Browsing: Featured

Featured
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.

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2017 Reader Survey

We recently conducted a reader survey and received almost 1,000 responses – thank you for your feedback. The positive comments were encouraging and nice to hear. Over 98% of respondents said UltraRunning Magazine is interesting, informative, trustworthy and reliable. Roughly 95% believe UR provides unique content and useful information.

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What One Run Can Teach You

Waking up to my alarm at 5 a.m. isn’t hard these days. In the wee hours, my body knows that a grueling struggle is near triggering an internal wake-up call. Long gone are the days where I lie in the darkness, my mind spinning to justify another hour of sleep instead of getting up to run. This last weekend was no exception, and this time I had friends to hold me accountable.

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Spring Sock Roundup 2017

Spring is an ideal season for purging some of your ratty old socks in favor of some fresh styles and vibrant patterns to run headlong into your high mileage training. We’ve tested a handful of new models for this spring.

archives
Muscle Injury Without a Cause?

How many times have you gone out for a long run, only to come back sore or injured for no obvious reason? You haven’t pulled a muscle or twisted an ankle, yet you get a feeling of pain the next morning that suggests you got hit by a truck?

Commentary
Navigating the Road to Ultras

When I first started running ultras, I was looking to extend the joy I received from running the roads, but without the crush of the urban environment. I saw a photo on the office wall of the director of a sports care center that I had office space in. He was standing in running shorts and a singlet on top of a snow-covered mountain peak. I asked where that was.

archives
The “Trail” Wins the Barkley Marathons

We should have known better… The 13 starters were indicative of what would transpire. The fact that Barry Barkley, the race’s namesake, had to work and missed the event. The failure of the temperature to reach above freezing during the race – both the weekends, before and after, it had reached into the 70’s. Most of all, just knowing the nature of the Boundary Trail, we shouldn’t have even tried. But we did.

Commentary
Not Almost There

“I think I might throw up,” I heard Shacky mutter during the steep climb. My friends Vanessa and Shacky and I managed to make it to the top of Gooseberry Mesa without anyone throwing up (or dying). The climb to the top of the mesa ascended more than 1,500 feet in less than a mile, early in the Zion 100.

archives
Experiment of One: Training for a 24 Hour: Part 1

Races of 24 hours in duration are a yardstick in the sport of ultrarunning, having been contested for decades around the world, dating hack to the 1800s. Athletes in these events are seeking the answer to the question: how far can I go in one full day? In this two-part article, I’ll provide some advice on training, planning, and competing in these one-day races.

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Setting Goals

Goals are funny. They’re hard to let go of, whether you succeed or fail. A Harvard study suggests, “The sense of competence resulting from successful goal achievement encourages students to set more challenging goals and eventually adopt goal directed mindsets.” Sound familiar? As a runner, my natural inclination was to follow in my father’s footsteps and run a marathon. Once that goal had been checked off, my sights were set on qualifying for, and finishing Boston (like most marathoners).

Featured
Overtraining Syndrome: Digging Deep

My first experience with significant overtraining from running occurred during my two years of collegiate running for CU-Boulder. I was a decent, All-State high school runner in Colorado’s second largest school class, but my talent and experience were years behind many of my teammates like Dathan Ritzenhein, Jorge and Eduardo Torres, and Steve Slattery. Totally pumped by the simple fact that I had made the team in the annual tryout for a few walk-ons, I dove enthusiastically into my training.

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Create Your Own Adventure

Most ultrarunners are fueled by a desire to push their limits and explore the boundaries of what is possible. They are drawn to training for and completing ultras because they want to challenge themselves and achieve big goals. The process of committing, training and executing on race day consumes, and ultimately defines, the ultrarunner’s life. The experience and satisfaction of knowing you put everything on the line in an epic test, is what endures.

Featured
The North Face Endurance Challenge California

The pace was hot from the beginning! With Zach Miller leading the way in his usual fashion we blew through the first mile at 5:56 a.m. and didn’t slow from there. Either I thought this pace was sustainable and forgot it was a 50-mile race, or I just felt like running fast and didn’t care what would happen.

