NEW CORPORATE RELAY TEAM CHALLENGE AT 2019 SLO HALF MARATHON

Sponsored by Morris & Garritano, the corporate challenge promotes employee wellness and team-building skills

Our region's largest community fitness festival, produced by the Central Coast's endurance sport leader Race SLO, is slated for the weekend of April 26 – 28 at the Madonna Meadows in San Luis Obispo. Runners, walkers and fit fans of all ages and levels are welcome to join one of the six weekend events. New to the expanding line up this year is the inaugural YogaMusic Fest Friday night and Sunday Corporate Relay Team Half Marathon Challenge. Also new this year will be on-site childcare provided by Race Rugrats.

The San Luis Obispo Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay + 5K, presented by Pacific Premier Bank, is pleased to have Morris & Garritano as the sponsor of the Corporate Relay Team Half Marathon Challenge. The beautiful half marathon course is a scenic tour of San Luis Obispo starting and finishing at Madonna Inn Meadows. Male, female and coed teams of 2 or 3 persons will split a 3-leg half marathon distance of 13.1 miles, competing for the prestigious corporate cup, along with bragging rights, while promoting both team work and a healthy lifestyle. Companies and Gyms that sign up for the corporate relay challenge will also receive a 50% discount for their business vendor booth  so they can promote themselves to the 3,500 athletes and 7,000 spectators during the three day Race SLO Fitness Festival.

"We've always promoted health and wellness as part of our corporate culture, so it was a natural fit to partner with Race SLO to encourage other companies and community groups to do the same,” said Gabe Garcia, Morris & Garritano CFO and a SLO Marathon Legacy Runner. “We've been involved with the SLO marathon and half marathon since its first year and are happy to continue the tradition."

To get their teams both inspired and trained, a local eight-week training program for all levels is available for only $75, sponsored by RaceSLO, the San Luis Distance Club and Headstrong Fit. The discount training program fee includes a SLO Distance Club 2019 Membership, 8 week training program for half marathon, half marathon relay teams and 5K, coach-led workouts each Wednesday evening (Cal Poly Track) & Saturday mornings (in San Luis Obispo), plus clinics, socials and a SLO branded training shirt. Kick-off and sign-up is on Saturday, February 16th at 7:30am at Scout Coffee on Foothill Boulevard. Registration is also available now at the SLO Distance Club website. This program is for beginners all the way through competitive athletes.

“Though we have seen a drop in full marathon 26.2 runners in the last few years, we have also heard a demand for more variety and more community engagement programs. With our other races thriving, we decided it was time to double down on our mission of “creating meaningful experiences for people to build their best bodies & lives through endurance sports, outside adventure and human connection.” Adding events for people to be on teams, exposing our fans to new activities and new people, while upping our community impact has really fired us up for 2019! Wait until we announce our new Fall line-up at SLO Ultra!” said Samantha Pruitt, RaceSLO Founder & CEO.   

For more information about the Race SLO Fitness Festival, and to register for the YogaMusic Fest, SLO Half Marathon, Half Marathon relay, Corporate Relay, 5K and Kids races visit slomarathon.com.


About Race SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO family of events includes the SLO Half Marathon, Half Relay and Family 5K & Kids Races plus NEW SLO YogaMusic Fest (Spring) as well as the NEW SLO County Ultra Games & the SLO Ultra Trail Races (Fall). Race SLO sponsors community run & fitness training programs, supports sporting event projects nationwide, produces a health & fitness blog, plus hosts the popular Endurance Town USA Podcast, all while raising funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, SLO County Parks and Grizzly Youth Academy. Over the last 10 years, Race SLO has helped raise and donated over $250,000 to nonprofits in our community.

About Morris & Garritano

Morris & Garritano cares that you’re covered. For over 130 years, our agency has insured the Central Coast’s most valuable asset, its people. We are your capable Commercial, Employee Benefits and Personal insurance advisors, sharing expertise with integrity. Our team is committed to the success of every client from small businesses to growing families. Since 1885, our agency is dedicated to earning your trust twice, at the time of purchase and at the time of need.

Dear Beloved SLO Marathoner’s,

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We are beyond bummed to tell you all about our 2019 reality...but here it is.

Due to the steady decline in nation-wide full marathon running interest, our low 26.2 registration numbers, plus our increasing costs of race production, we have been forced to pull the SLO full 26.2 marathon race for 2019. Instead, we will focus on the half marathon, the 3-person half relay, our community 5k and kids races to ensure our race weekend continues to flourish and produce the positive human impact we work so hard for. Also, in response to our health & fitness communities requests, we are adding a NEW YogaMusic Fest on Friday afternoon-evening as well. It will be a not-to-miss experience of layered yoga workouts (sweaty style, dance style, restorative style), wrapped in vibe music, purpose & passion artistry, food & beverages and human connection.

Because we LOVE YOU and want to make this weekend change-up right, if you are currently registered for the Full Marathon, we are offering you several options to ensure you still come to Race SLO Town and play with us:

  1. Run the Half or the Half Relay with a team instead at no extra charge and get another entry at no charge to any distance at our SLO Ultra Oct 26-27 at Lopez Lake. You can even gift this extra race entry too!

  2. Run the Half or Half Relay with a team instead at no extra charge, and then get another FREE entry to any 2019 SLO Half Marathon, the 5k or the kids race. 

  3. Raincheck the full value of your race to any 2020 event we host as a "RaceSLO Bucks" credit.

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From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for affecting your run goals this year and really want to make it right by you. Our athlete community and creating experiences for you to reach your goals is our #1 mission. Please email me directly once you have determined your decision. Plus - if you do decide to still come play with us and if you are staying at a hotel in the City of San Luis Obispo, our city partners will hand-deliver you a welcome pack of goodies to express our shared gratitude. 

Again, we value YOU, we want YOU, and we love YOU! Please stay true to your 2019 goals and let us help you succeed. 

Sincerely, Samantha Pruitt

Race SLO Founder & CEO / Endurance Lifestyle Coach & Podcast Host

@thesamanthapruitt @raceslo @endurancetownusa

If you have any questions, you can reach out to:

Samantha Pruitt
samantha@raceslo.com

Morro Bay to Host Amgen Tour of California Stage Finish in Spring 2019

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For a third time, Morro Bay has been chosen as one of the Amgen Tour of California host cities. On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, the breathtaking Morro Bay waterfront will serve as the Stage 4 race finish area for the weeklong prestigious international professional cycling race. Everyone is invited to celebrate America’s biggest race as well as the Central Coast’s love of cycling and healthy lifestyle.

The Amgen Tour of California challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines. In previous years, participants included UCI World Tour teams, Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and other World Champions, qualifying the Tour of California as one of the most important cycling races in the world. The 14th edition of the 7-stage race is scheduled to take place May 12-18, 2019.

Photo by Hunter Kilpatrick

Photo by Hunter Kilpatrick

“We are beyond thrilled to host this prestigious race in Morro Bay and show off our awesome community to the rest of the world,” said Morro Bay Mayor, Jamie Irons. “Morro Bay truly is a cyclist’s paradise with our picturesque views and open roads.”

The City of Morro Bay is working with Race SLO to produce a first class finish line, a festival to showcase Morro Bay as a premier cycling destination and to build connections with the valued cycling community members. The festival is free to the public, with live music, vendors, food and beverage offerings.

The public is also invited to a fundraising community fun ride and fun walk, at lunchtime on May 14, with all proceeds benefiting Bike SLO County. Bike SLO County is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, educate, advocate, and work to build a safe, healthy and connected community through bicycling.

The popularity of cycling is rising. In 2017, estimated 3.8 million visitors included biking in their vacation plans according to Visit California. In 2017, when the Amgen Tour of California finished the third stage in Morro Bay, the event drew thousands of people to town. The 2018 Amgen Tour was seen by an estimated 15.92 million worldwide TV viewers, and 125 million checked in on the race via social media.

