Zion 100M: Mark Ruhsam
This week we are treated to hearing from two friends, Mark Ruhsam and Bryce Johnson who both completed the Zion 100 Miler. Zion was Mark’s first 100 miler on trails and Bryce’s first 100 miler. They are training partners and hope to one day crew each other at Western States or UTMB. Today we will hear from Mark and tomorrow Bryce.
What was your last race? The Chicago marathon. 2018 was a different year for me as I took a step back from ultras to focus more on the marathon and to qualify for Boston. Aside from marathons I also completed a full IronMan and the Ragnar Ultra-trail relay.
How far was it? Was it a new distance? Zion was a 100 miler. It was my second 100 but first one on trails as my first (Daytona 100) was a road race.
How long have you been running consistently? Just about four years. I ran off and on in my early 20s and even competed in a few 50ks but life got in the way and running went to the wayside. Around the time I turned 30 I realized that I had let myself get out of shape and made the decision to get back into running.
What made you sign up for this race? Terrain, location, recommendation? I have always loved southern Utah and the incredible views and challenging terrain each race brings. This was my fourth race out there put on by Ultra Adventures/ Vacation Races and in 2016 I had actually ran the 50K distance of Zion.
What did you eat the most at the aid stations? Cheese quesadillas and ramen noodles.
High moment? I hit my high moment at about mile 68 heading into the second major climb of the course. My legs felt great and I started powering up hill and passing people left and right. To add to the high I even ended up dropping my pacer at this point.
Low moment? About mile 85. I was starting to get really cold and a little bit behind on calories. To add to the frustration I was on a long winding stretch of trail that never seemed to end. I though the aid station has to be around the next turn or over the next rise but when I would turn that corner or crest that rise there was not aid station!
Do you listen to music? If yes, what's your song of the moment? No
Would you do it again? I would, but there are other races I would like to knock off the list before I run it again.
What race is next? I have a few local marathons and the Ragnar Ultra Trail on the schedule for this year. Next year I will be running Boston and either Western States or Leadville. It’s a VERY slim chance getting into Western States so it will probably be Leadville.
Will you train together for your next race? We defiantly will be training together and are on the same team for Ragnar. Bryce and I have also already discussed that if either one of us get into Western States that the other will pace.
What shoes did you wear? Hoka Evo Mafate
What race pack did you use? Salomon Advanced Skin Pack 12
Favorite local running store/brand/community? The Running Elements. This is a running store in Port Orange, FL run by Juan and Katrina Guevara. Juan and Katrina are wonderful people and very involved in the community. Juan has provided a great deal of support to me and even crewed/ paced me for my first 100!
Dream running destination? Race or holiday. My dream races would have to be Western States, Leadville and UTMB.
You can follow Mark on instagram @FL_Ultrarunner and tomorrow we hear from Bryce!