Manuel Merillas climbs to 2nd position in Skyrunning World Series . Personal race report and interview by @moxigeno

Manuel Merillas is moving on at full power upon the Skyrunning World Cup, having just climbed up to the 2nd position in its ultra series ranking after ending 5th at Ice Trail Tarentaise last weekeend. This was the second event within the the five races series. His debut had been at Transvulcania La Palma, with a 7th position.

Manuel Merillas at transvulcania. Photo: Mayayo.

This Ice Trail Tarentaise (ITT) is a truly high mountain race. Over its 65k/D+5.000 m course, it might be honest to say that sky running merges with classic glacier mountaineering, running in subcero temperatures along a track with a race summit of 3.365m altitude at La Grande Motte. Here’s the summary of the race, personal chronicle of Manuel and an interview by Mayayo after it.

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  ICE TARENTAISE TRAIL, THE RACE.  

Highest & coldest of the Skyrunning World Cup

The Ice Trail Tarentaise was born in 2011 as the dream of Vinner Laurent, race founder After being aborted in its inaugural edition because of severe weather conditions in the upper sections, he was finally was able to celebrateit  in 2012 with François D’Haene as winner in 8H16. A challenging victory which just  reflected his great form at the moment, that was to lead him to be champion of the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc 2012  just a few weeks later.

skyrunning 2013 ice trail tarentaise logoRace highlights include the enormous average altitude and the ceiling for the entire 2014 Skyrunning season, considering the 3365 meters altitude on the summit of La Grand Motte. The competition also requires long sections of running on the glaciers with crampons on, plus alpine gear and sureproof mountain move abilities. In 2013 the winners were nothing short of Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. See below the rce profile in detail

skyrunning 2013 ice trail tarentaise perfil
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On this 2014 edition, the champions were also two of the biggest names in the sport: Salomon Running again succeeded in scoring a double win, with François D’Haene Emelie Forsberg. Among the men, the rcae went very fast, as François finished in 7h37m,  just 1m30 over Kilian’s record in 2013.  However, Emelie´s time of 9h24 this year, was slower than her previous 9h11.

Ranking ultrasky world cup: After having held the first two (Transvulcania and Ice Trail Tarentaise) out of five races planned, the leader is Tom Owens with 144 points, followed by Fulvio Dapit and Manuel Merillas, both with 132 Among the girls. Alessandra Carlini leads with 146 points, second with 134 and Maud Gobert third van Emelie Forsberg and Anna Frost with 100 points.

Luis Alberto Hernando en Ice trail Tarentaise foto Fabio Menino
From a spanish point of view, the downside of this year, was Luis Alberto Hernando´s DNF which was due to his obviously paying the bills accumulated in a highly loaded season. On the positive side, the excellent performance of Manuel Merillas, who placed 5th at Ice Trail and rose to 2nd overall in the annual ranking of the World Cup ultra sky, tied with the 3rd. Now, let us follow his very own race as he tells it to us in his own words. 
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Skyrunning 2014: ICE TRAIL TARENTAISE
PERSONAL RACE REPORT BY MANUEL Merillas. (5th overall)

The race began on Saturday, meeting with my friends from Cantabria region, in northern Spain. We arrived full of energy and very excited, so we stayed until 23:00 hours on the day before the race chatting and sharing our hopes.

Manuel Merillas en Ice trail Tarentaise foto Manuel MerillasThis Ice Trail Tarentaise started for me at two in the morning, eyes still stuck with a terrible lack of sleep. But hey, we set it up for the four of us who were in the apartment (Fran Pineda, Leo, David and myself) and got in to a hearty breakfast. Before we even noticed it, we found it was already three. We moved in a hurry to Val d’Isere. There is very little time left to start the race and it’s still raining as it has been doing all weekend. We confirm then that in the end we are to race over the original route.

At 4AM the race is launched. As always at that moment, there are a few that fly out on fire, with Luis Alberto between them, Tom Owens plus two other more guys. I stay further back and move on at my own pace. I am slowly letting go of my first group and I’ll get to Tignes with three others and we start to climb the Grand Motte 3570 meters. It is a very tough climb, yet I already knew it from winter after my skimo season. As I climb ahead of my original group I realize i am cacthing up on those that started ahead. In fact, I am getting closer to the leading group. The last section is pure glacier and forces us to wear crampons. I love these conditions!

Manuel Merillas en Ice trail Tarentaise foto Manuel Merillas 3

Upon reaching the summit, I check again upon the leaders.  As we start the descent I can still see them there. I took it more calmly because it is a 1.300 meter drop and I remember that from here on we are yet to cover another six climbs between +400 and +1000. Moreover, that thousand meters climb happens to be the last one, perfectly suited to finish you off if you arrive with nothing left inside.

The first of these climbs feel fine to me as I do not lose sight of the leaders. But rith at the start of the third climb. hovering around the 29k mark I noticed an intense pain in the right groin, which makes me stop dead for a moment. Quick check. I think I can stand the pain. I continue… until I reach the fourth climb and I start shivering all over.

This is where I feel almost defeated. I even sit down on a stone for more than five minutes and I  seriously consider quitting. To make it worse mine, two runnes pass me by and upon realizing my condition, they stop and tell me if I want them to call up the next chekpoint to be picked out by its safety team. I tell them not to do it. No way! I get angry with myself and I repeat again and again a voice in my head reassuring “Pain fades away, pain fades away…” This little trick of mine always helps me to push on.

