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Posts Tagged ‘Willy Syndram’

Lemme tell you folks, if you’re reading my blog and not taking a little time to search the blog-o-sphere for other wonderful authors, you’re just flat missing out.  But I’ll get back to that in a minute…

I’ve been blogging for nigh on 2 years now and you know what the best part about it has been?  It’s when I meet people who have followed their Adventure Foot and tried something I recommended!

I've been saying, "To wit" instead of "For example" because I've been watching a lot of Archer.

I’ve been saying, “To wit” instead of “For example” because I’ve been watching a lot of Archer.

To wit:

Two thanksgivings ago I was at the Quincy YMCA Turkey Run running the 10K.   Before the race started, a woman jogged up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’re Laura!” and I said… “I am! Yay!”

Okay… that may not be an exact recount of the encounter, but bear with me.  She went on to explain that she’d read my blogs about how I’d just recently taken up running and about the upcoming Turkey Run.  She had always struggled with weight and she was worried that her kids were already struggling too.  Then she decided that the Turkey Run was as good an event as any to get started on being a healthier family.   She pointed out her husband and two kids standing in the parking lot waiting for the start of the 5K and then thanked me for inspiring them.  I was flabbergasted.  I thanked her profusely for letting me know her story.  And I smiled through my entire 10K knowing that a whole family was taking a chance on trying something new and difficult because of something I’d written.

And another time…

Weather+Distance=Adventure (So says blogger Clinton Begley) Biking+Thunderstorm also equals Danger!

Biking+Thunderstorm=Danger! Also, Adventure. 🙂

Somewhere out in the middle of an 80 mile day on RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) a gentleman riding behind me commented on my Quincy Bike Club jersey.  “Hey, Quincy, Illinois! I read a blog from someone who lives there!” he said.  I first looked at him sideways because I assumed maybe he was someone I knew giving me a hard time.  But no!  He actually turned out to be from somewhere near Rockford, IL and when he pointed out my jersey, he didn’t even know that I was the blogger in question!  We rode side-by-side for the next ten or so miles and he told me that he’d been down in Quincy not that long ago and done the Liberty ride on my recommendation.  Crazy, right? 40,000 cyclists at RAGBRAI and I manage to meet one who both read my blog and tried a ride I talked about.

Anyhow… where was I going with this?

Right! Other bloggers!

I read and follow a smattering of blogs, mostly here on WordPress.  And I absolutely love hearing about other people’s adventures!  And I bet it would make them as happy as I was in the stories above to find out that they’ve inspired me.  So, here’s a shout-out to some other bloggers who have excited me, informed me or made me smile.  Click the links, my friends.  You will not be sorry.

T-Rex Runner... a very cool blog!

T-Rex Runner… a very cool blog!

T-Rex Runner: She runs, she’s funny, and she overcomes adversity.  This blog: http://trexrunner.com/2013/01/28/small-changes-for-big-results-or-smaller-thighs/#comment-3209  is the reason I wrote this blog today.  It’s also inspired me to try squats and lunges in the office so as to be in shape for bike season.

All Seasons Cyclist: http://allseasonscyclist.com   If you need to know about GEAR or nutrition for cycling… this should be your first stop.

Brian Pahlmann: http://personalbesttrainingandcoaching.blogspot.com/  If you’re looking for a blog by a guy who simply knows his stuff, this one is it.  Brian is a USA Cycling Coach, a personal trainer, a running coach… and a great guy!  He’s new to blogging, but he’s got a lot of great information to share and I’m looking forward to learning more from him.

Jared Busen, Willy “Natureboy” Syndram, and Laura Paulo: These three people are all ultra-runners.  They run HUGE distances- I’m talking hundreds of miles in a weekend.  But that’s not what I think is most special about them.  What’s most special is they run unimaginable distances and make you believe you can do it too.  Really.  Read and be inspired.    Jared’s is (I’m linking you to my favorite article… it’s about him running with me… hehe)  http://runhappens.com/love-the-hills/   Willy’s is http://runningwithnatureboy.wordpress.com/ and Laura’s is http://ultrarunninggirl.blogspot.ca/?m=1

Body by Brenda http://bodybybrendat.com/ This friend and blogger went from a morbidly-obese smoker to a super fit and inspirational model of healthy living.  She once fireman carried me across an MMA studio.  She’s awesome.

Dan’s Marathon: http://dans-marathon.com/ This guy is on a quest to run a marathon or a half in all 50 states. I like his race reports and his writing style.  Before I sign up for a race, I look to see if Dan’s done it first to learn more.

Ray Heisey: http://rayheisey.com/  Another great blogger always full of bicycle adventures and bicycle advice! Love it!

Clinton securing our gear for my first time rock rappeling!

Clinton securing our gear for my first time rock rappeling!

Clintergalactic: Saving perhaps the best for last, if you click on no other link today, click this one: http://punqroqclimber.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/finding/  Clinton is a dear friend of mine, but even if he weren’t  I would be a fan of his writing.  I get lost in the scenes he describes.  Read the article I’ve linked you to and tell me you can’t taste the salt on the reel or hear the ping of pistol shots on empty beer cans.  Clinton doesn’t post often, but the quality of every post is worth the wait. When he finally writes a book about his adventures (and he will) I will be first in line.

So there you go! Read!! It’s good for you.   And also PLEASE leave comments on my blogs.  Let me know your thoughts. For gosh sakes, let me know if you try any of the things I blog about.  PLEASE! /begging 

thanks-for-reading

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500 miles.  Willy Syndram became the first person ever to complete the 500 mile distance at the McNaughton Trail Ultramarathon in Pittsfield, VT last weekend.  Simply amazing.  A huge thanks to him for letting me share his race report here.  He puts the “Adventure” in Adventure Foot in a huge way.

Willy hangs out by his set of destroyed trail running shoes after the 500 Mile Race. He has *very* Adventurous Feet!

 Poor Decisions Make for Better Stories

 What was I thinking, did I actually pay a complete stranger to run a 500 mile foot race?  What was I thinking !!

About a year ago I stumbled on to Peak Racing’s website and it was all down hill from there !! At the time it seemed like a good idea so I started making plans to visit the booming metropolis of Pittsfield Vermont. Next thing I knew I was at the General Store eating breakfast and wondering what I had gotten myself into !!

Andy met us (Joel, Michelle, Mark, and 1 more who’s name I can’t remember) at about 5:30 Thursday afternoon at the barn. He explained to us that the course was very runnable and that he was going to do everything he could to ensure that all of us finished the race. Having never met Andy before this set me at ease, but I would soon come to know the real Andy !! At 6pm the race officially started and we headed out into the wilds of Amee Farms and the Green Mountains with smiles on our faces, laughter in our voices, and illusions of grandeur in our thoughts.

Everyone’s favorite bridge.

Our first obstacle was to cross the river on a bridge made by the great and powerful Pete. It consisted of steel I-beams, 2X4’s, 2X10’s, various other sizes of lumber, a couple chunks of firewood, straps of all kinds to hold it all together, and 300 pounds of rocks to keep it from floating away. I found myself questioning the bridges integrity, but as the days and nights wore on I came to realize it was indeed a sound and sturdy bridge worthy of a 500 mile race, a bridge that the Gods themselves would have been honored to use !! Climbing up the river bank from the bridge was evil and just plain mean, but I would soon realize that it was just par for the course.

After crossing the river and crawling up the river bank we were greeted with a fairly wide trail not too steep complete with switchbacks. However the switchbacks soon ended and were replaced by steep uphills dotted with perfectly placed briars and pink ribbons. After one obscenely steep climb we were greeted with our first section of trail where the trail had yet to be built. Matt worked tirelessly for the first 6 days to get the trail cut in for the 200 mile start, but us 500 milers got to experience the joy of running/walking this trailless section of the trail. Soon after this we were greeted by the top of the mountain, the cabin, and Andy’s smiling face.

A short downhill followed by a gentle up hill climb lead us into the Labrynth. Beautiful and welcoming in the daylight, treacherous and forboding after dark !! After passing through the Labrynth 5 miles of nicely switched downhill trails were all that stood between us and the barn. The only problem wasnicely switched trails were still Peak Races McNaughton style trails, so they were still wicked tough !! Rough and rocky with more stream crossings than I could count, and just for fun a short but steep, straight down off the side of the mountain bushwack through more briars. We next followed an old road bed that lead us across several more streams, downed trees, and washed out areas. Finally we ended up at the river and a mile bushwack the get back to the bridge.

Willy, Andy and Phil post race.

Once back at the barn my mind was trying to crunch the numbers, my first lap took roughly 3+ hours on fresh legs. So I soon would be doing 4 hour loops …. 50 miles a day equals 5 loops at 4 hours each for a total of 20 hours, leaving me 4 hours each day to eat and sleep for 10 straight days !! 1 loop in and I was already mentally crushed, was this even possible, how could I hold it together for 10 days ?? So in true DUMASS  runner fashion I stopped thinking and headed out into the darkness for my 2nd loop with a smile on my face and a pop tart in my hand.

During my journey I formed many new friendships and bonds with complete strangers. I learned potatoes with bacon in a red plastic cup can only stay in the microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds, any longer and the cup will melt or the potatoes will explode when you stir them. I made friends with the 3 resident rhinos that live in the Green Mountains, broke a hiking pole, saw a moose, hid from other runners for a day because I had nothing else to do, messed with Mark’s mind as often as I could (sorry Mark :-)), ate 20 chicken nuggets in under 10 minutes, stared at the moon, fell in the river, laughed and cried, ate my fill of sausage gravy for breakfast, payed the price for eating my fill of sausage gravy for breakfast, got lost in the Labrynth, got in a fight with a plastic bag, listened to the coyotes sing every night, played in the rain, cursed the rain, chased a turkey up a hill, got to take a shower after the great and amazing Mo, was able to share my experience with Phil (crew/pacer extraordinaire), and I smiled and laughed more times than I can count !!

A truly remarkable experience that ended with me sitting alone in the dark on a piece firewood with tears in my eyes.

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