Author Archives: Guest Author

Pacing in a 100-Miler: A Nice Way to Spend the Night

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.

North South Lakes from Sunset Rock on the Escarpment Trail in the Catskills Photo: Ben Murphy BenMurphyOnline.com

Meet Ben Murphy – a 2015 participant in Manitou’s Revenge

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.

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Even Pacing Should Sometimes Mean Uneven Splits

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.

Case Study: Buckle Fever

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.

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Verity in Handicapping Ultras

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.

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The Grit of Gunhild Swanson

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.