• Beer on the Run Podcast Episode #73

    Deb Hamberlin joins Clint and Jack to chat about Disneyland as recovery, Cocodona 250, aid station food, Boston Qualifiers, Western States, Tahoe, virtual support, what else is out there and beer. 



  • Ginger Runner Live Episode #399

    Train Hard. Race Harder. Party Hardest. Ethan Newberry and Kim Teshima Newberry, hosts of Ginger Runner Live (GRL) interviewed me regarding my origins into ultra running and experience at the 2nd annual Cocodona 250. Please go check it out and consider joining the GR Crew for a little as $2.00 per month http://bit.ly/GRCrew

    Spoiler Alert answers to the QQQ (Quicky Question Quiz):

    Very First Race? Part of my “First Marathon” training at the end of 1999, I did a local AZ 5k, 10k & half marathon within a couple months, leading to the Las Vegas Marathon February 2000.

    Favorite Place to Race Currently? Trails on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

    Road or Trails? Trails!

    Bucket List Race? Tahoe 200

    Favorite Running Movie? “A Decade On” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OArKXKj5PeU&t=9s narrowly beats out “Where Dreams Go To Die” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDZdsqbcGTU

    Guilty Pleasure TV Show? Currently Outlander, but going back over a decade, nothing better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

    Favorite Prerace Meal? Currently cheese quesadilla with avocado.

    Favorite Postrace Meal? Anything with greens or veggies with a post race beer.

    What shoes did you wear for Cocodona 250? I alternated between Hoka’s Speedgoat 4’s and Evo Speedgoats.

  • Choose Strong Podcast Episode #7

    The incredible mountain ultra runner and coach, Sally McRae had me on her podcast to discuss training, prep and running of Cocodona 250 during May 2022. Sally coached me over the past 4 years and prepared me perfectly for tackling my first 200+ mile race.

    To help support Sally’s podcast and Sally’s work in both speaking and coaching, please consider downloading her app at this link: https://sallymcrae.app and gain access to hundreds of Sally’s customized strength, running, and mobility workouts!

    Enjoy and keep running!

    Deb @debrunsfar

  • More Fun Photos from Cocodona 250

    More Fun Photos from Cocodona 250

    2022 Cocodona 250 mile endurance run. Runners take on a journey between Prescott and Flagstaff Arizona to test their mental and physical strength over 122 hours.

    Pre race Photo: Howie Stern
    Before 250 miles – Photo Scott Rokis
    After 250 miles – Photo Scott Rokis
    All good day 1 heading to Skull Valley – Photo: Anastasia Wilde
    Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ – Photo: Anastasia Wilde
    Day 2 in the Dells – Photo: Anastasia Wilde
    Running with Crew Chief & Pacer Marsha French, heading to Mingus Mountain. Photo – Scott Rokis
    Arizona sunset – Photo: Howie Stern
    Finish Line Cocodona 250 – Photo: Scott Rokis
    112 hours – 250 miles, Finish Line joy! Photo: Scott Rokis
  • Cocodona 250 May 2022

    COCODONA 250. Wow that was big. The 250 mile distance was brand new territory for me. However, this race could not have gone any better.  The training, the race plan and the execution all came together brilliantly. To my coach and crew, we nailed it!

    Chuck Mills & I at the start.

    Kudos to the runners that tackle this event solo.  I don’t think I could have done this alone and I definitely wouldn’t have had the great race that I did.  I had the “A Team” for crews with an RV that followed me starting day two of the race. I had food options, foot care, massages, clothing/shoe changes, charging stations and awesome pacing. Anytime I came into crewed aid stations, I was swooped up and immediately any needs I had were taken care of.  Huge thank you to Marsha French, Darcy Swanson, Daniel Davis, Erica Rackley and Shannon McQuaid!

    DAY 1:           60+/- miles Start to Whiskey Row.  I ran this section solo hooking up with other runners on/off.  I expected it to be hotter than it was. I iced up early at mile 11 which lasted the rest of the day. This day my fueling was more typical ultra, Spring Energy, Tailwind, Tailwind Recovery, potatoes, chips, s-caps. I threw up the first time at mile 32, right before an aid station (AS). My crew was waiting at mile 36, so I knew I just needed to get there and I could take an extended break and reset my system. I grabbed a few Tums and was able to get to Skull Valley (mi 36).

    Skull Valley aid station

    The AS was serving burgers, so I tried to get one down. Nope, threw all that up. La Croix usually settles my stomach. I had some and also tried an Athletic Brewing Co Beer (non-alcoholic). That seemed to help out. Finally kept some ramen down and after about an hour, headed into the night back to Prescott and Whiskey Row. 

