Darcy Piceu: Peaceful Powerful Warrior
Written by Melanie A. Madsen Thatcher
“Be consistent, eat well, and keep moving forward.” -Darcy Piceu
UltrAspire Elite Immortal Athlete, Darcy Picau has earned a place of one of the world’s great athletes.
Darcy holds the OVERALL (male and female) record for the “Rocky Mountain Slam”, which includes the combined times of four of the toughest races in the world—the Bighorn 100, the Hardrock 100, the Leadville 100, and the Bear 100!
A typical athlete would accord themselves fortunate to complete even 1 of these courses—let alone 4 in a single year with combined record times that out perform other runners in history!
The ancient Greeks, who immortalized great athletes, pioneered the marathon distance, and greatly admired female warriors, would certainly have carved Darcy’s likeness in stone, and deified her as a goddess incarnate. Darcy shows the world what women can—and do—accomplish, especially in an Ultra World where top athletes believe that a hundred miles is “not that far.”
Darcy is a 3-time champion of the Hardrock 100, a 100-mile race that threads up and through the Colorado San Juan mountains and demands over 33,ooo feet of vertical climbing—more elevation gain than climbing Mount Everest—to complete!
She owns the formidable accomplishment of placing first in three hundred milers in a single summer: the Bighorn 100, the Bear 100, and the Hardrock 100!
Thrice she has taken the Wasatch Front 100 Championship title. She holds course records for the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming & the Bear 100 in Utah and has crossed the finish line in the top 3 of nearly 70 Ultra races.
This year on the mighty Tushar Mountain range Darcy took the fanfare and the record and noted that the race was very similar to Hardrock–a race she has dominated over the years many times.
She has also done well on the World stage finishing third place female at the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in Europe.
Other accomplishments include a Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim record and an FKT Mt. Rainier/Wonderland Trail, of 22:22.
Darcy’s accomplishments are those one might expect only from a full time pro athlete—who has little time left for other accomplishments, or “real” life. Not so with Darcy. She is a mother, a professional therapist, coach and a professional ultra runner living a full life in Boulder, CO where she is active in the community.
Her daughter is a huge part of her life and the two are famous for their finish line hugs.
Leading the way and trail blazing for generations of future athletes, Darcy inspires and exemplifies chasing—and capturing dreams. She has now been running for more than 15 years, has raced ultras for most of this time, and is known to consistently run her own race.
Her peaceful warrior way began when she traveled solo around the world visiting 3rd world countries and far away places. When she runs, Darcy seems to be in her own world, running her own race, being smart about the elements and conditions she faces, adapting to any situation with skill, humor and aplomb and above all, having fun doing it!
On October 7, 2016, a field of skilled ultra-runners including the human butterfly “Darcy”, braved on through the storms and ultimately she finished first overall! The race was the challenging Bigfoot 120-mile course situated on beautiful and remote single-track trails in the State of Washington, weaving through green and lush forests in the cascades and eventually skirting the base of the imposing and, for now, serene Mt St Helens, and Mt. Adams.
“Probably the most challenging part of the course was the intense rain that lasted for the majority of the race. The second night, my pacer and I found our selves in a boulder field around mile 115 in sideways rain, fog, and cold wind. We struggled to find the markers and ended up in survival mode to some extent. After quite some time, we made our way through the boulder field and back down into the forest where there was more protection from the elements.” –Darcy Piceu
Darcy approached the race concerned her knees were not going to allow her to finish the course. She had recently run—and won—the Wasatch 100 and her knees had been hurting her ever since.
Starting the race, her number one goal was just to finish. A second goal was to do well—but she had no idea how her body would perform. She would have to adapt from moment to moment based on her body awareness and her own reality.
“I went out in the lead early on and maintained that lead the entire race. I really never felt as though I was pushing myself too hard. I knew I had to just be consistent, eat well, and keep moving forward. That’s basically what I did. Unlike most races I run, altitude was not a factor. Thus, my stomach held up very well. I was able to eat a lot throughout the race which seemed to be the secret to winning this time.” –Darcy Piceu
Knowing herself, understanding the internal and external situations, running her own race, adapting and moving forward, is where she finds the secret to her success in each race and in life.
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