I Ran a 24-Hr Track Ultramarathon in Rain & Gale Force Winds & Ate Only Vegetables

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
3 min readApr 5, 2023
At the 2022 Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 24-Hr Track Ultra Photo: Jon Gilbert

I’m training for the Dawn to Dusk to Dawn (D3) 24-hr track ultra to take place on May 13–14, 2023. This ultramarathon event takes place every year on Mother’s Day weekend. Runners can race the 24-hr, 12-hr, or 50K event.

I first ran this 24-hr track ultra event in 2019. I wrote about how I trained for it and about my race day experience for Medium. Runners battled rain and wind on this weekend but only for the last eleven hours. I logged 326 laps for a total of 81.0268 miles.

On race day weekend in May 2022, the forecast called for nonstop rain and gale force winds the entire twenty-four hours.

To battle Mother Nature, I packed five pairs of running shoes, seven pairs of socks, two pairs of footless tights, two pairs of running tights, my NorthFace winter running pants, five long-sleeved shirts, two turtlenecks, race caps, two beanies, six sports bras, five pairs of underwear, two zippered long-sleeved running shirts, three light weight jackets, one NorthFace winter running jacket, one fleece jacket, one lightweight rain jacket, four pairs of gloves, two raincoats, one poncho, and other essentials, like plastic bags to wrap my feet in before inserting them in my running shoes and securing them with DuctTape. We packed our tent and canopy.

On race day in 2022, I was on a medically prescribed diet of only fruits and vegetables to see what was causing my eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a rare autoimmune disease of the esophagus and that causes scary food impaction episodes.

The only food for fuel I could eat was homemade vegetable pies my husband Jon prepared. My hydration consisted of only seltzer and Vivonex elemental diet.

After logging 30 miles, I refueled with more homemade vegetable pie. Photo by Jon.

It was a brutal day for a track ultramarathon. Tents did not survive the 30-40 mph gale force winds. Jon and I did not set up our tent. I changed clothes in our heated car. Some runners dropped, but others hanged on and kept going. I was one of them.

I finished my 2022 D3 24-hour battle with Mother Nature with 68.1 miles (274 laps). I placed third female and tenth overall in 23:39:37. Not bad for a 63-year-old grandmother. I never gave up.

Understandably, some runners dropped early on and others did not start due to the brutal weather conditions. But some amazing and awe-inspiring runners had jaw-dropping performances. More records were set at D3.

Capturing the moment on the livestream tucked away with in the van with timekeeper Mike. Phot by Jon

In less than six weeks, I will be running the 2023 D3 24-hr track, again. It will be my 34th ultramarathon.

I hope I have inspired you to tackle your first track ultra, or any ultramarathon, in any weather.

And remember, challenges are not to be avoided but to be overcome.

--

--

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

My debut memoir Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times is published. Website: miriamdiazgilbert.com