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Mark Tanaka
Mark Tanaka

Mark Tanaka

Discipline: Mountain RunningĀ® Team


Although the pain of pushing myself to the limits in and out of competition is usually very rewarding, I will always more enjoy the intrinsic value of running on trails, whether in remote wilderness or just near my home (I am fortunate to live in one of the more scenically endowed corners of our precious planet). Running has provided me not only with a necessary release valve for the stress of my job, but a way to recenter and connect with the core of my being. As a social bonus, the ultra running community is full of friendly, interesting, and amazing people. Of all activities in which to passionately immerse oneself, running long distances on beautiful trails has to be one of the best. I LOVE THIS!



1. Since being pulled from the top of Mt. Diablo at mile 43 in my first very hot, unshaded 50 miler in 2003, completing 150-180 ultras (depending on how and which you count) and almost 60 races of 100 miles or longer, without a DNF.
2. Despite not being uber-talented, several 1st place finishes; more than those, my two dead last place finishes.
3. Making it through the demands of medical school education, internship and residency training, and 14 years working more than full time as an attending emergency physician, without going too crazy.
4. Several years living abroad, living well below the poverty line, doing full-time stipended quasi-volunteer work, and/or not having a clear path for my life or career.
5. Helping my awesome wife raise my two kids, who are much cooler and better adjusted than I was at twice their ages.
6. Not letting my accomplishments blind me to how lucky I have been to have the opportunities I have enjoyed to get where I am now. We are all connected-- live with gratitude, tolerance and compassion.
7. La Sportiva Mountain Running® Team Ambassador since 2008. What an amazing and inspiring group of people are my teammates. The shoes and gear are the best. I am definitely hoping you can find me on this website for at least another 10 years!

Banner photo: © Let's Wander Photography

La Sportiva Mountain Running