Mark Tanaka

Age: 43, Years running: 30, Hometown: Castro Valley, CA, Favorite product: WILDCAT


What are some of your lifetime running goals?

to continue to run lots of ultras, while still being a great dad and husband. would be cool to get 100 100-milers under my belt, and to be able to finish ultras into my 70's.

Do you have a claim to fame?

I suspect I'm one of the few, if not the only, person to finish first and last in a 100-mile race.

Do you have any vices?

I sometimes covet others' race schedules, but for someone with my job and two small kids, I think I do pretty well. Post-long-run gluttony, though given how skinny I am, probably not a vice.

What makes you tick as a runner and in the real world?

sometimes competition and camrederie, but more often just chances to escape the stresses of civilization or eat a lot of yummy food

What drives you to run?

Exercise withdrawal feels too awful, and swimming laps gets boring pretty fast.

What is your favorite movie?

I no longer have the leisure to pick favorites independently my kids' current tastes, which last week included "Up."

Do you have any nicknames? Explain:

Also dictated by my two young kids, sometimes inappropriate.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?

about 50 hours to drive to and finish the 2009 McNaughton 150 mile trail run. This does not answer the question of Why? Why, I ask, do I do stuff like that?

If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?

DC, the unrepresented non-state, in the center of it all, yet outside the box. Dakota Tanaka has a ring to it, but that's two states.

What did you have for lunch yesterday?

leftovers. cooked by my wife. still yummy.

If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?

all of the above, then everyone starts dancing

What really scares you about trail running?

something happening so I could no longer do it

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?

Another False Summit

Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?

I like where I am (the Bay Area), but could use a bigger house with another bedroom and a real yard. Living at high altitude would help me overcome my trail running Achilles heel.

What’s your worst encounter on the trail?

whole body cramping causing me to fall onto and writhe on the ground for several minutes at mile 68 of the 2008 Rio del Lago 100 mile trail run