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

Posted in At the Races on Sun 28 Aug ’11


Kilian Jornet at UTMB 2011

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…

© The North Face

This beautifully captured film by The North Face on the Saturday morning, shows the immense scale of this event and what competitors had to run through over this vast massif, and just why there is such demand for the UTMB.

Setting off in heavy rain some of the leading lights in men’s and women’s trail running put themselves at the head of the field quickly. As ever in ultra distance running though, the first 6 hours are about settling into a rhythm and so was the case as Spain’s Kilian Jornet, Miguel Heras and Iker Karrera, along with France’s Sebastien Chaigneau, formed a quartet which pretty much stayed together until the Trient (145km) checkpoint – when Heras was cruelly forced to abandon due to knee pain.


Heras leads a Spanish train at UTMB 2011

It was left to these three to decide the spoils over the next 25km, and what ensued was a mammoth battle which saw a mere 19 minutes separating all three by the time they arrived to a massive welcome in Chamonix, with two-time winner Jornet pulling away from Karrera in the last hour to win by 9 mins in 20:36:43. Chaigneau was third, 10 minutes back on Karrera.

© Pierre Anthonioz

Sebastien Chaigneau

Humble Catalan Jornet later tweeted:

Amazing race #utmb2011 just fun!! Thanks all supporters and organizers! At end 170k and 9700m+ Very happy to complete podium with 2 friends!!

…before no doubt heading off to get some well-earned rest!


As Kilian sits atop of the throne once again, he will look back at a 166km route littered with trail running giant casualties, ‘dropped’ runners as they are known. The list includes Geoff Roes, Scott Jurek, Krissy Moehl, Jez Bragg, Miguel Heras, Nick Clark, Mike Wolfe, Dakota Jones et al. whether through injury, fatigue or other misfortune.

Though no less intense, the women’s race saw a dominant performance, by one athlete, proving that she should be considered one of the best endurance athletes in women’s sport today. Lizzie Hawker knows this race well. Wins in 2005, 2008 and last year’s shortened event, showed us that the North Face athlete is capable of dealing with everything that this epic event was capable of throwing at her.

© The North Face

Hawker at the 2010 UTMB

And so it proved once again this year. Lizzie led from the outset, running so strongly early on that she led many of the men’s big names as they went through St. Gervais after about 20km. From this point onwards the UK runner poured on the pressure to all female contenders, continually extending her lead over the next 20 or so hours, finishing in 25:02, to glorious fanfare from the thousands of fans assembled in Chamonix.

Speaking immediately after she crossed the line Lizzie talked of being elated, but tired and having suffered with hip pain for much of the third part of the race. Her forth win in this monumental event must surely now place her in a hall of fame that few women will emulate in the future.


Nerea Martinez running through the UTMB night…

Spain’s Nerea Martinez took a brilliant second, after holding Hawker to around 45 minutes for much of the race, before fading in the latter stages. US runner Darcy Africa came through very strongly in the last two hours of the race to claim an excellent third.

Live results as they happen are here, with images and more reaction to follow.

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Aug 29, 04:07 AM

    Wow! I think the North Face film might be the most beautiful trail running film that I have ever seen! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us!

    Congratulations to Kilian. Lizzy and all the runners who gave this great race their best! I salute you all.

  2. Don
    Aug 29, 06:14 AM

    2 important pieces of information. Not only did the organisers have to put back the start of the race due to bad weather, but they also had to reroute the last part of the race, and it became 170 kms long, as if 166 wasn’t long enough. Also Lizzie’s performance was stupendous with only a paltry 12 men managing to beat her!

  3. Malcolm.
    Aug 29, 09:03 AM

    I knew Kilian was popular but at the finish it became apparent just how much of a super star he really is. He was taken by TNF

Crunch time in Blackburn

Posted in At the Races on Thu 11 Aug ’11


The GB girls – 2009 World Mountain Running Champions

The UK’s elite mountain runners go on Trial this Saturday, as the selection races for World MR Champs in Albania on 11 Sept and Commonwealth Mountain Championships in Wales on the 24 Sept take place at Witton Park, Blackburn…


The trial races take on extra significance this year as they will determine the GB squads for the men, women, junior men and junior women, which will travel to Albania in 4 weeks, and also the English and Welsh teams who will head to Llanberis two weeks after the World Champs for those Commonwealth Champs. So there is a lot at stake!

Some may be asking why a trial race for such events is taking place in the relatively low-altitude of Witton Park, a venue more akin to hosting XC races. Well, looking at the WMRC course profile, which rises a mere 200m above its 122 metre start point on each lap it will be a course which is best suited to a fast road runner, who can climb, as opposed to an out-and-out mountain runner.


With entries on the day it’s a little tricky to see who the contenders are, however we can expect a heady mix of road, mountain and fell running talent to take to the Witton Park course, and here are a few probables courtesy of my International, UKA and Run Britain contacts, who include Jackie Newton and Sarah Rowell (reliable sources I might add!):

Dionne Allen
Kate Goodhead
Sarah Tunstall
Mary Wilkinson
Katie Ingham
Rebecca Robinson
Vic Wilkinson
Emma Clayton
Lizzie Adams
Pippa Maddams

Andi Jones
Tom Cornthwaite
Tom Addison
Matt Clowes
Robbie Simpson
Lloyd Taggart
Nick Swinburn
Adam Osborne
Orlando Edwards
Chris Smith
James McMullen
Adam Grice
Garry Rankin
Dewi Griffiths
Rob Samuel

Racing gets underway at 12.45pm, with further info at the FRA and UKA sites…

© Al Tye /

Tom Cornthwaite – winner of the 2010 trial on Snowdon

Reactions so far
  1. Malcolm Patterson
    Aug 11, 10:21 AM

    This race is not the trial race for the Scottish team for the Commonwealths! Rather this is on August 28th at Menstrie, details here:


  2. flixstr
    Aug 11, 01:21 PM

    I think the course is deceptive and a lot tougher then runners will expect, the conditions have changed in the last few days with a lot of rain which will make it a little slower. Tom has to be right up there with a cahnce being on his home turf !

  3. Matt MST
    Aug 11, 05:27 PM

    Thanks Malcolm! Some duff info I got there, amended now…


Morgan puts himself in the hot seat with Sedbergh win…

Posted in At the Races on Mon 22 Aug ’11


Morgan Donnelly

When I interviewed Morgan Donnelly after his convincing win at Yr Aran a few weeks ago, the Borrowdale man stated that his season started there, and the British championships were his target…

After Sunday’s tough Sedbergh Hills race – round 3 of the 2011 British Championships – two consecutive wins have put Morgan firmly in the driving seat with a perfect 104 points for this year’s series, and just the short-sharp Devils Beeftub to go in three weeks time.

Morgan wasn’t the days only winner though. The Sedbergh race also doubled as the final counter in the English Champs too, and after a a tussle for top honours on the day with Donnelly, Lloyd Taggart’s second place on the day was enough to bag him the 2011 English title.

© Wharfeego / Andy Holden

Taggart on his way up Winder

The 2011 season really has been a cracker to date. With some superb racing gracing the men’s and women’s championships. Lloyd will be a popular winner of this title, as the likeable Manxman is a consistent performer across many off-road disciplines.

Big tussle

Yesterday’s racing is fantastically covered by @Daleside over on the Fell Running Briefs page, with some heartwarming pictures of happy fell runners! Her report on the racing paints a fascinating picture of how the tactics played a big part in the race, with lines going onto check point 3 (Steam Junction) proving to be decisive. Judy reports:

“CP3 is where the route divergences started, with the teams working in units: Pudsey and Bramley’s Darren Kay and Graham Pearce with Ambleside’s Ben Abdelnoor in tow, took the low route with a sharp climb to the col.

“The welsh contingent (Davies brothers with Richie R) taking a sharp right climb; the Borrowdale lads (Jim, Ben B, Chris Steele and Mike Fanning) taking the same route but with a sharper descent. Pudsey and Bramley’s route proved best until they dropped too quickly, losing their advantage…….meanwhile, no-one could catch the Siamese twins Morgz and Lloyd.”

© Wharfeego / Andy Holden

Morgan at Sedbergh

“The next challenge was the significant but runnable climb of The Calf. Here Morgz kicked and consolidated his lead to almost two minutes over Lloyd.

Behind these two there was a great run by Darren Kay for third, and another excellent run from Ben Abdelnoor in 4th. Andy Davies was 5th, with brother and 2010 champion Tim in 8th.

It was to be a happy day in the ‘Taggart family’ too, as Lloyd’s partner Jackie Lee won the women’s race, ahead of fellow Welsh international Anna Bartlett. Lou Roberts was third, with Mercia’s Mel Price in 4th, once again having a good showing after third place in Wales last month.


