“I have to say I am really proud of what I have achieved in the last two months – with and with out my running shoes on.”
After a wonderful and quiet summer in Chamonix with lots of family, plenty of running throughout the mountains painted as the backdrop. The last seven weeks have been the exact opposite; moving in to a new house, renovating the house, working full time for both me and my wife and then school/ kindergarten for my boys. Running has been more of a recreational hobby the last couple of months and a full time occupation as it was during the summer months.
Neverless my running form has -a bit unexpectedly -been visibly improving in the past couple of months. I did OK with a 7th place finish in Tromsø Skyrace and even a bit better with an 8th place in Matterhorn Ultraks. Considering the Matterhorn Ultraks is a less technical race than I prefer; it takes place in high altitude, which is extremely difficult for a runner living at sea level. Then there were also was a couple of local races in the weeks to follow that also went really well. This weekend the good running period was followed up with great feelings, light legs and a first place finish in the inaugural Lakes Sky Ultra race on Saturday, September 12th. I have to say I am really proud of what I have achieved in the last two months -with and with out my running shoes on.
“My numbers from the race almost top out at 54 K and 4720 m of elevation gain…”
All of this actually raises an interesting question for me. Maybe too much running and a hypersensitive focus on running can be bad for your running form? There is probably a fine balance as with the rest of things in life.
For me it seems like the moment my mind is distracted by other things, like my job and moving (family always comes first of course) suddenly my form started to get better the less time there was for running, and it got better every day.
This weekends’ Lakes Sky Ultra turned out to be a real challenge for us runners. Not only does the race have shark teeth like profile as you can see from the picture below, but it also has a couple of tough technical parts with some rough terrain, ridges and a bit of scrambling. The weather also gave the race an extra edge, all day Saturday was it was pouring rain from beginning to end and the wind picked up to 50+ mph (I have heard) at some points. The rocks on the exposed part of the course were really slick; dried moss from the summer now wet from the continual rain was like glass to balance one. My numbers from the race almost top out at 54 K and 4720 m of elevation gain…
The Race Ultra Skyrace in profile
The Lakes Sky Ultra is a race which requires some mandatory equipment, so this made it a good opportunity to put parts of the new inov-8 Race Ultra series to the test. On my back I wore the Race Ultra 5 L Backpack. This backpack fits tight on the back; it is light and gives you quick access to both food and liquid on the go.
And as clothing, in addition to the usual shorts and T-shirt, I wore the super light Race Ultra Shell Jacket. This jacket kept me dry and shielded me from the strong winds on the ridges. This jacket is transparent too, so you can wear it over your race bib.
To balance myself on the slick rocks I wore my favorite inov-8 shoe at the moment -The Mudclaw 300!
This shoe sits as a cast on my foot and has extremely good grip both in mud and on the stones -It claws through everything! The Mudclaw 300 is well protected in both the toe and the sole of the shoe. The foot is protected because of the Meta-shank and the studs which run under the shoe -This shoe makes me feel confident traversing down the toughest of mountain hills.
The Lakes Sky Ultra was a really nice experience. It’s not another easy going ultra trail race. But if you’re looking for a personal challenge, it is a skyrunning race which I recommend to all runners looking for something long and steep, a scenic, yet brutal way to spend the weekend in the Lakes.
Have a great week of running high or low!