Why run 100 miles?

me heading toward 3 sisters

When I tell someone I am training to run a 100-mile race (106 actually), I almost always receive an incredulous look, followed by the comment, “Are you serious? I don’t even like to drive that far!” I am then often peppered with questions:  “Will you do it all at once?” “How long will it take?” and “Will you stop to sleep?”  (Yes.  Probably 30-34 hours. No, I don’t plan on it.)

Although running 100 miles is outside the imagination of most people, over 7,000 runners completed a race of this distance in 2014 according to a Running Times Magazine article. Still, unless you hang out in ultrarunning crowds, you don’t often meet someone who has run 100 miles.

Let me introduce myself. I am a 56-year-old wife, mom, and grandma who has a passion for trail running. I have been running for fourteen years and running ultramarathons for four-and-a-half years.  An ultramarathon is any race longer than the 26.2 miles of a marathon. I have run eight 50K races (31 miles), one 50-mile race, and one 101K race (about 63 miles). Our two sons run ultramarathons too, and our oldest son has completed two 100+ mile races.

Me finish2There is something addictive about seeing just how far your legs will take you. Although after my 50-mile race, I insisted I would NEVER run 100 miles, the idea has grown on me. Running ultramarathons is kind of like natural childbirth. (I’ve done that three times!) Your body is pushed beyond what you thought possible and it hurts—but you soon forget the pain and just remember the deep satisfaction of crossing the finish line.

It was inevitable after completing the 101K race that sooner or later I would have to see if I could run 100 miles. Our son assured me that I have the training base and if I wanted to run a 100-mile race, there was no reason to wait until next year. So the time is now!