The inaugural Armadillo Broil is behind us now. It went well although, we did have some glitches with timing. The race started on time, right at 7:00 am and the last runner crossed the finish line just before 4:00 pm. It was hot and it was muggy but the runners ran strong and each demonstrated what awesome truly is.
Again, the volunteers were the difference between success and failure. The race succeeded because of the amazing volunteers we had at the Broil! Also, it cannot go without mention that Sara Maltby, the Co-Director of the race exceeded all expectations! She was even the first place 25k female! That lady is quite the overachiever. I could not have executed this run without her. She was my right hand.
There were the sponsors that came out and exceeded my expectations as well. Ron and Sandra Elliot, owners of Georgia Game Changers, brought their balloon arch, food for the runners, music and hard work to the Broil. I am so very grateful for their sponsorship and strong involvement in the Broil! They exceeded my expectations by a long shot! I wish more sponsors were this hands on at the races.
First Command was another sponsor that totally went all out! They not only contributed financially to the race but had a strong presence there and even provided watermelon, frisbees, water bottles and held a raffle for a $100 Game Changers gift card.
Then, there was the Orange Mud presence! OM has been a part of all of R4R races since May 2014. We raffled off an OM transition towel and several OM headbands. Everyone wanted that transition towel!
And then, there was our beneficiary, Mission on the Move, a wonderful charity doing amazing work with children in Mexico, Guatemala and Africa. MoM showed up and was with us at the race most of the day. Some of the missionaries from Tapachula, Mexico were at the race and offered a unique perspective to what kind of work MoM is doing there. The two missionaries presented me with a wonderful cooking book they put together of recipes from the Tapachula area. In return we presented a check for $1500 to MoM at the race. Not bad for a first time ultra race in a small town in the hottest time of the year!
All in all, it was a lot of hard work putting this race together but it came together due to the hard work and energy of so many people! I am so grateful to all of the volunteers, the sponsors, Sara Maltby, the Mission on the Move people – especially, Rebecca Shealy! Ms. Shealy introduced me to MoM representatives which coincidentally is her mother and, to the missionaries from Tapachula.
Putting together this race was a true joy! It’s been the first race I’ve held where I haven’t felt overwhelmed and stressed out leading up to it. Again, that is due to the amazing group of people that helped out with this race!
The top three males and females of each race were awarded and, everyone that completed their respective race received a finisher’s medal.
Due to the heat and humidity this was a very tough race. Those of you that stuck to it and finished should be very proud! This was a tough event!
Here is the breakdown of the runners that finished first, second and third in the 50k
Taryn Guimento, 1st place overall, 1st place female. Finish time: 4:07:05
Lara Zoeller, 2nd place female, 2nd place overall. Finish time: 4:23:05
Jay Sweatt, 1st place male, 3rd place overall. Finish time: 4:42:55
Andy Bruner, 2nd place male, 4th place overall. Finish time: 4:58:55
Kerry Dulina, 3rd place female, 5th place overall. Finish time: 5:22:50
Daniel Ott, 3rd place male, 6th place overall. Finish time: 5:26:00
Here’s the breakdown for the first, second and third 25k finishers…
Sean Keefe, 1st place male, 1st place overall. Finish time: 1:46:54
Sara Maltby, 1st place female, 2nd place overall. Finish time: 1:47:40
Matthew Lapaglia, 2nd place male, 3rd place overall. Finish time: 2:01:33
Tim Waz, 3rd place male, 4th place overall. Finish time: 2:17:54
Pamela Howe, 2nd place female, 5th place overall. Finish time: 2:20:56
Jon Barrows, 3rd place male, 6th place overall. Finish time: 2:23:40
Sandra Elliott, 3rd place female, 7th place overall. Finish time: 2:24:26.
Many thanks to all that played a part in this inaugural run! We hope you will consider joining us for next year race! This is a beautiful location for a run and southern hospitality of Richmond Hill is outstanding!
Last year I concocted a new challenge for myself and managed to recruit a few friends to join in the mayhem. I called it the Coastal Georgia Greenway 155 Ultra. I scheduled this challenge for the weekend of April 19th, 2015. When that date finally rolled around three friends and I embarked on a running journey from St. Mary’s, Georgia (which is on the southern coastal border of our green state) to Savannah, Ga (which is on our northeastern coastal border of Georgia). We decided that completing this task in 48 hours was doable.
To make a long story short, of the four of us that started in St. Mary’s on Friday, April 17th; only two finished. The two finishers’ were Karl Joseph and John Durant. I did not finish it.
