JFK 50 – First Impressions – Ultra Marathon – Running The Grandfather or Ultra Running

Running JFK 50, for the first time

In 2014 I ran my first JFK 50. Although I thought I had learned all I could about this legendary event nothing could prepare me for race day. The AT was harder, the C&O tow path was longer and the final 8 miles of rolling roads were more challenging than I was expecting. After crossing the finish line in front of Springfield Middle School 10 hours later the highlights of the course were forever burnt in my mind. It was a great race and a awesome experience. Driving home, I could not wait to share my experience with all of my friends. JFK 2014 was great but it was also lonely. I ran alone, I had no support crew and I had no one to share the “finisher glow” with.

12279026_10153832248966495_6886646385016242291_n(Hank, David, Andrea, Me, Eric, Kim, Ed, Gayle)

Fast forward nearly 365 days to JFK 50 2015. This year I would not be alone. On a crisp Saturday morning along with seven of my friends I was making my way to the starting line in the middle of downtown Boonsboro, MD once again.  Leading up to the race and continuing at our pre-race dinner they had asked my thoughts about the race and the course. I tried to not over sale the challenge, I tried to represent the task and tried to help prepare them. Finding my place at the start, I wanted to run well, I had my goals but I also wanted my friends to have a memorable first JFK.

In their words here is impressions of JFK for the first time.

12278093_10153789914381204_741775411_n(Gayle and Eric)

Gayle H. — Gayle was new to our group, she was a friend of Eric’s but instantly she fit right in. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support. I loved the AT section .. And can’t believe I didn’t say once ” I am ready for this to be done “

12272950_10153838119371495_454749995_n(Andrea and David)

David G. — This race goes down as one of the best. It lived up to the hype. The atmosphere from the time we stepped into Boonsboro High School, traveled along the course, and finished at Springfield Middle School in Williamsport. was electric.  It’s a bucket list race that is a must do for any ultrarunner. It’s a day I’ll never forget. I’m so glad I got to spend it with my friends so we can sit back, laugh, and tell stories for probably years to come.”


Eric H. — “Run the JFK50” they said. “You will have fun” they said. Well, they were right! Who knew someone could have such a blast running through a mine field of sharp rocks, trudging down an endless dirt road for hours on end, and feeling the pounding of each step on the asphalt of the rural roads of Maryland?! So what made it so awesome? It wasn’t the race. It wasn’t the people. It wasn’t the support. It wasn’t the post race beer and pizza. It wasn’t the bubble baths. It was a combination of everything that came together to make an experience that only can be described as magical… with bubbles. So glad I had the opportunity to share the experience with such an amazing group of runners. Never again… …… until next year.”

David, I wasn’t going to mention the bubble bath….but Eric did.


Kimberly R. — It was a magical race from beginning to end. I was more timid than I thought I’d be on the AT, so A LOT of folks passed me. Yet I kept calm and focused on staying in my comfort zone. I did enjoy the challenge and the trail section seemed to go by quickly. I feel like I never looked up, but I listened to some amazing stories and great advice along the way. I have to say, after passing the guy on a body board being loaded onto the ATV with a broken leg, I was relieved to get off the trail with no major injury. There is nothing like that terrain. My relief, once off the trail, had me feeling like I could fly on the canal. I was never bored. I loved the mix of quiet solitude and loud cheering support. The crowds were amazing and so encouraging. I ate some along the way, but wasn’t even interested in the red velvet cake at mile 38. I could smell the end and wanted to get there. Every runner I passed, or who passed me, gave a smile, nod, or word of encouragement. I never felt alone. The final miles on the road were definitely rolling hills, but I got more energy as I approached the last mile. I couldn’t help but choke up as I rounded that last corner, heard the announcer, and saw the finish line. In my mind, I sprinted up the hill to the end. Then, to hear my name called as a finisher of the JFK 50 was icing in the cake. Will I do it again? I’m not sure. But, every ultra runner should do this race at least once.” Ed, Kim’s husband was there supporting her but she was moving so fast I never saw him…


