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Dan Pelczarski

Tell us a bit about yourself, where do you live, what do you do for fun, etc.
I currently live in SW Rapid City, and have lived locally the past 10+ years, originally from the Chicagoland area. Relocated due to my love of the Black hills as a kid/Job opportunity. Professionally I am the regional manager of a construction company. with four locations and 100+ employees. If I’m not running, I am usually plotting my next training block for an ultra, spending time with my daughter (single dad), or on an adventure with my girlfriend in the mountains (Sarah is also my crew chief in all of my Ultras). We enjoy the cloud peak wilderness, wind rivers and have many international plans in the works. We love Rapid city for what I would call “easy access to backcountry” but getting into real mountains is our true passion.
If you had $5,000 to spend at a running store but only 5 minutes to spend it, what few things would you grab first?
Socks! a few pairs of shoes and a backup Garmin Enduro 2 watch. I’ve my clothing pretty dialed at the moment, and try to be pretty minimalistic.
What’s your go-to running outfit?
Versatility, layers and layers. Summer set up is compression shorts under running shorts with a breathable thin top. Winter – Thin long underwear with shorts over, thermal T, and thermal arm sleeves, with glove liners, super modular set up that can be adjusted en-run.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
Love everyone.
Any pre run or pre race habits?
A few minutes of zoning out, getting into my own headspace, or the correct headspace to be more specific. Ensuring my support/crew is on the same page with logistics and where I may need some additional emotional support. But ordinarily I treat all runs with similar approach, i get dressed, get the shoes on, and I know what is in front of me, from there, really I just wanna get going with some good tunes,
What’s one of the best running related investments you’ve made?
A coach for bigger events. You invest so much time and money into the training and logistics of an Ultra Marathon, having a coach is like an insurance policy on its own. You spend so much time pre-event, to have coach for a 100 miler is invaluable.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever seen or done while on a run?
Grizzly ran across the trail during an ultra I ran late spring last year. Apparently our trails are great for them as well. Also a girl rolling in a bush on the phone crying that she couldn’t finish a race at the halfway of a 50 miler, hit pretty deep, and showed that not everyone can do what we do, and some days we have to be humble and realize we could easily be that same girl.
Toughest race you’ve ever done? Why?
Jeeeze. Well unfortunately, through the progression of my running, I’ve strived for more difficult with each one I enter. This is a tough one. Likely would be Lean Horse 100, or BH100. Both were different courses, struggles and weather etc, but I would defiantly say getting over the 100 mile barrier in either would have been the hardest to date (DNF’d first 100 attempt at BH100 due to many reason).
What advice would you give to a new runner? What advice should they ignore?
Don’t go out too hard, don’t focus on a specific distance in training, run by time and ability. DO NOT ignore the injures that can, and most definitely will happen. Last but maybe most import, get the diet right, pre run, during and throughout daily life. The things we put in our body’s reflect highly on the outside, in appearance, performance and general well being.
What, if anything, do you listen to while running?
Upbeat songs with a tempo that is similar to my cadence. Usually EDM-ish stuff and some older rock n roll. Music is a must for me on any run.
What’s one running item you think is a gimmick and won’t buy?
Recovery shoes, V02 boost, Blood builder. If you’re dodging training and recovery that hard, you should probably choose a different sport or distance.
If you could go run with any living or dead historical figure, who would it be and why?
My Chemistry professor, also a runner, previously my cross country coach many years back. Would not be running like I do now without that. Distance between us and time have prevented us from continuing to run together but I still think about the experiences every day.