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01 October 2022

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01 October 2022

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  • Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay
    01 October 2022

    Good luck to team Dallam competing in the Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay Sunday 2nd October. Hopefully the weather will behave and everyone will have a great day out!

    Anyone that is able to offer support on the day will be greatly appreciated I'm sure.

    Dallam team as below:
    • Wendy Dodds and Vicky Kirkwood (leg 1)
    • John Gill and Will Fish (leg 2)
    • Jenny Lyon and Debbie Copley (leg 3)
    • Graham Beaumont and Michael Collins (leg 4)
  • Ballot for TCS London Marathon now open
    01 October 2022

    After three years of October marathons, the 2023 event returns to its traditional spring date and will take place on Sunday 23 April 2023.

    The ballot for the 2023 TCS London Marathon will be open from Saturday 1 October to 21:00 on Friday 7 October. It is a completely random draw, just like the National Lottery. The ballot results will be announced before the end of October.

    The TCS London Marathon is the most popular marathon on the planet, with hundreds of thousands applying for a place through the ballot every year.

    Find out more here

    Hugh Brasher, Event Director, said: “More than one million people have now completed the London Marathon since our first event back in 1981. So many have described it as one of the best days of their lives as they run through the streets of our great capital city cheered on by the incredible crowds.

    “Entering the ballot for the 2023 TCS London Marathon can be the first step towards a healthier, happier lifestyle and taking part is an extraordinary and life-changing experience.”

  • Eleanor Adams and the first Spartathlon
    01 October 2022

    When Eleanor Adams (now Robinson) took part in the first Spartathlon, a 245km race from Athens to Sparta, in September 1983, she was relatively new to ultrarunning. She had run her first ultramarathon, a 12 hour track race, in July the previous year. She had competed in a 100km track race (in which she covered 54km) and three 24 hour races. Adams had already established herself as one of the world’s best female ultrarunners, setting world bests for 30 miles, 50km and 40 miles. Just two months before the Spartathlon, she competed in the Charles Rowell 6 Day Track Race in Nottingham, setting a 6 day world best of 659.298km. This was to be the first of many world bests for 6 days (including New York and Colac, Australia). 

    Entering the Spartathlon

    Adams was 35 when she ran the Spartathlon. It was only her second invitation to an international race. In April 1983, she had been invited to compete in a 24 hour race in Vienna, where she had finished first woman with 188.784km. Adams planned to attend the race with fellow members of Sutton-in-Ashfield Harriers & Athletics Club, Alan Fairbrother and George Slack. They had raced together in the 12 hour race in 1982.

    However, entering the race proved not to be straightforward for Adams as she explained in the Legends of Spartathlon podcast in September 2020:

    The difficulty I had in being accepted into the race [was] because the whole ethos of this race was based on a military event. The organisers were very much against having a female competitor and it was only due to the intervention of the male ultrarunners that I was allowed to compete. So I didn’t know until the very last minute that I was going to be going to Greece so I did no specific preparation for this event.

    Adams was the only woman in the race. Her husband, John, travelled with her to Greece and during the race he got lifts so that he could see Adams at various points along the route.

    The route map from the official race website, spartathlon.gr

    The origins of the first Spartathlon in 1983

    An article about the inaugural Spartathlon appeared in the Road Runners Club newsletter in April 1984. It featured reports on the race from Alan Fairbrother and Eleanor Adams. The introduction and Adams’ account of the race are reproduced below with the kind permission of the Road Runners Club.

    The Pheidippides Legend – Athens to Sparta

    Wing Commander John Foden, veteran distance runner and a student of history in his youth, became interested in the legendary account of how the professional courier Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta (250km, 155m) in two days, to seek help from the Spartans, for the Athenians against the giant Persian army who, in BC490, had landed on the plain of Marathon.

    Having failed to gain support from the King of Sparta, Pheidippides ran back to Athens, continuing to Marathon where he fought in the battle in which the Greeks, overwhelmed in numbers, defeated the gigantic Persian army in one of the decisive battles in world history.

    The rest of the story is well known to marathon runners since it is the origin of the modern marathon race. Pheidippides threw down his arms after the battle and ran back to Athens with the joyful news of the Greek victory, collapsed and died.

    John Foden spent five years researching the history of that era in consultation with Professor N. Hammond of Clare College, Cambridge, a classical historian, who had acquired first-hand knowledge of the mountain routes between Athens and Sparta as liaison officer with the partisans during the Second World War.

    The RAF 1982 Expedition

    After a preliminary expedition in 1980, John Foden organised another in 1982, comprising eleven experienced RAF long distance runners, to investigate the route which Pheidippides might have taken to Sparta nearly 2500 years ago and also to find out if the journey could be completed in two days. The Greek historian Herodotus, writing fifty years later, said Pheidippides had arrived in Sparta the day after he had left Athens.

    The team of eleven, of whom six were likely to run, with the remainder driving support vehicles, had to make a long and tiring journey overland to Greece. The time was limited, and so were their funds. It had been realised that personal contributions could not cover the entire cost, although support had been received from the Trenchard Memorial Award fund, CILOR and an RAF Expedition grant. In fact when they arrived in Athens it looked as though they might have to make tracks for home straight away.

    However, it was here that Mike Callaghan appeared, and obtained support from a number of British business firms in Athens. He acted as co-ordinator with the RAF team, and saw the opportunity of establishing a race between Athens and Sparta in conjunction with SEGAS, the Greek athletic organisation.

    Three of the RAF 1982 expedition completed the journey, held at the same time of year as Pheidippides run in between 34.5 and 39 hours, i.e. within two days, but no definite conclusion could be reached as to the exact route which Pheidippides might have followed through the mountains.

    Eleanor Adams’ account of the first Spartathlon

    The race named the “Spartathlon” was held on 30th September to 1st October 1983. It had a 36 hour completion time limit and four checkpoints with cutoff times. This is Eleanor Adams’ account of her race, written not long after it took place.

    I had a very good run in Greece and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    It was a great thrill to be invited, but I must admit to much trepidation, with many of the world’s best ultrarunners, the heat, the terrain, not to mention the strict time limits.

    The days before the race

    It was somewhat disturbing to find ourselves lost at least six times on the coach trip of the course. This did little to promote athletes’ confidence that they would be able to find the correct route if the organisers were unsure of the way.

    We were able to view the notorious mountain section, the top of which seemed to be a scramble up what appeared to be a sheer incline. The thought of tackling this in the black of night was terrifying. We had been unable to see the other side, which was reputed to be even worse.

    The rest of our time before the race seemed to be spent travelling on a coach from reception to reception. We had little time for training; hardly any time in the sun; and not even any regular meals. Consequently the evening prior to the race saw most of the athletes very frustrated and very weary, not exactly the ideal preparation for any race, let alone one of this magnitude.

    I was rather concerned about the haphazard organisation along the course. It was with a great deal of trepidation that I found myself on the start line after a sleepless night. I was the only lady taking part, and under tremendous pressure to do well. I had been subjected to a barrage of press and well-wishers all week.

    Race day

    The race took place during two very hot days; it was frustrating to find the next two days to be quite cool.

    I set off a reasonable pace as I was anxious to give myself plenty of time in hand for the mountain section. I knew there was no way I could run over the mountain (I couldn’t have done that anyway, let alone after 100 miles!). I thought the time limits for each section were quite unfair. I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to tackle that section, so I arrived a Corinth (51 mile) in 7h 2m.

    My first problems arose as darkness was falling. My torch and reflective band were not at the appropriate check point. Immediately this wasn’t too much of a problem as I was on a good path, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be on very rough tracks. Eventually another torch was brought to me. Several other athletes had similar problems; unable to locate shoes, clothes, etc., sent to various checkpoints.

    I found it impossible to run on the rough tracks, a sprained ankle or twisted knee would have put me out of the race, so I settled for a fast walk. I came to the mountain section at 1 a.m. I was fortunate to have the company of Gerard Stenger. We both decided that perhaps it was as well it was dark, making it impossible to see the huge drop below us!

    Much to my relief I cleared the third crucial section with hours to spare. I knew then that I would finish, it was only a matter of time. By the time I reached the fourth elimination point, I was feeling decidedly weary and rather weak. The previous evening I had been violently ill and unable to keep down anything solid, next day I was unable to keep down any liquids, and I was fearful of becoming dehydrated. Because of this, I took the last section very easily, and the last eighteen miles, although downhill, seemed endless.

    The Greek people had really taken this race to their hearts and were out cheering us even in the middle of the night. Towards Sparta, the people were even more enthusiastic, offering me food and drink, pressing flowers into my hands. What a magnificent finale, and how tremendousto mount the steps and touch the statue of Kind Leonides. All I wanted to do then was to have a bath and a good sleep.

    I’ve tried to convey that the race was tremendous, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Nevertheless many aspects of the organisation left a lot to be desired. I had the feeling that the organisation was more interested in the commercial aspects of the event than in the well-being of the athletes.

    There were other marvellous people though who were willing to help in any way.

    I personally hope that the organisers won’t be tempted to make this an annual event, but rather have it every two or four years to keep it as an “extra special event”.

    Spartathlon 1983 results

    These results are from the Road Runners Club newsletter. The DUV website lists another finisher within the 36 hour cutoff, Takis Skoulis of Greece who finished in 35:34:44. The documentary states that there were 44 starters. Most runners probably had to withdraw from the race because they didn’t meet the cutoff times.

    Eleanor Adams was the first and only woman to finish the first Spartathlon. She finished ninth overall. When I interviewed Eleanor in 2018, she described how supportive the male runners had been when the organisers didn’t want to admit her “even though most of them were getting beaten by a woman“.  She was leading the way for the many hundreds of women who have competed in the race in its forty year history.

    I was always very conscious of being a pioneer and that was one of the motivating factors for me. I was well aware of the fact that there were very few women [doing ultrarunning] and that I was fortunate in that I was around at the right time and able to take the opportunities. I was doing it not just for me but for other women that might want to. I knew it wasn’t the sort of thing that would attract hordes of people, but it would make the way easier for anybody else that wanted to come along and do similar things.

    Her Sutton-in-Ashfield team mate, Alan Fairbrother, finished third. This placing is remarkable given that he had run in the Road Runners Club London to Brighton ultramarathon (53 miles) just five days before.

    The third club member, George Slack, was eliminated after missing a cut-off at a checkpoint by 15 minutes.

