Features

It's a Big Tent

Doing ultras is a huge deal, and only driven people and those who dream big are drawn to it. Often, the people having the most fun with it are those who find kindred spirits and form a like-minded and similarly capable g...

Training for High Altitude Ultras

Dear Ann, I would appreciate it if you could share some tips for training for races at altitude, such as TRT100. I DNF’d there this year at mile 40. I was taken by surprise, because I thought that I’d been building up w...

Training Motivation in Bad Weather

For many across the world, there are certain times of year when it’s much harder to run outside, especially in winter. Yet endurance running requires commitment and consistency to improve fitness, and we all need to grin...

Where’s Ellie?

What do you mean, “Where’s Ellie?” Surely a good guess would be that I’m on a North Vancouver trail somewhere, or maybe run-commuting to downtown Vancouver or hitting up the treadmill. But with the World Anti-Doping Asso...

The Latest on Real Food-Based Products

When it comes to fueling, our options have become extremely versatile. In addition to products such as powders, gels, gummies and blocks, you can now find products containing real food such as fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. Wh...

Trunk Alignment and Efficiency

Throughout 2016, we will break down the fundamentals of efficient running mechanics, and how the demands of the ultra distance – terrain, weather conditions and even gear – impact how we run. This month, we identify idea...

Training to Tame Big Climbs

For your average ultrarunner, the bedrock training technique is the familiar LSD, or Long Slow Distance, workout. You give up one of your precious weekend days to go really long, stay on your feet for hours, dial in the...

Whether There’s Weather

I almost did not go. No one watches the long-range weather forecast like an ultrarunner. Whether we are planning some long training run or preparing for an event, nothing weighs as heavily on us as the forecast. Of co...

Science of Running and Mental Fatigue

When we think of ultrarunners, we think of people with iron wills and the ability to push themselves beyond their limits. They seem to override physical fatigue with mental toughness. Finding causes of fatigue has been a...

Training for Mental Fitness

Brandy Erholtz and I were pushing hard on a steep climb at nearly 10,000 feet, but the familiar synergy, experienced many times before with friends and competitors in training and racing, made the toil bearable. The Euro...

Emily Richards’ Long and Winding Road

It was only a few miles of conversation between two runners as they worked their way across a muddy mountain in northern Nevada last May. Months later, as Kaci Lickteig is asked about it, it’s clear she hasn’t forgotten...

Lightweight Running Shell Review

Gone are the days when you needed half your pack space to fit a weatherproof jacket. The lightweight shell category is now defined by ultralight jackets that provide exceptional weather resistance, but compress down for...

Ultra Trail Dogs

I first heard of Alexandra Horowitz and her book Inside of a Dog in 2012 while she was being interviewed on NPR for her work studying dogs’ cognitive ability and their relationships with their human counterparts. I was i...

Tossed and Found

Why is there a bra hanging from that tree? That perplexing question wouldn’t go away. I was trail running far from the nearest campground or swimming hole. I suppose if it were a plain bra, I might have forgotten it afte...

Life as Training

The ancient Greeks believed that strength was the soul manifested through the body. A strong body spoke of a soul that was pure. They would spend their days training and conditioning, for sports and athletic performance,...

Mid-Packer Training Tips

Disclaimer: I am not a coach – unless I consider myself my own client – so keep in mind that just because something worked for me does not mean that it will work for everyone. My method of self-training has developed thr...

Short Loops

There’s a Dating For Dummies book. There’s a Personal Finance For Dummies book. Next thing you know, there will be a Binge-Watching Downton Abbey For Dummies book. But in all my research, I’ve never found a book called R...

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

In one of my early pieces for UltraRunning, I commented on some of the changes I’d seen come to the sport. I mentioned the explosion of people showing up for races wearing costumes – tutus, capes, court jester caps and s...

Feature Races

North Face Endurance Challenge – San Francisco

Runners from 41 countries and 46 states traveled to the Marin Headlands in Northern California on December 5-6, 2015, for the annual The North Face Endurance Challenge California event. The premiere race distance of the...

JFK 50

The conditions for the 53rd edition of the JFK 50 Mile, held in Boonsboro, MD, couldn’t have been more perfect for well over 800 finishers who took to the course Saturday, November 21, 2015. A cavalcade of brightly dr...

JFK

Brazos Bend

Brazos Bend 100 was a kind of final exam of ultramarathons, encompassing weather, wildlife, and oh yeah, 100 miles. I drove out to Brazos Bend for the pre-race meeting. The race director advised, “When you think of we...

Race Reports

Chimera

I arrived at Bluejay Campground, the Chimera’s central race hub in Cleveland National Forest, on Friday, November 13, after crossing the path of a black cat while walking under a ladder. Having formerly lived in Southern...

Franklin Mountains

Hills, mountains and elevation are some of the last things that you envision when trail running in Texas comes to mind. All of that has now changed. True mountain running has finally reached Texas in the form of the Trai...

Hellgate

Typical weather for the Hellgate 100K is in the 20s and low teens at night, with highs in the 40s during the day, and precipitation is very possible. Not this year. At night it was in the 40s, with the highs getting into...

Quad Dipsea

The Quadruple Dipsea is a double out-and-back on the historic Dipsea Trail, which stretches from San Francisco Bay (Mill Valley) to the Pacific Ocean (Stinson Beach). It’s a rugged trail, with hundreds of steps, rocks an...

San Joaquin River Trail

The 2nd annual San Joaquin River Trail 50K and 100K was full of surprises. Surprise #1: Ultramarathons do exist in the state’s heartland. The San Joaquin River runs smack dab through California’s midsection, and the r...

Tranquility Lake

Saturday, November 21, 2015, was the third annual Tranquility Lake 50K at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, AL, just south of Birmingham. We had absolutely perfect running conditions, with temperatures in the mid-40s at...

Tunnel Hill

Having biked and run on the Tunnel Hill State Trail for several years, we knew that this was a fast track compared to the dozens of others we’d run. When friend and World Record Holder (48 hours) Traci Falbo of Charlesto...

Wild Hare

Massive longhorn cattle looked on as the runners started piling onto the Bluff Creek Ranch for the 2015 Wild Hare Trail Run. This year’s Tejas Trails November race hosted a beautiful Texas day and a worthless Texas forec...

Merrell Whale of a Trail

Running 53k of single-track anywhere is tough. Starting out with a 450-meter climb straight up a mountain makes it a little more daunting. Traversing 23k of winding mountain path takes some training. Trotting along seasi...

March 2016

True to his style, Zach Miller sprints over the North Face Endurance Challenge – SF finish line to take the big win. Photo: Ken Schuh/ Ultra Race Photos; Photo Editing: Myke Hermsmeyer