Gabi offers up some great advice on conquering your first ultramarathon. Check out Travis' video from Canyons 100k. If you're interested in running this (or Western States) next year, this'll give you an excellent idea of the terrain and vibe. When the ...


Ultramarathon Daily News | Wednesday, May 23 and more...

Ultramarathon Daily News | Wednesday, May 23

Gabi offers up some great advice on conquering your first ultramarathon.

Check out Travis’ video from Canyons 100k. If you’re interested in running this (or Western States) next year, this’ll give you an excellent idea of the terrain and vibe.

When the summer days become unbearably hot in Arizona, the trail running scene turns nocturnal. Great idea!


URP Gear Guy Ben taked a few spring time running jackets into the mountains. Packability? Breathability? Value? What’d Ben think of the Ultimate Direction Moonlight Jacket and the Patagonia Airshed Pullover?

Meet Lucy Barthlomew, the young Aussie trail and ultramarathon phenom who’ll be lining up in Squaw in just over four weeks.

My latest lesson in this sport is never to underestimate an ultra race. The numbers in ultra running are so big and insane that they start to become meaningless in the space between the races, when you’re talking and thinking about them rather than actually running them. After some of the races I had already done, 45 miles seemed like nothing

Adharanand Finn prepares for his first UTMB the summer with a few “baby ultramarathons.”  Our interview with Adharanand is right this way.

As the father of a young girl who’d rather go hiking rather than make crafts, this history of the Girl Rangers was a neat read. I wish there were more options like this today.

Hiker falls to his death while climbing the cables on Half Dome in Yosemite. 

I linked to this story earlier this week about the controversy at the Cleveland Marathon. The 2nd place guy was upset that the eventual winner had his bib covered and should thus be DQed. The officials made a final decision and it seems reasonable: The winner won.

Recent explosion in the prevalence of gluten-free athletes, exacerbated by unsubstantiated commercial health claims, has led to some professional athletes touting gluten-free diet as the secret to their success…However, the implications of confounding factors, including the risks of unnecessary dietary restriction, financial burden, food availability, psychosocial implications, alterations in short-chain carbohydrates (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), and other wheat constituents emphasize the need for further evaluation.

It’s two years old, but still worth a gander if you’re on the fence about a gluten free lifestyle.

Interviewing Cruel Jewel champ Lee Conner this afternoon. I’m anxious to hear more about her recent wins, trail wisdom, and how she trains for mountain ultras in Ohio.

Everything you ever wanted to know about port-a-johns. And I’ll repeat a story I know I’ve told at least once on the show: If it’s dark out and you’ve got a headlamp on and you’re in a port-a-john, DO NOT inadvertently look down into the pit. Personal experience. Trust me on this. My eyes are forever scarred.

Scott Dunlap’s excellent report on waking up early for a Quicksilver 100k and trials and tribulations he faced along the way..

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Ultimate Direction Moonlight Jacket & Patagonia Airshed Pullover Review

Windbreakers are an easy item to overlook. Generally, they all kind of work the same: they block the wind, repel a wee bit of moisture, and generally burn you up from the inside out during high output activities like running. So it can be easy to swear them off. However, two windbreakers available today aim to improve upon this tried and true essential backcountry item. Two of the best I’ve tried that are available today include the Ultimate Direction Moonlight JacketPatagonia Airshed Pullover.

As one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own I’ve found a lot of use for these minimalistic windbreakers, including:

  • Running, of course
  • Emergency layer in a running pack or waistbelt for adventure runs with an unpredictable forecast or change in elevation planned
  • Cycling (pack in to a jersey pocket)
  • Traveling (takes up virtually no room in your travel bag and handy to have when walking around in new places)
  • Emergency layer in a commuting bag
  • Outdoor activities (e.g., concerts) when going from mid-day sun to cooler temps after sunset (I just stuff one in to the back pocket of my jeans)

Ultimate Direction Moonlight Jacket

The Ultimate Direction Moonlight Jacket is a limited production quantity run from the good folks at UD


  • Back vents. This is the main reason I love this jacket so much. The inclusion of back vents really ups the breathability in running specific use cases.

Big ups to the UD design team who decided to include back vents

  • Lightweight and packable. At 2.2oz (62g) it’s about as light as it gets when it comes to minimalistic windbreakers and packs down really small. Small enough that you can fit it in most trail-running short pockets even.

The Ultimate Direction Moonlight Jacket is as packable as the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer!

  • Fit. It’s a contoured fit just like any good running-specific second layer should be.
  • Value. At a MSRP of $84.95 it’s certainly not cheap for a simple 100% nylon shell but compared to other brands out there it represents a good value.

Suggested Improvements:

  • Underarm gusseted vents. I’m being picky here but a small underarm vent in each armpit wouldn’t add much weight and improve the breathability a bit more.

Patagonia Airshed Pullover

The Patagonia Airshed Pullover takes a novel approach to windbreaker design by letting just enough air pass through it


  • Breathability. The Patagonia Airshed Pullover uses a design that allows a wee bit of air to pass through the jacket. And this is awesome. It really ups the breathability of the jacket while still allowing for just enough heat retention. Essentially, this pullover is just the shell of their Nano-Air jacket.
  • Dries quicker. Because the design allows a small amount of air to pass through the shell it means both the shell and your base layer dry much faster than a typical windbreaker while wearing it. That clammy feeling you get once you sweat inside of a traditional windbreaker without venting is virtually non-existent here.

The Wasatch Mountains are no match for the Patagonia Airshed Pullover (ok, that’s a total lie)

  • Stretch. A spandex jersey material is included at the hem and cuff panels to allow for a fair amount of dynamic movement of the jacket. This is a good design choice as the stretch is needed when putting the pullover on or taking it off.
  • Fit. Traditional Patagonia slim or athletic fit here that works well in running situations.
  • Value (on sale). At a MSRP of $119.00 it’s not a great value at full retail. However, the pullover has been out for a few seasons now and readily available at as low as $59.00 during Patagonia’s semi-annual sale.

Suggested Improvements:

  • Not a knock on this pullover but I’d love to see a full-zip jacket using the same design and materials added to the Patagonia lineup.

Purchasing Information

If you’re interested in purchasing either of these windbreakers, please first check availability at your local, independently owned running specialty store. They need your business and are a great resource for the community.

If that’s not an option, please support the brands directly by ordering from their sites:

Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf

I am an avid running gear junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running or racing around the local trails in Marin County, California or talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras the last few years.

Disclaimer: The Ultimate Direction Moonlight Jacket was provided to URP/me for review purposes. Compensation was neither offered nor requested and all words and thoughts are 100% my own.

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Ultramarathon Daily News | Tuesday, May 22

What starts initially as an interview with runners gearing up for the largest ultramarathon in the world quickly transitions into a piece about why people are running long distances in the first place. Great read. Check it out.

Solid ideas from David Roche: Workouts for trail runners who don’t like workouts.

Similar to The Big Dance stateside, Brits are celebrating the Royal Wedding this week getting ready for the Grand Union Canal Race. Here’s an excellent piece about the history and excitement of the storied event.

Better hope this woman is nowhere near the race.

“Since I’ve been a dad, I’ve gotten faster,” Laverty, 31, said as his breathing returned to a resting rate.

–We interviewed Elisa Laverty last year about running her first 50 miler while momming. Here, her husband Keith gets some well-earned press and shares his simple wisdom for success on the trails.

I’ll preface this by saying I’d never heard of Susie Chan before, but apparently she’s an influential influencer in the running (and ultramarathon?) world. In this interview, she writes about why and how some less-talented runners have more an impact than runners winning races. Kind of weird that she’s used as this example, right?

Something we all share as runners: Muscle Cramps. In this piece, Corrine Malcolm dives into the most recent research and science to explain why we get them, the lore of pickle juice, and what we can do to get rid of the dreaded cramp.

Seems like an awesome way to increase visibility of running. As the author points out, most people recognize the mile and the marathon as the “normal” running distances, and with the former much easier to organize than the latter, hosting a street mile in LA (or on the Embarcadero in San Francisco or Peachtree Street in Atlanta, etc) would be incredible for the sport.

Do you hate your quads? Have something against your teeth? Here’s an opportunity to run down one of Europe’s most notorious ski runs, gates and all. Yeah, it’s only 350 meters long, but that should be long enough, right?

Did this NatGeo writer even see the movie? Maybe a question about the cultural pace of the Bhutanese people or the overt frustration of the runners at the apparent lack of preparation and communication? 

Mario has some good thoughts on Ironman’s acquisition of Ultra Trail Australia and what it may mean for the future of endurance sports and ultramarathon events.

And another ultramarathon/running property changes hands (that only industry geeks will notice) as TRE is sold to a corporate trade show promoter.

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Ultramarathon and Trail Running Daily News | Monday, May 21

Justin/IRF run down the weekend’s top ultramarathon and trail results from around the world. Quick thoughts:

  • I’d missed the news that Ironman had acquired Ultra Trail Australia. Certainly an interesting move that’s hopefully not a harbinger of more to come.
  • Kaci! Ah, so that’s how you’re supposed to come back from injury…with patience!…and apparently it works! Great to see her back on top.
  • Euro tie. Meh.
  • Interested in learning more about Lee Connor, the female champ at Cruel Jewel. What’s her story?

Another runner at Silver State was Logan Williams, a 23 yo guy from Boulder who’s been hooked on ultramarathons since last year. In this post, he writes about the triple threat of injury, eating disorders, and a competitive mindset, and the inevitable catch 22 of the combination of all three.  Logan addresses the commonly held stigma that athletes, primarily male athletes, have it all “figured out,” and in turn don’t suffer from mental illness or eating disorders. Good post that I know will hit home with many of you.

Racing to run a certain time is the equivalent of trying to play a game of H-O-R-S-E during a 5 vs 5 basketball game. You can do it, but most likely will lose the day’s contest even though you won your “game.”

Why the focus should be on strategy instead of time.

…And use Meghan’s mantra of Fun, Food, Fast Feet that she writes about in this excellent recap from her Lake Sonoma finish.

Rock shrine ultramarathon trail running
A small shrine of painted rocks I found on our trail run on Saturday. All had running mantras on them.

Krista Olson and her dad Bob (Timothy Olson’s wife and father in law, respectively), run their first hundred together at Pine to Palm and it’s turned into a short film. Very well done!

Biker killed by mountain lion outside of Seattle. Be safe out there.

Wedged in between his Boston Marathon win and another run at Stockholm Marathon in a few weeks, Kawauchi threw down a CR and bested 2nd place by 30 minutes in a 70k ultramarathon this weekend. Of course he did.

Without knowing any more info (race rules?), I definitely see this guy’s point, but it also makes him look like a sore loser. Interested to see what officials decide. What do you think?

Having set goals that I knew were in my control made the difference between failure and success and how I felt about the outcome. I nailed the nutrition, I had fun, and sometimes I had fast feet. I finished with gratitude, and had a wonderful afternoon hanging out with friends and cheering on the next finishers.

Strava data/map leads to arrest of some cyclist who smacked another on the head and make him crash.

Sending out some special packages to Patrons this week. You know when you find something that’s strange, but it works for you on the trails? That’s what led me to buy a bunch of these for you folks who make this all possible. Stay tuned.

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Ultramarathon Daily News | Friday, May 18

For anyone who’s been watching this sport for more than a few years, Mike Morton’s incredible ultramarathon performances from a decade ago, subsequent disappearance from the racing scene, then rise again in 2013-14 was incredible. Mike’s a solider, a runner, an artist, and this morning he posted a brutally honest message about his struggle with PTSD, alcoholism, and suicide. I’ll be honest, his post chilled me to the bone. We chatted with him in this podcast, apparently in the throes of one of his worst episodes and now I feel I need to go back and listen for any clues. Get better Mike. Fight hard and get through this. The crazy and diverse ultramarathon and trail communities are on your side.

Nah, this won’t be exciting at all. Zach Miller, an Olympic XC skier, David Laney, a Mt Marathon Champion, and Tim Tollefson all battling on some wicked trail in Alaska.  Great write up and analysis right this way.

I make fun of sports and pop “science” a lot on these pages. Here’s an excellent analysis of why so much of it is flawed–and how it’s gone mainstream.

There are 250k health apps out there, but little evidence that they are working.

OG URP host Scotty and I interviewed Rich Hunter five years ago this week. Rich introduced me to the incredible performances and struggles that the blind/VI community deals with and is instrumental in connecting runners and sighted guides around the country. He’s also got the first (and I believe one of a few) running guide dogs in the country. Klinger is up for a “heroic dog” award and voting is right over here. Let’s shine some extra light and accolades on an awesome team of runners.

Once you’re done here, head on over to semi-rad for Brendan’s Friday Inspiration.

The North Face Endurance Championships is going cupless. More right this way. And hey, if you’re signing up for Mass or Wisc, use URP20 for a nice discount…just remember to bring your damn cup.


Maybe someone will start serving alcoholic beer slushies at the next race?

Good article in Outside about what makes the USA’s top marathoner very unloveable. The accusations of cheating, of doping. His relationship with AlSal. His aloofness and isolation from media. I agree with the anonymous commentator: “Honestly, I couldn’t give a sh*t.”

As I hit the beach, I knew at this point if I had already made it 42 heinous miles, I could make it three more steep ones into the finishing town of Los Llanos. Rounding the final turn, was quite the sign of relief, as I was greeted by the warmest welcome I’ve ever experienced finishing a race

–And here’s Cole Watson’s report from Transvulcania.

Sabrina Little writes my favorite race reports, hands down. It often means having wikipedia open in another tab to understand some of the references, but they’re always good.  Here’s her most recent from the Trail World Championships.

Behind this paywall is most likely an interesting discussion about the culpability and liability of race directors when someone dies while competing.

Can CBD oil help triathletes? Could it also trigger PED tests? Consider.

Honest review: Sunny and I went to see The Snowman Trek last night and my wife asked me this morning how the movie was. While I liked seeing the incredible trails, environment, and people of Bhutan, the movie left me frustrated. While Tim and Frosty were there to run hard and set an FKT, the Bhutanese people were not ready (or warned?) for that type of expedition, and that’s not the athlete’s fault. The film came across as largely critical of their guides and porters, when it seemed that the organizer (and narrator) should have had the timeline set before they set off. 

After some epic hikes, Bighorn, and UTMB last year, Andrew Skurka is training for a good old footrace on the track. Painful!

Site news: I’m in the process of updating the look and the feel of the site, with one main emphasis being this page. My goal (working with a web designer) is to make the Daily News page more interactive with the ability to comment on each link separately. What other changes to the overall site would you like to see?


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