OK, I know most of you were expecting something running related, and I’ll get back to that once I actually resume running, but for now I’m going to enjoy my little break and enlighten you with some of the super exciting things I do with all my free time.
Today I want to take a minute and share with you the fascinating story of where charcoal comes from. I know, most of you are thinking, “Doesn’t it come from the Lawn & Garden Center at Wal-Mart?” And the answer, at least for today, is “NO!”
In Kenya, when charcoal is made, it’s a long and time consuming process – but apparently people think it’s worthwhile, though I’m not entirely sure why. I guess propane and electricity are expensive – it’s not like it’s that easy to make your own propane (though you can make your own methane, but that’s another story for another day).
Charcoal is used primarily as a cooking fuel in Kenya – though not usually for grilling like in the US, more as a heat source for cooking things that are actually in dishes like stews, tea, and that sort of thing. It serves a secondary purpose for heating homes and other areas, and its other use is to make sure that people who do laundry for a living have plenty of work since it gets all over your clothes.
So, where does charcoal come from? Well, since we made a lot of it my mom’s house this week, I thought I’d share the story with you.
First you need some wood, lots of wood.
I know, some of you are thinking, “if you have lots of wood, why don’t you just cook with that?” It’s a fair question. Wood fires tend to be smoky, “flamey” and not so portable. Charcoal burns cleaner, (though not clean enough, and tragically people do die every year when they use it in enclosed spaces), it doesn’t produce towering flames, and it can be carried around in nice portable grills known here as “jikos.”
So once you’ve got a lot of wood, you light it on fire – I know big surprise, and then you bury it under lots of dirt to restrict the flow of oxygen – remember all that stuff from chemistry about using oxygen to control combustion rates? Periodically you can heap more dirt on the pile if there’s too much smoke (meaning the wood’s actually burning up, not just turning to charcoal), or you can take some off and let more oxygen in if you think that would help.
In the case of our latest batch, this took about 3 days of monitoring, heaping, etc. Now don’t worry, we didn’t deforest a large swath of East Africa to make our charcoal – we pulled a lot of old stumps from around my mom’s farm and used those. No trees got cut down just to do this.
Anyway, once you’re convinced the wood has successfully made the transition to charcoal, you dig out the pile (carefully, there’s a fire in there), sprinkle on water to put out any flames, and then collect the charcoal waiting inside – kind of like a messy dirt piñata, but without all the candy. If you have bad kids in your house, you set aside a few pieces of the charcoal for Christmas, otherwise you bag it up in large grain sacks, and you’re set with enough charcoal to last you for a while.
As I sit and wrap up this post, the rain has started to patter away on the roof, the temperature in the house has fallen dramatically (things aren’t so insulated in these parts), and I’m thinking, “I’m cold, I hope someone lit the jiko and is warming the living room.” Good thing we just made charcoal.
Running will resume soon, and with it, blog posts on running and those sort of topics. Until then, hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s survival tip. Stay warm – and live it up.
A Tale of Two Races
This past Sunday, November 17th, was an interesting and somewhat difficult day for me. It was also a day that gave me a unique insight into the state of things in the world of competitive running – but I won’t pretend it gave me any answers.
It was a difficult day for me because I REALLY wanted to be on the starting line for the inaugural .US National Championship race in Virginia – where I could wrap up my 3rd consecutive title in the USA Running Circuit if I could manage a top 6 finish.
Instead, I was in a pickup truck being driven by 1992 Olympic silver medalist Patrick Sang as we led a group of 2,000 or so athletes competing in the KASS Marathon that winds up and down the hills between my birthplace of Kapsabet, Kenya and city hall in Eldoret, the undisputed epicenter of distance running.
Two weeks earlier, during the ING NYC Marathon, I developed a pain in my right hip, and for the first time in my life, I voluntarily dropped out of a race. We have a rule in our house that, if pain persists in a hip or foot, you don’t take chances.
Shins heal; knees heal; hamstrings heal. Hips and feet end careers.
I probably pushed on longer than I should have. I kept telling myself that, if I’d just fight through the incline on 1st Avenue, I could enjoy the downhills that followed. Well, I made it to the downhills, and they hurt even worse than the uphills, and that sealed it for me.
I pulled over to the side of the course, borrowed a phone to call my husband and the pickup van, and was treated with great kindness by the total strangers who gave me a cup of hot tea and a warm sweatshirt – one that I’ll always keep to remind me to pay that kindness forward.
