Archive | May, 2015

Harriett Thompson Oldest Runner to Run a Marathon – Run It Fast

Harriette Thompson Becomes Oldest Woman to Run a Marathon at 92

Harriett Thompson Oldest Runner to Run a Marathon - Run It Fast

Harriette Thompson is now the oldest woman to ever run at marathon after she completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon this morning at the age of 92-years old. She finished with a time of 7 hours 24 minutes.

Thompson has run the San Diego Marathon 16x and ran a 7:07 last year to set the record for 90 years and older. She started running marathons when she turned 76-years old.

According to ATHLinks Thompson ran a 44:26 5K two weeks prior. She ran a 6:27:03 at the 2009 San Diego Marathon

Congrats to Harriette in showing the world that anything is possible if we will just get out there and try it.

source/photo: Competitor

Posted in Marathon, Running0 Comments

Deo Jaravata and Joshua Holmes at Nanny Goat 2015 – Run It Fast

Run It Fast’s Extreme Racer Standings (Thru April 2015)

Deo Jaravata and Joshua Holmes at Nanny Goat 2015 - Run It Fast
RIF #333 Deo Jaravata and RIF #1 Joshua Holmes at Nanny Goat

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope everyone had a great, safe time grilling, playing on the water, and of course, running.

This club and all the incredible people in it are a constant inspiration and amazement me, especially watching how the Extreme Racer standings change each month. More members continue to participate and the points continue to rise, as runners battle for the top spots.

Leading the men is RIF #279 George Southgate with 588 points. Second place is held by RIF #190 John Kent Leighton with 547.45 points. Coming in third is RIF #1 Joshua Holmes with 492.6 points.

Our female leader is RIF #404 Andrea Kooiman with 352.3 points. Second place is held by RIF #450 Patricia Klein with 342 points. Coming in third is RIF #159 Diane Bolton with 321.2 points.

Here are the 2015 Extreme Racer standings through April:

Extreme Racer Top 10 Leaderboard:

1. George Southgate – 588 (RIF #279)
2. John Kent Leighton – 547.45 (RIF #190)
3. Joshua Holmes – 492.6 (RIF #1)
4. Deo Jaravata – 389.4 (RIF #333)
5. Andrea Kooiman – 352.3 (RIF #404)
6. Patricia Klein – 342 (RIF #450)
7. Steven Smith – 335.2 (RIF #387)
8. Diane Bolton – 328.2 (RIF #159)
9. Belinda Young – 301.4 (RIF #358)
10. Denis McCarthy – 288.2 (RIF #263)

Extreme Racer Male Leaderboard

1. George Southgate – 588 (RIF #279)
2. John Kent Leighton – 547.45 (RIF #190)
3. Joshua Holmes – 492.6 (RIF #1)
4. Deo Jaravata – 389.4 (RIF #333)
5. Steven Smith – 335.2 (RIF #387)
6. Denis McCarthy – 288.2 (RIF #263)
7. Shane Tucker – 222 (RIF #337)
8. Arland Blanton – 195.8 (RIF #290)
9. John Sotomayor – 190.2 (RIF #393)
10. Jeff Liu – 181 (RIF #275)
11. Chris Baker – 171 (RIF #437)
12. Charlie Taylor – 157.2 (RIF #353)
13. Ben Herron – 119.8 (RIF #408)
14. Michael Dasalla – 112.7 (RIF #411)
15. Nathan Bass – 106.2 (RIF #174)
16. Brian Recore – 100 (RIF #395)
17. Stephen Griffin – 97.9 (RIF #395)
18. David Mickelsen – 92.5 (RIF #164)
19. Jeff Van Demark – 86.3 (RIF #322)
20. Dennis Arriaga – 63.1 (RIF #140)
21. Mark Ogletree – 41.7 (RIF #247)
22. Robin Robbins – 35.64 (RIF #33)
23. Jeff Le – 31 (RIF #248)
24. Rick Glass – 8 (RIF #401)

Extreme Racer Female Leaderboard

1. Andrea Kooiman – 352.3 (RIF #404)
2. Patricia Klein – 342 (RIF #450)
3. Diane Bolton – 328.2 (RIF #159
4. Belinda Young – 301.4 (RIF #358)
5. Suzanne Michelson – 248.9 (RIF 280)
6. Marylou Corino – 229.2 (RIF #410)
7. Angie Whitworth Pace – 220.3 (RIF #447)
8. Amanda Staggs – 203.7 (RIF #210)
9. Christa Baker – 171 (RIF #436)
10. Nicole Eldridge – 146.2 (RIF #446)
11. Christy Bowers – 136.8 9 (RIF #60)
12. Heather Zeigler – 131 (RIF #246)
13. Ines Cooper – 120.5 (RIF #448)
14. Leslie Harwell – 120.2 (RIF #417)
15. Kim Crowe – 115.1 (RIF #245)
16. Aimee Shilling – 105 (RIF #418
17. Tiffani Glass – 95.9 (RIF #328)
18. Christy Scott – 93 (RIF #231)
19. Donna Dworak – 92 (RIF #310)
20. Heather Shoemaker – 91.7 (RIF #44)
21. Lisa Gonzales – 85.3 (RIF #5)
22. Jennifer Hatcher – 81.7 (RIF #323)
23. Marj Mitchell – 59.5 (RIF #4)
24. Alicia Eno – 39.3 (RIF #126)
25. Erin Goetz – 35.5 (RIF #443)
26. Shannon Miller – 26.2 (RIF #338)
27. Sue Stephens-Wright – 26.2 (RIF #321)
28. Helen McMullin – 26.2 (RIF #390)
29. Julia Beavers – 15.5 (RIF #339)
30. Laura Ann Evanoika – 13.1 (RIF #433)

So many members have already accomplished such greats things this year, and the year isn’t even halfway over. There will be so many more PRs, PLs and PGs (personal goals) set and I cannot wait to hear about them all. You are all exceptional. Keep being you.

[Extreme Racer points are rewarded per each racing mile completed. Example: marathon = 26.2 points, half marathon 13.1 points, etc.]

Posted in Extreme Racer, Running, THE CLUB0 Comments

Joshua Holmes at Born to Run, photo by Joel Livesey – Run It Fast

Born to Run 100 Offers Pink/Yellow Combo, Fails to Deliver Knockout Punch

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Born to Run is a mixture of races that take place in Los Olivos, California. The races were created and hosted by famed runner Luis Escobar.

Born to Run is a bit of a cult race with a hippie-like Woodstock meets Burning Man vibe to it with good music, large consumptions of alcohol, and other extracurricular activities, as well as a bit of running. This year’s event had distances of 200mi, 100mi, 60mi, 30mi, 10mi, and a 1mi beer run.

Run It Fast® member, and good friend, Jeff Liu had selected this race a few weeks prior to run as his 4th 100 miler. I wanted to be there to support him but was undecided on running it until three days before the race when I signed up. That’s enough time before a 100 to decide to run it, right?

Naturally, I was late leaving Los Angeles, traffic piled up, and I finally arrived at the BTR ranch about 10 minutes before the race was to commence. Since I had signed up at the last minute there was some confusion as to who had my race bib. I finally located it and rushed to get ready in my truck as Jeff waited shaking his head at my rushed entry onto the BTR scene. Jeff had been there for several hours, all set up, laid back in his Lazy Boy recliner soaking in the BTR vibes, scents, and mentally preparing to run 100 miles. I finally told Jeff to head on over to the starting line as I wrestled with some bags to find socks and Gu’s. Shortly after, I heard the final call to start the race and ran the 1/10th of a mile to the starting line.

Run It Fast Born to Run Pre Race

Right before the gun went off, I was able to locate the other RIF members there including Christy Scott, Liu, Jeff Genova, Martine Sesma. I found everyone from RIF except Ed ‘the Jester’ Ettinghausen, and Ed is very hard to miss. Not being able to find Ed before a 100 he’s supposed to be at (which is about every one) is like not hearing a screaming kid at Chuck E Cheese at closing time.

Luis fired the shotgun and we started the Born to Run 100 mile race as the sun was starting to set on the ranch. I spent the first mile chatting with Christy and then with Andrew Snope, from Georgia, whom I met back in August at the Six Days in the Dome races in Alaska. I then caught Scott Newton, from Soul to Sole, and we ran the next mile or two together before he took off and left me as I helped a poor oak tree from the tough California drought with a solid 53-seconds of hydration. It was during those early miles that I realized all the things I had forgotten to do in my mad rush to make it to the starting line. The most glaring was that I forgot to put on my Zensah® calf compression sleeves. It was not a major deal though since the race would return by my truck at the 10-mile point.

The first 10 miles was on what was referred to as the ‘pink’ loop, pink ribbon…pink loop.  The pink loop winds all over before bringing runners back to race headquarters. Then we headed out on a 10 mile ‘yellow’ loop (yellow ribbon) that returned us to the same spot as well. You do each loop 5x to reach the 100 miles. I’ll give Liu a pass because he had never done the race before, but Liu, Newton, the Jester, and everyone I spoke to before the race talked about how BTR was a fast course with some easy rolling hills. Four miles into that first ‘pink’ loop and I thought this isn’t that rolling or that easy. As fate would play out the ‘pink’ loop was the easier loop of the two. SMH!

