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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For those of us who have difficulty keeping fingers warm in harsh conditions, The North Face Apex E-Tip Glove and Montana Mitt are welcome additions to our winter running wardrobe.
We hadn’t attended the Western States lottery in a few years and I was not expecting the spectacle that was ahead of us that morning in the packed auditorium at Placer High School in Auburn, California. I knew it would be flawlessly conducted, high energy and even entertaining.
But to be honest, I had forgotten how life-changing ultramarathons can be in people’s lives, and the visceral emotions that are unleashed when someone’s name is chosen.
Winter running jackets present an eternal challenge for clothing designers. The primary objective is to balance two competing needs: enough insulation to keep you warm in frigid conditions, but enough ventilation to keep you from overheating with exertion. Comfortable material construction and creative design elements are obviously desirable as well.
Our love for trail running is in our genes. Our bodies evolved to make us the best endurance runners on Earth, to share cooked meals, and to be outside in nature. From these roots, running, wholesome food, and being in nature hone our genes’ expression for wellness and well being.
The calendar was my first running “tool.” When I began seriously training, a simple wall calendar provided a handy place to record what I had done. These days, the old running calendar has become a part of social media. I think the value still distills down to the same essential ingredients: the numbers and the compulsion to improve them.
It’s 4:00 a.m. The coffee is hot. The boys are ready to rock. For some of us, The North Face Endurance Challenge California 50 mile marks their first exploration into the ultramarathon world. For others, this is an opportunity for progression at the 50-mile distance.
A small company based out of ultra-endurance mecca Flagstaff, Arizona has emerged with a new product that has professional athletes and weekend warriors ordering batches of this new all-natural anti-chafe salve that has been said to work miracles.
We’ve all been heartbroken in love and on the trails. In order to protect ourselves from more heartbreak, we play it safe. We don’t embrace the sweet complexity of the other person; we don’t dance down the technical trails. But what if we did? What if we went for it? It could be a disaster, right? Or it could be a sweet success.
Rarely in ultrarunning do you see the word “phenom” used to describe the sport’s best runners. But in 2016 the sport was taken over by the phenomenal record-smashing performances of Jim Walmsley. The 26 year-old from Flagstaff, Arizona kicked off the year with a dominant win and course-record at the Black Canyon 100K, and from there he seemingly never took his foot off the gas pedal. With his Western States Golden Ticket in hand, Walmsley continued to race – and set records – at some of the most competitive ultras, including the Lake Sonoma 50-miler in April.