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Be Your Own Hero : Ben Wasser’s Ultra Journey

Ben Wasser firmly believes that you have to be your own hero. This is his story.
Ben Wasser
Year started: 2023
Next race: Run Against Breast Cancer 13.1 NYC / February 10th 2024
Favorite gear:
  • Coros Pace 2
  • Brooks Glycerin 20

Ben Wasser is not your typical 17-year-old. While others his age may be focused on school, friends, or video games, Ben is pushing his body to the extreme as an ultrarunner. Despite his young age, Ben has set his sights on large ultra-distance challenges and is putting in the work to meet those challenges. Ben firmly believes if you work hard, you can be your own hero and the hero that you needed. This is his ultra journey. 

Passion for Endurance Sports 

Ben’s athletic journey began on the baseball, basketball and soccer fields of his youth. But it was after his first half marathon last summer that he discovered a passion for endurance sports. “I never thought I’d be able to do stuff like this,” he says, “but then you dedicate yourself and eventually you become one of those people that you never thought you could be.”

Inspired by Ultrarunning Legends

Inspired by ultrarunning legends like Courtney Dauwalter and David Goggins, Ben set the audacious goal of one day completing 100-mile races. Rather than taking the more gradual path of marathon training, he went straight to training for the 50K distance after his first half marathon. “I’ve never been a big road runner guy,” he explains. “I’ve always been a ‘go far, go slow’ type of guy.”


His First Ultramarathon 

Ben participated in his first ultramarathon, a 50K (31-mile) race. The miserable weather conditions challenged even the veteran runners. But Ben persevered through eight agonizing hours of wind, rain and ankle-deep puddles to cross the finish line, learning some hard lessons about race strategy and nutrition along the way.

Asian Heritage 

Ben’s Asian heritage makes him stand out among the mostly white field of competitors. Adopted from South Korea as a baby by Italian and Polish parents, he hopes to inspire other Asian American athletes as the sport grows. “You can’t have all one thing,” he says. “Hopefully that changes over the years as ultra running grows. I’m definitely excited to be part of that new generation.”

A New Generation

Now hooked on the ultrarunning community and lifestyle, Ben has set his sights on mastering 50K distances in 2024. He plans to run two more races this year, steadily increasing his weekly training mileage into the 50s. Looking ahead, he aims to step up to 50-mile and 100K races within a couple years. Given Ben’s rapid progress in the sport so far, it’s clear he possesses the discipline and determination to achieve these lofty goals. No matter what the coming years hold for Ben, his participation is sure to motivate a new generation of diverse runners to test the limits of human endurance. Ben continues to pass along a valuable lesson with his own journey: be your own hero.