Penguin Speakers Bureau

Marshall Ulrich

Successful Entrepreneur, Ultrarunner, Mountaineer, and Motivational Speaker

Photo by David Brooks Photography


Marshall Ulrich has climbed Mount Everest, crossed Death Valley (on foot, in July) a record 22 times, completed the Seven Summits, finished more than 100 ultra-marathons averaging over 100 miles each, and is one of only three people in the world to have competed in all nine Eco-Challenge adventure races. He has raced, climbed, and traveled in Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Borneo, British Virgin Islands, Canada, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tibet, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

In the fall of 2008, Ulrich broke the masters’ and grand masters’ records for the fastest crossing of the United States on foot (and achieved the third-fastest crossing overall), running the 3,063 miles at the age of 57. He wrote the book Running on Empty (Penguin, 2011) about the experience, capturing the raw and fascinating intensity of an extraordinary physical and mental effort. Ultimately, the book is about relationships, good and bad, with friends and family; about America and some of its people, places, and history, including the history of ultrarunning. It’s also about defying the age barrier.

With Dreams in Action, Ulrich offers his services as a speaker, trainer, and guide, helping others prepare for and enjoy adventures of their own, regardless of their prior athletic experience. Ulrich holds a B.A. in Fine Arts and is an entrepreneur and successful businessman. Immediately after college, he started and developed a business with revenues ranging from $1 to over $1.5 million annually. He managed the business for twenty-five years and remains a stockholder in the corporation. He also owns and helps manage corporate farms in Colorado. Ulrich has raised over $850,000 for various charities, including the Religious Teachers Filippini, a small order of Sisters that promote the dignity of women and children in some of the poorest countries in the world, and here at home, by providing an education to those who previously had limited opportunities and choices in their lives.

Speaking Topics

  • Running on Empty

    In 2008 at the age of 57, Marshall Ulrich ran across the United States, completing the mind-bending and body-breaking equivalent of 117 back-to-back marathons in 52.5 days, running an average of more than 400 miles a week. Ulrich’s Running on Empty message and the metaphor of the run are universal, whether you’re an athlete or not. It’s about facing forward and taking the next step. It’s about not flinching when the road gets rough or you miss a turn, and about finding another way when the bridge you planned to cross has collapsed. It’s about goal setting and doing what you say you’ll do and not letting anything or anyone stop your progress. Ultimately, it is about facing the toughest challenges, enduring crushing setbacks, accepting friendship and love, and finding fulfillment.

  • Everest as a Model for Your Success

    Learn to manage your life more effectively! Successful businessman, ultrarunner, adventurer, and Seven Summits mountaineer Marshall Ulrich uses his climb of Mount Everest as a model to show you how to earn the results you desire. He discusses the need for enduring values, gaining the skills required for success, team building, managing change, and following through on the execution of your plan. Visually exciting and relevant to any business or university group, this presentation excites audiences and inspires them to climb higher in their own lives.

  • Journeys in Extremes Around the World

    World-class athlete Marshall Ulrich takes you from the cold thin air of Mount Everest to the heat of Death Valley, from the frozen ice of Antarctica to the sands of the Sahara, and from the frozen Iditarod trail to the stifling jungles of Borneo to show you that anyone can put their dreams in action. With images from around the world, including movie clips and dynamic photo transitions set to music, Ulrich highlights his accomplishments in ultrarunning, adventure racing, and mountaineering. Going deeper than just the accomplishments themselves, Marshall focuses on what drives him to succeed: Doing for others—inspiring every member of the audience to consider, “What will motivate you?” and “Where will you go to put your dreams in action?”

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More About This Speaker

Featured Book

Running on Empty

"A rare glimpse into the world of ultrarunning and into the life of a man who epitomizes his sport’s doctrine of never-say-quit."

– Ryan Hall, U.S.A. Olympic marathoner

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