Adventure banter with doers of epic deeds and runners of outrageous distances. Tales of tenacity, lessons in resilience, advice for new adventurers and more from endurance athletes, expeditioners and elite coaches. Hosted by Will Roberts, a Content Creator, Reporter and Presenter with an endurance sports obsession. Welcome, pals.
E89. From 0-250km | Rising to Massive Challenges with Jenny Hall
In this special 'extra' episode Will chats with Jenny Hall who has just returned from completing Desert Ultra 2023, her first ever ultra-distance event.
Jenny is the Marketing Manager at BTU/Spine Race and she signed up to the Desert Ultra less than a year ago having never taken part in an event like it. In that short time, Jenny turned herself into a succesfrul ultra-runner and grabbed a finisher's medal under incredibly tough conditions in Namibia this November.
This interview represents a unique opportunity in that Will went through almost the same journey a few years ago, going from a standing start to finishing the Ice Ultra in less than 12 months. In this episode the pair discuss Jenny's experiences in Namibia and also mine into what you can expect if you sign up for a massive challenge of your own. In this thorough and frank conversation, the pair cover the challenges involved from fitting in training, researching kit, understanding nutrition, completing the race itself, and also managing the emotional come-down that hits some people afterwards.
If this episode helps a single runner to find the confidence to work towards their own epic adventure, or to overcome their own imposter syndrome then Will and Jenny will both be happy...
E88. Desert Ultra 2023 Special | Beating the Heat in Namibia
250kms over 5 days in the oldest desert on earth in temperatures of 50°c and higher. That's the challenge that faced the athletes who travelled with BTU out to Namibia just a few weeks ago for Desert Ultra 2023. The Desert Ultra is the longest race in the Global Race Series and this year's edition was the hottest race BTU has ever hosted.
In this episode, you'll hear from race director Adam Kimble about why he's so happy to consider the Namib his second home, from our race winners Steve Williams and Ellie Milnes, and later in the episode an extremely inspiring interview with Andy Delderfield whose preparations for this race took place whilst he also underwent treatment for cancer. We know his journey inspires us and we're certain you will feel the same.
Keep your ears open for another shorter episode coming out very soon featuring BTU's very own Jenny Hall who was also out in Namibia finishing her first-ever ultra marathon.
Timestamps as follows:
Adam Kimble: 7:40
Ellie Milnes: 41:00
Steve Williams: 1:25:15
Andy Delderfield: 1:58:00
Enter the #DesertUltra: https://www.beyondtheultimate.co.uk/race/desert-ultra/
E87. For Rangers Ultra Special | Running for Ranger Welfare in Kenya
Will and the team at BTU have recently returned from Kenya where the For Rangers Ultra was taking place. This is an absolutely unique event that offers runners the opportunity to run in East Africa’s beautiful scenery in open wildlife conservancies teaming with iconic wildlife. If the race itself weren’t awesome enough, all profits go to projects that support the welfare of wildlife rangers and so far almost £600k has been raised.
The 5-day, 220km race puts runners face-to-face with Kenya’s beautiful wildlife, an immense privilege and something almost never done on foot. Beyond that, it is an opportunity for the rangers to meet and interact with the runners who are pushing themselves through this ordeal to raise funds for them, and to hear directly what the life of a ranger is like.
In this episode we chat to Edward Ndiritu, the head of Lewa Conservancy's Anti-Poaching Unit about what the funds are used for, then with Race Director Kris King for an insight into what juggling 70 runners and uptown 200 rangers at a time is like. We then spend some time with our winners Lou Cole and James Hassan before, finally, we talk to seasoned race medic and ultra-runner Chris Hewitt who gives his unique view of the race as a medic and as a finisher.
Time Stamps as follows:
Edward Ndiritu - 0:12:05
Kris King - 0:16:55
Lou Cole - 0:53:10
James Hassan - 01:34:10
Chris Hewitt - 02:06:16
You can find Chris’ excellent race blog here: https://www.beyondtheultimate.co.uk/for-rangers-ultra-we-arrive-as-strangers
Learn more and enter For Rangers Ultra 2024: bit.ly/ForRangersUltra
E86. Mountain Ultra Special | Racing among the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan
In this brand new episode, Will Roberts chats to Jon Shield and Kristina Madsen. Hear all about how they went about winning the recent Mountain Ultra, Beyond the Ultimate's inaugural race through the remote and beautiful Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
You'll also hear from Race Director Kris King about his experience of creating and directing one of the toughest races in the BTU Global Race Series.
This race saw a first batch of pioneering runners take on 200km of technical trail with more than 10,500m of climbing over 5 gruelling days, all against the stunning backdrop of the breath-taking Tian Shan Mountain Range. Our winners will talk you through their time among those stunning peaks.
For anybody considering the Mountain Ultra - this is a must-listen. You'll hear some excellent advice on how best to prepare and plan for an adventure among the summits.
You'll also sample the winning mindsets of these two exceptionally driven runners as they reflect on the massive goals they've reached in their relatively short careers in ultra-running so far.
Enter Mountain Ultra 2024 here: https://www.beyondtheultimate.co.uk/race/mountain-ultra/
*Please note - Jon Shield's audio is occasionally lower quality due to signal problems when recording.
Kris King: 0:08:29
Jon Shield: 0:40:29
Kristina Madsen: 1:25:55
E85. Highland Ultra Special | Racing and Legacy Building in Knoydart
Knoydart is a perfect backdrop for the Highland Ultra in so many ways. As well as being the ideal place to build a course for a 3-day, 125km race, full of technical climbs, breath-taking views and tranquillity, it is home to a positive and inspiring group of people working together to improve their community and the environment around them. We are proud to support that work through the Highland Ultra and also to be able to give these fantastic people a chance to talk to you via this podcast.
In this episode, we will talk to the winners of the 2023 race in April. Lauren Gregory, Axel Jannson and Fredrik Pettersen speak about their training, their experiences on the course, what did and didn't work as they prepared for this race and, in the case of our duo of Scandinavian winners, their unconventional route to the podium.
We then go into interviews with Lorna Schofield of the Knoydart Forest Trust and Finlay Greig of the Knoydart Ranger Service where we unpack some of the massive conservation projects being undertaken by members of the Knoydart Community and how the Highland Ultra supports them through donations from race fees, trees planted for t-shirts, and more.
Enter Highland Ultra 2024 here: https://www.beyondtheultimate.co.uk/race/highland-ultra
Learn more about the Knoydart Forest Trust and the Rangers from the links below:
Knoydart Forest Trust: https://www.knoydartforesttrust.org
Knoydart Ranger Service: https://knoydart.org/ranger
Axel Jansson: 14:45
Fredrik Pettersen: 34:55
Lauren Gregory: 1:05:55
Lorna Schofield: 1:47:50
Finlay Greig: 2:07:55
Adam Kimble: 2:40:30
E84. Barkley Special with Jasmin Paris, Damian Hall, John Kelly and Keith Dunn
Each year since 1986, in Frozen Head State Park Tenessee, a race has taken place that teeters on the brink of being impossible to finish. An enigma of an event that eschews marketing, GPS tracking, and largely even race fees, and has a reputation as a serious contender for the title of toughest race on Earth.
In this episode, we talk to 3 runners who recently put in outstanding performances at the event. John Kelly was already one of the tiny group of people to ever finish the race and this year joined the even smaller group of those to finish it 2 times or more. Jasmin Paris put in the best performance by any female athlete in the history of the race, and Damian Hall managed to get all the way out onto loop 4 in his first-ever Barkley.
We also have Keith Dunn, master of Barkley Twitter, the only link between the race organisation and the outside world, chatting with Will about how he came to be such a big part of the event.
If that was somehow not enough, we also have another Radness Update from Adam Kimble, our man in America, who is here to talk us through some of the bigger US races and his journey to running the Badwater 135 in 2024.
Learn more about the Barkley Marathons by listening to our interview with Barkley Marathons creator and Race Director Gary Cantrell aka Lazarus Lake: https://bit.ly/EE36_LazLake
Image of Keith courtesy of Alexis Berg
Great podcast! Really interesting mix of guests to inspire and loads of advice on all aspects of training and endurance racing. Thank you for putting it out there!
I love podcasts. Especially those that are well produced. Will Roberts and Kris King do a marvelous job with this show. Interesting guests, well hosted and edited, good questions, well researched. Well worth adding to your list of running podcasts!
Brilliant that, just brilliant