While in the midst of an intense, 1,600+ mile double thru-hike of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, my husband of 20 years, Ras, said he had a crazy idea. He said it as if we weren’t already in the middle of just such a thing. As we were making our way through the challenging and beautiful topography of the AZT, he had realized there were three other desert trails in the U.
Brandon Dase not only manages one of the best retail running stores in the country, but recently made his 50 mile race debut at the North Face Endurance Challenge Gore-Tex® 50 Mile Race, finishing 2nd to the legendary Rob Krar. Brandon raced in the Altra King MT, Altra’s all-new OCR/off road running shoe, and loved it! Read his awesome review of the Altra King MT and its stellar performance in the less than ideal race conditions up in Park City.
Altra elite athlete, Jacob Puzey, welcomed December with a record-breaking run at The Running Event in Orlando, FL. Wearing the Altra Paradigm and running on the ProForm Boston Marathon Treadmill, Puzey set a new treadmill 50 mile record with a time of 4:57:45 —that’s a 5:57 minute/mile average— shattering the previous record by nearly an hour. On his way to the 50 mile record, Puzey ran a marathon split of 2:38, only 16 minutes slower than his marathon PR.
A new 100-mile American record was set this weekend by Altra’s Zach Bitter with a total time of 11:40:55. He averaged a 7-minute mile on just over 400 laps around the track at the Desert Solstice Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona (Central High School). Zach broke his previous 2013 record by over 7 minutes! The 100-mile circular venture went well for Zach, only complaining of some hamstring and shoulder pain after the race.
Tell us a little bit about your family and upbringing… My immediate family has six members: myself, mother, father, and three sisters. I am the second oldest. We were and continue to be very close and had many opportunities to bond through family trips around the United States, camping, and staying interested in one another’s life goals. My father was an elementary teacher for a Lutheran school/church system, so we moved a few times as I was younger.
Tell us a little bit about your family and upbringing… Grew up traveling quite a bit… Italy, Australia, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, and Colorado. Colorado is home though. When did you start running? I started running at the end of high school. What got you into running? I burned out on playing soccer year round. I was always great at long distances and my friends convinced me to try our Cross Country and Track.
Tell us a little bit about your family and upbringing… I grew up in New Haven, Indiana, the third of three daughters with a younger brother. My parents are pretty awesome; my dad is a veterinarian and my mom is his office manager. I grew up surrounded by faith, love, and so much support to do whatever I set my mind to, as long as I did it to the best of my ability.
I had the chance to catch up with Taryn Olmstead (previously Giumento) and ask here a few questions. She is doing some amazing things on a local level with her sites set to some bigger stages. We look forward to great things coming from her. Taryn is a trail runner with a high school and college running background. She lives in Savannah, Georgia and just recently got married this summer. Enjoy learning more about what makes Taryn tick.
We had a chance to catch up with our very own, Heather “Anish” Anderson after her amazing accomplishment on the Appalachian Trail this summer. If you want to learn more about what she did, see our post here. We were so amazed that we wanted to dig in to her head a little bit. Here is what we got out of her amidst her resting time. Altra: What was your favorite part of the journey?
May 2nd of this year, I found myself (once again) in the boot heel of New Mexico, a literal stone’s throw from the simple barbed wire fence that separates North America from Mexico. No tourists venture to the area. There is a monument. It’s not much to look at, and few people ever even see the thing. The dirt road leading to it is accessible only via 4×4 vehicle…but it’s a one-way trip for the folks who get dropped off there.
This past weekend, Altra athlete Jason Schlarb ran to his second finish of the Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race in Steamboat Springs, CO. Running in the lead through most of the second half of the race, he fought off the cold weather and altitude to win by over an hour. Jason finished by running into the arms of his wife, Maggie, with a time of 18:05:17 just after 6:00 in the morning.
Joshua “Bobcat” Stacy Taryn Giumento Brian Boyle Katie Thomas Loukia Lili Brandon Yonke Shane Hagerman Max Bennett Rachael Bazzett Kyle Hughes Nele Schulze Richard Kresser Joe Kali Lindsay Mayfield Lara Zoeller Dana Anderson Denny Krahe Daniel Calderon Heather Anderson Adam St.Pierre Rachel Bell Kelley Emir Dedic Cody Goodell Lint Bunting Mick Jurynec Gabe Grayum Meranda Steel Heather Shourds Susan Speidel Jennifer Fisher Susan Moote Justus Fitzsimmons Heather Jenson Brendan Trimboli
Altra Ambassador Larisa Dannis questioned whether or not she should run in Boston this year, she ended up at the starting line- and finished with a 2:44:41, as the 33rd woman, 17th American woman, 1st woman with a non-elite bib, and needless to say, a marathon PR. We sat down with Larisa to dive into what it felt like to run her best in Boston Give us a brief recap of the 3 weeks of training leading up to Boston.
Just one of those days… Battered, bruised, & a little bit bloody. On Friday afternoon I caught a ride down to Lake City with my friend Lara Moscatelli. We were both running the SJS 50 along with some other Valley locals: Allen Hadley, Jesse Rickert, & Chris Dickey. As soon as we turned off of HW50 and crossed the Lake City Bridge, we saw the big road sign reading: “Road Closed Ahead, Forest Fire” Whoa!
I love to race. I love the energy, the training, the people. I was really excited leading up to Eagleman last weekend. Eagleman is historically HOT. So the storms leading up to the 2013 event were a welcome reprieve. I ZipCar-ed for the first time to get out to Cambridge, MD. That hurdle over and done with I spent a rainy mid-day at the expo and headed to Great Marsh park to drop off my bike.
I was hoping my first blog post as an Altra Ambassador would be a thrilling race report from the QuadRock 25 miler in Ft. Collins, CO. Unfortunately, I chose to withdraw from the race a few months ago. The knee injury I sustained by limping 40 miles at the Superior Trail 100 last September on a bum ankle bothered me all winter. After taking March and April largely off, it is finally feeling better.
Running on Empty: How to Run a Race on 4 Hours of Sleep Boston Marathon is equated to the Olympics of Marathons. It attracts huge local and international crowds, runners and spectators. The city transforms to celebrate Patriot’s Day with the Marathon and other sports and family events.All of us in the running community and beyond are shocked that any person would seek to cause so much harm to so many innocent people on a day that is so focused on positive attitudes and actions.
Spontaneity… that’s the best way to start an adventure. I got a call from Pat O’Neil on Friday afternoon about going to the Grand Canyon for a St Patty’s Day run. In typical O’Neil fashion, the message was short and to the point. It basically said; Grand Canyon, St. Patrick’s Day, leave Saturday at 1:00 PM, run Sunday, back in CB by Monday afternoon, are you in? Lets face it, I don’t know how to say no to a run, especially when it includes crossing the Grand Canyon twice.
I did it. I finished my first 50 mile running race. Yes, that does mean on my feet, self propelled and no, I am not crazy. I don’t think I am anyway. Here it is. A fun and zany weekend. In a nutshell: -I ran for 50 miles – I had the most awesome crew/cheersquad ever!! -We slept under the stars–2 girls and a glock –Mandi got her first ticket
Saturday, February 16th, I ran the Queen of Hearts 10K in Oklahoma City, hoping to use this time to qualify by time for the 2014 Houston Marathon. While I did manage to set a PR, I definitely missed my time goal. This was my first race in my Altra’s, and loved the feel of it! Photos prove I now have mid-foot landing, without changing anything but my shoes! Totally pumped about that!
To start I am runner trapped in a big guy’s body. I am 6’2” and well over 250lbs, and this year that will change! Why do I mention this? Simply because I want you to realize I switched to Altras and I am not planning on switching back. If you are a big guy or gal, I bet one of the first running shoes you ever wore was a stability shoe, likes the Brooks Beast or variation of the kind.
Disney Goofy Challenge Two weeks ago I travelled with my family all the way from Alaska to Florida to run the Disney World Goofy Challenge. The Disney World Marathon weekend consists of the Donald Duck 1⁄2 Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Mickey Mouse Marathon on Sunday. The Goofy Challenge has you run both races. The races started at 5:30am both days, so that they can get the roads and parks opened back up as soon as possible.
What a year it was. In 2010 I set out to raise funds and awareness for a local non profit called in Our Own Quiet way. Along the way I ended up breaking the world record for the most 70.3 (half Ironman) triathlons completed in one year. I completed 22 events in 30 weeks landing me in the Guinness book of world records for the first time. The year was a success and we ended up building a few Dam in Africa which will affect the lives of the people there for generations.
I started running 2 1⁄2 years ago at the age of 60 and 1⁄2 when my friend and now running partner decided she wanted to run the Ogden half. You have to understand she was overweight, and had never run, and I was always active but more in the way of dance, and had never run either. We got on line and ran a training program. We loved the experience and did our first half in just over 3 hours.
I will never forget my first “run” – February 1, 2010. A Jillian Michaels iFit program greeted me, where “Jillian” is in control of your speed and incline, adjusting one or the other (or both) every minute. It was a meager 30 minutes of jogging and a lot of walking, with the incline changing throughout. While I never manually slowed it down or decreased the incline, a good part of that first run was spent holding on to the sides, and I think I even had to step off onto the rails a time or two.
Earlier this year Braden Thompson began his journey from O to marathon. You can read his earlier entry here. Check out his report after months of hard work and training: A few weeks ago I was lying on the couch watching college football feeling like absolute crap hardly able to even walk. I knew I needed to eat but that was the last thing my stomach wanted to do. This was my post race celebration.
