ABOUT RYAN CLIFFORD
Previous Ultras & Long Distance Runs
The Adventure Never Stops
6 Hour Birthday (10/17/21): 6 Hour Trail - 52.68M - 1st Place
Ocean to Sound (09/26/21): 50M Road - 5:39:23 - 1st Place
ADK 46 Peaks (08/27/21): 166 Mile Trail - 4 days 22 hours 36 minutes
END SURE (03/20/21): 100k Trail - 8:11:59 - 1st Place
Desert Solstice Track Invitational (12/12/20): 100 Mile Track - 13:11:34 - 2nd Place
Solo Run Across Long Island (07/07/20): 131 Mile Road - 21:47:52
END TRAILS (10/27/19): 12 Hour Trail - 75M - 1st Place
Cayuga Trail (06/01/19): 50 Mile Trail - 7:51:41 - 4th Place
Ryan Clifford is a semi-professional ultramarathon runner with years of experience as an athlete and coach.
He graduated from Minot State University (MSU) with two Master's Degrees in Sports Management & Business Management (2021) with a 4.0 GPA. While at MSU, Clifford served as a Graduate Assistant Cross Country/Track & Field Coach, specializing in Men’s and Women’s distance running. Additionally, he was the team’s academic advisor.
Clifford saw a great amount of success while coaching. He was integral in guiding Freshman Whitney Hanson to All-NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) honors in cross country, which marked the first All-Conference honor in program history. He also assisted in 10 DII era school records, one All-Time School record (Whitney Hanson in 800m), and 59 Division II era top-10 performances (25 in cross country and 34 in track and field).
Prior to his time at Minot, Clifford competed for 4 years as a collegiate athlete at Mansfield University (Mansfield, PA) as a distance runner in both the Cross Country and Track & Field programs. While there, he saw unprecedented success as an All-PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) runner in 2017 and 2018, All-Region Honoree in 2017 and 2018, and a NCAA national qualifier in 2018 for Cross Country. He was also a two-time All-PSAC runner in 2018 in both the 3K and 5K. He was a 3-time All-PSAC runner in the spring of 2019 (5K and 10K) and was the PSAC 3K Steeplechase Champion (2019). Clifford was named a member of the PSAC Spring Top 10 for his athletic and academic successes (2019). The Mansfield Mountaineers Athletic Department also named Clifford as the Athlete of the Year for the Fall and Winter seasons 3 times, as well as the Scholar Athlete of the Year, 2 years in a row.
Beyond his impressive college athletic career, Clifford also graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Graphic Design. Clifford finished with a 3.8 GPA (consistently on the Dean’s List) all while balancing his responsibilities as a Head Resident Assistant and Resident Assistant at the University for 3 years.
Immediately following his undergraduate studies, Clifford jumped right into his dreams of ultra-marathon running, completing the Cayuga Trails 50 Miler, in June 2019 in just under 8 hours. The course climbed nearly 8,000' of elevation in 50 miles with temperatures reaching the 80’s, causing many of the top competitors to drop out. Clifford managed to finish 4th at the USATF Trail Championships, despite the hills and weather conditions.
He then decided to try his hand at the END TRAILS 12 Hour Race (Turtle Hook State Park, North Dakota) in October 2019. Despite the 22 degree average temperatures, Clifford managed to accumulate 80 miles, completely self-supported. He won the event by multiple laps.
END TRAILS, is what gave Clifford the final boost in confidence necessary to attempt his solo run across Long Island. Clifford successfully completed the 131 mile run from Montauk to Brooklyn and in doing so raised over $14,000 for the John Theissen Children’s Foundation (JTCF). This was a key driver in completing the run, as Clifford has provided over a decade of support to the JTCF amongst other local non-profit and charity groups, including, the Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout), Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island, and Island Harvest Food Bank. This echoed the fact that, while COVID made planning this event more challenging it gained even greater momentum from the local community, desperate for safe and positive engagement during such troubling times. In reflection, this run in particular will linger with Clifford as a personal and communal milestone in his athletic career and life.
The Desert Solstice Track Invitational was Clifford's first attempt at a 24 hour run. He went into the race also aiming to PR in the 100 mile distance. Clifford took the lead 40 miles into the race against a stacked field. A faster than planned start, led to issues mid-race, causing Clifford to slow down for miles 64-70 of the course. He rallied and found a second wind soon after. Ultimately, he closed out the last 30 miles even faster than his first 30. Clifford finished at 100 miles, placing second at the 100 mile event and securing the 5th fastest 100 mile run in the United States that year (2020).
Previously doing END TRAILS, Clifford set out to run the partner foot race hosted by END Racing (END SURE). Clifford's Crew Chief, Cody Oher, flew out to North Dakota to lend support. Major focus points in this event were to hone in on appropriate nutrition and hydration techniques for future events. Oher, having previously crewed for Clifford, took on the task of fine-tuning the appropriate food and drink regiment necessary for long-term success. Despite, the relentless wind conditions and sandy terrain, Clifford gained confidence in his diet, powered through, and earned 1st place. He was able to finish more than an hour and a half ahead of the next competitor and established a new course record.
Building off previous success, Clifford wanted to take on the task of training for multi-day trail ultras. As a result, he set his sights on the ADK 46 High Peak Challenge. Over the course of 4 days, 22 hours, and 36 minutes he managed to run 166.11 miles and gained over 62,043 feet of elevation as he traversed all 46 peaks. Clifford learned a great deal during the event, including long-term footcare/blister treatment, remote planning/logistics, and multi-day race sleep scheduling. This was without a doubt Clifford's best management of nutrition & hydration, and brought with it other invaluable learnings that have strengthened his confidence in what will work for future events. Beyond nutrition, medical, and logistics Clifford also recognized the immeasurable strength of a strong support crew. During ADK he was aided by Cody Oher (Crew Chief), John Clifford (Crew & Pacer), and Matt Wilber (Pacer). While ADK was an unforgettable challenge, it has further prepared and motivated Clifford for the extreme ultras yet to come.
Simply, put Ryan Clifford is an exemplary athlete, scholar, philanthropist, and person. His goal is to further pursue his athletic career, coach, own and operate his own business, and continue to spread his passion for running, charity, and living life to the fullest. Join Ryan in supporting his many adventures yet to come!