Jez’s Araroa dispatch

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Fri 11 Jan ’13

© The North Face®

British ultra runner Jez Bragg is well onto the South Island of New Zealand as he continues on the arduous 3000+km trek of the Te Araroa trail. He has tweeted and instagramed plenty to date, but this is the first video footage dispatched from his trip…

The 3 minute film captured by shows the North Face runner on a variety of terrain and locations in this beautiful landscape and shows Bragg enjoying his journey with great support, and according to his twitter feed the ‘big mountains’ are now upon him!

© The North Face®

Watch the film here, and keep up to date with Jez’s intrepid expedition via the TNF journal, the Te Araroa Spot Messenger tracker and Jez’s twitter feed.

© The North Face®

Extreme Energy runners gets ready for a pilgrimage…

Posted in At the Races on Mon 28 Jan ’13


Extreme Energy’s 2013 event season begins next weekend (2/3 February) with The Pilgrim Challenge. At 32 miles a day over two days, from Farnham to Merstham and back, the Pilgrim is not for the faint-hearted – whatever the weather.

Full Extreme Energy press release

In 2012 heavy snow added an extra dimension to the weekend. If recent conditions are anything to go by, the 2013 event could be just as chilly, and participants are reminded not to forget their thermals! This year’s two-day ultra is sold out, with 217 runners and walkers aged from 17 to 68 travelling from as far afield as India, Belgium and Norway.

Like all Extreme Energy ultras, the Pilgrim Challenge is all-inclusive – Extreme Energy will be feeding, watering and supporting all 217 Pilgrims from the moment they arrive at the station in Farnham, with minibus transfers to and from the race; overnight accommodation; square meals in the evening and morning and all the checkpoint goodies they need to fuel up on the trail.

© Extreme Energy

For the first time this year, Extreme Energy are providing inspirational evening entertainment for runners in the form of a presentation and Q&A session from seasoned ultrarunner, Ironman triathlete and extreme running coach Andy Mouncey who’ll be sharing his top tips on ‘Ultra Running Made Ultra Simple’. Expert presentations are a new feature of Extreme Energy’s 2-day race packages for 2013, and details of future speakers will be provided on the Extreme Energy website.

Quotes from last year’s Pilgrims:

“Everything from the runners point of view was fantastic plus the fact that you were able to continue with day 2 under such Arctic conditions. The support crew did a marvellous job looking after us all, they were always smilie and happy at CPs and the finish line, gave loads of encouragement so couldn’t have wished for a better, I even got several hugs at some of the CPs which warmed me up and made my day!” Mimi Anderson

“Many thanks for a superbly run, well-fed and very enjoyable Pilgrim at the weekend. My first proper Ultra and great experience. We met 3 guys also doing the MDS at Easter and picked the brains of a few old-timers.” Patrick Gillespie

Further information via the Extreme Energy website

Frosty speaks…

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Tue 19 Feb ’13



iRunFar and Run Tramp writer Robbie Lawless have teamed-up to present another absolutely fascinating article on one the world’s top ultra-trailers. Anna ‘Frosty’ Frost has risen from WMRA GP star to a trail runner capable of ‘chicking’ world class men!

We know a few things about Anna at MST, having looked after her PR for the Salomon Trail Team for a few years and since her move to the Salomon International team keeping in touch and growing to be good buddies too. But in this article – whereby the New Zealander talks at length about her formative years and her love for her homeland – there are things that we have learned.

A great piece about a great person, read on…

Star line-up announced at Fuego y Agua

Posted in At the Races on Thu 10 Jan ’13


Ultra-trail race Fuego y Agua is building to be quite an event this February with the likes of Ian Sharman and Anna Frost heading to Nicaragua. 2013 will mark Fuego y Agua’s 4th edition, with 500 participants racing distances of 25k, 50k, and 100k…

Full event release

Fuego y Agua is an extremely challenging foot race on the Island of Ometepe. 2013 will mark Fuego y Agua’s 4th annual race and will be, undoubtedly, its largest and most exciting with approximatedly 500 participants and competitors nearly three times the amount present 2012.

