Friends in Low Places

As most of you know I have been training for my first Ultramarathon these past few months. This is something that I have thought about attempting ever since I began running 5 years ago. My choice for my first race was the Zumbro Endurance Run in the 50-mile distance. This, as you would expect, means a ton of time training. Luckily for me, through social media, I found a group of wonderful people to run with.

Through the Upper Midwest Trail Running group on Facebook I found another group that runs the trails near my house. Right off the bat I was welcomed in by a couple people and invited on some group runs.

Over the next 4 months I have met a bunch of great people, helped put on a Fat Ass (fun run) and made some of those great people my friends. The world of Ultra runners is everything I thought it would be. Much like the hunting community you will find yourself with a scraggly looking man who stinks, and after talking for an hour you’ll find out he is a Wall Street Journal ranked “Best on the Street” analyst. Then a story will come up about a an ex-heroin addict turned ultra runner phenom all in the same run. There is a wide spread of characters in the  ultra and trail community. Everyone has a story and on group runs you get 3-6 hours to tell it.

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I’ve learned a lot while running with all these new people such as;

How one of the best thing that can happen BEFORE a race is, losing your toenails.

Taco Bell is the greatest thing on earth after a late night run.

“Winging it” Works for some people, even guys training for the 100 mile distance.

Eat crappy all the time, then at the race your stomach can handle M & M’s, Coke and Pizza.

Be a trail person not a trail runner.(volunteer or give back)

Always take care of the trail and the people using it.

Enjoy every minute you are out there.

The title of this post is what really sticks out to me in the trail and ultra community. When you run distances over 20 miles on trail almost every weekend, odds are you are going to have at least one bad day. These consist of not eating, feeling nauseous, pain and then some more mind numbing pain. Days like this it’s really hard to be pleasant and it’s impossible to hide. Plain and simple, you kind of become an asshole. But the other runners know what you are going through and they stick by you. They’ll offer you the last of their food or the last of their water just to keep you going. When looking back you know you will laugh at the agony you were in and learn from it. They are your friends at the highest highs and the lowest lows. This transcends into hunting. The connection you get during a tough hunting trip is something you and your friends will always have that no one else will get to experience. The same goes for those hard days on the trails.

I want to thank Northwest Suburbs Running for taking me in and dealing with my non stop jabbering on the trails. I am also signed up for the Superior 50 so you guys won’t get rid of me just yet!

I’ve got to do a lot of fun things since my training started and one of the coolest was my trip up Wasson Peak outside Tucson you can see the video I made here on my YouTube Channel Backcountry Dreaming .

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