Friday, 11 January 2013

Ones to Watch 2013 (UK)

I love running Ultra's but I also revel in the performances of others. In 2013 I have a close eye on a few people that I expect to do incredible things so I figured I would share (if your featured no pressure then!). I know their is way more which includes inspiring middle/back of the pack stories to be made so if you know something leave a comment to get the name heard.

GB ladies on the IAU circuit: For many years now the GB ladies team have been nothing short of inspirational, 2012 was no exception. Stand out stars were Helen Taranowski, Emma Gooderham and Joanna Zakrzewski. I put these three in this list as their speed is incredible and they all seem to be getting faster. Helen Won the IAU 50km Trophy last year and also has a 78kn 6 hour race to her name- she has also dabbled in off road races such as Swiss Alpine and I really hope she hits the trail races more next year. Emma was the 2011 Commonwealth trail champion and in the same year won the IAU 50km trophy. Joanna-  I am convinced will have a big 2013. 4th at Comrades last year is stunning and proves she has the metal to go long, I hope to see her run the 100km distance, she’ll blow people away.

Steven way: His 2:53 for 50km is ridiculous. He’s is a sub 2:20 marathoner but with hints of going longer than 50km next year he could be a game changer

Craig Holgate: Undoubtedly biggest local Ultra debutant last year. Steam rolled the Thames Path 100 and get a credible 2nd at the british 100km champs with 7:26. Have not looked deeply into his schedule but he’ll be at the NDW 50 and many more.

Marcus scotney: Has represented GB and England a few times in the flat stuff but his versatility is exciting. He had an impressive win at the first UTPD and I hope it gives him more hunger for long trail ultras. I think he’ll be great over 100miles.

Terry Conway: Obvious choice. We are all excited by Terry right? Terry has done wonderful things for our sport in the UK and I hope he shows those Europeans what he is about next year. I am sure we will see him a lot next year. I personally hope he enters Ronda del Cims/Andorra Ultra. The best of the best will be there and it has a ridiculous amount of climb (40,000ft positive over 106miles) which is right up his street.

Mimi Anderson and James Adams: I have put these two together as what they have in store for 2013 is unheard off and simply barmey. First they will do a Grand Union Canal Race double and then a Spartathlon double!  I am completely lost for words with that one. Nuts!

Ed Batty: Slightly out their choice but I had the pleasure of watching Ed Run at the Lakeland this year and I think he has some great natural mountain running ability. He runs hard and with no fear which is exhilarating to watch. At some point he will hold it together in a really big and long race and the time will be eye-bulging

Sam Robson and Nick Weston. I have put these two together as they have very similar credentials and are both really young in the Ultra world. They are both about to truly breakout if they haven’t done so already. Respectively, 2nd and 3rd at last year’s SDW100. Sam is a tough SOB which i first witnessed at UTMB, he had SERIOUS chaff issues but gutted it out, combine that with the mentality i witnessed at the Piece of String and he proves he has the head and heart to do great things. Nick just oozes class when he runs. Never looks in trouble, always calm and always quick, 2nd at the Winter 100 behind Ritchie Cunningham (no shame in that) and pushing him all the way in atrocious conditions. He’ll keep getting better

Paul Navesey: Another young gun and another one with serious wheels. His CCER performance was stand out and I cant wait to see what he does this year. Rocky Raccoon will be interested as he tackles a fast 100mile time but watch out  for the Lakeland 100. He likes running vertical and he performs well on it, therefore (lottery dependant) he should have a good ride at CCC in august too.

Ricky lightfoot: Ricky finally stepped up the distance last year and he absolutely crushed it. First 50miler was a 7:26 at hammer trails (Norway or Denmark....sorry?!) which was a course record by 48mins. To prove that was no fluke (when is 50miles ever a fluke!) he went to the  North Face  Singapore 100km and promptly won it by 2 hours with a 60min course record.. When Ryan Sandes did this in Taiwan people raved and this was every bit the same, more people should take note of this one. Ricky can run hard and long and over really technical terrain. Sky Running series should watch out.

Tom Owens: Tom has been as big of a trail blazer on the continent as the likes of Jez Bragg. Holding his own against the likes of Kilian Jornet on more than one occasion (pushing him all the way in two separate Zegama’s. Tom is a staple on the Sky Running circuit but his key races have been removed. He performs best at the 20-30km distances but will have to step up to the Ultra’s now- he is not new to these however. He placed at Trofeo Kima which is regarding as one of the most technical Ultras in the world and he also has 2nd place finishes at Trans Alpine and Salomon 4 trails. Climbs like a beast and dances over technical terrain like a mountain goat- long successful future ahead. I’m going to say it.....he can be the best

Thanks for reading.


  1. Fantastic blog post. I also think Paul Fernandez should get a mention. His continued improvements over the marathon distance will surely lead to something special over the 100km in the near future!

  2. Enjoyed your blog post. Inspiring guys & gals on the ultra circuit. :-)

  3. Thanks chaps. I agree paul is an outstanding runner, I could only wish of being as fast. That huge performance will happen at some point. After that crazy 6hr race where he covered 50miles I really expected his 100km time to go under 8 hours but didnt quite happen.....yet. glad you can be inspired justin, certainly as you have given inspiration to many others! Impressive runs at NDW and ridgeway. What do you have planned this year?

  4. Tom Owens trains with our lunchtime group. He's superhuman! And has far too much cool Salomon gear :-)

  5. lots of great uk guys popping up everywhere. the salomon guys are very impressive and owens is finally get his deserved recognition. I hope the sponsored athletes continue to run races in the uk. think this will need a mid and end of season review post

  6. Great blog and great read. Looking forward to meeting some these amazing runners during 2013!