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Beth McCurdy Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon 2011

Saltines, Ginger Ale, & an Indomitable Will (Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon)

Saltines, Ginger Ale, & an Indomitable Will
(Finishing the 2011 Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon)

Barely moving my legs, I think about my breathing and how labored it is. At times, I’m preoccupied with inhaling and exhaling. It’s so loud and disturbed sounding. I wonder why I’m breathing like this and whether or not it’s helpful. I’m also curious as to what my pacer Kelley, is thinking. For about two seconds, I’m slightly embarrassed by my noisiness. By the third second, I could care less what she thinks or what anyone else thinks.

I ask myself, “Do I really need to be breathing this heavily?” So, I stop breathing heavily and settle down by focusing on each step. I’m amazed by how ponderous each step feels and how variable my rhythm is at this point. I know I’ve become slow, but the reality is it’s so slow that I’d rather not know my pace. Deliberately focusing on my steps causes my feet to hurt even more, so I decide that it might help if I resume the heavy breathing again.

When walking uphill, I’m taken aback by the strong pull in my neck and upper shoulders. I’m recalling that only a mere 10 miles ago, my neck wasn’t even bothering me at all. The pain is not unbearable but it forces me to stop and self-message on several occasions. At one point, I’m wishing that I didn’t have so many layers of clothing on so that I could really penetrate into the muscles to loosen them up. My mind wanders back to the car ride to Raleigh when I remember thinking that I really hope that this tight neck won’t be a problem in my event tomorrow. Being the overly confident and optimistic person that I can be at times, I shrugged it off, so to speak. I tell myself that by the morning, the neck will be fine. The neck will be fine.

At the final aid station before the finish, I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to get up the next climb. Even early on in the race, this hill is difficult to walk. I’m depleted and need to do something to feel better. I ask my pacer, Kelley, if she could please get me some crackers and ginger ale at this aid station. I’m really thinking that a couple of crackers will help me get up that next climb. I sit in the chair and Kelley hands me Mountain Dew and some saltine crackers. I’m finding it very challenging to place the crackers in my mouth. They are sticking to my lips and mouth so I decide that it’s critical to swallow Mountain Dew and eat the cracker simultaneously. This sort of works.

I remember the aid station volunteer chatting me up about KEYS100. He’s an ultra runner and was graciously volunteering the night shift at this aid station. I wanted to chat with him. I wanted to smile and be friendly. But swallowing crackers and getting up that hill were the only things on my mind. I had to let him know in a courteous and desperate sort of way, that talking to him was not an option at this point. I’m on mile 94.5. I have 5.5 miles left.

Every single bit of every part of me is going to be used up to get through the next 5.5 miles. I know that I can do this. I don’t question as to whether or not I can finish. My brain and body have to go beyond what they want to do. I have no choice but to finish and I ask God for him to continue to keep me strong. Not finishing the event was never an option in my mind. I had everything I needed: My pacer who has taken care of me from 50 miles on, two crackers and some Mountain Dew in my stomach, and just 5.5 miles left. 5.5 miles to the finish line of the Umstead 100 Endurance Run.

Getting up from that chair was not that difficult. I knew that the longer that I sit in the chair, the longer I’m out in the cold dark and the farther away I am from the finish line. On any other day of my life, even when I’m having a really bad running day, 5.5 miles would be fairly effortless. On this day, 5.5 miles is an infliction of pain on my body and I’m not looking forward to it.

Getting up the series of climbs that I was so concerned about was arduous, to say the least. My neck and shoulders were throbbing and plodding uphill felt like my quads were being crushed with every step. Even though I looked forward to the downhill because I could actually run, I needed to tiptoe and blurt out with every step, “Ouch, Ouch, Ouch…”. My feet were sore and tired. If they could talk, they would be telling me to sit my butt down and enough already.

