Should Children Run Endurance Events?

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Every time I post a photo of the Redden kids on Facebook, I see the same type of comments: lots of admiration, some shock, some concern, and some downright anger.

Seth and Sabrina Redden are the proud parents of two unusual kids. Tajh (male, 11) and Teagan (female, 9) are both avid trail and ultra runners. Last year, Teagan ran her first 100K and 100-mile distance. She was nominated for the Arizona 2013 Rookie of the Year Award at mcdowellmountainman.com. Needless to say, her competitors were older than her by a large margin…as they usually are.

Team Redden is so mind-blowingly young and accomplished that Outside Magazine covered them in an article, The Art of Raising Young Ultrarunners.

View Teagan Redden’s race results.

Like the Redden kids’ Facebook page.

The debate as to whether children should be running endurance events rages on. However, it is not an entirely new concept. Children have been running marathons for a while now.

Data from the Twin Cities Marathon shows that between 1982 and 2005, 277 children have crossed the finish line ranging from ages 7 to 17 with finish times from 2:53 to 6:10.

Unfortunately, there is little scientific data on the effects of long distance running on children.

This topic intrigued us enough to chat with Seth and Sabrina Redden as well as a pediatrician on the Natural Running Network Podcast a couple of weeks ago. On the show, we discuss veganism for kids, thermoregulation in children, and a child’s eagerness to please his/her parents.

nevertooyoungtorun

Direct Podcast Link HERE

Here are some things that didn’t make it into the podcast:

Colby Weltland and Ed “The Jester” Ettinghausen

I had hoped to have child prodigy Colby Weltland on the show. Unfortunately, his family was traveling for a race and they were unavailable.

Colby is a 13 year old kid who has already finished several 100-mile races and aspires to be youngest Badwater finisher. I also spoke to his close family friend and pacer, Ed “The Jester”. An accomplished ultra runner, Ed has thousands of miles of experience and has mentored/paced Colby to most of his finishes.

When I asked for his insight, he wrote the following:

Just for more fodder on the subject, I know one of the concerns people have is that running at a young age will do physical and emotional harm to kids. My four kids have never run an ultra, but have run many marathons, running their first one at the ages of 8, 9, 11, and 14 (and that was because she’s a type 1 diabetic, otherwise she would have run her first one at an earlier age).

They’re all young adults now and are just fine, physically and emotionally. My 21-year-old daughter who was 8 at her first marathon just did the Disney World Half Marathon and works for Raw Threads a clothing company that specializes in running attire. She is a vendor at many of the big marathons and she still loves the running world.

I was told by many people that running a marathon at such an early age would damage her growth plates. I feel really bad now, because apparently it did stunt her growth–she’s only 5’11″!

And for me personally, although I didn’t run marathons as a kid, I did run my first two at the age of 17, and three more at the age of 18. Thirty-four years later I set three American age records: 200k, 24-hour, and 6-day, so I don’t think running long distances as a teen hurt me too much. Anyway, just thought I’d share that with you.

Oh, and one more family of young ultra runners. Brandon and Cameron Plate are from Oklahoma. They’re 12 and 13 and have both completed two 100+ mile races. Colby & I and the two of them ran together at Silverton 1,000 and ATY last year. You can find their stats on Ultrasignup as well.

Jester on . . .

Follow Colby’s blog.

Join the Run Jester Run Friends Facebook page.

Remember: There are many great programs out there like Girls on the Run and the 100 Mile Club that help introduce kids to the joy of running. They don’t have to run extreme distances to stay healthy and find a love for the outdoors.

You can check out our other running podcasts at the Natural Running Network HERE.

What are your thoughts? Should children be allowed to race ultras?
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You May Also Enjoy:

History of the Popularity of Ultrarunning From 1585 to 2010

How to Train Your Human to Run an Ultra

How to Train for Your First Ultramarathon

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Check out my book: The Summit Seeker

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Black Canyon Trail 100K Race Entry Giveaway

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Aravaipa Running is launching the inaugural Black Canyon 100K this winter, a trail point-to-point ultra from Spring Valley to New River, Arizona. They have generously offered up a free entry for a giveaway ($110 value).

The Coury brothers behind Aravaipa Running are well-known for organizing a series of exceptional races such as Across the Years and Javelina Jundred. Their events are must-dos for anyone who has not yet experienced some Coury magic (and for those who know it well!)

