Featured Runner “Mike Rives” April 2019

Mike Rives (in his own words): I ran off and on growing up, as many of us do. My first race that was actually “timed” was in June 2004. Ran a 10K in Ada a month later. After the race, I figured out that in the 2 food bars and bottle of Gatorade, I had just consumed more calories that I had burned off…obviously, something had to give. Either more miles or less food…well, I really, really like food. My first marathon was that fall, followed three weeks later by my second marathon. I thought I was going to die. My legs hurt so bad after these marathons, I couldn’t figure out why most of the people at the finish line are smiling and hugging each other, while I’m flat on my back trying to figure out how I’m gonna’ walk to the car! Almost hard to believe that now I’ll run a marathon distance during regular “training”… Ran my first Ultra @ Pumpkin Holler (50K) in Oct. 2013. Got to know some other runners, volunteered at races, got to know more runners, did long training runs with Kathy Bratton & her Friday night crazies, met TZ (Ken Childress) and ran some with him. Along the way I met more ultrarunners, ran some races, did some “aid stationing”, and basically, just found “my people”. Ultrarunners are some of the absolute finest people on the planet. Love them all…Cheers!


Date of Birth: May 5, 1961

Place of Birth: Garden Grove, CA

Currently Residing: Skiatook, OK (just NW of Tulsa).

Marital Status: Married to Kyle MacKay Rives

Job(s): Partner @ Benchmark Monument Co., in Tulsa, OK.

Children: I have two sons, Hawken (24) & Bridger (19).

Height: 5’10”

Weight: Dang…didn’t know we were going to get personal here…;-) but, 200# (ish) but I’m working on this…

Shoe Size: Depends on what mile I’m on, but usually a 10 ½-11 works.

Best Physical Feature: Maybe my smile? I’m not sure, since I’m trapped inside and usually don’t smile at mirrors.

Worst Physical Feature: I might be a “tad” chubby…

Religion: Unitarian

Political Affiliation: Registered Independent…although, if there is a “Mad as Hell” Party, I think I’d join.

Educational Background: Undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma and MBA from the University of Missouri.

Personal Strength(s): Willingness/desire to help others.

Personal Weakness(es): Can’t say “no”… (yeah, it sort of goes with the personal strength question) 😉

 Make Of Car You Drive: Dodge Pickup. Big white dually. I call it the “space shuttle”…’cause that’s about how much room I need to park it.

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: Hmmm…maybe one of those Tesla pickups when they finally get them out.

Pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses, 3 peacocks, an assorted # of chickens and ducks. Actual # of chickens and ducks at any one time is sort of dependent on how hungry/bold the local coyote population is.


Favorite Author: I like Tom Clancy, Lee Childs & Clive Cussler. So anything by these guys I’ll like.

Favorite Book: Like a lot of them. Favorite may be “Born to Run”, because it absolutely changed my running life.

Favorite Non-running Magazine: National Geographic…how things change from when I was 16…but I digress. 😉

Favorite Movie: Caddy Shack

Favorite TV Show: Probably Big Bang Theory.

Favorite Music: Depends on my mood, but usually anything from the 80’s will work.

Favorite Spectator Sport: Cross Country

Favorite Subject in School: Psychology

Favorite Game: Yahtzee…it rewards risk taking with a crap ton of luck thrown in.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Somewhere in the mountains.

Favorite Time Of Day: Morning

Favorite Item Of Clothing: Clean underwear…my mom always said it was important.

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Do these actually exist?!?!

Favorite Running Shoe: Currently, anything Altra. Love the big toe box and zero drop.

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Smoothie

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Bean & cheese quesadilla, mashed potatoes w/chicken broth

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Ice. Cold. Beer.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Michelle Bates, Kathryn Ivey & Kathy Bratton

Favorite Place To Run: Trails, but not super technical ones.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Probably gravel/dirt roads. Less chance I’m going to crash and burn…I just said “less chance”, not that it would be impossible.

Favorite Famous Quote: Pretty sure he wasn’t famous, but I had a neighbor who once said “If you can’t help someone else, what good are ya?” Ernie (former neighbor) told me that over 20 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Mike and his best buddy, Meego!


Number of Years Running Ultras: 5 ½ years

Number of Ultras Finished: Hmmm…maybe 15? I don’t really keep track of this stuff. Except for buckles…’cause those bad boys have their own shelf!

Best Ultra Performance(s): The way I run…my “best” performance is “any race I finish upright”… ‘cause a guy’s gotta have goals!

Most Memorable Ultra: Pistol Ultra… ‘cause you always remember your “first”… or so I’ve heard.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Hard to say, but I try to get at least two, sometimes three weeks of training in, but I also like a nice taper.

Injuries: Minor stuff, but thankfully nothing major.

Ultrarunning Idol(s): Kathy Bratton, Arnold Begay and Ken Childress…these people do this thing “right”!!!

Why Do You Run Ultras:  I like the snacks at the aid stations…and the beer…oh, and the people are pretty cool too!

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: Run happy and enjoy the journey!


Personal Hero: My dad. Great guy and a good man.

Personal Philosophy:  Serve others.

Short-Term Goal: Complete my 2019 race schedule.

Long-Term Goal: Stay healthy. Run long. Be happy. (wait, was that three goals?)…

Most Prized Possession: Can’t think of “one” … I tend to like all my stuff.

Most Proud Achievement: Not sure if it is an “achievement”, but I’m super proud of my two sons. They are great guys and I love being around them.

Happiest Memory: When I’m outside running and all is right with the world.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: Win the lottery and open an animal sanctuary…yeah, I know you have to “play to win”, but hey! it’s “my” fantasy!

Greatest Adventure: Stay tuned…


Least Liked Subject: Politics

Least Liked Household Chore: Washing dishes.

Pet Peeve(s): People who think “their” way is the only way.

Greatest Fear: Heights…working on this one too. Btw…anybody wanna go skydiving?!?!


Book Currently Reading: “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling

Hobbies: Running and/or “aid stationing”.

Collections: Is “collecting” the same thing as “hoarding”? (asking for a friend)…

What’s Next:

Vol State (Tennessee) – July 2019

Bridger Ridge Run (Montana) – Aug. 2019

Barkley Fall Classic 50K (Tennessee) – Sept. 2019

Hennepin 100 (Illinois) – Oct. 2019

Tunnel Hill 100 (Illinois) – Nov. 2019 (redemption for last year).

Mike, with his two favorite ultrapals, Bryan Carpenter and Jana Graham,
formally known as the “Three Amigos”

One Response to “Featured Runner “Mike Rives” April 2019”

  1. Judy

    I remember when you were just a sprout. You still don’t disappoint! Xo

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