Continue on…

The 2024 Bronze Dragonfly 30 hour ultra took place the weekend of April 27th. The race soldout at 150 runners. Runners from eleven states participated in this year’s event. The total mileage for all the runners of BD 2024 was a whopping 6158.31 miles run around Lake Mayer between April 27th and 28th! That’s a lot of miles! I’m surprised that we didn’t wear out a trench going around the Lake Mayer!

The Bronze Dragonfly 30 hour ultra is held in support and remembrance of those struggling with mental health issues. This year’s beneficiary recipient was HUGS of Savannah, an organization who’s mission is to offer inexpensive, compassionate mental health counseling in our local Savannah community. I am proud that with this race, we were able to make a donation of $2528 to HUGS! All of you that were a part of this race should also feel proud! Together, we’re making an impact locally for those struggling with mental health issues.

As with the prior years, BD 30 hour ultra has been held, there were an impressive number of runners that pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and accomplished amazing personal goals. Seventeen runners buckled, ie, surpassed the 100 mile threshold! Of those seventeen, five crossed the 100 mile mark sub-twenty-four hours. Twelve runners crossed the 100 mile threshold between 24 hours and 30 hours.

This year’s highest grossing runner was Diana Gorder of Wilmington, North Carolina with an astonishing 113.8 miles in 24 hours! The second highest mileage grossing runner was Chad Schwendemann of Seven Fields, PA with a total of 112.4 miles in 30 hours! Fifty runners ran over fifty miles during the race!

Race directing is such a fulfilling job for me. Witnessing what humans are capable of accomplishing in the realm of running never grows old. I walk away from every race we hold impressed and inspired by what regular human beings are capable of accomplishing. By regular, I mean, every day folks that have a dream, goal and the drive to chase after that and fulfill it always impresses me.

To me, a winner is not simply the person who comes in first but all of the folks that put it all out there and power through to the end. Everyone that has run an ultra marathon knows that running great distances is not easy. It hurts. It’s a struggle…yet, they continue to push on and on…some times, breaking through into new distance pr’s, -sometimes, falling short of it…but the thing is that they continue on. That is what counts the most, in my view.

Running is a gift that not all of us are capable of possessing but, perseverance is something we can all tap into but sadly, not all do. Ultra runners, though, understand perseverance better than most and are willing to tap into it again and again so as to meet a primal drive in them that is not satisfied until they reach that particular milestone that calls out to them. And, it is that primal drive that I witness at these events that never ever grows old. Point in fact, it is what inspires me.

The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour in ultra running is that approaching end time of a race where a few runners are still out on the course pushing themselves harder than they ever have in order to fulfill that primal drive and reach that desired goal. That goal can be a 50k, 50 miles, 100k, 100 miles or more. You want to meet this so badly that you’re willing to put yourself through tremendous discomfort to achieve it. There’s so much to be proud of in that! Here are some of the moments captured on video during the Golden Hour at Bronze Dragonfly this year…

Katie Logsdon clinching her first 100!
Mandy McNeese clinching her third 100 mile finish at Bronze Dragonfly
Scott Owenby finishing 100 miles in less than 24 hours!
Kelley Lomax finishing her first 100 miler!
Kristen Weitz finishing her 105.37 mile run at Bronze Dragonfly
Mara Prosolow finishing 100 kilometers run at Bronze Dragonfly

All of the runners in the videos above are extraordinary human beings. They have determined their own destinies. They have prevailed against demons of doubt and uncertainty. They each have proven to themselves that they are so much stronger than they ever thought. They have shown grit and determination in fulfilling personal goals that sadly, few will ever do so. They are ultra achievers!

As the thirtieth hour approached I was so touched by the number of runners that came back hours after they had completed their own race just to cheer these later stage runners meet their goals. Those folks were exhausted but wanted to share in the joy of watching others achieve personal goals.

There were so many other folks that spent the weekend at Lake Mayer just to help runners meet their goals. They fed the runners, they bandaged their blistered feet, encouraged them throughout the day and night to continue on.

We had volunteers give up their weekend so that runners that they may not even know would have a shot at fulfilling their goals. Volunteers are the most selfless people I know. They come out to help us hold this event. They come out to help others fulfill their goals. That’s just fucking beautiful! I am so touched by these folks! I’m talking about David Stivers, Dave Mandel, Marty Gardner, Michele Futrel and the HUGS volunteers! You guys are all amazing! I sincerely thank each of you for being out there giving all of yourselves! You are all such splendid folks! Thank you!

Thank you all that came and ran with us the weekend of April 27th 2024 at Lake Mayer for the Bronze Dragonfly 30 Hour Ultra! I hope you all are still beaming with pride for what you have achieved, for what you have done for helping others meet and exceed their goals!

We will be back again next year for another round of running circles for the Bronze Dragonfly! Join us! I promise that you will have a fulfilling time!

Take care, be well and run happy!


Your Rough Runners family…

SpaceX rocket seen the night of April 27th at Lake Mayer during the Bronze Dragonfly 30 Hour Ultra