90% Mental-Ultra Distance Paddling Adventures

Talk Story with Salli O'Donnell

January 09, 2020 Jennifer Fratzke with Guest Salli O'Donnell Season 1 Episode 3
Talk Story with Salli O'Donnell
90% Mental-Ultra Distance Paddling Adventures
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90% Mental-Ultra Distance Paddling Adventures
Talk Story with Salli O'Donnell
Jan 09, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
Jennifer Fratzke with Guest Salli O'Donnell

Salli O’Donnell is an inspiring female athlete who grew up in Dotham, Alabama participating in the usual “free range” activities such as swimming, running, biking, gymnastics etc. She attended Auburn University as a gymnast, until she blew out her knee sophomore year. She then finished her undergraduate at Texas in Marine Biology and joined the Army National Guard. While military life was busy, Salli used running as her “go to” activity. She competed in her first and only marathon in Berlin in 1988, and then shifted to ultra-marathons.  With a growing passion for mountain trail running, a knee replacement in 2010 led her to distance kayaking. In 2012, she competed in Watertribe’s North Carolina Challenge. 

***In this episode, Salli and I talk story about her first ultra-distance paddling experience at the North Carolina Challenge and her adventures at Yukon 1000, MR340, and Great Alabama 650. We also discuss what it takes to compete and complete in these long distance races mentally, physically, technically and tactically. 

Interested in entering one of the races discussed in this episode? Visit these sites:

www.yukon1000.org

https://rivermiles.com (MR340) 

https://www.alabamascenicrivertrail.com/calendar/great-alabama-650/

www.watertribe.com (North Carolina Challenge)

MR340-Allowed 88 hours to complete it. 7 Mandatory checkpoints. 

Results: 2017-Salli completed this race 4th overall and 1st Female **HOLDS 2nd fastest time record female 44:06

Overall Solo Course Records:

Joe Mann record 36:39 

Robyn Benincasa 38:41 AGE 42

YUKON1000- Whitehorse Canada to Dalton Highway Bridge in Alaska just over the Arctic Circle. 10 DAYS to Complete

  • No back-ups, no safety blankets
  • Absolutely self-sufficient
  • Braided and poorly mapped channels

Results: Salli O-Donnell and Paul Cox in 2018 took 5th overall in 7 days, 9 hours and 45 minutes.

Course Records: Team Hendron and Team After the Gold Rush at 6 days, 2 hour, 11 minutes  

GREAT ALABAMA 650-12 entries in 2019 for the first year. Salli was the ONLY FEMALE SOLO ENTERED

9 Portages

  • Weiss: No mandatory downtime (Mile 9)
  • Neely Henry: 45 Minutes (Mile 88)
  • Logan Martin: 45 Minutes (Mile 137)
  • Lay: 30 Minutes (Mile 186)
  • Mitchell: 30 Minutes (Mile 200)
  • Jordan: 30 Minutes (Mile 218)
  • Robert F. Henry: 30 Minutes (Mile 307)
  • Millers Ferry: 30 Minutes (Mile 414)
  • Claiborne: 45 Minutes (Mile 479)

Article Mentioned:

Smith, Sarah L. What It Takes To Be An Ultrarunner. Trail Runner Magazine, 10 May 2017, trailrunnermag.com/training/trail-tips/what-it-takes-to-be-an-ultrarunner.html 

Sara Lavender Smith's list of the top non-physical attributes for ultra-distance:

1) Mental Toughness
2) Patience
3) Respect & Humility
4) Strategic Planning
5) Experience.  

Support the Show.

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Show Notes

Salli O’Donnell is an inspiring female athlete who grew up in Dotham, Alabama participating in the usual “free range” activities such as swimming, running, biking, gymnastics etc. She attended Auburn University as a gymnast, until she blew out her knee sophomore year. She then finished her undergraduate at Texas in Marine Biology and joined the Army National Guard. While military life was busy, Salli used running as her “go to” activity. She competed in her first and only marathon in Berlin in 1988, and then shifted to ultra-marathons.  With a growing passion for mountain trail running, a knee replacement in 2010 led her to distance kayaking. In 2012, she competed in Watertribe’s North Carolina Challenge. 

***In this episode, Salli and I talk story about her first ultra-distance paddling experience at the North Carolina Challenge and her adventures at Yukon 1000, MR340, and Great Alabama 650. We also discuss what it takes to compete and complete in these long distance races mentally, physically, technically and tactically. 

Interested in entering one of the races discussed in this episode? Visit these sites:

www.yukon1000.org

https://rivermiles.com (MR340) 

https://www.alabamascenicrivertrail.com/calendar/great-alabama-650/

www.watertribe.com (North Carolina Challenge)

MR340-Allowed 88 hours to complete it. 7 Mandatory checkpoints. 

Results: 2017-Salli completed this race 4th overall and 1st Female **HOLDS 2nd fastest time record female 44:06

Overall Solo Course Records:

Joe Mann record 36:39 

Robyn Benincasa 38:41 AGE 42

YUKON1000- Whitehorse Canada to Dalton Highway Bridge in Alaska just over the Arctic Circle. 10 DAYS to Complete

  • No back-ups, no safety blankets
  • Absolutely self-sufficient
  • Braided and poorly mapped channels

Results: Salli O-Donnell and Paul Cox in 2018 took 5th overall in 7 days, 9 hours and 45 minutes.

Course Records: Team Hendron and Team After the Gold Rush at 6 days, 2 hour, 11 minutes  

GREAT ALABAMA 650-12 entries in 2019 for the first year. Salli was the ONLY FEMALE SOLO ENTERED

9 Portages

  • Weiss: No mandatory downtime (Mile 9)
  • Neely Henry: 45 Minutes (Mile 88)
  • Logan Martin: 45 Minutes (Mile 137)
  • Lay: 30 Minutes (Mile 186)
  • Mitchell: 30 Minutes (Mile 200)
  • Jordan: 30 Minutes (Mile 218)
  • Robert F. Henry: 30 Minutes (Mile 307)
  • Millers Ferry: 30 Minutes (Mile 414)
  • Claiborne: 45 Minutes (Mile 479)

Article Mentioned:

Smith, Sarah L. What It Takes To Be An Ultrarunner. Trail Runner Magazine, 10 May 2017, trailrunnermag.com/training/trail-tips/what-it-takes-to-be-an-ultrarunner.html 

Sara Lavender Smith's list of the top non-physical attributes for ultra-distance:

1) Mental Toughness
2) Patience
3) Respect & Humility
4) Strategic Planning
5) Experience.  

Support the Show.