Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dear Coach,

Justin, Alex, Peter, and I found some fresh "pow"! (Photo Credit: Peter) 

You stood on a soccer field before a match with Manheim Township and told us to believe that we would succeed.  You played music from your red Honda Civic while we ran down Montezuma road and carted me to one of my first ever trail races.  You drove me all the way to Mount Gretna and let me run the 18ish miles back to school.  You took me on cycling trips and did even longer ones of your own, showing me that life is about living, not just existing. 

No water bottle?  No problem! (Photo Credit: Peter)
As I grew older you taught me the importance of consistency and expressed that any circumstance could be viewed as a burden or an opportunity.  You urged me to see it as the latter.  Some lessons came easily, others took time.  You told me I would "get nothing and like it", a motto I have come to love.  You tried so hard to teach us not to over-analyze, over-think, or draw conclusions from an inadequate sample size.

Time and time again we heard, but did not understand.  We nodded in agreement, then proceeded to mess up and wonder what was wrong.  Yet you pressed on.  You didn't give up.  You preached your lessons like a broken record, hoping we would catch on.  You were faithful.  We were young.  When that fateful day finally came, you didn't fence us in.  You deposited your final two cents, turned the crank, and waited for your prize like a child at a gumball machine.  The prize, however, wasn't even for you.  It was for us.  You just wanted to see us enjoy it.
"Hey Alex!  I'm gonna make it rain!...I mean snow!" (Photo Credit: Peter)

And for that I would like to say thank you!  Thanks for the prize, because so far it's been down right fantastic.  The lessons you taught have gone a long way.  I'm living my dreams, loving life, and having a blast.  Hopefully the joy goes both ways and you're having just as much fun watching it all unfold.  With that said, I'm sure you are wondering what's next, where I am headed and where the next adventure will be.  And so, I present to you my 2015 race schedule.  Some of the race plans are still "in the works" and "yet to be confirmed", but this is what I'm looking at/wanting to do.  Races in orange are high priority and races in white are flex races that I look to mix in as I see fit.  Also, there is talk of a rim2rim2rim run at the Grand Canyon, a thru-run of the John Muir Trail, and possibly a couple of other big adventures thrown in along the way.  May the adventures take flight!

Onward and Upward! (Photo Credit: Peter Maksimow)

May 9th - Transvulcania (73.3km, La Palma, Canary Islands)

June 6th - Rothrock Trail Challenge (18.9 Miles, Boalsburg, PA) OR Vail Pass Half Marathon/10k Spring RunOff (Vail, CO)

June 20th - Mount Washington Road Race (Mount Washington, NH)

July 25th - USATF Mountain Championships (Bend, Oregon)

August 28th - CCC (~101km, Chamonix, France)

September 19th - World Mountain Running Championships (Pending Qualification, Wales)

September 27th(?) - Conestoga Trail Run (Conestoga, PA)

October 18th - Skyrunning Extreme (Limone sul Garda, Italy) 

December 5th - TNF 50 (50 Miles, San Francisco, CA)
 Transvulcania will take me back to one of my favorite places that I visited while working on the cruise ship! Check out this video about the race:

CCC is a sister race to UTMB and the course should be similar to what is shown in this video about UTMB:  

In other news, I've been enjoying this song by Lancaster County native Cory Shenk:

And in other, other news, if you are looking for a race this spring check out the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race!


  1. Your tribute to your coaches is amazing, Zach. YOU make all of us so proud and grateful to know you.

    1. Thanks Nancy! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I hope you have a great time traveling the west coast this summer!