(Jackson, Wyo.) - I met with Grant Maughan yesterday right after he had done several laps of Snow King Mountain carrying a 65-pound pack, and he was cheery and upbeat... and ready to go at it again. Australian native Maughan calls Jackson his "adventure" home base. At 51-years-old, he completed eight ultramarathons of 100 miles or more in the last year and placed in some of the world's most intense ultra races "I originally came to Driggs because Lisa was my running coach," he said. "I would come to the mountains because it is good elevation with good vertical and good downhill. I would train here, travel to do a race and then come back and train again." His coach is Jackson ultra runner Lisa Smith-Batchen, who is currently training to run 3,100 miles from LA to NYC in 46 days
Maughan just started running endurance races three years ago, after working
for 30 years as a sea captain. He started coming to the area to train with
Smith-Batchen, but eventually made it his training base.
"I found that I just really like being here," he said. "It is perfect if
you are an endurance athlete. In this area -- in Jackson and the Teton
Valley -- the amount of endurance athletes is amazing, like world-class
Maughan returned to Jackson to train this week after placing second in the
Tuscobia race in northern Wisconsin. The 160-mile race is entirely
self-supported, so he ran the race while pulling 40 pounds of gear in a
sled, with temperatures dipping to below -30. Out of 25 runners, only four
finished the race and there have only been 15 people who have finished in
the history of the race.
Just a few days ago, Maughan and Smith-Batchen snowshoed from Wilson to the
top of Teton Pass, climbed Mt. Glory, ran down Glory and then ran back to
Wilson carrying a 65-pound pack. This is just one of his many intense
Jackson Hole workouts.
Next week, he will head to Argentina to climb Mt. Aconcagua, the highest
peak in South America. Six days after he climbs Mt. Aconcagua, he will run
the Iditarod in Alaska, a 130-mile race where he will have to drag a sled
carrying all of his gear. After that, he will come back to Jackson to
"This is such a fantastic part of the world, we don't have this type of
thing in Australia," said Maughan. "This is my adventure base."
You can follow Maughan's races at www.dingofishexpress.com.
*Feature Photo: Grant Maughan. h/t Grant Maughan / Pitchengine Communities*