Joshua Holmes at Born to Run, photo by Joel Livesey - Run It Fast

I finished the first pink loop in 1:29 which was pretty fast, too fast actually! I had run it thinking that the yellow loop would be as friendly or more friendly.  Upon getting back to my truck I killed several minutes, finding and putting on my Zensah’s, reloading my bottle, etc. I think I also grabbed my headlamp because the race had started at 6pm, and the sun would be down before I got back around. I headed out on the first ‘yellow’ loop and ran the first couple miles of it with Snope. He’s a super-fast young dude who is usually bare foot or in some Gandhi sandals. We talked a bit, co-mingled in the sunset, and I finally found some weeds to water so he’d get on his fast way. I was running too hard to keep up with his ‘easy’ pace.

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That ‘yellow’ loop was no joke. Yellow is supposed to be the color of friendship I thought, but ‘yellow’ was not mellow and slapped me around a bit. I quickly realized that this course was going to be challenging and that I needed to figure out how and when to attack it. It’s one of the advantages of doing a looped course. You’ll be back on subsequent loops so know where you want to run, power hike, let gravity pull you (and where the aid stations are). I got back to home plate finishing my first ‘yellow’ loop in 2:04 for that 10mi and 3:33 for the first 20 miles.

Somewhere between 15-20 miles into BTR my right achilles felt fried and like it was on the verge of popping. My lower back decided to join in around the same time and give me a two piece harmony of pain that couldn’t help me to not think that the next track to be played would be ‘Symphony of Destruction.’ I immediately prepared myself that it might be near impossible to finish 85 more miles and I might ring up my first DNF…after 143 races. After all it’s only a matter of time…I started to prepare myself for all outcomes. When a DNF does finally happen, I’ll just start another streak and hope it’s just as long as the first. However, I knew as long as I could keep taking a step forward that I would continue.

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The next ‘pink’ was slower but felt comfortable, followed by a slower ‘yellow’ as my run went deep into the night. My third time around was my slowest on each side, but I knew it was the last miles before the sun reappeared. My aggressive goal coming into the race was to hit 60 miles in the first 12 hours. I think in reality I hit about 57 miles in the first 12 hours. My achilles had slowed me a bit as had hunger and a bit of sleepiness throughout the night, but overall I was pleased with my movement over the first 60 miles that brought me back to BTR headquarters with the completion of three big loops (3 pink and 3 yellow). It took me 13hr 10min to do 60 miles. During that time I hit 50 miles in 10hr 27min.

With daylight anew, I felt confident with 60 miles completed. With the light it’s easier to feel more confident about your footing. It’s no myth that the sun brings energy with it as well. Also with the daylight there would be no more green eyes glowing back at me like they had throughout the night. The ranch had lots of cattle, deer, and other wildlife that kept you alert during the night. Like most trail ultras at night though, you are just going on blind faith and eventually get to the point where you don’t care what is out there…and even further to the point that it usually gets so bad during a 100 that you hope something will attack you and take you out of your misery, but even the wildest of wildlife has standards and will thumb it’s nose at you at that point.

On the fourth set of pink and yellow loops I was strong. I had my 2nd strongest pink loop on that fourth round and also my 2nd strongest yellow loop of the five total completed. I did the combined set of 20 miles from 60-80 in 4:33 (2:00/2:33). This left an ‘easy’ pink that would bring me back to BTR headquarters at 90 miles, leaving the tough yellow loop that I could simply mark off one mile at a time.

The last few times back to BTR HQ Tony Scott, Christy’s husband, who has helped me many times during the Strolling Jim 40 Miler in Tennessee, made sure I had was well fed and I had anything I could think of as he went above and beyond to help me have a good race. I’m very appreciative for Tony’s kindness and help during BTR & SJ40 two weeks before. His tent and food spread became my aid station. Tony had some great lil turkey sandwiches, with pepper jack, on Hawaiian bread that were amazing. I almost turned around once after heading out on a loop to get a few more.  And of course he had Southern favorites, Zebra Cakes and Oatmeal Pies.

During that last pink loop I finally found ‘The Jester.’ I had not seen him before or during the race so I assumed he was a no-show. When I lapped Ed he told me that he had been late to the start (sound familiar?) and had started 30 minutes late. It’s always good to see Ed. He was having a rough day but would go on to complete his 100th 100-miler. Yeah, that’s a pretty amazing number. The whole Jester outfit can really detract at times from what a great runner Ed is and has been for a long time.  He holds a 100 PR of like 14:50.

Around mile 80 I started hallucinating that I saw a hot air ballon with the same colors of my race bib.

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Pink 80-90 went smoothly and I headed out quickly for my very last loop, my last yellow loop. I was ready to finish and for several hours I had kept my focus on the number 22:30 to keep me tuned in and keep me tight on the rail to try to finish this race without burning too much more time than necessary. It’s 100% that RIF attitude of maximizing potential and seeing what we are truly capable of doing. On that last yellow it had warmed up as it was now the hottest part of the day. I was pushing pretty hard to finish, and I started to get a bit light headed coming up one of the long climbs. I dialed it back a bit, slowed down on that last big climb, and waited to turn it back up when the next descent hit.