Could I have run the 12k two weeks later? Possibly, and plenty of people told me I should, but I’m not going to disrespect myself and the good folks in NYC by dropping out of the marathon and then turning around and racing again a couple of weeks later.
I’d prepared, and prepared well, to give it my best at NYC – my last month of workouts had gone better than my last month before the Olympic Trials, so I was fit. Unfortunately, the marathon is a fickle beast, and it wasn’t my day – but I’ll be back.
While we’re talking about New York, for all the things that went wrong for me on that day, one thing went very right – my fueling, and I want to give huge props to GUEnergy for their Roctane drink blend. My hip hurt, my heart hurt, by my energy levels were awesome, and I look forward to giving it another shot with their products in my bottles – best stuff ever! Now back to the story.
While I was in a restaurant in Eldoret, Kenya, back in Virginia, US Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle were blazing their way through a 12k course in what now stand as the 2 fastest times ever run by women, and Molly Huddle laid claim to a nice $26,000 payday in the process. Behind them other top American athletes turned in some of the fastest times ever run by Americans and picked up some cash along the way. From what I hear the crowds were sparse, and media coverage rather limited, and that’s where I want to pick up the story in a few minutes.
After New York I took a few days to regain my composure, seek counsel from some qualified medical pros, and just decompress. Once that was done, I decided it was time to call an end to what’s been a very tough and generally disappointing 2013 season for me. I can certainly pick out some silver linings – 3 USATF road championships, a near PR for the 10k at Tufts, some wonderfully enjoyable speaking opportunities, and I just completed the nursing coursework for my BSN with a 4.0 GPA, but most of the year just seemed cloudy and grey for me – too few races and too much time spent in various doctors’ offices. It’s time to let my mind and body reboot and get ready for 2014.
With that decision made, I booked a ticket to Kenya, where my husband, Jay, was already busy working for the winter on a project addressing pediatric HIV.
I arrived in Nairobi on November 14, and one of the first things Jay said was “do you realize the KASS Marathon is this weekend?” I think I was vaguely aware, but I was kind of trying not to think about marathons for a few weeks!
Anyway, Sunday morning rolled around, and we decided we would travel the 2 ½ miles from my mom’s house to the starting line – planning to watch the start and then duck into a local restaurant to watch the race on TV. Yes, that’s right, the KASS Marathon is televised live on broadcast TV in Kenya and online worldwide.
The race, which started just a few years back, has a very substantial prize purse – the winner gets 1.5 Million Kenyan Shillings, about $18,000 at the current exchange rate, and the breakdown is quite generous for the top 10 or so athletes. Add to this the fact that anyone can enter, travel expenses are very minimal, and that top agents and their scouts are waiting at the finish line, and you’ve got the Kenyan equivalent of American Idol – only it’s the course, not Simon Cowell, that is the harshest critic.
To explain how far $18,000 will go in Kenya, let’s start with the fact that an elementary school teacher, one with a two year college degree and several years of experience, will make about $1500 a year – assuming he or she can even find a job, which is far from easy.
That falls pretty much in line with the per capita earnings in Kenya, though many millions of Kenyans earn far less than that. So essentially, the KASS marathon represents a chance for two lucky Kenyans, one man and one woman, to earn twelve years wages in a couple of hours.
Compare this to the .US race, where Molly managed to scoop up $26,000 – or about half what an American teacher stands to make in a year – and that’s for winning a national championship and setting a new world best mark in the process. Add to this the fact that young American athletes choose to run post-collegiately instead of working, whereas Kenyans choose running largely because there are no jobs, and today’s situation in the sport begins to take shape.
Americans who don’t come out of college with a shoe contract in hand take a huge risk by staying in the sport, all for the chance to earn less than a school teacher. Athletes in East Africa risk almost nothing and stand to make a lifetime’s worth of money in a few short years……….so here we are.
But back to race day. When we got to the start I spotted Patrick Sang, who ran at the University of Texas back in the day, and I realized he was going to be driving one of the lead vehicles. Ironically I first met Sang in Japan when I ran the Chiba Ekiden, my first race in a Team USA kit. Sang was the Kenyan team coach, and he remembered me. He agreed that my husband and I could ride in the lead truck, and we hopped in.
To say that a large crowd turned out to watch the race is quite an understatement. I would like to say that the crowds were like the NYC Marathon, but they weren’t. It was much more like the Tour de France. Multiple helicopters provided aerial coverage, vans full of heavily muscled bouncers held back eager crowds along the entire course, and whole villages poured out to the roadside, many dressing up in traditional tribal attire.
