Global Rescue’s Michelle Beadle competed in her first ultramarathon, winning the race’s Female Division and placing 5th overall. This trail race, called Six Hours in Paradise, was held in Windsor, VT and required contestants to run as far as possible within six hours.
An ultra race epitomizes the sport of long distance running. Also coined ultramarathoning or ultrarunning, these long distance races are typically defined as any course longer than the marathon, or 26.2 miles. However, the shortest distance that is customarily considered an ultra is the 50 kilometer distance, or 31.07 miles. Other standard distances are the 50 mile, 100 mile, 100 km, and a series of events that last for specific time periods such as 6, 12, 24 or 48 hours, and including up to 6 days.
Michelle successfully completed 27 miles in her first ultramarathon, a new personal best. She has previously run two standard marathons but was looking for a different type of challenge after recovering from an ankle injury she sustained while rock climbing.
“During the rehab process for my ankle, I found trail running to be much more tolerable,” Michelle said. “I decided to focus on trail running this year, and when I discovered this race, I thought it would be a great jumping off point into the ‘ultra world.’ ‘Six Hours in Paradise’ appealed to me because it was a timed event on a looping course, so there wasn’t the pressure to stop at certain points that can be present in other ultrarunning events.
On the day of the race, the air was hot and humid, adding to the difficulty of the course. Then heavy thunderstorms rolled in and turned the trails into rivers, challenging runners even more.
Michelle was prepared.
“I learned that ultrarunning is no different than most other major events in life. While training and physical preparation are important, what brings you success in the long run is mental strength and confidence in your own abilities. Knowing that you have prepared yourself to conquer the course, no matter what obstacles are present, allows you to push through and finish with both a victory as well as a personal best.”
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