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08.02.2016
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Featured Runner “Travis McWhorter” August 2016

travis_PC_Jim_SteinTravis McWhorter (in his own words): I started running in 2012 shortly after adopting a stray Siberian husky. I quit smoking and got in shape because of that dog. Now I own two and we love to run. I’m currently enrolled as a senior at the University of New Mexico and hoping to land a job/career in the GIS field. I’m engaged to a beautiful woman, Jen Ogden. We met while racing. Other than that, I have a deep passion for running and exploring the great outdoors. Life is good!

THE BASICS

Date of Birth: August 31, 1986

Place of Birth: Overland Park, Kansas

Currently Residing:  Sandia Park, New Mexico

Marital Status: Engaged

Job(s): Full-Time Student

Children: 0

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 139 lbs.

Shoe Size: 10.5 – 11

Best Physical Feature: My eyes

Worst Physical Feature: My nose, it’s crooked

Religion: Buddhism

Educational Background: Some college

Personal Strength(s): Seeing the good in the bad.

Personal Weakness(es): Being too harsh.

Make Of Car You Drive: Subaru Outback

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: Mercedes Sprinter Van

Pets: Shiva & Cab the adventure huskies, Penny the whippet, and our two cats Oreo & Zion. We have a zoo.

FAVORITES

Favorite Book: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction

Favorite TV Show: Maron (currently)

Favorite Actor/Actress: Leonardo DiCaprio

Favorite Music: Indie-rock

Favorite Musical Performer: Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer)

Favorite Spectator Sport: Track and college basketball

Favorite Subject in School: Geography

Favorite Vacation Destination: The Rocky Mountains

Favorite Time Of Day: The PM golden hour

Favorite Item Of Clothing: Any visor

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Reading

Favorite Running Shoe: Altra Lone Peak 3.0

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Bagels and coffee

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Hammer Nutrition’s HEED and Gel

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Vegan protein powder and pizza

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): My parents and Jen.  Bryan Hay also gets a special “shout out” because he was my first and only pacer at my first 100 miler.

Favorite Place To Run: Anywhere the terrain and elevation varies but particularly the southwest mountain region.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Mountainous in the summer and desert in the winter.

Favorite Famous Quote: “You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.” – Christopher McDougall

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: 4

Number of Ultras Finished:  20

Best Ultra Performance(s): 2016 Antelope Canyon 55K

Most Memorable Ultra: 2014 Jemez Mountain 50 Miler, an unexpected blizzard/whiteout blew in and that was my first taste of true mountain weather. They called the race. Many people were hypothermic, one woman was even found wrapped around a ski lift pole shivering and mumbling incoherently.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Generally I start to taper 2-3 weeks out and keep my runs at an easy, comfortable pace.

Injuries: Achilles tendonitis, Sesamoiditis, and stress fracture in my foot. While frustrating, I’m thankful for all of my injuries, as they’ve revealed a weakness.

Ultrarunning Idol: Anyone who loves and contributes to this sport.

Why Do You Run Ultras:  I run ultras because of how they make me feel, for the challenge, and the places I get to see. There’s nothing like them!

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: I’m not sure I should be giving out advice, but if I were, I’d say don’t rush the distances. Incrementally step up to longer/harder races in a natural progression. Don’t force it because of fear of missing out. This sport is all about patience and learning about you.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero(s): My parents.

Personal Philosophy:  Be kind, what you send out, you get back.

Short-Term Goal: Get my undergrad, get married, and move to Colorado.

Long-Term Goal: Run for as long as possible and live a meaningful, inspired life.

Most Prized Possession: My car. I bought when it had 172k miles and it’s now at 207k. My dad and I have done all the repairs and tune-ups, so a lot of love has gone into it. I’ve driven it to the Midwest, to California, through the mountains of Colorado, all without so much as a hiccup. The seats fold down and I can comfortably sleep in it while traveling.  I seriously love that car!

Most Proud Achievement: Turning my life around from substance abuse and smoking a pack-a-day, to an endurance runner and Dean’s List student.

Happiest Memory: When Jen said she would move to New Mexico with me after we’d only known each other for a little over a month, back in 2012.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: To travel the world running and exploring as many places as possible.

Greatest Adventure:  Just recently my trip to Colorado with my huskies. We climbed five 14ers (Red Cloud, Sunshine Peak, Shavano, Massive, and Princeton). For less than $120 (the price of gas) we had the trip of a lifetime!

