Ultra Runner Phenomenon, Tyler Green, Re-enters the “Pain Cave”

By Charlie Norgaard

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Tyler Green.

Just last year, in 2017, Green crushed a 100k race titled the “Gorge Waterfalls 100k”, where he placed third amongst more than 200 talented runners, along with some of the nation’s record holding long distance racers. The 62 mile race took him over nine grueling hours, and after reaching a certain threshold, Green explained that he enters into a comfort zone, what he refers to as “The Pain Cave”, adding “Pain is a place for me to grow”.

Ultra running is an activity that 99.99% of individuals would avoid, however Green has the physical and mental strength to dominate the sport. In an average week of training, Green runs anywhere between 60 to 100 miles as part of his usual program, while on weekends he enjoys running a leisurely 20-30 miler in the cascades or around the Bend area.

Since last interviewing Green, he has been tirelessly training for future races and competitions. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, Green competed in a 100 miler in Colorado, a 75 miler in Italy, and ran a number of other ‘smaller’ races throughout the year. Being in peak shape, Green knew that it was time for him to conquer the Timberline trail once again, which he had previously run in 2015.

The first time he ran the 40 mile behemoth, his completion time clocked in at 7 hours and 28 minutes. His time had topped a number of previous runners who dared to run the Timberline Trail, but shortly thereafter, one of the nation’s top ultra runners, Max King, beat Green’s standing record a month later.

Being the competitive and fearless athlete that he is, Green refused to let King hold the record. He gathered the appropriate gear, studied the conditions, and marked his calendar for his record breaking day.

The Timberline Trail, being an especially technical run, was no question a challenge for Green, especially given that he took an unorthodox approach to the run. By starting at the lowest point of the trail, Green was tasked with covering 20 miles with a nearly 10,000 foot elevation gain within the first three hours. After several hours within the ‘Pain Cave’, Green finished the trail with a record breaking time of 6 hours, 10 minutes and 58 seconds.

There is also the fact that many of these mountainous, long distance runs offer the option to complete the run “supported” or “unsupported”. A supported run allows the runner to receive assistance with food and water throughout various points of the trail, while an unsupported runner is on their own for all water and sustenance. OES alumni, John Coffey, set the record Timberline Trail time at 6 hours and 24 minutes supported during a race in 1982, but Green successfully usurped Coffey’s throne with a faster run time, while also running it unsupported.

When it came to hydration, Green says that he couldn’t risk losing valuable time by taking a few minutes to filter water every other hour, so instead took the risk of drinking unfiltered water by dipping his bottle directly into mountain streams along the way.

With this incredible feat under Green’s belt, there is little doubt in my mind that he, along with Ryan Holland and Virna Darling, will lead our Cross Country and Track teams towards another successful year.

 

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