Going the distance

Life is like a long distance run. Most of the time you're looking forward, but occasionally you look back at what you've covered… You know there will be obstacles throughout the journey - but deep down, you know you can handle anything that comes your way. Most importantly... you keep putting one foot in front of the other and let 'NOTHING' stand in your way!!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

We Just felt like running?


On October 5 John Gordon and I went for a 180 mile run from Concord, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC.

Why, would you do that? 
We just felt like running, and had a crazy idea that it could be done. 

 I have  been inspired for many years by people who accomplish the impossible. John himself has completed several 100 mile races, and rode his bike across the USA.
Both of us were tired of the rising cost of events and made a decision to start doing our own adventures. Running to the beach was something we have talked about for years. This past spring we decided it was time to put up or shut up

Early on we decided to keep talk of what we were planning minimal. Really, no one cares. This would be a private event, something to do for our own satisfaction. No belt buckle, no awards, no T shirt. 

We did decide we would try to honor God along the way and spread the gospel and extend grace and peace to those we met. Because we both know that with out God nothing is possible.


Running along the highway in the day and at night is not the smartest or the safest thing to do. There are no road closings or police blockades to keep traffic back. This is not recommended for everyone. If your not experienced at this type of running I recommend you don't try this. 


We made a outrageous time goal that deep down we both knew was unachievable, but we needed that to keep us on motivated. We set a goal of 5 mph that would give us 36 hours of run time, sleep, bathrooms and eating would take up 12 hours and to give us a 48 hour finish but I was hopeful we could see the sunrise on Saturday morning over the ocean as we finished. So we put another 4 hours on for a 52 hour goal.

We wanted to also make this a team effort. The longest we have ever ran together was 20 miles. Running this distance alone is one thing but staying with a partner is a challenge. We start together, we finish together.


How do you train for something this bigstupid, crazy?
Time on your feet and running on tired legs were going to be the challenge. We never wrote out a plan but jumped right into 10 mile plus runs. Early morning and hot afternoons. We started off strong by putting up big miles through the summer heat and humidity. We  stayed on course through July then August came and the need to take care of life, family, and work cut into running time.
Our longest run this summer had been 22 miles with a recovery run the day after. Our original plans had us at peak doing 3 x 20 back to back to back. That never happened. 


Over confident and under-trained it was go time.

3 AM Thursday October 5. 

John, his dad Paul and I packed up and hit the road.

About 5:45 we decided it was a good time for breakfast at McDonald's. 

The morning air was crisp and cool and perfect for a run.

The sun came up around mile 20 so we stopped at a church along highway 200. We packed up headlamps and raised the flag.

Along with our decision to honor God we also decided to honor country. With much negativity in the news about the flag, we wanted to show our support. (Running with it also increases our visibility.)

 The sun rose over the fields of cotton and soy. We had plenty of energy and excitement to push us on.

I asked if we were there yet and John replied," No but were closer than we were."

Just as we made the county line Paul  decided he was done. John talked him into sticking with us to, Oakboro. Where we could stop and get food while he waited for a ride. 

We found a small restaurant about 10:30 and with 30 miles in, it it was time to eat again.
Tammy's was a little cash only diner with great food. John had liver mush and grits, and I had eggs and hashbrowns.
 As we explained to the waitress what we were doing, she proclaimed "Oh My! I'm 70 years old and could never do something like that?" Johns dad quickly spoke up and said. "I'm 69,"

Paul's wife arrived and after goodbyes and some photos we were back on the road. 


Highway 742 from Oakboro to Wadesboro  started out flat. We had full stomachs and plenty of fluids. We knew it was 25 miles to Wadesboro and there was no place to stop in between. First the road became loose blacktop, then came the hills. The sun was warming the road and about 10 miles in and I was starting to feel like it would never end. Even though I still had plenty of fluids, I began debating if I had enough.

About 2:00 pm we had about 40 miles in. We found a small country store in Burnsville, A one light town in the middle of nowhere. I was so excited for something more than water, I picked one of everything. Gatorade, coke, water, a slushee, and some snacks. 

Two old men were sitting at a table out front in the baking sun. We sat with them and chatted about our run. They gave us the ya'll crazy look  and wished us luck. The cashier was happy to see we were flying the flag as we ran." Not enough people respecting that these days." she said

Back on 742 and the hills never let up, John kept talking about the road ending soon. " I remember these big pine trees just  before we turn?"
"Maybe there is more up ahead?"
"Things look different on the bike?"

Then John began to sing? He would get a goofy song in his head and start singing. This became a good motivator to push me back to running. Other times it would be such a goofy song it would make me laugh and break stride and walk.

5:50pm, Wadesboro, We turned off 742 and onto HWY 74.  The last two miles to McDonalds never seemed to end. Grumpy and hungry, I started  moving as fast as possible. Sidewalks were broken and weed filled but it felt good to be off of the hot asphalt and safe from oncoming traffic. John had the flag as we ran through town, We were getting a lot of  honks, fist pumps and many cheers from cars as we passed. 

We made McD's about  6:30 and had finished 56 miles for the day according to Strava. We  just wanted to sit and eat and get off our feet. We had earned it.

John had made it to the parking lot about 5 min ahead of me and was immediately greeted by a woman who was curious on why we were running with the flag,
He explained our story to he. She explained she and her husband are US Marines and live in Fort Brag, If our run was going to pass through Fort Brag, we were welcome to stay at their home.
After high fives, selfies and exchanges of info so she could follow along we finally were able to order our food and sit.

As we ate and recharged our phones and selves, it was time to make a plan for the night. Sitting in the AC was starting to cool us off to the point of getting the chills.
Kim ( Johns wife ) was still a hour plus from catching up to us and we had almost 10 more miles to run before our meet up.


After a hour of food and rest, we talked ourselves into getting back on the road. We expected it to start cooling  off as the sun set, but the pavement was still generating stored heat from the day.I wanted to make the next stop by 9 and picked back up our original pace. John had to remind me that we had a long road ahead and we still needed to be conservative.
Highway 52 was starting to feel like 742,  long and endless hills.


Kim had planned meet up with us around mile 60. She would be our saving grace, a voice of reason, our cook, nurse, cheerleader, spotter, rolling aid station, a true road angel.

Kim passed us as we ascended the hill to Morvin's truck stop. She was yelling cheers of encouragement. It gave us a boost of energy to finish the long hill ahead of us.

We made it and Kim was already setting up. She had chairs and water she was ready to make anything we needed. ( I think they paked a grocery store)
Our biggest need was fresh clothing and water, we were still full from McDonalds.

This was probably the most efficient stop of the whole trip. We decided Kim should go ahead and we would meet her in the morning between 7-9 in Bennetsville another 31 miles away. We asked her to set out some water bottles about 18 miles away for us since all the stores would be closed.


11:00 pm

Weather was perfect and we had a full moon to guide us along. We only needed our lights to make us visible to oncoming traffic. Running in the dark always seem to make the intimidation of the long endless hills go away.

12:30 am

We crossed the state line and were now in South Carolina.

Sleep deprivation was starting to wear on us and I decided we needed to find someplace to rest a hour or two. Task master John said we could afford maybe a half hour if we wanted to make it to the hotel before check out.
I started looking for a church with a picnic table or some sort of shelter. We found a small AME church just off the road and decided their from porch would be a safe spot. It wasn't cool enough to make a tent but some extra layers kept me from getting cold. I set a timer for 30 min and fell asleep. Not able to get comfortable the alarm went off and I re-set it for another 30. When it went off John was all business. "Lets Move! We have a lot of ground to cover before we meet up with Kim."

2:00 am

When slogging through the night you can either laugh or cry, but you just cant stop.  We joked back and forth, made up songs and found little thing to talk about to keep us awake.
Most of the morning became a blur to me. My hearing tanked out and conversation wasn't going to happen. John kept talking about our timing and rambling on about something, I finally had to tell him I can't understand a word your saying? He started mimicking Uncle Lewis from the movie Christmas Vacation. We joked about how I wouldn't be able to hear a dump truck in a nitroglycerin factory.

Mile after mile we just pushed on. Run a little, walk a little, just keep moving forward.

As our water drop at mile 18 approached the only thing I could think of was let me sleep some more and drink that red bull. My pack was starting to get irritating and dig into my shoulders. "ARE WE THERE YET?!!"

5:00 am

We found the roadside shelter with our water drop around 5 am. As I sat down to drink I fell asleep. I slept another 15 or 20 minutes, downed a Red Bull, refilled the camel back and we were on the road again.

As sunrise approached morning  traffic started to get annoying.  Who am I kidding? Everything became annoying, the sound of my own breathing was irritating, my shadow from Johns light was irritating, this race vest is digging in my back, my feet hurt, the squiggly tar lines in the road...

The sun finally was up and gave us a little renewed spirit. We made the final push into Bennetsville and as we approached downtown, Kim came out to meet us and guide us in. "ARE WE THERE YET?!" It seemed for a few min that we would never reach the hotel. I was in a bad spot, tired, hungry, I was struggling in my head to keep positive. I felt like I was at such a weak point and so overly spent that for the first time thought this could be over. Do I really want to sleep? Will I wake up when its time to go? Will my legs hurt? Do I have the strength, and fortitude to keep going? "ARE WE THERE YET?!"

Another 31 miles for a total of 95 miles 27 hours. Our over night push slowed us to a 16:28 pace.

Breakfast, shower, sleep. It felt good to be clean and to lie down on a bed. It took about two seconds to fall asleep.
Two solid hours of sleep was refreshing.  We ate at a local diner, and made plans to have Kim meet us every 3-5 miles.We would be able to drop our packs use hand held water bottles.


1:00 pm Friday
Our legs were as fresh as they could be and we had a decent rhythm of run/walk. The sun was in its full glory and the road was burning hot. Our first stop with Kim should have been water and go, but the heat was getting to us. We just wanted to sit in the shade, relax and have a beer.
We refilled waters and forced ourselves to get going. I was already mentally out of it for the day Kim had to yell at me several times to make sure I understood where she would be next.
It took a quarter mile to get our legs ready to run. The new asphalt was burning our feet and melting our shoes. The few clouds would be no help and the only shade we could find was on the other side of the highway. I attempted to cross over a few times, but the added effort of crossing 4 lanes and the median , just wasn't worth the quarter mile of shade.

We made it through another 3 miles to find Kim parked at a church. We were going for a quick pit but John had to adjust his shoes and rest his right shin. So I took the opportunity to sneak across to a new gas station and get some AC and a drink. I probably sat way to long but the AC felt great. But once again the road was calling.

Next stop, Dillon. This was a critical decision stop. Stay here and push for 66 miles on Saturday. Push on into Marion another 20 miles and only have 46 to finish Saturday?


22.4 miles at a 16:40 pace

We drug our tired weary souls and soles into the truck stop. Kim immediately recommended we get a room, But we were still debating going on? Or at least John did. I was just hungry and didn't really care?
By the time we ordered our food, Kim had secured a room at the Hotel next door. She went over to set up the room. Since we were stopping for the night I took my time eating and charging my phone. I sat so long that my hips and legs locked up and I made a loud moan and nearly knocked over the table standing up. Everyone near me turned to find out what was going on. It gave me a good opportunity to explain what we were doing.
One truck driver said "Like Forest Gump?"
"Just like that" I said.

As  I walked out of the truck stop to go to the hotel, It looked like it was ten miles away?

After a soak in the pool and some family connection, it was sleepy time . As I fell asleep Kim put essential oils on my feet to keep me from snoring? I guess it worked?

John and I wanted to be up at 3 and out at 4. Kim recommended not out before 6?


I woke up about 3 and went downstairs in search of  coffee. John texted me just before 4 and asked what was going on. I said lets hit it were burning daylight. We hit the road just after 4.
The sleep did us good, we made the next 15 miles in 3:22 moving at a 13 min mile. As the sun rose we could tell it was going to rain. John mentioned he felt sprinkles but realized it was just my sweat flinging off onto him. ( Those July training runs were gonna pay off today) SC humidity was no joke.

We cut through the business route into Marion and made a water stop, and a bathroom break. It started to rain but only lasted a few minutes. Kim found us  just before we  were out of town. We supplied up and decided the stops would be farther apart today to keep us moving. We had 45 miles to finish this thing. If we could keep this pace a 8 pm would be a possibility? Kim would move ahead 7 miles for our first pit stop.

The SC roadside began to get worse. The white line was on the edge of the grass. Rumble strips were wide and deep. Finding a run-able line was tough at times. I started praying for sidewalks. When we did get them they were broken cement with clumps of dead grass. I don't think they get much pedestrian traffic?

We found Kim fairly quick as we still had some pep in our stride. I was even able to do a little jump kick for a picture as we approached the pit stop. She was waiting in Rains, SC. I had a ginger beer and John had a real beer. 38 more miles to go.


The next few miles was a section of swamps leading up to Galivant's Ferry. It has always seemed desolate and scary to me on the drive. In the 5 mile section of road I probably counted 100 road kills. Deer, raccoons, possums, fox, turtles? The road had a good wide roadside for us to run on I had no fear for us but the wildlife didn't have a chance getting stuck there. As we made it past we found the store at Galivant's ferry and stopped for Gatorade. We were still at a 13.50 pace and felt strong?

Kim was waiting at another 5 miles away in Aynor . All I could think about was fries and a frosty. Then the rains came, first a sprinkle, then a downpour.. I started laughing cause yesterday I had prayed for a little rain. It reminded me to be more detailed and specific when asking God for things.

 As we entered Aynor we were greeted by sidewalks. They were the same broken condition as every one we had come across in SC.  However broken they were , I felt they were a blessing to get us off the asphalt and away from the rumble strip from hell.

We arrived at Wendy's about 1:40 pm. It was good to have shelter and a break.The radar showed it was going to clear up so we ate and changed clothes. Kim would move ahead to a coffee shop about 13 miles away in Conway. And at 2:50 pm we were back on the road again.

About 5:00 We had about four more miles to meet Kim. I asked John if he could get her  to come back and meet us. I felt the cloudy day and the sun going down we needed to get our vest and lights.
45 minutes later we were re supplied and geared up for our final push (19 miles) to reach the sand. We were on the far edge of Conway and ready to be done and on the beach. If we could maintain our pace we could still finish by 10.


Passing through Conway we still had light I wanted to get over the bridge before dark so we pushed through our pains and ran more than walked. As we passed over Lake Busbee and the Waccamaw river, I kept looking for gators and snakes. Not that there would be any ? However in my head they were there, somewhere? I kept thinking , I didn't run all this way to get bit by a snake.

In my mind it would be flat and easy from here. At this point I hit the wall, any aches and pains that had come up over the trip started coming back, The run-able line on the side of the road disappeared again and was reduced to a foot width between the grass and the rumble strips. For the second time the entire trip I started to curse traffic. They had 3 lanes why were they in ours?!!!

The rumble strips were carved out divots about 3 inches deep  so you couldn't avoid running in them. This really started to effect my gait on the right side and was causing a lot of knee hip irritation. We tried to take it into the grass but much of that hadn't been mowed and was still really wet from the rains. My back was irritating me, my pack was cutting into my shoulders, I wanted something ice cold to drink. "ARE WE THERE YET!"

Kim was tracking us live and kept giving us updated on how far to the sidewalks in Myrtle. We finally made it to a overpass and some wider roadsides. As we picked up pace, John noticed we seemed to be on the wrong road? 501 was going one way and we were on a off ramp of sorts. We made our way over to the wall and had to climb the cement wall to get back on track.


It was such a relief once we made it to sidewalks. We had made it, now we just needed to navigate Myrtle Beach and find the beach.

My running gait at this point resembled the Hunchback  kind of a hop and a hobble. I started telling John,"Ill race you to the fire hydrant?  I'll race you to the corner?"

My hopes all day had been once we reach this point a energy will come over us and we will sprint the last mile to the water. Yeah!? It will be like the run scene from Chariots of Fire.
It was almost 11 pm and we still had nearly a 5k to go. Hop and hobble, walk ,Hop and hobble, walk...

We made it to Kings Highway and 3rd ave, now we had to make our way to 8th ave and head for the hotel? "Really?! another 5 blocks?"

We hobbled our way down along the t-shirt shops, mini golf courses, and breakfast restaurants. That last 5 blocks was hell.

11:29 pm We hopped and hobbled our way down 8th Ave, Kim was waiting and recording our finish. She led us through the hotel pool area and onto the beach.

We did it!!! We made it! It was DONE!

183 miles,
336,338 steps,
34,000 calories.

45 hours run time,
68 hours elapsed time.

Special thanks to God for giving us the breath and energy to accomplish the impossible.

Special thanks to Kim for all the support and logistics.

Thanks to my wife and family for putting up with my crazy ideas and dealing with me through the training.

If you've take time to read this to the end and are crazy stupid enough to follow our footsteps? Let us know. We are debating on making this a race.


  We can no longer say that things are impossible. Yes was it epic? Was it dumb? I'd like to say it was both. Was it irresponsible? Maybe, we are both experienced road runners that took safety seriously on this. We stayed off the road and in the grass iron the shoulders where possible. We were well lit and reflective in the dark. 
Again I say  road running is dangerous and should be done
With extreme caution. Again I say don't try this at home. 
 Back to the original question of why? My answer is why not. 
This was a personal goal and may not be for everyone. I knew I could go 100 miles.  After a couple years with out a goal it was time to set a big goal. Go big or go home. 
What does this mean for the future? Not sure. I know
Now it's out of the way. I will take time to focus on family and take time to enjoy the little things. 
Throughout it all it was only possible with Gods help. He was with us The-entire journey. With this Giant out of the way I know
There is nothing I can't do. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Dryer.

Out of a need for a place to dry my shoes and gear. I decided to build my own custom drying rack. Something portable but sturdy. I have made a few of these for friends but don't feel there is a big market for them. So my Christmas present to the masses is this simple plan.

Many of you have requested the plans or to buy one. Honestly for a few bucks at Lowe's you can build your own. I made mine based on my size. Using my torso length of 21" as a guide and a 12" shoe.

Materials to start with are:

1-10' piece of PVC
1-5'   piece of PVC

7- T's
6- L's
5- caps (optional)

Lowe's or Home Depot will have everything you need. If don't have a saw. You could ask nice and probably find a associate to cut the pieces in store for you. I used 3/4" pipe I felt 1/2" was not sturdy enough.

Cuts are as follows:

2  @ 21"  ( B-C)
2  @ 7"    ( A-B)
4  @ 11"   (  E  )
4  @5 "     (A)  ( C-D)
2  @7"      ( E-E)
4  @ 3"      ( D-E)

Start buy building the top frame in the pictures I have labeled "A" as the starting point building down to the base.

Start with a T as the center and attach a 7" A-B to each side and a 5" A out the top.

Add a B elbow (L) on each end'

Connect a 21"  B-C to the bottom of each elbow.

Now build the base.

Start buy laying out the T's and L's

First assemble the E 12" sections these will be the shoe post. And the E 7" spacer.

Next assemble the 4, 3" D-E pieces between the T and L. D this for both sides.

Now you should have 4, 5" pieces C-D connect these to the remaining T's. Finish off the base by connecting the the remaining corners D.

Now turn and adjust and tighten the base.

Finish by adding the top uprights. Now you are ready to keep your gear dry and organized.

I do not have mine glued together. However you can use PVC cement to attach everything together. There are also PVC paints available on the market if basic white is not your style.

I have set this up on a wire shelf in the summer with a old fan blowing upwards to speed dry times.

PVC can be cut with a tubing cutter or any standard saw.  Or you can sweet talk a plumbing guy at Lowe's to make the cuts for you.

Want me to build it?  $25.00 + shipping. But you can do it for about $15.00

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Umstead 100 Endurance Run

First before I start the story I have to thank those who helped make it happen.

God, because He makes all things possible happen. Giving me the drive, desire and determination to attempt and complete this event.

Viki, my wife: For putting up with me being gone long hours on runs, for getting up in the middle of the night to run, for putting up with all my emotions, and crazy dreams. For cheering me on and reassuring me whenever I let doubt set in.

Paisley, my daughter: For being my biggest cheerleader. Always knowing I could do it. For putting up with me being gone long hours on runs, for getting up in the middle of the night to run, for putting up with all my emotions, and crazy dreams. For putting cards in my drop bag to read every lap. ( More on this later.)

Vince Smith, for having the courage to say I’m signing up and giving me a training partner to go through this with. For listening to my life ramblings on our long runs. For listening to my corny jokes. For sharing details and information he learned. For Driving to Umstead in December and learning the course, and for signing up for a 50k in January with a bunch of crazy trail runners. Having someone to share this experience with as a rookie was priceless.

Jonathan Savage, for slowing down on his long runs to teach and give advice. For sharing all the information he gathers on his wiki. For taking us on a tour of the course and teaching us what to expect. Responding to every question I had. And for reassuring me I could do this. On race weekend for making sure my drop bags were organized, checking with me every time we passed. Making sure I slowed down, and reassuring me I had plenty of time. For working on my ugly feet at mile 87.5 and getting me blankets to warm up before I went back out. For being at the finish line when I came in and ushering me into the lodge in front of the fire and getting me anything I needed. And for driving Vince and I back to Charlotte.

Jason Rose, who committed to pace me months ago when his wife was planning to pace another runner. And even after Katie had to drop out he still made the 2 hour drive to pace me for 25 miles of hell. Keeping me on track while I marched along at a 19 min mile pace. Making sure I was drinking and ate food. Being right with me up to the final push into the finish line.

Denise Martin, For being a saint of massage therapy. Spending long hours giving massages to stinky dirty ultra runners and keeping us going.

Charles West, and Charles Akers for answering my stupid questions on Fb and for telling me how I would rock this. For getting me what I needed at the aid stations and pointing me back on the course. For treating me like a rock star every time they saw me.

Rebecca Sitton, who also made sure I didn’t go without anything and for communicating with my family on how I was doing. For posting awesome FB pics. For cheering me on every time she saw me.

For my crazy inspiration Ultra running friends. Who have shared their experiences and give inspiration every day Chad Randolph, John Gordon,Kelly Wells, Mark Connolly, Mike Morton, (Julius) Sung Ho Choi, Bobby Cordell, Amy Surrette. The Sutcliffe family, The MTC, Jamie McDonald, Bill Weimer, Frank Lilly , The Sultan, Vladimir Dropa, and many more.

Charlie Engle for these words of encouragement : It's gonna be a great day for you. It's not everyday that you get to cram so much living into one relatively short period of time. It's a gift you give to yourself.

Matt and Jeff for starting the Fathers House Ghana. Rescuing children from the Fisherman on Lake Volta and raising them as discipleship of Christ.

For Blake Norwood and Rhonda Hampton and their army of volunteers that put this event on and make every runner feel like a rock star.

Now for the details of the event.

Friday before the event I started feeling sick. Already being a germ o phobe I was getting nervous. The last thing I needed was to get a cold. So for the week I was plagued with a sore throat. I believed it was allergy related but my mind and hormones already in overdrive made everything seem worse than it was. By Thursday I was convinced I had a fever. But nothing short of broken bones was going to stop me from towing the line.

I picked up Vince and Jonathan and we drove up to Raleigh Friday afternoon. We made our way to the race headquarters and checked in, went to the pre race briefing. Did the Oath, I will drink before I am thirsty, eat before I am hungry, walk before I am tired. Then all the first timers were asked to help set up the tables and move the benches for dinner.

We ate the pasta dinner then made our way to the Hotel. As Vince checked us in the desk staff were explaining the work out facility and amenities. He was quick to let them know we wouldn’t need them and asked if the breakfast could be set up by 4am for us. Then proceed to explain why we were in town. They had never heard of such an event and were amazed.

I never sleep well the night before a race and this was even worse. I tried to go to sleep with the TV on but just kept staring at the movie. I finally turned it off just before 10. The proceeded to wake up about every hour until 3 when I finally got up. Everyone was up by 3:40 and we were out the door by 4:30.

Getting to the park and shuffling around until 6:00 was just making my nerves worse. I opened a card my daughter put in my bin it said Believe - I believe you can do it c’mon daddy run,run, run. At 5:55 we lined up with 286 other insane individuals. A roman candle went off at 6 and we were under way.

The Course: A 12.5-mile loop with spurs in Umstead Park. The course will be repeated eight times equaling 100 miles. There are two out and back spurs on the course. The Headquarters Spur is 1.85 miles long and accesses the start/finish aid station, race headquarters and parking. This spur allows you to see fellow runners up to 5.3 miles behind and in front of you, as well as providing some race camaraderie. The other is a .75-mile long spur to adjust the course to the 12.5 mile distance. The course is marked with 12 mile markers. So each lap is easy to break down. For me anyways.

The sun rose on the first lap and it felt like another Saturday morning group run. The trail is wide multi use trail. Bikes, Horses and foot traffic. I remember seeing a pile of Horse Poop telling someone to watch out. It made me think of something my Dad would say “ HORSE S#*T! Thats just horse s#*it! The mile 7 aid station took care of us quick. And we were off to finish the lap. Original plan was 2;30 for lap 1 we did it in 2:16 A bit fast but recoverable. At the end of the lap my hearing aid gave me a warning the battery was dead. So as I entered the lodge Rebecca was quick to ask if she could get me anything. When I said a hearing aid battery she was stumped. Good thing I packed one. Its was a new request she had never had and we laughed about it.

Back out the door and Vince and I were off for lap 2 by mile 3 I realized I still had my headlamp on. I felt kinda silly wearing it after sunup. I made a plan to drop it in my AS2 bag. When we hit AS2 I was offered a burger. WOW that was good. Well there goes my food plan. I wolfed it down bunless and had some salted potatoes. And caught back up to Vince before the hill. . We started making new friends and tried to slow our pace down.
It worked we finished lap 2 in 2:30. 25 miles done.

The day was starting to warm up so I ran in for some sunscreen and changed into a lighter color shirt, The black was drawing too much heat. I opened the next card from my daughter Dream - of 100 you’ll be there soon. Out the door for lap 3 Charles West filled my water and asked if I needed anything, and told me I was doing great. I was good and headed back on the trail. Vince and I caught back up and we decided that mile 2-3 had just gotten longer for some reason. Late in the lap Vince was having stomach issues and was slowing down. He told me to go and not wait for him. I put my music in for the first time and started moving along. AS2 was a quick in and out and I kept moving. The rest of the lap was fairly uneventful Lap 3 2:40 37.5 miles done, still right on target.

Not too memorable on the turn around for lap 4. Started chatting and making new friends on the way. Every time I would start my music, someone would start chatting. By the time I made it to AS2 my knee was getting sore my right IT band was not happy and began to pull on the knee. I had the doctor take a quick look and we discussed hydration. She had me add salt to my water bottle and showed me a couple stretches. She rolled my IT band with a stick and made sure to discuss hydration again , Informing me I should pee once per lap. This is when I realized I had not gone since just before the start. I made sure to finish my water bottle and refill at the next to unmanned water drops.
I finished lap 4 in 2:57 @ 10:25:25 for the front 50. The easy part is done.

I knew it would get dark on the next lap and being worried about my hydration and my knee I took some extra time in the lodge I changed out my handheld for a camel back and tried to get Denise to look at my knee. We miss-communicated and she seemed busy, so not to burn time I headed back out. I had brought hiking poles to use after dark but decided to try them out. They were light enough to run with and helped keep my hands up when walking and stabilize me when I became tired. Out of the gate I caught up with a new friend Jayson L? we decided to stick the lap out together. Just after mile 3 I needed to do the Morton stretch and Jayson wanted to graze from the unmanned aid station. As I was stretching Savage rounded the corner and stopped to discuss how I was doing, warn me to slow down. And make sure I was hydrating. His advice and guidance helped make much of this race easier. We departed into the loop and I felt the poles were getting fairly easy to use I worked into a decent rhythm when walking and was still able to carry them when running. At AS2 I picked up a LS shirt and my headlamp. Some Tylenol and we were off. Around mile 10 it was getting cool enough to put on the LS shirt. A mile 11 Vince and his new friend caught up to us. We chatted a bit about my poles and then I started to pick up the pace. I didn’t want to get too cold. As I passed the parking area Jason Rose was waiting for me. Lap 5 3:24 62.5 done. 3 more laps to go.

In the lodge I was able to change into warmer clothes and I had Denise give my IT band a massage. Discussed strategy with Savage and got some encouragement from some others. I opened the next card from my daughter Splash- yourself with water you’re halfway there. ( 50 mile ooops) BTW Text me. By now I had spent way too much time in the lodge. I made a quick food graze and headed out to find Jason. Get it done cheers to runners

I told Jason what to expect as far as my plan to walk run at this point. My IT and knee were pretty much toast. He took a quick look at my knee and taped some acupressure points. But at this point the only things I would quit from would be broken limbs or passing out. I saw too many in the lodge who had quit for various reasons. With this much time left why would anyone quit?

Having Jason out there was AWESOME he had his phone and was giving me updates of the games and texting back and forth with Katie. He had some fresh jokes. I told him I was disappointed he wouldn't get the real feel for the hills without seeing them. After what was forever we made AS2. I wanted to get my tights out of my bag, and Emily Hanson was there to help me get food, put away my bag, whatever. I I needed more salt and the poured some in my soup. Wow that sucked but prolly needed it. What I thought to be my tights turned out to be another shirt. So no warm help from my bag. I did manage to get some warm soup. And off we went to march out the rest of the lap. Going down the powerline hill the woods are open and the wind cut through my thin layers. By the time we made it back to AS1 I was getting the mumbles. Lap 6 , 3:40 75 miles done. Now I was felling sore and felt I was off track for the 24 hour finish.

I changed into my tights with a pair of insulated pants and 2 LS shirts. While my shoes were off I had Jonathan look at my feet. He sat me down in his chair and could see I was shivering so he covered me with blankets and had the red cross volunteer get me a warm water bottle to put on my chest. Jason wanted to rest and retired to my van so he could pace my last lap with me.

I picked up a pacer and had some more soup. A handful of candy. Now double layered and a fresh pacer we were off. I let him know I expected to walk a lot he was good with this. I let him know he may need to remind me to drink and eat. I don’t remember much about the lap other than it was slow, cold and dark. We discussed motivation and the single track trails in the park. I found out he was a Shackleton fan. We discussed his leadership and the Endurance expedition. He kept me moving. We noticed many people moving like zombies. Shuffling along. Pacers supporting their runners, holding hands. Doing anything to motivate their runner. I joked that I may be slow but my mental status was good and I was still focused. We discussed my joy of night running. Only focusing on the 10 feet in our lights made it easy to break down the thought of 20+ more miles to go. At AS2 I asked him to get my pre mixed Nuun from my bag. He would have to mule it for me for the next hour. He did good kept me talking and moving forward. We finished the lap in 4:54 87.5 miles done, Farther than I had ever gone in 24 hours. This also included warm up time and Jonathan patching up my feet.

It was now 4:25 am and I had 22:25 hours on my feet.

At The turn around I saw Charles Akers. And remember him telling me if I needed anything he would do it or get it for me. I called him over and told him here is what I need. I need you to put on this bib number and the timing chip and finish my lap. He said no. I told him NEVER tell someone you will do ANYTHING for them. It was all a fun joke. There was nothing that was stopping me from finishing this on my own. After some food and refilling my camel back. I turned to head out the door. Just as Vince was walking in with his shiny new buckle. He did it. I gave out a big howl and congratulated him. He told me get going, go get yours.

I woke up Jason and he shared some food he had packed for me. Some mango and a energy bar Katie made. Thank you Katie. It was now 4:40 ish am and the sun would rise on my next lap. I was hoping it would give me some energy for the push to finish.

I settled into a rhythmic pace and we started passing people. Focusing on the 10' in front of me. We made it to the unmanned aid station and I needed to use the bathroom. I noticed one of the port o pots was locked. This seemed weird because there was no one around. I knocked on the door and there was no response I had a fear someone passed out in there. Jason and I were able to pry the door open and lucky to find it empty. Someone must have bumped the latch. It would have drove me mad the next lap not knowing.

The death march was back on. Getting into a rhythm we pressed on at a 19 min pace. I don’t remember much of AS2 I just wanted this to be done. The sunrise came and gave me a bit of a boost. Jason kept me entertained with searching twitter and checking race updates. Every hill we did I made it a point to say that's the last time for that one. Before I knew it we were at mile 11. (98.5) ONLY 1.5 more to go and this thing is in the bag. Morning runners were out and they were telling us great job. We passed many that were just heading out for lap 8. There is one last climb before the gate. I did not remember it being that long and steep. At this point i wanted to be done. I started to focus on the last quarter mile. I tried to run but my knee was locking up my feet hurt. my IT band was twisted.

Then we reached the parking area. I stabbed my poles in the grass and started to run. Digging deep inside past everything I no longer thought I had had in me. All the cheering crowds were asleep or gone home. All but one woman sitting in her chair waiting. She jumped up and alerted the scoring table I was coming in she was cheering for me. And there it was the finish line 100 miles done 26:46:15.

I was handed my buckle and Jonathan hugged me and congratulated me. Then he immediately shuttled me into the lodge and set me in front of the fire. Asking what I wanted and if I needed anything. I asked for my bag and a coke. I had my buckle in hand. It was all I needed. I opened the last card from my daughter it read SMILE I love you no matter how you did I know you did awesome CONGRATULATIONS!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

HL24 2012 The Good, Bad and Ugly.

As the shirt says I left it All at the lake. I have been struggling this week to find interesting points to put in my report. However I will try to keep it as simple as I tried to make my race.

First things first> I decided before the race to follow a God dream and use this as a platform for me to help others. I had ran in July to support the Wounded Warrior Project. We used the Crowdrise.com. They a re a awesome website to use if you consider raising funds. This race I devoted to helping free children from slavery. No child should ever have to be a slave. The Fathers house International http://fathershouseghana.com/is doing something about it. The have freed 8 boys from the fishermen on Lake Volta. They have established a refuge in Ghana Africa to raise these boys and many more to come as disciples of Christ. I'm happy to say I raised $600. to help them in whatever they need. Every penny helps. crowdrise.com/24hours4thefathershouse

Friday was good after devouring a 5 guys burger, large fries, and 2 Cokes. Dexter arrives with 8 tubes of NUUN my secret hydration plan.

