Kaneohe Senior Competes in World's Most Grueling Ultramarathon - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaneohe Senior Competes in World's Most Grueling Ultramarathon

Don Fallis Don Fallis

By Beth Hillyer

KANEOHE (KHNL) - While most seniors find themselves slowing down, Don Fallis is trying to pick up the pace and hold it for 135 miles. It's hard to imagine running for 60 hours straight. Then factor in the 120 degree heat and 10-thousand foot climb.

Only 90 runners from around the world are invited to participate in the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon.

Held in Death Valley, California in the middle of summer, it's a 135 mile race with a challenging 10-thousand foot climb.

At age 65 hopeful finisher Don Fallis of Kaneohe says his motivation is simple,

"Try to do something that is very difficult to do and feel good about yourself."

He is also raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. And his goal is to give other seniors inspiration, "I'm also trying to bring awareness to people older,50 to 60, that we are not really one foot in the grave, can actually get out there and do things that have been thought to be for younger people."

Reporter Beth Hillyer demonstrates, "Well you can see from this thermometer the temperature here in Honolulu is in the 80s but when Fallis leaves in two weeks the temperature in Death Valley will be over 120 degrees."

"What I try to do is have fleece on, gloves, and I wear all black to absorb as much heat as I can and try to make my body process fluids get used to conditions there," says Fallis.

He doesn't expect to win the race, but hopes to complete it in the time limit of 60 hours, "I'm still confident I can finish this race which is my ultimate goal, to finish."

Now a couple of other facts about Fallis. He didn't even start running until he was in his 50's and to make it through the race he estimates he'll drink a bottle of water each mile. That's 135 bottles of water.

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