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Jen McMahon and Kara Wilson - Road to 50 Miles

Charlotte Fowles - The Executive Adventurer, solo hiking whilst on chemotherapy & crossing the Australian outback in a 4x4 truck!

“Road To 50 Miles” chronicles the journey of two women as they train for and run a 50-mile race, an ultramarathon. Their journey leads them on a discovery to find their true heroes and inspires an entire community to help them get across the finish line.

Kara Wilson in her own words:

As a child I was always one of the fastest in the class. I was tall and skinny and though awkward I was light and could fly confidently quicker than most on the field or the track. Running wasn’t a chore back then.

If I would get a pair of fresh sneakers I would want to see how fast and far they could take me the minute I fastened them to my feet. It wasn’t until I hit puberty that I started to slow down a bit and running soon became a bore. I didn’t need to run to lose weight and I didn’t quite understand why anyone would want to run longer than once around a track. As time passed by I just grew completely disinterested in it. It wasn’t until I moved to England at 38 that it became a thing. I currently find myself running. Running here and there and everywhere for everyone but most importantly running for myself.

Jen McMahon in her own words:

I remember distinctly when I was on the cheer squad in high school, we had to run 1 mile as a warm up everyday before practice. I would basically do whatever I could to avoid the mile or cut it short or just complain through the whole thing. It never occurred to me that I could actually do this for fun.

I’m not really sure where the motivation came from, but when I was about 26 and about to get married, I decided I wanted to run a marathon. I had NO race experience and I just decided to start training (just barely). A couple friends of mine and my husband (fiancee at the time) start running all around Huntington Beach to prepare. We ran our first marathon, the Rock ‘n Roll San Diego that June and I have been running in some way or another ever since. After having kids I stopped doing marathons and half marathons decided to focus more on 5ks, 10ks and sprint triathlons. Then one day, Kara said, “Hey, you wanna run an ultramarathon with me?” It had never occurred to me to run a distance like this before and I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass me by, so here I am!

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Show notes

  • Meeting Kara and Jen

  • The idea to run 50 miles

  • Having the conversation about running 50 miles

  • Panic…

  • Running a lot but not running longer distances

  • Buying the book -

  • Following a training plan

  • Starting from being able to run a half marathon

  • Not training together

  • Holding each other accountable

  • Getting the long runs in

  • Getting the idea to film and document the 50 mile journey

  • Dealing with pressure

  • Challenges during training

  • American River 50 Endurance Race

  • Running together and the race strategy

  • The strengths that each other bring to the team

  • The feelings on the start line

  • The best mile and the worst mile

  • The finish line

  • Would they consider doing a 100 mile race!!

  • What they would improve on

  • Using Kickstarter to fund the movie/documentary

  • Top tips for running an ultra

  • Final words of advice


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