Ultra Marathons Runner
Ultra marathons running mom Tara (nic-named Ultara by some of her friends) is an inspiration to many. Here is Ultara's story and her running history.
Tara began running every day after school when she was eleven. "It was my outlet from reality," Tara says, "The break I needed. When I ran I just felt so free."
She would run straight to the track without even changing and run round and round the track in her school clothes and Keds until it was time to go home.
After her first 5k, her step-father realized she had a bruised heal from all the running and bought her a pair of pseudo running shoes which she loved. Soon after, her mom bought Tara her first pair of real running shoes.
She continued running track in Junior High-school and in High-school.
Tara got into ultra marathons running when her daughter, Chloe (now two), was first born and was a little colicky. She found that when she ran pushing Chloe in the jogging stroller she stopped crying, so she began running with her for longer and longer periods of time.
Tara enjoyed running these long distances so much that she signed up for and ran her first 50 mile ultra marathons last year (which she completed in 9 hours). She went on to run her first 100 mile ultra-marathon in February 2010. Ultara as her friends call her just finished her third 100 mile ultra finishing as 2nd woman and 10th over all in October of 2010.
Tara is not only a distance runner but also a fast runner, although she would not say that she is fast. Of course our ideas of fast are probably different, so I will give you an example of why I think she is fast.
In order to qualify to run the Boston marathon, one must be able to run a marathon in approximately 3 hours, 40 minutes or less. Tara qualified for the Boston marathon by accident while running a marathon as a training run during her preparation for her first 50 mile ultra last year.
Now to someone like Paula Radcliffe or Deena Kaster that might not seem terribly fast, but if like me, you barely maintain a 10 minute pace for 6 miles on one of your best days, that is just downright impressive!
Yet she never makes you feel like your three miles is any less a feat than her 100 miles. Neither does she have any desire to make you feel lazy when she comes home from a long run, not to take a nap, but to perform the roll of super mom at home, all the way down to hand-stitching her daughters tutu for Halloween.
If you get to know her better, you will find the reason she doesn't feel she's better than you is because she worked hard to get here. She's experienced the same difficulties as any of us, but she doesn't let them get her down. Once I asked her what her secret was and she replied, "I don't put things off."
I had the pleasure of meeting Tara in person for the first time in February where she was picking up her support crew of running moms from the airport before she would make the approximate 155 mile drive from Dallas to Huntsville, TX and then run the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile ultra marathon (her first 100 mile distance) the next day.
I was surprised to see that she was a total of about 5' 3" (I had always thought she must be like 10 feet tall with 6 feet legs of steel.) She was the most down to earth person I had ever met, nervous and excited for the big race, hoping the fact that she'd herniated the disc in her back a few days before wouldn't slow her down too much.
That's right! She rocked 100 miles with a hurniated disc! You can check out her race report as well as an account of the event from each of her crew members here.
As I write this, Tara has just arrived in California to meet and support our friend Cathy who is running her first marathon this weekend. That is why Tara is our inspiring running mom of the month, because she is not just a kick-ass mom and and ultra marathons runner but a friend, supporter and cheering squad of other kick-ass running moms!
I interviewed Tara two weeks after she had completed her first 100 mile ultra-marathon. I follow her training on daily mile, and by this interview, she was already back to running a 23-minute 5k.
You can check out my interview with her here. And stay tuned, because I look forward to spending some more time with her and hopefully doing my first follow up interview by video in June when she will be running a 24-hour ultra-marathon.