Low spots. Speed bumps. Ruts. We’ve all had them. Suddenly you find yourself in the midst of training without any mojo and weeks to go. How do you get back those butterflies you initially felt after registering on Ultrasignup.com? Here are a few ideas to conquer what you’ll eventually see as a minor blip on your way to the finish line.
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.
You had so many great races and big wins in your career, and although I’ll never win an ultra, after a big race that goes well, I sometimes hit a real low because the training and excitement of the event is gone. How did you deal with that sort of let down and what advice do you have on this?
Adventurers looking for a classic multi-day stage race experience will have a new United States option next fall, as the inaugural Cloud City Multi-Stage Race will take place in September 2019 in the mountains surrounding Leadville, Colorado.
Transporting your body on foot for 100 miles in one go seems like an intensely personal and individual experience. And in many ways it is – only you can cover the miles, one step at a time. The physical pain and mental anguish experienced along the way taps you into your inner stuff unlike anything else.
But ironically it is during such a deep dive inside that I have felt more connected to others than at any other time in life.
Lately, my inner voice has been talking and I’m proud to say I’ve been listening. It tells me to push through summer’s intense heat when I’ve got no other options. Other times I hear a faint whisper throughout a long run telling me that things are not going as planned, and just to let it go.
I have run ultras in the mountains. I have run ultras in the deserts. I have run looped-course ultras. I have run an ultra across Death Valley. I have run solo ultras. But there was one glaring omission from my previous running resume: an ultramarathon with the opportunity to eat ice cream sixteen times per mile.
In his 50th year with more 100-mile wins than many will ever even attempt to run, Karl Meltzer’s nutrition plan is one to take note of. From the outside, folks probably think he spends his days sipping on Speedgoat Blend coffee, Red Bull, and maybe a beer or two. Fortunately, I got an inside look at how his real nutrition shapes his success.
As ultrarunners, naturally we love to run. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm for the primal act of running, and its Dr. Feelgood of Fitness-endorphin-effect is often not tempered enough by sensibility. More is only better to a certain point; then the law of diminishing returns kicks in.
Whether it’s a medical talk on foot care or the vendor expo during the Western States 100 race registration, the feeling is overwhelming: people have gathered together from all over the world to witness this annual event. But it didn’t matter whether you were a runner, crew member, pacer, volunteer or spectator – you were a part of the ultrarunning community.
HOKA One One picked up Jim Walmsley shortly after his first foray at Western States in 2016 – the one that was infamously derailed by the missed left turn. He’s been involved with shoe development and prototype testing since then, and the EVO Mafate is an example of how his contributions have improved the performance aspects of existing HOKA models.
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.
Seeing some of the Golden Hour finishers I had assisted in some small way successfully complete their journey to Auburn was a pinnacle moment for me after two decades of ultrarunning. There always will be, no matter how mainstream this sport goes, the nowhere-near-first multitudes comprising the heart of Ultra quietly grinding it out for the simple satisfaction of proving to themselves they could do it.
Time stops for none of us, and that is especially true in the sport of ultrarunning. Whether it is Wally Hesseltine trying to finish the last 300 yards of Western States in under one minute so he could become the oldest finisher at age 73, or Jim Walmsley trying to win and set records on the biggest stages at age 27, we all have windows that come and go.
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.