By the time the race rolled into downtown Eldoret, the crowds were probably 10 people deep on both sides of the road, completely filling the space between the road and the storefronts.
In races like New York or Boston you’ve got thousands of people who come out to cheer on mothers, fathers and co-workers who are out there just trying to complete the course – they’ve come for the event, and they might notice there’s a race. Very few of them appreciate what a good time is for the marathon or know what kind of money is on the line.
At the KASS Marathon, it was all about the race – they were out there to see which one of these hopefuls would change his or her life on a Sunday morning. In every village I heard people shouting “Go for the 1.5 Million” as the athletes charged past. They knew exactly what this was about. The closest I’ve come to experiencing this in the US was at Bolder Boulder, where the masses run their race and then hang out to watch the pros do their thing.
I hopped out of the vehicle just short of the finish line, and with some help from Rita Jeptoo – who started running alongside me over 15 years ago – I was whisked into a VIP area where I sat with Geoffrey Mutai, Ezekiel Kemboi, Eliud Kipchoge, Priscah Jeptoo and many other legends from the sport as we watched finishers cross the line – knowing that the new stars discovered today would be their new competition as well.
The others sat for an hour or more and watched runners stagger in, beaten but not broken. I snuck out early to find a quiet place with a decent internet connection where I could follow the .US race back home, and I couldn’t help but wonder how we, in the USA can bring running to a point where overcrowding of spectators, not sparse crowds, becomes the problem we need to address. Road racing can be a spectator sport, I saw that first hand last Sunday, but we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us.
If you’re still reading at this point, thanks so much for your time, enjoy your run today and always live it up. Janet
PS – If you made it this far, here’s a GALLERY OF PICS FROM THE KASS MARATHON.
Wow, 2012 has flown by so fast. It doesn’t seem possible that a year has passed since I started my taper for the Olympic Trials Marathon, and so much of what has happened since then seems like a dream. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m not nervous about 2013, I am – simply because I can’t imagine a year that will top my 2012.
When I crossed the finish line at the Marathon Trials in Houston last January, two thoughts crossed my mind: 1) I was incredibly excited to have run an 8-minute PR and gotten under 2:30, and 2) I assumed that I had zero shot of going to the Olympics since the marathon is the only road event and I hadn’t raced on a track in almost 7 years. Well, I’ve learned my lesson – that you never know what might happen.
January: Olympic Trials Marathon – 5th place, 2:29:45 (previous best 2:37:26). Some people ask me if I wish I’d been more aggressive, taken a chance and gone with the pack, etc. To those people I can only say, “dude, I ran an 8 minute PR. I’m happy and wouldn’t change a thing!” I didn’t even know until September that I would be running this race, so I can’t complain a bit about how it turned out .
January was also when I decided to take the Spring semester off from school, probably the right call, but I’d be done now if I hadn’t taken the break! Instead I’ve got one more semester to go.
February: Got out of the snow and cold in Flagstaff with a 6-week trip to Kenya where I got to see friends, family, and sunshine. I was really shocked by how good I felt after the marathon – I’d expected to take 2-3 weeks off, but I only made it 4 days before I was back running and feeling good. It’s amazing what a difference proper marathon training makes!
March: Wow, this was a BUSY month, here’s how it went down.
March 10: Gate River Run / US 15k Championships – 1st place, 49:41 (previous best 49:58). Came straight from Kenya for this one and really didn’t know how my fitness was. It was supposed to be a rust-buster, so I’d say the rust got busted!
March 18: NYRR NYC ½ Marathon – 5th place, 1:09:55 (previous best 1:10:59). Considering I’d had one of my worst races in a long time the year before, this was a great way to redeem myself. In 2005, after my first ½ marathon, I had said I’d never do another one – it was just too long. I guess I had no clue what I was talking about.
March 24: Azalea Trail Run 10k – 1st place, 32:41. OK, I wasn’t supposed to run this race – so don’t tell my coach that I did. My schedule said “tempo run” run or something like that – I guess I did something like that. Highlight of this weekend was introducing a bunch of Kenyan runners to hot-fudge sundaes!
March 31: Cooper River Bridge Run 10k – 1st place, 33:00. This was my 7th year in a row to run this one, so I wasn’t going to let an hour-long delay at the start get to me! This was my first “big” road race back in 2006, and I still can’t believe I won it. What was my secret? I stole a Pepsi from my husband to drink during the delay!
April: Back to Flagstaff for more altitude and less racing. I did squeeze in two races – one of which would prove to be super important a couple of months later.
April 15: BAA Boston 5k – 4th place, 15:41 (previous best 16:12). Somehow I’d never managed to break 16:00 for 5k, and I was determined to do that. Tried to take pictures while watching the marathon the next day but got so nervous that I had to ask a bystander to take pictures for me so I could cheer!
April 29: Kim McDonald 10,000m – 5th place, 31:33 (previous best 34:21!). OK, I want to go ahead and settle the debate – yes, I was wearing road flats for this race. I hadn’t put on spikes in seven years, and I wasn’t about to risk it for this one. Went in planning to get the Trials “A” standard of 32:45 out of the way and maybe, just maybe, sneak under 32:00 – remember, just two weeks earlier was my first time under 16:00 for 5k. I decided to take a risk early – knowing that I could back off and still get the 32:45. I had some technical issues with my watch (operator error!), so I had to totally run by feel, and I guess I felt good! Only problem with this race was that now I wouldn’t just be “running for fun” at the Trials in June! As it turned out, running wasn’t much fun for me at all in June, and this little race would prove much more important than I thought at the time.
May: OK, so my May looked a lot more like my March. Lots of racing, lots of travel. May also brought with it something pretty exciting – a contract from my newest sponsor, Nike. Lets just say that, for someone who was planning to run after college to make friends and stay in shape, this was a milestone. For the first time in years, my running clothes actually match!
May 6: Lilac Bloomsday 12k – 2nd place, 39:22 (previous best 40:35). I knew one thing going into this race, that the combination of Genoveva Kigen and Mamitu Daska in the field would mean an insane pace from the gun. I decided I’d play it a little conservative and see what happened. Considering Daska ran the 6th fastest 12k ever, I think I’ll call my 2nd place finish a success!
May 12: 5/3rd Riverbank Run 25k – 1st place, 1:24:36 (new American record). Went into this race thinking that I had good fitness out to maybe 20k, and wondering how the last 5k might go. Well, I ended up feeling terrible up till about 20k and then feeling fantastic the last 5k. Shows how much I know. Back when I was an injury-plagued college athlete, I met Joan Benoit-Samuelson at a race and couldn’t believe I was talking to her. To break her record at this race still blows my mind!
May 28: Bolder Boulder 10k – 2nd place, 33:23. I’ve lived the majority of my life at high altitude, but for some reason I had no idea what to expect racing here. My coach told me a few things, friends told me a few different things, and I was starting to get sick – what a combination. One thing I knew – I had learned it at Bloomsday – was that I would not go out with Mamitu Daska’s early pace. I hung back with the pack and waited for the altitude to “hit” like everyone promised it would. One mile, two miles, three miles all passed, and I still felt decent. Somewhere between four and five I decided this Mr. Altitude had missed his chance to get me and I took off – felt good to the end and was amazed to hear the “USA” chant when I rolled into the stadium. So cool. To be on a team with Deena and Magda – after years of having their posters on my wall – was so awesome! Post-race soak in Boulder Creek was great too.
June: June meant back to Georgia for a little sea level time before the Olympic trials – and a bit of a break from travel and racing. In retrospect, I don’t think I need sea level training for anything longer than 5000m, but it was an interesting experiment anyway. For me personally, I’d rather hammer my lungs and heart at altitude – and keep my muscles and connective tissues intact – than get a few extra seconds on my speed sessions and risk a blowout.
For the last ½ of May or so, I had been fighting a persistent little respiratory ailment. It played all sorts of games with me – taunting me until I was ready to go see the doctor, then letting up just enough to convince me not to. It kept doing this for most of June as well, but my training was going OK, and I decided to just be tough – bad idea.
A couple of weeks before the trials, I did get one crazy idea. What if, instead of doing my scheduled workout, I went down to Atlanta and ran a 5k at the ATC All-Comers track meet? Considering I had the trials coming up, and I’d only raced on the track once since college, I decided to go for it. I lined up a pacer to get me through 3k, and on a nice muggy Atlanta night, I managed to crank out a 15:22 in front of about 50 screaming fans – seriously, there were only about 50 people there, but they were AWESOME. Of course that gave me all sorts of confidence about my fitness; I just forgot to worry about my health too.
