words

Writing featured in Trail Runner Magazine, Runner's World, Running Times, Spirit Outdoor (France)

 
 

Cowboys, Indians and the endurance of Ray Molina - 
Trail Runner Magazine

It was getting quite late on the ridge and I suggested that we simply camp there for the evening.

“No, man,” Ray said. “You don’t want to camp here.”

I pushed harder for staying on the ridge as we had food and camping supplies and were frankly exhausted.

Ray jumped up, and stomped over to his bike, screaming. “This isn’t some happy-camper bullshit, man! This is a fucking war zone!” And with that he got on his bike and disappeared around the corner.

Alexis and I stood there, perhaps a little relieved.

“Well?” I asked.

“Maybe he’s got a point,” Alexis said. “Anyway,” he added for effect, “he’s certainly more interesting than just the two of us.”

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12 Minutes to Spare - Trail Runner Magazine

Moonlight filled the hills and sprinkled down through the oak as we ran on pavement for the first time in close to 60 miles. Bright white farmhouses. Sleeping lambs, a ghostly silence and nothing. The only applause came from the automatic porch lights abruptly illuminating small portions of the road as we passed.

As we ran by Newlands Church and Little Town, Scott’s form began to return.

Trees.

I realized that I hadn’t really seen trees at all today.


Heart of the Matter - Trail Runner Magazine, 

At the base of the mountain, the boda boda drivers pulled up to a small hut at the edge of a village and let us off. Merritt stretched while Rogers purchased some food and stuffed it into his army-issue backpack. We set off swiftly through a patchwork of farms and coffee plantations. Now that we were off the motorcycles, the children were a little more apprehensive about approaching us, and “muzungu” was heard only in the form of a mutter.

We quickly dropped Rogers on our way up through the farms, not yet within the boundary of the park. Merritt loped up the trail with what has always reminded me of a puppy-dog jog, owing to her long stride and too-large feet. As the youngest of five, Merritt’s running wardrobe consisted entirely of hand-me-downs from me, adding to the awkwardness of her form. Today, “Rickey” is embroidered on her hooded sweatshirt.


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On a Shoestring - Trail Runner Magazine - August, 2009

With every day that I spent with Martin I learned a little more on how to live the life of a shoestring runner. I learned that a bag of chips and a can of beer can make a complete meal, that the complimentary hotel shampoo is all you need to wash your socks in the bathroom sink, and which race directors to ask for travel assistance. Lastly Martin taught me about the “worst type of people.”
“Fell runners (English Mountain Runners) are the worst type of people,” he said.
“But I though you told me that the Bavarians were the worst type of people.”
“Bavarians are the worst type of Germans, I said,” he replied.
“Oh, then what about the Swiss Germans?”
“They’re horrible, indeed. Worse than the Bavarians. But they aren’t German.”
I never really did find out who was the worst type of person, since they all seemed to have fallen under the category at some point or another.


Just Kilian - Trail Runner Magazine - December, 2011

The video clip opens with a person climbing a serrated, snow-covered ridgeline. He’s wearing a white spandex racing suit and eggshell-thin ski boots, and, slung tightly to his back, are a pair of skis. The background music is intense but catchy—an inspirational three-chord rock anthem, something Hans Zimmer might have composed. He’s taking deep methodical breaths. The clip switches to a helicopter view showing the earth drop off precipitously thousands of feet all around. One can’t help but think 007 or Mission Impossible.

He stops, crouches down and feels the grass and earth at his feet. The music pauses. You hear him breath. You hear his heart beat. More breathing. More heartbeats. The music kicks back in. His wardrobe changes again and again he goes sprinting off. By the end of the clip the viewer half expects the star to climb into an Aston Martin alongside a beautiful woman or BASE jump to battle the bad guys.

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Summer Vacation - Trail runner magazine - october, 2010

“That’s the point isn’t it? To suffer?” he asked. “At a certain point,” Martin explained, “running ceases to be about running anymore and becomes, quite simply, a means to an end.”

“And what end might that be?” I asked.

“For some, it’s endorphins. For others, it’s simply the act of going fast. For ultrarunners, I’m convinced, it’s suffering. Suffering can teach you more about yourself than a psychiatrist.”


The UTMB Fun Run - Trail RUnner Magazine - March, 2011

Knuckles rapped on my door. “Rickey!” called Clifford called. “It’s 2 o’clock! Up and at ’em!”

“Two o’clock what?” I mumbled through my pillow.

“Two in the afternoon. The race started at 10 this morning.”

I pieced together the news of a make-up race. For several hours following the race’s cancellation, information was passed around and distorted by abbreviated text messages, rumor and poor translation. It took days, weeks, to accurately piece together the information.

The parched throat and methodic thumping inside of my skull brought me back to rue Vallot and the subsequent after party at Jurek’s apartment.