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Household Chore: Vacuuming. While the task itself isn’t so bad, it’s the tedious work of moving furniture out of the way each time. Ha-ha.

Pet Peeve(s): Loud breathing at rest.

Greatest Fear: To die without accomplishing anything meaningful or bringing any value to the human race.

SPARE TIME

Book Currently Reading: Lost in the Wild, by Cary Griffith (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Hobbies: Hiking, sampling craft beer, growing plants, exploring, automotive repair, riding motorcycles, wildlife watching, and cooking.

Collections: Altra shoes J

What’s next: Angeles Crest 100 Mile and Mogollon Mon

travis_huskies_CO_tripTravis hanging out with his beloved adventure huskies, Shiva & Cab, at
the summit of Sunshine Peak, CO (14,006 ft.) in the San Juan Mountains.

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07.01.2016
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Featured Runner “Shaylene Caffey” July 2016

101kShaylene “Shay” Caffey (in her own words): So, Hi! I’m Shay. Shaylene Caffey, sometimes Hobbit. I’m 31 and more built like a softball player than an ultrarunner. I used to be very overweight. To the tune of 233 pounds. I started eating right and getting leaner and needed to exercise. So at the urging of my husband, I started a couch to 5k. Which turned into a Couch to 50k. I’ve always been an athlete, but never a runner. I even hated it in the Army, yet here I was, headlong in love with running ultras. I love the end, the enduring. I’ve always been very driven and goal oriented, so ultrarunning seems to fill that space for me. I also do math when I’m running. Constantly calculating, weighing, deciding on things. I love to laugh and cuss and usually people hear me long before they see me. Happy Trails!

THE BASICS

Date of Birth:  04/14/1985

Place of Birth: Montgomery, AL

Currently Residing:  Kansas City, MO

Marital Status:  Married

Job(s): Software Implementation and GIS Analyst, Oil & Gas Industry

Children: 3- ages 10, 6 and 4

Height: 5’ 3 ½”

Weight: 158

Shoe Size: 10

Best Physical Feature: Legs

Worst Physical Feature: Toenails

Religion: Running

Political Affiliation: Little as possible.

Educational Background: Army training, Bachelor’s and Masters in GIS (Geographic Information Systems- science of mapping).

Personal Strength(s): Mental toughness and tenacity.

Personal Weakness(es): Recognizing my limits before I blow past them.

Make Of Car You Drive: Mazda

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: Anything stick shift, fast and tight in the corners.

Pets: 2 cats – Cassidy and Riddle, 2 dogs- Moses and AvaDog

FAVORITES

Favorite Author: Neil Gaiman

Favorite Book: Random Trio-  Intensity- Dean Koontz, Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood, The Mayor of Casterbridge- Thomas Hardy.

Favorite Non-running Magazine: Evidence Technology Magazine or Men’s Fitness.

Favorite Movie: Rocky Horror Picture Show

Favorite TV Show: House of Cards

Favorite Actor/Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Favorite Music: Folk/Rock/Pop

Favorite Musical Performer: The Devil Makes Three

Favorite Artist: Shakey Graves

Favorite Spectator Sport: Roller Derby

Favorite Subject in School: Science/Social Studies

Favorite Game: Cards Against Humanity

Favorite Vacation Destination: Vegas

Favorite Time Of Day: The witching hour

Favorite Item Of Clothing: Adidas Supernova Fit Shorts (they don’t make them anymore).

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: What’s leisure? Eating maybe?

Favorite Running Shoe: Vibram Five Fingers Bikila LS

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Salmon, salad and sweet potato the night before, eggs and banana the morning of.

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Organic Food Bars, Huma gels, boiled potatoes, ginger ale.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Liquid calories and then French fries.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Hubs and The Van Clan.

Favorite Place To Run: WYCO

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Dirt

Favorite Famous Quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: 3

Number of Ultras Finished:  12

Best Ultra Performance(s): Rock Away Night & Day Trail Run- 50 miler and ½ Marathon- 2015

Most Memorable Ultra: Heartland 50- April 2014

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Peak week with some race pace stuff, then taper.

Injuries: Broken toe (WinterRock 2015), hysterectomy and abdominalplasty (2015).

Ultrarunning Idol: The last person to finish in a race.

