Ultramarathon Runner’s Bid for Record Moves Forward

Tricia Jackson will be the first African-American woman to race in the elite Badwater Ultramarathon. Tricia knows what it takes to cover 135 miles nonstop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, in the most demanding and extreme running race on the planet.

That’s why she logs in 25-mile training runs day after consecutive day, with a 50-mile run on weekends. That is also why she travels to Death Valley and trains in the actual surroundings of the race to really know and understand the course. Tricia trains in places near landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Keeler and Lone Pine.

One of the prerequisites to being invited to race in Badwater is to crew/support a Badwater competitor. This year, Tricia did just that as she crewed for David Ploskonka.

David started out strong from the town of Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280′ below sea level. After 48 miles of running in 127-degree heat and into the night, David’s stomach seized up in pain. Tricia said, “My runner was sick and in trouble, and I had to do everything I could to help him. I tried anything I could think of—pouring water on his face, wrapping ice packs around his neck to cool his core—anything to get David going again, and just when it looked like the race was over, I pulled out my packets of Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm® Plus Calcium. I thought either the calcium or the magnesium would soothe his stomach and get him back in the race. And to my amazement, David, who was splayed out on a cot in pain, got up after a few minutes, was out of pain and went on to finish the race!”

David finished in 17th place out of 98 runners in a respectable 34 hours, 28 minutes and 4 seconds.

Tricia added: “After David was up and going again and out of pain, my confidence in the products went through the roof, and I started giving him the Organic Life Vitamins®. After one packet of this liquid multivitamin, David started to crave this supplement every three hours. It didn’t give him much in the way of calories but it nourished his depleted body and enabled him to recover from the physical crisis he had experienced at mile 48 and push through climbing three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000′ of cumulative vertical ascent and finish at Mt. Whitney Portals at nearly 8,300′.

“As an ultramarathoner and as a Badwater crew member, I would admonish every runner and every crew member to have a deep supply of these products—it may mean the difference between finishing and bowing out before the end of the race.

Tricia’s next race is the Javelina 100, and she hopes to increase her overall speed with some serious speed work under the direction of Olympic gold medal winner Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith-Joyner’s former coach. We wish her well and look forward to hearing about her inevitable invitation to race the Badwater Ultramarathon next year.