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About Morro Bay

A true gem, this seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. Recently recognized as her home in Finding Dory, Morro Bay was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, and outdoor activities are a way of life. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone.

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information, follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest or visit www.morrobay.org.

About Race SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the 2018 Race SLO endurance event portfolio included the inaugural California Warrior Experience, 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races, 3rd SLO Ultra trail races and the US Trail Running Conference. In 2018 Race SLO launched the new Endurance Town USA Podcast and a new Headstrong Fit Endurance Team for SLO County athletes to train and race together. Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive endurance events year-round to create human connection through fitness while raising funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks. Over the last 10 years, Race SLO has helped raise and donated over $250,000 to nonprofits in our community.

Race SLO Mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

Race SLO Welcomes Brooks Running as New Corporate Sponsor

Race SLO is proud to announce a new running product sponsor for the 2019 SLO Marathon, Half Marathon & Relays, and 2019 SLO Ultra trail races. Brooks Running is an American company that designs and markets high-performance men's and women's running shoes, clothing and accessories. Brooks products are available in 60 countries worldwide.

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“Brooks Running and Race SLO share the same values of getting people moving and actively engaged in building better bodies, better lives and ultimately better communities. For over a decade we have invested in humans, using endurance sports as our platform for good. Brooks is deeply invested in people as well by innovating quality gear and shoes designed to help runners run longer, farther and faster. We couldn't be more excited to have their support,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder and CEO.

"Brooks Running and Race Roster are excited to partner with Race SLO to learn more about running shoe purchasing habits and promote Brooks' unique 90 Day True Blue guarantee to close out 2018. This digital partnership will gather unique insights at the point of purchase on a runner's affinity towards specific brands and shoe models. Additionally, by reaching runners at the point of digital purchase, Brooks is joining runners on a training journey that begins online, continues on roads and trails, and ends at the finish line. The program will also encourage runners to engage with industry-leading digital tools like the Brooks Shoe Finder, and Sports Bra Finder before considering a purchase during a training cycle." said Dennis Mazajlo, Race Roster Manager of Strategic Partnership.

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The 8th annual SLO Marathon + Half and Relay Race event, presented by Pacific Premier Bank, will be held in San Luis Obispo, California on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 2019. The Central Coast largest running festival will also offer relay races, 5K and kids' races, free yoga sessions and live music. The 4th annual SLO Ultra is scheduled for Fall 2019, new date TBA in January. This Dirt Festival weekend offers a trail 50K, half marathon, 5K, kids' race, as well as camping, yoga and live music. Runners, walkers and movers of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend both of these events. With the wide variety of activities, there is something for everyone.

#RaceSLO100 Challenge

Dear Race SLO Tribe,

2019 is coming! It’s all shiny and new, welcoming and full of opportunity. So we’re doing it. We are jumping right in with Human Connection, Community Building and YOU in our hearts and minds. We are more committed than ever to your success. Let’s dream big and ignite the FIRE within this new year.

For 2019, Race SLO is introducing the #RaceSLO100 challenge! One new year. One united community. One big goal - pick your own 100 challenge and then share it with our growing community to inspire others. Best part? YOU get to determine your own challenge. Complete it over time, or all at once. Run 100 miles. Swim 100km. Hike 100 trails. Paddle 100 miles. Work your way to 100 push ups or pull ups. Check off 100 days in the gym. Dance to 100 songs. Make it something that is a challenge but also a joy generator. Get creative - we want to see your wild ideas! Remember you can start anytime - it doesn’t matter if you don’t complete your challenge in 2019. It’s the starting and sticking with it that matters.

The only rule is that the 100 challenge activity you choose gets you off the couch and sets you on a path toward the health and fitness lifestyle you deserve. You have a whole year, so crush as many goals as you can. And when you reach your goal - we will reward you with a real #RaceSLO100 medal, plus a one-on-one coaching session with Samantha Pruitt, our RaceSLO Founder, endurance lifestyle and success mindset coach.

Your body can stand up to almost anything. It's your mind that you have to win over. Our RaceSLO Headstrong team is here to keep you motivated! Join our 100 community Facebook group, share your progress on social media, use hashtags #RaceSLO100 and #HeadstrongEndurance, and make sure to tag us @RaceSLO. Bring your friends along to hold each other accountable and make new friends in our fast growing, like-minded community.

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Once you complete your challenge, send an email (preferably with a photo that we can share on social media) to samantha@raceslo.com. Include your address so we can ship you your well-deserved medal, and best way to contact you for your coaching session.

Dream. Commit. Today. Now. Take this challenge. Own this year. Together we RISE. #RaceSLO100






S.A.D. is Real. But sadness is not permanent.

By Samantha Pruitt December, 2018

So it’s Wintertime and frankly I missed Fall altogether, since the weather patterns shifted early and I was too buried in work to even notice the changing color of the leaves. By Halloween it was cold, dark and heavy. I had a heavy head, heavy heart and heavy body. It’s like a hangover minus the lingering sketchy photos on Facebook. Unfortunately for me I have been down this muddy path before. In fact, this dirty trail even has it’s own trail marker labeled SAD >>> But fortunately for me, I’ve learned how to crawl out of dirt holes and even better, recognize and prepare for this annual mountain expedition. Tell me if you can relate?   

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms most commonly in the winter. SAD is a type of major depressive disorder, and sufferers may exhibit any of the associated symptoms, such as feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from social interaction, sleep and appetite problems, weight gain, difficulty with concentrating and making decisions, decreased libido, a lack of energy, or agitation.” 

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No this is NOT something we just suck up or get over, its a thing. A real physiological body chemistry imbalance thing. For me this started to become an issue when my Celiacs Autoimmune Disease was in full force and my hormones went postal around age 30. Then, adding insult too injury, my beloved Dad died right before Christmas, taking the idea of the holidays and family season to a bad head space. Several years later, again right before Christmas, my Mother died as well. So again Joy was not on my holiday menu. Then once I finally got off the couch and became an outdoor endurance athlete the seasonal light and temperature drops became another issue of distress. #forreal

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Lately there is a lot in the main stream news on depression and in particular I am seeing professional athletes also sharing their battle publicly. I am so glad to see the stigma being removed and felt the calling to share my own truth in hopes to support others. I can only assume that it affects athletic people often because we tend to be ‘doers’ and a Winter time hibernation mindset makes us uncomfortable. We also thrive on Vitamin D (made by your body in the sun) and B (derived from food), two very common deficiencies of athletes that are linked to depression and anxiety. We are so tightly connected to our hormones and energy system fluctuations as well so when we are off our game we tend to notice it more. Whatever the cause…….. it SUCKS! And life is too damn short to waste our Winters in the funkzone.     

Since this was not my first hike up SAD Mountain, I spent all November getting myself re-structured with fresh goals plus a sound strategy to deal.

I set up accountability methods and team support then red penned daily time for both working out as well as simply breathing fresh air in the sun to clear my foggy head. Below are my top 10 tips that have helped me A) not only make it out of the dark muddy hole and up the damn mountain but B)  allow me to stand onto of the summit and feel like my best self again. 

  1. Get your blood work checked each Fall so you know what is really happening inside. Then sit with a Health Coach, reviewing results and  build a personalized health plan. 

  2. Get out your paper calendar and plan outdoor active adventures. Write that shit down! Plan, log, track and journal. 

  3. Do not feel trapped inside by the cold, wet or daylight. Gym time is great for early am & pm workouts but lunch time and weekends get the hell outside people and BREATHE DEEP. 

  4. Join a team or club that lives by the value system you believe in. Use these valuable relationships to be held accountable and to fuel your spirit with positive beliefs and FUN ACTIONS. #sweatherapy 

  5. Tweak your normal daily schedule with the shift in sunrise and sunset so you MAXIMIZE your daylight exposure. Expose your body daily to some Mother Sun for solar power:) 

  6. Go home on time and get into those sexy flannel PJ’s early rather than sugar or coffee load each late afternoon in desperate attempt to trick your body that its really not dark outside! 

