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Eastern States 100: “Rocksylvania”

In 2015 and 2016 I failed at my attempts to complete the Eastern States 100. Disappointed and in the throes of existential angst, I went to the finish line both times to watch people finish. What do these people have that I don’t?

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Capt’n Karl’s Run at Pedernales Falls

The race starts with a bit of single track, and as much as I try to begin at the back, there are others who come in behind me and then bumble about in the rocks and high grass, passing me where there’s no room to do so. Race director Chris McWatters is standing at his post to send us down a mile out-n-back and this is a wide enough jeep road that finally allows all the poor trap-ees behind me to escape and sprint past.

Commentary
Thoughts Before and After My First 50-Miler

Do I trust myself to do the training, to put in the hours required? To show up for myself, even if that means pulling the plug when my ego really doesn’t want to? Do I trust myself to not listen to the brain when it says “Stop!” when it is only pain, and not actually debilitating? Do I trust myself to know the difference?

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Night Hawk 50K: Take-Backs Allowed

Summer in Kansas can get brutally hot and humid so that is why the Lawrence Trail Hawks came up with the Night Hawk. It’s a chance to run a trail ultra at night when summertime temps can be a bit cooler.

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Hot Year at the Promise Land 50K

Many folks think that Promise Land is the best 50k in the East. Runners camp for free Friday night at the start/finish. We provide 100 pizzas for the runners and they bring all the desserts. After the pre-race briefing, we have a big bonfire and make s’mores. There is great fellowship that goes on before and after the race.

Destinations
Deutschlandlauf, 820-Mile Stage Race Across Germany

Deutschlandlauf (translation: Germany Run) travels the length of Germany from north to south in a giant, S-shaped route, starting at sea level on the German island of Sylt at the Danish border, and ending at the highest point in Germany on the Austrian border—820 miles over 19 days.

Commentary
Another Fall From Grace

Coming off a year of successful ultramarathons, I was pretty jacked. My plan was to complete more of my “bucket list” races for the summer. Could I complete three more ultras this year? Four more? It was a big stretch, but possible. If I was smart, that is…

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Hotter Than Hell, Dusk to Dawn 10-Hour

Hotter than Hell, Dusk to Dawn is a night trail run that pits runners against the oppressive heat and humidity of a South Louisiana summer. The race starts at dusk on the middle weekend of July and ends ten hours later at dawn.

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Fierce at My First 100-Miler: Burning River

My five-foot-one and barely-north-of-100-pound frame was patiently waiting in the shadow of a literal castle to embark on my first 100-mile adventure. Thoughts of “What will happen?” and “Can I even do it?” swirled through my mind.

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HARRC’s Conococheague 50K Trail Run

On a devilishly hot July day, 56 runners from five states met to run the 5th edition of the Harrisburg Area Road Runners Club’s Conococheague 50K Trail Run. The event is held on rock-covered single track and forest service roads in the wilds of western Perry County, Pennsylvania, in the Tuscarora State Forest.

Commentary
San Diego Ultra Running Friends’ TrailFit Trail Work Crew

This is the story of how our running club developed a comprehensive trail work program that we call TrailFit. Each year we clear brush on 25 miles of trail, remove over 150 downed trees, and contribute more than 1,500 volunteer hours on trails in the San Diego mountains while overseeing maintenance on 150+ miles of trails.

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Have You Ever Wanted to Photoshop Your Finish Photo?

You’re not supposed to look good after you run a hundred miles. Didn’t matter. It was still the worst race finish photo I had ever taken, yet it was the most important one. It was the singular moment when all the training, the doubts, the worries, the planning, was about to give way to relief, triumph and pure joy.

Destinations
Switzerland’s Trail Verbier St. Bernard

The Trail Verbier St. Bernard is a series of trail races in the mountains surrounding Verbier, Switzerland. The X-Alpine race at 110 kilometers is the longest race with the Grand Traversée being the next longest in the series at about 65k and just under 14,000 net gain.

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Never Alone at the Eagle Up Ultra

When I signed up for the Eagle Up Ultra in Canal Fulton, Ohio, it was for the sole purpose of earning a belt buckle. The course was newbie friendly, a five mile loop on a flat tow path and had nice swag like a headlamp.

Commentary
Struggle and Doubt

I stood at the finish line of my first half marathon, confused. I was surrounded by people who had somehow found a singular, defining experience that morning. Was this why people run? What had I done wrong that prevented me from reveling in a sense of accomplishment?

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2016 Allegheny Front Trail Run

Mild temperatures and a gentle breeze in Central Pennsylvania’s Moshannon State Forest ushered in the daylight at Mid-State Regional Airport for the fifth annual Allegheny Front Trail Run.

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Running While Pregnant

When I first found out I was pregnant, I googled “running while pregnant” and was disappointed in the lack of information out there. There was information about Olympic athletes and information for recreational runners, but not much for someone who fell in between these two categories.

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