Monday, September 14, 2009

Fast-packing is not an organized sport, but standards are being set. Catra Corbett, 44, of Fremont will run all day with a backpack, sleep where she drops, wake up and run some more. Her trail name is Dirt Diva and her results can be seen at

Why: It's more challenging than a 100-mile race because you have to carry everything with you. There are no awards or people waiting at a finish line to have a party like at a race. It's only you against the trail.

Greatest accomplishment: I hold the speed record for the double on the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney and back - 424 miles in 12 days, 4 hours, 57 minutes. On the Pacific Crest Trail (2,600 miles from Mexico to Canada, I was on pace to get the record but hurt my knee so I had to stop 600 miles short. I will be back.

Gear you can't live without: Injinji toe socks and Vasque Momenta trail-running shoes. I used to get bad blisters and now I don't.

Where you train: I live one mile from the Mission Peak trailhead to the Ohlone Wilderness.

Best time to train: If I'm going long, 6 a.m. I love being out that early and seeing the wildlife.

Most annoying thing people assume about athletes in your sport: That we should all be super skinny because we run 100 miles. Wrong. You need to be strong and have muscles.

Advice you'd give a rookie: Practice using your pack and your essential gear before you get out on the trail. Also practice eating your trail food because once you're out there, you're screwed.

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robert.blair said...


Thanks for this post. I like your answer to the "most annoying" comment the best, about most people assuming you have to be super skinny. "Wrong! You have to have muscles and be strong".

For somone like me who is not super skinny, and probably never will be, it was a nice thing to hear.

Are you up for a 7th 100 miler this year? How about the Chimera 100 miler near Lake Elsinore, CA., on 12/12/09?

The Chimera 100K alone has over 32,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. I can't wait to see how much elevation gain and loss they come up with when they finally formalize the route for this 100 miler, just added by the RD due to the cancellation earlier this year of the AC100.

Take care

Marsha said...

Very cool! What kind of pack do you use?

I use Injingi socks, but I still have to tape to avoid blisters.

Sparky said...

you're amazing & continue to be an inspiration!! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Catra, Once again you are amazing! We're so proud of you. Ruby joined cross country at her high school. The coach is awesome, she's having fun and she's making new friends! My art installation from BM will be at the Decompression on Indiana St. in San Francisco from noon until 10pm on Oct. 11. It would be great to see/run with you. I'll probably run long the day before or after. Kathy D.

Catra said...

Hey Kathy-
Thanks so much! :-) Ruby is badass and will do awesome!!! Darn I won't be here I'm doing Rim 2 rim 2 rim in the Grand Canyon with my roommate Jerry. We leave on the 8-12 :-( please let me know when you will be down again would love to see you.
Love you my little Firecracker friend :-)