True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra 2015 Preview

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Skyrunning UK is booming. Already this year we have had the V3K, Peaks Skyrace and the recent ground breaking Salomon Glen Coe Skyline. All races part of the Skyrunning UK National Series.

Attention now turns to the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra.

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A Lakeland course that offers elevated ridgelines, breathtaking exposure, fast travel on technical mountain terrain and some classic Lakeland scrambling. Race directors Charlie Sproson and Andrew Burton say, ‘Fell running on additives. This is Skyrunning™.’

Race date is September 12th and race entries close on September 6th, so you have time to gain a last minute entry in what will be a very special race.

It’s a race route that follows on quite nicely from the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline in that the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra has plenty of vertical grind (4300m+), grade 3 scrambling, knife edge arêtes and all over 50km’s of challenging terrain.

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It’s not a race for the feint hearted and this is reflected by the start list.

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Eirik Haugsness has been racing the Skyrunner® World Series for several years and he is the 2014 champion of the Tromso Skyrace. His presence in the English lakes is an exciting prospect as he will attempt to do battle against local talent.

Ricky Lightfoot needs no introduction to Skyrunning and fell running aficionados and without doubt he is a favourite for overall victory on what for him is home soil. Ricky has already had a string of top performances in 2015, can he add the LSU to the list?

Es Tressider recently raced the Glen Coe Skyline and ran much of the day in 2nd place. Unfortunately, Es faded in the latter stages of the race and missed the podium. Es’s experience in the mountains is quite incredible and if recovered, we can certainly expect him to mix it up at the front of the race.

Damian Hall in 2015 has raced The Spine, The Dragons Back Race and just finished 32nd at UTMB (2nd Brit). LSU only comes 2 weeks after the Mont-Blanc monster so Damian may well be a little tired; we can’t rule him out though!

Ben Bardsley is an experienced fell runner and ski mountaineer. In the past he has raced at classic Skyrunning races such as Zegama-Aizkorri. Ben’s current form is a little unknown but he’s one to watch for sure.

Chris Stirling has had excellent performances at the Langdale Horseshoe, Three Shires, Great Lakes Race and has preparing for LSU for several months. His presence almost certainly will be felt at the front of the race.

In the ladies’ race, V3K winner and 3rd placed lady at Glen Coe Skyline, Sarah Ridgway makes an appearance and if recovered we can expect her to contest the podium once again.

But Beth Pascall comes to the race with a set of solid results. She has placed 2nd at Lakeland 100, won The Spine, placed 2nd The Dragons Back Race and for me is the most likely lady to top the podium on the 12th September.

Shiri Leventhal has placed on the podium of multi-day races in the 4 Desert Series and in 2013 was 2nd lady at the Everest Trail Race. This course will provide a test to Shiri but it’s one that she can rise too!

Finally, Victoria Mousley is another hot contender for the top of the podium. Her experience on courses such as The Three Peaks, Tour of Pendle and Scaffell Pike Marathon will set her up nicely for a great run at LSU.

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Race details can be viewed here:  HERE

Course map here: HERE

RACE ENTRY HERE (open till September 6th)

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Download the preview here: HERE

Skyrunning UK is sponsored by Raidlight

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Salomon Glen Coe Skyline 2015

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Today, the Skyrunning UK  Salomon Glen Coe Skyline well and truly cemented itself as one of the ‘must-do’ events not only in the UK but the world. At times, it has been a rocky road putting this event on. Not from an organisation point of view I must add but from negative publicity about inappropriate use of the mountains and of course the D A N G E R and the ‘risk-of-death’ that may occur.

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Many Scottish papers said that the trails would be strewn with runners going fast and ruining the day of many a mountain lover. As predicted, the reality was far from the scare mongering of a select few.

Mountain lovers were on the mountains and you know what, they stopped, cheered, applauded and encouraged what (in their words) these ‘super humans’ were doing.

Skyrunning World and European Champion for the ultra distance, Emelie Forsberg won the ladies race and placed 2nd overall. Her performance was quite literally ‘off-the-scale.’ She relegated several of the UK’s top mountain runners to lower positions and post race she said:

©iancorless.com_GlenCoe2015-3447Waow! Seriously the best race in this distance. Super technical ridges and gullies (think Trofeo Kima but no via ferrata!) some parts very runnable on nice but still tricky trails. Glen Coe I’m thrilled to have run this race. Thanks to your amazing organization. Even though it was hard all of the nature and the course made me go fast. Thanks all of you standing along the course, you made me feel so welcomed here!

