His Quest is Completed

John has completed his quest. He crossed the finish line at 23 hrs, 46 min and 6 seconds (I think. I was crossing too) The last miles were pretty rough out there. Lap 6, he did end up with a pacer, Ricardo Maldonado, who he said if he had not had him, he would have never got through it. Ricardo told me about half mile after starting Lap 6, John decided to lay in the desert and be sick again with stomach issues and light headedness. He got him up and moving though and they were off. They had a good downpour out there also, which caused the course when I got out there to be pretty muddy. It didn’t seem to bother John though. In fact he told me he enjoyed the rain when it came (obviously, more light-headedness). They finished lap 6 at 3:20, giving us about 2 hrs and 40 min to complete the final 9 miles. I thought this would be a breeze since when I started running my worst time doing this was 1:55 min. Well, I soon discovered it was going to be a lot of walking (I’m not sure why I trained to run it) and me helping him just not think about his stomach. His spirits were good though and he was determined he was going to get in under 24 hrs. We talked about everyone that helped him over the weekend and how great it was that people came out, we talked about everything I could think of and then some. With 4 miles to go, I ran out of talking but he needed the distraction and at that point I remembered he always said when he needs to get through tough times, he counts his step. So, for most of 2 miles, I counted to 100 with each step. I discovered I personally don’t like this method for myself, but it seemed to work for him and we made it down the Tonto Tanks trailed at about a 10 min. pace. With 1 mile to go he could feel that he was going to make it in time and got all relaxed and appeared to enjoy the final mile. We crossed the finish with both kids (thank you to our great friends, the Forman’s for bringing the kids out and having them last night) and a huge smile on his face. At the finish were the entire Forman family, his friends Todd and Tom also.

We let him bask in the moment for about 45-50 min. out there and packed up and just got home. He said from start to finish he only lost 5 lbs and that is great news since in the past it has been a whole lot more. He’s now stiffening up and feeling it in his legs (which were strong until about mile 88) and is ready for bed after being up 28 hrs. I am on the same lack of sleep but will let him have first dibs at some rest. He ran a bit more than me.

I am sure he will post it all (what he remembers) here in the next day or so. Until then though, know that he appreciates all the support he received through this journey and words of kindness and powerful thoughts. Until then, stay safe and have fun……

This entry was posted in Races. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to His Quest is Completed

  1. Kuechler's says:


    We are very proud if you John!!! (and Laura, Sam & Grace)

  2. Dad and Mom says:

    Can’t believe it’s over and you are home safe and sound. They always say it takes a village to raise a child and it seems that the same idea goes with giving support to runners. Way to go John !!!

  3. Cathy Splete says:

    At 9pm last night, snuggled up on the couch under the blanket with Cat and Char, I heard the rain on the roof and thought, “Oh no, poor John.” (Knowing you and all your wackiness, I should have known you wouldn’t be bothered by it. That would have been enough for me right there, wuss that I am!)

    Mountainside Fitness has been alerted not to allow you acess to the facility for at least a week. I want you at home…sleeping and eating. You may also stretch. I am coming over tomorrow to confiscate all your running shoes, and bring you food that is crammed with calories. Got it? Good


    Love, Cathy, Cat, and Charlie(and Lynx…hee hee)

    • John says:

      Mountainside must not have gotten the message, they let me in this morning for my workout! :-)
      Thanks for following along, Laura benefited from your support as much or more than I did…JV

  4. Mari Tautimes says:


    Congratulations!!! What an amazing feat. Take good care of yourself this week.

    Your support system was equally impressive. You’re a lucky guy!


    Mari T.

  5. Meg says:

    Way to go Vaupel family! What a team! You should all be proud of this huge accomplishment! Rest up, ice bath later today and plenty of beer if his tummy can handle it!

    Cheers to you, John!!! Wow, you make 26.2 miles look WEAK! ;)

    Meg, TG, Wilson, Walker and Beckett

    • John says:

      Thank you! There is nothing weak about 26.2 when it’s done at your speed!

      It was nice talking to you last week before the race, it helped pick me up and get ready for the race. Thanks for following along…JV

  6. Patty Kulberg says:

    John – Congratulations on completing this journey and to Laura, Sam and Grace for their strong support of you. Love,Dee and Patty

  7. Paul Rose says:

    YOU ARE A CHAMPION! Congrats!

  8. Congrats John on a Quest well accomplished!! I am glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who decided that it would be a great idea to lay in the desert during a rain storm :). The important part is that you picked yourself back up and fought through hell to make that finish (in under 24 hrs to boot), Great job!

    • jvaupel says:

      Thanks Alex. I just sent you an email then saw this post. Now I really can’t wait to read about your race hearing you were laying out there too. I’d loved to have run a perfect race but you’re right, its much more gratifying to struggle through and still accomplish my goal, plus it leaves enough on the table for next time to improve…JV

  9. Tina says:

    Congrats what an amazing accomplishment. You should be so proud you worked so hard for this and it paid off.

Leave a Reply