Sometimes I Run

How Much Does My Pace Chart Actually Matter?

It’s one of the craziest things some of us back-of-the-pack ultrarunners do. No, I’m not talking about entering events that are longer than our training would justify; I’m talking about those pace charts that I usually create before each event.

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The Underappreciated Value of Race Reports

I consider myself relatively intelligent and moderately tough... although, to be honest, who doesn't think that about themselves? But when it comes to ultras, I freely admit that I often feel dumb and weak. My 0-for-2 record in 100-milers shows that I'm still trying...

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Building a Running Structure

Until now I’ve always resisted the notion of a “training plan”… but the reality of being almost 50 and still chasing my first 100 mile finish has me reconsidering.

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Resetting the 2016 Race Schedule

Unfortunately, for various reasons, I'm going to DNS this coming weekend's Umstead 100. I know it's the right decision, but I can't help but feel down about it (particularly after getting lucky on registration day and securing a coveted spot). It's also a little...

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Another “Last One Standing” Race

I came across another "Last One Standing" race while browsing some of the runner blogs I follow. The write-up came from the prolific Davy Crockett, whose race and solo run adventure reports I've always found to be incredibly detailed and full of useful information....

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The Super Seven (Western States & Hardrock Qualifiers)

Registration for the 2016 Run Rabbit Run has been open for over a week, and there are still about a hundred spots available. I’m a bit surprised, as I thought the race would surely sell out in the first day or two. Why? Well, Run Rabbit Run has a fairly uncommon trait — something special it shares with six other 100 mile runs.

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Confidence

One week into the new year, and my next big running event seems remarkably close. It’s still three more months before I attempt the Umstead 100 again, but it feels like it’s right around the corner.

This sense of urgency came up quickly, and last night my mind went into full-on race planning mode. Detailed questions about logistics and race day strategy kept popping into my head, demanding my immediate and undivided attention…

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2015 Breck Crest Marathon

My fourth time at the Breck Crest marathon might not have been a charm, but it gave me a great opportunity to learn something new.

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Collegiate Peaks Trail Run – 2015 Race Report

I’ve been a little antsy following my recent DNF at the Umstead 100. So early last week, I tried to come up with a tune-up event that I could do before the San Jan Solstice. I considered the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run (25 miler), the Dirty Thirty 50k, and the Sage Burner 50k.

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100 mile pre-pre-pre-planning

Upon further reflection, it appears that my planning for the Umstead 100 was not substantially different from what I’ve previously done for 50 mile races. I got a great lesson that that’s not the case.

In the few days following my DNF, I read a blog post that said something along the lines of “a 50 mile race is a lot more similar to a marathon than it is to a 100 mile race.”

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Chasing a Black Swan — Umstead 100 Pre-Race Report

I find myself, in the day before my first 100 mile race, struggling with the whole “planning” versus “approach” dichotomy.

(You may know what I’m talking about: having a “plan” for a run or race, comprised of splits and numbers and HR targets and gear checklists; versus having an “approach” that’s based on monitoring how you feel throughout the run, and responding to the constant feedback in a somewhat more fuzzy and variable way.)

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Bad Decisions

Sometimes the things that throw us off track aren’t random, unfortunate occurrences beyond our control.

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Stop Looking Too Far Down the Trail!

Good news last Friday: I got into the San Juan Solstice 50 miler through its inaugural lottery. It looks like the odds were favorable, at least as far as ultra lotteries go — 250 accepted runners vs. just 62 names on the wait list (as of this afternoon) — but I still feel lucky. This looks like a kick-ass race that really seems to challenge runners, and one that’s becoming increasingly popular.

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The Five Hour Marathon (#1)

My work schedule and the weather finally aligned for me to do my first five hour marathon training session yesterday.

And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s true that I’m feeling the 26.2 miles of pavement a little bit today, but for the most part the run was a success.

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Chasing the Five Hour Marathon

There’s a lot of talk these days about what it's going to take for someone to run the first sub-two hour marathon. I think it’s an interesting topic, particularly the science and training principles behind the discussion, but the two-hour marathon itself doesn't have...

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The Trail Running Film Fest – Opening Night in Boulder, CO

I was able to get to Boulder last night for the first stop of Rainshadow Running's Trail Running Film Fest. I've been to a number of climbing and mountaineering film festivals over the years, but this was my first opportunity to attend a showing of trail running...

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Bear Chase Trail Race (50 Mile) – 2014 Race Report

Setting race goals can be tricky. One of the biggest challenges for me is trying to balance outcome goals (i.e., finish time) versus process goals (i.e., pacing). In this past weekend's Bear Chase Race 50 miler, I had set an 11 hour goal for myself. I knew I wasn’t...

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Butterflies

About a week ago, Ellie Greenwood wrote an article about a tendency among some ultrarunners to avoid "shorter" races like the marathon. Among the possible explanations, she states that: ...maybe, just maybe, it’s because we as ultrarunners are sometimes afraid to put...

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Clickety Click Click Click

One of the most interesting things about getting older is that I've had the chance to experience firsthand the way things "used to be." The nature of many running events has certainly changed a lot, but the act of registering for races seems to have changed at least...

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Inspiring or Reckless? Two Sides of the Same Coin.

Trail runners attempting technical mountaineering routes with minimal gear—inspiring or reckless? On its face, the term "trail running" is just the act of running on trails. But in practice there are a lot of different ways that we choose to get out there and run. For...

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2014 Breck Crest Marathon Race Report

My third time running this race wasn't exactly a charm, but I still had a great experience and look forward to the next time I participate. The Weather. This was probably the biggest story of the day. My wife said she heard someone affiliated with the race say it was...

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Tahoe Rim Trail Run 50 Mile – 2014 Race Report

[WARNING: This race report has no pictures!] Scratch that title. This really is more of a "Run Report" than a "Race Report." I didn't plan on racing or getting caught up in the nervous energy that all too often finds me running beyond my means during these types of...

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The Tahoe Rim Trail 50 is Almost Here

The Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler is almost here. And I feel really different going into it this year. My running throughout the spring and early summer has been inconsistent, to say the least. I lost a lot of time dealing with foot pain, and really didn't do any long...

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It Gets Boring Looking in the Mirror

  "Should the trail-running community do more to encourage diversity among its participants?"   Why do we choose to run on trails? Sure, we all love nature, we enjoy getting away from the auto exhaust and noise, and we cherish the time we have on the trails...

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Plantar Fasciitis Update

In the context of running, the past few months have been more than a little frustrating, and more than a lot confusing. The foot pain that I'd been experiencing for most of the first half of this year has largely gone away. I still feel some discomfort first thing in...

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It’s Good to Have Things in Common… Just Not Running.

Even though I’m happily married, and it's been well over a decade since I've been a part of the dating scene, I still remember what it was like to be out there. (Seriously, how could anyone ever forget the world of dating?) Through all of the excitement and madness of...

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Is Trail Running Becoming Too Commercialized?

Who defines the essence of trail running? Is it the race directors, many of whose events now resemble carnivals that draw entrants from all over the country? Is it the clothing companies, ready to sell us the latest wicking or compression technologies (with an...

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The Race Workout

I’ll be in Salida tomorrow participating in the Run Through Time Marathon. I can't really say I'm going to "run a race" because my mindset isn't one of racing. Instead I'm just planning to use this event as a training run. Given my foot concerns and really low mileage...

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Are Tech Gadgets More Help or Hindrance on the Trails?

Ask a trail runner why we prefer trails to pavement and we’ll say it’s because there’s something special about being out on the dirt and rocks. We’ll say that it puts us closer to nature; that it’s somehow both more primal and more pure than other running...

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PED Testing? Maybe for Some…..

In any sport, whenever money or fame is at stake, there will be a temptation to cheat. Even in trail running we’re faced with the possibility that a few participants are going to resort to performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to boost their chance of getting that money...

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Great Form – A Snapshot

Runners who like talking and thinking about running, and the process of running, often find themselves on the topic of form. Some of us believe that proper form is the key to not just running our best times, but to something even more important -- staying injury-free....

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Entry to The Western States Endurance Run

I didn't get into Western States this year. And I'm relieved. This was my first year trying to gain entry so I bought a few tickets to the raffle rather than putting my name in for the larger and more talked-about lottery. The raffle was appealing because it was for...

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Do Trail Races Result in Unnecessary Damage to the Environment?

Well... what kind of “damage” are we talking about? Direct Impacts to the Trail. Let’s first consider the most obvious type of physical impact to the environment – direct trail damage due to foot traffic. I don’t see any cause for concern here, as the physical damage...

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2013 Racing Review

Unless I get the sudden urge to travel somewhere over the upcoming Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays for a race, I'm done with my big events for 2013. (I was planning to finish the season with a 50 miler earlier this month, but the flooding on the Front Range led to...

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Should Kids be Allowed to Run Ultras?

The first issue that comes to mind in considering whether kids should be allowed to run ultramarathons is probably liability. But while liability is certainly a real hurdle for race directors (like getting the proper permits and other “behind the scenes” work), we...

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How Should Races Adapt to Prevent Overcrowding on the Trails?

The popularity of trail running has exploded over the past few years, and along with the increased popularity has come a larger number of overcrowding complaints. (Ironically, some of these complaints are about races that, by virtue of their storied positions in trail...

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2013 Breck Crest Marathon Race Report

This past Sunday was the 18th running of the Breck Crest Marathon. I signed up late this year because I was looking to do one more hard training run before the Bear Chase 50 mile, and knew that this would fit the bill. (I ran it in 2011, taking almost six hours to...

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2013 Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k Race Report

Six months ago, when I made up my list of races I wanted to run in 2013, I didn’t include the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k. I initially thought that two 50ks would be enough for the first half of the year, and I had already committed to the Red Hot 55k and the...

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Greenland 50k Race Report

I consider myself very lucky that for the second time this year, one of my focus races took place under great weather and trail conditions. In fact, the conditions at the Greenland 50k this past Saturday were just about perfect. A slight breeze and mild temps kept the...

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February 2013

February Mileage: 147 2013 Mileage: 299 I had a revelation this month - I don't like tracking miles on a weekly basis.

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Training Specificity

Training specificity for long distance running events seems to be a topic where opinions are all over the map. It's interesting how the range of view on appropriate training paces is rather narrow for virtually every running event up to the marathon, but once we move...

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Red Hot 55k Race Report

I ran the Red Hot 55k last weekend. The conditions were perfect, the vibe was very mellow, and every single race volunteer I interacted with on race day (and the night before during packet pick up) was helpful and friendly. I don't know if it was the location or the...

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Week Ending 02/17/13

This Week: 47 This Year: 260 Ran the Red Hot 55k this week. Finished a minute or two under 7 hours. More on that later. Moab is pretty awesome. The drive from Longmont to Moab is not so awesome.

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Week Ending 02/10/13

This Week: 36 This Year: 213 Less than a week now before the Red Hot 55k. Excited, but nervous. I had a good experience with the Ultimate Direction warranty repair folks. One of the elastic drawstrings in a front bottle pouch on my AK Race Vest came detached from the...

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CMRA Forty Furlongs

Yesterday was my first go at the CMRA Forty Furlongs (5 mile) race in Westminster. Looking back through some of the old race reports, it seems that the weather and surface conditions this year were about as good as could reasonably be expected. (Of course, had the...

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Getting Dirty Again…

I just signed up for this year's edition of the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k. After getting spanked during the last third of the race in 2011, I'm going back to try to have a better run. Interestingly, this will be the first time in... well, perhaps ever... that I'm...

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Week Ending 02/03/13

This Week: 43 This Year: 177 I did my last 20 mile run in advance of the Red Hot 55k, and generally feel okay about the shape I'm in. I used this run to experiment with starting to take 2-4 minute walking breaks roughly every 25 minutes from the very start of the run...

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Three Weeks Ending 01/27/13

Past three weeks: 101 This Year: 134 I got tripped up a bit during the middle of the month. Had a wonderful anniversary weekend up in Leadville, which took a couple days off the calendar. I've always liked the area, but I think a person's gotta be a bit heartier than...

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Telluride Mountain Run… Dammit!

I normally strive to be a reasonably level-headed guy. I try to avoid doing anything that I'd consider "stupid" if I actually stopped and thought about it, and to avoid making big mistakes that I'm sure to regret and beat myself up over later. Of course, that good...

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Week Ending 01/06/13

This Week: 41 This Year: 34 It's nice to be home for a full week of running in Colorado. As pretty as the Missoula area is, I'm pretty happy to be living where I am. I ran in the CO Masters 5k on Saturday, but there was a medical incident that makes the race itself...

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Compared to What?

In 2012 I averaged 40 miles of running a week. I didn't have any firm mileage goals coming into the year, so there's no immediate reaction to that number (other than "Oh, 40 huh? Ok"). On the one hand, I assume most non-runners would consider that to be a respectable...

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Two Weeks Ending 12/30/12

Past Two Weeks: 62 This Year: 2082 The Christmas holiday involved a drive up to Stevensville, MT, where my wife's parents live. 14 hours up (beginning at 2:00am, so that we'd get there before it got too dark) and 15 hours back (the extra hour due to nighttime blowing...

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Week Ending 12/16/12

This Week: 42 This Year: 2020 Nothing long this week, but I did get myself up to Hall Ranch once, and was able to make it to the Niwot Loop for a mid-morning run. I know the trails around Niwot couldn't be any more nondescript, especially compared to all the other...

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Week Ending 12/9/12

This Week: 44 This Year: 1978 I figured if there's any time to start experimenting with the "two a day" thing and getting up to do some runs at 5:30 am, it's in December, when I can run without ever seeing even a hint of sunshine. Why not, right? I've found a 5 mile...

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RRCA Cross Country State Championship 12k Race

Yesterday was the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) Colorado Cross Country State Championship 12k event. The race was put on by the Colorado Masters Running / Racewalking Association at Central Park in Denver's Stapleton neighborhood. A Brief Public Service...

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Week Ending 12/2/12

This Week: 23 This Year: 1934 An underwhelming week that started with a bit of frustration, and never seemed to get back on track mileage-wise. I drove up to Hall Ranch on Monday morning, but the freezing rain was creating some really bad footing on the smooth...

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Week Ending 11/25/12

This Week: 46 This Year: 1911 Did another 22 mile run to Niwot and Back, but the highlight of the week was going to Rabbit Mountain to run the Eagle Wind loop with my wife. It's not quite than 3 miles (with a start/finish at the road), but her tastes in personal...

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Long Run Comparison

I did an interesting experiment this past week. (I use the term "experiment" quite loosely, of course, because I know there's a very low degree of scientific rigor when comparing two workouts. There are so many variables that can't be controlled, or even identified,...

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Week Ending 11/18/12

This Week: 55 This Year: 1865 Did a nice lonely run at Hall Ranch during the week, a slow and relaxed 22 mile run to Niwot and back, and filled in the gaps with a handful 5-8 mile runs.

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The Longmont 50k

I love running in long races. Even if I'm familiar with the route or trail, there's something about running when there are other people around you trying to do the best that they can. And that's the case regardless of whether you're running in the front, middle or...

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Week Ending 11/11/12

This Week: 41 This Year: 1810 Besides another fast food run to Carl's Jr., I just continued building the base miles. Unfortunately the public park bathrooms are now closed through April of 2013, which means that there's no free drinking water on my Longmont runs. (The...

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Week Ending 11/04/12

This Week: 47 miles. This Year: 1769 miles. Week Summary: Another handful of 5-7 mile runs in Longmont and Boulder, and a 23 mile "fast food run." This time I did a Longmont-Niwot-Gunbarrel out-and-back (with a slightly shorter variation through Niwot on the way back,...

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Hall Ranch – Lyons, Colorado

Hall Ranch is one of my favorite open spaces in Boulder County. I generally do a 9.4 mile loop (starting in the upper lot) consisting of the Bitterbrush trail, the southern portion of the Nelson Loop, and the Nighthawk trail. For me this is a nice run for getting a...

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Week Ending 10/28/12

This Week: 41 miles. This Year: 1722 miles. Week Summary: Nothing long this week, just a handful of 5-7 mile runs in Longmont and Boulder, and an 11 mile "fast food run." The term "fast food run" probably means different things to different people (if it means...

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First Post!

I've been running off and on since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, like a lot of other runners, I always seemed to be getting injured. So a couple years ago, after having given up running (yet again) because of knee issues that orthotics and physical therapy couldn't...

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About Me:

Sometimes I run. Sometimes I jog. Sometimes I power hike. And sometimes I’m reduced to the death shuffle. I don’t know if that makes me a “runner” or not, but I don’t think the definition matters. Whenever I’m moving forward I’m happy.

Archives

Race Results:

This is a largely incomplete list. I did a fair amount of running in the pre-Internet era, but have no record of my times from races back then. I’ve done the Triple Bypass and the Copper Triangle, as well as a few bike races (including the Leadville 100 MTB and the Mount Evans ascent) in which I finished solidly near the very end of the field. I also did a couple adventure races in the late 1990’s, and DNF’d a few as well. (I really thought adventure racing would take off more than it did…)

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
  • 12/8 – CMRA Cross Country State Championship 12K (55:59)
  • 8/18 – CMRA Elk Meadow Trail Race 5.75M (46:56)
  • 7/12 – Tahoe Rim Trail 50M (14:14:14)
  • 6/30 – Rollinsville Rail Run 10M (1:21:13)
  • 5/12 – Quad Rock 25M (5:09:32)
  • 4/21 – Mt. Carbon Trail 1/2 Marathon (1:54:18)
  • 3/24 – CMRA Spring Spree 10K (43:29)
  • 1/7 – CMRA Lake Arbor 5K (20:59)
2011
  • 11/12 – CMRA Stone House (2x) Triple-Cross Trail 8.5M (1:06:58)
  • 10/9 – CMRA Coal Creek XC Challenge 5.72M (43:01)
  • 9/17 – CMRA Hildebrand Ranch 6.6M (50:14)
  • 9/4 – Breck Crest Marathon (5:54:27)
  • 8/10 – CMRA Fairmount 5K Trail (22:11)
  • 7/16 – CMRA White Ranch Trail 10K (56:52)
  • 6/18 – CMRA Sand Creek 5 Mile (39:17)
  • 6/4 – Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k (8:03:47)
2007
  • 6/16 – Mt. Evans Ascent 14.5M (3:16:04)
  • 4/29 – Boulder Distance Carnival 15K (1:20:11)
2001
  • 6/30 – Finger Lakes Fifties 50K (6:13:43)
1997
  • 10/26 – Marine Corps Marathon (4:56:13)
1996
  • 11/5 – ING New York City Marathon (3:57:37)
1991
  • 10/26 – Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50 mile (10:49:49)