Articles by John Medinger

UltraRunners of the Decade

Jim Walmsley and Ellie Greenwood are the North American Ultrarunners of the Decade for 2010-2019.Greenwood, who was Ultrarunner of the Year three times (2011, 2012 and 2014) edged out Courtney Dauwalter, Kaci Lickteig an...

2019: The Year In Review

The votes are in: Jim Walmsley and Courtney Dauwalter have repeated as North American Ultrarunners of the Year. For Walmsley, it is the fourth straight year of this honor, matching Tom Johnson (1994-1997) as the only man...

The Year in Review

The votes are in and Jim Walmsley has a three-peat, while Courtney Dauwalter moved to the top of the women’s rankings from second place in 2017. The women’s voting was nearly unanimous, with Courtney nabbing 37 first-pla...

Western States: Notes in the Margin

Welcome to the Three-Dot Lounge, where we annually regale you with Western States deep thoughts, cheap shots and bon mots… First and foremost in everyone’s mind every year is the weather. Heat is what makes Western State...

The Year in Review

Every year is unique in our sport, but 2017 was a milestone year. For the first time ever, more than 100,000 ultra finishes were recorded in North America. When you consider that as recently as 25 years ago the total num...

Lake Sonoma

Lake Sonoma 50 has evolved into the most competitive ultra of the spring and this year’s race continued the trend. The women’s field was packed with talent – one of the deepest fields in memory. The men’s field didn’t di...

Year in Review

Two thousand and sixteen was another year of solid growth and increasing speed in our sport, a continuation of trends that was surely apparent to all participants. But under that umbrella were many ironies and surprises...

Lake Sonoma 50

Just when you think no one could possibly run faster, someone does. That was the opening sentence to last year’s race report, and I’m going to use it again. Remarkably, for the ninth consecutive year, the course record w...

Year in Review

It was fascinating to watch the voting unfold for the Ultrarunner of the Year. The men's field was incredibly crowded - no fewer than eleven men received a vote for first place, and it was pretty easy to make a plaus...

10 Keys to Race Directing

Race directing isn’t rocket science. It’s mostly grunt work and taking care of a lot of picky details. It’s not easy to write about race directing in a general sense, since there is so much variability in ultras. Some ar...

Against All Odds: The Tonia Smith Story

Tonia Smith’s surgeon came into her room with a grim look on his face. “I have some difficult news to tell you. You have pancreatic cancer.” He continued, “We had every pathologist in the department look at your slide...

Lake Sonoma 50

Just when you think no one could possibly run faster, someone does. For the eighth consecutive year, both the men and women’s course records were broken, as Alex Varner and Stephanie Howe raised the bar a little higher....

The Year in Review

In a year filled with amazing performances, Rob Krar and Ellie Greenwood were voted 2014 Ultra Runners of the Year. It was the second award for Krar, who successfully defended his 2013 crown. Greenwood, whose 2013 was in...