Featured Runner “Andrew Flowers” December 2019

Andrew “Drew” Flowers (in his own words): First, and foremost I am a Father of two incredible little girls. These girls drive me every day to continue the pursuit of becoming the best possible version of myself. I am very fortunate to be able to work for a company, Bear Creek Running Company in Keller, Texas, that fully supports my passion of ultrarunning. I enjoy interacting with people daily that share a similar passion as I do and find inspiration in every person I encounter no matter where they are in their journey. I like to have fun and don’t take anything in life too seriously. Life is way too short to spend time worrying. So I don’t get worked up about things that are out of my control. If I can change it, I do so. If I can’t, I change my attitude towards it. I love this journey that I’m on and am grateful for all the people whose paths intersect with mine.

THE BASICS

Date of Birth: April 26th, 1982

Place of Birth: Lansing, Michigan

Currently Residing:  Haltom City, TX

Marital Status: Divorced

Job(s): Bear Creek Running Co.

Children: Father to 2 beautiful little girls. Layla (9) and Ava (5).

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 175lbs

Shoe Size: 11

Best Physical Feature: My smile.

Worst Physical Feature: Definitely my feet. I demand so much out of them and do little in return for them. I guess I do treat them to new shoes regularly.

Religion: Christian

Political Affiliation: Unaffiliated

Educational Background: Associate of Arts Degree

Personal Strength(s): My bottomless optimism. It’s incredible how positive I can be during some of the worst shit storms in life and ultrarunning.

Personal Weakness(es): My sense of humor. I never take anything too seriously. Sometimes being so nonchalant about things isn’t always the best trait to have.

Make Of Car You Drive: RAM 1500

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: That TESLA cybertruck thing. Seriously, WTF is that thing?

Pets: I had a Bull Terrier named Yoda. Man, I miss that dude.

FAVORITES

Favorite Author: Christopher McDougall

Favorite Book: “Born To Run”

Favorite Non-running Magazine: They make non-running magazines?

Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction

Favorite TV Show: I don’t watch much TV. I’ll watch 2-3 episodes of a series and bail. My friends hate me for this. Haha! The only full series I have ever watched were Sopranos and Entourage. That was in a life before ultrarunning.

Favorite Actor/Actress: Kevin Hart

Favorite Music: Anything that’s not Pop or Bro Country. But mostly Rock and Rap.

Favorite Musical Performer: The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr.

Favorite Artist: Alphonse Mucha

Favorite Spectator Sport: College Football. Except I don’t watch or follow as closely as I used to. Don’t expect me to carry on a conversation about the latest rankings or the Heisman race.

Favorite Subject in School: Of course it was P.E. in junior high and high school. In college, I really enjoyed Psychology.

Favorite Game: Right now my girls are into this card game called Happy Salmon. It’s not my favorite, but they have a lot of fun with it, so we play it.

Favorite Vacation Destination: I love visiting Northern Michigan in the summer or early fall. It brings back so many childhood memories. I also love spending time in the mountains of Colorado in the summer.

Favorite Time Of Day: Sunset or Beer:30.

Favorite Item Of Clothing: My Patagonia Houdini. It is lightweight and packable which makes this my trail running go-to.

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Drinking beer on a patio.

Favorite Running Shoe: Right now my favorite trail shoes are my Hoka Speedgoat 4’s. My favorite road shoes currently are my Topo Phantom’s.

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: I don’t have a “go-to” food before a race, but I really enjoy club sandwiches.

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: During an ultra I love avocados and bacon rolled up in a tortilla. My friend Bryan, has been known to hook me up with slices of pizza during a couple of races which have been really clutch. I also love to drink V8 energy late in a race.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Whatever is quick and abundantly available.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Mike Coutu and Agustin Negrete (pacers) and De Ana Rangel (crew).

Favorite Place To Run: I did a training run over Hope Pass (CO) during the summer of 2018 and got caught in the middle of an epic hail storm. That was probably one of my most memorable runs.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Dirty, rocky, rooty, gnarly single track.

Favorite Famous Quote: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” T.S. Eliot

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: 4 years and some change

Number of Ultras Finished:  15 according to UltraSignup. Probably a couple of others, too.

Best Ultra Performance(s): I’m proud of my 3rd place finish recently at Lake Murray 100 Mile with a finish time of 28:43:25. The course was a muddy mess and I felt mentally in it the whole time.

Most Memorable Ultra: Shawnee Hills 100 Mile. First 100 mile finish and had a great time with Mike and Agustin.

Drew with best buds, Mike Coutu & Agustin Negrete, at Tunnel Hills 100 Mile (2018)

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: I never follow an exact “training plan”, me being nonchalant. However, usually the week before a race I do a couple of short runs (3-5 miles), really trying to be in tune with my body and just trying to stay healthy.

Injuries: Nothing major. Just the usual nicks and dings that come with being a runner.

Ultrarunning Idol: David Goggins

Why Do You Run Ultras:  I have quite a long list of whys that I reflect on when I need them. However, one of the main reasons that I run ultras is because I love to challenge my mind and body to persevere through tough situations. These brutal tests provide the best opportunity to learn and grow. I come out of them feeling transformed and better equipped to handle anything that life throws at me whether it be personal, financially or in my career. Every hard lesson that I learn during an ultra I can directly apply to my life and vice versa.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: When shit sucks, remember your “why”. Think of that challenging time in your life, whether it was the loss of a loved one, a career change, an unexpected financial burden, a divorce or break-up, relocation – what did you do to get through it? Just put one foot in front of the other and remain optimistic. You might surprise yourself.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero: My dad was one of my heroes growing up. One time we were sitting on the porch and there were two guys that tried to steal four cases of Budweiser from a truck next door at the bar. My dad jumped off the porch and took off chasing these guys. They ran a few blocks and disappeared around the corner. My 8 year old self stood there in suspense, wondering what was happening around the corner. About 10 minutes later my dad comes walking back around the corner carrying four cases of beer that he returned to the driver. My pops was always doing some super hero type shit like this. I guess that came with being a U.S. Marine.  He once pulled my little sister out of a campfire when she fell in while horse playing. Another time he pulled a man out of a burning vehicle on the side of the highway and was recognized by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan State Police.

My mother was another one of my heroes. She always found a way to hold it down for us 6 kids. Not sure how she did it half the time. Five boys and 1 girl, we raised all kinds of hell for my mom. But she managed to keep us in line, most of the time, and provide for us. Especially after her and my dad decided to divorce. That was a tough time.

My oldest brother, Joe was always one of my heroes growing up. He’s 3 years older than me and I wanted to do everything he was doing. When he started playing football, I played up 3 age groups just so I could play with him. Plus, I think it was probably just easier on my parents to have us both on the same team. One of my greatest memories was playing varsity football with him and sharing the backfield. Imagine being able to play the sport you love with your hero.

One of my biggest heroes was my Aunt Martha. I was always amazed by her athletic ability and the way she stayed so optimistic during her battle with cancer, which ultimately took her from us way too soon. She was the one that stayed by my side during my first 5k in 4th grade and who I often think about out there when I’m deep in the pain cave.

I find that we are all surrounded by inspiring people everyday. Whether it’s the single mom working, going to school and still squeezing in time for her own personal fitness or the guy that decides to make the life changing decision to start a couch to 5k program. It’s up to us to decide if we want to be inspired or not.

Personal Philosophy:  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Short-Term Goal: I have a score to settle in El Paso in February. Lone Star 100.

Long-Term Goal: To still be competing in ultra’s well into my 70’s.

Most Prized Possession: I think I can probably live without most things. I like to place value in people and not materials.

Most Proud Achievement: Finishing my first 100 miler. I cried like a little baby.

Happiest Memory: Crossing the finish line of my first ultra with my daughter joining me for the last 20 yards. She’s paced me for the last 20 yards of a few ultras, but that one was really special.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: She’s gonna kill me for putting this out there. But fuck it…I’ll say it. To pace/crew my girlfriend in her first ultra.

Greatest Adventure:  Working on a fishing boat for 3 months in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska when I was 20 years old. Those were some real character building days out there.

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Subject: My accounting class in college sucked ass. It didn’t help that the class was at 8 am and the professor had an accent that nobody could understand.

Least Liked Household Chore: I hate emptying the dishwasher. I never had a dishwasher growing up and haven’t had one for the majority of my adult life. I don’t really understand how this machine actually saves any time. You rinse the dishes before going in, dry them when they come out, and hand wash them when the dishwasher doesn’t do a good enough job. I’d rather just hand wash everything.

Pet Peeve(s): It absolutely bothers me to no fucking end when someone in the car (driver or passenger) leaves the visor down when the sun is no longer in their eyes.

Greatest Fear: I watch my kids like a hawk when we’re in public places. If they get out of my sight for a second I mildly freak out. I think this is something that most parents deal with it.

SPARE TIME

Book Currently Reading: Who has time to sit down and read a book? I prefer to listen to books, because you can get so much done while listening to it. Right now I’m currently listening to, “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons” by Kevin Hart. I do a lot of my listening while running and sometimes he has me laughing so hard that I need to stop running for a second. I’m sure that probably looks funny when people see me running while laughing my ass off.

Hobbies: Outside of running and spending time with my girls I do enjoy being creative. I do some t-shirt designs from time to time.

Collections: You might laugh at me for this, but I used to play this game called HeroClix back about 15 years ago. It’s a strategy game that you play with all these miniature statues of Marvel and DC heros. They actually look pretty cool. I haven’t played in about 15 years but still can’t get rid of my collection.

What’s Next: 2019 has been a series of highs and lows for me. I definitely had some dark days early in the year while going through a divorce, job change, a 100 mile DNF, and had to postpone my dream race to 2020 because of all the uncertainty in my life. However, I’ve also had some of the most incredible experiences in 2019. I had the opportunity to crew/pace my best friend, Mike Coutu, in the race of his dreams at the Badwater 135, alongside a great group of guys. Experiencing all I had this year was the best mental preparation for the Lake Murray 100 miler. I felt laser focused and never really had any real low points during that race.

I couldn’t be happier with where I am right now and am greatly looking forward to everything that 2020 will bring. So far I have Lone Star 100 in February and Leadville Trail 100 in August. My buddy Mike is trying to talk me into something pretty epic in between time. We’ll have to wait and see.

Drew with his two daughters, Layla and Ava.

 

One Response to “Featured Runner “Andrew Flowers” December 2019”

  1. Daniéle Asbridge

    I love this completely! So inspirational! Way to go Drew!!!

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