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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Peterson

Coach Manu Tackles Cocodona Ultramarathon

On May 6th through the 11th, Peak Run Performance Coach, Manuela "Manu" Vilaseca, will be toeing the line at the 4th edition of the Cocodona 250, brought to you by Aravaipa Running. Cocodona 250 is a single-push, multi-day ultramarathon that starts in Black Canyon City, Arizona and ascends the rugged, mountainous terrain north to the city of Flagstaff, Arizona. The course can be desolate and challenging with several mountain passes to conquer, but offers beautiful vistas, glorious sunrises and sunsets and a race atmosphere filled with excitement, passion and dedication to what this sport is all about. This event can present a challenge for many, as they take on a race distance that is intimidating to say the least. Two hundred and fifty miles is a somewhat newer race distance offered around the world where it leaves many distance runners intrigued with curiosity and wondering if they have what it takes in terms of physical and mental capacity to successfully complete this event in one piece, not to mention before the 125-hour cutoff (just over 5 days).



Coach Manu, who hails from Brazil and resides in Catalonia, is a very accomplished trail and ultra runner with vast experience with many styles of racing, including adventure racing, triathlon, stage racing and various ultramarathon distances. Manu initially began at Peak Run Performance as an athlete in 2016 and then onboarded as an additional coach over 5 years ago, as her dedication to learning, perspective of training philosophies and mastery of the sport greatly expanded. It was evident that Manu could connect with other athletes and share her experience and knowledge to assist others to reaching their goals. Along with her experience, Coach Manu has many accolades to her name, including two top 10 finishes at the infamous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in Europe. Manu has also completed many Ultra Trail World Tour races in the past with wins, podium finishes and course records. Manu seeks adventure, beautiful and challenging places and works to push her limits in a variety of different ways. So here she is, approaching her new challenge, her first attempt at a 200+ mile ultra event.

Some words from Manu about her upcoming race:

"Training for Cocodona has been a crazy journey of highs and lows since the beginning. The truth is that from the moment my participation was confirmed until now, not much time has gone by. On top of that I got a knee injury which left me with nothing but the option of cross training (cycling, strength, yoga and hiking). But every cloud has a silver lining and I think that it might have kept me from overtraining. My head was positive all the time and I refused to give up. Now my knee feels good again and I feel like the happiest person on the planet. I don't have to run, I get to run. The feeling of freedom I experience in each step I run is unique. I think that anyone coming back from injury can relate to this. I feel blessed and fortunate with the opportunity that lies ahead of me and I can't wait to start. Will my preparation be enough in order for me to complete the 250 miles in time? I do not know, but we will see - but I'm definitely ready to give it a shot."



Join us at Peak Run Performance in wishing Coach Manu the best of luck, the ability to run with joy and to be present in each moment to find the depths of her abilities as she gets quality time across the pond in the Arizona desert pushing her limits!

In celebration of Coach Manu and her dedication to the sport, her attention to detail and her passion for sharing her knowledge with others, we are opening 3 NEW COACHING SPOTS on her roster! Coach Manu is a very accomplished athlete and experienced coach with a diverse array of training methods which have allowed her to maintain longevity in the sport and assist others in doing so as well. Manu approaches each athlete from a holistic perspective and provides a wealth of information on the benefits of adding cross training, strength and agility training and activities to promote mobility by incorporating her expertise in yoga.

However, be mindful that with Manu's international travel and multi-day race ahead of her, she will not be fully available for onboarding of new athletes until mid-May.

Reach out to so our additional Peak Run Performance team members can assist you getting onto her schedule in the meantime!


Coach Brittany Nike Peak Run Performance Ultrarunner

Brittany Peterson is a Running Coach at Peak Run Performance and a professional trail and ultra runner with the Nike Trail team. She has had several wins in key races throughout the world and has been a 3-time finisher at the Western States Endurance Run, with 2 of her 3 results being in the top 5. She comes from a history of track and field and road marathon running as well and loves coaching athletes of all ages, abilities, in all terrains and with any goal in mind.

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