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UltraRunning November 2017

  • Ultra Couples by Amy Rusiecki
  • Headlamps Review by Donald Buraglio
  • The Power of the Pack by Ellie Greenwood
  • Bigfoot 200 by Van Phan
  • Tony Rossmann Battles Back by John Trent
  • It Goes with the Territory by Errol Jones

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.
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.
A Marathon Speed Session
You know those times when you innocently say something and are met by a really odd look, and then you realize that you’re not talking to an ultrarunner? Well, that was the case when I was talking to a local newspaper journalist recently and referred to running the Vancouver marathon as “a good, middle distance effort.” Well what else do we ultrarunners call a mere 26.2-mile jaunt other than “middle distance”?
For The Challenge
It is the number one answer to the number one question we get as ultrarunners… “Why do you do it?” “For the challenge!” The answer sounds so glib that it might come across as a throwaway line. But the truth is, there are many nuances to the challenge of running ultras.
Cutting-Edge Research
A novel new addition to race week at this year’s Western States Endurance Run was the first-ever Medicine & Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports Conference. Medical research is one of the three pillars of the Western States Foundation Mission, and the formulation of a research conference in conjunction with the race has been in the works for several years.
On Injuries And Aging
If we avoid injury for many years, at some point, time and age catch up to us, and a decade later, something gives out. For me, this was my left ankle, and the real culprit was excessive abuse in my teens and 20s at other sports. But ultimately after a few DNFs and pain with every step I opted for surgery on April 23, 2013, a day I’ll never forget.
Race Preview: Big Cedar Endurance Run
Located at the highest point in Dallas, Prayer Mountain, the Big Cedar Wilderness offers runners a 100% single track running experience. 100 milers will run four 25 mile loops, 50 milers run two loops, and 50k runners run one 25 mile loop and a shorter 6 mile loop.
Pilates For Runners
I have many clients who are runners and they come to me with similar stories: my lower back hurts, I tire easily, I’ve hit a wall in my training, my endurance isn’t what it used to be. Whatever the reason, I can’t wait to get them on the Pilates program to discover what their bodies are truly capable of when pounding the pavement and beyond.
Training With Weight Vests
One thing I’m frequently asked about is how I incorporate weight vests into training, since it’s a tool I use for myself and for those I coach. It was especially key to my attempt at the 2013 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, where I ran 100-milers close together and had to get the most out of training while focusing on recovery.
The Road to the Starting Line
For the uninitiated, for those who marvel at the idea that 50 or 100 miles of continuous running is possible, the phrase “I could never do that” is often an instant, almost involuntary reaction. “I could never do that” precedes a second common reaction, “I can barely run a 5k.” Despite how frequently I hear this reaction, it still gives me pause and makes me wonder: Why, after all, are people so fixated on finishing an ultramarathon, when the road to the starting line is where most of the journey takes place?
How Do You Like Your Drama?
Drama. It’s essentially people facing challenges with uncertain outcomes. In good drama there’s always conflict and a “crisis” to be…
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