For Rangers Ultra 2019 Race Report – Stage Two

As the runners were rubbing their eyes and trying to crowbar themselves back into clammy lycra this morning at breakfast, our teams were out on the course clearing a path through the elephants

19th September, 2019

As the runners were rubbing their eyes and trying to crowbar themselves back into clammy lycra this morning at breakfast, our teams were out on the course clearing a path through the elephants who had decided to graze along the early parts of the trail.

The professionalism, precision and speed the rangers work at is a testament to their passion for their role and to the work of For Rangers in helping to support the continued training and personal development of the ranger teams.  We all owe them a debt for their service out here in the field.

At a little after 7am this morning, our runners headed out into the field too.  Todday’s stage was a short step up in difficulty level from yesterday.  The temperature today has been a little higher, the elevation more severe and the distance a few kilometres further. 

That said, there are great rewards for those who are able to remember to keep their chin up through the struggling and look around.  The yellow light this morning adds a glow to the scenery and we were all treated to a crystal clear view of the summit of Mt Kenya on the climb up towards CP1.

The most technical and longest climbs of the day were all crammed into the first ten kilometres and, as a consequence, a few of the runners carrying issues from yesterday had to call it a day there.  Clive Midlane, Hiro Takayama and Manabu Yamayoshi didn’t have a wasted day though as they were escorted to camp by one of our reconnaissance helicopters, meaning they were still able to see the whole course and to spot animals from the sky.  The younger of the Midlane duo, Karl managed to push on beyond CP2 but was later picked up by our team too.  All four are in good spirits and may well take to the start line again later in the race.

There are always some great stories on events such as this and it would be remiss of us to complete our race reports without mentioning Yoshiaki Ishihara.  This Japanese runner has completed around 50 ultra races since taking up running at the age of 51.  He is now 73 years old and still stoically powering through the kilometres.  We have high hopes for him.

It was a relatively quiet day for elephants today, though we expect to see many more during the next few days.  What we did see an abundance of today on Borana’s sprawling, grassy plains, were herds of Zebra and Buffalo and a lot of Giraffe striding through the patchy trees.  The very first runners to the finish were even treated to the sight of two white rhinos, on the hillside which looks over tonight’s camp.

Those first runners were somewhat different to yesterday’s.  American runner Abram Nelson set a startling pace this morning and steadily puled ahead of the chasing pack throughout the day.  He finished today’s stage an exceptional thirty four minutes ahead of the 2nd placed runner.  That runner was yesterday’s winner, Skirmantas Sukackas.  In 3rd today was Marcus Smith, who took 2nd yesterday.  Both Skirmantas and Marcus are both looking very strong though.  Expect a battle for the podium.

Sarah Watson stepped up from her already excellent performance yesterday coming in 5th overall today, eleven minutes ahead of 2nd woman, Liis Pagil.  3rd today was Reiko Kato once again leaving the top three unchanged.

Team Ranger One have had another excellent day, finishing right in the middle of the pack again.  Consistency has been their watch-word as they march through the terrain.

At the time of writing, all of our runners and race team are gathered in tonight’s camp, a semi-circle of tents on an open plain surrounded on 3 sides by hills, one of which they’ll need to climb when the race begins again tomorrow.  We won’t tell them that yet though.

There will be two waves of runners tomorrow morning as we adjust to their pace.  The slower runners will set off at 7am and the main pack at 8am.  They’ll have 47km to cover as they make their way into Lolldaiga Conservancy.   

Below you’ll find today’s results, plus the overall top performers including the first three women.

Good Night from Kenya

NameRunnerS2 DurationS2 Position
Abram Nelson444:21:001
Skirmantas Sukackas644:55:002
Marcus Smith605:05:003
Brian Markussen385:36:004
Sarah Watson725:38:005
Frode Lein5:42:006
Liis Pagil475:49:007
Benjamin Rodgers535:52:008
Derrick Khan316:02:009
Simon Wilson746:20:0010
Reiko Kato296:27:0011
Douglas Ruddock566:30:0012
Barry Cork96:31:0013
Sam Pearson506:31:0013
Simon Davies116:41:0015
Yosuke Ikuta266:42:0016
Thijs Leroy366:43:0017
Charlotte Riley526:43:0017
Sarah Vaughton696:46:0019
Stephen Parker496:47:0020
Sam Rodwell546:53:0021
Charles Wallis706:53:0021
Giles Hindle236:58:0023
Marcus Savage577:00:0024
Mel Kinder337:03:0025
Neil Kinder327:03:0025
Dietmar Rosenau557:05:0027
Max Labouchere357:07:0028
Alexander Stephenson617:07:0028
Tarquin Stephenson627:07:0028
Ranger One7:17:0031
Mark Entwistle127:17:0031
Christine Horner247:22:0033
Richard French187:26:0034
Robert Hutchinson257:26:0034
Nigel Fishburn157:33:0036
Karl Hinett77:37:0037
Henry Chaplin67:37:0037
Kamei Tomotaka677:40:0039
AJ Millward427:46:0040
David Hill227:46:0040
Charlotte Fox167:48:0042
Mike Fox177:48:0042
Betina Karlsen287:51:0044
Edward (James) Savage588:06:0045
Flossie Carpenter48:26:0046
Richard Van Aardt688:32:0047
Nakata Keiko308:38:0048
Yutaka Fujioka198:40:0049
Naoi Tanaka668:40:0049
Jacqui Burke38:46:0051
Zoe Carr58:46:0051
Timothy Wright758:49:0053
Anna Rhodes518:49:0053
Isabelle Kurzava348:50:0055
Takashi Okada459:32:0056
Amy Strode639:37:0057
Yoshiaki Ishihara279:48:0058
Keiko Matsuo399:48:0058
PositionNameRace #TimeMale/Female
1Abram Nelson4415:13:00M
2Skirmantas Sukackas6415:21:00M
3Marcus Smith6015:37:00M
4Brian Markussen3816:28:00M
5Sarah Watson7216:35:00F
6Frode Lein16:36:00M
7Benjamin Rodgers5316:41:00M
8Liis Pagil4717:01:00F
9Simon Wilson7417:28:00M
10Derrick Khan3117:28:00M
11Simon Davies1117:38:00M
12Reiko Kato2918:00:00F
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