My primary interests are running, climbing & traveling, all of which are activities I share with family & friends. I began running in my 20s. I ran ultras with my buddy, Sean Crom. My goal in my late 20s and early 30s was to run the 4 original US 100 Milers in under 24 hours, which I achieved in 1996. The ultramarathon training I did with Sean, which involved lots of long trail runs, gradually evolved into a passion for mountain climbing for both of us. Sean & I began climbing mountains around the world. I then set my sights on the 7 summits. After climbing 6 of the 7 (summiting 5 of the 6), it became apparent that climbing Mt. Vinson in Antarctica was not going to be economically viable, particularly due to the relative ease of the climb.
When I heard about the Antarctica Marathon in 1998, I thought “Hey, I could do that!” At the time, the race was a significantly more affordable travel option than other ways of getting to Antarctica, there was no waiting list, and I was able to sign up for the race in 1999. Running a marathon seemed like a good way to go to Antarctica with purpose (since I’d decided not to climb Mt. Vinson), rather than just visiting as a tourist. I would not have the 7 summits, but I would have traveled to all 7 continents, and that seemed pretty cool, too. I won the race, and thought that maybe the marathon distance (26.2 miles) might be a good distance for me to work on. It seemed a lot more sensible than 100 miles! In my 40s, I needed a new goal, and decided to run a marathon on every continent. I accomplished that in 2006.
While I was pursuing my goal of running a marathon on every continent, my wife, Deb had started running, as did our son Ian, who was about 10 at the time. After a couple of marathons, Deb got it in her head that she wanted to go run Boston. The trail runner in me didn’t think a big, fancy road marathon with all those people sounded fun, so I told her to go run it with her friend! She did. Then, we heard about the World Marathon Majors: Boston, New York, Chicago, London, and Berlin (originally there were only 5.) I had never been to Berlin, so Deb talked me into running the Berlin Marathon in 2010. I won my age group, and she knew she had me. New goal: Win my age group in all 5 of the World Marathon Majors. Along the way, the race designation changed, becoming the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and Tokyo was added as a 6th race. I found out about that while we were watching the Tokyo Marathon live online. Deb just started laughing. She knew we were going to Tokyo the next year. It took 2 tries each in London, New York, and Tokyo, but I did finally win my age group in all 6 races, becoming the first person ever to do so.
Now it’s time for a new goal. I am interested in running some shorter distances, with a high level of age group competition, particularly the USATF Master’s Championship races. I also think that if continue to train smart, and stay focused & healthy, I may be able to set an American age group record.
Throughout my running, I have maintained my passion for travel & climbing, and combine them all whenever I have a chance. Family vacations are often planned around an exciting destination race, or a climb, and almost always involve going to a country I haven’t visited before. I love to experience people & their cultures, and running a race, climbing a mountain, or just running in a local park before sunrise is such a great way to get a sense of a place & its people. Also, I hope that I can help people build confidence, set goals, and start to reject the idea that they have to slow down, take it easy, and stop doing things they love, just because they are getting older, whether it’s running, skiing, tennis, or whatever their passion is! I want to inspire people to dream big, and then go out there and make it happen!