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Showing posts from December, 2010

Posse madness: Marathon mania

One of the highest peaks of my ultrarunning experience came through my era in Columbus, Ohio...and having the fortune to run with a group of hard hitters called the "Ohio Posse."

Here's the man (at left) who coined that phrase:  Steve Bush. Dude runs like a clock, could lay down 27:30 finishes at the Mohican 100 in methodical fashion.  Great man to emulate...with the exception of Steve's choice of power fuel.  The guy loved some syrup-laden concoction called XLR8  but it didn't love him.  Steve was legendary for projectile vomiting the stuff in his boss' new van, and later succumbed to gastric explosions at both the Mohican 100 and the Athens Marathon.

In the spring of 2000, the posse was feeling its stuff and wanted to race.  Hard.  I couldn't remember all the details (as usual) but thanks to posse compatriot Mike Cleary for filling in facts:

March 5, 2000 - Xenia MarathonApril 2, 2000 - Athens MarathonApril 16, 2000  - Toledo MarathonApril 30, 2000 - Pickn…

Five Guys: Healthy food for the active individual

Sometimes it's best to eat well.  And at other times, I satiate the body, mind and soul.

Today was one of those days.  Saw a great news format TV show on CNBC that highlighted the hottest franchises in the USA.  One of the front runners was Five Guys, a new burger and fries place that is getting rave reviews. So for my birthday treat, we tried the Five Guys in Bethesda, Maryland.  Ordered a veggie sandwich and two orders of regular (smallest option) fries.

Here they are in all their glory:  Thick cut Idaho potato fries, deep fried in peanut oil.  If you look hard, you'll see two small cups in that bag, but the service staff at Five Guys doesn't stop there. They load the bag with fries until grease seeps through the and crispy and ready to dip in our ketchup cups.

There's plenty to criticize here.  Enough fat to stop up my veins, a week's worth of calories, and portions that were more fit for a platoon, not two people.  But let's get past that for no…

Condi Rice's 60's and Jimmy Page's 70's

I have come to realize that at 54 (it's my birthday today) my post-doctoral edcation comes through the form of audiobooks.  I am listening to less music and instead forging into bio's on some interesting and great individuals.
Here's the tie to the master competitor lifestyle:  Give it a try and get into a good audiobook during your runs and gym time. Many are available from your local library through a format called Overdrive. It's a wealth of knowledge, just earplugs away through your MP3 player.

Rice's book "Extraordinary, Ordinary People" (which she personally narrates) is an enticing read.  In many instances it's more about the state of the south than her personal life.  She paints a first-person account of the late 1950's and 1960's in greater Birmingham, Alabama.  Segregation was at its height and violence occurred just down the street from her home.
Condi recounts the Baptist church bombing where four young girls were killed.  She was at …

Nutritious tofu stir fry and looking distinguished

It's been a few days since my last post.  I dodged a bullet and got out of Boone before winter storm #2 nailed the mountain (FYI storm #3 has the place on lock down again today) and made my way back to Bethesda, MD.

Temps here have also been frigid and the wind cuts deep into my running gear - through both long sleeve tops I have been wearing. But it's a nice change to get back on the Rock Creek Trail.  This has become my second home as and master competitor can understand how a running loop can define one's existence.

Please indulge me in a whining moment:  I have some plantar fascitis going on in my right foot, my right knee is acting up, and I pulled something in the back of my left leg. That said, I made it further than ever before on my 45 minute out segment of the run.  Run 45, turn around and run back.  That's how I roll.

Here' s a chance for readers to weigh in on a cosmetic issue.  Check out the photo at left, old master man throwing together his signature…

Trail Runner mag and breaking the rules

I haven't given proper recognition to one of the most motivating reads in our industry, and it's time I do:  Here's a shout out to Trail Runner magazine, one of the best "get me amped" publications on the market.

Trail Runner touts great graphic design and inspiring images, as the November 2011 cover (at right) can attest.  If you're into destination pieces, apparel and gear, fitness tips and great feature columns, it's for you.

The November issue features a recent controversy.  The USATF (USA Track & Field) National Trail Championship was held in Bend, Oregon back in September.  Shortly past 25 miles, a course volunteer sent race leader Erik Skaggs and those behind him down the wrong trail.  After the lead group realized the error, they made their way back on course and had the maturity to re-order themselves before crossing the finish line!

You may argue about this maneuver, but let's take is a step further:  A master's racer on the course …

P90X, Gluten, Shannon Kurek & HFP Racing

I tried to add enough in the headline to draw you into this post...because it's important!

An old friend and endurance sport compatriot shot me an email today.  Shannon Kurek and his wife Jennifer (with their gaggle of kids) have built a successful multi-sport event group called Health & Fitness Promotions. Check them out at

Shannon gets 'er done with all sorts of events, but his big show consists of triathlons throughout the Midwest.  And it gets even better.  Shannon gave me an update and check out this tune-up tale:

"God has been great to our family. Attached is the latest family photo.  Henry is 9, Madeline is 5 and Ezra is 4.  I had an awesome season of racing as an official master (41).  9 overall wins as a master of which 6 of those I was the overall winner.  I found out I was gluten intolerant in February and am 15 pounds lighter than 2009.  In addition, I started doing P90x and have re-sculpted my body to more like 15 years ago.  It fe…

Limits of endurance on Radiolab

Here's a shout out to the "Running with the Pack" podcast...heard a comment today re: another podcast on endurance limits from a NPR station. Check out  It's a great listen and features Ironman triathlon legends Julie Moss and Wendy Ingraham.

If you haven't seen the epic sports segment with Julie finishing the 1982 Ironman in Hawaii, check out

I find this sort of reporting especially appealing, as it demonstrates "then" versus "now."  I hold fond memories of my peak triathlon seasons in the mid-1980's; the equipment was my cryptic and we knew much less about how to train and what foods in ingest.  Supplements were barely on the radar and as far as apparel?  I had a bright purple skin suit that left little to the imagination. Let's just leave it at that.

I continue to be amazed at the high quality listening opportunities available on th…

Appalachian State and the Pinhotti 100

Life is racing forward and there's a big audacious piece of life coming my way next year.

I'm part of leadership team at Appalachian State that proposed a new Active Living RLC (residence learning community).  Active Living was approved for Cannon Hall, where I am already faculty in residence.  It's time to prepare for 40 young, tough and fast freshman who will converge on my building next fall semester

As part of this effort, I have submitted a proposal for a new first year seminar course entitled "Endurance Sport and Society."  Thought it would be fun to relive some of the great moments in endurance sport and then unpack the implications within our culture.  Who can forget Benoit's glorious marathon win at the 1984 LA Olympics, or the Dave Scott/Mark Allen Ironwars in the early 1990's?  All that and more for my freshman class in '11.

In other news, check out this podcast on …

"Ironman Access" program discontinued

I'm behind on the news and apologize.  A Master Competitor reader posted to alert me the Ironman Access program was both announced - then rescinded - within a day.

Read about it in more detail here:

The response to this program was overwhelming and for the most part negative.  As one athlete stated "$1000 to cut in line?"

To their credit, Ironman series executives acknowledged the reaction and in turn reacted.  That's the essence of free market business; you can try to sell, but in the end customers must buy the product as the price you determine is acceptable. Time will tell if Ironman averted a brand transgression that will have long term impact on its business.