Friday, April 27, 2012

Ultra Marathon, Lesson Learned...

24 Hour Run For Cancer Ultra Marathon

This would be my fourth Ultra marathon.  The difference this time is that I would not be running this event alone.  Some how I managed to talk five friends into running with me.  I’ve leaned so much about running in the 12 years I’ve been a distance runner, and I’ve learned a ton more about Ultra running since my first adventure down the extreme distance road.  I thought it would be interesting to discover what each of my friends learned during this event.

To generalize everyone’s thoughts into one statement, that one statement would be:

Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Jason:  I learned that heroes are all around us, I ran this race as a wonderful way to give back to the women who have gone through the pain and suffering cancer has caused.  A big shout out to Joyce Chapman, Pam Kloiber, Melissa Horton, Amy Carlin, Beverly Pitts, Kimberly Clemmens and my new friend Susan, running for you was an HONOR! Thinking back through the evening, I could have hydrated a bit more. With the temperature going down and the sun disappearing from the afternoon sky, I was not drinking as much as I should/could have.

Susan:  If less than 1% of the people ever complete a marathon, how few ever even attempt an Ultra?  Sharing this experience with friends, both those I have run with many times and those I got to know during this run made this a memorable event.  When I think about the fact that I ran my first half marathon (something I said I'd never do), less than a year ago, I remember I’m “unstoppable.

Lloyd:  I learned that even when the devil tries to get in your head and tell you to quit that you are stronger, and you can push through. I personally had a blast realizing that you shouldn't cut yourselves short, set a goal and don't stop until you get there. The devil is going to try to de-motivate you and take away our glory but GOD has already promised that we have won!

Kim:  I learned that surrounded with supportive people we would steer each other in the right direction.  Through this experience I have gained a friend, someone who truly cares about me and my well-being.  Kelly and I lived in synch for 24 hours…we ate the same things at the same time, we moved together whether it was walking/running or stretching, we even slept for the last few hours together.  We met incredible folks along the way; we noticed the sunrise, the bull frogs that sang to us each time we passed the creek, the beauty of the path we were on, how wonderful chicken tastes , the reflection of the moon on the lake…all because God blessed us with these things.  I also learned (again) how AWESOME God is.   Because God is AWESOME!  I told Him that if I had to carry Him (or anyone for that matter), I wouldn’t make it 50 feet, yet He carried me happily for 50 miles!

Kelly: It was an amazing challenge, and I'm so glad I was able to be a part of this!  I think I may lose two toe nails, lol, but other than that and a little join pain in my knee, I'm doing well. My muscles, however, are recovering remarkable well. I am so thankful for that!  Thanks again for allowing me to be part of the team, I can't say I enjoyed it, but I am definitely glad that I did it! :)

And what did I learn? That I will purchase a pair of Gaiters before my next trail race.  I can’t tell you how many little stones I had to wrestle out of my shoes.  I would get my shoes cleared and within a step or two I would have another rock in there.  I finally just decided to put up with them and I’m sure my adjusted foot strike is to blame for my blistered feet.  

I’ve run 9500 miles since 2000 and I came down with more blisters on this one run, then ALL of my previous miles/racing combined.  Their lasting impression will take me a few weeks to recover from.

The REAL lesson learned, running this event with friends, seeing them accomplish their goals…well that is what running and life is all about!  Some ran this event to win and some ran to best a previous distance goal, but this weekend realizing I had a lot of time in front of me I ran to be part of the community.  I enjoyed chatting on the trail and getting to know a few people along the way.  On top of my 75 miles, I met a fine gentlemen who has run 209 marathons, got to exchange pleasantries with two nice ladies who always gave me a big smile as I said hi when we passed.  I was able to run briefly behind a young son who came out to run a lap with his dad.  I shared one of the last laps of the night with Allie and her son Thomas as we both navigated the dark portions of the trail.  And finally I got to share my last lap with our race director, George.

The Headlines will read…Five people did 100 or more miles, 15 people did 75 or more, and 49 people did 50 or more! The men's winner brought home 113.75 miles with the women’s winner totaling 100 miles.  BUT truth be told…I WON, WE WON and if you were out there….YOU WON!


  1. How fun! I'm impressed you convinced so many friends who had never run an ultra to join you. It was great reading their take on it.

  2. Thanks...and a few said they are in for next year!