Video: More on Jim Walmsley's solo Hardrock FKT attempt. TrailSisters/Grossman: Female veterans finding a place in the trail running community. I attended a Team RWB camp a few years ago and was able to see first hand how positive an influence our sport ...
Video: More on Jim Walmsley’s solo Hardrock FKT attempt.
TrailSisters/Grossman: Female veterans finding a place in the trail running community. I attended a Team RWB camp a few years ago and was able to see first hand how positive an influence our sport has on this important segment of our population. It’s awesome to see Katie continue to highlight the programs and people involved.
Run Spirited: Henry chats with Chris DeNucci to learn what he’s been up to as a Physician and runner during Covid.
How La Rona is forcing collegiate track and XC teams to rethink everything.
SCMP: The wild and scary sport of ultramarathon, trans-Pacific rowing.
It was kind of funny — the last quarter of the race, people — I think — thought I’d finished and had come back to jog in with a friend, but I was still out there on the course.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a guy named Ben Chan. In his email, he described a situation in which he, along with his friend/teammates applied to run one of Laz’s races. He wrote that the team chose the name “Black Lives Matter” and that Laz had asked them to choose a different name because he didn’t want any controversy. Apparently he used the example that he wouldn’t allow a “MAGA” team either. That story is here.
In his email to me, Ben asked to come on URP to discuss inclusion in general and his issue in particular. I looked him up, checked out his Instagram, and saw that it was 90% social, racial, and political issues with very few running posts. I also noticed that he’d shared personal emails on his public feed, so decided to pass on his request. (As a note, I’ve also learned over the last decade of doing this that the best guests are ones who are found, not those who pitch themselves. I decline 99% of requests who ask to be on the show.)
So last week, I heard from a friend that Ben was disappointed that few people had responded to him, so I shot him a quick email. This isn’t unlike the hundreds of emails I’ve sent out before when there’s a request to be on ultrarunnerpodcast.
Hi Ben- Thanks for writing. I understand your frustration, but side with Laz on this one in keeping political and controversial social topics out of sports. Good luck in your next race, Eric
That’s the entirety of my communication with him. That’s it. Nothing more.
Anyone who’s followed my site for any length of time–as he purportedly has–knows that I rarely talk about politics or big controversial social issues that don’t relate directly to running. (I suppose beer, dogs, and cannabis would be exceptions if we’re getting nitpicky, but whatever.)
But to be clear, I have discussed racial and gender equity in our sport in the past. I’ve been exploring those issues well before #metoo and #BLM, thankyouverymuch, but with fires and riots and school closures and protests and fu*king Covid and political and environmental chaos all over the news right now, I’d rather talk about something else and provide a respite that so many of you seem to appreciate. Ben refers to it as “white runners are seeking refuge from scary Black words and phrases”, but I see it as trying to maintain balance and stay sane during this crazy year.
It’s also apparently a minor point to some, but…it’smyshow. I choose the guests and get to decide which issues will be discussed. As the largest and longest running MUT podcast in the world, I tend to trust my judgement and based on the personal emails I’ve received recently (thank you!), you’d rather stick to running too.
Update: It looks like dozens of replies/comments to his post have been deleted or removed. I don’t use IG enough to know what happened.Anyone?
There was plenty of performative outrage and promises to unsubscribe and not listen any more, and that’s fine. Do what you’re gonna do. If you’re looking for more political, social, and racial justice discussions, there are myriad podcasts and other media sources available with excellent content. I believe he even linked to a few running podcasts on which he was a guest. For me though, I’ll be sticking to running news and I hope you’ll join me.
Sorry to make this such a big deal, but I’m getting really really tired of this and wanted to give you all the entire picture in case you saw a mention.
DumbRunner: Lab test reveal that local runner is actually a jogger.
This high schooler from Alaska has a 14:45 5k to his name and is the fastest prep runner in the country. Bummer his senior year is marred by the shutdown.
For so many hours, shuffling around that farm, I didn’t want to be doing, I wanted to be done, so that when I was done, I could say I did a thing. This is the opposite of the spirit of ultramarathoning, of distance running in general, which is in many ways about being “Out There,” caught up in a moment that divorces you from the world, from society, from anything other than self. Accomplishment happens in an instant. Accomplishment is awarded the moment the finishing is done. But being out there takes a long time, and if it is only done for the sake of accomplishment, then it feels like an even longer, more painful time. Our society offers up so much as reward, and yet rewards so little for the so-much of life.
–Holy hell, if you’e going to read one thing today, read this. Excellent and insightful (and relatable!) essay about the why of ultramarathon running. And how have I never heard of Farmdaze?!?
Newsweek: Hikers find a bear chewing on some human flesh near a campsite in the Great Smoky Mountains. Ack.
The social media outrage train picked up steam last week when a race announcer in the Czech Republic made an off-handed comment on the different body shapes between the pacemakers and the 1500m runners. My guess is that most of the hysteria came from those reading only the headlines and the social media freakout, but go ahead and decide for yourself, then decide if it’s worth the outrage. Here’s the call (below) that was tweeted by Chris Chavez. Chris is a hell of an announcer–much better than the random guy announcing the race below–but I’m finding his relentless virtue signaling an unfortunate distraction from his otherwise great reporting and writing.
When will announcers learn that comments like this contribute nothing to the sport and are meaningless…just inappropriate pic.twitter.com/vzszO2WSQM
Here’s an article that calls into question the legitimacy and appropriateness of the call.. Here’s a post calling the outrage ridiculous and noting the prevalence of the double standards. Here’s a post from ED advocate and author Lize Brittin where she writes that if we want to make real gains, we can’t lose our minds over tiny (and in my view manufactured) missteps like this. Here’s a LetsRun thread on it. Some good points and of course some comments you’d expect from the LetsRun MENSA team.
So what do you think? Was this a major issue that needs to be addressed? And if so, does it help our sport? What will sports look like if we go down this path? Can we comment on what an athlete ate at an aid station or would that be inappropriate and “dangerous”? Since EDs are so common among men, can we comment on the size and shape of football players without it being “harmful”? Why would that be OK, but commenting (not mocking) the build of female runners is somehow verboten?
iRunFar: What’s Hillary Allen been up to recently? Looks like she’s living and loving life in France.
TrailRunner/Metzler: Should runners drink straight from streams? I’m one of those with an iron gut who’s never not yet had a problem. I’m pretty careful with sourcing water (El Dorado Creek? Hell yes), but something about drinking from the stream or waterfall helps me connect with the outdoors even more and I’ll take my chances.
I was bored on a run last week and started wonder if right or left-dominant footed runners have an advantage in middle/long distance track events. My totally and admittedly un-scientific mind figures that if you’re right dominant, you’d be stronger “pushing off” around turns, buy my wife (in a rare flash of willingness to entertain my silly whims) thinks that a left dominant footed runner would have a longer/stronger stride on the “inside” of the track. I posed the question on Twitter and Koop sent me this study that gets close to answering the question. Before I put this to bed, I’d love to see a list of 10k runners with a data point reflecting whether they’re right or left dominant. Maybe there’s a correlation, maybe there’s not. Whaddya think?
“Sweet Disgust” is something often used by athletes to rebound after a poor performance, driving passion and motivation to do better.
Ultrarunning Mag: What happens when your kid announces they are going to summit a nearby peak, but have no real experience? What advice (and gear) would you give them to keep them safe? Sarah Lavender Smith offers good tips for staying safe in the great outdoors.
This crazy looking new trail running shoe from Adidas has a lot to offer. I like the neoprene sleeves for bad weather, I’m a huge fan of BOA lacing systems, and Boost foam is my favorite material for maximum cush and spring. And the “420” printed on the forefoot…a nod to Adidas exec Scott Dunlap?
“I think that physical exertion and physical activity in general brings out a different layer of people,” she explained. “When you’re absolutely exhausted and you can’t take another step, you need this other side of your being and I wanted to see what my limits were or where they were and then find a way to push past them. So, whenever I’d be met with these challenges, I would think to myself, ‘This is one of those tests. Where is your breaking point?’” … “It really wasn’t about what I did, but who I became,” she said. “And so, I was dreading the end but then I was also kind of excited to see and to bring everything that I learned from this experience back into this world that has, more or less, stayed the same while I was gone.”
Interviewed by a publication yesterday for a blurb on professional athletes and their public political statements. Teaser: If someone is paying you to represent their brand by retaining existing customers and attracting new ones, don’t ostracize half your audience by making self-important political statements. If you’re already an activist and then get signed, all is fair, but make sure your employer is OK with your public messaging. I’ll link to it when it’s published.
Nineteen years and one day ago, our country came together with compassion, empathy, love, and a shared goal. Hoping we can reach that point again soon. RIP to all who lost their lives that day. And a special shoutout to the firefighters who are putting their lives at risk right now in California and Oregon. Thank You.
More beer news: I’ll admit, this headline made me barf a bit, but I love(d) me a good Shandy and now it makes sense. Will the brewmasters be wearing the cool/sexy/funny outfits though?
GuardianUK: Excellent article on Kilian. His training, passions, and new life as a social media influencer. Hard to find others pro athletes as dominant in their respective fields as KJ.
Trailrunner Mag: Navigating the confusing world of protein powders with the help of a dietician. Great info in an easy-to-understand format.
Listened to the new Joe Rogan interview with Mike Tyson interview yesterday. Turns out the dude loves running trails! He’s certainly got his faults (and crazy theories, whoa), but it’s cool to see someone from such a different sporting background sharing our passion.
“During the swim it was excruciating, it felt like 1,000 knives stabbing at my body with each stroke. I had to keep reminding myself of the goal and make a decision to keep going,” the 39-year-old said.
Heat is real and dangerous folks. One death here. Another here.
iRunFar/AJW: Sign of the times I suppose. Squaw Valley is deemed offensive and the preferred term is now “See You at States.” Still pretty offensive, as the new term uses the Latin alphabet and doesn’t recognize people from other cultures who don’t speak English. Really though: I thought us trail runners were better at spotting slippery slopes than that. Guess not.
Treeline Journal: Excellent analysis and commentary on the world of FKTs. Why are they so hot right now (Covid fad?), who’d doing them, who do they resonate with, and are they for you? (Link fixed. Sorry!)
Think about it for a second, when was the last time you got a little niggle on your calf and thought “I need to sleep more”? You likely didn’t. More likely, you applied some stretch, activation exercise, massage or balm directly to your calf, hoping praying that there would be some direct improvement stemming from your actions. Now, I’m not saying sleep is the cure to all of your injury woes. That would be just as big of a single factored error as any other. But I am saying that the causes of your calf niggle encompass more than something you can stretch, massage or ‘activate’ away.
—CTS/Koop: New methods and strategies to treat running injuries.
With the EMU six day now restricted to residents of Hungary, Camille Herron is apparently eyeing Three Days at the Fair for her world record attempt. Looks like a pretty good lineup…fingers crossed it isn’t cancelled.
SCMP: What to do if your knees hurt when trail or ultra running.
Want to race Mike Wardian across the country? Hop on this virtual event to see if you can do it…and yes, you can split up the distance with friends.