What is Cappuccino Cowboys, and who is the person behind it? Is he an evil genius hell-bent on ruining ultrarunning? A provocateur shaking up the stodgy state of running media? Or is he just a giant pain in the ass of Jim Walmsley, Eric Senseman, Jared Hazen, Cody Reed, Tommy Rivs and a few other unfortunate souls? We spoke to Mr. Cappuccino himself to find out.
Maggie Guterl just became the first woman ever to win Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra, a multi-day race that does not have a fixed-distance finish line. So we talked to Maggie about how this extraordinary race works, and Maggie does a brilliant job of detailing what it was like to overcome the unique physical and mental challenges of Big’s; the significance of being the race’s first female champion; the next insane race she has her sights set on, and more.
Simply put, Mike McKnight is amazing. He won the Bigfoot 200 in August, the Tahoe 200 in September, and he just won the Moab 240. And in covering those ~640 miles of racing, he smashed his own cumulative-time record for the 3 races by … 43 hours. That’s not what you’d expect from a chubby kid who grew up on a dairy farm and didn’t participate in sports til he tried 1 season of highschool football, nor from a person who broke his back in a ski accident 8 years ago and had 2 rods and 9 screws placed in his spine, along with part of his hip bone. So we talk to Mike about all of this and more.
What’s it like to run two hundred and one miles … and know that you still have another 40 miles to go? And why would you sign up and subject yourself to this? To find out, we went to Moab, Utah, to the Moab 240 Endurance Run to capture the very raw and unfiltered reactions from runners, pacers, friends, medics, and concerned mothers from the Geyser Aid Station at mile 201 of the Moab 24. And we also learned what this race — and this community — is really about.
When Cam Smith graduated high school in Rockford, Illinois in 2014, he had little or no mountain experience. But fast forward a few years, and Cam is now an accomplished trail runner, mountain biker, a member of the U.S. ski mountaineering team, a repeat winner of the Grand Traverse Mountain Run from Crested Butte to Aspen, and a repeat winner of the Grand Traverse Triple Crown. So we talk to Cam about his journey, his goals, his relation to running and skiing and mountain biking, his work as a coach and as a guide at the Adaptive Center here in Crested Butte, and more.
Jason Koop is a passionate runner, the author of Training Essentials for Ultrarunning, the head coach of CTS Ultrarunning, and someone who is not afraid to speak his mind. So we talked to Jason about his endurance coaching; “nonsensical” training aids & techniques; his recent running of the 330 km Tor de Geants; the current state of the minimalist / maximalist shoe debate; what he thinks the running scene will look like 10 years from now; and a *whole* lot more.
Kyle Robidoux is passionate about running and skiing and beer. He has run 25 marathons and ultra marathons, including three 100-mile races, and the Boston Marathon six times. Kyle also happens to be legally blind. So Kyle and I talk about his background, his anger about his receding vision and what he did about it; how he got into running and trail running; his efforts to create more inclusive trail races; his advice about how to deal with loss of any kind; and what specific things we all can do to be more supportive of everyone dealing with disabilities. (And we talk about beer.)
Finding the right running shoe can be extremely complicated and confusing. So reviewers Luke Koppa, Jonathan Ellsworth, Maddie Hart, and Gordon Gianniny discuss our new BLISTER Brand Guide to Running Shoes; why we saw a need for it; what we hope it accomplishes for runners everywhere; and the trends and takeaways we’ve seen in the process of building it.
Salomon athlete, Jackson Brill, is a 21-year old senior in college at CU Boulder, but given his approach to running, the way he talks about the sport, and his race results, you’d be forgiven for assuming that he was twice as old as he is. So we talked to Jackson about his studies and his work in CU’s Locomotion Lab; being teammates with Kilian Jornet; his experience with the Golden Trail Series; and his strong interest in coaching.
On Saturday, August 25th, Zach Bitter set an incredible world record for the fastest time in which a human being has run 100 miles: 11 hours, 19 minutes, 13 seconds. And for an encore, he kept running … and also set the 12-hour distance world record. So we talked to Zach after his big day about the logistics of the event; training for it; why he considers it his masterpiece; his perspective on this world record and others; and a whole lot more. Whether you are a runner or not, you should not miss this one.
