Saturday, March 21, 2020

Mike Smith: How to survive running 150 Hundred Milers!!!

Mike Smith is a 62 year old ultra runner who has completed 150 Hundred Milers, countless more ultra's and somewhere around 230 marathons! He's completed a marathon in all 50 states and one on every continent. And he shows no signs of slowing down either (well maybe a few less races this year due to COVID-19)! This year he finished the HURT 100 with only 5 seconds to spare! 

Listen to find out how he became an ultra marathon runner and how he keeps up a crazy race schedule without injuries! 

Mike isn't on social media so you will have to find him at one of the many races he does throughout the year :)




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Sunday, December 15, 2019

James Varner: RD of Rainshadow Running, Hardrock Vet, and a life of adventures!

James Varner grew up near the Appalachian mountains on the East Coast. His love of mountains eventually brought him out to the West Coast where he started Rainshadow Running - A series of over 12 ultra running races in Washington and Oregon. His races are hard, scenic, fun, and sell out very fast! James has been running ultras for over 18 years and is a 5 time (maybe more) Hardrock finisher.

In this podcast he talks about life growing up on the east coast, hiking the Appalachian trail, what made him move to the West Coast and the exciting way he got there. How he got into ultra marathon running and starting Rainshadow Running. We also talk about what's up next for James and what's exciting him these days! 

Follow James:

Instagram: @jamesvarner77 and @rainshadowrunning

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Kerry Ward: Living life at full tilt

Kerry Ward is an ultra adventurer who lives his life at "Full Tilt". He's been running ultras since 2008 and has completed distances upwards of 240 miles. Kerry has a famous YouTube channel called FullTiltWard where he films and documents many of his travel adventures and running races. Go on a journey with him through the Tahoe 200, Moab 240, Everest base camp, Burning Man ultra, Climbing Cotopaxi and much more. 


In this episode we dive into his Kerry's childhood growing up in Michigan, living in LA, the dance and acro scene, clubbing with Hugh Hefner and dancing with Bette Midler, how to make the most of your airport layovers, living life to the fullest, why he films/documents his adventures and of course --> ultra running. 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Shanda Hill: The first Canadian to finish the Double Deca Triathlon

Shanda Hill is an endurance athlete who lives in Vernon, British Columbia. She recently became the first Canadian and 3rd female ever to complete a Double Deca Triathlon. This involves a 76k pool swim, 3600k bike, 844k run. In this episode I interview Shanda about her training and lead up to the race and how each stage of the race played out. We talk about some of the adversity she faced and what kept her going mentally. 

To learn more about Shanda, including her traumatic brain injury and journey to becoming an ultra endurance athlete check out Episode #2 of the Journey to Ultra Podcast

Follow Shanda on IG: @shandahillultraathlete

Shanda's FB page: Shanda Hill Ultra Athlete

Follow the podcast on IG: @Journeytoultrapodcast

Follow me on IG: @nicola.gildersleeve


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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Claire Johnstone: It's the shit we Under Go that helps us grow

Claire is an actor and voice over artist who also happens to enjoy spending all of her spare time outside. Her favourite hobby is to run silly distances in incredibly scenic locations with her two dogs and a handful of crazy friends. When she’s not running, you can find her on a mountain bike, rock, skis, kiteboard, paraglider or stuffing her face with plants. She is also the host of the UnderGo Podcast.

In this episode we dive into being raised by a single mom and growing up with 3 sisters in Northern Quebec, how she got into acting and sports at a young age, how she initially used running to combat insomnia and anxiety, overcoming an eating disorder, getting into triathlon and Ironmans, ultras, her first 100 miler, all the crazy activities she enjoys (paragliding, kite boarding, mountain biking, skiing), and love! 

Follow Claire on IG @runlikethewild or @undergopodcast

Follow Claire's Podcast Under Go

Follow the show on IG: @Journeytoultrapodcast

Follow me on IG: @nicola.gildersleeve

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Jennifer Pharr Davis: The Pursuit of Endurance

Jennifer Pharr Davis is a hiker, author, speaker and National Geographic Adventurer of the year who has covered over 14,000 miles of long distance hiking on 6 different continents. 

In 2011, Jennifer covered the 2185 mile Appalachian Trail (AT) in 46 days, 11 hrs and 20 minutes and she became the first women to set an overall record. She received the ultra runner performance of the year award for this feat. 

In this interview we talk about growing up on the AT, playing sports, and transitioning into the world of endurance sports (running, ironman, ultras). At the age of 21, Jen had a feeling that she just couldn't shake and knew she had to go hike the AT...solo...without any backpacking experience. Little did she know this experience would change her life and set her life on an entirely new trajectory. We discuss hiking while pregnant and with small children, working through adversity on the trail, how she got her trail name and so much more! 


Check out Jen's website

Check out the Blue Ridge Hiking Company 

Follow Jen on IG: @jenpharrdavis

Follow Blue Ridge Hiking Co on IG: @blueridgehikingco


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Follow us on IG: @journeytoultrapodcast

Follow me on IG: @nicola.gildersleeve

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Nicola Gildersleeve (your host!): My interview on the Trail Running Women Podcast

This is an interview I did with Hilary Spires, the host of The Trail Running Women Podcast. She recorded me about my journey in life and in running. In this episode we talk about my early days growing up as an athlete, how my parents influenced/help to develop my skills, playing varsity basketball at Cap U, walking onto the UBC track and field/Cross country team, a subclinical eating disorder I developed while in college, becoming an ultra runner, my 13 years of running and racing and life beyond running. 

Follow Hilary @Hilsport55

Follow me @nicola.gildersleeve

Follow the podcast @journeytoultrapodcast

Check out my blog! 

If you have a guest you'd like to see on the show email me at


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