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Rookies escape ‘The Wall’

 

 
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Posted on Mon, Apr. 29, 2002
By KEN OTTMAR

Race too much fun for competitors to think about the pain

Fear met its match at the Big Sur International Marathon.  Blame it on inspiration, perspiration or perhaps a touch of divine intervention, but the trepidation even the most seasoned runners experience with one of North America’s most difficult marathons never found its mark with many first-time marathoners.

Hurricane Point? Any time, any day!

The rolling hills of Carmel Highlands? No sweat.

The proverbial wall?

“I never hit it,” said 34-year old Jill Ferares of Seaside. “The wall just didn’t come. I was waiting for it but it must have past me by.” Finding a comfortable distraction with newly-found friend Katie - a fellow runner that conversed with Ferares from mile six through mile 17 - Ferares said the miles clicked off so quickly she didn’t really have time to think about pain.

“Katie and I hung together through Hurricane Point and it breezed right on by,” Ferares said. “I had such a feeling of self-esteem and self-confidence, whatever came my way I was ready for.”

Likewise, Pacific Grove resident Maureen Dailey felt that only an act of God could stop her.

“I tried to save up my energy until mile 20, thinking I would need it,” Dailey said. “I ran really fast the last six miles. That wall, I never hit it, but I was extremely grateful that I didn’t.”

For the 26-year old Dailey, who quit smoking last April after seven years, the only thing more surprising than avoiding the wall was her time of 4 hours and 54 minutes.

“I finished a full (6) minutes ahead of my projected time of five hours,” Dailey said. “It’s hard to describe this feeling of accomplishment... the only word that comes to mind is inspiration. I feel very inspired.”

And maybe that is as easy an explanation as it gets with Big Sur. The intoxicating beauty, often cited as the sole reason most participate, becomes an invisible safety net many use to bounce back with.  “When you get to the top of Hurricane Point, you turn around and it is just breathtaking,” said Monterey’s Brian Diebold.

“You can hear waves crashing and are privileged to views you don’t see from a car,” Ferares recalled.

“It’s the ideal place at an ideal time of year,” Dailey said.  And if that wasn’t enough, each had their own personal motivation pushing them to the end.

“The most amazing thing was coming around the corner onto Carmel Bridge and seeing the American flag,” said Diebold, who is a Navy Lieutenant studying information systems technology at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.  “That was it for me, that really got me going.”

While Dailey’s father, visiting from Wisconsin, awaited her arrival at the finish line, Ferares had an even bigger gift.

“I had been telling various people that a certain five-year old was waiting,” Ferares said of her son, Ryan. “To see his face and hear him say, ‘Mommy did it,’ was very special.”

Ryan’s father put him on top of his shoulders and ran alongside Ferares the last three-tenths of a mile. They then sprinted ahead just before the finish, turned, and snapped a picture of mom crossing the finish line.  Her expression didn’t give a hint of her pre-race trepidation.

“The only draw back to running at Big Sur is nothing can compare to it,” Diebold said. “This marathon exceeded all of my expectations. I don’t think any other marathon can live up to it.”


How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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