RACE STATS

Date: February 15, 2014
Terrain: Single track, non-motorized jeep trail, old stagecoach route
Start Location: Mayer High School, 17300 East Mule Deer Drive, Mayer, AZ
Finish Location: Emery Henderson Trailhead,  New River Road, 3.0 miles west of I-17

Perks:

  • Well-stocked aid stations every four to eight miles
  • Post-race food (soup, fresh fruit) & socializing

More Info
UltraSignUp Registration Link
Facebook Event Page

TO ENTER

Simply leave a comment below answering the following question:

“What mental trick(s) do you use to dig deep

when you are struggling on a run?”

For additional entries, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or anywhere else online. Each additional share = one extra entry. For example, if you comment below as well as share on Facebook and Twitter, that’s 3 entries. Remember to mention where you shared in the comments below.

The winner will be chosen at random on September 30th and contacted directly.

Good luck!
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You May Also Enjoy:

Across the Years 24 Hours Race Report

Javelina Jundred Race Report

Why We Need Nomads

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Check out my book: The Summit Seeker

7 Reasons You Think You Can’t Run an Ultra Marathon (When You Can)

Photo: Ice Spike

The thought of running an ultra marathon can be daunting. It’s a terribly long and intimidating distance. If you’re a newbie, you have no idea what to expect and ultra runners seem like super heroes. But many people have it in them to run an ultra. Once you desmystify a few key aspects, it’s a very achievable goal.

Here are a few key aspects of ultra running that are most commonly misunderstood, and may be preventing you from taking the plunge into the wonderful world of ultras.

1. Hills

The majority of trail ultras are hillier than your typical road marathon. They are always exceptions, but the one thing that can be intimidating is the elevation profile of some of these races. One common misconception is that ultra runners are actually running all of these hills. While some of them do, most of the runners do not.

One of the tricks to ultra running is to conserve energy as much as possible so you can endure to the end of the race. Running uphill tends to burn energy fast, so many runners find it’s more efficient to power walk uphill. The time you lose is minimal, but the energy you conserve is significant. And as far as exertion, it’s much easier than running uphill.

While a lot of ultra runners may appear to be mountain goats, hill training is hard for everyone. We all feel the same pain on a steep climb. Yet so many reach these breathtaking summits, and so can you.

2. Speed

Some runners believe that because they are not fast, they can’t compete in an ultra. But the ultra is more about endurance than speed. It’s also about troubleshooting problems and pushing yourself mentally. Yolanda Holder is a Guinness world record holder and has finished countless ultra marathons. Yet she has not run a single step.

Yolanda is a power walker, and even at her “slow” pace, she not only finishes these challenging events, but passes several runners. At an ultra, slow and steady finishes the race.

3. Distance

When you plot a 50K or any other ultra distance on a map, it seems “crazy”. But your perspective of distance changes at an ultra. Distances seem much shorter when you’re chatting with a friend (slow and steady means you’re not panting for breath). You can also break the mileage down by running from one aid station to the next. Aid stations are generally five to eight miles apart. It is a manageable distance that you can focus on, and you’ll be capable of more than you realize. Besides, if you’ve already run a marathon, a 50K is “only” five more miles.

4. Exertion

Unlike a 5K, 10K, or even a half marathon, you are not going all out as far as exertion when you run an ultra. As mentioned, the key is to preserve energy. Although it may feel like you’re going slow, this will pay off greatly in the later stages of the race and carry you to a strong finish. I actually find a 5K much harder on my body than a 50K. On a 5K, I am pushing hard. It’s a significant physical challenge. On an ultra, I am trying not to overexert myself. I am preserving energy. And it feels easier.

5. Terrain

If you’re used to road running, you may be familiar with a whole host of injuries that creep up over and over again. The pavement is unforgiving on a long distance runner. When I switched to trail ultra marathons, my recovery was significantly faster and the impact on my body was much less than a road marathon.

Some runner are hurting so badly after a road marathon that they can’t imagine running even longer. But the trail doesn’t hurt as much. I feel infinitely better after a trail 50K than after a road marathon. Not only is the ground less forceful, but you are also using a variety of muscles as your footfalls vary. Your pace also varies, and so does your gait. So when you’re finished, there is no one particular body part that is killing you. While I would spend days recovering after a road marathon, after a trail 50K I can run the next day.

6. Pain

The anticipation of pain can be scary. Again, if you’ve ever felt pain at a road marathon, you may imagine that going longer will hurt even worse. In the same way, if you’ve run a 50K, you may imagine that a 50 miler would hurt more, and a 100 miler would be infinitely painful. But the body doesn’t work that way.

Your body will hurt up to a point. After that it gets better and then bad again in waves, generally separated by several miles. Just as you hit a second wind during a marathon, during an ultra you will hit third, fourth, and even fifth wind, depending who far you’re going. Pain and exhaustion will be there, but not getting worse for the entire race.

7. Mind

While mental focus and willpower is important for all races, in order to finish an ultra, you have to want it. In many of my races, I have reached a point where I have enough excuses to drop out. I’m very sore, or my blisters are acting up, or I just threw up. Many runners experience these things, but those that finish are the ones that press on. An ultra is a race where you are likely to feel like quitting, and nobody would blame you for dropping out. So the only thing keeping you on the course is your own stubbornness and will to finish. Develop that irrational determination, and you will find success in ultra running.

Why Should You Even Try?

Ultra running may not be for everyone, but there is something life changing about finishing a goal that you didn’t think you could accomplish. Whether or not that is running an ultra, challenge yourself to take on that one thing you really want to do. Climb that mountain. Sign up for that race. And surprise yourself. You’re stronger than you think you are.

RELATED ARTICLES:

How to Train for Your First Ultra

7 Lies You Believe About Ultra Running

12 Things I Learned at My First 100K Race

Why You’re Not an Elite Runner (Yet)

12 Things I Learned At My First 100K Race

A few months ago I did something pretty silly and signed up for the Chimera 100 Miler, a race way out of my league. Instead of backing out, I decided to step up my training and have really enjoyed pushing past my old limits. Last weekend I ran the inaugural Cuyamaca 100K as training for Chimera and to catch any issues that I may need to troubleshoot before my 100 miler.

I’ve run one 100 miler at Rocky Road (much easier than Chimera), and DNF’d another attempt at Nanny Goat 100 (finished 55 miles). I’ve also run a 100K distance at a timed (one-mile loop) event, but Cuyamaca was my first trail 100K.

I finished in 15:42, a great time for me. Aside from some soreness and fatigue at the end, I did better than expected and really saw my training pay off. I’ve taken some time to celebrate a strong finish, and now comes the analysis of my progress and what I need to improve:

6 Things I Did Right

1. Handhelds for Hydration

For a few weeks now, I have been transitioning from a hydration pack, to carrying handhelds for hydration. There have been so many benefits in doing this that I’m working on a separate post about it. When I worry about running out of water, I carry a hydration pack with the bladder removed, and put an extra handheld bottle in it. So I’m always drinking from handhelds only.

For Cuyamaca 100K, I ran with only two handhelds. On the final loop, I carried an extra bottle in my pack but didn’t use it. The handhelds worked perfectly and I never ran out of water. The weather was also perfect and I never felt too hot, so that helped.

One tip I picked up for Gordy Ainsleigh is to carry juice concentrate in one bottle, and mix it with water and salt (small salt packets from any restaurant) in the other bottle. This allows you maximum control as far as diluting your fluids to a perfect consistency. However, you do need a separate water source to do this, such as from an aid station. Gordy usually fills up at streams, sparking some debate with his giardia approach. But that’s a whole different topic!

2. Running Uphills

When I first started trail running, I would try to run all the hills and then get burned out. I soon learned the benefits of power hiking uphill, and fell into a comfortable groove walking pretty much everything with an incline. My most recent hill work has been a combination of speeding up my hiking pace, and actually running uphill again. As a result, I’ve learned that I can run more steeper grades. However, that doesn’t always mean that I should. I’m becoming much better at knowing when to run and when to hike, as well as much more confident in my ability to climb quickly.

3. Blister Prevention

Dealing with blister issues is all about experimentation. For this race, I didn’t use any blister prevention techniques and came out completely unscathed. I attribute this to a wise sock and footwear choice. I wore new trail Injinji socks, and ran most of the course with my Merrell Mixmasters. I switched to my Montrail Rogue Flys in the final loop to vary the feel of my footfalls. This strategy worked perfectly for me.

4. Clothing

I had no chaffing issues at all. I wore longer capris, because on some of the training runs the overgrowth on the trail scratched up my legs. The INKnBURN capris worked amazingly well.

5. Power Hiking

On my very first trail race, I was shocked when people passed me walking uphill. These past few weeks, I have trained specifically to improve my power hiking speed, using a watch to time my summits and forcing myself to walk, not run. It all payed off in the final stages of this race, when I was able to match my running gait with a fast power hike. The hike conserved energy, I was able to sustain it for a longer period of time, and it allowed me to keep a steady pace through rolling hills even when I felt tired. When my pacer was jogging to keep up with my hiking pace, I knew I had hit a sweet spot for walking speed.

6. Music

I don’t like to listen to music through my entire run, but I do carry my iPod on some races in case I need to pull through a difficult low point. Music really helps get me into a groove, and boosts my motivation. It takes my mind off any pain and makes the time go by faster. When I do listen to my iPod, I like to use only one headphone so I can stay aware of my surroundings. At this race, I busted out my iPod in the last few miles when I needed a boost. It worked.

6 Things I Need to Work On

1. Night Running

I haven’t been doing enough of this. I slowed down a lot after dark, partly because I was tired, but also because I had a hard time with foot placement and navigating terrain at night. Only more practice can help build my confidence and skill in the dark.

2. Nutrition

I did great with remembering to eat, but then started lagging in the final loop and my pacer had to help me with nutrition reminders. I need to be more on top of it, as I was starting to drain right near the end and at one point I even noticed that my stomach was growling. I don’t have much appetite when I’m running, so it’s just a matter of remembering to eat throughout. I didn’t have any stomach issues, except for a couple of times my belly felt slightly “unsettled”, which is usually the case when I don’t eat enough.

3. Lighting

I very much prefer hand held lights to a headlamp, but I didn’t think through the fact that I would also be running with hand held water bottles. I had a hard time holding everything. I also had a headlamp, but I need to combine it with something else for better depth perception. A few times my hand would start cramping up and I had to keep shifting my hand position to hold everything. It was a waste of focus and energy. My coach Jason Robillard also runs with handheld bottles, plus a handheld light. So it can be done. I just have to practice doing this more often.

4. Sore Feet

Many of my long races have been on smoother terrain, so this was the first time my feet got sore from gnarly rocks in the final miles. I wrote to Jason Robillard about this, and he suggests that it’s worth taking a few extra seconds to avoid sharp and jutting rocks from the beginning of the race (even though they don’t hurt yet), to help preserve your feet for the later miles. Minimalist shoes are an added challenge, but I don’t do well with heavier shoes. Again, more practice on rockier terrain will help me improve. As mentioned before, the shoe swap was a really great call for me during this race.

5. Downhill Running

Usually running downhill is my strength, but in the final loop my legs felt pretty trashed and it was a new feeling of discomfort for me. My 100 miler was much flatter, and I have little practice running downhill on trashed legs. Jason suggested changing up my gait for the downhills, and throwing in some more hill training. I think both will help.

6. Suck It Up

I thought I was pushing myself pretty good, but of course after the fact I wonder if I could have pushed a LITTLE harder in the final miles. I did a lot of walking in the final loop, and I maybe should have done more running while it was still light, since the darkness would slow me down anyway. If I had to do it again, I think I would have dug a little deeper right at the end. And next time I will.

Overall, I had a great race and it was a perfect learning experience for Chimera. I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m much closer than I used to be.

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The Turning Point in My Running Career

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Across the Years 24 Hour Race Report

I have a soft spot for timed races. Usually when I tell someone I’m doing a timed race, they react with horror and surprise. I understand that running a one-mile loop for 6, 12, or 24 hours hardly sounds appealing. But I find comfort in it.

At a timed race, I don’t have to think. I can zone out, clear my mind, and just RUN. I experience running in a very raw state. I’m not worried about falling, hydration, or supplies. I’m only focused on the trail ahead. One foot in front of the other. Forever.

This race was my longest timed event yet.  Across the Years is a 72, 48, or 24-hour race over a 1.05-mile loop in Arizona. We registered for the 24-hour event, starting at 9 a.m. on December 31st, through to New Years, and ending at 9 a.m. on January 1st.

I had no idea what to expect. The longest I had run before this was 50k, and the longest time I had ever spent running continuously was eight hours. I was a newbie.

I had it in the back of my mind that the best I could aim for was 100 miles, but I really had no idea how I would feel past the 50k, or how my body would respond with lack of sleep. I have never experienced sleep deprivation while running, and I knew that 100 miles was extremely ambitious. So I decided to just do my best, put zero pressure on myself, and have as much fun as possible.

We drove up a day early with my sister Elizabeth (attempting her first ultra), Carlos (attempted 100 miles) and Shacky (attempting a distance PR). We would also be seeing my uncle Pat and Jason Robillard with his awesome wife Shelly.

We stopped by the race on the 30th and I was immediately excited by the atmosphere. Watching the runner’s circle, I wanted to start running right away. It wasn’t long before we saw Jason, who was doing well and going strong. We also caught up with Pat and chatted with him for a bit before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

The next morning we were at the race bright and early, eager and ready to run. I started the first few miles with Shacky, running comfortable and steady 10-minute miles. It was cold at the beginning, so I started in my sweater and jammies. When it warmed up I shed my layers. I was wearing the InknBurn cherry blossom set – my favorite outfit. I got a ton of comments on my InknBurn gear, and people wanted to know where they could buy some.

I found myself feeling thirsty as it started getting hotter, and I stopped to drink at almost every mile. Shacky was stopping every five miles to have some Thrive homemade, vegan pudding (a mixture of dates, bananas, cocoa, and coconut). Brendan Brazier eats this on his races. It tasted delicious and was very easy to digest.

At the 50k mark, I was feeling unbelievable. And I wanted to go faster. For my other events, I’ve always tried to pace myself in the beginning, just as runners are supposed to. But I’ve never been able to shake the feeling at the end that I had more in me (except at Los Pinos, which damn near killed me). I usually want to run further, and I always wonder whether I could have done it better or faster.

I’ve never been injured since I started running in 2007. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really fortunate, or if I’m not pushing myself hard enough. I have made great progress as a runner, but my body doesn’t seem to understand the high injury rate it’s supposed to suffer from. It refuses to break.

Another thing I’ve noticed at my past races is that no matter how well I pace myself, I seem to always hit a wall at the same TIME, as opposed to the same distance. So if I’m going super slow, I just end up with less miles logged before I feel exhausted. In any case, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to run faster. I sped up.

Running faster felt amazing. It actually felt easier to run faster than to run slow, which is probably because my “slow” muscles had already been working for over 6 hours. Activating new parts of my legs gave me that second wind.

I did a few sub-10 minute miles until Pat warned me that I was going too fast. I figured that when Pat tells you you’re going too fast, you probably really are. But still, I didn’t listen. I paused long enough to make a Facebook update stating that I might hit 100 miles after all.

Then at mile 45, out of nowhere, I hit a wall and I hit it hard. This was a wall I hadn’t felt since the end of my first marathon. It knocked me right out. Up until that point, I had been saving my motivational messages. Now I stumbled over to my folder and yanked all those papers out to read them all at once.

I was determined to keep moving, but it took me the same amount of time to run from mile 45 to 50 as it did to run the entire first 13 miles. I was half-walking and feeling miserable.

Meanwhile, Shacky was starting to feel an old injury act up, so he opted for a beer run with Jason instead. Pat was also suffering from a recurring shin splint, and wasn’t running anymore. I walked one painful loop with Pat before he decided to sit out. I kept plugging away, and by the time I was ready to run my 50th mile, Shacky and Jason and Pat were all sitting around drinking beer. I wanted so badly to join them.

Instead, I pulled Shacky away for one more lap, so he could run in my 50th mile with me. Then I sat down.

Until this point, I had remained vegan. I was eating fruit, tons of liquids, some vegetable soup, and PB&J sandwiches. I had also brought chips and nuts from home. But dinner at Across the Years was pizza. Cheesy and meaty pizza. They had volunteers standing on the course holding it out for runners to grab as they darted past, as if it were Gatorade. Every loop I made for at least 5 miles, I could smell it.

By the time I ran my 50th mile, all I could think of was pizza. And I was HUNGRY. Although I had brought tons of vegan snacks, I didn’t really think to bring any solid food for a real meal. And that’s what I was craving. A sit-down meal. No more aid station snacks.

I eyed the pizza and waited until there was only ONE slice left. Then I grabbed it. I wasn’t sorry, but I thought I should confess. So I went to sit over with the guys and let Pat make fun of me.

After my pizza break, I tried to keep walking laps. My legs were sore and the guys were just sitting around and chatting, making it really difficult to get back up and run alone. I really didn’t want to run anymore.

I managed to meet my sister as she was just about to complete 50k. I ran that last lap with her and took pictures. I remember when I first set my sister up with a Learn to Run program. She couldn’t even run for three minutes. Now look at her. She had a run a distance she could barely understand. I was so proud of her.

