Courtney Dauwalter | Big’s Backyard in the Past and Big Plans for the Future

Courtney Dauwalter is having one hell of year. Her 2018 resume includes an outright win at the Coldwater Rumble, then a win at the competitive Sean O’Brien 100k. She followed that up with a 2nd at Black Canyon 100k, then a win at Behind the Rocks 50 miler in Moab. After that, she bagged a win at Ultra Trail Mt Fuji, then a big win at Western States where she ran the 2nd fastest time ever. She then toed the line–and won–Squamish 50 miler, then, after leading the entire race for 180 miles, took a 2nd place overall (1st female) at Tahoe 200. Then last week, she ran 279 miles at Big’s Backyard Ultra, ultimately conceding the win to the incredible Johan Steene.

Courtney Dauwalter
Courtney Dauwalter at Big’s Backyard Ultra

It’s the opinion of your host that Courtney is on a different level than nearly every runner out there. She’s running world-class times in any format she signs up for: Distance events, timed events, or those that give the win to the last person standing. Sarah and I discuss the level of her performances after the interview, and I’d love to hear your opinion about my assertions.

Courtney Dauwalter

In this interview, we talk about:

  • The finer points of Big’s. What did she, Gavin, Johan, and Maggie talk about while waiting for the gun, and what did she say when she finally conceded victory? What was Kevin’s (her husband) role, and when did he sleep? Will she hit 300 miles next year? What type of hallucinations she had over those 67 hours?
  • The cool friendship and partnership she formed with Maggie Guterl over the first 36 miles hours at the race.
  • International races. Will we see Courtney run TDG? Spine? Ronda dels Cims? UTMB? 
  • Whether we’ll see Courtney at Six Days in the Dome next year and what she thinks of Traci Falbo‘s 48 hour record.
  • What percentage of her races are all out efforts, or whether she holds back.
  • Her relaxed training schedule (no plan, no GPS, no real goals) and how that jibes with her analytical science teacher mind.
  • How she’s able to have so much fun and find so much joy running up front, while others seem to be struggling.
  • Candy and burgers. Lots and lots of food talk.

Courtney Daulwater Episode Sponsor: Muir Energy

Big thanks to Muir Energy for sponsoring this episode. Muir is all natural, vegan, nutritionally dense and portable food (not gel) made in small batches in San Diego, California. Use ULTRAPOD for a 20% discount at checkout. I use this stuff on my adventures and highly recommend it.

Courtney Dauwalter at Soochow 24 Hour Race Finish, 2017.

Courtney Dauwalter Episode Notes

Here’s our first interview with Courtney. It’s in this interview where she describes running the final 12 rocky and hilly miles of RRR100 completely blind. (She won.)

Here’s an excellent film that shows Courtney and Kevin.

Intro music by David Rosales, Outro music by Courtney’s Salomon teammate Matt Flaherty.

Jelly Belly flavors, ranked.

It’s nice to have Sarah back! If you’re interested in her book The Trail Runner’s Companion for you or for a gift (xmas is fast approaching!), check it out right this way. It’s got lessons and advice about training, racing, gear, and the overall culture of this ridiculous sport.

Top five most clicked on links from the URP Daily News:

  1. Arnstein/Fruitarian sentenced for forgery.
  2. Five reasons people DNF at Javelina.
  3. Joe Chick’s post about his love/hate relationship with ultramarathons right now. Great post.
  4. REI article about Big’s.
  5. Race tracker for Big’s. Kudos once agin to Mike Melton and crew for the excellent tracking.
Courtney giving my daughter Sunny a high five on her way to her win at Tahoe 200.

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