David Roche is one of the most successful running coaches out there, but he is definitely not the most conventional running coach out there. So we explore with David the philosophy and principles that undergird his coaching; how he went from being a 200 lb. football & baseball player to two-time national champion in the 10k; what new training ideas seem most promising to him; and more.
We talk to Mad Moose race director, Justin Ricks, about walking away from running; returning to running — and leaving a secure corporate job and moving his family into a camper to do so; putting on 20+ race events a year with his family; scoring impressive results when he himself decides to race; and how running is very much a whole family affair for the Ricks’.
We talk to Ian Sharman about becoming the Fastest Elvis and setting Guinness World Records for racing in costumes; completing over 200 ultras and marathons; the most common mistakes people make in training and in racing; his strategy for keeping doping out of ultrarunning; and more.
Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk to Meghan Hicks — who is one hell of a trail runner in her own right — about her background; covering the “puke fests and the transcendental moments” of trail running; how iRunFar.com came to be; what motivates her to run; what she thinks is the most misunderstood thing about ultra races; and more.
BLISTER reviewer, Maddie Hart, just won the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Run, making her the youngest person — male or female — to ever win the event. So we talked to Maddie about the race; her strategy; her preparation for it; the gear she used; and her big achievement.
There’s a common narrative in the running world about people who are struggling in life, then they are saved by running. But what happens when you’ve been an endurance athlete for over twenty years, and you then find yourself in search of some answers? We talk to Duncan Callahan — 2-time winner of the Leadville 100 and a number of other ultras — about his story, things he’d do different, and what he’s still hoping to learn.
Clare Gallagher just won the Western States 100, and she did so in spectacular fashion. But there is a whole lot more to this story. So we talk to Clare about the details of her epic win, why on earth she agreed to go on an expedition to Alaska with Tommy Caldwell right before her biggest race of the year, and more.
Scott Jurek called his attempt to break Jennifer Pharr Davis’ FKT record for hiking the Appalachian Trail the hardest thing he’d ever done. And yet, hiking and thru-hiking often isn’t given proper credit either as a monumental test of endurance, or as a more accessible / less intimidating activity to get more people outdoors. So we talk to Jennifer about the divides between hiking culture & trail running culture; lessons from her book, The Pursuit of Endurance, and more.
While participation in trail running and ultra trail races is increasing, it has tended to draw an older crowd. But younger runners are getting into the sport, and they aren’t following all the old conventions. So we discuss the current and future state of trail running and ultra running with two young and rising trail runners, Maddie Hart and Gordon Gianniny.
This past weekend, our Off The Couch co-host, Brendan Leonard, ran the Bighorn Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run. So Jonathan Ellsworth talks with him about why he decided to run it; how he prepared; the highs and lows of the experience; his advice for anyone thinking of running a 100; and whether or not he plans on running another 100 miler.
Stevie Kremer is a world-class runner, but her life sure doesn’t include many of the stereotypes that description might conjure up. So we discuss her unusual training routine; sitcoms & life lessons; how she got into trail running and ski mountaineering; and juggling being a runner, mother, and educator.
Brendan Leonard & Jonathan Ellsworth talk to ultrarunner, Sarah Lavender Smith, about what inspired her to start running; “mommy guilt;” the importance of being process oriented; running marathons with horses; competitiveness; and how she went from smoking and partying to running ultras.
Brendan Leonard and Jonathan Ellsworth talk with filmmaker, Sanjay Rawal, about a 3,100 mile-long race that takes place on a sidewalk in Queens, NY; the attempt to save the traditional ways of life of the San Bushmen of Botswana; the long-distance (and extremely consequential) rituals of a Buddhist monastic community in Japan, and a whole lot more.
Brendan Leonard & Jonathan Ellsworth on Their Running Backgrounds & What Makes Someone a “Runner”? (Ep.1)
In our inaugural episode of Blister’s new running podcast, Off The Couch, Brendan Leonard (semi-rad.com) and Jonathan Ellsworth talk about their running backgrounds; their love / hate relationships with running; and Strava as a modern-day spiritual exercise??