Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Inspiring People of the Year Violeta Heister

100 Marathons to 100 Milers

The Love for the Sport
It is a long story to summarize my journey, my joys, my struggles and my love of running, but I will give it a shot not to make it too long.

A little background about who I was before I discovered the love for running. All my life I struggled with weight issues and was never active, now I mention this because it took me a lot to be where I am right now. Life happens and we have the option to be defeated or to rise from the ruins left by the turbulence in our lives, for me was a sad lonely childhood where I was bullied over my weight, an abusive relationship that destroyed the little self-esteem I had, subsequently making alcohol an outlet to my reality. When I finally broke out of this bad situation and found in running a passion, a healthier way to cope, and the sensation of being free, I was in a bad car accident leaving me with fractures in my spine that by a miracle was only immobile for a few months. I know that running was a huge part of my recovery along with the support of my family and fellow runners. Since then I been setting goals for myself and I wish people would understand that goals are not only about who comes in first but about setting incredible goals of your own and the satisfaction of being able to achieve every one of them.

Charlie Alewine Racing

The very first thing was to give thanks to life for giving me another chance to keep running, now had only ran 2 marathons when I had the accident and I set a goal to run 1 marathon each month for the year 2011, I ended up running 20 marathons that year.

After that I had a year where my marathon times improved by up to 1hr (no downhill marathons) and followed by many personal best times, as all this was happening another little miracle happened in my life, I found out I was expecting a little girl, my husband has always been so supportive of my life style, and with the approval of my doctor I set another journey to run as many marathons and half marathon’s with my little peanut. I ended up running 5 marathons and 5 half marathon’s and 1 5k all up to the 8 month of my pregnancy. It was a wonderful time and I got to share many miles with my baby bump. I think coming back from my pregnancy was harder than coming back from a fractured spine, but I got down to a healthy weight and again shared many miles with my little one while she enjoyed the time in her running stroller.

By this point in my life I had run over 60 marathons and I realized I was closer to another dream of mine to complete 100 life time marathons, I there and then set the date where I would like to run my 100 marathon. The next year I ran and ran marathon after marathon and even double marathon (two marathons in two days), triples and even I did 7 races in 7 consecutive days (3 half marathons and 4 full marathons). That year I ran 29 marathons leaving only a few more to finish from January to March, of course I chose my very first race to be my 100th. March 2017 at the LA marathon finally after years of up and downs I was able to see my dream come to a reality and was accepted to the 100 Marathon Club of North America. Having completed 100 lifetime marathons/ultras I set to better my times and after years of hanging with the same 4:25 PR I did it. It takes a lot of work, dedication and lots of discipline to get to where you want but soon enough PRed my time to 4:15 and from there on again PR’ed every race I did after that 4:15. Was averaging 10 to 20 min PR per repeat race that year, and on my quest to improve my endurance I registered to run 7 marathon in 7 days I think this was the turning point to my running and where I found out I was able to endure many days of running, running the Summer 7 was an eye opening experience and with a little encouragement from my peers I registered to run my first 50 miler and first 100 miler.

I had talked to fellow runners about their experience when running 100 miles and thought that’s insane I could never do that. IT’S CRAZY, right?
And so it began my ultrarunning journey, running 50 miles in the mountains was so incredibly magical, it was an experience I’ve never had, climbing to summits and see the peace and tranquility of those majestic mountains it was breathtaking. I fell in love with the distance and the ultrarunning community. And with any good season of running, injures come too… I got injured from my Achilles tendons and decided to take a break and at the same time have surgery to correct a condition in my abdomen. That was a real set back but I knew it had to be done for my own good and to let my overworked tendons and surgery to recover. Finally after two months of resting and recovery I was cleared to run. It was scary to think I had only a few months to get back to at least marathon shape and had that 100 miler around the corner, starting from 0 again, so what do you do? You train like a beast! Putting 100’s of miles a week for the next couple of months, ran 12hr events, marathons events to get ready as well. The big date got here, April 2018 at Beyond Limits Ultrarunning completed my first 100 miles. Another big dream a dream I thought it was crazy at one point, a dream that became a reality.  The next month in May ran my second 100 miler at Born to Run Ultra, it is a wild dream running your first 100 miles but doing back to back 100 milers when you just completed your first was just crazy awesome for me!

It took a while to recover and signed up for my 3rd in attempt in August at 100 miles and I knew this one was going to be hard in the mountains so I again trained like a beast all summer, climbing mountains getting myself more familiar with the trails and learning as much as I could for running in elevation of over 7000ft high, unfortunately things don’t go as planned and dropped at mile 82 due to stomach issues, Kodiak100 is unfinished business. It was a wonderful experience anyhow, it gave me the fuel to fire my passion for running even more and as I was recovering and letting my legs heal I signed up for my next adventure, 100 miles at Boundiful Endurance Runs for November. This was my 4th attempt and my 3rd 100 miler buckle earned this year but is only November and the year hasn’t end yet and my 5th attempt to another 100 miler will be at Across the Years Ultra, hopping to wrap up the year with my 4th 100 mile buckle of 2018. 

I am a rookie at running 100 milers, it’s been my first year, going from marathon distance to 100 miler distance and I am still learning but what can you do when you love the distance, when you run to be free, when you run because you just love to be out there running, not just for hours but running for days with other amazingly crazy ultrarunners, You just RUN!

There is no moderation when you go to the dark side of ultrarunning, and come next year I know I will try to do one 100 mile distance every month, of course not everything goes to plan and I might survive some and I might just won’t be able to complete others but it’s all part of being and ultarunner.

I hope you enjoy reading this small portion of my journey and see that if you believe and really want something in life you can accomplish what you set your mind to!  


  1. Your a amazing athlete "a badsass I would say ;) " kep motivating love your story makes me want to go for that 100 miler but I will start from a 50 miler first wish me luck. Hope to be able to reach my goal for 100 miler like you did Violeta Thanks for sharing <3

  2. Amazing. No more words.....thanks for stepping on all my excuses as you run past me. Lol. Thanks for pushing me toward my goals.

  3. Your an amazing lady and athlete I admire you and hope to run a 100 miler soon. Reading this made me realize i can do it :) Thank you for being such an inspiration to our running community <3