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    Peter Rodrigues
    BPL Member


    Locale: New York

    After seeing Eugene Smith's results at Deadman Peaks, I'm wondering how many UL backpackers are also ultramarathoners. The tinkering/gear mentality lends itself to the sport, and the ability to speed hike some hills/mountains (Hardrock?) is built from hiking.

    I've started to dabble in 50k's, but don't really consider that ultras until you hit 50 milers.

    Anyone else?

    Gabe Joyes


    Locale: Lander, WY

    I've done Grand Canyon R2R2R as a run and am planning a 50 and a 100 this summer. I think UL backpacking is great prep for ultra running!

    Aaron Sorensen
    BPL Member


    Locale: South of Forester Pass

    233 Miles at Across the Years 72 Hour Run (then course record for male 30-40)
    Finished the Plane 100 first try
    Primal Quest Utah
    Over 100 miles in 2 different 24 hour runs
    Several 50K's

    I really want the record back at Across the Years as it's now 238 miles. I had a really "crappy" 2nd day with only 62 miles.

    After that, the DECA Ironman 10X the distance (strait), not 1 ironman a day would be fun. 8 days and 8 mins would be an awesome record to go for. 24 mile swim, 1120 mile bike and 262 mile run all in one go!

    I just found out that I have exercise induced asthma and can not take the big league high altitude hike records anymore. The respiration taxes the body and destroys you after only about 50 miles going that hard with altitude.

    I would like to also see if my dog can do the TRT in less than 100 hours. She's in good shape and can do 40 miles in one go easy enough, just not sure about the consecutive days.

    Elizabeth Tracy
    BPL Member


    Locale: Outside

    Yes, I love long-distance running, though I've never raced longer than a 50k.

    I would love to do one of those running stage races like Desert RATS or the Transrockies, where you run a long distance every day and camp out at night.

    Ultrarunning is the only way to get out to the really remote stuff within the confines of a single day. In that way it resembles backpacking, and lightweight packing in particular.

    Unfortunately a lot of the ultrarunning races – even the multi-day events – will not or cannot actually go to some of the most beautiful/remote places, for logistical reasons. The Transrockies seems to be an example – it looks as if very little of the running is even on singletrack trail. The aid-station people have to be able to drive in.

    It would be fun to figure out how to organize one's own stage race. But I'm not sure how to do it without support – e.g. someone driving to the day's end-point with your tent and supplies. Running with a pack with even just 10 pounds in it is just not comfortable IMO.

    – Elizabeth

    Steve S


    Locale: Idaho

    I just started to get into the Ultras. My first 50k is Jan 21, and then there are a few others thru the year. Seemed like a natural progression as learned just how far I might be able to go became more and more refined from my UL hiking.

    Daniel Smith


    Yes Skurka is a freak. Still though, his 2nd place in Leadville with very limited actual running training coming in suggests to me that maybe long distance walking is a good training method for long distance running. Skurka seemed amazed no runners used trekking poles too. Maybe they will catch on?

    Art …
    BPL Member


    many ultras specifically prohibit trekking poles, probably for safety reasons.
    I have never seen trekking poles used in 50k or 50mi races I've been in.
    but have seen them used by a minority of entrants in 100 milers.

    much more power walking in 100 milers, lending itself to use of poles.

    I'm a solid back of the pack ultra runner.

    . . .

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    >"Unfortunately a lot of the ultrarunning races – even the multi-day events – will not or cannot actually go to some of the most beautiful/remote places, for logistical reasons. The Transrockies seems to be an example – it looks as if very little of the running is even on singletrack trail. The aid-station people have to be able to drive in."

    Elizabeth, Maybe there's a play there between the ultrarunners and the BPers with backpackers packing an aid station into a more scenic stretch. I could get into that – it's nice when there's a purpose for a hike and I don't mind the weight if it's needed stuff.

    I'm much more of an ultra-hiker than runner. 40 or 50 miles in a day is fun if I take 15 hours to do it. I don't have enough fast-twitch muscles to do it in half the time.

    But I'm signed up for the BPL Grand Canyon R2R2R. And I'll see how much of it I can run, but if I hike the whole thing like I did when I was half my age, I'll feel good about that.

    chris markley


    21 marathons under my belt, in a 5-year period, with 5 of those being Boston Marathon with full qualification(some people run for charities without qualifying). I have Boston-qualified at Boston — a note of particular pride. Also 17 triathlons — sprints and olympic distance. One ultra marathon — the JFK 50, as the name implies, a 50-miler. My time in the JFK 50 qualified me for the Western States 100 miler, but a regional fire cancelled the race the year I qualified to run, and I think I should be grateful for that. I've now retired from running, at age 49. Still kayaking like a maniac and solo backpacking. Ultralight backpacking is a mental discipline, and half the running game or more is mental. Rock on, you ultra runners. I respect the heck out of you.

    Eugene Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: Nuevo Mexico


    Individuals like you amaze and inspire me, the ability to run fast BQ times and run ultras, incredible. I don't think I have the discipline to run a Boston time, but pushing along for a day+ out on trail is a joy, sign me up.


    The tinkering associated with backpacking is almost nonexistent in running, at least for me. Its easy to keep running simple if you want it. My only weakness is shoes, the searching, learning, and continual evolution of shoes, its a cycle and I never seem satisfied for long. During periods of training I get a bit obsessive and my vision narrows.

    One thing is for sure, backpacking is literally a walk in the park once you start putting in long miles on trail with elevation thrown in, makes cranking out 20+ mile hiking days a breeze and quite enjoyable…..pair that with a light pack?

    Its joy.

    BPL Member


    Locale: .

