Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back Over 2013 & Goals for 2014

This year in my running has had many ups and downs, high times and low times, healthy times and unhealthy times, but still was magnificent!  Looking back over the goals I set last year, I only accomplished 4 of my 10 goals, but hey maybe 10 goals for a year was little much, so I'll try to limit myself to only 5 this year which seems more attainable.  I raced much more this year and had  success in most of those races and still managed to make it out to numerous WNC Trail Runnner runs.  I PR'd in the 5k (19:42) and the marathon (3:18:35) so I have to be happy about that.  I also joined up with another group down in Davidson this year, DART, that really made me enjoy road running a tiny bit more, as well as southwest food.  So below you'll find my year in review.

I Got Married!!!

Ok, this really isn't running related, but I couldn't leave it out of my year in review.  On October 5th, I swore my vows to the greatest girl in the world, Hannah.  The first few months of marriage have been great and she still lets me run on my crazy adventures!  I am truly looking forward to our life together.

Most Satisfying Run

My most satisfying run this year happened very early in the year, but it was finally breaking the 7 hour mark at the Uwharrie 40 Miler.  I trained smart, showed up the race healthy, and perfectly executed my race plan.  I couldn't have been more happy to finally get that monkey of my back, one that I've had since I started running ultras 4 years ago at Uwharrie.

8 miles to go, on schedule

Most Disappointing Run

I don't really feel like I had a disappointing run this year that really sticks out.  I did have a really disappointing summer of running though, so I'll put that in to fill this gap.  Summer time running has always been hard for me due to the heat, but this year I thought I was going to change that a bit, but injuries both running related and non-running related came up and bit me and left me with quite possibly the worst summer of running for me so far.  I did have some good runs this summer though, so all was not a loss.

Big Surprise

I've finally decided to take a real stab at race directing.  I've put on numerous fun runs each year and designed race courses for others, so I finally thought it was time to take that leap.  I will still be starting off slowly, as I'll only be co-race director of the Table Rock 50 coming up in the fall of 2014!  I've changed the course a lot for next year's running and am really stoked about the route.  Hopefully the USFS will issue us our permit and we will be ready to go.  I'm looking forward to it and in some ways dreading it.  Haha.  I will still be putting on my regular fun runs as well with Pisgah Nation!!!!

Favorite Place You Ran

This one is really tough and will probably have to go down as a tie between doing the NAR loop back in April through the Nantahala National Forest and my recent exploration of the trails in the Wilson Creek Area.  In fact, I did some more exploring in my new "back yard" today.

Hottest Run

The hottest run I ran this year was one I didn't even run, just one I volunteered at.  Watching 50 people sign up and run my brainchild of a course at South Mountains State Park in the middle of August was enough for me.  The race is called the Annihilator 50k for a reason.

Coldest Run

The temperatures this year never got real crazy cold so I was wondering when I would run a run that was worthy for coldest of the year.  Well that happened a couple of weekends back at my 3rd running of ALTAR.  The forecast and early warm temperatures we all experienced at the beginning fooled us and by the time I reached 6,000ft, the temperatures had dropped 20 degrees, it was raining sideways, and the wind was cutting right through my t-shirt and arm warmers.  I thought I might go hypothermic if I didn't get to lower elevations fast and luckily there was a trail that took me there and some other friends that wanted to tag along.

Isaiah running over Black Balsam....yeah, nasty conditions 

Favorite Pics I Took This Year

early morning sun on the gorge

first podium finish

purple trillium on the Snowball trail


record breaker

yeah, I golfed a lot this year....can't you see why

phyllis on the MST at Doughton Park

early fall on shortoff

tommy on mt. craig

what the mitchell

Benn Knob in the fall at SOMO

burnthouse falls

kayaker waiting to plunge Harper Creek Falls

evening light on the Black Mtns from Table Rock

heading to the summit tree of bluff mtn

reflection of SOMO's high points

The Numbers

Miles = 1,908.2
Time = 361hrs2min
Vert = 323,445'
Marathons/Ultras Run = 12
Runs over 12 miles = 42

Weekly Averages

Miles = 36.7
Time = 6hrs57min
Vert = 6,220'

Running Goals for 2014

1. Finish my first 50 miler (Leatherwood)
2. PR in the 50k (hopefully at Mill Stone)
3. PR in the marathon (maybe Peak to Creek again, but that really hurt) & 5k.
4. Cross train much more!
5. Remember to have fun, keep exploring, and stay healthy while training for these goals.


  1. Simply an awesome post, Brandon. Thanks for keeping it real in WNC. Congrats on a great 2013 and Happy 2014 to you and Hannah.

    PS- Don't go anywhere in my life.

  2. NAR was awesome for sure! Here's to sharing more scenic & memorable miles in 2014!