100 miles: ‘easy run’

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Marty Wacker likes to run.

He runs short races, long races and really long races.

Back on Oct. 20, Wacker finished third overall in The Other Half Marathon in Moab. His time of one hour, 18 minutes and 12 seconds was a personal best. Over the past three years, his times in the race have gone from 1:22.4 to 1:20.05 to his fastest time this year.

“Last year I did run a 100-mile race six days before (the Moab race), so I was a little better rested,” he said.

He runs a lot. But it wasn’t always that way.

Eleven years ago, Wacker, 42, had too much stress in his life and knew he had to find an outlet.

That’s when he started running.

“It was a way for me to find balance in my life,” he said. “I had a fair amount of stress in my life at that time.”

He ran, then ran more and then started racing.

“It went from stress management to the joy of running,” he said.

Wacker has a few races remaining on his 2013 schedule. The Turkey Trot in Grand Junction is one, and the Moab Winter Sun 10K is another race he’s looking forward to on Dec. 7.

Wacker enjoys running so much, he plans to run to Moab before the Winter Sun race.

Yes, run to Moab.

The 100-mile jaunt through the wilds between Grand Junction and Moab will be an “easy run,” he said. He plans to average between 30 to 50 miles a day. He knows it will be cold, but he said he’s learned lessons about running in cold weather, such as keeping “water in a liquid state.”

Wacker is excited about the run to Moab, which he plans to do with one or two friends.

“That adventure will always have a hold of me, getting out on the trail and seeing a lot of country that is fairly inaccessible,” he said.

The trek, which will be on parts of the Kokopelli Trail starting outside Mack, will begin Wednesday, Dec. 4, and end Friday night. Then, it will be up early to do the Winter Sun race. A support vehicle will be used in the run to Moab.

RUNNING FAMILY

Wacker’s sister Rochelle Kriegshauser really likes to run, too.

Kriegshauser ran The Other Half for the second straight year in October, and her time dropped from 2:09.55 to 1:58.53.

“It is fabulous to have walked that path personally in getting involved in running and seeing her fall in love with it and wanting to improve her times and see her times come down,” Wacker said.

Kriegshauser, who turns 47 on Nov. 9, said for years she would start and stop running. She’d run a 5K race here or there, then stop.

Kriegshauser credits her brother, Marty, and friend Randee Bergen, who also ran The Other Half Marathon, as the people who pushed her to take running seriously.

“He was really a good role model for me when I first started,” she said about her brother.

Then, a couple of years ago, she went on an eight-mile run with Bergen.

“It felt good. That was fun to just push your body,” she said.

But it was really a bunch of elementary school students gave her the biggest push. As a fourth-grade teacher at Rocky Mountain Elementary in Clifton, she started a track club for the students, and this year 41 participated.

She started running with the students.

“I do speed work with them, and there’s some fast whippersnappers on the team,” Kriegshauser said.

She said her brother is always telling her not to put limits on herself.

The more she runs, the stronger she gets and the more her times come down.

She said she was amazed at the difference between her first half-marathon and the second.

“The first time I was pretty tired and pretty shaky. This time I was smiling,” she said.

Now that’s she’s hooked on running, it’s been a lifestyle switch for her. She does yoga, eats better, and she runs. Since getting serious about running, she has lost 30 pounds.

“The joints feel a lot better, the bones feel better, and the clothes fit better,” she said.

Now she’s got her 23-year-old daughter running, and they plan to run together in this year’s Turkey Trot.

“She said that she would never run, like never. And now she’s running,” Kriegshauser said.

Wacker said that his son Tyler, 19, and daughter Michaela, 15, have started running again after getting away from it for a while.

Wacker runs everything from 5K, 10K, half marathons, full marathons and 100-milers. His best time in a marathon is around 2:43.0, he said.

Kriegshauser and her brother have competed in a number of races together and both will run in the Winter Sun.

For Kriegshauser, the two Moab half-marathons have been extremely rewarding, but she’s still not sure about tackling the full 26.2 miles.

As long as her brother is there telling her to not put limits on herself, Kriegshauser confesses she will probably look at doing a full marathon someday.

Whatever the distance, Marty Wacker and Rochelle Kriegshauser will be putting in the miles.

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