Samples of Articles

As a contributing editor and columnist at Trail RunnerI write regularly for the magazine and blog. Here are a few articles showing the variety of my articles’ topics, format and style. (Scroll down for examples of UltraRunnerPodcast.com episodes I co-hosted and recommend.)

“I had the privilege of working with Sarah on many of her articles for Trail Runner magazine during my time as Associate Editor there. She is an exceptionally talented writer with a knack for generating wonderful, human-interest story ideas and seeing them through. Having met Sarah in person as well, I can say that her friendliness, warmth and ability to connect with others has no doubt helped establish her as an inspiring figure and knowledgeable authority in the trail-running community. Sarah’s work ethic, sense of responsibility and attention to detail are much appreciated, too!”Yitka Winn

“Sarah Lavender Smith has long been one of trail running’s finest and most insightful writers, and her first book, The Trail Runner’s Companion, ties everything together for all trail runners, from newbies to veterans and all abilities in between. “ – John Trent, longtime ultrarunner, race director, Western States Endurance Run board member and award-winning sportswriter

“Three Strategies to Finish Fast In Your Next Trail Race”: A coaching column with advice on how to be “a closer” in a challenging trail race. (August 2017)

“How to Know Mid-Ultra Whether to Tough It Out or Quit”: This article for the UK site RunUltra opens with first-person narrative and gives advice on whether to drop out or persist in an ultramarathon. (June 2017)

“Mountain Outpost: The Jackass of Ultrarunning”: Profile of the guys behind an irreverent and informative YouTube hit show. (April 2017)

“A Trail Runner’s Resolutions”: Humorous column on six habits to break for the new year. (Jan. 2017)

“How My Trail Running Got Its Groove Back”: My column on trying something completely different—a “shimmy pop” urban dance class. (April 2017)

“Five Ways to Know if a Stage Race Is For You”: Back-to-back long runs plus camping make for an unforgettable ultra experience. But it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy it. (March 2017)

“Avoid the Crew Snafu”: How to assemble the right crew to run your best ultramarathon and avoid a DNF. (Feb. 2017)

“Is Running a Threat to Your Relationship?” This in-depth feature combines first-person writing with interviews from couples and counselors to recognize and resolve conflict over one partner’s passion for running. (June 2015)

Ellie Greenwood in Trail Runner injury article
“The Injury Games” feature on coping with the psychological impacts of long-term running-related injuries. (Oct. 2014)

From War and Addiction to a 100K: One Soldier’s Rebirth as a Trail Runner,” an in-depth profile of a veteran with PTSD and substance abuse who attempts an extremely challenging ultramarathon. (April 2016)

“Math On the Run”: How it feels to make major calculations in a high-stakes 100-mile race on the way to reaching a goal. (Oct. 2016)

“The Ultra of Lotteries,” a first-person column on the long odds and high tension at the Western States Endurance Run lottery (Apr. 2016)

“You’ve Run a Long Way, Baby,” my column about striving to be a better role model to my daughter than my mother was to me. (June 2016)

Reality Check,” first-person essay on running the Grand to Grand Ultra—an extreme lifestyle challenge as well as test of endurance. (Feb. 2015)

“The Man Behind Ultramarathon Man,” cover story profiling Dean Karnazes and how he became the biggest celebrity in the sport (Jan. 2012)

“Friends for Miles,” first-person column about a “long-running” friendship through life’s milestones with my pacer (January 2016)

“What Makes a Trail Run”: First-person essay about persevering through a 24-hour event on a flat one-mile loop course while contemplating trail running and observing the day in the life of a place (Oct. 2015)

“What Every Trail Runner Should Know About Iron Deficiency,” a health article explaining nutritional imbalances and other factors that can cause anemia (Aug. 2015)

“A Trail-Running Treasure Hunt”: A first-person introduction to the sport of “rogaine” (Rugged Organized Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance) experienced in New Zealand (Feb. 2015)

tech on trails illustration
“Tech Revolution,” an in-depth feature examining how social media and tech gadgets are changing the sport of trail running for better—and in some cases, for worse (April 2014)

my van and trail running shoes
“Van Of My Dreams,” first-person humorous essay and an example of the “Last Gasp” column I write for Trail Runner every other issue (Aug. 2014)

“No Mountains, No Problem”: how to train for trails in the heart of a city (Dec. 2015)

“From Top Model to Top Ultrarunner,” profile of Italian athlete and former model Michele Graglia and his personal transformation (Aug. 2014)

“The Journey of ‘Kiwi Paul'”: Profile of ultrarunner and race director Paul Charteris of New Zealand, who overcame many setbacks to finish his race, the Tarawera 100K, in 2015; published on iRunFar.com (June 2015)

eldrith profile
“Smile Away the Miles,” profile of 71-year-old 100-mile runner Eldrith Gosney (Jan. 2013)

“Feeling Frozen,” a training feature filled with anecdotes and advice about how endurance athletes can prevent pre-hypothermia in extreme conditions (Nov. 2015)

Grand to Grand Ultra sand dunes
“Stage Fright,” first-person feature on running a wild 167 miles in North America’s first self-supported desert-crossing stage race. (Jan. 2013)

Samples of Episodes for UltraRunnerPodcast.com

I’m a contributor to this program, and these are a few favorite episodes I co-hosted with UltraRunnerPodcast founder Eric Schranz:

“Sarah’s Mauna to Mauna Ultra Report”: Eric interviews me about training for and racing the inaugural self-supported, 155-mile Mauna to Mauna stage race in Hawaii, which featured extreme weather and terrain.

“Sarah’s Western States Report”: Eric interviews me about racing the 2016 Western States 100-mile Endurance Run and the drama of trying to break 24 hours.

“Blake Wood Interview”: We talk to veteran ultramarathoner and 20-time Hardrock 100 finisher Blake Wood about the Hardrock lottery, his recent sub-3-hour marathon and how to achieve longevity in the sport.

“Eric Schranz’s Himalayan 100”: I interview Eric about the ups and downs of his first stage race, which took him on an unforgettable trip through India.

Liza Howard
“Liza Howard Interview”: We talk to the course-record-setter at the Umstead 100 about running through-and post-pregnancy, adapting to training with kids, wilderness survival, beer, coaching, and running camps.

Hal Koerner
“Hal Koerner Interview”: With a new book on the shelves, an infant at home, races to direct, and a running store, we pick his brain about training, being “Mr. Happy”, beer, obstacle courses, and the book.

“Skiing the Hardrock” Jason Schlarb interview: Ultrarunner Schlarb, along with two skimo champs and a filmmaker, took on Colorado’s Hard-rock 100-mile Endurance Run during wintertime. We talk to him about his harrowing adventure and banter about my memorable race.

“Stevie Kremer Interview”: We meet an up-and-coming mountain runner from Colorado and find out how she balances running with her profession (teaching) and her other hobby (skimo). We also talk about my win at my first 24-hour race.

Dakota Jones
“Dakota Jones Interview”: We talk to Dakota talk about Hardrock, racing overseas, RD’ing, running at the back of the pack, and what else? Literature and beer!

michele graglia in G2G
“Michele Graglia Interview”: Take a charming Italian guy from the Riviera who happens to be a top underwear model, introduce him to ultrarunning, and see what happens, right? Meet Michele (Mickey) Graglia.

jen benna
“Jen Benna Interview”: We talk to Jen about her comeback from 2014’s birth of her second child, breast pumping while running, training for ultras, epic fails on the trails, and how she’s dealing with caring for her very sick girl.

Sarah Lavender Smith at Grand to Grand Ultra 2012
“Sarah Lavender Smith interview”: UltraRunnerPodcast.com interviewed me in late 2012 after I ran and survived the extreme challenge of the inaugural Grand to Grand Ultra stage race, finishing among the top women and top 10 overall.

eric and sarah
“2014 Year in Review”: Eric and I talk with guest Tropical John Medinger about the notable trends, performances and athletes on the mountain/ultra/trail scene in 2014 and make predications about the coming year. And, we laugh a lot!

“Mike Foote Interview”: We talk to Mike about his epic 600-mile, 23-day expedition with Mike Wolfe to traverse a region called “The Crown of the Continent,” from Montana to Canada.

“John Trent Interview”: We interview the president of the Western States Endurance Run board about his history as an ultrarunner, the future of the sport, as well as the history and future of the ultimate 100-miler.

John Burton ultrarunner

“John Burton Interview”: Despite being freezing cold, shattering a finger, freaking out about passing one of his heroes and dropping his pacer, John came in at a very respectable 30 hours on the challenging course. How’d he do it?

“2015 Year in Review with Karl Hoagland”: Eric and I talk with guest Karl Hoagland, the publisher of UltraRunning Magazine, about the notable trends, performances and athletes on the mountain/ultra/trail scene in 2015.

Ian Sharman on UltraRunnerPodcast
“Ian Sharman Interview 2014”: Coach Ian Sharman on Skyrunning, dealing with his injury, running races in costume and more.

“Matt Fitzgerald Interview”: Matt is a well-respected endurance athlete, author and sports nutritionist. His new book, How Bad Do You Want It, delves into sports psychology. This interview is full of advice on “mental fitness” as well as nutrition.

“Amelia Boone Interview”: A champion in the sport of obstacle course racing, Amelia Boone crossed over to ultrarunning in a big way with a second-place finish at the 2016 Sean O’Brien 100K that earned her entry to Western States 100. We talk to her about what it’s like to be such a bad-ass ultrarunning corporate attorney.

Samples of Travel Writing

Here are some examples of travel pieces I wrote for other blogs and publications. On my Runner’s Trip blog, I also post features and guides to destinations.

“Alaska Up Close and Active: A Family Tour of the Kenai Peninsula,” featured post for Ciao Bambino website (April 2014)

“The Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Long-Term Family Travel,” my advice based on planning extended round-the-world family travel, published on almostfearless.com (April 2010)

running in UK South Downs
“Rolling Around in England’s South Downs,” feature on trail running in the UK’s newest national park (June 2011)

GCEx raft thumbnail
An Ideal Summer Trip for Families: Rafting the Grand Canyon,” featured post for Ciao Bambino website (December 2014)

More Archived Articles on Health, Running and Parenting

mindful eating

“Every Bite You Take”: feature on how mindful eating can help you lose weight and make peace with food (Oakland Magazine Jan. 2009)

Trina for healthy living article

“The New You: 25 Ways to Reinvent Yourself Through Healthy Living,” cover story for Oakland Magazine (Jan. 2008).

Ann Trason racing WS100

“Ultrawoman,” a 1996 profile of ultrarunning legend and world record holder Ann Trason, published in the Berkeley Monthly newspaper. This is the first article I ever wrote about the sport.

Colly and Kyle on the road

“Camp Wishi,” a first-person parenting essay for the Berkeley Monthly written when my kids were  9 and 6. “This summer will be different. …” (July 2007)

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