Author Gary Dudney

Gary Dudney writes the “Running Wise” column. A native of Kansas, he followed his Polish wife to a job located in Monterey, California in 1982 and signed on as a Technology Project Manager at CTB/McGraw-Hill. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he had landed in the center of prime Northern California ultrarunning territory. Over two hundred ultras later, he still finds every race a fresh and unique experience, evident in the dozens of quirky race reports he’s submitted to UltraRunning over the years. He’s also published a raft of short stories in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Highlights for Children, Boys’ Quest, and several lit magazines. He's also the author of two running book The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running and The Mindful Runner: Finding Your Inner Focus available on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble online. Visit his website at: thetaoofrunning.com.

Featured
No Business 100: A Classic 100-Miler in the Making

In its second year, the No Business 100 Mile Trail Ultra race course spills over the lower Kentucky border into Tennessee and provides the same amazing natural wonders and scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains, but, as Race Director Bryan Gajus points out, without the long lines.

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Enjoy the Training

When you first signed up to be an ultrarunner, you know, at your local ultrarunning recruitment center at the mall, I hope you paid attention to the fine print on the contract. It said in no uncertain terms, “You are now obligated to do a whole sh** load of training.”

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Uwharrie 100 Mile/100K: Now Entering the Land that Time Forgot

At the start of the Uwharrie 100, you depart Wood Run Trail Head and are swallowed up immediately by a thick, dark, mysterious forest. Underfoot are protruding rocks and a snake pit of tangled roots, all camouflaged by a layering of dead leaves. The 20.5 mile trail, which follows a figure eight route, will prove to be an almost unbroken minefield of trip hazards.

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Angel Fire Endurance Runs

A gentle “angelic” loop around the valley floor gives you a chance to adjust to the altitude, enjoy the pine forest and valley meadows, and picturesque mountain cabins and ski chalets. The “fire” comes when you begin the 18.5-mile out and back over the top of the ski resort and down the other side, topping out at about 11,000 feet where you feel like the sun is microwaving your exposed skin.

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Coyote Backbone Trail Ultras

Just fully completed in 2016, the 68 mile long Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California’s Golden coast has been designated a National Recreational Trail and offers a unique and stunning venue for the Coyote Backbone Trail Ultras.

archives
Training to Tame Big Climbs

A regular program of LSD will certainly make you into an ultrarunner and get you ready to run the 50k, 50-mile or 100k distance, but the problem is that for many ultra courses, it will not be enough.

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Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Run

“Kettle Moraine.” The name is striking, weird, mysterious. But it turns out understanding the name helps you appreciate the awesome beauty and the mighty geology behind this classic Wisconsin 100 mile endurance run.

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When to Dump Your Shoes

Industry representatives generally put the lifespan of a shoe between 400 and 600 miles. The mileage you personally can expect to get, however, will vary depending on factors such as your weight, the surface you run on, your foot strike tendencies, whether you switch off pairs from one run to another and of course the resilience of the materials and design.

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Give It a Rest

As hard charging, fiercely driven, superhero ultrarunners, we love to pile up the miles, train until we drop and skimp…

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Riding the Hot Desert Wind

Ride the Wind is a desert race through and through with cactus, kangaroo mice, wadis, coyotes, painted rocks, lizards, one hundred percent exposure, and a UV index that could strip paint off the space shuttle. Even the cactus was dying out there.

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San Francisco 100 Mile: A Challenge By the Bay

The San Francisco 100 pits you against the elements of nature but at the same time reveals all Nature’s glory in the hills and coastlines of the Marin Headlands just across the Golden Gate Bridge from the “City by the Bay.” Tony Bennett might have left his heart in San Francisco, but the 100 milers left their blood, sweat and tears in Marin.

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Ace Your Aid Stations

How you handle aid stations can have a significant impact on how well your race goes. If you are speeding through a 50k looking for a PR, the emphasis at the aid station should be on how quickly and efficiently you can load up on food and water and get back out on the course. Taking the food with you, for instance, can save a lot of time.

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Hill Train to Make It Rain

There’s truly gold in them thar hills and it ain’t the shiny kind. It’s the super-efficient, multi-faceted, demanding workout kind that hills deliver. Lifting yourself up the slopes is strength training. Cycling through the hard climbs and descents is like interval training. Throw in some uphill sprints and you replicate speed and fartlek training as well. The trip up the hill puts a tremendous load on your hamstrings and calves. The trip down will strengthen your quads. Muscles, tendons and ligaments in the lower body are all strengthened in concert with one another.

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By the Shores of Gitche Gumee

I could see the plank was tilted. I could see the slip marks in the black mud on the end of the board. I could see the footprints next to the plank where other runners had stepped to avoid the danger. I was telling myself, “Don’t put your foot on the board.” But I put my foot there anyway…

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Getting to Know YOU

Ultrarunning is an endurance sport and as such it requires you to push yourself up to your limits. As you approach these limits and work to overcome them, you will find yourself facing similar physical and mental challenges over and over. Ultrarunning is testing you to see if you are learning from your mistakes, if you are equipping yourself to better deal with these challenges.

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Getting Lost

The surprise isn’t that ultrarunners get lost once in a while. The surprise is that they’re not all lost all…

Destinations
Race Preview Miwok 100K

The Miwok 100K is a longstanding ultrarunning classic for good reason. It draws a big field (450 entrants) and it’s competitive (past winners include Scott Jurek, Nikki Kimball, Hal Koerner, Anton Kupicka, Dave Mackey, Kami Semick, and Ann Trason). It’s also challenging with 12,000 feet of elevation change packed into its 61 miles and unpredictable weather.

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Negotiating Rough Trails

Like anything, practice makes perfect, and perfecting your rough trail running skills will lead to better racing and might just save you an unpleasant trip to the hospital.

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