Features

Defining Moments

If nothing else, ultrarunning constantly presents challenges. This includes the big things like choosing to take on a crazy-long distance. Or to train hard and give one’s all on race day to cover that distance faster...

Escape into Running

Dear Ann, I have been an ultrarunner going back 15 years. However, for the past five years, our family has had a very big tragedy in our lives that has also really impacted my running. I am now 65 and my running is almo...

Choosing Motivation

In a recent discussion with one of my clients, I was asked if I ever have issues with motivation, especially for long runs. The question surprised me, since I always assumed that everyone has tough days getting out the d...

Learning to Listen

For me, and I know I am far from alone, one of the big lures of trail and ultrarunning is escaping the busyness of daily life. We live in cities where traffic roars through our streets, where we never really see a starre...

The Power of Daily Snacking

Eating consistently throughout the day is very important. Have you heard the concept of eating five to six mini-meals a day in order to lose weight, control your hunger levels and increase your energy? Well, that theory...

Hip Drive

Throughout 2016, we have analyzed the fundamentals of efficient running mechanics and how the demands of the ultra distance impact our run. Last month, we discussed arm swing. This month, we address the powertrain – the...

Breaking Eggs

Not many of us would look for advice on running ultras from our grandparents. Our sport is a relatively new arrival on the sports scene, and time-honored secrets to success are in short supply. The equipment we use has e...

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

When you run an ultra, you’ve probably noticed a pattern of a descending series of mental and physical plateaus. At the start of the race, you are on a very high plateau indeed, feeling indestructible, bombing up even th...

Ultra Eccentricities

Why does it hurt so much to go downhill? Normally when I think about the pain associated with trail racing, I think of the climbing: heart beating furiously, lungs cycling through labored inhalations and forced expiratio...

It’s All About Perception

After returning from a recent ultra, I ran into a friend at the rec center. This guy is an avid marathoner, and we caught up on each other’s training and racing. The conversation came to a close and we began to part when...

The Queens of the Canyons

Like clockwork, the two women begin the running year early in the spring, together, in the canyons of the Western States Trail. They have done this for going on seven years now, which mirrors closely the time they’ve...

Interview with Eric Byrnes

Eric Byrnes is a former professional baseball player who recently turned his athletic focus to endurance sports and ultrarunning. Byrnes was not just any ballplayer; in his 10-year career from 2000 to 2010, he hit over 1...

Sunglasses Review

Extended daylight hours mean extended strain on your eyes during your outdoor adventures. Long trail outings expose your eyes to harmful ultraviolet rays, high-energy visible (HEV) light, dust, wind, glare and cumulative...

First Is Always Best

We always remember our first time, and that’s true of our first ultra, too. We have a certain measure of innocence when we experience something new; a journey into uncharted territory heightens our senses and makes us ac...

Welcome to the Club

I am a member of a special club. You pay the membership dues with grit, tenacity, stubbornness and courage. The members of my club understand each other on an unspoken level. We feel each other’s pain. We relish each oth...

The View from the Middle of the Pack

From the middle of the pack… I see the sun rising, lighting and warming the day and breathing life into the runners on the course. I see aid station tables that have been rummaged through but still have a plentiful...

It’s Not All Sweetness and Light

When you’re out there pounding the trail and things are flowing well, you’ve got to revel in the moment, because it’s one of the primary reasons for being there in the first place. We know that those moments won’t last f...

Feature Races

Way Too Cool

The 27th edition of the Way Too Cool 50K will be most remembered for wet weather before – and during – the race. After a week of heavy El Niño storms, the trails were muddier than ever and some of the creek crossings eve...

Black Canyon

February in Phoenix can be unpredictable. One week freezing (or so it seems, to us desert dwellers), the next blazing hot. Of course, it would happen that Black Canyon Weekend fell in the middle of a blazing hot few days...

Chuckanut

I’ve always been drawn to races with history. Part of it is the comparative element – the ghosts on the trail to whom you can compare your effort. A race’s longevity also tends to be a good proxy for quality. But my affi...

Psycho Wyco

A good ultra gives you the opportunity to have fun. A great ultra supplies a challenge that tests the limits of your abilities. An outstanding ultra places you head to head against yourself, other racers, the trail, the...

An Utterly Friendly and Fun Ultra

Set in the beautiful Northern California countryside, the BayTrailrunners Coastal Marin 50K rides high above Stinson Beach, across Mount Tamalpais, over the Marin Headlands and finishes with a crossing of the Golden Gate...

Race Reports

Caumsett

In a welcome respite after last year’s almost ridiculously savage Long Island winter, this March 6th there was no snow on the ground, and temperatures in the 40s made for perfect running conditions for the 14th annual Ca...

Holiday Lake

The December 2015 Hellgate 100K was our hottest year ever, with temperatures in the mid to high 70s. But Holiday Lake, only weeks later, was a different story. This year, at the 21st running of Holiday Lake 50K, we had a...

Jackpot Ultra Running Festival

Viva Las Vegas! The 3rd Annual Jackpot Ultra Running Festival, known for its heavy dose of fun, got rocking early when Elvis showed up at the start of the 100 miler to join the fabulous Las Vegas Showgirls and belt out h...

Thomas Jefferson

The 3rd annual Thomas Jefferson 100K was the largest and most fun to date. In the men’s race, six runners were together after the first 9-mile loop. Clark Zealand, Sean Andrish, Nick DiPirro, Michael Dubova, Jason Lantz...

Destin

Who runs an ultra on Valentine’s Day? It turns out those with very big hearts do. Not enlarged hearts in a medical sense but rather big, caring, giving, thinking-of-others-first hearts. This small band of brothers and si...

Copper Canyon Pilgrimage

After a full day of driving barren, dusty roads, I had finally made it back to the place where I began my journey into trail running, and a place where I felt most at home. I had once again made it back to the Copper Can...

May / June 2016

YiOu Wang battled the elements on her way to the third-fastest women’s time in the history of the Way Too Cool 50K . Wang would use her muddy trail running skills to earn a victory at the highly competitive Lake Sonoma 50-miler five weeks later. Photo: Michigan Bluff Photography