Why Do You Run Ultras:  Because only then am I free.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: It’s supposed to be hard. Puke and keep moving. Eat. Drink. Lube. Cry. Laugh. Suck it up.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero:  My Mom- all day, everyday.

Personal Philosophy:  You are only limited by your willingness to work hard and suffer. I just don’t give myself the choice but to do.

Short-Term Goal: Run strong this year and get another WS100 qualifier.

Long-Term Goal: Become fluent in Spanish.

Most Prized Possession: Stuhrling automatic skeleton watch.

Most Proud Achievement: Losing 90 pounds.

Happiest Memory: The first moment I saw each of my children’s faces.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: Well if I tell you it’s not a secret! How about being sponsored by Vibram Five Fingers!

Greatest Adventure:  Life.

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Subject: Psychology

Least Liked Household Chore: Is “all” an answer?

Pet Peeve(s): Slurping coffee and loud chewing.

Greatest Fear: Not being able to protect my children and those who need protecting.

SPARE TIME

Book Currently Reading: The Fountainhead

Hobbies: Sewing, eating, running, volunteering.

Collections: Harley Dealership poker chips, race bibs, rocks.

What’s next: Lunch!

hawkfinishShaylene with “tears of joy” after finishing her first 100 Miler and being congratulated
by RD, Coleen Voeks, at the finish line of the Hawk 100 in September of 2014.

 

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06.01.2016
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Featured Runner “Dave Meeth” June 2016

roaringDave “The Professor” Meeth (in his own words): I was never much of an athlete in school or in middle age, but I had run a few 10K’s and fancied myself as a ‘runner.’  In my 40’s, when the kids got older, I ventured into half’s and finally ran a marathon in 2011.  While I was very happy with that, I missed 4 hours by 2 minutes and was driven to improve.  It took me two more tries but I finally ran a 3:48 at the Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene in 2013.  I had also discovered trail running that year and decided I should run an ultra while I was 50.  FlatRock 50K that fall lit the fuse and, a month later, I ran my first 50-miler – after catching the fever from (read: getting brain-washed by) a great guy I had met at a couple of races – Zach Adams.  That’s when I first felt the true enjoyment of running long and steady, and the camaraderie of the wonderful ultra community.  Since then I have met such amazing people and made some of the best friends of my life, and have also become the most physically and mentally healthy I’ve ever been.  But the best part, and unintended consequence, of it all has been watching friends, family, and coworkers get inspired to be more active, quit smoking, eat better, and enjoy life while we can.

THE BASICS

Date of Birth: 18 May 1963

Place of Birth: Bad Kreuznach, W. Germany (I’m an Army brat – born when there was still an East and a West Germany).

Currently Residing:  Wichita, KS

Marital Status: Remarried – 9 years (16 years with my kids’ Mom)

Job(s): Senior Engineer at Airbus

Children: Jake (24), Eley (22), Catie (20)

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight: 160#

Shoe Size: 9

Best Physical Feature: Smile

Worst Physical Feature: Beer belly

Religion: None

Political Affiliation: Libertarian

Educational Background: Bachelor’s Degree (Mechanical Engineering) from Georgia Tech.

Personal Strength(s): I never give up, I like to make people laugh.

Personal Weakness(es): Not staying focused (squirrel!), and my picture is in the dictionary under “hypocrite”.

Make Of Car (and Motorcycle) You Drive: BMW

Make Of Car (and Motorcycle) You Would Like To Drive: BMW (yes, I’m ‘that guy’)

Pets: 2.5 dogs (2 dogs + 1 Chihuahua)

FAVORITES

Favorite Authors: John Updike and Thomas Hardy

Favorite Book: Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe

Favorite Non-running Magazine: None

Favorite Movies: ‘The Quiet Man’, ‘Breaking Away’, ‘Defending Your Life’

Favorite TV Show: Seinfeld

Favorite Actor/Actress: Steve McQueen

Favorite Music: Original, live music of almost all kinds

Favorite Musical Performers: Drive-by Truckers and Ryan Adams

Favorite Artist: Andrew Wyeth

Favorite Spectator Sport: NHL Hockey

Favorite Subject in School: Science

Favorite Game: Poker

Favorite Vacation Destination (so far): Germany

Favorite Times Of Day: Early morning alone time, and lunchtime runs

Favorite Item Of Clothing: Running shoes

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Listening to music

Favorite Running Shoes: New Balance; 1080 trainer and 101 trail shoe

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Coffee (of course!) and Bob’s Red Mill muesli with coconut milk

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Hammer Perpetuem, avocado and cashews (and Nacho Cheese Doritos…)

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Beer, chocolate milk, beer

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Shay Caffey

Favorite Place To Run: So far; Black Canyon, AZ

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Anything

Favorite Famous Quote: “Men are made up of potencies. We are magnets in an iron globe. We have keys to all doors. We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck; the earth sensitive as iodine to light; the most plastic and impressionable medium, alive to every touch, and, whether searched by the plough of Adam, the sword of Caesar, the boat of Columbus, the telescope of Galileo, or the surveyor’s chain of Picard, or the submarine telegraph,—to every one of these experiments it makes a gracious response.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: 3

Number of Ultras Finished: 10

Best Ultra Performance(s): 2016 Black Canyon 100K

Most Memorable Ultra: 2014 KUS 24-hours “The Accidental 100-miler that started it all”

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Three week taper .

Injuries: N O N E ! ! !

Ultrarunning Idol: Zach (Fred Flintstone) Adams

Why Do You Run Ultras: I was never fast but found I could run long, steadily, and persevere… and I found a healthy channel for my addictive personality.  I also have unwavering support from my wife Joni who, while she thinks I am crazy, also sees how important it is to me and helps make it happen.  And lastly – because of all the other crazy, hippy, yuppie, dirty, fantastic freaks who share this sport and make it so special in the first place.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: Practice/hone your balance of nutrition, hydration, and effort so you can stay injury-free while constantly improving your performance.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero: None

Personal Philosophy: Take care of yourself, support others in common goals, and share in our victories and defeats (oh, and Don’t Be A Dick)

Short-Term Goal: Finish a ‘real’ 100 with some true elevation – Mohican Trail in June is my first real test outside of the flatlands

Long-Term Goal: Qualify and finish at Western States

Most Prized Possession: None

Most Proud Achievement: My first 100 miler, which was just under 24-hours – bonus!

Happiest Memory: The births of my children.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: UTMB

Greatest Adventure:  Shark feeding dive in Mo’orea

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Subject: History

Least Liked Household Chore: Sorting/folding laundry

Pet Peeve(s): Selfish/rude people

Greatest Fear: Cats freak me out.

SPARE TIME

Books Currently Reading: The Return of the Native (Thomas Hardy); Look Homeward, Angel (Thomas Wolfe); In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks (Adam Carolla)

Hobbies: Riding motorcycles, music, beer and whiskey (if they count)

Collections: None

What’s next: Mohican Trail 100 on June 18th, Silver Rush 50 in Leadville in July & the Arkansas Traveler 100 in October.

vanclan“The Van Clan” — Dave Meeth, Zach & Candi Adams,
Shay Caffey, Dave Box & Johnny Webb.

 

 

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05.04.2016
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Featured Runner “Krystle Dalke” May 2016

PsychoPsummer2014-4179-X3Krystle Dalke attended Washburn University and double majored in Criminal Justice and Psychology.  Krystle then moved onto law school and graduated from Washburn Law School in 2008. Krystle picked up her mileage during law school as a way to destress and go over school work in her head. She completed her first half marathon while in law school. Following law school, Krystle clerked for the Honorable Monti Belot of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas from August 2008 to January 2012. After her clerkship Krystle joined the Law Office of Michael P. Whalen at the end of January and practices appellate work and criminal defense. Krystle’s first marathon was the Abilene marathon and her first 100-miler was Heartland in 2012. The year of the crazy storms!

THE BASICS

Date of Birth:  June 4, 1982

Place of Birth:  Newton, Kansas.

Currently Residing:  Wichita, Kansas.

Marital Status: Married

Job(s): Associate Attorney at the Law Office of Michael P. Whalen.

Children: One son, Jace.

Height: 5’3”

Weight: 125

Shoe Size: Measure a 7 to 7.5.  Wear a size 9 running shoe.

Best Physical Feature: I like my arms and calves.

Worst Physical Feature: Sometimes my meaty calves are just too big for cute boots.

Religion: Christian – mostly Baptist.

Political Affiliation: Probably a Liberal Republican.

Educational Background: Undergraduate degrees from Washburn University in Criminal Justice and Psychology.  Law degree from Washburn Law School.

Personal Strength(s):  I have a “get her done” and “take no prisoners” type mentality.

