Well, tonight was a special night! I just got home from the Pulse Running and Fitness Shop’s Marathon and Beyond magazine night. The featured guest was none other than my good friend (and one of my ultra running mentors), Dennis Ahern who was the cover boy for the September/October issue of the journal.
Dennis gave an hour long presentation about the running adventures that he’s been able to experience this year. He has already ran four 100 milers (Salt Flats, Zion, Big Horn and Wasatch), covered every single distance in a race from 1 mile – 100 miler (except the marathon, which he will do at my race, the Idaho Wine Run on September 30th). He’s fast packed the 221 mile (which includes the ascent to Mt Whitney, which he did) John Muir Trail through the Sierra Nevada mountain range in less than 6 days (most people take 3 weeks) and he’s still got two more 100 milers he’s signed up for before the year is done! The man is amazing! Several of his races are just two weeks apart – including 100 milers! Did I also mention that Dennis is 54 years old and almost always beats the majority of the runners in our large ultra running group — even guys half his age?! Yeah, he’s pretty unique. Despite all of the accomplishments, Dennis is also one of the most down-to-earth, kind-hearted people I’ve ever known. He’s quick to share his snacks on the trail or offer a kind word when a runner’s had a bad race and he’s always willing to share his sage advice with the beginners (Iike myself) who are still feeling out this sport and learning the ropes. I call him my Yoda. He doesn’t own a Garmin or wear a watch or heart rate monitor when he races. He keeps things simple and I really respect that about him.
I really enjoyed listening to Dennis share more about his adventures, his passion for running and setting difficult challenges for himself that he works hard to achieve and it really inspired me to keep pushing towards my own goals.
One goal has always been to be featured in a magazine! I’d always hoped it would be as a writer, but I got the next-best thing when my friend, Jenny Stinson (a fellow Boise ultra runner, friend and employee of Marathon and Beyond magazine) contacted me a few weeks back and asked if she could use a couple of my photos — one of me as I was directing Lake Lowell Marathon where I am giving a massage to one of my runners who has finished and the other of me collapsed on a cot in a medical tent at Antelope Island Buffalo Run, where I’m wearing bright yellow compression sleeves right after my 100 mile run. I said I’d be honored and tonight she handed me a glossy copy of a magazine where I am actually within the pages! That’s a surreal feeling!! 😀 And one less thing on the bucket list!
So, pick up your copy and turn to pages 84 and 85 and marvel with me in how crazy it is that an overweight Mom of five somehow turned her life around and is now having some pretty cool experiences in this life now that she’s gotten fit, fallen in love with running and made some pretty cool friends (including one who just happened to want to use some of my photos for her magazine!) What a wonderful life! I can’t wait to see what happens next! Stay tuned!!!!