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Meditation for runners and its benefits

Sitting motionless in a room for an extended period of time might seem like an odd way to improve your running, but meditation is a tool used by some of the world’s best runners to take them to the next level.

Two-time Western States champion Timmy Olhsen uses meditation as a central tenant of his training. Two-time OCC champion Ruth Croft has gone on week-long silent meditation retreats.

Here are some ways to get started:

Why meditate?

There are a number of benefits for runners. Firstly, it can help you concentrate or to “stay present”. This is particularly useful if you have a specific split or pace in mind. Over the course of a 5km, 10km or even a marathon it can be easy for your mind to drift and for you to unwittingly slow down. But if you are “present”, you can focus on keeping your legs spinning.

Conversely, mediation can distract you. If you are battling through a low point on a 100km race, you can use meditation techniques honed at home to focus on your breathing rather than your ailing body. You can refocus to the moment and forget about what is to come and the negative thoughts circling in your head.

Meditation lowers anxiety in general. Being less stressed will help your training in general because you will find it easier to stick to a routine and waste less mental energy so you can push yourself during the session. It will also help you relax and sleep, so your body can recover in full.

Where to start?It can be hard to know where to start. Do you just sit down with crossed legs and float away in your mind’s eye to distant peaks? There are loads of meditation apps for beginners and you can plug in and listen to instructions for short five-minute bursts and build from there.

(12/01/2020) Views: 48 ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Improving your mental focus with meditation can help you when running, so you are able to keep pushing and hit your splits

Sitting motionless in a room for an extended period of time might seem like an odd way to improve your running, but meditation is a tool used by some of the world’s best runners to take them to the next level.

Two-time Western States champion Timmy Olhsen uses meditation as a central tenant of his training. Two-time OCC champion Ruth Croft has gone on week-long silent meditation retreats.

Here are some ways to get started:

Why meditate?

There are a number of benefits for runners. Firstly, it can help you concentrate or to “stay present”. This is particularly useful if you have a specific split or pace in mind. Over the course of a 5km, 10km or even a marathon it can be easy for your mind to drift and for you to unwittingly slow down. But if you are “present”, you can focus on keeping your legs spinning.

Conversely, mediation can distract you. If you are battling through a low point on a 100km race, you can use meditation techniques honed at home to focus on your breathing rather than your ailing body. You can refocus to the moment and forget about what is to come and the negative thoughts circling in your head.

Meditation lowers anxiety in general. Being less stressed will help your training in general because you will find it easier to stick to a routine and waste less mental energy so you can push yourself during the session. It will also help you relax and sleep, so your body can recover in full.

Where to start?

It can be hard to know where to start. Do you just sit down with crossed legs and float away in your mind’s eye to distant peaks? There are loads of meditation apps for beginners and you can plug in and listen to instructions for short five-minute bursts and build from there.

Meditation is surprisingly hard. You will find your mind wandering after just a few seconds. Start small, just a few minutes a day, and do not beat yourself up if you have to constantly refocus as you get distracted over and over.

Breathing

Meditating is not just about the mind. There are a number of breathing techniques which supplement the practice, like single nostril breathing, focusing on your breath, long deep breaths, and short fast breaths.

Sit in a comfortable position, shut your eyes and focus on each breath – in, out, in, out. After a few breaths, begin to deeply inhale. Concentrate on where the air is flowing by expanding your belly and not just lifting up your rip cage. Do this five times and then return to regular breathing.

You can repeat this as many times as you like. It is an easy beginners’ routine, but it will allow you to practice refocusing on the moment and staying present when you are getting anxious. When running, if you are getting negative thoughts or experiencing a low, you will then be able to bring yourself back to the moment by focusing on your breath and continuing to push your body.

Meditation while running

You should practice the techniques you learn at home out on the track or trail. It will improve your running and you will be better equipped to call on what you have learned when you need it during a race.

Try staying present by counting your steps. It might sound easy, but you will find your mind drifting to other things after just a few steps. Even if you are counting, you will probably be simultaneously thinking things like, “I wonder how many steps I can get to before I lose count”, but in time you will be able to fill your mind with the numbers only.

Another technique is to focus on body parts, not just legs. Really concentrate on your arms, feel them swinging and brushing against your shirt or body, for example.

Practice gratefulness. Think explicitly about how lucky you are to be able to run and go outdoors and your mood should improve, and your performance with it.

Set intentions

Every day does not have to be a personal best run. But energy flows, where energy knows. If you know what you want out of a day, a session or a race, it will help with mindfulness – an offshoot of meditation.

Write down your training day’s intention. It can be a heart rate, a time, a feeling, a thought. It can even be “rest, today’s training is to rest and not feel guilty about not training”.

And on days you do not meet your intention, think about why but do not get bogged down in it. Tomorrow is another day.

(11/08/2020) Views: 59 ⚡AMP
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Training for the mental side of ultramarathons

Dave Proctor finished the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (GVRAT) 2,000K route on June 11, although he should have been partway through his cross-Canada speed record attempt. He was forced to cancel the cross-country run when COVID-19 hit, but he still plans to go for the record (which is 72 days and 10 hours, set by Al Howie in 1991) next year. Proctor’s body is used to taking a beating on long runs, but his mental game also plays a huge role in his success as an ultrarunner. Canadian Running spoke with him about the GVRAT, the run across Canada and how he trains his mind for such gruelling events.

Tuck the past away

Proctor is well known in the Canadian ultrarunning community. He has run treadmill world records, he’s organized races and he is consistently among the top athletes at any event he runs. He’s used to running long distances, and he finished the GVRAT after 42 days of running. For his cross-Canada run, he planned on running 105K each day, which would have gotten him across the 7,200K route in 67 days. Running can be hard for him, too, but it’s how he deals with those tough times that makes him a great runner.

“Everyone gets tired after an hour of running,” he says. “If you automatically think, ‘OK, I have 12 more hours of this,’ then you’re going to crumble.” Instead, Proctor says to “tuck the past away,” not to worry about the future and to “focus on right now.” He says there are too many factors out of your control, and to worry about them will just hurt your psyche.

“A storm might blow in at any moment during a race,” he says. Deal with that when it comes your way, but in the meantime, he says to embrace the “mindlessness of living in the moment. There’s that big component of being in the now.”

The difficulty plateau

Proctor admits that it’s not always easy to live in the moment, but he says he gets to a certain point when he knows things won’t get any worse. When this happens, he asks himself, “’Are you OK with staying here for a while?’ If the answer is yes, then I know I’m good to keep going.” He continues to check in with himself throughout these long runs, and as long as he knows he can physically keep moving, he pushes forward.

Go in with a plan

Whether you’re running a 100-miler or aiming to run 100K every day for weeks like Proctor as he crosses Canada, he says having a set plan is important. “Go in with a plan,” he says. “A lot of the time, your ego, fear or other things will take you away from that plan. There will be days when I want to run an extra 20K, but physiologically that can mess you up.” Having a set plan for pacing or nutrition or how much you’ll run each day will ease your mind. Just be sure to stick with it.

Cut yourself some slack

“Take what your body gives you,” Proctor says. “We’ve all woken up on the right side of the bed and we’ve all woken up on the wrong side, too.” He says it’s important to accept those tough days and to “be kind to yourself” and realize that day won’t be your best. Freeing yourself from your pre-run expectations can take a mental load off and help you push through those tough times.

(09/14/2020) Views: 98 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Ultrarunner Ryan Sandes broke his own 100K FKT in South Africa

South African ultrarunning champion Ryan Sandes set a new record on Tuesday for the 13 Peaks Challenge, a gruelling 100K run that features 6,200m of climbing. Sandes is quite familiar with this challenge. Not only did he own the previous record, but he is the founder of the 13 Peaks route.

He first ran the challenge in March 2019, and then again in September, when he set the last record of 15 hours, 51 minutes and 48 seconds. His most recent shot at the run was even better, beating his best time by two hours and covering the multi-peak route near Cape Town (where he lives) in 13 hours, 41 minutes and 10 seconds. 

Sandes spoke with Canadian Running in April, just after he finished his #HomeRun, a 100-miler that he ran on a 110m loop that went around and through his house. At the time, a strict quarantine was being enforced in Cape Town, and running around his property was Sandes’s only option. Now, as is the case around most of the world, South Africa‘s restrictions have eased and Sandes was able to tackle the 13 Peaks Challenge once again. 

13 Peaks:

As the name suggests, the 13 Peaks Challenge covers 13 mountains in South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park, starting and finishing at a peak called Signal Hill. As Sandes told Red Bull after his first time around the circuit, “The idea came about when I just jotted down some peaks which I thought would make a nice logical route.” He said he “just wanted to do a good, chilled day out on foot.” Sandes didn’t put much planning into the route other than which peaks he wanted to summit, and so before he ran it the first time, he had no idea how long it would be. 

“I probably should’ve actually measured the distances between the points, but because it was on quite a small piece of paper, I reckoned it was 40K. Max 55,” he said. “It was to be an eight-hour mission.” It turned out to be much longer, and he and a friend he enlisted to run with him covered a little over 100K. 

After completing the route yet again and setting a new best time, it looks like he might hold onto the record for a while. But we won’t be surprised if he goes after the 13 Peaks again, just to see uf he can beat himself. As he showed the ultra world when he ran his #HomeRun challenge, Sandes doesn’t need races to keep him busy during this pandemic. He just needs a route to run and a time to beat. 

(08/20/2020) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Pam Rickard has been running since the 1980’s and running sober since 2006

Pam Rickard is all smiles while running the 2019 Boston Marathon. (First photo) 

Pam Rickard participated in a seven-day running adventure across China’s Gobi Desert in June 2012 in which she won her age group. (Second photo) 

While some people would say Pam Rickard is addicted to running, she would disagree. Rickard, who runs about 2,000 miles a year, has been running since the 1980s and running sober since 2006.

“If I’m living in healthy recovery, I don’t use running in an unbalanced, unhealthy way. I appreciate it as a gift and a tool of healthy living,” Rickard said.

Rickard is director of Active Engagement for Herren Project, heading up Team Herren Project, engaging people to run, walk and participate in healthy activities, helping each other, and others, live stronger, healthier lives. She said she is grateful to be able to use her running, through her job, to raise awareness and funding for Herren Project’s mission, which includes providing prevention and addiction recovery resources and support for all affected by the disease.

In the 1980s and 1990s she graduated from Ohio University, started running, moved to Roanoke, Virginia  to work for The Roanoke Times, married Tom Rickard and moved to Franklin County. As a runner, she has won races, earned best times in different age groups and completed seven marathons. Although drinking a lot during those years, she was high functioning and never drank while pregnant, nursing her children or seriously training.

After her third daughter was born in 2003, Rickard’s drinking escalated. In 2005-06, within 18 months, she received three DUIs.

“I know now that I was an alcoholic from the first drink at the age of 14,” said Rickard, who is now 58. “But as often the case with addiction, it’s progressive, but on its own timeline. In the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, I appeared to have it all together; did well in school, married the love of my life who I met in college, was an accomplished member of the local running community, a successful professional and eventually, a devoted mom.”

She added, “In truth, I was anxious and fearful much of the time, self-medicating with alcohol, trying desperately to keep my struggles hidden. Over a very long period of time, I began spiraling out of control. I tried to ‘fix’ my problems myself, declined even the notion of asking for help, and ended up in a ‘perfect storm’ of arrogance and fear. I finally surrendered to my God and my disease when I entered addiction treatment on April 17, 2006 – and took my first steps into sobriety.”

She described her treatment at The Farley Center in Williamsburg in April and May of that year as scary and hard, but after only a few days, she said she felt better and hopeful. She had to listen and follow directions and was relieved to not have to “run the show” anymore. She quickly realized what she got out of treatment was what she put into it.

After pleading guilty to her third DUI, Rickard served three months in the Roanoke City Jail from Sept. 28 to Dec. 31, 2006. Rickard was five months sober when she went to jail. As hard as things got, she hung onto the fact that God and her sobriety could not be taken from her.

“My only plan was to survive. God had other plans though, and while I ended up having some very ugly experiences, I also connected with many women who were broken … not bad, just in an extremely unhealthy cycle that went back generations,” she said. “When I walked out of that jail, the seeds had been planted that would ultimately grow into my desire to help those fighting battles similar to mine.”

Rickard didn’t drive for three years after her conviction. She said she hated inconveniencing her family, but she learned invaluable lessons. As part of her treatment after care, she committed to attending 90 recovery meetings in 90 days.

“It was ridiculously challenging with no license and living in the country, but I did that, and more,” she said.

Running is what connected Rickard to Herren Project. Over a 35-plus year running career, she has completed numerous races, including more than 80 marathons and ultramarathons. Her races have included a seven-day adventure across China’s Gobi Desert and a 100k (62 miles) trek through the Alps from Italy to France. She was a member of the 2016, six-person Icebreaker Run team, running across the U.S. to bring awareness to mental health issues. She has run the New York City Marathon 10 times and the Boston Marathon 10 times, including the 2013 race in which she finished 20 minutes before the bombs went off.

Of all the races she’s done, the one that stands out the most is her 2007 New York City Marathon.

“That was my first sober marathon,” she said. “Then it was my 50th sober marathon in 2018. Without that desire to run one more marathon as a sober person, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I believe I would be right where I should be, but that experience opened up so many opportunities. It began to teach me the priceless truth that I don’t run to stay sober, I get to run because I am.”

For those who struggle or have struggled with substance use disorder, Rickard said, “I encourage myself, and others, to ask for help when you need it, offer help when you can, follow direction of those who have what you want and trust the process.”

Rickard added, “The fact that I can run at all now, let alone do it while building a community and helping others through the work of Herren Project, is a priceless gift.

“Whether it’s a 3-mile training run, or a major event, my mantra is, ‘I don’t have to run, I get to.’”

 

(06/18/2020) Views: 294 ⚡AMP
by Leigh Prom
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Sara Hall broke the women’s treadmill world record on Saturday in the Chaski Challenge

American Sara Hall broke the women’s treadmill world record on Saturday, running a 1:09:03 in a virtual event called the Chaski Challenge. This event was organized by the Chaski Endurance Collective, an online coaching company, and it saw three men and three women break records ranging from half-marathons up to 100K runs on the treadmill.

Many treadmill world records have been broken in 2020, from 50K and 100-mile runs all the way up to a 30-day effort, and on the weekend, eight more records fell thanks to Hall and five other elite runners.

Both the men’s and women’s half-marathon treadmill records were broken on Saturday. On the men’s side, John Raneri (who has a half-marathon PB of 1:01:51) ran a 1:03:08, beating the previous record by 29 seconds. Going into Saturday, the women’s half-marathon record was 1:20:43, but it was beaten twice, first by Renee Metivier and then by Hall.

Metivier posted a 1:19:29 en route to her 50K record, and just two hours later, Hall—a former Pan Am Games gold medallist who has a 1:08:58 half-marathon PB to her name—bettered the mark once again, finishing 21.1K in 1:09:03.

The marathon and 50K records were lowered for both the men and women on Saturday as well. Metivier set both records for the women, adding to the half-marathon record she’d set earlier in the run. She ran a 2:41:11 marathon to beat the 2:42:07 record, and 8K later, she set the 50K record in a time of 3:11:38, smashing the previous best of 3:51:25.

For the men, Tyler Andrews broke the marathon record of 2:20:45, passing through 42.2K in 2:17:56.

He continued on for another 25 minutes to finish the 50K in 2:42:51. Going into Saturday, Andrews was also the owner of the men’s treadmill half-marathon record, which he set in 2015. This is the fourth time in 2020 that the men’s 50K record has been lowered, with the previous best coming back in April when Swiss orienteering champion Matthias Kyburz ran a 2:56:35.

Mario Mendoza was the first man to break the 50K treadmill record in 2020, which he ran back in January, but on Saturday, he wasn’t looking to reclaim that title. Instead, he doubled up and ran the 100K, running a world’s best time of 6:39:25.

The final record of the day came from Regina Lopez in the women’s 50-miler (80K). Lopez crossed the virtual finish line in 8:41:37, ending the night on a high for the Chaski Challenge, which saw eight records fall in total.

(06/08/2020) Views: 287 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Sara Hall Among Pros Who Will Take Shot at Treadmill World Records on June 6 in Chaski Challenge

Inspired by the success of last month’s Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a handful of elite runners will attempt to break treadmill world records across five distances next week. Sara Hall, the fastest American female marathoner of 2019, is the headliner, and will be shooting for the women’s treadmill half marathon record of 1:20:43 (Hall’s pb is 1:08:58).

The event, which will be held on Saturday, June 6, and is known as the Chaski Challenge, is the brainchild of Tyler Andrews, a 2:15 marathoner who ran a world best of 2:46:06 for 50,000 meters on the track in 2018 (LRC recorded a podcast with him shortly before that race). Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Andrews had planned to spend the spring training with Jim Walmsley in Flagstaff as the two men prepared to race the famed Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Instead, Andrews is now based at his parents’ house in Concord, Mass., but is still training hard and wanted to create an opportunity to allow himself and others to demonstrate their fitness.

“A lot of people are really fit out there right now and have nothing to do with it,” Andrews says. “So we wanted to do that. And then just create a really compelling, fun, conversation-provoking event that people can watch on a Saturday night and have fun with.”

Similar to the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, the Chaski Challenge will feature a free live online broadcast and tracking of the record attempts around the country with cameras aimed at each elite runner’s treadmill. 2016 Olympian Marielle Hall and ultrarunner Kris Brown (13th at 2019 Western States 100) will serve as commentators.

“Chaski Endurance Collective, which is my coaching collective, we have a bunch of different athletes from different areas on staff and we were kind of just bouncing around ideas and talking about what could we do that’s kind of building off what Quarantine Backyard Ultra did really well, because that event just absolutely crushed it,” Andrews says.

Andrews also felt the inclusive nature of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra — anyone could sign up and compete — was one of the keys to its success, and to that end, the Chaski Challenge will feature free-to-enter 5k and 50k races, which anyone can sign up for and complete during a 24-hour window beginning on June 5 at 4 p.m. ET (there is an optional donation to Feeding America’s COVID-19 relief efforts).

At 6 p.m. ET on June 6, the broadcast will begin with the men’s 50k, which features Andrews, 2014 world 100k champ Max King, and Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian (2:54 50k pb). Midway through that race, the men’s half marathon (featuring 61:51 man John Raneri) and the women’s half marathon (featuring Hall and 2:27 marathoner Renee Metivier) will begin. Mario Mendoza will also be attempting to break the 50-mile record; that attempt will begin prior to the broadcast. The current treadmill world records for each event are as follows (the men will also try to break the marathon record en route to 50k):

Women’s half marathon: 1:20:43, Jenna Wrieden, USA, 2014

Men’s half marathon: 1:03:37, Tyler Andrews, USA, 2015

Men’s marathon: 2:20:45, Paul Zwama, Netherlands, 2018

Men’s 50k: 2:56:35, Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland, 2020

Men’s 50-mile: 4:57:45, Jacob Puzey, USA, 2016

Andrews chose those events because he believes each record is ripe for the taking. The 50k record has been broken three times already this year; both Wardian and Mendoza are former holders of the record.

“We are 100% sure that we are going to break these records in this race,” says Andrews. “There’s zero question. The women’s half marathon mark is 1:20. I’m pretty sure that women out there have done that in training before and not recorded it. We’re not just looking to break these; we want to make these legitimate. We want to have actual, really good athletes just totally destroy them and set them way out of reach.”

Andrews feels confident he is just as fit as when he ran 2:46 for 50,000 meters in 2018; on Sunday, he ran a workout of 7 x 5k (16:19, 16:20, 16:20, 16:16, 16:11, 16:07, 15:51) with 1k recovery for a total of 41k on the treadmill in 2:16. He will be making the attempt in a room that doubles as his office and a storage room for his dad’s clothes.

“There’s a TV inside the cabinet [in front of the treadmill],” Andrews says. “I don’t watch television when I’m running, but I actually kind of like it because it’s almost a black mirror, so I can see my upper running form, so I can see if I’m starting to list to one side or slouch a little bit.”

Hall bouncing back from Olympic Trials disappointment

Andrews has run into one issue with the Chaski Challenge: Hall will not be able to run her portion of the event live. Instead, she will record her attempt this week, and it will be played at the same time as the other attempts on the broadcast next week. Still, she is excited to give it a go.

“It’s a tough time for all sports, but especially with ours including the masses, people need things to stay motivated or to get a benchmark of fitness,” Hall says. “I wanted to support that and it will be nice to get a benchmark of fitness for myself in the process and hopefully provide some entertainment to people.”

Hall’s most recent race was the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta on February 29, where she dropped out after 22 miles. Hall says her recovery has been “a process.”

“I wanted that team more than any other race of my career, so I think I’m still somewhat getting over the disappointment and I think I’ll always look back on it with frustration,” Hall says.

After falling short in the Marathon Trials, Hall’s initial plan was to give the track trials a go in either the 5,000 or 10,000; even once they were postponed, her recent training has focused on those distances. She eventually plans to transition into a buildup for a fall 2020 marathon (if they happen) before returning to the track for the 2021 Olympic Trials.

For a woman who has run 1:08 for a half, 1:20 should be a piece of cake — theoretically. But Hall is not peaking for the Chaski Challenge. And since she rarely runs on treadmills, she doesn’t want to risk injury by giving a full race effort. In addition, she’ll likely be running at almost 7,000 feet in Flagstaff — which Hall says usually knocks 15 seconds per mile off her tempo pace. Still, record pace is just 6:10 per mile, which is very attainable for Hall, even with those caveats.

Hall won’t be able to make her attempt from the comfort of home as her treadmill is currently broken. Her plan is to head to a gym (which are now open in Arizona) and take her shot there. Unlike most half marathon record attempts, however, Hall will be able to have her four daughters cheer her on every step of the way — if they choose to.

“I’ll create a playlist to give me some entertainment and the girls will probably cheer me on, but will likely get bored after a few minutes and wander off,” Hall says.

(06/06/2020) Views: 175 ⚡AMP
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Sara Hall, will be shooting for the women’s treadmill half marathon record on June 6 in Chaski Challenge

Inspired by the success of last month’s Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a handful of elite runners will attempt to break treadmill world records across five distances next week. Sara Hall, the fastest American female marathoner of 2019, is the headliner, and will be shooting for the women’s treadmill half marathon record of 1:20:43 (Hall’s pb is 1:08:58).

The event, which will be held on Saturday, June 6, and is known as the Chaski Challenge, is the brainchild of Tyler Andrews, a 2:15 marathoner who ran a world best of 2:46:06 for 50,000 meters on the track in 2018 (LRC recorded a podcast with him shortly before that race).

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Andrews had planned to spend the spring training with Jim Walmsley in Flagstaff as the two men prepared to race the famed Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Instead, Andrews is now based at his parents’ house in Concord, Mass., but is still training hard and wanted to create an opportunity to allow himself and others to demonstrate their fitness.

“A lot of people are really fit out there right now and have nothing to do with it,” Andrews says. “So we wanted to do that. And then just create a really compelling, fun, conversation-provoking event that people can watch on a Saturday night and have fun with.”

Similar to the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, the Chaski Challenge will feature a free live online broadcast and tracking of the record attempts around the country with cameras aimed at each elite runner’s treadmill. 2016 Olympian Marielle Hall and ultrarunner Kris Brown (13th at 2019 Western States 100) will serve as commentators.

“Chaski Endurance Collective, which is my coaching collective, we have a bunch of different athletes from different areas on staff and we were kind of just bouncing around ideas and talking about what could we do that’s kind of building off what Quarantine Backyard Ultra did really well, because that event just absolutely crushed it,” Andrews says.

Andrews also felt the inclusive nature of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra — anyone could sign up and compete — was one of the keys to its success, and to that end, the Chaski Challenge will feature free-to-enter 5k and 50k races, which anyone can sign up for and complete during a 24-hour window beginning on June 5 at 4 p.m. ET (there is an optional donation to Feeding America’s COVID-19 relief efforts).

At 6 p.m. ET on June 6, the broadcast will begin with the men’s 50k, which features Andrews, 2014 world 100k champ Max King, and Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian (2:54 50k pb). Midway through that race, the men’s half marathon (featuring 61:51 man John Raneri) and the women’s half marathon (featuring Hall and 2:27 marathoner Renee Metivier) will begin. Mario Mendoza will also be attempting to break the 50-mile record; that attempt will begin prior to the broadcast.

(05/29/2020) Views: 162 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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American ultra runner Zach Bitter breaks 100-mile treadmill world record clockin 12:09:15

American ultra runner Zach Bitter spent all day Saturday on the treadmill, starting at 6:30 a.m. PST and running until just after 6:30 p.m.

He ran for 100 miles (160.9K) and set the new treadmill world record for the distance with a time of 12:09:15. He bettered Canadian Dave Proctor‘s previous record (set at last year’s Calgary Marathon expo) of 12:32:26 by over 20 minutes. Bitter averaged an incredible 4:32 per kilometer over 12 hours and 100 miles of running.

Bitter’s average pace of 4:32 per kilometer would have given him a 3:11 marathon, which is a good time on its own, but he ran almost four marathons in a row on Saturday. The run was streamed live on YouTube, and different ultra runners and endurance athletes Zoomed in to chat as Bitter chipped away at his 100-mile trek.

Some of those big names included 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc winner Courtney Dauwalter, Aravaipa Running’s Jamil Coury, Quarantine Backyard Ultra champion Mike Wardian and Proctor himself, who knows exactly what it takes to break the 100-mile treadmill record.

Bitter is already the world record-holder in the 100-mile run, which he set last August at an indoor track in Wisconsin in a time of 11:19:13. He is also the owner of the 100-mile trail record from the 2018 Tunnel Hill trail race in Illinois, where he ran 12:08:36.

Now, he has  officially added the treadmill record to his resume. With these three records to his name, it’s fair to say that Bitter is in the conversation for greatest 100-mile runner of all time, if not the outright winner of that title.

Bitter has been running ultra marathons for a decade now, and he’s got plenty of big race wins and results to his name.

He was 11th at the 2018 Western States 100, he took 32nd place at the 2016 Comrades Marathon and sixth at the International Association of Ultra runners 100K world championships in 2014. In 2019, he won three races, including the San Diego 100-miler in California.

(05/18/2020) Views: 206 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Mike Reid, will be running in his back garden a 100km ultra marathon

A man is running a 100km "ultra marathon" in his back garden to raise money for a baby hospice.

Mike Reid, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, has calculated he will need to complete about 4,000 laps to cover the distance.

The run is due to start on Saturday night and finish on Sunday afternoon.

The 37-year-old, who is raising money for Zoe's Place Baby Hospice in Coventry, said the ultra marathon "could prove quite challenging".

Mr Reid has completed a handful of ultra marathons in the past - including two for the same charity.

He said: "I have run long distances before and for long periods of time but never in such a confined space, so I think the limited area and frequent changes in direction could prove quite challenging.

"I also strained my calf on a run at the start of this week so I might have to potentially back off the pace a little."

He is running the "ultra marathon" in his garden due the restrictions in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

He will be cheered on by his wife and two sons as he navigates his way around swings, toys, sheds and greenhouse in his 20m by 9m garden.

More than £500 has already been pledged by supporters for the hospice which is currently closed due to Covid-19.

He said: "I'm blown away by the generosity of people in such a small amount of time.

"This money is going to directly change the lives of children and families when they need it most."

(04/22/2020) Views: 192 ⚡AMP
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After over 50 hours ultrarunner Mike Wardian runs 63 laps for 422K to win the virtual race Quarantine Backyard Ultra

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra started Saturday morning, and over 2,400 runners from more than 50 countries joined the virtual race. Runners ran 6.706K every hour for as long as they could, and over 60 hours later, only two runners remained: American Mike Wardian and Radek Brunner of the Czech Republic. Brunner missed the start of the 63rd lap and was therefore disqualified, making Wardian the winner after 422K.

With every passing lap of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, more and more of the world’s best ultrarunners dropped out and registered DNFs. Last year at the Big’s Backyard Ultra, Maggie Guterl ran 60 laps for 402K, but a nagging back injury forced her to pull out of the race this weekend after just nine laps.

After 15 laps and 100K, Jamil Coury called it a day. Three laps later, Canadian Cal Neff dropped out. At the 100-mile mark, Courtney Dauwalter threw in the towel, along with 72-year-old Gene Dykes. Later on, after 31 laps, Canadian Dave Proctor (who helped bring the event into fruition), had to end his race due to back pain.

“It was a bit of a tough day for sure,” Coury said. “I was hoping to go as long as I could— 24 or 30 hours—but you never know with these things.” Although he didn’t get as far as he would’ve liked, Coury cut himself some slack, seeing as he’d run a marathon around a 27-metre course just four days earlier. In fact, just making it in time to race at all was an accomplishment for Coury, who slept at his office the night before and woke up only minutes before the event began.

“I was working late on Friday night, and i fell asleep at my office,” he said. “I fortunately had a pair of shoes and socks in my truck. I threw it on, started my livestream and just ran out the door.” Coury ran the first seven hours around his office’s neighbourhood, returning to finish work between laps. He eventually drove home (he made it to his treadmill with three minutes to spare before the start of the next lap) and made it to 100K before bowing out.

Dauwalter said she got to the 100-mile mark and decided that was “a solid day.”

“When I signed up I didn’t have major plans,” she said. “I wanted to make it at through the night, because that’s always special and fun to see the sunrise.” She did make it through the night, got her sunrise and retired from the race soon after.

“I think this is a really fun format,” she said. “It’s great with the camaraderie. You come back from a lap and go on the Zoom chat with the other runners.” Proctor also noted how fun it was to chat on the Zoom and YouTube feeds.

“It’s so unique,” he said. “When all the runners go off and do their thing, I get extraordinarily busy talking to everybody on YouTube.” He said that he spent around half of his time on the treadmill answering questions viewers had posted on the YouTube live video.

“I found that it was really quite rewarding. It gets your mind off of what you’re doing and it gives you something [else] to do.” While they were both still in the race, Proctor and Coury teamed up and answered questions together, adding some fun banter to the mix as well.

The two finalists had very different setups for the final laps. Brunner ran solo in his house on a treadmill while Wardian took to the streets with a support crew and several cyclists riding alongside him as he ran. The winner of multiple U.S. national titles at ultra distances, Wardian is well known in the running community. He has run the Western States 100 and the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc multiple times, and he finished 11th at the 2011 Comrades Marathon and third at the 2010 Marathon des Sables.

Brunner is more of an unknown, at least in the North American ultra community, but like Wardian, he has an impressive running resume. He has represented the Czech Republic on multiple occasions, competing at the 24-hour, 100K and trail world championships. At the 2017 24-hour worlds in Ireland, Brunner came 14th. He has also run to the podium four years in a row in the Spartathlon, a 246-kilometre ultramarathon in Greece. Although he didn’t win, after this run, Brunner’s name has become much more well known in the ultrarunning community.

(04/07/2020) Views: 425 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The 2020 Miwok 100k has been cancelled

We had hoped to wait until April 2, but after discussions with our permitting agencies, and with the shelter-in-place announcement yesterday for all residents in six Northern California counties – including Marin, where the Miwok 100K takes place – it has become unavoidably clear that we cannot in good conscience put on an event that brings people from many different counties, states, and countries into Marin during this pandemic.

Our runners could unknowingly bring COVID-19 into the area, infecting residents and other runners, or could return home to their own communities with it, and infect their families, friends, or essential service providers. Due to the above, as well as the potential risk to the volunteers, staff, and other participants, the 2020 Miwok 100K is now cancelled.

Entrants will receive a 2021 lottery bypass, and an update regarding partial refund on April 17. We’ll also be sharing a few ideas on a virtual Miwok, and ways to get some running in despite curfews and quarantines.

(03/18/2020) Views: 484 ⚡AMP
by Miwok 100k Race Team
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Miwok 100K

Miwok 100K

The Miwok 100K is very hilly (approximately 11,800 feet of cumulative elevation gain) with spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Tamalpais and the Point Reyes National Seashore. The course features fire roads and single-track trails with less than a mile of paved road.The race is very competitive at the front, and a rewarding challenge for...

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How Japanese-Style Training Inspired Jim Walmsley’s Olympic Trials Approach

The Western States 100 record holder has been putting in 175-mile weeks to prepare for Atlanta.

For Jim Walmsley, the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials will be less about outcome and more about process.

Walmsley, 30, is well-known for his success in ultrarunning as the Western States 100 record holder and four-time Ultrarunner of the Year honoree. On February 29 in Atlanta, he’ll carry that distinction into the championship with the goal of bridging the gap between ultra and marathon runners.

“In a lot of ways I feel like I’m bearing a torch for ultrarunners,” Walmsley told Runner’s World. “The stereotype of most trail or ultra races is that it’s all really slow and you can either take them on for fun or after you’re really done running. [Training for Trials] feels like a responsibility [to show] we work pretty hard and we can hold our own as well.”

By embracing an incredibly high-mileage approach, competing in a variety of races, and being transparent about the highs and lows of training on Strava, Walmsley hopes to shift the conversation.

“I think there’s a lot of mutual respect that can be gained,” Walmsley said. “Getting ultrarunners to watch the marathon and marathoners to watch ultrarunning, [we’re] making it about running rather than distance.”

The Flagstaff, Arizona, native started his running career on the track, where he honed his speed in the steeplechase at the U.S. Air Force Academy. As a senior, he finished 12th at the 2012 NCAA championships. In the NCAA semifinal, he ran a personal best of 8:41.05—nine seconds slower than the Olympic standard—and just missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

After graduation, Walmsley said he went through a difficult time in his life. He was charged with a DUI and later discharged from the military when his unit was caught in a cheating scandal. The events caused Walmsley to sink into a deep depression. Eventually, following the advice of his therapist, he began ultrarunning to feel like himself again.

“Ultrarunning doesn’t take special talent,” he told Runner’s World in 2017. “It takes motivation and the will to achieve something extraordinary. A lot of people are sparked to get into the sport when they are in a low spot.”

His breakout year came in 2016 when he shattered course records at the Bandera 100K and the Lake Sonoma 50 miler. After two missed attempts at winning the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Walmsley finally accomplished his goal in 2018, when he broke the course record with a time of 14 hours and 30 minutes. That same year, he logged nearly 5,000 miles on Strava.

In the fall of 2018, Walmsley shared a surprising goal: He wanted to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Rather than try to OTQ in the marathon—which seemed like a more natural fit for the ultrarunner—he decided to aim for the standard in the half marathon (1:04). Many admired Walmsley’s bold aspiration, especially given he had to average 4:53-mile pace to qualify.

At the 2019 Houston Marathon on January 20, Walmsley finished 27th overall in exactly 1:04:00. Afterward, he told Runner’s World that his performance gave him confidence to work toward his goals in the marathon.

“I have some plans up my sleeve to give myself a chance to do something exciting [in Atlanta]—to really push the envelope for myself and make things exciting for people to watch and cheer for an ultra guy,” he said in Houston.

Walmsley carried his momentum from Houston through the rest of 2019. He set the world best in the 50-mile distance (while averaging a 5:48-minute mile), shaved more than 20 minutes off his Western States 100 record, and won the World Mountain Running Championship 14K race.

“It’s probably been my most versatile year of different types of races I’ve tried to take on,” he said.

(02/15/2020) Views: 320 ⚡AMP
by Runners World
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Ultra runner Jared Hazen, is focused on winning the Vibram Hong Kong 100km ultramarathon

Jared Hazen is focused on winning the Vibram Hong Kong 100km ultramarathon, starting at 8am on Saturday, by leading the race as early as possible. The American speedster believes that although it is possible to podium by running conservatively, runners need to push from the start to come first.

“I’ve moved up, late in races, to a podium a spot. But trying to win is playing a whole other game, you have to be at the front of race the whole time,” Hazen, 25, said. “You're not going to luckily sneak your way into first place.”

The HK100 is the first race of the Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT). It is one of five UTWT races in Asia, including the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji. It starts in Sai Kung and snakes across the New Territories to Tai Mo Shan.

Hazen said in any race, the reports you get in checkpoints about how far other runners are ahead of you can be inaccurate, making it hard to overtake them: “It's better to manage yourself while in the lead.”

However, pushing from the start is a risk as it is all or nothing, and you can blow up.

“I think it's OK for it to be nothing on some days,” he said. “But you have to hold yourself accountable to a certain extent. Sometimes it was stupid and you blew a chance. But you've got to give yourself a chance. Can you walk away with your head held high?”

Hazen added that although American runners have the reputation for going out hard, with an all or nothing attitude, it was only recently that the Europeans earned the same reputation: “I feel like it’s flip-flopped. But it’s because some faster American athletes have got into the sport recently.”

Owing to the HK100’s UTWT status, the start line is packed with talent. Foreigners, like Hazen, travel to Hong Kong and many unknown but equally talented mainland Chinese runners also attend. The past two editions have been won by mainland Chinese men and women.

Hazen said he knew the Chinese runners by name only. Usually, he is familiar with the field because he races the same events in the US so often. He knows his competitors’ styles, strengths and weaknesses.

“So this will be new. But that is what this year is about a little bit, stretching myself and racing new runners,” he said.

“I've been doing the same races for too long. There are some really cool races on the UTWT and I just want to participate in that more. I want to be more of an international runner and not a US runner,” he said. He is also targeting the Transvulcania in La Palma, Spain, in May and the CCC in Chamonix, France, in August.

Hazen is also returning to the Western States 100 mile (161) this summer, where last year he ran the second-fastest time ever. It would have been the course record had his training mate Jim Walmsley not beaten him that day and set the record.

(01/17/2020) Views: 425 ⚡AMP
by Mark Agnew
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Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra trail

Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra trail

The Vibram® Hong Kong 100 is an ultra endurance race that takes place in Hong Kong. The 103km course starts in Pak Tam Chung on the Sai Kung Peninsula and covers some of the most beautiful scenery in Hong Kong, including remote and unspoilt beaches, ancient forests, nature trails, reservoirs and steep hills. The course is based around Hong Kong's...

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Bend Oregon ultra runner Mario Mendoza sets treadmill world record for 50k

Mario Mendoza has received national and world recognition for his running, but this race was a little different. Mendoza was racing against the clock, on a treadmill, in front of a crowd of Madras High School students in Madras, Oregon.  

Mendoza broke the 50K treadmill world record at Tuesday's event by 46 seconds. He officially finished with a time of 2:59:03.

Fifty kilometers is about 31 miles, so Mendoza ran for at an average pace of six minutes a mile.

“You have to get comfortable with that type of hurt and pain," Mendoza said later. "You have to make it your friend, and I think today we accomplished that.”

Mendoza chose to break the record at Madras High because of the school's diversity. Part of his goal was to promote fitness and inspire the students at the school.

“I want the students here to use the gifts they have, and to believe that big things can happen -- for them and for Madras," he said.

Mendoza is a national trail running champion and he's been USA's Trail Runner of the year four times. He said he was born to run, and that nothing matches the accomplishment of finishing a race -- or in this case, setting a new world record.

“Once you finish," Mendoza said as he smiled and took a deep breath. "It’s done.”

Mendoza said plans to rest for two weeks before he begins training for his next race. He plans to race in the Black Canyon Ultra 100K in Arizona next month.

(01/15/2020) Views: 668 ⚡AMP
by Jordan Williams
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Black Canyon Ultras

Black Canyon Ultras

The 2021 Black Canyon Ultras will feature point to point 100k & 60k courses along the world class Black Canyon national Recreation trail. Hang out the race at the Amery Henderson Trailhead finish line complete with Freak Brothers wood fired pizza! join us in February for this classic Arizona foot race. The Black Canyon 100K trail race takes place on...

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What to do when injury happens

David Roche, author and coach to many top trail runners, dispenses advice on what to do when injury happens.

Even the strongest runners occasionally get injured. If you think you may be injured and this is not something you’ve dealt with before (or even if it is), running coach and The Happy Runner author David Roche of the SWAP Adventure Team (Some Work, All Play) along with Black Canyon 100K winner Matt Daniels has put together a very simple how-to video for Strava on exactly how to approach the situation.

Roche coaches a lot of successful trail runners like OCR badass Amelia Boone, Western States winner Clare Gallagher, Barkley Marathons finisher John Kelly, Canada’s Kat Drew and Canadian Trail Running’s own Tory Scholz, and his approach is holistic–he’s concerned not just that you take care of the injury, but that you remain, well, a happy runner. While injury prevention is important, Roche acknowledges that we can’t always avoid injury entirely. That’s why he formulated these guidelines on what to do when despite your best efforts, something goes wrong with your body. (Roche coaches road runners too, by the way.)

Here are Roche’s Rules for when you think you might be injured.

1. If it hurts to walk, don’t run.- It may seem like basic common sense, but you’d be surprised how may runners routinely ignore it out of a desire to prove how tough they are, or to reassure themselves that they’re not really injured. But if you run on an injury, it will likely get worse.

2. There’s no shame in stopping.- One of Roche’s biggest assets as a coach is that he talks about shame, something that comes up frequently in injured runners who may think they’re wimping out if they don’t finish a workout (or a race) because something hurts. If you ignore rule #1, fine, but don’t ignore rule #2. Stop and take what Roche calls the Walk of Pride (rather than the more traditional Walk of Shame) back to where you started, and “live to fight another day.”

3. Talk to someone.- Confide in someone close to you that you’re injured, someone who cares about you enough to insist that you seek treatment. Many injured runners put off seeking treatment in the hope that whatever it is will get better on its own. (And we all know where that ends.) Whether it’s your family doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor, getting seen will not only help you get on the road to recovery, it’ll help you cope mentally, too.

Bottom line, you want to get rehabbed so you can get back out there ASAP. If you follow Roche’s three rules, there’s no reason why you can’t do just that.

(12/22/2019) Views: 526 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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'I puked, fouled myself and collapsed - it was great': Meet the record-breaking ultra marathon runner fuelled by beer and burritos

At the ultra running World Championship, competitors looped a 1,500 metres circuit continuously for 24 hours and, with time running out, American Camille Herron was suffering.

She had thrown up twice, stopped to lie down twice, and had such serious bowel issues the officials had forced her off the course to shower and change her clothes. By the finish Herron had run 168 miles, the equivalent of running 6½ consecutive marathons, each in an average time of 3 hr 44 min.​

She certainly means it when she says: “I want to change what people think is possible. Especially for women.”​

Herron’s feat was a world record, she finished sixth in the race overall (including the men) and moved to third best on the United States all-time list for both genders. To get there she had to endure multiple setbacks.​

“I was trying this new fuelling plan with this new product and it wasn’t going well,” Herron explains. “The race was in France, so most of the rest rooms were squat toilets. For 350 athletes, they only had three normal toilets.”​

On her third bathroom stop in quick succession, she found a queue of athletes so decided to carry on. “But on that lap my bowels sort of unleashed themselves,” she says, laughing about it now. “But this is ultra running. S--- happens. Literally!”​

She switched her food to cups of mashed potato, makeshift burritos and her secret weapon – beer. Her condition did not improve but then a switch flicked in her mind.​

“After puking the second time, with 2½ hours to go, I just said to myself, ‘Let’s drop the hammer, let’s go beast mode’.”​

Herron started to fly. “I like to think of myself as a boxer, throwing punches,” she says. “Those last few hours were awesome, the most fun I’ve ever had in a race.”​

Surely she doubted, during the low moments, that it would all come together so spectacularly?​

“No,” she says. “I had already accepted before the race that I would be challenged. So at no point did I feel defeated. It was like ultra chess, we had to brainstorm how to deal with the problems. In the night, that’s the hardest part, because the brain is shutting down, so you’re trying to keep the light on.”​

Herron discovered the benefits of beer by accident. “I was in a trail race, really struggling, sitting in a chair. I’d tried everything and it wasn’t working and my husband just said, ‘You want a beer?’ I popped out of my chair after that. It got my blood flowing again.”​

During her latest world record she downed three Belgian beers along the way. “It settles my gut and helps me focus,” she laughs.​

Herron’s achievements are all the more astonishing as she has had to overcome a lopsided body, re-teaching herself how to run after years of injuries. She was born with her right thigh bone twisted inwards and has an extra bone in her right foot. “There’s something developmentally quirky about how I’m built,” she says. To reduce the strain on her body she re-learnt to run lifting her legs from the ground rather than pushing off. It means she looks like she is roller skating rather than running. “It’s like I’m prancing,” she says. “But I’m light on my feet. As a marathon runner, I had a great engine but I wasn’t fast enough because I wasn’t powerful. But as there’s less impact, for ultras it has turned out to be an advantage.”​

Since readapting her style, Herron has had only one injury, following a serious accident in February in which her car flipped upside down.​

Her steel was instilled from an early age. Herron’s grandfather was shot in both legs in the Second World War and awarded two Purple Heart medals, which are given for members of the US military wounded or killed while serving. He and Herron’s father were also basketball players under tough Olympic coach Henry Iba.​

“You had to be hard-nosed to play for him,” she explains. “My dad told stories of playing for six hours straight without water. So at age seven, I used to play in the yard, without water, until I blacked out. Then I’d get a sandwich and play some more. I was thinking, ‘This is what I got to do, push myself to extremes’. I was training for ultras without realising it.”​

Another formative event came when she was 17 and her whole family were made homeless by the strongest tornado ever recorded.​

“We get tornadoes all the time in Oklahoma,” she recalls, “so when we left the house I didn’t take anything. But it was crazy, four people in our area lost their lives, our house was flattened. But though we lost everything, I thought: ‘I’m still alive.’ At 17, that’s a big thing to realise, the value of your life. It changed my perspective.” From then on she started running on Sundays instead of going to church, to celebrate her life.​

Herron now believes that she can eventually chase down the men’s ultra running world records and she is partly driven by the inequality she feels is rampant in the sport. The normally upbeat Herron turns serious as she recounts her struggles for recognition in ultra running.​

“In my breakout year in 2015 I won two world titles and broke a world record and I thought I should get an agent,” she says, “but he couldn’t find me a sponsor. Then Jim Walmsley [a top male US runner] dropped out of Western States [a big US race] and I caught him in the world 100km championships, and he gets sponsored by Hoka. I was p----d.”​

She fired her agent and joined Walmsley’s agent, who eventually got her a sponsorship deal with Nike. Recently she was left fuming after a race in France offered prize money for the top 20 men, but only the top five women. And the women’s race was half the distance.​

“Sometimes it’s like a throwback to the 1970s,” she says. “I can’t believe it’s 2019 and women are still fighting for equal prize money. While everyone looks at the men like they’re superstars, I see people looking at me and tutting. I’m pretty tall, and I run aggressively and people don’t like it. I hear them saying, ‘She’s going out too fast’. So it’s a big motivation for me to run faster. To beat the men.”​

The way she is going, she might end up leaving them all behind. They can collect up her beer bottles when they come by.

(12/07/2019) Views: 359 ⚡AMP
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Grandma, Pamela Chapman Markl, 64, is breaking ultra marathons records

It’s not unusual to find Pamela Chapman Markle running anywhere from 80 to 100 miles each week. It’s just part of her long-distance race training as an ultramarathon runner, and the San Leon resident says she loves it.

“I enjoy the challenge physically and mentally,” said Markle. “It’s always a surprise to me to see how the body will adapt to what you demand of it.”

At 64 years old, Markle is persevering in a passion that pushes her to the limit. And the demands for ultramarathon running — races that go beyond typical marathon length of 26.2 miles — can be tough.

“My current running schedule is very hectic,” said Markle, who runs one long weekend run of up to 25 miles. “Stretching has become a necessity with my aging, and also some strength work.”

Races often range from 50 to 200 miles, with some lasting for an undetermined distance requiring more from 24 to 48 hours. The courses can be varied from cross-country trail races to repeating single loops on a track.

Most of the races that Markle has completed have been between 50 and 150 miles and last up to 48 hours. She has run almost 40 ultramarathons in the last 10 years.

“I have run nine ultramarathons since January 2019, and I have more to complete this year,” said Markle, who works as a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Preferring to run by herself rather than in crowds, Markle doesn’t train with a running group and has no time in her schedule for the traditional marathons and 5Ks.

“I am disciplined enough to run alone and love it,” said Markle, who’s also careful to manage her nutrition for running.

Her hard work is paying off. Markle is breaking race records in her age division and earning recognition, including running one of the fastest times of 21 hours and 29 minutes in her age group at a 100-mile road race in Florida.

Markle set another record at the MadCity 100K in Wisconsin, where she won the USA Track & Field National Champion for her age group. She also set records in her age group for the Badwater 135 race, a course that covers 135 miles non-stop across California terrain.

Chris Kostman, who organizes the Badwater series of ultra running races, said Markle is redefining what’s possible for runners as they age.

“She has broken the women’s 60-plus age group record during each of the four consecutive Badwater 135 races she’s competed in,” Kostman said. “Her performances are plain to see, and we all stand in awe of Pamela.”

She became interested in distance running a decade ago when a surgeon who she knew ran ultramarathons encouraged her to give running a try. Her first race was called the Rocky Raccoon and 100 miles long. Markle trained for nine months.

“I didn’t train properly and had quite a few injuries,” said Markle, who has three daughters and eight grandchildren. “I decided to do another race with a different training program. Then I got hooked.”

(11/15/2019) Views: 538 ⚡AMP
by Kimberly Piña
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 Rocky Raccoon 100 mile

Rocky Raccoon 100 mile

Rocky Raccoon is the fastest 100 mile trail run for men in North America, as well as the oldest running 100 miler in Texas having been first run in 1993 with 29 finishers. It’s described as beautiful, fun, and great for veteran runners as well as those looking for their first 100 mile finish. Any American Citizen may enter the...

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49-Year-Old Ultrarunner Dave Mackey Won't Back Down

Dave Mackey was the first person to run the Leadville Trail 100 Run with a prosthetic leg

 The 49-year-old physician assistant spent those two decades putting together a stellar ultrarunning career, earning national championships in 50K, 50-mile, and 100K distances. He set the record for the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run in 2007 and was named Ultrarunner of the Year twice by USA Track and Field. His only injury during that time was a rolled ankle in 2007 that made him rest for a few weeks.

“I’ve always been lucky with injuries,” Mackey says from his home in Boulder, Colorado. “Well, except for falling off a mountain.”

In 2015, Mackey was running 8,459-foot Bear Peak in the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range when he decided to scramble down a series of boulders off the backside of the summit. An experienced rock climber, he had taken the route plenty of times before. But during his descent, a boulder jostled loose, and he fell 50 feet, breaking his left tibia in eight places. For a year after the accident, Mackey and his surgeons were hopeful he would keep the leg. But after suffering constant pain from scar tissue and low-grade infections, it became obvious that it would never fully heal. Mackey says the decision to amputate was an easy one.

“It was about quality of life,” he says. In addition to being a dedicated ultrarunner, Mackey is also an accomplished adventure racer, skier, and mountain biker. “Keeping my leg would’ve held me back for years, if not my whole life,” he says.

“But I knew after the amputation I would run again. People do amazing things with one leg, or no legs for that matter.”

After the surgery, Mackey spent almost a year adjusting, learning how to walk and run again while also undergoing multiple fittings for his prosthetic leg due to shrinking muscles in the residual limb. But he wasn’t down for long. Less than two years after his surgery, Mackey completed the Leadman Series, a succession of six races over the course of a summer that includes the legendary Leadville Trail 100 Run and Leadville Trail 100 MTB.

“The vast majority of people who lose a leg never work again,” Mackey says. “They never establish the same mobility as they had before. I’m really fortunate, and I was motivated.”

Finishing the Leadman Series was just the beginning for Mackey, who has largely resumed his old routine since losing his leg. He runs every day with a blade prosthetic—there’s an 11-mile route he likes to knock out in the morning before sending his kids off to school—he mountain-bikes regularly, and he skis with his family during the winter. Although Mackey figures he’s half as fast on rocky trails now, it’s all relative. Last year he finished 12th in the Leadman Series, just over seven hours behind the series winner’s accumulated time for all six races. This year he ran the Leadville Trail 100 in 25 hours, 54 minutes, roughly six hours slower than his 2014 time.

Still, he placed 98th overall out of 841 runners and was the first runner to ever finish the race with a prosthetic leg. “The more technical the terrain, the slower I have to go,” Mackey says. “Rocks that are smaller than a fist are easy to work through, but with the baby-head-size rocks, the blade can roll more easily. I have to watch my steps more.”

Mackey also says he’s enjoying the training process more than he ever did before. “I just want to get out there and make the most of it,” he says.

“I’m more appreciative now of every individual run or ride. Or skiing with my kids. It feels so good. With the accident I had, I could’ve died.”

Recovery has been a fact of life since Mackey’s accident. He’s had more than 13 surgeries during the last four years. When I talk to him, he’s fresh off a three-hour mountain-bike ride, slowly working his way back into “normal” life after having two screws removed from his leg two weeks earlier. “It can be hard,” Mackey says. “Taking time off in your forties is different than taking time off in your twenties. You don’t necessarily bounce back like you used to. But this whole process has taught me patience. You have to stay patient so you don’t get hurt again. But if you’re motivated, you can come back.”

Although Mackey is still getting after it postaccident, his motivation to keep moving has changed slightly. At one time, pre-accident, it was pushing himself to the brink of collapse in order to win races and crush records. 

“You feel like a train wreck one moment, then an hour or two later you feel great, because your body cycles through it,” he says. But while he continues to love the physical challenge of ultras, it’s not the podium that motivates him these days. It’s the process itself.

“Being in the outdoors is what keeps me going,” Mackey says. “The longer the trail run, the more I get out of it. It takes energy to make it happen, but the net return of those runs gives me more energy for everything else. It gives me a better attitude, a better perspective. Being outside, moving, it’s like therapy.”

(11/11/2019) Views: 717 ⚡AMP
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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HOKA ONE ONE have been named as presenting sponsors of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.

The deal also includes a rebranding of a series of races which allow entry to WSER as the “HOKA ONE ONE Golden Ticket Races”.

The series for 2020 will consist of the Bandera 100km in January, Black Canyon 100km in February, Georgia Death Race in March, Lake Sonoma 50-miler in April and the Canyons 100km in April.

The USA’s most prestigious trail ultra takes place in Olympic Valley, California, and will next be staged on June 27 2020.

Race director Craig Thornley: “We are extremely excited that HOKA has made such a strong commitment to our mission as an organisation, which is to serve the ultra community as one of the thoughtful leaders in our sport and culminates each June with putting on the highest-quality, yet intimate 100-mile experience we can possibly present for all of our runners.”

Mike McManus, director of global sports marketing for HOKA ONE ONE, said: “HOKA was born in the mountains and gained an early foothold in the trail ultrarunning community, so it is only natural that we would help put on the original trail 100-mile race. The Western States Endurance Run is an iconic event with an incredible community behind it, and one where some of the best-known legends of ultrarunning are born. We are beyond thrilled and proud to be the presenting sponsor.”

Registrations for the ballot for the 2020 WSER will open on November 9.

(11/05/2019) Views: 571 ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the...

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Chris Dunn-Veale, 46, runs 856km, completed nine ultra-marathons, with one race 106km long, seven 100km long, and one 50km

Chris said it felt "really good" to have completed the challenge.

He added: "It was amazing. I still can't quite get over it."Just talking about it doesn't seem real.

"I actually ended up doing 860km, because the last race added an extra 4km due to horrendous weather!".

The feat was part of Chris' wider Challenge 10,000 - which began in 2017 - to raise cash for the charity Epilepsy Research UK, which he is a ambassador of - after losing one of his friends to the condition.

Chris began his ultra marathon challenge back in May on the Isle of Wight, and it saw him traverse some of the toughest running areas of the country, including The Jurassic Coast, parts of the Cotswolds, the Peak District, and Beachy Head.

The final race was last weekend.

Chris also wanted to give a big thanks to Matt Chappell and Charlie Blake, and Evolve Health.

He said: "They have really looked after me so well throughout the challenge, and they were absolutely amazing.

"They really kept me going, they helped me recover and stay fit, and sponsored me throughout.

"I want to thank everyone at Evolve Health, a lot".

Chris's Challenge 10,000 is still running, with the Epilepsy Research Charity Goal Challenge continuing to raise funds.

Clubs across Salisbury, and from as far as Bognor Regis to Weston-super-Mare, will donate £3.50 every time a certain player scores or keeps a clean sheet.

(10/03/2019) Views: 503 ⚡AMP
by Benjamin Paessler
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Ethiopia’s Bekelech Gudeta Borecha will make her Debut at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

A first-time marathon requires a great leap of faith as any distance runner can attest. And so it is that Ethiopian distance star Bekelech Gudeta, who will turn 22 nine days before the race, enters the unknown at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon tackling one of the strongest women’s fields assembled on Canadian soil. Though she has no experience at the classic marathon distance she has performed admirably these past two years in the half marathon, running under 1:08 on three occasions, most recently on September 15th. That time of 1:07:21 earned her 6th place in the Copenhagen Half Marathon, which, like Toronto, is an IAAF Gold Label race. A year ago, she recorded her personal best 1:07:03 on the same course.

"I am really happy to start the marathon," she reveals. " have run some half marathons and I think I can run a (good) marathon as a half marathon is a quicker pace than the marathon. I started preparation for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon from June. My target is to run a fast time in Toronto."

The women’s course record in Toronto is 2:22:29 and was set a year ago by Mimi Belete the Ethiopian who now runs for Bahrain. This doesn’t seem to faze Gudeta.

"My coach is Dawit Hiluf and he is telling me that I can run sub 2:22 in my first marathon," she says. "He is telling me the athletes with 1:07 in the half marathon have run 2:19 to 2:21 in the marathon and he is telling me it is possible to run fast in the first marathon. He is telling me that the Toronto marathon has a fast course. We expect to see me on the Toronto marathon podium with a fast time."

What gives her more confidence is that she has increased her training volume significantly this year but did not reduce it for her Copenhagen appearance. Training through Copenhagen and still coming away with a time just 18 seconds slower than her best must have been satisfying to her and her coach.

"Last year I was doing 100km per week now it’s 160 - 170km. So, I was expecting to run 1:05 (in Copenhagen) but this year there was too much wind. We ran against the wind. Especially when I dropped from the leading group it was difficult. But I am happy as I ran sub 68 for my third time."

Gudeta is a member of a training group put together by Volare Sports, a Netherlands based sports management company. It includes Hiwot Gebrekidan (2nd in Ottawa in both 2017 and 2018) Betelhem Moges (2nd in Ottawa 2019) and Abeba Gebremeskel (2nd place Seville marathon 2019). Like other runners she lives in the Ararat area of Addis, Ethiopia’s capital and shares a ride to training sites outside the city.

"Our training is in different places around Addis most of time we train in Sululta, Sendafa, Kaliti, Entoto, Sebeta and around Ararat inside Addis," she continues.

"We have a Volare team bus and we meet 3-4 times per week training program with a team. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and sometimes Sunday we train together with the team and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we have easy training separately. When we are not with the team I train around Ararat."

Bekelech has not always lived in Addis. She was born in Shona just 50 kilometers outside the capital. After being introduced to running at school and having some success one of her brothers encouraged her to move to Addis and become a serious runner. She credits him with her success.

In Toronto she will face her experienced compatriots Dibaba Kuma, Eshetu Biruktayit and Hiwot Gebrekidan as well as Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai and Ruth Chebitok.

While the Toronto Waterfront Marathon signifies a dramatic change in direction for Bekelech Gudeta she sees it as a step towards meeting her ultimate goals.

"My goal is be a world class athlete like (Kenya’s four-time New York Marathon champion) Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba (three-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia)," she declares. " have represented my country during the World Half Marathon Championship last year in Valencia and I was 8th place. I want to represent Ethiopia again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics or in other Olympics. It is my dream as a runner."

(09/25/2019) Views: 687 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Gene Dykes was hoping to break Ed Whitlock's M70 record at STWM, but a lingering illness has taken him out of contention

Gene Dykes, who came close to breaking the late Ed Whitlock’s M70 marathon world record at last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and broke it unofficially in Jacksonville, Florida in December (on a non-record-eligible course) was hoping to make another attempt at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto race on October 20, but has decided to bow out due to illness and the resulting loss of training time.

Whitlock’s record, set in 2004, is 2:54:48. He was the only person ever to run a sub-3 marathon over age 70 until Dykes, who has now done it four times: first in Rotterdam in 2018, where he ran 2:57. At last year’s Scotiabank Toronto (which doubled as the World Masters Marathon Championships), he ran 2:55:18, missing Whitlock’s record by 30 seconds. At Jacksonville, he ran 2:54:23, breaking the record by 25 seconds–or so he thought, until he discovered that although the course is certified, the race is not USATF-sanctioned, which means you can’t set records there. At Boston this year he ran 2:58:50, shattering his own age-group course record of 3:16:20.

Dykes is optimistic he is on the mend, and has a number of fall races scheduled, including a 100K in Texas this weekend, a small marathon in Maine (on the same day as he would have raced Scotiabank), and the New York City Marathon on November 3.

Dykes remains the only living human over 70 years of age to run a sub-3 marathon.

(09/23/2019) Views: 701 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Pau Capell aggressive tactics pay off as he becomes first non-French winner since Kilian Jornet to win UTMB

Pau Capell won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in 20 hours, 19 minutes and seven seconds. He is the first non-French winner since his fellow Spaniard Kilian Jornet won in 2011.

The UTMB is one of the premier ultra trail races in the world. It is the culmination of a week long running festival, which sees the best in the sport compete for the coveted winners titles.

The brutal 171km course, with over 10,000 meters of accumulative elevation, favors runners who pace themselves conservatively – a common refrain is that “the race does not start until 100km”. But, Capell ignored the advice and set off at an aggressive pace, taking the lead in the first few kilometres and holing it until he ultimately won.

“Leading from wire to wire, in heroic fashion, it goes against common sense in endurance sport and everything you would expect given the field,” said UTMB commentator Dylan Bowman, who finished second in the 145km TDS at the UTMB week in 2018.

Bowman added it shows the sport is evolving, and to win at the top level, you now need to take risks.

Finish line announcer Eoin Flynn listed Capell’s other wins and compared him to a superhero.

‘I felt horrible’: Ruth Croft reflects on OCC win at UTMB

Capell modestly said “I’m not a superhero but if one did exists it would be my parents.”

The race started in Chamonix, 6pm, on Friday. A few Chinese athletes set off at a mad speed. In particular, HK100 2018 champion Qi Min looked like he was trying to set his 5km personal best, rather than run for almost a day. Qi looked over his shoulder and saw the lead he had built in the first few hundred meters and slowed until Capell was level with him. The pair stuck together, but Qi began to fade from the top five. Between 80km and 100km he dropped out of the top five and then out of the top 100. 

The pack began to set and it looked as though the podium was decided well before the finishing line. Capell had an unassailable lead over three time champion and eventual second place Xavier Thevenard (21:07:56), who himself was well ahead of third place New Zealander Scotty Hawker (21:48:04).

Audrey Tanguy wins TDS, Hillary Allen marks comeback from near-fatal fall

“What to say about Pau? He did a great race today. I saw the time, it got 10 minutes farther and 10 minutes farther,” Thevenard said. “He was untouchable.”

Thevenard used his time in the limelight to call people to protect the environment for future generations.

Hawker crossed the finish line, running hand in hand with his young daughter, mirroring scenes at the HK100 when she sang Happy Birthday.

“It’s a dream come true,” Hawker said of reaching the podium at the UTMB. “I thought maybe one day, but it was just a dream, now it’s real.”

Hawker was in the leading group along with Capell at the start of the race.

“At the start, it may have looked fast but it was honestly slower than other years,” he said.

A tearful Hawker said as he ran he thinking of his parents watching at home and his family at the finish line.

(09/01/2019) Views: 728 ⚡AMP
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Tollefson, Dauwalter Lead a Strong Pack of Americans at 2019 UTMB

A year after a bad fall ended Tim Tollefson’s latest effort to be the first American atop the podium at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), the ultrarunner is returning with reignited determination—but also a heavy heart.

Twice a third-place finisher of the daunting 171K, the Mammoth Lakes, California, pro is primed and ready to compete in this epic race through the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps between Friday and Saturday. This comes after Tollefson’s bid in 2018 ended around the 48K mark when a fall required stitches in his left quad, forcing him to withdraw, but not leading to any long-term damage.

Though a disappointing way to end his day and his hunt for first, he’s put that behind him as he once again tries to become the first American man to finish atop the podium in the 17-year history of the race.

“Last year doesn’t haunt me, but it’s something I would like to avenge,” Tollefson told Runner’s World. “It serves more of a constant reminder that I need to come back here and prove something to myself because I think I have unfinished business. I think this race in particular plays to experience, and I’d like to think that I now have enough experience and the skill set to put together the performance I have dreamt of.”

Training was slightly different this year to prepare. The 34-year-old physical therapist added about 20 percent more vertical gain during his weekly training, especially on long runs. This included dozens of 20- to 30-mile runs with about 9,500 feet of vertical gain. He also won the popular 120K Lavaredo Ultra Trail in June in Cortina, Italy, with a time of 12:18:47.

With more than 32,000 feet of vertical gain and often inclement weather, the UTMB course has been known to crush even the strongest and fittest runners. Tollefson proved worthy of the challenge in 2016 and 2017 with third-place efforts, not to mention his runner-up showing in the adjacent CCC 100K in 2015.

This year, Tollefson is competing for more than just his personal goals: He is running to honor a fallen friend. On August 14, friend and fellow Mammoth Lakes resident Cody Tuttle, a 32-year-old professional filmmaker and photographer who documented Tollefson for several projects, died in a paragliding accident near Lone Pine, California.

“It was a tragic loss for the community,” Tollefson said. “It’s a sobering reminder that every time we go into the mountains, there is an inherent risk, and yet there is a reason we are all drawn to this type of rugged mountain environment.”

Tollefson will have heavy competition as he strives for his goal. As usual, the men’s field of the race is deep, with Frenchman Xavier Thévenard, a three-time winner and defending champion as the clear favorite. Last year’s runner-up Robert Hajnal of Romania is also in the field, but Americans Zach Miller, twice a top-10 finisher at UTMB, Alex Nichols, who was second at the 2018 Hong Kong 100K, Hayden Hawks, who has had big success at 50K and 100K races, and Jason Schlarb, who has been on a tear since turning 40, could all be contenders.

“I feel like I’ve finally acquired the climbing skills that allows me to run with the Europeans and be able to be confident coming into this race,” Tollefson said. “It still comes down to executing the race, but I’m really psyched to get out there and run another lap around Mont Blanc.”

The women’s field is also intriguing, especially from an American point of view. Although defending champion Francesca Canepa of Italy returns, all eyes are on Courtney Dauwalter, who has dominated women’s ultrarunning in recent years, right up to the point when she dropped out of the Western States Endurance Run in late June with a hip injury. The 34-year-old Golden, Colorado, resident is healthy, but admits she didn’t do the training she had hoped while recovering from her injury.

“It’s a long race and, from what I hear, it’s a grind, so it’s not a fast 100-miler,” Dauwalter told Runner’s World. “I’m not sure how my skills and experience will play into it, but I’m going to take each section as they come and run as efficiently as possible and see what happens. These mountains are awesome and the challenge will be big.”

Two-time winner Rory Bosio (2013, 2014) from Truckee, California, is also back after running the shorter OCC in 2017 and the longer TDS last year, while Nebraska’s Kaci Licktieg, who took third at Western States Endurance Run this year, and Katie Schide, an American living in Switzerland, both could be poised to compete for podium finishes.

“I don’t know if I can be competitive; the women’s field is bonkers this year, and I think that’s great,” Bosio told Runner’s World. “Winning those races back to back seems so long ago, almost like it happened to a different person. But it’s going to be an exciting race, no matter what because it’s UTMB.”

More than 2,300 runners from 90 countries will start the race at noon ET on Friday. You can follow along live here.

(08/31/2019) Views: 752 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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How high-tempo training with elite Ethiopians helped Briton Tom Evans to place third at the Western States 100 this year

Tom Evans spent two months in Ethiopia training with elite marathon runners to prepare for this year’s Western States 100 mile ultra marathon. The training paid dividends as he finished third with the fastest ever time by a non-American runner of 14 hours, 59 minutes and 44 seconds.

“The slowest runner [in the Ethiopian running group], except for me, was a 2:08 marathoner,” the Briton said. “That made it very interesting. Their tempo runs were on dirt tracks with rolling hills, so were perfect for Western States.”

“They would run until they dropped and we were being followed by a car so they’d be picked up,” Evans said. “At first, because of the altitude, I was the first to drop out but I began to get used to the elevation.”

WSER100 is one of the most prestigious 100 mile races in the world. It takes place in California, starting at altitude before descending into deep, hot canyons. Jim Walmsley won this year’s race in a record 14:09:28.

The brutal tempo sessions in Ethiopia were fuelled by fierce rivalries, with runners motivated by the hope of being picked up by foreign agents and given the opportunity to race and earn money abroad.

“It’s almost becomes survival of the fittest,” Evans said.

The “sag wagon” that accompanied the runners was always a tempting respite from the sessions.

“You can drop out when ever you want,” he said. “So, it’s about how much you want it. It was really good mental strength training as they were always going fast and furious.”

Being in a new environment forced the former soldier to be more flexible in his attitude to training.

“You had no idea what was going to happen. I had kids throw rocks at me one day,” he said. “It was such a culture shock. I just had to deal with what was ahead of me day by day.”

Evans said he had learned from them the importance of strong contrasts between hard and easy sessions.

He felt not all of the training was relevant to his competition goals. The other athletes in the group were all preparing for marathons or half marathons, so their longest run was just two hours. Evans would sometimes head out for eight hours at a time.

“They thought I was absolutely mental,” he said. “They couldn’t get over how much volume I was doing. But they were fascinated. They really respected what I was doing.”

There were no coaches on hand to force runners on to the track or trail, but the total immersion experience meant they were not necessary.

“I became so attuned to my body. I was making decisions to drop out of sessions all based on feel,” he said.

Evans, who has won the CCC event at the Ultra Marathon du Mont Blanc (UTMB) week, could feel the effects of his training when he ran WSER100.

“I just felt so much more efficient,” he said. “So, at the end, I was still able to run hard.”

“For me, coming third in my first 100 miler was a best-case scenario,” Evans said. “I knew it was possible, I just didn’t know if it was probable.”

For now, Evans is going back to shorter races of about 50km to 100km, but he said the experience had “lit a fire” in him. 

“I definitely want to come back and see if I can improve my place, if not my time.”

(07/21/2019) Views: 769 ⚡AMP
by Mark Agnew
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the...

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Long Distance Legends Michael Wardian and Dean Karnazes are set for the inaugural MCM50K

The MCM50K is the first of its kind, an urban ultra in Arlington, Virginia and the nation's capital with all the same on-course benefits of a marathon. Event registration sold out in under one hour, attracting enthusiastic runners from all over the US and big names in running. When the runners cross the MCM50K finish line, it will make the event the largest ultra in the United States by nearly double the current record.

“More and more people are looking for what’s next after they’ve run a marathon, and I think this is it,” shares Wardian.

Wardian is hoping to add the MCM50K top finish to his already impressive resume, which includes finishing over 400 marathons and ultras with dozens of top finishes, three 50K and one 100K titles from US Track and Field championships. Wardian is known for outlandish running feats and being a positive character in the running community, most recently running the entire 90-mile Capital Beltway.

“It's an opportunity to put myself out there, have a great experience, get a chance to see even more of beautiful Washington DC, but also to try to get on the podium.” With over a dozen MCM finishes, Wardian hopes this is his time to grasp the lead sharing, “I’m super excited. The Marine Corps Marathon was my first big city marathon I ever did in my life and it’s been a really important part of my career. This is my opportunity to have another chance to win the event, especially with inaugural 50K, a distance I’m quite comfortable with.”

As a northern Virginia native, Wardian hopes to pull from his hometown advantage. “I have a lot of friends and fans who are going to be taking part in the event with me and family that'll be out on the course supporting.”

Standing next to Wardian at the start line will be friend and competitor, Dean Karnazes. “Dean and I have worked and traveled together for nearly a decade. I’m looking forward to hanging out and experiencing this together,” offers Wardian. “I’m sure he’ll be inspiring people to get out there and put their best foot forward.”

Karnazes is known for being a New York Times bestselling author, named one of TIME magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World,” one of the fittest men on the planet according to Men's Fitness, and for accruing a wild list of incredible running accomplishments including running 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 consecutive days.

“The two of us have a really interesting and very close relationship. It’ll be great to see him on the start line,” shares Karnazes. “Mike and I gravitate towards the same type of events, and from a competitive standpoint it’s unbelievable what he’s accomplished.”

Runners will get to interact with Karnazes during the ultra event. He looks forward to enjoying the ultra at a comfortable pace, taking in the inaugural event and connecting with his fellow runners. On the eve of the MCM50K, runners will have a special opportunity to interact with Karnazes and hear motivation from him at the Carbo Dining In. 

Runners will get the chance to interact with Wardian and Karnazes at the MCM50K start line and during their 30+ mile journey. Running an inaugural event is special, and running alongside a few of running idols makes it unforgettable.

(07/20/2019) Views: 849 ⚡AMP
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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Recognized for impeccable organization on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation's capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as 'the best marathon for beginners,' the MCM is largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The...

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Glenn Sutton is aiming to break Kiwi record at Death Valley

Home to the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet, Death Valley is not a place many Kiwis would pick for a mid-winter escape.

For Dunedin ultra-marathon runner Glenn Sutton however, he’s picked the soaring desert as the venue for his latest conquest.

Starting on July 15, he’ll run 217 kilometres in temperatures ranging from the low forties to the high fifties.

"They don’t call it the toughest foot race in the world for nothing," he told 1 NEWS.

Sutton will become the first Kiwi to attempt the race for a third time, after finishing it in both 2014 and 2015.

His goal this time though is to become the quickest Kiwi, aiming to cross the finish line in less than 36 hours and 32 minutes.

"If you complete the course in under 48 hours, you get a belt buckle and a t-shirt," he says.

His training involves running a 100km every week. While much of it is outside in the freezing Dunedin winter, a lot of it is done inside his custom-built heat-box.

Sutton powers the heavily-insulated box with three high-powered heaters, with temperatures getting up to the mid-forties.

The Dunedin runner has even managed to draw the attention of one of New Zealand’s biggest breweries, with Emerson’s creating a beer dedicated to Sutton’s mission.

Called - Into The Valley - the company have given the brew a low 2.17 per cent alcohol rating, to match the 217 km journey Sutton will be running.

But with temperatures at last year’s event getting up to an unofficial 58C, Sutton’s first choice of drink at the finish line, might just have to be water.

(06/25/2019) Views: 1,775 ⚡AMP
by John Mckenzie
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Death Valley Trail Marathon

Death Valley Trail Marathon

This scenic wilderness trail run is on a gravel jeep road from Beatty, NV through the picturesque Titus Canyon, finishing in Death Valley (entire run is in Death Valley National Park). The desert is beautiful this time of year with mild temperatures; lows at night between 30 and 40 degrees and highs during the day from the low-60s to mid-70s....

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Cecilia Flori often smiles through pain, but now she’s hoping an injury doesn’t keep her from competing at the 2019 Western States 100-mile race

The gap between elites and amateurs can feel wide indeed, but one area of common ground is an injury that threatens the start line of an important race. That’s the relatable place elite ultrarunner Cecilia Flori finds herself as she struggles with a foot injury a few weeks out from the Western States Endurance Run, the 100-mile race on June 29, from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

Expected to be a favorite in this year’s event, Flori arrived in California more than a month before the race, hoping to train on the course. The 38-year-old Italian physicist, who currently calls New Zealand home, earned bib F5 and says she was feeling as fit as ever when her foot began to hurt.

“I’ve been working on my speed by running marathons this year,” she said. “I think the Western course suits my strengths and I was more than ready for it.”

Relatively new to the ultra scene—and running in general—Flori made a big entrance to the sport, nabbing a podium spot at the North Face Endurance 50-miler in Canada in 2015.

“I’ve always loved the outdoors and was a climber before a triathlete friend convinced me to run a half marathon with him,” she said. “I really enjoyed it and I was hooked.”

Flori says the flow of running is what drew her in. “The repetitive motion makes me feel alive,” she said. “It’s a primal feeling—I’m at one with nature when I’m on trails.”

Relocating for her research to scenic New Zealand in 2016, Flori migrated entirely from climbing to running, joining a running club for training. She took on some shorter distance trail races and then won the Taupo 100K. “I started thinking that maybe I was good at endurance,” she says. “In 2017, I entered the Tarawera 100 and took third behind [2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner] Magda Boulet and [2017 Comrades champion] Camille Herron. I was shocked but I realized I could compete on an international level.”

Herron has since become Flori’s coach, and it was that Tarawera race that made Herron take note.

“I watched her run neck-and-neck with Magda Boulet,” Herron said. “What I remember most as I looped around and saw her was the big smile on her face.”

Since then there have been few hiccups in Flori’s ascent to the upper echelons of ultras. She pulled off fifth at last year’s Western States in 19:44 and followed it up with a 10th place finish at the 101K CCC in the French Alps last September, which she admits, tested her. “It was a learning experience,” she said. “I was sick and had to stop at aid stations quite a bit. But I still managed 10th and I’m proud of myself.”

Herron says Flori has a bright future ahead of her. “I saw that same smile on Cecilia’s face at 62 miles into Western last year. For someone to look that good in fifth place tells me she has lots more to give.

(06/24/2019) Views: 831 ⚡AMP
by Amanda Loudin
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the...

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Henri Lehkonen is more prepared than ever for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

The Hong Kong-based Australian Henri Lehmonrn will run the Western States 100 with a power monitor attached to his shoe and will stick religiously to a predetermined wattage.

“It’s been a revelation. If I lost the thing, I’d buy another tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a miracle way to control yourself in racing.”

Lehkonen believes it is better than other similar metrics, like heart rate, because it removes variables like excitement or altitude.

“I’ve done enough races now when I’ve not followed the watch and I’ve blown up, and when I’ve followed the watch and I’m tearing past people at the end,” he said. “I follow it for the first third – that’s where the damage is done if you over exert yourself. Then you get the adrenaline from passing people.”

And it is working. In March, he ran the 100km Ultra Trail Australia (UTA). He was 69th after 1km, but finished 11th in a highly competitive field.

Power meters are common in sports like cycling, but are yet to be taken up widespread in trail running. Lehkonen was introduced to the meter by his coach Andy Dubois, who crunches the data to give him an accurate power curve for his races.

Aside from the gadgets, Lehkonen is leaving no stone unturned. It is notoriously hard to win a place at WSER100. Hopefuls enter a lottery, and improve their chances by entering the lottery multiple years in a row. This was Lehkonen’s third year submitting an application, which is relatively quick.

“It’s Western States. It’s that big and it’s hard to get into, so I’m viewing it as all in,” he said.

He flew to California for a weekend to look at the course. The race directors organised a three-day event where runners could do the last 112km of the course, with some of the checkpoints set up.

(06/21/2019) Views: 903 ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the...

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Keith Roberts, who has run a marathon in every state, last month he was stalked by a bear

Just six miles north of Harrisburg in Raleigh, When 42-year-old Keith  Roberts isn’t spending time with his wife and kids, he’s running marathons or working as a manager in fiber optic installation at Clearwave Communications.

As many have too, Roberts has completes a marathon in all 50 states.

“I have a long-term vision for my health,” said Roberts. “Since I started running all of my back pain has gone away. Physically, I was heading towards a path of diabetes and really poor health, but the diet of running has corrected that.”

Roberts has 56 career marathons under his belt since running his first in 2016 at the Shiprock Marathon in New Mexico. On March 17, Roberts ran in his 50th state when he completed the Big Island International Marathon (Hilo Marathon) in Hawaii.

What comes next after you’ve run around the entire United States map?

“My goal for next year is to run in four 100-milers,” said Roberts. “I definitely see myself running or staying active for the rest of my life, that’s one part of it. The other part is sort of our human nature. I’ve come this far, how far can I go?”

Perhaps Roberts' encounter with a black bear in the mountains of Virginia in a 100K race is the reason he’d like to stay in shape.

“Last month I was stalked by a bear,” said Roberts. "Getting stalked by animals because they’re curious happens all the time to runners, but all I had was a trekking pole in one hand and a water bottle in the other when I looked over my shoulder and saw a little black bear 30 feet behind me.”

“When I started running I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile,” said Roberts. “I worked up a little bit, ran a 5K or two, and decided that I wanted to try running further.”

Roberts has since gone on to run nearly 1500 miles in his marathons alone. That doesn’t include his half marathons, ultramarathons, or any of the miles he has poured into his training.  He once ran eight marathons on eight consecutive days.

Roberts' body has held up for the most part outside of some shin splints, but he says recovery is different than most people would think.

“The recovery is more mental than it is physical,” said Roberts. “After a while your body learns to deal with the aches and the pains, and you can run a marathon on Saturday, a marathon on Sunday, be a little sore when you’re back at work on Monday, and by Tuesday you don’t feel it.”

Roberts' love of running has motivated both of his sons to run cross-country.

“I’m definitely not as disciplined as great runners are,” said Roberts. “As things go I generally finish in the back half of the race. I run a marathon in about 4 hours and 45 minutes, which is probably a good average.

“I will tell you from personal experience that there’s about 15 percent of people who care about speed and everybody else just cares about getting it done.”

The majority of people will never run a marathon, but in three years Roberts has done just that in every single state and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

(06/14/2019) Views: 609 ⚡AMP
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Gene Dykes did it again by setting new US 100-mile and 24-hour M70 records in Pennsylvania

Gene Dykes, aka the #Ultrageezer, is a modest fellow, not given to trumpeting his achievements (especially after discovering that his takedown of Ed Whitlock’s M70 marathon world record at Jacksonville in December 2018 would not be ratified due to the race not being a USATF-sanctioned event).

This could be why we only just learned that last month at the Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn 24-hour ultramarathon in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania (not far from where he lives), in the pouring rain, Dykes quietly broke the M70 100-mile and 24-hour track records.

Dykes ran 100 miles in 21:06:07 and 111.79 miles (179.98K) over 24 hours. Records are ratified by the American Ultrarunning Association, though Dykes’ latest records have not been updated on the site. The previous records were both held by Edson Sower, 72, of Arizona, at 22:01:34 and 172.80K.

However, if you take a look, you’ll see that Dykes already holds the US age-group records in the 50K, 50-mile, 12-hour, and 100K categories. He set those last year at the same race.

“I am starting a 24-hour race,” Dykes posted on Facebook beforehand. “By 7:03, I will have seen the entire course!”

“I really have mixed feelings about fixed-time races,” Dykes goes on, “but the main feeling is, ‘I should really have my head examined!’ …The main reason I occasionally do them… is that I like to get out of my comfort zone now and then, but this race was WAY out of my comfort zone!”

As so often happens at long races, the weather changed drastically over the course of the day, and never conformed to what was forecast. “The forecast was promising–cloudy during the day with a high in the upper 60’s and showers at night–but what we got was something altogether different. Brilliant sunshine all day, and, not being prepared for that, I got some nasty sunburn on my calves.

At night it was cold, rainy, and windy–not the light rain I expected. Fortunately, I brought along a down jacket, which I wore under my raincoat, and heavy wool gloves.”

(06/06/2019) Views: 692 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Gerda Steyn is focused to take the title at the 94th Comrades Marathon Sunday

After narrowly missing the record in last month’s Two Oceans Marathon, Steyn has enjoyed a trouble-free training camp in the mountains of France, together with third place finisher from last year, Steve Way, and Anthony Clark, both running this year’s race in the colours of Nedbank Running Club.

“A lot of people asked me if I am disappointed at just missing the record in Two Oceans,” laughed Steyn.

“Looking back at it now it was a little bit sad to be so close but even with 8km to go, I told myself to save the legs because Comrades is my main focus of the year and I didn’t want to do too much damage.” It’s a decision that Steyn hopes will pay dividends in this year’s event.

Last year’s winner Ann Ashworth comes into this race much faster than before, but it is the Up-run defending champion, Nedbank Running Club’s Camille Herron, who is hoping to defend her title.

A strong athlete with multiple world records, Herron is well known for her awkward running style that took her to victory in 2017.

Teaming up with her club mate Steyn, the two make a dangerous combination.

Throw in stalwart Fikile Mbuthuma and OMTOM gold medalist Ntombesintu Mfunzi who will be one to watch on her Comrades debut, the ‘Green Dream Team’ ladies will be a force on the route.

Adding to Nedbank’s Comrades debuts this year is Poland's Dominika Stelmach who had an unfortunate injury that forced her out of starting last year’s race.

After her fourth-place finish at this year’s Two Oceans, Stelmach is hungry to make an impression.

Also making a debut will be four-time World Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington. The 42-year-old English athlete ran 2 hours 51 minutes in this year’s London Marathon to qualify for Comrades which puts her in with a chance of a top 10 finish.

Carla Molinaro who represented Great Britain last year in the World 100km championships, but now has South African citizenship, will be another athlete looking for a top 10 finish after finishing ninth last year.

South African Deanne Horn is a newcomer in the ultra-marathon scene. She finished 42nd in her debut in 2017 and finished 15th last year and has represented South Africa in the World 100km championships. Together with team-mates Steyn, Mfunzi, Molinaro and Mbuthuma, the Nedbank ladies will be looking to take the team prize in this year’s race.

(06/04/2019) Views: 972 ⚡AMP
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

2020 race has been officially cancelled. Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a...

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Priyank Sharma lost 57 pounds (26k) in six months through running and is ready to run the Sundown Marathon

In December 2018, Priyank Sharma burst into tears after finishing his first half marathon in 3h 8min. It was the culmination of a journey the 37-year-old embarked on just months before, when he tipped the scales at nearly 100kg (220 pounds).

"I normally consider myself a strong person but that was the first time I cried in a long while," said the senior vice-president in strategy and planning at a local bank. "Lots of emotions came out, I felt so proud of myself and thankful to my family for their support."

Just six months before, he was lying on his bed when his wife told him to "get out and run."  While Sharma had not exercised for 10 years before that, he decided on a whim to go for a 4km run.

He completed the run feeling so happy and energised that he started running twice a week, and now runs up to a combined 60km (36 miles) weekly. While he tipped the scales at 98.7kg, he lost 26kg in six months.

But the journey towards a healthier life was not easy. When he started, Sharma would get tired every few hundred metres and after every run, his whole body ached, he could not breathe properly and he felt dehydrated.

"The beauty of running is the competition is with myself," he said.  "Whenever I felt my pace wasn't good, or when I felt bad, it always came back to me that this was about outdoing myself and that has made me continue running.

"There's no one to compete with you and you decide your own destiny." He made changes to his diet and water intake after feeling "guilty" after his meals, and took to the gym to build muscles that support him in his runs.

Sharma quipped: "Everything felt bad but I was enthusiastic because I wanted to feel happy and running made me happy. Then small results started to show up which were really helpful and kept me motivated."

Now, he completes two or three 5km runs on weekdays and one 10-20km run during the weekend at East Coast Park or the Marina Barrage. He also goes to the gym twice a week to build muscles and to maintain his upper and lower body strength for long runs.

Sharma has also influenced his mother-in-law and colleagues to start running, while his wife - who is pregnant with their first child - promised to start after giving birth.

On Saturday (June 1) night, Sharma is continuing on his "pursuit of happiness", as he lines up for the Osim Sundown Marathon's 21.1km race, which he aims to complete in 2h 30min. His current personal best is 2h 48min, which he clocked in April 2019.

(05/31/2019) Views: 942 ⚡AMP
by Laura Chia
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Sun Down Singapore Marathon

Sun Down Singapore Marathon

Singapore’s largest night marathon, the Sundown Marathon, is looking to redefine the art of night running and is designed as the perfect rush of adrenaline for everyone!Sundown Marathon injected a jolt of energy into Singapore’s running scene when it became the nation’s first night marathon in 2008, and has become Asia’s largest night marathon.Being Singapore's first night...

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Chris Geils is running 1242 miles from Pretoria to Cape Town South Africa to raise awareness about disabilities

Chris Geils and 11 others have embarked on a journey, running from Pretoria to Cape Town South Africa, to raise awareness about disabilities.

The 41-year-old and team Ocal Global will leave the Mother City for Pretoria before starting an incredible non-stop, 24-hour-a-day challenge that spans two 100km (62 miles) over 10 days.

“The Ocal 2019 Journey for Change is being run not only to raise awareness around disability, but to raise funds for differently-abled children in the Northern Cape,” said Geils.

“All these children have physical disabilities, most commonly resulting from cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations, genetic syndromes, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.”

He has committed to raising R25 000 ($1750) for the children’s immediate mobility and day-to-day living needs, including wheelchairs, walkers, prosthetics and crutches.

“When I was 24 years old I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease with no known cure. 

"Over the next six years, I’d yo-yo between states of being well, and then lows of feeling terrible and being in constant pain.

‘‘Eating anything would leave me in pain and immediately running to the bathroom. At the age of 30, I decided to make a change and listen to my body. It was about this time that I started running.

‘‘Thankfully, I’m well enough now to live a healthy, active lifestyle, but this could change at any moment and I want to make the good days count.

‘‘It’s for this reason that I want to be able to help and bring about change for the children in the Northern Cape.”

Ocal Global founder Nicolene Anley said: “People are disabled not because of their condition - they’re disabled by the poorly accessible world we currently live in.

‘‘With all of those daily challenges, disability can be something that you create within yourself that disables you from living a life that’s whole and that’s full and that’s meaningful.”

They plan to finish their challenge in Cape Town, South Africa on May19.

(05/16/2019) Views: 890 ⚡AMP
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Cape Town 12 Onerun

Cape Town 12 Onerun

This fast flat route takes runners through a working harbour and into a quiet city centre for a scintillating, fast and furious finish; music, enthusiastic support and a later than usual start time for a road race. The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the most passionate and welcoming road race on the South African running calendar. ...

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Does the step rate for runners really matter? Not as much as previously thought

Since the 1980s, when running coach Jack Daniels noted that the step rate for runners in the 1984 Olympics was about 180 per minute, it’s been widely touted as a means to reduce injury or improve speed, said Geoff Burns, an elite marathoner and University of Michigan doctoral student in kinesiology.

“It’s one of the few biomechanical measures we have that is a gross system-level output for running,” he said. 

To find out what determines cadence and how much cadence really matters, Burns had the top 20 elite male and female runners record their cadence during the 100K International Association of Ultrarunners World Championship in 2016. 

While the average number of steps per minute was 182, the number of steps per minute per mile varied enormously by individual. 

“Some ran at 160 steps per minutes and others ran at 210 steps per minute, and it wasn’t related at all to how good they were or how fast they were,” Burns said. “Height influenced it a little bit, but even people who were the same height had an enormous amount of variability.”

The main takeaway for runners is that cadence is highly individual, and your body knows what’s optimal, said Burns, a third-year Ph.D. student in Professor Ronald Zernicke’s lab. This means runners shouldn’t necessarily try to manipulate cadence to reach the 180 steps, but rather, monitor cadence as their running progresses. 

“It’s a barometer and not a governor,” he said. “There’s no magical number that’s dogmatically right for everybody.” 

For years, many coaches and practitioners thought that cadence should remain constant as speed increases, which required longer steps. Burns says longer steps takes more energy, and his study found that cadence naturally increased four to five steps per minute per mile as runners ran faster. 

Other findings surprised Burns, as well. First, step cadence was preserved through the race, even during the torturous “ultra shuffle” near the end–when racers shuffle across the finish line, barely lifting their feet. 

Burns assumed that exhausted runners would take shorter, choppier steps. But surprisingly, when researchers controlled for speed, cadence stayed constant.

Another unexpected finding is that by the end of a race, cadence varied much less per minute, as if the fatigued runner’s body had locked into an optimal steps-per-minute turnover. It’s unclear why, Burns said, but this deserves further study. 

An ultramarathon is anything longer than a traditional marathon of 26 miles. As a semi-pro ultramarathoner, Burns spends about two hours a day running and another two hours a day on conditioning–in addition to his doctoral work.

“It’s a really unique symbiotic relationship,” he said. “My running informs my research and helps me not just ask novel questions and gain insight and perspective into the craft, but also helps me refine how I prepare for races.”

In summary: To go faster, either one or the other has to increase. But, for elite runners, one of those two rarely changes. Top-level distance runners typically run at a high number of steps per minute – between 180-200 – no matter what speed they're going; simply varying the length of their stride to run faster or slower.

 

(05/07/2019) Views: 598 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Burns
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Jim Walmsley Runs Faster Than Anyone Ever for 50 Miles, Yet World Champ Hideaki Yamauchi Wins 100k

Prior to Saturday’s HOKA ONE ONE Project Carbon X 100k race in Sacramento, California American ultramarathon star Jim Walmsley said anything can happen in an ultra.

Saturday’s race proved that.

Walmsley broke the world best and American record by going through 50 miles in 4:50:08 (old world best was 4:50:51 by Bruce Fordyce in 1984; Barney Klecker’s American record of 4:51:25 was the oldest American road record on the books) and less than three minutes later he  was sitting on a table on the side of the course. Soon after, he was walking. Walmsley was reduced to high-fiving two-time defending world 100km champion Hideaki Yamauchi as Yamauchi ran by en route to victory in the 100km race in 6:19:54, over 10 minutes outside the 6:09:14 world record.

American Patrick Reagan ended up second in a personal best of 6:33:50 and Walmsley, who had to work hard not to get lapped by Yamauchi (each lap was almost 4.7 miles long), finished 4th in 7:05:24 on a day where the race started in near-perfect 51-degree conditions at 6 a.m. and ended in a blazing sun and 70+ degree heat.

American Sabrina Little was the only female finisher in 7:49:28.

The race was billed as a world record attempt at 100k, but Walmsley was also trying to break the 50-mile world best en route, and for the first 10k, the front three runners — Walmsley, Yamauchi, and Tyler Andrews, running his first race longer than 50k and also targeting the 50-mile world best — surprisingly ran within striking distance of one another on roughly 6-hour 100k pace. Yamauchi had talked about going out at a more modest pace, but afterwards said the downhill opening miles felt fine, so he ran faster than expected as he hit 15k in 54:06 (6:00:40 pace).

No human being has ever run faster for 50 miles than Jim Walmsley did today.

However, the fastest 50 miles in the history of the world had taken its toll and Walsmley immediately was reduced to a shuffle as he started jogging down the course after crossing 50 miles.

He told race commentator and training partner EricSenseman, who was in a car right in front of him, “I’m F’d.”

Any shot at the 100k world record was now out of Walmsley’s mind.

But there was a problem. To be given the official world best and American record for 50 miles, he would have to finish the 100k race (for some unknown reason, there is a rule that interim splits only count as records if the full race distance is finished).

A little more than two and a half minutes after breaking the record, Walmsley was walking on a bridge on the course. He then sat down on a drink station table and dumped water over his head and took gels. After a couple of minutes’ rest, Walmsley started walking again on the course.

Just a tad more than 10 minutes after he had run faster than anyone ever for 50 miles, Yamauchi went by Walmsley as Walmsley gave him a high five.

Now the questions that remained were how fast would Yamauchi run to the finish and could Walmsley make it to the finish.Yamauchi had gone through halfway well ahead of world record pace (he was at 3:00:34, the world record is 6:09:14), but just before 50 miles he slowed noticeably, going from just around 6:00 mile pace to over 6:30 for the two miles to 50 miles.

The world record shot was gone, but Yamauchi was still was on pace for a PR (previous PR of 6:18:22). However, on the final lap, the heat and early pace really took its toll on one of the most accomplished 100km runners in the world, as Yamauchi ran over 7:00 mile pace and had to settle for the victory in 6:19:54.

Meanwhile, Walmsley realized he might be lapped by Yamauchi and upped the pace of his jogging to hold off getting lapped by 22 seconds.

The one guy able to get a PR was Patrick Reagan, who ran the first 50km nearly exactly how he planned, going out in 3:09:11 and hanging on to a 6:33:50 PR.

In the women’s race, Japan’s Aiko Kanematsu dropped out between 43 and 48 miles, which meant Sabrina Little was the only finisher and winner in 7:49:28.

Results below.

Men - Hideaki Yamauchi JPN (6:19:542) Patrick Reagan USA (6:33:50 PB3) Yoshiki Takada JPN 6:52:024) Jim Walmsley USA (7:05:24) Mike Wardian USA (7:29:126) Tyler Andrews USA DNF

Walmsley’s time at 50 miles was a new pending world best/American record of 4:50:08 (old record 4:50:51 by Bruce Fordyce). 

Women) Sabrina Little 7:49:282) Aiko Kanematsu DNF

 

(05/05/2019) Views: 618 ⚡AMP
by Let's Run
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Zachary Boyd-Helm running his first marathon wins in Bend Oregon

Zachary Boyd-Helm, a former distance runner at West Linn High and then Southern Oregon University, said he just wanted to see what a marathon felt like.

The 26-year-old did much more, winning the marathon portion of the Bend Marathon and Half Saturday morning in 2:42:58.

“I completely exceeded my goal, which I’m super excited about,” said Boyd-Helm, who wanted to break 2:45 but would have settled for anything under three hours.

A steady rain fell as marathoners started the race at 7 a.m. behind the Les Schwab Amphitheater stage, which also served as the finish line for the event’s four races.

But the rain stopped by the time Boyd-Helm, now a graduate student at SOU, crossed the finish line.

“It’s such a beautiful course with all the rolling hills,” he said. “There’s people at every single point so I never felt like I was completely by myself. This was a really fun marathon. It definitely makes me want to do more.”

William Miles, of Happy Valley, finished second in the marathon in 2:46:15, and Jordan Tait, of Kuna, Idaho, placed third in 2:51.59.

Bend’s Lindsey Hagen, 35, was the top female, finishing fourth overall in 2:57.33.

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Hagen said she has completed about 30 marathons in her life, but it was her first time running the Bend Marathon after moving to Central Oregon more than three years ago to work at Rebound Physical Therapy, a sponsor of the marathon.

Hagen, an ultra runner, said she used the marathon to train for next month’s Smith Rock 50K. She also plans to do 100K and 100-mile races this summer.

“It was probably slower than I could do normally because of the hills but I felt good and raced hard,” Hagen said of the Bend Marathon.

Alaini Ritsch, of Fort Collins, Colorado, was the second female to finish the marathon, placing sixth overall in 3:02.30.

Ryan Lok, of Oakland, California, won the half marathon in 1:12.09. Brett Holts (Lake Oswego) and Adrian Shipley (Forest Grove) took second and third in 1:14.03 and 1:18.20, respectively.

The top female in the half marathon was Forest Grove’s Laura Lewis, who finished 18th overall in 1:29.49.

Portland’s David Hamilton won the 10K in 35.58. Stephen Bauer, of San Francisco, placed second in 38.03.

Portland’s Angharad Porteous, the top female, finished third overall in 39:18. Bend’s Katie Grissen was the second female to cross the finish line, placing fourth overall in 40:15.

Hunter Hurl, a 10-year-old from McMinnville, finished fifth in 40:18.

Bend runners dominated the 5K. Jason Colquhoun and Ron Deems, both of Bend, placed first and second in 18:26 and 19:29, respectively.

Bend 10-year-old Lauren Willard finished third in 19:42. She was followed by 12-year-old Kyle Kirsch in 20:20 and 10-year-old Skye Knox in 20:39.

More than 2,400 runners and walkers participated in the fifth annual event, which also included a kids’ run.

(04/21/2019) Views: 869 ⚡AMP
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Bend Marathon and Half

Bend Marathon and Half

Welcome to the Bend Marathon, Half, 10k and 5k. We're excited that you're considering running with us. We are in the midst of planning for the 2019 event. Kari Strang and Max King are taking over the reigns this year and are going to take an already great race and make it into the best mountain town marathon anywhere. They...

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Kami Semick won every Ultra race she entered in 2009 and now is making a comeback

A decade ago, at 42, Kami Semick reached the pinnacle of ultrarunning. She won every race she entered in 2009, including two world championship events in the 100k and 50k, and earned UltraRunning’s Ultrarunner of the Year title for the second year in a row.

But five years later, she called it quits and disappeared from the sport.

Her breaking point came at The North Face Endurance Championship 50-miler in San Francisco, a race she’d won in 2008. At that event in December 2014 where she finished 17th female, “It felt like I was dragging a load of bricks around,” says Semick, now 52 and living in Bend, Oregon. “The only reason I finished is because I promised myself this was the last time I was going to run 50 miles. I wasn’t coming back because I felt so horrible. I shook hands with my sponsor The North Face and said, ‘Nice knowing you, but I gotta stop.’”

Fast forward another five years to now, and suddenly, Semick’s name is popping up again. Eschewing attention-seeking social media posts, she quietly and cautiously began running longer distances again in 2017. She finished two 50-milers and a 100k in her home state last year, then won a 40-miler and 50k in California. Now she’s getting ready to line up at the hyper-competitive Lake Sonoma 50 in April, and the Lavaredo Ultra 120K in Italy in June.

While those newer to the sport might not even recognize Semick, those of us who began ultrarunning in the mid-2000s probably share my excitement at seeing her return. Personally, I’ll never forget The North Face ad campaign from 2006 that showed Semick trail running with her then-4-year-old daughter strapped onto her back. Semick’s muscly physique, fast times at races, and gutsy combination of running and parenting gave female ultrarunners a powerful role model.

I reached out to Semick to find out what happened, and what it’s like to return to the scene and get ready to race again after a long break after turning 50. She agreed to talk, but with some reluctance as part of her looked forward to showing up to Lake Sonoma without being recognized.

“If nobody knows I’m there at a starting line, I’m so happy about that, because then there’s no expectations,” she says. “I’m trying not to be attached to my history as a runner, and I don’t love the spotlight, but the reason I wanted to talk is because I’m curious about other women’s experiences. If I can share my story, then maybe we can join together as women in our 50s and say, ‘Yes, it’s hard.’ … I feel like we have to band together for support.”

(03/19/2019) Views: 1,057 ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lavender Smith (Ultra Running Magazine)
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Lake Sonoma 50

Lake Sonoma 50

The race is held on the rugged trails at Lake Sonoma, about 10 miles northwest of Healdsburg. The course is 86% single track and 9% dirt roads, with the first 2.4 miles on a paved country road.The race starts at 6:30 a.m. and has a 14-hour time limit. ...

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The king of the trails, Rene Villalobos is a 59-year-old plumber with 350 ultras under his belt

Rene Villalobos is less than halfway through the 2016 Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville State Park, Texas, when the pain in his back returns. A year earlier, he had fallen on a patch of black ice late at night during Arkansas’ Run LOVit 100K and slipped a disk. The doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to run long distance anymore but, well, here he was.

He grimaces as pain shoots up his back. Soon the sun will sink beneath the canopy of oak trees and sweet gums overhead and out of sight. Villalobos uses a few unprintable words to gripe to his “friend” Sal (James Salvador), an Italian ultrarunner who encouraged Villalobos to quit dropping the F-bomb on long miserable runs and find the joy in running.

“Look at this and this and this,” he would tell Villalobos, pointing at the scenery. “And don’t worry about anything else. Enjoy it! This is all a gift.”

Salvador had passed away nearly 10 years prior, in April 2002, during a low-risk planned surgery. He and Villalobos had been running together for 20 years by that time, and were planning to run several ultras together in the coming weeks. Instead, Villalobos found himself and his sister, Clara, with Salvador’s family as the priest read his last rites.

Villalobos says he’s “not really too much into superstition.” He doesn’t have pre-race rituals or lucky socks. But he does have a lot of running buddies like Salvador who have passed away over the years, and he still communicates with them.

“That’s probably about the weirdest thing I do,” he says. “I always say, ‘Well, I’m going to take my angels for a run today.’”

Rene Villalobos, 59, of Fort Worth, Texas, is not your typical runner-looking dude. He has dark skin, bronzed by hours in the sun, salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee to match; until a few years ago, he weighed over 200 pounds and possessed a hefty paunch.

But looks may be deceiving in his case. Villalobos has run over 350 ultras, and over 150 100-milers. At one point, he ran nine 100-mile races in nine weeks. Counting unofficial races, by August 14, 2018 Villalobos says he had run 1,117 marathons. On the Mega Marathon List, he is ranked number five, with 1000 official marathon finishes. Let those stats sink in.

“Trying to explain Rene is almost as difficult as trying to explain trail running,” says Joe Prusaitis, the former longtime owner and race director of Tejas Trails, a collection of respected Texas races that includes Rocky Raccoon. Prusaitis has a long history of racing with and hosting Villalobos at races. “And I think the more you understand trail running, the more you would understand Rene.”

While not a household name or podium contender, Villalobos epitomizes a passionate approach to trail running. His training weeks might make even the pros blanch especially because, for over 30 years, he worked digging ditches and fixing pipes as a plumber, often in 110-degree Texas heat, before going on his weekday runs.

Things changed in 2004 when he got a job as Master Inspector for his hometown of Fort Worth. While he appreciates the air conditioning, being what he calls a “blue-collar runner” makes him proud, and he still does plumbing jobs for friends on the side.

At the 2016 Rocky Raccoon volunteers and spectators caught sight of a Hispanic guy using a thick stick as a cane, moving slowly into the clearing. He’s obviously struggling—his stride is off, and he’s using the stick only halfway into the race. But he doesn’t stop. Villalobos hobbles back into the woods for his third lap, and, when he emerges again, he goes right on for the fourth.

Volunteers watch with concern and hope. The finish line looks increasingly like a ghost town as people pack up and go home.

In the woods, Villalobos repeatedly thumps the stick beside him like a third leg, occasionally griping to Sal, when no one else is around. He shuffles down the singletrack, over little wooden bridges, through brush and pine needles and endless roots as the sun rises.

“Pine trees and roots, that’s all it is,” Villalobos says. “What happens is you do four laps, and on the last lap all the roots have grown a foot.”

When he exits toward the finish for the last time, he is hunched over his stick, barely taking steps. He looks like he’s aged several years in a single night. In the miles since the last aid station, he’s fallen 20 minutes behind the cut-off time.

But he has “finished.” Racers and volunteers have tears in their eyes as he crosses the line. He doesn’t get an official finish time, but the race organizers give him a finisher’s belt, “because they said I was tough,” Villalobos says.

“When he sets out to do something, he just finishes it,” Villalobos’s running buddy Gerardo (Gerry) Ramirez says. “We’ve been through some races, in snow, like knee-deep snow, races where we’re drenched in mud; we’ve been hailed on, but I’ve learned not to give up because of him.”

(02/02/2019) Views: 1,087 ⚡AMP
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Top two American’s in the Run The World Challenge which just finished are both over 70

The third Run The World Challenge sponsored by My Best Runs (MBR) has finished.  The team of 105 active runners, who ran and logged miles in 23 different countries, finished last night (January 5) in 68 days 17 hours and 18 minutes.  

The event created by MBR Founder Bob Anderson is all about running and then logging in those miles, posting photos and comments in our runner’s feed to help motivate the team and inspire others.  The team has to run/walk and then log in 24,901 miles (40,074k) to complete the challenge.  

“This is the distance around the world,” says 71-year-old Bob Anderson who himself ran and logged 297 miles. 

“Our team from around the world and ranging in ages from six to 74 did an amazing job,” says Bob.  The team logged an average of 362 miles per day and the team had to stay focused for over two months. “With our busy lives that is not easy,” says Lisa Wall a team member. 

34-year-old Eliud Lokol Esinyen from Kenya and running most of his miles in Eldoret logged the most miles with 1,298.59.  He averaged 18.9 miles daily, many days he worked out three times.  Finishing in second was 27-year-old Boaz Kipyego also from Kenya.  However he spent about five weeks in Minnesota USA running and racing.  He ran and logged in 1,129.41 miles.

First American was 74-year-old Frank Bozanich from Reno Nevada.  The previous five time national champion at 50 miles and 100k ran and logged in 1,036.19, good enough for third place.  “This is his third time around the world with us,” says Bob.  “Many people say that age is only a number and certainly age is not stopping Frank.  He told me he is running a lot slower these days because he has put a lot of miles on his body, however.  Well done Frank, on an age-graded basis this has to be the best performance,” says Bob.

There were five male runners 70 plus in the top 31 places.  In fact 72-year-old Paul Shimon placed sixth overall running most of his 893.06 miles in Winfield Kansas.  Like many of the team he had to deal with a lot of issues including the cold, snow and darkness.  

Super star Michael Wardian (photo top left) placed 8th overall and ran some of the best times including clocking 2:34:54 at the New York City Marathon.  He also ran a tough 50-miler in Israel.  He posted 651 miles  for his third trip around the world with us.  In a few weeks he is going after his world record he set in 2017 at the World Marathon Challenge.  That’s running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.  

On the women side, ultra super star 48-year-old Gloria Nasr ran and logged 422.54 miles to place first female.  Gloria lives in Paris, France.  Some of her miles were also ran in Peru when she travelled there to run an Ultra (photo upper right). She has also run the six stage race through the desert of Morocco in the past.

In second place was Kenya’s Rosaline Nyawira who currently is living, training and racing in South Africa.  She ran and logged 394.01 miles.  

Third and first America woman was 71-year-old Karen Galati who logged in 223.88 miles.  She ran most of her miles in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  As she wrote on her profile “Better late than never to this addicting sport.”

Miles run and logged in the top five countries were USA, Kenya, Palau, South Africa and India.  The small country of Palau was in second place the first few weeks.  The Run The World Challenge group there lead by Aaron Salvador have so much spirit.  Most weekends they get together and run ten to fifteen miles.  “You can always count on us to post photos and comments too,” says Aaron. 

Our group from South Africa lead by Lize Dumon has just as much spirit.  During the challenge Lize completed her first marathon and just got over 200 for the team.  The Fourie family in South Africa has to get the top spirit award.  The two kids (Michelle age 6 and Jonathan age 7), the mom (Erika) and grandma (Johanna) posted nearly every day and collectively logged in 455 miles.  Even the dad joined in many days.  

“This was not our best RTW performance but this one has to be our toughest with many challenges,” says Bob.  “Many of our team had to deal with early cold and snow in the United States and Canada.  Our runners in Palau had to deal with heavy rain and wind. In South Africa it was over 100 degrees many days.  In California our runners had to deal with unhealthy air quality for two weeks because of the smoke from the wild fires.  A majority of our team had to deal with shorter days and run in the dark. And on top of everything there were three major holidays during Challenge3.

”I am very proud of our whole team. It is hard to stay focused on something like this for over two months but we did it.  We made it around the world.  For many of us for the third time.  There are so many more stories I want to share’” says Bob.  “Well done team.  Let’s do it again.” 

Details for the next Run The World Challenge will be announced soon. 

(01/06/2019) Views: 1,024 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson Team Caption
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European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter will be in the spotlight at the 35th edition of the Asics Firenze Marathon on Sunday

The 29-year-old has this year set Israeli records at various distances from the 1500m to the half marathon and she will be looking to add another to her collection this weekend. Before winning the continental 10,000m title in Berlin, she set a European-leading national record of 31:33.03 to win the European Cup in London in May. At the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 earlier in the year she set a national record of 1:08:58 and reduced that mark to 1:07:55 in Lisbon last month. Salpeter is yet to fully master the marathon, though. She has completed three marathons to date – her one failure to finish came at the 2016 Olympic Games – and her finishing times have all been between 2:40:16 and 2:40:22, a surprisingly consistent series of times for someone who appears capable of going much quicker for 26.2 miles. This weekend Salpeter is aiming at improving the course record of 2:28:15 set in 2002 by Helena Javornik. She could even challenge the European-leading time of 2:25:25 set by European champion Volha Mazuronak. Salpeter will take on Kenya’s Caroline Jepchirchir Chepkwony, who set her marathon PB of 2:27:37 in Lubljana in 2013, Ethiopia’s Ayele Gebaynesh, who has a career best of 2:26:54, and Kenya’s 2:27:07 performer Sarah Jebet. Croatia’s ultramarathon specialist Nikolina Sustic will run her fourth Italian race this autumn after Venice, Turin and Verona. The world 100km champion set a marathon PB of 2:42:44 at the European Championships in Berlin, improved to 2:42:10 in Turin at the start of November and last week clocked 2:42:26 in Verona. (11/23/2018) Views: 982 ⚡AMP
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Camille Herron is back and better than ever after suffering a quad injury

Herron transitioned to trail running in 2016 and promptly set a course record by 27 minutes at the Ultra Race of Champions 100K in 9:36:05—and did it while drinking a Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale during the last few miles of the race, which has since become part of her racing strategy.

In June 2017, Camille Herron competed in Comrades Marathon, a race in South Africa known for its 55-miles of torturous mountainous climbs. She crossed the line first by over four minutes, and became the third American ever to win the race.

Then in November, Herron not only won her first 100-mile race at the Tunnel Hill 100, but broke the World Record for the women’s 100-mile distance by over an hour.

During the race, she averaged a pace of 7:38 per mile. For Herron, running is not only a sport, but an extension of her identity; she is voracious in her pursuit of distance, but she has fun, too.

She looks forward to her post-run bacon and beer and, the night before big races, Herron brings a speaker to host dance parties. Sometimes she’s still dancing the next morning on the start line. This year, Herron was poised to return to the 2018 Comrades race in the best shape of her life.

However, in late May of 2018, just weeks before she was set to toe the line, she tried a new quad strengthening routine she found on YouTube. Always one to push herself to the limits, Herron found herself limping in the days that followed, due to a stress reaction of the femur and she withdrew from Comrades.

Weeks later, realizing she could not run at all, she withdrew from the 2018 Western States Endurance Run as well. Herron, 36, who now splits her time between Alamosa, Colorado, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, took her first steps back running eight weeks ago and recently completed a 114.6-mile week of training.  Camille is back and will be racing soon.

(11/15/2018) Views: 1,111 ⚡AMP
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Barabara Fieberg, who once struggled to do 5km shows women how to go the distance later in life

A Western Australian long-distance runner set to compete at the world ultramarathon championships hopes she can inspire other women to take up the sport. German-born nurse Barbara Fieberg only took up competitive running after her 40th birthday, admitting she previously struggled to run around the block. She has now completed 24 ultramarathons and is in training to represent Australia at the world championships in Croatia in September. Competitors will race over 100 kilometres — the equivalent of more than two full marathons. Seven men and seven women will represent Australia in Sveti Martin, following paths used a century ago by Croatian farm workers who regularly went on 100km errands. Never too late to take up running,she said. Ms Fieberg never believed she would have been capable of achieving what she had in the sport. "It would be great if I could inspire anyone to give it a go and a try," she said. (07/28/2018) Views: 991 ⚡AMP
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A seasoned ultra-marathon runner share her experience of training while pregnant

Staying fit in this heatwave is tough, but I have little to complain about next to my wife, Eleni, who is pregnant. This is her experience: Serena Williams was eight weeks’ pregnant when she won the Australian Open last year. Social media and newspapers exploded with commentary, declaring that her win “proves you can do almost anything while pregnant”. I’m 38 weeks’ pregnant and wish this was true. But the only thing Williams proved is that she could win her 23rd Grand Slam while pregnant. Funny how being the greatest athlete of all time lends itself to being the greatest pregnant athlete of all time. One of the key challenges of my pregnancy was finding out what was right for me, in a culture that too often assumes that one idea fits everyone. An equally false narrative, according to Michelle Mottola, director of the Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory at Western University in Canada, is that pregnancy is a time to kick back, do nothing and eat. “These are the worst things a pregnant woman can do,” she says. Dr Mottola, who helped develop a standard template to best determine fitness plans in pregnancy, added: “We usually suggest ‘do not eat for two, but eat twice as healthy’. We also suggest ways to increase daily physical activity by parking farther away or taking the stairs.” I was taken aback by the intense opinions on my decisions about exercise. These seemed to be at two extremes: “You can do anything!” versus “You’re endangering your baby!” Now, with two weeks until my due date, I’m very good at the “smile, nod, ignore” protocol. Running is my sanity. I have completed six ultra-marathons of 100km or more. I knew at the outset of my pregnancy that I’d want to stay as fit as possible. (07/28/2018) Views: 1,164 ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Michael Wardian has had very few injuries and here is why

RUN THE WORLD:  "Running is my life and who I am," says 44-year-old Michael Wardian.  "I love running and hope to run till my last days." Michael started running after he stopped playing Lacrosse in college to stay in shape. 

He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children.  Michael has accomplished so much. In 2008 he won the US National 100K championships.  In 2006 he won four out of five marathons he raced in 45 days.

He held the world record for the fastest marathon time pushing a baby stroller.  He set a record of running a marathon on an indoor 200-meter track.  He ran the 2012 Olympic Marathon trails clocking 2:21. 

The next day he ran another marathon clocking 2:31.  He ran seven marathons in seven days on 7 continents clocking an average of 2:45 for each marathon (photo). With so many highlights on his resume, I asked him what would be his top two.  

"In 2011 I ran 2:17:49 (PR) at Grandmas Marathon and the same year I placed second at 100k World Championships," Michael said.  He is a vegetarian and works as an International Ship-broker.  

How about injuries?  "I have been very lucky, I have not had many injuries and I think my best secret is to keep moving.  After big events, I do an easy jog, hike or even just walk. It keeps everything moving," says Michael.  

Why did he enter this challenge?  "I think the Run The World Challenge is cool and I hope it gets more people out there," he says.  

He is a professional marathon and ultra marathon runner and has been running since 1996.  He has represented the USA in the 50k and 100k world championships, and has participated in three Olympic Marathon Trials. 

Just recently (July 20-21) Michael placed 11th at the Hardrock 100 clocking 30 hours and 23 minutes for the 100.5 mile very challenging trail race held in Silverton, Colorado.  

(07/24/2018) Views: 2,887 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Good hard training is more important than diet says Ultra legend Frank Bozanich

RUN THE WORLD: "I discovered running as a very young child as play and way to get places. I ran track in HS and College," says 74-year-old Frank Bozanich who currently lives in Reno, Nevada.  His last overall ultra marathon win was when he was 69.  In 1976 he won the AAU National 50 Mile Championship clocking 5 hours 36 minutes.  In all he won three National 50 mile titles, two at 100k.  In 1979 he set the American 100K record clocking six hours 51 minutes.  I asked him about injuries.  "I have been injury free all these years other than a couple hamstring situations when I was sprinting.," Frank says.  "I attribute this to having a strong physical body.  When I was a young lad I was working on crab fishing and salmon fishing boats.  I helped my dad pull in crab pots (traps) by hand. I continue with physical work in wrestling and has a Marine. I have always maintained a strong overall body."  I knew we had found another good Run The World team member.  "I love the idea of the Run The World Challenge. It is fantastic way to join the world together in a different way. It is something we can all do..." Frank enjoys running as much as he did when he was young.  "I understand that age takes a toll on speed and endurance. but I still love running.  I have enjoyed working with and helping new runners and think we should impart what knowledge we have to help others improve and enjoy the sport so they can have a better quality of life in their elder years." How about diet?  "I love eating good fresh Dungeness Crab when I can get it and also fresh wild caught salmon (no farm raised). I also eat whatever I want, no special diet. I eat good and well balanced foods, my wife of 51 years is a great cook."  What is your secret for success?  "The good hard training is more important than the diet," he says.           (06/27/2018) Views: 1,279 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Ultra Marathon great Don Ritchie has died at age 73

During a long and successful running career Don Ritchie broke numerous world bests over distances from 50km to 200km and in races ranging from six to 24 hours. Born in Aberdeenshire in 1944, Ritchie started out as a 440 yards runner with Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club in 1962 – the beginning of what would turn into a 48-year running career, alongside a career as a teacher. He later ran for Birchfield Harriers and then Forres Harriers and Moray Road Runners. It was in 1977, aged 33, that Ritchie – whose marathon PB was 2:19:34 – discovered his strength for ultra-distance running. In 1978 at Crystal Palace, Ritchie covered 100km in an incredible 6 hours, 10 minutes and 20 seconds. In 1989 he ran from John O’Groats to Land’s End – 844 miles – in 10 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes, raising money for Cancer Research.   Past editor of Road Runners Club Magazine, Dave Cooper, said: “The quiet man from Elgin has been a great ambassador for the sport for many years and his superb array of world record performances and steely determination on road and track is in sharp contrast to his modest self-effacing demeanour.   (06/17/2018) Views: 1,019 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Last year's Comrades winner will defend his title on sunday at Comrades Marathon

Bongmusa Mthembu wants to prove he is South Africa’s current best ultra-distance runner.  He has finished among the top three on five occasions at Comrades, with four of those performances achieved on the ‘down’ run. The only South African since 1990 to secure victory more than once.  He was also a silver medallist at the 2016 100km World Championships, and he will be eager to stand up and deliver once again. Other contenders include powerful front-runner Rufus and in-form Zimbabwean athlete Hatiwande Nyamande. While Mthembu and Gatebe are considered the pre-race favorites, a number of other athletes could pull through to win this wide-open race. Title contenders include former winners Ludwick Mamabolo and Gift Kelehe, as well as Zimbabwean athlete Hatiwande Nyamande, who finished third in last year’s ‘up’ run.  On the women's side, last year’s American winner Camille Herron is not running.  (06/09/2018) Views: 1,126 ⚡AMP
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Seven year old Lucas King loves to run and ran his first half marathon last fall

“I love to run,” says 7-year-old Lucas King, “just like my daddy and grandpa.” Lucas, a second grader in the UK has been training under head coach Eric Miller since cross country season began last fall. And it was that mentoring that inspired the elementary schooler to get started. “Coach (Miller) believed in me,” Lucas said. At 64 pounds and 52.5 inches tall, Lucas has been running workouts with the academy’s middle and high school students, but he is ineligible to compete for at least another two years. For now, he is considered an honorary member of the school teams. In the meantime, Lucas has participated in open races and has been pushing himself to improve. Often competing in the 14 and under age group against kids older than him, Lucas has learned to have patience.“When my time comes, I want to be ready,” he said. “I run for God, my country, my school and myself – in that order.” Lucas’ dad, Todd King, is also a runner and completed a 100K (62-miler) last fall at the Crooked Road 24 Hour Race. Last month, Lucas completed his first half marathon (13.1 miles) with a respectable 2:04:46 time. (04/25/2018) Views: 1,060 ⚡AMP
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