Spring of 2016, I’m giving it another shot with a bigger (well, leaner), better and much improved me. In the mean time, I have taken a moment to acknowledge the amazing accomplishment made by John Durant and Karl Joseph.
These two gentlemen showed what strength and honor are all about. They endured tremendous hardship as they ran their way up the CGG. Forty-four hours after starting this challenge both of these men completed this journey on Hutchinson Island, just across the Savannah River overlooking River Street. To my knowledge, these two gentlemen are the very first to run the 155 mile Coastal Georgia Greenway from St. Mary’s to Savannah!
This journey was not a race but simply a challenge. At the end of the run there was no elaborate finish line, loud music, nor cheering spectators. The run ended on a lonely, chilly, rainy Sunday morning at the steps leading to the Savannah River front and the International Trade Center. We (the crew) congratulated these gentlemen and took some pictures. We all then headed our way back to our worlds.
The CGG is the brain child of Jo Claire Hickson who’s working on uniting existing trail systems with new trail systems up the entire coast of Georgia. This is a huge work in progress but Ms. Hickson is the type of visionary that can see this project through. So, at the time of this writing about 80% of the CGG is on highway 17 and state road 99. The remaining 20% is on paved and unpaved trails off the highways and traversing small quaint southern towns. The course takes you through nine towns and 15 jurisdictions. The nine towns are: St. Mary’s, Woodbine, Kingsland, Brunswick, Darien, Riceboro, Midway, Richmond Hill and Savannah.
I would like to make the CGGU 155 a race but trying to securely manage a 155 mile run where 80% of it is on highways is more than I want to take on. Some of the roads and shoulders you have to run on are pretty hairy. It is definitely a worthwhile, doable venture but you have to be very mindful and careful running on highway 17 and route 99 especially, at night. Managing the logistics for such an event to ensure first and foremost the safety of runners would be so very challenging, to say the least. Perhaps, when the CGG is 80% off the highways that may be the time to make it into a race.
For now, I’m proposing to make the CGGU 155 a challenge for anyone up for it to run the CGG from St. Mary’s to Hutchinson Island, Savannah, Ga. You do it on your own, at your own pace, for your own reason(s), – assuming all responsibilities for your own safety and that of those crewing you.
After you complete the 155 mile journey I will give you a plaque and certificate of completion…that is, if you want something like that.
If that sounds cool to you and you would like acknowledgement from Run 4 a Reason for having run and completed the CGG 155 Ultra Run you must do the following…
$25 money order or payment through paypal payable to Run 4 a Reason (email@example.com). This money will be used for one of two things, to make your plaque and certificate if you complete the challenge & to mail it to you. If you don’t complete the challenge the entire $25 will be donated to the Coastal Georgia Greenway 501c3 organization headed by Ms. Jo Claire Hickson. If you complete the full 155 mile run you will get your plaque and certificate within 4 weeks of the completion of your run.
You assume all risks of running the CGG. There are long stretches of highway that have to be spanned during the day and night. You may encounter a variety of critters along the way that may want to cause you harm – among those, snakes, wasps, mosquitoes, alligators, crazy people, drunks, black bears, ill-tempered deer. Of course, there are lots of cars and trucks on the roads of the CGG. R4R will not be responsible for anything that may befall you during this challenge. If you are still cool with this then please continue to #3…
You must prove that you ran the entire CGG. That means, you must produce pictures (should have gps enable tracking), videos, call and leave voice mails when you reach certain milestones along the way. Your voice mail should state your name, location, date, time you reached that location.
You shall start in St. Mary’s, Ga. at the Howard Gilmore Waterfront Memorial Park and you conclude your run on Hutchinson Island, Ga after having run one loop around the race track on that island and finishing up on the steps leading to the Savannah River and the International trade center.
Thirty days from when you finish your CGGU journey you are kindly asked to submit an essay on what this experience was like and meant to you. I’m not looking for a formal essay with proper grammar and spelling – (you’re not being graded). I’m just looking for a short write up on what this experience was like to you. It will be posted on this website!
Again, these five steps are only necessary if you want recognition from Run 4 a Reason for having run the CGGU 155. If you do not care to have recognition from R4R that is totally cool and, I hope you have an excellent adventure and experience!
Regardless of how you choose to run the CGGU 155 (with recognition from R4R or not) you may find this detailed course beneficial for your journey: cggu155-mapStuff
I broke down the course into county sections. It’s easier for me to wrap my head around this distance that way. Look it over and do not hesitate to contact me for clarification on any part of it.
Again, the Coastal Georgia Greenway is a cool and ambitious project and if you decide to run it I wish you much success and safety along the way. And, if you want recognition from R4R then follow the instructions aforementioned.
The Savannah Grit 175k was a very ambitious race project, no doubt. That we were able to pull it off was quite amazing! Then again, I had a great team working with me. Becky Walters as the Co-Race Director along with the Volunteer Dream Team, how could we go wrong? The Grit, as I refer to it for short, is a four stage three day stage running race. Each stage is in a different location around the greater Savannah area and almost entirely on trails. The distances for each stage varied greatly starting at a 100 kilometer run for the first stage and ending with a 1 mile run for stage 4.
The Grit is loosely based on the Tour de France model where runners compete in different terrains on different days and varying distances. The winners of the race are the runners (male and female) with the lowest cumulative time of all four stages combined. Runners are encouraged to sign up in teams of four but can register as solo runners. The male and female stage winners are awarded yellow running caps while runner ups are awarded blue running caps. There is a special pink running cap that is awarded to a male or female runner that wins every stage. The runner (male and female) and, team that has the lowest overall combined teammate’s times of all four stages wins the Grit.
The team that wins the Grit is awarded black running caps for each teammate. An interesting aspect to the Grit is that although runners in a team are competing as a team to win together under the team category they are also competing against each other. So, a runner from a team can be the one that not only contributes to his team for a win but may win the Grit overall as a solo runner. And, that happened in this year’s Grit with John Dailey finishing first overall male and his team winning the Grit in the team category.
This being a three day, four stage event the runners that complete every stage at the end of the Grit will each have run 109.74 miles and earn a pretty killer buckle. And, “earn” is the key word as the Grit is anything but easy. Even if you don’t win any stages nor hats, you still earn a badass buckle if you finish every stage! Earning this buckle is no joke! This year’s Grit had a 50% failure rate. This is a tough race! You have to work hard to finish the Grit.
In this inaugural Grit race there was one runner that finished every stage dead last but he earned a buckle by completing all four stages of the Grit in 38 hours, 46 minutes and 9 seconds. This runner, Mr. Glen Leckman, showed tremendous grit and resolve and, he was 64 years old at the time of the Grit.
The 2015 Grit took place in four different locations around the greater Savannah area.
Several times before the Grit took place I made the statement that I didn’t think anyone would ever get a pink hat, the most coveted hat of the Grit. Well, Mrs. Sara Maltby made me eat my words by winning every stage and being not just 1st female overall but by finishing the Grit in 21 hours, 27 minutes and 12 seconds, taking first place overall! The closest finish time to hers was 24 hours, 10 minutes and 5 seconds by the relentlessly forward moving, Mr. John Dailey.
I had the opportunity to run in the Grit (at least part of it) due to the tremendous help I received from Mrs. Becky Walters who assumed responsibility of the Grit on race day. I toed the line with the 30 other crazy Grit runners at Whitemarsh Island for stage 1 and at Tom Triplett Park for Stage 2. Becky Walters, an experienced ultra runner and Race Director proved herself indispensable. She ran a tight ship with intelligence, wit, calm demeanor and grace. The Grit would not have worked without Mrs. Walters.
Getting the permits and insurance liability for each location was tedious work. Nailing down locations for the Grit stages was tiring but we continued to push until we got everything we wanted for this race. I guess it’s safe to say this now that the race is over with but I did not have Whitemarsh Island Preserve and Tom Triplett Community Park nailed down until Wednesday, May 21st, just two days before the start of the Grit. There was a lot of bureaucracy, phone tag and unanswered emails to contend with until almost the last moment. Also, we almost changed the final stage location because there was no one to open the gates to Wormsloe at 7:00 am Monday morning as was scheduled. Changing the final stage location was going to be a tough call. To me, Wormsloe is critical to the Grit. I cannot see the Grit finishing anywhere else other than at Wormsloe. So, as the clock continued to tick well past 7:00 am some of our runners were beginning to get antsy and so was I! Becky approached me and quietly stated that we should perhaps seek a different location for the one mile sprint because it was now 7:30 with no sign of anyone to open the gates to Wormsloe. I looked at her disappointingly knowing that she was right. We could not continue to keep the runners waiting for the gates to open at Wormsloe. Reluctantly, I jumped in her truck and we drove a half mile up the road and marked a tree as the turn around for the 1 mile run, outside of Wormsloe. As Providence would have it, on our return to Wormsloe the gates were being opened! The Grit would finish where I wanted it to!
So, we gathered our runners and moved them one mile up the main entrance drive-thru at Wormsloe. At almost 8:00 am, we kicked off the final stage! And, what I expected to be a nice leisurely ceremonial one mile run down the surreal tree draped road through Wormsloe turned into an outright race to the finish with Mr. Caleb Steedley breaking away from the pack and bringing it home in 6 minutes flat!
The Grit was full of surprises. For an inaugural 3 day stage race (or I should say, 2.1 days) we had more runners than I expected. I thought, if lucky, we’ll have 20 runners. We had 35 registered runners start the Grit. Thirty of those were registered for the full Grit. That was a huge commitment from our runners and I did not want to disappoint them.
The Grit turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. Breaking up 109.74 miles over 2.1 days seemed a gentle way of getting runners to log a lot of miles but I learned quickly that there is no gentle way of logging 100+ miles in a weekend. It’s tough work…as it should be. We would not be ultra runners if the distances we went after were easy and, with no struggle. Ultra running is about a struggle…and, overcoming the struggle, both mentally and physically. In the ultra world, earning a buckle is a big deal. It should not come easy. And, the Grit was anything but easy.
The Grit had it’s moments of great distress, disillusionment, disappointment and a heavy dose of harsh reality…but it also had it’s moments of great fun and camaraderie. There is a point in every challenge we take on where we have to get very real with ourselves and be brutally honest. At some point, any of us that take on great challenges have to ask ourselves along a lonely dusty path, should I continue? It’s not an easy question to ask. The answer can be heart-wrenching. The consequences of that answer will weigh heavily upon us possibly for a very long time. Half of the Grit runners faced that dilemma. I, faced that dilemma. After proudly finishing the first stage of the Grit, I called it quits during the second stage after logging 13 miles. Doing the math, I realized that I was not going to finish the 50k stage in time for the third stage. I might add that the stage 3 course was not yet marked. So, with great disappointment, I threw in the towel and rushed to the Roberd’s Dairy farm to mark the stage 3 course. It’s not the end of the world but it was disappointing nevertheless. For others it was worse…for one reason they traveled a great distance to come to Savannah for this race. No one likes to travel from afar and then not succeed in fulfilling their goal. It’s a tough pill to swallow. But as a friend of mine commented to me upon my failure to finish the Coastal Georgia Greenway 155 last April…”we choose to do difficult shit. We are bound to fail from time to time.” That’s true in my case. I am the king of failure…it sucks but, it’s true.
The volunteers at the Savannah Grit were the cream of the crop, the icing on the cake! They were the shiz! There are many aspects to what makes a race good but the overall success of a race In my view, rests squarely on the shoulders of volunteers. The volunteers are the front line of every race. A selfless, cheerful volunteer can make such an incredible impact on a runner. They can be the one that makes the difference in that runner’s world. I know this because I have experienced this. At the Grit, the volunteers went beyond all my expectations and delivered in a way that I am just astounded! I can honestly say that they took care of me as I ran lap after lap on the first day of the Grit. Every time I finished a loop a smiling and uplifting volunteer would take my water bottle and refill it with either water or gatorade, would ask how I’m doing, if I needed anything and cheered me on. After I was out of the Grit as a runner I witnessed first hand how these volunteers went the extra mile and then, went another mile with our runners. I was truly moved and inspired!
These are the names of the volunteers that made the difference at the Grit! They are awesome in every possible way! I am so grateful to each of them. I am so touched by their selflessness and commitment to each runner at the Grit. Each of these fine folks are the cream of the crop and I will always be indebted to each of them. I sincerely thank each of you for being awesome and wonderful! You guys rock! David Dowling, Michelle Vail, Paul Frasioli, Brian Luckett, Kelly Luckett, Jennifer Canady, Richelle Southwick, Jennifer Smith, Beverly English, Tasha Asselin, Verity Owens, Jo Owens, Pamela Howe. They went beyond all my expectations. I sincerely thank each of you! You all made the difference.
My gratitude also extends to the Grit’s two very excellent sponsors, Josh Sprague of Orange Mud and Vincent Antunez of Trail Toes! They were both very supportive of this race. Both of these sponsors have been with me for several races and I want to whole-heartedly thank them for their amazing support for Run 4 a Reason events. I know that our runners certainly appreciated the Orange Mud and Trail Toes products provided at the Grit! In the process, I hope we have given your respective companies the exposure and promotion you deserve for such great products both produce!
