Ride the Wind is a desert race through and through with cactus, kangaroo mice, wadis, coyotes, painted rocks, lizards, one hundred percent exposure, and a UV index that could strip paint off the space shuttle. Even the cactus was dying out there.
My non-running friends often ask me what it feels like to run a 100-miler. They find it difficult to imagine. I find it difficult to describe. Oxymoronic phrases like “Everything hurts, but I love it!” create more confusion than they clear up. I’ve been struggling to find a better way to get the message across. I think I finally found one.
Following are some conclusions I have drawn after being married to a running fanatic (Gary Johnson, who placed ninth in the 1991 Angeles Crest 100 Mile Run and who totaled 127 miles in the 1990 Megan’s 24 Hour Track Run among other feats of wonder) for five years, in the form of advice for the newly initiated who may not know what they’re in for.
Running Times published an article earlier this year entitled “Is 100 Miles The New Marathon?” That made me smile—so the rest of the running world has finally found our crazy little corner of the running world? Then I considered the absurdity of the no
Stop laughing, this is no joke! Where did I get this secret? Well, it’s a long story and it goes back many years. You see, the historical and legendary Kit Carson was a great ultramarathon runner. Kit first introduced the concept of chili loading to a small band of Indians and ultrarunning cowboys while he was participating in a half-marathon.
This May, after falling just short of the magical 600-mile mark last year in Anchorage, AK, Joe Fejes became the first modern-day American to break the 600-mile barrier in six days at the EMU World Trophy races in Hungary. Zane Holscher caught up with Joe and obtained the following feedback and insights on his huge accomplishment.
I had just started my 140th lap, which was the same number in miles during the third day of the 72 hour race at 3 Days at the Fair held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey. The afternoon sun hovered in a cloudless sky as runners took cover in the shade. Some were still on the course braving the afternoon heat and I was one of them.
“Seek and you will find.” Well I found what I was looking for, the fact that I knew I was going to be running day and night thrilled me. That’s all I wanted.
What’s it like to run 100 miles? To get an idea without all the effort, consider pacing someone in a 100-mile race. There are real benefits — you can run comfortably at an easy pace, enjoy the people and the scenery, and have a good training run.
The San Francisco 100 pits you against the elements of nature but at the same time reveals all Nature’s glory in the hills and coastlines of the Marin Headlands just across the Golden Gate Bridge from the “City by the Bay.” Tony Bennett might have left his heart in San Francisco, but the 100 milers left their blood, sweat and tears in Marin.
Manitou’s Revenge might the hardest 50 (technically it is 54) mile race in the United States. In 50 miles runners climb over 15,000 feet of hand over foot, rocky, root covered, wet mountains. The Catskill mountains of New York, not known for towering peaks but more for the soul crushing technicality is where this race calls home.
Because this race is out-and-back and because the return has a net elevation loss I expected most runners would run close to even splits but a comparison of the halfway and the finish times showed this to be false.
On the Friday morning the day before the Western States Endurance Run 100 Mile, many non-racers—crew members, pacers, fans—gather for the Montrail 6K Uphill Challenge. This fun race has quickly become a part of the Western States culture, counting ultr
Buckle fever, or chronic ego driven exhaustion (CEDE), has been known to cause premature DNF and extreme remorse. This case study is taken from the 2015 Western States Endurance Run.
The noun “verity” is described by Webster as “the quality or state of being true or real.” A recent letter to Ultrarunning (Jan/Feb ’86) identified handicapping ultras as an idea worth considering. Most runners believe the results of any race should have truth and reality in their final outcome, especially handicapped races.
In 2005, just one week before her 61st birthday, Gunhild Swanson set the 60-and-older female record for Western States with a time of 25:40. Without a doubt, her husband Jack wanted to pace her for a portion of the prestigious race, but he had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. This was her second Western States, and her fifth 100-miler.