We recently reported on an astounding winning streak from Aussie Vlad Ixel who had entered four races, took four wins and set course records in them all.
This incredible record continued with an entry to the AAE Sprint Trail 12k, which he won in 58:30, taking another course record.
Following this he took on the Stairmaster Hong Kong, a trail race around 10k in length which gets its name from the height gain of over 1000 metres. Vlad’s win in 1 hour 23 minutes won him his sixth course record of the year – from six consecutive races.
Next was the 30km Country of Origin Trail race which covered a route on Lantau island and again finished with Vlad in front, with his 3 hour 31 minute finish time enough to give him a course victory.
After this was the Merramar 22km trail race, providing his 8th victory and eighth course record as he finished in 1:50. Vlad was pleased with this and told us that “8 weeks, 8 wins and 8 course records was a nice way to finish off the Asian running season.” The races are seen by Vlad as part of his training, which works out well in Hong Kong.
“The good thing in Hong Kong is that I can race every weekend and it fits right into my training, so if it a short race it’s my tempo run for the week and if it’s a long race it’s my long run for the weeks so I’m very lucky to have the ability to pick a different race every week to can work with my training.”
Through all these races Vlad had his mind on the Transvulcania Ultramarathon in La Palma, Canary Islands. The gruelling event is one of the highest profiled ultramarathons globally, with a course length of over 74 km (46 miles), and Vlad describes it as “by far the most competitive trail race in the world”. The height gain of 4350 is in between a similar amount of height loss, making it extremely tough, especially in the heat of the Canary Islands, and Vlad was aware of the challenges it presented. “The race starts at sea level and climbs to 2800m before heading back to town in its 75km of volcanic trails and rocks.”
Vlad was one of over 1500 runners who started, with around 10% unable to complete the course and just fifteen runners finishing in less than eight hours. Vlad was one of them, taking twelfth place in 7 hours 50, closely behind four runners who finished less than ten minutes ahead of him.
While Vlad is clearly now established as a front runner globally in his sport, it’s worth noting that he’s still young. In a sport where experience is key and many runners don’t reach their potential until middle age, Vlad is not yet 29 years old.
The hardworking vegan’s enthusiasm for his sport is obvious to all around him and we will be watching his progress with interest.
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