Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Quest for 100 Ultramarathons

2009 Leadville Trail 100 - Ultra #5

I was going through my list of upcoming races recently, and a random question popped into my mind. That question was,

"It's been 15 years since I ran my first ultra in 2008. How many total ultras have I now completed?"

With my Western States and Hardrock "Double" coming up on the calendar, and an already intense training regimen these past two months, I thought it would be fun to see where I stand with respect to my "ultra resume". I can certainly go to Ultrasignup and get a quick estimate of completed races there, but not every run I've finished is recorded on that site, nor is every race that is listed, necessarily an ultra distance. 

For the record, an "Ultra" distance race, simply means any official race that is LONGER than the standard 26.2 mile marathon distance. Some might argue that a run needs to be at least a 50k (31.1 Miles), but as far as the metric I use and standby, the distance just needs to be longer than a marathon.

As I started to go back and tally up my racing resume, I did decide on a few rules.
  • Obviously, a race only counts if I finish. If I quit a 50 miler at mile 30 for example. I would not count it. There are a couple of exceptions to this that I note below
  • I would only count races with official finish times. No training runs or personal journey runs of over 26.2 miles would count. If I couldn't look up a published, and publicly available finish time, I didn't count it.
  • Along these lines, I did not count thru-hikes, FKT attempts, R2R2Rs, or other similar treks.
  • I would not count cumulative events totaling more than 26.2 miles, nor would I count events where I was on a relay team. Only single events that are more than 26.2 miles make the list. An example of this is I ran a Quad-Marathon event, where I did 4 separate marathons across 4 days. While the total was over 100 miles, each individual event was still only a marathon. 
  • During one full event, I did run two separately tracked 50 km races, with two separate results. I count both of these in my results.
  • I do not count "heavy" marathons (i.e. marathons that are slightly over). As we all know, most trail marathons come up a bit long. But, since a trail marathon is still a "marathon", I did not count them.
  • There was one event that I did that was in a definite grey area. It was an event that was partially marketed as a fat-ass style run, but also had official results listed in Ultrasignup. I chose to count it, since a public finish list is available and the run required a legitimate registration.
  • I did not count instances where I paced for another runner over 26.2 miles as I was not officially registered for that race, or eligible to be considered a finisher.
  • There were two events that I ran, that I did officially complete over 26.2 miles, and appeared in finisher time lists, BUT, may also not be counted by some as a true finisher. The examples of this are my 2014 Barkley Fun Run and my 2016 Big's Backyard Ultra. I chose to count both.
  • For any Timed events (e.g. 6-hour, 12-hour, etc), I had to finish at least 27 official complete miles for it to count in my final list.
So, now that all of the tallying is complete, where do I stand? As of this past weekend, and my completion at the Elephant Mountain 50K, I now sit at 95 Total (and completed) Ultras. With this number now tallied, and triple-checked, I have a new and rather attainable goal I've decided to set for myself:

I have set up my training schedule this spring so that my running of the Western States / Hardrock double, coincides with my 99th and 100th Ultras. This of course assumes that I not only complete both races, but also 3 additional ultras in my training block. 

I think this a legitimately attainable goal, and now that I know the numbers, I am incredibly excited to have this very tangible objective to aim for.

On top of that, I can now aim to make my biggest goal race of the year (The Hardrock 100)...also my 100th ultra! The Hardrock Hundred Hundred as it were. Having my 2nd running of the Hardrock, mark my 100th overall ultra would be amazing!

With all this said, I thought it would be fun to go through the list with you all, with photo highlights. Sadly, I don't have action pictures from every event, although I did find at least one relevant photo for most.

But first, a few quick stats and notes:
  • This list represents over 7300 total race miles run
  • I placed in the top 3 in over 20 of these events
  • I had 4 outright wins
  • Of this list, a third (33) were 100-milers
  • I've repeated Mountain Masochist the most (6x), followed by Finger Lakes Fifties (5x)
  • Leadville Trail 100 and Oil Creek 100 are my most repeated 100-Milers (4x)
  • Longest Ultra was Vol State Road Race (500 km)
  • Shortest Ultra was the TARCkey Trot 6 hr at 27.9 Miles
  • Best Ultra I did that didn't make the list - South Pole Unofficial 50-Miler
  • Most Active Years - 2011 - 2014
  • Best Personal Performance - Barkley (trail) - Lake Waramaug (road)
  • Closest finish to cut-off - Mountain Masochist : 11:53:42
  • Favorite Ultra - Impossible to name just one, but if I had to, Barkley, Hardrock, or Spartathlon

