One of the most difficult achievements in sports and I have done it! I've captured the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and the Eagle Trophy.
The coveted Eagle Trophy and the four belt buckles that made up the Slam races. Buckles from left to right: Western States, Vermont, Leadville, and Wasatch.
Most of the Slammers posing with trophies after the awards ceremony.
We have an AMAZING group of people who completed the Slam with me. First, there were several stories of people who were on the wrong health track, but lost a significant amount of pounds, got themselves in shape, and transformed their lives COMPLETELY to earn their place in the Grand Slam. Then there were those who actually did races IN ADDITION to the four Grand Slam races to complete the Slam. One did the Badwater 135 just days before the Vermont 100. Another did the Angeles Crest 100 and the Cascade Crest 100 before completing the Slam, totalling 600 miles altogether!
We also broke records together. Out of 31 people, 22 people completed the Slam, for the highest percentage rate of 71%. And this with three of the races with hot and/or humid conditions! We had the most number of finishers of any year, with 22 people. And we had 5 women complete the Slam this year, another record (topping 3 from another year)!
Me with two of the five women who finished the Slam, Stephany Hiller on the left, and Liza Bennet Canowitz on the right. I look half asleep in the photo...
As for my little contribution to the group, I was one of a couple of people who came from a triathlon background to do the Slam. It was nice to actually do a triathlon training regimen to gear up, and successfully finish the Slam. My thesis that triathlon training is the most balanced to use in 100 mile ultras does hold water.
I'm receiving the Eagle Trophy from the Wasatch and Grand Slam organizers.
I'm all smiles. It's done!
I become the 4th New Yorker to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, and of course the first Staten Islander. Of course all this wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for the support of the other Grand Slammers in the race, especially at Leadville when things seemed down and out. We has a group leaned on each other when the going got rough and we pull ourselves to the finish.
I also want to thank my family that actually went out there to Utah with me to actually see me finish the Grand Slam in person. It was great seeing familiar faces at the aid stations as well as the final finish line.
And remember, there is no such thing as "impossible". Oh, yeah, you'll encounter failure from time to time, but if you get yourself back up and try and try again, eventually all those obstacles will be overcome and you'll be left with success!
In several days, I'll be writing my detailed race report about Wasatch, what I encountered, and how I got to the finish. One little teaser...the course is INSANE!!!
Congrats again, Pete. It was an honor to be there for the first of your slams, to see you at the beginning and to follow you online through to the end. You've definitely inspired me. Truly amazing.ReplyDelete
Thanks. I still cannot believe I did it. I still have to look at the every so often to make sure it's real. :-)ReplyDelete
Congratulations Pete. I was one of the NYers who was at the Grand Slam/Western States send off party. Hats off to you!!ReplyDelete