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Around mile 96ish I went down that nasty triple-dip ridge descent for the last time. This left close to 3 miles to go and with that came a good feeling that my 30th 100-mile finish was in the bag. I enjoyed those last miles and kind of played the entire race throughout my head again as I also wondered how Christy, Jeff, and Ed were doing on the course. I had not seen Jeff in about 25 miles when we crossed at one point at an intersection. I kept hoping he had not DNF’d and succumbed to the vices of BTR HQ.

I then came down the last mile, through the BTR alley of cheering & debauchery, and crossed the finish line in 22:16:51. It was good enough for 5th overall. RIF’s Jeff Genova, the official race photographer, gave me my finisher’s amulet and buckle moments after crossing the finish.

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I was pleased with my finish and my time. I had battled for many miles against my achilles, gutted it through certain sections, but had given it my all every step of the way. I could have saved more time by being more organized with my gear/food/etc at my truck where I burned more time than I should have, but that is the only thing I felt like I could have done better. My moving time was 20:27:53….so I could have done better and been more efficient at my truck when I stopped at it for sure. I felt like I minimized time at the actual aid stations.

Here is a look at some of my splits from the 2015 Born to Run 100:

Pink Loops: 1:29, 2:04, 2:17, 2:00, 2:09
Yellow Loops: 2:04, 2:33, 2:43, 2:33, 2:24
20 Mile Loops: 3:33, 4:37, 5:00, 4:33, 4:33
10-1:29, 20-3:33, 30-5:37, 40-8:10, 50-10:27, 60-13:10, 70-15:10, 80-17:43, 90-19:52, 100-22:16

View Born to Run 100 by Joshua Holmes on Strava
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Born to Run 100 Elevation Chart  - Run It Fast

Christy Scott finished sub 24 in 23:50:22 and was 1st female. Jeff Liu finished in 25:52:37. Ed ‘Jester’ Ettinghausen finished in 29:18:34 for his 100th 100-mile finish. Martine Sesma PR’d the 30-mile race in 6:00:14.

The great Oswaldo Lopez won the BTR 100mi in 17:10:07, Andrew Snope was 2nd in 17:45:22, and Ben Holmes was 3rd in 18:45:24.

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Born to Run is laid back and fun for those there running one of the races, but is also a fun atmosphere for those not running as well with the live music, spirits, etc. The course is more challenging than advertised or friends remembered from prior years, but it’s a pretty course with great views and wildlife throughout.

I hope to be able to make it back next year!

– joshua holmes (RIF #1)
Run It Fast®

Posted in Race Reports, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Gary Cantrell Lawrence of Shelbyville Lazarus Lake

