[Editor’s Note: Welcome to iRunFar’s “Week of Awesome!” I don’t know about you, but it feels to me like it’s been a long winter and an even longer COVID-19 pandemic. So, every day for the next seven days, we’re bringing you something awesome from the wide worlds of trail running and ultrarunning. Someone to follow, something to learn, or a story to be inspired by, our hope is to add a spark to your day. Let us know in the comments section what you think of this little project, and if you’d like to see more of this on iRunFar.]
If you’re a longtime follower of adventure racing or a new fan via the Amazon Prime Video series “World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji,” then you’re probably also a fan of Team Stray Dogs and two of the team’s original members, Marshall Ulrich and Mark Macy.
More than 25 years after the team’s inception, Ulrich and Macy, both in their sixties, remain incredible athletes capable of supreme adventures. The team’s friendship, evolution through time, and current successes and struggles were a moving through line in Amazon’s “World’s Toughest Race”–if you haven’t seen this series yet, watch it! Unfortunately, as we learn in the series, Macy now suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Starting on Sunday, February 21, Ulrich will travel from Death Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney–in winter conditions–to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Mark Macy and as part of the Association’s Longest Day fundraising campaign. He says the route will be about 140 miles long, and he hopes to finish on February 26. Over on his Facebook page, Ulrich explains this adventure’s logistics, its mission, how to follow along, and how to support Macy.
Says Ulrich, “On February 21st I will start the first ever winter crossing from Badwater to the summit of Mount Whitney to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my friend and racing companion–and always and forever Stray Dog–Mark Macy (Mace)…. In 2018, at the age of 64, Mace was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. The Association is conducting a huge fundraising effort called “The Longest Day.” PLEASE visit my fundraising page and consider donating as my ‘Longest Day’ will be nothing compared to battle being fought by Mace, his beloved wife Pammy, and his children each and every day. The strength and grace Mace and his family exhibit while dealing with this horrible disease is incredible and inspiring….”
Follow Ulrich on the road portion of this adventure via this tracker, and then the mountaineering portion on Mount Whitney with this tracker. And donate to Ulrich’s fundraiser here. Go Marshall Ultrich and Team Stray Dogs; you are awesome!