  7. Avoid the TV and internet drama and toxic news feeds. Focus your brain instead on meaningful words, sounds and images that inspire you (books, podcasts and documentaries). 

  8. Call in sick to holiday junk food and booze filled parties. Putting on the extra Winter pounds will only further lead to negative self talk and body image plus make your January CRUSHIT fitness goals that much farther to reach. 

  9. Instead of giving and getting holiday things, talk honestly to your loved ones about investing in an experience together (or let them buy you a race entry or workout / team / club membership). People who connect and share adventures together create bonds of a lifetime- not baggage.  

  10. Spend time alone reflecting on your year with gratitude. Make a list of all the cool epic shit you did and then a list of all the hard work you accomplished. Then let it all GO and dream BIGGER for the new year.  

I see you. I know you. We are of the same tribe. If you feel you need help with these things or are looking for your community of like minded BIG ASS DREAMERS to connect with then let me know. We are all waiting for you. 

#togtherwerise

Samantha (Alderton) Pruitt FB

@thesamanthapruitt 

samantha@raceslo.com  

My thoughts on Power. Purpose. Passion.

(Read by me publicly at the lululemon Worth 100% speakers event in San Luis Obispo, Ca.)

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Thank you to lululemon for the invitation to speak. It is truly an honor to share my short story with you all tonight in hopes that you too will exercise your power, connect to your purpose and use your passion to create good in your life and the world. Bare with me tonight as I read this rather than just speak it. Usually I do not get nervous speaking in public but as I stand here looking at each of you in this intimate setting, I want to really really see you. All of you and each one of you eye to eye and heart to heart. So in truth your beauty is distracting me.    

Power.

“I found my POWER late in life (early 30’s) after no shortage of failures and misery. Raised by war surviving immigrants, 1st American born, my childhood was less like the ‘yellow brick road’ and more like the Great Wall of China. Mc Donald’s grown chubby kid, who’s teenage eating disorder slowly traded up for drugs & alcohol. By age 16 I was living on my own lost, but searching. I moved a lot, tried countless new jobs, endless new boyfriends and ultimatley just as many self destructive words to say internally to myself. 

Young to marry, young to Mother, young to divorce. I made a lot of money, lost a lot of money and all of my desperate attempts to succeed at both business and fitness failed. My sense of self worth was close to bankrupt many many times. But like any true female Leo, I relentlessly pursued ME, but better.

By my early 30’s I hit the dark deep bottom with depression and a serious health crisis. Thankfully, I those hard ass life lesson “POWER muscles" had developed in my soul and they began to flex. I knew I could not live another day feeling so disconnected to my body and emotionally worthless. Sick and exhausted curled up on my bathroom floor I committed that very moment to simply start over. I wanted, needed and deserved a do-over. It was time to develop my body, my voice and my wisdom. I self INVESTED in my POWER. That was 18 years ago. Years and 50 lbs less later, I am the person you all know now. Race SLO CEO, Ultra Athlete, proud Mother & Wife, wild & crazy friend and empowered community leader.”

Purpose. 

“I found my life’s PURPOSE along that hilly path of empowerment. Self investing in exercise, education and like minded human connection I got healthy & fit.  It was then I determined my purpose was to help others who are also in search of themselves, but better. I became a Certified Personal Trainer, an Endurance Coach and then a Race Director. Founding Race SLO over 10 years ago. Over the Sam 2.0 journey there has been no shortage of challenges and failures. But now that I operate from a place of daily self investment and self-worth, I no longer get drug down into the dark disfunction. My own daily rituals of quality sleep, exercise, solid nutrition, stress reduction and (of course) my morning ritual (coffee & reflection) are simple ways I value myself. I learned it’s not selfish- it’s self aware and honorable to start with the self. Only from a place of WORTH can you show the world how to truly value you in return.” 


Passion.  

“My life sparked a hot PASSION fire when I discovered Endurance Sports. Towards my late 30’s, the work of going from Couch Potato to athlete was a total rebirth. I not only rebuilt by body and life from the ground up but I reshaped my heart. I have had the honor of coaching hundreds of others on their health & fitness journey, producing life & community changing endurance races plus the gift of self trust I developed over my own body & life- all by using endurance sports as the platform. Over 100 races later, including 5 x 100+ mile runs, Ironman and countless ultra outdoor adventures, I truly proved to myself that I am my own best self when exploring my boundaries. I have found both my beauty & true self while experiencing the physical world of endurance races. I’ve lay speechless in the cold dirt at 2am, at mile 68 of my first 100 miler, talking only to myself words of encouragement to get back up and move onward. Despite every single toe being covered in blisters, being severely undertrained and no fuel left in the tank- I somehow found the deep inner courage to finish that 100 mile race. Or when I was the only woman & least experienced member on a team running from Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim across the entire Grand Canyon and then back non-stop and 3 of the 5 got sick and were in danger. I was able to run ahead, secure nutrition and provide leadership for us to get out safely. You see, these ultra endurance events are not just about training, they require you to examine your purpose, develop self worth and ignite passion to dig deeper than you ever knew existed. Next August I turn 50 and I can honestly say BRING IT ON. I am preparing now for my next ultra endurance challenge and will continue to seek them out as long as I am alive. Because it is then I feel most fully ALIVE. “

“Lets pause and then circle back together on this…… We are each born with 100% full worth. Then life often provides us negative experiences that detract from our sense of value. But ultimately it is up to US to decide OUR true worth. Daily, we each have the POWER, the PURPOSE and the PASSION to not only invest in ourselves but to teach the world our true value.”


Together lets roar our truth. Read together from tonights program with me please:

My sensitively is my strength. 

My vulnerability is my fire. 

I feel, I heal, I experience deeply. 

I create. I impact.

I am powerful beyond measure. 

Enough already. 

We are Enough, ALREADY. 


- Samantha Pruitt, Founder & CEO of Race SLO

Race SLO Community Ambassador - Jarod Contreras

Our Race SLO ambassadors share their stories about motivation, determination, endurance and growth to inspire us and remind us that we are on this journey together.

Home Trails

The early morning sun illuminated the fog hanging over the ocean as my father and I power hiked up a favorite local climb: Pirate Trail. As the name suggests, this trail is wild and rebellious in its difficulty. On that quiet summer day in September of 2017 both my dad and I had a lot on our minds, for much the same reason. In a couple short weeks I would be heading off to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Meaning that I would be leaving my family to attend a school four hours north, a fact that was causing my dad and I much consternation on that dusty run.

The act of moving out of the house for the first time causes many parents and children consternation, I know, not just due to the significance of the shift, but also due to the realization that the child is no longer a child. As Pirate pitched ever upwards our thoughts were on much the same idea, but there was also something more. My family and I are best friends, which may sound odd coming from a 19 year-old, but in most cases I would much rather embark on an adventure with my family more than anyone else. My dad, mom, sister, and I are a tribe and leaving the day to day rhythms and security of that tribe would be one of the hardest things I’d ever do, both my dad and I knew.

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As we approached the top of Pirate we began to discuss our love of our home trails. The place where I began to run and trained to adventure everywhere from the Grand Canyon to the Sierras to the Bryce Canyon 100, which I had run just a few months before. Leaving my home trails would not be as hard as leaving my family, but challenging nonetheless.

Instead of turning around at the top of the climb to do another lap, as we usually do, we decided to do some exploring. We headed off into the open lands surrounding the small neighborhood atop the hill, running and hiking with smiles as we opened our horizons on the trails we ran everyday. As we made our way overland we chatted easily, about nothing and everything, as we tend to do. The hillside pitched steeply upwards yet again and we traversed the sagebrush, eventually finding ourselves standing on a small road. We walked down the road a bit and emerged onto more trails unknown to us. The vista from that spot was magnificent, encompassing our trails, the Pacific, and Catalina Island, all sitting quietly in the distance.

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Looking out at where I had grown up, and faced with the coming change, I began to cry. I looked over at my dad and he began to cry as well. We held each other tightly and through our tears we carried on a conversation that I will forever hold dear. My dad emphasized to me how close, in the grand scheme of things, my hometown was from college. He told me that I must remember that he, my mom, and my sister were always there for me, no matter what. He reminded me how much he loved me.

That conversation armed me with the confidence to approach college with a new outlook: as an adventure to be had and a time to grow, not as a terrible change. The fact that that exchange occurred on a trail was significant to me as well. It signified and solidified the notion to me that whatever happened in the coming year of college I must remember that I would forever be able to return to the solace I find in a run in the mountains and the subsequent peace that I find in myself.

Endurance Town USA Podcast Features Sports Icon and Survivalist Nellie Ballengee

For the latest episode of the mini-series Faces Behind the Races, presented by Race Roster, the Endurance Town USA podcast host Samantha Pruitt traveled to Moab, Utah, to sit down with the successful race director, endurance adventure athlete, professional coach, small business owner and wilderness survivor Danelle “Nellie” Ballengee. Their rich conversation touches on Nellie’s growing up, how she discovered her love of sports and outdoors, then finding herself directing races, surviving a near-death trail running accident and ultimately coming through it all with her return to racing, owning a restaurant business and building a family.

Included in her personal accomplishments, Danelle holds the female speed record for climbing all 54 of Colorado fourteeners in fourteen days, fourteen hours and forty-nine minutes. She won several hundred events in various endurance sports, including one of the most punishing iconic endurance adventure races in the world, Primal Quest, a 400-mile self-navigated team adventure race over water, mountains and dangerous desert terrain.

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Danelle's life turned upside down when in December 2006, she went for a trail run, slipped and fell 60 feet, shattering her pelvis and breaking her back. She survived two nights and three days in sub-freezing temperatures with her dog Taz, who eventually led the Search and Rescue team to her remote location. Reflecting on the accident, Danelle says, “It slowed me down and forced me to really appreciate life, all I have and what I had accomplished in my athletic career. It made me really think hard about the bigger perspective of life.”

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Since 2011, Danelle directs the Moab Trail Marathon. “I came up with this loop, which ironically, part of the loop was on the route where I fell. And I think a part of my motivation for including that course segment was to prove to myself that I didn't do anything stupid, it was truly just an accident.”

Danelle still competes in trail and adventure events, but her priority at this time is raising her two sons, Noah and Will, then giving back to the outdoor sports world she loves so much.

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To hear more episodes from Faces Behind the Races mini-series of the Endurance Town USA podcast, including professional Race Directors and athletes Krissy Moehl, Doug Thurston, Ian Adamson, Maria Burton, Luis Escobar and Samantha Pruitt, download the Endurance Town USA podcast by visiting the website or by subscribing "Endurance Town USA" on your favorite podcast device.

About Endurance Town USA

Endurance Town USA is a state of mind, where listeners escape their daily grind and connect to their community of like-minded people, exploring their best selves through endurance sports. We dive deep into the story of WHY our guests use the common thread of endurance to weave their world. Through endurance sports, our storytellers are transforming their lives, the industry and the community at large.

Third Annual SLO Ultra a Perfect Ending of Summer

On Saturday, September 1, Dairy Creek Event Center at El Chorro Park welcomed SLO Ultra trail enthusiasts for the third annual event produced by the Central Coast's endurance sport leader Race SLO. 700 runners and hikers savored the exclusive opportunity to access the private trails of Camp SLO, Cal Poly and SLO County Parks to compete in a Road Runners of America (RRCA) 50K State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon and a trail 5K. Children enjoyed a half-mile race at the Dairy Creek Golf Course. Epic scenery and warm weather made for a spectacular day of outdoor activities. In addition to the races, public was invited to a free Race SLO Dirt Festival, with live music performance by Cuesta Ridge, expo with vendors from running industry, hot BBQ and cold Lagunitas brew. Camping was available for the participants in El Chorro Park. The 2018 race  beneficiaries of SLO Ultra included the Land Conservancy of SLO, SLO County Parks and Team Red, White and Blue.

Crowned RRCA State 50K Champions, Brian Tinder, an Adidas-sponsored athlete from Flagstaff, AZ was the first male to cross the finish with a blazing time of 4:10:58, and Elite Runner Lauren Totten of Santa Barbara was the first female with an impressive 4:35:51 time. Lauren decided to run her first 50K two days before the race. “Really thankful for a good day, to come away with the win and a personal record,” she said.

Other RRCA age category 50k State Champions crowned were Logan Laszczyk (29-39), Nicole Judd (30-39), Natalie Lee and Samuel Vonderheide (40-49), Linda Sereno and Sean Curry (50-59), Paulette Odenthal and Eric Clifton (60-69), and Tom Jefferis (70-99).

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In the half marathon, Race SLO Ambassador Rob Meade of Templeton, CA placed first with a time of 1:36:21, defending his title from the previous year. “I won last year too, so that was cool. I got tired about 10 miles in, I started to cramp a little bit, but it was a gorgeous course and I had fun,” said Rob. Lauren Bordeman of San Luis Obispo, CA was the overall winner among the women’s field with a time of 1:58:21.

In the 5K race, Race SLO Ambassador Pepe Gonzales of Paso Robles placed first in the men’s race (20:16), and Colorado Springs’ Catherine Frame won the women’s race (22:13).

“This year’s SLO Ultra offered runners from 21 different states the opportunity to taste our little slice of outdoor heaven here in SLOCAL,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO. “We created a challenging but breathtaking private access course and first class experience for our guests, letting them both rave about our beloved town as well as feel deep satisfaction in their finish line victory. Next year we plan to move the date to November 2nd to increase attendance, add a yoga & music festival, plus be able to build a bigger Cal Poly partnership with students and faculty.”

Photo by Luis Escobar

Photo by Luis Escobar

The 4th annual SLO Ultra & Yoga Music Festival will take place on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Early bird registration is now open. Racers and Yogis can register at https://raceroster.com/events/2019/19123/2019-slo-ultra-trail-runs-yoga-music-festival with 50K for as little as $99 and half marathon $69. 5K and kids race registration is also available. Organizers are adding Yoga & Music all-day festival and the $29 ticket will include a collectible unisex shirt or tank top.

The 2018 SLO Ultra was made possible by amazing land partners and sponsors including the City of San Luis Obispo, Camp San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly, Slo County Search & Rescue and SLO County Parks; Race SLO corporate sponsors Fluid, Glenn Burdette, Left Coast T-Shirts, Rick Engineering, Sunset Honda, Lagunitas Brewing and KSBY; and Race SLO corporate suppliers Core Financial Strategies, Action Wipes & Life Elements, Culligan Water, Estero Ham Radio Club, Meathead Movers and Pacific Energy.


ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the 2018 Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience, 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races, 3rd SLO Ultra trail races, US Trail Running Conference and NEW Endurance Town USA Podcast and athlete travel platform.

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

Labor Day Weekend with SLO Ultra

The third annual SLO Ultra trail races are a perfect family-friendly activity for the Labor Day weekend. Produced by the Central Coast's endurance sport leader Race SLO and benefiting both SLO County Parks and The Land Conservancy of SLO, the SLO Ultra will take place in San Luis Obispo, starting and finishing at the Dairy Creek Event Center.

On Saturday, September 1, trail runners from all over the state will compete in a 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship. The Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations dedicated to growing the sport of running since 1958.

Runners and hikers of all levels are invited to take part in a cross country half marathon, 5K trail run and new kids race. Those who aren't participating in the races can enjoy the free Race SLO Dirt Festival with Cuesta Ridge Band live music, vendors, hot BBQ and cold Lagunitas brew.

 

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“We couldn't wish for a better host partner than SLO County Parks,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO founder and CEO. “We are stoked to move this event where we can open up opportunity for our guests to experience the private trails of Camp SLO, Cal Poly and SLO County Parks. Our new home at Dairy Creek Event Center and El Chorro Park allows for camping plus boosts inspiring views of the Seven Sister mountain range, truly showcasing the best of SLOCAL.”

The SLO Ultra will be held in conjunction with the 6th annual US Trail Running Conference (USTRC). Estimate attendance is 100 for the USTRC and 750 for the SLO Ultra. According to the event director Terry Chiplin, the depth of expertise and innovation that the speakers, sponsors and exhibitors bring to the event is unrivaled in the trail running market, making this a must-attend event for both trail race directors and trail runners. Leading the way, USTRC is collaborating with the Cal Poly Digital Transformation Hub, the world's first university-based innovation program powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The trail running industry professionals will be provided with an overview of Amazon's Working Backward process and conduct a problem/opportunity identification exercise addressing industry challenges and business solutions.

Among the dozens of industry leaders and professional trail runners coming to compete in San Luis Obispo is Kyle Robidoux, a legally blind ultra-marathoner who has completed the so-called Double Boston, running the full Boston Marathon course backwards from the Boylston Street to Hopkinton in the early morning, before turning around and running the 26.2 miles again with the rest of the crowd. Kyle manages United in Stride in which he recruits and trains sighted guides, and provides technical assistance to race directors to create Athletes with Disabilities Divisions.

Kyle Robidoux

Kyle Robidoux

Other noteworthy runners include a rising star Tayte Pollman, elite mountain and trail runner sponsored by the Nike Trail Team; Ian Torrence, a legend in the trail and ultra running community having now finished more than 200 ultras and JFK 50 mile Champion and world record holder Emily Harrison Torrence.

Race Roster is sponsoring the event along with the City of San Luis Obispo.

For more information and to register, please visit SLOUltra.com and USTrailRunningConference.com.

 

ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the 2018 Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience, 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races, 3rd SLO Ultra trail races, US Trail Running Conference and NEW Endurance Town USA Podcast and athlete travel platform.

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

FIERCE AT FIFTY

Many of you know I'm a podcast junkie (and the host of Endurance Town USA podcast).

I L.O.V.E. human connection and authentic storytelling. But last month while out on a long run I heard one that stopped me in my tracks. Why?

Because I am about to hit my halfway mark! Yes, I had already given some thought to my upcoming 49th birthday, but more in focus I was dialed in on the reality that I am turning 50 over the course of this next year. Being interviewed by Rich Roll, his 50-year-old male podcast guest was sharing his own journey and perspective on life when he boldly stated “I only have 29 summers left and I wake up each day and say that out loud in the mirror.” WTH?

Obviously, no one truly knows exactly how long they will live, however he then stated that the average American life span is 79 now. So he figured he better get down to business and use the next 29 years living life to the fullest, savoring every single summer. That is no joke and frankly, my dears, it lit a wildfire within my own soon-to-be-50 soul, inspiring me to dig in way deeper with my own life's mission.

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As I write this now, I sit on the sunset of being 48 years old. In the morning I will do what we all do every single year and age up. That morning's alarm clock and calendar will then count down my 365 day path towards the age of 50. So what does that mean? Why should I think beyond birthday cake? Because honestly, there are dark moments in life where the truth is scary to face. But there are also bright rainbow moments in time where that reality feels limitless and beautiful. So what I have decided to do now with this new year of my life is to shift both my mindset and my experience towards the rainbow. The rainbow has no start or finish, holds more colors than we can name and leads me towards a heart, body and mind of gold. Only I define what fifty looks and feels like. Only I decide how to think, act and feel at fifty. And I have decided that I will self invest this next year by becoming FIERCE AT FIFTY.

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Fierce: the combination of positive mental spirit, bold words and unapologetic actions used collectively. Animal Spirit: Lion (Leo)

Being #FierceAtFifty means that I will spend each precious day becoming my best self; physically, mentally and spiritually. #FierceAtFifty means that the next 365 days of my life will not be taken for granted or wasted on fear, stress or negative energy. It means that I will explore my limits, garden my relationships and honor my Earth. #FierceAtFifty is my priceless pot of gold.

It is time for bed now and the close of my 48th year in this life. With deep satisfaction I can close my eyes knowing it's been a wild ride so far. And with butterflies of anticipation I can also honestly say that the best is yet to come.

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ENDURANCE TOWN USA PODCAST IS LIVE!

Race SLO, the California Central Coast's endurance sport leader, in partnership with professional marketing and content creation company Rock Harbor Marketing, have launched the first of several endurance sports specific podcast mini-series. “Faces Behind the Races” mini-series, presented by Race Roster, is live now.

The podcast is hosted by Race SLO founder and CEO Samantha Pruitt, an ex-couch potato turned endurance coach, ultra runner, Ironman, adventure athlete and race director. The Endurance Town USA podcast offers listeners an escape from their daily grind while giving them an opportunity to connect with an endurance lifestyle community, learn about athlete-welcoming destinations and do a deeper dive towards exploring their best selves using endurance sports as a catalyst for growth.

“This new storytelling and content platform will take the flexing of our #1 brand value ‘Human Connection’ to a whole new level,“ said Ms. Pruitt. “Collaborating with industry leaders and influencers, we are now able to provide high quality content that will touch all demographics and allow us to use our shared passion to connect, educate and inspire others to embrace the endurance lifestyle. Endurance Town USA is not a place, it’s a powerful state of mind.”     

Samantha Pruitt, Endurance Town USA Host & Co-Founder

Samantha Pruitt, Endurance Town USA Host & Co-Founder

The first 10-episode mini-series of Endurance Town USA’s podcast, presented by the leading endurance sport registration platform Race Roster, is titled “Faces Behind the Races” and focuses on professional Race Directors from all over the United States. Each up close and personal episode is built around a wide-ranging interview with a notable industry professional, highlighting how through endurance sports they transformed their life and impacted the industry and the endurance community at large. Interviewees at launch include World OCR President, three-time Guinness world record holder for endurance kayaking and the most successful adventure racer of all time Ian Adamson; ultra runner, professional sports photographer and founder of All We Do Is Run, Luis Escobar; retired professional expedition racer and CEO of North America's greatest expedition adventure race Primal Quest Maria Burton; runner and triathlete, as well as Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation Doug Thurston; and the personal transformation journey of the Host, Samantha Pruitt. The next 10-pack mini-series titled “Faces of Endurance” focused on the athletes’ stories is set to be released in September 2018.

“Race Roster continues to double down on the endurance space,” said Brandon Laan, Race Roster’s VP of Sales. “Projects like this are easy to support when you trust the people behind them. Samantha’s enthusiasm for the sport and the community at large are infectious, and we believe that these stories need to be told. It is our hope that race directors can continue to learn from each other and that participants may have a greater appreciation for what it takes to host a spectacular event.”

Visit EnduranceTownUSA.com to download and listen to the podcast on your favorite device now, and to subscribe. Coming soon, the Endurance Town USA will feature endurance sports travel opportunities, training camps and video content for additional inspiration.

 

About Race SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, Race SLO event portfolio currently includes the 8th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races, 3rd SLO Ultra trail races and Dirt Festival, the US Trail Running Conference, our new Endurance Town USA Podcast and coming soon endurance athlete travel and training camp platform.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.


About Rock Harbor Marketing

Established in 2012, RHM is a professional marketing and content creation agency specializing in digital advertising and marketing formats. Keeping its core mission of being a real human voice among a sea of digital noise, RHM manages social media platforms for organizations world-wide, designs and manages top-tier websites, provides content curation and copywriting for major events, and produces podcasts.


About Race Roster

Race Roster is a marketplace that helps runners register for running events and works with North America’s leading endurance events. As a trusted technology partner, Race Roster’s extensive industry knowledge and data insights help solve event challenges to achieve goals. We pride ourselves on supporting event organizers and their participants from start to finish. For more information, visit RaceRoster.com

Race SLO Community Ambassador: Bruce Skidmore

Our Race SLO ambassadors share their stories about motivation, determination, endurance and growth to inspire us and remind us that we are on this journey together.

In 1979, I found out I had a kidney disease following a tough tackle playing Rugby at Penn State and was told the disease would eventually lead to dysfunction, dialysis, and ideally transplant. My fitness levels have always been high as I started running for fitness at 15 playing rugby all through high school, college, and a few years after that. Following a couple knee surgeries and bad ankles, I picked up cycling in 1995 and have been addicted ever since. It all started with an organized century ride, then one a month for 5 months before I joined a club and started racing Cat 3 and masters on the road (mostly crits and road races participating in two Masters National Championships). 

After 23 years of 150 miles a week, my kidney function was at the point where I went on dialysis for about 3 ½ years and hoped a living donor would step forward for transplant and a double nephrectomy (kidney removal), all at the same time. During dialysis, I continued working full time leading successful hotels sales and marketing teams around the country, and fortunately was able to ride all during dialysis except the day after my twice a week, 4-hour treatments. Two-hour rides before work 2-3 times a week, and a 3+ hour ride on one weekend day kept my spirits and fitness at a high level.

Fortunately, Colleen, an elementary school friend’s wife stepped forward to test as she saw me in my cycling team kit during a charity ride in Boston with my “beer belly” (my kidneys weighed over 12.5 pounds when they are normally 10 ounces; twins together average 11 pounds). Sure enough, PERFECT MATCH!  In May 2016 they performed the nephrectomy and transplant at the same time. I was only spinning (about 35 hours a month), the month before surgery as I didn’t want anything to happen that would jeopardize the transplant. Surgery went great, 4 weeks later I was spinning; at six weeks, riding 100 miles a week outside. 

Less than 4 months later, I planned to ride a small fundraiser metric century with my donor and her husband. We left 10 minutes after the 100 milers and about 5 minutes in, our group of 20-25 was just one - me. Rather than slow down or wait, I tried to catch the 100 milers. As I approached the 17 mile rest stop, they were pulling out. In another 3 miles I caught them. At the metric century turn-off, I decided I didn’t want to ride the last 38 miles alone so continued on with the 15 or so 100 milers. There were 3-4 others along with me that shared the pace-making and 4 of us were the first finishers. I felt great and shocked how well I rode, especially those last 15 miles. No cramping, nothing, again, all less than 4 months following an 8-hour procedure.

Most importantly, I can’t express enough the enormous and never-ending debt of gratitude I have for my donor Colleen and her beautiful and giving family for their sacrifice and support of her. I can’t neglect to mention a huge thank you to my wife of 33 years, Grace; to our son Andrew, 26, his wife Aaliyah, son Grayson (2), and our granddaughter Charlotte Lily-Grace (6), for the years of work they did on my behalf actively advocating and campaigning for a donor to come forward. Yes, I’m a grandpa too and thanks to the generosity of the human spirit of giving, I live to see my family another day, month, year…

We moved to SLO in February 2017 (after beautiful stints in Monterey and Long Beach), and have been loving it, mixing our family hikes with mountain biking and lots of road rides. This year, my focus is to participate in an organized century ride in CA once a month. All is good, my new kidney is working great and I love supporting Race SLO, taking the long route on the SLO Ultra MTB, volunteering for the Marathon, and participating in other regional events in the region like Eroica California and the SLO Triathlon.

In support of the donor community, please register as an organ donor on your driver’s license since there are so many others wait-listed for transplant who aren't as lucky as I was. You never know who in your family, or maybe a friend, may benefit from this enormous act of kindness. See you on two wheels!

Bruce Skidmore

Race SLO Ambassador


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REGISTRATION FOR SLO ULTRA NOW OPEN. On September 1, 2018, join us for an epic day of trail running, live music, BBQ and more! Pick your race - 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon or a 5K run. Plus kids races! Racers can register HERE.

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience (Spring 2018), 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races (Spring 2018), 3rd SLO Ultra trail races (late Summer 2018) and the recently added US Trail Running Conference (late Summer 2018).

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Race SLO Community Ambassador: Victor Hurtado

Our Race SLO ambassadors share their stories about motivation, determination, endurance and growth to inspire us and remind us that we are on this journey together.

Five years ago I was in the worst shape of my life. I was weighing in at 240lbs. My health was poor,  I was obese, and on the verge of becoming diabetic. My diet consisted of eating anything and everything I wanted, every single day for many years. I was tired of feeling sick, tired of being hung over in the mornings, tired of being unhealthy. One day I decided enough was enough. It was time for a change! 

I began to run as much as I could each day. Some days I could run 10 minutes, some days 15, some days less. But I didn't give up. I was determined to change. Eventually, I started running longer and faster, and started to lose a lot of weight along the way. With a combination of running and eating healthy, I lost 70-80 pounds in just short 5 months. Once I dropped to my ideal weight of 160lbs, running became easier and easier. Running has given me a second chance at being healthy and fit and for that I am very, very grateful.  

I have now ran over 40 half marathons and 8 marathons which all have been Boston Qualifying times. I wake up happy every morning and you can find me running 10-15 miles, 6 days a week, year round. You can follow my journey and passion for running on Instagram @running_victor.


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REGISTRATION FOR SLO ULTRA NOW OPEN. On September 1, 2018, join us for an epic day of trail running, live music, BBQ and more! Pick your race - 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon or a 5K run. Plus kids races! Racers can register HERE.

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience (Spring 2018), 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races (Spring 2018), 3rd SLO Ultra trail races (late Summer 2018) and the recently added US Trail Running Conference (late Summer 2018).

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Race SLO Community Ambassador: Sharyl Naftal

Our Race SLO ambassadors share their stories about motivation, determination, endurance and growth to inspire us and remind us that we are on this journey together.

I’ve spent most of my life in Atlanta, but after visiting San Francisco in 1992, that was it! I would make it out west someday and that was that.

Then on April 16, 2001, my world changed. I lost my mother to cancer after a long six-month battle.

I have always been a runner, but had never run more than 6 miles. My running buddies thought it would be good for me to train for a marathon. Not having run nearly that long before, but being the driven “I can do anything” person, I said yes. We trained for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in October, 2001. I remember the race very well.

As we ran past the Pentagon, where the damage of the 9/11 attacks just happened, I was overcome with emotion. It was not only my first marathon, at a difficult time, but then passing what was left behind from what happened to our country on Sept 11, 2011 – was overwhelming. The Marines were at the finish line putting medals over our heads – I remember how I felt – but the next thought that came to my mind was OK, I’m ready for my next race!

I did four more full marathons afterwards, three in California, and too many half marathons to count. I came out to run the San Francisco half marathon over the years many times, always knowing I’d be back to live on left coast for good. I still do the SF half marathon every year.

When my daughter finished college and my son high school, it was time! We packed up and headed west. We moved to SLO without knowing one single person.

I keep up with friends and family on the other side of the country and miss them very much. But I can truly say I am a happier person being where I was meant to be. My runs have so much more meaning. When I run I can work out my thoughts, plan my days, revisit situations needing attention and just get inspired to live more productive days.

At 55, I can honestly say that running has given me the strength, energy and power to make every day count.

I think we all have something that gives us that. If you don’t, you must find it and make it part of your life. Running has always been there for me as the one constant through raising my kids, the times of celebrations and the bumps in the road of life along the way – puns intended. Now, I must go run...

Sharyl Naftal

Pismo Beach, CA

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience (Spring 2018), 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races (Spring 2018), 3rd SLO Ultra trail races (late Summer 2018) and the recently added US Trail Running Conference (late Summer 2018).

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

NEW COURSES ANNOUNCED FOR 2018 SLO ULTRA

New private access courses are set for the September 1st SLO Ultra & Dirt Festival Labor Day weekend on the California Central Coast. The third annual SLO Ultra races, produced by the Central Coast's endurance sport leader Race SLO, sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo and benefiting SLO County Parks, offers a 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon, 5K trail run and new kids race. All races will start and finish at the Dairy Creek Event Center in El Chorro Regional Park, offering exclusive access to private trails belonging to SLO County Parks, Cal Poly SLO, Miossi's La Cuesta Ranch and Camp San Luis Obispo. Trail maps can be viewed at the SLO Ultra website.

Sneak peek from the trek to scout out a section of 2018 SLO Ultra course.

Sneak peek from the trek to scout out a section of 2018 SLO Ultra course.

All levels are welcome to run or hike these private trails made of golden hills, tree lined canyons and epic mountain top views of the Seven Sisters coastal range. The 50K course limit is 10 hours, roughly a 19:20 minute/mile pace, on 60% fire roads and 40% single track trails, with 6,200 feet elevation gain, and offering 11 aid stations plus drop bags at mile 20. The half marathon is 70% fire road and 30% single track trail with 6 aid stations and 3,500 feet of gain. The 5K trail race is all fire roads with one aid station, and the kids race is within the golf course pathway so parents can supervise or join in the fun! All participants will receive a wood and leather finishers medal, race shirt, race photos, ample course aid-medical-directional support and a first class finish line in the Race SLO Dirt Festival. Camping, BBQ, Lagunitas beer and live music is open to the public as well, making for a great way for the entire family to enjoy the holiday weekend.   

“Our Race SLO team is stoked to partner with SLO County Parks in this new venue, providing new private trails, camping and a fun holiday weekend full of healthy outdoor activities for the entire family. Together with 1,000 guest athletes from all over the state we will raise much needed funds for developing and maintaining public open space with the Land Conservancy of SLO, Team RWB and SLO County Parks Department,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO.

The SLO Ultra will be held in conjunction with the 6th annual US Trail Running Conference, August 29-31, bringing industry leaders and professional trail runners to San Luis Obispo. Household names include founder and executive director of American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Nancy Hobbs, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport Keith Peters, Race Directors Tia Bodington, Paul Gigliotti, Jim Harman and Aaron Saft, and professional ultra runners & coaches Emily and Ian Torrence, Krissy Moehl, Megan Janssen and Peter Maksimow, among others. Register at www.ustrailrunningconference.com.

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All day on September 1st during the SLO Ultra races, the Race SLO Dirt Festival is open to public and race participants for free, featuring vendors, live bluegrass music, athlete recovery lounge, hot BBQ, cold Lagunitas brew, non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of inspiration.

Camping is available in El Chorro Regional Park on a first-come-first-serve basis through SLO County Parks by calling (805) 781-5930 and selecting option 4. Parking will be available for $5 in the park or at Cuesta College.

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The third annual SLO Ultra benefits the Land Conservancy of SLO County, SLO County Parks, and Team Red, White and Blue.

For more information and to register, please visit SLOUltra.com.


ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the 2018 Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience, 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races, 3rd SLO Ultra trail races, US Trail Running Conference and NEW Endurance Town USA Podcast and athlete travel platform.

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

 

How I Reached 180 Miles At Born To Run Four Day 2018

I’ve had a couple requests for how the Born To Run Four Days went so I’ll try to summarize as best as I can. First, I’m 50, I'm 215lbs, I undertrained, and I had a 4-day goal of 150 miles. I honestly had no idea if that was even possible but it started at 100 miles and over the weeks and months grew to 140 and then eventually to 150. I had my travel trailer with a bed, hot shower and fridge and planned to sleep at night. I broke the race into days instead of one chunk of miles that seemed overwhelming. I work best when I simplify things to the basics and deal with them that way. I decided to look at this race as simply an ultra a day for 4 days.

I rolled on to the ranch on Tuesday evening and was immediately greeted by PJ and then Luis, the Race Director (also a long time acquaintance and friend). Next thing I knew I was in the back of a CJ5 hanging pink ribbons in trees along the course. It was a good sneak peek for a couple of the hills I’d come to hate over the next 4 days. We got back to camp and about 10 of us went into town for burritos and chips. I only knew Luis and PJ but quickly learned that the other guys were certified Ultra badasses. The stories quickly became about crewing and pacing Scott Jurek on his quest for the record on the Appalachian Trail and it turned out most of the guys at the table were integral parts of the journey. It was amazing and inspiring and I knew I was totally out of my class here.

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As Wednesday rolled around about 32 of us headed to the start area where Luis explained the course and loop system; pink, then yellow, then pink, then yellow. Blue is bad. Basically take a pink 10 mile loop and then turn around and take the yellow 10 mile loop and if you are somewhere that you’re looking at blue, you’re off course. Simple enough. We recited the pledge that went something like, “if I get lost, hurt or die it’s my own damn fault” and off we went at noon(ish). Pink loop was pretty flat(ish), smooth road and trails, not too bad at all. I met Kara on that first loop and she explained that she was looking at each day as a “work day” and that her miles were her job and when she was done she was off work. I loved that thought process and immediately adopted it. Thanks, Kara! I got lost on my very first loop (wouldn’t be the last time) but adjusted and got it done. Then came the yellow loop. There was over 1400’ of vertical gain on that loop and chunks of the downhill weren’t runable, well at least not until your quads are blown out and you can’t stop yourself! I completed one more pink loop and called it a day. Wednesday was just a 50k day. Miles: 30

I showered, ate and got plenty of sleep that night. PJ was great about checking in, offering any help he could and basically being a great support person even though he was there to run his own 60 mile race.

Thursday morning I planned to do 40 miles so I was up and going around 6am. I had to start on the yellow loop. My hate for yellow had already started to grow. I was tight and had a couple blisters that I popped the night before but were still uncomfortable. I finished that loop and felt pretty good going to pink. After my 4th loop of the day I felt good and was ahead of schedule so I struck out for one more loop making 50 miles for the day. I figured that was just miles in the bank in case the wheels fell off later in the week. Slaby had arrived by then and was great moral support. He kept me motivated and moving and was a great help (I’m sure he doesn’t realize how much of a help he was to me). Shower, food, bed. Miles: 80

By Friday morning I realized I was going to be battling blisters for the rest of the race. I run in Hoka One One Speedgoats and rarely get blisters so this was pretty new to me. I had popped another 5 on Thursday night and covered them with bandages and moleskin. It was uncomfortable to walk on them but got better as the day went on. Nothing specific stands out about Friday other than Monica and David arriving, more support and motivation. My crew also arrived that night in the form of Taylor and Julie. It felt great having Julie there and I knew Taylor could identify and fix any funk I found myself in. I had planned on doing another 40 miles Friday but again finished earlier than I thought I would and decided to add another lap. Thanks to the WTM crew there for the encouragement and prodding to get back out. By now my goal seemed very attainable and I was considering resetting it to 170 miles. I got another good night sleep Friday night. Miles 130

I woke up Saturday to shotgun blasts and mariachi! Seriously, I love this shit. Up to 6pm Friday the 32ish of us had the course to ourselves. About 75 runners were added Friday evening at 6pm, the 100 mile badasses which included Jeff who crushed that race. Saturday morning the remaining 400 or so runners took off for distances of 10, 30, 60 miles. While the pack headed out on the pink loop, I headed out for a 4 loop day. There were some interruptions to the run on Saturday including stopping for the 12pm 0.0k race that I had also entered with Taylor and Julie. Yep, we paid to NOT run. Essentially you gather at the start area, recite the same pledge and at the blast of the shotgun, just walk away like nothing ever happened. When that was over I headed back out for a lap. I had agreed to do a quick auction for Luis and a charity that he loves. They help homeless get on their feet and get them running which boosts self esteem and productivity. The way my legs and feet felt at the time made me wonder why a charity would punish homeless people by making them run, but we sold a few items, made a couple thousand for the charity and I stood on the stage until two wonderful volunteers helped me down! Off for another loop.

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I did have one pretty dark loop. I believe it was loop 16 so I had completed 150+ miles by then. I was hiking up a canyon on the yellow loop and could hear a woman screaming for 15 minutes or so. There was nobody around me though. Later that lap I heard a motorcycle and while there was one at camp, it wasn’t out on the trail either. I shook both of those off but when I crested a hill I saw a mound in the trail with dozens of jet black scorpions crawling out of it. Yep, they weren’t actually there either. By the end of that lap I’d developed tunnel vision pretty bad and by the time I shuffled past camp, I was really just staring at the ground in front of me because that’s all I could see. I got some food, talked to everyone and eventually felt good enough to go finish one more lap that night. Miles: 170

I have to admit, when I woke up Sunday morning I really didn’t want to do another loop. I reasoned to myself that I was already 20 miles over my goal and that was good enough. I had to work that evening and still needed to pack up and get cleaned up and that running wasn’t a good idea. Taylor and Julie were still asleep and I was warm and comfortable. The problem was I kept hearing Slaby telling me to get my ass back out and get some miles. It didn’t take long to realize I’d regret not doing it all year so I got up, put shoes on my blistered and swollen feet (I was a full shoe size larger than the day I started) and headed out the door for one final loop.

The course was pretty quiet again with just a few of us 4 day’ers and the last of the 100 milers finishing out their race. It was a long slow lap but I got it done and when I got to the last stretch Julie and Taylor were there to run (ok, shuffle) it in to the finish. I got to the timing tent, rang the bell and watched my name pop up on the TV monitor: John Glines, 180 miles. I thought briefly about trying one more lap but that thought didn’t last long. I received my 100 mile buckle (my first but not my last), my traditional finish line hug from Taylor, and headed for the truck.

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There was one more unexpected adventure during this race. On Saturday, Taylor sketched out a petroglyphic drawing on her iPad of a Hawaiian running man with mountains in the background that she’d seen on a cup I bought there from Tracy at Marvelous Mud. She added her own touch with a cactus (girl LOVES cactus) and asked what I thought of it for a tattoo. I loved that she drew it freehand and told her to talk to the tattoo people across the road in camp (yep, professional tattoo shop right there on site). I headed out for a loop thinking about it and deciding if I wanted a tattoo that night! Backing up a little, the entire race I had really strong feelings that my Mom was watching me from above. I even spent some time on course talking to her – out loud. I don’t usually have that feeling during races but it was really strong this time and for all four days. Mom loved Seagulls, in fact her wedding band was custom made with a seagull on it. It hit me that lap that I needed to add a seagull to Taylor’s design.

When I finished the lap Taylor said the artist was going to be expecting me at 7pm. I passed their trailer and saw that Taylor had sketched out the tattoo and it was hanging there with her name on it. I showered, ate and headed over with Taylor to get the work done. I was a little concerned how it would feel since my calves were rock hard and already pretty sore. Kim assured me it would feel like a massage. Kim is a liar. It was a very simple design with no color or real shading and only took about 20 minutes to apply to my right calf but I suggest not getting a tattoo on top of super tight muscles! I love the finished work and it’s extra special to me because Taylor sketched it and added the personal touch of the cactus and seagull above.

I went to see Clay at Empower Massage Therapy on Monday and realized immediately it was the best thing I could have done. He worked out some knots I didn’t even know where there and I left feeling much better. It took almost a week for the swelling and blisters in my feet to go down enough to put shoes on. My head is still foggy, sleep is odd and I go from starving to stuffed in about three bites. Again, I love this shit.

My hat is off to those that completed the 100 mile course including Jeff who finished 14th overall and Joanie who earned her first 100 mile buckle after fighting through demons after her 7th lap. PJ killed it in the 60 mile and looked like he hadn’t run at all by a couple hours after his finish. I may have gone more miles but I know they worked harder than I had to because they pushed straight through to get their races in.

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There are a lot of people to thank for helping me get this done, starting with all of the volunteers. Those aid stations were incredible and The OASIS aid station for 4 day and 200 milers was like nothing I’d ever seen. Manley and Mara were amazing! Everyone on course offering encouragement and laughs, the people I met and spent minutes or hours running/walking with. Taylor and Julie and all our WTM crew. And of course, Luis Escobar for putting on such a weird/wonderful event. Thank you to everyone!

Will I be back next May? Damn right I will and with a 200 mile goal. In the meantime, I’m planning to run the SLO Ultra Marathon on Sept. 1 with some great friends! David Bird, Sean Anderson, Erik Beckmen, Kristie Clay and Ian Marshall Nevarez will be there. If you’re looking for a fun trail race take a look at that one at www.sloultra.com. Distances range from 5 miles to 50K and I have a code for a little discount as a RaceSLO Ambassador (RSA2018GLINES).

I’m also headed Back to the Ranch the first weekend in October for Luis' newest race. It’s a timed event ranging from 6hrs to 48 hrs. on a mile(ish) loop. Check out www.allwedoisrun.com for details and sign up info (I may even have a discount for that one as it gets closer).

For anyone that read this far, thank you! I don’t mean this to be a brag page by any stretch, rather I hope it’s taken as a statement that if I can do this, anyone can do it. Don’t look at a distance and feel overwhelmed, break it down to segments and do it a bite at a time. I’m a proof you don’t have to be fast, you just have to keep moving forward. Even when your body thinks it’s done and has nothing left, your brain can override that. When we stop listening to our body telling us when we are done and start listening to our head we can go incredible distances. Oh yeah, also learn the difference between “Hurt” pain and “Injured” pain. Keep moving through Hurt, that pain ends eventually.

We can do anything because everything ends”. Taken from Scott Jurek’s first book and so appropriate for an Ultra Marathon.

You finish somewhere out on the course and then you make it back to the finish line.” Sean Corvelle

by John Glines (photos courtesy of John Glines)


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REGISTRATION FOR SLO ULTRA NOW OPEN. On September 1, 2018, join us for an epic day of trail running, live music, BBQ and more! Pick your race - 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon or a 5K run. Plus kids races! Racers can register HERE.

Race SLO Community Ambassador: Charles Intrieri

Our Race SLO ambassadors share their stories about motivation, determination, endurance and growth to inspire us and remind us that we are on this journey together.

The Trail

There is a long trail from my home in San Luis Obispo, CA, near Broad and Orcutt Avenues, to the train station and beyond.

I tried to walk it once but only made it partway. My son has done it many times and I asked him how far I went when I told him where I stopped this time. He said, ”Approximately one-fourth of the way.”

On TV, I watched a 90-year-old run a long race to the finish line. I thought if he could do it so can I, at 74 years old. I tried the trail again. I passed the spot I stopped at the last try. I kept going. I saw the picture of the 90-year-old man in my mind. I kept moving forward at a faster pace. I saw places I had never imagined on the trail, never thinking about the distance I had gone. I saw two guys playing Frisbee. I saw people on bikes and running on the trail. I kept going. I saw houses and neighborhoods.

Next I saw a wrought iron fence. I saw shacks and train parts. Could I be getting closer? Next, I saw the steps to somewhere. As I got closer they were the steps to cross over the trains and train tracks. I went over the bridge. I saw the locomotives. I took the stairs down. I saw a statue of two men setting train rails many years ago. I made it!

Don’t ever give up! The trip back was easy. I thought of Rocky and Rocky’s theme music played in my head. I wanted to stop and dance and put my arms in the air. I didn’t!

Charles Intrieri

San Luis Obispo, CA


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REGISTRATION FOR SLO ULTRA NOW OPEN. On September 1, 2018, join us for an epic day of trail running, live music, BBQ and more! Pick your race - 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon or a 5K run. Plus kids races! Racers can register HERE.

 

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO endurance event portfolio includes the inaugural California Warrior Experience (Spring 2018), 7th SLO Marathon + Half, Relays and 5K plus Kids Races (Spring 2018), 3rd SLO Ultra trail races (late Summer 2018) and the recently added US Trail Running Conference (late Summer 2018).

The Race SLO Team produces both fun & competitive running events year-round to create human connection through fitness and raise funds for local nonprofits: Jack’s Helping Hand, The Land Conservancy of SLO, Team Red, White & Blue, Grizzly Youth Academy and SLO County Parks.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.