Runner puts in 100 miles over two days to benefit trails group

By Sarah Brown

Lebanon Local

What does a long-distance runner squirrel away in his pack before setting off on a two day run?

For Trevor Spangle, it’s Oreos, Top Ramen, Chef Boyardee ravioli, gels and chews.

“Lots of sugar, lots of salt,” he said.

And before putting feet to pavement out of Lebanon Friday night, Nov. 8, the elementary school teacher from Salem quaffed some beer and ate baked potato wedges covered with sour cream and green onions. But that’s the kind of sustenance that gets a person through a 100-mile run.

Spangle, a Lebanon native, completed a century Sunday on that diet, doing an all-nighter and more to finish a personal goal and support Build Lebanon Trails for a project at Cheadle Lake Park.

“I’ve had the opportunity to live many places, but Lebanon has still kind of always hit that ‘home’ chord for me,” he said.

He followed the route used by Strawberry Century bicyclists – north from Lebanon, almost to Scio, then south through Lacomb to Sweet Home, around Foster Lake and back through Sweet Home, then on down Highway 228 to Brownsville and north, back to Lebanon.

It was a long slog.

“41 hours awake, 29 of which were spent ‘running, and I’m pulling the plug at mile 85,” he texted to supporters very late Saturday night. “Hobbling like a double bow-legged pirate at two miles per hour in a lucid sleep walk state for another seven hours was not something I was interested in.”

Following a bit of sleep, however, Spangle got a second wind and returned to the road to see the thing through.

His journey to run 100 miles began two months ago.

In September, Spangle started the Mountain Lakes 100 mile trail run between Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood, but was unable to finish it.

FINAL CHECK: Trevor Spangles stops to check his shoes before heading north on Brewster Road as his girlfriend, Jamie Lusk, left, watches and bicyclist Dave Anolik, of Portland, who accompanied Spangle along the way, checks his equipment.
Photo by Sarah Brown

The race included cutoff times that a runner had to make in order to continue, he explained. He made it to the 55-mile mark just 10 minutes past the cutoff, so he was not able to complete the run.

“I wasn’t really paying attention to the cutoffs as well as I should have during that race,” he said. “If you’re not a fast runner, then you need to be more mindful of those cutoffs or you can easily miss them.”

Spangle had stopped to help people a couple of times along the way, too, including a woman who was “puking pretty bad.”

By mile 55, he felt pretty good, physically, he said.

“That’s kind of what spurred me to do this, that I want to complete 100 and I knew that I had the capable condition to do it,” he said.

Endurance racing isn’t completely new to Spangle. The 34-year-old has twice finished the Dirty Kanza, a 200 mile gravel grinding cycling race in Kansas. Then he started “dabbling” in running and learned how the two disciplines cross over with one another.

“It’s a lot different than having to run a half marathon really hard. It’s kind of really meditative.”

But not completing the Mountain Lake run left Spangle feeling like he had a monkey on his back, he said. He was determined to know what it feels like to finish 100 miles by foot in one day.

So Spangle chose to return to his hometown in Lebanon and pursue his personal challenge by running the original Strawberry Century bicycling course.

“I’m just gonna go for it. Just make sure I can finish it for however long it takes, just to know that I can physically go 100 miles,” he said.

But if Spangle was going to do this, he wanted to go an extra mile as a benefit to the community of Lebanon. Partnering with Build Lebanon Trails, he set out to raise $5,000 with his run, which will be donated to the organization’s South Shore Trail project at Cheadle Lake.

“There’s something magical and nostalgic about the Willamette Valley, like a John Steinbeck novel, and at the end of the day I really want Lebanon and it’s people to have the best of everything that they can get. It’s been refreshing to see the way the community has progressed through efforts of organizations like Build Lebanon Trails over the last decade, and I wanted to help lend a hand in accomplishing their mission.”

The sun was already setting when Spangle began his journey from Lebanon at 5 p.m. on Friday night at Conversion Brewery, downtown. Friends joined him along the way to provide any necessary aid and to videotape the experience, and his girlfriend ran next to him for the first leg.

“I expect the run is going to hurt a lot,” he said beforehand. “To run for that amount of time takes a toll on pretty much every part of your body, including your mind. There are things that will hurt for a while, then stop hurting, and then something else will start to hurt and then that will fade away.

“To me it’s more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. It’s about being able to stay in the present moment, each step and each breath, one at a time.

“In my past ultra experiences, whether it be on a bicycle or on my feet, it becomes a real meditative experience.”

His route took him north through the Lacomb area, then south-southeast toward Sweet Home. While most of East Linn County residents slept in their beds, Spangle’s feet were treading along pavement – often uneven, he said – in the dark.

“The crown of the road has been harder on the feet than I imagined,” he texted at 6 in the morning.

Just before 8 a.m. and 15 hours of running, Spangle entered Sweet Home at Pleasant Valley Road and headed east to circle Foster Lake.

At mile 52, he got a quick massage from Sweet Home resident Jody Seward, who noted that Spangle is an “adopted” member of her family, while he downed some coffee provided by his sag wagon driver, Josh Gum, and chatted with bicyclist Dave Anolik of Portland, who accompanied him on the road.

He then crossed over to Brownsville, reaching the mile 85 point.

With some unexpected consequences of running for so long on paved road, Spangle decided he had to stop. But after getting some rest, he decided to get back at it the next morning to complete the final 15 miles.

To date, Spangle has raised $3,026 for the Cheadle Lake trail.