Category Archives: Ian Campbell Adventures

Ian Campbell Adventures

JULBO – AERO – LIGHT AS AIR!

SUMMARY

The Aero – Light as Air – is Julbo’s latest offering for trail runners and in fact, for any activity that demands performance and comfort. The Aero offers superb all round vision and outstanding ventilation via a suspended single piece lens construction.  Zebra and Zebra Light photochromic options ensure that you receive spectacular clarity of vision even under variable light levels.   These sunglasses are a delight to wear and look great to!

Julbo, is a French brand that have been making optical sports wear since 1888. Founded by Jules Baud, Julbo are recognised for innovation and sleek design for mountaineers, sailors, mountain bikers and trail runners. In fact, just any sport, work or hobby that requires protection from the sun.

Out of the Box Statistics

  • Colours – Dark Blue/Blue,  Tortoise Shell Gray/Gray, Black/Red,  White/Grey, Black, Green/Blue
  • Weight – 26grms
  • 3D Fit Nose – ergonomically adjustable wingtips in every direction for all shape and sizes
  • Full Venting – complete ventilation allowing no fogging
  • Grip Tech – inserts at stem ends for comfort and hold
  • Front venting – Natural front air flow due to lens shape and structure
  • Air Link Temple system – shock absorbing elastomer insert for comfort and lightness

Price

Circa £90.00

Field Test

When I first saw the Julbo Aero I was immediately impressed by a couple of things, the design of the arms and the ventilation options. I was eager to get out for a run and test how they performed.

Singles lens piece – less weight!

At 26grms these shades are slightly lighter than the Venturi by 4grms and the Trail by 2grms. Now that might not sound like a lot but every little gram counts and when it’s hot and sweaty it translates to – less weight – less to slide. How has that been done?  Well the single piece lens cuts out the need for a central nose piece and the innovative Air Link Temple system means the arms have been deconstructed. Both design features provide improvements not only in weight but in overall visibility and wear-ability.

Air Link Temple

One thing that is always sure to ruin a good run is when your shades steam up…. not so with these little beauties. I’ve come to expect superior ventilation from Julbo products, but the little tweaks they have made on the Aero provide even better ventilation. The lens cut provides a gap at the top and at the sides allowing vital airflow in while you are running and importantly when you halt. One of my tests with these was on a really hot day (yes, we did have one!) climbing up and down sets of stairs, breathing heavily like I do, head down, sweat streaming, these guys performed magnificently.

Lens cut to aid airflow

These shades provide excellent all round vision and clarity, especially when moving back and forth between sunny and shaded sections on the trail where the lens reacts quickly to the differing light conditions.

At a price of £90 they are not cheap but are competitively priced with equivalent products on the market.  They come complete with crush proof travel case and cloth pouch to keep your lovely shades safe and in pristine condition.

Look out for more updates on these shades as I give them a thorough testing over the next six to nine months.

All images copyright – Ian Campbell Photography

 

Ultra Running News from Around the Globe

In this month’s column we bring you news from the latest rounds of the Ultra Trail World Tour  and other events as well as a selection of news from the blogs.

 

Marathon des Sables

Probably the stand out event in a busy April, the Marathon des Sables never fails to disappoint. This year’s event had some surprises in store as the six stage race unfolded. From a British perspective the performance of Thomas Evans was stunning. It must have been disconcerting for the Moroccans to see him in contention and leading stages. But of course it was a Moroccan victory and a one two by the El Morabity brothers with Rachid coming out on top of younger brother Mohamed by twenty three minutes. Abdelkader El Mouaziz dropped from the race and that opened up the podium opportunity for Evans which he grabbed with some phenomenal running.

The women’s race was controlled by Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes looking for and achieving her second MDS victory. Her margin increased daily from Nathalie Mauclair of France but Mauclair clawed back some time in the long stage that is her specialty. Barnes kept close to her in the long stage to ensure she did not drop too many minutes.  Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel claimed the final podium place but was adrift of the top two by over an hour.

The prize of top Brit was of course claimed by Thomas Evans with that impressive third place overall. Andy Symonds was a clear second from Damian Hall. On the women’s side Jennifer Hill ran strong throughout and claimed the top spot from Jessica Hook and Elizabeth Currie who were within twelve minutes of each other but a distant five hours from Hill.

Results

Men Time
1 Rachid El Morabity 19:15:23
2 Mohamed El Morabity 19:38:21
3 Thomas Evans 19:49:33

 

Women Time
1 Elisabet Barnes 23:16:12
2 Nathalie Mauclair 23:36:40
3 Fernanda Maciel 24:44:59

 Results – Top Brits

Men Time
1 Thomas Evans 19:49:33
2 Andy Symonds (9th overall) 22:19:39
3 Damian Hall (15th) 24:09:43

 

Women Time
1 Jennifer Hill (73rd overall) 29:36:50
2 Jessica Hook (182nd) 34:30:34
3 Elizabeth Currie (184th) 34:42:01

 

100 Miles of Istria

The distance 100 miles, the elevation 7,210M, the country Croatia, the first time on the UTWT, the fifth running of the event and two stand out performances by American Dylan Bowman and Italian Francecsa Canepa to win.  The organisers must also be very happy with the result from their first UTWT outing.  Bowman won by over an hour from Italian Oliviero Bosatelli.  Canape was the pre-race favourite and won with a seventy eight minute margin from Slovenian Alenka Pavc.

