We are almost at the end of the trail running year and I look back inspired by what I have seen on social media and first hand. I do want to single out a few efforts and performances that inspire me to push harder and train rather than idealise one or other person as “trail runner of the year”. These performances inspire me to get out there and push the boundaries in my mind.
The contenders in no particular order:
Will Robinson breaking the record at Hour Bay trail Challenge against Andre and some other strong competitors to finish in 4h06. When will the guys break 4h?
Ryan Sandes finishing second at Western States 100 and breaking the old record in probably the most competitive field ever. This certainly is the best performance of a South African in an international trail running event this year.
Andre Calitz beating Will Robinson and Nic de Beer to break the Puffer record. Those three were on fire all morning and I could see it in Andre’s eyes at Constantia Nek. He was ready to put some hurt on the boys. And he did! In the process he is the first runner to break 7 hours and set a new record in 6h59 for the original course.
Ryan Sandes running the Fish River canyon for a new fastest known time of 6h57! This is the future of trail running to me in many ways. The FKT ethos of exploring and individual honesty is where it’s at. Ryan launched his Hollywood career with a pretty cool video of the event with cameo by Vanessa Haywood.
There is a performance far away from the limelight: Roger Steel breaking 4h at Two Oceans (he ran the last 10km in 38min) and then two days later running the Mast Marathon in 3h13. There were no cameras. I don’t think there was even a single other person there to witness this. When we first conceived the Mast Marathon we were aiming to break 4 hours but this is a very inspiring FKT away from the madening crowd.
Ian Don-Wauchope beating arguably the most competitive field in South Africa on the Retto. Michael Bailey set off at a mad pace. He blew somewhere along the way (rumour has it he may still be out there on the trail) and then the pack of Andre, Ian etc took over centre stage. Ian ran a fantastic race on this hard route and proved that he is one of the best we have. His record stands at 4:23!
Ryan Sandes breaking the Sky Run record. I had no doubt that he would break the record and I am sure that this convincing win has taken a fair bit of home town pressure away!
Andre Calitz smashing the Three Peaks record by 17 minutes and setting it at 4h50! Wowee my quads hurt just thinking about that.
Or have I missed a performance that stands out to you. Yes indeed I have concentrated on the front runners, maybe you have an inspirational performance you can share below. Give me your votes. Which performance stands out in your mind as the performance of the year?
Hope you have an inspired week!