By Jeff Hansen
RunFulfilledJun 09, 2021
Dan Grip- FKTs and KOMs
Dan Grip shares his experiences running through 2020 and into 2021, pushing himself on trails at a level that is hard to comprehend for the average runner. While most of his runs were solo, many were with a tightknit group of veteran trail runners. In exploring new and familiar routes, Dan set a number of FKTs (Fastest Known Times). He sets big goals for himself and he puts in the work and training that those goals require.
You can follow Dan's workouts and running adventures on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/37001252
Also of interest is the the site that tracks and catalogs the FKTs that are set by incredible athletes from around the world. Along with some of the biggest names in the world of ultra-running are a number of local runners. You can check out there performances here. The listings are based on the number of FKTs set and Dan's name appears on the 3rd page of 294. In short, his achievements are impressive!
Info on the WMAC's Grand Tree racing series where Dan cut his teeth can be found here.
Chase Fuller- Time to Fly
Chase Fuller, perhaps the only person alive who discovered their love of running whilst going through basic training as a U.S. Marine, discusses his evolution as a runner and his ultimate landing as an Associate Manager for the extremely popular shoe brand HOKA ONE ONE.
As we talked about the future of running and the effects of the pandemic, quarantine and a year plus of social unrest, Chase states that he sees inclusivity as one of the most important areas that is, hopefully, being addressed within the running industry.
He also describes what he sees as a movement towards unnecessary profiteering within the world of racing as directors seek to reap the monetary rewards from the massive influx of new runners and race starved veterans eager to don their flats again.
Its an interview that left me with a lot to think about!
You can follow Chase and his running exploits on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/7226172
For great information on Hoka One One and their innovative shoes, look here.
A great article on the drive to increase inclusivity in the world of trail running was published in Outside magazine last July and can be found here.
Nancy Mead- Just a 100 miles...
Nancy Mead discusses her love of running which began after the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. This traumatic event inspired her son's 5th grade class to organize a 5K road race as a fund raiser. She eventually went on to host the 100 Mile Club at her local school to encourage physical activity among special needs students. Over the course of the school year, children could challenge themselves to cover 100 miles walking and running; a tremendous confidence boost!
Nancy would eventually heed the call of the trails and take on ultra distance races herself including, to date, a couple 100 mile runs. Her love of the running community and the spirit of physical movement is easy to relate to.
To find out more about the 100 Mile Club look here.
Information on BURCS, the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service, can be found
- Website- https://www.burcsrunners.org/
- Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/groups/543262519050420
BURCS commitment to hosting great races that benefit fantastic organizations is inspiring.
Grant Ritter- Race director extraordinaire.
Grant Ritter discusses his progression as a runner dating back to a race he recalls doing with his father at the age of 4 to then taking on a dare from his uncle to complete the difficult Seven Sisters Trail race as a teenager. A DNF there led to a commitment to continue testing himself on the difficult terrain of the Holyoke Range and where he could measure his progress and mettle. He's only missed the race when a work opportunity in Colorado led him away. Ultimately, the terrain and community of western Massachusetts led him back to New England.
Upon his return to the Massachusetts, Grant has established 3 premier race events which highlight some of the area's finest running. These include the Happy Valley Half Marathon, the Fort Hill Brewery Half Marathon and the Black Birch Ten Miler. Information on these 3 races can be found here and on Facebook here.
In addition to organizing the races for Impact Racing Events, Grant will also be directing this year's Summit Run 5K in Hadley; quite a lot of work!
You can also follow Grant's running adventures on:
JoEllen Reino- It Takes A Village
JoEllen Reino shares her abundance of joy, exuberance and humor in telling stories of her life of running. Her love of the community of runners here in the Valley is clear and easy to relate to. She's been a board member of Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC) for years and is a contributing artist with her comic "Ginger" which amusingly highlights the experiences of the typical runner.
