V3K Recce by Niandi Carmont

10154085_10152288451666293_509790307292197165_nNo stranger to what a Skyrunning race entails… Niandi Carmont donned trail shoes, waterproof jacket and spent a couple of days in Wales with Kirsch Bowker (race RD) and a hardy bunch of fellow enthusiasts to experience what the V3K will hold for ‘Skyrunners’ at the end of June this year.

I remember her words quite clearly as I phoned her after the first day, ‘How did it go Niandi?’

‘OMG this is one serious serious Skyrunning race… I didn’t know we had course ‘THIS’ tough in the UK.’

‘Good,’ I replied, ‘Sounds perfect!’

Niandi interviewed Kirsch on behalf of Skyrunning UK

How did you get involved in race directing?

Through V3K Ultra! I’ve had a great deal of support from experienced race organizers and from theFRA (Fell Runners’ Association) and UK/Welsh Athletics all of whom have guided me and from our tight group of volunteers, especially Joe Sawyer our Technical Director.

This is the 3rd edition of the V3K – how did the race start?

It evolved from 3 vegan friends committing to complete the Welsh 3,000s in June every year. Then in 2012 we invited others to join us, changing from a social run to a race, “the first vegan ultra in the world” (we believe), those taking part going vegan for the day. When Chloe, Andrew and I made that commitment we had no idea that our annual pilgrimage would become the first Skyrunning race in the UK with competitors travelling from as far as China to take part!


Can you briefly describe the course profile?

The course is 55km with over 4,000m of ascent. You climb over 1,000m in 6km to the first peak Snowdon (1085m), then across the two most technical ridges of Garnedd Ugain (1065m) and Crib Goch (923m). These are knife -edged arêtes that are very exposed and certainly only suited to those without a fear of heights! From there you have a pleasant descent into Nant Peris and your first aid station.

The next 3.5 km climbs 1,000m of grassy slog/bog to Elidir Fawr (924m). Then enjoy the sweep over Yr Garn (947m), ascent to Glyder Fawr (1001m) and Glyder Fach (994m). Then another technical ascent and descent of Tryfan (918m) which requires full concentration for the huge boulders. From there descend to Ogwen aid station. The final section of Pen-yr-ole-wen (978m), Carnedd Dafydd (1044m), Yr Elen (962m) Carnedd Llewelyn (1064), Foel Grach (977m), Carnedd Gwenllian (926m) and Foel Fras (942m) crosses the Carneddau, which has less technical ground and more grassy sweeps which are ideal for the tiring runner.

The race finishes in the pleasant village of Rowen in the Conwy Valley.

Source : V3K Ultra Skyrace

You mentioned that the course is part of a very old hiking trail. Can you tell me more?

The first recorded traverse of the Welsh 3,000s was led by Eustace Thomas for the Rucksack Club in 1919 although the challenge is thought to be older than that. Since then it has risen in popularity with some seeing it as a once in a lifetime achievement and others making annual pilgrimages. Even as a walk it is a tough challenge to complete in under 24 hours.

What type of runner do you hope to attract to your event?

Obviously we hope to attract runners who have the technical ability that our gnarlier sections require and the stamina and speed to complete within the cut off times. We’ve been lucky enough to have very friendly runners who are jolly and smiley even through the toughness, we’d love that to continue. We want folk to enjoy their time in Wales!

What type of training would you recommend for the V3K?

Hills, hills and more hills with as much technical ground as you have access to. We’ll be having two more recce days in May over the most exposed section, Crib Goch (a knife edged arête) to get folk accustomed to the exposure and technical aspect.

The V3K is now officially part of the UK Skyrunning series. What does this mean for the race?

This has been an enormous honour for us, a confirmation that our V3K Ultra route is an equal to some of the very best mountain routes in the world and that our dedication to the route has been rewarded. I’ve watched Skyrunning from afar, to now be a part of it is amazing.

