Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th IAU Trail World Championships this weekend in Wales.

From the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU):

The 4th edition of the IAU Trail World Championships take place on July 6th in Llanrwst, North Wales, Great Britain. Both male and female trail world champions Erik Clavery (FRA) and Maud Gobert (FRA) will be in attendance in North Wales to defend their titles. The International Association of Ultrarunners are organising the 4th Trail World Championships in Llanrwst, North Wales Great Britain. 

The championships are taking place on July 6th 2013 (9am UK time).  The beautiful town of Llanrwst is located in North Wales alongside the River Conwy. Very close to the race site, and towering over the Snowdonia Mountains, is the Gwydyr Forest where the race will take place. Men’s champion from the 3rd Trail World Championships, Erik Clavery (FRA) will be leading the men’s field. He has had considerable success in the last two years running trail events in Europe and around the globe. Silver medallist from 2011 Jason Loutitt (CAN) has pulled out of the event due to an injury. Patrick Bringer (FRA) will try to replicate his podium finish from Ireland. In addition, Torbjørn Ludvigsen (NOR) and Silvano Fedel (ITA) will be looking for a podium finish after just finishing out of the medal spots last time around. 

In the women’s event, Maud Gobert (FRA) will be looking to repeat as champion again. She had a very consistent run in Connemara and will incorporate the technical components in Llanrwst to her advantage. Ceclia Mora (ITA) and Lucy Colquhoun (GBR), the other two podium finishers, will not be running in North Wales. Aurelia Truel (FRA), Cinzia Bertasa (ITA) and the current Commonwealth Trail bronze medalist Kirstin Bull (AUS) will be toeing the line with their eyes set on that covetable podium spot. 

The competitors on Saturday will navigate their way through the trails taking them amidst several scenic sections. The five laps on the 15km looped course will allow the athletes to test themselves on a technical and exciting course. France had a strong showing in the team competition in Conneamara and they will be looking into defending their titles. Italy, Norway, Spain and the United States of America will be vying for those podium spots in the men’s team and Norway, Germany and Italy will have their eyes set on the women’s team podium as well. Host nations Great Britain will also be sending a very strong team to the championships. 

The IAU plan to carry Live Updates on the website:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile set for August 13th

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - With a rust-colored cap of granite boulders, a hard-blue sky overhead, and precious little air to breathe, the summit of Pikes Peak is like an alien environment.

Tim Bergsten & Nancy Hobbs (photo by Tim Bergsten)

An elite field of runners will make this discovery at the inaugural Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile on Tuesday, Aug. 13. It certainly won't feel like Kansas. It won't even feel like planet earth.

Ground control to Roger Bannister.

At the peak’s 14,115 foot summit, the air contains 43 percent less oxygen than at sea level. And while mountain runners in the famous Pikes Peak Marathon and Pikes Peak Ascent are familiar with the challenge, their sleek and fast middle-distance brethren of the flatlands have avoided such places … until now.

"We think the Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile will be the highest competitive mile race ever contested in the United States and possibly the world," said Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. President Ron Ilgen. "And we intend to fill this race with the best runners we can find."

Event organizers will invite track and cross-country athletes, middle-distance roadies and mountain runners. Ideally, the men’s and women’s fields will include 15 to 20 each. Runners who would like to participate are encouraged to apply by contacting Nancy Hobbs at, or (719) 573-4133. The final participants will be announced on Aug. 1.

The winners of last week’s Bristol Mile in Colorado Springs, Dey Dey (3:54), and Katie Rainsberger (4:38), will receive automatic entry (though they haven’t committed.) Ilgen said he will also invite the winners of next week’s Pearl Street Mile in Boulder.

And there will be plenty of incentive to run fast. The Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile champions will earn $1,000. Second place pays $500; third, $250; and the fourth-place runners will win $100. The winners will also receive one-of-a-kind jackets commemorating their accomplishment.

Who will be the fastest at 14,000 feet?

“The curiosity aspect makes this very interesting," Ilgen said. "Pikes Peak is well known for running, and this race adds another facet to that. We know what the mountain runners can do here. But in a mile race, we can include a different kind of runner in the mix. It's going to be exciting. We're going to scratch a starting line on top of the mountain and line up and see who is the fastest."
The racing will begin with the women’s heat at 9 a.m., followed by the men at about 9:30 a.m.

Encircled by a ribbon of gravel road, the mostly flat and broad summit of Pikes Peak is roughly the size of four football fields. The course will be laid out by Scott Simmons, coach of the American Distance Project training group. The race will be chip timed with splits recorded.

Ilgen developed the idea years ago as he ran laps on the summit in preparation for the Pikes Peak Ascent.

"I always had this thought that we could have a race at the summit," Ilgen said. "It keeps with the tradition of Pikes Peak going back to 1936 when they first ran a race up the mountain. Those runners were pioneers. Now here we are almost 80 years later with the opportunity to explore this new frontier. How hard can we push ourselves in challenging environments?"

The Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile kicks off the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent week, with the race expo beginning in Manitou Springs on Friday (Aug. 16) followed by the Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday.

The summit will remain open to auto traffic during the Altitude Mile. Members of the media will need credentials, and transportation from Manitou Springs to the summit will be provided for the runners, media and event staff. Television trucks will be allowed at the summit.

For media credentials, e-mail Ilgen at

Story by Tim Bergsten