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EB53: Solitude, Community, and Goats – PostOak Challenge – Our Chat with Victor Brown


Victor Brown of Oklahoma was a soccer dude. Endurance running was on the list somewhere about #87 on the fun scale.

And then Victor stopped playing soccer his junior year of undergrad and had to find something to fill that void. #87 somehow wiggled its way to the top of the list.

Credit: © Watt Design Photography /

Credit: © Watt Design Photography /

A dabble in road marathoning quickly transitioned to the trails after wandering around Turkey Mountain in Tulsa.

“I like hiking, I [now] like running, let’s combine the two.”

Victor loved the solitude.

Victor loved the challenge.

Victor loved feeling the dirt and rocks under his feet as he glided along the trail in search of the next climb, the next beautiful view.

Victor recently won the two day PostOak Double in Tulsa, Oklahoma which included a 50km on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.

Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • the end of soccer and the beginning of trails, solitude, and beautiful views
  • jacked up toe memories from that first trail race at Turkey and TATURs
  • the community, the community, the community
  • favorite local trails
  • training and hot yoga
  • the tough lesson at Ouachita Switchbacks, peeing-gone-bad at the White Rock Classic, and pacing at the LOViT 100M
  • running reads
  • the giddy and the up at the PostOak Double Double – Beer Please!

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EB52: The Accidental Trail Runner – Nueces 50 Mile Champ – A Chat with Anthony Jacobs


Anthony Jacobs was lost and had to bum a ride home from a stranger with a pickup truck. He made it home…thankfully.

That may not be the ideal first trail run experience but that was Anthony’s, and he wanted more it (minus the getting lost).

After learning more about the dirt world thanks to Austin, Texas local, Brandon Ostrander back in 2012, Anthony continued to explore and find his way in the sport, which quickly led to the ultra distances.

Anthony recently won an exciting race at the Nueces 50 mile that saw the top three runners all within a sub 30 second window at the finish line that showcased many of the ingredients of this sport – inspiration, support, and trying not to vomit Oreos on each other.


Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • running where football is king
  • the relay race that reignited Anthony’s enjoyment of running
  • the accidental discovery of that first trail
  • that tough second loop at Bandera 100k
  • favorite local Austin trails
  • what Anthony’s 6 days a week running looks like
  • 3 guys inspiring each other, supporting each other, and trying not to lose their Oreo cookies at the Nueces 50M

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EB51: 100 mile Nightmares and the Journey of Personal Excellence – Sierra Vista Trail Run 50k Champ – Our Chat with Michael Bursum


“I was running as hard as I can and the race officials said I was done…because I was not running to my potential.” – Michael Bursum’s Tahoe Rim 100 dream nightmare

Michael Bursum of New Mexico lived and breathed basketball.

In college, Michael’s exploration in running was sparked by a girl he wanted to get to know. She ran cross country. Michael would become a walk-on for the men’s team. Their relationship blossomed and would eventually lead to marriage four years later.

After college, basketball was still a big part of Michael’s passion and one of his main hobbies. Running faded away.


In 2011, Michael and his wife returned back to New Mexico to raise their family. Through some friendly competition with his wife’s extended family, the running shoes were dusted off and pulled out of the closet in prep for the iconic La Luz Trail Run in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Unlike the flat basketball court, this adventure guides runners nine lung and leg burning miles up the Sandia mountains with the finish line sitting at 10,678 feet sharing beautiful views with everyone.

Michael enjoyed it and would continue to run.

Get a little faster.

His La Luz times starting coming down.

A passion for the sport began to grow and Michael began to run more races, explore the ultra distances, and explore personal excellence within himself and the sport.

Michael recently won and set a new course record in 4:04:17 at the Sierra Vista 50k Trail Run in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • from basketball to the trails and finding love through running
  • memories from that first trail race at La Luz Trail Run
  • the trails waiting out Michael’s backdoor
  • typical training week and new appreciation of yoga
  • the Tahoe Rim 100 nightmare
  • Michael’s story of being inspired by a fellow runner to keep moving and keep pushing to the finish
  • the 50k dash at Sierra Vista, nutrition for the day, plus a great post-race moment how we can positively impact and inspire others, and not even know it

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EB50: The Oprah Spark – Cross Timbers Trail Run – A Chat with Mariela Botella


“If Oprah Winfrey can go out and run and marathon, I  can go run a marathon.” – Mariela Botella

When we look back on our life, we can see those moments that helped to weave the life thread of where we are today.

Mariela Botella of Texas, had one of those moments after hearing about Oprah Winfrey completing a marathon.

This was the spark that inspired Mariela to exploring running, even though she was inactive and a self described “couch potato”.

Mariela at TMBT 100k in Borneo.

Mariela at TMBT 100k in Borneo.

She started and took the first step.

Could barely run for five minutes on the treadmill.

Then she could run six minutes.

Seven minutes.

10 minutes.

And in 1998, she ran and finished the Houston marathon.

Mariela was hooked and knew she wanted to continue exploring the sport.

Two years later, Mariela would complete the Pikes Peak marathon which guides runners on winding trail up to over 14,000 feet before you turn around and run back down.

This started her love of running on trails that has continued to this day.

Mariela at Cascade Crest 100

Mariela at Cascade Crest 100

Mariela recently completed the Cross Timbers 50 miler in 11:51:11 and two weeks later, the Old Pueblo 50.

Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • the Oprah moment
  • from 5 minutes on the treadmill to a marathon finish
  • memories from the Pikes Peak marathon
  • enjoying the solitude and butterflies on the trail
  • favorite local 96.4 mile trail near Houston
  • Mariela’s training – what does it look like?
  • memories from Cross Timbers including cookies and gnomes
  • memories from Old Pueblo

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EB49: Running to His Own Beat – Sylamore 50k Win – A Chat with Christophe Block


“I enjoy running, but it’s something I do, not something I am.” – Christophe Block

Christophe Block of Arkansas is not your typical trail runner. (if there is such a thing in this sport)

He doesn’t wear a Garmin watch.

He does care about mileage.

He doesn’t care about tracking the amount of time running.


Christophe does seem to care about creating a life that is meaningful to him.

A life where running supports his physical and mental health, and is simply a time to have fun.

Where pre-race rituals include “good times and beer typically”.

Christophe recently won the Sylamore 50k in 5:12:36 under snow covered and wet conditions in northern Arkansas. This also was Christophe’s second year in a row to win this highly popular race.

Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • that first road marathon and swearing he would never do another
  • 9 months later running the Arkansas Traveller 100  – “horrible idea”
  • pacing Podog Vogler at Hardrock 100…and the fantasy of dropping him
  • the hard realization why everyone was running so much slower at mile 30 of the Arkansas Traveller 100
  • how Christophe integrates running into his life
  • thoughts for a trail newbie
  • favorite run related videos
  • the slick and sloppy adventure at Sylamore 50k

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Exploring New Challenges with a Playful Spirit – 2014 Texas Trail Series Ultra Women’s Champ – A Chat with Lise Plantier

“I am always happy to wake up on the weekend and get out on the trail.” – Lise Plantier

In the last race of the 2014 Texas Trail Series, Lise Plantier of Texas, earned the Women’s Ultra division win! Lise put together seven top series race finishes including the 100 mile win at Cactus Rose last October.

Lise’s trail running spark was lit after moving to the United States from her home country of France and deciding to take a break from triathlon.

And that spark quickly led to a warm and passionate flame as she observed her love for the natural outdoors, the love of running trails, and the love of its community.

Lise at Squamish 50.

Lise at Squamish 50.

Enjoy our Q&A chat about Lise’s journey in this sport and 2014 Texas Trail Series memories. (Originally this had been planned to be an EB Podcast but due to the unfortunate poor recording, I instead transcribed it below. Sorry for the delay.)

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EB48: A Run Streaker Since 1992 – Love. Run. Marathon. – A Chat with 73 Year Old Ken Johnson


73 year old Ken Johnson of Texas is a streaker…a run streaker.

On New Year’s Day 1992, Ken began his first run streak of 600 days that included at least one mile of running per day. Since December 30, 1997 Ken has only missed 18 days of running and enjoys both the road and trails. Ken runs the full array of race distances from 5km to ultramarathon with 101 marathon/ultra finishes.


Ken at the Texas 10 Series in Conroe, Texas.

Ken recently ran the half marathon distance at the Love. Run. Marathon. on pine needle covered trails in Huntsville, Texas and crossed the finish line in 3:23:03! Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • being in the Army for 22.5 years and the two mile wall
  • the surprise of Ken’s first four mile run courtesy of the division Commander
  • that first 10km race experience at Ft. Hood with 2500 other runners starting at 3:00AM
  • the continued involvement in running after retiring from the Army, then the run streaks begin
  • strongest memories of the people and community in this sport
  • reflections on the half marathon scamper at the Love. Run. Marathon.
  • a special Team RWB experience from his marathon finish at Love. Run. Marathon. in 2014 – Mighty Awesome!

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