The ultra distance is an amazing thing. I told my sister: “No matter what has happened in your life before, or what will happen in your future, nobody can ever take that ultra away from you. When you’re an ultra runner, you’re a runner forever. You could go out the next day, join a gym and hire a personal trainer. And that trainer may not ever accomplish what you just did. You can flip through a magazine and pick out the most beautiful girl on those pages, and that girl’s body may never be as strong as yours. Her legs will never carry her this far. After an ultra, you are beyond beautiful. You are unbreakable.” She cried.

My sister would end up covering over 40 miles, logging over 100k during her entire stay with us over the holidays. She hadn’t trained for one single day for this. I surprised her with the flight to see us, and also with the entry to this race. Before this, she was running about five miles a week or less. But I knew she had an ultra in her. We have the same blood.

As a sat out watching the other runners, I was inspired by so many still fearlessly circling that loop. All different ages, different shapes, different goals. There were people who looked like they were 80 years old, and there was one 8-year-old boy who ended up with over 30 miles. Some people were slow, but consistent. One foot in front of the other. And they just never stopped.

I was amazed at the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and it seemed almost unfair to me that such strong souls should reside in weak bodies. Why can’t our bodies keep up with the resolve of our spirits?

Earlier on, Shacky and I met Sarah, a really pretty girl with long dreads. Sarah was running in minimalist Merrell shoes, so we stopped to ask her how long she had been running in them. She was embarrassed to say – only 12 miles.

It turned out that it was actually her husband and BRS member (username Abide) who had registered for this race, but he had become injured and could no longer run. She agreed to take his spot, even though she was only training for her first half marathon. She thought she’d take it easy, run a few laps, and see how she felt.

Sarah would take a break every so often to breastfeed her youngest child before jumping back on the course. She ended up with over 50k. Take that, half marathon.

In many of my motivational messages, people said I was an inspiration. But these are the people that inspire ME. I’ve done the training, planned the course, and eased into ultra running like an old man into a chilly pool. But these guys come up to a mountain they have never seen or imagined and look at it without the slightest fear. Then they say, “Meh… What the hell.” And dive right in.

I managed to stay awake until midnight, cheer in the New Year, and run one final lap with my Shacky, Jason and Pat. Then I crashed. I don’t remember falling asleep, but the next thing I knew I opened my eyes and it was still dark. All I could hear outside was the patter of feet – people were still running.

I crawled out of my tent, slipped on my shoes, and ran in my jammies. It was 5 a.m. The runners on the course were few but faithful. They hadn’t just crawled out of their tents like I had. They had been there for the entire night.

The vibe in the air was tired and subdued. No one spoke. All you could hear was the shuffling of feet and slow breathing. Just one foot in front of the other. Forever.

A few hours before the end, I saw one runner hunched over shaking his head violently, as if he were trying to wake up from a bad dream. We made eye contact and he exclaimed, “I’m hallucinating! I’m seeing shit that’s not there!” He hadn’t slept for two nights.

At 7 a.m. I saw Shacky. He was also still running, and hit his distance PR at the same time I hit my 100k mark. Shacky could only get a couple of laps in at a time because of his injury, but he still pulled out his longest distance.

I really wanted a Starbucks after that, so Shacky drove me to one. By the time we drove back, it was less than an hour until the finish. Jason was out padding his miles, running at an impressive pace. We hung around to watch the end of the race, and I finished with 101k (63 miles).

In the end, several people had run this event so many times in previous years that this year they hit their 1000-mile marks for overall laps on the Across the Years course. Ed Ettinghausen, who had called it quits after the first day, pulled himself back together and ended up in second place. We saw him on his last few laps with his wife.

Yolanda Holder ended up walking for 48 Hours and hit 100 miles. Kimberly Miller also earned her 100-mile belt buckle. And one girl who looked just like Kate Kift looped me about a gazillion times. I never saw her face – only her back as she kept passing me. The back of her shirt said, “Don’t be a pussy.” So I pretended she was Kate, and smiled whenever she passed, nodding at the wisdom of her shirt.

This was an unbelievable event, very well run, and a perfect way to spend the end of the year. I’m really proud of my mileage. I think I had it in me to hit 100 miles, but I definitely needed more time.

I plan to try the 48-hour race next year, or even the 72. Meh… What the hell.

Here is my video recap:

Related Links:

Jason Robillard’s Across the Years Race Report

Patrick Sweeney’s Across the Years Race Report

Carlos Frias’ Across the Years Race Report

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