Ithaca Athlete Completes 7-Day, 155-Mile Race

Ithaca athlete Christopher LaVallee recently joined 116 other competitors from around the world, in completing the RacingThePlanet Australia 2010 7-day, 155-mile rough-country foot race, which was held in western Australia from April 25 to May 1, 2010.LaVallee returned to Ithaca yesterday. He suffered severe blisters on his feet during the race, which continue to hurt, but otherwise is not suffering from any other physical ailments.LaVallee’s successful completion of the 155-mile rough-country foot race puts him in a select group of athletes. According to RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 Official Website, 117 of the 198 registered participants completed the race. The website reports LaVallee was the 106th competitor to cross the finish line, with a total time of 73:19:39. RacingThePlanet foot races are run in stages, similar to the Tour De France bicycle race.LaVallee says he’s honored and humbled to have completed the race. “There’s a parallel between competing in a race such as this, and what I saw my father go through as a cancer survivor. Both are tests of physical and emotional strength and endurance. I was overcome with emotion when I saw the finish line on the last day of the race, and realized in many ways, my father set an example for me when he set out on his own endurance marathon to become a cancer survivor. Failure was never an option for me.”Donations to Christopher’s Campaign, LaVallee’s $20,000 fundraising campaign for the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, are still being accepted. Donations may be made by visitingwww.rtpforcrcfl.kintera.org, by sending a check to the Cancer Resource Center at 612 W. State St, Ithaca, NY, 14850, or by calling the Cancer Resource Center at 607-277-0960. Checks should be marked Christopher LaVallee in the memo line. Herbert Dwyer, President and CEO of ASI Renovations, which is LaVallee’s corporate sponsor, says what matters most is the inspiration that Christopher has provided to many people over the past few months. “Christopher not only finished one of the most difficult athletic challenges in the world, but he has also inspired all of us to reach beyond our comfort zones and work to achieve great things. ASI Renovations is very proud to be Christopher’s main sponsor for this event.”RacingThePlanet challenged LaVallee to run up and down hills and mountains, swim across rivers, and climb rocky outcrops, and also to adjust to a drastic temperature difference. Ithaca’s average daily high temperature in April is 55 degrees F, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. According to reports on the RacingThePlanet website, there were four race days when the high temperature was about 100 degrees F.LaVallee trained for the event throughout the Ithaca winter and into early spring.

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