Until last weekend, no woman had ever finished the grueling Race Across the Sky, a 100-mile run in and around Leadville, Colo., 10 times.
Lawrence's Marge Adelman became the first, overcoming back problems to complete the race in 27 hours and 31 minutes.
That clocking was nearly four hours off her personal best.
"My back was giving me some problems," she said, "but I really wanted to finish and become the first woman to go 1,000 miles."
Adelman was awarded a gold belt buckle signifying her accomplishment. Only four others, all men, have earned one of those buckles.
Adelman, 50, moved to Lawrence a year and a half ago from Denver where she was a legal assistant for 23 years. While here she has worked with Kansas University coaches and participated in Don Gardner's Red Dog Days conditioning program.
While working out earlier this summer, Adelman suffered a pinched nerve in her lower back.
"It just got worse and worse until one morning I couldn't get out of bed," she said.
Eventually, she went to a chiropractor, but was still unable to run for three weeks prior to competing in Leadville.
"I was in first place after the first 26 miles and I felt great," she said. "Then we hit some asphalt and it triggered my back again, and I figured I'd better slow down because I really wanted to be able to finish."
She wound up second in her age group and 7th overall among the female competitors. In her 10 races at Leadville, she had won once (in 1989), finished second four times and third once.
Adelman owns the best time by a woman in the event -- 22 hours and 40 minutes in 1993.
Adelman was just as proud of finishing the race 10 times as she was of her friend, Mike Hickman, also finishing. Hickman was clocked in 28 hours and 36 minutes.
"I was happy for him," she said. "It was the fourth time he'd entered and the first time he's finished."