Features

Living a Full Life

At age 62, having just completed a grueling 100-mile mountain race in which he finished first in his age group, Fred Brooks died suddenly when his car crashed on an interstate highway just hours after the race was comple...

Training on a Busy Schedule

Dear Ann, I’m a nurse and work 12- to 14-hour night shifts. Depending on my schedule and how exhausted I feel from working nights, I’m able to train a lot some weeks, and almost not at all in other weeks. Any advice for...

How to Avoid the Dreaded DNF

At some point in life, almost all of us have to deal with not completing a race. The term “DNF” (Did Not Finish) is a dirty word in ultrarunning. Logging a DNF can lead to months of soul-searching. So it’s important to t...

DNF

Patience and Planning

The 100-mile distance holds a huge allure for many an ultrarunner. Whilst I’m not saying that 50k or 50 miles are easy distances, without a doubt, covering 100 miles is rightly still seen as the ultimate challenge for ma...

New Trends Using Whole Foods for the Ultrarunner

Fueling is essential for all athletes in order to sustain energy levels, prevent bonking and optimize performance. Where an athlete gets these energy sources is based on personal choice. Lately, a hot trend among ultraru...

Oh, the Things I Know

When I began this column two years ago, the intent was to bring the historic roots of ultras to today’s newest ultrarunning readers. Driven by the value of sustainability, the notion was to help new runners avoid re-inve...

Attack of the Turkey Dementors

It’s a long-standing tradition in the United States that during November, turkeys get the short end of the stick. However, not long ago, I found out to my horror that, birdbrains or not, turkeys can sometimes get the upp...

A Race for the Ages

As I stepped into the chute to await my turn at the start, Ed Dodd and Dave Obelkevich jogged past. Ed Dodd was the winner of one of the most exciting 24-hour championship races ever held, when he came from 16th place at...

Running Light Review

Most people don’t place the common light bulb in the high-tech gear category. However, long-time ultrarunners can attest that lighting technology has advanced at a fairly remarkable clip—especially over the last couple o...

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...

Spec Ops Your Race

Last year, there were 550,650 marathon finishers and 84,000 ultra finishers. To my mind, these numbers indicate that nearly half a million people would love the heck out of ultrarunning if they tried it. A major way race...

Tejas Trails Tales

You may have read the recent article from Joe Prusaitis about how he and his wife, Joyce, passed their “baby,” aka Tejas Trails, on to a new guy. Well, I’m that “new guy” and I want you to know about some plans of mine t...

Ultrarunning News from Around the Globe

UTMB On a warm Chamonix evening, 2,300 runners assembled for the thirteenth edition of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. There are usually many who run the first five miles to Les Houches at a sprint, and this year was no...

Unsung Heroes

Every time we sign up to run an ultramarathon, we have a race director to thank. These are the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that all the elements necessary to make the race happen are...

Going It Alone, or Doing It Together?

Leading up to my first ultra next April, there is a deep question brewing in my running brain: should I run alone or with friends? Should I train alone or hire a coach? Do I go “lone wolf” or find a pack? In the begin...

Do Your Homework

Do everything that you humanly can to get up on the game before you take on the course. Recently, I participated in a very popular 50k, and as one would expect, the usual accolades, comments and a few complaints came rol...

Feature Races

Castle Peak

When the Donner Party Mountain Runners formed their running club in the spring of 2014, one of their many goals was to further their mission to “Inform and inspire trail runners in Tahoe-Truckee by putting on a quality u...

The Rut

At 5 a.m., I was trying not to think about the cold or the brief snowfall the night before. My body had started to acclimate to the altitude since flying in from California two days prior, but the continued lightheadedne...

Cascade Crest

It was during the soaking wet and freezing cold descent off of Keechelus Ridge at 2 a.m., on a sloppy, exposed eight-mile downhill maze of fire roads that the first signs of hypothermia surfaced. My core temperature was...

Eastern States

The name “Eastern States” certainly invites comparison of this 100-mile, summertime, wilderness trail run to California’s classic Western States trail run, though the organizers at Eastern States didn’t play up the conne...

Tamalpa Headlands

This year was the 17th running of the Tamalpa Headlands 50K. Originating from the Point Reyes 50K, the race has been run on the same course since 1998. Host to the USATF 50K Trail Championships on several occasions in th...

Race Reports

Angel Creek

The terrain in the inaugural Angel Creek 50-miler provided plenty of challenge. Then a lengthy storm made it even harder. “Racers had to contend with low clouds resulting in poor visibility, driving rain and cool temp...

Leadville

The morning was crisp but not cold. The extremely dry Colorado air had a lingering smoky smell from the haze that had drifted in courtesy of the ongoing California wildfires. As my crew (my wife Candi and best buddies Er...

Lean Horse

It was not a pretty sight. I was walking next to my pacer in pain. My right calf was rock hard and mobility was limited. My left knee felt like it was about to rip open from compensating so much for my calf. I was wearin...

Silverheels

We gathered around a campfire on Friday evening in the historic mining town of Fairplay, Colorado, and listened to Race Director “Sherpa” John LaCroix laying out his vision for the inaugural running of the Silverheels 10...

Skyline

This year marked the 34th annual running of the Skyline 50k. As one of many who completed Skyline as their first 50k, it was a great honor to continue the long-standing tradition of this East Bay classic as the new Race...

Twisted Branch

The thimble shape of the Pleiades constellation, hinting of winter to come, hung low in the eastern sky. With headlamps blazing under a softly illuminated archway, anxious runners wished upon those stars for the energy t...

Waldo

With its rich history, beautiful single-track, exemplary volunteers and old-school feel, Waldo 100K was again a big hit. Due to its popularity last year, we went to the lottery system for the first time. Not only did we...

HURL Elkhorn

Monday, July 27, five days before race day, the high temperature in Helena, MT, was 63 degrees with 0.45 of an inch of rain. Saturday, August 1, race day, the high temperature in Helena, MT, was 97 degrees, with only a f...

IAU 100k World Championships

Winschoten, The Netherlands I’m 89 kilometers into the 2015 IAU 100K World Championships in Winschoten, the Netherlands, working through a panoply of aches and pains. My calves and hamstrings have been occasionally cr...

November 2015

Runners enter the Trout Creek aid station (mile 79) at Silverheels 100 in Fairplay, Colorado, as a meteor shower dazzles overhead. Photo: Jeff Genova