Ultra marathoner David Wronski ’08 is looking forward to this weekend, when he plans to run 165 miles in about 55 hours through two states, up and down mountains, with zero hours of sleep while eating gooey energy gel and wearing minimalist gloved running shoes that replicate being barefoot.
Yes, really. He’s looking forward to it.
“Distance is my passion,” says Wronski, who graduated from Chapman University’s athletic training program.
Most of Wronski’s run will follow the Tahoe Rim Trail, which circles Lake Tahoe and winds through the mountains of California and Nevada and is the site of an annual ultra endurance marathon. But this is a solo event, one Wronski planned on his own to suit his preference for solo and wilderness trail running. He transitioned from major marathons to trail running after he ran marathons in Big Sur and San Francisco.
“I didn’t really enjoy them that much,” says Wronski, now a Sausalito resident busy working on his teaching credential and master’s degree in education.
In January he ran the Brazil 135, an ultra marathon set in the Serra da Mantiqueira mountains. For this weekend’s endurance run, Wronski hopes to beat that performance, with pacing and support from a crew of 12 friends. For such help he is grateful, he says, because without them he couldn’t do this thing that takes him to a whole different level of runner’s bliss.
“The most enjoyable aspect of it is when you get to a point, about 24 hours into the race, when your body becomes completely numb, your mind takes over. There’s so much mental control you have. It’s the most simple type of enjoyment. You just appreciate the little finest things,” he says. “Going from sunrise to sunset and back to sunrise after being awake for 50-plus hours is an amazing kind of feeling.”
To enjoy a vicarious bit of runner’s high and to keep tabs on Wronski’s progress, visit his website,