I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

VT replies

Just read your story, you are a great ultra runner and I admire you for what you have accomplished. You really do run with your hart there is no other way you could have done it.
When I read your articles I can actually feel you pain and glory, not an easy thing to put into words but you always fine a way. Thanks for making me cry in front of all my coworkers
They think I'm crazy anyway.
I only hope you recover soon and are able to achieve your slam goal. Please keep sending these stories you are as good at writing as you are at running.
Gary Spalter

Olga! Congratulations on persevering and finishing Vermont! You are one
tough, strong, humble, amazing woman! Your report did a great job of
highlighting the contributions of all the wonderful people who helped you
along the way, but all the help in the world won't get you across the
finish line if you don't have enough mental and emotional strength to get
there. And you did/do!! Wow. I hope your recovery goes smoothly
(especially your poor feet) and wish you the best on the next one. Thank
you for continuing to be such an inspiration!!!!

Caroline Klug


You are amazing! You have inspired me to do those 15 milers in the summer heat and humidity. You tell the story so well, I was there with you while I was reading it. Your tolerance for pain and punishment is unequalled. I will think of you when I feel tired, or when it starts to hurt.

Good luck with the Grand Slam..

Dennis Burns

Dear Olga: I have little to add to all the things that others from
VCTC have said about you--but want to highlight your strength,
determination, endurance, inner fortitude--and wish I had had the
chance to get to know you better (as a runner and as a person--but I
think of you whenever I go to Rockefeller and will always remember
how you introduced me to running the trails in such a wonderful
place) before you moved west. But I know that running is something
that binds people together across the country, and I have the feeling
we will run into each other in more places than New York.
Bette Clark

Jason A wrote:
Amazing story!!!! What will power you have..with or without everyone around you. You said you ran for other people, but it came from within. You are very strong and that strength radiates in everything you do! Congratulations on a great race! two down and two to go...you can do it. I am so proud of you.........

Great report Olga!

And...you're beautiful as is...you don't need to lose weight! Just my opinion...

Joan Messick

I read a lot of race reports, and I've written quite a few over the years. This is one race report that was truly written from the heart, and one that could have been penned only by a true warrior who has seen the face of battle and lived to tell about the experience.

You are a warrior. Not a fighter in the traditional sense, but a modern day trooper of the trail; a crusader of ultrarunning.

You are the Bear. In Lakota (a Native American tribe of the upper plains states) legend, the Bear is a powerful animal, representing the direction of the west, the color black, and the realities & possibilities of change. The Bear represents strength, conviction of heart, and determination. The west also is the direction of the unknown, but the Bear leads us into that unknown with strength. It can be a dark place where we face our greatest fears with power.

In this Grand Slam journey, you still face plenty of unknown. But right now, you can stand tall knowing that you have conquered two of your four races.

I believe that your journey is not yet half finished, however. At the Leadville 50 mile point or the finish line, you will probably be "half way home." Wasatch presents a challenge that will take you to your absolute limit of mind, body, and spirit.

You have dug very deep into an energy reserve, but your bucket soon must be lowered even deeper into the well. The rope by which the bucket hangs must be stretched to its capacity...and even further. You might have to throw the bucket down into the well, or even be helped into the well yourself, suspended by your ankles that are held by your friends (your family, your pacers, your supporters).

You might have to jump into the well yourself when the situation looks most bleak. It could be dark and very, very scary. Self doubts, like the ones you experienced in Vermont, will only grow larger and scarier. It's at these times when your inner strength will be most tested.

At these times, the power of the Bear will lead you to the healing winds of the red north and the light of the yellow east. You have shown yourself and all of us that you have this power within you.

You are the Bear.
Greg pressler