Name - Ashley Ringo Walsh
Age - 24
Years Running - 4
What Type of Running Do You Do? - trail running, mountain running, & mostly ultra distances
Why Did You Start Running? - I initially started to run to lose weight after having my kids. I started distance running to simply prove to myself that I could do anything I set my mind to. It started with an untrained attempt at a 13mi run and went crazy from there.
Weekly Mileage? - 125-140 miles per week
Accomplishments - I have a small list of races including 2 hundreds, over 70mi on a loop course in under 12 hrs, and some other local ultras. I’ve been told, however, that my main accomplishment in running is my grit. (I just call it stubbornness!) I tend to face severe conditions and adversity in most all of my races. Bad luck, I guess?
What is Your Most Memorable Run Moment? - I have so many, but my most recent favorite has got to be watching a huge orange sun set over the mountains in the Los Padres national forest in Santa Barbara -57 miles into SBER 100 – from the highest peak on the course. After the sun set, I could see lights everywhere along the coast of the pacific. It was an incredible, breathtaking sight. I was all alone, completely silent, and I just sat there for a minute or two to soak it all in. I remember thinking, “This is exactly why I live to run.” You can only really experience and appreciate moments like that if you’re willing to dig deep enough to get to the places that allow them to happen.
What’s the Hardest Thing You’ve Ever Run? - Fort Clinch 100 that I almost died in..literally. I had to spend about 2 days in the ICU after passing out at 67miles. It was a very rough course, awful heat and humidity.
What’s Your Favorite Race? - Santa Barbara Endurance Races 100 mile
What is the Race You Crave to Run the Most? - spartathlon, a run on the pony express, or across the USA.
Your Favorite Running Spot? - The smokeys section of the AT
Your Favorite Post-Run Meal/Drink?- CHOCOLATE MILK & lots of it!
Heros - my husband, Dan. He’s the most disciplined and fittest person I have ever known. He pushes me to train harder, and inspires me to be the best I can be. Beth Presten is my running hero, she has taught me all of the in’s & out’s of running high weekly mileage and racing strategy. She also inspires me with her ability to win almost every race she enters & she trains harder than any other girl I know. Beth McCurdy is my ultra hero. She inspired and encouraged me to attempt my first 100 mile race. She is one tough woman and drives me to keep pushing further despite the odds and naysayers. Ami Roach is another hero who taught me how to run a marathon, I definitely owe my distance running to her in many ways too.
Goals for 2011 - to finish a 24 hour with a good amount of mileage, and to finish a few more 100s before 2012.
Advice to Other Run Bums- Try to step outside of the box more:). Life needs to be an adventure that’s experienced instead of watched.
Personal comment from Run Bum Sean
Ashley really personifies the Run Bum lifestyle. She is an inspiration. She is running races all over the country and running trails where ever there are trails to be run. She pushes her self harder than anyone we know.
Just a month ago, she ran a 100 mile race. It was a 100 mile footrace during the middle of July on a coastal island in southern Georgia. It was Fort Clinch 100 mile.
Trying to check on her progress, I phoned her husband (SORRY BOYS THIS LADY IS TAKEN!) I asked him how she was doing. He said it was hot as heck and that it was well over a 100 degrees F!!!!!
It was roastin’. I wished them luck and said I’d call later. I then got a text message a couple of hours later that Ashley had been taken to the hospital.
She had renal failure, heart failure and suffered a mild heart attack. This was all due to the heat! She kept running through pain and eventually collapsed mid sentence, where her bad ass of a husband literally carried her 3 miles to safety. He then drove them both to the hospital.
She nearly lost her life. This girl gives new meaning to “Go until you can’t”. I know that everyone has said that we can’t keep going many times, and given up. I think that is more that we WON’T not can’t. Ashley went until she couldn’t or literally her body shut down. Ashley continues to amaze us with her runs. Don’t worry she is okay now though.
Ashley runs her own awesome site… check it out! www.ultrachicksunite.com