60 SEC­ONDS WITH... RYAN SMITH

Trail Running (UK) - - Warm- Up -

US-based, Bri­tish ul­tra-run­ner Ryan (who fin­ished 8th at UTMB in 2015) ran the sec­ond­fastest ever Bob Gra­ham (BG) round in May.Ma His 14:17 is just 24 min­utes shysh of Billy Bland’s 35-year-old record.r

How was as youry BG prep?

I spent eight months pe­rus­ing maps, router op­tions, read­ing ac­counts and build­ing the ul­ti­mate, ner­dyner spread­sheet. I tried legs 2, 3 and 4 in win­ter, with more­mor rec­ces a few days be­fore the at­tempt, which wasn’t ideal as far as rest goes, but gavega me con­fi­dence­con­fi­denc in my route choices. I had spe­cial La Sportiva shoes made,made to try and fuse a shoe thattha would per­form equally well on boggy fells and rocky fields. Were you after the record? Yes. Over­all, I think I ex­e­cuted things well, but I was un­able to find many pac­ers. That had the largest im­pact on leg 2, where I ran out of wa­ter and de­scended to Grisedale Tarn to re­fill, then tack­led the face of Fair­field and wasn’t sure of the op­ti­mal line.. On leg 1, my line be­tween Great t Calva and Blen­cathra wasn’t asn’t op­ti­mal. I was sev­eral min­utes es be­hind Billy’s split, de­spite e be­ing ahead for the firstt two peaks and feel­ing eel­ing fine. Leg 3 hon­estly tly felt ef­fort­less, s, then things came crashing down wn to re­al­ity eal­ity on leg 4, where I had trou­ble with cramp­ing. amp­ing.

Anyy thoughts on Kil­ian Jor­net’s mooted at­tempt? empt?

I’m look­ing for­ward too see­ing what he can do. . As with all BGs, it will de­pend on his prepa­ra­tion, tion, help from the com­mu­nity, , and the weather. I wouldn’t ouldn’t be sur­prised too see a 13:30 if con­di­tions are e good.

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