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Village resident’s resolution for the new year sends her running for the hills

Samantha Waggett crossed the finish line in Leadville, Colorado after running100 miles of mountain trails in the “Race Across the Sky”  this past August. The race is the ultimate achievement for endurance runners.

By Amy Shanahan; photo courtesy of Samantha Waggett

For most of us, a New Year’s resolution involves a goal like switching from Coke to Diet Coke, or creating an extensive exercise plan that we adhere to for the first three weeks of the new year. Samantha Waggett, a resident of Castle Pines Village and a 47-year-old mother of three children, has set a much loftier goal for 2013. Waggett plans to complete her second ultra marathon in a year.

For the uninitiated, an ultramarathon is technically a running race that is longer than a marathon. Waggett is training to run The Rocky Raccoon 100-mile trail race in Huntsville, Texas in February, after having already completed her first ultramarathon this past August when she ran the Leadville Colorado Trail 100 Run.

The Leadville race was a 100-mile course set in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. The lowest point of the race was 9,200 feet, while the highest point reached 12,600 feet at Hope Pass. Participants in the race were required to complete the run in less than 30 hours in order to avoid disqualification. 795 people started, while less than half finished.

Waggett was proud to finish the Leadville 100 in 28 hours and 50 minutes. Aside from quick stops at the checkpoints for food and water, Waggett sat down only once during the race in order to change shoes and put on warm pants. Her race began at 4 a.m. on August 18, and finished at 8:50 a.m. on August 19. Unbelievably, Waggett said she never felt tired and never felt the urge to sleep, although there are large chunks of time that she doesn’t remember. Waggett credits her intensive training to her success in the race.

Waggett began running as a child while attending boarding school in the U.K. where she spent her childhood. “Back then it was done for punishment!” she laughingly remarked. In her early 20’s she began to take running more seriously, as she found it to be convenient. She slowed down when she began having children, and took it up again six years ago when she and her husband and family moved to the United States and settled in Colorado. Her original goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which she succeeded in running in 2011.

Waggett trains six days per week and normally runs 70 to 80 miles per week. “It’s like having a part time job except I’m not getting paid!” Waggett makes an effort to run while her children are in school and her husband is at work, in order to minimize the impact on her family. “I absolutely love it!” she remarked. “I feel so privileged to live in Colorado and to get out and run and see the most amazing things that I see. The wildlife alone is spectacular!” Samantha Waggett is truly an inspiration.



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