It was a sentiment echoed by the recent Lakeland 50 runner, Jayson Cavill who placed 3rd man and 4th overall:

 Oh my gosh I can’t believe it!! What an amazing race, I am too far gone to put into words just how totally nails that route was, technical descents that went on forever, long steeeeeep climbs that went on for even longer. Great climbing around the ridges and rock faces, I am so so chuffed I really feel like I got the best out of myself today – even if my legs were shot after the first 10 miles – it did hurt a lot! Such a great experience.

Scotland played ball today too. The previous day’s rain eased over night and the runners were greeted with a perfect day until just after midday. As predicted the cloud came in and with it showers but at this stage the runners just had one thing in mind; the finish.

In the early stages of the race, it was all going to script with Joe Symonds and Es Tressider dictating the pace and Emelie Forsberg holding a slender lead of the Berghaus Dragons Back winner, Jasmin Paris. Climbing Curved Ridge was for many, the highlight of the race. Coming just 6-miles into the race, it was a real brute to kick off what would be the UK’s most extreme mountain race. For those who don’t know, The Curved Ridge route ascended Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) via the exposed Grade III scramble (a ‘Moderate’ graded rock climb).

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What followed was a master class of pure Skyrunning by Joe and Emelie. They pushed the pace, extended the gap between the competition and when they entered the Aonach Eagach Ridge barring an accident, the race for the respective top slots was over. However, Joe was only 10-minutes ahead of Emelie… could she close the gap?

Yes! But only by a couple of minutes. Joe crossed the line in 7:36:21 and Emelie 7:44:19.

Mark Harris and Jayson Cavill finished 2nd and 3rd men after pre-race favourite Es Tressider tired over the final miles.

Jasmin Paris once again produced another top notch result placing 2nd behind Emelie and 5th overall in 7:54:29, just 10-minutes back from the Skyrunning World Champion. Sarah Ridgway rounded out the ladies’ podium in 9:21:44.

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148 runner started the 1st edition of the Skyrunning UK  Salomon Glen Coe Skyline and currently (at the time of writing) 24 have withdrawn from the race. This low drop out rate is a testament to the strict vetting procedure that was put in place by race director, Shane Ohly.

The buzz post race is one of adrenaline, stories and how the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline is the hardest race they have ever done.

The stage is set. This race is set to become a beacon of Skyrunning, not only in the UK but worldwide. Expect great things for 2016!

Skyrunning UK is a growing series of races. Currently 6 races are in the UK calendar and the next race is the LAKES SKY ULTRA in the English lakes. Enter HERE

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RESULTS

 

Joe Symonds 7:36:21

Mark Harris 7:44:51

Jayson Cavill 7:49:42

 

Emelie Forsberg 7:44:19 (2nd overall)

Jasmin Paris 7:54:29

Sarah Ridgway 9:21:44

RACE IMAGES AVALABLE HERE

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Salomon Glen Coe Skyline 2015 Preview

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The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline is just one week away. One of six races in the 2015 Skyrunning™ UK calendar, the ‘SGCS’ is arguably one of the most anticipated races in the UK in recent years. It was thought by many that the UK could not produce a race that would hark back to the roots of Skyrunning as seen at Trofeo Kima, the Dolomites SkyRace or Ice Trail Tarentaise. They were wrong! The UK may lack the altitude of the Alps or the Dolomites but we have mountains, routes and scrambles that will test the most experienced competitor.

Shane Ohly from Ourea Events and course planner Gary Tompsett have come up with a beast of a course, a course that epitomizes the ethos of Skyrunning and in doing so, the race has turned the heads of not only the running world but also the media.

‘We are not creating another mass participation fell or trail running event, but rather a world class Skyrunning course for experienced and competent participants,’ said Shane Ohly in a recent interview with the the BBC. ‘The Glen Coe Skyline is a fusion of mountain running and alpinism where competitors need to be skilled at both disciplines to negotiate the course.’

Never a true word has been spoken and to that end, the SGCS arguably has one of the most experienced fields assembled in any race that has taken place in the UK. A race that has required participants to ‘prove’ competence to take part has made interesting reading for the race directors and Skyrunning UK.

Looking through the 170+ runners who will toe the line on Saturday August 22nd has confirmed the depth and talent of each and every Skyrunner. A familiar thread is noted, buzz words such as Bob Graham Round, Cullin Ridge, experienced climber, Skyrunning, Dolomites and Trofeo Kima appear regularly in the entry list. It makes highlighting some of the key runners for the race difficult.

