Check out the article here. Special thanks to Cheryl Lowe for interviewing Jim, James, Jason, and me.
The Final Sprint article is great, but I want to emphasize that Jim and James Newsom are also co-race directors, and Jason and I couldn't put the race on without their expertise and help. Fort Worth Running Company--Jim and James' store--is, in my opinion, THE best specialty running store in Fort Worth. If you find yourself in Cowtown and are in need of anything running-related, you should definitely stop by their establishment.
Here's what the article had to say:
The 2nd annual El Scorcho “Dos” 50K and 25K races are being held in Fort Worth, Texas on July 20, 2008 at midnight. Runners will complete a 3.1-mile crushed gravel loop on the Trinity Trails a total of five times for the 25K (15.5 mile) race, and ten times for the 50K (31 mile) race.
Yes–you read that right–the race starts at midnight. Don’t expect the runners competing in the event to lay down their heads for sleep anytime earlier than 7:00 AM that morning. Ryan Valdez, the race director, does not expect to catch any shut-eye for hours that weekend, either. “Body rhythms are going to be off. Most runners are used to going to bed early and waking up early for races,” said Valdez.
Valdez, along with fellow race director Jason Constantino, are working hard to deliver a fun and slightly crazy ultra-endurance event.
“It is a fun concept, and that’s why the running community has embraced it as much as it has,” said Valdez. “It’s crazy and not your typical run by any stretch of the imagination. The feel of the race is tongue-in-cheek. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Last year, Ryan Valdez’s 30th birthday was coming up on July 16. Valdez had a list of things he wanted to accomplish before that day, and on that list was completing a run of at least 30 miles. He and his friend Jason Constantino brainstormed the idea when they went for a run together, and then the thought struck Valdez that they should team up and organize an actual ultramarathon race. “We thought it was crazy, nuts, and it was never going to work,” joked Valdez.
Valdez and Constantino worked hard to gather resources, sponsors, and race management support and – before they knew it – they had a race. Over 200 individuals from all around the United States signed up for the inaugural event. Even more were on the waiting list.
“We thought at most we’d have 20 to 30 people sign up,” said Valdez. “We ended up having 226 runners last year–much larger than we thought.”
Valdez and Constantino contacted Fort Worth Running Company for organizational support. Father-and-son duo Jim and James Newsom, co-owners of the local specialty running store, agreed to help sponsor the event because they thought that it was unique and off-the-wall.
“The whole idea of the race is to have fun. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t be doing it,” said Jim Newsom. “We know that for eight hours we’re not going to have anything but laughs.”
Newsom helped Valdez to establish a charity for the race. Part of the proceeds go toward the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
According to Valdez, the race course is unique and safe. Just like last year’s event, a full medical staff will be ready to treat any ailing runners. Spectators and friends watch all along the race course and nobody gets left behind and lost in the dark. This year’s race course will be adequately lit, and many participants still bring their headlamps just in case. Both races are restricted to a trail loop that runs within Fort Worth’s Trinity Park.
“The course is unique. It’s in a city park but parts of it feel like a trail race,” said Valdez. “This race has an all-night party feel to it. People come to hang out and cheer each other on, and there is music playing all night.”
This year, there are already near 400 runners signed up for the race which will be held on July 20. Even though the entry size has doubled since last year, there are still people on the waiting list.