Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grandfather Mountain Marathon


I came into the Grandfather Mtn Marathon (GFMM) with low expectations as I had not recovered fully from the 50 Mile Dust To Dawn 2 weeks before. I also was having an over-use niggle (injury pain) in my right shin. Whenever I over-train I develop niggles which is my body’s way of staying I need to stop and rest. I did not run the week before in hopes I could finish the marathon. I put on shin sleeves in hopes it would help keep down the pain during the race. I also wore my cushion shoe, which is the Ultra by Skechers.

Stu Stepp and I went to the race Saturday morning. Stu had never run the 4th hardest marathon in the US so he was looking at it as a hard training run.

The GFMM is usually the second week of July and is the only marathon or longer race during the month of July. If offers a great way to see some of the prettiest part of the state and get a heck of a hill workout at the same time. My experience shows you should add 15 to 20 minutes of time to your normal marathon time to get an idea of where you will finish at GFMM on a perfect day. If it is over 80 degrees with humidity, it can be a long day. The finish is one of the best as you enter the stadium where the Highland Games are being held and run around the track. It is neat to hear 3000 Scotts cheering for you as you finish.
My strategy for GFMM is simple. On the flat to downhill portions of the race, you have to take advantage of opportunity. The 5 big hills are going to eat up time and you cannot walk them if you want to have a good race. The first 3 miles are net downhill so it is more important than in most races to start strong. I drank a cup of Scivation Psycho Supplement which gave me a mental and energy boost at the start of the race.
Scivation Psycho- Pre Run Drink

I wrote where the 5 bigs hills are on my arm so I knew throughout the race what was coming. I started off with my friend Jake and Alisha from Boone. Jake has already won 2 marathon or longer races this year and Alisha is a professional tri-athlete. I expected to run with them if I was able to have a good race. Jake at mile 1 disappears into the porta-potties and says he will catch up. They finish the race 3 minutes behind me together. Alisha ends up 2nd women overall. I toll her if she had not waited on Jake she would have won. The shin started hollering around mile 8 and I mentally focused on a song to focus on something else. Whatever I focus on will only grow stronger. I started passing runners at mile 13 as the hills were taking to take casualties. My goal was to keep my heart rate on 155bpm knowing that it would rise on the hills. I intentionally never look at my heart rate as I am running or finishing a hill as I use to use it as an excuse to ease up. I knew from my breathing that I gave it my best on the hills which my heart rate peaking at 177bpm. I had one runner past me during the race at mile 18 as if I was standing still. He finished in 6th place. I used Scivation Xtend EnduranceSupplement in my handheld for my fuel instead of using gels. I used a small 12oz handheld that I filled up twice. Xtend Endurance contains the electrolytes and carbohydrates for fuel during the race. I finished strong and was happy with my 9th place finish. 350 runners started the race. Last year I finished 13th place.This year,  I was lucky to win my age group. My time was 3:27 and last year my time was 3:14. I ran a much better race this year and surprised at the end with the total time. This year was much hotter and more humid. Last year 31 runners ran faster than 3:30 and this year only 13. It would good to connect with runners I see at GFMM each year including Bobby Aswell, Phyllis Tsang, Baki Oguz &  Caleb Masland with Bonk Proof Running who won the race. He is a professional runner from Boone. Great coach too.

Stu finished in 3:45 which is an excellent first attempt at GFMM.
Next year one of his goals will be to not walk any of the hills which has to do with pacing.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dust to Dawn 50 Miler Race Recap


The SPUR (Southern Pines Ultra Running) club put on a run Saturday night in Southern Pines NC within the Ft. Bragg military training area. The course was run on two lane roads in the middle of a forest. The only light along the course was from the passing cars and our headlamps. I was surprised by the amount of rolling long hills. There was one hill early in the race in the teen miles that I would put against anything I will be running at Grandfather Mountain Marathon in July.


The SPUR group started with 3 rolling aid stations that would move as the pack of runners move along the course. The actual route was a 52 mile loop so you never came back to your vehicle until you were finished. The volunteers at the aid stations were super helpful and enabled the runners to get back on pace quickly. The aid stations were 3 miles apart.

The race started at 7pm and everyone was required to bring a light and hydration bottle. I used my waist belt with a 20oz bottle on my backside. The fuel I mixed with water during the race was Xtend Endurance.

