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Terri & Steve Greenhalgh: UtraRunning Legends

0n a cold day in December 2014 my husband popped out of the spare room and said do you fancy a trip to the States and informed me of the races he planned to run. In a moment of madness I volunteered to join him on a six day series which would involve running either 6 Marathons/Halfs/or 5ks in 6 States in 6 days, I choose the half options, obviously Steve went for the Fulls. Booking it was the easy part, I then needed to plan how I was going to tackle such an event.
The first big test was to book the COD triple, a local event in March which involved 3 half marathons over 3 days. March arrived and nervously I ran all 3 races, I was sore by day 3 but was not put off by the goal ahead.
I stuck to a fairly strict regime of back to back running for the rest of the months leading up to the race, culminating in August when I ran 12 miles a day for 6 days, massively boosting my confidence.
September arrived and I finally arrived in the States, with a brief bit of site seeing in Colorado and Devils tower to settle the nerves before arriving in Montana for Day 1 of the series.
All the races were hosted by a company called mainly marathons who specialize in putting on series so American runners can achieve their 50 States challenge, as you can guess something my hubbie Steve is also trying to achieve.FB_IMG_1442714419406 The races are all out and back loops with a giant feed station in the middle. You run a loop usually just over 2 miles and collect a rubber band, drink, food if you like and repeat until you have the required amount of rubber bands. Each race starts at 6.30am , nice early starts for a holiday but you get used to it. Every day this is repeated in another State but the runners get louder , friendlier and more motivating towards each other. Only 3 of us had travelled from outside the States Me, Steve and Cheryl an Aussie. At night there is the option to attend a group meal which is very helpful to solo runners.
Day 1 Baker Montana , a loop around a lake, I was feeling pretty good but knew I needed to take it easy to ensure I lasted all 6 days.
Day 2 Bowman , North Dakota, this was a pretty special day and I was very excited as it was Steve’s 100th Marathon and I had a secret banner in my bag. This helped me glide through the race and then when I knew it was Steve’s last lap I grabbed the banner and held it up which such excitement, our American Running friends helped make the day special with their brand of enthusiasm and support. the celebrating though had to wait as we had to be back on the road to drive 3 hours to South Dakota for Day 3.
Day 3 Belle Fouche, South Dakota, still feeling fairly good although it was a tough run on concrete around the Center of Nations Park(yes Americans spell it that way)
Day 4 Sundance, Wyoming, started to slow a little , my worst day as my body was starting to ask why I was punishing it, Steve and many of my fellow runners were also feeling the strain of yesterday’s concrete. I don’t think I woke up until lap 4 when the feed station was playing The Who.
Day 5 , Chadron, Nebraska, by far the best course as a hilly trail, but the day started with pouring rain and thunder and lighting, after lap two I was freezing and soaked. All my willpower had to focus on getting me through and the motivation and support from my fellow runners helped every step of the way.
Day 6 , Sterling, Colorado, another trail run which was great for the aching legs , woke up keen and ready for the last day, my body performed well and at the end was able to do a sprint finish, knowing I had conserved my energy well throughout the week.
FB_IMG_1442763603810In summary I had the most amazing week of my life, learning about how to overcome various struggles when running. The bling was off the scale with a medal for every day that connected to the previous and an extra glass medal for doing all 6 days. The whole experience was amazing , spending 6 days running with people who love running as much as we do was truly priceless. I have made some great friends across the pond , they certainly made us their honorary Brits. We are now looking at another series next June, this time for 7 days, guess I am truly addicted to running.

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