Ultramarathoners walk with poles in wooded area

Freshman Mateo Sanchez DeLope, left, connected with UC Davis alum Simon Han ’20 during the race. (Courtesy photo)

An Amazing Race

by | Jun 16, 2023 | Student Stories

UC Davis freshman Mateo Sanchez DeLope wrestled in high school and sought an equally intense challenge in college. This past April, he competed in a 100-mile Canyons Endurance Race in Auburn, California, where he finished in just under 30 hours.

Despite the intensity of the race, Sanchez DeLope said he didn’t do much endurance running prior to his first year of college. His high school wrestling background gave him a lot of mental preparation skills. 

“Over the summer before I got to Davis, I ran a marathon with no training,” he recalled. “I just put on my shoes and ran one, just to see if I could do it.”

Sanchez DeLope started training for the Canyons Endurance Race in November 2022, starting with an online plan and then utilizing an online coach in the couple of months leading up to his race. He ran all around Davis, and practiced hill running on the weekends he went home to the Bay Area.

“I ran pretty much everywhere there is to run in Davis,” said Sanchez DeLope. “Sometimes I’d take the train home and run in the mountains over the weekends, just to get some hill running in.”

Throughout the nearly 30 hours Sanchez DeLope spent in the race, he said he didn’t sleep once. He mentioned the importance of constantly running, and he ran or jogged for most of the race. 

“With these kinds of events, you have to be moving as much as possible,” Sanchez Delope said. “If you sleep you might get some really good rest, but you’ll just be really tired afterward.”

Sanchez DeLope even connected with a UC Davis alum during the race. He met Simon Han ’20 on miles 80 through 82, and then again during the final stretches of the race. “We met again with 3 miles to go in the race, and we were just like, ‘let’s get it done together,’” he said. 

Sanchez DeLope said he was high in spirits during and after the race. He plans to run another ultramarathon in October and has signed up for four more events in 2024.