What is your favorite race, and why?
Spartathlon 153 miler, which starts in Athens, Greece and ends in Sparta, Greece. I minored in Classical Archaeology, and being an ultrarunner and student of history, I knew I had to run this race, for it is the original ultramarathon. In The Histories, Homer wrote about how Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta, trying to get the militant Spartans to help Athens fend off the attacking Persians. He started at sun up and got to Sparta by sun down, the next day, which is why the race has only a 36 hour cut-off. Following in the path of Pheidippides, running through small Greek town, getting greeted by kids wanting your signature, really showed how important this race is to Greek history and to me. It is one of the hardest (the cut-offs throughout the race are tough) races I have ever run, but it is also the most meaningful one.
What is your favorite product at Fleet Feet, and why?
My favorite product is Sword, which is an electrolyte replacement drink that also provides nutrition for longer runs. I prefer to drink my calories while running instead of eating, and Sword allows me to do this, for it provides usable calories for quick energy and for sustained energy, as well as providing electrolyte replacement. And, it taste soooooooo good!!
What has been your most interesting race experience (give details)?
Racing in a foreign country is always interesting, producing unique experiences. For example, Rob and I went to Hungary to run the Ultrabalaton 256km race….together. We began in Budapest, one of my favorite cities, and took a train to the race start, which is a tiny town on Lake Ultrabalaton, which is the lake we run around in the race. Not many people in the small town spoke English, so there was a lot of smiling and pointing to communicate. Rob and I decided to run the race together (which in itself is a big feat), and we had a lot of great experiences along the way. First, the race had about 600 relay teams, each of which had someone on a bike riding with them, so besides always having lots of runners around us the whole time, we also had lots of bikes and crew cars to maneuver around. Then the temperatures rose to 85 or 90, yet the water and drinks (pepsi) were not chilled, were sitting out in the open sun, and the aid stations had no ice. The hot drinks were not so refreshing in the hot temperatures. During the middle of the night we ran through a party town, and a couple leaving a dance club, got in a screaming yelling fight, and we were lucky enough to be running through the town as they were fighting in the same park in which we were running. After we finished, we wanted to go back to our “resort” and prop our feet up for a few minutes, so they could rest. As I lay on the ground with my feet on the bed, I felt a bite on my back. I got up and looked, and there were ants all over the floor and chair, and all over our clothes and suitcase. I screamed, and had to spend the next hour picking ants off my clothes. Since there was very little food options without meat, I ate French fries for lunch and dinner that day. We were so happy when we got up the next morning, walked to the train station, and headed back to Budapest and a 5 Star hotel. We earned it.
What is your favorite quote, and why?
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
I ran my very first race, the Marine Corp Marathon, in 1995. After running my third race ever, Strolling Jim 41.2 miler in Tennessee in 1996, I have been running races whenever possible; from 1 mile to 100 miles but I prefer ultramarathons. In 1999 I had the 5th fastest women’s 100 mile time, and recently, I was the first female at the Mother Road 100 miler in Oklahoma by running 20 hours, 57 minutes. In July of 2009, by running for 33 hours and 39 minutes, I was 5th female overall at the Badwater Ultramarathon - 135 miles through Death Valley. In March of 2010, I was top female (2nd overall) at the Antarctica Marathon, with the only sub 4 hour female finish, ever. Lastly. in Sept., 2010 I got to run my dream race, the Spartathlon, a 153 mile race from Athens to Sparta, Greece by running 33 hours and 36 minutes. I reached another one of my goals last spring at Delano Park 50 miler,in which I ran 6:56 for the 50 miles. In doing so I set the female Alabama overall 50 mile state record. I have a law degree, a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice, and a Master's Degree in Education. I have the two most wonderful dogs, Cairo and Tracks.