"I Didn't Stop Running."


"Late January 2019, I laced up my running shoes to start a 24-hour run. Yes, you read that correct... run for 24 hours straight. I wanted to complete this madness to prove to myself that I can push myself beyond and to raise awareness for Primary Immune Deficiency Disorder (PI). This run was six months in the making and I had no idea if I was going to be able to pull it off or not, but, with the support of my friends and family, I wanted to do my best even if I suffered. The way I saw it was my pain is nothing compared to the amount of pain the people with PI have to deal with daily. So, with that in mind, I tightened up my laces and headed out the door.

Running has been a small part of my life since high school, but I never had a big desire to run long distances, let alone 24 hours straight. In fact, my life before all of this was about not eating healthy and starting my mornings with a few Dr. Peppers. My day-to-day was very much the same - work, eat, Netflix sleep, repeat... Until one day I stumbled across an article about ultra marathons. Needless to say, I was hooked. I read and watched everything I could find about these crazy, yet very inspiring people who were taking down massive distances. I thought why not. I tied on my old cross trainers and hit the pavement. It was slow going, but I was able to run five miles. I was proud of myself and looked forward to continuing this crazy idea. With a whole new outlook on life and a perfect diet, I was able to shed my unwanted pounds and best of all - I didn't feel like I was going to die every time I ran up a hill. Week-by-week I was able to run further and further until I thought I was ready.

Fast-forward six months - There I was running the beautiful coastline in my hometown, Santa Barbara. The plan was to run between two points. The distance between these points is around three miles. However, I wasn't looking for miles, I was focused on time. One hour down... 23 to go. Around the ninth hour, things took a turn for the worst. The pain that was slowly growing in my right knee throughout the day turned into pure hell. At this point, I ran about 78 miles and with each excruciating step, I started to see my dream slip away. But, I didn't stop running until I collapsed from pain and fatigue. Laying down never felt so good, but after ten minutes I got back up and started to slowly run. I told myself that I was halfway done... keep going. By the time I approached the spot my father was going to check up on me I was in so much pain that I knew it was over and my dad helped me to his car. On the way home, I felt a massive wave of defeat for not finishing and let myself have it for being a quitter. Now looking back at it, I am the farthest thing from a quitter. I got off the couch, corrected my diet, and trained to run long distances. I mean I ran for close to 10 hours and crushed 80 miles. The best part is I raised money and a lot of awareness for a disease that many do not know about. It truly is amazing what we can do with just a bit of support and inspiration."

- Santa Barbara, CA.

homeNathan Williamson