My Overall Win at the Donna 110 in Memory of My Sister Debby.by Dawn Lisenby on 03/05/22
The tale of my Donna 110 race can be told via the letter C.
Mine was made up of two very good friends; one, Victoria who has been an athlete of mine for close to six years. And the other T; who has been my medical support, and right hand woman, at all of the races I direct for as many years. I originally asked them to help at the start to get my things to base camp and again at the finish of the marathon to get me back to the hotel. In between I would crew myself. They insisted on staying for the duration. I certainly was not going to say no to that and am so thankful they did!
They posted up 4 miles out from base camp on the 8 mile loop and were a welcome sight the 9 times I saw them. They selfless crewed through the cold and rain, staying positive, focused, encouraging, and ready for me. I never saw one bit of negativity, despite the very miserable conditions they endured from 9 pm till our finish the first night at 3 am, and their having been in the cold since 6:30 am. Fortuitously, once the winds got high they had the ability to take cover in a tent conveniently placed and weighted down for the marathon.
After getting back to the hospitality suite, and their bringing ALL my stuff inside in case I needed it!, we got a tiny bit of rest. We awakened at 6 am to be at the marathon start by 7am. I was stiff but not as bad as thought I would be due to foam rolling/stretching. They then met me every 4 miles of the marathon. Once again anticipating my every need, bringing me a much enjoyed Egg McMuffin/coffee and endlessly championing me all the way to the finish. I could not have done this without them. I am so grateful for their support. I know even more now what two truly amazing people and friends they are.
I am not going to lie they scared me to death, but they also brought out the best in me. The toughest one in getting to 72 miles in 18 hours. With the weather that one worried me. I appreciated so much Chris’s encouragement that I could meet them. But again it was not easy. I NEVER really stopped. My crew walked with me to hand me my needs. My longest stop was 17 minutes to suite up for rain. Thankfully due to my sponsors SUPERIOR products (see hashtags below:) I did not have to change my shoes and socks NOT once in 82 miles, nor did I need to change my apparel. I had ZERO blisters or chafing, despite running in rain for 12.5 hours!! Nor after running 26.2 miles in it the next day!
The 8 mile loop used for the ultra is a beauty. I never grew tired of it. I LOOKED forward to seeing parts of it again and again. I heard an owl just before sunset and saw two red-tailed hawks. There were beautiful houses to view. And many sightings of my Big Blue. It does not get much better than that for a city course.
I have never had so many people come out and encourage me while running an ultra. The mayor of Atlantic Beach, Ellen Glasser was at our start and came to base camp to cheer us on at night. One of my new athletes that lives along the course made me signs and cheered me on all the first day with her sweet family. This community loves this race and it shows!! Thanks to to my friends who took the time out of their races on Sunday to offer encouragement. It truly all made an impact on my running a strong race.
The Donna 110 is part of the 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer /Half/15k/5k which benefits the Donna Foundation. It is committed to funding ground breaking breast cancer research. As well as to provide financial assistance and support to those living with breast cancer. The research they fund enables women like my sister to have the opportunity to live as long as they can via trials developed. Without it her life span would have been much shorter and her now 10 year old son might not have remembered his Mom. It is a vital mission with 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer. Thanks to Donna, Amanda, and Chris for creating and contributing to this life giving mission. I also greatly appreciated the support of all those who helped on the day: Marc, Mollie and Dave; and the Donna Ambassadors who cheered me into the finish.
It is my hope and goal to be a part of the future of the Donna 110 and see it grow. If your an ultrarunner, or an aspiring one, you need to run this race. You have never felt ultra love like this before. It stands out as the most amazing race of my life, and not just because I was the first female overall champion in the history of their race, but for all of the above, as well as it being in memory of my sister, Debby. I know she would be proud to have played her part in bringing attention to such a worthy cause.