May/June 2021

Features

We’ll Keep Showing Up

The very first issue of UR was published this month back in 1981. The cover was printed in black and white and featured the TAC (The Athletic Congress) 50K champ from 1980, Bill DeVoe, running the Knickerbocker 60K in...

News and Notes

Western States Lottery Change Western States Endurance Run recently implemented the following changes to their annual lottery: •   Runners will no longer need to have consecutive qualifiers to keep their tic...

High Altitude Training

People who’ve lived at altitude for generations, like Tibetans and Andeans, show genetic adaptations to altitude to overcome the lower barometric pressure and corresponding lower oxygen density in the air. However, th...

Rockwall Traverse

Experience true mountain grandeur and majesty by visiting the Rockwall Traverse in Canada’s Kootenay National Park. I ran this 34-mile (55k) route 10 years ago, and it still ranks as one of my favorite days of mountai...

Find Your First 50k

Now that you’ve made the decision to do this ultramarathon thing, how do you go about choosing your first 50k? I reached out to some of my good friends across North America who are coaches, race directors and ultr...

How to Eat for Increasing Miles

As summer heats up and the pandemic winds down, many ultrarunners are eager to put in some big miles of training in preparation for the backlog of events. We will stack up big training weekends, cajole our trainin...

Does Vitamin D Boost Performance?

As the days get longer, spending more hours in the sun is part of training. And when it comes to vitamin D levels, that’s a good thing. Known for its important role in bone health, vitamin D also plays an importan...

The Transcon Itch

Multi-week journeys are all about the itch. You have two options: scratch it with little thought for temporary relief or think intentionally about addressing it. I’m convinced that short of a NASA rocket launch, maki...

Running During Pregnancy

As a society, we may be at the point where we’re ready move forward in how we view exercise – especially running during pregnancy. There is an antiquated, but at times, persistent view in medicine that “bed rest” is a...

The Art of the Death March

We used to have a saying about running ultras, “You can only gain minutes, but you can lose hours.” Maybe that old saw is still around. If it isn’t, it should be. It holds a lot of truth as an “either-or” choice. It h...

Anita Ortiz: A Year of Adversity

From one end of the pandemic to the other, Anita Ortiz has had a lot of highs and lows as a runner. On February 13, 2021, she was released by her doctor who gave her the OK to begin running again. This good news se...

Sweating Through COVID

Years ago, I wrote a sobering article titled, “Confessions of a Steam Room Junkie.” Last March when COVID hit, I was forced to go cold turkey. The gyms closed and the withdrawal was nasty. Not from the weight room or...

Hydration Packs for Any Distance

There are days when you want to travel light, and others which require you to carry a ton of gear. We’ve tested a range of vests this spring that are suitable for running around your local park, exploring for multiple...

The Road to Denali

Somewhere around mile 75, I unknowingly knocked the bear spray from its holster on my hip. It was July 2019, and running mate Bill McCue and I were attempting to become the first to run the entire 135 miles of the remo...

Barkley Bites Again

Once again, since its inception in 1986, The Barkley Marathons were held at Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tennessee, and concluded with zero finishers this year—for the third time in a row.This year’s edition didn’...

Unleash Your Love of Running

Her toenails click-clack on the kitchen floor, sounding like a writer slaving away feverishly at a typewriter. She snorts in excitement. Her tail thumps against the wall until I guide her to the middle of the room. Th...

Evolution of the JMT and SHR

Long before Theodore Solomons envisioned a continuous trail paralleling the granite crest of the Sierra Nevada while gazing eastward from the Central Valley lowlands in May of 1884, the range had been well-traveled by...

The Dipsea Women

If you know your trail running history, you know the Dipsea Race is widely considered the nation’s oldest trail run. Beginning in 1905, the 7.5-mile trek starts in the bucolic town of Mill Valley, CA, located about 15...

More Than Just a Trail

They say it’s about the journey – not the destination. I say it’s all about the company – not the trail. “What is your favorite trail?” It’s a question I am regularly asked along with, “What is your favorite distanc...

I Am an Ultrarunner Marisa Lizak

Age: 41 Where do you live currently? Marina del Rey, CA Where did you grow up?North Smithfield, RI Occupation: Commercial real estate investment & finance Family (kids, spouse, pets)?Nope # of ultras run: 18 H...

Feature Races

Umstead

One of the most enjoyable components of running ultras is the sense of unknown, learning what you can control and letting go of the things you cannot. I rolled into Umstead State Park on Friday, March 26, ready to ru...

FarmDaze 24

If you ask 10 different people what FarmDaze 24 is, you’re likely to get 10 different answers. For some people, it’s a race where they come out to see exactly how much they can physically and mentally push themselves...

Ohio’s Backyard Ultra

On Friday, March 19, 2021, I drove four and half hours from Pittsburgh to Lucasville, Ohio, to compete in Ohio’s Backyard Ultra (OBU). The venue was McChesney Ridge, a nature retreat, boasting single-track trails and...

Queeny Backyard Ultra

Fifty-three intrepid souls made their way to Queeny Park in the western suburbs of St. Louis on March 5, 2021 to be a part of local ultrarunning history. The Queeny Backyard Ultra, organized by Terrain Trail Runners (...

Maggie Guterl ascends one of The Barkley Marathons’ most difficult climbs, Rat Jaw, with Jamil Coury right on her heels. Photo: Howie Stern