HOW I GOT STARTED:
My first steps in running a marathon began when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to run a marathon in the year 2008 and raise money for Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA) . At first, I was a little hesitant, but quickly realized this was a good motivation to lose weight and raise money for a good cause. It was also a commitment of 6 months, and at this time I was going through a divorce, so this couldn't have come at a better time, Something to keep my mind off my personal life and use my energy to help others.
The experience I encountered with the APLA group was amazing, They truly supported me through the start of training to crossing the finishing line.(2008 San Francisco marathon) To this date, they are still friends of mine and frequently communicate with them.
Thus, my passion for running marathons began, soon after my first marathon, I joined the Jeff Galloway group in Santa Monica, CA. There I learned even more about running long distance and my coaches were Larry and Patty Goldman (program directors) who were instrumental in pursing my passion to run more marathons. The Galloway method is a run walk method of running a marathon. In 2009 I ran 12 marathons, the first six I ran run walking, but after the 7th marathon I had ran my first one without run walking. The feeling was amazing, never in my wildest dreams that I could ever imagine running 26.2 miles without stopping, the following 5 marathons I ran straight through and couldn't believe it, the feeling was forever life changing. During the latter part of the year 2009 I started to feel like 26.2 wasn't enough once a month. I had heard from one of the my other group members about a club called Marathon Maniacs, and they briefly described how insane they were for running 30 to 40 marathons a year. I thought to myself, there is no way that I would ever be able to run that many marathons but it would be interesting to know one of them to find out what drives a person to run so many marathons. I'm seriously bad with dates but I took the opportunity to meet a Marathon Maniac during the 2009 Las Vegas rock n' roll marathon, it was 28 degrees and freezing and this guy had a smile on his face like he couldn't wait to start. I thought to myself there is no way I am in the same league as these crazy people. ( the guys name was James Hong) When I asked James about how many marathons he was planning to finish for the year he said that he would finish 28.(I thought to myself what planet was he from) So I asked him how he did it, and he just simply said that he just showed up to a race the following day(double) and would run another one and his body would adapt. I thought to myself, that's it, just keep running and let the body take over.
So following the race I couldn't wait to tell my running group that I met one of those maniacs, and that I was convinced that I would never be one, because running that many marathons was insane and frankly not possible in my DNA.(at least that was what I thought) I told the group if they new of any back to back marathons that I could do, and one of the other runners (Becky Wagner) told me about a Charlie Alewine Racing races that were affordable and that were doubles and triples. So for the year 2010 I decided never to be a Marathon Maniac because that was absolutely insane but I wanted to see how many marathons I could run in a year. I figured, if I could do 20 that would be a miracle in itself. So I immediately contacted Charlie Alewine and discussed a new years triple he was having and asked if there was any room left because the website stated that it was sold out. He continued to tell me that it was, I kinda begged him to let me enter the triple and that I would pay in advance and really wanted to start the year off trying to do three marathons in a row.( at this point, I had no idea that I even could finish all three, just believed in me).
So on the first day of the triple I ran across, guess who? yup happy James Hong. I finished the triple to my amazement and pursued my goal of 20 marathons. To my surprise I finished 61 marathons, and completed over 70 races in the year 2010. It was one of the most amazing years of my life
surrounded by so many positive and amazing people that made me feel so limitless like anything is really possible. One of those amazing runners I ran with is Troy Lavosky who I had incredible conversations with and off the chart running ventures.
Today, Charlie Alewine is one of my best friends and supporters. He has encouraged me to continue my passion and made me believe that I could finish a hundred mile race. This year 2011 in November after my 9th attempt, I finally completed my first hundred miler (EC100) Corona to Santa Monica Pier. That really doesn't even sound real, but it is true, if you surround yourself around positive incredible people, positive incredible things can happen, I truly believe that, you have to believe in yourself and your journey is yours and no one else's. You never know what your capable until you go out there and attempt it, I did and found that anything is possible. MANIAC #2597 God bless!