The first good advice that most of us receive, regarding the running of an ultramarathon, is to “break it down” into manageable pieces. And good advice it is. Once the discomfort starts to take hold, it can be quite overwhelming to think about all that remains, and runners will quit, when a finish is easily
There are certain women in our sport who can go by their first names. Ann, Ellie, Kami, Darcy – these are just a few of our Madonnas of ultrarunning, if you will. Nikki, Rory, Liza – the list goes on – Pam, Anna and Camille.
Now, If you find yourself saying, Camille who?, you certainly won’t be for long.
When I began this column two years ago, the intent was to bring the historic roots of ultras to today’s newest ultrarunning readers. Driven by the value of sustainability, the notion was to help new runners avoid re-inventing the wheel: to learn the lessons without having to experience, first-hand, the painful mistakes that befell our predecessors.
On Saturday, November 14, Minnesota runner Mike Bialick blazed to a 12:52:53 finish at the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile. The southern Illinois race is designed for speed, tracing a crushed limestone rail trail out and back from the small town of Vienna, IL. Last year, Tracy Falbo ran 14:45:26 in the inaugural race, a time that was a North American record for trail 100-mile at the time.
Dan Kraft has steadily ascended the ranks of U.S. ultrarunning the last few years. He’s a member of the Nike Trail Elite team and originally hails from Colorado. Kraft currently lives in Issaquah, WA, working the harvest at a small winery, continuing his education from a recently completed Master’s degree in winemaking at Oregon State University.
Any competitor who researches the FlatRock 50K knows what to expect from the course: Rocks. Lots of them. But what the mind knows does not always meld with adrenaline, fresh legs, and a love for trail running.