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RUNNING BLIND: 2019 Leadville 100 Race Report & MORE

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This race report has been a long time coming - it has been close to 3 1/2 weeks since I ran the Leadville 100 Trail race. My stats for this race are 6 starts with 5 finishes. This year, I had the lofty goal of trying to finish in under 25 hours to earn the coveted "Big Buckle". Usually, less than 10% of the starters of the race are able to successfully earn a Big Buckle. No blind person has ever earned a Big Buckle, and I'm the only known blind person to have finished the Leadville 100 Trail Run.

TRAINING I made the Leadville 100 my "A-Race" for the year - meaning, I wasn't racing multiple 100 milers, or crazy adventuring during the 8 months prior to Leadville.  My plan was to be able to "run" the entire 100 miles - where the terrain was runnable. I incorporated several 50 mile runs every 2 weeks into my training. I also ran a couple 100 mile races early in the year to build a solid base. with 2 months to go, I incorporated mountain and altitude …

NO LONGER AN OUTSIDER: FEELING ACCEPTED

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This morning was walking to the local coffee shop in Leadville, Colorado to get a morning pick-me-up. En route, I passed the Leadville Race Administrative building. I decided to pop-in and see if any familiar faces were around. As soon as I opened the door somebody said, “Hi Jason!” Within seconds a figure appeared, walking towards me. It was Quinn Cooper, a LifeTime Fitness employee who is responsible for all the logistics of the Leadville Race Series, and a multitude of other LifeTime athletic events. We hugged, caught up, and before departing I wanted to reconfirm with Quinn that I would be having Guides as I attempt to complete the Leadville 100 Trail Race this weekend. I told Quinn that I had “GUIDE” bibs and vests that they would wear. Quinn said, “Don’t worry about that. I ordered ‘Guide’ bibs for your guides.”
I was silenced.
I couldn’t process what Quinn’s words meant. All I had to do was just show up and run. They knew my condition, and the accommodations I needed. They knew I…

Western States 100 - Inclusive for Blind/Visually Impaired runners who need Guides

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June 29, 2019 - History was made today in the world of trail running at the ultra-distance. The oldest 100-mile organized trail race - The Western States 100 - become inclusive today for blind and visually impaired runners who need guides to compete.

At 5 am Pacific Daylight Time, a legally blind runner started the race with 368 other racers. The legally blind runner also had a guide - so there were actually 370 people who began the race. This is an important point. The field limit size for the race is 369 people. However, the blind runner was able to have a guide and the field size was not compromised.  The Western States 100 has set an historic precedent for itself - it will allow blind and visually impaired runners to have guides.

One year ago, this was not the case at the Western States 100 trail race. The race had prohibited visually impaired and blind runners from bringing their own guides. Visually impaired and blind runners were told they had to "follow another runner&quo…

How to recover from an Ultramarathon

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#1 SLEEP & #2 DRINK WATER
Now you can move on and focus on your training instead of reading countless articles about how to recover.
A couple weeks ago, I ran a double marathon, and for grins I google'd "How do you recover from an ultra marathon?"  I was amazed, and a little shocked, at what I found. There were a lot of articles from people purporting to be "experts." One guy had actually finished one 100 mile race in his running career....that's it. I thought that was pretty gutsy to be dispensing advice to the masses without significant experience. Also, recovery from your first "hundo" is much different than recovering from your 5th, 10th or 20th hundred mile race. There were also "non-running" physical therapists dispensing advice that they learned from books. All in all, there were a lot of "tips" and people seemed to throw in everything and the kitchen sink. None of the articles boiled it down to the "brass tack…

BE OUTSTANDING!

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"Don’t ever let somebody tell you something’s impossible, or that your dreams are impossible. What you believe is exactly what will be. If you believe you can do something, you will. If you believe you can’t, you wont. And this is my challenge to each and every one of you, as you take off to go on about your lives. 
I want to challenge each and everyone of you to BE OUTSTANDING; because that is the only way you are going to achieve everything that you are capable of. And when I say "outstanding", outstanding is not good, outstanding is not great. It is better than good, you must be better than great. And why does it have to be so high? Why does the standard have to be outstanding? Because that is what we are capable of. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Steve Prefontaine said that. 
And outstanding, let me tell you something about that too. You’re going to be working harder than other people. Good – you get up at 7 in …

ALASKAN BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE

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Life is too precious to not get on a plane and go live it! - Jason Romero
Tomorrow is my birthday, and I gave myself and early present this year. I just got back from a trip to Alaska! I want to share the last 72 hours with you, as they were amazing to me and perhaps they may inspire you in some way.
Sunday, March 3, 2019 I went to church for the early service, per my usual Sunday routine when I find myself in Denver, Colorado - my hometown. When I was leaving, a friend asked me "Jason, what do you call a Polar Vortex in Alaska?" I was stumped. He responded, "Tuesday!" We were having a cold snap in Colorado, and he was telling me that Alaskans know the cold, as he had lived in Alaska for years. I asked him if he had ever seen the Northern Lights. I had always wanted to see this phenomenon, but assumed my degenerative eye condition had robbed my eyes of the rods necessary to have the night vision to see the Aurora Borealis. My friend responded, "Yeah, I've seen…

UNCONVENTIONAL BUSINESS: THE 90/10 MODEL

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What if 90% of your work was pro bono and only 10% of the time you were paid?



This is the situation I find myself in at the present moment. I became a Keynote Speaker a few years ago. When I first began speaking, I spoke for free 100% of the time. I called schools, service organizations (Rotary, Lions, Optimist, Kiwana, Knights of Columbus Clubs), churches, youth detention facilities, homeless shelters and residential recovery centers for adults and asked to speak to their youth and adults free of charge. When I spoke to groups, I was consistently thanked for sharing my story, being vulnerable, talking about tough topics like depression and fear, and teaching how to believe in a dream and accomplish the seemingly impossible. I had people encourage me to continue sharing my story, they told me I was the best speaker they had ever heard, and some told me I said exactly what they needed to hear at that moment. This feedback encouraged me, and fueled my desire to pursue a career as a spe…