15 Questions with Lucas McNelly

Posted March 31st, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Lucas McNelly (Rockland, Maine) answers 15 Questions.

Lucas McNelly

1.) What is your favorite color?

Black, but not marathon toenail black.

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

That one Kanye song I accidentally sing along to as I cross the church parking lot on my Sunday long run.

3.) What is your favorite book?

“On the Road”. Very few things beat a good road trip.

4.) What is your favorite movie?

I’m a filmmaker who’s done some time as a critic, so this could be a very, very long answer. I’m a massive fan of Richard Linklater’s BEFORE series and there’s FIGHT CLUB and CASSABLANCA and THE GODFATHER and Kieslowski’s DECALOGUE. Oh, and I love the French New Wave and Bergman’s SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE and please tell me you’ve seen HER. And early Woody Allen. Ok, I’ll stop now.

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

The olives in a dirty martini.

6.) What is your favorite word?

Is my Mom reading this? Because that’s going to affect my answer. I also tend to call myself a “motherfucker” to motivate myself up steep hills.

7.) What runner inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who doesn’t look like a traditional runner and could just as easily be sitting on the couch.

8.) What is your favorite workout?
Limping to the couch after a good long run.

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

I really like New Balance. Really, really like them. Love them, in fact. Do you think anyone from New Balance is reading this and will send me a pair?

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

I like any any race award that involves beer. I’m also fond of the medal from the Maine Marathon (well, the half) because it spins and sometimes it’s the little things.

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

That depends. How fast are you?
I like big races because I can look behind me and see a never-ending sea of people I’m beating. I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon with a Red Sox headband a couple weeks after the Boston bombing. I’ll never forget that crowd.

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
Yes, spectacularly. Many, many times.

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?
I have completed a marathon, so obviously my answer is “just a little bit more than 20.”

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

I live in Maine and we have roughly 15 feet of snow on the ground. What is this “summer” you speak of?

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I did a project called “A Year Without Rent” where I spent a year living out of my car, traveling around the country, and volunteering on independent films. I slept on a lot of couches.

15 Questions with Azlan Ithnin

Posted March 27th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Azlan Ithnin (Singapore) answers 15 Questions.

Azlan Ithnin

1.) What is your favorite color?

Red

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

Billy Talent – This Suffering

3.) What is your favorite book?
Eat & Run
Eat and Run (by Scott Jurek). Run or Die (by Kilian Jornet) comes a close second.

4.) What is your favorite movie?

The Back to the Future Trilogy.

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

Probably nuts. Don’t really snack that much.

6.) What is your favorite word?
None that I can think of.

7.) What runner inspires you?

Kilian Jornet, followed by Anton Krupicka. Had the privilege of meeting them as well!

8.) What is your favorite workout?
A trail session of 2 to 3 hours with a few sets of hill repeats.

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

Salomon Sense (1st version)

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

The 2013 Sabah Adventure Challenge Medal. It was my first stage ultra and the medal was huge!

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

The Sabah Adventure Challenge. It’s one of the pioneering stage ultras in the region. You get to spend 3 days out in the jungle in the company of like-minded runners, who end up becoming your close friends during and after the race. My confidence to continue ultra-running grew from completing that race.

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?

Yes, during the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. It starts at 5am in the morning and the weather heats up quite quickly once the sun rises.

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?
A little hard to say for trail running, I try to run the flatter sections where possible but I usually power hike the steep stairs and climbs.

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Probably summer. But honestly it only rains or shines in Singapore!

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I used to devote a lot of time to photography before running came into the picture (quite literally).

15 Questions with Valeri Gatlin

Posted March 23rd, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Valeri Gatlin (Lubbock, Texas) answers 15 Questions.

1.) What is your favorite color?

Purple

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

“Title” by Meghan Trainor

3.) What is your favorite book?

All-time favorite book is “Charlotte’s Web” by EB White

4.) What is your favorite movie?

I love True Lies! Oldie but goodie

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

Chocolate and popcorn

6.) What is your favorite word?
Grace

7.) What runner inspires you?

Parvaneh Moayedi. She is also from Texas and came to running in her 30’s. She is now 50 and has run Badwater 135, twice! She plans to climb Everest this year. She is a Guinness World Record holder for the most marathons run in consecutive days. She is amazing! I see her on the course and she is so very welcoming, encouraging and just plain supportive! She always has a smile on her face. She makes it look so very easy! She inspires me to really challenge myself.

8.) What is your favorite workout?

Well, running! Longer the better!

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

New Balance 890v2. I have 6 pair!

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

The Turtle Marathon in Roswell, NM gave turtle statues made by a local artist. Favorite award is 1st place women’s relay team at the Buffalo Springs Lake ½ Ironman Triathlon. It is in June each year and temps can be over 100 by race end. I am so proud of my team of mom runners!

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. It is just an amazing course! Lots to see, great support!! Cheeseburgers post-race! Chicago was simply amazing from start to finish! I felt like a rock star!! Nonstop cheering and support. Truly a once in a lifetime race!

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
Yes. It was terrible. I cried for 15 miles. No tears because I was so dehydrated. Just cried the ugly cry! But, I finished. That was my first marathon. I made every rookie mistake! I sure know better now.

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

19

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Summer for sure.

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I eat chocolate every day!! Sometimes, twice a day!

15 Questions with Mic Medeska

Posted March 22nd, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Mic Medeska (West Hartford, Connecticut) answers 15 Questions.

1.) What is your favorite color?

Red. I’m a fanatical soccer supporter, and my favorite club’s color is red.

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

“Send Me Home” by Murder By Death

3.) What is your favorite book?

“Emerald Mile” by Kevin Fedarko. The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

4.) What is your favorite movie?

Leon: The Professional. The main character’s best friend in the entire world is a Chinese evergreen plant, and I can relate to that.

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

Pretzels. Pretzels with dark chocolate, pretzels with peanut butter, pretzels pretzels pretzels.

6.) What is your favorite word?
Awesome.

7.) What runner inspires you?

Rickey Gates. Never has he cherry picked a race just to get a result, and races the hardest races and 100% understands that the race is the smallest part of running, it’s the adventures before and after.

8.) What is your favorite workout?
Mile repeats… on a track. I love running vertical, I love super technical terrain, but mile repeats are such a confidence booster and it feels good to move fast on a track.

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

Pearl Izumi N1. I’ve run marathon distance in it, 5Ks, and have even raced several XC races with it.

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

I don’t usually hold onto awards and medals, but the best thing I received was a photo of me and my mate on the summit after racing the Mount Washington Road Race.

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, NH. The race has an incredible RD, the best volunteers, always draws the hardest competition and has the absolute hardest 1k in all of racing: a 40% grade called Upper Walking Boss that comes at the end of running up the rest of the mountain.

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
Yes…. Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, NH! I bonked right before the Boss, and spent about 5 minutes just picking wild strawberries on the way up, trying to get some sort of recovery. It didn’t work.

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

26.2.

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Winter. I’m not a fan of temperatures above 65, but will happily run outside even in single digits without complaint.

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I was chosen to represent the United States in a “Spoon and Egg” race in Ireland. Trained for months only for the “Olympics” that were to take place fall through.

15 Questions with Bill Deering

Posted March 20th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Bill Deering (Wanneroo, Western Australia) answers 15 Questions.

1.) What is your favorite color?

Blue

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

Sam Smith – I’m not the only one

3.) What is your favorite book?

Glory Days – History of my football team The South Sydney Rabbitohs

4.) What is your favorite movie?

The Shawshank Redemption

5.) What is your favorite snack food?
Yogurt ice cream

6.) What is your favorite word?

Lunch

7.) What runner inspires you?
Any runner that doesn’t quit

8.) What is your favorite workout?
Running hills

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

Hoka Clifton

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

Race medal – WTF 50 miler/ Award – Best Rifle Shot Australian Army

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

Point to Pinnacle 21.4km Hobart, Tasmania

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?

2012 Perth Marathon 35km mark

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?
50 miles/82kms

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

I prefer Summer but having a brain injury biologically my body prefers winter

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I listen to Country music

15 Questions with Sharon Hanks

Posted March 18th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Sharon Hanks (Princeton, New Jersey) answers 15 Questions.

Sharon Hanks

1.) What is your favorite color?

Blue

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

Back at Home Tristan Prettyman

3.) What is your favorite book?

Harry Potter

4.) What is your favorite movie?

The Princess Bride

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

Peanut butter pretzels or fig bars

6.) What is your favorite word?

fun

7.) What runner inspires you?

Meb

8.) What is your favorite workout?
Running

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

Brooks Pure Flows

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?
Got 3rd place once in a 5K race once and got a trophy. ☺

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

Philly Half Marathon

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
No

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

13.1

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Summer

15.) What is a fun fact about you?
Mt. Rainier
Climbed to the top of Mt. Rainier.

Q&A with Simple Hydration Ultra Racing Team Member Traci Falbo

Posted March 17th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Traci Falbo

Name: Traci Falbo
Age: 43
Height: 5’6”
Location: Charlestown, Indiana

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. Several cities in Iowa

Q. What was it like growing up in that area?

A. Uneventful

Q. Did you play any sports growing up or in high school/college?

A. I was in Gymnastics/Tap/Jazz in grade school, Soccer in middle school, Cross Country, Basketball, Track, and Softball in high school. In college (2500 enrollment), I ran on the JV squad, but wasn’t very good-ran 22 min 5ks.

Q. Are other people in your family active or into running?

A. My daughter is fast and runs cross country and track, but isn’t going to run next year in college.

Q. The people that follow you or visit your blog know your story of weight loss and setting goals. What was the catalyst in your life that made you take the steps to losing weight?

A. I was already depressed and unhappy. Then, I saw myself in a swimsuit in a photograph. You know that you are overweight, but until you see a photo of yourself, you don’t understand how much. I thought, “GROSS!” I knew I needed to do something. Plus, my weight hit an all-time high…higher than when I was pregnant with either of my children.

Q. What steps did you take that first year that allowed you to lose weight and keep it off?

A. I exercised at the gym at 5am with a friend before our kids would wake up. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months and was a little frustrated. I looked at my diet and realized my portions were out of wack. I adjusted my portions and exercised and lost another 65 pounds in 7-8 months.

Q. What was the first marathon you ran in 2004 and how did you feel at the finish? Did you know immediately it was something you wanted to do again?

A. Rocket City in Huntsville, Alabama. I was soooo incredibly sore, but I felt a great sense of accomplishment having qualified for Boston, so of course I had to register for Boston 4 months later.

Q. If my math is correct you ran your first marathon at the age of 31 in 2004. You’ve recently just finished running a marathon in all 50 states and 94 marathons total over the last 11 years (not including ultras). What 5 marathons would you recommend to other runners?

A. My favorites are: Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey-hard & hilly, but FUN; Disney Marathon-I LOVE DISNEY characters…take a camera and stop the whole way-race for FUN; Big Sur is beautiful, Marine Corps is a riot…beautiful sights, great course, and people dressed up for Halloween; Grand Island Trail-beautiful-take a couple of days to enjoy cool sights in the UP, plus great course!

Q. Is there a specific marathon you would still like to run?

A. Mount Desert Island

Q. In addition to all the marathons you’ve really set yourself apart from other runners in the longer distances. You were selected as the 2014 USATF Masters Road Ultra Runner of the Year and were picked by Ultrarunning Magazine as the #8 Ultra Runner of the Year. Completing 21 ultras to date and not having a single DNF is impressive. Do you feel better the farther you go or is it simply about handling the pain better?

A. I think it is easier to go longer. I am not fast. I can run for a long time at a decent pace. Shorter races are more painful with burning lungs :)

Q. You’re 2014 was extremely impressive. You set the American and World Records covering 242.093 miles at the Indoor Track 48 Hours in Alaska. How did that race feel?

