Mannie Zubia, from Chino, California, was one of our incredible Ultrarunner participants in our annual Saddle2Surf Run4Kids Ultra Marathon Event in September of 2023. Our Saddle2Surf event is an ultramarathon from our National Office in Norco, CA, to Huntington Beach, CA – 50 miles there and 100 miles back. The race raises money for 100 Mile Club kids across the nation. Mannie completed the 100 Miler Sub 20 in under 20 hours.
Mannie explained that his running journey started when he was in the Army in 2009. After his first marathon, he got into Ultra racing to test his limits and see how far he could push himself. Mannie came across the Saddle2Surf race and realized the date coincided with the passing of his cousin, Richard Merced. He knew he wanted to do something special for the 2nd anniversary of his passing, so when Mannie saw the challenge, he accepted wholeheartedly. “He’s buried in the City of Norco and I figured why not run 100 miles for him with my family by my side,” Mannie shared. The race became much more than running – it became a special homage to the fearless legacy of Richard Merced.
Mannie trained for five months, specifically for Saddle2Surf, to finish 100 miles in under 20 hours.
His training plan had him covering over 70-90 miles per week, six days a week. Mannie’s crew was composed of his fantastic family members and friends who met him at each aid station along his 100 mile journey. In his documentary, “NO BAD DAYS,” on YouTube, the support and love that comes from his crew is palpable. “I wanted to bring my family together, instead of feeling emotional about him not being here…let’s do something special for him,” Mannie shared in the documentary. Mannie’s aunt Lupe can be seen in the documentary giving a heartfelt thank you to Mannie for “giving her the greatest gift…doing this race for Richard.” His crew’s constant cheers and affirmations are a sentimental reminder of how much this race meant to the entire family.
Mannie donned a green flag on his back while he finished the race with a photo of his cousin Richard and the phrase, “No Bad Days.” The expression signifies, “Each day above ground is a good day.” His inspiring story is a testament to living life to the fullest.
Mannie’s advice to young 100 Mile Club runners is to continue to push your limits. Never settle for what you can do; go for what seems impossible. He explains how fantastic running is for the heart and mind and how great it is that young runners can improve their cardiovascular health while having fun at the same time. Mannie is also an advocate for kidney donations. He donated his kidney to his mother in 2016 and encouraged others to do the same for those in need.
❤️ Thank you, Mannie, for being a 100 Mile Club Ultra Champion! ❤️