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High school student Jack Davison is running the Marathon Des Sables 251-km six-day run, through the African desert in southern Morocco.

Jack Davison is confident taking on this Marathon Des Sables Challenge. Just 15 years old he was the youngest runner to complete two ultras in 2018. 

The first was the Fuerteventura Des Sables half marathon on the Canary Islands in September. Davison really didn’t know whether he could complete the 120k ordeal on the Spanish archipelago, which is just off the African coast but he did. 

“I went in with an open mind,” he said.

“It was an amazing accomplishment.”

It is believed to be a world record for the youngest ultra marathoner. If not, it is certainly a world-class accomplishment.

The terrain was rocky and hilly, “they love to make you run up hills,” and the temperatures were over 100F degrees. 

The wind blew constantly. The organizers furnished the runners with tents, pitched on a sandy beach next to the ocean. However the wind never stopped blowing, and he remembers the sounds of the tents flapping the entire night.

When he got to the Ica Desert in Peru last month, he was more prepared for what lay ahead.

“I knew what to expect, but I always get pretty nervous before a run.”

There were no tourist buses where they were going, and military vehicles transported the runners for about 12 hours before they got to the starting line.

Running in a sandy desert presented its own challenges. Consider that professional athletes run on sand to make their training more challenging. The was one sandy hill, almost a kilometer long, that he won’t soon forget.

“It took me an hour to run up that sand dune,” he recalls.

He enjoyed the social side of running, meeting people from around the world out to conquer the same goal.

Davison wasn’t in the money, but he finished in the top one-quarter – about 350 in Spain and 400-plus in Peru. He was satisfied with that.

“I went there each time just trying to complete it.”

Surprisingly, Davison doesn’t train with a lot of distance running. He is a provincial calibre tennis player, and his main fitness regimen is spending about 25 hours each week running around a court.

But he is no stranger to distance runs.

His father Aaron is also an ultra marathoner. Aaron has completed the full Marathon Des Sables three times, and will attempt it this year at the age of 51. 

Like his father, Jack finds an incredible sense of achievement in these feats of endurance.

At his age, Jack is not even allowed to run in marathons in Canada, where the minimum age is 18. But he didn’t think it hurt him in any way. After the Canary Islands marathon he rested for about a week.

But last month when he got back from Peru, he found his mom had enrolled him in a tennis tournament, so he only had a few days of rest before he was back in action. He finished second in the tourney.

His tennis coach isn’t crazy about his marathoning, but Davison also plans to complete that epic 251k marathon across the Sahara in Morocco April 5. 

“That will be the highlight of my life so far,” he says. 

(01/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Marathon Des Sables

Marathon Des Sables

The Marathon des Sables is ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth. Known simply as the MdS, the race is a gruelling multi-stage adventure through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates - the Sahara desert. The rules require you to be self-sufficient, to carry with you on your back everything except...

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Ultra runner Walter Handloser's 2019 goal is to run 50 races of 100 miles or more

The 36-year-old Walter Handloser of San Luis Obispo, California wants to run 50 races of 100 miles or more in 2019.

If he accomplishes his goal, he’ll set the world record for most 100-mile races run in one year.  The current record is 41 races.

“That would be my ideal,” he said. “Get people interested in this idea that this weird goal is possible, and then hold the record for maybe like a year or two. That would be great, that would be fun. I’m not competitive at all — I’d rather see people succeed at this kind of stuff.”

Handloser’s running career began after he decided to get in shape about eight years ago.

He was the self-described “fattest kid on the cross country team” in high school in the San Diego area and struggled to find an effective fitness routine after finishing his prep football career.

Overweight and approaching 30, Handloser, a former Cal Poly student, decided he wanted to get in the best shape of his life. He joined Sleeping Tiger Fitness and began doing kettlebell and kickboxing workouts.

Steady weight loss followed. Handloser, who stands 5 feet, 6 inches tall, went from about 240 pounds to about 170 pounds.

He ran his first successful marathon in 2014, after a painful half marathon and a failed attempt at a full marathon.

A couple of years later, Handloser ran his first 100-mile race in 2016 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

“I was hooked,” he said. “That was my distance. I found what felt very natural and very wonderful.”

As of December, Handloser had run 64 races of marathon distance or greater, including 25 marathons, 12 ultra races of 100 miles and four 200-mile runs. His longest race was 240 miles.

(01/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Top two American’s in the Run The World Challenge which just finished are both over 70

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(01/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson Team Caption
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Bracha Deutsch a mother of five is Israel’s most unlikely marathon runner

Clad in a modest skirt and headscarf, Bracha Deutsch, a mother of five from Jerusalem, was first across the finish line at the National Half Marathon Championships, and now she has her sights set on the Olympics.

Israel's most unlikely marathon runner spends her Thursday preparing food for Shabbat. For that's what you do when you are the first female Haredi marathon runner in the country and you have a race Friday morning.

It may sound improbable, perhaps preposterous, but 29-year-old Bracha "Beatie" Deutsch is the real deal. The first female Haredi athlete shocked everyone by winning Israel's National Half Marathon Championship in December, with a personal best of 1 hour, 19 minutes and 51 seconds.  

Deutsch is keeping things in perspective. "It's much harder to mother five children than to run a marathon," she says. "Running is a piece of cake compared to potty training."

Indeed, her Instagram seems to reflect her two loves - her children and running, and is filled with photos of both. Her user name, perhaps unsurprisingly, is "marathonmother." 

"Although my children are small, before I compete, they ask me 'mommy, are you going to win?' The trophy I won at the Half Marathon Championship started a war between my children, they each wanted it for themselves!"  

On January 4, Deutsch will compete in the Tiberias Marathon, where she hopes to place on the podium. And after that, she dreams of the Olympics. And while she is still very far from reaching that goal, she is definitely optimistic.

"I have patience," she says. "I've only been running for three years. I hope to be the first ultra-Orthodox Jewish athlete at the Olympics.

(12/31/2018) ⚡AMP
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My Love Affair with Central Park started 40 years ago tonight - Larry Allen on Running File 5

If you want a useful guide for running in Central Park this isn’t that. There is plenty of concise information available online and all of it will do a far better job telling you exactly how to go for a run in New York City’s favorite 840 acre backyard.

If you want to know about beginning a long term relationship with New York City and running in Central Park, this is my story.

My first run in the park was on December 29, 1978. I was in college on the GI Bill and had taken my slightly unreliable but fun-to-drive MGB from Maine to Florida over Christmas break.

I didn’t want to think about the trip back north. Hitchhiking was still an option in those days if my car gave out but it surely was not what I wanted.

I was already a veteran of two marathons and was ramping up my mileage for the Boston Marathon the following April. I had a glorious couple of weeks of running in the technicolor light and warmth of south Florida and while there even managed to meet Frank Shorter.

I ran twice a day including a couple of two hour runs, went to empty beaches to bask in sunny 60 degree days while bundled up locals looked on, amused and mystified.

All in all it was a great time, went quickly and too soon I was starting the long drive back to Maine.

A couple of uneventful days on the road brought me back to the NJ turnpike two days before New Year Eve. In the fading light of a cold, clear winter afternoon I pulled into a service plaza for gas.

My plan was to continue driving on through the night for the last 500 plus miles vs. spending money I didn’t have for a roadside motel room. A “you are here” map in the foyer of the restroom surprised me with my close proximity to NYC.

The next thing I remember is rummaging through the stuff in my car for an address book with the phone number of a longtime summer friend from Maine who spent the balance of his life on upper west side of New York.

I searched between the seats for change to make a call on a pay phone and was fortunate that my friend even answered. He graciously said I could crash for the night.

I’d never even been into NYC proper and the prospects for the evening were exciting if not a little intimidating.

I finally made it safely down from the high bridge over the Hudson River into the city and found a place to park near Grant’s Tomb on Riverside Drive, a few blocks west of my friend’s apartment not far from Columbia University.

I made the wise choice to schlep all of my stuff to the apartment for fear that the patched convertible top and dodgy locks of my car wouldn’t deter anyone in 1970s NYC, from breaking in looking for anything of value.

I said a quick hello and thank you to my friend on arrival but needed a run before I could eat or do anything else. He understood and gave me directions to Central Park and showed me how to buzz myself back into his high rise building.

Running down Broadway entailed dodging and weaving along hopelessly crowded evening sidewalks, scents from all manner of ethnic food wafting as I made my way through the 20 red lights, one per block, for a mile.

Eventually a left turn, to the east for a few more blocks to enter the park around 100th St at Central Park West.

The park was dark and cold, full of energy but it oddly felt peaceful too. The air was filled with different smells; diesel bus fumes, horse manure, musty fallen leaves, street pretzels, roasted nuts and yes, adrenaline, some of it mine.

Traffic hadn’t been banned from the park drives in the evening yet so it was full of yellow cabs and giant 70s era sedans moving slowly in heavy evening traffic.

I looked around for a landmark, something to remember so I could find my way back out of the park onto the same street in hopes of finding my way back to my friend’s place through what felt like barely contained chaos on the city streets.

I took note of a broken, graffiti covered park bench in this far less than gentrified version of the city. It seemed memorable enough and I guess it was.

Inside the park there was a lane for running. Parallel were two traffic lanes around what I’d been told was a six mile loop circling the park just inside the perimeter.

In spite of the hummock and pot-hole filled streets, particularly in the nearly bankrupt version of the city at the time, I recall the park drives being remarkably smooth pavement.

I turned right, running downtown on the west side.  The rolling hills also seemed more downhill than up too, something I confirmed in years and miles to come.

At first it was a gentle contained pace, working out the stiffness in my legs and back after a day long drive from North Carolina on a bad suspension and the hard seats in my car.

The grade of the rolling hills and gently winding turns in the park seemed worn-in to the landscape. It felt perfect for running, almost carved into the city like the equivalent of glacial wear but from the mass of some number of the eight million city residents using the park day after day.

Making my way down the west side for a mile offered peeks through the leafless trees and scenic overlooks of the lights and architecture of pre war apartment buildings forming what appeared to be a tall, impenetrable wall along the avenue fronting the park.

Periodically there were glimpses further downtown to the iconic skyscrapers in midtown. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building most familiar amongst a forest of others that seemed just as big if not as well known.

I simply didn’t want to stop running, the pull was almost magnetic, my tempo gradually increasing around the next corner or over the next hill, all just to see what was ahead.

It was all a bit like a party that you didn’t want to leave for fear of missing something good that might happen.

