Roughly 15,000 runners will drag, cajole and pray themselves through Sunday’s ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon.
The 26.2- and 13.1-mile runs will wind from Centennial Olympic Park to Decatur. It’s a course Jennifer Vogel will get to know well.
The 27-year-old ultra-marathoner from Duluth plans to run it twice —- 52.4 miles.
Ultra-marathoners often do races nearly four times as long as your garden-variety marathon. Vogel, an ASHA School of Massage student, said Sunday’s race amounts to a “training run” for the races that she really wants to be ready for —- the Florida Keys 100 Ultra-marathon in May and Morocco’s Marathon des Sables in 2010, a 151-mile run through the Sahara Desert over six days, dubbed “the toughest footrace on Earth.”
Hazards there include scorpions and 120-degree heat, which makes the occasional pothole she’ll face Sunday look like child’s play. By the time racers line up for their first race at 7 a.m., Vogel plans to be lined up for her second. Her first will take place at about 2 a.m.
“We had talked about running it clockwise and counter-clockwise,” Vogel said. But not being familiar with the course, she’ll probably run it the way race organizers drew it.
Even battling the fatigue from her first run, she should be competitive in the main race. She finished third in the Iron Horse 50-mile run in Jacksonville in February, finishing first among women in 8 hours, 38 minutes.
It’s not a lifelong avocation. She began running after marrying Lane Vogel some seven years ago. As a team, they are trying to raise money for the Getting 2 Tri Foundation, which provides mentoring and coaching to physically challenged athletes and raises awareness of their accomplishments. The physically challenged includes amputees, those affected by paralysis, and muscular or neurological disorders.
“It’s very inspiring to see people overcome,” Vogel said. “It makes it feel insignificant, the amount of pain you’re going through.”
Sunday, March 29, 2009
With just over 5 days to go until the 15th running of the Umstead 100-Mile Endurance Run, I'm as ready as I'm going to be. Two short runs this weekend wrapped up training for the most part (except maybe a very, very short run or two during the week).
I was very lucky to get hooked up with an amazing ultra runner, Jennifer Vogel. Although her husband is running the 100 at Umstead, she plans to keep me company on the course for 2 loops as part of her training to compete for the top spots at the Keys 100 in May. Even more amazing, Jennifer is running today's ING Georgia Marathon TWICE !!! Yes, that's right, TWICE ! In an article published in Saturday's edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ("26.2-Mile Run Merely a Warmup for Vogel"), Darryl Maxie wrote :
As for Umstead, it is a course that is very conducive to fast performances, and totally runnable. Runners repeat 8 12.5-mile loops in William B. Umstead State Park, on a surface that is primarily fine packed powdered, granite screenings (1/16 inch and finer) with a total elevation gain of 8,000 feet (1,000 feet per loop). Lots of frieends will be at Umstead this year, including Dave James, Emmy Stocker, Frank Colella, Wayne Bates, Bob Gentile, Tom Triumph, Doug Vaughn, and Derek Hills.