#FeatureFriday – Ryan Chukuske


Ryan Chukuske comes to the Booneville Backroads Ultra from Madison Lake, MN! This will be his first year competing at the Backroads. Ryan will be taking on the 100k, his 9th ultra race!

1) How long have you been running?

I started running in 2007 and ran my first race (a small triathlon) in 2008.

2) Do you remember the moment your first felt “like a runner”?

I think it was the moment I realized that I ran over three miles without stopping to walk.

3) What is your favorite race distance? Why?

This is a great question, and I think I have to go with either the marathon or 50K. I like the challenge of the marathon for speed purposes. But I like the 50K because many of them take place on trails, and I love trail running.

4) What first intrigued you about ultra running?

The challenge of the distances and learning to discover my personal limits. There is a sense of freedom that comes with the ultra.

5) How many marathons and/or ultras have you run?

I have run about 30 marathons and 8 ultras.

6) What has been your biggest running success to date?

Winning the Savage 100 mile in 2014.

7) What keeps you motivated?

I feel a sense of unfinished business and running seems to be the only logical path to finding purpose. I also enjoy motivating others to find joy in life.

8) What is your favorite food to eat while training and/or racing?

Grilled cheese sandwiches and Clif bars.

9) What is your favorite post race meal?

Big burger, fries, and craft beer.

10) What is one piece of advice you would share with other runners?

Remember that it’s about the journey.

11) When you aren’t running, how do you enjoy spending your time?

When am I not running? Kidding of course…mostly. I enjoy spending time traveling with my wife, going to baseball games, reading comic books, and catching up on television shows.

12) Anything else you would like to share?

I have had the honor to share my stories with others through two published books, “100 Miles of Thought: Finding Success through Failure” and “Into the Darkness: A Runner’s Revenge.”  Sharing my journey and motivating others to achieve personal success has been an amazing experience, and I hope to continue getting the opportunity to do this.

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