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A glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc is at risk of collapsing from melt linked to climate change and threatens UTMB Trails

One month after 2,300 runners toed the line at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, part of the course has been closed due to rapid glacial melt.

A glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc glacier is at risk of collapsing from melt linked to climate change. The Planprincieux Glacier sits on the Grandes Jorasses peak on the Mont Blanc massif above Courmayeur, Italy.  The small resort town is the halfway point for the UTMB and the starting point for the TDS and CCC races. 

Scientists have been using radar technology to monitor the glacier since 2013, and detected the accelerated melting via radar this summer. A summer heatwave is causing a lower chunk of the glacier to melt at a rate of two feet per day, according to glaciologist and alpinist Ulyana Horodyskyj, who has climbed Mont Blanc.

“The high air temperatures this summer have led to more melting and faster movement of the glacier down the mountain,” says Horodyskyj. “The glacier is always moving and always has a large crevasse, but this summer it’s melting faster and the crevasse is bigger.” The part of the glacier below the crevasse could break, and separate entirely. 

If it collapses, 250,000 cubic meters of ice could tear away from the mountain and crash into trails, roads and alpine refuges below. That impending danger has prompted road closures and evacuations. 

“For this region, in particular, the biggest impacts will be on tourism,” says Horodyskyj. 

Glacial melt could endanger trails like those on the UTMB course, and also affect local water supplies. Though it’s impossible to predict when exactly the glacier could collapse, the glacier’s speed has local officials and scientists concerned. 

“These phenomena once again shows that the mountain is going through a phase of strong change due to climatic factors. Therefore it is particularly vulnerable,” said the mayor of Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi, in a statement. 

Scientists have been monitoring thousands of glaciers across the Aosta Valley Region. Temperate glaciers, like the ones on Mont Blanc,  are essentially at melting point. Liquid water coexists with glacial ice, which makes them especially vulnerable to temperature variation caused by climate change. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, alpine glaciers would shed half of their ice by 2050. They could lose over 80 percent of their ice by 2100, according to Horodyskyj. 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned the United Nations General Assembly last week that this news just the beginning, and that Mont Blanc’s future “must shake us all and force us to mobilize”. 

(10/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Zoe Rom
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Lois “Marge” Stroebel, age 101, crosses finish line at Ohio State 4 Miler

Amid the crowd of 15,000 walking and running across the campus Saturday, Lois “Marge” Stroebel, 101, of the Dayton area, completed the charity 4 Miler for the second year in a row, with help from her granddaughter and friends. She was the oldest participant in the race ending in Ohio Stadium, but nearly 200 of them were over 70.

When she reached the north end zone inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday, Lois “Marge” Stroebel rose from her wheelchair, shed the sleeping bag she’d been bundled into like the stuffings of a burrito, and, powered by her own determination, headed straight for the 50-yard line.

Now, she wasn’t exactly bee-lining toward the big “O” at the center of the field, and her gray Nike sneakers weren’t leaving any smoke trails, but give her a break. She is 101 years old, after all.

After walking those last 50 yards and crossing the finish line at the seventh annual Ohio State 4 Miler to cheers, high-fives and a special acknowledgement from M3S Sports Race Director David Babner (who mistakenly announced Saturday was her birthday, thought it was in September), Stroebel said she wasn’t even tired.

“I didn’t do anything but sit here,” she said with a laugh as she pointed to her posse. “They did all the work.”

This is the second year that Stroebel has completed the race, the largest of its kind in the country with 15,000 walkers and runners wending their way through the Ohio State University campus and ending up on the Buckeye football field. Stroebel and her granddaughter, Beth Kreger, travel from Vandalia, near Dayton, and Kreger’s friends and co-workers, Scott and Wendy Tharp, come from Lancaster to join in.

Scott Tharp ran the whole 4 miles pushing Stroebel in her transport wheelchair (that means it has small wheels) while his wife and Kreger ran interference.

“Look out! We’ve got Grandma!” they yelled as they zigged and zagged through the sea of people. “Beep beep. Grandma’s coming through!”

The small wheels on the transport chair meant it wasn’t the steadiest thing on the route. Scott Tharp said his hands were numb at the end of the race from gripping it so tightly to keep control.

“It was sure bouncy and bumpy,” agreed Stroebel, who seemed to not understand what all the fuss over her was about. She still lives alone, after all, and she cooks her own meals, dresses herself and never misses her regular bridge game. Until three years ago, she still golfed regularly.

She has been a rabid Ohio State football fan as long as she can remember. But last year when Kreger, a triathlete, suggested her Gram compete in her first-ever race at Ohio Stadium, it surprised her.

“Why, I thought she was crazy!,” Stroebel said of the idea. Now, she has two race medals in her collection. “We have a lot of fun.”

(10/14/2019) ⚡AMP
by Holly Zachariah
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The Ohio State 4 Miler

The Ohio State 4 Miler

The Ohio State 4 Miler is the largest four-mile event in the United States with a sold-out field of 15,000 runners and walkers. The 7th Annual Ohio State 4 Miler will be held at 10am on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Ohio Stadium....

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The 35th Anniversary edition of Army Ten-Miler is this Sunday

The 35th Anniversary edition of Army Ten-Miler (ATM) is this Sunday, Oct. 13 at 8:00 a.m. EDT in Washington, DC. The 10-mile road race starts and finishes at the Pentagon, traversing a scenic course that takes the 35,000 runners through downtown Washington, D.C.

Race Weekend officially kicks off this Friday, Oct. 11 with the ATM Expo presented by Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU), at the DC Armory (2001 E. Capitol St., SE), offering deals on clothing, shoes, accessories and other health and fitness items. All runners must collect their bib and race packet at packet pick-up which takes place during the ATM Expo. There is no packet pick-up on Sunday/race day.

Free and open to the public, the ATM Expo highlights include Interactive Military Displays, presented by the U.S. Army Special Operations Recruiting Battalion (SORB) booth and on the lawn outside of the DC Armory.

SORB displays will feature the debut of ARMYCON’s live eSport gaming tournament, helicopters, 18-foot simulator trailer, Special Operations equipment and more. Open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Oct. 11-12, the Expo is accessible by Metrorail, taking the Blue, Orange or Silver Line and exiting at the Stadium/Armory Station, or, by car, park for free in Lot 3 at the Armory. U.S. Military or Civilians with CAC/USID may access the Expo at 8:30 a.m. both days.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will open Metrorail one hour early, at 7:00 a.m., on race day. Runners and spectators are advised to utilize the Trip Planner function at www.wmata.com to plan their trip to the Pentagon City Metro Station. 

(10/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Army Ten-Miler

Army Ten-Miler

The Army Ten-Miler is the second largest ten-mile race in the United States. It is held every October in Arlington, VA and Washington, DC, sponsored by the U.S. Army Military. Each year tens of thousands of runners and spectators come to Washington, DC to join in this race classic. The Army Ten-Miler proceeds support Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation, a...

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Great Britain’s Jess Piasecki and Germany’s Hendrik Pfeiffer won the elite races at the Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon on Saturday

At the fifteenth kilometer mark Jess Piasecki and her Ukrainian rival Daria Mykhailova - who was contesting her third EuroHeroes Challenge race of the season - had broken away from the challengers and in the end victory went to Piasecki in 1:11:34, enhancing her personal best by two seconds. 

“The time is great, though I had wanted to do it a bit faster. I mainly concentrated on beating Daria. The finish was pretty tough. It was a good performance because I’m training for the Frankfurt marathon,” said Piasecki.

Mykhailova had to settle for second but she had more than good reason to be pleased with her efforts. Her time of 1:11:36 was nine seconds better than her personal best to date and it also meant she emerged as the overall winner of the EuroHeroes Challenge. 

Experiencing difficulties on the course, the anticipated series winner Lilia Fisikovici from Moldova only managed sixth place (1:14:06) and was thus toppled off her throne.

In the men’s race, Pfeiffer ran aggressively in the early stages despite the warm conditions on offer and ran a solo race, winning in 63:17 from Poland’s Marcin Chabowski (63:49) and Ukraine’s Roman Romanenko (63:51).

“I found the race really tough because it was so hot on the course. I ran really well during the first half, but the second half was a lot more up and down. By the tenth kilometer however I knew I was going for a personal best,” he said.

Not only did Pfeiffer break his lifetime best by 43 seconds, his time was also the fastest by a European in Usti nad Labem Half Marathon race history, bettering the mark of 64:06 held by Ukraine’s Dmytro Lashyn.

A total of 3539 runners took part in this year’s Usti nad Labem Half Marathon. A further 2556 parents and children also took part in the dm family run, with several dozen more competing in the Spolchemie Handbike Cup. 

The RunCzech race series in the Czech Republic will close with the Mattoni Liberec Nature Run, a trail race entering its second year which is held on 5 October. 

The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognizable brand for running activities throughout Europe.

(09/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon

Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon

Enjoy the urban run at the Ústí Half Marathon. The course leads alongside the river Elbe opening a view to impressive rock formations, Strekov castle and then crossing the area of a chemical factory which is a perfect example of industrial architecture of the First Republic. The Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon is an annual half marathon race which takes...

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LEMA BREAKS COURSE RECORD IN HENGSHUI

Ethiopia’s Marta Lema Megra took more than a minute off the course record to secure a convincing victory at the Hengshui Lake International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (22).

The 28-year-old Lema, who set a PB of 2:22:35 last year in Toronto, enjoyed a comfortable sole lead in the latter half of the race and wrapped up her first victory in China in 2:24:21.

It was Lema’s second appearance in Hengshui; she finished second in 2:25:59 four years ago behind Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop. And Kiprop’s winning mark of 2:25:43 had stood as the course record until Megra renewed it by 1:22.

Lema’s compatriot Askale Alemayehu trimmed nearly one-and-a-half minutes off her career best to finish second in 2:27:32. Her previous PB of 2:29:01 was set three years ago in Shanghai.

Olympian Tirfi Tsegaye finished third in 2:28:30 to complete an Ethiopian sweep of the podium. The 34-year-old, who won the 2016 Dubai Marathon in 2:19:41 and finished fourth at the Olympic Games later that year, was contesting her first marathon in three years having taken a maternity break.

As the fastest entrant in the men’s field, Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia led from gun to finish to claim the victory in 2:08:51.

A leading group of 12 runners paced the race to 10km in 30:37. After passing the 20km water tables in 1:00:10, the group started to wither rapidly as eight runners, including 2015 Hengshui winner Ernest Ngeno of Kenya, dropped off one after another.

Only four men were left in the leading pack after 25km and Ethiopia’s Teshome Girma quit the contest for the title before 40km.

The leading trio – Bantie, Bonsa Dida of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Joel Kemboi Kimurer – remained together until Bantie launched his powerful charge for the win with about 400 metres to go.

Bantie’s winning mark was a couple of minutes shy of the 2:06:23 PB he set four months ago in Prague, but it was his first ever marathon victory.

Dida, 24, bettered 2:10 for the first time as he finished second in 2:09:04. Kimurer, a 2:07:48 performer, trailed one more second behind to take the third place.

(09/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hengshui lake International Marathon

Hengshui lake International Marathon

The Hengshui Lake international Marathon, held in September every year, is considered one of China’s top sports and tourism events. The race takes competitors around the Northern Chinese city’s scenic Hengshui Lake. It attracts runners and spectators from throughout China and abroad. Nearly 16,000 runners participated in one of the three race categories - the Full Marathon, the Half Marathon...

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The annual Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, is running for a good cause the event will raise funds for cancer

The annual Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, held on September 14 and 15, 2019, is running for a good cause.

The marathon’s official beneficiary is the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), and will have a number of initiatives to raise awareness and funds.

“One in four people in South Africa is affected by cancer. Cancer does not discriminate against age, race or gender. Nor against income. And, as running is one of the most accessible sporting codes for all, we have the responsibility to highlight the illness to make more people aware of how to lower their risk,” says Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Brand at Sanlam.

This year, organisers have introduced a new campaign. Runners and fans are encouraged to join the Sanlam Cancer Crew for CANSA and fundraise, sponsor runners, or donate directly by visiting GivenGain.com or SCTM-gees.co.za.

“Sanlam and CANSA have been taking hands in the fight against cancer for over 27 years. This year, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon opens up the opportunity for runners to make a difference and run for good as they take on this race for those affected by cancer. 

We promote regular exercise and physical activity which plays a major role in leading a healthy balanced lifestyle and can lower your cancer risk,” says Maria Scholtz, CANSA’s Head of Sustainability.

A free cancer testing service with a FotoFinder Dermoscope screening specifically for skin cancer will also be available at the Expo.

The Sanlam Cape Town marathon is one of the biggest races in the country. It forms part of the weekend-long running festival that also includes two Peace Trail runs and a 5km peace run. The marathon is also the only climate-neutral marathon in the world.

This year, 13 500 runners from over 80 countries are expected to take part in the marathon. A total of 25 000 runners will cover all distances.

(09/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kirsten Jacobs
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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54-year-old James Kalani from Los Gatos California ran and logged the most miles for Run The World Challenge 6 which started July 3 and finished September 10

Run The World Challenge 6 just ended Tuesday September 10.  The ten week challenge attracted many runners and miles were logged in 14 countries. 

The idea of the challenge, which was started by lifetime runner Bob Anderson, is to run or walk and then log all your miles on the My Best Runs website. Many participants also posted a photo and comments every day like James Kalani and several others in the Run The World Feed. A total of 11,660 miles were logged during the ten weeks by the team.  That is 166 miles daily.  

James Kalani finished first with 1329 miles run and logged over the periiod which started July 3, 2019.  35-year-old Eliud Esinyen from Kenya was second with 1181 miles.  74-year-old Frank Bozanich finished 4th with 773 miles and Rosaline Nyawira from Kenya was first woman with 744 miles. 

James started running at birth.  "My mother says. I have always run. But due to  chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as numerous allergies, I was limited to how long I could run as a juvenile," James says. 

In high school, he would run a sub five minute mile every few days, but couldn't be on the track team because he could not practice daily.

"I started jogging as an adult. When I went back to college as an adult for 15 years, running was a stress relief and a necessity. I would ramp up running from 10 to 20 miles in just a couple of months and would be marathon ready in a few months," James continued.

He ran sub-3 hour marathons at one point.

He has always taken breaks from serious running.

"I do what time, attitude, and my mind and body dictate. I tend to be hard on my body while running.  I think I have overcome a lot of those pitfalls however.  I know I can't compete and be happy all the time."

"Running makes me happy and to compete takes some joy out of it.  I guess that makes me a bit of a soul runner. I just love to run and it's cheaper than therapy."

He set a goal to average 20 miles per day for this challenge.  He did not make 20 but was not far from it.  So how did he average over 130 miles per week?

"Since I work early morning, I am home in the early afternoons. I regulated my diet (that is a huge part).  I literally snack a lot. Making sure I am over 5000 calories per day. I started yoga and meditation as a run ritual before and after as well as foam rolling and icing.

"Then I rest for awhile and then I do a shot of Irish whiskey daily to get my blood sugar back up so I could continue to move after a run.

"I used this challenge to push myself to find my threshold in running, something that competitive running can't do for me.

"I now love variations of runs - hills, mountains, trails, and streets. Believe it or not, streets gives me a great chance to not become mesmerized during your run. It makes you keep your head on a swivel...

"Since I have never strayed from athletic activities or running, getting to my peak only takes months. It's all about how much you want something and learning how to listen to your body.

So how did your body hold up?  "Mid-challenge, I started to have knee issues related to my IT Band... foam rolling, icing, rest, and changing running style got me through it. I am a firm believer in holistic medicine and this time I tried various things...

"CBD oil GREATLY helped with post-run swelling," he says.

You were running on an average of three hours everyday for 70 days.  How did you handle your diet?

"I never stopped snacking. I eat one piece of fruit daily at work, a lot of grains, pasta (pasta 4-5 days per week), spinach... high carbs, relatively low proteins. Not a lot of meat and beans take the place of extra protein. I have found that eating colorful food (not much processed) makes a big difference too. 

"Lots of nuts like sunflower, cashews, and almonds. Cheese is also my endurance choice."

So what do you think about this challenge?

"I love this challenge. This challege over the past year filled a hole or "need" in my life. The older I get, the more I like to test what I am capable of. Posting keeps my mind active on the goal. It's fun to turn on the run gps app, start running, snap a few pictures, and remember the run in detail.. doing that helps me recap runs and select the ones I loved to do again with small changes.

"I changed routes so many times living back in Los Gatos because I had been away from here for 23 years.  I was like a kid in a candy store.. I was fueled by memories and locations of my youth. I ran 54 miles from San Francisco (Oyster Point) back to Los Gatos.. It is fun to look back on that... my first 50-miler...as well as my first 40 to Gilroy."

So what are your plans?

"I am getting back to races.  I am taking on running for charity again, but with a twist. I have been trying to run with an altitude trainer mask so I can breathe through a mask. The better shape I get in I can also regulate my body temperature under a lycra body suit. Yes, a costume. I am using volunteer running to earn funds for childrens and veterans charities. I am also going to go back to training other runners."

On that note, what advice do you have for others?

"Run with a purpose.. run for fun, and run for the sheer joy of it. Regulate your diet.. take in lots of it.. but stay away from big meals. Stay hydrated. Work on breathing. Elevation variations are VERY important for strength and endurance. Mind the cross training (I run with a 20 pound vest a couple days a week). Calisthenics are your friend. Just keep moving, but know when to stretch, ice, and rest. Yoga and meditation helped me immensely.. make it a serious part of your daily routine (maintain flexibility). Never run on the same side of the road...it can lead to knee problems," says James.

James Kalani is one amazing runner.

"Our next ten week RTW challenge starts September 11 and we hope to better the miles we just covered," says Bob Anderson.  There is no entry fee and there is no cost to have a My Best Runs account where the miles (k's) are logged.

(09/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Run The World Global Challenge 7

Run The World Global Challenge 7

Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. Here is he link for the official results of Run The World 52-Week Challenge. Congrats to all our participants. RTW Challenge #7 is a 10 week program starting September 11, 2019 and ending 11:59pm Tuesday November 19, 2019 (California USA time). There is no entry fee. You log...

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Great Britain mountain runner Robbie Simpson again wins the Jungfrau Marathon

Robbie Simpson secured the victory again at the traditional Jungfrau Marathon. The Scot remained below the three-hour mark at 2:59:29, distancing Moroccan Abdelhadi El Mouaziz by 2:35 minutes and Colombian William Rodriguez Herrera by 2:47. In the women's race, Simone Troxler (Chardonne) beat Theres Leboeuf (Aigle) and Sara Willhoit (GBR).

Robbie Simpson knows the route from Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg at 2061 meters above sea level. leads, inside and out. In his fifth participation, the defending champion came but only at the end of tours. Until kilometer 38, a trio led by El Mouaziz, Eritrean Petro Mamu and Rodriguez Herrera. El Mouaziz, who already won the marathons in London and New York, made his debut at the 27th edition in Interlaken. Just four kilometers from the finish Simpson turned on and hung his competitors in an incredible finish. "I did not feel so good today. Only at the end did it go up for me. That's why I'm so happy about this victory, "said Simpson.

Of the 4,000 runners who were put on the track in Interlaken by the five-time OL World Champion Judith Wyder, the Zurich Stephan Wenk ranked as the best Swiss in sixth place. The 36-year-old, who already won the Swissalpine Marathon this year and placed second in the "Eiger Ultratrail", was more than satisfied with his placement: "From kilometer 10 on I felt more and more comfortable and I was doing very well. The weather did not play a big role for me today. Nevertheless, I missed the substance at the very end and I lost two more seats. My time of 3:05:23 hours is my best result ever, "rejoiced the exhausted Wenk.

A "super happy" winner,  Simone Troxler, the favorite and winner of the women, raved about the atmosphere on the 1829 meters of altitude. "It was just a wonderful experience. All the bells, alphorns and so much more - it was awesome. "Last year, the Vaud woman made her debut at the Jungfrau Marathon and is also a strong street runner, as she proved with her second place in the Lausanne Marathon in 2018. The route to the Kleine Scheidegg demanded everything from the 23-year-old. "I had to suffer a lot from Wengen. The cold was blatant and I had cramps. I really did not know how to get up there and it was also mentally difficult because I led the field alone, "Troxler admitted. With her time of 3:36:13 hours she was, despite all difficulties, only three minutes slower than last year.

Big challenge with the weather, The cold snap and snowfall of the past days presented the organizing committee with great challenges. "Thanks to great helpers, we cleared away the snow on the track and we knew that we would be struggling with some rain and a lot of fog," said OC President Toni Alpinice. His team has worked tirelessly in the last few hours to ensure that all runners arrive at the finish line at Kleine Scheidegg. "We provided more than 5,000 sheets of heat and made sure we could distribute more warm drinks".

Popular races on the Höhematte in Interlaken, On the day before the big marathon, many para-athletes use the opportunity to prove their speed. So dominated once more the Pararace mile Marcel Hug before Beat Bösch and Heinz Frei. In the women's race, Manuel Schär beat Sandra Graf.

Virgin Minirun and Mini Marathon - the race for all, Shortly after 15 o'clock also the little ones started their races. The Jungfrau-Minirun in categories from MuKi and VaKi to the U16-Kids always attracts a lot of interest. An experience was certainly not just the run. Many children were handed over the medals by former World Cup ski racer and world champion Marco Büchel.

(09/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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Jungfrau Marathon

Jungfrau Marathon

The Jungfrau-Marathon presents the most beautiful marathon course in the world - marvelous mountains scenery and the excellent change of the landscape between the start in Interlaken and the finish on Kleine Scheidegg. The difference in altitude of 1829 meter (6000 feet) is a challenge for everybody. There is no Marathon in Europe with such great dimensions. Eiger, Mönch and...

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Leonard Korir and Sara Hall defend their national titles at the Faxon Law New Haven 20K

A few weeks ago, Leonard Korir became the first American man in three decades to win the Falmouth Road Race.

He’s still on a roll – on Monday, Korir pulled away after the third mile at the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race to win his third 20K USATF championship on a cooler than usual Labor Day in 59:06.

Korir, 32, of Colorado Springs won the race in 2016 and 2018 and was edged by Galen Rupp, an Olympic bronze and silver medalist, in 2017.

“I’m feeling very, very good,” Korir said. “I had a good race in Falmouth. That gave me motivation that my fitness is good, so I said, ‘Let me go again to this race and maybe push myself to know if I’m consistent.’”

Sara Hall of Flagstaff, Ariz., defended her women’s title, winning the 12.4-mile race in 1:06:47.

“It was so fun to be out here again,” said Hall, 36. “This race is really tough. Last year, I couldn’t even run marathon pace. It’s really encouraging to be able to run a good amount faster. I have my sister and her kids out there cheering, they live right on the course. That gave me a big boost.”

It wasn’t as humid as it usually is for the day of the annual race, with temperatures in the low 70s.

“Compared to last year, today was better,” Korir said. “It was just windy.”

Moath Alkhawaldeh of Amman, Jordan won the accompanying half-marathon (1:08:48) and Myriam Coulibaly of New York City was the women’s winner (1:31:33). Glastonbury’s Matthew Farrell won the 5K in 15:07 and Emily Stark of New Haven was the women’s winner (18:03).

Everett Hackett of Hartford was the top state finisher in the 20K (14th, 1:01:45) and Annmarie Tuxbury of New Hartford was the top female finisher (12th, 1:11:15).

Luke Puskedra, who retired from running competitively in the spring to open a real estate business in Eugene, Oregon but decided to come and run New Haven, and Parker Stinson, the national 25K record holder, led a large pack in the 20K early on but Korir took the lead after the pack went through the third mile in 14:11 and he just kept extending the lead.

“I saw them take off and it was like, ‘All right, I’ll see you guys,’” Puskedra said, laughing, who finished 23rd in 1:03:06.

Korir went through the halfway point in 29:21 and the trailing pack was over 30 seconds behind him but although he had a big lead, he was still not on pace for the race record (57:37 set by Khalid Khannouchi in 1998).

“It’s tough,” Korir said of the record. “You have to have good weather and no wind coming on your face.”

(09/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Lori Riley
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New Haven Road Race

New Haven Road Race

Home of the Men’s & Women’s USATF 20K National Championship.The New Haven Road Race has again been selected to host the U.S. Men’s & Women’s 20K National Championship. The event expects to feature a number of past champions and U.S. Olympians.The New Haven Road Race is the LONGEST RUNNING USATF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The race has been selected as Runner’s World...

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Courtney Dauwalter wins UTMB with dominant display – tough days are why she loves ultra running

Courtney Dauwalter won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) women’s race in 24 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds. She absolutely crushed the women’s field, finishing while the next closest competitor was still around an hour from the end. Dauwalter was 21st overall and the second fastest American in the race, including the men.

The 171km UTMB is one of the most famous and hotly contested races of the year. The brutal course has over 10,000 metres of accumulative climbing, much of it at altitude.

Dauwalter is the fourth American women to win the race. This year, she was the second American overall, pipped to the post by a matter of minutes by Jason Schlarb.

“It was a really tough day, but that’s why we love ultra running, right?” Dauwalter said, adding a thank you to her friends and family, saying she wished they were there, but “I’ll take care of the beers for you”.

Yao Miao of China was in the lead for much of the early stages. She set out at a fierce pace. Before the race started, ultra runner Dylan Bowman predicted Miao would win or crash out of the race, when speaking on the Billy Yang Podcast.

He was proved correct as Yao eventually faded and by the time Dauwalter finished, Yao was languishing almost 70km back, in 73rd position.

This was Dauwalter’s first UTMB race. She completed the race with her trademark baggy clothing and irrepressible smile.

(09/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Pau Capell aggressive tactics pay off as he becomes first non-French winner since Kilian Jornet to win UTMB

Pau Capell won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in 20 hours, 19 minutes and seven seconds. He is the first non-French winner since his fellow Spaniard Kilian Jornet won in 2011.

The UTMB is one of the premier ultra trail races in the world. It is the culmination of a week long running festival, which sees the best in the sport compete for the coveted winners titles.

The brutal 171km course, with over 10,000 meters of accumulative elevation, favors runners who pace themselves conservatively – a common refrain is that “the race does not start until 100km”. But, Capell ignored the advice and set off at an aggressive pace, taking the lead in the first few kilometres and holing it until he ultimately won.

“Leading from wire to wire, in heroic fashion, it goes against common sense in endurance sport and everything you would expect given the field,” said UTMB commentator Dylan Bowman, who finished second in the 145km TDS at the UTMB week in 2018.

Bowman added it shows the sport is evolving, and to win at the top level, you now need to take risks.

Finish line announcer Eoin Flynn listed Capell’s other wins and compared him to a superhero.

‘I felt horrible’: Ruth Croft reflects on OCC win at UTMB

Capell modestly said “I’m not a superhero but if one did exists it would be my parents.”

The race started in Chamonix, 6pm, on Friday. A few Chinese athletes set off at a mad speed. In particular, HK100 2018 champion Qi Min looked like he was trying to set his 5km personal best, rather than run for almost a day. Qi looked over his shoulder and saw the lead he had built in the first few hundred meters and slowed until Capell was level with him. The pair stuck together, but Qi began to fade from the top five. Between 80km and 100km he dropped out of the top five and then out of the top 100. 

The pack began to set and it looked as though the podium was decided well before the finishing line. Capell had an unassailable lead over three time champion and eventual second place Xavier Thevenard (21:07:56), who himself was well ahead of third place New Zealander Scotty Hawker (21:48:04).

Audrey Tanguy wins TDS, Hillary Allen marks comeback from near-fatal fall

“What to say about Pau? He did a great race today. I saw the time, it got 10 minutes farther and 10 minutes farther,” Thevenard said. “He was untouchable.”

Thevenard used his time in the limelight to call people to protect the environment for future generations.

Hawker crossed the finish line, running hand in hand with his young daughter, mirroring scenes at the HK100 when she sang Happy Birthday.

“It’s a dream come true,” Hawker said of reaching the podium at the UTMB. “I thought maybe one day, but it was just a dream, now it’s real.”

Hawker was in the leading group along with Capell at the start of the race.

“At the start, it may have looked fast but it was honestly slower than other years,” he said.

A tearful Hawker said as he ran he thinking of his parents watching at home and his family at the finish line.

(09/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Tollefson, Dauwalter Lead a Strong Pack of Americans at 2019 UTMB

A year after a bad fall ended Tim Tollefson’s latest effort to be the first American atop the podium at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), the ultrarunner is returning with reignited determination—but also a heavy heart.

Twice a third-place finisher of the daunting 171K, the Mammoth Lakes, California, pro is primed and ready to compete in this epic race through the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps between Friday and Saturday. This comes after Tollefson’s bid in 2018 ended around the 48K mark when a fall required stitches in his left quad, forcing him to withdraw, but not leading to any long-term damage.

Though a disappointing way to end his day and his hunt for first, he’s put that behind him as he once again tries to become the first American man to finish atop the podium in the 17-year history of the race.

“Last year doesn’t haunt me, but it’s something I would like to avenge,” Tollefson told Runner’s World. “It serves more of a constant reminder that I need to come back here and prove something to myself because I think I have unfinished business. I think this race in particular plays to experience, and I’d like to think that I now have enough experience and the skill set to put together the performance I have dreamt of.”

Training was slightly different this year to prepare. The 34-year-old physical therapist added about 20 percent more vertical gain during his weekly training, especially on long runs. This included dozens of 20- to 30-mile runs with about 9,500 feet of vertical gain. He also won the popular 120K Lavaredo Ultra Trail in June in Cortina, Italy, with a time of 12:18:47.

With more than 32,000 feet of vertical gain and often inclement weather, the UTMB course has been known to crush even the strongest and fittest runners. Tollefson proved worthy of the challenge in 2016 and 2017 with third-place efforts, not to mention his runner-up showing in the adjacent CCC 100K in 2015.

This year, Tollefson is competing for more than just his personal goals: He is running to honor a fallen friend. On August 14, friend and fellow Mammoth Lakes resident Cody Tuttle, a 32-year-old professional filmmaker and photographer who documented Tollefson for several projects, died in a paragliding accident near Lone Pine, California.

“It was a tragic loss for the community,” Tollefson said. “It’s a sobering reminder that every time we go into the mountains, there is an inherent risk, and yet there is a reason we are all drawn to this type of rugged mountain environment.”

Tollefson will have heavy competition as he strives for his goal. As usual, the men’s field of the race is deep, with Frenchman Xavier Thévenard, a three-time winner and defending champion as the clear favorite. Last year’s runner-up Robert Hajnal of Romania is also in the field, but Americans Zach Miller, twice a top-10 finisher at UTMB, Alex Nichols, who was second at the 2018 Hong Kong 100K, Hayden Hawks, who has had big success at 50K and 100K races, and Jason Schlarb, who has been on a tear since turning 40, could all be contenders.

“I feel like I’ve finally acquired the climbing skills that allows me to run with the Europeans and be able to be confident coming into this race,” Tollefson said. “It still comes down to executing the race, but I’m really psyched to get out there and run another lap around Mont Blanc.”

The women’s field is also intriguing, especially from an American point of view. Although defending champion Francesca Canepa of Italy returns, all eyes are on Courtney Dauwalter, who has dominated women’s ultrarunning in recent years, right up to the point when she dropped out of the Western States Endurance Run in late June with a hip injury. The 34-year-old Golden, Colorado, resident is healthy, but admits she didn’t do the training she had hoped while recovering from her injury.

“It’s a long race and, from what I hear, it’s a grind, so it’s not a fast 100-miler,” Dauwalter told Runner’s World. “I’m not sure how my skills and experience will play into it, but I’m going to take each section as they come and run as efficiently as possible and see what happens. These mountains are awesome and the challenge will be big.”

Two-time winner Rory Bosio (2013, 2014) from Truckee, California, is also back after running the shorter OCC in 2017 and the longer TDS last year, while Nebraska’s Kaci Licktieg, who took third at Western States Endurance Run this year, and Katie Schide, an American living in Switzerland, both could be poised to compete for podium finishes.

“I don’t know if I can be competitive; the women’s field is bonkers this year, and I think that’s great,” Bosio told Runner’s World. “Winning those races back to back seems so long ago, almost like it happened to a different person. But it’s going to be an exciting race, no matter what because it’s UTMB.”

More than 2,300 runners from 90 countries will start the race at noon ET on Friday. You can follow along live here.

(08/31/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Kilian Jornet falls short of Pikes Peak Marathon record as Maude Mathys obliterates women’s mark set last year

Catlan runner ran 3:27:39, nearly 11 minutes shy of Matt Carpenter’s record, which has stood for 26 years

One of the most revered records in American mountain running has withstood a challenge from this generation’s greatest ultrarunner.

Despite an early fast pace, Catalan mountain running superstar Kilian Jornet fell short of breaking Matt Carpenter’s ascent and overall course record in the 64th edition of the Pikes Peak Marathon on Sunday, finishing in 3 hours, 27 minutes, 29 seconds — nearly 11 minutes slower than Carpenter’s 3:16:39, set in 1993.

But Swiss ultrarunner Maude Mathys still provided reason to celebrate. Mathys won the women’s division in 4:02:45, crushing the course record set by Megan Kimmel last year in 4:15:04.

Carpenter’s course record has stood for 26 years. Jornet came to the Pikes Peak Marathon as part of the Salomon Golden Trail World Series, a collection of some of the top mountain races in the world, racing in the hopes of breaking the record after also falling short in 2012.

But he said afterward that his legs felt heavy during his morning warmup. He set a course record at the Sierre-Zinal trail race in Switzerland just two weeks ago, but he said that the short turnaround wasn’t a factor in his race today.

At the halfway mark — the summit of Pikes Peak — the record quest appeared to be in jeopardy. Jornet summited in 2:09:15, more than eight minutes behind Carpenter’s 2:01:06 ascent record, which Carpenter set in the same race he recorded the overall record.

For Carpenter, now 55, Pikes Peak is and remains his domain. He has won the marathon 12 times and the ascent-only run — held the day before the marathon — six times. He has lived in Manitou Springs for years and trained frequently on the Pikes Peak course, learning how to handle the altitude while navigating the flats, switchbacks and steep sections.

In recent years, trail running has exploded in popularity throughout the U.S. and the world, ushering a sport from the fringes of distance running to the mainstream. That has brought a new era of young, accomplished runners who have broken and rebroken records and so-called fastest-known times — thought to be untouchable. Despite the onslaught, Carpenter’s records at both Pikes Peak and the Leadville 100 still stand years after they were set.

The Pikes Peak Marathon course starts in Manitou Springs at 6,300 feet, before climbing more than 7,700 feet to Pikes Peak’s summit at 14,115 feet. The race is the second-oldest marathon in the United States and was the first in the U.S. to record an official women’s finisher.

Just past the first mile, Jornet was already leading the pack by a few steps. Just before five miles, he had built up his lead to more than 90 seconds, on pace to hit the summit in under two hours. But his legs soon caught up with him, and he slowed, summiting in 2:09:15.

Jornet had run this race in 2012, winning in 3:40:26. But he also competed with a heaver race schedule then.

Pikes Peak is one of only three races Jornet will do all year. Already, Jornet holds the course record counterclockwise and clockwise for the Hardrock 100, one of Colorado’s other esteemed ultra runs that starts and finishes in Silverton and loops through Ouray, Telluride and Lake City in the San Juan Mountains, forcing runnings to ascend some 33,000 feet over 100.5 miles.

(08/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Pike's Peak Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

A Journey to the Top and Perhaps Back The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000...

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Yes, raw speed helps. But it isn’t everything. Why Older Runners Have an Edge in Ultra Races

There were two first-time winners at last weekend’s Leadville Trail 100 Run, as Ryan Smith of Boulder, Colorado, and Magdalena Boulet from Berkeley, California, persevered on the out-and-back course in the Colorado Rockies. Smith won the men’s race in a time of 16:33:24, while Boulet finished in 20:18:06 and, in a salute to her Western environs, broke the tape wearing a black Stetson hat.

Beyond their individual triumphs, Smith and Boulet also chalked one up for the 40+ demographic; Smith turned 40 this year, while Boulet is a spry 46. For those keeping score, this is actually the second consecutive year where both the male and female winners at Leadville were in their fifth decade. In 2018, it was Rob Krar (41) and Outside contributing editor Katie Arnold (46) who stood atop the podium in a race which is among the oldest 100-milers in the country and bears the prestige of being included in the so-called “Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.”

How to account for this quadragenarian dominance? Road racing snobs might point out that the field size in ultras is generally quite small and that these events are hence less competitive than big city marathons with thousands of participants. This year, the Leadville 100 had fewer than 400 finishers. Then there’s the fact that the elite ultrarunning scene, despite its increased mainstream visibility over the past decade, is still largely unprofessional, in the sense that weekend warriors can carry the day at certain marquee events. Smith works full-time as a software engineer, and Boulet is VP of research and development at GU Energy Labs. While this amateur spirit might be a point of pride for ultrarunners who don’t want their sport to devolve into the doping-riddled morass that is professional track and field, one could argue that it also subtly discourages the best pro distance athletes (i.e. Kenyan and Ethiopian runners) from turning to the trails. This, in turn, makes the podium perpetually attainable for the super-fit middle-aged hobbyist.

But maybe there’s more to it than that. Given the amount of stuff that can go wrong when you’re running 100 miles in the mountains, perhaps more “mature” athletes might have an advantage when raw speed is less essential than psychological resilience.

“Ultrarunning is about problem solving and being fast is just one piece in a larger puzzle,” says Boulet, who was back at work on Monday morning. “There are so many other pieces that need to fall into place in order to have a successful race.”

Boulet would know. In 2015, she triumphed at Western States, arguably the most vaunted ultra on U.S. soil. Last year, she won the Marathon des Sables, a 156-mile, six-day stage race in the Sahara Desert that frequently gets cited as one of the world’s most difficult races.

Boulet also has the rare distinction of having successfully transitioned into the world of ultrarunning after a previous career as a pro marathoner and road racer. In 2008, she made the U.S. Olympic team in the marathon. The following year she was the first American woman (sixth overall) at the NYC Marathon. With the exception of Kara Goucher, who contested her first trail marathon earlier this summer, Boulet is surely the most accomplished road racer to take a serious shot at competitive trail running.

“I was able to bring the experience from my marathon and road career into trail racing, but with a lot more experience and a lot more patience,” she says. “I’m a lot kinder to myself and my body.”

For his part, Sands, who describes himself as a “serious amateur,” agrees with Boulet that being the best pure runner is only one factor when a race involves one hundred miles of elevation change, gnarly terrain, and volatile weather. Unlike in shorter road races, where it is much more feasible to execute a race plan to perfection, in ultras the objective isn’t so much to avoid mishaps, as to make the best of it when they inevitably happen. 

“Typically success in these longer events is not about getting everything dialed next to perfectly, because that’s just so rare,” Sands notes. “It’s really about, when some issue arises and you’re faced with a challenge, how well can you react in the moment to overcome it.”

This latter point reminded me of a recent email exchange I had with Robert Johnson, the editor and co-founder of Letsrun.com and a road-racing snob if ever there was one. Johnson made the point that one thing he finds intriguing about ultras is that there is still an aspect of the “unknown.” He noted that training for traditional distance running had more or less been “solved”; everyone already knows, more or less, how to prepare for races. Ultra-running, on the other hand, is still very much an undiscovered country.

Boulet agrees with this assessment.

“After twelve years of doing marathons, I got to the point where I had that formula dialed-in really well with my coach. We could look at a block of training and know what that translates into [performance-wise]. It was very predictable,” she says.

But the ultra scene offers enough potential variation that, Boulet notes, each race can necessitate its own specific training cycle. In the lead-up to Marathon des Sables, for instance, she spent weeks running on sand.

“For someone who is older, ultras are really exciting because you’re not doing the same thing over and over. They keep changing,” Boulet says.

“I think that’s also a key to longevity in the sport. To keep it interesting—and fun.”

(08/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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US Marine Pedro Rodríguez is set to run at Pikes Peak Ascent

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Pedro Rodriguez has logged a lot of miles on the Santa Fe Trail.

He runs about 10 miles a day, totaling 3,600 to 3,800 miles a year, and each step he takes has an important purpose.

“Being a Marine is phenomenal, but being a runner in the Marine team is even better,” he said.

Rodriguez has run several marathons for the All-Marine running team since joining in 2015.

The Marine Corps has an award for the top active-duty Marine in the Marine Corps marathon. Rodriguez has earned that award in 2015, 2017, and 2018, but personal accolades are a small reason as to why he runs.

“When we line up on the start line with our teammates, there aren’t words that can describe that feeling,” he said. “When you have like-minded people that can share the similar story of going through boot camp or officer candidate school, and you’re wearing the same uniform. It’s very difficult to describe, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Along with his team in the Marine Corps, Rodriguez has a team at home for whom he runs.

“I want to be an example to my daughters, Mila and Sophia,” Rodriguez said. “I want to show them that if you have a plan to execute, you can accomplish any goal, whether that’s sports-related, academic-related or even just a personal goal.”

This weekend, Rodriguez is stepping off the road and heading to the mountains to run in his third Pikes Peak Ascent. The half marathon has an almost 8,000-feet elevation gain.“I love the city of Colorado Springs,” Rodriguez said. “Anywhere I go in the city I can see the top of Pikes Peak and it reminds me, ‘Wow, one, I have to get ready to run this race and, two, I’ve run it before, I’m going to do it again.'”

(08/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by Julia Maguire
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Pike's Peak Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

A Journey to the Top and Perhaps Back The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000...

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Kilian Jornet crushed Sierre-Zinal, and has now set his sights on Pikes Peak

Ten years ago, a 21-year old Catalan trail runner showed up in the end-of-the-valley village of Zinal, in Switzerland’s Valais Canton, not far from the Italian border. He had a list with him.

“It was just a sheet of paper with names of races,” says Chamonix, France-based trail-running author Alain Bustin. “It wasn’t races he wanted to win, or course records he wanted to break. All he wanted to do was take part. Sierre-Zinal was on the list.”

Even then, Sierre-Zinal was iconic. The 31-kilometer race that started in the valley village of Sierre and finished in Zinal was already established as one of the most competitive trail races in the world. And that year, the young runner won.

A few weeks later, he won the 171-kilometer Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.

That runner, of course, is Kilian Jornet. And last weekend in Zinal, he won “S-Z” for a seventh time, further surpassing Mexican runner Richardo Meija’s five wins between 1998 and 2005. And this time Jornet did something that no one had done in 16 years. He broke one of trail-running’s most-coveted course records with a time of 2:25:35—not by seconds, but by 3 minutes 37 seconds.

The 2:29:12 record had been held all those years by the New Zealander Jonathan Wyatt, now 46, indisputably one of his generation’s greatest mountain runners. Starting more than two decades ago, Wyatt began racking up records from the Alps to the United States, at races as diverse as Switzerland’s Jungfrau Marathon (2:49:01 in 2003) and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Road Race (56:41 in 2004.) Both are still course records.United States runner Jim Walmsley had a notable success, finishing third in his first running of the famed course, in a time of 2:31:52—a result that in any other year would likely have had him breaking the finish-line tape.

While Sierre-Zinal is arguably one of the most competitive trail races in the world, and much of the attention focusses on the elite runners, it has a wide and diverse following. This year, more than 5,000 runners took part. Recreational runners started five-and-a-quarter hours earlier, a special aspect of the race-day schedule that allows recreational runners to watch elites arrive, several hours after most of them have crossed the finish line.

