Strolling Jim 40 miler race report.

strolling-jim-logoWell, I did it.  I finished my second strolling jim 40 miler.  The experience was very good overall but it was a bit of a stressful adventure at the same time.  First I will start with the weather.

The southern USA from Oklahoma to Tennessee was being blasted by storms and tornadoes.  The race start location was no different.  It rained several inches the day before the race and just getting to our bed and breakfast was a chore because several roads were completely flooded out.  Lighting was actually hitting the ground only feet from the bed and breakfast too.  This increased my stress level about running in the race.  It kept raining all day and all through the night.  When I got to the race start it was pouring with lethal amounts of lighting crashing down, flash flooding everywhere, and possible tornado watches.  Basically the news people were telling everyone to stay in and stay home.  They were giving emergency instruction on flooding and shelter.  Did that stop any of the 95 runners?????????????????????

No, well, maybe one or two.  The old water tower of Wartrace was packed with runners bitching about the current weather but refusing to give in to it. HAHAHA  The horn blew at 7 am and we all took off.  Everyone was happy for the most part to embark on this journey bad weather or not.  The good thing was that by mile 13 all the rain, thunder, and lighting gave way to plain old cloudy humidity.  That was not to bad since it was not deadly in anyway and the flash floods were supposed to stop until the next day by 8 am.

I kept the pace conservative for the first 20 miles.  I had the privilege of running with some very seasoned veteran ultra runners.  One 65 year old man was running his 19th strolling jim and his 209th ultra.  Another man, at the age of 61 was doing his 10th Jim and had completed the badwater in death valley as well as 4 Western States 100’s.  The stories abounded and whether they were all true or not didn’t concern me. It was wonderful entertainment for the first half.

At mile 20 I said goodbye to my friends to take hold of my personal goals for the race.  I began picking up the pace in order to cross the finish line in under 7 hours.  At mile 25 I hit a very nice second wind and averaged a 9 min pace until about mile 35.  After that it just got more mentally difficult.  By mile 38 my wife joined me and talked me into the finish.  When I hit mile 40 with supposedly only 1.2 miles to go, I was having a had time staying positive.  Due to the flooding, they had made us detour around some closed roads which to my little unknowing mind added an extra mile to the race to make it a full 42.2 miles.  When I got onto the main road going into town my wife said I was going to make my sub-7 hour finishing time.  This excited me but I was still have a hard time.  With only about a mile to go I left my lovely wife behind and did the last mile around 7:50 to meet my goal.

42.2 miles:  6:56.50

The original distance of 41.2 miles was finished in 6:47 which means I improved my time by 1 hour and four minutes from last year.  What a great race it was.

I am doing well today and my soreness is on it’s way out now.  Yesterday I was pretty bad with soreness and I had food poisoning too.  Not a good day for me.  I slept every chance I got and on the plane rides home I was asleep before the the plane took off and woke up after it landed both times.  Got home at 1:30 and woke up at 4:00 to go to work.

52 Responses to “Strolling Jim 40 miler race report.”

  1. 1 AmyJoGo
    May 4, 2009 at 5:44 am

    You did awesome!!! Congratulations!!

    I thought about you all this weekend as we were fighting the rains here in Ft Worth too. Glad to see you guys all made it home safely!

    Don’t know how you were able to get up and go to work today after running all weekend and being sick for the rest of it.

    Inspiring for sure!


    • 2 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 5:48 am

      Boy Amy, Being sick from that food was 10 times worse than being sore from the run. HAHAHA It sucked royally.

  2. 3 Cecile
    May 4, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Jason, your a machine! I’m so proud of you, what an accomplishement.Hope your feeling better today.

  3. May 4, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Wow, Jason. That is so impressive. Weather or not, you did it! And it’s also impressive to know there are 65 year olds out there doing this stuff too. Goes to prove age is only a number. Way to go. Hope your body is feeling better today. You should be SO proud of yourself. Again, impressive!