Results

Men Time
1 Dylan Bowman 17:51
2 Oliviero Bosatelli 18:54
3 Paul Giblin 19:21

 

Women Time
1 Francesa Canepa 23:34
2 Alenka Pavc 24:52
3 Ulrike Striednig 25:07

 

Patagonia Run

The Patagonia Run is a new entrant to UTWT in 2017. With a total of 8,000M vertical ascent and a distance of 145km there is plenty of time to take in the impressive landscape of the Andes mountain range. Five time winner Sergio Trecaman probably didn’t stop a lot as he only took eighteen hours to complete the course just ahead of his fellow Argentinian Jose Manuel Gasca. The women’s race was won by Adriana Vargas with who had a thirty-five minute cushion over second place Teresa Nimes of Spain.

Results

Men Time
1 Sergio Trecaman 18:10
2 Jose Manuel Gasca 18:22
3 Gustavo Ismail 18:52

 

Women Time
1 Adriana Vargas 21:01
2 Teresa Nimes 21:36
3 Laura Gordiola 22:59

 

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

Madeira Island is located in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. It’s a beautiful island with spectacular cliffs and even more spectacular roads for nervous drivers. The interior is extremely mountainous and has a fabulous network of footpaths called levadas that criss-cross the island. The MIUT traverses the island from North West starting in Porto Muniz to South East in Machico with a staggering 7,100M of ascent in 115km.

Francoise D’Haene crushed the course record set last year by Zach Miller, the Frenchman recording 13:05:44 and a full forty six minutes faster showing that he is back in form. In fact, second and third placed Pau Capell and Xavier Thevernard all beat that previous course record.

Andrea Huser dominated the women’s race to claim yet another deserved victory. Her time of 16:30:47 was well short of the superbly fast time of 14:34:30 that Caroline Cheverot posted last year. Britains Beth Pascali claimed second place ahead of Italian Lisa Borzani by over an hour.

Results

Men Time
1 Francoise D’Haene 13:05:44
2 Pau Capell 13:28:01
3 Xavier Thevenard 13:42:16

 

Women Time
1 Andrea Huser 16:30:47
2 Beth Pascali 17:11:49
3 Lisa Borzani 18:19:10

 

Penyagolosa Trails

This is the first year that Penyagolosa has been on the UTWT. Timothy Olson joined a mainly Spanish field of four hundred plus runners who tackled the 115km and 5,500M of ascent and it was Olson who came out on top. A jubilant Olson was followed by Yeray Duran Lopez around twenty two minutes later. Remi Queral Ibanez took the final podium spot.

The women’s race was a Spanish affair with Gemma Arenas Alcazar topping the list by a mere two minutes from Maria Mercedes Pila Veracocha. Leire Martinez Herrera was third fifty minutes later.

Results

Men Time
1 Timothy Olson 12:23:58
2 Yeray Duran Lopez 12:45:34
3 Remi Queral Ibanez 12:52:51

 

Women Time
1 Gemma Arenas Alcazar 15:01:19
2 Maria Mercedes Pila Veracocha 15:03:42
3 Leire Martinez Herrera 15:53:43

 

Thames Path 100

This was the sixth running of this flattish 100 mile race from London to Oxford. A course record from last year of 14:09 by Craig Holgate was the target. An initial early charge by Steven Lord was thwarted as he suffered hip issues from mile 51 onwards, this opened the door for eventual winner Michael Stocks to move up. Dan Masters and Jeremy Isaac showed how a steady and conservative pace can prove the winning strategy as they were both out of podium places until roughly ninety miles.

Ladies winner Mari Mauland took another conservative approach banking the early miles and well outside the top ten overall for a good seventy or so miles. She would eventually finish in fifth overall with a fantastically fast time of 16:55. The gap to second placed Sarah Sawyer was a full four plus hours. Third placed Naomi Moss was only six minutes behind.

 

Results

Men Time
1 Michael Stocks 14:57:53
2 Dan Masters 15:30:03
3 Jeremy Isaac 16:25:55

 

Women Time
1 Mari Mauland 16:55:43
2 Sarah Sawyer 21:09:10
3 Naomi Moss 21:15:53

 

 

News from the blogs

Elisabet Barnes

Winner of the 2017 edition and now two time winner of Marathon des Sables, Elisabet Barnes, she offers coaching via her website www.ultra.coach . She is a multi-stage race demon and Elisabet will be at the Ultra Festival in early June so catch her there live.

Anna Frost

Anna is heading to Madeira for the Ultra Skymarathon in May, she will also be in Bhutan later in the year. You can keep up to date with Frosty and her adventures via Twitter and her Facebook page.

https://frostysfootsteps.wordpress.com/

Timothy Olson

Tim is back! A fine win at Penyagolosa has confirmed that Tim is back on form after what for him has been a quiet eighteen or so months with some less than optimal performances. Although there is no confirmation of his June /July race schedule Tim will be at Diagonal des Fous in October, how good is that!

http://www.timothyallenolson.com/

Paul Capell

Pau Capell’s ascendancy to one of the top level ultrarunners has been a marvel to observe. His win at Transgrancanaria this year must rate as his best performance to date and he followed that with a second place at last month’s Madeira Island Ultra Trail. He is stepping up to UTMB this year, his first 100 mile race, it will be interesting to see how he performs and his approach to this tough and competitive race.

