Runner: Julie Urbanski
Years Running: 18
Upcoming races: Rocky Raccoon 50, Umstead 100 (Eeek!)
Current goals: Train for Umstead 100 without getting injured, with a nice buildup of shorter races. I’d love to do well at Rocky Raccoon, as I’ve always wanted to run the 50 there and I think I could do well. Beat Jeff Urbanski at Umstead.
Long-term, big shot goals that you someday hope to achieve with running: Break 3:20 in the marathon. I feel like I’ve been in good enough shape to do this multiple times, but the marathon stars just never aligned, whether it was race-day temps, nerves getting to me, hilly courses…
Someday I’d also love to run the Hardrock 100, which will likely never happen with the entry requirements, but it’s pretty much the only mountain 100 that intrigues me and that I have any interest in running.
I’d also love to break 1:30 in the half marathon but something tells me I’m past that point in my age and abilities.
Tell us about your running accomplishment that you’re most proud of and why: My PRs in the half marathon and down (1:33 for half, 40:56 for a 10k, and 19:52 for a 5k). I’m also pretty proud of running 5 marathons in 5 states in 3 weekends straight, followed by a 100 miler a few weeks later. aka Marathon Madness.
Favorite part about being a runner: The community and the ability to make friends anywhere in the world through this activity. I’m realizing this more and more since coming back from not running, and I really miss the social aspect of running, from group runs, to group workouts, to races, to slogging it out in wet, Seattle nights around Green Lake, where only the hardcore runners are out there. Out of the friends we’ve made on our trips abroad, the best ones are the runners, and my most memorable experiences from traveling are races in other places.
Favorite Workout: Marathon Pace run. I love long runs and I love the concentration this run takes, and combining the long run and a workout make the long run go much faster. Tempo mile repeats are a close second.
Most Challenging Workout: Anything to do with hills, going up them or down them. I’m cool with rollers but long and/or steep climbs and descents just kill me because I’m so slow. Even with all the hiking we’ve done, I’m still a slow hiker! And because I’m cautious on the down hills, I can’t win either way.
Best races you’ve ever run: Ballyvaughan marathon in Ireland. It was half road, half trail, beautiful scenery and so different from any marathon I’ve ever run. I had rare, “live in the present” kind of moments where I found myself ecstatic to be alive, to be human, and to be sharing such an experience with others. It all sounds a bit hokey, but there was a moment in the race where we crested a hill and were running along a tabletop type of terrain, looking out at the Aran Islands, and I felt a huge burst of energy that felt like I could run on forever.
Also the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler, the only 100 I’ve ever run, but I’m still proud of my finish because it was so damn hard! Love that race, the atmosphere, and the volunteers.
Running words of wisdom: This too shall pass. Sort of corny but it reminds me that even the longest of races will eventually end and nothing lasts forever.
Social media links:
5000m: 19:52 (4/18/09), Lewis & Clark Invitational, OR, Outdoor Track
10,000m: 40:56 (10/25/09) Run Like Hell 10k, Portland, OR, Road
Half marathon: 1:33.28 (5/2/09) Eugene, OR, Road
Marathon: 3:27.33 (12/5/10) California International Marathon, CA, Road
50k: 4:37.07 (1/14/17) Bridle Trails, Kirkland, WA, Trail
50 miler: 8:16.29 (6/7/14) Rainier to Ruston, WA, Road & Trail
100 miler: 22:34.56 (2/4/12) Rocky Raccoon, TX, Trail
Other notables races:
- 50k: Holiday Lake, Chuckanut
- 50 milers: White River, Land Between the Lakes, Iceage
- Marathons: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Prague, Madrid, and a whole bunch of other smaller ones in the US and Abroad!
Other notable achievements:
- Completed thru-hikes of the Appalachian trail (2011), Pacific Crest Trail (2007), Colorado Trail (2012), and the Continental Divide Trail (2013)
- Bicycled down the West Coast from Portland to the border of US and Mexico (2011)
Self published author:
- The Trail Life: How I Loved it, Hated it, and Learned from it (narrative about our PCT thru-hike)
- Between a Rock and a White Blaze: Searching for Significance on the Appalachian Trail (narrative about our AT thru-hike)
- A Long Way from Nowhere: A couple’s journey on the Continental Divide Trail (narrative about our CDT thru-hike)