Saturday, November 20, 2010


Well, a lot has been going on. I drove to Aspen, Colorado and am living here now working at the resort. It is very different here than Virginia and am absolutely stoked to even be here. The mountains here are incredible.

(taken from part of Rim Trail)

Since there aren't heaps of snow here yet I've been able to give running a try. The second day I was here I tried running, made it 10 minutes up the road and couldn't breath anymore. I couldn't breathe in and it was almost scary. I stopped running, contemplated just walking but instead turned around and ran back to the apartment I'm living in and called it a day.

I was slightly frustrated at how living at 8,000 feet was affecting me. So, the next day I tried running again and was able to go for a nice 2 hour run with spectacular views. It was far from easy but somehow was still able to log about 15 miles in the 2 hour period.

Dropping by the ranger station in the area I was able to find out about some of the trails around here. Unfortunately most of them are under feet of snow at the moment which wouldn't be so bad if the roads to the trails weren't also under feet as well. My 92 honda accord isn't the greatest car to traverse those kinds of conditions.

Fortunately I as able to find the rim trail which starts about a quarter mike from my apartment. Yesterday I tried it out and it turned out to be a great trail that has a good amount of ascent, decent, and amazing views. Climbing up to the rim initially proved to be tough on the lungs but the amount of elk tracks were enough to take my mind off of my lack of speed and my extra effort.

As I approached the top a view of neighboring mountains welcomed me to the top. Turning left at the top I started on the trail that varied from dropping off steeply on both sides to being thick with trees. It winded along the ridge until it pointed downward steeply and started climbing again. I followed the trail until it made it's final decent to Snowmass Village where I followed the road back to the apartment a total of about 3 hours.

Today myself and my two roommates decided we wanted to get a head start on skiing and since the lifts aren't open, we would have to get ourselves to the top. With skis strapped to my backpack we climbed about 500 ft short of Sam's Knob (10,620) to about 10,080 ft put on our gear and skied back down to the car.

I think I'm going to like it here.

-- Patrick

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

pics by Bobby Gill

mile 65
mile 1

Grindstone 100

Where do you start in a race like Grindstone? I guess last year would be a good place. Last year I DNF'd at 35 miles so this year I was back for some serious redemption. I guess my stomach didn't get the memo that I wasn't stopping because it decided to wreak havoc on my physical capabilities and my energy levels starting from the second mile. No joke. Mile 2.

The race is interesting for the simple fact that aside from being 100 miles with 23,200 ft of elevation gain and 23,200 ft of elevation loss, it starts at 6 pm. Everyone runs all night.

My personal encounter with the race this year was like nothing I have experienced and nothing I ever want to experience again. As we took off down the trail from the Boy Scout Camp where the race started the light of day began to dim. 2 miles after the start I felt a gurgling in my stomach that signaled a need to let go of whatever I ate prior to the race. Crap #1.

Not too worried about the placing or time at this point I continued down the trail with the ever dimming light of day and tried to post pone the use of a head lamp as long as I could because I knew I would be using it for quite awhile through the night.

Before another 20 minutes passed I needed to go again. This became an annoying pattern for the first 22 miles. I got the aid station with my brother, Kevin, as my crew. I told him what was going on and let him know my energy was going down the tubes because of the issues. He gave me some Tums, some more electrolytes, filled my bottles and got me on my way.

Into the night, and down the trail, I continued releasing demons every 20-30 minutes. The terrain was awesome. Last year the fog was so intense you couldn't see a thing. This year, the stars were incredible. The mountains are a perfect place to see stars because of the lack of city lights. I was enjoying the long downhills as those were the sections where I actually felt like I was moving. The uphills were a bit frustrating simply because my energy levels were down and I wasn't climbing well.

Before too much longer I stumbled into the aid station at mile 35, my stopping point last year. This year I felt worse. A huge headache accompanied my constant stomach cramping and because it was about 2 in the morning, I was very tired. I asked Kevin to wake me in 10 minutes. When he did, I ate some stew and a few crackers. Gu was out of the question and was actually adding nausea to the list of ailments.

I left the aid station feeling somewhat better now that I had a few calories in my system. I soon caught up with a guy named Chris. This was his first 100 and his friend had dropped at the last aid station. We enjoyed much of the incredibly long climb together. Unfortunately, as the calories burned off, so did my energy and before too long I simply couldn't keep up. Many people passed me on this climb as I would stop along the side of the trail to relieve myself again and again.

Soon, my pace was nothing short of pathetic and I kept looking behind me waiting for a baby to catch up to me crawling on hands and knees. With a throbbing headache I puked up the stew and crackers that remained in my stomach just as a guy was passing me. After hours of climbing I reached the top of Little Bald Mountain and began my decent to the aid station. The fastest I could muster was a slow shuffle down the hill.

When I finally did reach the aid station I collapsed in a chair. I wasn't thinking straight, I wasn't seeing clearly and my head would not stop pounding. An aid station worker came up and asked me what I needed. I think I asked for soup because that's what he brought and it was delicious. The broth warmed me and as I sat by the fire I started to nod off to sleep. The same volunteer came over and wrapped a sleeping bag around me and handed me another cup of soup telling me to keep eating. I told him of my trouble and he brought over some more soup and Mountain Dew. I don't remember anything after that until I woke up hearing my friend's voice. Dave was saying bye to the aid station and I was opening my eyes still wrapped in the sleeping bag. I asked a guy sitting next to me what time it was because my watch decided it would be a good time to stop working in the middle of a race. He told me it was 6:00. I had slept for 30 minutes. A volunteer saw that I was awake and brought me some more soup and Mountain Dew. I decided to get moving down the trail because I wasn't even half way there.

I thanked the volunteers profusely and began running down the trail. My stomach still gurgled but my legs felt new, my energy felt new, and I felt great!
Now running strong, I approached the 50 mile turnaround. First, though, we all needed to summit Reddish Knob. Upon reaching the top of the mountain I stopped and just looked around.

The sun was just starting to peek from behind the mountains to the east and was illuminating the mountains to the west which was West Virginia. Soon afterward, I caught up with Dave and took full advantage of the fact that I was feeling better and knew I should run well while I had energy because I might not be able to keep food in my system. That's when I threw up again. I saw my Dad soon after and there was a crew access point just short of the 50 mile turnaround. Not wanting to stop on the short side of 50, I only stopped at the crew station the second time I saw it. My dad and Kevin had swapped positions, Kev was back at the tent sleeping and now my dad was out here. He had brought some of his famous bean soup for me and it was nice and hot. After eating that, several slices of bread, and a cup of strawberry applesauce, he helped me change my socks and shoes and sent me on my way. I felt like a million bucks.

I was climbing well now and energy levels were through the roof. Before too long, I reached the next aid station, grabbed another cup of soup and was sent on my way. Running downhill strong upset my stomach a bit and I, once again blew biscuits and lost the rest of my calories through other methods. Though, this would be the last time I did either in the race. My tally was 14 relief efforts involving pants around my ankles, and 3 barfs. Thankfully, the tally remained there.

Upon reaching the same aid station I had my 30 minute nap, I sat and ate to try to regain the precious calories I had lost recently. They had made this heavenly concoction which started with a half of an English muffin topped with a mixture of scrambled egg, sausage, bacon and cheese. It was a delight. Snagging one of those, I started down the trail to see the kind of beast that had nearly killed me the night before.

The temps were still cool, but were warming up nicely. The high grass on either side of the single track trail brushed my filthy legs as I passed them. The top of this mountain looke completely different the last time I was there.

I started down the mountain and was taken aback by the steepness and wondered how I ever got up this last night in the condition I was in. Needless to say, I was a bit impressed with myself, but was still a long way from the finish line. On the way down, I passed several people along with Dave. As time would wear on and my energy levels plummeted he caught up with me again near the aid station and we ran into the 65 mile aid station together.

At the aid station was my dad, Kevin my friend and pacer Adam and my mom. My mom had driven out to the race to support me for the time she could. It was awesome to see her and gave me a giant lift. I was back to feeling quite defeated as I flopped into the chair. Out of energy I asked my dad for a 10 minute nap. Afterwards I ate, stocked my pockets full of Gu and took off with Adam. It was awesome to run with him. He kept me quite entertained and laughing the whole time. Soon I tried a Gu and it stayed down. I was back and it felt great. I could eat between aid stations and so I could continue to run well. I passed several people and one guy called me Lazarus because I came back from the dead.

Adam and I ran well together. We were roomates in college and he was always a faster runner than I was. I liked running with him because it gave me someone to silently compete with. Today, he would be running farther than he ever had before. The miles went quickly and we ran very well. I was shocked at how well we were moving and how quickly the mies went. More aid stations passed and soon it was time to pick up our head lamps and enter the second night of running. We had 13 miles to go and I really did not want to be running at night again. I was getting tired but continued to push so that we didn't have to run more dark sections than we had to. Unfortunately, we needed to turn on our headlamps about 6 miles from the finishline.

Reaching the last aid station we had 5 miles to go. I was very tired but Adam, never failing, brought to light this little gem and put things into perspective. It went a little something like this.
"I'm so tired." I said
Adam, "Would you like a straw?"
"Do... you... want.. a straw?"
"Um...sure, why?"
"So you can suck it up?"
My dad, and I both had a laugh and Adam and I left the aid station after eating several packages of Scooby Doo fruit snacks.

Making our way toward the finish line I couldn't help it. With about 3 or 4 miles until the finish line I ran hard. Adam and I ran hard through the woods at night hoping to break 30 hours for a finish time. Then we saw the finish line and ran even harder. I saw the clock and it said 27 something but I didn't really care. I finished Grindstone and hugged the totem pole, hugged Adam, and hugged my dad. We went inside and ate and ate and ate.

A hot shower had never felt so good niether had crawling into a tent and going to sleep. My final time was 27:46

-- Patrick

Friday, September 24, 2010

grindstone pre-race and thoughts on the real world

Most pre-race posts are made to give the audience a run-down of who's entered in the race and who I think will take first, second, third and so on.

There are a bunch of fast people running the Grindstone 100 this year. And I'm sure they will have fun battling it out up front.

For me, Grindstone is a remption race for me this year. Last year I DNF'ed and it was my first one so it stung. There were several completely logical reasons for it, but it didn't make it hurt any less. In the two weeks prior to the race last year I ran a 12 hour race where I pushed hard and ran 71.5 miles and the week before I ran a mountain 100k and pushed hard. Going into Grindstone I wasn't recovered. Physically I had an ache in my foot/ankle that started hurting within the first 5 miles. Mentally this drained me. Also, because I had pushed hard in the previous two races and it had come out to my favor, I pushed early on in Grindstone. I had won the 12 hour and I had come in 2nd in the 100k. I went out harder than I should have for my amount of recovery. I ran mountains I should have walked and tried to stay up with people who had properly "tapered" for the race. This combined with the reasons listed above I was physically and mentally done with the race at mile 35. Especially when I was told after the first weigh in that I was down 6 lbs, which translates to: "you're dehydrated."

This year is a new year. I finished the 2553 miles across the country, finished the Western States 100 as well as a 50k. While compared to the amount of races I did last year, this year should have been a drop in the bucket. I'm afraid it has not been. Since I got back from the cross country run, I have had little aches and pains that have popped up and stayed with me. I believe it to be a result of pounding on pavement for between 3-7 hours everyday for the first 4 months of the year. Normally they subside after I get going and warm up, but they have put a damper on the amount of enjoyment I get from my runs because I am constantly wondering if I am ultimately doing myself a disservice by continuing to run on them.

I got through Western States just fine, and I plan on finishing Grindstone in an unspectacular time simply to prove to myself that this race can not beat me two years in a row. Finishing under 24 hours is of course always one goal because it's running 100 miles in a day, I'm not going for anything particular time-wise.

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited to run this race. It is a great experience starting at 6 pm to level the playing field so everyone runs in the dark. I'm simply stating that after Grindstone, I believe I am going to slow down a bit and make sure my body is working properly and is properly recovered before jumping back into higher mileage weeks just because that's what I feel like I "should be" doing. I'm 22. I'm still young and I'm not trying to set myself up for destruction by the time I'm 40.

Getting back to the real world after being on the road for 4 months has been a bit tough to say the least. I couldn't believe that yesterday marked the date that I had been done for 5 months. That means that if I had followed my gut and simply turned around when I got to the water I would have reached the Pacific Ocean a full month ago. It feels like a long time ago that I finished but time has really flown. It is also a time in my life where I'm supposed to be figuring out what to do with the next 90 years of my life. (That's right, I plan on living to be 112) So far I'm unimpressed with the real world and I now know what they mean when they say, "You gotta find something you love doing because if you do, you'll never work a day in your life." Let's just say, I've yet to find that.

I started an office job in June and have already decided that office life isn't for me. Sitting for 8 hours a day has given me a new perspective on why some people are as grouchy as they are, why some people are as obese as they are, but makes me wonder how there aren't more shooting sprees in the hours between 5 pm-9pm.

Because of my general distain for being in a town with traffic 24/7 and an office environment, and because of my desire to do something cool while I still can I'm moving to Aspen, Colorado. I got a job at the ski resort and will work there for the winter. I'm really stoked to be living in the mountains and to get out of Virginia even just for a little while. I think skiing will provide me a good physical actvity that will allow me to still exercise and lay off a heavy volume of running.

Anyway, Grindstone starts one week from today and will have a full run down of that race as it comes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

40 miles and a waterbottle

Last weekend I ran the Ring. Well, I'll be honest, I started the Ring. The Ring is a free race that takes place on the Massanutten trail. 70 miles of rocks. The beginning went pretty well. I started off and didn't feel very good or strong. But I was running well enough and was enjoying the break from the heat we've had lately. The first place to refill my water bottles was mile 13 and the second spot was mile 25ish. I felt terrible by mile 25. I just sat there for a bit. I reached that aid station in second place but wasn't so sure of the outcome at that point.

After some calories and water and encouragement from Katie, my dad and Kevin, my brother, I left the aid station for the next aid 9 mostly uphill miles away. As soon as I left I zoned out and tried to forget how badly I was feeling. It was very strange. I had energy, my legs felt fine, and yet my stomach felt funny and I just felt generally "off" of my normal stoked-just-to-be-in-the-mountains self. Upon reaching the third aid station I decided I would continue until I wasn't having fun anymore. Unfortunately, the next section was incredibly rough and the sharp rocks that we had delt with all morning were really aggrivating the bones in my feet. When i reached the third aid station at mile 40ish I decided I wasn't having fun anymore and if I kept going I would probably start running funny in order to protect my sore feet which could prepare the sure recipe for injury. With Grindstone just around the corner for me, I'm not trying to do anything to jeopardize that.

In other news I was sent a water bottle that i was able to personalize! It is sick! It is a Sigg bottle and it is BPA free and keeps my water nice and chilly.

Sick water bottles

This is the website where you can find about a million different designs of water bottles and other personalized stuff. And if they don't have what you're looking for you can just design it yourself. Pretty good idea.

Anyway, Grindstone is in a couple weeks and I'm stoked for it. This year, that race will be finished.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I realize I haven’t posted in quite awhile. Most of that is because I have been very busy and haven’t really had time to post. Since the run, I’ve gotten a job. I work for a company that sends direct mail for non-profit companies. I’m in an office.

As you can read from an earlier post, I ran Western States and had a blast in the process. Since I have a real job now, I can’t just go out and run whenever I feel like it, and don’t have a break in my day available to run. So I am forced to use the hours of the day that every other working schmuck uses. I wake up early to run sometimes and run after work most of the time. Working around a solid 9 hour block of work right in the middle of the day really cramps my style. I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood.

