- Q: When did you first begin running? A: I ran a bit in high school but dropped out of cross country after injuring my ankle during the very first 5k. It wasn’t until years later, living in Vermont, when I would frequently turn hikes into trail runs (even though I was still wearing boots…) although I never went out “to run”, it was always to forage for mushrooms and veggies or explore a new area for swimming holes and camping spots. I only started running regularly about 2 years ago, at the age of 25. I had just stopped working for Savannah Pedicab (tricycle taxi) and needed some outlet for the energy that I wasn’t expending pedaling tourists around Savannah for 8 hours at a time. My roommate was also into running and we started together, both barefoot, just because we had no running shoes to wear.
- Q: What inspires you? A: Seeing people overcome odds through determination.
- Q: What words of encouragement would you give to others? A: Don’t be limited by preconceived notions of what is or isn’t possible. Too many people say, “oh I could never do this or that”, and it’s the truth but only because they think so! Of course you can’t run 10 miles if you have already decided you can’t. My approach is I won’t believe there’s anything I can’t do on a long enough timeline with enough dedication.
- Q: Favorite motivation during a race? A: Other runners definitely. Anytime I see someone running fast I just want to keep up with them so bad I’ll push myself really hard because, if they can do it, why can’t I?
- Q: What is your training regiment? A: Up until Delirium 24hr I was running shorter (6-10 mile) runs during the weekdays and following it up with long runs (18-30 mile) on Saturdays and Sundays, usually taking Friday and Monday easy doing fun runs or cross training. I love doing speed work so I throw in fartleks most runs and do intervals one day a week as well. When I was training to do my first hundred miles I did a few marathon distance runs after I had fasted for a day and not slept all night which emulates being 35+ miles deep into a run really well.
- Q: Must haves for a run? A: Water/electrolytes, that’s pretty much it. The less I can run with the better.
- Q: Best advice to give to someone who is thinking about starting to run? A: Do it, there is no wrong “body type” for running and I firmly believe that there is something beneficial for everyone in running. But above all else, have fun- explore new places, chase birds, and play games.
- Q: Best advice to give to someone who is thinking of running an Ultra? A: Get drunk, sign-up! Just don’t sprint out the gate…
- Q: Favorite part of the day to run and why? A: I like to run in the hottest park of the day or the middle of the night. The hottest part for my body because it requires more exertion and really gets the sweat pouring, and the middle of the night for my mind, the quiet solitude does wonders for my mental constitution.
- Q: Favorite person to run with and why? A: I like running with my Dad. It has kept our relationship going past the point of authority/student to a friendship not based strictly on our blood relation.
- Q: If money was no object, which race would you most want to run? A: It would probably be a stage race through all of South America, that’s on my to-do list anyway.
- Q: Who is your running hero? Why? A: I like Krupicka, for ultras, who consistently runs great, because I believe we have similar outlooks on running/life from reading his blog. My all time hero, though, is Lassie Viren for the epic 10000m in the 1972 Olympics where he falls in the beginning of the race and then goes on to set the world record for the distance anyway.
In The High Country (trailer of film featuring Anton Krupicka)
Lassie Viren (10000m/1972 Olympics)
- Q: Motto? A: Be prepared and unencumbered.
- Q: Favorite fuel? A: Bananas, coconut, kale, and shiitakes.
- Q: What does your usual diet consist of? A: Lots of veggie stir fry, egg tacos in the morning with black beans, kale, and hot sauce. I’m a “choice” vegetarian meaning that when I cook or order food (basically whenever I have a choice) it’s always vegetarian but I will eat meat when it is served by someone else.
- Q: What gear (shoes, socks, compression, shorts, jerseys, hydration including vests or handhelds, headlamp, gps watch, etc) are you currently using? A: Currently just BOA running shorts and about a third of the time I’ll wear the GPS watch my Dad is letting me borrow. I like the BOA running shorts because they’re as close to being totally nude as possible (without getting arrested) and the GPS watch is a helpful tool to monitor speed. I also use a Camelbak for long point to point runs and the 100 oz. bladder makes it easy to runs in remote places without worrying about water sources.
- Q: What inspirational saying helps you get through the tough times? A: I don’t really have one but I like to think about the relativity of tough times in terms of longer timeframes and larger distances. Any tough time seems relatively minor/short in terms of geologic ages of the Earth and any distance seems minute compared to the vastness of the universe.
- Q: What music are you listening to when you’re running?(if at all) A: Extremely rarely will I listen to music. I am disdained by all the “pod people” running around town in their own little bubbles. Not only is it taking away the social aspect of running but most of these people also drown out the loud thumping of their poor form (fast and injury free running is silent). That being said, for long solo runs I will occasionally listen to some episodes of my favorite radio show “This American Life” or to some roots reggae (Peter Tosh, John Holt) or live Dead shows.
- Q: What do you do to relax after a long run? A: Nothing, the run is the relaxing.
- Q: Favorite charity? A: COOL EARTH.
- Q: What books have you read about running?…any recommended? A: I’ve read Born to Run, Ultramarathon Man (Karnazes), Eat and Run (Jurek), Never Wipe Your Ass with a Squirrel (Robillard), Relentless Forward Progress (Powell/Grossman), Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei (Stevens), and Running Fast and Injury Free (Pirie). All were entertaining although Born to Run and Mount Hiei monks were most inspirational, Running Fast and Injury Free is the best about form philosophy and practical advice for running, well, fast and injury free. R.F.P. and N.W.Y.A. are the best primers for running ultras specifically.
Christopher McDougall: Are We Born To Run (TedTalks)
Scott Jurek: Eat and Run
Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei
- Q: What makes a well-balanced runner? A: Someone with a well balanced life and someone who is running because they love to, not strictly for the competition.
- Q: What is your favorite Ultramarathon thus far that you’ve raced? A: Delirium (Low Country Ultras) was my favorite Ultra so far although I’ve only run in two “official” ultramarathons. My favorite ultra run so far is from my house in downtown Savannah to the beach on Tybee Island and back, about 38 miles but I break it up stopping to get food and drinks and hang out with people on the beach.
- Q: What is your toughest Ultra (if you’ve run in multiple) that you’ve run? A: Bad Marsh 50k was the first and toughest ultra I’ve run, mainly because I was unprepared. I had just come out of running my first “official” marathon, the Rock and Roll in Savannah, comfortably running the race in 3:18, and I figured I would be able to run the same 7.5 min miles for the remaining 5 miles to run about a 4 hour 50k. Well I was mistaken, I started the race sore and tried to keep up with frontrunner, which I did for the first half of the race, but as soon as I hit mile 19 I was out of fuel and to top it off the call of nature hit pretty urgently in the worst way. My lap time nearly doubled that one lap and by the time I was regaining my speed again the race was over.
- Q: Your favorite running blog(s)?…Do you have a blog? A: I have my own blog at Journey Of The Feet / Adventures In Barefoot Running. I also enjoy reading Anton Krupickas blog as well as Tim Waz’s (Running With Waz).
- Q: Ultra PR’s? A: 4:33 50k , 8:30 50m, 11:30 100k, 22:45 100m.
- Q; Anything else that you would like to share that wasn’t asked? A: Thanks for the opportunity to share with you, I can’t wait to see you at more ultras in the future. Also if anyone reads this and sees “that shoeless guy” running around Savannah, stop and say hi!
A few of my favorite portions and/or quotes…
- “Don’t be limited by preconceived notions of what is or isn’t possible. Too many people say, “oh I could never do this or that”, and it’s the truth but only because they think so! Of course you can’t run 10 miles if you have already decided you can’t. My approach is I won’t believe there’s anything I can’t do on a long enough timeline with enough dedication.”
- “Do it, there is no wrong “body type” for running and I firmly believe that there is something beneficial for everyone in running. But above all else, have fun- explore new places, chase birds, and play games.”
- “When I was training to do my first hundred miles I did a few marathon distance runs after I had fasted for a day and not slept all night which emulates being 35+ miles deep into a run really well.”
And my conclusion…
- Pure ~ adjective: Free from extraneous matter.
- Endurance ~ noun: The ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions.
- Runner ~ noun: One who runs.
- Uninhibited ~ adjective: Not restrained by social convention.
When I think of the purest essence of running, Andrew comes to mind. Both of us share the fact that we were running ultra distances long before ever participating in a sanctioned event, for the love of running. His unadulterated approach to running is certainly a refreshing one nowadays with all the gear that we strap to ourselves, and the regular “Daily Mile like” postings.
Thank you for taking the time to inspire future and current ultrarunners Andrew….
Carpe Diem ~ Nocturne