Ultra: No, Thank You

Outside Magazine, November 1994

Ultra: No, Thank You
By Todd Balf (with Jim Hage)

Perhaps Kawika Spaulding of Hawaii would have been in the running for the Huntington Beach-to-New York City Trans America Footrace had he chosen to stay away from whiskey at rest stations, wear sneakers, and not carry a gigantic prosecessionist flag for 3,000 plus miles. Then again, maybe not. The 40-year-old Spaulding was the last of five finishers in the June-through-August classic, pulling in to Central Park some three and a half days after 35-year-old Hungarian winner Istvan Sipos. But he did finish. Most of the 14-person field dropped out of the 64-stage, 45-mile-per-day race even before they reached the Rockies, the result of chronic vomiting and diarrhea and record-setting 119-degree heat in the desert. Sipos took the lead outside Las Vegas, Nevada, and then won more than half of the stages en route to New York.

Elsewhere, on a more southern course, Rob Kish and Seana Hogan repeated as victors in the coast-to-coast cycling event, Race Across America. Hogan finished the 2,905-mile course from Irvine, California, to Savannah, Georgia, in nine days, eight hours, and 56 minutes, setting a new women's record. In fact Hogan contended for first place among the men through much of Colorado and was on pace to break the trans-continental record of seven days, 23 hours, and 16 minutes, but she lost the leaders during a thunderstorm. Kish, meanwhile, rode patiently and didn't overtake the leaders, including runner-up Bob Breedlove, until they were a few hundred miles from the finish in Savannah. He crossed the line an hour and a half ahead of Breedlove, in 8:14:25.

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