Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meeting My Running Idol

Hey guys, a little late with this post, but better late than never. So as some of you might know, on the Saturday before the Boston Marathon, the author of 'Born to Run' (Chris McDougall) held a 5 mile fun run and then had a presentation after the run. It was AMAZING. He brought special guests from the barefoot/minimalist running community, and he also brought my absolute running idol - Scott Jurek. 

For those of you who don't know who Scott Jurek is, you're missing out. He is one of the most prominent ultra-marathoners in history, and he is one hell of a nice guy. Here's an idea of how badass he is:
  • 7-time Winner of Western States Endurance Run (100 mi) (seven times in a row from 1999-2005)
  • American Record holder for 24-hr distance (165.7 miles)
  • 2-time Winner of Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles)
  • Winner of the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run
  • 3-time Winner of the Spartathlon (152 miles from Athens to Sparta) 
Ever since I've started really following ultra-running, and getting into it, Scott has been a huge inspiration for my own running and my own personal ultra-goals/hopes/dreams. He totally pushes the boundaries of human ability, and it is truly inspiring to me. For example, I can't fathom how a human being can cover 165.7 miles in the span of 24 hours (on a 1 mile loop!!). I can't fathom how someone can be so consistently dominant so as to come back to WS100 (my dream race) each year and win it seven years in a row. Unreal.

Anyway, so when I heard he was going to be at this 'fun run,' I was stoked. There were about 50 or so people who came out for the fun run, and Bethany and I showed up to the fun run a little early, Chris McDougall gave us the run down, Scott came out and met us all, and we all took off for a 5 mile jaunt around the Charles River. It was awesome. Both Chris and Scott kept dropping back and chatting with everyone. Scott dropped back to the group I was running with, he said hi to us and I immediately got star-struck, haha, I'm not ashamed to admit it. Bethany got the convo going by saying 'Hey Ry, did you tell Scott what your ultimate ultra-running goal is?" And so I told Scott about my hopes to run Western States sometime in the future. Then we chatted about Western States, ultra-running, his future running plans, and other small talk. We ran together for about a little over a mile or so, just chatting as we cruised along the Charles. He is a truly awesome guy, totally down-to-earth. It was a complete honor to run alongside him. A totally awesome experience. I was telling people, it felt like I was a teenage girl singing onstage alongside Justin Bieber. 

Running along the Charles with my running idol.

 
Me, Miss Bethany, and Scott

Chatting a little again after the presentation.

He signed my RaceMenu running hat. I wore it for Boston, and I also wore it for the Providence 1/2 today.

I love that he signed my hat by writing: 'Dig Deep!' It really puts things in perspective for me when I'm struggling through a 26.2 or whatever distance I'm running. It makes me think, hell, if Scott Jurek can run for 24 hours straight at an average pace of 8:41 min/mile, I think I can slog through 26.2, or 31, or 50, or hopefully somewhere in the near future: 100.

16 comments:

Richelle said...

Wow... what a neat story! It's really fun meeting someone you look up to.

Zaneta said...

how awesomely fun is that?!! so cool ryan! :)

Colleen said...

Congrats Ryan, that's so great! And he does seem super nice. I can't believe anyone can stay awake for 24 hours nevermind run for that long - amazing!!

misszippy said...

Awesome! I love both those guys. They are coming near here in July and I can't wait to meet them too.

Marlene said...

What a great opportunity! They sound like awesome guys.

Morgan said...

I'm so jealous of all the bloggers that got to meet Scott lately! Congrats on meeting one of your idols and thanks for sharing!!!

Cory Reese said...

Awesome pictures! That is so cool.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Wow so many blogger are getting to met Scott lately. Both Scott and Chris are very inspiring figures in the running community. To have the opportunity to talk with them about their experiences first hand (while running even better!) would be amazing. The best thing is that they show us that most human beings put limits on themselves that are much too narrow. While running 100 miles may not be for everyone the lesson of pushing beyond what we last did holds true for everyone!
Thanks for sharing!

MrsQ318 said...

Just found your blog and am now a follower! :)
That is such an awesome experience!

Amanda said...

That is an awesome story! I am completely impressed and amazed by Scott Jurek - he really is super human in his abilities. So glad to hear that you had a good conversation/run with him. Love the "Dig Deep" as well.

You'll reach your goals if you believe and keep pushing yourself and I'm sure this meeting is going to help you get there :)!

Marci said...

Oh so very cool that you got to meet your running idol :)

chris mcpeake said...

pretty cool

Johann said...

Scott is one of my idols as well. I ran a few km's in a race this morning with one of my other idols, Bruce Fordyce, 9 times winner of the Comrades. So cool!

Runwithme said...

Enjoyed your report. I too got to meet Scott and Chris when "The Naked Tour" came to coastal Alabama. They were both really down-to-earth.

Clynton said...

What a wonderful opportunity and experience. Thanks for sharing!

Margaret said...

I also had an opportunity to listen to Scott at the Mardi GRAS marathon and run with Scott and Christopher in Alabama. These are two of the most down to earth but nevertheless inspirational people you could ever hope to meet. If you get the chance to go to a talk, run, or event I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity.