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.
  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 ChosidDoer 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. Claire, Connor, Doug & Alison Casler – Team Casler is all about high-energy and perseverance.  Tired, sore legs will inspire, not slow me at #11.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Kyle McConaghyUltratalented creative guy helping an untalented wannabe ultrarunner.  I’ll think about convenience store suppers when I think about Kyle.
  9. Kaity Strand – My daughter, so she is obviously smart, pretty, fun, loving…and filled with gritty tenacity.  Finish or she will kick my butt.
  10. The Turpins – Dan, Linda, 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.
  11. David MaasYou give me your legs right after Hope Pass at Mile 47 and I’ll give you one of my better bottles.  Deal.
  12. Team Edwards (Shelley & Bruce) – And a very good team, indeed!  Friends, mentors and happy, motivating people.
  13. 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?”
  14. Corinne StrandThat’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.
  15. Chris RussellHost 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 here Thanks, Chris, that will get me over the hill!
  16. Zach StrandIf there is anyone who can make me smile at Mile 71 it will be Zach. 🙂
  17.  Noel AndersonHenry Sibley HS classmate (class of ’78), curvebreaker, social media buddy, all-around good guy and distance walker extraordinaire.
  18. Susan VickermanFirst 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!
  19. Angie & Trevor SpencerTrevor 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 in Episode 59: The Power of Thinking Big!
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Bill Ross
  23. Collin StrandThe Elder.  Cheered him on to his first marathon in Chicago ’11.  Now it’s his turn!
  24. 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.
  25. Dean KarnazesIn 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *