- The Mental Approach of Elite Endurance Athletes
- Finding Peace in Ultrarunning
- Barkley Marathons
- Minimizing Injuries
- Oh, the Humidity!
- The Georgia Death Race
- The Case for “Walking”
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.
Seeing some of the Golden Hour finishers I had assisted in some small way successfully complete their journey to Auburn was a pinnacle moment for me after two decades of ultrarunning. There always will be, no matter how mainstream this sport goes, the nowhere-near-first multitudes comprising the heart of Ultra quietly grinding it out for the simple satisfaction of proving to themselves they could do it.
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.
A lifetime can be broken down into many, many individual moments. Those moments blend together as times passes and we often misremember past events, confuse memories, and forget large swaths of moments altogether. It’s rare that we can look back to a particular moment and mark it as a definitive one. But sometimes those defining moments do stick in our memory.
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.
As I make my way down the asphalt path I am conscious of the sound of my feet hitting the ground. It’s something I usually don’t pay much attention to but today is different. I am running with more attentiveness to my form. Is my posture good? Am I leaning into this short grade properly? Am I engaging my glute muscles?
During the hour just before dusk, I was on a trail in the Columbia River Gorge trying to chase a cutoff during the Gorge Waterfalls 100K. Everything around me was already dark due to the tall Douglas fir trees and thick vegetation. My headlamp was at the next aid station which still seemed miles away.
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.
LEKI is excited to announce the LEKI Full Ride Scholarship to Timothy Olson’s Run Mindful Retreat taking place in Boulder, CO, June 7-10. The scholarship includes registration fees, air travel, lodging and LEKI Trail Running gear for one deserving trail runner.