What kind of weather conditions can runners expect on 28 June? Anything… and everything all in one day! Snowdonia is synonymous with changeable weather thanks to its close proximity to the sea. Last year’s race started with rain, clag and a breeze strong enough to lift an aid station gazebo into a nearby field, but by midafternoon it was baking hot sunshine.

The personal record for the route is 4.20. When was it set and by whom?

This was set by Colin Donnelly in 1988 you can see the video here http://vimeo.com/79447455 . The record is set from the first peak, Snowdon to the last Foel Fras, V3K Ultra includes more mileage and ascent/descent but it remains an absolutely remarkable achievement.

Ascent of PYOW
Source : V3K Ultra Skyrace

The race takes place in Snowdonia, a lovely part of Wales – what are pre and post-race attractions for international runners?

Rowen (the finish) is possibly one of the prettiest villages in Wales, small friendly pub and beer garden next to a babbling stream, pretty cottages with wonderful flowery gardens and best of all friendly locals. Within Snowdonia itself you have easy access to ancient castles, excellent mountains, the longest/fastest zip line in Europe, great places to eat, hundreds of lakes, rivers for kayaking, hundreds of miles of forest trails, mountain bike trails and we’re close to some amazing beaches… all really easily accessible.

What type of accommodation is there for runners?

We have exclusive use of a campsite next to the finish and race headquarters where the briefing session takes place. There are also a number of B&Bs, hotels and a YHA in the village. More information here

Is the race easily accessible by train/plane?

Yes, flights to Liverpool or Manchester then trains to Llandudno Junction, there are regular buses from Llandudno Junction railway station to Rowen, the last bus is at 11.15pm. Taxis are also available outside the train station.

Source : V3K Ultra Skyrace

V in V3K is for Vegan – can you tell us a little about the Vegan running community?

Vegansim is a way of life for many of us; we don’t use any animal products, that means no meat, eggs and dairy but also no wool, leather or silk. For some it’s because they feel a vegan diet is healthier, others because evidence shows veganism is less harmful for the environment and for people like me because we want to cause the least amount of harm to our fellow beings regardless of their species. Being a vegan, whether a runner or not opens up a global community, in many corners of the world there are vegans who organize social events, meals and of course runs!

3 words to sell your race!

Rugged mountain awesomeness!

Images from the recce weekend:


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Skyrunning UK announce the PEAKS SKYRACE

The-Roaches w: logo


Skyrunning UK is pleased to announce the first SkyRace for the Skyrunner® National Series UK calendar, the Peaks SkyRace located in the heart of the Pennines.


Covering a distance of 29.7-miles, with a total elevation gain and loss of 2012m, the Peaks SkyRace is the brainchild of experienced race director, Richard Weremiuk (Beyond Marathon), Anthony Bethell and Billy Craig. The Peaks SkyRace promises to be a great ‘opener’ for the 2014 Skyrunner® National Series calendar within the UK.

‘This course combines altitude with technical terrain and some superb views; a combination which should please the most discerning athlete,’ Craig explained, ‘A personal highlight on the course without a doubt is Ramshaw Rocks, it’s beautiful and rugged.’

Weremiuk is no stranger to race direction and he brings all his experience from ‘Beyond Marathon’ for this new departure into the Skyrunning UK calendar. ‘Features on Talk Ultra podcast have raised the profile of Skyrunning to the point where virtually most ultra runners have heard of it and I’m sure many have aspirations to run in the mountains with the superstars of the World circuit. Skyrunning coming to the UK may well give them that opportunity.’


Based on an old Peak District Challenge called the ‘Five Trigs Round’ for which there is no fixed course, just the requirement to visit five specific trig points. Weremiuk and the team have taken that concept and built a fixed course around it with Skyrunning in mind! The route takes in some of the best of the White Peak District as well as including the highlights of the traditional round.

‘The Peaks may not have the raw elevation of the Lakes or Snowdonia, but it has rugged technical terrain,’ said Weremiuk, ‘A highlight for me is the ascent of Daneblower Hollow. It is little known to most, but it’s a narrow trail alongside a brook and small waterfall, it really challenges your footwork.’

Bethell, who took part in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series in 2013, gained a lot of experience from these events which has been invaluable in ensuring that Skyrunning principles are upheld for the Peaks SkyRace, ‘A long joyous descent on tricky terrain into Stake Clough after Shining Tor is one of those “Brakes off, Brain off” moments that one finds in all the classic Skyrunning races, UK Skyrunners® will love it,’ exclaimed Bethell.

‘It has been a priority from day one to ensure that Skyrunning UK provides courses of varying length, difficulty, elevation and terrain on some of the most iconic trails and areas of the UK,’ said Skyrunning UK Director, Ian Corless, ‘We have the V3K on the Welsh 3000’s and the 3×3 on an iconic Lakeland course. The Peaks SkyRace not only offers our first shorter ‘Sky’ race but it also offers an opportunity to race in the Pennines over technical ground. I’m really excited about this addition to the series.’

 SNS UK Logo-Light

Entries for the Peaks SkyRace are now open… put the date in your diary, August 3rd 2014 and we look forward to seeing you all for the UK’s very first SkyRace.


Course Description:

A short sharp shock to start with an ascent of Solomon’s Tower, then it’s back down to the outskirts of Buxton. Next you climb onto Axe Edge Moor, through Three Shires Head along the Ramshaw Rocks ridge and along to a Hen Cloud. The Roaches follow which will without doubt be the highlight for many.  Descend into Gradbach before soon after facing the Peak District Matterhorn, Shutlingsloe. Descend then begin the long climb up past The Cat and Fiddle to the summit Shining Tor. A fun descent to the Goyt valley floor is followed with a climb onto Burbage Edge and the finish in Buxton.

Bethell states as with all SkyRaces, ‘we offer a fully marked course with chip timing, awards medal for all finishers and a trophy for male and female winners. Hopefully, the ridge runs along Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches will live up to the Skyrunning Motto of ‘Less Cloud, More Sky’….’

Race Stats 

  • Distance: 29.7m
  • Elevation gain: 2012m
  • Elevation loss: 2012m
  • Checkpoints: Two with food/ liquid.

Facilities on offer at the race

  • On site car parking
  • Food and drink at 2-checkpoints
  • Insured race with medical support
  • Shower and changing facilities at the finish
  • Electronic Chip Timing from RaceTimerPro
  • Comprehensive participant guide, sent 1 month before the event
  • Experienced marshals and staff

Race dates and times

3rd August, 8am start.


Website: http://www.peakskyrace.co.uk

Entry: http://www.peakskyrace.co.uk/enter

Skyrunning UK: http://www.skyrunninguk.com

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inov-8 partner Skyrunning UK

inov-8 logo


It’s a match made in heaven, an iconic UK brand partnering Skyrunning UK in the formative years of what we will become an iconic UK race series.


Born on the fells and the mountains of the UK, for the past decade, inov-8 have provided innovative products that have provided the best grip to all runners on summits and ridges all over the world.


‘We are delighted to be a partner of the Skyrunner UK series,’ said inov-8 founder, Wayne Edy. ‘2013 was a real milestone for us; not only was it our 10th year but we made a huge impact on the Skyrunner® World Series. Our team of athletes pushed their bodies to the limit over some of the toughest, most grueling mountain races in the world and delivered results.’

Always at the forefront of the running scene, it’s no surprise that inov-8 and the team behind the brand had the foresight to be involved in the inaugural year of Skyrunning UK. Working closely with top athletes, the company has expanded its off-road range of shoes and now boasts 25-different products specifically for all off-road terrain.


‘I have yet to find another brand who provides so many options for trail and mountain running,’ said Skyrunning UK Director, Ian Corless. ‘inov-8 provide a shoe for every scenario; a choice of width, a choice of drop and so many variants of grip. It’s no surprise that runners all over the world, when looking for something to grip on the muddiest or gnarliest terrain that the world has to offer choose inov-8.’

The Mudroc 290 shoe way back in 2003 laid the foundations for what is now a global band. inov-8 trade in over 60-countries meeting the needs of committed athletes all over the world. This growth has also been reflected in the new inov-8 apparel range and packs. Listening to the needs and demands of mountain runners, inov-8 have designed the perfect ‘one-stop’ package offering shoes, packs and clothing for runners who like to go the mountains or fells fast and light.

Rob Jebb (UK) and Augusti Roc (Esp), two current inov-8 athletes are previous World Skyrunning Champions; Jebb held the title in 2005 and Roc 2003 and 2004. However, Anna Lupton (UK) and Alex Nichols (USA) have taken over the global reigns recently and in 2013 they had incredible success in the Skyrunner® World Series. Lupton placed 5th and Nichols 3rd, which without doubt has laid the foundations for the growth and interest in Skyrunning in the UK.

‘Skyrunning UK will offer a great introduction to any runner who wants to challenge him or herself on terrain that is more technical with more accumulated vertical gain,’ said Co.rless, ‘Lupton, Nicholls and all the incredible inov-8 athletes have been instrumental in inspiring the UK run community to look for a new challenge, Skyrunning UK will fill that need with the help of inov-8.’


2014 will be a great year, not only for Skyrunning UK but also the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation). The Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix at the end of June. Expect a strong presence in the classic distances, VK, SKY and ULTRA from UK athletes and of course several inov-8 team members.

Check out inov-8 HERE

all images ©iancorless.com – all rights reserved

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Race Update

Dear all,

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgot about you!

Races are in the planning and believe me, we have had 2-3 races in the pipeline for sometime.

Every time we think we are able to announce, a stumbling block arises. This is what happens with a new race series and new races… it can be anything; councils, land permissions, conservation and so on.

Rest assured, we are doing all we can to get the ‘t’s crossed and the ‘I’s dotted so that we can announce new races soon. Please be patient.

In addition, Skyrunning UK will be announcing two new sponsors very soon who will provide essential backing and support to help Skyrunning UK become the race series we all want to see.

We thank you for your support.

Keep running!

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Skyrunning World Championships – Entry Guidelines



June 27-29, 2014, Chamonix, France


The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships sold out in days! However, don’t despair. Places are available, 18 in total, across all three disciplines, VK, SKY and ULTRA based on ISF World Ranking Points or experience/ results for 2012 and 2013 in the SWS (Skyrunner World Series).

The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships will comprise three Skyrunning disciplines:

  • Vertical Kilometer®
  • SkyMarathon®
  • Ultra SkyMarathon®



Entry is open to individual athletes, teams and nations. As you will know, all three races are NOW FULL however, we are able to offer 6-places in each race (18-places in total)


− Titles and medals will be awarded to individuals and nations

− Individuals will be ranked in each race

− The Combined World Champion title is based on the best results of the

Vertical Kilometer® & SkyMarathon®

− National ranking will be based on the best results of three men and one woman of each nation across all three disciplines




− 2 entries are reserved for each ISF Member Nation

− 2 entries are reserved for 2013 National Skyrunning Champions (in countries where they exist)

− 2 entries per nation are reserved for athletes included in the top 100 of the 2013 ISF World Ranking


Skyrunninguk will allocate places to those runners who have participated in the Skyrunner World Series in 2013 and 2012 and preference will be given to athletes who appear in the ISF World Ranking available HERE

SLOTS ARE AVAILABLE (based on ISF Ranking) as follows:


  1. Ian Sharman
  2. Ricky Lightfoot
  3. Iain Ridgway
  4. Claire Price
  5. Lizzie Wraith

Special consideration – Stuart Air

*Places available on merit and experience




  1. Rob Simpson
  2. Joe Symonds
  3. Oli Johnson
  4. Anna Lupton
  5. Tessa Hill
  6. Jasmin Paris

Reserves: Hector Haines, Carl Bell, Ricky Lightfoot, Karl Gray, Rob Jebb, Samuel Tosh, Emma Clayton, Angela Mudge


  1. Robbie Simpson
  2. Tessa Hill

*Places available based on merit and previous experience

If you would like to accept a place or enquire about an opportunity to race, please email skyrunninguk@yahoo.co.uk

Any available places will be offered based on experience and past performances in Skyrunning races/ results.


World Championships – HERE

Race Website – HERE


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ROCKTAPE sponsor Skyrunning UK

Rocktape logo2

Skyrunning UK announce ROCKTAPE as a sponsor

 Skyrunning UK is pleased to announce that ROCKTAPE will be the first sponsor to support the Skyrunner® Series UK.



Just like all our participants in the Skyrunner® Series UK, the ROCKTAPE team are avid athletes.  ROCKTAPE already supports various UK based events and athletes in a variety of sports; notably Ultra runner and Lakeland 100 winner Terry Conway and Salomon International athlete, Anna Frost.



No matter how carefully we prepare and train, injuries happen and unfortunately they can happen on a frequent basis, especially when pushing at the limits.  ROCKTAPE is not just for the injured athlete, it can also be used to help delay fatigue and improve posture/running form.


Today, ‘Kinesiology Tape’ is widely used throughout the world to treat injuries and pain. ROCKTAPE is the only tape specifically engineered to meet the demands of elite athletes. Why is it unique? Stick and Stretch.  Its unique glue means that unlike many other tapes ROCKTAPE stays on the skin come hell or high water. ROCKTAPE stretches twice as much as most kinesiology tape and is engineered to mimic human skin. The ‘stretch’ is the secret behind ROCKTAPE!


How does it work? When applied properly, ROCKTAPE lifts the skin away from the muscle, which promotes positive changes in the body’s fluid, mechanical and neurological systems. Commonly people wearing Rocktape report less pain, swelling and tightness, greater awareness of the area and later onset of fatigue.

Paul Coker, Medical Director, Rocktape UK explains, “We are really pleased to be able to support the Skyrunner® UK series in its inaugural year, we hope it’s the beginning of a long term-relationship. ROCKTAPE offers lots of great benefits to runners, this partnership is a perfect way to showcase our product and increase awareness of ROCKTAPE amongst the trail and ultra running community.  As a very enthusiastic but distinctly average runner myself its also a great reason to be at Sky races and witness some of the worlds best athletes run.”

Skyrunning UK is well aware of the benefits that may be obtained both pre-exercise, during exercise and post exercise from ROCKTAPE.

SNS UK Logo-Light

“We strongly believe that our partnership is a great step forward not only for the Skyrunner® Series UK but also all our athletes who will perform in our series” explains Ian Corless, Director of Skyrunning UK “Paul and myself have had plenty of communication over the past 2-years. I have used ROCKTAPE to help recover from injuries and I have also used products in training to prevent onward injuries. I fully understand and believe in the product. It’s great to have a sponsor on board that will directly benefit every participant in a Skyrunner® Series UK event. Why is this? Well, ROCKTAPE will be present at our events and provide on hand advice, show taping techniques and directly get involved with each and every runner. It’s a really exciting prospect.”

The 2014 Skyrunner® Series UK is developing each and every day. Skyrunning UK has already announced two ULTRA events, the V3K in Wales for June and the 3×3 in the Lakes for October. With the imminent announcement of new events to the 2014 calendar and the sponsorship of ROCKTAPE the Skyrunner® Series UK is already proving to be one of the most exciting race series prospects for those who love to run over technical and demanding terrain with plenty of vertical gain within the UK.

Less cloud. More sky!


Skyrunning UK website – www.skyrunninguk.com

ROCKTAPE – www.rocktape.net

V3K Race Website – http://www.vegan-welsh-3000s.co.uk

3×3 Ultra Website – http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/24.html

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V3K gets exposure on MST & RUN247



Read the post HERE

V3K RUN247

Read the post HERE

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