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However, one name clearly stands out, Emelie Forsberg. Emelie is the current Skyrunning World and European Champion for the Ultra distance. In less than 3-years, Emelie has risen through the Skyrunning ranks to be the female face of the sport and her presence at the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline is more than a confirmation that this race is well and truly the ‘Dogs Bolx’ as one keen entrant stated!

‘I love the mountains and I love technical courses. This Salomon Glen Coe Skyline route looks amazing and a challenge. Ridge running and scrambling; I can’t wait!’ said Emelie after finishing 4th at the Dolomites SkyRace.

‘The mountains provide a wonderful natural playground and non more so than those in and around Glen Coe, the 2015 edition of the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline is going to be a spectacle like no other race that has taken place within the UK. We are fully aware that this race is not for everyone,’ said Ian Corless, Director for Skyrunning UK. ‘However, just like the top European races we want to invite people to come and join us for the weekend. We want a party, a celebration of running and in the process Ourea Events has in place opportunities to go into the mountains with guides and experience the race as spectators but in a safe way. This is going to be very special!’

Jasmin Paris, fresh from victory at the Dragons Back Race will without doubt provide Emelie with a race. Jasmin’s experience of British fells and mountains may well provide a distinct advantage of the Skyrunning world champion?

Sharon Bird is an Irish International athlete, Gabriel Lees is a British Ski Mountaineering Champion and Victoria Moseley has excelled at Scaffell Pike and the 3 Peaks Race. But the female talent does not stop here, recent V3K winner and experienced Sky and mountain runner, Sarah Ridgway will be in the mix and we also need to keep a close eye on Liz Barker, Gillian Caldwell and Sarah Ryan. The ladies race is brimming with talent and the podium is wide open.

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Esmond Tressider may well be the odds on favourite for the men’s race as he is a previous record holder for the Cullin Ridge and has had very recent experience of racing in Europe on the Skyrunner® World Series. The last minute withdrawal of Finlay Wild increases Es’s chances but Joe Symonds will without doubt have other thoughts. Joe like Es, understands the UK mountains and fells and has extensive experience of racing in Europe.

Jim Mann won the 2015 Berghaus Dragons Back Race with a world-class dominating performance makes him a podium favourite and potential race winner.

Florian Reichert has been racing on the Skyrunner® World Series for several years and has had great success at VK and SKY races. He recently ran the Tromso SkyRace so the ridges and scrambling at Glen Coe will play into his hands. He is however a runner a runner that loves to go fast. Expect Florian to make places in the latter stages of the race.

Konrad Rawlik recently raced at the Dragons Back race and still produced a great performance despite injury. If fully recovered, we can expect Konrad to dictate the early pace and a podium place is a distinct possibility. 

Scott Forbes, Anthony Alasdair, Andrew Barrington and Edward Hamer all may prove to be dark horses on a course that will test each and every participant to the limits. The race may only be ‘just’ over a marathon in distance but the accumulated ascent of over 4000m, technical ridges and scrambling make the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline THE race of 2015 and one that looks set to create a stir for years to come.

A celebration of running, a celebration of climbing; the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline will bring to distinct sports together in a pure celebration of Skyrunning that offers a tribute and homage to the pioneering days of Marino Giacometti, Bruno Brunod and Fabio Meraldi. To that end, on Friday night before the race, 2 films will be shown: ‘THE SKY’S THE LIMIT’ that provides an insight in to Skyrunning and the yet to be released (Oct 20th), Salomon SRTV episode, ‘FAST and LIGHT.’

The future of Skyrunning in the UK is very exciting and Shane Ohly sums it up when he says:

‘I sincerely hope that aspirational races like the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline will contribute to the growth of the sport both in terms of participation and general awareness within the wider running and outdoor community within the UK and worldwide, this is my goal for the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline and we will be working hard to achieve this.’

