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Tag - I Run 4 Ultra Races

Everest Trail Race 2017

Everest Trail Race 2017Set against one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring backdrops on the planet, the Everest Trail Race is one of the world’s toughest high-altitude ultra-marathons.

From the noisy and frenetic streets of Kathmandu to the isolation of camping under the stars at the monastery at Kharikhola, Nepal and its people cement itself within the heart of every participant of the Everest Trail Race 2017.
Winding through the remote Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas, Nepal, the race takes place over six punishing days and covers a distance of 160-km with over 25,000m of vertical gain.
Everest Trail Race 2017
“You reach the highest point of the day and you are breathing hard with short shallow breaths. You think you must stop, that you can’t go on, but then you settle into a sustainable rhythm. Your body is adapting to the workload, to the altitude and with that realization, you feel a rush of empowerment that motivates you to continue to run with the stunning Everest as a backdrop.”
Terrain during the race is mixed and while daily distances may appear relatively short, don’t be fooled! Altitude and technical trails make the ETR a very specific challenge and the rigors of climbing and descending have an impact on everyone. A self-sufficient race, participants must carry all they need with the exception of food and a tent. Breakfast and dinner are provided and all the runners sleep in 2-man tents.
Following in the footsteps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first men to reach the summit of Everest, participants will run through time and history. It’s a breathtaking route that starts in Jiri and follows an incredible route to Tengboche – the gateway to Everest Base Camp – Daily altitude gain starts at 3.000 meters and goes up to 5,950. On the fifth day, arriving at Tengboche the Himalayan backdrop is magnificent with stunning vistas of Everest, Tawache, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lohtse, and Thamserku. Nepal will change you… it does! These views are some of the most memorable moments any trail runner can encounter and they provide a wonderful boost before returning to Lukla via Namche Bazaar and the return flight back to Kathmandu.
Temperatures vary greatly from warm sunny days to icy cold nights. Remember, the runners carry everything they need, so, shorts and T-shirts for the day and a down jacket, multiple layers and a very warm sleeping bag for the night. As with most multi-day races, a change of clothes is a luxury and a shower almost non-existent.
The Everest Trail Race is, without doubt, the journey and experience of a lifetime.
“I’ve done this. I’ve done that. I’ve achieved something that so many haven’t, I may not be the fastest, but I never will be the fastest. I’m not built to the be the fastest, and I’m certainly no Casey Morgan that’s for certain. I’m probably three times the size of him. But what I would say is that I’ve got a dogged spirit and a strong will. I say to myself, ‘Never, ever give up!’ and I don’t give up. Ever.” – John Percy, finisher, 2016.
Luis Alberto Hernando
Pasang Llama (Nepal) won the 2016 race ahead of Miguel Capo Soler (Spain) and Casey Morgan (UK) with a dominant performance, he completed the six-day journey from Jiri to Tengboche and back to Lukla in 22-hours, 04-minutes and 22-seconds. For the ladies’ Andrej Sterle Podobonik was triumphant over the UK’s Jennifer Hill and Sarah Davies.

Ones to Watch 2017

Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando, IAU World Trail Champion and Migu Run Skyrunner World Series Champion for the ULTRA category, will head up the line-up for the 2017 edition along with two-time Marathon des Sables champion, Elisabet Barnes. But the top-line action doesn’t stop here, Miguel Cabellero, also from Spain, with push Hernando. Portugal’s Ester Alves will once again go head-to-head with Barnes – Alves has beaten Barnes at Costa Rica’s The Coastal Challenge but Barnes put the record equal in Morocco. Nepalese always are an intimidating element to the ETR and now in its 7th edition, it’s fair to assume that a Nepalese runner may take the top-honors once again, but who will it be?
The 2017 edition of the race starts on November 5th and concludes November 17th. Race website and information available HERE.

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Sondre Amdahl Wins The Jungle

Experienced multi-day runner Sondre Amdahl just recently completed and won The Jungle Ultra located deep within the Amazon Rainforest. Taking place in the Manu National Park, the route goes from the Andes mountains to the Madre de Dios river. It’s hot, humid, uncomfortable and the dense jungle provides no escape as the runners place one foot in front of the other as they cover 230km in 5 stages, Daytime temperatures vary from 20 to 30 degrees, at night the temperature drops to 10 degrees and below.
Like the Marathon des Sables, the race is self-sufficient – runners must carry all that they need! This not only includes clothing and personal essentials but food, safety equipment and the capacity to carry 2.5 liters of water. Some comfort is provided in the evening when participants sleep in research stations or lodges, however, the humidity makes nothing easy – especially if the day’s efforts have been through mud and rain.
It’s not an easy race!
I caught up with Sondre Amdahl to find all about the journey and what advice he would provide for those looking to take on the challenge of a rainforest multi-day run.
Jungle Ultra

How was your build up to the event and what specific training did you do?

This winter has been very busy for me, with a lot of races. So, there has not been too much specific training for the Jungle Ultra. I did quite a lot of faster running before Ultra-Trail Australia and I think that paid off in the jungle. I also did a four day fast-packing trip in Sweden at the beginning of May (four weeks before the jungle). I did 50k + 60k + 60k + 25k and my pack weighed approximately 6kg, so that was great!

You completed MDS and The Coastal Challenge – how does this compare?

It is always hard to compare races. The good thing about the Jungle Ultra is that we saw the “authentic” Peru. We ran thru small villages and could relax in them too – this was something I didn’t get at Marathon des Sables as the race is so much bigger and we spend our time in bivouac.
In comparison to The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, the Jungle Ultra is more technical but the race is shorter. Without a doubt, TCC is hotter and more humid – that is tough but Jungle Ultra is “scarier” in terms of snakes and spiders.

Tell me about the conditions and the self-sufficiency.

We had to be self-sufficient from Sunday morning until Thursday at the finish line. The organizers provided hot and cold water that’s all. Everything else we had to provide just like in MDS – so you need to be prepared!
Sondre Amdahl

Any specific equipment that you used that was invaluable? Did you not take something and wish you had?

The most specific equipment was the hammock! That is an absolute necessity. I used a very light hammock from Hennessy. You do not want to sleep on the ground in the jungle! I brought very little extra, and that was good. I think I had one of the lightest packs in the field.

Which was the easiest day and which was the toughest, explain why?

Easiest: The first day was the easiest and eased us into the race. I felt very good the whole day. I enjoyed the jungle trails at the beginning of the stage, but also the road section in the latter part of the stage
Toughest: The last stage which was the long stage. It was 65 km and even if I had about an hour lead ahead of the next runner, I wasn’t sure that I would make it. 65 km in the jungle is hard and everything can happen. So, I followed the second placed guy (Fabian from Germany) the whole day. He tried to push hard and run away from me a couple of times, but I managed to follow him.
In Costa Rica, I felt slow and that I had only one speed. It was totally opposite in Peru. I felt a lot stronger and managed to switch to a “lower gear” when I needed to.

Hydration and food – what did you use and did it work – any tips?

I used the same as I used in the MDS. Muesli for breakfast, couscous for lunch and freeze-dried meals for dinner. This worked great! I took some liquid hydration for during the race (Tailwind) and some gels. Approx. 2400 calories per day.

Would you do it again?

Yes, absolutely. It was a very well organized event.

Can you give 3 top tips for future runners doing this race?

Practice with the hammock before the race. It’s essential – you don’t want to sleep on the
floor! You need good trail shoes and ideally, they need to drain water. The jungle is wet and muddy.
Come early to Cusco and acclimatize and you can also explore.
 
©iancorless.com
Credit ©iancorless.com

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