Western States Endurance Run #WSER 2015 – Race Preview

WSER logo ©westernstatesendurancerun

WSER logo ©westernstatesendurancerun

The stories been told many times, 1974, lame horse, decided to do it on foot and Gordy Ainsleigh pretty much invented modern day 100-mile trail running. I have never seen or witnessed the Western States course and that does frustrate me. However, we have many stories, videos and race reports to fill the gap. It’s not the toughest course out there but it has the history and it’s fair to say that if you are going to Western States to do well, you need to be a runner!

Looking at the top contenders, the female race all looks relatively simple. We have a host of past stars turning up and therefore it’s relatively easy to look on predict where the action will come from.

Stephanie Howe as the past champion is a hot favourite. Steph doesn’t race a great deal but when she does she makes it count: 3rd at TNF50, 2nd at Way To Cool 50k and most recently victory at Lake Sonoma – all looks good!

Larisa Dannis was 2nd last year and has had a 2nd at Overlook 50k, and 2 victories at Berkley Trail 50k and Door Country Fall 50 but what about results in 2015? I can’t find any which leaves me with a question mark.

However, expect curve balls from Magdalena Boulet and Michele Yates. Stephanie Howe may well be the defending champion and Larisa Dannis may well have placed 2nd in 2014 but I see the Boulet/ Yates duo rocking the front of the field and potentially winning and taking 2 of the top 3 podium places. In particular I see Yates as a hot favourite for the win!

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Emma Roca from Spain is an interesting inclusion to the race with an entry via the UTWT. Emma is an all round tough lady from an adventure racing background who has excelled at mountain races, I wonder if WSER will be too much of a running race?

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One lady who has to be watched even though she openly admitted to me that her form is not 100% is Nikki Kimball. Nikki has won the race 3 times, placed top 5 another 6 times and this year returns for her 10th race. Irrespective of the finish time or position, it’s going to be a special year for Nikki.

Aliza Lapierre was 3rd in 2012, 6th in 2013 and in 2014 won Bandera 100k. A fast lady, if she is on form. I certainly expect her to make her presence known amongst the top 5 but no results for 2015?

2009 winner, Anita Ortiz is returning after extensive injury and although 5 years have passed since the golden feeling of a WSER victory, one has to assume that if Anita is toeing the line, then she feels ready to race.

Pam Smith was 4th last year and won WSER in 2013. It certainly seems that Pam can blow hot or cold. Ask Speedgoat Karl, he dismissed her in ‘13’ and she smoked him on the course. If she is feeling good and not too tired from training, she may well win again. However, she could quite easily just scrape in under 24 hours?

My last shout goes to Kaci Lickteig, who placed 6th last year. She had a win at Javelina Jundred (100 mile) in late 2014 and a 2nd and 5th over the 50-mile distance in 2015. I think this year we will see a different run from Kaci

Ones to watch:

Denise Bourassa 7th last year

Meghan Arbogast 8th in 2014

Nicole Struder Rocky Raccoon win

Joelle Vaught 8th at Tarawera

Claire Price UTWT entrant

 

The men’s race to coin a phrase is stacked! It’s an interesting mix of talent with a couple or maybe even a triple of potential winners but also several runners who have all the potential to shake things up and mess the podium party.

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It may come as no surprise that Rob Krar is the out-and-out favourite. Rob has become one of the most impressive runners to watch and follow in the past couple of years and his rise has been incredible. 100-mile wins in 2014 at WSER, Leadville and Run Rabbit Run absolutely make him the man to beat.

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Francois d’Haene like Krar was unbeatable in 2014. He too had 3 100-mile victories but on completely different courses to Krar: UTMF, UTMB and Raid de la Reunion (Diagonale des Fous). Notice the difference? Mountain races! Francois can run but I just don’t think WSER will be lumpy or hard enough for the Frenchman.

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Ryan Sandes by contrast has placed 2nd at WSER before and although he does well on tough, challenging and mountainous courses, he can also run fast with the best of them. He told me in the latter half of 2014 that WSER would be a priority this year and he has spent a month in the area preparing. We must point out that it has been a rocky road for him recently and dropping at Transvulcania was not ideal preparation. However, we can all have bad days!

