Best of 2011: Ultra trail

Posted in At the Races by Matt Ward on Sun 01 Jan '12


Ryan Sandes wins Leadville 2011

After our subjective view on the Best of 2011: Fell and mountain racing on New Year’s Eve, we thought we should also take a look at ultra trail races which caught our eye around the world in 2011…

There is no doubt that ultra trail running has caught the imagination of many an ultra convert this last year, and at the forefront of much of this has been the Catalan rocket Kilian Jornet. His humility, talent and dominance have been outstanding again this year and it’s difficult to believe that the guy is still only 24.

So, here we go on our run far highlights of 2011.

Ian Sharman – “that’s 7.38 miling, for 100 miles!”

Some of the US’ top ultra runners gathered last weekend in Texas for the Rocky Racoon 100, and it was US-based Brit Ian Sharman who ran away from the likes of Anton Krupicka to win in a super-fast 12.44…

MST report

© Josh Baker /

Ian Sharman

It’s Mackey and Smith at Miwok

This excellent ‘race highlights’ film by The Endurables pretty much sums up Dave Mackey and Pam Smith’s wins at this weekend’s Miwok 100k race in what sounded like some titanic trail running battles at Marin Headlands nr San Francisco…

MST report

Kilian continues his march at the TNF100

After a race-long battle with Salomon team-mates Ryan Sandes and then new-kid-on-the-block Francios D’Haene, Catalan Kilian Jornet has added the TNF 100 to his list of amazing trail achievements…

MST report

© AROC Twitter

Kilian in Australia in early 2011

Tierney takes Wicklow Way Record

Paul Tierney this weekend forever etched his name in Irish ultra running records as he took Eion Keith’s three year-old record on the the iconic Wicklow Way, taking eight minutes off Keith’s 2008 time…

MST report

Palmer dominates at the Brecon 40

Mark Palmer used his local knowledge to his advantage as he raced to a comfortable win at this weekend’s Brecon 40 in South Wales. The event (promoted by was round 6 of the 2011 UK Ultra-running Championships…

MST report


Mark Palmer

Jornet makes history at Western States

After finishing third in 2010 and vowing to return the a race he describes as ‘mythical’, Kilian Jornet has added the Western States 100 to his amazing array of running achievements…

MST report


Kilian on-route at the WS100

Chorier runs third fastest Hardrock 100 in history

French-raider Julien Chorier followed in the footsteps of Kilian Jornet (Western States) in 2011 by being the winner of a US 100 mile ultra-trail race. Not only did Chorier demolish a pretty good field at the Hardrock 100, but did it virtually alone…

MST report


Julien Chorier

French double at the World Trail Champs

It was double delight for the French team at this weekend’s World Trail Running Championships in Connemara as Erik Clavery and Maud Gobert took the individual titles on a tough course that produced a true champion…

MST report

Conway produces sizzling performance at UTLD

Glorious weather, a superb event and some very worthy winners, graced the Lakeland 100 and 50 mile events this weekend, otherwise know as the UTLD (Ultra Tour of the Lake District)…

MST report


Terry Conway on route at the Lakeland 100

Sandes wins 100 debut at Leadville…

The ‘Sandman’ Ryan Sandes wrote his name into US ultra trail running history today as he won the Leadville Trail 100. The South African was running his first ever 100 miler and lead from around the half-way mark to win by over 30 mins by the finish…

MST report


Dylan Bowman

Wolfe and Smith get the job done at TRR

Holding on to a leaders jersey in any sport can often be harder than getting it in the first place. So, with just one stage to go in the 2011 Trans Rockies Run Smith and Wolfe at the 2011 Trans Rockies Mike Smith and Jason Wolfe had to dig deep and keep their nerve

MST report

Jornet regains his UTMB crown, whilst Lizzie takes 4th title

For the 2011 UTMB mark as ‘brutal’. After the start time was moved on Friday evening to 11.30pm due to storms, the anticipation for this great race only grew, as Chamonix became a trail running couldron…

MST report

© The North Face

Hawker at the 2010 UTMB

Lopez and Caballero prove strongest to win 7th Transalpine-Run

Although the pairing of Jethro Lennox and Joe Symonds appeared to be the strongest runners in the final two stages, the Spainish duo did enough in the early stages to win the 2011 GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run.

MST report

© Kelvin Trautman

Welsh copper strikes Gold

It’s just as well that Richie Gardiner didn’t give up on his dream to represent Wales at a major championship because after four near misses he helped himself to two gold medals on his Commonwealth debut…

MST report

Symonds returns in style!

British fell and mountain international Andy Symonds has made an amazing return to racing after almost a year of injury. On Sunday the Scots exile took a great victory at one of France’s great races, the 71km La Grande Course des Templiers

MST report


With Thomas Lorbanchet (left) and Thierry Breuil

Colquhoun impresses at Ultima Frontera

A highly successful, inaugural Ultima Frontera went ahead this weekend, and despite the first rain for almost 4 months in the Poniente de Granada region Spain’s Juan Ruiz and Scotland’s Lucy Colquhoun were impressive winners

MST report

Wolfe and Frost show ultra class in San Francisco

For Anna Frost Saturday was one of those coming-of-age days. The New Zealeander has spent the last few seasons in the mountains of world gaining a reputation as a world-class mountain runner…

MST report


Anna Frost early on at the TNF50

Reactions so far
  1. Paul Bateson Jan 2, 07:49 PM

    Thanks for including UltimaFrontera160, it was the first edition (and a new addition to our very successful Al Andalus Ultimate Trail stage race promotion) and we hope it will grow and improve every year. According to a few competitors it was similar to western states and it does appear to be a good event in which you can record a fast 100mile time. Thanks to everyone who entered and have a great 2012.

  2. Ultra168 - Marcus Jan 2, 08:38 PM

    Fantastic summary guys, really brings back some memories, especially seeing Kilian at TNF100 in Oz and WS100 in CA blitz the field.

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