On Saturday, December 5th, I ran in the North Face Endurance Challenge Gore-Tex 50 Mile Championship. I will do a thorough review very soon, but for now some random burblings:

  • Perhaps my favorite moment, other than the finish, was when I ran past a hiker going the other way and he merely uttered, “Beard” in a deep resonant voice. Thank you, sir, for the moment of levity.
  • 60 minutes in, still dark, I caught up to a fellow runner who pulled out a Kleenex, blew his nose, and returned the tissue to his pack. Never seen a runner use a Kleenex before. I suppose he’s anti-snot rocket?
  • The most amazing volunteers on the planet! Out there freezing their butts off at 5am to give water to sweaty insane people? Ah! Humans ARE wonderful!
  • Running 50 miles was my birthday present to me. That may be all you need to know about who I am…
  • GREAT job by the folks who organize this race. We left in six different waves. Wave 1 left at precisely 5am. Wave 2 at 5:01. Wave 3 at 5:02. Etc. Unbelievably well organized and executed. My hats off to those amazing people!
  • A million thanks to Dave at the Tennessee Valley aid station – Mile 44. (More on that in my complete write up.)
  • Trail runners are the coolest people on the planet. I fell into some great conversations out there. Thanks to all those folks who helped me keep moving forward.
  • This race navigates some of the most beautiful terrain on the planet. You should run it. And they have a huge variety of distances. Check it out.
  • And one final thanks to my wife, who talked me out of the pain cave. I couldn’t have done it without you. I love you.

PS – That’s not my beard. It’s a stunt double. My beard is salt and pepper…mostly salt at this point. Kudos to the true owner of this epic facial construction. Well done, sir!

Run on Sisters and Brothers!



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