Lost Soul overcomes failure to win
Black Diamond: David Proctor perseveres to win ultra-marathon
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 06:00 am
A Black Diamond runner wound up winning an event where he knew he was going to fail.
David Proctor won the 100-mile Lost Soul ultra-marathon in Lethbridge in a time of 21 hours, and 26 minutes on Sept. 8-9.
His victory included two “bonks” — that is, when your whole body seems to seize up and you can’t walk another step, what marathoners call hitting the wall.
“I had a bonk at about the 75km mark,” Proctor said. “A bonk is when your body starts failing. I think it was because my core temperature was getting too high. I expected everybody to pass me and nobody did.
“I ended up bonking twice in that race, and I don’t recommend that to anybody.”
He got over his first bonk when his wife, Sharon, poured ice water over his head for about 10 minutes.
“That’s not a fun experience,” Proctor said with a laugh. “That is the wonderful thing about ultra-marathons, it’s not a question of if you are going to bonk or if you are going to fail, it’s how quickly you can get up after you bonk or fail. I knew this was going to come. It’s part of the ultra-marathon lifestyle — you fail, but you just keep going.”
There is nothing normal about running just short of four marathons in a day.
Although it was Proctor’s first 100-mile race of his career, he has had an impressive season, previously winning the 100 km national championship in Victoria.
However, this time, he was adding about 60 kilometres more to his race.
The race consisted of three loops of approximately 33 miles each. Proctor finished the first 33-mile loop in a blistering time of five hours and 21 minutes.
“I think that was the fastest first loop in the race’s history and everyone seemed to follow suit with me — there were a lot of runners who went under six hours,” Proctor said. “I was thinking it was the start of the race and it was cool — let’s get a lot of this race done early when it is not so hot.”
Proctor bonked again at around the 133-km mark while he was getting support from his brother Dan, at around 1 a.m.
“I think that was just total exhaustion, I had never ran a 100 miles before the most I had run was 100km — I remember telling Dan as we were climbing: ‘I have never been so tired in my entire life,’” Proctor said. “He told me we will take a break at the top of the hill.
“I don’t remember anything after that, except for him slapping my face. I guess I was snoring before I hit the ground.”
Dan let his brother get five minutes of shuteye, before informing David if he wanted to break the course record, he should start making tracks.
“That got me to my feet pretty quick,” Proctor said.
He completed the race about five hours later, but not before running into race volunteer and Okotoks godfather of ultra-marathoning, Wayne Gaudet.
“Wayne encouraged me, but I needed more than that,” Proctor said with a laugh.
He missed setting the course record by about 25 minutes. He finished nearly two hours ahead of the second-place runner Bernadette Benson.
Proctor tuned up for the Lost Souls by running the Sheep River Road Race on Labour Day, finishing second to Michael Quick in the 10km run.
He said he plans to take a break for the remainder of the year, possibly running in the Natural High half/full marathon in Okotoks on Oct. 5.
Other Foothills area results at the Lost Souls ultra-marathon were:
100-mile — 1. David Proctor, Black Diamond, 21:26:07;
100km — 62. Mary Bell, Okotoks, 23:50:09
50km — 7. Pam Litwin, Okotoks, 6:16:04; 32. Kelsey Schuett, Okotoks, 7:29:30 40; Eric Abildgaard, Nanton, 7:55:08; 57; Chuck Holmstrom, Okotoks, 8:34:06; 103, Jeffrey Gardner, Okotoks, 11:34:18.
For more information about the Lost Soul Ultra-marathon go to www.lostsoulultra.com.