Thumbs Up Runner Q&A

I first encountered Sean on Facebook in a discussion about Quest for the Crest. I had no intention of running it, but my husband and trail running partner had signed up, and he refuses to join Facebook, so I was doing recon for him. Quest for the Crest has a reputation as the World’s Hardest 10K, and Sean didn’t stop after 6.2 miles; he completed the 50K. He also posted a link to an article he’d written for Ultrarunning Magazine about his (almost) DFL at the Sheep Mountain 50 Mile in 2015. I wanted to find out what inspires a runner who DFL’s at one race to not only go on to finish Leadville and Quest for the Crest, but also return to Sheep Mountain the following year for revenge.

thumb_IMG_0001_1024Name: Sean Cook
DFL at:
Sheep Mountain 50(+) Mile Trail Race, Fairplay, Colorado.
Official Time: 15:21:00
Race director/organizer: HPRS (Human Potential Race Series) Sherpa John Paul LaCroix



Did you expect to finish at the back of the pack when you ran Sheep Mountain in 2015, or did your race not go as expected?

You should know this was my first 50+ mile race ever. I had never run longer than 10 miles, outside the army, in any capacity before 2015. After an ankle injury and a random lottery win to run Leadville, my running life was flipped upside down, and I had to start getting myself ready for Leadville. Sheep Mountain was a huge test and a difficult run! From the onset, the elevation gain was total to many 100 mile races. SO, all that being said my goal was to finish and that I did. There were 3 of us that ended up finishing Dead Last that day, and we quickly bonded the last 10+ miles as we dodged rain, stormy weather, bad backs, and nausea. One of the runners was a very experienced runner, and I learned a lot that day

How do you deal with unforeseen challenges on race day?

“You don’t know what you don’t know” is the age-old adage, and you should always be prepared for whatever may come at you. Over time, I have matured into a good short distance runner, for my age group, a decent marathoner, and an Ultra Finisher. I am still learning more and more each day. I try to read as much about fueling, taking care of your feet, recovery, and any other tips I can. This helps me craft a plan for a race to be prepared for that blister, wet socks, nausea, or anything else that may arise. I have a pack I carry with a couple small essential items needed to help me in a tough spot…..or at least get me to the next aid station to receive proper care. For Sheep Mountain, I was so under prepared and not ready it wasn’t funny. You can ask my buddy Steve Knox, seasoned runner and my pacer for Leadville 2 years, when I rolled into an aid station at Sheep Mountain he literally sold me a fireball shot, an ensure, and some food. They all laughed at me but I was buying anything and had no plan.

Continue reading “Thumbs Up Runner Q&A”

Bringing up the rear at the Lookout Mountain 10k- a Q&A with Dominic

I hope Dominic can forgive me for taking weeks to post this Q&A. I recently moved cross-country from Portland, OR to Asheville, NC with two Rottweilers, a cat, and my husband. We caravanned through Joshua Tree and Saguaro National Park, and all the way across Texas on I-10. Between driving, selling a house, buying a new house, and catching up with family in North Carolina, I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting this little blog.

Dominic has been covering most of his miles by bike in recent months, but he was kind enough to reminisce about his first 10K in Chattanooga, TN.

3d graph
A 3-D graph of the 2016 Lookout Mountain 10k course

Name: Dominic

Almost DFL’d at:  2016 The Lookout Mountain 50 Mile and 10K.  I did the 10K. 

Official Time: Time 1:31:04 (Place 101)

Race director/organizer: Wild Trails 

How did you choose this race?

If I’m being honest, I chose this race because I really wanted to get a trail race in before the end of the year.  I didn’t put much thought into the difficulty or that it took place in late December. I didn’t care, I just wanted a 10k before the end of the year.  I had trouble finding races that late in the year, so it was that or nothing.

How did you train for it? 

 July of 2016 is when I finally got serious about training.  Like everyone, I started with walking.  My wife had recently got a Garmin watch.  Obviously, I stole it.  It kept me honest and motivated.   I walked or ran everyday after work.  I still couldn’t run for more than a few minutes without walking, but I was making progress.  

Around this same time I also decided to ride my bike to give my knees a rest.  I have arthritis in both knees.  By late August I was putting in a total of 5k at a time with a combination of walking and running.  I was also doing longer rides on the bike.  One of my friends was doing a 50k trail run, so I decided I could at least do that on the bike in his honor on the same day.  When I hit 50k that day I realized that I could do more.  I thought to myself that I could do that again.  I signed up for a 100k ride a few days later.   Continue reading “Bringing up the rear at the Lookout Mountain 10k- a Q&A with Dominic”

Ordinary Marathoner Q&A

I’m super excited to post my first Q&A on DFLrunner. Scott and I connected on Twitter. He cracked me up when he DM’ed me “(I almost DFL’d once – pushed over an 8 year old to avoid it)”. I needed to hear the full story, and he was kind enough to oblige.

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-6-49-40-amName: Scott
Hometown: E Longmeadow, MA
Almost DFL’d at: Snowstorm Classic 5k, Forest Park, MA
Official Time: 34:11
Race director/organizer: Greater Springfield Harriers

What made you want to run this particular race?
I had never run a race before. I started training two months before the race, and at the time could barely run a quarter-mile. After a while I wanted to test myself, but it was the middle of winter. I just started Googling and found this race, which is part of a local “Winter Series.” I wasn’t looking for anything specific – just 3.1 miles of road. There aren’t many bells and whistles at this race other than some donuts and coffee. But that was all I needed.

How many races had you run before this one?
I had never run a race before. This was my very first. Continue reading “Ordinary Marathoner Q&A”