NordicUltra #2 2011

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THE NORDIC ULTRA-RUNNING MAGAZINE

# 2 2011 The older generation showing the way at Karlstads 6 hour.

All about Karlstads Six Hour

Running in Japan M ARAN IC – A TWO-DAY DO U N IQ U E U LT RA IN H O RO GO

KAUSTINEN: JARI SPEAKS OUT

Norways popular hillclimb

ALSO WITH: H Tips on dealing with the heat H STATISTICS –

The strongest 24h performances of 2011

H Cecilia Petterson – 1 Nordic Ultra #2 2011 Swedish Ultrarunning


EDITORIAL

Get in contact with the editor by mailing: nordic.ultra@gmail.com.

A harsh but beautiful landscape – running in Australia

Thanks for your support I’d like to start by sending out a huge thank you too all the people that helped spread the word about Nordic Ultra. We’ve had an amazing response. Around 350 people have ‘liked’ the magazine on issuu.com and at time of writing the magazine has been opened around 7500 times. It has even been read in countries such as England and Germany. The more readers we get, the more we can develop so keep up the good work. I’d also like to send out a special thanks to all the people that sent in material. Without you this issue would not have come out. Keep sending them in! New for this issue is the letter section. For obvious reasons this was not possible in the first issue. It’s always nice to get letters with questions or suggestions from readers. I’ve also implemented a system for reporting events. It’s basically a photo page with a little information about the race. I like that it’s visual. When I’m reading magazines I hate being met with a wall of text on each page. One thing that I feel is missing is articles about training. I’ve tried writing them myself but I am simply not knowledgable enough on the subject to write about training science in a serious way. I’m looking for people to write such articles. I’m looking for more advanced articles aimed at runners that already know the basics.

and generally doing very un-ultra like things. I started to question my allegience to the sport, it felt kinda like I was having an affair, doing intervall sessions behind its back. It turns out that my endurance was still fully functional. I ran Karlstads 6 hour the first week of September. I wanted a top three marathon time, top three finish and to run 70km. I nailed the two top threes but was 600m short of 70km. I blame the toilet break ...

” Long slow sessions were boring me to death.”

I have just come back from three weeks holiday with my family in Perth. It was awesome to be home but I didn’t have as much free time as I’m used to. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t working but I didn’t want to go out on a two hour pass when I could be hanging out with my family. Subsequently I found myself going out on five and ten kilometer tempo runs at 11pm to fit in my running. I managed to fit in quite a bit of transport running too. My parents who I stayed with live quite low, probably around sea level while my brother lives in what we call ‘the hills’ which are 300 meters above sea level. It’s 20km to his house. The first ten are flat then comes 5km of steep uphill in the bush on often quite rabid tracks (see pics) to finish on 5km constant but not too steep uphill. I ran there whenever I had a couple of hours to spare. I noticed that I had become quicker probably partly because my runs were so rushed because I had to fit them in but I had also done a few speed sessions with IF Linnéa in Stockholm. I was pretty sure that this new found speed had to be at the expense of endurance. I hadn’t been doing that many long runs and those that I were doing weren’t really long enough. It was actually really fun to run quick. Previously I had always done militant training sessions. Long, slow sessions nearly every time. It was boring me to death. All this time I’ve been running super slow and super long. I felt that this was a part of my identity as an ultra runner. Here I was smashing out 5km runs at full pace

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Nordic Ultra #2 2011

I starting thinking, maybe I didn’t have to run all of my training sessions above 5.30 min/ km. I still enojy running long distances but I’m not going to be exclusive. I enjoy running fast now and then. I looked forward to my speed sessions with Linnéa IF. Thats always a good sign. I might even sign up for a 10km or even ,God forbid a 5km (!). It need not affect my ultrarunning prowess negatively. I think the opposite may be true, keeping things fresh and keeping up your motivation is a vital ingredient to success. I’ve taken up the same philosphy with Nordic Ultra. Variety is the spice of life. I’m not going to have a strict ‘only races that exceed 42km need apply’. I’m going to include material that is of interest to runners that enjoy being in wild places and enjoy challenging themselves. I’ve started in this issue with the report on Skåla Opp the hill climb race in Norway. This is much shorter than an ultra but is something that caught my attention and seemed interesting. Vertex Fjällmaraton isn’t really an ultra either but again I’m including it because it’s wild and it’s interesting. See you out there!

A focused Andreas Falk. GAX Trans Scania 2010.

Andrew Tutt-Wixner Editor in chief

A path that doubles as a stream in the winter.

The stones dissapeared after a hard night of rain making the crossing much nmore interesting.

Photo: Zingo Andersson Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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CONTENTS

24

Reach your target audience. Advertise in:

Karlstad 6-hour .

Photo: Sofia W

ixner

02 EDITORIAL: Thank you! 06 News from the Ultra world 08 Letters 10 Ultrarunning in Sweden - Cecilia Pettersson ” In 2001 there were only five hill climb races in Norway. This year there will be around 150 events.” 12 Kaustinen 48hr 16 Mountain running

Contact: nordic.ultra@gmail.com

18 Skåla opp! 20 Karlstad 6 hour 12

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22 LOCATION: Stockholm – City of forests 24 Running in Japan 28 A wife of steel 33 UTMB 34 I N THE KNOW: How to tackle the heat 36 Events Calender 38 S TATS: 24 hours – The year so far Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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NEWS

Do you have an idea for an article? Mail it to: nordic.ultra@gmail.com.

Kouros gift to Greece

H Ultra

www.marathontalk.com

Podcast tip

H Marathon talk has been

around for over a year and has really taken off. The podcast comes out every Wednesday and has interviewed runners such as Dean Karnazes, Scott Jurek, Mo Farah and Ian Sharman. Their training talk is legendary. They are amazingly experienced and qualified. There sure are worse things you could listen to on a long run.//

What do you want to read about in Nordic Ultra? Do you want to contribute? Send an email to nordic. ultra@gmail.com.

Torill celebrating her new record.

Photo: Staffan Åkerblom

New Nordic 48 h record H Swedish/ Norwegian Torill

Fonn Hartikainen broke her own 48h record at Skövde Ultrafestival. She beat her old record by over 12km with the distance of 312 715m. The male 48h Nordic record has also been broken. Read more about Jaris record in the article named Kaustinen. The Skövde race was also

the district championships in 24h running. The male Swedish 24 hour champion is Fellingbro IKs Johan Dahl who run almost 215km. Linnéa IFs Maria Thompson won the womens class with nearly 189km. Interestingly, Torill claimed a silver place in the 24h class.//

Kimberley 100 Disaster H Four runners have been

Visit us on Facebook

H Nordic Ultra now has a

Facebook fanpage as well as a group with over 250 people! This is a great way to keep informed on how the next issue is progressing. It’s even one of the quickest ways to get hold of the latest issue as soon as it comes out. The address is easy to remember: www.facebook. com/NordicUltra. Speaking of internet things. It has come to my attention that the magazine is hard to read on Ipad and Iphone. Apparently an Issuu app is coming out soon. That should make it much easier to view the magazine on apple devices.//

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Nordic Ultra #2 2011

seriously injured in bushfires during Racing the Planets Kimberley 100 race in outback Western Australia. Australian Kate Sanderson recieved burns to 70% of her body. Turia Pitt recieved burns to 80%. Two men were also burnt but less seriously. The runners were encircled

race around the Island of Mors is one of the few races in the region that boasts the distance of 100 miles. Even more unique is the fact that the race is run as one big circuit. i.e. you’re not doing several laps of a track. The race this year boasted some impressive times. My hat goes off to Ital-

Extreme challenge in Sweden H Another 100 mile news.

by the fire while in a remote gorge. Organisers have been slammed by authorities for not seeking advice from emergency services.//

Fine times in Mors Rundt

H The Danish Mors Rundt

lengend Yannis Kouros is worried about his old homeland Greece. To help lift Greek morale durnig its financial crisis, Yannis will, the 27th of September be repeating his Phidippides run. A 500km nonstop assult between Sparta – Athens then Sparta again. Yannis ran the historic distance in 53 hours 43 minutes. He has publicly commented on the situation in Greece, ‘It is essential to prove, that we are a source of light and not Europes poor relatives. Yannis immigrated from Greece to Melbourne, Australia in 1990 due to poor government support for ultra running. 'The running God' as he is sometimes called has a whole plethora of ultra records. Including; 12h, 24h, 48h, 6days (both road and track in all four), 100 miles, 1000km (road and track) and 1000 miles. //

ian runner Monica Casiraghi who came within a whisker of winning outright. Carsten Eriksen also did exceptionally well with a time under 15 hours.// 1 Eriksen, Carsten 14:54:51 2 Casiraghi, Monica 15:07:14 3 Palmans, Peter 15:50:07

Täby Extreme Challenge will be organised next year. Saturday the 14th of April is the day to set aside. Soon after this years race the future of TEC was undetermined. Jan Söderkvist and Patrick Joyce decided to look for new blood to take over the race. They have now handed over the reigns after three years of building up the race. Jonas Wängberg and David Sundvall will be the new race leaders. TEC is an important race for both the Swedish and Northern European running community so it’s great news that it’s back online. More information will be out soon at: www.tec100.se.//

The Norwegian National team

Photo: Tore De Flon

Strong results in 100km World Cup H The World 100km Cham-

pionships were held early September in Winschoten, Netherlands. The weather was warm and humid, many runners had problems dealing with this. Records are falling thick and fast this year. Glora Vinstead set a new Swedish record and earnt herself a 4th place in the European Championships. Jonas Buud had some tough times at the 70km but got through them competently for an amazing EC bronze and WC 7th place. Norway had many strong runners. Rita Nordsween took the best female Norwegian World cup placing ever with 17th place. John Henry

Strupstad took the next best World Cup place for a Norwegian male. Former rock star Björn Tore Taranger wasn’t far after outsprinting Finlands Janne Klasila right at the end for 33rd place. Finland had a large group of runners with stable times. The big winner of the competition was USA. They boasted three runners int the top ten. Mike Wardian took second place and Andrew Henshaw soon after. The man of the day was Italys Giorgio Calcaterra. The womens side both the Russians did well with a gold medal through Marina Bychkova and a fourth through Irina Vishnevskaya.//

Results men and women 1. CALCATERRA, Giorgio

ITA

6:27:32

2. WARDIAN, Michael

USA

6:42:49

3. HENSHAW, Andrew

USA

6:44:35

7. BUUD, Jonas

SWE

6:52:19

25. STRUPSTAD, John Henry

NOR

7:24:37

32. TARANGER, Björn Tore

NOR

7:35:29

33. KLASILA, Janne

FIN

7:35:47

43. HYPPÖLÄ, Tero

FIN

7:48:17

55. HALME, Tomi

FIN

7:54:48

70. TALVITIE, Tapio

FIN

8:27:58

73. NILSSON, Daniel

SWE

8:33:28

74. SALOMAA, Kari

FIN

8:34:34

75. PRODEL, Charley

DEN

8:36:22

1. BYCHKOVA, Marina

RUS

7:27:19

2. ZARZEWSKI, Joanna

GBR

7:41:06

3. ASWEGEN, L. Anne

RSA

7:42:05

7. VINSTEAD, Gloria

SWE

7:55:09

17. NORDSVEEN, Rita,

NOR

8:20:33

Spanish dominance in a messy UTMB H This years Ultra Trail du

Mont Blanc was for all practical puposes a world cup for mountain ultras. Almost everyone who’s anyone in the 100 mile world was there. It was all set up for the ultimate smackdown. The stars of North America were all there. Dave Mackey, Geoff Roes, Scott Jurek and the popular Anton Krupicka were all there. Europe answered with one name, the spaniard that won this years Western

States 100 miler Kilian Jornet. 2011s course was extra demanding. Because of pouring rain, strong winds and heavy snowfall the race was delayed for 5 hours then lengthened to 170km to avoid the highest passes. It was made even more tough when the vertical relief as spiked with 9600 meters. Less that 50% of this years runners made it to the finish!

