Brief Chat With Pam Reed

Ten minutes before the start of the 10AM Group in the Badwater Ultramarathon, I followed Pam Reed to her support vehicle and called her attention and she faced me immediately after she heard her name. The following were the details of our brief conversation:

Bald Runner (BR): Hi, Pam! I am a runner fan of yours from the Philippines who just arrived in the States last Saturday to witness the start of the Badwater Ultramarathon. My wife accompanied me here to Badwater (introducing my wife to her)

Pam Reed (PR): From the Philippnes? Wow, that’s great!

BR: I read your book and it is a very inspiring one. I am advertising it by posting a review in my blog, bald

PR: Ha..ha..ha! Thanks! Did you bring your book? I can sign it now before the start of the race!

BR: Unfortunately, no. I prefer to have a picture with you as the ultramarathon woman! Can I have a picture with you?

PR: Sure!

My wife took the picture.

BR: Thank you very much, Pam & Good luck!

PR: You are welcome & Thanks

Pam Reed proceeded to her support vehicle to drink more fluids before going to the starting line.

While Pam Reed was running towards Furnace Creek, I parked the car on the side of the road and took some pictures of her. However, when she saw me from a distance infront of her, she shouted to her crew (who was about to give a water jug to her) and while pointing her finger to me and said, “The guy who is taking a picture is from the Philippines!”

After taking a picture of Pam Reed and after passing on my position, the lady crew approached me and we had a brief chat.

Crew: Are you from the Philippines?

Bald Runner: Yes, I am a runner and I came here to meet Pam Reed and watch the start of the Badwater.

Crew: Pam and I just visited Malaysia!

Bald Runner: That’s good! I hope you can visit the Philippines, too!

Crew: We will!

The following is the picture I’ve taken while Pam Reed was on her way to Furnace Creek:


The lady crew of Pam Reed was giving a water jug to her while telling that I am from the Philippines.

My Order Had Arrived

After accidentally bumping into the book, “The Extra Mile” by Pamela Reed and reading it, I came up with a post in this blog about the said book and the feats the author had accomplished in the underground sports of ultramarathon. I was fascinated with her experiences, preparations, training and the ordeal she has to go through winning the Badwater Ultramarathon Race which is considered the “hardest ultramarathon race” in the world” for two consecutive years, 2002 & 2003, beating the best men in ultramarathon entire the world.

I’ve heard about Dean Karnazes, for the first time, in one of the early posts of QuickSilver Running in his blog and found out later that he (Dean) has a runner’s blog; website and a coach of Runner’s World Magazine. After checking and browsing his website, I found out that he had written a book which is entitled, “The Ultramarathon Man”. In Pam Reed’s book, she mentioned about Dean Karnazes as one of the competitors and  a “threat” to her in defending her championship at the Badwater Ultramarathon Race in 2003 but ultimately did not affect her resolve to defend her title as she emerged as the champion and winner for that year’s race. I hope to know the reason why Dean Karnasez was not able to dislodge Pam Reed as the defending champion in 2003 in his book.

Since then, for the past 2-3 months, I’ve been looking for the said book by Dean Karnazes in the different bookstores in Metro Manila but to no avail. I asked my wife to buy me one and send it through my niece who was scheduled to return to Manila after a brief visit in Los Angeles on June 3, last Tuesday.

I got a call from my niece last Thursday morning telling me that she had arrived safely in Manila an she had my book with her. I told her to just leave it in my quarters and I will be able to have it once I arrive in Manila from Laoag City.

I am looking forward to read this book and post a book review on this..soon!

Pam Reed: The Ultramarathon Woman

I bought a book at National Book Store entitled “The Extra Mile” by Pam Reed. This is the story of Pam Reed, a runner, wife, and a mother who started to bring awareness to the public through the media on ultramarathon races. Long before Dean Karnazes became popular as the Ultramarathon Man, Pam Reed was already making a name in ultramarathons when she won the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2002 and 2003. Dean Karnazes initially participated in the Badwater Ultramarathon on 2003 but he was defeated by Pam Reed by 25 minutes. Of course, Dean K won the next year’s event in 2004.

As I was reading the book, I could imagine the place and the distance where the Badwater Ultramarathon is done annually during the middle of the month of July. One time, my family and I visited Las Vegas during the month of July and while on the road going to Las Vegas, I could see along the Death Valley desert the giant Thermometer with the reading of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and this is the place where the ultramarathon starts. Badwater Ultrmarathon is considered as the “most challenging and hardest” route for an ultramarathon event. The race starts at an elevation of 282 feet below sea level (Badwater at Death Valley Desert) and finishes at Mount Whitney with an elevation of 8,360 feet. The race covers a distance of 135 miles or 216 kilometers and each runner should be able to finish the race in 60 hours.

The flat distance of 216 kilometers is from Manila to Damortis, La Union or from Laoag City to Balaoan, La Union or running along the North Luzon Expressway three times (up to Mabalacat Exit). But if you consider the terrain and the heat of the sun/temperature in this event, this event becomes even harder. Pam Reed still holds the women’s record of finishing this event in 27 hours and 56 minutes and covering the distance with an average speed of 7.7 kilometers per hour.

These are the tips I got from the book:

1. Ultramarathoners train as marathoners.

2. Run conservatively slow and the goal is to be able to Finish the race.

3. You must have a “handler” and a crew who will support you along the way.

4. The first “17 miles” of the race must be ran without any support or crew. After the 17th mile, your crew can pace, spray you with water, give you water and food, and accompany you along the route.

5. Divide the distance in segments and finish each segment one at a time. The distance may vary from 5 miles or 1 mile per segment. Ultramarathon requires “extreme” patience and mental toughness.

6. Take a break but keep on moving your legs.   

7. Drink Plenty of Fluids. Ensure, Red Bull, Gatorade, and Water are the favorite drinks of Pam Reed. She finished 40 cans of Ensure during her fourth Badwater Ultra.

8. Eat and store calories or put additional pounds of body weight within 3 weeks before the race. These calories and extra pounds will be needed on the last half distance of the race. 

This is a nice book to read, most especally to runners. The book is very inspiring as Pam Reed balances her training, work, family, health and the races she joined. I am higly recommending this book.