Monday, March 15, 2010

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Friday, February 26, 2010

2009 Running "Slasher" Awards

"The what awards," you ask? The Slasher awards. Nope, you've never heard of the running Slasher awards, because I just dreamed them up last night in a sleep-deprived-semi-awake-baby patrol-comatose state of mind. But if there's one thing the ultrarunning world needs, it's Slasher awards. I know it's a bit late in 2010 at this point to be handing out awards for 2009, but it's high time the running world saw Slasher awards.

So what exactly is a Slasher award? I'm awarding Slasher awards to the top men's and women's runners of 2009 that I feel have exemplified the Slasher mindset. That is to say, they have excelled not only in the trail-running world but also found success in the oft-forgotten road running genre (i.e., trailrunner SLASH roadrunner). As a trail running bum (dare I say dirtbag?!?) myself, I feel it's very easy to live in a bubble and to ignore and shun our leaner, better-groomed, more meticulous, pavement pounding brethren. Likewise, road runners in general probably couldn't care less about what the bearded, smelly, muddy contingent is doing galivanting around in the mountains. Ah, but once in a blue moon (which incidentally happened this past December for anyone counting), there comes along a runner who truly bridges the gap. This rare runner is able to fly through negative splits while sucking down gels in a marathon with ease, and in the very same year can slosh around in the mountains slamming cheeseburgers with the best of them. This runner carries a proverbial white flag of peace as a constant beacon of running unity to all the world. So, in an effort to bridge the gap, spread the love, and further the path toward a running utopia, the Slasher awards have arrived. In the famous words of Mr. King, "Why can't we all just get along?" Thanks, Slashers, for being so awesome!

So without further ado, I'd like to announce the first ever Slasher award winners. While I'm certain I've overlooked some noteworthy runners, I've gathered the information at hand and am now happy to announce the 2009 Slasher Award Winners. I haven't made a ranked list. Rather, I'm just naming an outright winner and one honorable mention spot.

  • The men's honorable mention spot was a really tough call and I'm fudging a bit to include historical data pre-2009 (seeing as how this is the first year of the award and all...). I assure you this won't happen again in future years. That said, the honorable mention spot goes to Uli Steidl, who has had a pretty spectacular track record as a Slasher. This year he ran a blistering course record race at the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championship. Though I couldn't find any road results for 2009, I wouldn't be surprised if he slipped in a few fast performances under the radar. That said, Uli ran to victory 8 years straight at the Seattle Marathon and boasts a marathon PR of 2:13. (*edited added note: Uli did indeed slip in an amazing '09 road performance... a blazing 2:19:42 at the Dusseldorf Marathon!)
Congratulations to Kami and Michael (and Devon and Uli) on being the first ever Slashers of the Year! Keep up the great work, keep inspiring so many, keep spreading the love, and above all keep on slashing away!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All in a Winter's Day

All in a Winter's Day from Sam Thompson on Vimeo.

If this ain't global warming, I don't know what is. I'm loving the sun, but it's just not normal!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby Adventures

Tomorrow I'm starting the journey of parenthood with my wife Kirsten and I figured I'd start a blog from the dad's perspective. If you're only interested in running and other outdoor stuff like that, not to worry- that stuff will still be on this SeeSamRun blog. But if you want to read about some adventures with twin girls, you can follow that journey here;

SeeSamParent blog

Monday, January 25, 2010

World Record, Seriously?

So this afternoon I broke a world record, I think. There was no fanfare, no media, no confetti, and rightfully so. This was perhaps the most trivial world record out there, and I doubt if it's even a real "record" per se (certainly won't find it anywhere on Guinness...). Gotta do something to brighten up the "most depressing day of the year" though, right? Also, there's that age old saying- "Nothing like breaking a world record to start the week off right." That said, here's the low down;

My wife wanted to go to the gym this afternoon, so I thought that sounded like a fun adventure to join. So I ran out and did some miles, then ran to the gym to meet her there at the designated time. So there I was, on a beautiful sunny 50 degree Seattle afternoon stuck inside a stuffy gym. Obviously I needed to do something exciting to compensate. So I remembered reading a link someone sent me a few months ago about this guy that broke a bunch of "world records." I use the quotes as I think it's debatable as to what exactly constitutes a world record. But I digress. I remember seeing that one of these trivial (in my opinion) records was the World Record for running a 1/2 mile on a treadmill with a 40 pound pack on (now see what I mean about trivial?). The mark was set at 2:51. I figured I could beat it. So the race was on. I unloaded my hydration pack, and filled it with 5 pound plates (8 of 'em), slapped on my pack and headed to the treadmill. I ran a 1/4 mile first to get the feel of the weight on my back, then pounded out a 1/2 mile in a blazing 2:49. Yep, that's right. You read it correctly. I shattered the world record by 2 seconds.

While I realize this is hard to believe, there was no media present, no clapping, and no fanfare after this momentous occasion. The only result was a few strange looks from other gym rats and a raw sore spot on my lower back. Ah well. Then I just ran a lot more miles (sans 40 lb. pack this time) til my wife was ready to go. My lonely moment of glory was over, and now I'm making chicken pot pie for dinner.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Well, Haiti is certainly the hottest topic in the media right now, so I won't go on ad infinitum about the devastation there. I will share some of my own thoughts on this devastation though, and maybe hopefully point someone in a new direction to help. It is heartbreaking to see the vastness of the impact of this earthquake in such a small, already fragile country. I hope and pray that the many families affected are getting the aid they need right now as effectively and efficiently as is possible.

Seeing these images, I cannot help but be reminded of my time on the MS Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and I only wish I were able to help as directly as I could when tragedy struck the Gulf. Ha, I wish I could run around Haiti to show my support in lieu of running 51 marathons. Of course, my life was in a different place then, and while I can't go to Haiti and set up a relief operation like in Bay St. Louis, I hopefully can help in a small way by offering at least a little bit of direction. The many aid organizations active in Haiti now are working in high gear to triage the situation, and their greatest need is certainly financial. Secondly, the need is for skilled volunteers (specifically at this point the need is for medical help). I was thrilled to learn that my brother (an orthopedic surgeon) is headed to Haiti to help directly. Although helping directly would be incredible, I know that right now the best help I can be is to contribute financially what I can to the efforts already in place.

It's exciting to see the swell of support not only from our country but also from around the world. For example, I read that even the financially devastated African country of Liberia has donated $50,000 in aid. Amazing.

Another interesting connection for me between this devastation and the time I spent on the Gulf Coast leading aid efforts is the resiliency of the people. The Haitian people have had a strong influence on the culture of New Orleans, and it's wonderful to see the similarities. The stories of new communities banding together to help each other in Haiti are wonderful, and pictures of impromptu groups singing praise songs and banding together for support are amazing. Haiti will need help rebuilding for many years to come, and I only hope we are able to keep their people in our hearts and minds as the months pass, but the needs continue.

Here are a few great organizations working in Haiti if you're looking for some ideas;

Please feel free to share any other organizations you may be aware of or other ideas/thoughts. Let's all do our part to help!