Weekend Recap Vibram Hong Kong 100k and HURT100

Saturday, January 18th at 8am (local time) saw an unbelievable field of runners compete in the Vibram Hong Kong 100k to kick off the 2019 Ultra-Trail World Tour. Contestants tackled a 5300m of elevation on a 103.6km course spanning dirt and paved trails, stairs, beaches, forests, and mountains.

Photo Credit: Vibram Hong Kong

Vibram Hong Kong 100k Men’s Race

Conditions were excellent on the morning of the race, with light cloud cover and a pleasant breeze. Though Jing Liang set out to an early lead, with Tom Evans and Long-Fei Yan close behind, it was Jiasheng Shen who crossed the finish first at 10:22:45. Liang Jing took second at 10:35:50, and Zhenlong Zhang followed in third.

Photo Credit: Vibram Hong Kong

The uncomplicated results from the men’s field come as a welcome relief to racing fans, after last year’s finish was marred by a disqualification on Jing Liang’s record setting first place time of 9:28. The win fell to the second runner to finish, Min Qi, only seconds behind at the 9:28 mark himself.

Photo Credit: Vibram Hong Kong

Vibram Hong Kong 100k Women’s Race

From the women’s field, Yangchun Lu finished first, in 11:43:20. Fuzhao Xiang followed at 12:17:32, and Guangmei Yang took third in 12:43. The course record of 10:40, set by last year’s women’s winner, Yao Miao, was not seriously threatened.

It’s no surprise that times rose across the board after changes were made this year to increase the difficulty and distance of the course.

Vibram Hong Kong

Photo Credit: Vibram Hong Kong

With UTWT 2019 officially up and running, there’s a whole lot of great racing coming up. Check the schedule below to see what’s on the horizon, and check back often for constant coverage of the biggest wins, best times, and most shocking DNFs.

132 Endure the HURT100

On Saturday, January 19th, 132 runners took on 100 miles of punishing forest trail in one of January’s most anticipated racing events: The Hawaiian Ultra Running Team’s Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run, or the HURT100.

Photo Credit: HURT100

The course, maintained by the State of Hawai’s  Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Na Ala Hele program, runs 5-laps and 100 miles of semi-tropical rain forest, primarily on narrow single-track packed dirt paths in the mountains above Honolulu, and features 24,500 feet of cumulative elevation gain.

This year Nate Jaqua finished in first with a time of 22:37:54. Trevor Fuchs finished in second at 23:24:32, and top returning competitor Masazumi Fujioka took third in 23:38:57, improving on the 24:03:34 which landed him 3rd in 2018. No runner seriously challenged Gary Robbins’s 2013 course record of 19:35:00.

First in the women’s field was top returning competitor Sabrina Stanley. She improved on her 2018 3rd place time of 29:45:04, finishing at 28:28:06. Solange Saxby’s 29:07:16 followed, and Anna Albrecht’s 29:54:55 was good for 3rd. No runner faired as well as 2018 women’s leader Darcy Piceu, whose 25:48:27 was the third best women’s time in course history.

If you want to learn more about the Hurt100, check out “Rooted: The Story of Hurt” for a fun view on the history of the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team and the evolution of the HURT100.

SCHEDULE – MAYBE USE THE OFFICIAL IMAGE INSTEAD? https://www.ultratrail-worldtour.com/races-all/races/

January, 19th, 2019 – Vibram® Hong Kong 100 – 100 km – Hong Kong, China
February, 6th-10th 2019 – Tarawera Ultramarathon – 102 km – Rotorua, New Zealand
February, 20th-24th 2019 – Transgrancanaria HG – 125 km – Gran Canaria, Spain
April, 5th-15th 2019 – Marathon des Sables – +/- 250 km – Sahara, Morocco
April, 12th-14th 2019 – 100 Miles of Istria – 100 miles – Umag, Croatia
April, 12th-13th 2019 – Patagonia Run – 160 km – San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina
April, 27th 2019 – Madeira Island Ultra-Trail® – 115 km – Funchal, Portugal
April, 26th-28th 2019 Ultra-Trail® Mount Fuji – 170 km – Fujisan, Japan
April 13th, 2019 – Penyagolosa Trails HG – 109 km – Castellon, Spain
May, 16th-19th 2019 – Ultra-Trail Australia – 100 km – Katoomba, Australia
June, 15th – mozart100® – 105 km – Salzburg, Austria
June 28th-30th 2019 – La Sportiva Lavaredo Ultra Trail – 119 km – Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italia
June, 29th-30th 2019 – The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run – 100 miles – California, United States
July, 19th-21st 2019 – Eiger Ultra-Trail® – 101 km – Grindelwald, Switzerland
August, 28th 2019 – TDS® – 119 km – Courmayeur-Chamonix, Italy – France
Aug, 30th 2019 – CCC® – 101 km -Courmayeur-Chamonix, Italy – Switzerland – France
Aug, 30th 2019 – UTMB® – 170 km – Chamonix, France – Italy – Switzerland
September, 6th- 7th-8th 2019 – Harricana Ultra-Trail® – 125 km – La Malbaie, Canada
October, 20th 2018 – Salomon® Cappadocia Ultra-Trail® – 119 km – Urgup, Turkey
November, 2nd-3rd 2019 – Javelina Jundred 100 miles – Arizona, United States
November, 30th 2019 Ultra-Trail Cape Town® – 100 km – Cape Town, South Africa


Silvia Trigueros Garrote,1st woman to arrive at Valgrisenche

Silvia Trigueros Garrote is the 1st woman to arrive at Valgrisenche, mile 31 (km 50). She enters the Base Vita at 6:37 PM and leaves it at 6:57.  20 minutes of stop, mainly to eat some pasta and to drink some hot tea. After a hot day the weather is changing, and when Silvia leaves the Base Vita it starts to rain.


The UTMB Course: An Expert Preview

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Arête du Mont Favre © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

August 24, 2016
By Alice Hunter Morrison
Moroccan-based journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, a writer for IRun4Ultra, author of “Dodging Elephants: 8000 Miles Across Africa by Bike” and Special Correspondent for IRUN4ULTRA.
Ester Sofia Alves is a Top 10 female UTMB finisher. She is in Chamonix for her third Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc race and is running for Salomon Portugal. This year she is hoping to break her personal record and finish the 170-kilometer course in 28 hours. We caught up with her just after she had collected her race bib and asked her to talk us through the course.


Arête du Mont Favre © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

The Facts
Start date: Friday, August 26 at 18:00
Start and finish: Chamonix, French Alps
Distance: 170 kilometers
Elevation: 10,000 meters
Number of Runners: 1900
UTMB in the words of Ester Sofia Alves

Mont Blanc

PTL © UTMB® – photo : Pascal Tournaire

“UTMB is like the Mecca of trails. Everyone wants to run around Mont Blanc. It is SO hard. It has nine tough climbs and you get cold at the top of the passes and hot while in the lowest valleys. The heat this year is going to make it a hard race. We have the best runners in the world gathered here, so although it is beautiful – gorgeous in fact – it is also very competitive.
In my experience, everyone wants to try and win this race before the 10-kilometer mark, so they set off quickly and then the real crunch point comes at Champex-Lac. That is the point where many elites blew up last year. It is also the point where you can tell who is going to win.
So, the course starts off with a fast, flat 8 kilometer to the first climb, Le Delevret, to which you can also power up. Then the next climb up, the Croix du Bonhomme, is more technical, as are the next three climbs. They tire you out.
The front of the pack will pass through Courmayeur (78 kilometers) while it is still dark. But, for most racers, they get to that stage as day breaks or during full daylight. That is when you get a new battery. It is a great vibe. Some people start passing and the race goes on.
Then, you need to get into your rhythm for the next section. It brings you up the Grand col Ferret, which is the highest part of the course at 2525 meters. Then, it is down to the lake…
For the last three climbs after the lake, you don’t use your legs, you use your soul. You have to put your trust in your ambition.”
The UTMB Dream
For many runners, UTMB is the dream race and the buzz in Chamonix during race week is palpable. The fastest runners are expected to complete the course in approximately 21 hours. The cut-off point is 46 hours 30 minutes.
The sheer size of the organization is astounding with over 2000 volunteers working the five races and competitions for young people and children that comprise the entire event. UTMB is the jewel in the crown and is part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
We wish Ester and all the other runners the best of luck as they take on the ultimate mountain race. We will be following live with updates on Facebook and Twitter, so please join us!
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Harvey Lewis

Harvey Lewis Became Ultrarunner Despite Learning Difficulties

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How One Inspiring Man Conquered His Learning  Difficulties to Become a Teacher and World-class Athlete

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

June 27, 2016

6E1A5136_MDS Harvey Lewis - Fresh Start Photo - John & Dawn Borntrager-34Harvey Lewis is a world-class champion, a lean, mean running machine, and a high school teacher of Economics and Government. He is an Ambassador for Hope So Bright, working to raise awareness about autism and ADHD and he is engaged to his beautiful fiancée, Kelly. By any measure, he is a very successful man – someone to be looked up to and admired. But that wasn’t always the case.
When he was young Lewis was fat, in fact, he was the second biggest boy in school. He was also categorized as having learning difficulties and was put in a special education class. “I was put into the Learning Disability classes. I was embarrassed by it,” said Lewis, “It was rough. In first grade, I got F’s on all of my English assignments. Writing was my worst skill. My teacher put me in the back because I was naughty. My parents had gotten divorced and my attention wasn’t there.”
Then a couple of things happened that were to change his life forever. The first thing was that Lewis went on a long hiking trip in Wyoming with his dad and the weight dropped off of him. The second was that he entered the Cleveland Marathon at age 15. Lewis finished the marathon, even though he had never run half the distance before and that gave him what he really needed self-confidence. “That changed things,” said Lewis, “My mindset changed. I thought to myself, this means that anything is possible. It’s what you put into it. After that, I got all B’s and above for the rest of high school. There was nothing that was going to stop me.”
6E1A7643_MDSLewis truly understands how children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD often feel. “They have lost hope. If you feel you are always going to fail, you don’t put in any effort,” he said. “It becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy.”
Lewis now teaches Economics and Government to 11 th and 12 th graders at the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He works with up to 130 kids a day and many of them are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD. He says that as many as a quarter of them might say they have ADHD, for which the school has an excellent program in place, but you have to remember that kids are kids and that it’s generally hard for many of them to sit still hour after hour in a classroom.
Added to that, modern life has changed the family unit, the way we communicate and, most importantly, our diet.
“Kids now are living with instant, changing technology. They are scrolling through Instagram, then looking at Facebook or a video. Concentration is different. One thing I have observed is that kids who are in orchestra or ballet are able to concentrate better, they have a little bit more focus.” Harvey Lewis - Fresh Start Photo - John & Dawn Borntrager-57
Lewis also says that the way children eat is a real problem. “A lot of the kids come to school and they’ve had chips, soda, doughnuts, or a Frappuccino…It’s not adequate and it doesn’t promote concentration. It only provides short-term energy. These are unhealthy choices. Kids are not eating properly.”
Everyone agrees that children should eat a healthy, balanced diet, but with many kids now living in single-parent homes or homes where both parents work, it can be a real challenge to make sure that food is home-cooked and nutritious. We live in an instant gratification world. This is something that Lewis believes we really need to prioritize. “We should have a serious push on teaching nutrition. Without that, everything else falls apart,” says Lewis.
Another major issue is fitness or the lack of it. “For some kids, walking to the bus stop is the only exercise they get. In lots of states, they have cut back on gym class because of budgets, which means there is no positive outlet for kids to expend their energy. The body is not regulated.”
Harvey Lewis - Fresh Start Photo - John & Dawn Borntrager-29Lewis continues, “I feel mentally and physically at my best when doing some form of fitness. Just 30 minutes a day. If we started off with yoga it could really have a calming effect. At the moment, we want the quickest solution for those with learning disabilities, just give them a pill. Of course, there are cases where that is necessary but it seems to me that we are not educating children about coping mechanisms, which will be beneficial to them throughout life.”
As someone who has actually walked this walk and has conquered his early problems to go on and have a full and productive life, Harvey Lewis is an inspiration to others. He believes that with the right support and attention, with correct diet and exercise, huge steps forward could be made for many children.
Harvey Lewis - Fresh Start Photo - John & Dawn Borntrager-24His story is one of hope and triumph against adversity. Lewis believes that his early struggle and the fact that he conquered his problems have given him strength in his later life and helps him when he is facing a challenging time or a really tough race. This is what he has to say, “I am thankful I went through it, it was a hell of a struggle but I had to get through it, and I did.”


Marco Olmo’s Marathon Des Sables race for Team I Run 4 Ultra

Marco Olmo is a legend in so many ways but he is held in particular reverence by the Marathon Des Sables community. He has run the race, the toughest footrace on earth, six marathons in six days across the Sahara desert over twenty times. He continues, in his late sixties to maintain an elite pace and to finish at the forefront of the rankings.
As his fellow team mate, Harvey Lewis said about him, “Marco Olmo is very special. He has run this race 21 times. I want to be like him in 28 years! He is 68 years young and can out run anyone from my home town!”
In this year’s MdS, he came second in the team competition with Team I Run 4 Ultra and 30th in the overall rankings with a time of 29h 32 for the 258 km covered in the race.

We caught up with him just days after it had finished.

Q: How was the race for you? Can you give us a general overview of how it went?
A: This MdS has been very difficult for me due to the intense heat, the wind and the very demanding route.  However there was a wonderful team spirit both in the tent and in the team.
Q: Were there any particularly tough moments and how did you overcome them?
A: The most difficult day was the longest one.  I found it really tough both mentally and physically.  In order to reach the end, I thought about my team and how I  didn’t want to disappoint my fans.  That is what helped me finish.
Q: Were you happy with your final position? (Marco came 30th out of a field of 1200 competitors) and how was it running with the team.
A: At the end of the race I was a bit disappointed with my final position, but now taking into consideration my age and the high level of competitors I am happy with it. Our team was very united and the atmosphere was wonderful.
Q: I know that on the last marathon stage, Harvey Lewis used you as his mentor and guide and followed everything you did. How was that for you?
A: Yes during the last stage,  Harvey followed me like a shadow and was very loyal towards me.  He never bothered me by running too close or by overtaking me.  It was an honor to run with a great champion like Harvey.
Q:  What were your feelings as you crossed the finish line?
A: It was very liberating finishing the race but above all I was just so incredibly happy to have finished for my team and all that it represents.

Thank you to Marco Olmo for his wonderful effort as part of Team I Run 4 Ultra and their efforts to raise awareness of ADHD.
Photographs by Dino Bonelli.