Martin and Mose Smith
I rode to the race with Caleb and Shane. Caleb’s monster truck is a great vehicle to travel to races in as we each had plenty of room for our gear and coolers. We got there in plenty of time, said hello to the other runners I see at Ultra events and got ready to start. The race had some military runners, which was great to see. I set my watch to show my heart rate.  My heart rate was the only thing I focused on for the first 20 miles, as I would not allow myself to go over 145bpm except when I was running up the hills. The idea was to stay in my low aerobic zone early in the race so I could finish strong. I always feel in long races like I am a horse and I need to pull in the reins early so I don’t go too fast and burn up all my stored energy. Late in the race, I feel like I have to whip myself to stay on pace and finish strong. My heart rate drops going downhill so I really pushed hard on the down hills to gain time and keep my heart rate in the 145bpm zone.


My training has been going well. I have been doing a 2-hour run on Friday with a 3-hour run on Saturday and a 1-hour run on Sunday besides track on Tuesday and 8-mile tempo runs on Thursday.

When we got to the race site, everyone with the SPUR group was helpful and excited about the race. The aid stations were mobile (every 3 miles) so as the runners ran along the course, the aid stations would move along the 50-mile course.

The race started at 7pm. After the first mile, I think I was in 10th place as many runners went out super fast. My heart rate at 145bpm came out to a 7:30 pace which was fine with me. I settled into an easy pace and comfortable breathing while talking to some of the runners.

Around 4-miles, some of the runners started slowing down as they had gone out too fast to hold the pace. I was putting Scivation Xtend Endurance mix in my water bottle I was carrying in my waist pack to give me the fuel to keep the pace without bonking. At mile-24, the last runner in front of me started walking. I stopped and asked if he was ok and needed any water. He said he was ok and needed to take a break. My mind started racing that I might be able to win this event. I started telling myself –I have 26 miles to go and I need to focus on this mile only. I started asking at the aid stations how far I was in front of the next runner. Each time the volunteers would tell me that he was slowly gaining on me and I needed to keep pushing. At mile 32, I asked who was the runner gaining on me is and they told me it was Tyler Peek from  who won the Boogie 50 miler 2 months ago. I knew he was an accomplished runner so I figured if he wanted to win, then he would have to come and get it. I stayed with my 145bpm and plowed on. At mile 38, I asked again about Tyler and they said again that he was gaining on me. I had upped my pace heart to 150bpm to put a little distance on him and he was still gaining on me. The last 10 miles had some big hills. One of the benefits of running in complete darkness is you are not able to see the hills. I noticed my foot was landing at an upward angle, which told me I was running up a hill. Occasionally a car would drive by at 2am and I could watch the lights rise in the distance to tell me what type of grade I had coming up with the next hill. I finished at 3:01am and won my first 50-mile race. I told the folks at the finishing line a runner was right behind me and they started laughing. It turns out the 2nd place runner was having a hard night with the lights from cars and talked about stopping a couple of times. The race volunteers kept telling him I was slowing down and he could catch me if he kept going. Both of us ran better races because of the volunteers feeding us incorrect information. 

Caleb and Shane

Martin, Caleb, Tyler and Shane

My recovery drink was Scivation Xtend Intra-Workout Catalyst. Xtend (watermelon flavor) is chock full of amino acids to help with the muscle recovery and rebuilding process. I ran in Sketchers Ultra shoes, which have enough cushioning to handle 50 miles on the road. Caleb ran a smart race and got a new personal record. Shane made a wrong turn, ran 58 miles and finished with a good attitude. I ran in Skechers Ultra shoe. The shoe continues to provide me the comfort and support I need in a long distance shoe.

1st Place Female and Male

Friday, May 23, 2014

Black Mountain Monster 24 Hour Race and 103 Miles

The Black Mountain Monster is an annual trail running event held in May at Montreat College in Black Mountain NC. It is a family-oriented gathering where you run as much or as little for the time duration you choose- 6, 12 or 24 hours. The race starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and stops at 10 a.m. Sunday, which is great because it allows you to drive in and setup camp the day of the race. If your plans are to run the full 24 hours, it is nice to have 4 hours of sunlight to finish the race the next day.

Anne and I drove up to Black Mountain Friday evening and ate at a local pizza place called Fresh. They cook their pizzas in a brick oven and offer gluten free dishes at a reasonable price. We stayed at a friend’s cabin in Old Fort, which is just down the road from Black Mountain.

