I’m Fueling Hope: Wallace Pluta II

Running a single marathon is a lifetime goal for many amateur runners and the proverbial weekend fitness warriors. For those a little more venturesome, tackling a daunting “ultramarathon” (anything more than the traditional 26.2 miles, often through tougher, trail-based terrain) might be added to the list. Significantly more rare are those individuals who are up to the task of completing MULTIPLE ultramarathons. Fewer yet, are the hardy souls with the physical and mental fortitude to run multiple ultras in the same year.

Meet Wallace Pluta II of Grand Blanc, Michigan, who completed THREE ultras…in just over the span of four months during 2019.

Now, consider that Wallace, who has suffered seizures for most of his life, is just six years removed from a daunting neurosurgery and subsequent treatment and recovery from a meningioma brain tumor that left him with physical and cognitive impairments.

So, when radiation treatments were complete and he began to regain some confidence in his physical and mental abilities, Wallace resolved to work his way back to his pre-diagnosis shape.

“I wanted to know my true limits,” says Wallace. “That is when ultra running first entered my mind. I ran my first ultra in June of 2017 and what I have come to realize since then, is that I don’t have any limits, I am capable of anything!”

Wallace knows that he may not always reach his race goals, but has come to embrace the knowledge that he’s fortunate to have the opportunity to return to conquer his goals in the future; a future that wasn’t always necessarily a certainty.

Wallace’s three ultras in four months feat began in May at the Bryce Canyon 50-miler in Utah, continued at the Squamish 50km in British Columbia, Canada, and ended with the limit-testing, 24-hour crucible that is the Bear Lake Ultra event in Lapeer, MI in September.

Notably, Wallace was running for more than himself, as all these limit-testing events were under the umbrella of the National Brain Tumor Society’s Gray Nation Endurance Program, raising awareness and money (more than $16,000) for brain tumor research.

Wallace is FUELING AWARENESS & HOPE by demonstrating that you don’t have to let a brain tumor define who you are and what you are capable of accomplishing.


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