You can catch all the updates via Twitter.

Dakota Jones

Dakota Jones just enjoys life. Read this post http://www.irunfar.com/2017/04/the-most-harm-principle.html from his column at www.irunfar.com . It just about sum’s up Dakota’s approach to life and racing.  He is heading off to ‘Europe for the next two months, first in Spain with @deparunner and then in France for the Maxi Race and Mont Blanc Marathon. Really though, my main goal is to learn some Spanish and French. But these races will be cool too. Stay tuned!’

Stay tuned indeed through his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts.

 

Up and coming races

UTWT races

Ultra-Trail Australia – May 18th -21st

Mozart 100 – June 17th

Lavaredo Ultra Trail – June 23rd

Western States 100 – June 24th-25th

 

Sky Races

Yading Skyrun – May 2nd

Transvulcania – May 13th

Zegama – May 28th

 

UK Races

North Downs Way 50 – May 13th

Grand Union Canal race – May 27th

South Downs Way 100 – June 10th

 

Marathon des Sables – Day 4/5 Results

El Morabity and Barnes hold on to their leads despite strong competition

It’s the long stage and time to sort the field out. It’s the most feared and probably most critical stage of this race. This year’s fourth stage was 86.2km long and with seven checkpoints it provided enough distance that any mishaps within the leading pack were going to be punished. Overall leader Rachid El Morabity won the stage by eleven minutes, but it wasn’t from a fellow Moroccan, it was from Britain’s Thomas Evans who had an outstanding stage to take second place (must be the highest placing Brit ever!). In third place Mohamed El Morabity now has a thirteen-minute gap on fourth placed Abdelaziz Baghazza. Strong contender for the podium this year was Abdelkader El Mouaziz but he dropped out at the fifth checkpoint to end his 2017 MDS campaign.

Overall Rachid El Morabity extended his lead to thirteen minutes from second place Mohamed El Morabity. Thomas Evans is now in third five minutes behind and has a forty-eight minutes lead on fourth placed Baghazza.

Place Name Time
1st Rachid El Morabity 8:16:14
2nd Thomas Evans 8:27:46
3rd Mohamed El Morabity 8:28:33

Top Brits

Andy Symonds ran for most of the stage with fellow Brit Damian Hall and finished the stage together with less than a second splitting them. But in contrast just look at Thomas Evans time for the stage, a full two hours ahead …. what a stellar performance.

Andy Symonds lies second overall in the Top Brit table. Evans 16:33:13, Symonds 18:48:43 and Hall 20:12:56.

Place Name Time
5th Thomas Evans 8:27:46
16th Damian Hall 10:26:43
17th Andy Symonds 10:26:44

France’s Nathalie Mauclair managed to grab 90 seconds from Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes in this long stage. Barnes remained solid and tracked Mauclair throughout the course of the stage always within two minutes. Barnes overall lead is twenty-three minutes so a similar performance tomorrow in the marathon long stage will secure victory.

Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel ran strong securing third place in the stage and overall and she has almost a two cushion to fourth place Emilie Lecomte who also finished fourth in the long stage.

Place Name Time  
1st Nathalie Mauclair 9:39:58 9th overall
2nd Elisabet Barnes 9:41:16 11th overall
3rd Fernanda Maciel 10:00:58 12th overall

Other contenders

Emilie Lecomte                         11:10:17

Melanie Rousset               11:27:03

Aziza Raji                             12:00:13

Top Brits

A solid performance in this long stage from Jennifer Hill will secure her top Brit.

Place Name Time
70th Jennifer Hill 12:26:24
150th Jessica Hook 14:25:09
182nd Jane Keenan 14:58:23

 

Marathon des Sables – Stage 4 update

  • Rachid El Morabity wins the stage in 8:16:14 and retains the overall lead
  • Britain’s Thomas Evans takes second place in 8:27:46 and moves into third overall
  • Mohamed El Morabity places third in 8:28:33 – second overall
  • Abdelkader El Mouaziz – drops out

Marathon des Sables – Day 3 Results

El Morabity and Barnes continue upfront 

The third stage of this year’s Marathon des Sables at 31.6km had only two checkpoints. The Moroccans remained in front with overall leader Rachid El Morabity winning the stage and adding a further minute to his overall lead. Abdelaziz Baghazza stepped up to take second place in a joint time with Mohamed El Morabity.  Fourth place in the stage was taken by Abdelkader El Mouaziz dropping Britains Thomas Evans to fifth place.

Overall Rachid El Morabity has a ten minute lead over second place El Moauaziz with Mohamed El Morabity in third place by only two seconds.

Place Name Time
1st Rachid El Morabity 2:33:14
2nd Abdelaziz Baghazza 2:34:26
3rd Mohamed El Morabity 2:34:26

Top Brits

Andy Symonds had another solid day and retains his place as second Brit behind Thomas Evans. Symonds has a sixteen minute gap to close which is achievable in tomorrow’s long stage of 86.2km. Damian Hall had a strong third day, taking third place and also third Brit overall as Andrew Fargus slipped back giving away a costly thirty minutes.

Place Name Time
5th Thomas Evans 2:38:53
7th Andy Symonds 2:44:53
14th Damian Hall 3:12:16

Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes and 2015 MDS winner looks serene as she gained a further two minutes today to make her overall lead exactly twenty four minutes on second placed Nathalie Mauclair from France.  Brazilian Fernanda Maciel placed third today and is third overall twenty five minutes behind and with a thirty nine minutes lead on fourth placed Emilie Lecomte.

Place Name Time  
1st Elisabet Barnes 3:13:07 16th overall
2nd Nathalie Mauclair 3:15:14 17th overall
3rd Fernanda Maciel 3:27:11 29th overall

Other contenders

Melanie Rousset              3:28:02

Emilie Lecomte                         3:33:44

Aziza Raji                             3:47:23

 

Top Brits

Place Name Time
109th Jennifer Hill 3:18:45
173rd Josephine Adams 3:40:13
189th Susannah Chan 3:43:22

 

 

Marathon des Sables – Stage 1 Results

The Marathon des Sables started for the 32nd time on Sunday and as predicted the racing was fierce.   The first of six stages had the runners cover 30.3km, a good Sunday run!

The top three in the men’s race was a Moroccan affair but they have some British company hot on their heels.

Place Name Time
1st Mohamed El Morabity 2:10:36
2nd Rachid El Morabity 2:10:54
3rd Abdelkader El Mouaziz 2:11:17

 

Top Brits

Place Name Time
4th Thomas Evans 2:11:58
8th Andy Symonds 2:15:46
12th Andrew Fargus 2:23:56

 

The women’s race has opened up with previous MDS winner Elisabet Barnes leading the way by six minutes.

Place Name Time  
1st Elisabet Barnes 2:38:13 21st overall
2nd Nathalie Mauclair 2:44:57 28th overall
3rd Aziza Raji 2:54:36 43rd overall

 

Other contenders

Fernanda Maciel – 4th         3:01:36

Emilie Lecomte – 5th             3:03:57

Melanie Rousset – 6th    3:04:31

 

Top Brits

Place Name Time
109th Jennifer Hill 3:18:45
173rd Josephine Adams 3:40:13
189th Susannah Chan 3:43:22

 

Its early days in the MDS with five stages of racing left including the long stage on day 4 of 86.2km.

Marathon des Sables

Event preview

Marathon Des Sables – Kirsten Kortebein

The 32nd edition of the fabled Marathon Des Sables is due to start in several days. The circus will be back in the desert corralling over thirteen hundred participants to cover roughly 250km over six days. MDS is a foot race where participants have to be totally self-sufficient carrying all food and mandatory equipment. But the whole event would be nothing without the support staff, one for every two participants, the 2 helicopters and 1 light aircraft, 25 buses, 4 camels and 57 medical staff, the list goes on…….  It’s a logistics exercise comparable with an army brigade making sure that there is ample water, tents and manned check-points etc.

Race preview

We are in line for some very exciting multi day desert racing at this year’s Marathon des Sables. The men’s race could be summarised as potentially a repeat performance of previous year’s but El Morabity’s gap last year was reduced to only a few minutes so it could lead to a shake up on the podium. The women’s race has all the ingredients for some very exciting racing.  There are probably five or six fighting it out for the top spot which could make every day a challenge and any slip up absolutely crucial.

The Men’s race

Top Moroccans

2016

2015 2014 2013

2012

Rachid El Morabity

1st

1st

1st

Abdelkader El Mouaziz

2nd

2nd

7th

Aziz El Akad

3rd

3rd

5th

3rd

Samir Akdar

6th

4th

8th

Salemeh Al Aqra

5th

2nd

2nd

1st

Mohamed Ahansal

11th

3rd

1st

2nd

The table above shows the top Moroccans performances over the last five years. The podium has been dominated by these guys and it would come as a huge surprise if it wasn’t the same this year.

The following guys are confirmed for this year.

Rachid El Morabity – El Morabity has got to be the one to beat having won the last three editions of the race.  Morabity’s winning gap last year was only four minutes compared to fourteen minutes the previous year, both times to El Mouaziz.  He also came second at OCC in 2016 and is entered for CCC this year.

Abdelkader El Mouaziz – El Mouaziz has a deep marathon pedigree with a 2:06 PB and having raced some of the most competitive road marathons over a decade or more, mainly London & Chicago.  He has translated that marathon speed to the rough terrain of the desert and multi day racing.  The last two years placing second to El Morabity but having a healthy gap to a third placed El Akad.

Aziz El Akad – El Akad has placed third in the last two years but will he have enough to challenge the likes of El Morabity and El Mouaziz?  The one hour gap to second at this level is substantial amount to bridge.

Samir Akhdar – A solid top five finisher but Akdar will be looking to make the podium for the first time.

Andy Symonds – Symonds has got to be the top non Moroccan at this year’s event. He has lots of talent, fast and excels on mountain courses. How will he fare in the desert against some of the best multi day racers in the world?  It certainly will be interesting to track his progress.

Tsuyoshi Kaburaki – Kaburaki has tons of mountain racing pedigree earned at UTMB, Hardrock, & Western States, although a few years ago. He placed second last year at Ultra Fiord Patagonia.  A top ten finish would be a good result.

Marco Olmo – Olmo has raced MDS many times and has won the various age categories from M55, M60 and now M65 for the last three years.  Who else can beat the Italian Olmo?

 

Women’s Race

Nathalie Mauclair – Second at last year’s MDS, Mauclair will undoubtedly be seeking the top spot this year, especially as last year’s winner Sedykh is not competing. Her closest rivals are likely to be 2015 winner Elisabet Barnes and Brazilian Fernanda Maciel. Mauclair has won Diagonal des Fous twice and UTMB during 2013 to 2015, by comparison 2016 was a much quieter racing year for her.

Elisabet Barnes – Winner of MDS in 2015, last year’s race did not go to plan and she missed out on the podium. Since then she has placed second at the Grand to Grand ultra and a fourth place at this year’s The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica.  Barnes will be looking to regain that top spot for sure!

Fernanda Maciel – A tough competitor who regularly places top five or podium at some of the world’s toughest mountain races.  Last year placed third at MDS.  Maciel will surely be looking to move further up the podium this year.

Emilie Lecomte – In 2016 Lecomte raced the Grand to Grand ultra a similar multi stage race in the US and won. She also placed third at the Madeira Island Ultra Trail.  Lecomte seems to excel on the tough gnarly courses like Diagonal des Fous and UTMB. How will she perform on the fabled dunes at MDS?

Melanie Rousset – A recent third place at Transgrancanaria will surely boost Rousset’s confidence coming into MDS.  She has placed sixth, fifth and fourth at Diagonal des Fous in recent year’s.  It will be interesting how she tackles multi day desert racing.

Ester Alves – Alves has recent experience of multi day racing at The Coastal Challenge placing third. She won the Madeira Island Ultra Trail in 2015

Federica Boifava – Italian Boifava has won a lot of races many of them in the marathon to 80km range. It will be exciting to see how she performs in multi day desert racing. Likely to place highly if she doesn’t go off to fast in the early stages.

Moroccans

Aziza Raji – Top Moroccan in 2016 placing fifth.

Meryem Mahfoud – Second at Nomads Run 60km 2017.

Houda Taoufiq Mabileau – Third at Nomads Run 60km 2017.

Touda Didi – Tenth at MDS in 2011.

Ultrarunning News from Around the Globe

In this month’s column we bring you news from the opening rounds of the Ultra Trail World Tour and the latest UTWT standings, as well as a selection of news from the blogs.

Vibram Hong Kong 100

The opening round of the 2017 Ultra Trail World Tour in Hong Kong had improved conditions with some milder temperatures and rain. Yanqiao Yan from China captured the win but a decent margin of twenty six minutes over Italian Daniel Jung. Sage Canaday was the top American in third place. Other notable finishers in this early season head to head were Didrik Hermansen 4th, Tim Tollefson 5th, Seth Swanson 6th and Julien Chorier 10th.

Nuria Picas returned to her winning ways in dominant fashion with an emphatic victory over China’s Linming Chen by some thirty five minutes and in the process besting the old course record by over forty minutes.DSC_5103
New Zealand athlete and Hong Kong based Marie McNaughton took third place in what appears to be her fastest time on this course.

 

 

 

Vibram Hong Kong 100

Men Time
1 Yanqiao Yun 09:35:11
2 Daniel Jung 10:01:35
3 Sage Canaday 10:03:50

 

Women Time
1 Nuria Picas-Albets 11:18:57
2 Linming Chen 11:53:47
3 Maria McNaughton 12:26:19

Tarawera Ultramarathon

American Jim Walmsley cruised to victory unchallenged in an incredibly fast record time of 7:23 leading from virtually the get go. Walmsley was more than forty five minutes ahead of second placed Jonas Buud who is no slouch when it comes to fast trails.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

The final spot on the podium was for New Zealand’s Sam McCutcheon. Other notable finishers in this hotly contested race in New Zealand were Gediminas Grinius in 5th, Matt Flaherty 7th and Michael Wardian 8th.

In a similar vein the women’s race was won by leading from the front, Camille Herron beating second place Magdalena Boulet by around twenty four minutes. It was a narrow margin for third placed Cecilia Flori who was only ninety seconds behind Boulet. Fiona Hayvice who won last year in 10:34 finished sixth in 10:06 such was the step up in competition this year. Fernanda Maciel took 7th and Sophie Grant 10th.

Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km

Men Time
1 Jim Walmsley 07:23:32
2 Jonas Buud 08:10:58
3 Sam McCutcheon 08:12:35

 

Women Time
1 Camille Herron 08:56:00
2 Magdelena Boulet 09:20:13
3 Cecilia Flori 09:21:42

Transgrancanaria

Trangsrancanaria is the first UTWT race of the season in Europe with a distance of 125km and with 8,000 metres of ascent it is a serious early season challenge. The runners traverse from the north of the island to the south and the massed crowds on the beach of Maspalomas.

This year’s men’s winner was a richly deserved Pau Capell in a fast time of 13:21 beating Didrik Hermansen’s winning time from 2016 by a huge twenty minutes. Lithuanian Vaidas Zlabys placed second fourteen minutes later with Hermansen settling for third place this year.

Other top ten finishers included Diego Pazos 8th, Andy Symonds 9th and Timothy Olson 10th.

The women’s race was dominated by Spain’s Azara Garcia in her first race of over 100 kilometres. A challenging last 40 kilometres where she had difficulty eating and drinking made the closing efforts more intriguing but Garcia still managed to eclipse second place Andrea Huser by over forty five minutes. In third place was Melanie Rousset less than fifteen minutes behind.

Other top ten finishers Ildiko Wermescher 5th, Juliette Blanchette 7th, Lisa Borzani 8th and Manuela Vilaseca 10th.

Transgrancanaria

Men Time
1 Pau Capell 13:21:03
2 Vaidas Zlabys 13:35:38
3 Didrik Hermansen 13:50:06

 

Women Time
1 Azara Garcia 16:25:20
2 Andrea Huser 17:15:45
3 Melanie Rousset 17:30:40

 

News from the blogs

Kilian Jornet

In the continuing adventure ‘Summits of My life’ Jornet recently announced he will once again go back to Everest. On his return he has a full bag of trail racing, Marathon du Mont Blanc, Hardrock and UTMB amongst others. Somewhere in all this racing he will travel to the UK to take on the famous Bob Graham Round.

http://www.kilianjornet.cat/en/blog/2017-calendar/ 

Manuela Vilaseca

Brazilian ultra runner and mountain biker, Manuela “Manu’ Vilaseca trains hard and invariably finishes top ten in some of the tougher mountain races such as UTMB and Transgrancanaria. ‘Catch me if you can’ is Manu’s catch phrase!   More regular updates on her athlete Facebook page.

http://manuvilaseca.com/site/

Andrea Huser

Find out more about Andrea Huser on her Facebook page.  Swiss athlete Huser loves the mountains. Looks like this year she will spend some time in the US in preparation for Western States at the end of June.

Francesca Canepa

Italian Francesca Canepa looks like she is heading to Croatia to compete in the 100 miles of Istria a UTWT event. Checkout her Facebook page to keep up to date.

Gediminas Grinius

Lithuanian athlete Gediminas Grinius came on the scene about two years ago at Lavaredo Ultra Trail and has continually impressed showing it was not a fluke performance. I like his mantra ‘Time is Time’ so don’t look for his blog which is not regularly updated but check out his Facebook page for updates. He is currently running in the US.

Mike Wardian

Does he really need an introduction… Mike races practically every weekend and sometimes both days or indeed in the morning and then in the evening. He is scheduled to run Western States at the end of June and then Hardrock three weeks later. Even with MW’s prodigious racing calibre that is a tall ask…. bring it on!!

http://mikewardian.com

UTWT Standings

Here is a recap on scoring for UTWT events. These are points awarded to the winner of the various category races.

Three rounds of this year’s Ultra Trail World Tour have been raced, Vibram Hong Kong 100 (Pro), Tarawera Ultramarathon (Pro) and Transgrancanaria (Series).

 

Place Series with Bonus Series Pro Challenger
1st 1300 1000 700 400
2nd 1124 865 605 346
3rd 1021 785 550 314
4th 948 729 510 292
5th 891 685 480 274

Leading the way after three races are Didrik Hermansen with 1,295 points and Azara Garcia with 1,000 points. IMG_2256Transgrancanaria as a Series race commands more points than the Pro races (Vibram HK and Tarawera). Critically, later on in the season Marathon des Sables and UTMB are the only two Series with Bonus races and could prove crucial to who wins the 2017 UTWT.

 

Up and coming races

Marathon des Sables – April 7th-17th

100 Miles of Istria – April 7th-9th

Patagonia Run 2017 – 145k – April 7th-8th

Madeira Island Ultra Trail – April 22nd

Penyagolosa Trails – April 22nd

Thames Path 100 – April 29th – 30th

 

ULTRA RUNNING NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

In this month’s column we bring you news from the Sky Running World Series, the Ultra Trail World Tour and latest UTWT standings, Thames Path 100, as well as a selection of news from the blogs.

Transvulcania

Since 2012 only three guys have broken seven hours for the Transvulcania course, Dakota Jones, Kilian Jornet and Luis Alberto Hernando. Hernando has an awesome record at Transvulcania, second to Jornet in 2013, and winner in 2014 and 2015. He was the red-hot favourite in this year’s edition and he didn’t disappoint. Hernando took his third successive win in just over seven hours. American Sage Canaday who led the race all the IMG_0673way to Roque de los Muchachos took a third place podium finish after Frenchmen Nicolas Martin reeled him on that long descent for second place.

Sweden’s Ida Nilsson surprised everyone with a terrific performance that demonstrated total dominance of the field, the tough course and hot conditions. Her lead grew as the race progressed, finishing seventeen minutes ahead of Anne-Lise Rousset of France. Ruth Croft completed the podium only two minutes behind.

Transvulcania

Men Time
1 Luis Alberto Hernando 07:04:44
2 Nicolas Martin 07:10:40
3 Sage Canaday 07:14:16

 

Women Time
1 Ida Nilsson 08:14:18
2 Anne-Lise Rousset 08:31:53
3 Ruth Croft 08:33:32

 

Marathon des Sables

Rachid El Morabity of Morocco celebrated the win after a dominating display of running in the 32nd edition of this classic multi day race across the Saharan sands of Morroco. The podium was an all Moroccan affair with compatriots Abdelkader El Mouaziz and Aziz El Akad taking second and third spots.

Russian Natalia Sedykh won four of the five stages and had an incredible forty five minutes lead over second place Nathalie Mauclair of France. Mauclair won the long stage on day four to cement her second place. Brazilian Fernanda Maciel demonstrated her tenacity over these demanding desert multi day races by finishing strongly in third place.

Marathon des Sables

Men Time
1 Rachid El Morabity 21:01:21
2 Abdelkader El Mouaziz 21:05:38
3 Aziz El Akad 22:07:30

 

Women Time
1 Natalia Sedykh 24:45:26
2 Nathalie Mauclair 25:30:55
3 Fernanda Maciel 27:58:43

 

Thames Path 100

The Thames Path 100 is the first race of the Centurion Running grand slam. With minimal elevation gain or loss and run on the tow path it is a fast course. Craig Holgate held the course record (15:11:15) from 2012 and proceeded to crush that time by over an hour and completely dominated the field. His winning time and course record is even more impressive given that he went off course and lost over an hour and a half. Sam Pullan and Mark Greyner completed the podium for the men.

Sam Amend in her first 100 miler ran an extremely impressive 16:00:09, was second overall, and had a margin of three hours over Norwegians Mari Mauland in second and Hilde Ackenhausen in third.

Thames Path 100

Men Time
1 Craig Holgate 14:09:54
2 Sam Pullan 17:01:15
3 Mark Greyner 17:11:54

 

Women Time
1 Samantha Amend 16:00:09
2 Mari Mauland 19:11:25
3 Hilde Ackenhausen 19:34:57

Yading Skyrun

The Skyrunner World Series opened the season with a first race in China. A 30km route reached altitudes of 4,664M and the finishing point was at a temple was at 4,000M. This is Sky Running following its ethos of ‘Less cloud. More Sky’.

The race was won by Nepalese Bhin Gurung in a fast time and a small cushion of less than two minutes ahead of Italian Tadei Pivk.

American Megan Kimmel certainly made her trip to China worthwhile with a solid win ahead of Chinese Wenrong Zhen by thirty six minutes and picking up a $3000 winners prize.

Bryon Powell of irunfar.com completed the race in 4:18 for fourteenth place as part of his Hardrock 100 training.

Yading Skyrun

Men Time
1 Bhin Gurung (Nepal) 03:08:30
2 Tadei Pivk (Italy) 03:10:18
3 Marc Casal Mir (And) 03:11:28

 

Women Time
1 Megan Kimmel (USA 03:20:39
2 Wenrong Zhen (China) 03:56:17
3 Ragna Debats 03:57:39

 

News from the blogs

Dakota Jones

DJ has been travelling to Europe and has taken the unusual option to cross the pond by cargo ship in an effort to be ecologically friendly. Read his article on iRunFar as he debates with himself and the reader with the realities of this chosen method and whether it is indeed saving the planet.   http://www.irunfar.com/2016/05/dakota-on-the-dalian.html

During his trip to Ireland  DJ hooked up with legends Scott Jurek & Rickey Gates before heading across to Wales and then the Lake District for Salomon Advanced week. Check out his athlete Facebook page for the updates.

http://thatdakotajones.com/

Ellie Greenwood

In preparation for Comrades Ellie raced Chuckanut 50k for yet another win. then it was off to the UK and the Lake District for Salomon Advanced Week. The athletes generally have a great time taking the opportunity to train together but more importantly testing out new kit and giving feedback. The results of which go back into the end product that we see as the consumer.  To round the week off many of the team tried out a fell race, The Coledale Horseshoe – check out the results The Coledale Horsehoe Results 2016 .

Watch out for Ellie as she takes on the Russian twins on the Comrades down run at the end of this month.

http://elliegreenwood.blogspot.co.uk/

Sage Canaday

Sage Canaday has a great You Tube channel V02max Productions and you will find a wealth of information as he chronicles the various stages of his training and racing. Towards the latter part of last year and early this year he was focussed on making the US Olympic Trials, narrowly missing qualification by 12 seconds.  His times over four marathons were between 2:19:12 and 2:20:32, very consistent but as Sage opens up in his review he was perhaps overcautious and should stepped up his mileage from an average 80 miles a week to an average 120-130 miles a week. Its an interesting read and provides a useful process emphasizing the importance of having a good training diary and post event analysis to improve future training.

http://sagecanaday.com/

Jason Schlarb

Skiing the Hardrock 100 course has never been done before. Jason and friends took on the mighty course in a counterclockwise direction over four days and nights in March. Hear all about it on this podcast from the US  Ultra Runner.

http://www.jasonschlarb.com/

Sondre Amdahl

Fresh from Marathon des Sables Sondre Amdahl tells all about his experience of racing in probably the most iconic desert multi day stage race where he finished ninth overall.  His report provides some great explanation of his approach to the race including gear and nutrition and mistakes he made. Great reading!

Hjem

Meghan Arbogast

Meghan Arbogast is a 53 year old ultra runner and she live in Cool California. that is Cool!  She is a mum, massage therapist and coach. How on earth she fits in high quality training into what looks like an incredibly busy schedule I’ve no idea but read her blog and you will out more. Recently running the Moab 55k in 5:21 – 4th female and 1st master.

About Meghan Arbogast

 

UTWT standings after five races

Men Points
1 Jordi Gamito 447
2 Gediminas Grinius 402
3 Cyril Cointre 389

 

Women Points
1 Caroline Chaverot 405
2 Andrea Huser 360
3 Silvia Trigueros Garrote 333

IMG_2280

The next event on the UTWT calendar is the Ultra Trail Australia on May 14th. The race is 100km with 4,200M of vertical ascent held in the magnificent Blue Mountain National Park in New South Wales, Australia. Update : The race was won by Pau Capell & Beth Cardelli

Up and coming races

Zegama – May 22nd

Grand Union Canal Race 145 miles– May 24th

Comrades 89 kms – May 29th

Ultra Madeira – June 4th

South Downs Way 100 – June 11th

 

ULTRA RUNNING NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

In this month’s column we bring you news from the opening rounds of the Ultra Trail World Tour in Hong Kong and New Zealand.

The UTWT series has twelve events spanning five continents and ranging from 100km to 100miles.  The third race in the series is in the Canary Islands – Transgrancanaria.

Hong Kong 100

Fresh from winter training and a lay off of a couple of months (was it really that long?) the UTWT season opener in Hong Kong was likely to be hot and humid but weather conditions this year surprised everyone! With think frost turning into ice the race was rerouted and eventually stopped early.

Francois D’Haene was out in the lead pack with second place Yan Long Fei from China. These two would leap frog each other interchanging as each technical section switched to a flatter one with Long Fei marathon speed dominating on the flatter sections. D’Haene eventually raced out ahead taking a new course record in the process. Lithuanian Gediminas Grinius had a super solid race running in third place comfortably ahead of Pau Capell of Spain by thirteen minutes.

China’s Dong Li commanded the women’s race leading from the start and taking out the win in a very respectable 12:05:32 and over twenty-five minutes ahead of Italy’s Lisa Borzani. Spanish runner Silvia Trigueros briefly held second place and lost out to Borzani over the final kilometres finishing just four minutes behind.

Hong Kong – 100km

Men Time
1 Francois D’haene 09:32:26
2 Yan Long-Fei 09:37:17
3 Gediminas Grinius 09:53:51

 

Women Time
1 Dong Li 12:05:32
2 Lisa Borzani 12:30:41
3 Silvia Trigueros 12:34:23

Tarawera

For the second round of the UTWT we headed off to New Zealand for 100km of warm rain. Sweden’s Jonas Budd and New Zealand’s Fiona Hayvice were the ones who took top spot on the podium.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND – FEBRUARY 06: Jonas Buud of Sweden cools off during the Tarawera Ultramarathon on February 6, 2016 in Rotorua, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Jonas Budd was to lead from start to finish closely tracked by Australian David Byrne but Budd’s devilish speed enabled him to push ahead at around 72 kilometres and from there it was a sure fire victory. Byrne finishing twenty-two minutes back was exhausted but pleased with his performance given that this was his longest ultra to date. South Africa’s Ryan Sandes, after a terrible 2015 recovering from over-racing in 2014, came with back with a bang and took a creditable third place.

American’s Jason Schlarb and Michael Wardian were sixth and seventh respectively.

Ruby Muir was the pre race favourite but dropped after suffering with quad issues but succumbing to stomach problems at around 80 kilometers. Fiona Hayvice took advantage and had been tracking Muir and then took full advantage with twenty kilometres to go. Australian’s Melissa Robertson and New Zealand’s Fiona Eagles grabbed second and third respectively.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND – FEBRUARY 06: Fiona Hayvice of New Zealand celebrates while crossing the finish line to win the Tarawera Ultramarathon on February 6, 2016 in Rotorua, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Tarawera – 100km

Men Time
1 Jonas Budd 08:00:53
2 David Byrne 08:22:39
3 Ryan Sandes 08:30:40

 

Women Time
1 Fiona Hayvice 10:34:26
2 Melissa Robertson 10:56:20
3 Fiona Eagles 11:24:57

The next event in the UTWT calendar is Transgrancanaria on the Canary island of Gran Canaria off the coast of North West Africa. A challenging event of 125km traversing the island from North to South along it’s mountainous spine and finally reaching the beachfront of Meloneras.  It is usually hot and dry, so the conditions will test the runner’s heat acclimation and hydration. Some have fallen due to the early season heat. It looks like there is a stacked field so watch out for our pre-race guide to the top runners bidding for success at Transgrancanaria.