1. What inspired you to start Mind the Ducks - 12 hour Race?
Honestly? I had a dream one night about a timed race in a scenic park here in Rochester. It was such a great dream that it compelled me to visit the park the following day. Walking the footpath around the lake confirmed in my mind what a fantastic event it actually could be. So, I decided, that instead of waiting around for someone to read my mind and develop the race, I would attempt to put it on for others to enjoy.
2. What do you feel will distinguish this race from other ultras?
This race will be different from other local ultras for several reasons. First, and most importantly, the longest road ultra that we have in Western New York is 50 miles. The opportunity just isn't there for someone local to put up some serious road mileage without traveling to another state. Mind The Ducks will provide a way for some of the tough and talented runners in the area to race 75 miles or more. Secondly, as a 12 hour timed event it will give ultra runners of all different abilities the opportunity to compete against themselves and each other in one event. Third, we are just going to have some fun! The short 1/2 mile loop and main aid station will provide unparalleled camaraderie.This race promises to be one giant ultrarunning party!
3. How do you plan to promote your race to the ultra community?
We intend to hit all the normal avenues - ultrarunning websites, the GTRC's race calendar; which is the go-to list for races in Rochester and the surrounding areas. Also, the race location shares property with the Seneca Park Zoo, and we expect to be listed on their website. In addition, as a barefoot runner, I have made quite a few interesting connections with BF ultrarunners far and wide. We hope to see a number of them toe the line race day, and have been promised their full support in promoting MTD in any way they can.
4. At the end of the day, what does a successful MTD look like?
That, to me, is the most important question. Ultra races don't get much news coverage, they don't host legions of fans, nor is there any big prize money. Most of us don't compete for glory, but because we are at our best and happiest moving forward on two legs. However, there are a great deal of sacrifices we each make to stand at the starting line on race day, and that deserves to be celebrated. To answer your question - if a competitor leaves MTD not feeling as though they were treated like "king for a day", we'll have missed our mark. We want each runner to have their needs met in a timely fashion. There will be an aid station overflowing with great food, drink, music and cheerful faces, and we plan to provide them with tireless encouragement and cheers. Our goal is to support every single person in their journey equally - whether they run 20 miles or 80.
5. Is there a charity that will benefit from the event?
Yes, since we will be sharing ground with the Seneca Park Zoo, any funds raised will be donated to the Zoo Society.
6. Will you be trying to draw runners from outside of Upstate NY and if so how?
In researching the event, we found that there are only four 12 hour races within a day's driving distance of Western New York. We hope to draw runners from all over the east coast who are looking to test their mettle against a clock, and not a prescribed distance. The most efficient way to do this is through the customary ultra sites, and by having an easy to use and informative website with lots of maps, details and photos so competitors know exactly what they can expect from us.
7. As an ultra runner, yourself, what motivates you to run long?
Just trying to get away from my kids! ha-ha! In all seriousness, I don't know what motivates me to run long. It began for me when I was just starting out and training for 10ks. My favorite run of the week, and the one I always looked forward to was the long run. I hated my tempo runs, hill workouts, and middle distance stuff. I discovered that the further i went, the happier I was. Sure, it hurt more, but it gave me a sense of peace and completion, and total elation to "suffer" and then triumph. The welcome and acceptance i have received from my peers is incredible, and i absolutely love this community. I am still new to all of this and excited about where my running can take me.