Blog: Another Running Milestone for William Greer

Laura Perna with William Greer
CTD Staff

March 17, 2016

When William Greer, CTD's Film Fest Coordinator & IT Specialist, casually announced to our staff that he would be running an ultramarathon, we all responded with our customary gapes and exclamations of disbelief. William had already established himself as the premiere athlete in our office, having run 13 marathons in the past 6 years. 26.2 miles seemed incredible enough, and he wants to do more!?

Indeed, fellow runners had suggested ultramarathons to William since 2012, and while he was initially resistant, the idea started to sink in. This year he decided to enter an ultramarathon, the Prickly Pear 50K/ 10 mile Trail Race, and this weekend, he'll head out to San Antonio for his first 50K (31.06 miles).


I sat down with William to see what exactly what this run is going to entail, and why on earth he would sign up for such a thing. Here's what I learned:

Unlike marathons, which are uniformly 26.2 miles in length, ultramarathons can vary from 30 to 50 to 100 miles, and (stick with me, non-runners) even longer. The longer distance lends itself to a different kind of pace, which typically includes walking breaks and even medical checkups. The water stops are also farther apart and include food, such as granola and bananas. In addition, the Prickly Pear vibe is a bit more relaxed and less competitive than what William has seen at marathons.

Two men stand in front of a CTD banner, one with a reserved expression, the other smiling at the camera.

Like many ultramarathons, the Prickly Pear will be a trail run, taking place on a dirt trail, rather than pavement. This is supposed to be a bit easier on the body, but may be trickier to navigate because of uneven terrain.

As with his marathons in Boston, California, and Chicago, William will be using a sighted guide to help him through the course. Through a mutual runner friend, William connected with Ty Reagan, a seasoned trail runner and sighted guide (right, Ty stopped by CTD's office for a visit with Will). Having already done several practice runs together in the Austin area, William is ready to hit the trail this weekend and see what the ultramarathon experience is all about.

Update: William finished third in his age division! Not bad for his first 50K! Check out KEYE's coverage of William & Ty's preparation for run.


A woman with short hair and green glasses smiles.


About Laura

Laura manages CTD's communications, including reports and member outreach, as well as co-coordinates the Pen 2 Paper Creative Writing Competition, which she founded in 2010. Read full bio


A man in a suit jacket gives a half-smile.


About William

William began working with CTD as a volunteer in 2003 and has since joined the full time staff. He founded the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival in 2004. Read full bio



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