Dylan Bowman placed 3rd last year and I have to say has been on fire recently. He is the man in form and may well be the one who pushes Krar and possibly passes him? However, Dylan has already got plenty of racing and victories in his legs whereas Krar is fresh. It may well be the difference between 1st and 2nd.

Seth Swanson placed 2nd last year and won Cascade Crest 100. In 2015, he was 2nd at Sean O’Brien and 6th at Sonoma. I have to be honest, I know little about him and just he surprised others and me in 2014, he may well do the same again!

Ian Sharman is rock solid at WSER. Over the years he improved year-on-year with 2014 being an exception. He has been quiet recently which is a great sign. It almost certainly means that he has been preparing meticulously, I really hope that he makes the podium.

Okay, now it gets tricky.

Brendan Davies had a great run last year, he is a runner and as such, WSER suits him and he should do well.

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Julien Chorier is meticulous, an incredible runner and if this race was full of mountains he’d be my top tip along with Francois. However, the course is not lumpy and as such I don’t think it’s a race for Julien to shine. I still expect a top 10 from him though.

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Gediminas Grinius is a new star with an incredible history. Like Francois and Julien I think he needs mountains to excel. One plus for him is the distance, he certainly likes to run longer and his recent victory at Transgrancanaria is proof that if he is feeling good in the latter stages, you better watch out!

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Sondre Amdahl is another newbie revelation. An incredibly nice guy, he moved out to the US to prepare meticulously for WSER. He did the same for Transgrancanaria and although he had a great result, I do wonder if he wanted the win too much! This may apply at WSER but I have a feeling that we will see Sondre shine. I expect good things from him.

Ones to watch:

Alex Varner 7th in 2014 and recent victory at Lake Sonoma 50

Andrew Tuckey 6th at UTMB and 3rd at TNF 100. I can’t help but think that Andrew may well be a surprise package and a dark horse in this race.

Thomas Lorblanchet Leadville winner 2012

David Laney 19th in 2014 and 2 victories in 2015 at Bandera 100k and Chuckanut 50k

Joe Grant

“Last year was a pretty remarkable day – we had temperatures that weren’t bad (89 degrees was the high), Rob and Stephanie ran remarkably strong races, and we had 296 finishers, including 129 silver buckles (for sub-24-hour finishes),” – race director Craig Thornley said. “This year has the potential to be even better. The men’s race will be exciting with Rob and a host of talented runners running to beat him. And our women’s race may very well go into the books as our deepest and most competitive field ever.” – ©wser website

Race day is Saturday June 27th

Race website HERE

2015 entry list HERE

Latest news HERE

Episode 86 – Browning Yates Cracknell Barnes

Ep86

Episode 86 of Talk Ultra is a packed show. We speak with Jeff Browning about victrory at the controversial Ultra fiord. Michele Yates provides a great Talk Training by discussing running and pregnancy. We also catch up with Elisabet Barnes and James Cracknell who ran impressive times at London Marathon. The News, a Blog, Up and Coming Races and Speed Golf Karl Meltzer is back!
00:15:22 NEWS
 
Help Nepal – Nepal images ‘FACES of NEPAL’ – order a print and all funds donated to Nepal charities https://iancorless.org/2015/04/28/nepal-appeal-nepalearthquake/
 
3-Peaks UK
Ricky Lightfoot 2:51
Andrew Davies 2:53
Andrew Fallas 2:57
Helen Bonsor 3:27
Anna Lupton 3:34
Caitlin Rice 3:39
Fellsman UK
Adam Perry 10:23
Jez Bragg 10:44
Konrad Rawlik 10:57
Jasmin Paris 11:09 CR
Mary Gillie 13:02
Carol Morgan 14:13
Highland Fling
Matt Laye 7:04
Paul Navesy 7:06
Donnie Campbell 7:17 one week after winning Iznik Ultra
Rachel Campbell 8:42
Caroline McKay 8:55
Nicole Adams Hendry 8:59
Iznik Ultra

