“I am very lucky, I recover super fast and that’s why
I can do so many of these events,” she said. “You have
to listen to your body. You have to be able to tell the
difference between aches and pains and never run
when you think you might have an injury.”
Six years ago, she was determined to start running
with the goal of kicking a bad habit. She wanted to
stop smoking and realized running could help her
reach that goal.
When I first started out I could barely run one
block,” she said. “Then it started to get easier and I
eventually ran a 5K, then a 10K and I just kept going.”
Soon, she traded that bad habit into a healthy
She completed her first marathon within six
months after she started running. And the first “ultra
race” (any race more than 30 miles long) that drew
her interest was in 2014 when she ran the Keys 100,
trekking Highway A1A from Key Largo to Key West.
In 2016, she participated in an “Ultra Marathon,”
running a total of 105.6 miles in 24 hours.
Last year, she participated in the "8 Hours of Hell"
run at Tippecanoe Environmental Park in Port
Charlotte, and it was a grueling event that lived up
to its name. Running for eight hours straight would
be a challenge for most people, especially when
temperatures reached the mid-90s for a good part
of the afternoon.
One of the trails at the park is 2.8 miles and Sally
ran that loop for 7.5 hours, completing close to 30
“I was ankle deep in mud for a good part of it and
thigh deep in water – so that made it a challenge .
With each loop the mud and water got deeper and
deeper, but I wouldn't have changed a thing,” She
Sally said she didn’t mind running in the heat
because she constantly hydrates herself with
water. Energy gel packs filled with electrolytes
and amino acids keep her fueled during the run,
and applesauce and chicken broth also kept her
“I didn’t plan on doing 100 miles, but it ended
up being one of the best races I ever ran,” Sally
She said one of the most challenging races she
has participated in was held last year, when she
ran a 24-hour track event in Pennsylvania and it
rained non-stop for the first 13 hours.
“It was 40 degrees and 20 mph winds – that
was not a fun race,” she said. “I had really high
expectations to complete a lot of miles, but when
the weather is an issue, you have to re-adjust
Sally was the overall champ of the“Southern
Discomfort 24-Hour Race” last July. It was a very
hot, humid, and rainy day in Georgia, but that
didn’t stop her.
“A lot of it is very mental, it would be easy to
just quit, so you have to keep pushing and tell
yourself that you can do it,” she said.
This past October, she traveled to Sturgeon
Bay, Wisconsin and crushed a 50-mile run in 20
mph winds in just more than eight hours.
In all, she’s competed in more than 65 races in
the past year including 50K runs, 16-milers,
50-milers, 100-milers and even a 200-mile run.
She has traveled to different states throughout
80 GASPARILLA ISLAND January/February 2018
power of positive
thinking and hard work can be
I always ask myself:
How bad do I want this?