Archive | Ultramarathon

Thoughts from a First-Time Ultra Runner

Henry_BuckeyeTrail1I had no idea what lay ahead when I recently lined up at the starting line for my first ultra race, the Buckeye Trail 50K in Brecksville, Ohio.

I had completed 13 marathons previously, including one on a trail — the North Face Endurance Challenge Series in Wisconsin last year.

I knew I had trained well and had my nutrition dialed in. We got a break from the weather — the long-range forecasts of thunderstorms had given way to a nice 60-degree day start.

There was no rain in the forecast and the temperature would be in the mid-70s around my anticipated finishing time. Not bad at all for July.

Oh, about that anticipated finishing time. That was an eye-opener! Continue Reading →

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Champion Runner Shares Trail Knowledge, Advice

Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks running a trail in Moab, Utah. Credit Kirsten Kortebein

Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks running a trail in Moab, Utah. Credit Kirsten
Kortebein


Meghan Hicks has been a runner since she was 14, focusing on road races early on. At the same time, Hicks credits her parents for taking her to “wild places” and her brother for playing with her endlessly in the woods when they were younger.

About 10 years ago, she combined her loves of running and the outdoors by exploring the sport of trail running. In 2013, she won the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, the world’s oldest and largest expedition trail-running race.

Now, as Hicks prepares to run the Hardrock 100 trail race, she and partner Bryon Powell have put their love of the outdoors, trail knowledge and passion for the sport into a 226-page book, “Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.” Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: Shadow of the Giants 50k in California

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The 27th annual running of the Shadow of the Giants 50k was held on June 11, 2016 in Fish Camp, California.

We ran through forests of Giant Sequoias -the trails were beautiful, the weather was “magic”, and the race director was colorful!

Here is my race recap . . . Continue Reading →

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For the Love of the Run, the Journey, the Community

Dan Savage

At the Finish of my First Ultra

Shortly after turning 40, Dan Savage looked in the mirror. Staring back was a stressed-out, 65-pound overweight guy.

Savage had been in and out of the hospital, getting treatment for Crohn’s Disease.

His diet and exercise habits were bad, to put it mildly.

“I thought a workout involved lifting a double cheeseburger versus a single. It was U-G-L-Y. It was at this point I had one of those life changing moments – you know where ‘your want to,’ wants to change? I just told myself, if I wanted to see my kids grow up and see any grandkids, I need to change, and change now.”

And so he did, joining the Marathon Training Academy, and becoming more active and improving his diet. Now when he looks in the mirror, he sees an ultra marathoner! Continue Reading →

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‘A Voyage of Self-Discovery’

Jesse Ellis (1)Former smoker/couch potato has turned his life around, chasing ultras and motivating others. This fall, he plans to run the Ultra Race of Champions again.

By Henry Howard

Ken Michal had been a chain-smoking couch potato for most of his adult life. After he quit his 2.5-pack a day habit, he put on a lot of weight.

“When I quit, I ate whatever I wanted as long as I wasn’t smoking,” Michael says. “When it came time to drop the weight, I found running. It was really hard at first but I found that I had a gift for long and slow!”

Now Michal pours his contagious enthusiasm into running — competing in endurance events, coaching other athletes and motivating listeners on his Running Stupid podcast. Continue Reading →

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A Not-So-Fast Runner’s Ultimate Dream

IMG_3803TJ Wilkinson ran both cross-country and track in junior high and high school. He readily admits that he was not very fast but enjoyed the sports for the camaraderie.

“I also didn’t try very hard, which is probably why I wasn’t fast,” he says. “When I say I ‘ran track,’ I really mean I was a high jumper, and I spent many practices laying on the high jump mat watching the girls run by. Needless to say, my running didn’t transition to college.”

Wilkinson never did improve his speed. His friends like to tease him about a local 5k he entered. “I was beaten by a guy wearing snorkel gear, including the flippers. Seriously.” Continue Reading →

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Here’s Our New 50k Training Plan

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.47.35 AMFor those who want to break into the ultramarathon world . . . a 50k is a good distance to start with.

You might have heard on the MTA podcast that Angie ran 3 ultras last year – a 40 miler, 50k, and 50 miler, and loved it. Well, she’s just put the finishing touches on a beginner 50k Training Plan available for sale on our website.

Here’s a look at what’s in it . . . Continue Reading →

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From Freak Achilles Injury to Ultramarathoner

Relay Iowa start (1)A pool accident sidelined Jill Becker as she transitioned from high school to college running. She’s fought back with patience and perseverance, and now runs faster and longer than before.

By Henry Howard

Jill Becker found her passion — running — when she joined the middle school track team. Later, she excelled on the high school cross-country and track teams.

“First off, I love to run,” she says. “I love the feeling. The ups and downs. The runner’s high, the accomplishment, the health benefits, the challenge, being a motivator, my idea time, my focus time, and it’s part of my routine. I enjoy challenging myself, pushing my limits, and the process of being the best I can be!”

A freak accident before Becker started college gave her the challenge of a lifetime. Continue Reading →

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Running Miles and Miles for Charity

CBU-2014-etape3-0289By his own estimation Adrian May is an “average runner.”

He started slow, signing up for 5Ks and similar shorter distances.

Then, based on a gym manager’s encouragement, May eventually signed up for half marathons and a marathon, even though he didn’t think he could finish.

Now, seemingly no distance is too challenging for May. But his efforts are not just about him, they are focused squarely on the charity — Hope for Children — that he supports through his running quests. Continue Reading →

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Marathon Success Story with Ryan Deguzis —Running Across the Driest Desert in the World

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Ryan Deguzis is a classical violist and music instructor from Hartford, Connecticut. He just finished a seven day stage race (155 miles) through the Atacama Desert in Chile, a placed he describes as otherworldly.

Ryan first heard about this race from MTA podcast episode #109 our interview with Samantha Gash.

In our conversation with Ryan you will hear why he started running, how much time and energy went into training for this race, what his family thought about it, and the gritty details of sun, wind, blisters, and sleep deprivation. It’s epic!

See the photos . . . Continue Reading →

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