the rat's running

I was given the gift of running Spring 2011 - by that I don't mean I'm a gifted runner (I am not). I mean that running was and is a gift graciously given to me. I was overweight, had blood sugar problems, and generally felt like I was dying every day. I decided to start walking the hills around the townsite where I live for an hour a day. On one of these walks I thought, "maybe I should start running...I'd be able to cover more ground that way." At that point I had never even run around a track once my whole life. A week later I ran my first mile and felt amazing. A month later I ran my first 5K. Lost 25 pounds, lost the blood sugar issues, stopped having migraines, and feel good. As is said, I won't be able to run forever, but it's a gift I'm thankful for every day I can. After going through four pair of Merrell Trail Gloves I've switched to Altra Lone Peak and occasionally Olympus (starting wearing Injinji socks a year ago). This is fun stuff!

Ft. Bayard Wilderness Run
May 28, 2011 (Ft. Bayard, New Mexico)
5K, 37:07 (26th place)
First race ever...drinking coffee,
the best racing fuel ever!

Tour de Safford
October 29, 2011 (Safford, Arizona)
Half Marathon, 2:20:47 (33rd place)
Cold pre-race morning @
the Safford Airport (starting line)

Sierra Vista Trail Runs
February 18, 2012 (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
“Heavy” Half Marathon, 2:36:02 (18th place)...the organizers didn't tell us that the turn-around was actually at around 7 miles (my Garmin told me something fishy was up). Slow, but fun...and I didn't get lost at any wrong turns (a lot of folks did!).

Mesa Falls Marathon
August 25, 2012 (Ashton, Idaho)
Half Marathon, 2:18:56 (148th place)
My beautiful bride & I post-race
(with our huckleberry shakes!)

All-Souls Day Race
November 3, 2012 (Silver City, New Mexico)
7-Mile, 1:23:01 (20th place)

*My bride figured out my stomach couldn't handle GU during training at this time. They cause nausea and cramps starting almost immediately that last for days...figuring this out has made long runs and races MUCH better.*

Pass Mountain
November 12, 2012 (Mesa, Arizona)
50K, 7:13:48 (34th place)
Some of my awesome crew running in for a
hug at the end...they've waited at aid stations
& finish lines for hours...they're the best!

Cupid’s Chase
February 9, 2013 (Mesilla, New Mexico)
5K, 25:20:4 (28th place)
My beautiful bride & I pre-race

Ft. Bayard Wilderness Run
May 25, 2013 (Ft. Bayard, New Mexico)
13.1K, 1:18:07 (25th place)
Wearing the Merrell Vapor Gloves

Taos Ski Valley Up and Over 10K Trail Run
August 3, 2013 (Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico)
10K, 1:37:42 (59th place out of 90)
Starting at 9,207 feet elevation and climbs 2,612 feet in the first three miles to the top of the ski valley (11,819 feet), this was a pretty hard - but beautiful - run. Slowest 10K time ever, but an awesome experience!!

The Other Half Marathon
October 20, 2013 (Moab, Utah)
Half-marathon...493rd place out of 1,109.
A few firsts. This was the largest race I'd participated in. It was also the first time gun time and chip time were different in a way that aggravated me! I was insufficiently close to the starting line when the gun went off, and therefore was behind a whole lot of people (again...largest race I'd run in). At mile 1 I passed a woman announcing pace: "10:45." I panicked! Being behind a whole lot of runners made the first mile pretty pokey (at least for the goals I had for the race). I broke free eventually and kept a good pace throughout. I thought I was going to break 2:10:00 until I got within sight of the finish and realized (from the clock above the line) that it wasn't going to happen! I've never sprinted so hard in my life! It wasn't until the results were posted that I figured out what happened...the phenomenon of "gun time" vs. "chip time" got me. Personally, I'm going with chip time: 2:09:51. You learn something new in every race. Regardless, a good PR. And beautiful country to run through! This was also the longest I'd run in my Merrell Trail Gloves on pavement...they're definitely my go-to shoes, but my feet felt it for weeks afterwards.
My beautiful bride & I post-race

Todos las Almas Trail Run
November 2, 2013 (Boston Hill, Silver City, New Mexico)
10K, 1:07:07 (got this time off my Garmin since no results were ever's a local thing). Great race - rugged terrain, close to home. I ran this one in an old pair of Saucony feet were still too tender after Utah to go minimalist. My bride then purchased me some Altra Lone Peaks...0-drop, but has some padding...I'll try these for long pavement runs from now on!

3 Bridges Marathon
December 28, 2013) (Little Rock and North Little Rock, Arkansas)
Well, I jumped straight from a half-marathon to 50K...and someone teased me that to get cred as a "real" runner, I needed a street marathon. I ran in the inaugural 3 Bridges Marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the end of 2013. I hadn't run anything longer than 13.1 miles since the 50K thirteen months earlier, and had been eating holiday food without any self-control up to the evening before the race. Still, survived it and now have the cred. Back to trail races for me!
As always, I had the best crew ever encouraging me. They met me at several points along the Arkansas River Trail (paved).
Team Batman posing with an aid station Santa!
Sierra Vista Trail Runs
March 8, 2014 (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
7:07:04 (22nd of 29)
Ran the 50K. This is a wonderful and challenging race. The weather was mostly cloudy, cool, with a little wind and rain here and there. This was the first year they'd done a 50K. I hope to return to it again to take some serious time off my best! Team Batman drove to all the reachable aid stations to crew for me - they're awesome!
Prettiest orange tape in the world!

San Patricio Trail 10,000
March 22, 2014 (City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico)
1:06:17 (15th of 38)
Fun run! Great course. One of my best races. 10K is the perfect distance for an active, competitive race that doesn't take too long or take too much out of you. I had a blast.
Coming in for the finish!
April 5, 2014 (Dragoon, Arizona)
My bride and I did this one together - to enjoy time together, but also to get a unique chance to see this beautiful country that's usually closed.

April 19, 2014 (Las Cruces, New Mexico)

September 27, 2014 (Grants, New Mexico)
8:26:24 (111th of 156)
Slowest, most beautiful, hardest race I've done.

Gordon Ainsleigh, father of ultra trail running!!
All Souls Urban Trail Run
October 25, 2014 (Silver City, New Mexico)
15K, 1:46:24

Cactus to Cloud 50K
May 2, 2015 (Cloudcroft, New Mexico)
DNF. That's right. My first. Made it 19 1/2 miles and about 8,000 feet elevation gain. Beautiful race. I loved the Dog Canyon part above Oliver Lee State Park.
At the top of Dog Canyon...the race started WAY down there at the bottom!
Trails to Rails 8-Mile
August 29, 2015 (Cloudcroft, New Mexico)
1:39:34.2 (65th of 112).

Colossal-Vail 50/50
November 14, 2015 (Vail, Arizona)

Timed out at 41 miles. Lord willing, I plan on giving it another go next year. Awesome race. Loved the experience.
Predawn start.

Coming up on a road crossing...there was a guy giving out BACON!! Yes!!

Ft. Bayard Wilderness Run
May 25, 2013 (Ft. Bayard, New Mexico)
13.1K, 1:31:03 (29th out of 39)

Fun! Slower than last time, but it's hard to beat a local race on such great trail!

Boulder Dash
October 22, 2016 (Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona)
30K, 5:14:15 (32nd out of 43)

All Souls Town & Trail 10,000
November 5, 2016 (Silver City, New Mexico)
10K, 1:12:59 (13th out of 23)

Cactus to Cloud Trail Run
May 13, 2017 (Cloudcroft, New Mexico)
50K, 11:21:50 (78th out of 93)
Finally returned to finish it after the DNF two years ago; actual made the decision two weeks before the race! Took my time - my goal was finishing. Glad I did. The first part of the race, the Dog Canyon Trail, is still one of the most of beautiful (and difficult) trails I've ever been on.
The view from the top (15-ish miles in), looking over the foothills of the Sacramento Mtns.
and into the Tularosa Basin (the light-colored part is White Sands National Monument).
Electric 5K
July 3, 2017 (Las Cruces, New Mexico)
5K, 29:40.2

First paved race in a long time, and first 5K in a while. Slow, but it was exciting. The streets were lined with thousands of people waiting for the parade (which came after the race). While temperatures had been above 100°F all day, the race began just after sunset...temps dropped into the mid-90's for the race.

Ouachita 50April 21, 2018 (Little Rock, AR)
50K, 8:54:48 (69th out of 104)

Coming down Pinnacle Mountain
Blue Eye Bulldog 5K
May 5, 2018 (Dogwood Canyon, MO)
5K, 26:36.2 (16th out of 126, 2nd in age division...that was a first!)

“Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble” (Proverbs 4:10-12).

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