Courtney Dauwalter on Building Her Pain Cave, Nacho Connoisseurship, & Running By Feel (Ep.166)

As far as superlatives go, there’s little hand wringing about Salomon Athlete Courtney Dauwalter’s standing as one of the best ultrarunners in the world, period. In a sport known for its fickleness, she’s been outright untouchable on the trails for the past two years, riding a 15-race win streak that dates back all the way to 2021 and includes dominant victories on stages such as UTMB (where she set a new female course record in 2021) and Hardrock 100.

We recently sat down with Courtney to try to get a sense for how she conceives of running as something that can be taken lightly but practiced seriously. Along the way, we also map the interior of her pain cave, the mental space she occupies when things get dark deep in a race; discuss what does and does not belong on top of nachos; talk bowhunting; and a whole lot more.


  • Courtney’s background (3:14)
  • How Nordic skiing translates to trail running (8:04)
  • What guides her training philosophy (12:13)
  • Skiing at the University of Denver (13:17)
  • 14er first date (16:04)
  • Moving to Leadville, CO (22:17)
  • Training for Transgrancanaria this winter (23:10)
  • Transitioning to running full-time (24:51)
  • The pain cave (28:26)
  • Running by feel instead of numbers (31:40)
  • Nachos & balloon hunting (38:29)
  • Doubling up at Western States & Hardrock 100 (42:50)



2 comments on “Courtney Dauwalter on Building Her Pain Cave, Nacho Connoisseurship, & Running By Feel (Ep.166)”

  1. Matt,
    Another great Off the Couch segment. Know that some years ago, I came to Blister via lurking around ski reviews I found on line, then started paying closer attention when I saw the Bikes and Big Ideas segments. But it was when I started listening to your podcasts and realized Blister had great content that fed all three of “my” sports that I decided to go in fully by becoming a member. Keep up the great work.

    • Hey Walt,

      I appreciate the kind words, they mean a lot! Speaking for the entire Blister team, we appreciate your continued support. We’ve got a lot of exciting stuff coming down the pike on the running side and none of it would be possible without folks like you.

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