Professional athlete. Check. Doctor-to-be. Check. Wife of a fellow runner and mama to a puppy dog. Check. Third-year medical student Megan Deakins Roche showed just how extraordinary she is last week by winning the Way Too Cool 50K trail race in a smooth 3:42:24.
Yes, she ran more than a marathon (31 miles) in less than four hours — all after just a smidgen of sleep following a night on call. Also impressive: Roche's husband, David, won the men's division of the legendary Cool, Calif. ultramarathon.
It was a sloshy, muddy, hilly course, and Roche describes the experience in a Trail Runner article:
The next 22 miles were spent mostly in the pain cave, with a few trips out when the trail opened up into a wildflower meadow or a canyon vista. But I kept hearing YiOu [another runner] was close, so I couldn't admire the sights for long.
After 30 miles, the best sight of the whole race was the finish line. And it was so memorable to emerge from the pain cave to a muddy hug from David.
As described in the article, Roche can often be found on a treadmill at 3 a.m. before heading in to the clinics. But she and David make time to explore the Bay Area's many trails:
Some weekends, we'll run 30 or 40 miles of trails together and be so comfortable with each other that we barely talk the whole time.
Since I am pretty busy right now, trail running is like recess. And recess is always more fun with your best friend.
Previously: Ten surprising things that Stanford med students do, Director of Stanford Runner's Injury Clinic discusses advances in treating six common running injuries and Barefoot running: the conversation continues
Photo courtesy of Auburn Journal, Michael Kirby