6th Derwentwater Trail 15km sells out

Posted in At the Races on Tue 30 Aug ’11

© www.lakelandtrails.org

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.

© www.lakelandtrails.org

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.

© www.lakelandtrails.org

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 www.lakelandtrails.org for full details

The event partners include PUMA, High 5, R and R Photos, Ay Up Lights, Pete Bland Sports, Trailrunning.co.uk and Sleepmonsters.com.

© www.lakelandtrails.org

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 www.lakelandtrails.org for full details

© www.lakelandtrails.org

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.

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!

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

Posted in At the Races on Sun 28 Aug ’11

© www.salomonrunning.com

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.

© www.salomonrunning.com

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!

© www.iRunFar.com

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.

© www.salomonrunning.com

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

English Champs round-up

Posted in At the Races on Sun 28 Aug ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk

Lloyd Taggart early-on in 2011

@Daleside caps off a great English Fell Running Championship season with a round-up of the salient points on the racing, Lloyd’s hsitoric ‘double’ and the category winners…

Lloyd’s second place put him at the top of the MV40s table too – the fist time, according to published records (that’s back to 1986!), anyone has done this in the Fell Running English Championships.

That’s not the only ‘making history’ event this year, as never before has one club doubled up and won the Open and the MV40 Team prizes in the same year. That honour has gone to 90’s super club Borrowdale FR who have proved they shouldn’t be written off just yet!

Full article over at Fell Running Briefs

© Andy Holden

Lloyd Taggart leads Tim Davies at Sedbergh

Wolfe and Smith get the job done at TRR…

Posted in At the Races on Sat 27 Aug ’11

© transrockies.com

Smith and Wolfe at the 2011 Trans Rockies

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…

The 2011 event has been notable for its competitive nature up front, especially in the Open men’s race. Speak to MST this week the UK’s Tom Owens has stated how surprised he and partner Ricky Lightfoot have been at the pace of the event, and how hard the racing has been at times. The fact that this pretty swift duo have found he tempo too high for them, for most of the week, is testament to this.

After 120 miles across some of the most breathtaking and strength-sapping terrain in the US, Wolfe and Smith enjoyed a win that they will savour for many year. Not in the least because they first held the leaders jerseys, then relinquished them to sparring partners Max King and Ryan Bak after stage 3, taking the golden fleeces back on stage 4 and holding on to them as they entered today’s final stage 6 finish into Beaver Creak for a win to savour in 14:57:23.

Bak and King were second over 20 min behind in 15:19:14, with Lightfoot and Owens comfortably in third, in an overall time of 15:31:19.

© transrockies.com

Rickey Gates leads Anna Frost

A pairing which had been at the fore in their category (mixed) from the very first stage was that of Rickey Gates and Anna Frost. The US/NZ pairing were simply too strong for the opposition, eventually covering the course in 17:07:37, over one hour ahead of their nearest rivals Greg and Amy Friedman.

In fact so good was their performance that their time would have put them in 4th position overall!

In the women’s section is was a crushing victory to for the sisterly pairing of Ashley and Cynthia Arnold. Their time of 18:46:20, a 1 hour 28 min lead over Arcteryx runners Rosemarie Gerspacher and Amy Golumbia.

Provisional results have been posted up here, with further reports and image galleries to follow.

© Martin Gaffuri

Frosty relaxes!

Reactions so far
  1. anna frost
    Aug 28, 12:43 AM

    Thanks Mud Sweat and Tears for keeping everyone updated on our races.
    It was a fantastic week with an awesome team mate Rickey Gates! Super strong!
    Resting up now…phew


Posted in At the Races on Thu 25 Aug ’11

© The North Face

Known as the unofficial world championships of trail running, the The North Face® UTMB is one of the monuments of world running, never mind trail running. To put this as a win on your ‘palmares’ cements your name in trail running history…

At 166km long with a total climb of 9,500 meters+, the race is far more of a challenge for the majority of the sell-out 2300 runners – this one really is all about finishing. But for a select few the event is a race, a battle, of minds and bodies.

