Chasing the Raccoon
I was told I should write a race recap of my RR100 race, but to be honest, my race wasn’t
much different than just about everyone else’s. I went out, I ran, I suffered, I twisted my
ankles and banged my toes, I fell down and got back up and I ate even when I felt like
puking. I kept doing that until I had gone 100 miles.
So instead I want to tell you how I got to RR100 and the big part this “dumb little club” and
others played. But really the story starts before I had ever heard of the IRC.
It was back in Nov of 2009 and I had decided to train for a marathon, which by the way
was going to be a one and done sort of thing, before I turned 50, you know, just to say I did.
My youngest son told me about a runner who was doing some pretty crazy stuff and writing
books about it. Like running 50 marathons in 50 days or some crazy shit and maybe I
should read his book and gain some insight. Unfortunately I picked up the wrong book by
this odd ball of a runner dude and ended up reading about running all-night and training for
some horse race in California or some such. Still it was entertaining and running related and
it did spark an interest in the “ultra” running stuff, but not really applicable since I was
training for a one and done marathon.
Fast forward to a couple years…(and a couple of marathons), when I saw a post on FB by
Runner’s World Magazine asking folks to tell them about their running clubs and or odd
running traditions and maybe they would include it in an article they were working on. Of
course me being the smart ass I am and never giving a straight answer to anything said “I
run around the house naked sometimes, does that count” and hit post.
It wasn’t long before somebody replied to my response with something like. “ah, you just
might fit right in with this bunch” and had a link to a group called Idiots Running Club. As
soon as I read about them I had to join. Finally, a bunch of easy going fun loving folks who
take their running serious but not themselves. The group was filled with every kind of runner
imaginable from the novice running a couple of times a week just for the health benefits all
the way up to ultra runners doing 100 milers and beyond. And they offered what they
advertised, funny, happy, easy going folks who were as quick with a sarcastic comeback, as
they were with a kind word or good advice, although sometimes it was hard to tell which
Sometime after that I saw an offer to the IRC members from a guy calling himself “PRS
Jeff” or maybe it was PRSFIT, but it was about getting coaching help for some crazy low
low price. Now, I had used coaches in the past, but only briefly to help me when I get to a
plateau that I couldn’t seem to get past. I would learn what I needed at the time then work
more on my own. It wasn’t that I didn’t see value in it, its just that I couldn’t justify the cost
for what is a hobby. But when I saw this offer to the IRC group I couldn’t pass it up.
At the time I had just finished a 50 mile trail race and was kind of not sure what direction I
wanted to go when I took Coach Jeff up on his offer. His first question to me was “what are
your running goals” and I told him I needed to learn to run smarter not harder. Instead he
taught me how to do both, run smarter AND harder. PRSFIT had some other offers as well
that interested me like trail running camps in the Rockies which I went to last year. MAN
what a blast I had bombing down the back side of flat top mountain with the other
“campers”. It took me back to running through the woods all the way to the river to swim as
a kid. I wasn’t running, I was playing, and my passion for running was never higher. On the
morning we were leaving the camp two of us were sitting in a restaurant with Jeff having
breakfast, he was trying to convince another runner he could run Rocky Raccoon
100…..only thing was….. I was listening too. The rest of the story is kind of boring, he
coached and I ran and was able to reach my goal. But what I really wanted to say is
This club has changed me for the better as a runner and running has changed me for the
better as a person, and for that I am grateful.
All I can say is man am I’m glad this 100 miler was a “one and done”!.