January 2016

UltraRunning Jan/Feb 2016

  • The Year in Review by Tropical John Medinger
  • 2015 Stats Roundup features
  • Father and Son by John Trent
  • The Science of Ultrarunning by Matt Laye
  • Solo Hundo by Cory Reese
  • What Makes a Champion? by Dean Karnazes
  • Running Legwear Review by Donald Buraglio
  • Superheroes by Joe Uhan


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Recent Features

2015 Most Competitive Fields

Each year a few races attract a large number of elite runners. In this analysis, we have examined the races in which those who received votes for Runner of the Year competed. Giving the runners of the year 40 points, the runners-up 39 points, and so on, we have devised a system for determining which races had the most competitive fields. (Note that this analysis does not include foreign runners who are not eligible for runner of the year.)

Jeff Browning on his way to winning the 2016 HURT 100. Photo: Jiro Ishiduka

Success with OFM

Jeff Browning, an elite ultra marathoner and 23-time 100-mile finisher, recently completed and won his 14th 100-miler – the HURT 100.  Just seven weeks prior to race day, he made the drastic decision to experiment with his own body by transitioning to

SF100 Start

San Francisco 50/100 Mile Race Preview

The 4th annual SF 100/50 Mile Endurance Runs takes place on March 26th. The course takes a scenic tour of the spectacular Marin Headlands with views of Tiburon, Mt. Tamalpais, Pirates Cove, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. With 9,565’ and 19,5

Gunksrunner Ultra Rankings

The Gunksrunner Ultra Rankings arose, as most anything important does, out of a conversation on a training run several years ago. (By which I do not mean to imply that these rankings are in any way important.). We were discussing the USA Triathlon ranking system, by which any USAT member can receive a national ranking simply by finishing three races over the course of a year. And so the idea for the GUR was born: a comprehensive ranking of every finisher of every ultramarathon in the country.

Alicia Rich on her way to victory at the Mountain Mist 50K

Quick & Dirty – Alicia Rich

Running to a big win at the Mountain Mist 50K in 5:27:24 (full results)—through snow, ice, standing water, and mud—Alicia Rich learned several new lessons on the steep learning curve of ultrarunning. She ran and won her first ultra in December 2014, an

Team Junko

Junko Kazukawa: Grand Slammer, Leadwoman, 2x Cancer Survivor

Junko’s inherent courage has led her to a life of taking on challenges that others have often advised against. In 2015, the brave 52-year-old two-time cancer survivor tackled something that no one else had ever done, completing the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and the Leadwoman series in the same calendar year.

Sleep is important for recovery after an ultra marathon. Photo courtesy of:  Sabrina Moran

Sleep. Who Needs It?

Stop for a minute, and think: can you recall the best night of sleep you’ve ever had? Maybe your top five nights of nocturnal bliss? One in particular stands out for me, and it happened 20 years ago. But I never considered the importance of hitting the hay until I became a mother of twins.

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Training for the Unknown in Hawaii

Muddy shoes, a wet shirt, torn shorts, and a bloody bandana pretty much some up my running career in Hawaii and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. From the day I buy a new pair of shoes until the day I retire them, they remain muddy.

Foresthill Advice 1986-750

Father and Son

The father had always been old school and a bit old-fashioned. He was a man who could easily handle both a stethoscope and a shotgun, his life shaped by time tending patients in emergency rooms in Roseville, California, and in caring for horse riders, and then for runners, on the Western States Trail.

Dan and Kathy Harshburger in Macchu Picchu.

Love and Longevity – Part 2

Married for 46 years, Dan and Kathy Harshburger knew that if they didn’t take the opportunity to visit Patagonia now, there was a good possibility they would never get the chance again. With 14 days of mountain running through Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares, and Tierra del Fuego National Parks across Southern Chile and Argentina, they had their work cut out for them.

Hellcat-Races-LOGO

2015 Hellcat 50k

The Hellcat 50km race on Jan 9 2016, is held annually to commemorate the F6F Hellcat Navy fighter of WWII fame. It is held on the old Navy air base in Green Cove Springs Fl. The base is now an industrial park but the old runways, bunkers etc. are still there. The race loops the outer perimeter 5 times.

matt-laye

The Science of Ultrarunning

This is the first in a series of articles on what happens to your body during an ultra, focusing on the sparse but growing scientific literature that exists. However, physiology is extremely individual dependent, so please interpret this column with caution, as we are all different.

Dan and Kathy Harshburger in Patagonia (Chile) at the Towers of Paine at Torres del Paine.

Love and Longevity – Part 1

Dan started running with his wife Kathy in 1980. After a brief four years running road races, they were introduced to the trails in Southern California by a group from a local running store. Not long after, Dan was invited by ultrarunning legend, Walt Johnson, to run the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim – his first ultra marathon in 1984. He finished in 12 hours and 2 minutes. Dan was hooked.

cory-reese

Solo Hundo

I circled the high school track, loop after loop, hour after hour, mile after mile. For 100 miles, to be exact. It was July in southern Utah, where summer temperatures feel like you’re standing on the sun. The high was 107 degrees. I tried to think of some profound response when people asked why I was running 100 miles around a track in July. The best I could come up with was “Well, it seemed like a unique challenge. And I had some glazed donuts I needed to burn off.”

The Music of Running

I never run with music on. This seems counterintuitive, because I’ve read the millions of articles on how music helps pump us up, run faster, breath stronger. But I don’t subscribe to this. I don’t run to be in shape, and I don’t run for time.

Elowah Falls, near miles 11 and 49 of the Gorge Waterfalls 100K.

Training Routines Change, and So Will You

Looking back on my first two years of training for ultra marathons, a lot has changed. Relationships with training partners have waxed and waned, and my running dramatically improved due to warmer than average winter months. But now I realize that change is inevitable, and it’s why I can’t wait for the year ahead.