Friday, October 28, 2011

Dr. Szilvia Lubics, an ordinary ultramarathon champion

Szilvia Lubics of Hungary won Spartahlon 246 km ultramarathon in September 2011 in Greece with an outstanding time 29h7min. She was 14th overall, and only half a minute away from 13th spot. The second woman would finish well over three hours later, followed by 11 other female competitors.

Dr. Lubics is a dentist and mother of three. Last year she was the last woman (5th) to finish within the 36-hour time limit, so she has definitely improved. She was recently featured in Hungarian TV-show DIGI Sport.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Running High trailer

Lisa Tamati finished La Ultra The High 2011 second woman, fourth overall in 53h 5min. The 222 km course goes up to 5400 m in altitude in the foothills of the Himalayas. There were six participants.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Reunion 100 video

Reunion 100 miles 2011. I love island and trails, but this one might be too tough. Just look at all that mud. With 9656 meters of D+, this has about the same amount of climbing as UTMB, but the terrain and trails seem quite different. Anyway a nice video, thanks for the uploader!

GRAND RAID DIAGONALE DES FOUS 13-16.10.2011 PARTIE 1 from teten on Vimeo.
161,8km et 9656m de dénivelé sur l'île de la Réunion

Sunday, October 23, 2011

vertical hoKa

I suddenly realized this morning that I've never done a 'vertical K' training run. Without further ado, I got out and ran until my watch showed 1000 meters of elevation gain.

While running, I shot this video with iPod nano (5G). BG-music is my own song 'Tadatan'.

trail plodder presents: vertical hoKa from J8N Productions on Vimeo.
Trail Plodder's training run in Hoka One One Bondi B shoes - with comfy Lock Laces.

Elevation gain and loss were both a little over 1,000 meters (measured by Suunto Core). Distance was about 18 km and moving time 2:26 (measured by Garmin Forerunner 110).

Funny thing about the Lock Laces, I kept an unused pair of them quite near to my Hokas for months, but I never had the idea to try them on until today. That's what I call slow creativity. Anyway they make the shoes feel different and better, especially on steep hills.

I also tested the RaidLight Olmo 20L backpack for the first time today, although I bought it a while ago. It worked very well for carrying some clothing, two telescopic sticks, a few SiS Go gels, and two water bottles filled with nuun Kona Cola. I've used the Olmo 5L so far, but it's too small to carry enough warm clothing. I've been forced to DNF for a couple of times for that reason, and that's enough even for me to get a larger pack for my gear. This one is roomy and practical, but very simple and lightweight. Bravo, Marco Olmo!

The best thing is that I'm gradually getting better at hill running. I can jog even the steepest hills up quite smoothly, and I can descent the downhills like a rock.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dave Mackey's Hoka One One Stinson Evo

Dave Mackey testing the new Hoka One One Stinson Evo shoes, which are to be released by spring 2012. Wish I could somehow grab a pair of these for my Trans Gran Canaria 123K race in March!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fruitarian's Leadville and other 100 mile trail runs 2011

Michael Arnstein aka The Fruitarian has had a pretty solid ultra trail year 2011. The little guy who eats big fruity/veggie meals seems to have found what works for him.

Leadville 100 trail run is called Race Across The Sky for a reason: it's lowest point of altitude is 2800 meters - that's higher than the highest point of most races!

Here's a list of Fruitarians 100 milers in 2011:

The Fruitarian even could spare the energy to organize the first Woodstock Fruit Festival 2011. Here's his lecture on ultra running.

Well done - oops I meant raw!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chorier wins Reunion island 100 mile race

Julien Chorier wins La Diagonale Des Fous, the big trail race 2011 on Reunion island. 162 km (100 miles) with 9600 m D+ in under 24 hours (23:56).


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lizzy Hawker's Sky Dance in Nepal

Lizzy Hawker is in Kathmandu Nepal right now.  You can spot her here and follow her when she will start running along the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT) tomorrow.