Taking place in the valley area which surrounds the Mont-Blanc massif, the event can be unpredictable. 2010 showed us just that, when rain of biblical proportions stopped the event in its tracks, some 21km into the event. What followed was a debacle of sorts whereby runners didn’t quite know what was going on, the race was restarted then wasn’t. The likes of Kilian Jornet and Geoff Roes thought better of hanging around and headed off to Italy for the Kima race.

© The North Face

Jez Bragg, victorious

The UK’s Jez Bragg hung around, went to bed, then awoke to a text on the Saturday morning saying the race was on, in 45 minutes! He got lift from iRunFar man Bryon Powell, and well, the rest is history.

And so to 2011.

The start lists of the men’s and women’s events read a bit like a whos who of mountainous trail running. Kilian Jornet, Geoff Roes, Jez Bragg, Mike Wolfe, Scott Jurek, Miguel Heras, François D’Haene, Lizzie Hawker, Krissy Moehl, Nerea Martinez, Julia Böttger, Darcy Africa – the list goes on and on.

© The North Face

Lizzie Hawker

As well as getting ready for the event himself, Bryon Powell has found the time for some pretty juicy pre-event interviews from the men’s side, and with some of the women’s leading contenders.

2008 and 2009 winner Kilian Jornet is a man on a mission in 2011. After wins at the TNF 100k in Australia, The Western States 100 in the US, Giir di Mont in Italy and a recent third place at Sierre Zinal behind Marco de Gasperi, the powerful Catalan is ready for a race which has a special place in his heart.

© www.skyrunning.com

Kilian Jornet

“The UTMB is a race that goes through spectacular countryside. Just being in those valleys is a treat. Also the race level is really exceptional, which increases your motivation and the relationship between volunteers and spectators is excellent.

After some very long runs last week (30 hours), this week Jornet plans to “try to relax, have some peace and quiet, lead a normal life without training, just 3 to 5hours total training in the week.” Not much of a taper in some people’s books, but this is what works for Kilian, as documented in this recent film on his ultra race preparations.

This year Killan has stated that his objective is:

“To do it as well as I can and to fight to win if at all possible, though that will be difficult if you consider the level. If the race conditions are good and there is a fast start, I think I can finish in 20 hours.”

Moreover, Killan has commented that in an ultra distance race like the UTMB, “Everything is equally important, the training, the preparation of the kit, the race strategy and the nutrition”, and when talking about the competition, Kilian is respectful of the quality of this year’s line-up:

“Miguel Heras is very good, he’s run a really good season so far. Also Geoff Roes, Iker Carrera, Kaburaki, Jez Bragg, Mike Wolfe, Nick Clark, Dakota Jones, Seb Chaigneau, François d’Haene. The level is really high.“

A full programme of events can be found at the UTMB site, and as reported earlier this month on MST you’ll be able to track runners live throughout the whole event.

Racing gets underway tomorrow in Chamonix at 18.30 CET, and you can expect full updates and reports from MST throughout the weekend via this site, and our Twitter feed.

Reactions so far
  1. Grant
    Aug 25, 09:03 PM

    nice Matt, look forward to the updates

Ted’s secret is revealed!

Posted in Through the Lens on Thu 25 Aug ’11

© mylittlewalshes

This excellent film of last weekend’s Burnsall Race by mylittlewalshes shows just how important a line selection can be when it comes to fell running. Wharfdale’s Ted Mason obviously knew his onions…

At the stage where Ted takes the left hand line, he is being hotly pursued by one of the best descenders ever seen in the sport of fell running, Ian Holmes, who along with the rest of the field are taking the right hand route.

But Ted’s choice proved decisive, as he opened up a gap and went to win handsomely by 12 seconds in this classic 15 minute lung-buster which forms part of the Classic Treble (Burnsall, Grasmere Senior Guides race and the Kilnsey Show Crag race).

Fascinating stuff…

OMM Training Camp is this October…

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Thu 25 Aug ’11

© The OMM

Whether you are a novice, or an OMM veteran, there is probably something for everyone at this excellent looking training camp in the heart of Snowdonia this October.

Organisers the OMM will hold seminars on the 1st and 2nd of October, containing sessions on nutrition, footcare, lightweight packing advice and navigational tips plus much more across the 48 hours.

This October we’re running the second OMM Training Camp and it’s set to be bigger, better and more popular than last year’s hugely successful event.

