Then and Now: What’s Changed in Ultrarunning in the 10 Years Since the First Synchroblog

The year of the first Synchroblog, 2009, was the Golden Age of minimalism.  Even though the publication of Chris McDougall's generation defining book, "Born to Run" was still a year in the future, all the cool kids in the sport were striving to mimic the Tarahumara and running over mountains, through forests, and across deserts with as little as they possibly could.

It was also the era of Anton!  Who can forget the irresistable videos of Krupicka running 200 mile weeks in the Rockies with nothing more than short shorts and pair of sliced up modified La Sportivas.  In a relatively short period of time, the entire ultrarunning world was longing to drop out of conventional life, move to the mountains, and live out of the back of a decrepit pick-up truck.  And then there was new Mexican wonderboy Kyle Skaggs, with his long flowing blond hair and chiseled physique, setting the Hardrock course record carrying nothing more than a handheld bottle and a couple gels tucked into th…

10 Years Later: What Western States Means to Me

(Note:  This is the 10th anniversary of the synchroblog project.  Check out what Craig, Scott and Sean had to say about What Western States has meant to them)

Ten years ago, during the winter of 2008-09, after suffering through a summer which saw the cancellation of the Western States 100 for the first time in it's history, I was eagerly looking forward to beginning my training for what would turn out to be my 6th Western States Finish.

During that winter, Craig Thornley hatched the idea of a synchroblog and five bloggers (blogs were all the rage in ultrarunning back then!) Bryon Powell, Scott Dunlap, Sean Meissner, Craig Thornley, and myself all participated.  On this, the 10th anniversary of the synchroblog, a few of us have returned to where it all started to consider "What Western States means to me 10 years later."

I wrote my first Western States race report in my blog after the 2009 race.  It had been a brutally difficult day during which I barely slipped into the …