The third annual 24 the Hard Way takes off Oct. 22 and will end at 9 a.m. the following day. Race director and founder Chisolm Deupree, who has participated in more than 50 races ranging from 24 to 72 hours in length, said the goal of this particular run was to “present a championship event for newcomers to ultras.”
The name of the race describes the event precisely: 24 hours of nonstop, community-centered, trail-conquering running. Held at Bluff Creek, the event offers options of participating in a 1-hour fun run or the 6-, 12- or 24-hour race, with the goal of logging as many miles as possible in that time. Teams of four to six participants can compete in the 24-hour relay race.
Options don’t end there. Two race courses divide concrete-lovers from dirt-running enthusiasts. Food, massage therapy, first aid and a filling breakfast will await all runners that Sunday morning.
right, A runner at Bluff Creek, where the race is slated
The biggest benefit, however, is the runners’ contribution. The designated charity for 24 the Hard Way is United Way of Central Oklahoma.
“It’s a sense of giving back to the community,” said Bill Goodier, who ran 2009’s inaugural race.
Last year, mother of three Suzanne Bon accumulated 137 miles on the pavement in 24 hours. She won first place by a staggering 20 miles.
“The course is user-friendly, the support and organization is second-tonone, and the vibe is so welcoming,” she said.
For her, running isn’t necessarily about competition, but experience.
The vibe is so welcoming.
“A big part of the attraction for me is the challenge, not only the physical, but also the mental and spiritual demands that running long-distance requires,” she said. “Running has been a wonderful companion to me throughout my life. It is a time for me to escape the manic schedules and constant technological interactions we often allow ourselves to be bombarded with daily.”
First-time participants can be reassured that the race is meant to achieve personal goals. Some walk, others walk and run. Some in the past have left the course to take a nap, watch a football game and even attend a wedding. As long as they enter the course where they left, their distance will be accounted for.
For more information, visit 24thehardway.com.