Barry Dana is an Ultra Runner and former Chief of the Penobscot Nation currently based in Solon, ME.
I was introduced to Barry after reading an article in Downeast Magazine detailing his numerous adventure runs through the 100 Mile Wilderness, which you might recognize as the last section of the Appalachian trail before the northern terminus at Mount Katahdin.
In this conversation, Barry and I talk about his upbringing on the Penobscot Reservation, how his nation's history influenced his entry into trail and ultra running, the Katahdin 100 event, his experiences in the 100 Mile Wilderness, his thoughts on the Appalachian Trail, environmentalism in the trail running community, politics, and more.
- (1:00) - background
- (4:10) - Katahdin 100
- (5:48) - pre-contact Penobscot world
- (8:42) - the role of trail and ultra running in the culture
- (10:50) - the significance of Andrew Sockalexis
- (13:10) - role as Penobscot nation chief
- (15:44) - pinpointing when and how he got into ultras
- (19:26) - 100 Mile Wilderness
- (25:43) - the meaning of the word "sagama"
- (30:14) - making gear and food
- (33:39) - Mount Katahdin, AT FKT controversies
- (44:51) - other thoughts on the Appalachian Trail
- (48:52) - land back initiatives
- (53:42) - national parks discussion
- (56:06) - the value of formal events versus personal vision quests
- (61:06) - environmentalism discussion, flying
- (72:32) - thoughts on being politically active
- (79:16) - miscellaneous questions
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