Tag Archives: Emelie Forsberg

ULTRARUNNING NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

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

Transgrancanaria

Norway’s Didrik Hermansen and France’s Caroline Chaverot improved on their 2015 second places to win the 2016 edition of this race and in the process both smashing the course records by a considerable margin.

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Didrik Hermansen climbing towards Garanon aid station

Two different race tactics were employed, Hermansen running with the lead group, biding his time and then charging at just over the halfway mark, whilst Chaverot, showing supreme confidence in her ability, charged from the front and just kept increasing that lead as the miles went by.

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Caroline Chaverot coming into Ayaguares 

Gediminas Grinius had a solid race beating his time from last year by thirty eight minutes and adding to his tally of UTWT points and ranking. In joint third was Catalan Pau Capell, running with Switzerlands Diego Pazos for much of the second half of the race.

In the women’s race Chaverot’s lead was nearly a whole two hours ahead of Switzerland’s Andrea Huser followed shortly by Spain’s Uxue Fraile Azpeitia.

Transgrancanaria – 125km

Men Time
1 Didrik Hermansen 13:41:48
2 Gediminas Grinius 13:45:08
3 – tied Pau Capell 14:11:02
3 – tied Diego Pazos 14:11:02

 

Women Time
1 Caroline Chaverot 15:23:40
2 Andrea Huser 17:21:43
3 Uxue Fraile-Azpeitia 17:28:05

 

News from the blogs

Nuria Picas

Nuria Picas dropped from Transgrancanaria in Artenara (33km) citing a psoas muscle injury to her left leg. It looks like Nuria will be in Soller, Mallorca in the middle of March helping Tofol Castanyer with his training camp over three intense days.  One thing is for sure the trails are fantastic in Mallorca and Soller is a really beautiful place to be based.

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Nuria giving fellow Buff athlete Yeray Duran encouragement for the last 25km of TGC 

http://nuriapicas.com/home/

Caroline Chaverot

Obviously excited from her success at Transgrancanaria Caroline was very prompt in her race report, written the same day as she finished. In French, its worth translating and reading – After Teror, I find that I’m way ahead of last year, since I will make all the next climb, which is beautiful at sunrise, at night.’

http://carochav.blogspot.co.uk/

Emelie Forsberg

Emelie Forsberg had a well-publicized ski accident in early February where she tore her cruciate ligament meaning that she will be out of trail running action this season. Her rehab continues with measured amounts of isometric exercises and cycling on a turbo trainer. We wish her a speedy recovery.

http://www.emelieforsberg.com/category/blog-english/

Anna Frost

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Anna loves those La Palma trails – She will be back there this May

Look out for Anna Frost in the Lake District, UK when the rest of the Salomon team meet for the Salomon Advanced Week in April. Anna also has Transvulcania and Hardrock 100 on her schedule as well a trip to Bhutan in October among other things.

https://frostysfootsteps.wordpress.com/

Didrik Hermansen

Didrik’s Facebook account confirmed that he took it easy as he worked his way up the field at Transgrancanaria before taking first place on the downhill towards Ayaguares with around twenty five kilometres to go. What was not apparent was the back and forth that he and Gediminas Grinius had had leading up to this point. View www.irunfar.com postrace interview for a more in depth analysis.

Hermansen also held a contest to guess his TGC finish time. Fredrik Olmqvist guessed to within eight minutes. Given that Hermansen blew away the old course record by forty two minutes, it was a well-informed guess!

Gediminas Grinius

A thoughtful piece from Gediminas about potentially overtraining leading into Diagonal des Fous in 2015 – ‘was a disaster, which I never would like to repeat’ at Diagonal des Fous and refocusing for 2016. Grinius tells us about his race plans for 2016 starting with Vibram HK – ‘A’ race and third place, Transgrancanaria – ‘B’ race not bad as he came second,  3R (rock and roll and recreation), Lavaredo in June ‘B’ race, UTMB – obviously an ‘A’ race and Diagonal des Fous – ‘A+’ race again ‘Put all in – revenge!’  We can’t wait to see how his seasons pans out.  What’s clear is that Grinius wants to re-balance his running commitments with the rest of his life.