From here onwards I start my race: It must be around  km 45. I am still hurt at the groin and I am limping a little but I’m determined to finish. I must be running 8th or so, I think. We then started the last climb. with these ramps over +1000. Here I see some runners sprint and pass me by. I try to hold on,  but they seem to just fly. At first I think I am busted, but then I realize they are from the “short” race. Once they tell me they are on a different rce, I relaxed. Uff!

I still think I am runing 7th-8th as we reach the last short climb. There I see Luis Alberto Hernando. He tells me he has blown up and is to quit. He encourages me and tells me that I am only 3 minutes back to 5th place and 5 minutes to 4th. I drink a little and go flying down after them. We have only the last 9km and it is almost all downhill. It was not my favorite strech as it was very technical, but still I’m going as fast as I can. I reach the american in 5th and tear ahead of him.

I finally cross the finish and drop to the ground, busted. I came in 5th, just two minutes behind the 4th and 6 minutes for the 3rd. It really surprises me, considering how badly spent I am and it is only now that I think, “Hey, I’ve done fifth” I cannot believe it. I’m happy, yes, but I know i must keep on improving.

So, what now? I’m already thinking about the next World Cup race in Canazei, for the fun of it.

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MANUEL MERILLAS INTERVIEW BY MAYAYO. (@moxigeno)

How do you feel this year, finding yourself with the best at the World Cup? First of all, I want to take a minute to note that were it not for the support of Mammut Spain, this year I would have never dreamt of taking on  World Cup. Now, having said that, I reckon that once I see myself fightin it out with the best, I must confess my feelings are good, very positive.

Skyrunning 2014: Season start at Transvulcania
What are your training programs and race strategy to compete at this level? I just go out to “play” and in the end the results just come in. But i think of them as nothing but the icing on the cake. As you know, be the race waht i be, I always go out to have fun in the mountain, without feeling any pressure.

I don´t look for any peak form when training, either, but every week I’m going out to train and improve something. I just want to see how far I may get this year. Although I we are just seven months into it, the sum of my completed races so far, counting the skimo and trail running are by now 36. But I still do feel great and look forward to continue pushing with all my strength, as hard as I can. I want to continue hunting those beasts that are ahead of me.

How did you face an extreme race such as Ice Trail Tarentaise in terms of mountain running gear? As for this weekend and the equipment I used … what could I say? We ran very high, as most of the race is above 2,700m and having several streches that went way above 3,000m. Under these condiciones, everybody, no matter who he is,  should go well prepared. Including the crampons in higher areas that had a lot of ice.

Manuel Merillas en Ice trail Tarentaise foto Manuel Merillas 4

The weather prediction at the start told us to expect -6ºC at the top, plus we alo came across recent snow, even soft and sticky in some parts too. It was therefore essential to be fully equiped for such a race with good gloves, a true jacket, cap or buff.. well, a good stack of pure mountain equipment. Of course, in my case, being a member of the Mammut team sure did help, as the quality of the stuff I race with held true to it is reputation as of of the leading experts on mountaineering equipment.

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

Gran Trail peñalara 2014: The start.

Gran Trail peñalara 2014: The start.

 

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

 

Posted in ice trail tarentaise, mammut trail running, manuel merillas, skyrunning, skyrunning 2014, skyrunning world cup, trail running spain, trail running spain 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gran Trail Peñalara 2014 (10k-60k-80k-110k) See final video and photo gallery.

 Gran Trail Peñalara ultra trail was launched back in 2010 aimed at commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the mountain club RSEA Peñalara, which was celebrated lat year 2013.

Ever since, the race has grown up to become the most important annual trail running event in all central Spain. This 2014 it was qualifying race for UTMB and Western States 100 Miles. It was also one of five member races for the ultra trail national series of reference, the Spain Ultra Cup

CARTEL 2014 Gran trail peñalara mini

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GRAN TRAIL PEÑALARA 2014: RACE PRESENTATION

 The main race course is based upon a 110km complete circumvalation of the highest peaks of the Guadarrama National Park, with Peñalara peak at 2.430 meters as course summit. There are also two smaller races held, with 60km and 80km courses.This ultra trail of the Guadarrama National Park passes through different towns and mountain villages following old time trails that were used by cattle, hunters and nowadays, by hikers, and nowadays structured as an official mountain trekking route as the GR10 trail.

The race is circular and is ran in self-sufficiency mode, requiring the participants to carry a minimum amount of mandatory equipment which guarantees their safety during the 110 kilometers of the race. Maximum time allowed to complete the race is 30 hours.

The event is designed for anyone who is in physical shape and is familiar with mountain surroundings, allowing for participants of different levels to complete the race. Some will take as little as 13-14 hours of running, and others combine running and hiking to complete the event in the maximum time limits.

The event gathers trailrunners from all over Spain and abroad to experience the true beauty of the mountains of Madrid and at the same time take special care and respect for the protected environment and its immense natural and cultural value. This 2014 the male winner of the 110 main race was again argentinian Pedro Bianco, who set a new course record. The female winner, Alicia Chaveli, came from Valencia.

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GRAN TRAIL PEÑALARA 2012: OFFICIAL RACE VIDEO

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GRAN TRAIL PEÑALARA 2014: RACE COURSE DETAILS. 

gran trail peñalara 2014 mapa mini

The race course begins and ends at the village of Navacerrada, just 50k from Madrid itself. It heads out of town through the valley of La Barranca rising up to the summit of La Maliciosa (2.221m) and heading down through the sierra of Porrones to Cantocochino, which lies within the Pedriza regional park. The course continues through La Pedriza climbing by La Gran cañada, a former sheperds trail towards the Hoya de San Blas and the lower pine and oak groves of the old pathway from Madrid to el Paular reaching La Morcuera Pass.