Andrea M.“David and I had a blast. I took my time on the AT and was very cautious because I was so worked up and terrified of it. We didn’t have too many people pass and we only had to pass a few people so we were never really stuck in traffic. David was a few minutes ahead of me but I caught him in the first half mile of the C&O. We stuck together the rest of the day and shared a lot of laughs. I can honestly say that I had the same experience as Kim. I found lots of inspiration out on the course and really enjoyed the gorgeous weather, the great views, the crowd support and chatting with the other runners. I loved the finish line excitement and hearing my name called at the end brought tears to my eyes. I am on cloud nine from the most amazing experience. So thankful for all my run pals, y’all made for an amazing weekend!

Our Support Crews: The unsung heros. As runners, we only had to run 50 miles, these guys had to get from check point to check point, have our gear set up and then sit. Sit in the cold, sit in the wind and sit for long hours as we ran past or stopped for a few vital seconds. They saw the race from a different side of life.

Joshua D. — Note: Joshua originally planned to run the event with Eric, but came up injured just prior to the race. Although he could not reach his individual goals, his support for us on the course and leading up to the race was OUTSTANDING. I must say I had fun even though it was my first race on the sidelines looking in. I was so inspired to see runners of all ages pass me and I loved cheering them on. You guys rocked this race! Next year, I plan to be a wingman and not a road princess.

Hank S.Well. I wasn’t going to say anything cause I wasn’t on the course and my view point was limited. I think everyone did awesome. I will say one thing tho. At mile 38 check point. I told Andrea I think you need to pick up the pace some try to run faster if you can. Her response was “Right now I feel like I’m running as fast as I can” I said ok stay consistent. The look on her face should be on the cover of this blog.”

As Andrea shared with the group — “Our crews, I felt like they were our boxing coach taking me aside in the corner of the ring and telling me how awesome I was doing and how strong I looked. I even believed them for awhile! LoL

12270495_10153838119126495_410265386_n(The after JFK pizza (and Mikes) were awesome, Hank and Joshua on right,
we missed Gayle and Kim)

12241312_1121784237832731_3887168202849936800_n(50 miles for a Mikes)

And so JFK 2015 is in the books. My race results were not what I had wanted, I thought I ran harder, I thought I ran smarter and longer, but the clock did not agree. I’m okay with that, I had more laughs, more smiles, and more fun running the race with friends. I thought about each one of these great friends along the way. I hoped they survived the AT. I had hoped they made the cut-offs along the C & O. I was proud to hear they ALL reached their goals crossing the finish line. It was the 53rd running of the JFK 50, my second and thier first AND it was GREAT race,



Running, Marathon, Ultra-Marathon Christmas Holiday Gift Guide 2015

The holidays are right around the corner… there is a chill in the air, lights are going up everywhere, and Christmas music playing in each store you enter. Speaking of stores…the Black Friday rampage is right around the corner. As you are going through your list of people in your life who deserve a little extra something special, there is always that Runner you want to get the perfect gift for! Do you need a little help? Fear not, here is a little guide to get that special Runner the perfect holiday gift!

For a chance to win one of these great gifts, enter below. Drawings will be held Christmas eve.

gift guide

1. Apera BagApera bags are pure sport bags. Not only are the functional, stylish and great to haul your Race Kit around, All Apera bags are protected by groundbreaking antimicrobial product protection that resists the formation of bacterial odor on both the inside and outside. Apera bags’ ventilated compartments wipe able linings and washable inserts, ensure your bag stays clean, odor-free and most importantly healthy.

2. Desert Runners MovieSome adventures just blow your mind. Imagine you’ve been dropped off in the middle of one of the largest, driest deserts in the World. Over the next six days you will have to run, jog, walk or crawl 155 miles through the incessant heat (up to 120 degrees), across soft sand and hard-packed gravel, over sand dunes multiple stories high and down razor-sharp rocky cliffs. You must do this carrying everything you need to survive — clothes, food, sunscreen, emergency medical supplies, sleeping bag — in a 20-pound pack on your back. Now imagine doing this not just once, but four times in one calendar year, through the four most treacherous deserts in the world: the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Egypt… and then, the final stage, a 150-mile footrace across the single most inhospitable landscape in the world: Antarctica.

