Monday, January 11, 2010


I made the switch to WordPress...please check me out at the new location...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Two subjects I have no interest in discussing on here: politics and religion. However, today I want to tell you about my new friend, Elton, who’s story makes your heart hurt no matter what side of the Health Care debate you’re on. His story literally made it from the running trails, to the headlines of a local Maryland paper, the whole way to the Washington Post.

During the holidays, I was invited to my friend’s Christmas party. As I walked in, I felt like I was at a VIP party of Who’s Who’s of distance running for the region, more specifically the Who’s Who’s of ultramarathons, including past winners and Race Director of the JFK 50 Miler (one of the most historic ultras in the U.S.)

During the night, I quickly became settled in talking to a very unassuming older man about running strategies. As time pasted, I quickly learned so much about Elton’s life from being a standout distance runner in his early years, to one day deciding to start training 100+ miles a week, to launching himself to JFK ultramarathon history. It’s funny, because I didn’t learn any of this from him. Rather it was from the people who continued to come up and shake hands with him and drop comments such as “you’re talking to the ledged” or inquiring about his health. I believe this speaks volumes to Elton’s character, a very humble individual who has the gift to captivate your full attention and teach you a few life lessons along the way. Throughout the night I kept thinking to myself how I wish I could pull out my Blackberry and Google Elton’s name so I could get the full scoop.

After the party, I hustled to my laptop and clicked through numerous hits…

Here is a quick statement from the JFK crew that sums up Elton’s story:
“Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed to help Elton Horst (the '71 JFK 50 Champ and former course record holder who fell between the "cracks" of medical insurance coverage) pay off his $5,000 in outstanding medical bills associated with his current heart condition --mitra valve prolapse. The JFK 50 Mile Family really stepped-up to help one of our own. We are now trying to continue to raise funds for Elton in order to help him purchase medical insurance to bridge-him-over until he qualifies for Medicare when he turns 65 in December 2010. Elton will eventually need surgery to correct his condition.”

Below is the Washington Post story on Elton (very well written, so I’ll let the professionals really explain his story)….

Meeting Elton and learning his story reaffirmed my belief that runners from all walks of life are some of the kindest individuals, despite what side of the political arena we find ourselves. After reading the Post article I hope you can reflect and find your “Elton” in your life and help make a difference. If you have any interest in helping Elton, please email me: and I would be glad to pass along Elton’s contact info.

The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others than we truly live.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Agent Tells Me I Should Run These Races...

A new calendar year brings a new set of races. 2010 will usher in one of my longest standing goals, which is to run the JFK 50. This race means a lot to me for a variety of reasons and after crewing for my friend in ’09 I now know that 2010 is my year. I intend to post a detailed blog about the significance of the JFK 50 in the coming weeks.

Outside of tackling the JFK I plan to check out at least one more marathon. After my first marathon, my mom (bless her heart) gave me one of those 26.2 stickers for my car. I feel like I need to run a few more so when people ask me about the sticker I can name drop the marathons.

I plan to also enjoy some unique races such as the Xterra Trail Race and the Allen Stone. If you ever get a chance, you need to do an Xterra race. They hold them throughout the country and the organizers always put on a great event. I did one of their events in PA a few years ago and I was lucky enough to the win the race. As a thank you for making the three hour trip the Race Director hooked me up with some gear. I will always remember how down to earth everyone was during the event.

Below, you will see a 24 Hour Race penciled in for May. This is still up in the air for a variety of the factors. A good friend of mine has organized a team (4 of us) to run this race, but I’m not sure how my body will handle it. It’s an 8 mile trail run that repeats itself with each member switching on and off. The main goal for our team is break the current course record for a team. Which would force me to run 4-5 laps (32-40 miles).

Knowing me I’ll probably switch a race or two around and add another one in it’s place. I really would like to find a sprint TRI as well. Let me know of any legit cool races in the Mid-Atlantic! If you plan on running one of the races listed below, please let me know!

Btw, do you say 2,010 or 20-10? Somebody make this decision for me.

Virginia is for Lovers 14k- Virginia Beach, VA February
Shamrock Marathon- Virginia Beach, VA March
Dismal Swamp 1/2 Marathon- Chespeake, VA April
Xterra Trail Race (10k)- Richmond, VA June
Allen Stone Memorial Run-Swim-Run- Virginia Beach, VA -July
All Access 5k- I’m the Race Co-Director so I guess I should show up. (new site being launched soon) Virginia Beach, VA- September
Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon- Virginia Beach, VA-August
Wicked 10k- Virginia Beach, VA-October 2010
JFK 50 Miler- Hagerstown, MD- November

Friday, January 1, 2010

Who Needs Stickers? I Have Blisters.

As I settled in to watch the Oregon/Ohio State football game, I noticed the stickers plastered on the Buckeye’s helmets (they probably didn't even deserve them-GO PSU).  Being a huge college football fan I often see teams that recognize their players who unleash great plays throughout the season with helmet stickers.  

What are runners’ stickers to prove that we work just as hard as other athletes?

- Toenails cracking with some nice shades of black and blue

- Blisters (Picture below was the latest blister thanks to the Richmond Marathon)

- Bloody Nipples

This is what I cherish about running, everyday we punish our bodies without any public recognition. Yet for many of us we wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy New Year--Here’s to 2,010 (20-10) and many more running stickers!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When Nature Calls...

When I ran xc/track in college I had the same routine, which always had to include at least 71 (ok, maybe 3) stops to the porta potties.  I will always recall the race in which I was literally running to starting line after hearing “one minute to race time” as I closed the door.

Since then, I’ve always taken note of the massive amounts of runners at the potta potties and always find myself asking questions.  So today, I am finally ready to confess my questions and have even did some research (thanks Google) to find a couple answers...

1. Why don’t running companies brand the porta potties with signs (not permanent of course)? This would be a great way to advertise your company since so many runners are staring at the awful greenish blue color for minutes on end. If anyone wants to go into business with me and start designing such signs hit me up (@iamconrad).  Being the Co-Race Director for a 5k, I think it’s about time I start placing flyers next to the porta potties at other races. At least we would have something to look at as we wait in line.

2. So how does a Race Director figure out how many to place for us? I always feel like we could use a little more porta potty love. Thanks to the Boston Marathon Race Director, Dave McGillivray, I have the answers....

Traditionally, we have always used a 1:100 ratio -- one porta potty for every 100 runners.  However, now that 50% or more of participants are female, that ratio needs to change... more like 1:75 or even 1:50.  Then the question becomes, Do you have enough space to place all these units and place them in the best possible location, that is, as close to the starting line as possible?”

3.  Why do spectators always have the urge to use them 4 mins before the race?  Listen lame spectator, we are about to run a 1/2 Marathon, I think you can wait the extra few mins.  How about you go over there and take another 12 photos of the starting line? Thanks, Ryan. There are just some things in life I will never understand.

4. Is it ok to strike up a conversation with others while we wait in the endless line?? I’ve always felt like it’s kind of weird, but I was so close to saying something to the cute girl at the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon last year in Virginia Beach.  Obviously, you guys don’t know me, but I’m a sucker for cute girls, especially runners. Hey, maybe it’s worth it?...Sure would make for an interesting story at the wedding.

5. I also want to start going to races and hustle hand sanitizer and TP near the bathrooms. I really feel like we could score a killer ROI...seems like a booming business.  Who’s in??

BIG shout out to Brooks...Check out this link about Brooks’ VIP Bathroom at the Marine Corp Marathon. Stellar idea.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Need a spring marathon...shamROCK ON!

The Shamrock Marathon (1/2 and 8k) will be taking place March 20/21, 2010 and they have me on the hook again.  After dropping a 10 min PR last year in the 1/2 I plan to tackle the full marathon.  Granted, a 10 min PR was due to more training, but several other factors played into the drop....the course is very flat and the weather is perfect for distance running in March (45-55 degrees).  The course takes you along the oceanfront which provides for some stellar views. 

Shamrock was Runner Up, as the Most Family-Friendly Marathon by Runner’s World Magazine in the January 2010 issue. I actually ran the Richmond Marathon back in November which at one time was voted the Friendliest Marathon in the U.S.  Nothing against Richmond, but Shamrock blows them out of the water.  From a great expo, to the very family friendly event, and the BEST after party you can’t replace this marathon experience.  The party takes place on the BEACH with a huge tent that holds such goodies as a great band, hot soup, and BEER.  Treat yourself to a few beers after you rock a PR- you won’t be sorry! 

Maybe, I am a little bias since I live less than 5 miles from the start and the folks over at J&A Racing are some of the nicest people out there, but I truly believe you WONT forget the racing experience.  Hit me up on twitter (@iamconrad) if you will be attending race weekend.  I have a huge crew coming into town so I’m thinking about holding a large pasta party Friday night.

Only 80 days, 21 hours until the gun....SIGN UP already!

PS- added bonuses: sweet Brooks tech shirts and killer medals! (for their other races) 

Monday, December 28, 2009

I’ll bring the popcorn (and Powerbars), who wants to see ATHLETE?

ATHLETE profiles four athletes as they pursue their goals of completing marathons and triathlons.  I’m stoked for ATHLETE, because we finally get to see ordinary people instead of checking out a documentary that might follow elite marathons or  triathletes.  The four everyday athletes David Lam profiles range from a cancer survivor, a blind man, and twin sisters. This documentary drops March 9, 2010.  Check it out: