Tag Archives: Andy Symonds

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 – 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 – Day 2 Results

El Morabity and Barnes take control

The second stage of this year’s Marathon des Sables was 39km with three checkpoints. The trio of top Moroccan runners remained at the top although finishing this second stage in a different order with 2016 winner Rachid El Morabity taking the stage win and adding eight valuable minutes.

Thomas Evans from the UK ran the stage in fourth place to keep within a few seconds of the leaders and still well in contention of third place.

Place Name Time
1st Rachid El Morabity 3:04:52
2nd Abdelkader El Mouaziz 3:12:15
3rd Mohamed El Morabity 3:14:31

Top Brits

Place Name Time
4th Thomas Evans 3:14:35
6th Andy Symonds 3:21:19
12th Andrew Fargus 3:49:52

Winner in 2015 Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes continued her strong MDS challenge and eclipsed Brazilian Fernanda Maciel by over eleven minutes. Barnes now has a seventeen minutes lead overall going into tomorrow’s third stage of 31.6km.

Place Name Time  
1st Elisabet Barnes 3:49:04 11th overall
2nd Fernanda Maciel 4:00:42 19th overall
3rd Nathalie Mauclair 4:04:14 20rd overall

Other contenders :

Emilie Lecomte – 4th             4:31:11

Aziza Raji – 5th                    4:41:37

Melanie Rousset – 7th    4:58:00

Top Brits

Place Name Time
67th Jennifer Hill 4:45:52
114th Josephine Adams 5:11:02
164th Jane Keenan 5:31:31

 

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

 

LAVAREDO ULTRA TRAIL – RESULTS & PHOTO GALLERY

An exciting race unfolded at the 2016 Lavaredo Ultra Trail with Great Britain’s Andy Symonds dominating the race from start to finish and setting a new course record in a time of 12:15:06. Switzerland’s Andrea Huser demonstrated her solid racing credentials at this 119km distance with a deserved win in a time of 14:32:39.

2016 Lavaredo Ultra Trail – Men’s Race

The scene was set in the mountain town of Cortina in the Italian Dolomites; and 119km of sweet trails and beautiful vistas was on the menu. The weather in the days ahead of the race had steadily risen in temperature from the low teens to a very warm 30 degrees Celsius.  But fortunately just two hours before the start, the heavens opened and relieved the heat, making it a bit more bearable.  As the runners amassed at the start line, pre-race nerves and anticipation were swapped for readiness for the 11p.m. start time.  The gun went off and the runners charged down the paved streets of Cortina with a large crowd cheering them all the way.  It was sign of things to come as the pace never even settled, it was frenetic from the start and it didn’t cease.  By the time they had reached Ospitale at 18km, race winner Symonds was in the top three and only two minutes off the course record pace set by last year’s winner Didrik Hermansen, and it was only to get better as the race progressed. Scott Hawker and Pau Capell Gil were also in the top six, a position they were to hold throughout the race.

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Andy Symonds with a new course record after totally dominating the race

 

By the time the field reached Federavecchia at 33kms Symonds was a clear front leader and starting to make ground on the course record. Lithuanian Gediminas Grinius had slowly moved up and was in fourth and by Refugio Auronzo at 48km he was in second place just seconds ahead of Sylvain Court of France.  Symonds’ lead was four minutes at this stage and incredibly he kept increasing this lead with a dominant display of running, dipping under course record pace by a full 10 minutes from Cimabanche (67km) onwards.  Grinius worked hard in the latter stages to reduce the deficit, eventually finishing eight minutes behind the winner and also under the old course record.

 

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Gediminas Grinius happy for his second place

 

The surprise of the day was the performance of Spain’s Javier Dominguez, at 33km he was not even in the top 10, moving to seventh at Malga Ra Stua (75km). His progression to a third place podium spot was phenomenal as he was five minutes behind Hawker and Capell Gil at Malga Ra Stua and when they had reached Passo Giau (102km) he had taken third spot passing Hawker, Capell Gil and Court and remained solid from there to the finish line.

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Javier Dominguez jubilant at his third place

But the day was all about Andy Symonds complete dominance and front running at an unrelenting pace, a true privilege to have witnessed.