From here, after a long descent, the course arrives at the Paular Monastery in the heart of the Lozoya valley, crossing the river over the historical bridge, Puente del Perdón and arriving in the town of Rascafría .

gran trail peñalara 2014 fotos carrerasdemontana (133)

 

From Rascafría and the Lozoya valley, the Gran Trail follows the top of the Montes Carpetanos, up to the Reventón Pass. From here it continues along the top between Segovia and Madrid where it reaches the highest point of the Madrid sierra at the summit of Peñalara. From Peñalara, the race drops down the Segovian side, with its majestic pine trees arriving in La Granja de San Ildefonso, where the finish line for those participating in the Trail Peñalara 80K will be.

From La Granja and following the road of the Pesquerías Reales, constructed during the reign of Charles III, parallel to the Eresma river, the GranTrail enters the pine forest of Valsaín and picks up the GR10 again, which ascends along the historical pathway between two plateaus reaching the Fuenfría Pass.

The Gran Trail leaves the Fuenfría and within the pine forest of Valsaín, climbs to the Navacerrada Pass (km 100). The last 10 km crosses the side of Las Guarramillas to the hill of Emburriadero and descends down the valley of La Barranca in order to reach the finish line in the town of Navacerrada.

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GRAN TRAIL PEÑALARA 2014: PHOTO GALLERY

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

transgrancanaria 2013 peloton  fotos organizacion (3)

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

Posted in gran trail peñalara 2012, gran trail peñalara 2014, gran trail peñalara photos, gran trail peñalara results, madrid trail, photos gran trail peñalara, results gran trail peñalara, trail running, trail running madrid, trail running spain, trail running spain 2014, Ultra Trail, video gran trail peñalara, video gran trail peñalara 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kilian Jornet double Skyrunning world champion at Vertical Km & Marathon, plus Laura Orgue (KMV) & Luis Alberto Hernando (Ultra80k)

Kilian Jornet, Laura Orgué & Luis Alberto Hernando come back to Spain as members of its national team by FEDME claiming 4 world champions titles altogether: On Friday the vertical KM saw Kilian & Laura on top, just after Luis Alberto had won the Ultra 80k. Kilian rounded it up today winning the Marathon.

Kilian Jornet world champion skyrunning 2014 at marathon mont blanc

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SKYRUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014

Kilian Jornet (2) Laura Orgué and Luis Alberto Hernando win gold for Spain.

ULTRA SKY 80K: The very first race of the championship was held on early Friday, and saw a beatiful double fight. Male title was contested mainly by Luis Alberto and François D´Haene all through the day and went finally to the spaniard by 4min. A very similar picture developed in the women´s field between Emelie Forsberg and Anna Frost, with the swede finally claming the crown.

Luis Alberto Hernando ultra sky world champion. Photo @ENDU_MAG

Luis Alberto Hernando ultra sky world champion. Photo @ENDU_MAG

VERTICAL KILOMETER: Next on late Friday came the vertical kilometer were the challenge for the title was set upon a mountain race against the clock where runners had to beat a 1.000 elevation gain within 3.8km.   Both Kilian jornet and Laura Orgué won the gold for Spain. Final positions in the men´s field were: 1-Kilian Jornet 34’18” 2-Bernard Dematteis 34’36” 3-Urban Zemmer 34’37”

“The victory was a surprise. I didn’t had many expectations to win as I just came back from Alaska and there were serious contendents. However, things went very well and I’m happy for the result, which has allowed me to prepare the race on Sunday”, said Kilian Jornet after the race

kilian jornet vertical kilometer world champion skyrunning 2014

kilian jornet vertical kilometer world champion skyrunning 2014. Photo Jordi Saragossa.

MARATHON SKYRACE: The rain and cold dominated the Skyrunning Race in the Skyrunning World Championships held this morning in Chamonix, were athletes climbed 2,486m along a 42km-circuit, shortened due to bad weather conditions. Kilian Jornet won the race with a time of 3h23′ ahead of Michel Llane and Tom Owens. With this victory, Kilian Jornet is crowned as Skyrunning World Champion, and completes a double victory with his win on Friday in the Vertical Kilometre, the brightest star in a great performance by Spain´s national FEDME team whose twelve members ran as follows.

seleccion española campeonato mundo 2014

The race took place this morning in the French town of Chamonix. The original circuit had to be modified on several occasions due to adverse weather conditions. The finishing line was reallocated to Chamonix town centre to avoid climbing to the highest areas of the original route, struck by strong gusts of wind and rain.

Kilian Jornet started the race having won the Vertical Kilometre event on Friday, but also feeling uncertain about his performance after having spent a month in Alaska. From the very beginning it was a really fast race, and immediately a group formed by Kilian Jornet, Zaid Ait Malek, Michel Llane, Aritz Egea and Tom Owens sprinted ahead of the leading pack of athletes. They all arrived very close together at Vallorcine checkpoint at kilometre 18 and faced the climb to the Col des Possettes (2,000m) the highest point in the shortened circuit.

Distances between athletes began to increase and, upon reaching kilometre 35, in Flegère, Kilian had already managed to position himself in first place outstripping his competitors by a few minutes, as he himself explained: “We started off very fast, in a race that had two very different parts. At first, it was more of a mountain race, but later it became more sky-like, more technical, and that’s where I managed to break away. It rained a lot throughout the circuit, although it wasn’t very cold. The truth is that I prefer these conditions, with muddy terrains, and slippery stones…”

Kilian Jornet world champion skyrunning 2014 at marathon mont blanc. Photo: Brian Jones

Kilian Jornet world champion skyrunning 2014 at marathon mont blanc. Photo: Brian Jones

From La Flegère, Kilian flew down to the finishing line, which he crossed with a time of 3h23′. There, he joined Bruno Brunod, pioneer in Skyrunning and a great friend of his. Michel Lane and Tom Owens accompanied him on the podium.

