Rocky road to success on the Hong Kong trails
Vegan Athlete of the Year finalist Vlad Ixel has started 2017 with some excellent rusults. He started off with a win and course record at the 32km Ultra Angkor Wat in Cambodia in which he also took a course record. He then went on to take a victory in the 9 dragons 50k ultra in Hong Kong.
Next was the MSIG Sai Kung was next. This 54k course takes in an enormous height gain of close to 3000 metres. Vlad’s win in 6 hours 6 minutes and 14 seconds was four minutes ahead of the second placed runner from France.
“The course is beautiful and I really enjoyed it” said vegan Vlad “but there were climbs and other tough stuff going on. It’s quite technical on the way down and your legs are already tired but then you still have to run down. It was definitely challenging today.”
Unusually Vlad used running poles on his last two ultras. He explains that they slow him down, but they reduce the impact in the legs and assist in recovery, so he plans to keep using them.
"The race went well" Vlad told us afterwards, "my goal for 2017 was not to over push in races and not chase course records, that meant that I could run at an easy pace for the first 35k before picking up the pace and winning the race. As I grow older Im starting to understand that a win is a win and it doesn't matter if its by 1min or 30min, first place is first place!"
"My training needs to improve and I need to use as little energy during races so I can back bp and go longer runs in the middle of the week. Following the win in the MSIG 55k I did a 30k trail run 2 days later and a 45k trail run 4 days later so the tactics are working as im getting much better training in between races."
Like most of Vlad's rivals, as site managers we struggle to keep up with Vlad and his successes. On the morning that he told us about the MSIG victory he ran a 10k which he won in 34:57 after sitting in second until 800 metres from the end.
Further challenges lie ahead. In early April he plans the 100k Gorge Waterfall in the US in a bid to get a place in the prestigious Western Sates 100 mile.
"I will also be racing around Europe in summer so I'm trying to build a good amount of K's in the legs now to be ready for the upcoming races."