Jackie and Lloyd – one fast fell running couple

Sedbergh Hills race – men’s top 10 – provisional
1. Morgan Donnelly – Borrowdale – 2:02:44
2. Lloyd Taggart – Dark Peak – 2:04:29
3. Darren Kay – Pudsey and Bramley – 2:08:45
4. Ben Abdelnoor – Ambleside – 2:08:51
5. Andrew Davies – Mercia – 2:08:59
6. Carl Bell – Howgill – 2:09:00
7. Mike Fanning – Borrowdale – 2:10:35
8. Tim Davies – 2:10:47
9. Graham Pearce – P&B – 2:10:58
10. Karl Gray – Calder Valley – 2:11:50

Sedbergh Hills race – women’s top 3 – provisional
1. Jackie Lee – Eryri – 2.32.43
2. Anna Bartlett – Shrewsbury – 2.33.56
3. Louise Roberts – Kendal – 2.39.04

Full results now online at the FRA site ‘here”: A lively thread adorns the FRA here, with a couple of cracking images courtesy of the ever-present Andy Holden (Wharfeego)…

Facing the Devil

With the English Champs (full final standings to follow) now done and dusted, all eyes will move north of the Border for the final round of the British Champs on Sept 10th. The historic Devil’s Beeftub is said to be a ‘chin grinder’ of a race, and during its brief 2 mile (1 up, 1 down approx.) stint it manages to take in 750ft of climbing.

The men’s championship destination for 2011 would now appear to be in the hands of Donnelly, as a win (or high finish) would secure him the title. In the women’s champs it is a similar scenario for Pippa Maddams, who after wins at round one and two (Mourne Peaks and Yr Aran) needs to perform ‘just’ strongly at the Beeftub to secure her third-straight women’s British Fell title.

Grasmere 2011: Morgan and Pippa take a ‘classic’

Posted in At the Races on Mon 29 Aug ’11

© Ian Charters

Pippa Maddams

On a weekend where one of the world’s greatest long distance race took place in southern France, one of the most historic and shortest races took place in the English Lake District.

Coincidence or not – but: Both races figured the leading exponents of fell and trail running craft. Both races have huge meaning in their fields. And both races produced winners who are some of the best male and female fell and trail runners in recent years.

The Grasmere Senior Guides race is a mere 1.5 miles long, and forms part of what is known as the classic treble, with the Burnsall race (which took place last weekend and Tuesday’s Kilnsey Crag race.

Grasmere is part of fell running folk-lore and the respect it commands from the fraternity can be seen in the start list that it generates every year. A total of 157 (a new record) runners lined-up for the 1.5 mile race (900ft ascent) over Gray Crags this year, and the start list included fell running’s man of the moment Morgan Donnelly and 2010 winner Rob Hope.

© Ian Charters

Rob Hope

Hope has been out of sorts in 2010, finishing a lowly 48th at Sedbergh last week after ‘jogging round’. The 2010 English fell champion has complained of a lack of power and tiredness in his recent races, so a decent performance at Grasmere may kick-start his return to form. A second place finish on Sunday behind Borrowdale’s Donnelly will have given the Pudsey and Bramley runner some much-needed confidence.

It was Morgan though who continued his rich vein of form over the last two months – which started with his win at Yr Aran in July – winning the Grasmere race for the time, by what was described as the ‘length of the show field’.

By winning the women’s race Pippa Maddams took her third win in as many years, and is also enjoying another dominant year in the women’s fell running scene as she prepares for the Commonwealth Mountain Champs in a few weeks.

Results are a bit scarce at the moment, but we will point you towards them when they become available. Some really nice images by Ian Charters can be found over at his excellent ‘Just us and few friends’ blog – thanks Ian!

This weekend…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 12 Aug ’11

© ©

Outside of the trials up in Blackburn, there is plenty going on across the countries hills and mountains. The excellent Two Inns in Scotland and the delightful Sticklepath Horseshoe down on Dartmoor are amongst them…

As usual all of the info on the above, plus much more on the English, Welsh and Scots race scenes, online at the WFRA, FRA and the SHR sites.

Have a good one!

© Dartmoor Fell Races

Runners at the Sticklepath Horseshoe

Reactions so far
  1. Matt
    Aug 12, 04:29 PM

    Hey MST, new blog/website just kicking-off. Lots of coverage starting with today’s Sierre-Zinal article. Would love your thoughts.


Ryan Sandes – “I had been dreaming about winning Leadville 100 for the past 6 months”

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Tue 23 Aug ’11


Ryan training on Hope Pass

It is pretty fair to say that when it comes to South African sportsmen and women there is an innate mental toughness that prevails through their competitive culture. Ryan Sandes is one such person.

‘Hedgie’ as he is known by his friends, is a hugely talented endurance athlete. His relative youth belies his endurance and stamina over long distances, and with his 4 Desert success over the last few years Ryan has shown that he also possesses that mental focus that can make or break an ultra runner.

Last Saturday was his career zenith as far as he is concerned. His win at the Leadville 100 will cement his name in ultra trail history. Speaking after the event Ryan has this to say:

“Wow… where to start? Yesterday was one of the toughest but best days of my life.

