With the help of 25+ Friends and Relatives who crewed and paced me, I was able to become only the 2nd person in the 15 years this race has been in existance to finish the 199 mile Relay by myself.
When the race director announced my award for finishing the normally 12 person race Solo, he mentioned Dean Karnazas is the only other person to do so. Over the years 8 other people have attempted it and failed.
I started on Thurs May 17 at 10:30am in Calistoga. I finished at 4:35pm Sunday May 20 in Santa Cruz. Yes, you needed to time me with a calender!
My total time was 78hrs 5min. I slept a total of a little more then 5 hours in 3 days. Due to the race being 95 percent on pavement my feet had the toughest time. They hurt from the 6-hour point on. The pain would go from a level 3 to a level 10. The only constant was that they always hurt. I iced them a half dozen times for 10 minutes to temporarily bring the swelling down. With the lack of sleep I learned how powerful the 10 minute power nap can be. Real helpful when you’re sleepwalking like a zombie. I had to break through many walls when my body would try to convince me that I couldn’t go on by giving me excuciating pain. I never was a good listener.
The climb over the hill to Santa Cruz was big time EPIC. I hit the bottom around midnight Saturday night. It took 4 1/2 hrs of straight climbing to get to the top. I thought it would never end. The gravel pit with 20 miles to go put me at my lowest low. It was very hot and I had a steep climb to get out. Trying to keep my exhausted brain and body under control at this time took absolutely every ounce of will power I had to stop a mutiny. I managed to do so and some how ground out the last 20 miles, one painful, grueling mile at a time and then finally one step at a time to the finish.
On the humerous side on Friday night as we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, the race director called to say he was at the pre-race dinner and would announce where we were. He thought it was great we had passed the 100 mile mark. I knew Dean would be leaving after the dinner as the only other solo competitor. I said to my crew “that’s where I draw the line. No one spots me a hundred miles and kicks my ass! I have some pride.” I did end up winning the first race of my life. I knew I would if the pond got small enough. You just never know. Dean made it to mile 150 and pulled out of the race.
Thanks for your support,
P.S.: I want to thank my crew who I could never have made it without. The untiring effort at all hours of the day and night, always keeping a great attitude. Especially my sister Leslie who, as crew chief extradonaire, coordinated this amazing race always with a smile.