Guide to Finding Ultrarunning Inspiration Online

Almost everyone who reads this blog knows that my long-term goal is to run a 50-miler before I turn 30.  To help keep myself on track to reach my ultimate goal, I seek out inspiration online. Today I want to share some of my favorite resources! (I think these are great for all runners to find inspiration from).

Elite Ultrarunners with Blogs / Social Media

The other day when I wrote that I only follow about 10 running blogs, I wasn’t including the elite ultrarunner blogs that I read.

For updates on popular races and general ultrarunning news, I read iRunFar and also keep up with with Ian Corless/TalkUltra.

Scott Jurek and Anton Krupicka

Anton Krupicka and Scott Jurek (Not sure of the image source as I found it on Pinterest.)

As for the specific elites I follow, here they are in no particular order (except to say that Anton and Timothy are purposely on top of the list as they are two of my absolute faves):

Anton Krupicka
Timothy Olsen
Geoff Roes
Joe Grant
Krissy Moehl
Dave Mackey
Sage Canaday
Jason Schlarb
Ian Sharman

I also follow Kilian Jornet, Seb Chaigneau and Scott Jurek on Facebook. I would subscribe to Kilian and Seb’s blogs but they aren’t written in English. On Facebook both runners will usually provide an English translation. Scott’s blog is in English but he doesn’t blog often, and hardly ever about running, so it’s better to keep up with him via social media. (I have a runner crush on Scott and wish he would update more frequently!)

I follow most of the top ultrarunners on Twitter — you can find my list HERE — and I also have Pinterest boards on a few of my favorite ultrarunners which can be found HERE.

Everyday Ultrarunners with Blogs

Meg at Meg Go Run has completed and written about her experience running a 50-miler, and Erin at Persistent Runner just ran her first 50-miler in April and wrote about it in part 1 and part 2 on her blog.

Kim recently ran almost 34 miles of a 50, and I know she’ll crush that goal next time.

Lou at Running Through China is getting ready to run her first 50K next month, and I bet she’ll run a 50 miler someday. She runs stairs like nobodies business, so much so that I think a flat 50-miler course would be easy on her legs! : ) Lou is the same awesome runner who took first place female in the Great Wall of China half marathon a couple years ago.


(image credit: Lou’s blog)

With all this great inspiration floating around, how could you not want to run an ultra?!

Seriously, some days I get home from work and I just don’t feel like doing anything but eating Cheetos and watching TV. And then I flip through my Instagram feed, or check up on my favorite blogs and I’m so inspired to get in a run. Just looking at pictures of people running makes me envious and I have to get out there!

I have noticed a lot of ultrarunners wear Hoka running shoes, I think because they are super cushioned for all those miles. Reviews of the Hoka line can be found here.

Ultrarunning Videos/Documentaries I Like

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there are a few ultarunning videos and documentaries I can recommend.

My absolute favorite is Unbreakable: The Western States 100. Every time I’m in a slump I watch this film to get myself pumped up! The download costs $30, but in my opinion it’s really worth it. You support an independent film maker and learn so much about the race and the elites in the 2010 event. Trust me, you’ll watch it more than one time! Or, if you’re ever in south Florida you can come over and watch it at my house.

I also really like In the High Country which follows Anton Krupicka around.

It’s less about ultrarunning as a sport or a specific event, and more about the life of Anton. If you’re a fan, it’s worth the $10 to rent or $15 to buy (I bought it).

Running the Sahara is another good ultrarunning documentary, which is available via Netflix. It follows three runners as they cross the Sahara. This was my first introduction into ultrarunning and I was hooked!

I also enjoy watching the Kilian’s Quest films which follows Kilian Jornet as he chases ultrarunning speed records on some of the toughest courses.

I’m currently watching Running Madness, which documents the 2002 Western States 100 and am loving it so far. You can watch the full documentary online for free here.

And I’ve recently ordered Race for the Soul which is also about the Western States 100 and includes a lot of footage of Scott Jurek and Ann Trason, which I can’t wait to see! Ann is just a ridiculous awesome woman and runner.

Did you know she came in second place overall in the Western States 100 one year? The woman is ridiculously fast and has some amazing stories. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with her a few times over the past year.

I also found THIS LIST of ultrarunning documentaries on the iRunFar website recently and plan to make my way through the ones I haven’t watched yet.

There is seriously nothing that gets me as pumped up as the idea of running a bazillion miles! Which is actually a bit funny since I sometimes can barely make it 10 miles : ). During those runs I just have to remind myself there was a time I couldn’t make it one mile, so I will get there eventually! Like with most things in life, it is a process and in running there are no shortcuts.

Have you ever thought about running an ultra? 

Do you have any BIG running goals that excite and even scare you a little? 


  1. May 20, 2014 / 9:08 am

    Oh, thank you for including me even though technically I haven’t done an ultra YET!!!
    I ordered Unbreakable – I’m not sure if I will watch it now or wait till I pick my next race!!
    Lots of great links here – I will have to check out some of the sites you mentioned!

    • May 20, 2014 / 9:52 am

      But you HAVE run an ultra! Thirty-four miles definitely qualifies as ultra running!

      Unbreakable is seriously the best running documentary I have ever watched. I think you will really like it!

  2. May 20, 2014 / 9:20 am

    Thanks for the shout out! Omg, whenever I watch running documentaries, all I want to do is run, run, run. I DVR’ed the Boston Marathon and watched it 2 days after the race… I was still so sore but while I was watching Meb run, I felt like I had all the energy in the world and could go do it again right then and there! (I couldn’t, but I felt like I could!!!)

    • May 20, 2014 / 9:54 am

      Me too! Whenever I watch the elites race they look so effortless, controlled and perfect that I get instant runner’s envy and have to get in a few miles!

  3. May 20, 2014 / 10:23 am

    This isa huge list, I don’t know how I’m reading/watching it all but I plan to.

    Mrs and I have our first full marathon on February. My plan is to use that training and run a 50k next April or May. So my first ultra is on the list, see how marathon training goes before I book it.

    • May 20, 2014 / 11:13 am

      I would definitely recommend starting by subscribing to Anton’s blog. He posts all about his training and weekly runs which is really inspiring because that man logs some miles and vert! He’s been rehabbing an injury, but should put in a good racing season this summer and I’m so excited to watch him kick ass. I seriously just love watching him run, he makes 6 minute miles over crazy distances look effortless.

      • May 20, 2014 / 5:00 pm

        I’ve been reading his blog for a while. I hate to see he is injured but also realization that even the elite athletes get hurt.

        • May 20, 2014 / 5:31 pm

          Good point! I really hope he is able to race UTMB this year.. and wins. I know it’s such a tough course, but honestly, if anyone from the states is going to win I think it will be him… although Timothy Olsen kicked ass last year and I think he’s racing it again this year too 🙂

  4. May 20, 2014 / 10:45 am

    i’m always amazed at what a huge impact reading other people’s stories have in motivating me to keep pushing. i love the connections and inspiration that i’ve found online

    what a great list!

    • May 20, 2014 / 11:15 am

      Me too! My favorite thing to read are blogs like yours, but sometimes you just need an elite running to give you the extra motivational push to do big things!

  5. May 20, 2014 / 11:50 am

    Great resource list–thank you! Unbreakable is a favorite of mine. I also recently watched “desert runners” on Netflix. It’s great to get lists from other runner geeks!
    Another resource I use is the “Trail Runner Nation” podcast. I have them downloaded on my phone, and listen to them on my long runs–They interview ultra-runners, talk shop etc. I really enjoy listening to them. It also helps when I am out there to hear someone talking about some crazy long run they did–makes me feel like I should be able to do my run easily.
    I did a 32 miler last year for Mother’s Day. It was great. My goal=TransRockies run–google it–pretty cool. I am hoping to do that next summer with my husband as my partner…

    • May 20, 2014 / 2:10 pm

      I will have to check out Desert Runners and the Trail Runner Nation podcast.

      I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts during my runs, but just thinking about Anton or Timothy racing a 100 usually gives my legs a little lift while I’m running.

      Congrats on the 32 miler – that is so awesome! I just looked up Transrockies and it looks absolutely incredible!

  6. May 20, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    I ran a 50K trail race (plus a few extra miles because of a wrong turn!) about a week ago. Hearing/reading/watching videos about running ultras in so inspiring!

    • May 20, 2014 / 2:14 pm

      Incredible! I wish they would have given you the medal + the plaque as you ran farther than anyone else that day! I hope you decide to run again next year!

  7. May 20, 2014 / 6:17 pm

    I’ll bet these blogs are SOOOO motivating and awesome! I’ll need to check them out!

  8. May 20, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    Wow! Thank you SO much for the wonderful shout-out and including me in your post! I feel so special, thank you for your amazing words. Haha, oh no, now you’ve put it out there about running a 50 miler some day! I may have to look into that…

    I was really excited to read your post’s title and then scrolled down and found amazing links, motivation, AND a lovely shout out too.

    Thanks for all those links – this will be awesome motivation I reckon!

    You’ve made my day/week, Kristina! xxx

    • May 21, 2014 / 9:40 pm

      Haha yes! 🙂 50 miles!

      You are welcome, I hope you find some good inspiration for next month!

  9. May 22, 2014 / 9:40 am

    I watch Unbreakable before almost every BIG race I have…. I LOVE it! I’ve also donated to the finishing funds for this one that’s set to come out soon. The Barkley Marathons makes everything I’ve EVER done look like a walk in the park!!! Thanks for the shout out for my blog!

    • May 22, 2014 / 2:24 pm

      Holy cow Barkley sounds CRAZY! Only 10 people have finished?!?!?!!?

      Unbreakable is literally the best. I could watch TK run all day long 🙂