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Who Am I? 

The darker side of things


"If there is one thing you do for the rest of your life ... make sure it's that you just don't give up" - Scott English (10/14/19 8:58am ;)  )

Since starting SCTR (Salt City Trail Running) in 2017 with the inaugural Table Rock Trail Challenge and creating this website, writing my about section, a lot of things have transpired.


This is PART 2 to my story .....

September 2016 I completed something that I told everyone who asked me about running I would never do because it was crazy and too far/hard. I finished my first 100 mile trail run at Ollalie Lake in Oregon. It was the best experience I ever had completing something I never thought possible and pushing back the boundaries of what I thought I could do with my life. I did this with help from everyone around me in my life including my wife of now 10+ years. The 23 hours and 17 minutes that transpired that day I did it with the help of my sister, her husband, a friend of theirs whom I had never met, my friend who pretty much got me into this and his friend who housed me for my first ever road marathon. It was a collective gathering of amazing people.

I finished the race and realized if I could do this, anyone could ... I need to show them that. The birth of SCTR happened in that moment. (There's a little more to the story including #TrailsRoc and the lack of hosting a race that year but essentially, it happened in that moment.)

Flash forward June 2017 The inaugural TRTC goes underway with a whopping 37 runners, to me a huge success. The stories of people who had never run that far in one day or at one time embodied why I wanted to start this endeavor. At the time I had no clue what I was going to create but the seed of everything had been planted and the heart needed to help it grow.

July of 2017 I am diagnosed with lyme disease coming fresh off mono in February. Wtf?! Lyme disease?! I never found a tick bite, I never had a rash ... however I certainly did have some of the most painful aches and joint pain that I had ever experienced even after the hardest of hard workouts. I woke up in my hotel room in Rochester, NY attempting to run for the week I was there but found I was in so much pain I couldn't even bother with the thought. I called my doctor and they told me to come in right away however I couldn't until the end of the week. Currently I was training for UTMB's - CCC 100k race in Italy/Switzerland/France. I fund raised through family, friends and strangers to donate 2,000 Euros to a school in Nepal who had been devastated by earthquakes to get in (I missed the lottery). I planned a 13 day trip with my wife through Italy and then the mountainous village of Chamonix France. Naturally I thought ... lyme ... wtf ... I can't deal with lyme disease right now. My training faltered, I did the treatment, I didn't feel better.


The starting line of CCC was the scariest thing I had ever experienced and almost broke down crying before I even started the race. I looked around at all these international runners and thought to myself "I don't belong here ... why am I here ... " ... I proved I belonged by completing the requirements but the lyme disease stripped that away from me. I called my wife at mile 14 and told her I was in rough shape, I am not feeling well and just empty. I made it to mile 18 aid station before you start climbing up our of the valley and into Switzerland. I sat sulking, debating life, wondering why I am doing this, the cost it had on others that had supported me ... I walked to the timing booth and dropped. I walked away 10 ft from the timing booth and the aid station and absolutely, uncontrollably broke down crying. I couldn't stop ... It wouldn't stop ... I had never experienced something like this before. I'd like to think that this was rock bottom ... but it wasn't. 

I follow up with lyme specialist upon my return and he said "you had lyme, you did the treatment, it's time to get over it and start running again ... ", so I sucked it up and did just that for a time. 

2018 - The worst year I have experienced as an adult. I have deemed 2018 the year of DNF's and DNS's. My typical running mileage for a year was about 2,200+ miles and in 2018 I was logging months of 30-90 miles a month and struggled to get over 1,000 miles for the year. 

Doctors appointments lead me to rheumatology who mentioned chronic lyme as something that doesn't exist. We tried certain medicine to see if it was this or that and all to no avail. I lost faith in that office and sought out another rheumatologist office. I went through diagnosis's of fibromyalgia, mixed connective tissue disease, lupus and others. Trying medicine after medicine that didn't really seem to help I sought out the enemy of modern medicine and went to a homeopathic doctors office. From the time I started to the time I stopped there I made some improvements but was unsure if it was that office or the medicine finally taking effect from the doctors. Needless to say I couldn't afford it anymore anyway ...

I hit the lowest of lows around May of 2018 when driving with my family and I hit a stoplight we do all the time, I broke down crying. Again, uncontrollably and unexplained. I couldn't stop. I was depressed. This was the first time I had ever experienced something like this and boy oh boy was it an eye opener. It was the first time I could see what others struggle with daily and luckily for me I was able to identify it. I identified the depression and sought out ways to help me change my mental state and get out of it, normally that would have been running but it wasn't working for me which added to the depression.

Since then, I have had my ups and downs, my months where I can run and run like I never have before and months where I can't seem to get more than 40 miles. 2018 became the hardest year I have experienced but there is one thing that came out great from 2018 and that was the realization that no matter what happens, no matter what is thrown at me for the rest of my life there is NO giving up. I have people who depend on me, people who will support me and people who want to see me not give up. 

May 2019 - Glacier Ridge 50 mile. My third time at the event ... 2nd finish. My brother is running his first 50k and everything just CLICKS. We cross paths with each other at mile 19-20 and he asks me "dude are you in first?!" You damn right I am!!! My first EVER running win of any kind. Set a new PR for the 50m distance and won the race!!!


June 2019 - 10 for 10 ... set out to fund raise for those struggling with suicide and raised over $2,400 for the JED foundation in memory of my Uncle who lost his life to suicide. I covered 10 laps of 10 miles each to run 100 miles and dedicated each lap to someone who lost their life. I successfully completed my second 100 mile run and my father walked farther than he thought possible. 

July 2019 - Starting line of the Burning River 100 ... my next major attempt at the 100 mile distance. The first 30 miles everything clicked amazing and I ran sooo strong and felt great. By mile 32 a switch flipped and my body shutdown leading my to stagger the next few miles before finally being able to drop at mile 40. Another gut wrenching DNF but one to put things back in perspective that I am still dealing with something and have not overcome it but must keep fighting.


August 2019 - A stark reminder that no matter what I am going through I need to be strong and there mentally for my family and that nothing is insurmountable. My kids 4 and 6 conquering their first high peak in the ADK on Cascade Mountain. The determination on my daughters face after finally seeing the summit and charging her way to the top has become an expression I will not soon forget. 

To be continued ....

"If there is one thing you do for the rest of your life ... make sure it's that you just don't give up" - Scott English (10/14/19 8:58am ;)  )

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