PILSEN — When most of the city is asleep at 4 a.m., Edna Jackeline Vazquez Núñez is already hitting the pavement — when else would she have time to train for a 100-mile race?
By day, Vazquez is a certified running coach and boxing instructor at her Pilsen gym, Vive Healthy Sport and Nutrition at 965 W. 18th St. On weekends, she’s training on trails in Illinois and Wisconsin, preparing for her next ultramarathon.
Generally, an ultramarathon is any long-distance running race longer than a traditional marathon of 26.2 miles or about 42 kilometers. Vazquez said she’s run a variety of races, from a 50K to 100 miles.
But Vazquez’s biggest triumph was in 2016 when she became the first Mexican-American to complete The 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series, a set of four 250-kilometer races in seven days in some of the world’s most grueling deserts: the Atacama in Chile, the Gobi in Mongolia, the Namib in Namibia and the Last Desert in…