When we have friends running alongside us,
there's no fight we can't fight,
no race we can't finish.
Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger Tackle the Appalachian Trail - Episode Two
We catch up with Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger a little over 300 miles into their Appalachian Trail adventure.
Read more about their adventure here: https://mxgadventures.zyrosite.com/page-I0osYZuLA
Donate to their Soles4Souls campaign here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/meg-celia-at
Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger Tackle the Appalachian Trail - Episode One
On March 26th, my dear friends Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger will being their journey to run the entire Appalachian Trail in 18 months. Because they are working moms, and they don't have the opportunity to set aside one large chunk of time to tackle it uniterrupted start to finish, they will be tackling it in weekend segments. Some very high mileage weekend segments!!
As part of this journey, they will be raising money and collecting shoes for Soles4Souls. Learn more about this project here:
Meg and Celia Soles4Souls Campaign
And you can follow their journey on their Appalachian Trail RunVenture Page here:
Becca Jones and Jon Cox - Race Directors of the Midstate and Tennessee Miles
I recently signed up to run the Tennessee Mile. The race is run over a course affectionately - or maybe intimidatingly - called the "Murder Mile."
When you sign yourself up for murder, it's usually wise to get a better idea of what you are up against. So I reached out to Becca Jones and Jon Cox who put this event on as well as the Midstate mile they host on the same course earlier in the year.
I discovered what I often discover in the ultra community. I discovered two beautiful people.
Jon talks about taking up running several years ago when he was feeling like he hadn't achieved anything notable in life. So he ran a marathon. And his running journey was born.
Becca talks about growing up on the trails. She tells us how running helps her and others look into their souls. And how much she loves being a part of that exploration.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Check out the Mid-state mile Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/midstatemile/
Check out Becca's coaching website here, where you can also register to come run your own murder mile: www.bmfjevents.com
An Interview with Lauren Jones - In Pursuit of the Fastest Known Time on the Pinhoti Trail
“I went further than I ever thought possible, I felt better than I ever thought possible, and I completely surprised myself. I had had the experience of a lifetime.”
In 2019, Lauren Jones had the chance of a lifetime. She was in her dream race, the Leadville 100. But her dream race turned into one she couldn't finish. In her words, she was broken and mentally crushed.
The day after Lauren dropped from her race, she went back and watched the final hour of the final finishers at Leadville and that sealed the deal. She knew she'd be ready the next time.
That vow would begin in 2020 - that would be her redemption year.
Unfortunately, it would also be the year of COVID. All those redemption races she'd signed up for were suddenly cancelled. Lauren needed to find a pursuit to ease the sting - something to focus her training - an outlet for her pent up redemption energy.
She didn't go small, that's for sure. Around a campfire her and some friends decided that outlet would be chasing the fastest known time on the 350 mile Pinhoti trail - which was about 5 1/2 days...
In this interview Lauren tells us about the beauty she found in the chase.
She told me the most beautiful part of the experience was the people.
"The people made it the experience. I thought it would be just grinding and getting miles and doing the thing. But I actually had such an incredible experience seeing how kind and how generous and how loving all these people were. There were some I didn't know at all and some I barely knew and some that I knew very well. All coming together and all working together and all working out this one common goal for this one person. I was just overwhelmed at the kindness of people. That was the whole experience of this thing for me. The people."
This a beautiful story about human strength. It's the story of what happens when one discovers doing something isn't as scary as it sounded.
Read Lauren's Pinhoti Trail Recap Here: Race Report - Pinhoti In Review
Watts Dantzler - The Journey from Georgia Bulldog Lineman to Georgia Jewel 100 Miler
When I recently ran the Georgia Jewel 35-miler (37ish miles in this COVID altered addition), I had no idea I was sharing the trail with a former Georgia Bulldog offensive lineman. Only Watts was tackling a much longer race that day than I was.
After interviewing Watts Dantzler, I told him he might be the unlikeliest ultra marathoner I've ever encountered. Just a few years removed from being a 6'8" 350 pound athlete battling in the trenches at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia - Watts Dantzler was returning to his Dalton, Georgia home to tackle the first 100 mile race of his life.
In this interview Watts and I talk about his journey running from the grief of losing his dad - his hero - when he was a high school sophomore. We talk about his journey running from the identity of "football star." We talk about how running from demons in life put him on a path back to God and in pursuit of conquering the 100-mile Georgia Jewel.
I hope you enjoy this conversation exploring this incredible journey.
Local news story about Watts Dantzler's Georgia Jewel Run.
An Interview with Whitney Richman - Setting Records on Virginia's Capital Trail
15 years ago, Whitney Richman watched a friend finish the Chicago Marathon. She thought to herself, hey, I can do that.
The next year she did. And the running accomplishments have piled up ever since.
I love this conversation with Whitney. We talk about her recent fastest know time finishes on Richmond's Capital trail - both the 52 miles one way and then a couple of months later the 104 mile both ways run.
We talk about Whitney's love for the ultra community, how they have an "it takes a village" mentality about them.
Whitney gives us some advice on how to manage the self talk that is always trying to talk us out of becoming our best selves. Whitney shares how running can actually become our best form of therapy.
We talk about how running impacts our ability to make quick and confident decisions - and question whether that works out for us or against us in the long run.
Whitney previews her upcoming Rim to River 100 mile Ultra on November 7 - I'm fired up to follow her on this journey.
Rim to River Ultra
News story on record setting capital trail run
Love this Podcast!
Love the variety of subjects and people interviewed. Always uplifting with a great story. Keep them coming Keith!