35 Races Done. I’m in the Home Stretch of My #40years40races Challenge!

Only FIVE races left!

I turned 40 in March and, in honor of my milestone birthday, I challenged myself to compete in 40 races in 2019. Do I have a hashtag? Of course I do! It’s #40years40races!

Before the Crim 5-mile race in Flint. More on this race below!

I gotta be completely honest: I can’t wait for this challenge to be over. 40 races is a lot. The 35 races I’ve done already seems like way too many. I competed in 16 races in 2018, and I’ve already more than doubled that so far this year. I’m very proud… and also, generally speaking, I’m just tired and sore.

In addition, I’ve always considered myself a stair racer first, and a runner second, but this year I’ve done a record number of 5Ks and 10Ks, because there just isn’t enough stair races to get me to my 40-race goal. I’ve never been a super huge enthusiast of running, but now that I’ve done 20+ running races in the past 9 months, I gotta come clean: I really don’t like running. I’ve been miserable during parts of my more recent races. But a challenge is a challenge, and I know it’s all worth it. This will be an accomplishment that I can carry with me for the rest of my life, and it wouldn’t be a challenge if it didn’t push me outside my comfort zone.

Moving forward, I think there will be a time and place for running. I’m not going to abandon it completely after this challenge is over. But I look forward to taking a break from it for a while, so I can focus on stair races.

That’s enough looking forward, though. I want to look back at what I’ve accomplished so far this year!

I’ve been keeping a running total of my races. Here’s the updated list. The last time I did this was at the 30-race mark, so the new additions to the list will start at #31. Everything before that will be a recap!

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 – my 2nd-fastest 5K time ever! Read more here.

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

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. Read more here.

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. 4.8 miles. 8/10/19, Hell, MI. Time: 47:27.

31) Crim Festival of Races. 5 miles. 8/24/19, Flint, MI. Time: 48:07. My friend Lynn told me about this race months ago, and I was excited to participate. The Crim is very well known and attracts runners from all over the world. Tens of thousands of runners compete. Their signature event is a 10-mile race, and the winners of that race were former Olympians. Most of the runners compete in the 10-mile race, and the crowd is immense.

Ten miles is too much for me, so I did the 5-mile race. I loved my personalized bib. Good ol’ lucky number 12146. Keep it up, David!

My attitudes about running, mentioned above, were already shifting by the time I did this race, but it was hard not to get swept up in the adrenaline and the enormousness of this event. The route was lined with spectators. Students from Kettering, a local university, were passing out tequila shots and other libations at some of the intersections. (I didn’t partake.)

Later in the race, people were passing out American flags, so I waved that as I ran my last mile. You can see it in my finish line photo. (Both hands are up, because I’m also preparing to stop my watch, and I didn’t want to lower the flag.)

I left that day being very impressed with this race, and was so glad to have been part of something so joyous and positive for the city of Flint, which has been the source of so much shitty news both recently, and throughout the past few decades.

32) Mount Baldhead Challenge. 7.5 miles running, plus 302 steps. 9/7/19, Saugatuck, MI. I broke two personal records during this race! Read more here

33) Heart of Oak 5K. 9/15/19, Bloomfield Hills, MI. Race time: 33:00. Total time: 59 minutes. My first race with my dad! I ran the 5K, and he walked it with JJ. My run went fine, except that I missed a turn and ended up running more than a 5K. My race was more like 3.4 miles instead of 3.1 miles. I was annoyed in the moment, and thankful I had my phone in my pocket, so I could check out a map and figure out how I get back to the route.

My dad and JJ had a great time too! I crossed the finish line, and immediately started walking the route backwards until I reached them, and then walked with them until they crossed the finish line. That’s why I have two times listed above. The 59-minute time refers to my race plus the additional 1.5 miles that I walked. (4.9 miles total.)

Plus, both my dad and I won our age groups! I beat out four other men in their 40s, and my dad was the only 70+ man in the race. Of course we won our age groups at a race that didn’t give out age group awards!

My dad’s goal, by the way, was to finish in under an hour, and he crossed the finish line in 59:20!

34) CF Climb Chicago. 9/22/19. 4,400 stairs at Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago IL. Time: 29:43. Read more here.

35) Fox Hills Moonlight Run 10K. 9/29/19, Plymouth, MI. Time: 1:02:56. They call it a moonlight run, but it started at 5:15 in the afternoon, so there was no moonlight. We couldn’t even see the moon, because it was overcast and raining the whole time.

The race was all through a golf course, along the paved golf cart paths. There was hardly a straightaway – all gentle curves and slopes and uphills and downhills. The constant rain meant I was cold, wet, and really freakin’ grumpy the entire time. I was glad, however, to do a race that didn’t require waking up at the crack of dawn. And, even though I had to stop for about 30 seconds to tie a shoe, I finished with a faster time than my last few 10Ks, so I guess I was happy about that too.

See? Look. A smile. Happy. 

And that bring us to the present. Five races left. I’m signed up for three: one in October, and two in November. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do a third in November, in Canada, but I haven’t bit the bullet and registered yet. That leaves one more race. I think I’m going to look for one towards the end of this month. That way, my December can be race-free. Completing 40 races in one year is a great accomplishment. Completing them ahead of schedule by an entire month? That’s a whole other level of success!

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!

One Response to 35 Races Done. I’m in the Home Stretch of My #40years40races Challenge!

  1. Sarah Van Houten says:

    Congrats! This is amazing. Finish with the Louisville Turkey Trot!

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