A sort-of-bucket list on my birthday



47.  I’m 47 today.  Doesn’t bother me much, except when I think about the number.  Just seems kind of high, doesn’t it?  I had more trouble processing 30 than I have other ages.  Thirty was “grown-up” time.  It signified to me that youth was at an end, and adulthood and responsibility and hair loss was eminent.

I thought it might be fun to work up an intermediate bucket list of things I’d like to run someday.

In no particular order, these are the races/distances I want to do in the near future:

1. Run a 100-mile race

Yes, I swore to myself after crewing at Burning River that I would never ever, ever, do a10-mile race.  the smell alone was enough to scare me straight.  But the ore I get into ultra and learn about the transformative experience that a 100 becomes to a person, the more I’m willing to commit to the effort. Obviously, Pinhoti in my back yard or Lake Martin nearby, are on the sub-list.

2. Run  50-mile and 100K races

Kind of a no-brainer if I plan to do a 100.  But I want to mark them off the list and experience this initial step toward 100.

3. BQ

Yah. I still want to qualify for Boston, but unlike 2010-2011, I no longer see every marathon as a do-or-die BQ event.  I put a great deal of pressure on myself in that 56 week period where I races 5 marathons.  I ended that phase mentally toasted and physically tired.  I’ve lost a little edge since then, but I needed to step back, relax, smile, and let BQ come when BQ comes.

4. Run one or more of the great city marathons: NY, Chicago, London, Rome 

I’ve done San Francisco, which I argue must be considered alongside the other big city races.  It doesn’t get its due.  Great city great race.  But I also want the experience of running through some of the other big cities and soaking in the  culture by foot.

5. One of the great multi-day events

I’ve become fascinated with stage races, multi-day endurance challenges that test you beyond a finite distance or time on one day. Something like the Transalpine Race  or the Trans-Rockies.  I’ll do some of the local stage races: Birmingham Stage Race and Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race.

6. Run across a state.

These types of formal-informal events are becoming more common.  I heard an Ultra Runner Podcast interview with a guy who ran across Tennessee.  The stories he told were funny and inspiring.  Running across Alabama maybe?  Perhaps one should start with a thin state then move up to a fat state?

7.  Run a half or full with my one or both of my sons

Goes without saying, I suppose.  I’ve run with them for shorter races.  Those remain my most cherished running moments.  When your child wants to do something you are passionate about, well, the feeling is indescribable.


  1. Many Happy Returns! Great bucket list. I read it with interest as a fellow ‘former fat vegan distance runner’. I even turn 47 this year myself.

    My bucket list is very similar, barring only  3. (because I don’t think I’ll ever be fast enough) and 7. (because I already accomplished it when my then 13 year old son ran the Portland marathon with me 3 years ago. I heartily concur with it’s bucket-list-ness. Best marathon I’ve done.) Loved your podcast (still miss them) and really enjoy your posts. Thanks, Tanya


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