I have this friend. He's a really good guy who, like me, thought it was fun to run marathons. Back when we were both marathon coaches for a fund raising organization, and before we were really friends, he heard I was a trail runner and wanted to join me and my dog. So, we set out on a trail. Target distance: about 12 miles across varied terrain with some moderately severe climbing and descending. Jimmy's jack-rabbit start raises the question of whether he's really run trail as he claimed. The truth is he's never run technical terrain with the elevation and ground condition changes (skull size rocks to pebbles to hard pack) that we're on. Short story: we cut several miles from the course and eliminate the best (and most challenging) single track sections from the return. When we finish, we had eased back and truncated the run so much my dog isn't even panting. Jimmy noticed that we (my dog and I) didn't invite him back out for a long time. He shares the story frequently and tells me he uses it as inspiration.
Fast forward to this past weekend. The now married Jimmy completed his second 100-mile running race, the Rio del Lago. Not only did he finish, but he did it in under 24-hours. Finishing time: 19:49. That's nineteen hours and forty-nine minutes to cover 100 miles in temps that peaked near 100 degrees. Jimmy finished 1st in his age group and 3rd overall. His last 38 miles averaged 9:09 / mile.
Congratulations, Jimmy! Absolutely awesome.
Check out Jimmy's race recap here.