I’m energized to introduce Randy Wittmer (@randy.wittmer.5), the 4th 90k runner of the GavaTea Ootyultra.
As announced before, the OOTYULTRA 2020 will feature a brand new 90k category with ~3800 m elevation gain and ~3620 m elevation drop and comes with a 12 hr cut-off time.
Randy has an exceptional track record as a marathoner, with a 3.05 best time in his three times at the Boston Marathon. I found that his heart is in the trail ultras, and as an ultra runner, he has completed many ultra-marathons, including a gruelling 200-mile race and many long trail ultras.
I’m happy to have Randy joining the 90k lineup along with Georgy Cherian, Decca Satish & Rajesh Patni. Join me in wishing Randy a fabulous #ultramalaivasi experience, and I would like to present my interactions with him.
Hi Randy, where are you from, and what do you do?
I work in business development for Cleveland Clinic, a hospital in Ohio, United States of America. I live in North Canton, a small town near a national park where I often run in the forest with friends and fellow Ultra runners, and I spend most of my time training for races.
When did you start running?
In 2006 I ran my first road marathon, and the experience was so bad that I decided to run one more to have a better experience. Shortly afterwards, I fell in love with long-distance running, so I continued and later ran in three Boston Marathons. By 2012, I decided to try Ultra distance races to see if it was something I could do.
Why does running excite you, especially the Ultras?
I came to love the difficulties the ultra distances offered, but even more so, I loved the friendships and the beauty of nature I found in the process. I’m amazed at what the human body can accomplish with proper training and nutrition. Running Ultra distances also challenges me mentally, and I’ve often said that I can both lose myself and find myself on the trails. However, the natural beauty and new friendships I develop along the way with other Ultra runners still bring a lot of meaning to me in this sport. I’m blessed to share this experience with other amazing people.
What are your notable running achievements? What was crucial in these pursuits?
Over the last several years, I’ve been blessed to compete in numerous 50k, 50-mile, 100-mile, and 200-mile races. Staying healthy is a vital part of participating in and enjoying these races. I’ve found that nutrition and cross-training are essential to my training routine, and they also keep me interested by providing variety to my workouts. In 2019 I ran the following races.
- June 15: Mohican 50 miler (80.5k) (9h37m – 16th overall)
- June 30: Buckeye Trail 50k (5h28m – 8th overall. 1st in age group)
- July 27: Burning River 100 miler (161k) (19h33m – 5th overall, 1st age group)
- Sep 13: Tahoe 200 (205.5 miles, 331k) (83h19m) Top 25%
How did you know about OOTYULTRA?
One of my favourite things to do when I travel is to find locations where I can run or walk with my wife. Seeing new places on foot allows me to enjoy areas more thoroughly as immersed in them. My wife is from Cochin, Kerala, and we were excited recently to find the OOTYULTRA site and discover the 90k race.
What are you particularly looking for from the OOTYULTRA?
I’m excited to meet new Ultra friends and look forward to enjoying the beauty of Ooty together.
#coachkay, Race Director, OOTYULTRA,
Photo credits: Scott Rokis Photography