Dec 13, 2021
Ryan Montgomery and Zach Bitter are no strangers to doing really hard things over long distances. Zach holds the world records for both the 100-mile distance by time and for distance run over 12 hours at 104.88 miles. Ryan just finished second at the Javelina 100, earning a golden ticket for the Western States 100, and he earned a spot on Team USA for the 24-Hour World Championships with a 154.71-mile performance over 24 hours last December.
Together, they join us for our most in-depth conversation to date on the clean sport culture in the trail/ultra world. We start with a story from Ryan on an innocent visit to the doctor that could have inadvertently resulted in him committing a doping violation.
From there, we talk about the need for more education and openness on the topic of clean sport in the trail/ultra community. We discuss drug testing in the sport including Ryan and Zach's history with it (or lack thereof). We cover strict liability, IVs, marijuana/THC use in ultras, and the challenges of enforcing clean sport culture in this corner of the competitive running world without a governing body.
Finally, we discuss the roles of various stakeholders to build and sustain the clean sport culture in trail/ultras including athletes, events, brands, and fans. We asked Ryan and Zach the hard questions, and just like in big races, they didn't back down. Thank you to both of them for their willingness to dig deep.
We also owe a special thanks again to Altra Running for hosting us in their booth at The Running Event, for supporting these two amazing athletes, and for being a brand that cares about clean sport.