Next Stop the Mendocino Ultra Marathon!

Cherie Soria Whale Run

photo: Keith Wyner

Dan and Cherie ran 27 miles this past Saturday, their longest run ever in preparation for the Mendocino Ultra Marathon (31+ miles), which will take place on Saturday, April 23. Saturday was their last really long run until the BIG RACE – only 25 days away! Until then, all of their daily training runs in the next few weeks will be less than 10 miles each day, although much of the training still includes running up and down hills through rugged terrain. This close to the race, they taper the training to reserve extra energy for the Ultra.

They are also exercising to continue to build their core strength in the weeks leading up to the race, so their training schedule remains quite intensive.

At 68, Cherie is the second oldest woman registered for the Mendocino Ultra Marathon. The oldest woman is Shirley Fee of Santa Rosa, CA, (shown in the B & W photo below), who is “75 years young”, as Cherie puts it. “She’s a seasoned veteran of marathons, and an inspiration to us all. There is just one man entered in the race who is 7O, so I am actually the third oldest entrant in the event, and I'm very proud of that fact!”

Shirley Fee Santa RosaDan got Cherie started, as he was the first to enter the race, but since Cherie trained with him every day and was keeping up quite well, he secretly entered her in the race, and when he revealed the secret she was very happy to be a participant!

“I’d been training with Dan and keeping up with him, so why not go for it? It's been as much fun as it is challenging. The terrain is unpredictable --especially with rain and wind littering the trails with debris, making them wet and slick, but it has definitely been a worthwhile adventure. Sometimes we don't see another person for hours while running in the woods, crossing streams, and feeling so very blessed to be healthy, full of life, and able to see such beauty!

Dan and Cherie Whale Fest RaceThere are no official age categories in the Ultra, so no medals will be awarded to anyone but the front runners, who are all very young and experienced, but it will be the first really long distance run for both Dan and Cherie. They feel that if they can go the distance in the allotted 8 ½ hours without injury, they will be extremely happy. Of course, they’ll be happy no matter what, since they’ve had a great experience and a lot of fun just training for the event. We all wish them the best of luck in the Mendocino Ultra!

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