Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tracking For Badwater

It's a bit surreal to imagine that Badwater is starting in FOUR DAYS. Seeing my name on a Badwater bib may have made my eyes leak a little bit. This race has been my goal for years. I can't believe it's finally here.

If you're interested in tracking during the race, live tracking will be available for the entire race. Runners will be carrying a GPS unit which should allow you to follow progress the whole time. The link for live tracking is HERE.

The race starts Monday, July 18th at 8:00pm Pacific Time and has a cutoff of 48 hours, 8:00pm on Wednesday July 20th.

My amazing crew of Mel, Jud, Clair, and Toby may also post updates on Facebook if service is available. My Facebook page is HERE.

The race starts at Badwater Basin in Death Valley, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. This area has the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth - 134 degrees. I'm hoping it won't be QUITE that hot on race day.

Jud Burkett published a story about the upcoming race and being part of my crew for The Spectrum Newspaper. Jeremiah Barber took a great picture which ended up with the story on the front page. You can read it HERE.

If you're intrigued by this Badwater race, I beg of you to watch the movie Running On The Sun. It is a remarkable documentary about the race, and guaranteed inspiration. You can watch the whole movie on YouTube here:

I want to express my profound gratitude to my amazing running sponsors. I feel so, so thankful to be backed by some of the best people and companies in running: Ultra Adventures, St. George Running Center, Tailwind Nutrition, Altra, and UltrAspire.

And finally, the new book is almost done. I couldn't be more excited. If you want to get more info or pre-order, click HERE.

Thank you all so much for your support and following along on this exciting adventure!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Final Training For Badwater

The last few months have been busy training for Badwater. It's crazy to think that this 135 mile dance through Death Valley is coming up in exactly one week from today!

I feel pretty good about where I'm at. I feel like I've done the best I could in training, and now I just need to show up at the starting line and see what happens. Over the past few months I've done a 30+ mile run every week. Some of those runs were on trails:

A few of those 30+ mile runs were at Three Falls Park which has a 1/4 mile track around it. I ran that quarter mile loop over and over again for 30 miles.

Usually what I did was to take a grocery sack full of food and snacks, and then a cooler full of ice and water. I also mixed up a few gallons of Tailwind so I could quickly refill my bottle and keep running.

But most of my training miles have been on the road. This may sound strange, but I had to teach myself how to run on the road again. I've been running primarily trails for so many years which is quite different than running on the road.

My last long training run was a solo 50 miler on the roads around Hurricane, Utah. I think I ran every single street in that city. Some of them multiple times. The 50 miler went fairly well overall. My body seemed acclimated to the heat, and the 106 degree temps were tolerable. I was surprised that someone left this striped jump rope on the side of the road.

In the evening I stopped by the house for dinner. Mel had bought me a gigantic burrito and I accidentally ate the entire thing. Woops.

I ran, and ran, (and speed walked), and ran, (with more speed walking), and ran. I aggressively flashed Twinkie gang signs at neighborhood kids when they mocked my long Badwater hat.

Although I am scared about the race, I have some comfort in knowing that I did the best I could in my training with what I had to work with, and the time I had available.

Before I know it, I'll be in the midst of a 135 mile rotisserie oven. Badwater.....I'm coming for you!  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I'm On The Cover of UltraRunning Magazine!

You want to know what's awesome? Naps are awesome! And Ben & Jerry's Tonight Dough ice cream is awesome! And the moon is awesome!

Months ago I teamed up with my friend Alex Chamberlain for a unique running picture highlighting all the awesomeness of the moon. The shot took some planning and some luck. I ran for an hour to the top of Mollie's Nipple. (It really is called that!) Alex was far below and had timing and location just right to capture this amazing picture of me with the moon rising in the background.

We loved the picture, but Alex was convinced we could do better. Over the course of a few months, we planned what we hoped would be the most amazing jumping picture ever. The day before the shot, we met up at a mesa overlooking Zion National Park. Alex used some fancy apps to determine when and where to shoot.

The next night I found myself scrambling to the top of the mesa while watching the setting sun light up the mountains on the horizon.

As the moon rose, I jumped, and hoped that our planning had paid off. When I met Alex that night to see his pictures, I got goosebumps when I saw this shot. His abilities as a photographer blow my mind.

What was even more awesome was that UltraRunning Magazine loved the picture as well, and made it their cover shot for the July 2016 issue! This is definitely one of the coolest projects I've been involved with.

Alex is an absolutely remarkable photographer. Check out THIS website to see some of his stunning pictures.

The issue of UltraRunning Magazine also includes a more detailed story about the making of this picture. You can check out their website or subscribe to the magazine HERE.

And if you're interested, you can get more info and pre-order my upcoming book Nowhere Near First HERE.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Badwater Crew!

I'm continuing my preparation for Badwater coming up in a week and a half. Preparation to run 135 miles through Death Valley involves a few key ingredients:

1) Frequent sauna sessions. I've come to truly LOATHE the sauna. (In case you missed my previous sauna article, you can read it HERE.) A few days ago I set my sauna PR - an hour and a half! I was pretty proud of myself for that one. It was truly horrible....and great training for Badwater. I'm certain that I will never step foot inside a sauna ever again after this race.

2) I went to St. George Running Center and asked the owner, Steve Hooper to sell me the hottest pair of running tights he carried. I wear them regularly on my 100+ degree runs. They are miserably hot....and great training for Badwater.

3) Speed training. My friend Derek Call was recently in town from Idaho. I showed him around one of my favorite trails. While we were out, we had to speed away from two luchadores who were looking for a fight. I'm glad we were able to outrun them. Because they looked terrifying.

I wanted to introduce you to my Badwater crew: the kind saints who will dry my tears when I'm crying, pop my blisters when they're bursting, and kick my butt when it needs kicking.

Melanie! My wife will be crew chief extraordinaire. I wouldn't want to embark on this journey without Mel.

Jud Burkett. When I first got into Badwater, the advice I got was to pick crew members who are enthusiastic and anxious to go to the race. Jud was one of the very first to express interest in joining. He also writes for The Spectrum and plans to write an article about the race. (Yet another appearance from those miserably hot tights.)

Toby Nishikawa. In this picture, Toby is in the pink with my friends Matt Gunn and Tony Russ. I've come to know and love Toby through working at the Ultra Adventures races. She is funny and sassy and awesome. Seriously awesome.

Clair Coleman. I've run countless miles with Clair. We ran every step of a 100 mile race together. We've seen each other at our best....and worst. Clair is a beast of a runner, which is even more amazing considering that he's more than two decades older than me. You couldn't ask for a more sincere, fun-loving friend.

So you can see I'll be in good hands. Jud said he'll be on Twitter with updates during the race when he's in service. You can find him @judburkett. I'm anxious, and terrified, and unspeakably excited about this adventure coming up on July 18th!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My New Book "Nowhere Near First" Now Available For Preorder!

Seriously exciting news! The brand new book I've written called Nowhere Near First is now available for pre-order (along with signed copies and some other fun rewards)! I am so happy with how the graphic design turned out:

I've been working on the book since the first of the year. There have been countless mornings waking up long before the family so I could write before work.

I've got an all-star cast involved with the book. The cover photograph was taken by award winning photographer Jeremiah Barber. The Foreward was written by remarkable runner and writer Jennilyn Eaton. (I got goosebumps when I read it.) And the book is being edited by distinguished author and photographer Jill Homer.

If you want to check out more about the book, watch the AMAZING promo video, or pre-order, head over to the Kickstarter page HERE.

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement of this project. I can't wait to share my story with you.