Put the dates in your diary:  Friday August 21st to Sunday 23rd 2015

Race Day is August 22nd

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Skyrunning UK is sponsored by:

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GB & NI international Lizzie Wraith to race Mourne Skyline MTR

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NiRunning and Mourne Skyline MTR are pleased to announce that current Great Britain & Northern Ireland international and podium finisher at the recent Dragons Back 200 mile Ultra, Lizzie Wraith, will race this year’s Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race.  Lizzie, a previous winner of the Lakeland 100 Ultra, will join this year’s Lakeland 100 and Lakeland 50 winners Paul Tierney and Jayson Cavhill on the start line, as well as a plethora of talent form around the globe.
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Lizzie at the GL3D

 
The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail podium finisher is enthusiastic about taking on the another event in the Skyrunning UK Series after victory at last year’s 3X3 Ultra in Keswick.  Speaking about the Mourne Skyline MTR, Lizzie said: “I’m really looking forward to running the Mourne Skyline MTR as I’ve never been to Ireland and it’s been on my bucket list for a long time. The terrain looks really beautiful and technical which is what I love, however 35km is a bit of a sprint for me, I’d better start doing some speed-work!”
 
Lizzie at the Berghaus Dragons Back race

Lizzie at the Berghaus Dragons Back race

Mourne Skyline MTR Race Director Ryan Maxwell added, “To have an athlete of Lizzie’s stature compete at the event is a huge bonus for everyone.  Lizzie has performed well at some of the world’s toughest events – look at her performance at the recent Dragons Back Race – going into that off the back of being ill and not only finishing, but claiming a top three finish, was incredible.  
 
Again this year, the entry list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of mountain-trail running in the UK and Ireland which not only excites me, but makes me appreciate the support we have received from everyone.   There will be athletes from fourteen countries coming to Northern Ireland to take part in the Mourne Skyline MTR (and ‘GTR’), which as the Race Director makes me extremely proud.  We hope to add further additions to the line-up in the coming weeks and will do our utmost to ensure that the race exceeds expectations.”
 
Although the Mourne Skyline MTR is now full (except for elite entry applications), you can still be part of an excellent weekend of racing by taking on the Mourne Skyline ‘Granite Trail Race’, a 2 mile uphill only night time race, which will take place on Friday 23rd October 2015 (7.30pm).  
More information is available on the official race website HERE.
Skyrunning UK is sponsored by Raidlight
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Peaks Skyrace 2015 – Race summary and images

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Chris Baynham-Hughes reports from the Peaks Skyrace 2015

Images by ©MickKenyon

Light rain greeted the runners as they prepared to set off for second running of The Peaks Skyrace. It’s fair to say the Peaks Skyrace is a fantastic stepping stone into Skyrunning and ultras in general; this was reflected by the large number of people toeing the line of such a race for the first time. The course is made up of fantastically runnable trails, which is why it’s so enjoyable and unforgiving at the same time. There is nowhere to hide and if you’re out there focused more on competing that completing then if you’re not running, your rivals are!

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By the start of the race the rain had stopped and the weather really improved over the day making conditions more challenging in the heat later on. The field was strong at the sharp end of the race which was reflected in the times with 9 runners dipping under the 5-hour mark. 3rd placed Richard Ashton was just 3 minutes off the course record, whilst both second place Christopher Armit and Kim Collison dipping under the time set by Jason in 2014. In the end Kim took 12 minutes off the record to win in 4:10:12 – impressive stuff!

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The ladies field was equally strong and whilst Nikki Kay (5:47:55) managed not only to get the win, but an en route marriage proposal as well! There was a real tussle between the top 5 ladies for who would take 2nd and 3rd – In the end just 2.5 minutes separated 2,3 and 4th. Chatting with Rachael Meek (3rd after Sarah Sheridan in 2nd place) afterward it was clear what a difference having serious competition for the ladies’ podium really meant. Rachel enthused at how chasing/ being chased by the other ladies had really spurred her on, rather than the usual scenario of “not seeing another lady all race”. Hopefully we’ll see all the ladies and others pushing for the honors at the rest of the races in the Skyrunning UK calendar.

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The race organization and volunteers were superb; taking the chance to run the course meant I was able to see the race from a totally different perspective. I can confirm it’s a really cracking route and for those considering getting into Skyrunning then I’d thoroughly recommend it. I’d say it especially suits fast marathon runners who can handle trails. The next step up in the calendar would have to be the Mourne Skyline MTR and the Lakes 3×3 Ultra; I sincerely hope we’ll be seeing many of the fantastic competitors from this weekend making the step up. The V3K (for me the best single day route in the UK) and the fantastic Lakes Sky Ultra add a significant step up in technicality, exposure and compete with the eye popping European races. At the extreme end of the scale the race that easily holds its own with the most extreme races in the world of Skyrunning is the Glen Coe Skyline – the next instalment for Skyrunning UK on 22nd August.

RACE RESULTS HERE

Many thanks to Raidlight for the support of Skyrunning UK

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Eirik Haugsness to run Lakes Sky Ultra

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Eirik Haugsness, winner of the  inaugural Tromsø SkyRace will race the Lakes Sky Ultra in 2015.

Eirik took third place at the Mont Blanc Vertical KM in 2013, only 30 seconds behind the eventual winner. He then backed this up two days later with 5th spot in the Mont Blanc Marathon.

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Speaking with race director, Andrew Burton, Eirik is really looking forward to returning to The Lake District, where he placed third at the Middlefell Race in March 2014. Eirik had this to say about the race on 12th September 2015:

“The True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra™ course looks spectacular! It will be a real challenge for everyone taking part in the event. The route will be a real treat for runners in search for a way to test both their stamina and technical skills.”

Eirik, who comes from Finnsnes, Norway is no stranger to successful racing the mountains. He grew on cross-country skis and was regularly on the podium in his junior years. He won the Norwegian cross-country championships when he was only 16 years old. He has taken that skill and held a world record fastest time – for skiing across Greenland, unsupported. Enduring regular whiteouts, Eirik clearly has some mental steel that will see him pushing hard for the full 50 plus kilometres and 4300 metres of ascent on the True Mountain Lakes Sky Ultra™ race.

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There is every chance that Eirik could take the ‘King of the Mountains’ section, a dash from Kirkstone Pass to the summit of Red Screes, following a lesser known line on the fully way-marked route. This race within a race will make for great spectator viewing, and with a typical British mountain refuge only a few yards away (a.k.a. The Kirkstone Pass Inn) there is sure to be great atmosphere and support for all of the competitors as they take on the final climb of the race.

Eirik is a down to earth guy, who says he ‘runs for adventure and to challenge my limits.’ But he has pedigree over distance and height gain. Technical terrain and knife-edge arêtes are where Eirik is most at home. With Striding Edge, Swirral Edge and Pinnacle Ridge being major obstacles in the race, this is sure to fall into Eirik’s hands. Es Tresidder and Ricky Lightfoot (both already entered) will both be eager to take the top spot on the podium. It’s going to be a great battle! The inaugural edition of the race is really starting to hot up now.

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http://www.lakesskyultra.uk

Lakes Sky Ultra social media:

Facebook: LakesSkyUltra

Twitter: @LakesSkyUltra

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They say all PR is good PR?

160 sign up for Highland mountain ‘death race’

Alistair Munro from the Scotsman.com knows all about a grabbing headline. It’s sad really that a journalist would not gather facts before writing an article.
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READ THE ARTICLE HERE
What a sensationalist headline! Amazing how these things get blown out of proportion.
I provide accurate statistics from the ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) on 23-ryears of Skyrunning.
And I quote:
The total number of deaths in official international skyrunning races in
23 YEARS AND THOUSANDS OF RACES since 1992 is 7.
(or 6 if you don’t count the Malaysian veteran’s data).
ONE due to accident
Others due to heart failure
(i.e. People who should not be racing as they have a heart condition whether known or not).
Another reason to establish a compulsory medical certificate in all of our recognised races.
SWS:
1 due to accident, Kima Trophy, Italy, 2005
1 case heart failure Pikes Peak Marathon, USA 2005
1 case  hypothermia Cavalls del Vent, Spain 2012
1 heart failure in Malaysia in the Veteran’s section (not our race) but the same event
(possibly shouldn’t be counted as Veteran categories are not in ISF ranking)
National races:
1 heart failure in Valtellina SkyRace, Italy 2011 (not during but after the race)
1 heart failure in the Tartufo Ultra marathon, Italy 2013
1 heart failure in Maratona del Cielo, Italy 2014
*By heart failure we mean pathologic condition where the heart can’t pump enough blood to
satisfy the requirements of the tissues during stress – i.e. In a race. Of course an autopsy can
confirm this pre-existing condition.
And to clarify this, we have had deaths at London Marathon and even 4-deaths in one half
marathon road race, the Great North Run:
What many don’t acknowledge is that Skyrunning appeals to and is a sport for qualified and
experienced runners. The Glen Coe Skyline even has a vetting procedure; you can’t ‘just’
enter this race.
Lets get rid of the sensationalist tacky ‘death’ headlines and look at the real facts.
Ian Corless – Skyrunning UK
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