To many, ultrarunning represents the cutting edge of running and one of the hot trends in endurance sports — the next step beyond Ironman — but it also represents the outer limits of human will and tenacity, a metaphor for life much as the marathon was 20 years ago. This gallery of photos from this past weekend’s Wasatch Front 100-Mile Run in Utah by photographer Derrick Lytle gives a glimpse of some of the physical, emotional and spiritual elements that go into committing to, training for and completing a 100-mile run.
Runners who complete the Wasatch 100 along with the Western States Endurance Run in Northern California, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run in Vermont, and the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado all in the same summer achieve the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and are awarded with a sculpted eagle-head trophy. Colorado’s Nick Clark (20:24:26) won this year’s Wasatch 100, avenging a runner-up finish to California’s Ian Sharman (second, 21:01:30) last month at the Leadville 100. Sharman, though, won this year’s Grand Slam competition and lowered the cumulative 400-mile record by five hours. Sarah Evans McCloskey of Alta, Utah, won the women’s Wasatch race (24:31:19), placing 15th overall.