This Digital Edition requires Flash 9.0.115 or above to activate some rich media components.

Please click the following link to download and install: Get Adobe Flash player
When you are finished installing, please return to this window and PRESS F5 to view this edition.


Description:

MAY JUNE 2017 WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE GRAND CANYON RIM2RIM2RIM ANDREA KOOIMAN CONQUERS BADWATER CAPE FEAR IN THIS ISSUE - PROJECT ATHENA FOUNDATION BECOME A GODDESS - MARATHON CHEATERS YOU WILL GET CAUGHT - GARY DUDNEY ENDURANCE RACING AND OVERTRAINING - BADWATER ULTRA CUP CAPE FEAR SALTON SEA AND BADWATER135 ON THE COVER ANDREA KOOIMAN COVER PHOTO ROBERT LEE You CHALLENGE yourself. You EXCEED expectations. Photo Courtesy of Vic Armijo to help children fight for their lives EXTRAORDINARY ability Why not use your Hopecam connects children with cancer to life. By providing the technology to connect children in treatment with their friends and classrooms Hopecam (a 501c3 non-profit charity) decreases the loneliness and anxiety they experience during this frightening time. Their mission to promote healing by defeating social isolation is supported entirely by donations. On June 13 2017 Hopecam Founder Len Forkas will compete in Race Across America (RAAM) a 3 089 mile solo cross country bike race from San Diego CA to Annapolis MD that must be completed in 12 days. It is considered the most difficult bike race in the world. Len s goal is not just to finish strong but to raise 1 million for Hopecam to connect another 1 000 children. Help Hopecam raise 1 million for children with Cancer. hopecam.org race-for-hope Make a one-time donation via text message Text Hopecam to 20222 to give 10.00 Text Hopecam25 to 20222 to give 25.00 Are you a champion Be our champion RIDE. RUN. SWIM. INSPIRE. Email info hopecam.org to learn how your races can benefit Hopecam. EDITOR S LETTER ES&F other physical and mental challenges can apply for grants to train and compete in this and other Project Athena Adventure Challenges. Visit www.ProjectAthena.org to learn more And epic it is I posted a query on Facebook about what it s like to cross the Grand Canyon and I was thrilled that so many great athletes like Wayne Kurtz John Pyle Dave Judson and Cathy Tibbetts who ve run from one side of the Editor s Letter Grand Canyon to the other and shared their experiences. It s one of the best runs hands down around the world said Kurtz endurance athlete and author of Mission Accomplished Stronger than Iron. For cancer survivor In this issue Endurance Sports & Fitness Kristin Salzman crossing the Grand CanMagazine covers Badwater Cape Fear a yon twice simply wasn t enough. On page 51-mile run on North Carolina s Bald Head 32 she tells us how she hiked across the Island and the first of the Badwater Ultra Canyon three times in five days Other athCup races. The Ultra Cup is a three-event letes like Julie Tashner and Dominque series comprised of the 51-mile BadwaDeWitt also crossed the Grand Canyon. ter Cape Fear held in March the 81-mile DeWitt overcame a severe nerve condition Badwater Salton Sea held in May and the to become an endurance athlete. 135-mile Badwater 135 held in July. I was also pleased to incorporate an article On our cover is Andrea Kooiman a in this issue about an athlete who battles dedicated and determined athlete who Lyme Disease. Amy Pope Fitzgerald completed Cape Fear this past March and wrote an amazing account of her life as a is the focus of our feature story in this runner fighting chronic pain caused by this issue. Kooiman a running coach is also disease. I had Lyme Disease as well and the cofounder of We Run Orange County s I cannot emphasize how fortunate I was Kids (WeROCK). She to catch it early But I was the inspiration and FACT RUNNER JIM WALMSLEY BROKE also suffered greatly driving force behind during my recovery. this organization which THE GRAND CANYON RIM-TO-RIMIn fact it halted my provides after-school TO-RIM RUNNING RECORD IN 2016 running career for intervention for high COMPLETING THE 42-MILE ROUNDTRIP many years. We re so school students in Orglad that Amy decided ange County California. FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER AND to share her positive BACK IN 5 HOURS 55 MINUTES. Kooiman recently comexperiences as she pleted the second Ultra relates how running Cup event the Badwater Salton Sea on really helps both her mental and physical May 1 and is now two-thirds of the way to well-being. her goal of finishing the series. Kooiman This month ES&F also tackles the ugly and two of her colleagues Carl Hineman topic of cheating. Unfortunately race and Sandra Vi provide a firsthand accheating was going on long before Rosie count of their Cape Fear experiences. Ruiz made national headlines in 1980 This issue also profiles four very courawhen she decided to ditch the race geous women who ve participated in course at the Boston Marathon and take Project Athena Foundations Grand mass transit showing up at the finish line Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Adventure Chalwithout a drop of sweat on her. Cheating lenge. (There is also a Rim2Rim version). affects all of us as athletes because it These amazing athletes provide their dilutes the integrity of honest competition. perspective on our cover question What I hope the article on page 35 encourages is it about crossing the Grand Canyon every reader to reaffirm their stance on For the Foundation goddesses who this thorny ethical issue. compete in this very demanding fundraisAlso check out our review of Kenneth ing event it s a chance for women who ve Posner s soon to be released book overcome their own personal adversity to Running the Long Path a story about complete an epic event and to help others this athlete s quest to set a new record too. It is important to spread the word that for completing a 350-mile hiking trail that women who ve overcome cancer and or links New York City and Albany.Finally I d also like to wish best-of-luck to Jim Harman EX2 Adventure s Race Director who decided to sell his company this year to give both himself and the company a fresh start. Meanwhile like many of my fellow athletes I have been striving to overcome my own challenges. The North Face offers a series of Endurance Challenge race weekends across the country every year with distances of 5k 10k half marathon marathon relay marathon 50k and 50 miles. In 2014 I ran the 5k in 2015 I ran the 10k. My plan was to up the distance each year until I hit the 50-miler. Unfortunately injury got in the way. I ve spent the last 18 months recovering from two surgeries. The first was to repair a very severe tear in my left labrum (hip). I waited 4 long months after surgery to start training again. But 2 months later I woke up one morning feeling considerable pain in my neck which ultimately I found out was caused by a herniated disk. After 6 months of conservative treatment (cortisone shots) I elected to have surgery in December 2016. Thankfully the surgery was a success and I was cleared to run again in January 2017. On April 30 2017 I completed The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon a demanding trail race where the course snakes along the banks of the Potomac River (and up five or six challenging steep hills) just outside of Washington D.C. Although this trail half marathon was an amazing experience I suffered bad calf pain at mile 10 and had to slow my pace considerably. I felt I had trained well enough before the race but the demands of running so many miles on steep inclines slippery descents and crossing over a multitude of bridges with two steps up and down on each side took its toll on me. Regardless I m going to attempt a few more half marathons this year to see how I hold up. But if my hip continues to be sore or I have complications I ll need to dial back the distance. As always I ll draw inspiration from the athletes whose stories fill our pages. Happy Reading ALIX ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 3 BADWATER ULTRA CUP SHENANDOAH ADVENTURE RACE JULIE TASHNER TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITOR S LETTER 3 Mission Accomplished By Alix Shutello I finally ran a half marathon It s been 18 months of healing but I ve done it. AND as usual I m inspired by the all of the athletes in this issue who continue to broaden my awareness of endurance running training and racing. COACHES CORNER 6 Are you over doing it By Gary Dudney It is important to recognize when you are pushing too hard and why. This article takes a look at over training syndrome. Running News A Change at EX2 Adventures By Alix Shutello EX2 Adventures is under new management. A fond farwell to Jim Harman who owned EX2 Adventures from 2000 2017. IN FIRST PERSON 10 Running with chronic lyme disease By Amy Pope Fitzgerald 28 How ExoSym Medical Technology Allowed Me to Be An Adventure Racer By Dominique DeWitt RACE REPORT 13 Badwater Ultra Cup By Alix Shutello The Badwater Ultra Cup is a series of three races starting in March each year with the Badwater Cape Fear 50-Miler. 14 Andrea Kooiman conquers badwater cape fear By Alix Shutello After running 33 marathons Andrea Kooiman ventured to ultra marathons. Now a fan of the 100 mile race Kooiman is Badwater Ambassador and is looking to complete the Badwater Ultra Cup this year. PROJECT ATHENA FOUNDATION 26 julie tashner turning to adventure racing to support project athena By Alix J. Shutello Julie Tashner joined Project Athena in support of a friend who suffered a myriad of health issues. This opened her eyes to the world of adventure racing. ENDURANCE RACING MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION SUBSCRIBE AT WWW.SHOPENDURANCESPORTSANDFITNESS.COM http www.EnduranceSportsandFitness.com ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE www.facebook.com EnduranceSportsandFitness.com http www.EnduranceSportsandFitness.com www.facebook.com EnduranceSportsandFitness.com Twitter AlixShutello EndurRacingMag Twitter AlixShutello EndurSportsFit Pinterest http pinterest.com enduranceracing boards Subscribe today at www.EnduranceSportsandFitness.com Russ Lyon Sotheby s International Realty CorioVelo Badwater and The High a movie by Barry Walton THANK YOU TO OUR ADVERTISERS KRISTIN SALZMAN DOMINIQUE DEWITT AMY POPE FITZGERALD 32 Kristin Salzman The Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Challenge By Alix Shutello Kristin Salzman completed three passes of the Grand Canyon in a few days. Find out what motivated this cancer survivor to go the distance. COMMMENTARY 35 WHY DO THEY CHEAT By Alix Shutello Athletes cheat. We are not sure why but at least there is technology out there to catch them. What s amazing is that most cheaters don t see to care BOOK REVIEW 36 RUNNING THE LONG PATH By Alix Shutello Kenneth Posner set out to run 350 miles. Read his story about his goals to run the Long