Javelina 100: Race Report and Being Thankful

 

A little salty!

A little salty!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
… A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-6

There are times in our life when it seems like things are going great. Unfortunately we can more often identify when things do not go according to our plan.

One of the strange attractions in running 100 miles is the acceptance that I will face unexpected challenges which must be overcome. This distance is unlike the marathon where most runners strive for that prefect race, regardless of how elusive it may be.

Learning how to overcome difficulties one can face in ultra-marathons has served me well in my previous 6 finishes at this distance and in life. It has been at these races that I learned I am capable of more than I ever imagined with the Lord’s help. I’ve learned that when things may seem hopeless, strength to continue can be found if I take the time to pause, pray, and persist. Continue reading

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A Change of Plans and A New 100 Mile Race

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:20-21

September 2014 - I thought I'd also run a little race while in Taiwan

September 2014 – I thought I’d also run a little race while in Taiwan

Over the last 12 months my training was focused on one event, the Grindstone 100. It was here where I experienced my first DNF (Did Not Finish).  Previously I wrote about how my crazy idea of arriving the day before the race from Taiwan (12 hour time difference) would work to my advantage with a 6:00pm start. While it did help me stay alert throughout the night, I fell apart during the day and had to drop because of the cold and being unprepared at mile 87.

I was finally going to complete those last 13 miles on October 2nd until torrential rains resulted in the U.S. Forest Service pulling all permits for that weekend in the George Washington National Forest. Continue reading

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DCR – 5 Years And Still Running!

5 Year Anniversary Run

5 Year Anniversary Run

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

It is humbling to think about how much things have changed in the last 5 years.  Whether we look at our world or our personal lives, 5 years is a long time.

On October 17th the Doylestown Christian Runners (DCR) celebrated our 5 year anniversary. There are many wonderful stories that have come out of the DCR during this time. The most notable are the many friendships that have been formed as a result of individuals getting together on the 3rd Saturday of each month.

It has been a blessing to see how the Holy Spirit has used DCR to help neighbors meet, have members of the same church come to know one another, and allow those who were signed up for the same race to find a friend to train with. Continue reading

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Trails, Yoga, & Faith: Remain Engaged

IMG_4372“Let your eyes look directly in front of you and let your gaze look straight before you” –Proverbs 4:25

There is nothing like running on great trails while being surrounded by His amazing creation. This was my experience as I ran in Maui earlier this year. As I was descending down some gnarly trails in Haleakalā National Park, I was constantly challenged to keep my eyes on the path rather than by the beauty all around.  A wrong step could result in being sliced open by the treacherous lava rock or worse.

Eventually I let my mind drift and eyes wonder off the task at hand. I let my body relax and BAM! My ankle rolled, I began to stumble, but fortunately I remained vertical and on the ledge. Immediately, after thanking the good Lord for saving me, I thought of my yoga class! Continue reading

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Battling The Ultra-Running Sleep Monsters

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.    -Romans 12:2

Also known as a sugar coma!

Running right to sleep!

One of the battles I have struggled with during my previous 100 mile races, before the Cruel Jewel, was the debilitating and relentless sleep monsters that would attack as darkness descended. The desire to close your eyes for just a quick nap can be so overwhelming. It can lull you into the crazy idea to stop on the side of a cold, wet trail in the middle of the night for just a few minutes of rest despite the inherent danger in doing so. Continue reading

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“CRUEL” Jewel 108 Mile – Race Report …. OUCH!

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Ran approximately 115 Miles in 34 hours and 42 minutes

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”            Matthew 18:20

It was my 7th 100 mile race and I thought I knew what to expect from the course, my body, and from my mind.  However, I was challenged and learned more about myself in the mountains of northern Georgia than any other race.

IMG_5282The Cruel Jewel is a name that is well deserved. The website boast that this is a “108 mile foot race deep within the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest…It consists of 96 miles of trails, 12 miles of mountain roads, and 20 aid stations. Along your journey…you will experience tough, and sometimes technical, single track trails, ferns and old growth poplar trees, steep ascents and even steeper descents, a historic steel bridge spanning the Toccoa River, the Dragon’s Spine, lush green hardwood forests, rocks, roots and ridge lines … all of which will be passed before you reach your final destination. And as a bonus we have thrown in 33,000 feet of gain and 33,000 feet of loss just to keep it interesting”.

If this description wasn’t scary enough, throw in a little humidity for a guy who spent most of the winter running in single digits (I know it could have been much worse) and add an extra 6-7 miles as I did… but that’s for later. Continue reading

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Lent, Trial, Tribulation, 40, and Running

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Bob on Devil’s Path

Nearly five months later and in the middle of Lent, I am ready to tell my story.  On November 19th in 2014, I set out on what I thought would be an epic run.  I enjoy running and run races of 100+ miles so for me to use “epic” in a description, it does not come flippantly.  So please allow me to humbly tell my story.

The character, me, is a family man with a continual desire to grow his Faith and a conviction to help others.  This commitment to make a difference in the world had accelerated to such a pace that maintaining my perspective on Faith and Family were the only areas I was able to preserve, based on a professional opportunities I had chosen in the past two years.  Then abruptly I was given a great gift to hit the reset button with my family, invest more time with my Faith, and plot a new path professionally while enjoying a supportive transition.

This personal and professional time provided a unique opportunity for me to seek clarity.  The source of this clarity was from myself (not always a reliable source) and more importantly from God.  The gift of running has taught me that the miles/time on my feet distills my thoughts and welcomes God into all of my being in a way that I cannot gain at any other time.

I sought my clarity in the form of a solo run on The Devils Path located in the Catskill Mountains in New York.  Continue reading

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