Thursday, June 16, 2011


Vic Armijo / "I think we're in Sedona
June 16, 2011

The leader of the age 50+ Women, Kathy Roche-Wallace, is currently somewhere between Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation, which surely looks vastly different from the rides she does a home in Marshal, Michigan. While this is her first involvement with RAAM, she’s an experienced endurance athlete, having done the 24 National Challenge in Michigan. Primal Quest, some 10-Day Adventure Races, Triple Ironman. She even did a personal challenge of doing five Ironmans in five days. There’s an organized ten Ironmans if 10 days in Mexico called “La Decca,” but since she wasn’t able to do that she decided to do it all on her own. “I really wanted to do ten successive days of full Ironman distances,” she said, “But I only made it to five. The hard part was being by myself. Without the other athletes out there it’s really hard to stay mentally focused.”

She’s not alone on RAAM, “My husband is part of the crew—we race together. So he knows what’s going on with this.” Having a supportive partner is essential for a RAAM racer, especially considering training schedule required, “You just do what you can,” she said, “I don’t necessarily do 500 mile weeks, but I do as much as I can with the time that I have after family and job and everything else.”

It seems to have been enough—so far. Asked about her goal for this first RAAM she answered, “Getting to Annapolis. I’m not setting myself up that way. The challenge really is getting in within the time allotment. Anything quicker than that and I’ll be ecstatic.”

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