Monday, August 22, 2011

Run Across North Dakota

I've had a day to ponder the many events the happened over Ben's 360+ mile journey. I can't wait to share some of the stories with you.

The most amazing story though is Ben himself. Getting to see, first hand, someone stripped down to nothing and watch them fight through it, rebuilding themselves, is something very special. You get to see the real them and what makes them tick. I feel fortunate to have been able to have a front row seat. I don't like to see people hurting though I know in these events it is inevitable. I'll give no sympathy, only compassion. I saw Ben in extreme pain though he really didn't complain. We addressed the issues he was having, knowing we could fix them only so well and move on. I watched Ben face his fears and take them head on. Fear of injury. Dark lonely nights. Fear of failure. Wondering if he'd made a bad decision in doing this in the first place. When there was doubt, he worked through it like a seasoned veteran. Truly amazing for someone in his twenty's much less only 20.

You're not born, of course, with the level of maturity that Ben has. It is learned. Though I did get to meet his father, our time together was brief. I'm certain Ben's maturity comes from an upbringing in a family that today is growing increasingly rare. A family connected to one another and that loves and respects one another. Ben's Dad is his Dad. Not his best friend. Ben and his Dad have an admiration for one another that is truly special. They are each others biggest fan and that is awesome. Ben's Mom is still his Mom. She would call and express her concern as she was worried about her little boy. She would call his cell phone more times than Ben wanted her to. He felt guilty for not getting back to her. As maybe he should have. He had a childish smirk on his face when he asked his Dad to do something to calm her fears. Once in a while a quick call would settle her but only for a short time and the phone would ring again. That's just how mothers are. Ben loves him Mom and that's cool.

In a sport mostly populated by older people like myself, Ben is a breath of fresh air. My hope is for Ben to be an example to our younger generation that it's OK to look for happiness in places other than a pill, bottle or another persons arms. What running can provide is an understanding of who we are and that we are much better and more capable of what we thought we were. Ben and I chatted about how we both dislike running though we like what it gets us. Ben has been taught to not take the easy way out of difficult situations. Only a week before he started running from Beach was when he decided to do it. He couldn't think of a reason not to do it. He felt a calling to do something to help out his devastated community, he's good at long distance running, and he had a week before school started. He could have done nothing which is what most do, but that wouldn't be Ben.

You may call it youthful exuberance, recklessness or self destruction, but I know Ben well enough to know of his determination and commitment and I wanted to see him succeed. Was I certain he would succeed? No. But I was willing to do all I could to see to it that he did, and like I said, I'm fortunate to have had a front row seat. Can wait to see what he'll do next.

Sunday, August 21, 2011



On the home stretch

On the home stretch

One turn to go

One turn to go

Two more turns and this

Two more turns and this one is in the books

Ben should be hitting main

Ben should be hitting main ave and 25th St at about 9:25

Ben is on target for

Ben is on target for a 10 O'clock finish @ the main avenue bridge. Come out and congratulate Ben on this monumental achievement.

Red River here we come.

Red River here we come. See you @ 10. We're on our way.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One more town to pass

One more town to pass through before Fargo. Should be in Mapleton shortly after midnight. Finish tomorrow, 10 a.m. on the main ave bridge.

One more marathon to go.

One more marathon to go. We'll keep moving for a couple more hours. Then so rest and on to the finish.

In about 10 Minutes Ben's

In about 10 Minutes Ben's adventure will be 90% complete with 36 long miles to go.

Ben is taking a nap

Ben is taking a nap for a couple hours. We had to change course again because of water over the road. Only two extra miles.

Ben is working hard today

Ben is working hard today with the hope of finishing before noon tomorrow. Only slept an hour and a half last night. Says he's tired. Ya think?

The power of FaceBook I can't get him to move.

Another very frustrating evening. Road

Another very frustrating evening. Road closure after road closure. I think ND will soon have as many lakes as MN.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's been a productive day.

It's been a productive day. Ben is going to rest until 1 and then get back at it. 70 to go.

It begins again

Grilled Cheese and tomato soup

Grilled Cheese and tomato soup on the menu again in the Ultra Kitchen. And he's on the road again.

Getting on the east side

Getting on the east side of Jamestown has been a huge boost for Ben. He is in good spirits after some pretty low spots. Less than 90 to go.

Ben got in a well

Ben got in a well deserved nap. He'll be on the road shortly.

Almost through Jamestown. Going strong.

Almost through Jamestown. Going strong. Less than 100 to go.

It is so wet the birds have nowhere dry to land.

As of 11:30, Ben is

As of 11:30, Ben is 10-12 miles outside of Jamestown. It has been really tough finding roads that are not under water. Been scrambling since 4

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ultras have their ups and

Ultras have their ups and downs. We're down right now. After a bite to eat, Ben's stomach was upset and slowing him down. Gonna sleep for 30

A guy chatted with Ben for half an hour and gave him this giant can of sweet tea. Ben said it was delicious.

On a road outside of

On a road outside of Dawson, a lady drove up and handed Ben a piece of paper with her name on it and some $ . Not a solicitation. A donation.

Hour and a half of

Hour and a half of sleep. It has clouded over and I hear some rumbling. Hope it is nothing major.

Ben is going to take

Ben is going to take a nap during the hottest part of the day. The last 24 hours have been productive. About 75 miles.

Much flatter terrain today. Makes

Much flatter terrain today. Makes me realize how hard Ben worked yesterday.

Ben is working like a

Ben is working like a dog. It is amazing to watch. I hope the word is getting out about his adventure.

Last Sunday I noticed the

Last Sunday I noticed the starter was getting weak on the RV so I brought one with. Guess what I just did.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ben is refreshed and ready

Ben is refreshed and ready to go all night. I need a coffee I V

Slowing down some. Going to

Slowing down some. Going to stop at nine thirty for an hour to have a bite to eat.

Not certain if you can see the terrain but this aint Fargo.

All is going well. Ben

All is going well. Ben feels good, the weather is nice, and only a couple hundred miles left to go.

Bismarck news station has us stalled in New Salem.

I'm in New Salem waiting

I'm in New Salem waiting for Ben. Should be here in a couple hours. The hours spent digging the crew vehicle out was taxing.

Out of the mud after

Out of the mud after 4 hours. Darn google maps.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The crew van is stuck

The crew van is stuck in the mud. They haven't been able to move in hours and Ben is there with them being that is only means of support.

Glen Ullin

Ben is just a couple miles west of Glen Ullin. He has a radio interview scheduled for 4:20 on KFYR in Bismarck.

100+ miles

Ben is doing very well. Feeling good and cruizing along. Just went through Hebron.


Ben stopped for a bit in Richardton to grab a bite to eat, is back at it now and looking forward to a successful day. The sun is up and spirits are high.


Some rough weather slowed Ben down overnight where he was forced to seek shelter and got a little sleep. It then turned into a beautiful clear night. He's confident that today will be a strong day and excited to get more miles behind him. Passed through Taylor just a bit ago.

Keep passing the word around of Ben's effort and show your support for him and the Minot area.

I'll be heading out to hook up with him late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Not certain what posting to the blog will be like but I may have the tracking device so at least you'll be able to follow us online while you're at work. I hope your boss won't mind.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Run Across North Dakota.

Ben is through Dickinson and feeling good. He stopped for an hours rest around 7:30 or so and is back at it and will go all night. I'll post again in the morning to let you know how he is progressing.

My Long Run And Ben's Even Longer Run

I was able to get a 10 mile run in this weekend so hip hip hooray I am into the double digits. I have 5 weeks to build up to triple digits.

The first mile was truly the worst. Lungs were tight. Felt better every mile. I don't want to say my knees hurt though I'd call them sore when I got to the 7 mile mark. They felt tired but I knew they'd be good for 3 more. The only concern now is my hip. After limping for a few weeks, as my right knee was worse than the left, my gait has changed and has impacted my right hip. Not a big concern though something I will pay attention too. All seems well to keep increasing the mileage. Take that Osteoarthritis. Oh ya, my test results came back for Lyme Disease and it was negative. I guess that means I have Osteoarthritis in my knees according to the doctor who actually wasn't a doctor but a Physicians Assistant. I'll just call my daughter for advice next time as she has more training than a PA.

It was a very odd weekend for me. My routine was disrupted by Kristy being out of town. I even forgot to drink coffee one morning. The cats didn't know what to do and just looked lost. She was in Minot with a group from our church helping with the flood recovery. She spent the weekend in various homes hauling out rubble. She says the homes there are devastated. Some have 8 feet of water on the main floor. Not much else you can do but gut it out, dry it out and rebuild.

Speaking of Minot, my friend Ben Clark, 4 weeks after completing the Badwater 135, is from Minot and is trying to raise some funds for the Minot Area Recovery Fund. Knowing he's an Ultra Marathoner, how do you think he is going to do it? You guessed it. An Ultra long run. He is running across the state starting in Beach and finishing in Fargo. He left around noon yesterday, was in Belfield this morning and is still going strong. I will be hooking up with him around mid week and will keep you posted on his progress. Please consider helping out with the Minot Recovery Fund by pitching in a couple bucks. Ben is pretty quiet and didn't do much for press coverage before he headed off on his adventure so if you could,please spread the word.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Going Long

I ran 2.6 miles Wednesday morning and last night at about 6 p.m. I went out for a long run. My goal was to make it 5 miles without having to walk. The knees felt pretty tough for the first mile and then got progressively better and I was able to go 5.2 miles in about 48 minutes. OK guys, I'll do the math for you. That is an average pace of 9:14. It was tough but very encouraging. I even ran a couple of miles in the grass. I think my knees are stronger than I give them credit for though I know one misstep and I'll be set back a couple weeks and that would put running the Bear 100 out of the question. Maybe get into the double digits this weekend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Couch To 5K

I've been running about every other day and have topped out at 5 miles though not continuous. The knees feel stronger every day. I went to the doctor yesterday and she said it was probably Osteoarthritis. That doesn't make sense to me but then I'm not a doctor. They took a blood sample to test for Lyme Disease just in case. If it comes up negative, I suppose she's right and I'll have something else I'll have to battle with. That's life.

6 weeks from today Kristy and I will be headed off to Utah to run the Bear 100. I've got a lot of catching up to do. My training plan has been looking like my first ever which was a "Couch to 5K plan". 5 minutes of walking with 3 minutes of running and repeat. I did that for about a week and am now up to running 2.5 miles continuous, taking a break and then 2.5 more. I'll ramp it up quite a bit in the next few days and weeks. Probably won't get much more than a 30-40 mile long run in before the Bear. I'm not too concerned as I guess this just adds to the challenge which is why we do this in the first place, right?