Bryce Canyon 100M – Race Report

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Bryce Canyon – Pictures don’t do this place justice

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

Driving to the hotel the day before the start reinforced how beautiful this race was going to be. The red and white mountains, incredible rock formations, and beauty all around were powerful reminders of God’s amazing creation. I was looking forward to starting my 12th 100-Mile race and second race of 2017.

Dirty German 50 Miler- May

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Dirty German Mud trails (Thanks to Eric Lepping for photo)

In May, I returned to a race I had previously completed a few years ago. I had run the Dirty German 25K in 2013, finishing 3rd overall. The following year, I returned for the 50M, but went out too fast, running the first 25K at a similar pace I had the year before. This year was more of a training run, but my plan was to try and break 8 hours. Continue reading

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UTMB – An Amazing Adventure

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Definitely the longest and most memorable race! Amazing way to end an unforgettable adventure with my family.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” Psalm 121:1-2

Lining up for UTMB on August 26, 2016 was surreal. I wasn’t nervous and I am not sure I was even excited. The only way to describe what I felt is blessed. The 16 days leading up to the race were spent with my family on the most amazing vacation of a lifetime around Europe. The trip had been in the works for years and it was better than I could have imagined. However there was a point a few days before departing for Europe that I thought my health was going to completely ruin our plans and prevent me from running.

As a result, this is much more than a race report.

Continue reading

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Cruel Jewel Race Report- Back For More!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9image6

It was considerably cooler and less humid at the start of the Cruel Jewel on May 13th than during the previous year. My good friend and host, Mike C was with me but unlike last year, he was smarter and decided to run the course in one direction as part of the “half” or 56 miles.

Lime Green for Lymphoma Support

Lime Green to show support for Derek and his battle with Lymphoma

One friend in particular who was on my mind at the start was Derek. He is battling lymphoma and I have been thinking and praying for him often. Derek, a young father of 3 little kids, is someone who has run with me, has been in bible studies together with me, and has “fixed” me many times as my sports chiropractor. I wore lime green to show my support for him and all those battling Lymphoma. Continue reading

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Same Race But Much Has Changed

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11

IMG_5282CRUEL JEWEL 108- REPEAT

In two weeks I will once again stand at the starting line of the Cruel Jewel. This 108-mile ultra that occurs deep within the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest of Georgia was the most difficult race I had faced last May. In addition to the extra 8 miles the race director added from the normal “Century” run and 33,000 feet of climbing, I somehow got lost and added on another half-dozen miles for fun. Based on these obvious challenges, it was no surprise that it took me over 34 hours to finish.

Why on earth would I do it again? That would be a fair question. However, as I wrote in my race report last year, I learned more about myself and what my body and mind were capable of here more than during any other event. Based on this and a nagging desire to know what I was capable of if I had stayed on course, drove me to sign up once again. Another reason I decided to tackle this course was the hopes that it may help prepare me for my next adventure in August, Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc. UTMB is a race that traverses 3 countries around Mount Blanc in Europe and is even more brutal, given its longer climbs and higher altitude. Continue reading

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 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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