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.

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

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….

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.


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…


Kit ‘churn’ examined

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Wed 10 Aug ’11

© Kevin Arnold

This article on the Grough examines the rate at which we seem to get though kit these days. Most of us would probably admit to replacing kit before it’s natural lifespan is through and the average dedicated runner’s wardrobe is pretty full these days…

The article is aimed at the walker / hiker fraternity, but the principles are the same for all of us who get out there into the outdoors. Founder of the Expore RED (Re-use, Explore, Discover) project is Don Gladstone, who has a jacket that is still serving him very well after 13 years of use, states:

“It takes little imagination to realise the amount of used outdoor sports products in wardrobes, lofts and garages. The majority of these items still retain a great deal of the comfort and performance they originally provided their owners. Indeed, many of these items will provide the exact same comfort and performance as they did when first purchased.”


“At best this category of product is barely worn and at worst it is discarded and can potentially be disposed of in landfill. In the last five years there have been numerous cases of companies being paid by councils to recycle unwanted clothing only for it to be found in landfill sites as far away as Indonesia”.

“The Explore Red initiative will seek to raise public awareness of the many advantages of reusing discarded outdoor products.”.


Of course many runners are more careful with their kit and by buying good quality products in the first place we can extend the lifespan of shoes and apparel. Similarly, new purchases are the lifeblood of brands and the churn of product purchases keep the running and outdoor industry alive. So, looking at extending the life of kit and being more frugal with the earth’s resources is a double-edged sword.

Equally runners should be especially aware that extending shoes (in particular) beyond their natural life can result in poor performance and possible injury issues. (A lack of grip after wear, and degraded EVA in the midsole, etc.)

Overall, it’s an interesting initiative and anything that helps our world and provokes thought can’t be a bad thing, so interesting is the project that the University of Leeds are carrying out an 24 month study on these habits and Lancaster University is looking at “potential charity partnerships, consumer buying habits and potential trade partnerships for a scheme re-using discarded gear.”

More can be found on the Explore RED website

Reactions so far
  1. Terry
    Aug 17, 02:27 PM

    I am a member of Exmouth Harriers down here in Devon. For reasons which are too lengthy to explain here, we have a connection with a university in Ethiopia. One of the young men from there has been a guest of the club and a local family. He came to our evening run last night to thank us for the equipment we have sent over for him and his colleagues. His heartfelt thanks were moving indeed and his summary of why they are grateful a stark reminder of just how much we take for granted. We have sent some new gear over but it has mainly been old kit. We will be sending more. So, don’t just use your old kit more often, think about cleaning it up and sending it to us to forward on. Running spikes are extremely sought after.

Jornet and De Gasperi go head-to-head once again

Posted in At the Races on Wed 10 Aug ’11


Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi – sparring partners

This weekend sees one of two of the biggest names in European mountain running take on one of the classics in world mountain running. After their epic battle at Giir di Mont a couple of weeks back Kilian Jornet and Marco de Gasperi go head-to-head once again at Sierre Zinal

The race Sierre-Zinal (August 14, 2011, 38th edition), also called the Race of Five 4000m Peaks, is considered to be one of the finest mountain races in the world. It was once written that it is to mountain races what the New York Marathon is to marathons. It is the oldest mountain race found in its category in Europe’s mountains.

The race also forms Rd 4 of the 2011 Skyrunner World Series and the ISF have a full preview as follows:


Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi are two names that say it all in skyrunning. We have seen them “battle” recently in two events where Kilian has had the edge over Marco. Next Sunday, the fourth leg of the World Series, will see the two contend in Switzerland at the prestigious Course de Sierre Zinal …a race where Marco was just 98 seconds short of Jonathan Wyatt’s long standing record set in 2003.

The women’s field is equally impressive with the world’s top runners competing: reigning world champion and ranking leader Emanuela Brizio from Italy; Spain’s Oihana Kortazar, ranked 2nd and Americans Brandy Erholtz (3rd at the Dolomites SkyRace®) and Megan Lund, last year’s winner. The women’s record stands at 2h54’26” set in 2008 by Czech Anna Pichrtova.


Anna Pichrtova

Megan Lund. USA – last year’s winnerLook out also for another Czech. Robert Krupicka, winner of the International SkyRace® in Switzerland in June, (first leg of the European Skyrunning Championships, is a promising runner with an eye on the Olympics. He was third in this race last year.

The strong Spanish squad apart from Kilian and Oihana includes reigning world champion Tofol Castañer and Pere Aurell and Just Sociats, ranked 4th and 10th respectively.

The 31 km course with a total 2,200m elevation gain is favoured by runners from different backgrounds. Add 38 years of history and a unique panorama of five 4,000 mountains and hey presto: a perfect recipe that attracts runners from 20 countries and several thousand participants. In fact, Sunday’s line-up counts 1,119 runners and more than 1,700 participants in the non-competitive category.