The OMM Training Camp is an information-rich training camp open to everyone from mountain-marathon-newcomers who’d simply like to find out how, right up to experienced campaigners, looking to fine tune their skills.

© www.pyb.co.uk

King and Bak take control at TRR

Posted in At the Races on Wed 24 Aug ’11

© transrockies.com

Defending Trans Rockies champion Max King, along with new partner Ryan Bak, yesterday took control of the 2011 event with a convincing win on the tough 24 mile stage 3…

If there’s an athlete in the TransRockies field who’s got stage race pacing dialled, it’s defending TransRockies champion Max King. Today, he and partner Ryan Bak gave it a full effort and were able to put time into the rest of their competition finishing the Stage in a scorching 2:47:03, twenty minutes faster than last year’s winning time.

In the process, they wrestled the overall lead from Jason Wolfe and Mike Smith who finished nearly seven minutes behind in second place. Team Colorado Runner/INOV-8 (Alex Nichols/Peter Maskimow) jumped onto the podium for the first time finishing third, though they were unable to move the British Salomon pair of Ricky Lightfoot and Tom Owens out of third place overall.

© transrockies.com

Rickey Gates leads Anna Frost

Rickey Gates and Anna Frost continue to pile it on in the mixed category and now lead by almost 25 minutes. Similarly the sister-act of Ashley and Cynthia Arnold dominate the women’s section, leading by 26 mins.

Stage report here, results here and images here

As Stage 4 sees the runners head out of Nova Guides to Red Cliff for 14.2 miles and 2,800 feet of gain, racing should once more be hot…

Reactions so far
  1. Paul Bateson
    Aug 25, 09:40 AM

    Interesting to see pic of Ricky Gates and Anna Frost, they look to be using a tow line. Not often you see this outside of Adventure racing.

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

Posted in At the Races on Tue 23 Aug ’11

© transrockies.com

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.

© transrockies.com

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.

© transrockies.com

The weekend in pictures…

Posted in Through the Lens on Tue 23 Aug ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk

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

© www.outtherecolorado.com

Rickey Gates at Pikes Peak Ascent 2011

More to follow as we pick them up!

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

© www.salomonrunning.com

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.

© www.iRunFar.com

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?

Morgan puts himself in the hot seat with Sedbergh win…

Posted in At the Races on Mon 22 Aug ’11

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

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.

© fellrunningbriefs.blogspot.com

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”:http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=952. 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.

Mason takes Burnsall

Posted in At the Races on Sat 20 Aug ’11

© www.bofra.co.uk

Ted Mason

The last week or so in August sees three races, all extremely short, all extremely tough and all extremely coveted. First up is the 1.5 mile Burnsall race. Just over a week later and it’s the Grasmere Senior Guides race, over 160 years old!

© www.solmar.net

The Grasmere Seniors guides race is steeped in history

And lastly it’s the notoriously treacherous (and a mere 113 editions old!) Kilnsey Show Crag Race in a couple of week’s time.

Today it was Wharfdale Harrier and short-distance specialist Ted Mason who came out a clear winner of the Burnsall event, ahead of Sam Tosh and Tom Adams, who both recorded the same time (14:30). Having won the 2010 BOFRA race on the same route 2010, Mason is well acquainted with the route and his time of 14.18, though fast, is still a fair way down on John Wild’s amazing 1983 record of 12.48.

Ian Holmes was 4th with Eryri’s Math Roberts making the long trip from North Wales worthwhile with 5th. Steph Curtis won the womens race in 19.35.

Full results are here

Macias wins Pike Peak Ascent in style

Posted in At the Races on Sat 20 Aug ’11

© www.pikespeaksports.us

Mario Macias

Self-proclaimed ‘road racer’ Mario Macias took a gun to tape victory in today’s Pikes Peak Ascent race in Colorado. The 29 year-old’s time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds being the second-fastest time ever on the event…

© www.pikespeakmarathon.org

In superb conditions, and having built a 50 metre lead into mile one, Macias built an advantage that it was a full 7 minutes by the time they reached the top of this famous mountain, ahead of ‘local’ athlete Tommy Manning. 2-time PPA winner Simon Gutierrez was third.

