About Us


URP was created in early-2011 for and by people who are passionate about mountain/ultra/trail running. Whether you’re just starting your journey past 26.2 or you’re a dirty veteran, we’ve got fun and info to share.

Reaching your running potential requires access to sport specific information. URP episodes feature elite runners, veterans, wacky characters, and a variety of qualified experts to discuss everything necessary to be successful on the trails.  Each episode is about an hour long–perfect for listening to on a mid week run or commute.

Mix in a bunch of gear reviews, beer talk and commentary, and you’ve got a pretty good understanding of our interests.

The goal with URP is to help ferry our sport into its next chapter. Races are getting bigger, purses are getting larger, runners are starting younger, and it’s in all of our interest to pay attention to this transition.  Now, go out and run.

1241258_943724381683_1509918886_nEric Schranz

Whether it’s training, racing, or even just talking about running, I’m a happy guy.  I run everything from beer miles to road 5ks to 100 milers in the mountains, and love them all.

I’ve been running for about 30 years and plan on making a good go at the next three decades as well.

If you’ve got an interesting story or would like us try your wares, shoot me an email. I handle all booking, editing, advertising, and product reviews for the site and would love to chat.

[email protected]



Sarah Lavender Smithsarah river crossing Lake Sonoma 50

Sarah Lavender Smith, 45, took up running two decades ago on the first Monday in March of 1994, one day after she watched a couple of friends run the Napa Marathon.  A former smoker who never played sports, she vowed to train herself to run that marathon the following and break four hours, which she did. For about ten years she raced 10k, halfs and marathons, pausing only for two pregnancies, and then transitioned to trail racing and ultra distances.

She has finished more than 50 marathons and ultras, and is on the Inside Trail racing team. Her proudest accomplishment is twice finishing the Grand to Grand Ultra 165 mile self-supported stage race, and achieving a 3:05 marathon PR at Napa in 2009.

Sarah is a contributing editor at Trail Runner Magazine and blogs about her twin passions of trail running and travel on her website. She’s the mom of two teenagers, chairs the Development Committee for the Thacher School Board of Trustees, assists her husband with marketing his business  and tries to take care of her energetic dog and century-old house the best she can.



Ethan Veneklasen

Ethan started running in 2002. Since then, he has run more than 50 ultras and 4 road marathons throughout the United States and Canada. He ran his first ultra, the Dick Collins Firetrails 50, a mere ten weeks after he started running (an approach that he does not IMG_0039recommend).

In 2004, Ethan founded the Vasque Ultrarunning Team and built a strong team of elite and sub-elite runners that epitomized old school.

After several years away from the ultra scene, Ethan came back to the sport in 2013, with a 23 minute 50K PR at the Skyline 50K and a strong 7th place finish at the Headlands 50 Miler. This year, he has notched a top 25 finish at the American River 50 and a 3rd place at the Mokelumne River 50K.

Ethan is married to 4-time Western States 100 runner up, Emma Winfield (formerly Davies) and lives in Pleasant Hill, California along with his two pugs (George and Molly), golden retriever (Snoop Dawg) and a vaguely irritating cat (Frisk). He is proud to be an athlete ambassador for Salomon and Ultimate Direction and is the principal at He(a)rd Sports Management.

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