Black Hills 100

100 miles is no joke, and much, much further both mentally and physically than my previous 50 mile and 100k ultra distances. I was leaving the turn-around point around midnight at Silver City after just vomiting, and staring down a dark night on the Centennial Trail and very likely more hours ahead of me than I’ve ever put in on a trail despite having already run 50 miles today. Holy shit. What?! Okay...Just keep moving forward...Let’s do this!...somehow...?!

"Ultra running is a brutal sport; I’ve never seen so much determination and so many smiles in spite of extreme fatigue, aches, pain, vomit and other struggles most people would avoid at all costs. These athletes are willing to face these challenges, plus more, and push through, just to know they can. It is inspiring to say the least.”  -Kelly Dahl (crew chief, wife, and kid-wrangler)

Adventure: Appalachian Trail - Davenport Gap to Hot Springs

“Woah man! I wish I had your energy” the thru-hiker said excitedly as he sat perched against a fence post on the opposite side of the dirt road leading up to the Max Patch parking lot. I was running out of the woods at a good clip on a slight downhill and I think we both caught each other off guard. Neither of us expecting the other to be there. 

“Oh, hey. Let’s hope it lasts, haha...Does the trail go this way?” I said as I pointed into the trees on the other side of the road. Little did I know that it wouldn't, well, not exactly.

“Yes, right over here” he confirms.

“Thanks… the way, do know where the next water source is?” I ask hesitantly, revealing my biggest fear on this run. My water bladder was empty and I needed to refill it. I was hoping there would be a water source here or on the other side of Max Patch. I was 19 miles into 40, knowing that I would need to refill my water, and soon so the water purification tablets would have enough time to kill the nasties before I needed to drink it. 

“Yes, I think there’s a stream right down the trail before the summit.”

“Thanks!” I yell as I take off down the trail in search of water. 

2017 Race Schedule and Goals

We are a couple months into 2017 and winter is coming to an end. I’m still working to finalize my 2017 running schedule, but let’s talk about 2017 plans and goals. I’ve been running now for a little less than three years, and I’m excited for new adventures this year. I don’t really have an off season for running specifically. I don’t take months off during the winter, but my running does fluctuate based on travel, work, and family responsibilities. 

Race Report: Yankee Springs Winter Challenge (50 Mile)

The alarm went off at 3:30 AM, and I groggily reached for my phone. I hit snooze button (a big “no, no” in the get up and get out the door motivational world), but I wanted a few minutes of not running around to plan though my day. Running is so reactive, move through the world, take in your surrounding, react and adapt to your body and your context. I reveled in these nine warm minutes of calm in bed before I started the avalanche of motion and emotion that is the Yankee Springs Winter Challenge (YSWC) 50 Mile race.

Race Report: Yankee Springs Trail Run (Double Marathon)

Let me just start by saying, the Yankee Springs Trail Run weekend is amazing expression of the West Michigan trail running community. I feel lucky and grateful to live in a place with a great trail running community. I'll be back next year to run or volunteer or both. 

You should definitely join me next year! You can run 1, 2, or even 3 races over the weekend; Friday = 10k; Saturday = full-marathon, double-marathon, quad-marathon; Sunday = half-marathon. We didn't camp out at Yankee Springs this year, but likely will next year...

Gear Overview

One of the things I love about running is that it isn't gear intensive and you don't need much to just go for a run. However, like many other sports there is gear that can be used to make things easier. Here are a few of the brands and products I've found useful.