3. Fenix HeadlampFor that hardcore runner in your life, here is the perfect run companion for those long runs. Fenix-Store exploded onto the flashlight scene over 8 years ago to become the preferred source of affordable high-end lighting for flashlight lovers everywhere. Our goal: to provide the best lights for the best value, without compromising quality. Fenix headlamps offer the latest LEDs, circuitry, and features in a high power headlamp. And always at an affordable price.

4. The High Making The Toughest race On Earth – We can’t all run races all over the world. Few of us get to run over the great mountains. In 2010, a group of extreme runners brought together by an adventure-obsessed race director mutually volunteer in a running experiment over the two highest passes in the world. But with this great race documentary you can live this one of kind race as it plays out right in front of you.

5. Tiux Compression Socks – NOT you’re run of the mill compression socks. Tiux Graduated compression socks have a higher compression at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the calf. Graduated compression will enhance circulation and increase the level of oxygenated blood to your legs, while pumping deoxygenated blood back to your heart. Stimulating blood flow helps athletes improve performance, reduce muscle fatigue and recover faster.

6. Running Buddy Have you ever been on a run or out at the park and forgot where you put your keys, phone or money? No Belt, Band or Bounce! These running pouches are replacing armbands and running belts for runners, walkers and all outdoor enthusiasts. As seen on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

7. Swiftwick SocksWith all the attention on the newest shoes, you can forget that a good pair of socks can make or break any run. Thankfully Swiftwick socks has not forgotten. Swiftwick has been engineered and developed with you in mind. At Swiftwick, we aim to fuel your adventures with the best socks designed by athletes for athletes. We fuse our personal experience with the most advanced fibers to create socks proven to propel your performance, so you can do what moves you. Managed Compression™, Chemical-free wicking ,  blister-free, and Odor free and just some of the feature designed into their socks.

8. 1Hundred Film, The Leadville 100This race is one of my bucket list races and one that truly inspires me. It takes a strong person to attempt a 100 mile run in the Colorado Rockies. This film follows four novice ultra-runners who will show you how much it takes to tackle a 100 mile footrace through the rugged Colorado Rockies in less than 30 hours. With an average of less than half of the participants completing the Leadville Trail 100, the runners will have to battle the mountains, the weather, the clock and themselves.

9. Knuckle LightsWhen your running at night, you want to know where your going. Knuckle light give you that sense of security and allows you to direct a bright beam of light right where you want it. Knuckle Lights are the first and only lights designed to be worn on your hands, in the perfect position to light your path and be seen on your next run or walk in the dark. Knuckle Lights are worn on your hands, in the perfect position to light your path and be seen.

10. RaceDots® Is your favorite runner tired of tearing up their favorite race shirts? RaceDots® are the simple, colorful and non-destructive alternative to safety pins. Each RaceDot is a patented assembly of two very strong magnets that lock together to hold your race number in place, but they never hurt your clothing. 20 stock colors plus custom. RaceDots® are sleek and powerful, fabric-friendly and safe and easy to use. Pick up a pack of RaceDots® and never destroy a race shirt again.

11. Out There, A Story of Ultra Recovery by David Clark - I only have one word, MOTIVATING…David Clark went from the rock bottom of bankruptcy, addiction and obesity to becoming an accomplished athlete. In this compelling story of his life, he not only shares his journey with complete honesty, but he also lays out a blueprint for change that anyone can use to redefine what is possible.

12. Western States Movie, Unbreakable Maybe the best race ever, In 2010, four of the greatest undefeated mountain runners on earth toed the starting line at the Western States 100-mile endurance run, the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile foot race in the world. Unbreakable, follows the four lead men on this amazing journey. Hal Koerner, two time defending Western States champion, and running store entrepreneur from Ashland, Oregon. Geoff Roes, undefeated at the 100-mile distance, an organic chef from Juneau, Alaska. Anton Krupicka, undefeated in every ultramarathon he has ever started, a graduate student living in Boulder, Colorado. Kilian Jornet, the young mountain runner and two time Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc champion, from Spain

13. The Art Of Running by Matthew Crehan – Some stories are best told and heard a number of different ways. During his brief 24-year lifespan, Steve Prefontaine grew from hometown hero, to record-setting college phenomenon, to internationally acclaimed Olympic track star. In a similar span of years since his death in 1975, Pre has become the stuff of enduring legend.

