August 16, 2019 Article

What My Trial Practice Taught Me about Ultramarathon Running

The skills I learned from trial and trial preparation taught what I needed to survive my race training and run.

By Ashley B. Campbell

Around mile 95, I stared at my feet through blurry eyes and dirty glasses. My brightly patterned running shoes were unrecognizable under the layers of mud. “You can’t sit down,” echoed the friend running 20 steps ahead of me. I panted, steadied myself, and directed my focus to each discrete step, each foothold in the slogging technical ascent. I knew that at the top of this portion, the course would merge onto a gentle logging trail that would provide a respite from the harsh terrain. There, I could stretch my legs and run to my cheering crew to start on the final leg of the race.

I am a litigator who officially became an ultramarathoner on June 1, 2019.

An ultramarathon (or “ultra”) is defined as any race longer than the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. This ultra, the Infinitus, extended over 100 miles and 14,000 vertical feet as it looped through the Vermont mountains. Fewer than half of the athletes who started the race would finish it within the 48 hours allotted.

You, dear reader, might have some questions. Why would anyone do this? Why is this in the American Bar Association news? What does it have to do with the practice of law?

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now