Gobi March Blogs

View All Posts From : Pam Rickard

Final Blog

30th June 2012 04:19 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I’m not a numbers girl. Not at all. But this Gobi recap needs a few:


Air miles traveled: 14,000 +

Times I got ripped off in Beijing: 1

Hours in the air: 39

Miles run/walked/hiked/shuffled: 155 +

Little pink flags used to mark the course: 5,000 +

Finish lines crossed: 6

Number of competitors: 159

Nationalities represented: 42

Best address in Camp Cul-de-sac: 13

Number of crazies living in Tent 13: 10

Backpack weight at start: 22 lbs.

Packets of UCAN consumed: 29

Pounds lost: 11

Time the sun set every night: 10:30-ish

Average number of hours slept per night: 4

Showers taken in 7 days: 1

Cell phone bill: $523

Number of times I cried while on the course: 3

Number of times I laughed during the 10 days: A zillion

Yucky people I met along the way: 0

Remarkable people I met along the way: 200 +

My overall place among female finishers: 10

Support raised for the work of Runwell (so far): $7,075


It is just not possible for me to express how much this entire experience meant to me…and always will…let alone wrap it up in a single blog entry. It has been a profoundly important time in my life, and I have learned things and built relationships that will be with me forever. From the first time I had a conversation with Linda Quirk to this very moment, my involvement with Runwell that led to my completing the Gobi March has been the most powerfully positive endeavor I have ever been connected with.


The physical component of this event was by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever attempted, let alone accomplished. The training plan set out for me by Coach Bob Seebohar of Runwell was grueling and crazy and truly a blast! Most importantly, it fully prepared me to tackle this challenge. My goal was to simply complete each stage within the allotted time and earn my medal. I far exceeded that goal when I earned first place in my age group and was the 10th woman to finish, especially considering the stunning talent with whom I was running. No injuries, no illness, completely spent. What a phenomenal feeling!


The course that RTP mapped out for us was truly stunning. As evidenced by the breathtaking pictures, which don’t even do it justice, the landscape and the villages and colors and weather all were as near perfect as I have ever seen. And thank God for the distracting beauty, because some of the terrain we had to cross was ridiculously hard. Worth every step, but hard!


It was an emotional privilege to run through the villages of the Gobi. The people were gracious and welcoming and beautiful, just going about their business as we ran by. And the town and school where our final finish line was located…forget it…words fail me to describe how incredible that whole thing was. The pics will have to tell the story.


Finally, the reason I am forever changed, for the better, is the people I have connected with through this remarkable endeavor. From the relationships I have enjoyed, gained and developed with those of you who have loved and trusted me enough to donate to Runwell, to the incomparable staff of RTP, to the outrageously special men and women with whom I was privileged to share this experience…I am filthy rich with folks who truly mean the world to me. So, thank YOU so much…especially since you’re still reading.


That’s why the 2012 Gobi finish line is not a conclusion…we’ve only just begun, and I am open and eager to see what God has in store next.

Comments: Total (1) comments


Posted On: 01 Jul 2012 18:49 PM

Pam - you are phenomenal. We are so happy to hear that your experience at the Gobi March was all that you describe in your beautiful blog post. It was very special for us to have you at the event, and we look forward to seeing you again soon! Take care and send our best to everyone at Runwell. xoxo Alina
It Is Well With My Soul!

15th June 2012 04:40 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Now, my soles, that's another story ;-)

But, despite the blisters who invited thier friends to join my beautifully beat up feet for the infamous Long March, I must humbly admit....I ROCKED IT!

My limited vocabulary is not sufficent to describe my/our experiences during Stage 5 yesterday...I have decided I must make up some new words. :) But, thanks to God's unending grace, the support and love from you all back home, and the power of recovery as displayed in my strong and healthy body, I completed the Long March well ahead of what I anticipated. The big wonderfully fun measurement was finishing before I even needed my headlamp!

I have never felt such pain, emotion and joy at the same time...absolutely life changing and I'd even say miraculous at times. Again, I wish I could reply to each of your emails and comments....please just KNOW that I have laughed and cried and just been filled up as I have read them. (and fyi, I can only receive the emails sent through RTP, I cannot access my personal email or phone until Sat eve or later).

I did treat myself to some ipod music yesterday and it was the most I have ever been moved by my music! Wild actually. And I sort of dubbed this one song my Gobi March anthem when I discovered it a few weeks ago, but wow, it literally propelled me forward a few times yesterday. If you'd like, look up and listen to "One Foot (at a time)" by a band called Building 429. !! :)

I won't even begin to mention some of the extraordinary mates I have gotten to know over the past week....too many fun things to mention for now....but Tom and girls, I can already hear you laughing at me for saying things like "bloody brilliant!" once I get home =D

If only I could remember all of the things I want to blog about...but we all agree, once we sit down at these computers, our minds are mush. 

My girlfriends and I also agree, we have never in our lives been so dirty but so "beautiful" :) And that is one of the things that is the most WONDERFUL about this whole experience...being striped down to the very basics....and having to literally carry everything we need on our backs...AS we cover these miles over this spectular and 'horrible' and wonderful terrain....unreal...cleansing!

Ok, I am babbling now, so I will sign off. We have one more day to go, the final Stage 6, which is a 15K to the beautiful finishline in The Old City!

My appreciation and love and gratitude for you, if you've followed me and are still reading this messy blog, is HUGE...thank you from the top of my head to the bottom of my blisters.

Linda Quirk, Runwell has been a JOY to represent this week and the conversations I have had concerning our mission, and you, and all connected with Runwell, have been nothing less than remarkable!

Much love,


Comments: Total (7) comments

Lee Watson

Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 00:53 AM

I am very happy for you Pam. I never doubted you would runwell. Isn't it wonderful this life. I know that my life has been absolutly amazing since I beat my addictions so many years ago and I am so happy to see how amazing yours has become since you made that turn in life that carries you down the right path. Keep on kicking the Gobi's ass. Yor friend Lee


Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 05:10 AM

So happy to read this post! Oh man, you certainly did it!!, I am happy to know you and you are truly my inspiration...

Big T ;-)

Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 05:42 AM

You are a warrior, my wife! So proud of you and thrilled you are ok and amazed at your strength - physical, mental and spiritual! We all miss you and love you and are so looking forward to your return. I know you will enjoy the final leg...drink it in so you can share it later with us! I love you and thank God for you. Runwell to the finish line! xoxoxo

Sarah Holbrook

Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 10:47 AM

Love you girl, so proud to know such a wonderful beautiful woman...x

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 13:45 PM

Pam, you are a amazing spirit

Rebecca Conklin

Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 17:02 PM

Oh, Pam....I've been checking your blog a couple times a day to hear how the long march went....so wonderful to hear the joy and success in your voice....so proud of you and your amazing accomplishments!! Kudos, my dear!!!


Posted On: 16 Jun 2012 19:28 PM

What a joy it has been to follow this journey with you! Truly awesome esperience for you and now it is time to rejoin your family! Enjoy that cause you deserve it. You have endured a test of physical and emotional strength like nobody I have ever known! Pam, you rock! *HUGS* to you. Have a safe trip home.
Stage 4 Is Evil ... And Conquered! :)

13th June 2012 04:35 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Oh, it is so late that I only have a few moments to write...but I did read my emails and blog comments and you all blow my mind! Thank you and big love and prayers back to you!


Quickly, about today...

We all here agree, the tributes in the Hunger Games had it easier than we did today! :)

You know you're in trouble when at the morning briefing, they give you a 9 pm cutoff for a marathon that starts at 8 am!

Seriously, today I accomplished the hardest thing I have ever done...physically...hands down!

More later, and I do have some amazing and fun pics!!

I wish I had been a bit faster, but I am absolutely THRILLED to have completed this effort today!


So, there is so much more to tell and share and I have no more time here...but again, please know how much I appreciate all of your love, prayers, support and friendship. I am learning more here than I can ever express.


Now, I still feel strong, but I finally earned two big blisters....the main doc, Mark, is fantastic and treated them for me....but tomorrow's Long March, 50+ miles is daunting to say the least. I am so grateful to have made it this far, but I will need those prayers thur and fri....we actually have 30 hours to complete the 50 mi, so that tells you something....YIKES! :)


Tom, Abby, Rachel and Sophia, Biggest love to you. I miss home :) xoxoxo


Love to you all,



p.s. I wish I could reply to each email and comment. But this will do for now. Enjoy and take care wherever you are as you read this.

Comments: Total (18) comments


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 00:25 AM

You go girl - It is one step, one mile, one stage at a time. 30 hours is simply a Javelina Jundred and you can do that in your sleep. Sending prayers of joyous gratitude and the ability to grab the grace, especially when times get tough. xoxo


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 01:31 AM

You just accomplished the hardest thing you have ever done! Time it took is incidental. You are awesome! Prayers coming your way for your next 2 days! You can conquer anything! Finally found you in picture 91, stage 4! Run well Pam! *HUGS*


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 04:06 AM

Man, am I glad to hear you're ok! I know you won't read this until you've completed the Long March (and I have every confidence you WILL complete it!), gotta tell ya I was a little worried when I saw your time. But - wow - you are a monster!! And I am so proud of you... Continue to press on toward the prize - in every way - and know that, however I might, I go with you. Enjoy your encounter with that breathtaking slice of God's magnificent creation! Love and miss you achingly...


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 04:58 AM

Hi, I am be just a commoner from some part of the world But would appreciate your hard work and endurance and hope to keep your spirit and tempo on Regards Mustafa India


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 05:20 AM

I'm with you. I also get to brag about you to friends :). You are sooo awesome. I can't imagine the daunting feelings you must occasionally feel. But i hope to one day feel it! Relentless forward progress. Mood follows action. Remember rich roll's last ironman of the epic5 challenge and how he felt? Much love!!!! Until tomorrow and the next day.

Patty Vehmeyer

Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 12:27 PM

Hey Pam, You are simply Amazing girl! Woo Hoo! Runwell my dear and I will surely be praying for you during the long march. looking forward to your photos and and hearing more about your experience! Go Pam! Runwell!