1 - 9/28/08 - Vermont 50 - 50 Miler : 11:18:27 - My First Ultra

2 - 11/2/08 - New England Ultra - 50 Miler : 11:55:00
This event no longer exists

3 - 7/4/09 - Finger Lakes Fifties - 50 Miler : 10:34:06

4 - 7/18/09 - Vermont 100 - 100 Miler : 23:15:07

5 - 8/22/09 - Leadville Trail 100 - 100 Miler : 29:13:11

6 - 9/27/09 - Vermont 50 - 50 Miler : 10:37:34

7 - 6/11/11 - Laurel Highlands Ultra - 50 Km : 5:54:33

8 - 7/2/11 - Finger Lakes Fifties - 50 Miler : 9:20:05

9 - 7/16/11 - Vermont 100 - 100 Miler : 21:48:16

10 - 8/20/11 - Leadville Trail 100 - 100 Miler : 25:36:21

11 - 9/25/11 - Vermont 50 - 50 Miler : 8:42:11

12 - 10/8/11 - Oil Creek 100 - 100 Miler : 21:51:53

13 - 10/23/11 - Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK - 50 Miler : 7:49:50

14 - 3/31/12 - 
The Barkley Marathons - 100 Miler : 59:41:21

15 - 4/21/12 - Hyner View Challenge - 50 Km : 6:04:20

16 - 5/12/12 - Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 - 100 Miler : 26:26:12

17 - 6/30/12 - Finger Lakes Fifties - 8:54:21

18 - 7/16/12 - Badwater Ultramarathon - 135 Miler : 38:06:00

19 - 8/18/12 - Leadville Trail 100 - 100 Miler : 24:17:24

20 - 9/8/12 - Pine Creek Challenge - 100 Km : 10:22:00

21 - 10/13/12 - Oil Creek 100 - 100 Miler : 21:43:23

22 - 10/28/12 - Fire on the Mountain - 50 Km : 5:40:54

23 - 4/20/13 - Hyner View Challenge - 50 Km : 5:44:25

24 - 5/16/23 - 3 Days at the Fair - 72 hr : 231 Miles

25 - 7/6/13 - Finger Lakes Fifties - 50 Miler : 9:39:52

26 - 7/11/13 - Last Annual Vol State Road Run - 314 Miler : 112:19:01

27 - 7/27/13 - Allegheny Front Trail - 50 Km : 4:58:46
This event no longer exists

28 - 8/17/13 - Leadville Trail 100 - 100 Miler : 24:47:19

29 - 9/8/13 - Pine Creek Challenge - 100 Km : 10:51:57

30 - 9/22/13 - Virgil Crest - 50 Km : 6:24:00

31 - 10/5/13 - Oil Creek 100 - 100 Miler : 23:46:47

32 - 10/2/13 - Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK - 50 Miler : 8:27:07

33 - 11/9/13 - NJ One Day - 24 hr : 114 Miles

34 - 1/18/14 - Beast of Burden Winter - 100 Miler : 19:36:20

35 - 3/29/14 - 
The Barkley Marathons - 60 Miler (Fun Run) : 39:54:59*
*Some might not consider this an official finish
I consider a Barkley Fun run a distinct finish despite the bugle

36 - 4/26/14 - Hyner View Challenge - 50 Km : 5:59:23

37 - 5/10/14 - Mind the Ducks - 12 hr : 72.68 Miles

38 - 5/15/14 - 3 Days at the Fair - 72 hr : 246 Miles

39 - 5/31/14 - Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn Ultra - 12 hr : 70.58 Miles

