I am about to undertake my biggest challenge yet by running the 24 Hours of Palmer Lake ultra April 10. This will be the ultimate physical and mental challenge. I am an aggressive runner and have ended more than one marathon by being shuffled directly to the medical tent. At the end of this run, there will be nothing left of me other than knowing the limits I went into the race with and the absolute limits I was able to push through. I have come to absolutely love running. I have played football, softball and baseball. I have ridden bulls. There is nothing that comes close to what running provides: the combination of self-reflection, pushing through perceived limits, peacefulness of spirit and the high that comes with passing the next person in front of you. While I was thinking about taking on this challenge, I decided to use it as an opportunity to use my passion for running to give back to the Air Force, which gave me so much.
I have set a goal of raising $4,000 prior to and during my 24-hour race to support STEM outreach programs at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I want to show my support to the next generation of leaders who will sacrifice – and some will sacrifice it all -- for all of us.
How I got to this point
I am 48 years old and served in the U.S. Air Force for almost 21 years. The military gave me direction and purpose in life when I was in dire need of both. I enlisted in 1992 and as time went on I realized the military and I were a perfect fit. I was born for it. I relished being a part of something larger than myself. I loved serving, and I loved protecting the American way of life. I took pride in defending those whom I did not know and would have gladly given my life for anyone if that need ever arrived.
The Air Force became a passion, and I fully embraced the “Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in all We Do” mindset. Throughout my time in the Air Force, I continually found new ways to challenge myself. I retired in 2012 and nothing will ever truly replace what I found in the Air Force.
I was always fit and had a history of running. I ran track and cross country in high school and continued running during my time in the Air Force. In 2017 I decided to train for a marathon. My sister had run the Detroit Marathon, and she inspired me to put my hat in the ring. I met my future wife on Barr Trail training for the Pikes Peak Marathon, while she was training for the Pikes Peak Ascent. She showed me how to train properly ,and I credit her with getting me to the point I am today. The training was grueling; there were times when I was building up to 20 miles and beyond, and I felt I could not go on any farther. I toed the line of my first marathon in November 2017. It was a brutal experience, and I almost quit the race. I did not quit, and by the time I crossed the finish line I knew I was hooked. I had found my new passion! My need to constantly challenge myself did not end with my Air Force career.
My second marathon was in April 2018, and I qualified for the Boston Marathon. My wife and I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon in 2018, and I have now run 10 marathons. The military provided so much and took me all over the globe. Running has taken me all over the country. I continue to challenge myself through running, and I am training to break the three-hour mark for the marathon. I also decided to see what my body and my spirit could accomplish. I ran my first ultramarathon in Moab, Utah, in November 2020, 31.1 miles. I will run my second ultra in July.
I retired from one passion and found another.
Come run with me!