The following may be the dumbest thing I have ever typed: 100 miles is a long ways to run.  There are a lot of amazing people who will help me get to the start line . . . and who will help carry me through each and every one of those 100 miles.  This page is dedicated to those individuals, causes or fleeting personal memories helping provide the karmic fuel for this journey.  I am taking you with me on the Leadville 100 Trail Run and expect you to do your part when it’s time for your mile.  So, suck it up, buttercup.

  1. Life & Hope – The cancer patients and their families you are helping through your generosity.  CLICK HERE to learn more!
  2. Vicki & Sean Brennan – Capt. Sean Patrick Brennan is as true green as they come. We can go for months with nary a word, but would traverse continents with a second’s notice to lend a hand.  And Vicki, always faith-full, reminds me that all things are possible.
  3. Claire Chosid – Doer of good deeds, 2-time cancer survivor, force of nature and one of my personal heroes.  “3″ is her favorite number and I know I will feel the wind at my back on this mile.
  4. The Drury Team – The amazing group I have had the privilege of working with for almost 24 years.  Six J.D. Power & Associates awards in six years . . . I’m inspired.
  5. The Class Reunion Quartet – John Dixon (lead), Mike Faris (bass), Rick Anderson (bariton) and yours truly (tenor).  1982 Land O’ Lakes District Champs!  So what?  Click HERE, that’s what.  Ancient video from a 1984 show in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Friends and memories forever.
  6. Froid, MontanaThe town where my Mom & aunts grew up and where my brother and I spent summers full of gopher hunting and cowchip tossing.  I would not trade the wonders of Sheep Creek for all the Great Lakes combined.
  7. Claire, Connor, Doug & Alison Casler – Team Casler is all about high-energy and perseverance.  Tired, sore legs will inspire, not slow me at #11.
  8. Greta, Tracy & Rick Munden – The Munden’s and I are cosmically joined at the hip by the number 13 . . . specifically September 13.  It’s the day I met Tami, the day I started in the hotel business, the day I was offered a job with Drury, the day my oldest son was born and the day I told Tracy months in advance that her daughter, Greta, would be born.  I love having Tracy tell me I was right.
  9. Don Deitner – Dad to one of my best friends growing up, Dennis Deitner.  Taught me how to hunt and gave me a union-wage summer job that helped pay for college.  Most of all, he provided constant encouragement and I never properly thanked him for that.  Will do so at Mile 14.
  10. Bonnie & Chuck Drury – Mile 15 is where the trail starts to get serious as you head up the mountain toward Sugarloaf Pass.  I’ll need BAD’s affirming encouragement and CD’s uh, firm, encouragement to get my climb on.  What a team. 🙂
  11. CLD and Shirley Drury – This will be a good mile to combine heavy breathing with a large dose of gratitude and respect . . . even though it has been readily apparent for 20+ years that CLD and Shirley are infinitely more fond of Tami than they are of me.  Of course, who could blame them?
  12. Paul & Cindy Forman – Good friends of 20+ years. When Paul walks I must run…yes, he’s that fast.  And I fully expect that Paul’s awesome dad will meet me somewhere along the course when I need a little extra help.
  13. Chuck Hooper – Chuck made life an adventure for kids like me.  Life was to be explored.  He would have thought this was a little nuts, but that’s what he would have liked most about it.
  14. Kyle McConaghy – Ultratalented creative guy helping an untalented wannabe ultrarunner.  I’ll think about convenience store suppers when I think about Kyle.
  15. Kaity Strand – My daughter, so she is obviously smart, pretty, fun, loving…and filled with gritty tenacity.  Finish or she will kick my butt.
  16. Dean & Lin Hollingsworth – These two lovebirds celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last month!  I’ll be thinking of you both on Mile 30 as Dean fights the good fight.
  17. Max SaucedoMax and I grew up in the same neighborhood and he was always happy and fun to be around. His Dad taught us cub football at an age when the helmets were bigger than the rest of our bodies.  Max is a very talented photographer and the beauty he captures inspires. CLICK HERE.
  18. The Turpins – DanLinda, Melissa, Samantha and Sadie. BFFs.  My advice: live next to people who can cook things and fix things.  Dan will be pacing me during the dark miles after having successfully luring him into the dark side of distance running.
  19. James Elwyn Strand
  20. David Maas – You give me your legs right after Hope Pass at Mile 47 and I’ll give you one of my better bottles.  Deal.
  21. Team Edwards (Shelley & Bruce) – And a very good team, indeed!  Friends, mentors and happy, motivating people.
  22. Steve Hadzima – Great running buddy, free medical advice and best wine cellar of the 100 on this list.  Best line of 89-degree Boston 2012: “Why the hell are we doing this?”
  23. Kent StrandMy Irish twin brother . . . 363 days younger.  Nothing makes me happier than to call him on August 16th and congratulate him on being the same age as me (he will be 51 this time around).  He enjoys returning the favor two days later.  I will look forward to his call this year . . . considering how good cell coverage is at 12,600 ft.
  24. Corinne Strand – That’s my Mom!  She picked my new age on race day.  A mom’s job is to help her kiddos feel like they can be better than they think they can be.  Well played, Mom, well played.
  25. Chris Russell – Host of the RunRunLive podcast, Chris is an accomplished runner,writer and midpack philosopherChris has been promoted from Mile 15 to 12,600 feet at Mile 56 thanks to this motivating contribution: click hereThanks, Chris, that will get me over the hill!
  26. Rhonda Murphy – I have counted on Rhonda to help me out exactly 4,293 times over the past 20+ years of working together . . . she has only come through for me exactly 4,293 times.  I have no doubts about her ability to will me through Mile 63!
  27. Dennis DeitnerBest buddy in the early teen years.  You could find us almost any day of the week playing football, baseball, hockey or out fishing.  Alums of Mr. Donut.  Dennis and his amazing family have persevered through bigger mountains than I may ever have to climb.
  28. Jan & Gabe Hess – When you feel good just typing their names you know you have the right people on your list…that is the case with super-motivating friends and power couple, Jan (click here) & Gabe.  Supporters of so many good causes, I am proud to have them carrying me on at Mile 70!
  29. Zach Strand – If there is anyone who can make me smile at Mile 71 it will be Zach. :-)
  30. West St. Paul – Moved to 1315 Hall Ave. in 1972 and the memories of sandlot ballgames, mowing lawns, walking to work at Mr. Donut, and many, many childhood friends will make this mile go very fast.  Pete, Scott, Dennis, Jeff, the Adrians, Paul, John, Greg, Kent . . . had their numbers next to the phone and could pull a couple teams together in less than 15 mins!
  31. Fay Weber I don’t ever remember Aunt Fay not smiling, laughing and being positive.  You could be the biggest dolt and she will make you feel important and brilliant and do it sincerely and authentically…though I’m not sure what she says behind my back.
  32. Pat Coy – Talented gardener, piano teacher, cook and Mom to the Incredible Tami Strand.
  33.  Noel Anderson – Henry Sibley HS classmate (class of ’78), academic curvebreaker (yeah, thanks), social media buddy, all-around good guy and distance walker extraordinaire.
  34. Susan Vickerman – First cousin, perennial Boston qualifier, super-talented warm-weather runner and the only close family member to beat me three times.  Click here to see the last time.  Susan will be joining me as an official pacer in Leadville!
  35. St. Olaf CollegeMet the Pork Queen of Dodge County, the beautiful Tami Coy, the first day on campus.  Um! Ya! Ya!
  36. George Coy – Farmer, entrepreneur, pilot, editor, preacher, storyteller (some clean), dad to the Incredible Tami Strand . . . and runner.
  37. Angie & Trevor Spencer – Trevor says “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” at Mile 90! Sikeston, MO friends and hosts of the Marathon Training Academy podcast, the best podcast for aspiring marathoners. Thanks for the awesome interview inEpisode 59: The Power of Thinking Big!
  38. Marion Christoffersen – Grandma on my mom’s side, lived to 92. One of the least assuming and funniest people I will ever know. Love reading her letters 20+ years later. No one could combine a dry English wit without ever being snarky like she could.
  39. Holger Christoffersen – Montana cowboy rancher who started each morning with whiskey in his coffee, chew between the cheek & gum and a couple packs of Winstons ready to fire up.  It finally killed him . . . grandpa was 94 when he passed.
  40. Washington UniversityStarted grad school, amazed they would have me.  Learned so much and forever grateful.
  41. Bill Ross – Gentleman, renaissance man and Prince Charming.  Sorely missed, but a lasting warm, uplifting presence.
  42. Collin Strand – The Elder.  Cheered him on to his first marathon in Chicago ’11.  Now it’s his turn!
  43. The Incredible Tami Strand – wife, patient supporter and love of my life.  She has promised to carry and/or drag me that final mile, if need be.  We’re running it, babe, we’re running it.
  44. Dean Karnazes In true Ultramarathon Man style, Dean requested to go the extra mile and help celebrate at Mile 101 (golf has a 19th hole, so why not?).  Click HERE for  a shot of us with Dean the day after I almost got us killed in East St. Louis.  Sorry about that, buddy!  Dean is a great guy, has a wonderful family and is primarily responsible for making me think I might actually be able to go longer than 26.2 . . . thanks for opening that door, that extra-mile thinking makes all things possible.  Click HERE and HERE for a couple other shots from that visit.

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