Sometimes 100 miles isn’t far enough

One guarantee for Sunday afternoon is that Randy Duncan will be hurting from the Fat Dog 100

Long distance runner Randy Duncan of Victoria is running the Fat Dog 120-mile endurance race from Keremeos to Manning Park this weekend. In June Duncan and girlfriend Lori Herron did the Easter Seals 24-hour relay at UVic’s Ring Road

Long distance runner Randy Duncan of Victoria is running the Fat Dog 120-mile endurance race from Keremeos to Manning Park this weekend. In June Duncan and girlfriend Lori Herron did the Easter Seals 24-hour relay at UVic’s Ring Road

One guarantee for Sunday afternoon, is that Randy Duncan will be hurting.

The Victoria resident is running the Fat Dog 100 trail race from Keremeos to Manning Park, tomorrow (Aug. 18) and Sunday.

Ultra-marathons, or endurance races, typically begin at 50 kilometres. But there are several Fat Dog distances, 18 (29km), 30 (48km), 50 (81km), 70 (112km) and 120 miles (193km), and Duncan’s doing the biggest one.

It’s a race he wants badly to finish, having come undone his last time out.

“I attempted this race two years ago but had to pull at 21 hours, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) in, with a leg injury. I was literally lifting my leg with my arms anytime I had to climb, and I had to stop.”

The cut-off for finishing the race is 42 hours, which won’t be the problem. Enduring pain, that’s the real challenge.

It’s a challenge more and more runners are OK with. The sport isn’t new, but is enjoying a steady growth, stealing athletes away from the marathon and triathlon communities.

While Duncan is doing the Fat Dog, his girlfriend and training partner Lori Herron will be taking it somewhat easy, in preparation for the Cascade Crest 100 mile, Aug. 25 to 26, which starts and ends in Easton, Wash.

That race is sold out, and Herron only got in by lottery, with Duncan’s blessing.

“Lotteries are actually quite common with the popular ultras,” Duncan said.

The 51-year-old lineman from B.C. Hydro is in his 11th year of long-distance races. His family’s health history convinced him to get in shape. It started with swimming, turned into a few marathons and triathlons, including three Ironman triathlons.

“I think the Ironman helped train me not to listen to that voice in your head,” Duncan said. “The pain threshold for ultras is greater than Ironman, because you go much longer. You have that voice, a self-defence mechanism, telling yourself ‘you won’t hurt yourself if you walk.’”

This weekend is also the Leadville 100 in Colorado, made famous by the 2009 running book Born to Run, which, like the race, has ascertained cult status among endurance runners.

Victoria’s Mike Suminski, a well-known long-distance running coach, is there to run it for the third time. He first did it as a 50-year-old in 2002, did it again as a 55-year-old in 2007 and is now doing it for the third time as a 60-year-old.

As a coach, marathoners still make up the bulk of his clientele.

“Ultra is starting to build up a bit but 90 per cent are marathoners,” Suminksi said.

“When I ran my first 100-miler in Leadville there was myself and five others in my support crew. This year there are five runners and 16 support people from Victoria.

“People want to get off the roads, where they’re sucking up fumes from cars, and are getting onto trails which are beautiful and more forgiving for the knees.”

Twelve of the Victoria crew arrived in Leadville on Aug. 5, in order to acclimatize for the Aug. 18 to 19 race.

Going the extra miles

• Suminski uses organic baby food on his training runs, because “it goes down so good.”

• The Fat Dog 100 was first held in 2010 but some runners realized the course was actually 124 miles on their GPS, and it is now advertised as a 120-mile race.

• Fat Dog gets its name because once it reaches Manning Park it follows the Fat Dog Trail.

• Training runs for Duncan are  up 50km. One route he enjoys is from Thetis Lake to Mt. Work.

“When you run this much, you find all kinds of new trails and it’s surprising what connects around the Island.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Westcoast Impressions plans to organize a COVID-19 friendly version of the event in 2021 at the Mary Winspear Centre after having cancelled the 2020 version against the backdrop of pandemic. The opening night of the 2019 Sidney Street Market featured more than 150 vendors lined along Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

Tentative plan calls for the event’s return to Beacon Avenue after COVID-19 pandemic

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read