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Archive | Ultramarathon

Dozen Runners Crossing USA for Charity

RaceAcrossUSACoast-to-coast event spans 140 days, allows participants to break through boundaries and raises money for 100 Mile Club.

By Henry Howard

For some, finishing a marathon is the ultimate achievement in running. It’s a worthy goal and one that less than 1 percent of the adult population achieves.

Right now, a dozen runners are going on an epic multi-marathon challenge across the United States. They are participating in the Race Across USA, which is literally what they are doing — from California through the southern part of the United States to Washington, D.C.

It’s a 140-day journey, with 120 planned days of running and 3,080 miles. They will run 112 marathons during that time.

Darren Van Soye is the creator and organizer of Race Across USA, along with his wife, Sandy. He is running the entire race so she is taking on the primary role of race director, handling logistics and everything else that comes up along the way. Continue Reading →

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Toughness, Faith Fuel Ultra Runner

BryanBurkAir Force veteran uses lessons learned from high school football, military career and his religion to bring him to the finish line of endurance races.

By Henry Howard

In high school, Brian Burk played running back and safety on the football team. He had grown up playing a variety of sports but did not fashion himself as a runner.

Burk — aka “CleDawg,” a nickname stemming from his passion for the Cleveland Browns — readily admits that back in those days he lacked discipline and any knowledge about conditioning. Instead, he just wanted to play the game he loved.

That all changed one day when the coach made the team run a mile after practice. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Michael Wardian – Endurance Athlete Extraordinaire

Mike and his dad at the Hawk Indoor 50k

Mike and his dad at the Hawk Indoor 50k

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Michael Wardian is an accomplished marathoner and ultra-marathoner from Arlington VA. Last year he won the Big Sur Marathon and the Disney Dopey Challenge, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

His most recent accomplishment was setting a new indoor 50k World Record at the Hawk Indoor 50k in Hagerstown, MD, finishing 250 laps in 3 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds. Continue Reading →

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From Couch to Ultra Runner

Molly Badwater 2009 (1)Molly Sheridan was told “she was too old” to run. Since then, she’s completed 50 ultras, including a 138-mile run in the Himalayans that no woman had previously finished.

By Henry Howard

A friend called Molly Sheridan, inviting her​ to run the Marine Corps Marathon, her first attempt at 26.2 miles. It would be fun, the friend advised.

At the time, Sheridan was 48, had a full-time job and was raising three kids. She had a lot on her plate. What she didn’t have was an athletic background. Growing up in California, she swam at the beach and as an adult did some running/walking 5Ks but nothing serious.

She told her friend, “No, it sounds awful. What is that? Twenty miles or something?” Sheridan recalls, adding that she said “no” about 10 times. Then something happened that would change her life. “I was haunted all night, tossing and turning, punching my pillow. Then I thought what have I been doing for exercise?”

And, thus, the quest began. “The first mile out the door was awful. I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” the Las Vegas resident says. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Traci Falbo – 242 Miles in 48 Hours

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Traci Falbo recently set the World Indoor 48 hour record by running just over 242 miles at an event called Six Days Under the Dome.

Traci is a pediatric physical therapist. She belongs to all 3 of the 50 states clubs and is a Marathon Maniac. She lives in Charlestown, IN, with her husband Mike and two teenage children.

Ten years ago Traci decided to lose weight and train for her first marathon. She lost 80 pounds and completed her first marathon and has since run a marathon in every state and many 100 milers.

See the before and after picture: Continue Reading →

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Mental Toughness – Lisa Smith-Batchen on Completing a Badwater Quad

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She did it! In July of this year Lisa Smith-Batchen became the first woman to complete a Badwater Quad.

That’s four back to back Badwater Ultra Marathons, 584 miles through Death Valley where temperatures reached as high as 127 degrees.

Lisa is an accomplished ultra-marathoner and coach and lives with her family in Driggs, Idaho. The first time we spoke with her was on podcast episode #78.

In this interview we talk with Lisa about her record setting run, her training, mental toughness, hallucinations, her money raising efforts to provide clean water to villages and much more. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Stephanie Howe -Western States 100 Mile Champion

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In this episode we talk with Stephanie Howe the winner of this year’s Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

Stephanie finished in 18:01:42 -the fourth fastest female finishing time recorded in WS history.

She is also a running coach, a North Face sponsored athlete and a PhD student at Oregon State University with a minor in nutrition and major in exercise physiology.

Continue Reading →

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Be Awesome! Interview with Desert Runner Samantha Gash

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In this episode we talk with Samantha Gash an ultra marathoner from Australia who became the first female and youngest person to complete Racing the Planet’s Four Deserts Grand Slam in one calendar year.

This race series included the following 250km ultra-marathons:
Atacama (Chile) the driest desert
Gobi (China) the windiest desert
Sahara (Egypt) the hottest desert
Antarctica the coldest desert

Samantha considers herself to be an ordinary runner who decided to attempt something extraordinary.

Take some inspiration from her story, dream big, go out and be awesome! Continue Reading →

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Interview with Ian Sharman -Winner of the Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon

Leadville Champion Ian Sharman [photo credit: irunfar/ Bryan Powell

Leadville Champion Ian Sharman [photo credit: irunfar/ Bryan Powell]

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We recently interviewed Ian Sharman the winner of this year’s Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon. He has run over 180 ultramarathons and marathons in over 30 countries. He is a certified running coach and writer for irunfar.com.

In addition to winning Leadville this year, he completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning -four 100 mile races in one summer – beating the previous Grand Slam record.

Here are a few of the questions we asked Ian: Continue Reading →

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Interview with World-Class Endurance Athlete Lisa Smith-Batchen

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In addition to running over 100 marathons, Lisa Smith-Batchen has completed the Badwater Ultra Marathon 9 times (winning twice).

In 2010 she ran 50 miles in 50 states in 62 days raising money for orphan charities.

Her new challenge is completing the Badwater Quad (4 back to back Badwater crossings). To accomplish this feat she will run a total of 600 miles in the merciless summer heat of Death Valley, California.

Continue Reading →

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The Unbreakable Runner

UnbreakableI recently ran twenty miles. This was a scheduled run in my marathon training for the 2013 New Orleans Marathon.

Twenty miles still feels like a huge distance to me and perhaps it always will. But I’m curious . . . do ultramarathoners look at 20 miles as a mere warm up? What’s 20 miles if you’re running 100!?

I finished my run strong and happy but tired. I can’t fathom running another 80 miles. Yet thousands of people (many who are older than me) run 100 mile races every year around the world.

One such race is the Western States 100 which starts at Squaw Valley Ski Area, Lake Tahoe, California and crosses mountains and canyons eventually ending in Auburn, California 100 miles later. Runners must make it in 30 hours or less.

I just watched a documentary called Unbreakable: The Western States 100. In 2010 the competition was particularly fierce. The four runners contending for first place were as follows: Continue Reading →

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Interview with Marshall Ulrich

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Marshall Ulrich is a legendary endurance athlete. He has finished 124 ultra marathons, crossed Death Valley on foot 24 times, climbed to the summit of Everest, and taken on many other insane challenges.

At age 57 he ran across the United States -3,063 miles in 52 days. He is author of the book, Running on Empty – an ultramarathoner’s story of love, loss, and a record-setting run across America.

You can see him run across the USA in the video below Continue Reading →

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