Personal Weakness(es): Not patient at all.

Make Of Car You Drive: Infiniti QX60

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: Audi

Pets: Sarge the Newfoundland, Nana the Great Pyrenees, Meeko the Golden Doodle, Garage Cat the cat that lives in our garage, and two fish.

FAVORITES

Favorite Author:  I like James Patterson.

Favorite Book: I like the NYPD Red series.

Favorite Non-running Magazine:  Probably People because I like to know the gossip.

Favorite Movie: At the moment, Zootopia, because I can so relate to that little bunny.

Favorite TV Show: In Living Color was the Bomb.com.

Favorite Actor/Actress: I don’t have a favorite, but I love Jim Carey, Johnny Depp & Sandra Bullock.

Favorite Music: It varies – Rock, Pop, anything that sounds good at Mile 50.

Favorite Musical Performer: Lady Gaga! Best concert I have ever been to.

Favorite Artist: I don’t know that I have one.

Favorite Spectator Sport: Gymnastics – I get so nervous for them.

Favorite Subject in School: Science

Favorite Game: Nertz!

Favorite Vacation Destination: Kennebunkport, Maine.

Favorite Time Of Day: Morning

Favorite Item Of Clothing: Goose down jackets

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: I like to go for a good walk.

Favorite Running Shoe: At the moment Brooks Ghost, but I switch off between Brooks, Pearl Izumi, and Newtons.

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: A tortilla wrap with a Quest protein bar and peanut butter warmed up and eaten like a burrito.  Yum!

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Nutella wraps.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Sweet potato with lots of peanut butter and quest protein bar broken up in pieces on top.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Favorite Crew is my mom Donna Stucky and aunt Lorna Ludlum – I have had too many terrific pacers to have a favorite, but big shout out to Hannah Nesbitt, Niki Dudeck, Scott and Jennifer Hill, Kristen Wheeler, Dave Meeth and Adele Jordan, and of course, my mom.

Favorite Place To Run:  Probably Lake Kanopolis at Rockin K tops it so far.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: The soft gravel that is on the Prairie Spirit Trail.

Favorite Famous Quote: “Everybody wants to be a diamond, but very few are willing to get cut.”

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: Four years

Number of Ultras Finished:  I am not sure.  Over 25 at this point.

Best Ultra Performance(s): Rails-to-Trails Fall Ultra Extravaganza 100 Mile, October 2015.

Most Memorable Ultra: Rails-to-Trails Fall Ultra Extravaganza 100 Mile, October 2015. Scott Hill pushed me to have a great time and my son Jace Dalke finished with me.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: It depends on how consistent I have been.  I don’t really follow a “training program” but try to maintain a 50k base and cross train 4 times per week.

Injuries: None so far.

Ultrarunning Idol: No idols.  I just love all of my ultrarunning friends.

Why Do You Run Ultras:  I love the people.  And I feel better starting at mile 25.  Marathons suck.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners:  I have been running ultras for 4 years now and every race is different and a new experience.  You will have good days and bad days.  Also, it doesn’t matter if it is 5 miles or 100 miles.  When I am scheduled to be done, then I want to be done.  It is just the mental game as to what distance or how many hours you tell yourself you are going to be running that day.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero:  I don’t have a specific hero.  There are several qualities that I love and admire from several different people. Other than Jesus, no one contains every single quality that I deem important.

Personal Philosophy:  When it comes to ultra running, I ask myself.  Will I regret this?  If yes, then keep going.  If no, then I probably should have stopped 20 miles ago.

Short-Term Goal: Finish Lake Tahoe in July.

Long-Term Goal: I really do not have one in mind. Basically keep up my running and have fun with new challenges.

Most Prized Possession: World War 1 army coin from my great-grandfather. It was spent, so it has a hole in it.

Most Proud Achievement: It WILL be raising Jace to be a successful young man. Please wish me luck!

Happiest Memory: I think it was my dad bringing home Hercules, my Newfoundland puppy in the middle of the night when I was a child.  I was woken up by my parents to a black bundle of fur.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: I want to be a princess!

Greatest Adventure:  Gorilla Trek in Rwanda, Africa

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Subject:  Math

Least Liked Household Chore:  I hate to vacuum or do any type of landscaping outside

Pet Peeve(s): people who waste my time with matters that they should know how to take care of themselves.