    Leaving Skull Valley

    On the return trip I had a couple episodes of dry heaving, but nothing too significant for me. I hooked up with friends Danelle and Margaret. Margaret was running strong but was already having trouble with blisters.  Let me tell you, 250 miles can really cause havoc to your feet.  I came into Whiskey Row just as the sun was coming up. Here I planned to take my first nap. My crew grabbed a Freak Brothers pizza for me at the AS and we headed to the RV. Once in the RV, I changed into fresh clothes, got in bed and ate half a pizza washing it down with a beer. While eating I used Normatec Boots for 15 minutes on a light setting to massage out my legs. I set my alarm for two hours, but woke up after one hour. As I would find out over the remainder of the week, one hour of sleep was my sweet spot. I naturally woke up at the one hour mark every time I laid down.

    Pizza, beer & nap at Whiskey Row

    DAY 2:           60+/- miles Whiskey Row to Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

    Whiskey Row – Prescott

    I started off this section solo. I enjoyed taking pictures through the Dells around Lake Watson and then headed out through Prescott Valley towards Mingus Mountain. 

    The Dells

    At this point the tops of my feet and ankles were getting very itchy. I picked up Marsha, my first pacer at Iron King (mi 92) and we discovered that I had a pretty good rash going. Thankfully the next AS was crew accessible and not too far away. While we pushed on, my crew bought some cortisone cream that I was able to apply later. I kept using it a few times a day and my rash completely went away during the race. 

    Pacer 1 – Marsha French

    I had Marsha pace me in two different sections of the race. During our training in the Grand Canyon, we discovered that her knee would swell on any downhill running, so I kept her for only uphill and flat sections. This section we climbed up Mingus Mountain. After Day 1, my stomach was rock solid. Aravaipa was providing Gnarly as its electrolyte drink and I discovered that my system loved it. From Day 2 on, I would consume gallons and gallons of Gnarly.  Pro Meal Bars also worked really well. I would use them as a boost before any long extended climb.  Pro Meal Bars were key before Mingus Mountain, Schnebly Hill and Mt Elden. 

    Great lasagna at Mingus Mountain

    At the top of Mingus, I was able to meet crew again. To the jealously of most other runners, I got a foot massage while consuming lasagna and coffee.  I started seeing a lot of carnage at this AS. Some runners hadn’t slept yet and were feeling the hours on feet. On the other hand, I felt great and was running happy. That would continue most of the race (foreshadow to Mt Elden). Dinner at Mingus was a great reset and I proceeded into the second night on my own back down the mountain.   The next 26 miles to Dead Horse Ranch was the biggest and steepest drop of the course. It dropped down about 5000 feet. As I came into Dead Horse, I started to feel the lactic acid build up and muscle breakdown. I am not sure when I noticed, but after this section, I had some blood in my urine and alerted me to the possible start of rhabdomyolysis. I took my second one hour nap at Dead Horse after loading up on mashed potatoes and another break in the Normatec boots.

    DAY 3:                       +/-30 miles Dead Horse Ranch State Park to Sedona.

    Day 3! Dead Horse Ranch State Park

    I picked up Marsha again as a pacer. I would have pacers for the rest of the course.  I let her know that I was having some concern of muscle breakdown and we were going to take today easy and focus on hydration. This was the hottest section of the course, being fully exposed and traveling towards Sedona, but as a Phoenician, being in the mid-80s I was pretty comfortable.

    Coming into Sedona

    This day went well, but we did have a little trouble with navigation coming into the AS. Unfortunately, Marsha’s phone died, so I was in charge of finding our way with the GPS on my phone. Lack of sleep probably didn’t help our cause. We were on the right course, but kept second guessing ourselves which added an extra hour to the route and some panic attacks for my pacer. We weren’t the only runners that were confused in this section though and we all finally made it in. I originally was going to push through another 30 miles before a nap, but with the previous blood in my pee and getting disorientated, I decided to rest.  By this time, the crew had our routine down. Fresh clothes, eat, massage and one hour nap. 

    DAY 4:                       +/-43 miles Sedona to Munds Park. Waking up fresh, I picked up Daniel my next pacer. Dan is fairly new to ultrarunning, just joining the community about 2 years ago during COVID and is an abundance of enthusiasm. What a great person to have on the team.

    Daniel Davis – Pacer 2

    He was getting coached by Corrine Malcolm on how to crew/pace me and was so funny. He was very strict. I had to eat or drink every 15 minutes no exception. Prior to this day I had been constipated, but things started moving through me now. The previous section was also a success on hydration. My pee was clear and I felt improvement from the muscle breakdown in my legs. Climbing up Schnebly Hill was one of my favorite sections and coming into Munds Park I got the initial feeling like we were close to Flagstaff and nearing the end.

    Munds Turnaround & Bib Punch

    There was a 15 mile out/back at Munds Park and I took naps before and after. This was probably more than I needed, but I forced myself to take the second nap knowing we were approaching the final 100k of the race and I wanted to finish strong.

