Jim Walmsley – Western Sates and Beyond Interview

Earlier this year, off the back of a stunning run at Lake Sonoma, Jim Walmsley said he was going to go to Western States, his first 100, and not only win it but potentially set a new course record. It was quite the statement and of course it turned heads. What followed was one of those golden days on the trail when Jim looked to float over the course. With every step he creeped under the old Western States course record. A new record looked almost certain until disaster struck…

I caught up with Jim just a week after the 2016 Western States and delved into his mind about maybe one of the most memorable runs of the year.

The Interview

IAN: I’m joined by Jim Walmsley after an incredible, memorable, inspiring, heart-wrenching, everything Western States. How do you feel Jim? Do you feel good?

Jim Walmsley: Right now? or during the race?

IAN: No, now that you’ve had an opportunity to recover.

Jim Walmsley: Now is going good. I started shuffling again. I called just my shuffle recovery. It’s what I try doing until my legs start coming back to me a little bit, I have started that process things are good. Yes.

IAN: Yes. Okay, before Western States, a lot of people particularly over in Europe and in the UK won’t have really known who you are. You were definitely a dark horse. People in the sport like myself who look at names and follow trends were looking at you. In all honesty some of the claims that you made prior to Western States, were very bold.

I love it when somebody comes into a race and they say, “You know what, I’m going to go hard, I’m going to go for the course record and that’s it.” And deep down you think brilliant, absolutely brilliant I hope he does it. But the reality is, he’s possibly going to crash and burn. Up until about 92 miles it looked like you were just going to make probably one of the most memorable Western States ever. First of all, what gave you the confidence to be so bold with your predictions?

Jim Walmsley: First and foremost, it was my training; it had been going so well. I did a big 50-mile race in April and I ended up getting a course record at Lake Sonoma 50 mile. A lot of big guys have run that in the past. Basically, I felt like I’d only built off of that. As far as confidence wise I knew I was more fit than I ever have been at least in my ultra-career.

I could feel in my training runs that faster paces were feeling more comfortable. I thought I would surrounded myself with a good team to go on a Western States and go knock that out. I guess the other thing with it being my first hundred, it’s one of those things that everybody has got to make that jump from whether it be 50 mile or 100K up to a 100-mile distance. That’s the next benchmark of distance up. I mean, everybody’s got to do it, some people do great with it, some people don’t but I think my journey had been ready to make that jump.

IAN: If we look back at your results and really from my perspective looking at your results they only really go back one year. Back to say May 2015 where you ran Don’t Fence Me In Trail 30K, and then you did Speedgoat, and then you won JFK, 3rd at Moab, 5th at Lake Sonoma, 1st at Black Out Night Run 13K, then Flagstaff Extreme Pine.

There’s a whole list of other races but for me when I was looking at the race there was a couple of significant results. JFK 50 miler you won that in 2014, 2015 Bandera 100K and then of course that Lake Sonoma run in April. You look and you think, “Wow. This guy is fast.” But like you’ve just said, fast at 50 miles and then coming to the 100-mile distance is a big difference. How did you prepare yourself physically for the unknown?

Jim Walmsley: I start knocking out the most miles I’ve ever tried before Lake Sonoma, I did my first 140 mile weeks not sure what that is in kilometres.

IAN: It’s a long way, 200+K.

Jim Walmsley: Okay. Yes. It’s 200K thereabout, and then from Lake Sonoma up to Western States my big training block ended up being back-to-back 140 mile weeks, followed by 120 and a 100, and then I went into my taper for two weeks. The first 120-mile week I did all in single runs. Probably the point where I knew I was feeling really good was when I was climbing and running really good at the Grand Canyon. I have a loop I do in Grand Canyon. I go down Bradenton it’s about seven to nine miles of mostly downhill and then you come back up South Kaibab, it’s about a seven mile up hill and then you finish on a four-mile flat kind of finish so it’s about a 21-mile loop.

That went really well, but then the next day I did a big workout on or just by Pace in Arizona. That was 30 mile run with 8,000 feet of vert up and down. That was huge back-to-back days, even at the end of that week I still did a long run with a bunch of the marathoners in town. I think this one might have been the one that I ran with Andrew Lemoncello, he’s a Scottish guy that lives in Flagstaff. I think we came through in like 2:01 for 20 miles but we went out in the first half and maybe like 65 mins. We were really cooking on the second half, kind of finish that big long run that week end was super huge. That was one of the main things too is that long run in my training it has just became comfortable to start running those 20 miles in about 2 hours. Things were really clicking.

IAN: I mean 120, 140 mile weeks that is huge. How do you maximize your recovery from those types of training sessions? Is that something that you’ve built upon year-on-year or have you just suddenly pushed the envelope and find that you can adapt to it?

Jim Walmsley: In high school I ran 90 miles a week for the last two years, I was a big mileage kid when I was young. But then I look around even less than that in college. I had won 1500 oriented coach. It’s been the first time where I felt comfortable to try to add on more miles and experiment with that. The only main thing I really did to try to help out with recovery, I started trying to take just calories and proteins stuff right immediately after races. I just have a little recovery shake after a run. That’s all I really added in after Lake Sonoma for the most part it’s just kind of being a bit lucky of staying healthy because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

IAN: The recovery side of things seem to be working well. Is there anything else that you did in terms of nutrition? Anything that you’ve found out that works well for you or if you are just eating the normal healthy balanced diet?

Jim Walmsley: I mean, that is the only thing that I have changed recently. The other thing is I don’t eat meat but it’s not dietary reasons, it’s just a whole bunch of reasons of why I don’t necessarily want to support a lot of those bigger companies in the industry here in the US. I don’t eat meat for good and for bad but I don’t worry about making up that protein deficit. A lot of people think that I need to make it up somehow. I just eat whatever, I mean I do eat a lot! I eat a ton of junk food. I kind of joke that the amount of junk food I do eat and processed sugar actually gives me just a super rock solid stomach on race day. I’m taking a bunch of gels and a bunch of processed sugar on race day and I eat a lot of that pretty regularly. It almost helps me with having a more solid stomach on race day.

IAN: Okay, you’re very much booking the trends of the moment of low GI and low sugar and going paleo. You’re old school?

Jim Walmsley: Yes, I guess I am?

IAN: Okay, let’s talk about the race, Western States. You were very bold with your pre-race predictions and that puts a big target on your back. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying this, but I think a lot of the favourites for the race, respected the fact that you said what you were going to do. You did sort of say that you would try and take it easy early on. That didn’t really seem to happen. Sage Canaday and David Laney and yourself were pushing right from the start. Did you feel comfortable with that?

Jim Walmsley: Yes. I did feel comfortable with it. I was probably 30 something place at the first climb. I was trying to just slow down, walk and almost even stop a lot on the first climb out of Squaw Valley, to try to basically get some of the other favourites to get rolling and kind of run their own race. I mean I could see them and they were looking back a lot.

It was just one of those things where I felt it was almost pointless to slow down more and more and more, because I was either going to run their race, or my game plan would be to try to go off a feel and start running some splits. Those splits that we initially had started with the course record splits. Can’t understand how those felt, if they felt easy, if they felt hard and kind of base things off the feel from that.

IAN: Yes. I mean, it’s unusual in ultra-running for somebody to come into a race with an idea of splits with a real intention of breaking the record. Course records tend to come because it just turns out to be one of those days, when everything clicks and everything aligns and then course records happen.

You’re almost bringing into this marathon running perspective we’re it’s easier and more consistent to run the minute mile pace, because the terrain is more uniform, more predictable, whereas here, Western States. You’ve got elevation, you’ve got trail, you’ve got heat, you’ve got so many variables, but yet you seem to be very well planned and very well controlled that’s quite unusual.

Jim Walmsley: Well, how I did it was… I’ve never ran a marathon, but it’s a little different than just splits. Between each aid station I had average pace that I needed to hit, for that section. It was very course dependent and terrain dependent. I figured things were at least close enough, when you’re going four mile splits.

If you’re going up a hill, it’s okay to lose some time on that. That’s how I based it off, then it kind of ended up being where I was just able to taking chunks and chunk off of those average splits that I already had.

IAN: Now, the other thing that you seem to be taking in your stride and I loved the retro shirt look…. The heat! You’d obviously come into this race acclimatized to the heat. Was that something that you’d really concentrated on?

