Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Danny Interviews Michael Wade

Michael Wade was one of the first runners I was introduced to as I started running in 2007. Amber and I joined the Gate City Striders and we soon were being cajoled and corralled into entering more and more races for the team. Michael was often the one encouraging us to enter races for GCS. For the first few years of my running, he was the one I'd always try to keep in sight during races. And the heckling he is able to dish out is second to none so he is a great motivator to give it your all as you may recall from last year's Vermont City Marathon. Over the years at races, through his blog and on one epicly long hike, we have gotten to known Michael and were interested to find out the reason why he's running ultras and what he's running for. It is about time to introduce everyone to a 6'4" diamond in the rough(streets of Nashua).
Michael after an epic day of hiking
1) How did you get started running?

I started running when I was an out-of-shape 30 year old who desperately needed a change in lifestyle. “Why not start running again? I couldn’t possibly be any worse at it than when I was in High School, right?” Come to find out it takes significantly more effort to propel a 240 pound body than a 140 pound one! It was at that point that I figured I needed a goal in order to take my mind off the pain that my body was feeling. So, I decided that once I could run a mile without stopping, I’d start training to run Boston. For some reason this seemed like a logical progression to me. It’s now, 16 years, 20 marathons and a handful of ultra-marathons later.

2) Anyone who knows your blog can tell you are a lover of literature. What is your favorite running book?

“Once a Runner” – by John L. Parker. Because, deep down, Quentin Cassidy is what we want all our running heroes to be.  Part rebel, part phenom and completely & utterly unreal.

3) Favorite non-running book?

“The Agony and the Ecstasy” – By Irving Stone. A fictionalized account of the life of Michelangelo.  It chronicles his humble beginnings, the way in which he honed his craft and the inspired results.

4) Enough with the reading, people want to know about Michael the runner. What's your favorite distance?

My favorite road racing distance has always been the half marathon. Long enough that you’ve got time to get a good, steady rhythm going and short enough where you’re not needing weeks and weeks to recover. My favorite trail racing distance would be 50k. And, probably for the same reasons.

5) When we first meet you, you were a roadie through and though(maybe with the exception of the Merrimack River Trail Race). How did you go from road races to ultra marathon trail races?

I’ve been training and running on the road for over 16 years and I’ve just grown tired of the toll it takes. Both physically and mentally. Pounding the pavement day after day. Trying to shave a second or two off a 5k, or 10k, time and beating my head against the sub 3 marathon wall. I’ve always enjoyed the beauty of hiking and trail running (and I’m a natural distance junky) so the transition to trail ultras was fairly seamless. In 2012, I ran my first 50m (8:12 at Stonecat) and I haven’t looked back.

6) Everyone has "must do"races that they want to include on their bucket list. What's on yours?

Now that I’m headlong into ultras, obviously my running bucket list now includes the biggies: Western States, Vermont, Wasatch and Leadville. Of course, a trip to Chamonix for Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc would be pretty sweet as well! However, I’ll wait to book my flight until after I (hopefully) finish my first hundred this October at Ghost Train.

7) Now this isn't just a normal 100 miler either is it? You're running for a cause right. Can you tell us a little more about it?

I am running
100 Miles For Sam in memory of Sam Berns. Sam was a wonderful young man from Foxboro Massachusetts who passed away on January 10th. Sam suffered from a rare disease called Progeria – which is a fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging. Sam’s parents, Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, founded the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 and since that time, PRF has been the driving force behind the Progeria gene discovery and the first-ever Progeria drug treatment. I will be raising money for PRF and hopefully awareness about Progeria with every mile I run at Ghost Train.
[Editor's Note: You can donate here:
Also, Michael is looking for some runners to help him in running the 100 miler. Contact him if available]

8) If you could be any superhero who would you be and why?

I’m already a superhero. I’m a dad.

9) If Amber fought a hurricane, who would win?

Well, since Amber weighs like 96 pounds soaking wet, I think she’d have her hands full with the hurricane. But, she’s fast enough that she could run, bike or swim away from it pretty easily.

10) What if the hurricane was named Amber?

Amber, obviously.

Thanks to Michael for his time and I hope everyone can help support his good cause, pace him, or at least send positive vibes his way as attempts his first 100 miler!

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