Nancy From Dulles

Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 12:58 PM

Prayers and positive energy continue to flow to you as you run across the Gobi. This morning I am sending you this passage to help lift you as you run. "I will lift us mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." Psalm 121:1. As you run, look to the hills when you need strength to continue, look down the hills when you need strength to continue. At night when you can rest, look to the hills, you will find the strength you need to continue the next day. Run, Pam, Run! Cheers, Nancy


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 16:34 PM

thoughts and prayers are with you daily. when i think i can't be any more amazed by you, i read another one of your posts and the enormity of what you are conquering just blows me away! you are such a strong, inspiring, incredible person, pam...and if there's anyone who has it in them to runwell and finish strong, it is you! know that you have SO many behind you....at times pushing you forward with all our positive thoughts and prayers, and other times, just hanging on for dear life "with you" on this wild ride! i am so proud and honored to know you.

Johnny Nolen

Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 18:38 PM

The adventures of Pam. Go..bi Go..bi Go..bi Go..Pam...Go


Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 22:56 PM

As I went out early this morning to do my long run, I thought of you. I wanted to wimp out and not finish the (paltry) 10 miles I'd set out to do but you kept me out there - soldiering on. For that, I have to thank YOU for keeping me vertical and moving.

Pam Desalvo

Posted On: 14 Jun 2012 22:58 PM

So words fail me. Here I am a writer, and words fail me. You are unbelievable. So many of us are better people witnessing your journey. Love to you.


Posted On: 15 Jun 2012 00:25 AM

Have the time of your life! love, Dad & Sonya

Rebecca Conklin

Posted On: 15 Jun 2012 02:11 AM

You go, Pam.... I'm so awed by your efforts, your discipline, your JOY!!!! Thinking about you so many times each day....Hugs to you....and run well!

Sandee Sanger

Posted On: 15 Jun 2012 15:03 PM

By the time you read this you'll be well on your way to the finish. I wish I could be there to give you a big hug! Excellent effort and can't wait to hear all the details. I know you will finish strong and enjoy every last moment.

Annie Reese

Posted On: 15 Jun 2012 20:16 PM

Whoo-hoo you have finished ... 10th overall woman and 3 hours faster then Linda's time. The field is getting stronger each year. Sandee didn't "place" top at the Atacama but finished 10 hours ahead! You both are amazing. Not eat, drink, be MERRY and PROUD!

Annie Reese

Posted On: 15 Jun 2012 20:20 PM

The last comment was by no means making light of what Linda did and her times. She did ALL FOUR in one year!! How many humans can make that claim? You all are such tough women!! :-)

Nancy From Dulles

Posted On: 15 Jun 2012 22:44 PM

Stay strong in spirit! Run, Pam, Run! You are almost there and the positive energy you have stored deep within will bring you home. Cheering you on to Run! Pam, Run!!!


Posted On: 17 Jun 2012 06:40 AM

You inspire my to get moving - Jogging, biking and swimming. So did you finish as the 10th place female and 1st place USA female athlete? I have told so many people about you this past week.
I Am Living!

12th June 2012 04:46 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Day 3 is complete. I now know why this is called the gobi march and not the gobi run. Today was extraordinary in so many ways…beautiful running through the village for the first 5 miles or so…and then, the climbing began….100% UP today…except for the cliffs we ‘ran’ down! Harder than any run I have ever completed (until tomorrow, which will be much harder) but also the most satisfying and incredible...again, I can’t think of enough proper words to describe this. Physically this is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am so filled with gratitude that the pain is muted!


A few quick things as again, many people are waiting to use these computers;


*the emails and comments are off the charts wonderful….seriously, they are a lifeline for me and beyond precious. THANK YOU!

*as hard as this is, my body is performing beautifully….i wish I could go faster, but I have no soreness, no swelling, no blisters, my ucan is working perfectly and I am even sleeping relatively well. I think about how thankful I am for my strength and health a lot, especially when I am hurting and/or doubting.

*I also think of and meditate on phil 4 and isaiah 40…thank you to those who gave me verses and/or passages!

*I splurged and listened to a few songs on my ipod today…jungleland (cried during clarences solo), one foot in front of the other, oxygen, my kinda rain, etc…)

*tom, abby, rachel and sophia, I love and miss you all deeply….you are with me and I thank you for your love and support

*linda quirk, I am more grateful than I can express for this opportunity, and for my work with runwell….and I am even more in awe of you that you did all 4 of these desert races in one year….unreal…no matter what happens here, I look forward to whatever the future has in store.

*again, I am scared to death about tomorrow…but we all are, so it’s actually thrilling and sweet! It is a very difficult day of many climbs and decents, but we know it’s doable! 


I want to write/share more but I don’t have time….thank you all again….you are all with me and I am filthy rich!




Comments: Total (17) comments


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 00:31 AM

The fact that you have moved into 55th shows that you are made of pure grit and determination! As you are in awe of Linda, most of us are in awe of YOU! Day 4 will be a piece of cake because you are Pam Wonderwoman Rickard. Run well Pam.

