Friday, August 11, 2017


All I need is one life, one try, one breath, I'm one man, 
What I stand for speaks for itself, they don't understand,
Don't want see me on top, I'm too egotistical
Talkin' all that slick cuss the same way these gods do, 
Wonder what my secrets is? 
People will move on you, only if they know what your weakness is,
I have none! 

The last month following Finland has been surreal. The training hasn’t slowed or stopped and has been the direct opposite, it has taken off. It must have been the never setting sun, and my dopamine is running wild. The summer weather has been ideal and epic and has allowed for some awesome training as I recover fully to tackle the next 50k at Killington. 
I’m out everyday hustling a lot (A LOT) of quality runs, and have been able to have some great dudes joining me along the way. There was a bummer moment when we were 1 mile from the trail head: I forgot my cussing shoes?!?!?!?! Seriously, who does that? So I ran barefoot.*
Two days after arriving home, I Voltron’d with Greg and Brett and we all hit the 91 to run around Mt Moosilauke. Remember, I’m 3 days removed from a 5 hour 55k effort race, so no mortal men could do what was about to go down. Brett did some solid recon and we goaled for 2.5-3 hours on the mountain. Moosilauke is a great mountain that is incredibly runner friendly. After some initial confusion about lefts and rights, we started the climb. I felt awesome. No explanation. I just felt great on the climb. We chilled at the top and took the sights for a moment before heading north a little before descending down. The downhill was a reminder of my mortality as my big toe was talking to me and was sore. Once we got the bottom, we cruised along a rolling single track. It was awesome. 
At the very end of the run, I was done, content, relaxed and ready to get into some water. The trail was a little overgrown in sections (even though the map made it look like I-95). At that moment, an unreal pool popped out of the single track. It was deep and crystal clear and godsend. Also, ice cold, filled with big cuss trout and amazing. Brett is proving to be a great running partner in addition to his duties of being a great friend, where he’s always up for an adventure. 
*Or, I had to borrow a pair of Brett’s kicks. 
Training continued as Wu’s saga, and the next big hustle was with Brett, and Drew Best at Stratton. This was another one of Brett’s brainchildren thoughts, a Stratton Double Up, that was going to roll around 3 hours with some great climbs. Drew zipped up from that southern state of VT, and we rolled. The weather was hog cuss! Pouring on and off and chilly. The initial climb warmed us up quick, but it was a very wet day. Reminiscent of my days as a night Owl at KSC. This run did not feel like 3 hours while we were out there, as we chatted like 80’s John Hughes girls on the telephone the whole time. It def felt primal and epic, and was a solid day with great dudes!
36 Chambers, door number 7: I was cruising the interweb and was thinking about heading out to the Adirondacks for a day on their remoteness. I love the Whites and Greens, but there is something a bit different about the Adirondacks. I few years ago I hustled the FKT on Mt Marcy’s ascent (1:12:02) and wanted to attempt another untouchable time. The 1:12 was weak, and I knew I had more in the tank. Since then, the record had (SPOILER!!! “HAD” bc I erased it) been lowered to 1:10:21. I really feel that I can run 64-65 min on this climb. I brought my wing-girl, Lena with me to be a part of this. I awoke at 4:30 and headed to NY. I wanted to be one of the first people on the main trail. Unfortunately, I didn’t read too many official sites and found out when I got there that there is a leash law in the High Peaks area. CUSS!!!
I got my angel, Lena, there and now I got to roll fast as cuss with a leash?!?! I love adversity and saw this as that (a form of hate) and after (for real) politely communicating with the Rangers (who were really awesome about it) I put a 9 ft long thin climbing rope around Lena and headed out and up! I’ll keep it facts and honest, I dropped that leash as soon as I was out of site, but let it drag so I could grab it fast if needed. Lena was the best behaved and listened the best as she must have got my mental mind messages I sent her as we were running. It helped that I was rolling at a very high effort and she stayed either 5 ft ahead or behind me the whole way. We topped out at 1:09:01 for a new FKT. The first 2 miles are gradual and super runnable and I held back a bit to attack the first climb. This is where I made a mistake and it cost me a couple minutes. I need to go out hotter, and then just run the climb. This will make the difference when I go back this fall and lower it again (Sub 60?!?!?!). Kids, say no to drugs if you hear someone say this that ain’t me! 
On the way down we checked out of the little side views and waterfalls and had a solid 3.5 hrs in the Adirondacks. On the top I found out from the Summit Steward that there is a $250 fine for having your dog off the leash! And that the Ranger I spoke with at the bottom is the dude that ALWAYS writes tickets (Ironically, on the way down, I was holding the leash and passed him, he thanked me for my cooperation and wondered if I was ever going to touch the leash, I reassured him that I was more surprised, haha). I was talking to a third Ranger I met with Mr. Tickets, and I was joking around about how’d I would have just ran away if they tried to give a ticket, and laughed. This is when an environmental officer, we will call him Big Richard, poked his nose into our conversation with a raised voiced stating: “I’d catch you! And you’re being disrespectful for thinking I wouldn’t…”
I had a mini mental explosion! YOU SERIOUS BRO?!?!?! Big Richard had his pants tucked into big cuss combat boots, a long sleeve (it was 75 degrees out) and was strapped with a taser and gun. I then had a voice inside my head say, cuss it, and unleashed on this Big RIchard. I let him know that he was the one being disrespectful and insulting to my fitness level (all the while laughing, as I was joking with the Ranger I had met earlier). I stressed how out of his mind and delusional he was to think that he would catch me. I told him to unclip that holster and fire the taser up, bc he’d never see my skinny cuss again. I even gave him the opportunity to play a game in the parking lot: Big RIchard, you can chase me around the parking lot, I’ll give you 2 hours, and YOU STILL WOULDN”T TOUCH ME, LET ALONE SNIFF MY SWEATY SHORTS!!! C’mon! (And yes, I need to let this go, but as an educator, dude needed to be educated). 

My Voltron hetero-lifemate is Greg Hammett. We run, we chill and we (he) are balanced for each other. I’m going to live to be 98, and it’s mos def bc of Greg. Add Glenn to the mix, and I can do anything. Their big 4-0 was on the horizon, so Greg organized a run up Pumpelly trail on Monadnock. Johnny Hammett, myself, Brett and Boj joined Greg to the top. This was a great run, and made me think a lot about what’s in the next chapter. When I think about it, this is what comes to mind:
Menacin' methods label me a lethal weapon, making witnessin' breathless imperfections.
We, born leaders, never leave the block without my, my bro.
Got me a dog, named him Eazy G.
In physical form, let it be known, WE troublesome.
Death before dishonor bet on bomb on them first bro’s.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Slay The Messengers

Slay The Messengers

And a conversation ensued. 
I've been putting my next blog post together for quite some time now. The best reason to dust off the keys and get back to the cussing smut is bc I feel that it keeps me honest to my training and allows my alter ego to get wild and satisfied (even though I'm never satisfied). The spark was a conversation (and song based on reality and facts) at my Voltron brothers house with MC Glenn, Easy G, and That Guy. MC must have sensed my own brain waves I was struggling with when it came to running/training/racing, which to say the least is that I'm the one that has to look in the mirror everyday and I'm the one that has to answer myself in what I'm doing. (Preface: I realize a lot of people feel that they owe people an explanation of why they're not running this or doing that and airing their laundry for the whole world to see/hear, and my realization is that no one gives a rats cuss. In my time with MC Glenn he broke it down from his point of view (which I truly value) and said this: "Ferenc, you don't need to prove anything to anyone!" 
As much as I appreciate the polish of confidence people have for me from people I feel are lifers, they aren't looking through to the other side of the mirror as I am. I can't stand looking in the mirror at the half cusser I see, and I know the only person I owe is me.
This guidance was the inspiration to get that Wild Neoteny lifestyle back into full effect. And within a short time, I got invited to an epic race in Finland and I got wild for the adventure and embarked to Lapland and the Yllas-Pallas National Park in northern bost Finland (68*23*N 23*39*E). It was the land of the never setting Arctic summer sun. And the mind of a cussing wild adventure started churning. 