A. It was a dream come true. I have always set high goals. I wanted an American Record at some point in my life. I thought I might have a shot at in the 48-Hour race. When, I crossed the mat and broke the Indoor World, and American Record, I had to fight back tears of joy. It was so emotional for me, unlike anything I have ever experienced.

> Read Traci’s interview with iRunFar about that race.

In November of last year you set an American Trail Record (at the time) at the Tunnel Hill 100 miler running it in 14:45. That’s 8:51 per mile for 100 miles! Did you go into that race with the mindset that you wanted to break 15 hours? And when did you know you had the record?

A. My goal was to break 15 hours. I was aware of the trail record, but wasn’t sure if the gravel surface would count as a trail or not. I wasn’t sure if it would count as the record until iRunFar emailed me :)

Q. Another huge accomplishment is your 4th place finish at the World 24 Hour Championships in 2013. What was it like representing Team USA and finishing 3rd on the team to help the women win gold?

A. Running for a team is awesome. You have more motivation to push because it’s not just your result…it’s the team’s result…it’s USA’s result. I was the 3rd female for the USA and needed to keep pushing…Japan was within 5k as a team. I wanted to stop so bad, but couldn’t…the team was counting on me. There is a lot more pressure, but I rally with pressure. It was super cool to run with people from other countries and talk with them, as well as listen to other languages while running. Nothing beats standing on the podium and hearing your National Anthem.

Q. Is there anything about the sport of ultrarunning that surprised you?

A. There is a lot of variety within the sport.

Q. Do you have a coach or follow some training program?

A. No. I have 2 friends who I bounce workouts/training off of, but am mainly self-coached.

Q. What are your personal bests (PBs) at various distances and also please list top race performances with place?

A. 3:01:18 marathon, 7:02 50 mile, 14:45 100 miler, 147.676 24-hour, 242.093 48-Hour

Q. What person(s) in running inspire(s) you?

A. People who are still running well as they age…Meghan Arbogast and Connie Gardner come to mind.

Q. Is there any event or adventure that you would like to do one day?

A. Spartathalon and Comrades (planned for 2015 & 2016)

Q. Please provide a typical week of training in your life right now?

A. Lift/cross train Monday and Friday, Tues-8, Wed-14, Thurs-6, Sat-30, Sun-20

Q. At what distance do you take water/hydration with you on a run?

A. Usually 10+ miles unless it is especially hot

Q. What was your reaction to the Simple Hydration Bottle after using it?

A. I love it. I don’t like drinking out of bladders in packs and I like hands-free running!

Q. How do you use the bottle in your training?

A. Stuff it in the back of my skirt and go :)

Q. What races do you have planned for the remainder of 2015?

A. 24-Hour World Championship in Italy, Utah Valley Marathon, Black Hills 100, Blister in the Sun Marathon, Spartathalon, Tunnel Hill 100, Flying Monkey Marathon, Rocket City Marathon (I am their Pasta Dinner Keynote Speaker as well).

Q. Anything else you would like to add about yourself?

A. I am certified in SCUBA, have my private pilot’s license, love to play games and cards, and scrapbook if I ever have time :)

Q. What companies sponsor you besides Simple Hydration?

A. Altra, Hammer Nutrition, Running Skirts, DryMax, Coast Headlamps.

You can follow Traci on her blog: Ms.Adventures of an Ultrarunner

15 Questions with Sherry Minkiewicz

Posted March 16th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Sherry Minkiewicz (Hillsboro, Oregon) answers 15 Questions.

Sherry Minkiewicz

1.) What is your favorite color?

Blue

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

Thinking out Loud by Ed Sheeran

3.) What is your favorite book?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

4.) What is your favorite movie?

The Princess Bride

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

Currently Chicago Mix Popcorn from G.H. Cretors

6.) What is your favorite word?

Right now it’s Runderful :) .

7.) What runner inspires you?
All runners inspire me.

8.) What is your favorite workout?
Running outside or Insanity workouts

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

Currently it’s Brooks Pure Flows.

