Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Beginnings


          Well, it certainly has been a crazy March/April!  In mid March a group of friends and I decided to set up a small informal ultra running Facebook Group so that our friends could connect and meet for runs and talk about ultra running.  Little did we know that it would develop into a close to 200 person club.  As you may guess, this created quite a bit of administrative work, as well as conflict.  All's well that end's well because I now have a way to run with my friends without any drama, commercialism or superimposed authority figures.  The group is called the Flatlander Ultrarunners in Chicagoland.  The website is:

          And our Facebook group can be found at:

          So far we have a great group of hardcore ultra and trail runners.  I think it is going to be a solid group.

          The other thing I did in March was train my ass off for the Potawatomi Trail Races 150 Mile race.  I came up about 50 miles short, DNF'ing at mile 100.  I went into the race confident and well trained.  My wife Kylia was there to crew me throughout and all my friends were there.  The race also has the best RD's around.  They treat everyone like family.  In the first few loops I ran a little too fast and had way too much confidence.  I really believed I would finish 150 miles and break 48 hours.  My training and experience at SOB 50 really paid off!

          Then I got sleepy.  Then my feet started to hurt.  Then they started to hurt even more.  I knew by mile 70 that it wasn't going to be my day.  Between the streams and the blisters I reached a point where it was a reality that I wasn't moving fast enough to finish 150 miles within the cutoff.  ( became clear that I wasn't tough enough, trained enough or talented enough to push through what I was experiencing and finish anyway).  It's a tough call.  I'll let you decide.

          Fortunately for me I was sent ultra angels from the heavens.  My friends Tony, Joy, Matt, Julie and Eric formed a group of people that were changing to a goal of only running 100 miles.  We stuck together.  We laughed.  We labored.  We made it to 100 miles and got our 100 Mile DNF Buckle.  I consider it a great day.  I consider it a learning experience.  It was both a 150 DNF and a 100 finish.  Looking back, I know I made the right decision.

          The highlight of March/April was watching my friends finish at Potawatomi and cheering for them at the Mad City 100k.  I have to admit, I can't watch a finish line without tearing up.  I love watching others succeed.  Even in the face of my own failure.  I don't want to list you all.  You know who you are.  I want you to know that you amazed and inspired me.  I can't get enough of your success.

50 Mile Finisher - Tony Silvestri

Last second decision to run 100 - FINISHER - Katerina Claiborne

150 Mile Finisher - Melissa Pizarro

First 100 - Jeff Moss

150 Mile Finisher - Tiffany Dore

What it is all about

          What's next?  I am pacing Alfredo Pedro in the Indiana Trail 100.  After that, I need to train my ass off for the Comrades Marathon in Africa followed shortly thereafter by the San Juan Solstice 50 Miler.  I have some work to do!

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