UTMB recieved a lot of criticism last year over cancelling the race because of bad weather and then restarting later, without many of the stronger runners. It’s great to see that they were better organised this year with contingency plans in place for bad weather. King of the mounatin Kilian Jornet won in 20:36:43 nine minutes after his fellow coun-

tryman Iker Karrera. The brittish Elisabeth Hawker won the womens class in 25:05 nearly 3 hour before the second placer! Icelander Borkur Arnason came 162nd with 35.22.57. Swedens Camilla Ringström and Sandra Lundqvist both did well 58th and 44th position respectively. In the 120km sister race TDS, Norwegian Runar Gillberg ran a great race coming 16th place in just under 19 hours.// Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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LETTERS

Get in contact with the editor by mailing: nordic.ultra@gmail.com.

Hey Andrew! I hope that you’re well. I’m a amature runner that is looking at running my first marathon next year. It is inspring reading about your adventures and ultrarunning plans. My question is; How much time shoud I give myself from being an amature (not a elite-amature as some might say) to being at a level of fitness where I

Hi Andrew, I had to take this opportunity and write to thank you for the Nordic Ultra Magazine. I really hope this magazine gets a good start and continues to live and improve. It is already better than equivalent Ultra Runner in States which I find quite dull and unprofessionally edited. Keep up the good work

could complete races longer then 40km? A year? Several months? (I understand that it is individual depending on many factors). I’m not looking for a super time, just looking to get around the course mostly for the enjoyment. I’m looking forward to your next issue.

Hi Ida,

Take care norr~¤~Ida

Sincerely Andrew

and I hope to contribute or help you some day. Till then

NordicUltra and hope that it will be around for a while. I am overwhelmed with the response I’ve recieved so far. The next issue is well underway and will be out in a few weeks. Absolutely, if you have an idea for an article or something let me know. It’s runners like you that make the magazine.

Take Care Marko Forsell Ultrarunner Finland Hi Marko! Wow! Thank you for the compliments. I’m glad you liked it. I have plans to develop

I’m glad that my adventures inspire you. I hope to hear about yours someday. I would say that if you start training now then you should be ready for a spring marathon next year. Just don’t be in too much of a hurry, that’s when you start getting shinsplints and other nasties.

Thanks Andrew

Hey, Are you still down under? I really like your first issue. Partly because of the layout but also because of the good content. I think that it’s important with a good forum for ultrarunning. Maybe you could expand to cover trail too. What do you think? Take care! Johan Stegfors Thanks Johan, I appreciate that. It’s amazing how good texts everyday ultra runners can churn out. Absolutely, I saw a need for a magazine for the ultra public. I’ll be expanding into some trail in this issue. I’d love to hear what you and the other readers think. Cheers Andrew

Coming this winter Mora, Sweden It’s gonna eat Winter Challenge you up! 8

Nordic Ultra #2 2011

X-KROSS Running - löparglasögon - immfria linser - bekväma bågar - sex olika linsfärger

www.x-kross.se


Running between hotels in the south of Sweden.

Swedish ultrarunning with: Cecilia Petersson

I

n the 1980:s, the jogging wave took off. Many runners – I was among them – challenged themselves, running their first marathon. Then there were a few men who didn't think 42 km was far enough. They ran competitions such as the 100 km and 24 hours. But races like that and names like Rune Larsson and Bertil Järlåker were not known to the general public, not even to the average runner. However, this would change. One of the races that Rune ran was the Swiss Alpine Marathon – a 67 km (the course was later re-measured and found to be 72 km!) race over the Alps – unimaginable! But he didn't only run the race – he also became one of the tour guides on a trip to Davos, that contained walks and slow runs in the wonderful alpine area. The week ended with the race, and for those who didn't feel up to the full distance, there were the 28 and the 39 km options. I believe I went on my first trip in 1990. I was stunned by the beauty of the Alps, of the fresh air, of the ability of my body to do long tours on several consecutive days, and of the camaraderie. I did the 28 km race, which was a fantastic experience. Afterwards, we gathered in Davos Stadium to cheer on Rune and the other heroes, a handful of which were Swedish, who ran the 67 km race. Not even for one moment did it occur to me that I would be able to do it myself. For us mere mortals, there was some kind of unspoken and definite finish line at 42.195 km. But I was so taken by it all, that I returned two summers later... and the next. Both of these summers I did the 39 km race, which followed the last part of the main race course, thus taking us over the highest point of the race, Sertigpass, at 2736 meters. Then, in 1995, I came back again. By then, I had gotten to know Rune quite well, and he of course supported me in my decision to give the full distance a try. I'll never forget coming into Filisur, where the 28 km runners turned left towards their finish line, and where we turned right. This was where the race really started. I felt so strong and proud, so full of life and lust for adventure. Maybe there was some fear as well, but that's nothing that I remember now. Of course it was tough. There were times that I almost had to use my hands to lift my legs on the way up to Sertigpass, and I was gasping in the thin air. But not for one moment did I wish that I had stuck with the shorter distances. And on the way down, my legs came to life again. I could run much of the forest trail that took us back to Davos. And when I came into the Ice Stadium where the finish was, I had to sprint, or I would have exploded with joy. The marshals shouted to me to slow down, but I couldn't. A passion was born. I was an ultra distance runner. Even then, there were not too many of us, but as we all know, patience pays off in the long run. In the year of 2000, four ultra distance races were held in Sweden, with a total of 92 finishers. In 2005, there were 12 races with 351 finishers. In 2008, the number of finishers in Swedish ultra distance races for the first time was over 1000. This year, the largest ultra distance race in Sweden, Lidingö Ultra, alone had 312 finishers, and in several of the 20 races more than 100 runners crossed the finish line. As the interest for running long distances increased, it was

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Photo: Thomas Bengtsson

time to get organised. In the end of 2006, Svenska Friidrottsförbundets Kommitté för Ultradistanslöpning (KUL, which also means ”fun” in Swedish) was born. KUL is a committee within the Swedish Athletics association, with the mission to develop ultra distance running in Sweden. The first chairman was Roger Magnusson, and I took over this position in 2009. In 2010, our motions for an official Swedish Championship and an official Swedish record for 100 km were approved, and in 2011, the first Swedish Championship in ultra distance running was held in Tibro. The historic first champions were Torill Fonn Hartikainen, who up till then was mainly known for her results in 24 and 48 hour races, and Anders Szalkai, the former elite marathon runner who made his ultra début in the 100 km Swedish Championships. Speaking of elite runners, Sweden has in the last few years celebrated a number of triumphs on the international ultra scene. In 2007, Jonas Buud took the first of his so far five straight wins in Swiss Alpine Marathon. In 2009 he was accompanied on the podium by Lena Gavelin, who in her ultra début won the women's race. Two years later, Henrik Olsson took gold in both the World and European Championships in the 24H World Challenge in Bergamo, Italy. Only a month after that, Jonas Buud took silver in the World and gold in the European Championships in 100 km in Torhout, Belgium, in a new Swedish record time. He repeated his feat the following year in Gibraltar, where also ultra rookie Gloria Vinstedt took fourth place, and had the course not been found 100 meters short, she would have set a new Swedish record. The TEC 100 miles held in Täby in Sweden is also a race that has seen some very strong results. In 2010, Jonas Buud set a new Nordic record of 12:32:04, a result that is among the best in the world, and in 2011, Emelie Andersen did the same in the women's category, finishing in 17:40:25. Jonas further strengthened his position as the most successful Swedish ultra distance runner

” I felt so strong and proud, so full of life and lust for adventure.” so far, when he came fourth in the classical and prestigious Comrades Marathon in South Africa, a race that attracts many of the world's top ultra runners. But equally encouraging is that so many people now dare to try the longer distances. Runners who have previously not done more than a half marathon finish a 50 km training run with a huge smile. More and more runners take on challenges such as 100 miles or even longer. In the 2011 TEC, 44 runners completed the classical distance. People get together on weekends to take the train somewhere, get off and run some 50-60 km back. These runs are highly social events, as the pace is generally low, the routes are scenic, and there are frequent stops for ”fika” (Swedish for coffee and cake) and food. To date I have run 52 races longer than marathon, and I have seen so many places and experienced such fantastic things thanks to my ultra running. I am still amazed at what the human being can achieve if she sets her mind to it. Almost all of my friends that I have made as a grown-up are ultra distance runners. Many are the hugs that are exchanged at the starting line of ultra races, and during the races we support each other even if we are competitors. The ultra distance spirit is strong and something worth protecting and carrying on. I'm happy and proud to be a part of it all.// Written by Cecilia Petersson – Chairman of the Swedish Committee of Ultra Distance Running. Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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Jari with friend Peter Tubaas.

