Monthly Archives: April 2014

Product Review – Running On The Wall – Running awards, Medal Holders, Bib Holders Etc.

Not too many things in life FAR exceed your expectations.

I was selected to review some products for Running On The Wall.  They manufacture and sell running awards, bib holders, medal holders, T-shirts and just about anything a runner could want.

I was supplied with their Inspirational Running Medals Display and loved it from the moment I opened the box.  After opening the box and unpacking it, I laid the medal holder on the kitchen counter.  When my wife saw it she stepped back and said “WOW, that is awesome.”

Out of the box, the finish is bright and attention grabbing.  The medal holder comes with everything you need to display all your race medals in a professional way.  Presently I hang all my medals on a standing light fixture, and with over 25 medals it really looks like a hodge podge.  On my display you can’t make out or clearly see any of them.  The Medal Holder by Running On The Wall will allow me to display between nine and 18 medals clearly and proudly.  And truth be told by varying the lengths of your medal ribbons you could double up on the presentations, but that is up to each user.  This is really a quality item.


I found the fit and finish of this product outstanding.  The quality of materials used is top notch and very thing about the product was above my expectations.  Each Medal Holder comes with an installation and hanging kit.  It took me about 5 minutes to screw the supplied hooks in place, if you have a strong grip this can be done by hand or a small pair of pliers will do just fine.  Word of caution you’ll want to protect the finish of your hooks if you use pliers with a course jaw.


Hanging the medal holder is an easy as hanging a picture frame.  Then sit back, garb a snack and enjoy the view of your professionally displayed race medals.  You’ve put in the training miles, you paid the price in time and you battled during the race.  Now order yourself or your favorite runner the perfect display to highlight all your accomplishments.  I highly recommend any product from Running On The Wall.

I will be giving away a Medal Display Holder to one lucky visitor.  Enter Today.
(overseas winner, would be responsible for shipping)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hydration Solutions – Ultra Marathon Training, Running and Racing

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked during the 14 years I’ve been running long distances, and one I asked myself.  How do you carry water/sport drinks while you run?

And when it comes to the answer, it’s a very personal choice.  You can hide bottles along your route and carry nothing.  You can run with a full size camel back.  You can invest in any number and styles of ultra running belts/vests to hold any size water bottle you may need.  Or what worked best for me…a hand held water bottle.

My favorite set up is the Nathan Sports QuickDraw Plus.



I’ve run with some variations of this bottle for years.  I’ve become so accustomed to running with this bottle that once it is strapped on my hand I hardly know it’s there until I need a drink.  On really long runs 20+ miles I’ve even run with a bottle in each hand.  It is so comforting to know that my hydration is “handy” anytime I need it.  I’ve run 23 Marathons and Ultras including a 100 mile run with my QuickDraw Plus.



If your looking for a hydration solution for your long runs, give the Nathan QuickDraw Plus a shot.



Umstead 100 Finish – Ultra Marathon, Training, Running and Racing, My First 100 Mile Event

June, 6 2014
Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run

It’s all over including the crying…


I had three goals going into this race, my first 100 mile race. First and foremost Finish, second, a Sub 26 hour finish, and if all went right in the world a SUB 24 hour finish.

I still find it hard to get my mind around this:
My finish time:  22 hours, 51 minutes, and 5 seconds.

Lap Times:

umstead lap times

Finish by position:

Umstead finish place

Umstead sub 24 hour buckle

Umstead buckle

My Rambling Thoughts 24 Hours After The Finish:
– My Feet Hurt, awesome trail but it was ROCK infested…very hard on your feet
– The Umstead Staff are OUTSTANDING, first class event, and support
– Perfect weather…
– Pacers are awesome, I had two of the best, they put me first and made me feel important
– Other runners, saw some great and inspirational people out there
– Very emotional
– The taste of a snow cone after 12.5 miles can’t be explained
– Whomever yelled “BEAR” on a very dark part of the course…I’ll get you. (and Thanks for the extra gear that gave me)
– I had no idea I could run sub 23 hours.
– An Arbys sandwich, first real food after run……Oh to the My!

A more extensive race report will follow.

Umstead 100 Questions – Ultra Marathon Running, Racing, and Training

Questions I received during the build up to the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance run.


