Wendy Georges: The Ultra Runner

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Wendy Georges runningWendy Georges runs. A lot. The 53-year-old Berkeley resident took up running 24 years ago and began racing when she was 42. Since then she’s competed in dozens of road races including many marathons and ultra marathons.

“My favorite is 50 miles. It takes 8 hours. It feels like a solid day’s work- long enough that you’re really glad its over but you get such a feeling of accomplishment.” The female grandmaster of last year’s Oakland marathon aims for three ultra marathons a year with a number of shorter races as training. Georges races 9 to 10 months out of the year.

On Feb 6th, George ran the Jed Smith Ultra Classic, sponsored by the Buffalo Chips running club. Georges placed 3rd at the race flanked by women 20 years younger than her. Needless to say, she won her age group. The 50k race headed through much of Sacramento and prepped her for the American River 50 mile run on April 9th. The American River race is a hybrid of road and trail with 31 miles following the Jed Smith course, 19 miles on trail, and the final 3 miles, a fierce uphill fight.

When not busy running, Georges has worked for the past 25 years at the Alameda County Health Care Dept as a social worker helping the homeless. For the past 15 years, Georges has also taught indoor cycling at Berkeley Ironworks.

Cycling Program at Berkeley Ironworks

There’s an old saying that goes, “Running can hurt cyclists, but cycling can’t hurt runners.” Georges reiterated the fact adding that “It really aids runners. It’s great cross training. Cycling is very good with running because it’s low impact; you’re not constantly pounding asphalt. It’s really good for the cardiovascular system and shifts the burden away from the overused running muscles.”

Georges spoke about the cycling program at Berkeley Ironworks saying, “The program at Ironworks is highly developed. It has been raised to a higher level. New people go through an accelerated process of becoming fit because the classes are so demanding.”

Stop by Berkeley Ironworks and catch one of the many great cycling classes taught by Georges!

Class Calendar