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Ultra runner podcast thrives on beer

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Scotty (above) and Eric (below, left) are the hosts of Ultra Runner Podcast

The hosts of Ultra Runner Podcast might have a lot less to talk about if it wasn’t for beer.

“Beer can be blamed for many of my race registrations,” said Eric Schranz, who co-hosts with Scotty Sandow. “I signed up for whaaat?”

Beer is not only a common theme on the shows, the hosts also provide in-depth craft beer reviews along with a comprehensive list of their guests’ favorite beers.

“It’s the one non-piece of running gear that unites us and we enjoy sharing with others,”  said Scotty.

In this Q+A, the hosts talk about their PR beer, their favorite guests, and how using the right beer glass is like choosing the right shoes.

What are your beer runner credentials (how are you into craft beer and a healthy, active lifestyle)?

(ERIC) I enjoy beer as much as I enjoy running. When the two are combined, my level of happiness is dangerous.

(SCOTTY) Running long distance on trail burns a ton of calories, so it is easy to justify drinking a craft beer after all of the hard running and healthy eating. Beer is full of empty calories so you’d better make the beer you drink count.

How did you get into podcasting? How would you describe your episodes?

(SCOTTY) I had been producing a popular morning talk show for over a decade when I was approached to start a podcast about ultra running. I leapt at the opportunity. Our podcast focuses on ultrarunning, any distance over a marathon (26.2 miles), usually 50k, 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile distances, sometimes more. We interview elite athletes to the back of the pack runner, from the veteran to the total noob. I like that we appeal to such a wide array of people interested in doing the less than ordinary.

(ERIC) I’d never listenened to a podcast before jumping behind the mic and I’ve learned a LOT in these two years. Our episodes are designed to be listened to on a run, as well as replicate a conversation you might have on a run…wandering, personal, but with a sense of humor.

How did you get the idea to review beers as part of the podcast?

(ERIC) The magnetic draw between MUT running and good beer is one that I will not interfere with. Seriously, I’ve got a horrible memory and this allows me to write down my reviews of beer and keep them in one place for future use. It’s also convenient having beer as a business expense.

(SCOTTY) For what ever cosmic reason, ultra running and beer drinking go hand in hand. People who run ultras generally do not do it for the glory, there is very little fanfare and you may never see our sport on the news. Craft beer seems to be the reward we seek out at the end of pushing our own endurance, something to savor as you reflect with your friends about the experience, and it just tastes so damn good! It only seemed fitting that we incorporate beer into the podcast.

What has been the highlight of the podcast’s history for you?

(SCOTTY) We’ve interviewed some very remarkable people; Marshall Ulrich, Catra Corbett, Scott Jurek, Jenn Shelton, Chalie Engle and Hal Koerner, to name a few. Names of people you probably do not recognize, but within the ultra community, these people have achieved so much, leaving our sport in a better place than they found it. Kami Semick’s story about a bear hissing, yes, hissing at her during the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, one our sports most prestigious races. She was a few miles from finishing the race when a bear started to hiss at her and kept her from advancing on the trail.

(ERIC) I’d say the interview with Mike “The Fruitarian” Arnstein. A listener recommended we speak with him and we took a shot in the dark. I’d read about him before (he’s an elite 100 miler who eats nothing but fruit), but the energy and dynamicism you get from speaking with him is incredible. He somehow convinced me to eat nothing but fruit for a week. I made it 36 hours before weird things happened in the bathroom. Let’s leave it at that.

What have you been most proud of with the podcast?

(SCOTTY) The occasional email we get from a runner who says they never thought they could run an ultra but stumbled upon our podcast and were able to use us as a reference tool to get them to the finish. I still shake my head and smile.

(ERIC) Ditto. Emails we get and meeting listeners in person who say that it was our show that got them on the trails, to the finish line, etc. Amazing.

What’s your go-to beer after a long training run?

(ERIC) Depends on time of year, weather, do I have proper glassware, etc. Overall I’d go with a Lagunitas Sucks or some other Strong American Ale.

(SCOTTY) Lagunitas IPA. For me, its a perfect balance of hoppiness and drinkability. Some times you just want a nice long swig of beer, its hard to pull that off with a stout.

Do you have a go-to beer after a PR or big accomplishment?

(ERIC) I’m on a sour kick right now, so I’ll treat myself to a $15 bomber of some exotic Flemish Red or wild ale.

(SCOTTY) I will store a Pliny the Elder in the back of the fridge for after a big race and I will only use drink out of my Blood, Sweat and Beers 3rd place finisher’s pint glass after a race.

What are your goals for 2013?

(ERIC) I’d like to have a strong finish at Lake Sonoma 50, then feel good about finishing Bryce Canyon 100. We’ve also got a run planned around the release of Pliny the Younger in a couple of weeks that will be a highlight.

(SCOTTY) To finish my first 100 miler, San Diego 100, and finish my first glass of Pliny the Younger.

What advice do you have for other beer runners?

(ERIC) Expand your horizons! Also, use proper glassware…it makes a difference! Would you wear spikes during a marathon? Trail shoes on the track? Don’t drink a Belgian out of a pint glass!

(SCOTTY) Run different trails, drink different beer.

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