Q.  How long will it take you?  A.  The event time limit is 30 hours, my A goal is to finish.  B goal is sub 26 hours and C goal if all the stars aligned and God looks down on me sub 24 hours. <<Follow Up – I finished in 22 hour 51 minutes and 5 seconds>>

Q.  Will you “run” the entire time?  A.  I do plan to keep moving the entire time, I will use the same 1 mile run/2 minute walk pacing that worked so well at the Graveyard 100k << Follow Up – Plan worked like a charm, although it was hard to run for a solid mile because of the number of hills, we alter the plan to run the flats and downhills, power walk the hills>>

Q.  Why?  A.  I’m not really sure other than…it’s there.  Once I ran my third marathon…something drove me to run my first Ultra.  After a number of successful races at lengths up to 75 miles, and watching a few running friends’ complete their 100 milers…the distance, like a sweet voice, called me. <<Follow Up – It’s in my blood now>>

Q.  Will you run others?  A. I hope so, but ask me in a few weeks. <<Follow Up – YES>>

Q.  What’s the longest distance you have run prior to this event?  A.  Longest race distance was the 100k (63 miles), longest run was during a 24 Hour event where I logged 75 miles in 18 hours.

Q.  What does the course look like?  A. 8 laps around Umstead State park.  The course is along a converted dirt road, which now serves as a running, biking trail through the Park. The trail width varies between 10 and 15 feet and the footing is excellent. There is no single track trail on the course. All creek crossings are on permanent bridges.  The course’s surface is primarily fine packed powdered, granite screenings. This is an outstanding running surface.  The course is rolling topography with a total of 8000 feet of climb over the 100 miles (1000 feet per loop).

umsteadmap (2)


Q.  Will you finish.  A. YES

Q.  How do you run at night?  A.  I’ll have a headlamp on and carry a hand held flash light.

Q.  How/what do you eat?  A.  On the run/walk.  I’ll plan my major eating while on a walk break…but I will keep moving.  I’ll also eat lite snacks all day long.  Every time I pass an aid station or my crew spot I will take in food of some sort.

Q.  Will you win?  A.  Yes, I’ll place first in the Brian Burk Division.  No, there are some fast runners out there…I’ll be happy/honored to share the same course with them.

Q.  Are you nervous?  A.  Funny, but no…I have a sense of calm about this weekend…I’ve done the work, I’ve logged the miles….now it needs to get done. << Follow Up – I wasn’t until they asked all rookies to stand up at the race briefing, then panic set it, I looked around wondering if I should be there>>


Q.  Where does your mind go while your body moves?  A.  I pray a lot, and I think about everything and nothing all, at the same time.

THANK YOU for all the support and well wishes.  I know I’ve been posting a lot about this run/challenge.  I’m sure I may have bugged a few of you BUT it was part of my plan.  I figured if I told everyone I knew about my goal of finishing this race, then the peer pressure alone might just keep me running when my body or my mind may want to quit.  I can’t imagine posting a DNF after talking up this run as much as I have.  SO THANK YOU for sticking with me….it means a lot to me.  I Hope I Make You Proud…. <<Follow Up – Thank you George, Ben, Tina, Paul, Nathan and everyone who put on this event>>

Thank You Michele for again supporting me, Jessica and Anthony…I hope in some way I make you proud out there.  Hanna, I miss you.  I LOVE you all!

Ten people I would like to run with…..

1.  JESUS – My Lord and Savior, if you don’t know JESUS drop me a note.
2. Bernie Kosar – Favorite all time Browns player
3. Dean Karnazes and from two of my favorite running movies: Anton Krupicka, Hal Koerner, Geoff Roes, Kilian Jornet, from Unbreakable, Western States 100:
and Abby, Dave, Tim  or Emily from 1hundred
(so I cheated a little)
4. Paula Radcliffe – Athens 2005, I felt her pain.
5. My Uncle Johnny – Never really got to know him, a runner.
6. My Father – Long, long sad story here…..
7. Phidippides – Is the Marathon legend true or not?
9. Snoopy – Come on, this would be a fun, fun run.
And last BUT not least.  MY wife……
Who would you want to run with?

MONSTER COOKIES – A Runners Favorite

My wife recently made these and THEY are now my favorite cookie! OBTW, that is a really big big big deal.


She tells me the recipe is actually from Southern Living, and that Paula Dean has one as well.

You can add raisins, nuts, etc.


    • 3 eggs
    • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
    • 1 stick butter, softened
    • 1 cup multi-colored chocolate candies (M & Ms)
    • 1 cup chocolate chips
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, baking soda, and oatmeal. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to drop onto the prepared cookie sheets. (On a regular cookie sheet normally I only cook 6 at a time.)

Bake for 10-15 minutes. Do not over bake. (should look a little chewy!)  Let stand for about 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.(otherwise they will fall apart since they are so big) When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.