Ultramarathon Daily News | Tuesday, June 19

Science: Physiology and pathophysiology of ultramarathon runners. What makes a successful ultrarunner? Why don’t more females enter races? What are the medical/physical complications from training? Lots of info and data to chew on.

Western States Training Updates: Cory Reese | Kaci Lickteig

How to train for downhills when you don’t live near any hills.

He’s run the Spartathlon and across the US. Now he’s rowing solo across the Atlantic starting today.

Beating the urge to quit in an ultramarathon or endurance event.

George Etzweiter finished the Mt Washington road race this weekend. He’s 98 years old.

You don’t like to ingest or apply synthetic products for your running? Here are seven natural products. I’d also recommend using a CBD oil for recovery/sleep/inflammation.

Ultrarunning Magazine: A Blueprint for Sponsors of Ultrarunning and How to Improve Our Sport (2nd article). Good read that’ll give me a lot to think about on my run today.

Don Ritchie passed away last week. His 6:10 100k from 1978 still stands as the World Record today. Now back up there a bit and check those numbers again. That’s 62 miles in just over six hours…I’ll do the math. That’s an average 5:57 mile with no fancy shoes, no gels, no GPS. Ho-ly shiat.

More on Don Ritchie’s life and performances from Andy Milroy:

News on Friday of Don Ritchie’s death was announced today. I have expanded the Foreword I wrote for Don Ritchie’s biography to give a more rounded picture of his truly remarkable career. 

Don Ritchie is justifiably regarded by many as one of the greatest ultra runners of modern times. With track World Best Performances at 50 km (twice), 40 miles, 50 miles (twice), 100 km, 150 km, 100 miles and 200 km, plus world road bests at 100 km and 100 miles he had an unparalleled record in the sub 24 hour events. 

Added to this is his excellent competitive record both at home and abroad.  He had numerous Continental 100 km wins to his credit, (including setting a world road best) , and a 100 mile world road best in the USA. In 1990 he produced the best 24 Hour performance of the year, some fourteen years after setting his first world track best. This distance was to win him the inaugural IAU 24 Hour Championships in Milton Keynes.

In 1989 he had attempted the record for the John O’Groats-Lands End run -846.4 miles from one end of the United Kingdom to the other. Despite serious physical problems, Don set a new record of 10 days 15 hours and 27 minutes for the distance. A tribute to his steely determination.

It is rare for a top class runner to have a long career. The sustained stress of pushing one’s body to the limit usually results eventually in career-ending injury. Don Ritchie did have significant injuries, but he came back from these to add further laurels to his already distinguished list of achievements. As late as 2001 he was a member of the British 24 Hour team that won the Bronze team medal at Uden in the Netherlands. This was 24 years after Don’s first World Best at 50 km in 1977!

Don’s longevity as a runner allied  to his ability to push himself to the  limit, to sustain a pace, only very slowly giving way in inexorable fatigue, made him virtually unique among Ultrarunners. His willingness to share his hard won knowledge and experience with others was also notable. As a coach of Simon Pride, subsequent winner of the World 100 km Challenge, and also as contributor to first, Training for Ultras and then Training for Ultrarunning books, Don provided detailed information on his preparation for his major ultra feats.

His autobiography “THE STUBBORN SCOTSMAN DON RITCHIE world Record Holding Ultra Distance Runner” published late in 2016 revealed his running career in typical unfussy detail. His remarkable masterpiece of 6:10:20 for 100 km is covered in just three quarters of a page but is placed in context. His meticulous training diaries are recorded for many of those major runs.

Don’s legacy is not just the inspiration of his remarkable records but also his determination to pass on his knowledge and experience for those who come after him.

A unique individual who will be greatly missed

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