The Savage Year
It has been a great and fun year. I think I should explain a few things though for those who don’t know me really well. My wife Marcy says that I can take the fun out of anything. I have come to realize that I find hard work to be fun. I really enjoy misery, difficulty and suckedness. The other thing that tends to happen is the hijacking of a fun hobby and taking it to the most extreme level. She likes to make out that this is a bad thing, but truth be known I think it might take the people in my life to new and awesome places that they wouldn’t get to without my influence. I am currently writing this as I crew Marcy on another 100 miler…..hmmmmmmmmm
That brings me to the title Single Track Savage. This represents a few of the things I identify with. Single track is of course a reference to running trails. There is just something about the freedom of running on a trail and being in the woods. This is something deep in who I am and few things compare to a day in the wilderness. You could also say I might have a single track mind and the ability to focus hard on a task, job, or goal. Then there is the savage! This is the part of me that just doesn’t know what I can’t do. The part of me that doesn’t think about what might happen and just does. The part of me that likes to sleep in the mountains under the stars, hunt down and kill critters, hike into strange and dangerous places, and try to chase down much better and faster racers.
Now that I have bored you it is time to take boredom to new heights and review this year. It has been a good year at home, racing, at work, and hunting (no particular order J). The kids are getting older and we are fighting getting older. Caleb is in his senior year of high school and #1 on the tennis team. He is bound and determined to remain #1 this spring. Levi is working full time at James Glass and seems to really enjoy his job. Marcy and I both enjoy our jobs and think we are doing a great job, but I guess the bosses will have to confirm that. Marcy had some great races last year, but also had a blow up at Tunnel Hill. She is right now running hard for redemption in the Pistol 100 in Alcoa TN. I myself had a great year with success and defeats.
I started off with the My Team Triumph Resolution Run 5k and missed my sub 19 goal running a 19:08. The 5k was speed work for my upcoming Swamp Stompers 50k later in January. I had a great race and mother nature cut me a break. I ended up 5th overall and a very happy camper. I was fortunate to have Bryan Kelpe come with and pace me at the end. If you are looking for a fun and close trail 50k I recommend this one!
In February me and Zoey went back to Kansas to try for the dog record at Psycho Wyco 50k. We did not get the record, but Zoey pulled 1st place dog and I came in 5th overall again. Zoey officially earned the title of Zoey the ultra dog! This is another great race, but it will beat the crap out of you. This was my 2nd year to run it. It wasn’t as bad this year, but it was still a dilly. Trail Nerds put on some great races and they have all been well managed. If you’re looking for a challenge you need to get this one on your list.
March brought me to the Aslinger 24 hour Endurance race. I kept raising my goal in anticipation of the coming foreigners. I looked at the competition’s races and did the math over and over. I got my butt kicked pretty bad. I limped away with 121 miles under my belt, hurt pride, some learning, and a desire to do more. The week after I ran a decent trail 5k at the Unforgettable Perseverance Challenge. This is not just a fun 5k, but a great cause!
To start off April me, Shannon Aldridge, and my dad went to Illinois and ran the Rocky Ledges 5k. Some pour course marking cost me a several minute lead and first place. I managed to gain ground back and pull back into 2nd place. Not my favorite race, but I am trying not to be bitter. You will find out later that getting lost and Illinois races seem to be the theme of the year. The next day I went down to Charleston and ran the Dogwood Azalea 5k finally getting my elusive sub 19 with a time of 18:53. To cap off April Marcy, me, and a group from Cape went to Illinois and ran the Champaign Marathon. I didn’t get lost on this race and PR’d with a 3:04. I know this is getting a little crazy…but we drove home and the next morning went for a little recovery run with Joe and Rhonda Windeknecht and somehow he talked me into running a 5k (Savage Doug strikes again)! We ran the Run for Your Senses 18:33, although I think the course was a little short.
May I’m starting to get beat up and tired. My knee is now hurting for some reason (DUHHHH), but I have more racing to do. A flight to New York, a rental car, a farm house, and Ron Rosati were in my future. We met and ran the Sheneghundra trail marathon. The temperature dropped unexpectedly and I was underdressed for the bus ride and standing around. We went to a thrift store and bought some fine duds for a few bucks. I went to the start wearing a Christmas sweatshirt and spaceship pajama bottoms. I ended up with a 6th place finish. This weekend was capped off with us turkey hunting and Ron shooting a gobbler. Later that month I ran the City to City and placed 7th.
June brought super high fun hiking a fourteener with Marcy, Rob Ward, and Brad Haertling. We got to chase away bears, hike through snow, climb boulder fields, summit a 14,000 ft mountain, and glissade down. Later in the month came my low point the disgrace L. Marcy wanted to run the Run Under the Stars 10 hour. Savage Doug busted through and said ‘sure, why not’. I pulled out at 30ish miles with severe knee pain. I was my first time to pull out of a race and a very tough decision. It appears I am human..who knew? The rest of June and into July there was some time off and rehab.
Marcy and I celebrated 25 years with a trip to Washington State and a hilly marathon in July. We agreed not to race, but somehow I ended up in 2nd place. I am still puzzled about that one. I walked away with a new pair of Skora shoes and months of harassment to come from my bride of 25 years.
August equals Kansas night runs! Psycho Nights with Frank Dietiker, Mike Higgins, and Collin Sheridan. Lots of fun including running through some of the sloppiest muddy and pee filled trails a man could find followed by some pain relieving slushies.
In September I ran the City of Roses half with and ok time of 1:31. The rest of the month was dedicated to Elk hunting in Colorado. I had a great hunt with more close encounters and called in elk than any other year. I botched a shot hitting a small tree and came home empty handed, but had one of the most fun trips ever.
I had the privilege of crewing and pacing Bryan Kelpe in the Arkansas Traveler in October. This was the second race for me to crew. It dawned on me that crewing and pacing may be harder than running. There is a lot of stress and responsibility involved in crewing. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun with Frank and Kim riding around the backroads communicating with the natives. B & G, YO! Later in October I ran the Moccasin Gap 50K at Camp Ondessonk in Illinois. I placed ok, but only because everyone got lost! I was temporarily disoriented three times on this race and at one point was walking around in circles trying to pick up a trail to follow. I had big hopes of a great time and was pretty disappointed on this one, but it was a neat course and I have no hard feelings. I was a first year 50k and hopefully they will use our suggestions to make some improvements for next year.
November was monumental. I went to Indianapolis in hopes of a sub 3 marathon. I didn’t hit that goal, but did hit a new PR of 3:03. I always learn on a race. I came away with a clear understanding that I have to get faster and that I really need to focus on tangents. Later that month I crewed Marcy on the Tunnel Hill 100 and ran the Meandering Turkey trail run. I again realized how stressful crewing is…I’ll be the runner any day! She unfortunately had a bad race and had to stop because of an injured hamstring. She is making up for that right now with a spectacular race while I write this.
My last big race of the year was the Cajun Coyote 100 mile in Louisiana. This was a bit of a test run for my 2016 season. I was very happy with 18:40 on a single track trail 6,000 feet of elevation and a 2nd place finish.
Whew…that’s a lot of racing! It didn’t seem like that many races when I was doing them. None of this would have happened without all the support from my friends and family. Most important it wouldn’t have happened without God! He has blessed me with a desire and ability to run. He has placed great people in my life that help me train and make life fun. He guides me through every day. I see him in every race through the people.
Finally, thanks to everyone who chooses to be a part of my life! I appreciate you all.
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