It’s difficult to top a magical Pacific Northwest island when it comes to trail running. Race weekend is a special experience, from riding the ferry, experiencing the slow pace and artsy vibe of island life, cruising along some of the greenest forest trails you’ll ever see and soaking in panoramic summit views from Seattle to Canada and the Cascade Mountains to Puget Sound.
It is difficult to explain to a non-runner what it’s like to run an ultramarathon. How can you possibly put into words the excitement, the highs, the lows, the torture and the triumph of such an audacious pursuit? Here’s my attempt to explain the stages of running an ultramarathon by using something everyone can understand: cartoon characters.
We just needed a couple’s weekend. The last of our three kids left the nest this year, and now they are all in college. Is there a better way to sort out and plan your golden years than with a 7-hour drive to spend 30 hours in nature?
Since turning 40 almost seven years ago, Jeff Browning has reacquainted himself with strength training. As a professional ultrarunner, he attributes his recent success to his “Tough 21” routine that helps him handle the volume and stress of 100-milers. Read and watch more about this circuit he does a few times per week.
The Ultrarunner’s Beer & Run Pairing Guide aims to provide runners with the perfect beers to enjoy after a run. Countless years of “research” went into creating this guide. All pairing suggestions are based solely on the taste buds of the author and only include beers that are relatively easy-to-find in regional craft beer stores and that the author has personally sampled.
For the past three years, I’ve been volunteering for the running club at my kids’ school. Kindergartners through fifth graders have the option of using their recess to run laps instead of play on the playground. Some of them choose to run a couple, while others run as many laps as they possibly can in their 20 minutes of free time.
Each year a few races attract a large number of elite runners. In this analysis, we have examined the races in which those who received votes for Runner of the Year competed. Giving the runners of the year 40 points, the runners-up 39 points, and so on, we have devised a system for determining which races had the most competitive fields.
Courtney Dauwalter is the 2018 Ultra Runner of the Year. Dauwalter had a prodigious year, running 12 ultras and winning nine of them. She showed remarkable range, winning races from 50K to 279 miles. She had major wins at Western States, posting the second fastest women’s time ever, and Japan’s Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji. Perhaps her most talked about race was Big’s Backyard Ultra, a quirky-format event where runners have to complete a 4.1-mile loop every hour to stay in the competition. She did this for 68 consecutive hours before yielding. A star cross-country skier at the University of Denver, Dauwalter lives in Golden, Colorado with her husband Kevin.
Jeff Browning is the second ranked runner in 2018. Browning had an impressively consistent year, winning three 100-milers, placing third at Run Rabbit Run and fifth at Western States. A graphic artist, gear designer and running coach, ”Bronco Billy” lives in Logan, Utah with his wife Jennifer and their three children.
Darcy Piceu is the third ranked woman for 2018. Piceu was undefeated at the 100-mile distance, impressively winning on four significantly different courses – the highly technical HURT 100, the severely mountainous Ronda dels Cims in Andorra, the mountainous but runnable Angeles Crest, and the swift Javelina 100. A psychologist and counselor, the three-time Hardrock champion lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Dylan Bowman is ranked fourth in the Ultra Runner of the Year balloting for 2018. “DBo” had an outstanding year, winning two major international races, Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji in Japan and Tarawera 100K in New Zealand. He also placed a very close second at Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS), the 119km race in the UTMB series.
On November 4, twenty-two runners lined up for Conquer The World (C.T.W.) Endurance’s first annual Fall Back into the Trails 50K, a 10k loop course with roughly 1,000 feet of elevation gain per lap at Red Wing Recreation Area in Lagrangeville, New York.
Kaytlyn Gerbin is ranked 5th among the women for 2018. She set a course record while winning the Bear 100, was 2nd at Western States and 10th in the World Trail Championships in Spain. Gerbin, who has a PhD in bioengineering, is a scientist at the Allen Institute for Cell Science. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Ely.
Jason Schlarb is the 6th ranked man for 2018. Schlarb had a very busy year, winning Run Rabbit Run 100, Ultra Trail Oman, and the Desert RATS 50K, while placing 2nd at the Eiger Ultra Trail 101K in Switzerland and Mt. Gaoligong 55K in China. When not traipsing around the globe, the former Montana State track athlete lives in Durango, Colorado.