Third Level Running with: Jen Kryzanowski


photography by Brian Fancher 2013

photography by Brian Fancher 2013

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.
photography by Brian Fancher 2013

photography by Brian Fancher 2013

  • 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.


photography by Brian Fancher 2013

photography by Brian Fancher 2013

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.




Third Level Running with: Eric Dalimarta

I’ve added a new category to my blog regarding running.  I’m calling it “Third Level Running”.  I’ve come up with that category due in large part to my IT background where there are different levels of support.  Level 1 is usually support for typical, simple problems.  Level 2 usually deals with intermediate problems that may require some research & with some experience at troubleshooting.  Level 3 support usually requires a great deal of know-how and experience in resolving complex problems.  And, from that line of thinking is where I’m getting “Third Level Running”.  Basically, with Third Level running, I will introduce hardcore runners that tend to be very experienced veteran runners that push themselves to levels that are very hard for most of us to fathom.  These Third Level Runners are really the shiz!  They take running to a level that may seem incomprehensible to most of us.  These runners are a very tough and crazy bunch.

So, without further ado, I introduce to you the first runner of ‘Third Level Running’, my good friend, Mr. Eric Dalimarta.


  •  Who is Eric Dalimarta: I am an Indonesian who lives in NY. To be honest, I haven’t done that much running until 2008, when I did my first 10k. It was a hard day.
    Before that, I was a heavy smoker and drinker. My lifestyle was far from healthy and studied in art school and worked in the advertising industry didn’t help either. But now, running has been my salvation from all of that dark side. I have not smoked for more than 4 years.
    And, I have never been as healthy and stronger as today.
    When I was in the high school, I was in the mountaineering club. Loved it and still love mountaineering. So trail running has become the best combination activity that I have.
  • What have been your top 3 races this year?  Manitou’s Revenge, Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie, and Nueces 50.
  • When choosing a race, what do you look for?  The route. I prefer a point to point race and avoiding multiple loops, I think 3-4 laps are my max.
    Elevation, I love being in the mountain and high places. Also more elevation is usually more entertaining and challenging trail.
    Race review, I think this would be the most important, it would be awful to commit into a race that is not well organized, and it could be dangerous too. Running a race is suppose to be fun. In a way.
  • Pick out a significant race you have done and explain how you went about preparing for it. I guess my significant race for me this year was the TDS.  For the preparation, I made a couple stages of races that had difficult progression, they were Bear Mountain 50 miles and Manitou Revenge.  And for those races I also had a few training races in between. Usually, I used them to simulate my races strategy over the terrain or the distance. I am still learning this ultra running sport.
    And for my day by day training, I ran to work 3 days a week between 6-10 miles with a pace that a little faster than my comfortable pace. On the weekends, I usually did a long run or hill repeat on the trail. Or sometime just across the boroughs of New York.
  • What motivated you to enter the world of ultra running?  I guess the challenge. But most importantly being outdoor,and go to high places where my legs can take me.
  • How long have you been ultra running? January 2013 at RTT 50K in Savanah
  • Do you run marathons and races under the marathon distance?  Yes, I love half marathon races. Not to short where it just too fast, but not too far that I could still enjoy my pace.
  • How do you stay focused when running ultras that are fifty miles or more? Humm not sure, I was such a slacker and a goof on the run, so I actually never focused. But the funny thing is I could do math better on my ultra marathon races, and it kept me occupied.
  • How do you fuel when training on long runs and when you are actually running an ultra say, for a 50k, 100k, 100 miler? How many calories are you intaking during these runs? Again, I’m such a slacker, I have never calculated my calories intake. Usually, I drink my tailwind every 15 minutes and get a Honey Stinger Wafle or mini Cliff bar every 30 minutes. On the race day, for 50K, I don’t eat much. Maybe just some oranges, chips, cokes and some candies. But on the 50 miles or 100 miles, I eat PB&J sandwich, noodle soup, figs, salt potatoes, and cokes.
  • What running shoes do you use for ultra running and why? I use New Balance 110. It’s minimalist so I can feel the surface better. It s light. And the traction of the outsoles are amazing. I have used this on ice, snow, mud, rocks, sand, you name it.
  • Do you swap out shoes during races?  I used to, but this year I don’t change shoes anymore.
  • How many hours per week do you devote to your training?  I think probably 2-3 hours per day on the weekdays. And could be up to 5-8 hours per day on the weekends. If I don’t have injury or lazy.
  • How many ultra races do you run per year?  Probably 6-8.
  • What’s your next big race? Pinhoti 100 2014.


Well, there’s my first installment of Third Level Running.  I hope you got something from it.

I don’t think I could of picked a better person for this inaugural running category launch than Eric.  I’ve known Mr. Dalimarta for over ten years.  When I met Eric he was a grad student at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  Since then, we’ve run together, climbed the same mountains (Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc) and backpacked Pisgah National forest.

This man truly pushes the limits in just about everything he does especially in running and mountaineering.    Although, he is an overachiever by definition, Eric is an incredibly humble guy.  He handles successes and setbacks with humility and grace and, becomes a better person from it all.  He’s also one of the funniest people you’ll ever know!  Ask him about the time he pushed a sleeping monkey off a fence.  It is one of the funniest stories ever!

Eric is currently sponsored by Trail Toes and, is testing equipment for another company but he cannot disclose as of yet the name of that company.  Eric, I know, will go far in life and in running.

Hope you get a chance to meet this amazing person and runner.


Thanks for stopping by.

Third Level Running installments will come out once a month.  The Rocking Runner of the Week will come out every other week.

All the very best to you and yours!





Rocking Runner of the Week: Matthew Roach


Okay, we have a new Rocking Runner, – Mr. Matthew Roach!

It’s nothing new to those that know Matthew that he’s an awesome guy and great athlete!  But, there might be some thing you didn’t about him until now as he shares his thoughts on running in this blog. I’ve had the good fortune of knowing Matt for approximately two years and I can tell you that he’s an upstanding guy and doting father.

When Matt ran the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon on Little Tybee Island this past summer his young son waited patiently for his daddy to cross the finish line.  Upon seeing his father, the little guy ran toward him in a sprint and Matt swooped down and grabbed his son and ran across the finish with son in his arms.  I know that Matthew must of been hurting as this race was most certainly not a walk in the park but yet he took in his son and showered him with love as they completed that race together.  It was an awesome moment, – one you don’t easily forget.

Any way, get to know Mr. Matthew Roach a little better…


  • Name: Matthew Roach
  • How long have you been running? 5 years
  • What brought you to running?  After I ran my first race, I was hooked. Since then, it’s been about going further, faster or longer. Sometimes the company is pretty good too.
  • What keeps you running? There is always a new challenge.  Lately it has been about keeping up with my 4 year old son and preparing to keep up my 2nd (6 months) son as well.
  • What is your preferred time to run, morning or evening? Why?  There is something great about each time. When I run in the mornings, it is out of the way. I feel great about myself the rest of the day.
    Most people run in the mornings, so if I want to run with others and chat, Mornings it is.
    Lunchtime is usually the most convenient during the week. It doesn’t take any time away from my family or work, so that is nice. Summers suck though.
    There is something calming about evening runs. I do these solo and they usually last a long time. When life gets complicated, a long, late night run can work wonders.
  • What is your weekly running mileage? Since the birth of my 2nd son, I haven’t had a chance to run too long on the weekends. I’m around 25 now, but am starting to ramp back up.
  • Are you a trail runner or road runner? Since most of my runs happen at lunch, roads are all I have time for.
  • What’s your favorite local place to run? Downtown in the mornings (before traffic). The views from River Street are great and then running under all the oak trees all over downtown is nice.
  • Favorite race? Why? Before August, I would have said the Race for the Preservation in February. I have no idea why it sticks out, but the weather is usually perfect and it’s a fast course.
    Now, it is the Little Tybee Conquest. That was such a hard race, but the scenery was second to none. Running through the dead trees and the marsh was just awesome.
  • What’s the toughest/hardest race you’ve run and what made it so tough? Little Tybee Conquest. The heat, the swimming, the sand. Take your pick. I got dehydrated pretty quickly and ended up walking the last 2 miles with some great people.
  • Any bucket list races, – what are they?  any 100 mile race
  • What is a running milestone of yours? I was so proud of myself completing the Iron Horse 50 mile race in Gainesville, FL. It was so hard, but I had some great people waiting for me at the finish line and my sister ran the last 8 miles with me. What was I going to do? Quit?
  • Favorite running shoe(s)? Why? Altra Torin. They are incredibly comfortable with the large toe box. My feet don’t fit in my old shoes anymore because they’ve spread out.
  • How often do you trade out running shoes?  every 8 months or so.  usually when my knee starts to hurt.
  • Do you cross-train? If so, what do you do for cross-training? I used to do Crossfit a few days a week, but I let it lapse while training for the 50 mile race. That was a mistake. I usually do 1 or 2 modified Crossfit workouts a week now.
  • Do you stretch before/after running? Why or Why not?  After.  I have found it helps keep me injury free. I make sure to target the IT band since I’ve had issues in the past.
  • How do you fuel during a race? During regular runs, long runs?  PB&J is great.  I’ve also done boiled potatoes with salt during really long runs. Marathons and half are mainly whatever gel is out on the course.
  • Leading up to a race when do you begin your taper?  I usually take the week of easy. For marathons and ultras, I won’t go hard on my speedwork two weeks out.
  • What kind of running related injuries have you suffered and how did you deal with it?  I tripped over the curb in Hampton Lakes last year and it messed up my knee and IT band for months. I taped it up with KT and took it easy, but I still ran the RNR last year.
    With most injuries, I will stop doing speedwork and just go for easy runs if I can.
  • Please share a funny and/or an interesting moment you’ve experienced running.  I was out on a 20+ training run around my neighborhood and I came up on a lady running about the same speed as me. We started talking and she asked how I was able to run those kind of distances. My reply was “a very understanding spouse”. It really is true that I couldn’t do this without the full support of my wife. She is always willing to stay home with the kids while I go out for a long run.

Please name three inspirational runners to you and why they are inspirational. (they can be famous, family, friends).

  1. Swim, Bike, Mom – she is a childhood friend and was not satisfied with her direction of life so she decided to take up triathalons. That kind of change takes enormous courage.
  2. Dean Karnazes – It’s kind of cliche, especially for the ultra crowd, but his books really inspired me to see how far I can go.
  3. My son, Zachary – He isn’t a racing runner, but that kid has endless energy and just runs everywhere. I feel like I’m doing good just keeping up.
  • Any favorite quote that lends itself to your running and/or philosophy on life? Please share.  “Be Happy” It is something my dad used to always tell us. It reminds me to not get caught up in the small stuff. Running is fun. Life is fun. Why go through it with a frown?
  • As a runner, where do you see yourself one year from now?  Hopefully still running. Maybe I’ll have a 100 miler completed or on the horizon.
  • What advice would you share with a new runner?  Have fun. Intervals and tempo runs are something you have to just power through, but long runs are fun. I love talking to people, especially on long runs.
    You can eat up a lot of miles and time running with a friend. I ran into an old buddy of mine at the beginning of the first RNR marathon. We started talking and next thing
    I know, we are at mile 11.

There you have it.  Matthew is a great human being and I’m proud to showcase him as the latest Rocking Runner of the Week!

Good luck, Matt, on your 100 mile quest!  If you can wait until mid-October 2015, I may have a 100 miler you might want to do! 😉

May you remain injury-free as you add more and more miles under your feet!

All the best to you and yours.





Chase the Sun Ultra & Relay: One Epic Last Hoorah!

Missy Sailer relishing on a medal well earned!

Missy Sailer relishing on a medal well earned!

Well, Chase the Sun Ultra and Relay is in the history books!  This year’s race was as incredible as last year’s!  This year’s runners, my gosh, did they push themselves hard!  Last year, we had sunny skies with temps in the low 80s and light breezy conditions.  This year, the race started off under dreary weather and it got worse before it got better.  Early on, the rain and wind washed in on our timing tent knocking out my laptop and soaking the spreadsheet we were using as a redundancy for timing.  Having a great timing team together we immediately improvised and began recording bib numbers on a white board as runners continued going through the chute.  This created some inconsistencies in the splits of some runners on ultrasignup.  We’ve also have had to update some discrepancies in mileage totals for some runners.  The storm was severe enough that it blew over several tents and caused the collapse of other tents due to the weight of the heavy falling rain! Finally, we got the computer up and running miraculously again and the ultrasignup timing software came back up and we continued.  As the day wore on the spreadsheet dried up and the weather improved.  Ironically, the sun did not reveal itself until sunset as we were wrapping up Chase the Sun! It takes a certain kind of person and runner to show up to run for 6 and 12 hours under any conditions but under these very dreary weather conditions?  That certainly takes a certain type of person!  This Saturday’s CTS runners were all nothing short of amazing, impressive, spectacular (AIS)!!  These guys ran and they ran and, they ran!  Some ran even, though, they were obviously ill – (Missy Sailer & Emily McLaughlin).  Both of these ladies pushed themselves beyond what I expected anyone to do so under the duress they were.  Emily ended up having to go to the hospital to get an IV for calcium deficiency.  Missy has suffered an upper respiratory infection for the past two weeks!  What makes these people tick?

Mrs. Kelly Luckett extending her lead while Mr. Andy Bruner struggles to keep up.

Mrs. Kelly Luckett extending her lead while Mr. Andy Bruner struggles to keep up.

One thing I have come to know, runners are amazing people.  Ultra runners, are crazy, overachieving types.  This race, brought out the crazy, amazing and overachieving types for sure! For the 6 hour solo race, Malachi Williams and Bren Tompkins fought hard for the top spot.  At the end, both finished with 24 laps and 44.88 miles each.  Malachi crossed that threshold first, though, giving him the 1st place spot.  The amazing, Mrs. Awesome Sara Maltby, clinched first place female with 22 laps and 41.14 miles. For the 12 hour solo race, things were equally intense as Mrs. Lara Zoeller and Mr. Thomas Olmstead fought for first place overall and, with Mr. Scott Horton not very far behind!  In the end, there can only be One!  Well, in this case, Lara and Thomas both finished with the same mileage,72.93 miles, but Mrs. Zoeller reached that surreal mileage number a good ten minutes before Mr. Olmstead.  Mr. Horton finished the 12 hour solo with an immensely impressive 71.06 miles!