Path. ADVENTURE RACING 38 THE SHENANDOAH ADVENTURE RACE The Shenandoah Adventure Race is a must do for adventure enthusiasts. Learn more at www.adventureenablers.com CONTRIBUTORS ES&F is made possible by the contributions from athletes and seasoned writers who bring their unique ideas expertise and perspectives to the magazine. Our regular contributors include Dominique DeWitt Contributor and Adventure Racer Gary Dudney Endurance Runner and Author Amy Pope Fitzgerald Contributor and Endurance Athlete Carl Hineline Contributor and Endurance Runner Sandra Vi Contributor and Endurance Runner COVER PHOTO By Robert Lee STAFF - Alix Shutello CEO & Publisher - Courtney Cornelius Copy Editor - Christiana Ferrar Graphic Designer - Michael Choi Ad and Graphic Design 5 ERM COACHES CORNER Are You Overdoing it By Gary Dudney author of The Tao of Running Let s face it...endurance sports -whether it be marathoning running triathlons Spartan racing ultra running or adventure racing -- are very demanding especially if you are pushing for faster times or taking on new challenges. Improving means getting out of your comfort zone which in turn means more intensive training. Pushing yourself too hard and then compounding the mistake by not giving yourself enough time for rest and recovery is an easy trap to fall into. The next thing you know you wake up in the middle of the night tossing and turning unable to fall back to sleep your muscles sore to the touch and your heart racing. You might be deep in the clutches of over-training syndrome. The usual signs of over-training include an elevated resting heart rate irritability lingering muscle soreness restless sleep and general fatigue. Of course fatigue and muscle soreness are natural reactions to endurance training so how do you distinguish normal responses from signs of over-training One clue is the persistence of the problem beyond the point where you would usually feel back to normal and ready to tackle another hard workout. For example you might get a good night s sleep but still feel achy and listless the next day. Your favorite workout might seem particularly stressful and hard to complete. Your energy and drive might seem to have deserted you. Your motivation has 6 wilted and your performance has mysteriously flattened out. No matter how hard you push yourself you seem incapable of improving. The way out of over-training syndrome is rest. Take a hard look at your training schedule. Make sure you are allowing enough time for rest and recovery after stressful workouts and race days. Add an extra day of rest to your weekly schedule and eliminate one day of training or at least switch out a day of hard intensity for a day of more moderate training. Are you piling up too many hard weeks in a row For most people dialing back to an easy week about once a month gives you back more than the lost training takes away. Pay attention to the old shibboleth Listen to your body. Don t stick religiously to a training schedule if your body is telling you to ease up. Give yourself a thorough rest period after a hard race effort. Ramp the training back up gradually and wait on any intensive workouts until you really start feeling A related condition that longtime endurance athletes experience is burnout which is more a mental issue than a physical one. It typically comes from following an unvaried routine of continuous training and racing until the whole enterprise becomes very stale repetitive and uninspiring. You stop feeling motivated to reach for new goals. the urge to train hard again. Once you ve taken steps to include more rest in your training schedule you should feel the over-training symptoms fade and your enthusiasm for training return. A related condition that longtime endurance athletes experience is burnout which is more a mental issue than a physical one. It typically comes from Continued on Page 8 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 7 COACHES CORNER Continued From Page 6 following an unvaried routine of continuous training and racing until the whole enterprise becomes very stale repetitive and uninspiring. You stop feeling motivated to reach for new goals. You don t get excited about making progress in your training and you find excuses for missing workouts. You re also reluctant to put any new races on your calendar. To get yourself out of the burnout rut you need to change things up. If you re a runner for example get away from making every workout some kind of run. Mix in some strength training in the gym or substitute one of your weekly runs with a swim or a long bike ride. You won t be sacrificing any of the cardio training but you ll be part of a whole new scene with different workout partners and a new venue. If nothing else find different places to run different routes and different surfaces. If you re always on roads you will be amazed at how stimulating a good trail run can be. You might be experiencing long-term over-training fatigue. If that s the case consider cutting back on your routine for a while or even taking an extended break from your sport. The additional rest might help you get into a new frame of mind. A break can also give you some perspective on just what you liked about the sport to begin with and lead you to feel eager to get back in the saddle. You want your endurance training to reduce stress in your life not create more stress. Over-training and burnout turn something you love into a chore and a source of anxiety. Get plenty of rest. Change up your routine. Get one of the best parts of your life back into being one of the best parts of your life. RACING NEWS A Change at EX2 Adventures Jim Harman founder of EX2 Adventures decided to sell his company to endurance athlete Andy Bacon after 17 years. JIM HARMAN EX2 Adventures is announcing a changing of the guard. After 17 years current race director and owner of EX2 Adventures Jim Harman will hand the reigns to experienced race director and highly accomplished athlete Andy Bacon. Andy has been part of the EX2 community since 2004 when he competed in his first EX2 event the XTERRA EX2 Off-Road Triathlon. Since then he has participated in almost every type of race EX2 has produced from the Backyard Burn to the Cranky Monkey to VentureQuest. He is married to another longtime EX2 racer Kelly Bacon. Andy introduced Kelly to EX2 back in 2009 and they spent several of their first dates at Blue Crab Bolts and Backyard Burns. Over the past 10 years it s the intangible and unteachable that have impressed me the most about Andy his emotional intelligence his thoughtful and caring demeanor his humility his likability and his leadership ability. Harman said. With Andy at the helm I am 100% confident that EX2 will thrive as he leads the EX2 Community in the creation of a new round of excellent experiences. Bacon is an accomplished adventure racer trail runner and mountain biker. He has raced with some of the best adventure racers in the country and has competed in over 50 adventure races most of which were 24-hour or multi-day events. In 2014 he competed in the adventure racing world championship in Ecuador and is returning to the AR world championship again this August. In addition to being a longtime racer Andy has excellent experience as a race director course designer and business owner as he co-founded an adventure racing company and promoted events from 2012 to 2015. ANDY BACON Andy believes in the EX2 mission loves being a member of the EX2 community and has a passion for creating positive life changing experiences. He will spend the rest of this year working EX2 events and then will take over EX2 beginning in 2018. 8 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 9 IN FIRST PERSON running with chronic lyme disease Photos and Story by Amy Pope Fitzgerald Social Worker turned SAG-AFTRA Actress Amy Fitzgerald 47 lives in Fairfax county VA and became an ultra marathoner at age 42 when she completed the JFK 50 Miler in 2012 while battling chronic Lyme disease. Fitzgerald who suffers from the chronic longterm effects of Lyme Disease. In this article we learn how she manages her busy life while managing the debilitating effects of Lyme Disease which went undiagnosed for 15 years. Once discovered in 2010 flare ups continued during her training. In 2013 Fitzgerald tested positive again for Lyme disease. Only this time she was given the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease an illness that Fitzgerald will battle for the rest of her life. Here is her story. Let s be honest most people assume ultra runners are running away from a problem. In fact it seems most of the general population thinks there is something mentally wrong with us because we run crazy distances. I hope I can break that mindset I m not your typical ultra runner. I ran track in 7th grade and quit because I was horrible at running When I was 24 however I contracted Lyme disease. It really wrecked me because I was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia for 15 years before doctors knew it was actually Lyme disease that was causing my symptoms of chronic fatigue becoming crippled and suffering from constant debilitating pain. The first six months of my illness were terrifying I truly felt like I was dying. I could not walk and relied on crutches. My neck would not move and my eye flared up. Chronic fatigue kicked in and doctor after doctor couldn t tell me what was wrong. At one point I was told that it was all in my head. Running on Good Days I continued to use crutches for the next 15 years and I gave up all hope of ever running again. One day however things changed. On Thanksgiving 2009 my husband was going for a run. I asked if I could go with him since I was having a rare pain free day. We ran walked five miles that day My husband kept asking me if I wanted to turn around but I was so stubborn that I wanted the same distance that he set out to run A long-distance runner was born that day. Neither one of us had any idea the crazy mileage I would run in the future I entered a Cherry Blossom Ten Miler 2010 team and I trained as best I could by running on my good days. I noticed the more miles I ran the better my body felt as the pain slowly started to diminish I finished the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler 2010 feeling fantastic The very next day I signed up for the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). a past Lyme disease infection. He treated me with two months of a heavy-duty antibiotic and I ran the MCM 2010 becoming a marathon finisher that day. The MCM 2010 is still my personal record marathon. Trying an Ultra Marathon In 2010 I went from running zero miles to 26.2 miles. Two years later I jumped to 50 miles thanks to encouragement from my running mentor Anna Bradford who truly believed I was ready to run that far. She set me up with an amazing support crew at my first JFK 50 miler in November 2012. That day I became an ultra marathoner after finishing this amazing 50 mile race. While training for my marathon I felt extremely fatigued and my elbows and wrists hurt. It was a new kind of pain for me so I went to the doctor and was tested for Lyme disease. The Western blot came back positive. The doctor asked me if I had ever had Lyme disease before and I said No I have fibromyalgia. Why I learned that I tested Anna Bradford (Left) was Amy s mentor positive for 10 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 In 2010 I went from running zero miles to 26.2 miles. I then jumped from 26.2 miles to 50 miles two years later thanks to encouragement from my running mentor Anna Bradford who truly believed I could run that far. The crazy thing about the race is that I had never run on a technical trail before. Luckily another competitor Shaunte Taswell helped me navigate the race. I also had a last-minute volunteer pacer from Reston Runners who stayed with me for the final 12 miles helping me get to the finish line. I always thought that after finishing a marathon you felt like you could do anything. However when you cross the finish line of an ultra you know that you have done something truly amazing. Over the years I continued running the JFK 50 with the Reston Runners group and attempted my first 100 miler in 2014 at GY100 while uncrewed which was a huge mistake for a newbie. It wasn t until my second attempt a year later that I succeeded in becoming official Umstead 100 miler finisher. Training Methodology Due to my chronic illness I listen to my body carefully and only train on my good days. The only time I have ever followed a training plan was when I prepared for my first marathon with my husband. Unfortunately he became injured during our last long training run and he never made it to the MCM start line. When I train for my ultras I usually only train up to the marathon distance. I run an average of 3- to 5 times a week but my mileage is rarely over 25 miles per week when it is not a race week for me. I do strength training and core work at least twice a week and often will work out at the gym and do a training run afterwards. For my long training runs I rely on running marathons to get it done. I have never enjoyed long training runs past 10-12 miles. I join the running group Moms Run This Town (MRTT) for a few long training runs. However most of my runs with them are 3-5 miles. I belong to several MRTT chapters and try to meet up when my busy schedule allows it. My training is unconventional but it works for me. I recently became a Road Runner Club of America (RRCA certified running coach and it was an eye opening experience to see the different training plans out there. My goal as a coach is to meet the client where they are and not to force a training plan they are not comfortable with. I love working with new runners or runners who want to succeed at running a longer distance. Also I want to expand my coaching services to working with people who are battling a chronic illness. After all these years I m still figuring out fueling for my longer distance races. I have a very sensitive stomach and can t eat a lot of sugar or ingest carbohydrates during a race. There have been some marathons when I only drink water. I have to force myself to eat during ultras. I will usually bring along Honey Stinger gels for fuel. If real food is available I will eat veggie burgers chicken noodle soup (limited) salted potatoes and pretzels. I stay away from fruit and will sip Gatorade if it is warm outside. Sometimes I will sip soda and eat a few M&M s. My Mindset I would not describe myself as competitive. This attitude stems from not being able to run for so many years of my life. I am thankful for each race I run and for each race I finish. For several of my ultras I ve raised money for charity. I ve set up a Crowdrise page and all donations go to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association. Donations are designated to research with the hope of finding a cure. It is important for me to give back to the community and give hope to those fighting (chronic) Lyme disease. Fundraising and inspiring warriors everywhere is a huge motivator for me to continue running ultras. During my races I try to stay positive and repeat running mantras. My favorite mantra is What doesn t kill you makes Continued on Page 12 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 11 Continued from Page 11 you stronger. I know that once your mind is in a bad place finishing becomes a real struggle. If I m struggling I think back on a race or training run where I overcame a giant obstacle. It brings a lot of confidence that I can finish what I started. I also break up the race in smaller distances so I don t feel overwhelmed. I celebrate each mile and try to stay focused on the next mile ahead. trait to have if you are an ultrarunner. When I did not finish my first 100-miler and pulled out at mile 63 at the GY100 2014 I was proud that I achieved a new distance 100K unsupported and learned what I could do differently to achieve my 100-miler finish goal. I realized I needed crew support a pacer during the grueling last part of the race and a looped course. I did my research and found the perfect I m also a visual runner and will see some- race. In 2015 I ran the Umstead 100-miler and achieved my dream of thing in the distance such as running up becoming a 100-mile race finisher. a hill and stay focused on what I have my I also finished with frostbitten feet and the pain was unbearI m also a visual runner and able. My feet were covered in a will see something in the distance such as running up a thousand blisters and tingling all hill and stay focused on what over. However I persevered and finished. I have my eyes on vs. thinking about the grueling hill I m running (or walking). One of my favorite ways to distract myself during a tough race is to make new friends eyes on versus thinking about the grueling hill I m running (or walking). One of my favorite ways to distract myself during a tough race is to make new friends. In 2015 a month after running the Umstead 100 I ran the Big Sur marathon and was really struggling. At mile 22 while feeling sorry for myself and shuffling along thinking this would be the first marathon I dropped out of I heard Jeff Galloway s voice behind me. I met Jeff at the race expo the day before and as he approached he invited me to join his running group and finish the race together. It was because of Jeff that I finished that race. Goal Setting I am very strong willed and determined. If I set my mind to achieve a goal there is a 99% chance that I will achieve it. I have never not completed a marathon and I have run at least 20 of them I m an opportunist and take advantage of unique situations when they are presented to me like running the DC Ragnar Relay with 12 strangers on the sponsored Girls on the Run team. I m not afraid of challenges and more importantly I m not afraid of failing. This is an important character 12 Staying Strong Every so often my chronic Lyme disease symptoms will flare up and I have to run slower than usual or not run at all and allow my body to heal. Running with chronic Lyme disease can be tricky. I want to push myself but I m also terrified of becoming injured and not being able to run. I often describe running as my natural antibiotic as it brings healing to my body. Over the years I have chosen to focus on increasing my distance while feeling good at the finish line. More and more I m beginning to yearn to run faster to push myself and see what speed I m capable of achieving. My hip joints are damaged from living with untreated chronic Lyme disease for so many years so I have not even attempted to train to increase my speed. But maybe with the right running coach and the right training I can do the impossible Fitzgerald and her husband Preston met at VA Tech and have been married for almost 20 years. They have three kids and a rescue lab. She can be seen on House of Cards VEEP the feature film Jackie and the indie film TRI. In her free time Fitzgerald writes for her blog http www.twinglesmom.blogspot.com ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 RACE REPORT THE BADWATER ULTRA CUP The Badwater Ultra Cup is a series of three races starting in March each year with the Badwater Cape Fear 50-miler shown on these pages. cape Fear (50 miles) This race is run on several different terrains it starts on paved roads for ten miles before athletes enter a narrow wooden trail for 1.5 miles before entering the golden beaches of Cape Fear itself. Athletes running the 50-miler (there is a 50K option) run on 39 miles of sand. As the day wears on the consistency of the sand changes with the tide making this race extremely challenging. Some competitors finishing in the evening hours can find themselves running through water when the tide comes in. Salton Sea (81 miles team-only event) Salton Sea is a team-only event. Teams of three are often formed by athletes competing at Cape Fear. Unlike other team events rather than a relay the group must run the whole distance together. Salton Sea is good training for Badwater 135 which is in Death Valley Calif. and the most grueling of all three races. Salton Sea located directly on the San Andreas Fault starting in April temperatures can climb to nearly 100 degrees (unlike Cape Fear where temperatures range between 50 and 70 degrees). ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 13 Andrea Kooiman Conquers Badwater Cape Fear Andrea Kooiman 42 set out to run a marathon...and that same year she ran three. After 33 marathons Kooiman decided to give ultra running a try. Now she s a fan of 100-milers and wants to complete as many as she can. Kooiman an ambassador for the Badwater racing series recently completed the Badwater Cape Fear 50-miler the first in a triple crown of Badwater races -- including the famous 80-mile Salton Sea and 135-mile Badwater race in Death Valley. ES&F Tell us about your experience at Cape Fear. Kooiman I have run Badwater 135 twice and Badwater Salton Sea once but I had never run Cape Fear. This year I am going back to Death Valley once again and so I wanted to complete the Badwater Ultra Cup. That meant adding Cape Fear to my racing calendar. Other than the fact that the race was on the beach and in the sand I really didn t know what to expect. The first thing I loved about this race was the runner check-in social mixer and organized dinner locations. It made traveling to the island more about the togetherness and family. It was great to catch up with running friends who I had not seen in some time and also to meet new people prior to race day. Race morning welcomed us with cool temperatures and the prediction of rain in the early afternoon. We were hoping it would stay dry but were committed to running even in a downpour. By Alix Shutello Photos provided by Robert Lee The first 10 miles felt great. We were running through the streets of the island and small single-track trail section. I was welcoming of the sand near the end of the 10 miles. The tide would shift and sometimes overtake your feet. Trying to run on the hard sand near the water was a challenge as most of it was on an angle. The hardest part was the second outand-back. We hit a very strong 30mph headwind in the final 10-mile stretch. Not only was I mentally not in a good place at that point the wind was demoralizing. It felt like I wasn t moving and with a long stretch of beach the perspective of how far I had to go or how far I had come was playing tricks on me. I was fortunate to run the final 5 miles or so with my friend MaryLou. She and I laughed complained and kept moving. We shared the 4th place female finish as we crossed the line hand in hand. The post-race pizza and fire pit was fantastic runners hung around to see their friends finish and celebrate together. It was a fierce competition but we all came together at the end. I swore off the race in those hours directly after but I softened up later that night and now I can t wait to go back. I want to do it better (of course). 