Greatest Fear: I am stuck somewhere else or hurt/dead with my son Jace in trouble in another location or simply where I cannot get to him.

SPARE TIME

Book Currently Reading: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Hobbies:  I like to dance, but don’t seem to have time to do that much anymore.

Collections: I have a small Lululemon addiction, but I don’t necessarily save the clothing.

What’s next: 100-Miler at Lake Tahoe in July 2016

FreeState-2016-0069-X3Krystle cruising at Freestate!

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04.06.2016
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Featured Runner “Dave Renfro” April 2016

Dave Renfro (in his own words): I’ve always been fairly active, but I started running just before my 40th birthday when I realized my body was changing and that I needed more exercise to stay fit. I started running on trails about a year after that and actually completed a 37-mile death march on the OHT by myself a month before running my first ultra, the 2012 War Eagle 50k. I was pretty much hooked at that point. I started feeling like crap in the summer of 2014 and was diagnosed with papillary renal cell cancer in September of that year. My CT scan looks like a plate of General Tso’s chicken. My left kidney is trashed plus I have spots on my neck, between my lungs, on both sides of my liver, and on lymph nodes all over my abdomen. Fortunately, the doctors have not found a speck of cancer in either leg, and the oral targeted therapy drug I’m taking is holding the line on everything else. That means I can still run!

THE BASICS

Date of Birth: 1970

Place of Birth: Bethesda Naval Hospital (Army brat)

Currently Residing:  Springdale, Arkansas

Marital Status: I held hands with a girl for the first time when I was 28 years old and married her four years after that. She’s all I ever think about!

Job(s): Manufacturing for the last 15 years or so, mostly running automated carbide compaction presses. Airframe mechanic before that.

Children: Ten-year-old Donald. He’s a trip!

Height: 5’7”

Weight: I’m at my best when I’m ten pounds into the overweight range on the BMI charts. Good to have some fuel in the tank. Before I started my cancer treatment, my weight had dropped well into the supposedly healthy range and I felt like a ghost! It was a hard fight gaining that weight back.

Shoe Size: 8

Best Physical Feature: My hair. It used to be red, which was cool, but my cancer medicine has turned every hair on my body into an unnaturally vivid white. They look like optical fibers. People stare all the time because my dress and demeanor does not match that of a person who dunks his head in peroxide every night.

Worst Physical Feature: Definitely my amygdala.

Religion: It would be inexact to call myself an atheist. Whatever understanding of God I do have is vague and not guided in any way by scripture, unless you count Beckett.

Political Affiliation: Very Liberal. I’m willing to pay to live in a modern, peaceful, compassionate society.

Educational Background: Mostly vo-tech: A&P, CDL, Machine Shop, more Machine Shop. I did get an associate’s degree in business from one of those idiot online universities, but I’ll never sell myself out like that again. One of the few life decisions that I genuinely regret!

Personal Strength(s): My ability to change as I learn more about myself and the crazy-ass world we live in.

Personal Weakness(es): Life-long social anxiety. I’ve learned to like people, but I just don’t understand them. I never know what to say.

Make Of Car You Drive: Mostly my wife’s Toyota Matrix but I’m more comfortable in my 2000 Cavalier with the A/C ripped out.

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: A Datsun 510 sedan if I could travel back in time, otherwise anything that’s paid for and cheap to drive with manual windows and locks and no air conditioning.

Pets: No thanks.

FAVORITES

Favorite Author: Anton Chekhov

Favorite Book: A brilliant writer and long-time friend of mine named Mike Little gave me his personal copy of E.M. Cioran’s The Trouble with Being Born during a visit last summer. I’m bringing that book and my beloved Petzl headlamp with me whenever my goose finally honks.

Favorite Non-running Magazine: Ten rounds or less.

Favorite Movie: Open Range

Favorite TV Show: The Rachel Maddow Show

Favorite Actor/Actress: Denzel Washington

Favorite Music: Gary Clark Jr. doing a Hendrix groove.

Favorite Musical Performer: John Mayer is the best Strat player to ever walk the earth, and the Blues Hall of Fame should be moved to Fairfield, Connecticut in his honor.

Favorite Artist: Don’t have one, but my favorite painting is Ilya Repin’s Barge Haulers on the Volga.

Favorite Spectator Sport: Leafs Hockey

Favorite Subject in School: Machine Shop

Favorite Game: Chess, but I haven’t played in years.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Southern Philippines.

