by Sarah Barber
This weekend's first-ever Pickled Feet 24 and 12 Hour Runs can be chalked up as a success—and not only because no one was transported to the hospital.
Ultra running is such a physiological feat of extreme endurance that external challenges from Mother Nature seem almost unfair. While the 24-hour runners who began their event at 6 p.m. Friday evening were treated to nearly five hours of rain and mud during the darkness, Saturday morning gave way to sunny skies and renewed energy at Eagle Island State Park.
Out-of-towner Chris Lundberg took a decisive early lead in the 24-hour race, covering 100 miles in less than 21 hours. However, upon completion of his 100th mile (which marked the longest distance he'd ever run in one setting), he announced, "I'm done," and went to take a nap. This left the door wide open for local Paul Lindaur to keep putting one foot in front of the other for a few more hours until he reached the 105-mile mark and claimed the victory.
Meanwhile, on the 12-hour side, Boisean Dennis Ahearn easily racked up the distance, cranking out 62.7 miles and besting the second-place finisher by more than six miles.
While none of the participants ended up with pickled feet, the excessive overnight moisture in combination with excessive miles run produced plenty of blisters. Otherwise, the Treasure Valley's first official 24-hour run came off without a hitch. Well, apart from a little hitch in the runners' walking stride and some morning-after soreness.