Day 31 – The slowest feeling day ever for me but still made it with a smile.

Day 31 – The slowest feeling day ever for me but still made it with a smile.


For one month now I have been struggling with how to write about the larger-than-life experience of crewing for this running adventure across the USA for the 100 Mile Club. Everything in our daily routine has changed, and I have changed too.

I have been gathering notes and over the past few weeks and I already have enough material about this journey to write another book. In the meantime, Jup Brown has been faithfully blogging about every single day on the road and I am honored to put his words here on my page too.

The word I keep coming back to on this journey is COMMUNITY. Of all the amazing things we can and have accomplished physically, we do nothing on our own. We need each other.

Come along with us:

Run With Us America Facebook

Run With Us America Website

100 Mile Club Donation Page

Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Hi everyone, Hope all is great with you. Today was pretty hard for me, I had no energy at all for the first 34kms. Not sure why but was super low in energy even though body was moving good. These days pop up from time to time and I’m lucky on this run as I have Pat right beside me, He sings songs and chats away to me with some crazy stories and makes me laugh all the time. Then our crew is there at our breaks with smiles a million so no way I can be tired.       It was a magic place to start from today from the huge discs in the back ground. Quick bit of one legged yoga for me and pat and off we went.

Day 21Day 22Day 22 1Day 21 1

It was sunny start with a tail wind which was nice and after that we were pretty much…

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No entry into HR. So what’s a girl to do?


My friend Lynette McDougal and fellow Ultra Adventures Ambassador will be attempting to complete all 7 of the UA 100-mile races in one year! WOW! Here’s her plan.

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Originally posted on Running Adventures of a Trail Brat:

Running through slot canyons in Antelope CanyonFourth year of applying to HR and still no golden ticket. Oh well, fortunately there are a lot of other trails to conquer and Mr. Matt Gunn has made my Plan B a lot more realistic. Instead of Running amongst the monuments of Monument Valleyworking to tackle the Rocky Mountain Grand Slam in 2015, I will…drum roll…complete all seven of the Ultra Adventures 100 mile races. This involves completing one race a month from February through August on some pretty spectacular trails located in southern Utah/northernArizona.

The race schedule is as follows:

Running along the Kaibab PlateauThanks to Matt…

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 200,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year to you all and thanks for all the support. I love each of you! Let’s rock 2015.

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Your Ultra Adventure with Grand Circle Trail Series

Your Ultra Adventure with Grand Circle Trail Series


I am honored to have been chose as an Ultra Adventures Ambassador. Below is more info about a tremendous race series I am proud to support. In one of my favorite parts of the country, these races are doing new and groundbreaking things:

  • The Zero Waste policy ensures absolute minimum affect on the environment.
  • The Trifectas associated with each race are a great way to get entry discounts doing the things we already do: running trails.
  • The race series slams are also a perfect way for someone to build up to their first 100-miler.

These races are tough through beautiful terrain. Just what ultrarunning should be. Enjoy!

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Originally posted on ExploringEndurance:

Ultra Adventures offers environmentally sustainable, destination trail races in unforgettable locations. Their current focus is in one of the most stunning regions of the planet, the Grand Circle. Each of their races in The Grand Circle Trail Series is completely unique from the others due to the amazing geological diversity in the region. This area has the highest concentration of national parks in the country as well as tribal parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas that are every bit as amazing. Take a look below at their series video which highlights all of their amazing races. Warning: watching this video may cause you to instantly sign up for one of their races. If that’s the case, visit their site by clicking here.

I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of Ultra Adventures Ambassadors for 2015 and am excited to run the beautiful and scenic trails/courses that they offer…

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Endurance Running: The New Counseling for Couples?

Picture+2By Curt Davies

There comes a time when couples will experience tension in their relationship. For some, relationship counseling may be beneficial; for others, not so much. Fortunately, there is still hope for any relationship encountering friction. Here’s how running an endurance race with your partner can be an effective, natural way to build a strong and lasting relationship.

  1. You’re in it together.

When you run and train for a marathon or ultramarathon with your partner, there is no “I” in the process. You go through the same routine and can empathize with each other. Endurance racing is exhausting, but the training is even more so. Your body will ache. Your head will hurt. It will be tough, particularly in the beginning, but think of it as a reflection of your relationship. As you journey more together, it becomes easier, and you know you’re not alone.

  1. You bond over the struggle.

Running and training together allows each partner in the relationship to understand one another. There is no need to justify a purchase on a pair of running shoes and there are no reasons to feel alienated after a long, sweaty training session.

  1. You have a healthy anger outlet.

Say you’ve had a rough day: your boss is angry with you and your friends are all busy. What do you do? You might go online to escape or you might take it out on your partner. Running is a healthy outlet for stress and anger. You may even find yourself becoming a more positive person in general—with your partner by your side throughout the process.

  1. You build new memories.

Once you’ve completed the training, it’s time to race. Your whole journey has led to this moment. It’s something you will never forget. When you’re running with your partner from the start to finish, you can say you did it together. When you do something you love with the love of your life, the experience is incredible.

  1. You share travelling experiences.

Racing can become a long-term routine. Races are distributed all over the world, which can open up travelling opportunities. Whether it is in America, Australia, or any other location, there are bound to be endurance events available for you to run. Grab this opportunity with two hands, catch a flight and get running! Take some pictures and write about the journey. You’ll look back on these moments for the rest of your life, and be glad you did it.

Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast at His site is stacked with information and other goodies regarding marathon running and training. For more, visit

1538867_10203972161018685_2045346838989607561_nYou May Also Enjoy:

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10 Non-Running Books for Your Athlete


If you’re anything like me, you’ve been asked whether you’ve read / need to read / want to read / want to borrow the book Born to Run approximately one bajillion times in your running career.

Since then, a few other running books have come out with different takes, but still mostly how-to’s and memoirs. Inevitably, when a runner asks for a book recommendation on Facebook—even if he or she does not specify the genre—what immediately follows is a list of every running book ever published since cavemen learned to read.

Don’t get me wrong: many of these books are great. I’m writing an endurance book now, so far be it from me to steer you away from our favorite topic. But sometimes even I need a break. I don’t like writing and reading and practicing the exact same activity. It feels like too many gels at an aid station. So let’s shake things up a bit and explore some related-but-not-related topics.

With my authority as a giant nerd, I went ahead and read 125 books this year (and counting). Here are my favorites that were not about running, but that other runners should read.

I purposely left out any books that were given to me for promotional purposes, but don’t let that deter you from sending me more free stuff. In the end, I paid for all these books with my hard-earned credit.

Here we go:

  1. The Best American Sports Writing

Not getting away from Mr. Christopher McDougall just yet, he helped edit this one and wrote a kick-ass intro. The book itself is a collection of the best sport articles of the year, covering a wide range of topics and publications and personalities. These stories make me proud to be a writer though unfortunately I can take no credit for the actual content. This collection is published every year.

  1. Drop-Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

I’m a big fan of A.J.’s guinea pig journalism (the dude is an experiment of one). Hilarity ensues when A.J. attempts to become the healthiest man alive. His wife is pretty funny herself, yay-ing or nay-ing his antics and teasing freely. When we were driving through New York I tracked A.J. down and tried to make him have dinner with me. It didn’t work out… apparently not all starving writers are literally starving.

  1. Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America by Catherine Ryan Howard

Catherine is the complete opposite of me. She isn’t particularly fond of new experiences, risky situations, or travel in general. She likes to be considered adventurous, as long as she can do it while lying on a beach somewhere. She is not even close to being a runner, but her account and descriptions of beautiful places are fascinating. I didn’t expect to like her, but she surprised me. She’ll surprise you too.

  1. As Good as Gold by Kathryn Bertine

Every good trail runner hates a triathlete, but no one will judge you for loving Kathryn. This is a story about Kathryn’s quest to get into the Beijing Summer Olympics in only two years. What follows is a dramatic and insightful look into the nitty-gritty politics of the Games, the various sports it celebrates, and Kathryn’s never-quit attitude. I cheered for her through every chapter and I’ve quoted her extensively in my next book. Kathryn, consider this your dinner invitation.

  1. Arctic Glass: Six Years of Adventures in Alaska and Beyond by Jill Homer

Jill Homer is Geoff Roes’ ex-girlfriend. I’m sure she loves it when people introduce her that way. She’s also a phenomenal writer with endless stories and three books. She shares more frequently than Goeff does, and for that I am grateful. Jill has done everything from long-distance mountain biking to completing the Iditarod in Alaska. Read all three of her books because I had trouble picking just one.

  1. Mud, Sweat and Tears: An Irish Woman’s Journey of Self Discovery by Moire O’Sullivan

This is the story of how one woman went from barely being able to read a map to navigating some of the toughest terrain in Ireland. Moire isn’t exceptionally brave, but she blew me away with how much she was willing to try. I’m the type of person who gets lost on a marked race course, so the in and outs of navigation were a foreign topic to me. Moire has inspired me to try and master these new skills.

  1. Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks by Andrea Lankfor

If you’ve been curious about the details and stories behind working as a ranger, this book is for you. I was shocked by many of Andrea’s experiences. She is brutally and refreshingly honest. Being a ranger is tough, yo! And the compensation isn’t that great either. I have an entirely new perspective now when I visit a national park.

  1. Elite Minds: Creating the Competitive Advantage by Dr. Stanley Beecham

This book is about how to harness the power of your mind to benefit you athletically. A lot of these points I had never heard of before. It’s not your sappy believe-you-can sort of stuff. The science of this book is legit. Brain science is one of my favorite topics, and this one focuses on sport. It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year and highly practical.

  1. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

Chances are your runner has read or at least heard of Cheryl’s best-selling book (and now movie) Wild. This one is way better than that. I’d like to think I was a fan of Cheryl’s before she was so damn cool and IMHO: Wild was not even her best work. I mean this as a compliment. Read her other stuff and know the full extent of Cheryl’s awesomeness. Also: Cheryl and I are Facebook friends.

  1. Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Christine Byl

If you want to read something that will make you feel like a wuss for running ultramarathons in the mountains, check out this book. Learn what it’s like to build trails, working with your hands all day on your feet and in the elements, carrying heavy shit. This job is no joke. As runners, we get the pretty sunrises and tingly endorphins. These guys get the thorns and bruises and scars. It’s the other side of nature: the side that’s trying to kill you. You’ll love reading about it.

There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book when it’s colder than a witch’s nipple out there. Happy Holidays.

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5 Tips for Marathoning Over 30


By Curt Davies

As your body begins to age, you may notice you aren’t as “able” to train as much as you were when you were in your 20s (or younger). That’s not to say you should quit running at all (quite the opposite, actually), but slight adjustments to your training pattern should be considered, especially as some of the physical attributes to your body begin to hinder, such as your aerobic capacity, metabolism slows, and your body fat increases.

These are a few of the different effects aging can have on your body, and is more evident with marathon runners. Not to worry: I’m going to help you see the light with your marathon running training, by providing you with some tips you can use to enhance your marathon running.

1. Take more rest days.

At this stage, I’m not sure if you like the sound of this idea or not. Nevertheless, it’s something I feel important, particularly as you get older. Let’s face it: you’re not getting younger, and your body is becoming more and more fragile as the years pass. Consequently, it may be time for you to consider cutting back on the training days in total, and having extra rest to help your body recuperate for a better quality training session.

Although it may sound counterproductive, you’re actually doing your body a disservice if you train too much without enough rest. This will help prevent any form of stress fracture, or other injury resultant of working your body too hard.

2. Warm up.

Oftentimes, training can feel just as tiring as the marathon itself, which is why it’s important to warm up before training. As your muscle mass reduces as you enter the 30s and older, it’s crucial to treat your muscles with absolute delicacy and give them the treatment they deserve.

Before and after you train, you need to stretch to protect the muscles and the elasticity, which aren’t as guarded as they were when you were younger. Don’t worry – we all have to do it sooner or later as we age!

3. Don’t overwork yourself.

Running marathons (or running in general) is a very delicate sport, and unless you treat it as so, you’re likely going to be prone to an injury, such as stress fractures and pulled muscles – which is exactly what you DON’T want to do before a marathon (or ever, for that matter). When you train and plan your training, don’t feel obliged to complete every aspect you plan. It’s good to set goals, but sometimes you have to take a look at your goals and think rationally about them.

If you find yourself unable to complete a training session, don’t be disheartened. You could either just be having a bad day, or are simply not capable of training as much as you had anticipated. Don’t go out of your way and complete a training session simply because it’s what you wanted to achieve. Only you know your body, so it’s up to you to decide when you’ve had enough. There is no shame in not completing a training session: as long as you tried your hardest and put in a solid effort into the training. Don’t risk injury out of pride; it’s simply not worth it.

4. Variety is key.

Training for a marathon does not necessarily mean spending your time at a gym lifting weights, on a treadmill or other typical training techniques for runners. In fact, it is highly recommended (particularly for those over 30) to diversify yourself with different training varieties. This includes aerobic running, cycling, and swimming, among many others you can try out. These types of trainings help expose your body to different circumstances which overall increase endurance
and fitness level, which is important when running marathons.

5. Prepare for the worst.

One of the things I like to do the most is, when the weather is atrocious and everyone else is inside in front of the fire place with a warm cup of hot chocolate, I like to exit my comfort zone and train in those conditions. Anyone over the age of 30 can find this to be incredibly helpful to the success of your marathon, as it prepares you for what could potentially happen when running.

Unfortunately, marathons do not cater to the conditioning humans thrive on, which means it’s crucial to expose your body to harsher conditions and get used to them… embrace them, even. Not only does it help you in preparation for these circumstances, but it will also add perception to how easy it is running in modest conditions. If the weather is nice when it comes to marathon day, your experience will be far more enjoyable and tranquil which should result in a better

If you’re over the age of 30 and training for a marathon, I would highly recommend you execute these tips practically. Your body will thank you for it and you will perform better.

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Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast at His site is stacked with information and other goodies regarding marathon running and training for those over the age of 30. For more, visit

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When I Say Hobo, I Mean Hobo


Photo: Permanent Slab City resident “Granny”

This month my friend Crista Scott wrote her first article for Trail Runner Magazine about the ten things she learned over her summer as a dirtbag. Crista hit the road with her friend Cat and explored beautiful parts of the country. She camped out of her vehicle and didn’t shower very often.

Crista playfully refers to herself as a hobo, as many of us dirtbags do. However, someone in the comments section criticized her for being disrespectful to real homeless people who have no choice and no middle-class home in California to return to.

I felt the comment was misinformed, but was not surprised to see it. Similar comments have been made on practically every single article about dirtbagging on the Internet.

Here is the version that appeared on my blog in 2013 after we hit the road in our small RV.

“Please leave your commentary on poverty to those who are poor not by choice but by circumstance. As someone who works to provide social services to the poor, I have encountered few if any who view their condition as ‘freedom.’ Instead they are too focused on providing for their families to have the luxury of viewing life as you describe it.”

– Comment left on June 20th

Apparently, you have to be “poor enough” to comment on low-income travel and frugal living. I call poppycock.

While it makes me happy that people are concerned about the poor, scolding middle-class people from Santa Barbara doesn’t do much to actually help the homeless. It’s true that many travelers have never experienced real poverty so this argument generally shuts them up. My perspective is different because I have lived below the poverty line for most of my life.

I struggled for years to work my ass off so I could own all the things I was “supposed” to have—a house, a car, kids, and a white picket fence. I vividly remember reading Tynan’s blog for the first time and watching him live a lifestyle of minimalism, travel, and “freedom”. I loved his stories, and never once felt that I was too poor to achieve them. On the contrary, here was ONE freedom I could actually afford.

Inspired by Tynan, I took on a similar lifestyle. Months later, I came across a post he wrote in response to accusations that his lifestyle was only possible because he was wealthy and it wasn’t fair for him to flaunt his wealth in front of “poor” people who could never achieve what he had.

Tynan agreed, and conceded that his lifestyle wasn’t accessible to the poor. I was horrified. Not accessible?? I had switched to his lifestyle in one year, and it sure as shit was easier than trying to buy a house and a car.

These days, real-life hobos don’t seem to differentiate much between us as nomads and them as hobos. Homeless people have approached us with local tips of where to park and where to eat. They have even walked over with offers of weed. Hobo-warming gifts, if you will. They pick us out from the crowds and somehow know that we’re not about to pay for a hotel. In return, we give away everything we can spare but it feels more like sharing than charity.

I have never once come across a poor-not-by-choice person who is offended by my lifestyle because they are “too poor” to have it. It is always rich(er) people who feel they speak on behalf of the poor when they say, “Oh, you better not say that because a poor person can’t have what you have.” Seriously?

Poor people are not offended because we travel or call ourselves hobos. Here is what offends poor people:

  • Constant and extreme waste in our society
  • Watching others buy stuff they don’t need
  • Seeing food thrown in the garbage while their stomachs howl with hunger
  • People who grow fat and lazy from overconsumption
  • Mass media trying to convince them that luxuries are actually needs

What bothers me the most is the assumption that poor people are resigned to living in desperation for the rest of their lives, trying to make ends meet. This argument assumes that poor people are helpless and incapable of anything better than “getting by”. They’re not allowed to have dreams or ambitions—they can’t afford to.

I know what it’s like to choose between food or shelter, between an education or a place to live. I am addressing poor people when I write about my lifestyle, because once—just once—they need to meet someone who doesn’t believe they’re too poor to have dreams, too poor to aspire to anything, or too poor to experience freedom.

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2014 Javelina Jundred Race Report

2014 Javelina Jundred Race Report


So honored to have paced my girl Holly Miller to her second 100-mile finish at Javelina Jundred! Here’s her race report. Fingers crossed for Western States….

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Originally posted on Holly Fitness:

I have participated in the Javelina Jundred for the last few years. Not as a runner but as a spectator, a volunteer, and a pacer. This was the year I would go the distance myself. As Western States upped the ante on their lottery race qualifiers, I would no longer be able to run a 50M to get into the lottery. Fortunately, JJ100 is a qualifier- it’s in my neck of the woods, I know the course well, and I can represent Team Aravaipa! (Aravaipa Running puts on the race)

This has not been my best year as far as running and racing is concerned. December of last year had me sidelined with plantar fasciitis and a bone spur was discovered in Feb. I dialed back my running to a few miles a week and put a heavy emphasis on cross training- specifically spinning. My Boston Marathon was another ‘fun…

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4 Trail Beards You’ll Want to Fondle

By Ethan Brown

beardeityA beard in the ultra world is an authoritative tool utilized by many. It’s almost like the thought of running an ultra can spur the body into instantaneous facial hair growth so potently powerful that any woman within a five-mile radius will experience quivering ovaries.

On the pro level, the bearded champions tower over the “lesser beings,” or clean shaven winners, like a Kodiak grizzly bear over a sickly deer.

Here are some beardeities to worship this month:

1. Anton Krupicka

Anton Krupicka has one of the most widely known beards in the elite group. His face fur is primal with a slight hint of maintenance that says, “Hey, don’t let this iconic dude-growth distract you, my eyes are up here.” Tonybeard could terrify the soul of a rabid mountain lion.

2. Rob Krar

Another beard with the power to sway the masses belongs to the artist known as Rob Krar. Rob’s cheek forest is as pure as nature itself: gentle locks that sway back and forth in a compassionate mountain breeze and secretly possess the power to erupt into a blast of pure, unadulterated, testosterone-filled, savageness. When Rob goes fishing he doesn’t need a net, but simply dips his beard into the water to catch fish.

  1. Dominic Grossman

On the west coast, runners are under the spell of a mandible pelt of unimaginable viciousness. Dominic Grossman is an effervescent face magician. One minute he’s rocking a beard GQ-worthy and the next he’s got a mustache that would automatically make him a wild-west town sheriff. His well maintained dude growth is so fantastic one could confuse it with a pristine putting green.

  1. Graham Kelly

Another man possessing the raw sexuality to swoon a great white shark is Graham Kelly. Graham’s chin kilt is such a masterpiece; the Mona Lisa frowns in jealousy. Fueled by moisture of the Scottish highlands and whiskey distilled from the sweat of day laborers, this growth infiltrates our very spirit to soothe our fears and calm our minds.

The firm roots of facial hair seem to interweave with a person’s soul and to not only inspire brilliance in every aspect of the word, but also push these athletes to complete badassery.

Happy Movember.

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Check out my book: The Summit Seeker

Stay tuned for my next book: Daughters of Distance


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