A revolution of evolution of my dirty savage godliness has to happened and been awakened in Finland. It’s tearing at my total being, and many visits of the ghost of Tom Joad on my wanderings through the woods of Bombadil and Goldberry’s in Wthens VT (of the river woman's daughter) have left me desperate. Desperation leads to all things dangerous. The nightly chanting of both the old gods and new, encouraging me to ascend to what I’m entitled to, what is mine. The soul of the crows chased any humility away long ago, so I’m only left with my core, and I was ready for an adventure. The race was a 55k over the rolling fells of Lapland, Finland. My training is going how it's going, so I was down to adventure and check out this Ultra World Trail Tour race. 
I flew out of Boston at mid day Monday and reached Helsinki (where I met Teemu Salanne) on Tuesday morning to have to take another flight to the Arctic Circle and Rovaniemi, the gateway to Lapland. I was picked up by one of the race directors (who'd be my homeboy the rest of the trip) Teemu Takkala. We then hit the race whip (2017 Audi) and headed another 3 hours north of the Arctic Circle to the race HQ for the night (the word night is used lightly as the sun NEVER set, as there was 24 hours of vitamin D). 
This was the first time on the trip I was insanely impressed with the human body (and obviously myself) as I traveled for a day and a half, had 3 hours of sleep, and the first thing we did was go for an hour run). I felt good on the run despite the no sleep factor, and i had a baller idea: run a midnight mile under the Arctic sun!!! So I got my giddy up on and hustled a 4:51 mile at midnight. 
Finland is a wild place. There are reindeer EVERYWHERE. Legit, everywhere. It was awesome and new for me so I was stoked and riding my own waves of excitement. (This would carry over the whole week). The weather was also great and was between 40 and 65 during the days. 
I do what I do and was able to make some awesome connections with the people there, who were unreal and amazing hosts. 
With a few days before the race, I wanted to ebb and flow between checking out and doing as much as possible and state relaxed for the race. This was tough as the sun always up made me more wild than usual. It was epic having the sun always out. I averaged a solid 3-4 hours of sleep a day, and after seeing the course of incredibly loose rocks, deep cuss mud and roots, I knew that I was up for a physical challenge. I've never been scared of a good time, a challenge or adventure. It did leave me a little weary that I was at a slight disadvantage but it like usual, I was unfazeable. 
Like I said, the course was 36 miles of rolling up and down on the most technical race course I've ever run. I saw enough of the course to assess what my plan was going to be: run my own race, and just run comfortably for as long as possible and hope to catch people that race too fast too early. The last 15k was downhill and the last 10k was on dirt roads. I just had to get there running. I figured that if I could run around 5 hours (course record was 5:12) it'll put me close to the W and top 5. 
Race Day:
Saturday, July 15th was a great cool morning at the race start in Pallas. The race was point to point and I'd be rolling North in a real life Game of Thrones setting. 
The race course went very fast to a single track so my goal was to go out chill but also relaxed enough to lead or be in the front as to not get mixed up with too many people and not be able to see all the technical rocks. The first 3k was a climb to the ridge and when the gun popped I went right to the front. I ran extremely comfortable and led The whole first climb with 8-10 others right in line behind me. Once on the top of the ridge, the view was the cuss! It is said that Pallas has the purest air quality of anywhere in the world and supposedly from one point you can see: Norway, Sweden, the Arctic Ocean and Russia! I was able to steal a lot of views and hey were epic!!! 
It was around 10-12k that the dudes behind me started to get restless and on an insanely technical  rock loosed section of the course 5 dudes went flying by me. And I mean FLYING by me. It was so violent and fast I was taken off guard and wondered if I was missing a preme, there was a fire or if a Brown bear was after us. It was as if you lined up every inmate of Riker’s Island on a track to race a 100m with Pam Anderson at the finish line as the trophy. 
I had to just watch as they bombed the downhill with reckless uncaring. It was incredibly admirable, but I wasn't about to attempt the death pace and ruin my entire week and race plan. Had I gone with them, I would not have finished. I checked my watch and I was still under the course record pace and just kept telling myself to relax and run my own race and that they'd come back. I'm not wrong often, but this time I was Biggie, Dead Wrong! They never came back and I never saw them again except for the guy that initiated the push. (I would catch him with 15k to go and he looked like he was a participant in a Tijuana Horse Show, bow legged and rigging HARD…) The time of their move still left 30 miles to go, so I had no interest in messing my race up. 
I was able to relax and roll. I was in awe of my surroundings. It's amazing and tough to describe as the limitless openness with no evidence of humanity. Primal nerves were hit and I was as happy as I could have been. I would check my watch every now and again and I was still hitting the times I set for myself. I would run by myself for 22 miles and it was the way I would have wanted it. I was able to just do me and run worry free over the technical course. The La Sportiva Helios SR’s were my shoe of choice and they were perfect. Cushioned on the jagged rocks, fast feeling and able to dry/filter the water of the deep mud. The socks I knocked in were Darn Tough Hikers, with reindeer on them) and kept my feet extremely comfortable and blister free. With 20k to go a guy caught me as I was starting to struggle with possible cramps in my quads on the last uphill and then down the last steep Mountain trail. This left me bummed for a bit, but I was able to see the recently leader heading backwards and I k ew I was going to catch him. 
The last 10k couldn't have come at a more perfect time, as my legs were on the verge of cramping on the hopscotch jumping terrain I was bouncing down the mountain. I was able to just run care free and not worry about examining the trail like a cussing forensic scientist. I was also able to bounce back and start to feel better. I was able to hover around the 7’s min mile pace all the way to the Finnish (pun) line!!! I was 6th, 5:04.50 and under the previous course record. I could not have run a better race. I truly ran a perfect race, and there was nothing I could have done differently to have run much faster. The limited sleep had zero effect on how I felt during the race, as I felt epicly awesome during the whole race. Yea, I was straining and vision questing at the end, and had to summon the wildness inside me to get to the Finnish (pun) line, but I fet great doing it my way. Like I said, had I chased the leaders, I would not have Finnished (pun). 
North of the Arctic Circle
It was just what I needed to awaken and stir the raw lifestyle of Wild Neoteny inside me. Can't wait to roll out again!!! 
You're welcome...

