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state. He’s considered one of the best ultrarunners in Topeka, according to several area runners. Prioritizing is crucial to his success on and off the trails. He balances his intense training schedule with work as an operator at Jeffrey Energy Center and time spent with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Tristan and Isabel, which, as is the case for many of his fellow trail runners, can at times be more challenging than the sport itself. Though Wakefield hopes to complete a 100-miler someday, he actually prefers the shorter 50Ks and even 50-milers, where he’s had the most success. In eight years of competition, Wakefield has run 33 ultramara-

thons and placed first in seven of them, second in 10 and third in three. In 2007, Wakefield won the grueling 3 Days of Syllamo, a race held in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas that involves a 50K the first day, a 50-miler the second and a 25K the last day. Despite his success, Wakefield’s favorite reward has nothing to do with winning. “The thing that keeps me motivated is just that over the years I’ve made a lot of really good friends. I keep coming back season after season just because I want to see my friends again. It’s my little clique that I hang out with, so I get in shape and run a half dozen races a year as an excuse to hang out with my friends.”

Topeka Magazine Spring 2009  

Topeka Magazine Spring 2009