Ultra Running

Update Christy Finishes the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

NEW Our own RunningSkirts Christy is running in the 2014 100 Mile Western States Endurance Run.  She recently came third overall female at the PCT50.

Watch video of Cindy and Christy, founders of RunningSkirts particpating in the Western States training runs. They previewed the last 70 miles of the course over 3 days.  

About the Race:

HURT 100 mile race

January 19, 2008
Honolulu Mauka Trail System, Oahu
HURT100

Runners have 36 hours to complete the course which is 99% single track trails through tropical rain-forest. There are 24.935 feet of climbing with the same of descent over slippery, technical trails. Over the course of the run participants are supported by 15 aid stations and are allowed a pacer after 60 miles.

Our interview with Suzanna:

Q: When did you get into ultra running?

A: I ran my first 50K in the fall of 2003, when I was 39 years old, and haven't run anything shorter since. Oh, except a few 5Ks with my kids. Within 9 months of that first 50K, I had run Western States

Q: What inspires you to go the distance?

A: The beautiful scenery, the companionship of other runners and the desire to explore the boundaries of my perceived limitations

Q: If you could give one piece of advice for a new ultra runner, what would it be?

A: As the indomitable Ann Trason is quoted as saying, "it hurts to a certain point and then it doesn't get any worse." The satisfaction and fulfillment of crossing the finish line far outweighs the hardships of getting there.

Q: What does your typical pre race ritual include?

A: Starting about two days before a 100 miler I get 'quiet.' I try to plan ahead so my calendar is clear to allow for time for naps, organizing and packing gear, and taking time to get mental. I think through the course, anticipate how I will be feeling at certain points, and get my head around the challenge ahead. While running I often think of my friends and family who are such a tremendous support to me and remember encouragement and advice they have given me. So prior to a race, I make sure I have all their advice and good thoughts with me so I can pull them up during tough moments out on the course.

I also try to eat lightly and simply, very little fiber, avoiding dairy or heavy food that is tough to digest.

Q: How do you prepare nutritionally for going the distance? What do you eat in ultra runs?

A: Many ultras start very early, 5:00 or 6:00 am. I get up a couple of hours before the race and eat a substantial breakfast. This is particularly true for 100 milers. I eat very lightly the night before but then in the morning I'll eat eggs, potatoes, whole wheat toast, and a banana. By the time the race starts, this has at least partially digested and I feel fueled up. During an event I try to eat as much 'real food' as possible early on. Bananas, PBJs, pretzels, bars all work well for me. I carry water in my bottles and drink whatever electrolyte replacement is at the aid stations.Luckily, I can tolerate food well during races and don't have strong preferences for beverages. As the race progresses, say after 50 miles, I start drinking coke, go more for the gu (espresso love is great during the night!) and warm broth with noodles or rice. All the while keeping ahead on water and monitering salt.

Q: Do you have a favorite athlete/runner who motivates you?

A: I have a great group of running friends from whom I find lots of inspiration, but there is no one role model who I aspire to emulate. I tend to think of those I know who have endured hardships in their lives that I have never had to face, whether physical, emotional or mental, and their spirit bouys me and reminds me that I am so very lucky to be able to participate in a sport that I love and gives me so much satisfaction.

More commentary from Suzanna:

I love trail running, Although I don't, I could run the same trails day after day and never feel bored or constrained by the repettiton. For me it's being engaged in the action of running in a natural, beautiful setting that is most important. As a wife, mother, school/ community volunteer, my time on the trails is what I do for me. It's time to listen to my thoughts, clear away the unecessary stuff, refocus my priorities and cleanse my soul. After my daily runs I am refreshed and energized, thus my family and community benefits, so actually although I say running is my 'me' time, the positive results are also enjoyed by those with whom I interact

I will train for the HURT 100 by trying to simulate as much as possible the trail conditions I will experience during the race. Spending time on the infamous Dipsea course as it offers climbing, slippery mud, roots, rocks and other technical challenges that make for interesting running is definitely part of the plan. I will run several long, 'epic' courses here in Northern California, including the Lost Coast. I'm also planning a run from the northern edge of Pt. Reyes National Seashore to the Golden Gate Bridge. During these runs I will be accompanied and supported by some great local runners who I train with often.

As in my previous three 100 milers I will be wearing a skirt during the race. The comfort, especially in hot, humid conditions just can't be beat! By wearing these skirts, I've almost completely eliminated my problem with chaffing on my upper thighs as there is no irrating fabric rubbing for miles and miles. An added bonus of the skirts is the ease with which one can pee trail side. During a hundred miler, one makes many 'pit stops', and the time can add up so it's important to make them quick and seamless, so to speak. Did you know it's a myth that women must squat to pee 'neatly?' We'll save that for another day!

This photo belie is me coming into the Foresthill Aid Station at Western States in June, with my husband set to pace me and my kids and niece encouraging me!

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After successfully completing many 50 and 100 mile races, I am extremely excited to attempt "the world's toughest footrace." For much of my adolescence, I was extremely overweight and running was not only something that I disliked, but was unable to do. I run in part to remind myself that I am not that girl anymore! I am hoping for a sub-48 hour finish, but I'd ultimately like to have a successful, FUN, and healthy race that is full of memories. I'm taking a 6 person support crew with me and I can't wait for 48 hours of laughs, good times and challenges together.

There is definitely a high level of respect for the distance, heat, and hills--and it is tough to predict how the story of my race will unfold. The course will dictate to me to to run it on that given day---with my ultimate hope and goal being to inspire other young girls who may currently be facing a weight/fitness challenge---that it is possible to change their situation and that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds to and want badly enough. I never would have believed back then, that I would be able to run one mile, let alone 135 miles in Death Valley!

Finally, I sincerely believe that my running skirt will help contribute to the success of my race. I had been having a bit of a dilemma as to what to wear during the event. I was mainly concerned about chaffing, being too hot, and fidgeting with/pulling/adjusting whatever it was that I would be wearing....not something I wanted to do for 135 miles!! When there are so many factors to consider in a race, it is of utmost importance to minimize anything small things that may cause discomfort...little things often turn into big annoyances after so many hours. When I found Running Skirts, I knew I had found the solution as I would be able to stay cool, avoid chaffing, and look cute, too! Since wearing the skirts during training, they have also proven to be effective at wicking sweat away. I'm thrilled to have found them.

This photo is me coming into the Foresthill Aid Station at Western States in  June, with my husband set to pace me and my kids and niece encouraging me!

Looking for more Running Skirt Inspiration?  Read about Ultra Runner Kira's motivation for running the Badwater Ultramarathon 2007 below!

After successfully completing many 50 and 100 mile races, I am extremely excited to attempt "the world's toughest footrace."  For much of my adolescence, I was extremely overweight and running was not only something that I disliked, but was unable to do.  I run in part to remind myself that I am not that girl anymore!  I am hoping for a sub-48 hour finish, but I'd ultimately like to have a successful, FUN, and healthy race that is full of memories.  I'm taking a 6 person support crew with me and I can't wait for 48 hours of laughs, good times and challenges together.

There is definitely a high level of respect for the distance, heat, and hills--and it is tough to predict how the story of my race will unfold.  The course will dictate to me to to run it on that given day---with my ultimate hope and goal being to inspire other young girls who may currently be facing a weight/fitness challenge---that it is possible to change their situation and that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds to and want badly enough.  I never would have believed back then, that I would be able to run one mile, let alone 135 miles in Death Valley!

Finally, I sincerely believe that my running skirt will help contribute to the success of my race.  I had been having a bit of a dilemma as to what to wear during the event.  I was mainly concerned about chaffing, being too hot, and fidgeting with/pulling/adjusting whatever it was that I would be wearing....not something I wanted to do for 135 miles!!  When there are so many factors to consider in a race, it is of utmost importance to minimize anything small things that may cause discomfort...little things often turn into big annoyances after so many hours. When I found Running Skirts, I knew I had found the solution as I would be able to stay cool, avoid chaffing, and look cute, too!  Since wearing the skirts during training, they have also proven to be effective at wicking sweat away.  I'm thrilled to have found them