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Here is the full length feature:

Moments before the flight to the wilds of Colombia. 

Colombia is one of the most amazing places in the world and this was one cuss of an adventure. Most notably my most greatest adventure to date. I am super grateful and amazingly appreciative for the opportunity and need to thank JulboUSA, but most notably superman Nick Yardley. Nick as been unbelievably supportive and has embraced me into the JulboUSA family, which feels like a very tight group and I really love being able to call them a sponsor (and their gear is far superior to the rest).

The flight into Colombia was wild and crazy and upon arriving at Manizales, it was very evident that this was going to be a wild adventure. The people that were hosting me and helping me get situated didn’t speak much American, and my Spanish is rusty but usable, so communicating was tough, but it was awesome.

I befriended a bunch of people that turned out to be editors and photographers for outdoor sports magazines in South America, and they became my guides up the mountain to preview. The preview was gnarly and awesome and had me zoned into that this would be the hardest adventure also.

RACE: I opted for the black Trek shades, a Julbo buff and all other gear La Sportiva!

In preparation for the race, I needed to wake up at 3:30 to catch a bus to the start, which was a 4 hour bus ride was speeds of 25 mph due to the dirt mountain roads.

Around half way up the mountain we stopped to get breakfast at a local coffee villa. I prepared my own breakfast and took a walk to look at part of the course that rolled back to this point, and was the 15k to go fuel stop. I met some very friendly bovines and sought their godliness to remember me when I ran back through. Which they did.

We then boarded the busses again and continued up into the mountains. I opted to not ride inside of the bus (which was a party bus known as a Chivas), and took a seat on the roof of the bus. This was gnarly and epic. A few Colombian compadres joined me up there for what turned out to be a very scary endeavor.

It turns out that the mountains of Colombia are lawless and wild, just the way I would have hoped. The bus didn’t pit stop for any pee breaks, so while on the roof, I did my best Beverly Hills Cop, and climbed down the rear ladder to pee off the moving bus. This immediately elevated my already legendary status with the Colombian to another level.

After another 90 minutes of 20 mph and treacherous mountain passes we reached the destination of the start in the Los Nevados Mountains. This was great to get off the bus and stretch the whole body out. It became very frantic, and people started to get panicky. I asked a few dudes who I now call friends what was going on and they told me that the race was going to start in 5 minutes! Cuss, we just got off the bus, and I just went to the bathroom.

