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Running

Winter 2017

Going the distance. Really.

It is about the miles when you are an ultramarathoner.

 

TWO DAYS BEFORE THE START OF WSU’S FALL SEMESTER, Di Wu staggers down a rugged trail in the towering Sawatch Mountain Range in Colorado. He wheezes with every breath after loping, hiking, and toiling for nearly 50 miles—his training ground in Pullman had done little to prepare him for the suffocating, thin air.

Wu crosses 12,000-foot Hope Pass, a rigorous day’s hike by itself for most. Faced with the prospect of continuing back over the pass, and on to the finish of the Leadville Trail 100-miler, Wu realizes his weary legs are not … » More …

Summer 2010

Annie Thiessen ’99—The pacemaker

“I wasn’t always fast,” says Annie Thiessen, a Tacoma veterinarian who in the past 10 years has won well over 30 marathons. “I just don’t know what happened.” But she does know when it happened. It was 2005 and she was competing in a low-key marathon at Birch Bay State Park. The $5 entry fee didn’t cover aid stations or mile markers, so while she was running, she really had no idea of her pace. She only knew there was someone in front of her. “I kept thinking, I can catch that guy.”

She breezed through the finish line at three hours and 14 minutes. … » More …

Summer 2009

A runner’s worlds

On a summer morning, the sun’s first rays peep through my bedroom window, warming the dry air when I hear a tentative knock on my door.

“Marisa,” my dad whispers.

It’s 5:45 a.m. at the Sandoval house in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The pink morning glow and the patter of running shoes mean only one thing: It’s time to run.

For me, every summer day begins with a family run on picturesque trails carved into the high desert canyons and mesas of northern New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains. With my dad, Anthony Sandoval, leading the way, I run with my brothers and sisters. On a good … » More …