Most people are afraid to take a chance. Some people are afraid to fail, to look bad in the eyes of others, or to confirm a self doubt that may have been forever in their minds. It doesn’t necessarily have to be running or fitness related, it can be life related. Afraid to take a new job, afraid of a new relationship, afraid of failing. Some people are terrified of change, driven away by the unknown and paralyzed in a state of existence.
_Back in 2003, I was a drug addict. I’d been shooting up coke and heroin_ _for awhile, along with multiple 40 oz bottles of malt liquor every night. It never completely swallowed my life and put me on the street, but it made me sick, fat and lazy. I knew I had to change, but didn’t have_ resources available, let alone any kind of direction. _In a desperate act of self-preservation, I set out to hike Wisconsin’s Ice_ _Age Trail from end to end.
As a teenager and in the first years of motherhood, I would often run outdoors just to get sun. I would push the single and then double jogger stroller to get fresh air for the kiddos. I never knew how far or fast I went. I just did it because it felt good. Last Fall I wanted to lose some extra pounds. I have always been a gym rat. Teaching cycling, weights and participating in group fitness classes.
_In 2003 I was invited by my friend and fellow Altramaniac, Scott Wesemann, to go hiking in the Uinta Mountains. We were going to attempt climbing Utah’s three tallest peaks (King’s, South King’s and Gilbert Peak) in a day, starting from an advanced basecamp at Dollar Lake in the Henry’s Fork basin. I was there to tag along and enjoy the mountains, but Scott was actually asked to be interviewed by a reporter and photographer from the Deseret News.
Pictures are always a great motivation to get moving. Our family pictures in November of 2009 provided my motivation. My little girl was six months old and I weighed 259.4 pounds. I was not where I wanted to be. I wanted to set an example for my kids and be able to run and play with them. I wanted to be able to go up and down stairs without being winded.
I am a certifiable Altramaniac (albeit a relatively new one!) and I have a bit of a different story in terms of how I got into running. I’ve always been a pretty fit, athletic person, but a bad head-on collision in 2009 changed everything. I was left with torn muscles in my back and shoulder (<– insanely painful, wouldn’t wish it on anyone!), back and neck problems, a concussion and nerve damage to the brachial plexus.
_I fell in love with running when I was in high school and never knew I had the appetite to run until I broke my wrist my senior season in football. I ran to stay in shape and it really grabbed hold of me. Since then I have run 4 marathons including 2 Goofy Challenges. People ask me what it takes to run a marathon, my answer you have to love to run and train.
My name is Brian Pomerantz, for most of my life running was something done only as punishment for missing a fly ball in baseball or to chase down a frisbee. Is was never something I thought I would do for longer than a few minutes at a time, and certainly nothing I could ever dream would bring me joy. On top of the general lethargy of not doing regular exercise, I also had the “standard American diet” loaded with bad fats, refined carbs, and sugars making me obese for most of my life.
When I was younger I had severe Asthma and was unable to run. I was hospitalized several times in my youth and once even had a needle shoved in my chest, ala Pulp Fiction, to inject me with medicine to help me breathe. Even up through graduation of high school I wasn’t even able to run a mile on the track. I took up weight lifting because I was naturally built for it and it didn’t require much cardiovascular endurance.
_I spent almost my entire adult life morbidly obese. I would temporarily lose weight only to regain it. At 300 pounds I was dealing with high blood pressure, medication for high cholesterol, and then in 2003 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I didn’t make any changes in my eating or exercise habits, thinking the medication I was on would take care of everything. Needless to say I didn’t pay too much attention to my blood sugar levels.
_While I was in grad school in 2010, I wrote for our campus newspaper and did an interview with the owners of a local running store in Hamilton, Ontario for their involvement in Haiti. Esther and her husband Gord have been helping Haitians for over 15 years, long before the whole world knew about its condition as an aftermath of the earthquake. Beyond donating their time building schools and orphanages, they also host a 10k in Cap Haitien every year.
_ I hate running. I enjoy being athletic. This is the story of why I started running. In most sports, the faster you can get somewhere while still maintaining coordination, the better you are. For example: If a football is slightly overthrown, being able to turn on the jets and catch up to the ball in time to grab makes you feel like a million bucks! That is the kind of situation where I LOVE to run.
_When my daughter was born in December 2009, I weighed nearly 300 pounds, had chronic back problems, and exercise was pretty much the farthest thing from my mind. After seeing a photo of me holding her in the hospital, only a few days old, something finally clicked inside me. I looked back at more photos of myself from the past few years, and I was repeatedly smacked in the face with the realization that something drastic needed to be done if I was going to be around to watch my little girl grow up.
Jessica Walker is a perfect example of perseverance. She has managed to take control of her life while jumping all the hurdles that have tried to slow her down. Check out her story in her own words: _Three and a half years ago I was in a program for recovering alcoholics. While going through the program I started eating a lot. I didn’t have much to do and my self-esteem was not all that great.