And last not not least by any stretch…a GREAT training book by a good friend, Bruce Van Horn

14. You Can Go The Distance, by Bruce Van Horn Life is a marathon so let’s train for it…and if you have ever wanted to run a marathon, Bruce can show you the way. You CAN Go the Distance! is much more than just a marathon training guide.Inside every chapter, Bruce Van Horn, coaches you with training techniques from years of experience and infuses them with his own brand of motivation and inspiration which, literally, hundreds of thousands of people have come to love him for. Most people never even attempt a marathon because they are convinced they cannot possibly run 26.2 miles. What they forget is that every world-class runner started at the same place. Perhaps the hardest part about running a marathon is making the decision to actually try it!

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Half Marathon – Battleship Half Marathon

2015 Battleship Half Marathon, Wilmington, North Carolina

After two full marathons, MEDOC Mountain and City of Oaks, in the weeks prior to this half, I promised myself I would not RACE this event. I planned to simply run the Battleship Half Marathon for fun and to experience a one of kind half marathon. That plan lasted all of 8 miles…

shoesand medals

Wilmington, is a nice little river front town with a very active college scene and home to the WWII Battleship U.S.S North Carolina. Station right across the river is the Active Duty Coast Guard Cutter Diligence. Our son Anthony is a crew member on the Diligence, when he sent me a notice about this race I just had to add it to my fall calendar. I could not pass up an opportunity to visit him, see the Diligence, and notch up another half marathon. My wife, Michele and Anthony would run the 5k.

Saturday morning Michele and I with our two fur kids Carly and Emmy Lu headed south for Wilmington.

travel puppies

Race central was at the Hilton Hotel centrally located downtown along the river front. This location was perfect as there are plenty of family friendly (even the four legged kind) taverns, and restaurants to grab a quick bite to eat while picking up your race goodies. The Expo was small and low key, for a field of approx. 1300 for the half marathon and 300 or so for the 5k. I thought packet pick up was well organized and very friendly.  After picking up our race gear we headed to a local tavern to sit relax and to “people watch” for a spell.

Race morning, with very limited parking at the starting line adjacent to the U.S.S North Carolina, the race organizers offered water-taxi rides from downtown to the start.   This pre-race movement went off without a hitch.  Although Saturday afternoon was near perfect weather with clear skies, warm temps and near zero wind, race morning found the opposite. This morning it was very windy and cold. Somehow I missed the memo and under dressed. Go figure. As great planning would have it the water-taxis ran nearly every ten minutes and we were able to walk right on board to begin our voyage to the start. Once on the other side of the river, we noticed the area next to the starting line offered very few places to get out of the elements.  We quickly found away around that. In case you were unable to pick up your race packet the day before, this race offered race day packet pick up. Although already having our stuff, the indoors packet pick up area made the perfect place to get out of the cold.  Although a general announcement was made to have everyone leave packet pick up area, no one really forced us (a good size like minded crowd) to go outside. The hovering and warm crowd much to its credit was well behaved to not make an issue with the organizers.  I’m very thankful for that. With 15 minutes to go Anthony and I moved to the starting line.

2015 Battleship Half Anthony and I

As we stood a stones throw from the great battleship, I wondered what the old girl would say if she could talk to us on that blistery morning.  During World War II, the NORTH CAROLINA participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars. In the Battle of the Eastern Solomon’s in August of 1942, the Battleship’s anti-aircraft barrage helped save the carrier ENTERPRISE, thereby establishing the primary role of the fast battleship as protector of aircraft carriers. To learn more about the North Carolina visit her web site here.

The half marathon was scheduled to go off first. I’m normally in my starting place early, but today choose to arrive just in time. Many must have had the same idea as I and the corral filled up rather fast. After some brief but appropriate opening words and the national anthem, the race was off.Vowing to not race this event, I parked myself on the shoulder of the two hour pacer and went along for the ride.

2015 Battleship Half Map

The race course offered ever changing scenery as you make your way from “battleship row,” over two bridges, and thru downtown. Wilmington’s tavern district featured tons of fan support, the heavy smell of breakfast and running over some cobblestone roadways headed out of town and thru a lake district housing. The ever changing scenery along this route made the opening miles click off without much thought as I stuck to my “keep it in check plan.”  One of the nicest aspects of this race for the runners and spectators is that it offers multiple viewing location within easy distance for family and friends. I had seen some fans enough that over the course of the day that we built a relationship that by race end they were cheering me on.  This made the middle miles of the run very entertaining.

And then something went wrong with my plan…I was feeling very, very, good at the half way point.

6 miles in 52:56

Somehow I managed to hold myself back for another mile. “Brian,” I reasoned, “you have the JFK 50 in two weeks you can’t afford to blow something up and in the past 20 days you’ve run two FULL MARATHONS, just sit back and run easy.”

My plea fell on deft ears at mile 8.

Mile 8    7:59

Mile 9    7:57
Mile 10  7:35
Mile 11  7:34
Mile 12  7:42
Mile 13  7:39

2015 Battleship Half8

13.1 miles in 1:50:55 not my fastest half by a long shot but after such a pedestrian start and mailing it in for 8 miles I’m pretty happy with my finish. The fact that my legs felt so alive during the closing stages of the race gave me a big boost of confidence for the 50 miler to come.

Perhaps the best part of the day was receiving my finishers medal from an Active Duty Marine aka just like the Marine Corp Marathon except here they were in full dress blues. This is always a touching way to end a race, even for this 20 year military vet.

2015 Battleship Half7

The after race experience would have been awesome if not for the rain, wind and cold…I snagged myself a slice of pizza and headed for the water taxi and my warm car.

BEST news of all, I did not blow up anything and should toe the line at JFK with a strong resolve, fresh legs…and some confidence.

Are you all hands on deck for 2016?

Marathon Running At Tobacco Road Marathon

It is with great pride that I announce my partnership with the Tobacco Road Marathon and Half-Marathon, in Cary, North Carolina.


Not only will I be running the marathon and shooting for my second sub four hour finish, but I’ll also be blogging about my training, preparations and offering training advice for anyone wanting to run Tobacco Road with me.


AND for all of my followers, the Race Director has offered up a discount for signing up, enter burkblog in the discount code section and you’ll recieve a specail  briansrunningadventures.com discount.

Check out Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon on the Web, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page and continue following my training right here. You can also follow my posts under the hashtag #RunTobaccoRd and #RunNC

Come let’s go run Tobacco Road…



Running Questions – Marathon, Ultra-Marathon 50k or 100 Miles

Running Questions – What are you thinking about?

Running a Marathon, a 50k, or 100 miles…each race starts with that very first step.  The first physical act of running is usually followed closely by the first mental challenge. “Wow I’ve got a long way to go.” I’ve raced at the marathon distance or greater 35 times…and yet each time I cross the starting line I’m challenged by the same thought. “Wow, I’ve got a long way to run.”

10273311_531222730322099_744271991583894757_o(At the turn around point during a 24 hour race)

My blog is approaching four years old. When I started I thought for sure no one would ever read it or want my opinions, seek out my advice or ask me questions about running. After all I’m just a middle of the pack runner. BUT in these fours year I’ve been surprised at just how many people connect with me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my blog seeking advice.

One of the most commonly asked questions is, What do you think about during a long race?

My quick off the cuff answer to this question is, “I think about nothing and everything all at the same time.” During the middle miles of a race or when I’m not so focused on the number of miles to go I tend to zero in on things other than the race. I go fishing, mentally. I day dream or get lost in solving a problem, working on a project or reviewing in my mind how I plan to tackle something. For the times when I’m trapped within the race, I think about two things: Staying in the moment and Seeing the finish.

