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Tag - ultra marathon

The Four Toughest Races in the world

 The Toughest Races in the world

When it comes to the sport of Ultra Marathon, there are today more options than ever before. In other words, there is something for everyone with various degrees of difficulty. But when we speak of some Toughest Races AND unique races, we have to mention Montane Spine Race, Tor des Géants, Yukon Arctic Ultra and of course UTMB.  Lets take a look at each one in detail.

The Toughest Race: Montane Spine Race

Hailed as “Britain’s Most Brutal Race”, this 7 day stage race has competitors run 268 miles and see an ascent of 36,729ft (11,195m) One of the Toughest Races.  Now lets explore what makes this toughest race so brutal. The course is lovingly, and sometimes not so lovingly, called “The Spine”. It  follows UK’s most iconic trails, The Pennine Way.  The terrain is absolutely gorgeous but also brutally tough, covering the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland National Park, Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviots; finishing at the Scottish Borders.

To top it all, this race takes place in the winter…and don’t get it wrong, we are talking about some extreme conditions where the runner have to deal with deep snow, ice, mud, bogs, ground water, storm force winds and torrential rain.  British humor may be dry, but their weather certainly isn’t. The runners are usually wet, cold, dealing with fatigue, sleep deprivation, tiredness and mental exhaustion.  This race is truly as hard as they come, as the athletes need to mostly be self-sufficient and ONLY the most prepared and skilled runners can break the spine!

Tor des Géants 

Tor des Géants or TDG is considered to be one of the greatest non-stop trail races in the world. Participants must complete 205 miles within a 150-hour cut off, while gaining an elevation of approx. 78800ft  (24,000m)…that is THREE TIMES the height of Mt Everest.  This well organized race, with around 2000 volunteers, takes place in Aosta Valley Italy; starting and ending in Courmayeur. 

The conditions during the race are tough enough to test giants… hence the name. The elevation change (minimum altitude 300m  and highest 3,300) means unpredictable weather where the runners can encounter sun, rain, wind, and snow. During TDG, the runners cross 34 municipalities, 25 mountain pass over 2000 metres, 30 alpine lakes and 2 natural parks.  This race has an incredibly high DNF percentage, with 2018 seeing over 60% of its participants not completing the race. 

 Yukon Arctic Ultra Series

Yukon Arctic ultra is the world’s coldest and toughest ultra for a good reason.  This multi day race happens at the beginning of February each year with three races to choose from 100m, 300m and 420m. This race follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail where one of the worlds toughest dog sled race used to take place. Thankfully no dogs get hurt, abused or killed during the YAU, however the humans participating in the foot race do put themselves at serious risk, racing through dangerous conditions.  The runners climb over 6,000m through conditions that leave them susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite and exhaustion with temperatures sometimes as low as -40°C.

The race begins in Whitehorse, Yukon, finishing 13 nights later on the in Dawson, Yukon.  But not many are able to finish this race. In 2018 only one person finished the 300m section of the race while many were treated for frostbite and hypothermia.

UTMB- TDS

Toughest Races

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, known as UTMB festival has many races to offer. the  Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (“In the Footsteps of the Dukes of the Savoie”) known as TDS is a 121 km long race sees an elevation gain of 7,300 m is hands down one of the toughest footraces out there. While it is one of the lesser known and one of the shorter races of the UTMB offering, the runners participating know that it is Toughest Races or brutal! Runners get to run through and enjoy the gorgeous sight of the Alps during their run. However unlike the other UTMB races, TDS runners get to run many miles of it up high in the rugged mountains in relative peace. The few inhabitants who do make it to the high points are known to be friendly and kind.

However running in the mountains doesn’t mean it is cold the whole way, for parts of the race runners can face heat well into the 90s. Runners need to complete the course in 33hours or under, resulting in a very high DNF rate. TDS was first introduced in 2009 and the course goes along the Grande Randonée paths through the Aosta valley in Italy, followed by the Beaufort, Tarentaise and finally Mont-Blanc valley in France.

The toughest part of the race is by far the steep and relentless climb out of Bourg Saint-Maurice and up to the Cormet de Roselend. This is and almost 2000m of vertical with limited water and a big shock after the relatively easy running of the first 50km. The weather too is unpredictable. All in all, these factors make this race qualify for our list.

So there you have it, four of the most Toughest Races Mountain Ultra marathons out there. Do you think you could do one?

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Javelina Jundred 2018

Javelina Jundred 2018: a signature ultra in the Arizona desert, a costumed running party…

Javelina Jundred: A costumed running party:

This weekend, for the 16th annual Javelina Jundred, a fun-loving tribe again settled in the Sonoran Desert just northeast of Scottsdale. Together, just over a thousand inhabitants to this temporary oasis ran races, danced, feasted, and laughed. Many came to compete in the weekend’s races, the longest being the 100 mile, five-loop circuit.

Yet many flock to Javelina expressly to join in the merriment, and to offer support for those undergoing the grueling battle on the trail –– Such is the spirit of Javelina Jundred. It’s a party, a party of the best kind.

The Javelina Jundred 2018

A bunny hops by on the Javelina Jundred 2018 trail.

The Javelina Jundred course features an arid, open landscape with classic southwestern desert motifs —Saguaro cacti, rocky footholds, and drastic temperature shifts. While the balmy sun might sear at a steady 90℉ during the day, nightly temperatures can reach as low as the 30s. Each loop also has an elevation gain of 1,500 feet, for a total gain of over 7900 feet throughout the race. There is a 30hr cut-off for participants to be listed as official finishers and gain their finisher’s belt buckle, while those who finish under 24hrs receive the famous Javelina sub-24 belt buckle.

Patrick Reagan has again won the Men’s 100 mile with a time of 13:42:59. Although Reagan performed faster last year, his result this year still represents the third-fasted completion ever. Canadian runner Dave Stevens finished in second with 15:39:30, while third place goes to Kenneth Hawkes with 16:22:09.

Leading the Women’s Results, the celebrated Darcy Piceu crossed the finish with a time of 18:49:06. Dana Anderson finished in second with a time of 19:31:06, and Tonya Keyes took third with a time of 19:50:53. This year’s 100 mile event had 604 participants, of which 367 qualified as finishers. This year 141 participants qualified as sub-24 finishers.

The 100-Mile Party Run event consists of three of the 100 mile event’s five loops. Results for the 100K are led by Jacob Jackson (08:55:05), and Charli Mckee (09:47:43), for the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. There were a total of 262 participants in the 100 KM event. Of those, 199 qualified as finishers by completing the course in under 29 hours.

In this weekend’s races there were people of all walks of life, and among the runners there were many smiles and such vibrance of character. There were older runners such as 65 year-old James Ehasz. Yet there was also the fifteen year old finisher, Luke Sanchez. The races are set up “washing machine style,” wherein loops reverse direction. Day and night passing runners greeted each other, waved, cheered each other on.

The weekend also includes the Jackass Night Trail. Born of the revelry of Jackass Junction, the event’s most famed and lively aid station, the Jackass Night Trail provides more casual attendees an opportunity to experience Javelina by running one or two of the trail’s loops at night, for distances of 31 KM and 62 KM, respectively. The Night Trail events were festive and colorful, with hundreds of costumes.

Javelina Jundred

A scene near the Javelina Jeadquarters.

One can’t help but think of these desert festivities –– the costumed dashes, the wonderful people, the quirky prizes, the dancing –– and already reminisce. It is Monday; today there is work, and already the fleeting tent-hamlet of Javelina is packed and loaded.

Yet the “The 100-Mile Party Run” sends us into the last days of October enlivened and ready for the holiday seasons. And indeed, into the final race of the Ultra Trail ® World Tour, Ultra Trail Capetown, on November 30th. Stay tuned.

To read more about this race click here. Or here to see this year’s results

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Big's Backyard Ultra 2018

Big’s Backyard Ultra: inconceivable endurance, seasoned regulars, and an idiosyncratic racing format: this distinctive ultra is a sight to behold.
This Saturday, October 20th,is the (in)famous Big Dog Backyard Ultra, in Bedford County, Tennessee. An ostensibly simple race, Big Dog has been described as one of the most mentally and strategically complex races in the world – contestants run a 4.1 mile loop every hour, day or night, nonstop. The last man or woman standing is crowned the victor.
The race is not so much about competition, since contestants are tied at first at the beginning of every lap. Big Dog is a course in psychological endurance and forward thinking; go too fast, and you’ll wear yourself out precipitously; go too slow, and you might miss the cut-off for the next race. The event is hosted by Lazarus Lake, of Barkley Marathon lore. In fact, the prize for winning Big Dog is a spot in Barkley.
IRun4Ultra got a chance to speak with Guillaume Calmettes, last year’s winner, before the race. For his 2017 victory, Guillaume ran 246 miles. To put that in perspective, that’s 59 loops, and 59 hours, of running…
Click here [link] to listen to our conversation about the race, Guillaume’s life in Los Angeles, and the role that running plays in Guillaume’s life.
Also of interest: click here to see Guillaume’s inspiring running stats, or here to see his results from last year’s race.
 
 

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Salomon Women’s Running Shoes

The salomon womens running shoes , If you love trail races up to 50 km or even 50 miles, you will definitely love this universal trail running shoe!

The Women’s Salomon Sense Ride shoe is the new multi trail running shoe model for Salomon that is known to be the most popular and ideal shoe on the market these days when it comes to comfort, ride, protection, and grip. It is is ideal for running junkies that like an 8mm drop trail running shoe.

Stats:

Stack: 27mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot

Weight for Women’s shoes: 8.8oz

Heel-To-Toe-Drop: 8.0mm

Heel Cushioning: Moderate

Forefront Height: Low | 20.9 mm

Forefront Cushioning: Firm

Flexibility: Flexible

Stability Features: Few

Energy Return: Less

Features:

This The salomon womens running shoes features a spacious toe-box which differentiates itself from past models in the Salomon brand. It’s minimal exoskeleton helps with the support and durability but does not compromise its ventilating properties. The midsole contains Compressed EVA with softer insert to disperse shock vibrations and the outsole is lined with Salomon’s Premium Wet Traction Contragrip. It’s cushioned and responsive without the bulky aesthetic.

Inside the Women’s Salomon Sense Ride Framework:

Within the shoe, a layer comfortably cradles the heel while a flexible tongue wraps upward from the footbed and molds around your foot completely. The Orthrolite insert allows any other hotspots missed by the exoskeleton to be disbursed for little to no impact feel on the foot. As for the protection of the ankles, the Sense Ride W inner sock wraps over the collar protect the rubbing of the heel and/or ankle bones.

The two midsole components help with movements over blocks of rock, making the feet feel protected and the bidirectional lugs enable quick acceleration with responsive breaking. Therefore, traction on all surfaces is not clunky and helps with smooth transition to the trailhead.

Consistent Features:

Similar to past Salomon running shoes, the iconic Quicklace system is promised in the engaging shoe, “pull it, tuck it, and forget it.”. This reassures that throughout a full day on the trail, the laces won’t budge!

They are also tested in drying properties. These shoes are also quite instantaneous when they are submerged or soaked, making them the fastest drying shoe in the market.

Improvements:

The narrow build affects the stability and a wider platform would help with the ride better.

Extra cushioning in the forefoot would help for longer ultras. This would reduce the heel-to-drop which would make it in the 4-6mm range known as the runner sweet spot.

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