I had been dreaming about winning Leadville 100 for the past 6 months and to cross the finish line in first place was definitely one of the highlights if not the highlight of my athletic career.

My six weeks training in Leadville went really well; with out a doubt I trained harder than I have ever before. Tempo runs and speed sessions at 3500m hurt but I have learnt nothing comes easy in life. The week leading up to the race was tense, I believed I could win this race and played out a number of different race scenarios in my mind. The support and good luck messages I got were awesome and without a doubt these carried me across the line.


Ryan Sandes wins Leadville 2011

Race day came and I started off quite slow – my plan was to run according to my watch and body. On the first major climb of the day I was in 5th position and my quads were already hurting. This was not a good sign and I knew today I was going to have to dig deeper and push my body and mind further than I had ever before.

At mile forty we climbed over Hope Pass and I seemed to be feeling stronger than most of the guys moving from 5th to 1st place by the time we got of the mountain. It was a risky move but my gut feel said do it! Running into the turnaround point I told myself today was my day and if I wanted this race bad enough it was mine.

© Martin Gaffuri

Ryan Sandes (left) with pacer Adam Chase

The next 50 miles hurt like hell and I can’t thank my pacers and support crew enough for getting me across that finish line. My quads were on fire and mentally I was exhausted but running down 6th street to the finish line was an insane feeling of euphoria and really emotional. I was handed the South African flag and immediately there were tears in my eyes. I had done it – my dream of winning the Leadville 100 had come true!

Reactions so far
  1. Jason Kehoe
    Aug 24, 10:18 AM

    I notice that a lot of the Ultra Runners are advocates of wearing earphones, Ryan above, Killian etc.

    I wear mine for training but wouldn’t think of wearing them for a race, plus they are banned for most races anyway.

    Why do Ultra organisers take a different stance on this? I would have thought the dangers of wearing earphones would apply even more so during such energy sapping events in remote locations.

  2. Matt MST
    Aug 24, 10:28 AM

    Agree Jason. I am not sure why. Some of the reasoning behind orgs banning them is that on the shorter stuff runners cant be aware of runners around them, and passing runners with headphones can be a problem.

    In ultras the distances between runners is massive sometimes, so not as much of a hazard?

UTMB: In pictures…

Posted in Through the Lens on Mon 29 Aug ’11

© Tom Humpage

Lizzie Hawker

The internet (and predominantly Facebook) is flooded with some amazing photo stories from this year’s The North Face® UTMB, and the quality of this ‘amateur’ photography gets better every year.

Still, we are very lucky to have been handed a pro montage by freelance travel photographer Tom Humpage – taken at various times and locations across the UTMB day.


© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

Jez Bragg

© Tom Humpage

Lizzie Hawker

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

© AMN Images

© Tom Humpage

Iker Karrera

© Tom Humpage

© Tom Humpage

Kilian Jornet – the man

© Tom Humpage

2011 UTMB top 3: L to R: Chaigneau, Jornet, Karrera

© Tom Humpage

Lizzie Hawker – the champ, again!

Reactions so far
  1. Run Junkie
    Aug 29, 05:29 PM

    Fantastic. Thanks for posting these.

The crack at the back – July 2011

Posted in At the Races on Sat 13 Aug ’11

© Al Tye /

Fiona Glen takes a light-hearted look at the race scene from a mid-field perspective once again this month, and fills us in on some news which we may have missed, oh and the ‘new nutrition’ of tea and Pringles!

Quote of the month goes to Helsby Running Club…

‘There’s nothing more spiritually fulfilling than tanking it downhill only to have to turn around and trudge back up to the path you should have been on’.

Referring to the pleasant sounding Green Green Grass of Home race, this popular midweek Moel Famau escapade saw some old and new Helsby Runners carting off classic prizes such as water pistols, umbrellas, garden chairs…. (ed – makes you wonder if they had been looting!). Well done to all.

Staying in Wales, I saw that the south Wales Machen Mountain race has been cancelled. This is a lovely race with a good field. Hopefully the organisers will manage to change the route and avoid the busy road.

On to England and forget your trendy gels and drinks. Tea and Pringles seem to be an effective fuel when doing long distance events. At least that is what Julie Clayton and Jane Hamp from Scarborough AC discovered when doing the Lyke Wake Walk Race 42m. Jane and Julie’s adventures continued at Borrowdale, where Julie managed to get round in a good time with 2 broken ribs! Well done to both of them.

© Fiona Glen

While MST covered the faster ones on Snowdon, just a quick shout out to some great running from Doug Munroe and Bev Thompson from Clayton who completed their first Snowdon race in super times

Training on Ben Nevis certainly makes you tough. An article in the Highland News tells a story of Davey Rodgers from Lochaber Club who, having finished a training run on the Ben, then ran back up to rescue a walker’s lost Labrador. Apparently he then ran back to the youth hostel with the dog on his back!

Finally, for those who fancy some running abroad, have a look at Simon Allen’s Zegama-Aizkorri 2011 blog. Simon makes it sound easy and came away from the race as third Brit. Well done to him, more here

What a cracking month July has been for us fell running addicts. August brings the lovely gala races – get out there and throw yourself down those short but steep hills!

Remember; send me your news –

Reactions so far
  1. Steve R
    Aug 15, 11:54 AM

    Thanks for the plug! All the Clwydian ‘Summer Trot’ series are well worth a go. Great courses, good runnable hills, good prizes 🙂

  2. Simon
    Aug 15, 12:24 PM

    ehum, should mention I was third from last too….

The weekend in pictures…

Posted in Through the Lens on Tue 23 Aug ’11

© Al Tye /

Some cracking shots as ever from the hills, fells, mountains and trails of the world. Fell Running Pictures were at the lovely Llety race in mid Wales, Chris Upson (Scottish Hill Racing) was at the Lomonds of Fife race…

© Chris Upson

Colin Donnelly is back!

© Chris Upson

Megan Mowbray

Wharfeego’s excellent Sedbergh shots are here

© Andy Holden

© Andy Holden

Jackie Lee

Es Richards’ images of the Tywyn Race the Train are here.

© Es Richards

Stateside there are some more great images from the Leadville 100 here, with Pikes Peaks galleries here, here, here and here

© Matt Mahoney

© Matt Mahoney


Rickey Gates at Pikes Peak Ascent 2011

More to follow as we pick them up!

6th Derwentwater Trail 15km sells out

Posted in At the Races on Tue 30 Aug ’11


Just over 1000 competitors from as far afield as Australia, USA, Holland, Germany, France, Belgium and Ireland will be running in the 15km Derwentwater Trail, starting and finishing in Keswick on Saturday 3rd September.


The course has been described as “the most scenic race in Britain” by Runners World magazine, and takes competitors on a well marked and marshalled trail along the old railway line towards Threlkeld, then high into the hanging valley of Glenderaterra, before returning around Lonscale Fell and by the side of Latrigg.

Fresh from her recent victory in last weekend’s Swiss International Matterhornlauf, GB International, Sarah Tunstall, from Kendal AC, will start as the favourite for the women’s title. Sarah is almost back to full fitness after injury, and will be pushed hard by Vic Wilkinson, Bingley Harriers, and last year’s winner Pippa Maddams, from Keswick AC.


Pippa Maddams

The men’s race will also be a mouth watering affair, with last year’s top three all back again to do battle : Nick Swinburn, Morpeth Harriers, Matt Whitfield, Bingley Harriers and Russell Maddams, Keswick AC

The event is supporting Official Charity Partners Cancer Care, North West Air Ambulance, Fix The Fells and Keswick Football Club.

A family friendly festival atmosphere is guaranteed at the finish venue of Fitz Park in Keswick, with delicious local food stalls, children’s entertainments including face painting, bouncy castle, climbing wall and fun runs (start 12.30pm); retail and trade stands, PA commentary with MC, bar and live music from the Segretta Stompers New Orleans Jazz Band throughout the day, and a performance by singer / songwriter Pete Lashley for an hour before the prize giving (3.30pm-4.30pm). See the event website for full details

The event partners include PUMA, High 5, R and R Photos, Ay Up Lights, Pete Bland Sports, and


This is the fifth consecutive Lakeland Trails event of the year to sell out, and the next event in Coniston on 1st October is almost full. The final two Lakeland Trails events for 2011 , the “Dirty Double” are being staged at Glenridding on the 5th & 6th November.

Saturday’s event includes the 15km Helvellyn Trail and a new 10km Helvellyn Trail; Sunday’s finale event features a half hour cruise aboard the Ullswater Steamer “Raven” to the start in Howtown, before competitors take to the 13km Ullswater Trail along the most picturesque lakeside trail in the UK, back to the finish in Glenridding.

See the event website for full details


De Gasperi returns to winning ways at Sierre Zinal

Posted in At the Races on Mon 15 Aug ’11


Marco wins at Sierre Zinal

After succumbing to the descending skills of Kilian Jornet at Giir di Mont a couple of weeks ago, Italy’s Marco De Gasperi turned the tables on the Catalan to win yesterday’s classic Sierre Zinal race…


ISF event release

There was a triumphant win for Marco De Gasperi in the fourth round of the Skyrunner® World Series on the fast Sierre-Zinal course on Sunday, shaving 32” off his best performance to cross the finish in 2h30’18” . Portugal’s Cesar Costa was second in 2h31’20” and Spain’s Kilian Jornet third in 2h34’15” and Luis Hernandez, fourth. He now moves up to lead the world ranking. Last year’s world champion Tofol Castañer, recovering from injury, took a satisfactory 7th.