She also shares her experience in turning some of the emotional pain she experienced in high school into something physical that she could, in turn, confront and overcome through the process of running and racing. This is something I, personally, can relate to.
We discuss some of the upcoming opportunities for runners to begin gathering for social runs after a year of "social distancing" due to the ongoing global pandemic.
For more information about the organized community of local runners and race series please check out the web-site for Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club.
Eddie Reagan-Running Wild in the Big Apple
Fueled on a dose of "weapons-grade" Red Bull, Eddie Reagan shares his passion for racing, "running like a 5 year old." We discuss long distance relays, running shoe trends and racing through Times Square at 2:00 AM and keeping that love of racing alive. His energy and enthusiasm are absolutely contagious and his sense of humor is energizing.
You can follow Eddie's running exploits and photography on social media:
Info on Orchard Street Racing can be found on:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/orchardstreetrunners/
- Website: http://orchardstreetrunners.com/
Finally, if you haven't done an overnight distance relay...check out info on Reach the Beach at Ragnar:
Audra Mcgee-Trail Gratitude
Born and raised in western MA Audra discusses her rediscovery of her love of running with the help of good friends and challenging trails. She loves to share her outdoor experiences with her adventurous children. When she isn't running Audra expresses her creativity through printmaking and illustration.
You can follow Audra's adventures online:
Info on the races Audra mentioned can be found here:
- Seven Sisters Trail Race https://7sisterstrailrace.com/
- Monroe Dunbar Trail Race https://www.runwmac.com/info-monroetrail-description.html
Jason Sarouhan- Gap years and other musings.
From the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Jason Sarouhan shares his exuberant enthusiasm for running trails, pushing his limits and helping guide others through turbulent times with his wife Jane and their burgeoning business, J2Guides, which helps students successfully navigate a "gap" year as they weight their life options.
You can find out more about J2Guides and how to plan a gap year at:
Information about Girls On The Run (GOTR) can be found here: https://www.girlsontherunwesternma.org/
You can follow Jason's trail run ventures on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/14529443
Walter Berry- "Running" the Boston Marathon
Running the Boston Marathon is a thrilling and challenging experience that's ripe with rewards. What I learned is that doing the volunteer work at Boston presents an equally rewarding opportunity.
Without organizers and enthusiastic volunteers, large running events would be impossible to put on. The Boston Marathon, in particular, relies on an army of 10,000 volunteers to successfully be run. Walter Berry discusses 20 years worth of experiences working at the finish line and shares some of the joys he felt being involved in such a tremendous event.
A marine biologist with the Environmental Protection Agency, Walter also commits a significant amount of time volunteering with the Land Conservancy of North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
You can learn more about volunteering at the Boston Marathon here.
Tom Davidson-Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Longtime runner and high school science teacher, Tom Davidson, discusses some creative and engaging ways he found to run during the pandemic, bringing an enthusiastic community along for the experience. Tom offered his virtual race series to members of the esteemed local running group, Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC). He has hinted that, in 2021, he is setting a goal for himself of running a 50 mile trail race. Knowing Tom as I do, he'll complete it with a giant smile on his face.
To find out more about SMAC please visit them at:
- Website https://sugarloafmountainathletic.org/
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/564873716997076/
You can follow Tom adventures on social media:
Ever wonder what drives people to run? Maybe your spouse, co-worker, or your best friend has started running and just won't stop talking about it. Maybe you're already a runner and want to know a little bit more about your competition.
RunFulfilled aims to dig into the psyche of the average to the elite runner to find out what drives them...what internal voices push them out the door into adverse conditions to pound the pavement or trek through the woods. Are they running FROM something....or towards something? Probably both. Whatever it is its probably something we could all relate to and with a little, introspection, perhaps we can grow by listening to their stories.
It doesn't matter what your running accomplishments are on RunFulfilled. What matters is your motivation. What about the sport of running makes you feel fulfilled as a human being?