Featured Runner “Paul Schoenlaub” December 2018

Paul Schoenlaub began running ultramarathons in 2001 with the Flatrock 50K in Independence, Kansas.  He ran the Quivering Quads 50 Mile in Missouri a little over a month later and was hooked.  His first 100 mile race was the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile in Wisconsin in 2002.  He has since run well over 200 ultramarathons, 50 of which have been 100 mile races, including 12 consecutive Leadville Trail 100 Mile finishes and 6 Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run finishes.  His longest ultramarathon was the Ultracentric Experience 72 hour race in Texas in 2012, where he completed 252 miles. He has completed both the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (2004) and the Rocky Mountain Slam (2007).  He has never missed a day of Three Days of Sylamo in the 14 year history of the Arkansas stage race.   His most recent accomplishment was setting a new 100 mile PR at the Heartland 100 Mile in October of 2018 in a time of 18:09:03, beating his 15 year old 100 mile PR by 5 minutes.  A few of his favorite races include the Ouachita Trail 50 Mile race in Arkansas, the LOViT 100 Mile race in Arkansas, and the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run in Colorado.  He has worked aid stations at various ultramarathons every year since his second year running ultras and hopes to continue to volunteer at ultras long after he is no longer able to compete.

THE BASICS

Date of Birth: July 16, 1959

Place of Birth: St. Joseph, Missouri.

Currently Residing: St. Joseph, Missouri.

Marital Status: Married to Cindy.

Job(s): General Counsel for a medical malpractice insurance company.

Children: Between the two of us, Cindy and I have 4 daughters and 1 son.

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 135 to 140 pounds.

Shoe Size: Dress shoes: 9 ½; Running shoes 10 ½.

Best Physical Feature: Legs

Worst Physical Feature: Skin (beginning to show signs of aging!).

Religion: I am probably best described as a Postfundamentalist Evangelical Christian.

Political Affiliation: None. Both major political parties disgust me anymore.

Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts Biology; Juris Doctorate.

Personal Strength(s): Ability to focus on physical tasks.

Personal Weakness(es): Lack of ability to focus for very long on tasks in which I am not interested.

Make Of Car You Drive: Toyota Prius and Ford F-150.

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: Prius Prime (whatever gets the job done based on my needs).

Pets: None

FAVORITES

Favorite Author: Lee Child

Favorite Book: This changes from time to time, but at the present time, The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. This book should be required reading for all Americans.

Favorite Non-running Magazine: Popular Science

Favorite Movie(s): The original Star Wars (my favorite by far the week it came out!), Hunt for Red October and The Final Countdown.

Favorite TV Show: Many years ago, MacGyver was; but currently Shark Tank is, when I remember to watch it or stumble across it.

Favorite Actor/Actress: Probably Harrison Ford followed by Richard Dean Anderson.

Favorite Music: The 70’s and some of the 60’s music, especially the Beatles, Carpenters, and Eagles.  What a combination, right?

Favorite Country Song: The Auctioneer, by Leroy Van Dyke (Check it out if you’ve never heard it before!).

Favorite Song to listen to when driving to Colorado as the mountains first come into sight: Rocky Mountain High, by John Denver.

Favorite Musical Performer: Tough to admit, but Barry Manilow.  No matter what you think about him as a musician, he is a great performer as it relates to his music.  And, yes, I actually like a lot of his music.  But, Bing Crosby is right up there too.  He might not have been the best actor, but he was an impressive musical performer.  And, once again anda little closer to home, Leroy Van Dyke was an impressive musical entertainer.

Favorite Artist: Thomas Hart Benton and Thomas Kinkade

Favorite Spectator Sport: What’s a spectator sport?  Oh, Ultrarunning of course!  That’s why I like working aid stations a few times each year: they are almost as much fun to watch as they are to run.

Favorite Subject in School: Grade School – Science; High School and College – Biology (especially field biology courses in college).

Favorite Game: Risk and Acquire

Favorite Vacation Destination: Colorado (winter and summer).

Paul competing in the Hardrock 100 Mile.

Favorite Time Of Day: Early morning, just before and during sunrise.

Favorite Item Of Clothing: 2008 Hardrock 100 shirt.

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Gardening, hiking and just about anything else outdoors.

Favorite Running Shoe: Hoka Stinson ATRs

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Hard boiled eggs and coffee.

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Hammer gel, water, bacon, avocado, Nutella wraps.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Grilled cheese sandwich with lots of butter.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): I rarely use crew or pacers, but my wife, Cindy, is my favorite crew.  Of the less than a half dozen times I have had a pacer in a race, my good friend and running buddy, Stuart Johnson, was my favorite pacer for the few miles I had the opportunity to have him pace me at the Leadville 100 one year.

Favorite Place To Run: In the absolutely beautiful mountains in Colorado and in the much more runnable (for me) Boston and Ouachita mountains in Arkansas.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Undulating dirt to moderately technical trail.

Favorite Famous Quote: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.Author disputed, but the quote was probably the work of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, summing up the mental attitude of Voltaire

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: 17+

Number of Ultras Finished: 250+ (about 50 of which have been 100 milers)

Best Ultra Performance(s): 2003 Kettle Moraine 100 – 18:14:46; 2004 Western States 100 – 20:29:23; 2004 Grasslands 50 Mile – 6:32:15 (PR);2006 A-OK 50K – 3:51:04 (PR);2010 Leadville Trail 100 – 21:38:15;2012 Ultracentric 72 hour – 252 Miles; 2016 Prairie Spirit 100 – 18:16:33; 2018 Heartland 100 – 18:09:03 (PR).

Most Memorable Ultra: Competing in the 2016 Spartathlon, even though I was pulled at about mile 95 for missing the cutoff.  Among all the ultras in which I have participated, it has been one of the greatest honors I have had to participate in the Spartathlon; which, in my opinion, is steeped in the most significant ultrarunning history of any ultramarathon in the world.  I hope to have the opportunity to go back again and complete the entire 153 mile journey from Athens to Sparta in the near future.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Easy short run/Tempo run/Easy 8 to 15 mile run/Speed work/Easy short run/Long run (24 to 36 miles).

Injuries: Numerous minor injuries, most of which I have run through.  The worst injuries I have had in a race were a fractured jaw at Cross Timbers 50 mile in 2002 and a pretty severe ankle sprain at Flatrock 50K in 2010.

Ultrarunning Idol: I don’t have any idols; but Ann Trason, Scott Jurek, David Horton, Kilian Jornet and last, but probably most impressive, Yiannis Kouros are the 5 ultrarunners who have impressed me the most over the past couple of decades; each for different reasons and each in his or her own right.

Why Do You Run Ultras: Initially, and still to a certain degree, for the challenge of the distance and sometimes the competition; but probably more importantly, for the friendships and fellowship I have been fortunate to share with numerous other ultrarunners over the years.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: Train well, educate yourself, don’t take anything anyone else says as the only way to succeed or achieve your goals, and, if what you are doing isn’t working (even if it has worked for you for years), do something different, even if it means trying something new in a race.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero:  I don’t have a personal “Hero”, but, much more importantly, I do have a Savior:  Jesus Christ.

Personal Philosophy:  As stated in Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”  Although I do not live my life perfectly in accordance with this scripture, it is my philosophy in this life that I am so blessed to be living.

Short-Term Goal: Complete the Spartathlon if I am fortunate enough to be chosen in the lottery to run it in 2019.

Long-Term Goal: To end my years of running ultramarathons graciously and to be satisfied with my accomplishments when I am either 1) no long physically able to do so or 2) moved from within to move on from this fun activity that has been one of my primary focuses in life for the past 17+ years.

Most Prized Possession: My Salvation.

Most Proud Achievement: Two:  My Western State 100 finish in 2004 and my Leadville Trail 100 finish in 2010.  I look forward to more that may yet be achieved.

Happiest Memory: The years I was blessed with raising my 3 wonderful daughters who brought me the greatest joy I have ever known.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy: Being able to perform well in ultramarathons for a few more years.  Ambition or Fantasy?  Only time will tell.  Okay, no longer a secret.

Greatest Adventure: Exploring Greece with my wife, Cindy, and all the time we spend in Colorado, whether hiking, cycling, or skiing; but ultimately and simply enjoying the beauty of Gods’ magnificent creation!

DISLIKES / FEARS

Least Liked Subject: Not in school, but in life: Politics.

Least Liked Household Chore: What are those?  But seriously:  most of them.

Pet Peeve(s): TV reporters with bad grammar.

Greatest Fear: The process of dying, but not death of the physical body itself.

SPARE TIME

Book Currently Reading: None, but just finished Persuader by Lee Child.

Hobbies: Gardening, fishing, kite flying (but little time to do any of these the past several years).

Collections: Nothing seriously.

What’s Next: In 2019, I hope to be able to run and complete the following 3 races that I applied for, but was unable to run due to circumstances beyond my control in 2018:

LOViT 100 Mile (race cancelled 3 hours before the start in 2018)

Hardrock 100 Mile (2nd on the Veteran’s waitlist as the race started in 2018)

Spartathon (12th American on the waitlist when the entry process closed in 2018)

Paul competing in the Ouachita Trail 50 Mile.

 

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