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Transgrancanaria Race Report: Embracing the DNF

Vibram HK100 Race Report: from treadmills to trails

2014 reflections to 2015 adventures

What Running Has Taught Me

20 similarities between aid workers and long-distance runners

Hitting the Wall

Another piece of wall art by Banksy

Hitting The Wall. One minute you’re cruising along, legs pumping rhythmically beneath you, and the next minute you’re brought to a grinding halt. Colours dim, noises quiet, clouds roll in. Your legs start to feel heavy and disconnected from the rest of your body. Your movements become difficult and uncoordinated. Your thoughts turn inwards and your eyes droop downwards. No matter what […]

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Free to Be (Sporty)


The first time someone called me ‘sporty’ I laughed in their face. Excuse me? Stephanie Case was the opposite of sporty. I tripped over cracks in sidewalks, let out high-pitched shrieks whenever someone threw a ball my way, and refused to do any activity that turned my face red. I used to beg my gym teacher to let me be […]

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MadAthlete Interview

*Original interview posted on Thanks for the interview, Zandy!* INTERVIEW WITH ULTRARUNNERGIRL, STEPHANIE CASE Zandy Mangold, MA Connects It is impossible to summarize the phenomenon that is Stephanie Case. Hollywood take note – this girl’s life is already worthy of a riveting memoir or feature documentary. We are interviewing Stephanie because she is not only an ultrarunning, stage-racing, Madathlete, but she is also a champion of human rights, a writer and an artist. I met Stephanie while sharing a tent at RacingThePlanet’s 2010, 250km Australia race. A volcanic eruption resulted in many flight cancellations thus causing several runners to miss the race, but not Stephanie Case. She took a train from London to Paris, chartered a taxi from Paris to Madrid, rerouted her flights to Australia through the Middle East and somehow made the start – allbeit sans gaiters. Undeterred, she painstakingly crafted a pair of gaiters out of her buffs, safety pins and spare needles and thread, ultimately finishing as 2nd woman and 8th overall. Her racing resume includes 1st and 2nd places in five 250km multi-day events, including most recently 1st place at the ICE Ultra in Swedish Lapland, which she completed on snowshoes. She has also excelled at single stage races, placing 1st at the Vermont 100 mile endurance race in 2009, 4th at the Ultra Race of Champions in 2011, and 11th female and 163rd overall at the formidable Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc in 2013. […]

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The Power of Uncertainty


In South Sudan, I’m still trying to get used to the emotional extremes. On a good day, the sunrises hold promise, the kids laugh a little brighter, and the air feels cooler. Some mornings, I have these moments of immense gratitude when I’m running through the bush and it hits me that I’m incredibly lucky to be where I am, doing the […]

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Dancing in circles

Tent-based physiotherapy: working on my SI joint problems... Thanks, Handicap International!

On 16 May, I was awakened at 4 am by loud gunfire. I had expected it, of course – it was SPLA day after all, South Sudan’s day for celebrating the army – but it didn’t make it any less stressful. Whether you call it celebratory gunfire or ‘happy gunfire’, as we used to say in Afghanistan, the sound of a gunshot […]

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Are you running free?


“Are you running free?” In any other situation, it might have seemed like an odd question. But having spent a couple of months in South Sudan already, I knew instantly what he was getting at. I stopped to take out my headphones and wiped the dripping sweat from my forehead. “Yes, I’m running free.”  He looked at me with a puzzled expression, conveying […]

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Beneath the Death Zone: A Climber’s Personal Account of the Everest Avalanche


Climbing Everest is a dangerous activity – no question about it. Climbers face the risk of hypothermia, cardiac arrest, cerebral swelling, pulmonary edema, getting crushed by rockfalls, trapped by avalanches, or getting caught at high altitude for many hours in raging storms. As one article simply put it, “to set foot on Mount Everest is to risk death.” But despite […]

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An Ultra Race Against Hunger and Violence: Q&A with Ultrarunner Stephanie Case


An Ultra Race Against Hunger and Violence: Q&A with Ultrarunner Stephanie Case **Originally posted on The Runner’s Trip** By Sarah Lavender Smith Normally, I turn away from reports about Africa’s famine and atrocities that too frequently make headlines and overshadow the continent’s bright spots. The news always seems too terrible, far away, incomprehensible and intractable to try to follow and care—until […]

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