"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace and then at the end, punish himself even more."
- Steve Prefontaine

What to Expect

  • The first rule of Sufferfest is everyone finishes Sufferfest!

  • "Transformingly Hard": It is called "Sufferfest" for a reason, these events are hard by design and are not for everyone. You are supposed to feel nervous committing to, training for, and taking part in a Sufferfest.

  • Self Reliance: Sufferfest is not a 5K/10/K/50K/triathlon race in that there are no aid stations, no one to tell you which direction to go, no sag wagon to pick you up if you fall behind, and there is no "winner".

  • Team Work: It is up to you and the rest of the Sufferfest crew to take care of each other, for example: sharing water/food, carrying someone's pack or towing anyone whom is have a hard time, going slower than you otherwise would so as not to leave someone to hike by themselves.


  • Size shoes with at least a full thumb width between your longest toe and the front of the shoe (this is likely much larger than you are used to wearing your shoes).

  • Wear the exact shoes you will be doing Sufferfest in for a 4+ hr hike prior to the Sufferfest to see where you get hot spots.

  • Consider lubing any of the spots that you had hot spots before the start of Sufferfest.

  • During Sufferfest, at the absolute first moment you feel a hot spot or rubbing, stop and deal with you foot problems (ie. lube, tape, change socks, put two socks on, modify shoe, all of the above).

  • While we are talking about lubing be sure to lube all body areas that chaff prior to start of Sufferfest.


  • Everyone needs different amounts of water.

  • It is up to you to know how much you need.

  • A good rule of thumb is if the event is in an arid place and you pass water, fill up every time.


  • A general rule of thumb is you need about 200 calories for each hour of hiking.

  • Never go more than 90 minutes without eating and try to eat each hour.

  • If someone you are hiking with starts slowing down and saying they don't feel good, make them eat (and drink) something.


  • The goal of Sufferfest to cover the distance for the event as fast as possible (generally without running though if guys want to run that is cool, too).

  • Covering distance quickly is accomplished in two ways: 1) moving quickly 2) minimal stopping.

  • We generally shoot for averaging 3mph or faster INCLUDING stops.

  • Sufferers are encourage to go at whatever is their fastest pace.

  • Figure out who is going to be traveling your speed and plan to move with them.

  • If you are not comfortable with being in the wilderness make sure you hang people who know what they are doing.

  • If you are moving slower than the group, it is your responsibility to give up your weight (pack) to someone willing to carry it (it is not fair to the group for you to slow them down and refuse to give up your pack).