Posts Tagged ‘Ultra’

Leadville 100

August 25, 2009

Amongst many others… my favourite  US ultra runner, Anton Krupicka, dropped out after leading for most of the race at sub record pace.

In his blog Krupicka tells a very, very good story of how tough it was out there. I recommend that you read it – it is an inspiring story of failure. He writes almost as well as he runs.

His blog is here:

Just before Fish Hatchery, where he was to DNF

Just before Fish Hatchery, where he was to DNF

A few excerpts: “On a good day, running 100 miles is fucking hard. Period. On a bad day, it’s borderline impossible.” [note to self: remember this.]

“I roughly stuck to my pre-race plan of tritely Going Big Or Going Home and I came down on the rather more tarnished, grimy side of that coin-flip gamble.”

Hagerman Pass Road, mile 16

Hagerman Pass Road, mile 16

“The quads began cramping regularly. Which sounds so simple and almost trivial written in an English sentence like that, but in the felt reality of life it was devastating on a physical, emotional, molecular level. The sun beat down. Life was more than a little desperate.”

Sumitting Hope Pass the first time

Sumitting Hope Pass the first time

 For what it’s worth… my analysis of Anton’s problems is that he didn’t replace enough electrolytes. He only mentions Nuun once. He drank mainly water. Given the unexpected high temps I would have been aiming for 75% Nuun and 25% water. This may explain his cramping.


Western States 100

June 29, 2009

Jez Bragg managed a fantastic 3rd in the Western States 100 despite temperatures soaring over 100.

Place Bib No Status Time In Time Out Elapsed Name Gender Age
1 M1 Finished 09:24pm –:– 16:24:55 Hal Koerner M 33
2 279 Finished 09:52pm –:– 16:52:06 Tsuyoshi Kaburagi M 40
3 113 Finished 09:54pm –:– 16:54:26 Jez Bragg M 28
4 21 Finished 09:56pm –:– 16:56:26 Jasper Halekas M 33
5 401 Finished 09:59pm –:– 16:59:33 Kevin Sullivan M 38

Amazingly close between 2nd and 5th.

Dean Karnazes and Scott Jurek both dropped out. Anton Krupicka and Jorge Pacheco did not start.


Jez had this to say about the race on his blog:

Well, it was the epic of all epics. I moved through the field and felt very confident of a podium finish when I met my pacer, Scott, at Forest Hill (62 miles). Then we dropped down to the river, and the temperature soared. Scott tells me it was well in the 100s. I managed to hold it together until the river crossing (78miles), but the wheels were starting to wobble big time, I lost a couple of places and fell back to 7th. 80 to 88miles was pretty hellish; the setting sun was pounding the side of the final canyon we were traversing. But as soon as it went down, I got my head down and ran some quick miles. At Highway 49 I was in 5th, not many miles left to reel in the remaining guys who I knew were fairly close in front. I smoked it to No Hands Bridge, still no sign of them. There Scott re-joined me after sorting his blisters and we put our heads down and ran more quick miles. I got into 4th at about mile 98, then hit the podium slot of 3rd in the last mile. It was emtional stuff. I finished in 16h 54 (I think), 3rd place. The finish into the stadium was simply awesome.

There were many high profile drop-outs, probably due to the intensity of the racing and the heat. I amd pleased beyond words with my 3rd place – and with a Japanese runner taking 2nd – for the first time ever there are two foreigners in the top 3. Great stuff.

I need to see this

June 18, 2009

This looks great.

Now… just need to find out if they ship to the UK, or if there is a UK distributor.

Dean Karnazes and David Goggins

April 24, 2009

I don’t want this post to be a controversial one. 

I do want to highlight some amazing things that have been achieved by two of the more controversial athletes in the ultra world: Dean Karnazes and David Goggins.  Why are they controversial?  I don’t really know.  I guess because they do not fit the norm, because they attract a lot of publicity and because they have helped to bring the underground world of ultra running more into the public eye.

Dean Karnazes

Karnazes is perhaps the more well known of the two.  Many will have read, or at least heard about, his book “Ultra Marathon Man”. 

Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes

Dean, or “Karno” as he is known to his friends, has achieved some amazing feats. 

He ran a bit as a teenager (probably about the same as me and about the same level).  Then he did nothing until his 3oth birthday when he ran 30 miles in his gardening shoes after a fairly boozy night.  Hmmm – this sounds a bit familiar…

Like Goggins, below, Karnazes is motivated, so he says, solely by raising money for his charitable foundation.   Karno Kids is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support, encourage, and motivate youth to get outside and become physically active and to restore and preserve the environment.

He won Badwater in 2004 and the Vermont 100 in 2006.  He has run 350 miles in 80hrs 44 mins without stopping and recently ran 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states.  He has also run 148 miles in 24hrs on a treadmill – a record which I would love to smash!

Badwater 2008

Badwater 2008

Dean’s detractors state that he is purely a self publicity machine and that he doesn’t actually win many races even with only national competition. 

My personal belief is that the Karnazes publicity machine is producing a lot of money for charity.  That is a good thing.  There are, however, many better ultra runners in the USA than Dean.  He does not deny this.

David Goggins

 Goggins is a US Navy Seal.  Whilst they are clearly not a patch on British special forces  😉  , they are pretty good. 

David is 6’1” and 190 pounds.  Not the typical build for an ultra runner.  Compare his physique to that of William Sichel, who is 5’5” and about 128 pounds!  He is the only person in history to have successfully completed training with the Navy SEALS, US Army Rangers and the Air Force’s Tactical Air Controller unit.  He is also the only person to have completed the SEALS’ infamous Hell Week on three separate occasions. (The third time because he felt his first two efforts were soft.) He is a driven man. 

David Goggins during the Badwater 135 mile ultra

David Goggins during the Badwater 135 mile ultra










Goggins would finish an unbelievable fifth in his first race at Badwater, raising a considerable amount of for the Special Operation Warrior Foundation, a charity that provides full college scholarships, financial aid and counselling to surviving children of military personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.

He returned to Badwater in 2007, finished third, knocking over four hours off of his time of the previous year. His work with the Special Ops Warrior Foundation keeps him motivated.

“We put 266 kids through college last year. And that’s what keeps me going. I’ll be honest, I don’t like running. I don’t like biking. I don’t like swimming. I do it to raise money. But, now that I’m in this sport I want to see how far I can push myself. What makes me tick is that pain you feel when you do these ultramarathons. I love knowing that everyone’s suffering because I know I can suffer just a little bit more. I can take a lot of pain.”

Goggins daily schedule..... (!)

Goggins' legendary daily schedule..... (!)

Just some food for thought…..

Hello world!

August 11, 2008

Hi everyone.

Well, I thought I’d start one of these new web log things.  The main reason that I want to do this is to keep other people up to date with my progress in training for a 24 hour ultramarathon in October this year. 

Hopefully it will also be kind of nice for me to look back on in years to come.  A bit like the scrap books that our grandparents used to keep.

Anyway… this is just an introductory post.  More to follow very shortly detailing a race success story!

Keep running