Shelby Farrell’s story from The Speed Project Solo appeared in Like the Wind #32. Unfortunately in that piece we incorrectly stated that Shelby did not finish the Cocodona 250 on her first attempt. In fact, Shelby did finish that race in 111h57m51s. This is the corrected version of Shelby’s story – one of seven that we told in LtW#32.
Not everything I have done in running has gone to plan. For example, I finished the Cocodona 250 but it did not go quite how I wanted it to. I basically did not have enough experience. But I was really happy to finish and that was all part of the journey.
I started really getting into running in 2013 when I ran my first marathon. I finished in under four hours and I really just caught the bug – I was inspired to chase a Boston Marathon qualifying time. Pretty soon after that, I started trail running and immediately fell in love with the scene. I’ve been a skier for many years and I love the mountains. Trail running was another way I could be in the environment where I feel at home.
In 2019, my first 50-miler was The North Face Endurance Challenge. In 2020 I signed up for the Javelina Jundred. Along the way, I discovered the Santa Monica mountains… all of which led me to the Cocodona 250.
After I finished the Cocodona race, I decided I needed to do something where I would be more present. A friend had done The Speed Project as part of a team, so I knew about the race. And when the opportunity to run it solo came up, I knew that was for me.
Going into The Speed Project Solo, I definitely had goals. I’m pretty competitive by nature and so first of all, I thought I wanted to beat Kilgore’s time from the year before. I’m a meticulous planner and I had a spreadsheet where I planned out my route, pace and so on.
That plan would see me finishing in Las Vegas in 99 hours. In the end, I finished in 101 hours, so pretty close.
Honestly, I think I started out a bit too slow. I was running 13 minutes per mile out of LA. But perhaps that was good in the end. My plan was to take the Powerline Road the whole way and I ended up catching Stef and Adam in Primm. By the time I caught up with them,
I really needed to sleep and that was pretty stressful, knowing that they might set off out of Primm before me. But I wasn’t able to carry on without sleep. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed that Adam beat me. But I passed Stef with about a mile to go and was happy to be the first female finisher.
In talking to Shelby after LtW#32 was published, we found out a little more about her race at The Speed Project Solo: “The finish of TSP was insanely epic – it was a shame to not have more content around it, but that is the nature of TSP… #nospectators – I think this reel I created sums it up the best: I ran out of my mind for the last 24 mile stretch, running my final mile of nearly 300 at a 6:55 minute/mile pace. A limit was pushed and a new level was found.”