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

Currently my favorite medal is my Oregon Half Marathon medal I got last year. It’s when I got my half marathon PR.

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

Seattle Rock’n’Roll Half/Full Marathon – I haven’t run very many races but this was a great Scenic one.

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
Not yet, but will be training for my first marathon soon.

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

13.1

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

I prefer the summer.

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I have an identical twin and she’s on the run team too. :P

15 Questions with Thad Sweet

Posted March 10th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Simple Hydration Run Team member Thad Sweet (Ogden, Illinois) answers 15 Questions.

Thad Sweet

1.) What is your favorite color?

Blue

2.) What is your favorite song right now?
I love “Where I Belong” by Switchfoot, “Southtown” by P.O.D., and “Beer with Jesus” by Thomas Rhett. (Songs posted in order)


3.) What is your favorite book?

Wow, there are so many good books out there. I definitely read the Bible every single day. Outside of that, I’d have to say “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldredge.

4.) What is your favorite movie?

Again, so many good movies out there. I think it just depends on the mood that I’m in. I love the LOTR Trilogy and The Hobbit movies. “Open Range” with Kevin Costner is outstanding as well.

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

My diet is horrible. So, my favorite snack food is anything from Taco Bell or some cheesy breadsticks from the gas station near my house.

6.) What is your favorite word?

Sweet

7.) What runner inspires you?
Anyone that is new to running. What inspires me is seeing people try something new or begin reaching out towards a goal.

8.) What is your favorite workout?

I really just love going for a long trail run (3+ hours) with a few buddies.

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?

My all-time favorite shoe was the New Balance MT1O1, which was retired, but just brought back! I’m going to have to try out the new version.

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?

My medal from The Comrades Marathon. So much emotion, and hard work wrapped up into that race. And it’s the smallest medal out of all of them, but carries the most stories and reward. I ran this with a team of 18 runners for Team World Vision back in 2010 to raise up new child sponsors for World Vision. Our team raised up over 1,000 new sponsors, and I got to spend 2 days with one of the girls that my family sponsors. It was amazing.

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
Yes, but not to the point of DNF’ing. My first ½ marathon I ended up in the medical tent after with an IV and heat exhaustion. That was fun.

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?
Maybe ½ marathon. I tend to incorporate walk breaks into my training and racing.

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

I prefer the winter. There’s no better setting for me than running early in the morning in freshly fallen snow. Being out there before cars have been able to leave their tracks is very appealing to me.

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I’ve been growing my beard since Valentine’s Day 2014. It’s getting pretty rad.

15 Questions with Ryan Lassen

Posted March 6th, 2015 by Brian Hock

Ryan Lassen

1.) What is your favorite color?

RMR Green

2.) What is your favorite song right now?

Hard to pick just one. The last song I heard on a run that got me running faster was “Evil” by Interpol

3.) What is your favorite book?

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

4.) What is your favorite movie?

“The Departed”

5.) What is your favorite snack food?

Plain Lays potato chips… Or Ice Cream.

6.) What is your favorite word?
Masochist

7.) What runner inspires you?
I am inspired by so many of the people I run with. Very strong and tenacious individuals. If I had to pick someone that I do not know it would be Nickademus Hollon – He is doing some very impressive things.

8.) What is your favorite workout?

Anything involving bombing downhill

9.) What is your favorite running shoe?
La Sportiva
Hands down, La Sportiva Bushido

10.) What is your favorite race medal or award?
TransAlpine
Finishers shirt for the Gortex Trans-Alpine Run.

11.) What race would you highly recommend?

The San Juan Solstice 50mi

12.) Have you ever bonked in a race?
I have beyond bonked!

13.) How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?
I have finished several 50mi races but I am confident I walked a bit in almost all of them. I absolutely walked in the two 100s I have done. I would have to say 50K.

14.) Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Summer. I do love winter in Boulder, but the Ice kills it for me.

15.) What is a fun fact about you?

I am realizing that I am kind of boring ;) . I really can eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting. Probably a pizza too.