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IRUN4ULTRA in Chamonix for UTMB: TDS – The Wild Alternative

August 24, 2016

I Run4Ultra Race

By Alice Hunter Morrison

Moroccan-based journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, a writer for RunUltra, author of “Dodging Elephants: 8000 Miles Across Africa by Bike” and Special Correspondent for IRUN4ULTRA.

It is quite possibly the most important mountain ultra on the planet UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc). It takes place annually in Chamonix in the French Alps and is a week-long fest for ultra runners from around the world.
IRUN4ULTRA is based here all week, following the action, and raising awareness about Autism and
ADD/ADHD from our base in the Competitors’ Village at Booth 99.
An estimated 50,000 runners and supporters will be in this tiny Alpine town during the week to enjoy and participate in the five races that take place from July 22 – 28.
The five races are:

  •         UTMB: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (166 km + 9,600 m)
  •         CCC: Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix (101 km + 6,100 m)
  •         TDS: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (119 km + 7,250 m)
  •         OCC: Orsières – Champex – Chamonix (53 km + 3,300 m)
  •         PTL: La Petite Trotte à Léon (approx. 300 km + 28,000 m)

There are also mini events for children and the YCC (Youth Chamonix Courmayeur), which is open to 16-22 year olds.

TDS Depart

TDS Start © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

TDS
The big race for today began at 6:00 a.m. local time from Courmayeur in Italy. It is the TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie) and comprises 119 km with 7,250 m of climbing.
1600 runners lined up this morning on the start line on a cool but clear dawn. The weather conditions were perfect with 100% visibility. The runners set off in great spirit.
It was a hotly-contested race from the get-go with the leaders changing constantly. The course starts off with a sharp climb and the pressure never lets up. At the four hour mark, Jessed Hernandez Gispert was leading the men and Meredith Edwards from the USA led the women.
Meredith Edwards hung tenaciously on to that lead, running strong over the peaks and for the main body of the race. As we publish this, however, she was in second place, having been overtaken by the strong Frenchwoman, Delphine Avenier, who had an eleven-minute lead.
 

Pau Capell

Montée de Bourg saint Maurice – Pau CAPELL © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

Pau Capell
As the men’s race progressed, Pau Capell, the young Spaniard who won the Ultra-Trail of Australia in May went into the lead for the men and stayed there, pulling further and further ahead.
He came through in a final time of 14.45.44 to an ecstatic reception and spent time celebrating with the crowd and enjoying his tremendous victory.
In his post-race interview, he said that one of the hardest things about the course was the heat. It was the hottest race he had ever run. And he said that whether he was 5th, 10th or 1st, it was absolutely extraordinary to see the public in Chamonix coming to welcome the runners across the finish line.
In second place was Yeray Duran Lopez with 15.14.07.
Congratulations to all the runners, many of whom will be out there for many hours to come. Don’t forget we will be covering all the action on Twitter @irun4ultra and will be regularly updating on Facebook.  Also, check out our Instagram @irun4ultra as well!

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Italian Running Hero Bids for Desert Crown

Italian Running Hero Bids for Desert Crown

Marco Olmo: “In my everyday life I’m a loser…I run for revenge, I run for vengeance.”

By Alice Hunter Morrison, Moroccan-based Journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, RunUltra, and Special Correspondent to Hope So Bright

April 6, 2016

Marco Olmo, the legendary Italian runner and two-time winner of UTMB has united with four other trail stars to take on the legendary Marathon des Sables, the toughest footrace on earth. He joins Harvey Sweetland Lewis and Jason Schlarb (USA), Carlos Sa (Portugal), and Ricardo Mejia Hernandez (Mexico), to run the team competition at Marathon Des Sables 2016. Last year he placed 16th at MdS at the age of 66.
The team has been brought together by USA Ultra Runner, Linda Sanders, to create awareness of the plight of children suffering from ADHD. A staggering one in ten children in the USA is diagnosed with the condition and seven billion dollars a year is spent on drugs. Their team name is: I Run 4 Hope.
The Marathon des Sables is called the Toughest Footrace on Earth. It is six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The middle marathon is a double. Temperatures regularly reach 50 degrees C. The terrain is arduous with endless miles of sand dunes and salt flats, interspersed with rocky trails. Competitors must be self-sufficient and carry all their own food and equipment for the week. Water is rationed. Dehydration and bloodied feet are the enemy, but contestants who need to be put on a drip incur time penalties for using extra water.
“In my everyday life, I’m a loser…I run for revenge, I run for vengeance,” says Marco Olmo, who at the age of 66, came in 16th overall in last year’s competition. “But this time I am honored to be part of the team representing the organization, Hope So Bright, and raising awareness about ADHD.”
 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please find attached a full article and sample photographs. High-Resolution pictures are available on request through Dropbox. For INTERVIEWS, more photos or any further information please contact:
• Erika Dial + 1 (310) 374-2862 [email protected]
• Linda Sanders or Lisa Enriquez + 1 (310) 374-2862 [email protected]
• For more information on Hope So Bright please visit www.hopesobright.org

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California Challenge

California Challenge

By Alice Hunter Morrison, Moroccan-based Journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, RunUltra, and Special Correspondent to Hope So Bright

April 4, 2016

Linda Sanders, philanthropist and ultra runner from Manhattan Beach, California has brought together a group of world champion runners to challenge for the crown at Marathon des Sables, the toughest footrace on earth. She is doing it to draw attention to ADHD which affects one in ten children in the USA.
Harvey Sweetland Lewis (USA) winner of Badwater® 135 and Jason Schlarb, multi-ultra winner (USA), will run with three other top international athletes, Marco Olmo (Italy), Carlos Sa (Portugal) and Ricardo Mejia Hernandez (Mexico), in the team competition at Marathon des Sables 2016.
The team has been assembled by USA Ultra Runner, Linda Sanders, to create awareness of the plight of children suffering from ADHD. A staggering one in ten children in the USA is diagnosed with the condition and seven billion dollars a year is spent on drugs. Their team name is called IRun4Ultra.
The Marathon des Sables is called the Toughest Footrace on Earth. It is six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The middle marathon is a double. Temperatures regularly reach 50 degrees C. The terrain is arduous with endless miles of sand dunes and salt flats, interspersed with rocky trails. Competitors must be self-sufficient and carry all their own food and equipment for the week. Water is rationed. Dehydration and bloodied feet are the enemy, but contestants who need to be put on a drip incur time penalties for using extra water.
Schlarb says of his participation in the Marathon des Sables for Team I Run 4 Ultra, “I am proud to represent Hope So Bright at the Marathon des Sables race. Helping children is certainly one of the most important things anyone can do in life and I am honored, inspired and humbled to represent Hope So Bright and their amazing cause.”
FURTHER INFORMATION
Please find attached a full article and sample photographs. High-Resolution pictures are available on request through Dropbox. For more photos or any further information please contact ALICE on [email protected]
If you need to contact us by phone, our USA-based team are:
• Erika Dial + 1 (310) 374-2862 [email protected]
• Linda Sanders or Lisa Enriquez + 1 (310) 374-2862 [email protected]
• For more information on Hope So Bright please check out www.hopesobright.org

Read more...