130km

Donnie Campbell 13:23:50
Mahmut Yavuz 14:31:20
Aykut Celikbas 14:48:29
Zoe Salt 15:14:37
Mariyla Niklova 19:29:45
Ingrid Qualizza 19:43:49

80km

Emmanuel Gault 6:45:25
Girondel Benoit 7:26:10
Tanzer Dursun 8:40:36
Alessia De Matteis 9:03:53
ElenaPolyakova 10:48:57
Coraline Chapatte 11:34:37
46km *update to results 21st April – unfortunately Jose De Pablo received a time penalty as he did not carry mandatory kit, new results are in bold.
Jose De Pablo 4:03:29 *Benoit Laval 4:19:03
Benoit Laval 4:19:03 *Duygun Yurteri 4:28:15
Duygun Yurteri 4:28:15 *Jose De Pablo 4:28:29
Catarina Scamelli 5:03:44
Ziliz Cancilar 5:04:55
Martine Nolan 5:09:44
Ultrafijord full results Here
100mile
Jeff Browning 24:25:39
Candice Burt 37:12:15
100k
Fernando Nazario de Rezende 16:50:20
Krissy Moehl 19:31:27
70k
Xavier Thevenard 8:46:00
Manuela Vilaseca 11:45:00
Transvulcania is next week!
 
London Marathon
MDS ladies winner Elisabet Barnes ran sub 3 (just) and we caught up with her on her post MDS run and as she prepares for running in Menorca – http://www.trailmenorca.com
00:36:07 INTERVIEW
 
Elisabet Barnes
Also running at VLM was Olympian James Cracknell who ran 2:50 as he prepares for Richterveld Wildrun in South Africa and Badwater
 
00:48:28 INTERVIEW
 
James Cracknell
00:58:31 BLOG
 
01:00:34 INTERVIEW
 
Jeff Browning recently won the Ultra fiord race. It was a race not without controversy… we just had to catch up and find out all about it!
 
02:05:03 TALK TRAINING
 
Michele Yates talks all about pregnancy, running and how you come back to not only running but racing and winning just months after giving birth!
02:41:35 UP & COMING RACES

Australia

New South Wales

WildEndurance 100km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

WildEndurance 50km Team Challenge | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

WildEndurance event | 100 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Northern Territory

TRACK Outback Race | 520 kilometers | May 06, 2015 | website

Queensland

Mt Mee Classic Trail 66 km Teams race | 66 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

The Great Wheelbarrow Race – Mareeba to Dimbulah | 104 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Victoria

Wilsons Prom 100 – 100km | 100 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Wilsons Prom 100 – 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Austria

Über Drüber UltraMarathon | 63 kilometers | May 14, 2015 | website

Canada

Alberta

Run for the Braggin’ Rights | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Run for the Braggin’ Rights – Relay | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

British Columbia

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 100K | 100 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Island Runner Elk/Beaver Ultras – 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

The North Face Dirty Feet Kal Park 50 | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Ontario

Seaton Trail 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Chile

Atacama Xtreme 100 Miles | 100 miles | May 15, 2015 | website

Atacama Xtreme 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Atacama Xtreme 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 15, 2015 | website

China

Trail de la Grande Muraille de Chine | 73 kilometers | May 08, 2015 | website

Denmark

Hovedstaden

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm -100 Miles | 100 miles | May 01, 2015 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Salomon Hammer Trail Bornholm – 50 miles | 50 miles | May 01, 2015 | website

France

Ardèche

Trail l’Ardéchois – 57 km | 57 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail l’Ardéchois | 98 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Drôme

Challenge du Val de Drôme | 148 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Les Aventuriers de la Drôme | 65 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Les Aventuriers du Bout de Drôme | 105 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Haute-Loire

Ultra Techni Trail de Tiranges | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Nord

100 km de Steenwerck | 100 kilometers | May 14, 2015 | website

Oise

Trail’Oise – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Euskal Trails – Ultra Trail | 130 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Trail des Villages | 80 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Trail Gourmand | 50 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Rhône

