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Thursday, July 13, 2017

#122- The REVEL Rockies Marathon!

After running the Utah Valley Marathon on Saturday, June 10th, I jumped on a plane just in time to get to my good friend Stacy and Daniel Bolyard's house in time for dinner. Stacy and Daniel put up about 8 runners in their home every year and make everyone feel welcome!

I scarfed down a plate of spaghetti and garlic bread, and hung out with other friends at the house including Stacy and Daniel, Sara Pilgrim, Laura Zeffer, Maria Crawford, Ed Childress, Joe Isvanoc, Vemana Sotala and Matt Heacock, then went straight to bed. We had another 2:15 AM wake up call and I was BEAT!

The next morning Stacy drove us to the bus pickup and we made our way to the start!

Jessica, Sara, Laura and I on our way to the marathon start!

Last year's temperature at the start was cold, but this year felt warm. Perfect, in fact.

We didn't have to wait too long for the race to start, so we gathered for our Maniac pic and got on our way!

Marathon Maniacs at the start!

Loyd, Sara, Lia, Jessica and I!

Laura and I 

My NYC pal Jim with a photo bomb by Ed! LOL!

The great thing about running over 5:00 the day before, my legs felt great. I had no stiffness and while I went out conservatively, I felt great!

This race has some BEAUTIFUL views!

Feeling good!

I got to spend a few miles with this awesome group! I haven't seen Diane forever, to it was great to catch up!

I needed a little rest! LOL


I saw Tyler at the beginning of the race running with a PBR in his hand. I had to stop when I saw him and Sarah around mile 23 walking and drinking a Coors! We chatted and they shared their beer and I went on my way! Too much fun!

Around mile 24 I caught my friend ED. This pic sums up the fun we were having!

Ed and I finished together and I finished about 15 minutes faster than the day before. Negative split double! Oh Yeah!

So great to see Andrew, Jorge, Paula and Loyd at the finish!

I saw Martina at Utah Valley the day before! She ran the double and qualified for the Marathon Maniacs! CONGRATULATIONS!

My friend Jim from the ATL and I!

Two Nashville babes! Brian and Diane!

The bling!

The double bling!

I  can't say enough good things about Revel races! They are super well organized, have great medals and swag, beautiful fast courses, free pictures and video and they have the most generous transfer policies I have ever seen. The total package.

Registration is open for 2018. You can register HERE!

HUGE THANKS to Stacy and Daniel for the kindness and hospitality!! Love you guys!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

#121- The Utah Valley Marathon

This was the Utah Valley Marathon's 10th anniversary and thanks to 1-800 Contacts sponsoring my entry fee, this was my eighth time running, I was not here for their first year and I volunteered on their second year feeling pretty accomplished after running my second marathon. Heck, I thought I had this marathon thing figured out, but as I lined up eight years later for my 121st marathon, I know more now, but feel like I know less. 😆

1-800 Contacts even had our own packet pick-up!

The race weekend started on Friday night a VIP dinner celebrating those who have run the race all 10 years and runners inducted into the 150 Mile Club. It was wonderful to see my Maniac friends Sue Mantyla, John Bozung and Cathy Gridley there too!

Sue Mantyla and I with our 150 Mile Awards.

After the dinner I headed home and and was up at 2:30AM to drive back to Provo and catch the bus to the start!

Great to see Galen! I haven't seen him for ages!

I think Matt, Josh and I were the only 1-800 Contacts runners brave enough to tackle the 26.2! Everyone else did the 13.1 or the 10K!

I love me some Potty Mouth Polli! 

Matt and I were the only ones at the Maniac pic! LOL!

RD Hyrum Oaks is the coolest!

Let's get going! I have a plane to catch!

Hey! A bigger Maniac pic!

Yay! More Maniacs!

Time to go!

The course is stunning!

Ran into my pal John Bozung who was running with a group of firefighters. One of their own runs every year, but is battling cancer. John lost his step--son to cancer last year, so it hit close to home for him.

Bridal Veil Falls selfie!

Since I was running a double, I took it really easy and you know what, it was still hard! One thing I have learned running fast (BQ pace) and slow, each has it's own challenges. 

Running fast hurts like hell and my recovery takes longer, but it is so great to get done faster! Running slower means my legs feel great the next day, but being on my feet in the heat for an extra hour SUCKS and being out in the heat forever definitely was hard. Whether tortice  or hare, we are all runners!

At the finish! (Photo credit: Jorge Garcia)

Salty selfie!!

After the race, I raced home, grabbed a shower, and hit the airport to fly to Denver for the REVEL Rockies Marathon the next day! 

I have run the Utah Valley Marathon more than any other marathon. Why? Because it has everything you want in a race. Great organization, beautiful course, great swag (we got cool jackets this year) and an RD that really cares about the runners! Registration is open now at a great price, so why wait! You can register HERE

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Team Challenge Race Auction Benefiting The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation!

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both major categories of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). IBD affects an estimated 1.6 million Americans. These chronic diseases tend to run in families and they affect males and females equally.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect any part from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine.

The Mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is: To cure and prevent Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support.
For this cause, I am running the Chicago Marathon this year! I reached out to some of the best races in the country and they have so generously donated bibs to their races that will go up for auction!
Here is how it will work:
1) Each race will have a post indicating the start and end time of the auction. 
2) To bid, post your bid in the comments of the race you want to bid on. ONCE YOU POST, YOU ARE COMMITTING TO YOUR BID. YOU CANNOT BACK OUT OF YOUR BID ONCE YOU POST! You will only have to donate if you have the winning bid though.
3) All auctions will end at 2:00PM MST.
4) I will contact the winners with registration info within a couple days of the auction closing.


You can join the auction HERE! Bidding starts as low as $20!

It's Global Running Day!!

Get out and RUN!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Marathon Maniacs Turn 14 Years Old!

On May 25th, 2003, after completing the Coeur ‘d Alene Marathon, Steve Yee, Chris Warren, Tony Phillippi & Sue Fauerbach were having lunch with a Spokane area Dead Runner (Terry Watanabe).
The conversation turned to how many marathons they had run throughout the year. Steve was pretty crazy and was trying to fit as many marathons into his schedule as he could. When Tony and Chris started throwing out some marathons of their own, Terry made the statement “I feel like I’m amongst a bunch of Marathon Maniacs” and the name stuck. The three of them were referred to as the Maniacs from that day forward.
Soon after, Tony and Chris started thinking that it would be great to have a marathon specific running club for runners as crazy as they were. The idea was run by Steve and he loved it! And so the Marathon Maniacs were born! 

Tony Phillippi (MM #3), Steven Yee (MM #1) and Chris Warren (MM #2), founders of the Marathon Maniacs

As members join the club they are given a number based on when they join. I joined the club on November 22, 2009 and was given MM #1975 (between my two friends Bob Baker #1974 and Jim Levy #1976)!

In May, 2010, a group of us Utah runners went to the Tacoma City Marathon  for the Marathon Maniacs reunion and met the "Big 3" in person for the first time (as well as our Sarasota friends Greg Goebel, Mary Lenari and Donna Loud)! This was the first time we saw the magnitude of what this club has done for the running community. 

Through this club, I have not only learned to push myself to do things I never thought I would do, I have met some of the most wonderful, friendly, fun, charitable, crazy, courageous, and down right groovy people! I have found love and friendship in this club. Not to mention all discounts and perks given to members at some races! That is worth the dues alone!

The Big 3 and I in Boston 2016

In 2012, I was brought on as the Reunion Coordinator and now is helping with the new Signature Race Series! That has been a blast!

So 14 years ago there were 3 members and today there 13,863 (and counting) members! Thanks Steve, Tony and Chris for creating a place where insanity is celebrated!

Maniacs at Route 66 in 2015.


If you would like more info on what it takes to join the Marathon Maniacs, you can find the criteria HERE.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Tacoma City Half Marathon!

As the Reunion Coordinator for the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics, the "Big 3" (founders Steven Yee, Chris Warren and Tony Phillippi) approached me with helping them in a new and bigger project. There are so many races wanting to host our annual reunion, it has been a tough decision to pick just one. There are so many variables that go into picking a reunion race. 

With members all over the country (and the world), do we pick a race on the east coast, west coast or in between? Is the race offering special perks to our members? Does the race fill up fast? Is there a major airport near? Is there enough lodging? All of these things need to be thought of before a race is selected.

This year we decided against doing an annual reunion and give our members and the races what they want and the Signature Race Series (SRS) was born! The Big 3 picked five great races from around the country to host us. #2 in the SRS was the Tacoma City Marathon

I flew into Tacoma on Friday night. I wasn't quite sure where I was staying so I parked my rental car and found this cool little coffee house and bar called Black Kettle Bites and Brew, where I got on my computer and did a search around the area while sipping a hot cappuccino and listening to people do karaoke. After a couple texts with Tony I landed at the Hampton Inn that night. I liked this place as it had coffee and tea out all night and they had a huge breakfast the next morning. 

Saturday morning I ventured over to the the TCMA (and Marathon Maniac HQ) to check everyone in and give them their SRS pin for race #2!

Signature Race Series Pin #2 is a replica of the SRS medal given to all club members running the Tacoma City Marathon or Half!

Garrett and I at MM/HF HQ getting ready for all the Maniacs and Fantaics!

The Prez Steven Yee and I at MM/HF HQ!

After a long day at the expo, I headed over to MM/HF dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. They did not take reservations so I got there about 20 minutes before to get our name on the list. I was definitely busy with runners. prom kids and family's out for a Saturday night dinner. We had about 15 people show up and only waited about 20 minutes for a table. The food was good and reasonably priced.

Maniacs and Fanatics at dinner!

At the dinner I sat next to my two NYC friends Alexis and Jim. It was then I found out that Jim and I were staying at the same Airbnb that night! Said Airbnb was just across the street form one of the best pubs in Tacoma, so after dinner, I dropped my stuff off at the house, met the hostess and we headed over to Engine House No. 9! Not only did they have an extensive beer menu, they had a delicious carrot cake!

Engine House No. 9 was awesome! I also found out later that this place had a pivotal place in the start of the Marathon Maniacs! 

It was Saturday night and the place was packed. We found out that they would be doing karaoke and we HAD to stay for that. See, Jim Diego is on a quest to not only run a marathon in all 50 States, he also wants to sing the National Anthem at each of those races and he was going to warm up his pipes there!

The karaoke started off with a few tipsy girls at a Birthday party, too scared to go up alone so they went up in pairs, butchering some top 40 tunes at the top of their lungs. People clapped politely and their friends cheered them on like they were the best singers in the world.

Everyone was having a good time. Then it was Jim's turn. From the first note of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", he had the room! People looked up and paid attention. The guys sitting next to me at the bar turned around from their beers and said "Man! That guy is good!" The place went crazy. 

When he finished the song he came back to the bar, finished his beer and we went back to the house a tiny bit tipsy. I usually do not drink more than one beer before a race, but I had opted to do the half instead of the marathon, so I had a Moscow Mule too. 😉 

Jim KILLING Karaoke!

At 5:30AM, my alarm went off and I got dressed and drove to the Tacoma Art Museum, parked my car and got the last bus to the start at 6:30AM.

When we got to the start it was a little chilly and the air hanger we used to shelter in in past years had been condemed, but a restaurant on site let us sit in there, even providing free coffee and mini bagels!

I got to see my friend Stephanie in there and we chatted for a bit before heading out to drop our gear bags and get to the start.

Cute Stephanie and I!

The start of the marathon and the half start on an active airport runway!

I have run this marathon twice so I KNOW how hilly it is. I am trying to get some speed back in my legs after a winter of being under trained and my last few marathons being quite the slow suffer-fest. I wanted to start over.

Runners heading to the start!

Start selfie!

The Tacoma half course starts on a live airport runway then runs us up and over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Hanging with the 2:00 pacer over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The fist 5 miles of this course are pretty hilly. I tried to hang with the 2:00 pacer early in the race, but lost them once we got over the bridge. My thought was if I work hard over the bridge, there would be some down hill for me to relax on. Well, on the other side of the bridge there was another big hill and I had to stop and walk for a few seconds to get my heart rate down.

The last few miles we came out an ran on this bike path right next to the water. I loved this part as the course was flat, the scenery was beautiful and the volunteers were the happiest people alive. They were cheering their lungs out along that whole stretch of road!

The scenery was like something in a painting!

I'm on a boat! LOL! 😂

I was feeling pretty good and managed to catch the 2:00 pacers again around mile 8. I knew if I stayed with them for the rest of the race I would easily break 2:00. Then at mile 10, I suddenly felt really nauseated. I tried to shake it off and keep running, but I felt like I was going to puke, so I stopped and walked for about 30 seconds and got myself together and pressed on.

I kept the 2 hour pacers in sight, but never quite caught them due to the EVIL, EVIL hill just before you hit the finish chute. It wasn't that long but it was steep. I walked that sucker and finished the race strong with a 2:00:44 and a 4th place age group finish! I was really happy with that on this course.

At the finish of the Tacoma City Half Marathon!

After the race I headed to the Maniac tent to help Chris and Garrett in handing out the extra SRS medal to members.

Steven, Patti, Chris and I at the MM tent!

MM #3 and Race Director Tony and I at the finish!

It is always great to see Marie! She is a legacy at the Tacoma City Marathon!

My pal Alexis race walked his way to finish his FOURTH round of 50 States marathon finishes at the Tacoma City Marathon! CONGRATULATIONS! (I would like to get through one round!) 😛 

Close up of the race medal.

The t-shirt and medal.

The Tacoma SRS medal hooks with the Cowtown SRS medal! The picture is coming together!
After the race, I went back to the Airbnb and took a shower and had a short nap before the Maniac bowling after party at Tower Lanes! It was so much fun! I don't know if it was the beer, the treats or the nachos, but we were killing it!

The Prez!



Chris bought me this beer. I hoped it didn't taste like it came out of the men's room. It didn't. It was a good local beer.

I won the first game a 142!! That's a lot for me!!

I lost my mojo the second game, but Patti, Stephanie and Chris picked it up! Look at Patti's 163!!

We had to take our group bowling pic!

After a few beers, we were all feeling good and decided to play mini golf after bowling! Now we didn't realize that it was 18 holes. Talk about a marathon!! LOL!

This game was a marathon!

The longer we golfed, the more funny it got!

After the golf game I got back to the Airbnb, packed my bag and was up at 3:00AM to drive to Seattle and catch my 6:00AM flight back to Salt Lake City.

Hey! I'm famous!

It was a short but really fun weekend. Thank you Tony, Steven and Chris for EVERYTHING! Our next race in the Signature Race Series is the Mad Marathon in Vermont on July 9th! It is a beautiful race and will be SO MUCH FUN!! So register today!!