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.”

 

Just Posted

Carey Newman resigned from the Greater Victoria School District’s Indigenous Ad Hoc Committee May 13, citing ‘a pattern of systemic racism.’ (Black Press Media file photo)
‘Pattern of systemic racism’: SD61 Indigenous committee member resigns, calls for change

More than 350 people had added their names in support by midday Friday

Comedy balloon artist Mike Dada of Sidney hands two-year-old Mila Yiau a balloon flower as she holds the hand of her mother Hannah Liao at Sunday’s street market in Sidney. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney Street Market parks in temporary location for 2021

Market open Sundays at Mary Winspear parking through Oct. 10

Commonwealth Place recreation centre was shut down before 8 a.m. on Friday following a power outage. (Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services/Twitter)
Saanich Commonwealth Place closed due to power outage, outdoor classes still running

Indoor classes, programs at pool and weight room halted

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Royal Bay Secondary School students paint the crosswalk in front of their school in support of LGBTQ and marginalized members of the community (Royal Bay Secondary School photo)
Senior student leaves mark at Royal Bay Secondary School for LGBTQ+ students

Crosswalk at Colwood school painted in support of marginalized community members

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Entire Duncan school evacuated due to nearby police incident

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)
Arts group promotes digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

Most Read