Big Backyard Ultra: The Before

Me and fellow Rugged Runner, Melissa Trolene with our sweet awards at the last loop race I did in prep for Bigs.  Sasquatch Surprise 6 Hour! 

This crazy race can best be explained through the eyes of someone who has already experienced it themselves. If you are curious about what that looks like then look no further.  Read about this mind numbing physical/mental challenge here.

Long story short, I am really looking forward to this race. I trained really hard but had fun doing it. It never felt like a chore and believe me training has in the past. I feel like I got my endurance mojo back. In preparation for this, I have run 40 mile races and training runs and felt amazing the entire time. I even ran the Labor Pain 12 Hour Endurance Run, completing 65 miles in less than optimal conditions and felt like I could have kept going (after a bit of a rough patch.)  I thought feeling good or bouncing back in a race was a thing of the past so I am really pleased to know that maybe it was just burnout. I remember being in my second year of ultra running, hitting 50 miles in a race and feeling like I just started running. I didn't think that would ever be a thing again.  In every race I have run leading up to this I have felt strong and enjoyed almost every mile.

Despite what it looks like I even enjoyed this 4th mile of the last 5k I ran. Yes you read that correctly. :P

To say the least, I am really looking forward to Big Backyard.  I don't know what to expect though. How many nights with no sleep or a minute here and there? What will it be like to step past 146.5 miles?  What will it be like to be running for over 32 hours? All my benchmarks now, that I hope will surpass.

Why am I doing this?  Partly, (largely in part) because I know if I ever get the chance to run the Barkley again, I may perhaps have some valuable sleep deprivation experience under my belt. Which leads me to the other inevitable reason, the automatic entry to the Barkley to whomever is the Last Man (or Woman) Standing.  It also intrigues me. It's not about speed. You should be fit but its not about being the fastest, just fast enough. And lastly, just like one of my main reasons for wanting to finish Barkley, I want to prove a woman can win this.  If my body can hang with my mind then we will be OK.  This is going to be hard and I will need more than pure stubbornness (of which I have endless amounts.)

For that extra boost and motivation (and to put things in perspective), I decided to dedicate my Big Backyard Ultra effort to these two charities:

  • Run4Water: is a nonprofit organization that strives to raise awareness and provide solutions for the worldwide water crisis. While we operate on donations and want to make a big impact in the world, we also want to inspire others to use their talents and abilities to make a change in the world around you. We hold events and races that encourage others to get involved. We offer our resources and experience to help others make a difference in the world. Our organization consists of individuals from all backgrounds coming together to perform a monumental task. We accept most projects regardless of their size, and we use creative thinkers to complete those projects. 

  • 84 Days: is a womens ministry currently under the Run4Water organization. 84 DAYS is committed to meeting the feminine hygiene needs of young women and girls in developing counties so they have the opportunity to stay in school.  They also provide much needed self defense education for women of Nicaragua, Uganda & Kenya! 84 Days refers to the average number of school days young women miss due to lack of feminine hygiene products. 
Please consider a donation to either.  Our goal is over $5,000.  I know that 100% of the money goes towards the missions and the people these charities help because they were founded by a good friend and fellow  2015 USA 24 Hour Teammate, Greg Armstrong.

Feel free to like their Facebook pages and learn more too.  

Greg also ran Barkley. That's Amelia Boone, me and Greg before the start this year. 

Thanks for all your support. I will do my very best to do these charities justice by not giving up once the race starts on October 20th at 6:40am CST.  I am also really looking forward to all the time in between the start and when the last man or woman is still standing. To friendship!  Shout out to my gal pal in race crime, CD (uh ok that sounds weird).  Whatever. See you all very soon.


  1. Hi Maggie, email me your current email address for oc100 registration - - thanks! Tom Jennings


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