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Ashley Erba cruising to a win on a very challenging course at Power of Four 50K in Aspen, CO. Photo: Ian Sharman

October 2015

  • Trail Running Sock Review by Donald Buraglio
  • MID-PACK ZACH Ultra-Lessons Learned by Zach Adams
  • ROCKET RANTS Aid Station Etiquette by Errol “Rocket” Jones
  • ASK ANN Pushing Hard in Races by Ann Trason
  • Ashley Erba Q&A
  • Badwater
  • Speedgoat

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Recent Features

Ann Trason

Ask Ann: Key Lessons

I have always loved being a student of the sport—reading, asking questions, trying new things and learning what worked for me. I have been fortunate to have had several coaches who helped fill in gaps in the complex puzzle we call ultrarunning. Your question gets me thinking about the one who did the most to make me the runner and coach I am. Here are 17 lessons I learned from my favorite coach.

Off and running In Wrightwood

Eric Schultz and Ashley Nordell win the 28th Annual Angeles Crest 100.

This year’s run was very challenging to put on. All time record heavy rains in the San Gabriel Mountains caused mud and rock slides on the Angeles Crest (Hwy 2) and CalTrans closed off our access to the 1st 25 miles of our run until mid August. However, CalTrans worked diligently to try to open the road and managed to re-open Hwy 2 before race weekend.


Race Reports

Here at UltraRunning, we get all sorts of race reports, and they have always been a key part of the magazine. Amongst our team, we read and edit each one at least five times in all—so we really appreciate the good ones. The stories that entertain, inform and educate. We want to bring the races alive for you, and inspire you to get out there and get after it yourself—to overcome challenges and have life-changing experiences you can only find at ultras. Nothing fits that bill like a great race report and photos.


Think you know scree? You Don’t Know Scree.

“The scree field; the scree field; the scree” …this topic was the major focus of the Beaverhead Endurance Runs 100k and 55k pre-race meeting. “You have to make it through the scree field by dark”


The Evolution of the Modern Aid Station

Today’s aid stations, especially at majors like Western States, are staffed by folks who are often veteran ultrarunners, have decades of experience and are as skilled as they come at meeting runners’ needs.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

I’m not an avid reader of poetry, but the words in this Dylan Thomas poem have always resonated with me, and I think they express what I’ve done and what I continue to attempt to do in my ultrarunning. At various times over the years, my best friend has admonished me about my approach to my running and racing, and has pointed out an old adage: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If that bears fruit, then I guess most, if not all, ultrarunners are insane, or damn close to it.

Finger Lakes_Chain sawn cows for 50K and 50-mile overall and masters winners John Zachary -750

Finger Lakes 50: Can’t Get Any Muddier!

I’ve been associated with the Finger Lakes 50s Trail Races for about 10 years, either running, volunteering or directing, and I thought the 2014 race was the muddiest year ever. So muddy that I didn’t think it could get any worse. I was wrong. With above average snowfall this past winter and relentless rain in the Finger Lakes region this year, the 27th annual running of the races was the muddiest by far.

Proud mom, Luanne Park, cheers as her 16-year-old son finishes the 50k by her side Carsen Maciag-750

A Family Affair : SOB

On a high mountain ridgeline, early morning rays glance off your face as you stride over undulating single-track with never-ending views. Perfection. This is the setting of the Siskiyou Out Back Trail Runs (SOB). Starting and finishing only 30 minutes from downtown Ashland, OR, atop the Siskiyou Crest, all three races (15k, 50k, and 50-mile) traverse west along the backbone of the range and return to the Mt. Ashland lodge.

Ian in the early miles of the 2015 Western States 100, en route to another top 10 finish. Photo Matt Trappe

Road Races to Improve Trail Running

I’ll admit I have a bias on this topic, since when I first started running ultras in 2005, I also got hooked on road marathons. However, one thing I noticed was how effectively sub-ultra road races prepared me for many aspects of longer races.


Waldo Lament – A song by Gordy Ainsleigh

Joe decided to throw a DNF party for Veronica, and I decided to sing her a song. When I told an old girlfriend what I was planning, she said, “But you can’t sing!” “That’s not true,” I told her. “I can sing badly.”


Mt. Disappointment 50K is back

Mt. Disappointment 50K is back! The news was very welcoming to the ultrarunning community after a year of disappointing hiatus. Race directors Gary and Pam Hilliard and their band of volunteers spent numerous hours to bring the race back to its original course.


Superior “Fall” Trail Races 2015 Race Preview

I would say the 2015 Superior “Fall” Trail Races should be “one for the ages,” but that betrays the fact that every year is epic and memorable in its own right.


To Watch a Man Run

By Chiara Nanni To be honest, I have never watched him run for more than a couple of seconds at a time. And that is because I don’t run. So when he took off, whether it was for a race or a training trail or a morning run, I could only witness a few ste

A 16-Year-Old’s Perspective on Running Trails

Long hours with sweat in my eyes, salt on my lips and the pain of the run have taught me a lot. As a high schooler in a town where “running” means a few laps or a track meet every now and then, I have found that it’s hard for people to understand why I love running. Most people hate it or see it only as a way to lose weight.


A Quarter Century of Howling

The 25th Howl at the Moon 8 Hour Ultra in Danville, IL, attracted runners from 15 states, some running their first ultra and others returning for the 20th time or more. The race bills itself as a perfect first-timer’s event because of its multi-surface 3.29-mile loop course, personal lap scorers and the abundance of on-course aid.


Grand Teton FKT Attempt

During dinner at the Mammut sales meeting, Dave, the company’s hard goods manager, turned towards me and shouted, “That’s insane! The Grand Teton in under three hours?”