    • 6 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 6:00 am

      Hi Little miss. YOu know what, there was more than 10 over 60 year old runners. At these races most of the runners are in the 40’s +. Thanks for your encouragment. I am feeling 100% better today than yesterday.

  4. May 4, 2009 at 6:05 am

    I was at a luncheon yesterday and the friend with us was 65. I mentioned how I was starting to bicycle and could do 6.5 miles easy. He asked how old I was and when he learned I was nearing 49, he said that was the difference – he’s “65” now and because of that couldn’t do what I was doing. Whatever, I say. I don’t want to be one of those people who thinks that just because they turn 50, 60, 70, they have to act like they are geriatric and crippled. You know?

    I don’t know that I could ever run 40 miles – because of my back – but someday I will bicycle that far. I hope.

    • 8 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 6:08 am

      Little miss, here are the ages of the top finishers at the race.

      1. 40 yrs
      2. 38 yrs
      3. 57
      4. 29
      5. 44
      6. 45
      7. 43
      8. 33
      9. 42
      10. 49
      11. 54

    • 9 Melanie
      May 10, 2009 at 6:48 am

      Hey there – I’m 45 and still can bike hundreds of miles in a week. I’m getting ready for my 2nd triathlon, but here are a couple of truly inspiring anecdotes..

      My 67 year old mother – who has never been very active – had never run a mile,just finished her first month of bootcamp where she dropped almost 3 minutes off of her mile run time, dropped her bodyfat 4 percent and went from 0 pushups to 33 full pushups in a minute in just 30 days!

      I rode Ride the Rockies – 434 miles in 7 days with over 20k feet of climbing. I had the pleasure of riding part of it with a 66 year old woman – climbed into Mt Estes with her and also rode with a 72 year old gentleman from Texas.

      Our bodies will give us all they can. All we have to do is ask. As we age, it won’t do it as quickly, but it will do it.

      Just ask! 🙂

  5. May 4, 2009 at 6:30 am

    That is totally awesome! Inspiring! Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  6. May 4, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Jason, so proud of you! I too thought of you all weekend, wondered how you were doing, and how your timing went!

    COngratulations, you worked hard, trained hard, and you did it! YAY! DId I say I am proud of you?> Have I told you lately that I…no silly I am not about to say I love you…but any way, have I told you lately how much you inspire me? How much reading your blog, seeing yoru achievements, and knowing where you came from, makes a difference to me? COnsider it said…again!

  7. 13 lissa10279
    May 4, 2009 at 7:16 am

    That is SICK (in a good way) Jason, congrats! And over an hour off last year’s time?! Better yet!!! Glad it went well.

    • 14 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 7:18 am

      Thanks Lissa. In a way, it IS sick. HAHAHA My coach calls doing these runs a “sickness”. HAHAHA

  8. 15 Vani
    May 4, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I can’t believe you beat your time by over an hour!!! Phenomenal!

  9. May 4, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Holy Cow….what an accomplishment! Beating your time from last year by over an hour is awesome! Glad it was a positive experience.

  10. 19 the Ringmaster
    May 4, 2009 at 7:56 am

    CONGRATULATIONS! You did it! You know, it’s funny–it’s a small thing, in the big scheme of things, I suppose, and eternally, it doesn’t matter much, but it matters much, doesn’t it? Congratulations on achieving this monumental goal–both for the accomplishing of it, the physical endurance of running for so long and the mental toughness to push through the tough parts when it would have been easier to quit; and also for the training for it, for the sacrifice that it took to commit to the process of preparation to make sure you were as ready as possible for what this would do to your body.

    This is the achievement, after all.

    • 20 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 8:25 am

      You are soooo right ringmaster. Thanks for your encouragement. I dove into the eternal a couple of times during the race however. I was thanking Jesus many times and then asking for his help on several other occasions. 🙂

  11. 21 Mike
    May 4, 2009 at 8:53 am

    DUDE!!!!!! Well done!!!!!!!

  12. 23 AmyJoGo
    May 4, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I (we) want to see a picture of the tee shirt you got for completing the race, please?

    • 24 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 9:38 am

      I was not able to take pics with my camera so I am waiting for an email with all of the pics. It is funny, the shirt was a small but that is all they had left. HAHAHA I put it on for the pic. It actually fit since it had never been washed

  13. May 4, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Congratulations!!! What an awesome race, and so cool that you were able to make your goal!

  14. 27 Shannon
    May 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Congratulations Jason!! What an accomplishment to do the race, but to beat your time by an hour!!! HUGE!! Glad you are feeling better today! Way to go!

  15. May 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm


    I would NOT have gone out there in that lightening!!! That is where I draw the line.

    Great job on getting through all the adversity AND beating your time!

    • 30 run4change
      May 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks Linda. I seriously thought about not doing it. In fact, all the way to the start while driving I was talking myself out of it. but when I got there and all the people were still going to do it, I just got inspired by these ultra-runners and their pure stubborness. That is what did it for me. I stepped out of the car and it was all over.

  16. May 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS! That’s amazing— I cannot imagine. A marathon about did me in! Great job!

  17. 33 maggieapril
    May 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Fantastic – you should be very proud of yourself!!

  18. May 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Woohooooo!!!! Fabulous…doing a little happy dance in celebration. Way to go. Awesome job. You Rock!!

  19. May 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Jason–YOU ROCK! WTG. That is an amazing feat!

    • 38 run4change
      May 5, 2009 at 4:57 am

      Athlete, why thank you much. It is pretty amazing when I sit back and think about it. Most of the time though it kind of seems normal.

  20. 39 Beth
    May 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    It was my first over 50K. I finished just over a minute ahead of you at Strolling Jim. Your weight loss story is really amazing. I’m definitely going to run Strolling Jim again! I loved it!

    • 40 run4change
      May 5, 2009 at 4:59 am

      Oh yes Beth. I clearly remember you up there. I wanted to catch up with you so bad in the last two miles but noticed that I was most certainly going to reach my goal at the pace I was going so I just kept it smooth. Great job on the finish. You looked strong there at the end. I hope to see you next year as I plan to do this ever year.

  21. 41 Sarah
    May 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    So amazing! Congratulations on blasting your old record 🙂 Sorry you got food poisoning that is really a bummer.

  22. 43 donna
    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Outstanding job Jason,it is so nice to hear the excitement in your words,you really love running and working outdoors.Dont worry age is just a state of mind,dont ever stop exercing your body or mind thats when you will get old.

  23. May 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! What an adventure with the weather and detours and lightning – WOW!!! Great work on accomplishing what you set out to do and beating your times! Very Inspirational.

    I hope you can rest now!!!

  24. 47 Angela
    May 5, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Eres mi heroe! I am reeling today from landscaping soreness, yet another way in which you have impacted my now very active life. But I promise ÿou one thing… I will be sticking to my 3 milers. 40?! Not for this chica. YOU ROCK THAT LIGHTNING, BOYEEEEE!!

    • 48 run4change
      May 5, 2009 at 5:01 am

      It is all perspective Angela. 3 miles is rockin’ too. Keep on sister of another mister. HAHAHAHA

  25. May 5, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Congrats on a great finish! Wow you finished over 40 miles in less time than it took me to do 26.2. Amazing job!!! You are such an inspiration!!

  26. 51 David S. Jones
    May 11, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I came upon your site by accident while reading the SJ40 results. I just wanted to say great job! It is quiet an accomplishment to improve your time by over one hour. I am even more impressed by your weight loss. You are apparantly very driven,task oriented and focused. Many more successes lie in your future. I ran the SJ40 this year and was once again very fortunate to finish. I am sorry I did not get to meet you, but it was an honor to share the road with you. Keep focused and I will see you on the roads.


    • 52 run4change
      May 12, 2009 at 4:36 am

      Thanks David. I sent you an email. I hope you get it. Your comment is very uplifting.

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