TRAIL NEWS: GROSSLOCKNER ULTRA TRAIL provides a 2hr win + the ultimate hill session - w/ending 29/7/19

Cajsa writes:

What the past week might have lacked in big fancy races it more than made up for in non competitive performances, lets start with the ladies donning a bib though and a very fast time across Austrias highest peak. 


(Photo: Markus Fruhmann)

(Photo: Markus Fruhmann)

The profile of this punchy beaut of a route around the 3798 m tall Grosslockner is very similar to that of Eiger Ultra Trail and Grand Trail Courmayeure and is similarly favoured by local trail runners looking for a tune up race ahead of UTMB week. German runner Eva Sperger is usually found on the start line of the shorter more technical sky races but with a first attempt at a 100 miler in the mountains looming later in the summer she turned up to Grosslockner this weekend to test the high mileage legs and what a result she got. Not only did Sperger crush the women’s field with a two hour victory she also broke Kristin Berglund’s course record from last year with over 60 minutes AND as if that was not enough placed 3rd overall. Incredible running which puts the German runner high on the list of runners with potential to bag a top 10 at UTMB. 

Malene Hauky was second woman to the finish in 18:19, two and a half hours ahead of Anita Salvenmoser in third. 

1. Eva Sperger 16:03:13

2. Malene Hauky 18:19:49

3. Anita Salvenmoser 20:46:29

LAKELAND 50/100, 100 miles / 6300 m & 50 miles / 3100 m 

The circular long route of this ‘Ultra Tour of the Lake District’ covers pretty much every fell, bog and climb of the region that you’ve never heard off. Starting and finishing in Coniston it avoids the most popular summits and instead takes you along a scenic route following stunning untrodden paths of the Lakeland topography and navigation skills are mandatory for the entrants. The shorter race starts on the north side of Ullswater where from it joins the 100 mile course to the finish. 

On the 100 miler Anna Troup got a sweet revenge on her DNF at Ultra Trail Snowdonia earlier in the year as she ran home a comfortable 80 minute victory over Sharon Law in second after early leader Sabrina Verjee had to pull out with a troubling hamstring during the night. Hopefully Troup’s win is a sign that she is due a similar redemption on TDS (where she also DNF’ed in 2018) next month. Though Troup won with some margin it is worth to note that she was over 3 hours behind Verjees finishing time from last year. Rounding out the podium on the long course only four minutes behind Sharon Law with 27:44:28 was this years Spine Challenger runner up Jenny Yeo. 

On the 50 mile course the race was a much tighter one with only 15 minutes separating the three ladies of the podium.

2:50 road marathon runner and speedy triathlete Bethan Male took home the trophy in her first attempt at a more technical race closely followed by Carolyn Millican and Jess Gray. 


1. Anna Troup 26:19:27

2. Sharon Law 27:40:58 

3. Jenny Yeo 27:44:28


1. Bethan Male 09:26:02

2. Carolyn Millican 09:35:33

3. Jess Gray 09:41:41


(Photo by: Ian Coreless)

(Photo by: Ian Coreless)

Whilst most of the UK and European mainland suffered through a short but sweaty heatwave the isle of Eire was covered in clouds which sadly meant the runners of the third instalment in this years UK & Ireland Skyrunning series missed out on some great vistas. The relentless course of the Seven Sister Skyline runs mostly off piste over steep and rocky, sometimes even boggy terrain. Someone who clearly likes her courses on the gnarly side is Kasia Osipowicz who had a belter of a day out on the Irish mountain trails and could run unchallenged up front from start to finish. She beat second lady Rachael Nolan with nearly twenty-five minutes and is now in an overall lead in the women’s Skyrunner UK & Ireland series. Bernadette O’Kane took third place finishing just over ten minutes behind Nolan.    

1. Kasia Osipowicz 8:42:47

2. Rachael Nolan 9:06:51

3. Bernadette O’Kane 9:17:29

Next up on the UK & Ireland Skyrunning calendar is the new September addition to the series; Snowdon Skyline, a race put on by the man behind Ultra Trail Snowdonia; Michael Jones. 


Next week it is time for what is uncontestedly the most beautiful, but also most feared, race on the Northern European continent, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg’s own TROMSO SKY RACE. The 57 k long and very technical course across the ridge line of Hamperokken is part of the World Sky Race Series and attracts the most daring legs of the mountain running world. Two years ago Hillary Allen took a fall on the route and injured herself to the degree that the doctors considered it a miracle that she survived. This year she is back to face her demons and a stacked field of big names. Holly Page, Ekaterina Mityaeva and Hillary Gerardi are all experienced returnees (the latter won and broke the course record at Hamperokken last year) but whilst Page and Gerardi have shown great form in similarly technical races this year we haven’t seen Mityaeva compete in a field of this level at a Skyrace in 2019. Brittany Peterson chased Claire Gallagher for the cougar at WS100 last month and it will be interesting to see if she’s recovered and switched over enough to be as swift on Norwegian rock as on Squaw dirt roads. Kathrin Gotz has had a great year on the UTWT tour so far with wins at both Lavaredo and Eiger, this will be her first start at a Skyrace in 2019 though so it remains to be seen if those Swiss legs are tuned in for a competitive speedy scramble! My Norske Kroner are on a repeat victory for Gerardi but I’m crossing my fingers for the other Hillary to take the win! 

In Blighty the Centurion 100 mile grand slam series continues this Saturday with a record breaking big starting field at NORTH DOWNS WAY 100

Rebecca Lane improved on her 5th place at the season opener (Thames Path 100) with a 4th at last months South Downs Way and is likely to level up with a podium placing this weekend.  The trophy might be just out of her reach though because if the current female centurion record holder Susie Chesher has a good day out on Saturday i think she will be hard to beat. 

Then again the North Downs are flat(ish) and not very technical so its all open for trail noobs and fast road runners to take a surprise victory. 

Last year the to us previously unknown Ingrid Lid rose to Centurion fame as she defeated Mari Mauland for the win. Lid has sadly sustained a serious injury and wont be returning to defend her title. We wish her a speedy recovery! 


Scottish and Canadian ultra runners Carrie Craig (@carrieonrunning) and Sherri Bastien replicated an Everest effort on the VK in Chamonix this Monday by repeating the climb 10 times in under 24 hours to cover over 8848 m of vert gain. With music, ice cream and a little help from encouraging friends the two sheros pulled it off! 

#hammocking. A key component of tapering and plotting for #everesting. If the weather gods deliver, we should be getting some cooler temperatures early next week 🤞 so it is ON! Over 40 planet friendly pledges received - thank you! - but we can do more. Link in bio ⬆️ . . . #everestingchamonix #everestingchallenge #hells500 #fortheloveofchips #fortheloveofvert #summerofup #metremonsters #tickettothemoon #chamonixmontblanc

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In America Kaytlyn Gerbin (@kaytlyn_g) and Alex Bors (@alexborsuk) were the first female team to complete the Rainer Infinity Loop a route envisioned by the late Chad Kellogg Atkins. It is an adventure best described in Kaytlyn’s own words; “142 miles and 51000 feet (15500 m) of self supported ladyslaying, sleep walking raw adventuring, and so much rallying (including after our bad weather bail on summit attempt number 2). We have so much to share but first we need some sleep. Thank you so much for your support and following along. I can safely say this is the most insane thing I’ve ever done.” 


On a ridge not too far away from the Rainer Kye Halpin (@kyehalpin) bagged the women’s FKT on the Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup by completing the 36 miles of technical scrambling over 30 summits gaining over 6000 m of elevation in under 24 hours! 

Such incredible and inspiring performances! Now you all know how to fill your time until we meet word to eye again ...