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After a very rainy week, runners saw clouds lifting and blue skies for the 6th edition of the HARRC’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. The course has five major climbs totaling more than 6,100 feet of ascent.
Each mistake I make in an ultra teaches me something new and brings me a little farther than the last race. Let me list my mistakes and what they taught me, in the hopes that you can avoid making the same ones.
On May 5, 2018 Rockhopper Races launched its first race in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Although White Lake Ultras was not held on the rugged terrain that the White Mountains are known for, it did provide a variety of trails that went around White Lake. There were beautiful mountain views from parts of the 2.9-mile race course as well as snowmobile trails and technical single track.
With almost perfect weather, we had a record number of participants (231), a record number doing 100 or more miles (nine), a record number doing 50 or more miles (154), and set six new state age group records.
In 1999, Suzi Cope created the Grasslands Trail Run not long after moving to north Texas from California. As a pioneer in women’s ultrarunning – she was the first woman to complete the Grand Slam – it was important to build a stronger trail running community in her new home state.
You don’t often see the words “Iowa” and “ultrarunning” in the same sentence. The Hawkeye State has no mountains and little gnarly single track to attract hardcore masochists. But, there are a few ultras scattered around the state, and they have their charms. The Hawkeye 50K is one example.
The Napa Valley 50K takes runners from downtown Calistoga, California to the top of Mount St. Helena, running along the Palisades Trail. Runners consistently praise the course for its remoteness, technical challenge, almost 8k of vertical, and stunning views of the Napa Valley.
Every May the Born to Run Ultra Marathons draw over 1,000 people from a world-wide pool of misfit athletes, creating a legendary running journey through the creative mind of shotgun-toting Race Director Luis Escobar.
We are on the cusp of summer and some of the hottest ultra races are coming up fast. I am going to review heat preparation and management strategies in this article, but the bottom line is you should try many things to determine what works best for you. You also need to know the red flag symptoms to avoid some disastrous consequences.
It was a perfect day for a race in the shadow of WWII heroes. Hosted by the Military Museum of Northern Florida, the race is held on a former WWII airbase and loops through magnificent cypress swamps around the perimeter of the old base. Remains of crashed aircraft and old bunkers are still visible.
As I make my way down the asphalt path I am conscious of the sound of my feet hitting the ground. It’s something I usually don’t pay much attention to but today is different. I am running with more attentiveness to my form. Is my posture good? Am I leaning into this short grade properly? Am I engaging my glute muscles?
There’s something about being applauded for not giving up when it includes 11 DNF’s. This past March, at the Badger Mountain Challenge, I finally finished a 100-miler. The road to get there was long, and took me four years and 11 attempts.
Runners, beware, you are about to enter the twilight zone. This is the dimension that exposes long-held beliefs that cause of chronic burn-out. It is a journey into a wondrous land that defies dogma and disposes of the monotonous. A place where mindless, boring exercise goes to die.
Some people can run ultramarathons for years, even decades, and never get a serious injury. Others are very injury-prone, forced into taking extended breaks often. Surely, some runner’s bodies are better suited to the demands of running far than others, but there’s got to be more to it.