Name: Mike Henebry
City: Cypress
State: CA
Country: USA
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Nationality: American
Occupation: Self-employed, California Route Sales
Birthday: 6/11/44
Age: 58
T-Shirt: large
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Number of Years Running: 32
Number of Marathons: 6

Distances:

50k-Dam Tough Run, 50k, 1999, Lake Isabella, CA, 6:01, 17th (32 finishers), 1st in age group (out of 7)

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50mi-Leona Divide 50-miles, 1999, Lake Hughes, CA, 12:30

Bishop 50-miles, 2000, Bishop, CA, 13:04, 40th (46 finishers)

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100km-Catalina 100k, 2000, Catalina, CA, 14:28, 62nd (72 finishers)

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100mi-Rio Del Lago 100-miles 2001, Auburn, CA, 29:12, 25th (29 finishers)

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100mi+-None

Previous Badwater Racing: None
Previous Badwater Crewing: None
Previous Badwater Clinic None

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Badwater Prediction:

Between 40 and 50 hours. I base this on my tendency to finish near the middle of the starters or near the middle of the last half of the finishers. Also, I tend to do my best, the hotter the event.

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Weird Experience:

On the Catalina 100k, with about 5 miles to go, it was dark and the trail split. There wasn't a marker in sight. I picked what I thought was the right trail. I ended up in what, in the dark, looked like an ancient Indian Burial Grounds or a graveyard of some kind. It turned out to be a Botanical Garden, but in the dark it was weird. I spent at least 5 or 10 minutes walking around this strange place looking for a trail out. I was cooling down quickly and the temperature was dropping. It was getting really spooky. Then, finally a volunteer with a flashlight spotted me and guided me out.

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Challenge:

Often, in training, I have imagined that I needed to do the last few miles of an ultra by doing 5-minute miles in order to beat a cutoff or to win an age group, etc. Then, I run hard, trying to beat this imaginary cutoff. I recently had a chance to put this imaginary training into practice. I had run the first 75-80 miles of the Rio Del Lago 100-miler with Shannon Farrar-Griefer. Shannon had just done the double Badwater only 6 weeks prior, so she wasn't fully recovered yet. As a result, she began to fade in the middle miles. Then, after pulling a muscle, she finally had to drop out. I had lost a lot of time and now I needed to dig down and really hustle the last 20 miles to beat the cutoff. I have never DNF'd an ultra, or even a marathon, and I didn't want this to be my first. It was a real challenge, after 75 miles, to have to clip along averaging 10-minute miles over fairly technical trails. I remembered all of those imagined finishing kicks from training. Fortunately, I did it, and with plenty of time to spare. It was as though the fantasizing in training actually helped to prepare me for the real challenge.

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Why:

Like most ultranunners, I've given this one a lot of thought. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I have a good answer! I think there are many reasons: One of them is certainly the challenge itself. I like to challenge myself. Another is the scenery. I love the outdoors, but I don't want to go camping in an RV or take some guided tour. I feel like I'm part of the habitat when I run an ultra. I even sometimes feel like a wild animal on the run. And, for some reason, I like that feeling. Of course, the people are a big part of it. I like associating with other ultranunners, and obviously, I identify with them. Another reason is that I need a goal race to train for; otherwise training wouldn't be as interesting. And I love the day-to-day feeling, that ultrarunning brings, of being extremely fit & healthy.

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Why badwater:

I originally became fascinated with the Badwater run probably 15-20 years ago, when only a handful of people had completed it. This was even before I actually got into ultrarunning. In fact, Badwater is one of the main reasons I became an ultrarunner. In a sense, I have been training for Badwater for 20 years! I have read everything published about it during those years. About 10 years ago (when it was still the individual event), I took my family out there to check out the course. We encountered a team from England that was doing a solo attempt. I got their phone number, called them a few days later, and pumped them for information. I had not run anything longer than a marathon at the time, but I knew I wanted to do Badwater someday. Why? Many reasons: It probably has something to do with a love and fascination for the desert that I have had all of my life. I also love the heat. And, of course, there's the challenge. It is even Death Valley itself that has something to do with it. I have felt drawn to this area ever since I was a kid watching the old "Death Valley Days" TV show. As a tournament chess player, I even have fond memories of Lone Pine (for many years, believe it or not, one of the biggest annual chess tournaments in the world was held there). It has been my dream, my goal, for about 20 years to run Badwater and I now, for the first time, I feel that I am ready. With the proper training (which I now have the experience to handle), and proper heat training (which I will do), and the clinics (which I look forward to like a kid at Christmas), I know I can do it. It is time for me to turn my dream into a reality!

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Other Exp.:

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Media:

As an avocation, I am a musician and a bandleader. A few national music trade newspapers will probably run a story on it. Also, 24-Hour Fitness will probably run an article in their newsletter. And, as a former Air Force Pararescueman, the National Pararescue Association will undoubtedly carry a story on it.

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More Media:

Possibly 24-Hour Fitness; they might even sponsor me.

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Charity:

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English: yes
Crew English: yes
Hike: no
Permit: yes

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Resume: As a kid, I played all of the major sports. I was the wrestling champion of my high school. I played varsity baseball & football in high school, college football, football in the Air Force, and minor league football. I was on the city swimming team. In the Air Force, my job (pararescue) included parachuting, scuba diving and mountain climbing, all of which I became expert at. And I’ve always done all the recreational sports at a high level of proficiency (water & snow skiing, handball, racquetball, etc.).

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