    I've mostly quit running and just walk a lot. I have a hard enough time trying to gain weight these days and running just makes it much harder to keep muscle on. Of course I did go out and run 6.5 miles this morning and it felt pretty good considering I haven't run in around 10 months.

    With that said though, Javan Dempsey and I did a trip back in July where we covered ~32 miles with 15k elevation change in 12 hours and that was walking with packs on (intended overnight turned day hike). We were pretty spent, but if we slowed down a little I see no reason we couldn't have covered close to 50 miles in a 24 hour period. Point being you can cover quite a lot of ground in 24 hours without necessarily needing to run.

    Anyway, I respect anyone that can run often and put in a lot of miles. And if you can maintain a decent build while doing so I want your secrets.

    Laurie Ann March


    Locale: Ontario, Canada

    Not an ultramarathoner but I'm a runner and training for my first races. I am interested in doing this next year… lol… a mere 3.2 miles.

    The Warrior Dash

    Eventually I'd love to do an ultramarathon but I'm not at that level yet (or even close to it)… but reading all of this is certainly inspirational!

    Laurie Ann March


    Locale: Ontario, Canada

    This thread has inspired me to learn more about ultra-marathoners and to my delight and surprise, a lady I met at a family gathering this summer is one. Monica Scholz… too cool. Anyway, it's not something I'd ever do myself but I am reading loads about the sport. Right now I'm about 1/2 way through Born to Run by McDougall. Interesting book.

    Steve S


    Locale: Idaho

    Well, I lowered my goal a bit for my Jan 21 race. We recieved a huge snow/rain storm here 2 days before the race, and knowing from experience the mud and conditions of the upper part of the course, I opted out for the 10.8 mile loop instead of the full 50k loop. It was a smart decision,(my age!) and I had a blast running the race. The race had just under 200 entries, with about half in the shorter race. I did the 10.8 in 2:01:22 and was 19th overall and first in my 50-59 age group. I was really surprised about being first, and it was a great time. I still hope to do a 50k race, as I think it would be a sweet accomplishment. I'm looking at some other races later this year. We'll see how it goes.

    Laurie Ann March


    Locale: Ontario, Canada

    Congrats on placing first in your age group!!

    Andrea Feucht
    BPL Member


    I'm a new-ish user so you'll be seeing more of me soon!

    I know this is an older thread but I'll chime in. I've been a runner for 26 years, an ultrarunner for 10 of the last 16 years (with a break to do marathons), and in the back of my head I've always thought long thru hikes were keen.

    This summer I am running Wasatch but I would also like to do the CT in about 20 days, and am targeting June 13th to start with enough time to finish and go to the 4th of July festivities in Silverton. It's a grand experiment. I'll either be in rock solid shape or I'll burn out. :-)

    Bob Gross
    BPL Member


    Locale: Silicon Valley

    A friend of mine used to run 50-mile and 100-mile races, but he is getting older now, so he doesn't want to run anything beyond a marathon length. He says there is no fun in it anymore because he can always win a race for his age category.

    He is 84 years old.


    Michael Gillenwater
    BPL Member


    Locale: Seattle area

    Not a new trail runner, but getting back on the bandwagon after a severals years away to start a family and nonprofit organization. I currently don't do races, but just run for the joy of it. Would be curious who else in the Seattle area is into both running and BPL.

    John Myers
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Texas

    "This summer I am running Wasatch but I would also like to do the CT in about 20 days, and am targeting June 13th to start"

    Welcome to the forums!

    Good luck on your CT hike. It's been a good snow year in Colorado so watch trail conditions closely before you head out. Many years there is significant snow in some sections into July. :)

    Adam Kilpatrick
    BPL Member


    Locale: South Australia

    I'm finally having a crack at an "ultra" in September this year. Have done a lot of Rogaining in the past, 12 and 24 hour events where I've well and truly gone into "ultra" territory.

    Have to decide between a 56km very hilly trail run or a 48hour race on the track. At first I was thinking the 48hour, but I'm starting to think that I'd rather concentrate on trail running as its much more interesting!

    Andrea Feucht
    BPL Member


    Thank you so much, dallas!

    Now, that is actually interesting, about the snow. Because it's been crap here in NM, I figured it was the same in CO and so it would be the PERFECT year for an early trek (compared to August+).

    So, thanks. Obviously I would have looked at snow levels soon, but I didn't think I would find that it has been a "good" year. Hmmm. This could be interesting.


    Andrea Feucht
    BPL Member


    Adam (oysters), take the trail option. :-) I'm biased, but I think a 48 hour is going to be so wrenching you might never come back to ultras. I did a 24 hour very early in my ultra days and only lasted 19 hours before I said, 'screw this!'. Luckily I went right back onto the trails after that.

    I don't know how many options you have near you, but ultras in general are exploding so if there are not tons of paid races, I bet you can find a lot of group fun runs.

    Jennifer Mitol


    Locale: In my dreams....

    I used to run quite a bit…I was never fast but I loved the long mileage. I had to take a break because of several non-backpacking/running related injuries, but now that I'm into UL backpacking I'm really keen on using ultra trail runs to get back!! Of course, as soon as I started training I broke my ankle in a somewhat-backpack-relating accident, so I'm on hold again.

    But thanks for this thread…I need all the inspiration I can get! This boot is really cramping my style…..



    Locale: The Cascades

    "in a somewhat-backpack-relating accident,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That's quite a somewhat…..

    "This boot is really cramping my style….."

    I first read this as 'booty is really cramping my style…." Sorry! :-)

    Jennifer Mitol


    Locale: In my dreams....

    C'mon Doug….I can call it a Somewhat-backpacking-related, can't i?!! I mean, it kind of was…….

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