The good news is that I can run on weekends, barring large commitments, usually wherever I want because now I have gas money to get places, which is very nice. Two weeks after Western States I ran the Skyline Challenge 50k that is put on by the Hinton brothers. They put on a fun race of about 170 people that is out in the sticks of Gore, Virginia. The race was just the way I like it: lots of elevation change and pretty technical trail. When it started, several of us went out strong setting the stage for a quick race. After the entire field made a wrong turn within the first mile, we knew that this could be an issue all day. After the first major climb I was in the lead and saw an arrow that led me back down the mountain. At the bottom…there were no markings. 5 minutes go by, no one had come down and I knew I wasn’t running fast enough to have a 5 minute lead on everyone this early in the race so I figured I missed a turn and headed back up the climb I just came down retracing my steps. Upon reaching the top again, I saw several runners coming up the first climb and turning right where I had turned left. I was right near last place. Bummer. I ran hard to try to gain ground but I got too excited with the trail and 4 more wrong turns, and six hours and change later arrived at the finish line in 24th place. Oh well, it was still fun, the trail was very pretty, and I had a good time at the picnic afterwards.

Next was the REMR. The Really Early Morning Run aka Baconfest. It is a run put on by my friend Mark Guzzi who loves running almost as much as he loves bacon. We started at 2 am, ran a marathon or so, and then had a large breakfast including 3 lbs of bacon afterwards.

In the name of spending time on my feet, the next run was two weekends ago and I decided to get a group together to run part of the Bull Run Run 50 course. Starting at 4:15 am and not sleeping the night before made it fun to romp through the woods at night. Race Director for the Adventure Trail Series Races, Alex Popadopalous, (pronounced exactly how this is spelled, though probably not spelled correctly) came out as did Dave and our friend Brittany. Brittany is attempting Grindstone as her first 100 miler. 30 miles later, we finished.

In between engagements, I try to make it out to the mountains. I get to go this week and am stoked. Next on my race list is the Ring which is a 70 miler all on the Massanutten Trail on Labor day weekend. Should be rocky with though climbs. It’ll be a good last training run before Grindstone on October 1-3. After that, who knows. I need to save some money, so I will probably not race for the rest of the year so I can save up some money for races for next year.

We’ll see how that goes…

-- Patrick

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Western States 100

I'm not completely sure where to start on my Western States experience. There is a lottery to get into the race, and a qualifying time at a 50 miler or a completed hundred miler under your belt before you are allowed to enter the race. It is one of the oldest hundred milers there are so there are an incredible amount of people who enter the lottery to race. It was my first time entering and I got in, so I didn't want to pass it up.

Returning from my cross country trip left me a little bit nervous about the distance I hadn't covered since last August and being on roads left me nervous about the trails for 100 miles. So when I got back I immediately hit the trails and started training hard. A semi-failed attempt at a 24 hour race the week after I finished left me a little shaken on the mental side of things but it was all the more insentive to get back on the trails and work harder.

When my dad and I flew out to Reno, NV on Thursday I felt ready for the race and generally stoked that I was about to partake in a race as legendary as States. We flew into Reno and drove the 30 min or so to Lake Tahoe where we were staying that night and the next. I had never been to Lake Tahoe and to be quite honest, sitting on the plane ride back to Virginia not knowing the next time I'll be back is a bit disheartening. It is absolutely incredible there. I am truly jealous of anyone who lives there, or Squaw Valley, CA or in any big mountainous region similar to those.

Thursday my Dad and I went to a casino's buffet and after we destroyed the place we found the hotel in Kings Beach, Ca, which you can see the state line of Nevada from, and crashed after a long day of traveling.

Friday morning I woke up at 5 because I was still on Virginia time and realized it wasn't all the way light yet so I threw on some clothes and ran down to the lake and was able to snap some pics of the lake while it was very still.

My dad had gone out driving very early when he got up so we met up and grabbed some breakfast and headed out to Squaw Valley, where the race starts.

It was the home of the winter Olympics in the 60s, and when I saw it I understood why.

Let's just say I liked it and move on. We also met my grandpa there. He was out on the road in his trailer with his wife Doris and when he found out I'd be racing in Squaw he came out for a visit in his new trailer. I hadn't seen his since Plains, Texas on Feb 12th so it was great to see him.

I attended the equivalent of a road race's "packet pick-up" except this was no ordinary "packet." We formed a line where we received a technical shirt, fleece jacket, Moeben sleeves, bumper stickers, and other various promotionaly items all donning the Western States name and a backpack to put it all in. Then we lined up for the medical check-in. In long races sometimes they have a weight check-in at the aid stations so that you know how well you are keeping up with your nutrition. They were also doing research on how long distance running effects some of the chemicals in the human body, or something like that. I weighed in at 161 with a blood pressure of 132/86 and a heartrate of 83...I was a little bit excited to be there as my heart rate showed.

We had some time between that time and when we had to be back for the pre-race meeting so my dad and I went kayaking on Lake Tahoe. I know, rough life. It was really nice out on the water, a little breezy because there was a storm on the way but pleasent nonetheless.

When we returned to Squaw for the meeting I saw the faces of the elite runners, which I wouldn't see again until Sunday at the awards ceremony, as well as the man that started it all: Gordy Ainsleigh, the first man to run the race intended for horses. He ran again this year at the age of 63.

After the meeting my dad and I took the tram up to the top of the mountain that would be close to the 4 mile mark on race-day. It was 360 degrees of awesome up there. Surrounded by snow, we walked around a little and got a feel for what it felt like to be at 8200 feet. It was also the site of where some of the Olympic events were held. As we got talking to one of the workers I found myself asking about prices of rent in the area and the potential for employment there.

Afterward, we talked with Keaton, an old friend from highschool who lives in California and would be pacing me from mile 80 to the end, and made plans to meet up for dinner with three of his friends, one of which was running the race as well. We met for pizza with Grandpa and Doris and we killed a few delicious pizzas and each went our separate ways to make last preparations for the morning.

-- Patrick

The race

I woke up on Satuday at 2:58 am, took a quick shower, because I don't like to start really long run already dirty, and grabbed the stuff I had layed out the night before. By 3:55 we were in the parking lot of the Squaw Valley resort and I was walking into the building to receive my number. #318. It was chilly, maybe only in the 40s and of course still dark. I stood around with Dad, Keaton, his friends, Dave Snipes and Grandpa, staying warm, trying to relax, and snapping a few pictures.

Finally, people started lining up at 4:55 and at 4:59 Gordy Ainsleigh stepped up to the microphone and said, "You are enter...the Holy Grail...of trail ultrarunning." With that, we counted down the last 10 seconds the gun went off and the blob of 400-some runners made their way forward.

The four mile up to the top of the first mountain was great! Snow all around and when we got to the top someone had carried a gong up there and was smashing the thing like crazy. It was very loud and added a sense of excitement to start off the day. As we crossed the top I looked back over all of Squaw Vally, the surrounding mountains, and Lake Tahoe in the distance. The sun was illuminating everything in an orangish glow and it looked like a postcard. It almost made me want to stay at the top and hang there for awhile, then again, it was cold an I had another 95 or so miles to go.

Up until almost the 13 mile mark we were in snow and crossing streams and bigger streams. Keeping dry feet was not an option. But then again, if I wanted a nice comfortable day, I probably wouldn't have entered a hundred miler.

The majority of the day was spent monitoring my nutritional needs and staying conservative in my pace. I wanted to break 24. That's all.

At mile 80 I sat down and felt terrible. The climbs were tough, it downhilla had been tough, I was blistered and felt beaten. I knew I would keep going but just needed a minute to myself. So my dad helped me change my socks for the third time and Keaton was there ready to roll and got me some crackers and cantaloupe, pretty much the only food I ate other than Gu. After about 5 minutes of sitting there my dad said I had 5 more minutes of sitting and then I had to get up. So, I went to sleep. The second I put my face on my hand I was out cold. I slept for 5 minutes while my feet air-dried. From there Keaton and I made our way toward the finishline - twenty miles away.

Having a familiar running buddy with me was priceless. Having him along to crack jokes made the last twenty fly by. The second to last aid station was "No hands bridge" and was mile 96 ish. We had 3.4 miles to the finish and was right on the line of whether I was going to make it under 23 hours. If I was, though, I'd have to pick up the pace in this last section.

Keaton pointed out that it was do-able and made me go for it. We ran a lot faster than what we had been doing. Up hills, down hills, steep hills and tiny hills, Keaton made me run them all. If he could tell I wasn't doing so well, he'd say, "Alright you've got one minute to walk then we're running again." In actuality though, I took him up on the offer once for the full minute he rationed me.

When we reached the last aid station I didn't stop running and just called out my number so I didn't have to stop, they cheered and it made me feel good and like I was doing something right. We hit the last little hill and then the last downhill that led me onto the final lap around the track at Placer High School in Auburn. From the last aid station I sprinted and for some reason went even faster once I hit the track. I've never been a fan of track workouts but that lap might have been my fastest yet. My time was 22:59 and some change in seconds.

I'm writing this after a full day of non-stop hassles from the airlines trying to get home in time for work tomorrow. But unfortunately, we're spending the night in the airport in New York, and I won't make it to work on Tuesday....technically today.

It wasn't a very restful weekend. By the time we get on the plane tomorrow I will have gotten 9 hours of sleep over 3 days but hey, I got a sweet belt buckle in the process.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mountain day

In recent news, I got a job. I start one week from today, so, to
celebrate, I went to the mountains to run. I ran part of the Massanutten 100 course and some extra stuff just for fun. I went up to the top of Kennedy Peak and took a video.

YouTube Video

After taking one nasty spill on the rocks early in the day, a total of 3 hours and change of mountain running, 96 oz of water, a handful of Gu's, one YooHoo, seeing several squirrels, various birds, a fox, and no human beings; I decided to call it a day.

I have gotten my trail legs back and I am ready for the Western States 100 mile endurance run in late June. I'm really stoked.

As far as getting back into real life, I'm getting there. I do miss the fact that everyday it was my job to run far. I do not, however, miss the running on the road. Trails are much more interesting to me.

Since I've been back a lot of people have asked me what country I'll run next. While I would love to travel to other countries to run, I think I'll stick to trails. I'd love to do a long trail; but then again, who knows. Not me, that's for sure. All I know is I'm still running, and still loving it. The other thing I know is that I need to work. This unemployed thing has got to go. That's why it's good news I've got a job.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mmt 100 pacer

On Saturday I went to the massanuttens to pace Dave at the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100. He was allowed a pacer after mile 63 at the Camp Roosevelt aid station. It was a new course this year and there were some tougher spots in the beginning that were at the end in past years. I got there around 5 and waited for him to come through. In the mean time, I talked with lots of people at the aid station. It was good to see some of the people I hadn't seen in quite awhile.

Dave came through at about 8:30 pm and ate and refilled his bottles. We grabbed our headlamps and hit the trail. For the next 9 hours we would only be seeing the tunnel vision of the trail our headlamps provided for us. As we made our way through the winding trail and up and down the mountains we caught up on everything. He was in good spirits and was running well.

Then on our way up the trail we saw a rattlesnake moving very slowly across the trail. Dave was leading, of course, and he stopped abruptly. There were a couple of runners right behind us and Dave saved all of our lives by pointing out the snake and making sure it didn't get mad and start biting us all.

At aroud 3 am it started raining which made the already cool 50 degrees even chillier. Dave said it was because he was listening to the iPod shuffle that his friend snuck "it's raining men" onto and everytime that song comes on during a race it actually starts raining.

We reached an aid station at mile 88 at about 5:30 am and there were bacon sandwiches ready to be eaten. So we sat down for awhile to rest and eat. Soon enough, Dave was ready to hit the trail again to make his way to the finish line. It was getting light now and we didnt need the headlamps anymore. I could tell there was a renewed sense of energy in him because he was running faster and stronger. Leaving the last aid station was very difficult. We had 6 miles left and after running 95 miles, 6 miles is an eternity. (the race was actually 101 miles)

Long story short, 14.25 hours after leaving mile 63 we rolled on through the finish line. It was a total of 29:30, way ahead of the cutoff time and looking very strong.

YouTube Video

-- Patrick

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week or two after

I meant to update this before now but being away for 4 months means you have to catch up on a lot if stuff when you get back. I have been very busy finishing up things with the run, sending out resumes, looking for a job, catching up with old friends, and of course, running. Last Saturday I ran a race in Triangle, Va. It was called the 24 Hour Endurace trail run. The idea was to run around an 8 mile trail loop as many times as you could in 24 hours. The temp got up into the mid 90s and I had completely forgotten how to run on trails. I was falling all over the place. After 56 miles I called it a day it took 12 hours or so and I was done.

It was discouraging to have my first time back on trails be a race that I didn't do well in. But that's just the way it goes.

Running wise I'm doing better, running strong and getting out on trails as much as possible. All systems go for the Western States 100 mike run at the end of June.

Job wise, I had my first interview on Friday and I got the job! Stoked.

-- Patrick

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I think I'll go home now.

Sorry about taking so long to get the posted.

Where do I start with the finish?

I guess I could start at the beginning. I had 18 miles to do. And it was in the mid 80s and lots of sun. A perfect day for running.

My brother started running with me and said he would run until he got tired and then have my dad pick him up. He did the whole 18 miles on a whim. Way to go Kevin!

As we got closer and closer to the ocean the mixture of salt from the air, humidity, and heat from the day was stifling. Kevin didn't wear Sunscreen and he now has blisters on his shoulders from the sunburn. Sore muscles, sore skin. I've got one tough brother.

The finish was huge. After the bridge getting onto the island, with 4.5 miles to go, I was joined by my friends Adam and Thomas, my brother was still running, and my sister Colleen. Later down the road my cousin, Chris, joined me after inhaling a burger. We had one police car in front of us and two in back.

Katie and a ton of my friends came drove down from Virginia for the finish.

There were more people lining the beach than I could count. I passed through the Fleet Feet arch two paper finish lines, several signs, and flags. Ahead of me was the Atlantic ocean. I was there. I was done.

I crossed the sand and tore off my shoes. Right next to the water's edge stood Katie and all of my friends. Those last few steps before the water were a blur. A combination of relief, and pure joy washed over me when I jumped into the Atlantic Ocean. Besides, it was awarm day so jumping in the water felt really good.

I came out of the water and people cheered. I hugged my parents, my friends, my family, Katie, everyone.

Later that evening there was a party at the restaurant, Fannie's. All the food was donated and we were on the third floor with a 180 degree view of the Atlantic Ocean. Tons of people came out to the party and we all had a great time.

As soon as I see some of the pictures I will post them.

There were three goals for this trip.
1) Finish
2) Raise Awareness
3) Raise $50,000

While I didn't accomplish the third, I'm not counting this as a failure. More people now know about JRA, we were able to raise $21,000, I was able to see the country in a way not too many people do, and I met people I would have never had the opportunity to meet. I am incredibly thankful for the last one.

I'll keep posting on this blog because it is a "running blog." I'll keep posting any stories or adventures I have as well as stories from the races I do. Besides, I have the 24 Hour Adventure trail run this Saturday.

I have decided this won't be my only long run. This was far too fun to never do something like this again. I don't know what is next, or when it will be, but this won't be the end. Now I need to find a job and go back to real life.

I hope to keep in touch with everyone I have met and everyone who has followed me.

Thank you.

-- Patrick

Friday, April 23, 2010


Everything revolves around tomorrow. Everything revolves around tomorrow. 18 miles left. One short day's run.

I am so lucky to have been able to do this run. I have met incredible people that I would've never has the opportunity to meet. I have seen things that I would have never seen otherwise. Seeing the country at 6 miles an hour was the perfect speed. A cruise control running trip to see the country and tell people about kids with arthritis. I'm not done yet. I'm close, but not yet. People are congratulating me about finishing. While I do appreciate it, I haven't done it yet.

People have helped me in so many ways I can't even name everyone or everything people have done. Thank you everyone for supporting me and following this blog and sending encouraging me. Your words have helped me get this far.

Last night my dad and aunt flew in and I enjoyed spending today with them walking around Savannah and figuring out specifics for tomorow.

Good day. Nice people.

-- Patrick

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today I ran to Savannah. I can smell the ocean. It felt strange to get there because I reached water. It's not the open ocean, but there is a huge port where giant ocean cruising ships are docked; so I know this channel goes directly to the ocean.

I thought I'd take this opprotunity to shamelessly plus the ol sponsors. The two companies that sponsored me for this trip were Gu and Smartwool. Both helped me accomplish this run.

Thanks to Gu, I haven't lost a single pound (which is a good thing), and my nutrition has been stable and my energy levels are still sky high. Maybe I'll turn north... Even crazier: I still like the taste of all of them!

Smartwool socks kept my feet warm and dry or cool and dry. They not only could be worn multiple days in a row, but they didn't smell. The big impressive thing about these socks is I have run 2,531 miles and I have every last one of my toenails. For the avid or ultra runners out there, you know how impressive this is.

Both companies took a big chance trusting a 21 year old guy who said he was going to run across the country. So thank you both!

Besides the obvious good part of getting to Savannah, I had a run-in with a snapping turtle. So I stopped and played with him.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

3 days

A long weekend. That's all I've got left. I'm camping tonight outside the Bryan County fire station. They were really cool about it. That's actually the most exciting thing to happen all day. The rest of the day was mostly dull, just running and being tempted to knock out the remaining miles in one go. I think it's supposed to thunderstorm tonight. If it does, I'll try to get a good video of it.

In other news: since I am running across the country as a fundraiser, and I'm almost at the end of the country, that means the fundraising is almost over as well. Sunday is the last day for donations. You may do that at

If you would like to donate after Sunday, please feel free to donate directly to the Arthritis Foundation.

Tell all your friends. Donate a buck.


-- Patrick

Monday, April 19, 2010


I started this morning in slightly cooler weather. It wasn't long until I passed a very familiar road, which was strange considering I have never run across the country before. It was Route 1.
I know exactly where this road takes me. It takes me three miles from my house in Stafford. I have driven on Route 1 so many times and never gave it a second thought. In training for this run I ran from Richmond, VA to Stafford, VA all on Route 1. 70 miles overnight while pushing the baby jogger; I know the road well.

In the 40s, my grandpa Pete McGlade drove the entire length of route one. Not all of it, if any, was paved and he passed the exact spot I ran today. Just 60 some years apart. Let's just say it was hard not to turn north.

I ended today in Claxton, which by the way, is the fruitcake capital of the world. I was stoked! So I went into the store that said it baked the famous fruitcakes and bought one. The thing is, I don't like fruitcake....bummer.

Today I ran for Mackenzie Moore from Maine, all of the kids that go to CHAT (children have arthritis too) camps, Christine Citera, Macy Coad and Meredith Burtron.

3 days
-- Patrick

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Work week

Today marks 5 days left. That's a normal work week or school week. It's hard to think about the fact that I only have that long until I have finished crossing a country on foot.

I've taken things "one day at a time" pretty religiously for the past 3 or so months because the mere thought of having thousands or even hundreds of miles left to go was enough to pull me down to the point where running was impossible and simply moving in the general eastward direction was all I could manage. This day to day mental management of the whole big picture is the way to tackle big situations.

The fact is, I don't have to think like this anymore. I have tomorrows run, Tuesday, Wednesday, I'm off Thursday, and the last run on Friday.

A total of 102 miles left. I've run more in a 24 hour time span; and believe me, the thought has crossed my mind more than once to just finish the distance in one shot. But I'll behave.

I'm close. And it hit me today that I don't have to take it one day at a time. I can think about the end and not picture it as a distant future event where uncertainty rules its outcome. I'll be there on Friday at 2 pm.

Today was the last day Dave ran with me. We ran to Vidalia. Home of the Vidalia onions and they won't let you forget it.

It was great running with Dave this week. He's a tough guy who kept up with no problems (at least none he told me about). I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about him picking up day after day of longer distances but he did great.

Thanks Dave.

Today I ran for Shea Sullivan from California and Kimberly Crowe from Alabama. Both have JRA.

-- Patrick

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Have you hugged a fat boy today?

I've decided that it just wouldn't be a proper country crossing without a run in with a HOG rider.

Today was an interesting day. All we knew is that we were leaving Eastman for Alamo today and camping tonight.

We had forgotten that last night the channel 13 WMAZ news had shown a segment on the run. The reporter came out yesterday to our point along highway 28 and done the interview right there.

Apparently, that's the main news station because right from the beginning of the run people were honking and waving.

One guy stopped and gave us powerade.

Then we met Sherwin. He was riding his motorcyle and saw us, turned around and pulled off the road and waited for us.

As he approached us I have to admit I was anticipating some trouble. He was a rather large man riding a Harley with a leather vest and patches with "Born to Ride," "Loud pipes save lives," and "Ride or Die" all over it. He would've had no problem roughing us up a bit if he wanted to.

He turned out to be a great guy who had seen us on the news. He told us about his shop, Fat Boy Camo, and said if we stopped by he'd give us shirts. We couldn't pass it up. 5 miles down the road we came up on his shirt printing shop and stopped to talk with him some more.

Sherwin and the shirt he gave me.

We got talking about where we were staying tonight and we told him we were camping in Alamo but didn't know where.

Long story short, he knew the people that own the funeral home in town, Townes Funeral Home. And they let us, not only camp in their yard, but also let us shower in the home.

I feel very refreshed and preserved after showering there. Maybe they mix the water with the preservative the Egyptians used....maybe. Maybe not.

Regardless, we had a great time meeting the copious amounts of people today.

And today, I ran for all 140 families of JRA kids in the entire state of Oregon. Maybe I'll have to run in Oregon.

-- Patrick

Friday, April 16, 2010

Get ready to rumble

So far on this trip I think I've kept things pretty positive. No more. Today's post will be my list of complaints for this trip.

Número uno: Rumble strips

Número dos: refer to numero uno.

Okay now that we got the complaints out of the way, on with the day.

Rumble strips were the name of the game today. One loooong strip of wake-me-up for the drivers in Georgia. And one loooong piece of annoying-ness for myself and Dave.

In other news, when I started this trip way back in January the list of my "followers," as blogspot calls them (even though that sounds slightly cult-like to me), was at about 15. Now that I'm one week from the finish of this little skip across the United States, my follower number has jumped to 98. That's pretty cool, BUT wouldn't it be cooler if it were 100? Let's see if we can break 100 before Friday the 23. So tell your family, friends, guy collecting change outside the local 7-11, to follow this blog and let's break 100.

Also on the list of things to do in my last week before finishing:

So far, everyday of running has been to spread awareness of Juvenile Arthritis. This is no secret...I hope.

BUT since this is the last week, I will be mentioning kids names on the blog everyday. So if you want your kids names, or your names (whether you have arthritis or not) email me at and just put your name; first, last, both, or nickname in the subject line and I'll include it that day or the next day depending on when I get the email.

Little recap:
-Rumble strips- boooooo!!
-One more week to go
-Tell your friends to follow this blog
-Email me names to mention on the blog

7 days and counting
This is an active map of where I've been and where I am.

-- Patrick

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Water skiing in April

Since awhile back we pushed the finishing date back to the 23rd, I've had some off days to burn up. This was one of them. BUT it was only my second to last off day. My next and last one is Thursday the 22nd.

Today was great! The past two nights, Dave and I have stayed with the Collins family in Georgia.
We started off the day with going out on their boat and waterskiing. We had a blast!



Afterwards we came back to the house and relaxed for awhile. We had some time to kill so i started to mow the lawn...unfortunately the lawn mower decided it didnt want to finish so it quit working! Wierdest thing, but we couldn't get it to work.

When the kids came back from school we went back out on the boat and had some dinner at Fish n Pig.

Goooooood. 8 days.
-- Patrick

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Short run

Today's run was 18 miles. The highlight was a hose after about 8 miles where Dave and I were able to get soaked and cool off for a little while.

We ended in Hawkinsville, Ga. It was a very uneventful day.

9 days. Down to single digits.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


10 days.

-- Patrick

Monday, April 12, 2010

No title

Today's big happening involved a friend of mine, Dave. He decided to come down and run for a week with me while pushing his own baby jogger with his stuff. He will be doing the same miles and the same route.

It'll be good to have a running buddy until Sunday. Then he goes home, but at that point, I'll only have 5 days left. Today marks having 11 days left.

It's really starting to hit me that this is almost over and I'm almost done. I am very ready to see my family and friends again, but I have to admit, I've started looking at the north bound roads as more than just un-needed detours and more as potential roads to take me to other states I have not run.

Maybe this won't be my only long run after all...

Physically, I'm fine. At the end of the day I'm hungry, but still feel fresh. Mentally, I'm ready for a break where I can see some of the familiar faces I miss.

-- Patrick

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Today I was running 30 miles from Columbus to Buena Vista, Ga. John Teeples also joined me for the entire day and it was great to have the company. My other friend Dave Snipes was on his way down from Virginia to run the next week with me so I was planning on meeting him at the place I'm staying tonight.

We were about 3/4 of a mile from the end of the day and a police car comes up behind us and turns on the siren asking us to pull over. He gets out of the car and asks for ID. I yank mine out of my bag but John hadn't brought any with him.

The officer starts telling us that he got complaints about two runners littering all over the highway. I showed him my trash bag. He said they were bottles that we were accused of littering.

I showed him that we were using bottles of our own and camelbacks. He goes on and on just giving us a really hard time. Then a car pulls up behind him and Dave jumps out.

He put the cop up to it and they got me good.

-- Patrick

Friday, April 9, 2010

Two weeks

If you haven't noticed yet, my count down is really starting to take over my blog.

I'm in Georgia now. I crossed into this state today and that also means I'm back on eastern time. Sort of feels a bit like home already.

Today's run was a nightmare. Traffic was insane and so were the drivers. Ever played chicken with a semi? I'll give you a hint: they win. I had to duck into a driveway, wait for a break in the traffic, and then sprint. The good news is I got some speed work in.

Tomorrow is a day off.

Two weeks.

-- Patrick

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The day I lost my mind.

First things first. Check out this website and post some love for arthritis research!

There is a guy on there, Phil Packer who is doing all he can for help out. He broke his spinal cord on duty and now is doing a marathon to raise money. Pretty ispiring stuff. Check it.

Today it rained. And in case you were looking for a nomination for the underestimation of the century, well, that was it. To say, "it rained" is like saying that Adam Sandler movies are "good." Let's face it, they are awesome.

I ran for 3 and a half hours. And 99% of that time was spent underwater. I probably would've stayed drier if I had put a treadmill in the shower and turned the nozzle to the insano fire hose pump your brains full of high quality h2o setting and gone for a little jog in there.

It was somewhere between Tuskegee and Marvyn that it happened. I was running up a hill and there was a river of ankle deep water going the opposite way that was covering my feet. In between coming up for air, the 6 foot high tsunamis that dump trucks, logging trucks and other various semis tossed my way, and the large caliber bullet-sized drops that so graciously allowed my view to not exceed 20 feet in front of the jogger, I started laughing.

It started out a creepy laugh, and turned into a great bellowing laugh that quite frankly, I didnt know I had in me. Amidst the water world that the day had become, the flashes of lightning and the stomach churning claps of thunder, I was having a blast. Physically, I felt great and was running smoothly and comfortably at a pace that far exceeded my norm. Mentally, it was the most fun I had in quite awhile. Should I have been outside holding a metal stroller during a thunder storm? Probably not, but don't tell my mom...

15 days...

-- Patrick

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Today I ran for the miners. Keep them in your thoughts.

I started today with a breakfast with the team leaders for the Arthritis Foundation's walk in Alabama. The walk is May 7th at the Montgomery Zoo. Check it out. I talked to them about the run and it went well.

From there, Mr. Hemphill drove me to my starting point for the day.

Today was cooler but had 97% humidity. I was sluggish all day and quite honestly, didn't feel much like running. After awhile I saw the end of today's run, and another 27 miles are in the bank.

After the run, I met Congressman Mike Rogers and was able to talk to him for awhile.

In case you didn't know, brown sugar and soy sauce on salmon is an excellent choice. Just thought I'd throw it out there. I had it last night. Awesome.

16 days.

-- Patrick

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Run. Talk. Meet. See. Runn

Well, the title sums it up. Today started nice and early to squeeze in as many miles as I could before 10 am. I fit 17 in and then was picked up by Mrs. Hemphill, a local Arthritis Foundation worker and my host for last night and tonight.

First stop of the day was to meet the people over at the Montgomery baseball team, the Biscuits. I don't know about you, but I love that name. I didn't meet any players, but the people in the office were very nice and even gave me a shirt! Even better, it was a running shirt so I can wear it instead of sending it home! Woo hoo!

Next stop was at the local NBC station for a tv interview. A little girl, Meredith, joined me for the interview. She has arthritis, but that is not what gets your attention when you meet her. She is incredibly well spoken and intelligent. It's like talking to an adult in a pint sized person. I'm really glad she shared the stage with me because she was much more comfortable up there than I was. Be on the lookout for her someday when she has her own talk show. Maybe I'll be a guest...

Onward. We went to Chris' Hotdogs for lunch. This local eatery has been around since 1917. A gajilliom famous people have eaten there and I can see why. The dogs came fully slathered in slaw, cabbage, or saurkraut. I couldn't decide exactly what was on it but it also had a killer sauce. I had to eat it semi quickly because I worried if I ate too slowly the bun might get so soggy I'd need a spoon. Yea. It was THAT good.

We had some time in between engagements so we saw some of the local sights. We went to the capital, saw the Civil Rights museum, the church Martin Luther Kings preached at, and the Rosa Parks museum. We didn't go into the museums but we saw them, so it counts.

MLK's church

From there we went and met the mayor of Montgomery's assistant at city hall. He was very nice. I did two radio interviews after that.

I was wiped. So much talking and I still had 10 more miles to run. The rough part was that it was now 3:30 and the heat of the day had caught up with me. I'm not sure exactly how hot it was but Mrs. Hemphill's car said it was 92. Hottest day of the trip so far.

I finished out the miles and called it a day.

Tomorrow is another busy day and another toasty one as well.

I'm going to be keeping a counter of the days left from now on.
17 days left.

-- Patrick

Monday, April 5, 2010

Busy. Busy.

Today started with a 26 mile run. That was just the start. I met up with the Crowes and Mrs. Ducker. They drove me to the YMCA where they let me take a shower and get un-smelly because it was toasty today and very humid, so I was sweating up a storm.

From there we went to Pine Level Elementary School. I spoke with 450 kids!!! They were great and asked some funny questions... "Do I use the bathroom?" That might have been my favorite.

From there we went to the mayors office. I was given a proclamation saying that today was Patrick McGlade Day. He said it meant that I could do whatever I wanted. Speed, rob a bank, or jaywalk. I wanted to take him up on the jaywalking offer but had no reason to cross the street.

The next and lat stop of the day was dinner at Ryan's. Luckily, it was a buffet. I enjoyed visiting with the families that came out for dinner.

Tomorrow is another VERY busy day.

18 days left.

-- Patrick

Friday, April 2, 2010


Today started with a 27 mile run and ended 200 miles away. I'm staying with my uncle and aunt in Huntsville which is 200 miles from where I ended today.

I met up with my aunt today about 8 miles from my finishing point and putnmy stroller in her car. Running without the stroller was like running without shackles. It was very freeing and I felt fast once again.

I was cruising down highway 14 around Selma and I see a group of people up ahead. I got closer and realized it was the Watsons who I had stayed with last week! They were heading to their family's house for Easter weekend. It was great to see them.

The rest of the day was spent with my cousins and family. Good times.

-- Patrick

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Car crash

Today started out like any other day. Little did I know, my trip would take a drastic turn and head down a road I never saw coming.

I was seeing the countryside at my standard 6 miles an hour and turned it on auto pilot. The old legs were churning out the miles with no effort at all. I was completely oblivious to the actual happenings around me, not that there was an overwelming amount of activity. The only thing that seemed to matter was the weather. It was another perfect day. High of 83 and clouds hadn't graced me with their presence the entire day.

