This issue was a lot of fun to produce. First of all, I was given the opportunity to cover the Falmouth Mile before I went off to run the New Balance Falmouth Road Race this year. The Falmouth Mile is not as popular, but the folks in Falmouth are hoping to raise awareness about this event; many elite athletes compete in this race. I’ve covered this race for two years now, and thoroughly enjoy watching the athletes.
Before and after the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, I was able to get some photo coverage of the wheelchair athletes and others. It was a thrill to see Krige Schabort, who I met last year. Schabort, who is featured in this issue, is one the world’s best renowned wheelchair athletes and has an extensive resume – including having competed in the Kona Ironman race, as well as countless others in more notable endurance-distance races.
Aside from preparing a race recap on the Falmouth Mile, I also covered some of the athletes who competed at the Badwater 135 race. The course had to be altered this year after much controversy, thanks to the National Park Service. Two new winners emerged: the veteran internationally recognized endurance runner Harvey Lewis, and newbie Aly Venti – who, unlike Lewis, had never competed at Badwater before.
While 100 athletes were preparing for their Death Valley experience, two other athletes – Lisa Smith-Batchen and Kenneth Poser (who is coached by Smith-Batchen) – broke records this year for their racing efforts in Death Valley. Smith-Batchen, 52, became the first woman to ever finish a Quad Badwater (yes, that’s four times up and back through Death Valley). Her student, Kenneth Posner, completed the Double Badwater in record time, beating Marshall Ulrich’s time. Ulrich is also a Quad Badwater finisher.
This issue boasts a couple new sections; we cover both international and regional news. Internationally, Ghislain Marechal of Brussels set out to challenge himself and raise money for children’s causes. Like Smith-Batchen, who raises money and awareness for her Badwater4Goodwater campaign, Marechal developed his X Challenge to complete a DECA Iron experience in Europe this year as we go to print during the month of September 2014.
Regionally, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rick Amernick, founder of the DC Capital Striders – a prolific running group in the DC area that has training runs in Virginia. I met Amernick for the first time at the North Face Endurance Challenge in Virginia this spring. He’s recently transitioned into ultra-running and completed his first 50K this June.
There are a few other articles in this issue that were just a thrill to produce. When Eric Friedman, skydiver/runner, contacted me about his Sky Dive Run challenges, I got back in touch immediately. Of all things – combining sky diving and running! Read and relish this piece!
We have our fourth article in a series by Jay Markiewicz on Mental Training. Markiewicz has become a staple for the magazine in Coaches Corner. We also want to introduce our writer, John Glynn, who had the task of interviewing some of the world’s most dynamic names in endurance racing – like Wayne Botha, who we feature in this issue for his world record achievements in barefoot running. Glynn, who is an important asset to ERM, wrote an extensive piece on “hitting The Wall” – definitely a good read for all athletes, new and veteran alike.
Botha, who is on our cover this issue, achieved two barefoot records in one day for a single race! The New Zealander set out with a goal to get the World Records in barefoot running for two distances, and achieved his goals. Like so many of the runners we interview, he put in his head that he would succeed. Guess what? He did!
And as always, special thanks to all the folks who contributed to this magazine.
Alix Shutello, President and CEO