Jim Walmsley: I’m originally from Phoenix Arizona. I live in Flagstaff, which is about two and a half miles north. I have lived in flagstaff for the last year. But before that, I lived in Colorado, California and Montana. A little cooler, but as far as heat, I know I can handle it. I know I can run really well in it. But the main question was whether I can handle running in the heat all day, during the middle of the day. WSER was going to be the first big test. Being from Phoenix there’s a lot of people that have their little tricks and tips to stay a little bit cooler on their arms. I kind of pick up on those, just kind of keeping your wrists cool, always staying wet. I wore a hat and sunglasses the whole time.

IAN: Yes.

Jim Walmsley: I think both of those contribute to a perception that it’s a little cooler. I try to keep my shoulders covered with the crop top shirt I had, rather than going on with singlet with skinnier shoulder bands. The shirt in general was kind of it held water better, the holes helped ventilation and then, it also helped with sun protection. Yes. You’re just trying to find different elements of what’s making you hotter and trying to mitigate those, and then always staying wet. If you see a creek lie down in the creek, it’s worth that time.

IAN: Yes. You went out to WSER for a running camp, is that correct?

Jim Walmsley: Yes, it is.

IAN: Was that a double edged sword? Or it was an opportunity to be on a training camp, an opportunity to go and heat acclimatise and also to get some training in?

Jim Walmsley: It was really nice weather, as opposed to anything uncomfortable. I wasn’t getting out on the actual Western States trails. It was more run in the Tahoe Rim Trail and a couple trails more in the Flume trail and stuff, but I hadn’t really spent time like that out in Tahoe. It’s just this wonderful beautiful place that was really awesome to do for sure.

I really enjoyed working with John Fitzgerald and Stan Myers, now at the mountain post running camp. The initial debate was whether I go back to Flagstaff for two weeks and then come back, or whether I stay out there… I had a couple friends that were supposed to do the Broken Arrow race in between those two weeks, and they ended up both dropping out, or scratching and not doing it.

But, I had made plans to just stay out there and kind of stuck with trying to stay out there. After that, I think next year I would really like to stay in Flagstaff, stay where I can get some bigger climbing consistently, because I just know that all the different runs where I live. I can just really dial it in on what I want to focus on most.

IAN: Yes, I see the logic in being in Flagstaff and then it’s easy to go down to Phoenix. I guess.

Jim Walmsley: Yes. Phoenix or if you want to get in a big running day the Tetons. I like heat training in the canyon because it gets pretty high and then also it has a similar reflection of the heat down there off of the rocks. The rocks really release a lot of heat out of them and make it feel a lot hotter than what it might– the ambient temperature might be.

IAN: Yes. Let’s go back to the race. By the time you got to half way, you had around about 20 minutes under the course record. Everybody was getting super excited and of course it was that 50:50 scenario. Is this going to be the most incredible run? Or at any point is he going to blow up and it certainly didn’t look like you were going to blow up? You were keeping yourself cool, like you said you put in plenty of water on yourself. You were submerging yourself in the rivers and water whenever you possibly could. You did almost end up going for a bit of a long swim… Do you want to just touch on what happened there? I mean, that was what, mile 70 something?

Jim Walmsley: It was mile 78, 79. I heard that Rob Crow last year swam across and that was the fastest most efficient way to cross the river. I started holding on to the rope and paddling with one arm and then, before I knew it, I gave it a couple swim strokes to get across. And then, before I knew it like I looked the rope was right there on my left and then it was 7 to 8 feet away and I couldn’t reach it. It became basically me against the river. You have this life vest on which is great that keeps your float but at the same time, it’s a big old kite in the current and it really pulls you downstream.

I think actually Rob totally ran passed the life vest which might help swimming if he did swim. I’ll definitely keep my hand on the rope next year. I basically started to get swept downstream. Eventually, I had to try to basically figure out how I can get some floating on some rocks.

Then there was that boat that came out and they posted a video online. I guess that boat wasn’t part of the race at all. It was a spectator and they weren’t supposed to be down there. They had different separate safety boats that they weren’t worried about it in this situation. But at the same time, people’s reactions were dramatic at the time. But probably the biggest thing from that is the one bottle… I had two bottles when I got in the river and I filled one at the aid station on the bank before the river and that’s the one that ended up floating off down the river. I didn’t have any water going up from the river up to Green Gate which is only a 1.8 mile climb out but it’s really exposed in the sun and then it is a steep climb and just not having something to drink there, was a little rough and I just took my time… I think that’s the one split that I did lose I think a minute or two.

IAN: Yes. I was going to say, I think probably by the time you were in America River you had to run about 30, 32 minutes under the course record. By the time you got a Green Gate you’d probably given away about five or six minutes but I guess that was with the swim as well.

Jim Walmsley: Yes, part of us just maintaining composure. You just need to maintain composure and make sure that you don’t over exert if something like that does happen. It’s all just relaxing, take your time it’s not a big deal. I think at that point course record starts really playing more and more of a factor and almost working out where I have time.

IAN: Was your plan to have that big buffer of say 30 minutes or 20 minutes? Whatever it might have been so that you could slow down… because you anticipated slowing down, because one of the things that I always think of in these scenarios is you actually only need to beat the old record by one second. You don’t need 30 minutes. Where you just having an amazing day?

Jim Walmsley: No. I don’t think any of that was pre-planned at all. If you told me that I was going to be even 20 minutes up on the course record at any time. I think I would have had a laugh… that would be a pretty good day. I remember seeing my crew ready to the station and just going like I’m trying to slow down but I’m trying to run comfortable and this is just comfortable… I know I’m running too fast based on time and stuff but at the same time I feel like I’m running easy and I’m running comfortable. I was just trying to go with that.

IAN: I remember speaking to Ian Sharman when he had that amazing run on Rocky Racoon, Timmy Olson re Western States, Rob Krar re Western States, Kilian Jornet with this countless records. I’ve often said there is one day for every runner where everything aligns and it becomes the perfect run. Sharman has gone back to the Rocky Racoon and never found the same day and the same form that he had when he did that blistering 100-mile time. I just wonder for you, was this that day? Was this that time when everything was aligned apart from the 92-mile void of going off course? We’ll come into that. But do you think now looking back that it was just the most incredible day?

Jim Walmsley: It definitely was an incredible day. Whether I’m going to be able to replicate this next year or in the future, I’m not sure? I think I have to approach it as why shouldn’t I be able to? But that was one of the first things of reflecting on the race is just, I don’t know if I’ll ever have… because so many little things have to go right. In nutrition, your stomach there is so many just unknown valuables. I didn’t step and twist an ankle or anything. I don’t know if I will ever have as good of a chance as that to break the course record again.

At the same time, I was able to take away a lot of experience, a lot of tips from the course. I know I’m going to be planning to go out there probably for a week earlier in the year to very much scout the course and make sure I’m getting everything on detail right about what I want to do for 2017. I think I can meticulously attack it next year. It will be interesting. I don’t know about trying to get another half hour up on the record though…

IAN: [laughs] I mean, sometimes you can’t plan these things. I think the thing is you went into this race saying that you’re going for the course record. The fact that you got 30 minutes under the course record is significant and it shows that your form, shows your ability is there. You said sometimes you can’t account for certain things that happen on race day… so tell us about the disaster.

Tell us about going off course and I know obviously you didn’t realize that you’d gone off course, otherwise you’d have turned around pretty damn quickly. But what was the point where you realized, “Shit, I’ve gone the wrong way.” Then was it panic, distress? What happened?

Jim Walmsley: It was probably three and a half miles after Bar Aid station that I really had the sinking feeling that I missed the turn. I ended up probably going on another three-quarter of a mile to the actual highway because at that point I could see it. I could see a hill and I’m on such an obvious dirt road at the time. I was like maybe this section is just much less marked than most the other course but things started to not make sense and that sinking feeling started getting in my stomach. I think it started with missing this turn off –  it’s this huge wide like 20 to 25-foot dirt road that two cars can totally pass on and then you go up this little tiny trail to the left. I was told it was about three miles past the aid station. In reality, I think it was about two and a quarter or two and a half. That’s about three to four minutes’ difference, probably closer to four minutes’ difference?

I just wasn’t looking for the left at that moment! I remember seeing three miles and going, “Crap, the turn should be right here”. Then after that I’m like, “All right. I haven’t seen a flag in a little while”. I thought, I’m going to give it another half mile and just look for flags. I wasn’t seeing any flags, at that point that was the three-and-a-half-mile mark of “oh crap, this might not be good”. But at the same time I was able to see were the road I was on connects with the high way that I’m supposed to get to. I was just like trust it, hopefully it works out, it might not, but hopefully it works out. I wasn’t able to convince myself to turn around yet. It’s a really hard thing to do when you’re having that day.

I think when I got to the road and I stop and I look down the road. There’s a bunch of cars parked on that road that you can see as you’re approaching it too. There’s a ton of cars up here maybe there is an aid station? But I think it’s a recreation area where a bunch of just random cars parked. Yes. It was when I really popped out on the road that I just had this demoralizing feeling of I had missed something. I wouldn’t tell you what the trail was marked when I went passed it, because obviously I didn’t see it. Initially, people were saying that flags might have gotten pulled, from what I’ve heard flags weren’t pulled. The 2nd and 3rd runner made the turn…?

IAN: Yes.

Jim Walmsley: Both of them made the turn with the same flagging that was there… but I missed the turn. But at the same time I’ve also seen heard other things… some guy posted that he remarked it? He was running back to Brown Bar Aid Station. He saw Andrew Miller and he knew that it was going to be Andrew Miller’s day, sort of thing. It was one of those things that chronologically doesn’t make tons of sense. It was really odd; I just don’t know… All I can say is that I had my head down and was just trying to crank away. I think I was still running under nine minute miles at that point. I was moving really well. Yes, I can’t explain why I missed that turn necessarily other than; I don’t think I was looking for it yet.

IAN: When you back tracked and when back to the turn point you obviously would have seen the marking of the direction you should have gone. Was the marking good then when you managed to re-navigate yourself back?

Jim Walmsley: Yes. They re-flagged everything and they made it extremely obvious and well-marked by the time I got back there and saw it for the first time.

IAN: Right. Is that because they knew you had gone off-course?

Jim Walmsley: Yes. They just exaggerated the left hand turn a lot more because I ended up going of course. Basically, everyone else had it very, very, well marked by the time they hit that.

IAN: Right. By the time you got back to that point, how much time had you lost?

Jim Walmsley: I don’t know… probably one of my biggest regrets about it is I really felt the competitive side of me really quit when I came out on Highway 49. I wished I had more fire and hunger in me. I wish I had hit highway 49 and just turned around, and said, “I’m not letting this ruining my day”, I wish I had attacked it a lot more. The information I had at the time was that I was only 12 minutes up. I was only 15 minutes under course record. In reality I was still about 25 to 30 minutes up on the course record, almost a full hour ahead of second place. Hearing that now – that part really sucks of just how missed informed I was. Having everybody… or should I say, thinking that everybody was so close, and then knowing that I went off the trail by a mile and a half or two miles.

That really crushed me, just crushed my spirits. My reality at the time was, I’m not winning, I’m not getting a course record, this whole sinking feeling. I just need to take a break really quick, try to get your composure again and refocus. At that point I was just not doing good. I was out of calories completely, it just became a negative, I thought I’m going to just walk it back to the next aid station. Between some of the medical staff, and the two photographers that found me on highway 49, I’m actually friends with them. They just encouraged me to start walking back. At the time I’m not a hundred percent sure I would have made that decision by myself. But in retrospect I’m really glad I did. As far as competing for top three or top 10. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for at the time.

IAN: It’s interesting, I can’t imagine the frustration.

Jim Walmsley: It was just wasn’t important to me of how things were going, how things went. Yes. I ended up winning two of the golden races, or golden ticket races, to get in the Western States. To race in the Western States is not a big — I don’t view it as a big deal, obviously it is. I feel very capable of racing back in next year. Top 10 in that stuff just — It was more.

IAN: You wanted to win?

Jim Walmsley: I definitely wanted to win.

IAN: Yes. You wanted to win.

Jim Walmsley: Those spirits were crushed.

IAN: Yes. Once the win wasn’t there I guess it was a case of second is not good enough, third is not good enough…

Jim Walmsley: A little bit, but I don’t know, I was in the lead for so long it’s just… I guess maybe at the time second, third wasn’t enough, but I don’t know, it become just making it more manageable, or whatever… I don’t know?

IAN: I had to look at your river splits. It seems as though from that point where you started to back track that you hardly run a step. I was looking at it and I was trying analyse it. Of course, you’ve gone in many ways explaining to what your thought process was. It’s easy for me for me from the outside looking in and thinking why didn’t you just run and chase down? You had that 30-minute buffer, or maybe 25 minutes’ buffer.

Jim Walmsley: Yes. The information I had was 15 minutes.

IAN: Was it just mentally so demoralizing for you that you just couldn’t get yourself back onto your game, or was it other factors? Yes, mentally you’ve been crushed, but also you were lacking the energy. Maybe you had burned yourself out a little bit? I’m just trying to get an insight into the mind of what it was like at that point.

Jim Walmsley: Yes. I would say mentally I was crushed. But then between taking a little bit of a break and mentally not focussed, somewhere I was just not wanting it any more. My muscles and body started really wanting to be done. Just the walking and trying to jog after that was extremely difficult. After that moment and realizing that everything slipped away. Yes. I definitely did bonk after that. I think if that didn’t happen I absolutely don’t think I would have bonked. But it’s one of those things… I think the mental thing had to happen first, and then my body soon followed that… it was just extremely hard to rally.

When I got back to my crew and stuff, they could see I was just completely demoralized. They were totally okay with just walking it in with me. That just became my game plan. At that point it became about the silver buckle more than anything. Not being out there for the longest period time it just became just one step at a time, and we’ll just get to the finish and we’ll take those positives.

IAN: You got the buckle, and that’s super important.

Jim Walmsley: I think this also goes back to in retrospect of ”Now I think about the race”. That is one of my bigger regrets of it. I wish I did react better mentally, and then I did go and actually try to still race again. I do regret that a bit.

IAN: What I’m interested in here is the duality of you as a person, because I think pre-race a rookie 100-mile runner saying, “I’m going to go to Western States and I’m going to go for the course record.” Of course people in the community look and think, “Who’s this guy? Gees, who’s he to say this?” But then what I’ve witnessed afterwards, and what I’m witnessing now in this interview is an incredible humility, an incredible respect, there’s no bitterness. You’re not actually bitter, you’re not questioning course marking. You’re questioning you not noticing the course marking, but you’re not blaming anybody. You’re only blaming yourself I think that’s absolutely fantastic.

I think that would really warm you to the audience. Have you thought in depth about that process of how you’ve handled pre-race and post-race?

Jim Walmsley: Well, I totally get how pre-race it rubs people the wrong way, but just pre-race and post-race I feel like I’m honest guy and I’ll tell you my goals and what I think I can do pretty blatantly. Pre-race too I would also say it’s a mental approach of trying to convince myself that I can do it. It’s also mental tricks with myself of, “I can do this.” Saying that out loud, saying that publicly does set up for a lot of scrutiny, but at the same time I think that goes so far as far as mentally how you’re going to be in the race and making you tougher to stick to that.

Post-race, I would like to think that I’m just being me and being honest. I don’t think getting bitter about things is going to make anything better or positive. At the end of the day, it was an amazing run. It was an amazing experience. It was a great adventure. I finished my first hundred. There are so many positives to still take away from that day. As an athlete, I think two things are important as well, one, short term memory loss. You get to forget about it and move on as far as bad things that happen like that especially in running. That’s part of our sport. I think most people can relate to making a wrong turn at one time or another.

IAN: For sure. They just don’t make it 92 miles into Western States when looking to set the course record. [laughs]

Jim Walmsley: It’s pretty tough when that happens for sure, yes. The other thing too about being a more competitive athlete is I think you have to focus and build off of the positives rather than beat yourself up about the negatives. I don’t think it’s beneficial for you to dwell on the mistakes. I think it’s beneficial to say, “Look, you did this really well.” One of the biggest things that I am extremely happy about that I think I can take forward into a lot more races is just how well I did in that heat. I think I surprised myself a little bit with that. It was almost 30 degrees warmer than 2012 when Tim Olsen ran his course record.

Yes, little things like that are huge just building off of those and it’s all a process. It’s a learning process, but it’s something that I want to make a career. Yes, it’s going to building off of this to hopefully running even better next year.

IAN: The next question is you had 93 miles of really good running where you were functioning the way that you wanted to in your first hundred-mile race. It was a complete learning curve, and it was an incredible learning curve. You were almost… it was almost a textbook run. Is there anything that you’ve learned that will improve your running for next year? Other than a recce of the course and making sure you know where to turn is. But physically, if you’ve done 120, 140 mile weeks, you can’t really add anymore volume? Will there be more speed work? How will you reflect on this and improve, or maybe you don’t need to improve, what you just need is another repeat performance like this year?

Jim Walmsley: Yes, you’re spot on with that. The biggest thing is going to be able to try to at least replicate what I was able to do in my training next year. With those 140 mile weeks, one of the weeks was 22,500 feet of vert. One thing personally, I think I can do a bit more consistently is getting out to that Grand Canyon and run in it maybe twice a week instead of just once a week. It’s huge to be able to do those long, long down hills. I know it’s something I’m very interested in. I’ve done it once, and it completely punted me on this day. We called it double tapping South Kaibab. South Kaibab is the steepest trail in the Grand Canyon, and basically FKTs go through South Kaibab because it’s just shorter, but it’s steeper.

My friend and I we went down it, up it, and then one more time down it, and up it. It ended up being over 11,000-foot vert day in less than 30 miles. It was just a massive, massive day. I think that was much earlier in the year, but I think focusing days like that. You can only train as hard as you can recover, and it’s a lot about mitigating stress in other parts to your life so that you can recover better on the running stress. Yes, I think a really important part of this year was that I was able to do longer tempo runs that I haven’t been doing since I’ve gotten into ultras in the last 2 years.

I am doing these long runs with a lot of the marathoners in town. If some of these guys they’re like, “Hey, I got this workout today, anybody want to hop in?” I just say like, “Yes, I’ll do that with you.” They’re not planned workouts, but hopping in with guys that are doing sessions works out. That’s been really beneficial as well in getting that foot speed going. That’s where like I’m running these splits and I’m trying to slow down, but look I’m efficient and I don’t feel like I’m over exerting. I think that’s how those things happen. It’s just foot speed wise, I was so prepared almost where things were just butter smooth and I was able to chip away at it a couple of minutes you’d split.

IAN: It was an incredible run, and it was an inspiring run. You have the Ultra community just sitting there aghast at the performance. The question is now, where do you go from here? Obviously a priority will be getting qualification for Western States next year. I quite like the way that you said that’s not really an issue. That’s that confidence side of you that I really like. You’ll prepare yourself, you’ll choose your race, you’ll get your slot, and I’m convinced you will be at Western States next year. Now, with this run, people have got an eye on you. I’m sure races are sending you some invites to attend their races. Where do you go from here? What’s lined up for the rest of 2016?

Jim Walmsley: Well, I was just really hoping that I would nail a hundred miles out of a hundred miles, or 100.2 out of 100.2 miles at Western States, because one of the biggest things is I do want to travel on. I do want to take opportunities to do all these great races across the world but the way that things went this year and my own personality and just realizing what I can do at Western States, 2017 is totally going to be about… at least giving it one more shot of having that perfect day. Maybe things fall apart again and I need to step back and maybe I’ll revisit it in a couple of years but it’s going to definitely build towards that. Right now, I’m trying to stay pretty disciplined and not put on too many races on my plate.

It’s extremely easy to do that. I don’t want to fall into the trap that a great deal of runners fall into. No matter what happens, because sometimes its injury, sometimes it’s over-training syndrome, but people are stereo-typing that all the elites are getting into this over-training syndrome. I don’t think that’s quite accurate. I think if you do look at the marathon world, their training is so much harder for so much longer.

You just don’t see that topic come up in that side of the sport. This year though, I kind of have a little bit of a gap right now, what I’m going to be racing. I’m taking advantage of it. I’m taking some really good down time. I’m going to try to get little things that had been bothering me for the last six months fixed and be hopefully healthy.

I’m going to try holding out until JFK to do another big race, but at the same time my plan for this year is to try to do a really big block of training in the fall and try to pull out a JFK North Face San Francisco Double. They are two weeks apart, they’re both 50 Milers which JFK being first in November and then the North Face 50 in San Francisco being the first weekend in December. I would like to try doing that double and seeing how that goes.

IAN: Okay, big difference in prize money between those two races.

Jim Walmsley: Yes. Yes, a little bit.

IAN: You’re not tempted by the Run Rabbit Run 100 for the prize money?

Jim Walmsley: I definitely am. I’ve been talking to the race director and it was even something on my radar before this. Run Rabbit Run this year though hinders that block of training and this is the biggest reason not to do it this year…  I guess what I’m saying is I want to do the double, I want to try to win both.

To get in the fitness required to be competitive and to recover so fast and then to run again, you’re talking a couple months of big mileage, hard running training to get ready for JFK where it’s not going to dig you in that big of a hole that it takes weeks and weeks to get out of that sort of thing but I want to be able to recover quick and then be able to race in two weeks.

That’s the biggest reason not to do Run Rabbit Run. The other thing I guess is what’s maybe keeping me from falling down that slippery slope is I’m kind of hoping a contract works out soon but we’ll see.

IAN: How’s that process going? I’m assuming that with you saying that there’s been some interest.

Jim Walmsley: Yes. Things are really positive. There’s definitely interest which more than that I ended up getting an agent because when I’m contacting these companies, it’s more in ultra-world. It’s kind of a weird thing because athletes are a lot of times trying to contact companies to ask for sponsorship, ask for this and that. A lot of times what I found out is I’m getting connected with the wrong people or people too low on the totem pole to really make decisions.

They’re like, “Look, we just have to wait until the end of the year” sort of thing. I ended up getting an agent after the race. The best part about that is that he’s able to work with people much higher up that if they want a contract done, they’ll get a contract done now instead of waiting until the end of the year when most people are renewing their contracts and stuff.

IAN: Well, it’s an exciting time. Certainly, the ultra-community is going to be very interested to see what happens over the coming months and year right up to Western States 2017. I just want to thank you so much for giving us an hour of your time and talking in depth about what has been quite an inspirational Western States.

Post Western States, Jim went on to set a Rim-to-Rim record in the Grand Canyon and a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim record, smashing the previous record set by Rob Krar to a new level of  5:55:20 – 26-minutes faster than Krar’s 6:21:47. As Jim eluded to in my interview, his main objective for the end of the season was the ‘double’ at JFK50 and San Francisco 50. Just last weekend, the first race took place. Jim ran the JFK50 and smashed the old course record setting a new time of 5:21:28. The stars are aligning for Jim Walmsley, San Francisco and a potential huge pay day awaits… Is Jim Walmsley the next big thing in the ultra world?

 

Episode 66 – Krar, Enman, Forbes, McGregor

Ep66This is episode 66 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show e catch up with Rob Krar after his incredible Western States. Kasie Enman is on the comeback trail after her 2nd child and we chat after a stellar 2nd place at Speedgoat 50k. Scott Forbes just this last weekend won Race to the Stones in the UK… a great result but Scott has an incredible story. In Talk Training we talk nutrition with Renee McGregor. The News, a Blog, Smile and Miles with Emelie Forsberg, Up and Coming Races and Pocket Rocket is back… Stevie Kremer.

NEWS

HARDROCK 100 results iRunFar
 
·      Kilian Jornet – 22:41:33
·      Julien Chorier – 25:07:56
·      Adam Campbell – 25:56:46
·      Jeff Browning  – 26:58:59
·      Scott Jaime  – 27:46:14

·      Darcy Piceu – 29:49:58
·      Betsy Kalmeyer – 37:57:22
·      Betsy Nye – 42:22
·      Tina Ure – 42:45
·      Suzanne Lewis – 42:55

 
SPEEDGOAT 50K

·      Sage Canaday  – 5:12:30
·      Paul Hamilton – 5:31:15
·      Alex Nichols  – 5:33:30
·      Rickey Gates  – 5:46:36
·      Mike Wolfe – 5:53:17

·      Anna Frost – 6:42:00
·      Kasie Enman  – 6:43:48
·      Ellie Greenwood – 6:53:04
·      Hillary Allen  – 7:03:57
·      Kerrie Bruxvoort  – 7:12:41

INTERVIEW with KASIE ENMAN
 
Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise

  • Francois D’Haene 7:38
  • Fabian Antonilos 7:56
  • Tom Owens 8:02
     
  • Emelie Forsberg 9:25
  • Allessandra Carlini 9:42
  • Maud Gobert 9:42+
  • Skyrunning Dolomites SkyRace
     
  • Kilian Jornet 2:03:50
  • Ionut Zinca 2:05:20
  • Tadei Pivk 2:05:21
  • Manuel Merillas 2:07:29
  • Alexis Sevennec 2:07:54·
  • Laura Orgue 2:26:17
  • Emelie Forsberg 2:27:40
  • Maite Maiora 2:31:58
  • Christel Dewalle 2:35:53
  • Magdalena Kozielska 2:36:23
     
     
    DODO TRAIL
     
    ·      Ricky Lightfoot 5:19:21 new CR
    ·      Jean Pierre Grondin 5:55:30
    ·      Jeannick Boyer 6:02:54
     
    ·      Landie Greyling 6:49:10
    ·      Estelle Carret 6:51:55
    ·      Andrea Clemons 8:37:35 
    BLOG
     
    Dakota Jones has ab excellent write up on Hardrock 100 on iRunFar – http://www.irunfar.com/2014/07/falling-off-edges-hardrock-2014.html

     
    INTERVIEW

    ROB KRAR produced the 2nd fastest run ever at the 2014 Western States. We caught up with him just a few days after the race for a chat.

    SMILES and MILES with EMELIE FORSBERG

    TALK TRAINING with Renee McGregor lead nutritionist
     
     
    INTERVIEW
     
    SIMON FORBES won the Race to the Stones in the UK which is impressive. However, he has a fascinating back story.

     
    UP & COMING RACES
     
    Australia
    Australian Capital Territory
    Bush Capital 60 km Ultra | 63 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Queensland
    Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website

    Austria
    Dirndltal Extrem Ultramarathon | 111 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Pitztal-Gletscher Trail Maniak 95K | 95 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Belgium
    Flanders
    100 km Dodentocht® | 100 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website

    Canada
    Alberta
    Canadian Death Race | 125 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Quebec
    Trans Gaspesia | 260 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Finland
    Lapland
    NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 125 km | 125 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 55K | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    France
    Haute-Corse
    Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Haute-Savoie
    Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Isère
    Défi de l’Oisans | 200 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Jura
    Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Loiret
    L’Orleans-Océan | 410 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Savoie
    Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    La 6000D | 65 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    TCT 50 | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    TCT 73 | 73 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Ultra 6000D | 110 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Germany
    Bavaria
    Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Brandenburg
    Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Lower Saxony
    Süntel-Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Guadeloupe
    Rèd Mammel | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    Ultra Transkarukera | 120 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

    Italy
    Aosta Valley
    Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Piedmont
    Terra Acqua Cielo Wild Trail | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Sicily
    Etna Trail | 64 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Veneto
    Trans d’Havet Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Latvia
    Cēsis ECO Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Madagascar
    Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Mauritius
    Trail des 7 Couleurs | 120 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Mongolia
    Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 06, 2014 | website

    Portugal
    Ultra-Trail Nocturno da Lagoa de Óbidos | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Réunion
    Trail du Grand Ouest | 60 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Romania
    VLC Ultra TrailRun Petrimanu 56 | 56 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Russia
    Elbrus Mountain Race | 105 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website

    Serbia
    Tara Challenge | 61 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Tara Ultramarathon | 115 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Spain
    Andalusia
    Subida Granada Pico Veleta | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Aragon
    Calcenada – 104 km | 104 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website
    Gran Trail Aneto-Posets | 109 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Vuelta al Aneto | 58 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Castile and León
    Gredos Infinite Run – 120 km | 120 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 105 KM | 105 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 60 KM | 60 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

    Catalonia
    BUFF® Epic Trail Aigüestortes | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Cadí Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ultra Catllaràs | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Principality of Asturias
    Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Sweden
    Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website

    Switzerland
    Grisons
    Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Thailand
    Bangkok Ultra Trail Festival – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Turkey
    DASK ADAM Anatolian Mountain marathon – Long Course | 75 kilometers | August 07, 2014 | website
    DASK ADAM Anatolian Mountain marathon – Medium Course | 60 kilometers | August 07, 2014 | website

    United Kingdom
    Cumbria
    The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 25, 2014 | website
    England
    Round the Rock | 48 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Round the Rock Ultra Marathon | 48 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Hampshire
    Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Kent
    The 50 Mile Challenge | 52 miles | July 28, 2014 | website
    North Yorkshire
    Oxfam Trailtrekker GB (North) – 100 km | 100 kilometers | July 31, 2014 | website
    Oxfam Trailtrekker GB (North) – 65 km | 65 kilometers | July 31, 2014 | website
    Stirling
    Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 02, 2014 | website

    USA
    Alaska
    Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    Arizona
    Vertigo 63K Night Trail Run | 63 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    California
    Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 52.4 Ultramarathon | 52 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Skyline 50K | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Colorado
    Grand Mesa 100M | 100 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Grand Mesa 37.5M | 60 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Grand Mesa 50M | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Mountain Ultra | 220 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website
    Mount Werner Classic – 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ouray 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 01, 2014 | website
    Idaho
    Standhope 60K | 60 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website
    Wild Idaho 50K Enrudance Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Wild Idaho 50M Enrudance Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Maryland
    Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Minnesota
    Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Mississippi
    Big Butts 100K | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Big Butts 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Montana
    HURL Elkhorn 50 K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    HURL Elkhorn 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Nevada
    Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    North Carolina
    Mattamuskeet Death March | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ohio
    Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Oregon
    Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50M | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Pennsylvania
    Viaduct Trail 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | July 27, 2014 | website
    Viaduct Trail 150 Mile Ultramarathon | 150 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Viaduct Trail 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 27, 2014 | website
    South Carolina
    Landsford Canal 50 K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Vermont
    Moosalamoo Ultra – 36 M | 36 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Virginia
    Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Washington
    Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (August) | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website

    CLOSE

3:51:35

Episode 60 – Foote, Scotney, Meek, Britton, Spiers

Ep60

Episode 60 of Talk Ultra – This weeks show has an interview with one of the best ‘closers’ in the ultra scene, Mike Foote. We have a series of interviews from the Iznik Ultra series of races, Marcus Scotney from the 130k, Jo Meek from the 80k and Robbie Britton from the marathon. We speak to British Bulldog, Steve Spiers. Marc Laithwaite is back for Talk Training. News, a Blog, Up and Coming Races and of course, Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

NEWS
 
UTMF
 
  1. Francois D’Haene 19:09:13
  2. Ryan Sandes 20:18:59
  3. Mike Foote 20:54:16
 
  1. Nuria Picas 23:27:34
  2. Fernanda Maciel 23:46:24
  3. Maria Semarjian 27:16:13
 
ONER
  1. Rob Sartin 18:19:29
  2. Tom Sutton 18:40:08
  3. Max Woods 20:13:19
  1. Nicky Taylor 18:40:10
  2. Erica Terblanche 20:36:34
  3. Melanie Hawker 21:56:54
 
Iznik Races
 
  1. 130k
  • Marcus Scotney (Montane) 12:53:59 new CR
  • Mahmut Yavuz 13:11:55
  • Zhikica Ivanovski 13:53:41
  • Bakiye Duran 19:09:39
  • Svetiana Stojanoska 22:27:08
AUDIO with Marcus Scotney
80K
  • Jo Meek (Scott Running) 6:52:17 new CR first lady and first overall
  • Aykut Celikbas 7:41:34
  • Firat Kara 7:46:07 (tbc)
  • Jo Meek (Scott Running)
  • Yasemin Goktas 9:45:34
  • Ayse Beril Basliqil 9:54:45
AUDIO with Jo Meek
Marathon
  • Robbie Britton (inov-8) 3:08:19 new CR
  • Benoit Laval (Raidlight) 3:30:38
  • Duygun Yurteri 3:31:56
  • Elena Polyakova 3:47:26
  • Aysen Solak 3:51:01
  • Helen Southcott 4:14:07
AUDIO with Robbie Britton
 
Highland Fling Race 
  1. Sondre Amdahl (Norway) 07:29:15
  2. Justin Maxwell 07:46:35
  3. Neil Macnicol 07:49:08
  1. Jo Zakrzewski 08:30:29
  2. Sally Fawcett 08:38:41
  3. Elaine Omand )8:49:33
 
SDW50 – correction to results
  1. Louise Waterman Evans 7:06:08
  2. Edwina Sutton 7:09:21
  3. Sarah Perkins 7:19:43
**correction – Gemma Carter re SDW50
Oh Ian, that is really very kind of you I know it will mean a lot to Eddy and of course, it means a lot to me (I’m not in the big league YET, so every little result counts! ) thank you… See below: 1st.Edwina Sutton- 7:09:21 2nd. Sarah Perkins-7:19:43 3rd. Gemma Carter-7:32:42
Transvulcania is next week… what a showdown awaits! In-depth preview HERE
BLOG – A Glorious Boston http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com
INTERVIEW
Mike Foote has a great reputation for starting steady and moving his way up through the field. At UTMF he gave another prime example of how to do this….
AUDIO with Mike Foote
 
 
AUDIO with Steve Spiers… the British Bulldog
 
 
MELTZER MOMENT with Speedgoat
 
 
TRAINING TALK with Marc Laithwaite
 
 
UP & COMING RACES
 
 

Australia

New South Wales

WildEndurance 100km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

WildEndurance 50km Team Challenge | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

WildEndurance event | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Queensland

Mt Mee Classic Trail 66 km Teams race | 66 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

The Great Wheelbarrow Race – Mareeba to Dimbulah | 104 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

South Australia

Hubert 100km | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Hubert 100 Miles | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Hubert 50km | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Victoria

Macedon Ranges 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 100km | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

La Bouillonnante – 56 km | 56 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 100K | 100 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

The North Face Dirty Feet Kal Park 50 | 50 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Ontario

Seaton Trail 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

China

Trail de la Grande Muraille de Chine | 73 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm -100 Miles | 100 miles | May 02, 2014 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 miles | 50 miles | May 02, 2014 | website

Finland

Oulu

NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Ultra – 160 km | 160 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

France

Ardèche

Trail l’Ardéchois – 57 km | 57 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail l’Ardéchois | 98 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Bas-Rhin

Trail du Wurzel | 52 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Drôme

Challenge Charles & Alice | 148 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Les Aventuriers de la Drôme | 65 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Les Aventuriers du Bout de Drôme | 105 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Haute-Loire

Ultra Techni Trail de Tiranges | 50 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Oise

Trail’Oise – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Rhône

Ultra des Coursières | 103 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Savoie

Nivolet – Revard | 51 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Yonne

The Trail 110 | 110 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The Trail 63 | 65 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Lauf “Rund um Wolfach” | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Stromberg Extrem 54,4 KM | 54 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Lower Saxony

German 100 mile Trail Run | 100 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bödefelder Hollenlauf 101 KM | 101 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Bödefelder Hollenlauf 67 KM | 67 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Saarland

RAG-Hartfüßler – Trail 58 km | 58 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Greece

Doliho Ultra-Marathon | 260 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Euchidios Athlos 107.5 Km | 107 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Euchidios Hyper-Athlos 215 Km | 215 kilometers | May 09, 2014 | website

Olympian Race – 180 km | 180 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Olympian Race – 62 km | 62 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Indonesia

Volcans de l’Extrême | 164 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Causeway Crossing 100K | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Causeway Crossing 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Israel

Mountain to Valley Relay | 215 kilometers | May 15, 2014 | website

Italy

Liguria

Gran Trail Rensen | 62 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Trail | 90 kilometers | May 09, 2014 | website

Tuscany

Elba Trail “Eleonoraxvincere” | 56 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

Japan

Oxfam Trailwalker Japan | 100 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Madagascar

Semi Trail des Ô Plateaux | 65 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail des Ô Plateaux | 130 kilometers | May 02, 2014 | website

Martinique

Tchimbé du Volcan | 70 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Tchimbé Raid 110 km | 110 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Mauritius

Royal Raid 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Mayotte

Mahoraid | 70 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Peru

Jungle Ultra | 220 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Philippines

The North Face 100®, Philippines – 100 km | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The North Face 100®, Philippines – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Portugal

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115 | 116 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Ultra-Trail de Sesimbra | 55 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Spain

Andalusia

La Legión 101 km | 101 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Balearic Islands

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls | 185 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Nord | 100 kilometers | May 16, 2014 | website

Basque Country

Apuko Long Trail – 65 Km | 60 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Ultra Trail Apuko Extreme | 90 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Canary Islands

Transvulcania | 83 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Castile and León

101 Peregrinos | 101 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Bielersee XXL 100 Meilen | 100 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Turkey

Cekmekoy 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | May 11, 2014 | website

United Kingdom

Argyll and Bute

Kintyre Way Ultra Run | 66 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Kintyre Way Ultra Run – Tayinloan – Campbeltown | 35 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

County of Pembrokeshire

Coastal Trail Series – Pembrokeshire – Ultra | 34 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Greater London

Thames Path 100 | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Hampshire

XNRG Pony Express Ultra | 60 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Kent

National 100K | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

National 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nottinghamshire

Dukeries Ultra 40 | 40 miles | May 11, 2014 | website

Oxfordshire

T60 Nigh Race | 60 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Wiltshire

Marlborough Downs Challenge – 33 mile | 33 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Worcestershire

Malvern Hills 53 Mile Ultra | 53 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Malvern Hills 83 Mile Ultra | 83 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

USA

Alabama

Run for Kids Challenge 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Arizona

Sinister Night 54K Trail Run | 54 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

California

Armstrong Redwoods 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Badwater Salton Sea | 81 miles | May 05, 2014 | website

Canyons 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Cinderella Trail Run 50 km (May) | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Diablo 50K | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Golden Gate Relay | 191 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Me-Ow Quads | 104 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Me-Ow Siamese | 42 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Miwok 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 100K | 100 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

PCT50 Trail Run | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Quicksilver 100K Endurance Run | 100 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Quicksilver 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Whoos in El Moro 50k | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Wild Wild West 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Colorado

Cimarron 50k Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 04, 2014 | website

Collegiate Peaks 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Greenland Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Quad Rock 50 | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

The Divide 135 Ultra | 135 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Georgia

Cruel Jewel 100 | 100 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Cruel Jewel 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Indiana

DWD Gnaw Bone 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

DWD Gnaw Bone 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Iowa

Market to Market Relay | Iowa | 75 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Kansas

Heartland 50 Mile Spring Race | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Rock On! Lake Perry 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Massachusetts

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod | 186 miles | May 09, 2014 | website

Wapack and Back Trail Races 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Nevada

Labor of Love 100M | 100 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Labor of Love 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Labor of Love 50M | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Ride the Wind 100M | 100 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Ride the Wind 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

New Jersey

3 Days at the Fair – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2014 | website

New York

Long Island Greenbelt Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Rock The Ridge 50-Mile Endurance Challenge | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain 50k | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

North Carolina

OBX Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Ohio

50’s For Yo Momma 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

50’s For Yo Momma 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Oregon

McDonald Forest 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Smith Rock Ascent 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

South Carolina

Oconee 50k | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Wambaw Swamp Stomp 50 Miler Trail Run and Relay | 50 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Xterra Myrtle Beach 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Tennessee

Rock/Creek Thunder Rock 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | May 16, 2014 | website

Strolling Jim 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | May 03, 2014 | website

Texas

Hog’s Hunt 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Vermont

PEAK Ultra Marathon – 500 Miles | 500 miles | May 13, 2014 | website

Virginia

Singletrack Maniac 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Washington

50K Ultradash | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

50 Mile Ultradash | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (May) | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2014 | website

Lost Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

West Virginia

Capon Valley 50K Run | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2014 | website

Ice Age Trail 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2014 | website

 

LINKS

Rob Krar and Michele Yates crowned UROY

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.comArticle and all content (except images) ©ultrarunningmagazine – HERE

Rob Krar is the Male Ultra Runner of the Year. Krar won four major races during the year, capped off with a win at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championship. He set course records at the Leona Divide 50 Mile and the Moab Red Hot 55K. He was also a close second at the Western States 100 Mile, and set a fastest known time of the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim. This is all the more impressive since Krar didn’t run his first ultra until November 2012. Krar, a collegiate middle-distance standout at Butler University, works as a pharmacist in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Michele Yates - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates is the Female Ultra Runner of the Year. Yates, a fitness consultant from Littleton, Colorado, won six of the seven races she entered in 2013, including highly competitive events like The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championship, the Bandera 100K, and the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile. Yates, a collegiate steeplechaser at UNLV and a 2:38 marathoner, was the outright winner of the inaugural Indiana Trail 100 Mile, finishing first overall out of 154 starters.

You can hear a full interviews with Michele and Rob on Talk Ultra:

Read the full article on ULTRARUNNING HERE

Read my Ultra Running Review of 2013 HERE

Ultra Running Review of the Year 2013

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

What an amazing time to be involved in the sport of ultra running! The once niche minority sport has exploded to greater heights and distances in 2013. No longer is a long beard and ‘Buff’ a pre requisite of ultra running (unless you’re Rob Krar). Clean cut, young, fast is the new ‘ultra runner’ mixing it up with the old guard.
Just think back to this time last year, had you heard of Zach Miller (not the Zach Miller, but, the Zach Miller; confused?), Michele YatesRob Krar, Magdalena Boulet and Xavier Thevenard.
Racing and the opportunity to race has also increased to the extent that it is now possible to race pretty much week in and week out for 12-months of the year. Of course, this brings pluses and minuses, certainly from an elite level, runners need to be far more savvy and race clever. You can no longer race month on month and expect to win. Races now have much higher quality fields and the pace is going up. The growth of Skyrunning has been instrumental in enticing a world audience to test runners of all abilities on tough, technical and high-terrain and the feedback has been incredible. UTWT have launched a series of races above the 100-km distance and in doing so have created a ‘trail’ circuit that offers multiple terrain in multiple locations all over the world. It will be interesting to see how the inaugural year goes when 2014 comes around.
So, what are the highlights of 2013?
Ultra Runner of the Year – Men and ladies
Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Lets start with Rob Krar. I interviewed Rob just after his incredible ‘FKT’ in the Grand Canyon early in 2013 when he put the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim record at another level. At the time we discussed Western States, he was intimidated by the ‘Super Bowl’ of ultra and his first 100-miler. “I’ll give it a shot and see what happens”. Well, if you hadn’t noticed Rob pre WSER you did afterwards. Your not supposed to run WSER and get 2nd overall in your first attempt. UROC, Ultra Race of Champions was the final of the Skyrunner Ultra World Series and for some reason they had bestowed upon themselves the title, ‘The Ultra Running World Championship’. Mmmmm well, it certainly had a quality field but ‘World Championship’? I don’t think so. In the end it came down to a head-to-head between Dakota Jones and Rob Krar. Dakota looked as though he had it sewn up but on the final descent, Rob unleashed a pace that Dakota went on to say was ‘just crazy’. Rob took the win and a pattern was forming. We were all a little surprised to see Rob’s name on the start list for JFK50, primarily with TNF50 in San Francisco just two weeks later. As it happened, Rob dropped at around the 41-mile mark and went on to say that it was either ‘a great training run for TNF50 or the worst decision he had made in a while.’ It was a great training run! Rob ran a super calm, collected and mature race in San Francisco and when he took the front in the last fifth of the race he released a pace that was just incredible. Without doubt my ultra runner of the year!
Kilian Jornet and the Matterhorn ©iancorless.com
  • Of course, you can’t talk about male ultra runner and not mention Kilian Jornet. Kilian is a phenomenon. He is the star of our sport. Once again he was crowned Skyrunner World Ultra Series Champion with wins at Transvulcania and Ice Trail Tarentaise. In addition to this, Kilian was also champion of the ‘Sky’ series with 4 wins; ZegamaMont-BlancMatterhorn Ultraks and Limone Extreme. Add this a couple VK’s, a win at Canazei Sky race for the European Championships and a win at Trans D’Havet for the ‘Ultra’ Skyrunning European Championships and you would say the deal is done! But wait-a-minute, we haven’t mentioned his records for his ‘Summits’ project. A stunning new FKT for Chamonix-Mont-Blanc-Chamonix but arguably THE highlight of the year was his Matterhorn Summit. It was a sublime and surreal performance that put going to the mountains light on another level. It was without doubt my ‘moment’ of the year. You can read my ‘Matterhorn Summits Interview’ with Kilian here. Kilian is the most complete athlete I know.
Michele Yates - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

  • Michele Yates hadn’t run an ultra before 2013. Who would have thought that Ms Figure Colorado 2008 would be such an awesome talent? Well her history shows that she is a 2x Olympic Trials Marathon Competitor, she has 9 marathon wins and PB of 2:38:37. To say Michele burst on the ultra scene would be an underestimation. Her win at Indiana Trail 100 (17:35:18) almost went unnoticed but then taking top spot and the $10,000 prize at Run Rabbit Run suddenly made every one stop, look around and take notice. Placing 3rd at UROC was another sign that Michele was no one trick pony but just like Rob Krar, Michele sealed a quality 2013 with a win at TNF50. She started that race from the front and never relinquished the lead until the line. Is Michele female ultra runner of the year? Well, I would have said yes. That is until the weekend of Dec 13th/ 14th(Listen to interview with Michele on the Christmas show of Talk Ultra, Ep51 out Dec 27th)
  • Pam Smith victorious at Western States turned up at the Desert Solstice track meet run by Aravaipa Running and not only took out the win for 12-hours on the track but set a new female record for 100-miles, 14:11:26. Take your pick, Michele or Pam; it’s a tough call.
Emelie Forsberg ©iancorless.com
  • But wait a minute, what about Emelie Forsberg. Emelie arrived on the run scene in 2012 and instantly had success, continually placing top-3 with Anna Frost and Nuria Picas. However the break through moment came ironically this time last year, she won TNF50 in San Francisco. This seemed to change everything, Emelie arrived at Transvulcania in May 2013 and won, she followed this up with a win in ZegamaCanazeiIce Trail TarentaiseMatterhorn UltraksUROC and then went on to run her first 100-miler at the super tough Diagonale de Fous (Raid de la Reunion) and place 2nd. Do you want to vote against Emelie?
Performances of the Year
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Rory Bosio blasted around the TNFUTMB course and in the process not only obliterated the female record but placed 7th overall. Her performance was nothing short of miraculous.
  • Jon Olson set a new American record for 100-miles on the track and then just as the year came to a close, Zach Bitter broke the record with an 11:47:21 but maybe even more important, Zach set a new World Record for 12-hours (101.66 miles) beating a Yiannis Kouros record. That does not happen very often! (Zach Bitter will be in the Christmas episode of Talk Ultra, Ep 51 out Dec 27th here)
  • I have already mention Kilian and the Matterhorn but it was so good I am mentioning it twice!
  • Timothy Olson went back to Western States and won again. You can win a race once but going back and doing it again is always a true sign of a champion.
  • Seb Chaigneau took a win and CR at Hardrock 100.
  • Nickademus Hollon became the youngest person ever to not only complete Barkley but also win it. You can listen to his interview on Talk Ultra here.
Julien Chorier Ronda dels Cims ©iancorless.com
  • Julien Chorier produced a sublime and calculated performance at the super tough Ronda dels Cims. It was a joy and a pleasure to watch someone control and dominate a race from the front and look good all the way.
  • Sage Canaday, jeez I missed him out and he definitely deserves a mention for BanderaTarawera, Transvulcania (3rd), Lake Sonoma and Speedgoat 50k.
 
Francesca Canepa ©iancorless.com
  • Francesca Canepa once again had an incredible year with a great performance at Ronda dels Cims but arguably a repeat win at Tor des Geants places her well and truly at the top on ‘endurance’ lady of the year!
  • Iker Karrera nailed Tor des Geants.
  • Ricky Lightfoot went over to South Africa and raced at The Otter and not only won but put the course record at a new level, in addition he won the IAU World Title in Wales.
 
