Events: Masters ultrarunning
Weight: 145 lbs.
Current Residence: Medford, NY
Learning to push harder, to train harder, and to believe that he could run with the best is the self-proclaimed formula that brought out the best in Rudy Afanador, the 2001 USATF 24-Hour Champion. Completing 151 miles on the 1-mile course, Masters runner Afanador bested all the runners in the race that September in Sylvania, Ohio's Olander Park. That performance combined with his second-place finish at the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley in July of that year, earned Afanador the title of 2001 USATF Masters Ultrarunner of the Year.
Until his coach, Lisa Smith, 1999 USATF 100 km team member, educated him about USATF ultra championships, Afanador was not aware of these racing opportunities. From his first ultra championship at the 2000 GNC 100K in Pittsburgh, PA, Afanador was excited by the championship course and the competition: "Running against the best gives me better recognition among the best in the nation and forces me to face the toughest challengers." Finishing in the top ten in his first ultra championship was the homework Afanador needed to prepare for his 24-hour title.
Afanador advises runners new to participating in ultra championships: "To be your best, do your homework. Work hard at self-improvement. Study how the better runners train and do better than they are training." He knows that to be competitive against the best requires sacrifices like training an average of 100 miles a week, but it's worth it. "When you reach the top, the thrill of victory is so sweet and so very special, like winning the lotto!"
In their own words...
Running achievement I am most proud of: The 24-Hour National Championship and Badwater. Also, the 24-Hour "Run Around the Lake" in Sommerville, Massachussetts, where I ran 133.6 miles.
Why I run: Because I love the challenge of the distance and competing among the best athletes has helped me to improve.
Future Goals: To improve and perhaps get on the USA national team
Additional comments/thoughts: I advise new ultrarunners "to be your best, do your homework and work hard at self improvement. Study how the better runners train and do better than they are training." I know that being competitive against the best requires sacrifices like training an average of 100 miles a week, but it's worth it. Victory is wonderful when you reach the top.
1/03; Rev 10/05