Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Interview Tuesday: Meet Kentucky and Masters Runner, and Rider, Kiersta Tucker

2018 Backyard Classic - 3rd OA Female (Kiersta is on the far right)
This week I talk to Kiersta Tucker of Elizabethtown Kentucky.  Kiersta shares here running journey and how  she has started running Ultra's - Enjoy


Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..
I am 44. I live in Elizabethtown, KY and I have a Bachelors from WKU in Agriculture/Animal Science.


What is your profession?
I do entry level bookkeeping for a small, local CPA office.


How did you start running and what prompted you to do so?
I FIRST started running as a high school sophomore when I joined the cross country team. My motivation was typical of a teenage girl – I wanted to be thin. However, my motivation quickly changed when I realized how difficult running at a competitive level was going to be. I was slow and couldn’t keep up with anybody. My first meet I was dead last. I admired the fast girls and hung onto the fact they were string beans, thinking that was why they were fast. My thinking changed after one of our away meets where I saw a girl on the other team run a very solid race passing several of our thin girls and she was, yes, a ‘bigger’ girl. I remember her name to this day as she was the sole reason of mind-changing ideas in my teenage head.   So my motivation switched to wanting to be a better runner. I listened to Coach Burns and did what he instructed and didn’t cut corners like some of the others did. As I improved and worked my way up to the faster the runners, they no longer cut corners - they felt the need to work harder at not letting me catch them. Coach LOVED THAT! (Because all of us girls were in full blown competitive mode and he liked seeing all of us get faster as a result).   Also, I knew after that one away meet, that I didn’t have to be a string bean to be a good runner. Sure, being lighter helps, but being your own healthy weight I discovered is more important.


How long have you been running?
After high school, I didn’t run in a race until 12 years & two kids later. It was June 26th 2004 and was called the Celebrating Women 5K (in Louisville). I trained by pushing the kiddos in a double stroller type cart – in fact, race day was the first time I ran without the cart! After that particular race I ran a 5K here and there just for fun. Maybe 4 a year until 2009 when I just began to concentrate on cycling more and more. Only recently (last year and a half) have I started running again with a competitive frame of mind.


If I remember correctly you ride as well – how does that all fit in with your training?
With my recent goals, I wish I could ride my bike more! But, if I want the grade, I have to do the homework, so I am running a little more than I am cycling right now, and will soon have to be running even more miles.


Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
I played fast pitch softball for 13 years of my childhood and two years in a competitive slow pitch league as an adult.


Did you run in grade school, High School or College? 
I ran hurdles and the 400 in junior high track, and I ran the 800, 2-mile relay, and the 2 mile in high school track.


So we get an idea of where you have been with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon and any other distance you may have run in the past.
I haven’t run very many events since recently getting back into running, so I don’t really have many times to share.
  • My best 5K as an adult was in (2008) 23:48 
  • I’ve only run three 10K events - my best was (2005) 50:13

At the Locomotion 12
You just ran the Locomotion 12  in Hixson, TN -which is a 12 hour run on a 2 mile course – can you tell us about the run?
It was a great venue and opportunity for me to do a long training run as I would not have been able to replicate the circumstances on a random training day at home. I didn’t go into the event as a competitive entrant, but just wanted to see how far I could go so I could have a benchmark to start from as I train for a race I am hoping to do in December.  The Locomotion 12 was a very small race and was very well organized. I would definitely recommend it as a stepping stone in beginning to run ultras because the laps are short and you can access your pit/tent/crew more frequently. Being a beginner at this, I was developing a sense of what I needed with me, how my needs changed as I gathered mileage, and having my resources close I could accommodate and also learn what I will need to keep with me in the timed events that have rather long loops.


What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them? 
The Backyard Classic (BYC) in Elizabethtown is my most recent memorable race. It was first time I had ever run more than 15 miles. (and I ended up running 36!) My months of training prior was mostly dedicated to a gravel cycling race I did about a month before BYC, so I didn’t have much time to recover and then switch gears to running. Mid-race my legs hurt so bad I sat in the creek to let the cold water trickle over my burning muscles as the racers continued behind me. I had no idea that moment was caught on camera and when I saw the photo I was immediately choked by tears and emotion. (Below is the picture and the caption I wrote after seeing it.)


I can’t believe someone captured this in a photo, but I am grateful. This is real. There was a refreshing creek crossing every lap but on one particular lap the suffering was getting to me - I couldn’t resist. I sat down in the water. My quads burned so badly, I knew the cold creek water would feel so good on my legs. But my accountability/training partner came running through, looked at me with incredible disbelief & with utmost sincerity demanded I get up and told me, "Don’t you dare cry." (Because I started to). That was a moment I will remember forever. It's a good feeling to have someone believe in you. This is what community and camaraderie and friendship is all about, no matter what the sport.


What is your favorite distance to run and race?
I think I am liking the 50K distance. I’d like to go get these bucket list items checked off and then come back and purposefully race a designated distance of 50K.


Do you have any long-range plans?
I am training for a 100 mile race (Falls 100) that takes place in December.  I cannot run even half that distance right now, so I have my homework cut out for me.


What do you like best about living and running in KY?
I love the trails that Kentucky has to offer. I run mostly trails as I personally don’t have as much inflammation running trails as I would if running pavement or concrete sidewalks.


