Hello! I’m Becca Dzombak: geochemistry graduate student at the University of Michigan, vegan, writer, photographer, climber, and ultrarunner.
Running has long been a big part of my life. In 2012, I got addicted to ultrarunning. My goal was to complete my first 100-miler before my 21st birthday (in December 2013), but I got a stress fracture in February 2013, followed by two years of off-and-on injuries and issues.
I started running in high school (cross country; I hated the one season of track I ran, never looked back). I was never fast – my 5k PR was 21:30-ish. One of my coach’s rules (out of some 500, he had a huge list he gave us at the beginning of every season) was Never Run More Than 12 Miles On Purpose In High School. That combined with the fact that I thought seven miles was a Long Run meant that I didn’t attempt my first half until my senior year of high school. That race was a hot Fourth of July, 85 degrees and humid by the time I finished around 10 a.m. I believe I came in just under two hours, ate about four pounds of strawberries, and went to sleep. Never again, I thought. And I’ll never run a marathon. Those people are insane.
I certainly proved myself wrong. I ran my first ultra (the Trail 50k in Pinckney, MI) in April 2012 in an acceptable 5:37, and came through the finish line smiling. (Looking back, I see I could have pretty easily broken 5 – I had far too much left at the end and it was a pretty flat course.) I did two more 50ks and a 50-miler which wrecked me for about three days, and immediately after which I swore up, down, left, and right that I would never do it again, and certainly not a 100. That, of course, faded by about a week later. In 2013 and 2014, though, I was barely able to run; I turned to climbing and lifting as my outlets. 2015 saw a little more action, and I graduated from Michigan then (an achievement I honestly see as second to finishing my 50-miler). Despite those years of touch-and-go running stuff, I still want to run a 100-miler – at least. My current goals in life are to run as far and as often as possible, to live somewhere with mountains, and to pursue a career in geology. Basically, I want to do science and be outside as much as possible in as many different places as I can.
Dream goal race: UTMB. Though I wouldn’t say no to stage races in cool places, and there’s an awesome multi-day 100 in Nepal that looks incredible. Sandy desert races, though… hard pass. If I want to torture myself in that way, I’ll just go dune running for a week in full sweatsuit.
Definitely want to thru-hike lots of things. PCT is top of my US list.
Road trips are life. Terrible puns spice it up.
Peace love and running,
Milestones (pun intended)
50k – April 29, 2012
50m – Sept. 8, 2012
100k – ?
100m – ?
5k – 21:36
Half-marathon – 1:45
50k – 5:37 (7th woman)
50M – 10:37 (16.6-mi splits: 2:57, 6:25, 10:37)(6th woman, 44th overall)
Climbing a thing in Bishop, CA. May 2013.
Overlooking some of the Tetons. I claim this land for Michigan! August 2015.
Graduating makes you smart. May 2015.
Hiking outside of Colorado Springs. May 2014.
“WOULDYA LOOKIT THOSE MOUNTAINS?!?” May 2014.
Climbing (read: mantling the hell out of) another thing. Horse Pens 40, Alabama. March 2014.