Even though the temperature was around forty degrees, if felt like below zero. I already had on a tank top in addition to three long sleeve layers at this point, however, I was shivering uncontrollably. Kelley had a green hooded coat and generously gave it to me. I zipped it all the way up and pulled the hood over my head. Running with a heavy headlamp and hood was confining but getting my body warmer was a higher priority. Moreover, I discovered that picking up the pace would help warm the body so I forced to do this at times when we were on flatter sections of the course.

With just a few miles left, I kept asking Kelley if were getting closer. Even though this was my eighth time running this loop, I still could not recall how much longer we had until the finish line. Knowing that we were getting closer, I attempted to run rather than walk. If I only walk, it will take longer to get there. I needed to make myself run.

Everyone seeks some form of comfort upon finishing an extreme endurance effort such as this-perhaps gatorade, food, a bathroom, or a clothing change. I asked Kelley if she could please send me straight to the lodge by the fire upon finishing. I need to get warm. She reassured me that she would take care of me and not to worry. Her presence at this point put my mind to ease and the notion of being out on the course alone was a daunting one.

Running on the half mile rocky section to the finish was painful yet exhilerating. I kept asking Kelley, “Am I really finishing?, Are we really there?” Kelley responded with a resounding, “Yes! I’m so proud of you!”. On this final stretch, she screamed “Woohoo!!” to volunteers, crews, and other runners, letting everyone know that I am finishing 100 miles. As I crossed the finish line, I was filled with a variety of emotions. I looked at my watch and noticed that I finished in twenty hours and thirty-eight minutes. I felt overjoyed, wipped out, accomplished, thankful for Kelley, borderline hypothermic, and a a little delirious. I was overwhelmed yet quite calm and in need of warmth. I achieved what I set out to do and never gave up. I finished my second 100 mile foot race.

Beth McCurdy
Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon (2011)

2011 Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon Race Results

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Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon Champion Belt Buckle

2011 Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon Results

Congrats to John Dennis and Carol O’Hear for winning the 2011 Umstead 100 Mile Ultra Marathon.

Dennis finished the 100 mile course in 14:07:2.  O’Hear was the first woman across with a time of 18:00:0.