Michael Schaffer

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 02:04 AM

Keep up the awesome work Pam. You are an inspiration to me! The Jungle land solo is still one my alltime favorite sax solos. Kepp on moving forward!!....Mike


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 02:29 AM

Oh, my girl...you're two hours into day 4 as I write and I can only imagine what you're experiencing! What I do know for sure is you are absorbing it to it's fullest extent! :-) So glad to know you are still feeling strong. And not surprised - you have done the work and it is paying off. If I might say, you're pretty dang amazing... Lots of folks here - Miss Cathy, Mrs. Newell, Shelby, the YL committee, just to name a few - want you to know they're praying for you and pulling for you. And in case I hadn't mentioned it, so am I! I'll leave you with this: Isaiah 41:10 - "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Take His hand and march on!

Cyrus Taylor

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 02:36 AM

What an extraordinary experience! You are an amazing inspiration!

Rebecca Conklin

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 03:57 AM

Pam....I've been thinking about you daily...knowing you can run strong and free...and you ARE!! What an amazing adventure for you, and sharing it all with us is unbelievable! Love from my heart to you.


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 04:32 AM

i'm not sure i could express it any better than all your other supporters, but i just have to tell you how truly inspiring and amazing i think you are. you are in my thoughts throughout the day - i wonder how you are, hope you're doing/feeling well, and look so forward to your wonderful posts! you have so many people along with you in spirit....but it is truly YOUR wonderful spirit that inspires everyone that knows you. the best thing about you is that you always seem so joy-filled, so grateful and so appreciative...and that is even more incredible than your many accomplishments. hope you stay strong and enjoy every morsel of this journey :)


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 12:25 PM

Just think....the Crooked Road 24 Ultra will be a piece o'cake after this. You rock, girl! Keep going, keep your head up and your heart full.

Tim Lawhorn

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 13:01 PM

To participate in something such as this will surely make memories for you which will last a lietime. To do so for the cause you represent will help to make a life for countless others. Runwell and know that through your actions, you inspire!

Bob B4

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 13:57 PM

Keep smiling, laughing, climbing,RUNNING and most of all living:-)

Sandee Sanger

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 14:21 PM

It's wonderful to see your consistent and determined progress! You are closer than ever to a shower and real food. March on and Runwell!

Nancy From Dulles

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 16:38 PM

Every step is one closer to your goal. Positive energy, positive thoughts and your courage are an inspiration to those of us who are sitting here in awe of what you have already accomplished. Run, Pam, Run. You have the spirit of a champion and you have already won! Cheers, Nancy

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 17:37 PM

"And miles to go before I sleep"..... the journey continues. You are doing great, kiddo! Keep your edge, keep pickin' em up and layin' em down. We're all so very proud of your performance. Go Pam, GO!


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 19:24 PM

Pam I've been following you this whole time and am in total AWE at the progress you're making. I thought your experiences would be somewhat similar to mine with the Komen 3 Day but during those events someone carried my stuff and cooked my food and basically waited on me hand and foot the whole time. All I had to do was raise money and walk. You've SMOKED me! It is truly amazing what you are doing and I can't be more proud to say you are my friend. God Bless You! Be safe and enjoy the rest of your march. Kim Duncan


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 19:26 PM

Whoops-sorry 'bout the double post!

Annie Reese

Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 22:06 PM

Looks like you finished Stage 4 with Michael Epler. I ran a bit of a local race with him this spring. Great guy! Hope you enjoyed each other's company on the long trek. YOU are doing fantastic!! Keep on keeping on!!


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 23:11 PM

just wanna say your awsome and best of luck on your journey!


Posted On: 13 Jun 2012 23:13 PM

just wanna say your awsome and best of luck on your journey! hmmm? not sure how this works, if you get twice-sorry
One Foot In Front Of The Other...

11th June 2012 05:56 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Again, way too much to share, way too little time so here's some highlights:


First, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for even caring :) I completely feel the wonderful support, thoughts, prayers, vibes and love!


* Ok, today was unforgettable in so many ways...STUNNINGLY beautiful course...INCREDIBLY hard! I has a blast for the first 5 or so miles and then started falling apart in the middle...so much climbing and I was really struggling and doubting my ability...fell, ripped my pants, etc., but long story short, I worked through it eventually, and rocked the last 4 miles or so and finished strong. :) At one point I just had to tell myself that today was a training run for the Speedgoat 50K....trust me, the climbs and decents were comparable!

* Linda, get Hoka on the phone because I even beat every lovely member of the Australian Team who are actually sponsored by Hoka! They are really great folks but it was such a kick to pass them in my Hokas!

* Now, to those of you that have emailed and /or commented on my last blog...I simply cannot thank you enough...I read them earlier and was so emotional that I had to take a break and just come back now to blog...wow I loved every word. And one of my favorites was an email from Nancy, whom I JUST met last Tuesday in the security line at Dulles airport! Nancy actually looked up Runwell and is following me...that is just beyond special and one of those times I say I'm glad I'm not 'in charge' of everything :)

* And along those lines, the people I have been allowed to share this experience with are more interesting (and some truly wonderful) than I can even describe here. For now I'll just say what I have said many times, there may be a lot of bad stuff in this world, but there is even more good...we just need to look for it and share it!

* And speaking of sharing, I just had the amazing privilege of being interviewed by Agnes (Linda you will know who that is) with Racing The Panet. We ended up connecting way beyond what she was interviewing me about and it was a true gift.

* I won't get personal here in this blog, but those of you whom I love...please know I can't describe how much I miss you all and TREASURE your support.

* My "Tent 13" home is simply the best there is...so much more to tell about that some other time.

* Finally, I need to confess that I am 'worried'....I am feeling great and encouraged about how today turned out, but we have a very hard day ahead of us tomorrow and of course another and then the Long March....I am humbled by how hard this is, but still beyond thankful and THRILLED to be here! Linda, there is little to no chance that I will follow in your spectacular footsteps and come in anywhere near top 5 females, but I WILL keep putting one foot  in front of the other!


MUCH Love,


Comments: Total (21) comments

Eileen Powell (mom)

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 01:59 AM

Hi Pam, love reading these blogs and please know I'm praying for you and love you. I must tell you though to please take care of yourself and get rest when you can. this is almost unbelievable and I can't even imagine. of all things, I saw your dad today when I went to Kaiser in Concord to pick up my perscription, parked next to him not knowing but he asked about if I had heard how you were doing so I said I did but that was all, bye for now:) xoxo about you

Joe Jurczyk

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 02:03 AM

Pam, not surprisingly you are doing an incredible job! Just don't be worried about tomorrow. You will conquer it like you do everything else! Just stay hydrated and the hard day will soon be a memory. Stay safe, injury-free and enjoy the rest of the journey! Joe

Linda Quirk

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 02:09 AM

Oh Pam I cab't tell you how amazing you are


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 02:21 AM

No worries, Pam - you'll do great tomorrow. One foot in front of the other indeed. It's just like sobriety - the big picture is overwhelming, but this moment, today, is manageable. Before you know it, you'll have this next stage done - one step at a time. :) William and I read your blog every morning together. You're "the lady running in China." Love you!


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 02:22 AM

No worries, Pam - you\'ll do great tomorrow. One foot in front of the other indeed. It\'s just like sobriety - the big picture is overwhelming, but this moment, today, is manageable. Before you know it, you\'ll have this next stage done - one step at a time. :) William and I read your blog every morning together. You\'re \"the lady running in China.\" Love you!


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 02:43 AM

My brother-in-law Richard Malcolm is running his first ultra event, so I am following his progress. Tonight I was looking over the times, and wondered, how far behind the BET American woman is he? I hope you know, that's you! Richie is an amazing guy, and I am just blown away at all of you doing this incredible race. Thanks for representing the US of A, take heart in the knowledge that every step is a step closer. Life works like that. Good luck!!!

Big T ;-)

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 03:20 AM

"One foot, one foot at a time, one foot, one foot at a time..." Just listened to that tonight, love, as you are pushing through Stage 3. As you read this it is behind you, and you made it! So proud of you, my wife, and while I am getting used to living in the anxiety that comes from not knowing how you're doing, I am comforted by the truth that God knows and is right there with you! I know you know this, but just keep doing the next right thing: hydrate, fuel, rest, and pace yourself. (Sorry...gotta do something to feel like I'm contributing! ;-p) You also know I love and miss you enormously, so I won't say it...oh, wait - I just did. Let Him lead, and press on, sweet woman! xoxoxo YBT

Steve Shrewsbury

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 03:32 AM

Pam my Friend, Sunday's are all ways special(go to the Y to work out with Barbara,then off to the Kroger store)but this time so different,Pam was not there.We love you and miss you.Just have a great experience and don't get hurt.All our Love.steve&barbara


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 04:23 AM

pam, i think you must be through your hard day by the time you read this...and i have every confidence that you did just fine! i so look forward to reading each entry you take the time to post - and i'm sure you must know how many people are behind you, praying for you and thinking of you (and i can only imagine how much your husband's sweet, loving and supportive words must mean to you, being so far away...i know that would be one of the hardest things for me). stay strong and safe!


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 04:50 AM

One step at a time...breathe...and know that you are such an inspiration to so many. Everyone falters, but YOU pick yourself up and forge ahead, That is \"greatness\"! Your journey will teach you more about yourself than you ever realized! Listen to what that journey is telling you. You are a remarkable woman!!

Roger Coffey

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 10:25 AM

Pam, thanks so much for posting your experiences. It sounds extremely difficult and going to get even more so. You are very special to go out there in the Gobi. Following along with you is a treat. It seems your spirit has to take over the body to fullfill your dream. Lady, you have so much spirit you can overcome any thing on this march. Looking forward to more posts. With you every step. You go, girl!!


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 10:26 AM

SO proud of you and all you are doing!!! Keep your head up, stay strong, and know YOU have got this!! Praying for you each day....I know you are having the time of your life! Continue to #Runwell my friend :) Hugs, Jaime Mc

Nancy From Dulles

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 10:40 AM

Still praying . . . . you and your journey across the Gobi remain in my thoughts throughout the day. Our paths crossed for a reason and God "knows" why. When you are running and you need a boost, just remember that there are people who are thinking about you, giving you strength to go forward. Cheering you on!


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 11:09 AM

Pam, we are all cheering for you back home and that whatever challenges you face, all of us an ocean away are rising up and sharing our strength with you.