https://d2g2.wordpress.com/

Tim Tollefson

Tim Tollefson had a character building race at Transgrancanaria. Finishing in 101st place in a time of 19:37:14 it was surely not the plan from the outset. Tollefson’s Facebook post shortly after the race says it all ‘It was absolutely stunningly gorgeous. Objectively if I could’ve appreciated that I would’ve been happy but since I was in so much agony I’d look up and see the view and say “oh that’s cool” and then go back to realizing how horrible this is’ and the reason ‘My quads were shot and blister ridden feet felt like hamburger meat’. Thanks for the insight Tim and massive congratulations on gutting it out for the finish.

 

UTWT standings after three races

Men Points
1 Gediminas Grinius 402
2 Pau Capell-Gil 381
3 Jonas Budd 377

 

Women Points
1 Silvia Trigueros-Garrote 333
2 Dong Li 319
3 Caroline Chaverot 235

 

The next event in the UTWT calendar is Marathon Des Sables in Morocco from April 10th to 15th.  This will be the 31st edition of this challenging multi-stage event covering 250km.  A whole host of quality North African athletes, including several past winners will be taking it out from the front. The notable International athletes competing are: Elisabet Barnes, Erik Clavery, Laurence Klein, Meghan Arbogast, Jason Schlarb, Marco Olmo and Sondre Amdahl.

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LIMONE EXTREME – RACE PREVIEW

The Skyrunner World Series (SWS) arrives at the Limone Extreme Skyrace in northern Italy for the final round of the Sky division series. Limone is on the shores of Lake Garda and affords beautiful views across the lake from the peaks that runners will traverse as they race the 23-kilometer course.

Petro Mamu

Petro Mamu – Winner 2014

The men’s Sky series race is really between Italy’s Tadei Pivk, who leads by a 34-point margin over Spain’s Manuel Merillas, 366 to 332 points, respectively.

The women’s series remains much more open. With 364 points, Spain’s Laura Orgué leads Italy’s Elisa Desco by 14 points followed by Spain’s Maite Maiora at 42 points off the lead. American Megan Kimmel has huge potential, as she has 300 points but that’s out of only three races scored. Last year’s SWS Sky division champion and fellow American Stevie Kremer has 254 points and although not mathematically out of contention for the championship, she will be giving her all to see if she can make an overall second or third place.

To put this all into context, it’s 100 points for the win, 88 for second, and 78 for third with the added flavor of a bonus 20% added after that because this is the final race in the series. Do the math and you can see that anyone of these men and women could be crowned the SWS Sky champion of 2015.

Given that Limone is just plain a highlight of the Euro mountain-running season, the competition is heightened by plenty of men and women who aren’t competing in the Skyrunning series.

Kilian VK_DSC5702

As with many Skyrunning events, the weekend includes a Vertical Kilometer (VK), the last of this year’s SWS VK division, and many runners will take on both events. The added fun for Limone is that the VK is held at night with stunning views of Limone and Lake Garda lit up in the early evening.

 

2015 Limone Extreme Skyrace Men’s Preview

Tadei Pivk (Italy) was fifth here in 2014, but his 2015 has been incredible. In 2015, he won the Zegama Marathon (interview) and Dolomites Skyrace, and he was second at The Rut 25k. A couple weeks ago, he was third at the Lantau 2 Peaks 23k. Tadei finished fourth in the 2014 SWS Sky division, so he should move up several positions this year.

Manuel Merillas (Spain) finished 10th here last year, and was seventh in the 2014 SWS Sky division. In 2015, he finished second to Tadei at Zegama, and second also at Matterhorn Ultraks and Lantau 2 Peaks, but ahead of third place Tadei at Lantau. While he trails Tadei in the series rankings, he’s beat him once this season, proving his potential to do so again and take this year’s Sky series.

Egea

Aritz Egea

Aritz Egea (Spain) sits in third in the 2015 SWS Sky series, with his best performances so far being a third at Matterhorn Ultraks and fourth in Zegama. His main concern on the weekend will be staying ahead in series points over the men sitting in fourth, fifth, and sixth places as they are just four, four, and six points back, respectively.

Tom Owens (U.K.) is in fourth in the SWS Sky rankings via these strong performances: fourth at the MSIG Sai Kung 28k and two sixth places at Dolomites and Matterhorn Ultraks. It’s just a six-point spread between third and sixth places in the series rankings with all those men racing this weekend, any man’s game for the third spot on the podium.

Marco De Gasperi

Marco De Gasperi

Marco de Gasperi (Italy) placed fourth here in 2014. He sits in ninth in the Sky series rankings for this year, with two third-place finishes at the MSIG Sai Kung 28k and The Rut 25k.He probably won’t move up too much in the series rankings, but he’s always a race influencer, gunning it from the get go.

Other Notable Men

Hassan Ait Chaou (Spain) – Currently 8th in the SWS Sky series

Stian Angermund (Norway) – Winner 2015 Blåmann VK among a competitive field

Martin Anthamatten (Switzerland) – Currently 6th in the SWS Sky series, but only six points out of third. He’s on his way up in the sport right now, so he’s a great bet for moving up onto the series podium.

Pere Aurell (Spain) – Currently 13th in the SWS Sky series

Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) – Another rising star, he’s in 11th in the SWS Sky ranking, but that’s via just two series races wins at The Rut 25k and Lantau 2 Peaks. He won’t podium in the Sky series this year, but watch out for this young skimo athlete turned trail runner both for the podium this weekend and in the future.

Thibaut Baronian (France) – Winner 2014 Wings for Life France, 15th 2014 Sierre-Zinal

Marc Casal Mir (Andorra)

Oscar Casal Mir (Andorra) – 7th 2014 Matterhorn Ultraks, currently 21st in the SWS Sky series

Martin Gaffuri (France)

Jokin Lizeaga (Spain) – 8th 2014 Zegama Marathon

Thorbjørn Ludvigsen (Norway) – 11th 2014 Zegama Marathon

Dai Matsumoto (Japan) – Currently 10th in the 2015 SWS Sky series

Pere Rullan (Spain) – Currently 7th in the 2015 SWS Sky series

Ionut Zinca (Romania) – Currently 5th in the SWS Sky division, within a close spread between 3rd and 6th places

2015 Limone Extreme Skyrace Women’s Preview

Laura Orgue

Laura Orgue

Laura Orgué (Spain) took fourth here at Limone last year. In 2015 SWS Sky series races, she’s won the Ti Dodo Trail 25k and has had three second-place finishes at Dolomites, The Rut 25k, and Lantau 2 Peaks 23k. She was the 2014 SWS VK Champion and she took fourth place in the 2014 SWS Sky division. It looks like she’ll move up several spots in the Sky series this year as long as she races well on the weekend.

Elisa Desco

Elisa Desco

Elisa Desco (Italy) took third place here in 2014 and was also third in the 2014 SWS Sky division. She’s 14 points out of first position in the series with wins at the MSIG Sai Kung 28k and Matterhorn Ultraks.

 

 

 

Antonella Confortella Wyatt (Italy) is a 2006 Winter Olympics bronze medalist in Nordic skiing who is married to mountain-running star Jono Wyatt. She competes in shorter-distance mountain races around Europe. This summer, she edged Laura at the La Sportiva Skaala Uphill, an 8.2k race. Can anyone provide beta on if and how Antonella’s raced at slightly longer mountain races?

Maite Maiora

Maite Maiora

Maite Maiora (Spain) is the returning Limone Extreme Skyrace champion, and she finished second in the 2014 SWS Sky series. Her best performance in the series so far this series is a second to Laura at the Ti Dodo Trail 25k.

Megan Kimmel (USA) is the best-performing female in the SWS Sky division this year. She has three victories at Dolomites, The Rut 25k, and Flagstaff Skyrace. While she’s in fourth in the series so far, she could win the series with a near-the-top performance this weekend.

Stevie Kremer

Stevie Kremer

Stevie Kremer (USA) was the 2014 SWS Sky Champion and she was second here in 2014 behind winner Maite. Stevie’s best performances so far this year in the series have been a win at the Buffalo Stampede Skyrace and a second place behind Elisa at Matterhorn Ultraks.

Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) is yet another rising Skyrunning star. A couple weekends ago she won the Lantau 2 Peaks in horrific weather. She’s in sixth place in the SWS Sky series ahead of this weekend.

Other Notable Women

Anna Comet (Spain) – 4th at 2015 Matterhorn Ultraks. With her 2nd at Transvulcania (interview) and 5th at Ultra Pirineu in 2015, the skimo star turned trail runner is proving herself well.

Denisa Dragomir (Italy) – 6th 2014 Limone Extreme Skyrace

Kasie Enman (USA) – 2nd 2015 US Mountain Running Champs (interview) and 10th 2015 World Mountain Running Championships

Azara García (Spain) – Winner 2015 Zegama Marathon (interview)

Stephanie Jimenez (Spain) – Currently 12th in the SWS Sky series with her best performance being 2nd behind Elisa at the MSIG Sai Kung 28k

Oihana Kortazar (Spain) – Currently 9th in the SWS Sky series

Manikala Rai (Nepal)

Anna Strakova (Czech Republic) – Currently 16th in the SWS Sky series

Zuzana Urbankova (Czech Republic)

On the Women’s Entrants List but Not Racing

Emelie Forsberg (Sweden)

This article was written for http://www.irunfar.com

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell Photography

 

 

IS IT ACTIVE PATCH 4U ? – OR JUST FOR ME!

Active Patch 4U – is it a worthwhile investment and does it work?   At a time of year when you are considering and entering races to do for the coming season and your probably well into base training whether that be running or a cross training activity, some of us are injured. Now its sort of okay over the Christmas and New Year period as other things tend to take over, but when your itching to get back into training and your injured it plays on your mind, all those lost days and how many weeks it will take to get back to some semblance of fitness. That’s when you start to ramp up your injury physiotherapy, rehabilitation exercises and indeed anything else that will get you back as quick as possible.  Well how about Active Patch 4U?

Active Patch 4U is a French based company created by founders Arnaud Tortel and Jacques Casper from an original idea by Casper and a collaboration between the two in 2009 that leads to 4 years of further research before the patch is put into production and branded Active Patch 4U.

Tortel is a physiotherapist and polar explorer who has knowledge of Chinese acupuncture. Casper who had developed the membrane idea in 2008 fine tunes the membrane size and concentration to achieve optimal results to the eventual patch you see now.

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Out of the box – Key Statistics

The patches can be ordered in boxes of 8, 16, 24, 40 or 100
They come in a number of colours, flesh, turquoise, plum or fuchsia.
Patch Size – 9.8 cm x 5 cm

Price

Depending on quantity ordered the patches are approx Eur 2 each.

Latest prices – Pack of 8 – Eur 19.90, pack of 16 – Eur 35.90, pack of 24 – Eur 49.90, pack of 40 – Eur 79.90 and pack of 100 – Eur 179.90

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Active Patch 4U versus a AA battery

Treatment

These patches are based on an acupuncture principal and so you usually need between three and four patches for any treatment. The Active Patch 4U website has an excellent self help zone for guidance in how to use and apply the patches. They are primarily for joint and muscle problems.

Here is list of typical applications.

Ankle, Knee, Hip, Hands, Elbow, Shoulder, Lumber Region, Cervical Region and Dorsal Region.

The Active Patch 4U team have enlisted a series of well known trail and ultra running athletes to lead the way in testing the patches. Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg, Ricky Lightfoot, Tim Olson, Anton Krupicka, Anna Frost, Julien Chorier, Stevie Kremer and Francois d’Haene to name but a few. What would be really interesting is to see if mainstream athletics such as track and field would start to use the patches and endorse them?

Field Test

Treatments – I have used the patches on several occasions for the following issues.

  • Discomfort linked to the stability of the ankle
  • Discomfort in the calf
  • Discomfort on the top of the foot and toes
  • Discomfort in the hamstrings

Application of the patches was followed as per the website diagrams. I am a great believer that health is all in the mind, so a sort of placebo effect is important. If you invested several pounds in the patches you have to believe in their success. I would also advocate that the patches are used as part of a holistic approach to healing. You cannot just rely on sticking a few patches on and think that in a day or two it will go away. Seek and use other healing processes whether that is stretching, physiotherapy or just even rest.

In all my cases, the injury was resolved within a few days. What did I like about these patches? They are easy to carry around with you if you are traveling, they last for at least five days quite well even after being soaked in showers everyday and that does not detract from their stickiness.

There is a whole other facet to these patches in their use as preventive treatment. To date, I have not done this but as I have had recurrent ankle injuries I am going to embark on some preventative measures with the patches and see the outcome. The trouble with this is that there are so many variables that one could not for sure really attribute it to just the patches. But surely that is what it is about? , these patches are part of an armoury you can use to prevent, treat and have a successful running career and isn’t that what everyone is seeking!!

Latest update : December 2014 – With a another, this time left leg, hamstring issue and some physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises done without total success I am now embarking on some patch treatment. I believe in these little patches so will be aiming to get back to training in very early January 2015.

All images are copyright Ian Campbell – Photography

WINNING TIMES FOR ZEGAMA

The men’s and women’s course records go back to 2005 and 2009 respectively.

  • 3 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds (Rob Jebb) – 2005.
  • 4 hours, 38 minutes, 19 seconds (Emanuela Brizio) – 2009.

My prediction

Men Women
Kilian Jornet Emelie Forsberg
Luis Alberto Hernando Stevie Kremer
Tom Owens Nuria Picas

Mens Race

Lets talk about the mens race. A sub 4 hour time is pretty much de rigueur for the win. In fact, every year from 2007 onwards, with the exception of 2009 its been won by a certain Kilian Jornet, in under 4 hours. And why not 2009, because KJ didn’t compete!!!

How many people can compete with this speed? Not too many by the look of past results. If you take a glance at the previous years results since 2007 a sub 4 hour time has only been achieved 12 times, 6 times by KJ, and the other notable and most recent being Luis Albert Hernando, Tom Owens, Zaid Ait Malek and Tadie Pivk.

There are not too many capable of breaking that 4 hour barrier so for me the race is down to Kilian, Luis Alberto and Tom.

Will Luis Alberto be leading Kilian just as he did at Transvulcania?

Will Luis Alberto be leading Kilian just as he did at Transvulcania?

For the last two years the mens race has been between Kilian and Luis Alberto with Kilian coming out on top twice with last years race right down to the wire by just 12 seconds and only off the course record by 20 seconds!   Also worth noting is that the top 4 were under 4 hours in 2013.

Luis Hernando is just fresh from his victory at Transvulcania reversing the prior years race and beating Kilian. He looked in super form, can he carry he it through to Zegama or will Kilian regain his superiority and take out the win?

Womens Race

The women’s race is far more wide open and especially so due to recent performances by some of the leading contenders, Nuria Picas has raced and won hard in the last two months, Emelie Forsberg will no doubt be fresher due to her unlucky DNF due to injury at Transvulcania.

Nuria Picas at Transgrancanaria - Will she be as strong?

Nuria Picas at Transgrancanaria – Will she be as strong?

A sub 4hr 50mins has got to be the winning time. That’s still a long way off the course record of 4:38. There are not many out there that can break that 4:50 time barrier, in fact only 5 women from past results. The top 3 from 2013 all did so being Emelie Forsberg, Nuria Picas and Stevie Kremer but they would need to shave a cool 10 minutes off their times to come close to a course record. My money is on the same 1-2-3 as 2013 but with a slight change in the running order.

What else, but to wait in anticipation and excitement for a great race at Zegama! Let the racing begin………..

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photography

 

ZEGAMA

Zegama is the first of the 2014 Sky Running Series and second race of the Sky World Series, the last being Transvulcania. 

Zegama takes place on May 25th and is marathon distance.   Just saying it is of marathon distance doesn’t really do the race justice. Lets look at some of the statistics of this race:

  • Distance : 42.195km
  • Vertical ascent : 5,472m
  • Max Altitude : 1,551m
  • Min Altitude : 296m
  • Technicality : 70%
  • Mountain route with potential for heat, strong winds, fog or rain.

Compare that to Transvulcania which had 4,415m of vertical ascent in its 73km and you suddenly see how tough this race is going to be coming just two weeks after TV.  Starting in Zegama the runners have an approx 17km sustained climb to Aratz at 1,400m, a short descent of about 4km to drop down 400m and then a steep climb of 500m+ in about 2km to Aikzorri the highest point of the course. From there its mostly downhill for 19km to the finish with a short climb to Andraitz at 1,400m thrown in for good measure.   A tough course compounded by the fact that shoe choice will be paramount.  Back in 2012 several of the American runners made the wrong shoe choice and paid for it when they hit the muddy climbs of Zegama!

Course Records

  • 3 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds (Rob Jebb).
  • 4 hours, 38 minutes, 19 seconds (Emanuela Brizio).

This is a tricky technical route across the mountains of the Aratz massif and the Sierra of Aizkorri.  The last two years the mens race has been between Kilian Jornet and Luis Hernando with Kilian coming out on top twice with last years race right down to the wire and 12 seconds!

Luis Hernando is just fresh from his victory at Transvulcania reversing the prior years race and beating Kilian. He looked in super form, can he carry he it through to Zegama or will Kilian regain his superiority and take out the win?

2013 Race results
Men
1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon Santiveri) – 3h54’38”  – only 20 seconds off the course record !
2. Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) – 3h54’50”
3. Tadei Pivk (Crazy Idea) – 3h58’07”

Women
1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 4h48’12”
2. Nuria Picas (FEEC) – 4h49’55”
3. Stevie Kremer (Salomon Agisko) – 4h49’58”

2012 Race results
Men
1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon Santiveri) – 3h56’04”
2. Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) – 4h00’40”
3. Tom Owens (Salomon) – 4h06’05”

Women
1. Oihana Kortazar Aranzeta (Salomon) – 4h52’30”
2. Nuria Picas (FEEC) – 5h01’26”
3. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 5h01’57”

We will look at the confirmed entrants once they are confirmed.

Footnote : Kilian Jornet has always run this race in under 4 hours. Why would 2014 be any different?

  • 2013 – 3h 54′
  • 2012 – 3h 56′
  • 2011 – 3h 57′
  • 2010 – 3h 56′
  • 2009 – did not compete
  • 2008 – 3h 59′

A STONKING WIN & COURSE RECORD BY ANNA FROST!

Transvulcania 2014 

The women’s race was just as exciting with Salomon athlete Anna Frost returning to top form to take out the win in a super fast time of 8:10:41 over second placed Maite Mayura Elizonda in 8:20:29. Anna sure loves this island, the people and this course!

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Anna Frost – Roque de Los Muchachos

Third place for the second year running was Uxue Fraile who must have had a tough last 21km as she dropped 5 minutes over second place from Roque de Los Muchachos or was because the first two were really flying!

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Maite Mayura Elizonda – Roque de Los Muchachos

Uxue Fraile

Uxue Fraile – Roque de Los Muchachos

At Roque de Los Muchachos Frost was strong and climbing well doing very little walking. She had 6 minutes on Elizonda who had a 23 minute lead on Fraile. That was to become 10 minutes and 28 minutes respectively.

Unfortunately Emelie Forsberg had to drop very early due to a severe hand injury from a fall at the start in Fuencaliente. I am sure it would have been a great race between the two F’s – Forsberg and Frost – and it would have been very exciting to see them both dice it out. Emelie’s time of 8:13:22 from when she won here last year would not have been fast enough so she would have had to be in really strong form to fight for the win. I am not sure that that would have happened by the look of how strong Frost was today.

Transvulcania 2014 - Womens podium

Transvulcania 2014 – Womens podium

Frost’s course record from 2012 of 8:11:30 was bettered by just under one minute on a course that has had a slight change adding about two minutes so maybe a comparable time of 8:08:41 is reasonable. That just shows that Anna is back on top form and fully recovered from her health issues of 2013 and looking to challenge for top honour’s this year. Can’t wait to see how she performs for the rest of 2014!

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photography