Pre 24 Hour Race

Saturday came early and I began my preparation by taping each toe and bottom area of my feet. I spent close to 45 minutes getting them ready for the battle ahead. In the past, blisters have made my long races even more difficult. My friend Kathi Russo let me borrow a book called “Fixing Your Feet.” The book goes into detail as to how to how to prepare and care for your feet during ultra races. I followed the directions for taping, lubricating, and wearing the right socks based on where the problem areas are on my feet. This was the first long race where I walked away without a blister or black toenail. As a reference, I ended up losing 3 toenails after the Boston Marathon last month. My problem areas are with my toes so I brought 2 new pairs of Injinji (5 toe) socks to the race. I wore the Skechers Ultra model. It has a wide toe box and plenty of cushioning even for a 100 miles. The Ultra model has an aggressive tread pattern and not once did I slip and slide on varied terrain on the course. I wore a pair of gaiters over the tops of my shoes to keep the dirt, rocks, and sticks out of my shoe. Not once did I have to take off my shoes to remove any foreign objects.


When we arrived at the race / camp site- Caleb, Stu and Shane had already setup the canopy over our own aid station where we had two 8ft tables on which to set our food and fuel supplies. It is important to have everything at waist level during the race as bending down to pick up something off the ground is too painful to consider. Being this was my first 24-hour race, I brought more than I could ever consume but wanted to err on the safe side. The weather at the start was cool with a slight breeze. The weather could not have been better. The slight drizzle that started at 5am Sunday morning did not have an effect on anyone’s performance.

Caleb Steedley, Martin, Stu Stepp & Shane Vanhoose

The atmosphere was relaxed as families are setting up camp while the kids were playing in the creeks. One racer brought his dog to accompany him for 6 hours. Everyone is cheering each other on and helping in any way. At road races, the competition is with the other runners and how you place compared to them. At Ultra races (unless you are an elite runner), you are only competing with yourself and how far can you go before you stop.

I had some goals for the race in order of importance: A: Be moving at 24 hours, B: Not sit down other than to change clothes, C: Run 100 miles & D: Place in the top 3 for distance. I also wanted to find out how many hours I could run before I started walking up the hills.

The only goal I thought was even possible was to be moving (walking) at 24 hours. The other goals were just plain crazy thinking since I had never run longer than 9 hours (54 miles), only 10% of my running is on trails, and had not run more than 6 hours in the dark in training for the race.

The 3.1 mile trail consisted of a ton of turns, 4 good sized hills, many roots that tried to grab my feet as the race progressed and ½ mile section of greenway payment that featured a severe downhill. The trail was well marked with arrows on the ground and each root was painted white to help you focus and not fall because of them. Each time you completed the loop; you ran by your own aid station to refuel, showed your bib number to the scorer, and took off again. The race aid station featured fruits, drinks, broth, pizza, and every other food group you could imagine. There was a mini aid station at the halfway point deep in the woods. I made it a point to ask the scorer not to tell me how many miles I had run or number of loops. My goal was to be moving at the end and not quit. I did not want the number of miles I had already run to play into whether or not I continued when I entered the “pain cave.”


My only chance for running 24 hours was to not go out too fast and burn out early. I made a commitment to anyone that would listen that I would not allow my heart rate to get over 130 beats per minute for the first 12 hours. My normal aerobic heart rate is 140 to 150 beats per minute. If I fueled correctly, use salt tabs and ate as much solid food as possible, I thought I would have a 50% chance of lasting until the end.

The start was relaxed as the race director thanked everyone for coming and the sponsors. He started the race by saying, “OK go” and everyone started with a slow jog. The first 6 hours, I was always near somebody as the 6, 12 and 24 hour runners started together. I ran 2 loops with Stu and Caleb and noticed my heart rate was climbing on the hills above 140 so I backed off and let them go knowing I had a long night ahead of me. Each time I passed a runner, we would speak and talk about what they wanted to accomplish. Every person had their own reason as to why they would come out and walk/run for 6 hours of more. Many of the participants did not have the lean bodies of runners but somehow found a way to keep moving. I really believe mental strength has more to do with finishing Ultras and then physical ability. Watching 70-year-old men & women completing 65+ miles in 24 hours inspired me. One of my favorite sayings I saw on the back of a running team’s (Runners from Hell) shirts was “Suck it up buttercup.” Ultra runners are not good crowds to complain to if you want sympathy. I visited with some of my Dailymile buddies- Chas W & Sean B.

Before the start, I had mixed up my drinks and got my food ready so I could come by our aid station and pick up what I needed and keep moving. Shane did a great job of refilling my bottles and keeping them on ice for me during the race. Each time I came through, I would grab an ice-cold bandana and tie it around my neck to lower my temperature. One of the time killers I wanted to avoid was spending too much time at the aid station. I was generally in and out within a minute so I was able to stay in a mental zone. One of the many things I observed about myself is how quiet I was as the day continued. I would still give everyone a thumb-up and a smile each time I passed someone. I felt like I had a job to do and needed to put all my energy into completing it. When others would pace me for a lap, I would thank them but not engage in much more talking. I had so many thoughts going through my head and having a hard time concentrating, the best I could do was to keep moving forward. I wore my Garmin watch and only looked at the heart rate and settled into 130 hr zone for the first 11 hours. At 9pm, I took off the watch and ran by feel the rest of the way. I continued to run until 1am when I walked my first hill. I found out that I can run 15 hours without stopping if I fuel correctly and did not let my heart rate surge. I ran without a shirt all afternoon and into the night. At 1am, I put on a short sleeve shirt as the temperatures were in the mid 40’s.

Around 2am, all but a few runners were sleeping. I did not see another runner until 5:30am. My stomach started to give me trouble at 3am so I started eating ginger chews. The ginger helped to settle my stomach and I was able to get my momentum back. Everyone I had spoken with who had completed a 100-mile race told me there would be a bad period during the race and it would be only temporary. I had intentionally not put on any music so I could have that to look forward to when the run got harder. At 4am, I was wiped out but still moving while walking the up and down hills. The down hills are so much tougher for me since I had to break my fall so I did not tumble over. I really slowed down to a 15-16 minute mile pace at this point. The only drink I could keep down was flat coke.
When I completed another loop at 5am, the scorer looked at me and asked what my goal was and I told him a 100. He looked at my miles and said at your current pace, you are not going to make it to 100. He replied, “You will end up at 97 miles.” I would have to average a 12-minute mile pace for the next 4 hours to have a chance. I hung my head and thought about all the people who were texting, calling and praying for me. It would have sucked to tell them I ended up 3 miles short of my goal. Three lousy miles over 24 hours.

Some inner voice spoke to me and said, “I am not going down without a fight.” I have tried so hard to teach my Sons (Sam & Tellor) to push past the pain and always finish strong. Now was the time to put my words into action. I walked back to my aid station, put on my Boston Marathon shirt I had never worn and put on my earphones. I took off. I ran every part of the course including hills to get me back on track. I started just clicking off the loops again and the scorer would smile as I kept coming around every 36 minutes. Shane ran with me at 6am for 3 loops and motivated me to push hard which helped me believe I would hit 100-mile mark. The sun coming up gave me a jolt of energy. I also filled up with hand held bottle with hot broth and Xtend Endurance to refuel each other lap. I started passing others who were walking on the course. Everyone was cheering and giving me high fives as I came through each time.
Just Completed 100 Miles- More Miles to Run

When I hit 100 miles at a little after 9am, the scorer asked me if I was going to quit. He said I was in 2nd place. I told him my first and main goal was to be moving on the course at the end of 24 hours so I kept going even though my pace had slowed down. The race had marshals throughout the course so you could get credit for partial laps and miles. I had to run the last half mile in 5 minutes to get to the next mile marker, which gave me a total of 103 miles. The winner ran 108 miles. I got a nice medal and a gift certificate for 2nd place. Stu Stepp came in second in the 12-hour race and ran 56 miles. Caleb Steedley ran 66 miles and his wife Carla ran 40 miles to give them a team total of 106 miles. Shane Vanhoose put in 40 miles running and keeping us going at the aid station. Gina Lyerly paced us with 19 miles.