2016 Lavaredo Men’s Results

Place Name Time
1 Andy Symonds (Scott) 12:15:06
2 Gediminas Grinius (Vibram) 12:23:06
3 Javier Dominguez (Vibram) 12:36:45
4 Sylvain Court (Adidas) 12:53:04
5 Scott Hawker (Hoka One One) 13:00:37
6 Pau Capell Gil (Compressport) 13:02:32
7 Jonas Buud (Asics) 13:14:47
8 Marco Zanchi (Vibram) 13:21:11
9 Antony Gay (Sigvaris Sport) 13:22:31
10 Giuliano Cavallo (Salomon) 13:33:35

 

Other finishers of note:

22ndJez Bragg          14:54:24

48thNick Clark         16:04:06

67thGary Gellin        16:50:06

104thMike Foote       18:01:09

2016 Lavaredo Ultra Trail – Women’s Race

Andrea Huser finally claimed a significant major race victory to add to the many podium places she has earned over the years. She really has this distance nailed and her disciplined approach allowed her to take first place in a time of 14:32 whilst her competitors could not match her unrelenting progress through the field. Huser’s final time was over forty minutes ahead of second placed Uxue Fraile Azpietia of Spain with a time comparable to Rory Bosio’s winning time of 2014. Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel took the final podium spot as she fought hard to move up the field from outside the top five at Refugio Auronzo (48km). Maciel’s time being less than seven minutes behind Fraile Azpietia and looking strong all the way through to the finish.

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Andrea Huser claims a deserved victory

 

Cristina Follador was the top Italian finishing in fourth and looking remarkably fresh at the end. New Zealanders Marie McNaughton and Sophie Grant impressed with really strong runs finishing fifth and sixth.   It was refreshing to see Lizzy Hawker back on the international racing scene, and in the early stages she was lying in fifth place, finally placing in the top ten in ninth, after a spell of power hiking with Bosio and Mike Foote who were both having a tough day on the trails.

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Sophie Grant on her way to sixth place – still smiling!

 

But ultimately this was Huser’s day to celebrate a long awaited international race victory.

2016 Lavaredo Women’s Results

Place Name Time
1 Andrea Huser (Mammut) 14:32:39
2 Uxue Fraile Azpietia (Vibram) 15:13:09
3 Fernanda Maciel (The North Face) 15:20:57
4 Christina Follador (Aldo Moro Paluzzo) 16:30:37
5 Marie McNaughton (Gone running HK) 16:38:44
6 Sophie Grant 16:48:30
7 Manuela Vilaseca (Buff Pro Team) 17:10:30
8 Katie Roby (MDC) 17:28:15
9 Lizzy Hawker (The North Face) 17:32:15
10 Yulia Baykova (Vibram) 17:33:10

                                               

Other finishers of note:

14thRory Bosio         18:01:08

Photo Gallery

 

 

All photos are copyright – Ian Campbell Photography

2016 TRANSGRANCANARIA RACE REPORT

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Caroline Chaverot cruising into Ayagaures 107km

 

Two different tactics were employed at the 125km Transgrancanaria this weekend. Go out hard from the gun and keep charging or hang with the lead group and wait for the moment to charge. Fortunately both strategies ended with wins and course records for France’s Caroline Chaverot 15:23:40 and Norway’s Didrik Hermansen 13:41:48 respectively.

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Didrik Hermansen running strong into Ayagaures 107km

 

For Chaverot it was an inspired performance showing absolute confidence in her ability and sheer guts to take it out from the front and just keep charging knowing that you have a strong field behind you ready to pounce at any slip up. After 125km of ultimately controlled running by Chaverot her lead was nearly two whole hours ahead of Switzerland’s Andrea Huser in 17:21:43.  In third place and only seven minutes behind was Spain’s Uxue Fraile Azpeitia in 17:28:05.

On the other hand Hermansen played it conservatively, at first running his own race but keeping in the lead pack and then pushing harder and then harder still to take the lead. His was a race of guts as well, knowing that he had some really strong guys behind him that he had overtaken but who could quite easily reel him back in with any momentary slip up in pace. But he didn’t slow up and once he had that lead he took it all the way, again with total confidence in his ability. His finish time of 13:41:48 created a new course record by a whole forty two minutes. Lithuanian and 2015 Transgrancanaria champion Gediminas Grinius came in a strong second in a time of 13:45:08.  In joint third were Catalan Pau Capell, winner of the Advanced race in 2015, with Switzerland’s Diego Pazos both in a time of 14:11:02.

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As the clock chimed 11PM in Agaete the seventeenth edition of the Transgrancanaria started on the north west of the island of Gran Canaria. The amassed runners would have a challenging race ahead of them with not only 125km of technical running but a mixture of temperatures to deal with along their journey. The night time journey would be cold with strong winds and low cloud cover followed by 25C dry and arid heat as the midday sun rose through the afternoon. For many a second night would be part of their journey as they attempted to finish within the 30 hour cut off at 5AM on Sunday morning.

