As I wrote the blog about Pam and Running with the devil, I became intrigued with the Calico Racing site and reading more about the various races. I also have a friend who ran in the Calico Racing, E.T. Full Moon Midnight Marathon (10K and 51K), which takes place near the infamous “Area 51.”
As a woman business owner myself, I was even more interested to find out that this company was the brain child of a woman. Joyce Forier is the race director, but also so much more. She founded the company in 2007, after being inspired by the scenic view on a drive home from a 50K! Joyce has since poured her heart and soul into her events, which is now composed of 8 races a year! The races mix the beauty of the scenery in Nevada with fun themes and chip-timed races of all different events from a 5K to Ultra marathon distance! The logistics, course set up, registration, awards productions, paperwork and promotion are a fulltime job for Joyce. She still maintains a running schedule and keeps up her own pursuit of races including marathons and ultras. She is not only creative with the themes, but also with the distances, giving runners the opportunity to do back-to-back races and combinations based on their own goals! Of course, she is too busy to enjoy running at her own events, but makes sure that everyone gets all they can out of the Calico racing experience. The personality and humor injected into the race themes along with the scenic courses make a Calico event not to be missed.
Joyce is inspired as a runner by the natural beauty of the West. She loves the magnitude of the desert and mountain landscapes. The idea for her business came when Joyce on a 10-mile run at Red Rock Canyon. She has turned her passion for running and the love of the outdoors into a career and a way to share these experiences with others as a hostess! She has also found a way to contribute to a nonprofit called BigCat Rescue through her races.
Initially, Calico Racing was like any new business and her own training suffered and she got very little sleep. This can still be true around race time, but she has learned how to streamline the events and finds time to participate in 15-20 races a year. According to her website Joyce has participated in “64 marathons in 35 states, 8 Ironman triathlons, 12 ultramarathons (including Comrades and 2 x 100 milers), and done crew/ pacing for Badwater 5 times”.
|Joyce making an award|
Joyce genuinely cares for the participants, which is reflected by the many people who return to her races year after year! It is very important to her that everyone feels welcomed. She says that the joy and satisfaction she gets from seeing others finish a race and achieve what they might not have thought possible is very rewarding! She recalls a man who was running in the “Labor of Love” event, which takes place in Lovell canyon (one her favorite venues). This runner wanted to do the marathon on the Saturday and the 50K on the Sunday! She remembers how he struggled during those two days, but remembers his determination. The runner had started the 50K early on the Sunday, to try to meet the cut off time, sure enough it was getting late and there were about 3 runners left out on the course. Joyce was at the finish line which was practically empty at that point. She recalls how she saw him, in the distance coming in at his last 10th of a mile, she said she ran to him and finished with him. They were both moved to tears! That is putting your heart into it! Joyce says her races equally welcome the 3-hour marathoner as well as the 3-hour half marathoner! I’d say that running your own racing series is indeed an “Ultra.” She is truly an endurance athlete. Joyce, you rock!