I Ran Thru Hell and Now I’m Three-Quarters Done With My #40years40races Challenge!

30 races down, 10 more to go!

2019 is all about racing. I’m celebrating my 40th birthday by competing in 40 races. It’s my #40years40races Challenge!

This challenge is physically exhausting, but it also requires a lot of planning. So I’m thrilled to be 3/4ths done with it, with over four months left in the year!

I’ve been keeping a running total of all the races I’ve been doing. (Did you expect any different? I collect data of all kinds!) So, here’s the updated list. The last time I did this was after completing 20 races, so if you remember reading that post, go ahead and scroll down to #21, where the new additions begin. There’s a few brief race recaps that I never got around to posting, plus links to the recaps I did post along the way.

Oh, and if you’re looking for an explanation of the Hell reference in the title of this post, look no further than race #30 on this list!

2019 #40years40races Races!

1) Dallas Vert Mile. 1/13/19, Dallas, Texas. Stair race, 550 stories. Read more here.

2) Winter Fun 10K. 1/20/19, Long Beach, CA. Time: 1:06:39. Read more here.

3) Beverly Hills 10K & Fitness Blast. 1/27/19, Beverly Hills, CA. Time: 1:04:02. Read more here.

4) Surf City 5K. 2/3/19, Huntington Beach, CA. Time: 30:24. Read more here.

5) Valentine’s Day 10K. 2/9/19, Encino, CA. Time: 1:03:52. Read more here. (Note: due to a poorly marked course, I ran 6.4 miles instead of 6.2. I crossed the finish line in 1:06:02.)

6) Miles of Music 5K. 2/17/19, Los Angeles, CA. Time: 28:22. Read more here. (Note: Not a PR because I’m fairly certain the course was shorter than a 5K.)

7) Scale the Strat. 2/24/19, Las Vegas, NV. Stair race, 108 stories. Time: 14:42. Read more here.

8) OutClimb Cancer Challenge. 3/2/19, Salt Lake City, UT. Stair race, 6 hours, 1.9 vertical miles. Read more here.

9) The Enormous Elephant Run 5K. 3/9/19, Los Angeles, CA. Time: 33:47. Read more here.

10) Fox Trot 5K. 3/10/19, Los Angeles, CA. Time: 33:07. (Note: I ran 3.23 miles, instead of 3.1, for the reasons outlined here.)

11) Sunrise Marathon (5K). 3/23/19, Novato, CA. Time: 33:18. (Another race where, because it was poorly marked, I ran 3.25 miles instead of 3.1.) Read more here.

12) Fehringer Ranch Race (3 miles). 3/31/19, Morrison, CO. Time: 30:19. I ran with JJ – his fourth race! Read more here.

13) Run Michigan Cheap – Northville Edition 10K. 4/7/19, Northville, MI. Time: 1:00:20. Read more here.

14) CN Tower Climb for Nature. 4/14/19, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Stair race, 144 flights. Time: 19:12. Read more here.

15) Milford Easter Dash 10K. 4/20/19, Milford, MI. Time: 1:05:35. Read more here.

16) Storm the Stadium. 4/27/19, South Bend, IN. Stadium stair race. Time: 36:41. Read more here.

17) Upland Hills School – Over the Hills and Through the Woods 10K. 5/4/19, Lake Orion, MI. Time: 1:10:48. Read more here.  

18) Red Bull 400 Copper Peak. 5/11/19, Ironwood, MI. 400m uphill run, up a ski jump. Time: 12:39. Read more here.

19) Groves High School Orchestra Forte 5K. 5/19/19, Beverly Hills, MI. Time: 29:18. Read more here.

20) Ridge Run 10K. 5/27/19, Chicago, IL. Time: 1:03:39. Read more here.

21) Cedar Point Run & Ride 5K. 6/8/19, Sandusky, OH. Time: 28:24 – a new PR by 51 seconds! Read more here.

22) Tunnel to Towers Cleveland Tower Climb – Power Hour. 6/9/19, Cleveland, OH. Time: 60 minutes, during which I climbed 169 stories. Read more here

23) Tunnel to Towers Cleveland Tower Climb – 100 Floor Challenge. 6/9/19, Cleveland, OH. Time: 29:56.7 (including elevator time). Read more here.

24) Run for the Ribbon 5K. 6/16/19, Royal Oak, MI. Time: 29:02. I was so excited for this race, because the description implied that the course would be through the Detroit Zoo. I learned when I arrived that morning that the 1-mile walk was the event that went through the zoo, and the 5K that I was signed up for was on streets outside the zoo. Boo!

Furthermore, it started raining halfway though, so, all in all, it wasn’t my favorite race. But, despite the rain and my general grumpiness, I did pretty well, finishing in my second-best ever 5K time, after the Run & Ride 5K I did the weekend prior (#21 on this list).

But I did get to meet Roary, the mascot for the Detroit Lions!

25) Flushing Evening Road Race 5K. 6/19/19, Flushing, MI. Time: 32:25. My fifth race with JJ!

I should have practiced running with JJ before this race, but I didn’t, and as a result, the first mile or so was tough, because JJ was lunging and pulling in all directions. But soon, after some fatigue settled in, he settled in at my side, and kept my pace for the rest of the run. We made one brief stop, in a park, at a doggie-friendly drinking fountain.

This race was the kick-off event for a weekend of festivities in the small town of Flushing, and there was a parade happening immediately after the race. Turns out the last half-mile or so of the course was along the parade route, through the rows of townspeople claiming their seats to watch the parade. So JJ and I ran through the crowds, past dozens of children pointing at JJ and exclaiming, “Look! That dog is racing!”

After the race, JJ and I both drank a bottle of water, and after JJ was done, he expressed his happiness… with his tongue.

Then we walked the parade route backwards, to get back to the car, and JJ met dozens of people, of all ages, all of whom showered him with affection and love. Running with JJ never results in a fast time, but man, it sure it a lot of fun!

26) What the Hill? 6/23/19, Rochester Hills, MI. A 5.3-mile trail race (plus 144 steps). Time: 1:18:10. Read more here.

27) The Inclinator. 7/13/19, Grand Rapids, MI. A 36x up and down the Stairs on Division. Time: 2:48:00. Read more here

28) Give & Get Fit 10K. 7/28/10, Detroit, MI. Time: 1:03:30. A fun 10K along the riverfront in downtown Detroit.

Part of the 5K course (that 10K racers did twice) was along the Dequindre Cut, a former railroad that’s now a greenway and bike path. It was a hot day, so I liked the Dequindre Cut parts, because it was shady. They also had a youth cheerleading squad that did a cheer as I crossed the finish line, which was super cool. The event benefitted a non-profit that empowers teenage girls, and that’s definitely a cause worth supporting!

That big tall building in the background is the Renaissance Center, where I did a stair race in 2015!

29) Pine Mountain 500. 8/4/19, Iron Mountain, MI. Time: 29:21. 2.8-mile run that ended with a 500-step stair climb. Read more here.

30) Run Thru Hell. 8/10/19, Hell, MI. Time: 47:27. There’s a town in Michigan named Hell. For real. It’s about an hour away. It wasn’t named for Satan’s lair; the name likely stems from locals misunderstanding a German word. It’s a tiny community, but a local group has capitalized on the unique name and, for the past 40 years, organized a race called “Run Thru Hell.”

I ran the 4.8-mile option, and the first half was on deserted country lanes – so deserted that the only vehicle that passed me, going the opposite direction, was a guy on a tractor.

Despite the buzz-worthy location, it was a pretty standard race, and, name aside, wasn’t terribly memorable. The best part about it, frankly, was the T-shirt. And now that I have one, I’m pretty sure I can cross this event off my list.

The Run Thru Hell was significant in that it was my 30th race of the year. Only ten more to go! I’m running my 31st race this weekend, in Flint, and I’m already planning some September races that will have me traveling across the state and to one of the biggest cities in the country.

I’m excited to be this far along in this challenge… and I can’t wait until I crank out these final 10 races!

Keep it up, David!


Follow me! I’m @keepitupdavid on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There’s also a “Sign Me Up” box on this page (at the top of the right-hand column) where you can subscribe to receive new posts via email!

2 Responses to I Ran Thru Hell and Now I’m Three-Quarters Done With My #40years40races Challenge!

  1. Jeff Dinkin says:

    Does it snow in Hell? 😂

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