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Careth Arnold Has a Secret Weapon 

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Herbert Krabel

By: Herbert Krabel

Herbert Krabel grew up in Southern Germany but now resides on the East Coast of the USA with his wife Amy and his 11-year-old twin sons. He raced mountain bikes professionally in the early 90s and then explored triathlon for a few years. More recently he found a passion for trail running, unique ultra-distance races and locations, and SwimRun. He also loves art, architecture, and European chocolates.

Careth Arnold did not go to Auburn, California in late April to hunt for a Golden Ticket, she just wanted to see how she would measure up against that impressive field assembled at the Canyons Endurance Run by UTMB 100 kilometer. How did she stack up? Running 10:38 and change, Careth more than stacked up, she ran her way to a 4th place finish. In an event where Golden Tickets can roll down to 5th place, a week after the race Careth found out that runner-up Emkay Sullivan turned down the ticket, suddenly giving her the option to run the historic Western States 100-mile. Racing Western States was something she had considered for the distant future… but she did not think it would be only weeks away. 

“I was surprised. I really did not have much expectation. I intended to decline the ticket due to my preconceived summer race plans as well as my intention to pace and crew my sister-in-law Lotti Brinks. It took me about 4 days to decide that I wanted to take the ticket. It was a challenging decision, but I am convinced now this is what I want. It’s too hard a race to get into- I could not dismiss this opportunity.”

Careth Arnold racing in Arizona.

Careth had indeed planned to be part of Lotti Brinks’ crew after Lotti earned her own Golden Ticket by winning the Grindstone 100km back in September – but now the sisters-in-law will get to toe the start line together at the end of June. Only a few small details, like assembling her own crew to tidy up – she is however convinced that Lotti will not have any issues finding crew members to take her space. 

“I am very excited. Lotti is an exceptional athlete and I have been blessed to train with her in a variety of seasons. I think it’s truly amazing that we managed to both get tickets this year and that we will share the course together. We are both very competitive and we love a good challenge. We did plan to crew Lotti, but she has an awesome support group of runners and friends that can replace us. Both our husbands, Derek and Aaron will be cheering us on but not responsible for crewing us. They like it better that way, less pressure and more fun for them.”

Careth and her family spent most of 2024 living on the road, which included a big move across the country and thus almost did not start at Canyons. If you look at her UltraSignup you’d likely miss that the talented runner is 7 months postpartum, Careth hasn’t missed a beat since coming onto many of our radars after her phenomenal 3rd place finish at the Bandera 100km in January of 2023.

“I am 7-months postpartum, and I really just wanted to see where my body was at. We were in Florida for January and February renovating our property to sell with the intention to move permanently to the West. We sold and drove out West in March. It has been a lot of bouncing around, and with two small children, it’s been tiring. In honesty I doubted my decision to line up at Canyons, but now I am happy I did.” 

Careth lept with both feet into 2024

As the mother of two young kids, priorities have changed for Careth Arnold but she has shown that it is possible to be a mother and still remain competitive. There is something incredible about our sport, because while each situation is unique, there are a growing number of professional female athletes at the top of our sport several of whom will be fighting for top-ten finishes at Western States.

“Finding time to train and recover is tricky. Most of my training occurs between 5am and 8am. Recovery and sleep are minimal. Rest days do not exist. I find rest in my easy runs when I get to be out in the quiet air and hear myself think. But I do think being a mother has taught me a deeper dimension to the term endurance.”  

With Western States around the corner, I was curious how much time she took off post Canyons:

“There are no days off as a mother. I did take a few days of a break from running but the day after the race I was quite active packing us up for the next leg of our journey- carrying luggage up and down the stairs from our Airbnb back into our travel trailer with my 7-month-old strapped to me. My legs were sore, but they didn’t have the opportunity to whine about it.” 

Traveling and juggling a lot was something Careth was born into. Born in Thailand after her parents had moved there as missionaries, and stayed longer than expected, is where she spent the first 15 years of her life. Careth can still speak Thai and she has quite the story about her birth. 

“Shiloh’s [her second daughter] birth was a wild ride. I birthed her myself at home prior to my midwife showing up. However, my own birth was a bit more wild. I was born in a taxi, stuck in Bangkok traffic. My dad delivered me in the back seat,” she remembered.

Careth Arnold is definitely a free spirit

Curious about how Careth has managed to renovate a property, wrangle two young daughters, and move across the country in 2024 – where did training fit into this puzzle? Her weekly run mileage rarely exceeds 90 miles and she said that she will likely cut her mileage back about 1.5 weeks before Western States. She does some cross-training as time allows and that includes cycling, hiking, yoga, and strength work. 

“Currently I am coached by Nicole Monette. I reached out to her a few months ago and we have been working together since. She is a hard-working mother, physical therapist, and exceptional ultra-runner. I am blessed to be guided by her.” 

We wanted to know if she had any final thoughts as she gets ready for her 100-mile debut at WSER at the end of the month.

“I am a true believer in prayer. It’s my secret weapon.”

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