Spain’s Oihana Kortazar shows just how it’s done closing in 3h11’24”. She now takes over the World Series ranking lead from Emanuela Brizio, absent due to illness. Second and third were French runners Aline Camboulive and Celine Lafaye respectively. Last year’s winner, American Megan Lund was fourth and rising star, Zhanna Vokueva from Russia, fifth.


Oihana Kortazar

Costa led the men’s race for the first 12 km, with De Gasperi and Jornet hot on his heels. De Gasperi closed in on Costa on the last stretch of the ascent, trailing him a tight ten seconds behind, while Jornet was at a safe three minute distance. There was no stopping De Gasperi who increased his advantage to finish comfortably more than two minutes ahead of Costa.


Kilian Jornet

The same strategy was adopted in the women’s race with France’s Aline Camboulive in the lead up to the 12 km mark followed by Megan Lund a minute behind. Oihana Kortazar, nearly three minutes from the leader, confidently moved in and overtook her rival, gaining almost six minutes advantage to close a good two minutes ahead of Camboulive.

In what was probably the highest number of top international runners to date, it made for an extremely competitive atmosphere over the 31km course and 2,200m vertical ascent. The race celebrated an all-time record turn-out in 38 years of activity with 3,315 participants from 20 countries.

The rich American field included long distance runners Nick Clark (36th), Max King (20th) and Glen Randall, who finished a very respectable 8th in 2h45’34”.

The Skyrunner® World Series moves on to the 4,299m summit of the Pikes Peak Ascent on August 20th in Colorado, with 21 km of high altitude uphill thrills. The Series that pits the world’s greatest mountain runners against each other, concludes with the grueling Sentiero delle Grigne on September 18th in Italy.

Skyrunner® World Series provisional ranking, see full ranking here.

Luis Hernandez – 350 points
Mikhail Mamleev – 284 points
Jabi Olabarria – 234 points

Oihana Kortazar -388 points
Emanuela Brizio – 316 points
Laia Andreu – 272 points

Trans Rockies – Stage 2 “this year it’s a Trail Race”

Posted in At the Races on Tue 23 Aug ’11


So says Max King. After stage 2 at this year’s Trans Rockies the race at the front of the men’s open race is really hotting-up. King was part of the second placed pairing on yesterday’s up and down race on Hope Pass…

Salomon pairing Tom Owens and Ricky Lighfoot put their superb mountain skills into action to take the win, just 36 seconds up on King and partner Ryan Bak. Overall leaders Mike Smith and Jason Wolfe had their lead slashed as they finished third on the day, some two mins down on Tom and Ricky.


King commented after the stage that: “last year was a Trail Run, but this year it’s a Trail Race”. Such was the case that the winning time on stage 2 was over 10 mins faster than the corresponding stage in 2010!

In other categories Rickey Gates and Anna Frost continued to dominate the mixed, extending their overall lead to almost 20 mins after just two of the 6 stages. Women’s leaders Cynthia and Ashley Arnold were sitting similarly pretty after the tough 13 mile stint, and have a 20 minute plus lead going into today’s 24 mile run from Leadville to Nova Guides Camp through peaceful Aspen forests.

Full report now online here, with results after Stage 2 here, and the TRR photo gallery has been updated here.


Trail Magazin #4

Posted in Through the Lens on Mon 15 Aug ’11

© trailmagazin

The latest visual feast from Denis Wischniewski and the team at TrailMagazin is online. Soon to come is the long-awaited launch of the print mag on the 28 September too!

This month features Urban Running, Kilian Jornet, running through the Gobi desert and loads of news / reviews. One hitch as ever for us non-German speakers / readers…

© trailmagazin

© trailmagazin

© trailmagazin

© trailmagazin

Reactions so far
  1. Martin Stacy
    Aug 15, 11:04 PM

    I wish there was an English version of this. I’d pay for a subscription if it’d help with the costs of translation. For now, I’ll look at the pictures.

Brits battle at WMRA Grand Prix Rd 3

Posted in At the Races on Tue 26 Jul ’11

© Dan Sims

Lauren Jeska

Lauren Jeska, Orlando Edwards and Adam Osbourne put in some great performances at a weather-hit third round od the 2011 WMRA Grand Prix in Slovenia. After some pretty big storms the route was shortened from 9.6 to around 6.5km…

No one was to get anywhere near four-time European MR champ Ahmet Arslan as he took the win by over 90 seconds from David Schneider, who also now has a good lead in the series. Edwards ran to a very strong 5th in a top international field, with Osbourne in 8th.

