2000 Badwater Ultramarathon Entrant Biographies, E-G

Last Name A-D - Last Name E-G - Last Name H-Mc - Last Name Me-P - Last Name Q-S - Last Name T-Z

Daniel Edwards
New York, NY, USA (England)
Occupation: Headhunter
Birthday: 21.1.73, Age: 26yrs 7 months
Number of Years: 15
Number of Marathons: 7

Ultra Run: April 1999 Marathon des Sables - 150 mile self-supported race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco

Ultra Run Experience: Above race. The event was my best experience of life to date as through it I temporarily satisfied a desire to exploit to the extreme a talent I felt I had, starting the race with the sole desire to complete the course and finishing 22nd out of 600 competitors. My best performance during the race was completing the 50mile stage in 8hrs 15mins and placing 19th.

Weird Experience: Experiencing the blend of solitude and camaraderie for the first time on taking part in an ultra. It made the event unlike I could have imagined. Whilst at times utterly alone in the desert, the friendly contact as another competitor passed or was passed created a feeling that hasn't been replicated since.

Challenge: Running an average speed of 9.5km/h in 100+ degree heat on limited food and water with a pack on my back through some of the highest dunes in Africa for a week in the Marathon des Sables.

Why: Ultras present the opportunity to step into the unknown in terms of physical and mental abilities. The ultra I did and the training for it made me realise how much further I could push my mind and body than I do in every-day life.

Why Badwater: Lisa Smith is my inspiration for entering the race. She became a firm friend during the Marathon des Sables as we were initially running similar times. Lisa described the challenge of Badwater, as well as the camaradrie and spirit of the race. Her stories of past experiences at Badwater fill me with a sense of awe for the event, competitors and terrain. I would relish the opporuntity to experience the same at first hand.

Other Exp.: None apart from mountain walking in the Andes, Cairngorms and Pyrenees.

Charity: IPODERAC, an orphanage I worked in in Mexico.

Resume: Athletic Achievements:
1996-7: Played field hockey at National League level for two seasons for Oxford University.
1995: Equalled individual assault course record on British Army Officer Selection Course
1994: Ran St Alban's Marathon in 3hrs 15mins aged 19.

Barbara A. Elia
Modesto, CA, U.S.A.
Occupation: Modesto Jr. College P. E. Teacher
Birthday: Oct. 2nd, l944, Age: 55
Number of Years: 21
Number of Marathons: 72

Ultra Run: Leadville 100m, Wasatch l00m, Grand Canyon Double Crossing

Ultra Run Experience: Finishing my first ultra, a 50K in 1982, with a time of 4:00.04. Also, in 1987, finishing my 1st 50 mile run at Ice Age 50 in Wisconsin, in 9:18.

Weird Experience: In 1989, I was doing my first 24 hour track run and I noticed a runner sitting along side the track with a dog, but it was really a paper bag! It was during the night, it was hot, and I was tired!

Challenge: In 1993 I finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (4 100 mile races) and went on the do Angeles Crest 100, to become the 5th woman to ever do all 5.

Why: I enjoy the craziness of the sport and all the special people involved in it. We all have something in common and ultras effect our whole lifestyle. I like sharing stories with everyone of them!

Why Badwater: After finishing my 10th Western States this year, I felt like this would be a new challenge. I've had a goal for sometime to do the race, and the year 2000 was a good year to do it!

Other Exp.:Triathlons and bike races.

Resume: 183 ultras
71 marathons
Grand Slam 1993
Northern California Grand Prix winner
21 years running

Paul Elston
Calne, Wiltshire, England
Occupation: Royal Air Force
Birthday: 10th Jan 1970
Age: 30
Number of Years: 13
Number of Marathons: 7

Ultra Run: 1997 Marathon Des Sables, 1999 Everest Marathon

Ultra Run Experience: Marathon Des Sables in 1997. Having to deal with the extremes of temperature and varying teerain on limited rations proved a real test, especially considering we had to carry all our own supplies.

Weird Experience: Having an 'out of body' experience whilst doing the 51 mile leg in the Marathon Des Sables

Challenge: Everest Marathon 1999. i found the 18 days trekking to the start line a challenge in itself. also a complete change in diet and culture tested our resolve to even compete. but mostly the challenge of running at over 17500 ft.

Why: Personal achievemnt. I enjoy pushing myself beyond my percievied limits

Why Badwater: To complete the ultimate race in a series of 3 personal challenges.

