Features

Seven Year Cycles

Recently, during a 100-mile race, I hit rock bottom. At mile 38, when I started to push the pace, my right calf tightened up. The vise grip increased with every step. This same problem occurred at the previous two ultras...

Key Lessons

Dear Ann, Now that you’re a coach, are there some key lessons you pass down from your own coaches?  —Michael Dear Michael, I have always loved being a student of the sport-- reading, asking questions, trying new t...

Road Races to Improve Trail Running

I’ll admit I have a bias on this topic, since when I first started running ultras in 2005, I also got hooked on road marathons. However, one thing I noticed was how effectively sub-ultra road races prepared me for many a...

Racing While Injured

Injury is a dreaded condition that every runner fears, but there is a certain inevitability about it: the more we run, the more likely we are to suffer some sort of running-related injury. Depending on its severity, we m...

Superfoods for the Ultrarunner

You may have heard the term ‘Superfoods’ running rampant in the media. These foods definitely provide extra-strength to our daily diets and they offer unique health benefits. Not only may superfoods assist us with our ge...

Going Too Far Can Ruin a Good Thing

According to UltraRunning, the growth of ultra-distance running has been exponential from 1980, when 2,890 runners finished long-distance races, to 2013, which saw 69,573 finishers. As the number of participants grows, s...

Exceptional Aid

In the earliest days of ultra-distance races, food and water were essential, if not life-sustaining. For years, aid stations have been central to the ultrarunning experience. But food and water aren’t the only nourish...

Beware the Shadow: Post-Race Recovery

The days, and even weeks, after completing your big all-out target race can be hazardous to your running health. I like to think of a hard race effort as casting a shadow over the days that follow: the longer the race, t...

Mount Adams to Mount Hood

The yearning for adventure is frequently in conflict with our desire for security and convenience. Yet, the magic often happens outside of one’s comfort zone. In Mark Twain’s words: “Twenty years from now you will be mor...

Staying Thirsty

Looking back, it was a pretty dumb thing to do. But as kids, we just do stuff to quench our thirst for excitement. Back then, I took to crawling for miles in underground storm tunnels, using only a book of matches and bi...

Grand Teton FKT Attempt

During dinner at the Mammut sales meeting, Dave, the company's hard goods manager, turned towards me and shouted: “That's insane! The Grand Teton in under three hours?” Lots of laughter ensued, some of it directe...

FKT

Against All Odds: The Tonia Smith Story

Tonia Smith’s surgeon came into her room with a grim look on his face. “I have some difficult news to tell you. You have pancreatic cancer.” He continued, “We had every pathologist in the department look at your slide...

Ultrarunning News from Around the Globe

MONT BLANC 80K On Friday, June 26th , the Mont Blanc 80K took place in Chamonix, France. It can only be described as a tough mountainous race with a total of 19,000 feet of climbing, not for the faint-hearted. In one of...

Five Ultrarunner Faults

The many crazy, wonderful people that I have met while running or volunteering at ultras have overwhelmingly been of extremely high character and integrity. They have also shown a willingness to share and sacrifice in wa...

Running Young

Long hours with sweat in my eyes, salt on my lips and the pain of the run have taught me a lot. As a high schooler in a town where “running” means a few laps or a track meet every now and then, I have found that it's...

Cross-Training for Ultras

We hear a lot about the benefits of cross-training these days. It can help improve overall fitness, reduce injuries, hasten recovery and boost performance. Combining running with exercises from other disciplines, such as...

I Have Done It

It was totally a fluke thing, one of those moments where you cannot believe that it happened the way it did. You have done so much to prevent it and had so many other instances where this could have been the outcome, but...

Bittersweet but Not Unbearable

The 2015 running of Western States is concluded, and congratulations are due to last-place female finisher Gunhild Swanson, to first-place male finisher Rob Krar and to all those in between. But some didn't get that...

Feature Races

Manitou’s Revenge

As I drove through the predawn darkness to the start of Manitou’s Revenge, my thoughts drifted and I wondered, could I win this race? The idea was patently absurd: when it comes to technical trail running, I've hi...

River of No Return

Despite being the longest day of the year, the summer solstice still did not provide enough sunshine for this author to complete the second annual River of No Return Endurance Run before donning a headlamp, but with a DN...

Hardrock

Dark clouds rolled in over Silverton, CO, the day before the start of the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. A cool stillness nestled in the San Juan Mountains as rain trickled down streams and wandered through the rug...

Race Reports

Afton

Folk hero Zorro is an agile athlete and acrobat. Although he is a master swordsman and marksman, he has more than once demonstrated his prowess in unarmed combat against multiple opponents. His calculating nature and dex...

Bighorn 100

The 23rd running of the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Runs and the 14th running of the Bighorn Trail 100 were held on June 19-20, 2015. The weather and trail conditions were perfect and the wildflowers were in e...

Badwater Salton Sea

When I initially learned about Badwater Salton Sea, I knew I wanted to be part of it. It’s not often that Chris Kostman creates new events, but when he does, you know it will be a memorable experience from start to finis...

FANS

Starting its second quarter-century, the FANS race piled up some big numbers with 150 competitors in the 6-, 12- and 24-hour events. Participants racked up 8,811 total miles-- including 141 who went beyond-marathon dista...

Flint Hills

The mid-morning lull at race headquarters broke when race staff started getting texts and phone calls from out on the course: first place was closing in on the last aid station. First place in the marathon? someone asked...

Night Hawk 50K

A clear, starlit sky and bright, glowing moon illuminated the path for runners during the final half of the Night Hawk 50K. The setting was serene during the Lawrence Trail Hawks’ inaugural night race on June 13 at Cl...

Trail Rail Run

The 3rd annual Trail Rail Run added to its legacy of success, with nearly every runner and hand cyclist who entered completing its 50-mile, 50k, 30k or 12k courses. The Trail Rail Run is unique because it is neither a...

Zermatt Ultra

The long ascent to the Gornergrat began under the watchful eye of the Matterhorn on Independence Day morning. There was a heat wave across Europe, and despite being surrounded by glaciers, Zermatt and its surroundings we...

September 2015

Adam Campbell (foreground) and Kilian Jornet share some early miles together at Hardrock 100. Adam would go on to finish third for the second year in a row and Kilian impressed everyone with another win and course record. Photo: Alexis Berg/Grand Trail