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.
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.
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.
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.
For those of you, like myself, who are potentially facing triple digit temperatures to match a triple digit race distance, here are some things to consider to keep your ‘A’ goals from evaporating.
I began mentally rewriting song lyrics as a way to pass the miles, entertain myself, and poke a little fun at the absurdities and idiosyncrasies I see within the subculture of this sport I love.
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.
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.
To remember the past is to respect it. Even the most independent of us in this most independent-at-times of sports, do not live in a bubble of rugged individualism feeding the fire of progression alone. We are all interconnected, and we all need each other.