Ultra des Coursières | 103 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Savoie

Nivolet – Revard | 51 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Seine-Maritime

Tour du Pays de Caux | 88 kilometers | May 14, 2015 | website

Yonne

The Trail 110 | 110 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

The Trail 63 | 65 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

The Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Stromberg Extrem 54,4 KM | 54 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Rhineland-Palatinate

Bärenfels 50 km Trail | 50 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Saar-Hunsrück-Supertrail | 128 kilometers | May 14, 2015 | website

Saarland

RAG-Hartfüßler – Trail 58 km | 58 kilometers | May 10, 2015 | website

Schleswig-Holstein

Steinburg – Ultra – Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2015 | website

Thuringia

GutsMuths-Rennsteiglauf Super Marathon | 72 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | websiteGreece

Doliho Ultra-Marathon | 255 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Euchidios Athlos 107.5 Km | 107 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Euchidios Hyper-Athlos 215 km | 215 kilometers | May 08, 2015 | website

Indonesia

Volcans de l’Extrême | 164 kilometers | May 07, 2015 | website

Ireland

Munster

The Irish Trail 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

The Irish Trail 85 km | 85 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Italy

Liguria

Gran Trail Rensen | 62 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Lombardy

Laggo Maggiore Trail | 52 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

UMS Ultramaratona Milano Sanremo | 280 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Sardinia

Sardinia Trail | 90 kilometers | May 08, 2015 | website

Kazakhstan

Tengri Ultra Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2015 | website

Madagascar

Semi Trail des Ô Plateaux | 65 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail des Ô Plateaux | 130 kilometers | May 01, 2015 | website

Malta

Eco Gozo Ultra 55k | 55 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Martinique

Tchimbé Raid | 91 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Mauritius

Royal Raid 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Mayotte

Mahoraid | 70 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Poland

Portugal

Ultra-Trail de Sesimbra | 60 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

La Legión 101 km | 101 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Balearic Islands

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls | 185 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls Costa Nord | 100 kilometers | May 15, 2015 | website

Basque Country

Apuko Long Trail – 65 Km | 60 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Apuko Extreme | 90 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Transvulcania Ultramaratón | 73 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Castile and León

101 Peregrinos | 101 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Madrid

Sunrise Trail Ultra International | 68 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Valencian Community

CSP-115 | 118 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

MIM Marató i Mitja | 63 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Switzerland

Berne

Bielersee XXL 100 Meilen | 100 miles | May 15, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Argyll and Bute

Kintyre Way Ultra Run | 66 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Kintyre Way Ultra Run – Tayinloan – Campbeltown | 35 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

County of Pembrokeshire

Coastal Trail Series – Pembrokeshire – Ultra | 34 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Greater London

Thames Path 100 | 100 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Hampshire

XNRG Pony Express Ultra | 60 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Challenge | 106 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Isle of Wight Challenge – Half Island | 56 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Oxfordshire

T60 Nigh Race | 60 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Wiltshire

Marlborough Downs Challenge – 33 mile | 33 miles | May 10, 2015 | website

Worcestershire

Malvern Hills 105 Mile Ultra | 105 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Malvern Hills 34 Mile Ultra | 34 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Malvern Hills 44 Mile Ultra | 44 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Malvern Hills 52 Mile Ultra | 53 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Run for Kids Challenge 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Arizona

Sinister Night 54K Trail Run | 54 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

California

Armstrong Redwoods 50K | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Badwater Salton Sea | 81 miles | May 03, 2015 | website

Canyons 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Cinderella Trail Run 50 km (May) | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Golden Gate Relay | 191 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Gold Rush 50K | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Me-Ow Quads | 104 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Me-Ow Siamese | 42 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Miwok 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 100K | 100 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 100 Mile | 100 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 50K | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Nirvana Ultra Big Bear 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

PCT50 Trail Run | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Quicksilver 100K Endurance Run | 100 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Quicksilver 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Whoos in El Moro Race Spring Edition 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Wild Wild West 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Colorado

