Ultra marathon Dave

Senior David Hickock missed a day of school last Friday to drive to Gnaw Bone, Indiana to run an ultra marathon. Dances with Dirt, a fifty mile cross country race, is as brutal and messy as it sounds. After completing two marathons last fall in the short span of a few weeks, Hickock set out to accomplish a course more challenging in all aspects – terrain, distance, and rigor. “It was a lot harder than I thought,” Hickock said, referring to the steep, muddy hills and unclear paths. “I had to walk up every single hill, otherwise my legs would cramp up way to soon.” “At the beginning there was a fog, and I could only see thirty feet in front of me. Some hills weren’t even trails – there was a pink ribbon at the top and one at the bottom. You found your own way down.” Runners could choose to run the entire fifty-mile course or fifty km (31 miles). Hickock aimed to finish the fifty miles, but his endurance and distance training proved to be not enough. “I [trained to] run by time, once a week I would go for four to five hours,” Hickock said. “Then I would take a few days or even a week off, and do it again.” Hickock was in for a surprise. As any runner can attest, one can never be fully prepared for a road race. “I was fine until mile 10, then my right leg started to feel weird. At mile 17, it just gave out,” he said. Checkpoints with medical and provision assistance were stationed throughout the course and Hickock’s friends seniors Karl Hamouche and Alex Deam were there to help. “Karl and Alex helped me out a lot at the aid stations,” Hickock said. “It was really nice to have friends there. They always encouraged me to go for it.” A few miles past the fifty km point, Hickock discontinued his race. The aid volunteers were about to leave as he jogged up to his last checkpoint. A little over eight hours after starting, Hickock switched over and finished the fifty km race. “A lot of people I met weren’t able to finish, even though they’d completed other ultra marathons,” said Hickock. “I ran for 15 miles with a guy who was 64, and it took him three tries. I assume he finished this time.” Hickock’s shortfall failed to dampen his spirit, and he wishes to continue in his pursuit to finish the Dances with Dirt 50 mile race. “I will try it again next year,” he said. “I want to qualify for Boston, so I’ll do the Des Moines marathon too.” At such a young age, it is highly likely that he will.