After 24 Hours
Caleb & Carla Steedley, Martin & Shane Vanhoose

Things I learned:
·         My ability to concentrate and focus diminished as the race went on. I would get to the aid station and forget what I needed to pack for the next loop. I would be back on the trail and remember I forgot my fuel, etc. The top elite runners have crews who know what to hand them each hour, which takes the thinking away from the runner. My down period came from not remembering to eat and drink previously.
·         I can accomplish more that I can believe when I focus on small goals. My only thought each loop was finishing the one I was running. I never thought about being running outside for 24 hours, total miles, or the amount of effort it would take to run 100 miles. Bite size chunks is all I can mentally handle and be effective.
·         My mental attitude had more to do with me finishing the race than my fitness level. If I am positive and trying to make the best of a tough situation, it goes by faster and is less painful. There was not a moment during the 24 hours where I took the time to complain or think about stopping. My job was to do my best and be glad in it. One trick I used during the race was to smile at each person I encountered and thank every volunteer. The smiling trick worked because when they smiled back I got a boost of energy that kept me going.
·         100 miles is not that far on a loop course. If I had fuel properly at the end, I could have either gotten in another 2 laps or gone longer than 24 hours. This race did not have the altitude and sustained climbing like some of the big boy 100-mile ultra races. This race did give me the confidence to sign up for the Uwharrie 100 miler in October.
·         I need to run more trails than I am currently doing to get ready for the next trail race. Running pace on trails are much slower as the soft ground absorbs all your energy. The terrain is never level so my hips and thighs are reminding me of my little trail training during recovery. Trails are much more fun as the view is always changing and you have to pay attention so you do not trip. The soft ground is also so much easier on your body.
·         When your body is telling you that nothing tastes good, it’s time to get in some calories (fuel). You have go against your intuition (rest, etc) in ultra races.

Gear I Used:
·         Skechers Ultra
·         Xtend Endurance Drink Mix
·         Injinji Socks
·         Vespa Gel
·         Salt Stick with Caffeine Tablets
·         Dirty Girl Ankle Gaiters

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Boston Marathon Weekend

My taper week in preparation for Boston was extremely busy at work due to my company (Camco Manufacturing) purchasing a new company and being part of the transition. The focus on business was a blessing, as I did not have time to think about the race. I did some short runs to stay fresh and for the first time I arrived at a marathon with a successful 2-week taper. In the past, I have worried about doing a little more during the 2 weeks before the race and have, in hindsight, took away from my race performance. I have always heard the saying but have not followed the advice:

“It is better to show up 90% trained than to be 1% over trained and tired”

I rode with my running buddy, Kathi Russo, from Salisbury to the airport and met my new running buddy, Diane Allen from Charlotte. This year’s race was be Kathi’s 7th and Diane’s 4th. Their job was to keep me focused and pointed in the right direction. I am so thankful they allowed me to hang out with them as the crowds were so large it was intimidating to navigate the weekend and race. In the baggage claim area at the Boston airport, I talked with one of my heroes- Caleb Masland. Caleb is a super nice guy, professional runner and coach from Boone, NC. He is one of the high profile runners with Skechers besides the winner of the Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi. The shoes I was wearing were Skechers Ultra to walk around in during the weekend; he helped designed, which is cool. You can follow Caleb and his training on DailyMile.Com or at his website: www.coachcaleb.com

Once we arrived and checked in, we went to the Runner’s Expo, which is humongous. Every company that has anything to do with exercise (clothing, shoes, nutrition, training, gifts, etc) is there to give out samples, advice and sell stuff. I went by the Skechers booth and said hello to the crew. I thanked them for the gear and shoes I would be wearing during the race. I received my race bib and got my race packet, which included a nifty long sleeve Boston Marathon Shirt. I purchased the orange official 2014 Jacket and noticed how many runners keep adding the other years they run the marathon to their jacket. One of the many things that got my attention was the atmosphere of being around 32,000 people who are excited about running, fitness, and life. I cannot imagine anyone coming away from this experience without being more excited about what is possible and hope I can continue to work smart with my fitness and have fun.  


We saw a bunch of people from the Charlotte area including Joe Schlereth and Kathy Lee. Joe is a hero of mine. This Boston marked his 300th marathon and 45 of his “marathons” are 100-mile ultras. Over the course of his running career, he's posted six top-10 finishes at the Western States 100-mile endurance run; 10 finishes at Western States in less than 24 hours. He won the Wasatch 100; and he completed Badwater, the approximately 135-mile run from Death Valley (the lowest point in the continental U.S.) to Mt. Whitney (the highest). In 2006, he ran over 9000 miles which is approx 170 miles a week. Kathy Lee just finished her second 100 mile race at the Umstead Race recently. An awesome achievement I hope one today to complete.


