9th Hinson Lake ultra goes to Afghanistan

Previous coverage:
* Sept. 24: Carter: ‘I’m hooked on ultras’
* Sept. 23: Porter a late addition to Hinson Lake field
* Sept. 22: Keane ‘all charged up’ for Hinson Lake ultra
* Aug. 2: Hinson Lake = 1.5032
* July 27: Hinson Lake field jumps by 60 percent
* July 13: Hinson Lake RD celebrates marathon in hospital

American colonel, MTC member keeps race streak alive while deployed

Photo by Kevin Spradlin The start of this year's Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic will be a little more crowded. But for the first time, Fred Dummar won't be there.

Photo by Kevin Spradlin
The start of this year’s Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic will be a little more crowded. But for the first time, Fred Dummar won’t be there.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

In his 10-plus years of being a Mangum Track Club member, Fred Dummar has proved he will go the distance for American military service members and veterans.

In 2007, for example, he completed the third of three fundraisers for KIA WIA Inc., a New Jersey-based nonprofit aimed at providing individuals and families an opportunity to participate in honoring the men and women that defend America’s freedom and ideals.

In the last days of the year, Dummar ran 135 miles in 48 hours. His goal was 171 miles, but he stopped short.

“You would be surprised how bad your feet can hurt after only 135 miles,” said Dummar at the time.

Now 45, the Army Special Forces commander was deployed in May to Camp Morehead in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, he works to train the Afghan National Army. One might think his streak of competing in every Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic would be in jeopardy. Thanks to race director Jerry Lindstrand, however, the streak will continue through this, the event’s ninth year.

Fred_Dummar“This will be the first year I will not be at Hinson Lake,” Dummar said in a phone interview with The Pee Dee Post.

Knee surgery and other personal events occurred in Dummar’s life “that should have conspired to keep me away,” he said. “I’ve been there even if I could just walk around.”

When told of Dummar’s dilemma, Lindstrand, the second-year race director, has a simple solution. Run in Afghanistan.

“His immediate comment back to me was, ‘I thought about that, but I didn’t want to ask,'” Lindstrand said. “That was the brainchild. It came from there.”

So Dummar recruited first 10, then 36 runners and Lindstrand mailed to Camp Morehead — at no cost to Dummar or any of the other three dozen service members competing in the 24-hour race — shirts, glasses and other support. The Afghanistan field includes service members from the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force as well as some runners from Slovakia who also are based at Camp Morehead.

Fred Dummar photo Race director Jerry Lindstrand surprised Dummar and other Hinson-Afghanistan runners with a customized souvenir race T-shirt.

Fred Dummar photo
Race director Jerry Lindstrand surprised Dummar and other Hinson-Afghanistan runners with a customized souvenir race T-shirt.

“It was awfully nice of Jerry,” Dummar said. “We’re shocked at the level of support from the small town of Rockingham and our Richmond County running Club.”

Dummar will be joined at the start line by Americans Sam Bailey, Mark Dasch, Larry Debusk, Rory Devlin, Rob Dozier, Dave Gervais, Lacey Golonka, Brent Havens, Kris Jankovich, Kevin Larrabee, Brian Tabb, Eric McDanal, Mike Milne, Eric Mitchell, William Morrissey, Larry Niedringhaus, Mary O’Connor, Randall Patten, Will Richardson, Don Risden, Jeff Ross, Thomas Stanek, Rick Tellez, Alan Throop, Raul Vidallon, Dan Vogel, Dave Wallen, Rob Weel, Chase Wilke and Melissa Zollinger. In addition, Slovakians Jozef Bibza, Marek Gargalik, Martin Kundrat, Peter Pilka and Radoslav Zitnik are in the field of 37.

Dummar said he was unaware — until he opened the box — that the official Hinson Lake race shirts would be slightly modified for the Aghanistan runners.

“Camp Morehead, Afghanistan,” is screened onto the left sleeve of each bright yellow shirt.

That, Dummar said, “was pretty cool.”

Afghanistan is 8.5 hours ahead of Rockingham on the clock, but Dummar and his gang of 39 will begin their 24-hour race on Friday morning — that’s Thursday evening in Rockingham — due to training demands. Dummar has arranged a 1-mile paved loop. Unlike the loop around Hinson Lake, which is virtually flat with a an elevation of only 285 feet above sea level, Camp Morehead is more than 6,900 feet above sea level. The Afghanistan course, Dummar said, loops around the generator plant at the center of base and “it does have some elevation, ups and downs. The road’s not completely flat.”

Lindstrand was particularly interested in Dummar’s photo he posted on Facebook with his gear. Socks, shoes, shirt and gators. Lindstrand said he was tempted to note that Dummar had one extra piece of equipment — his Army-issued sidearm — sitting on top of everything else.

Dummar completed 62.13 miles at Hinson Lake in September 2013 and over the event’s eight-year history has accumulated the third-most mileage — 619.13 miles, behind only South Carolina’s Ray Krolewicz (711.04) and William Keane (669.39). On the Rockingham course, Dummar has completed 80 or more miles four times in the past eight years, including 91.2 miles in 2011 and 106.4 miles in the event’s inaugural year in 2006.

Fred Dummar has long put service to others, especially service members and veterans, ahead of himself.

Fred Dummar has long put service to others, especially service members and veterans, ahead of himself.

This year, work obligations will prevent him from going all out. In addition, he’s serving as race director for the event, which brings with it no small amount of responsibility.

“I can’t be completely shattered at the end of the event,” Dummar said. “In a reasonable amount of time, (I have to) get back to work here. I’m not gonna go 100 percent all out and fall apart. More than anything, I want to enjoy the day. It’s a good opportunity for a lot of people that aren’t ultra runners” to hit mileage highs, from a half marathon (13.1 miles) to a 50K (31 miles).

Regardless of how many miles he logs, Dummar figures it will be “a good day to run.”

Meanwhile, in Rockingham, wife Susan Dummar will be in the field at Hinson Lake. She will be wearing bib No. 13. She’s no slouch either — and on her good days, might leave her husband in her dust. In seven Hinson Lake races, Susan Dummar has tallied 428.64 miles, good for 13th among women on the all-time list.

This StarsandStripes.com map from 2010 shows the current overseas home of the Special Operations Command in Kabul, Afghanistan.

This StarsandStripes.com map from 2010 shows the current overseas home of the Special Operations Command in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors, Sports

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
  • Charles Brown

    I’ve heard of Fred Dummar. His genetic link to Pheidippides is not mythological. One hell of an American, I say.

© 2485 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.