    Adams did not return to the Spartathlon but Fairbrother did, running it four more times in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1992, when he was 56.

    Nottingham Evening Post, 5th October 1983

    Notes

    2022 marks the fortieth running of the Spartathlon. There were 388 runners on the start list this year.

    The British Spartathlon team website features a photo of the 1982 team with John Foden centre. Foden, the originator of the race, was a member of the Road Runners Club and also of my running club, Holme Pierrepont Running Club, which was founded in 1982.

    There is a grainy copy of a 1983 documentary about the race on Youtube. In the film some of the runners talking about what the race means to them. It shows the start of the race at the 1896 Olympic stadium in Athens and the runners weaving through heavy traffic. Alan Fairbrother gets quite a lot of coverage as he was in third place for most of the race. Eleanor Adams is shown finishing the race towards the end of the film.

    Davy Crockett has written two articles about the Spartathlon on his Ultrarunning History website.

    The banner photograph is a view of the monument to the hero of Sparta, Leonidas, in the modern town of Sparta, Laconia, Peloponnese (Greece) by Jean Housen. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

    Some more of Eleanor’s races:

    1984 New York 6 Day Race
    1984 Colac 6 Day Race
    1986 Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Race
    1987 The first Badwater Race
    1989 Melbourne 24 Hour track race
    1990 IAU International 24 Hour Championships Milton Keynes
    1990 & 1991 IAU 100km World Championships
    1994 Telecom Tasmania Run
    1998 Nanango 1000 Miles track race

    The post Eleanor Adams and the first Spartathlon appeared first on Run Young 50.

  • Harrord looks the part in impressive Bristol half debut
    01 October 2022
    Photo courtesy of Westbury Harriers

    JAMES Harrod certainly made his mark in the Great Bristol half marathon on Sunday.

    Harrod (pictured above, 5522) jettisoned his Westbury Harriers vest for the occasion and pulled on a Kenya vest to mark what appears to have been his first attempt at the distance.

    In the past, when this race boasted top class field chasing sizeable pots of money, there was no shortage of Kenyan winners but Harrord set his sights a little lower than that for his first attempt.

    But I guess you get your inspiration where you can and wearing the vest didn’t do Harrod any harm as he sped round the distance in a very creditable time of 73mins 02secs for fifth place.

    That performance comes just a few weeks after he clocked a PB of 33:40 in the Worcester City 10k while on the track competing for Yate & District AC he notched up lifetime bests over 1500m (4:20.09), 3000m (9:11.9) and 5000m (15:57.20).

  • 2022 London Marathon – Strava insights
    01 October 2022

    Reading Time: 2 minutes | using Strava makes you faster ;-) The average time by a Strava user was 4:19:54 compared to the overall average of 4:22:50,

    The post 2022 London Marathon – Strava insights appeared first on the5krunner | tri bike run. The full post can be read now at the5krunner | tri bike run.

  • Strava latest: exclusive London Marathon data
    30 September 2022

    Ahead of Sunday’s London Marathon, Strava has revealed data highlighting the key numbers from last year’s London Marathon. Of the 80,000 people to complete the marathon 2021 – in person and virtually – more than half were on Strava.

    Other key data points include:

    • Law of averages: The average Strava uploader completed the London Marathon in 4:19:54, just under three minutes quicker than average time for the race as a whole – 4:22:50. The top 25% of runners finished in 3:36:45. The average time for men fell just outside the four hour barrier (4:05:08), while women on average completed the race in under 4 hour 45 minutes (4:43:20).
    • Setting the pace: Just over 8% of Strava uploaders registered a sub three-hour finish time. More than one in ten women logged Strava times under 3 hours 35 minutes, while 15% of men who uploaded their race completed the course in under 3 hours 5 minutes.
    • The slowest mile by average pace – mile four, 11:39 – was immediately followed by the fastest – mile five, 09:01.
    • The international perspective: The country with the fastest marathon times on Strava is Mexico, where the average upload is 3:26:06. The other quickest nations are: Norway (3:32:22); Portugal (3:35:46) and Poland (3:41:30).
  • Roc d’Azur pulls out all the stops
    30 September 2022

    The competition promises to be intense on the tracks of the 38th edition of Roc d’Azur. Three times winner (in 2014, 2016 and 2019) Jordan Sarrou will have many eyes focused on him when he takes starter’s orders on the Roc d’Azur race, on Sunday 9th October. Indeed, the Frenchman shares the record for victories with Miguel Martinez (in 1997, 2004 and 2013). After his sixth place as the leading French representative at the world championships in Les Gets this summer, the 2020 world champion is eyeing a fourth triumph. “For French mountain bikers, the Roc d’Azur is very important,” points out 29-year-old Jordan. “The second half of the season has been much better form me than the first part, which gives me hope for a good result. I’ve precisely been training for this goal. It’s the last race of the year, but you have to tackle it with the form you’re in at the time. The route is very technical in places, but it’s still quite fast because the average should be between 22 and 25 km/h. It’s a route for good all-round mountain bikers. The racing scenarios are always different and I’ll have to adapt my strategy depending on what happens during the race”.

    As always on the Roc d’Azur, the competition will be tough, thanks in particular to the presence of Italian Luca Braidot, 3rd at the last world championships. Following his win on the 2021 edition after having registered just the day before, this time Swiss rider Filippo Colombo has made an earlier move and will be present to defend his title. Germany’s Luca Schwarzbauer could also feature in the long list of foreign outsiders capable of shining on the race. As surprised as everyone else by his 11th place last year, Romain Bardet admitted that it could, “give [him] ideas for the future”. He will again be taking starter’s orders and could spring an astonishing surprise in the domain of the mountain bikers.

    On the Ford Roc Marathon, French champion Stéphane Tempier (the winner of the Roc d’Azur in 2012 and 2018) will be determined to show off his tricolour jersey and celebrate the end of his career in the finest way possible. Following his third place in the final sprint for victory last year, Axel Roudil Cortinat, 9th in the world championships in Haderslev (and the best placed French rider), Hugo Drechou (19th at the world championships), who is on top form after several recent successes, Lucas Dubau or also Mathis Azzaro will be the main chances for French victory. They will have to tackle, as per usual, the Italians Fabian Rabensteiner (2nd last year) and Samuele Porro, a former winner of the Roc Marathon, Germans Simon Schneller and Georg Egger, Switzerland’s Urs Hüber and Estonien Peter Pruus, who will all enliven the race. A watchful eye should also be kept on 43-year-old everlasting Austrian Alban Lakata, who won the Roc d’Azur in 2010 and, thanks to his experience, is always capable of battling for the lead on a race which he knows like the back of his hand.

    The women’s field is also notable for its excellent quality. Among the leading lights features Margot Moschetti, who will take part in the Ford Roc Marathon (after her 6th place last year and 3rd position in 2019) as well as the Roc d’Azur, which she won in 2014 and 2019.

    “I can’t wait to get started,” she admits. “Even before I began mountain biking for a club, I came here with UNSS, the French national union for sports in schools. There is a unique ambiance. When you walk through the exhibition, you meet lots of people. They aren’t always specialists but it’s always a pleasure to answer their questions. At Roc d’Azur, it’s a matter of sport first and foremost, but it’s also a place for meeting and talking with people.”

    In sporting terms, Margot makes no secret of her desire to hit top performance: “If I take part in a race, my aim is always to do as best as I can,” she says. “It’s the last race of the year and you always want to finish the season on a good note. The first time I won, it was fairly crazy because I wasn’t expecting the greater impact it had than on other races. Wining the Roc d’Azur is something special.”

    On the Ford Roc Marathon, she will be up against Estelle Morel, the best French woman last year (5th) who finished in 19th place at the last world championships. Another Gallic rider will be present on the long-distance race: 2012 Olympic Champion Julie Bresset, the winner of the Roc d’Azur in 2015. Léna Gérault will also be in Fréjus.

    As usual, Italy will be very well represented among the women’s elite field. Third last year on the Roc Marathon, Italian Constanza Fazolis will again be present and will also race the Roc d’Azur on Sunday. She will be accompanied by her countrywomen Martina Berta, 15th at the world championships, and Claudia Peretti (6th on the XCO marathon). Swiss rider Janina Wüst (4th at the world championships) should feature in the battle for victory on the Ford Roc Marathon. The presence of Sabrina Enaux on the Roc d’Azur, which she won in 2018, should also be noted.

    Cycling enthusiasts will also be able to get a glimpse of two now retired road racers, namely Sylvain Chavanel, a regular at Roc d’Azur, and Antony Roux who has just drawn his career to a close. Biathlete Émilien Jacquelin, already present on the Étape du Tour by the Tour de France between Briançon and Alpe d’Huez last July, will be following the tracks of the Rando Roc Estérel.

    rocazur.com

  • 2022 – a mini trend for OUTDOOR WORKOUT compatability in cycling (Outside Workouts)
    30 September 2022

    Reading Time: 3 minutes | It's always been kinda obvious that if you are following some sort of plan you can just go outside and do it. So why the need to make this a specific feature?

    The post 2022 – a mini trend for OUTDOOR WORKOUT compatability in cycling (Outside Workouts) appeared first on the5krunner | tri bike run. The full post can be read now at the5krunner | tri bike run.

  • Pro triathletes return to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i for 1st time in three years
    30 September 2022

    Triathlon’s top professional athletes will return to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i for the first time in three years for the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon. The most iconic endurance event in the world will bring together nearly 100 of the world’s top professional triathletes who will battle for a piece of the $750,000 USD total professional prize purse and the title of IRONMAN World Champion.

    For the first time in the event’s 40-plus year history, the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship race will take place as a two-day event on Thursday, Oct. 6 & Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, with the women’s professional field racing on Thursday and the men’s professional field squaring off on Saturday, allowing for full focus and coverage on each race and its competitors, as well as the Island of Hawai`i, like never before.

    “The level of anticipation and excitement around the long-awaited return to Kona perfectly matches the level of prestige of the professional field of athletes we will see compete for title of 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Champion,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “With two days of racing, we will have an opportunity to witness these incredible athletes like never before in what is sure to be a historic pair of race days.”

    Along with the professional field, over 5,000 age group athletes are registered to make the highly anticipated return to the Island of Hawai`i to take on the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit. The IRONMAN `Ohana will unite in Kailua-Kona to Kū Like (stand together) at the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship event in support of the world’s elite triathletes embarking on the journey of a lifetime, while they Live Aloha, acting mindfully and with respect of the lands, people, and culture that make the event possible.

