Some pretty amazing things happened at Peyton’s Wild and Wacky Ultra (5K and 10x5K) this year. There were some incredibly fast times, there were first-time 50k and 5k finishers, and there was my Mom, Phyllis Moore, finishing a 5k on her 81st birthday.
The coronavirus is becoming a big factor in all our lives and apparently, our spring running season as well. School and track practices are canceled, most races, potentially the Olympics, professional sports and more are either canceled or at risk. But the world is not ending. I think that this time has a lot of potential depending on how we handle it.
When Chad Prichard reflects on sobriety, running and life, he pauses, “I wouldn’t want it any other way. I call it, “life without crutches” and the ability to feel everything. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but the ability to see life in a new light is a gift. I have been able to attack the traumas in my life from combat and other areas, and face my demons.”
Right now it looks like I’m going to be doing a lot of running alone. Races are being cancelled. Training groups are being cancelled. And even my favorite pub runs are being cancelled. Those days will come again, though—hopefully real soon. But right now, I’m going to be running alone and that’s okay.
Fort Ord Trail runs take place in Monterey, California, on the first weekend of February each year. It’s just a short drive south from San Francisco and runners can choose from a 100K, 50K, 25K or 10K, or run your ultra and let the rest of the family run the shorter distances.
I signed up for the Chattanooga 50-miler in May as soon as registration opened. The race is 800 miles from my home in Northern Illinois, and the thought of escaping from our frozen tundra in March was part of the allure. My wife and I looked at the calendar and thought that the race wouldn’t conflict with our younger son’s club wrestling schedule. Of course, we were wrong.
This was the eighth year of the FOURmidable 50K, put on by SingleTrack Running, who uses their mapping sorcery to concoct a 50k that’s not for the faint of heart. Last year, the race was the USATF 50k Championship, so naturally the field was super deep.
There’s almost nothing that makes a long winter run more miserable than having freezing cold fingers. We’ve tested a variety of styles of mittens and gloves designed for the cold weather runner that will keep your hands comfortable so your feet can keep moving.
Ruthie Loffi hung up her bib at mile 50 of the Rocky Raccoon 100 in 2018. Amid tears and disappointment, Ruthie had an epiphany about a nagging worry that had consumed her most of her life. It took this DNF (which Ruthie loves to refer to as Did Not Fail) to realize that not trying was far worse than failure itself.
In a world of conveniences, why take on hard challenges? Perhaps because in the pain, misery and torture that we face in these abbreviated and self-imposed adventures, we grow empathetic and remember that we are all in it together, from the first person to the last person crossing the finish line.
I’ve had some personal experiences running an ultramarathon with a spouse. I ran every step of a 100-miler with my wife, Mel. I also DNF’d a 100-miler with her. During both experiences, the miles tried to kill us. And at some point (okay, multiple points) during each race, we wanted to kill each other.
In November 2019, the Lawrence Trail Hawks dedicated Sanders Saunter, their annual charity event, to 22BuddyCheck, a veteran suicide awareness organization, in honor of Colonel Christopher J. Wilson, USAR retired, who collapsed from a heart attack 2.6 miles from the 2018 Hawk Marathon finish line.
In the summer of 2018, ultrarunner Harvey Lewis attempted to run the Appalachian Trail faster than anyone in history. With his 78-year-old father as crew chief, Lewis raced across 14 different states and more than 2,100 miles in his quest to reach a new record. He fell short of the FKT, but what developed was a father-son story for the ages.
Spring 2020 offers a fresh take on two established road models in the HOKA ONE ONE lineup: the Elevon 2 and Mach 3. Both pairs are road and track models that have similar geometry, but otherwise are significantly different in their build and the athletes they will likely appeal to.
This race tested me like no other. A perfect storm of being undertrained, recovering from an injury, my own ignorance of the course and a little too much confidence in my abilities, left me a complete mess as I finally crossed the finish line 21 minutes before the cutoff.