Mrs. Lara Zoeller after completing 72.93  miles in 12 hours

Mrs. Lara Zoeller after completing 72.93 miles in 12 hours

Lara Zoeller is truly one of the most impressive runners I have ever known!  Every race I’ve witnessed her run in she has pushed beyond limits I didn’t think were humanly possible!  At GSEC 24, she shattered the Georgia Women’s 24 hour record by running 133.184 miles!  The prior women’s record for Georgia was 101 miles in 24 hours.  At Delirium 24 hour ultra 2013, she ran 115 miles under very wet and muddy conditions.  At the SC 24 hour race, she ran 109 miles even while she was terribly ill and had to take a two hour break from the race.  This young lady is incredible!  I’ve never known such a focused, strong-minded, determined runner like Mrs. Zoeller.  It was a great honor for me to have her in CTS Ultra especially, this time around as this is Lara’s last year living in Savannah, Ga and, this is the last year that Chase the Sun Ultra will take place.  I will be sure to keep up with Mrs. Zoeller’s running career when she moves to Washington DC at the end of this year.

Team Entourage, led by Mr. Michael Butler dominated the 6 hour relay

Team Entourage, led by Mr. Michael Butler dominated the 6 hour relay

The fight for the top coveted spot at CTS didn’t end with the 6 and 12 hour solo runners.  The 6 and 12 hour relay teams showed up determined to maximize the number of miles in their respective races! In the end, Team Entourage, 6 hour relay led by Mr. Michael Butler clinched the honor of cranking out the most miles.  The 12 hour relay race was seized upon early by Team RWB and they kept pushing and pushing ever widening their cushion of space until no one could challenge them.

The majest of trees is quite evident at the Whitemarsh Preserve

The majest of trees is quite evident at the Whitemarsh Preserve

This year’s CTS was again held in the beautiful, serene Whitemarsh Preserve on Whitemarsh Island.  If you live in this area I highly recommend running at the Preserve!  The live oaks and pines tower over you creating a large thick canopy that shades you from the sun.  It’s interesting how on the trails you may not feel the rain on you until you exit that canopy of trees and enter the expansive clearing in the northeasterly section of the preserve where the start/finish line for CTS was at.

Young Master Liam in the bounce house

Young Master Liam in the bounce house

As you may know, Chase the Sun Ultra & Relay is the Savannah race for Liam’s Land.  Liam’s Land is an honorable non-profit furthering the research and funding for lymphatic malformations.  It was named after young master Liam, Joe and Janet Steffen’s son that was born with LM in 2010.  Young Master Liam has experienced a great deal of surgeries to improve his quality of life but that has not dampened his spirit one bit!  That little man was at the race bright and early and helped me kick off the runners at 7:05 am!  After the race kick-off, YM Liam could be seen darting from one place to the next with water balloons in hand, jumping in and out of the kid pool we had out there and bouncing all around inside the bounce house we had available for the little ones! LM, lymphatic malformations, can be a very debilitating condition that if not addressed could prove fatal if not addressed.  With Liam’s condition, he had difficulty breathing after being born.  A tracheostomy had to made in Liam’s neck so he could breathe.  Most of his young life, Liam, had that trach which limited what activities he could do.  Last year, his trach was removed and he was finally able to experience the joy of splashing in the waves at the beach and swimming in a pool.  Liam will grow up looking different than his peers and will likely have many more surgeries to deal with due to LM.

Janet Steffen on the left and Michelle Daniels on the right. Janet is Liam's Mom and CEO of Liam's Land

Janet Steffen on the left and Michelle Daniels on the right.
Janet is Liam’s Mom and CEO of Liam’s Land

I believe in what Liam’s Land is doing and, I hope that one day we will know what causes LM and what can be done to prevent it from affecting another person.  Although, Chase the Sun Ultra is being retired a new race will replace it as the Savannah race benefitting Liam’s Land. Speaking of benefitting Liam’s Land, Chase the Sun generated $1500.00 for this very worthy cause!  Mother’s Run this Town took up a collection of several hundred dollars for Liam’s Land and, Fleet Feet Savannah ran a fundraiser at the store last Friday where they raised over $600 for Liam’s Land.  All in all, Liam’s Land had a pretty darn good weekend, I would say!  The running community is such a generous one! And, despite the rough weather we experienced this final chapter for Chase the Sun Ultra and Relay turned out to be a huge success thanks to the generosity of our running community and the selfless giving of the volunteers that made this race happen!  I cannot end this blog without giving a shout out to the volunteers that gave up a Friday and Saturday to make Chase the Sun Ultra a wonderful success! Bigass Shout-out to the World Most Awesome Volunteers!

  • Mark Waters: I don’t know what I would do without you in the races I’ve held so far!  Thank you!
  • Emily Ernst: My very lovely nemesis that jumps right into the mix of things and carries heavy coolers just like the guys, sets up tents, breaks them down, rises up at O-Dark-Thirty and manages the parking then runs to the aid station and sets it all up.  And when she’s taking a break she’s actually buying pizzas for the runners and other volunteers!  And, she even managed to squeeze in some miles pacing some of the runners.  She even showed her better side to some very fortunate runners which I unfortunately missed out on. 🙁  She certainly earned her mimosas that day!  Thank you!
  • Nelson Amos: This man is the human computer!  He was a tremendous help with the timing.  He was fast thinking and equally fast in responding!  He can figure out splits faster than the computer can!  Thank you!
  • Bren Tompkins: Not only did he help set up the course of CTS, he also ran the six hour race, tied for first place and then stuck around until the end of this 12 hour event and helped out with the aid station and timing and, breaking down.  That is what you call dedication!  Thank you!
  • Kerry Dulina and Michael Shelly Moody: these two fine folks drove into town, – one drove in from Richmond Hill, the other from Port Royal, SC and handled the packet pickup at Fleet Feet Savannah all day Friday.  Thank you!
  • Michelle Daniels: Despite her very busy schedule stopped by at the race and helped out at the aid station and timing for most of the day.  Thank you!
  • Tony Varney: also stopped by at the race early Saturday and helped out with the aid station and timing.  Thank you!
  • Takis Kiriakos and Lisa Rosenmeier: This awesome couple ran the Ymca 5k Saturday morning and then ran over to CTS and took care of our runners so well that many of the runners have contacted about how awesome Takis and Lisa were during the race!  Thank you!
  • Gregg Geiger, Molly Cohen and Stacie Pottenger: These three peeps stepped in and helped out tremendously in the timing!  They allowed me time to go home and check on my dog, Mr. Gypsy and, gave me an opportunity to walk the course so that I could take pictures of the runners with my two gopros and Lumix GF2.  So, we have lots of cool pictures because these three allowed me to get away from the timing tent to take pics!  Thank you!
  • Cecilia Arango: Thank you for starting us off right with your beautiful voice in the National Anthem!

I also want to give a Bigass Shout-out to our sponsors for making this race not only possible but more enriching!

  • Fleet Feet Savannah: They are there always when needed.  As a store goes, they provide all that you need for starting to run to getting right shoe for the veteran runner.  They offer programs for beginner runners, intermediate runners and, programs for making fast runners even faster.  They are behind practically every race in the Savannah including all Run 4 a Reason races.  FF Sav has built a very strong running community that is not afraid of enlarging their game and tackling everything from a 1 mile run to a 100 miler!  Thank you!
  • Orange Mud: OM was very encouraging on social media, they provided their famous transition wrap towels, a hydraquiver, headbands, trucker running hat, a handheld and, 15% OM discounts for every registrant.  Thank you!
  • Neighborhood Realty: provided financial support. Thank you!
  • Fabrika: provided financial support. Thank you!
  • Celebritees: The gang at Celebritees provided the beautiful black running shirts each registered runner received at a tremendous discount! Thank you!
  • Savannah Yoga Barre: provided a mid-day yoga session for our runners, volunteers and supporters!  Thank you!
  • Hammer Nutrition: provided gels, Heed, energy bars, Endurolytes for this event.  I cannot say thank you enough to Hammer for they have been with me from the very first race I RD’d.  Hammer has been an incredible loyal sponsor!  Their hydration and fuels literally keep our runners going mile after mile, hour after hour!  Thank you!
I am BigFoot!

I am BigFoot!

Lastly, I want to give a special shout-out to a group of ladies that have truly touched my heart.  The Savannah chapter of Mothers Run this Town are made up of some of the finest human beings I know! These ladies juggle a lot!  They are mothers and wives and athletes.  They take care of their families’ needs, they run and still find the time to encourage and mother those around them.  MRTT have been a part of everyone of my races as not only runners but volunteers and spectators.  Always, they encourage and push hard!  Before the race at O-Dark-Thirty they presented me with a very special gift that I sincerely treasure!  A Huge thank you to Mothers Run this Town!  I promise you that your gift will be displayed at every race I RD!  Thank you! 🙂

Thank you all for making this year’s Chase the Sun such a wonderful, memorable experience!  I am so fortunate and blessed to live among such outstanding people!

All the best to you and yours!






Chase the Sun and Other Stuff with Run 4 a Reason


It’s hard to believe that the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon has come and gone! And, here we are approaching mid-September and Chase the Sun Ultra and Relay in a week and a half!  Also, the start of the Fall quarter at SCAD -which is a very big deal for me as it marks the busiest time of the year where I make my livelihood from.   It’s also almost a month ago since I was in France climbing Mont Blanc!  Where does the time go?  Upon my return from climbing Mont Blanc I was confronted with the shocking reality of my very sick Australian Shepherd, Mr. Gypsy.  Having my dog, Mr. Gypsy sick consumed my world and emptied out my bank account.  I truly thought I was going to lose the little guy and my heart was broken.  It’s amazing how a trip of a life time became so inconsequential upon seeing my beloved best buddy so ill.  As soon as I returned home from France Mr. Gypsy is all I thought about.  Mr. Gypsy, though, proved himself a fighter once again and convinced me that he is not done living yet.  My furry little buddy still has things to do before putting his grey head down for good!  Thank God!

Mr. Gypsy, feeling so much better after being sick a week with a prostate infection

Mr. Gypsy, feeling so much better after being sick a week with a prostate infection

So, just as I was catching my breath from these significant life events I am hurled back into the mix of chaotic business with Chase the Sun Ultra and Relay and the September 15th start of the Fall quarter at SCAD during the same week!  Talk about timing!

I’ll admit that I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie but I didn’t realize what a glutton for punishment I am until this last month and a half!  My life seems to fly by as quick as a meteor.  No rest for the wicked, eh?

the CTS 2014 medals are slick!

the CTS 2014 medals are slick!

Moving right along…

CTS Ultra & Relay is coming up September 20th.  Every race I have held so far has been special but this one is the most special and that’s because it’s for a cause that I so strongly believe in, – Liam’s Land.  Liam’s Land funds research in what causes lymphatic malformations in hopes of one day preventing this from occurring on another living soul.  Liam’s Land is a 501c3 that was started by Janet and Joe Steffen, two wonderful people who’s child, Liam, was born with LM.  I know this family.  All are wonderful people, from mom and pop Steffen to young master Liam and his big sister, Amelie.

Young Master Liam

Young Master Liam. (photo courtesy Joe Steffen)

CTS is nearly sold out.  At the time of this writing there are 2 unsold spots available.  So, if interested in running CTS while at the same time supporting an amazing and worthy cause then, grab one of these last two spots!  You can register here if you’d like: —> ultrasingup


I really want this race to sell out!


1.  I want this race to sell out for the obvious.  Who doesn’t want to have a sold out event?  It’s so cool having a sold out event!  So, yeah!  I want this race to sell out!

2.  This is for Liam’s Land.  I want to raise as much money and exposure as possible for Liam’s Land.  I believe so whole-heartedly in this cause and the people that operate it. And, I want to live in a world where lymphatic malformations no longer exist.  Liam’s Land will help that become a reality.

3.  I don’t want any spare medals.  Sounds kind of weird and selfish but it’s true.  I want to go home Saturday, September 20th after the race empty handed, – sans medals.  So, I hope we sell out.

4.  This will be the last time Chase the Sun Ultra and Relay will be run.  For that reason, I want it to sell out.

2013 Chase the Sun Ultra & Relay

2013 Chase the Sun Ultra & Relay

Last year, we had 133 runners for CTS.  This year, we’re barely scratching 100.  This race is on a downward cycle.  It is losing to other ultras that are more popular and it is losing to a local 5k that is part of a race series that recently had it’s date change to the same date as CTS.  Last year, we raised $3,500.00 for Liam’s Land.  This year, even though, I’ve reduced race expenses greatly we’ll only generate a fraction of that former total.  So, in the end, cancelling CTS is simply a business decision.  This format is just not working.

Those are the breaks, unfortunately.  Running is a competitive sport not just between runners but between races and race organizations.  You win some, you lose some.  So, after Sept 20th, Chase the Sun Ultra will go the way of the Dodo but, something else will grow from it’s decay.  Liam’s Land will continue and, a race will rise from the ashes of CTS to carry on the torch for young master Liam and the cause with his name!  What race will that be?  I don’t know for certain.  More than likely, though, it will not be an ultra.  And, if I may add, it will not be a 5k nor 10k either.  I have nothing against those two distances.  There are just too many of those here in Savannah.  The race that will replace the CTS Ultra will be a challenging race. I can assure you of that!  I’m kind of thinking (at the moment), that I might like it to be a half-marathon through my beloved Thunderbolt.  Maybe, a trail half-marathon?

Yes, I’m kind of stuck thinking a half marathon may be the right distance but not completely sold on that.  I will discuss this in greater detail with Janet Steffen along with my fellow running colleagues, Bren Tompkins and Sara Maltby to see what they think.

Bren, upon finishing Lowcountry Ultras 2014 Cremator 50 miler

Bren, upon finishing Lowcountry Ultras 2014 Cremator 50 miler

Speaking of Bren Tompkins, he will be the race director for next year’s Little Tybee Conquest half marathon.  Bren has a very impressive running record, a good head on his shoulders and, has worked with me on several of the races I’ve held and, has proven himself indispensable.   With Bren at the helm of LTC Half, this race can only succeed!  He knows his shiz!

There, you kind of have it!  The latest and greatest from Run 4 a Reason.

The last Run 4 a Reason race for the year and the last Chase the Sun Ultra and Relay is going to be a blast!  We’ll have lots of food for the runners, great swag and something for the kids and the entire family to enjoy!  If you get a chance come out and support Liam’s Land on Saturday, September 20th between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm…even if you do not run.  There will be lots of festivities for the kids and lots of miles to be run by the bigger kids!

Next year, we’ll start things off fast with the Savannah Rails to Trails 50k/25k.  And, from there we’ll head strong into the 2nd GSEC 24/30.  After that, just as summer is popping up we’ll have the Savannah Grit 175k stage race, the 3rd Little Tybee Half with Mr. Tompkins running the show.  And, some where in 2015, we’ll have a race benefitting Liam’s Land!

One more thing to share with you guys…

I’m rolling an idea around about a multi-day point to point race in 2016 with the following distances: 400ish miles (5 days), 225 miles (2.5 days), 112 miles (1.5 days).  All three distances will finish in downtown Savannah, behind city hall.  I’ll keep you guys posted as the details get more fleshed out.  It’s gonna be killer.

Thanks for stopping by.





parting shot from Mont Blanc

parting gopro shot from Mont Blanc

The Little Tybee Half Marathon is Almost Upon Us!


The Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon is right around the corner! Wow, how time flies! This is the second year for this race and I’m just as excited and scared about it as I was last year! Last year we had a few logistics failures. This year, we have more experience & a very sharp crew helping to execute this race. With this year’s race we’re increasing the mileage from a 10.8 mile run to a 13.1 mile run.

This year’s race also has 25 registered runners over the 15 registered runners we had last year. Twenty-five is the most runners this race will ever. That’s the deal the DNR and I worked out, and, a deal I intend to adhere to as I believe in the vision of the DNR regarding Little Tybee Island, – to protect it and to keep it wild and beautiful. Another part of the deal that the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and I worked out for allowing me to hold a race on Little Tybee is to use this race to promote education about the need for these wild places for endangered coastal birds and sea turtles and, the importance these barrier islands have not only for nature but as protection from storms for coastal Georgians.


So, one of the things we advocate during the race is a clean up of Little Tybee while we’re there. Last year, we filled and hauled two large bags of trash off the island. We’ll do a clean up again this year. Also, in the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon program booklet, we highlight some of the wildlife that inhabits Little Tybee island.

I’ve been asked if the LTC Half is an adventure race or a Triathlon. The answer is quite simply, neither. There is no cycling in this race and their is no team aspect or multi-disciplines incorporated in this race as there are in adventure races. The LTC Half Marathon is exactly what it claims to be – a half marathon! Throw in an uninhabited barrier island off of Georgia’s coast, lots of beach and sand, and four channel crossings of which two will entail a short jaunt of a swim.
This unique race will ignite your sense of adventure, will delight you with this island’s natural beauty and, will challenge you physically as any race should especially, a half marathon! This may very well be one of the toughest half marathon’s you’ll ever run and, one of the most fulfilling races you’ll ever do! At the end of this race you will aptly feel very accomplished.

The race starts two hours before low tide to ensure the runners have enough beach to run on. That means, the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon begins at 11:00 am, Saturday. Doing this, allows even the slowest runner to have a beach to run on and, shortens the swim sections that under a high tide would be miles long to what now constitute a total of about 1.5-1.7 miles of swimming and/or wading.

This is Tree Beach

This is Tree Beach

The LTC half marathon runners will begin at the northeastern section of Little Tybee Island and run east then south, following the sandy coastline until it literally expires. Along the way they will cross four channels of varying depth and width. The second channel they’ll cross will require about one third of a mile of wading chest deep and swimming. The fourth channel will require a swim that’s roughly one-third of a mile as the shoreline quickly drops when you enter this fourth channel.

Boxed water for runners at the other side of the 4th channel

Boxed water for runners at the other side of the 4th channel

The northern shoreline of the 4th channel crossing will have life preservers available to any runner that desires one for this crossing. Upon reaching the other side of the channel fresh drinking water will be available to runners. The runners must continue following the coastline until they come upon a volunteer that will direct them to run up the southern shoreline of the 4th channel they previously crossed. They will follow the shoreline for approximately a mile where they will reach Jolly Roger Beach. At Jolly Roger Beach the runners will find a large plastic container which will have their running bibs. Each runner must find their correct bib number in that container and safely secure it upon themselves. As they head back down the beach to where they came from they must shout out their bib number to the volunteer that initially directed them to Jolly Roger Beach. Then, the runners will again cross the fourth channel and work their way back up the beach to where they started.

The runners must finish with their newly acquired race bib numbers. Any runner that does not produce their bib number at the finish line will be dnf’d.


Of the four channel crossings that the runners will cross two are of significant width and depth. The other two will just be splash puddles to run through. The two wide and deep channels will have kayakers and a motor boat in the middle of each to watch all runners and be ready to offer assistance to any runner should it be needed.

All of the LTC half finishers will get resin medals with shark teeth that were found at Shark Tooth Island by myself and other friends which are also volunteering for this race. The medals are very slick and unlike any medals from any other race out there. Each is unique and hand made. The first place male and female will each get a beer horn trophy and a beer. Every runner will also get 2×3 foot Jolly Roger flag.

These are the medals for the finishers of the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon.  The first place male and female will each get a beer horn.

These are the medals for the finishers of the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon. The first place male and female will each get a beer horn.

The Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon is a unique and special race. It is the only race offered on Little Tybee. It is the only race offered on any of the uninhabited barrier island’s off Georgia’s coast.
It takes a lot of work and cooperation between the DNR and Run 4 a Reason to make this race happen. It commands a lot of work to pull off this race successfully! Everything has to be taken into consideration for this race. There is no infrastructure on Little Tybee. Portable toilets must be transported there. All gear, food, water must be carried there by boat. This race is a huge challenge but so very worth the effort! With this race we try to spotlight the importance of these precious wild places we’re so privileged to have in our backyard. We emphasize the importance of being good stewards of this land that we are blessed with and, of the critters that call it home. One of the things that I always say about Little Tybee is that when we travel there we need to remember that we are visitors there and that we should mindful and respectful of the critters that call that island home.

We did a lot of sifting to find enough shark teeth to make 25 shark tooth resin medals!

We did a lot of sifting to find enough shark teeth to make 25 shark tooth resin medals!

Endangered coastal birds nest on Little Tybee. Several sea turtle species nest on the expansive beaches of Little Tybee. Little Tybee island is a stopping place for thousands of migrating birds. The waters off Little Tybee are teeming with life! Crabs, conch, sharks, stingrays, starfish, sand dollars, porpoises, etc. can be seen near the shoreline of the Little Tybee beaches.

I keep the registration price of this race moderately priced at $65.00. Last year’s race had a deficit of $600.00 plus. This year’s race is breaking even after tallying all of the race expenses. I do not want to increase the registration fee of this race. I think $65.00 is fair and to charge more than that for this race is just uncool to me but, I am trying to figure out a way of actually making some money on this race as the proceeds (if any) of this race will go to the Nature Conservancy, Georgia Chapter. My goal is to get sponsors to foot most of the costs of this race in the future and have all of the registration fees go to Nature Conservancy.

I have prayed for the well-being of each runner and the support and volunteers of the Little Tybee Conquest but we’re also taking every precaution we can think of to make this a fun, safe, memorable event for all!

If you are running this year’s Little Tybee Conquest Half I wish you strength, stamina and success in completing this challenging race.  If you are spectating, have fun, cheer on the runners and be respectful of all the wild things on Little Tybee.

If you are a volunteer, I whole-heartedly thank you for your time and hard work in making this race a wonderful experience for all!

Let’s have fun this Saturday on Little Tybee Island!




Continuing the Road to Recovery…

some of my rowing on the concept 2

some of my rowing on the concept 2

I have now completed my fourth physical therapy session with Ernest Ledesma of Ledesma Sports Medicine and can honestly say that I feel better than I have all year!  This past Monday, I had my first pain-free run of 2014!  That’s right.  Every run I had done this year was always an exercise in discomfort sometimes, severe discomfort.  So, I welcome each pt $30 copay sessions!  That is money incredibly well spent!

Actually, I’m feeling so good and pain-free that I’ve gone as far as registering for my very first 2014 race!  Yep, I registered for the November 8, 2014 Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon!  It was exciting!  It was expensive too!  I wish that race wasn’t so stinking expensive.  That’s another story, though.  For now, I am very happy that my comeback run after a year and a half of painful rough and tough running will be the RnR 2014 Savannah marathon!  RnR runs always feel like celebratory runs.  So, this year’s Savannah RnR is going to be my great celebratory run with thousands of people lining the streets to cheer just me. 😉

You know how RnR registration asks for a projected finish time?  Well, I thought about that question hard and finally typed out “3:40”.  Finishing with a 3:40 means that I will have to run an 8:24 minute per mile pace.  That seems reasonable, -doable…at the moment.  Let’s see if I can make it true.

The two runs I’ve done this week have ranged from 3.34 miles to 3.73 miles.  Each of those runs have been pain-free.  And, each of those runs have averaged an 8:40ish per minute mile pace.  I have felt pleased with those paces as I have not been able to run below an 9:00 minute pace all year!  An 8:40 pace is still a far cry from my former 7:00 minute per mile pace for half marathons just a year and a half ago but considering where I was just a month ago, -I’ve come a long way!  So, I’ll take that 8:40ish pace with pride and, with a commitment to keep plugging along!

I’m going to continue running short, slow runs for at least the next two weeks.  If, after two weeks I still feel good and strong I’ll begin pushing the envelope both in speed and distance.  For now, though, it’s going to be slow and easy and more physical therapy.  Next week, I  begin one pt session per week.


I’m going to continue blogging my progress in hopes of staying focused and also, in hopes it may encourage someone to keep going and not give up.  Believe me, at times I have felt like quitting as I’ve sat on the sidelines watching friends and others make great strides forward in running and overall health and fitness.  This episode in my life has been discouraging.  I have gone from being somewhat of a swift runner to a runner that is not so swift.  Along the process too I’ve gained more weight than I thought possible and, I have found it difficult to shed these extra pounds.  Nothing more discouraging than working your ass off for an hour on a stair stepper and realizing that you only burned enough calories to nullify the candy bar I had eaten earlier that day!

So, onward!  My recovery has begun and I will continue to move forward!

Thanks for stopping by.

All the best.