    Finishing Munds Park out and back

    DAY 5:                       +/-62 miles Munds Park to Flagstaff.  Here I picked up Erica whose was supposed to be my final pacer. This would adjust later, when one of my best friends Shannon surprised me to pace the last 21 miles of the race. 

    Flagstaff, AZ

    Erica and I have been trading pacing gigs for several years, so running with her is so comfortable. I originally met Erica and Daniel through the Ginger Runner, a fantastic global online community of trail runners. Erica and I usually don’t talk much between races, but then have 12-24 hours to catch up with everything in our lives. I was continuing to have fun on the course.  It was really hard to believe I was traveling through Day 5 and I still felt good. I had a few blisters on my baby toes and heels, but nothing that needed addressing.  Before I knew it, we were at Fort Tuthill. Chris Thornley of Squirrels Nut Butter came out to greet me, which gave me a moral boost. He also warned me of the high winds and freezing temps to come at Mt Elden. Eric Senseman had traveled through that section the previous night and gave him good intel.

    RV Camp & Crew at Fort Tuthill

     I had pasta and meatballs for lunch and laid down for my last nap of the race.  On the subject of food, my typical diet is very lean, no red meat, little dairy, mostly fish and avocados for fats. At Cocodona I turned that on its head, my goal was to eat all the fats, protein and food that I never usually eat. Some big training days for this race, I learned my body really needed the extra fats to perform. From day 2 on, I constantly snacked on bacon or beef jerky and through the race ate most everything offered to me. Fats were my friend. 

    Erica Rackley pacing me in to Walnut Canyon

    Coming into Walnut Canyon, with 21 miles to go, I was focused and energized and wanted to power it into the finish.  Shannon was supposed to pace our friend Chuck during this section, but Chuck’s race ended at Sedona and Shannon was fresh and ready to go.

    Shannon McQuaid – final pacer pulling me through the struggles at Mt Elden

    We headed out from Marble Canyon around 5:30 pm and could see Mt Elden in the distance. Maybe I had too much adrenaline starting this section, because once the sun went down I crashed hard. I was struggling to stay awake and I felt like I was on drugs. My hope was that once I started climbing Elden, breathing hard would wake me up. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I told Shannon I was tripping. She said to use my poles more. My answer was, “not that kind of tripping!” The Mt Elden climb was seriously the most miserable experience. I moved pretty swiftly the first half of the mountain, but as we approached the second half, wind gusts were around 70 mph. Between sleep walking, the wind and being on a sheer cliff, Shannon had to keep one hand on my pack so I wouldn’t fall off the mountain. I went pretty primal during that section. I wasn’t able to speak, only growl. However, I do think I yelled “Fuck You Jamil” somewhere along the way.  We tried to make it to the aid station, but finally had to stop under a tree to layer up. Temps dropped 30-40 degrees and with the wind, both of us were hypothermic. Once in the AS, I inhaled a burger and coffee and we left making our final 8 mile descent to the finish.

    Cocodona 250 Finish Line
    250 Miles Done

    Cocodona 250 – Finish Line 112:08:43 minutes (4 days 16 hours)

    90th overall; 19th female; 3rd age group

    Thank you again to my amazing crew! I really couldn’t have made this journey without you all. And to the peeps following along online with the livestream, especially all of the GR Crew, I loved hearing your messages and your energy gave me that extra boost at the end when I needed it.

    Deb’s Cocodona Crew: Marsh French (Crew Captain/Pacer), Darcy Swanson (RV Captain), Daniel Davis (Pacer-not in pic), Erica Rackley (Pacer) & Shannon McQuaid (Pacer).


    • Pack – Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta 5.0
    • Shoes – Hoka Speedgoat 4 & Hoka Evo Speedgoat
    • Poles – Black Diamond Z-Poles
    • Tops – rabbit EZ-Tee short sleeve & long sleeve. Columbia Silver Ridge Lit Long-Sleeves (UPF 40)
    • Gloves – Buff Solar Glove (UPF 40+)
    • Bandana – Nathan RunCool Ice Bandana
    • Buffs & Visors – rabbit
    • Coolibar UPF 50+ Trailhead Hat Drape
    • Socks – Injinji
    • Shorts – Lululemon Hotty Hot Low-Rise Lined Short 4″
    • Waist Belt – CamelBak Ultra Running Hydration Belt, 17oz
    • Waist Light – Kogolla Ultra Trail Light
    • Backup Head Lamp – Petzel Actik
    • Sunglasses – Goodr
    • Gaiter – Dirty Girl Gaiters
    • Anti-chaffe – Squirrels Nut Butter & Happy Toes
    Lots of Happy Toes kept my feet in great shape!
    All the gear…and back up gear!