Sunday, December 25, 2011

Runner Profile Elaine Stypula-

I aspire to be like Elaine. How about  you? What are your hopes, dreams and goals?
Elaine Stypula-
By Andrew Harding

"Winning the lotto for Western States set the stage for her to enter the Grand Slam of Ultra Running: Western States, Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch.

Elaine was the first female from Michigan to finish the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, and the 34th female slammer since its 1986 inception. Her accomplishment is even more notable since she did it as a single mother of 3 girls: twin 16 year olds and an 18 year old attending college, in addition to holding down a demanding job as a lawyer.

Elaine has not been involved with ultrarunning very long. Her first ultra run was just about two and a half years ago with the 2009 Rocky Raccoon 50 miler. Elaine wanted a new challenge after completing 10 Ironman triathlons and over 30 marathons. She also liked the adventure and learning associated with running outside in different venues throughout the country.

Elaine showed her determination and endurance three years ago when she was attempting to qualify for the Boston marathon. After missing the 3:50 qualifying time by a few minutes at the Detroit Free Press marathon and the New York marathon, she came right back and ran the Philadelphia marathon under the required 3:50 mark- three marathons within five weeks to accomplish her goal.

Elaine showed the ability to do tough races back to back within a short time. Leona Divide followed one week later by the Miwok 100K. She demonstrated her tenacity with Ironman Lake Placid, her fifth, one week after completing the Vermont 100. At the Vermont 100, Elaine set a 100 miler PR (just over 22 hours), was first in her age group and fourth female overall. Her time was the best she had ever had at Lake Placid.

Elaine does all of her races without a support crew and had pacers in only two of the races (Leadville and Western States). She also overcome some physical problems during the year, which included severe stomach discomfort that required a gluten free diet, and pleurisy, that she developed at the Leadville race. She was only able to do two short runs between Leadville and Wasatch.

She had very fast aid station transition times, was very smart with her calorie/salt/electrolyte intake during the races, and was able to come on strong in the second half of all the races. In addition to being very discipline about her training and diet, she as smart enough to seek out advice from qualified experts.

Only two weeks after completing the Slam, Elaine emailed me, "Do you know what race you are doing next? I signed up for Rocky again. But I am already itching to do something new."


  1. Elaine is going to do the brazil 135 ultra this year !!

  2. She's the best, you should do an update