Browsing: Features

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Rough Trail 50K 2019: A View from the Water Cooler

With 6,500 feet of vertical gain and loss over 31 miles through the rugged and technical terrain of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, it is understandable why race director Michael Whisman of Next Opportunity Events (NOE) cautions against making the Rough Trail 50K your first ultra.

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Keep Your Head Up at the Stone Mill 50

Well-stocked and friendly aid stations, serene trails and a low price point make Stone Mill 50 a great event to race, run your first 50-miler, or simply take a scenic tour of the best trails and volunteers that Montgomery County, Maryland has to offer.

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Rio Del Lago’s Course of Legends

For music fans of a certain age and disposition, it’s impossible to run past the legendary Folsom State Prison and not hear the distinctive voice of the “Man in Black,” whose performances inside of this place are legendary.

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Pinhoti 100: Like Moths to a Flame

Runners love Pinhoti. It seemed like everybody I talked to at packet pickup was either returning to run this race in Alabama because they couldn’t get enough of it or they were out to avenge a DNF. Pinhoti is like a flame in the night – drawing in moths, but also, ready to burn them into oblivion.

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Food Wars Down Under: The Blackall 100

The Aussie spirit looms large at the Blackall 100 and for an outsider, it was all very captivating and magical. Would I ever return? Heck yes! Would I do anything differently? Yeah, I’d bring a bigger backpack. A person could live like a King off that checkpoint food.

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Diamond in the Rough: Gus Gibbs

Prior to volunteering at White River 50 in 2017, Gus Gibbs’ perception of ultrarunners was that they were beyond “crazy,” but unbeknownst to him on that summer day in late July, the madness instantly became appealing. Fast forward to March 2018 and he found himself on the rainy start line of Way Too Cool for his first 50k.

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A Peacock of a Tale

Many people know about the HURT 100 – the Peacock 55 is put on by the HURT 100 family (Ohana). I was not ready for 100 miles, but thought 55 was attainable. Little did I know that while some people are able to complete the HURT 100, some have not been able to finish the Peacock 55.

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Blue Collar Runners: Vin Framularo

In 2017, Vin Framularo’s marathon plans were derailed when a snowboarding accident sent him to the emergency room with a broken back. Now he has a ritual that he follows each time he toes the starting line of a race. “I tell whomever is around me, guys, the hardest part of the race is over.”

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First Look: SCARPA Spin Ultra Trail Running Shoes

The Italian company founded in the Dolomites has historically been known for its climbing shoes, but recently they have entered the trail running shoe market. The Spin Ultra is designed for moderate- to ultra-distance running, with more cushioning than previous SCARPA models, but without a significant tradeoff in weight.

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The Inaugural IRONBULL Ultra Trail 50K

Forested rock scrambles, 7,000 feet of elevation gain, and guided bushwhacks aren’t what you might expect for a 50k in Central Wisconsin, but that’s exactly what runners were challenged with in the inaugural IRONBULL Ultra Trail event, which has a unique mix of trail and urban running, finishing in the heart of downtown Wausau.

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Winning Nutrition at Big’s Backyard

For 60 hours, Maggie Guterl lined up ready to start either a 4.166667-mile trail or road loop every hour, on the hour. But what happened in those furious 9-12 minutes between each finish leading up to the next start, tells an incredible story of teamwork with some gold star skills.

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All Business at No Business

Runners experience a wonderland of rugged forest, waterfalls, natural arches, streams and river while tackling this demanding 100-mile tour of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area that begins in southern Kentucky and drops into Tennessee.

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Overcoming at IMTUF

IMTUF stands for Idaho Mountain Trail Ultra Festival. The “TUF” is synonymous for the race’s difficulty and challenging mountainous terrain, the runners who tackle the race, and more accurately, the volunteers, like Vicki Trees, who unselfishly dedicate their time and energy, regardless of conditions or circumstances, to help others achieve their goals.

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A Diamond in the Rough: Melissa Flores

After dabbling in half marathons during college and running two road marathons in 2018, Sacramento native and former basketball player Melissa Flores hasn’t looked back since being introduced to the trails by a friend in Santa Barbara.

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The Inaugural Tor des Glaciers

For the 10th anniversary of Tor des Géants, the Italian race organization created an even longer event, the inaugural Tor des Glaciers. By the numbers, it was 450k completed in a single push with approximately 105,000 feet of climbing—around 120k longer with 30,000 more feet of climb and descent than the traditional Tor des Géants.

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The Warriors UltraRun

Held in the middle of the night, this neon-drenched, 28-mile ultra took runners from the Bronx to Coney Island – through two subway stations – recreating the escape route featured in the iconic 1979 cult film, Walter Hill’s “The Warriors.”

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Hungerford Trail Race 50

The diverse terrain and trails at Hungerford – weaving through the Huron-Manistee National Forest and West Michigan countryside – continue to provide a beautiful backdrop for runners who come to achieve their goals.

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Blue Collar Runners: Meghan Slavin

“My life was pretty much gymnastics and school. We worked out in the gym 20-30 hours per week.” After a string of injuries in high school and her gymnastics days behind her, Meghan had a big void to fill. Her dad was a marathon runner, which intrigued Meghan, and at the age of 18, she decided to join him for a run.

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10th Anniversary of the Burning Man 50K

Burning Man is about creating a community that’s about sharing. It’s about an experiment in being who you are, who you really want to be, who you can be, in an environment of complete freedom. It’s a place of participation and a place of no spectators. So of course, I had to create an ultramarathon.

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Digging Deep at Leadville

The crux of the race, aside from the sustained altitude, is going over Hope Pass at 12,600 feet, twice — once at mile 43.5, and again at mile 56.5. Several finishers that I had spoken with imparted the wisdom that if I could make it over Hope Pass the second time, I’d finish.

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A Diamond in the Rough: Rod Farvard

When Rod Farvard crossed the finish line last fall at the Cuyamaca 100K in Julian, California, not only had he just finished his first 100k (his third ultramarathon), won the race and set a new course record in the process, but he thought he’d just punched his ticket to the 2019 Western States Endurance Run. Quite literally a dream come true for this 23-year-old from San Francisco.

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The Inaugural Tuscazoar 100/50

It turns out this course has one of the steepest climbs in Ohio. Great. It also turns out that 95% of the 5,500 feet of elevation gain comes in the last 1/3 of each 25-mile loop. Fantastic. You see, I’m a flat and fast runner.

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First Look: Topo Athletic Phantom Running Shoe

Last year, Topo Athletic filled out the max-cushioned end of their trail shoe lineup with the Ultraventure. This fall, they fill the same slot in their road lineup with the Phantom, a new maximum-cushion shoe that has the same stack heights and geometry as the Ultraventure, with a lighter and more breathable upper that is well-suited for road running.

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