|Gigliano Completes 100 Mile Run|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:00|
When Gina Gagliano says anyone can run 100 miles, she isn’t just talking.
She’s speaking from experience.
Earlier this month, Gagliano, the Tipp City schools’ new treasurer, completed her first 100-mile ultra run at the Run Woodstock event in Pinckney, Mich.
The tasking event requires runners to complete six loops of a 16.67-mile course in 30 hours. Runners headed out at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, and basically run until they were done. Twenty-seven hours later, Gagliano crossed the finish line.
In-between she ran continuously, stopping only at aid stations along the way. She’d allow herself three to five minutes each stop for a bathroom break and to replenish supplies. She carried her water and some food on her back.
“You just run constantly until you are done. You run through the night with a flashlight and a headlight. You just keep going,” Gagliano said.
This was her second attempt at completing a 100-mile run. Her first try was in April in Indiana when the temperature dropped to 20 degrees. She made it 67 miles, but had to stop when she got hypothermia.
Undaunted, she decided to try again at the Woodstock event, where she’d experienced other firsts in her running career.
That journey began 25 years ago after Gagliano stopped smoking. “When I first started, I couldn’t even run a block,” she said.
At first, she ran casually, and then ran 5Ks and 10Ks. In 2004, she completed her first marathon, the Flying Pig as part of Team in Training.
Afterward, she started running two marathons a year. A book by Pam Reed, an ultra runner who runs a 135-mile desert marathon, motivated her to tackle ultra runs.
An ultra run is any run greater than 26.2 miles. Gagliano completed her first 50 K at Run Woodstock in 2010 and followed with an ultra of 50K or greater each month for the next year. Her first 50-mile run was at Woodstock in 2011 as she continued training and deciding to tackle the 100-mile run this year.
Having run at Woodstock previously, she knew the course. “The 100 miles was kind of easier on my mind because I have run it before,” Gagliano said. In addition, she was comfortable with the venue saying the Woodstock event is fun with bands and other activities occurring during the runs.
Preparation for a run is the key.
“It is running a lot, getting your miles in, being physically prepared and mind-wise, you just have to keep in the moment,” she said. “It is not like I can think about all of the miles (ahead) so I just stay where I am at and think about completing that mile, and that mile alone, knowing that you are prepared.”
Gagliano said the weather was perfect for the race and the others motivated her from her running groups who traveled to and/or participated in the events.
Twenty-five runners from the Dayton area went to the Michigan race with four others competing with her in the 100 mile run. “It means so much to see people who encourage you,” she said.
At the end of the 100 miles, Gagliano had a large blister on toe, her legs were bruised and feet and legs were swollen.
The extent of her accomplishment didn’t hit for a couple of days. “It is what you worked for. All of my friends are runners and were there to support and congratulate me,” she said. “
She also runs with others from the Up and Running program and likes the camaraderie of the running community.
“It is a support system not only for your running, but it is community,” she said. “It is not so competitive. We want each other to succeed.”
Gagliano was hired in late May as the Tipp City School district’s new treasurer. She’s a CPA and holds a bachelor’s degree from Capital University and a master’s from Antioch University.
She began her career with the state auditor’s office and most recently worked at the Beavercreek schools as an assistant treasurer.
She lives in Bellbrook with son Riley, a junior, and daughter, Audrey, a sophomore. Audrey is a member of her school’s cross-country team.
Gagliano said she tells those who think they cannot pursue running to talk with people at businesses such as Up and Running, which has clinics, group runs and support for participants.
Running with others can be a motivator. “We talk and the miles just go by,” she said of running with a companion.
Gagliano said she wasn’t an athlete in high school and never dreamed she’d be the serious runner she is today. It’s a lifestyle choice to her liking, and one she enjoys.
“It is possible for anybody, if they work at it. I tell people, ‘if you work at it, train, you can do it,’” she said. “ All you have to do is strap on a pair of shoes and head out the door. “