Monday, September 25, 2017


Lift off! (Samantha Taylor)
Some informative and entertaining race reports about the Mystery Mountain Marathon already exist from its ten year history:

Wilson Clemons (2012)

Trailcats (2013)

Ultra Kraut Running (2014)

I ran the MMM as a recon race for the Double Top 100 next April and to see what my big mouth had gotten me into. After running over 20 marathons, the MMM was a new experience for me in a few ways.

To take as long as it did (7h 25m), I never got down on myself. I stayed mentally strong the entire race, even after taking a wrong turn and running an extra 3/4 of a mile around mile seven.

Not losing my positive mindset was a boost of confidence that I would need, because this marathon course is no joke. It's a battle of technical and tight trails full of roots and rocks that rates among the best I've run.

Boasting 15,000 ft. of elevation change, my Garmin adjusted number was 6,035 ft. of gain, while my Relive Video came in at 5,784 ft of gain. Another Relive Video I saw had just over 5,000 ft. of gain. Needless to say, for a marathon distance run, that is a humbling workout in addition to the mileage.


At 2:39 a.m. Sunday morning I was east bound and down loaded up and hopeful I would be able to do what others said could be done and had done. I would have my doubts around mile 19, when the 2 mile climb I'd heard horror stories about reared it's ugly head. More on that later.

From Clemon's RR (above)
The 3.5 hr. drive to Chatsworth, GA was typical of many long drives I've made before races: the unexpected fog and fear of deer darting across the road... Wondering if it was too early in the morning (or late at night) to be pumping gas and become a crime statistic.

I  did not, however, have a nagging feeling that I'd forgotten something, and that made for a good start to my 15 hour trip.

I felt ready for the race except in two minor areas: volume of training mileage and hill work; but, hey, that's part of becoming more of an experienced runner: Who needs race specific training, right?

Efficiency plays a helpful, but also harmful role before races. The never ending quest to see how few miles can I run and still get away with it?

There would be a lot of faking it in this marathon, and also drawing from years of experience to use my mental advantage to overcome my physical laziness.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Flesh & Blood Cannot Inherit The Kingdom..." Does Not Equal Disembodiment

The acorn is not the oak tree, but both are physical.

In Corinthians 15:50-54, Paul writes:

"What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet."

"For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and thus mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body put on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled. "Death has been swallowed up in victory.'"

Concerning this passage, N.T. Wright states:

"Here Paul states clearly and emphatically his belief in a body that is to be changed, not abandoned. The present physicality—in all its transience, its decay, and its subjection to weakness, sickness, and death—is not to go on forever, that is what Paul means by saying “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”

"The term “flesh” (sarx) is seldom if ever for Paul a merely neutral description of physicality; almost always it carries some hint both of the corruptibility and of the rebelliousness of present human existence. What is required for God’s future state of affairs is what we might call a “noncorruptible physicality”: the dead will be raised “imperishable” and we—that is, those who are left alive until the great day—will be “changed” (1 Cor. 15:52)."

"As the parallel with 2 Corinthians 5 makes clear, Paul envisages the present physical body “putting on” the new body as a new mode of physicality over and above what we presently know. It is not the mere resuscitation of a corpse, coming back into the same mode of physicality it had before, but equally and emphatically it is not disembodiment."

"[In] the most complex part of the chapter, verses, 35 to 49, Paul speaks of the different kinds of physicality between which there exists both continuity and discontinuity. In verses 36 to 38, he uses the analogy of the seed and the plant: there is both continuity and discontinuity between the one and the other. The oak is, and is not, the same thing as the acorn. Then, in verses 39 to 41, he points out that there are different sorts of physicality appropriate for different kinds of creatures each enjoying its peculiar “glory” (doxa)."

Monday, November 21, 2016

DIZZY FIFTIES 50K Race Report (2016)

Gregg Gelmis: We Run Huntsville
The 13th Annual Dizzy Fifties 50K, 40 & 50 Mile Race was sunny, breezy and colorful.

My first race since dropping at mile 87 of the Georgia Jewel 100, my main goals for the DF50K were to finish under 7 hours and make my latest race a finish instead of a DNF.

I took two months off from racing to recover and create a break between my running seasons of 2016 and 2017.

Fall of the year begins a new season for me mentally, since it's the best time of year to run in my view. 

By the time January rolls around, we're 3/4 of the way done with the Grand Slam and three months into the cold weather, so it's hard for me to think emotionally that January is the beginning of a new running year except for annual scheduling purposes.

Start/Finish Pavilion (G. Gelmis)
I get to the top of Monte Sano Mountain a little before 6 a.m. and ease into a parking spot on the side of the road next to the start/finish pavilion. Everything is going smoothly until I start removing my run backpack and bag chairs out of our CRV.  

I did not feel rushed, but I parked on a slant, so I'm trying to hold the heavy, rear swinging door open while I gather things and it puts a small strain on my back. 

"Why did I park on this slant?!" I should have relaxed and moved the car down a little to the flat, but Nooooo... I fight it and show that gravel bank who's boss for about a second and a half. I move away from the door, set some things down and take a deep breath.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Race Report: GEORGIA JEWEL 100 (DNF, 87 Miles)

Bitter & Sweet at the same time.
Bitter-sweet to title this post.

I did not finish what I started, nor get my coveted buckle, but I am not disappointed. 

I ran 87 miles in 26 hours and 45 minutes on the Pinhoti Trail in my home state of Georgia. The high temperature was 91 degrees.

Congratulations to the finishers of the 2016 Georgia Jewel 100 mile footrace.

All six of them: a 75% Did-Not-Finish (DNF) rate. It was that hard. 

While running to the 51.8 mile turnaround,  I was greeted by the eventual 100 mile winner, Steven Carr (Huntsville, AL), making his way back.

Keown Falls Observation Deck
He said: "I'm spent..." And he still had a 45 mile night-time wilderness run ahead of him.

The Georgia Jewel 100, 50 & 35 mile races occurred the same weekend as IRONMAN Chattanooga which was 30 minutes to the north.

That event had a 25% DNF rate and a 15% DNS rate.

Over 1,100 people who signed up did not reach the finish line. I can relate.

As Georgia Jewel 50 MILE finisher Udo Bill Wooten said, "You can't spell Pinhoti without the word hot!"

Sixty-one runners finished the 50 miler. Ninety-one signed up. A 33% DNF/DNS rate.

The 35 mile race had a 26% unfinished business rate.

In spite of the heat and the toll that it took upon us, The 2016 Georgia Jewel was an awesome event.