Turning 50 is a rite of passage.  It is like the turning point in an out- and- back running race.  You are at the the turning point and you want to make sure that you have enough energy and will power to make it back in one piece.  What better way to celebrate your 50th year in life by running 50 miles.  After all, it is just a number! Fellow Petaluman  Alan Maciel, a newbie to the Fifty Club,  did just that.

Alan had done some marathons and someone told him that it was “easier to run 50 miles than a marathon”, (no doubt that was uttered after a few cocktails).  So Alan decided to take on the challenge as birthday gift to himself.  He signed up for 50 mile race in Sacramento, The American River 50 Mile Endurance Run and trained for 4 months.  Alan’s goals were simple to finish the run within 13 hours (cut off time) and get in the lottery for the Western States 100 Mile Run.

On race day, April 10th, along with 700 other runners, Alan began his odyssey.  The support along the way was outstanding, with folks at the aid stations running along side him and filling his water bottles.  At the half way point Alan picked up the pace. He ran 15 miles with his best friend Dennis and finished the last few miles with his daughter Amy pacing him.  Alan crossed the finish line in a time of 11:27.00, well ahead of his goal.  Although he didn’t make it into the Western States 100 he was thrilled with his performance.

Alan now rested and in the “Fit 50’s” club , can reflect back on his awesome accomplishment.   He now confirms that running 50 miles is easier than running a marathon  (26.2).  Personally, I think it’s the endorphins talking.  This is one Grandpa who will have no problems blowing out his candles! Congratulations Alan you’re amazing at any age!