Inside the World of Women Ultrarunners

Courtney Dauwalter

Courtney Dauwalter was born on May 27th, 1985 in New York City. She started running at age 5 and ran her first ultramarathon at age 7. At age 10 she became the youngest person ever to complete a 100 mile race (the course consisted of 12 miles of road and 6 miles of trails). Courtney’s first race was the Boston Marathon.

After completing the marathon she decided to run another one in Los Angeles which took place two years later. Her next race was the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon where she finished in 2:09:26.

At age 13, Courtney competed in her first half marathon and won it by over 4 hours beating out all other girls her age. At 14 she moved up to the city of Chicago where she continued to excel. She set several personal bests including a time of 3:15:23 for the Chicago Marathon and a time of 2:40:00 for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon.

In 2009 Courtney completed her Junior year at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a record breaking 8 hour marathon finishing in 1 day 26 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds. This placed her as the second fastest female ever in a US Championship marathon behind Tracy Steinruck who completed it in 8:09:01.

Courtney’s next race was the 2010 Arizona Marathon where she completed it in a time of 2:52:47. She then ran the California International Marathon in Sacramento and beat her personal best by over an hour finishing in a time of 2:50:10. She was still only 18 at the time. In 2011 she ran the Boston marathon where she finished in a time of 3:15:23 and was ranked as the 308th best female runner of all time.

She then won the Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon in a time of 1:26:08.

In 2012, at the age of 26, Courtney placed second at the US National 12 Hour Running Championships. She ran a total distance of 101.7 miles with an average speed of 6:57 per mile. She also won the Bix 7 Road Race and set a new course record finishing with a time of 1:30:00.

That same year she completed her first 50 mile race in 6:17:40.

Courtney owns a coach company called DFL which stands for “Daufuski Fit Lab.” Her father Gary Dauwalter is a former professional triathlete and her mother is a professional creative writing teacher. She has two siblings; her sister Olivia who is a professional runner and 25 years old and her brother Harrison who is also a professional runner and 23 years old.

In her free time she enjoys spending time with her partner Dusty Kerschen and their dog Jack. She also likes watching films, seeing live music, and eating at local restaurants in her home of Flagstaff Arizona. She graduated with a degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and now works as a full time professional runner.

She’s been sponsored by several companies including; Oft, The North Face, Skratch Labs, Physiques of Culture, Altra shoes, and Tailwind Nutrition. Last year she earned $56,000 in sponsorship money. She is currently ranked as the 19th best Ultra Marathon Female Runner in the world. She is ranked as the best American female ultra runner.

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Additional keywords: ultra running, running, ultra, ultra runner, ultra runner female, ultra runner diet, ultra runners, ultra running female, ultra running diet

Publication Date: October 7, 2018

Last Modified: October 19, 2018

Sources & references used in this article:

Born to run: The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners, and the greatest race the world has never seen by C McDougall – 2010 –

Beyond the marathon:(De) construction of female ultrarunning bodies by MT Hanold – Sociology of sport journal, 2010 –

Leadership, women in sport, and embracing empathy by MT Hanold – Advancing Women in Leadership Journal, 2011 –

Trail and ultrarunning: the impact of distance, nature, and personality on flow and well-being. by CT Martinez, C Scott – Psi Chi Journal of Psychological …, 2016 –

The extra mile: One woman’s personal journey to ultrarunning greatness by P Reed – 2007 –

The entrepreneurship of mega-sporting events: an analysis of the 2006 IAU World Cup by S Terjesen – Proceedings of the Fourth AGSE International …, 2007 –

The Phenomenon of Community: A Qualitative Study of the Ultrarunning Community by JM Quicke – 2017 –

Ultramarathon runners’ perceptions of mental toughness: A qualitative inquiry by AMC Jaeschke, ML Sachs… – The Sport …, 2016 –