Featured Runner “Adam Monaghan” October 2018

Adam taking on “The Rock”

In lieu of a formal bio, here are several fast facts about Adam Monaghan:

  • FlatRock 50K “Hall of Pain” Inductee #12 (2015)
  • Current president of Kansas Ultrarunners Society
  • Race Director of the KUS 6/12/24 in November
  • Has run marathons in 30 U.S. states and counting
  • Winner of a 50K…but there were only 4 finishers
  • He has served as a pacer for more than 20 marathons
  • Had the opportunity to run in 20+ countries around the world
  • Loves running in the early wee morning hours of 4-6am
  • Thinks that ultrarunners are some of the friendliest athletes and people in the world
  • First decade of his working career included working in the church world with event planning and leading dozens of international trips
  • “Si, habla español!”
  • Adam had summited 23 of Colorado’s 14,000+ foot mountains
  • Loves his family profoundly and considers it his highest life ambition to love them well 


Date of Birth: February, 1983.

Place of Birth: Great Bend, Kansas.

Currently Residing:  Wichita, KS.

Marital Status: Married

Job(s): Currently work for a non-profit serving homeless families and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Children: 4 little ones, 1 girl and 3 mini-me boys.

Height: 6’0

Weight: 180

Shoe Size: 12

Best Physical Feature: Friends have affectionately named my running calves “Adam & Adam”.

Religion: Christian

Political Affiliation: Progressive

Educational Background: Masters from Friends University, Undergrad at Barclay College.

Personal Strength(s): I like to make life happen and not just sit back and watch.

Personal Weakness(es): Same

Make Of Car You Drive: 2004 Toyota Avalon with lots of scratches and dents.

Favorite Car I Used To Drive:  1997 Ford Crown Victoria that I put 380,000 miles on in 16 years of owning it.

Pets: No way…see line about 4 kids!


Favorite Podcasts: NYT The Daily.

Favorite Movie: Lethal Weapon from the 90s.

Favorite TV Show: The West Wing, The Waltons, Boston Legal.

Favorite Spectator Sport: Baseball

Favorite Subject in School: Debate & Forensics.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Rocky Mountains.

Favorite Time Of Day: 4:30am with coffee.

Favorite Item of Clothing: Race T-shirts, of course (but you can only wear shirts from the races you’ve personally finished under the cutoff), or if you have RD’d, or volunteered at them!

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Hiking 14ers in the Rocky Mountains.

Favorite Running Shoe: Asics

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Bananas and oatmeal.

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Ginger Ale.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Chocolate milk.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): My wife.

Favorite Place To Run: Country roads.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Gravel

Favorite Famous Quote: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” –John Maxwell


Number of Years Running Ultras: 11

Number of Ultras Finished: I have finished 77 ultras (including 18, 100-mile finishes) in addition to 69 marathons in 30 U.S. states.

Best Ultra Performance(s): 2010 Heartland 100 where I got my 100-mile PR of 22:24. I threw up at mile 51 and sure felt like quitting but recovered nicely. I have gotten within minutes several times since then, but never can quite beat that PR.

Most Memorable Ultra: I have some great DNF stories, including from the Canadian Death Race (grizzly bear and hypothermia), Leadville (altitude sickness and what I now realize was a case of wussitis) and lots of snow at PST in 2013.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: My training plan basically consists year round  of running every chance I get, which usually works out to 5 early mornings a week, almost always with my loyal and faithful running friends who also like to wake up early. So, I don’t really taper before and generally “run to recover” after.

Injuries: None yet.

Ultrarunning Idol: Dennis Haig

Why Do You Run Ultras: My friend Allen Smelser put me up to it starting with FlatRock in 2007…kind of on a dare and then I was hooked.

Race Directing Experience: Had the opportunity to serve as Race Director for 20 races in the last 8 years from 5Ks to 100 mile/24 hour races.


Personal Philosophy: Rather fond of the golden rule.

Short-Term Goal: Stay injury free and keep running fun and life-giving.

Long-Term Goal: Run a marathon in all 50 United States and some day I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Most Prized Possession: My race medals and race bibs – I have saved them all and have them properly displayed.

Happiest Memory: Birth of my first born.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: I have already accomplished my number one life goal: FlatRock Hall of Pain – Bib #12 (2015).

Adam being knighted into the FlatRock Hall of Pain.

Greatest Adventure:  Traveling to Bhutan in 2017.


Least Liked Subject: Science

Least Liked Household Chore: Cooking

Greatest Fear: Snakes


Book Currently Reading: “Lasting Happiness in a Changing World: The Book of Joy” about the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

What’s Next: 2018 New Year’s Resolution was to NOT run a 100 mile race and I have held to that so far through October! Only 2 more months and I can start planning my next one in 2019. I am just running several marathons and a couple 50Ks this year…at this point.

Adam’s Heartland 100 finisher pic – successfully finished 8 times.



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