Whatever the result on Sunday, it’s not yet the final showdown for these two giants: their “final” encounter this year will be on October 23 in Malaysia on Mount Kinabalu’s 4,195 metres with the Skyrunner® SuperCup where Jornet and De Gasperi, together with the World Series and European champions, past race winners and record holders will contend for the “champion of champions” title.

Reactions so far
  1. JMock
    Aug 10, 01:54 AM

    A strong American men’s field is said to be racing too. Max King could contend for the overall win. 2010 Pikes Peak Ascent surprise winner Glen Randall and US Mountain Running Team member Joe Gray as well.

Digital meets the trail at UTMB…

Posted in At the Races on Tue 09 Aug ’11

© The North Face

The North Face® have unveiled an exciting new LiveTrail APP integrating Facebook© and Twitter© which allows fans, family and followers to virtually run alongside the world’s premier ultra-runners at The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® 2011.

Each runner, tracked by a chip, provides data such as location, ranking and timing each time they go through a checkpoint. LiveTrail APP, a widget that connects the live tracking with the runner’s social media profiles, automatically posts their location details on their Facebook© and Twitter© pages.

Runners can connect to LiveTrail APP from August 2011 directly from their personal runner’s page on the race website or on

Reporting in real-time from Chamonix throughout the weekend of the 26th-28th August, race highlights and behind-the-scene stories will be posted on The North Face® Facebook© page at regular intervals.

© The North Face

From the start to the finish line, live updates will be posted from the course via Twitter©. On The North Face® blog,, text, video posts & photos will be posted daily. The North Face® is the leading community outdoor brand with nearly 1.3 million Facebook© fans.

In a unique opportunity, ultra-run fans can also post their questions to The North Face® top athletes via Facebook©. Videoed athlete responses will be posted on Facebook® the day before The North Face® UTMB® starts.

In its 9th edition, The North Face® Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc® takes place during August 22-28th 2011 in Chamonix, France. 5,500 competitors from 58 different nations take part in one of four races: headline course The North Face® UTMB® 166km max. 46 hrs; CCC® 98km max. 26 hrs; TDS 110km max. 31hrs; PTL 300km: non-stop.

The North Face® UTMB®, of which 2,300 will compete, crosses nine high elevation mountain passes, with a total positive height gain of 9,500 metres, circling the Mont Blanc massif through three countries—France, Italy and Switzerland.


The weekend in pictures…

Posted in Through the Lens on Sun 07 Aug ’11

© Al Tye /

Matt Fortes at Y Garn

The Borrowdale Fell Race was subject to numerous great images this weekend – some of the roughest and toughest Lake District fells shown off at their dramatic best with the contrasting weather conditions…

Some of the best as ever at SportSunday, Andy ‘Wharfeego’ Holden never disappoints with some brilliantly clear efforts, Ian Charters blogs and clicks here and Keswick Lake District’s photos are here.

© Andy Holden

Ricky Lightfoot on the corridor

© Ian Charters

Billy Bland in red, still the Borrowdale record holder…

© Ian Charters

© Ian Charters

© Andy Holden

Ben Abdelnoor

© Andy Holden

© Mike Fanning

Ben with Britta Sendlhofer

Fell Running Pictures were out and about as usual this weekend, and Al Tye and Pete MacMillen’s emotive shots form classic short-distance Welsh race Y Garn are now online here – great work as ever!

© Al Tye /
© Al Tye /

Every weekend in the UK thousands of people get out there on the hills and mountains for non-racing, training, fun and recce purposes. Luckily for us they often take a digi camera these days too, and one such runner is Sarah Ridgway.

Not only does Sarah (along with hubby Iain) compete at the highest level, but she also runs the rather successful Run Snowdonia, and whilst out on her mountain endeavours keeps us up to date via her blog.


Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Aug 9, 02:37 AM

    Great pictures!

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

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.

Rickey dices with Death, and wins

Posted in At the Races on Tue 02 Aug ’11


Back in April I spoke to top US mountain man Rickey Gates about his season ahead. He told me that his season would be different in 2011, no WMRA mountain running, in fact he would be staying Stateside for most of the year…


Rickey Gates the winner of the 2008 Grintovec

Rickey also told me that he would be concentrating on his this ultra race, the Canadian Death Race. The Aspen-based runner had been getting some good miles in over the last few months, pacing Julien Chorier to his amazing win at the Hardock 100 a few weeks back and was obviously in strong form.

Running Times reports:

The short-course mountain specialist won his second Mount Washington Road Race title earlier this year and then skipped the U.S. Mountain Running Championships as he began his move to ultras.

