Posted by: Karen | October 29, 2006

Neil Runions at CRR Banquet

Last night Dawn and I picked up our new friend Giovanna and headed over to the Bow Waters Canoe Club for the Calgary Roadrunners Annual General Meeting.

We ate a tasty roast beef dinner, visited with those we knew, made a few new acquaintances, and in general had some nice social time. All three of us from my car won door prizes; Giovanna and I won some New Balance socks, Dawn won a Tech Shop t-shirt.Carla, Jim and Giovanna I brought my camera, but you know me; I got so busy visiting that I didn’t find time to take many pictures.

As usual, the business part was kept short, sweet, and easy-to-understand. Earlier this year I had contemplated letting my name stand for nomination to the board, but I chickened out last night. I’m busy enough as it is. If I come up with an irresistible idea or two, I think I can attend a board meeting or two without official status – they are still open to members.

The club also celebrated it’s 30th Birthday last night, and we got to listen to some history and reminiscing from some of the long-standing members. We enjoyed a neat display of photos and previous samples of club clothing. There was also chocolate cake 🙂

Dawn snapped this of Neil Runions and meThe club had invited ultra-runner and Ironman Neil Runions to inspire us by telling us about his experience of completing Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon earlier this year. Neil not only completed the race, he Buckled. In his presentation he used words like Funeral Mountains, Death Valley, Devil’s Cornfield, Stovepipe Wells, dust storm, flash flood and “13,000 feet of cumulative vertical ascent”.


This race is not just an individual effort. The conditions on the course are so extreme that each racer must have 4 crew members in two support vehicles. If even one crew member becomes dehydrated to the point of needing i.v. fluids, the racer can be disqualified. 

We learned about some of his strategies in training for and completion of this rigourous event. For example:

  • Sauna-training, to increase his body’s ability to process fluids faster (4 liters/hour).
  • Training on Moose Mountain.
  • Running on the white line. The pavement gets hot enough to melt shoe rubber there.
  • Cooling techniques like ice in his hat and bandana and wearing sun gear.
  • Sleeping only 15 minutes at a time.
  • Keeping a good sense of humour with his 4 person crew.

It was quite mind-boggling to hear how Neil and his crew handled the event so well. Mind you, I don’t think I’ll be considering anything beyond 26.2 any time soon.



  1. I like to see your happy face! Love, Mom

  2. […] Karin stuck to flat laps, having just returned from palm-tree-land. Ernie did at least 5 hills (maybe more?) and lapped us at least twice. I think we saw Neil Runions doing laps in there, too. I wonder what he’s training for this year? At the end, I thanked Carla and Dave for dragging my butt along with them, and they thanked me for pushing them from behind. Posted by karen | […]


%d bloggers like this: