Posts

THANKS to Craig Thornley and Western States 100 Endurance Run

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What a difference 24 hours can make, having an open mind, open communication and working for the common good.
This morning I posted a blog asking the Western States 100 Endurance Run and the RD - Craig Thornley to be equitable to blind runners who qualify for the race, and are successful in the lottery.  This afternoon I received an e-mail from Craig which led to a telephone call.  During that telephone call Craig and I discussed many points, but were able to focus on the main issue that had prompted me to spend countless weeks, spend a lot of money, and inconvenience 7 crew members to help me put together a run protesting the effective ban of blind runners at Western States.
During my conversation with Craig, we talked about many things including the Special Consideration process (which is fine with me), the requirement that blind athletes must qualify for the race like everybody else (which I agree with), the requirement that if a blind athlete is not accepted for Special Considera…

A DEMAND FOR EQUITY FROM THE WESTERN STATES 100 ENDURANCE RUN

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I want blind people to be treated equitably and permitted to run the Western States 100 Endurance Run.  Currently, the Race Director has effectively prohibited blind runners from participating due to enacting and enforcing new discriminatory policies.
Last year I ran the Vermont 100, finished in under 24 hours and qualified for the Western States 100.  I contacted the Western States Race Director and asked for admission through the "Special Consideration" process due to my visual impairment and need for a guide.  The Special Consideration criteria is defined on the WS100 website as follows:
The Board of Trustees reserves the right to grant admission to runners via special consideration. While this special consideration definition is broadly drafted, it is narrowly applied, and each year very few are granted entry. These are limited to: Exceptional Circumstances. Where exceptional circumstances warrant . . . special consideration may be granted . . .  The exceptional circumst…

A first time author's book writing experience

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Has anyone ever told you, "you should write a book"?  My guess is that we've all heard this, or told another person this statement at some point in our lives.  Usually, it is prompted as a result of hearing a story that moves us, and we subconsciously think - That story needs to be told. This blog is about my experience as a first time author of Running into the Dark.
HAVE A GREAT STORY When I first contemplated writing a book, I doubted whether my story would be of interest to anybody.  The truth is, my story is the same as any other person's story.  At it's core, my life has had ups and downs, and despite setbacks I have continued moving forward.  Despite my confusion about whether people would be interested, I continued to have family, friends, strangers and audiences tell me that I should write a book.
I thought long and hard about what I would write about.  I had a degenerative eye disease that I had battled my whole life, and sometimes I won and sometimes i…

SPARTATHLON: Life lessons learned from a very long road

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THE CHALLENGE

Spartathlon is an historic 153 mile/246 km foot race from Athens to Sparta.  The genesis of the race was to retrace the footsteps of Pheidippides, a great Athenian messenger.  The story goes that the Persian army was sailing to Greece for war.  The Athenians dispatched their greatest messenger to Sparta to recruit the brave and fierce Spartans to help combat the Persians.  It is said that Pheidippides arrived the very next day.  Hence, the Spartathlon race has been limited to 36 hours - it starts at 7 am on Friday morning (sunrise) and ends at 7 pm on Saturday evening (sunset).  If a Spartathlete can complete the distance in the allotted time, s/he will have completed the distance in the amount of time it took Pheidippides to travel the distance.

One must qualify for Spartathlon and meet time standards like a 10 hour 100k or 21.5 hour 100 mile, or other time standard.  Once a runner qualifies, the runner must apply for admission to the race.  390 people are invited to …

Speaking @ Amazon - lessons learned

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I've learned that people with forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

Last week I had the great honor to be asked to speak at Amazon Headquarters in Seattle, Washington.    Amazon is the 4th largest company with a market capitalization of $466 Billion, 341,000+ employees and a 25,000+ employees at its HQ in Seattle.  I was excited, humbled, honored and a little nervous to be speaking at this cutting edge company, at their headquarters.  I did learn some very valuable lessons during this experience, however; and, I'd like to share them in this blog post.
EVERYBODY CAN USE SOME INSPIRATION

Amazon is the quintessential company driving a new type of corporate culture inviting employees to bring their dogs to work, dress is casual, break rooms have corn hole and fooseball games to cultivate a relaxed think-tank atmosphere.  Even with such a great environment for people to work in, the work of work can …

SHARING TIME WITH A LEGEND

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Many times I've wondered what it would be like to meet somebody really famous in the running world.  Well, I had the experience of being with a running legend this past week and felt compelled to share a little bit.  I crewed alongside Valmir Nunes at the Badwater Ultramarathon for a second year.  I was also room mates with Valmir for a second year.

For those of you who are wondering who Valmir is - please Google him now.  A short running resume of Valmir would note that he is a Badwater 135 champion, former Badwater record holder (22 hrs and change), former 100k world record holder (6 hrs and change), 100k world champion, and international ultra-distance stud.

I first met Valmir 2 years ago when I agreed to crew my friend at Badwater.  Somehow, my buddy had gotten the Badwater course record holder to crew him.  I didn't know who Valmir was, and the first time I saw him I wasn't too sure how it world work out for me to share a room with a Brazilian super-model.  Valmir is…

OBEDIENCE - A Faith decision

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Obedience is the road to freedom -C.S. Lewis
The dictionary definition of Obedience is "compliance with an order, law or submission to another's authority".  By this definition, Obedience seems to be in direct conflict with self preservation and the American Dream to amass wealth and belongings for one's self.  In our day to day lives, we pass homeless people on street corners, drive-by wounded animals to die on our highways forgetting about them and their agony seconds after we speed past them, and fail to acknowledge other people with a smile, look or response when they speak to us.  We can become so focused on our own microcosm that we think we are being "obedient" to our own goals.  In fact, we can never be "obedient" to ourselves or our own self interest.  We must stretch beyond ourselves in order to exercise true obedience, and be free.
True obedience can only occur when we suppress our own wants and needs to the wants and needs of another.  …