Ten years ago, Robert Gantz had just arrived at the Little Rock Air Force Base for C-130 airplane training and his mentor and best friend, “Seabass,” asked him if he’d like to run a 10k the next day. Always up for a challenge, Robert said “Let’s do it.” He ended up placing third in his age group, and the fire was lit.
Author Blue Collar Runners
Imagine waking up to a sunrise in a new place every morning with the next adventure waiting around the corner. This is the life of Amy Margolis and David Wilson. Van life has taken them all over the United States for the past two years.
When Chad Prichard reflects on sobriety, running and life, he pauses, “I wouldn’t want it any other way. I call it, “life without crutches” and the ability to feel everything. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but the ability to see life in a new light is a gift. I have been able to attack the traumas in my life from combat and other areas, and face my demons.”
Ruthie Loffi hung up her bib at mile 50 of the Rocky Raccoon 100 in 2018. Amid tears and disappointment, Ruthie had an epiphany about a nagging worry that had consumed her most of her life. It took this DNF (which Ruthie loves to refer to as Did Not Fail) to realize that not trying was far worse than failure itself.
In the fall of 2014, Maribel Dichard felt herself hitting rock bottom. Outwardly, she had it all. A successful career, loving marriage and two healthy children. However, she also had a drinking problem, “I hit a point where I realized my kids could see it.” That evening, she took her last drink and quickly discovered running.
In 2017, Vin Framularo’s marathon plans were derailed when a snowboarding accident sent him to the emergency room with a broken back. Now he has a ritual that he follows each time he toes the starting line of a race. “I tell whomever is around me, guys, the hardest part of the race is over.”
“My life was pretty much gymnastics and school. We worked out in the gym 20-30 hours per week.” After a string of injuries in high school and her gymnastics days behind her, Meghan had a big void to fill. Her dad was a marathon runner, which intrigued Meghan, and at the age of 18, she decided to join him for a run.
By 2001, his life was spiraling out of control. Jon tried to commit suicide by taking a bottle of sleeping pills. “I fell asleep and woke up a couple days later in the hospital. The doctor said, ‘You should believe in God, because you shouldn’t be alive.’” It was a major turning point in his life.
In 2001, Jacky discovered a lump on her leg. One week after her diagnosis, she was in surgery having her leg amputated. “Looking back now, it sounds really weird but I’m kind of glad it happened. It puts life in perspective, you appreciate things more. I just think I’m a better person because of what happened.”
Now retired from skiing and the arduous training that came with it, a thought lingered in Hugh’s mind from his old training days: “I felt like I did better the longer the distance was… maybe it was something I should explore.” It turned out Hugh’s intuition was right – and ultrarunning was the perfect match.