Races are coming thick and fast in the 2016 Skyrunning ANZ series now. Last weekend we just saw some awesome running at the Shotover Moonlight Skymarathon with plenty of new runners welcomed into the Skyrunning family. At the front of the field it was on like Donkey Kong with Team Salomon’s young Lucy Batholomew stamping her dominance early in the female field. For the men an athlete new to Skyrunning but experienced in adventure racing, Chris Frome, edged out a stacked field that included the mountain crusher Andrius Ramonas as well as two Salomon guns Majell Backhausen and Matty Abel to claim the win.
This weekend it’s time for the iconic Hillary SkyUltra and Skyrace. The Hillary has a great line up of athletes taking part, tackling the demanding yet beautiful course. Included in the field are a brave few backing up from Shotover. The Hillary race itself appeals to many with a wide variety of terrain on offer including beaches, coastal high trail and technical rooted tracks – its sure to be a cracker of a day!
In the lead up Skyrunning ANZ caught up with Skyrunner extraordinaire Gill Fowler for a quick interview.
Skyrunning ANZ: Of all the races out there what drew you to the Hillary?
Gill Fowler: I always enjoy a new trail. There were great reviews from last year’s race and the photos and video of the Hillary Trail look great.
Skyrunning ANZ: What is your take on using Running poles? Will you use them for Hillary? and what would be one key bit of advice for others who might choose to wear them?
Gill Fowler: Running poles can definitely help for climbing, particularly for long sustained climbs if you’re well practiced with them. I don’t think i’ll use poles for Hillary. There looks to be plenty of steep hills, but all relatively short in distance.
Skyrunning ANZ: In terms of training what does a usual week look like for you?
Gill Fowler: I’m not sure I have a usual week of training. The Hillary run will be 3 weeks after Cradle Mountain Run for me, so I’ll take a little time to recover and then get in some more hill training (running and hiking) as specificity is important.
Skyrunning ANZ: Are you planning on doing any other races in the Skyrunning ANZ series?
Gill Fowler: Of course. I plan to run at Buffalo Stampede, and I am tempted by the Buffalo- Buller double. I haven’t decided what runs to do later in the year, but I’m sure I’ll add in a few more Skyrunning races. I’m keen to head back to NZ again.
Skyrunning ANZ: What shoes and pack will you use for the race?
Gill Fowler: La Sportiva Helios shoes and the smallest Ultimate Direction pack I can fit all my mandatory gear into (either AK, or SJ).
Well there you have it, if you are lucky enough to be racing on the weekend good luck and if not…get yourself an entry to this great event next year!
As always remember to seek “Less Cloud, More Sky”