In 2020, only 23% of ultrarunners identified as female, which was a steady increase from previous years, but still an incredibly low percentage. In an effort to help increase female participation in ultrarunning, the Trailblazers Ultra Project was created. With the support of coaches, running brands, and most importantly, a community, we hope to help a team of women/non-binary runners reach the finish line of their first ultramarathon to pave the way for many races to come.
Applications for the next team will open in early 2024.
Click here to sign-up to be notified!
How does it work?
HOW YOU QUALIFY TO APPLY
1. Complete a 13 mile run or race (on road or trail) within 2 months of applying
Shared via a race result or a Strava file
2. Have yet to complete an ultramarathon
WHAT YOU GET
Customized 20 wk 50k training program + 2x/wk strength program
Including: warm up, cool down, core, and foam rolling routines
Optional add on: personalized injury prevention routine
Race entry to McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50k
Customized team racing jersey
Team live coaching calls 2x/month
Unlimited messaging with coaches & group support within the team app
Expert workshops from a Registered Dietitian and Sports Psychologist
Optional add on: 1:1 support sessions
Authentic camaraderie & empowering inspiration from other runners that is not limited by geography.
App based team messaging, forum and support
Product support from The Feed and discounted InsideTracker packages
The inaugural Barrier Breakers Ultra Team will run the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50k on December 2nd, 2023 in Fountain Hills, AZ.
The McDowell Mountain 50k is perfect for beginner trail runners. It is on a looped course with around 2,900 ft of elevation gain and is run mostly on non-technical, smooth single-track trail.
1) The Trailblazers Ultra Project application opens early 2024. The team is limited to 20 athletes. We will consider runners based on their spot on the application list. Those that applied earlier will have first consideration.
2) Training starts mid-July! Run and strength programming is customized for the group, with the option to add-on a personalized injury prevention routine.
3) The team & coaches will meet 2 x/month via Google Meet to discuss training & learn from experts in the field of sports psychology and nutrition.
4) On race day, we meet in Arizona! We will meet for a run, dinner & pre-race chat the day before, as well as for warm ups and prep before the race. Coaches will be on the course to cheer!
Meet the Coaches
Dr. Asher Henry, PT, CSCS
Coach Asher's philosophy centers on whole-hearted, authentic support that empowers athletes through simple but effective evidence-backed strength and injury prevention routines. Coach Asher has a passion for breaking down gender barriers to movement & is absolutely thrilled to be part of this project.
Asher is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach as well as Run Coach for Dasher Personalized Running. She was a 4xAll-American and completed her first ultra in 2021.
Coach Jessica's philosophy uses science-based approaches while supporting the athlete holistically by promoting longevity in sport and kindness towards self. Jessica aims to help make trail running more inclusive to underrepresented groups by helping them feel welcomed in the sport to able to reach their fullest potential.
Jessica is a certified ultrarunning and endurance coach through UESCA and 80/20 Endurance. She co-led a women's running club in college, is a local leader for Trail Sisters, and is on the Coaches of Color Initiative advisory board. Jessica completed her first ultra in 2018.
Do I need to run a certain pace to apply?
Nope! The only qualification to apply is a half marathon run (on own or in a race, road or trail) within 2 months of applying - can be shared via a race result or a Strava file.
Is travel and lodging included?
No, travel and lodging are not included for race weekend. However, we will find an opportunity to discuss lodging plans with the team so planning can be coordinated between athletes if they choose.
Am I required to be at all team video meetings?
No. We hope that you can come to team meetings to virtually hangout with your teammates and ask questions, but meetings will be recorded incase you can't make it. Questions can also be taken beforehand if you can't make it.