Some of us set fitness goals for ourselves and others look to raise the bar to completely new heights. Such is the case with Jax Mariash, who is about to embark on what promises to be a very busy and active month. The ultrarunner is taking on a “triple threat” of races over the next few weeks that will make the rest of us feel pretty silly.
Jax gets started with the first of her three challenges this weekend by taking part in the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado. This iconic ultra event covers 100 miles (160 km) with the average elevation of the route hovering around 10,200 feet (3108 meters). The race is widely considered to be one of the toughest ultra competitions held in the U.S. on an annual basis, drawing competitors from around the world.
Racing in one 100+ mile race in a month usually seems like quite an undertaking, but on August 31, Jax will set out on her second such event by taking part in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in Europe as well. This legendary race cross through three countries and circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif, covering 105 miles (168 km) en route. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, the UTMB also offers 40,000 feet (12,192 meters) of vertical gain as well, making it one of the toughest footraces on the ultra calendar each season too.
Following the UTMB, Jax will then return to the U.S. to take part in the Grand to Grand Ultra, which will be held in Arizona and Utah from September 23-30. This seven-day, six-stage event covers 170 miles (274 km) starting at the Grand Canyon and ending at the summit of Grand Escalante Staircase. To make the event even more challenging, the entire race is self-supported, meaning competitors must be completely self-sufficient while out on the course, carrying the water, gear, and equipment they need when they set out on each stage each day.
Jax is is no stranger to taking on big challenges. She is the first woman to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus, which is a series of five stage races that takes place across massive deserts on four different continents. She also finished sixth amongst the female competitors at this year’s Marathon de Sables, an event that is often called the world’s toughest foot race. She is even a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman, with STOKED Roasters coffee shops in Park City, UT and Hood River, OR.
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