2011 TNF 50 Mile Championships (Live) Coverage

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships 2011The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships kick off Saturday morning at 5 a.m. local California time (PST). Assuming you’re psyched to follow one of the year’s most exciting races, we’ll be providing live play-by-play on iRunFar’s Twitter feed. We’ve also set up a CoverItLive session below, where you can follow a combination of selection Twitter feeds, share your own thoughts on the race, and interact with our team of moderators.

To help you follow the race, we’ve put together a set of resources:

If you enjoy our coverage of the TNF 50 mile, consider supporting us by purchasing something from the iRunFar Store (there’s currently a killer sale going on), making any Amazon and Backcountry purchases through our sidebar (costs you nothing extra), or making a donation.

[After a veeery long day, our live coverage of the race is over.
We’re off to have beers and pizza with the competitors and their supporters.
Check back here tomorrow for more on the race.

There are 52 comments

  1. Reid L.


    I wish I could see the race, too, but the sport of ultrarunning is not high enough on the viewing public's list of "want-to-see" to justify (pay for) the cameras. Might call/send an e-mail/letter to your favorite sports media companies letting them know your desires. Draft a well-spoken letter and post it on the forums here at irunfar.com, and I'll send it out, too!

    Finally, in my opinion, some coverage is better than no coverage. So irunfar.com has surpassed other media outlets in this regard. Thanks, IRunFar!



  2. Brad

    Irunfar – nice postings in twitter on the updates. Much appreciated.

    Others complaining – cannot help but think you know nothing about ultra running. Live coverage for these Events are always done via twitter. If u do not like it, sac up, and provide something better.

  3. Meghan

    Hi all,

    To those of you who voiced your words of support amongst a couple of outstanding Internet trolls, Bryon and I are grateful.

    Bryon and I work hard to provide you the best coverage possible for these long races taking place in sometimes remote corners of the world. We do it for the runners on course as well as the runners and sport enthusiasts cheering from home. We are buoyed by you and your passion.

    We'd love your constructive feedback, of course! Thanks again for all of your support today.

    Thank you,


    1. David

      I, in no way agree with the complainers, but, cameras and helicopters all over the course at a super competitive ultra would be freakin' awesome.

      IRF is on the cutting edge of ultra coverage , when and if it expands I'm sure they will be in the lead pack.

      1. Bryon Powell

        This happens at UTMB. There's a trade off between high production value and real time reporting. Seeing the crucial pass from a helicopter shot would be awesome, but in a 6+ hour race the exact moment of passing rarely matters unless it's 10 meters from the finish. Not saying I don't appreciate the hell out of great ultra videos, photography, and writing, but all three (yes, even photos) need time.

    2. Andy

      Like all others who are appropriately appreciative, thanks! It may not be live via chopper, but it's pretty damn good. And we appreciate what it takes to get out there and get it done. I would not elect for helicopters all over the course, but maybe a few TNF sponsored clips like they did at UTMB (sans ibex herds) would make the action a bit more live for those of us who couldn't be there. Keep up the great work.

  4. Kevin

    Bryon and Meghan,
    Thank you guys so much for all you do! I live in the Midwest and if it weren't for you guys I would get to read the results in ultrarunning next month! I have sat up nights watching your twitter feeds for WS, Hardrock, UROC, etc. All the haters should go to all of the other ultra running coverage sites! Thanks again!!!

  5. Ray

    Bryon and Meghan,

    On behalf of the troll's who jumped on here to bash you because they did'nt see a camera guy running behind each individual runner for 50 miles. Sorry for their stupidity. I, among, thousand's of other's, greatly appreciate what you do. The pre-interviews, the post interviews, the photos. We love it all! We know that when we come here for "live coverage" it will be via twitter. That is LIVE to us. If you two did'nt do this we would'nt know who won, placed, or dropped due to whatever reason. Thank's for being there and taking the time to do this. Keep up the great work. And to the troll's, diaper's are in aisle 7, crybabies.

  6. Rob Cain

    Thank you for your efforts. Many of us were with Byron on the drive to the finish, urging him to drive faster! You guys rocked. Heck, from what I can tell, the race can't get the final results up.

    I really loved the pre-race interview with Anna. She's awesome.

    Ignore the haters.


  7. pat

    i'm not sure why anyone even acknowledges trolling anymore. no, none of us truly understand why people feel compelled to say totally useless negative things, but…it's like getting mad at the weather at this point. it just comes with the internet. hopefully, in the next couple of years, we'll all just ignore trolls like we ignore pop-up ads.

    on that note: i also want to thank bryon, meghan and everyone who contributes to iRunFar. i live in a small town in chile and it was amazing to have the ability to enjoy a race in the states, with some friends from totally different countries, all runners, just loving every second of it. honestly, i think in the future, assuming we get full HD, 3D, live coverage of every race (is that what the trolls want?)…i'd say in the future we'll all reflect back on this period of twitter feed ultra-watching and feel sorta nostalgic. it's more fun this way. we get to fill in the blanks with what we think each runner is going through. there's moments of total mystery and suspense that are induced by the limitations of the technology and it's seriously great. i love it.

