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Articles tagged #Ultra
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Illinois ultrarunner tackles 380K Ozark Trail, beats FKT by 19 hours

Joe Miller ran close to 400K in three and a half days to smash the previous route record

Joe Miller, a 32-year-old ultrarunner from Springfield, Ill., recently completed a three-day trek on the Ozark Trail in Missouri, beating the route’s fastest known time (FKT) by almost a full day. Miller completed the 383K run in three days, 16 hours, 17 minutes, finishing 19 hours ahead of the previous route record of four days, 11 hours, eight minutes. In his post-run report on fastestknowntime.com, Miller wrote that the attempt started as “a somewhat intrinsic exploration of my physical and mental limits,” and it quickly blossomed into a fundraiser for Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit with a focus on providing everyone with a “healthy and livable environment.” Miller successfully completed the project’s physical component, and he’s currently halfway to his total fundraising goal of $15,000.

Running the Ozark Trail

The Ozark Trail is actually more than 800K long, spanning from its start near the Missouri-Arkansas border to St. Louis, but the FKT route covers just under half of that distance. Originally, Miller had planned on shooting for the unsupported route record, meaning he would carry all of his own gear, food and water. That record stands at five and a half days. Miller ended up abandoning the goal of running unsupported partway through, but he started off the run by carrying all of his own gear, so his pack weighed a hefty 33 pounds, he writes. Starting the attempt early on November 16, he set off in frigid -6 C weather.

Miller met up with a friend at different points on the run (refusing to accept help at first), and after his second day, he decided to transition into a supported FKT attempt. This decision followed a brutal day during which Miller says he got lost multiple times and also suffered a fall that resulted in an injured knee.

He admits that after that tough day of running, he seriously considered quitting, but his friend said something that “would become a mantra over the subsequent days” for Miller: “Plans change, goals don’t.” He managed to trudge onward, eventually reaching the route finish line and not just beating the FKT, but shattering the existing record.

Food and Water Watch

On Miller’s Food and Water Watch fundraising page, he writes that the Ozark Trail, which runs through Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest, reminds him “of the natural resources that need to be protected.” Throughout his run, Miller drank water from creeks and streams along the route that he cleaned with a filter he carried with him, even when he switched to the supported version of the attempt. “I know firsthand that we cannot take clean water for granted,” he writes, which is why he chose to support Food and Water Watch on this run. “This organization works tirelessly to protect our water from pollution and ensure that everyone has access to clean, safe drinking water,” he continues. So far, he has raised just over $7,000.

(12/05/2020) Views: 11 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Former Ultra-Trail World Tour champion dies in training accident

The global ultra community is in mourning following the death of ultrarunner Andrea Huser

The international ultra-trail community was shocked to learn of the death of Swiss ultrarunner Andrea Huser, whose body was found near the small alpine village of Saas Fee, Switzerland, on Sunday. According to an article from Swiss news outlet 20 Minuten, Huser, 46, was reported missing on Saturday after she failed to return from a training run. The rescue party found her body at the bottom of a steep, 140m slope, and police from the nearby city of Valais determined it’s likely she slipped and fell while attempting to cross a stream blocking her route up above. Huser was well known among ultrarunners, and she had many impressive results to her name, including the 2017 Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT) overall female crown. She reportedly retired from the professional ultrarunning scene earlier this year.

An incredible career

Huser entered the world of elite endurance sports in 2002, when she won the European mountain biking championship. In 2004, she finished fourth at the mountain biking world championships, and eight years later, she found her way to ultramarathons. She finished in second place at the famed UTMB in both 2016 and 2017, after placing seventh in 2014. Huser also recorded a 10th-place finish in her lone attempt at the Western States 100 in 2017, and she won the Grand Raid de La Réunion twice. Her last big win came in 2017 at the Ultra Trail Tai Mo Shan in Hong Kong, which helped her secure her UTWT series win.

Mourning a legend

Huser’s running club in Switzerland spoke with 20 Minuten following the news of her death. “It’s just amazing what she’s done,” said a board member from the club. “She was very popular and an amazing woman.” Big names in the ultra world have also spoken up to express their sadness upon hearing about Huser’s accident. “So sad to hear that Andrea Huser passed away,” tweeted Spanish ultrarunning phenom Kilian Jornet. “She was an extraordinary ultrarunner, [and] some seasons she [would] literally run everything, linking ultras every week.”

The UTWT tweeted in response to the news as well, writing a quote from tour director Marie Sammons, who said, “Many of us have had the privilege of meeting Andrea. … A bright and discreet woman leaves us too fast.”

(12/05/2020) Views: 12 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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9,000 runners defy COVID-19 at Shanghai Marathon

Around 9,000 runners – some wearing protective masks – took part in the Shanghai International Marathon Sunday, Chinese media said, a rare mass event in a year when the coronavirus laid waste to most such sports.

Prior to the race, officials touted it as an opportunity to show how China – where the virus emerged late last year before unleashing a pandemic – is moving ahead despite the continuing global health crisis.

The prestigious New York, Berlin, Boston and Chicago marathons all fell victim to the coronavirus this year, while London and Tokyo were open only to elite runners.

Bucking that trend, the marathon in Shanghai went ahead under sunny skies following several days of rain and with virus prevention measures in place to thwart infections.

Shanghai is on edge following a scattering of recent local cases, but China has largely got to grips with the epidemic thanks to strict lockdowns and aggressive mass testing.

Runners had to pass a coronavirus test in order to take part and were ordered to wear a mask immediately before and after the race. Some kept them on the whole time.

About 9,000 runners had been expected to take part, down from 38,000 in previous Shanghai marathons. No overseas athletes flew in for the race, and spectators were told to stay away.

Distance running is booming in China, with state media saying there is marathon fever.

In February, when the country was shut down by the pandemic, one fanatical runner jogged the equivalent of an ultra-marathon inside his small apartment.

(11/29/2020) Views: 35 ⚡AMP
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Kilian Jornet drops out of 24-hour running world record attempt, feeling dizzy and seeking medical evaluation

The mountain running superstar swapped trails for tracks in an attempt to beat Yainnis Kouros’ 303.506km record set in 1985

Jornet completes 134km before doctors advise him to seek help for dizzinessKilian Jornet has dropped out of his 24-hour running record due to dizziness. The famous mountain runner did continuous loops of a track in Norway in an attempt to set a new distance covered in a day.

Jornet had run 134km after 337 laps. The record he was going for is Yainnis Kouros’s 303.506km set in 1985.

The Salomon team shared an Instagram story, firstly showing Jornet receiving physio on his knee, then announcing he dropped out and finally explaining: “Kilian was feeling dizzy, so he received medical attention on the track. Although he was feeling better, the medical professionals decided it was best for him to go for further evaluation.”

Kouros, from Greece, is considered the best road ultra runner of all time. His 24-hour record has stood for an incredible 35 years. He also holds the 48-hour record on a track (473km), set in 1996 and the six-day record (1,036km) set in 2005.

Jornet is no stranger to turning over historical records. He set the record on the 106km Bob Graham Round in England in 2018, beating Billy Bland’s time that had stood for 36 years.

Kilian Jornet has dropped out of his 24-hour running record due to dizziness. The famous mountain runner did continuous loops of a track in Norway in an attempt to set a new distance covered in a day.

Jornet had run 134km after 337 laps. The record he was going for is Yainnis Kouros’s 303.506km set in 1985.

The Salomon team shared an Instagram story, firstly showing Jornet receiving physio on his knee, then announcing he dropped out and finally explaining: “Kilian was feeling dizzy, so he received medical attention on the track. Although he was feeling better, the medical professionals decided it was best for him to go for further evaluation.”

Kouros, from Greece, is considered the best road ultra runner of all time. His 24-hour record has stood for an incredible 35 years. He also holds the 48-hour record on a track (473km), set in 1996 and the six-day record (1,036km) set in 2005.

Jornet is no stranger to turning over historical records. He set the record on the 106km Bob Graham Round in England in 2018, beating Billy Bland’s time that had stood for 36 years.

However, the 24-hour record presented a challenge out of Jornet’s comfort zone. He is best known for his domination in the mountains. He has won nearly every high profile trail race, and holds the records at many of them.

He has won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc three times, Hardrock 100 four times, setting the course record in 2015 and winning with a dislocated shoulder in 2017.

Jornet has six 31km Sierre Zinal titles, setting the record on his latest win in 2019. He won the Western States in 2011. He also holds seven 42km Zegama-Aizkorri wins in Spain.

“For me it’s an unknown terrain,” Jornet said before his 24-hour record attempt. “If I tell you some predictions I will be lying because I really don’t have a clue. I’ve never ran a race on a track and the longest distance I’ve trained on flat is 90km.”

(11/28/2020) Views: 34 ⚡AMP
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Hawks soars to JFK 50 victory in record time

With most major running events having been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities were not to be wasted at the 58th annual JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon in Washington County.

No one seized the chance to showcase their fitness quite the way Hayden Hawks did Saturday.

In his debut at the race, Hawks, 29, of Cedar City, Utah, turned in a stunning performance, winning in a course-record time of 5 hours, 18 minutes and 40 seconds — an average of 6:21 per mile.

The women’s title was captured by pre-race favorite Camille Herron in 6:31:14.

“I just really wanted to come out here, have fun and see what I could do. It just all clicked today,” Hawks said. “I kept thinking the whole time during the race how grateful I was to be out here.

“You know, it’s been a hard year for a lot of people, including us as professional athletes. My whole schedule was changed this year. I had all these big plans, competing at all these big things. Of course, all that got canceled, so I just took advantage of the time I had and really dialed everything in — my nutrition, my strength training, my running training — coming into this.

“I was like, you know, I need to be grateful and have gratitude because, really, this might be the first and the last race for a while for me. I was just really fortunate and really happy out there.”

The previous course record was 5:21:29, set by Jim Walmsley in 2016. That was a momentous achievement, as before Saturday, no one else had ever run faster than 5:34:22 in the first 57 years of the event.

“I fully expected Walmsley’s record to stand well into 2040, maybe even 2050,” JFK 50 director Mike Spinnler said. “It was just such a big quantum leap.”

With some help from Walmsley, Hawks took it a step further.

“Jim and I are really good friends. We talk all the time,” Hawks said. “Jim actually gave me some advice coming into this. I was texting him back and forth, asking for shoe advice and what I should do. And he gave me advice.

“He’s a really class-act guy, a really great competitor, and I’m really fortunate to have him as a friend. That’s what we do as competitors. We’re always trying to push each other and reach that next goal. I’m sure Jim is happy for me today to take this course record to the next step, just like I’d be happy for him if he did that as well.”

Stephen Kersh, 29, of Flagstaff, Ariz., placed second in 5:27:07 — the No. 3 performance in race history — in his first JFK.

“I’m definitely pretty happy,” he said. “It was just about as good as it could have been.”

Kersh’s training partners in Flagstaff include Walmsley and two other recent JFK champions, Jared Hazen (2018) and Eric Sensmen (2017).

“I’ve been picking their brains for the last couple months, so I didn’t come into this as green as some people. I knew what to expect,” Kersh said. “Training with those guys, this isn’t as unexpected as maybe some people think, because I’m not really a big name in the sport.”

After the first 15.5-mile segment of the race, mostly comprised of the rocky Appalachian Trail, a lead pack of four — Hawks, Matt Daniels, Hazen and Kersh — took the title fight to the flat C&O Canal towpath for the next 26.3 miles.

“Once we hit the canal path, Matt and I took off,” Hawks said. “We actually train a lot together and are really good friends.

“We talked beforehand about working together on the canal path, and then it would be every man for himself at the end, so that’s what we did. We started clicking off sub-6-minute miles and were feeling very comfortable, having a conversation and feeling really good.

“At Mile 27, I kind of broke Matt a little bit. I think maybe he had a calf injury. He’s been dealing with a lot of injuries over the past few months. Matt on his ‘A’ game would have been hard to beat today.”

Daniels ended up dropping out, and Hazen fell back to a 13th-place finish (6:36:13).

Jonathan Aziz, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colo., finished third in his ultramarathon debut in 5:37:14 — the No. 6 performance in JFK history.

Anthony Kunkel, 28, of Durango, Colo., placed fourth in 5:45:31, and Geoffrey Burns, 30, of Ann Arbor, Mich., took fifth in 5:52:51.

Herron adds to her résumé

In the women’s competition, Herron, 38, of Alamosa, Colo., showed why she was the overwhelming pre-race favorite, leading from start to finish as she won by nearly a half-hour in her first JFK.

Although Herron’s personal record for 50 miles (5:38:41) is an all-time world best, she specializes in even longer events, also owning world-best performances for 100 miles (12:42:40) and 24 hours (167.842 miles).

“Because I was coming down in distance, I felt a little slow and rusty today,” she said.

She had her sights set on the JFK women’s record — 6:12:00, set by Ellie Greenwood in 2012.

Although Herron was off course-record pace on the Appalachian Trail, she had hoped to make up for it on the C&O Canal towpath.

“I was trying to chase time the whole way, and I just didn’t have it. This was the best that I could do today,” she said. “Buy hey, I won. I’m not disappointed for such a crazy year. It’s awesome to even have a race.

“I definitely want to come back,” she said. “I think I have it in me to go for the course record — just keep trying. It’s a stout course record, I can tell you that.”

Sarah Cummings, 31, of Park City, Utah, was the runner-up in 6:57:11, while Haley Moody Gilpin, 31, of Chattanooga, Tenn., placed third in 7:00:52, Alicia Hudelson, 36, of Roswell, Ga., took fourth in 7:14:02, and Sarah Biehl, 26, of Hilliard, Ohio, was fifth in 7:22:32.

(11/22/2020) Views: 59 ⚡AMP
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Kilian Jornet eyes 24-hour world record

The Spanish mountain runner will shift to the track as he attempts to run more than 300K in just 24 hours

Spanish ultrarunning champion Kilian Jornet is known for his feats in the mountains and on the trails, but 2020 is turning out to be a year of firsts for him. In October, he ran the first road 10K of his career, and now he is set to tackle a race on the track. While a track run is certainly out of character for Jornet, he’ll be sticking to his ultrarunning roots as he attempts to break the 24-hour world record of 303.506K. Salomon, Jornet’s main sponsor, has organized the event, which they have titled Phantasm24. The run is slated for some time later this week in Norway, although due to unpredictable weather, Salomon and Jornet have yet to nail down an exact day.

In 1997, Greece’s Yiannis Kouros, arguably the best ultrarunner of all time, set the 24-hour record that Jornet will chase in the Phantasm24 challenge. In the buildup to the run, Salomon is publishing short videos of Jornet explaining how he has prepared for the 24-hour event. In a video posted on Tuesday, Jornet says he has two main concerns going into the record attempt: fuelling and whether his legs will hold up for the entire run.

“To get energy, to be able to eat a lot and not have any gastro problems,” he says, is very important. “And the second one is the legs. I know I can be 24 hours in this effort … but I don’t know … if I will have any problems. Those are the two things I have doubts about.” Jornet has raced and won some brutal races in his career, including the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and Western States 100, but he has never faced a challenge like the one he’ll encounter in the Phantasm24, which will be a full day of hard laps around a flat track.

“When racing in mountains, it’s easy for me,” Jornet says in another video. “I know how to pace myself, I know how to push, how my muscles will react, how my cardio will react, but on flat, it’s completely different.” He continues to express his doubts later on in the video, saying, “I know [racing on flat ground] is something that I’m not good at, but it’s always important to find new challenges, I think, and to get out of the comfort zone is always good.”

To beat Kouros’s record, Jornet will have to average at least 4:44 per kilometre for the entire run. This is a pace many people struggle to hold for just 5K, and Jornet is hoping to run it for a minimum of 304K. It’s a tall order, and no one has been able to meet it for the past two decades, but if anyone can reach the same heights as Kouros did in 1997, it’s Jornet.

(11/21/2020) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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California runner doubles up Western States 100 course for 200-mile FKT

The point-to-point Western States 100 route wasn't long enough for Dan Barger, so he turned it into an out-and-back run instead

Auburn, Calif., runner Dan Barger, 55, recently completed an out-and-back variation of the traditionally one-way Western States 100 course, completing the 200-mile (321K) run in the fastest (and only) known time (FKT) of two days, 11 hours, 48 minutes. The Western States race finishes at Placer High School in Auburn, which is where Barger started his run and eventually returned almost 60 hours later. His triumph on the route comes just a few months after a failed attempt to run the same FKT back in August, when extreme heat forced him to call it quits.

Barger is a seasoned ultrarunner, and he has run the official Western States 100 12 times, first running the storied race back in 1987. His best result came in 1998, when he finished ninth overall in 19:46:32, and his PB for the course is a 17:36:34 from 2010, which was good enough for 10th place. Barger has also raced the UTMB, the Leadville 100 and well over 100 other trail and ultra races dating back to the early ’80s. With close to four decades of trail running experience, it’s no wonder that Barger managed to set the Western States 200 FKT.

n his post-run report on fastestknowntime.com, Barger writes that “The Sierra did not give up this FKT easily.” Following the cancellations of the Tor des Géants and the real Western States 100, he explains, he was looking for a new challenge to test his fitness. “I made an attempt [August 1], throwing in the towel at [Mile 125].”

Undeterred, he planned to give the run another shot in September, but wildfires throughout California made the “air quality hazardous and the [United States Forest Service] closed the trails to all for two weeks.” Knowing that another runner, Scott Sambucci, had an attempt planned for early October, Barger scheduled his for the end of the month. Sambucci’s run, like Barger’s first time on the route, was unsuccessful, leaving the door open for Barger to grab the FKT.

Barger started his second attempt at the Western States 200 on October 30, succeeding in the repeat run and crossing the finish line on the Placer High School track on November 1. In total, he covered 12,515m of elevation gain over the 320K route, which is the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest one and a half times. His average pace for the two-day affair was a little over 11 minutes per kilometre, which, considering the enormous elevation gain and extreme length of the route, is wildly impressive.

(11/21/2020) Views: 58 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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JFK 50 Mile criticized for COVID risks as cases surge in rural Maryland

The oldest ultramarathon in American is taking heat for running a mass-participation race as COVID cases swell

Tomorrow, American’s oldest ultramarathon will be held in Boonsboro, Md., with close to 1,200 runners set to race. The JFK 50 Mile is an event with a storied history and an impressive lineup for this year’s race. But the event is getting negative press this week due to the local surge in COVID-19 cases, and its existence is being questioned within the ultratrail community as well as the wider public.

Race organizers have acknowledged the necessity of making the event safe, and even published a COVID-19 Action Plan on the event’s website, but public health officials told The Washington Post they believe an event like this is posing an unnecessary risk, both for competitors and also for local residents. Maria Valeria Fabre, an infectious disease expert, told The Post, “I know it is hard to cancel an event that takes so much time and effort to prepare, but this doesn’t seem to be the best time to hold such an event. We know a lot more now than we knew in March about how Covid-19 is transmitted, and we know that people gathering in this way is a major factor in transmission.”

The point-to-point course starts in Boonsboro and heads south to the Maryland-Virginia border before taking runners north to the finish in Williamsport, Md. The route begins on the road and after 4K of running, transitions onto the Appalachian Trail. Saturday will be the event’s 58th year running. 

The event will run waves of 250 runners at a time, which is the state’s limit for outdoor gatherings. All runners must wear a mask at the start of the race until they can safely distance. While the current plan is in line with government orders, the out-of-state travel for the event is a concern. A quick glance at the team lists shows runners coming from Florida, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina to race. 

The event was planned earlier this year when numbers were settling and the future was looking more promising. However, as the fall draws on, cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. The event website states they have every intention of going forward with tomorrow’s race (and, since everyone has already travelled there, it may already be too late to mitigate any effects). 

The first wave will be sent off at 6:30 a.m. local time. 

(11/21/2020) Views: 47 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Golden Ultra sells out 500 spots in 5 hours

After a wave of registrations in just a few hours, anyone who put off signing up for the 2021 Golden Ultra was sorely disappointed

After opening registration for the 2021 Golden Ultra, event organizers were shocked to see their race’s 500 slots all filled in just five hours. Athletes could register as of 9 a.m. MST on November 2, and by mid-afternoon, anyone looking to run the Golden, B.C., event was out of luck. With the fields set (and 150 runners on the packed waiting list), the race will make its return September 17 to 19, 2021, after organizers were forced to cancel this year’s event due to COVID-19.

The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage race. The stages — titled Blood, Sweat and Tears — are 88K, a little under 60K and 22K. Since all runners aren’t necessarily up for a three-day ultra event, participants can run as many or as few of the stages as they like. Magi Scallion founded the race in 2015, and it has been a hit on the Canadian ultra calendar ever since.

In February, it was announced that Scallion had sold the race to the TransRockies Race Series. This year would have been the first edition of the event under new owners, but the pandemic put that milestone on hold until 2021. While this was unfortunate and disappointing for everyone involved, it did give organizers the chance to focus on next year’s race, and race director Kevin McDonald says they will be ready to hold a COVID-friendly run in September.

“I do think there’ll be COVID restrictions in the fall,” he says. “I like the fact that our race is in late September, but we still have a plan in place to make it safe for everyone.” This includes wave starts, adjustments at the various checkpoints throughout the race and restrictions at the end of each stage.

McDonald says they could host up to 700 runners, but with the uncertainty of the coronavirus, they didn’t want to accept too many this far out from the event. “We did a self-imposed cap of 500 runners,” he says. While he and the TransRockies team expected high engagement when they opened registration, McDonald says they weren’t anticipating the race to fill up so quickly. “We have race ambassadors throughout North America, so there was good buzz on social media, but you can never predict something like this.”

(11/15/2020) Views: 64 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Illinois runner posts FKT on Chicago Lakefront Trail

Andrew Rylaarsdam ran 57K along the Windy City's waterfront in 3:28:37 to set a new record on the out-and-back route

On Saturday, former NCAA Division III collegiate runner Andrew Rylaarsdam ran the 57K round trip on the Chicago Lakefront Trail (CLT) in record time, completing the out-and-back route in 3:28:37. This is the fastest known time (FKT) for the CLT, which runs along Lake Michigan. En route to his FKT, which beat the previous record by more than 20 minutes, Rylaarsdam ran a 2:31:06 marathon split and passed through 50K in in 2:59:33. He averaged a pace of 3:38 per kilometre throughout the ultramarathon, which, according to his Strava profile, was his longest run to date.

Rylaarsdam’s run

Rylaarsdam ran at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich., and he now lives in Chicago. Heading into the run, he had to beat fellow Chicagoan Joe Cowlin‘s time of 3:51:18, which has been the route FKT since August. Rylaarsdam set out to run a sub-three-hour 50K, and once he accomplished that, the overall FKT was pretty much his as long as he didn’t have an extraordinary implosion in the closing kilometres. He ultimately smashed Cowlin’s time and set a pretty high bar for the next runner who goes after the route record.

In his post-run writeup for fastestknowntime.com, Rylaarsdam wrote that he was “able to stay relaxed and get in a good rhythm” from the start, when he opened with six-minute miles (3:44 per kilometre). “The miles gradually quickened and soon I was clicking off 5:45 pace,” he wrote. “It felt good. It was hard to tell how long it would feel good.”

At around 33K, he said things started to get tough, but he pushed hard for the next 17K to fight for that sub-three 50K split, which he managed to reach with just seconds to spare. “From there, it was just about hanging on,” he wrote. Despite cramps in his legs and rising temperatures in the mid-morning sun, Rylaarsdam made it to the route finish line well below the record.

In his writeup, Rylaarsdam added a word of thanks to Jamie Hershfang, who paced him on a bike throughout his whole run. He had other pacers along the route, but Hershfang was the only person who knew exactly what Rylaarsdam was in for ahead of the attempt after having run the CLT female FKT just a month earlier. She covered the CLT in 4:14:43, and she actually had to run 59K (two kilometres farther than Rylaarsdam’s run) due to a route blockage on her way back toward the finish. Even with the unexpected hiccup, she managed to run a quick result and, like Rylaarsdam, set a high bar for future attempts.

(11/14/2020) Views: 51 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Do poles make ultra trail running more difficult?

Using poles can increase cardiovascular output

Many trail users have seen fellow exercisers running, walking and hiking with poles. Beyond recreational use, these poles can be seen at major ultra-endurance events like UTMB or the Hardrock 100. Poles are much lighter and more affordable than they used to be, and they’re becoming more prevalent in the trail and hiking communities. While pole usage is truly up to the runner, there’s some research that suggests they could make you work harder – which is fine during training, but not ideal on race day.

Note: some races don’t allow poles, so double check before making them part of your race plan.

Who should use poles?

A 2020 literature review found that hikers who used poles had an increase in cardiovascular output, but a lower rate of perceived exertion. A runner’s rate of perceived exertion is basically a subjective indicator of how hard they feel they’re working at any given time. This makes sense, as the poles incorporate a person’s upper body more than their natural arm carriage would. If you’re looking for a better whole-body workout, poles seem to be an asset. However, if you’re looking to use as little energy as possible, the poles could be making you work harder to travel the same distance.

Even better news for those looking for a good overall workout (as opposed to a race victory) is that using poles made the subject’s effort feel easier. In a 60-minute uphill trek, pole users saw a significant decrease in their RPE, however, in the downhill trail they saw no difference. So for runners looking to work harder while feeling like their exercise is easier (which is basically everyone’s dream), poles are a great idea. However, if the goal of the day is to win a race, leave the poles at home.

Other considerations

While the research suggests that using poles is more taxing on your cardiovascular system, trail racers should consider the balance assistance that poles can provide. In a study looking at pole usage and balance, it was found that poles improved runners’ stability. While more research needs to be done on long-term pole usage, occasional use seems to help performance.

If you’re considering a particularly gnarly trail race, poles might be to your advantage. For example, in the Hardrock 100, most runners uses poles throughout the race. However, if your race has mostly fairly predictable footing, you can probably go without.

(11/07/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Meet the runner who set the Guinness World Record for distance run while juggling

Five hours, 21 minutes, and 23 seconds. 117 laps around a track. Zero balls dropped.

David Rush is no stranger to Guinness World Records. He’s been going after them for years as a way to boost his efforts promoting STEM education in schools—he thought kids would be inspired if they saw a world-record holder.

Rush, a longtime juggler, holds records in things like fruit sliced in the air by juggled knives and the most Oreo cookies stacked in 30 seconds. However, joggling—running while juggling—was always at the forefront of his mind after going to school with longtime joggling record-holder Zach Warren.

'The main purpose of these records is to show kids that if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything,' Rush told Runner’s World. 'Even though some records still stand, you shouldn’t give up if you miss it. You can become anything you want.'

He started running around 2005, when he got competitive with his brother, who was doing a Thanksgiving half marathon that year. Since 2014 though, he really picked up his running efforts, especially when he started to get into joggling more.

Knowing he didn’t necessarily have the speed to capture various speed records, he decided to focus on the joggling distance record—which meant he had to run 15.5 miles while juggling without dropping a single ball.

Most joggling records—which are generally the fastest time covering a certain distance—are fairly lenient when it comes to drops. As long as a joggler returns to spot of a drop before continuing, the record is valid. But the distance record is different. If there’s a drop, the attempt is over, whether that’s one mile in or 20 miles in.

Another tricky element of this attempt is that a runner cannot accept outside assistance, including being given food or drink, during the attempt. And when your hands are occupied with juggling, nutrition becomes tricky.

'I figured I could go 20 miles without food or water,' Rush said. 'My goal, though, was a marathon if I could do it, so I had to think of a way to get something without breaking the rules.'

With this in mind, Rush opted to wear a Camelbak for the duration of the run, and he tied the tube to his face so he could drink the mix of Gatorade G2 and water he had without using his hands. That meant the straw was in his mouth for the entire run.

Rush’s record attempt, on October 10, went off smoothly. With a camera filming the action and two friends watching as witnesses, he made his way around and around the Centennial High School track in Boise, Idaho.

The juggling didn’t slow down Rush; instead, the bouncing of the Camelbak forced him to shorten his stride and average a 11:19 mile. Still, he cruised through the distance record in 2 hours and 32 minutes, and he just kept going from there.

After over five hours and more than 100 laps, Rush started to wear down. He passed the marathon distance, but a few miles later, a ball finally hit the track, ending his attempt.

Not only did Rush complete his first ultramarathon, but he also crushed the world record by running 29 miles in 5 hours, 21 minutes, and 23 seconds.

'This is one I would consider doing again,' Rush said. 'I was thrilled with 29 miles, but now I’m wondering, How much farther could I go?'

Rush ended up with only one wound from the race. As he ran, the Camelback straw repeatedly bumped into his mouth, causing a blister to form in his mouth that bled a bit during his run.

Despite the usual soreness from running such a distance followed, Rush has since attempted two more world records—the number of times spitting a ping pong ball at a wall and catching it in his mouth, and fastest blindfolded juggling. He also has plans for more joggling attempts, potentially before the end of the year.

(11/07/2020) Views: 46 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Researchers at the University of Calgary found that running can boost mental acuity

You’ve always known running is physically good for you, but a recent study out of the University of Calgary found that it has cognitive benefits, too. The study was published by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and it showed that running and performing other aerobic exercises on a regular basis for just six months can boost brain function by 5.7 per cent.

The study suggests that new runners of all ages should experience at least some improvements after adding consistent exercise to their weekly schedules. 

Marc Poulin, one of the authors on the study, said in an AAN press release that “even if you start an exercise program later in life, the benefit to your brain may be immense.” Poulin works at the Cumming School of Medicine at U of C. “Sure, aerobic exercise gets blood moving through your body,” he said. “As our study found, it may also get blood moving to your brain, particularly in areas responsible for verbal fluency and executive functions.” Poulin said these findings could help in future research regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia.  

The study looked at 206 adults over a six-month period in which they exercised at least four days a week. At the start of the six months, the subjects — who had an average age of 66 — underwent thinking and memory tests, and they also had ultrasounds to monitor the blood flow to their brains. Physical tests administered again after three months and then six months, when the subjects were also given thinking tests. 

The study participants worked out in a supervised group setting three days a week throughout those six months, and they were asked to exercise at least once more on their own each week. Their aerobic exercise program started at 20 minutes per day and was eventually bumped up to 40 minutes. After the six months, subjects showed a 5.7 per cent improvement on tests of executive function, as well as a boost of 2.4 per cent when it came to verbal fluency, which pertains to the ability to retrieve information. 

Blood flow to the brain also improved after the half-year of training, jumping from 51.3 centimeters per second at the start of the trial to 52.7 at the end for an increase of 2.8 per cent. “Our study showed that six months’ worth of vigorous exercise may pump blood to regions of the brain that specifically improve your verbal skills as well as memory and mental sharpness,” Poulin said.

What does this mean for runners? Well, if you exercise regularly already, you’re doing yourself a favor, even if you didn’t realize it before. If you’re new to running, though, the study shows that you can still boost your mental acuity if you stick with the sport and work out consistently. 

(11/06/2020) Views: 40 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Italian man wins 3,100-mile ultramarathon after 43 days of running

Andrea Marcato averaged 114K per day for six weeks to win the arduous race in Salzburg, Austria

On Monday, Italy‘s Andrea Marcato won the 2020 Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race in Salzburg, Austria. Marcato was one of five runners entered in the 4,988K run, and he took the win after 43 days and 12 hours of running. This was his first time running the 3,100-miler, and according to the event website, he became the fastest first-time runner in the race’s history. He is also just the fifth person to finish the race in fewer than 44 days.

Sri Chinmoy race

The Sri Chinmoy 3,100-miler is normally held from June to August in New York City, but due to COVID-19, organizers had to find a new venue. They ultimately decided to relocate to Salzburg, where the race started on September 13. In past years, the race has had very limited fields of 10 to 15 runners, but this year the group was even smaller, and just five men were chosen to run. Marcato was joined by Ireland’s Nirbhasa Magee, Slovakian Ananda-Lahari Zuscin, Milan Javornicky of the Czech Republic and Ushika Muckenhumer, who got the chance to race in his home town of Salzburg. Of the five men, all but Marcato and Javornicky had run the 3,100-mile race before, but Marcato’s winning time is days quicker than the PBs of his competitors.

Runners in the Sri Chinmoy ultra have 52 days to complete the run, which means they have to run at least 96K per day to make it to the finish line before the cutoff. A daily race schedule makes things even more difficult for runners, since they may only run from 6 a.m. until midnight each day. This mandatory rest period of six hours per day is certainly helpful for the athletes, but not being allowed to run as often as one would like certainly adds to the pressure of meeting that daily quota of 96K, because once midnight hits, runners can’t make up for lost time until the next morning.

Marcato’s big win

Marcato won the race handily, and his competitors are still on the course in a battle for second place. As if running 4,988K wasn’t enough, shortly after he crossed the line for the win, Marcato got back on his feet and continued to run until he hit 5,000K. As reported on the race website, Marcato ran the first 1,000 miles (1,609K) of the race in 14 days, five hours, which is an Italian record. He ran his second 1,000-mile stretch even quicker, covering the distance (and re-setting the national record) in 14 days, one hour, and he closed his third and final round of 1,000 miles even faster, posting an amazing 13 days, 23 hours. While Marcato has had a couple of days to rest, the remaining four men are still running, and they have less than a week to complete their races before the 52-day cutoff.

(11/02/2020) Views: 51 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Karl Meltzer extends 100-miler victory streak to 19 straight years

With 43 total wins in 100-milers (plus multiple top finishes in other races), Meltzer is one of the best ever at the distance

American runner Karl Meltzer took the win at last weekend’s No Business 100 in Tennessee, crossing the finish line in 19 hours and 44 minutes. Meltzer, 52, has been on the elite ultramarathon scene for quite a while—more than 20 years, in fact. To remain a top contender for that long is impressive enough, but Meltzer ups the ante season after season and continues to win races. With his most recent win, he has officially won a 100-miler in 19-consecutive years, bringing his career total to 43 wins over 100 miles. This is an unprecedented number, and the only person who can top it (for now, at least) is Meltzer himself.

Meltzer’s many records

With a streak of race wins that’s almost as old as the 21st century, Meltzer is the clear record-holder in that category. He also holds the record for the most 100-mile wins in a calendar year, with six in 2006 and five in both 2007 and 2009. He has the most wins at the Hardrock 100 (five), Wasatch 100 (six), Massanutten 100 (four), San Diego 100 (three) and Squaw Peak 50 (five). Like we said, he’s pretty good over 100 miles. In 2019, he raced five times, winning twice and grabbing a pair of podium finishes in two of the events. Outside of racing, he owns the fastest known time headed southbound on the 3,500K Appalachian Trail, which he covered in 45 days in 2016. As his resume proves, Meltzer is one of the greats in the world of ultrarunning.

Cutting it close

In an unexpected turn of events, COVID-19 almost foiled Meltzer’s hopes of winning a 100-miler for the 19th year in a row. He ran the Coldwater Rumble 100-miler in Arizona in January, but he didn’t finish the race. When the coronavirus hit and put racing on hold indefinitely, there was a very real possibility that the year would end without Meltzer getting another chance to compete.

Luckily, as the pandemic has drawn on, races have been popping up around the U.S., and while social distancing guidelines are in place at most, many people are still showing up to run. With just a couple of months left in 2020, Meltzer didn’t squander his opportunity in Tennessee, and he ran away with the win to continue his streak. Heading into 2021, he’ll have the chance to go for an incredible 20th year in a row with a 100-mile race win, and based on his recent performances, he’s certainly capable of accomplishing this feat.

(10/25/2020) Views: 58 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Why Endurance Athletes Feel Less Pain?

While researching a book on endurance a few years ago, I interviewed a German scientist named Wolfgang Freund who had recently completed a study on the pain tolerance of ultra-endurance runners. Subjects in the study had to hold their hands in ice water for as long as possible.

The non-athlete control group lasted an average of 96 seconds before giving up; every single one of the runners, in contrast, made it to the three-minute safety cut-off, at which point they rated the pain as a mere 6 out of 10 on average.

The results were consistent with previous research showing that athletes can tolerate more pain than non-athletes. But not all sports impose the same demands, Freund pointed out: “Maradona, at least, had the illusion that a brilliant soccer player didn’t need to suffer.” As a runner myself, I liked the implication that endurance athletes are uniquely tough, so I happily included that quote in my book. But is it really true?

As it happens, researchers at Norway’s University of Tromsø tackled exactly that question, along with several other interesting ones, in a recent study in Frontiers in Psychology.

They compared 17 national-level soccer players with 15 elite endurance athletes (cross-country skiers and runners, also “competing at the highest national level in Norway”) and 39 non-athlete controls in three pain tests. They also administered a series of psychological questionnaires to explore what traits are associated with greater pain tolerance.

The first pain test was the same one used in Freund’s study: dunking the hand in barely-above-freezing water for as long as possible (again with a three-minute cut-off, though the subjects weren’t told about it in advance). On average, the endurance athletes lasted 179.67 seconds (meaning virtually all of them made it to three minutes, with the exception of one person who stopped five seconds early). The control group averaged 116.78 seconds, and the brilliant soccer players just 113.90 seconds.

This was exactly what the researchers expected. After all, embracing open-ended discomfort is exactly what endurance athletes do every day in training, so it makes sense that they have a high pain tolerance. But pain threshold—the point at which a sensation goes from unpleasant to painful—might be different. Soccer players, like other team sport athletes, experience briefer spikes of pain associated with “short bouts of supramaximal intensity and receiving blows from opponents or the ball,” the researchers point out. As a result, they hypothesized that the experience of this more intense pain would give soccer players a higher pain threshold than endurance athletes.

(10/24/2020) Views: 64 ⚡AMP
by Colorado runer
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Golden’s Courtney Dauwalter won Big’s Backyard Ultra in Tennessee

Dauwalter and Harvey Lewis pushed each other beyond previous limits at the race, with Dauwalter completing a record 68 laps and accumulating 283.33 miles to win the event in the early morning hours of October 20 after nearly three full days of running with very little sleep.

Daulwalter, a Salomon-sponsored runner, broke her own American record of 67 laps, or yards, as they’re called in “backyard-ultra” vernacular, and very briefly held the world record for the unique style of racing that sends runners out for a 4.1667-mile loop at the top of every hour until only one runner remains.

The event concluded when Dauwalter crossed the finish line on her 68th lap and she was declared the last runner standing after Lewis failed to compete the lap and retired from the race. Wearing a yellow Salomon T-shirt and a pair of long, surf-style running shorts she’s become known for, Dauwalter was smiling and energetic after she finished.

“Wow, what that was fun,” said the 35-year-old Daulwalter, while sipping a cold beer shortly after finishing her 68th lap at 2:46 a.m. CT. “I had a good routine and got a lot of rest. And Harvey was amazing.”

(10/21/2020) Views: 69 ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet runs 29:59 and Jakob Ingebrigtsen posts 35:05 at Norwegian 10K

Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet made his 10K debut on Saturday at the Hytteplanmila, a road race in Norway that attracts a number of fast runners, including Jakob and Filip Ingebrigtsen. Jornet eked under 30 minutes with an impressive 29:59, while Filip finished in sixth place in 29:03. Jakob ran a shocking 35:05, although he was reportedly on pacing duty for his brother, which explains his surprisingly pedestrian result. 

Jornet’s run 

Before the Hytteplanmila, Jornet posted on Instagram to write a bit about his goals for the race. “It will be my first race on a flat surface, something that only two years ago I thought (and said) I would never do because I found running on the flat so boring,” he wrote. After making a few adjustments to his training, though, Jornet said he decided to give road racing a try. Unfortunately, he began to feel pain in his calf two weeks before the race, and he ended up taking it easy moving forward until race day.

“As a novice my expectations aren’t big,” he continued. “I would be really happy if I’m able to grab a few seconds to what is my ‘training PB,’ so to run around 29:30.” He fell short of this goal, although he still managed to run a sub-30 result for his first official 10K PB. Had he been healthy for the entire build to the race, he probably could have hit the 29:30 mark. Just a couple of months ago, he ran a 10K in 29:42, and that was immediately after running an all-out vertical kilometre for a challenge he calls the VK10K. If he can run that quickly after punishing his legs for 1,000m of climbing, he’s certainly capable of shaving at least 12 seconds off that time when he’s fresh and healthy. Hopefully he’ll give road racing another shot soon when he’s fully recovered so we can see what he can do. 

Going into the race, we had hoped to see a Jakob-Jornet showdown. We didn’t really expect Jornet to keep up with the young Norwegian, but it would have been fun to see how one of the world’s best ultrarunners fared against one of the top track athletes. Last year, Jakob set the Norwegian 10K record at the Hytteplanmila with a 27:54, but he obviously didn’t make a push to challenge that this time around.

Instead, he paced Filip (who is fresh off a win at the Norwegian cross-country championships) for 7K before slowing down considerably and cruising to the finish. Jakob passed through 7K in 19:53 before slowing to 6:22, 4:10 and 4:40 splits for the final 3K. Filip had a strong eighth kilometre with a 2:48, but he suffered greatly in the last 2K, posting 3:03 and 3:17 splits. 

(10/19/2020) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Grovdal clocks 30:32 Norwegian 10km record in Hole Norway

Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal broke her own national 10km record at the Hytteplanmila 10km in Hole, Norway, on Saturday (17).

The 30-year-old clocked 30:32 to smash the previous mark of 31:25 she set at this race in 2017. The performance lifted the continental cross country standout to fourth on the 2020 world list and third all-time among Europeans, trailing just Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:05) and Paula Radcliffe (30:21).

Grovdal has raced little this season but she was on a tear from the gun to make this appearance count, reaching three kilometres in 9:10 and the midway point in 15:17 to finish 31st in the race overall among the 90 competitors.

Vienna Søyland Dahle was a distant second in 33:18.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who made his debut at the distance with a 27:54 course record in this race last year, wasn't really a factor in his return.

Opening with a modest 2:59 first kilometre, he worked his way back to the leaders after two kilometres and briefly took the lead at the four kilometre point. Zerei Mezngi then upped the pace after five kilometres with Ingebrigtsen and his brother Filip struggling to maintain contact. Mezngi extended his lead to six seconds at six kilometres and forged on largely unchallenged to win in 28:20. Narve Gilje Nordas was second in 28:28, while Filip Ingebrigtsen drifted back to finish sixth in 29:03.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who remained in contact through seven kilometres, slowed to a jog over the waning stages and eventually finished in 35:05.

Spanish mountain, trail and ultramarathon runner and ski mountaineer Kilian Jornet ran with the leaders early on, and finished 18th in 29:59.

(10/17/2020) Views: 82 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra: Courtney Dauwalter wants to lift others up to find their limits so she does not ‘ruin the game’

No women has lasted as long as Courtney Dauwalter in the race with no end and this year she hopes to push her limits even further

Courtney Dauwalter says that two more years of ultra running and the memories of the 2018 Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra will allow her to go further than ever this year – and to lift everyone else as a result.

The American runner is entered into one of the most awful and awesome race concepts this weekend.

Big Dog’s is a 6.7km loop in Tennessee and runners have one hour to complete the loop. They can go as fast or as slow as they want, so long as they are lined up on the start line when the next hour begins. The race keeps going until there is just one runner left. The last person standing is allowed to complete one final lap to claim victory.

In 2018, Dauwalter went for 67 hours (431km), the longest any woman has lasted, and finished second to record-setting Johan Steele. She felt completely “empty”, shook Steele’s hand on the start line of the 68th hour and let him go on his victory lap.

“I had no charge left mentally or physically to go on,” the 35-year-old said. “I didn’t even attempt to see if there was any battery charge left. I didn’t think I had any.

“Johan is very talented, inspiring and a great human. He teases me now that I ruined the game for him, as the last person doesn’t get to go on. So, he teases me that I stopped his game early. I’m hoping that that will echo in my mind a little, ‘Don’t be the one to ruin the game for someone’,” Dauwalter, who is sponsored by sports nutrition brand Tailwind, said.

“I think hindsight is a trick. Now I can sit here two years later and say, ‘Why didn’t I even try?’ But in the moment, I felt like I had nothing left and I’d end up as road kill out on the loop because I was so empty.”

“I don’t regret it, because I don’t think that is useful. But I do hope that memory of wondering if I could have just gone out and done one more and seen how I felt, that will keep the fire going on the later laps this time,” she said.

The final few runners typically complete the lap in 45 to 50 minutes. Dauwalter plans to take care of her body earlier in the race by applying anti-chafe cream, changing her socks and shoes, and sleeping.

“I think every experience helps us. For sure, just having a few more years of ultras in general, and training in general, will help. But being able to picture Big’s especially, the set up and what it feels like on day two or three will help,” she said.

Dauwalter has run other races that last for days, such as winning the Moab 240 Mile Endurance Run by more than 10 hours.

“You have a little more choice in those long trail efforts when you can lay down and sleep whenever or wherever you want,” she said. “In this format, you get your 10 minutes per lap and that’s the only time you get to shut your eyes.”

“I think I didn’t do it well the first time and I think it showed up in a lot of ways. That feeling of being empty, not having energy for my brain and body to process from being sleep deprived. I hope we do it better, and if we don’t I hope I’m at least better at being sleep deprived,” she said.

“If you can shut down your brain for even just five minutes it makes a big difference.”

There are only 15 runners at the event this year and each is only allow one crew member due to coronavirus. Usually the field is international, but there will be simultaneous Big Dog’s going on around the world as a result of travel restrictions. Each race will end when there is just one runner left locally. A world champion will be declared as the last person standing in the last race still going.

“The motivation is not be the one to ruin the game and help the ones around me to stay in so we can all keep looking for our limits. It’s such a cool format that we all lift each other up by just stepping up to the start line,” Dauwalter said.

She has no target in mind. Having a target may result in a loss of motivation when it is passed, Dauwalter said. But last year’s champion Maggie Guterl has said she is aiming for 100 hours.

“I love it. It’s the exact thing you need out there. I’m excited to spend time with Maggie, and do those four mile loops. That’s all we have to do.”

“It’s such a cool format, the possibilities are unknown. How far can we go if we keep lining up?”

(10/17/2020) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Kilian Jornet to square off in 10K road race

The young Norwegian track phenom and the seasoned Spanish ultrarunner will battle it out on the roads of Norway this weekend

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen will reportedly take on Spanish ultrarunning legend (and resident of Norway) Kilian Jornet in the Hytteplanmila 10K road race on Saturday. Ingebrigtsen set the course and Norwegian records at the race in 2019 when he ran a 27:54. This will be his first 10K since the run last year. According to the race website, Hytteplanmila will be the first 10K road race of Jornet’s career, although he has a wealth of experience training and racing across multiple distances. The rare track-trail crossover between Jornet and Ingebrigtsen is set to start at 7:30 a.m. local time.

Jornet’s credentials 

Jornet is one of the best trail and ultrarunners of all time. He has won so many of the world’s biggest races, from the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc to the Western States 100 and so many others. He also currently holds 14 official fastest known times, and he is the course record-holder at many races around the world. 

He opened the VK10K with a 29:57 vertical kilometre, which meant he had to run his 10K (on tired legs) in almost exactly 30 minutes to finish under one hour. Even on fresh legs, a 30-minute 10K would be impossible for most runners, but Jornet hammered out a 29:42, bringing his total time to 59:39. Unless he adds some wild ultra aspect to Saturday’s run, like jogging 60K to get to the race or something else ridiculous (which actually wouldn’t surprise us too much), Jornet should be able to produce another sub-30 run. 

Ingebrigtsen’s stats 

Ingebrigtsen has had a stellar season this year. In May, he broke the Norwegian 5K road record with a time of 13:28. A few weeks later, he set the European 2,000m record at the Impossible Games in Oslo. Later in the summer, he added the European 1,500m and Norwegian 3,000m records to his resume. He also won national championships in the 800m and 1,500m. Whenever he has raced, whether on the track or on the road, Ingebrigtsen has been dialled in and ready to compete at every event this year, and he hasn’t finished worse than second place. 

His 27:54 10K PB puts him in a tie for 10th all-time among Europeans, 41 seconds behind Swiss runner Julien Wanders‘s European record of 27:13 (and only 11 seconds off the second-fastest time ever run by a European). Ingebrigtsen could very well lower his own national record on Saturday and make a push for a spot higher on the all-time list. 

Who will win? 

There should be no debate here — Ingebrigtsen is going to win this race. The only questions are whether he will beat his own Norwegian record, and, if so, by how much? If he met Jornet on a trail or a course in the mountains, it might be a different story, but that’s not the case, and the Spaniard is entering Ingebrigtsen’s arena of choice on the weekend. Even though the race will likely end with Ingebrigtsen well ahead of the rest of the field, it will still be exciting to see how Jornet fares on the road and what he can do on fresh legs. 

(10/17/2020) Views: 124 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Utah runner Jessi Morton-Langehaug wins Moab 240 in 3 days and 8 hours

Utah runner Jessi Morton-Langehaug won the Moab 240 on Monday, completing the 240-mile (386K) route in 80 hours, nine minutes and 42 seconds. She finished well ahead of second-place finisher Jodi Semonell, who crossed the line in almost 83 hours flat.

Third place went to Christie Haswell, who won her spot on the podium with a finishing time of 83 hours and 44 minutes. This was a Moab 240 debut for all three women.

How it all shook out

Morton-Langehaug led early on, and for the first few checkpoints, she was ahead of Semonell, Haswell and the rest of the field. After the first day of racing, though, she was caught and passed by Semonell and Kamloops, B.C., resident Jessie Thomson-Gladish. She didn’t let the pair enjoy the lead for long, though, first passing Semonell after about 28 hours and then Thomson-Gladish at around the 41-hour mark. At one point, Thomson-Gladish had a multi-hour lead over Morton-Langehaug, but she couldn’t hold off the charging Utahan, and she ultimately faded to a sixth-place finish.

Semonell passed the Canadian just before the end of Day Two en route to her spot on the podium beside Morton-Langehaug and Haswell. The top three women were all far off Courtney Dauwalter‘s overall course record of 57 hours, 55 minutes and 13 seconds, but Morton-Langehaug’s 80-hour run is the fourth-fastest time ever posted by a woman on the 240-mile course.

Morton-Langehaug’s biggest win 

This is easily the biggest win of Morton-Langehaug’s career, and it’s her fourth top finish of 2020. Her other race wins this year came at a 55K in March and a 100-miler in May (both in Utah) and a virtual marathon that she also ran in May. According to her Ultrasignup profile, the Moab 240 is also by far the longest race that Morton-Langehaug has ever run, with her next longest run coming in at 100 miles.  

(10/14/2020) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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how to prevent intestinal distress

While some runners have cast iron stomachs and few concerns about what and when they eat before they exercise, others live in fear of pre-exercise fuel contributing to undesired pit stops during their workouts. Be it stomach rumbling, a need to urinate or defecate, reflux, nausea, heartburn, or side stitch, how to prevent intestinal distress is a topic of interest to athletes with finnicky guts. Here are tips to help you fuel well before and during runs, races and workouts while reducing the risk of gastro-intestinal (GI) distress.

• Stay calm. Being anxious about intestinal issues can exacerbate the problem. Think positive. Trust that your gut is adaptable and trainable. Record what, when, and how much you eat, as well as the duration and intensity of your runs, and use that data to help you figure out what foods and fluids settle best. Building body trust can reduce anxiety—and that can help reduce GI issues. That said, pre-competition nerves can affect any runner, regardless of GI hardiness!

• Runners are more likely to suffer GI issues than bicyclists or skiers. With running comes intestinal jostling; the longer the intestines are jostled, the higher the risk of upset. Ultra-runners know this too well…

• If you experience gut issues every day—even when you are not exercising, you want to talk with a GI doctor. Celiac disease, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and blood in your stool need to get checked out now! They are serious issues and differ from exercise-induced GI problems. 

• The higher the intensity of your runs, the higher the risk of intestinal distress. Add heat and anxiety to a hard workout, and many runners experience transit trouble. During hard runs, blood flow diverts away from the gut to transport oxygen and glucose to the working muscles and carry away carbon dioxide and waste products.

• Low intensity runs are less problematic. The GI tract gets adequate blood flow, can function relatively normally and digests, absorbs, and metabolizes pre-run fuel. Runners tend to have fewer GI issues on easy training days that offer better blood flow to the intestines, as well as lower body temperature and less anxiety.

• Carbohydrate is the fuel that is easiest-to-digest before and during long runs. Carbohydrate gets broken down into simple sugars in the stomach, then absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine. Specific transporters carry each sugar molecule (such as glucose or fructose) across the intestinal wall. Hence, consuming a variety of carb-based fuels helps minimize a “backlog” if all the transporters for, let’s say, fructose get called into action.

• With training, the body creates more transporters to alleviate any backlog. That’s one reason why you want to practice pre-run fueling during training sessions. Your body gets the chance to activate specific transporters. The foods and fluids you consume before and during training should be the same ones you’ll use for the race. Some popular carb-based snacks for before and during long runs include fruits (banana, applesauce), vegetables (boiled potato, roasted carrots), and grains (sticky rice balls, pretzels, pita)—as well as commercial sports foods (sport drinks, gels, chomps).

• Runners who experience gas and bloat want to familiarize themselves with FODMAPs —Fermentable (i.e., gas-producing) Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are sugars and fibers that some people have trouble digesting. Commonly eaten sport foods high in FODMAPs include milk (apart from lactose-free milk), bread, pasta, onions, garlic, beans, lentils, hummus, apples, and honey.

     By choosing a low FODMAP menu for a few days before race day, a runner might be able to reduce, if not avoid, digestive issues. (Of course, you want to first experiment during training to be sure the low FODMAP pre-race foods settle well.) Low FODMAP foods include bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, potato, rice, quinoa, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and maple syrup.  Some low FODMAP commercial sport fuels include (but are not limited to) Skratch Labs Hydration mix, peanut butter and orange Hammer Gels, Gatorade thirst quencher, Gu Chews, strawberry lemonade Infinit Essential Hydration, and Tailwinds Endurance Fuel. For more information on FODMAPS, refer to www.KateScarlata.com.

• Fatty foods (butter, cheese, nuts) tend to slowly leave the stomach and are metabolized slower than carb-rich foods. If you will be running for less than two hours, think twice before reaching for a handful of nuts or a chunk of cheese for a quick fix as you dash out the door. A banana or slice of toast will digest quicker and be more available for fuel.

      Eating fatty foods on a regular basis can speed-up gastric emptying a bit, but you won’t burn much pre-run dietary fat during your workout unless you are a marathoner or ultra-runner who will be exercising for more than 3 hours. In that case, a bagel with nut butter or cheese will offer long-lasting fuel.

• Some runners chronically under-eat. This includes those trying to lose weight and others with anorexia. Under-eating can impair GI function; the gut slows down with inadequate fuel. Delayed gastric emptying means food stays longer in the stomach and can feel “heavy” during runs (as well as is less available for fuel). Slowed intestinal motility easily leads to constipation, a common problem among under-eaters.

• Given each runner has a unique GI tract, be sure to experiment during training to learn what works best for you and your gut. Eat wisely and enjoy miles of smiles.

(10/07/2020) Views: 84 ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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American Ultrarunner Marisa Lizak runs 391K in 48 hours, sets new American record

American ultrarunner Marisa Lizak spent the weekend running the Three Days at the Fair, a multi-day ultra event that features many races, including 24-, 48- and 144-hour runs.

The Marina Del Rey, Calif., resident took the overall win in the 48-hour race, beating fellow Californian Bob Hearn, who took the top spot for the men and also set an American record for the M50-54 age group (a record that he already owned). In total, Lizak covered 391.87K, bettering the previous record of 390K. Hearn added another 13 kilometers to his age group record, posting a final distance of 386.72K.  

An unexpected record

Coming into the Three Days at the Fair, all eyes were on Camille Herron, who was looking to run farther than any American — man or woman — ever had before over 48-hours. The overall U.S. 48-hour record is 421.9K, a mark that was set by Olivier LeBlond in 2017. Had Herron achieved her goal and beaten this distance, she would have also surpassed Polish runner Patrycja Bereznowska‘s world record of 401K. Unfortunately, Herron had to pull out of the race due to injury after 177K. 

Thanks to Lizak, those present at the Three Days at the Fair still got to witness an American record. This is Lizak’s first outright women’s record, regardless of age, but she does have an age group record to her name. In December 2019, she set the 24-hour U.S. F40-44 record after running 238.32K at the Desert Solstice 24-Hour and 100 Mile Track Invitational in Arizona. She took third overall in the Desert Solstice 100-miler en route to the win in the 24-hour race that day, and she has posted many other big race results in her career. 

earn’s big year 

Hearn has six national records in the M50-54 category. In addition to his newly-lengthened record over 48 hours, he has the road and track records over both 24 hours and 200K, as well as the 100-mile road record. The result at the Three Days at the Fair is Hearn’s third podium finish of 2020. He also won a 100-miler in South Carolina pre-pandemic and he finished in second place at Laz Lake‘s Vol State 500K in July. Hearn and Lizak are both signed up to race the Desert Solstice, which is set to be run in December. 

(10/05/2020) Views: 113 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Western States site name to be changed

After researching the etymology of the racist and sexist term "squaw," officials of the California ski resort have decided to change its name

The famed Western States 100 ultramarathon starts in Squaw Valley, Calif., near a river, some roads and several ski lodges of the same name, which many have found troubling for its racist and sexist roots. The area is also known as Olympic Valley, as it was the site of the 1960 Olympics, but for years, locals and tourists have all called it by its other name. It was recently announced that this will soon change, as owners of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort have finally decided to drop that title.

“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen,” said Ron Cohen, the president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “We have to accept that as much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, that love does not justify continuing to use a term that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur.” Cohen went on to say the resort will find a new name to “reflect our core values, storied past and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”

The Western States 100 starts right at the ski resort and travels 100 miles southwest to Auburn, Calif. Race director Craig Thornley tweeted the statement from Cohen and his team, adding, “It’s really gonna happen.” Thornley’s tweet received mixed reviews from his followers, with some people saying the name should have been changed long ago, while others seem to think it’s fine the way it is. As a member of the Washoe Tribe (a Native American tribe with origins near Lake Tahoe), Helen Fillmore, told a local radio station in July, when she is around people discussing the local resort, all she hears are racial slurs.

“All of a sudden people are asking if you ski and telling you about how they’re going to go ski, racial slur. ‘Let’s go ski, racial slur,’” Fillmore said. “People don’t even think twice about how that word is impacting the person they’re talking to.” The dropping of the resort name will be welcome news to Fillmore and other members of the Washoe Tribe, although they have had to wait a long time for this change. The resort’s new name will be released in early 2021, and officials say it will begin to be implemented after the 2020/2021 ski season, meaning that by June, when the Western States 100 is set to be held, the race’s start should be at a newly-named location.

(09/20/2020) Views: 74 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Trail running after 50: “I’m not an age”

Karen Craigie began trail running when she was 59 years old, and her adventures are just getting started

Karen Craigie, 68, had always played soccer. But she considered trail running a different beast. It wasn’t until she finished her first 15K trail race that things began to click. Once the switch went off, there was no turning back. A retired nurse, Craigie was hooked on exploring trails over bigger and bigger distances. From there, she began tackling 20K to 50K adventures in the mountains and on the trails, and beyond.

The beginning

It all began when Craigie was 59 years old. She signed up for a trail running clinic in North Vancouver, and three months later she finished her first 15K trail race, The Dirty Duo. Motivated by her partner Linda, who is 11 years younger, Craigie never knew what the trails would offer. She was amazed at what it did for her mind, body, and spirit. Despite living in North Vancouver, it wasn’t until she began participating in trail running clinics that she started exploring the trails in her backyard.

Craigie and Linda decided to sign up for the next clinic to train for a 25K trail race. Nowadays, her favourite distance is 50K. “What I love most about trail running though, are the adventure runs. There is no stress or pressure about meeting cutoff times and one can just really enjoy the scenery.”

Next steps

Craigie has always had the mental toughness to get through tough times on the trail. But as her running goals continued to grow, she hired a coach. “When I retired, my goals got loftier, so I decided I needed a coach. Gary Robbins kindly agreed without hesitation. I completely attribute my successes to having two great coaches,” she says. Robbins and Eric Carter continue to coach her to this day.

Running resume

Just as Craigie is not defined by her age, the distances she loves have no limits. Her ultrarunning and trail running resume is stacked for someone of any age. Once she toes the line, there’s no turning back. She has completed every race she’s started and has yet to come in DFL. “I usually win my age group. However, at times, I am the only one in their 60s.”

So far, Craigie has raced the notorious Knee Knacker 48K race twice, Mount Hood 50K, Sun Mountain 50K, The Golden Ultra 60K, Survival of the Fittest 35K, Squamish 50K, WAM 55K, and over seven races 23-25K in distance. In 2014 she did the Vancouver BMO Marathon, and was reminded how much she truly loves the trails.

In October 2015, Craigie ran across the Grand Canyon with friends. They found themselves under the desert stars in the middle of the night in the canyon, which was a definite highlight. In July 2018, she created her own adventure run in Ireland. Craigie and friends ran 208K over seven days. Each day ranged from 20-42K covering north, west, and southeast coasts. Next year, she plans on running somewhere in the Alps, continuing to abide by the notion she is “not an age.”

(09/20/2020) Views: 113 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The Enduring Appeal of the Fastest Known Time

Race cancellations have produced an uptick in FKTs, but the obsession predates the pandemic

Last week, there was big news in the world of “fell running,” a sport that can perhaps be described as the soggier, hillier, and more misery-inducing cousin of cross-country. Great Britain’s Beth Pascall set a new women’s record for the Bob Graham Round, the legendary 66-mile loop in England’s Lake District, which includes roughly 27,000 feet of elevation gain. Pascall completed the route in a remarkable 14 hours and 34 minutes. When she returned to Moot Hall, the Round’s start and finish point in the village of Keswick, a waiter emerged from a local pub to present her with a celebratory pint. Three cheers for Cumbrian hospitality.

Like the rest of humanity, Pascall had originally intended to spend the summer of 2020 doing something else. In her case, she’d planned on contesting several high-profile races on the ultra circuit, including UTMB and Western States—events where she’d previously finished in the top five. That was before the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of every major race under the sun.

“When all the races were canceled back in March, I was like, right, I’m going to do it,” Pascall says. “It didn’t cross my mind to do anything else, to be honest—just because the Bob Graham record is the most prestigious fell running record that exists.”

Needless to say, such solitary bids for glory have seen a rise in popularity in recent months. In a story for FiveThirtyEight, Anna Wiederkehr reported that the website FastestKnownTime.com had recorded nearly four times as many FKTs from runners through the first half of 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019. Last week, Wiederkehr appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to explain the FKT phenomenon to the program’s slightly incredulous host, Ari Shapiro. “Why do people do it if they don’t get the bibs and the crowds and the glory and all the other things that go along with most sports?” Shapiro asked.

Why do people do it? It’s a reasonable question—especially since the FKT boom has been ongoing for years. One answer is that hardcore FKTers are primarily seeking the respect of their fellow endurance junkies. After all, even the mother of all (American) FKTs—the rim-to-rim-to-rim traverse of the Grand Canyon—is, for the most part, meaningful only within the insular world of ultrarunning.

“It’s a lot easier for someone who isn’t into ultrarunning to know what a good 10K or marathon time is, but with some of these FKTs, it’s kind of in the weeds as far as what the standards are,” says Pete Kostelnick, who set a new FKT for running across the United States after trekking from San Francisco to New York in the summer of 2016. (The mark stands at 42 days, six hours, and 30 minutes, in case you’re looking for ideas on how to spend the rest of your summer.)

“I definitely think that most people who do these FKTs are looking for recognition from their peers, certainly more than from people who don’t really understand the sport,” Kostelnick adds.

For an FKT to be accepted by FastestKnownTime.com, a run has to be verified with a GPS data file and the route has to be significant enough to warrant inclusion. Regarding the latter point, the website states that an FKT should be “notable and distinct enough so that others will be interested in repeating it.” Such phrasing leaves things open to interpretation. One recent entry on the website is Joey Campanelli’s new mark for the northbound route of Nolan’s 14, which involves bagging fourteen 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado’s Sawatch Range in 60 hours or less. (I suppose some people might be interested in repeating that.)

Of course, the sheer number of FKTs (there have already been more than 1,700 new additions to FastestKnownTime.com this year) means the majority of these efforts are probably only going to be significant on a hyperlocal level—think Strava CRs for trailheads. Hence, even for top athletes, the pursuit can sometimes be more of a personal challenge, as opposed to a bid for wider recognition.

“For me, it starts as a private goal,” says ultrarunner YiOu Wang, who recently set an FKT for the 40-mile stretch in the Sierra Nevada known as the Rae Lakes Loop. “I enjoy the process of working towards it, achieving it, and then sharing that achievement with the community.”

This private/public dichotomy suggests a sort of paradox at the heart of FKT culture, one that feels appropriate to our social media–saturated age. On the one hand, part of the appeal of these undertakings is that they project an air of spontaneity and wholesome solitude. At its most idealized, the pursuit of an FKT is a way to commune with nature while testing your physical limits. In theory, you can go out and set an FKT whenever the mood strikes or when the weather is favorable. You don’t need anyone’s approval. Unlike in races, where you’re taking part in a prepackaged, carefully regulated event, the hunt for an FKT can feel refreshingly removed from all the noise.

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But for an FKT to become “official,” the feat ultimately still requires external validation, and here the standards are becoming ever more stringent. FastestKnownTime now requests that runners who are attempting FKTs on famous routes state their intentions in advance, provide real-time tracking, and submit photographic evidence. Pics or it didn’t happen.

In the same way that the process of documenting an experience inevitably changes the nature of that experience, having an FKT as the main impetus for an extended traverse will impose certain constraints. (Right now, some intrepid souls are attempting FKTs on both the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Power to them. But if you were going to spend weeks trekking in the Sierra or the mountains of Appalachia, wouldn’t you want to take your time?)

When I brought this up to Kostelnick, who averaged 72 miles a day on his cross-country run and hence didn’t have much time to stop and smell the sagebrush, he admitted that, looking back, there was a sense of missed opportunity. “I had a lot of regrets,” he says. “I didn’t really soak in any sights, because I was always either moving, eating, or sleeping.” Such was the extent of his retrospective FOMO that, two years after completing his record-setting run, Kostelnick made another trip on foot, this time from Kenai, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, where he made a point of lingering when he felt so inclined. (The pace was a leisurely 50 miles a day.)

For her part, Wang says this was also a concern during her recent FKT attempt in the Sierra Nevada.

“I thought about that a lot, because it was my first time doing the Rae Lakes Loop and I actually wanted to enjoy it,” Wang says. “But a lot of times when you do an FKT, you don’t really enjoy the trail, because you have to be so focused on beating these times—it’s a difficult balance.” Despite such potential caveats, however, Wang feels that allure of the FKT is likely to persist.

As she told me: “If there’s a route out there, someone is going to try to do it as fast as they can.”

(09/19/2020) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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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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Upcoming running events in Oregon and virtual runs from anywhere

Race season hasn't totally stopped; in fact, it's only kind of getting started.

This year we've seen racing directors all over the country implement virtual run designs to help limit contact between runners. This has been cool for many reasons. One, it's allowed runners from other places to run non-traditional routes and be a part of races in other regions. Second, it lets runners do things at their convenience—always a luxury.

As we hit the end of summer and head into fall, here are a few races still happening in Oregon—and even some fun virtual races runners can do from anywhere, on their own time.

Stranger Distances - Through Oct. 31 - Virtual

*Cue the "Stranger Things" theme song*

Stranger Distances lets runners take on any number of unusual distances, including 3.2, 6.7, and 11.11 miles. This race symbolizes how 2020 itself has felt like "being in the Upside Down" during this strange year. Runners get a certificate, Stranger Distances long sleeve and can add a medal for $9.99.

You can find Stranger Distances on runsignup.com.

The Scooby Doo Family Run - Through Oct. 4 - Virtual

This run, chugging along and available since July, encourages participants to get out and run or walk it with your entire family—dogs included! Racers get a medal, bib, water bottle and a long sleeve Scooby Doo tech tee with a hood! I might register for the gear alone, honestly. You can even add in a Scooby Doo collar or bandana for your furry friend. Run or walk this fun run anywhere.

Oakridge Triple Summit Challenge – Oakridge, Oregon - Sept. 25-27

Take on three days of different trail races and climb 8,500 feet of elevation in 40 miles total. Or, sign up for an individual day and do either a 20K, 15K or 30K. The inclines will be worth all the epic views over the three-day race.

Bigfoot 10K – Bend, Oct. 4.

This downhill road race is perfect for people looking to keep it in the 5- to 10K range. You'll fly as you head from the Cascade Lakes Welcome Center and finish at Riverbend Park.

ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=72351

Portland Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K - Virtual in Portland

The team behind the Portland Marathon has partnered with On Your Own to create a more individual experience for racers this year. Runners will still be going through a USATF-certified marathon course, as timing technology placed throughout the route syncs runners' paces. But this time around, runners can show up and run on their own time. Download the On Your Own app for turn-by-turn instructions and to make sure the time gets recorded. After registering, OYO will mail a racer's box with everything runners need to get started.

https://runoyo.com/opd/register

Happy Girls Sisters – Sisters, Nov. 11 – In-person or virtual!

A gorgeous run through the town and trails of Sisters, Oregon. This year there are offerings for either an in-person race or virtual. Sign up for a 5K or Half Marathon in person. Virtually, runners can up it to a full marathon this year or find some middle ground with a 10K. This is a great race to celebrate women who love running.

happygirlsrun.com/sisters/

(09/13/2020) Views: 146 ⚡AMP
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Ryan Hall completes 69K ultramarathon, calls it ‘the hardest thing I’ve ever done’

Despite running just five times in 2020, the former U.S. Olympian made it through his first ultramarathon

Since retiring from professional running in 2016, American half-marathon record-holder Ryan Hall has not raced too much, and in 2020, he has only gone for a total of five training runs.

Despite this extremely low mileage for the year, he ran his first ultramarathon, completing the 69K Grand Traverse Mountain Run in Crested Butte, Colo., in 12:47:46.

In an interview after the race, Hall told the Grand Traverse team that he had hoped for “an epic adventure” that was “super hard,” and he said the event “exceeded super hard — it was super, super, super hard.”

The Grand Traverse

Local athlete Cam Smith of Crested Butte won the 69K race in an extremely tight finish, crossing the line just two seconds faster than second-place finisher Nick Coury. Smith won the race in 7:03:04. Hall was almost six hours back of the top finishers, but as he said before the race, he wasn’t running to compete for the win, he was just looking to finish.

“It was not pretty, it was not fast, but I got to the finish line,” he said in an Instagram video after the race. “I got the job done.” In his post-race interview, he said he has “never been more excited to reach a finish line.”

While he of course knew it would be a tough race, especially with no training, he said he still underestimated the challenge.

“It’s a really unique kind of pain,” he said, adding later on in his own video that the race was the hardest thing he has ever done.

No training

Hall works out a lot (he has been heavily invested in powerlifting since retiring from running), but deadlifts and benchpress reps won’t prepare you for any running race, let alone an ultramarathon. This isn’t his first time taking on a running challenge with little training under his belt.

In 2017, he ran the World Marathon Challenge (WMC) — an event in which he ran seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents — on next to no training. He finished in fifth place at that race, but he had no illusions that he could register a top result in Colorado over the weekend. He noted that the no-training approach likely isn’t a good idea for ultramarathons, saying, “I usually don’t recommend these kinds of races off five days of training a year.

Do as I say, not as I do.” 

(09/13/2020) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Runners push back against new World Athletics shoe rules

Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen pulled out of the Brussels Diamond League due to new shoe rules

Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen, a seven-time national record holder, pulled out of Friday’s Brussels Diamond League citing World Athletics’ new shoe rules as the reason. According to Inside the Games, the 2:05 marathoner felt that he couldn’t safely compete in a shoe with only 25 mm of cushioning. “I’m not sure I would be any of those things if I raced in Brussels because I’d have to race on the track for something like a half marathon – and hopefully a bit further – in shoes which only have 25 mm of cushioning. To be honest, I’ve decided I just can’t do that as I feel pain in my feet after only a few kilometres in such shoes.”

The new WA shoe rules put a limit on the stack height of any shoe worn on the track. This means for people running the 800m through ultramarathons, their shoe height can only be a maximum of 25 mm. On the road, shoes can reach 40 mm. For middle-distance events, this is an entirely fair stack height, however, other runners have pointed out that they miss the cushioning over the long haul (for example, a one-hour effort).

Camille Herron is an American ultramarathoner who holds the 24-hour track world record. She suggested on Twitter that the maximum stack heigh of 25 mm should only apply on the track through the 10,000m, so that runners competing longer could have the extra cushion.

In the ever-evolving landscape of carbon-plated racing shoes and mega stack height, WA has changed their rules several times in the last year. Their latest guidelines were only announced seven weeks ago, and could certainly change again between now and the Olympics next year.

(09/12/2020) Views: 111 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Tarzisius Caviezel, will take over the presidency of the Swissalpine Association

There will be a changing of the guard at the Swissalpine. Tarzisius Caviezel, will take over the presidency of the Swissalpine Association from founder and longtime president Andrea Tuffli.

“The time has come for a succession plan,” says Tuffli. When he launched the Swissalpine in 1986 as an ultramarathon over 67km with an altitude difference of more than 2200m, many thought it crazy. Although there were high alpine mountain runs in Switzerland back then, a run in such terrain and over such a long distance was new in Europe. However, the Swissalpine quickly established itself and became known internationally as the ultimate challenge.

That Tuffli is now giving up management of the club is not only due to his age of 78 years. At the end of July this year a new Königslauf, the K68, was launched at the Swissalpine. The new route was met with universal enthusiasm.

The K68 will establish itself as the new Swissalpine classic over the next few years. The framework of the Swissalpine with the K68, the K43 and the K23 is largely fixed. After the slimmed-down event held this year on July 27 the supporting and adventure programme will be restarted in the future if Coronavirus conditions allow it.

Caviezel, with roots in Davos, will take over the presidency of the Swissalpine Association on 1 January 2021. Since the beginning of 2013 and until the end of the current year he has been working as Landammann (Chief Magistrate of the Canton). “Caviezel has excellent connections in politics, business and sport,” says Tuffli. From 2004 to 2011 Caviezel held the presidency at HC Davos.

“The Swissalpine is a brand that is associated with Davos and belongs to Davos,” notes Caviezel. He makes no secret of the fact that he had some doubts when the T88 was started in St. Moritz in the previous two years. “For this year’s 35th event we decided to go back to our roots and that the Swissalpine is a pure Davos event,” Caviezel notes with satisfaction. This is also important because it guarantees support from Destination Davos Klosters. "We have to pull out all the stops to ensure that events like these, which originated in Davos and have grown successfully over decades, continue to be held here,” emphasises Caviezel. “As a Davos trademark, the Swissalpine is not yet as old as the HCD and the Spengler Cup, but it is also an excellent brand.”

Caviezel describes the K68, newly launched this year with start and finish in Davos, as the supreme discipline of the Swissalpine – “a dream run over four passes and through eight valleys. We will stick to this concept. ”The future Swissalpine President personally followed the events at the K68 premiere on 25 July on the Fanezfurgga at 2580m altitude. “The K68 is tough and rough . But all the runners and spectators I spoke to were enthusiastic about the new route,” says Caviezel. “I was also fascinated myself; you have to experience it up close.”

Originally, Gian Gilli was expected to succeed Tuffli as president, and the Engadiner is a proven and experienced specialist in major sporting events. But as part of the new concept for a purely Davos event Gian Gilli voluntarily resigned from the office. It also makes perfect sense to him that the Swissalpine Davos Association can be led into the future by a personality strongly anchored in Davos.

(09/02/2020) Views: 172 ⚡AMP
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Swiss Alpine Marathon

Swiss Alpine Marathon

The Swissalpine Davos is not only the oldest marathon in Grisons but also the second-largest ultra-marathon in Switzerland. However, it is no longer just the races that are the main attraction. The point is to be part of the mountain-runner community that meets for the annual running event in the Alpine town of Davos. We call it «Swissalpine Spirit». ...

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The Prague half-marathon will be holding an elite-only event and announces world record attempt

Early this Saturday something very fast will be happening in the Czech capital of Prague.

RunCzech, organizer of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and other top-class events, will be holding an elite-only half-marathon in Letná Park called the Prague 21.1 KM – Ready for the Restart.  The objective?  Get at least one man to break 58:30 and one woman to break the women-only world record of 1:06:11 on the special 16.5-lap course which will be closed to the public.

“The pandemic has deprived these great athletes of the chance to participate in races all across the world,” said RunCzech president Carlo Capalbo through a statement.  “It has deprived us from witnessing some of the great performances that we’re accustomed to seeing.  We wanted to find a way of doing something spectacular for everyone.”

Spectacular, indeed.  Capalbo’s team has assembled a superb field of nine women and 18 men who will have the benefit of strong pacemaking.  Five women on the entry last have broken 1:06:00 for the half-marathon, led by Kenyans Joan Chelimo, Peres Jepchirchir, and Edith Chelimo.  Ethiopians Senbere Teferi and Netsanet Gudeta have also broken 66 minutes (see full athlete list below).  On the men’s side, nine men have broke 60:00 led by Kenyans Stephen Kiprop, Kibiwott Kandie, and Benard Kimeli (see full list below).

Interestingly, the fastest times ever run on Czech soil are 58:47 by Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay in Prague in 2012, and 64:52 by Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in Prague in 2017.  Jepkosgei’s time was achieved in a mixed-gender race.  The fastest times in the world this year are 58:58 by Kibiwott Kandie and 1:04:31 by Yeshaneh Ababel of Ethiopia.  Both marks were achieved at the RAK Half in the UAE on February 21.

Saturday’s event will also be a demonstration project for adidas, a long-time partner of RunCzech.  All of the athletes will be wearing the World Athletics-approved adizero adios Pro (39mm sole thickness) racing shoe.  The shoe, which sells in the United States for $200 a pair, has an ultra lightweight mesh upper, LightStrike Pro foam, a carbon fiber heel plate, and five carbon-infused “energy rods” in the forefoot which, the company says, were “inspired by the bone structure of the foot.”  The shoe weights 7.9 ounces (224 grams).

“adidas has 70 years experience of working with elite athletes on shoes designed to win races,” said adidas Running’s design vice-president Sam Handy through a statement.  “Our expertise has continually evolved as athletes and sports science has progressed.  This shoe is our pinnacle race product, representing all those decades of dedication, experience and collaboration.”

Capalbo is not only hoping for fast times, but is also trying to inject some life into road running which has been hit hard by the pandemic.  While in-stadium athletics is already back to a high level, most road races have had to switch to “virtual” status, where athletes run on their own, or have simply been cancelled.  Capalbo wants to show what is possible, even during a pandemic.  Saturday’s event will be held in compliance with current Czech regulations for fighting COVID-19.

“While this race is coming at what would normally be the end of the (RunCzech) season we hope in a way that it will be the start, a spark, that gets race organizers all over the world thinking creatively about how to keep the sport alive.”

The Prague 21.1 KM – Ready for the Restart will be broadcast live on ČT Sport, and there will be an international live stream with English language commentary.

(09/01/2020) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of the...

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Western States site name to be changed

After researching the etymology of the racist and sexist term "squaw," officials of the California ski resort have decided to change its name.

The famed Western States 100 ultramarathon starts in Squaw Valley, Calif., near a river, some roads and several ski lodges of the same name, which many have found troubling for its racist and sexist roots. The area is also known as Olympic Valley, as it was the site of the 1960 Olympics, but for years, locals and tourists have all called it by its other name. It was recently announced that this will soon change, as owners of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort have finally decided to drop that title.

“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen,” said Ron Cohen, the president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “We have to accept that as much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, that love does not justify continuing to use a term that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur.” Cohen went on to say the resort will find a new name to “reflect our core values, storied past and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”

The Western States 100 starts right at the ski resort and travels 100 miles southwest to Auburn, Calif. Race director Craig Thornley tweeted the statement from Cohen and his team, adding, “It’s really gonna happen.” Thornley’s tweet received mixed reviews from his followers, with some people saying the name should have been changed long ago, while others seem to think it’s fine the way it is.

As a member of the Washoe Tribe (a Native American tribe with origins near Lake Tahoe), Helen Fillmore, told a local radio station in July, when she is around people discussing the local resort, all she hears are racial slurs. 

“All of a sudden people are asking if you ski and telling you about how they’re going to go ski, racial slur. ‘Let’s go ski, racial slur,’” Fillmore said. “People don’t even think twice about how that word is impacting the person they’re talking to.” The dropping of the resort name will be welcome news to Fillmore and other members of the Washoe Tribe, although they have had to wait a long time for this change. 

The resort’s new name will be released in early 2021, and officials say it will begin to be implemented after the 2020/2021 ski season, meaning that by June, when the Western States 100 is set to be held, the race’s start should be at a newly-named location. 

(08/31/2020) Views: 199 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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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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Ryan Hall plans to run his first ultramarathon in Colorado

Ryan Hall retired from professional running in 2016, and since then, even though he has participated in a few races, his focus has been on powerlifting. On Saturday, Hall, the U.S. half-marathon record-holder, announced that he is getting back into racing, but instead of his once-preferred distances of 21K or 42K, he will be running a 69K race — his first crack at an ultramarathon.

To add to this already-daunting challenge, he will be racing after running just five times in 2020. The event, the Grand Traverse Mountain Run, is set to be held on September 5 in Crested Butte, Colo.

In an Instagram video announcing his race plans, Hall said the Grand Traverse will be an “epic challenge,” adding that he likes to “make it even more epic by not training.” He cited his running of the World Marathon Challenge (WMC) in 2017, an event for which he apparently trained very little. The WMC is a week-long event that sees participants run seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents. Despite his minimal training for that challenge, Hall finished in fifth place.

Although he was already heavily invested in weightlifting in 2017, Hall had only been retired from professional running for a year. Now more than four years removed from the lifestyle of an elite runner, Hall may have a tougher time getting through such an arduous challenge. 

He noted that he has incorporated other cardio exercises into his training, like boxing, but after averaging less than one run per month all year, he acknowledged that this won’t be an easy undertaking. “I’m going to be in way over my head on this one,” he said, “but that’s where I like to be as an athlete.” 

Hall said he is “so stoked for this challenge,” which features more than 2,700m of elevation gain, and he asked any of his ultrarunner followers to leave him tips for the race.

(08/31/2020) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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12-hour treadmill race sees male winner run 150K, top female 120K

Adam Holland and Bridget Dawes put their treadmills to good use on Friday to win the final event of the Personal Peak Summer Race Series

The final event of the Personal Peak Summer Race Series (SRS) was held on August 22, with American Bridget Dawes winning the women’s race and Adam Holland of the U.K. taking the men’s crown. The virtual race was 12 hours long and participants ran on their treadmills, racing at the same time. Dawes ran 121K, smashing her competition and beating the next-best finisher by 18K. The men’s race was a much tighter affair, with Holland eking out a win over American Danny Domres, running 151K to Domres’s 149K. Holland won the four-race series, once again edging Domres out for the top spot. After only competing in three of the four races, Dawes finished in 18th overall (despite winning the three events she entered).

Personal Peak (the same company that helped organize the Quarantine Backyard Ultra) started the SRS on May 30 with a 20-minute race and wrapped the series up on August 22 with the brutal 12-hour event. There were also 45-minute and three-hour races in June and July. Each race was run on the treadmill, and every one was a battle to see who could run the farthest. The male and female winners of each event earned 100 points. Everyone else was awarded points based on how far back they finished from the leaders. Keeley Milne won on the women’s side in Race One, and Domres took the men’s win. Dawes didn’t race the 20-minute event.

Next up was the 45-minute race, which Dawes won. Domres got his second win in a row on the men’s side, boosting his points to a perfect 200. Holland wasn’t too far behind, and he improved his points total to 190.7 after two races. The next race, which lasted three hours, was when Holland ruined Domres’s win streak, and in the women’s race, Dawes won once again. The last event, the 12-hour Race Four, would decide who would win the series for the men. Unfortunately for Dawes, even if she won (which she did), she wouldn’t win the women’s series.

Going into the 12-hour race, Domres had 291.7 points and Holland had 290.7. To win the series, Holland had to win by more than one per cent of Domres’s final distance. While the two men were thousands of kilometres apart, the real-time racing made for an exciting day of running. In the end, Holland ran 151.92K to come from behind in the series and take the crown in a thrilling finish. Domres made it tight (just as it had been the entire series), finishing just behind Holland with 149.51K. Both men were close to the 12-hour treadmill world record of 155.08K, which was set earlier this year. The final series standings saw Holland at the top with 390.7 points and Domres in second with 390.1.

Dawes won the women’s event with 120.96K, which crushed second place’s 102K and also earned her third place overall, only behind Holland and Domres in the final rankings. She went on to finish in 18th overall and as the 12th place woman in the series standings, even though she had a perfect record through the final three races. Had she competed in Race One, she likely would have not only won the women’s series, but probably finished as the top runner overall. Instead, American Michele Sollenberger was the top female finisher in the series, winning with 364.9 points.

(08/30/2020) Views: 102 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Eugene woman sets Oregon Pacific Crest Trail speed record: 455 miles in 7 days

When Emily Halnon’s mother died of cancer earlier this year, she decided to honor her memory by trying something big. 

She chose one of Oregon’s most grueling challenges. 

In the early morning darkness of Aug. 1, the 35-year-old Eugene resident laced up her shoes at the Oregon-California border and stepped onto the Pacific Crest Trail.

Then she started running.

Over the next week, Halnon ran up mountains and down river valleys, through a frigid thunderstorm and boiling temperatures, felt her shins ache and feet swell up on 17-hour days in remote wilderness.

When she reached the Washington border on Aug. 9, Halnon had set a new speed record for the Oregon section of the PCT: 455 miles in 7 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes.

That’s averaging 57 miles per day.

The supported speed record — meaning she was helped by a team along the way — is the fastest among both men and women, and the fastest overall, according to the website Fastest Known Time, the best metric for tracking trail times.  

In the process, Halnon raised $32,000 for the Brave Like Gabe foundation, which funds rare cancer research.

“It was a celebration of my mom — she was my fuel,” Halnon said. “There have been days when the grief is crushing. Channeling myself into this, into something that would make her proud and that felt like it mattered, was my way of working through it.”

But the run was also about fun. Halnon was supported by a team of friends who threw impromptu dance parties on the trail, invented romance stories to keep her smiling and created a wilderness spa one night near Diamond Peak. 

“There was a lot of singing and dancing and laughing — Emily has fun with the process,” said Eric Suchman, a close friend and social studies teacher at North Eugene High School. “But she's also very tough, very driven. When things are difficult, she can dig deep.”

“Emily is a badass,” said Danielle Snyder, who previously held the women's speed record on the Oregon PCT. “She can be laid-back and goofy. But in the end, she’s a badass.”

Distance running comes in the family

Emily Halnon was inspired by her mother. 

Growing up in Vermont, Andrea Halnon modeled how to be an athlete and runner even in later years.    

"She had a health scare when I was a teenager and that motivated her to start being more physically active," Emily Halnon said. 

It started with walking 5 kilometer races. Then running them. Next came 10 kilometer races and a half marathon. The year Andrea Halnon turned 50, she ran her first marathon. Not finished, she learned to swim so she could complete a triathlon at 60.

The mother inspired her daughter. The duo ran their first marathon together on Emily's 23rd birthday.

“She beat me by 20 minutes,” Emily said. 

The first time Emily visited Oregon was to run the Eugene marathon. But it was trail running in the Pacific Northwest that brought her in Oregon for good, where she started running major distance, including five 100-mile ultramarathons. Her mom supported her every step.

“The joke was how many times she would post on Facebook during those races,” Emily Halnon said. “It was usually about 18 times per race." 

Andrea Halnon was diagnosed with a rare form of uterine cancer in December of 2018 at 65 years old.

“When that first round of chemo didn't work, her oncologist had terrifyingly few options to offer her,” Emily Halnon wrote on Instagram. “One of them was giving up, something my tenacious mother would never do. But dealing with rare cancer often means running out of options. And my mom ran out of treatment options within months of her diagnosis.”

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Andrea Halnon fought for 13 months, still riding her bike, walking and staying active amid chemotherapy. 

“The way she fought was extraordinary,” Emily Halnon said.

Andrea Halnon died in January. But her toughness lived on through her daughter.

Inspiring more female athletes

The idea of establishing speed records in the outdoors isn’t a new idea, but its appeal has grown over the past decade.

In a time when every blank spot on the map has been filled, and every mountain route climbed, doing adventures in the fastest known time — known as an FKT — has become one way athletes test themselves.

Emily Halnon had her eye on the Oregon PCT since 2015, but once her mom passed, she decided she’d shoot for the FKT.

One of the first people she reached out to was Snyder, who’d set the women’s speed record in 2019. Snyder responded with enthusiasm.

“I work with women to be bold and step into their own, and it was really exciting to have Emily go for it,” said Snyder, who finished the Oregon PCT in 9 days and 15 hours. “Trail running draws a lot more males than females, especially for FKTs. Encouraging more women to go for them is about more than a record.”

Halnon upped her training and milage. She ran the Timberline Trail and climbed Hardesty Mountain three times in one day.   

“In a lot of ways, I’ve been training for this for eight years,” she said. 

How to prove a record

Part of the FTK isn’t just accomplishing it, but being able to prove the record.

As speed records become popularized, some records have proved to be fraudulent. The bar is high for proving a FKT, especially on a high profile route like the Oregon PCT.

Halnon signed up for a Garmin In Reach that allowed people to track her, a blue dot on the map, from a computer screen. In addition to time-stamped pictures, she got a second GPS device — a watch — that took a computerized track she could submit.

“There’s not a governing body for FKTs,” she said. “But the process is pretty rigorous." 

The run and her team

On Aug. 1, Halnon headed to the PCT on the Oregon-California border. It was dark when she began running, but that would become a common theme. 

Her pace was straightforward: run strong and steady on flat, downhill or slightly uphill terrain, while moving to a “strong hike” for steep climbs.   

Earlier that week she’d announced her attempt on Instagram, adding that she would be raising money for rare cancer research. She had modest expectations — maybe $4,500.

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“I waffled on the fundraising part of it in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. “But I just decided, if people have the means to give, great. If not, that’s understandable.”

Halnon’s attempt was for a “supported” record — as opposed to a self-supported record. It means she had a team, and it turned the effort into a communal undertaking. 

Halnon’s boyfriend Ian Petersen and dog Dilly met her at many trail crossings for water, fresh clothes, shoes, snacks and sometimes a hot meal — like a race car coming into a pit stop. Different friends paced her on the trail. 

The challenge of eating and romance novels

The first two days spanned a massive area, taking her from California all the way to Crater Lake National Park — a total of 131.5 miles. 

And it became clear what a big challenge might be: eating.

“Every half hour I’d say, ‘time to eat again,’ and she just hated that,” said Snyder, who ran with Halnon on the second day. “When you’re running like this, your body stops processing food as well. You feel crappy and don’t want to eat. It makes you feel tired and nauseous.

“I’d say: ‘I don’t care what you say, you have to eat. If you don’t, you won’t make it through the day, let alone to Washington.’”

Far from the cliché of Cliff Bars and Gu Energy packets, Halnon and many ultra runners opt for tastier fare: Cheetos, gummy worms, Swedish fish, rice crispy treats and Fritos. At stops, she ate quesadillas and instant mash potatoes. 

The days were long. She averaged 16 to 17 hours each day, reaching camp in darkness, sleeping 2 to 5 hours and getting up before dawn to do it again.

Her feet swelled up a half size and shins ached. The mental willingness to keep going meant Halnon’s running partners also had to keep things fun. They danced, sang Taylor Swift music and made up romance novellas.  

“When I did my run, I listened to a lot of romance novels to keep me occupied,” Snyder said. “They’re great. So, on the second day, Emily told me to play her one, but I hadn’t downloaded any. So she was like: ‘Fine! Then you have to tell me a romance story!’

“So I made up a romance story for her. I think the major plot points were about me finding a random trail man and falling in love in the forest. It was pretty bad, but it worked, and it helped us get through a lot of miles.”

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The best day on the PCT: hog dogs, friends and Diamond Peak

There were plenty of difficult days on the trail, but the highlight was day four — 48 miles from  Windigo Pass to Charlton Lake.

The run brought her past emerald lakes and below Diamond Peak, and was close enough to Eugene that her friends threw a mini trail party. 

After 22 miles, she stopped for a break and was surprised when her friend Eric Suchman brought her a hot dog, French fries and ice-cold Powerade from Dairy Queen.

“It was so perfect,” she said. “I’d been fantasizing about a cold beverage for miles and love hot dogs."

That night, after passing the 200-mile mark, she ran into camp in daylight for the first and only time — and she wasn't alone.  

“My Eugene running friends have showed up in force,” she wrote on Instagram. “They meet me 3 miles up the trail to run me in hooting and hollering, to a beautiful lakeshore set up with a grill, coolers, a fireside massage and friends! Everything a girl could dream of greeting her halfway through this PCT run.

“I am ready to head back out onto the trail with recharged legs and a fuller heart and soul.”

She would need that boost. The weather had changed and would bring the biggest challenge yet.

The worst day: thunderstorm and darkness across Mount Jefferson

Day six was one Halnon had been waiting for the entire trip: 59 miles from McKenzie Pass to Brietenbush Lake, across the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson wilderness areas, the most scenic stretch of the PCT in Oregon.

But the weather had turned against her. A cool thunderstorm blew in, bringing high winds, little visibility and rain that became a winter mix at high elevations. 

“Records aren’t supposed to be easy,” she said.  

From McKenzie Pass she ran across the slick lava rock in a thin rain jacket that wasn’t nearly warm enough, then across exposed ridgelines.

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“It was wet for 14 hours, but the winds on the high ridges were most dramatic,” said Suchman, who ran with her that day. “There were times when we were almost getting blown over. There were no other people on the trail that day, but we passed a ton of tents that looked really warm and cozy.”

As darkness fell, Halnon and Schuman reached a pit stop at Woodpecker Ridge. 

“I shiver through changing clothes and burrow into a sleeping bag with hot ramen,” she wrote, adding that she fell asleep. “I could stay here forever. Warm and not moving.”

One problem: to keep on pace, she had to complete another 10 miles to Breitenbush Lake.

“I reluctantly stand up and groggily start moving,” she wrote. “The next 10 miles are an unending torture chamber of running. Violent river crossings. Icy snow fields. Rocky trails that are hard to follow and travel. Harsh cold again.”

They stumbled into camp at 4:30 a.m.

Just a few hours later, she had to wake up again.  

“I was totally broken the next morning,” Suchman said. “But she woke up at 7:30 a.m. Honestly, watching her get out on the trail was one of the most incredible accomplishments I’ve ever seen.”

Indeed, Halnon ran another 53 miles from Breitenbush Lake to Barlow Pass near Mount Hood on day seven, finishing at 2 a.m.

It set up a final sprint for the record.  

Sprint to the finish, and huge amount of money for rare cancer research

Halnon posted on Instagram throughout the trip, and gradually saw the amount of money she was raising tick upward, all the way to $14,000.

“What I heard from a lot of people was that in the middle of this darkness, the pandemic and everything else, a lot of people were looking for something positive to follow and be part of,” Halnon said. “The run gave them a way to do it.”

The morning of her final day on the trail, she posted: "I'm going for the overall FKT (fastest known time). Can you help me get there with donations to @bravelikegabe?”

To get the fastest known time overall, she needed to finish the final 57 miles by 3:30 a.m. 

“I thought: ‘I can do this, but this day needs to go well,’” she said.

Normally, Halnon said she doesn’t look at her phone during runs. But this time, she kept checking in because the amount of money raised began to rise quickly. 

“I’d get service, press refresh, and see thousands more dollars coming in,” she said. “And I thought: this is why I’m out here.”

But her shin, which had hurt for days, was throbbing. Luckily, Joe Uhan, a physical therapist from Eugene, was along to help at her next pit stop on the trial. 

“People spring into action when I arrive and I'm on Joe's table, his fingers digging magic into my shin, while Lucy spoon-feeds me ramen,” Halnon wrote. “Ian reads me comments people have left about why they're donating. I am a puddle on Joe's table. Cancer has touched and challenged so many lives. And so many people are inspired by my mom.”

The final stretch

The final push was not easy. 

Hanlon was doing well time-wise, but the Bridge of the Gods at Washington's border felt as far away as Australia as she entered the rocky, uneven terrain of the Columbia Gorge.

“I thought about my mom a lot,” she wrote as darkness fell. “I push as hard as I can, which doesn't amount to much speed or grace at mile 446. But I am emptying myself out for this run.”  

Finally, she saw headlights in the distance. Excited hollers. Then the outline of the bridge.

“I hit the bridge surrounded by a tidal wave of love,” she wrote. “The Washington sign cracks me like an egg. I feel so strong and so raw as I finally stop running after 7 days and 19 hours and 23 minutes.”

Her time is a few hours faster than Brian Donnelly, who set the self-supported record of 7 days, 22 hours and 37 minutes in 2013. The final push raised the total over $30,000, which has increased to $32,000. All the money will be donated to Brave Like Gabe for rare cancer research, Halnon said.

After the run, Halnon spent a lot of time sleeping and eating. And thinking about her mom.

“In some ways, I’m glad that she couldn’t follow the blue dot on the screen because it would have really worried her,” Halnon said. “But she would have been beyond proud. And for me, this was my way of feeling connected to her.”

You can still donate to Helnon and the Brave Like Gabe fund here.

Fastest known times on Oregon Pacific Crest Trail 

Supported, female

Emily Halnon: 7 days, 19 hours, 23 minutes (Aug. 9, 2020) 

Lindsey Ulrich: 9 days, 13 hours, 39 minutes (Aug. 5, 2020)  

Danielle Snyder: 9 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes (Aug. 31, 2019) 

Scott Loughney and Yassine Diboun: 8 days, 12 hours, 5 minutes (July 25, 2016) 

Self-supported, male

Brian Donnelly: 7 days, 22 hours, 37 minutes (Aug. 17, 2013) 

Emily Halnon's record, day by day

Day one: California border to Keno Access Road, 61.5 miles / 8,900 feet of elevation gain

Day two: Keno Access Road to Crater Lake National Park, 70 miles / 9,300 feet

Day three: Crater Lake to Windigo Pass, 58 miles / 6,700 feet

Day four: Windigo Pass to Charlton Lake, 48 miles / 6,400 feet

Day five: Charlton Lake to McKenzie Pass, 57 miles / 6,800 feet

Day six: McKenzie Pass to Brietenbush Lake, 59 miles / 8,800 feet

Day seven: Brietenbush Lake to Barlow Pass, 53 miles / 5,700 feet 

Day eight: Barlow Pass to Bridge of the Gods, 57 miles / 8,500 feet

Total: 463.5 miles* / 61,100 feet of climb 

* Mileage taken from Halnon's GPS. It's slightly longer than official Oregon PCT listed milage of 455, but that's normal for GPS systems.  

(08/29/2020) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
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New Wisconsin justice sworn in during ultramarathon

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- New Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky finished her 100-mile ultramarathon Sunday after being sworn in mid-run. Karofsky was sworn in around 1 p.m. Saturday at the 35-mile marker of her route in south-central Wisconsin. State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet administered the oath of office in Basco. Karofsky began running Saturday at 6 a.m. WMTV-TV reports the run took her about 34 hours to complete. Karofsky shared an image of herself at mile 99 on Twitter around 3 p.m. Sunday. The liberal-leaning Karofsky defeated incumbent Daniel Kelly in April to narrow the court’s conservative majority to 4-3.

(08/23/2020) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
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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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Jim Walmsley says he can take a 2:05 marathoner in a trail scenario

Walmsley on the road versus trail argument

Jim Walmsley ran a 1:04:00 in the Houston Half-Marathon on Sunday. Since his performance, many people have been critical of his race and returned to comparing the trail and road running scenes in a futile attempt to try and identify which discipline is more difficult.

Walmsley is an ultra and trail runner who’s the Western States 100 course record holder, and was formerly a high school and collegiate track runner (8:41.05 3,000m steeplechaser). Walmsley was ranked 23rd male on Sports Illustrated’s Fittest 50 athletes in 2018 (marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge ranked 21st) and is very well known for his accomplishments on the trails.

His 1:04:00 at Houston qualified him exactly for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials where he will run his marathon debut. As Walsmley straddles the boundary between ultra-trail runner and road runner, he’s become a focal point for the trail versus road argument.

Walmsley was a guest on the Citius Mag podcast the week following his half-marathon and was asked to address some of the comments. Here’s what he had to say regarding a 2:05 marathoner being thrown into the Western States Endurance Run. “The way that I attack the downhills, I will break your quads and you won’t be able to jog the flats after. Like, give me a 2:05 guy, you don’t need Western States, call me up, give me a 2:05 guy, give me a couple hours in the canyon and I’ll be the first one out.” This is a clip starting at minute 58 in the podcast.

Walmsley adds that of course a marathoner could learn to be good at ultra running, but it takes practice. He’s not denying that road runners wouldn’t be capable of becoming strong trail runners, what he’s saying is that like anything in sport, it takes practice.

(08/17/2020) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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These two best friends ran a marathon in Crocs

Their socially distant ‘Croc-athon’ raised over £2000 for charity

Two students have completed a marathon wearing Crocs to raise money for an anti-slavery charity.

Best friends Carrie Hallam and Mhairi Russell ran the 26.2-mile distance together in Edinburgh on July 11th in aid of International Justice Mission UK. The global organisation works in more than 20 countries to abolish human trafficking and slavery, and regularly shares rescue stories of survivors.

Having discovered the prevalence of these abuses, the athletic duo was compelled to do something practical to make a difference.

'Lockdown has brought to light the injustices that exist across the globe. One of the most shocking things to me was learning that there are over 40 million people experiencing modern slavery today,' Hallam explains.

Wearing layered pairs of socks inside their sandals, Hallam and Russell crossed the finish line after 4 hours and 32 minutes.

The choice to run in Crocs was inspired by their united love of the world-famous brand.

'We see Crocs as a wholly misunderstood footwear,' Hallam tells Runner's World UK. 'They're bright, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. They are also lightweight, breathable and they prevent plantar fasciitis – what more do you want in a pair of running shoes?!'

Although neither Hallam nor Russell had run a marathon before, they were equally eager to tackle the distance.

'After being locked down for two months, Carrie and I both had an excess of time and energy – we thought that a marathon was a great fitness challenge that would give us something to focus on and train for,' Russell says.

In their four-week training period, the pair focused on getting used to the challenge of running in Crocs.

After much experimentation, they devised a strategy to enhance the comfort of their footwear. 'We ended up with the perfect set up of prophylactic blister plasters, a pair of running socks and a pair of thicker hill walking socks,' Russell reveals.

Aware of the risk of running in less-than-suitable shoes, the women took a number of measures to fend off the threat of injury. Their training included intense strength-building, such as squats and lunges, and their race was run predominately on grass.

Having successfully completed their first marathon, the duo have set new running goals for themselves. While Russell now hopes to run a sub 1:45 half-marathon (also in Crocs), Hallam is planning to run another full marathon in under four hours.

'Perhaps long term, we’ll claim we are aiming to do an ultra in crocs, but we won’t be held to that one!' says Hallam.

(08/17/2020) Views: 115 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Des Linden is considering a move to the trails

Linden says UTMB and Comrades are bucket-list races

The 2018 Boston Marathon champion and one of America’s most beloved distance runners is eyeing up some of the world’s most competitive trail races. While it’s far from a done deal, as she’s still got some unfinished business on the road, Des Linden wants to conquer both UTMB and the Comrades Marathon before her running days are over.

Linden told slowtwitch.com that ultra racing, specifically Comrades and UTMB are bucket list items for her. “I don’t spend too much time on the trails, to be honest, I think that’s why there’s so much intrigue. Exploring Chamonix and the Mont-Blanc region on foot and in a race atmosphere just looks pretty incredible.”

UTMB and the Comrades Marathon are two of the most competitive ultra races in the world. UTMB lasts several days and covers 171K, Comrades is a little shorter running either 87 and 90K depending on the year. Trail running is gaining popularity and as it does, more road runners will move from the marathon to even longer distances. (Side note: American distance legend Shalane Flanagan has also been seen doing some trail runs lately). It’ll be interesting to see, as more elite roadies make the move, if they can catch the best in the trail running business.

Jim Walmsley is a great example of a runner who has been successful at every running discipline – but his dominance lies on the trails. Walmsley made his road marathon debut at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trails. His run there was hyped as one of the most exciting storylines, with some going so far as to claim he had an outside shot at the Olympic team. Walmsley ran extremely well (a 2:15 on the insanely hilly Atlanta course is no small feat) to finish 22nd – a far cry from an Olympic berth, but an impressive debut nonetheless.

While Linden is looking to one day attempt a reverse-Walmsley, and it’ll be interested to watch her trajectory. She could help runners answer the age-old question of: do road results translate to the trails?

(08/16/2020) Views: 133 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Are Virtual Races the New Normal?

“Virtual racing is where it’s at. It’s the future of racing with this pandemic looming over our heads. If you want to make money, then you might want to consider converting your events to virtual instead of simply cancelling them.”

The argument in my brain ensued. I found myself pondering, “Virtual races aren’t really the new normal, are they?”

Virtual races have been around for the better part of a decade. I’m not oblivious to that. In fact, virtual races make for an excellent fundraising platform. Since the pandemic hit and our world turned upside down, the fate of races across the globe was sealed for the foreseeable future.

For the obvious reasons, not only have virtual races filled a void in these unprecedented times, but they have kept the supply chain of swag and buckle manufacturers afloat — along with providing race directors with employment. In some sectors, virtual races have created employment opportunities. For runners among us that have been met with disappointment from event cancelations, virtual races have provided an incredible outlet to fill that void and keep runners engaged and motivated and perhaps, even less anxious at the state of our world today.

Some would say virtual races have created (or transformed) social media communities, where novice and experienced runners alike have found inspiration and validation for their effort — no matter how big or small. Virtual races have also engaged people to perhaps pick up a pair of running shoes for the first time, lace up, and join the global community of runners, even if their motivation to do so has simply been driven by a shirt, medal or online bragging rights.

At the end of the day, whatever it takes to preserve our sanity and keep us moving is a good thing. And maybe, just maybe, when all this is over, our running community will have gained a few members for life from this surge in virtual races.

But the diehards among us would argue that virtual races will never replace the deep-rooted community, electric energy at the start of a race and the exhaustion and exhilaration of the finish line. There’s the sound of cowbells, people cheering and seeing friends and family as you come bounding across the finish line—your face marred with dirt as every ounce of your body screams for you to stop. But you’ve endured 32 hours of unrelenting terrain for 100 miles and willed yourself to complete what you started. The buckle or medal that you receive is only the cherry on your sundae!

The unpredictability of race day includes variables like weather, trail conditions and how your body reacts to the highs and lows that come with running an ultra, such as the unknown terrain. Then there are people you meet along the way, the community of runners and volunteers who make racing all worth it. All of this, plus the stories that we get to tell, and the friendships and bonds we make that shape who we’ve become. With each ultra-distance race, we weave a small piece of fabric that forever becomes a part of the large tapestry that we call the ultrarunning community.

None of this can be replaced by virtual races. Virtual races are a great placeholder, but a placeholder nonetheless — not the new normal. So, run all the virtual events you want until we resume real life racing, but don’t fool yourself into believing that virtual races are the future of running. At least, for my personal sanity, I hope that’s not the case!

(08/16/2020) Views: 127 ⚡AMP
by Ultra Running
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Runner Courtney Dauwalter’s record attempt on Colorado Trail stopped after hospitalization

The ultrarunner was diagnosed with acute bronchitis

Courtney Dauwalter’s attempt to break a record along the Colorado Trail has ended — for now — due to acute bronchitis.

Dauwalter, 35, of Golden, had stepped onto the start of the Colorado Trail in Durango Wednesday at 2 p.m. with a goal to run the 486 miles to Denver in record time.

Her husband Kevin Schmidt wrote on her Instagram Monday around 6 a.m. that Dauwalter was wheezing in the crew’s RV that morning, so her crew decided to take her to an emergency room in Leadville.

According to her Garmin GPS, she stopped running east of Twin Lakes, which would mean she had completed more than 300 miles of the 486-mile trail in a little more than five days.

(08/15/2020) Views: 188 ⚡AMP
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Run Rabbit Run canceled due to COVID-19

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Run Rabbit Run, the ultra running race known around the nation, has been canceled, according to a release from race directors.

“While you’re running, you’re socially distanced, but there’s a lot of other factors involved from bringing people from all over, aid stations, volunteers, the community,” said race co-founder Paul Sachs. “Ultimately, it was not the safe or right thing to do this year. We’ll be back next year.”

The announcement explained that directors put together a strict mitigation plan for racing but ultimately couldn’t get a team of medical providers to commit.

All 2020 registrants have been bumped to 2021, which might cause some longterm backup for those on the waiting list. Run Rabbit Run and other ultra races are popular and already have long lists of people hoping to run. With the way permitting works, Run Rabbit Run can’t accommodate any more runners.

“We deferred everybody to next year, so we’re full already,” Sachs said. “I expect some people will drop out, but the reality is there won’t be many open slots.”

A similar situation is occurring in Silverton.

The Hard Rock 100, another famous Colorado ultra marathon, was canceled due to COVID-19. This is the second consecutive year the Hard Rock 100 will not happen, as it was canceled due to snow last summer.

(08/15/2020) Views: 150 ⚡AMP
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In-person backyard ultra lasts 27 hours, winner runs 181K

Aaron Ellison ran 27 laps to win the Capital Backyard Ultra on Sunday

After months of virtual backyard racing, an in-person backyard ultra event was held in Maryland over the weekend. The event started on Saturday and lasted 27 hours, with American ultrarunner Aaron Ellison taking the win after running 181K. Event organizers took precautions to make the run as safe as possible for all racers and volunteers, and the race field was capped at 30 runners. Ultimately, 22 people raced, and Ellison came out on top, outlasting each of his competitors and earning a Golden Ticket to the Big’s Backyard Ultra, which will be held in Tennessee in October.

Originally scheduled for May, the Capital Backyard Ultra was postponed due to COVID-19, but the event’s rain date worked out, and 22 runners faced off at the Potomac, Md., course. Participants ran 4.167 miles (6.7K) every hour until one runner was left standing. When runners finished their 6.7K laps, they could sit and rest for the remainder of the hour. Once the hour was complete, any runners not back registered a DNF and the rest were sent back onto the course to see who could complete another lap before their 60 minutes were up.

From the start of the 20th lap, Ellison and two other runners, Shawn McDermott and Trevor Baine, were the only racers left on the course. The trio duked it out for six more hours, but McDermott and Baine couldn’t keep up with Ellison, who never ran a lap slower than 52 minutes. His consistent eight to 12 minutes of rest after each lap gave him a massive advantage, and it was only a matter of time before he won the event.

With his win, Ellison booked his spot in the Big’s Backyard Ultra, which race director Laz Lake declares to be the backyard world championships. Maggie Guterl won the 2019 Big’s Backyard after running 402K. This will be Ellison’s first shot at the world championship event.

(08/08/2020) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Ultrarunner runs 106K, climbs 10,000m in Double Canmore Quad Challenge

Andy Reed ran the challenge in the Canadian Rockies twice in one go to set the FKT for the route in 26 hours, 33 minutes and 24 seconds

Canmore, Alta., runner Andy Reed set the fastest known time (FKT) for the Double Canmore Quad Challenge in late July, covering the route in 26 hours, 33 minutes and 24 seconds. The single lap of the Canmore Quad features four peaks which runners must run up and down: the Mount Lady MacDonald, Grotto Mountain, the East End of Rundle (EEOR) and Ha Ling Peak. Reed decided to double up for the challenge, running each mountain twice and covering 106K with 10,000m of elevation gain in the process.

Rules of the Canmore Quad

With no set route or starting point, the rules of the Canmore Quad are pretty simple: summit each of the four peaks and return to where you began as quickly as possible. Runners can start their attempts wherever they want, and the freedom to design one’s own route adds a level of creativity and strategy to the run that other FKTs and endurance challenges lack. This is a similar format to many fell running records in the U.K., such as the 214 Wainwright Peaks and Lake District 24-Hour runs. For Reed’s challenge, he stuck to the same rules as a single Canmore Quad and just doubled up on the mileage.

Reed’s Double Quad run

According to Reed’s blog, he had completed the Canmore Quad on multiple occasions before his latest run, but he had never tried two circuits. In an Instagram post that he published after he had completed the challenge, Reed wrote that the run “wasn’t all fun and games.” He explained in another post that the weather was not on his side during the attempt. “We were hit by snow, hail, thunder and lightning, rain and sun,” he wrote, “but all in all an incredible day and a bit!” Despite the struggles he faced on the route, Reed finished the Quad twice over and earned the FKT for the challenge.

(08/08/2020) Views: 111 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Courtney Dauwalter sets off on 788K Colorado Trail FKT attempt

The American ultrarunner is busy tackling one of her biggest challenges yet

American ultrarunning phenom Courtney Dauwalter started a week-long fastest known time (FKT) attempt on the Colorado Trail on Wednesday. The 788K route, which features more than 27,000m of elevation gain, starts in Durango and goes all the way to Denver. Dauwalter is hoping to beat the current record of eight days and 30 minutes set by Bryan Williams in 2017. She posted on Instagram to announce the FKT attempt, noting that this will be her first shot at a 500-mile run. “What does it feel like to run that far?” she wrote. “I’m excited to find out!”

Dauwalter started her run on August 5 at about 4 p.m., according to her tracking feed. To beat Williams’s FKT, she’ll have to arrive just outside of Denver at the trail’s end by the late afternoon on August 13. Running almost 800K in eight days is a tall order, but if anyone can accomplish it, it’s Dauwalter. She is one of the best ultrarunners in the world, and the longer the race, the better for her. This may be her first time running a 500-mile route, but as she proved at last year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (her first time racing the famed ultramarathon), just because she’s new to something doesn’t mean she won’t crush it immediately.

Dauwalter finished 21st overall at the UTMB and won the women’s race, beating second place by an hour. She covered the 171K route in 24 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds and crossed the line as the second American, male or female. Other big results on her resume include a win at the Western States 100, the overall crown at the Moab 240 Endurance Run and many other wins and podium finishes. A week-long trek through Colorado’s mountains is a big undertaking, but as Dauwalter has proven time and time again, she is up for the grind. To follow her run, check out her Garmin tracker.

(08/08/2020) Views: 154 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Orthodox Jewish runner ‘Beatie’ Deutsch will miss Games unless marathon race is moved from Shabbat, a day of rest for Jewish people

“When I set myself the goal of representing Israel in the Olympics, the marathon was on a Sunday,” she explains. “They then moved all the outdoor distance events to Sapporo and condensed them into four days. The women’s marathon is on Shabbat.”

Shabbat, from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, is a day of rest for Jewish people. For Deutsch this means no technology, no distractions and absolutely no running. “There’s no exceptions and I’m 100 per cent committed to it. It’s amazing, we totally disconnect for family time – super powerful, restorative, recharging.”

So far, Deutsch’s attempts to overturn the International Olympic Association’s decision have fallen flat, despite hoping there might be room for negotiation now the Games have been postponed until 2021.

“I wrote to them to see if there was a possibility of switching the marathon with the race walk [on Friday]. So far, they’ve not been very receptive.”

What surprised her was the apparent lack of consideration. “I don’t think the world needs to bend over backwards for me because I have my religious values, but the Olympics is meant to be a unifying event for people from all types of backgrounds – it’s about diversity. In a time when everyone is trying to be more accepting and accommodating of gender, race – everything – I feel like they should be more tolerant.”

Deutsch is not the first of her faith to encounter these hurdles. Estee Ackerman missed the 2016 US Olympic team table tennis trials for the same reason, whilst Tamir Goodman – once dubbed the “Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated magazine – declined a basketball scholarship to top-ranked University of Maryland and subsequently missed winning the NCAA title, to attend somewhere that would accommodate his religious practice.

Deutsch was born in New Jersey to “very encouraging and open-minded” ultra-Orthodox parents, and recalls being active as a child. “I loved exercise and moving my body but the community I grew up in, there weren’t team sports for girls – the opportunities didn’t exist. I did gymnastics but stopped when I was 12 as there was no modest option to continue. That was a normal thing.”

Deutsch has long conformed to her faith’s strict standards of modesty; substantial body coverage and nothing skin-tight. With few sport alternatives available, structured exercise was put on the back burner.

Emigrating to Israel aged 19, she met and married her husband. But it was both a will to regain a level of fitness and a family tragedy that prompted her to start running. In 2017, her husband’s cousin, 14-year-old Daniella Pardes, took her own life after struggling with anorexia. Determined to help others from suffering, Deutsch began using running to raise funds for a project in her name: Beit Daniella, is now a rehabilitation facility for adolescents with eating disorders and other psychiatric illnesses. “Every race I run, I have Beit Daniella on my shirt,” she says.

From the off, Deutsch showed natural ability at the distance. From running 3 hr 27 min at her very first attempt in Tel Aviv, to completing a marathon the following year despite being seven months pregnant with her fifth child. Her breakthrough on the international scene came in January this year, winning the Tiberias Marathon in 2 hr 32 min 25 sec – 10 minutes faster than her previous best and ranking her 76th globally. In February she won the Miami Half Marathon, her first victory in the US. Her achievements quickly caught the attention of Jewish media around the world.

“Being a professional athlete is just not something our people do,” she laughs. “We’re only just realising how beneficial exercise can be – we’re 10 years behind.

Not all of her community are supportive of her endeavours, but she is reluctant to dwell on the barriers.

Unless, the IOC change their stance, Deutsch will not be able to compete next summer. An IOC spokesperson said: “While we put athlete considerations first in all decisions, particularly health and welfare, we are unfortunately not able to adjust the schedule to the particular situation of each individual athlete.”

Olympics aside, Deutsch’s story is already taking the running world by storm – shattering stereotypes and breaking new ground for women.

(07/27/2020) Views: 191 ⚡AMP
by Emma Cluley
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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John Kelly smashes 31-year-old Pennine Way FKT

Kelly set a new best mark on the legendary Pennine Way FKT by 40 minutes

American ultrarunner and 2017 Barkley Marathons finisher John Kelly ran the FKT on the U.K.’s legendary Pennine Way early Thursday morning. The Pennie Way FKT was held for 31 years by Mike Hartley, a storied British ultrarunner, until today. Kelly surpassed Hartley’s time by 40 minutes to finish in two days, 16 hours and 40 minutes (the previous record stood at two days, 17 hours and 20 minutes).

The Pennine Way, which is travelled during the Spine Race (which Kelly won earlier this year, before the pandemic), is a 268 mile (431k) trail up the middle of England from Edale to Kirk Yetholm. Over the course of that 431K, the path gains just shy of 12,000m of elevation on extremely rough terrain. For a little context, the elevation is nearly twice the height of Mount Everest and the distance is like running from Toronto to Sudbury. It’s a lot of running and climbing.

This FKT attempt wasn’t Kelly’s first time traversing this course. He has run it over the course of the Spine Race, but this week’s effort was different. He was assisted and running through the summer (as opposed to January, when the Spine Race takes place) and working with nearly 20 hours of daylight as opposed to the eight he would’ve seen last time. On top of the daylight, this was a supported effort, so he didn’t need to carry any extra supplies.

Kelly was supported primarily by his partner Nicki Lygo who documented most of the effort on Twitter. Kelly dealt with some poor weather and significant stomach issues, but he still managed to pull it off. Initially, he was flying through aid stations in under 60 seconds, but slowed to 30 to 40 minutes toward the end when he would sleep for a bit and try to soothe his stomach.

While Kelly’s effort on Pennine Way is astonishing, he’s not done yet. He took on what he’s calling the Hartley Slam. Pennine Way was Part One and the Grand Round is Part Two. The Grand Round route involves nearly 300K of running, thousands of feet of elevation gain and over 600K of biking between its sections. Kelly attempted the Grand Round in 2019, but was unable to complete it, so he’s heading back for a second try two weeks after today’s finish.

Kelly is doing this challenge for two reasons: to have something to do since his 2020 race calendar was cleared and to raise money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, a U.K. charity that helps disadvantaged youth. If fans are looking to donate, they can do so here. Tune back in two weeks time to follow Kelly on his journey to conquer the Grand Round.

(07/27/2020) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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