What do you struggle with most with regards to running?
The hardest struggle for me is fitting in enough miles with work and the demands of life. All of us could be better at our sports if we didn’t have to go to work and had more time to train, so it is tricky getting that balance necessary to continue to progress, yet not run ourselves down nor neglect other important aspects of our lives.


What do you see as a trend in running?
I see new body types in realms you didn’t see in the past. I believe athleticism is in the mind, in your blood, and in your nutrition. No matter what your size, if you have proper mental and physical health to draw from, then you can achieve limits you never thought you could.


If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?
I firmly believe you should train on the ground your race will be on. If it’s a trail race, train on trails. If it’s a hilly race, train on hills, if it’s a road race, then train on pavement. And speed work (intervals) will blow your mind at much they help an athlete improve.


Let me add here that since I did this interview Kiersta's son, who is 19 and in basic training, broke his femur so you can keep him in your prayers as well as Kiersta - since like any mother she will be worrying about him.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekly RunDown #84

“The one thing that you have, that is better than any gel, any drink, or any food, is something you’ve always had. It’s your mind and it can truly get you through anything.”
Dick Beardsley

A talk with Dick Beardsley about his race with Alberto Salazar at the 1982 Boston Marathon where he got second - a race often referred to as the "Duel in the Sun."  See video below on the race.

This is my Interview Tuesday interview with Kentucky and Master Runner Doug Lynch who not only does Ultras but does them while dealing with Crohn's Disease and Diabetes

Here is my race report on this years Yamacraw 50k held on April7th

One of the great stories out of this years Boston Marathon has to do with 2nd place in the women's race.  Sarah Sellers a nurse from Arizona who is unsponsored and paid the $180 entry fee toughed out the weather when many did not and won $75K for 2nd

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella's article on going for his 31st straight year of running a sub 3 hour marathon and doing it at Boston.  Sadly due to weather Mark did not go sub 3 hours but with the weather his 3:04:31 was a great run.

Photos from the 2018 Boston Marathon

Dave McGillivray so as to run his 46th straight Boston and for the MR8 charity ran it at night after race directing all day.

Another Boston in the books and while the weather greatly affected the times which were far from fast it did not dampen the excitement and the pleasure of seeing two of my favorite runners win - Desi Linden and Yuki Kawauchi.

Here is a article on Why You Should Love Yuki Kawauchi

A look at the men's race at Boston from RunBlogRun and a post on Desi's win in the women's race

LetsRun.com's look at Desi's win and at Yuki's win

Athletics Weekly takes a look at Yuki's marathon career

How sportsmanship can/may help our running

So now that Boston is done the focus is now London this Sunday.  We go from cold and wet at Boston to maybe the hottest London Marathon yet

Preview of the 2018 London Marathon

Will the women's marathon record go down at London and a look at the men's race

Eliud Kipchoge may be fast but he still see's himself as as student of the sport

iRunFar.com's This Week in Running: April 16, 2018

7 races of out of the ordinary distances

A wrap-up of the Marathon des Sables - Morroco

A look at the Lake Sonoma 50 and the race for Golden Tickets

Amy Leedham shares here report on the Lake Sonoma 50

If Patience is the number one trait for an Ultra runner I may be in trouble if I do not learn to have some:)

Some thoughts on why women may do better in cold than men

National Geographic looks at the Ben Clark, Timothy Olson and Anna Frost's attempt at the Himalayan Snowman Trek.  The trek usually takes a month and they were gong for two weeks.

Alex Hutchinson who wrote the great book Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance writes for Outside Online and share his thoughts on Why it Matters How You Think About Pain

Are you overtrained - here are 5 symptoms that you may be

If you are going to be in the Nancy Kentucky area July 21st, 2018 you might consider doing the Mud Mayhem & Fun Lake Cumberland 5K Obstacle Challenge.  The race proceeds go to help the local Phoenix Racing

July 7th in Elizabethtown, KY Running Soles will be hosting the Freeman Lake Summer Trail Challenge.  You can run a 10K or 5k and if really inspired run both

If you live in the South-Central Kentucky area and you are a JV or Varsity distance runner you should look at attending the 3 day KY Elite Distance Running Camp being help July 12-14 in Somerset KY.  This camp is put on by KY 2000 AA State Cross-Country Champion Daniel Roberts who I interviewed at the end of February.  The price for the camp is $50 but it increases after April 15, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT.   You can also get information at the KY Elite Running Facebook page


Masters Running News
Want to see how your times compare as you age here is an Age Graded Calculator

If you want to take part in a Masters Track and Field meets here are some for the year

If you want to keep up with Masters Running, especially Track & Field subscribe to National Masters News.  It is a great red and gives you the most news I have found on masters running.  Would be nice if there was more road and trail news but maybe that will grow.


Races this Coming Week
Zion Ultra Marathons, Zion, UT - April 20-21
Big Turtle 50 Miler, Morehead, KY - April 21, 2018
Folsom Lake Trail Run, Folsom, CA - April 21, 2018
Blue Ridge Marathon,  Roanoke, VA - April 21, 2018
London Marathon, London UK - April 22, 2018

Past Weekend Race Results
Zumbro 50M & 100M, Theilman, MN - April 13-14, 2018
Lake Sonoma 50, Healdsburg, CA - April 14, 2018
(un)Pleasant Hill Trail Runs, Harrodsburg, KY - April 14, 2018
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA - April 16, 2018


1982 Boston Marathon - The Duel in the Sun


Desi Linden wins the Women's 2018 Boston Marathon


Yuki Kawauchi wins the Men's 2018 Boston Marathon


Talk with Dave Mackey V2.0


This week's Mountain Outhouse News


The London Marathon Course in under 3 minutes


2018 London Marathon Promo


The Snowman Trek - Official Trailer


Not sure when this will come out as the Promo is from last year


Documentary short from the Sinister 7 Ultra






Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Interview Tuesday: Meet Kentucky Runner Doug Lynch Who Has Crohn’s But Crohn’s Doesn’t Have Him.


I met Doug via FB and my blog and in hearing his story I wanted to make sure others could do so as well, and benefit from it.  As you will read, Doug has Crohn's Disease and Diabetes but he does not let that stop him.  Enjoy and be encouraged as Doug shares a little about himself.


Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you
live in, etc…..
My name is Doug Lynch and I turn 50 July 5th (finally will be in Master division) and I was born in Louisville, KY but currently live in Shepherdsville for the last 20 years with my wife Lori.


What is your profession?
Airline Technical Writer for UPS writing and revising flight manuals and training manuals for flight crewmembers.


How did you start running and what prompted you to do so?
In the spring of 2014 after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and surviving losing over half the blood in my body from this disease and spending months in hospitals getting blood transfusions, iron infusions and every test known to man. I knew I had to become the healthiest version of myself. So I started running and when I got introduced to trail running I immediately fell in love with it.


How long have you been running?
Just celebrated 4 years running.


Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
I played basketball, football, baseball and soccer as a kid.


Did you run in grade school, High School or College? If so where?​
I ran track in grade school and I ran cross country my freshman year for Louisville Saint Xavier. However, I only won one race and really didn’t like running fast for more than a few hundred meters and I gave up the sport after one season. But I was a pretty fast sprinter and ran in the Mason Dixon games back in 1984.


So we get an idea of where you have been with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon and any other distance you may have run in the past.

  • 5K - 23:22
  • 10K - 49:07
  • 10 Miler - 1:22:53
  • Half Marathon Road course - 1:54:08
  • Half Marathon Trail course - 2:33:34
  • Full Marathon Road course - 4:16:29
  • Full Marathon Trail course - 5:00:47
  • Ultra 50K trail race - 7:24:20
  • Ultra 60K trail race – 10:24:45

Grand Canyon
What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?
My most memorable race was running with 50,000 runners during the NYCM in 2015. My most memorable run but not a race has to be running from the south rim of the Grand Canyon down the South Kaibab trail to the bottom across the Colorado River to Phantom Ranch and back up the Bright Angel trail to the South Rim again. Had a large long horn ram come down on the trail with me, just glad he decided to go the opposite direction of the way I was going.


What is your favorite distance to run and race?
My favorite distance to run and race might be the 50K distance because it not only tests my body but my heart and mind. But the main reason is I get to run in places that most people will probably never get to see.


Do you have any long-range plans?
This is the first time in 4 years I haven’t had any long-range plans. I have just finished up back to back 50K’s in less than 30 days so now it’s time to rest and recover. But like most running addicts, I am sure I will be signed up for another race soon.


What do you like best about living and running in KY?
I love the diverse trails systems we have here in KY with so many different options for terrain. It amazes me how many hidden trail gems we have here in KY and within close proximity to where I live.


What do you struggle with most with regards to running?
I struggle with health the most with regards to running by dealing with diabetes and my Crohn’s disease. I have to have an infusion every 8 weeks to keep me in remission (knock on wood over 15 months now) so I don’t have flare ups and end up back in the hospital. I won’t go into any details about my disease and the struggles I face on a day to day bases because I know while even though I may be very sick at times and struggle to even run a couple miles there is always going to be someone out there that has it a lot worse than me and I don’t believe in feeling sorry for myself. It has also taught me when running not to judge any runner, that when we toe the line on race day we really never know the story or the struggles of what it took for the runners to get there toeing the line next to us.


What do you see as a trend in running?
There are more and more trail races every week and I am seeing more and more women come into the sport and dominate. In only 4 years of running I have seen several new trail races pop up near me and I am fascinated by how many awesome women runners there are out there. As a kid my heroes were all male athletes, today that has changed.
Louisville Lovin' the Hills


If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what
would it be?
It doesn’t matter how fast you are going but that you are going and you are doing something positive for your body.


Any closing comments?
Running has given me so much in so little time over the last 4 years. It has taken me to places I know

I would have never been if not for running. Heck some of the places I would have never known existed before I started running. It has helped me go from an insulin shot every time I ate to just one small shot a day. July 14th of this year will be 4 years tobacco free and I am just getting started. In a few months I will turn 50, so all you Master runners out there be warned there is a new kid coming after you.


As an addition to this interview, as the race was run after Doug finished the interview:   I wanted to share that Doug ran the challenging, and this year cold, Yamacraw 50K (April 7, 2018) finishing in 9:19:06 .

#RunningWithCrohns #CrohnsandRunning #Crohns

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Yamacraw 50K Race Report

Photo by Misty Wong
Not Having the Race You Wanted – But Having the Race You Should have Expected

Being a week after running the 2018 Yamacraw 50k on April 7th in Sterns KY I figured it was time to look back on how it all went.  Last year I wrote a long race report with my fueling and such but will this time mostly focus on how the race went and did not go as well as an overall perspective on it.  I am one of those who is usually not pleased with my race as I can always see where I could have improved as well as having a penchant for holding myself to a standard that may often be too high for my fitness and age – but that is who I am.  In this case that is exactly how I viewed things, not well, after the race but now a week or so later and things look a little more clear and I can take some positives away – so here goes.

My lead up to the race did not go very smooth.  While for the last few months I had been at 30-40 miles a week and got in a few 20-22 milers in at a good pace things were not right.  First I have struggled with Plantar Fasciitis , or a form of it, for maybe 8 months and my right foot not only has been sore in the heel my feet just feel beat up on longer.  One part of my training, which I did last before Yamacraw, was wanting to run a 50K training run as well as again run the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) 50 miler so my legs, and feet, had extended running time on them – but that did not happen this year.  Truth is I had not run as far as this weeks 50k since last years race.  While I had some good 20 mile training runs, great for marathon training, they were at a quicker tempo which is all well and good but did not give time on my feet and legs which is what I was missing in the build up to this years Yamacraw.
Photo by Misty Wong

The other issue that reared itself  was with my right eye at the end of February where I went blind in it for about 5 minutes.  Initially I did nothing, just my nature to blow things off as an “oh that will pass event”  but then decided it would be good to get it looked at and was taken right in once thy heard what happened.  From there I was sent to a specialist and was told not to run till another visit later in the week.  Due to all this I had to cancel my LBL 50 race as I did not know if I would get the OK to run at the next doctors visit or not and with all going on figured it was the best decision.  It ended up that by race day I was able to run but only a short run and taking it easy.  To this day, 6 weeks later, they are not totally sure what caused the hemorrhage in my eye and even now there are still lots of floaters and it can be really murky looking though my right eye as the blood clears up.  It is more of an annoyance than anything as all through Yamacraw it seemed gnats were flying around me or that I had a fingerprint smudge on my right ey.  Well at least it took my mind off of the race.

All of the above allowed me to keep up some lower miles but in truth not enough to really race 50K as I wanted to.  After running 5:59:37 last year my goal for this year was 5:50 or there about – faster if I had a really good day.  But that goal was based on a good build up like I had the previous year and similar weather.  I have a problem lowering expectations on myself and that was what happened for this year’s race.  What with my reduced training, sore foot and the course being muddier and more slippery on the rocks and bridges than last year and also with more water on the crossings my expectations should have been adjusted accordingly – but I did not.

Pre-race day predictions were for rain then snow and 35F temps but on race day other than some drizzle at the start and some snow near the end all we got were fairly consistent 35F temps with wind.  While not everyone would agree as far as temps they were almost perfect, maybe 5-10 degrees warmer would have been good but 35F worked for me.  So off we went and I ran a good first mile feeling comfortable and not pushing it but still was left behind.  While I wanted to go faster I knew I just did not feel quite right and wanted to make sure my foot was good and warmed up before I pushed it any.  By the second mile there are some stairs and rocks and I took it very cautious and started getting passed.  The race just felt blah for me, not good - not super bad just blah and tired, and to tell the truth in the first 10 miles knowing I had 22+ to go I would have dropped out if it was easy to do but dropping out was not easy and I knew if I did so I would struggle more with it mentally later than just running poorly.  So on I went and just kept up a steady pace getting passed by those picking it up later in the race.

One of the most interesting parts of the race was the river crossing that was too deep to wade across so they had a raft bridge set up.  The idea was to walk raft to raft to cross and for most it was matter of sitting on the edge and swinging your legs across.  For me, however, the issue was my legs cramped when I tried this technique so I had to do the “belly-flop” move form raft to raft which was quite slow and probably comical to watch.  When you got to the other side you had to climb up, with assistance, a step bank by stepping on tree roots sticking out of the bank.  Even when I made it up the bank I had to walk as the mud was very slippy and did not want to end up back in the river.

From the river the course begins to rise to the drop bag check point and then it is an up and down ride to the finish from there, with a few good steady climbs.  Felt a little better in the last 7 miles and was able to keep up a good pace to the finish but still did not go down hill as well as last year, or at least did not feel so.  Down-hills were my downfall this whole race as they often are in races but more so this year.  I used to be, in my youth, a good descender but as I have gotten older, less flexible and less willing to take risks I just did not push the down-hills like I could or should.  Most of the descents had a number of areas with rocks and roots that, to me, were slippy so I took it easy.  To add to this my right foot was hurting which led me to just go slower than I wanted on the down-hills that were more runable.  I also walked across most bridges, and also the wood planks set up to avoid the marshy areas, as they were very slippery as well.  On the few sections that were level or only slightly downhill I was able to get up to a good pace but those areas are not excessive.

As far as fueling I preloaded before the race with my modified bullet-proof coffee as well as a cocktail of UCAN and SFuels Drink.  For the race itself I stayed with using my SFuels drink which I really liked.  I also cut up some SFuel Bars into small bite-size cubes and coated them in tapioca powder, you can also use arrow root powder, to help stop them from sticking together and this seemed to work.  I have a hard time eating and running as my sinuses are not great so when I eat I do not breath  but this helped having smaller sized bites.  The only issue I had was that I put the SFuels portions in small baggies I had in a waist belt to be mixed at Aid Stations but I had issues getting it out of the baggies and wasted extra time mixing a new bottle.  Near the end I did take a couple GU Roctane Gels and at the 20 mile Aid Station where we could leave a drop bag I left a bottle with the UCAN/SFuels mixture that I took.    My take on my fueling was it did work but I need to be better at not loosing time.  Also not sure if the UCAN/SFuels bottle at the end helped but it may have.  I never had a bonk even though I never felt really energetic either so need to work on fueling some more,
Tongue Hanging Out Says it All

Got to the end knowing I was not going to be able to break 6:30 and ended up with a time of 6:37:18 for 53rd OA and 3rd in the 50-59 age group.  As I said at the start I left the race happy to have finished and for sure happier than if I had DNF’d but not pleased with my time having run 37 minutes slower than the previous year.  Over the week since the race and thinking back on it I am not sure the actual running of the race was as bad as I thought.  I am pretty sure my Aid Station stops were much slower than last year so at about 3 minutes a stop extra for 5 stations that accounts for 15 minutes.  Then with walking all the bridges and wood planks may have added 5 minutes so my running was about 17 minutes slower which could easily be attributed to going slower than normal on down-hills.  While many ran faster this others did not.  For me the course being wet and me being overly cautious easily accounted for the extra time.  None of this makes the race better but at least I can see that my running itself was not as off as I had thought and with the minimal training I did I should be more pleased with the run.

So there is my report.  I really like this course even though it for sure does not play to my strengths with its descents.  I want to come back and improve but due to schedules over the next couple years I will not get back till 2021 so that will be interesting as I will be 3 years older and seeking to run faster  - so we will have to see.  Bottom line is when you run a race make sure to look back after some time is allowed to go by so you can get a better look at what you did.  Often you will find things were not as bad as you thought once you sift through "what you had expected" and "what you should have expected".

If you want to run a beautiful and challenging course this is a good race to do.  The climbing is good but in all not too much.  This is a good first 50K if you want one to do but you will have to enter early as the raced filled up this year and as it gets even more of a name for itself it will fill up even more quickly.   Race website: Yamacraw 50K/20K/10K

#SFuels, #GoLonger,  #Zensah #RunYamacraw

Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekly Rundown #83

“Victory is purely defined by the results, and success can be defined by an internal measure of what you did against what you felt you had to give.”
Jack Fultz

With Boston this coming Monday I figured what better way to celebrate this great race than by sharing a quote by one of it's winners that many may not know - Jack Fultz

If you do not know much about Jack Fultz here are a couple articles about the winner of the 1976 Boston Marathon in 91F+ temps - Gary Cohen's interview of Jack from June 2010 and a podcast with Jack

For Boston Marathon history you can't do much better than the new Boston: The Documentary but there is also a good video on YouTube called 117 Seconds of Boston Marathon History

A look at the weather for this coming Monday's Marathon

Preview of the Boston Women's race - according to a report Sarah Hall is out with an SI Joint issued

Preview of the Boston Men's race Part 1 & Part 2- Also, news as of 4/11/18 is Dathan Ritzenhein is also out with an SI Joint injury

Molly Huddle talks about her first Boston Marathon

If you want to follow someone during the Boston Marathon you can look up the bib number here and follow them via the Mobile App of Online here

As Mario Fraioli says, there is much talk about Boston, as there should be, but do not forget there is another 6 days later on April 22nd - the London Marathon and it could be a great race as well, maybe even better than Boston, with the likes of Kipchoge, Bekele, Wanjiri, Adola and hometown favorite Mo Farah in the men's race.  For the women's race you have Mary Keitany of Kenya and Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia.

If the Boston Marathon seems to tame here are are some more challenging Marathons

This week's Interview Tuesday was with Allen Reynolds

A race review of the 2018 Georgia Death Race

I did not know Magdalena Boulet was running the Marathon des Sables (MDS) in Morocco but she is and took the lead on stage 4, the long stage, with one more stage to go.  Also, here is Ian Corless' review and pictures of Stage 4

iRunFar.com's This Week in Running: April 9, 2018

LetsRun.com's The Week That Was in Running: April 2 - 8, 2018

You can check out the latest on this years Commonwealth Games on Athletics Weekly's dedicated page

Check out the the new documentary on Amazon called Ouray 100 - tells the story of Avery Collins run at Ouray how he dealt with going off course in the early miles.  I have not seen it yet but it is on my list.  If you have Amazon Prime is is free right now otherwise it is $2.99 to rent the HD version or $1.99 for the SD version.

If you have ever read a review at DC Rainmaker, if you have not you should, and wonder about who Ray Maker was Outside Online did a good write up on him

Speaking of DC Rainmaker here is his Week In Review for April 1st

The Lake Sonoma 50 Miler is this week and here is a preview of it

Report on the 100 Miles of Istria won by Paul Giblin of Scotland

Nicki Rehn shares here thoughts on her 5th try at the Barkley: Help is not coming-Brakley #5

If you read Track & Filed News as I did for many, many years you will know the name Jon Hendershot as he was part of T&FN for more than 50 years.  Well, Jon passed away this past Monday (4/9/18)

Justin Lagat gives his thoughts on Kenyan athletes seeking to change nationalities for greener pastures.

Mike Strzelecki is not the fastest guy in the pack but he has been running Ultras for a long time and here are his tips 18 Tips for Trail and Ultramarathon Success

If you are going to be in the Nancy Kentucky area July 21st, 2018 you might consider doing the Mud Mayhem & Fun Lake Cumberland 5K Obstacle Challenge.  The race proceeds go to help the local Phoenix Racing

July 7th in Elizabethtown, KY Running Soles will be hosting the Freeman Lake Summer Trail Challenge.  You can run a 10K or 5k and if really inspired run both

If you live in the South-Central Kentucky area and you are a JV or Varsity distance runner you should look at attending the 3 day KY Elite Distance Running Camp being help July 12-14 in Somerset KY.  This camp is put on by KY 2000 AA State Cross-Country Champion Daniel Roberts who I interviewed at the end of February.  The price for the camp is $50 but it increases after April 15, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT.   You can also get information at the KY Elite Running Facebook page


Masters Running News
It will very interesting to see how Deena Kastor (45) is running Boston for her first marathon since 2015

Tom Bowden, who I posted an interview with a couple weeks ago, ran in the Texas Senior Games and won both the M75 400 in 1:10.56 and the M75 200 in 30.44 Both are world leading times

If you want to keep up with Masters Running, especially Track & Field subscribe to National Masters News.  It is a great red and gives you the ost news I have found on masters running.  Would be nice if there was more road and trail news but maybe that will grow.


Races this Coming Week
Zumbro 50M & 100M, Theilman, MN - April 13-14, 2018
Lake Sonoma 50, Healdsburg, CA - April 14, 2018
(un)Pleasant Hill Trail Runs, Harrodsburg, KY - April 14, 2018
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA - April 16, 2018


Past Weekend Race Results
Mad City 100k, Madison, WI - April 7, 2018
Yamacraw 50K/20K/10K, Stearns, KY - April 7, 2018
American River 50M, Folsum, CA - April 7, 2018
Brazos Bend 50, Needville, TX - April 7, 2018
South Downs Way 50, Worthing, UK - April 7, 2018
Umstead 100, Raleigh, NC - April 7-8, 2018
Rotterdam Marathon, Rotterdam, Netherlands - April 8, 2018
Marathon Des Sables - Live Tracking, Morocco - April 6-16, 2018


1976 Boston Marathon


Bill Rogers talks about his 1975 Boston win


It was one fast day at Boston in 2011 - Men's race


Women's race


This guy did leave it all on the line at the Hannover Marathon


This week's edition of Mountain Outhouse News


Dylan Bowman running California's Lost Coast


A look at last year's (2017) Sonoma 50 - The 2018 race is this weekend


The 2018 Zumbro 50M and 100M is this weekend so figured would be good to look back at the 2017 race




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Interview Tuesday: Meet Kentucky and Masters Runner Allen Reynolds


It is always great to hear how people started running, especially those that do it later in life.  The reasons are varied but the result are often the same - changed lives.  I am glad Allen was wiling to share his story and I hope it inspires and encourages you.



Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..
I was born in 1970 in Taylor county and grew up on a family dairy/grain/tobacco farm. I have lived within a 1.0-mile radius of my first house for all but 10 years of my life. I graduated from Taylor County High School in 1988. Then graduated from Georgetown College in 1992 with a major in Physics and Chemistry. I attended graduate school in chemical engineering at the University of Kentucky from 1992-94. I’ve worked in the automotive industry since 1994 at various locations including Toyota in Georgetown, KY and numerous plants in the Lebanon/Springfield, KY area. I’m currently working at AGC in Elizabethtown, KY.  My father still runs the farm and I help out whenever possible. Thankfully the dairy cows and tobacco are in the past. We only raise corn, soybeans, and a few beef cows today.

My wife, Mary, and I married in 1990. We have two children. Jason (22) and Taylor (20) with our 1st grandchild due later this year.


What is your profession?
I am the Process Engineering Manager at AGC in Elizabethtown. AGC manufactures automotive safety glass (windshields, side windows, rear glass) for most all of the automakers in the US – Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, etc. I have 10 process engineers that report directly to me.


How did you start running and what prompted you to do so? 
In January of 2017 my weight had ballooned up to over 355 pounds. I have always been ‘Big AL’ since I’m 6’3” and ‘big boned’, but this was getting a little ridiculous. I was having back and knee problems constantly. Had no energy. I was basically living a sedentary life. I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without being out of breath. My life was work and recliner/TV. Nothing else. 

So, I decided that I had to do something. In February 2017, we purchased an elliptical machine. I started working out on it each morning before work. At first it was only 5 minutes. Then I got up to 10. Then 15. By the end of April, I was up to 30 minutes every morning. I was feeling better, but the elliptical gets old quick. I needed something else.

In May, I bought a FitBit and joined a 100-day fitness challenge that AGC sponsors (Virgin Pulse) for all of our employees every year. Virgin Pulse is a daily step challenge designed to get people moving and help provide ideas/options for a healthier lifestyle. I was still doing the elliptical every day, but also adding walking a mile at lunch and a couple of miles on the weekends. By the end of June, I was averaging over 15,000 steps per day between the elliptical and walking. I still needed more.

On July 5, 2017, I made my first visit to Running Soles in E-town. That day Madeline helped me choose my first ‘real’ pair of running shoes and insoles. I started trying to run (couldn’t run ¼ mile without walking at first) and decided to enter my first race. On July 22, I completed the Freeman Lake 8K. I won’t say that I ran it. It was about 100 degrees and I walked a lot more than I ran, but I did manage to finish (1:19).  I was barely able to walk the next couple of days, but I came back for more.

Over the next several months, I ran the Freeman Lake 10K, the Puretap 5K, the Great Pumpkin 10K. Most importantly though, I started running every Tuesday and Thursday night with Running Soles Nation. Will, Madeline, and the entire RS family were so supportive and encouraging that I kept wanting more and more. Now I’m running 5-6 days per week. 40-50 miles total. Building up to my first full marathon at the Kentucky Derby Festival on April 28, 2018.

Along with the running, I’ve also modified my diet to include more protein, less carbs, and pretty much eliminated all ‘junk’ foods. I eat a LOT of turkey, chicken, carrots, and grapes.

I traded in my Fitbit for a ‘real’ runner’s watch last month (Garmin Fenix5X). I’m also a running shoe junkie according to my wife. I think that own five active pair right now and I’m already planning my next pair.

My weight is now 216 pounds. I’ve went from 50” waist to a 34” waist.

I’m getting faster and running further every week.   I feel better than I have ever felt in my entire life.


How long have you been running?
July will be my 1-year anniversary of trying to run.


Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
I was in the band in high school and didn’t play organized sports. I did play a lot of rec league volleyball in high school and got pretty serious about it during my college years and for several years afterward. I played on a fairly regular basis until about 5 years ago. I was very heavily involved with coaching my son in baseball and football from the time he was 4 until he graduated high school.


Did you run in grade school, High School or College? If so where?
Never. Not even to the diner bell. My brother and sister both ran. I just made fun of them and asked them why they would ever want to do something so silly.

So we get an idea of where you have been with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon and any other distance you may have run in the past. 

  • 5K- St. Patrick’s Day at Morningside Elementary in ET March 2018 – 24:30
  • 10K – Hillside Hustle Dec’17 – 59:59 (I’ve ran faster times, but no official 10K since) 
  • Half Marathon – Running the Bluegrass 3/31/18 – 1:57.24 (beat my previous PR at the 2017 Urban Bourbon by 24 minutes)
  • Best Trail Race Time – L-ville Loving the Hills 15M Feb’18 – 3:25
  • Full Marathon - ???? not yet attempted.


What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?
Since I’ve done so few, they are all very memorable at this point. 

  • 2017 Freeman Lake 8K because it was so hot. 
  • 2017 Great Pumpkin 10K because it was the first time that I felt like a runner.
  • 2017 Urban Bourbon Half because I remember thinking immediately after that this was dumb and I would never do again. Then signing up for the Running the BG Half and KY Derby Full less than a week later.
  • 2018 Running the Bluegrass Half because I finished in less than 2 hours and ran the entire time. I felt great at the end despite all of the hills on the course.
  • 2017 Otter Creek – my 1st technical trail race. I fell twice on the course, but still loved it.
  • 2018 L-ville Loving the Hills – 1st time anybody every called me ‘fast’ 


What is your favorite distance to run and race?
I’m not sure that I’m far enough along to answer this yet. Ask me again in May after the Debry Full. Right now I’d say any trail race. I love running the trails.


Do you have any long-range plans?
After the Derby Full, I’m not sure. More trail races? Trail Full? Longer distances? But I am sure that I want to continue running with #RS Nation and getting faster/healthier.


What do you like best about living and running in KY?
I’ve always lived in Central Kentucky. I love the people. The hills. The lakes. Hiking/running in areas like Red River Gorge. With a 1-2 hour drive you can run about any terrain you want.


What do you struggle with most with regards to running?
I have struggled with bad knees during my journey, but that seems to be getting better since I dropped the weight. Other than that, I haven’t really hit any big obstacles at this point.


What do you see as a trend in running?
I only know the running of the day, so I don’t think that I can predict any trends. Hopefully the trend is that more and more people decide to get out and give it a try.


If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?
First and foremost, find a great local running store like Running Soles and get involved with a running group like #RS Nation. The advice and support that they provide is priceless.

Second, don’t give up because you can’t run without walking or you are slow. One year ago today I couldn’t run 100 yards. In less than a month, I expect to be able to put a 26.2 sticker on my truck.

Get an activity tracker such as a Garmin or Fitbit and start tracking your steps, miles, food, etc. It helps to remember what you have done and see how much you are really eating.

Lastly, get your family involved too. My mom and wife helped out in the beginning by walking with me. Then my brother, Jeremy, and sister, Tiffany, took over once I started running. They have been an inspiration. I’m trying to get my wife, son, and daughter to buy in as well. Only time will tell if I can get them hooked.


Do you have a website or other social media site you would like to share?
Running Soles Training group on Facebook. It’s a great source of knowledge, upcoming activities, etc.


Any closing comments?
My favorite movie of all time is Forrest Gump. I’ve said for a long time that I could answer about any question with a quote from the move. I never really thought much about the running parts of the movie until sometime late last year. Now my favorite quote from the movie is ‘I just felt like running’. Those 5 words sum up my life for the last year and hopefully for the future.



Friday, April 6, 2018

Weekly RunDown #82

"I don't think you can become an outstanding runner unless you get a certain amount of enjoyment out of the suffering. You have to enjoy absorbing it, controlling it, and - ultimately - overcoming it."
Derek Clayton

If you read the quote and asked yourself who Derek Clayton was - he was the first to break 2:09 in he marathon with a 2:08:33.6 in 1969 - you can read about him here and here

This week's Interview Tuesday was with Mark Hamm of Somerset Kentucky

Check out all the interviews and profiles that have been done at iRunFar.com:

John Kelly posts more on the 2018 Barkley - A view from the Other Side

Jae at The Balanced Runner looks at Why Your Calves Are Tight.  This is one I need to work on as my latest injuries have come, I am sure, from a tight right calf.  I have taken The Balanced Runner Online Camp, review here, and am working on this but need to break some old ingrained habits so takes some time.

If you are interested in the Commonwealth Games that have just started you can see the Middle and Long-Distance schedule here

At the Topo Blog they look at Three Truths About Foot Strike

iRunFar.com's This Week in Running: April 2, 2018

LetsRun.com's Week That Was in Running: March 26 - April 1

Gary Robbins shares about his 2018 Barkley: Help is Not Coming

Amelia Boone, who is in the Ginger Runner interview below in the video section, writes about the Barkley and Confidence Through Failure

Most news is about runners but this is about a fan of Ultrarunners - as Bill Dooper recently passed away.  If you have not heard of Bill Dooper, even if you have, here is a great video on him


More on the Barkley Marathons

SI talks to Gwen Jorgensen about her move from the Triathlon to the Marathon

If you have run an Ultramarathon you will have noticed something is different

Ultra Run MD shares 14 Simple Ways to Survive Your First Ultra

Shalane Flanagan and her unfinished business at Boston

The rise in the Ultramarathon

Tina Muir talks to Camille Herron and shares how she gets her 100 miles a week in by running multiple runs

Are you a Serious or Curious athlete?

The Marathon des Sables - Morocco is this Friday bit Ian Corless writes on the new Marathon des Sables - Peru

If you have Amazon Prime you watch for free the movie Ouray 100 about Avery Collins' run at Ouray

Not much talk of Fell Running outside of the UK but it is a tough sport - Fell Running: Not for the Faint of Heart

Just downloaded the FastZach app that is supposed to generate routes in your area by distance you want. Have not tried it yet but looks interesting, being I live in a rural area may not be as varied on routes but will check it out on my next trip out of town.

If you are going to be in the Nancy Kentucky area July 21st, 2018 you might consider doing the Mud Mayhem & Fun Lake Cumberland 5K Obstacle Challenge.  The race proceeds go to help the local Phoenix Racing

If you live in the South-Central Kentucky area and you are a JV or Varsity distance runner you should look at attending the 3 day KY Elite Distance Running Camp being help July 12-14 in Somerset KY.  This camp is put on by KY 2000 AA State Cross-Country Champion Daniel Roberts who I interviewed at the end of February.  The price for the camp is $50 but it increases after April 15, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT.   You can also get information at the KY Elite Running Facebook page


Masters Running News
Mungara at 44 is ready for the Commonwealth Games marathon

Orville Rogers and Julia Hawkins share their wisdom


Races this Coming Week
Mad City 100k, Madison, WI - April 7, 2018
Yamacraw 50K/20K/10K, Stearns, KY - April 7, 2018
American River 50M, Folsum, CA - April 7, 2018
Brazos Bend 50, Needville, TX - April 7, 2018
South Downs Way 50, Worthing, UK - April 7, 2018
Umstead 100, Raleigh, NC - April 7-8, 2018
Rotterdam Marathon, Rotterdam, Netherlands - April 8, 2018
Marathon Des Sables, Morocco - April 6-16, 2018


Past Weekend Race Results
Badger Mountain Challenge, Richland, WA -  March 30-31, 2018
Run the Bluegrass 1/2 Marathon, Lexington, KY - March 31, 2018
Georgia Death Race, Blairsville, GA - March 31, 2018
Two Oceans Marathon-Ultra, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, March 31, 2018
Brown County 50K, Brown County State Park, IN - March 31, 2018


Whistler Alpine Meadows 25K


Altra Athlete Summit 2018


Red Bull has it's run UP a ski Jump so Inov-8 has a race DOWN a ski run


The Ginger Runner talks to Guillaume Calmettes, Amelia Boone, Maggie Guterl about the 2018 Barkley Marathons


The Latest Mountain Outhouse News


I realize they are essentially Salomon ads but they do put out good videos


In honor of this weeks American River 50 Miler here is an older trailer for the race


SFuels, of whom I am an Ambassador for, is working with Tom Lawrence as he attempts to climb Everest this year.  You can also try SFuels drinks and bars with their special where you get a 1 year guarantee on the drink and a 4 bar trial pack - for the deal go here.