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Local runner competes in marathon, half marathon in 2 days

Bryce Gaudian, a local running enthusiast from rural Hayward, ran his first marathon back in the fall of 1979.   This past Saturday, he finished his 19th marathon, and 40 miles overall in about a 24-hour period, according to a press release.    

Earlier this year, Gaudian had signed up for both the half marathon and full marathon of the Headwaters of the Frio Marathon outside Leakey, Texas, a race which was supposed to be the first Saturday in April.  However, as was the case for a multitude of events canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, he was not able to participate at that time. Although the event was changed to this past weekend, an option to do the half and marathon virtually from any location in the country was granted, so he did the half marathon Oct. 9 and the full marathon Oct. 10 (plus additional distance to make it 40 miles even).   

Guadian wanted to continue to bring awareness and support to the sister ranches in Texas he’s been honored to come alongside the past six years through a series of previous Ultra-Hikes, whereby an extraordinarily generous network of donors across the country and overseas literally gave a half million dollars to accomplish 40 dream-list projects at Hill Country Youth Ranch and Big Springs Ranch for Children.  These ranches rescue and restore the lives of children who have been abandoned, inconceivably abused, and severely traumatized.  Gaudian serves on their auxiliary board. 

“It was only fitting to go 40 miles for the young people and children I continue to adore, pray for, care about deeply, and love,” Gaudian said. “I wasn’t able to return to the back 7,050 acres of Big Springs Ranch for Children for today’s races, so I did my miles on gorgeous trails through Myre-Big Island State Park including through the Ancient Oak Forest on the Esker Trail and on the Pelican Trail.   I praise God that He continues to give me overwhelming joy in, and the ability to finish, long-distance endurance events.” 

Gaudian does almost all of his training on the Blazing Star Trail, and on his organic farm where he walks one row at a time pulling weeds all summer long.  He logged over 1,000 miles this summer and went through three  pairs of running shoes. One of Gaudian’s favorite sayings that describes those days that are priceless for a runner and hiker that he came up with is:  “May your life be filled, with many days, … you truly feel … you could run/hike FOREVER.”