The entry in my workout log yesterday read, “Run for Diane, 7.4 miles @ Umstead, hot — and slow.”
Frankly, it was 7.4 miles I likely wouldn’t have run — in upper 80-degree heat — were it not for Diane Van Deren.
Diane Van Deren, ultra runner, elite The North Face athlete, and former women’s tennis pro will spend most of this month running across North Carolina. On Thursday, she’ll set off from atop Clingman’s Dome in hopes of running nearly 1,000 miles along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in just 21 days in the MST Endurance Run. The current record — yes, it’s been done before — is 24 days (24 days, 3 hours and 50 minutes, to be exact, set last year by Matt Kirk.read more
It wasn’t so much the five hours of rain they endured, nor the nearly 3,000 foot of vertical climbing in three miles to start the day (there would be 17,000 total feet of up-and-down during their 11 hour and 10 minute ordeal). It wasn’t getting lost at Butler Gap, nor the “quad-shredding” descent down Pilot Mountain. Rather, it was the need for a good sugar fix after running 27 miles straight on the Art Loeb Trail, which runs 31 miles through the rugged Pisgah National Forest (including the Shining Rock Wilderness) in western North Carolina.read more