14 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ES&F When did you become an ultra runner Kooiman I was 36 years old when I ran my first 50K and by the time I stood at the start line of that race I had already run 33 marathons including Boston. The challenge to run fast to qualify was difficult for me but I was happy to have achieved the goal. After that I wanted to challenge myself to run farther. I had primarily been running roads and was excited to move my feet onto the trail. I registered for two 50K races within two weeks. It seemed reasonable to me considering I had already been running so many marathondistance races. Ultimately I found that my passion was in running 100-mile races. There is something very raw and primitive about it. It s as if you get to take a glimpse into your I feel that many people over-train. I even fall into that category myself at times by not allowing myself enough rest after a long run or race. past present and future. You have an opportunity to look directly into your soul and decide what you need to change about yourself to be better do better live better. It can be a very scary process as the things you find aren t always nice and really force you to get real with yourself. ES&F So how did you get to where you are today Kooiman When I ran my first marathon I honestly believed I would be a one and done type of person. It was a goal that I had achieved and although I felt changed at the finish -- I knew I wanted to do it again -- I was really in no rush to race again right away. It was my husband who said I should do another one immediately. Why waste the training He said it would be better to be able to say I have completed marathons plural then to say I have done only one. So I jumped on his words and continued training for a few more weeks and completed my second marathon about eight weeks after my first. The person who trained me to run my first marathon was a retired ultra runner named Michele Ryan. She d completed many marathons including many 100mile races. She would tell me stories of her ultra races and it sounded beyond the scope of what I would ever want to do or what I thought I was physically Continued on Page 16 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 15 FEATURE Continued from page 15 capable of. In short I thought she was crazy. I said I would NEVER do anything like that words I have since eaten many times over. ES&F Tell us a little about your training who you train with and why what products you use in your training and then in competition. Kooiman Training can be difficult at times because I am also a coach. My pacing or mileage is not always dictated by me. Finding the time to make my training a priority while keeping others on target is a delicate dance but somehow I am making it work. Generally however I run 4-6 days per week. My weekday mileage is normally on the lower side with weekend mileage being high. I feel that many people over-train. I even fall into that category myself at times by not allowing myself enough rest after a long run or race. Wednesday morning is upper-body and gym with my husband and then I run stairs every Thursday morning. I swear by my stairs. Not only do I run them but I squat lunge jump and incorporate core and upper body. It s a great workout. I mostly wear Road Runner Sports brand clothing (R-Gear) Moving Comfort bras Road Runner Sports Drymax socks 2XU compression and HOKA shoes. As for my gear I am currently running with Nathan Hydration packs and handhelds although I also love my Orange Mud vest. The bottles make getting in and out of aid stations very smooth. My training partners vary. I have a core group of local women who will meet me at god-awful times in the morning and hit some dirty fast street miles. I have a great group of friends who will meet me on weekends for some trail miles and I have a core group I call upon when I need to be pushed. I love running with friends and prefer it to solo runs whenever possible. As a member of Run it Fast (a running club) I am never at a loss for inspiration its members are all pushing toward different goals. ES&F Have you ever had a bad race experience Kooiman Last year started off rocky. I experienced a very hard DNF (did not finish) at the HURT100-miler. I missed a time cutoff by 2 minutes at mile 93. Game over. It was done and I was so close. At that time I looked at myself in the mirror and didn t like the reflection. I felt there was a warrior inside that needed to come out but had been in hiding. I chopped off all my hair and started eating better training harder and listening to others experiences of victory and defeat. I needed to prepare my mind for the WHEN I RAN MY FIRST MARATHON I HONESTLY BELIEVED I WOULD BE A ONE AND DONE TYPE OF PERSON. IT WAS A GOAL THAT I HAD ACHIEVED AND ALTHOUGH I FELT CHANGED AT THE FINISH I KNEW I WANTED TO DO IT AGAIN Also I can NOT run without Chapstick. It s a bit crazy how often I use it and I get really frustrated if it s not in my pack or handhelds when I want it. 16 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 Grand Slam of Ultra which was coming up quickly as well as work on my redemption at HURT. It was a year of great learning. I became stronger physically and mentally on the trail and I finally learned that I truly belonged on the start line of any race I wanted to run. For years I haven t felt I belonged. Now I know with all my heart that I do I always have. ES&F Are you sponsored Kooiman I am not sponsored. However I am a Badwater Brand Ambassador and am currently waiting to hear if I will be selected as a HOKA ambassador. I ve sent emails to Chapstick and Dunkin Donuts about sponsorship so far they have not replied. ES&F What is your family life like Married Children Busy executive Kooiman I am one VERY busy woman My husband Bryan and I have been together for almost 20 years and married for 16. My son Braden is 22 years old and in the Marine Corps. My daughter Delila is almost 10 and a talented artist and dancer. She is NOT a runner. My day-job is in special events and marketing for Road Runner Sports in Laguna Hills. I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to bring the running community together. On the weekends I am often hired to emcee various races in California -- Susan G. Komen Disney Bonnie J. Addario and an entire lineup of Renegade Races. The passion of my heart is the nonprofit that I co-founded. We Run Orange County s Kids (WeROCK) provides afterschool intervention programs for middle and high school students in the Orange County Calif. area. I truly believe WeROCK is what God has told me I am supposed to do with my life. I am lucky enough each year to work with approximately 100 kids as they train to run the Orange County Marathon. Many of them have never been runners but we start everyone with 1 mile regardless of their athletic background. It is magic to watch these kids as they progress throughout the season and they are a huge source of my inspiration when I run. They are MY heroes. Based on the idea that life is like a marathon the mission of WeROCK is to teach our community s teenagers the important life skills of goal-setting self-reliance discipline and self-confidence through the design and delivery of instructional programs focused on the proper training Continued on Page 18 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 17 FEATURE Each year I go through a list of races that I would like to run. I sit down with my husband and try to determine what is realistic but I always end up going over my budget. This has caused me to be very creative in how I spend money Continued from page 17 for and completion of a marathon. Given all my priorities balance is not always easy but I love a full calendar and can t imagine my life any other way. ES&F Tell us about your mental training. It takes a certain mental fortitude to do this sport what drives you and keeps you sustained during competition Kooiman The kids of WeROCK have always been a main source of my drive. I watch them grow in the 7 months that they are with the program. The transformation is incredible especially when the light bulb goes on that shows them how capable they are to conquer great things and take on mighty challenges. I want to be a good example to them when I race. I take on distances that scare me train hard in order to set myself up for success and then gracefully accept the outcome. If I DNF they are right there with me through the process of rebuilding and going back out for another shot and a finish. I hope that as they see me rise and fall they will remember that sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. There are no failures when you are still moving forward toward your goal. I feel that ultra runners are able to push to certain levels of pain because pain is somewhat comfortable to them. If you sit down and talk to any one of us you will find that many have experienced some past pain that they are dealing with. Whether it be abuse neglect addiction or any other number of things that hurt us as we were growing up ultra running allows you an opportunity to work on those issues while dealing with the pain. The only way to really work on what needs to be fixed is to be broken down to the most primitive form of you. At that point you are ready to set a stronger foundation and become a better you. What I have learned the most over the past year was that I have to run with gratitude. Even in my greatest moments of pain loneliness helplessness or despair this is a pain that I chose for myself. I registered for this race. I put myself here. I have a temporary state of discomfort. There