1/3/18 – Team SWAP

For those not in the know, Team SWAP is a running group founded by David and Megan Roche. SWAP stands for, Some Work, All Play.

I have been a part of the team for just over a year now. The membership of the team is comprised of a huge variety of people. Elite athletes like Clare Gallagher, Cat Bradley, Coree Woltering, and David and Megan themselves, are part of the team. So are people like myself and my wife M, and Pamela whom I’ve never met but I follow on Strava because she is encouraging.

Hopefully Pamela won’t mind, but I would like to use her as an example. As I said, I have never and likely will not ever meet Pamela, but she exemplifies the main characteristics of SWAP and why being part of the team means so much to me. The characteristics of the SWAP team are encouragement, accountability, knowledge, wisdom, adventuresome, curiosity, sacrificing for others, helpful beyond the call of duty, and LOVE.

Growing up I was a part of many teams, some successful and some not. No team I was a part of however, exuded all the fine characteristics that members of Team SWAP exhibit. Like many others on Team SWAP, I will never win a race. I am fortunate to finish in the top half of the field, maybe. Those things do not matter on Team SWAP. No matter where I finish in a race, the other team members will give the same praise as if I had won the biggest race in the world.

Even though I am not an elite, Team SWAP members make me feel like an elite. The team makes me feel a part of something right in the world that is bigger than just myself.

I wish there were more teams and team members in the world like Team SWAP.

8/22/15 – Epic Day!

Well folks, we did it! M and I both finished the Ultraks 46k. Its actually 50k, and believe me those last 4k could not have been harder had they asked us to just jump off the mountain and land back down in Zermatt. M finished in about 8 hours and 23 minutes for 7th in her age group. I finished in 8:49 which put me at 74th in my age group.

We did over 12,000 feet of climbing and descending. I burned over 6,000 calories. We are both thankful that the highest altitude the race hit was 10,300 feet which made all the climbing a little easier. I estimated that I power hiked 95% of the climbs, as did everyone else. They are just too steep to run up. This fact didn’t really cause me or M to go much slower and we certainly saved a lot of energy for the long miles ahead.

My entire race was saved by a British lady who gave me 4 of her salt tablets when my entire body was going into cramp mode. I only had 2 salt tablets and had already used one because of earlier cramps. I could barely move when she passed me and asked if I needed anything, and miraculously when I said, “salt” she ran back up the hill a little ways to give me some of her supply. That is the spirit of trail running.

A funny thing happened on my way down the last climb which drops over 3,000 feet in 3 miles. There was a particularly muddy section where I decided to slip and fall. I was ok but my legs were so tired it was hard to get up. A German guy right behind me, commented, “Now you look like a trail runner!” as I was covered in mud.

Both M and I are so sore that we could barely even stretch afterward. We plan to take it easy tomorrow.

That is all I can think of for now. Maybe I’ll remember more to write about tomorrow.