Archive | Guest Perspective

An Inspired Ultra Challenge 

img_4006My first two 50Ks, just 10 weeks apart, met a goal a year in the making and also paved the way for new challenges.

By Henry Howard

Last year, I had the opportunity to interview one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, Noah Galloway

Best known for his amazing performance on Dancing With the Stars, Galloway is a double amputee from injuries he suffered in the Iraq war. 

During our interview, Galloway told me “everyone should do something that scares them.” I decided to accept his challenge, upping my ultra ante — doing my first two 50Ks just 10 weeks apart.  Continue Reading →

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Inspired by an Ultrarunning Legend

00810-07-1489-1Eric Strand saw a 1999 marathon as a one-time thing. Now, thanks in part to Dean Karnazes, Strand has completed dozens of marathons and the Leadville 100 five times.

By Henry Howard

Eric Strand had been fascinated by long-distance running ever since Frank Shorter won the marathon gold medal in the 1972 Olympics.

Years passed and before he knew it, 39-year-old Strand had just finished graduate school and his kids were becoming self-sufficient. “I’d always wanted to run a marathon and everyone knows you can’t run 26.2 miles once you turn 40, so I signed up for the 2000 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn.,” he said.

That year — 1999 — he finished the “one and done” marathon. But instead of hanging up the running shoes, Strand has upped his running game to a total of 60 marathons and ultras. Continue Reading →

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The Ups and Downs of Running

The author at Devou Park, with Cincinnati in the background

The author at Devou Park, with Cincinnati in the background

A series of mishaps on training runs, followed by some positive experiences, made for a roller coaster of emotions over a 72-hour period.

By Henry Howard

I had quite the series of training runs a couple of weeks ago. Lightning, a plunge into a creek and a mysterious bite. But after all those dismal obstacles faded into just memories, I experienced a run that was full of brightness and positive energy.

As I reflected back on those 72 hours of oddities, I recalled one of my favorite but little-known movie lines. It’s from the “grandma” character in the 1989 film, “Parenthood,” describing why she likes the roller coaster.

“It was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”

Continue Reading →

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InsideTracker Review

N-O_7ZQb_400x400Even as my health has improved, I wasn’t sure about my overall outlook. InsideTracker’s report reveals my successes and guides me on where to improve.

By Henry Howard

I began running about five years ago as a way to improve on my health and cross “finish a marathon” off my bucket list. The side benefits have included eating a healthier diet and eliminating soda — with the exception of a rum and coke from time to time. Continue Reading →

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It Takes a Village to Build a Marathoner

IMG_0153Jon Lepley of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, knew he wanted to be a runner and started out creating a training plan in which he would run three or four days a week, with progressively longer runs.

But he soon developed bad habits — running every training run as hard as possible — and developed running injuries. “I was never fully following a structured training plan, instead just generally trying to increase distance on a weekend long run, and recover in the days in between,” he recalls.

Lepley set a goal for himself: completing a marathon. And he needed help, so in stepped Marathon Training Academy.

Continue Reading →

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With The Correct Training Anything Can Be Possible

IMG_3262Collegiate swimmer Molly Culver needed a new challenge and took up ultra running. She won her first ultra, the North Face ECS in Wisconsin, and returns this year. By Henry Howard

When work and home commitments collided with my race calendar, I had to withdraw from the Ultra Race of Champions, which would have been my second ultra.

I had been looking forward to that race. However, as I shuffled plans, my initial disappointment gave way to excitement when I realized that I could return to Wisconsin for an Endurance Challenge Series event.

As much as I am looking forward to the Wisconsin race, I am probably not looking forward to it as much as Molly Culver, who has won the 50-mile event three years in a row. Continue Reading →

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Thoughts from a First-Time Ultra Runner

Henry_BuckeyeTrail1I had no idea what lay ahead when I recently lined up at the starting line for my first ultra race, the Buckeye Trail 50K in Brecksville, Ohio.

I had completed 13 marathons previously, including one on a trail — the North Face Endurance Challenge Series in Wisconsin last year.

I knew I had trained well and had my nutrition dialed in. We got a break from the weather — the long-range forecasts of thunderstorms had given way to a nice 60-degree day start.

There was no rain in the forecast and the temperature would be in the mid-70s around my anticipated finishing time. Not bad at all for July.

Oh, about that anticipated finishing time. That was an eye-opener! Continue Reading →

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Champion Runner Shares Trail Knowledge, Advice

Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks running a trail in Moab, Utah. Credit Kirsten Kortebein

Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks running a trail in Moab, Utah. Credit Kirsten
Kortebein


Meghan Hicks has been a runner since she was 14, focusing on road races early on. At the same time, Hicks credits her parents for taking her to “wild places” and her brother for playing with her endlessly in the woods when they were younger.

About 10 years ago, she combined her loves of running and the outdoors by exploring the sport of trail running. In 2013, she won the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, the world’s oldest and largest expedition trail-running race.

Now, as Hicks prepares to run the Hardrock 100 trail race, she and partner Bryon Powell have put their love of the outdoors, trail knowledge and passion for the sport into a 226-page book, “Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.” Continue Reading →

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A Vow to Exercise, Lose Weight

Debbie's BQ finish

Debbie’s BQ finish

Newlyweds Bill and Debbie Gelber made a promise to help each other. Now, many races later they are lighter, speedier and healthier.

By Henry Howard

Bill and Debbie Gelber were happy and in love when they committed to each other at their wedding ceremony in 2007.

But when they flipped through their wedding photos, they were both surprised at how much weight they had gained. Debbie was approaching her 40th birthday and Bill would soon turn 50.

Thus began another commitment for the couple: helping each other on the path to good health, which eventually led to more than 100 races for her and plenty of others for him. Continue Reading →

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Race review: Alpine Classic Half Marathon

image2A beautiful course, capable pacers and a helpful volunteer made this a race to remember.

By Henry Howard

I waited at the finish line for my two new BFFs, Wan and Allison.

This was minutes after I wrapped up the Alpine Classic Half Marathon, a community race put on by Utah Run at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. As a flatlander, I had no idea how I would fare in the 5,000-foot elevation.

Thanks to pacers Wan and Allison, I was able to make it through the tough parts and finish strong — a 1:41:29 PR, 15th overall and first place in my age group. Continue Reading →

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