In the women’s race GP leader Emma Clayton was absent so it was up to Slovenian Lucija Krkoc to take the win and the overall lead in the series. Jeska had an excellent run in 3rd on the day and now moves up to 3rd in the overall standings.

Kamnik, Slovenia – The weather forecast for Sunday’s (24) 13th running of the Grintovec Mountain Running race was not a promising one: heavy rain with thundering and stormy winds above 1500m, and snow limit at about 2000m. Organising a mountain running race with the finish at 2500m above sea level, with no lodging facilities close to the finish, would be more than hazardous.

Full IAAF report by Tomo Sarf here

© Gerry Brady / imra

Ahmet Arslan takes number 4

Furey retains Irish Championship

Posted in At the Races by Rene Borg on Wed 03 Aug ’11


Brian Furey wins at Galtymore

Our sport, like most, rises from the merely impressive to the captivating through the great rivalries between closely matched runners and perhaps this seasons Irish Championship has seen the birth of just such a pairing.

Brian Furey, Rathfarnham, drew first blood against the efforts of Jason Kehoe, Crusaders, at Croagh Patrick before Kehoe bounced back with a dramatic win at the high point of the championships – Carrauntoohil.

Perhaps marked by his fall during that effort, Kehoe barely hung on to Brian Furey at Lugnacoille but the two runners battled so closely that the King of the Mountains title went to the Crusader although Furey took another win.

This meant that this weekend’s Galtymore race, possibly the toughest of all, could decide which of the two rivals could enter the New Year with the title of Irish Champion before the final race at Slieve Donard.

Once again the battle came down to the wire as Jason Kehoe told MST after the race:

It was a great course. Brian set off at a good pace and it was to and fro down off the first summit. I was trailing by about 30 seconds on the second summit but clawed it back coming back off Galtymore and it was about 15 seconds going back up Galtybeg.


Jason Kehoe

Then I caught up with him again going up the last climb but he put an injection of pace in once he hit a sort of plateau going up Cuis, then it was 30 seconds again. I struggled with route choice back up Cuis and next time I saw him on the final descent he was a good 50 seconds away. Wouldn’t have caught him so began to ease off for 1:45 gap in the end.

This confirmed Brian Furey as Irish Champion for the second year running with Kehoe settling for another King of the Mountain title. Bernard Fortune came in third place, and can add a bronze-finish in the Irish Championship to the Leinster title he secured at Mt. Leinster two weeks ago.

Full results online at IMRA here.

Leinster League round-up

In related news, the Leinster League finished “peacefully” as Tom Hogan had secured the title before Kippure and The Sugarbowl. Peter O’Farrell won Kippure and would have added The Sugarbowl if not Norwegian international mountain runner Tom Erik Halvorsen had been holidaying in the area. The Norwegian duly set a new record for the course in a strong win.

Jenny McAuley likewise returned to the league with two convincing wins. Had the Sli Cualann runner managed another finish of seventh place or higher, the title would have been hers, but her charge came too late to matter in the overall rankings.

This weekend…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 15 Jul ’11


The excellent Holme Moss is part of a great fell and mountain line-up this weekend, which also see the next generation take to the hills at the FRA Junior Uphill Only Championship Race in Sedbergh…


Lloyd Taggart leads em at Holme Moss 2010

As usual all of the info on the above is online at the WFRA, FRA and the SHR sites.

Have a good one!

A fell race with a difference…

Posted in At the Races on Thu 28 Jul ’11


The wedding party

Last week we reported that top UK fell runner Chris Steele was to get married at the weekend – and then have a fell race up Melbreak hill in Cumbria! Some top fellow Borrowdale lads and lasses were also there to celebrate…

Most of Borrowdale fell runners were in attendance including many former and current fell champions including Mark Roberts, Jim Davies, Simon Booth, Keith Anderson and several more. The field also included current team inov-8 and in form runners such as Morgan Donelly, Ben Bardsley and Mike Fanning. All these guys along with lots of other runners were all up for a fell race so it became part of the celebration!

Full story over at the team inov8 blog


The happy couple

Breaking: Donnelly and Maddams win at Yr Aran

Posted in At the Races on Sat 09 Jul ’11


Morgan Donnelly

Round two of the 2011 British Fell Champs saw perfect fell running conditions at Yr Aran in north Wales. The beautiful weather wasn’t predicted, and neither was the winner of the men’s race, as Morgan Donnelly returned from injury for an emphatic win…

The Borrowdale man also broke Tim Davies’ 2009 course record, and the Mercia man had to also settle for second behind Donnelly. Rob Jebb was a close third.