    1. Bryon Powell

      I agree that the magic in the middle is a benefit of Twitter-based (or aid station update-based) coverage. Another benefit is we avoid non-stop watching of something in which the moment-by-moment action is akin to cricket test match on elephant tranquilizers. Ultras excited the bejeezus out of me, but how long can you watch the same dude run down the trail? A minute? Five minutes? 10 minutes? Many hours? Personally, I think I'd be below the five minute threshold. ;-)

      (Ps. I'm not trying to pick on you. Just been giving the topic some thought since I first saw the comments and your thoughtful comment was a good segue.)

  8. MonkeyBoy

    BH, Anonymous, jerry

    I couldn't help but notice that you voiced displeasure with the coverage. Perhaps you might contact The North Face and the Event Directors and ask why they didn't arrange for coverage of the event similar to what was seen during the Tour De France?

    I'd say the live coverage of a 50 Mile Trail Race in the Marin Headlands was pretty good considering the logistical issues that surround covering an event like this. Have any of you tried to make a phone call from some of those places?

    Good News, Though. I have a great idea how all of you who were displeased can help out. If you were willing to make a substantial donation to irunfar.com at the link I'll post below, I'm sure Bryon and Meghan would be glad to hire a helicopter, several ATV's, Liability Insurance, Permit Fee's, Camera's, Hire additional crew to run all of this, etc and meet YOUR expectations in a suitable manner.

    I'd say start with a donation of around $500,000 and that should get them a nice start!

    Hey, Thanks for being so willing to put your money where your mouth is.

    Here's that link: https://www.irunfar.com/help-support-irunfar


  9. One of the Also Rans

    Anybody at IRF notice there were
    100s of other runners out there? Coverage
    of the special few and their attempts to make a payday is interesting for sure, bit our sport is broader than that.

    1. David T.

      IRF has always been supportive of us back-of-the-packers (refering to myself not sure where you come in) but with a crew of two i dont see how they can cover everyone while the race is going on. Since the front-of-the-packers are the only widely known names they of course get the coverage. I for one am thankful for the coverage MUT running is getting, especially from IRF.

    2. Bryon Powell

      I'm not really sure if this comment is serious or not… or whether I should respond at all. However, I'll give my personal opinion as one of the "100s of other runners" that if another organization were covering an ultra, I'd not care two licks if someone where to cover me or those around me. In fact, I'd prefer for them not to so they could use there limited resources to cover the leaders. I'm also not sure what on-the-spot coverage you'd want us to provide. Feel free to share constructive feedback.

  10. Scottay

    Grateful- like my parents sitting around the radio when they were young – before TV and internet – not knowing any better- I use my imagination – And am so grateful for this "Live Coverage". No small feat by any means.

    "Dakota Jones right on Wolfe only 10 seconds back at mile 45.5. "

    I sat and thought about this post (12words), enthralled. What's going to happen next?!

    Thanks Irunfar

  11. David T.

    You both have no sense of history. Go back even 5 years ago and see if you could get ANY coverage during an ultra.

    Thanks for all you do IRF – Much appreciated!

  12. David T.

    So do you have a better way of covering it with spotty cell service, 50 miles of race to cover, a limited budget, and no chip/aid station auto updates?

  13. Dean G

    Without having the pleasure of actually knowing Bryon and Meghan personally, I'm pretty sure they would LOVE to be able to have wireless tracking of the whole field, and jetpacks to fly them around the course. Undoubtedly, they'd interview 50 runners if they could. However they have to pack up their operation and drive more than ten hours to get back to their home after their weekend of doing all of this for you for free out of the goodness of their hearts and their passion for the sport.

    1. Meghan

      Hi all,

      Each time that we're livecasting a race on the Internets, I experience a stream-of-consciousness brainstorm during and after the race on how to do things better. I can't help it, this is just how my brain works.

      I think about what I could have done better with the resources I had on hand for the day.

      I think about the athletes with whom we interact. Ultrarunning is kind of an intimate sport, as we all know. Seeing runners at emotional/physical highs and lows is sometimes a bit like peering inside their souls. Important to me, thus, is covering a race in a way that's respectful to them.

      I also think about the environmental impact of our sport. These races travel through truly wild places that many runners are out there to seep up the awesomeness of. I think part of our job as ultrarunners is to honor and protect these spaces in which we play, so low-impact race coverage is part of that.

      Thanks again for your positive, constructive thoughts, all!

  14. AJW

    Bryon and Meghan,

    You've outdone yourselves this time! Your coverage of this race was your best yet. I was driving back from DC during the first part of the race and I stopped like 8 times to see what was going on.

    Quick question, I was thinking of posting a poll on my blog, "Who's a better tweeter, Meghan or Bryon?" Would that be OK with you guys?:)

    Looking forward to our paths crossing in 2012!


  15. Javier Pérez

    Wonderful coverage as usual! Big thanks from a big fan in Europe! I enjoy getting live results, interviews and chronicles from these events that occur so far away, and without IRunFar I'd be lost!

    Keep up the good job Bryon, Meghan, AJW, and all of you out there!


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