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Sydney Pitt – 168km of Beauty, Pain, and a Glass of Wine at UTMB

“Maybe you should try track instead of basketball.” – 7th grade basketball coach

These unexpected words shared with the youthful Texan, Sydney Pitt, transitioned her to a love of running, a love of beautiful natural environments, and a love to challenge herself with good friends and glass (or two) of good wine.

After exploring the triathlon scene for a few years, she ran her first trail race, the highly popular (now extinct) Sunmart 50km back in 2007 on the pine needle covered trails of Huntsville State Park (home of Rocky Raccoon 100), just north of Houston, Texas. As for most of us, your first trail race and first ultra, is one heck of a learning opportunity.

After overcoming projectile vomiting and “this is the dumbest thing I have ever done”, Sydney learned from this experience and the subsequent trail finishes up through the 100 mile distance.

After a couple friends planted the seed of trying to get into UTMB, a 168 km along the Mont Blanc mountain range that guides runners through France, Switzerland, and Italy – all three were packing their bags to lace them up with 2400 adventure seekers.


Credit: Chrisophe Lepage

Enjoy as we chat about Sydney’s early running days, first 100 miler, and her sights, sounds, and reflections from being one of 114 woman to finish the 2014 UTMB.

Simply press the Play button to stream below.

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Chat Notes

Credit: Chrisophe Lepage

The finish! (Credit: Chrisophe Lepage)

Running Background

  • The awkward moment that started Sydney’s running journey in 7th grade.
  • Playing in the triathlon world, and running her first trail race at the Sunmart 50km.
  • What Sydney enjoys about ultra running beyond the miles.
  • Pacing at the Leadville 100 and running her first 100 on those same trails the next year.
  • Sydney shares her simple, yet powerful approach to training and recovery.
  • An additional great tip for newbies entering the trail running world.

UTMB Adventure

  • Sydney shares the journey to get into the race.
  • The key part to her training to prepare for 168 km in the mountains of Europe.
  • The long required gear list and oddest item required.
  • Sydney shares the special pre-race vibe in the city of Chamonix.
  • Reflecting on The Sound of Music imagery everywhere.
  • The two biggest physical challenges and lessons learned.
  • Where Sydney redirected her mental focus during the final all-fours climb that was “soul crushingly hard”.
  • The final seven miles. Seeing her mother, boyfriend, friends, and the finish line.
  • What happened to Sydney’s running shoes at the finish?
  • Core tips to support your own UTMB or mountain running adventure.
  • Where is Sydney playing next?

Finish Video (by Fiance Michael Lambert)

Buzzin’ Quote

“Take your bad experiences as a learning opportunity.” – Sydney Pitt (Click to Tweet)

Books Mentioned

Films Mentioned

Sydney’s Featured Sponsor

Special thanks to Sydney for sharing with us.

And thank you for listening!

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David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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