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Running Longer Distances: Dianthe Skurko Part 2

Running Longer Distances Dianthe Skunk How It All Started
Dianthe Skurko
Year started: 1993
Next race: April 26-27, 2024 / Canyons Endurance 100M / Auburn, CA
Favorite gear:

Hoka SpeedGoats, Orange Mud Sleeves

In Part 1 of Dianthe’s story we learned about how her running experience evolved from her start in 1993. Dianthe told us about her start in trail running, her highs and lows as well as the transformative moments in her journey. From those early days to running longer distances, we learn more about how Dianthe has transformed her outlook over time.

A Trail Running Mecca

When I moved to the redwoods in 2009, my running changed. Outside my front door I have 500 acres of private trails that I run almost daily. I have 5 state parks within 15 minutes of my house, not to mention the many miles of trails throughout the great Bay Area. The Mid Peninsula Open Space system from the South Bay to SF is one that I have run nearly every trail on. I have the maps to prove it 😁. The goals I make on a yearly basis must keep things exciting. This does just that for me. Last year my goal was to do 520,000 ft of vert (and I did), while this year my goal is to beat that (I’m ahead of my goal). I love to climb so I’ll keep this number as high as I can for as long as I can. 


I became a CA State Park Wilderness Patrol volunteer in 2016 and I put in about 400 hours a year on the trails as a volunteer in Santa Cruz County. This mostly consists of me doing my regular runs but stopping to ask hikers if they need help with directions. I also suggest a view spot, point out gigantic trees people might not know about, find lost hikers, report fallen trees, and handle any dangerous things I encounter. I make it my goal to be the friendliest, happiest, and most helpful runner people meet on the trails because I’m certain my enthusiasm for the trails will become theirs. 

Relays and Races

I did peek my head into the race world between 2011 and 2014. I ran Hood to Coast 3 or 4 times and was so put off with phrases used in that race such as “road kill” (how many runners a person passes) or “getting chicked” (males upset that a female has passed them) that I quickly stepped away from that scene. I’ve run a few 50Ks and enjoy running longer distances but I don’t really enjoy racing. I’m not a competitive person. I’ve always been delighted to volunteer at races, especially if I can be the course marker or the sweeper.

Running Longer Distances

In the last 10 years I’ve been running longer distances on my own but I realize that it’s easier to do this with the support that races offer. I’ve run over a dozen Ragnar Trail races with my running crew, some being ultras. I’m a huge fan of the Broken Arrow at Palisades Tahoe and have run that 3 years in a row. This year I ran the Triple Crown and came in 3rd in my age group. I ran the Canyons Endurance 100K this year on my 55th birthday and came in 2nd female in my age group. Hmmm…it seems I am competitive after all.

I had the opportunity to volunteer at Western States this year, happily jumping in with the incredible crew at Red Star Ridge and having a blast helping the runners on their adventure.

What’s next

I’m running Canyons Endurance 100M in 2024. I really want to experience that distance on those trails and obviously I’d like my shot at Western States. I’m looking at a couple 200 milers and I’m certain I’ll be adding that to my list soon.