    In the women’s professional field, all eyes will be on the 2021 IRONMAN World Champion Daniela Ryf (CHE), whose name is etched into IRONMAN World Championship history among the few to reach the feat of five-time IRONMAN World Champion. The 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will also serve as an opportunity for Ryf to further insulate her record of most IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3® World Championship titles for any professional triathlete. The 2019 IRONMAN World Champion, Anne Haug (DEU) will return to the IRONMAN World Championship stage looking to defend her title as the most recent IRONMAN World Champion crowned on the iconic Kona® course. Making her return to racing, Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), who earned her first World Championship title at the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission in St. George, Utah, will be one to watch as she returns to the IRONMAN stage following a pause in racing due to injury. Sarah Crowley (AUS) takes to the IRONMAN World Championship start line coming off her win at the 2022 National Storage IRONMAN Australia race and a third-place podium finish at the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship. Having a momentous year, Sarah True (USA) heads to Kona with the recent accolades of winner of both the 2022 ViewSPORT IRONMAN Lake Placid North American TriClub Championship triathlon and 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon. Other names to watch include Skye Moench (USA), who took fourth place at 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission and Ruth Astle (GBR), who followed close behind, nabbing fifth in her first World Championship performance.

  • MyWhoosh becomes partner for 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals
    30 September 2022

    Already a firm fixture in the cycling world, MyWhoosh reaches into the triathlon realm with a new agreement that sees the virtual training app become a World Triathlon Global Partner for this year’s Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi. The free-to-use platform allows global users to ride anywhere, bringing an all-access pass to virtual cycling worlds and guided training programmes.

    The agreement will give MyWhoosh top-tier exposure at the biggest event in the triathlon calendar, as the races to become the 2022 world champions reach their climax in the UAE. MyWhoosh’s in-app triathlon training plan is the Official Virtual Training Plan for the Abu Dhabi Event, giving users the opportunity to get race fit for the November championships and improve on the all important bike leg.

    In the build up to the Abu Dhabi event, alongside its weekly rides, MyWhoosh will be hosting triathlon-specific events, available for all abilities to get involved. MyTriPace Bunch is a social ride that will offer different pacing options for group riders, and Time Trial Tuesday will bring users the opportunity to test their progress.

    “Virtual cycling has become one of the biggest trends in training in recent years, offering millions of amateurs and professionals the convenience of being able to train and race from their own home,” said World Triathlon President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.

    “The importance of exercise to people’s mental and physical wellbeing is beyond doubt. MyWhoosh has the power to bring people from all over the world together through cycling and, with the sport at the very heart of the magic of swim-bike-run, this partnership for triathlon’s biggest event of the year is incredibly exciting for both parties and all of its users.”

    The agreement will include a major installation at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi expo (23-26 November), where athletes and visitors will get to experience MyWhoosh’s immersive world of virtual cycling and test themselves on the 2022 Championship Finals bike circuit. There are already more than 700 workouts available on the app and waiting to be tried, all created by World Cycling Tour coaches.

    Matthew Smithson, In-Game Experience Manager at MyWhoosh, added, “Partnering with World Triathlon is an exciting moment for MyWhoosh. Our team is looking forward to delivering Triathlon-specific events and functionalities within MyWhoosh that have not been previously available indoors. As a triathlete who dates back to racing since the 90s, I have seen the progression of our sport and how training has changed. MyWhoosh understands Triathletes have different requirements than cyclists. This is why we have designed events focusing on consistent pacing and the ability to test yourself and track your progress.

    “For those who want a fast bike split on the flat, fast roads of Abu Dhabi, it’s the perfect time to start the MyWhoosh Triathlon Training Plan. With 9 weeks to go, you can still significantly improve your bike leg and run faster from jumping off the bike fresh.

    “Whilst we are focusing on the needs of Triathletes, our main goal is to see you enjoying our platform. We are proud of what we have built, and we can’t wait to join you for a ride.”

Trail Running blogs

Trail Running Blogs

01 October 2022

Trail Running Blogs Trail Running Blogs
  • Rain Falls; Runners Climb At The Smarna Gora Record Mountain Race
    01 October 2022

    Written by Richard Bolt for the World Mountain Running Association. Photos: Smarna Gora Race.

    Rainy weather didn’t stop some of the world’s best mountain runners as they ascended Smarna Gora at Slovenia’s premier uphill mountain race yesterday. Smarna Gora Record – a 1.8 km grueling climb with 360 meters of ascent – is also a World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) associate race. Local favorite Timotej Becan (SLO) won the men’s race in 11:13 while multiple world champion and six-time Smarna Gora Mountain Race winner Andrea Mayr (AUT) won the women’s race in 12:36. Andrea broke the women’s previous course record of 13:18 was set by Mateja Kosovelj (SLO) in 2006.

    Timotej Becan (SLO)

    Complete results of Friday’s Smarna Gora Record Run can be found here: https://www.timingljubljana.si/rezultati.aspx?IDtekme=4192&tip=B

    A replay of the Smarna Gora Record race can be found at: https://www.timingljubljana.si/rezultati.aspx?IDtekme=4192&tip=B

    Tune in this morning (Saturday, October 1 at 10:10 AM CET for the 43rd running of the Smarna Gora Mountain Race; a WMRA World Cup silver race.

    Live-streaming will be available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV8XaB0THHw&feature=youtu.be&themeRefresh=1

    Isaco Costa (ITA), RIchard Bolt (USA) and Tiziano Livan (ITA). Isaco and Tiziano will be racing this morning at Smarna Gora.

    The post Rain Falls; Runners Climb At The Smarna Gora Record Mountain Race appeared first on ATRA.

  • Urban Oasis: Short Film Celebrates Urban Trail Running and the Trails of San Francisco
    01 October 2022

    The post Urban Oasis: Short Film Celebrates Urban Trail Running and the Trails of San Francisco appeared first on iRunFar.

    We talk a lot about trail running in terms of big mountain adventures, but so many of us live in urban settings. With an increasing awareness of the effects of added travel on climate change, there are so many reasons to appreciate what’s on our doorstep — and learn to love urban trail running. A new short film by Dooster Film, in cooperation with San Francisco-based Irish trail runner Paddy O’Leary aims to highlight the playground that exists on the doorsteps of San Francisco residents in particular — and to encourage city dwellers everywhere to look around them for wildness within their own urban spaces.

    A Love Letter to San Francisco
    

    O’Leary previously collaborated with the Dooster on “Coming Home,” which was awarded “Best Mountain Culture Film” of 2019 at the Whistler Film Festival and was part of the Trails in Motion film tour for 2020. He said, “I think when people start to urban trail run, they realize what they have around them and the training and the running they can do unexpectedly.

    “I love the surprises you encounter on urban trail running. Like, Oh, where did this trail come from? or, Where did this set of stairs come from? He continued, “We want people to realize what they have in San Francisco, that they don’t need to run the same road route, that there’s wildness in the city. The second thing is we want people to start looking at their own city — and see where they can find trails and find wildness in their own urban space.”

    Paddy O’Leary running up Mount Davidson, the highest peak in San Francisco, California. Photo: Ryan Scura

    Ryan Scura of Dooster Film said that the motivation for the film came from the joy he has found from running San Francisco trails himself for the past eight years: “I have been struck by the feeling that you get in some of those natural spaces, like Sutro Forest, like the Presidio. It feels like a wild, remote place where you just soak up the sounds, and the smells of the trees and you forget that you’re in this city of almost a million people. I started to think about ways to share that feeling through film, to show the trails in a way that I don’t think I’ve seen them portrayed before.”

    The juxtapositions provided by urban trail running are a feast for all the senses. Dylan Ladds of Dooster Film says: “My primary role in making this film was recording audio of the different spaces and actions, so I paid a lot of attention to how sound influences our experience of a place, and how it changes as we move. For example, I vividly remember the wind rustling the leaves of the eucalyptus in Sutro Forest, and the sound of a distant airplane creeping in underneath — reminding me that while I felt deep in the woods, I wasn’t too far from the city. It was a cool thing to experience.”

    One of the San Francisco trails highlighted in Urban Oasis. Photo courtesy of Dooster Film.

    Spreading Love for Urban Trail Running

    The launch evening, held in San Francisco on Thursday, September 29, began with a trail run through San Francisco’s Presidio, followed by talks by a range of speakers who engage with the trails in different ways — including folks involved with trail development, runners, hikers, and bikers.

    To help spread some love for urban trail running, the team behind the film has asked runners to share their favorite trail or outdoor space in their own city on social media using the hashtag #UrbanOasisTrail. Our articles have recently highlighted some great urban trails in cities including Cape Town, South Africa, Budapest, Hungary, and Hong Kong. Where else can you add to the list?

    Call for Comments
    • Are there good places to trail run in your city? Tell us about your favorite urban trail.
    • What do you love about urban trail running, as opposed to big wilderness adventures?

    A lone trail runner takes in the San Francisco cityscape. Photo courtesy of Dooster Film.

    Urban Oasis: Short Film Celebrates Urban Trail Running and the Trails of San Francisco by Sarah Brady.

  • Trail Runner’s Book Review – Colorado Alpine Trail Runs
    30 September 2022

    Colorado Alpine Trail Runs, by Annalise Grueter. Colorado Mountain Club Press, 2022. Reviewed by trail runner Laura Clark. Laura is an avid mountain, trail and snowshoe runner who lives in Saratoga Springs, NY, where she is a children’s librarian.

    The operational consideration for this guidebook is the phrase, “trail runs.” The 45 scenic adventures described, spanning the state of Colorado, range from casual to technically challenging and vary in length from 4 to 30 miles, with occasional options for longer add-on excursions. Annalise Grueter, an accomplished ultramarathoner and mountain mentor, emphasizes that she is mainly interested in routes that can be run with a minimum of hiking.

    All trails are rated as to initial and summit elevation, estimated completion time, mileage, run-ability percentage, nearest town, and recommended add-ons. As an Easterner unaccustomed to high altitude, I appreciate the fact that the degree of difficulty ratings factor in not only trail conditions but also high elevation. Routes are grouped by geographical area, facilitating an extended exploration from a single home base.

