March 27th, 2021 is a date I won’t soon forget.

My alarm went off at 4:30 am and I got dressed, ate a honey stinger waffle, and headed out the door at 5 am to start round one of the Yeti Challenge. Yup, I somehow managed to sign up to run 5 miles every 4 hours for 24 hours. I’m not sure why I went along with this plan.

But, I kept going out every 4 hours to do my 5 miles and I ended the night at 2 am with 30 miles under my belt. I then went and got my first vaccine shot. It was an eventful 24 hours!

I was a bit worried that the Yeti Challenge would be extremely difficult. Multiple runs spread out over the day sounded daunting. I decided to do easy runs for each round to make sure I could last all day. After each round, I walked a bit, stretched, and refueled. 

All the clothes

The food was the hardest part.

You want to be careful what you eat between rounds. You don’t want anything too heavy or to eat too much but you also need to refuel because you have to go back out again in a few hours. It’s quite the balance. I tried to make sure to get enough simple carbs between rounds. I ended up eating about the same amount of calories as I burned (around 2700). 

I took a nap after the 1 pm round. I was definitely feeling the need. I also slept between the 9 pm round and 1 am. I got a total of maybe 2 hours and 45 minutes during the challenge. Luckily though I was able to push through and do pretty well with limited sleep.

Each round took me about an hour. I saved it for my last round because I wanted to finish and have time to drive to the vaccine site. The Yeti adrenaline, my playlist, nuun, and a honeystinger waffle powered me through the hour and 20 minutes it took to get through. I got home and slept maybe an hour or so before my dog woke me up. Coffee. I drank a lot of coffee after that.

I tried not to sleep too much the next day (28th). Of course I took a nap in the afternoon but made myself stay up until normal bed time. Monday was tough at work but not too bad. 

So, I guess technically I am an ultrarunner. I feel like a bit of an imposter. I don’t feel I can call myself an ultrarunner because I didn’t run 30 miles continuously. I had breaks between. I rested and ate and then went back out. I took 24 hours to finish. My total run time was 6 hours and 9 minutes. 

I am glad I did the Yeti Challenge. Will I ever do something like that again? Nope. I don’t mind the breaks between runs. I kind of enjoyed doing 5 miles then 5 miles. The part I won’t do is the 24 hours plus part. That part sucks. I felt tired for a couple of days after. And it basically took my whole weekend. It was difficult to do things between rounds and then Sunday I was so tired I just wanted to sit on the couch. 

Have you ever done the Yeti Challenge? What did you like and/or dislike? If haven’t done one yet, would you?


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.