Archive | Ultramarathon

An Inspired Ultra Challenge 

img_4006My first two 50Ks, just 10 weeks apart, met a goal a year in the making and also paved the way for new challenges.

By Henry Howard

Last year, I had the opportunity to interview one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, Noah Galloway

Best known for his amazing performance on Dancing With the Stars, Galloway is a double amputee from injuries he suffered in the Iraq war. 

During our interview, Galloway told me “everyone should do something that scares them.” I decided to accept his challenge, upping my ultra ante — doing my first two 50Ks just 10 weeks apart.  Continue Reading →


Ultrarunner Ian Sharman – What to Tell Yourself When the Going Gets Tough


In this episode we speak with Ian Sharman the winner of the 2016 Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon -a race he’s won three times.

In this interview you will hear Ian describe what it’s like to run 100 miles, tips on recovery and nutrition, and what to tell yourself when the going gets tough no matter what distance you are training for. Continue Reading →


Inspired by an Ultrarunning Legend

00810-07-1489-1Eric Strand saw a 1999 marathon as a one-time thing. Now, thanks in part to Dean Karnazes, Strand has completed dozens of marathons and the Leadville 100 five times.

By Henry Howard

Eric Strand had been fascinated by long-distance running ever since Frank Shorter won the marathon gold medal in the 1972 Olympics.

Years passed and before he knew it, 39-year-old Strand had just finished graduate school and his kids were becoming self-sufficient. “I’d always wanted to run a marathon and everyone knows you can’t run 26.2 miles once you turn 40, so I signed up for the 2000 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn.,” he said.

That year — 1999 — he finished the “one and done” marathon. But instead of hanging up the running shoes, Strand has upped his running game to a total of 60 marathons and ultras. Continue Reading →


With The Correct Training Anything Can Be Possible

IMG_3262Collegiate swimmer Molly Culver needed a new challenge and took up ultra running. She won her first ultra, the North Face ECS in Wisconsin, and returns this year. By Henry Howard

When work and home commitments collided with my race calendar, I had to withdraw from the Ultra Race of Champions, which would have been my second ultra.

I had been looking forward to that race. However, as I shuffled plans, my initial disappointment gave way to excitement when I realized that I could return to Wisconsin for an Endurance Challenge Series event.

As much as I am looking forward to the Wisconsin race, I am probably not looking forward to it as much as Molly Culver, who has won the 50-mile event three years in a row. Continue Reading →


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 →


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

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 →


Race Recap: Shadow of the Giants 50k in California


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 →


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 →


‘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 →


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 →


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 →


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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