are people who wake up every single day with pains far greater than what I may feel in a 24-hour period. And those people trudge on. They live and breathe their pain daily and keep living. I am thankful for the ability to choose. ES&F Do you budget for your competitions Kooiman Each year I go through a list of races that I would like to run. I sit down with my husband and try to determine what is realistic but I always end up going over my budget. This has caused me to be very creative in how I spend money and I share travel expenses with other runners. You could say that I have a lot of learning to do in this department ES&F You may also feel free to talk about pain injury...anything slowing down Kooiman I ve been very lucky to have had few injuries. I rolled my left ankle at the beginning of last year but worked on rehabbing that while keeping up with training. I also had a calf pull that was pretty significant back in 2015 but that has since gone away. Knocking on wood because right now I feel great ES&F We want readers to know you and what drives you. Kooiman What drives me is changing the perspective of others. I once told my mentor and friend Michelle that I would NEVER run 100 miles. At this point I have run 20 100-milers. Who knew It is all about changing the norm or the box for people. If a child I coach takes a chance that they would not have taken because they watched me run a crazy race then I am happy. If another housewife in the area decides to run her first 5K because she s heard that I suffered through 100 then I am content. What drives me is that everyone has a different reason for what they do but all reasons are valid in the journey to achieve goals. It is when we stop moving that concerns me. So my drive is to keep moving so that others will keep moving as well. ES&F Do you have a website Kooiman I don t personally have a website but I co-founded a great nonprofit that trains kids in my area to run a marathon check it out at www.werunockids.org You can find me on social media Instagram runcoachkrun Facebook https www.facebook.com WHEN I RAN MY FIRST MARATHON I HONESTLY BELIEVED I WOULD BE A ONE AND DONE TYPE OF PERSON. IT WAS A GOAL THAT I HAD ACHIEVED AND ALTHOUGH I FELT CHANGED AT THE FINISH -- I KNEW I WANTED TO DO IT AGAIN 18 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 19 IN FIRST PERSON There s really only one way to describe Badwater Cape Fear and that is a runcation with the Badwater Family. Badwater Cape Fear is the first stop of the Badwater Ultra Cup which attracts many familiar faces from the ultrarunning scene. I have run the Badwater Cape Fear event the last two years and it gets better and better every year. Planning for this runcation is a little different instead of reserving a hotel I call Bald Head Island Limited and reserve a million-dollar vacation house for the weekend which gets filled with running friends and family. Renting a home is definitely the cheapest way to go I ve spent less than what one night at a hotel would cost for two nights at a house once the cost is split up among all the guests. Every house also comes with golf carts as that is the only way to get around Bald Head Island (and golf cart adventures are a blast ). Chris Kostman (Badwater Cape Fear Race Director) has multiple activities scheduled during the weekend meet-and-greets social kickoffs runner check-in (can you say ultra-runner picture-taking bliss ) a post-race pizza party and a breakfast the following day that sends you off the island with a smile. Every year brings a new adventure meeting different people exchanging new stories at the social events during the run and with houseguests in between activities and seeing inspiring athletes from The Herron Project. This year s highlight for me was the Charlie Engle book signing (he also high-fived me on the run ). You don t have to be an ultra-runner superstar for this Badwater event which makes it comfortable for those inspired by the sport to join in on the fun. You can go and cheer on the runners volunteer explore the island or run either the 50k or the 50-mile distance. Badwater Cape Fear By Carl Hineline Badwater Cape Fear is the first stop of the Badwater Ultra Cup which attracts many familiar faces from the ultra running scene. I have run the Badwater Cape Fear event the last two years and it gets better and better every year. A good portion of the run is on hard-packed sand off the waters of the Atlantic Seaboard. The ocean makes this race fun as well as challenging unlike running on a road the tides change during the run causing wind shifts. The out-and-back course on the beach is enjoyable because you see elite runners and get to high-five your friends at the same time (and seeing dolphins while you run is a nice touch). The aid stations are well-stocked with volunteers who are extremely knowledgeable and can assist and advise with any issue you may have. If you ve never been to a Badwater event before you don t know what you re missing. The pictures social media exposure and memories are unbeatable and the elite runners in the sport greet you like family. This runcation is definitely worthy of the name Photo by Robert Lee 20 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 21 IN FIRST PERSON By Sandra Vi Badwater Cape Fear Cape Fear is a very near and dear race to me it was my first 50-mile race and first Badwater event in 2015. I had discovered it as I was reading about the famous Badwater 135 dreaming that I would one day get to participate. A very long road ahead of me would begin with this event proving to myself that I could and would do it. I remember contemplating hitting that submit button the first time the fear of an endeavor that long 51.4 miles so far from home and mostly beach running (something I had no experience in at all) and wondering if my mind could out-will my body if my body gave up. Needless to say I did hit that button and have been back in 2016 and again in 2017 putting out a stronger finish each time. The beautiful thing about this race is the breathtaking ambience of the environment the island ocean and whatever Mother Nature wants to add for dessert. The carefree island is a very peaceful calming scene and every year has been a unique experience accompanied by a different challenge. This year we were graced with heavy winds which meant battling through a wicked headwind the second time out the sand was blowing up around me and felt like pins and needle pricks. The burning sensation was outweighed by my determination to keep moving and by my heart that strives to always finish working through whatever my mind says quieting the voice that tells me it would be easier to stop. I have learned to embrace the challenges and push through the barriers that accompany any ultra event. That s what Badwater means to me it is through these events that I have learned what I am capable of. What drives me to keep coming back to Bald Head Island is the experience of being with others like myself in this family of crazy and special runners. The wonderful team of volunteers and staff and top-notch organization by race director Chris Kostman makes the event even more inviting. Everyone returns for their own reasons but for me Cape Fear is a humbling reminder of what conquering my fears is all about. The beautiful thing about this race is the breathtaking ambience of the environment the island ocean and whatever Mother Nature wants to add for dessert. Photo by Robert Lee 22 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 23 PROJECT ATHENA FOUNDATION The Project Athena Foundation exists to give women who ve suffered a mental or physical setback a chance to participate in an adventure to help strengthen them. Athenas are athletes who ve overcome cancer amputation post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other challenges. The founder Robyn Benincasa is a true warrior herself . To learn more visit www.projectathena.org Harbor to Harbor Urban Trek April 28-May 1 2017 Experience San Diego like never before as you take in the sights by foot on this 2-day 50-mile urban adventure hike down the coast. http projectathena.org athena-adventure san-diego-harbor-to-harbor-trek Santa Barbara 24 Hour Adventure June 22-25 2017 Experience the gorgeous coastal and mountain terrain of Santa Barbara with this non-competitive adventure race Together with your teammates you will kayak mountain bike and hike for 24-30 hours while navigating your way through a series of checkpoints. http projectathena.org athena-adventure santa-barbara-intro-to-adventure-racing Grand Canyon Trek Rim to Rim to Rim August 24-28 2017 Join us as we travel from Rim to Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon Starting on the South Rim we ll hike 24 miles to the North Rim (an awesome 6 000-foot elevation gain) before stopping in rugged cabins for the night. On day 2 we ll conquer another 20 miles on our unique route back to the South Rim taking in incredible views on the final 5 000-foot climb out of the Canyon. http projectathena.org athena-adventure grand-canyon-trek-rim-2-rim-2-rim Grand Canyon Trek Rim to Rim August 28-31 2017 Don t just hike in the Grand Canyon join us as we hike across it from Rim to Rim Starting on the South Rim we ll hike the 24 miles to the North Rim (an awesome 6 000-foot elevation gain) before stopping in rugged cabins for the night where you can bask in the glow of your incredible accomplishment http projectathena.org athena-adventure grand-canyon-trek-rim-2-rim 24 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 San Diego Cove to Harbor Adventure September 30 2017 Experience 26.2 miles of San Diego s coast with our urban hiking adventure . This marathon hike will be led by the more skilled group of endurance athletes. http projectathena.org athena-adventure san-diego-cove-to-harbor-coastal-marathon-trek Keys To Recovery Adventure November 16-20 2017 This 3-day multisport adventure covers 120 stunning miles of Florida coastline. You ll kayak and cycle from Key Largo to Key West taking in the sights and enjoying local cuisine before setting up camp on the beach each night. http projectathena.org athena-adventure florida-keys-recovery ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 25 PROJECT ATHENA FOUNDATION Julie Tashner Turning to Adventure Racing to Support Fundraising Efforts for Project Athena By Alix Shutello Photos provided by Julie Tashner Not all athletes who compete in Project Athena Adventure Races do so because they received grants or scholarships to race. Many compete to support friends or family raise money and of course lay claim as adventure racing goddesses themselves Julie Tashner is one of those athletes and faithful friends. Julie Tashner 36 from Richmond Va. learned about Project Athena through an old high school friend who suffered from myriad health issues and who had already completed an adventure