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Tennessee Viking
05-10-2012, 15:28
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/09/2055850/woman-to-run-1000-mile-nc-mountains.html

Woman to run 1,000-mile N.C Mountains-to-Sea Trail



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NYT
Diane Van Deren trains near her home in Sedalia, Colo., on June 24, 2009. Since brain surgery, Van Deren has become a top long-distance runner, undeterred by an inability to remember exactly where she is going or how to get back.

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BY JACK HORAN - SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Tags: Mountains-to-Sea Trail (http://www.newsobserver.com/tags?tag=Mountains-to-Sea+Trail) | North Carolina (http://www.newsobserver.com/tags?tag=+North+Carolina) | ultra-runner (http://www.newsobserver.com/tags?tag=+ultra-runner)
A 52-year-old Colorado woman who had surgery to remove part of her brain to rid herself of epileptic seizures will set off in Great Smoky Mountains National Park before dawn Thursday to run North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail in 21 days, the fastest time ever for the 1,000-mile trail.
One of the world’s top ultra-runners, Diane Van Deren will move through the mountains with local guide runners. The surgery that ended the debilitating seizures impaired her ability to navigate, to read a map and gave her short-term memory lapses.
“I do one day at a time,” Van Deren said by phone on Tuesday, the day she first saw the N.C. mountains. “Check it off. Check it off. I just take it one step at a time and keep it moving forward. I stay in the moment.”




She plans to jog, trot or run 15-18 hours a day, sleep 4-5, and average 47 miles daily through leafy tunnels in the Blue Ridge, beside rolling farm fields in the Piedmont and along the wind-swept Outer Banks. She’ll burn 7,000-8,000 calories a day, will be resupplied by volunteers and will camp at night.
If Van Deren stays on track, she’ll reach the trail’s eastern terminus, Jockey’s Ridge State Park at Nags Head, on May 30. That would beat by three days the 24-day, 3-hour, 50-minute run made last summer by Matthew Kirk of Marion, N.C.
Van Deren, a super athlete, has competed in some of the most grueling long-distance runs in the world. In 2008, she won the Yukon Arctic Ultra 300-mile race, pulling a 50-pound sled with food and supplies over frozen tundra in temperatures as low as 40 below. A year later, in the Yukon Arctic Ultra 430-mile race, she was fourth overall.
She climbed South America’s highest peak, 22,834-foot-high Aconcagua, in 2010 and regularly finishes the 100-mile Hardrock Endurance Run in the Colorado Rockies, with its lung-bursting 33,992-foot cumulative elevation gain.
The N.C. cross-state trail passes south of Asheville and north of Winston-Salem, loops around Raleigh, uses ferry connections at the Pamlico Sound and between Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands and spans the beaches north to Jockey’s Ridge. About 500 miles of trail have been completed; uncompleted parts follow rural roads. The length runs between 950 and 1,000 miles as new trail segments re-route or replace road sections.
Van Deren’s trek can be followed on www.mstendurancerun.com (http://www.mstendurancerun.com/); signals from her GPS will pinpoint her location on a map.
Van Deren, a resident of Sedalia, Colo., and husband Scott have three children, ages 25, 23 and 21. As a youth, she excelled in basketball and tennis. Seizures began in her mid-20s. Medication didn’t control them. In 1997 she opted for radical brain surgery. She lost a kiwi-fruit-sized part of her front temporal lobe. The lobectomy stopped the seizures, giving her a new life.
“It’s a gift. I’m seizure-free,” she said.
While seizure-stricken, she discovered that running would prevent onset of episodes. After she recovered from surgery, she did a 50-miler and won. Thrilled, she advanced to ultra running and became an athlete sponsored by The North Face, the clothing and gear company.
The “Mountains to Sea Trail Endurance Run” was arranged by Great Outdoor Provision Co. to raise $40,000 for the trail. Chuck Millsaps, an official with the retailer in Raleigh, approached The North Face with the concept. Last October, Van Deren spoke in Raleigh and expressed interest in the trail, Millsaps said. The company signed on and will pick up logistical expenses.
Millsaps and co-workers created the 21-day timetable. He presented it to Van Deren, noting elevation gains, land features and designated campsites. He quoted her as saying, “I can do that.”
Even with mild May weather and relatively moderate terrain, she regards the trail blitz as a daunting undertaking. The 5-foot-9, 138-pounder has never run this far. She’ll take more than 2.1 million steps.
“I think this will be the biggest challenge ever (because) of the distance,” she said. “I’m going to hit everything – every type of environment...1,000 miles is a long way. (But) I can’t wait.”


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fiddlehead
05-10-2012, 20:02
In no way am I a sexist.
But, that picture is not a woman.

Hard to believe she can set records if she can't remember where she's going.
Good luck to her.

Bonepile2
05-11-2012, 20:32
I don't mean to diminish what this woman is trying to do but the Mountain to Sea Trail is so fragmented that how can anyone compare times as far a record scoring goes. Part of the trail used to run over the property that adjoins mine. The property owner has closed that section. There is no reroute marked anywhere. I have no clue where that part is replaced. I have hiked some of the trail over the last several years, but a lot of the trail is simply places where it is simply proposed , but just doesn't exist. As is now stands it is just a lot of existing trails that don't even connect. A lot of the rural roads that it supposedly follows have no markings. How can someone who doesn't know where they are follow a trail that no one knows where it is. Just wondering what is the previous record for this. As the article says only 500 of the 1000 mile trail have been completed and the it is constantly rerouted or disappeared.

Grits
05-14-2012, 20:56
Matt Kirk did the MST in about 27 days I think it was and the Marines did it last year. Here is the link to follow Diane http://greatoutdoorprovision.com/e-mstrun/mst-blog/four-days-in-van-deren-hitting-her-stride/ They are not posting her actual locations which is not a bad idea. lol she is thinking it is more of a rock scramble, :banana Wilsons Creek it will be more fun. The trail is just now getting notice and it is going to take some time to get all the parts connected but it will happen. Wishing her the best and of course have fun.

Tennessee Viking
05-15-2012, 08:51
Matt Kirk did the MST in about 27 days I think it was and the Marines did it last year. Here is the link to follow Diane http://greatoutdoorprovision.com/e-mstrun/mst-blog/four-days-in-van-deren-hitting-her-stride/ They are not posting her actual locations which is not a bad idea. lol she is thinking it is more of a rock scramble, :banana Wilsons Creek it will be more fun. The trail is just now getting notice and it is going to take some time to get all the parts connected but it will happen. Wishing her the best and of course have fun.

@Grits, her SPOT tracker so far has not been getting good reception. Last I heard, the twitter updates were about a day but she was just east of Asheville heading up toward Mt Mitchell. Diane was wanting to ford Linville River before the rain came.


I don't mean to diminish what this woman is trying to do but the Mountain to Sea Trail is so fragmented that how can anyone compare times as far a record scoring goes. Part of the trail used to run over the property that adjoins mine. The property owner has closed that section. There is no reroute marked anywhere. I have no clue where that part is replaced. I have hiked some of the trail over the last several years, but a lot of the trail is simply places where it is simply proposed , but just doesn't exist. As is now stands it is just a lot of existing trails that don't even connect. A lot of the rural roads that it supposedly follows have no markings. How can someone who doesn't know where they are follow a trail that no one knows where it is. Just wondering what is the previous record for this. As the article says only 500 of the 1000 mile trail have been completed and the it is constantly rerouted or [email protected] There is some truth to what you say. But just go out and research it; get a guide book and follow the maps. There are more and more people attempting to thru and section hike the MST than ever before. The reason for it being broken is because of the lack of public lands on the Piedmont and Coastal regions. But one of the fun things about the MST is that you can pick your own rural road route, bike the back roads, or kayak the rivers. But the trail is continuing to grow as the word gets out. We have one hiker that has hiked it 5 times. So its walkable.

As for the Sauratown section when you run trail on private property, you are at the mercy of the property owner to allow the trail on the land when the easement contract runs out. However, Sauratown is already working on building new trail and has detour information. But if you would like to the trail to grow in Surry Co., join the Sauratown either with maintaining it or with easement access.

Just to keep you updated, Pilot Mtn just started blazing an official route through the park. Falls Lake is completed and now has 60 miles of trail. A huge section of the Haw and Eno Rivers will open up in the next couple years. Over 40 miles of the Neuse River will soon have a greenway path. Much of the northern NC Blue Ridge Parkway is already built.

calebB
05-16-2012, 09:39
I think Kirk did the trail in just over 24 days. It looks as though she has been slowed by all the rain in the mtns over the past several days. But, then she may not have to deal with as much heat as Kirk did in June. Keep in mind that Kirk was self-supported for the majority of his trek.

Bonepile2
05-16-2012, 21:08
I know that the trail is still evolving and will someday great for us in North Carolina. But I just think it is meaningless for people to claim time records for a trail that still isn't a trail. If Dianne sets a new record now, should it still be honored years from now when the trail becomes much more difficult when the road sections are replaced? What if nobody can beat her times then when it actually becomes a real trail?

gunner76
05-20-2012, 10:53
Her record can be for the trail in its current configuration and future records for the then future trail configuration. Quick now, who set the first fastest time to hike (run) the AT. I don't know, not worried about it. If I go out and hike (run) the AT today does it count as the AT I hike/run today is not the same route I did 30 years ago.

Pedaling Fool
05-20-2012, 12:51
I know that the trail is still evolving and will someday great for us in North Carolina. But I just think it is meaningless for people to claim time records for a trail that still isn't a trail. If Dianne sets a new record now, should it still be honored years from now when the trail becomes much more difficult when the road sections are replaced? What if nobody can beat her times then when it actually becomes a real trail?
Who's to say it will get tougher because it's off-road? Also, I tend to think that this speed hike can only be a plus in helping this trail evolve, i.e., become an actual trail.

Cherokee Bill
05-20-2012, 19:56
Who's to say it will get tougher because it's off-road? Also, I tend to think that this speed hike can only be a plus in helping this trail evolve, i.e., become an actual trail.
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Damn right my friend! Lets stop picking this Lady apart!!!!! Look at the medical challenges she has faced, and the fact that rathere than saying "Oh woe is me", she determines to run this trail!

Hell, my opinion, she could care less what all of us think, and cares less about any record, Hell, she just wants to run, enjoy the outdoors, and enjoy what life/health she has left, while she still can!!!!!!

Damn she makes me take a REAL look at myself and all the things I complain about, and I am of good health.

A man once said he complained about not having any shoes, till he say a man without any feet!

Lets put all our negative thoughts aside here, for her, and wish her the BEST!

Thought we were FAMILY here??????????? Am I wrong????????

rocketsocks
05-20-2012, 20:42
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Damn right my friend! Lets stop picking this Lady apart!!!!! Look at the medical challenges she has faced, and the fact that rather than saying "Oh woe is me", she determines to run this trail!

Hell, my opinion, she could care less what all of us think, and cares less about any record, Hell, she just wants to run, enjoy the outdoors, and enjoy what life/health she has left, while she still can!!!!!!

Damn she makes me take a REAL look at myself and all the things I complain about, and I am of good health.

A man once said he complained about not having any shoes, till he say a man without any feet!

Lets put all our negative thoughts aside here, for her, and wish her the BEST!

Thought we were FAMILY here??????????? Am I wrong????????No,not wrong.But like any family,there is always something to argue about,which at times is not a good thing,but at other times allows us to rally and be stronger.thats kinda how I view some things here at WB,after a while of chewing on a topic,I find myself adopting new views or more definded.....but not always.

Rain Man
05-23-2012, 12:06
In no way am I a sexist. ....

Yeah, right. Makes me think of those who say "I am not racist, but ...."

Rain Man

.

Tennessee Viking
05-23-2012, 12:20
Last I heard, Diane had left the mountains and the Foothills and was quickly approaching the Greensboro Watershed. Reports says she will be around Eno River SP/Falls Lake area around Thursday.

http://greatoutdoorprovision.com/mst-blog/

Taba
05-26-2012, 20:03
I had a chance to meet Diane in Greensboro. What a fantastic lady with so much energy and excitement about this hike and the trail. Her record attempt will be amazing to the developement of the trail.
On a side note, the trail does change all the time but if it's not finished how could I have hiked it over 4 times and write a guidebook for this trail. For people who don't understand how a trail evolves, do some more research about this topic before you start talking about things you don't know about. The FMST and several individuals, including myself, are dedicated to helping this trail grow and evolve into a trail that will be fun and adventurous for everyone. It took the Appalachian Trail many years before it became a popular thru-hiking adventure. Be Happy that the MST is growing and will eventually increase the financial market in many small towns throughout the state. Give it some more time before you ridicule it and say that it isn't a complete trail. It is but it like the AT will always be changing directions.

Taba
05-26-2012, 20:06
Go Diane Go!!! You have overcome so many obstacles in your life. I am impressed by your drive and motivation. I will always be a supporter of your future endeavors.

Tennessee Viking
05-31-2012, 09:04
Update: Diane is on her final leg of the MST traveling along the Outer Banks.

msupple
05-31-2012, 09:21
I don't know what her actual average mileage has been but it seems like it should be more than 47 miles per day if she is running 15 to 18 hours per day. Jen Davis averaged that on her AT speed record and was walking. Was that a typo?

gunner76
06-03-2012, 00:03
She has finished the run.