Hendrix ends run short of goal

Published 12:09 am Sunday, April 27, 2008

NATCHEZ — Blinded by low blood pressure, staggering and incoherent, Brady Hendrix had to stop his ultra marathon before reaching the halfway point.

Hendrix had planned to run 100 miles on the Natchez Trace, starting from the beginning of the Trace at 5 p.m. Friday and running 50 miles in, then turning back and running to the starting point.

This he did to raise money for Relay for Life and in memory of his aunt who was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer in 2005 and who died earlier this month.

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At 42 miles, Hendrix said he began throwing up and blacking out.

“It was odd that I got sick so quick,” he said.

Hendrix had a team member riding alongside him on a bike and a chase car being driven a little ways ahead of him.

Hendrix was planning on stopping at the chase car to quickly eat and change his shoes and socks.

“I got to the chase car and it just fell apart completely,” he said.

After he blacked out twice, his team members picked him up and sat him down in the back of the truck.

“I was very incoherent, I couldn’t remember where I was or the things I had just said to (my team members,)” he said. “I couldn’t grasp what was happening completely.”

He said he began losing his vision and he believes that it is attributed to his dropping blood pressure.

Hendrix laid down in the car for an hour or two, he said, trying to regain his strength — it never came.

“I just didn’t have any energy, it was completely zapped,” he said.

A few hours after he stopped running Saturday morning, Hendrix was still in disbelief over his body betraying him.

He had been training since November and had run 45 miles consecutively before during the training period.

He said he started off the run feeling like he couldn’t get a good pace and he thought that he wasn’t going to make it.

But by the time he hit mile 32, he said he felt great.

“I was in a really positive mood, I was cracking jokes with my team members, it was looking good,” he said. “I remember thinking, this is great, this is not going to be anything at all, I’m going to soar through it.”

After he spent some time laying down, he picked himself back up and ran one more mile before quitting at mile 43.

“With this kind of run and going through all those miles, there are going to be miles you’re going to have to push through and I had been doing that,” he said. “(But) it wasn’t a wall anymore, it was the end of the race.”

“My body shut down completely.”

He said he is disappointed that he wasn’t able to run all 100 miles.

“It’s emotional because my aunt died recently from cancer and I got that tied in with it and also everything that goes along with losing in any kind of physical challenge,” he said. “But what can you do? It is what it is.”

Despite his disappointment, he is still able to see the silver lining.

“We raised a lot of money for Relay for Life,” he said of the near $5,000 raised.

Hendrix said he ran nine hours total.