"I don't have a coach, I don't have a training plan, it's a team effort" – new film chronicles Courtney Dauwalter's inspiring journey to ultrarunning victory

US trailer Courtney Dauwalter celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the 20th edition of The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
Watch the ultra runner's unprecedented triple crown victory (Image credit: JEFF PACHOUD / Contributor)

In 2023, ultra runner Courtney Dauwalter became the first person to win the Western States, Hardrock 100 and UTMB in the same year. Now, you can follow every step she took in her trail running shoes in a brand new documentary from Salomon. 

The 15-minute film titled A Team Sport chronicles Dauwalter's historic feat through the mountains of California, Colorado and the Alps.

"It was a crazy summer for sure," says Dauwalter of her astonishing victory at three of the world's hardest hundred milers. The summer saw her setting a new course record at the Hardrock in her home state of Colorado a mere three weeks after pulling off the same achievement at Western States. 

"Almost immediately I felt zapped. Every minute was like the slow tick of the clock," reveals the Colorado-based runner, who trains in the high altitude zone around Leadville where she lives.

After finishing the race in 26:14:12, Dauwalter says she sat on the couch for a while, ate a lot of burgers and ice cream, then went back out on the trail "just a little shake out jog."

When she returned from that jog, she signed up for the UTMB, and in August, she won. She didn't set a course record at that race, but she already holds it from her 2021 effort around Mont Blanc.

Many elite runners are bolstered by the support of trainers, private chefs and nutritionists, but Dauwalter is best-known for taking a more relatable approach entailing burritos, baggy trail running shorts and beer.

"I don't have a coach, I don't have a training plan, it's entirely a team effort."

She does, however, have her husband, engineer Kevin Schmidt, who it's clear from the film plays a major role in supporting her every punishing step of the way, no matter how difficult that may be.

"It's important for me to separate being crew versus being a husband, because as a husband I'd probably want her to not do some of the things she does," muses Schmidt.

But what he provides in terms of logistics and support seems to be exactly what Dauwalter needs.

"The calm atmosphere full of positivity is perfect," she says of Schmidt's presence and attitude. 

The documentary showcases Dauwalter's inspiring approach to ultra running, from the time she spends in the pain cave to brushing her teeth mid-way through the UTMB ("it just gives you the feeling of being a human for a minute."). Even those who think they don't care about ultra running can't help but get caught up in this unprecedented feat and will be ready to cheer Dauwalter on this week at the Hardrock 100.

A Team Sport by Salomon is available to watch now at TV Courtney, with an official debut tonight on YouTube at 8 p.m. central time.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.