Running Ultramarathons and getting the most out of them

Max King, world class runner offered 6 tips to finish your first ultramarathon.  His insight on training, nutrition, back to back running, pre-race homework, running gear and making no promises is spot on and a great read.

I cannot add to Max’s insight on how to get the best performance at your first ultra, but I wanted to offer my thoughts on getting the most out of your first ultramarathon “experience.”   I went into my first ultra, a 24 hour race with ZERO ultra-experience, no ultra-running friends, and no support system on race day.  I was a lone wolf without the benefits of the pack.  I left that first race with a new personal long distance record, 52.5 miles but more importantly I left with a ton of knowledge, some experience, new friends and a running mentor.

24hr2012(From my first Ultra I brought home more
than tired/sore feet and a wooden trophy)

  1. Talk to other runners – Unless you ‘re gunning for a race win or some other milestone, an ultra is the perfect place to learn a few things and make new friends.  The slower pace and longer distances provide the perfect backdrop to talk to other runners.  It might be during a pitstop, or when you meet up with a group running the same pace. Whenever the opportunity comes up ask about their past experiences, favorite races, and lessons learned.  Not only will this help the time and miles fly bye but it will also make you that much smarter, better prepared for your next ultra.  I entered my first ultra a complete rookie. I was unprepared (knowledge wise) and knew very little on how I was going to get thru the day.  I left much smarter…many of the lessons I learned came from the conversations I had during the race.
  1. Spend time with the Race Director – If time allows (after all the RD is pretty busy during the event) spend a few minutes thanking and chatting with the RD.  Most RD are veteran runners who have a world of information to share.  Many love to invest in new runners and enjoy seeing new people succeed in a sport they love.  During my first 24 hour race, the RD ran a few laps during the middle to later stages of the race and I was fortunate to run a few miles with him.  I gleaned a ton of information, gained a running mentor and made a good friend from this race.
  1. Stop and smell the roses, the sand, the trees, and the wind – Most ultras are run on trails, in city parks or some other type of natural setting.  For many city runners this may be the first time in a long time that your exposed to nature.  Take the time to stop and see the beauty of the natural setting around you.  On one lap in the middle of the night, I noticed for the first time in years the sounds of frogs off in the distance, I saw fireflies dancing in the night and noticed how calm the world is after everyone goes to sleep.  This race took be back to some simpler days…
  1. Help someone else when they may be struggling – Everyone has a low point during a really long race.  No matter your talent level if you see someone struggling take the time to lift them up.  A smile, a kind word or talk them thru a low point and the reward you achieve when they finish is better than any trophy.  During one particular race I was hurting myself, when I came upon a young lady who was moving pretty slow.  Ignoring the pain I was in I took the time to introduce myself, offered a few words of encouragement and told her as long as she was moving she was still in the game.  A mile or so later we said goodbye and I moved on.  Later in the night I saw her a few more times she was looking much better and even smiling.  After the race out of nowhere she came up to me and told me because of my kind words she kept going.  To me it wasn’t much, to her it helped her to keep moving.
  1. Be flexible – Going into my Ultras I normally have three goals, an A goal (best case time/mileage), B goal (fall back goal, normally slightly slower/shorter than my A Goal), and my C Goal…to simply finish.  I would like to say I’m tough enough to always battle thru to make my A goal, but a marathon is a long way and many things can change.  An ultra is a much longer race and a world of things can set the best laid plans, training and hopes astray.  You can’t let a missed goal ruin the whole race.  I went into my first ultra thinking I could run 100 miles in 24 hours, it looked easy on paper…and I had a plan.  Well that plan fell apart early on and I had to adjust.  In the end I was so very happy to have logged 52.5 miles in my first ever ultramarathon.  I came home sore, and a winner.  Without adjusting my goals, I may have been defeated and never toed an ultramarathon starting line again.

run24(I tried to keep a smile,
even when it rained for 19 HOURS)

  1. Keep Smiling – No matter how bad your race is going, your still alive and running.  Always remember there are millions of people who wish they could do what you’re doing at that moment in time.  Instead they are trapped in hospital rooms, tied to medicine bottles, starting chemo, in battles with their own minds or worst saying goodbye to this world and farewell to their loved ones.  No matter what smile when you run, because someone wishes they could. 

