Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kilian's Kilimanjaro record run

Kilian Jornet set a new record for running up and down Kilimanjaro: 7 h 14 mins.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trail 5/2010 is online

Trail 5/2010 (October/November) is now online.

This German trail ultra running magazine is the only European one, it's only available online, and its free. It's worth checking out even if you can't understand German very well as the photography is outstanding.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Macca vs Raelert @ Ironman Hawaii 2010

This is how Chris 'Macca' McCormack of Australia took his 2nd victory at Ironman Hawaii World Championship triathlon a week ago in 8:10:37. A 2:43 marathon on hot lava fields after a 0:51 3800-meter swim and 4:31 180K bike is quite amazing. He makes it look too easy.

Andreas Raelert of Austria came in second about 2 minutes after Macca. He swam with Macca, but lost a minute on the bike, and then another minute on the run.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bruce Fordyce on Marathon Talk podcast

Bruce Fordyce was interviewed by Marathon Talk podcast. He featured in episodes 38 and 39.

Comrades King talks about a wide range of topics, but I found his training system for the world's biggest ultrarunning race Comrades Marathon particularly interesting: he rans a couple of 42.2 km marathons and the 56 km beautiful Two Oceans Marathon as long, slow & easy training races, while gaining fitness and speed from shorter workouts and races.

Mr. Fordyce, who will be 55 year old in December, has finished Comrades 28 times, and counting. His gun time this year was 7:55.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chrissie Wellington didn't start in Kona

Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championship started a moment ago without Triple World Champion and World Record holder Chrissie Wellington.

An official statement: "It is with huge regret and after much soul searching that due to illness Chrissie has announced that she is unable to race. Chrissie started feeling unwell yesterday and attempted to train as normal but without her usual intensity. Chrissie left racking her bike until the last minute and hoped that by this morning her health would have improved sufficiently to start. Chrissie has described this as the hardest decision of her life to date and out of respect for the race and her fellow competitors feels that she should only start if she can compete in the manner that the sport of triathlon has become accustomed to. Chrissie would like to wish everyone an enjoyable and safe race."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How not to fight colds

Jennifer Ackerman makes the following five important points regarding colds:
  • "the most prevalent cold viruses in fact do little direct harm to our cells",
  • "chemical agents manufactured by our immune systems inflame our cells",
  • "it's possible to create the full storm of cold symptoms with no cold virus at all",
  • "strengthening your immune system may be counterproductive",
  • "in any case, the supplements, remedies and cereals that claim to strengthen immunity (and thereby protect you from colds) so no such thing".
You can read the whole article 'How Not to Fight Colds' in New York Times.

Check out her video below as well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Trail Verbier Saint-Bernard 2010 video

This new Trail Verbier St-Bernard video is definitely worth checking out. It captures the energetic atmosphere of the early 5 AM start as well as some of the greatest scenery along the course. Viewers are able to appreciate how much snow there can be in Switzerland, in July, above 2000 meters.

This is a well-organised race and highly recommended, if you are into alpine ultra trail running. I wish they would release a longer video later on. 3.2 minutes is hardly adequate for a race with a 32-hour cut off time.

If (and this should be a big IF) you can finish the 110 km long loop (La Boucle, with almost 7 km of cumulative ascent/descent), you get four points for UTMB (Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, which was cancelled this year, and nowadays requires min 5 points from max 2 recent races to even get a chance to participate in the lottery). Actually part of the La Boucle course follows exactly the same trail as UTMB course, only in reverse direction.

By the way, my pet peeve with the French-speaking organisers appears once again: information is presented in French only, and if you translate it into English, it turns out to be fairly inaccurate nonsense anyway, LOL :)

For example, "1er Trail de Plus de 100 KM entièrement suisse" which I believe means something like "The first trail [running race with a course of] over 100 km, entirely Swiss". Typos aside, this is not a 100% true statement because:
  • Most of TVSB participants choose to run only the last 61 km of the course (and about half of the long course starters, including your truly,  DNFed), so for 90% of participants it's under 100 km;
  • They don't mention that part of the trail is in Italy, so it's not completely a Swiss thing only (of course they could refer to the fact that the race crew is Swiss, but that wouldn't be entirely true either, as some of the volunteers I encountered at aid stations were Finns) - and why should it, I thought the short Italian part of the course was quite fab;
  • There are other notable ultra trail events in Switzerland, for example the 7-day, 370 km Trans Swiss Run, which was organised in 2008 for the first time, so they began a year before TVSB. It also offers fours points to qualify for for UTMB, and the course stays entirely in Switzerland, going through the country from North to South.   
My very long, boring and unsatisfying race report of the July 3 (2010) event can be found here:

I've probably learned my lessons, and hopefully next year it will go much better, so I can finally get this monkey (or more like 900-pound gorilla :) off my back:
  • Certainly my diet will be totally different and much more compatible with the food that's available along the course; 
  • I'll also improve my gear, at least get a better (ie. heavier) rain jacket, which might mean a bigger backpack than the otherwise excellent Raidlight Olmo 5, but we'll see about that later on;
  • Maybe I can even hire a small, but extremely effective support crew to help me (in other words, to kick my ass and stop me whining :) during the more difficult later stages of the race. 
See you in Verbier, home of extreme ultra trails and extremely friendly folks!