Sunday, December 11, 2011

Making It Better MN Contest

This ad is will be running in area newspapers for the next several weeks.
Photos courtesy of: Olmsted County Public Health
Photographer: Steve Niedorf
About Making it Better
The Making it Better campaign brings people together to discover, celebrate and share stories of
Minneapolis and Olmsted County residents who are working to make their communities healthier
by increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities. Making it Better is made
possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the
Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) community initiative. As part of this work, the
Minnesota Department of Health partnered with the City of Minneapolis Department of Health and
Family Support and Olmsted County Public Health to support community initiatives to promote
active living and healthy eating. For more information, visit

Check out the Making It Better MN site to see how this ad turned out.

Making It Better MN will be sending down the Modern Storytellers team again on Tuesday, January 24th to film a promotional video they are producing about some of the initiatives that are taking place around the state.

December 10th
Pictures from today's photo shoot.  Modern Story Tellers handled everything today, sending a team of about 8, along with a rep from the MN Dept of Health and Olmsted County Public Health.

Update:  November 19th
I met the Modern Story Tellers team today at the Y.  They liked the site so much that they decided immediately to use it.  They will be back on December 10th for the photo/video shoot and to record my story for the radio ads.  Sounds like the radio ads will air soon after that, with the radio, TV, and newspaper campaign starting early next year.

I will be meeting a team from Modern Story Tellers tomorrow to scout locations for the photo/video shoot for the Making It Better MN advertising.  We will be looking at the Rochester Area Family Y and Stewartville Middle School as possible locations.  We will be meeting again on December 10th to actually do the photo/video shoot and to record the interview for radio advertising.  The plan is for the advertising campaign to include radio, newspaper, and TV ads.

Update:  November 8th
More great news!  I found out tonight that I won the Making It Better MN Challenge with 765 "thumbs up"!  Because of this, Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge will be a part of the Making It Better MN advertising campaign next spring.

October 24th
Please do me a favor and go to the following link at Making It Better MN and give  Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge a "thumbs up" there for this contest.  The winner will be used for their advertising campaign next year.  Also, please pass this on to anyone you think will take the time to quickly vote.  It is my goal to encourage and inspire others to get out and be active. Thank you.

Update from November 4:
Great news!  I received an email this evening telling me that I won the Making It Better MN week 4 random drawing.  I had my choice of several prize packages, but decided to go with a $500 gift certificate to Gopher Sport, a PE equipment supplier.  I am giving it to the PE teacher at my school to spend on new equipment that they would not otherwise be able to get.

From the Making It Better MN website:

What is Making it Better?

Making It Better is a community initiative that brings people together to discover, share and celebrate stories that inspire healthy everyday choices for everyone. It’s an open forum anyone can participate in to learn how to help more people have greater access to healthier foods and new opportunities for physical activity.

Making simple changes to improve nutrition and increase physical activity is the best way to reach a healthy weight as individuals and prevent chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease across the broader population. Making It Better inspires changes in our communities that help make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Each of us can make a difference. Many people already are, launching and taking part in initiatives that help our communities become healthier places to live, work and go to school.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day 5K

Ran the 1st annual Stewartville Turkey Day 5K today with my 9 year old Jack.  He ran 26:34, sporting a Brooks jersey!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bear Cave Run With Jack

Jack had a huge day of running today.  We went out to Bear Cave Park to run 4 miles on the trails there this morning.  About 5 hours later, he was begging to get out again, so we ran 6 more!  9 years old...10 miles for the day.  He's asking about running his first 1/2 marathon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pacing with the MN PACERS

I paced the 4:15 group today at the Mankato Marathon for the MN PACRS.  I had a huge group to run with for this race!  It was unbelievable!  I started out with about 50 runners through the first 18 miles or so.  At that point, I normally expect some of the runnners to drop off the pace.  This is what tends to happen with pace groups.  I had 30 or so still with at 20 miles and 20 still with me at 25 miles.  This is unheard of in pacing.  Most pacers finish alone or with just a couple of other runners.  It was great to run with this group from start to finish and listen to their stories.  Some were experienced runners, looking for a PR.  Others were new runners, simply looking to finish.  Got to meet Frank Shorter today!

