Laura Skladzinski started running marathons and quickly set a world record as the youngest runner to complete a marathon in all of the 50 states. She ran 50 marathons in 50 states and DC before she turned 25.
We talk about her start to running. All of this started with a decision to run 1 mile.
Races that we discuss in this interview include:
Laura was inspired by Dean Karnazes to look up what the record for the youngest person to complete the 50 states and DC Challenge.
We talk a lot about motivation and how she stayed focused to complete the her goal.
We also talk about the logistics of doing so many marathons so fast and how she made it affordable.
I got some questions from a first time marathon runners on Reddit and the answers are in this interview.
Laura's story to this world record is documented on her site http://www.50by25.com
Thank you Laura for being a guest on the Mile after Mile Podcast.
As always you can see what Amy is up to on her blog at www.amysaysso.com
Danielle (Dani) Grabol started triathlon by losing 75 pounds and meeting some kind triathletes at her gym in a spin class.
Most recently she just completed the Epic 5 challenge.
The Epic 5 challenge is 5 consecutive Iron distance triathlons on 5 separate islands in Hawaii.
The Epic 5 was started by Rich Roll and Jason Lester. You can find details about the current race at http://www.epic5.com/
You can find details about the original Epic 5 Challenge in Rich Roll's Book Finding Ultra and also Jason Lester's Book Running on Faith.
Dani Grabol talks about what is involved in just registering for this massive event.
Dani trained with Dynamo Multisport - Coach Brent Pease to prepare for this enormous event. www.dynamomultisport.com
Dani trained about a year to prepare for the Epic 5 challenge and we discuss what her biggest week of training looked like. Spoiler ... it was a lot. This is at about 13 minutes into the interview.
We talk about what a huge commitment training for this race was for an entire year and what the hardest part of this was for her.
A huge part of this race is the logistical challenge that went with changing islands every day. We talk about what the plan was for the event and then we also talk about what went wrong during the race. Second spoiler: a lot didn't go exactly as planned.
Dani took two people with her as crew: Jason and Hilary and each team is paired with a local volunteer on each different island.
The Epic 5 Challenge is a teeny tiny race. There were 7 people registered. 4 started and only 3 finished.
Day 1 was on Kauai. First Iron distance triathlon. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. And right away Dani and her team had to adapt when she broke her race wheel at mile 40. Then they packed up and flew to the next island.
Can you imagine packing a bike for 5 days in a row? Dani gives a great recommendation for the Scion bike bag. www.scionbags.com
Day 2: Oahu. Second Iron Distance Triathlon. In Oahu Dani had some friends who came to see her race which was great. But again there was misfortune when she ran over some glass and started flatting again. She found a local bike shop to rent her a wheel for the day.
At about 35 minutes into the interview we talk about Epic Ellie who was a unicorn who came along for the whole trip and became an Instagram star along the way.
Day 3: Molokai. Third Iron Distance Triathlon. Here's where travel logistics went awry. Listen to how they keep the race schedule together with a change in flights. Also, Molakai is the only one of the 5 days where the racers swam in a pool due to the dangerous currents around this island. Amazingly Danielle was paired with a local on Molokai that used to live near her in Atlanta. It really is a small world.
On this day the sleep deprivation started to catch up with Danielle. We talk about how she made it through on such a small amount of sleep.
But no flats on the bike.
We talk about what she ate during the week. Finding food was an ongoing challenge since the teams could not carry food between the islands because they flew. Dani used a lot of real food like uncrustables and even a burrito at one point. She also used Gu Energy Roctane gels and drink mix.
Day 4: Maui. Fourth Iron Distance Triathlon. At this point Dani only has about 4 and a half hours of sleep since the start and her crew may have had even less. There was bad weather but they were still able to swim in the Ocean followed by a very windy bike ride.
It was on Maui where the challenge pushed Dani to the edge but she tells how she (and her boyfriend Jason) managed to continue.
Day 5: Kona. Fifth Iron Distance Triathlon. We quickly talk about blisters and chaffing. Her parents met her in Kona to watch the race. The racers swam on the Ironman World Championship swim course and bike course. They had rain on the course ... again.
We talk about her state of mind on the run on the 5th Ironman.
We talk about the finish. Which Dani describes as hilarious anticlimactic and awesome.
We talk about how she felt for the first few days after the race.
We talk about recovery and her Normatec Boots which she used to help recover.
What an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations Danielle Grabol on becoming the first woman to finish the Epic 5 challenge.
You can follow Danielle on twitter @dgrabol or Instagram @trigirldani
This week on the podcast I chat with Brad Brown about his most recent Ironman Finish. He just finished Ironman South Africa which was his 5th Ironman finish.
Brad Brown like myself is a host of a podcast. His podcast is called The Kona Edge. He is a sports journalist in the beautiful country of South Africa.
He started his journey to endurance sports with an attempt at the very famous Comrades Marathon in 2010. But before he could give that a go he had to lose some weight. He tells the story of his journey losing 1/3 of his body weight and the trip to the start and the finish of Comrades Marathon and then also Ironman South Africa.
Brad talks about how he found his way to triathlon by adding cross training to his run training.
We chat about how he got from racing Ironman and running to podcasting. The only way to get onto the Kona Edge is to make it to the world championships in Kona. Which has got to be one of the most stringent criteria for being a podcast guest out there.
This is Brad's 5th Ironman but like many people he battled an injury during training and he did not have the training build up he had hoped for.
We talk all about the Ironman South Africa course and the weather conditions in Port Elizabeth.
Brad tells the story of his race at Ironman South Africa 2016.
We talk about walking an Ironman marathon.
We talk about racing with family. He's raced with both his brother and his father.
I learned that in South Africa they call jelly fish blue bottles which is a much prettier name than Portuguese Man o' War like we call them in the States.
We talk about battling through dark spots during the race and the amazing energy of an Ironman Finish Line.
We talk about his favorite part of the Ironman South Africa course.
We talk about the event that may or may not have happened with pro Triathlete Jodi Swallow and a television helicopter that may have knocked her off her bike.
Brad and I speak about how to stay motivated when training for Ironman year after year. He gives some good advice and it's worth a listen.
We do some chatting about the dream of going to the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
Brad is going to be running the Cape Town Marathon. And the Ultra Trail Cape Town. He's also got 2 Oceans and Ironman South Africa, JoBerg to Sea and Comrades marathon again.
He is also putting together an online summit about all things Ironman. Check it out at www.theimsummit.com ( I've already signed up).