Cimarron 50k Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Collegiate Peaks 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Falcon 50 | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Greenland Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Quad Rock 50 | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Florida

Palm Bluff Trail Race and Ultra “Margaritas & Manure” 50K | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Palm Bluff Trail Race and Ultra “Margaritas & Manure” 50M | 50 miles | May 03, 2015 | website

Georgia

Cruel Jewel 100 | 100 miles | May 15, 2015 | website

Cruel Jewel 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | May 15, 2015 | website

Wildwood Games – 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 03, 2015 | website

Indiana

DWD Gnaw Bone 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

DWD Gnaw Bone 50M | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Kansas

Heartland 50 Mile Spring Race | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Rock On! Lake Perry 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Maine

Big A 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Massachusetts

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod | 186 miles | May 08, 2015 | website

Wapack and Back Trail Races 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Nevada

50K | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

50M | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Ride the Wind 100M | 100 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Ride the Wind 50M | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

New Jersey

3 Days at the Fair – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 14, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Cactus to Cloud Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

New York

Long Island Greenbelt Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Rock The Ridge 50-Mile Endurance Challenge | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge New York 50k | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

The North Face Endurance Challenge New York 50 Mile | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

North Carolina

OBX Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Race Across North Carolina – Border to Border (10 Marathons) | 267 miles | May 13, 2015 | website

Race Across North Carolina – Heart of NC (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | May 13, 2015 | website

Ohio

50’s For Yo Momma 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

50’s For Yo Momma 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Oregon

McDonald Forest 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Smith Rock Ascent 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Glacier Ridge Trail Ultramarathon – 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Glacier Ridge Trail Ultramarathon – 50 Miles | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Red 50K | 50 kilometers | May 10, 2015 | website

Rhode Island Red 50M | 50 miles | May 10, 2015 | website

South Carolina

Oconee 50k | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Race Across South Carolina – Border to Border (4 Marathons) | 123 miles | May 07, 2015 | website

Wambaw Swamp Stomp 50 Miler Trail Run and Relay | 50 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Xterra Myrtle Beach 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Rock/Creek Thunder Rock 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | May 15, 2015 | website

Strolling Jim 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Utah

Red Rock Relay Moab Edition | 63 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

Vermont

PEAK Ultra Marathon – 200 Miles | 200 miles | May 14, 2015 | website

PEAK Ultra Marathon – 500 Miles | 500 miles | May 07, 2015 | website

Virginia

Biffledinked 10 x 5k | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Biffledinked 10 x 5k 2 Person Relay | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Singletrack Maniac 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Washington

Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (May) | 50 kilometers | May 02, 2015 | website

Lost Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Washington D.C.

Relay | 150 miles | May 02, 2015 | website

Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | May 09, 2015 | website

Ice Age Trail 50M | 50 miles | May 09, 2015 | website

02:47:50 CLOSE
02:51:20
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

TNF50 San Francisco Results #TNF50

San Francisco 50 TNFEC50What a weekend and what a race! Rob Krar and Michele Yates once again proved that they are the people to beat in 2013.

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Rob Krar has had quite a year, he really made people look twice with his Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon FKT earlier this year. However it was victories at Moab Red Hot 50 and Leona Divide that set Rob up for 2nd on the podium at Western States in his first 100-mile race. A win at UROC against a flying Dakota Jones and now an outstanding run at San Francisco 50 surely must elevate him to a potential Ultra Runner of the Year!

Rob Krar - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Rob Krar – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates UROC ©iancorless.com

Michele Yates UROC ©iancorless.com

Michele Yates grasped the bull by the horns at San Francisco and lead from the front in a strong and gutsy run. Add to this her 3rd place at UROC and her win at Run Rabbit Run 100-mile and is Michele currently topping the ‘earning’ ranks for ultra running in 2013. It has been a great year for Michele, her wins at Bandera 100km, Nueces 50 and Indiana Trail 100-mile confirm this.

Michele Yates - iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Michele Yates – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

RESULTS

Full results HERE

Men

  1. Rob Krar 6:21:10
  2. Cameron Clayton 6:31:17
  3. Chris Vargo 6:33:33
  4. Daniel Kraft 6:35:56
  5. Dylan Bowman 6:37:14

Ladies

  1. Michele Yates 7:21:51
  2. Magdalena Boulet 7:31:12
  3. Emelie Forsberg 7:46:24
  4. Aliza Lapierre 7:46:58
  5. Cassie Scallon 7:50:42

Notable mentions:

Cameron Clayton has had a great 2013 and certainly in the latter third has progressed to another level. 2014 looks very exciting for Cameron.

Cameron Clayton -  iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Cameron Clayton – iancorless.com ©bradclayton

Daniel Kraft is pretty much unknown to me, so a name to watch for the future.

Magdalena Boulet was my hot-tip as a dark horse for TNF50 and it’s great to see a new name to watch who lived up to the surprise billing.

Emelie Forsberg finished a stunning 2013 with a 3rd place on pretty much no running for the last 6-8 weeks. What does the future hold for this lady?

Finally, great to see Anna ‘Frosty’ Frost back in a race and Anna sums up her thoughts far better than I could:

“Today I won a race. A race against myself. Physically I suffered…the cold wind freezing my pelvis filling each step with shocks of pain. Mentally I could have come last and would have been as happy as if I won. I crossed the line with tears of joy. My friends there to congratulate and welcome me back to the running world. It has been a hard but amazing journey that so many of the people that were there today have helped me through. Thank you for sharing this joy.”

ULTRA RACE OF CHAMPIONS (UROC) 2013 Race Report

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

All images are available to purchase for personal or commercial use HERE

The 2013 Skyrunner Ultra World Series came to an exciting conclusion in Vail, Colorado on Saturday as many of the top ultra runners in the world lined up against each other for the Ultra Race of Champions. Starting at 0700 in the small town of Breckenridge and concluding in the center of Vail, some 100km later this race was always going to be an exciting nail biter and it didn’t disappoint.

Sunny skies the day before the race turned to dark grey, light rain fell and then snow. So much snow that on the highest sections of the course, particularly in the early stages of the race; eighteen inches of snow covered the ground. At 12,000 feet temperatures in the wind were around -14 deg. It was cold! However, Colorado has never looked so good. Deep blue skies, beautiful sunshine and so much snow it made one feel like Christmas.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1190949

The buzz in the small town was tangible as runners wrapped up in puffa’s and beanies waiting for the 0700 ‘GO’. It soon came and the 200+ strong field departed in a rush. Two early cash primes were won by Sage Canaday and Emelie Forsberg, a pattern was unfolding and as many had thought in pre race predictions, two outright favorites had taken the bull by the horns and were starting as they meant to go on.

UROC start ©iancorless.com

However, Emelie was certainly suffering from the altitude and had to ease off allowing Stephanie Howe to take an early lead out at the front. For the men though, the field was very much a who’s who of ultra running and Dakota Jones, Rob Krar, Kilian Jornet and Jason Wolfe reeled Sage in.

At Frisco, 14-miles into the race a front group had formed and then the climb to the highest point of the course came. At an altitude of 12,000 feet and freezing temperatures, a winter wonderland awaited the runners. Kilian Jornet and Dakota Jones arrived first, running together matching stride for stride. I was convinced that if conditions remained like this Kilian would for sure dominate!

 

Less than a minute behind, Rob Krar followed and then Sage Canaday. Sage looked less relaxed and calm in the knee-deep snow; his arms were outstretched as he tried to balance. A string of other top contenders followed, Ryan Ghelfi, Cameron Clayton, Luke Nelson, Mike Versteeg and so on. The descent from the summit was tricky in places as running water had turned to ice.

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Emelie Forsberg used the snow to her advantage and reclaimed some time from Stephanie Howe, as she ran past me on the descent she shouted, ‘I feel better now, the altitude was making me feel very uncomfortable’. However, Emelie was still one minute in arrears.

Stephanie Howe UROC ©iancorless.com

Vail Pass at 33-miles was a significant turning point in the race, Rob Krar used his speed and took hold of the race and started to push. Dakota Jones followed. A flat road section that covered approximately 19% of the course demoralized Kilian; confident that his World Skyrunner Champion title was secure he eased back and allowed Cameron Clayton to run ahead of him.

Emelie Forsberg UROC ©iancorless.com

Emelie reclaimed the lead at Vail Pass and never looked back. She continually pulled away from Stephanie Howe and at the finish in Vail she had secured UROC victory and the Skyrunner Ultra World Championship title with 23-minutes to spare in a time of 12:06:34 (her first 100km). Stephanie Howe ran a great race and considering she very nearly didn’t start due to a potential injury issue, she looked super pleased with her 12:29:26. Third spot for the ladies podium went to Michele Yates in 12:46:24, considering Michele had won Run Rabbit Run 100-miler just two weeks prior, this was an incredible result for her.

Dakota Jones UROC ©iancorless.com

The men’s race however was less formulaic. On the descent to Minturn, Dakota Jones came charging through the forests with Rob Krar 1min in arrears. He looked strong and focused.

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Minturn, mile 52.5 saw runners turn and head back up the trail. Jones appeared running every step of the way and then 90 seconds later Krar appeared with hands-on-knees powering up the climb. He looked less relaxed than Jones and at this stage one would have most certainly put money on a Jones win.

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Cameron Clayton was 3rd at this point, he was way too far back to contend the top slot and Kilian Jornet was far enough behind in 4th not to contend the 3rd place on the podium, so, barring a disaster, Clayton had 3rd guaranteed.

Cameron Clayton UROC ©iancorless.com

With less then 4-miles to go, Krar and Jones were together and then Krar unleashed a break neck descent to the line that Jones later went on to say, ‘jeez, that guy was an animal on the descent. All respect. It was a great race, a pleasure to run with one so talented and the better man won’.

Dakota Jones UROC ©iancorless.com

The better man did win; Krar broke the Skyrunner tape and then covered his face with his hands. ‘I can’t believe what just happened’. Exhausted, shocked, elated he was embraced by his wife and the victory sunk in. 2013 has been an incredible year for Krar, to put this in perspective, just a couple of years ago he thought he may never run again!

On the line, sitting in a chair, buckle in his hand, cowboy hat shadowing his face he said, ‘It was the hardest effort in my life, possibly the hardest course I have run. The course had a great mix of terrains making it a fair course’ I asked Rob, about the final climb when he was 90-seconds in arrears, ‘I caught him (Dakota) at the top. I was really hurting in Minturn I thought I was down and out but with a mile to go I caught him and pushed.’

The 2013 Ultra Race of Champions was without doubt a great race. It was a fitting finale to the Skyrunner Ultra World Series and of course, excitement now builds as the 2014 calendar in finalized. However, we do have a Vertical Kilometer and Sky Running World Champion to announce at the final race of the 2013 Skyrunner season in Limone, Italy.

All images are available to purchase for personal or commercial use HERE

Results – Men

  1. Rob Krar – The North Face – 9:29:00
  2. Dakota Jones – Montrail – 9:32:26
  3. Cameron Clayton – Salomon – 10:06:24
  4. Kilian Jornet – Salomon – 10:19:16 2013 Skyrunner World Ultra Champion
  5. Ryan Ghelfi – Rogue Valley Runners – 10:24:38

Results – Ladies

  1. Emelie Forsberg – Salomon – 12:06:34 2013 Skyrunner World Ultra Champion
  2. Stephanie Howe – The North Face – 12:29:26
  3. Michele Yates – Ultimate Direction – 12:46:24
  4. Francesca Canepa – Vibram/Montura – 12:55:06
  5. Kerrie Bruxvoort – Salomon – 12:23:39

Skyrunner Ultra World champion Classification 2013

M

1° Kilian Jornet                  292 points

2° Sage Canady                 255

3° Cameron Clayton       208

F

1° Emelie Forsberg         320 points

2° Francesca Canepa        266

3° Stephanie Howe        206