When my mind won’t allow me to go into my zone, when I’m stuck “within” the race I manage the mental challenge by:

STAYING IN THE MOMENT:  I don’t care how you slice it a marathon, a 50k or 100 miles is a very long way to run. Saying that, each mile is still just that, only a mile. It’s the same 5280 feet you ran when you began running and it’s the same mile you ran during your last training run. To get to the end of a very long race you must run each mile and stay in the moment. It might sound crazy, but I’m not sure I can run 100 miles. BUT I have finished two 100 mile races running just 1 mile 100 times.


SEEING THE FINISH:  When stuck within the confines of the race when I need to think about something other than the next step or the mile that I’m running I focus on the finish. I visualize the finish over and over in my mind. I see myself crossing the finish line and accepting the medal or 100 mile buckle. I live this finishing scene over and over in my mind; I believe this allows me to believe I will make it to the end. This also allows me to see my goal come to pass and reaffirms that I can accomplish what I set out to do.

How-to-Eat-an-Elephant(Well done, pls)

I once heard a very prophetic statement: “How do you eat an elephant? The answer is simple, one bite at a time.” I truly believe that in life and likewise in long distance running that statement is 100% true. Any major task or long race can be overcome and finished if you do not get lost in the scale of the challenge and tackle the task one bite or one mile at a time.

What do you think about during your long runs, and or races? Tell us about it.

The “6″ Duathlon – Run and Fish

Sometime it’s the right day for a duathlon.

Duathlon is an athletic event that consists of a cycling fishing leg, and followed by a running leg (Mmmmmmm maybe a fin leg?).

Before I tell you about the first half of the athletic event, let me tell you about my afternoon run.  After a long morning/afternoon of chasing errands. I still had the MoJo to get out and run 3 miles out to the dam and back for a total of 6.2 miles. After a hard run at the City of Oaks Marathon on Sunday, this Friday afternoon run was for fun. Fall has hit, the leaves have changed colors, and the birds and squirrels are playing. It was nice to get out and enjoy a easy relaxing run.


BUT before all the errands, before the run I caught my 6 POUND bass.  This big lady made me extend my stride, shift into another gear and had my heart rate way above my target zone.

big big fishSometimes it’s just a good day.


Running A Marathon – Five Stages Of Excitement

The Five Stages of Marathon Running

Stage #1 Preregistration – I can do this! Maybe you have been running for years or you have just started and somehow you notice this race called the marathon and you begin to get curious. At some point you notice that a family member, a friend or maybe a co-worker ran a marathon. At that point you begin to wonder if, Tom, Sally or Bernie can do it, Can I? Then the talk shows or nightly news channels highlighted a story of some random “A-list” celebrity who ran NYC, Boston or Chicago. This fact pushed you over the edge, “If Oprah, Pamela Anderson and Will Ferrell can run a marathon, so can I.” You have entered the “I can do this stage” of Marathon Running.


Stage #2 After the click – Can I do this? From scanning the depths of the internet to scanning the glossy full page adds in the running publication you finally select the perfect marathon venue for you. All your running friends had opinions, “it should be a flat course” while others encouraged you to find one “with a lot of crowd support.” But in the end you decide on the marathon that spoke to you. With your mouse pointer hovering over the submit button, about ready to commit nearly 100 hard earned dollars your mind pauses. Can I? With all the gusto you can measure, right before chickening out you click away. With that simple action, you have entered the “Can I Do This” Stage of Marathon Running.

Stage #3 Training for the race – Wow it’s really hard to do this. The money is committed. That you plan to run a marathon has been expertly crafted into all your conversations. Everyone in your social circle is well aware that you have signed up. Your training log is beginning to fill up with expanding weekly mileages. The routine miles have stretched from 6 to 10 and 10 to 15 and finally the “Daddy” of long runs is staring you in the face. Pushing off for your first 20 mile run your steely resolve shows it’s first crack. With a hint of self-doubt you have arrived at the “Wow, it’s really hard to do this” stage of marathon running.

