Running with Altra Legends


Rivers, me, James  Photo Credit: Lily Lawrence, Madison WI
Rivers, me, James
Photo Credit: Lily Lawrence, Madison WI
When I caught wind of what James (THE Iron Cowboy) was doing, ya know 50-50-50, I had to be apart of it! As a dietitian, we try so hard to make waves with kids and their families to combat obesity, but something is always missing for them….perhaps it was James…

Completing 50 Ironman distances in 50 days in 50 states is one of the boldest things anyone in the fitness/nutrition world has attempted. People like to talk behind a podium….raise money…and call it a day. NONE of them take their body to the limits like James has over the last 40+ days.  He will finish. There is no contest.  But in the end, the bigger message here is…we have to do something as professionals, athletes, and families to create waves. He did that and its working.

I arrived in Madison around 3pm on Thursday.  As I’ve said from day one and continue to say, Rivers is the MOST BRILLIANT man alive and my greatest role model.  I strive to be the female version 🙂 I have never met my coach and was so excited that he was actually in WI…what are the odds?! I was greeted with a huge hug and we talked for over an hour before James arrived from the bike portion of the iron distance.  I also was introduced to the wingmen – incredible guys – they are funny, supportive, carefree, and just simply doing one of the greatest things in the world for James. Getting this message across takes this kind of crew.  James needed a bit of time to warm up after the bike, and of course it was pouring rain at this point. I was okay with it – I was surrounded by talent and simply in awe of how normal everyone was! Rivers gave me some pretty awesome compression socks to wear and test out – they were great! By 515pm we started a very slow run into the Madison area…

James on the left of Rivers providing aid (coconut water)
James on the left of Rivers providing aid (coconut water)
When Rivers wasnt providing aid to James, we would talk about anything and everything. For someone I have known for some time now, there was so much I didn’t know!  We talked about everything and the best part was hearing stories about the road trip that’s been going on 50+ days. The jokes…the excitement…the stories….so awesome. I really honestly can’t put it into words! All I know is James has the best Nacho Libre voice EVER – Rivers was a close second!

We arrived at the 5k location around 710pm where a ton of people were ready to meet James and run with him. It was so cool to see all the kids and family participation.  James was welcomed with a cowboy cheesehead – it felt like home to me! Over 250 people ran with James in the pouring rain.  At some point, I was hiding under a tent, waiting for Rivers….he brought back some narly smelling garbage bags for us to wear in the rain. Those didn’t last long because the scent was SO overbearing. I thought he sprayed himself with air freshener 🙂 Nope…

James had already started the 5k, so Rivers and I took off at a comfortably fast pace. Felt great to open up a bit! We splashed in puddles like school girls! After the 5k, I was introduced to Lily, James second oldest daughter. She was incredible! Probably one of the nicest families ever. We joked and made fun, but then it was time to finish up the marathon. It was nearly 830/9pm, and with a 90 min drive home, I decided to drop around 15 miles.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘wow, I’m good with 15 miles, and James is doing this 50 times in a row with biking and a swim.’ Certainly we all have different goals, but his body sees no limits, and that’s what I love. He isn’t doing this to win money, or set a record….he is simply trying to send a message that its time we start cooking, eating more natural/raw foods, promoting fruits and veggies, and tackling obesity.  Simply amazing.

I said my good-byes and good luck, and plan to go to Flagstaff, AZ very soon to run again with Rivers. Hopefully by the end of the year, but more likely in 2016.  I have raced Boston, New York, Chicago, and traveled to incredible areas to run, but never in my running career have I been able to run with two running legends, altra running legends to say the least. Rivers is my running role model, and James is doing exactly what I would love to be doing professionally.  I strive everyday to be a better individual, dietitian, and runner…and both Rivers and James give me that inspiration. If you still have a chance to run with the Cowboy…DO IT. It will motivate you to do things you never thought possible!

Wouldn't life be better if we traveled in one of these everyday!?
Wouldn’t life be better if we traveled in one of these everyday!?
FUELING DURING THE RUN….I used my Orange Mud handheld for hydration and was nervous with all the rain!!! It might chafe….NONE. I love that thing to death! It was filled with Gatorade. I also consumed two lara bars, one starting, and one half way through. Rivers also gave me a vegan cookie which tasted amazing!



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