T

hough the weather forecast predicted the possibility of rain was about 95%, so it wasn't a big surprise. And after all, for the last two years it has rained in Kaustinen this weekend. The upcoming challenge was frightening enough without rain, but then with outdoor sports you can't choose the weather. After the IAU officially cancelled the 2011 24 h running world championships I decided to participate in the Kaustinen 48 h race. When I made the decision many people reminded me about the promise I made to never run longer ultras than 24 hours. I had actually broken that promise twice earlier, but those races were more of an adventure than serious a race. I got a little, but very tiny confidence boost from knowing that at least my support during the race would be top class. I was lucky enough to have the same excellent team with me in Kaustinen that pushed me to the finish line of Gax Trans Scania 2010 as a race winner, Jaana and Juha. I was aware of the terrible reputation of 48 h running even among toughest of the ultrarunners. That's why I didn't even plan proper timetable for the race. My only plan was to run first hours easily and save energy. I thought about 60 km during first six hours should be easy enough. I had many problems with my training last winter and spring. All that culminated to a DNF at the Täby Extreme Challenge 100-miler. Luckily I DNF'd early enough so I recovered quite fast and was able to start proper training soon after the race. In June I ran a marathon as a training run 3.02.39. Yeah, that is not a world class result, but it was my fastest marathon in three years and considering that the result came quite easily and without any speedwork I was satisfied. The pizza and beer loading on eve of the race obviously worked.

Kaustinen 48 hour IN THE HEART OF THE DARKNESS

TEXT: Jari Tomppo PHOTOS:

Jaana Tomppo

I wake up an hour before the alarm clock rings and listen to raindrops falling on the window of the hotel. The first ever 48 hour running race on Finnish soil is due to start in less than seven hours and rain is the last thing I ordered for this day. 12

Nordic Ultra #1 2011

Four weeks before the 48 hour race I participated in first ever ultrainterval -race organized in Finland. The race director Mikko Luusalo spent couple of years in Norway, there participating in some ultraintervals and decided to bring this event in Finland. The 13 km loop around Lake Bodom was ran eight times, three hours between each starts. I considered the race an excellent training session, even though the pace was little bit faster than I had planned. I finished the race in second place with total time 8.15.56, losing about 10 minutes to the winner Kari Salomaa. Three weeks before Kaustinen I started my summer holiday and spent one week in Kuusamo with my wife. We spent two days hiking about 60 km on the Karhunkierros-trail. Besides that I did some cross-country running with reindeers on rocky trails and swamps. After that week I started to decrease my training mileage and took last weeks before the race pretty easily. My wife and I travelled to Kaustinen on Thursday, a day before the race. After we checked into local hotel near the race arena we took a walking tour around the course. There we met the race director Jukka Teirikangas, who warmly welcomed us to Kaustinen. The Norwegian top-class ultrarunner Peter Tubaas who was about to run the 24 h which started on Saturday had already arrived in Kaustinen and was scouting too. We had a nice discussion about past and upcoming races we had in common and of course about insanity of running 48 hours. Very nice fellow, indeed. There were nine runners on the starting line of the 48 h, six men and three women. All were debutants of 48 h except Aku Kopakkala who has also completed a couple of six day races. When the start signal of the race was given at 2 pm on Friday it was raining ever so slightly and the temperature was about 17 degrees, the conditions weren't bad at all. I started the race with long Skins, T-shirt and arm-warmers. The length of the loop is 1008,4 m and there is only one short uphill worth mentioning, less than 100 m, which I planned to walk on every lap. After one hour I had ran little over 10 km, concentrating all the time on just running as slowly as a I can. After six hours I was a little shy of 60 km, still no problems though except for the rain and wet clothes. At this time the rain was getting heavier all

the time, soaking the softer parts of the course and all clothing. The rain ceased before nightfall, I had already changed my soaked clothing twice. The weather during the night was quite decent, not too cold, humid, but no rain. At midnight I started to feel tired, the remaining time felt endless. At 2 am a quarter of the race had been completed and I had covered a little over 111 km. The first night went without much of a drama, just waiting for the dawn. After the daybreak I still felt exhausted. I had planned a 30 min sleeping break after 24 hours and thought of an approaching resting period lifted my spirit. I was able to improve my pace after 20 hours so that at about 23 hours I broke the 200 km limit. After the first day I had covered 207,7 km, which was a pretty good pace considering that I had already changed couple of times all my rain-soaked equipment losing lots of time doing that.

” At midnight I started to feel tired, the remaining time felt endless.” At 2 pm on Saturday, 24 hours was finally completed. I got permission from my support crew to take a 30 min break. I headed to the locker room, changed again all my gear and then settled down on high jump mattress in the gym. Just as I got into the sleeping position I felt a stinging pain in my groin. I rolled over trying to find a position where I didn't feel pain. I turned over for about 30 minutes without sleeping at all. My supporter then threw me out of the gym back onto the course, she tried anyway. As soon as I got up from the mattress I felt dizzy. Slowly I walked out to the support tent and tried to drink something, I instantly threw up all the contents of my stomach. After the vomiting stopped I continued the race. After couple of minutes of walking I was able to continue with slow running. The 24 h race started at 2 pm on Saturday, so there were now more runners on the course. I was glad about that, as time passed painfully slowly. The short discussions I had with fellow runners felt good and gave a little boost to continue.

A mixture of sleep deprivation and joy. Nordic Ultra #1 2011

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The rain poured down all day and some parts of the course were so wet that one either had to run through puddles up to the ankles or then make detours to avoid the deepest pools. The organizers did their best during the hardest rain to channel the water out of the track, but when the rain just continued they had no possibility to keep the whole course dry. Fortunately the rain ceased before second night fell over Kaustinen and remarkably, quite soon after that the course dried enough it was possible to run almost without wetting ones shoes. When the second night hit I had mixed emotions. The night meant that the finish of the race was approaching, on the other hand, the first night was terrible and I knew there was worse to come. Finally the dusk covered Kaustinen. The second night was, if possible, even more horrifying than the first night. I was so tired and exhausted that during walking intervals I thought I was about collapse at any second. Short periods of rest at the service tent were relieving, but my support crew was merciless. I wasn't allowed breaks longer than one minute, then I was guided back into the rain. It didn't matter matter how much I whined about needing to sit just little longer. Slowly, but painfully the kilometers passed. During the second day I hadn't given much attention to the progress of my mileage, nor was I interested about my pace. I just pushed to keep myself moving. Together with my support crew we had planned a second resting period after 36 hours. This time I was allowed the luxury of a 15 minute nap. A couple of hours before the 36 hours were completed I had already started whining about needing to rest immediately, but my crew were strict and did their best to keep me moving. Finally it was 2am Sunday night, 36 hours had passed and I was given permission to leave the track for a short break. Again I changed all my wet gear, took a quick shower and headed to the high jump mattress. This time I fell asleep in couple of seconds. I could've sleep for hours, but after quarter of an hour I was woken and pushed back onto the course. I guess my support had heeded the words of the Finnish female 48 h record holder Maria Tähkävuori's when she couple of days before the Kaustinen race told us that "48 hours is such a short race - there is no time for even toilet breaks, let alone sleeping, if you want a good result". Short naps refreshed so that after couple of minutes walking I was able to run again.

Hello Jari Tomppo, 45, from Piikkiö, Finland! What’s your favourite piece of running gear? Probably my Garmin Forerunner 310XT (yes, I’m an engineer...). How many kilometers a week? Weekly average is somewhere around 120 km, but it varies from 0 km to 200+ km a week during the year. Favourite place to run? I enjoy very much about running in different places so I cannot give any exact favourite place. One place I always enjoy very much to run are the wilderness trails of Meri-Teijo hiking area in Southern Finland. Do you follow a program or do you go by feel? Mostly by feel, but I have some guidelines that I try to follow. Who’s your idol? I don’t have any idols, but of course there are some athletes I do respect because of their achievements. For example the greatest ultrarunner of all time Yiannis Kouros, the greatest cyclist ever Eddy Merckx, The Finnish Spartathlon legend Seppo Leinonen just to name a few. Best thing about running? Once you are in good shape, running is easy, there is some kind of feeling of tiredness and you feel like you could run forever. Juha Heitanen giving the author a helping hand.

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Worst thing about running? Injuries. Luckily I haven’t had many of those.

” My crew were strict and did their best to keep me moving.” When I returned to the course it was still dark, but quite soon the morning began to arise. The second night was worth all if my darkest fears was about to turn into the final day of the race. At 8 am the six hour race started and there were even more runners on the course. Around same time the announcer of the race started to cheer up the audience by telling them that I was about to break the Finnish 48 h road running record (333,014 km by Mikael Heerman & Petri Perttilä) soon. At that time I seriously thought that I'd run until the record is broken, take a long break and walk slowly during the last hours. When the record was broken about five hours before the race ended I changed my mind and decided to run a couple of laps in order to break 350 km. About four hours before the race finished Jukka Teirikangas delivered me a mobile phone. On the other end of the line was Seppo Leinonen, the Spartathlon legend, holder of Finnish record of 24h track running and former Finnish record holder of 48h, among many other achievements. Seppo congratulated me on my record and told me that the Nordic 48h record in road running is 366,271 km, made by Lars Skytte Christoffersen at Bornholm 2008. I started to calculate how much time I had left and how much distance I was still missing. Seppo interrupted my muttering by commenting swiftly: "stop whistling and start running!". The word of a master gave me no other option, but to reluctantly start running again. During the last hours my running wasn't very easy and relaxed, even though couple of commentators claimed so. Somehow I managed to keep running except for the long and steep uphills which I walked. Somehow there were now much more and much bigger uphills than during the first hours of the race, strange. With one hour left I broke the Nordic road running record by completing 368 km. After that I was not able to run a single step, instead I walked the last hour easily with my supporter and tried to enjoy the atmosphere of the race. When the finish signal was given the final measuring showed the distance 373,142 km. A new Finnish and Nordic record in road running, number three on this year's world list and about 20 km better than I thought would be possible for me. I guess I must've done something right with my training and during the competition despite all the weak moments. A very big thanks to my support crew Jaana and Juha, without them this result wouldn't been possible! After the race I needed support and a car ride in order to get to the prize-giving ceremony, only about a hundred meters away from the showers. After it had been raining for almost two days in a row, obviously when the more exhausted runners waited for the ceremony to begin the weather cleared, it was clear sunlight. After the ceremonies and interviews were over I needed the support of my wife and Peter Tubaas in order to get into the car. The next evening and night were spent in the same hotel as the night before the race, mostly spent sleeping and eating. After the race I had blisters on my toes and forefeet, I had pains in my muscles, there was chafing all over my body. I was more tired than ever before in my life. Otherwise I felt pretty damn good. Two days after the race I visited a sports doctor, who checked my muscles. He told me that there was slight infection in my left achilles tendon, but otherwise my legs and muscles were in very good condition, considering what I had done just couple of days earlier. I felt relieved, still I decided to take at least two weeks total break in running. After that I'll start training towards the Bislett Indoor 24 h race at the end of November.// Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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PICTURE

Do you want your photo here? Send it to: nordic.ultra@gmail.com.