Asphalt in My Blood: The Maps of Lazarus Lake

Gary Cantrell Lawrence of Shelbyville Lazarus Lake

Asphalt in My Blood

i got hooked in 1970.
it wasn’t really a big deal,
i ran from tullahoma to estill springs and back.
it was only 16 miles, altho that was the furthest i had ever run.
the big thing was, i got asphalt in my blood.
from that day on,
i could not escape the call of the open road.
the map didn’t start until 1977.
i had used maps for quite a while to plan new places to run.
it was a miserable january,
and i had brightened it by getting a map of the city,
and using january to run every single road,
marking them off with a magic marker.
one night i got out my county maps
and shaded all my runs. all the places i had been.
then i cut out the maps and taped them together:
coffee, bedford, and franklin counties.
they looked dam impressive, so i hung it on the wall over the kitchen table.
the itch got worse,
and soon my map included lincoln, moore, and rutherford counties.
it was either 1979 or 1980 that tom osler changed my life.
i read some article, either by or about him, that introduced a concept so revolutionary
that it completely redefined my capabilities.
walking was not just what happened when you could run no further.
it was acceptable to walk on purpose.
and if you mixed in a little walking as you went,
your horizons expanded beyond the horizon.
suddenly i found that i was not limited to 30 or 35 miles in a run.
i could go on and on indefinitely.
in 1980 i took my first stab at running across tennessee
(north to south-125 miles seemed plenty ambitious at the time)
after making every mistake a noob can make,
i ended up aborting after 93 miles.
it was a failure that would give birth to the vol-state
(but that is another story, for another day)
as time went by, i added to my skill set and my tools.
they invented water bottles
and i got me a liquipak.
around 1983 i got a bodabelt 100-miler fanny pack.
i still use the liquipack and bodabelt 100-miler.
no better products have been produced.
growing my map became a passion.
i left on christmas eve and ran overnight to sandra’s dad’s house in dickson for christmas.
it was a hundred and some odd miles,
depending on which way you went.
i eventually went all of them,
and part of the holiday tradition became reports on where family members passed me on their way to the gatherings.
i took trips that went on for days, overnighting in cheap motels…
or cemeteries and church lawns.
my map grew and grew.
sandra took me to arkansas, and let me out.
a week later i showed up at home.
(she loves to tell people that no matter where she dumps me, i always find my way home)
somewhere along the way,
my goal became to add every county in the state to my map…
of course there are rules.
all the lines have to connect.
the map i have now is something to see.
it is 30 feet long, and 5 feet tall.
it is crisscrossed with lines;
it is not enough to do every county,
i have to do every route between every city.
the annexation of new counties eventually slowed.
(there are 95 counties in tennessee)
many of the counties are far away.
some lacked suitable roads for trekking.
and i spent a lot of happy days running new roads in counties already on the map.
but the map has never stopped growing.
i have never really had a plan.
there were so many counties, and so many runs to do.
i would just pick something new, plan it and do it.
i have seen some changes during the 43 years of this project.
the days of doing 30 miles at 8 minutes a mile,
and calling it “taking it easy” seem like a dream.
these days, as an old man with over 100k miles on the odometer, and a crippled leg,
20 minute miles feel like flying.
but i have never forgotten the ultimate goal.
altho i cannot go “fast” any more,
the horizon is still only limited by the time i have available.
last night it dawned on me that the end is drawing near.
it was finally time to sit down and take a count on what i have left.
what i came up with is 7 “runs” on my bucket list.
7 “runs” i have to do before i die.
if i could do any run i wanted.
these are the runs i would do:
bartlett to milan (haywood and crockett county)- 80 miles
brownsville bisects this one right in the middle.
convenient for making this a nice challenging 2-day run.
i ran the 1976 jackson marathon, which went into crockett, and does connect.
but that was pre-map, and apparently the actual course is lost to history.
it doesn’t count unless i can mark it in.
knoxville to tazewell (union county) -45 miles.
one good day.
mooresburg to sneedville to rogersville (hancock county)-50 miles
one long day.
i did a 60 mile run in hancock and hawkins county back around 1985, but it does not connect… yet
bristol to morristown (washington and greene counties)-83 miles
on us 11-e, i would love to do this as a continuous run of around 36 hours.
bristol to mountain city to elizabethton to bluff city (johnson and carter counties) 78 miles
up in the smoky mountains.
greenville to newport to sevierville to knoxville (cocke and sevier counties) 79 miles
i’d have done this a long time ago, except fot the smoky mt tourist traffic.
these roads used to be shoulderless, and i am not sure they are much better now.
timing will be important.
johnson city to erwin to the appalachian trail (unicoi county) 50 miles
this just seems like the run to complete my project with.
something about ending at the AT (home of so many other men’s dreams) just seems right.
there they are.
achievable.
despite my physical limitations, the real obstacle these days
is my financial limitations.
but i have made many good friends over the years,
and they have been wonderful in recent years,
accompanying me on the way,
providing good company
and making it possible for me to do these “runs.”
in my dream finish,
durb, and dirt, and others who have been a part of my lifetime project
are with me on that final 50 miler.
it is on a 4-lane road, with plenty of room for us all.
i think that would be the greatest run of my life.
at the same time as i was preparing this list,
my eye was caught by dozens of other roads as yet undone.
this list are the ones to complete the map.
there is more open road calling to me than i can complete in a lifetime.
and that is the way it should be.
living is not living,
without hearing the call of the open road.
laz

[originally posted by Lazarus Lake/Gary Cantrell to the Ultralist in 2013. Laz is the creator of the Barkley Marathons, Vol State 500K, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, A Race for the Ages, and Laz’s Backyard Ultra]

Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

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Strolling Jim Was A Walking Horse – The 2015 Race Report

First, this is a running race named after a walking horse.

The 2015 edition of the Strolling Jim 40 miler, a race that is actually 41.2 miles, was the 37th version. But then again if the distance isn’t accurate maybe this wasn’t the 37th. I guess we can believe it, I mean it’s not like the creator uses a fake name. If you haven’t run this one, you are missing out – missing out on an incredible experience and equally incredible pain. But its a good pain.

The early pack Photo Credit: Joshua Holmes

The early pack Photo Credit: Joshua Holmes

A Strolling Jim experience begins with camaraderie with ultra legends and ends with the same. The in between is where runners find out what they are made of. The course is brutal – and all road, this is as old school as races come.

DeWayne Satterfield, Dink Taylor and Brett Wilks Photo Credit: Yong Kim

DeWayne Satterfield, Dink Taylor and Brett Wilks Photo Credit: Yong Kim

My personal experience with this race includes multiple hours of running with ultra-personalities and hearing about their experiences in iconic races and other adventurous runs. I have been lucky to spend three plus hours each of the last two years running with Huntsville’s DeWayne Satterfield and Dink Taylor. Seeing that these guys have done great things in the ultra world for years, you can imagine the great yarns they can tell. As we ran the country roads in the early miles this year, Satterfield obviously had the Vol State 500K on his brain. When we would come to a viewpoint that held a long section of rolling terrain in front of us, DeWayne would spread his arms out to hold the scene and say with that perpetual smile of his, ‘this is exactly what Vol State is about.’ It’s great to see these guys get excited about these big events.

