Author Archives: seanb724

Grandfurther

Running up Calloway is my favorite “run,” with “run” definitely in quotation marks because if I can average around 18 minute miles, I’m pretty happy.  🙂  Whenever we are in the Boone area, I try to hit this trail.  In fact, one year I summited Calloway 12 tiimes!

When I heard Tanawah Adventures somehow got a permit to hold a trail race here, I was astounded.  But excited!  The race would be The Profile Trail to the summit of Calloway Peak, then down the back side using a combination of Daniel Boone, Nuwati, and Cragway, then back to the top, and back down.  A total of nearly 15 miles and 4500′ of climb and descent.

It would be my 1st race since the ankle injury back in May.  I had previewed the course three weeks prior and came in at 3 hrs 53 minutes (definitely trying not to push too hard).  I thought anything under that would be good, as I thought my preview might not have been the full course.  Turns out race day would stop at the old trail head, about a half mile short of the new one, but would also start about a third of a mile further from the new trail head, so nearly a wash.

The first thing that surprised me was that we’d be starting in 3 waves, with your bib number being assigned based on your ultra sign up ranking.  I came in at 57 out of 150 runners, so did not make the 1st wave!  That told me the level of runner in this race was going t o be up there.  And instantly out of the gate people were flying towards the trail.  I wanted to get towards the front of my wave and pass a few of those in the 1st wave, as once you hit the single track and climbs, passing would be a lot of work.

I’ll keep it short and just say I ran very well, but was amazed at how well so many other people handled this brutal course!  I came in at 3:28, 25 minutes faster than my preview time, and much faster than I thought I could run it.  So I was happy.  (I think I was 47th so I moved up a little!)

Here I am coming down the backside.  Pictures never do justice to the steepness — but trust me this is steep!

As I was waiting at the finish I heard from Kelly that she had slipped and hurt her knee.  Eventually she made it to the medics and they wrapped her knee and gave her a 2nd pole to come down on.  I ran up to the car, grabbed some warm clothes and food, and headed out to meet her.   I then came in the last 1.5 – 2 miles with her.  Turns out she tore her ACL — completely off the femur — but was still able to finish!  But she will need surgery.  😦

Here are my lap times:

And Strava race analysis — a little faster on the 2nd half, but I think the climb is a little easier on the backside.

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Run Across Haiti 2018

Ok, this is happening:

8 days, over 200 miles, one rest day, with daily distances of 13-50+ miles!

I’ll be running with Team Tassy, an organization with the following mission:

We accompany families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs.

Additionally, “we run to show that Haiti’s not a place to be feared or to be pitied.

Last year, my friend Jason, participated in the 2017 version of , and convinced me what an amazing opportunity it was.  (Remember Jason? — I got to pace him the last 25 miles of his Umstead 100 win.)  I’ve never run anywhere near the kind of distance over a week that this will be, but I’m ready to embrace the challenge.

Jason came to HRCA last year during the athletic banquet, and talked about his love of running and love of mission work, and how this run enabled him to combine the two.   Kelly and I want to explore the world of mission work outside of our own community, especially as we approach the day when the kids are out of the nest, and while this is not a hands on mission trip but instead a fundraiser, it will allow me to see a common destination for mission trips.  In fact, Kelly and Riley are going to do a real hands on mission trip in Haiti next summer, and I hope to do the same at some point in the not too distant future.

My coach, David Roche of Some Work All Play (SWAP), questioned why I wanted to do this.  I gave an answer that didn’t satisfy him, and he challenged me to read “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” the story of Paul Farmer and his medical “mission” work in Haiti and other places around the world.  As I read it, I became more and more inspired.   (I think if I was not 47, I’d go back to med school!)  🙂  David’s recommendation to me to read this book reminds me of Phil Jackson, the basketball coach, and how he’d pick a different book for each player every season…  There’s some real insight there beyond running that David had, which made me dig deeper, and I really appreciate it.  Now when I’m really suffering out there, which I know I will (probably many times!) running across Haiti, I’ll be able to dig that much deeper and persevere.

I highly recommend the book!

Here’s a quick video of the run from last year:

Now, this is a fundraiser, and I’ve committed to raising $5000 to support Team Tassy in meeting their goal of accompanying families in Haiti out of poverty.  If you feel inclined to support me in supporting Team Tassy, here’s a link to my Crowdwise site:

Sean’s Run Across Haiti

Thanks!

AT: Family backpacking trip

For my birthday, I wanted to do a family backpacking trip.  We opted to do nearly the same exact trip we did with the HTC men’s group in early June, documented here, here, and here.  As the trips were almost identical, I’ll not go into the details of the journey.  I’ll just say that the kids did very well in the 20 miles and nearly 4000′ of climb that we did, and post some photos.

Day 1

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We stopped for a “coffee break” for me and a rest stop for everyone else.  Reece threw up the hammock and chilled while Kelly got some sun in the back.

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Here’s the kid’s tent site near Wise Shelter (just on the other side of the creek):

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Mess hall:

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Day 2

Heading out:

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(a bit of a joke as we had only walked about 5 minutes!)

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Rock climbing:

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Lunch break

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Evening camp site:

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Our site was invaded by ponies…  Some editing done by Riley:

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Day 3

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2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 6

Day 6 we saved to just explore Pittsburgh.  I went out for a short run and then took the kids to breakfast. On the way we saw “Mass Yoga:”


Later we took the Duquesne Incline up to the far side of the river and just explored around there…

  After some rest and pool time, Reece and I rented bikes and rode around.

2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 3, 4, 5

The next 3 days were the annual ACCS conference, which filled our days.  I won’t write here about all the great sessions and plenaries, others than to copy in a snippet that George Grant used about “The Long Explore…”

Rabbit:

I’ve got a splendid idea! Now listen: we’ll take Tigger for a long explore, see, somewhere he’s never been before. And we’ll lose him there!

Winnie the Pooh:

[awakes] Lose him?

Rabbit:

Oh, we’ll find him again next morning, and mark my words, he’ll be a humble Tigger, a small and sad Tigger, and a “oh, rabbit, am I glad to see you” Tigger. And it’ll take the bounces out of him, that’s what! Now, all in favor, say ‘aye’.
Piglet:

Aye. [Pooh falls asleep again] Pooh. [shakes Pooh awake] Pooh!
Winnie the Pooh:

[waking up, then raising his hand] Oh, here.
Rabbit:

Oh-ho-ho, good. Just good. Motion carried.

Why include this?  It reminded me a lot of why I tackle some of the adventures I do — to be humbled, to be reminded of how small I really am.  I don’t get sad, though, I get excited!  It’s a beautiful world, meant to be explored!

After the conference was over around noon, we drove up to Grove City College to get a guided tour of the campus.  It’s a great little school and a wonderful campus.

And that night Kelly and I went to a fantastic restaurant (Piratas) while the kids stayed back — they were full from lunch and didn’t want dinner just snacks.

2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 2

A long car ride, packing for multiple trips within a trip (DC, Pittsburg for school conference and exploring, NYC, DE (beach)) and this is what you get:

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On the trip to Pittsburg from DC, we decided to stop by and see the United Flight 93 National Memorial in PA.  It was amazingly well done, and very much worth the time.

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I really had no idea how emotional I’d get at the memorial.  It started at the overlook, but inside the Visitor’s center as I was reading the minute by minute account of the day, it got worse.  I lost it when the TV clips they were playing replayed the Today Show footage of the 2nd flight hitting the Trade Center — I remember that exact clip as I was watching it live as it happened, and that brought the memories flooding back.  For those of you that don’t know, Danny Lewin, the co-founder of Akamai, was on American flight 11, so 9-11 has always been a very emotional memory for all of us that knew him and were working there that day, and I still get so sad when re-living it.  😦

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Once we got to Pittsburg, I got out for a quick run along the river(s):

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And then we went to Burgatory for dinner, and I got this fortune:  :-/IMG_1131

This looks like a great place for a conference and to explore post conference for a couple of days…IMG_1132

2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 1

This year we won’t be heading to a national park out west 😦 —  instead have quite the itinerary planned on the east coast with stops in DC, Pittsburg, girls to NYC and boys to DE, etc.

Day 1 had us drive to DC to the National Cathederal and then see U2 with our friends the Martins in seats next to us, and other friends from PBO and Chapel Hill in attendance but not directly with us.

Photos of the day below.

A golden opportunity to mention quantity missed?

The National Cathedral had damage in an earthquake a couple years back that they will be working of for quite some time.

Stained glass depicting NASA’s trip to the moon:

After the Cathedral we got a taste of DC traffic — about an hour to go just 13 miles to get to the hotel!   We had a quick turn around to get a quick bite to eat and to the stadium for the show.  We got an Uber Black but on the way to dinner changed plans and had him drop us off at Chinese, and then walked to the stadium.

After ticket resolution, we finally made it in and got see the Lumineers play a couple songs!

U2 was pretty amazing, as always.

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