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Three ultra runners — Jeff Gaft, Dan Oberski and Erika Kuhnle — join Heather to talk about their love of running long distances…super long distances. These Michigan runners each have their own stories of how they got interested in running ultras (defined as any distance longer than a marathon, or 26.2 miles) and what keeps them going back for more.
Jeff, who is a longtime store manager with Running Fit in Traverse City, began running in 1976 when he was 20 years old and has completed no fewer than 75(!) ultras in the years since. Dan Oberski, a father and high school principal, began running just a few years ago, but discovered he especially enjoys the challenge (mental and physical) of taking on ultras. Erika, a triathlete as well as an ultra runner mother of two, talks about working her way toward a 100-mile race.
The trio of runners share great tips about what makes for the optimal ultra running and racing experience (you’ll probably be wanting to eat a Snickers candy bar after hearing Dan talk about his favorite way to re-fuel during a race) and they also talk about good first-timer ultras and memorable races they’ve all experienced.
If you’ve ever thought about going the distance and trying an ultra, these runners’ perspectives are sure to leave you inspired — and ready to sign on for this kind of endurance event. Speaking of which, this episode’s race segment is dedicated entirely to upcoming ultras this fall and winter in Michigan.
A special thanks to Mike Moran of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out his work here, and if you like Michigan craft beer like me, tune into the popular Short’s Cast, a show he produces for Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, Mich.