Today is my 34th birthday. I suppose, like a lot of people, I tend to get a little reflective on my birthday. I think about where I have been in my life and where I am headed. When I take the time to look back, I am always amazed at what a big part running has played in my life. Bart Yasso in his book My Life On The Run said, “never limit where running can take you.” Bart has famously competed in races on all seven continents. He has run through Death Valley on pavement hot enough to melt the soles of his shoes, and he has run bundled up to stay safe from the severe cold of Antartica. Running has not taken me to as many places as Bart, but I’ve made a list below of some of the favorite places it has taken me on the road to 34.
I had a decent week of training. There were a couple of set backs, but overall I was able to stay consistent. My daughter woke up around 4am on Wednesday morning with a fever of 102 and at it was clear she was not going back to bed, so her mom and I held an early morning screening of Bambi or “Mambi” as my daughter calls it (her current favorite movie). Bambi was followed by Toy Story 3. Due to the middle of the night double feature, I decided not to go to the gym on Wednesday.
Back in September a fellow running enthusiast and writer composed an article that asked the question, how far did Rocky go during his training run in Rocky 2? His research showed that Rocky’s training run through Philadelphia would have been 30.61 miles! Rocky wasn’t just a marathoner, he was an ultra marathoner! Of course, it was only a matter of time before some runner was going see this article as an opportunity to hold a 30.61 mile race that retraced the Italian Stallion’s steps. Just two and a half months later, the race became a reality. On Saturday, December 7th, 150 runners dressed in grey sweats and red headbands hit the streets of Philadelphia to run Rocky’s ultra marathon training run. The event was non-competitive, it wasn’t even timed. It was simply an excuse for a group of runners to test their endurance and to follow in the footsteps of one of their favorite movie heroes.