Upon reaching the finishing line, Jornet commented: “I did not expect to be at this level. It has been a very encouraging surprise. I’m also glad for Michel and Tom, who finished in podium positions, as they are distinguished runners and also great friends. Crossing the finishing line with Bruno has also been very special. He was cheering me on just before reaching the finishing line and he was the first Skyrunning World Champion. So, it was a very special moment. In short, I think it’s been the perfect balance for the World Championships.”

Next week Kilian Jornet will travel to the USA to prepare for the Hardrock, to be held on July 11th.

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

caratula uo2.com oct10 940x198px (1)

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

 

Posted in emelie forsberg, kilian jornet, laura orgue, luis alberto hernando, marathon mont blanc, results marathon mont blanc, skyrunning, skyrunning 2014, skyrunning world championships, trail running, trail running spain, trail running spain 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Emelie Forsberg (Salomon Running) interviewed at Zegama by Mayayo: 2013 Memories & Objectives for 2014

 

Emelie Forsberg ended up the 2013 skyrunning season on a most dominating note, with an impressive track record, including her skyrunning world cup title, and european titles both for skyrace and ultras. Also relevant were some prestige victories at races like Transvulcania 80k or the Zegama Marathon. She also ran her first 100miler, at the veery demanding Diagonale des Fous, and finished on a great 2nd place.

Emelie Forsberg at Zegama Marathon 2013 on her way to victory.

Emelie Forsberg at Zegama Marathon 2013 on her way to victory.

Over the winter she committed herself to competing in the ski mountaneering worlc cup, a small but highly competitive sport, where many of the top contenders are also world class trail runners, such as Emelie´s Salomon team mate Kilian Jornet.  Unfortunatley, although quite new to the sport elite races, she proved to be highly competitive there as well, but only to find herself handicapped by gastroenteritis once, and by race postponement after that. Hence, she is vowing to come back for next season on a stronger note.

As for skyrunning, her season stated on a sour note at Transvulcania where she was pushed down during the race and fell cutting her hand with the volcanic rocks, which ended her to drop out. Before the Zegama Marathon we shared this conversation with her and her 2013 memories, from skimo and skyrunning, as well as her 2014 objectives.

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The day after our interview, at the Zegama Marathon, Emelie took off pushing it hard striving for a second crown. However, her injury,  the antibiotics taken and the fever passed all had combined to sap a bit of her strengh. It became clear when some of her competitors, who also put on a very courageous race, such as Stevie Kremer, Maite Maiora and Kaise Enman, were able to pass her and relegate her to fourth place, out for the podium.

Emelie at the Zegama finish, with Stevie Kremer (1st) and Elisa Desco (3rd)

Emelie at the Zegama finish, with Stevie Kremer (1st) and Elisa Desco (3rd)

However, the season has just started and we expect to see much more of Emelie´s great talent at skyrunning all over the world, albeit not anymore in Spain as far as we know at the moment.

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

Key trail races & trail runners in Spain 2013 

Results key Trail Races Spain & others 2014

transgrancanaria 2013 peloton  fotos organizacion (3)

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

Posted in basque trail running, emelie forsberg, emelie forsberg interview, isf 2012, isf skyrunning, kilian jornet, luis alberto hernando, marco de gasperi, mountain running spain, nuria picas, photos zegama aizkorri, salomon running, skyrunner world series, skyrunning 2013, skyrunning spain, stevie kremer, tadei pvik, trail running, trail running basque, trail running spain, trail running spain 2012, trail running spain 2014, zegama aitzgorri, zegama aizkorri 2014, zegama aizkorri results, zegama marathon, zegama mendi maratoia, zegama-aizkorri, zegama-aizkorri 2012 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zegama Aizkorri 2014: Video, fotos y resultados (Avance) Ganan Kilian Jornet, con nuevo record, y Stevie Kremer.

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Carrerasdemontana.com:
. La  Zegama Aizkorri 2014, ganada por Kilian Jornet y Stevie Kremer ha sido sin duda la mejor de la Historia. Tanto así que el record de Rob Jebb, fijado en 2005, fue batido en…

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Transvulcania 2014: Crónica, fotos y resultados. Campeones Luis Alberto Hernando y Anna Frost (1459 finalistas)

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Originally posted on Carrerasdemontana.com:
. La Transvulcania 2014 en La Palma ha supuesto un gran crecimiento entre los populares, saltando de 982 a 1459 finalistas. Una gran noticia para la organización, que ha consolidado tambien las nuevas pruebas del Kilómetro Vertical…

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TRAIL RUNNING SPAIN: ULTRA TRAIL MALLORCA SERRA TRAMUNTANA. Race report by Casey Morgan. (2nd overall)

Trail running in Spain this 2014  keeps on getting larger and better organized, as proved by this Ultra Majorca Serra Tramuntana 4th edition. Our mate Casey Morgan, from Scotland shares here his race report after achieving the 2nd position overall. Well done, Casey! 

Official full results Ultra Mallorca Serra Tramuntana 107k 2014

Casey Morgan, from team Sural, toes the line as 2nd overall.

Casey Morgan, from team Sural, toes the line as 2nd overall. Photo: Adriá Gayá.