Other Exp.: 1993 and 1994 - British half Ironman Triathlon Championships. 1996 and 1999 - British Ironman Triathlon Championships


Resume: RAF representitive Triathlete. Competed in European Force Duathlon Championships in Calais. Part of the RAF Trail running team, winning the National Championships in 1998. Forces and Club runner at all distances. Enjoy long distance open water swimming.

Colin Evans
Westbury Park, Bristol, United Kingdom
Occupation: Electronics Developement Engineer
Birthday: 21st May 1971, Age: 28
Number of Years: 2
Number of Marathons: 11

Ultra Run: Have completed 2 Ironman triathalons last year and 4 of the 50K+ races were over 40 miles trail races

Ultra Run Experience: Round Rothrham 51 Miles December 1998. My First ever Ultra race, wet, muddy, hilly and equired to navigate between checkpoints. The runners left in 3 waves, Long distance walkers were first at 6am, runners at 7am and sub 8 hour runners at 8am. It was a realy good feeling to be chasing and to overtake runners from the early wave. Gave an extra boost to see someone ahead whome you could catch and overtake. All good fun and everyone was very friendly.

Weird Experience: Longmynd Hike 52 Mile Fell Race.
The race started at 1pm, so there was no way anyone would ever finish the race without night navigation. Being a Fell race, the objectives were to navigate between checkpoints (8 of which were at the top of Hills, total assent 9000ft) choosing any route you deemed fit. At dusk you were grouped into threes for the night for safety reasons as the biggest, steepest hills were the last 3 checkpoints and there were no paths. Extremely enjoyable, and the feeling of climbing the hills to the last checkpoints during the still of night with clear periods and a full moon was very memorable. I will try and search a few more of these style events...

Challenge: Grand Union Canal Run 145. First attempt at an event longer than 55 miles, weather was very hot during the day and then there were horrendous thunder storms for 3 hours late in the evening before cold clear skies and then drizzle for Dawn. Support crew had to leave at the 64 mile meeting point, and I was then crew-less just before the thunderstorms. I continued the best I could but retired at 105 miles 7am the following day proud to have completed 100 miles in a day but disappointed not to have been able to complete the remaining 43 miles in the remaining 25 hours. Learnt a lot about choice of equipement, how to train, how to run these longer distances (was just leading at 64 miles, should have been slower in the early stages and maintained a steady pace) and the importance of a good support crew.

Why: I love the sense of accomplishment when finished, and more importantly the sense of freedom whilst running. I mainly run ultra trail races and the contrast from the City centre of Bristol where I currently live and work. I also enjoy the challenge of more extreme events, there is a lot of planning and reasearch to be carried out which can be fun.

Why Badwater: I have read many articles on the race over the last few years and dreamt of one day running such a race. After discovering Ultra-distance running I have progressed and feel confident with my ability as an Ultra runner and would like to prove this to myself and the world by successfully running the Badwater death valley race. It is a challenge which I can realy concentrate my training for over the coming months and would give my training more purpose.

Other Exp.: Progressed to Ironman triathalons in Autmn 99, completed the Longest day and then comleted Ironman Scotland three weeks later. Both were openwater swims (Almost last out of the water as I could only swim breast stroke at the time), but proved to be competent on the 112 mile cycle and amazingly found the running was using slightly different muscle groups, and ran a 3.5 hour marathon. Ironman Scotland was much harder as the swim was in a big cold loch, the cycle route was very hilly and the run was undulating with a hill. Finished 4th in the Marathon section of the Scottish ironman out of 38, with another competent cycle.

Resume: During the last 18 months I have competed in I have completed 9 marathons, 12 ultra-trail races and 2 ironman triathlons in the last 16 months and after carefull consideration would like to run the Badwater ultra. It would be pleasing to finish in the 48 hour timescale but to finish in 60 hours should definitely be possible.

Eberhard Frixe
Meine, Niedersachsen, Germany
Occupation: Industrie Commercial Officer
Birthday: 18. February 1950, Age: 50 Years
Starting Group: two
Number of Years: 20 Years
Number of Marathons: 91

Ultra Run: 1998, 1999, 2000 Marathon des Sables, 1999 - 100 Mile Himalayan Stage Race

Ultra Run Experience: 1999 Marathon des Sables, third german Runner, 64. place overall. 1999 100 Mile Himalayan Stage Race, 7. Place

Weird Experience: All Ultra events are good

Challenge: 100 Mile Himalayan Stage Race, to run down the hills

Why: They are good for my health and my mind, and I can do my work in the bureau much more better.

