What it’s like to run 200 miles

Some say I’m crazy for even thinking about running 200 miles but I prefer to say I’m courageous.  I dared try and try I did. 

Bigfoot 200 is a point to point race in Washington State, starting at Mt Saint Helens in the Cascade Mountain Range and finishing in Randle after transversing 42,000ft/12,802m of ascent through beautiful, tough, rugged and extremely remote single track trails.  Starting with the volcanic blast zone of Mt Saint Helens (which erupted in 1980), lava fields, long mountaintop ridge lines with stunning forest, mountain and lake views, deep old growth forests as green and as thick as jungle, misty mountain tops and numerous river crossings.  To put this into perspective this is the equivalent of running from London to York or Edinburgh to Manchester while also climbing Mt Snowdon 12 times!  This race is the first in the series known as the Triple Crown of 200 milers, which is followed up by Tahoe 200 (10th September – now cancelled due to wildfires & being run as a virtual option) followed by Moab 240 miles on 8th October.  What makes this challenge so extreme is that the 3 races take place over a 9 week period meaning that there is extremely limited time between each race to recover of only 2-3 weeks between each.  Running 200 miles in itself is an extreme adventure that only the truly courageous dare to take on.

To experience running 200 miles is like nothing else, it changes you inside.  Never have I felt such true belief in myself!  I now truly believe I am capable of anything I put my mind and body to, the experience has empowered me in ways nothing else possibly can.  To run this distance, through the remote wilderness of the Cascade mountains, isolated, sleep deprived, pushing my body beyond any perceived limit is such a daunting prospect.  I had no idea how my body would hold up, would my mind hold up, would I be taken over by hallucinations?  I’d never run 200 miles before, actually before I signed up I had only completed 2 x 100 mile races; Leadville 100 in 2018 and UTMB in 2019, and squeezed in a third 100 miler in the Mohican 100 just a couple of months prior to Bigfoot but my imagination was captured by the mystical challenge of running such a distance.  Dion, my husband, had completed the Triple Crown of 200’s (coming 2nd overall) in 2018 and he coached and mentored me in the lead up to the race which was invaluable.  The training and the preparation aside, the key ingredient to my success was belief.  

To read the full story head over to Girls Run the World for all the details.

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