Nicknamed “The New York Marathon of the Alps,” the race’s rich history makes for a special day for runners from around the world. It’s a vibe that was felt by runners like Mike Ambrose, formerly the North American Marketing Manager for Salomon, and now based out of the company’s world headquarters in Annecy, France.

“Running across that ridgeline with the flowy singletrack, I felt the legends before me,” says Ambrose. “That’s the first time ever in a race that I was putting myself out there with the greatest and the pioneers of the sport. Maybe I wasn’t running at the same speed, but I was part of the history. I actually felt that energy. “

For Jornet, there are few records left to shatter. At age 31, he has Fastest Known Times from the Matterhorn to Mount Everest. He has won trail running’s most prestigious races, some of them multiple times, with course records around the world. It’s hard not to imagine that Jornet might begin to turn his attention to other projects. With Skyrunning Champion Emelie Forsberg, he now has a five-month-old baby—and an energetic labradoodle, Maui, to boot.

As he watched Jornet from a jumbo screen not far from the Sierre-Zinal finish line, Bustin, a longtime acquaintance of Jornet’s, was in a contemplative mood. “Kilian, he’s not just special because of his records at Sierre-Zinal or the UTMB,” he said. “He’s broken mountaineering records and ski alpinism (ski mountaineering) records, too.”

Bustin paused with thousands of other onlookers, as race officials announced to the crowd that Jornet was now 20 seconds ahead of Wyatt’s historic course record. On the screen, Jornet looked fluid and in control, calmly, steadily, smoothly “running the tangents” along a rocky section of the course.

“He’s a fantastic guy, with a great mentality about mountain sports. Maybe he’s about to say to the young runners, ‘Hey guys, I’ve done my time. Now it’s up to you,’” added Bustin. Taking in the weight of what he had just considered out loud—that the world’s greatest trail runner could soon be winding down his long stretch of highly competitive racing days—he looked back up to the screen, saying to no-one in particular, “He has nothing to prove to anyone.”

Well, maybe not quite. There is, arguably, at least one notoriously difficult-to-beat record remaining: Colorado’s Pikes Peak Marathon. In 1993, Matt Carpenter set a confoundingly fast course record there, with a time of 3:16:39. On August 25, Jornet will be there. It’s hard not to imagine he wouldn’t like to cross the tape with a time quicker than Carpenter’s. The trail-running world will be watching.

(08/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Pike's Peak Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

A Journey to the Top and Perhaps Back The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000...

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Rugged Races has acquired RAM Racing And The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Series

Rugged Races, a subsidiary of GateHouse Live and a New Media Investment Group company, today announced it has acquired RAM Racing and its entire portfolio of events, including the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K series, which includes a Denver Hot Chocolate race and Colorado Rugged Maniac event.

The Hot Chocolate series, which boasts eight of the top 100 races in the United States, will attract over 200,000 runners across twenty races in 2019. The remainder of RAM Racing’s portfolio consists of the Heartbreakers Half Marathon in Portland, OR and nine other races in the Chicago area, including the popular Soldier Field 10 Miler and the Run Mag Mile 10K/5K.

This acquisition is the latest in a series of moves by Rugged Races over the past two years to grow its portfolio of endurance events into one of the largest in the United States.  It has also recently acquired the Milwaukee Marathon, the Providence Marathon, and the Santa Rosa Marathon.  With the addition of RAM Racing, Rugged Races now owns over ninety events, ranging from marathons and cycling events to trail runs and obstacle course races, and anticipates over 450,000 participants and more than one million attendees in 2019.

“We are thrilled to add the RAM Racing portfolio to our family of premier endurance events,” said Brad Scudder, Senior Vice President of Rugged Races.  “By filling the colder months in our annual race calendar with the crown jewel of winter running – the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Series – runners of all fitness levels can now enjoy one of our races every week of the year.”

(08/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Colorado runner
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Hot Chocolate Chicago

Hot Chocolate Chicago

The Hot Chocolate 15k/5k, coined as America’s Sweetest Race, is brought to you by RAM Racing. Established in 2008, the inaugural Hot Chocolate 15k/5k ran through the streets of Chicago, Illinois. Since its inception, over 200,000 participants have run for chocolate, making it the fastest growing race series in the nation!Each Hot Chocolate 15k/5k race features both a 15k (9.3miles)...

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Boulder’s Ryan Smith wins 2019 Leadville 100 with consistent second-half pacing

Boulder’s Ryan Smith won the Leadville 100 trail run on Saturday night thanks to consistent second-half pacing that left his rivals unable to respond. It was the biggest win of his ultrarunning career.

The Boulder-based runner, who came to the United States from the United Kingdom and works full-time a software engineer, was greeted at the finish by his wife and almost 2-year-old daughter. He turned 40 years old this year.

“There’s just a lot of running in the race,” Smith said, referring to the long flat sections along much of the course. “It really favors a flat runner rather than a mountain runner, and I typically do a lot of mountain stuff.”

His win — in 16 hours, 33 minutes, 25 seconds — was far from expected. Smith was not among the pre-race favorites to win, and he wasn’t feeling well leading into the Twin Lakes aid station near the 40-mile mark. But at the turnaround at Winfield, he held his pace steady, averaging around 10 minutes per mile for the rest of the race.

“Always be closing!” his last pacesetter, Clare Gallagher, herself a Leadville 100 winner in 2016, yelled to him after his win. She was referring to Smith’s penchant for strong finishes, and to the casual observer, it might have seemed that Smith was surging. But consistent pacing that late in a race — he averaged 9:58, 9:53, 9:59, 9:54, 10:01, 9:55, 9:54 for all of the second half checkpoints — is remarkably difficult to achieve.

His win came after Jared Hazen, the runner-up to this year’s Western States 100, set out a blistering early pace, intent on breaking the course record of 15:42 set by Matt Carpenter in 2005. Late Saturday morning, while racing back toward Twin Lakes, he told a Denver Post reporter along the trail that he had dropped out and “needed to get to an aid station.” He had turned around before the Winfield aid station — the halfway point of the course.

The Leadville is infamous for seducing runners into racing too hard too early, with flat fields and trails before turning into a punishing climb to 12,600 feet over Hope Pass.

For the women, Magdalena Boulet of Oakland, Calif., finished in 20:18:07 in her first Leadville 100. Boulet, who won her first-ever 100-miler in 2015 at Western States and was a U.S. Olympic marathoner in 2008, said she was inspired to run at Leadville after crewing for her boss at GU Energy Labs a few years ago. She had acclimatized at altitude for only two weeks before Saturday’s run. Boulder’s Cat Bradley was the second woman to cross the finish line in 20:45:48.

(08/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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Armin Gooden is set to compete at the Leadville 100-Mile Trail Race this Saturday

Armin Gooden was four years old in 1983 when the once-booming mining town of Leadville, Colorado – on the verge of economic devastation after the closure of Climax Mine in 1982 – hosted the first-ever Leadville Trail 100-mile run.

Race founder Ken Chlouber had organized the trail run in what’s considered North America’s highest incorporated town, elevation-wise. He hoped it would salvage Leadville from virtual ruin after more than 3,000 workers were left unemployed in the wake of the mine’s closure the year before.

On Saturday, Aug. 17, Gooden will be four decades old when he tries his hand – well, legs – at the iconic 100-mile course which snakes 50 miles out and back through the Colorado Rockies. Terrain is comprised mostly of forest trails with a few mountain roads mixed in, its website says.

Gooden, whose 40th birthday fell on this past Sunday, is a 1997 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School. His mom, Idress, and dad, Dave, still live in Upshur County.

But they’ll be in Leadville at 4:30 a.m. sharp Saturday, when the race begins. The Leadville 100’s lowest point measures about 9,200 feet and its highest peak 12,600 feet. That point is known as Hope Pass – or ‘Hopeless Pass’ by runners “because it crushes souls and destroys dreams,” Gooden says. In fact, a local CBS station out of Twin Lakes, Colorado, on Thursday reported that a 28-member team of llamas and their human guides hauled approximately 3,000 pounds of food, drinks and gear up to an aid station at Hope Pass.

Gooden good-naturedly called the race his “mid-life suffer-fest” Wednesday in a Facebook post when he thanked his friends on social media for their recent birthday wishes: “Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Stay tuned for live tracking at my mid-life suffer-fest in just a little over two days,” he wrote.

The primary question that runners who do ultra-marathons– especially hundred-mile ultra-marathons – face is: “Why?” Why subject yourself to such a “mid-life suffer-fest,” as Gooden put it? After all, only about 50 percent of runners who qualify through the lottery actually complete the Leadville 100, Gooden said. Others must drop out if they don’t make various cut-off points throughout the course, including completing the first 50 miles in 14 hours or under.For Gooden, who’s now a resident of a Denver-area suburb, the thirst to complete the Leadville 100 began as a mode of mental survival.“I had a really rough year in life the past year-and-a-half,” Gooden said. “I did this huge climbing trip in Alaska at Denali National Park, and I sort of cheated death after surviving this crazy storm. I had gone through a really bad divorce, and I was in no mental space to run, but I needed some kind of outlet.”

“A good friend of mine knew I wasn’t in the best place, so he said, ‘You’re going to start running again, and you’re going to pace me in the Leadville 100,’” Gooden recalled. “Life just kind of gave me what I needed.”

Pacing his friend in the 2018 Leadville 100 – for a 14-mile section from miles 62 to 74 – was enough to hook Gooden.

“It was pretty awe-inspiring,” Gooden said. “I muled for him. I carried all his water and food. It really allows you to experience team camaraderie. I knew right then and there – I decided, ‘I’m doing this next year.’”

Of course, it wasn’t exactly Gooden’s first rodeo when it came to running.

He was a standout cross-country and track and field runner in high school who was recently inducted into the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the school’s undefeated state champion cross-country team in 1993. Gooden went on to run at Frostburg State University in Maryland. However, his college career ended when he was plagued by persistent lower back pain.

“I actually quit running in college because I had so much lower back pain,” he recalled. “I can go for a seven-hour run now and have no lower back pain.”

Combined with natural running talent, Gooden, who works as an emergency room nurse, has always had an appetite for adventure. In addition to Denali National Park in 2018, he’s also mountain-climbed in the Peruvian Andes and Island Peak in Nepal. He completed the Grand Traverse Ski Mountaineering Race from Aspen to Crested Butte, Colorado, as well as the Dirty 30 50K – about 31 miles – in June 2019, too.

(08/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Katie Kuba
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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Kilian Jornet of Spain and Switzerland's Maude Mathys smashed the respective course records at the Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, the fifth race in the 2019 World Mountain Running Association on Sunday

Jornet clocked 2:25:35 over the 31km course to break the 2:29:12 record set by Jonathan Wyatt in 2003. Mathys was even more dominant, clocking 2:49:20 to clip more than five minutes from the previous mark of 2:54:26 set by Czech Anna Pichrtova in 2008. 

The iconic race, which starts in the Valais town of Sierre and climbs to the village of Zinal, has a total ascent of 2200m and 1100m of descent and features a course offering views of five of the area’s 4000-meter peaks, lending it the nickname, the "Five 4000s Race”.

Jornet broke away early, soon after leaving Sierre and had built a two minute advantage over 2016 winner Petro Mamu by the Ponchette checkpoint seven kilometres into the race. Between the Chandolin and Hotel Weisshorn checkpoints, Jornet eased the pace, allowing Mamu to reduce the gap to 1:27.

From Weisshorn, at 2337m the course's highest point, the race once again picked up steam. The key for Jornet was his powerful performance on the uphill sections, normally the weaker part of his race. While Mamu continued to chip away at the lead, Jornet held on, beating the Eritrean by 42 seconds to take his seventh victory at the event. Mamu clocked 2:26:17, also well inside the previous record.

Jim Walmsley of the US, who last May clocked a world best over 50 miles (80.46km), rounded out the podium in 2:31:52, a solid performance in his European trail and mountain running debut. Juan Carlos Carrera of Mexico and Robbie Simpson of Great Britain completed the top five, clocking 2:32:52 and 2:33:55, respectively.

Briton Andrew Douglas finished sixth to solidify his lead in the WMRA World Cup standings. With 450 points, the Briton has pieced together an unassailable lead with two races remaining in the series.

Mathys, who raced to the European title last year, dominated the women's contest, padding her lead with each passing kilometre before beating compatriot Judith Wyder by exactly five minutes. Wyder's 2:54:20 was also faster than the previous course record.

Italy's Silvia Rampazzo was third in 2:56:17 to finish off the podium. New Zealander Ruth Croft edged Anais Sabrie of France for fourth by just two seconds in 3:01:56. 

Irishwoman Sarah McCormack finished 12th to up her point tally in the World Cup standings to 305. Injury forced Kenyan Lucy Wambui, one of the pre-race favorites, out early on, solidifying McCormack's chances for her overall World Cup title bid.

The WMRA World Cup resumes on 14 September at the Drei Zinnen in Sexten, in the heart of Italy's Dolomites before its traditional conclusion at the Smarna Gora race just outside the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on 12 October.

(08/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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World Mountain Running World Cup

World Mountain Running World Cup

A person's need to run quickly over both short and long distances is as old as humankind. To be fast helped us to survive, to catch an animal for food, to escape from danger and natural catastrophes, to be successful in war or, as in the case of the first marathon, to take messages. And where did this hunter, warrior,...

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There are times when running indoor on a treadmill might be the best solution

Summertime might make living easier. But running? Not so much. With record-high temperatures and humidity reaching 90 percent, chasing miles on the treadmill makes for a much better, less insanely sweaty run than the open road. Of course, getting outside for sunshine and fresh air provides its mental and physical benefits, but sometimes it really is better to find your stride on a machine.

Here, some of the benefits of running on a treadmill vs. outside, and six scenarios that say, "hey, let's stay inside and cruise through some distance in the comfort of AC and the predictability of tread terrain."

1. When simply standing on a street corner makes you sweat.

Check the weather before you even leave the house, says David Siik, co-founder and creative director at Precision Run. He suggests only attempting short runs on those 80- and 90-degree days when the humidity hits 40 percent or higher. "Heat indexes of 95 degrees or higher is my recommended breaking point—just don't do it, it's not worth it," he says. "If you do head out and within 10 minutes you feel like you are working harder than usual, feel heavy, or start to feel a little cold and clammy, get back inside.”

Marni Wasserman, a coach at Mile High Run Club, recommends checking the dew point, which considers both heat and humidity. When the dew point hits 70 or 80 degrees, you probably want to turn to the tread. 

2. When you're making your comeback post-injury.

One of the major benefits of running on a treadmill is that it's a softer surface and therefore less force on your joints. While running on trails or a track offer more give than pavement, many manufacturers design treadmills to specifically absorb the shock of each step. 