After early pace-setter Jason Loutitt dropped, Gates controlled the 125K race and ran 12:18 to erase Hal Koerner’s 12:45 course record from a year ago. Ricky Reusser, a former Iowa State Cyclone cross country competitor was second in 12:48 and New Zealand’s Grant Guise third in 13:51.

Full results here

Rickey now heads to the Trans Rockies race, partnering Anna Frost in the mixed category.


Rickey Gates

Weldemariam and Confortola prevail at Mayrhofen

Posted in At the Races on Mon 01 Aug ’11


Yesterday’s WMRA GP race 4 at Mayrhofen, the Harakiri, was run in glorious weather after two weeks of rain in the region. The warm sun saw some great racing with Antonella Confortola turning the tables on Euro Champ Lucija Krkoc…

In the men’s race Azarya Weldemariam ran a superb race to beat last weeks Grintovec winner Ahmet Arslan into second place. Arslan is in joint leadership in the GP overall series standings.


Men’s winner Azarya Weldemariam from Eritrea

Exactly after 50 minutes and 0 seconds, Silver Medallist from the last World Mountain Running Championships, Azarya Weldemariam, from Eritrea, touched the tape at the finish-line after a really hard fight 23 seconds before the recently crowned five-time European Mountain Running Champion, Ahmet Arslan from Turkey.

In the women’s race Confortola took a very good win, ahead of Lucija Krkoc from Slovenia, who had won last week’s round 3 race in her home country.


The women’s podium

At the womens race, we had the revenge oft he European Championships and again Antonella Confortola (1 hour 2 minutes and 50 seconds) was in front of Lucija Krkoc from Slovenja (1 hour 3 minutes and 32 seconds) and short before the German Master Lisa Reisinger (1 hour 3 minutes and 58 seconds).

There were some more great performances from British runners as Emma Clayton cemented her second place in the overall standings with 9th on the day, Lauren Jeska was 12th. In the men’s race Adam Osbourne had a another impressive run in 11th, barely 3 mins behind multiple world MR champ Jono Wyatt in 5th and ahead of recently crowned WLDMRC champ Mitja Kosovelj.

Full WMRA report here with full race results online at the Mayrhofen site here.


The Mayrhofen trophy!

Simpson impresses at Ben Rinnes

Posted in At the Races on Mon 01 Aug ’11

© Al Tye /

Robbie Simpson

Scots junior sensation Robbie Simpson showed once again this weekend why he is one of the sports brightest prospects when he beat Joe Symonds’ course record and a good quality field at the Dufftown Games’ hill race the Ben Rinnes 5 Tops

Reports are that he beat top Scot Jethro Lennox by a big margin (10 mins), and though we are not sure on the story of the race that is an impressive performance against a man who has been in pretty good form recently!

Scottish Hill Racing briefly report on their Facebook page

Robbie Simpson set a new course record at Ben Rinnes of 1:54:02 winning by almost 10 minutes from Jethro Lennox 2nd in 2:03, with Stewart Whitlie 3rd in 2:05. Eilidh Raistrick was 1st lady in 2:31, followed by Gill Irvine (both Highland Hill Runners) and Veronique Oldham of Cosmics in 3rd place.

More as it becomes available…

Reactions so far
  1. Andy Symonds
    Aug 3, 08:14 AM

    hey Matt – he only beat Joe’s record by 11seconds – not sure that counts as “demolishing” it!

Jornet wins mammoth battle with De Gasperi

Posted in At the Races on Sun 31 Jul ’11


Kilian wins at Giir di Mont 2011

At the Giir di Mont race in Italy on Sunday there was a battle royal for the king of the mountains between arguably the world’s top two mountain and sky runners, Spain’s Kilian Jornet and Italy’s Marco de Gasperi…

After three tough and typically hot hours it was Kilian who took top spot in a new course record time of 3:01:03, two and half minutes up on De Gasperi. Such was their effort over the last few miles that the two runners had over 15 mins to spare on third-placed man Stefano Butti, with Brit Tom Owens in fourth.

De Gasperi had looked good going into the last part of the race and held a full 4 mins advantage at one point, however Jornet wasn’t to be denied this race which he calls “special” and overhauled the Italian to take yet another win in this event which brings Italian mountain running fans out in their thousands.


The Giir di Mont top 3

There is little on the international circuit now that Kilian is yet to win, and of course his multiple world title winning efforts in ski mountaineering also ensure that he is revered across mountain sports.

Yesterday, De Gasperi and the rest of the quality field assembled in Premana would agree that he was once again untouchable, and though it’s difficult to assign the term mountain running legend to someone so young, Jornet’s exploits over the last 5 years throughout the world have ensured that Catalan is well on the way to such a status.

The UK’s Owens was pragmatic as ever and gracious in defeat:

“It was so hot out there, and though I am very happy with fourth it would have been nice to catch Butti for a podium. The legs weren’t really working properly today, and in the end it was an exercise in survival!”

“That’s it for racing for a while, it’s all about the prep for the Trans Rockies now with Ricky Lightfoot in three weeks”.


Tom Owens still has a smile after 32 hot kms

In the women’s race another Spainish athlete Mireia Miro carried all before her on this runnable yet relentless race – which takes in three big climbs and descents along its 32km route. Like Jornet, Miro’s winter discipline is also ski mountaineering which helps develop great climbing ability and her time of 3:48:50 was a full 12 mins up on experienced international Stephanie Jimenez.


Mireia Miro

Russia’s Zhanna Vokueva was third with New Zealander Anna Frost in fourth.

Full results and photo galleries now online at the Sport di Montagne site here

Reactions so far
  1. Tony Mollica
    Aug 2, 03:55 AM

    Congratulations Killian! You are awesome!

    That race is a little short for Killian. I’m surprised he din’t run it three or four times.

Comments closed

Conway produces sizzling performance at UTLD

Posted in At the Races on Sun 31 Jul ’11


Terry Conway on route at the Lakeland 100

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

Terry Conway was once such winner, producing arguably the performance of the weekend to beat Stuart Mills’ time of 2010 by three and a half hours – running superb 21:58 for the 100 mile route, to win from Andy Mouncey who ran 24:27. Adam Perry and Ireland’s Paul Tierney ran in together in third place running 24:34.

Gaynor Prior came through very strongly in the second half of the event to win the women’s race in a super 28:24, also slicing hours off the 2010 women’s time set by Britta Sendlhofer.

An excellent 96 runners finished this mammoth event

The 50 mile race, setting off in the midday heat from Ullswater, ran the second half of the 100 mile event.

Craig Stewart led for most of the second half of the race, winning in 8:18, some 20 mins up on Ian Symington. Serpentine’s Penny Lenton won the womens race in 11:04.

Full results are now online at Sportident here, with plenty more to come no doubt, over at the UTLD site in terms of photos and video.

English Champs resume

Posted in At the Races on Fri 29 Jul ’11


Rob Jebb (50)

A quietish weekend ahead on the fells, less a couple of top quality events taking place north and south of the Border. The Scots have the Ben Rinnes 5 Tops hil race, part of the Dufftown Highland Games – a super tough 14 mile event starting at 12 noon on Saturday…

South of the Border things are hotting up in the English Fell Running Championships, as a short round 5 takes place at Whittle Pike.

Lauren Jeska is looking pretty good for the women’s championships and is still the one to catch, and will most likely not be at this weekend’s race as she is currently in Europe, having taken a maximum 32 points at the first short event, Mearley Clough.

In the men’s champs Rob Jebb is in the the driving seat, and has the opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the table, as he scored 46 at Mearley Clough with a possible 52 on offer for the win this weekend.

All the weekend races as usual on the FRA, SHR and WFRA sites…

The Cabello Blanco comes to the UK

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Thu 28 Jul ’11


Micah True lives in the Batopilas Canyon of the Sierra Madre in Mexico. Over the last decade he has been instrumental in encouraging the local tribe Raramuri / Tarahumara to keep running which has always been a part of their traditional way of life…

Every year he organises the 50 mile Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon which sees the local runners compete against some of the worlds best ultra runners. The race is unique in many ways, not least that all competitors meeting the 13 hour cutoff win half a tonne of corn, helping competitors to feed their familiies at giving them a valid reason to jeep running.


True with the Tarahumara runners at the Urique race

Micah was thrown into the spotlight in 2009 when the book Born to Run featured his race and placed him as one of the central characters. In September Cabello Blanco (as he is known locally) with visit the UK to give a series of talks.

The dates and venues are:

  • Monday 19th September 2011 – City of London School for Girls, Barbican, London, EC2Y 8BB
  • Wednesday 21st September 2011 – Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, Bristol
  • Thursday 22nd September 2011 – Faculty of Health, Birmingham City University, Birmingham
  • Thursday 29th September 2011 – David Lloyd’s Leisure Centre, York

His talk will be just over one hour with as much Q&A as required. He also has a short film of the 2009 CCUM that he will show as he gives his presentation, Micah will also cover the following areas in what should be a captivating few hours:

  • What first brought him into ultrarunning
  • His views on running styles, barefoot running and minimalist footwear
  • Meeting the Tarahumara in ’94 at Leadville 100 mile race where they set the course record beating all the american runners.
  • How he ended up in Copper Canyon living among the Tarahumara
  • The Events leading up to the 2006 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon (CCUM) featured in the book “Born to Run”
  • What’s happened with the CCUM since then
  • The work he is doing with Norawas de Raramuri (the not for profit organisation he has established to support them)

Tickets can be bought online here