Malm Ultraintervall an ultra training turned into a race

06 jan. 2011 11h07
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus sur une course

Kenneth Myhre is the creator and race director of Malm Ultraintervall. He is 21 years old, and got hooked when he attended his first ultra run in 2008, when he was just 18 years old. The following year he established my own ultra run competition, which so far has attracted participants from three different countries.

§staticmap(9171,4,450,250)Hello, on June 4th, you’ll be organizing the Malm Ultraintervall. Can you tell us where it is located?

Malm Ultraintervall is located in the village Malm, which is a small village with 1,800 inhabitants. Malm is localized in the middle of Norway, in the Nord-Trøndelag county. From the international airport of Trondheim, there is a two hour bus trip to reach Malm.

I would also like to briefly explain the principle of Malm Ultraintervall: One lap in Malm Ultraintervall is 12 km, and this route is meant to be completed six times in 24 hours – with starts at 12:00, 16:00, 20:00, 00:00, 04:00 and 08:00.

The total distance of Malm Ultraintervall is 72 km. The faster you run on lap, the longer the pause, you will get before a new start – and vice versa. Between each round, competitors are accommodated at Malm school, where the resting and eating take place. The common accommodation also gives Malm Ultraintervall a special social frame!

Malm ultraintervall broad view
Crédit : Malm ultraintervall
This type of organization means that the running takes place at a higher heart rate intensity than in an typical ultra race and this makes Malm Ultraintervall to a very special kind of ultra run. The ultra runners that have attended, tell that they got tired in a very different way after Malm Ultraintervall, than after a more typical ultra run.

This will be the third edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

Malm Ultraintervall was first planned to be a unofficial training run for me and a running friend. We assumed that a ultra based on the “interval principle” would be a great way to train for a major ultra competition.

But as this “stunt” got more and more attention during the planning phase, and a lot of people said they were interested in our race, we decided to give it a try as an official competition.

steeply the first part of the track
Crédit : Malm Ultraintervall
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route of Malm Ultraintervall is a really tough challenge. One lap is just 12 km, but it has a highly variable of substrates; it consists of forest trail, marsh, mountain, dirt road and asphalt. The runners starts at sea level, and moves quickly up to the low-mountains that surrounds the beautiful Beitstad Fjord.

The first 3,5 kilometer of the route has an elevation gain of 450 meters, and the total gain in the 12 km route is about 650 meters. This means that over all the elevation gain for the 6 × 12 kilometers is about 3,900 meters. The starting line and the finish line is located in the same area, so that the challenge is to run downhill as well as to climb.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We hope that 40-50 ultra runners will attend the Ultraintervall. In total, with the other races mentioned hereinafter, we hope to attract about 200 runners, ranging from recreational athletes to highly trained ultra runners.

Still climbing
Crédit : Malm Ultraintervall
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

We also organize a “short edition” of the Malm Ultraintervall race; instead of six laps, the short edition consist of three laps, which starts at 12:00, 20:00 and 08:00.

In addition to the interval races, we also arrange a informal local race, that start at the same time as the first round of the ultra race. In this race, participants can choose to do the ultra route of 12 kilometers, or a shorter route of 7 kilometers. This means that the event addresses a wide audience – not just extreme/ultra runners.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

June is the first summer month in the middle of Norway, and offers often a mild, sunny, weather with temperatures around fifteen to twenty degrees in the middle of the day. But night time temperatures can drop to around zero degrees, and in 2009 we had actually freezing temperatures at night, so that the marshes froze to ice.

In addition, the last snow melts in the end of May in the low mountains, so that the marshes are probably filled with ice cold water. But with the early sunrise and late sunset, there is a high probability of a beautiful weather, despite the fact that the temperature drops during the evening and night time. It never gets completely dark at this time of year, so it is fine to run at any time of day.

At the start
Crédit : Malm Ultraintervall
Have you planned festivities around the race?

We have deliberately avoided to add other festivities around the race, so runners will have a good opportunity to rest between the laps. The race is in itself a major attraction in our little village, and many people attends to cheer the runners during the entire competition!

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Malm before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

There is a nice restaurant just 50 meters away from the finish line. I can guarantee, that after last lap is completed and the race is over, it tempts with a pizza, a burger, a beer – or something else as well, that they serve in this restaurant.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Malm Ultraintervall?

Attend a different ultra run competition – attend Malm Ultraintervall!

Thank you Kenneth