The Why & The Allure 100 Friends + 100 Miles
The Why & The Allure of Running 100 Miles
Thank you for joining me on the 2021 – 100 Friends for 100 Miles campaign. The goal for 100 Friends for 100 Miles is to encourage runners to utilize the allure, gravity, and intrigue of running 100 miles and bring awareness and betterment to their local communities.
It is often asked why run 100 miles? It’s a question that often generates a personal answer.
For me, the journey began in 2006, when I was introduced to ultra-running thru a dear friend and mentor. He described the ultra running distances and adventures of which he had completed. None being more interesting than the famed Leadville 100, known as The Race Across the Sky. The mere thought of attempting a task of this magnitude seemed too daunting. After digesting what he had done, I blurted out I would not and could not ever do that. But when those words, came out, deep down I felt a “what if” feeling and at that moment a seed began to grow.
By 2018, a hefty twelve years had passed since learning of the 100 mile distance. I had done several iron distance triathlons and road marathons. It was time to toe the line at Leadville. It was a magnificent day. I earned a coveted belt buckle and completed the course under the cutoff and final shotgun blast of 30 hours. I was paced, crewed, and supported by friends and family who braved the night in freezing rain and cold to run, crew, and provide soul lifting support to get me to the finish. 28 Hours and 46 minutes later, I was able to go “buckle shopping” and had completed the 100 distance.
After Leadville, I earned buckles at Rocky Raccoon 100 and a few months later took on Bighorn outside Sheridan, Wyoming. This was the first foray for a 100 Friends campaign and Bighorn gave me over 30 hours on my feet. In early 2020 prior to the pandemic, I DNF’d The Cold Water Rumble in pursuit of a sub-24 hour finish. Coming up short was a valuable lesson and reminder of how hard and elusive 100 mile finishes can be.
There are only two things that are bound to happen during a 100 mile effort. First, it is not if but when your race plan falls apart and things don’t go as planned. It ain’t going to happen like you want, no matter how thorough the preparation is. The second, is that you are certain to encounter physical pain, self doubt, sleep deprived fatigue, and a desire to just quit and have it stop. These things become external and internal for the runner. But with the darkness, so follows the light. You embrace the meaning of a day and it’s full cycle. – every second of it. Time seems to evaporates around you and all that exists is the task at hand. – the now These are lessons of life itself. They become condensed into a 30 hour period (more or less) and you are given the opportunity to live and thrive. These moments are when you learn that “this too shall pass” and improves one’s ability to have awareness. For these reasons, I run ultra.