Like many utrarunners, Colby Wentlandt is motivated and inspirational. What differentiates Colby from the rest of the ultra-gang, though, is that at 14-years old, he has accomplished more than many will accomplish over their running careers. To date, Colby has completed over a dozen ultramarathons, including a handful at the 100-mile distance.
Could it be that our strong hearts keep us filled with gratitude? A recent study by U.C. Davis showed that ultrarunners on average, are a healthy bunch of folks. With the median age in the study being just above 40, there were very low occurring instances of high blood pressure, stroke and cancer. Those statistics translate to fewer hours of sick time used at work and lower medical bills, but also mean we have less ailments than most. Something to be grateful for, no doubt.
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
At age 62, having just completed a grueling 100-mile mountain race in which he finished first in his age group, Fred Brooks died suddenly when his car crashed on an interstate highway just hours after the race was completed. He was in the second year of a comeback to ultrarunning after a six-year hiatus.
There sat 17-year-old David Hedges, smack in the lead pack at the Twisted Branch Trail Run, a 100k race on the Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail in NY. As he ran, surrounded by veterans of the sport, past winners of ultras and consistent hometown favorites he patiently waited.
I had never been on top of a mountain before, which added to the excitement. Engineer sits at 12,972 feet in the San Juan National Forest in Southwest Colorado. It’s no Everest and obviously it’s not even a fourteener, but I had no idea how daunting it would be for me.