I had first heard of ultrarunning as a senior in high school, when my friend Alec and I had hiked the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Pennsylvania in three days, which a few park rangers had told us was unrealistically fast. We accomplished our goal of three days and I wanted to know if I could find someone who had done the trail faster... and to my surprise, lots of people had done the trail much faster than us. The Laurel Ultra is the first race I had ever heard of that was longer than a marathon, a distance of 70 miles, which I had no idea was even possible for a human being to run. The man who holds the record, Courtney Campbell, did the entire trail in 10 hours, 43 minutes, and 34 seconds. I was in complete disbelief... it struck me so much that I have never forgotten his name or the time he posted... even though I forget half of my own race times. I began to be obsessed with the idea of being able to run that far, and my own running schedule showed an amateurs effort to be elite. Five years and many setbacks later I began running competitively, and having never even run a half marathon, let alone a full, I ran my first competitive race since I was on the distance team for high school track, the Holiday Lake 50K on Valentines Day 2009. I followed it up with my first marathon in Pittsburgh, then a back injury kept me off the racing circuit for most of the Summer. I wouldn't race again till November 7th for the Mountain Masochist Trail Run in Virginia, which is my proudest accomplishment in running to date.
This year is different, I don't need to see if I can do it anymore, because I already know that I am capable. This year, I'm out to see how much better I can be, and how I can use my abilities to help others. I have two companies that believe in me enough to let me run under their banners... Brooks, who have accepted me into their Inspire Daily program for the year and Nuun who I will be sponsored by for the entire course of 2010. I also have some events that I am quite excited about being a part of, none more than an event I am co-anchoring with some fellow Marines on Memorial Day Weekend when we attempt to run over 100 miles from Richmond, VA to Washington D.C.
Stay tuned for more on this exciting year of running and racing.