In addition to three grueling distances of 25k, 50k, and 100k, organisers have added a never before seen application-only 70+ kilometer Survival Run obstacle course this year with the most extreme conditions and brutal obstacles.


The 100k route ascends and descends both volcanoes and runs around the majority of the island, the 25k and 50k routes run along a portion of the 100k route, and the Survival Run’s course and obstacles are to remain top secret until the athletes start the race but will follow the 50k trail with some “fun” deviations.

The terrain of each distance includes wide dirt trails, paved roads, sand beaches, and single track trails that ascend and descend the Maderas and/or Concepción volcanoes.

This year, dozens of international elite athletes will be joining the competition racing against each other in the 100k distance and Survival Run. Some of the elite athletes include:

• Dave James, Team Inov8 – USATF 100 Mile Champion, USATF 50 Mile Champion
• Ian Sharman, The North Face – 100 Mile Speed Record, TNF 50 Mile winner
• Jorge Maravilla, Team Salomon – USATF 100k Champion
• Anna Frost, Team Salomon – Speedgoat 50k Record Holder and Ultra Champion
• Margaret Schlachter – #1 2011 Fitness Blog, Spartan Elite Athlete
• Jenny Tobin, Team Pearl Izumi – Ironman Utah Champion, 2011/2012 Spartan Race Champion
• Amelia Boone – 2012 Winter Death Race Winner, 2012 World’s Toughest Mudder Winner
• Junyong Pak – 2011 and 2012 World’s Toughest Mudder Champion, 2012 Spartan Ultra Beast 2nd Place
• Joe Decker, Gut Check Fitness – Guinness Book of World Records “World’s Fittest Man”, 2-Time Spartan Death Race Winner

With such notable athletes competing, Fuego y Agua is excited to announce the attendance of several international media outlets covering the event. Reporters from TrailRunner magazine, Outside magazine, and, among others will be in attendance providing coverage of the event.


Organisers are also expecting to have a separate production company filming the Survival Run and producing a 1-hour documentary about the event to be aired on popular television channels internationally.

While the actual race lasts a maximum of 24 hours, the entire event is spread across multiple days. The Thursday before the race, we will be hosting an island-wide trash pick up day and the Sunday after the race will be the day of our 4th Calzado Kids Run, a free concert for the participants and community, and an after party lasting well into the night.

The Calzado Kids Run foot race is for children ages 8 to 14 and between 2 and 5k depending on their age. Each of the 700 plus child participants will receive one pair of donated athletic shoes provided by Soles4Souls, one athletic t-shirt, and one race medal.

Fuego y Agua is committed to promoting and supporting the local Ometepe economy by sourcing as many goods and services as possible used during the event from these local establishments.

If you would like more information or to schedule an interview, visit the race website at or contact Josue Stephens, at (512) 961-6098.

He’s done it!

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Sat 02 Feb ’13

© Damiano Levati

Jez ‘crosses the line’

After 53 days 9 hours and 1 minute, UK ultra runner Jez Bragg has arrived in Bluff, New Zealand, to complete the amazing trail of Te Araroa, which crosses from the north to the south island and covers over 3000km…

Followers of MST will have been party to regular updates from Jez, and of course via his great coverage on Twitter. Time was that news would have filtered through that he had done it a few days after it had happened, not any more, as within seconds of him arriving in Bluff images and quotes were online – the power of social media has been there for all to see on this particular journey.

Writing on his blog for the last time on a running day, he states:

There were bystanders around too, probably wondering what the heck was going on, but none of us gave a hoot. It was raw emotion for me; all my heart and soul, sweat and tears, had been put into realizing this moment, and it almost happened too suddenly to take it all in.

My body is also going to want to know what the heck is going on when I don’t run tomorrow; so I think some wind down jogging/ walking is going to be important.

From all at Mud, Sweat and Tears a heartfelt congratulations Jez, we look forward to the book!

© Damiano Levati

Some of the Te Araroa vistas have been stunning

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Feb 3, 01:54 AM

    What a fantastic adventure! Congratulations to Jez and his crew on a job well done. What trail runner wouldn’t want to participate in an adventure this grand?

Mountain of Greatness

Posted in At the Races on Tue 19 Feb ’13

© Andrew King

South African based media business Go Trail Media have teamed-up with Summit Expeditions Nomadic Experience to document and promote the inaugural Kilimanjaro Stage Run which took place last year…

Full Go Trail Media release

The Inaugural Kilimanjaro Stage Run, Tanzania

In 2012, a small group of ultra runners, including top American female ultra-runner Krissy Moehl, pioneered the way for trail running in the central East-African country of Tanzania. Accompanying local ultra-running legend Simon Mtuy, the runners covered a distance of 160 miles over the period of 8 days, venturing through deep tropical valleys, high mountain ridge lines and across open plains.

© Andrew King

Simon M’Tuy with Krissy Moehl

The five international and five local Tanzanian endurance athletes became the first people to circumnavigate the tallest free standing mountain in the world on foot and in doing so helped Simon realize his long standing dream of running around the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Having been given the opportunity of identifying the best possible coverage for the inaugural event, Go Trail Media was tasked with creating a well rounded, high impact digital media campaign that would best assist organisers Summit Expeditions Nomadic Experience (SENE) achieve continued interest from the trail and ultra-trail running community world wide.

“As the foremost [digital] trail running magazine on the African continent, we knew that Go Trail was the best partner for spreading news of the Kilimanjaro Stage Run” said Tim Leinbach, Communications & U.S. Operations manager of SENE.

“Go Trail Media owner, James Hallett, shares our commitment to growing the sport in Africa beyond the geographic and cultural confines of South Africa. He recognizes the potential of an energizing, healthful, inexpensive sport that is a perfect fit for a continent with literally millions of footpaths, trails, and dirt roads through pristine environments.”

© Andrew King

In conjunction with the 32 page Kilimanjaro Stage Run Special Edition digital magazine, a collaboration with top South African adventure film company, D4 Productions, has produced a 24 minute web-based film documentary called Mountain of Greatness, providing an emotive and in-depth view of what it was like to circumnavigate the mountain from the runner’s perspective as well as to experience the multitude of culture and diversity of all the communities that are situated along the way.

Leinbach continues “The vision of Simon Mtuy, Tanzania’s internationally-known trail runner and organizer of the event, is to grow the sport in Tanzania both to encourage locals to experience the joy and freedom of exploring their country on foot, as well as for visitors seeking a physical challenge and cross-cultural experience far from Tanzania’s well-know tourist routes. With this special issue of Go Trail, along with Mountain of Greatness, we have taken the proverbial initial step in that great shared journey.”

The World Premier of Mountain of Greatness is set to take place at the Trails In Motion Film Festival in Cape Town, South Africa and at the Rainshadow Running Film Festival in Oregon, USA on the 29th of March, with follow up screenings scheduled for Boulder, Coloarado and Tanzania. The world “online premier” will take place a few days later on the 5th of April, with the full length film being made available for viewing/download from the SENE website.

Summit Expeditions Nomadic Experience news

Kilimanjaro Stage Run details

Kilimanjaro Stage Run Special Edition – Standalone Issue

Kilimanjaro Stage Run Special Edition – Shortened URL

Mountain of Greatness Film Trailer

World Online Premier Facebook Event Page

© Andrew King

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Feb 20, 01:31 AM

    What a fantastic adventure! I really enjoyed the trailer!

    Please remind us when the movie comes out, and we can watch it.

