I spend every day with my lovely wife, Leslie Howlett, but am still amazed by what she can do. Do I often have high expectations of her and does that cloud my excitement? Yes, a little, but I am still impressed every time I see her push herself to new limits and heights. A few years ago she went out to Antelope Island to become an ultra runner and completed the 50k with great success.
Leslie then went out the next year wanting to go further and attempted the 50 miler in 2013, only to be dissapointed and dealt an injury and a DNF (did not finish). This left a bit of a crushing blow, but a renewed sence and desire to go longer and do more. She trained herself to get over the injury and get back after it just under a month later. Then she got her 50 miler out at the Desert Rats Double Marathon finishing as 6th female. Later in 2013 she completed the Kat’cina Mosa 100k and UROC 100k and was hooked on the long stuff.
She was not going to stop at the 100k. She planned her season in 2014 around competing at the 100 mile distance. When she didn’t get into Western States or Wasatch 100s she determined to go down to Bryce and run a course record time. Well, she did it! She almost broke the 24 hour barrier by running a 24:17 and finishing as 1st female and 7th overall among men and women. With a renewed determination she then finished 4th at Run Rabbit Run, but not satisfied to miss the sub 24-hour club.
Well this past weekend it wasn’t just the sub 24 club she was after. It was another course record (previously 20:17). There was also an internal itch that she needed to scratch to get sub 20 as well.
Well, she put down a great first 20 miles in a time of 3:17 and knowing that she may not be able to hold that she did what she could to keep a steady pace. Well, Ella and I waited to greet her at the start/finish for her first 50 mile loop completion which she did in a great time, coming in at 9:15. She stayed in the aid station to rest for 10 minutes. Out the door with 10:45 to still break the course record. Here she picked up Jim, our neighbor to pace her. Ella and I headed to get some rest.
Back out at midnight, another friend and owner of Park City Running Company, Canice Harte waited for her to come through the halfway. She showed up at around 1:40 with 30 miles to go. She was going to have to push it a little bit to get in in 6 hours and 37 minutes. I knew that Canice would be the pacer to get her there.
Back at the start finish watching for her around 7am I was notified by race crew at 7:18 that she had just come through mile 96. She was going to do this! Now the question was by how much. Finishing up 4 miles in a 100 mile race could be done anywhere from 6:30 pace or 13 minute mile pace. Well, she pushed hard to come in strong. There she was greeted at the finish line with a new course record time of 19 hours 45 minutes. Crushing the previous course record by 32 minutes. Again, I am amazed by her accomplishments!
She did awesome! Such an inspiration. She will get to Western soon and crush it.