Mark Hammond


Cottonwood Heights, UT





Mark’s passion for mountain athletics began at 14 when his brother introduced him to rock climbing. That’s when he started spending most of his free time in the mountains. At age 18, Mark started backcountry skiing and eventually discovered a knack for cardio endurance sports, founding ski touring to be an extremely fun way to build fitness with little risk of injury. 

Although he did some occasional running throughout his youth, Mark didn't become serious about it until his late twenties. He says his running career really began one day in 2013 when I took a walk around his office parking lot during a lunch break. That walk turned into a jog, and soon into daily lunchtime runs. Later that year, Mark entered his first ultramarathon, the Speedgoat 50k. A few months later, he did the Run Rabbit Run 100 and distinctly remembers thinking he’d never run another ultra as he grinded through the final miles.  

Of course, the next day he was already thinking of doing another one! Since then, Mark has been obsessed with getting faster and learning all the nuances of the sport. He truly loves the sport as a way to explore both the world and himself. Mark is particularly fond of 100 milers because he enjoys races that fill the entire day with running. 

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  • 3rd place at Western States in 2017 and 2018 

  • Ranked 5th best North American ultrarunner in 2017, 8th best in 2018, and 8th best in 2019 by Ultrarunning Magazine 

  • 23 ultramarathon wins 

  • 8 other podium finishes 

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How fast do you think you could run a backwards mile?
Maybe 7-minute, but it wouldn’t be pretty! 
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What is one of your most memorable non-competition runs?

I once did a solo run across the Grand Canyon at night. It was a remarkably peaceful experience. 

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If you had to pick one race or event this year that you anticipate will be your most proud achievement or moment, which one would it be and why? Do you have a special connection?

I have a goal to finish Western States in under 15 hours this year. I’ve finished it in 15:36 so I feel sub-15 is doable.  

Western States is special to me because it’s where I had my breakout run in 2017. The community and history of that race continue to bring me back. 

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What is your favorite event to watch that you don’t participate in?

The 100-meter dash. 

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Do you have any quirky running habits?

Yes, I run ultras! 



Eat a slice of pizza mid-race or drink a milkshake?


Run on an empty stomach or a full bladder? 

Empty stomach. It’s amazing how long we can run on just body fat for fuel.

Do a beer mile or a milk mile?

Milk mile.

Run in the freezing cold or the sweltering heat?

Freezing cold. It’s much easier to warm up than cool off while running. 

Be met at the finish line with your favorite beverage or favorite meal?

Favorite beverage (chocolate milk!). 

Come across a snake or a rat on your run?


Run with a blister on your foot or a cramp in your side?


Give up core work or stretching and still stay injury-free?

Stretching. Thankfully rock climbing accomplishes both for me! 

Run uphill in the first half of your run or the second?