Ten years ago I was living in Richland, WA. attending Richland High School. I got introduced to the joys of running and writing through my Senior English class, which was aptly named reading, wRiting, and running (the 3 R's). My English teacher, Mr. Dethridge, would take the class running 2 days a week, and the other 3 days we would either work on writing a journal or read a chosen book, article, etc. The great thing about the class was Mr. Dethridge would often give us a topic to think about before we went on our runs, and through running I believe my writing became much more lucid. The final for the class, and our graduation depended on it, was a 6 mile loop the day after Senior Sleep Out (an all night beerfest)! Mr. Dethridge knew about the history of Senior Sleepout, and being the sadistic marathoner that he is, made the final the day after the sleep out. Dethridge would threaten to, "yank us out of the graduation line!" if we didn't show up or complete his run. If anyone threw up while running, Dethridge threatened to feed the vomit to them with a spoon! With such serious threats everyone showed up, a few kids threw up, but I don't think the spoon threat was put into force. This was my introduction to endurance running!
2. What is your best and worst race experience?
The great thing about running long distances is the best and worst race experiences may occur during the same race.
My best race experience would be finishing my first 50 mile race at the White River 50. During the race I had felt really bad from mile 25 to 40, but I caught a second wind 6 miles from the finish. Running on perhaps the most difficult section of the race I passed 3 runners and finished in 8:40ish, 2 hrs. faster than my expected time.
My worst race experience/ most painful would probably be my first ever race, the Pacifica 50K in 2007. Never one to start small, I made a leap into the ultra distance. Throughout the race I felt some of the worst pain I had ever experience. But through the pain I had a realization, the brain can only keep track of 2 pains at once. Throughout all my races I have found this to be true, and this knowledge helps me run through the pain.
3. Why do you run?
To answer the ultimate question, "Who am I?"
4. What is the best and worst advice you've been given about running?
Like Michael Kanning, the best advice I have received is from the ultrarunning sage Norm Klein. When thinking about dropping out at 50K at the 2008 Pony Express 100K, Norm told me, "You don't sign up for a 100K, and drop out at the 50K because you are being a candyass!" From then on, whenever I engage in self-defeating talk I tell myself, "Stop being a candyass!"
"Don't you think we are going a little fast?"
5. Tell something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
My biggest athletic accomplishment that not many people know about is winning the 2005 U.S. National Collegiate Judo Championships.