11124485_1008632309147925_5967563728340585244_n(A lot of good friends in this picture, #Run4Life)

The ultrarunning community has made me the runner I am today.  Without the support and advice of other runners, without the help and friendship of my mentor George, without smelling the roses, without the victory of others, without new goals and without my smile…I would have been a beaten hulk of a runner.  But today I’m an UltraRunner and a better human being.

Julbo Eyewear, Sunglasses – Ultra Marathon Protection – Running Eyewear

Julbo Eyewear, Sunglasses – Ultra Marathon Protection – Running Eyewear

73-20160206-423(Setting my half marathon PR in my Julbo Sunglasses)

Very few things in my running kit are worry free. Are the batteries in my GPS going to last? Did I mix my recovery drink correctly? Will my shorts or shirt chaff?

The one thing I don’t have to worry about are my Julbo sunglasses.

I’ve wore my Julbo Venturi, sunglasses on a number of training runs, long runs, a half marathon and the JFK 50 mile ultra marathon and they have proven themselves to be maintenance and worry free.

julbro1

From their website: The Venturi was designed with input from our internationally successful trail running team. They’ll support optimum performance over whatever terrain a run traverses. With a wide field of vision and photochromic Zebra lenses, the Venturi offers a clear path to better mountain vision. Comfortable for long wear with grip temples for hold, these are streamlined and lightweight sunglasses bearing the new 3D Fit Nose for versatile fit.

FIT: I have never been happy with the fit of my sunglasses in the past. And to be honest, I was ready for that again, BUT these babies fit right out of the box. I was very surprised and very happy, Nothing to worry about here. Where sunglasses in the past gave me sore spots if wore to long, I wore these during every mile of the JFK and not contact point pain.

PROTECTION: I’ve worn these during some warm weather runs, windy run and cold weather outings. And as far as my eyes were concerned they knew no different. My eyes normally water during cold or windy days but my Julbro glasses offered such great protection from the wind that I had no watering eyes.

STYLE: These simple sunglasses have more style than I do… I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on how good they look.  I’m no GQ man but that little bit of attention makes this old dude feel good.

julbro

If you struggle with finding the right eyewear to protect your eyes while out on the trails, hiking up a mountain path or simply out on the town give Julbo eyewear a try.

Checkout their website, follow them on Vimeo and Like them on Facebook.

Running, Fast, Flat and on Tobacco Road

Do you want to run fast?

Do you want to set a new personal record, qualify for the Boston Marathon, run a sub four or five hour marathon?  If you have one of these marathon benchmarks on the horizon why not load the deck in your favor to achieve your goals.  To ensure the marathoning odds are in your favor you’ll need a course that is flat, fast and with very few turns.

In my next of the woods, Virginia, North/South Carolina and the surrounding states, the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, North Carolina is the answer.

Course Highlights

  • Full and half marathon run the same course for 2.5 miles to and from the American Tobacco Trail (ATT)
  • Full marathon has 21 miles on the ATT and the half marathon has 8 miles on the ATT
  • Very few hills and a downhill finish help runners achieve their fastest times
  • Minimal turns on paved roads and minimal vehicular traffic on the course
  • Main entrance into USA Baseball Complex at Green Hope School Road is open for easier shuttle and vehicle traffic
  • USA Track & Field (USATF) Certified Courses
    tobaccoroadmarathon10 percent of Tobacco Road Marathon runners qualify for the Boston Marathon; that’s why the event, conducted on the fast, flat American Tobacco Trail is known as a “Boston Qualifier.”  
    I will not be gunning for Boston, my sights are set on my second sub four hour marathon, on March 13th come run with me and set your sights on your personal goals whether that be Boston or beyond.

Running for Life, My Battle Within

A Guest Post by Ken.

Three unexpected words can destroy your life and attack you without compassion or consideration.

Kensstory1

In September of 2015 I took my health and being physically fit for granted.  After all, for the last 22 years the Army has insisted on regular fitness tests, eating well, annual physicals, preventative medical care, and countless opportunities to be active.  So much so that I, like many of my brothers and sisters in arms, embraced leisure fitness as refuge from daily stresses.  At 43 years old, regularly running 5Ks, 10K, and Half Marathons rewarded my hard work and devotion.  As retirement was right around the corner, imagine my shock, to hear three unarguably evil words “YOU HAVE CANCER.” from my Doctor.

