Söndagen den 27 oktober hölls den första upplagan av Herkules Rambo Trail Run kring Södra Långvattnet i Mölndal. Tävlingen hade lockat 186 startande, fördelat på 87 i korta klassen: 8 km och 99 löpare i långa klassen över drygt 14,5 km. Det blev en tuff, blöt och uppskattad tillställning med en omväxlande bansträckning på leriga stigar, hala klippor och några branta partier där somliga gick omkull. Jobbigast enligt de flesta var det 1200 meter långa partiet över den vattendränkta Rambo Mosse som sög musten ur benen, ett moment som deltagarna i den långa klassen fick göra två gånger.
Nyinflyttade skotten Douglas Tullie tog en ganska komfortabel seger i långa klassen med närapå fem minuters marginal. Som tävlingsorienterare trivdes han mycket väl på den utmanande banan.
– Normalt brukar jag inte tycka om varvbanor men jag såg faktiskt fram emot att ge mig ut på andra loopen. Den krävande mossen gjorde tävlingen riktigt speciell.
Även om det var kämpigt kunde man se att deltagarna trivdes utmed banan. Vid målgången fick tävlingsledaren Fredrik Ivansson Flinta många uppskattande kommentarer:
”Trevligt men blött. Mossen var kämpig, men det var kul” Per-Johan Svensson.
”Det var skitkul faktiskt. Men det går inte att jämföra med vanliga väglopp där man tittar på klockan. Här fick man lyssna på kroppen istället” Johan Mueller.
”Det här var riktig terränglöpning. Banan var riktigt bra och varierande. Mossen var en rejäl utmaning” Björn Källström.
“Det tuffaste jag har gjort utan cykel, GRYMT!” (sagt av en stark MTB cyklist)
– Av responsen att döma har vi lyckats med det vi förutsatte oss, att skapa Göteborgs hårdaste trailopp, sa en nöjd tävlingsledare efter prisutdelningen, där deltagarna fick dela på fina priser från sponsorerna Compresssport, New Balance, Isostar, X-Kross Sportglasögon, Vitamin Well och Hagabadet.
Efteråt väntade en välbehövlig dusch, bastu och varm soppa inne i Herkules’ klubbstuga. För de minsta arrangerades även en kortbana över ca 300 m där drygt 25 barn provade på riktig terränglöpning med medalj och godispåse till samtliga.
Resultat långa klassen 14,5 km +231m
- Katarina Åström, Ullevi, 89:28
- Emma Ullberg, 90:11
- Kristina Karlsson, FK Herkules, 98:21
- Douglas Tullie, Skottland, 66:11
- Magnus Eriksson, Sandared, 70:57
- Erik Tengvall, Vänersborgs SK, 71:07
Resultat korta klassen 8 km +136m
- Emma Belforth, Ullevi FK, 46:16
- Elin Hamrefors, OK Landehof, 49:27
- Therese Näsman, 57:33
- Tobias Govik 42:52
- Per Löwendahl, FK Herkules, 44:18
- Johan Olson, IK Ulven, 45:16
The other day I went for a run with a friend. At a certain point I turned around just to check. Photo 1 is what I first saw. Photo 2 after moving a bit to the side. And Photo 3: going back 10 meters. It’s always very special to meet the moose.
Looking at the pictures again I get an eerie feeling that this wasn’t the first time the moose was watching me. Incidently this picture was taken during the annual moose hunting week. Less than a minute before this encounter we met a roe deer that behaved somewhat strange, walking in a circle around us. My experience from many moose encounters is that they are vigilant. They will watch your every move. If you get too close they can be somewhat nervous. Best is to get out of their way & sight without any fast movements. Do not try to approach them. Particularly not when they’re with their calves, since this will only trigger their protective instincts. They will kick you and can hurt you really, really bad.
Release from Skyrunning.com
A fast race, a deep field. The final race of the Sky Series had some surprises in store. Kilian Jornet didn’t surprise anyone however and cruised to the finish after staying with the lead runners till the summit, where he changed gear and sped down the steep rocky descent to finish in 2h17’03” and confirm his 2013 Sky Series champion title.
