Who Is Courtney Dauwalter and How the F Does She Do It?

Courtney Dauwalter is an American ultramarathon runner who’s been making headlines since becoming a professional runner in 2017. Before making the transition to pro athlete, she taught middle school in Denver and is originally from Hopkins Minnesota (hey fam!).

Courtney “began” running in High School. She ran track and cross-country, and was a terrific cross-country skiier  — she wound up getting a cross-country skiing scholarship at the University of Denver.

So, who is Courtney Dauwalter as a runner?

You won’t forget after you check out these accomplishments. Brace yourself, this is impressive:

2016

Courtney sets a course record at the Javelina Jundred 100k, and she wins the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race with a whopping 75 minute lead on the second place finisher.

2017

Dauwalter wins the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race again because why not? Oh, and maybe this is worth mentioning: she does this with temporary blindness during the last 12 miles. Are you kidding me?

She runs the Moab 240 race, and wins, beating the second place finisher by more than 10 hours. She completes it in 2 days, 9 hours, and 59 minutes.

2018

Courtney wins the Western States Endurance Run in 17 hours and 27 minutes.

She runs the Backyard Ultra and sets the women’s course record at 279.268 miles.

Ultrarunning Magazine names Dauwalter the Ultra Runner of the year.

2019

Courtney participates in the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Western States (she dropped out at mile 77 – I think she can catch a break here), and the IAU 24 Hour World Championship.

Ultrarunning Magazine names Dauwalter Ultra Runner of the year, again.

Now you ask: How the F does Dauwalter do it?

She does it by eating whatever the hell she wants i.e. pizza, beer, and quesadillas (perhaps not worth emulating), and OK yes – by training with a great support system. Her father and husband are pretty incredible as you’ll notice if you watch this mini documentary.

Most importantly though, Courtney Dauwalter just doesn’t overthink it. She enjoys running. She scoffs when interviewers ask her what she eats, and my guess is she couldn’t care less which leggings you think are the best (Courtney wears basketball shorts).  She takes running seriously, obviously, but she doesn’t seem to get caught up in the hype. Courtney keeps it simple and in doing so, reminds us that all you need to run is your two feet, and that a good attitude can take you very, very far.

So, what can you take away from Courtney Dauwalter?

The pro tip here is this: running doesn’t have to be complicated. To be a great runner, you don’t need the latest gear. What you need is to train your mind to trust you when you want to push your body further. This comes with time and gratitude.

So: practice, do things that bring you joy and teach you how to become more resilient, smile if it feels authentic, and be kind to the people who support you.

If you want advice from pro runners, check this out.

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