July 2015

Features

On the Trail

Of all the important relationships in life, my relationship with the trails is one of the most complex and profound of all. Some days running the trail is like a magic carpet ride—every step easy and flowing and I’m one...

From 10k to Your First Ultra

Dear Ann, I recently signed up for a local 10k race. It will be my first ever. Now I’m thinking about doing either a 50-mile, 100k or a 100-mile ultra. Most folks would probably do a half marathon first, then a full mar...

Fuel and Food Progression During an Ultramarathon

If you can run 100 miles by eating a gel every 30 minutes from the start, then for heaven’s sake, go do something more fun than reading this article! I’ve been a runner since I was 22—when pacing my friend at Western Sta...

Taper Time

During the months of hard training for your big race, sometimes all you want to do is NOT run. There are the days when it is so very tempting to hit snooze on your alarm clock and go back to sleep rather than crawl out o...

Maximizing Vert

Summertime means the mountains are open for runners and hikers, and the majority of the high alpine races are during this time of year. However, many runners, especially city slickers, don’t have equivalent climbs where...

Sleep, Run, Repeat

Sleep plays a critical role in muscle formation and repair, thinking and planning, motivation and mood and appetite and body weight regulation. Sleep is also essential for preventing and recovering from health problems....

Do Try This at Home

I have been coaching basketball for about 30 years. Success in basketball requires the development of some very complex fundamental skills, and over the years I have come to recognize a truth about skill development. A t...

Evolution of Western States Course

Every sport has its majors: world-class competitions that crown champions. Most of these events travel to different locations each year, highlighting either the home team or a special venue. But for a few athletic pursui...

Handling Your First Ultra

In marathons and shorter distance races, most runners have one goal in mind: speed. Holding a particular pace right at the upper edge of their abilities for the duration of the race is the end-all and be-all. Things like...

Achieving Flow State

According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the leading authority on flow state, “flow is a very positive psychological state that typically occurs when a person perceives a balance between the challenges associated with a sit...

Ultrarunner Profile: Bill Dodson

Bill Dodson recently broke the American record for 100k for his age (80 years old) at the Mad City 100k on April 11. He raced in a time of 15 hours and 5 minutes, which was over 2- hours ahead of the prior record. The fo...

Ultrarunner Profile: Gunhild Swanson

In 2005, just one week before her 61st birthday, Gunhild Swanson set the 60-and-older female record for Western States with a time of 25:40. Without a doubt, her husband Jack wanted to pace her for a portion of the prest...

Ultrarunner Profile: Mark Ritchman

When you meet Marin County’s Mark Richtman, it’s hard to believe that he’s 60 years old. Despite his longish graying hair, his stride is fluid and he remains a fierce ultra competitor. “When I show up at the starting lin...

Joe Fejes’ Six-Day American Record

This May, after falling just short of the magical 600-mile mark last year in Anchorage, AK, Joe Fejes became the first modern-day American to break the 600-mile barrier in six days at the EMU World Trophy races in Hungar...

Ultrarunning News From Around the Globe

TRANSVULCANIA The Canary island of La Palma was the incredible setting for the opening race of the 2015 Sky Runner World Series, the Transvulcania ultramarathon. It’s a 73 km-long trail of volcanic sand and lava rocks t...

The Florida Ultra Community

Ultrarunning was born at JFK in the 1960s, and became much more popular out west after Gordy Aisneligh took on the horses for 100 miles on foot in the early 1970s. But the Florida ultrarunning community has shown tremend...

Ace Your Next Race: Calming Pre-race Jitters

Nothing can derail a good effort more than the psychological stress of pre-race anxiety. No matter how much training, no matter how much preparation you’ve done, if you’re overly nervous at the start of a race, the physi...

Setting the Pace

I was recently asked, “Zach, your crewing article was great, but I am not really wanting to sit on my butt for hours just to pop blisters, make sandwiches and fill water bottles… what about pacing?” Well, my friend, that...

I’m Entitled!

In the past 10 to 15 years there’s been an explosion in trail running events, especially 100k and 100-mile races. With the esteemed Running Times publishing an article called “Is 100 Miles the New Marathon?,” it appears...

Feature Races

Bull Run Run

In seven visits to northern Virginia’s Bull Run-Occoquan Trail for the Bull Run Run 50, James Blandford clocked ever-faster times on the rolling, wooded course rich with Civil War history. But none were fast enough fo...

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....

Umstead

As race week unfolded, the weather forecast ranged from cold to even colder. With the early warning, runners were able to prepare for the coldest running on record for our race. After a rainy prerace Friday, the sky slow...

Gorge Waterfalls

In 2015, the Gorge Waterfalls 100K was, for more than a few determined runners toeing the line, all about the Western States chase. Newly added to the Montrail Ultra Cup, at stake were two positions on the Squaw Valley s...

Zumbro

The month of March has one simple job—to come "in like a lion" and go "out like a lamb." The past couple of years it had started to seem like the lion ate Little Bo Peep, leaving April's Zumbro Endurance Run condemne...

Race Reports

The Barkley Marathons

To sum up the 2015 Barkley in a nutshell, there were a lot of runners who ran quite well for a very long time. And then they all flamed out. Not only were there no finishers in the 100-mile main event, no runner reached...

Brazos Bend

As the 50-mile runners set out for their journeys at 6 a.m. on April 25th, 2015 at the Brazos Bend 50, no one could have foreseen the weather band that was headed towards the park. Shortly after the 50k and 25k runners t...

Antelope Island Buffalo Run

Unique location, unique wildlife, unique logistics: the Buffalo Run 100 Mile is a wholly singular and satisfying experience. The course tours Antelope Island, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, and features sweep...

Greenland Trail 50K

Professional triathlete Hayley Benson won the Greenland Trail 50K in a new women’s course record of 3:41:31. Benson, 33, placed second overall in the race, and beat the previous course record by 10 minutes, which was set...

Lake Martin 100

We had an absolutely beautiful week leading up to the 100 until Thursday, the day guests began arriving at the Lodge at Cocktail Slough on Lake Martin. The lodge is the race headquarters, with 12 rooms located just two m...

Mad City

Records fell again at the ninth annual Mad City Ultras on April 11.  In the USA 100k national championship road race, Camille Herron won the women's crown, breaking the Mad City course record and finishing in four...

Mesquite Canyon

My foray into ultrarunning and ride and tie events started in 2006. Since that time I’ve completed 45 ride and ties ranging from 20 to 36 miles and four 50k ultras. I also got into endurance horseback riding a few years...

Monument Valley

Maybe it was the Native American prayer spoken by a Navajo leader in the predawn light before the start of the race. Maybe it was the sense that I was running right through the middle of a John Wayne movie. Maybe it was...

Ouachita Trail

Ultrarunning is not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Arkansas, but it should be, because this is one of the better scenes east of Leadville. What the Arkansas ultrarunning scene lacks in numbers...

Prairie Spirit Trail

By most accounts, the conditions at the third annual Prairie Spirit Trail 100- and 50-mile races weren’t much to write home about: highs in the lower 50s, lows in the upper 30s and no precipitation. That meant 75 runners...

Promise Land 50K

The Promise Land 50K has it all: big climbs, big descents, a spectacular waterfall, beautiful streams, single-track trails, a pre-race pizza blast, a spectacular bonfire, free camping at the start/finish, a post-race bar...

24-Hour World Championship

Both the men and women’s USA 24 Hour Running Teams entered the World Championships in Turin, Italy on April 11th as defending World Champions after their victories in the Netherlands in 2013. The 2014 World Championships...

Thailand Ultramarathon

How does one prepare for a race so unique, not even the race directors know what to expect? By running loops on tsunami evacuation towers, of course. The venue: Thailand’s first ever mountain ultramarathon, an 80k cou...

Stephanie Howe runs a speedy and impressive race to set a new Lake Sonoma women’s course record. Photo: Bob MacGillivray