Fast forward to the 3rd week of June, up in Oregon, where I had to actually run the Trials to make the Olympic team. A few days before leaving for Oregon, my respiratory problems went from annoying to bad, and when I got to Oregon they decided to go from bad to worse. My legs felt OK, but I had one small problem – I couldn’t breath. I spent the night before my race coughing up blood in a cheap Oregon hotel room. I wasn’t sure if I should go to the race or the ER the next day. Well, as it turns out, that didn’t matter – but I sure didn’t know that at the time, and I was scared to death.
Race day rolled around and brought rain, rain, and more rain in that order. Honestly, I tried to convince myself that maybe they would even postpone the race, that they’d never run it in a downpour. Guess I was wrong. Even the warm-up was freezing and soaked, and to be honest, it probably saved me.
Back in March we had gone to lunch with Benard Lagat up in Flagstaff, and he told me something that was really in my mind that day – he said that at the Olympic Trials only one thing matters, making the team. I knew I wasn’t in any condition to finish top 3, breathing is required for that, but with the “A” standard under my belt, I still had a shot.
I was miserable in those conditions, and so was everyone else, and about six laps into the race, I looked at my husband in the stands and he gave me a thumbs-up – meaning the race was not on “A” standard pace, and the fact that I couldn’t breath might not keep me off the Olympic team after all. But I still had to finish – which might explain to a few of you why I was running in lane 2 – in my water-soaked racing flats I thought lane 1 was to slick and risky. I didn’t have a great race, but it was actually my 2nd fastest 10,000m time ever, and I did what I needed to do.
Now I had to get well, and get ready for London – which meant I had to get healthy! June wrapped up with a double course of antibiotics, and July 1 saw me on a flight back to Arizona to enjoy the wonderful summer weather in Flagstaff.
July was a month filled with only one thing – training. I can’t begin to overstate the important role that three guys played in helping me out that month. Matt Llano, Zach Ornelas and Chris Gomez, you guys are the best pacemakers a girl could ask for! I definitely enjoyed being back up at altitude, where I could push myself hard at more humane paces, and the weeks flew by. Before I knew it I was marching into the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremonies – something so surreal that I still wonder if I was really there.
If I finished out July at the opening ceremonies, then that meant starting August with the actual race. OK, so is it weird that, of all the races I’ve ever run, I was probably least nervous for the Olympics? Seriously, I knew that, if I could handle the complicated warm-up procedures, I was good to go. My training in Flagstaff had gone even better than I had hoped, I was healthy, and I had no doubt about the fact that I was in PR shape – and that I would have a great field to run with and chase that PR.
What I didn’t expect was to be leading the race after the first 200 meters, but I won’t complain. Now I’ve seen the race video, and I know I did really run the whole 25 laps, but all I can remember is knowing that I was on goal pace for the first four laps and then hearing that we had eight laps to go and thinking, “OK, I can do this.” Crossing that finish line and realizing that I had PR’d by over 20 seconds in the biggest race of my life was unbelievable, and I left that stadium feeling the satisfaction of having done my best when it mattered.
The rest of my Olympic experience involved going to as many track & field sessions as possible – as well as watching the women’s marathon – and it was a great experience since I don’t actually get to watch other people race very often!
I didn’t stay in London quite as long as I wanted, but that was just fine because instead I headed to Kenya with Jay and his family for their first visit to my birthplace! We had a blast, even if it did rain almost every single day. Nothing says “welcome to Kenya” quite like a wet matatu ride, and they surely felt very welcomed. They stayed over for two weeks – taking in a safari, meeting so many members of my extended family, and enjoying all the fresh and free avacados from my mom’s tree!
Once they left, it was suddenly September and back to work for me – I had to get ready for the New York City Marathon. Jay had brought a mountain bike to Kenya this time (he somehow managed to take it apart and fit it in his luggage!), and so we spent 5 weeks zipping all over the Kenyan countryside and getting lots of funny stares and occasionally getting lost. The training went well, and we closed out the month by flying back to the US just in time for me to run the US 10 Mile Championships in Minnesota.
Much like in March, I wasn’t really sure how my training in Kenya would translate to a race, so I was again relieved when I found myself breaking the tape to win my second consecutive US 10 Mile title and once again winning the overall title on the USA Running Circuit. One thing that training in Kenya didn’t get me ready for was the cold – it was well below freezing at the start, and in Kenya I’d been wearing a cap and gloves when it hit the upper 40′s!
From Minnesota I flew out to Arizona, where I was greeted by Jay – who had somehow managed to attend his 20-year HS reunion and drive from Georgia to Arizona in the time it took me to win a 10-mile race! I was going to spend one more month in Flagstaff putting the final touches on my marathon training – hoping to have a great race at New York to cap off what had already been an incredible year.
