Many people ask me why I run, how I stay so dedicated and why I run so much. Well, I started running a lot in the US Army but never really liked it. It was always very structured, the same routes and typically, the slowest people set the pace. As I began to train in other Army schools like Officer Candidate School (OCS), I was able to run different places, different paces and with much faster people. The competitive drive in me kicked in and I did as the fast people do-run more, eat right and never quit.
As an Officer, I tried out for the Fort Hood Army 10-Miler Team. I made the team and went to Washington DC to compete in the National 10-Miler. The first time I ran it in 60:03. I remained on the team for a number of years and my best 10-miler time was 52:35. It was then that I had the desire to run even farther.
My best friend in the US Army was Matt. He was a Captain like me and ran with me on the weekends. Our farthest run was 29 miles. We heard about this very elite race in Colorado called The Leadville Trail 100. That’s right…100 miles of running! The race starts at 4 in the morning and you have 30 hours to complete it. Matt and I started training for it and set our sights to run that race. In order to register for it, you must first complete a qualifying race. The Austin Rattler meets those requirements. It is 41.01 miles long.
During my third and last deployment to Iraq, Matt was KIA by a rocket attack on the camp. I met his parents at the memorial and keep in touch with his dad to this very day. That was 5 years ago but I will never forget Matt. I have decided to honor him by pursuing our goal of running The Leadville Trail 100. I developed a running training plan, consult running experts and stay away from soft drinks, sugar and fast food of any kind. Presently, I am up to running over 40 miles per week and I feel great. My wife thinks I’m crazy but she knows I am serious.
My message to you is this: no matter what your motivation, get out and do something. Enjoy the journey!