Courtney Dauwalter

Ali on the Run Show Episode 302: Courtney Dauwalter, Professional Ultra Runner

“I hope to make this feel like a sport that anyone can do, no matter who you are.”

Courtney Dauwalter is one of the greatest ultra runners of all-time. She has won Western States, the Javelina Jundred, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), and the Moab 240-Mile Endurance Run, where she wasn’t just the first woman to finish, she was the overall winner, beating the second-place finisher by 10 hours. Most recently, Courtney was the U.S. winner of the last-man-standing-style Big’s Backyard Ultra. She ran 68 laps of a four-mile course for a grand total of 283.33 miles in 56 hours, 52 minutes, and 29 seconds. On this episode, Courtney recounts her race at Big’s, talks about her now-famous hallucinations along the way, and reflects on why we can always go further together. Plus, she talks about her attempt at running the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the 500-mile Colorado Trail this summer, offers her take on failure, and shares her controversial Halloween candy hot takes.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Why Courtney wanted to run Big’s Backyard Ultra this year (5:45)
  • How Courtney prepared for this year’s event (10:00)
  • What the start was like at Big’s, and how Courtney strategizes for races like these (14:30)
  • What was Courtney rocking out to on the road? (26:00)
  • When did it start to hurt? (27:00)
  • What it’s like when people start dropping (31:30)
  • All about those wild hallucinations (36:15)
  • What it was like being the second consecutive woman to win this race (44:00)
  • On representation and diversity in ultra running (46:30)
  • On winning the Moab 240-Mile Endurance Run, and then going on Joe Rogan’s podcast (49:30)
  • What is Courtney proudest of? (52:20)
  • Courtney reflects on her attempt at running the FKT on the 500-mile Colorado Trail earlier this year (54:30)

What we mention on this episode:

Ben Chan on Episode 277 of the Ali on the Run Show

“283 Miles, Followed By Beer and Nachos for Courtney Dauwalter,” by Erin Strout for Women’s Running

Courtney Dauwalter on the Joe Rogan Experience

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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