Sunday morning, I attended a race strategy with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella who consistently runs under 2:50 marathons and has won the Air Force Marathon. His comments were to be conservative in the first half and focus on maintaining energy during the work of the marathon (Miles 16 to 21) and give it all you’ve got from mile 22 to the finish. He reiterated how important is to run quietly on the down hills to save your quads for the end of the race. I know of Mark from listening to the Ultra Runner Podcast. His is a frequent contributor. Mark is also a big proponent of heart rate training to increase the speed of your aerobic base. Mark owns “2 River Treads” running store in Shepherdstown, WV. The store website is a great source of running information.


Sunday night, I was fortunate to be able to attend a dinner with Kathi that had Amby Burfoot (Editor of Runner’s World and Winner of the ’68 Boston Marathon) and Jeff Galloway (’72 Olympic Team with Prefontaine). It was a round table discussion with funny running stories.  




Once we left the Athlete Village, we lined up in our corrals based on our qualifying time. The race started once four helicopters flew over our heads heading to Boston. It only took them 4 minutes to get there where I would need 3 hours. The first 2 miles seemed like it was going straight downhill. It is hard to know how severe the decline is as all you can see are runners’ heads ahead. There were so many runners in the streets because the majority of the race is run on a 2 lane road through the small towns leading to Boston. I never had more than a foot of space on the sides or front of me for the first 9 miles. Passing others was just not possible. Every mile there is a Gatorade and water station, which takes more space from the runners on the road. Every step I had to watch and make sure I was not tripping anyone or being tripped. Usually I race with a small group because I am not with the elites and nor with the joggers so I am used to having plenty of room. I had a headache by mile 10 from concentrating every step. The race turned unseasonable warm and I noted by mile 12, I was no longer perspiring. I knew not perspiring is one of the early signs of dehydration and overheating. I removed my shirt and doused myself with water at most water stations. The crowds were so loud. It is hard to explain the intensity of volume. The fans are literally right beside the 2-lane road we were running on. They are screaming 3 feet from your head and trying to get “high fives” from all the runners. There were many great homemade signs along the course to keep my attention. I did not realize how small the little towns are we ran in and how important the race is to their community. Many of the volunteers mentioned the race was the biggest day of the year. Every business is closed for Patriots Day each year. At mile 12, I noticed the volume from the fans started getting even louder as we were coming to Wellesley College. Those girls holding signs asking for kisses can be heard from a mile away.



At the halfway point, I was at 1:29 which was a minute slower, as I had hoped for a sub 3 hour race. Between the crowded field and being concerned about going out too fast, I did not hit my goal time for the first half, which was 1:28.

When I reached mile 16, I knew the work was getting ready to start as I noticed the bobbing heads in front of me were rising up which meant the hills were coming. The first two of the four famed hills near Newton were not steep but once you passed over the crest, you went quickly downhill which caused my quads to scream for relief. The third hill and Heart Break are gradual inclines that last for almost a half mile and are then once again steep down hills. I passed many people on the hills and felt my quads starting to cramp on the down hills. At mile 21, I passed Boston College and they had a huge sign saying “the heart break is over.” I tried to get back to marathon pace of 6:47 for the rest of the way and was not able to get back to goal pace. It was not my cardio system that held me back; it was my muscles in my legs. I had worked so hard doing squats and lunges daily with hill repeats weekly and it still was not enough. I saw the famous CITGO sign at mile 24 and knew once I passed the sign I had a mile left so I really leaned forward and was able to get back to a 6:50 pace. At mile 24, the crowds grew even more in size and volume. It seemed like the fans were 10 deep along the race route. Once I made the left onto Boylston Street, I could see the end. My pace got much faster as I ran as hard as I could to the finish line and completed my first Boston Marathon in 3:00:44.




After the race, I hobbled to my hotel with my medal and fond memories. I was a little sad to have reached my goal which I had only dreamed of 3 years ago. I have run daily with the goal being able to run in the Boston Marathon. I am hopeful Keith, Stu, Caleb and Victor will qualify this year (Lehigh Valley Marathon in early September) so I can run with them in 2015.

Gear Used:

·         NUNN- electrolyte drink mix to hydrate before and after the race

·         UCAN (Super Starch) before the start

·         VESPA (Amino Acid to promote fat burning) before the start

·         3 Espresso Hammer Gels during the race

·         Skechers Go Run 3

·         Skechers Singlet- same one Meb wore
The cost for the trip came out to around $1,100 with entry fee, airfair, hotels, expo and transportation