Gordy Ainsleigh and Endurance Running: ‘The Man Who Lit the Sport on Fire’

A new mini-documentary from HOKA TV tells the story of Gordy Ainsleigh, who virtually invented endurance running in 1974.

When Gordy Ainsleigh decided to run a 100-mile course developed for horseback riding, it “was unthinkable,” according to a new documentary.

Ainsleigh had already completed the Western States Trail Ride multiple times when his horse went lame in 1974. Already known for his ability to run portions of the course, Ainsleigh decided to try the whole thing. It’s now a famous trail for endurance running, thanks to his trailblazing.

By finishing on foot, he became “the match that lit the sport on fire,” as one commentator put it.

Runtime: 3.5 minutes

Video: His First Race Was Against Horses, 40 Years Later He's Still Running
Video: His First Race Was Against Horses, 40 Years Later He's Still Running
In 1974, Gordy Ainsleigh competed against horses in a 100-mile run that gave birth to one of the most famous ultra races in the world. This video tells his story. Read more…

Andrew McLemore
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An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador, which he uses as a home base for adventures throughout the Americas. When he's not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he's hanging out with his dog Campana.

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