Podcast: Episode 151: Ride and Run: the long history of horses and humans running trails, with Courtney Krueger and Susie Kramer


Riding and Running on trails is more connected than you know!  The Western States 100 originally was a horse race, not a running race.  And this year Susie Kramer did both, with one of the fastest combined times ever.  With a broken toe, after her horse stepped on it.

"I guess some scar tissue had formed, so the pain wasn't too bad."

Yeah, endurance horse riders are tough.

Susie just did the "Double" - the Tevis Cup and WS100 in the same year, with the fastest ever combined time for Women, while also being the oldest ever (56) Doubler for both Women and Men.  The last year that a woman had done the Double was Dana Lundy in 2009; the last time for a man was in 2010, Drew Buechler.

Ride and Tie is a very tactical and exciting race, always on trails at least 20 miles long, with two runners alternating riding one horse ... got that?  Courtney will explain it!

"My 14 year old daughter said, 'Dad, if you will learn to ride a horse, I will start running and we can be a team.' When your daughter says that, there is only one answer!"

This is NOT like riding a bicycle - these are dynamic teamwork events with a human and horse, both of whom have minds of their own.  As Courtney describes Coda:

"He can't stand to be behind another horse. It's like, 'You decide how fast you want to go; trot, canter, gallop, doesn't matter, because I'm going to pass you."

"It's like he trained the other horses - they would move to the side when we came up, whether their rider reigned them over or not."

Courtney goes first in this Episode, describing the strategic intricacies of Ride and Tie, and we note many of the top ultra runners of the era who also were Ride and Tie competitors.

Susie is next, who describes why she thinks riding the Tevis Cup is harder than the running the WS100.

This episode is sponsored by Speedland

Speedland is a brand new shoe company, founded by two longtime designers from Puma, Nike, and Under Armour. Their debut shoe is the SL:PDX, likened more to a piece of equipment than to a shoe. It is trail footwear made from the most premium components available today.

Listen to this trail-runner-wish-list:

  • It’s the first shoe ever to feature BOA’s Li2 Fit System, dual dials with multi-directional incremental dialing for a perfect fit.
  • The midsole uses a new formulation of Pebax foam for ultimate energy return.
  • Then there’s a Carbitex carbon-fiber plate with asymmetrical flex – stiff in one direction, flexible in the other.
  • Finishing it off, the SL:PDX uses a Michelin wrap outsole with a customizable lug pattern that can be adjusted for any terrain.

When we say it’s all there, it’s all there. Plus, Speedland gives back 10% of all profits to outdoor organizations chosen by their athletes, and once the shoe reaches the end of its lifecycle, you can send it back where it will be disassembled and recycled.

Check out the Speedland SL:PDX over at runspeedland.com and follow them on Instagram at @runspeedland. Drop them a note if you have any questions.

Full CV

Courtney Krueger

  • Age: 54
  • City: Chattanooga, TN
  • Occupation: Pastor of a Presbyterian Church
  • Family: Wife Lea of 32 years, son David 28 years old, daughter Sarah 24 years old
  • Sports Highlights - - - 
    • I got into Ride and Tie in 2011 when my then 14 year old daughter told me, "Dad, if you will learn to ride a horse, I will start running and we can be a team."  I had only been on a horse once or twice before then (I was 43 at the time).
    • This year, ten years later, I crossed over my 2,000th competitive Ride and Tie mile.  I have been a Ride and Tie National Points champion six times.  One year on a Man/Woman team with a friend Carrie Baris and five years on a man-man team with my brother-in-law Mark Landers.  
    • I am on the National Ride and Tie Board of Directors
  • Social Media - - -
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtney.krueger.54

Susie Kramer

  • Age: 56
  • City: Peoria, AZ
  • Occupation: Retired Dental Hygienist and Fitness Instructor
  • Family: son Gunnar 20
  • Sports Highlights - - - 
    • Ten 100 mile ultras
    • One 200 mile ultra (Big Foot 200 2017)
    • One Ironman Triathlon
    • 2205 Endurance Miles
    • One of four women to do both WSER 100 and Tevis Cup in the same year
    • Top 10 finish at Tevis 2021
    • Oldest Female Finisher at WSER 100 this year
  • Social Media - - -
    • Facebook: Susie Kramer
    • 'Gram:@susiekramer
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