The last time I saw DeWayne Satterfield was during the golden hour at the 2019 Western States 100, after he crossed the finish line. Caked in a layer of salt and smiling from ear to ear, I can still see the look on his face. It was the distinct look of both utter exhaustion and complete satisfaction that so often represents the paradoxical wonder of finishing a long ultramarathon. That was DeWayne’s second Western States finish, fully 25 years after his first.
Last Friday, DeWayne Satterfield passed away after battling a particularly aggressive form of cancer. He was 55 years old.
DeWayne Satterfield was, quite simply, an ultrarunning legend. Along with his good friend and long-time training partner Dink Taylor, DeWayne literally put Huntsville, Alabama on the ultrarunning map and inspired a generation of runners in the southeastern United States to take up the sport. As a young, up-and-coming ultrarunner in the 1990s, I was constantly in awe of DeWayne’s running prowess, from his incredible string of 25 consecutive finishes at his beloved Mountain Mist 50k to his 11 attempts at the Barkley Marathons, DeWayne was a fixture of the ultrarunning scene for a generation and a guy who, at least to me, made it all look so easy and fun.
In the early days of organized ultrarunner sponsorships, I recall looking on with a bit of envy as DeWayne emerged as a southeastern stalwart of the original Montrail Ultrarunning Team. Known for his reflective philosophical nature combined with a fierce competitive fire, DeWayne, in his prime, was a threat to win just about any race he entered. Over the past 15 years or so, I was fortunate to run alongside Dewayne from time to time and he was always, and I mean always, friendly, kind, and generous with his running advice. He had that rare quality, when he was talking with you, of making you feel like you were the most important person in the world to him at that moment.
DeWayne’s passing leaves a deep hole in the ultrarunning community, most notably in the region of the U.S. southeast that he called home but also in the entire ultrarunning universe. Representing many of the values we hold so dear in the sport, humility, resilience, determination, and a reverence for nature, DeWayne’s passing reminds us of the importance of living our values not as runners but as people, as well.
Rest in Peace, DeWayne.
AJW’s Beer of the Week
This week’s Beer of the Week comes from Huntsville, Alabama’s Salty Nut Brewery. One of their best staple beers is their Imperial Moustache Red which is a classic Irish Red Ale with a nice crisp finish and just a touch of sweetness. Weighing in at a pleasant 5.6% and a super mellow 19 IBUs, Imperial Moustache is one of those beers that’s good just about any time.
Call for Comments (from Meghan)
In memory of DeWayne, please feel welcome to share a story of sharing the trails and races with him.