The 18th annual Lost Soul Ultramarathon was held on September 8-9, 2017 in Lethbridge. The trail course runs through the river valley coulees on public and private land. In this event, 320 ultra-marathoners race against each other, the elements and the unrelenting hills in one of three distances: 100 miles, 100 km or 50 km. It is a gruelling course with record high temperatures this year reaching 34 degrees Celsius in extremely smoky conditions from the forest fires. The race attracts runners from all over the world. This year a University of Lethbridge employee Richard Carvalho (Facilities) reached a milestone which only a select group has achieved. He finished his 10th (local) 100 mile race, 16th overall ultra-race. There are only 2 other runners who have achieved this milestone of completing 1000 miles. The completion rate for the 100 mile race is less than 50% every year and in particular this year the finish rate was 33% (19 out of 57). Richard had a strong finish time of 27 hours and 20 minutes which is well below the maximum allowable time of 33 hours. Congratulations to Richard on such an incredible accomplishment!
Richard’s extensive running journey began when he came across someone wearing an Ultramarathon T-Shirt, and thought it was a myth. However, through his own research found this to be true and decided to pursue this personal undertaking. Richard values the Lethbridge community with businesses like, Runner’s Soul encouraging community engagement and running, and the terrain that we are surrounded with, the coulee trails and river-bottom landscape. As Richard describes his running career with a humbling smile, he says that anyone can complete these races. It is all a part of a personal undertaking, with no pursuit of recognition, to fulfill a personal endeavor. It becomes a focus of your mental ability and how you can overcome times of lows, sleep deprivation, and exhaustion. Although Richard has faced his own challenges regarding these lows, he has persevered with the support and encouragement he receives. “It keeps me going,” says Richard.
Richard describes the Ultramarathons as a fortunate and fun experience to challenge your body and mind. His enjoyment stems from the trails and how your foot is placed and how the trails beckon you. He finds himself experiencing a meditative release while occupying the mind and body. Richard has expressed that he will continue on with these races and his running career for as long as he can, as long as it’s fun!
Congratulations on your remarkable accomplishment, Richard. Although, completing an Ultramarathon may not be for everyone, the philosophy to stay active for as long as you can and as long as it is fun – is something I think we all can strive towards!!