I’m originally from the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe; Bunny is from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. We grew up in the Rapid City area. We have two children and two granddaughters. I am Active Duty South Dakota Army National Guard, and Bunny works for Rural American Initiatives. We enjoy the outdoors; hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, and an occasional bike ride.
I’m a “self-trained late bloomer” runner, I’ve always ran growing up during boxing, wrestling, football, and into adulthood. However, I didn’t start running in any official events until 2011 where I ran my first Black Hills Runners Club trail series event; I was hooked. Even though I have personal running goals identified, two unplanned major accomplishments occurred during my chunks of training runs and official local running events; I finished the full length of the Centennial Trail “89” and the Mickelson Trail. Although many have done the same, without Bunny and my family support, I could not have achieved it. The Black Hills have a lot of hidden beauty; a person has to simply get out of the vehicle to see it. I enjoy the awesome beauty and challenge of the Victoria Secret Dirty Half course. I’m appreciating the Ultra distances and the training discipline they require to be physically and psychologically prepared. Last year I overheard a local runner say that Ultras are for “Old People”, boy was he way off. Although I have numerous routes, (road and trail), I’m fond of “M-Hill” (HLMP), it’s in my backyard and I can conveniently cover a 12 mile training run on it when it’s open. Otherwise, I hit the Centennial or Mickelson trails for the big distances. I hope that what I have shared will inspire new runners to identify and achieve their running goals whatever they may be.
Q. What motivates you to keep running?
First and foremost is my health, running allows me to release my daily stress and affords me the opportunity to separate myself from those stressors. It’s a time of preparation for the day if it’s a morning run or reflection on the day if it’s an evening run. In 2011 I was at my maximum allowable weight and body fat percentile for work; 226 pounds/26% respectively, now my weight is under control, running, portion control, and consistent workouts have changed that. Second, is my love for my wife and family and their support; I want to be here as long as possible to see my two granddaughters and future grandchildren grow. Third, I enjoy trail running, as long as I enjoy it, I’ll continue running.
Q. What is your #1 goal for this year?
Although I have a busy schedule of running events this year, the Black Hills 100K is my ultimate goal. Last year I experienced my first DNF, I stepped off the BH-100K course at mile 33 due to one basic mistake however, unknowingly, that one mistake was just the start of additional mistakes I had made. Completing the BH-100K is one of my personal goals, this year will be my redemption and I won’t make the same mistakes twice.
Q. What is your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Potato chips and cakes are of the devil! I love certain potato chips; I do however reward myself in the evenings. I supplement cashews, almonds, pistachios, and banana chips when I feel snacky. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Q. How did you get started running and what motivates you?
I started running in July of 2011, after going with Robert to the Crow Peak trail race I remember sitting in my lawn chair imagining what Robert was seeing up there. On the ride home, I told Robert that I wanted to do that he said ok when you want to start, I said today, and that afternoon he took me running on M Hill. It was slow starting out but my motivation came from feeling myself get stronger every day.
Q. Do you run for fitness or have plans for an upcoming race?
I mainly run for fitness, I have always struggled with my weight, after I started running I was able to lose 40 lbs. I am also training to run the trail series for 2014, because of injuries in 2013, I was not able to run any of the series but now I am injury free.
Q. What advice do you have for ‘newbies’?
My advice would be never give up on yourself, I was never a runner. I always thought I couldn’t run, but if you put your heart and mind into it and stay consistent, you can reach your goals. 4/30