Going many extra miles

WEST MILFORD. Renee Allegra of Hewitt competes in ultramarathons.

| 10 Jul 2024 | 08:15

Renee Allegra of Hewitt completed an ultramarathon race in May at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta.

The race was 101 miles and runners had 48 hours. Allegra finished in 36 hours.

Any race with a distance longer than a traditional marathon (slightly more than 26 miles) is considered an ultramarathon.

Allegra has been competing in them since 2017.

She was on the West Milford High School cross country team for four years and captain during her junior and senior years. She joined the cross country team at Bergen County Community College when she enrolled there.

After taking time off from running while she was struggling with addiction, she began to run again in 2015.

Allegra is now 15 years in recovery.

She belongs to a local group called Sassquad Trail Running. “Trail running is a healthy habit,” she explained.

She runs in various events, ranging from 5 kilometers to 100 miles, and in timed events, where the goal is to reach a number of miles in a certain timeframe.

The event at the Sussex County Fairgrounds was called 3 Days at the Fair and was put together by New Jersey Trail Series. It was held May 17-19.

She ran the looped course with her friend Christopher Sobel of Clifton. This was his first 100-mile race.

It was very hot, Allegra recalled. She completed the first 51 miles in 10 hours, then became sick and needed to rest. When she felt a little better, she started walking, then began to run again.

Her wife, Ashley, and her parents, Ken and Lisa Perry, were there to support her.

“I always run with feathers in my hair to bring awareness to MMIW, missing and murdered indigenous women, to honor my Native American heritage,” she said.

Allegra works full time as a veterinary technician in Pequannock.

She regularly runs 20 miles with seven rescue dogs to get to work at 3 a.m. She also trains with them.