A Year of Firsts

“I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man’s life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.”

- Martin Buber

The Last First of 2008

If 2007 was my rookie year in ultrarunning, 2008 would have to serve as the neophyte period.

This is the year that I completed my first 100-mile trail race.

This is the year that I found the sub-4 hour marathon.

This was the year of the 45 minute 10K.

This is the year I chased the CrossFit level 1 certification. …and the olympic lifting certification …and the running and endurance training certification.

And lastly, this will be the year I do Across the Years, my first multi-day, timed event.

What is Across the Years?

Across the Years is a multi-day race near Phoenix, Arizona where participants run for a specified period of time, trying to log as many miles as possible within this time period.

This event has 72, 48 and 24-hour races. I am doing the 72-hour race.

Are you really going to run for 3 days straight?

In events such as these it’s rare, if not impossible, for an athlete to run non-stop for three days; however, the key is continuing to move forward as long as humanly possible.

I plan to alternate running with walking early in the event to allow for the most efficient pacing and try to maintain a somewhat consistent mileage pattern from day-to-day.

Honestly, though… Who knows, man… This is uncharted territory for me.

How many miles are you going to run?

My goal is 175 miles. My absolute dream goal is anything over 200 miles.

Buckles are awarded at 100, 200 and 300 mile increments. I sho’ would like that 200-mile buckle, but will be ever so pleased with a 100 or more miles.

Anything less and I will have wished I stayed home.

What about sleeping?

This is where I am clueless.

I have never run for three days, but I did run 10 shy of 48 hours, on terribly brutal terrain, in Minnesota, so… it’s just possible that I will attempt to stay awake for the full three days and just go for it.

Many consider this a little crazy, but I am what I am.

{This might be funny to look back on after the race.}

What about eating? How will you stay nourished?

I will have a tent and a blanket set up near the track, with the rest of the athletes, to serve as a home base with additional clothes for the nighttime and maybe some of my own food, but I really plan to just live on whatever aid the race provides.

I am not particular at races and can eat anything, so this is the least of my worries.

What’s the weather like in the desert?

According to to the Weather Channel, 60-70s in the daytime and 30-40s at night.

I’ll run in shorts and a wicking shirt during the day, and perhaps something long-sleeved in the evening.

You will not see this guy in tights. …no matter how cold it gets.

Is your family going to be there?

My family is going; however, they will be dropping me off race morning and driving north to ski in the mountains.

They will return, New Years Eve, to celebrate the holiday with me as I run in circles, which at that time, will be deep into the third day.

I should be an interesting sight by then.

Can we follow along?

Why sure you can! …and I would be so pleased.

Folks can send me messages, track my progress in real-time, and view the leader board any time during the event. I’m not sure how I get the messages, but people in years’ past have said it really lifts the spirits when someone writes.

Please write me… {shameless begging}

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I hear ya, tights are a no go for me as well. Congrats on the effort. Looking forward to your report.

Congrats on another solid, solid buckle, Christian!

CONGRATULATIONS, Christian! Another 100 Mile buckle & lots of change to boot… what a way to start the New Year. Enjoy some peaceful sleep, now! (((HUG!)))

Hey Christian,

Have fun and be safe. Go for the Gold man and good luck in getting that 200 mile buckle!


Woo Hoo – Go Christian!!!!! What you are doing is awesome – - I guess you are wearing out your running shoes on this race eh? :) You’re gonna need a new pair! Keep going buddy!!!

Christian, I want to be just like you when I grow up…
Be safe…and Good luck!!

Keith is racing against time and the weather, proudly having come to surprise his NorCal family during the rainy holidays, and hungry to try a new route through snowy Nevada, Utah, and Colorado to return home to Dendy and Albuquerque.

And you are racing around those Arizona circles this time, in the desire to achieve more than the 100 mile run of before.

What is up with the strong nature of the males in this family? I’m wondering if the family females — with our own methods — achieve adventure, constant awareness and discovery?

Anyway, cheers to you, Chris! Hats off to your spirit. May you achieve your full potential — and be pleased with the effort! Tis a good way to usher in new resolutions.
Also, take good care of the precious body that’s taken such good care of you.
Love, Aunt Susie

Best of luck! Your an inspiration

Christian!! I humbly bow in your general direction. You are my hero! Dude, I am so jealous of your willingness, and ability, to just “go for it”! Good luck in your pursuit of 200!

What a way to end this year and start the next! I will be following you!

Hey, I bet you’d look good in tights!

Best of luck with this one. I’m looking forward to hear how this turns out. I love the idea of pushing the limits.

I was checking out the ATY site earlier today. I’ll send you some messages during your quest to try and pump you up.
Good luck!!


Your quote from Martin Buber made me tear up…. I wish you the best of luck on your adventure. You are running for all of us who wish they could be there, but for whatever reason can not run the race this time. I know you will be a stellar representation of GUTS!!

My prayers are with you!


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