Know No Boundaries
Rocky Raccoon 100 - Race Report
What BEAUTIFUL weather greeted us the morning of January 31st at Huntsville State Park in Huntsville, TX. It was dark & in the 40’s at the start as many friends from Tulsa (Runner’s World Tulsa) went down. Jason Bement & I had a quick pre-race photo as the his beard will be gone after he crosses the finish line February 1st.
Know No Boundaries was running this for Baby Henry Bell who was born in August 2014 pre-mature & weighing only ONE lb. 12 oz! This would be our 4th 100 mile finish.
Although rain was predicted, constant prayers during the race & faith met with success as it only sprinkled a bit during the night.
The RR100 course was absolutely beautiful however it could have had a bit less roots!
Plenty of wooden bridges & winding trail throughout the park provided a perfect environment for prayer & contemplation and to concentrate on WHO we were running the race for - Baby Henry!
It was to be (5) 20 mile loops to get the 100 mile finisher’s buckle however this race, it would allude us.
Due to many of the rolling hills, lower back spasms would take their toll having us drop at mile 75.
Disappointed - of course. Do I feel that I let people down -yes.
Although in talking to family & friends about this they say that they ARE NOT disappointed or let down, it is my own internal feelings that I some how, did.
I always run with my heart & know that others are suffering more than I am so this helps me press on. I am SO INSPIRED by others who help us to do what we do at Know No Boundaries.
Well, no time to wallow in any sorrows or disappointments, there are more people who need God’s help & we plan on running more races to help.
Please continue to follow us on Facebook & go to our website to see “Wuzzup” with us.
Ken (aka K2)
A Hundred for Henry - Rocky Raccoon 100
Henry Douglas Bell was born August 1, 2014 at 24 weeks & 1 day old. He weighed 1 lb. 12 oz. and was 12” long. Henry needs your prayers.
Although many people have been following & praying for Baby Henry, sharing in the joy as he overcomes challenge after challenge, there are also financial challenges that the family faces; challenges that are not in the forefront of our minds.
Know No Boundaries has taken on the challenge of running the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Endurance Run in Houston on January 31, 2015 in efforts to raise money to help Henry & his family. Our goals, is to get at least 100 people to donate $100. All donations are Tax Deductible as Know No Boundaries is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit foundation. Donations can be made on this site at the top of the Main page.
The point is that we will be running 1 mile for every dollar donated. 100% of the funds raised will go to help Henry & his family with their financial burden. PLEASE DONATE to help Henry.
Know No Boundaries will be doing all of the work. The donation is the easy part.
Thank you for your support & blessings to you.
Know Thy Limits
Good evening Ruddies (that’s slang for Running Buddies). It is 19 days until the 2014 Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd. A big part of me is stoked, while the other part is apprehensive.
WHY you might ask?
As Know No Boundaries is one to help others “break through” their self set, self limiting boundaries by “walking the walk & talking the talk”, there comes a point when one must look at reality & make a call as to whether not doing something is actually allowing that “boundary" to define our abilities to be, do & become all that God has in store for us or if it is a smart move so that one can live to fight (or in our case run) another day.
If one is well trained, well prepared & ready to do battle with the obstacle in question & STILL does not, then they have allowed that obstacle or boundary to define them.
If on the other hand, they are not prepared or well trained & decide to modify the challenge, obstacle or boundary only to return at a later time to break through & overcome it, then they are approaching things smart.
Such is the case with the 2014 Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd. Not having had the chance to train properly & get in the necessary long runs. It would be a bad decision to attempt to complete a 100 mile run way undertrained.
We have decided to approach this like one would approach any monumental task - - One step at a time. Instead of the 100 mile distance, Know No Boundaries has decided to cut back to the 100K. For one, it is a smart move; and as we also have the Polar Bear Marathon in Churchill;, Manitoba Canada in November, it is best to run smart.
The 100 mile “boundary” has been broken three times already in the past, so it is not something that we have not done before. It is just something that should not happen now.
Many times one needs to look at the Big Picture & one’s overall long term goal and make adjustments along the way.
Stay tuned for race updates from the 214 PHH as well as previews for the 2014 Polar Bear Marathon.
And as was mentioned in our last post, we are still short of our fundraising goals by about $1500 so if the Holy Spirit moves you, PLEASE consider making a Tax Deductible donation to Know No Boundaries (www.knownoboundaries.org).
Until next time - - -
God Bless You
Fall 2014 Events & Funds Recipients
Know No Boundaries has partnered with Athletes In Action for our Fall 2014 fundraiser and recipient.
Athletes in Action has been using sports as a platform to help people answer questions of faith and to point them to Jesus. They believe that sports has the power to open doors and create connections in a way that few other things can, and that’s why they are constantly working to create new ways of reaching out to athletes and sports fans alike. Ultimately, their goal is to see peoples’ lives changed as they discover God’s purpose for their life.
This is perfectly in line with the mission of Know No Boundaries. Our goal is to facilitate or be the catalyst to help people "break out" of those self set, self limiting boundaries to achieve this same thing - - to discover & achieve God's purpose for them.
This Fall's recipients for funds are the Aboriginal (needy First Nations Children) of Northern Canada in Churchill, Manitoba. This very remote village has many, many needs due to their remoteness hence their being "bound" by this fact. Additionally, Know No Boundaries will have a chance to minister to the community of Churchill about "breaking through boundaries" and achieving God's plan for them.
The events for this fall are two-fold. The first event is Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd in October. This is a 100 mile run on rural roads in the Northeastern Oklahoma town of Tahlequah.
Know No Boundaries successfully ran this in 2013 and will repeat this same feat this fall.
Our second fall event, and the one where we will be ministering to the people of Churchill, Manitoba, is the Polar Bear Marathon in November in Northern, Manitoba, Canada. Proceeds go to help the community of Churchill as mentioned above.
This marathon is an "Invitation Only" marathon limited to 40 runners. Churchill is the "Polar Bear Capital of the World" so runners will be in pairs followed by a crew vehicle with supplies and for safety (it IS bear country you know). Temperatures in Churchill in November can be near -30 Celsius, so it will be a bit "chilly" during the run. This will allow Know No Boundaries to also break some of our own boundaries.
Please keep us in your prayers and consider donating to our cause. Our FUNDRAISING GOAL for both events
All donations are Tax Deductible.
Keeping an Important Meeting - 2014 Prairie Spirit 100 Summary
With the 2014 Prairie Spirit 100 only 12 days ago, everything is still fresh in my mind. First & foremost, is the fact that I was running for a cause! A cause that was greater than myself.
I was running for (3) year old Lincoln Mouser from Bixby, Oklahoma who at (3) months old, had to have his right leg amputated above the knee due to complications that arose soon after he was born (premature, I might add). Lincoln was a tremendous inspiration to me as he is the perfect example of how we can all overcome obstacles. Although he no doubt will still have challenges as he grows up, Lincoln epitomizes the person who will not and cannot be stopped.
Coming back to this year's Prairie Spirit 100, I had an important meeting that I HAD TO KEEP. A meeting with (3) year old Lincoln who was to be at the finish line of this race to meet with me, & for me to present him & his family with a check from our fundraising efforts.
We started out in the dark at 6:00 AM in Ottawa, KS for a short 1 mile out & back before heading out on the trail. Early on in the race, we hooked up with Carolyn Glenn who we stuck with all the way to the turn around at Iola.
The trail was fairly flat (actually, it could not have been any flatter for a trail run) so there were no undulating hills; mainly a beautiful tree covered chat trail.
Interspersed between manned aid stations, were unmanned water stops (a great place to top off my hydration pack). First stop was the Richmond Aid Station followed by Princeton. Breezed through these on the way out as there were no "real issues" to deal with. As always, the volunteers were AWESOME!
Leaving Princeton, was more of the same . . .
(Note: I always seem to think of my camera on the outward part of the ultra. On the way back, my mind id definitely focused inwards.)
Plodding onward (it did seem like plodding at times), we finally arrived at the Garnett aid station where I had my first drop bag.
My good friend & ultra runner Polly Choate & her lovely daughter Lauren, manned (or should I say womaned) this stop. It was the only one indoors (a Polly requirement). Russell Bennett (another awesome ultra runner friend) lent a hand as well.
The next manned aid station was Welda & it was run by the infamous Trail Nerdz.
"WOW", is all I can say. These guys really know how to pamper ultra runners.
As a Vegan (as of January 1, 2014), I was thrilled that they had hot lentil soup (aside from all the standard ultra fare of fruit, PB&J, etc.).
Onward we ran. Carolyn & I had some great conversations all the while. One of which I thought of throughout the whole race. Carolyn relayed to me that during the 2013 running of Prairie Spirit 500 & 100, she hear some "snorting" on the side of the trail. My thoughts were that it was probably a horse or cow (or some other farm animal). Having been raised on a farm, Carolyn quickly corrected me to tell me that "she just knew" it was a wild pig! (NOTE: Wild Pigs ARE NOT your friend!). Well for me, I had visions of climbing a tree every time I though I heard a snort!
We had many creek crossings along the way, & I know that they will look different in the dark. None-the-less, we did cross many a "bridge over troubled waters".
I MUST ADD; all the while through each of the outbound aid stations, one person who I CANNOT thank enough, was a good friend & awesome runner; Travis Owen. Travis had my car & crewed a bit for me before his turn to pace me later in the race.
Finally arriving to Iola Aid Station, & the turn-around point, it was a good feeling that we were in in under 13 hours, giving us a good start back out.
Here, I was greeted by one of my ultra running idols; Ken "TZ" Childress (aka K1) & his wife Dana.
TZ is always great to see & always encouraging. I know that he wanted to run here (to make up for last year's blizzard) but recent knee surgery kept him on the side-lines this year.
Here is where I picked up one of two special individuals who made this race happen for me. Mishelle Wiggs Hancock joined me here at the turn around (about mile 52) & paced me for approximately 20 miles; back to the Welda Aid station. (NOTE: Mishelle was also instrumental in pacing me last October at Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd).
We started off by me apologizing for what would probably be my lack of talking as well as my slow pace. Mishelle kindly tells me to "shut up" & that she understands all of this.
We move out as the sun begins to set on a great first half.
As the sun set & darkness set in, my mind began to turn inwards. I ALWAYS felt that ultra running is extremely spiritual & contemplative (it is for me at least). It is my way of being able to turn off the outside world, turn inwards & focus on God. As pain & discomfort come at you full force, this turning inwards allows one to "tune out" the outside world & give ones full focus to our relationship with God, the purpose of life & our place in it (a bit philosophical, I know).
After a couple of the unmanned water stops & another pass through the Colony Aid Station, we were back at Welds (you know, where the infamous Trail Nerdz were). sitting down for a tad bit felt like heaven as did that wonderful cup of hot lentil soup. By now, it was dark & the temps were dropping so the hot soup was most welcome.
Ken & Dana Childress were here now as well as was another running friend; Charlotte Lindley & her friend Dennis. I had though that they were miles ahead of me, but I heard that Dennis had some stomach issues that he was wrestling with so after a bit, I bid them a due.
Here is where Mishelle passed the baton to Travis, who up until now, was crewing for me.
Travis jumped in full force & helped keep me mentally strong. From here, we had approximately 30 miles to go (not to mention numerous cut off times for each of the aid stations.
Off we went into the night; me trying my hardest to keep a decent pace & Travis providing what was going to be hours of conversation (even if it was often one sided).
Not too much longer after Travis & I left Welda, Kathy Hoover & roman Broyles cam in. Both looking strong (although Roman did seem a bit sleepy - - - really?)
Travis & I plodded (here is that plodding again) through the night on to the Garnett aid station.
At this point, sitting down inside was a very welcome luxury. Looking over across the room, I saw one of the aid station volunteers asleep on a bench & . . . . . (well, let me say a bit of jealousy arose for just a second).
I just HAD to close my eyes for a moment but as soon as Travis saw this, he immediately jumped in & said "Gotta go. We can't have any if this sleeping thing at this point."
Arriving at the Richmond Aid Station & grabbed a tad more hot broth to keep warm.
Travis was constantly aware of the cut off times for each aid station & stayed on me so we didn't dawdle too look (are you kidding me? I could use some dawdling at this point). He told me that although we were within the cut offs, we did not have much room.
Onward we marched (notice we are no longer plodding). Our last manned aid station on the course was at Princeton where I was able to see Ken TZ Childress & Dana again. Despite how I thought I looked & felt, they were extremely encouraging & bid me farewell as we took off on our last stage.
As we entered Ottawa (again) & I saw the Love's convenience store, I knew that we were there.
I was going to make my "important meeting"; my meeting with (3) year old Lincoln Mouser & his parents who were waiting at the finish line for me.
ELATION is the only thing that I can say to describe this finish. Mishelle & Travis brought me to a 2 HOUR PR of 27:36!
Crossing the finish line, I took off my hydration pack & just wanted to lie down; right there on the grass. I was greeted by the Mousers & a GREAT BIG HUG from Lincoln. Giving them a check from Know No Boundaries for $1,100 made the tears come streaming!
Oh, and one more thing I might add, one main factor that kept me keeping up my pace was the fact that Travis kept telling me that we were "okay on the cut off times, but didn't have much leeway.
What he didn't tell me, was that the cut off times were HIS times AND NOT the official race cut off times.
He had me more than an hour ahead of pace!
I think that I might have even been close to running negative splits!
All I can say is THANK YOU Mishelle & Travis. You made the 2014 Prairie Spirit 100 a truly EPIC Ultra.
God Bless all & always know to "know no boundaries.