Two hundred and sixty runners shuffled nervously in the half-light of dawn before the start of the inaugural Javadhu Hills Ultra (JHU) in a forest in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. It’s a remote location. The nearest city is five hours’ drive. The nearest town with any form of accommodation is 90 minutes away. Many camped overnight at the start line.
The Black Canyon 100K trail is the newest addition to the Montrail Ultra Cup series and takes place on the world class Black Canyon Trail near Phoenix, AZ. Featuring incredible single track trails on an old stagecoach route, this net downhill course will automatically qualify the top two placed male and female runners for Western States.
The Bighorn Trail 100 is Wyoming’s signature ultra and well worth the trip out to the uniquely beautiful Bighorn Mountains. The race begins in narrow Tongue River Canyon with weird rock formations above and a river flowing by below. You emerge from the canyon and tackle one of the course’s mammoth climbs into a vast
Traveling overseas as an “elite athlete” comes with romantic aire of catered this, escorted that. A plane ticket arrives in your email inbox with an itinerary you may have had some input on. This particular trip, I was thankful to see the direct flights, minimal connections each way and with a carrier I fly frequently.
The Miwok 100K is a longstanding ultrarunning classic for good reason. It draws a big field (450 entrants) and it’s competitive (past winners include Scott Jurek, Nikki Kimball, Hal Koerner, Anton Kupicka, Dave Mackey, Kami Semick, and Ann Trason). It’s also challenging with 12,000 feet of elevation change packed into its 61 miles and unpredictable weather.
Pennie McLaughlin tells a story about encountering a mountain lion on a trail not too long ago.