Articles by Jeff Kozak

Something Is Better than Nothing

Every December, during that week between Christmas and New Years when the present feels delicately suspended between the past and the future and time seems to briefly slow, I sit with my training journal and reflect. It’...

Reflecting Upon a Grin: Retrieving Lessons From Loss

Returning from a mountain run last fall, I could barely get inside the house because of the furry blonde bundle of energetic joy burrowing sideways into my legs at the door. Leaving my trail shoes in the entry, I had dis...

Silver & Gold: The John Trent Story

Third time's the charm. John Trent at the finish of the 2023 Wasatch 100 with his faithful family and friends (L to R: Lauren, Katie, Jill, John and Jeffrey). courtesy John Trent John Trent has alway...

Motel Soaps and Memories

In September of 1995, as a rudderless senior at Ohio University, I randomly purchased a copy of UltraRunning Magazine. Although I knew stepping into the sport was inevitable, my existence at the time was exceptionally he...

Grinding to Gratitude

A shift in perspective can arrive in unexpected ways. When Rob Cain, captain of the mile 90.7 Quarry Road aid station at Western States—a place where I’ve had the good fortune of being a part of the team over the past...

Roaming the Range of Light: Five Iconic Trails in the High Sierra

The author runs near the rounded summit of Mazourka Peak in the Inyo Mountains, looking west across the Owens Valley near Independence to the Sierra Crest and two 14'ers: Mt. Williamson and Mt. Tyndall. Howie...

Adventure Is Where You Find It

The White Mountains, with 14,252 foot White Mountain Peak, dominate the eastern skyline from the high point of Fish Slough Rd. Author Somewhere around 3 a.m., one of several black bears paid a v...

Raison D'Etre

Approaching the aid station at mile 80 of the 2014 San Diego 100, I had no idea what place I was in. I only knew that the preceding marathon had passed in a state of flow that, up until then, despite re...

There is Peace in the Doing

Clyde Minaret, the majestic high point of this jagged, metamorphic sub-range of the Sierra, reflects in the evening light of Minaret Lake. author For well over an hour, a plane had been circling...

Mammoth Trail Fest

Tony Torres runs to a ninth-place finish. Josh Wray This is a unique single-loop course with no out-and-backs or reused trail, at an average elevation of over 9,100 feet. The trail is a mix of buttery...

Change Is Inevitable

Hanging out at the Chilao aid station of this year’s Angeles Crest 100, I had the pleasant surprise of bumping into Scotty Mills, the ultrarunning and race directing legend. He was commenting on the Hardro...

Pain by Numbers

When 57-year-old Ninette Banoun of Oslo, Norway, entered the Quarry Road aid station at mile 90.7 of the Western States 100 at 8:21 a.m. on Sunday morning, she was 11 minutes on the wrong side of statistical history....

Risk Mitigation

In early June of 2009, prolonged storminess had left me feeling restless and trapped in the Owens Valley. All spring, after excitedly realizing that my planned route was 100k in round-trip length, I had been patiently...

Goosebumps

View from Gooseberry Mesa onto the Virgin River lowlands that comprise the middle miles of the Zion 100K. Before 2019 was fully in the rearview mirror, I had decided to step away from ultras for a year....

Maybe I Can Get a Run In

I keep a duffel bag in my truck at all times with the essentials I need to run – anytime, anywhere. It’s a small bag for such a boundless pursuit and a continual reminder that the fundamental beauty of running lies in...

The Promised Land

The beat-up SUV barreled southbound through the early September high desert heat, as Springsteen’s blue-collar baritone clawed at my “itchin’ for somethin’ to start” soul through scratchy speakers: “The dogs on Main S...

Time Passages

The text arrived, immediately conjuring up an ultra career’s worth of nostalgia: “Hey Jeff! I saw you at States! I was running in with a client in the Golden Hour. I’m going to be in Bishop Wed-Friday. You around?” Th...