The vast majority of people will live out their lives having never run a half-marathon, let alone a full marathon of 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers). Ultra marathoners, or simply ultra runners, comprise a small percentage of distance running enthusiasts that routinely run races of 50, 100 or even 200 miles in length.
NIKKI KIMBALL: FINDING TRACTION
Case in point; in 2015, Nikki Kimball ran 273 miles on the Long Trail through the mountainous woods of Vermont. Put another way, that’s the same as running 10 back-to-back marathons through rocky terrain. Her journey, with all its ups and downs, was captured in the documentary Finding Traction.
Kimball completed the Long Trail in 5 days, 7 hours, and 42 minutes, breaking the women’s record by over two full days.
MONTANA’S ULTRA MARATHON RUNNER
Kimball, who lives in Bozeman, Montana, has amassed an impressive resume in the decade since she first competed in ultra running. She is a three-time winner of the prestigious Western States 100-mile Endurance Run and was aided in her 2007 victory by U.S. Senator Max Baucus who served on her support crew.
MARATHON DES SABLES
In 2014, Kimball won the 156-mile (251 km) Marathon Des Sables multi-stage endurance race in Morocco on her first attempt. Along with the Badwater 135, it has a reputation as one of the toughest foot races on the planet. Well, tough for everyone except Kimball, apparently…