Local runner featured in documentary after 340-mile journey - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local runner featured in documentary after 340-mile journey

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Step after Step. 
And mile after mile.


Nora Bird is not your average runner, but an ultra runner, where racers go for any distance over the standard marathon of 26.2 miles.

Seven years ago, Bird got hooked on ultra marathons, competing in at least four a year.  

"It's sort of like the ultimate challenge," Nora Bird explained. "I feel you're really trying to get to that point when you feel like you can't go any further and then realizing that you're capable of so much more and then you just keep going further and further."

This past March, the Muscoda native set her sights on an epic and crazy adventure. Teaming up with five other runners, the all-female team known as Birdstrike, raced against the clock in The Speed Project --- a two day, 340 mile race straight through Death Valley. 

"It was basically running from L.A. and the Santa Monica Pier all the way to the Las Vegas sign. This company that I'm associated with, Oiselle, said there's never been a female team to do this, so I said let's do it."

Running straight through the day and into the night, the six women became the subject of a short documentary --- called "Birdstrike vs. The Speed Project".

The grueling race was captured from start to finish by Wondercamp Films, which showed the women's challenge to become the first all-female team to complete the course. 

Even after one of their runners dropped out of the race due to injury and dehydration, the remaining five vowed to not give up.

Around 1:30 a.m., Birdstrike crossed the finish line as the first all female team to conquer the Speed Project.

"It was definitely emotional,' Nora said, tears coming to her eyes even now, months after the race. 

"Just to finish, like, all together, like as a team...you share something that is so primal and so raw, you just, you can't explain it."

Birdstrike finished seventh out of 20 teams, but first out of the three all-female teams in the competition, with a time of 44 hours, 27 minutes and 11 seconds.

You can view the powerful documentary below. 

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