If you want to see how far Pam Reed will go to make a point, show her the half-naked picture of Dean Karnazes on the February 2005 cover of Runner's World. After reading that her ultramarathon rival planned to become the first person to run 300 miles nonstop, Reed decided to beat him to the punch. "It irritated me," says Reed, who won the Badwater Ultra, a 135-mile mid-July road race through Death Valley, in 2002 and '03. "Dean had just beaten me at Badwater [last year]. That spurred me on."
On March 25 at 4 a.m. Reed, 44, got out of bed in Tucson and drove to a 25-mile course near Picacho Peak. There (with the aid of a support crew that fed her mashed potatoes, pasta, vanilla Ensure and Red Bull) she ran the course 12 times, plus an extra mile, just to be sure. Her time for 301 miles: 79 hours, 57 minutes (Karnazes's best: 262 miles in 76 hours). Reed changed shoes and socks once. "Only one blister," she says. "But at two each morning, I got really tired." Reed, 5'3" 100 pounds, runs four times a day between shuttling her five kids to and from school and performing her duties as director of the Tucson Marathon. "This is not easy on [my] marriage," she says. "This is not easy on my children. On the other hand if you can accomplish something, how cool is that?" --Yi-Wyn Yen