Most UNH students wouldn’t know it, but one of their fellow classmates is going to be doing something a bit off of the beaten path this Sunday. This particular student will be making a trip to Vermont to run not five, not 25, but 50 miles.
Yes, you’ve read correctly, 50 miles in an event known as the “Vermont 50 Ultra-Run.”
John “Sherpa” Lacroix is a 25-year-old freshman here at UNH. Since 2004, Lacroix has spent a countless amount of time, effort, sweat, blood and tears in becoming something that only one-tenth of ninety-nine percent of the U.S population can claim to be: an Ultra-Marathon Runner. In other words, a runner who has competed in an event that is longer than traditional marathon of 26 miles.
Described by Lacroix as, “More a competition against yourself than anyone else, it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of kicking and scratching.”
In training and in actual events, Lacroix has done everything from hallucinating to actually falling asleep while on his feet. Aid stations, which are stocked with plenty of medical staff and fluids for dealing with these symptoms, are usually scattered every five to 15 kilometers.
“It’s all about maintaining homeostasis and balance, there is a real science to Ultra-Marathon running,” said Lacroix
It’s Lacroix’s goal to pursue an education in exercise science as a student at UNH. He wants to further his knowledge of the breakdown and eventual rebuilding of the human body when running extended distances over a period of what is, in Lacroix’s case for example, just under 24 hours in a 100-mile marathon.
Lacroix completed the Vermont Ultra-Marathon 100 in 23:19. This weekend will be Lacroix’s fourth Ultra-Run of the year and 12th overall having.
“I’m finding it to be pretty hectic lately, going back and forth from class, labs, the library, getting homework done and keeping a part time job at EMS… the list goes on, and all that while trying to find the time to run during the day in preparation for this Ultra on Sunday,” said Lacroix.
Through his activities, Lacroix has made efforts to raise money for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Lacroix has raised money for the ADA is by selling copies of his hiking film “48,” which is the first ever documentary film on hiking New Hampshire’s 4,000 footers. A feat he pulled off himself before beginning his running career.