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Ultra Stories By The Human Potential Running Series

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Ultra Stories - Episode 61: The Beginner's Mind, Love, and Purpose

Take a run with Ultra Stories host "Sherpa" John and his guests Jamie Reichler and Sheryl Wheeler as they dive deeper into runner's responses from the 2019 Stories Ultra. In this episode we hear from ultra runner Sam Wagner (32, Golden, CO) as he answers a great question about learning in life, which spawns a deeper conversation about love and the meaining of knowledge. Then, Nick Hoogendyk (33, Fort Collins, CO) talks about losing love and the journey towards finding oneself again.


Ultra Stories - Episode 60: The Barkley and Niwot's Challenge

Take a run with Ultra Stories host "Sherpa" John as he tells tales of The Barkley, and the Niwot's Challenge. Sherpa ran in the 2010 Barkley Marathons completing one successful loop of the course before being tapped out. Hear his account of how he gained entry into the event, and how is Barkley experience ultimately went. Then Sherpa moves in to telling us about "The Barkley of the West," HPRS' Niwot's Challenge. We explore how the event is set up, share a little bit of lore from "out...


Ultra Stories - Episode 59: Exploring Trust and Pain

In this episode we dive into tales and concepts from the 2019 Stories Ultra. Sam Wagner and Kate Welle join Sherpa John to listen to race interviews and discuss the subject matter. First, we hear from Desiree Ritchie (Fountain, CO) and the concept of trust, earned vs. given trust, and how as runners we must learn to trust ourselves. We also dive into why it is that ultra runners tend to trust each other. Then we hear from Logan Froelich (Colorado Springs) and discuss the concept of how we...


Ultra Stories - Episode 58: Sheryl Wheeler's Two Decades of Performance

Take a run with Sheryl Wheeler, a 54 year old ultrarunner from New York's Catskills. Sheryl has been running ultras for nearly two decades, amassing top 3 finishes at some of the Beast Coasts most formidable events; Massanutten, Hellgate, Escarpment, and Manitou's Revenge. She has performed at a top level without ever owning a GPS watch, adhering to a strict diet, or even following a single training plan. In this episode we hear about Sheryl's adventure into ultra, her many accomplishments,...


Ultra Stories - Episode 57: Gary Dudney and The Mindful Runner

Take a run with Gary Dudney, a 66 year old ultrarunner from Monterey Bay, CA. Gary has been running ultras since the mid-90s, and in that time has has finished 68 one-hundred milers, and over 250 ultras. Gary is a frequent columnist for Ultrarunning Magazine, and is the author of two running books. In this episode we explore peak performance vs. peak experience, mindfulness as a runner, the concept of Human Potential, and the power of positive mindset.


Ultra Stories - Episode 56: Faith Raymond and Our Challenges With Inclusion

Take a run with Faith Raymond, a 53 year old ultrarunner from Groton, CT. In this episode we hear how Faith transitioned from endurance horse rides, to ultramarathons. We briefly discuss the history of endurance riding and ultra, and what it's like to run with the horses and ride alongside the runners. Then, Sherpa John and Faith dive into the topic of inclusion in our sport, and some of the challenges we face with some race directors making decisions that alienate, and denigrate, certain...


Ultra Stories - Episode 55: Nathan Sanel and The Ultra Mindset

Take a run with Nathan Sanel, a 50 year old ultrarunner from St. Johnsbury, VT. In this episode Nathan and Sherpa discuss the ultra mindset, most pointedly discussing the art of facing, accepting, and overcoming adversity to not just accomplish your running goals, but your goals in life. Nate and Sherpa have a long history together that spans more than a decade, and they share some of their more memorable stories as well.


Ultra Stories - Episode 54: Mirna "The Mirnavator" Valerio

Take a run with Mirna "The Mirnavator" Valerio, a 43 year old ultrarunner from Montpelier, VT. In most running circles, Mirna needs no introduction. In this episode we talk about Mirna's journey into running and ultimately ultrarunning. We talk about the challenges with inclusivity in our sport, and the challenges of promoting social justice. We also discuss the challenges of living a public life, intentionality, and of course.. the answer to the question on the back of her bib from Stories...


Ultra Stories - Episode 53: Nancy Muir & Running With Hip Dysplasia

Take a run with Nancy Muir, a 36 year old ultrarunner from Highlands Ranch, CO. Nancy has been running ultras since September 2006, and her journey of more than a decade hasn't always been an easy one. Her journey to running her 1st 100-miler is one that included a soul crushing diagnosis of hip dysplasia. In this episode we hear about Nancy's journey through running, but also how she's turned her struggles and triumphs with hip dysplasia into a focus for good in her life, and the life of...


Ultra Stories - Episode 52: I Don't Want To Be A Race Director

Take a run with host Sherpa John as he sits down with Christopher Mellott of Spokane, WA. Once upon a time, Christopher proclaimed, "I don't want to be a race director." Sherpa challenged him to explore more in order to determine if that was indeed true. In this episode Christopher interviews Sherpa about the many tasks and challenges involved with race directing, as a way to better determine if the job of race director is for him, or simply reserved for a special few.


Ultra Stories - Episode 51: Exploring Our Running Intentions

Take a run with host Sherpa John as he sits down with Kate Welle and Sam Wanger of Golden, CO as a follow up episode to last week's interview with Marshall Ulrich. In this episode the three discuss their experiences with Marshall on the night of Ultra Stories Live, and then they dive in to an experiential exercise they asked the audience to participate in with regards to their intentions with running. Sherpa and his co-hosts ask you to do your own homework in exploring the deeper reasons...


Ultra Stories LIVE - Episode 50: Marshall Ulrich

Take a run with Marshall Ulrich, 67 of Evergreen, CO. This episode was recorded in front of a LIVE studio audience at RNK Running & Walking in Parker, CO. Marshall Ulrich is the author of two books, "Running on Empty" and "Both Feet on the Ground." His more than 30 years in ultra endurance events provides him with a unique perspective on our sport, which he shares in copious amounts during this episode. We talk about how Marshall got into running and ultra, his various Badwater and Death...


Ultra Stories - Episode 49: Karey Cooper

Take a run with Karey Cooper, 38 of Forest Ranch, CA. Karey is the owner and race director of the Loco Race Series in Northern California. In this episode we hear about the devastating effects of the historic Camp Fire on her running community, explore her journey into running, ultra running, and race directing. We talk a bit about her series, and then her and Sherpa round it out with a discussion on Western States and Hardrock Qualifier status.


Ultra Stories - Episode 48: Our Sport Is In Danger

Take a run with Ultra Stories host "Sherpa" John. In this episode, Sherpa talks about a theory known as The Tragedy of the Commons and how it, and the continued US Forest Service budget cuts, are destined to doom our sport. This is his most important rallying cry for runners to consider their voter actions, as well as the ongoing trail work volunteer shortage in our sport. Sherpa then wraps up this episode with a response to a "Dear Race Director," blog post from August.


Ultra Stories - Episode 47: Lotteries, and tales of community

Take a run with Ultra Stories host "Sherpa" John. In this episode, Sherpa gets on his soapbox to talk about lottery season; how lotteries are held and have evolved over time, and how some lottery races have a strangle hold over the success of other 100s due to qualifier status. Then, Sherpa shares his stories of community from his long history of running ultras. He discusses the sport he discovered in 2005, and a few select stories about community from over the years.


Ultra Stories - Episode 46: Faithe Anderson

Take a run with Faithe Anderson, a 54 year old ultra runner from Saugerties, NY. Faithe is so much more than an ultrarunner. She is a mother of 7 children, homeschools her teens, and is a devoted spouse. She finds the time to run whenever and wherever she can. In this episode we talk about her run/life balance, as well as touching on the real "why" we do this silly thing called ultra. We even touch on the issue of gender inquality a bit, and Faithe's challenges in running with an autoimmune...


Ultra Stories - Episode 45: The Ultra "Career" and Planning Next Year

Take a run with Ultra Stories host "Sherpa" John Lacroix. In this episode Sherpa takes us on a run to provide his trademark commentary. He discusses the notion of an ultrarunning "career;" giving races without a lottery, and who are not qualifiers for anything, a chance; and finally a bit on hiring an online running coach.


Ultra Stories - Episode 44: Courtney Dauwalter

Take a run with the one and only Courtney Dauwalter. Courtney has risen to elite ultra ranks with her stellar performances at Western States, Moan 240, and Big's Backyard Ultra. An incredible role model for women athletes everywhere, we take a run with Courtney to learn about how she got into running and ultra. We also talk about how she trains, life as an elite athlete, her obsession with candy, what #DeweyToIt stands for and so much more.


Ultra Stories - Episode 43: Tracy Thelen and Carol Lyndell

Take a run with Tracy Thelen and Carol Lyndell, a mother and daughter who spent a decade chasing their goal to run 50 Marathons in 50 States together. Tracy, a talented ultrarunner in her own right, and her mother speak candidly and from the heart about their journey and what they learned about each other, and life, along the way. Also in this episode, Sherpa John talks about the importance of refunding agencies that manage our public lands.


Ultra Stories - Episode 42: John Storkamp

Take a run with Ultra Stories in the Season 2 kickoff! In this episode Sherpa John interviews Legendary Race Director John Storkamp. John is a 39-year old ultra runner and race director from Hastings, MN. He is the RD for Rocksteady Running which hosts the Superior and Zumbro 100s to name a few. In this episode these two go on about the transformations in ultra running, the challenges of race directing, and where we feel the sport goes from here. These two dudes are as honest and raw as it...