Lori Herron finishes another race

Lori Herron finishes another race

Victoria ultramarathon takes running to new heights

Lori Herron’s accomplishments are ‘unparalleled’ in ultra-running circles

Lori Herron likes to run. A lot.

The Fernwood resident thinks nothing of running for hours on end. Over the last nine years, she’s competed in more than 20 ultramarathons, ranging from 50 kilometres to 120 miles.

Don’t think these races are a walk in park. Most of her races are tough trail runs, traversing mountain passes, river and rocky terrain.

And it’s all in fun.

“I’ve not yet had a bad race, despite having terrible blisters and throwing up,” says Herron, 55, a Canada Post employee.

“I guess some people would classify that as awful, but I’ve never mentally got to a place where I’ve been defeated.”

Herron got involved in ultramarathon running differently than many others in her sport. While most runners begin with 5, 10, even 21 kilometres races, she took on the Great Walk – a 64.5-kilometre run from Gold River to Tahsis.

Her running career began when a few women got together and decided to start running.

“It seemed like a fun thing to do with a group of fun ladies,” Herron recalls.

The race training didn’t start out as planned.

“It was very difficult. I can vividly recall my first run,” she says. “I went out by myself. I don’t know if I got an entire block in before  I had to start walking. It was hard.”

It didn’t take long before those miles got easier and she was ready to take on the Great Walk. The achievement from that event was that she was able to run most of it.

She then made her mind up to run her first marathon before she hit 40. Seven months later, she competed in the Victoria Marathon and before she knew it had 19 more on her resume – each time getting a little faster.

Herron qualified for the much-heralded Boston Marathon, and then decided to put more of her efforts into ultramarathons.

She got involved in trail running when her ex-husband would come home from a run lauding about being out the woods, splashing through creeks and mud.

She turned out for a run with a trail group led by Mike (The Trail Guy) Suminski and was hooked.

“There was just something about being in the forest that was very therapeutic,” Herron says.

“It was just so much fun. You didn’t have to run up every hill. You could walk and it was OK. I love mud up to my knees. The dirtier the better.”

Soon, she turned all her efforts to trail running and ultramarathons.

Herron admits she isn’t overly fast as a runner, but has the mental capacity to tackle any distance.

Her proudest achievement, so far, was the Hurt 100, a 100-mile race in Hawaii, considered one of the toughest runs in North America, which she competed in January 2014.

A total of 132 competitors took part in that race, with only 52 finishing. Herron was the only Canadian woman and the oldest woman to finish.

“It’s just a hard, hard race. You are constantly going up or going down,” says Herron, who finished the race in 35 hours.

Suminski, who has run with Herron since 2006, says she has incredible athletic ability and a will to compete.

“Her accomplishments are unparalleled, not only here, but down in the States, too,” he says.

For Herron, it’s still about the challenge.

“These are huge accomplishments, but there is still this thing in your head where you’re thinking, ‘ah, maybe I should have been faster. I struggle with it, but I feel quite adamant that I have nothing to prove.”

klaird@blackpress.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Patrick MacMullan won $28,000 playing Toto. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Greater Victoria man wins $28,000 while watching football

Winning ticket purchased at Colwood convenience store

Victoria police are seeking public assistance in identifying a suspect and witness of a Dec. 4 sexual assault in Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police seeking suspect, witness of sexual assault of Esquimalt teen

Teen sexually assaulted Dec. 4 after departing number 15 bus

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read