The Bear 100 – Curtis #823

Okay, I know I promised you I wouldn’t post until Monday, but my brother Curtis is running an ultramarathon today, one that is 100 miles long with an insanely difficult mountain course. It will likely take him more than 30 hours to complete, The Bear 100.

Curtis and Somer, Ragnar Relay Wastach Back  2011

I’ll have you know that although he seems superhuman, Curtis only started running 4 years ago. He started running shorter distances like a 5k, then a half marathon, then a marathon.

Curtis at the finish of the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon in 2008, looking really tuckered out.

I think it’s an amazing testament to the human spirit and what we are capable of. Curtis eats an extremely healthy whole foods diet. He’s taught me a thing or two about nutrition, indeed, I had my first “chia indoctrination” while running with him a couple of years ago. This is not his first Ultra, Curtis has run the 50 mile Buffalo Run on Antelope Island, multiple times. Last year he ran like 35 miles at the Ragnar Relay Wastach Back on an Ultra team. He has run the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in a day.

But this is his first attempt at the 100 miler. Join me in showing him a little love and support.

Avon Pass, Curtis and Dan discuss the fine art of creek jumping.

If you comment below, I’ll forward your comments to him! Best of luck Curtis! Love- your sister, Somer

p.s. if you care to track Curtis, click here. His bib number is 823

Update: He did it! He finished the race in 33 hours and 50 minutes!!! WOOHOO!!!

Comment from Curtis Post Finish: Wow! I am very thankful to Somer and the rest of you for your support. Quick update…recovery has gone much better than expected. After getting about 10 hours of sleep I was able to get up and move around with very little residual soreness.


    1. Isn’t that a great book!?! It’s amazing what ultra-runners accomplish and the pain they go through during a race. I’m pretty sure Curtis went through it all. The fact that it took him 3 hours to finish his last 5 torturous and steep downhill miles shows you his commitment and his exhaustion! Thanks Melissa!

  1. HI Somer,
    Would you mind blogging about and/or emailing me offline about how you began your journey into running? I have recently started running and am able to run 1 mile without stopping. Some days I am able to run 2 without stopping to rest but I am uncertain as to how often I should be running, seeing as I am a beginner. Should I run everyday? Every other? And when should I start increasing mileage.

    1. I invite you to see my blog too GiRRL_Earth. I talk a lot about running and hiking/walking to running for beginners. I have done 5K to marathon but I had a spinal fusion last year so it knocked me back down to walking and building up endurance again. I started out walking 2 miles on a treadmill and built up to marathon in 2 years and lost 25 lbs.

      1. Hi Birgit, thanks for you note. I will check out your site.

        I am in reasonably good shape as my general exercise routine is: I walk every day to/from my home to the train station (which takes me into Boston). I then walk from South Station to my building (and back again). I also take ballet on Wednesdays (en pointe). I just started running and was able to run a mile with no issue so I set out to run 2, again with no real issue. My confusion lies in how often I should be running, seeing as I am a beginner. On the days I haven’t been running, I will walk 3 or 5 miles depending on how much time I have. So I am looking for guidance on the frequency.
        Thanks again for stopping by… I’m off to checkout your blog.

      1. Awesome! Thanks. 🙂
        p.s. I ran 3 miles on Saturday… felt like I could have kept going but I was afraid to push it.

        1. Amazing, way to go! Listen to your body, you’ll know when your ready to increase the mileage. When you do, don’t increase by more then 10% a week to avoid injury. Sorry for not emailing you! My inbox has been crazy with MOFO and I’m recovering from food poisoning. A few things I want to share with you now: Run 3 days a week, that gives your body time to recover after each run. Do one easy run, one fast run where you push your speed even if it’s only for short bursts, and one long run, which right now could be 3 miles. My favorite running resource is: Everything you ever wanted to know about running is on there from the experts. I subscribe to their magazine, but the online site is great! Best of luck, you can totally do it!

