Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Part II: Unsung Heroes of Ultrarunning

Anna Bradford- Anna is a former club president(Reston Runners), volunteer, mentor, and coach to many runners of varying abilities. Even among her own challenge to run 100 miles at Vermont, she was seen motivating and pushing runners to finish. Anybody that knows Anna knows that she runs as much to help others achieve their goals as she does to achieve her own.

Rebecca Byerly- Rebecca has used her running and journalism skills to highlight stories that are rarely viewed by western culture. Last year she ran 125 miles across the Sahara during the Lybian challenge. While alot of what she covers relates to running, there is a cultural barrier that she is breaking through. Her feet allow her to film places and people that we may have never seen. She is just getting started, and I think we will see much of her wonderful and impactful work.

Michael Huff- Mike has been running for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund for several years now. He dedicates his running to serve those who have served us. Many soldiers return from duty with life changing injuries. Mr. Huff has vowed to make their lives better, as well as for their families. Mike is also one heck of a runner, having impressive runs at the challenging Grindstone 100, Hellgate 100k, and Western States. Mike's purpose to running is inspired by his strong faith in God, and dedication to be "Always Faithful"(semper fidelis)

Frank Probst- As a standout runner in his earlier years, Frank is still a force in his mid 60's. Frank has proven that longevity is attainable in a sport that abuses the body, as long as you care for it. When he's not breaking age group records, he's showing that he can still whoop up on guys a third his age...including me!

John DeWalt- Not sure if he's an unsung hero, because so many folks already call him a hero. John is 73 years young and just conquered the toughest 100 miler in the country(Hardrock)...for the 14th time! John is proof that running, and running long, does not have to fade with age. John is certainly an inspiration to myself and pretty much everyone he meets. His resume of tough races is incredible, and to think many of them were after his 50th birthday. This guy's already a living legend. If you see him, show some respect.

Dennis Herr- same as above, but younger. Probably too legendary to consider unsung. If you don't know who he is, find out, and then pick your jaw off the ground. This guy rocked the running scene with David Horton when ultrarunning was just a baby. They are old school.

Ed Demoney- Ed has served the running community far longer than I have been alive. He's been a race director, accomplished runner, and is still out on the trails. I wish I knew more about him. Age is just a state of mind, and Ed proves it at 72 years young.

Gary Knipling- Gary is now better known for his brews, knowledge of wildlife, and sense of humor. Gary can be found hosting, or volunteering his time at just about every VHTRC event. Gary truly goes out of his way to serve others, and it's seems to be his way of life. By the way, Gary was a 2:40 marathoner in his prime. Never question his toughness, since he also finished yet another MMT 100 this past May.

Phil Rosenstein-ran across the entire US in the fall of 2008 to raise money for the Mario Lemeuix foundation. He ran 3,300 miles in 94 days and raised over $20,000 for cancer research. Phil humbly kept publicity about himself to a minimum, but always made sure to highlight the foundation.

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