Stage #4 26.2 miles is a long way, I’ve got to do this. Now as you stare down at your feet which are covered in the bright fabric of your favorite running shoes it hits you. “I’ve got to run 26.2 miles.” Before you ever take that first step you wonder if it’s possible, did all those other people have something special in them. The miles are done. The money has been spent. Gone are the early morning wake ups. Your family and some special friends got up early and ventured out to support you on your day. The talking is over and the 20 milers are a thing of the past. Today you simply have to run…26.2 miles. Today you are at home in the “I’ve GOT to do this” stage of Marathon Running.


Stage #5 Success – Once you have completed your first marathon, there’s nothing that can take that accomplishment away from you. You’re a “Marathoner.” Your lungs may burn for a few hours. The soreness in your back may linger into the night. The pain in your legs may last a few days. The pride in your heart will carry you until the pain fades and you begin to think about running another. With great pride and beaming confidence you have arrived at the “SUCCESS – when my next marathon” stage of Marathon Running. Then the cycle starts all over again!

On Our Way To The City Of Oaks Marathon

On our way to the marathon, It all makes sense now.



I did not notice my wife doing her hair.

I did not notice my wife putting on some make up.

And her recent upgrade of her wedding ring did not pause me to think, after all our 25th anniversary was coming up.

We were on our way to run a race. My wife Michele, our son Anthony and GREAT friends Kendra and Jeff were going to run the 10k and I was going to run the Marathon. It was going to be a great day; I had dreams of a sub 4 on a rather hilly course.

Arriving at the starting corral, early as usual, I was surprised when my wife wanted to get up to the near empty starting line right away. I figured she wanted to get some pictures with the inflatable arch as a back drop. The five of us made our way to the starting line just as the race pacers broke up their team meeting. Michele slowly worked us into the center of the arch way and then she gripped my hand.

“Brian, I wanted to recommit our wedding vows with you today…are you willing?” I was stunned….and the only thing I could say was ABSOLUTELY!


With our friends as witnesses and the City of Oaks Marathon starting line as our back drop our son Anthony read our recommitment vows. He asked if I would recommit to love, honor and cherish his mother, my wife of 25 years. Anthony also asked the same of his mother. Michele said she would….all I could get out was ABSOLUTELY! As he finished he asked us to express our own recommitment to each other. I’m not normally one to be lost for words, but I was so overwhelmed that Michele had arranged such a special moment, that I stumbled over my tongue as I attempted to tell her how much I love her.

IMG_7581(Our new wedding rings…25 more years)

We then had a ring exchange ceremony where Michele gave me my new wedding ring to match her upgraded set. At the end of our recommitment ceremony, Jeff announced “you may now kiss your bride.”

A marathon race can start in no better fashion… I LOVE you Michele, more.

The Desert Runners – Ultra Marathon – Running 4 Deserts

The Desert Runners – a film

Running a marathon is a challenge, a ultra-marathon is a bit more of a challenge. Running 100 miles is an even greater challenge. Running 1000km across some of the world’s most inhospitable places and you may have uncovered the ultimate running challenge.

desert runner title

Now imagine doing that not once, not twice BUT four times in one year! Desert runner follows four racers as they compete in perhaps the Ultimate Ultra-Marathon(s). Four races running in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Egypt… and then, the final stage, a 150-mile footrace across the single most inhospitable landscape in the world: Antarctica.

More than simply a movie about four races, this documentary expertly displays the personal and Inter-personal stories of the four runners as they attempt to run the four hardest races on the face of the planet. This film dissect the story line within each race and highlights the un-defeatable human story within each one of us…

I was so gripped by the physical battle, captivated by the mental struggles and transfixed within the emotions of trying to complete this ultimate running Grand Slam. This film is very well made capturing the raw emotions of pushing your body beyond anything you have ever prepared for. The movie transports the viewer right into the race side by side with our four runners. So intense was the draw of this film that when one of the four considers dropping out, I felt a deep sense of loss in my stomach. This movie is more than just entertainment.


Desert Runners…is a must see movie for all runners.

Check out their web site at Desert Runners.

Interested in running the 4 deserts?