What Could Possibly Go Wrong in a 100-Miler?

Short answer: More than you'd imagine.

Long answer: Where to start...

Years ago, the engineer in me, in the long miles of some 100, came up with a kind of elegant answer. It's a general formula of all the variables that must go right, or at least well enough - all at the same time - for you to finish a 100-miler.

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Don't Quit Until They Pull You

In 2002 at the Leadville 100 in Colorado, I crossed 12,600-foot Hope Pass and arrived at the 50-mile aid station in Winfield to be told I was only 15 minutes ahead of cutoff. 

I’d heard the same thing at the same aid station the previous year, and dropped. This year, I’d done my best to push the pace to Winfield. Last year wasn’t going to happen again…except it did.

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Why Genes Aren't Everything

“How did you not die??” 


I laughed. I’d just told the woman I was running side by side with in the early miles of the Long Haul 100 that I’d finished over one hundred 100-mile races.


She stopped mid trail, turned to look at me full length and said, “Of course. You look like a runner!”


It was a compliment but it was also an assumption that implied, “You lucked out and got the right genes.”

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Why "Best of" Lists Aren't Everything

It’s that time of year.

Ultrarunning Magazine's “Ultrarunners of the Year” edition is out. It’s packed with lists of  top, best, and notable performances, some of which include friends of mine who definitely deserve the recognition.

But when I flip through list after list after list, I remember why I stopped paying attention to them years ago.

Rankings are a double-edged sword. They can inspire but they can also stoke the critic in your head.

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One Simple Tip to Succeed at Anything

I travelled to Savannah, Georgia, this weekend for the kick-off a mastermind group I’ve joined.

Not a race, but I still discovered something most of my DNFs (did not finish) have in common. 

Take my DNF last October at Wild Duluth 100k in Duluth, Minnesota. Most people assume it was because I finished the Moab 240-mile race a scant four days earlier and had no time to recover. Yeah, I was tired, but I know I could have finished. I just hadn’t figured out why I didn’t.

Until now.

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The One Thing to Do When You Want to Chase a Dream

What do I think about in those long, lonely stretches of a 100-mile race?

Sometimes a question like, “Where do our dreams and passions come from?” 

Because when I think about it, mine passion’s pretty weird and everyone’s is a bit unique. One person dreams of playing guitar and another person lives for water polo.

These things seem to pick us, not the other way around, so after miles of pondering, I’ve decided that:

Our dreams and passions are gifts meant specifically for each of us. 

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Why is an Ultrarunner Life Coaching?

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt I have a purpose on this planet that will make the world a better place.

I didn’t know what it was but I searched for it. While I was looking, I defaulted to living a “normal” life. 

“When I find my purpose,” I thought, “I’ll start living my real life.” 

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Susan DonnellyCoaching