15 years ago, Whitney Richman watched a friend finish the Chicago Marathon. She thought to herself, hey, I can do that. The next year she did. And the running accomplishments have piled up ever since.
Shortly after I completed my 37 mile Georgia Jewel ultramarathon, I read a post Meg Landymore shared on the race Facebook page and I knew I wanted to interview her. Meg actually won the female division of the 50-mile race.
I wasn't far into my recent Georgia Jewel race when I heard footsteps coming up from behind me. Then I heard a voice, "are you Mr. Keith?"
Hearing myself referred to as "Mr. Keith" made me instantly feel like an old man. When I turned and saw how young the man was from where those words came, I felt like I should probably be spending the day in a nursing home and not out on the trails of the Georgia Jewel.
The young man was David Kauffman. It turns out he and his wife Mary Ann were running their first ultramarathon. David told me that in preparing for their race he had listened to my podcast conversations about the Jewel. He specifically pointed out how inspired he was by the one I recorded about my Georgia Jewel failure.
As one of the precautionary measures during the Covid-19 pandemic, all running events have been cancelled. This is the story of a young lady, who in partnership with her 7 year old son, created her own races.
Together they ran and they taught and they learned and they inspired. They did this 100 miles at a time, in their backyard and in their house and going up and down the stairs in that house - thousands of times.
In the aftermath of talking to Buddy, I did become more interested in ultra running. We talked extensively about him running his first mile in the little town of Ashland, Virginia, where I live, and how that blossomed into 100 mile races all over the country.
More importantly, though, I became committed to supporting the organization he leads.
When I talked with Buddy, I could have never envisioned that less than one year later I'd be traveling with his team to Honduras. It was a trip that changed my life. It was a trip that left me believing even more in the work of Soles4Souls. I saw first hand when they say they are turning shoes and clothes into opportunity - they are speaking more than a tagline.
In this episode, Greg Armstrong says, "It's good for the soul to realize that we are weak, and that our bodies are weak and our minds are weak, and we have limitations. And for me, ultrarunning does that for me." This conversation goes in depth about the beauty in the struggle. Both in running and in life. Struggle gives birth to compassion. Read more about this episode here: An Interview With Greg Armstrong
An Interview With Kate Fletcher
On February 17th, 2020, my friend Kate Fletcher ran her 5th Lions Pride Run to raise money for scholarships for underprivileged students in Louisa, Virginia. This years run was a 50 mile run from Louisa to the Virginia capital building in Richmond.
Some things we talk about in this discussion:
What it means to be a part of a tight knit community like Louisa.
Why Kate chose, unlike the previous 4 years, to run outside of Louisa this year.
Running as a creative outlet, as a way to construct something bigger in life.
Running as a way to get into a flow state.
Running as a way to widen and broaden the way we look at the world.
There is value in getting uncomfortable. Struggle is not something that is in the way - it is the way.
How a teacher came to better understand her students through the sport of running.
An Interview with Gene Dykes, Harvey Lewis and Greg Amrstrong
So my friends Harvey Lewis, Gene Dykes and Greg Armstrongare joining over 2000 runners around the world April 4th to tackle the Quarantine Backyard Ultra.
This is a last man/woman standing event. Runners line up tomorrow morning and begin running 4.167 miles every hour. If they finish those miles in 45 minutes, they get 15 minutes to rest before they line up to do it again the next hour.
If it takes them 59 minutes - well, they only get to rest 1 minute before starting again. In 2017, Harvey kept going for 58 hours (over 240 miles) in the Big Dog Backyard Ultra - the event that really spearheaded this last runner standing format. So - there's the potential this event could go on and on and on...
An Interview with JP Caudill
A couple of years ago, I had a chance to interview JP after he completed the World Marathon Challenge - 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 different continents. (Listen to that interview here: JP Caudill Episode 45).
Last weekend I caught up with JP just a week after he'd run his cancelled Shamrock Marathon on a treadmill. Many of us have had our races cancelled in response to the Covid 19 virus. JP made the decision to tackle his cancelled race on the treadmill.
We talk about that experience. We talk about how running can help us through these challenging times. We talk about how these times are bringing new runners to the sport.
I truly appreciated this conversation with my friend JP Caudill.