Our theme for the 2014 Identity Day 24 Hour Challenge was to celebrate Mexico and her
traditions but also to celebrate human beings as individuals. Each person who
participated in this event will have their personal memories. Even though we were all
walking or running along the same course (and often side by side), we each left our own
footprints on the road. This is one of the joys of the ultramarathon world: we are a
group of individuals building in 24 hours a community that often lasts far beyond the
final click of the stopwatch.
Just like people, each event has its own personality, its own aura. No two races are
the same, even when they are held on the same ground. Goals may be different, plans of
action change, the weather keeps you guessing. All of which adds to the excitement. As
I walked the road for Identity Day, I saw how the fields had changed since our last
event in April. Areas that had been empty dirt then were now showing green, corn that
was just getting started was now shoulder high, grasses along the edges of the fields
were deep green instead of yellow. The ground everywhere was sopping wet from hours of
rain every day for weeks, but the road we walked was in pretty good condition, not as
slippery as I expected. The daily storm arrived in the early evening just as we all
decided it was time for a break, so we were inside relaxing during the worst of the
rain and lightning. And when we got back outside, we heard frogs all around. Big ones
and little ones all singing like mad. One fat dark green one with black spots was right
in the middle of the road acting like he owned it, and dozens of exquisite inch long
hoppers were crossing from field to field, glowing like emeralds when we caught them in
But the most exciting aspect of this event, and one which will make it forever special
for Marco and myself, is that Clinton Jones of Seattle, Washington came down to test
himself during the 24 hours of Identity Day. For four years our dream has been to share
the magic of this beautiful country through our sport. Clint was the first in all that
time to dare to cross the border and discover the spirit of the people here. Our hosts,
Pedro and Antonia Hernandez, welcomed him with open arms, delicious traditional foods,
and the promise that their home was his. Clint’s enthusiasm for each new experience was
refreshing, and no one here will ever forget him. Thank you Clint for making our dream
Now for some technical details: one lap measures 5.6 kilometers or 3.48 miles. This
distance has been double checked by GPS and measuring wheel. Start time was 7 a.m. on
Saturday the 21st and finish time was 7 a.m. on Sunday the 22nd. This was a Go As You
Please event, where everyone could pick their own pace and both walkers and runners
were welcome. No minimum distance was required; we feel it is more important to be on
the move and participating without that pressure of minimum distances.
And now for complete results. First, the people who spent their exercise time with us:
Miguel F. Ramirez, 2 laps…Miguel M. Ramirez, 2 laps…Nemesio Sanchez, 2 laps…Juan
Carlos Ramirez, 2 laps. Thank you all for participating, we hope you enjoyed your laps
and will come back again next year!
Now, those of us who were attempting the entire 24 hours: Debbie Zapata, 10 laps for a
total of 56 kilometers or 34.8 miles. I never could get myself up to speed and I admit
I am a little embarrassed about my final total but I had a wonderful day with great fun
the whole time so I am happy. Marco Antonio Zapata,15 laps for a total of 84 kilometers
or 52.2 miles. Watch out for him next year!
And finally Clinton Jones, who walked and ran a total of 18 laps to complete 100.8
kilometers or 62.64 miles in 24 hours. This is a new personal best AND a new course
record!! Go Clint!!
So our 24 hour Challenges are over for another year. Thanks to Pedro and Antonia for
their generous hospitality. Thanks to Miguel for carrying everything and for the rabbit
hamburgers. Thanks also to Omar for the perfect finishing touch on Sunday. None of this
would have been possible without each and every one of you! A special thank you to
Carlitos for your unique tips on walking style; and one final THANK YOU and a heartfelt
CONGRATULATIONS to clint Jones, the newest member of our family. Welcome aboard!!
Our new location feels like home now, and we are already looking forward to the 145
Hours event coming in october. Until then, adios and Happy Trails!!