Provisional top 6 – men
1 Mario Macias 2:08:57 Alamosa, CO
2 Tommy Manning 2:15:43 Colorado Spgs, CO
3 Simon Gutierrez 2:18:15 Colorado Spgs, CO
4 Jason C Delaney 2:20:03 Golden, CO
5 Josh Eberly 2:22:26 Gunnison, CO
6 Rickey Gates 2:22:58 Woody Creek, CO

© gazettephoto.mycapture.com

Kim Dobson nears the Pikes Peak summit

In the women’s race there was a massive win for Kim Dobson. Her winning time of 2:34:07 was just 36 seconds outside of the women’s record of 2:33:41 set 30 years ago by Lynn Bjorklund! Such Dobson’s effort that she finished a massive 14 minutes up on Cynthia Arnold, who was followed by Lisa Goldsmith for third.

The race formed part of the season-long Skyrunner World Series, and full results are available here, with a great report by local new outlet Pikes Peak Sports here.

© www.skyrunning.com

Macias and Dobson celebrate

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Aug 21, 02:17 AM

    Congratulations to Mario and Kim on a great race!

Skaala takes top athlete’s breath away…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 19 Aug ’11

© www.skaala.no

Ahmet Arslan

One of the most breathtaking uphill mountain races in the world took place last weekend in Norway. The Skaala race is a classic, you only have to look at the array of winners over the years to confirm that…

This year’s race saw a new record in the men’s race from Turkey’s Ahmet Arslan (1:07:38), ahead of a resurgent Jono Wyatt, retuning from injury and getting stronger with every race. His wife Antonella Confortolla-Wyatt continued her excellent 2011 form by convincingly winning the women’s race in 1:23:05.

© www.skaala.no

Another win for Antonella…

There was some good UK representation there too with Lauren Jeska and Fiona Maxwell finishing 4th and 6th respectively in the women’s race. Scots Robbie Simpson and Sam Hesling also had excellent trips in the men’s race finishing 11th and 14th.

© www.skaala.no

Robbie Simpson

The event is a renowned beast of an ascent, rising to 1848m from just 29 above sea level in a frightening 8.2km – that’s an average gradient of 22%. There are some great images now online too, with the effort that this monster climb takes etched on the finishers faces!

Men’s results are here and women’s are here.

© www.skaala.no

How low can you go?

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Fri 19 Aug ’11

© www.iRunFar.com

Very low, if the the news coming out the US Outdoor Retailer show is to be taken as a benchmark. The trend towards minimal shoes continues unabated, with the likes of New Balance and Brooks showing off their Minimus and Pure ranges for 2012…

Bryon Powell gives us a comprehensive rundown as to what we can expect, along with a general synopsis on trail shoe brands’ developments for the coming seasons.

One of the leading players in this field is of course inov8, and this film by Toe Salad is a great insight into what the UK-based off-road (and now road!) brand has in store…

© www.toesalad.com

Kilian prepares to perform…

Posted in Through the Lens on Wed 17 Aug ’11

© www.salomonrunning.com

Preparation, preparation, preparation. Kilian Jornet has a young body, but a wise mind – a mind and attitude to life which belies his years. This new episode of Kilian’s Quest Season 3 gives insight into what it takes…

© www.salomonrunning.com

As he prepares for such races as the Western States 100, 1000 hours and 520,000 metres of gain is the kind of output you need to hit the heights Kilian does in competition, and what is perhaps most insightful in this short film is his lack of taper and recovery techniques – not groundbreaking, but in this age of over-cautiousness and analysis, it’s great to see his attitude of basic approaches and not over complicating things. Oh and did I mention that his diet consists mainly of pizza and Nutella!

One mustn’t mistake here however that Jornet isn’t meticulous. He is. And he embraces technology, whether it is his Movescount profile or his kit and nutritional planning for events and training. Kilian is a guy with his gaze fixed on the future, but not forgetting the past.

© www.salomonrunning.com
© www.salomonrunning.com

Overall, the feeling one is left with after watching this excellent piece is that Kilian Jornet is a man in touch with his mind, body and trail running soul and his respect for his surroundings and fellow runners, is humbling. As he puts it: You look at them and you think “man, they really won”.

© www.salomonrunning.com