No limits, that was the subject of Bart Yasso’s speech Sunday evening at the annual Fort Wayne Track Club banquet. Yasso is the chief running officer for Runners World magazine, and that job has taken Yasso all over the world
No limits. Yasso showed a series of slides and talked about some of the people he has met thanks to running. He talked about some of the place he has run — Antarctica, Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, Death Valley, Boston, Pennsylvania.
As I reflect on his talk, I wonder if I’ve set limits on my running. I’ve been running for about six years now. My longest race is a half marathon. I’ve run in such locales as Biloxi, Miss., Montrose, Colo., and Bloomington, Ill. I’ve raced in a cemetery and on a trail in a county park. I’ve finished races inside Notre Dame Stadium and a Parkview Field. And I have always finished a race I’ve started, even when my feet said to stop.
I walked to the banquet Sunday and got a ride home from a woman who won a 100K ultramarathon over the summer. I asked her how she trains for an ultra. She said a lot of back-to-back runs. Two runs in the same day? Sometimes, she said, but mostly running on back-to-back days.
At the banquet, the club honored people who ran in all 14 of its points races with Ironman and Ironwoman awards. The 14 races vary in length. There are six 5K races, five 10K races, a 20K race, a five-miler, a four-miler and a half marathon. The first race is a no-frills race Feb. 8 and the last race is the four-miler 12 days before Christmas. I was impressed to hear their stories. There was a woman who suffered a broken hip in 2012, she entered the first race and before she realized it, she was halfway to running all the races. There was an 11-year-old boy and his dad. There was a married couple. There was a father and his grown daughter.
The club also honored some of the top high school distance runners in Northeast Indiana. The female runner of the year is a student at Bellmont High School in Decatur, Ind. The male runner of the year is a student at Concordia High School in Fort Wayne. I don’t know the girl’s story. The boy was the 2012 state runner-up in cross country. At the 2013 meet, he had a huge lead with 200 yards to go. He collapsed. Got up. Fell again. He ended up finishing 20th. His is a story that inspires me. Many of the stories I heard Sunday inspire me.
The race I am most looking forward to in 2014 is the U.S. Army 10-miler in October. A roommate from my days in Uncle Sam’s Army is still in the Army. He’s a full-bird colonel these days, and he invited me to run the race with him this fall. The race is the same day as one of the Fort Wayne Track Club’s points races, so even if I were in line for an Ironman in 2014, it’s not going to happen.
And I am going to continue to train for an ultramarathon. The HUFF is in December. It’s a 50K race at Chain O’Lakes State Park.