Results from the 2011 Umstead 100 Ultra Marathon in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Pos Elapsed Time Name                           Age ST  Sex
  1     14:07:21 Dennis,  John                   30 PA   M
  2     14:33:59 Arbona,  Serge                  46 MD   M
  3     14:47:16 Redpath,  Glen                  45 NY   M
  4     14:53:21 Smithberger,  Jay A             41 OH   M
  5     15:38:37 Ayers Jr,  Bob                  50 VT   M
  6     16:12:38 Shellhamer,  Troy               30 KY   M
  7     16:45:02 Banas,  Vladimir                41 NC   M
  8     17:02:22 Peterson,  Garth D              48 GA   M
  9     17:30:52 Bedard,  Dan                    30 NC   M
 10     17:45:28 Fisher,  Chris                  36 CO   M
 11     18:00:07 O'Hear,  Carol                  36 MA   F
 12     18:06:18 Coury,  Jamil                   26 AZ   M
 13     18:12:36 Peek,  Tyler                    45 NC   M
 14     18:22:44 Jorgensen,  Will                51 TN   M
 15     18:29:05 Overbaugh,  Jason               34 GA   M
 16     18:29:54 Henderson,  Timothy             41 NY   M
 17     18:33:36 Kumeda,  Andy                   43 CA   M
 18     18:41:39 Ramsay,  John                   27 TN   M
 19     18:47:23 Carver,  Dave Ernest            49 ON   M
 20     18:53:48 Goldring,  Peter                26 ENG  M
 21     19:10:17 Price,  Shannon                 33 VA   M
 22     19:13:11 Burns,  William F               41 NC   M
 23     19:23:41 Blackford,  Darris              47 OH   M
 24     19:24:11 Blackford,  Starshine E         35 OH   F
 25     19:29:43 Portera,  Anthony               40 NY   M
 26     19:32:25 Coury,  Nick                    23 AZ   M
 27     19:45:27 French,  Rob                    52 NC   M
 28     20:16:26 Ginsburg,  Jeri                 52 CA   F
 29     20:18:38 Gelber,  Eric                   44 NY   M
 30     20:19:21 Schlereth,  Joe                 61 NC   M
 31     20:19:37 Hall,  Alexander                30 VA   M
 32     20:35:39 Pastore,  Mike                  55 SC   M
 33     20:38:42 McCurdy,  Beth                  41 GA   F
 34     21:02:29 Leftwich,  Debbie               57 AZ   F
 35     21:06:17 Randolph,  Chad                 45 NC   M
 36     21:17:35 Eitrheim,  David                53 WI   M
 37     21:33:05 Pieroni,  Stephen M             39 NC   M
 38     21:49:51 Fromm,  Anita Marie             39 CO   F
 39     21:57:30 Patton,  Michael                29 OH   M
 40     21:58:26 Lemke,  Terri                   50 OH   F
 41     22:03:31 Banks,  Darryl                  44 NC   M
 42     22:19:44 Hall,  Larry                    57 IL   M
 43     22:19:57 Holden,  Judy                   49 NC   F
 44     22:23:47 Smythe,  Matt                   30 VA   M
 45     22:30:56 Szoch,  Chris                   27 VA   M
 46     22:35:40 Yanek,  Cheryl                  31 NY   F
 47     22:39:07 McGonnell,  Jeff                50 NC   M
 48     22:39:31 Stocker,  Emmy                  52 CT   F
 49     22:41:59 Arnold,  Lisa                   41 NC   F
 50     22:44:04 Murray,  Jay                    49 NC   M
 51     22:46:22 Prescott,  Walt                 57 GA   M
 52     22:51:26 Tartick,  Karen                 49 NC   F
 53     22:57:32 Dummar,  Frederick C            42 NC   M
 54     22:58:20 Corbett,  Catra                 46 CA   F
 55     22:59:12 Mathison,  Charles              38 GA   M
 56     23:04:53 Lowery,  Chris                  49 GA   M
 57     23:07:13 Armstrong,  Jonathan            43 GA   M
 57     23:07:13 Hodell, JR,  Thomas             45 GA   M
 59     23:09:06 Farneski,  Ronald V             52 NJ   M
 60     23:11:37 Pifer,  Ryan James              23 NC   M
 61     23:11:47 Idlibi,  Mohammed               32 NC   M
 62     23:12:48 Glazner,  Allen                 56 NC   M
 63     23:18:34 Talbott,  Shawn                 43 UT   M
 64     23:25:08 Henderson,  Chad                36 SC   M
 65     23:27:35 Simpson-Hall,  Beth             52 IL   F
 66     23:27:52 Smith,  Mike J                  53 IN   M
 67     23:29:28 Drost,  Jeffrey                 42 IL   M
 68     23:47:43 Kepple,  Rich                   38 NC   M
 69     23:56:05 Pasquale,  Dana                 33 NC   F
 70     23:56:18 Martula,  Dave                  66 MA   M
 71     23:57:01 Roche,  Joe                     55 OH   M
 72     24:02:35 Powers,  John                   48 TX   M
 73     24:12:12 Aurilio,  Antonia               36 VA   F
 74     24:35:50 Gray,  Rick A                   50 TN   M
 75     24:52:04 Tao,  Ying C                    26 MA   F
 76     24:52:44 Spencer Jr,  Jack               40 NV   M
 77     25:03:51 Aistars,  Juli                  52 IL   F
 78     25:05:29 Saxon,  Randy M                 50 MS   M
 79     25:10:28 Munoz,  Ric                     53 CA   M
 80     25:20:36 Lieb,  Daniel                   36 NC   M
 81     25:24:06 Shelton,  Debbie                48 IN   F
 82     25:36:08 Wolf,  Kathy                    37 OH   F
 83     25:38:09 Massie,  Tammy                  39 MD   F
 84     25:49:34 Murolo,  Fred                   54 CT   M
 85     25:54:53 Vaughan,  Douglas A             52 IN   M
 86     25:58:01 Grochowski,  Chris              50 NC   M
 87     25:58:45 McKnight,  Richard              42 AZ   M
 88     26:04:02 Grant,  Susan                   44 NJ   F
 89     26:13:48 Sondermann,  John W             57 VA   M
 90     26:17:26 Warriner,  Rebecca              35 NC   F
 91     26:20:19 Davis, III,  Frederick F        63 OH   M
 92     26:25:07 Melton,  Sandra K               55 FL   F
 93     26:25:42 Curran,  Finian M               41 NC   M
 94     26:36:59 Hansen,  Rebecca L              49 FL   F
 95     26:50:12 Sullivan,  Jim                  59 FL   M
 96     27:03:00 Marsh,  John C                  36 MD   M
 97     27:04:11 Shipley,  Callie                30 NC   F
 98     27:05:43 Gentry,  Bill                   49 VA   M
 99     27:07:32 Krolewicz,  Ray                 56 SC   M
100     27:11:06 Reitzig,  James W               36 NY   M
101     27:20:33 Demoney,  Ellen                 51 CO   F
102     27:23:57 Nguyen,  Yen                    48 TX   F
103     27:27:22 Calabria,  Robert               70 NC   M
104     27:29:54 Weiss,  Tim                     52 NC   M
105     27:32:52 West,  Charles                  42 NC   M
106     27:35:52 Harrison,  James                53 VA   M
107     27:40:43 Tanksley,  Bruce                51 TN   M
108     27:40:51 Triumph,  Thomas C              53 FL   M
109     27:41:29 Pieroni,  Dan                   70 NC   M
110     27:42:55 Scott,  Sharon Green            50 VA   F
111     27:44:34 Murphy,  James M                42 NC   M
112     27:45:47 Hale,  Leslie                   58 TX   F
113     27:46:57 Swendsen,  Vincent              48 NC   M
114     27:49:56 Wargo,  Robert                  53 PA   M
115     27:51:24 Grinde,  Ingrid E               55 VA   F
116     27:52:22 Stinson,  Jenny                 51 ID   F
116     27:52:22 Filipowski,  Joan               56 IN   F
118     27:53:14 Keller,  Mike                   37 OH   M
119     28:01:40 Glassberg,  Abby                51 MD   F
120     28:03:20 Arbona,  Serge England          46 CT   M
120     28:03:20 Gargiulo, JR,  Edward J         39 CT   M
122     28:09:57 Vaessin,  Harald                55 OH   M
123     28:13:13 Shepherd,  Stephanie Britt      36 NC   F
124     28:19:44 Mutes,  Holly                   55 ID   F
124     28:19:44 Snyder,  Mary                   60 ID   F
126     28:23:05 Ray,  Ashby                     38 NC   M
127     28:25:39 Lefferts,  Peter C              55 FL   M
128     28:32:41 Clausen,  Chris D               52 NY   M
129     28:35:59 Morton,  Alex                   61 NC   M
130     28:44:40 Mason,  Louise                  58 IL   F
131     28:46:52 Marsh,  Ed                      64 NC   M
132     28:53:49 Gerowitz,  Mat                  35 NY   M
133     29:00:06 Kitchen,  Jim                   46 NC   M
134     29:10:34 Rozanski,  Susan                57 IL   F
135     29:13:39 McGruder,  James T              62 KY   M
136     29:17:24 Brokaw,  Lindsey M              26 OH   F
137     29:19:23 Kramer,  Karen E                52 OH   F
138     29:29:12 Murphy,  Meredith               32 PA   F
139     29:34:22 Dicus,  Jennifer                34 NV   F
139     29:34:22 Valdez,  Mary                   32 NC   F
141     29:41:35 O'Brien,  Wendy                 40 FL   F
142     29:44:55 Milne,  Cheri                   40 SC   F
143     29:45:41 Clinard,  Valerie               35 NC   F
144     29:53:24 Sergeant,  Kimberley Ann        52 TX   F
Umstead 100 Ultra Marathon Race Website

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