The Spine gets underway…

Posted in At the Races on Sat 12 Jan ’13


Deemed Britain’s most brutal race, the 268-mile beast that is The Spine Race – a non-stop winter ultra-marathon encompassing the entire length of the Pennine Way – got underway today (12 Jan) at 8am…

The Spine is Britain’s most brutal race. The longest, coldest and most demanding mountain marathon in Britain. 268 miles of ice, snow, cold and savage winds. Competitors have 7 days to complete the race.

Distance: 268 Miles
Time: 7 Days, non-stop
When: 12-19 Jan 2013
Checkpoints: 5 (all indoors)
Beds: Yes (4 CP’s)
Food/ Water: Provided at CP
Resupply Bag: 1 moved CP to CP
Medical Support: Yes
Support Staff: Yes
Training Event: 9-11 November (inclusive)
Course Record: 151h 2m
Places: 125

Follow events via:

The Spine website updates page

Entries open for Al Andalus UT

Posted in At the Races on Mon 04 Feb ’13


The Al Andalus Ultra Trail is a super-tough 5-day, 5-stage race of around 230km from the 9th – 12th of July this year. The course provides a demanding test, not just for the legs, but for a runner’s character and determination…

Al Andalus Ultimate Trail is a 5-stage (230km) ultra-marathon in Southern Spain with numerous long climbs (7,200 meters of ascent/descent) and technical trails. With temperatures hitting a sweltering (35-45C), climbs are numerous and long and over 90% is off-road, mountain and desert tracks with the majority of tarmac in the final kilometers – when those legs are crying for help and runners are approaching the stage finishes!

Interested? Well, if you fancy something hotter than July, get your name in the hat right now by logging on and entering here for what will be quite literally one of the hottest races of 2013.


Reactions so far
  1. orla kastberg
    Feb 5, 02:20 PM

    Did this race last year and am going back in 2013. Great event! Course is tough but support and camaraderie is amazing. A must do event for any ultra-runner.

  2. Mike Papageorge
    Feb 5, 08:23 PM

    Yes, I did this in 2011 and concur with Orla: tough, and great camraderie. I hope to be back in 2013…

This book could save your life

Posted in The Sweat on Tue 19 Feb ’13


We never really think about it. As we pull on our shoes and grab our kit and reckon we are prepared for the hills or trails, our preparation for any eventuality is complete – or so we think…

Few of us are prepared for first aid in the outdoors (I know I’m certainly not) and this new book from Pesda Press Outdoor First Aid, aims to fill that ‘gap’ in our knowledge.


Written by Katherine Wills the book is geared specifically towards first aid in the UK outdoor sports scene. Katherine is a qualified Specialist Physical Education teacher and currently runs Active First Aid Training, delivering Rescue Emergency Care certified courses throughout the UK.

In an urban setting we rely on ambulance crews, paramedics, doctors and nurses to provide assistance and medical care when things go wrong. This means the average person can get away with knowing surprisingly little first aid, but remain fairly safe on a day to day basis. However, once you are in an outdoor location away from immediate help and assistance you need a different approach.

Pesda Press have some great titles, including the excellent Scottish Trail Running published in 2012, and with Outdoor First Aid out on March 1st, and priced at a very reasonable £15.99, this should be a great addition to the publishers line-up and vital piece of kit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Reactions so far
  1. Jonathan Tyler
    Feb 21, 05:30 PM

    I’ve known Kath for a number of years through my contact with the Mountain Rescue. I run one of the busiest tourist attractions in Wales, the visitor center at the Summit of Snowdon and Kath’s advice and training has been absolutely crucial when I have had to deal with injuries.

    Although walkers on the mountain are at their own risk, I will try to help anyone who has been injured. I have had to deal with: heart attacks (3 in 2 years), serious head injuries (2 in 2 years), broken bones (too many to remember) and somebody having an epileptic fit. Most of these involved a full scale rescue using Mountain Rescue who are excellent.

    This book is absolutely essential for anybody who regularly is involved in the outdoor industry. Having been on various first aid courses over the years, none have been more relevant than the Active First Aid.

Around the World in 180 Days, on foot!

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Mon 14 Jan ’13


A team of amateur runners from the UK has launched an ambitious challenge to complete the first ever non-stop running relay around the world.‘The World Relay’ will travel 28,000 miles across 6 continents and over 30 countries, starting and finishing in London.

Endurance life press release

Runners will keep the relay going non-stop around the clock in a bid to complete the journey in 180 days.

Thousands of runners from across the globe will be given the opportunity to carry The World Relay baton in their country and their progress will be tracked online using GPS technology.

The team behind The World Relay say the record breaking circumnavigation will raise thousands of pounds for an international children’s charity whilst uniting nations across the globe.


The World Relay is being organised by Team Endurancelife who last year completed an 8,000 mile non-stop relay around the British Isles which involved 2,000 grassroots runners and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Danny Bent from Team Endurancelife states:

“The World Relay isn’t simply about setting world records. It’s an incredible opportunity to bring individuals and communities together to achieve something truly remarkable. The World Relay will send a clear message to society demonstrating the power of international cooperation, a legacy that will long outlast the runners’ footprints.”

Team Endurancelife’s Kate Treleaven says:

“The Real Relay inspired runners from all over the British Isles and captured the imaginations of people worldwide. An international community of supporters avidly followed the baton’s progress online and became our inspiration for The World Relay.”

The World Relay will leave London this summer and journey around the British Isles before heading east across Europe, Asia, Australasia, North and South America and Africa, arriving back in London in time for Christmas.

Team Endurancelife are busy raising the £50,000 required to fund the organisation of The World Relay. They are using the increasingly popular Indiegogo crowd funding network to do so.

For more information see the World Relay / Endurance Life Facebook page and the indiegogo donations page

Weekend racing…

Posted in At the Races on Mon 04 Feb ’13

© Paul Dobson /

Ricky Lightfoot at the recent King of the Castle race

Fell internationals Ricky Lightfoot and Carl Bell battled it out up at the Jarrett Jaunt this weekend. Ellenborough runner Ricky once again edged-out Carl by just under a minute, with former Howgill man Bell resplendent in his new Keswick AC colours…

The CFR site reports:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Jarrett Jaunt 2013 – we had a fantastic turnout of 71 runners. It was a beautiful, crisp and sunny day here in West Cumbria, with both ice and plenty of mud to make things interesting underfoot. (At least the picturesque riverside setting meant you could wash the mud off after, for those fans of cold-water bathing!). The handicapping was designed to lend its own twist, with the field closing together in the latter stages to enhance the sense of being in the midst of the action. If you enjoyed it, please come again next year – and bring your clubmates!

Congratulations to Lee Amor (first across the finish line), to Ricky Lightfoot, Carl Bell and Howard Seal (fastest men), to Nina Walkingshaw, Jenn Mattinson and Clare Pearson (fastest women), and to those of you who today completed your first Fell Race. A vote of thanks to the helpers and marshalls who made the event possible.

Full results over at the CFR site here

Calder Valley’s Tim Ellis (1:39:27) led home team-mate Ben Mounsey at the Mickleden Straddle in the Peak District, with DPFR’s Tom Brunt in third. Helen Fines stormed round in 1:54:24 to record a new women’s record by some 7 minutes, ahead of Judith Jepson and Jo Bolton.

© Dave Woodhead /

Helen Fines at The Stoop in 2012

Full results here

Another CVFR vest was victorious at Lad’s Leap, as Jason Williams won in 52:53, with young Annabel Mason finishing 4th overall and first female – more to follow on this…

A tremendous 80 teams turned out at the Witton Park Relays in Lancashire, with victory going to Horwich’s men. Some great images from the Woodentops gang here with full results via UK Results here.

And finally at Rombalds Stride over in Yorkshire there were wins for Richard Pattinson and Jo Waites (thanks to @Fellrunninbrief) and once again Woodentops were there for some cold-looking shots!


It’s National time

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Feb ’13


The National ‘charge’

In England and Scotland that is. This weekend will see a sea of XC runners from across the age groups tackle parkland courses in Sunderland and Falkirk.

The recent dry spell will probably make for perfect going if the frost doesn’t bite too hard, and English reigning champs Keith Gerrard and Gemma Steel with look to defend their titles.

© Athletics Weekly

Keith Gerrard leads the way at the National 2012

In their preview AW state:

This Saturday sees the 126th senior men’s race – a statistic that illustrates the event’s tremendous history, as English Cross Country Association secretary Ian Byett agrees: “The National is truly one of the greatest mass participation national championships in the world,” he said.

Up in Calendar Park in Falkirk, Scotland’s finest will be out in force, and it will be great to see British Fell Champ and GB internationals Murray Strain and Robbie Simpson showing the way for the UK’s fell and hill runners!

Athletics Weekly preview here.

Marmot Dark Mountains™ venue announced

Posted in At the Races on Mon 14 Jan ’13


The venue for the inaugural Marmot Dark Mountains™ – the event which takes the classic two-day mountain marathon format and gives it a new, darker twist – has just been announced as the spectacular Muncaster Castle in the southwest Lake District…

This historic ‘haunted’ castle has been the residence of the Pennington Family since 1208 and they have kindly given permission for the event to use this fantastic venue, which is otherwise closed to the public during January.


The event area has been carefully selected for its remote and mountainous moorland nature but is generally below 500m, and should avoid the worst of the winter weather that can be experienced on the higher Lakeland fells. Although the area is low in elevation, it more than compensates for this with some technical terrain with complex contours, crags and areas of featureless moorland.

Indeed, the 2012 British Orienteering Champs used some of this area to test the best navigators in the country! Excellent navigation, careful use of the terrain features and a cautious approach are likely to be a rewarding strategy for competitors in this challenging new event.

Planning the courses has proved a tricky task for the organisers. Race Director, Shane Ohly explains:

“We work to a set winning time, rather than a set distance for each course. However, compensating for the added difficulty of running and navigating at night has proven difficult, as the differences between people’s ability to navigate accurately and run with confidence seem to be magnified by the darkness. The organising team have carried out a significant amount of testing themselves and had experienced mountain marathon competitors who are independent of the planning team run the courses to check our assumptions”.

© Ben Winston / Trail Running Magazine

Despite the careful planning process, differences in the weather conditions have resulted in very different experiences for the test team. Ohly continues:

“Obviously, it is also impossible to account for the variations in the weather; a clear moonlit night produces a completely different winning time to a foggy wet night. As such, we have erred on the side of caution when determining the length and climb for each course…it is meant to be fun after all!”

The planner’s optimum distance and height gain for each course have been confirmed as:

    C Course: 30.7km / 1,400m
    B Course: 35.3km / 1,600m
    A Course: 41.1km / 1,900m
    Elite Course: 51.4km / 2,200m

There is also a score class with a time limit of 8 hours.

There are still a few entries available on all the courses and despite the lure of a £500 cash prize for the elite winners, the competition remains wide open with just two entries so far. Find out more here.

Anton aims “to get to a summit of some type every day”…

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Tue 05 Feb ’13


Anton Krupicka

In a superb interview with top US ultra-trail and mountain man Anton Krupicka, Advendure open-up Tony about FKT’s, injuries, minimalism and generally what motivates him to get up into the mountains, and just run!

In the extensive article the Boulder runner talks about his general focus being “more on tagging peaks and enjoying the climb and descent along the way, not necessarily getting out for a particular workout.”

And goes on to say how he has “ a personal style and ethic to how I approach mountains and life in general, but I would hate to think that me simply living my life has become perceived as some sort of evangelism or proselytization. I am happy to serve as inspiration for others but I sincerely hope that at no time does anyone think that I know the best way to do something.” Fascinating stuff…

Read the full interview here.

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Feb 5, 06:32 AM

    I enjoyed reading this interview! Tony is one of my favorite runners. Thanks for bringing this to us!

Joe heads to the Iditarod

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Feb ’13


Joe Grant

2013 inov-8 athlete Joe Grant is preparing to tackle the extremes of Alaska in a 350-mile race described by organisers as the world’s longest human powered winter ultra-marathon.

Full inov-8 press release

The 29-year-old, who will form part of a new global inov-8 team of athletes set to push boundaries and stretch limits in 2013, begins the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Knik, Alaska, on Sunday.

Born in the UK, raised in France and now based in Colorado, US, Joe will wear inov-8’s roclite™ 286 GTX boot to tame the snow and ice in a race that can take runners anything between four-and-a-half and ten days, depending on conditions in the Alaskan wilderness.


inov-8 roclite™ 268 GTX

There are just seven checkpoints on the course where food and lodging is available. Between checkpoints racers have only each other.

Joe said:

“It will be the longest ultra I’ve done in terms of distance and the extreme cold will make it tough but it’s a super exciting challenge. I just hope I can keep all my toes until the end! When racing over 350 miles in such wilderness and conditions it’s crucial to have trust in your footwear. The roclite™ 268 GTX is light and close to the ground, which is good on uneven snow.”

“It runs like a low top trail shoe, but has all the advantages of a high top for these kinds of conditions. The GORETEX membrane helps keep my feet dry and warm, while the height of the boot in combination with gaiters prevents snow from getting in.”

Following that, Joe hopes to go head-on with the world’s best mountain runners at the opening race in the 2013 Skyrunner ultra series.

May’s 83km Transvulcania ultra-marathon monster on the island of La Palma in the Atlantic Ocean, which features 4,415m of elevation gain, was last year won by Dakota Jones, with Joe in joint 11th.

Joe went on to record an outstanding second place finish at the epic 2012 Hardrock 100-mile race in the US – an achievement he wants to better this year.

“I want to be on the start line for Transvulcania but it will depend on how my recovery goes after the Iditarod Trail Invitational. The Hardrock 100 is a big one for me this year. It’s an awesome race, which embodies everything I like about racing in the mountains. I really want to do a fast time there in July.”

Joe will wear shoes from inov-8’s trailroc™ and roclite™ ranges to race over trails and mountains across the world in 2013.

“I’m super excited about the roclite™ 243 (new for spring/summer 2013). Its specifications are spot-on and I couldn’t think of a better shoe for trail and mountain running.”


inov-8 roclite™ 243

Johnson and Paris dominate at the Trigger

Posted in At the Races on Tue 15 Jan ’13

© Andrew Heading

There were new records by about 5 minutes (Oli Johnson) and almost half an hour (Jasmin Paris) at the excellent Marsden to Edale Trigger fell race on Sunday, in crisp Peak District conditions…

© Andrew Heading

RaceKit posted after the event:

STUNNING weather for the second annual Trigger race… 20+ miles from Marsden to Edale across typically ‘challenging’ Peak District terrain. Overall winner (again) was international Oli Johnson in 3:08 – with a stunning SIXTH place overall not surprisingly earning Jasmin Paris the ladies’ trophy.

© Andrew Heading

Jasmin Paris at the Trigger fell race

A total of 176 runners took part in the Racekit-sponsored event, which guarantees all proceeds to benefit Mountain Rescue. Last year’s race raised £2,500-plus – we’ll announce the 2013 total here when race organiser Nicky Spinks has done all her sums!

Results on the FRA here, with some superb images by top running photoman Andrew Heading here, and video from ‘richarda09’ here

© Andrew Heading
© Andrew Heading

Snowdonia Marathon Eryri close to filling…

Posted in At the Races on Thu 07 Feb ’13


Race entry numbers have once again set new records, as almost 2000 runners have now registered for the 2013 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri. Entries went live on at midnight on the 1st of January with almost 800 places being bagged in the first 24 hours. 

