 30, 2017 | website

Tarn

La Ronde Givrée | 62 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon Januar | 108 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Schwabacher Winter Ultra | 56 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

Brandenburg

HallenMarathon 50km Ultra-Lauf | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

Hesse

Rodgau 50km Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Greece

1000K | 1000 kilometers | February 02, 2017 | website

1000 miles | 1000 miles | February 02, 2017 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike 50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Kenya

Kimbia Kenya 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

Kimbia Kenya 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

New Zealand

Ian Priest Memorial Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

The James Mountain Stampede Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 03, 2017 | website

Portugal

Ultra Trilhos dos Abutres | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Réunion

Transvolcano | 52 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

United Kingdom

Lancashire

Marmot Dark Mountains™ – Elite Course | 53 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

USA

Alabama

Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Arizona

100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | January 21, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

50M | 50 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

52K | 52 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

52 Mile | 52 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

California

Crystal Springs 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 38 Mile Run | 38 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Folsom South Side Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy 50km | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Florida

55K Ultra Individual Marathon (34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

55K Ultra Relay (each leg is 3.1 miles x 11 legs = 34.2 miles) | 55 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Clearwater Distance 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

IRONHEAD BROTHERS RELAY | 100 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 100M Run | 100 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 150M Run | 150 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 200M Run | 200 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 50 km Run | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Skydive Ultra 50M Run | 50 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

Minnesota

Arrowhead 135 mile Winter Ultramarathon | 135 miles | January 30, 2017 | website

New York

100 Miler | 100 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | January 28, 2017 | website

North Carolina

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

50 Mile Relay | 50 miles | January 21, 2017 | website

North Carolina Fat Ass 50k | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Ohio

Run for Regis 50K | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Winter Buckeye Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | January 29, 2017 | website

Oklahoma

2-Person 50K Relay | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Horseshoe Trail Run 50k | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Utah

Snowshoe Festival 50K | 50 kilometers | January 28, 2017 | website

Washington

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | January 21, 2017 | website

Virgin Islands (USA)

St. Croix Scenic 50 km | 50 kilometers | January 22, 2017 | website

St. Croix Scenic 50 Mile | 50 miles | January 22, 2017 | website

02:22:57 Close

02:30:30

 

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Caroline Boller 50-Mile Trail Record In-Depth Interview

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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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