Pippa Maddams made the long trek from the Lakes worthwhile as she easily won the women’s race, and now looks very good to retain her British crowns of 2009 and 2010. Jo Buckley was second, with Mercia’s Mel Price having a stormer in third.

We were there so you can expect a full report, interview with Morgan, images and full results soon on MST.

Reactions so far
  1. Gordon Stone
    Jul 10, 09:46 AM

    No need to publish the comment – but please learn how to use an apostrophe – it’s crowns not crown’s. Maybe I’m being harsh as all your other usage of apostrophes is correct.

  2. Matt – MST
    Jul 10, 10:00 AM

    Thanks for that Gordon, corrected now. I’m not a professional writer, just an enthusiastic blogger and do my best!

    Thanks for reading…


The Noor grabs Borrowdale

Posted in At the Races on Sat 06 Aug ’11

© Flithich

Abdelnoor way back in 2008

After winning Wasdale and placing third in the 3 Peaks earlier in the year, Ambleside’s Ben Abdelnoor showed that he is a man for the long ones as he won today’s Borrowdale Fell Race…

His performances in the shorter stuff haven’t been too shabby either, so good in fact that he is looking good for a medal in the English Championships this year too, with just Sedbergh to go in a couple of weeks time. He also earned his first England vest at the World LDMRC in Slovenia after his 3 Peaks effort, and went on to place 12th in those World Champs – it really has been a breakthrough year for Ben.

© Andy Holden

Ben Abdelnoor at Mearley Clough 2011

Reports from the course (on this FRA thread) state that Abdelnoor must have been cruising at a point on this tough 17 mile race that takes in 7000ft of climbing, as when he encountered Borrowdale record holder Billy Bland whilst coming over Honister he winked at him!

His win today was a close-run thing though, winning by just a handful of seconds from a resurgent Ricky Lightfoot, who is returning to form after a long lay-off due to an achilles injury. His second place today comes after a win at the recent Rydal Round and Ricky is looking good as he heads off to the States in a couple of weeks for the Trans Rockies stage race, partnering Tom Owens.

Third today was Carl Bell. The Howgill Harrier had an excellent run and was closing on the leading two by the finish, with barely a minute separating the first three runners. Borrowdale stalwarts Jim Davies and Ben Bardsley were in 4th and 5th.

Speaking after the race Ben told MST:

“Was a very close race. With a large group containing Simon Booth, Ben Bardsley, Pete Vale, me, Carl Bell, Jim Davies and Ricky Lightfoot all reaching Scafell summit together. Ben (Bardsley) and Ricky had opened up a minute or two gap skirting Glaramara but then must have gone off route as they joined in behind us as we headed towards Esk Hause!

Simon Booth descended to the corridor route at an unbelievable pace, and by the time we reached Gable it was down to Simon Booth, me, Ricky Lightfoot and Carl Bell. I pulled a gap on the run in and the last mile or so involved me running scared with Ricky breathing down my neck and Carl not far behind!”

Ricky Lightfoot added:

“I felt really strong today, and a took a couple of bad route choices, I was chasing Ben at the end and just sort of ran out of race – but that’s fell racing! I’m feeling better with each week that passes now and I am looking forward to a good last part of the season if I can keep injury-free.”

Andrea Rowlands made the long trip from North Wales very worthwhile, taking the women’s race in comfortable fashion. The Eryri Harrier is another runner who is flourishing this year on the longer races, after a strong run at the 3 Peaks and a win at the Welsh 1000m she went on to finish a fantastic 5th at the World Long Distance champs in Slovenia.

© Al Tye /

Andrea Rowlands

Heather Marshall was second, with long-distance specialist Nicky Spinks in third.

Images here courtesy of (thanks to Scott Baistow for the heads up!) and full results are over at the Borrowdale site here

Mens top 5
1 02:52:37 Ben Abdelnoor Ambleside Athletic Club
2 02:52:56 Ricky Lightfoot Ellenborough Athletic Club
3 02:53:43 Carl Bell Howgill Harriers
4 02:58:28 Jim Davies Borrowdale Fell Runners
5 03:00:38 Ben Bardsley Borrowdale Fell Runners

Women’s top 3
1 03:47:43 Andrea Rowlands Eryri Harriers
2 03:59:03 Heather Marshall Unattached
3 04:08:06 Nicky Spinks Dark Peak Fell Runners

Reactions so far
  1. Neil
    Aug 8, 08:26 AM

    Good report Matt
    I put a link to it from