It wasn’t until August of 2017 that Seana Green decided she wanted to run ultra-distance races. She had dabbled in running a bit in 2006, mainly for weight management, but admitted she was never very serious about it.
That all changed after she read some articles about the Western States Endurance Run and the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run – a pair of the nation’s toughest 100-mile runs – and got excited about the idea of running 100 miles.
“Who knew that you like had to win the Powerball lottery to get into Hardrock and you have to have money and time off to travel,” Green said. She realized that her life was not conducive to either, so she set her sights on more attainable goals beginning with shorter distance races.
In October of 2017, she did the Gunnison Sage Burner 50K and followed up with the Coldwater Rumble 52 miler in January 2018, which was a 100-mile qualifier. The ultra running bug had fully consumed her, and she signed up for the Kodiak 100 in California.
Her first 100 miler didn’t go as planned. After she stopped to help someone in need of medical attention, she missed the cutoff and only made it to 82 miles.
After that experience, Green said, “I can’t not get a 100 miler under my belt, so I signed up for the Coldwater 100 race in January 2019.”
Familiarity with the course and Green’s penchant for reading training manuals helped her prepare well for this race. “I love to read books; give me a training manual and some guidelines and I am on it.”
This time, Green knew to train specific to the course. It is rolling desert terrain which starts at 900 feet of elevation and peaks at 1,300 feet.
“I would go down to New Mexico and run the Alien (Run) trail, because it is rocky and hard packed and rolls up and down,” she said. “I also ran the Sand Canyon trail outside of Cortez because, again, I tried to mimic the terrain that I would be running in the race.”
Working full-time as a mail carrier, Green is no stranger to being on her feet. She clocks more than 35 miles per week walking her route. In addition, she gets up at the crack of dawn to put running miles in sometimes on the treadmill at the Durango Community Recreation Center.
“Because when you work and it gets dark early, that’s what you have to do,” she said.
Aside from some core strengthening exercises from her physical therapist, Green considers post-holing and high-stepping through the snow on her daily mail route as cross training.
Her training plan worked, as she completed the Coldwater 100 in 31 hours, 51 minutes, just eight minutes shy of the race cutoff time. Only 60 people entered the race, and, of those, 29 dropped out, so finishing this race was a huge accomplishment.
An amazing highlight for Green was the abundance of flowers. “It rained for three days before the race,” she said, “so the desert was in full bloom. It was also a full moon, so at night you could shut off you headlamp and just run. That was like one of the best parts about it.”
As far as future ultra-distance races, Green plans to focus on more 50K and 50-mile races this year to improve her speed and technique, setting her sights on another 100 in 2020.
Eternally cheerful and upbeat with a keen sense of humor, Green has a zest for life and an enthusiasm for her new found passion. I look forward to following her future progress on the ultra-running scene.
Reach Marjorie Brinton at [email protected]