Bill And Val's Ultramarathon attempt

12 Hour Foot Race - An Ultramarathon!

On March 14th, 2009, Bill will compete in a 12 hour race. Put simply, Bill and the other athletes will run as far as they can in 12 hours. Last years winner covered 78 miles! Billís goal is to cover 50 miles. These races are known as Ultramarathons.

The course will be run over a 1 mile loop with slight elevation changes.

Bill plans on beginning his training for this event December 2008, giving him 3 months to prepare.

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Bill ran 45 Miles!

Bill finishing the Delano 12!

On your marks, get set, go!

At 6AM, about 60 runners took off the morning of March 14th, 2009 in Delano Park in Decatur Alabama. It was very dark, cold (50F), and rainy. How bad would the non-paved course be with the constant rain? We all soon found out. Within 400 feet, we were slugging through ankle deep water. The runners around me were offering color commentary as we splish splashed our way through for hundred feet. Being so dark, we couldnít tell how bad it was going to be Ö and that was probably a good thing. There were patches of mud that swallowed many a shoe, and caused numerous spills. The course is a 1-mile gravel, grass, and dirt loop through the park with elevation changes in the 10-foot range. However, even that minor undulation takes its toll, as I would find out later. While the rain stung my eyes, it was the wet cold that really taxed me.

Despite the conditions, the first 6 hours were good for me. I was right on plan, covering 26 miles. Holding a good, steady pace is critical in these events Ö. 12 hours is a long time!

Hour 8 started the moment of internal fortitude. The amount of pain in my right knee became more than an irritant.

Hour 9.5 my heart rate couldnít be controlled any more. It would rocket erratically regardless of going up hill, going down hill, going flat, slowing down, or speeding up. This is a dangerous condition and I elected to pull back to see if I could stabilize it.

Hour 10 the blisters on my feet became noticeable. With each step, I imagined them bursting out of my shoes releasing their puss.

Hour 11, I could no longer feel my legs and I just trusted that my body would move on without any conscious thought from me.

In the final few laps, I was reduced to walking (some may say hobbling) with the last 2 being very very slow. I could barely make it up the slight inclines and my body was in amazing amounts of pain. With 250 feet to go, I willed my body to a very slow jog in the last bit to cross the finish line strong.

The beating down of my body could not retard the pride of the accomplishment that radiated from me! It was a thrilling moment. I covered 45 miles!!!

Once I stopped I became very cold. While I didnít reach my goal of 50 miles, I left everything I had out on the course. There was nothing left, I was so spent that even getting to my car 50 feet away took me 8 minutes.

During the race, I ate 5 one inch peanut butter and jelly sandwich squares, 3 one inch peanut butter and honey sandwich squares, 2 hand fulls of M&Ms, 3 bites of cheese pizza, 1 can of hot tomato soup, and 1 hand full of cashews. I drank 10 twelve-ounce bottles of water and 8 eight ounce cups of Gatorade.

I peed 8 times during the race.

I burned 9,600 calories during the event.

The event was incredibly gratifying and Iím completely satisfied with this accomplishment. Iím proud.

Some have asked where this ranks on the difficulty scale with the Ironman, and Iíve not yet been able judge that. Both events pushed me into the zone of pure will power.

Whatís next?

Bill's bruised legs and swollen feet
Reddish rash looking area on my skin is actually a bruise from the 12 hours of running.
My feet feel like balloons.

Bill had lots of blisters on his feet
There are 15 distinct blisters on my feet, and a few are real winners!

Bill's Shoes after 12 hours of running in the mud
The shoes are toast!

How far can you run?