What sets El Camino de Lavaca apart from other ultra stage races is its cultural objective, specifically the “Painted Churches” around which the pilgrimage was planned. The point, according to John T. Sharp, its creator and director, is “existential discovery, historical appreciation, religious reflection and self-actualization.”
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Friendly cows, a river crossing, navigating a beaver dam, does this experience sound like a pleasant Saturday? This and more were part and parcel of the third annual River’s Edge Ultra which snakes in and out of the North Saskatchewan River valley just west of Edmonton, Alberta.
The course of the 33rd annual Hunter S. Thompson Fear & Loathing 50-Mile, an ultramarathon that roughly follows 49-Mile Scenic Drive through the city streets of San Francisco. It starts and ends at Twin Peaks, one of the highest points in the city with stunning views. The only rule of this particular race is to “not get hit by a car”.
The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race was founded in 1991 and is one of ten original 100-mile trail races in the United States
At all of the White Oak Running Company races, the race directors want to focus on each runner’s experience and make sure that they have all they need to have their best day. The fourth running of the Patapsco Valley 50K was by far our best day.
The run-up to Oregon’s Mountain Lakes 100 was a roller coaster ride of wild fires, closed access roads, inaccessible trails, and the very real possibility that the race would be a no go.
My husband and photography partner Rick Mayo and I went our separate ways after the start of the Hawk Hundred, a 100- and 50-mile trail race hosted by the Lawrence Trail Hawks, to capture photographs of the runners in various states of suffering and euphoria.
Are you the kind of runner seeking races that run past flaming pieces of art, kissing booths, tutus, epic sunrises, dust storms, costumed dancers and people offering you champagne, rum, cigarettes and whiskey? If you answered YES, you belong at the Burning Man Ultramarathon.
The runner turns the final corner and sees the start/finish area. Cowbells clang and shouts reach through the cold New England air. “One more loop!” the spectators cry again. “One more loop!” This is the spirit of the Fall Fling 400 presented by the CT Trailmixers trail running club at YMCA Camp Sloper in central Connecticut.
When I crossed the finish line of the Silverton Double Dirty 30 55K in September, friend and race director Megan Finnesy hugged me and said, “You’ve redefined what’s possible.”
The old Mark Twain saying, “If you don’t like the weather… just wait a few minutes,” is often bandied about in spring and fall. But a particular October cold front that draped across the Great Plains the day of the running of Heartland 100 in Cassoday, Kansas took that saying to the extreme.
The world has felt unmoored lately… loosed from its tethers, drifting, unrecognizable at times. We seek to understand events we cannot fathom, to find the meaning behind natural and man-made chaos, to go through the closed plate-glass windows of friends who are suffering too much to reach out for help. Teasing out our place in the shifting patterns of things, we return, so inevitably, to the certainty of the woods and long trails.
With its third running in 2017, Hixon 50K is a relatively new event set in a region that’s made for trail running. The dense forests and craggy limestone rock faces that make up the unglaciated terrain of western Wisconsin’s Coulee Region beg for a foot race.
At the start of the Uwharrie 100, you depart Wood Run Trail Head and are swallowed up immediately by a thick, dark, mysterious forest. Underfoot are protruding rocks and a snake pit of tangled roots, all camouflaged by a layering of dead leaves. The 20.5 mile trail, which follows a figure eight route, will prove to be an almost unbroken minefield of trip hazards.
Now in its 29th year, the Finger Lakes 50s Trail Races is one of the oldest ultramarathons in New York State. The course loops around the Finger Lakes National Forest, winding through lush beds of pines, exposed cow pastures with expansive countryside views, shaded equestrian trails, and some rolling hills through the woods.
The Last Great Race consists of running the first six 100-milers in the United States in one summer: Old Dominion 100, Western States 100, Vermont 100, Angeles Crest 100, Leadville Trail 100, and Wasatch Front 100.
On October 23, 2017, Guillaume Calmettes ran 245.832 miles to become the last man standing at the Big Dog Backyard Ultra. Here’s the story from the woman who cooked him a lot of soup.
Somewhere I’ve seen Eastern States referred to as a “Massanutten 100 on Steroids.” The course is a work of art: one giant loop through the Tiadaghton State Forest with a scenic lakeside finish area in Little Pine State Park. Pine Creek Gorge, the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” cuts through the center.
Deep in the central Pennsylvania forest, past mile 20 where the route scuffs 1,300 feet upward across 3+ miles, a hanging fog thrust into the canopies of turning leaves adding an air of mystery. But it was here that steady tracks would burn away any uncertainty about who would dominate the action in the quest for top honors in the USA 50-Mile Road Championships.
Serious rains cut through the forest the night before the race and super-mild temperatures kept up for race day in central Pennsylvania’s Moshannon State Forest for the sixth annual Allegheny Front Trail Runs.
Last August, I completed Bigfoot 200 and could not conceive of how my friends were going on to complete Tahoe 200 just three weeks later. The idea of doing back-to-back 200s seemed impossible to me at the time. Throwing in a third once seemed inconceivable. Several months later, I found myself feeling inquisitive and eager to find out if it was possible for me to accomplish the Triple Crown of 200s.