So, after a bit of a whirlwind gear check I toed the line as the countdown began… cinco, quarto, tres, dos, uno, BANG! The race started and I felt like I was in a mile sprint. People literally took off at 5 min mile pace, and I instantly felt confused. This was a 42 mile mountain race! Why are there men and women ahead of me with trekking poles flying? This was bizarre but it settled down as fast as it started.

A group of dudes did continue to pound away, and I had no illusions of going with them. I knew I could have, but I also recognize that that would have ruined my whole race and experience. I stuck to the plan that Pete Thomas preached to me: “Don’t you try and win this cussing race! Don’t even thinking about winning the cussing race. Just run and finish.”

This was a very new approach, but knew him to be right, as he always is with my running, and took it to heart. But… in the back of my head I had to think I was going to compete, and maybe that was surviving until the end and seeing what happens. So, as those wild hombres sprinted out ahead, I settled in to a very comfortable pace up into the elevations.

The first 10 miles was rolling up and up until around 13,5k feet of elevation. The race started at 9,5k feet and the first 10 miles were a great lead in with nothing too severe. It was around here that the up seemed to have stopped (it was still gaining elevation, but rising ever so slightly) for a bit and it just rolled up and down.

This brought me to 12 miles, where a Vertical K was part of the race. This VertK started at around 14k feet and climbed to 15,7k feet. Woof! All in 4.5k!!! And this was cussing tough, very tough, and when I got to the end of the VertK, it was at the base of a snowcapped glacial volcano (which was active and the race had to be diverted, which added 6 miles to the course, to avoid highly active volcanic activity).
This was absolutely unreal for me. This area of Colombia is one of only a few places in all the Earth where it is considered a Mega-Diverse Region, and I was running in it! The race officials had to have each competitor stay at the 15,7k ft elevation for 60 seconds. I didn’t ask why, as I was so out of it. I felt like I weighed 400 lbs and had a righteous headache. I compensated (from a discussion with Nick Yardley) by drinking/sipping water every 20-30 seconds. This tactic carried me over throughout the whole race and I felt was the best thing I could have done, and continued to do over the remaining 30 miles.

Once the officials allowed me to turn around and head back down, I felt better and better the closer I got to 14k feet. This was very short lived. AS great as I surprisingly felt over the next 45 minutes, upon the next climb I was destroyed. The VertK absolutely annihilated me. The next climb was a series of switchbacks and around half way I had to stop. One, I was dead, and two; I was low on calories, so I started walking and eating the granola/power bars in my pack. I was well geared with salted caramel GU’s (and ended up eating 12 throughout the whole 42 miles), and bagged one of them as I was walking. It was here that I got caught by 2 dudes that were still running and they went by me like I wasn’t even moving. This climb was insanely steep and they were floating up it like it was nothing, as I was reduced to barely being able to walk straight. I just kept telling myself to fuel and hydrate. 

Once cresting the hill I was on a large plateau and could see the dudes that passed me. One of them I befriended in the hotel we were both in, his name is Diego, and he wasn’t too friendly once he passed ha-ha. At the next check point and 20 mile mark I found out that I was currently in 5th. Around this time, a storm cloud rolled in out of nowhere and the fog was so thick, I could barely see 25 ft in front of me.

While in this mistress of thickness fog I went off the trail. The markers were not visible due to the no visibility and the two dudes ahead of me where not in sight. I had to yell and wait until I got a response and ran towards the noise. I figure I was off trail for about 2-3 minutes, before dropping into the thick jungle/woods that was Colombia’s mountain jungle. This was a 3 mile section of zig zagging downhill to the next check point and dirt road section.
While in the jungle I caught one of the guys that recently passed me and instead of running with him I went by him as fast as I could. This small move was huge positive feedback. I was feeling good, and only about to feel gooder! Once popping out onto the dirt road, I knew (from the previous day’s info meeting) that this was a 5 mile gradual downhill stretch of dirt road. 15 miles to go, and 5 miles of downhill? I was about to commit to something that could have been a game ruiner, but two more guys came into view and I went after them. I opened up the stride and I felt as fresh as I have ever felt in a race! I caught them very fast, dropping one guy immediately and the other dude was Diego. Since Colombians struggle with certain letter combos, my name was pronounced as Yesshwua, and spoken very fast. Diego saw me charging towards him and started to root me on and waving me to his side. This was a very nice uplifting gesture, and I regretted hating him from earlier, but still wanted to break him. I could feel him start to get sluggish and I did my best Pre impersonation and slowly picked up the pace, and continued to do this until he dropped off the map. I ran the next three miles solo and pushed as hard as I could. I kept telling myself that I would be ok.

This brought me back to the breakfast stop from the morning and my bovine friends were out in the field to cheer me on. I now had 15k to go; with (what I thought to be) one more mountain climb (turned out to be 7 1000m climbs and descends). I was completely out of water, so I hopped a fence and hustled to a farm house that was just off the trail and frantically asked fro agua. A little kid (9 yrs old) was super fast and hooked me up, filling both of my Ultimate Direction bottles. I had my mind made up that I was going to power hike anything that added the least bit of lactic acid to my legs, and stuck with this.

Granted the last 10 miles of a 42 mile race are going to feel tough. But when the actual vertical steepness is the most severe (even if it was only 800-1000m stretches) it makes it ever so much harder. Upon cresting one small mountain it was followed by an immediate downhill that mirrored the climb. This continued until the last 4k. GOOSH! Up and down, up and down, and no one in sight behind me or in front of me. I kept telling myself that all I had to do was finish and it was going to be a huge feat. I focused on sipping water, hawkeying the trail, and playing my footing safe while watching the trail. I couldn’t fathom getting lost now, nor was I going to allow that to happen. I was dialed in, focused and STILL feeling great! It was mind bottling (like when you have your thoughts trapped in a bottle) that I was feeling this good, this late into a gnarly cussing cluster cuss of a cuss hard race!

It was around this time that I did want to be done also. I wanted to know where the finish was. I was running out of fuel and water, and just needed to be done. Then a miracle happened, I caught a glimpse of 1st place. This was like being in prison for 25 years and then let loose into the PlayBoy mansion, all life was burst back into my whole being. The only kicker was he was at the top of a 5 switchback 400m climb and I was at the bottom. I just told myself countless times to just keep rolling and keep your eyes on him. Once I got to the top of the climb I saw him on, I could see that he was hurting and not running. He was in full on walk. This also turned out to be the last real climb. I caught him in a matter of seconds and flew past him in hopes of destroying any morale or confidence. It was around this time that there was only 5k left in the race. I pushed with all I had. The original plan had the race finishing on a climb, and this is what I believed the whole race, so on the next portion, which was downhill, I just strided out and ran comfortably as I could. I knew he was fried on the ups and wasn’t going to be a factor on the uphill’s, but he caught me on the next downhill and had a downhill gear that I wasn’t ready for. The race is going to end on an uphill, right?

So I thought. Once he went flying by me down the hill, I didn’t try and change gears to catch stay with him. And truth be told, he had a gear that my legs at that distance into the race didn’t have. The last time he and I were together there was only 3k to go. After losing total contact with him, I did try one more hurrah but the legs didn’t have a response down the hill. A few curves of the road later the finish popped into view and it was definitely not on an uphill! Ha.

Now, I’m not making any excuses as I truly believe my legs were shot, but had I known where the finish was (and not gotten off trail earlier) maybe I would have been a little closer to the winner at the finish. I finished in 2ndplace (losing to the Colombian National Marathon Champ, who was of hero stature) in a time of 7:47. He put 2 minutes on me the last 2 miles, and he said that he closed in 10 flat for that 3k! Whoa… so my finishing pace wasn’t too shabby! Ha.

The race concluded by ending right next to some Termales (hot springs) where the first 4 finishers bro’d up and chatted about our races and the race in general. The winner didn’t speak great anything (even the Spanish speakers found his dialect tough to translate as it was more Basque than mainland Spain), and my buddy Diego finished 3rd right ahead of a Brit named Danny Green. The three of us chatted it up at great length in the spring before crushing some empanadas. (Diego was a true lifer, as I almost got into a physical altercation the next night with a local trouble maker, and Diego was ready and willing to jump in if I needed him. Obviously, I didn’t!)

Colombia is an unreal wild place filled with amazing geographic locations, beautiful heartwarming people, awesome food, gnarly animals and life long memories. Thanks ever so much to Nick Yardley and JulboUSA! Arguably the best sports related experience of my life…

Here is the full length feature: