Monthly Archives: August 2009

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Beetroot power, Al Andalus

The first Al Andalus Ultra Trail has completed in Andalucia, Spain. Over 50 competitors battled through scorching temperatures up to 45C, and some tough climbing. There has been excellent reviews from all involved, saying the organisation was superby and very competitor-centric. Some reviews have been uploaded onto the events listing on the main website. Just click on Main Map, click on Europe, then choose Al Andalus Ultra Trail from Spain and click on either Review. Many competitors found it very tough indeed, with 21 of the original 55 runners failing to complete 1 or more stages (most sucumbing to the heat), though most of them took part in later stages, unranked. One high profile casualty was Widy Grego, winner of the Jungle Marathon, and high-placed finisher in many multi day ultras. Sounds like he gave it too much on what was a very difficult day 1 and had to retire from day 2. He did continue unranked for the rest of the week.

Overall winner was Raul Morales Lopez from team Taureg Raid Extreme. He finished in 21hrs 40 minutes, an hour and 13 minutes ahead of second place Mark Woolley. 3 minutes behind Mark was Paul Hewitson. Both Mark and Paul from for Team Axarsport.

First lady and overall 8th position was well known ultra athlete Mimi Anderson, who finished in 26hours 58 mins, with Catherine Dubois in 29hrs 27mins placed as second lady and 12th overall.

In other news this week, a recent small-scale study has shown that Beetroot juice powered endurance athletes for 16% longer. The article which was published in the small Journal of Applied Physiology study, from UK’s Exter University found nitrate contained in the vegetable leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake – making exercise less tiring. It goes on to suggests the effect is greater than that which can be achieved by regular training. Athletes were given 500ml per day of organic beetroot juice for six consecutive days before completing a series of tests, involving cycling on an exercise bike, whilst others were given a placebo. Those that had the beetroot were able to cycle for 16% longer.

So, it might be worth adding some beetroot juice to our diets, for those that can stand the taste that is.
That’s all for now, enjoy your running this weekend.


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Canadian Death Race, New events

The Canadian Death race completed a few days ago. For those that are not familiar this is an always sold out event that takes place in Alberta Canada. Competitors have to race 125km in a single stage carrying a coin to pay the ferryman to take them to the other side of the river near Hells Gate. This years race was won by Sean Meissner in 15hr04, with Ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes in second in a time of 16hrs 12. First lady was Canada’s Sophie Limoges in 16:37. Well done to all competitors. Looks like under 50% comlpeted this year in highs of 80F (27C) and lows of 45F (7C).

Sand Baggers Gobi Chalenge is currently underway in Mongolia. The first 4 stages have completed with Andrew Murray lying in first place in an overall time of 14hrs36, and Caroline Richards in second place in 18hrs 09. Only two competitors have dropped out so far, so the field is looking strong. Three stages left to complete, we’ll bring you more as we know it.

Some new events have been added onto the site this week.
Bighorn 100 in Wyoming in the USA.
Spanish 24 hour Ultra in Southern Spain
The Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon in the USA
The Namibia 24 hour ultra in Brandberg, Namibia

Check them all out on the main website, and get involved in the discussions on the forum.

I’d just like to wish myself good luck too. I’m taking part in the Long Tour of Bradwell, a 31.7 mile trail race in the Derbyshire Peak District in the UK, tomorrow. There is around 7000ft of ascent and plenty of ankle twisting terrain to keep me amused. There is an 8 hour (4mph) cut-off time, and the ground isn’t condusive to speed, so I will have to watch the clock! Good luck to everyone taking part, I’ll see you tomorrow. Richard


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In 2018, a race where you start anywhere you like, as long as you reach the finish within 24 hours. ...

Convergence - Summer

June 9, 2018, 12:00pm - June 10, 2018, 6:00am

It’s game time. In this game, you will gamble on your own fitness and ability. You know where the finish line is, but you are not following a fixed course; you “make” your own course. You tell no one else where you intend to start from. That way you are blind-betting against everyone as to from how far away you will start, and thus, how high you will eventually rank. Those who travel the furthest, rank highest. However, if you don’t reach the finish line you don’t get a medal, so gamble wisely…. The premise is simple. You can start from anywhere you want, at midday. You then have 24 hours to ‘converge’ on the central finish line in order to claim your award. You make your own route. You can start any distance from the finish line, but the further away you start, the better your award (should you make it to the finish). All distances are measured “as the crow flies” from the finish. For all those challenging this is where it gets even more interesting. The people who rank highest are those who travel from the furthest away. You are under no obligation to tell anyone where you are starting, so you are all blind-betting against each other! You won’t know where anyone starts from until the GPS tracking link goes live at midday. Even then, will those who started far away make the finish line on time? Of course if you start 100 miles away and miss the finish line cut-off, then you don’t get a medal. Oh, the cruelty. The Crow will be watching all of those Converging, using the miracle of Race Drone event tracking technology. The Crow will judge how far the shadows have run, and reward them with the right medal on the line. If you travel from 30 miles away or fewer, we’ll email you a certificate only. Venture from further away (30 to 60 miles) and claim a Silver Convergence, 60 to 90 miles and you’ll take Gold. If you come from 90 miles or more away (As the crow flies), then you’ll claim the Black Convergence medal. There is a little more to tell you. You can Converge only on foot. The Crow knows how fast you travel You can Converge solo for 24 hours, either female or male If you are scared of the dark, you can converge for 24 hours as a pair You will be given no advice on where to run, or hide You make your own route. Use any means you wish to wayfind You obviously can’t use private land or anything illegal (motorways etc). Your route choice is your own choice and risk. We recommend strongly that you stay off A-roads, or roads that have no pavement There are no checkpoints. Use your wit and guile to feed yourself. Call for your mother if you must The World will keep an eye on you from afar using tracking technology Have more questions? The wise old bird has the answers Feel ready to take your first steps into a darker world? Register Here

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