          1. You are so awesome! Somer, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write. I think 3 days a week is manageable. I probably shouldn’t have run on Sunday after having run 2.5 miles on Saturday. Live and learn, it’s all we can do. Thanks again. I’ll periodically keep in touch to let you know how I’m doing. And thanks for the RW link. Sweet!
            p.s. I’m going to post a new recipe on my blog after I send this message.

    2. I started one BLOCK at a time, then two… then a mile, then two… then a 5k, then 10k… and lastly a half marathon and then a marathon. If you have the willpower and health to do it, there’s no stopping a woman on a run. 🙂

      1. Thanks Erika. I am a fairly active person. I work everyday to my/from my house to the train station. Plus I work in the city so I’m constantly walking. Additionally, I take a 2 hour ballet class every Wednesday and lastly I lift weights. I just started running and my first time out, I was able to run a mile without stopoping. Saturday, I was able to run 2.5 miles. What I really need is guidance on training. How often I should be running. When should I increase my mileage etc. Somer was kind enough to send me the link to her training. She also advised that I increase mileage slowly (no more than 10%). The info I have received is super helpful. I appreciate all the help and responses I have received. 🙂 Have a good day. .

  2. It takes more than training to do what Curtis is doing. It takes massive amounts of determination and courage. As said in the movie by Harrison Ford to his sons in “Mosquito Coast” it takes “4 o’clock in the morning kind of courage”. Curtis, you are an inspiration to us all.

  3. I was so excited to see this post! I have a lot of ultra marathon runner buddies, including my running partner. Some of them are vegan (like my running partner). Her husband just finished the Grand Slam in Ultra Running this summer which includes Western States, Vermont 100, Wasatch and Leadville. I am in AWE of you ultra runner people. I hope to run one next year. But the mantra they taught me was “Just keep moving”. I know how hard it is from hearing their tales. It’s going to be a test, but imagine the sense of accomplishment!! GOOD LUCK!!!

    1. Birgit! Glad you love it, your a girl after my own heart. I have yet to run a marathon, but I run 3-4 half marathons + Ragnar every year. One day when my kids are a bit bigger I hope to be as hardcore as Curtis is! That’s awesome about your friend’s husband! The grand slam is a huge accomplishment! Watching the live tracking of the Bear 100 yesterday, nearly half of the runners ended up with a DNF, and yes, the perfect mantra for any runner is “just keep moving” but it definitely applies to all the hardcore ultras the most! Thanks for your words!

      1. In ultras of 100 miles especially DNF is so common. You almost look at the DNF mile as an accomplishment – I, for example can’t imagine running 50, 60 miles let alone 100! How did Curtis do??? I hope you post a kind of race report on him in a blog!

        1. Isn’t it though, looking at those people who ended up with a DNF, you know they gave their all, some threw in the towel at 75 miles or 90 miles. Incredible and no disrespect was meant above 🙂

          Curtis has a blog where I’m sure he will report on this race. I’ll make sure to link to it and include highlights when he does! Thanks again!

          1. Thank you, I’d love to find out how he did. I know a lot of experienced 100 miler runners but seeing a first timer’s POV would really be interesting. I know even elite 100 milers who drop. Stomach issues being a major problem, weight loss, dehydration, life threatening things. So everyone has my respect!!

            1. I got a single text from him yesterday:

              Finished! 33 hours and 50 minutes.

              I can’t wait to hear more myself 😉 I did see on the tracking that his last crazy steep downhill 5 miles took him over 3 hours. I can only imagine the pain in his knees and quads (not to mention gnarly blisters) after the previous 95 miles, and I don’t know which of the above things you mentioned he was dealing with, possibly all! :/

  4. Curtis you ROCK! I was feeling good about my running acheivements until I saw yours! I have never tried an ultra and never plan too (that’s for crazy’s) Oh, yeah, I said that about marathon runners about ten years ago 🙂 Congrats!

    1. Holly, you are an inspiration in your own right, not many people are capable of running 4-5 marathons a year, especially at your speed! Thanks for your support for Curtis. This was his very first hundred miler! So amazing! xoxo!

  5. On his last 7 miles with only a 5 minute break. Curtis is one amazing human being. Also one of the nicest guys, fathers, husbands, brothers and sons anywhere
    . GO CURTIS GO…………………

  6. Wow! 100 miles. You go, Curtis!!! That beats my 15-mile day hike all over the map.

    And I’ve done that trail in the canyon, remember similar signage. The switchbacks back up were a beee otch, Been there, done that, won’t do it again. 🙂

    1. Hey, a 15 mile day hike is nothing to frown upon!

      Funny about the grand canyon! Those signs crack me up! p.s. had food poisoning this weekend, watched most of dirt in a delirious feverish state yesterday. Loving it so far. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. I have the ultimate respect for all runners, but gained an even greater level of respect for those who do the Rim to Rim this past spring. I planned to do the Bright Angel Trail for my thirty-fifth wedding anniversary and, unsuspectingly, age or nerve or something bit me in the behind. I have the same picture you used of the Bright Angel in my post YIKES! from May.
    Curtis is amazing!

  8. you guys are super awesome!! 100 miles! go curtis!
    I can barely jog more than a few steps right now. but one day hopefully i will be able to jog long distances without the balance issues.. and then maybe me and hubbs will think about marathons:) till then its all about yoga rehab.

    1. One step at a time Richa, I know you’ve had heaps of issues. Take it easy on yourself 🙂 And yes, yoga rehab is where it’s at. Thanks for supporting Curtis! 🙂

  9. Congratulations Curtis! I really am in awe of people like you that have the physical AND mental ability to complete ultra challenges! Wow! Respect!

    I am now able to do a half marathon and will hopefully be able to complete a full marathon in 2013. I admire your achievement.

  10. Congratulations Curtis. I bet your body was hurting. You must have a very strong will to success and extremely strong mental discipline. Truly inspiring and thanks for sharing this Somer 🙂

    1. Thanks Thom! As a runner, you get this accomplishment more than most. I think at those distances, it’s 50% physical capabilities and 50% mental endurance!

  11. I loved this post!!!! I am so proud of my dad and his determination. He really is a great person that I look up to. Not only did he kill the 100 miler but he is perfectly FINE today. If you saw him you wouldn’t even be able to tell he ran at all. He did 20 jumping jacks, and 20 push ups for me… 🙂 hahaha.

    1. Yay Kelsie!!! Thanks for reading!!! I’ll never forget running ragnar with you a couple of years ago. So much fun!

      Dude, that totally cracks me up! I can’t believe he isn’t lying in bed aching and moaning! What a stud! Pure worship! xoxo

  12. WOW. Congrats to your brother. I only dream of doing an ultra at the moment. Was shattered earlier this year when I couldn’t train for my first ever planned 21-kilometre half marathon. I’m back to square one, slowly getting back into it. At the moment only running 4-kilometre routes. Reading these sorts of stories inspires me to remember that I need to get back into slowly and not rush so I prevent illness from recurring. A book I’m reading at the moment you may be interested in Running to Extremes by Lisa Tamati. She’s an ultramarathon goddess! I look forward to reading more of your blog posts…thanks for connecting! xxx

    1. Kate! You are totally right, take it slowly and easily. It will come, plus running 4k is WAY Better then sitting on the couch! You are getting out there and that’s totally what counts! Curtis totally inspires me, the furthest I’ve ever run at one time was 18 miles. When running gets hard, I always think to myself, c’mon Somer! Curtis runs the distance of a marathon for fun runs! You can get up this hill/finish this 5 miles/face this wind/rain. It works wonders! I’ll have to check out the book “running to extremes” there are so many awesome ultra running chicks, that distance somehow levels the field a bit between men and women. Thanks for sharing! xxx

  13. Wow! I am very thankful to Somer and the rest of you for your support. Quick update…recovery has gone much better than expected. After getting about 10 hours of sleep I was able to get up and move around with very little residual soreness.

    1. NO WAY! You’re a machine! Thanks for checking in here and reading all the comments. I’ll update this post with your comment. Check your mail in a couple of days, I sent you a little prize, but you may not need it by then! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s