Ian Corless: Of Joy and Pain

This article was originally featured in issue #1 of Like the Wind Magazine. Words and photography by Ian Corless.


It starts weeks, no, months before. Research on course profiles, terrain, altitude, distance and location. You can’t just turn up at an event and expect to cover it well. Just as a runner trains and prepares, I must do the same. I have my own race to run. It’s an ultra. It always is. Long days, short nights, little sleep and the buzz of adrenaline keeps me wired.

The sound of the start horn releases the runner on a journey and the breaking of tape concludes the experience; for the race staff, supporters and journalists the journey rolls on, long past the last finisher. A story must be told. Websites must be updated, articles written, photographs edited and as the eyelids close with exhaustion, the inner self contemplates the battle with sleep. Just one more hour… maybe another photo to edit or one more page to write.

Eventually the deed is done. Another race has been covered; a story has been told. Sitting back in a chair, beer in hand, the body relaxes and recuperation begins.

It won’t be long before the experience is repeated; another place, another race, more new and enlightening experiences.

Jared Campbell (USA/La Sportiva) Leaning into one of the many tough and technical climbs at the brutal, 170km Andorra Ultra Trail – Ronda dels Cims.

 

Anton Krupicka (USA/New Balance) After a couple of troubled years owing to injury, Anton toed the line at the 2013 The North Face UTMB with only one objective: to win!

 

Mont Blanc Marathon (France) Exhausted, head in hands, a runner tries to recover from the effort undertaken to complete a tough and fast day in the mountains.

 

Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain/Adidas) The iconic Transvulcania La Palma. Luis Alberto, in his first ultra, places 2nd behind Kilian Jornet. The emotions are clear to see.

 

Right: Silvia Serafini (Italy/Salomon) Silvia is a rising star in the world of trail, mountain and Skyrunning. A regular performer, she always pushes herself to the limit. Here at Zegama-Aizkorri she twisted an ankle. Although placing high up in the race, she did not fulfil her own exacting standards.

 

Mike Wolfe (USA/The North Face) Just weeks after setting a “Fastest Known Time” (FKT) on the John Muir Trail with The North Face teammate Hal Koerner, Mike attempted The North Face UTMB. Slumped in an aid station, his body was exhausted, recovery incomplete.

 

Didier Benguigui (France) Didier Benguigui crosses the line to complete his 10th Marathon des Sables. All the more impressive as Didier is blind.

 

Ice Trail Tarentaise (Val D’Isere/ France)
The tough and brutal Ice Trail Tarentaise. Quad-busting vertical climbs intertwined with ice, snow and bracing temperatures, a pure Skyrunning race to test mind and body.

Ian Corless is a photographer, writer, reviewer and blogger at iancorless.com. Ian is also creative director & host of ultra running podcast; Talk Ultra.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *