Monday, December 8, 2008

North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile

The North Face Endurance Challenge Presented By Gore-Tex presented several hundred runners with quite a challenge in the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco this weekend. There were 10K, Half Marathon, Accelerade 50K and 50 Mile distances. I was one of 210 people to enter the 50 mile division, with the unfortunate start time of 5:00am. I say unfortunate because we had to catch a shuttle to get to the start line before 4:00am, which means the alarm was set for 2:30am in order to get up, get ready, drive across the Golden Gate Bridge ect. Ugh. I am glad we were local, and didnt have to drive a long way to get there. (Thanks for waking up and driving us there Abby!)

This race is one of the few ultras worldwide with a significant cash prize ($10,000 for first place), so the best runners in the world showed up. It was fun to run with the best. My goal was to run the whole thing, no matter how steep the hills. Like most ultras, it was a humbling experience.

The setting of the race was beautiful, we often ran on hilltops that looked out over the Pacific and other times we had views of the Golden Gate Bridge. You didn't want to gawk too long though or you could land on your face. This race had almost no flat parts, you were basically going uphill or going downhill. The uphill was tough for obvious reasons, the downhill killed the quads and shook the insides. Somewhere around mile 20, I was running downhill without any other runners around and I noticed the smell of vomit. As I was thinking that maybe I stepped in something, I suddenly puked all over the place. No warning at all. I didn't feel nauseous, but I was distressed that I lost all that food I had been trying to keep down! One of the most difficult parts of an ultra is consuming enough calories to get through it. I gulped down my drink and the gel I had been carrying and tried to double up on eating the rest of the race.

Starting around mile 22, the course seemed to go up and up and up and up. I was exhausted. By the time we started to descend the hill around mile 30, I was starting to think that maybe I went out too fast. It was about this time that was passed by a familiar runner, Karl Meltzer. Karl has won dozens of 100 mile races and recently ran the the entire 2,174 mile Appalachian in less than 55 days. The fact that Karl was passing me at this point was another sign that I went out too fast. Amazingly, Karl didn't just fly by, we passed each other back and forth for several miles, and he ended up ahead of me by only a few minutes. It probably helped that at some point he accidentally inhaled an electrolyte tab, causing him to throw up, allowing me to pass. Ouch.

Around mile 37, I faced the steepest hill I had seen all day, straight up, no switchbacks. I gave up on my original goal and decided to walk the hill. One thing that made me feel better, everyone else was walking the hill, you could see a winding line of walking racers all up and down the hill. As I was thinking there was no way anybody could run this hill after 37 miles, I heard footsteps. Fast footsteps. And then, a smiling Nikki Kimball passed me with what looked like very little effort. Nikki has won the Western States Endurance run, and on this day ended up in 22nd place, 3rd woman overall.

The remaining 13 miles was a struggle, but fortunately I was able to keep the wheels from falling off. For the most part I ran the rest of the way, the worst part being the downhills. I was worried that my quads would be killed by the downhills. Fortunately, my quads stood up ok, but the backs of my legs were cramping terribly. It was so bad that my toes would uncontrollably point downward because my calfs would cramp mid stride, causing me to stumble and almost fall several times. One thing I learned during the San Francisco 24 hour race, running faster can cause an adrenaline spike that kills the pain enough to keep going. So thats what I did.

For the first time in an ultra, I was dreading getting to the finish line. I knew the moment I stopped, I was going to get racked with cramps. Don't get me wrong, seeing the finish line come up was thrilling, and it felt great to cross the finish line. But as soon as I slowed down, yikes. Luckily Abby was there to help me through th worst of it.

After 15 minutes or so, I was able to stand back up, and check out the results: 8hrs, 50mins, 23rd place, 3rd in my age division! One interesting thing, the slow age division is the 21-29 yr olds, the winner was in his 40s and most of the top 25 were in their 30s. So hopefully I have my best years ahead of me!

As the 3rd place finisher in my division, I got to go up on the podium and I won a nice new North Face shirt. I also go to meet Dean Karnazes. Deans book is what originally inspired me to get into all this crazy ultra stuff, so that was cool.

This was the last race for 2008. It was a big year, 2 boston qualifiers, a run from Chicago to Indianapolis, 130 miles in 24 hours, and a 50 miler in extreme terain. Now im ready for 2009!

Friday, October 31, 2008

San Francisco One Day

I started this blog to update friends, family and anyone interested in my preparations for the Medals 4 Mettle, Windy 2 Indy run. With that run now in the rear view mirror, I think I will use the opportunity to keep a record of all the new ultra stuff that I do (And maybe regular marathon and even other stuff, who knows.)

Since Medals 4 Mettle, Windy 2 Indy in June, I have moved to San Francisco, so I finally have real hills to train on. Two weeks ago I ran the Chicago Marathon in 3hrs and 7mins, and this last weekend I ran the San Francisco One Day 24hr race, organized by Pacific Crest Trail Runs.

San Francisco One Day:

The SF One Day is a 12 and 24 hour timed race run on a 1.067 mile loop in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought the format would play to my strengths of running very long distances on flat surfaces. (I am not sure if I am completely acclimated to the San Fran hills yet.) I ran in the 24hr race, the events sold out with approximately 65 people in each event. The participants were the usual ultra tough motley crew with a wide range of ages from 9 years old to over 70.

This is the first time I have run a race with this kind of timed format. There are some distinct advantages and challenges to running 24hrs as compared to running a 100 miler. On the down side, its boring, although it was in a beautiful location, inevitably it comes down to running around in circles all day. Luckily, after a while the pain takes up so much of your attention that it’s hard to be really bored. The other thing that makes a 24hr challenging is that the format really entices the runner to be slow. In a 100 miler, if you walk or stop, you feel like you will never get to the finish line unless you get moving. In a 24hr race, the finish line comes at you just as fast whether you are running 6:00 minute miles or sitting on your butt. On the plus side, there is more of an opportunity to get to know your competitors, since we don’t get spread miles and miles apart. This also breeds a clear feeling of camaraderie. It is also a lot easier on the crew since they don’t have to travel miles and miles into the wilderness to try to bring you a gel and a bottle of Heed. However, having Abby there was really important for me, without her help I never would have been able to go as fast, she made it so I never had to slow down at the aid station and basically stayed up the whole night with me.

We started at 9:00am Saturday. The first few laps I did around 8:30mins/mile pace. I feel like my most efficient stride is just over 9:00mins/mile. At that pace, I can breathe normally without the need to open my mouth and keep a nice easy stride. After the first few laps, I slowed to 9:00mins/mile and planned to keep at that pace for as long as possible with only a few short walk and bathroom breaks mixed in. My goal was 120 miles, I knew if I was going to hit that mark, I would have to do the largest chunk of miles in the first 10-12 hours, because I knew aches and pains and exhaustion would eventually slow my pace significantly.

My steady pace plan worked well through the morning and into early afternoon. PCTR had a leaderboard set up so I could see I was in 3rd place. However, by early afternoon it was getting into the low to mid eighties and I was having serious problems putting in calories. I never expected San Francisco to be so hot next to the water in late October. I was able to keep the pace up, but I was feeling really terrible, and knew I was going to have to slow down soon or risk overheating. I also knew that if I slowed down, the chances of picking my pace back up later were not good. Around 3:00, I stopped for my first and last 5 minute break.

After another hour or so of running, Abby walked with me for the first significant walking break of one lap. The backs of my legs hurt so much during that lap that I decided it would hurt less just to run. (I know, its nuts) So into the evening I hobbled at 10:00-11:00 minute miles.

Once nightfall hit, I started feeling much better. I was able to down some food and kept my pace at a steady 9:00-10:00 mins/mile. I was in 3rd place, close behind 1st and 2nd all the way through the 12 hour mark with just over 70 miles completed.

9:00pm-3:00am, the hours went by slowly but consistently. I decided I would have to start walking some, but I wanted to keep my pace up enough so that the adrenaline would keep pumping the pain away. I started breaking down everything into “manageable” 2 hour blocks, in which I would run 9 miles and then walk one mile with Abby. By 3:00am I had reached 103 miles, which means I passed 100 miles in approximately 17.5 hours, a new 100 mile PR. I think I was still in 3rd at this time, although I was getting very close to 1st and 2nd place. “Only” six hours left to go.

Somewhere between 3:00 and 5:00 am, I realized that I was in first place! It was actually quite nerve racking, I had never led a race before. Still, I kept going at my 5 mile per hour pace. Around 5:00am, I asked Abby to check on the other runners to see how close they were. Apparently both of the guys that had been close all day had stopped. I was now at least 10 miles ahead of the nearest competitor. It was hard to be motivated, I would easily reach my pre-race goal of 120 miles and I was well ahead of my nearest competitor. So I asked folks at the checkpoint what the course record was. It turned out to be 127 miles. It would be hard, but reachable. So now I had a new goal.

As the sun came up, I continued running and by 7:30 I passed the record. I finally slowed down and walked for most of the rest of the time. I think the relaxed pace allowed the pain and exhaustion to set in, because by 8:30 I was feeling really horrible. The RD had to convince me that I should stick it out for one more lap to make it 130.2 miles. And after a 25 minute walk, Abby and I finally finished just in time; I no longer had the strength to stand.

I am excited to have gotten my first ever 1st place finish. However, first place finishes aren’t really what running ultras are about. Just participating and finishing an event like this is reward in itself. The prizes are nice though; a coffee mug with “San Francisco One Day 1st place finisher” on it. Totally worth it. J

On to the next event December 6th: North Face Challenge 50 Miles. True test on hills!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It never always gets worse

Medals 4 Mettle Windy 2 Indy

There is a saying in the ultrarunning community that I really like: "It never always gets worse". This basically means that no matter how bad you feel, if you keep at it, things will eventually improve. I have always really liked the saying, I think it's a good mantra to have in your head when there are miles and miles and miles to go and you are having a hard time imagining even taking a few more steps. It really helped me out in this run.

0-27 miles (Saturday morning):

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:00, ate a box of granola cereal, took a shower and then my crew and I packed up the rental SUV. My crew consisted of my wife Abby, and two great friends, Eric and Jen who crewed my two previous 100 mile races. My crew would be meeting me to provide food, drink and moral support every 4-10 miles along the way. At 8:00/9:00 CST/EST, we took a group picture and I got on my way.

The first several miles took me through many Chicago neighborhoods along Michigan Avenue and then south on MLK. Saturday morning weather was cloudy and nice with a few passing showers. It was neat to see the city neighborhoods slowly change to industrial areas and then it became suburb like from mile 20-30. At mile 27 we stopped for a 15 minute lunch break at a Subway. After we left subway, a total of 5 hours had passed. One marathon down, six and a half to go.

27-50 miles (Saturday afternoon):

After the first 25 miles, the landscape became mostly farm country. It also started to get hot. The clouds and rain from the morning passed and the afternoon was mostly sunny with the temperature around 80. I spent a lot of time over the previous weeks doing workouts in the sauna and steam room to heat acclimate as much as possible, but the sun and heat still slowed me down and was making me nauseated. I was lucky it wasn’t hotter.

As I was going up a hill, wishing for cloud cover and rain, I started to see water in the distance. Seeing water up ahead bothered me because I assumed it was a mirage, and if I was already starting to see things, I could be in trouble. Luckily, it turned out the water I saw ahead was Cedar Lake, and my crew was waiting at the boat launch. After refueling with a turkey sandwich, some HEED and a blue slushy thing from Dairy Queen, I was out of the town of Cedar Lake and into the country again. Once in the country we passed 50 miles at about the 11 hour mark.

50-100 miles (Saturday evening to early morning Sunday):

During a very lonely stretch of country road, I passed a run down house with 2 Great Danes on the porch. As I approached, they began barking and growling and running in my direction. I didn’t have the strength to out run them or the time to call for help so I turned and yelled and waved my arms at them. They continued to growl and run at me, so I decided I was going to have to fight them although I was in no condition to take on two massive dogs. As I was bringing my fist back to try to punch the taller one in the eye, their owner came out and started screaming at the dogs. After a few moments, the dogs decided to listen to their owner. I would have listened to her too if I was them the way she was screaming.

As night fell the temperature came down and I was able to pick up the pace. It felt good to finally be moving at a reasonable pace again. I was planning on having my friend Eric join to pace me from 11:00 to 5:00 eastern time to keep me awake and have someone to talk to in the middle of the night. Around 10:00 I heard another group of dogs on the road ahead of me. I had had enough of dogs by this point, and didn’t want to mess with them, especially at night. So I called my crew and had them drop off Eric a little early.

Eric and I moved quickly and efficiently through the night. Eric is a real trooper, I know he had to be at his limit running over 30 miles with me in the middle of the night, but he never complained, and kept us moving at a good pace. We passed the 100 mile mark in around 21 hours.

100-125 Miles (Sunday morning):

By this point, I am really tired and the muscles in my legs are shredded, but I am still able to keep going, although at a much slower pace. My friend Jen joined me at sunrise, and we headed east on state road 52, 23 miles from West Lafayette and the Purdue campus.

Around 10:00, WIBC radio called and we did my first interview on the run. The host was very nice and let me talk about Medals 4 Mettle and Riley Children's hospital. They must have been intrigued, because they called me again on Monday morning and we did another interview. (Click here to listen) Right after the radio interview, Dr. Steve Isenberg, M4M Founder, met me and we ran a few miles together. At this point, I really needed the help. The effects of 100+ miles without sleep and having the sun right in my face all morning were starting to really show. I could barely muster a decent shuffle. But we shuffled along, finally reaching West Lafayette.

125-150miles (Sunday afternoon and evening):

Eric joined me as we made our way into West Lafayette and the Purdue Campus. I knew it would be all downhill until we crossed the river into Lafayette. I was hoping I could pick up the pace on the downhill, but found that the grade was too steep for my shredded quads, so we walked passed Ross-Ade Stadium and Mackey Arena down to the levee.

Abby had the fantastic idea to get a hotel room for an hour while we were in Lafayette. Around 1:00 in the afternoon, I was able to get a shower and lay down in an air conditioned room. The pain in my legs and the urge to keep moving kept me from getting any sleep, but I was able to get a good 45 minutes of rest in. It also kept me out of the worst of the heat. Around 2:00, I zombie walked across the Tippecanoe River up into Lafayette.

At this time, my cousin Laura joined me and we dodged traffic trying to get out of Lafayette along state road 25, which doesn’t have any sidewalks. A few miles later I was joined by my sister, Kelsey, who would join up for 15 miles or so. When Laura left, Al Larsen joined Kelsey and I. Al is the Director of Public Relations with Andretti Green Racing, he knew of our run because some of the Andretti Green drivers had passed out medals M4M had collected previously. It was great to have everyone there, by this time I was running the flats and down hills at a shuffle, and anything that resembled an uphill I walked. Near sunset, I started shaking uncontrollably, and decided I was going to have to walk for a while.

150-175 miles (Sunday night, early morning Monday):

The going was now painfully slow, and I was beginning to have a few doubts. We had figured that even if I walked the whole way from this point, I would still be able to make it to Clarian North hospital by Monday afternoon. However, I was afraid that I had done so much damage to my legs already, that walking may not be an option. My quads and hip flexors were completely shot, I had shin splints, the bottom of my feet were bruised and blistered, and something nasty was wrong with my left ankle and the top of my left foot.

Eric joined me and we walked through the evening and past midnight. There were lightning storms in the distance, which would have been lovely if I could have focused on anything else besides my pain. At this time, I also started getting very sleepy, and soon I was doing head nods as we walked down the street. After a couple of hours of this, I was at my limit. I couldn't imagine taking another step, let alone going another 40 miles. Eric called for the car; we decided a 45 minute nap was called for. I crawled in the back of the car, took my shoes off, and slept for the first time since I started the run.

Around 1:30-2:00 in the morning, I woke up, and it took me a few moments to realize where I was. Then the pain came back and everything came flooding back. I felt like going back to sleep for a week or so, but I didn’t want to let everyone down, especially my friends who had given up their weekend to spend sleepless nights with me out in the middle of no where.

My friend James had driven down from Chicago Sunday night and it was now his turn to pace me. We stumbled into the early morning darkness, and I found out I was surprisingly refreshed. There was no way I was going to be able to run, but at least I could walk without going to sleep. We walked at a 15 min/mile pace for a couple of hours. Around 4:30 however, I started to fall asleep again, almost walking off the side of the road. I was drinking red bull and coffee, but nothing was making a difference. I was forced to take another 45 minute break, and hope that the coming sunrise would wake me up.

Once we were up and moving again, Jen joined me for the second sunrise of this run. We were still moving terribly slow. I was having a hard time thinking clearly, and eventually I was doing head dives again, sometimes waking myself up moaning on my feet. I think I was freaking Jen out a little. Jen tried talking to me, but I wasn’t much for conversation. Then, Jen suggested I listen to my I pod for a while to see if that would help. I tried for a few minutes, but every song seemed like a lullaby. We were now 25-27 miles away from the finish, one more marathon to go. Finally, I decided that the only way I was going to stay awake was to start running again. It took me several wobbly steps, but I slowly got going into a decent stride. I surprised Jen, I don't think she was prepared to be running at that point, but I couldn't stop for fear of not being able to run again.

175-195 (Monday morning):

Now that I was running again, I actually felt better than I had in 24 hours. I did a couple of interviews with WIBC radio and Fox59 TV as I approached the Town of Sheridan. Dr. Steve Isenberg joined me again for the last stretch. As soon as Steve and I left Sheridan, we were moving faster than I had moved the entire run, doing 9 minute miles for a 7 mile stretch.

About 10 miles out, we were joined by Mary Milz of WTHR. Mary is a runner herself, so Steve and I did a quick interview on the run.

The final 10 miles went quickly. I was absolutely elated to finally reach Clarian North. The reception was wonderful! Click here to see the video. I wish they would have brought out a chair! The final time was just under 51 total hours.

Once we arrived, my crew and I spent a few minutes meeting with some of the kids that were there, passing out medals that had been donated from the Indianapolis Mini Marathon along with a couple of specially made medals for the Windy 2 Indy run. Those kids are really tough, I can't even imagine the pain that some of them have been through. After one more interview with WISH TV, we were finally one the way to my parents place for a nice shower and a bed.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this run possible, I guess it's time to start planning the next adventure.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dedicated to my Grandfather

The Medals 4 Mettle Windy 2 Indy run has a lot of reminders of home for me. It starts off at my current home in Chicago, passes through West Lafayette and Lafayette where I lived when I went to Purdue University, passes fields that are a part of the family farm, and finally ends at Clarian North Hospital, where my Grandfather, Robert “Bob” Riggs, stayed right before he died earlier this year at the age of 91.

My Grandfather was the epitome of “mettle”. He worked on the family farm his entire life, all the way through his 80’s. He was a warm hearted but tough guy who earned everything he had through common sense, dedication, and hard work. I remember being in high school and being amazed (and somewhat embarrassed) that my 80 year old Grandfather could outwork me throwing around bails of hay all day.

In my last conversation with Grandpa, I told him about my plans to do a run from Chicago to Indianapolis in June. Knowing that this was likely my last conversation with Grandpa but not wanting to admit it, I told him that I expected him to run part of it with me. He said he would be there, and that he would do as much as he could.

I want to dedicate this run to my Grandfather, and I would like to let him know: I know you will be there Grandpa; you will be there the whole way.

Donate today! Be sure to mention Medals 4 Mettle Windy to Indy on the donation page.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In the last few weeks I have gone through the most difficult part of my training for the Medals 4 Mettle Windy 2 Indy run. Yesterday, I did my second 80 mile workout in two weeks. I ran along the path on Chicago's lakefront. I go by one convenience store so often that the manager recognizes me as the "running man". Now every time I go in he says: "Mr. running man! How are you today!"

After I finished the Miami Marathon in January, my goal has been to train my body and mind for what it will take to run nearly 200 miles straight through. How does someone train to run 200 miles? As one might imagine, there isn't a lot research on the subject. I have read every scrap of information I could find in publications such as ultraRunning magazine and accounts I could find online of similar long distance endeavors, and have found that the approaches are varied at best.

I have developed my own program with the basic idea that in order to run a very long way, you need to run very long distances in training. So my goal has been to add as much mileage as I can without causing injury (I have had nagging problems with achiles tendonitis). So since February my weekly long run has gradually grown from 50 to 80 miles. My last two weeks were as follows (distances in miles unless noted):

Tuesday: 15

Wed: 4

Thursday: 6 X 1 mile repeats

Friday: Off

Saturday: 80 in 13.5 hrs

Sunday: Off

Monday: 10

Tues: 15

Wed: 10 x 800meter repeats

Thursday: 13.1

Friday 22

Sat: 22

Sunday: Off

Monday: 80 in 13.2 hours

Total mileage: 272

I like to take the day before and after the long run off. I have found that if i don't, the risk of injury goes way up.

Also, for the last few weeks, I have been focusing my weight training on the core: abs, lower back, quads, hamstring.

I think the training is paying off. My 80 mile run yesterday felt stronger than last week, and today I don't have any serious aches and pains. It really is amazing what the human body can get used too.

Donate today! Be sure to mention Medals 4 Mettle Windy to Indy on the donation page.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Medals 4 Mettle Windy 2 Indy

So... I am an ultrarunner, and I've had this crazy idea in the back of my mind for a couple of years: I grew up in the Indianapolis area, went to school at Purdue University and now live in Chicago. I've always thought: "Wouldn't it be cool if I could make the trip back home on foot? All at once. In two days." It was an interesting thought, but putting forth the massive amount of training and effort and convincing a few friends to give up several days of their life to support me didn't seem plausible without some larger cause.

I recently got involved with a great local charity that is based in Indianapolis, Medals 4 Mettle. One day as I was running trying to think of ways to raise awareness and funds for this charity, and the idea of tying the two ideas together just seemed right. Therefore, the Medals 4 Mettle Windy 2 Indy run was born. Now, with the support of Clarian Health and Riley Children's Hospital, we are almost four weeks away from the biggest challenge of my life.

My running story:

In 2003, after a couple years out of college, I decided I needed a challenge, so I signed up for the Chicago Marathon. At the time, 26.2 miles was an unfathomable distance, but I trained hard and was happy make it in 3 hours and 55 minutes. It was the most painful experience of my life.

After my first marathon experience, I decided once was enough. I was happy with my accomplishment, but I couldn't imagine running much faster, and certainly not farther. However, I continued running 2 or 3 days a week to maintain fitness.

In 2004 and 2005, I was living in San Diego, starting an office for the company I worked for at the time. Since I didn't know many people in the area, I found myself exploring the region by spending a large part of the day running around town. Looking back at my route one day I discovered I had covered over 30 miles. I couldn't believe I had gone farther than a regular marathon. For the next year, I would explore San Diego and Washington D.C.(were I worked for 4 months) once or twice a month by doing runs that started at 8:00 or 9:00 and the morning, and ended at 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening. I certainly didn't run straight through, I stopped a lot to eat, and spent plenty of time walking.

Up until that point, I had never even heard the term ultramarathon. Then in early 2006 I read Dean Karnazes book, Ultramarathon Man. I was inspired. By this time, I was back living with my then fiancé in Chicago, so I searched around and found an ultra in my backyard: the Lakeshore 50k and 50 mile race. I signed up for the 50 miler in November of 2006. To my surprise, after 6 months of training, I found that not only could I complete the distance, I could be competitive. I finished in 7 hours and 28 minutes and finished in 8th place.

After the successful 50 miler, I set my sights on the big one, a 100 mile race. I chose the McNaughton Park 100. I trained through the Chicago winter, and ran my first 100 in April of 2007. The course was grueling. It's a 10 mile loop that runs up and down constant, short steep hills that also includes 2 river crossings per loop. It was raining and cold, and was so steep and slippery that there were parts we had to crawl. Crawling when you have dozens of miles to go is quite demoralizing. I finished in 23rd place in 33 hours and 54 minutes.

Since those first ultras, I have run the Burning River 100 (22hrs 28 minutes, 10th place), and the Lakeshore 50 miler again (6 hours 56 minutes, 5th place). My last race was the Miami Marathon in January, where I completed a dream goal of qualifying for Boston in 3 hours and 5 minutes (61st place).

In the middle of all this running, I met Dr. Isenberg through my work one day. I was touched by his story of starting up a small non-profit and was happy to volunteer to do my small part in Chicago. So far in Chicago we have organized a small group of runners and donors through the Chicago Marathon and have donated medals to Children's Memorial. Since I started volunteering for M4M, I have wanted to do something to raise awareness and funds for the organization. Since I was from the Indianapolis area, doing a Chicago to Indianapolis run seemed like the right idea.

Since January, I have been focused on the nearly 200 mile Windy 2 Indy solo run. My training is fairly extreme even by ultra standards. Most days I do two workouts, once during my lunch break and once in the evening. I usually lift weights 5 days a week and run 5 days a week. Total mileage is 80-120 miles a week. My focus is my weekly long run, every week since the middle of February I have run a long run between 50 and 80 miles, sometimes doing them through the night to practice running without sleep. Even with all the training, I know the Windy 2 Indy run will be the most difficult challenge so far.
Donate today! Be sure to mention Medals 4 Mettle Windy to Indy on the donation page.

How long will it take?
Hopefully close to 48 hours.

I don't plan to sleep at all the first night, and hopefully won't need to sleep the second night either.

Other F.A.Q's about myself and ultrarunning in general can be found in an interview that I did with The Real Chicago here.

Below is the planned route. We will need to make a few minor adjustments toward the end of the route to avoid major roads, but this is close to the final route.

Medals 4 Mettle Windy 2 Indy Route:,41.736580,-87.609670%3B16677929558763057687,41.451860,-87.431400%3B4698303412405292031,41.311872,-87.420888%3B18296484747711392193,41.295329,-87.415806%3B15642785729499935532,41.217270,-87.343320%3B831174707337390973,41.100930,-87.333750%3B9691843640342574424,40.931907,-87.314807%3B9261899328373107991,40.772890,-87.305870%3B3172693248840870705,40.733204,-87.296056%3B11870890743516287224,40.613857,-87.286107%3B4179231128017059595,40.418200,-86.898370%3B7483956396409342334,40.344810,-86.732790%3B5739965033357088181,40.286840,-86.613920%3B18071088355101543123,40.257235,-86.579800%3B8296233282619464682,40.226270,-86.486830%3B1106940902991733324,40.165482,-86.264601%3B15036128714872286679,40.137990,-86.220630%3B12913583872756224708,40.042120,-86.193850&saddr=120+E+Cullerton+St,+Chicago,+IL+60616&daddr=E+87th+St+%4041.736580,+-87.609670+to:Cline+Ave%2FCline+St+%4041.451860,+-87.431400+to:Morse+St+%4041.311872,+-87.420888+to:Michigan+Ave+%4041.295329,+-87.415806+to:Harrison+St%2FIN-55+%4041.217270,+-87.343320+to:IN-55+%4041.100930,+-87.333750+to:S+400+E+%4040.931907,+-87.314807+to:IN-55+%4040.772890,+-87.305870+to:N+150+E+%4040.733204,+-87.296056+to:N+200+E+%4040.613857,+-87.286107+to:IN-26+E+%4040.418200,+-86.898370+to:S+900+E+%4040.344810,+-86.732790+to:W+CR-0+NS+%4040.286840,+-86.613920+to:W+County+Rd+200+S+%4040.257235,+-86.579800+to:S+CR-100+E+%4040.226270,+-86.486830+to:IN-38+%4040.165482,+-86.264601+to:S+Main+St+%4040.137990,+-86.220630+to:40.06441,-86.220703+to:11700+North+Meridian+Street,+Carmel+IN&mra=dme&mrcr=0,1&mrsp=18&sz=10&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17&dirflg=h&sll=39.992904,-86.312714&sspn=0.47029,0.917358&ie=UTF8&ll=40.12009,-86.293488&spn=0.469413,0.917358&z=10