Monday, January 16, 2012

Ultra Runner of the Year and other thoughts

It's been a while since I've posted on the ol' blog, so I thought I'd do a quick update and share a few thoughts.

First up, I've recently joined forces with Team RWB to help spread the word about the great work they're doing.  Their mission is to help reintegrate troops, especially those injured in action, back into society primarily through endurance sports. I have tremendous respect for our service members, and I absolutely believe in the healing powers of endurance sports. I think Team RWB has a winning formula. Check them out and please support their cause if you're able.

Next, I wanted to acknowledge the results from the Ultrarunner of the Year voting. I was stoked to find out this week that I finished 4th in the UROY voting behind the likes of Dave Mackey, Michael Wardian, and Mike Wolfe. It's a huge honor just to be considered in the top 10 with all of the great runners on that list. And it was unimaginable just a year ago that I would jump from an honorable mention to being regarded as one of the top ultra guys in North America.

That was certainly great news, but I can top it. My performance at the JFK 50 Mile was voted the top performance of the year by a North American ultrarunner. I was stunned and speechless immediately after running JFK, and now that I know how highly the ultra community regards my race at JFK, it just makes it that much more difficult to comprehend. One thing is for sure, I am glad that I didn't have to vote for performance of the year with all of the options to choose from. If Ian Sharman's 12:44:33 100 mile  (7:38 pace!!!) at Rocky Raccoon was given top honors, you would have heard no arguments from me. It's hard for me to appreciate how fast that is, because I haven't run a 100 yet, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't run that fast. If I were voting though, I would have given my first place vote to Wardian's 6:42:49 at the World Championship 100k. I was at that race folks, and the conditions were not ideal. To run that fast in warm and muggy conditions was absolutely amazing.

The UROY news was a bright spot in what was a pretty rough week for me. I fell ill with a stomach virus last Monday night and suffered for most of the week. While I was able to run some, I had to significantly cut back on mileage and skip the hard efforts. Although the acute issues have passed, I am still very weak from being so dehydrated and having such a limited diet. It's amazing how easy it is to lose faith in one's fitness. One part of my mind tells me that I'm fine and my strength will return quickly, but the other side thinks I'll never run fast again.

Up until this week, my training had been great. I'd gradually been increasing my mileage after a couple down weeks following JFK and had just put together two weeks at 100 miles a piece. I've got two weeks until my season opener at Mtn Mist 50k, and I should be fine as long as I don't try to make up for missed training this week.  Easier said than done.

After Mtn Mist, I was hoping to do Mt Cheaha 50k or the Mt Mitchell Challenge on February 25th, but I'm not able to do either due to a family scheduling conflict that's just recently come up. So, I may not be racing in February as planned.  March is a personal scheduling mess as well, but I'm trying to decide on a good 50k-50 miler. Although not official yet, I hope I'm going to Italy in April with the US 100k team to run the World Championships again this year. Unfortunately, making that race a priority will prevent me from running 3 different Montrail Ultra Cup races that I would have considered otherwise.  Just bad timing. I'll be getting ready for Western States in May and of course racing that in June.

One more thing, I just wanted to throw out there that I've set up a fan page on facebook:  If you'd like to keep up with my running on facebook, then just like my fan page. I've linked my twitter account to my page, so it's a good way to keep up if you don't do twitter. I plan to update my page frequently with news, thoughts, pictures and hopefully some video.  Check it out.

Thanks to everyone who felt I was deserving of performance of the year. And congratulations to all of the other runners who were just as deserving.  Take care!


  1. Congrats on your UPOY. Well deserved, taking down Clifton's record.

  2. Very glad to hear that you have linked up with Mike Erwin and TeamRWB. A very powerful organization, and tremendous leadership from Mike and his crew. Proceeds from this year's Huntsville Half- went to TeamRWB. And of course, I got to spend a crazy, powerful, emotional 9/11 with Mike and others on the way from West Point to NYC.