race in 2013. Tashner who was asked to join her friend in 2016 for the Santa Barbara Intro to Adventure Racing event signed on immediately to support her friend as well as participate in a multisport adventure. Who doesn t want to complete an adventure race over the course of 24 hours with no sleep and to fundraise a couple thousand dollars she said. Through college Tashner was always active in some type of physical activity soccer track gymnastics. She was trying her best to maintain an active life style as an adult but according to Tashner she was failing miserably. I got stuck in a daily routine where the extent of my physical activity was walking my dog. I needed something to get me out of my rut and Project Athena came into my life right when it was most needed Tashner explained. Training for Santa Barbara got me moving again and got me in to an adventurous family full of love support and crazy fun. Training also gave my pup Nicah (aka The Best Training Buddy Ever) a lot more time outside sniffing new smells while hiking and swimming in the river while I paddled. My experience in Santa Barbara was so incredible and empowering that I imme26 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 diately signed up for and participated in the 2016 Keys to Recovery adventure. For Tashner training for an endurance event was a by-product of wanting to be involved with Project Athena Foundation. When I reconnected with Sarah Pless my high school friend I found out that she d had some pretty serious health issues was on the mend and was involved with Project Athena she said. Over the course of a year Tashner occasionally trained with Sarah while she was preparing for her first Project Athena Foundation (PAF) Adventure. When I heard the stories after she completed her first adventure race I was so impressed by the impact Project Athena had on her physical and more importantly mental recovery I needed to be involved somehow. Fundraising was a good way for me to get involved and in signing up to fundraise I signed myself up for my first adventure race Tashner admitted she d had no clue what she was getting herself into when she signed up for the 2016 Santa Barbara adventure race. I had no concept of what hiking for 15 miles meant or even what biking for 10 miles meant. I had never even mountain biked before she explained. Tashner questioned whether she should be nervous but in reality she wanted to just go for it. Because she was starting or gettIng lost bIkIng gravel roads. I love paddlIng In the raIn on tough waves In traInIng to buIld the mental stamIna. I love lookIng at places I ve never been and dreamIng about what It d be lIke to go there. I love the challenge of navIgatIng crazy terraIn and fIndIng the control rIght where It should be. from a relatively inactive lifestyle she did a few weeks of pre-training before the actual 20-week training plan commenced to ease her way into the six consecutive days of training. Being an athlete growing up I was at least familiar with the importance of nutrition and hydration. Understanding these concepts wasn t anything I had to learn I just had to start paying attention. Most of my training was done around my town. Richmond is an outdoor-lover s playground we have an abundance of trails a river running through the city and a great community of like-minded folks. It s also close to the mountains and ocean to spice things up a little. While the easing back into things turned out fine some of the final training days in the program were not so easy. While completing the last long training hike before her adventure race Tashner pup Nicah was hiking alongside her during a 15-mile trek. It was a long hike and a really long day. Tashner had anticipated it would take 7 hours to complete and hoped it would be 6 hours but ultimately it ended up taking 8 hours. Around mile 11 Nicah started to get tired. I felt bad for getting her into this situation where the only way out was to walk additional miles. I felt so bad in fact that I attempted to carry her but she s 45 pounds. That lasted only about 50 yards she said. Around mile 12 Tashner was starting to feel drained so she and Nicah took a long break. They finally got I love explorIng an unknown traIl back on the trail with a little more pep in their step and finished out the last few miles as the sun was setting -- and just before a massive storm rolled in. Training became Tashner s life for 20-plus weeks but she was fully prepared for that. Her mantra was simple I think I can Said Tashner If something happens and I experience a setback or get stuck I just figure out how to change what I m doing so that I can keep making forward progress. I believe I think I can so much I even got it tattooed on my bicep. Now I have not only my mental mantra but also a physical reminder. Her mantra has helped her pursue progress in all areas of her life at the time Tashner started to train she and her boyfriend were talking about moving in together...but after a few weeks of pre-training the couple had decided to hold off for a bit. We were on such opposite schedules that we kept tiptoeing around each other me getting up at 4 a.m. going to bed at 7 p.m. and him staying up until midnight and waking up at 9 a.m. He knew this was something that I needed to do and he completely supported me and my crazy schedule. So we put moving in together on hold. Don t worry though everything worked out with him in the end we got married in April 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 27 IN FIRST PERSON How ExoSym Medical Technology Allowed Me To Be an Adventure Racer Photos and Commentary by Dominique DeWitt My name is Dominique DeWitt and I am 27 years old. I was born with a nerve condition that prevents my legs from working properly. Growing up I had difficulty walking for any distance and standing for any duration of time. I wore plastic leg braces for support. Don t feel bad for me though -- my mother is a paraplegic and my dad has cerebral palsy so overall I felt fortunate to be able to walk. I knew from a young age not everyone gets that blessing. In the last three years I ve lived in five different cities in four different states. I ve moved so often because my husband is in the military. During our tour in Hawaii I was at a routine physical the doctor inquired about my nerve condition and gave me information about the ExoSym device. He told me it had the potential to give me an active lifestyle because it acted as a limb salvage device and would compensate for the lack of nerves and muscles in my legs. I brushed the doctor off because special devices had never worked for me in the past. He made me an appointment anyway to receive the ExoSym device. When I initially received the device I was told it would change my drastic limp. I was thrilled My husband was on a deployment and I wanted it to be a surprise for him when he came home. I imagined being able to walk perfectly upright and straight as I greeted him off the plane I cried every time I imagined it. However after three months of hard work and physical therapy my limp hadn t changed. I was frustrated and felt like getting the device was foolish. My friend Beth a fellow ExoSym wearer saw my frustration and believed I could get more out of the device than just a gait change. She understood the power of the device and thought I could 28 achieve an active lifestyle. She encouraged me to apply for a grant through Project Athena Foundation an organization that sets up epic adventures for women who have overcome adversity to give them a comeback story. I really did not want to do it -- especially considering the adventure was a 24-hour adventure race of hiking biking and kayaking. However since Beth was a new friend I didn t want to disappoint her and applied. I was confident I wouldn t receive a grant -after all what had I overcome anyway Preparing for the Adventure of a Lifetime Life is funny isn t it I received the grant. I wanted to say no but I didn t want to upset Beth. Project Athena explained that I would have to submit training logs and the official offer would be contingent on passing all requirements. This was great news because when my body inevitably failed the requirements Beth couldn t get upset it wouldn t be ME quitting it would be PAF declining my acceptance. Things started off as expected. It was difficult to do anything but I saw improvement initially. I figured it would plateau in a few weeks. I was convinced of this because my whole life had proven that to be true. Somehow my CoNtinued on page 26 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 FOR THOSE WHO DARE ABC 2 is BOLD. They act with urgency and embrace risk in order to speed new treatments for patients like me -- BethAnn Telford extreme athlete and 10-year brain cancer survivor Brain Cancer Breakthroughs www.abc2.org ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 29 IN FIRST PERSON CoNtinued from page 28 coach Amanda kept passing me on each requirement. It was exciting but also nerve-wracking. I wasn t supposed to do this adventure. I even started the training a month before the start date because I was so convinced I wouldn t even pass the first month. That would mean I could get out before training officially started. To my utter surprise I just kept passing the requirements. It wasn t until month four out of five that I realized I would actually have to do this adventure. It was terrifying but amazing at the same time. I looked back at how much I had improved and couldn t believe how much had changed. I realized these devices were truly life-changing. All of my training was in Hawaii. Each hike had a new adventure with beautiful views. I often reflect on how fortunate I was to have this training plan during a time in my life that I had access to the best views in the world. Motivation to see these views kept me going on the tough days. I quickly learned how important it was to eat and drink the right things and to consume often. My body wanted at least 200 calories every hour and lots of electrolytes. Pushing Through Difficulty Coach Amanda taught us about our chimp brain which is the part of our brain that brings out doubt and constantly puts us down. She encouraged us to name our chimp and never let him bring us down. It sounds like a funny thing to do but it actually worked Knowing that this would happen helped me prepare and fight off negativity...usually. Our last training piece was a 7-hour hike. My friend suggested we climb Mt Ka ala -- the tallest mountain on Oahu. It was sure to bring amazing views and to be quite a challenge. We were almost to the top and I had to stop something wasn t right. Each step was painful and I was going way slower than the requirements stated. I had a meltdown right before the top of this mountain. I was hurting and we hadn t even gotten to the top. There was no way I would be able to complete 30 24 hours. I sat on the edge of the mountain and just cried my heart out. I called Amanda ready to quit. When she heard me crying she was first sentimental and then said something similar to Well it s about time you had a breakdown. I was wondering when that would happen. It happens to everyone around this time. Who knows if that was actually true but it made me feel better. She told me that I ve put the work in and she would make sure I crossed the finish line. My friend who was on the hike chimed in and told me that we had worked too hard to quit. She had seen too much improvement I wasn t allowed to turn back. I wish I could tell you I was magically cured and confident. The truth is if I didn t have to climb all the way down the mountain I would have definitely called it quits. However I knew there was no way home except to just keep hiking. Mission Complete I am thrilled to announce that our team made it through the 24-hour adventure race In a few words the experience was painful. Sweaty. Exhausting. Exciting. Emotional. Inspiring. Draining. Lifechanging We completed about 15 miles of hiking 45 miles of mountain biking and 18 additional miles of hiking. I certainly can t say I did it on my own -- there was a lot of help to get through the adventure but I did my best. We were even able to FaceTime my husband to watch us cross the finish line. Talk about an emotional event It was such a defining moment because I realized life is truly not about walking straight or being the fastest athlete. It is more important to create goals and reach them with the ones you love -- whatever it takes I am currently training for a Century Bike Ride More importantly though I have decided on a career change. My experience with the ExoSym and Project Athena Foundation has shown me how important wellness is -- and how taking small steps each day can make a huge impact. I am enrolled full time to pursue a Master s in Public Health - Health Promotion to hopefully work as a corporate wellness coordinator and inspire others to live their best life possible. I will be able to empathize when the road gets tough and I will always be able to remind employees that crossing the finish line -- real or symbolic -- is worth the fight. ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 31 PROJECT ATHENA FOUNDATION Kristin Salzman The Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Challenge After completing only one leg of her first Rim adventure Kristin Salzman came back the next year and crossed the Grand Canyon By Alix Shutello Photos provided by Vanessa Spiller Kristin Beth Salzman 45 has something few people can claim to their name a triple passing of Grand Canyon. There are two Grand Canyon Rim challenges the Rim2Rim involves hiking from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other (one pass) and the Rim2Rim2Rim goes from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other and back (two passes). Salzman a cancer survivor completed three passes for no reason other than she felt like it. Salzman who grew up in a little farming town in western Wisconsin called Star Prairie was a runner and cyclist until October 2012 when at age 39 she learned she had breast cancer. I was raking the lawn and noticed an uncomfortable feeling on my left breast. It was a small open sore. I went to the doctor and he put me on a week of antibiotics. When that did nothing he sent me for a biopsy...and I learned it was breast cancer she said. Salzman s Aunt Karen had received breast cancer treatment 8 months prior Salzman decided to follow her aunt s footsteps and seek treatment at the Mayo Clinic. I opted for a double mastectomy which involved a lymph node dissection with a removal of 16 lymph nodes she said. Unfortunately from the surgery Salzman developed Lymphedema (LE) a condition where the lymph system is damaged and the lymph fluid pools in this case in Salzman s left forearm. It was the physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Jenny Kollasch who noticed the LE on Salzman s forearm after her second of 32 six surgeries. After each surgery my arm would fill with fluid and would need to be drained via a process called Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy as well as wrapped and compressed. As of today both of my arms are the same size and I m so lucky for that Salzman said. Salzman s aunt saw a presentation by Robyn Benincasa of the Project Athena Foundation (PAF) and immediately got Salzman involved with the organization. I applied to walk the 44-mile Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Adventure Challenge. After being accepted to the program I met my trainer Amanda Webb whose constant encouragement and positivity was exactly what I needed. I opted for a double mastectomy and a lymph node dissection with a removal of 16 lymph nodes Salzman said. Learning How to Eat Salzman who d been a member of Weight Watchers for almost a decade struggled with eating more food as part of her training. Another part of the training that stumped me the whole time was my nutrition Salzman said. I was advised to eat 200300 calories every hour and eating this much was unthinkable. Salzman had to rethink her reason for eating and go with it. She continually reminded herself that the purpose of eating on this long walk was to fuel herself for the next hour of walking. It was a concept I needed to understand and while one might think that walking 6 to 8 hours would be an excellent weight loss pro- The training plan for the Rim2Rim2Rim required the completion of six hikes three stair climbs for 1 hour 2 hours and 3 hours and three long hikes for 4 hours 6 hours and 8 hours with 5000-ft. elevation gain. Training in Minnesota which has no elevation was a challenge Salzman said. To get any kind of elevation change I had to search for steep hills all over the state and when I did I d walk them over and over and over. The hardest part of preparing for the challenge was not knowing what the Canyon trail was like. She soon learned that when one goes rim to rim to rim it s 5 hours downhill 5 hours across the bottom (which is not flat) and 5 hours uphill. ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 Another part of the training that stumped me the whole time was my nutrition Salzman said. I was advised to eat 200-300 calories every hour and eating this much was unthinkable. gram that s not entirely true she said. Athletes in training were told to eat foods that would take a while to digest and be kind to their digestive systems. Fresh fruits were out of the question because they digest too fast and are way too heavy to carry in our backpacks. I chose granola bars cookies and peanut butter apple tortilla roll-ups Salzman said. pack were being towed by other hikers when they couldn t continue on. Salzman s knee however was turning critical. She needed to relieve some of the weight off her back and finally gave her backpack up to her friend Amy and then her cousin Claire. Giving up my backpack was like shaving my head when my hair was falling out from the chemo. It was an outward sign to my husband children and the world that I was actually sick and weak. Who wants to admit that Definitely not me Salzman recalled becoming angry and frustrated about appearing weak but said Robyn fixed that. I was on one of the hairpin turns and she yelled up to me Go Peg Leg It made me feel so good inside to know she was in my corner encouraging me when I needed it most. I made it up to the other side of the Canyon the North Rim and was able to see the sun set. It was beautiful words can t describe the grandness. That night I iced and elevated my sore Only One Rim 2015 At 1 00 a.m. Salzman s team complete with headlamps on walking poles in hand and water started off across the Canyon. Salzman admitted she d had no idea what walking from one side of the Canyon to the other and back truly entailed. Five hours into the hike she tripped on the trail and twisted her knee. While it didn t seem like a big deal I soon couldn t bend it without pain. I walked the next 10 hours with one leg straight. As we went down into the valley I wondered why no one was helping me. She soon learned why she wasn t receiving much help athletes in the back of the knee. Two days later it was pretty much better but I still had to drop out the hikes are continuous from one day to the next. Trying for Another Rim Salzman signed up to do the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Adventure Challenge again in 2016. This time her motives were both to finish and to keep herself on track with weight loss. As a long-term member of Weight Watchers keeping at goal weight helps with her lymphedema. With all the movement I participate in it keeps my left arm very healthy she explained. She was joined by Jenny Kollasch her physical therapist from the Mayo Clinic. We started out at 2 00 a.m. and went on Bright Angel Trail. It was amazing to see other athletes returning from the North Rim who had run both ways continuously all night long. I said to myself If they can do that I certainly can walk it in two days Salzman recounted. Salzman sailed down into the Canyon and out the other side. It was hard but I m telling you when you don t trip and hurt yourself life in the Canyon is much better she related. Walking in the Canyon you just go. You just take the task in front of you and do it. I couldn t believe how good I felt. The training had paid off and all my decisions about gear paid off too. Continued on Page 34 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 33 PROJECT ATHENA FOUNDATION Some of the group knew that it was my third time across and congratulated me on that but every one of these athletes had their own story stories which mean so much. Continued from page 33 It rained all of Day 2 which unusual for the Grand Canyon where it s supposed to be 110 degrees and sunny for most of the day. It started out with the 5 hours of downhill in the rain which was tricky because I needed to keep moving but didn t want to step in all the puddles or slip or something like I did the year before she said. When she completed the challenge she was happy but something was missing. I needed to do this Rim2Rim adventure again and now. Going for Three As fate would have it a cancellation opened the opportunity for Salzman who then completed a third passing. I just couldn t believe that I was starting to walk the Canyon again at 1 00 a.m. for the fourth time in my life (and third time on this particular trip). This time we went down South Kabab trail 2 miles shorter than Bright Angel more of a scenic route and steeper. Once the sun came up the views were amazing. Fifteen hours later this new group made it out of the Canyon. Some of the group knew that it was my third time across and congratulated me on that but every one of these athletes had their own story stories which mean so much. Note In the end of this second trip to the Grand Canyon Salzman walked the Grand Canyon three times over three days which took 45 hours. Salzman hiked a total of 68 miles. To earn more about PAF visit www.projectathena.org 34 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 COMMENTARY Why do they cheat stories of runners who cheat in the marathon By Alix Shutello cheaters and Ruiz is at the top but she s part of a consortium of race cheaters some of whom I am just scratching my head about...in particular athlete Kip Litton . Let s focus on Kip Litton In 2010 the New Yorker published an expose on Kip Litton who came from the back of the pack to finish second place in the Montana Marathon but for some reason he never showed up in photos along the race course. The winner of the Masters Division Kyle Strode knew second place finisher Mike Telling. However when the the top The easiest way to cut the course finishing times were announced Ah but no. In today s day and is simply skip the first part of the Litton apparently finished secage thanks to your Garmin race. ... You ve seen them the ones ond even though Telling didn t and your timing chip they will that aren t sweaty bouncing along remember seeing him on the find you. Evidence of this can be coming into the finish as though course. In fact according the seen on https www.marathonthey re out for a stroll. article in the New Yorker Telling investigation.com a website reported that he had no memory dedicated to reporting on of being passed by Litton earlier marathon race cheating (you ll According to blog BaldRunner.com written in the race. Strode found this interesting be on the page for quite a while reading by seasoned endurance athlete Jovenal and began researching Litton who turns all the stories). Site owner Derek Murphy Jovie Narcise course cutting is easier out had an impressive running resume. didn t anticipate that his site would be to do than you might think. Says Narcise Litton competed in more than a 100 so popular but he subsequently formed The easiest way to cut the course is simraces including 25 marathons. Oddly a partnership with race directors to help ply skip the first part of the race. ... You ve however over the years his time improved catch cheaters in the act. seen them the ones that aren t sweaty drastically. Not that this is impossible bouncing along coming into the finish as but when one logs multiple sub 3 hour It s disheartening to see a sport go down though they re out for a stroll. marathons it is noticeable and in Litton s the drain and be cheapened by competicase improbable. Strode discovered that tors who feel they need to cheat for their However course cutting is also usually Litton started races 2 to 5 minutes behind own personal glory. Runner s World the the easiest to catch as demonstrated the leaders (like he did in the Montana Boston Globe USA Today and The New recently when Jane Seo a New York City Marathon). Litton was never in photos York Post among others have reported food blogger and Huffington Post in the middle of these races only at the on a number of race cheating incidents contributor came in second place in beginning and the end. from those who cheat to get into the the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon. Seo Boston Marathon to those who cheat durwas disqualified because her timing chip Race Photos Can Discover Cheaters ing the race by cutting corners. showed a large negative split where her pace at the end of the race was significant- Race photos would ultimately bury Litton as a cheat. At the Providence Marathon Murphy uses various methods to analyze ly larger than at the beginning. Worse her in Rhode Island Litton finished first in his data in races to determine if cheating has own GPS nailed her Her Garmin reported age group. However photographs showed been a factor. He reported that more than she ran 11.65 miles not 13.1. him wearing shoes and shorts at the end 12 runners had cheated to qualify for the of the course that were different from 2017 Boston Marathon. Race Cheating Isn t New those he was wearing at the beginning. Unfortunately race cheating has been There are three main ways runners going on a long time. The most famous cheat bib swapping using a bib mule example is Rosie Ruiz who cut corners at Continued on Page 36 and course cutting. Race bibs can help the Boston Marathon in 1980. Runitfast. monitor accuracy they record paces per com lists the top ten biggest marathon Ok so you re toeing the line of the San Diego Marathon and you want to qualify for Boston. The qualification has become an obsession you want to be like all those cool athletes who run in the most famous marathon in the world. You train hard...but on race day you get mental and your pace starts to drop. You panic and in desperation you leave the race course and head toward the port a john. You slip around it ditch the course and enter it again a few miles later. In fact you had premeditated this as your backup plan and when you cross the finish line you ve qualified for Boston. Now you can relax... mile. If the pace drops significantly that is an easy indicator of a course cut. However some attempt to thwart this by bib muling as in the case of a couple in the Philadelphia Marathon. A tipster noticed the man carrying the woman s timing chip during the race according to an article in online newspaper PhillyVoice.com ...the man again removed his wife s chip from her bib and fastened it to his own. She ran the race without a chip but thanks to her husband she gained a qualifying time for Boston that she otherwise would not have received. ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 35 BOOK REVIEW Running the Long Path Running the Long Path is a book by Kenneth Posner. It describes an ultra runner s fast-paced account of his trek into the wilds of New York s Hudson Valley in an attempt to set a new record for completing the Long Path. Have you ever considered running 350 miles in nine days Kenneth Posner did just that when he completed a recordsetting run along New York s Long Path a 350-mile hiking trail that stretches from New York City to Albany. In his page-turning narrative Posner combines the thrill and challenges of his extreme endurance feat with the stunning natural beauty and deep historical significance of New York s Hudson Valley. Once a casual runner Posner shares his excitement about developing into a trail runner and eventually an ultra runner as well as the pursuit of a fastest known time a new dimension of extreme trail running where some of the sport s fastest and most experienced athletes vie to set new speed records for important trails. Hikers walkers and runners will appreciate his detailed descriptions of planning pacing gear selection nutrition hydration and navigation which will help them prepare for their own adventures on the trails. Interwoven with his experience are the interesting stories of the Long Path and the places through which it passes including some of New York s most important parks and preserves and the distinctive mountains and forests they protect. Throughout the book Posner channels the voices of famous New Yorkers associated with the Path Walt Whitman John Burroughs Theodore Roosevelt and Raymond Torrey who express their appreciation of the natural beauty of the region. Running the Long Path is the story of what ordinary people can accomplish with a little determination and a lot of grit. Whether you walk or run you will find inspiration in Posner s tale. Cheaters Continued From Page 35 Further at the Delaware Marathon Litton had finished first in his age group. Wayne Kursh who photographed the out-and-back portion of the course took photographs of the top runners at the turnaround point--but Litton was not among them. Kursh also failed to find images of Litton elsewhere on the course. And the list goes on. Litton was disqualified from some of his marathons but unfortunately he is just a part of liege of athletes who think it s their right to cheat. In 2015 for example the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. issued a lifetime ban to 61-year-old Gregory Price who had run the race every year since 2011 and whose timing chip had mysteriously always failed to register at both the 25 and 30-kilometer checkpoints. I once came in fourth-place top female in my age group in a trail race. I would be so disappointed to learn that someone cheated me from the top three spot. I worked hard and ran my heart out. I am left to wonder what does the cheater gain by cheatingespecially if they caught In fact now I am suspicous of anything out of the ordinary during competition During my most recent trail half marathon a man and a woman came bounding out of the woods together and joined me on the trail. I thought to myself are these cheaters Where did they come from I soon forgot about them to focus on my race and my experience but for the past few days I ve wondered about those two athletes. Did they cheat Will they be caught Since I am not an elite athlete but someone who competes only against myself I am not concerned too much about someone stealing my thunder (except when I may actually place high in my age group). That said I love competing and watching others complete and I relish in everyone s successes. They say only one bad apple ruins the bunch but in my view the world is too good a place to allow cheaters to ruin my race experience. If you want to cheat be caught and then be humiliated go for it. Alix Shutello is the CEO of Endurance Sports & Fitness Magazine 36 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 37 ADVENTURE RACING The Shenandoah Adventure Race Now in year 7 the Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race has become one of the must-do annual events for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you are a returning athlete or trying a 24-hour race for the first time this is definitely an event you want on your 2017 calendar. The optional and mandatory checkpoints on the course allow both seasoned adventure racers and those new to the sport to plot their course to match their skill and endurance level. With nearly 90% of new terrain to explore and a format turned on its head from previous years the Shenandoah Epic will dish up some challenging trekking biking and paddling that will test teams for a full 24 hours. To learn more visit www.adventureenablers.com 38 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MAY JUNE 2017 39 Every athlete has his or her specific goals and reasons for racing in whatever event he or she chooses but overall most would agree that the journey to the finish line is what resonates in most athletes minds. PHOTO CREDIT RON JONES SPIRITMOTIVATION DRIVE MOTIVATION DRIVE SPIRIT To push one s body and soul to the outer limits of our capabilities To push one s body and soul to the outer limits of our capabilities PHOTO CREDIT RON JONES