AXA Fjällmarathon AXA Fjälmarathon or Vértex as it is often called is a 42km mountain race between Edsåsen and Vålådalen in the Jämtland county of Sweden. The weather only the day was idyllic but wet weather before the race caused problems with excess mud for the 354 runners. Despite this both course records were smashed. Swedes Andreas Svanebo (3:40:53) och Emelie Forsberg (4:30:27) bettered the old record by 14 and 21 minutes respectively. The Polish Marcin Swierc (3:47:45) ran in a second place and Norwegian Ole Kristian Smestad (3:59:24) came third. in the mens class. The womens class also featured a Polish 2nd place, through Paulina Maciuszek after 4:38:53. Susanna Liukkonen didn’t come far after with 4:39:37. 16

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! p p O a l a k

S

PHOTO: Christian

Terese Sjursen working hard.

Tomas Bereket from Eritrea came in third.

Life is full of uphills.

Prestegård

TEXT:

Andrew Tutt-Wixner

I

n 2001 there were only five hill climb races in Norway. This year there will be around 150 hill climb events over the country with an expected participation of 40.000 runners. Hill running has exploded in Norway. Skåla Opp is the most well known internationally and attracted near on 1800 runners for this years 10 year jubileum race. The race attracted runners as far afield as New Zealand, Eritrea and Turkey with foreigners taking a clean sweep in the mens event and the win in the womens. Skåla Opp offers hardy participants 1848m vertical ascent up to the top of Skåla peak. New Zealand olympian Jonathan Wyatt was back in town again after running Skåla in 2009 as a part of the WMRA Grand prix in Mounatin running. He posted a fine time but was no match for the man of the day. Turk, Ahmet Arslan won the race and beat Jon Tvedts old course record, earning him 100,000kr for his trouble. The ladies fared better with May Britt Buer and Kjersti Danielsen coming in second and third respectively after winter olympian Antonella Confortola Wyatt.//

1. Ahmet Arslan 2. Jonathan Wyatt 3. Thomas Bereket 4. Sondre Nordstad Moen 5. Anders Kleist 6. David Schneider 7. Roger Aa Djupvik 8. Øystein Sylta 9. Øyvind Heiberg Sundby 10. Thorbjørn T. Ludvigsen

1.07.38 1.10.06 1.12.31 1.12.46 1.13.20 1.13.41 1.14.33 1.14.40 1.15.10 1.16.13

Turkey New Zealand Eritrea Norway Sweden Switzerland Norway Norway Norway Norway

1. Antonella Confortola Wyatt 2. May Britt Buer 3. Kjersti Karoline Danielsen 4. Lauren Jeska 5. May Bente Weng 6. Fiona Maxwell 7 Anne Nevin 8. Terese Sjursen 9. Anne Bersagel 10. Merete Helgheim

1.23.05 1.26.45 1.29.12 1.29.54 1.31.48 1.31.53 1.32.12 1.33.10 1.35.24 1.36.01

Italy Norway Norway England Norway Scotland Norway Norway USA Norway

New Zealands Jonathan Wyatt.

Ahmet Arslan on his way to a new record!

Anne Nevin and Oddgeir Bukve. Race face on!

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Englands Lauren Jeska looking strong.

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Karlstad 6 hour K PHOTO:

Sofia Wixner

TEXT:

Andrew Tutt-Wixner

arlstad 6 hour 2011 threatened to be a washout. There were heavy showers the september night before. Fortunately on the day it turned out to be almost ideal running weather for the 40 runners that came to start. Realistically IF Göta have to be happy with this amount of people considering the popular, Skövde Ultra Festival which isn’t too far away from Karlstad was run the weekend previous. Having said that I don’t think it’s going to take too long for people to discover this race. Instead of running around a 400m athletics track, IF Göta offered a 1km circuit with nice variation. Grass, hardpack, gravel and asphalt were experienced over the 1000m. The asphalt could almost be completely avoided by running on hardpacked grass next to the path. A buffé dinner was included in the price at the nearby hotel Scandic Klarälven.

Bengt Engdahl and Maria Jansson set a blistering pace from start. Both had their setbacks. Maria slowed after a couple of hours and then worked her way into the race again, ultimately winning the womens class and coming fourth overall. Bengt ran out of juice after 4 hours but was at that point so far ahead that no-one could realistically challenge him. He ran to a course record of 73,199m. Up and comer Christer Backman ran a stable race for a convincing second in front of Andrew Tutt-Wixner. I was great to see 15 year olds Ellen Wärm and Julia Sköllerhag taking an interest in ultrarunning. Ellen made it 50km on her debút and Julia almost 45km. The race in Karlstad really showed that ultra running is fun for all ages. IF Göta have organised outdoor 6 hour races since 2009 and indoor 6 hour events since 2010.//

15 year old Ellen Wärm ran her ultra debút. Maria Jansson ran a super race.

1. Engdahl Bengt 2. Backman Christer 3. Tutt-Wixner Andrew 4. Jansson Maria 5. Eriksson Christoffer 6. Olausson Johan 7. Weckfors Andreas 8. Johansson Madeleine 9. Johansson Lars-Åke 10. Pinni Tomas

20 Sköllerhag Nordic Ultra #2 2011 Henrik went out hard behind him is Christoffer Eriksson.

LK TV-88 Tullinge SK Enskede Team UltraSweden LK Västra Frölunda SOK Knallen Linköping Löplabbet Solvikingarn IFK Nora

73 199 70 990 69 393 67 526 66 542 65 449 65 256 63 865 63 206 62 352

Bengt Engdahl led the race from the very beginning.

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Stockholm’s a treat in the summer.

LOCATION

Does your favourite area deserve a mention? Mail to: nordic.ultra@gmail.com.

Stockholm The city of forests

TEXT: Andrew Tutt-Wixner

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tockholm is in the middle of a running boom right now. There are people out running seemingly everywhere. Stockholm has heaps of trails in beautiful forested areas, even close to the centre of town. Get 5km outside the city centre and you can easily run 80% of the time among the trees. Many of the trails are undulating and it’s easy to find technical stuff if that’s what you’re into. Stockholm is hardly a place you travel to to go running, unless of course you’re going to run one of the many events. It’s kind of a place where you make do with what you’ve got. The forest is nice but there’s nicer forest in other parts of the country. There are a few half decent hills to run for example Hammarbybacken and Högdalstopparna but nothing compared to the areas bordering Norway. But again, you make do with what you’ve got. One thing they can boast is great cultural landskape, especially if you’re running with your eyes open. If you’re running south from the centre you can run on what is left of Stockholms original main roads Göta landsväg-Being the capital city, Stockholm has a large number of potential sparring partners. It’s not hard to find someone that’s at your level or better to develop with. There are some great running clubs here. For the social there’s the Södermalm club Linnéa IF. They have ultra specific trainings every now and then. For the more abitious marathon runners there’s clubs Hasselby, Studenterna and Enhörna. That’s not forgetting the ultraspecific Stockholm Ultradistansklubb. They have training weekends a few times a year and are a great crew. They’re also the driving force behind the great races Sörmland Ultra Maraton, Rogers Berg Tävling and Hammarby Alpine Maraton. Hammarbybacken is a popular hangout for the mountain runners that live in Stockholm. Nacka National Park is a great spot to strech out your legs on gravel roads and tracks. Unlike the smaller pockets of forest in Stockholm you could run here all day if you wanted to without doubling back. Same goes with the forest in Tyresö and Sörmlandsleden (part of a hiking path network that streches through Europe.)

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There are plenty of races on offer in Stockholm and surrounds. Here is a taste of what is on offer. H Årets sista långpass – 18 december – 60km. H Ursvik Ultra – 26 march – 75km. H Hammarby Alpine marathon – 19 november – 42km. H Rogers Berg Tävling – Four times a year – 10km H Täby Extreme Challenge– 14th April – 160 km. H SUM – 8 october – 50km H Lidingöultra – 28 april – 50km.//

Andrew Tutt-Wixner: ”Stockholm was the first place I ran properly. My friends that had been training regularly for quite a while took me with them around Brunnsviken, a classic 12km run near town. I couldn’t speak swedish which was ok because I wasn’t able to speak at all, I was breathing so heavily. All of my energy went into running fast enough to keep them within sight. I was hanging on for dear life.”

Trail tips H Hellasgården– Good trails pretty close to town. Here you can go as hard or as easy as you want.

H Ursvik – A nice trail system north of town. H Brunnsviken – A Stockholm classic for people that live north of the centre.

H Hammarbybacken – Stockholms classic spot for hill repeats and even skiing in the winter.

H Högdalstopparna – A much less popular ski hill that offers good variation.

Go far enough out of town and you can find real forest roads.

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Maranic in Horogodo

Stefan Samuelsson spiced up his trip to Asia with a unique Japanese ultra TEXT AND PHOTOS:

Stefan Samuelsson TRANSLATION: Andrew Tutt-Wixner

T

his part of my North Asian adventure started in Nagoya when I checked in at Sauna and Capsule Well be. I had always wanted to live at a capsule hotel and now’s my chance. It only cost 290 crowns and included three types of sauna and a luxury spa department. The morning after I was to travel to Hirogodo to run in the Gansosyakutori. A year earlier when I had decided to travel to Japan I started looking searching the internet about Japanese ultrarunning races. I sure they were around but all their homepages were in Japanese. I sent an email on a whim and had the good luck of contacting Aki Inoue-San, one of Japans biggest ultrarunners. He has won the classic Colac Six Day Race in Australia, run 323km in a 48 hour and competed in the Western States Endurance Run among other things. Japan together with USA, Korea and Australia are true long distance Meccas. I hoped that my dream of running in Japan would become a reality now. Aki Inoue doubted my plans, July was the warmest month of the year and there were hardly any races. Eventually he found two, though one of them was a threeday trail race, that was out of the question. I can hardly read a map of my own home city, I have no place reading maps in Japans wilderness. The other place was a Maranic, I could hardly believe my luck. A Maranic is a combination of a marathon and a picnic. You run far and eat a lot, what’s not to like? The first day was 45km uphill starting at 11am. The second day we started at 3.30am ran 90km with only 22km uphill. Perfect! Aki organised all the practical details like directions and the application. He even offered to pay, even though he didn’t know who I was: “You can give me money when you come to Japan”. I asked my friend Japanese friend Niko to wire him the money instead. I met Aki the day before travelling to Nagoya. I managed to buy him a coffee during his lunch break at the Tokyo Hospital. He talked about vertical gain, tactics and technicalities before the race. We talked about races that we have both run and friends that we have in common. The ultra world is small. He told me how important it is to drink, “Must drink to avoid certain death, very hot” – it surely can’t be that hot? I thank Aki for all his help and told him that without it I would never have had the opportunity of racing in Japan.”Of course, no problem”. Typical Japanese, possibly the friendliest people I’ve met. I took the train the day after, according to my instructions to Ogaki. There I met Koshita Makoto, Aki had organised this. He led me through a couple of train changes all the way to the start in Hirogodo. Koshita had been there before. His ultra career was 20 years old. He had crossed both Japan (3371km) and USA (4967km) by foot. He was in a hurry as he was running the longer version of Gansosyakutori where you run 54km the first day instead of 45km as well as climbing a higher peak. I wondered why Aki hadn’t entered me into the longer race, Koshita answered, “Maybe too hard”. Phht, I would’ve made that, I thought.

