Marshall Ulrich

Marshall Ulrich
Photo credits: Marshall Ulrich
Nationality: USA
Residence: Idaho Springs, CO, USA

The ultimate endurance athlete, Marshall Ulrich has run more than 120 ultra marathons averaging over 125 miles each, completed 12 expedition-length adventure races, and climbed the Seven Summits all on his first attempts. He is the only person in the world to complete the Triple Crown of Extreme Sports: world-class ultra runner, record-setting adventure racer, and Seven Summits mountaineer.

Knowing that his wife and mother of their newborn daughter was going to die of cancer, Marshall’s heart rate went through the roof. To release the pressure he started running.

It helped him through the rest of his life to deal with the loss of his wife, his personal challenges of being a parent, to rediscover how to love later in life, as well as to overcome a mountain of self-doubt and insecurity. But it also let him explore the world and set numerous records by climbing the Seven Summits, running across America and Death Valley.

Besides four times winning the Badwater Ultramarathon, Marshall has crossed Death Valley on foot in July 28 times, including a self-contained, unaided solo “quad” of nearly 600 miles.
He also completed the first-ever self-supported circumnavigation of Death Valley National Park, about 425 miles in one of the hottest, driest places on earth, during the most blistering month in U.S. history (July 2012).

“Doing these events just for me doesn’t make any sense, so this year I’m running in honor of my first wife, Jean, who passed away in 1981 at age 30 from invasive breast cancer,” Marshall explains. Before getting sick, Jean completed law school, passing the bar exam when she was eight months pregnant. After Jean’s passing, the JEAN SCHMID ULRICH ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUND was established at the University of Denver, her alma mater. Every year, an aspiring attorney is granted a scholarship. “We desperately need more honest, decent attorneys like Jean,” Marshall says.

He finished his first 5K in less than 20 minutes, and finished fifth in his first 50-miler in 1983. At his first 24 hour run, he won by covering over 122 miles. In 1989, he was the first person to complete all six 100-mile trail races, finishing top ten in all but one race.

He has ranked his record-setting transcontinental 52,5-day run of more than 3,000 miles from San Francisco to New York City as most challenging. It was the subject of his memoir, Running on Empty, where he also writes openly about his grief after the loss of his first wife.

Being in his sixties, Marshall inspires adventurers, active and armchair athletes, and a growing general audience by sharing his experiences and defying the ideas of “too far,” “too old,” and “not possible.”
“Discover what you’re made of; it’s more than you think!”

  • Record Holder – (Masters and Grand Masters) running 3,063 mile (117 marathons) across the USA, San Francisco to New York City – 52 days, 11 hours, and 58 minutes
  • Record Holder – running across Death Valley from Badwater (minus 282 feet) to the top of Mount Whitney (14,496 feet) covering 146 miles – 33 hours 54 minutes
  • Record Holder – four-time winner Badwater Ultra desert race – former record 26 hours 18 minutes
  • Record Holder – fifteen-time finisher Badwater 146, and a record 21 crossings of Death Valley
  • Record Holder – 133 mile south to north crossing of Death Valley Monument – 28 hours 01 minutes
  • Record Holder – first and only person to finish a self-contained, unaided, solo run pulling a 220- pound cart 146 miles from Badwater to the top of Mount Whitney – 77 hours 46 minutes
  • Record Holder – first and only person to complete Badwater Quad – 584 miles from Badwater to the top of Mount Whitney and back again, twice – over 10 days
  • Record Holder – 258 mile Run Across Ohio – 64 hours 09 minutes
  • Record Holder – three-time winner, 310 mile Run Across Colorado – 88 hours 14 minutes
  • Former Record Holder – first person to complete the Death Valley Cup finishing the Badwater Ultra in 33 hours 01 minutes plus the Furnace Creek 508 (508-mile bike ride through Death Valley) in 38 hours 31 minutes in the same summer – record time 71 hours and 32 minutes
  • Record Holder – only person to ever complete the Leadville Trail 100 run/Pikes Peak Marathon combination on the same weekend – total elapsed time 36 hours 34 minutes
  • Record Holder – only person to complete The Leadville Triple Crown – Leadville 100 mile bike, 100-mile run, and 100-mile kayak on consecutive weekends
  • Former Record Holder – first person to complete all 6 American 100-mile trail runs in one year – finishing in the top 10 in 5 of the 6 races
  • Silver Medalist – 24-hour National Championships 1988, 1990 – over 133 and 142 miles
  • Former Record Holder – 1992 and 1993 Colorado 24-hour champion and record holder
  • Fourteen Leadville Trail 100 Finishes – four top 10 finishes, and seven sub-24 hour buckles
  • Five Western States Finishes – all five sub-24 hour buckles
  • 4th Place American – Marathon Des Sables – Africa
  • 6th Place – Iditafoot 100 mile footrace – Alaska
  • 4 Deserts Races – Sahara Race 2005, Egypt, 28th place; Gobi March 2007, China, 3rd place team
  • Personal Bests:
    48 hrs: 202 miles
    24 hrs: 142 miles
    100 miles: 15:28hr
    50 miles: 6:19hr
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