orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

February 12, 2013

West completes latest ultra-marathon race, qualifies for Badwater

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A local runner competed in another event of extreme endurance and came away with his best time in the race.

Larry West traveled to Huntsville State Park in Huntsville, Texas on the weekend of Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 to compete in the Rocky Raccoon 100-mile Trail Run. This was West’s third time to compete in the extreme endurance run and he completed the race in 29 hours and 23 minutes, surpassing his previous best time set in 2012 by more than 15 minutes.

West’s brought his pace team and crew with him again, which is comprised of Marie Dempsey, Michelle Ashworth and Sarah Brister, as he navigated the 20-mile loop five times during the course of the race.

Even with better weather conditions this year than in 2012, West said he found the race more grueling and more challenging mentally than before.

“Miles 65 through 75 were the most difficult part for me,” West said. “I really relied on my pacers and crew at that point just to simply keep moving forward. As the race progressed, my pace and time improved. I ran the fifth loop (miles 81-100) 80 minutes faster than I did the previous loop (miles 61-80).

Now that West has successfully competed and completed his third 100-mile endurance race he has qualified for the Badwater 135-mile Ultra Marathon which will be held in July which stretches from Death Valley to Mount Whitney, Calif. It is considered to be “the world’s toughest foot-race” and places competitors in extreme environments and temperatures which can reach up to 130 degrees.

Once West accumulates enough funding through donations and sponsorships, he plans on participating in the race within the next few years.