Around 15 or so miles into the race we passed a country church, I looked back. I did not turn into sand, but I did see the sign out front had the following verse/message on it: O Death, where is your sting (I Cor. 15:55). I pointed this out; DeWayne started singing O Brother Where Art Thou songs. Later on, in our own ways, we found out just where the sting was located.

In order to pass the time, because the early miles (1-26) are about passing the time until the racing or flailing begins, I asked Satterfield why Huntsville, AL has so many ultra runners. In fact, I asked a more pointed question – was there a person that got you guys into ultra running when everyone else was running 10k races? The answer was a gentleman named Phillip Parker. The cool thing about this sport is that every successful runner seems to have a person that they look up to and who taught them how to be the success they’ve become in the sport. Hearing this always reminds me to listen to those who have been doing this for a while to find out the good secrets and to talk to those who are new to our crazy group. Parker was that spark for Satterfield. To hear the admiration in his voice showed how special this man was. DeWayne has a Barkley Fun Run, a victory at Vol State, in fact victories for years and years at the ultra distances. DeWayne is a genuine, good human and for him to look up to another runner so admirably tells me a lot about Parker without needing to hear the stories. DeWayne told me of Parker running Vol State in the early years of the race, a tale that included Parker’s wife discovering on day two that she had an appointment back at home on the 4th day of the event. Parker did what any gentleman would do for his wife; he manned up and ran like a hundred and ten miles on day three to finish the race in time to make the appointment.

Parker would also answer the local’s question of ‘how far you going today?’ with ‘a couple dozen’. Classic.

Eventually, DeWayne and Brett Wilks took off from me. We were a couple dozen into the race. About a mile later, Dink passed me. Dink always passes me. Someday, maybe when I’m 50, I’ll get him back but it won’t be easy. Once the marathon is in the legs, Dink smells blood in those poor souls in front of him.

Last year at the marathon mark things got real for me. Luckily Joe Fejes (yes, that Joe Fejes) and I hooked up for the second half of the race, aka miles 28-41. Joe’s mental capacity to get through races is unparalleled; after all he is ‘6 Day Joe’. At mile 28 Joe told me exactly what we were going to do for the rest of the race. I did not question him. I just did what he said. Things worked out. This year there was no Joe – he’s in Hungary running for six days straight again. So it was me and my crew. Last year, my wife Sherrie handled the crew duties – that is when she made it to me. She got lost and couldn’t find me until I had made it about 25 miles into the race. I’m pretty easy when it comes to crewing, so I just adapted. This year though I had professional help.

Yong Kim at Lookout 50 Miler Photo credit: Jobie Williams

Yong Kim at Lookout 50 Miler Photo credit: Jobie Williams

When us Southerners say ‘Yong Kim’ it sounds like we are talking about an up and coming female rapper from Atlanta, but in reality Yong is a solid runner from Nolensville, TN. Yong had offered a few weeks back to crew me in this race. Yong has done some great races lately, especially the phenomenal effort he laid down at Savage Gulf marathon, where he was second overall with one of the fastest times ever on the difficult, technical course. Yong and I have also shared plenty of miles together and to say he is the most positive person I’ve run with will not shock anyone that knows him. So when he offered I took him up on it. Another good thing working in my favor was that Yong had witnessed first-hand some of my usual race stupidity. Like the time a few years ago when we ran Stump Jump together. It was the year that would become known by most of the entrants as the ‘Bee Year’. A hot day for sure and me not being one to consume a lot of fluids as I run, I thought the best choice for my water bottle would be one of those 6 oz Salomon soft flasks that fit in your palm. I was fine early, but once we hit Suck Creek Road the second time the light switch went off on me. I spent a few minutes trying to determine why the aid station worker was talking in Swahili. Eventually I came to my senses and realized that she was not the crazy one standing there.

Yong was solid all day, moving between crewing me full-time and a few others part-time. Next year I’m hoping that he jumps into the race as well.

As things deteriorated for me, Joshua Holmes was head hunting. Right as I entered ‘the walls’, Yong told me that Josh was very close and that I should work with him to the finish. We were in two totally different places at this point and Josh ended up running this critical section of the course strongly and got the sub 6 hour result for his effort. Very proud of him. Josh and I have shared some memorable miles, specifically at Badwater last year where I was on his crew. That week produced a lifetime of stories. Like the day after the race. We had stuck around for the finish festivities in Lone Pine and on the drive back to Los Angeles decided that we would celebrate the week with one last event – a soccer game between Manchester United and LA Galaxy. So we drove to Pasadena and looked for a parking spot around the Rose Bowl. Because we are cheap, we didn’t want to pay to park so we ended up in a residential area a few blocks from the stadium. None of us were completely sure if parking in this area was legal. After slow-rolling through the neighborhood like a bunch of combination creepers/terrorists, Josh pulled the big suburban full of runner and crew in front of a house and waffled with his decision to park there for a moment, then stated, “this is a rental, it’s not like anyone is going to know it’s my vehicle. I think we are OK here.” We all sat there a minute reassuring him it was fine. Then I remembered that we had not removed any of the five 3’x2’ race required signs from the vehicle. These signs had ‘Joshua Holmes’, ‘Run It Fast’, his race number – basically everything except his bank account on them. And that is why we are runners. Being a ninja or international spy requires more stealth and intelligence than we can produce. Just for the record we were a band consisting of one medical doctor, two attorneys, an accountant and a college student.

Jobie Williams and Joshua Holmes in the post Strolling Jim swing Photo Credit: Yong Kim

Jobie Williams and Joshua Holmes in the post Strolling Jim swing Photo Credit: Yong Kim

As I struggled through the 50K point that was marked on the road I looked at my watch to see how long it had taken. 4:18. Even though it was rough those last miles leading to the mark, my heat soaked brain was convincing me that a 4:18 50k is not terrible at all. Later that night as I thought about this I had to laugh. As I was feeling good about my 4:18, Scott Breeden had finished the race four minutes earlier. Everything is relative I suppose. Small victories, all that stuff. But Scott is a real talent and was doing this race on Barkley legs. I’d not be surprised if he doesn’t threaten the seemingly untouchable Strolling Jim course record in the coming years.

Jobie Williams "enjoying" the country roads of TN Photo Credit: Yong Kim

Jobie Williams “enjoying” the country roads of TN Photo Credit: Yong Kim

Those last ten miles were cruel and I made a joke of them. Mostly this race came down to me quitting on myself and that doesn’t sit well with me. I’ll have some unfinished business to motivate me next year. As I closed in on the finish and flippantly read Laz’s painted-on-the-road messages to the runners, like ‘only wimps walk here’ – walked, ‘big girls run this’ – walked, ‘only 5k to go, start your kick’ – walked, I was passed by a guy who ran right by me. And he kept running. Actually he had this Badwater shuffle going that was super effective. To stay close I would run a little harder and then settle into a walk. Basically it was the way a 9 year old runs a 5k. At this point I was crushing my ear drums with Rage Against the Machine tunes so that my walk was motivated. Yong had put ice into my water bottle so unbeknownst to me, I sounded like a jack hammer to everyone around me. Once we hit a mile and a half to go I decided I would run with this guy and see what his story is. I turned off my iPod as I caught up to him. His first words were, ‘I was wondering when you were going to catch me. I’ve been hearing your water bottle for a while now.’ Man, I bet that was annoying. Luckily he was a super nice guy and still talked to me. I told him that he must have been a Badwater runner at some point in his life because he had the Jerry West of Badwater shuffles going. He looked at me and said that he had won the first three. Tom Possert, I’m sorry for being a nuisance and an idiot.

Once I finished the race I got to see women’s winner Beth Meadows come in a few minutes later. (This is my way of letting the reader know that I beat all the women.) I had talked this race up to Beth who had just run Boston a couple weeks before. Beth is one of the super solid female runners from Nashville that performs very well in every race she enters. For winning Beth got this awesome trophy that is not dissimilar to the height of Clark Griswold’s Christmas tree. And Beth has Strolling Jim fever now. Something that you can’t get rid of – ask Dink who has done 29 Strolling Jims now.

Beth Meadows and Jobie Williams finish line smiles Photo Credit: Yong Kim

Beth Meadows and Jobie Williams finish line smiles Photo Credit: Yong Kim

Another year finished with the consumption of a big ole chicken leg under the tent in Wartrace. Many more stories were shared and fun had. But before that I sat down under the tent and Laz asked me if it was as easy as I expected. I answered that it was a rough day. He then made a reference to me doing the marathon. I guess I looked more like someone who had wrestled with a 6 hour marathon than a 6 hour 41 miler. I’m not sure what that says about me…

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Deo Jaravata, Yolanda Holder, Andrea Kooiman, Joshua Holmes before the Catalina Eco Marathon

Run It Fast’s Extreme Racer Standings (Thru March 2015)

Deo Jaravata, Yolanda Holder, Andrea Kooiman, Joshua Holmes before the Catalina Eco Marathon

Spring has sprung, and runners are starting to come out of their burrows. No matter where you call home, runners and walkers alike are covering roads and sidewalks in their running shoes with their friends, pets and strollers in tow, enjoying the warm sunshine and doing their best to shed a few winter pounds. Whether you are an indoor winter runner or a year-round outdoor vet, race mileage is beginning to accrue and, with it, points. Extreme Racer points, that is.

With Run It Fast’s continual growth of new members, the Extreme Racer competition already has many new competitors than last year, and I enjoy seeing how the change in competition shakes up the standings. Particularly, there are several more women who are taking part this year. Therefore, I will start this post with the women’s leaderboard.

Run It Fast Extreme Racer Leaders

In first place for the women is RIF #404 Andrea Kooiman with 352.3 points. In second place is the female winner for 2014, RIF #159 Diane Bolton with 328.2 points. Third place is held by RIF #280 Suzanne Michelson with 235.8

Leading the men is RIF #190 John Kent Leighton with 485.45 points. Second place is held by RIF #279 George Southgate with 446 points. In third place is RIF founder and RIF #1 Joshua Holmes with 392.6 points.

Here are the 2015 Extreme Racer standings through March:

Extreme Racer Top 10 Leaderboard:

1. John Kent Leighton – 485.45 (RIF #190)
2. George Southgate – 446 (RIF #279)
3. Joshua Holmes – 392.6 (RIF #1)
4. Andrea Kooiman – 352.3 (RIF #404)
5. Diane Bolton – 328.2 (RIF #159)
6. Steven Smith – 269.7 (RIF #3870
7. Denis McCarthy –  235.8 (RIF #263)
8. Suzanne Michelson – 235.8 (RIF #280)
9. Belinda Young – 231.6 (RIF #358)
10. Amanda Staggs – 203.7 (RIF #210)

Extreme Racer Female Leaderboard

1. Andrea Kooiman – 352.3 (RIF #404)
2. Diane Bolton – 328.2 (RIF #159)
3. Suzanne Michelson – 235.8 (RIF #280)
4. Belinda Young – 231.6 (RIF #358)
5. Amanda Staggs – 203.7 (RIF #210)
6. Angie Whitworth Pace – 194.1 (RIF #447)
7. Christa Baker – 171 (RIF #436)
8. Patricia Klein – 145.5 (RIF #450)
9. Heather Zeigler – 131 (RIF #246)
10. Ines Cooper – 120.5 (RIF #448)
11. Leslie Harwell – 120.2 (RIF #417)
12. Kim Crowe – 115.1 (RIF #245)
13. Marylou Corino – 114.7 (RIF #410)
14. Christy Bowers – 100.6 (RIF #60)
15. Christy Scott – 93 (RIF #231)
16. Donna Dworak – 92 (RIF #310)
17. Heather Shoemaker – 91.7 (RIF #44)
18. Jennifer Hatcher – 81.7 (RIF #323)
19. Lisa Gonzales – 77.9 (RIF #5)
20.Tiffani Glass – 69.7 (RIF #328)
21. Aimee Shilling – 65.1 (RIF #418)
22. Marj Mitchell – 29.3 (RIF #4)
23. Sue Stephens-Wright – 26.2 (RIF #321)
24. Shannon Miller – 26.2 (RIF #338)
25. Helen McMullen – 26.2 (RIF #390)
26. Erin Goetz – 19.3 (RIF #443)
27. Julia Beavers – 15.5 (RIF #339)
28. Laura Ann Evanoika – 13.1 (RIF #433)

Extreme Racer Male Leaderboard

1. John Kent Leighton – 485.45 (RIF #190)
2. George Southgate – 446 (RIF #190)
3. Joshua Holmes – 392.6 (RIF #1)
4. Steven Smith – 269.7 (RIF #387)
5. Denis McCarthy – 235.8 (RIF #263)
6. Shane Tucker – 187.9 (RIF #337)
7. Arland Blanton – 183.4 (RIF #290)
8. Jeff Liu – 181 (RIF #275)
9. Chris Baker – 171 (RIF #437)
10. Charlie Taylor – 157.2 (RIF #353)
11. John Sotomayor – 140.2 (RIF #393)
12. Nathan Bass – 103.1 (RIF #174)
13. Brian Recore – 100 (RIF #395)
14. David Mickelsen – 92.5 (RIF 164)
15. Michael Dasalla – 83.4 (RIF #411)
16. Dennis Arriaga – 63.1 (RIF #140)
17. Jeff Van Demark – 61 (RIF #322)
18. Mark Ogletree – 41.7 (RIF #247)
19. Ben Herron – 39.3 (RIF #408)
20. Jeff Le – 31 (RIF #248)
21. Robin Robbins – 22.54 (RIF #33)
22. Rick Glass – 8 (RIF #401)

This year will hold so much in store for members of Run It Fast all over the globe, as the club continues to grow and runners continue doing what they love to do; run. With every mile, every step you take, you inspire someone. Even if you don’t know it. Continue to push your boundaries and be amazed with the outcome.

[Extreme Racer points are rewarded per each racing mile completed. Example: marathon = 26.2 points, half marathon 13.1 points, etc.]

Posted in Extreme Racer, Running, THE CLUB0 Comments



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