Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Year in review: 2014

Overview

2014 has been a great year filled with trails and changes. I made progress as a runner, moved to a wonderful new home and set myself up for big goals in 2015. Along the way I did a tough race in the Jungle, spent some time in the Alps and experienced a phenomenal race where I crewed for friends.

I would like to race more next year and take on tougher competition in the most difficult races. After two years of focused running I feel I'm ready for this next step. It's going to be an exciting year!

Sponsors

32Gi was an excellent sponsor for me this year. I received all the products I needed, received detailed advice and with their products I developed my own race nutrition plan. Nutrition is so important for ultra-marathons and I couldn't be happier with 32Gi and a perfected nutrition plan.

UVU provides me with clothing and I'm providing input to help with the final touches on the consumer line that will be available in 2015. This clothing is simply the best running apparel I have ever seen or used. 

Zero Point provides me with compression socks and ankle socks for all my running and racing. The products are well designed, comfortable and make looking after my feet easy.

Statistics

I love tracking my running and seeing how different years stack up. At a very high level, my year looked like this:

Distance: 4,697km (2013: 4,181km)
Time: 515:58:35 (2013: 423:24:17)
Elevation gain: 124,427m (2013: 63,461m)

I ran more and climbed almost double the vertical gain I did in 2013. I thought that these numbers would be a gradual improvement year-on-year, but overall it's a big jump! I hope that I can reflect this work in my races in 2015.

Photos

Starting the year

Vanessa and I went on a road trip to the south of Chile in January. I did some great running training for the year ahead, enjoyed some new trails and started 2014 fresh and excited for new goals.

Smooth dirt roads near Huilo Huilo.
The south of Chile is spectacular! An awesome place.

Bossjogging weekend at Yerba Loca

Mati, Max, Moi, Pat and I went up to Yerba Loca to enjoy some trails and mountains together for the first time. This was a fantastic weekend: good friends, great trails, free meat from our camping neighbours barbecue and lots of laughs. 

Climbing into the mountains with the #bossjogging crew.
After a cold and wet afternoon the rainbow was spectacular.
Columbia trail challenge

An interesting race that combined two of my 2014 goals - stage racing and transitioning to races in the mountains. Two days, plenty of climbing and after our weekend away all the bosses were there too. Moi took second and I managed a third place.

All the #bossjogging crew ready to run.
This race had a lot more climbing that I was used too...

Jungle Ultra

A goal race of the year for me and a departure from running in the desert. It was an very tricky race and lived up to all my expectations: the jungle was beautiful, the conditions tough and I made some great new friends. A win was a perfect result to wrap up the first half of the year.

Finishing in Pilcopata with local kids running to the line with me.
New friendships forged in the jungle.

Winter training in Santiago

After the Jungle Ultra Vanessa and I knew that we would be moving to Switzerland later in the year. I started to transition my training from stage race preparation to mountain ultra preparation. It was a great time and lots of fun because I could run routes that I had always wanted to but which didn't always fall into the right preparation towards my goals at the time.

Lots of summits on Cerro Carbon and Cerro Manquehue.
I thought that I was getting ready for European winter...

Moving to Switzerland

In August we moved to Switzerland. A new chapter of our lives began!

Our new home.
New trails, new sponsors, new goals.
Aubonne.

Crewing UTMB and running in Chamonix

Soon after arriving in Switzerland I went to Chamonix to crew for Joel and Matias at UTMB and to do some running in the mountains. I loved it there and confirmed that I was definitely in the right place for the next few years.

Climbing the vertical kilometre out of Chamonix.
The start of UTMB.

Mountain running in Switzerland

I started running a lot more vertical and practicing climbing in the end of the summer. I found plenty of great routes, ran between Switzerland and France and learned some sections of the UTMB route.

Leaving Martigny and heading into the mountains.
So many trail options, so many mountain trails.
The beautiful little town of Trient.

Humani'Trail Les Diablerets

In October I ran my first race in Switzerland. It was a great introduction to lots of climbing, using poles, and I gained two additional points so I would be eligible to enter UTMB for 2015. I had a solid outing and took 5th.

Les Diablerets.
Coming in after a long day in the mountains.

Winter and snow

A true winter with lots of snow meant that I was learning some new skills. It made a huge difference to be able to do something new and train slightly differently to the routine I had developed. I love the snow and the fresh and cleaning sensations it brings.

Playing in the snow near Aigle.
The sun was the reward for a long climb into the clouds.
New snowy trails and cold weather in the Jura.

Grindelwald and St. Moritz

In December I joined Joel on his trip to Switzerland. We went to Grindelwald together and then joined Anne-Marie in St. Moritz. Seeing the other side of Switzerland was fun and I managed to put the skills I had been practicing into use on some seriously steep mountain terrain.

Grindelwald.
This is a real winter!
Peaks and summits in every direction.
With Joel in Grindelwald.
Anne-Marie and Joel in St. Mortiz.

Johannesburg

I ended the year in a great way: Christmas with my family and my brother's wedding on New Year's Eve. Running in the sun and warmth of the Jo'burg summer was a welcome respite from the Swiss winter.

Running on Brian's local trail.
Enjoying some family running time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you and get your perspective on my stories, thoughts and training. Please feel free to comment.