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In hindsight maybe it was a good thing I didn’t run the longer race, there were only a few runners that ran at my pace. It would have been hard to navigate the unmarked route. My plan was to follow the other runners. There were over 300, I was bound to find someone to run with. Compare these figures to Swedens next biggest marathon which draws a little over 200 people. When I came to the race secretary I was approached by a journalist for an interview. It didn’t go that well, he and hardly anyone around me spoke English. Koshita helped out with a little translation before he rushed off to his 9.30 start. When I collected my start number I was given two bottles of local rosé wine, an excellent water belt as well as a handful of directions in Japanese. Everything had been perfectly organised so far and would continue so during the race. Before the start the Mayor and politicians held speeches and presented the runners that had run all 14 years. At one point it was completely silent with all eyes aimed at me. Someone pointed to me and gestured for to come up onto the stage. I stood before the crowd and was applauded along with the heroes.

” ’Must drink to avoid certain death, very hot’. It surely couldn’t be that hot” During the speeches most of us stood in the shade and chatted. One guy was dressed up as spiderman, which seemed fun but maybe a little warm. Next time I saw him he’d changed clothes. Another had a traditional rice hat on which was actually really smart, it was damn hot! I was dressed in a singlet and short shorts. I couldn’t understand why everyone had long armed shirts and long tights. Their logic would soon become clear to me. A photographer took lots of photos of me during the race, almost like a personal photographer, turning up often during the race. After the ceremony everyone knew my name. “Stephan Sweden!”or “Stephan Finland!”, they couldn’t speak any more English than that. Despite the fact that the race was mostly a social picnic there were elite runners that set off at a good rate of knots. I took it easy, running the first 10km in just under an hour. We came to a Shinto temple where you showed respect by clapping your hands twice and bowing a little. Then tea and water was served. I was well taken care of at all the drink stations. The days 45km was uphill all the way but only slightly. There was an drink station every third kilometer with food, ice, drinks and lollies. I took a handful of ice and put it up my shirt and in my hat. I was forced to do this at every station because of the

Running joy!

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heat. I drank a lot of sport drink and green tea but the energy only lasted 2km or so before I got dizzy and had to slow down. I was forced to watch my sodium and potassium levels constantly. I you sweat away too much salt then your body compensates by getting rid of water. The natrium in the blood becomes too low and the level of water in your blood too high. You then suffer from lack of salt and dehydration at the same time. Even though you may be drinking properly. It causes headaches, tiredness and cramps. Hyponatremi is deadly, you can literally poison yourself with water. I didn’t know anything about that then. Did I get enough sugar and water? I made sure that I snacked at every station so it wasn’t a problem. I was forced to check my degree of consciousness. Was I thinking clearly? Was I thinking at all? A few times I probably wasn’t. Was was I doing out in the middle of the Japanese wilderness in forty degree heat under the intense sun? I knew exactly what I was doing. I was running in an exotic and beautiful country and was ecstatic over being out running with the ultra-crazy Japanese. The scenery was beautiful, changing between picturesque villages and deep valleys, small waterfalls and beautiful bridges. I even saw two baboons. Even though it was “only” 45km, the high humidity and the cloud free sky made for tough running. I had a headache and managed to get headache tables through gesturing. A doctor drove by now and then with passengers lying down. The next time he drove by he had my pills. Despite the warmth and the humidity I was making progress. Every 10km went by after an hour and a bit. The finish line coincided with a festival in Sakauchi. It was clearly visible and audible as I approached the finish. In fact it was hard to see the finish line at all due to the enormous amount of people, happy people. My watch showed 4 hours 58 minutes, I sprinted the last bit, crashing into a happy seven year old who’d just bought an ice cream. The boy started to fall but remarkably I managed to save both the boy and the ice cream. I come in with 41 seconds to spare as 49th man. I sat and waited for a shower for what felt like forever while at the same time sharing the sense of satisfaction with the other participants. We had done something big and important. I never found out what the big and important thing was, but the feeling sat with me for a long time. Maybe it was the fact that I had done something unusual and unique (or dumb) and it suited me. All of the runners got a food ticket by the arrangers to eat for at the festival for. I chose a few fried potatoes, a cool drink and some noodles for my 1000 yen. At the edge of the festival waited a bus that would take us to the hall that would house us that night. I spent the night sitting in the Japanese night savouring the

The food table.

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days events. I try to stretch and read a little. There were many who were curious about me but the language barrier made deeper conversation difficult. A meal of rice and fruit was served at suppertime. I wondered if the blanket that we were given was to be used as a matress or a blanket (I compromised, half of the blanket was under me and the other half over). There were a lot of people in the hall, it was just as exciting as being at a train station. There you wonder where everyone is from and where they’re going. Here you wonder which races people have run. Many had marathon tshirts on. Many had run Transeurope Footrace, I even saw a lady with a Trans South America Tshirt! I tried to get to sleep early but the noise level was high and I was much too excited to sleep. They finally turned the lights off around midnight and I finally found peace. But not a whole lot of quiet. People got up to go to the toilet all night while some talked and some ate. They turned on the lights at two in the morning and started serving breakfast. Some people had already packed up and had started eating. I laid there a long time feeling sorry for myself. My legs were like two lumps of concrete and my skin was sore everywhere from sunburn (my tan lines were visible for months after). The little amount of suncream I had with me wouldn’t have been enough, it was too late now anyway. A half hour more and I would have ended up with serious burns. I came to the start quite late and before I knew it we had started. I actually felt pretty good and enjoyed running in the cool night. I like running at night, it feels exciting and a little crazy. At home I always meet partiers on their way home at the same time as morning newspapers are being delivered to stores. Here there was nothing more than beautiful nature that I couldn’t see. At the first station it was incredibly hot despite the fact that it was only four in the morning. I started cooling myself with ice again. The first 10km went in an easy 70 minutes and the next at an even easier at 90 minutes. Then we came to a small mountain that we had to ascend. At the top we would turn around, then it was 70km downhill back to the start. At the drink station we were given extra water and gloves so that we didn’t hurt our hands. “Mountain very steep”. Finally it was time for some real off road running. So far we had mostly been running on small roads and paths but now I didn’t take more than a few steps at a time without a turn, a stream to cross, a rocky section or a steep climb. Wonderful. I flew along for several minutes passing a few people before I understood why we had been given gloves. Rope had been laid out so that we could make it up the hill, running wasn’t an option here. The race had to turned into a line of gasping mountain climbers. Despite the fact that it was only 1500m up the mountain it took an eternity, but a very exciting eternity. We needed to be on guard the entire time so that we didn’t fall but we managed to enjoy the view anyway; tight jungle with a few mountain peaks that were sometimes visible between the foliage. At the end of the climb we descended a couple of hundred meters to a lake in the valley where we ran along a boardwalk to the temple and turning point by lake Yashagaike. I didn’t stay long by the lake, just a few seconds and a photo before I left. The way down took just a long as the way up if not longer and naturally more difficult. At the times when were were nearly mountain climbing on the way up now involved a queue to the abseil down. Some people fell, many paused but I think that everyone was in good spirits. I felt good and passed a lot of people on the few occasions that it was possible. When I came down to the drink station again it had taken 90 minutes, it was only 3km! I continued in the nearly 100% humidity. The pace was even but terribly slow – over an hour and a half per 10km. I stopped and ate at every drink station and cooled myself with ice and water. I took a few five minute snoozes but despite this and my lack of pace I wasn’t getting overtaken by many people. I was ticking off the kilometers but when when it

” I was ecstatic over being out running with the ultra-crazy Japanese.”

The author, having a great time on the road.

started taking more than 90 minutes to complete 10km I started to worry that I might not make it. It would be a catastrophe and I couldn’t let it happen, but at the same time there wasn’t much I could do about it. I drank enough and walked when I needed to but I couldn’t run any quicker. At the 93km mark I calculated that if I kept running at this pace then I wouldn’t make it to the finish within the allocated 15½ hours. This was alarming, there was almost 42km left. I felt a little relieved when I managed to pull myself together and run the next 10km in 1hr 20min. The feeling quickly disappeared when the next 10km took 1hr 50min! I was in Japan to meet some friends that I had met in Australia 16 years ago. Beforehand I had travelled to China and North/ South Korea for a couple of weeks. I had decided to focus on my holiday rather than the ultra race. As a result of this, at the start of this race I hadn’t trained for nearly a month. Now I was paying for it. My legs were stiff, my heart/ lungs were bad and my shins hurt. I was in pretty bad shape. I realised again that I probably wasn’t going to make it to the finish before it closed. I had used up all of my reserves, there was nothing I could do. Maybe it was the promised rain that finally arrived at km 117 but I finally managed to up the pace a little. I love rain. It could also have something to do with the fact I was forced to be in Nagoya by 21:30, that’s when the last train to Tokyo left. I was then to connect to Saitama, which was four hours further down the rails. When there were only 10km left I was running 8min pace and the last few kilometers were at a speedy 6min pace. I overtook around fifty people at the end, it wasn’t too hard, most people were staggering. Many didn’t make it in time.

At the start/ finish area in Hirogodo there was another festival in full swing. It was hard to know where to go due to the sheer amount of human traffic but people were on hand to help. I made it to the finish line under the thunder of a Japanese Drum Orchestra and a lightning storm of camera flashes. I was interviewed again in the finish area and was given a prize and a ticket to the spa. I got a trophy because I’d come from so far afield. I ran the 89.6km in 14hours and 23minutes in forty degree heat and a wicked 96% humidity. I came among the first hundred almost an hour before the cut-off time. Running in Japan had been fantastic. When I read about the Sakuramichi Nature Run (the Japanese equivalent to Spartathlon) fifteen years ago I never thought that I’d one day participate in a Japanese race. The positive experience continued behind the finish line where a Japanese onsen lay. Several warm spas with differing temperatures. I let my body heal in the warm pool and let it be shocked in the cold one. I enjoyed their sauna and washed off the Japanese dirt by a shower table, sitting on a low stool. I experienced this with the other participants. We had all worked hard today, no words were needed. Ultrarunning is huge in Japan though I don’t understand how they find the time to train. Most people work over twelve hours a day, sometimes six days a week, fifty weeks a year. Perhaps it is because of this tough work climate that so many participate in extreme sports here. Mind you there are many Japanese people, approx. 127 million. Aki told me that he trains after work at 10pm. Most people have one or two hours travel time to work – one way. Koshita Makoto was once forced to quit his job to be able to participate in a race in USA, he couldn’t get time off. // Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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The infamous canal.

l e e t S f o e f i W A

l a n a C n o i n U d n a r G e Th m k 3 3 2 – e c Ra

All too often race reports only mention the bravado and pain of the runner. This time it’s all about the support. PHOTOS AND TEXT:

Laila Öjefelt

TRANSLATED BY:

Andrew Tutt-Wixner

M

y alarm clock rings at 5am. I have hardly slept at all, afraid that I won’t wake up when the alarm goes off. I get up straight away and get dressed. I make Krister porridge on the window sill, the supporting has begun. I serve the porridge with stewed apple, milk and orange juice. 40 minutes later we’re on our way to the start. I feel rushed even though it’s not far at all, I’m probably just nervous. We meet a few other Swedes and Norwegians at the start area. Krister and I talk a little about the race and what I’m going to be doing and PANG! The start pistol goes. I feel a little worried being alone in England. Is it just because I’m going to be driving on the left? Or that I’m not going to be able to find any food? Or ...? I walk back to the hotel room and eat a meal of yoghurt and muesli standing up. I feel stressed even though I should have two hours to get me to the first checkpoint. I pack as fast and as practically as I can. I have to go down to the parking garage twice. It takes me nearly an hour until I’m ready to leave. How could it take such a long time? I feels wrong to sit in the ’wrong’side of the car. I turn out onto the road and stop to enter the first coordinates in the cars GPS. I drive tentatively out. The GPS directs me to drive in the wrong direction. The runners ran right and I drive left. It seems crazy and I get seriously worried. I decide to see where the road leads me. To try and direct myself using the map doesn’t appeal to me. It’s raining. It doesn’t matter to me but I feel sorry for the runners already. The GPS spat me out into a residential area. I feel lost but I see a pile of cars with the yellow groups ’support’stickers which calms me down. I made it. I pack the bag with everything I’ll need and everything that I think that Krister could possibly want and I start walking. I walk quite a long way to get down to the canal. There’s a lot of people there. Some people are standing under the bridge to escape the rain, I squeeze myself in by the narrow path, behind me could almost be described as rainforest. I unpack the camping kitchen and start the days first cooking. It’s pasta carbonara. The runners that pass are in good spirits, they joke that they want the food. Some even offer money for it. Soon comes my runner, he eats most of the food and seems to enjoy the running. I walk with him a bit so that he can walk and eat. Then he disappears along the canal. I demolish the leftovers, I’m already hungry. I wash the dishes, pack up and walk back to the car. I unpack the bag and put everything back to

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it’s designated place. I have decided where everything should be so that the car is organized so I can quickly access fluids, food, snacks, medicine, clothes and shoes. I punch the next checkpoint into the GPS. Krister was almost 20 minutes earlier than scheduled to the first checkpoint so I change the future times in the checkpoint list to reflect this. I’m still a little nervy about driving on the wrong side but the GPS reminds me kindly to drive on the left. I’m thankful for that, I really need it. I’m nervous about finding my way too but the coordinates prove to be accurate over the whole competition. Despite that it still isn’t easy to find the way because sometimes you don’t see the canal at all. The darkness at night makes navigation even harder. At one place I was wandering by the road with a headtorch before I found the stairs down to the canal. Sometimes there’s nowhere to park so I’m forced to park illegally. Sometimes I am forced to walk quite a long way to get to the service points. It rains for most of Saturday. It shows on the runners. Most of them become quiet and reclusive after a few hours. They droop their heads and jog along, drifting into their own world, a world where I’m sure it’s not raining. It’s raining cats and dogs. How can it rain so much for so long? After a few checkpoints the damp starts to work its way into my clothing. Everything starts getting wet and cold even though I can sit in a warm car between service stations. After a while I come into the routine. Unpack, get the camping stove going, cook food or soup, serve Krister when he comes, give him salt tablets, fill up his drink bottle, give him Vaseline or compeed, help change clothes, follow along for a bit and give a pep talk, walk back alone, eat leftovers if there is any, wash the dishes, pack up, organize, mix cordial, note times, punch in new coordinates and drive away. I stop at a shop to get hold of more water and drinks. Krister said before the race that he wanted to drink water but my drink tastes much better so that’s the one that goes. There aren’t many shops, I hardly see any even though I sometimes go out of my way to look. I eventually find a petrol station that I can buy some drinks from. After a while I found a big supermarket where I buy sausage (and then make a stroganoff with) and Swedish meatballs that Krister will eat with mashed potatoes, lots of water and beverages, some bananas, peanuts and chocolate. Krister doesn’t complain at all and after a while I reach a calm where I believe that the support will flow along nicely ... Unfortunately that

doesn’t happen. He is tired of wet clothes and wants to change, just when I’m standing away from the car without a change of clothes. I figured that I wouldn’t take them with me so as not risk getting them wet. I end up running back to the car to fetch the dry clothes while Krister stands dripping wet under a tree slightly grumpy. After this my mood sinks and I feel sad and disappointed in myself. It doesn’t matter that I’ve done the right thing ninety nine times out of a hundred, it’s the hundredth time that he needs me. He wants to change socks now, he sends his soaked wool socks over to me with the words, ’dry them, I might want them again later’. I squeeze out the water as best I can and wonder how I’m going to be able to do this. There are no seat warmers in the car so I can’t put them there. What am I going to do? I put the socks inside my jumper against my warm stomach and back and then his wet shirt on the outside of it all. It’s the only way that I can think of to dry the clothes. After this I smell like foot sweat for two days until I can take a shower and froze like a dog the whole night. The thought that really sucks is that he didn’t even want the socks later! But he did use the shirt again and by that point it was warm and cozy again. In the evening the rain eases. After every third portion of food that I give Krister his stomach gives up and he gets nauseous. After this I start serving him blueberry soup and hot chocolate, hoping it will sit better. But he’s not interested in warm food at all. I am obviously a little worried and don’t know if I should force him to eat or not. I decide to wait. When the night falls he sends me to a checkpoint further away so I can sleep a little. It is well needed as I am starting to have

” I put the wet socks inside my jumper against my warm stomach.” trouble focusing my eyes or even just keeping them open. I end up by a shopping centre and have no idea where the canal is. I’m out running looking for it when Krister rings. His headtorch has given up and right now he’s running with someone else but I need to get to the next checkpoint as soon as possible. I sigh tiredly; I had my heart set on sleep. I feel worn out physically but even mentally. I’m on full alert constantly so that everything works and that Krister feels my support. I’ve stupidly forgotten to take care of myself. Krister rings again, his headtorch is working now. I drive to the next checkpoint anyway to serve hot chocolate and some snacks. I walk down to the canal, it’s pitch black and completely silent. I think I hear a dragging noise. No, I’m just imagining things. I concentrate instead on taking the camping stove and matches out of its bag. Luckily I’ve managed to keep the matches dry. I remember that I was warned by another crew about the “camping people”, apparently they chased runners last year. I try to push those thoughts out of my head but now I’m completely sure that I hear breathing behind me. I turn around and light up a half toothless homeless man. He looks like he is taken right out of “Midsummer Murders”. What are all the runners doing with headlamps along the canal in the middle of the night? He asks nicely. We talk for a Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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Typical English weather.

while, while I discreetly glance down into my bag to see if there’s anything worth stealing. When I look it just lights up everything so I give up. I light the stove so I won’t mess up my timing. The man says goodbye and explains that he walks the canals at night and sleeps during the day. He wanders on until the darkness swallows him up. I don’t think anymore about him right then but later I wonder if he walks the whole night to keep warm, it saddens me. We in the developed world have it so easy. We travel all the way to England, live in hotels and hire a car to entertain ourselves by running 145 miles. Others live for a few moments of happiness and warmth. It’s the luck of the draw. Krister comes into the next checkpoint mentally low. The night is at its darkest now and it’s damp and cold along the canal. He complains of dizziness and nausea. I try to get him to drink something warm but he wants to change clothes and look after his feet first. I notice that he has a harder time now because he’s a little whiny and everything has to come in the right order and be there when he asks for it. I try to serve him dry clothes, lubricate his feet and keep the drink warm at the same time. Eventually he gets into the car wanting me to wrap him up. It is windy as I try and wrap him up in one of the sleeping bags. I glad that I chose the warmer of the two for Krister as he starts shivering from the cold. I sit in the car and crank up the heater to max. He falls asleep after two minutes and stops shaking. His calm breathing helps me to distress but not completely. I am completely aware that it is up to me to get Krister out there again. I want to pamper him and let him sleep until he wakes up by himself but I can’t. I wake him up after ten minutes. I feel brutal but not mean. I am a

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Nordic Ultra #2 2011

woman with a mission, to get my runner to the finishline! There is nothing else. He complains of dizziness again and asks for ten more minutes. I wake him up ten minutes later and encourage him to get going again. I follow him for a moment while he drinks his soup. I am concerned that Krister might fall into the canal. He’s tired, it’s dark and he’s dizzy, a nasty combination. What a caring wife, forcing him out into the night like that. What must he think of me?

” He’s tired, it’s dark and he’s dizzy, a nasty combination.” I see Kristers headtorch sway along the edge of the canal before it disappears completely after a corner. We are both alone in the late hours of the night. Full speed to the next checkpoint, Grand Junction Arms. Dawn is upon us. I’m starting to see badly and I realize that I can’t take much more. I walk along the canal to meet Krister. I haven’t dared do this earlier in the race as I haven’t been sure which side of the canal I’d find him. But now the people at the checkpoint point in the right direction. After a while Krister rings and asks where he is. Umm ... in England? Somewhere along the canal. I come to a crossing but don’t dare continue. Instead I wait ... and wait and become worried. Can he have gotten lost? He eventually arrives. I’m so happy to see that his spirits have lifted. He says that he is tired but it is no longer a matter of IF he will make it to the finish but WHEN. Krister still doesn’t want to eat much, he crawls back into

A hungry Krister roaming the canals.

the car and I wrap him up again. Just like during the night he falls asleep almost straight away. I set the alarm clock to ring in 20 minutes and sleep myself sitting down in the driver’s seat shivering. Just as the alarm rings a man comes to remind us that we can’t stay for much longer. A few minutes later Krister gets going again, I start crying out of happiness and relief. Now I’m completely convinced that he’s going to make it all the way. Not that I doubted his ability at any point but it just feels more real now. I give myself 20 minutes more sleep before I set off towards the next control. I am very hungry so I demolish a meal of muesli and what’s left of the yoghurt. For the rest of the day I snack on peanuts and drink water now and then. At the next checkpoint I meet a man and his daughter. The daughter is complaining that all this is hard on her. She says that she served her runner all day yesterday, slept during the night and now has to work today too. She then realizes that I’ve been going since 5am the morning before and we both laugh heartily. I drive past a McDonalds and turn around on a dime. I go in and buy a hamburger, my heart sings. It’s one of these that Krister has been talking about during the race and preferably several. Imagine how happy he’s going to be when he gets one especially since he hasn’t wanted anything that I have offered him for several hours now. I have to swallow my disappointment later on at the checkpoint when he isn’t interested in eating the hamburger. He eats even though he doesn’t want to, I feel happy that he’s eating again even if it is just a little. It becomes obvious that we are nearing London. The traffic is becoming thicker, I get stuck several times. At the last checkpoint my brain isn’t working at all. I try to find a parking spot but the map doesn’t match what I see at all, it is hopeless! I finally

find a spot by the sidewalk where I can squeeze the car in. I pack the bag with everything that Krister will need to get him to the finish line. There’s 10km left for him to run. I’m going to run by his side. I find my way down to the water and march in Krister´s direction to meet up with him. I realize I don’t know what side I’m going to meet him, I can’t work out the map. I have been going for 36 hours, I can’t really think straight at all. I meet a fresh looking Krister after about two km. He says that he’s tired but he doesn’t look it. Because we don’t really know how long there is left and neither of us has a GPS we don’t know what speed we are moving at. I tell him that we should make it in under 36 hours but I feel unsure and try to push Krister by upping the pace a little. Krister complains twice telling me to slow down as I am running too fast. I feel frustrated. Towards little Venice and the finish line we pass three runners, the last on the final stretch. All of the tiredness is blown away, Krister is flying along but I don’t want to run next to him over the finish line, it’s his accomplishment. Tears stream from my eyes. There is a small group by the finish cheering him on. He gets a medal and they take photos. He looks fresh! I give him money for a taxi back to the hotel, and me ... I walk back up the canal where we came from. It is an anticlimax. I realize that I’ve hardly slept or eaten since yesterday morning. I have a headache and I feel sick. The shadows start getting longer and dodgy people start gathering along the waterfront. I start to count the bridges. I know that I’m heading for bridge twenty two, it’s going slowly. Then I recognize myself, but it’s only bridge twelve? I run past it then stops shortly after. I’ve run too far! I sit in the car and enter the hotels address into the GPS. It Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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Krister looking happy with his medal doesn’t exist! I ring the hotel and they suggest that I write in Paddington Station. But that’s several kilometers from the hotel. I’m tired, hungry and feel really bad at this stage and now I have to navigate my way through central London in peak hour traffic. Oh yeah and all the cars drive on the opposite side! A tear actually gathers in my eye. This is the end of me as a human. And poor Krister in the hotel room. He’s probably just showered but is without a change of dry clothes. He won’t get any food if I don’t get through this. Otherwise I would have stopped the car right there it was and slept! I am saved by my brother in laws GPS. He guides me to the hotel over the phone from Sweden without a problem. I drive on the hotel road and wonder what I would do if I met a car here. The road is very narrow and has cars parked on both sides. It was only when I parked I did realized that it was a one way street! I enter the hotel, a nice hotel but I don’t care at this point. I am dressed in running clothes and smell like footsweat. As soon as I come in through the door my heavy bag is taken from me despite my protests and is carried up to my room. There I meet Krister, stiff but surprisingly sprightly. I feel a hundred years older. After a long awaited shower Krister buys me dinner at the hotel then I go straight to bed. Did I sleep well? Nope, I just saw the road rolling before me, mile after mile. But Krister made it and that’s the reason for all this. Mission accomplished! //

Attacking the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc TEXT:

Linda Andersen

W

TRANSLATED BY:

Andrew Tutt-Wixner

hen I met my husband in ’94 he said that he ”ran a little”. He ran 20–30 kilometers a week, just around the block at home. Running would definitely never be something for me but I let him be. I didn’t interest myself in his running, he got some time to himself, perfect! I got annoyed sometimes that he wanted to run, I thought that we could take a walk in town instead. ”I’m going to run Stockholm Marathon”, he declared sometime in 2001. When I heard the word marathon I thought, ”that’s really far”. I remember how worried I was when I saw him off. How would he manage to run so far? He isn’t an elite runner. What if he collapses? How would I make it up to Stockholm if he needed me? The worry in my stomach grew. He finished the race! He told me when he came home that he had run with a cold and a coarse throat. My worries grew, one day he would collapse on the trail, I was sure of it. He was pushing his luck, he’s going to injure himself and won’t be able to run at all. Doesn’t he have limits? The years passed and he ran further and further on his training runs. He started talking about ”ultra”. I didn’t understand the point in running so far. He started with a race, a six hour then Havsbadsloppet (approx. 60km). He had a dream about running really far. My worries didn’t get any smaller over time, only greater. The longer he would run the more I would worry about something happening to him. I could see before me that one day he would push beyond his limits and fall lifeless to the ground. It can’t be healthy to run so far. The worst was when he was going to run GAX 50 in 2009. It was a night time trail race. We made maps and put out numbers along the track. At each number he was to send me an SMS to tell me which one he had passed. I can promise you that I didn’t get much sleep that night. How could I sleep while my husband was out in the forest, alone, running among trees, roots, rocks and streams? What if he falls and breaks something? What if he runs out of energy and gets lost in the forest? How it went? Yep, he

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TRANSLATED BY:

Andrew Tutt-Wixner

It is often dubbed Europes toughest trail race. The normally 166km long race with 9500m of thigh numbing climbs.

A supporting wife tells all TEXT:

Camilla Ringström

made it to the finish without too many blisters, a little tired and worn out but happy. Suddenly things began to change. I blame two things. Firstly I had started to run. His interest for running had actually rubbed

” One day he would collapse on the trail, I was sure of it. He was pushing his luck.” off on me. It only took thirteen years. The other reason came when he was running TEC 100 miles 2010. Half way through the night he changed to 75 miles when we felt that he wouldn’t be able to run the whole 100. There I realised that even my husband, an ultrarunner has boundaries. It’s just that they have stretched their boundaries beyond that of normal around-the-block runners. It is only now that I have begun to relax. I have accepted that he knows his limits and will pull out before he hurts himself. Nowadays we share an interest of running. I still write kilometers after my training runs, he writes in tens of kilometers (mil). Now I support him in his crazy adventures. His last one was TransScania. I read the map thoroughly and noted where I could meet up with him with food and water. One weekend I drove him 2½ hours one way so that he could run the last section as a recon trip. Me and the kids ate some buns then picked him up and drove 2½ hours home again. I supported him as much as I could. Again I received confirmation that even ultrarunners have limits. He was forced to give up after 120km. Not exactly normal limits. One day in the future I hope that we can take long runs together. Maybe I should try a six hour? It would be fun to see how far I can push myself. Now I think it’s healthy to run far, you just have to listen to your bodies signals. //

T

he start and finish are by Place Triangle de l’Amitié in central Chamonix in the French Alps. This year nothing was ’normal’. The start was delayed by several hours by bad weather and the route was changed to 170km and 9714 vertical difference. An exceptionally tough ’toughest trail race’ in other words. After starting in the dark with pouring rain och cold temperatures we were met with a warm and sunny saturday. The difference of wind strength and temperature were pronounced. It felt like we had experienced four seasons in one afternoon when we reached Courmaveur in Italy with hardly half of the course covered. This is also where the only drop bag is sent and where the chance to rest, eat real food and change clothing are. I made the most of the first two before it was time to literally reach new heights and brave another cold and windy night. I have never run so few kilometers in such a long time as on that saturday night and never have I been so nervous as I was on the way to the highest point of the trail, Grand col Ferret (2537m). After that trial I was convinced that I was going to make it to the finish even though there were many meters left to climb and hours of running ahead of me. I had always considered UTMBs 46 hour limit generous, but I learnt that if you want to make the finish here you can’t be hanging around. On sunday I was met with sunshine and 30 degrees of searing warmth while running the last of the hills on the way to Chamonix. At this point we were tired of the French delicacies at the stations, I prioritized getting my water balance back in check. The last kilometers of running through Chamonix could have made even the most hardened of ultrarunners shed a tear of joy. The encouraging cheers we received warmed my soul and made me feel that I had really accomplished something above the ordinary. Unbelievably tired and happy I made a bee line for the hotel, took off my shoes and clothes for the first time in two days. Honestly, they smelt like a cheese shop! After having showered I could hardly keep my eyes open. I totally crashed! I feel incredibly happy and proud to be among the 1131 runners that finished the race this year. More than half of the runners didn’t make the finish. Of ten swedes, five made it to the finish. //

Camilla Ringström 58th place 44:07:58 Camilla on her way into Chamonix.

Photo: Jörgen Berglund

Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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THOSE IN THE KNOW

Send an email to nordic.ultra@gmail.com if you have a question.

RUNNING IN THE HEAT

Don’t let the sun get you down TEXT:

Andrew Tutt-Wixner

PHOTO:

PEK, Jättelångt

The heat has a knack for beating the living daylights out of runners. It sucks us dry, burns our skin and generally makes running hard, uncomfortable work. You can’t fight heat like you can the cold, it’s a matter of accepting that you’re going to be hot and adjusting your behaviour to minimise the effects. HWhat is your water strategy?

How many litres do you go through an hour? A: I drink as a rule 600 ml/hour if I sweat a lot I drink a little more. J: In normal conditions I drink about 0,6-0,8 l/hour, in hot conditions naturally more, depending on the temperature, length of the race etc. Usually I don’t drink much plain water, I prefer sports drinks, mineral water (because of minerals and salt) and cola etc. N: In Marathon des Sables we got 10.5 liters every day. We got between 1.5 and 3 liters at each water station. So my strategy was to have water left at the next station. It would be a crisis if I ran out of water between the stations. It was around. 11-13 km between the stations. When I’m running in Norway is not too hot, so I don’t need so much water. Between 0.3 – 0.5 liters.

H What do you do about your salt in-

take? A: I have been using Hammer Endorlytes a few years now and I no longer need to think of extra salt. I take two capsules every hour. If I sweat a lot i take three. J: I usually take couple of salt pills during the race, if the weather is warm I might add some salt in my drinks too. N: In the desert we were recommend to take 20 salt tablets each day. In the beginning and the end I took fewer but on the longest stages I took 20. In other races I have never used salt tablets before, I have taken little salt in the water or in the sports drink.

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HDo you cover up to avoid the sun or

strip down? A: Both. I cover my head and neck but the rest of the body is rather exposed. J: I like to cover up my head, neck and shoulders if there is direct sunlight. N: Strip down. In the desert I used a special Sahara cap to cover the neck.

Our experts

H Do you wet your clothing to cool

Andreas Falk (A): Has been pumping out good results for years and is Swedens only full time ultramarathon athlete.

down? A: I use coolmates products and I wet them when I need to. J: Not much, I may wet my cap and shirt, but not more. Wetting one’s clothes also increases the risk for blisters and friction, especially wet shoes and socks may cause lots of trouble on long races. N: No, in the desert I ran in a merino wool shirt. Wool seems to breathe in hot weather.

H How much slower do you run if it’s say 30+? A: I don’t know in minutes or seconds but I always take the extra time to take care so I don’t burn out. I can go slower in the daytime and when the night comes i speed up. J: Much slower. It’s hard to say any exact numbers, but I’d estimate the difference between +10 and +30 degrees may be somewhere around 20-30 seconds per km. N: I do not know exactly, but I run a bit slower. In the desert, there was sand between my toes in addition to the 44 degrees.

H Do you change race tactics if it’s hot?

A: See previous question.

Jari Tomppo (J): The flying Finn. A face that you’ll recognise from article about Kaustinen. Holds the nordic 48 hour record.

Nina Annette Hongseth (N): The iron lady from Norway. Nina has successfully completed the demanding Marathon de Sables. J: Not necessarily. My race tactics are based mainly on listening to my body instead of following other runners, watching my heart rate monitor or following an exact time schedule. If my body in hot conditions tells me to slow down then I’ll do that. N: Yes, I take it a little slower and are careful to drink often.

H Would you rather compete in -10C or

+40C? A: Quick answer is -10c but give me a good fight in 40c and i will take it. J: -10C is much more familiar to me, but on the other hand it might be interesting to try something really extreme. Running

This years Jättelångt offered temperatures nearing 35 degrees. A quick shower cools the competitors. in -10C isn’t really an extreme for me. Yeah, I guess I’ll answer +40C. N: Hehe, it depends on which race it is. I liked to run in the desert, but I would try a marathon at the North Pole if I had the opportunity.

H Does the heat affect your eating habits when competing? A: Not really, I drink most of my energy. J: In hot conditions I don’t have much of an appetite for any solid foods, so a larger amount of energy should be taken in by drinking. N: In the desert, I had to eat anyway, but yes it affects me.

H Is running in the heat all about mental strength or are some people better suited?

H Would you take on Badwater if

”Give me a good fight in 40 degrees and I’ll take it.” A: Both. I know people who say they can’t race in heat or cold and they have made up their mind. If you believe it, it will be true. But of course if you are from a hot country you will be better prepared to race in a hot race. J: Both. For some people it is just a mental challenge, but then there are runners who really suffer physically in hot conditions. N: For me, coming from ”cold” Norway , it’s about mental strength. I also believe that some are better suited to it.

you were given the chance? A: Show me the entry :-) J: I’m not particularly interested in participating on that race, but if “given the chance” means “all costs carried out by someone else” then I’d bite the bullet, but to be honest I don’t believe I’ll ever participate in Badwater. N: Yes, of course!! I would love to take on Badwater.

H Do finns have an advantage in

the heat considering their sauna culture? J: I don't believe so. We have long and cold winter, so people here are more used to running and working in cold than in hot, despite the sauna culture.// Nordic Ultra #2 2011

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CALENDER

Send an email to nordic.ultra@gmail.com if you have a race for the calender.

October 1st Holaveden Ultra (SWE) 1st Nordmarka Ultra Challenge (NOR) 7th Magredi Mountain Trail (Italy) 8th Sörmland Ultramarathon 50km (SWE) 21st Rodopi Ultra Trail (Greece) 22nd Markusloppet 50km (SWE)* 22nd Ultima Frontera 160 (Spain)

See more race s and events at ultramarathonrunning.com

November 6th Undheim 6 hour 11th Druid Ridgeway Ultra (England) 12th KUL Weekend in Halmstad (Swedish Ultra Association) 12th The Great North Walk 100 (Australia) 18th Prembrokeshire Coast Challenge (Wales) 19th Hammarby Alpin Marathon (SWE) 26th Bislett 24 hour (NOR) * Date unconfirmed – could change to 29th of October.

December 3rd Kepler Challenge . 60km (New Zealand) 9th

Coast to Kosciuszko - 240km (Australia)

10th Boavista Ultramarathon - 150km (Cape Verde) 18th The years last long pass - 60km (SWE) 18th MacRitchie Runners 25 - 12 hour (Singapore) 17th Ancient Oaks 100 mile (USA) 29th Across the years 72, 48, 24h (USA)

Lidingöultra 2011.

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Nordic Ultra #1 2011

Nordic Ultra #1 2011

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STATS

Send an email to nordic.ultra@gmail.com if you have an update for the list.

24h

38

Men

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

259,496 252,014 250,459 249,152 247,944 246,116 238,969 237,220 236,889 235,172 230,914 226,558 224,676 220,845 220,211 219,011 214,244 213,938 213,402 212,262 212,036 211,911 211,438 211,156 209,378 208,778 207,836 205,000 204,975 204,639 204,347 203,777 203,107 202,960 202,824 202,147 201,387 201,100 200,256 200,230 200,208 200,105

Bordus Dilmi Fontaine Morel Soikkeli Harruis Perttilä Dilmi Hietanen Lortal David Heskestad Cardoso Dias Warembourg Thoms Wedlarski Efflam Nirgi Haka Brauge Lattarico Frimann Albert Brechoire El Yaakoubi Kaminsky Poret Schwerk Bruno Osladil Galvan Isaac Puaud Berthier Kirkelund Kukko Ebbert Cockbain Krystallis Hilzinger Albacete Guyomarc’h Etiemble

Jean-Marc Ludovic Emmanuel Denis Jari Jean-Francois Petri Christian Juha Benoit Alain Per-Audun Daniel Philippe Stefan Stu Rudy Christian Ailar Timo Sakari Remi Piero Christian Sebastien Jean-Marc Mohamed Peter Jean-Claude Wolfgang Frederic Miroslav Fermin Fabrice Renaud Vagn Jyrki Norbert Mark Georgios Michael Didier Jean-Pierre Marc

1960 1965 1968 1973 1970 1959 1965 1966 1971 1965 1965 1955 1977 1961 1966 1979 1954 1966 1959 1970 1969 1959 1973 1965 1962 1977 1959 1955 1974 1952 1960 1968 1969 1967 1964 1959 1972 1968 1960 1963 1954 1971

FRA FRA FRA FRA FIN FRA FIN FRA FIN FRA FRA NOR FRA FRA GER FRA FRA EST FIN FRA FRA DEN FRA FRA MAR GER FRA GER FRA CZE ESP FRA FRA DEN FIN GER GBR GRE GER FRA FRA FRA

2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-04-16 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-01-08 2011-05-28 2011-04-24 2011-05-28 2011-04-16 2011-04-24 2011-04-09 2011-05-28 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-01-08 2011-01-29 2011-04-16 2011-01-29 2011-04-09 2011-04-16 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-04-09

Sene, France Sene, France Sene, France Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Brive, France Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Brive, France Brive, France Seilersee, Germany Sene, France Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Helsinki, Finland Brive, France Sene, France Aarhus, Denmark Roche La Moliere, France Brive, France Roche La Moliere, France Seilersee, Germany Sene, France Athens, Greece Roche La Moliere, France Brive, France Brive, France Sene, France Sene, France Aarhus, Denmark Helsinki, Finland Seilersee, Germany Helsinki, Finland Athens, Greece Seilersee, Germany Sene, France Sene, France St. Fons, France

Women

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

240,631 230,410 217,809 214,368 207,705 204,567 204,046 202,512 201,000 199,273 197,157 196,765 195,189 190,206 190,028 188,714 183,687 181,923 180,633

Inagaki Inagaki Glavin Peuch Bullig Sinisalo Suisse Guillauma Kudo Toivonen Tregou Bouly Ahlholm Vallivaara-Pasto Fourdrinier Sheehan Nystad Mäkinen Dessartine

Sumie Sumie Valerie Sylvie Cornelia Marjukka Laurence Florence Mami Mari Chantal Pascale Tuula Kristiina Ritva Sylvie Ruthann Vera Sari Stephanie

1966 1966 1975 1961 1959 1960 1964 1975 1964 1972 1969 1962 1962 1961 1957 1975 1945 1968 1974

JPN JPN IRL FRA GER FIN FRA FRA JPN FIN FRA FRA FIN FIN FRA IRL NOR FIN FRA

2011-01-29 2011-04-09 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-04-16 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-05-28 2011-04-09 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-01-29 2011-04-24 2011-01-29 2011-01-08 2011-01-29 2011-04-24

Helsinki, Finland Athens, Greece Helsinki, Finland Brive, France Seilersee, Germany Helsinki, Finland Sene, France Roche La Moliere, France Athens, Greece Helsinki, Finland Brive, France Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Helsinki, Finland Sene, France Helsinki, Finland Aarhus, Denmark Helsinki, Finland Sene, France

Nordic Ultra #2 2011

Animals that Ultra: Bar tailed Godwit

How long have the Worlds best run so far in 2011?

H It doesn’t look like much but this bird is a record breaker. Get this; it flies 11, 000km from New Zealand to the Yellow Sea in nine days without rest on its way to Alaska. They average 56km/h and fly 2km up in the air. “The birds were clinically obese after spending the summer in New Zealand but lost about half their bodyweight in each leg of the migration” says Phil Battley of Massey University. This bird is an absolute beast. //

In the next issue... H Jonas

Buud interview: send in your questions and we’ll try to answer them.

H Heskestads

24 hour in London.

H Animals

that ultra.

H Readers

stories from races around the world.

H And

more! Want to contribute? Send an e-mail to nordic.ultra@gmail.com.

Nordic Ultra #2 2011

39


! n o i t i t e p m

Co

WIN A PAIR OF X-KROSS GLASSES Compete in NordicUltra’s photo competition and you could be the lucky winner that gets to choose a frame and a lens from X-Kross. Send your best running related photo before the 31st of October 2011 to nordic. ultra@gmail.com for your chance to win. The best entries will be published in the next issue of the magazine. The jury will consist of the editor of NordicUltra and an X-Kross representative. The jury’s decision can not be overturned,

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Nordic Ultra #2 2011


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