Features

On Trails

Without trails our sport would not exist. Sure there are road ultras and many “trail” ultras entail portions along fireroads, tow paths, running tracks and, gasp, even pavement. But if you look at the most popular and ic...

Comrades Calling

Dear Ann: After American Camille Herron won the world’s largest and oldest ultra, Comrades, this year, I learned that you were the last American to win there – with no less than back-to-back wins in 1996 and 1997. Did...

Euro-Style Mountain Races

Major ultras have become increasingly international, with more than 200 Americans heading to UTMB this year. Euro races are typically steeper, more rugged, can include off-trail sections and can have thousands of runners...

ULTRA-LIFE BALANCE Pace Perfect

Pacing a perfect ultra or trail race is as much an art as it is a science. It’s a craft that needs to be learned; a craft that comes more naturally to some but for most has to be learned through trial and error. But just...

Breakfast of Champions

Have you ever heard, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” Breakfast definitely has many benefits. One important advantage of eating breakfast is it helps regulate our metabolism. When we sleep, we are in a...

Mark That Course!

A well-marked course is a prerequisite for staging a successful ultra. It’s something runners have a right to expect when they pony up their registration fees. It’s also a safety issue. You don’t want runners overnightin...

NSAIDs: Worth the Risk?

Author’s Note: I am not a medical doctor and don’t pretend to be one here. You should discuss your use and any concerns with NSAID use with a medical professional. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, such a...

Don’t Think, Just Run

The cerebral nature of ultrarunning is one of my favorite aspects of the sport, and I am constantly encouraging coaching clients to “think on your feet out there.” Fueling, pace, gear, outlook, logistics: there’s so much...

ON MY BOOKSHELF The Brave Athlete

I receive many books each month that have to do with some aspect of running. There are biographies and autobiographies, cookbooks for runners, books about particular races and of course training books – lots of training...

What’s Next?

What’s next? After taking the time to celebrate, refresh and regroup, the next ultra goal will start to tingle at the back of your brain. Your legs may feel a bit jumpy in anticipation to get into another training cycle....

Pointers for Pacers

If you want to successfully pace a runner at the 100-mile distance, you need to know the right answers to a lot of questions. Should you run in front of your runner or follow her? Are you allowed to carry food and water...

Happy Trails

“Make it better.” Three memorable words written on a note from Matt Brownlee, Trails Manager for the USFS. These three words describe the unrelenting hunger to nurture the Western States Trail, and have become my mantra...

Lost Tracks: Could Your Favorite Trail Be Lost Forever?

Think about your favorite trails. Do you know who owns the land they wind through? Most likely, especially in the West, you own it – along with me, the editors of this magazine, your cousin and every other American. T...

Haight Ashbury Ultra Society Celebrates Summer of Love

In 1967 the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco became the epicenter of the revolutionary “Summer of Love” – a gathering of young people asserting their individual freedom and advancing a progressive agenda for...

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Amazing

Billy Joel is an amazing musician. And I’m completely prepared to fist fight anyone who believes differently. Earlier this year I watched Joel perform his song “Miami 2017” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. As he wa...

Travel Hacks

Having recently returned to California from a rather punishing ultra in Portugal, I can attest firsthand that travel and running don’t always make compatible bedfellows. Still, there’s something magical about seeking uni...

Civility at the Races

When I was growing up in Chicago some of my relatives would yammer in my ear about the way it used to be. How they had it back in their day: “I had to walk to school and back five miles in the snow, each way.” Their “sto...

Feature Races

Hardrock

I settled into my chosen spot on Snowden Street, my starting line for the 2017 running of the Hardrock Hundred. Despite my best attempt to remain present, I couldn’t help but flash through an epic slideshow of all the mo...

Broken Arrow Skyrace

You know you’re having a surreal race experience when you find yourself slowly trudging up a mile-long 30% grade and you look about 50 yards to your right and see a group of people skiing down the same hill. As in, snow...

San Diego 100

The second weekend in June marked the 16th annual San Diego Hundred Mile Endurance Run (SD 100). This year’s event witnessed a record number of starters (261) and record number of finishers (173) with an overall finishin...

Vermont 100

Brian Rusiecki and Kathleen Cusick earned prominent places in Vermont 100 history long ago thanks to numerous top-10 finishes and a handful of victories at one of the sport’s oldest 100-mile footraces. Both added to thei...

Manitou's Revenge

“And on the seventh day, God threw rocks at the Catskills.” This is the creation story according to Dick Vincent, founder and race director of the Escarpment Trail Run, a rocky 30k race through the northeastern Catskills...

Race Reports

River of No Return

On a normal year, the River of No Return 108K (RONR) course is no joke. It is frequently compared to the effort of a 100-mile race despite it being 30 miles shorter, some of this is due to the elevation gain and time at...

Bighorn

The 25th annual running of the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Runs and the 16th annual running of the Bighorn Trail 100 were held on June 16-17, 2017, in the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming. Despite the con...

Black Hills

Not so long ago, the Black Hills of South Dakota were the quintessential Wild West. Discovery of gold by the Custer expedition of 1876 brought prospectors by the thousands, giving rise to largely lawless mining towns ful...

Afton Trail

In 1994, 53 runners finished the inaugural Afton Trail Run 50K while 82 finished the 25k race for a total of 135 finishers. Fast forward 24 years, a field limit of 900 runners and yet another Minnesota trail/ultra race t...

Laugavegurinn 55K

I’ve heard Iceland described as unearthly. It’s true. But it’s equally true that, in many ways, it’s the most earthly place I’ve been, too. The natural forces that birthed our planet are still active in Iceland. And thos...

September 2017

Joe Grant climbing up Green Mountain out of Cunningham Gulch on his way to a third place finish at Hardrock 100. Photo: Criss Furman