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Becoming Ultra

Becoming Ultra is all about that first Ultra. We follow other runners training for their first Ultra, interview race directors of Ultra's, talk training tips, and just about anything for that next, very long, step.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 18, 2022

Liza Howard is a longtime ultrarunner and running coach. Since her first ultra in 2008, she has won numerous 100-mile  races including the Leadville 100 twice and multiple USATF Championships in the 50 mile and 100k distances. She completed the Marathon des Sables, a multi-day stage race in the Sahara Desert, twice, and ran for the United States at the 100k World Championships in Croatia in 2018. She’s currently training for the Badwater 135, which will be held in Death Valley this July. 

In addition to running, Liza coaches for Sharman Ultra Coaching, teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, and directs Band of Runners, a non-profit that supports veterans and their surviving family members by introducing them to trail running and the trail running community. 

Liza lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and two school-aged children. Sometimes she cleans the house too.

Manny is a former Infantry Marine Reservist who deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2010 with 1st Marines, 23rd Battalion Alpha Company.  While inactive from duty from 2006 to 2013, Manny worked as Personal Trainer who Specialized in Obstacle Course Training. Races like the Tough Mudder and Spartan are what first introduced him to trail running.  Fast forward to 2019 - Manny is suffering from reoccurring running injuries and is told by his VA doctors that he should seriously consider not running. Fate said otherwise when he met Rob, who then got him in the Band of Runners Trail Running Camp, where he learned the skills to prevent injury and improve his running and met a community of trail runners who are all eager to see him succeed. And through the help and mentoring of the BOR community, Manny ran his first successful 50k at Hoka One Bandera, a virtual 50k hosted by BOR, his first 50 miler and 100k, and his first 100-mile race at the Badger. Now, through the Samaritan Center, Manny serves the community as a Mental Health Peer Coordinator where he coordinates and facilitates - mentoring, PTSD, substance abuse, life skills, and wellness groups - for Veterans in the Greater Austin community and helps run the Veteran’s Re-Entry Dorm at the Travis State Jail for the Texas Department of Criminal justice. Manny is currently training for the Caballo Blanco Ultra, formerly known as the Copper Canyon Ultra.

We had a lot of fun on this one!  Liza has some great stories to tell, and she tells them with so much humor.  We talk about how she balances training for the Badwater 135 with family life and a nagging hamstring injury.  Liza shares her witty take on her Instagram posts after a long break from social media.  Most importantly, we discuss Liza’s passion project, Band of Runners.  This is an important program that really makes a difference in the lives of Veteran’s.  Manny is a Veteran who participated in the program and then became a mentor.  He has a caring heart and lives a purposeful life of helping others.  He shares his experience with Band of Runners and how it has changed his life.  Manny also talks about his many Ultra’s and battling through injuries.  We know you will enjoy getting to know Liza & Manny and learning more about Band of Runners.  These are two very special people.  Enjoy!

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