Stevie Kremer raced hard and her strength paid off. Pushed by Antonella Confortola and Emelie Forsberg, the three led the women’s race, alternating the lead until Stevie put 2’ on her rivals three-quarters through the race to close in 2h46’13”. A new record, a new champion. The women’s title was between Stevie and Emelie. Stevie, always strong on the ascent, also ran a great descent while Emelie, no doubt, still had some tiredeness in her legs after winning her first 100-kilometre race at UROC – and taking the Ultra Series title.
In the men’s field Romanian Ionut Zinca finished second just over a minute after Kilian in 2h18’27”, followed by Spaniard Artiz Egea who closed an excellent third in 2h18’53”. Further down the line, newbie skyrunner David Schneider from Austria was fourth and Moroccan Zaid Ati Malek, fifth. A great Luis Alberto Hernando, despite an injury causing him to finish in 56th position, maintains his second position in the Series.
The 2013 skyrunning season is at an end but for several runners – and nations new to the sport, the adventure has just begun.
American Alex Nichols, in his first skyrunning year, took third position in the Series finals; Austrian David Schneider , 4th, and Norwegian Thorbjorn Ludvigsen, 9th ran their first-ever SkyRace® today. Among the ladies, Briton Tessa Hill, a Vertical specialist, was 4th; Spaniard Leire Aguirrezabala, in her first-ever SkyRace®, an excellent 5th….
Nearly 500 runners set off including some of the best of the world’s skyrunners on the short steep and rocky 23.5 km course. With 2,002m vertical climb, the race started and finished in the small resort of Limone on the shores of Lake Garda offering a spectacular panorama. Last year’s male record set by Italian Marco De Gasperi in 2h13’34 stands.
Limone Extreme race results: Men 1. Kilian Jornet (ESP) Salomon – 2h17’03, 2. Ionut Zinca (ROU) Valetudo Skyrunning Italia – 2h18’27”, 3. Aritz Egea (EMF) – 2h18’53”, 4. David Schneider (AUT) inov-8 – 2h20’40”, 5. Zaid Ait Malek – 2h21’09”
Women: 1. Stevie Kremer (Salomon Agisko) – 2h46’13”, 2. Antonella Confortola (GS Forestale) – 2h53’58”, 3. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 2h54’54”, 4. Tessa Hill (Arc’teryx) – 2h58’20”, 5. Leire Aguirrezabala (EMF) – 2h58’54”
Read more about Sky Series Final Ranking on skyrunning.com
Let’s say you’re going to spend a weekend or a week fastpacking on alpine trails. The choice of shoes is quite delicate. You want a shoe that works well both for hiking and running. If you’re planning to spend several days on foot you will need a shoe with some protection, particularly with an outsole and rock plate against sharp rocks, which are plentiful on alpine trails. Also you want a shoe with a lacing system that keeps your foot in place. And since your feet will “grow” you’d probably be better off bringing a shoe at least 1/2 size larger than you’d normally use. Multi-day mountain running with undersized shoes goes from less pleasurable to quite painful depending on time spent. When I was fastpacking around Mont Blanc recently I tested three different trail running shoes:
Lightweight: Inov-8 Roclite 295 (275g) is a lovely trail shoe for soft trails but it lacks the midsole protection required when you’r spending many hours on foot, for several days, on rocky Alpine trails. It’s probably fine for a race like the UTMB or better the Mont Blanc Marathon, but for multiday fastpacking I would chose the Roclite 315 instead, which has somewhat more cushioning and protection.
Cushion: New Balance Leadville 1210 (300g) is one of the more runnable “thick” ultra shoes. But how does it perform on the Tour du Mont Blanc? Better on flat, groomed trails than on technical trail, I would say. I also felt that the lacing system couldn’t hold my foot enough during the descents. I actually had to re-lace the shoes several times. And compared to a lower trail shoe you had to plan you footing more, to avoid accidents.
Protection: Brooks Cascadia 8 (344g) is, as you might know, quite a bulldozer. Strong, a bit heavy, reliable, tough, and an excellent hiking shoe. The toe box allows swelling. There is a rock plate in the midsole, which allows you to run without moaning and yelling. The lacing will keep your foot in place and the upper is strong enough to handle some beating. OK, I can hear some of you disagree, and say that running with Cascadia is like running with flat irons. But remember that for multi day fastpacking, several hours a day, a shoe like Cascadia is a true friend to your feet.
Other models for consideration:
Scott Kinabalu (278g): good choice for a race but questionable for multi day fastpacking (narrow toe box, loose midfoot fit, rather thin midsole).
Pearl Izumi Trail N1 (280g): great for running & racing but too weak and unstable for fastpacking. It lacks protection: toe, rock stop, sides and upper. (I have been using this shoe a lot lately – perfect for mixed terrain)
Montrail Bajada (290g) (: This is a perfect fast packing shoe: stabile, strong, protective, great running feel and fairly lightweight. I have been using this shoe extensively and wouldn’t doubt doing the UTMB with it.
Salomon Sense Ultra SG (243g): the Sense Ultra is too tight over the foot, so after a day’s walking and running you really want to take them off. This is a fast, thin, lightweight racing shoe, and not very comfortable in the long run.
Recently I joined a press trip for the 2013 edition of UTMB around Mont Blanc. Since I didn’t have the necessary point to qualify for participating as a runner I watched the race from the side. Having finished the UTMB race twice (2005 and 2009) this felt somewhat akward. But to be realistic: I haven’t been able to do any ultra races in recent years due to knee injuries. The UTMB is quite an undertaking and you’d better be prepared. After the race I met a friend who dropped out early into the race, since his body didn’t respond the way he had hoped. He admitted he hadn’t done the necessary preparations.
In St Gervais at km 21 I saw a very tired Seb Chaigneau, one of the pre race favorites. That was surprising, I thought. Swedish runner Jonas Buud looked fresh in fourth place at this point. But my thought was: he’s running too fast, knowing he never did a long race like this before and that he use to pace himself well.
Somewhat later came Anton Krupicka’s tanned torso propelled by short, light strides. He seemed very popular, especially with the ladies:-) I believe a lot of runners can learn from his very personal and natural minimalist approach. He too was expected to perform well in the race, and things were looking good also when I saw him in the lead group at the hut before Courmayeur (Maison Vielle km 73,3) but eventually he pulled out in Trient km 139 due to pain in hamstring and achilles. Jonas Buud, unexperienced with long races like this, started losing time to the leading pack just before Courmayeur. But it was after the climb up to Refuge Bertone he really started to slow down. “I didn’t have power or energy. I actuelly felt dizzy and weak” he said after the race. He struggled to Champex where he decided to withdraw. At this point he was on 10th position, approx 90 minutes behind Asics teammate, young frenchman Xavier Thevenard in the lead.
Thevenard, 25, a national team cross country skier, probably used his treeking poles well and held the lead all the way to Chamonix, setting a new course record: 20:34:57 (almost 2 minutes faster than Kilian Jornet’s old record).
Many seemed surprised of this relatively unknown runner beating the world class field, but Thevenard has proved strong in prior races: In 2012 he won the CCC at the age of 22, In 2011 he came 2nd in La6000D, and he came 3rd in the new 80K Du Mont-Blanc the past summer, just to mention a few of his top ultra-trail results in recent years. Spaniards Miguel Heras (+20 min) and Javier Dominguez (+43 min) took 2nd and 3rd.
US runner Rory Bosio (The North Face Team) was fastest woman and finished 7th overall, which was the first time for a woman to place in the top-10. The 29 year old also has the new course record: 22:37:26 and beat much more experienced runners, like spaniards Nuria Picas (24:32) and Emma Roca (24:38).
All in all it was a very successful event, much thanks to the perfect weather. After three years of thunderstorms the runners finally was allowed to do the whole course around Mont-Blanc. After the race I stayed in the area and did some daily fast packing trips. In order to prepare well for a race like this you better get your quads used to the long descents. Doing the course in segments will also allow you to scout were to find natural water sources along the route, so you don’t have to carry water around Mont-Blanc… You can also test the gear, shoes etc. I will probably post more stories about this in the future. And many thanks to The North Face for bringing me along!
Chamonix, August 26th 2013
The The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® ‘s big week is getting closer. It starts is as from Monday 26th! With the launching of the Petite Trotte à Léon™, Chamonix will be transformed in to the world capital of trail running around Mont-Blanc! In total more than 50 000 people follow the races: runners, accompanying persons, organisers and volunteers gather along the routes which cross 19 different communes.
UTMB is the queen of the ultra-trail races. After the start of the TDS™ and the CCC®, it remains the race which trail-runners the world over dream of running, it is the race which one must finish. And for the elite, the one to win! Some last minute news about the elite runners, following the races from the other side of the world, discover the news about the 120 exhibitors at the Ultra-Trail® Salon, follow the conferences or just simply share the emotions of thousands of people present around Mont-Blanc.
An exceptional sporting line-up
6 000 runners are coming to participate in one of the 4 The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® events. Among them, 5 000 anonymous runners coming to experience a unique adventure and 1000 expert runners who are aiming for an honourable position. This 11th year sees, once again, an exceptional list of the best runners from around the globe. Amongst them more than 100 big favourites (M & W) from 31 different nations over the 3 races. This year the prognosis is particularly open!
The International Trail-Running Association’s (ITRA) ranking allows the listing of the potential « top 5 ». A performance index, calculated by Didier Curdy, member of the ITRA, and ranking has been available on the new ITRA web-site since August 15th: i-tra.org.
For the UTMB® 73 high calibre athletes of 23 different nationalities could reach the podium.
Amongst them: Dakota Jones (USA), Anton Krupicka (USA), Tim Olson (USA), Mike Wolfe (USA), Michaël Foote (USA), Adam Campbell (CAN), Miguel Heras Hernandez (SP), Zigor Iturrieta Ruiz (SP), Jezz Brag GB), Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (JAP), Jonas Buud (SWE), Sébastien Chaigneau (FRA), Julien Chorrier (FRA), Manu Gault (FRA), Sa Carlos (Portugal). And for the women: Francesca Canepa (IT), Rory Bosio (USA), Lizzy Hawker (GB), Nuria Picas Albets (SP).
For the CCC®, 17 athletes from 11 countries could reach the podium. Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA), Sylvain Camus (FRA), Jesus Maria Romon Martinez (SP), Clément Petitjean (FRA), Sébastien Camus(FRA), Jordi Bes (SP), Fridleifsson Fridleifur (ISL), Nicola Giovenelli (IT), Yeray Duran Lopez (SP), Fernanda Maciel (BRA), Sandrine Motto Ros (FRA), Anne Valero (FRA), Kim Barger (USA).
Friday August 30th – Courmayeur and Chamonix
09:00: Start of the CCC® in Courmayeur (Italy)
16:30: Start of the UTMB® in Chamonix (France)
20:30: First CCC® finishers arrive in Chamonix
Saturday August 31st
13:00: First UTMB® finishers arrive in Chamonix
Note: I will be in Chamonix from Aug 29 filing reports about UTMB. After the race I will make a 3-day fast packing tour of the UTMB race course, just for the fun of it. No seven points needed for that;-)
As a running coach I work with video camera, recording my clients running styles running towards me and also shooting from the side. Afterwards we look at their running style in slow motion, where I can point out various evident “flaws”, like heel landing, landing with straight legs in front of the body, upper body rotation, less optimal arm swing, bouncing, et cetera. Trust me, it’s very useful to see yourself running, and get some pointers from an experienced running coach who can show you and explain how your running style flaws will prevent you from having a smooth and efficient ride.
In the running movement there are many movements, like how the pelvis rotates, the foot rotation and your foot contact with the ground, or “the wheel”, which is the figure your ankles are drawing seen from the side (Sagittal ankle path). Recently I was invited by Qualisys to undergo a thorough running analysis in their lab in Gothenburg. Here is the link to the report. 16 cameras in the roof were picking up every single movement of the reflectors glued to my body while running on a treadmill in various speeds. Qualisys Motion Capture System is the technique used by animators to capture the natural flow of human motion. The videos with the running skeleton show my movements. The black figures in the graphs represent the typical elite runner’s motions.
Peter Fröberg, an experienced running coach was helping me to understand the various graphs and figures after I had concluded the actual running. “For being an amateur you have a very good running technique” he said, but there were obviously things I could work on. Compared to the elite runners my “wheel” was somewhat late or behind. (See the graph: Sagittal ankle path). But compared to the elite runners I actually had less heel strike (See the graph: Foot Contact). Peter Fröberg also suggested me to point-up my toes before landing, which would make the feet more stiff and more stabile, which would help me to run with the wheel more forward. All in all it was a very interesting experience, and very useful. I presume I will get back about the development of my wheel. (Above images copyright belongs to Qualisys).