Just before reaching a first opportunity to choose between veering left from the main park drive or continuing straight toward the high rises of midtown; I went by what, in a few years, would be renamed Strawberry Fields.  It was in honor of John Lennon; murdered not far away at the entrance to his building, the Dakota, which overlooks the park here.

The park is a perfect rectangle, slightly off of an exact north to south axis extending from 110th St to 59th St., 2.5 miles on each side and slightly over .75 mile between 5th Avenue on the east side and Central Park West on the other.

Years later I learned that the cutoff (or shortcut) I had seen and gone by at 72nd St and another I hadn’t reached yet at 102nd St made for a seemingly endless variety of options for creating and running multiples of loops of 2, 4, 5 miles and of course the full 6 mile circuit.

The New York Road Runners used the counterclockwise 6+ miles of the full park four times plus the slightly less than two mile loop from the bottom of the park to 72nd St for the 26 miles 385 yards for the 55 finishers of first New York Marathon in 1970.

The marathon still uses the park, but only about half of it for part of the final three miles of the race.

I read somewhere that 20,000 people run in Central Park on an average day. There are days and seasons during the year when that number seems high but other days and times during the year when it is certainly low. I guess that’s what they mean by average.

There are over 30 races in Central Park every year. Most hosted by the New York Road Runners Club and a few by other organizations.

Nearly all have thousands of participants, racing distances ranging from a 1 mile kids race to a 60k ultra marathon. Some with top invited international and American stars, some simply very large competitive local races. Every one a variation in the options for running loops in the park.

I continued running through the park, next past a big open meadow on the left, learning later that it was the 15 acre Sheep’s Meadow.

It has been a historic spot for protests over the past 100 years, up to 30,000 sunbathers on a nice day and 150,000 for a Barbra Streisand concert in the 1960s and yes sheep, from the 1860s until the 1930s.

Adjacent to the finish line of the marathon at Tavern on the Green the meadow also was a post race staging area for a few years.

22 months after my first run in the park I was back here, finishing my first marathon in New York. My last run up the hill to that familiar finish line was 32 years later.

The buildings along the southern edge of the park loom up just a few hundred yards away from the marathon finish. Columbus Circle marks one of the four corners of the park here and is a block from where I lived for 10 years when I finally moved to the city.

Almost every day was a 15 minute walk home from work at MoMA for me, dogs out for a walk and then into the park for an evening run. Sometimes clockwise, up the westside, the opposite direction of my first run.

Often I ran the same counterclockwise direction I was running that night. Across the bottom of the park to the east side, the legendary Plaza Hotel, the Central Park Zoo and the Wollman Skating rink anchoring the corner on that side.

I saw the familiar sign for the Essex House hotel along the way on my first run in the park that night and invariably still take a glance up at it on every run 40 years later.

Turning back north on the east side of the park led me up a gentle hill through dramatic exposed rock outcroppings of Manhattan’s bedrock schist. Apparently something which allowed New York to more easily build foundations for it’s famous skyscrapers over the last century.

I ran past playgrounds, the 100 year old children’s carousel and about a mile beyond Columbus Circle, to the other end of the 72nd St cutoff.

In years ahead it became a familiar corner. Nearby is the start and finish for the New Years Eve 4 mile race in the park, starting at the stroke of midnight with fireworks. 

The corner is also near the start of one of the bigger hills in the park, this one known among local runners as “cat hill”. Midway up the 1/4 mile climb is a sculpture of a life sized and menacing mountain lion, seemingly ready to pounce from a natural stone overhang directly over the runner’s lane.

It was too dark to see the cat that night but is familiar enough now. Cat hill is a popular place for training for some of the dozens of running clubs that meet up and use the park for weekly group training sessions.

A couple of minutes more led me past what I didn’t know at the time was the back of the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art. Around it and closer to 5th Avenue for another half mile brought me near a building I did recognize, Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark cylindrical Guggenheim Museum.

The nearby entrance to the park would become familiar later as the place where the marathon enters the park for the last 2.5 miles of the race headed back in the direction from which I’d just come.

The summer after my first NY marathon and having entering my 2nd, there was a fundraising appeal in my race confirmation. The NYRR was trying to raise money to purchase a six story Beaux Arts townhouse just opposite the Guggenheim for one million dollars.

They were successful and for 36 years it served as headquarters, clubhouse and place to pick up bibs for their many races. It was listed for sale this past year for 25 million dollars as they apparently need something fancier and/or bigger.

Nearby is a statue of the late, charismatic leader of the NYRR, Fred Lebow. His vision arguably responsible for the explosive growth of urban marathons around the world for decades. His likeness stands looking at a stopwatch, appearing to be silently calling out time splits to runners just inside the park.

The entrance of the 1.5 mile long reservoir running path is there too, named for Jacquelin Kennedy Onassis, a nearby resident for decades, she was known to jog on the scenic cinder path and reportedly was even seen wearing long white formal evening dress gloves on cool days.

At the reservoir it felt like I had run between 5-6 miles, I knew it was six around the park but then maybe 10 minutes more to and from my friends place.

I was moving along briskly, feeling good but thinking I should get back but had reached the point where it made more sense to continue on vs. turning back. Maybe three miles to go.

Just 1/4 mile past the flat straight section along the reservoir the drive started down a hill and turned toward the center of the park from the perimeter. I felt a change. There were fewer street lights, less traffic and not as many people around. It all seemed a bit more ominous.

A half mile further brought me to the 2nd cutoff between the east side and the west. This one at 102nd St. It was very dark, narrow and almost foreboding.

In 1989 this section of the park, down the hill from the reservoir to the 102nd St cutoff became notorious as the site of a series of “wilding” gang assaults on a number of runners and pedestrians over one hour on a frightening night that April. It culminated in the vicious assault and rape of the “Central Park jogger” on the cutoff road I was passing.

Even 11 years prior to that night it felt dangerous. Today most runners and running clubs practice a buddy system when running at night in the park as a result of what happened in 1989.

There is a prominent police presence in this area and thankfully crime in the city and the park has declined precipitously too.

In all of my thousands of miles in the park over the years, many at night, I’ve never personally experienced a threat or even witnessed one and I’m grateful for that.

The almost kaleidoscopic park quickly changes again at the far north end. The park drive quickly snakes through a steep S shaped descent with high bluffs overhead on one side and an open high view of Harlem on the other; the Meer waters and the Conservatory Gardens in the foreground.

The far north end of the park remains the most natural with unspoiled ravines, dramatic rock faces, waterfalls and streams all tucked away.

On runs here I’ve seen families of raccoons crossing the road at night and hawks swoop down for unsuspecting squirrels during the day but nothing of the sort on this particular night.

Midway down the hill brought me past a large skating rink outfitted for youth hockey. I learned later that it does double duty as a community pool in the summer.

Now at the north edge of the park I could see into Harlem. I made the turn, running to the west. Just outside the park were dilapidated tire changing shops, gas stations, boarded up windows, burned out cars and a trash can with a makeshift bonfire offering warmth to a few men huddled around.

Continuing on, anticipating a turn to the south to complete my circuit of the park it quickly became evident that I was going to climb a good hill.

Runners in NY refer to this climb with some dread as THE Harlem Hill, it climbs about 150 ft in half a mile and then just as quickly drops down again. I wasn’t far beyond where it leveled out again and suddenly on my right, there it was!  

The familiar broken, graffiti covered bench that I’d decided to use as part of my trail of bread crumbs when I entered the park.

Not much had changed on the surface. Traffic had lessened somewhat as the evening rush was concluding. The smells were the same but had become permanently imprinted in my brain vs. something new to experience.

I slowed my pace for the few blocks back toward Broadway and a final right turn north for the last mile up toward Columbia.

After less than an hour on foot I felt like I understood New York to some extent....and I liked it. The prospects for the evening seemed exciting enough when I decided to spend the night but I had no idea.

Even before I finished the run one big thing had changed. I knew or at least hoped that I’d spend part of my life in the city. 

My wife, step daughter and I have been fortunate to have lived the last 21 years of our life together in New York and adjacent to Central Park, 10 years on one corner of the park and the last 11 years a few blocks from the far opposite corner. In part, all due to one unforgettable run around Central Park on a cold December night 40 years ago tonight.

(Larry Allen on Running is an exclusive My Best Runs Running News Daily feature.  Additionally Larry is doing the Run The World Challenge for the third time.) 

(12/28/2018) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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Colin O’Brady, became the first person ever to traverse Antarctica from coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided

The final miles of a nearly two-month race across Antarctica — a lonely effort marked by long days, short nights and stunning endurance — ended Wednesday with a sprint to the finish.

In what could go down as one of the great feats in polar history, the American Colin O’Brady, 33, covered the final 77.54 miles of the 921-mile journey across Antarctica in one final sleepless, 32-hour burst, becoming the first person ever to traverse Antarctica from coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided by wind.

O’Brady’s transcontinental feat, which took him an actual total of 932 miles with some zigzags along the course, was remarkable enough; but to complete the final 77.54 miles in one shot — essentially tacking an ultramarathon onto the 53rd day of an already unprecedented journey — set an even higher bar for anyone who tries to surpass it.

“I don’t know, something overcame me,” O’Brady said in a telephone interview. “I just felt locked in for the last 32 hours, like a deep flow state. I didn’t listen to any music — just locked in, like I’m going until I’m done. It was profound, it was beautiful, and it was an amazing way to finish up the project.”

O’Brady’s culminating effort joined some of the most remarkable achievements in polar history, including expeditions led by Norway’s Roald Amundsen and by Robert Falcon Scott of England, who battled Amundsen to become the first to reach the magnetic South Pole. There was also Borge Ousland’s magnificent traverse in 1996-97, when he became the first to cross the continent alone and unsupported — though he was aided by a kite.

(12/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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A new running podcast is going to start up January 10 from Strava

Strava is starting another running podcast beginning January 10. The fitness tracking app is about to unveil a new podcast entitled “Athletes Unfiltered,” for the runners and cyclists who use it.

It will be hosted by The North Face-sponsored ultrarunner Hillary Allen and feature interviews with extraordinary athletes and athletes in extraordinary circumstances.

One of the first episodes will feature an interview with Gene Dykes (photo), who recently broke the late Canadian marathoner Ed Whitlock‘s WMA M70 marathon record with his 2:54:23 performance in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Strava posted this on their website, “Athletes Unfiltered features normal athletes. They're good, inspiring people, daring enough to share their journey day after day, whether that's breaking a marathon PR or cutting a run short to desperately search for the nearest toilet.”

(12/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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A Journey in the world of extreme ultra running, Challenging The Impossible.

This new movie gets into the minds of the runners, to understand why they would undertake such a huge challenge and follow how they set about preparing for the task. 

The Movie Breaking 60 was shot over a period of five months in the build up to and during the challenge days, the film explores the world of extreme ultra running.

In January 2017, 22 determined runners embraced the challenge of a single self supported effort over Hong Hong's grueling four ultra trails. 

The movie Breaking 60 is the story of that challenge.

This movie has recieved raved reviews such as, “Finishing under 60 hours is more about the mind, more about stubbornness... just dealing with the pain,” wrote Scottie Callaghan.

(12/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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8-year-old Nate Viands blasted through the NCR Marathon as he is battling Leukemia

“He just took off,” says his father, Scott Viands — an ultrarunner who accompanied Nate during that 26.2-mile race — in a story published Thursday in Runner’s World.

But beginning around mile eight, Nate’s sub-eight-minutes-per-mile pace propelled him ahead of his father. “Every once in a while at an aid station, I’d ask, ‘Did you see a little guy come through?’ and they’d be like, ‘Yeah, he’s 10 minutes ahead of you.’ ”

The young Pennsylvania resident felt sore the following morning after finishing the NCR Marathon in 3:32, but he’s experienced greater physical pain.

Just a month before turning 4 — while fighting symptoms such as dark circles under his eyes, nosebleeds, fatigue and fevers — Nate was diagnosed with leukemia. The next nine months saw intensive chemotherapy treatments, which made his energy plummet so low that he had difficulty walking up stairs.

“It’s not really something you’re expecting to ever, ever hear or deal with, you know? It changed our lives forever,” Viands tells Runner’s World of Nate’s illness.

But the treatments became less intense, and less frequent. And although Nate won’t know if he’s clear of cancer until June, he regained energy and strength — and took to sports.

From a young age, skateboarding was a passion, then it was riding bicycles. But in 2015, he began running by accident. One day, at age 5, he had intended to ride his bike alongside his father, who was going on a run in a park near their home — but they had forgotten to load the bicycle in the car.

“I’ll just run with you,” Viands recalls his son saying. That day, he ran a few miles, with natural form — and eventually, running replaced biking.

The NCR Marathon is Baltimore's oldest continuously running marathon presented by the Baltimore Road Runners Club.  The 2018 race took place November 24.

(12/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Joe Adamson is preparing to run a gruelling 250Km race in the punishing heat of the Sahara Desert.

A soldier who played for Bangor Rugby Club is spending his Christmas and New Year in Afghanistan training to run a gruelling 250Km race in the punishing heat of the Sahara Desert.

Captain Joe Adamson was deployed to Afghanistan some weeks ago.

Joe has set himself a target of competing in one of the most arduous and exhausting challenges on the planet – ‘The Marathon de Sables’.

This race, which translates into ‘Marathon of the Sands’ sees around 1000 runners compete in the ultra-marathon over a distance of 250km (156 miles) equivalent to six regular marathons, across the burning sands of Morocco’s Sahara Desert, with temperatures reaching 50 C degrees.

The runners aim to complete the race inside six-days and during that time remain self-sufficient throughout, carrying all their essential equipment, including cooking equipment, food and sleeping bag in the kit bag on their backs.

Joe is a platoon commander with the Gurkhas and it is his job to plan and execute Advisor Force Protection missions. The UK troops are out in Kabul providing protection and security to the NATO advisors and mentors.

(12/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Aaron Saft has created a 24-hour race on New Year´s Eve at North River Farms

A new race has been created in Mills River that allows runners to literally run into the new year — provided they are willing to run for six, 12 or 24 hours straight.

On New Year’s Eve, around 50 runners will descend on a 1.5-mile dirt loop track around North River Farms.  Starting at 12 a.m. Dec. 31, competitors will run around the loop, trying to complete as much distance as they can before the new year.

Aaron Saft, a veteran trail and ultramarathon runner and Mills River resident, thought it would be a good way to ring in the new year. Saft is a race director, the owner of Root RX running store in South Asheville and president and founder of the Run 828 Foundation — a nonprofit supporting healthy, active and outdoor lifestyles in Western North Carolina.

Four events will take place on the same loop: a 24-hour solo run and relay, a 12-hour solo run starting at noon and a six-hour solo run starting at 6 p.m. All races will finish at midnight Jan. 1, with the award ceremony taking place at 12:15 a.m.

“It allows people to accomplish whatever goal they have in mind,” said Saft. “Get a new distance record, try to go farther than they ever have before. So it’s really individualized.”

Saft said most runners shoot for 100 miles in 24 hours. All runners who complete 100 miles will receive a custom race logo buckle.

There’s very little sleep involved. Some will stop and grab food periodically and take a walk break, but others will run the entire time.

“You can walk the whole way if you want to,” said Saft. “It’s really up to the individual.”

(12/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Best Racing Moment of 2018 and My Best Runs 2019 World Best 100 Races were announced today

My Best Runs "Best Racing Moment in 2018" and the My Best Runs "2019 World Best 100 Races" were announced today in Mountain View, California at the My Best Runs (MBR) headquarters.

First on the agenda was the announcement of the 2018 Best Racing Moment. MBR founder Bob Anderson stated, "Eluid Kipchoge was all smiles as he crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon September 29." 

"He had just smashed the world marathon record clocking 2:01:39.  Eliud ran the last 17k without pacers, pushing himself, taking off one minute and 18 seconds off of Dennis Kimetto's record."

"The world has rarely seen one event so dominated by one man, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge," says Bob who also was the founder of Runner's World magazine (1966) and publisher for 18 years.

Eliud has won many awards this year including World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Awards.

Next up on the agenda was the annoucement of the 4th Annual My Best Runs 2019 World Best 100 Races. 

"There are so many good races in the world.  This list could easily be much bigger.  However, as we have done now for four years, we have narrowed it down to the top 100," stated Bob. 

The featured race at 44 of the best 100 are marathons.  There are 20 half marathons and 14 10ks.  There is the Western States 100 miler and the Comrades Ultra marathon in South Africa.

The shortest race is the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile in New York City.  The longest is the 156 mile Marathon Des Sables coming up March 5 in Morocco. 

Most offer prize money totally million of US dollars.  The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon coming up January 26 is offering $1,316,000.  This marathon which was first held in 2000 top four men at the 2018 race all ran under between 2:04:00 and 2:04:06.  Four women ran between 2:19:17 and 2:19:53.

"It is good to see over $21 million (from races MBR are featuring) in prize money being offered runners," says Bob.  "Running is what these runners do and the money is well deserved and important for our sport."

Of course the Berlin Marathon is one of our top 100 but so is the Valencia Half Marathon (Spain) where Abraham Kiptum broke the world half marathon record in the 2018 race by clocking 58:18. 

The Birell 10k Race in Prague, CZE also made the list again for the 4th year. 18-year-old Phonex Kipruto from Kenya clocked 26:46 while Caroline Kipkirui clocked 30:19.  "This is one fast evening race and obviously belongs on our top 100 list," stated Bob.

The list has races from 23 different countries. 

"You can not go wrong in running any of these races," says Bob Anderson. "Your biggest challenge in many of these races will be to be able to be on the starting line. But if you can get in, you will have a blast."

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by My Best Runs
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Marios Giannakou from Greece was the youngest finisher in one of the most difficult races in the world at Al Marmoom

Marios Giannakou is a 26-year-old runner from the city of Drama in Macedonia, Greece. His extraordinary story of perseverance, as he transformed himself from a smoker into an ultra-fit runner, can serve as an inspiration to all.

He was the youngest finisher in one of the most difficult races in the world, the 270-kilometer (168 mile) “Ultra Marathon”, which took place in the deserts of Dubai between December 11–15.

Giannakou wasn’t always a fit athlete who loved challenges. Weighing more than average and a regular smoker, he changed his attitude and life and began running at the age of 22.

Speaking with the Greek Reporter, Giannakou says that he never saw running as a simple athletic competition, or a personal challenge where you try to achieve the fastest time.”It is an activity where you are on your own. You have the time to think and solve problems for yourself,” he says.

His ultra-long distance running adventure began in 2015, when he participated in several competitions in the region of Rhodopi in Greece’s Thrace. He ran distances of 82 kilometers (51 miles) and even 161 kilometers (100 miles) in separate races there.

In early 2018, he decided to run with his friend Chronis in the Arctic for the distance of 150 kilometers (93.2 miles). ”We finished together, we had the same time” he said proudly.

Asked about his decision to participate in Dubai’s Ultra-Marathon, Giannakou laughed.

”We saw the cold, now it was time to see how the desert is” he said, laughing over the extraordinary accomplishments he has had in less than one year.

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Moroccans won the world’s longest desert Al Marmoom ultra marathon in the men’s division

El Morabity finished the world’s longest desert Al Marmoom ultra marathon of 270 kilometers in under 32 hours (31:17:29), ahead of French runner Muriel Robert and Iranian runner Akbar Najdi Niryan.

In the women’s category, Moroccan Aziza Raji achieved finished second (40:03:20) behind American runner Magdalena Boulet (37:27:59), while Russian Oskana Riyapova finished third (42:17:43).

The sporting event brought together runners from 35 countries who specialize in endurance races.

The victory comes a week after Rachid El Morabity and his brother Mohammed scored Morocco a gold medal during the Oman Desert Marathon. The brothers won first and second places, respectively.

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Vlad Ixel traded his alcohol and cigarette addiction for an addiction to trail running

Vlad Ixel decided trail running was a healthier addiction than cigarettes and alcohol. 

Ixel, who came second in the North Face 50 behind Chinese phenomenon Yan Longfei on Saturday, decided to quit alcohol, cigarettes and meat two days before his 25th birthday. Later that week, he decided to run his first-ever marathon.

“When I was 24, the only running I would ever do was to the liquor store before it closed to make sure I had enough bottles,” said the 31-year-old Ukrainian, who has been based in Hong Kong for the past four years. “I couldn’t sleep without my six beers.”

”The high I got from crossing the finish line was far greater than anything I felt on a night out with drugs or alcohol, and with my addictive personality it just began to snowball. Since then, I’ve literally never stopped running,” Ixel said.

He’s not exaggerating. Ixel quickly became one of Hong Kong’s most active elite runners. He is sponsored by North Face and runs roughly 30-35 ultra-marathons a year.

In addition, Ixel has quickly developed a strong presence as an online running coach and motivator, having accrued over 20,000 Instagram followers.

Ixel moved to Hong Kong from Perth, Australia for his running career.

“When I was living in Perth there was maybe only two or three races a year. So when I started racing in Asia I met some friends who told me I should come down to Hong Kong for race season. I ran the 2013 Northface 100 and I thought ‘Wow this place is awesome, this is where I need to be.’

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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He hopes to be the only man on earth to run a sub three hour marathon in six consecutive decades - Marathon Man Gary Allen introduction

Gary Allen is going to sharing his thoughts and knowledge here in MBR’s Running News Daily under the banner “Marathon Man Gary Allen.”

In his first column I sent him some questions so we all could get a flavor of what makes this incredibly creative and talented man tick.  I know I am looking forward to his writings here and I hope you are too!

So Gary, how did you discover running?

”I wanted to be a hockey player,” wrote Gary “but there weren’t enough kids on the small Maine Island I am from for a team. Then in 1972 I saw a skinny guy named Frank Shorter run into a stadium in Munich and I was like cool, you can win a gold medal just for running.”

How important is running to you?

“I have been involved with running for my entire life so assigning importance to who and what I am is like trying to describe how big the universe is to an ant. It is impossible for me to adequately portray how all encompassing running is to me as a part of my life,” says Gary. 

Does being an accomplished runner help you put on first class events?

“Absolutely! The races I direct are direct reflections of what and how I expect races to be run. I would never ask anyone to do something I haven’t done so I merely apply my expectations and my creativity to every race I help to organize.”

What one race you have run stands out as number one?

“Ahhhhh I can’t narrow it down to one race. However, Boston is always high on every list. I have one more to run to make a quarter century of unicorn chasing. The Burning Man ultra (photo) is a race I love beyond words. It helped change my thinking about how races run.

“A combination of an other worldly environment and no entry fee helped to expand my thinking. NYC (19 finishes) is where I was inspired to become a race director after watching Fred Lebow in action in 1980. It is reality true, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere! 

Tell us about your coaching?

“I have coached at the HS level and coached many individuals over the years but my current team is at Mount Desert Elementary School where I have been the XC coach for the past 12 years.

“My philosophy is pretty simple, make running fun and kids will want to run more and the more they run the better they get at running which is of course even more fun for them!

“One of of our key workouts is called, zombie tag. We run in the surrounding Maine woods and trails and I assign a few zombies and the rest of the team tries to run away and not get caught. 

“I also love to hide pizzas in the woods and have the kids run around and find them! Apparently my methods work cause in the past decade plus we have won almost every meet we’ve run!”

What are your personal goals as a runner?

“As a race director: I want to leave our sport better than I found it.

”As a coach: I want to inspire the next generations of runners to think about running for their entire lives. Rather they run or not matters little, but I want them to always remember and to love running knowing some will go on and be involved in our sport as competitors, coaches or even as race directors.

”As a competitor: I have accomplished pretty much every goal I’ve set for myself. Of late I struggle some with the naturally selfish nature of being a long distance runner.

“The single dimensional, ‘I’m training for,’ ‘Look at me’ has become less and less appealing to me over the years.

“As you know one of my proudest achievements is joining the five decades Sub 3 hour marathon club. At this point nobody on earth has run a sub 3 hr marathon in six consecutive decades so maybe it’ll give it a shot in 2020!

“Incidentally Joan Benoit Samuelson is the only other Mainer on the list and the only woman who has done this and I wouldn’t count out Joanie to run a sub 3 for her 6th decade.

Can you give us some background info?

“For Work: Lobsterman, Boat Builder, Carpenter, Yacht captain, Farmer, Auctioneer, Coach, Inspirational speaker.”

”Some Personal Records: Marathon 2:39:10, Half Marathon 1:13:20, 50 miles 6:21.

”My family settled on Great Cranberry Island in the 1670s.  I am 12th generation. It’s a small offshore Island off the coast of Maine. It’s probably the most unlikely place to become a runner as the main road is only two miles long. I built my own house by hand from trees growing on my land. I dug my well with a shovel figuring they used to do it that way so why couldn’t I?”

(12/16/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Richard Donovan is planning on finishing his 3,000 mile journey across America this weekend

Irish Ultra runner Richard Donovan is close to completing the equivalent of running nearly 130 marathons. The well-known record setter is currently undertaking the epic Trans North America Run, a 3,100 mile run across the US, travelling from San Francisco to New York, to raise funds for fellow runner Alvin Matthews, who became paralysed in 2014.

Alvin is a dam builder and suffered a 25ft fall in Lebanon last year. He had previously completed two races that Richard had organised, the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon, and was due to take part in the Volcano Marathon in South America when he had the accident. To help raise funds for Alvin, Richard began his adventure across the US on May 19th in San Francisco. 

Richard is no stranger to endurance running and currently holds the world record for completing seven different marathons on seven different continents in less than five days back in 2012. During his North American travels, Richard has managed to cover 50 miles in one day, all part of his training for a run he is set to undertake across Antarctica.

“I wanted to see and experience what I considered to be real America, with some of its epic scenery, and I wanted to do it in the heat of the summer. After the start at the Golden Gate Bridge I ran through the rolling hills of California, ‘wine country’, to Lake Tahoe,” he explains.

Although an experienced ultrarunner, Richard has faced considerable hardship during his trans-America run. Blisters were the biggest issue in the first few weeks. I was in a bad situation, getting up daily with a lot of pain. My skin had split in places and I had what I can only describe as very bad open wounds to a couple of toes,” he said.  Injuries were not the only peril that Richard faces, with Mother Nature proving a formidable foe.

“I could hear the howls of coyotes around me during the evening,” he recalls. There were also shadows that appeared to be racing nearby, but I could never see an animal. It was only when I decided to look up that I noticed it was buzzards circling overhead. Of course I encountered many snakes along the route, and had a close encounter with one in particular.”

Richard has been averaging 35 miles per running day. The total distance of the run is 3,200 miles. It’s the equivalent of the flight distance across the Atlantic from New York to Dublin. Richard intends to finish the run this Saturday in Battery Park, New York.

(12/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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America’s Camille Herron sets a new world 24-Hour track record

Camille Herron set the women’s world 24-hour track record today December 9 at the Desert Solstice Invitational Track Meet in Phoenix, Arizona.  She ran 162.8 miles in 24 hours and broke the previous record of 161.55. Camille also set a new American women’s 100 mile track record (13:25) and American women’s 200k track record. She also won the race outright. Hard work and believing in herself paidoff. Camille is exhausted but is already talking about running 170 miles in her next 24-hour race! She ran sub 9 minute pace for five consecutive 50ks.  And she was still smiling every lap.  The Desert Solstice is a pure endurance challenge.  Only 30 of the top American endurance runners are invited, and in order to qualify, runners must have run at least 124 miles (198.4K) in 24 hours, or 100 miles in under 17:30. The race is a qualifier for the 24-hour national team. According to the iRun4Ultra site, 11 world records and 60 US national records had been set here before this weekend.  Camille won a $2000 and a $1000 bonus for setting the records and hopefully a lot more from her sponsors. But she does not do this for the money.  (12/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Courtney Dauwalter is one tough Ultra runner and wins many that she enters

Courtney Dauwalter specializes in ultras.  But her success in winning them has opened a debate about how men’s innate strength advantages apply to endurance sports.

At 1:40 in the morning, running through the woods near Lake Tahoe, Courtney Dauwalter began hallucinating. She saw live puppets playing on a swing set on the side of the trail. Trees and rocks turned into faces.

She was on her second night without sleep, 165 miles into a 205-mile race through the mountains, pushing her body to levels considered physically impossible not long ago, and seeing very strange things in the night. Dauwalter had been on her feet for almost 40 hours and was leading the field of 215 runners as she set her sights on a course record for September’s Tahoe 200, one in a series ultramarathons.  

Their hero is Dauwalter, a 33-year-old with a reputation for outrunning men and shattering course records. She has won 11 ultramarathons and finished second in seven other endurance races.

This weekend, she will try to break the women’s world record for the most miles run in 24 hour track run, at the Desert Solstice competition in Phoenix. She will have to run more than 161.55 miles to do so. She already holds the American women’s record, 159.32 miles.

This fall, she ran 279.2 miles in what’s known as Big’s Backyard Ultra, a grueling race of attrition during which runners have to complete a 4.16667-mile loop each hour. If they want to put their feet up, eat, go to the bathroom or close their eyes for a few minutes, they have to earn the time by running faster.

The last person standing wins. After tracking Dauwalter for two days in Tahoe, Kyle Curtin passed her at Mile 182. Forty-nine hours 54 minutes after starting the Tahoe 200, Dauwalter crossed the finish line in second, twenty-seven minutes behind Curtin.

The two set a new course record by almost 10 hours. “Courtney was definitely the person to beat,” Curtin said. 

(12/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Vibram Hong Kong 100 was elevated to Series in the Ultra-Trail® World Tour

Vibram® Hong Kong 100 is delighted to announce its elevation to “Series” level in the Ultra Trail® World Tour (UTWT). This confirms Vibram® Hong Kong 100’s place among the eight most prestigious trail races in the world and as the only Series event in Asia. This further increases the race’s allure to athletes competing for top rankings in the UTWT, the world’s premier trail racing series. The 9th edition of the Vibram® Hong Kong 100 will be held on 19 and 20 January 2019. The race was first held in 2011 and has quickly become one of the most popular events in the global trail running calendar, attracting over 7,000 applicants from 60 countries for just 1,800 places. Hong Kong hosted the UTWT 2017 awards ceremony in January this year, the first time the celebration has ever been held outside Europe. Janet Ng, the Vibram® Hong Kong 100 Race Director, said the race’s elevation was “a tribute to the Hong Kong trail running community, which provides incredible support for the race, along with roughly 1,000 volunteers, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, St. John Ambulance, the Emergency Services, the sponsors and the Hong Kong Tourism Board. It’s great to see all this hard work and enthusiasm acknowledged, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the festivities here in Hong Kong in January”. (12/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Britain’s UTMB CCC winner Tom Evans will make his Western States 100 debut next June

Tom Evans is among a top line-up of confirmed elite runners for next year’s Western States 100. The world trail bronze medallist is one of 10 runners invited by organisers of the Ultra Trail World Tour, which includes the Western States 100.  Also due to take part in the world’s oldest 100-mile trail event on June 29, 2019, is Italy’s Francesca Canepa, who won the main UTMB race this year, and Spain’s Jordi Gamito Baus, who was second on this year’s UTWT standings. Britain’s Beth Pascall, who was fourth in this year’s UTMB, is another who will be heading Stateside. Evans wrote on Twitter: “So excited to announce that I will be racing Western States 100 next year! It will be my first 100 mile race. I can’t wait for the highs and lows of training to get to the start line. It’s going to be one big journey." The race from Squaw Valley to Urban along the Western States Trail was established in 1977 and has since become one of the world’s toughest and most prestigious trail running contests. (11/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Millinocket Maine needed a boost, sure. But not a handout. So Gary Allen started an entry free marathon to help the town

Long-distance runners have a reputation for being as wacky as they are driven. Gary Allen is proof positive of both.

As coach of the Mount Desert Island Middle School cross-country team, he trains his squad mostly by playing zombie invasion games behind the school. He has a screaming-loud stocking hat for every occasion. 

He’s ebullient and sometimes long-winded but knows how to affect reticence with an authenticity that would make any fellow Mainer proud. He treats everyone like his new best friend and begins each conversation with, “Hi. I’m Gary Allen.”

Allen has run a hundred marathons and won his age group in more than a few. In fact, he is one of a few worldwide who have run a sub-three-hour marathon in five different decades. 

He’s the founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Great Run, a six-hour ultramarathon where competitors simply run back and forth on Great Cranberry Island as many times as they can.  But none of that means much to the 4,500 people who call Millinocket, Maine USA home.

When they talk about a marathon, they’re talking about the one Allen first organized last year — the one that put the town on the long-distance map after Runner’s World picked up the story. The one that has more than 1,000 people clamoring to fly across the country for the opportunity to run here on December 10.

Like most of Allen’s schemes, this one started on a whim. Around Thanksgiving last year, he read yet another newspaper article characterizing Millinocket’s economic woes. 

“It’s not like I set out to find a little town to help. It’s more like a little town found me.” There’ve been a lot of those articles since the Great Northern paper mill closed here in 2008. In the years since, Millinocket has become a symbol for the failure of America’s manufacturing monotowns.

That doesn’t sit well with locals here. And it rubbed Allen the wrong way last fall too. Millinocket needed a boost, sure. But not a handout.

So Gary Allen decided to do what Gary Allen does best: he organized an impromptu marathon. This race was open to all and charged no entry fee. Instead, Allen suggested that participants take the money they would have spent on registration and spend it in Millinocket.

He didn’t advertise any of this except to post it to his Facebook page. Nonetheless, about 50 of his friends agreed to show up for what may well have been America’s first flash-mob marathon. Allen mapped the course on Google Earth.

It’s a gorgeous one: a lazy loop with lots of views of Katahdin and several miles on the iconic Golden Road, a 96-mile stretch of gravel connecting Millinocket and the Canadian border, before it drops back down into town for a finish at Veterans Memorial Park.

Allen warned participants that they’d need to be totally self-sufficient during the race. He printed out slips of paper detailing how to stay on the course. After they were done running, he figured they could have lunch or do some holiday shopping, then fuel up their cars and head home.

Millinocket might not even realize they’d been there. But word got out around in close-knit Millinocket. By the time Allen rolled into town, local businesses had emblazoned signs welcoming the runners. Locals set up a water station around the 5-mile mark and stood for hours guiding runners on the course and directing traffic. A cheering section assembled at the finish.

In other words, the marathon flash mob got flash-mobbed by the town they were supposed to be helping. And in that moment was born an unlikely love affair between one of Maine’s most charismatic runners and a town looking to get back on its feet.

After last year’s race, townspeople asked Allen if he’d organize another one. He agreed. And he said he thought he could make it bigger, better.

Earlier this year, he returned to Millinocket with a surveyor who could certify the course as an official Boston Marathon qualifier — the only one in the country without an entry fee.

As it turned out, Allen’s hastily drawn loop on Google Earth was less than 50 yards off the exact required distance. While Allen and the surveyor were in town, a total stranger offered the two men a house to stay in for as long as they needed.

That, says Allen, is the spirit of Millinocket — and Mainers in general, for that matter. For decades, the town was known as the “Magic City,” a nod to how it seemed to have sprung up overnight in what had previously been untrammeled wilderness.

Millinocket, founded in 1901, is but a blip. And like the Greek goddess Athena, it seemed to emerge fully formed from the mill itself — first as dozens of tar-paper shacks and rooming houses; soon after, as an Anytown, USA, with a bustling main drag and orderly blocks of houses. (Photo by Michael Wilson)

(11/28/2018) ⚡AMP
by Kathryn Miles
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Jeffrey Price is not letting brain cancer slow him down as he gets ready to run 40 miles

Jeffrey Price is setting a big goal for himself. “This year I had brain cancer — had — but now I do not.” And he’s not letting that diagnosis slow him down. He’s running 40 miles in the Black Diamond ultramarathon. “I have to wear this machine. I’m carrying it on my back,” Price said. That device is called Optune. It sends electric pulses through Price’s brain to stop cancer cells from growing. The race director says this ultramarathon is different from others. “It’s smaller than most ultramarathons,” acting race director Jill Williams said. “It’s close-knit. Most people that are running it are in this group called Run it Fast.” Outside of Alamo was the halfway point for the race where runners could fuel up with drinks and snacks before heading out for the next 20 miles. The race went through Gadsden, Alamo and Bells before ending back in Jackson. Price says most of all this is a challenge for himself. “It’s been a blessing, and we’re trying to prove to all the users that you don’t have to stop doing everything that they want to do.” (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter will be in the spotlight at the 35th edition of the Asics Firenze Marathon on Sunday

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

The "ultra" in "ultrarunner" doesn't modify runner. It refers to the distance of the race, which is ultra far. In the case of Travis Thompson, however, it would be fair to call him, "ultra," too. Once a Taos Tiger soccer player in the class of 2007, Thompson is now a passionate runner. This year's 55-kilometer Canyon de Chelly Ultramarathon (Oct. 13) in northeastern Arizona was Thompson's first ultra. He finished the 34.18-mile race in four hours and 40 minutes, an impressive third-place in a field of 134 finishers at a pace of under eight minutes and 15 seconds per mile. The race is organized by Shaun Martin, a well-known Navajo runner and educator featured in the recently released film "3,100: Run and Become." All proceeds from the race, which is so popular that registration is by lottery, support running programs for Native American youth. According to TrailRunner magazine, Martin runs "to celebrate life, to pray and to learn." It's hard to imagine a better setting than Canyon de Chelly. (11/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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Matty Gregg was a SF Bay Area engineer at Apple who quit his job to run across the country

Long-distance running is a lonely sport, and Santa Clara’s Matty Gregg is running a long way!. "Oh you're crazy! That’s what I get,” said Gregg.  The 40 year old Apple Engineer left his job of 13 years on election day in Cupertino to embark on a 5,000 plus mile run across America.  275 days on his feet!  The 22 mile a day trek will take him through 25 states as he tours much of the Southern U.S. with his final stop in his home state of New Hampshire in July of 2019.  “It’s a bucket-list item for me and I just turned 40.  It’s something completely out of the norm.  Something very different,” said Gregg. It’s different alright, but not for Gregg who has run over 40 ultra-marathons and pounded out nearly 4,000 road miles. The difference on this 9 month journey is that it marks the beginning of his new political career.  His goal is to meet the U.S. voters head on and find out why our country is so divided.   Gregg says we need change. “It seems like we don’t lead anymore as a nation with kindness.  I would just like to see us take a step back and assume positive intent a bit more, and start with that premise.”  The wisdom he gleans from town to town Gregg says will energize him along the way and ultimately mold his platform for office in New Hampshire where he hopes to create positive change.  “I think it will be very important for me to meet people in remote towns in America in general.  And I think they are going to make a difference in my life as much as I hope to someday make a difference in their's.”       (11/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Camille Herron is back and better than ever after suffering a quad injury

Herron transitioned to trail running in 2016 and promptly set a course record by 27 minutes at the Ultra Race of Champions 100K in 9:36:05—and did it while drinking a Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale during the last few miles of the race, which has since become part of her racing strategy. In June 2017, Camille Herron competed in Comrades Marathon, a race in South Africa known for its 55-miles of torturous mountainous climbs. She crossed the line first by over four minutes, and became the third American ever to win the race. Then in November, Herron not only won her first 100-mile race at the Tunnel Hill 100, but broke the World Record for the women’s 100-mile distance by over an hour. During the race, she averaged a pace of 7:38 per mile. For Herron, running is not only a sport, but an extension of her identity; she is voracious in her pursuit of distance, but she has fun, too. She looks forward to her post-run bacon and beer and, the night before big races, Herron brings a speaker to host dance parties. Sometimes she’s still dancing the next morning on the start line. This year, Herron was poised to return to the 2018 Comrades race in the best shape of her life. However, in late May of 2018, just weeks before she was set to toe the line, she tried a new quad strengthening routine she found on YouTube. Always one to push herself to the limits, Herron found herself limping in the days that followed, due to a stress reaction of the femur and she withdrew from Comrades. Weeks later, realizing she could not run at all, she withdrew from the 2018 Western States Endurance Run as well. Herron, 36, who now splits her time between Alamosa, Colorado, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, took her first steps back running eight weeks ago and recently completed a 114.6-mile week of training.  Camille is back and will be racing soon. (11/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ultra-marathon runner Jacqui Bell could be the youngest woman to run all four Racing The Planet ultra-marathons

Jacqui Bell is aiming to be the youngest female in the world to run the Four Deserts Grand Slam. The mission isn’t for the faint-hearted, with each desert race being a whopping 250km. Jacqui has run across three deserts so far, in Africa, South America and Asia. If that doesn’t sound tough enough, she finished each race in seven days with all her supplies on her back. “We carry all of our food, all our clothes for the week and everything on our back so we try and keep our bags as light as possible because we have to run with it,” says Jacqui. Next month, Jacqui heads off on the final leg of her challenge. This time, she’s taking on the coldest continent on earth – Antarctica. (11/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Laura Santurri wanted to take her life back so she started running

Director of Health Sciences, Laura Santurri began running with her father as a means to feel closer to him. However, running began to evolve into something more. Running became a means of dealing with health problems, including suffering from interstitial cystitis, and to raise money for charities that she believes in strongly. “I was feeling pretty crummy as a result of living with that condition, and feeling pretty poorly,” Santurri said. “I wound up trying a new treatment and it gave me some pain relief. When that happened, I made the decision that I really wanted to take my life back.” Santurri decided to start running. She began by running short distances, such as one mile, and gradually pushed herself to run longer races. The feeling of crossing a finish line made her feel more confident," she said. “Once I started doing races and crossing finish lines, and getting addictive, that finish line felt really good,” Santurri said. “My background is in public health and I do a lot of work with health behavior theory. Self-efficacy is a big construct that you find in most health behavior theories. We can really explain a portion of why people do what they do based on their own confidence and their ability to do those things. The more finish lines I would cross, the more self-efficacy and self-confidence I had.”  Over the last 13 years, Santurri has participated in multiple marathons and ultra-marathons. She has made it a tradition to participate in a series called Trial 100, and she plans to run in it again next year.  (11/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Bill Mitchell began running in his early 60s, has run 157 marathons and says hot chocolate and wine gums is his secret to success

73-year-old Bill Mitchell has run 157 marathons – including 23 ultra-marathons – says a daily cup of hot chocolate and wine gums are the secret of his success. (Wine gums are sweets and contain no alcohol). 

Bill Mitchell began running in his early 60s and says that he is now the fittest he has ever been. And it’s no surprise to hear that when you discover the former merchant navy officer from Derbyshire UK, has run the infamous Marathon des Sables – a six-day, 250km endurance test where temperatures often exceed 50C (122F) an astonishing three times.

"A lot of people resign themselves," says Bill "to old age. I always say to people you’re never too old to do anything. The bottom line is anyone can do it as long as they’ve got the desire."

Bill said he found his second ultra-marathon easier than his first – and credits his unusual diet plan. He added, "I drink hot chocolate every day. It is delicious. I also carried a small bag of wine gums with me."  

Mitchell also follows a strict diet – that includes eating oily fish and avoiding meat, cream and butter – to ensure that is fit and healthy.  Mitchell began running in April 2008 and his hobby has now led him and his wife Linda, 68, across the globe.

(11/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Pete Kostelnick finished a nearly 5,400-mile Alaska-To-Florida Run

An ultramarathon runner has finished a nearly 5,400-mile (8,690-kilometer) diagonal, cross-continental run that began in Alaska and ended in Florida. 31-year-old Pete Kostelnick from Ohio started July 31 at Anchor Point on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, running without a support vehicle to Florida. Pushing supplies in a three-wheel jogging stroller, he averaged some 55 miles per day. In 2016, Kostelnick ran 3,067 miles (4,935 kilometers) from San Francisco to New York City in 42.25 days. He said he hoped his feat would inspire others to chase their wildest dreams. He added some people have compared him to Forrest Gump, the primary character in the 1994 film by the same name, where Gump ran cross-country several times. (11/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mark Sullivan is running the Philadelphia Marathon for the 25th consecutive year

Mark Sullivan is one of only two runners who has participated in every Philadelphia Marathon since 1994. He’ll be competing for the 25th consecutive year. The 56-year-old graphic designer and running coach has completed 176 marathons — more than 4,600 miles — since 1986, including 32 consecutive Boston Marathons, but never set out to make it a goal. “If races ceased to exist, I’d still be a runner,” said Sullivan. “It’s not about the challenge. I just like it.” He did ran track in high school but he didn’t take up running seriously until after college. Working as a technical illustrator early in his career, Sullivan found himself sitting at a desk all day and felt he wasn’t getting enough exercise on the occasional hikes and tennis matches he played with his wife, Robin. “I needed to get out and the cheapest thing to do was run,” he said. Sullivan discovered the outdoor exercise was useful in his work by helping him tap into his technical and creative side. “If I was out running, I could come back (to the home office) and be more productive,” he said. It began with a three-mile loop around his Freeburg neighborhood until “one day I just went and ran six miles,” Sullivan recalled. The outings kept getting longer and by 1985 Sullivan began entering local 5K and 10K races. In addition to running marathons, he’s participated in several ultras too.  (11/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Bjørn Tore Taranger broke the 24-hour treadmill world record averaging 8:49/mile pace

Norwegian ultrarunner Bjørn Tore Taranger, 39, has broken the 24-hour treadmill record. Earlier this month Taranger ran 264.5K (164.3 miles), more than three kilometers better than the previous record, which was set by Luca Turrini of Australia last year. It translates to an average pace of 5:26 per kilometer (or 6.8 miles per hour which is 8:49/mile pace), maintained over 24 hours. Before going for Turrini’s record, Taranger first surpassed the Norwegian treadmill-running record of 240K. The heavily tattooed ultra runner plays the drums in a punk band when not setting extreme running records. Taranger’s record-breaking run took place in Bergen, Norway (Taranger’s home town) on October 11-12.  Taranger's achievement was more impressive since he was only 10th place in the 24th World Championships in Belfast in 2017, where he ran 257.6 km. “I knew I had it in me, I was not in doubt,” Taranger said after he recorded the new world record, "I knew that as long as I managed to get in my nutrition, follow the plan with the wonderful people here who have supported me throughout the night. That was awesome!,” dagdag pa niya. That was awesome !, "he added.   (10/31/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gene Dykes is getting faster every year - My Best Runs Exclusive Profile Part Two

My Best Runs Exclusive Profile Part Two.  Gene Dkyes is only the second man in history over the age of 70 to run a marathon under three hours. He has done it twice.  He ran 2:58:28 at the Rotterdam Marathon and then he clocked 2:55:18 in Toronto Oct 21. 

Only Ed Whitlock have run faster.  Gene Dykes was born in 1948 in Canton, Ohio. 

All of his PR's from 200 miles to 1500m (accept for the 5k) have been set in the last year. He has a B.A. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1978.  

He has been married since 1982 and they both moved to Philadelphia from Ithaca, New York in 1993.  After his Toronto Marathon we asked Gene about his race strategy. 

"I’m a slave to my GPS watch while running a race," says Gene.  "I nearly always run negative splits on any race shorter than a marathon, and I’m rarely more than a minute or two slower in the second half a marathon. 

I consume far fewer calories before and during a race than most runners seem to."  How about your weight?  He thinks the  "Two seconds per pound per mile is a rule that is awfully important.  Keeping weight down for a major race is the hardest part of training. 

It’s especially hard when I use the “See Food” diet.  I’ll eat just about anything, especially when I see it." 

In 2017 he was only one of 13 to complete the Triple Crown of 200's and he was the oldest finisher in each of them.  

In August he ran the 206.5 mile Bigfoot 200, September was the 205.5 mile Tahoe 200 and October was the 238 mile Moab 240.  In 2018 he won ten USATF National Championships from 1500m on the track to 100 mile on the trail.  So what is ahead for Gene?  

 "Having turned 70 this year, I decided that I would spend the year chasing records and national championships and forego many of the big ultra races that I really love. 

I still have one national age group record to topple which I expect to happen at the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November.  Having come up just 34 seconds short of beating Ed Whitlock’s venerable M70 age group record in the marathon, you can be sure that I’m making plans on another attempt within a year. 

I’m keeping those plans secret, though," Gene told My Best Runs.  In the meantime Gene has signed on to the Run The World Challenge 3 team.  

Gene is at the top of the 70 plus world and don't you get the feeling he is going to be setting a lot more records? (Photo taken at the USATF National Outdoor Championships in Spokane)

(10/29/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Gene Dykes is currently the world's top 70 Plus runner - My Best Runs Exclusive Profile Part One

Gene Dykes is the world's best runner in the world currently seventy plus. "One of my 'secret' training methods for marathons is to run a lot of ultras," Gene told My Best Runs in this exclusive profile. "I’ll begin training for Boston in January, and to kick it off I’ll run a 50-miler in January and both a 100-miler and a 200-miler in February. During March I’ll convert that training base into marathon speed." Sounds wild and unconventional but it has been working for 70-year-old Gene Dykes from Philadelphia..."It was thought by many of us that Canada's Ed Whitlock's records were way beyond reach," says lifelong runner and Runner's World and My Best Runs founder Bob Anderson.  "At age 73 Ed became the first 70 plus runner in the world to run the marathon under three hours."  In 2004 73-year-old Ed Whitlock clocked an amazing 2:54:48 at the Scotiabank Tornonto Waterfront Marathon.  No one ever had run a marathon that fast 70 plus. The late Ed Whitlock was in a league of his own until now.  At the same marathon this year on October 21, 70-year-old Gene Dykes clocked 2:55:18.  My Best Runs wanted to find out more about this new super star, a runner who has set PR's at all distances (other than the 5k) over the last year from 1500m to 200 miles. How did Gene discover running?  "It’s probably more accurate to say that I discovered running twice," said Gene. "The first time, when I was about fourteen, it just kind of popped into my head to run three miles to the house of a girl I was interested in.  After about a mile and a half, I had to walk for a bit.  I was really disgusted with myself, and I swore I would never again resort to walking on a run.  I actually kept this promise, until I started doing trail races, of course, where there are lots of good reasons to walk now and then."  After this he ran track in high school for a couple of years. "In my senior year I thought I was pretty good when I dominated the 2-mile run in my county.  That notion was quickly dispelled when I ran track in college and I was totally blown away by the competition.  For the next four decades, I would stay in jogging shape much of the time, but it never occurred to me to race because it had been firmly impressed upon me that I wasn’t a very good runner," Gene remembers.  He rediscovered running in 2004 at the age of 56 after a six year layoff because of a torn hamstring... "A golfing acquaintance told me he had a running group and that I should join him sometime.  A classic case of falling in with a bad crowd.  They encouraged me to run some races with them, and discovering that I wasn’t half bad, my running career was born," Gene told us.  So how important is running to Gene?  "It started out as an activity I looked forward to on weekends, and it slowly took over as my main hobby.  Probably starting around 2011 when I ran my first adventure race and started training for Comrades (56-mile race in South Africa) it became way more than just a hobby.  While it will never quite reach the point of being 'all-consuming.' I suppose you would be forgiven for thinking that, considering that I’ll have done 38 races in 34 weekends this year."  The obvious next question was, tell us about your training.  "For about nine years I just stumbled my way through training.  I did lots of long, slow runs with occasional track workouts.  I gradually improved, and I was having a lot of fun, but I was worried that my best days were behind me when I fell miserably short of a new marathon PR at the 2013 Toronto Marathon.  Swallowing my pride and opening my wallet, I hired a coach.  What a life changing decision that was!  In just five months I went from a half decent runner with modest goals to a runner capable of competing at the highest levels. Training now consists of fewer miles, but harder workouts and fewer rest days," says Gene.  He has set PR's in the last 12 months from 200 miles down to the 1500m.  He clocked 98 hours, 10 minutes 22 seconds for 200 miles, 23:41:22 for 100 miles, 1:26:34 for the half marathon and 5:17 for 1500m.  In 2018 he won ten USATF national championships. His 2:57:43 clocked at this year's Rotterdam Marathon was a world single age record until he bettered it in Toronto.  Gene says, "I’m particularly fond of having won championships at both track 1500 meters and trail 100 mile this year.”  In part two Gene talks about his diet, going after more records, dealing with injuries and a lot more.  Coming tomorrow October 29 on My Best Runs.           (10/28/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Gene Dykes is only the second person 70 plus to run a sub three hour marathon

70-year-old Gene Dykes, of Philadelphia, only missed breaking Ed Whitlock‘s 70-74 age group record of 2:54:48 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon yesterday by 34 seconds. Dykes is still the only other person in the world besides Whitlock to run a sub-3 marathon at the age of 70. It happened the first time earlier this year at the Rotterdam Marathon on April 8, just a few days after Dykes turned 70 on April 3. He ran 2:57. “My daughter contacted an Amsterdam newspaper and they splashed my picture on the front page,” Dykes said, joking that “you can get anything you want if you have a lot of chutzpah.” Dykes sets a string of records and it happened again Sunday (Oct 21), with Dykes’ 2:55:18 finish at Scotiabank, just shy of Whitlock’s record. Dykes only took up marathon running at age 58, and he only started breaking records last year, when he broke seven USATF age-group records in a single track race: the 15K, 10 mile, 20K, 25K, 30K, 20 mile, and 2-hour records. Also last year, he was one of only 13 people to run the “triple crown” of 200-mile trail ultramarathons, consisting of the Bigfoot 200, the Tahoe 200, and the Moab 240. And he was the oldest finisher in each. (10/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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The Run The World Challenge 2 team has finished and here are the awards

"We have finished," says Lize Dumon (photo) a RTW Challenge 2 team member from South Africa, "Great achievement! But this morning, going out for my run just felt that little bit harder. I haven't realized how precious this RTW community has become to me. It is like an extended running family, a safe place to share everything running without rolling eyes and sighs from non-runners. It has become a place where I learn so much about running from reading everybody's posts and a place of immense encouragement! I don't want to leave this place... bring it on Challenge 3!" 

Run The World Global Run Challenge is a global event celebrating running, motivating the team, inspiring others and completing the goal.  The 131 member RTW Challenge 2 team ran and logged miles in 24 countries reaching a total of 24,901 miles in 44 days 18 hours 29 minutes.  

"This event is a real motivator. Many of our members (including me) ran many more miles than usual," says Run The World Challenge Team Caption, Bob Anderson. 34-year-old team member Carmen Gair from South Africa posted, "Thank you...for this amazing challenge...thank you...for motivating me to run more than double my usual mileage in this amount of time."

She ran and logged 151 miles in 44 days.  Team members added this challenge to their existing goals and used the Challenge to further motivate them.  

"Here are the special awards for our RTW Challenge 2 team," says Bob Anderson who reached 260.66 miles himself.

For Outstanding achievement: Frank Bozanich age 74 logged 801 miles...

Most Inspiring: Lize Dumon set her goal to reach 200 miles and she did that. She also motivated other team members in South Africa that she recruited to reach their goal as well...

Most Motivating: Aaron L. Salvador from the little country of Palau logged 377.99 miles, recruited others and posted a note and photo everyday...For

Best Performance: Willie Korir (second photo) from Kenya logged the most miles (993.88) which is an average of 22.5 miles per day. This is being shared with Joel Maina Mwangi also from Kenya who not only logged in 610.44 miles but he raced four half marathons during the Challenge period clocking 1:02:52, 1:03:19, 1:02:50 and 1:02:54...

Five Most Inspiring stories: based on their story posted on My Best Runs: (this award goes to the five who received the most views on My Best Runs) Joyce Lee (1178 views), Michael Wardian (851 views), Gloria Nasr (616 views), Joel Maina Mqangi (492 views), Pete Magill (400 views)...

Best Youngest performance: Zander Brister age 11 logged 16.32 miles. He ran one mile in Hollister clocking 6:19 and he also averaged 7:42/mile pace at the Pacific Grove Double Road Race 15k...

Best Oldest performance: Frank Bozanich age 74 logged 801 miles. Shared with 71-year-old Paul Shimon who logged 655.37 miles...

Top Fifteen Spirit awards: (Based on posts on the RTW Feed) Aaron L Salvador, Michael Anderson, Brent Weigner, Danilo Purlia, Larry Allen, Asya Cabral, Lize Dumon, Roger Wright, Geoffrey Smith, Carmen Gair, Annie Conneau, Joseph Brazil, Vince Martignetti, Marnie Margolis, Willie Korir... 

Best Single Run: Michael Wardian when he ran 184.5 miles in 36 hours 48 minutes 14 seconds on the C&O Canal Trail...

Notable Mentions: Boaz Kipyego logged 788.61 miles and came to the United States and placed fourth at the Twin City Marathon. Rosaline Nyawira was first female logging 454.37 miles. Brent Weigner (69) has been running races every weekend including running a marathon in another country Sri Lanka. He logged 258 miles. James Kalani has gotten back into running (this challenge motivating him) and has already run 4 miles at 5:33 pace. He logged 252 miles.

Ultra marathon star Gloria Nasr from France logged 237 miles. Rosaura Tennant ran both the Berlin and Chicago marathon during this Challenge. Becca Pizzi was first woman in the marathon run inside a NFL stadium in Boston...

"Everyone is a winner on our team," says Bob Anderson.  "I can't wait to do this again."  RTW Challenge 3 start Oct 29. 

(10/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Brian Reynolds is a double amputee and Runs 3:03:23 at the Chicago Marathon

I am so proud of Brian Reynolds, he ran a new personal best, 3:03:22 at the Chicago Marathon this morning.  He is a double amputee and I think this is an American record.  We didn’t make his ultimate goal of going sub 3 however.  We battled Mother Nature all day, a fall(that was on me, I thought I was close enough, I was not) and some cramps but he never wavered and fought till the end. It was inspiring.  During the 22nd mile, though, Reynolds fell, suffering a concussion and knocking his time down significantly. Always one to finish what he started, 30-year-old Reynolds went on to finish.  Brian said, "Despite not reaching my goal today I have still run a personal record in every single one of my marathons," said Reynolds moments after the race. "Even on my worst day I have the motivation, determination and grit to dig deep and get to that finish line.” If you ever have a chance to guide I highly recommend it.  Not sure I will be hired again but if given the chance I am there.  Editor’s note: Michael Wardian is an international know marathoner and ultra marathoner.   (10/07/2018) ⚡AMP
by Michael Wardian
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Six Ideas to help you Get Ready for Your First Ultra Marathon

An ultra marathon is defined as anything longer than a marathon, although many ultra runners would argue the distance starts at 50K.  Here are six ideas to help you get ready for your first Ultra. 1) Do Back to back long runs, estimate your time for finishing the ultra and build up to running those total hours over two days. You want to run the full distance (combining back-to-back days) at least three or four times before the race. 2) Practice your nutrition during training and find out what works best for you. Start drinking before you get thirsty. 3) Practice running efficiently, with as little wasted motion as possible. Try to keep your head as still as possible and raise your feet as little as necessary. However, if the trail is extremely technical, it may be necessary to raise your feet quite a bit to avoid stumbling and tripping. Try to always run quietly. 4) Find socks, clothes and shoes that you love for training and racing. You want to be comfortable.   5) Train on the terrain you'll be racing. If it's a hilly technical trail, train on hilly technical trails. If it's a flat ultra on pavement, train on that at least some of the time. Do a 10K tempo run once a week at a faster pace. Run hills once a week to get strong. 6) If you need them, take recovery days. A typical week could be: Monday - Off Tuesday - 10K tempo Wednesday - Off Thursday - 1 hour hill workout Friday - Off Saturday - 3 hour long run Sunday - 3 hour long run (or a four hour and two hour, or five hour and one hour) Let's say your ultra is at the end of June. You want to be able to run your distance, over two days, by the end of April. Give yourself time to work up to that.   Be sure to enter early, many of the best ultras sell out fast.  One Ultra coming up is the Thailand Ultramarathon set for Nov 17th.  (10/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Elísabet Margeirsdóttir becomes world's first woman to complete Gobi desert Ultramarathon race

Elísabet Margeirsdóttir yesterday became the first woman in the world to complete the Gobi Desert Ultramarathon race in under 100 hours. The race is 409 kilometers and Margeirsdóttir was ninth out of 50 contestants to reach the goal. The run was even harder this year due to the fact that the course went up to an altitude of 4000 meters. Her assistant, runner Birgir Sævarsson said that there was a lot of cold at that altitude. "She had to cross a river with a strong current and got wet and then her clothes froze." There are ten pitstops on the 409 long run where runners can rest and eat, but the race is a 400 km single-stage, self-navigated and self supported race traversing inhospitable terrain in the Gansu Province. (10/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Japan's Yoshihiko Ishikawa wins the Spartathlon ultra-marathon

Japanese runner Yoshihiko Ishikawa was the winner of the 36th Spartathlon, one of the most challenging and historical ultra-marathon races hosted in Greece. Ishikawa reached the finish line first early Saturday after covering non-stop 246 kilometers from Athens to Sparta in southern Greece in 22 hours, 55 minutes and 13 seconds, according to the International Association "SPARTATHLON" which organizes the event each year. The Japanese runner ranked fourth last year in his first participation in the event. Czech Radek Brunner ranked second in 23:37:15 this year, as in 2017, while Portuguese Oliveira Joao was the third runner to reach the statue of ancient Spartan King Leonidas in the center of Sparta. Hungary's Maraz Zsuzsanna won the women's race, ranking 17th in the general division. The 36th Spartathlon race started at the foot of the Acropolis hill on Friday morning and was conducted amidst adverse weather conditions this year, as a cold front with strong winds and storms is sweeping across the country this week. This year 381 runners from 51 countries and regions competed, following the footsteps of ancient Greek soldier Pheidippides from the Greek capital to the southern Peloponnese peninsula city of Sparta. In 490 BC, ahead of the battle of Marathon against the Persian forces, according to historians, the Athenian messenger who inspired the Classic Marathon was sent to Sparta to request support, making the journey on foot nonstop within two days. (09/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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João Oliveira will run the Spartathlon this Friday, and this year he hopes to win again

The ultra-marathoner has already won the Spartathlon  in 2013, and returns to participate this year after placing 11th in 2017. Joao of the Chaves Running Team left last Wednesday for Greece. The race starts at 7:00 local time on Friday.  This year Joao Oliveira is one of the candidates that could win this race, "the first time I kiss the feet of Leonidas was in 2009" in the position number 64 he said, the following year he was fourth! In 2013, his time was 23:29:08. In 2011 and 2014 he also managed to complete the 246km course. "Hopefully this year, could be mine," he says. (09/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Arthur Brooks has already run halfway around the world and has won everything from a sack of potatoes to a cowbell

An elderly Brit has been dubbed the real-life Forrest Gump after running half-way around the world over the past two decades. Arthur Brooks, 66, has finished 571 ultra, full and half marathons in a record of over 13,600 miles in total. The retired chartered surveyor said his running habit started after he made a promise at a party 25 years ago. The Hertfordshire, UK man was celebrating for his friends who had done a half marathon in Cambridge in 1991 when he got asked to join the next year.  And that’s how he started his first marathon. “I struggled, but it was a nice atmosphere, everyone was encouraging and when I’d finished, I’d done something I had never thought I would,” he said. Twenty-five years past, Brooks had run past snakes and been escorted by rangers with guns, looking out for polar bears. He had also won everything – from a sack of potatoes to a cowbell – for his efforts. The 66-year-old is now spending nearly four to five hours on a daily run. His personal marathon record in three hours and 12 minutes. “I run almost every weekend, which some think is insane and when you find something you love, you keep doing it,” the 66-year-old said. (09/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gary Leung a Hong Kong blind runner is set to run the 400km Ultra Gobi

Gary Leung is a famous visually impaired runner from Hong Kong. He has successfully completed many international marathons. In 2017 he became the first visually impaired person to complete Antarctic challenge. His achievements demonstrate that even through life’s great challenges it is often possible to achieve incredible things and that you should never give up on your dreams. “I know that the infection number of people living with HIV is rising. In addition, people with HIV face great challenges in life. Therefore, I hope to arouse public awareness on HIV/AIDS and erase the discrimination against people with HIV through accepting this challenge.” Gary said. In September this year, Gary will start an epic challenge, the “Ultra Gobi 2018”. By performing the race he will raise money for AIDS concern to provide support for people in Hong Kong living with HIV. “Ultra Gobi”, is so called because it is one of the toughest long-distance races in the world. It is a 400km non-stop, self-navigation, self-supported race, held in the southern Gobi Desert, on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, in Western China, Gansu Province. “Ultra Gobi” is also a small, exclusive race, limited to 50 elite runners. The runners will complete the 400km race in 148 hours from September 28th to October 4th. (09/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ultra runner Kyle Curtin smashes Tahoe 200 Endurance Run record

Kyle Curtin and Courtney Dauwalter put on a show at the Tahoe 200 Endurance Run. Curtin of Durango and Dauwalter of Golden smashed the previous course record at the 200-mile ultramarathon in California. Daulwalter led all runners at the halfway point, with Curtin behind more than two hours before he started to gain ground on one of the best distance runners in the U.S., man or woman. Curtin would go on to win the Tahoe 200 on Sept. 7 in his first 200-plus-mile race. He finished in a record time of 49 hours, 27 minutes, 22 seconds. Dauwalter was second overall and the first woman to finish, as she crossed the line in 49:54:36. Dauwalter smashed the previous women’s record by more than 18 hours, while Curtin’s overall record time was nine hours better than the previous record of 58:29:16 set in 2017 by Sean Nakamura. “The first half went really smooth, hardly and highs or lows,” Curtin said. “It felt like a race the second half. I slowly kept reeling (Dauwalter) in.” Curtin was 100 minutes behind Dauwalter after 142 miles, 40 minutes back at 161½ miles and only 25 minutes behind through 175 miles. He finally caught Dauwalter at the Loon Lake aid station at 181½ miles. “I chased her for 181 miles,” Curtin said. “I was super amped up. I took a ton of energy drinks, but I think it was more the thrill of the chase and being neck-and-neck for two days into a race that really had me going. I didn’t mean to catch her that quickly. It was way easier to chase than to constantly look back to see how far ahead I was. “After the aid station, I could see her headlamp for at least another hour. So, thinking she was right behind, I pushed hard the whole way into the finish. It felt like such a relief and a monumental accomplishment at the finish. I didn’t know exactly what the course record was, but I knew we’d crush it from before the race started.” (09/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Altra Elite runner Jason Schlarb won the ultra Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race for the third time

Jason Schlarb won the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the third time clocking 18:48:08.  His previous wins were in 2015 and in 2013 when he set the course record with a time of 17:15:20, which still stands. Joining him on the podium was Mark Hammond in second at 19:33:20 and Jeff Browning in third at 19:51:44 after a Hardrock 100 win a few weeks prior. Kyle Pietari grabbed fourth with 20:00:48 on his first ever Run Rabbit Run experience. On the women’s side, Emma Roca finished second female with a time of 23:23:55. Shortly behind her was Meredith Edwards in fifth with 25:46:15 in her first time racing the 100-mile option at Run Rabbit Run. Schlarb ran his way to victory in the Altra Duo, along with Browning and Edwards. Hammond ran in the Altra Paradigm 4, Pietari ran in the Altra Superior 3.5 and Roca ran in the Altra Olympus 3.0. (09/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Val Zajac became one of only seven women in the US this year to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, a set of 100-mile trail races over some tough terrian

On Sunday afternoon, Val Zajac, a Poland native, finished her fourth ultrarunning race of the summer, 100 miles through the Wasatch Mountains. Her boyfriend greeted her with a hug. "This is trail -- dirt roads with a little bit of road in between, like checkpoints -- but mostly trail and dirt road," Zajac said. But, it's 100 miles worth of trail and dirt roads. To complete the Grand Slam, participants must finish three of the four 100-mile races -- one in Virginia, California, Vermont and Colorado -- plus the race through the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, all in the same year. Along with finishing the Wasatch Mountains race this summer, Zajac also ran through the Sierra Nevadas of California, the Rockies of Colorado and the Green Mountains of Vermont to complete the Grand Slam. It was up and down mountains and through rivers. "There are people actually in the water with wetsuits with glow sticks telling you where to put your feet cause you're doing it in the middle of the night," Zajac said. She had to complete the races in under 30 hours -- one under 36 hours -- to actually say she finished. That meant running at night with headlamps and not resting. (09/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Dean Karnazes is once again running the 246K Spartathlon which follows in the footsteps of Pheidippides

The 36th Spartathlon will once again welcome American Dean Karnazes. This year’s Spartathlon race will take place on September 28-29. Some 400 runners from 50 countries around the world, including 60 Greeks, will follow Pheidippides’ steps in the 36-hour long run to reach the statue of ancient King Leonidas in Sparta. In 490 BC, Pheidippides ran for 36 hours straight from Athens to Sparta to seek help in defending Athens from a Persian invasion in the Battle of Marathon. In doing so, he saved the development of Western civilization and inspired the birth of the marathon as we know it. This year’s Spartathlon race will welcome champions of previous events such as Czech athlete Radek Brunner (second in 2017), Greek Nikos Sideridis (third in 2017), Japanese Ishikawa Yoshihiko (fourth last year), Italian Marco Bonfiglio (second in 2016), Protuguese Joao Oliveira (winner in 2013), German Florian Reus (winner in 2015) and Zsuzsanna Maraz (second last year in females) from Hungary. Greek and foreign ultra marathoners will once again gather at the Acropolis in Athens to to begin the 246K (152 miles) marathon journey to Sparta.  That run in 490 BC stands enduringly as one of greatest physical accomplishments in the history of mankind. Dean Karnazes personally honors Pheidippides and his own Greek heritage by recreating this ancient journey in modern times. Dean even abstains from contemporary endurance nutrition like sports drinks and energy gels and only eats what was available in 490 BC, such as figs, olives, and cured meats. (09/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ultra marathon mom, stopped to breast feed her baby during the 106-mile Mont-Blanc Trail Race

A British mom has made headlines all over the world after being photographed taking a break to breast feed her baby son during a 43-hour ultra marathon. Sophie Power, who recently competed in the 106-mile, high-elevation Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc trail run through France, Italy, and Switzerland, has been applauded for showing “motherhood endurance” and “the strength of the human body” in the snap, which was taken by photographer Alexis Berg. The 36-year-old mother of two and avid runner took time to nurse her 3-month-old infant, Cormac, during the challenging race. “Cormac usually feeds every three hours, “This isn’t a story about me,” she wrote. “It’s a story about the daily struggle of being a new Mum. A story about the need to nurture our babies the best we can. And the importance to priorities our physical and mental health — to be ourselves as well as be a mother. “I have been overwhelmed by the positivity and supportive messages. They are for all mothers for we are all in this together.” Despite having to stop to feed her son, Power managed to complete the marathon in 43 hours and 33 minutes.  She believes that keeping active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is really important.  She has logged 273 miles on Strava so far this year, 27 races.  "In a typical race I would get in and out of the aid stations as quickly as possible," she says.  "But here I had to focus on keeping down enough food for me and for Cormac, and resting." (09/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Run The World Challenge 2 Profile: Gloria Nasr has run the toughest race on earth already five times

Gloria Nasr was always active as a kid growing up in Lebanon.  She did Kung Fu, worked out at the gym and did bodybuilding.  "Upon arriving in Paris in 1995, I started riding my bike about 50k (31 miles) per day," Gloria remembers.  "Then one day in 2002, a friend who wanted to lose weight asked me to accompany her for a jog. It was love at first sight and since then I have not stopped," she says.  "Running is an integral part of my life. It's my moment of relaxation where I find myself within myself."   As soon as she started running, she had a dream of running from her adopted country France to her homeland in Lebanon.  A Transcontinental race of 4150km. "I realized this dream in 2013," Gloria says. She ran 50km a day across nine countries for three months and 10 days. "Those were the three most beautiful months of my life."  She has also participated five times in the Marathon des Sables of Morocco.  This is a six-day 156 mile ultra marathon which has been called the toughest foot race on earth.  Gloria says, "I am currently preparing a new challenge, a transcontinental race from Paris to Beijing a distance of 10000km (6,214 miles).”  Asked what is her secret to success, she says, “I always say that the most important thing is envy. with envy, courage, perseverance we can succeed many things.  I also do not put pressure on training and despite my love for running, I keep a certain distance. I do not have an addiction to running."   So why did she join our Run The World Challenge?  "It's great to bring runners together from around the world."   Gloria is a doctor, PMR, physical medicine and rehabilitation.  She is French Lebanese, living in Paris.  The 48-year-old has run 40:27 for 10K,  1:24 for 20k, 1:34 half marathon and 3:14 for the marathon. (09/09/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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