Stateline woman riding high after finishing 2nd in Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Run 100 mile race
The Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance (TRT) Race usually has hundreds of runners participate each year, many of them international, but several local athletes have been picking up the pace and showing that Tahonians can endure with the best of them.
One of these athletes is Lyndsey Bednar, of Stateline. Bednar, along with South Lake Tahoe’s Ryan Weibel, were two of the top finishers at the July 15-16 TRT Endurance Run. With a time of 27:05:18, Bednar ran her way to second place in the women’s 100 mile race and Weibel took first in the men’s 100 miler. The TRT race is divided into a 25 mile, 50 mile or 55K (34 miles) route that runners can participate in.
“I didn’t know at all throughout the race how I was doing,” said Bednar. “I told all of my pacers and my crew to not let me know because I knew that could affect my race. I didn’t know until I reached the finish line that I had gotten second place. I was so overwhelmed with emotion; I couldn’t believe it. It was a pretty big shock to know that I did so well among all of these amazing runners.”
According to Bednar, she has ran other endurance races, including placing second in a previous TRT 50 miler, but this was her first attempt at 100 miles. Bednar said she’s a competitive person when it comes to running, but she wasn’t really sure what the result would be in such a long race.
“I do go into a lot of races with the goal to win, just because that’s my competitive personality …” said Bednar. “I did want to do well so it was in the back of my mind. Mostly, I just wanted to finish.”
The 33-year-old Bednar said that she’s been a marathon runner for only about five years and that she’s slowly worked her way up to running 100 miles. “I just started doing marathons in 2012,” said Bednar. “My brother called me up and asked if I wanted to run a marathon, so I said ‘yeah, let’s do it.’ Later I qualified for [the Boston Marathon] and it escalated from there.”
Bednar said she started picking up more marathons after the first couple, but didn’t do any trail running until moving to the region from Ohio. “I moved out here five years ago from Ohio and that’s when I got into trail running,” said Bednar. “My friend from the valley asked if I wanted to go on a trail run, and at the time I didn’t really know much about trail running. I ended up doing a marathon down in the valley and eventually picking up different trail traces. I somehow ended up doing 100 miles, which I still can’t believe I did.”
Anyone who has ran a marathon, let alone a 100 mile marathon, will tell you how much of an accomplishment just finishing is. Bednar said she had some struggles during the race and even thought about forfeiting after a few dozen miles due to fatigue and a foot injury.
“I actually stopped and sat down at mile 34,” she said. “I told everyone at the aid station that I was done. My foot was really hurting and I thought I couldn’t do it.“
Bednar explained that with a little encouragement from the volunteers at the aid stations and her pacers, she started to finish the race, little by little. “The volunteers at the aid stations are phenomenal,” said Bednar. “They don’t let you quit — at all. I sat there for a while, but then I was up out of the chair and moving to the next aid station.”
Bednar said that she somehow found the determination to make small progressions and those progressions eventually turned into her finishing the race. “When I got to mile 50, I was feeling better and back in good spirits,” she said. “It’s amazing how your mind changes.”
Bednar said she doesn’t have any plans to compete in any endurance races for the rest of the year, but that her focus for next year is to run a marathon in 2 hours and 45 minutes or less.
“I’m going to take it easy for fall,” she said. “I told myself I wasn’t going to run any races, but I do keep looking at some that I’d like to do. We’ll see if I stick to my plan of relaxing. My big goal for next year is to run a 2:45 marathon, which is the Olympic qualifying standard, then I could go to the Olympic trials.”