Events: Masters ultra running
Perhaps it was the thrill of the overall womens win in her first ultra, the USATFs Pacific Associations 50 km along Sacramentos Garden Highway in 1976, that has kept masters ultrarunning pioneer, Ruth Anderson running ultras for 25 years. But it was the combination of her ultrarunning accomplishments and her tireless dedication to the development and recognition of the sport that inspired USA Track & Field in the 1980s to establish and name the annual womens ultrarunner of the year award after her. Anderson even has a 100 km race named after her. In addition to running ultras, she contributes to the sport as an advisor to the MUT Running Council offering the benefit of her quarter-century national-class ultra experience, has managed the Womens 100 km Team, and regularly competes at a variety of World Association of Masters annual events.
Anderson has showed her competitive champion character from the start of her "late-blooming" ultra career that she began at age 46. She quickly progressed through ultradistance races and ran her first USATF 50-mile ultra championship race in 1980 in Houston, winning the womens division overall in a stunning time of 7:10:58 although she was competing in the 50-54 age-group.
Among Andersons most memorable USATF Ultra Championship experiences was her 50 to 54 age-group win on a 50 km trail course alone the Skyline National Trail in the East Bay Hills above her home in Oakland, CA. She is encouraged to compete in championship races by the medals awarded to masters runners in 5-year age-groups. "To be a National Champion is particularly rewarding for us in the older age groups, and show the possibilities to achieve recognition into our 70s, 80s, and even 90s," says the always motivated Anderson.