Running on a treadmill also means you don't have to worry about moving laterally to dodge sticks, trees, cars, or people, says Siik. 

3. When you need more motivation to speed through intervals.

It's easy to slow down on the open road during running interval workouts, even when you're trying to get in some sprint drills and all-out efforts because you don't have someone (or something) forcing you to move faster. The treadmill, on the other hand, requires you to go hard to keep up with the belt. "The treadmill is painfully honest. It cannot lie to you," says Siik. "If you put in 10 mph, the treadmill will hold you accountable to that speed unless you change it or step off. That freedom from the ability to cheat is a wonderful accountability tool."

Another benefit of running on the treadmill is that you can make micro-adjustments to your run that gets you to push harder without making it crazy dramatic—say adding 0.1 percent incline or 0.1 mph. "This creates a type of engagement that makes the run so much more fun and dynamic," says Siik. 

4. When you don't have hills in your 'hood.

If you live in a mostly flat area, but you've signed up for a race with steep incline climbs, then you'll want to become BFFs with the treadmill. "If you have access to the course elevation profile, you can try to mimic it on the tread to make long runs more interesting. Or, if you take the inclines faster, you can get a feel for the climbs at race pace," says Wasserman.

She recommends doing rolling hills at 3 to 6 percent incline when you don't have the course to copy. "You can also play around with hill sprints to build leg strength, improve form, and boost power—they're really tough and will make you feel like you're flying once you drop the hill," she says. Not to mention, it's a lot easier than finding the perfect hill to do sprint repeats IRL.

5. When you want to protect your skin.

Crushing runs outside multiple days a week means the sun continuously beats down on you, especially if you forget sweat-proof sunscreen before you head out the door. So you might want to go inside occasionally just to keep your skin under cover, says Siik. 

”Although you should enjoy running outdoors, if you supplement the 'harsh' days (heavy exposed sun and high heat or cold, windy, slippery weather) you lift the burden and fatigue on not only your body but your skin," he says. "Imagine spending 40 percent less of your life being destroyed by the sun or chapped from the wind but keeping up the same level of fitness and cardiovascular health—win, win!"

(08/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Aspen Olympic skier Noah Hoffman wins Backcountry Marathon

His professional skiing career behind him, Noah Hoffman has dialed back the training, only doing enough to take part in “adventures” in between going to classes at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Yet, the natural athleticism that led him to a pair of Olympic Games doesn’t disappear overnight, nor does the knowledge that comes with years of racing at the highest level.

“I had no idea what my fitness was going to be like,” Hoffman said. “Knowing how to race is a huge thing, and I have so much experience racing that absolutely that’s a huge advantage. I was a little nervous at the start, but once I got out there I was, ‘Oh, I’ve done this hundreds of times.’ I know what racing is like.”

Hoffman traded in the snow for the dirt on Saturday, returning to his home to take part in the ninth annual Aspen Backcountry Marathon for the first time. Looking every bit like a professional athlete, Hoffman won the race in 3 hours, 30 minutes, 2.18 seconds, beating Gunnison’s Joshua Eberly by about eight minutes and third-place finisher Chris Copenhaver of Fort Collins by 15 minutes.

Eberly won the Aspen Backcountry Marathon in 2018 and won the Audi Power of Four 50-kilometer trail race only a month ago in Snowmass, so Hoffman’s victory was certainly earned.

“I’ve always wanted to do this race, but it never quite fit into my training schedule when I was an athlete. So this was the summer to come back and do it, finally check it out,” Hoffman said. “I was a little nervous about the distance, for sure. I’ve never raced anywhere near this far. My longest races in skiing were two hours, plus or minus, and this is three and a half. So it’s a big jump.”

While it’s been some time, Hoffman isn’t exactly new to running. As a senior at Aspen High School, he won the Class 3A state cross country championship in 2006 before embarking on a successful cross-country skiing career that included competing in both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Hoffman retired from skiing following the 2017-18 season and the Pyeongchang Games.

“I almost walked away that year before Pyeongchang and I’m so glad I went to one more Olympics and skied that last year,” Hoffman said. “But I really feel I’m at peace with the decision (to retire). I didn’t really miss it that much. I was excited to cheer on my teammates from afar.”

The women’s race unfolded this way. 

Kelsey Persyn’s first significant win as a trail runner came when she torched the field by more than 40 minutes in the 2018 Aspen Backcountry Marathon. Her margin of victory was a mere nine minutes on Saturday, but it’s still a repeat title for the 23-year-old Texas native.

“I felt a little pressure going into it,” Persyn said of being the defending champ. “This is like my third trail race ever and I love them, so I’m hoping to go down that path eventually and see how far I can go.”

Persyn won the women’s marathon in 4:17:52.86, holding off Aspen’s Julia Rowland (4:26) and Boulder’s Anna Widdowson (4:30) for the title.

A former track and cross country runner at Texas A&M, Persyn has spent the past couple of summers working as a park ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. Her ties to the Aspen area go back a few years, as she also won the 2016 Aspen Valley Marathon road race.

Persyn said she was using the Aspen Backcountry Marathon as training for the upcoming Grand Traverse trail run, which goes from Crested Butte to Aspen.

“It felt really good. I didn’t have hope that I was going to be the winner until a mile ‘til,” she said. “I made sure my focus was just to focus on yourself and have fun with it. Results are going to come if you just have fun. But it was a different course this year. It was more in reverse, so it was kind of cool to see it from a different angle.”

(08/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Aspen Backcountry Marathon & Half Marathon

Aspen Backcountry Marathon & Half Marathon

Boasting spectacular views of the Elk Mountains and the city of Aspen, Colorado below, the Aspen Backcountry Marathon is run almost exclusively on high country dirt trails. Challenging ascents, exciting descents and wide diversity in terrain will challenge even the most well trained athlete. By finishing in the heart of downtown at Rio Grande Park where participants will be greeted...

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Skyrace apologizes for men-only prizes at the Dolomyths Skyrace in Canazei Italy

There was some controversy at the Dolomyths Skyrace in Canazei, Italy last weekend. The Salomon Golden Trail Series event is a 22K race gaining 1,700 metres in elevation, and course records were broken in both the men and women’s races. Davide Magnini of Italy won in 2:00:28, while Judith Wyder of Switzerland won her first Skyrace in 2:18:51.

When the race organizers highlighted the elite men in the Vertical Kilometre presentation as well as a surprise bonus for breaking the two-hour barrier at the awards ceremony but did not offer a similar bonus for the women, trail running athletes shared their concerns.

Second-place finisher Ruth Croft of New Zealand expressed her disappointment at the unequal representation at the awards ceremony, describing it as “a reoccurring topic in our sport.” The Dolomyths Skyrace claims to treat men and women equally in their races, and apologized after the fact, explaining their decisions. That there was a presentation for the men’s Vertical Kilometre race and not the women’s was due to a limited number of registered runners and availability of athletes, they said.

The Dolomyths organizers also explained the two-hour barrier men’s prizing was a last-minute decision, and one they acknowledge and regret. In response to the controversy, race organizers have decided to have a time barrier for the women’s race in the future. In their apology, the organizers requested that those affected by the decisions investigate further before judging.

Athletes present at the Dolomyths Skyrace were not the only ones sharing concern about the discrepancy.  Trail runner Sandi Nypaver commented on the organizers’ apology, writing, “As a high-level race, they need to set the example and not make last-minute decisions that are poorly thought through.

They could have been very clear beforehand that women were not available for the presentation or delayed the presentation until more women arrived. Of course people will make assumptions when things are not publicly stated. With that said, I greatly applaud the race for admitting mistakes were made and making sure they don’t happen again.”

After initially sharing concerns, Western States 2019 winner Clare Gallagher commented her relief at the formal apology made by Dolomyths Skyrace, writing, “So glad to read this. A great example for other races that might also have made honest mistakes in not having equal prizes, representation, bonuses, or other areas where women haven’t been treated equally. We can have productive discussions and create solutions!”

(08/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Alex Petrosky of Edmonton wins ultramarathon race after nearly 13 hours of running

While most of us spent our August long weekend relaxing, other Canadians gathered in the Rocky Mountains to push their bodies to the ultimate test.

The Canadian Death Race is a strenuous 125-kilometer course divided into five legs that starts and finishes on a 4,200-foot plateau, passes over multiple mountain summits and a major river crossing at Hell’s Gate Canyon at the junction of the Smoky and Sulphur rivers.

Alex Petrosky of Edmonton walked away as the race winner on Sunday, finishing with a time of 12 hours and 47 minutes.

“I was trying to be strategic. Picking my point when I’d separate from the field and not push too early. I’ve had an issue with that before. I take the approach that if you’re not running fast, you’re not trying.”

He laughed as he explained that this time he “relaxed for the first 50 kilometers” of this race.

Petrosky hit his stride despite battling the elements of a rain-soaked course.

“This weekend was very painful. You’ve got wet mud, clay sticking to your feet. Some pretty rough bush. You’ve got scrapes cause you’re falling all over the place,” Petrosky said. “It was wet and muddy, but from a temperature standpoint, it was nice and cool. When it’s 25 degrees or higher, it really hurts the body. You can’t push as hard as you’d like to. It adds another variable to the race. I didn’t have that issue on Saturday.”

He acknowledged the event isn’t everyone’s ideal long weekend.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. I totally understand that. I don’t expect people to always understand where the passion comes from. But, if you’re having a good day out there. It’s pretty awesome.”

He said his last mountain climb put him into a meditative state, where he found his rhythm — despite bad conditions.

“It was like a river flowing down past your feet. It was pouring rain at the time. It was gushing down. The trail was the drainage route for the mountain,” Petrosky said. “I’ve done 30 of these runs, sometimes 16, 17 or 20 hours long… the farther in you get, the closer you are to failure in your body.”

“I didn’t feel ready to be on a start line until two days before the Canadian Death Race, I’ve learned the body has a way and the mind has a way of getting you ready for anything.”

(08/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Morgan Black
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Junko Kazukawa is the first person to finish the Leadville Race Series and the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in a single season, she is now training for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB

Kazukawa was in the best shape of her life in 2005 when she learned she had cancer. She was 42, training for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, and found a lump on her left breast. First, there was denial, then anger: She was an athlete. A professional trainer. She was healthy. “Why me? I was shocked,” Kazukawa says. But she was also lucky. Doctors were able to remove the lump surgically, and Kazukawa continued training, even completing the mountain bike race that same year.

While she felt like the event was hard, she figured the Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon would be more challenging for her. Immediately after the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, she made a commitment to compete. “I felt that life is short,” Kazukawa says. “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so if there’s something I want to do, I need to do it.” 

That sense of mortality served Kazukawa well as she rebounded from her first bout of cancer to become an accomplished ultrarunner, only to discover another lump four years later. This time, the cancer was more serious, requiring a mastectomy and chemotherapy. But she never gave up running. A month after finishing chemo, she completed the New York City Marathon. “I thought it was a good way to give closure to that terrible disease,” Kazukawa says. “And with the New York City Marathon, if I got tired, I could just take the subway to the finish.” 

Kazukawa continued to grow as a trail runner. In 2015, she became the first person to finish the entire Leadville Series and the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in a single season. The Leadville Race Series involves running the Leadville Marathon in June, the Leadville 50 in July, and completing the Leadville 100 MTB, Leadville 10K, and Leadville 100 in August. To complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, she had to finish Western States, the Vermont 100, and the Leadville 100 in just three months. Accomplishing either of these series is a career-worthy triumph.

Doing both in a single season is next level. Kazukawa doesn’t know of any other person who has completed the same feat, although Australian ultrarunner Dion Leonard is attempting to do so this year. 

“It sounds hard, but if you plan ahead and have a good base and pay attention to strength training, it’s not that bad,” Kazukawa says. “By the time I hit Western States, I had built up my fitness, so I just raced and recovered.”

Kazukawa, now 56, didn’t take up running until she moved from her childhood home in Japan to the United States for college. Even then, it was just short distances to stay in shape. She began teaching group fitness classes in 1989 as an undergraduate, continuing to do so while working toward a masters in exercise physiology. After that, she started running marathons, then trail marathons, then ultras. “I love the challenge of an ultra, because you’re right on that edge of what you can do and what you can’t do,” Kazukawa says. “Once you finish, you know you’re alive. It’s a confidence builder.” 

Kazukawa completed a 100-mile race in Wyoming in June and will run the Leadville 100 in August for the seventh time. In September, she is hoping to take her running to the next level and tackle a new distance, 200 miles, in the Italian Alps.

(08/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by Graham Averill
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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Norwegian Runner Dies After Being Struck by Lightning During Italian Ultramarathon

Extreme weather this past weekend in Italy claimed the life of a 44-year-old woman from Norway who was participating in an ultramarathon after she was struck by lightning on Saturday.

According to a release on the Südtirol Ultra Skyrace's Facebook page, the incident occurred around 7:15 p.m. near a lake called Lago di San Pancrazio. The dangerous weather issues prompted race officials to suspend the race 30 minutes prior, but many runners — like the woman — were between aid stations with no way of receiving the news.

Nearby runners that witnessed the strike called emergency personnel, who transported her by helicopter to Bolzano Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

"We are shocked and deeply shaken by this tragic accident," said Josef Günther Mair, chair of the race's organizing committee. "We express our deepest condolences to the family of the athlete."

The victim's name has yet to be made public.

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace race dubs itself "the most extreme experience in the Alps" along a trail called "Hufeisentour" in the Sarntaler Alps. Runners travel 121 kilometers (more than 75 miles) over three days and climb almost five miles in altitude.

(08/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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The weather was an additional challenge at the Swiss Alpine Marathon

Adverse weather conditions presented additional challenges for the participants in this year's Swiss alpine Irontrail.

Bernhard Eggenschwiler from Aargau won the supreme discipline, the T88, on Saturday at the Swissalpine in Davos, in defiance of weather conditions and defending champion Tofol Castanyer. The women's trio Luzia Bühler triumphed.

The T88 have it all: From the start in St. Moritz the 84.9-kilometer course ran on an adventurous route via St. Moritz Bad, Stazerwald, Pontresina, Muottas Muragl, Samedan, Val Bever, Fuorcla Crap Alv, Bergün, Darlux, Alp digl Chant, Keschhütte and the Sertigpass to Davos.

The total height difference was 3640 meters incline and 3877 meters descent. Thunderstorm rains and hailstorms made the Irontrail torture on Saturday.

(07/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Swiss Alpine Irontrail

Swiss Alpine Irontrail

Picturesque landscapes, breathtaking panoramas amidst the Grisons mountains and varied, adventurous trails: the Swissalpine Irontrail impresses with its unique, high-alpine scenery. Various races and side events of different distances and different categories appeal to trail runners and mountain runners as well as pleasure runners. The ultimate challenge and supreme discipline of the Swissalpine Irontrail is the technically demanding T88. It...

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Weather forced the Ultra Mount Fuji 102-mile course to be shortened

It happened again! Weather forced the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 165k (102-mile) course to be shortened. Looking back at recent years, UTMF missed an entire year, changed its course, had a year with an exceptionally short course, and changed what time of the year the race was held, but still, snow, ice, and low temperatures in the Shakushi Mountain area cut the race off this year.

Runners were held up at the last aid station reached before 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, though the top runners did finish the official distance prior to the cutoffs going into place.

Men Jing Liang (China) was there early, but as the late-race challenge–and the Tenshi Mountains–came on, pre-race favoriteXavier Thévenard (France) was simply too strong. Thévenard won in a convincing 19:36, and then Liang ran into trouble so much that he barely held off third-place Loren Newman (USA). Second- and third-place Liang and Newman finished in 20:39 and 20:40, only 36 seconds apart.

Generally when an American podiums at an Ultra-Trail World Tour race it’s a familiar name. I’ll admit though that Loren Newman’s is a new name.  Looking back before this breakthrough run, he was 17th at the 2015 Western States 100.

Deeper results included Tofol Castanyer (Spain), 12th in 23:18.

Among other Americans, Franz Van Der Groen, Coree Woltering, and Ryan Ghelfi were all stopped short of the finish. Van Der Groen reached 155k in 28:44, Woltering 140k in 28:07, and Ghelfi 127k in 17:32. With the early 17-hour time, though, perhaps Ghelfi stopped for reasons other than the weather cutoff?

The women’s race wasn’t that different from the men’s, what with a clear winner and then a much closer race between second and third. Fuzhao Xiang (China) won in 24:20, and was chased by Lou Clifton (Australia) and Kaori Asahara (Japan) in 25:50 and 25:55.

(07/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Taking care of your feet is one of the most important things a runner can do

Here are some preventative measures you can take to prevent swelling in your feet as you rack up the miles.

Finding the correct form for your body while running is very important for keeping your run as low impact as possible. There is much debate about what type of strike on the ground is best for your foot and body when you run, but a lot of the conversation has resided on the agreement that it depends on your gait and body type what will work best for you.

If you are a beginner start out with an easy pace until your body becomes more used to the regular motion can help you to control the impact of your run on your body. Practicing different form techniques to see what feels best for your feet and body can help you learn what foot strike causes the least amount of discomfort for you during and after your run.

Wearing proper shoes is very important.  Make sure they fit your foot correctly. There are many types of running shoes out there that are suitable for varying needs. Going to a running shoe store and having a representative assess your gait and foot strike as you run can help to determine what the best shoe for you.

Finding footwear that is breathable and allows for your feet to remain cool as you run can help prevent foot swelling as well. 

Staying hydrated is without question one of the most important things you can do for all of your bodily functions. Our bodies are mostly made of water, and dehydration can occur easily when we’re spending our days sweating it out on a run. The average person needs anywhere from 2 to 2.5 liters of water daily, and if you’re an avid runner, chances are you need more.

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential to healthy living. As a runner, your food is your fuel, and keeping your energy up is important. If you are exhausted, so is your body, and so are your feet. Eating food that is low in sodium can help you to reduce swelling and bloating in your body overall. This includes your feet, which are the furthest point from your heart and need good circulation to stay happy and healthy.

Sodium rich foods are usually processed, and the salt is sneakily hidden amongst the ingredients in the nutrition facts section. Staying away from processed food will help keep your sodium intake low. Try snacking on nuts, fruits, and vegetables instead of grabbing a bag of chips and you’ll notice a difference in how your feet respond to your run.

Your feet have muscles groups like the rest of your body, and they must be properly strengthened to prevent injury and swelling. Using resistance bands or doing toe raises can strengthen weak feet, making them more resistant to the impact of your foot strike when running. Strengthening your feet will also help you improve your gait.

Rest is also important. Marathon running is something a lot of runners enjoy, some like to jog only, or participate in trail running through parks and mountainous areas. No matter where it is you like to run, making sure to take the time to rest your body can help prevent swelling and other complications from running.

Massaging your feet or foot soaks with Epsom salts are excellent ways to care for your feet. Taking the time to raise your legs after you run for 15 to 20 minutes can help improve circulation after a run, helping to prevent or reduce any swelling that might set in after a day of pounding the pavement.

(07/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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How high-tempo training with elite Ethiopians helped Briton Tom Evans to place third at the Western States 100 this year

Tom Evans spent two months in Ethiopia training with elite marathon runners to prepare for this year’s Western States 100 mile ultra marathon. The training paid dividends as he finished third with the fastest ever time by a non-American runner of 14 hours, 59 minutes and 44 seconds.

“The slowest runner [in the Ethiopian running group], except for me, was a 2:08 marathoner,” the Briton said. “That made it very interesting. Their tempo runs were on dirt tracks with rolling hills, so were perfect for Western States.”

“They would run until they dropped and we were being followed by a car so they’d be picked up,” Evans said. “At first, because of the altitude, I was the first to drop out but I began to get used to the elevation.”

WSER100 is one of the most prestigious 100 mile races in the world. It takes place in California, starting at altitude before descending into deep, hot canyons. Jim Walmsley won this year’s race in a record 14:09:28.

The brutal tempo sessions in Ethiopia were fuelled by fierce rivalries, with runners motivated by the hope of being picked up by foreign agents and given the opportunity to race and earn money abroad.

“It’s almost becomes survival of the fittest,” Evans said.

The “sag wagon” that accompanied the runners was always a tempting respite from the sessions.

“You can drop out when ever you want,” he said. “So, it’s about how much you want it. It was really good mental strength training as they were always going fast and furious.”

Being in a new environment forced the former soldier to be more flexible in his attitude to training.

“You had no idea what was going to happen. I had kids throw rocks at me one day,” he said. “It was such a culture shock. I just had to deal with what was ahead of me day by day.”

Evans said he had learned from them the importance of strong contrasts between hard and easy sessions.

He felt not all of the training was relevant to his competition goals. The other athletes in the group were all preparing for marathons or half marathons, so their longest run was just two hours. Evans would sometimes head out for eight hours at a time.

“They thought I was absolutely mental,” he said. “They couldn’t get over how much volume I was doing. But they were fascinated. They really respected what I was doing.”

There were no coaches on hand to force runners on to the track or trail, but the total immersion experience meant they were not necessary.

“I became so attuned to my body. I was making decisions to drop out of sessions all based on feel,” he said.

Evans, who has won the CCC event at the Ultra Marathon du Mont Blanc (UTMB) week, could feel the effects of his training when he ran WSER100.

“I just felt so much more efficient,” he said. “So, at the end, I was still able to run hard.”

“For me, coming third in my first 100 miler was a best-case scenario,” Evans said. “I knew it was possible, I just didn’t know if it was probable.”

For now, Evans is going back to shorter races of about 50km to 100km, but he said the experience had “lit a fire” in him. 

“I definitely want to come back and see if I can improve my place, if not my time.”

(07/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mark Agnew
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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An ultramarathoner won the Badwater 135 race through Death Valley, then proposed. (She said yes.)

Moments after he finished the 135-mile run from Death Valley to Mount Whitney, setting a record in the Badwater 135 race, Japanese ultra runner Yoshihiko Ishikawa dropped to one knee. The reason wasn’t fatigue or relief over the accomplishment. He was asking his girlfriend to marry him.

Ishikawa finished the race Tuesday in 21 hours 33 minutes 1 second, breaking Pete Kostelnick’s 21:56:32 mark, set in 2016.

The Badwater race, one of the most prestigious and grueling ultras, started Monday at Badwater Basin in Death Valley, the lowest elevation in North America, and ended at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

The race covers three mountain ranges, with 14,600 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100 of cumulative descent, according to its website. An ultra is anything longer than the traditional 26.2-mile marathon.

After Ishikawa’s memorable finish and proposal (she said yes), there were plenty of tears.

Last year, Ishikawa, a 31-year-old engineer, won the Spartathlon, tracing the 153-mile route that Pheidippides ran before the battle of Marathon, in 22:54:40.

Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland was the women’s Badwater winner (and second to Ishikawa overall) with a time of 24:13:24 that was more than 90 minutes faster than the record set by Alyson Venti three years ago. Bereznowska also won the Spartathlon, in 2017.

(07/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Badwater 135

Badwater 135

Recognized globally as "the world’s toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers against one another and the elements. Badwater 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the...

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Cancellation of 2019 Hardrock 100 because the trail is not in good shape because of heavy snow during the winter doesn’t deter ultra community

There may not be a 2019 running of the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run through the San Juan Mountains, but there will be plenty of trail running events that will provide ultra-running enthusiasts a chance to interact with some of the world’s best athletes.

A week of activities kicked off Sunday in Durango, as running stars Anna Frost, François D’haene, Dakota Jones and Hardrock 100 director Dale Garland will gather at the Durango Outdoor Exchange for a public meet and greet and run.

“I think everyone loves talking about Hardrock and running,” said Frost, a two-time Hardrock 100 champion originally from New Zealand who now also calls Durango home. “It’s a great opportunity for us to have these world-class athletes right here in Durango as well as having the race director of Hardrock here.”

D’haene was one the favorites to win this year’s Hardrock 100 but will have to wait until next year to run for his first chance to kiss the rock, as this year’s run was canceled after a winter of heavy snow that resulted in avalanche debris making many sections of the 100.5-mile loop from Silverton to Telluride, Ouray and Lake City and back to Silverton impassable. There was also big concern about high water with a late runoff from the melting snow.

France’s D’haene, a four-time Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champion and UTMB course record holder, had planned to spend time running in the San Juan Mountains to prepare for this year’s Hardrock, and he still traveled to Southwest Colorado despite the race cancellation that was announced June 10.

“François D’haene, in my mind, is probably the best runner on the planet in terms of consistency and skill at ultra-running,” Frost said. “He has so much experience. He had a baby boy and was coming for Hardrock and decided to still come anyway. He’s pretty dedicated to his commitment to coming for Hardrock.”

Garland has yet to meet D’haene in person and is eager for him to join the Hardrock community this weekend.

“It does mean a lot when somebody of his stature and with his prestige in the ultra-running community says, you know what, it’s worth it for me to not blow this thing off and rearrange my schedule, I’m still going to enjoy the San Juan Mountains and still gonna be part of the Hardrock community,” Garland said.

Durango’s Jones also will be in attendance along with representatives from Salomon running. Frost said there will be several gear giveaways as well as a donation box to benefit the Silverton community and help mitigate the economic impact of there not being a race this year.

“I know Salomon is doing a special work day on Monday, so they are giving back and being part of the community, which I think is really cool,” Garland said.

(07/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hardrock 100

Hardrock 100

Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations and uncertain conditions on more than 40% of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled. The start date for 2020 is July 17. 100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of...

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Bonani Zuke will spend her 40th birthday running the Cape Town Marathon

There must be less painful ways of acknowledging a 40th birthday than running the 62,926 steps it takes an average woman to complete a marathon.

But that’s how Bonani Zuke – one of Fedhealth’s “Dream Chasers” participating in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon – has chosen to “celebrate” the milestone. “I could have thrown a party but you can throw a party anytime,” she says.

“A party might have made everyone happy but this is for me as an individual. There’s a sense of achievement once you cross the line, so for me it’s not a painful way to celebrate.”

Bonani’s birthday run at the Cape Town Marathon forms part of the Fedhealth Dream Chasers project. Dream Chasers is SA’s hottest new reality web series, featuring the trials and tribulations of three everyday South Africans pursuing their fitness dreams by running the 10km race, the 12km trail run or the 42.2km distance. The contestants receive expert coaching, nutritional advice and gear to bolster their efforts.

In addition, all Fedhealth members receive free entry to compete in the Cape Town Marathon.

The mother of two’s 40th falls on September 15, which is coincidentally the same day the marathon will be run.

Not exactly a novice – she first began running four years ago to lose weight after the birth of her daughter Zimkhitha – Bonani is hoping to drop her time of six hours and five minutes from her maiden marathon (the Soweto Marathon) by more than half an hour.

Like most people turning 40, she is in two minds about how she feels: “I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I’m happy that I’m still alive but I’ve also got pressure from the things I wanted to achieve that I haven’t yet, so I’m a bit anxious about how I’m going to achieve them.”

Well, 42.2km is about long enough to work most of that out.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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The 44th Espelette Ridge Race attracts 4,000 runners to breathe the air of the peaks and take in the country festive atmosphere

In the Basque Country this Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6, the ridges overlooking Espelette will see some 4,000 runners, many of whom will have traveled hundreds of kilometers to come breathe both the air of the peaks and a country festive atmosphere.

The festivities of the 44th Race of the peaks open this Friday night with a race of 8 km, disputed at night, on the slopes of the Mondarrain. The peloton will climb to the summit after dark, lighting up a small headlamp (departure at 22:30).

With the unexpected return of Thierry Breuil, the former French champion trail and 26 km record holder. Also to be followed by Éric Claverie, the champion of endurance events (24 hours and 100 km) without forgetting the Bayonne champion Guillaume Levoy, winner of the 2017 edition. But the organizers of the Napurrak club no longer run after the champions of the chrono . For them, the last one has as much merit as the first. It's the spirit of the Peaks.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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What do you do if your car won’t start and you have a five hour journey to the start line of the Knysna Forest Marathon?

When the car, marathon runner Siviwe Nkombi borrowed from his friend wouldn’t start just hours ahead of a long distance race he wanted to participate in, he knew that he had to come up with a quick plan to get to the site. 

Siviwe, who’s also known as The Lion King, is no stranger to running hard and tedious distances. So when he signed up for the Knysna Forest Marathon he expected nothing short of a win.

“I was about to depart from Mfuleni, which is about five hours away from Knysna, when the car I borrowed from my friend wouldn’t start,” the 29-year-old says.  

After several failed attempts to jumpstart the car battery and desperate to arrive on time to register for the marathon, Siviwe knew that he had to hit the road running.

“I went on to Facebook and asked if anyone’s headed in the direction of Knysna and if there was, they’d find me hitchhiking on the N2,” he said.

The marathon enthusiast who was born in Idutywa in the Eastern Cape spent more than three hours trying to hitchhike a ride to Knysna. Until a man who was headed to George gave him a lift.

“My Facebook post went viral and then one of the marathon sponsors agreed to send someone to pick me up in George so I’d make it in time before the marathon registrations close,” Siviwe says.

But little did he know that his bumpy road was far from over. He had 4% battery life left and nowhere to sleep for the evening and this spurred him on to become even more determined to win the race.

“Eventually I arrived at the venue, registered for the race and a Good Samaritan payed for my overnight accommodation.”

The marathon, which took place on 29 June, was filled with national runners who wanted to showcase their cross-country skills.

“When I arrived at the stadium I was extremely overwhelmed. Not because of all the competition that was there, but because of everything I had to endure to get there. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had,” Siviwe says.

He admits that there was a point where he wanted to give up during his tremulous journey but with so many people garnering for him online, he simply couldn’t.

“I ran that marathon with all I had. I didn’t care about who else was there. I just thought to myself ‘The Lion King is here. I’ll see them at the finish line.’”

Siviwe, who one day hopes to participate in the European Trail Runs, won the 42km marathon with an outstanding time of 2 hours 33 minutes.

“I want to thank everyone who backed me all the way and continues to support me.”

He added that all of his prize money will go towards his dream of one day participating in the European races.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Knysna Forest Marathon

Knysna Forest Marathon

The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon, known as one of South Africa’s most sought-after running events, offers exceptional highlights found in no other race anywhere in the world – particularly the scenery as most of the run takes place deep in the forest. Whether you compete in the half or the full marathon, runners can expect breath-taking views over the Knysna...

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The Run The World Global 52-week Challenge has finished. The team logged 122,123 miles or 335.5 daily. Michael Wardian was first American and Kenyan's Eliud Esinyen ran the most miles averaging 15.7 miles daily logging 5,738

Run The World Global Challenge is a world-wide celebration of running.  The program was started by Bob Anderson one year ago, July 4, 2018.  Since that time 281 runners around the world ran or walked and then logged 122,123 miles.  This equals 335.5 miles daily or 2,348 miles weekly for 52 weeks which equals 4.9 times around the world. 

"One of the key reasons we started this program," says creator Bob Anderson, My Best Runs and Runner's World magazine founder, "was to motivate people, bring together runners from all over and to run miles all over the world." 

That all happen. Runners from 20 countries participated, miles were run in 75 countries and it certainly motivated many runners to run more miles than they were running before. 

53-year-old James Kalani had not run much over the last few years and then he entered the RTW Challenge.  After getting in good shape over several months, he started pushing it for Challenge #5 which started March 31. Over the last 94 days he ran and logged 1536 miles.  That's 114 miles weekly.  It was not just covering miles, many were quality. On June 16 he ran 30.6 miles at an average pace of 6:41 per mile.

Before the RTW Challenge creator Bob Anderson was running on average 20 miles weekly.  "I got so motivated by this challenge," says Bob.  "I looked forward to running not just one time daily but often I would run two or three times.  I took a photo everyday and posted it in our Runner's Feed.  I also read every post and commented on each for the whole year.  I have been running since 1962 and have run nearly 1,000 races.  I am an addicted runner but I needed something new and this was it."

In the end Bob averaged 5 miles daily or 35 miles weekly for a total of 1830 miles for the year.  With the added miles he also improved his racing performance.  He ran 7:54 pace for 10k and placed third 70 plus at the London 10,000 in May.  A race with nearly 20,000 runners.

The RTW Challenge team did some amazing things during the year.  69-year-old Brent Weigner lives in Cheyenne Wyoming but many of his 2036 miles were run outside of the United States.  In fact Brent ran miles in 30 different countries. 

The most miles were run and logged in the United States.  The top five countries were: United States (64,899 miles), Kenya (24,066 miles), Palau (8,242 miles), India (7,423 miles) and South Africa (6,765).  The amazing story here is that the little country of Palau has less that 22,000 inhabitants and placed third.  Their team leader Aaron Salvador logged 1,584 miles himself and encouraged his team to run and log. 

The team leader for South Africa, Liz Dumon, is the key reason why her country placed fourth.  She herself ran and logged 1000 miles.  Liz encouraged people to sign up.  In fact our youngest members were twins she recruited along with mom and grandma. The 7-year-old twins Jonathan (logged 118 miles) and his sister Michelle (logged 100 miles) had loads of fun and posted regularly in the Runners Feed.  Their dogs joined in on the fun too. (Third photo of twins with Grandma)

Their 56-year-old grandma (Johanna Fourie) logged 672 miles and placed 10th for females.  Right behind her was mom (Erika Fourie) with 625 miles. 

Who said age is just a number? The top three overall females were 65 plus.  Placing first was 68-year-old Kat Powell (USA).  She logged 1271 miles.  Not far back was 69-year-old Linda Robinson (USA) with 1145 miles followed by 65-year-old Carmella DiPippa (PW) with 1040 miles.  Sixth female was 71-year-old Karen Galati (USA) who logged 835 miles.

On the men's side there were so many stars.  35-year-old Kenyan Eliud Esinyen averaged 15.7 miles daily or 110 miles weekly (second photo).  Many times he ran three times daily.  On April 21 he ran a marathon on a tough course at high altitude clocking 2:22:46 which is 5:27/mile pace.  On January 27 he ran a 10k clocking 31:05.  Eliud ran and logged the most with 5,738 miles. 

Kenya's team leader Willie Korir (27) placed second overall with 5195 miles.  He also posted images regularly in the Runners Feed along with comments.  He also wrote several stories for My Best Runs Running News Daily column including finding inside information about the king of the marathon, Eluid Kipchoge.

The first American and third overall was 45-year-old Michael Wardian with 3618 miles (frist photo). This ultra star pulled off many amazing feats during the year.  Most recently on June 29 he ran 89.9 miles around Washington DC.  On May 4th he ran 62.14 miles at 7:14/mile average pace in Sacramento.  He ran the Big Sur Marathon in 2:35:18 making the podium.  He had run the Boston Marathon earlier a little faster clocking 2:33:23.

In March he travelled to Israel and posted the fastest known time on the 631-mile Natoinal Israel Trail.  He covered this distance in 10 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes.  Earlier he not only ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days (winning them all) he tacked on three more marathons when he got home.  That's ten marathons in ten days.  He is the complete runner with a wide range.  On Feb 10th he ran a 5k in 17:01. 

"Michael is one amazing versatile runner and we were happy when he decided to join our team," says Bob Anderson.

Second American and fifth overall was 75-year-old Frank Bozanich who logged 3523 miles. Frank has run many ultra races over the years and have won many.  Lots of these miles were not real fast compared to what he has done before.  But on July 30th last year he ran 20 miles in Reno in two hours and 43 minutes.  That is an 8:09/mile pace. 

Finishing in seventh place was 72-year-old Paul Shimon who logged 2835.  Like so many of our team, Paul had to deal with a lot of bad weather in Kansas during the winter.  But he layered up and got in the miles.

Michael T Anderson (61)  placed eighth overall logging 2,798 with lots of fast times along the way.   He has run over 130,000 miles in his lifetime so far.  On June 8th he ran 19:13 for 5k in Atlanta where he lives.  On April 28 he clocked 39:25 for 10k.

"The fastest runner on our team was Joel Maina Mwangi," says Bob Anderson.  This 34-year-old Kenyan placed 13th overall with 1,953 miles logged.  On March 10 he ran a 30:14 10k in Torino Italy.   He ran six half marathons under 1:05.  His fastest was run in Aosta, Italy where he clocked 1:02:50 on September 30. 

"There are as many amazing stories," says Bob Anderson. "I am glad our event is helping motivate runners all over the world.  I am looking forward for year two." 

What's next?  Run The World Global Challenge #6 will be a 10-week program.  There is no entry fee.  You just need to have a free My Best Runs (the sponsor of this program) account and sign up for Run The World. 

(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Run The World Global Challenge 7

Run The World Global Challenge 7

Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. Here is he link for the official results of Run The World 52-Week Challenge. Congrats to all our participants. RTW Challenge #7 is a 10 week program starting September 11, 2019 and ending 11:59pm Tuesday November 19, 2019 (California USA time). There is no entry fee. You log...

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British athlete Kristian Morgan is aiming to set a new world record for running the iconic 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail

Starting on July 1st, the inov-8 ambassador hopes to break the highly sought-after speed record of 41 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes, set last year by Belgian dentist Karel Sabbe, and held previously by ultramarathon running legends like Scott Jurek and Karl Meltzer. If successful it will be an official Guinness World Record.

To do this, the 42-year-old aims to run and fast-hike about 55 miles a day, sleep between 5 and 7 hours a night and consume approximately 8,000 calories a day.

His “secret weapon” will be revolutionary inov-8 graphene shoes, giving him the world’s toughest grip for the world’s toughest trail running challenge.

The Appalachian Trail (AT) is hugely popular with thru-hikers, most of whom take 5 to 7 months to complete the route, which climbs the equivalent of 16 times Mount Everest. Kristian hopes to do it all in less than 6 weeks.

To put it into perspective, Kristian will attempt to run back-to-back marathons, plus a little more, every day, covering a distance equal to two-and-a-half completions of Land’s End to John o’ Groats (the length of Britain).

Running northbound from Georgia to Maine on the Eastern side of the United States, Kristian will pass through 14 states and be supported throughout by his mum and cousin, who will drive ahead and set up overnight camps at scheduled stops.

“I decided long ago that I wanted to live a life rich in experiences over possessions, and I can think of no better experience than running the AT. It’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime,” said Kristian, who has run 120+ marathons and ultramarathon events.

“I supported Karel when he set the record last year, spending 15 days on the trail with him. I also spent another 5 days on the trail earlier this year. I feel all this experience, coupled with the help I’ve had in planning from AT veterans, stands me in good stead to have a go at the world record.”

Living out of a camper van in the heart of London for the last eight years and working as a self-employed ultramarathon coach, Kristian has done most of his training in and around England’s capital city, often running 100+ repetitions of a small hill near Crystal Palace.

He added: “Life on the AT will be very different to life in London, but I can’t wait to get going. I’ll start running at 4am each day in the dark and push on until reaching the overnight camp. I’m really looking forward to the peace and tranquillity, but less so the prospect of encountering bears and snakes. Meeting a bear in the dark is my biggest fear!”

The AT speed record is one of the most high-profile in the sport of ultramarathon running. Kristian has been able to gain advice from legends like Jurek and Meltzer, plus invaluable support from Warren Doyle – a man who has thru-hiked the AT 18 times.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Richard Bolt
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Three-time Berlin Marathon champion Kenya’s Gladys Cherono has predicted that the Women-only World Record could go down at the next London Marathon

Cherono, who made her London debut last year to finish fourth, disclosed on Wednesday that Mary Keitany’s Women-Only World Record of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 01 minute set at the same course in 2017 could be broken owing to the favorable weather and strong field in the English capital.

“It has been forecast that the weather in London will be warmer on Sunday and that, coupled with a strong field featuring the top five marathon entrants each of whom has run sub-2 hours and 20 minutes in the last one year with the exception of one, Keitany’s Women-only World Record in 2017 could be lowered,” said the 35-year-old Cherono, whose three World Marathon Major victories came from Berlin.

Cherono completed her hat-trick of victories in Berlin last year in 2:18:11, the sixth fastest time in the history of the marathon.

However, it’s Keitany who boasts the fastest time in the rich field for London Marathon from her trail-blazing victory in 2017, followed by Cherono’s 2:18:11 from last year’s Berlin Marathon. Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot also weighs in with her triumphant time of 2:18:31 from last year’s race.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has the fourth fastest time in the field of 2:18:35 from her victory at Chicago Marathon last year and is followed by Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, who has a personal best of 2:19:51 from Tokyo Marathon last year.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who still runs the BERLIN-MARATHON today, and...

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Wilf Leblanc 57-year-old smashes multi-Grouse Grind record on summer solstice

On June 21, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres over 48K (almost double Mount Everest). The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence, beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.

The multi-grind challenge is unique as it relies on the Grouse Mountain tram system. For solstice, the tram is scheduled for every 10 minutes. Participants may begin as early as 4:00 a.m., and can begin their final Grind at 9:59:59 p.m. Leblanc met the legendary Spence a few weeks prior to the event, and determined that “19 was possible by doing 45-minute Grinds all day. 19 is not crazy.” Leblanc’s plan of attack was to “stay with Brooke. I know she’s strong. I’m just gonna stay with her, until I can’t.”

On June 21, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres over 48K (almost double Mount Everest). The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence, beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.

The multi-grind challenge is unique as it relies on the Grouse Mountain tram system. For solstice, the tram is scheduled for every 10 minutes. Participants may begin as early as 4:00 a.m., and can begin their final Grind at 9:59:59 p.m. Leblanc met the legendary Spence a few weeks prior to the event, and determined that “19 was possible by doing 45-minute Grinds all day. 19 is not crazy.” Leblanc’s plan of attack was to “stay with Brooke. I know she’s strong. I’m just gonna stay with her, until I can’t.”

“More people did 15 [Grinds] this year alone than ever before,” says 2017 record-holder Ian Roberton. Robertson was planning on breaking his record of 17 ascents, until his stomach took a turn mid-day. Robertson, Leblanc, Spence, and Stewart were together for the first lap. But Stewart missed the first tram down at 4:45 a.m. due to a broken timing chip, which left him hiking solo until number 18. Leblanc and Spence hiked for 15 laps together, and had fun with friends joining the party for one to five Grinds.

The vertical master Spence says that “this year was a lot different than last year, because last year, I hiked alone. This year, there were four or five of us for a lot of it. It was tons of fun with pacers going in and out. You’re seeing all the other multi-grinders do it and everyone is so encouraging.” Leblanc said it was a highlight having his crew along with Spence’s hiking together.

(06/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cecilia Flori often smiles through pain, but now she’s hoping an injury doesn’t keep her from competing at the 2019 Western States 100-mile race

The gap between elites and amateurs can feel wide indeed, but one area of common ground is an injury that threatens the start line of an important race. That’s the relatable place elite ultrarunner Cecilia Flori finds herself as she struggles with a foot injury a few weeks out from the Western States Endurance Run, the 100-mile race on June 29, from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

Expected to be a favorite in this year’s event, Flori arrived in California more than a month before the race, hoping to train on the course. The 38-year-old Italian physicist, who currently calls New Zealand home, earned bib F5 and says she was feeling as fit as ever when her foot began to hurt.

“I’ve been working on my speed by running marathons this year,” she said. “I think the Western course suits my strengths and I was more than ready for it.”

Relatively new to the ultra scene—and running in general—Flori made a big entrance to the sport, nabbing a podium spot at the North Face Endurance 50-miler in Canada in 2015.

“I’ve always loved the outdoors and was a climber before a triathlete friend convinced me to run a half marathon with him,” she said. “I really enjoyed it and I was hooked.”

Flori says the flow of running is what drew her in. “The repetitive motion makes me feel alive,” she said. “It’s a primal feeling—I’m at one with nature when I’m on trails.”