tnfutmb 2013 ©iancorless.com
  • Xavier Thevenard took everyone, including himself, by surprise at TNFUTMB with a controlled and impressive performance against some top competition.
Jez Bragg TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com
  • Jez Bragg completed the Te Araroa in New Zealand. An incredible journey from the northern tip of New Zealand all the way down to the southern tip. Listen here.
  • David Johnston completed the Iditarod trail Invitational in 4 days 19 hours 13 mins.Crazy fast.
  • Ian Sharman and Nick Clark went head-to-head in the Grand Slam of Ultra Running and produced possibly the most exciting competition of 2013. The pair of them produced incredibly consistent performances and showed us all that it is possible to race four 100-milers back-to-back. They didn’t only ‘complete’ but they competed. They both won a race and were never out of the front rankings. Ian Sharman ultimately had the icing on the cake with the overall fastest time and a new Grand Slam record. Respect! Interview with Ian Sharman here.
  • Paul Giblin at the West Highland Way race. 15:07 and good beating of Terry Conway’s previous CR.
Stevie Kremer Limone Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Stevie Kremer doesn’t do ultras but she is a darn fine trail and mountain runner and what ‘Pocket Rocket’ achieved in 2013 is nothing short of miraculous. Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.
  • Ed Catmur has continued to knock out some great 100-mile performances on the GB scene with wins at North Downs Way and the Winter 100.
  • Lizzie Wraith new female CR for the Lakeland 100 in the UK.
  • William Sichel keeps running and running crazy distances and setting new records.
  • Jonas Buud didn’t win Comrades in 2013 but he ran one of the best paced races I’ve ever witnessed. He was way back in the late 30’s and slowly moved up to 3rd. Wow! Notable mention to Brit ladies, Joanna Zakrezewski and Holly Rush who placed top-10.
Surprises of the Year
  • Rob Krar – Just one word sums up the bearded warrior ‘Krarnage’.
  • Zach Miller – no, not Zach Miller, but Zach Miller. Zach rocked up at JFK50, nobody knew him and he didn’t know anyone else. He took over the lead when Rob Krar dropped at mile 41. Not only did he win but also he set the 3rd fastest time ever. Interview with Zach here.
  • Xavier Thevenard – TNFUTMB was going to be won by Anton KrupickaMiguel HerasJulien ChorierSeb Chaigneau or Mike Foote. Somebody should have told them all about CCC winner, Xavier.
  • Michele Yates – wow, what a first year in the ultra world.
Who and what to watch out for in 2014
Cameron Clayton UROC ©iancorless.com
  • Cameron Clayton has found his feet, 2013 had some mixed performances but when everything aligns he races with the best. His TransvulcaniaUROC and TNF50 performances without doubt elevates him to ‘hot’ for 2014.
Luis Alberto Hernando Haria Extreme ©iancorless.com
  • Luis Alberto Hernando pushed Kilian close at Transvulcania, Zegama, finished joint first at Trans D’havet and won at Cavalls del Vent. In 2014 he plans to race TNFUTMB, now that will be interesting.
  • Magdalena Boulet had an ultra debut at TNF50 and placed 2nd. This sub 2:30 marathon runner may turn a few heads in 2014.
  • Brit, Stuart Air may raise a few eyebrows in 2014. He had a solid Ronda dels Cims, Ice Trail Tarentaise and Tor des Geants and for 2014 he has a Hardrock 100 slot!
  • Hardrock 100 had it’s draw and suddenly much of the WSER ‘lottery’ chat shifted focus to the field up at Silverton. The 2014 race is a classic in the making with Kilian JornetSebastian ChaigneauJulien ChorierJoe Grant and more. Excited? Just a little.
  • The Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix with runners from all over the world coming to race VK, SKY and ULTRA in one of the endurance capitals of the world.
  • Beards – the jury is out. Are beards fast or slow? Rob Krar, Timmy Olson and ‘Clarky’ are certainly great advocates for hairy running but Kilian, Cameron, Sage provide a strong counter argument. What are your thoughts?
And finally…
 
A review of any year is going to be personal. Without doubt we will all have our own highlights and favourite moments, so, I would love to read your thoughts.
Please use the form below.
Ian Corless ETR ©iancorless.com
On a personal note, 2013 was an incredible year, I feel blessed with all the opportunities I have had. To witness many of the moments I write about is a great pleasure. Of course, it’s nothing without you folks reading, looking at my photographs or listening to my podcast.
A very BIG thank you from me.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014 awaits us all…
LINKS:
Photography from 2013 races HERE
IMAGES book HERE
Calendar HERE
Podcasts HERE

Run Rabbit Run 2013 – Race Preview

runrabbitrun_logo2.41-250x300

 

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Goes the farmer’s gun

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

 

The 2nd Annual Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Endurance Run, held in the terrific little town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The race starts on Friday, September 13, 2013 at midday

I cant help but hear ‘Speedgoat’ Karl Meltzer in my head… jogging along allowing all the fast guys to shoot of in search of the $10,000 first prize and singing the song aloud. It happened last year (not singing the song, but allowing the others to shoot off) and look what happened. One-by-one they fell by the wayside and the old goat himself reeled them in and schooled them all on how to run a 100-miles. Karl should know; he has won enough.

Once again he is playing down his chances of winning the 2013 edition RRR. In last weeks Talk Ultra (Ep43) we discussed at length his form and reading between the lines, I know he is ready. He wasn’t ready at Western States early in 2012 due to niggles and still pulled out 10th, however just a few weeks later, just like Seb Chaigneau at TNFUTMB, the exertions of a tough 100 at WSER took its toll and he dropped from Hardrock 100.

Karl, with his own race done and dusted, the Speedgoat 50k, he finally found some down time and concentrated on getting fit and healthy for the RRR and for Karl, there’s nothing quite like a $10,000 purse to motivate him… ask his wife, she got a new bathroom out of the race last year! (Or was it a kitchen?)

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010198

Joe Grant also had a troublesome Hardrock 100 and although he was super motivated to top the podium he just didn’t have the right day. It may very well have been his early season Iditarod still making demands on his body or ultimately, it may have just been a bad day! However, he seems to have got his head in a great place and certainly his recent trip to Europe as support and crew for Anton Krupicka has given him a new lease of life and all those mountain miles may well transfer to something special at RRR.

Ever present force over the 100k distance, Dave Mackey will hope to bring that speed to RRR and pull off a win at 100-miles. Although he has had some good 100 performances, notably 2nd at WSER, he has never quite hit the nail on the head like he has done over the shorter 100k-distance. He nearly rectified this at San Diego 100 earlier this year but unfortunately that went pear-shaped due to course errors. He is due a win!

Jason Schlarb I am pretty sure will be looking to put the record straight at RRR this year after a great start to the 2012 race that went completely problematic and frustrating due to going off course. For me, he is the dark horse of the favourites and don’t be surprised if he leads early on but manages to hold on!

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson gets my final mention. Yes, I am mentioning Timothy last. Not because I don’t think he can win but you have to consider his season and because just the other week he placed 4th at TNFUTMB. I am pretty sure the $10,000 first prize is the attraction here and that has to be a motivating factor. However, he dug deep at TNFUTMB and used all his physical and mental reserves to reach the line. It could go either way for Timothy at RRR. Irrespective of what happens, he has had a great year with results at Tarawera, Transvulcania La Palma and of course, the defense of his WSER crown.

Behind this front five is a group of runners just waiting for the opportunity to steal the carrot from the other Rabbits. Keep an eye on Jeff Browning, Jason Loutitt, and if Dave James is in a good place, he may well push the others for the podium.

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

The ladies race is potentially a little more open than the men’s race however; it does have some key names that stick out. In particular a rejuvenated and in-form Nikki Kimball. I interviewed Nikki after her incredible 2nd place at the 2013 Western States and for sure, she has found a new balance. She is racing less and when she races, she wants to perform. Her lining up at RRR can only mean one thing!

Darcy Africa is another hot ‘fave’ for the RRR crown coming from another great win at Hardrock 100. She is consistent over the longer distances as her 2012 season shows. Without doubt she will be pushing the pace at the front here!

I predicted Cassie Scallon would have a great race at WSER based on her performances over shorter distances and her natural speed. However, the big dance didn’t go well and she is untested at 100-miles. I still think we will see her rectify the situation in Steamboat Springs and contend for a podium place at least.

One-to-watch goes to Jennifer Benna. She ran a great 100 earlier this year and then went to Transvulcania La Palma but pulled out early saying things just didn’t feel right. WSER didn’t go well either so redemption is required at RRR.

Finally, last years 2nd place at RRR, Rhonda Claridge returns and with another solid performance at Hardrock 100 she will be looking to move one place higher and take home the $10,000 pot.

Jeez, I missed Pam Smith. Thanks Speedgoat. For sure, Pam Smith coming from winning the 2013 Western States changes the dynamic of RRR and she will be gunning for the win. Of course Pam will be the one who all the ladies will be watching. Her main priority will be ‘chicking’ Speedgoat again though and of course taking the big bucks!

 Links

  • Race Line up is here if you’d like to point out any contenders for the podium.
  • Race website here
  • Course description here
  • Athlete tracking here