Artenara is at 33km and is a crucial point in the race. Frenchman Aurelian Collet (3:49 elapsed) had built a lead of one minute ahead of # Capell, Pazos, Grinius and Longfei Yan followed by Jordi Gamito-Baus and Andy Symonds a further minute behind. All in fairly close contention at not even the midway point.

By contrast Chaverot reached Artenara with an elapsed time of 4:13 and a twenty one minute lead over Emelie Lecomte. Nuria Picas followed very shortly but was to drop out at this point with a psoas injury.

At Teror (56km) Collet was in with 6:09 elapsed followed by Pazos two minutes later. Grinius & Hermansen were in third and sixh places and running strongly only two and eight minutes back from Collet. Julien Chorier was in a top ten position but was rattled by not being able to pick up some supplies at this aid station.  Chaverot’s lead at Teror had built up to thirty nine and forty four minutes over a second and third placed Huser & Azpeitia.

As daylight broke, the runners reached (82km) past Roque Nublo and onto the checkpoint in the woods of Garanon.

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Aurelian Collet leading coming into Garanon at 82km

Still in the lead was Collet at a fast pace (9:35 elapsed) seven minutes ahead of Grinius who looked like he was working hard.

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Gediminas Grinius chasing for the lead at Garanon 82km

Hermansen was now on his charge and was only two minutes behind Grinius and was moving comfortably climbing up to the aid station.

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Andy Symonds & Jonas Budd reach Garanon 82km

 

The course this year had rerouted its last twenty five kilometres to make for a better finishing route and runners were treated to a slightly technical but more enjoyable finishing experience. At the small village of Ayaguares (107km) situated next to a dam and just prior to another ascent was the penultimate aid station. The runners came in and did a mini switchback through the aid station before heading back and then over the dam wall and onwards and upwards. Hermansen arrived first, coolly running into the aid station with 12:17 on the clock. As Grinius was literally two minutes behind, Hermansen made a very quick exit to try and extend his short lead. Grinius conscious of the twenty five kilometres left and the effort he would need to chase down Hermansen decided to make sure he refuelled well and stayed in longer. Collet was in third, look tired and five minutes down followed by Capell and Pazos who were running together in fourth and fifth.

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Pau Capell & Diego Pazos running together at Ayagaures

Andy Symonds was in sixth looking comfortable with an easy running stride. The wait for Chaverot wasn’t long as she arrived with 13:34 elapsed.  Looking fresh and with plenty of zip she cruised in and out of the aid station amid loud cheers.

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Andrea Huser consolidating second place – Ayagaures

But the wait for a second place Huser was long, 1:40 and she looked tired but made sure to refuel properly by walking out of the aid station. Azpeitia was ten minutes down on Huser and obviously made up ground in those final kilometres but not enough to take second.  All credit to Huser.

 

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Uxue Fraile Azpeitia staying strong for a third place and podium finish – Ayagaures 

Hermansen’s win followed his second place here last year and his win at Lavaredo. He goes on to Western States and hopefully UTMB later this year. He is on the up and we look forward to seeing him again on the big stage.

 

Chaverot was clearly in a race of her own. Phenomenal pace and guts to take it out from the front which is fast becoming her trademark method.  Again, like Hermansen she won at Lavaredo last year and was second at TGC.

Is this the forming of a new guard?

Men’s Results

1 Didrik Hermansen 13:41:48
2 Gediminas Grinius 13:45:08
3 Pau Capell 14:11:02
4 Diego Pazos 14:11:02
5 Andy Symonds 14:14:55
6 Jonas Budd 14:21:39
7 Julien Chorier 14:24:59
8 Vaidas Zlabys 14:30:17
9 Javier Dominguez-Ledo 14:39:46
10 Jordi Gamito-Baus 14:48:27

Women’s Results

1 Caroline Chaverot 15:23:40
2 Andrea Huser 17:21:43
3 Uxue Fraile-Azpeitia 17:28:05
4 Silvia Trigueros-Garrote 18:31:54
5 Adriana Vargas 18:35:21
6 Sophie Grant 18:43:22
7 Alexandra Clain 18:43:24
8 Lucinda Sousa 18:46:42
9 Dong Li 19:20:40
10 Denise Zimmerman 19:49:05