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Ultra Majorca Serra Tramuntana. Race report by Casey Morgan.  

The Ultratrail Serra de Tramuntana represented an opportunity for me to right a wrong from 2013. Last year, 62km into the race and in 2nd position, I was forced to drop out when I fractured my ankle so this time around I had a point to prove.

Casey Morgan at aid station 82k during Transgrancanaria 125k

Casey Morgan at aid station 82k during Transgrancanaria 125k

My build up to the race had been very good, I ran Transgrancanaria in March, took a week off to recover then had a really good 6 weeks of training including the K42 Mallorca 4 weeks from race day where I finished 4th, a good indicator that come race day my form would be good..

I arrived on the island on Wednesday morning to give me enough time for a couple of easy training runs in the mountains and plenty of time for rest ahead of the start at midnight on Friday. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of good friends on Mallorca so accommodation and travel around the island is very easy which takes away any stress before the race. I’m hugely grateful for all the help I received.

One of my friends, Adria, was supposed to race but unfortunately he fractured his 5th metatarsal in training so was unable to compete but rather than miss out altogether he kindly offered to be my support crew along with his army colleague Ayoze. and so, on Friday night around 11pm, I gave them enough gels to feed their entire battalion and some last minute instructons then it was off to the start line.

The last 15 minutes before a Spanish ultra are always great: The banging music, the crowds, the nerves, the fear and the realisation that you’re still going to be running come tomorrow lunchtime! Then before you know it, Bang! We’re off into the night with 112km and 4500m+ ahead of us between Andratx and Pollenca.

Ultra mallorca serra tramuntana mapa carrera 107k

The first few kms are on road and I had decided to run this section at a good pace so that by the time we hit the narrow paths of the mountain i wouldn’t have to deal with any congestion. Fairly quickly we were down to around 6 or 7 runners in the lead pack so I just realxed into the pace until we hit the first climb to S’Esclop then before I knew it we were down to just 2 of us at the front, myself and Pawel Dybek from the Salomon Poland team. We climbed together for the first half of the climb but we were going a little too fast for my liking so early in a race of this length so I backed off a little and Pawel opened a gap.

At the top of the climb the views were stunning, an almost full moon with a clear sky and views out over the sea. Everything was feeling great at this stage, I was eating and drinking well and keeping Pawel in sight. By the time we reached the first checkpoint at 20km in Estellencs I had caught him again but as I stopped to refill my bottles and collect gels from the dynamic duo of Adria and Ayoze, Pawel pushed on and opened a gap again. I wasn’t overly concerned at this stage because i came with the intention of running easily all night then pushing hard on the climbout of Soller at 65km.

The night passed largely without incident, I lost a bit of time on the descent into Delá at 54km because the underfoot conditions were prime ankle breaking terrain so I just took my time to avoid injury. As the sun came up I made a mistake on my approach into Soller, I must’ve lost concentration and missed the course markings. Before I realised my error I’d dropped down the wrong descent and was heading away from Soller rather than towards it.

I eventually managed to find the main road into town and ran a little faster than I probably should have to try to make up for my mistake. Just before the checkpoint I met my friends Angie Rigo and her partner Xavi, it’s always a real boost to see your friends along the way and even more so after a tough section. When I arrived at the feed station the guys told me I was 12 minutes behind. So with the night behind me and a big climb ahead of me I set off with the intention of closing the gap.

The climb out of Soller is stunning, 6km up the Barranc de Biniaraix, a series of cobbled switchbacks and terraces clinging to the side of the mountain with beautiful pools of water and small waterfalls tumbling down from the peaks. it almost makes you forget how much pain you are in, Almost! I tried to run as much of the climb as I could but had to take occasional walking breaks to recover but overall I was happy with the climb. At around 900m altitude the path drops for maybe 100m then there’s a flat run beside a lake for around 5km to the next checkpoint at Cuber at 73km. I felt really good along this section and by the time I reached the checkpoint the gap was down from 12 minutes to 4 minutes, the race was on!

Leaving Cuber there was a little more flat running before the climb to Massanella, the highest point of the race at just over 1200m. I ran this section pretty hard to try to narrow the gap even more before we hit the descent to the final checkpoint at Lluc at 90km. I was really beginning to suffer at this point but enjoying the chase.

On the descent in Lluc I was taking a lot of risks but when a spectator told me the gap was down to 1 minute, I knew my efforts were paying off until around the 86km mark disaster struck. I took one risk too many and rolled my ankle really badly, I thought that my race was over, anyone within a 5km radius would’ve heard some colorful language! I hobbled for a couple of minutes and began to walk to try to get it moving again.

Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as I initially feared but it reduced me to a pathetic pace for the rest of the descent and effectively finished the race as a contest. After Lluc there were around another 7 or 8 km of descending which lost me more time until the final 12 or so kms on the flat into the finish in Pollenca. Once i hit the flat I was moving really well again but the race was over and it was just a matter of maintaining my position to the finish. I met my friend, the ever smiling Pau, on the run in to Pollenca, she informed me I had 6km left when I thought I only had 3km to go, I could’ve cried!

By this stage I just wanted it to be over so I ran the last 5km as hard as I possibly could, aided by a police escort for the final 3km I managed a closing 5km of just under 20 minutes so I was really pleased to have good legs after 12 hours, it gives me confidence for the future.

Ultra Mallorca Serra Tramuntana. The podium

Ultra Mallorca Serra Tramuntana. The podium. Photo: Adriá Gayá.

The finish line was, as always, a very welcome sight. Right in the middle of a beautiful square in Pollenca town. 2nd position was a big improvement on last year and I’m taking a lot of positives from the race. I was welcomed on the line by Belén, Pau, Adria, Ayoze, Angie, Xavi and El Gran Borja! I spent the rest of the day in the square enjoying the atmosphere and waiting on the other finishers, most notably Juan “feet of an angel” Canovas and Antonio “The Costa Rica Chef” Artabe who was running his first Ultra, I’m sure it wont be his last.

A huge thanks to Toni Contesti, Dani Salas, Esther Vidal, Elena Perez and the whole team from UTST for a great race. You guys are awesome.

Finally back home in Scotland I’m pretty sure that I’m a better athlete for the experience. In fact in Ultratrail I think experience is everything. Experience teaches you how to pace your body for 12 hours or more. It teaches you how to fuel your body to keep you at the top of your game. It teaches you that no matter how bad you feel at any given moment in a race, if you just keep pushing on, things will get better. And last but not least, experience teaches you that no matter how much you promise yourself that you’ll never put your body through such torture again, you’re a liar! Until the next time……..

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

caratula uo2.com oct10 940x198px (1)

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

Posted in Carreras de montaña, casey morgan, guadarrama mountains, guadarrama national park, johnn tidd, mountains spain, sural wear, team sural, trail running, trail running mallorca, trail running spain, trail running spain 2014, ultra mallorca, ultra mallorca 2014, Ultra Trail | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trail Running Spain: Ultra Pirineu 2014 at Bagá (Catalonia) sold out 100k-42k races as it takes over from Ultra Cavalls del Vent 2013.

The new Ultra Pirineu 2014 has just announced it has sold out all its entries for the four races coming up next September 20th.  Come share with us a look back at 2012 & 2013 great races, plus detailed info on 2014 edition.

Trail running Spain Ultra Pirineu 2014

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FROM CAVALLS DEL VENT TO ULTRA PIRINEU, THE ORIGINS. 

Cavalls del Vent is a beatiful classic 80k mountain traverse that links the 8 refuges of the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Parc at the Pyrenees in Barcelona province. Its iconic summit is Pedraforca, a true bigwall climbing paradise as well. For several years now, the Ultra Cavalls  del Vent (grown up to 100km/D+6.660m last 2013)  had grown into a great celebration of these mountains.

Ultra Pirineu 2013 Map: First year with 100k  course.

Ultra Pirineu 2013 Map: First year with 100k course.

Over the last two editions, in 2013 and 2013 our team went live to Bagá and covered the race inside & out for our audience: Some of our team were blazing the trails as just one more runner, some trailing it with our cameras.  Take a look here at our race reports, fotos and videos both from the 2012 edition won by Kilian Jornet & Nuria Picas, and the 2013 one with Luis Alberto Hernando and Nuria Picas at the top.

Trailrunningspain editor Mayayo crossing the finish line in 2013.

Trailrunningspain editor Mayayo crossing the finish line in 2013.

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ULTRA PIRINEU 2014 (SALOMON NATURE TRAILS)  SOLD OUT

Registration to 100k race Ultra Pirineu has been hailed as a success by its organizers after demand exceeded the number of 900 available entries and there was a need to celebrata a public lottery to allocate the bibs, last March 14th
Registration to 42k race Marató Pirineu closed on March 21st after selling out its 600 available positions in record time as well.

All participating runners will enjoy an event that is growing in distance and number of races, taking place in the Cadí Moixeró Natural Park and enjoying the great atmosphere of the area´s  villages plus heartfelt support from the locals.

ultra cavalls del vent 2013 fotos mayayo carrerasdemontana (12)
The event  will take place on September 20th and 21st of 2014. Beyond the classic ultra trail this time it also includes the Marató Pirineu, a new race that has also sold out. Its registration period opened on February 18th with 600 open positions, which have already been assigned, reinforcing once more the success of an event with recognized technical level and organization, already a reference in mountain running races.

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ANTON KRUPICKA, MIGUEL HERAS & NÚRIA PICAS CONFIRM RUNNING.

Ultra Pirineu 2014 will count once again with the new Balance team trailrunner Anton Krupicka, one of the big names in ultra endurance running worldwide. The Nebraskan runner, known for his minimalist approach to mountain running and his bearded look with long hair, finished second in the 2012 edition after Kilian Jornet.

Kilian Jornet & Anton Krupicka leading the 2012 edition.

Kilian Jornet & Anton Krupicka leading the 2012 edition.

He will be tested again this year in over a course partially new to him, running all  over the Cadí Moixeró Natural Park this time to cover 100 kilometers and 6,300 meters of elevation gain, including a circle around the Pedraforca. “I loved Cadí Moixeró when I ran it two years ago and am very excited at the opportunity to return this September”

The Salomon Running team member Miguel Heras is by now a true classic of this race, having achieved over the years every one of the podium positions.

As for the women, the great race icon and local favorite Núria Picas is sure to come back once again to aim for yet another victory at this dearest race for her

Nuria Picas & Uxue Fraile shae a laugh at the finish line in 2013.

Nuria Picas & Uxue Fraile shae a laugh at the finish line in 2013.

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ULTRA PIRINEU & MARATÓ PIRINEU COURSE MAPS AND PROFILES.

See below the races maps & profiles for the main races, the 100k Ultra Pirineu and the 42k Marató Pirineu

Trail running Spain Ultra Pirineu 2014 profile  and program Trail running Spain Ultra Pirineu 2014 course map Trail running Spain Marato Pirineu 2014 profile  and program Trail running Spain Marato Pirineu 2014 course map

Given the previous history of the race, it sure is a safe bet to say that fans will also enjoy the three new 2014 races: Marató Pirineu with 42 kilometers, the Nit Pirineu with 6 kilometers and the XS Pirineu for the youngest.

