Avid runner Dr. Derek Beenfeldt begins training for a 100-mile ultra-marathon.
For most of us, training to run or walk in a marathon sounds like a pretty lofty goal to reach, but for Derek Beenfeldt, MD, a family practice doctor with Renown Medical Group, running a marathon is just the start of a good workout.
Dr. Beenfeldt is an ultra-marathoner. In 2014, he ran two 50K races (31.25 miles), a 50 mile and one 100K (62.14 miles).
“I have always been active,” says Beenfeldt, just not to this degree.”
He credits increasing the distance of his runs to his sister, Andrea, who would sign him up for races frequently without his knowledge.
“I run often with my sister,” says Beenfeldt. “I’m lucky to have her push and encourage me to strive to run longer distances.”
Going for more is indeed in store for Beenfeldt this year.
He plans to race in the Napa Valley marathon in March, a 50K “Way Too Cool” ultra-marathon a week later, followed by the Boston Marathon in April, and the Silver State 50-mile in May. All of these runs are to train for the world’s preeminent ultra-marathon, The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which begins at the base of Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn, Calif.
In a typical week, he pounds the pavement or trail for 50 to 70 miles —a large amount of time and effort from someone who used to hate running.
“As I progressed in my running, it went from a chore to where it is now as an integral and important part of my life,” he says. “It is stress relief, being amongst great people, being in the best shape of my life and doing what I love in the outdoors. You see things running that you just can’t see on a set of wheels. Most importantly, it is about running events with my family.”