My journey into running recreationally started in 2007 at Omaha Race For The Cure 5K. My girlfriend, now my wife, asked about my workout regimen and how much cardio I did. I only ran one day a week for roughly 30 minutes since I was into lifting and playing hockey. She asked how much ground I covered in those 30 minutes and she seemed pretty shocked when I told her my route was about 4 miles. I had no clue if that was good or bad! That's when she convinced me to train for Race For The Cure. I was a nervous mess being stuck in a group 20,000 people strong but the nerves disappeared about half a mile in. That's when the rhythm of all the footsteps became more noticeable. I was hooked! The next race she registered us for was Beer and Bagel when it was at Mt Crescent in Iowa. Again I was a nervous wreck looking at those hills wondering how the hell are people going to run up the main slope! What an amazing experience running the Loess Hills. I've been running a good mix of trails and roads ever since thanks to my wife, Michelle As I get older, and maybe more mellow, I find trails are where my heart is. There is a peace about disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of the roads that can't be beat. I ran the trails and found my way…
My story I started running in 2013, I started running because I was overweight . I was always active with baseball and football in high school. I turned to bad eating habits because of laziness and low self esteem. My brother tried to get me to do a mud run and I wouldn’t budge. When I came back from his race and had this exciting story about what he did and all the cool race swag I was jealous. I started biking and going to the gym. I worked out with a trainer who had me running and lifting . I started seeing results and I started to like running. I still was self conscience about running outside and in front of people. I wanted to secretly run with people because it looked fun. I gathered courage and went to a Peak performance group run. I signed up for warrior dash and my goal was to get down to a certain weight. So I started working hard and I achieved my desired weight by race start date. My family came out to see me race, the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment washed over me emotionally. After that day I was hungry for more. I signed up for 10 races in that year, ranging from mud races, 5ks and even a 10k which I thought was too much. It wasn’t until I found Spartan racing that was my passion for obstacle racing. Spartan racing thought me to push myself to further boundaries and reach for higher goals. I started doing 6hr spartan endurance events, and harder spartan racing venues and levels. I got out of my comfort zone and signed up for a marathon. Having never done a half and going straight to a full I thought what am I crazy. I trained and put in the work and completed the Lincoln full and was emotional. Later that year I discovered the Goatz. A great running group that introduced me to my second passion of trail racing. I started doing group trail running and made lots of friends. I decided to sign up for a 50k and push myself even more. After that race I said I dunno if I’d do another it was hard. Something inside my head told me if I could do that what else am I capable of. I signed up for more trail races, marathons and half’s. I wanted a challenge and signed up for hitchcock 50mile race. That race was the toughest and is still the Hardest race to date, my first and only dnf. I didn’t let that get me down so I signed up for other races still determined I will go back to finish that distance in that race. I never thought years later my journey would take me to ultra running. I have 3 spartan ultra beast buckles and 1 50miler under my belt. I am still learning new strengths and what I am capable of. My goal for this year is my first 100 mile race, pr a half, pace other people for the first time to help people reach their goals. If it wasn’t for running I would of never found my soon to be wife. Running is my passion , therapy and something I share with the person I love. The most important thing to me is family, they understand my running now then they used to. The fact that Jen runs also helps me and makes me stronger when. I feel weak
I suffered a spiral fracture with displacement of my right tibia/fibula in November of 2012. At the time I was 39. I now have rods and pins and plates and screws in my right ankle and in my tibia and fibula. The surgeon said my leg never really healed all that well and that I would never be able to “run”. I was always an athlete; I played hockey in high school, college and few years in the minor leagues. All the running I really ever did was spring/fall dry land training for hockey. I never really enjoyed it. It was a means to an end. When the surgeon told me I wouldn’t be able to “run”, I took that as a challenge. With the help and encouragement from my step son Brady West, I got into running. He talked me into entering a one mile fun run in the summer of 2014. Then he mentioned I should do a 5k with him in the fall. Next up was the Lincoln half marathon in May of 2015. From there on out the flood gates were open. I was loving every minute of running, and still do. I have currently run races in 5 states and am planning on adding many more. Since that first one mile fun run I have completed countless 5k’s and 10k’s. I have also entered and completed countless half marathons, a couple of 30k’s and one full marathon. I enjoy all the distances. I enjoy all the training that is involved, and of course I love the race itself.
So it started when I was still in my first year of sobriety with a brand new baby a week old and a shattered femur so I couldn't walk .. I remember trying to figure out how to be a sober human and a good mother all at the same time. I didn't know where to start. I was at my first appointment post leg surgery and the birth of my child and I remember the doctor saying " I don't know if you'll ever be able to run long distances every one is different when it comes to healing " that's it .. that's what I'm going to do. I want to run. It took me a year of course to heal and get into running. I still remember how I felt at my first race. It was the most freeing feeling I have, ever felt. I run for my sobriety to feel like a real human ,and most of all I run to be the best mother I can be.
What started as a chance to spend time with my wife, has turned into a lifestyle for our family. What started as a bucket list 5k race, has turned into a constant search for stoke and adventure. Run trails.