Sam Noel finished the race in the middle of the pack. He had met his primary goal – to be an example to his kids of perseverance, hard work and determination. He said that for him it was “a one and done thing.” He echoed the thoughts of many runners – that the race had so many aspects beyond running 170 miles. G2G is about grit, avoiding injury, nutrition, hydration, heat … until you’re engulfed in the race, it is hard to get your mind around it.

For Noel, it was “by far the most painful experience I’ve ever had.” One of his tentmates became his running buddy. “We found ourselves laughing deliriously because our feet were so swollen and burned. We stuck together the entire race and helped each other keep going when we thought we just couldn’t take another step.”

Another tentmate, Michael Julien (58, UK), was an inspiration. He was recently hit by a car. He has leukemia, which required daily administering of treatment to himself during the race. “He is the oldest in our tent, the most experienced, and has such good advice, both technical and psychological,” Noel said.

Noel also gave another shout-out to his friend, Terril Honey. Honey not only helped him train, but even lent him his sleeping bag for the race.

Honey was key to the challenge of designing the G2G route the first year, involving both private and public land owners, and traversing hundreds of miles to find possible routes. The G2G route has stood the test of four years now. “We owe a lot to Terril,” Noel says.