Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Start of ???????

In 2004 I started running, entering my first race (a 5k) and completing my first marathon, the Twin Cities Marathon. I started running........and still haven't stopped. I suppose I'm not completely sure why - maybe I'm running from the 4 women I live with (the wife, 18 year old au pair, and daughters ages 5 and 6). Or, maybe it is because that running has opened up the door to an entire new world, a world of new challenges and many new friends.

Soon after my first marathon, with the help of the extraordinary Lisa Smith-Batchen, my marathon PR dropped by nearly 30 minutes (from 4:08 at Twin Cities, to 3:40 at the Long Island Marathon), and 5ks and marathons became 50ks, 50-milers and 100-milers. Running became ultra-running.

Now, in the course of getting into the sport of ultra-running, there seem to me to be a few constants.

First, 99.9% of the people you meet at an ultra event are amazing. I have made so many friends over the course of the last few years. That's not to say the same doesn't hold true at a non-ultra event (and by no means do I mean to diminish non-ultra events - I still run plenty of them), but, I have found that there is a certain camaraderie among runners of all levels in the ultra-running community that I simply haven't seen elsewhere, to the point were many of the elite runners that I have had the pleasure of meeting (such as Andy Jones-Wilkins and Bryon Powell) are eager and happy to offer encouragement and advice to the rest of us, even long after the events are over.

Case in point - at the 2007 Grand Teton Races, Bryon Powell (a/k/a Trail Goat) paced Andy Jones-Wilkins for 25 miles through the night in route to AJW's course record 19:35:20 first place finish (shattering the old course record of 24:12:32 held by Mike Wolf). 25 miles not being enough for the Trail Goat, he followed up his overnight pacing duties by, only 8 hours later, pacing me an additional 20 miles to my 33:19:36 finish (complete GTR 100 results and splits). Without Bryon's help, I may not have finished GTR 100.

A second constant that I have discovered among ultra-runners and runners alike - all of you seem to HAVE A BLOG. I admit, at 36 years old, with 5 and 6 (going on 7) year olds, maybe I should have known what a blog was - but I didn't. Wasn't there a 1958 movie with Steve McQueen in it called "The Blog" ? Well, these blogs are great. There are several that I visit daily in an effort to read up on the activities and events of a variety of people in the running community. Besides, some of these folks have become my friends, so, I feel somewhat obligated to read what they post.

So, after constant pressure from certain bloggers (who shall remain nameless - for now), I have decided to give in and join the blogging community. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to post here (maybe some race reports, reflections on life, etc...), no idea where to start, but hey, I made it through this post.

So, feel free to check back, read a little, comment and enjoy !!

8 comments:

  1. yeah for you!!!
    may all your dreams come true!

    Lisa

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  2. Congrats on your first post. You are a tru ultra runner now!!!

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  3. My first two posters. Meredith - Lisa beat you to #1 by 12 minutes !!

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  4. TONY Said: no idea where to start, but hey, I made it through this post.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    WOOO HOOO Congrats on your FIRST post, it's all downhill from here ....ummmm I mean Uphill ...ummm I mean rocky trail hill...ummm wet snowy muddy hill, OK you get the point it's ALL hills from here kinda like LIFE.

    WELCOME to BLOGLAND Bro, look forward to following your journey!

    PS: REMOVE that word verification chittt, SEE POST it slows me up on reading other blogs--haha

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  5. Welcome to the blogosphere, Tony! It was my pleasure to join you out at Teton.

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  6. Bob -

    For you...ok...word verification is outta here.

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  7. Bryon - I still owe you big time.

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  8. Hey Tony u need to set up or activate ur profile...cause when I clik on your name in the comment section it's not connecting over to ur profile...

    Ok rookie we will get u up to speed:-)

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