Thursday, October 25, 2007

Inspiring Runners

The latest issue of Runner's World greeted me today as I got home. The title is "Runners Who Inspired Us in 2007". Thumbing through those pages, it was apparent that RW (predictably) picked a list that was very politically correct. (I've been a subscriber for many years and read almost every issue cover to cover. However, the all-inclusive approach and often incredible predictability of the magazine tends to bore me more often than not. Trailrunner is the my favorite running-related magazine; it rarely lasts more than 24 hrs unread one it's arrived. I digress.)

The article left me thinking, who inspired my in 2007? So, here goes (in no particular order).

Scott Dunlap (interview)
Scott really turned me on to this whole trail running thing. His passion for the sport, his incredible attitude and his genuine approach to writing had an evangelical effect on me. Through his blog I discovered so many more that I follow regularly.

Running Bloggers
Early on this year, I developed a habit to surf online and read about other runners' adventures. Whether they were reporting from their latest race, uploading funny pictures or simply rambling, I soaked it all up (and caught the bug).

Running Through The Wall
Running Through The Wall is a book of filled with first hand accounts of people running ultras, mainly 100 milers. There are top stars like Tim Twietmeyer as well as middle and back-of-the-packers reporting on their adventures. If you haven't read it, pick up the book today. Trust me, you won't regret it.


A co-worker of mine, who shall remain initialed for now, is a huge inspiration to me. He is not built like stereotypical runner nor did he grow up running cross-country or track. But he decided to run the Country Music Marathon last year and Chicago this year. And he has the greatest attitude to running. After completing the blistering hot Chicago marathon in nearly 6 hours this year, he wrote the most high-spirited e-mail I have ever seen. You wouldn't have guessed that he had just run a marathon where he was told to quit half way through and finished anyways...after nearly 360 minutes of running. Incredible!

Another friend of mine, Adam, took the penultimate step to fulfilling a life-long dream of his: he signed up for the Arizona Ironman next spring. We have been running buddies forever.

New Trails
I have explored and run on countless new trails this year. Some more popular than others. But all of them gorgeous. As far east as the Atlantic coast in South Carolina, as far south as Atlanta, GA, as far north as Washington state and as far west as California (ahhhh). I'm incredibly lucky.

Tuesday Night Trail Runners
This fall MK and I started running trails on Tuesday nights after work. Then somebody else joined us and then somebody after that and so on. Now we are a lose group of about 6 or 7 that get together every Tuesday after work to run trails near our office. Can't wait to rejoin them.

Santa Barbara 9 Trails
During a moment where I experienced a temporary lapse in judgment I signed up for this challenging race to be run the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I will not be able to run it after all due to the injury. But that's ok. Training for that race has turned me into a different person. I cannot wait to tackle many ultras in the future.

(Disclaimer: this list may be edited at any point)

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