NEBRASKA CITY – Otoe County Assessor Christie Smallfoot ran 100 miles in the rugged, snow-covered terrain of the river bluffs carrying the photos of eight soldiers who were killed in action.
Smallfoot had finished a 50-mile event a couple of years ago, so felt challenged by the 100-mile race held at the Hitchcock Nature Center.
Smallfoot: “To do something that big you kind of have to find something bigger than you to kind of help drive it forward.”
Her brother Zeb Durr had served in the US Army and he told her about eight men in his unit that did not make it home. The race had eight 12.5 mile loops and she ran one loop for each soldier.
Smallfoot: “So I ran in memory and honor of them. Kind of had to dig deep a couple of times, there was 9 inches of snow, eight degrees, hills, and that really helped. A lot of times I would just take their picture out, look at it and say, ‘we got this.’
There were 55 who signed up for the race, 47 who started and 13 who finished.
Smallfoot finished in 33 hours and two minutes.
Smallfoot: “I did it, 100 miles. Don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but if I do, I’ll do it again in honor of them.”
She described the hilly course as brutal. Runners trekked through the snow at first, but,by the fifth loop, they had stomped the snow into an icy path.
Smallfoot: “The hardest part was, during the fifth and sixth loop overnight, it was really, really cold and slick. It was dark, my headlamp kept going out, but you just stuck with it. The main thing is just keep moving.”
Soldiers honored were Brian Fouty, Daniel Courneya, Anthony Schober, Christopher Messer, James Connell Jr., Alex Jimenez, Christopher Murphy and Joseph Anzack Jr.