Using inspiration to finish the race


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Local fitness enthusiast Trey Tompkins, owner of Horizon Athletics, crossed the finish line of the Georgia Death Race on Saturday, March 25.

The highly rigorous Georgia Death Race stretches up to 74 miles from Vogel State Park all the way to Amicalola Falls State Park with up to 28,000 to 40,000 feet of elevation change. Only meticulously trained individuals with serious ambition are able to participate in those extremities. Runners are also expected to carry a one pound railroad spike throughout the entire race.

Tompkins went above and beyond the limits to overcome this race.

Why did Tompkins decide to participate initially?

“When I first heard about this race, I thought it was too crazy for me,” Tompkins said, “but then I started seeing people on social media doing it and I felt inspired to train for it.”

After Tompkins underwent intense training which began last July and ended just before his race, he claimed that he felt he was more than ready to join the race.

However, just after the midway mark at 40 completed miles, Tompkins was faced with a stumbling block when he accidentally left his railroad spike at one of the aid stops. Tompkins finished around three miles before he quickly realized, and decided to turn back around.

“The spike symbolizes burden,” said Tompkins. “We carry them throughout the race so that at the end we can take off that symbolic weight.”

The athletics trainer then ran a total of six extra miles to retrieve the spike, putting him behind.

When asked why Tompkins decided to go back for the spike, he claimed, “I wanted to feel like I truly finished the race, and if I showed up to the finish line without the spike, I might feel like I didn’t really achieve that.”

How did Tompkins overcome?

“I held on to my inspiration,” he humbly claimed. “But really I have my sister, Tiffany, to thank for being there at the aid stops, throughout the entire race. She encouraged me and made sure I was hydrated and refueled.”

Tompkins also said that he had people watching him race on Facebook live, and that their support kept him motivated to finish the race. He said, “it made me happy to know people were following along.”

According to Tompkins, just before runners can get to the finish line, they have to step through a creek bed. He claims that when he finally reached the creek after running for 19 consecutive hours, he felt “relieved.”

When the race was nearing its end, Tompkins said, “The closer I got to the finish line, the further it felt away. It wasn’t until my feet hit the water that I felt like I had finished the race.”

How did Tompkins feel when the race was finally over?

“I was very proud of myself,” he said giddily, “and I was so glad to have my sister there with me.”

Tompkins said he’s already planning on coming back to finish the Georgia Death Race again in 2024.

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