The training went well – though I still think I like summer in Flagstaff a little better than fall – and I went into the last week of October ready to take a shot at that hilly NYC course. Well, I guess the weatherman had other plans.
November was a challenging month to be sure. Without going into all the details of cancellations, rebooking, and even hitch-hiking, I’ll just say that I somehow came out of the 2012 NYC Marathon feeling more worn-out than I have ever felt after a marathon – and I didn’t even run it! I did come out of New York knowing one thing for certain – my running was done for 2012, and I couldn’t complain about anything.
A great run at New York would’ve been the perfect cherry on top, but I can definitely focus on the sundae underneath and be glad for what I did get to do this year.
November also saw Jay’s dad, who is definitely my number one fan, completing successful treatment for bone cancer, and that helps put running in perspective. I used the rest of the month to rest, heal a few aches and pains that kept me company for most of the year, and spend time with friends and family – something that’s tough to do with my usual schedule.
December has been spent getting back into shape – slowly but surely – and doing projects around the house. As I wrap up the final hours of 2012, I can’t help but look back and think that it’s been a true “career year.”
Seriously, if someone had told me when I started running in 2000 that I could have a career that included a sub-2:30 marathon, a sub-1:10 half marathon, an American record, 3 national road titles, winning the USA Running Circuit, and being and Olympian, I would have said they were crazy – but sign me up. Well, that was my 2012 – just 2012 – so a true “career in a year” so to speak.
I can say that it was truly a blessed year for me, and I have to think about each and every person who helped make it possible. To my sponsors, MarathonGuide, Nike, Wrips Wipes and GU Energy; my support teams at Tree Trail Medical, Harbin Clinic Rehabilitation, Wilkens Chiropractic, and all the friends, family and total strangers who’ve helped me out on this long strange trip that running has become – I want to say a huge thanks!
None of this would have happened without you guys – thanks so much for being part of my miracle year! I’m not going to try to name everyone who helped me out along the way, but I do want to give a special thanks to my coach, the legendary Jack Daniels – whose mastery of math helped me see my potential – and to my wonderful husband who’s been there on his bike, mile after mile, always ready with my drinks, my Gu, and the occasional joke to keep things moving.
Wishing all off you a 2013 filled with peace, love and blessings!
Well, it’s been a little while since I updated this thing, and just a few things have happened since then…
For starters, I should probably mention that I’m heading to London as part of the US Olympic Team. Yep, me, the girl who hadn’t run a real race until after my 22nd birthday and who 10 months ago was being told that I would not be eligible to represent the US until 2 months after the closing ceremonies. Well, I guess God likes doing funny things from time to time, and turning me into an Olympian has got to rank pretty high up there.
Anyway, back to the story. Since my last update I finished 2nd at the Bolder Boulder 10k – and teamed up with two of my heroes, Deena Kastor and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, to lead the US women to a 2nd place finish in the team division. I’ve gone to an all-comers track meet at Emory University where I lowered my 5000m PR from 16:19 to 15:22 for only a $2 entry fee. I’ve traveled from Arizona to Colorado to Georgia to Oregon, back to Georgia and then back to Arizona – and now I’m counting down the days before I board my flight to London!
Over the next few weeks and months I’ll try to connect a few of the dots about how all this happened, but for now, here are a few links to media coverage that might help catch you up on things. All I can say is, I’m not sure what God has in mind for me, but 14 years ago, I accepted a ride from a stranger, and that encounter has brought me here – not that I would encourage riding with strangers! Enjoy.
For those of you with at least a half hour to kill, 25 laps of pain and suffering.
Well, it took 7 years, but I finally got the win at the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k. Back in 2006 this was my first “big” road race, and I finished 4th. In the years since I’ve always been in the top 6, including two 2nd place finishes, but 1st place was just out of reach (2 seconds out of reach last year). This year things finally came together at the right time and it was great to get that win. I’ve now finished every place in the top 6 except 3rd! If you fast-forward to about 5:20 into the video you can see my finish and interview:
Managed to get some videos linked into my “Videos” page in case you’d like to see a little bit about where and how I train. Will be adding more in the next few weeks.
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my new website. As you can probably see, it’s very much a work in progress, but I hope to make this a place where you can answer all your questions about me, my running, and other things I enjoy. If you have a question that you can’t answer here, just let me know. Thanks again for taking the time to drop in and don’t be a stranger.