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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Set against the twin backdrops of the Saint Croix River and Afton State Park, the 25K course (repeated for the 50K) winds through a virtual guidebook of picturesque Minnesota trail running, from twisty single track to long, rock-covered climbs to wide prairies.
By 2001, his life was spiraling out of control. Jon tried to commit suicide by taking a bottle of sleeping pills. “I fell asleep and woke up a couple days later in the hospital. The doctor said, ‘You should believe in God, because you shouldn’t be alive.’” It was a major turning point in his life.
Ruperto Romero had won the AC100 again, this time at 55 years old, long past the age ultrarunners are expected to remain competitive. As I looked at Ruperto, wrapped in the Mexican flag and swarmed by cameras and adoring fans, I smiled to myself. After everything I’d seen him accomplish outside the spotlight, he was finally receiving the recognition he deserved.
As the intensity of training peaks and races conclude for the season, the allure of sitting down with a good book can’t be denied. Fortunately, there are a number of new ultrarunning-inspired books that will keep even the most exhausted runners entertained and dreaming about a future race. Here are a few of our staff picks from this summer.
Burning River has always been a race with a heart of irony. The race celebrates health, strength, vitality, natural beauty and of course, the Cuyahoga River. Yet 50 years ago, the actual events that led to the Cuyahoga earning the name “burning river” were tragic and ugly.
We tested UltrAspire’s new Lumen 650 Oculus Headlamp along with an update to a popular favorite, the Lumen 600 Waist Light, which has been streamlined with an improved fit.
As race week approached, I evaluated my year-long goal of running TRT in less than 24 hours, flip-flopping on whether or not it should be my goal. I had earned a silver buckle the year before for finishing the course in under 30 hours and now, I wanted that sub-24 gold.
I often get asked if there’s a secret to maintaining consistency. This question usually has the undertone of having your cake and eating it too, i.e. doing excessive training and getting away with it. Yet, it’s a fairly simple formula that I instill in those I coach, as well as in my own racing.
Carnage. That is the only word to describe the effects of the heatwave which enveloped the east coast. Dreams were destroyed. Months of training, unless they included sauna work, were essentially for naught. Hell, organizers cancelled the New York City Triathlon due to extreme heat advisories that same weekend.
The format at Forbidden Forest is not the usual 100-mile race with a 30-hour cutoff. It’s a no-one-DNFs 30-hour run with the win going to whomever runs the farthest, and special buckles for everyone that manages 45 laps of the 2.23 mile loop, or 100.35 miles. Consequently, the race was a mix of runners with widely varying goals and dreams.