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EB56: Pulling a Tire – Technique, Benefits, Safety, and Drive-by Stares – Our Chat with John Sharp

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Tire pulling is hot right now!

It’s sexy.

It’s hypnotic.

It may not be as popular yet as many of the dance crazes you may be familiar with – YMCA, The Twist, Macarena, The Electric Slide, or how about the Texas Two-Step, but in our itty bitty yellow polka dotted micro-world of ultra running, well, there is definite traction.

Have you seen all the social media selfies with that rope and old tire in the background?

Dude!

After a 3-day 118 mile training weekend that included pulling two tires for 24 miles and pulling one tire for 30 miles, I was able to chat with Texan, John Sharp of Sharp Coaching, who has embraced the Tire Drag as part of his ultra training for some huge adventures this year.

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

  • John’s dandy adventures coming this year
  • memories from 3 days and 118 miles of running and tire draggin’
  • the I-wish-I-was-a-fly-in-the-vehicle conversation John had with a child in a passing vehicle while pulling a tire
  • the story how John got started including ultra legends Lisa Smith-Batchen and Marshall Ulrich
  • the gear – finding that tire. Hint – you can’t go to your local Discount Tires
  • the sensations of the tire drag
  • getting started and technique ideas
  • benefits observed
  • John also includes some huge safety tips to help you stay alive – important!

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Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run – 2015 Race Report by Nathan Jackson

Dave: Enjoy as Nathan Jackson of Texas shares his race winning scamper at the Potawatomi 150 Mile Trail Run on the challenging McNaughton Park trail system in the state of Illinois.


Potawatomi_start_nj15150 miles. Simply typing that conjures up images of some lost soul traveling a desolate landscape searching for an oasis. Fortunately for me, there was no desert and my life didn’t depend on making the trek. Not to mention there was plenty of food and water.

I had first attempted this same race in 2014 and to massive disappointment, I wasn’t able to finish. 49 miles in while crossing a creek I had slipped and pulled something in my right foot. Walking became unbearable so I knew my adventure was done. I had walked the last mile back in to the aid station and tried to see if rest would help but the pain was too great to risk further damage. My result was the official “DNF” (Did Not Finish) or Did Nothing Fatal as they say.

I returned for redemption. The Potawatomi Trail Runs are located in Pekin, Illinois, just southeast of Peoria. They have a trail system in McNaughton Park that was not to be messed with. Someone is quoted on their website as saying “comparing the high altitude, long climbs of the western mountains to McNaughton hills is like comparing being eaten by a shark vs. being eaten by a 1000 piranhas … both are unpleasant … just in different ways.” I’d have to agree. There isn’t too much to contend with as far as rocks or roots, although there are plenty but the constant steep hills will keep you walking a good portion of the day. The course is loops of 10 miles with two stream crossings, some open fields and plenty of hills.

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EB55: A Sanctuary Amongst the Wildflowers – Bataan Memorial Death March – Our Chat with Alison Brown

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“That one mile I ran in my neighborhood, I thought was going to kill me.” – Alison Brown

Alison Brown played the Tuba in High School.

College was focused on math engineering.

Sports and physical activity were of little interest for Alison. All her exercise occurred between the ears.

Life happened.

And then in 2010, now single again, Alison dated a triathlete which inspired her to give the active life a try.

That first goal – running one mile.

It wasn’t easy.

Way more walking than running. But Alison kept with it.

And then the walking breaks became faster, and they became shorter.

Alison signed up for her first race, a 10 km. The race experience fully ignited her involvement in this sport.

The positive energy.

The community.

The opportunity to connect with others.

Running became an activity that not only benefited the body, it became a sanctuary for her mind.

From 5ks to marathons.

Road to trails.

Alison loved it all.

Alison recently participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March marathon within the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range in south central New Mexico. Making this extra special, Alison completed the adventure with her college aged daughter, Meglyn, who hadn’t ran farther than 15 miles before this day.

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

  • from playing Tuba in band to gasping for air through that first mile in running shoes
  • memories from that first 10 km race
  • the joy of the race vibe
  • Alison’s first trail race with alligators and birds chirping
  • her favorite local trail
  • what training typically looks like these days
  • the role of running in Alison’s life
  • running reads
  • 26.2 miles with her daughter at Bataan Memorial Death March

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EB54: Finding Heart on the Trails – TATUR Snake Run – Our Chat with Candi Paulin

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“I told her she was out of her mind…and then I signed up.” – Candi Paulin

Candi Paulin of Kansas enjoyed running throughout her youth and college years before placing the tread in the closet to focus on her young children.

And then Candi turned 30 which ignited the urge to open the closet, grab the shoes, and feel the miles under her feet once again.

A new running chapter began that included exploring 5km and up to the half marathon distance.

And then a friend kept talking about a trail race.

A 50km.

This was crazy talk.

No way.

And then Candi signed up for her first trail run, first ultra, the FlatRock 50km.

“I loved it. I was hooked.”

The off-road journey began which has since included trail adventures up to the 100 mile distance.

Candi recently won the 6 hour TATUR Snake Run up in Tulsa, Oklahoma with 34.75 miles.

Candi in the early miles of the Snake Run. (Credit: © Beyond Ordinary Life Photography / beyondordinarylife.com )

Candi in the early miles of the Snake Run. (Credit: © Beyond Ordinary Life Photography / beyondordinarylife.com )

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

  • the return to running after having children
  • wonderful memories from that first trail race at FlatRock 50k
  • preparation for that first 50k
  • favorite local trails
  • training and Insanity
  • the biggest thing that has changed since Candi started running on the trails
  • running reads
  • fiance and friends at the the TATUR Snake Run

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

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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 / wattdesignphotography.com

Credit: © Watt Design Photography / wattdesignphotography.com

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

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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.

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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

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“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.

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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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