When the Grim Reaper unleashes his weapons the devastation that ensues impacts every part of your being.  The universe as you know it implodes into a singularity of compressed fear, anguish, and mortality.  Nothing prepares you.  In a rush tests were run. Radioactive sugars pushed through my body to measure the extent of the cancerous invasion letting my Doctors plan the battle.  The news got worse and the strategy changed compensating for the aggressiveness of my Enemy.  In the span of only five days I transformed from being a Warrior for our country to being a Warrior fighting for my own very life.  My loving wife became my support group forming “Team Ken” deciding then and there this would be a fight to the end with her at my side.  On day six, our first battle lasted nine hours as I lay afraid on the operating table while the surgeons went to war.  There was a victory!  My liver was not invaded after all and could be saved.  Sadly, I lost significant parts of my colon and rectum and gained a lengthy recovery.

Open abdomen surgery is no joke.  My optimism for a speedy recovery never faltered but I accepted the harsh reality of a six to nine month healing process.  The 18 inch scar and all my abdomen muscles (as well as the internal plumbing) began the slow campaign of healing.  Roles became reversed.  My loving wife became my Warrior and caregiver as I sat helpless.  A restricted diet led to shedding 20 pounds that I could scarcely afford to lose.  Simple tasks like getting out of bed, reaching for a glass, or sitting down comfortably seemed impossibly hard and painful.  A full two months passed before the strength returned to simply walk around the block.  By the end of December the ability to lightly jog for about 3 minutes came back.  January saw the return of the highly prized Sit-Up and being able to run lite intervals at a 2min walk/5min run pace!  Confidence was returning along with my strength and hope.

Onward to Victory!  No one goes to war without a plan, to do so would invite disaster.  So here we are, at the New Year and a second chance at living.  I’ve signed up for a 5K in February, walk-or-run, I will cross that finish line.  Victory will be mine.  A 10K in March.  Another Victory.  I plan to run a Half in June. Another (probably painful) Victory.  And by October of 2016, I will cross the finish line of a Full Marathon (probably very slowly).  VICTORY!  CANCER WILL NOT BEAT ME!  The importance of returning to running drives me as much as returning the love from my family back to them for their support.  Running is my Zen that reminds me I am alive.  Each step forward is a Victory.  I suspect that each of us in similar circumstances have found that Zen state to mentally cope with the experience and knowledge that the Grim Reaper is still watching…I am doing everything possible to defeat Him.

Aside from the invasive open surgery I am one of the lucky ones.  My Doctors believe that we won and I stand about an 85% chance of surviving the next five years.  This comes at a cost of continuous surveillance through more testing for signs that the Enemy is re-attacking and the constant fear that I’m not safe and may need Chemotherapy.  Others are not so lucky.  Colorectal Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and is increasingly attacking those of us under 50.  The survival rates drop dramatically the longer colorectal cancer goes undetected.  If recommended for colonoscopy…please don’t hesitate.  It’s painless and you don’t remember a thing…it could save your life too!  For more information visit the Colon Cancer Alliance at www.ccalliance.org.

Kensstory2

About the author:  Ken Haynes is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army originally from Reno, Nevada.  He credits his wife with providing the much needed love, emotional and physical strength needed to fight his cancer.  They currently live in Evans, GA, and are re-planning their retirement.  The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the US Army, Department of Defense or the US Government.

UPDATE: I finally made my over 50 “old man physical” which I have been putting off for 18 months because of this post from Ken….you should too. – Brian

Running the Grand Canyon – An ULTRA Marathon

I’ve often wondered what the first explorers thought when they came across the grand canyon.  At some point that first person had to be making their way to some innocent destination, maybe moving across the country, looking for a new homestead or trying to find some lost cattle, animals or a loved pet. Thier travels would bring them to the edge of the great cavernous landmark. That first person had to stand on the edge of the canyon wall in awe and wonder. They may have also harbored some fear.  How was this get void created and how am I going to get across it.

grandcanyon1

I’ve visited the Grand Canyon once.  In 1991 with my wife, my mother and daughter we stood on the south rim where millions had stood before us and collectively marveled at the shear wonder at the beauty of the place.  Myself, I stared in wonder of the lucky modern day explorers who choose to venture into the canyon.  I stood where millions had, but wanted to go  where only a small percentage had…into the canyon.

elevation-profile grand canyon r2r2r

When I started ultra running, I loved (and still do) reading about different races. These stories  exposed me to adventure runs, 100 mile races and races across the mountains I also learned of runners running the Grand Canyon.  This challenge spoke to me…running the Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim maybe be one of the biggest challenges of my life….and this May myself and a small team of friends are going to just that.  We are going to start on the south Rim and run into the canyon to the Colorado river then proceed to the north rim.  Once there, we will trek back with a goal of completing our adventure in under 16 hours, but anything under 24 hours will be considered a win.

Is this an easy run? At approx. 48 miles with 20,000 feet of elevation change, I would say not.

az-bikepack-2-and-grand-canyon-127

 

 

Running and Life, A Meeting With McFarland USA Coach Jim White

mcfarland-usa

“Do It Anyway” Coach Jim White quoted a few lines from Mother Teresa’s inspiring poem during his morning devotional and motivational talk on the 2016 edition of the KLove cruise.  Coach White talked for 45 minutes sharing his thoughts on life and behind the scene details from the hit Disney movie McFarland USA (2015).  Mr. White also discussed how following his core beliefs, work ethics and his coaching instincts lead him while developing a cross country program to guiding his teams to Nine California state cross country championships.

Sitting down in the front row of an expansive theater with my wife, Michele, we listened to Coach White intently.  To be honest I wanted to hear his story of faith and equally I wanted to gain some of his insight on running and training.  I wanted to be a better man and a better runner.  I left with an improved insight on life.

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

Coach reasoned that he believed a key to his and the team success was grounded on that he viewed the members of his cross country team as more than just runners.  In White’s eyes the boys were more than a simple means  to an end and more than a group of troubled teenage boys in a depressed community.  Although coming from the other side of the tracks, Jim saw and respected each runner, each student and each family as unique and valuable people.  In suit he treated them that way, he got to know them, their families, their culture and their struggles.  Some within the school district and community at large questioned his motives, questioned his thought process on building up the person first and his team second.  He did it anyway.

The movie McFarland USA depicts the success of his team and their championship season of 1987 perfectly with a gripping and captivating storyline.  Although coach related that “there are some “Hollywood” additions to the story to make it more appealing on a wider scale.”  I’ll cover more on that subject later in this post.

“If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.”

With the success of the McFarland team the community gained allot of positive attention the team also gained some opposition, Mr. White explained.  As the nine championships began to add up the surrounding school districts, many with much larger populations and talent pools, wanted the much smaller school of McFarland to compete at a higher divisional ranking then their admission numbers supported.  Coach White could not stop this un-leveling of the field, so the McFarland cross country team won more championships anyway.

“What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
- Build anyway.”

Coach Jim taught in the McFarland school district as a Life Science and Physical Education teacher  for 40 years, at the middle school but never at the high school as the movie portrayed.  Jim explained that was a little bit of the “Hollywood additions.” He reasoned it seemed more natural to the story line for him to be a high school teacher.  Many would think with his success with the cross country and his students rising success in the classroom that everyone would have wanted him to continue within the school system.  Coach White related that even with the success of the team some could not wait for him to retire.  Jim explained that some within the political education system were intimidated with his standing and influence within the school board.  Coach explain that most members on the school board he had in his classes.  Coach White ignored these motives and built a program of success that continues to thrive even after his eventual retirement.

Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
 

Coach White worked into his allotted time his perceptions of Hollywood film making and the road that brought McFarland USA to the big screen.

**  The McFarland story was acquired by two other film making companies before Disney purchased the film rights (twice).  Both companies prior to Disney did nothing towards developing the story/film.  Their contracts eventually expired.

**  Disney purchased the rights, including book and speaking rights and developed the first screenplay at a cost of nearly $500,000.  Executives eventually “trashed” the story.  Following this initial dead-end, some Disney executives were still compelled with the McFarland story so much that they again purchased the rights for a second time and offered the feature role to Kevin Costner. At Costner’s request they developed the present storyline.  This storyline Costner believed was more in line with the accurate reporting on the team’s success as presented by CNN, BBC, and ESPN.

**  White never coached football, was never fired from a job nor taught at the high school.

**  Jim still maintains contact with many of his students and alumni runners of his cross country teams.

** There are three White daughters not two as portrayed in the movie.

CoachWhite

After Coach concluded his talk I got to spend a few minutes with him.  While talking with Coach White, I was able to share with him some of my running adventures as well as ask him a few questions about his running program.  Mr. White shared with me that Danny Diaz, one of the original McFarland runners is preparing to run the Badwater Ultra Marathon.  During our discussion I thanked him for investing in his students, for opening doors for his runners and for showing them what they could do, compared with coaches I had in Junior High School who told me what I could not do.

Have you seen McFarland USA?

What are your thoughts on this story?

Running Mistakes – Mistakes I’ve made in Training, Racing and Running in General

A fellow runner, and favorite blogger of mine, @fueledbylolz posted an interesting topic on her blog recently. In response to a blog challenge Hollie wrote about the “One Mistake She Was Glad She Made.”

From Hollie’s post:  “The feeling of failure can be one of the hardest emotions to come to terms with. However, if you can learn from a mistake, it’s hard to consider the mistake a failure.  We all live, and we all make mistakes.”  You can read more of her post by clicking here

After reading her post, I took a glance back at my running career and considered some of my running and racing mistakes.

deerrunning(Not me, but racing a deer could be a mistake)

To Fast To Injury:  When I first introduced speedwork to my weekly routine, I LOVED it.  So much so that I ran a hard speedwork session every Wednesday, come rain or shine and regardless of my long runs. This overzealous focus on speed did not last long.  During a long run after a hard speed day I noticed a burn deep inside my right thigh, centered and right above my knee.

Water Stop Foley’s:  During the Air Force Marathon I was gunning for a sub four hour finish, it would be my second. My plan was to follow the 3:50 pacer and follow the pack to success.  My plan also called for me to stop at every other aid/water stop for a quick drink and a short walk to keep my legs fresh for the push after the wall.  Unknowingly the effort it took for me to catch back up with the 3:50 pacer after the water stops slowly taxed my legs to the point that I could no longer keep up.

The Pain and Agony of Manland:  On one long run, I forgot all about chafing prevention…The pain in “manland” after 20+ miles was something they write songs about.

slivertonstart(The arrow, stuck in the middle with you)

Zing and Zagged To Defeat:  During my second half-marathon I lined up in back of the pack of a very crowded starting corral. When the gun went off I panicked when the runners around me were moving slow. I worried that I would lose to much time during the opening miles.  In response, I began to pick and move through the crowd by bouncing side to side as I zing and zagged my way to a better position.  I felt good about my maneuvering until the mid way point of the race when my legs went flat.  It was a real struggle to finish.

With every run, race or training adventure, we learn something…a mistake is an opportunity to grow.  As Hollie asked:

What is one mistake you are glad you made?
Has an injury taught you something recently?

 

Running In The Cold – Five Reasons I Hate It

Some people like it cold.

Some people like it hot.

Roses R red
Violets R blue
I hate ‪#‎running‬ in the cold
how about you….”

I’m hear to tell you I HATE running in the cold.  I can do it…and it takes a pretty crisp day to keep me inside, but I hate it.

IMG_20150227_161428

The Five Reasons I Hate Running In The Cold.

1.  When the temperature drops, dressing for a run gets more challenging.  Do I wear shorts, tights, long pants, tights with long pants, long sleeve shirts, jacket, hats, gloves, ear muffs…all this extra stuff makes it hard to go for a simple run.

Christmas-run-2013

2.  My eyes water when it gets cold.  I look like I’m crying but its really the cold wind.

3.  My hands and ears get cold easy and quick.  When the temperature goes below 60f my hands/ears start to get cold.  I know people don’t like to be “sweaty” but sweat does not hurt, it down right hurts to be cold.

4.  If nature calls during a “cold” run…it is sometimes difficult to get through all the layers to ah well…take care of business.  Add in some cold hands and it can take your breath away…but that might be too much information.

5.  My noses runs…and I have a mustache, frozen bugger face is not pretty.

AND that is not even taking into consideration the risk of falling and busting my butt.

Do you like running in the cold…if not what do you hate?

 

Running Question – Are you a hot or cold weather runner?

The first wave of cold air has hit the east coast, and I hate it.  I should not complain, our cold snap delivered temperatures down into the teens over night while other parts of the country are buried under snow and below zero temps, yet still I hate it.  I was born and raised on the shores of Lake Erie, “the snow belt” where the average seasonal snow fall is well over 120 inches a year, yet I still despise the cold.  I lived through many a season where the lake nearly froze over, yet I have no tolerance for the cold.  I remember years where we broke the record for the number of days at zero Fahrenheit or below, yet I loaf the cold.

lake erie frozen over

Are you a hot or cold weather runner?

summerorwinter

As much as I hate cold weather running, I hear the same complaints around running during the summer.  Many people hate summer running, and the dogs days of July and August.  As for me I would much rather sweat than be cold.  If I had my choice, if I had my hand on the big thermostat I would much rather battle the sun, the high temps and high humidity then spend hours on end in the harsh, the icy cold, the bone chilling wind and muck of winter running.

In my opinion, sweat is better than frost bite.

Sunburn is better than chapped lips.

Sweat soaked running gear is better than five layers of high tech garb just to still be cold.

And a hot summer wind is much better than a skin wiping winter gale.

How about you do you like it HOT or Cold?

Running – Blogging – Racing – 2015 A Year In Review

2015 has been a great year. I may have fallen short of my yearly mileage goal but I exceeded my expectations on having fun while running, make friends, taking part in new races, and sharing my adventures with you.

2015-2016

2015 final

January:  I hosted my second Brian’s Crazy New Years Long Run at Noland trail. I started this training run while preparing for my first 100 mile race in 2014 and was totally shocked with new and old friends who came out to support me…and for the second year in a row we did it again! I’ll do better at getting pictures from the 2016 edition, 50 miles at Umstead.

noland50finish2014

(So thankful for everyone who came out,
Andrea and Hank brought me home on the final lap)

January Bonus: I had my first running story published.

IMG_7191

(Check out my works in
the Jan/Feb edition of Marathon and Beyond)

February:  For the second year in a row the second month on the calendar brought us snow, this mess put a huge damper on my training runs.

IMG_20150227_161503(Snow, Snow go away…I have a 100 miler to train for)

March: I never thought I would run one, but here I was toeing the line for my second 100 mile adventure, the Graveyard 100. I ran solo the entire length of Highway 12 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

gy100picturedunes1(I finished in 23 hours and 5 minutes after
burning up my legs to a new 50 miler PR)

April: My 6th running of the event which started all this crazy Ultra-marathon running, the Virginia 24 Hour Ultra Run Against Cancer. My third year with a team in the race as well…and what did we do but win the event for the second time and set a new course 24 hour record.

11124485_1008632309147925_5967563728340585244_n

(Team Run4Life, Champions)


May: May was not a good month…the injury bug came for a visit, left Achilles pain.

EMSJune:  On the come back trail and what a better way to make a statement then to run a 50 mile race in the heat of June. The Bethel Moonlight Boogie 50 Miler is a race a lot of my friends have talked up, so why not…

boogie 50a(Five 10 mile laps and a white church I thought had disappeared)

July: Took a little vacation to Minnesota, ran, fished and enjoyed family…then came home to run The March 50k. A race that honors WWII POWs and is filled with sand, hills, friends and a ton of memories.

The March Beginning

the march amos

(I ran for PV2 Amos L Burk)

August: No racing in Aug, made a short trip home to see my Mom and revisit some old ground.

Peninsularun15miles

(15 miles around the Peninsula)

Sept: The Hinson Lake 24 Hour Race and the World Famous Banana lap. Another “friends favorite races” and one with a special finishing lap. I wanted to go out and log some good miles and hopefully earn my third 100 mile buckle…then I got dizzy.

Hinson Lake 24(Crossing the Hinson Lake Bridge)

October: Medoc Mountain Trail Marathon, becoming a favorite race of mine, if only that dang monster would leave me alone.

12122819_1104338499577305_9175450641807583063_n(Me Doc, Me Doc…Medoc)

November: I said I would never run it again, but here I was taking on the JFK50 with seven of my running buddies.

12279026_10153832248966495_6886646385016242291_n(My first JFK was an adventure,
it was much better the second time around)

December: Another month without a race, life just got to busy, but I returned to Umstead and ran to remember my 100 miles there. Two of my friends will take on the 100 mile challenge in 2016 and I hope to support them the way my friends supported me.

25milesUmstead

And so we end where we began, looking back at 2015 and realizing what a great year it has been. 2015 was not the year that is was because of the miles, the blog posts or the races….it was because of you, my readers, my friends, my family, the love of my wife and the grace of a loving God.

Thank you!