There may be nothing more satisfying for an individual than to combine several of his passions into one amazing activity. John Radich is just such an individual. He has combined his two great loves, which are running ultra-marathons and supporting youth character-building projects, like The Way to Happiness Foundation. Individuals, groups and organizations can fund Radich at http://www.gofundme.com/johnradich so that he can continue to support youth betterment projects while also pursuing his passion for running.
Most recently, Radich ran in his 28th “Wild Wild West” 50km trail race in Lone Pine, California. This race is run through the scenic Alabama Hills next to the beautiful eastern Sierras and the majestic Mt. Whitney. This course is run on sandy, rocky trails and hilly dirt roads and it is the second-oldest trail race in California. Runners climb for two miles and encounter rattlesnakes and windstorms throughout the entire race, both giving and receiving words of encouragement all along the way, and pushing themselves and others to do their best and make it to the end. For many, this race can be a wonderful training run to prepare for the Badwater ultra marathon, as Radich himself will do. It can also be a time to inspire others to dig deep for the courage necessary to reach out and help others-doing good for those in need, like those who are falling victim to drugs, gangs, bullying, intolerance and more.
Read John’s full letter and update here:
Just back from running my 28th Wild Wild West 50km trail race in Lone Pine, CA. The race takes place along the scenic Alabama Hills paralleling the spectacular eastern sierras with majestic Mt Whitney towering above us at 14,492 feet. The course is run on sandy rocky trails turning into dirt hilly roads. Wild Wild West trail is the 2nd oldest trail race in California with a colorful history of attracting elite runners to the first time marathon or ultra marathon runner.
We start at 6:AM greeted with a beaitiful sunrise peaking over the sierras. The course is a long steep climb for two miles peaking at 6,500 feet and long downhills and climbs back and down to the finish at Lone Pine Park. Temperatures were in mid 80’s, (which quite is warm at 5,000 feet!) runners encountered rattlesnakes and wind storms during the last 5 miles, testing any runners mettle. We cross over the Mt Whitney road which is part of the last 13 miles of the Badwater 135 race course.
The race has aid stops every 4-5 miles, oranges, bananas, pretzels, sport drinks, keeping hydrated being runners’ #1 priority. Despite the sandy and rocky course, I had no blister issues, wearing trail gaiters kept the loose pebbles from sneaking inside my shoes. The heat and wind challenge your pace and running times, easy to get discouraged out there, you may be having a “bad patch”, runners will give words of encouragement that you will work through it and do, quite inspiring helping first time 50km runners, lot of heart and perseverance to run this course. The spirit de corps of trail runners being quite strong and helping each other thus displaying the true character and camaraderie of our sport.
My first half of the race was tough for me to relax and focus mentally, finally finding a “groove” I was able to lock it in to the finish, 2nd place in my age division-finishing time 6 hrs 42 mins. With hundred’s of races under my legs, each race still being unique with its own persona, humbled and honored I can run these ultra marathons, with the Wild Wild West 50km as a good prep training for the Badwater 135 ultra marathon in July. Thank you for letting me share my story. I support youth character building projects for The Way to Happiness Foundation, a non profit 501c organization, www.twth.org. Drugs, gangs, bullying, intolerance all are a major threat to our youth today. I am proud to support a group which is changing lives. Please donate if you can to: http://www.gofundme.com/johnradich.
Striding on, John Radich