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Gunhild Swanson beats the clock by 6 seconds

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Gunhild Swanson crosses the finish line of the 2015 Western States 100 6 seconds before the 30 hour cutoff to become the oldest finisher in the history of the race.

July 2015

  • Evolution of Western States Course by Joe Uhan
  • Fuel and Food Progression During an Ultramarathon by Sunny Blende
  • Taper Time by Ellie Greenwood
  • Sleep, Run, Repeat by Allison Harvey
  • Ultrarunner Profile: Bill Dodson
  • Handling Your First Ultra by Gary Dudney
  • 24-Hour World Championship
  • Lake Sonoma 50


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Recent Features

Ann Trason

Ask Ann: From 10k to Your First Ultra

I recently signed up for a local 10k race. It will be my first ever. Now I’m thinking about doing either a 50-mile, 100k or a 100-mile ultra. Most folks would probably do a half marathon first, then a full marathon and so on until they finally hit their first ultra. But with money being tight, I can only afford one or two races per year.

Gary Cantrell

You Might Be An Ultrarunner If …

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, but, just as there are Americans, and Southerners, there are runners, and ultrarunners, and:

Desert-Running

Training On The Go

Running consistently, logging at least a moderate number of miles, and including high-intensity sessions each week—all part of a balanced running schedule—are difficult enough to incorporate into one’s daily life when it is filled with just the basics:

karl-running

On the Trail

Of all the important relationships in life, my relationship with the trails is one of the most complex and profound of all. Some days running the trail is like a magic carpet ride—every step easy and flowing and I’m one with the world. At times like this the trail allows me to connect with nature, know myself and be truly present. But other times the trail is a punishing taskmaster, with every rut, root, rock and impediment a massive hurdle.

576,864,2,3

Ultrarunning and Vegetarianism

What do Michael Wardian, Sage Canaday, Ellie Greenwood, Yassine Diboun, Aliza Lapierre and Adam Chase have in common? Yes, they’re all elite ultra marathon runners who have raced consistently at a world-class level, but they are also all long-term vegetarians.

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Men vs. Women, Marathoners vs. Ultramarathoners

I decided to examine the question whether women are superior distance runners by consulting the world records. (I assume that the world records give close to the best human performance under ideal conditions.) In order to make comparisons more valid I used records set on the track to eliminate possible uneven performances due to grade (such as the net 490 foot drop at the Boston Marathon) and potential aiding by wind (70% chance at Boston).

Yakima Skyline Rim

Like it’s been since its inaugural run in 2011, the Yakima Skyline Rim 50k is a testament to toughness. It’s hot. It’s dry. It’s rocky. It can be windy. It’s frequently dusty. The Yakima Skyline Rim 50 km is one of the toughest and most scenic of Rainshadow races.

The Azores Trail Run 48K – Not so Easy, but Brilliant

The nine volcanic islands that make up the archipelago of the Azores have sprung up from the ocean floor relatively recently. Altogether devoid of human habitation until the adventurous seafarers of 14th century Portugal came to shore and established small settlements, the Azores have ever since served as a key port of call for cross-Atlantic sailors.

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How Good Is Yiannis Kouros?

How good is Yiannis Kouros? Put it this way: He is the only runner for whom an accusation of cheating eventually became an honor. The quality of his run in the first Spartathlon was so far beyond what anyone thought possible that the only way to put his performance in perspective was to assume that he had cut the course. And so he came to Austria on Easter weekend of 1984 as the object of sincere suspicion.

Ian Sharman

Maximizing Vert

Summertime means the mountains are open for runners and hikers, and the majority of the high alpine races are during this time of year. However, many runners, especially city slickers, don’t have equivalent climbs where they can train. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for the more mountainous races no matter where you live.

Massanutten Mountain Trails

The MMT course is not an easy one, with over 16,000 feet of ascension over 103.7 miles, and the weather conditions (approaching 90 F and humid on race day, followed by an afternoon deluge and off and on showers throughout the night) made it even more interesting. But the hardest part for me was yet to come a few days later from an offhanded comment containing the word “crazy.”