I have to say I am very glad they have allowed me to join their group this year.  I am honored to be able to help others achieve their time goals in races ranging from the half-marathon to full marathon.  I was spot on again today, running 4:14:50.  My personal goal is to finish about 10 seconds under race pace.  We are not supposed to be even 1 second over our time.  I am proud to say I was within about 10 seconds in all the races I paced this year.

Races I have paced this year include:
Med City Marathon 5 hour group
Red Wing 1/2 Marathon 2:05 group
Woodbury Country Mile 1/2 Marathon 2:05 group
Get Ready To Rock 20 Miler 3:10 group
Mankato Marathon 4:15 group

Monday, August 1, 2011

Endurance Planet Book

The story of Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge has been published in a new book, now available in both e-version and paperback. Endurance Planet's Big Book of Bravado "Tales of Extreme Endurance" can be ordered through

Check it out if you are looking for some inspiring stories about running and other endurance events.  The chapter I wrote - Sharing the Passion for Running - begins on page 91 and tells about my motivation for doing Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge.

From the Endurance Planet site:

Are You Ready To Be Inspired?

Get ready for amazing tales of extreme endurance from athletes around the globe. These aren’t pros or elites – these are people just like you who have decided to step outside their comfort zone and attempt to achieve the extraordinary. You’ll get to read stories that include:

-An amateur athlete’s emotional journey through his first 50 mile race

-An amazing weight loss journey that resulted in crossing the Ironman finish line with just 34 seconds to spare

-A heart that begins to fail during the heat of competition in an ultra-endurance event

-The 7 million steps of a Pacific Crest Trail adventure

-An HIV+ triathlete who defies the odds and keeps on competing

-The story of an epic 155 mile bicycle climb

-An office manager who runs the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu

-And much more!

Brought to you by, the web’s top source of endurance sports fanaticism, this book is guaranteed to thrill, amaze, entertain and inspire.

Pacing 2:05 at River City Rambler 1/2 Marathon, Red Wing, MN

I had the opportunity to pace the 2:05 group at the River City Rambler 1/2 Marathon in Red Wing, MN on July 30th.  It was quite warm and very, very humid for the race.  I didn't see the final numbers, but race organizers were confident that they would end up with about 1000 people running their races that morning.  I love being able to help others achieve their running goals!

I got to the race about an hour early, checked in, and got my MN PACERS shirt and 2:05/9:33 per mile sign, visited with the other pacers, and met some of the runners I would be running with.  It was nice to run with Laura, whose husband is also a pacer.  Laura and I worked several years together at Summer of Service.

The last time I ran this race, I placed 1st or 2nd with a 1:10, but that was long ago.  Our pace was easy and relaxed, but the heat and humidity got the better of some.  I had a great time visiting with those around me the entire way, many of them running in their first 1/2 marathon.  I am proud of all of them!

Here is a picture, from near the finish in Bay Point Park.
I ran this race in the Brooks Launch.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Running up Harney Peak, Black Hills, SD

I had the chance to run the trails up and down Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota 3 times during the last few days of our family vacation.  I ran with Jim Fox (pictured down a few pics) from Duluth, MN twice...the first time from the KOA and the second from Sylvan Lake.  I also had the chance to run it from Sylvan Lake with my 9 year old son Jack.  He loved the views from the old fire tower on the summit.  The run from the KOA is considerably more difficult, with about 2200 feet of climbing during a 13 mile round-trip run.  The run from Sylvan Lake is a bit easier with about 1000 feet of climbing during the 7 mile round-trip run.  The trails from Sylvan Lake are also in much better condition and are used much more than any of the other trails leading to the summit.  I wore the Brooks Launch for all 3 runs.  Even though they are a lightweight road shoe, they work perfectly on the trail.  The weather on Harney Peak can vary greatly, from cool and sunny, to quite cold even in July, very windy, and cloudy.  I had the chance to experience all of these conditions on my runs this year.

