Sunday, February 2, 2014

Setting the bar.

Sooooo, things went a little better than I had hoped for this weekend. I will say that I was more than a little “worried” going into my season opener and first race as a Mizuno sponsored athlete, The Sean O’Brian 50 miler. My training has been less then stellar the last few months due to a career change and the stress that has accompanied it. My number one goal for this race was to finish in the top three so I could secure an entry into the prestigious Western States 100 miler.

The course was great, views were amazing, the race was very organized and all was fine…. until around mile 37.

I was in my own little world -ticking along when I got to a climb that was a little more crowded than the previous one’s. Most of the traffic was 50k competitors that were heading home, but there was this other guy with his kids that were “unaware” of the traffic on the trail. The kids looked to be between three and five years old. As I was about to run by, the father pulled the first kid to the side.  My issue ended up being the second child. As I looked up to thank the father, I see this second child jump out at me looking like a possessed animal. His eyes seemed to turn red, and the hair on his head looked to stand on end. I was about to have a head to head with Chucky and that’s when it clicked that this little bastard had a rock in his hands the size of a football. Before I knew it, or could compute what was about to happen, the head of the evil child head pop’s up, he let out a blood-curdling scream and goes Joe Montana on my ass. He hit me dead in the shin.

Yes, looking back I wished I’d backhanded that little gremlin or drop kicked him into the trees, but I didn’t. All I could do was look up at the father from the ground with some kind of WTF look on my face. I had just got my ass kicked by a three year old and I had nothing. I did start running again and tried to put all my energy into moving forward, but even a day later I really can’t believe it happened.

If you’re reading this and you’re the father of that kid, you might want to get that little psycho checked out. I think he’s got some real problems.

Anyway, I’m happy to say I was able to finish second and so booked my ticket to Western States. Thank you to race director, Keira Henninger, for putting on such a great race.  I’m new to the trail community and everyone has been very welcoming.

Next up I’m heading back to my home country of New Zealand to compete at the Tarawera 100k and training starts for that tomorrow.


  1. Aw Man, Joe Montana Would NEVER Huck a Rock at you! Glad that you are OK, and that this didn't put a crimp in your Race! Mainly glad you are OK, so that I can LAUGH at the situation without feeling Bad! So Very Proud of your Efforts and your Season Opener. Goal Achieved for this Race! Congrats!

  2. Joe Montana always hit the hands....he never threw at the shins. And if he did Rice still snagged it. I'm slightly disappointed.......oh but Congrats on the 2nd place finish. ;-)

  3. That kid almost got me too! But with a stick. I narrowly missed getting thwacked. How unfortunate that he got you. Great job out there!

  4. Great race. Congrats on 2nd Place. Those of us plodding along at a snails pace noticed the same dad and his two boys. Due to our slow speed, some of us also noticed the 'special needs' nature of the kids. That dad had his hands full; pretty sure those two boys are already seeing their fair share of doctors. I guess a different perspective when you're running at a slower place. Again, congrats on the win... and the Mizuno sponsorship.