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November 8, 2016 Comments (1) Community, Featured, inspiration, Race Reports

Gaining strength from my family at the Pony Express 50

With just seven miles to go on my first 50 mile race, I had gone so far, yet still had a long way to go.

Surprisingly, my body felt fine, even after that many miles of constant running motion over the flat, dirt road of the Pony Express Trail in Utah’s west desert. However, it was my mind that lacked sharpness and focus.


I began lose my ability to complete a whole thought process. I struggled to follow the wonderful stories that my pacer, Becky was telling in an effort to keep me from sinking into the dark abyss that is all too common with ultra marathon distances.

Things got quiet, as I tried to find something inside me that would put my mind back on track so that I could reach my goal of completing the 50 mile distance and a new course record.

Just then, Becky, who is also my running partner, friend, and fellow mother of seven, said something that would shift my momentum entirely.


“Ari, you have seven miles left. I want you to dedicate each remaining mile to your children, starting with your oldest.”

At that moment, my brain woke up, and I now had a focus that did not include the long stretch of road ahead. I started to think of each one of my children in chronological order.

Rather than dreading the distance ahead, I began to look forward to each remaining mile where I could focus entirely on the people who inspire me everyday.


I thought about my 12-year-old son, Anderson, who first made me a mom. I thought about his determination and grit, as well as his quiet and unassuming strength. That entire mile was dedicated to him, and in what seemed like no time at all, I was thinking about my daughter, Aspen then, Ace, Aussie, Azure, Axel, and on my final mile, my 10-month old son, Audi.

With each passing mile, I felt myself getting stronger as I gained power from my children.


Before I knew it, the finish line was right at my feet.  And as I glanced down at my watch, to see 7 hours 43 minutes, I knew that I had done it.


We had done it.

Minutes later,  my family pulled up to the finish area in our big, maroon van, and I couldn’t help but thank each of them for helping me reach my goal.


Call for comments :

Where do you go to find the motivation to push through to achieve your goals? Comment below!

One Response to Gaining strength from my family at the Pony Express 50

  1. Rick says:

    Loved the reflection about the struggle. Only fellow runners understand the long process from training to finishing. Good job, more ahead.

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