Friday, January 7, 2011

Bucket List of Ultras

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my running goals for this year.  It made me think of what I'd like to do before I die.  Morbid?  Maybe.  It's sort of a natural thing to do...dreaming of great things...that dying thing is natural too.  Don't we all have some dream races we'd love to run?  I do.  Here are my top dream marathons and ultramarathons (I may add to this list after I receive comments from people suggesting other dream races):

JFK 50
Western States 100
Comrades Marathon (89km)
Barkley 100
Pikes Peak Marathon
London to Brighton (90km)
Leadville 100 or Hardrock 100
Boston Marathon
Badwater (solo or real race)
Redwoods Marathon or Avenue of the Giants Marathon

I have other running related dreams that are not specific to a particular race: break 24:00 for a 100 mile trail race, complete the Grand Slam of Ultra Running (not necessarily all in one summer), finish 100 ultras, win a race of any distance (that is not my own), do a stage race (that is not my own), qualify for Boston on a trail marathon course, run every single day for an entire year, hiking/running the full Appalachian Trail (AT), run the Grand Canyon from Rim-Rim-Rim, do a marathon or ultra barefoot...the list goes on...nice to have dreams.

We can all dream big!  I will do ONE LOOP (20 miles) of Barkley before I die...or maybe I'll die trying to do one loop. WHAT ARE YOUR DREAM ULTRAS?  

Hopefully I'll come back to this post in 20 years and see that I've crossed off many of these dream events.


Adam L. said...

It's my dream to actually RUN an ultra sometime soon!

I'm in the Champaign area and looking for a newbie-friendly race to run this or next year! Any suggestions?

Chris said...


That's easy...I've run them all! I really like the Farmdale 30/50 miler in October (East Peoria, IL area). Rock Cut Hobo 50K in Sept is fairly easy (Rockford, IL). McNaughton Park 50 miler is a little longer, but a good 10-mile loop course in Pekin, IL (April). Howl at the Moon 8-Hour (August in Danville, IL) is an AWESOME first ultra--you do what ever you can for 8 hours on a 3+ mile loop course. Most runners/walkers can easily break the marathon mark and get into ultra territory.

There is a pretty big group of trail runners in the CU area that run marathons and ultras (we call ourselves "the buffalo"). We carpool to lots of races in the Midwest...and do training runs together too. You should join us for some local trail running--within a year you'll be HOOKED on ultra marathons!

ed said...

I'm surprised you don't have running a marathon barefooted on your "to do" list -- that's a dream?

I could include many on your list on mine except Badwater (I'm totally heat intolerant) and Barkley (I can get lost in a "normal" race). Hardrock would top my list with some other scenic races not far behind.

Chris said...


I figured "running a race barefoot" doesn't actually count as having a "dream race" but rather just a dream of mine. So I slapped that "run an ultra or marathon" in the last part of the post. I definitely want to run an ultra barefoot.

I'm not that great with directions on trails plan it to get super fit and try ans stay with a "real Barkley" runner--Matt Mahoney, Steve Durbin, David Horton, Blake Wood, etc. Maybe I can hang with them for ONE LOOP.

Badwater might be a solo run in summer, but not in the hottest period. I think you are designed for the Yukon Arctic Ultra!