Alex Kurt July 30, 2014 TWEET COMMENTS 9

10 Inspiring Ultra Finishes - Page 10

1. Ladies First

Diana Finkel, Hardrock 2010

Finkel reveling in her 2010 Hardrock finish on the streets of Silverton. Photo by Ray Smith.

In 2010, Diana Finkel led the Hardrock 100—not just the women’s race, but overall—for 45 miles before being passed by eventual winner Jared Campbell late in the race. She would go on to finish second overall, earning first in the women’s race by nearly an hour and 45 minutes.

It came at a cost, though—she spent the next 16 days in the hospital with rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle tissue into the bloodstream that threatens kidney function. Her caution at subsequent races, sometimes dropping in the late stages due to warning signs despite holding a large lead, serves as its own inspiration to tackle our pursuits on the trail with the proper perspective.

But, that day in 2010, she was intimidated by neither the course nor the competition in a major race; she simply ran the way she knew she could. That is the closest thing we have to an explanation for why we pursue the running goals we do.

Video by David West.

Honorable mentions:

  • Ann Trason, Western States, 1995


In a sport filled to the brim with suffering and the triumph of the human spirit, there are countless other examples—and one of our readers on Facebook may have summed it up best: in the words of Wayne Sylvester, “Pick any back-of-the-pack runner gutting it out alone to the finish, long after the winners and most everyone else have gone home. There's your inspirational finish.”

What are some other ultra performances that inspire you?


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