I was humming along a particularly straight section of road when I heard a logging truck coming up behind me. This is very common as they travel quite frequently on every road I happen to be on. I ignored the sound because I run into traffic and knew he would be at least 15 feet to my right.

As the truck got closer I glanced back and noticed a car in front of him. I paid no attention to this very minor detail because it simply didn't concern me.

Closer still, I heard the truck's engine slow as I assumed he was approaching the car in front of him. Then I heard the engine roar to life as the driver pushed the accelorator to the floor. I glanced back out of curiosity and notice him changing lanes to pass the car in front of him. I moved closer to the 2 inch area they call a shoulder but couldn't move off the road because of the large ditch just to my left. I glanced back one more time to see the truck 5 feet directly behind me. I did all I could to and jumped.

The front of the truck hit me straight on and immediatly I was pinned between the grill of the monster and the handlebars of the jogging stroller I've been pushing. The stroller was accelorated to the same speed as the truck and was now the only thing keeping me from becoming roadkill. I pushed the jogger forward just enough to sit atop the handlebars and essentially surf on the stroller in a lame attempt to get the driver's attention. Of course, that didn't work. I simply was not tall enough.

I knew that jumping off my life line would result in certain injury, but how long could I really ride a fully packed stroller?

I recalled a specific Bond movie and decided my best bet would be to climb on the underside of the truck and pull myself up at the driver's window. It was my only shot...

As I began my scramble I was being sprayed with rocks, twigs, and other various roadkill and wondered if that would soon be me. After what seemed like an eternity of climbing hot metal, I made it to the cockpit of the bozo who initially hit me. He slammed on the brakes when I popped my head up at his window. I wasn't expecting it so I was thrown forward and barely grabbed onto the side mirror in time.

He climbed down from his truck ad started yelling at me and I explained what happend. He felt so bad, he offered me a ride. I then explained what I was supposed to be doing. He then offered to drive me all the way to Tybee Island. Unfortunately, I couldn't resist.

I'm writing this on the beach of Tybee Island. It's nice here. Sorry if I disappointed anyone.

...April fools.

-- Patrick

Sunny with a chance of pie

Sunny in the mid 70s without a cloud in sight. A great day for running. I got several ride offers but today, unlike when it was raining or snowing, it was easy to turn the offers down.

When I got into Greensboro, I walked through the town and there it was. A shop of pies. PIES!! It wasn't my choice. I had to try it.

My first slice was pear and blackberry. Immaculate. It was so good, I had to try another. I HAD to. One kind of pie was calling my name. Peanut butter, honey and banana. I said to myself, "That pie will be mine. Oh yes, that pie, will be mine."

I made it mine. I probably would've paid a bajillion dollars for it. It was that good.

Bottom line: if you find youself walking the streets of Greensboro, go to the pie shop.

You will not be disappointed.

-- Patrick

-- Patrick

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Not a single cloud in the sky and highs in the 70s. That's about as good as it gets. I forgot to mention yesterday that I'm in Alabama now. I entered yesterday.

This is my last state before Georgia. Plus, at some point 2 days ago I crossed 2000 miles. I'm really slacking on keeping up to date on the milestones.
up to date map of where I am.

-- Patrick

Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick funny story

I'm running along in Macon this morning and this truck pulls into the parking lot ahead of me. He waits there until I get a little closer and he rolls down his window.

"Hey I saw you on TV!"
"Yep that was me in Louisville."

He asked if he could take my picture and I agreed that it would be fine. He and his son were dressed all in camo because they had just finished hunting. They got out of the car and went to the back of their truck. He then pulled out a huge dead turkey from his truck and draped it on the ground!! I was stoked! I crouched down next to it and got my picture taken.

Me and turkey

Robert and Jay Hunter

-- Patrick

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I left Louisville today. (Or Lousv'll as they say it there) I left from the steps of the Methodist church there in town where we had the pasta dinner a couple nights back.

When I left, I was joined by the same two guys who ran the 10 miles into town with me and also a girl who won Jr. Miss for Winston county. She now goes onto the state competition and the plan is to woop up on the other girls from Mississippi and win. From what I gathered, Jr. Miss is like proving you're a Renaissance man...except for high school girls. You have to be good at everything!

I think I'll stick to my running and maybe it'll win me the talent portion of the competition...I'd win the spelling bee too. Me a exelent speelllr!

Good luck Faith!!

Brian and Bubba, the two other runners stuck with me for the first 15 or so miles and got to the county line. I enjoyed the company of these guys because they just liked to laugh, which was great for the morale of the cloudy day. We had a good time an parted ways when Bubba's wife Candice came to pick them up.

Bubba, me, Brian

The rest of the day was fine and I finished. I'm with the Millers tonight in Macon.

And that's all I have to say about that.

-- Patrick

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goat vid

You can even hear the little guy screaming for help!

-- Patrick

Baby goats and catfish fry

Today was another off day spent with the Forsters. They really have a lot going on in this town. We went out to see some baby goats in the morning and they were really cute. We had to chase them down in order to hold them so I assumed the position of chief chaser. I even caught one hunt on video.

We then went out to their cabin where we spent a lot of the day relaxing on the pond in canoes and on the dock.

Clearly, it was a very high stress day and I'll be glad to escape the rat race of the country.

Everyone I have talked to has mentioned these mounds that the Choctaw indians made. But then they follow it up quickly with, "oh, but it just looks like a hill, you don't want to see that."

Well, I had the opportunity to see it, so I took it. They were right. It was a hill. But if I hadn't seen it, I would've always wondered.

When we returned to the cabin we started a fire and more Forsters came and we had catfish, hushpuppies, fries, and Cole slaw. Southern cookin at it's best. I enjoyed everyones company.

Another great day in Louisville, but tomorrow is back to running.

-- Patrick

Friday, March 26, 2010

Busy busy busy

Today started off with a trip to the radio studio. The local radio station had me on their show and it was great! They had also done a lot to help promote the pasta dinner we had tonight so that was a great help as well.

The radio segment went well and a lot quicker than I was expecting. And I don't think I said, "um" too many times. Which is good.

The radio room

Next we were off to Winston Academy. I spoke with the seniors and they were a very nice group of kids, and seemed interested.

Next, we went to the restaurant called The Bypass. They were doing a fundraiser for the run and donated a portion of the meals to the run. I liked meeting the people that came out to that.

The hotel next to the Bypass.

Somewhere in that morning we went to Mary Lou's Biscuit Bar.
I was looking at some of the signatures on the wall and I saw this one.

He and his two friends ran almost the exact same route two years ago! Crazy.

Next was Louisville high school. I spoke with the athletes of the school. Mainly the football team. They were a funny group and were completely around me so I kept spinning around so I could see all of them. They were also very interested in my 40 yard dash time...I haven't even been timed in the mile since about 8th grade. They were the state champs last year in football so good luck to you guys this year. Not that I know a whole heap about football, but based on the size of some of those money would be on Louisville.

The end of the day brought with it the pasta dinner fundraiser. This idea was fantastic. The whole town came together to donate the food and sell tickets. We had a great turnout and by the end of the evening we had about 140 people come out and raised $2500 dollars! Not too shabby!!!! I was able to meet everyone there, and while I did feel a bit like a polititian, I was glad I was able speak with everyone. They were all so nice and welcoming.

It's hard to explain how it feels to be welcomed like this to a town you've never been to and have complete strangers come out of the woodwork to go above and beyond to help some "running nomad." It is a very different feeling. It's the kind of thing that restores faith in humanity.

Thank you Forsters.

They are the reason everything here was organized the way it was.

-- Patrick

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rain and fire trucks

Today started out less than ideal, but ended with a bang. The beginning of the run was pouring rain but was in the upper 50s so it wasn't really too bad. At least it wasn't a cold rain.

The roads were incredibly interesting with winding curves and trees and forests on both sides. Sights like these make the miles and hours just click on by without any effort. Mentally, today was cake. Actually, all of today was cake.

Speaking of cake...actually, I have nothing to follow that up, I just started thinking about cake. Did you know that my mom made all of the kids in my family their birthday cakes with no milk? And since that's the way we grew up with it, we still like our birthday cakes to be made without milk. It was because I was allergic (I mean deathly allergic) to milk until I was 18. Crazy story for another time...

34 miles of smooth rolling hills and minimal traffic.

10 miles away from Louisville it was sunny, and warm and humid and I was met by two runners, Brian and Bubba. It was great to have the company and their presence made the last 10 miles go by in a flash. Then we were met by three of the highschool cross country boys. They were really nice (and fast) kids and the last 2 miles were spent with them as well.

Soon after meeting up with the XC boys we came to an intersection that was blocked off by the police...FOR US! Then as we made our way through the intersection a police car turned on its lights and pulled in front of us. As we followed it, two fire trucks pulled in behind us.

Our whole parade was 3 police cars, two fire trucks, 6 runners and a baby jogger. It was really a lot of fun. As we rounded the curve to city hall I saw a crowd of people on the side of the road and they all started cheering! It was unbelievable. Mike and Betty Forster were the ones who organized all of that, and the activities for the next couple days while I'm in Louisville. They really did a great job.

As I stopped in front of city hall a news reporter jumped up and put a mic in my face and his first question was, "Why are you running?" Well, all I could think of was the part in Forrest Gump when he was asked the same question and he just said, "I just felt like running." But I held it together and gave a real answer...

After the reporter I met the mayor. He said a few words and gave me a key to the city.

WHAT???? A key to the city??

That's right. The key to Louisville, MS.

Across the street there was a church and the preschoolers had come out and were holding a sign that said, "Run Patrick Run," it was pretty cute so we took a couple pictures over there.

Afterward, we all came back to the Forsters where we had real Mississippi barbeque. Whoa. Good.

-- Patrick


-- Patrick

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Forgot about yesterday

Yesterday doesn't matter. Short boring day.

Early morning mist

Today was a bit more exciting. While still on the short end in terms of mileage, the run was good.

I did pass a sign that said "Attala county" and I immediately started to go uphill. I thought that was ironic. (a talla county? Get it?)

Lots of ups and downs to keep it interesting and tons of trees were a welcomed sight. I finished quickly and met up with Mr. Watson.

He showed me around the town of Philadelphia, Ar. We ate at an old drug store.

Two words: Milk shake.
While I was a bit skeptical that a milk shake could bring all the boys to the yard, this one would've brought me back to te yard.

Afterward, we launched his kayaks into the Pearl River and we went floating down. It was really calm and nice to be outside without seeing a major road under my feet. But we did see a cottonmouth snake. Not my favorite part...

He also showed me a place called Neshoba Fair Grounds where they have a huuuuuuge fair every summer. They have all these cabins where people stay for horse races and concerts and speakers. BUT people only live there a month out of the whole year.

brightly colored cabins

Good day.

-- Patrick

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wild weather

Yesterday was a bright sunny day in the mid to upper 60s. It was great weather and warm enough to run sans-shirt. I even got a little sunburned, despite applying sunscreen. AND reapplying twice.

I don't think I've ever seen the weather change so quickly from day today. Today was cold. And get snowed! I opened the door today and saw it sleeting out. So I hurried back inside and put on my snow stuff. I opened the door again, and it had stopped.

I got on the road ready for a day of interesting weather. As I turned east a gust of wind scooped me up and pushed my jogger forward. From there, all I had to do was steer the thing. The intense wind pushed it for me today! It was the perfect speed: fast.

The only problem with the weather was that every now and then it would sleet really hard for about a minute and a half. I'd get the backs of my ears pelted and the side of my face stung.

Toward the end of the day it actually started snowing. Weird.

-- Patrick

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I guess I should start at the beginning. Today was great. I ran 9 or 10 miles to the Mississippi river bridge. I knew that I was meeting two people there, but it turned out 7 people came! It was so great to run with people. I always forget how great it is running with people until I run with them again.

This was the most people I have run with since before I started this trip.

They were a great group of people and I can't express how much I enjoyed running with everyone. We took the new bridge. There are actually 2 bridges. The new one isn't open yet but the police that escourted us across let us in and so we took it!

Picture from inside the back of the police car.

I'd like to think I was the first one who was crossing the country to cross the Mississippi on the new bridge...but I don't know that for sure so I guess I can't say that.

Of course, with crossing the Mississippi River comes the border of the state of Mississippi, which is good.

Unfortunately, the big group and myself parted ways at the sign and I got back on the road on my way going east.

The rest of the day was flat. Flaaaaaaaaaaaaat. AND there was gravel, which the stroller didn't resond too well to. I just walked those sections because running would've been a nightmare. 37 miles felt great today.

-- Patrick

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lake Village

Where do I start with Lake Village?

Let's start with where this place is. It's right on the Mississippi River and Lake Chicot. (pronounced shico, it's French)

Yesterday it was great to meet so many people and it was very nice to have so many people come out to where I ended. Last night a bunch of teachers came to Brianne's house, where I'm staying, and we had home made pizza. Yes.

It was really nice talking to the teachers. They are part of the Teach for America program. It's really an admirable program and the teachers are incredible people. I feel lucky to have met all of them...even though I can't remember any of their names.

Today started out with a ride out to the Mississippi River bridge to see the guy who is crossing the country in his buggy dragged by his horse cross the river. It was great!! He started in Corpus Christi....a year and a half ago!! It doesn't sound like he is in any hurry. But it was kinda cool that I caught up with a horse.

Next, Brianne and I went to Lakeside High School and talked to a couple of Mr. Pratt's classes and they asked some very interesting questions.

"When I get to a lake or river, do I swim across it?"
That was my favorite.

From there we went to Lake Port Plantation which is an old plantation house they've restored from the old cotton days.

I didn't realize how crooked that picture was until now.
It's a very nice house with 10 or 12 foot tall doors. They also had a commissary in the back where they used to sell food as well.

Peanut butter. 25 cents.

Lard. 80 cents. I didn't know they were making Oreos back in the day but I'm sure they were just as good.

After that we went on a tour of the Chicot Lake on a boat! It was a great day to be on the water.

Nice house and some cypress trees.

Busy day. Good day. Nice place. Great people.
-- Patrick

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Absolutely crazy

Fist of all, thank you for the comments. They were incredibly encouraging and it's just what
I needed.

If I look at today, it should've been great. I got 23 miles done. The weather was about as perfect as it gets. The road was clean. And sailing was smooth.

Last night I woke up at 1 am to a growling noise. Except it was inside my tent! My stomach was going nuts and I thought, "well, from past experience, I'm either hungry or I'm sick."

Unfortunately, soon after that I made a dash for the exit and barely made it outside before my lunch made a second appearance. Yep! That's right, food poisoning. For the rest of my stay at the "resort au natural," AKA: the woods, I was in and out of the tent all night viewing things fly out of my body I never thought I would. It left me a broken, desheveled mess. I was pitiful. I felt every cell in my body working to rid myself of whatever foreign object decided to enter there unannounced.

I dosed in and out in between spewings and the grand total for sleep for the night was somewhere around 2.5-3 hours.

Realsizing that today's run was going to be somewhere between painfully slow and pretty near impossible, I started very early. I gave myself 7.5 hours to complete the 23 miles before 3 o'clock when I was meeting the Chamber of Commerce of Lake Village.

I started out right after seeing stomach acid and feeling the burn of the substance tear through my esophagus one last time. I had nothing in my body and no energy.

After awhile I passed a convenience store. I got 2 Mt. Dew's for the carbonation and the fact that at 290 calories a pop, this is what I needed.

First on went down smooth and I felt a little better. I tried running a bit. I could only manage a modest pace for no more than 10 minutes before pure exhaustion set in and was forced to walk.

Today was mainly a walking day with a bit of running thrown in for good measure and sanity. I got to Lake Village an hour and a half ahead of schedule. When I got to the intersection, two cops came up. I was thinking, "oh great, this is just what I needed."

They told me they'd escourt me to the ampitheatre. They were expecting me. Whoa! Definitely wasn't expecting that.

A bit later, St. Mary's school came outside and I was able to talk to them. Great kids. One kid could turn his foot all the way backwards. Crazy.

Both of the black shoes belong to the same kid.

-- Patrick