Friday, June 17, 2011 podcast - featured interview

Check out my featured interview (episode 177)on's podcast.  I did this interview with Chris Russell part way through marathon run #5 of 7 the end of May.  My interview begins at 11:45 into the show and lasts about 15 minutes.  If interested, go back and check out episode 171, done after my 16 hour run at the Y.  They are both also available to download through iTunes.

Did my last run today before tomorrow's 6 hour run during the Project Fit Families Harmony Event.  I will be running a continuous loop near the high school there as a part of this fun-packed event for area families.  Show up if you are able.

Here is a copy of the flyer:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marathon 7 - May 29

What an amazing week!  I finished it up today pacing the 5 hour group at the Med City Marathon in Rochester, MN.  My job was to run exactly 5:00.  I hope I can keep my job with them...I was 32 seconds fast by my Garmin.  4:59:28.

From Monday's Rochester Post Bulletin

It was a bit difficult to hold back today, as I was excited to be done, but then again, I am going to miss it all too.  Again, my feet and legs felt great!  I met some great runners with the MN PACERS today and was able to run with some great people, some of them completing their first marathons.  I feel a bit guilty about it at times, but I draw so much energy from others and am inspired by many of their stories.  I really had a great 5 hours today of visiting with a great group of fun people!  I had a good sized group with me or near me for the first half of the race, as I was also the PACER for the 2:30 1/2 marathon runners.  Things thinned out a bit when they split off for the finish, but we still had a good group going until about 23.  I picked up a couple of runners who had decided to walk it in with about a mile to go.  I was lucky enough to get them moving a little more quickly again and was excited to pull them along to a sub 5 hour finish!  That is exactly what the MN PACERS group is all about.  I'm glad to say that I will be pacing several more races for them this year.  I am honored to be allowed to run with this fine team and help others achieve their pace goals!

The shoe of choice for all my marathons this week was the Brooks Launch.  Absolutely no foot or leg pain all week.  I am truly a fan of this shoe!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Marathon 6 - May 28

Fastest day yet!  4:23, and it felt really good.  First day this week with negative splits - 2:15/2:08. Wayne ran 10 with me and Mike ran 5.  Ran 16 miles on my own, but had Mark from the Star with on the bike, so his company was nice.  Looking forward to slowing things down tomorrow, as I will be pacing the 5 hour group for the MN PACERS at the Med City Marathon.  157 miles down this week...1 marathon to go!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Marathon 5 - May 27

4:44! Felt great today, as yesterday's marathon was done just 11 hours before today's started. Had the chance to run with dozens of kids at different times today at one of the elementary schools here in Stewartville. Man, were they excited! It was great to draw energy from their enthusiasm! Felt a bit warm at times, but the company today helped a lot. Thank you Kris for all the miles you put in...I am proud of are really tough!!! Kris figured she ran about 26 miles today also! Very cool! Legs and feet are still doing great! Only 2 more to go!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Marathon 4 - May 26

Another good day!  4:53.  Fastest time so far this week, but without the same level of effort.  The clear skies had me worried, but the temps were very comfortable.  We had a nice group come from Byron Team R.E.D. this afternoon and evening.  It was great listening to their conversations about current and "old-time" runners from the area!  Legs and feet are still doing just fine. Time to eat and get to bed as my next marathon begins just 11 hours after this one finished.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marathon 3 - May 25

Today went much, much better than yesterday.  4:57.  I started out with a much easier pace, running by myself for the first 10 1/2 miles.  Joined by a couple of nice groups for much of the next 10 miles, then finished the last lap by myself.  The rain kept up for the first 15 miles, but was welcome, as it kept my body temp down.  Still, no leg or foot pain to speak of!  Mentally, I am in a much better place today than yesterday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Marathon 2 - May 24

5:25. Tired now. Didn't sleep at all last night. Stomache not feeling good, due to being way too hot for way too long yesterday. No leg or foot pain at all this morning, so happy about that. Felt great through 17 miles, but fell apart after that. Hoping to sleep tonight, as I was extremely sleepy all day at school today.

KIMT showed up today.

Marathon 1 - May 23

4:57. Started out way too fast on a very warm day. 2:18 for the first half. Decided quickly that running that fast was not a good idea, so slowed things way down and spent more time walking. Pretty quiet. Ran with only 1 or 2 others at a time and even had some time to myself. It was nice to run a few miles with Jack today.

KAAL TV6 showed up today.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Marathon Route

I will be running these routes 5 times/day for a total of 26.2 miles/day, from Monday-Saturday. Sunday's run will be at the Med City Marathon. Please feel free to join me for a few miles if you are able. I am sure I will need the company and encouragement. All Stewartville runs will begin and end in at the Stewartville Middle School Gym parking lot. Start times for my runs will be as follows:

Monday, May 23 - Thursday, May 26: 4pm
Friday, May 27: 8am, running a slightly different route, as the plan is to be able to run with the kids at both elementary schools in Stewartville throughout the day. See below.
Saturday, May 28: 8am
Sunday, May 29th, 7am, Med City Marathon

Here is the link to the Mon.-Thurs. and Sat. map for more detail:

Friday's route, which will allow me to run with the kids at both elementary schools in Stewartville throughout the day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book and MN PACERS

I just found out yesterday that my submission WILL be included in the Endurance Planet Big Book of Bravado - Tales of Extreme Endurance, to be published in August. I will pass along purchasing information when I have it.

Also, I WILL be pacing at the Med City Marathon on Mat 29 for the MN PACERS. I will be leading the 5 hour group...or maybe they will be leading me, as it will be my 7th marathon length run that week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dean Karnazes Quote

Dean finished his 75 day run across the US yesterday. Amazing!!!

"Struggling and suffering are the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not demanding more from yourself - expanding and learning as you go - you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip."

-Dean Karnazes

Monday, May 9, 2011 Podcast

A couple of weeks ago, I did an interview with Chris from for his weekly podcast.  The interview went online last Friday.  It can be downloaded through iTunes or played from his website at the following link:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bear Cave Park

This has been one of my favorite places to run ever since I was a kid.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kyle Amos 24 Hour Challenge

I received the following email this morning from Kyle Amos:

Kyle Amos 
You replied on 4/30/2011 9:43 AM.
Sent:Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:32 AM
That was the greatest day as a teacher of my life.  I am still processing what just 
happened but my brain and body need a little time to recover.  Thank you for coming 
up with and sharing this amazing idea of how to get kids moving.  Now because of your 
original idea there are over 600 students and their families excited about exercising 
and getting/staying fit in Gardner, Kansas.  I can not thank you enough for setting 
such a great example.
Kyle Amos

PS   I will get you shirt in the mail monday.  Life got a little crazy this week.

Kyle is a PE teacher at Moonlight Elementary in Gardner, KS.  He
contacted me way back in October, having seen the article in Ultra
Running Magazine about Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge.  He had
questions about doing the same challenge for his students and we
have been in contact ever since, with information for each other
about both challenges.  His 24 Hour Challenge happened this week
with Kyle running 24 hours from Thursday morning to Friday morning
for his students.  
Amazing and very cool!

Here is a link to a TV story done about his challenge the morning
of his 24 hour run.  You have got to watch it.  He seems like a
great guy who is genuinely interested in his students' well being.

From Kyle's 24 Hour Challenge FB page:
Kyle Amos with 1 minute to go.

Monday, April 25, 2011

16 hours...61.25 miles...$1565 raised!!!

Media coverage from 16 hours on the treadmill


KTTC TV  4/22/11

KAAL TV6   4/22/11

Olmsted County Journal 4/28/11

Rochester Post Bulletin   4/21/11


I ran again this year in the Brooks Launch.  17 hours in them on the treadmill last year and 16 hours this year, without a single blister.  Not even a hotspot.  These shoes are light, flexible, and cushioned enough to protect the feet.  That is exactly what I look for in a shoe as an ultramarathon runner!  Looking forward to the new colors coming out soon!