Mike Valentino’s 70-mile SRT Race Report

This is a guest post by 2022 SRT 70-mile finisher Mike Valentino

It’s been 3 weeks since the race.  As I look back on my experience all I can say is, WOW!  First of all, I can’t believe I finished. It was the hardest race I’ve ever participated in – between the distance, terrain and having a minimalist format.

 At the start, I really had no idea if I could complete the task at hand. When I signed up for the SRT, my wife said “you’re crazy!” and “why didn’t you sign up for the 30 mile event?”. I knew I could go 30… but 70 miles?  Continue reading “Mike Valentino’s 70-mile SRT Race Report”

Mike Valentino’s 70-mile SRT Race Report

Mike Morton’s 2022 70-mile SRT Race Report

This is a guest post by 70-mile finisher Mike Morton

The following is a basic report of my race which mostly includes how I felt, my planning, what went right and what went wrong.  I love both Russ’ report and Kate’s report for their insights into the course.

A huge thank you to Ken, Todd and all the volunteers on the SRT Race team.  Everything was extremely well organized.  Everyone was super friendly and helpful throughout. Continue reading “Mike Morton’s 2022 70-mile SRT Race Report”

Mike Morton’s 2022 70-mile SRT Race Report

Kate Shumeyko’s 70-mile Race Report

This is a guest post by Kate Shumeyko, who won the 2019 30-mile division.

After teaching a full day of school on Friday, I raced home, changed, grabbed my gear and our overnight bags for Saturday night, dropped my kids and dogs to my parents, and then Paul and I headed to High Point.  We decided to eat “car sushi” as my pre-race meal- I kept mine very bland with no raw fish and though the salt and carbs would sit well.  I’ve run ultras before eating veggie sushi during the race- so I was pretty confident this would work.  Not sure if this is what would mess my stomach up later on or just all of the sugar I would be consuming but it was going to be a very long, uncomfortable night ahead…. Continue reading “Kate Shumeyko’s 70-mile Race Report”

Kate Shumeyko’s 70-mile Race Report

Barbara Evan’s 30-mile SRT Race Report

This is a guest post by Barbara Evans, who successfully ran the 30-mile SRT in 2022

After volunteering at the finish line of the 2021 SRT, I couldn’t get the race out of my head. Having lived in New Paltz for a number of years, then completing a section-hike of the Long Path in 2021, I thought maybe I could do the 30 (70 was out of the question). In the winter of 2022, I started getting out on various sections of the course, to see if I really thought I could do it – I’d do an out and back, add a mile or so each time. After about 2 months of that, knowing the generous cut-offs, I went all-in…

Continue reading “Barbara Evan’s 30-mile SRT Race Report”

Barbara Evan’s 30-mile SRT Race Report

Russ Dresher’s 2022 SRT 70-Mile Race Report

This is a guest post by Russ Dresher, winner of the 2022 SRT Run 70-mile division, and course record-holder (he won the race in 2021)

SRT Family

Thanks to all the volunteers that made this event possible. A special thanks to all the firefighters who battled the fires in Minnewaska State Park leading up to the event. For your work, you certainly earned a seat at the SRT family table. Of course, an extra special thanks to Ken and Todd for all that you do. You organize and put on one heck of an event. Your welcoming attitude is one of the main reasons I decided to run this race for the second year in a row. Congrats as well to all the runners. This course is no joke. Feel proud for however far you went or what your finishing time was. Welcome to the SRT family! Continue reading “Russ Dresher’s 2022 SRT 70-Mile Race Report”

Russ Dresher’s 2022 SRT 70-Mile Race Report

Notes from New Hampshire

The secret to racing, writes Ross Bentley is “to drive over the limit at times, bring it back, hang it out there, dance with the car at the ragged edge.”  I remembered Bentley’s advice a few weeks ago, while watching Top Gun: Maverick, with Tom Cruise as the aging fighter pilot who still feels, after all these years, “a need for speed.”  Who still pushes jet aircraft over the limit at times, and people, too. 

Later I was sketching out plans for a trip to New Hampshire, when the thought occurred to me — doesn’t everything worthwhile take place at some kind of edge?  Call it the ragged edge of reality.  A nebulous margin where knowledge gives way to the unknown.  Where jolts of pain and pleasure provide intermittent light, like signal flares.  Where the way forward, as Emerson wrote, “shall be wholly strange and new.”

In New Hampshire, the edge would lie for me along the White Mountain’s blade-like granite ridgelines, where I would attempt to climb a set of peaks without shoes or food (since that is how my practice works) — and to learn something, possibly, about myself and the world.

Continue reading “Notes from New Hampshire”

Notes from New Hampshire

Completing the Catskills All Trails Challenge — One Step at a Time

On October 26, 2019, Steve Aaron and I stood on a vantage point near the summit of Balsam Mountain and celebrated his completion of the Thirty Five.  We stared across the valley at pumpkin-colored ridges and frothy marshmallow-mist swirling beneath cerulean sky, while overhead the clouds spread out into a celestial ribcage (the scientific term is cirrus vertebratus) and I thought, how strange that the sky would celebrate Steve’s accomplishment and then, wouldn’t it be even stranger if this was all coincidence….

Continue reading “Completing the Catskills All Trails Challenge — One Step at a Time”

Completing the Catskills All Trails Challenge — One Step at a Time

Reflections on the Passing of a Friend

(Photo credit:  Steve Aaron Photography)

He staggered for a step or two.  I saw the concentration in his eyes.  The inward scan and assessment.  He seemed to understand that he could not go on.  He seemed to accept it.

Afterwards, we called my son to let him know.  My wife relayed the news, while I tried to add a comment but somehow couldn’t speak.  Later I retrieved an image and sent it to my son.  And then I dove into a decade’s worth of photos and began the process of reflecting and understanding….

Continue reading “Reflections on the Passing of a Friend”

Reflections on the Passing of a Friend

Top Gun: Maverick

The recent hit movie Top Gun: Maverick opens with Tom Cruise in a pickle.  He’s test pilot for a next-generation stealth jet with a sleek black body reminiscent of the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane (which people my age might remember from growing up in the 1970s).  Cruise is gearing up for a test-flight in which he’ll take the jet to Mach 9, when he gets word that the Navy brass intends to kill the project….

Continue reading “Top Gun: Maverick”

Top Gun: Maverick

9,000 Miles Barefoot

In September 2021, I reported on my 8,000th mile of barefoot walking, hiking, and running, and this morning I logged my 9,029th mile, so it’s update time.

What started as an experiment morphed into a practice and then became philosophy — and from here on the journey points into mystery. Originally the thought had been to reach 10,000 miles, and now that I’m nearing that objective I can only wonder what lies beyond.  Honestly, there was no rationale for 10,000 miles, besides it being a round number. That and the thought that 10,000 hours of training in a discipline is said to make you an “expert.” Although what I’ve found is that barefoot teaches simplicity. There’s nothing to be an expert of.

The following is my account of the last 1,000 miles walked, hiked, and run without shoes — including successful races and other projects, frustrations, and lessons learned….

Continue reading “9,000 Miles Barefoot”
9,000 Miles Barefoot