    While there is occasional mention of Class 3 climbs, scrambling hand-over-hand minus the comfort of ropes, the boundaries are clearly delineated so you won’t find yourself getting in over your head. I, for one, have difficulty letting go of a trail and turning back, partly from a desire for completion, and partly because of my compulsion to glimpse what is around the bend. But Greuter, with her strong suggestion to reverse course before disaster strikes, gives us permission to use common sense in ascents like Willow Lake, where with the loose rock and deteriorating trail to the final summit, she urges, “Rather than tacking on risky power hiking, turn around and push yourself on the descent.” Reason and redemption all in the same sentence. For more on scrambling, read Anton Kruipcka’s cautionary article in the August 2022 issue of Ultrarunning, and learn to respect the skill set required should you decide to test boundaries.

    We all have had the experience of driving up a trailhead access road, wondering which will break first – our nerves or our vehicle. Thankfully, clearance estimates and 4-wheel drive requirements are all laid out for you. While four-footed hiking companions are seldom mentioned, there are a few occasions, such the borderline Class 3 scrambling just before the summit at Igloo Peak, which Greuter suggests might be too challenging for canine companions. This observation is especially appreciated as the route is classified as a beginner attempt.

    As you have already begun to see, it is the thoughtful attention to details that makes this work stand out and enhance your experience. Greuter highlights which trails are apt to be the most crowded and the best times of day to attempt the ascent, and to save retracing steps, she outlines which sections merit heightened alertness for directional changes. If you like to combine your adventure with flower and wildlife photography, she has you covered. And, out of respect, she supplements with Native terms to give you a sense of the footsteps of those who have traveled before.

    Enjoy your journey!

    The post Trail Runner’s Book Review – Colorado Alpine Trail Runs appeared first on ATRA.

  • K-WAY VOB TRAIL RUNNING: WEEKEND RUN REMINDER
    30 September 2022


    Hi Everyone

    Here are the runs for this weekend.

     

    SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2022

    TABLE MOUNTAIN TRAILERS (K-WAY VOB MEDIUM DISTANCE TRAIL GROUP)

    SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2022 – SIGNAL HILL CIRCUIT FROM MOUILLE POINT (GREEN POINT) LIGHTHOUSE

    We're City and Sea side this Saturday.

    Route details

    From Mouille Point (Green Point) lighthouse, we warm up along beach road and head up Glengariff Road (please be mindful of traffic).  At the top of Glengariff we hit the trail, catch our breath, and turn right to run above Sea Point. 

     Following the Lions Head Path, at the intersection below the Kramat we can decide whether to head over to Signal Hill or continue around to complete the Lions Head loop, returning to the Kramat.

     From the Kramat it's a nice flowing run along Signal Hill ridge to the next parking area where we turn right to head down towards the noon day gun.  We pause here to take some great pics with the cannons and of the view before bundu bashing our way down the side of the mountain.  

    Continuing our decent we make our way through the houses down to Green Point park and return to the lighthouse (again please be mindful of traffic).

    Rendezvous and Start Time:  

    RV at the Moullie Point (Green Point) Lighthouse at 6:55am ready to start running at 7am sharp

    Terrain and Distance:

    Mostly single track with some solid climbing and flowing running.  

    Distance: approx 12-13kms taking about 2h30 mins for the Medium Group

    Faster Group will follow a similar route with a possible extension decided on the day.

    Walking Group – NO WALKING GROUP.

     Please Bring:  

    whistle, water, a warm /waterproof/windproof top dependent on weather, space blanket and ICE (In Case of Emergency) tag or card   

    ImportantOur runs are pack runs and will may split into 2 or 3 pace groups on the day. Please remember to look behind you at every turn in the route to make sure the people behind you see which way you are going.  Please keep together and ensure that no-one is left on their own.   Routes are subject to deviation on the day.  

     Unfortunately no dogs allowed on our runs.

    Have a great week!

    Samantha

    0723144341

    * First Aid Kit

    • Plasters in various sizes
    • Tension bandage (for sprain) & safety pins
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Electrolyte / Salt tablets
    • Energy bars / Gels
    • Sterile gauze pads / Tampons (stops blood by blocking the cut or gash)
    • Petroleum jelly (chafing prevention and stops blood flow)
    • Painkillers (Myprodol, Panado or whatever works for you)
    • Stomach Pills (Immodium)
    • Multi-tool / Scissors
    • Cable ties
    • Super-glue (glue that cut / gash shut)



    K-Way VOB's Medium Distance Trail Group
    Website: http://www.acsisvob.co.za/ <http://www.acsisvob.co.za/>
    Blog: http://vobtrailwrg.blogspot.com/ <http://vobtrailwrg.blogspot.com/>

     

    K-WAY VOB LONGER DISTANCE GROUP

    NO RUN THIS WEEK.

     

    Warning:  Trail running is inherently more dangerous than road running.  It takes place over Warning:  Trail running is inherently more dangerous than road running.  It may take place over uneven hazard strewn trails in exposed and often remote terrain where help is not always readily available.

    Participation is voluntary and entirely at your own risk as although the organizers take reasonable precautions to ensure runner safety, it cannot be guaranteed.  To this end neither the Club nor the organisers personally can be held liable for any claims relating to inter alia, injuries, disabilities and death. Further any minor child participating in any trail running activity will be deemed to be doing so with the consent of his or her guardian.

     By starting out on a trail run you explicitly acknowledge that: 

    1] you understand the associated risks involved and accept full responsibility for your own safety. 

    2] you are medically and physically fit to participate and 

    3] are carrying the necessary water, clothing and safety equipment required for the particular run.

     

    SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER 2022

    MATES SUNDAY RUN

    Sunday 2nd October.

    Meet at 7.30, Kalk Bay Station parking.

    Up the steps and across Boyes Drive, left towards Trappieskop, the up towards Boomslang Cave. Along the back of the caves, to Dead Man's Path around Klein Tuinkop, down onto the jeep track and back towards the R5 parking. Opposite the parking, up the single track to Wolfkop, then dooown the long single track, across the road and over to St James' Peak. U-turn, back across the road and up to Kalk Bay Peak and down off the other side, down to the amphitheatre, down Echo Valley past Weary Willy's and back down the steps to the cars. Thence to the Brass Bell tidal pool for a beer and a swim if it's sunny. 18km-ish.

    See gpx attached.

     

     

    Whatever you're up to, have a great weekend.

    Cheers

    The K-Way VOB Trail Team

    Tim Bellairs

    K-Way VOB Trail Running

    Cell: 082 321-0299

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.gmail.com

     







     



     


     
  • The 40-Mile Week
    30 September 2022

    The post The 40-Mile Week appeared first on iRunFar.

    Three years ago, I wrote an article here on iRunFar about benchmarks. At the time, I was returning to running after a painstakingly slow recovery from hip surgery. As is often the case, my recovery had its ups and downs, and I was having particular difficulty gaining any day-to-day consistency. Ultimately, a full 18 months after my surgery, I finally achieved my long-sought-after benchmark, which for me has always been a 40-mile week.

    In the article, I invited readers to comment on what their benchmarks were, and the responses were interesting and disparate. Some folks, such as myself, are numbers people and focus on miles or hours in determining their benchmarks. Others, perhaps the more sanguine types, focus on soft metrics like happiness, healthiness, and camaraderie. Whatever the source, it is clear that we runners are a goal-oriented lot.

    AJW training above Cunningham Gulch in Colorado before the 2016 Hardrock 100. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

    With all the changes in the world since we published that article in September 2019, I thought it might be fun to perform an unscientific study on social media on the topic of the 40-mile week. My query went like this:

    “As an old school guy, I’ve always thought of a 40-mile week as an honest training week … What’s your minimum honest training week?”

    Interestingly, right out of the gate, many of the respondents concurred with the 40-mile benchmark. Some cited steering clear of injury as the reason to keep it to 40, while others remarked that 40 miles a week allowed them to get quality workouts done as well as a recovery day and a rest day. My former coaching colleague, Adam St. Pierre, remarked that for him 30 miles a week was plenty as long as he was getting 10,000 feet of vertical climbing packed into that 30 miles.

    Renowned race director Candice Burt said, “Forty miles is solid. For me, I like to get over 60. Ten miles a day with a day off if I don’t have time for a long run. Otherwise, 70.”

    One of the key metrics that seems to have evolved in the last decade or so is the large number of runners who track their training in hours rather than distance. Coach Jason Koop, one of the staunchest advocates of this approach, says simply, “Track volume by time, not distance,” and this approach certainly seems to work for Koop’s stable of athletes. Several of the folks who responded to my query concurred with Koop with ideal weekly hours ranging from eight to 10 hours and a few high-volume folks suggesting 12 weekly hours was their key number.

    Finally, quite a few people commented with the classic, “it depends,” and that mainly had to do if they were running in the hills or on the flats or on the roads or the trails. In general, the trail folks are more likely to track in time rather than miles, although there were a few old-timers who stick to tracking miles regardless of where they are running.

    iRunFar’s Craig Randall checks his GPS watch on a mountaintop. One of the many reasons for our reliance on such pieces of technology is the need to easily track our weekly mileage. Photo: iRunFar/Christin Randall

    What was the takeaway for me? Three years after the first time I asked this? It seems like the 40-mile week is still a thing and something that many runners seek in their training. That said, as with many things in our ever-evolving sport, the times are changing and the one-size-fits-all method of assessment and evaluation seems further and further from reality every day.

    Bottoms up!

    AJW’s Beer of the Week

    This week’s Beer of the Week comes from Bent River Brewing Company in Rock Island, Illinois. Their Uncommon Stout is a surprisingly sweet and smoky stout that tastes good all year round. A particularly good beer to drink with barbecue, Uncommon Stout is a refreshingly fresh take on this long revered variety.

    Call for Comments
    • What’s your benchmark for an acceptable training week, if any?
    • Do you plan your training based on time, hours, or a mixture of the two?

    The 40-Mile Week by Andy Jones-Wilkins.

  • Zumaia Flysch Trail Hosts Decisive Mountain Race of the Valsir World Cup
    30 September 2022

    Written by Sergio Mayayo for the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). Photos by Sergio Mayayo. ATRA founder Nancy Hobbs is a member of the World Mountain Running Association Council.

    The Valsir Mountain Running World Cup touches down in the Basque Country on Sunday for the 13th edition of Zumaia Flysch Trail, the final Long category test of the 2022 season. After all the drama of Canfranc-Canfranc, we’re back in Spain for the 11th and penultimate Gold Label test of the year.

    Over 22km and 850m of climbing, Zumaia Flysch Trail Half Marathon first winds its way westward along the coast over short, punchy climbs. Travelling across the spectacular cliffs of the Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, the race traces a line where the rich green of the hills meets the deep blue of the sea, the incredible geology adding an extra dimension to a race that is a real feast for the eyes. After 10km, the race takes a big swing inland and heads back towards Zumaia, taking the mirror of the outward course and crossing over itself several times as it loops out towards the coast and back inland.

    On top of the incredible landscape, one of the big draws of Zumaia Flysch Trail must be the Basques’ famous enthusiasm for sport, and for mountain running in particular. First or last, it doesn’t matter; the crowds that gather on the course will give their loud support to every single athlete in the race. Basque Country racing is something every mountain runner should experience at least once.

    When the World Cup came here last year, the Run2gether pair of Joyce Njeru and Geoffrey Ndungu prevailed, battling through the cold, the mud and the rain to take victory after close races with Lucy Murigi and Sandor Szabo. In doing so they sealed the titles in the Classic category. This year, Zumaia Flysch Trail will once again be the decisive, though this time in the Long category.

    Photo: Sergio Mayayo.

    The Contenders

    A total of 700 runners, all hoping for an improvement on last year’s conditions, will take to the start line in Gurrutxaga Square at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Among them are some of this year’s strongest Valsir World Cup performers.

    Lucy Murigi is back again, the 2 time World Champion looking to go one better than last year and overtake Joyce Njeru at the top of the Long category standings in the process. If Camilla Magliano, currently 3rd in the standings, can take the win and Murigi doesn’t finish 2nd then the Italian can also win overall. They will have their hands full trying to contain an in-form Oihana Kortazar, who has taken recent wins at Canfranc-Canfranc 45k and Maratón Montaña Palentina, and Leire Fernández Abete, who will be looking to build on her 5th place in the Canfranc-Canfranc 16k.

    In the men’s race both France’s Robert Loic and the Spaniard Raul Criado have a chance of moving onto the overall Long category podium with a strong finish here. Loic was incredible in taking the win and course record at Canfranc-Canfranc, while Criado will be on familiar ground, having won the marathon here last year. And look out for Borja Fernández who will come into the race on a high having recently gained selection for the Spanish team for the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand with his win at Maratòn Montana Palentina.

    As ever in the Basque Country, the international athletes will be up against a very strong contingent of local runners, including Ismail Razga, 2nd in last year’s Zumaia Flysch Trail marathon, and Hassan Ait Chaou, the Morrocan now living in Gipuzkoa.

    Photo: Sergio Mayayo.

    Livestream

    As it was last year, Zumaia Flysch Trail will be streaming live on Youtube. From 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time there will be four and a half hours of coverage presented by the elite runner Jokin Lizeaga and the journalist Sergio Mayayo.

    LIVESTREAM LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3hgLOpPPDc

    EVENT WEBSITE: https://zumaiaflyschtrail.eus/

    The post Zumaia Flysch Trail Hosts Decisive Mountain Race of the Valsir World Cup appeared first on ATRA.

  • How to Take Care of Your Running Gear So it Lasts
    30 September 2022

    What you wear on a run impacts your personal performance and comfort. How much of it you buy impacts the world. New apparel production releases 4 million tons of harmful carbon emissions annually. And the apparel and footwear industries account for 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions every year, according to the Low Impact Alliance, an advocacy group focused on helping the running industry become more environmentally responsible.

    Actively taking care of the clothes you already have can significantly cut down how much new gear you need to buy and how much old stuff you contribute to landfills, making it a cornerstone of sustainable living.

    5 Sustainable Ways to Care for Running Gear

    Here are five ways to shop smarter and keep your running clothes lasting longer and out of the landfills.

    Buy Sustainable Fabrics

    Polyester, nylon, and wool are known to be fairly durable and long-lasting. “Wool is one of the most highly performing natural fiber types for athletic wear,” says Preeti Arya, assistant professor of textile development and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Wool is also sustainable and biodegradable. Now, you can buy virtually everything you’d need made from wool: Leggings, shirts, underwear, sports bras, and of course, socks, sweaters, and jackets.

    RELATED: The Environmental Cost Of Synthetics

    One fiber Arya recommends avoiding is lycra, when it makes up more than 10 percent of the clothing. Its purpose is to give the garment a little bit of stretch, which makes it OK in small quantities. But it is not durable and will compromise the integrity of the piece if it makes up the bulk of the construction.

    Become a Laundry Master

    Increase the longevity of your garments by taking care of them, Arya says. Her advice: Wash with like colors on a gentle, lukewarm cycle with a mild liquid detergent (granular detergents can physically degrade the fabric). She also notes that strong, specialty detergents that are marketed to athletes usually aren’t necessary.

    Other products to avoid: fabric softeners and chlorine-based bleaches. And “drying should be done on low heat as most athletic garments are made from petroleum-based fibers, which are sensitive to heat.”

    Control the Stink

    You know that running shirt you have that just seems to hold on to B.O. no matter how many times you wash it? You can get ahead of that! “It is hard if the clothing is made of petroleum-based fibers such as nylon, polyester, or acrylic,” says Arya. These fibers retain odor. But if you make an effort to wash them right after a particularly sweaty workout, the smell won’t linger. If a load of laundry after every run seems impractical, rinsing your sports bra and shirt in the shower can keep the sweat from setting. Lay out to dry on a towel to keep them from getting mildewy before laundry day.

    Repair Where You Can

    An estimated 10 million items of clothing prematurely end up in landfills every year. Extending the life of a garment by one year can reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent, according to the Thredup fashion footprint calculator. Don’t know how to mend your ragged threads? Some outdoor brands, like Patagonia, will repair your clothing for free. Or do it yourself with glue- and iron-on patches, while also adding a touch of your own personality (see below).

    Give Your Clothing New Life

    Only you can decide if your running clothes have truly met their end. “For some people it can be dull color or pill formation or a hole,” says Arya. If that’s the case, take a second before dumping it to decide where else it could be used. Think someone else could still get good use out of it? Consider donating to a friend or a local shelter. You could also keep them around for when you need to wear something you don’t mind getting destroyed (hello, paint pants) or cutting up to use as cleaning rags. Get creative with those clothes!

    RELATED: Three Ways To Be A More Environmentally-Friendly Trail Runner

    4 Sustainable Products We Love to Make Clothes Last NOSO Patches | $14.99

    Noso patches are an easy way to patch up your clothes; just apply and tumble dry. They come in a variety of colors and shapes so you can express yourself how you want, as well as DIY varieties that are great if you want the patch to blend in rather than stick out.

    Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Free & Clear Detergent | $27.35

    Costco’s Kirkland Liquid Laundry Detergent is gentle on clothes with no dyes and perfumes. Plus, the bulk size ups its affordability when you consider it comes out to about 19 cents per load of laundry.

    Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls | $32

    Forget about disposable dryer sheets, these wool dryer balls can last for years. And they’re designed to reduce moisture and cut down on drying time. If you miss the added scent of your dryer sheet, try one of the varieties infused with essential oils.

    Honey-Can-Do Heavy Duty Drying Rack | $36

    Looking to skip machine drying altogether, like Arya recommends? This spacious drying rack can fit a full load and collapses for when you’re not using it. The best part? It has two pairs of shoe drying inserts.

    Done all you can for your clothes and need to invest in something new? Try these 9 Sustainable Fashion Picks to Keep You Moving.

  • Female Runners Should Be Aware of Ferritin Levels
    30 September 2022

    Running can feel exhausting, but it shouldn’t leave you so gassed you can’t get off the couch for the rest of the day or that it takes you a full week to recover from a workout. Too often, that sense of fatigue is accepted as a part of training—when it should be looked at as a red flag.

    Fortunately, the rise of at-home blood tests is waking athletes up to deficiencies that could be affecting their workouts. And “ferritin” is one of the most common ones to pop up for female runners. Even Keira D’Amato has posted about addressing low ferritin levels—before she went on a spree that most recently resulted in breaking the American women’s marathon record and finishing eighth in the World Athletics Championships marathon in Eugene, Oregon, in mid-July.

    So why do low ferritin levels wreak havoc on your performance? Here’s what you need to know.

    What Is Ferritin?

    Ferritin is a protein in which your body stores extra iron, says Meghann Featherstun, R.D.,

    board-certified specialist in sports dietetics based in Cleveland, Ohio. Iron is a mineral your body uses to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. That makes it a crucial one for runners, as it “plays a role in oxygen transport to muscles (so we can maintain pace and performance), energy production, immunity, and even cognition,” says Sarah Schlichter, a registered dietitian nutritionist and host of the Nail Your Nutrition podcast.

    Standard blood tests will measure your iron serum levels, aka, what’s currently circulating in your blood.

    “Our bodies work really hard to keep serum levels where they need to be to be healthy, but that doesn’t show well how well you’re absorbing and storing nutrients,” Featherstun says. “Whereas, if you look at ferritin—in conjunction with iron percent saturation and total iron binding capacity—you’re going to see the bigger picture related to a runner’s performance.”

    For people assigned female at birth, normal ferritin levels are between 14.7 and 205.1 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), according to the Cleveland Clinic. That’s a massive range. For female athletes, levels of at least 25 ng/ml can be advantageous for performance, time to exhaustion, and VO2 Max, according to older research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. But “more recent research shows that your ferritin levels should be at least 40 ng/ml,” says Featherstun.

    What Does It Mean If Your Ferritin Levels Are Low?

    You may not feel iron losses in the moment, but as those accumulate (and aren’t addressed), you’ll definitely feel the effects. “Runners lose iron through sweat, gastrointestinal losses, the menstrual cycle, urine, and a process called foot strike hemolysis, where red blood cells are broken down through the impact of our feet hitting the ground,” Schlichter says.

    If a ferritin test reveals that your blood ferritin level is lower than that 40 ng/ml threshold, it indicates your body’s iron stores are low and you have iron deficiency. That means your iron intake is inadequate to offset iron losses, your body isn’t absorbing iron properly, or you’re losing excess iron somehow, Schlichter says.

    And without enough stored iron, your body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to your muscles will be reduced, which will affect your performance.

    RELATED: Increasing Carb Intake Before And During Races May Improve Endurance Performance

    “If we don’t have enough iron in our body, we can’t create the energy we need to fuel our paces, you won’t be able to recover from workouts as quickly, and you might have difficulties with fatigue, lethargy, concentration, and mood,” Featherstun says.

    It’s not an uncommon issue: The prevalence of iron deficiency is around 15 to 35 percent in female athletes and 3 to 11 percent in males, according to a 2019 paper published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. “Women of reproductive age are typically at a higher risk of iron deficiency due to menstruation blood loss,” Schlichter says. But diet—and consuming less calories overall—also play a role.

    If that iron deficiency goes unchecked, it can devolve into anemia, a condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. Your symptoms will worsen as your deficiency worsens, especially if your iron stores bottom out. “If someone’s ferritin is in the teens or single digits, it’s in the toilet,” Featherstun says.

    Iron-rich foods. Photo Credit: Getty Images

    How to Fix Low Ferritin Levels

    The best way to up your ferritin levels is to eat iron-rich foods like red meat and dark meat regularly.

    “Iron is really hard for our body to absorb, and heme iron, which is found in animals, is the most easily absorbed type,” Featherstun says. Poultry, shrimp, and shellfish are good options, too. But there are also plant sources of iron, like leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, apricots, dark chocolate, and fortified cereals and breads, she adds. “We just have to eat a ton of these to absorb enough.” Pairing these foods with a food source of vitamin C, such as orange juice, strawberries, peppers, or potatoes can help increase absorption, as can cooking in a cast-iron skillet, Schlichter says.

    If your iron levels are too low, you can take a supplement. They’re not an immediate fix, but “you should feel an abatement of symptoms within three to four weeks,” Featherstun says. “It can take two to four months—or even longer—to get level.”

    When it comes to supplementation, remember how hard it is for your body to absorb iron and take it separately from supplements like magnesium and calcium, which will compete for absorption, she says.

    Before supplementing, consider your regular diet, your menstrual cycle and your symptoms. And “have your full iron panels looked at by a doctor or medical provider,” says Schlichter—don’t just draw your own conclusions if you do an at-home blood test. (P.S. Ferritin can increase in the recovery period after acute endurance exercise, Schlichter adds, so don’t get tested right after an intense or long run.)

    Runners with any recent history of iron depletion/deficiency, who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or show signs of low energy availability, should be tested quarterly, a 2019 article published in a European Journal of Applied Physiology recommended. Otherwise, female athletes should be checked biannually.

    An iron deficiency doesn’t have to derail your training—but it does require paying attention to your body and your diet and being vigilant about getting your blood checked twice a year.

    RELATED: Maximize Bang For Nutritional Buck With These Food Pairings

  • Trails Are For Every Body – Meet AJ Wojtalik
    29 September 2022

    The following profile is a part of our Trails Are For Every Body Instagram series produced by ATRA board member Kriste Peoples.

    ATRA celebrates trail athletes at all levels of engagement and ability, and because the Trails Are For Every Body, each week we’re sharing the profiles of trail enthusiasts you might not otherwise know.

    Meet Colorado based AJ Wojtalik (she/her) whose favorite trail activity is “frolicking on foot.”

    “In addition to the health benefits of being outdoors, my trail time is where my best ideas come from. Whether I’m grounding my feelings on a difficult subject or brainstorming new projects or life goals, everything is clearer on the trail.

    It’s a generations-deep human construct to suggest that not every body belongs, or that we need to show up a certain way in order for it to count. I reject that belief. Every body needs joy. Every body needs space to stretch and to be challenged and to grow.

    To experience nature’s demonstrations of movement and stillness – and the nourishing benefits of both. That’s for all of us, no matter how far or fast or often we go.”

    Thank you for sharing your story and passion for the trails, AJ!

    #trailrunners #trailsareforeverybody

    Photo: AJ Wojtalik.

    The post Trails Are For Every Body – Meet AJ Wojtalik appeared first on ATRA.

  • Easier for Me Not to Go
    29 September 2022

    If one day you want to become a mom, are currently pregnant or are on your postpartum journey this is your sign to take time to do something you love and to do for yourself! Make it a priority...

    The post Easier for Me Not to Go appeared first on Trail Sisters®.

Canadian Running blogs

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01 October 2022

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Ultra Running Blogs

01 October 2022

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  • How Much Protein Do Runners Need? Demystifying Protein Recommendations for Runners
    01 October 2022
    “How much protein do runners need?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from athletes, and for good reason: nutrition can feel overwhelming and confusing. In a world where nutritional recommendations for endurance athletes gets muddled with nutritional recommendations for power or strength athletes, which can get muddled with nutrition recommendations for general fitness, or weight loss: it’s no surprise that so many runners have a hard time understanding how/what/and when they should eat. (And let’s not forget the endless garbage/fad diet advice also mixed in there).
  • Urban Oasis: Short Film Celebrates Urban Trail Running and the Trails of San Francisco
    01 October 2022

    The post Urban Oasis: Short Film Celebrates Urban Trail Running and the Trails of San Francisco appeared first on iRunFar.

    We talk a lot about trail running in terms of big mountain adventures, but so many of us live in urban settings. With an increasing awareness of the effects of added travel on climate change, there are so many reasons to appreciate what’s on our doorstep — and learn to love urban trail running. A new short film by Dooster Film, in cooperation with San Francisco-based Irish trail runner Paddy O’Leary aims to highlight the playground that exists on the doorsteps of San Francisco residents in particular — and to encourage city dwellers everywhere to look around them for wildness within their own urban spaces.

    A Love Letter to San Francisco
    

    O’Leary previously collaborated with the Dooster on “Coming Home,” which was awarded “Best Mountain Culture Film” of 2019 at the Whistler Film Festival and was part of the Trails in Motion film tour for 2020. He said, “I think when people start to urban trail run, they realize what they have around them and the training and the running they can do unexpectedly.

    “I love the surprises you encounter on urban trail running. Like, Oh, where did this trail come from? or, Where did this set of stairs come from? He continued, “We want people to realize what they have in San Francisco, that they don’t need to run the same road route, that there’s wildness in the city. The second thing is we want people to start looking at their own city — and see where they can find trails and find wildness in their own urban space.”

    Paddy O’Leary running up Mount Davidson, the highest peak in San Francisco, California. Photo: Ryan Scura

    Ryan Scura of Dooster Film said that the motivation for the film came from the joy he has found from running San Francisco trails himself for the past eight years: “I have been struck by the feeling that you get in some of those natural spaces, like Sutro Forest, like the Presidio. It feels like a wild, remote place where you just soak up the sounds, and the smells of the trees and you forget that you’re in this city of almost a million people. I started to think about ways to share that feeling through film, to show the trails in a way that I don’t think I’ve seen them portrayed before.”

    The juxtapositions provided by urban trail running are a feast for all the senses. Dylan Ladds of Dooster Film says: “My primary role in making this film was recording audio of the different spaces and actions, so I paid a lot of attention to how sound influences our experience of a place, and how it changes as we move. For example, I vividly remember the wind rustling the leaves of the eucalyptus in Sutro Forest, and the sound of a distant airplane creeping in underneath — reminding me that while I felt deep in the woods, I wasn’t too far from the city. It was a cool thing to experience.”

    One of the San Francisco trails highlighted in Urban Oasis. Photo courtesy of Dooster Film.

    Spreading Love for Urban Trail Running

    The launch evening, held in San Francisco on Thursday, September 29, began with a trail run through San Francisco’s Presidio, followed by talks by a range of speakers who engage with the trails in different ways — including folks involved with trail development, runners, hikers, and bikers.

    To help spread some love for urban trail running, the team behind the film has asked runners to share their favorite trail or outdoor space in their own city on social media using the hashtag #UrbanOasisTrail. Our articles have recently highlighted some great urban trails in cities including Cape Town, South Africa, Budapest, Hungary, and Hong Kong. Where else can you add to the list?

    Call for Comments
    • Are there good places to trail run in your city? Tell us about your favorite urban trail.
    • What do you love about urban trail running, as opposed to big wilderness adventures?

    A lone trail runner takes in the San Francisco cityscape. Photo courtesy of Dooster Film.

    Urban Oasis: Short Film Celebrates Urban Trail Running and the Trails of San Francisco by Sarah Brady.

  • Ultramarathon Daily News | Fri, Sep 30
    30 September 2022

    Ultrarunning/Stern: What’s on the ultramarathon calendar for this weekend?

    Travel along with Billy Yang as he shows the ins and outs of UTMB week and the OCC 55k.

    This opinion piece in iRunFar looks at datasets to conclude that extending cutoff times would make for a better and more diverse experience. That may be true, but the author fails to consider the myriad volunteers, permits, and time requirements needed to organize an event. While I love seeing the back of the pack come in, I’d argue that times should be tightened up.

    We’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with Allie “Mac” Maclaughlin over the years and she’s made a huge impact on my daughter Sunny. Here’s a great piece on how she got to where she is that highlights, of course, her dog Harley.

    Looks like HOKA has re-released the Mafate with some very minor updates (including, ahem, price.) This news will make some people very very happy.

    I’m curious if the “Autumn Birthday Theory” holds true in MUT running.

    We are important to the sport. You and I are important to the sport. We are important to a lot of women. They’re all going to have to go through this, so how we show up in our new form is going to be important. And it’s not going to be like we want to show up differently, but we are different and I think it is super cool for people to continue to stay in the sport past their prime because we don’t see a lot of that, either.

    Cool (but too short!) interview with Meghan Canfield and Pam Smith where they talk about aging, competing, and how the sport is changing. For those not familiar with these two amazing women, please head back to class and read your ultrarunning history.

    The Grays are headed to Thailand to represent the US in the first World Mountain Running Championships in three years.

    The LetsRun MENSA Team debates Sage’s vlog on Kipchoge’s ultramarathon potential.

    –>Trail runner survives mountain lion attack in Utah. Yikes, that could have been so much worse!  Great job to her running partner for quick thinking.

    I’m sure you’ve heard the tragic news that climber/runner/mom Hilaree Nelson died in an avalanche in the Himalaya earlier this week. Tragic loss for the adventure community and her family. Sarah Lavender Smith reflects on the loss in her latest piece on Substack.

    Strange case of an experienced hiker simply vanishing in California.

    More Kenyans busted for doping. I guess the good news is that this means testing is taking place.

    Meanwhile, WADA decides to keep cannabis/THC on the banned list.

    There needs to be a new category on race registrations. Male, Female, and “running with a pineapple on my head.”

    ###

    The post Ultramarathon Daily News | Fri, Sep 30 appeared first on Ultrarunnerpodcast.com.

  • The 40-Mile Week
    30 September 2022

    The post The 40-Mile Week appeared first on iRunFar.

    Three years ago, I wrote an article here on iRunFar about benchmarks. At the time, I was returning to running after a painstakingly slow recovery from hip surgery. As is often the case, my recovery had its ups and downs, and I was having particular difficulty gaining any day-to-day consistency. Ultimately, a full 18 months after my surgery, I finally achieved my long-sought-after benchmark, which for me has always been a 40-mile week.

    In the article, I invited readers to comment on what their benchmarks were, and the responses were interesting and disparate. Some folks, such as myself, are numbers people and focus on miles or hours in determining their benchmarks. Others, perhaps the more sanguine types, focus on soft metrics like happiness, healthiness, and camaraderie. Whatever the source, it is clear that we runners are a goal-oriented lot.

    AJW training above Cunningham Gulch in Colorado before the 2016 Hardrock 100. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

    With all the changes in the world since we published that article in September 2019, I thought it might be fun to perform an unscientific study on social media on the topic of the 40-mile week. My query went like this:

    “As an old school guy, I’ve always thought of a 40-mile week as an honest training week … What’s your minimum honest training week?”

    Interestingly, right out of the gate, many of the respondents concurred with the 40-mile benchmark. Some cited steering clear of injury as the reason to keep it to 40, while others remarked that 40 miles a week allowed them to get quality workouts done as well as a recovery day and a rest day. My former coaching colleague, Adam St. Pierre, remarked that for him 30 miles a week was plenty as long as he was getting 10,000 feet of vertical climbing packed into that 30 miles.

    Renowned race director Candice Burt said, “Forty miles is solid. For me, I like to get over 60. Ten miles a day with a day off if I don’t have time for a long run. Otherwise, 70.”

    One of the key metrics that seems to have evolved in the last decade or so is the large number of runners who track their training in hours rather than distance. Coach Jason Koop, one of the staunchest advocates of this approach, says simply, “Track volume by time, not distance,” and this approach certainly seems to work for Koop’s stable of athletes. Several of the folks who responded to my query concurred with Koop with ideal weekly hours ranging from eight to 10 hours and a few high-volume folks suggesting 12 weekly hours was their key number.

    Finally, quite a few people commented with the classic, “it depends,” and that mainly had to do if they were running in the hills or on the flats or on the roads or the trails. In general, the trail folks are more likely to track in time rather than miles, although there were a few old-timers who stick to tracking miles regardless of where they are running.

    iRunFar’s Craig Randall checks his GPS watch on a mountaintop. One of the many reasons for our reliance on such pieces of technology is the need to easily track our weekly mileage. Photo: iRunFar/Christin Randall

    What was the takeaway for me? Three years after the first time I asked this? It seems like the 40-mile week is still a thing and something that many runners seek in their training. That said, as with many things in our ever-evolving sport, the times are changing and the one-size-fits-all method of assessment and evaluation seems further and further from reality every day.

    Bottoms up!

    AJW’s Beer of the Week

    This week’s Beer of the Week comes from Bent River Brewing Company in Rock Island, Illinois. Their Uncommon Stout is a surprisingly sweet and smoky stout that tastes good all year round. A particularly good beer to drink with barbecue, Uncommon Stout is a refreshingly fresh take on this long revered variety.

    Call for Comments
    • What’s your benchmark for an acceptable training week, if any?
    • Do you plan your training based on time, hours, or a mixture of the two?

    The 40-Mile Week by Andy Jones-Wilkins.

  • Julian Alps Trail Run by UTMB - Race highlights 2022
    29 September 2022
  • What’s Up in Ultra This Weekend — October 1
    29 September 2022

    The final quarter of the year is here, and it’s definitely starting to feel like fall. Per popular reader request, What’s Up In Ultra is coming to you a day earlier so some of you might have a better chance lining up last minute at one of the races highlighted on our North American UltraRunning Calendar. This weekend we have a historic 100-miler in the Land of Opportunity, a flat and fast point-to-point trifecta of ultras a couple hours west of the Windy City, a premier 50k in the Scenic City and a ton more. 

    The post What’s Up in Ultra This Weekend — October 1 appeared first on Ultra Running Magazine.

  • Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Review
    29 September 2022

    The post Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Review appeared first on iRunFar.

    The Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X is an ideal trail running shoe for runners who like to feel the mud beneath their feet, without taking it down the trail with them. It’s an almost minimalist, mud-specific trail running shoe with a very short stack height, 4 millimeters of heel-to-toe drop, and deep tractor-tread-inspired lugs. Its upper is constructed from a non-absorbent recycled polyester that both drains and dries quickly. It’s lightweight, coming in at 8.15 ounces (231 grams) of actual weight for a men’s size 9.

    The overall fit is snug, without being remotely uncomfortable. Many shoes our team tested were far too narrow to make our best trail running shoes for mud guide, where we named this one of the best mud-specific shoes. And although this shoe was narrow as well, the upper was malleable enough that the narrowness didn’t feel constricting. Plus, it was redesigned this year with a slightly wider toebox, so it fit even wider-footed testers well.

    If you’re no stranger to minimalist footwear and need a shoe for the sloppy times of year, the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X could be one worth trying.

    Shop the Men's Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9XShop the Women's Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X

    The Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

    Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Upper

    The recycled polyester upper on the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X is almost more reminiscent in look and feel of a waterproof fabric than a mesh. It appears slightly meshy on the outside, but that mesh-like fabric seems to be laminated to a tightly woven, white inner fabric made to let water through but surely not debris.

    As expected, this upper shielded our feet well from mud, grass seeds, pine needles, and pebbles. Being so non-meshy we also expected it to dry slowly, but one tester’s report proved otherwise. She said that the Acceleritas8 RB9X managed splashing and sloshing better than her phone, and that the uppers were dry after only about 10 minutes during a sunny high desert run that followed a full morning of rain.

    This upper was designed more for thermal protection rather than quick drying, so it’s notable that it actually does both things well. We think the key here is using a recycled polyester that is exceptionally non-absorbent, to begin with. This fabric choice is a success.

    There is a clear plastic rand made from recycled fishing nets that wraps the shoe. It is protective, which is important for such a malleable shoe, but also could theoretically make this shoe unwearable for wider feet because this plastic has no malleability at all. That said, the overall malleability of the shoe allowed it to fit a variety of feet well, from very narrow to fairly wide. We feel confident saying that despite its narrow last and the plastic rand, the shoe’s flexibility makes this a very user-friendly and adaptable shoe.

    A lateral view of the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X.

    Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Midsole

    The brand doesn’t report the thickness of the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X’s midsole, but it’s thin. This thin EVA foam is dense enough to be somewhat protective but malleable enough to give the shoe a nearly barefoot feel. The Acceleritas8 RB9X has a 4-millimeter overall heel-to-toe drop.

    This all translates to a near-minimalist piece of mud-running footwear. The design keeps your foot low to the ground, which is exactly where you want it when things get slippery. This minimalism also means that you have to be careful where you step because the shoe has little rigidity and hardly any protection from hidden obstacles like rocks and roots.

    That’s a downside or a boon, however, depending on your preferences. Folks who don’t want to put a whole lot of thought into foot placement might want a more protective shoe and even one with a rock plate, whereas folks familiar with minimalist footwear will feel right at home in the Acceleritas8 RB9X.

    A medial view of the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X.

    Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Outsole

    The outsole of the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X is uniquely modeled after the tread design of a tractor tire, where lugs are aligned and angled to channel mud to the outside. By contrast, many other trail running shoes designed for running in mud have big square cleat-like lugs or large chevron-shaped lugs. The lugs on the forefoot of the Acceleritas8 RB9X are set at a roughly 40-degree angle, radiating out from the center of the shoe toward the front to form a forward-facing V.

    The heel of the shoe is just the opposite, with lugs angled from the center of the shoe toward the rear creating a rear-facing V. We can’t be sure that this design is markedly better than other tread designs, but, according to our testers, it certainly works. The large channels between lugs along with the overall flexibility of the shoe seem to allow mud to readily fall right off the outsole.

    “I never knew one of the missing pieces in my life was the ability to turn my bare feet into tractor wheels,” one tester said. “One of the hills I ascended slanted like a Sisyphean mud slide daring me to even try to go up without slipping down again and again, but the shoes clung to the hillside with a mountaineer’s fortitude, and I was up and over in one go.”

    The outsole of the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X.

    Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Overall Impressions

    “I’m giving the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X 10s across the board because I am in love,” one of our testers enthusiastically wrote. “Comfortable straight out of the box, when I put them on my feet, I felt like a dog whose person just grabbed a leash — ready to go!” She found the Acceleritas8 RB9X to grip in slippery mud, dash confidently through the dry trail, and transform “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style into water vessels through puddle ponds.”

    Our less enthusiastic testers had to agree on all points, really only knocking the minimalism of this shoe, while also realizing that the minimalism is probably the thing that will make people choose this shoe over its bulkier and stiffer mud-running shoe competitors.

    So, if you run in minimalist footwear and have already worked through all the calf and tendon strains of barefoot style and want a mud shoe to add to your quiver, the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X is one we would recommend. To learn more, check out our best trail running shoes for mud guide, where we named this shoe one of the best mud-specific shoes.

    Shop the Men's Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9XShop the Women's Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X

    Call for Comments
    • Would you consider the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X a minimalist shoe?
    • Do you prefer minimal shoes for mud running?

    [Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

    Our Favorite Trail Running Shoes

    Check out our Best Trail Running Shoes article to learn about our current favorite trail running shoes!

    A top view of the Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X.

    Icebug Acceleritas8 RB9X Review by Ben Kilbourne.

  • 2023 European Major ↔️ Val d'Aran by UTMB ??
    28 September 2022
  • One Last Hurrah
    28 September 2022

    Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the end of the calendar year brings colder temps, shorter days, rain and perhaps snow. Between Thanksgiving and January, I tend to run less and sleep and eat more. But wait—I have one last ultra of the year on the calendar to get my rear into gear. One last hurrah to challenge my legs and lungs to run hard before taking a holiday-oriented break.

    The post One Last Hurrah appeared first on Ultra Running Magazine.

  • An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 2: Tips for Race Day
    27 September 2022

    The post An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 2: Tips for Race Day appeared first on iRunFar.

    If you enjoy this article, then get your own copy of the book “Where the Road Ends!”

    Welcome to this month’s edition of “Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,” where we help you plan for your first trail race!

    “Where the Road Ends” is the name of both this column and the book Meghan Hicks and Bryon Powell of iRunFar published in 2016. The book Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running is a how-to guide for trail running. We worked with publisher Human Kinetics to develop a book so anyone can get started, stay safe, and feel inspired on the trail.

    The book teaches you how to negotiate technical trails, read a map, build your own training plan, understand the basics of what to drink and eat when you run, and so much more. This column aims to do the same by publishing sections from the book, as well as encouraging conversation in the comments section of each article.

    In this article, we bring you an excerpt from Chapter 12 about trail racing and how to prepare for it. Last month, we offered some tips on preparing for your race ahead of time. In this article, we share some race-day tips to help you have your best day out.

    Starting Lines

    By its nature, trail running takes us to remote places off the beaten path. Accordingly, you might need to follow a convoluted and confusing route to the starting line of a trail race. Just getting to it may feel like a twisty, winding trip on singletrack. Most race websites provide good instructions for getting to the start with maps and written directions.

    If you navigate to the starting line with a GPS device, use it to confirm your location relative to the instructions provided. Don’t rely entirely on your GPS unit because GPS devices aren’t always able to route you correctly through remote areas. Make sure to leave plenty of extra time for the meandering and mistaken turns that might be part of this journey.

    Tent city at the 2018 Vermont 100 Mile start/finish area. Some trail races provide designated camping areas, which can be useful if your race is somewhere remote and/or starts very early. Photo: Dave Priganc

    Parking for all but the largest trail races, which we discuss later, is typically straightforward, if occasionally messy. Usually, race volunteers point you toward an empty parking spot, but be prepared for this parking spot to be off road, maybe in a grassy or muddy field. Depending on the layout of the starting line and the parking area, you might have to walk a fair distance from your car to the line. Budget time for this.

    Those who are familiar with road racing will have a similar image come to mind when we mention starting-line restrooms: a long row of portapotties with a longer line of waiting runners. The restroom situation at the starting line of a trail race might be similar to this or quite different. Sometimes you will encounter that same line of portapotties, whereas other times you will have access to a restroom at a trailhead or visitor center. You will likely have to wait your turn, so build some restroom time into your pre-start plan. You may or may not have a way to clean your hands after using the bathroom, depending on how simple the facilities are. Consider bringing hand sanitizer or baby wipes just in case.

    At a trail race start, you will need to check in as well as pick up your bib number and maybe some swag like a shirt or a hat. Sometimes races offer check-in the night before at a local running store or hotel, but others offer check-in only at the starting line. Even if you’ve checked in before race morning, you may need to check in again on race day so that the race has an accurate list of who is on the course. Make sure to note all this from the race website. Again, check-in can take time, so arrive with enough time to accomplish it.

    Because trail races often funnel straight onto singletrack with little room for passing, you need to seed yourself among your peers. Should you seed yourself too far ahead in the pack, you’ll likely be stuck running in a train of runners who are too fast, which could make the second half of your race a painful, slow slog. If you seed yourself too far back, you’re apt to waste time waiting for those ahead of you to negotiate the terrain. To seed yourself appropriately, estimate the size of the crowd and place yourself in it according to your previous race results. For example, if you often finish around the top 30%, place yourself behind roughly one third of the runners.

    Eager racers ready to start the 2018 Ruck a Chuck 50k. Photo: Singletrack Running

    When you find yourself needing to negotiate a pass or to allow other runners to pass you, err on the side of caution and respect for others. If you would like to pass another runner, politely ask the person ahead of you for permission. When the trail allows, the person should step aside to let you go by. If another runner wants to pass you, offer the same little step off the trail as soon as it’s safe to do so. A little kindness goes a long way, in life and on the trail.

    Staying on Course

    The thing that varies the most from trail race to trail race is how courses are marked. Although you won’t find consistency from race to race, the website or the pre-race briefing are perfect places to find out exactly how a course will be marked. Most courses are marked at least in part with inch-wide (2.5 cm wide) colored ribbon known as flagging.

    Flagging is hung from trees, shrubs, grass, and permanent trail markers. Most often, flagging is hung to delineate the path you are to travel. Flagging comes in many colors, but pink, orange, and yellow are frequently used at trail races. Generally, race directors use the same-color flagging from start to finish to delineate the course.

    Some events hold races of multiple distances, so race directors often use flagging of different colors for the different races. Make sure you know the flagging color you are to follow. Occasionally, races use small flags or reflective markers hanging from flagging or attached to thin metal stakes in the ground.

    Flags on The Rut course. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

    A race director might supplement flagging with additional markers, such as flour arrows or plastic plates with arrows directing where you should go, particularly at intersections. Sometimes, wrong-way signs, differently colored ribbons, or branch barricades are placed on the trails you shouldn’t take.

    In an ideal marking situation, a race director marks the course at regular intervals with what we call confidence markers, say every quarter- or half-mile (every half or full kilometer). These markers provide affirmation that you are going in the right direction over expected and regular periods. If you don’t recall seeing a marker for a while, you can begin actively looking for one. If you then don’t see one in slightly longer than the intervals you have previously, you may want to turn around if no other runners around you can confidently say that you’re still on course.

    If you keep your eyes peeled, you are unlikely to have issues navigating.

    Aid-Station Expectations

    Aid stations are beacons of hope that offer water, food, and friendly faces in remote locations. Although aid-station layouts vary from race to race and even from station to station within a single race, you’ll find certain mainstays among them all.

    Most likely, volunteers will record your passage manually or by chip and timing mat, so that the race can track each runner’s location. This usually happens as you enter or leave an aid station. Do what you can to facilitate this process.

    Marianne Hogan enjoying pizza and Coke at the Courmayeur aid station during the 2022 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

    Next, take care of your hydration. You’ll generally find that drinks are available from already poured cups and from large jugs. Water, sports drinks, and soda are common hydration offerings at aid stations. At a short race, you may just want to stay a moment and sip on a glass of water or sports drink.

    For longer races, you want to do the same while also refilling a handheld water bottle or hydration pack from a jug. Swigging a bit of soda can add a jolt of energy for the coming section, although many runners save this for late in a race. Sometimes, aid stations offer ice for longer or hotter races. If so, add it to your bottle or hydration pack. Note that if you’re participating in a “cupless” race, you’ll need to provide your own drinking and water-storage containers and you won’t find drinks awaiting you in cups.

    You’ll likely find a table full of easy-to-eat snacks, usually including salty foods like salted potatoes, chips, and pretzels, and sweet foods like gels, gummy bears, cookies, and hard candies. At longer trail races, like a trail marathon, you might find more substantive food like soup, grilled cheese, bacon, and pancakes.

    Aid stations supply garbage bags or cans. If recycling or composting containers are provided, use them appropriately.

    Some aid stations will have a restroom, whether it’s an outhouse, portapotty, or backcountry setup. Also, many aid stations are staffed with medical personnel. Ideally, you won’t need their services, but knowing such help is available provides peace of mind.

    Finally, before you leave, make sure to thank the aid station volunteers. Even better, volunteer to work at an aid station of another race to give back to those people who have helped you.

    Finish Areas

    Most trail runners love finish-line areas. You are done with the challenges of running. You can hang out with your friends, compare notes on the day, have a picnic, and enjoy food and beverages offered by the race. Sometimes races have live music and other activities. Many people find themselves having so much fun at the finish of a trail race that they stay there longer than the time it took them to run the race itself.

    Be sure to pack supplies that will allow you to hang out after the race, be it clean and warm clothes to change into, a blanket or camp chairs to sit on, some of your own food and drink, and extra sunscreen.

    Hillary Allen letting her legs rest at the finish of the 2016 Transvulcania Ultramarathon. Hopefully, you’ll find a better seat than this one! Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

    At most trail races, all finishers get some sort of prize, which is given out when you cross the finish line. A low-key award ceremony for the fastest runners will take place as part of the finish-line festivities. The number and kinds of awards vary from significant prize money for the top men and women to small gifts that extend through top age-group finishers.

    Excerpted from Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, by Meghan Hicks and Bryon Powell. Human Kinetics © 2016. 

    Call for Comments
    • Are you getting ready for your first off-road race? What questions do you have?
    • For those of us who’ve run trail races before, what do you know now that you wish you’d learned before your first one?

    An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 2: Tips for Race Day by Meghan Hicks and Bryon Powell.

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    Once you have filled out the sign up form, you will be directed to the profile page. To add entries to your profile (eg. your social network links, your online work etc,), you will need to 'edit' your profile by selecting the 'Edit' button.

    Join Us


  • Public Messaging

    Once your profile is created, you may be contacted by email direct from your profile by public (whilst your email address remains hidden).

    This feature enables long lost friends and family to contact you, even if they have misplaced your contact details...you will always be found.


  • Create An Article

    Create and article to sell a household item, or to inform the public of some important news or information

Don't Lose Your Online Works

You May Have Published Blogs And Informative Forum Entries All Over The Web. Over Time, Web Search Engines Can Make It Difficult To Find Your Work. Link Your Work To Your Profile, And Keep It All Easily Accessible, And Easy For Viewers To Identify Articles And Blogs etc As Yours.

Don't Be Confused With Someone Else

It Can Be Frustrating When One Is Easily Confused With Someone Else Online. Prospect Employers Have Been Known To Search For Information On Prospective Employees. If Your Name Is A Common One, Or Even If Not, It Is Still Easy For You T Be Mistaken For Another, Especially If the Person Searching For Your Online Presence Has No Visual. Create A Profile Here, Link Your Social Media Profiles, Give Out Your Username(Id)--Then Be Found.

  • Create A Blog

    Registered users may create blog entries which feature in relevant Category Pages.

    To create a blog, go to your profile page, and select the button "New Blog".

    Once your blog is created, you will be able to manage any comments made on your blog.

    The RSS ability of your blog, enables your readers to subscribe to your blog post, and follow any further additions as you make them.


  • Own QR Code

    At the bottom of your profle, and each page created by you (eg. blogs, articles etc), a unique QR code is available for your use.

    You may save a copy of the image, and paste it on to hard or soft copy items, in order to direct people to your profile, blog or article.


  • Image Gallery

    Add some images, and make photo galleries to show the public, friends and family.

    Suitable for family photos, photographer galleries, artist images or images of your business.

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