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UltraRunning May/June 2017

  • My First Attempt at 100 Miles by Heather Borsellino
  • FOURmidable by Gary Dudney
  • Hydration Packs Review by Donald Buraglio
  • How to Tackle the Big Dance by Ellie Greenwood
  • The Views Have to Be Earned by Cory Reese
  • Destin Beach Ultra Runs

Yes, The Gorge Does Have Teeth
After missing last year’s Gorge Waterfalls 100K due to injury, I wasn’t about to let a little weather stand in my way this time. But in the back of my head, a phrase I’d heard over social media continued to echo over and over, “The Gorge has teeth.”
Create Your Own Adventure
Most ultrarunners are fueled by a desire to push their limits and explore the boundaries of what is possible. They are drawn to training for and completing ultras because they want to challenge themselves and achieve big goals. The process of committing, training and executing on race day consumes, and ultimately defines, the ultrarunner’s life. The experience and satisfaction of knowing you put everything on the line in an epic test, is what endures.
The North Face Endurance Challenge California
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.
Anderson and Kostelnick named Most Notable FKT of the Year
“Anish” now holds the Overall Self-Supported (backpacker) records for the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the AZT. She stands alone (and ahead of all men too) in her specialty, with her AZT being two days faster than the Men’s Self-Supported FKT, and was on track to be the quickest AZT ever until Michael Versteeg set a quicker faster (Supported) time a few days previous. Anderson covered the 800 mile route in 19 days, 17 hours and 9 minutes.
Walmsley and Monforte named #2 Most Notable FKT of the Year
The best ultrarunner in the US knocked this one out of the park and was recognized for it. Records have been kept on this uber-route for decades, recently including Anton Krupicka, Dave Mackey, and Dakota Jones, with Jim taking 25 minutes off Rob Krar’s 2013 time. In the process he blazed South-North Rim in 2:46 which is an FKT itself. Walmsely covered the 42.2 miles in 5:55:20.
A Hiatus From Strava
Last spring while training for my first 100K, I became dependent on Strava – an app built for just about everyone logging a daily athletic endeavor. Not only was I tracking my mileage but also time, elevation and routes, as well. This had been the perfect tool to help me record the simple data I needed during each of my training runs. I even had Strava friends who were giving me daily “kudos.” Needless to say, it pretty much became my new favorite social network. And then, I got injured.
Hicks and Meltzer named #3 Most Notable FKT of the Year
The Sawatch Range in Colorado has 14 summits over 14,000’ high – somewhat lined up in a row, with few trails, continuous rough terrain, navigation challenges, and of course, serious vert. The cutoff time to ascend and descend all 14 is 60 hours. Meghan was the 17th finisher and first woman to tag all 14 peaks over the roughly 100-mile route in that time (Anna Frost and Missy Govney earlier had reached the 14th summit within that time but paused on top). Meghan’s effort was Supported and she completed it in 59 hours and 36 minutes.
Pantilat and Johnston named #4 Most Notable FKT of the Year
The man who knows the Sierra’s better than anyone now has the FKT on both the John Muir Trail and the much harder and higher SHR, which roughly parallels it. This is its first “serious” effort, taking a huge three days off the previous time. This terrific route sees a tiny fraction of attention compared to the JMT, presumably because it requires much more navigation and ability to move efficiently on 3rd class terrain. Pantilat covered the 195-mile route Unsupported in 4 days, 16 hours, 21 minutes.
Racing Italy’s Ronda Ghibellina Trail
The landscape was a patchwork of vineyards, olive groves, forest. Almost every hill had either a ruined fortress or a church on its summit. Villages with stone farmhouses and more churches punctuated the hillsides.
Vaught and Elson named #5 Most Notable FKT of the Year
Joelle Vaught is a Boise, ID ultrarunner who has a special fondness for running trails with her dogs. The 42-year old Vaught has an extraordinary ultrarunning resume, with 63 ultras completed, and 28 wins – including many large high-profile races in the west, among them, the Way Too Cool 50K, the Lake Sonoma 50-miler and Waldo 100K.
2016 FKT of the Year Awards
With the increasing popularity of Fastest Known Times and the completion of more and more epic feats of human endurance, we thought it was time to properly recognize and honor this portion of the ultrarunning community. As with the Ultrarunners of the Year (UROY) process, which is led by John Medinger, we are fortunate to have an icon of the sport oversee and conduct this process for FKTs, Buzz Burrell.
John Morelock: Running gently up there
John Morelock, whose writing graced the pages of UltraRunning for more than six years, died on February 5. He was diagnosed with a rare and incurable abdominal cancer in November, and succumbed three months later. He was 74.
Quick & Dirty: David Riddle, Five-Time Winner of the Mountain Mist 50K
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.
On My Bookshelf: Running Man
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.
United By A Common Goal
We’ve all had good races and bad races, but volunteering in an ultra is going to be good 99% of the time – even in bad weather. Lending a hand allows you be a part of an amazing group of people who are there to support a bunch of incredible runners who’ve been training for months. And that feeling you get when you’re a part of something so awesome, well, that’s what it’s all about.
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