She has also written a PDF with all the information about her adventure: Sky Dance - running the Nepalese Himalaya.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Marathon of Dangers

What, a trail running event worth two UTMB points in Finland? Yes, Vaarojen Maraton (Marathon of Dangers) is a hilly 43K loop, that is done twice in the ultra category.

Unfortunately I was busy this weekend. Naturally it was sold out, as all the good races tend to be these days. Anyway, congrats to the 56 ultra 86K finishers! The weather seemed to be nice. Maybe next time...


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Impérial Trail de Fontainebleau en GoPro

This video by Bruno Poulenard is about the 2nd edition of Imperial Trail de Fontainebleau in France on September 24, 2011. Imperial Trail solo was 63.5 km and 1,487 m D+.

Impérial Trail de Fontainebleau en GoPro from Bruno Poulenard on Vimeo.
Impérial Trail de Fontainebleau le 24 Septembre 2011.
Filmé avec une caméra GoPro.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bone Games

At the end of his interview with Christopher McDougall, the author of my and the world's favorite running book Born To Run, Shawn Donley - like Columbo - asks for one more thing.

"Shawn: Do you have any favorite running or adventure books you'd like to recommend to our readers?
McDougall: Do you know Bone Games
Shawn: I don't. 
McDougall: I've got it on my shelf. This book was jaw-dropping to me when I read it, and now I've probably given out about 15 copies. I gave it to Scott [Jurek], and Billy, and Jenn. Now whenever I see Scott, he's always quoting from it. It's by Rob Schultheis, and the full title is Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shamanism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence." 

I hunted the book down out of curiosity. It didn't disappoint. It's a weird book though. Certainly not a mainstream pageturner-bestseller like Born To Run. It's like comparing Comrades Marathon to Barkley Marathons. However they seem to share various themes in common, like a keen interest in Indians.
"In 1979, Bernard Fontana hired a an elderly Tarahumara Indian to carry a 65-pound earthenware jar out of a deep canyon in Northern Mexico; the man lugged it out, sixteen miles, by night and was home again by dawn.
What did they have that I didn't have? I think I know, at least part of it. A feeling of oneness with, closeness to, the world around them: running through, with, the landscape is a lot easier than running against it."
They both also feature epic trail running stories.

"Almost always, when you wear your body down to the nub and come to the crux of the ordeal, the spirit soars. Not this time: quite the opposite. I felt let down, disappointed, cheated. The last of the magic from those old, lonesome runs in Virginia was gone; looking inside myself, I couldn't find the slightest trace of it. 14,110 feet up, I wandered aimlessly over the filthy summit screes, a loser.

It reminded me of the infamous Afghan Cobra and Mongoose Trick, which had been pulled on me on my last Asia trip."

In some ways Bone Games reminds me of 127 Hours, but it's perhaps more complex and Zen-like than Aron Ralston's survival story. Let me put it this way: Bone Games is not likely to be turned into a Hollywood movie.

The first sentence of the book is: "In 1964 I fell off a mountain in the Colorado Rockies and came within a few inches of dying". The last sentence is: "It is still out there; and I will be back." What's in between is hard to put into words - you'd better experience it yourself.

"Magic becomes a kind of habit after we do the difficult, the near impossible, over and over and over again; a habit that operates down in those oldest and deepest levels of the brain and the mind. Where pain and fear can be alchemized into blissful, sublime confidence, and stumblebums wake up to find themselves dancing on the business end of pins."

So what are you still waiting for? Roll the bones!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ultra Runner Podcast

Ultra Runner Podcast is fun! Just check out their latest episode with Mike Wardian, who had UROC in the bag, but then took the wrong turn.

URP website is great too, with Daily News Update, The Black Toe Nail Hall Of Fame (featuring Iron Mike mentioned above), etc.

The following Max King video is playing on 'URP TV' now.