Why Candy Is an Essential Part of Ultramarathoner Courtney Dauwalter’s Diet

Ultramarathon runner Courtney Dauwalter is having a year for the record books, earning career-defining wins at the Western States 100 and the Tahoe 200. But how she got to the finish line is unusual. While most athletes follow a strict training plan, she likes to freestyle it.

“I figure it out as I go,” Dauwalter told FN. “I often head out the door with no idea of how many miles I’ll do.” Her diet is also far from standard, at least for an endurance athlete.

Dauwalter eats salads and grilled vegetables but often scarfs down burgers, candy and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, as well. “I call it a ‘normal person’s diet.’ I don’t know if it’s typical, but it’s delicious,” she said. “Not putting limitations on [my diet] makes life more enjoyable; it keeps my body happy.”

Dauwalter, however, is picky about her trail-running shoes. The Salomon Sense Ride is her everyday pick, and the brand’s Ultra Pro is her choice for more cushioning. (She wore the latter during her Tahoe 200 women’s record-breaking performance in September.)

Next up, she’ll compete in the Big Backyard Ultra in Bell Buckle, Tenn., on Oct. 20 and the 24-hour Desert Solstice race in Phoenix on Dec. 8.

Aside from races, Dauwalter shared some fun facts about herself with FN.

Best Place to Eat in Golden, Colo.:

“Any of the breweries with food trucks.”

If I Could Hang Out With a Celebrity:

“I would love to meet Ellen Degeneres.”

An Athlete I Admire:

“Jessie Diggins — she’s a cross-country skier.”

Music I Like to Run to:

“Michael Jackson and Prince.”

Favorite Candy:

“Jelly Belly jelly beans. Juicy pear, if you want to get really specific.”

Least-Favorite Candy:

“I don’t know if there is one.”

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