Features

What Do You Miss?

The community. Smiles from familiar faces. Hugs from long lost friends. Meeting new people who feel like long lost friends. These are the things I miss about not running ultras in 2020.Connecting with others at events is...

Why We Need Adventure

There are many reasons why athletes take on ultras, whether it’s looking for a new challenge, different terrain or reading an inspirational book. One of the key components underlying all those reasons is the need for adv...

Reconnect with Your Why

There’s an old adage that goes, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” In this year of a global pandemic, raging wildfires and political and racial unrest, we are seeing this statement come to life in many...

Embracing the Spirit of Adventure

It’s been a weird year. January and February were pretty standard for most of us, but by the end of March it truly seemed like the world had been turned on its head and nothing was anywhere near normal — whatever normal...

What Crews Eat

“You aren’t a successful crew unless you have a belly ache.” – Courtney DauwalterThe endless waiting part of being a crew is an absolute truth. It is guaranteed that you will rush for 20 minutes to prepare everything, dr...

The Distribution of Muscular Fatigue

One of the favorite debates of exercise physiologists is fatigue and the limits of performance. Is fatigue just in the brain? Or is it in the muscle? Are we limited by the cardiovascular system? Or by the ability to use...

Why Run Ultras?

I sit in my backyard, completely comfortable in the old camp chair. My shower and bed (and kitty cats) are mere feet away inside my house, and the temptation to give into these creature comforts is intense. I have run 10...

Evolution

As man evolved, he created the tools necessary for survival. We don’t even have to think in order to breathe. We can consciously control breathing if we need to, but whether we give it any thought or not, we are going to...

Ultrarunning and the Heart

We know exercise is beneficial for the body, but are athletes who log many miles over the years doing damage to their heart? Long-distance runners live in a world of mixed messages. One article will say running prevents...

Why We Run Ultras: The Long Answer

It’s the perennial question for ultrarunners: “Why in the world do you want to run so far?” The question is usually meant rhetorically, as if it is self-evident that no reward could justify such pain and suffering. The a...

Making History on the Tahoe Rim Trail

In late June and through the middle of July, the Tahoe Rim Trail’s 171-mile FKTs were battered by a bevy of runners that included Fran Zelenitz (women’s unsupported FKT on June 27), Helen Pelster (lowered Zelenitz’s unsu...

Lighting the Trail

BioLite HeadLamp 750BioLite entered the headlamp category as a means of supporting its humanitarian mission to provide energy resources for impoverished families in Africa and Southeast Asia. Their first two models, the...

Creating Routes on Your Watch

There is a sense of freedom in going for a run and just letting your legs take you wherever they wish to go. Unfortunately, my legs love to get me lost. After one particularly harrowing experience when I was lost on a ma...

29 Years in the Making: Badwater 146

The phone rang at 9:33 p.m. on August 10. “You can do this! Don’t stop.” The message was clear and the voice on the other end was direct.Harvey Lewis made it to the Whitney Portal, the trailhead to Mt. Whitney, completel...

The Muse of Movement

Running has been a steadfast tread on the path my life has travelled since discovering track in junior high. In high school I became a devoted disciple of the sport, falling in love with the year-round cycle of cross cou...

Where the Roads Don't Go

I want to tell the grocery store cashier to stop being so judgmental. Even though she doesn’t say anything as she scans the groceries, I can see it in her eyes. I have exceeded the amount of high-fructose corn syrup that...

The Internal Workings of an Ultrarunner

Running has been a steadfast tread on the path my life has travelled since discovering track in junior high. In high school I became a devoted disciple of the sport, falling in love with the year-round cycle of cross cou...

Survival of the Fittest

Almost everyone I know has had a rough year, even cataclysmic for some. Friends were furloughed from their jobs, and many have had to manage work with schooling their kids at home. Some had to evacuate during fast-moving...

Find Your Reason

I’ve often been told that starting with your why is the best place to start anything. Once you have that, the what, where, who and when doesn’t matter so much. And when two people share the same why, you have more than c...

I Am an Ultrarunner: Tony Marshall

Age: 43Where do you live currently? San Rafael, CAWhere did you grow up? United States and BrazilOccupation: Software salesFamily (kids, spouse, pets)? Wife (Christina, married 6 years), daughter (Audriana, 5) and son (J...

Race Reports

Megunticook 50

COVID sucks. But as a quiet summer transitioned to autumn in Northern New England, the trails came alive again. Despite the ravages of the virus on races in 2020, the Megunticook 50 and Wicked Tough Ten celebrated their...

Burning River

At 3:35 a.m., I pulled into the start area of the Burning River 100. After Badwater 135 was canceled in July, I was optimistic that we could hold a successful race and was minutes away from an attempt to do just that.Sta...

Wildcat 100

I ran Wildcat Ultra 100K three years ago, just after the death of my younger sister. She and I had planned to run the race together as training for our first 100-miler, and I followed through with our plan in her memory....

Sangre de Cristo

I stared out the window in amazement as the teenage dinosaurs made out of trees playfully wrestled around the mountainside, and the leafy bears enjoyed an evening on the seesaw. I heard beautiful music as the night sky w...

November 2020

Steve McGowan powers through the Burning River 100 with a statement on his race bib that most ultrarunners will likely concur with. Jesse Kokotek