Relocating for her research to scenic New Zealand in 2016, Flori migrated entirely from climbing to running, joining a running club for training. She took on some shorter distance trail races and then won the Taupo 100K. “I started thinking that maybe I was good at endurance,” she says. “In 2017, I entered the Tarawera 100 and took third behind [2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner] Magda Boulet and [2017 Comrades champion] Camille Herron. I was shocked but I realized I could compete on an international level.”

Herron has since become Flori’s coach, and it was that Tarawera race that made Herron take note.

“I watched her run neck-and-neck with Magda Boulet,” Herron said. “What I remember most as I looped around and saw her was the big smile on her face.”

Since then there have been few hiccups in Flori’s ascent to the upper echelons of ultras. She pulled off fifth at last year’s Western States in 19:44 and followed it up with a 10th place finish at the 101K CCC in the French Alps last September, which she admits, tested her. “It was a learning experience,” she said. “I was sick and had to stop at aid stations quite a bit. But I still managed 10th and I’m proud of myself.”

Herron says Flori has a bright future ahead of her. “I saw that same smile on Cecilia’s face at 62 miles into Western last year. For someone to look that good in fifth place tells me she has lots more to give.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amanda Loudin
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Kara Goucher says the Leadville Trail Marathon was the hardest thing she'd ever done

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition.

It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time was 3:54:07.)

"I pushed beyond any limit I ever have, thanks for making me find out what I’m made of when the going gets rough!” Goucher said in another tweet. Goucher told Runners World that she was vomiting repeatedly from altitude sickness throughout the race.

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium (which also happened to be the M30-39 podium).

The course runs through old mining roads and trails, reaching a maximum elevation of 13,185 feet (4,019m). This was the race’s 19th year.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Leadville Trail Marathon

Leadville Trail Marathon

Run through the historic mining district’s challenging old mining roads and trails, and hit a high of 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass during the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail Marathon or Heavy Half Marathon. The views will leave you breathless, if you’re not already. This exciting race is hosted in the Historic Mining District located on the east side of...

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New Racing Rules Remove Some Barriers for Transgender Runners

As president of the board of the nonprofit that oversees one of the most prestigious ultradistance races in the country, John Medinger has had to deal with many concerns: sponsors, weather, permits, volunteers.

But it wasn’t until this year that he and his colleagues at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run were compelled to address an issue few would have envisioned when it was first held in 1974: transgender competitors.

“It’s not something we would have been thinking about back then, that’s for sure,” said Mr. Medinger, 68, who has run Western States five times and has been involved in race management since 1991. “But it’s the nature of society now.”

And it’s something that the world of competitive athletics, including the Olympics, USA Track & Field and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has been grappling with: how transgender women, in particular, should be entered and scored in competition and whether they have an unfair biological advantage over cisgender women, whose identity reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Although the science is mixed on the biology, some people contend that transgender women have an advantage because of size and the presence of testosterone, even though hormone levels change during transition.

But others, most notably the researcher and transgender runner Dr. Joanna Harper, are skeptical that such an edge exists, particularly in endurance sports in which (as opposed to say, sprinting or shot-putting) transgender women appear to have similar cardiovascular measures as cisgender women and thus little or no advantage.

While Western States starts near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, there is no prize money, scholarships or endorsement deals are at stake. 

There are no gold medals, but there is some precious metal involved: a handmade silver belt buckle for those who manage to complete the distance in less than 24 hours.

On June 29 and 30, 369 runners (chosen through a lottery entered by 5,862 runners) will take on the Western States challenge, as they attempt to navigate a mind-and-body-boggling 100 miles of trails and altitude changes from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. The swiftest will be running to finish among the top 10 men or women. Recognition is also given to the top three males and females in five age groups from 30 to over 70.

The question of transgender fairness arose for Western States in December, when Grace Fisher — a transgender runner who is an outstanding ultradistance competitor — was selected through the race’s traditional lottery system.

The event’s management team decided it was time to come up with a policy. “We felt that this was not something we should ignore,” said Diana Fitzpatrick, a board member. “If it turned out that she finished in the top 10, it would be better for her and everyone that we had a policy in place.”

Back in high school in Utah, Ms. Fisher, now 38, was a male-identified track runner. She recalls that when some teammates ran a local marathon their senior year, “I said, ‘I’ll never do that, it’s crazy.’” Eventually, Ms. Fisher began running distances far longer than the marathon. She has completed about 40 ultramarathons, including eight 100-mile races.

She continued running during the years when, she said, “I was figuring things out.” After hormone treatments, she ran her first ultramarathon as a woman in 2015. She said she slowed down since her transition as a result of muscle mass loss, which can be attributed to hormonal treatments.

But Ms. Fisher, who lives in Hancock, Md., ran a personal best time in a 100-miler in Virginia last September of 18 hours 41 minutes. She was the first female finisher and fifth overall in that race.

Ms. Fitzpatrick, 61, a lawyer who is also a runner (she, too, has competed in Western States five times), worked with a committee of four other board members to develop the policy. They looked at existing guidelines from other organizations and races, and spoke to leading figures in transgender sports.

During the process, they were also cognizant that the runner who had sparked their action did not ask for the guidelines.

The guidelines they came up with, and which were announced in March, are being viewed as a model for other participatory running events.

Ms. Fitzpatrick acknowledged that “we really tried to have a `live and let live’ view on this.”

Hence Western State’s guidelines state that “a runner’s self-declared gender at registration will be accepted at face value.” No one need produce a driver’s license or other identification as has been the case for some races.

If, however, a finisher in the top 10 or among the top three in their age group is challenged, race management may ask the runner for documentation that they have undergone medically supervised hormone treatment for gender transition for at least a year before the race.

Even in the event that a transgender runner wins an award or is challenged and the challenge is upheld by race management, the guidelines state that “the runner will be allowed to keep their finisher’s buckle.”

That allowance, Ms. Fitzpatrick says, is to underscore that the new guidelines are “not about punishment.” By contrast, competitors who violate Western States doping policy are stripped of their silver buckle — as well as whatever other award they won.

“Underneath this all are real people with real feelings who have usually had a long, hard journey to get where they are,” Ms. Fitzpatrick said. “The last thing they need are additional challenges and hurdles.”

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by New York Times
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Henri Lehkonen is more prepared than ever for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

The Hong Kong-based Australian Henri Lehmonrn will run the Western States 100 with a power monitor attached to his shoe and will stick religiously to a predetermined wattage.

“It’s been a revelation. If I lost the thing, I’d buy another tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a miracle way to control yourself in racing.”

Lehkonen believes it is better than other similar metrics, like heart rate, because it removes variables like excitement or altitude.

“I’ve done enough races now when I’ve not followed the watch and I’ve blown up, and when I’ve followed the watch and I’m tearing past people at the end,” he said. “I follow it for the first third – that’s where the damage is done if you over exert yourself. Then you get the adrenaline from passing people.”

And it is working. In March, he ran the 100km Ultra Trail Australia (UTA). He was 69th after 1km, but finished 11th in a highly competitive field.

Power meters are common in sports like cycling, but are yet to be taken up widespread in trail running. Lehkonen was introduced to the meter by his coach Andy Dubois, who crunches the data to give him an accurate power curve for his races.

Aside from the gadgets, Lehkonen is leaving no stone unturned. It is notoriously hard to win a place at WSER100. Hopefuls enter a lottery, and improve their chances by entering the lottery multiple years in a row. This was Lehkonen’s third year submitting an application, which is relatively quick.

“It’s Western States. It’s that big and it’s hard to get into, so I’m viewing it as all in,” he said.

He flew to California for a weekend to look at the course. The race directors organised a three-day event where runners could do the last 112km of the course, with some of the checkpoints set up.

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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A bear jumped out between runners, during Leadville trail marathon

Runners who were taking part in the Leadville Trail Marathon in Colorado on Saturday have shared their shock, after a black bear jumped out between runners and ran across the trial.

Giving runners extra motivation to pick up the pace, or stop and get their camera phones out, the bear ran out from the woods, across the trail busy with runners, and back into the woods on the other side.

Black bears are one of the fastest species of bears, and can easily outrun a human when sprinting. In fact, the evidence shows that bears can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour quite comfortably when they want to.

Runner Stephen Peterson wrote on Facebook, “When you run Leadville, you just might run into a bear! My good friend Quentin Genke and I were a couple of hours into our race when this huge black bear made his appearance right in front of us, imagine our shock!”

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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The two-time Olympian and world championship silver-medallist Kara Goucher wins age group at Leadville Trail Marathon

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at yesterday’s Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.}

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition. It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time yesterday was 3:54:07.)

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium 

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Jon Ward is embarking on an expedition to become the first person to run the entire North East 250 tourist trail in Scotland

Corporal Jon Ward, who is posted at RAF Lossiemouth, expects to cover the arduous route in just six days. 

The 33-year-old ultra-marathoner has previously tested his body to the limit on a 216-mile endurance challenge spanning the east and west of Scotland in less than 100 hours.

The serviceman, who is originally from Hereford, set himself the target of becoming the first to run the NE250 to help share his love for the north-east which has developed since he was posted to the region two years ago.

Jon Ward said: “I didn’t really sleep when I did the 216-mile run. When you stop your body goes into a recovery mode – your legs start throbbing and your body just feels less active.

“I’m not really thinking about a fast time for the NE250, I just want to do it. That might make it harder because every day I have to prepare myself for the run, which might be tough if the weather is not nice.”

Over the next six days the runner will scale peaks in the Cairngorms before following the River Spey to the sea and spanning the Aberdeenshire coast before turning towards Deeside ahead of finishing in Braemar on Wednesday.

Along the way, he hopes to stop at the numerous attractions along the route to share his new-found love of the north-east with a wider audience.

(06/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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A brand new urban ultra marathon challenge is going to take place in the heart of London

Ultra London, a brand new urban ultra-marathon event, is set to take place on Saturday October5. The multi-distance event will be held on an innovative course, that aims to showcase some of London’s finest viewpoints, whilst crossing many of its lesser known open spaces, nature reserves and Sites of Specific Scientific Interest.

The 55km ultra course starts in Woolwich and finishes in Richmond upon Thames, with participants following large parts of the Capital Ring Walk route across south London. The challenging yet accessible event also includes a 27.5km run or walk starting at Crystal Palace, also finishing in Richmond.

The course, a mix of trails, footpaths, parks, disused railway lines, woodland and more will provide a challenge for participants who will also need to ensure they navigate the correct paths through parts of Falconwood, Grove Park, Crystal Palace, Streatham, Wimbledon and onto Richmond.

Andy Graffin, Director of Product Development at The Great Run Company who are staging the event, said: “We’re excited to be trying something new in the growing area of ultra running. Many of London’s landmarks are world famous of course, yet the Capital Ring is a comparatively little-known gem and we hope this event will provide participants with a suitable challenge and perhaps some surprises along the way, they will pass numerous landmarks and enjoy some breath-taking views of the Capital.

“Being in London, the event is accessible for participants and also for friends, family and supporters who can plan a route using public transport that will allow them to see their runner at numerous points along the course.”

Whilst the inaugural event this year uses the southern half of the Capital Ring there are plans to include the northern half of the route in 2020, where the ultimate challenge for ultra-runners will be to complete the entire 125km circular route in the Ultra London 125.

(06/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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The 2019 Hardrock 100 has been cancelled due to historic snowfall effecting more than 40 percent of the course

Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations and uncertain conditions on more than 40% of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled. This decision, while difficult, adheres to the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run’s overall commitment to land stewardship and the safety of the Hardrock community.

The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run committee’s decision to cancel the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run was based on a thorough and complete evaluation of all available information and utilized a number of key resources to support its decision.

Firsthand course trail reconnaissance combined with assembled trail reports, key and valuable input from the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forestry Service and the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run committee and Board of Directors all served to guide the decision-making process.

All runners who are entered in the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run as of June 10th, 2019 will have the option of either rolling over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run or withdrawing their entry slot and receiving a full refund of their entry fee.

Entrants must notify the Run Director, Dale Garland, by email (dale@hardrock100.com) by July 12th, 2019 if they wish to withdraw; otherwise they will be considered to have elected to roll over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.

“After an extensive process, it became clear that the uncertainty associated with the condition of the course and the issues that the uncertainty caused among our organizational components meant we could not organize and administer a safe and meaningful 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run that was consistent with the standards and values Hardrock has become known for,” said Run Director, Dale Garland.

“While snow and snow water equivalent levels looked to be dropping to manageable levels, other issues such as unprecedented avalanche debris, unstable snow bridges and high-water levels all contributed to us reaching the tough final decision that we did.”

The start date for the 2020 Hardrock will be July 17, 2020.

(06/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hardrock 100

Hardrock 100

Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations and uncertain conditions on more than 40% of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled. The start date for 2020 is July 17. 100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of...

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Age-group superstar 62-year-old Brian Pilcher wins the Dipsea for the fourth time.

Kentfield, California's Brian Pilcher, competing in the Dipsea Race for the first time since winning his third race in 2016, crossed the finish line in Stinson Beach first on Sunday morning to claim his fourth career victory.

Colorado’s Mark Tatum (age 59) finished second with San Rafael’s Alex Varner (33) and Sausalito’s Chris Lundy (48) — the two-time defending champion  –finishing third and fourth, respectively.

With his 4th win, 62-year old Brian Pilcher ties Shirley Matson for 2nd most wins in history (after Sal Vasquez with seven wins).

Sausalito’s Chris Lundy, 48, who began with a two-minute penalty after winning the last two Dipseas, said afterwards. 

“I had a good race today,” Lundy said. “It was a little bit slower than last year, but I felt really good and ran as fast as I could. I like the heat, but it still slows you down a little bit.”

Corte Madera’s Clara Peterson, 35, who finished 10th last year, rounded out the top five. Peterson also earned the award for best woman’s time, and two of her four children walked to the stage to accept her two trophies.

Brisbane’s Cliff Lentz, 54, Novato’s Dominic Vogl, 32, Montrose, Colo., resident Heath Hibbard, 66, Larkspur’s Diana Fitzpatrick, 61, and San Rafael’s Wayne Best, 51, placed 6-10, respectively.

Offical times have not been posted yet.  

The Dipsea was first run in 1905 and is considered to be the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June.

The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley, California to Stinson Beach is also considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world.

The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race. And its unique handicapping system has made winners of men and women of all ages. Because of its beauty and challenge, it is a very popular event, and because of safety and environmental concerns the number of runners is limited to about 1,500.

While racers enter from all over the world, the Dipsea is primarily a Northern California event and the entry process is tilted slightly to favor local contestants.

(06/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Dipsea Race

The Dipsea Race

First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race....

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