Event release

2012 saw unprecedented demand as the event filled-up in just 50 days, and now race organisers are fully expectant of bettering that the record with this year’s event.

After a one of the most successful races ever, the 2012 Snowdonia Marathon Eryri was party to plaudits from many quarters – from runners, to sponsors, to the media and charity partners. Now in its 31st year the marathon is regarded as one of the toughest and most picturesque in the UK and last year saw one of the most successful events in this iconic race’s history. 

Entries co-ordinator Phil Jones is not surprised at just how quickly the event has filled-up, saying:

“We have been once again overwhelmed by the demand for this event in 2013. I don’t think any of us on the organising team really believed that we would have reached 2200 entries by the end of February in 2012, but this year we will be there in the next week or so. It’s not about records, but it is great to know that even into its 31st edition the race just gets more and more popular every year.”

Last year’s race produced two great winners in the form of local favourite Rob Samuel and Welsh ultra runner Emily Gelder, who were both effusive in their praise for the organisation of this great race. However, the compliments have been strongest from hundreds of runners and the numerous partners of the event, who have flooded social media channels with positive feedback about the race.


Race Organiser Jayne Lloyd with entries co-ordinator Phil Jones

Race Organiser Jayne Lloyd states:

“This event means so much to the Llanberis and North Wales community, but with the way the race has developed, it now extends into many countries and running communities. We are so proud of what the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri has done for the area over the last 31 years and how many people’s lives we have touched. Runners can certainly expect an experience that is rivalled by few UK running events once again in 2013.”

The final few entries for the 2013 race can be accessed by going to the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri website via enter the race. Postal entry forms are available by emailing

Elite ranking announced by ISF

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Wed 16 Jan ’13


Tom Owens on the Zegama climbs

The International Skyrunning Federation has laid-out an elite ranking system to “create a basis for 2013 for the Sky, Ultra and Vertical Kilometer® distances, a first list of élite athletes… based on an analysis of the results of the most significant races in 2012”…

From 2013 an exclusive algorithm will also be applied. The 2013 ranking will be based on 50 selected races (20 Sky, 20 Ultra, 10 VK), with the aim of reaching 100 races in 2014.

Full story and links to the ranking systems and athletes who feature are online at the ISF here


Goodnight all!

Posted in At the Races on Fri 08 Feb ’13

© Heptonstall Fell Race

This is what is is all about. A good pub, great ale, a cosy night out and a bit of fell running thrown in. Well, that’s exactly what a hardy 51 runners got this week when they turned up at the White Lion pub for the CVFR Heptonstall Night Score Event

Calder Valley’s Stephen Grimley reports:

51 attended the CVFR Night Score event from the White Lion in Heptonstall last night – runners from Trawden, CLEM, Tod, and CVFR braved a foul night to leg it round the Heptonstall moors clutching maps and compasses. The torchlight fun ended with beer and folk music back at the pub – Ben Crowther of Tod Harriers won 1st prize.

Images here

© Heptonstall Fell Race

Roes looks ahead on iRunFar

Posted in The Sweat on Wed 16 Jan ’13


Geoff Roes

As many a long-distance runner will tell you obtaining that balance of good health, fitness, motivation and happiness when out there can be a rare occurrence – and often those ‘planets’ never align at the same time…

Geoff Roes, it can be said, has had his fair share of difficulties in maintaining these areas of his running in the 12-18 months, so much so that the US ultra-trail runner has only managed “half a dozen runs in the last five months”.

An excellent piece on iRunFar explains that life doesn’t always play out as we wish, but testimony to the Montrail runner’s resilience is that despite his health setbacks Geoff is still optimistic about the year ahead and says that:

Right now I don’t know when I will make a serious attempt to start back on this path, but based on the improvements in my health in the past month it will quite likely be sometime in the next few months.

Read the full article here

© Luis Escobar

Geoff leads Tony Krupicka on his way to victory at the WS100 2010