A First Time For Everything - Page 2
“I’m game for any challenge,” she says. “I don’t care if I have a more important race three weeks later.”
The latest challenge presented itself when she ended up volunteering at mile 85 of the 2011 Western States 100. “I was like, ‘I have to do this,’” she says.
Her time at TNF 50 qualified her for the Western States lottery, but her name was not drawn for the 2012 race. So she e-mailed the race director. “I said, ‘hey, I don’t know how this works, but I’m a pro triathlete, and I ran a 50-miler. Can I get in?’” she says. “And he said ‘you can if you go place first or second in one of the Montrail Ultra Cup races.’”
It just so happened that one of the qualifying races was practically in her backyard. She signed up to run California's Lake Sonoma 50 Mile on April 14. There was just one problem – while racing the Way Too Cool 50K in Cool, Calilfornia, on March 10, she tore her plantar fascia.
“I didn’t run between the races,” she says. “My next run after Way Too Cool was Lake Sonoma.”
The gap in training didn't interrupt her goal of getting to the Western States starting line. Stewart passed a runner late in the race to finish second and claim her spot at the famous 100-mier.
“It’s been a long road since April, with little running and a lot of cortisone shots,” she says. “I’m not going into Western States the way I’d like to, but I’m up for an adventure.”
Whether she can persevere this weekend with minimal training – and in her debut at the distance – will be the fiercest test yet to her versatility and her streak of successful "first attempts."
“Honestly, and a lot of people say this, my goal is to cross the finish line,” she says. “I’ve met lots of pro ultrarunners now, and many of them have not finished a lot of races, and they’ve been doing it for years. So I think that’s a good goal, to get my body over that finish line in the first try.”