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.
Running 100 miles is a crazy sport. You can train and plan for months and feel like everything is lining up perfectly, but things very rarely play out the way you imagine. This was exactly what happened to me this year at Western States. I had a great
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.
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.
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, but, just as there are Americans, and Southerners, there are runners, and ultrarunners, and:
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:
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.
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.
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).
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 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.