The Grit is coming back in 2016…point in fact, registration is already open for it! Next year’s race will follow the same format – 4 stages, 3 days (or 2.1 days, however you want to look at it). The running locations apart from the Wormsloe mile will be different than the 2015 race. The lowest cumulative time of every stage wins the Grit (solo and team). The mileage for next year’s race will be 107.5 miles. Moving forward, the Grit’s official name is the “Savannah Grit Stage Race”. I’ve dropped the 175k because the Grit will vary in distance from 100 to 112 miles, from year to year.
Next year’s buckle is being modified to reflect the year of the race and a machete clenched in the tentacles of the Kraken in honor of a 2015 Grit veteran.
We will also be introducing a point system for the Grit next year. This may seem a little complicated and confusing but it’s not, I assure you. The point system being introduced will be for those that finish stages at certain time frames. The person with the most points wins a jacket with the Grit logo on it. So, aside from winning every stage and getting a pink hat for that feat you will have the opportunity to push yourself even harder and if you get the most points you’ll have a nice trail jacket to accompany that pink hat, or yellow hat or, blue hat, yada, yada, yada.
Check out the Savannah Grit race site for a detailed explanation on the features for the 2016 race.
I sincerely thank all of the people that were a part of the Grit in all capacities! You guys helped usher in a new tough race to Savannah! I hope some or all of you will be a part of the 2016 Grit!
Published on Mar 18, 2015
Ultrarunners Krissy Moehl, Jeff Browning and Luke Nelson run 106 miles through the newly opened Patagonia Park in Chile, to celebrate and highlight Conservacion Patagonica’s efforts to re-wild and protect this vast landscape. A short film by Rios Libres and Patagonia, Inc.
On April 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm, four runners from Savannah will embark on a 48 hour 155 mile running journey following the Coastal Georgia Greenway from St. Mary’s,Ga. and culminating in Hutchinson Island, Ga. on April 19th.
Why? Because it’s there, – the Georgia Coastal Greenway, that is.
This run is a personal journey with friends and, with several ambitions…
As a fundraiser for Liam’s Land, a 501c3 that funds research for finding what causes lymphatic malformations with hopes of finding a cure for this ailment.
Bringing awareness to the magnificent project called the Georgia Coastal Greenway which aims to connect and bridge a series of trails and paths up the coast of Georgia.
Possibly creating a multi-day foot race up the CGG and ending it at the Trade Center on Hutchinson Island.
Lastly, because the CGG is there and why not be the first group of runners to run it!
This run will take us across six counties, 9 cities and 15 jurisdictions. The cities we’ll run in and through are St. Mary’s, Woodbine, Kingsland, Brunswick, Darien, Riceboro, Midway, Richmond Hill and Savannah.
The CGG is not yet complete but I believe that once it is it’s gonna have a huge positive impact economically because of the recreational opportunities it will provide.
Currently, 80% of the course is road and on US 17 and State Route 99.
The runners are all experienced ultra runners but this experience will mark their longest run to date.
Hi there. Last week, I launched a contest called “why do I run”. The whole purpose for this contest was to give away the 50k spot that Ms. Caroline Dalis gave up for the Ledesma Sports Medicine Savannah Rails to Trails Ultra. Ms. Dalis was very excited about running this race but unfortunately things happened and she will not be able to run it. She asked if I would donate her spot to another 50k enthusiast and I agreed to her wishes. The condition, though, is that those interested in this 50k spot must do a write-up (brief or long) answering the question of why they run.
Well, we have eight contestants! And, below are there reasons on why they run. Please, read through each of the contestant’s posts and then vote on the one you liked the most by clicking on the “why I run” picture below. The survey is very simple with one question asking which of the writings was your favorite. You click on the name of the one you liked the most and voila! You’re done!
This coming Friday, December 12th, I’ll tally the votes and the contestant with the most votes will win a free entry to the LSM Savannah RTT 50k that takes place January 10, 2015. This person will also win a new 20oz Amphipod handheld. The two runner ups will also each get a 20oz amphipod handheld. These are pretty sweet water bottles.
When you’re ready to vote click on the “why I run” picture below and you will be directed to a surveymonkey site where you can vote for your favorite posting.
Why do I Run? by Kim Crowe I run for so many reasons! I started running to help manage stress. My youngest daughter started having seizures that would land us in the ER every time she had one. After a few months of that and she developed meningitis. I needed some help dealing with stress. I turned to running. Running allowed me to burn off a lot of built up emotion and eventually showed me how strong I could be. A friend suggested I sign up for a marathon and train with her. To make a long story short I ended up running a 50k in 5:48 before my first marathon which I ran in 4:00. I have run every race I could since then. Running taught me that even though times can be difficult, as long as you don’t give up the finish will be worth it! I have developed a passion for running and helping others which makes Ultras the perfect place for me bc if you know anything about Ultras you know the people are the most positive encouraging people ever!