40 - 6/21/14 - Manitou's Revenge - 50+ Miler : 15:09:49

41 - 7/5/14 - Finger Lakes Fifties - 50 Miler : 9:44:28

42 - 10/11/14 - Oil Creek 100 - 100 Miler : 26:35:07

43 - 11/1/14 - Mountain Masochist - 50 Miler : 11:39:00

44 - 11/8/14 - NJ One Day - 24 hr : 108 Miles

45 - 1/17/15 - The HURT 100 - 100 Miler : 32:32:11

46 - 4/18/15 - Hyner View Challenge - 50 Km : 6:52:19

47 - 5/9/15 - Mind the Ducks - 12 hr : 55 Miles

48 - 5/13/15 - 3 Days at the Fair - 72 hr : 248 Miles

49 -7/9/15 - Last Annual Vol State Road Run - 314 Miler : 115:28:54

50 - 10/24/15 - TARC Ghost Train Ultra - 60 Miler : 12:46:00

51 - 11/7/15 - Mountain Masochist - 50 Miler : 11:33:24

52 - 12/5/15 - TARC Fells Run - 40 Miler : 9:29:10

53 - 2/20/16 - Febapple Frozen Fifty - 50 Miler : 8:49:29

54 - 3/19/16 - Mt. Tammany 10 - 40 Miler : 9:27:16

55 - 4/30/16 - O24 - 24 hr : 105 Miles

56 - 5/14/16 - 3 Days at the Fair - 72 hr : 257 Miles

57 - 10/7/16 - The Grindstone 100 - 100 Miler : 31:49:11

58 - 10:22:16 - 
TARC Ghost Train Ultra - 30 Miler : 4:59:00

59 - 2/18/17 - Febapple Frozen Fifty - 50 Miler : 9:09:15

60 - 3/25/17 - TARC To Hale and Back - 6 hr : 31.5 Miles

61 - 5/16/17 - Miwok 100 - 100 Km : 11:59:35

62 - 5/13/17 - Mind The Ducks - 12 hr : 70.84 Miles

63 - 6/24/17 - Western States 100 - 100 Miler : 27:51:46

64 - 10/21/17 - Big's Backyard Ultra - Last Man Standing : 54 Miles
*
*Some might not consider this an official finish
Despite the LMS format and DNF for all, I still consider this a finish
The official results list me as only completing 50, but I did complete 54 (13 loops)

65 - 11/4/17 - Mountain Masochist - 50 Miler : 11:49:54

66 - 11/18/17 - TARCkey Trot - 6 hr : 27.9 Miles

67 - 12/2/17 - 
TARC Fells Run - 32 Miler : 6:41:24

68 - The Wild Oak Trail (TWOT) 100 - 112 Miler : 38:43:00

69 - 4/29/18 - Lake Waramaug Ultra - 100 Km : 9:54:12

70 - 5/17/18 - 3 Days at the Fair - 72 hr : 154 Miles

71 -7/7/18 - Notchview Ultra - 12 hr : 58.9 Miles

72 - 7/20/18 - The Hardrock Hundred Run - 100 Miler : 39:59:16

73 - 8/30/18 - A Race for the Ages - 42 hr (my age) : 110 Miles

74 - 9/29/18 - The Spartathlon - 246 Km : 35:32:00

75 - 10/20/18 - TARC Ghost Train Ultra - 60 Miler : 11:15:26

76 - 11/3/18 - Mountain Masochist - 50 Miler : 11:46:45

77 - 11/18/18 - TARCkey Trot - 6 hr : 27.9 Miles

78 - 12/1/18 - TARC Fells Run - 32 Miler : 7:11:28

79 - 5/11/19 - Mind the Ducks - 12 hr : 44.53 Miles

80 - 5/18/19 - 3 Days at the Fair - 50 Km (#1) : 5:37:52*
This was 1 of 2 separately recorded 50km events

81 - 5/18/19 - 3 Days at the Fair 50 Km (#2) : 7:40:15*
This was 2 of 2 separately recorded 50km events

82 - 6/8/19 - North Face Endurance Challenge - 50 Miler : 11:29:48

83 - 9/21/19 - The Barkley Fall Classic - 50+ Km : 12:38:46

84 - 10/26/19 - Javelina Jundred - 100 Miler : 26:39:43

85 - 11/2/19 - Mountain Masochist - 50 Miler : 

86 - 2/1/20 - Elephant Mountain - 50 Km : 5:38:25

87 - 2/15/20 - Black Canyon Ultra - 100 Km : 12:14:05

88 - 6/27/20 - Not Exactly Western States - 50 Km : 5:49:08*
*This event was an official event with official results
This event no longer exists (it was a Covid-19 year event)

89 - 6/18/21 - The Bighorn 100 - 100 Miler : 29:44:10

90 - 9/18/21 - Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Ultra - 55 Km : 7:07:00

91 - 11/6/21 - Mountain Masochist - 50 Miler : 11:53:42
Quite literally a couch-to-fifty. Not recommended.

92 - 4/9/22 - Zion Ultra Marathons - 100 Km : 17:44:15

93 - 8/28/22 - Flagstaff Doggie Dash and Ultra Bash - 6 hr : 28 Miles

94 - 12/2/22 - Fat Ox Ultra - 6 hr : 31 Miles

95 - 2/4/23 - Elephant Mountain - 50 Km : 5:56:56

PLANNED UPCOMING ULTRAS

96 - 2/18/23 - Black Canyon Ultra - 100 Km

97 - 4/16/23 - Zion Ultra Marathons - 50 Km

98 - 5/5/23 - Cocodona Elden Crest - 36 Miler

99 - 6/24/23 - Western States 100 - 100 Miler

100 - 7/14/23 - The Hardrock Hundred Run - 100 Miler