Gnarly Bandit: Introducing competitor Joe Hegman…

Gnarly Competitor - Joe Hegman23 runners toed the line to begin the 2013 UMTR Gnarly Bandit Series. This grueling five race series kicked off back in April at the Zumbro 100 Mile, ran through the Kettle Moraine, Black Hills and Superior 100 Milers, and will wrap up October 19 with the Wild Duluth 100K. With one race left to run, eight runners remain in contention for the $600 cash prize courtesy of Wilderness Athlete. We’ll be looking to talk with all of the finalists.

Next up, Joe Hegman:

1. When you started out at the Zumbro 100-mile back in April did you feel confident you would still be in the running for the award at this point?

Yes, you have to have a positive mindset and believe everything is possible. My wife will tell you that once I’ve made up my mind, I am going to accomplish my goal no matter what.

2. What races in the series stand out as memorable (good and bad)?

Zumbro, for the weather variations: snow, ice, mud and slush. It claimed six out of ten toe nails and it took me over two weeks to recover from it. Sawtooth is by far my favorite race of the series. The course, volunteers and runners are top-notch. It is where it all began for me and I always look forward to running it.

3. Which race would you say “went according to plan” more so than the others?

None. That is the beauty of ultras. You have to be able to adapt to whatever arises.

4. How was your recovery between the races?

Slow in the beginning, but as the season went on I have bounced back quicker after every race.

5. What’s on your calendar after Wild Duluth?

Nothing at the moment, just to enjoy the fall and run for fun.

6. Any advice for runners looking to attempt the series next year?

Concentrate on the race at hand, don’t get overwhelmed and enjoy the experience.

7. Any additional thoughts?

And none of this would be possible without my crew and my wonderful wife helping me get through this entire series.

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