Lee Watson

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 11:12 AM

Hey Pam sounds like you're hanging tough just like I believed you would. Keep strong and let positive thoughts erase the negative that try to slip in. You are doing a great job of representing Runwell and of course the Mangum Track Club. So far my hip seems to be doing fine since I started back running. My next run I will dedicate to you and send you positive vibes. Your friend, Lee Watson.

Johnny Nolen

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 15:38 PM

Pam-You can, you can, I know you can, You Will!

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 16:59 PM

"When the going gets tough"....... Pam is always there, hangin' with the pack. Way to keep moving when Mother Earth is earning your respect with every step. So proud of your performance. Lean into these next couple days. Be strong.

Sandee Sanger

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 19:16 PM

Pam...this is so exciting for me to read. It brings back all of the great and challenging times I had in the Atacama. It sounds like you are truly embracing the whole experience. I hope you only get stronger out there! I'll be pulling for you on the long march and look forward to each post. Thanks again for sharing. You are doing awesome!!!!!

Jaime Mcdonald

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 19:57 PM

So proud of you!! Stay strong, keep up the good work, and continue to #Runwell my friend :) Hugs, Jaime

Patty Vehmeyer

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 20:47 PM

Wow Pam! I am so proud of you! you are doing great! Like Sandee stated in her comment, it brings back memories of my races. Very challenging, very rewarding, very very humbling. I am praying for you and cheering you on! Go Pam Go! RUNWELL! :)

Lowell Skelton

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 21:24 PM

Pam, Looks like you did great on Stage #3. It sounds very tough, but I am sure that you have as much grit as anyone. The Franklin County, VA runners are behind you and are cheering for you. Keep it going, Pam! Lowell
Stage One = Done!

10th June 2012 05:07 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I could be transported home right this minute and still have had the experience of a LIFETIME…but, unless I am dreaming, I will be continuing this ‘adventure on steroids’ for the next several days. And actually, I am certain this adventure and all that goes with it will be with me for a lifetime!


Many are waiting for the cybertent so just a few highlights for now:

Last night at camp was amazing…primitive, dirty, surreal, beautiful, hilarious and comfortable…all at the same time! My tent mates are truly excellent…and Tom you would laugh so hard if you were here…the Brit humor is brilliant and abundant and I am already picking up on the language…I hear you laughing! :D

The excitement this morning as we all readied to start was amazing…and everyone just helped everyone else…I was stunned and thrilled.


I had a wonderful, beautiful day of running, hiking, walking, jumping over water crossings and moving forward on some very rocky terrain. I don’t know my time or place yet, am very happy with how I felt, and especially how much fun I had with my many partners along the way!

My biggest mishaps so far have been a huge gash in my right foot, which happened last night when I encountered a large rock while trudging to the ‘”bathroom” at 2 am… ;-) Sheesh! Then…about 1 mile into the race, my bag becomes unzipped…yep…you guessed it, as packed full as that thing is, things went flying! Food packets everywhere! So, what’s a runner girl to do?

Stop and chase down all that crap and try to fit it all back in…during a stampeade!


Ok, SO much more to share but I must sign off for now…But, I want to THANK YOU ALL who have emailed me already. I just read the ones available this afternoon (it’s Sun at 5 pm as I write this). What a gift to read your words!


God has blessed me richly with this experience, and no matter what the outcome, I want to just be where He has planted me.


And again, I have to say that Runwell is such a fun, interesting and positive thing to share about…so may stories already!   


My love and gratitude,


Comments: Total (13) comments

Big T

Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 01:02 AM

"Huge gash"? You're a tough guy, my love, but I don't like the sound of that! Keep it clean and covered and make sure the medical personnel see it... Otherwise - sounds like you're having too much fun for a desert march! ;-) Love that you're hanging with the Brits... Three pics of you have been posted on the Gobi March page...Zach pulled one off and posted it on FB and all are thrilled. More people praying for you than I can count! I love and miss you (in case I hadn't mentioned that before) and am thrilled that God's got you there! Keep moving forward and soaking it up, my sweet partner... xoxoxo


Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 01:10 AM

Go Pam!! Hope your foot is okay and not giving you too much trouble! Hope your pack behaves better on the next stage. We're all thinking about you! I showed William pictures of where you are running - he was wowed! Grey


Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 03:08 AM

Go Pam! I ran today, felt terrible, and then thought it was nothing compared to what you are going through. Keep being an inspiration to all of us!

Nancy From Dulles

Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 11:10 AM

Run Pam Run! I start each morning with prayers for you. Sending positive thoughts for your journey across the Gobi. Each step you take leaves a footprint of inspiration for others to follow. Run Pam, Run!


Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 11:44 AM

I am in total awe. Take care of yourself. We are all rooting for you back home. Run well!


Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 11:51 AM

Runwell my friend

Patty Vehmeyer

Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 12:22 PM

Pam you are awesome! As of right now you are 67th - Amazing!! You go girl! I know you have the strength inside of you to tackle this very tough and challenging Race. Being there is an unforgetable experience and life changing! You are correct, whatever the outcome it is worth every second to experience something that so few have done. The culture, competitors, RTP staff & volunteers, and the serenity of the desert. Runwell my friend! Wish I was there with you. Enjoy! :)

Johnny Nolen

Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 14:48 PM

You are an inspiration to us! You are one tough lady. We are thinking of you in this fantastic journey. Take care and on to stage 3.


Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 15:03 PM

Pam, I am so thrilled that you are finally in the Gobi! I will be following your progress and sending positive thoughts and love throughout your journey. Thanks for taking the time to write such a great blog. It sounds like you are handling your mishaps with grace and style like only you can. Runwell and enjoy each wonderful tough moment.

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 16:19 PM

Barefootin' near the Hindu Kush at 2:00am? Having a yard sale in the middle of a stampede? Sounds like a chapter out of Apollo 13. I'm turning up the prayer meter to a "full 10". Go get 'em, girl!


Posted On: 11 Jun 2012 18:05 PM

Glad to hear you are enjoying your most excellent adventure Pam. Prayers for an amazing journey and healing for your gash <3


Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 04:12 AM

pam, you are simply amazing. i think about you every day and pray that you are safe and enjoying every bit of this incredible journey! keep soaking up all this wonder that you are among a privileged few to experience...and thank you for sharing it with all of us. i can't wait to read each and every new entry on your blog :). you are such an inspirational human being. the rest of those amazing people are so lucky that you are with them! take care! (and take care of that big gash!)

Bob B4

Posted On: 12 Jun 2012 16:29 PM

Hi Pam, He would not have taken you this far unless you could handle it!! SMILE AT THE SUN:-)
2nd Official Blog Entry Of Gobi Girl #129

9th June 2012 05:12 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I decided to send a short blog this first night, so I am also copying this to a few of you to let you know it's there! I don't know when you'll actually receive or when it will be posted but probably within 24 hours. Wow...I can't even beleive I am sitting here typing this!


It is 8 pm and the sun is shinning like its 2 pm here in the stunning Gobi Desert at the opening of the 2012 Gobi March!

Words fail me...and I bet they will continue to...but I will do my best to jot down a few things to illustrate this outrageous experience.


So far, everything has exceeded expectations to a stunning degreee...but what stands out the most, is the people I have met...already!

This day has been extremely long, but worth every minute! We started with an all-call briefing that was extremely informative but hilarious too....it really was the first experience of all of us bonding....hard to explain, but very powerful. For the most part, everyone is a perfect mess of exhilaration and fear! :)


The bag check in and inspection was an incredible experience alone!...more on that later, but I came through with flying colors, thanks to my Gobi Mentor, Linda Quirk! But....my bag needs a diet as it came in at 22 lbs.!


My tent is pretty homey already...and I know it's early, but I cannot imagine better tentmates. My girls, Lisa from NC and Emily from the UK living in Hong Kong, are wonderful. It's almost weird how comfortable everyone is. I could not be more grateful for that....for everything, so far! I think one of the reasons we bonded so fast though was because of the harrowing bus ride here from Kashgar...think of one of those movies where vans careen around cliffs and through desolate mountain terrain....and then you'll be close, but our ride was wilder ;-) But SO BEAUTIFUL!


Then...oh, I can't describe in this short time I have....but arriving at camp and the welcome by the locals was simply brilliant! I am taking pics, of course and will elaborate more later.


I must sign off for now....but please know these things:


> I love and miss you all.....some more than others ;-)

> I am off the charts grateful to be here

> Being a Runwell Ambassador is absolutely delightful! ...so many people have just ASKED me about it and already, I have had some extraordinary conversations!


I will post again tomorrow after completing the first stage! I am smiling at you!





BIG hugs and kisses to my family...I am here because of you. xoxox

Comments: Total (2) comments

Big T

Posted On: 10 Jun 2012 06:25 AM

Wow! LOVE how you write, loml! Linda shared this on FB and many have responded, sent their love, sent their encouragement, cried (Tap and Sarah Holbrook :-) ), sent prayers and hugs... You are loved and you are an inspiration! So, so, so proud of you and love you... Looking forward to the next update, and praying while I wait! Press on, beautiful! xoxo

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 10 Jun 2012 14:54 PM

1st stage down. Hope your gear shake-down proved helpful and you are comfortable with the terrain. We are sending out prayers of strength and courage to help you along the way. Runwell, Pam!
Two Weeks From Today...

22nd May 2012 06:52 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

One, two, one two, ...is this thing on? Here's my test blog. I am a communicator. Many would say an over communicator. I talk and gesture and talk and tweet and post and email and call and message and talk and post. But I have never blogged a word. Until now. I just set up my official Racing the Planet Gobi March 2012 competitor blog. This is it, in fact. So I am typing and testing the waters because I need to communicate this way while I am traveling and running and competing and surviving. I leave for China, from DC, 2 weeks from today, June 5. I'll stay in Kashi, China until the race begins June 9-10 and goes through June 16. The task at hand for now is Preparation, with a capital P! I am wildly excited that my training has been going so well, and because of the training and everyday-nutrition plan set before me by Runwell Coach Bob Seebohar, I am stronger and fitter at 50 years old than I have ever been, by far. So now the preparation includes maintaining and staying healthy and packing and planning and re-packing. That's all for today. Because as I typed that, I realized I haven't even showered from my 12 miles this evening and need to get to eat and sleep! Runwell :)

Comments: Total (29) comments


Posted On: 23 May 2012 01:50 AM

Just to be clear, the race actually begins, June 10 and ends June 16. We travel to the start June 9. :)


Posted On: 23 May 2012 01:54 AM

Good Luck..I will be following your blog with excitement for you!


Posted On: 23 May 2012 01:55 AM


Jay Danek

Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:01 AM

Welcome to the world of blogging. I can't wait to read about your adventure. When I am suffering at SD100 on June 9/10 I can think about how much easier I have it than you traversing the Gobi desert. Awesome!

Lee Watson

Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:07 AM

Looking forward to following your adventure. Best of luck and may you have a safe and wonderful journey.

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:07 AM

Training, planning, rehearsals, gear checks, test fires, double checks, intel

Roger Coffey

Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:11 AM

Pam, just put this on my Favorites so I can follow you along this tremendous journey. Very few people in this entire world will ever undertake what you are striving to do. We are in awe of you.


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:12 AM

Much love & many prayers go with you.


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:14 AM

I look forward to your inspirational blogs. You have motivated to start biking and jogging again. I will add swimming too. If I'm fortunate enough to stay healthy, I want to try a mini Triatholan to honor a deasesed classmate who first introduced me to her favorite sport during our college days. .


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:15 AM

I look forward to your inspirational blogs. You have motivated to start biking and jogging again. I will add swimming too. If I\'m fortunate enough to stay healthy, I want to try a mini Triatholan to honor a deasesed classmate who first introduced me to her favorite sport during our college days. .


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:16 AM

I look forward to your inspirational blogs. You have motivated to start biking and jogging again. I will add swimming too. If I\\\'m fortunate enough to stay healthy, I want to try a mini Triatholan to honor a deasesed classmate who first introduced me to her favorite sport during our college days. .


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:16 AM

I look forward to your inspirational blogs. You have motivated to start biking and jogging again. I will add swimming too. If I\\\\\\\'m fortunate enough to stay healthy, I want to try a mini Triatholan to honor a deasesed classmate who first introduced me to her favorite sport during our college days. .


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:19 AM

This is so bold and so inspiring and I thank you for your thoughtfulness to help people and keep us posted! Good Luck and stay safe!


Posted On: 23 May 2012 02:27 AM

I cannot wait to hear how things go, Pam! I thought doing the Goofy Challenge was crazy, but that pales in comparison to this!! You have inspired me to become a runner, something I have tried to become many times in my life. I never succeeded until we reconnected! Good luck and good health!

Big T

Posted On: 23 May 2012 03:46 AM

What? You're going to China? ;-) I love how you communicate...expect you to do a lot of it from the desert! Let's get to getting you ready to Runwell!


Posted On: 23 May 2012 10:31 AM

This is a grand and noble undertaking and I am excited to follow you on your journey! Runwell Pam!


Posted On: 23 May 2012 11:19 AM

Proud to have you as a new friend, Pam! Cannot wait to follow your journey!


Posted On: 23 May 2012 12:27 PM

You are ready! The adventure awaits...very exciting! I know you will be able to feel all of our positive vibes while you are out there.


Posted On: 23 May 2012 18:09 PM

Pam- I look forward to following this adventure- amazing feat!

Steve Shrewsbury

Posted On: 24 May 2012 16:15 PM

You are amazing ,what a feat.Glad I get to know you.This is exciting to follow you on this blog.


Posted On: 26 May 2012 12:03 PM

Good Luck Pam, leave em eating your sand lol. Safe travels girl, enjoy!!!


Posted On: 30 May 2012 12:30 PM

Pam, I'm so excited to be able to follow you on (this part of) your Great Adventure!! I'm grateful to call you my friend, and my prayers will be with you!! GO GIRL!!!!

Runner Man

Posted On: 31 May 2012 15:30 PM

Girl...you will rock this...so happy for you ... Live Baby Live!!

Lowell Skelton

Posted On: 31 May 2012 18:14 PM

Wow! What a challege. I thought running a marathon was a big deal, but that is nothing compared to your undertaking. Pam, good luck to you and may God smile on you during the trek across the Gobi.

Steven Fredericks

Posted On: 01 Jun 2012 04:28 AM

Pam, I pray that you have the adventure of a life time. I know that God will bless you with one. You are my hero in so many ways. I am so looking forward to your post's and will try to send you email while you are racing. God Bless you and keep you safe. Steven (The Door Knob Guy)


Posted On: 04 Jun 2012 13:00 PM

Pam - I will be watching your progress like a hawk. So if at any point, you happen to see one hovering overhead along your journey, know it is not a hallucination. Runwell my friend. <3

Bob Purtell

Posted On: 08 Jun 2012 16:43 PM

"How far is far, how high is high? We'll never know until we try." Good luck and Godspeed, my "Lionhearted" friend. :)

Patty Vehmeyer

Posted On: 09 Jun 2012 01:59 AM

I am so proud of you Pam! I will be following you through the race. Go get em girl! You are my hero! Runwell my friend! I will say a prayer for you. :)

Nancy From Dulles

Posted On: 09 Jun 2012 17:00 PM

Met you in the security line at Dulles. I'm praying for you each day as you run across the Gobi. Positive energy is being sent as you leave your footprints each day. You are an inspiration! Run, Pam, Run!!!! Cheering you on!