In fact, let us remind fans that there are still entries available are open positions for two of the four races:, the Nit Pirineu and XS Pirineu. Registration to these races will open in a month, at the closing of the ski station La Molina at the end of April.

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT MOUNTAINS RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

caratula uo2.com oct10 940x198px (1)

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain

Posted in luis alberto hernando, marato pirineu, miguel heras, mountains spain, parc natural cadi moixeró, pedraforca, serra del cadi, trail running, trail running catalonia, trail running spain, trail running spain 2013, trail running spain 2014, trail running videos, ultra cavalls del vent video, ultra pirineu, Ultra Trail, video cavalls del vent 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kilian Jornet´s new film “Dejame Vivir” shares in the experiences at Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and Elbrus records in 2013

Kilian Jornet has new launched his second film, within the scope of the Summits of My Life project.  Having recently become National Geographic´s “Adventurer of the Year 2014” he now shares with us the joys and sorrows of his three mountain speed record attemps in 2013, to Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and Elbrus.

Our team, interviewing Kilian Jornet at Guadarrama National Park, after his records in 2013.

Our team, interviewing Kilian Jornet at Guadarrama National Park, after his records in 2013.

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KILIAN JORNET´S SECOND FILM: Déjame vivir. 

The making-off. 

Kilian Jornet released yesterday “Déjame Vivir” (Let Me Live) as the second film of his personal project Summits of My Life. This 62-minute film, once again directed by Seb Montaz, shows the challenges Jornet and his team faced on three mountains around Europe during 2013.

The film, shot in five languages, portrays Kilian Jornet defying his own limits to make a childhood dream come true by following in the footsteps of skyrunning pioneers like Bruno Brunod to become the World Champion.

Déjame Vivir shows attempts to break records on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Mount Elbrus. Intimately portrayed and unveiling the human side, each challenge is also a reflection of the values that sustain the project Summits of My Life. Déjame Vivir is, ultimately, a collage of experiences that allow the viewer to get to know Kilian Jornet and what he does from a much closer viewpoint.

Kilian Jornet Summits of my life original project 2012-2015

Kilian Jornet Summits of my life original project 2012-2015

Kilian declared: “Déjame Vivir reflects a way to see the mountains, mine and a group of friends that we like to go explore the mountains in a light and dynamic and where disciplines get mixed and we can either run, ski, climb… The film explains what we do but especially why we do it, and where our motivation came from, going back to the pioneers of this sport. I think it’s a movie where spectators will understand that, at the end, what is important in any project is not the final goal but the way we challenge ourselves to get there”

Film director Seb Montaz explains: “Kilian often sang the song Déjame Vivir during filming. At that time, I did not know what the lyrics meant. But he then explained that the song title meant: “let me live” and I found that had quite a symbolic meaning: one person, Kilian, who wants to be allowed to fulfill his dreams. This is also the underlying philosophy of the project Summits of My Life, and so we thought that was quite appropriate.”

The film will be available for download or purchase on DVD as of today, March 27th at 7 pm on the Summits of My Life website, although the official presentation will take place in the coming months.

DÉJAME VIVIR, A SUMMARY OF THE STORY. 

The second year of the Summits of My Life challenges began on Mont Blanc in July, where Jornet managed to break the ascent speed record with a time of 04h57′. As well a sporting success, this story is also a hymn to friendship, as Jornet did not want to attempt the record alone and so he went with his friend Mathéo Jacquemoud. Although the latter suffered a fall during descent and Jornet had to finish the journey alone, he has always stated that it was a joint record.

In late August, in pursuit of a childhood dream, Kilian Jornet broke the ascent and descent record on the Matterhorn, in a time of 2h 52′. Bruno Brunod, who held the previous record and had been Jornet’s idol since childhood, also stars in this part of the film. In fact, Déjame Vivir follows in the footsteps of the pioneers of Skyrunning, a group of mountaineers who conceived a different way to approach the mountains: using the minimum of materials with the objective of breaking speed records. Kilian Jornet, together with all those who practice this sport, are the legacy of that generation of mountaineers led by Bruno Brunod and Marino Giacometi, among others. The film is, thus, also a tribute to these pioneers who inspired Jornet.

KIlian Jornet reflects on Bruno Brunod´s records. Photo: Kilian´s Quest.

KIlian Jornet reflects on Bruno Brunod´s records. Photo: Kilian´s Quest.

In September, and to put an end to the second year of challenges, Kilian Jornet, Seb Montaz and some members of the technical staff travelled to the Caucasus for a record attempt on Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Following the Elbrus Race, a mythical race that climbs up to the summit at 5,642m, Jornet tried to beat the existing record. Bad weather conditions forced him to abandon without reaching the summit. Undoubtedly, another example of the inner philosophy of Summits of My Life, a project that highlights the idea that the experiences and knowledge acquired along the way are what matters, rather than the actual fulfilment of a goal.

Déjame Vivir puts all these challenges as well as other everyday scenes into images that help us to get to know athlete Kilian Jornet more intimately. Nourished by the feats of past heroes of this sport, Kilian adapts it to our times. A person who asks to be allowed to live according to his own philosophy and values and who surrounds himself by loved ones, not fearing to face upcoming challenges.

This year, 2014, Jornet will attempt to break speed records on McKinley (6,196m) and Aconcagua (6,959m).

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THE OFFICIAL RELEASE OF DÉJAME VIVIR, 27 MARCH 19H. 

Déjame Vivir world premier was aired through an online broadcast yesterday March 27th. This allowed the Project’s worldwide audience to view it simultaneously. So, at 7pm central European time an online connection to the project website was established and Jornet himself presented Déjame Vivir. The official trailer of the film (shown below) was also be broadcast.


Various screenings in different cities will follow, the dates of which are yet to be confirmed. The first one will be in Barcelona sometime in May with a similar format to A Fine Line, which gathered together as many as 1,500 spectators at the Palau de la Música.

Apart from these presentations, the film is now available on DVD or for downloading from the project website. The campaign Friends of Summits of My Life is open to those who identify with the project values and are willing to contribute to it.

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

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Info written by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain.com 

 

Posted in kilian jornet, kilian jornet dejame vivir, kilian jornet films, kilian jornet let me live, kilian jornet videos, trail running, trail running spain, trail running spain 2014 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kilian Jornet designated by National Geographic as Adventurer of the Year.

Kilian Jornet has been designated as “Adventurer of the Year 2014” by the famous American magazine National Geographic. In an open voting procedure which recorded the highest number of votes in the history of the award, Jornet was awarded the prize for the milestones achieved within the scope of the Summits of My Life project.

Kilian Jornet: Adventurer of the year National Geographic.

Kilian Jornet: Adventurer of the year National Geographic. Image: National Geographic.

“Being designated adventurer of the year by National Geographic is important to me. It is an acknowledgement from the publication I have read since I was very young which shares the same values that I hold dear: nature, adventure… The most exciting aspect of this prize is that it is awarded by the general public. Feeling that what I do can inspire others and drive them to go out and fulfil their dreams is truly motivating and important,” said Kilian Jornet.

The famous American magazine National Geographic has designated Kilian Jornet as “Adventurer of the Year 2014” for the records he set during the Summits of My Life project and for popularizing skyrunning and mountain sports. Jornet competed against thirteen candidates for the votes of the magazine readers, all of them nominated for their work as explorers and disseminators of adventure culture. During this edition, more than 75,000 votes were recorded, the highest number reached during the nine years of existence of this trophy.

“I’m very happy about winning this prize. It’s a great honour. I don’t run or set these records to win recognition or prizes, but I must say, it’s really good to know there is a prize in which people have voted for me, and even more when they are readers of a publication such as National Geographic.” stated Jornet.

Kilian Jornet en Zegama 2013

National Geographic designated Jornet as an example of the adventurous spirit in the purest sense of the word, by demonstrating on each occasion that obstacles are meant to be overcome. According to the magazine, the most evident example is the records he set during the Summits of My Life project. In 2013, Jornet beat the Mont Blanc record with a time of 04h57 and the Matterhorn with 2h52, improving the previous records by 15 and 30 minutes respectively. National Geographic also highlighted the popularization and visibility that Kilian Jornet has brought to skyrunning and mountain sports.

During the open voting process along with thirteen other candidates, Jornet obtained the highest number of endorsements. Many adventurers have received this prestigious prize, such as the skydiver Felix Baumgartner, who won the prize in 2013 as the first man to break the sound barrier and the freefall record by jumping from the stratosphere.

Jornet travelled to New York this morning to collect the prize, which was awarded during the Morning programme broadcast by the American channel CBS. Before collecting the prize, Jornet said: “Being designated adventurer of the year by National Geographic is very important to me. It is an acknowledgement from the publication I have read since I was very young which shares the same values that I hold dear: nature, adventure… The most exciting aspect of this prize is that it is awarded by the general public. For this reason I would like to thank all those who voted for me and all those who have supported me since I became involved in this sport. Feeling that what I do can inspire others and drive them to go out and fulfil their dreams is truly motivating and important”.

Kilian Jornet Summits of my life project

Kilian Jornet Summits of my life project

In 2014, the athlete wants to continue with the Summits of My Life project, by trying to establish records on Mt. McKinley (6186m), Mt. Aconcagua (6959m) and Mt. Elbrus (5642m). The project is scheduled to end in 2015 with an attempt to climb and descend Mt. Everest (8848m). Jornet will try to beat the unassisted and shortest time records, taking his inspiration as always from the values of life and the mountain, the same values that have also allowed him to be designated as “Adventurer of the Year”.

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KILIAN JORNET, A  LONG AND VERY PERSONAL INTERVIEW.

Having shared quite some time with Kilian over the years, we have enjoyed watching him grow to set new personal challenges day by day, eventually becoming a global adventure icon along the way. As recently as this autumn we had the rare luxury nowadays of sharing a long personal interview with Kilian out at La Pedriza Natural Park, just 50k from Madrid. Kilian had just finished a solo fun run and scrambling around the area, noted for its beauty and climbing routes.

kilian jornet book the invisible border presentation

We shared views on the personal beliefs and philosophoy of such great icons of running or mountaneering, such as Zatopek or Bonatti. We discussed the beauty and the ugliness that comes, we debated on trail running as a future olympic sport and much more. See it all below in two parts (in spanish, sorry, mates)

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FURTHER INFO ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN SPAIN. 

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Info written by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain.com 

Posted in kilian jornet, kilian jornet aconcagua, kilian jornet adventurer of the year, kilian jornet elbrus, kilian jornet everest, kilian jornet matterhorn, kilian jornet mont blanc, kilian jornet summit, kilian jornet summits, kilian jornet summits of my life, national geogrpahic, salomon running, seb montaz, skyrunning, skyrunning videos, SMOL, summits of my life, trail running, trail running spain, trail running spain 2012 | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments