With its beautiful cascades, 5,000-foot peaks, and challenging climbs, the 8.9-mile Franconia Ridge Loop is a fun and challenging run, and a great introduction to running in the White Mountains.
The first three weekends in May offer trail runners a chance to test themselves on three tough courses.
The first time Fred Pilon ran the Seven Sisters Trail, he reacted as many people have. “I hated it,” he says. “It was just absolutely terrible.”
Already this fall, Aliza Lapierre has broken two course records in the Northeast—at the Vermont 50 in September and the Stone Cat Trail Marathon in November. Next weekend, she’ll test herself out west at The North Face Endurance Challenge.
In 1974, when Gordy Ainsleigh became the first person to run alongside the horses at the Western States 100, he didn’t have to worry about qualifying for the race, about sitting at his computer to sign up in time, or about having his name drawn in a lottery. All he had to worry about was whether he’d survive running 100 miles along ridgelines and through hot, dusty canyons.
Daniel Lieberman gets some strong reactions when he runs barefoot. He understands why—after all, most people would not consider it normal for a Harvard professor, such as himself, to run barefoot around Cambridge. But as an evolutionary biologist, Lieberman has a different perspective on what’s normal.
In June, Vermonter Bob Ayers traveled across the country to run the Western States 100. Over the following two-and-a-half months, he followed up Western States with the Vermont 100, the Leadville 100, and the Wasatch 100, becoming the first Vermonter to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. We talked to Ayers about the experience.
Backpacker magazine suggests allowing 9 to 12 days to make it across the entire 100 Mile Wilderness on Maine’s section of the Appalachian Trail. Joe Wrobleski thought it seemed like a good idea to do it in less than two days, alone, without support. We talked to Wrobleski about his experience.
For Nick Clark, Ian Sharman, and about two dozen other runners, the Vermont 100 finish line marked the halfway point of the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. After the race, Clark and Sharman talked about the course and about their competition against the Grand Slam record and each other.
Ian Sharman is ambitious. Over the course of 2013, he hopes not just to finish the four 100-mile races that make up the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning but to break the record for the fastest combined time. Although it’s a lofty goal, there’s good reason to think he’ll be successful.
This week, hundreds of runners are gathering in northern California to compete in the Western States 100. But while they’re running the course, they’ll also be helping to advance our understanding of the science of human endurance. Dr. Martin Hoffman, the director of research at Western States, talks about how the race doubles as a science lab.
Most new gear offers an incremental improvement. But once in a while, a piece of gear actually changes what you’re capable of doing.
I’ve never owned a pair of waterproof running shoes. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I’ve owned quite a few pairs of “waterproof” shoes. But I’ve never owned running shoes that were truly waterproof. As in, my feet stayed dry. I realize that there are some obvious ways that water gets in shoes. For example, if you step in a stream that’s up to your knee, and your shoes go up to your ankle, it is very likely that your feet will get wet. Or, if you wear thick socks on a hot day, you might as well walk through a stream. But that’s not what I’m talking about.