Favorite Time Of Day: After midnight (No Clapton reference intended.)

Favorite Item of Clothing: $17 jeans from Walmart.

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Riding bikes with my son.

Favorite Running Shoe: The exactly one pair I own at any given time, currently Brooks Ghosts. I’d been running in Altra Instincts for the last three years and loved them but decided to go back to high-heels just to change things up. Took me a week to quit scuffing my heels!

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Hormel Comfort Classics Dumplings and Chicken Compleats, my secret weapon. Delicious hot or cold!

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Margarita Shot Bloks. Twice the sodium!

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: I’m usually full but I can always eat another bag of pretzels.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Never tried that. I’m such a solitary runner throughout the year that it would seem really awkward to suddenly ask a friend to give up a weekend to help me out. I should probably just get over that particular hang-up.

Favorite Place To Run: Fly Gap Road. It’s a fire road in the Ozark National Forest running east to west for about 15 miles. It follows the top of a ridge with really nice views but also drops down a few times for some good climbs.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Fire roads. I also love searching out small, paved loops and seeing how many laps I can do in twelve hours.

Favorite Famous Quote: “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” –Samuel Beckett

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: 4

Number of Ultras Finished:  6

Best Ultra Performance(s): 2014 Prairie Spirit Trail 50. I had the weirdest abdominal pain during the race, like someone jamming a thumb into my stomach, but I still pushed hard and PR’d by more than an hour. I figured out a few months later that the stomach pain was actually an early symptom of my cancer, which makes me all the more proud of how well I ran.

Most Memorable Ultra: 2013 FlatRock 101k, in the mud. That race was crazy!

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: I was lucky to have a very active job operating robotic carbide presses for the last 12 years. That was equal to thirty miles a week at least, so I’d just did long runs on the weekends and that was enough. The medicine I’m taking now really zaps my energy so I just walk as much as I can and take naps in between. I’ll finish my next race, but it will be something other than training that gets me there.

Injuries: None.

Ultrarunning Idol: The guy who finishes last in any given race.

Why Do You Run Ultras:  I race twice a year just to connect with friends and challenge myself against a clock or a hard course. I’m like a trapper who goes to rendezvous to play games and peddle his furs. I still prefer to run by myself most of the time, but the few races I do run are a big deal to me. I plan my whole year around them!

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: If you’re going for speed, I have no advice to offer. If you just want to get out there and do the distance, don’t get hung up on a training plan. If a run just isn’t happening, cut it short and don’t worry about it. If a run is happening unexpectedly well, stay out there for twelve hours!

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero: Lots of heroes out there!

Personal Philosophy:  Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Short-Term Goal: Redeem last year’s DNF at Prairie Spirit…Editor’s Update: ACHIEVED!!!

Long-Term Goal: I’m thinking either the Snowdrop 55-hour race in Houston or the 72-hour Ultracentric race in Grape Vine, Texas. My 100-mile ambitions didn’t disappear just because I got sick. It’s just going to take me a little longer than 30 hours!

Most Prized Possession: Nothing in particular.

Most Proud Achievement: My marriage. Neither one of us is easy to be married to, but we figured it out.

Happiest Memory: A week-long fishing trip to Toledo Bend with my uncle Steve in about 1987. My hands were cracked and bleeding from taking so many catfish off the trot lines. It was epic!

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: Trekking the Annapurna Circuit.

Greatest Adventure:  Meeting my wife in person for the first time. I went to Hong Kong in 1998 to meet my penpal of three years who was working there as a domestic helper. We spent five days together in Hong Kong before going to her home in the Philippines for another three weeks or so, Cebu and northern Mindanao. It would be another four years before Cristina and I finally got married, but I knew I had found an amazing life companion!

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Subject: The Kardashians.

Least Liked Household Chore: Eating vegetables.

Pet Peeve(s): Boring prose.

Greatest Fear: The thought that I might not always be around for my son.

SPARE TIME

Book Currently Reading: Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov.

Hobbies: I’ve had a million. I guess my hobby is trying new hobbies.

Collections: Collections? Like The Collected Works of Guy de Maupassant?

What’s next: If we make it through December, everything’s gonna be alright I know.

WinslowDave with his wife, Cristina.

Dave at his recent Prairie Spirit Trail 50 Mile Finish with Epic Ultras Founder,
Eric Steele & Prairie Spirit Trail Race Director, Trevor Darmstetter.

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