Dan started running competitively after sitting on the couch for months after a knee surgery, unemployed, depressed, and wanting to change his life. After years of starting and stopping running, struggling with knee injuries and shin splints, he committed to start this time and never stop!
From physical therapy he trained for his first 5k, and continued setting physical fitness goals. After a year and half he was running half marathons and 3 years after his knee surgery he completed his first Ironman. He continues to race in triathlons and running races.
Today you can find Dan leading the local running group in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and assistant coaching for the Iron Edge triathlon team. He currently is using his lived experience of using running and triathlon training as a mechanism to help transform his life to lead a running team for Hope for the Day, a non-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
The Hope for the Day running team is still in it’s infancy and Dan is actively recruiting for the 2016 run season. This year Dan is racing with the Have Hope banner at USA Triathlon Nationals and the Portland Marathon with the intention of bringing awareness to the connection that a healthy body is a healthy mind. If you would like to learn more about the Hope for the Day organization and his journey to become a mental health advocate please follow the link to:
Last year he had to take an entire season off of running due to tendinitis. His lack of focus on strength and mobility, and the need to sustain a healthy form of running brought him to the Run Experience program.
Let’s take a look at Dan’s answers on our run questions:
Q:What is your favorite post run treat?
A: I love big juicy burgers after a long run. After my last half marathon, I chowed down on a kale salad and a triple twilight burger from my favorite local burger joint, Backdoor Grill.
Q: What is your first running memory?
A: When I first started training for triathlons I went on a run with my best friend Kevin, an avid cross country runner. I was out of shape and tried to keep up with him on a 4 mile run. About 3 miles in I was dehydrated and ready to hurl. I rested and walked home with my tail between my legs. That was my first of many lessons on pacing and proper race nutrition
Q:What was the last run you did?
A: I ran two miles as a part of a brick workout (bike then run). I was actually running at the same place where I described my first run memory and almost passed out. In this instance, I was clicking off a 6:30 minute/mile pace and working on a stronger, more powerful gait.
Q: What is the hardest run you’ve ever done?
A: At my first Ironman triathlon race, Ironman Louisville 2014, I encountered extreme dehydration around mile 95 on the bike. I raced on, determined to re-hydrate, and complete the rest of the Ironman, including running the marathon leg of the race. My body was telling me to stop but I was doing everything possible to keep going. I had to regulate my heart rate and replenish my electrolytes. It took 15 miles of the run to recover from the dehydration. I went on to finish the last 11 miles at a normal pace and cross the finish line strong. From then on, I knew that with enough hard work, determination, and true grit, I could finish anything I set my mind on.
Q: What is the BEST run experience you can remember?
A: My hardest and worst running experience was ironically also my best running experience.
Thanks for sharing Dan! Cheers to many more miles of running strong!