May 30, 2008

ALARC Marathon Training Program

My good friend and former coach, Bill Wenmark, started the ALARC running program back in 1981. There are two major marathons in Minnesota, the Grandma's Marathon and the Twin Cities Marathon. Bill started the ALARC program to take first time marathoners and train them to finish their first one. What a success it has been! Of the thousands of runners that have been through the ALARC program since 1981, only 3 people have not finished, that is amazing!!

I've been one of their guest speakers since the program begin and love talking to this group! I flew into Minneapolis/St. Paul on Wednesday from my home in Austin, Texas. I picked up my rental car and went straight to my good friend Dr. Steven Moe, Chiropractic Kinesiologist. I've been going to Dr. Moe for over 20 years now. He checked me out, adjusted a few things and I was on my way over to Bill's house. I took a short nap, then went out for a nice easy 5 mile run on some beautiful trails. It was then onto my talk.

When I first started speaking to the ALARC group, I focused on types of training that might help these folks, over the years my role has changed and now I tell stories and get them all fired up for the big race they have coming up. My talk went well and I had a wonderful time!

Afterwards Bill and I went out for a bite to eat and ran into a mutual friend, Dr. Ken Hightoff. When I had my bad farm accident back in 1989, Dr. Hightoff did the MRI's on my body to see how much internal damage I had done, he was one of the first doctors in Minnesota that had a MRI machine.

We had a nice supper and shared some old stories!

Thursday morning it was up early for a 10 mile run and then catch my flight back to Austin. Keep up the great work ALARC and thank you Bill for making my trip to Minnesota all possible!

May 19, 2008

Woody’s RV World Marathon and Half Marathon, Red Deer, Canada

You talk about a fun event, well organized, one of the best pasta dinners I've ever been to, and lots of friendly people, that's what you have at Woody's RV World, Marathon and Half Marathon in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada!

I arrived in Calgary, Canada early Thursday afternoon, rented a car and made the hour and a half drive north to Red Deer. What a beautiful city!

I checked into my hotel, took a short nap and then headed out on a beautiful run on the many paved and unpaved trails through the forest and woods that surround Red Deer.

The next morning I was up bright and early and got in a beautiful 10 mile run, once again on the trails. At about 8 miles I was running along side a small river and I came across a beaver that I swear was the size of a small Volkswagen! After my run, I went down to the conference hall at the hotel where I met the main sponsor of the marathon, Woody Taylor. You talk about a enthusiastic, energetic person, that's Woody! I can see why he is one of the top RV dealers in all of Canada!

I spoke after breakfast to many of his staff that work at his RV Center in Red Deer. Woody preaches teamwork and setting goals, so that was my main focus of my talk. They were a great group to speak to!

After my talk it was off to Notre Dame High School where I spoke to a bunch of students, like Woody's employees, they were great!

I had a short break before it was off to the Runner Den specialty running store. I did a meet a greet and also a couple of TV interviews. I got back from that and spent a couple of hours at the expo doing more meeting and greeting. It was then off to Woody's grandson's house for supper!

Clayton Phillips and his wife Melissa hosted myself along with Woody and his partner Val for a great evening of fun! Clayton barbecued up some of the best salmon I've ever had!

Saturday morning I was up early and did a 8 mile run along the Red Deer River, I then went and ran with a bunch of folks that were in town for the marathon and we did a 2 mile fun run together on a beautiful morning!

I spent lots of time at the expo during the rest of the day. Saturday evening it was time for the pasta dinner. They had sold it out, over 300 people were in attendance and we had a great meal along with honoring some runners and then I gave my talk. My talk went well, then it was time for all to hit the hay for our races the next morning.

Sunday morning was beautiful and they had a record turnout for the marathon and half. I ran the half at a good effort but did not race it, had a wonderful run on a beautiful course!

After the run it was back to the hotel, pack, and drive back to Calgary for my flight home to Austin. If you are looking for a GREAT marathon that's not to big except in hospitality, then Woody's RV World, Marathon and Half Marathon in Red Deer is the place you don't want to miss! Thanks Woody and Red Deer, Alberta, Canada!

May 10, 2008

Duluth Middle Schools, Duluth, MN

It is always a treat for me to go to Duluth, Minnesota, to me it is almost like going home as I'm always welcomed there with such open arms! This time I was in Duluth to speak to all the kids at the middle schools. I was there to speak about living a healthy active lifestyle, chemically free. The very thing that the Dick Beardsley Foundation is promoting.

The one thing I found out about speaking to kids years ago is, you have to get them into your talk right away or you spend the rest of the time reeling them back in. Fortunately I was able to do that! The kids at all of the schools were wonderful and they all gave me their utmost attention! I can't thank the folks at Grandma's Marathon and the Duluth School District for making my trip to the middle schools all possible!

May 5, 2008

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon/ RRCA Convention 50th

The folks in Cincinnati really have something going with their flying pink pig! This was my second time time to be at the Flying Pig Marathon to speak and my first time to speak at the RRCA Convention. It was the 50th Anniversary of the RRCA so I was very honored that they chose me to be their keynote speaker!

I arrived on Friday afternoon and got to the hotel around 2 pm. I took a short nap and then went for a beautiful 5 mile run along the Ohio River!

After my run, it was over to the expo to be at the Marathon & Beyond booth and talked to folks, sign copies of my book, Staying the Course, A Runner's Toughest Race and John Brandt's book, Duel in the Sun, race bibs, took pictures, and enjoyed the festivities. This is another race that has really grown! In their 10th year and getting bigger and better!

Saturday morning I went out for a nice run with a few thousand other runners who were running the 10k, I jumped in a got a good workout in, of course I did not go through the finish line since I was not registered.

I spent the day at the expo, then gave my talk at 3pm to a packed audience, they were super and my talk went well!

Saturday evening I gave the keynote at the 50th Anniversary Banquet of the RRCA.

Sunday morning I was up and did a couple of miles then ran the half marathon for a good workout. With 3 miles to go, I caught up with my ole friend Doug Kurtis from Detroit. Talk about a running legend! Doug had a PR of 2:13 in the marathon but the most incredible thing about Doug is, he holds the record for the most marathons run under 2:20, Doug totaled 76! That my friends is absolutely amazing, that is one record I don't think will ever be broken!

Doug was running the half also as a good workout as he was in training for the Grandma's Marathon coming up in June.

We finished our run, then it was back to the hotel to pack and catch my flight back home to Austin.

Thanks Flying Pig for the wonderful time I had!