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Anderson and Kostelnick named Most Notable FKT of the Year

“Anish” now holds the Overall Self-Supported (backpacker) records for the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the AZT. She stands alone (and ahead of all men too) in her specialty, with her AZT being two days faster than the Men’s Self-Supported FKT, and was on track to be the quickest AZT ever until Michael Versteeg set a quicker faster (Supported) time a few days previous. Anderson covered the 800 mile route in 19 days, 17 hours and 9 minutes.

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Walmsley and Monforte named #2 Most Notable FKT of the Year

The best ultrarunner in the US knocked this one out of the park and was recognized for it. Records have been kept on this uber-route for decades, recently including Anton Krupicka, Dave Mackey, and Dakota Jones, with Jim taking 25 minutes off Rob Krar’s 2013 time. In the process he blazed South-North Rim in 2:46 which is an FKT itself. Walmsely covered the 42.2 miles in 5:55:20.

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A Hiatus From Strava

Last spring while training for my first 100K, I became dependent on Strava – an app built for just about everyone logging a daily athletic endeavor. Not only was I tracking my mileage but also time, elevation and routes, as well. This had been the perfect tool to help me record the simple data I needed during each of my training runs. I even had Strava friends who were giving me daily “kudos.” Needless to say, it pretty much became my new favorite social network. And then, I got injured.

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Hicks and Meltzer named #3 Most Notable FKT of the Year

The Sawatch Range in Colorado has 14 summits over 14,000’ high – somewhat lined up in a row, with few trails, continuous rough terrain, navigation challenges, and of course, serious vert. The cutoff time to ascend and descend all 14 is 60 hours. Meghan was the 17th finisher and first woman to tag all 14 peaks over the roughly 100-mile route in that time (Anna Frost and Missy Govney earlier had reached the 14th summit within that time but paused on top). Meghan’s effort was Supported and she completed it in 59 hours and 36 minutes.

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Pantilat and Johnston named #4 Most Notable FKT of the Year

The man who knows the Sierra’s better than anyone now has the FKT on both the John Muir Trail and the much harder and higher SHR, which roughly parallels it. This is its first “serious” effort, taking a huge three days off the previous time. This terrific route sees a tiny fraction of attention compared to the JMT, presumably because it requires much more navigation and ability to move efficiently on 3rd class terrain. Pantilat covered the 195-mile route Unsupported in 4 days, 16 hours, 21 minutes.

Featured
Vaught and Elson named #5 Most Notable FKT of the Year

Joelle Vaught is a Boise, ID ultrarunner who has a special fondness for running trails with her dogs. The 42-year old Vaught has an extraordinary ultrarunning resume, with 63 ultras completed, and 28 wins – including many large high-profile races in the west, among them, the Way Too Cool 50K, the Lake Sonoma 50-miler and Waldo 100K.

Featured
2016 FKT of the Year Awards

With the increasing popularity of Fastest Known Times and the completion of more and more epic feats of human endurance, we thought it was time to properly recognize and honor this portion of the ultrarunning community. As with the Ultrarunners of the Year (UROY) process, which is led by John Medinger, we are fortunate to have an icon of the sport oversee and conduct this process for FKTs, Buzz Burrell.

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John Morelock: Running gently up there

John Morelock, whose writing graced the pages of UltraRunning for more than six years, died on February 5. He was diagnosed with a rare and incurable abdominal cancer in November, and succumbed three months later. He was 74.

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Quick & Dirty: David Riddle, Five-Time Winner of the Mountain Mist 50K

On January 28th, David Riddle ran to a commanding victory at the Mountain Mist 50K in Huntsville, AL. It was his fifth win in six attempts at the southern winter classic, and his first since 2013. He had missed the last two years during a long injury layoff and subsequent recovery. In this interview, we chat about Riddle’s recent races, what motivates his racing choices, and what he’s thinking about next. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Featured
On My Bookshelf: Running Man

Charlie Engle, by his own admission, is an addictive personality. His new memoir, Running Man, is a brutally honest and compulsively readable account of his years as an alcoholic and crack addict and how he managed to finally put that life behind him in exchange for a new addiction: running.

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