Why do I Run by Sue Gury I am 51 years old, and through my life, I have always had a large number of things that I was fearful of, some with good reason, others not. A few of my fears involved driving, mostly based on an almost accident with a semi back in the mid 80s. I started running in 2001 a few months after quitting smoking. I progressed from doing 5ks to ultramarathons within about 4 years. There are many places that are hotbeds of ultra activity, our town is fair to middling, but the surrounding counties and states have many more opportunities then our area. Of course, there would be some highway driving involved, where most of my fears originate. In the years since I have been running, I have gone from totally avoiding all highway driving, to using the local beltway, to driving I-95 to get to a friends house for races, to my top experience, which took place yesterday. There was a 50 k about 100 miles from me on the eastern shore of Maryland, but it involved not only highway driving, but crossing the Chesapeake Bay bridge (4.3 miles). I made myself drive down, do the race, and drive back, knowing full well that there would be highways, rain, and a big long scary bridge to contend with. Running is about the only thing that I love so much, that I would make myself confront my fears. I have also worked on my social anxieties by becoming a part of a vibrant running group. In my case, running is helping me conquer my fears.
Why do I Run by Stephanie Moore I run because something interesting happens from the time you step foot out the door until the time you return. The mind is racing, you can plan your shopping list, over analyze that really good book you just read, repeat a fight you had with your spouse or significant other and suddenly know how to make it right, and solve other problems. You can plan your week, figure out what you will cook for dinner, plan your mom’s birthday party, and still find time to work on yourself and think about ways to become a better mother, wife, or sister. I have found that by becoming a better runner I also seem to become a better person than the day I was before. The mental clarity that comes hand in hand with running is unbeatable. I am able to think past my problems and find solutions instead of anxiety or stress. I reach a point where I know that things are going to be okay. I really can’t say i’ve ever returned home in a worse mood than when I left.
It’s all about self improvement and while it may seem like an exaggeration if we want to change the world we have to start with ourselves and maybe if everyone took time to figure out how they could become a better person, the world would indeed change.
So, that’s why I run. I want to do my part to make the world a better place and I’m starting with me.
Why Do I Run by Jacquelyn Thayer Mail box to mail box…..that used to be my motto…my goal…some days it was even a frantically whispered prayer….I literally would run from one mail box to the next. I would then WALK three or four mailboxes before running ONE MAILBOX SET, again……We are not talking rural routes here people….we are not speaking of mailboxes that are set great distances apart….we are talking about CUL*DE*SACS!!!! fataI was so saddened and bummed…what had happened?
I had just had my last child….she was only 14….YEARS AS THE DOCTOR POINTED OUT…not months….I was a NURSE….I was supposed to be a role model of health, yet I felt like someone had literally slapped me across the face with my single serving box of girl scout cookies when I saw on my chart it said “Morbidly obese, recommend diabetic and hypertension medications, patient in denial.” Denial? More like my provider was delusional….how could I be morbidly obese? Sure I was chunky….weighed a bit more than high school…fatgbut MORBIDLY OBESE….How FRICKEN RUDE!!! So ever the ICU nurse…I did a calculation to prove that my provider actually received his degree at some third world country that only required water polo and the ability to perform canine CPR to become a MD. But guess what??? That little brat, that 12 year old with eight years of college beyond mine was RIGHT! I was a fat ass time bomb. So I did the only rational thing, I bargained…I asked to be given time and promised to change.
Now I am SURE that other providers had tried to gently tell me to take care of my health. I just never heard them. I HEARD this 12 year old…..I heard him tell me if I didn’t lose a significant amount of weight I was going on medications and going to be like my ICU patients (yep he actually SAID THAT!) So I started to run….from mailbox to mailbox….eventually getting all the way to marathons and now training for ultras. I remember those mailbox days….I remember when it did not matter what the brand of shorts I wore were….THEY ALL RODE UP!!!! Cute little run skirts didn’t come in my size……I very VERY much recall what it felt like to feel like my entire skinny, strong body was trapped inside…..The only way I know how to describe it, is that you are trying to RUN and all around you……these heavy fighting squirrels, are trapped in pillowcases, and they are wrestling….and you are carrying those SUCKERS strapped to every available part of your body….I still struggle, I often look at other runner and wonder how they got so strong…so fast, so amazing! Then I remind myself….we NEVER know where someone came from….where their journey started…..We never know if they experienced the raging squirrel dance, if they suffer from debilitating demons that chase them as they run, if they agonize over every piece of food that enters their mouth…..But what WE DO KNOW is that EVERYONE who moves forward….be it as a one mile fun run runner, a 5K color run participant, a marathoner, an ultra runner, or a woman chasing her vision across the country……We are all RUNNERS…….and we are all AMAZING.
Why Do I Run by Sean Davis I am a runner because of my Grandfather. He was my hero. He ran track and field at Loyola in New Orleans long, long, long before I was born. He and I also shared the same birthday. He at taught me many things in life, but most important was to work hard and treat people with respect. I run because he inspired me. I continue to run now because I made a life commitment to fitness and avoiding a family history of diabetes. My grand father was a hard worker and taught me the importance of responsibility and accountability. Running and life takes self disipline and he did his best to teach that.
Why Do I Run by Troy Harper I’m often asked why I run. Honestly there is not a simple answer to that question for me. Like a lot of people, sometimes I run to get in shape or get ready to challenge myself at a race. Other times I run to help deal with the stress that life brings us all. There are times I run and figure out the answer to something going on in my life, and other times I may run and the miles just click away without me noticing and my mind has just been thought free and enjoying the world around me the whole time. I’m also a big believer in if we keep moving, we can fight Father Time, and I think we all want to take part in that fight. One last reason I run, and it’s not necessarily the actual last reason, is that it’s still fun for me to just go out and run. I can literally walk out my front door and go for a run if that’s what I want to do. It doesn’t require expensive equipment or gear to do, it’s just a simple thing that I still get enjoyment from.
Why Do I Run by Courtney Bradley I run for many reasons. I run because when I was 13 I didn’t make the volleyball team or the basketball team 2 seasons in a row. A sport without balls made sense to me. I joined the cross country team, a team that didn’t reject anyone. Running is a sport that doesn’t reject. I love it because it’s a team thing and an individual one. When I’m out there it’s me, my music and the beat of my feet hitting that pavement. When I sprint to the finish I feel that pain in my legs and I know it’s ok because that pain is almost over. I run because of that high you get when you look around you and see everyone in your race running beside you, you see the gorgeous river or horizon or tree or road kill or whatever along the way during a training run. The pain you feel the next day after a race when you can barely sit down, and going up stairs is just unheard of. When I run, I run for myself. It’s not for my 4 kids whom my life revolves around or my husband whom I adore. I do for them, all the time, everything I do is for them as it should be when you are a part of a family, but when I run….that one is all me! I’m out there on my own, killing it, mile after mile on my own terms. The running app starts, the music begins and I am focused, on a mission. And that feeling of such accomplishment when I’m done is incredible. I run because I don’t have to have skill with a ball when I’m out there, I rely on the pure mechanics of my body from the motions of each muscle to the in and exhale of each breath. I feel healthy and happy and PERFECT when I run. It’s the true me. Someone asked me the other day, after a race, if I won. I thought, “What a silly question. Why would anyone ask that?” I run for myself. I didn’t win that race, but that wasn’t the goal. I had a fantastic race, loved the course and ran strong and that to me is an enormous win. To run is to win, and that’s why I run.
Why Do I Run by James Thomas I have many reason why I choose to run. First and foremost is my health, I run to help fight heredity, and show my kids a good life style. Second I am a police officer who refuses to give the bad guys a chance. Secretly I run to see the pride in my wife’s face when I met my goal or finished a race. It is truly amazing when you think about it, running can bring me such peace by being surrounded with all of Gods greatness. I am truly blessed.
There you have it! Please vote for the runner you feel deserves a free entry to the LSM Savannah RTT Ultra on January 10, 2015!
Thank you for your time!
When you’re ready to vote click on the “why I run” picture below and you will be directed to a surveymonkey site where you can vote for your favorite posting.
The second installment of Third Level Running is with Jen Kryzanowski, a hardcore triathlete from Charleston, South Carolina. This young lady is a strong and driven triathlete that occasionally hops the fence into the ultra running world….
You are an IronMan Triathlete. What brought you into the world of triathlons and how long have you been doing tri’s? I started competing in running and triathlons when I was asked a simple question such as “Since you aren’t dancing anymore, what are you fitness goals?” Because I always tend to go over and beyond my abilities, I decided I wanted to do an Ironman. So in March 2010, I started with the running…since I was NEVER a runner! I was told the strongest triathletes were the strongest runners. Since then, I have competed in a lot of running races, especially in the year 2010 and I’ve place 1st in my age group in almost all of them. This year, 2011, is when I got serious about triathlons. All I can say is that I am absolutely in LOVE with triathlons. I’ve been running for 4.5 years and doing Triathlons for 3.5 years. I am a 3x full ironman finisher and a 7x half ironman finisher.
What has been your best triathlon performance? My best triathlon performance was my last 70.3 Ironman back in April 2014. It was just an overall good race. Everything except the weather went perfectly.
Of the the three triathlon sports which is your favorite, which are you strongest in? Out of the triathlon sports I would say my cycling and running are pretty even. However, most people would say I am a strong runner.
What is your training like on a daily basis? Take us through a typical training day in Jen’s world. A typical training day for me in terms of Ironman is getting up before the crack of dawn (about 4:30 AM). I either go to swim practice, get on the bike trainer, go for a run, or hit the gym. I always train two disciplines a day. I rarely train all three disciplines in one day. I train for 2 hours in the morning, go to work full time, then train for another 90 minutes in the evening. This year has been tough training for an Ironman while working a “grown up” job. I’ve learned that quality is better than quantity. It is a good thing quality is better because I do not have as much time anymore. Saturday and Sundays are my long training days. Sunday’s training can range from 5-8 hours of training. My longest brick workout I usually do is 100 miles on the bike followed by a 16 mile run. These long bricks are not only done to get ready physically but also mentally. Long endurance sports are mostly mental. Your mind is so powerful, it can play a huge role in your overall performance.
You are focusing on a double IM in 2016, – that’s twice the distance on all sports – 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike, 52.4 mile run. That’s hardcore! How do you begin to tackle an event of this magnitude? What will your training be like? My newest challenge is going to be a double Ironman in 2016. I really wanted to qualify for the Olympic trials, but right now, I am just not at that level. I love the endurance stuff. I have not figured out how I am going to tackle this event yet. I’m still learning about it. But I have a great team of support and a wonderful coach who I have faith could guide me through this process.
Put yourself at the starting line of a race, any race. What’s going on in your head? How are you feeling? What are you thinking? If you ask any of my friends, I am a mess when it comes to tapering; especially, tapering for big races. I am a very competitive person and no one could ever be as hard on me as I am on myself. I strive to be the best and by doing so I train hard. I do have a problem of letting my nerves get to me which I am personally working through. There are times my races went terrible because I let my nerves get to me. Because I am a sponsored athlete, I do not want to disappoint anyone. I feel as if every time I do well in a race, I must strive to do better. At the starting line, I always think “Why do I put myself through this?” But at the finish line, I say to myself “This is why I put myself through this!” You seriously do not know how tough you are until being tough is the only thing you have left in you. I heard once that if you are not nervous at the starting line, you might as well retire. So far, I am far from retiring. As competitive athlete, you usually know who you are competing with. In triathlons, you do your research and in running, you know that you will see your competition usually right up front where you are. A lot of times I tell myself that I am my only competition; it’s me against the clock. What is difficult for me is when I find myself up front. There is something nerve wrecking when you are the leading female in a race. You must stay extra calm and you want to look behind you to see if another female is approaching but you know that small movement could throw you off.
Gear. Tell us about your gear…what you wear, use and why. Fueling. How do you fuel for your races – IM triathlons, shorter distanced tris, any other kind of races? My gear is usually given to me. I’m still a fairly new athlete so I’m still working on nutrition. My triathlon clothing is given to me. My running shows are K-Swiss. They are the only running shoes that seem to work for me well. I usually run with a visor. I also usually run with a water bottle for longer runs. Running belts make my stomach upset. In my open run races, I usually wear my racing jersey and shorts. The key is to make yourself feel as light as possible.
When you look at your life apart from your triathlon training/racing world, do you live & produce by the same intensity? My Ironman life has become my lifestyle. I never would have thought this would have been my lifestyle or I would even be good at it. My entire life is worked around my training schedule. I have friends and family who support this life style which I am extremely blessed for. I am excited to see how this lifestyle turns out for me. I would love to become a professional triathlete. My goal before I die is to do a full or half ironman in every state. I have currently completed a half or full ironman in six different states.
I had the privilege of watching this amazing athlete run Lowcountry Ultra’s ruthless Cremator 50 miler in 2013. She was traffic stopping, to say the least!
I look forward to watching Jen’s progress as she takes on new challenges especially, the Double Ironman in 2016! And, from what I’ve learned so far about this young, driven athlete is that she will expand her territory as she pushes the envelope of her training and racing.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stay tune for the December installment of Third Level Running.
All the best to you and yours.
Running, Hiking, Traveling, Exploring, & a dog named Mr. Gypsy