Why Badwater: My dream is to finish the Badwater race in my life

Erika Jennifer Gerhardt
Reedsburg, Wisconsin, USA
Occupation: Marketing Coordinator
Birthday: July 28, 1970, Age: 29
Number of Years: 15
Number of Marathons: 5

Previous Badwater Racing: Does having re-occuring strange dreams about the event count?

Ultra Run Experience: I have two: 1) My first ultra marathon, December 1998, Texas Trail 50 Mile, Huntsville Texas. 4th place age group finisher 25-29 age group, 9 hours 19 minutes. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't realize that the event would be "fun." I learned so much about myself, what it was possible for me to handle, and that it was even more than what I had just experienced. The clincher: I was wearing a goofy hat (on purpose) and a fellow racer passed me going to the turn around I had just come from, and he said: "There she is: I've been looking forward to your smile and that hat every loop. Thanks"

I had this additional glimpse that the kinds of personalities that are attracted to ultraunning were worth knowing, and that has been true tenfold since that time.

2) Texas Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run, 12/99 2nd place age group finisher, 8 hours 57 minutes. The realization as I crossed the finish line, that not only could I envision running that pace another 50 miles, but that I was excited to. I hugged the chute volunteer, I was so overwhelmed to feel that way finishing.

Weird Experience: John Dick Memorial 50k Race, Eagle, WI, 2/99 (finishing times unrecorded)

What was bizarre about the "Crusty Dick" ultrarun (I've since come to my senses about the word "ultrarun" and "50k" in the same sentence) is that I intended to enter and run only 10-15 miles as a training run, as do many for this winter trail event.

Due to warm weather & icy trail conditions, the event was moved to the road. At mile 15, I decided to run it all. I was especially pleased that it was 45 F and I was wearing gortex. (Another ultrarunner said to me, "I'm hot just looking at all the layers you have on"). And for the first time in my life,

I was warm in February.

That event elasticized and expanded for me the realm of what it means to get up in the morning and decided how far I am going to run from 10-15 or 15-30-35. Since then, I feel comfortable recognizing the importance of running by how I feel, knowing that it can change from what I mentally decide, to how I am coping physically (and vice versa) in the midst.

That was weird, and I'm greatful. Besides realizing that a 50k ain't no ultra.

Challenge: Ice Age 50 Mile Trail Race, Eagle, Wisconsin, 5/99 10 hours, 19 minutes.

I had been flu sick before/during my 1st Boston Marathon, April 1999, and ran my slowest marathon ever. Three weeks later I was still sick--just in time for my 1st Ice Age. Well-trained, but ill. I fell apart emotionally at 5 hours.

I spent the next 5 hours wanting to quit, every step of the way, every second, every cell. But I knew what kind of a sick I was and instinctually how to work through it—even though I didn't want to.

I could feel the deficiencies and how to work around them. I don't know how to explain wanting to quit but yearning to finish to be complete, rather than to compete. I knew I'd feel worse if I dropped out, but when I finished at rock bottom, I didn't think it was possible to feel any worse. Then I got healthy. 3 weeks later.

It was painful, but carthartic to recognize that if I already knew what my limits were, I was already beyond them.

Why: Because I have 2 essential, uncanny and paradoxical character traits: a) a disposition toward doing things the hard way b) I Run For Myself.

Ultrarunning gives me the opportunity to do some deep-core diving, (you still need oxygen) that has been amazaing and wonderful. Ultrarunning allows me to think and mull and consider issues, aspects, happenings, that evaporate when I begin to consider "what do I think about when I run."

I ultrarun to live at my core and expand my core, by aligning my values with living an authentic life. The repetive motion soothes and quiets me. Overwhelms me with a sense of peace.

Ultrarunning for me feeds and exacerabes and informs words I hold near to me that comprise me: whimsy, synergy, gratitude, flexibility, authenticity.

It reveals the truths and essential personalities in myself and others that I've needed thus far, so I may inhabit my space fully for this lifetime.

An ultrarunning endorphine rush must be the next best thing to peyote?

And the more I run ultras, the less that "it" is "about" running, but rather the process.

Running is the vehicle to get me to that calm, quiet, meditative, trance-inducing place, where my most important values can surface and float, instead of being burrowed into a core that isn't accessible to myself or others.

It allows me to integrate and fully inhabit both spheres of my brain, instead of just the dominant half, to recognize the balance, the hard and soft that is required to run such distances.

I knew I was an "ultrarunner" when I did my last marathon in October, and I found the "urban-ess", pagentry, the preciseness of the timing distracting and discomforting. Like the whole event just missed the point.

I just happened to figure that out earlier than many runners, and have come to ultrarunning sooner than most.

I am amazed at how--becuase of ultrarunning, I have come to such an awareness of my own functioning: where I am at chemically on a cellular level and how to respond to that, in running and every day living.

I am beyond your periphal vision, so you may want to turn your head.

Why Badwater: I learned of and became fascinated by this race 15 years ago, as a 15 year old cross country runner. I had been running for less than 2 months, and at 2 mile distance. I certainly was not cognizant of the concept of marathoning, much less ultrarunning. I would catch bits and pieces of media coverage over the years, and squirrel it away, even during the few brief years I didn't run a step. I carried around a New York Times article from 1995 (1996?) profiling one of the female athletes, until it was smudged print . . .and then I lost it.

There is something that is drawing me to this event. It helps that I thrive in heat. The only time I feel warmed is in July / August. I'm the only person I know who hates air conditioning. Steam room, sauna, Sweat lodge heat—The hotter, more stifling the better.

I enjoy "hills" (ok, I know they are mountains, but the point is, I like going UP). Badwater embodies the kind of terrain and weather combination I would most like to embrace in a race.

Besides me racing it, I see Badwater an integral journey to share with a very special crew of my closest friends.

I want to express my gratitude through this event to them, for having them in my lives and for the unconditional love & support they give me.

Each of us fufilling a role that supports one another so that the end result is that we've all experienced the event, not just the racer.

I don't know how to explain an attraction to Badwater that has never lumped this particular event into the category of "extreme". I think because I have always envisioned it as doable, I've never thought it of it as a looney goal.

Other Exp.: No, not enough coordination. I'm a sun sign (LEO), water just doesn't have the same appeal as earth and fire. And I'd rather get there (where ever "there" is) by foot.

Resume: Erika J. Gerhardt

Badgerland Striders Club Champion Women's 25-29 Age Group (Milwaukee, WI based RRA chapter)
Texas Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run, Huntsville, TX 12/99
2nd Place 25-29 Age Group, 8 hours, 57 minutes
Twin Cities Marathon, Minneapolis, MN 10/99
PR 3 hours 35 minutes
Ice Age 50 Miler, Eagle, Wisconsin 5/99
Trail race, 10 hours, 19 minutes
Boston Marathon, 4/99, 3 hours, 52 minutes
John Dick Memorial 50k Race 2/99 Trail race, (unknown finishing time)
Texas Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run, Huntsville, TX, 12/98
4th place age group, 9 hours 19 minutes
Fox Cities Marathon, Appleton, WI 9/98
25-29 Age Group Winner, 3 hours 38 minutes
Madison Marathon, Madison, Wisconsin 5/98
3 hours 48 minutes
Chicago Marathon, 10/97, 3 hours 46 minutes
Co-Captain, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, WI Cross Country Team, 1991
Most Improved Award,University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, WI Cross Country Team 1990
College 5k PR: 18 minutes 59 seconds

Jay Grobeson
Los Angeles, Ca, USA
Occupation: deputy district attorney
Birthday: 11/07/60
Age: 39
Number of Years: 6
Number of Marathons: 12
50k-approx 20
50mi-approx 25

Ultra Run Experience: Pacifc Crest Trail in 1989. It was my first 50 miler. I was pretty impressed with myself. Since then, I've learned not to be.

Weird Experience: The flying dragon I thought I saw on the jeep road coming up to Newcombs Saddle on the AC course in 1994. Of course, I've seen a lot of things on the trail that my pacers haven't. Or at least I thought I did.

Challenge: Wasatch in 1998. It was my 6th hundred of the year and the toughest course. My flashlight died on me, and my pacer and I shared one backup light for three miles.

Why: The company and the challenge.

Why Badwater: Why not?. But seriously, it's a challenge that I think suits my running ability. I'm not fast, not ever oing to be in first place, but I can keep going.

Resume: The quick version is that I have been doing ultra's since 1993. I did a couple in the late eighties, but did my first hundred (AC) in 1993. I was grossly undertrained, but finished. Since then, I've learned a lot, doing quantity rather than quality. In 1998, I completed the last great race (6 designated hundred in one year) and also did Rocky Raccoon for a total of 7 hundreds, and buckled five of them. This year, I managed 3 hundred, with buckles at Leadville and Angeles crest. I did South Dakota, and completed the finish with two other people, all of tying for second place. I don't keep track of all my ultra's, but it is safe to estimate that I do at least 10 a year since 1994. My only regular marathon is the Los Angeles Marathon, where I can usually do a 3:30 without killing myself.