After arriving at Toms to pick up bib and shirt. I headed over to Crow run to set up a temporary camp. As I backed in to a spot I was greeted by the Legendary Barefoot Josh and his Bride Iris. I have read his blog for over a year now and see his daily FB dog pics ad drawings. It was a pleasure to meet him in person. Everyone drove off to get dinner. So I decided to walk over to the lake and decided what the heck I'll run a lap and check trail conditions. As I finished Josh arrived and was doing his own recon. I decided to do another lap and show him the trail. (He ran it in some sort of top secret rubber sock.) We went back to the camp and chatted it up until dark.

We said our good nights and I moved camp to the Lodge parking lot. I knew where I wanted to set up and had a feeling if I waited until morning it would be gone.
The plan was to camp alone and get a good night sleep. The harvest moon lit everything up making it hard to sleep. As like any pre race night that resulted in about 6 hours. About 6 am I was awoken by lights in the lodge and people moving around.

Jason and Katie arrived shortly after. We hung out shaking hand and getting to know the people we only see at races and chat with on line. Next thing I know people are starting to move. I figured it was time to go. The plan walk the damb, run the trail, walk the bridge, and run the trail.

First lap out I decided wrong shoes, lap 2 wrong socks for the shoe change,lap 3 ditch the shirt. I think for the first 5 or 6 laps i would stop and make some sort of adjustment, fill water or grab food. Then it all becomes a blur of mummies running w/ scissors, bare foot people, rain, Popsicles, Coke, chicken, tattoos, potatoes, burgers, families, kids, dogs, snakes, pony tails, Mohawks, Hokas, pirates, vac and dash divas, landscapers grooming the trails, crop dusters, chafing, walkers, sleepers, m&ms, BB&Js, barking spiders, Stingers, I think I saw a BK shake? WHERE was Mine? . Lap after lap. Walk the damb, walk the bridge, walk the damn bridge. I kept to myself most of the day making small talk and cracking jokes. I wanted to stay focused on my plan.

Until about 4 pm when my pacer arrived. I stopped to clean out my shoes and eat some rice. Savage came off the trail and yelled at me to keep moving. I informed Derrick where I was and what my plan was. He ran one lap with me. Then on the second lap he slowed to talk to Peter. After he caught up he said he could run half laps with me then he would walk until I came back around in the next lap. I did this a few times then he became more of a pit crew chief than a pacer.

Sometime about 7ish I see a runner about my size he is wearing Newtons. I ask him his size and he looks at me as if Im going to jump him for his shoes. Then I explain to him I have a pair he can have for Free all he has to do is want them. He ends up giving me a running shirt for them anyway. I was happy to rid myself of them. Thanks for the BA shirt, I still say I won on that trade.

Then the night set in I hit my 50 miles just before 8pm. One thing kept bothering me from this point on. The stupid South of the Border sign.

I had 50 miles in and it was still 98 miles to go.

I know Jason and Katie packed up after she reached her goal. It was disappointing to see them go but hanging out the rest of the night prolly wouldn't help this foot and IT issues.

I was happy with my results at this point. I continued to work my plan. However the later it became the longer the walks became. I tried to keep a 10 foot focus and was able to run until midnight. My lights started to dim. Derrick said leave it and he would get the new batteries for me. The next lap was much better with brighter lights. Back to 10 foot focus. If I can make the 10 feet in my headlight I'm good. This is also where I started working out math in my head how much could I walk. In hind site I should have taken time to eat something solid and get some protein. Back to 10 foot focus. If I can make the 10 feet in my headlight I'm good. This is also where I decided walking poles would be good. There were some points that I would stumble like a drunk. I'm bringing poles next year. At one point i was walking with Jim Wei and we both had the same goal and distance to cover. I think we may have done one lap then I lost track of him. My hearing really tanked out and as i would talk with other runners I could not hear what they were saying back. I tried to keep it simple at this point. Throwing out the your doing great, keep going. I could hear the same from others. However a conversation at this point was not going to happen. Sorry if anyone felt (I ignored them.)

I continued through the night. Each lap kept getting longer. My mental state was good. I kept focus. I remember crossing the bridge at one point and Charles asking me if I was OK. I think my response was No, but what can I do now? My hips kept getting tighter. As i crossed the bridge at one point I thought I was seeing a Ed Wood Space costume. It ended up being Jonathan wearing a jacket that had 2 reflective Vs on the back. He had cooled off and was wearing gloves he was also taller due to his Hokas. I passed several people that looked like "Walkers" Glad I was still able to out run them. Then I came around the corner and the clock was at 20 hours. Derrick and Gabby were waiting for me. I sat down to talk things out and decided one more lap would be 80 miles. I will be ok with that. My mind reminded me 20 miles on good legs would be hard. I was not making my 100. I had come to this conclusion while on the last few laps. I thought I can call it at 80 or death march it out and maybe make 90.

I checked out at the score table and went to see Denise Dilley Martin ( A angel in the night.)

After a good work over and a change of shoes. I had to go for one more lap. My daughters orders. If this lap went well I would keep moving. NOPE! 82.08 was going to be it. My I-pod even said no your done. First time it has ever ran out of juice before me. I finished the lap and sat in a chair for the first time singe driving to the parking lot the night before. I intentionally refused to bring on this year. After wathing the leaders roll though hoping to get some motivation that would draw me back to the trail. I closed my eyes, just for a moment. I knew right then it was time to pack up and head home. In hind site I wish I had stayed for the end. Who knows what motivation daylight could have given me.

I think I was asleep before we left the parking lot. The next thing I knew we were in Monroe cruising down 74. Derrick and Gabby got me home safe. I was a bit stiff getting out of the car.

All said and done I'm happy with going farther than I ever have gone before. However will always wonder what if... I didn't leave that 3 hours on the table.

I need to give thanks to first GOD for giving me the strength and courage to attempt such a run. The my family for the time to train and support through the run.


Link to the Video of the snake getting his lunch.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UzUjQKbbvk&feature=youtu.be

THE UGLY You know I couldn't resist.

To sum it all up "I ran a lot. The end."

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I've had allot of discussion lately about using music to enhance your run. I originally used it daily, now only when I'm alone or in the mood to get ahead of the pack. I can no longer wear the ear buds in ear due to the hearing aids. I have developed a way to tuck the buds in the rim of my hat, just above the hearing aids. I am still able to have conversation and hear my surroundings.

I have had request for what I listen to. Here is my play list I made for my 40 last year. I put allot of thought into this creating it to give me highs and lows. The end gets a little off track and I rarely even play through the end songs. I have about 10 other list for different occasions. Many of these songs make it in to shorter list.

I hope you enjoy and maybe find something new.

Green Onions 2:54 Booker T. & The MG's

Soul City 2:36 Southern Culture On The Skids

Peaches 2:52 The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Baba O'Riley 5:09 The Who

Easy (Extended Version) 4:52 The Commodores

Lust For Life 4:14 Iggy Pop

Creep 3:03 Marty Casey

All These Things That I've Done 5:02 The Killers

'Ode to Joy' from Symphony No. 9 in D Minor 'Choral', Op. 125 3:23 Westminster Choir

People Get Ready 4:52 Jeff Beck

Jeepster 4:12 T. Rex

All Apologies 3:50 Nirvana

One Way Out 4:59 The Allman Brothers Band

Start Me Up 3:33 The Rolling Stones

The Distance 3:00 Cake

Time Has Come Today 4:51 The Chambers Brothers

I Walk The Line 2:45 Johnny Cash

Rooster 6:14 Alice In Chains

The Valkyrie: Ride of the Valkyries 5:35 Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra & Stanislav Gorkovenko

Ziggy Stardust 3:19 David Bowie

Rise 6:06 Public Image Ltd.

Canned Heat / On The Road Again 4:34

Train, Train 3:36 Blackfoo

tLittle Green Bag 3:15 George Baker Selection

Come Together 4:19 The Beatles

Sympathy For The Devil 8:49 The Rolling Stones

Paranoid 2:48 Black Sabbath

The Beautiful People 3:39 Marilyn Manson

Mountain Song Janes Addiction

A Little Less Conversation 1:42 Elvis Presley

Folsom Prison Blues 2:45 Johnny Cash

Rebel Rouser (Re-Recorded In Stereo) 3:34 Duane Eddy

Keep on Smilin' ("Wet Willie") 3:57 Wet Willie

Noise Brigade 2:14 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Crazy Little Thing Called Love 2:43 Queen

Peace Frog 3:00 The Doors

Breakdown 7:41 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Frankenstein 4:44 Edgar Winter

Me And Bobby McGee 3:57 Janis Joplin

Run Like Hell 4:25 Pink Floyd

Relax 3:54 Frankie Goes To Hollywood

So Much to Say 4:07 Dave Matthews Band

The Devil Went Down To Georgia 3:36 The Charlie Daniels Band

Hellhound On My Trail 2:37 Robert Johnson

Hungry Like The Wolf 3:10 Duran Duran

L. A. Woman 7:52 The Doors

Leave It 4:15 Yes

Everybody Wants To Rule The World 4:11 Tears For Fears

Walk on the Wild Side 4:13 Lou Reed

Highway Star 6:09 Deep Purple

Pump It Up 3:09 Elvis Costello

Graceland 3:24 Charlie Sexton

Help! 2:19 The Beatles

Subterranean Homesick Blues 2:21 Bob Dylan

Break On Through 3:48 Stone Temple Pilots

Runnin' With The Devil 3:36 Van Halen

America / Horse With No Name 3:55 Various Artists

All I Wanna Do 4:34 Sheryl Crow

Strawberry Fields Forever 4:08 The Beatles

Eye In The Sky 3:59 The Alan Parsons Project

Knockin' On Heaven's Door 2:31 Bob Dylan

Immigrant Song 2:25 Led Zeppelin

Bennie And The Jets 5:13 Elton John

Live and Let Die 3:02 Guns N' Roses

Never Tear Us Apart 3:02 INXS

All She Wants To Do Is Dance 4:30 Don Henley

Sweet Jane 3:34 Cowboy Junkies

A Day In The Life 5:07 The Beatles

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) 2:35 Green Day

Baby Please Don't Go 5:59 Ted Nugen

tI Melt With You 4:01 Modern English

Are You Gonna Be My Girl 3:37 Jet

My Sharona 4:02 The Knack

Cinnamon Girl 3:00 Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Catch Us If You Can 1:54 The Dave Clark Five

Ballroom Blitz 3:54 Sweet

Eruption 1:42 Van Halen

Like A Rolling Stone 6:09 Bob Dylan

Alabama Song 1:51 The Doors

Imagine 3:02 John Lennon

Generation Why 2:46 Reverend Horton Heat

Don't Worry Be Happy 3:57 Bobby McFerrin

Born To Run 4:30 Bruce Springsteen

Pick Up The Pieces 4:01 Average White Band

Who Do You Love - Medley 6:03 The Doors

Soul Kitchen 7:15 The Doors

Centerfold 3:38 J. Geils Band

Walking On Sunshine 3:49 Katrina & The Waves

Battery 5:13 Metallica

Long May You Run 3:48 Neil Young

Smack My Bitch Up 5:43 The Prodigy

Harden My Heart 3:38 Quarterflash

Roots Radicals 2:47 Rancid

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction 3:45 The Rolling Stones

Stuck In The Middle With You 3:25 Stealers Wheel

FFF 5:31 Public Image Ltd.

Heart-Shaped Box 4:42 Nirvana

Mickey Mouse March 2:41 Disney

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 17:02 Iron Butterfly

Another One Bites the Dust 3:36 Queen

Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World 5:08 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole