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Description: March/April issue of Endurance Sports & Fitness Magazine

MARCH APRIL 2017 THE BENEFITS OF CITRUS FRUITS THE CANCER AWARENESS ISSUE BRAVE ATHLETES WHO RUN WITH CANCER IN THIS ISSUE - EXECUTIVE ATHLETE LEN FORKAS - BETH TELFORD 7 MARATHONS 7 CONTINENTS - SHANNON MCGINN CANCER DOGS AND COMPETITION On the cOver dean karnazes runs fOr a cause huManItY COVER PHOTO BY HELENA PRICE EDITOR S LETTER ES&F Editor s Letter WELCOME SPRING Okay so who s had a wacky winter with a hodge-podge of cold and warm weather Well those of us living on the East Coast are experiencing inconsistent days one day running all bundled up and a few days later we re out in shorts. It s bizarre and frankly I wish the seasons could just stay as they are expected (cold in the winter warm in the summer)...but I know a lot of you are loving it Regardless of the temperature outside this issue is bound to light a fire within you. I was thrilled that Dean Karnazes agreed to be the cover model this issue. Karnazes a familiar name in endurance racing really kickstarted the popularity of the movement (in my opinion) when on his 30th birthday he ran out of a bar and didn t stop for 30 miles. Much like Forest Gump he s just never stopped running. Karnazes as nice as he is hardcore about his running was in the group of firsts first to run 50 marathons in 50 states write a book about it and launch an amazing career as an endurance athlete. He s completed Badwater and some of the world s toughest endurance challenges. What is Karnazes up to now Turn to page 10 for a short synopsis plus a sneak peak at his book Road to Sparta. Liz Greenlaw our resident nutritionist provides a great article on spring fruits that can help keep us healthy. In Coaches Corner Gary Dudney talks about our endurance desires and abilities. We all have it in us to do what we set our hearts on Dudney says about endurance athletes Endurance athletes are persistent curious and exceedingly bold. Beyond just becoming more fit they are driven to explore the very limits of their physical and mental possibilities and learn things about their innermost selves. He is absolutely right. Read more of his inspiring insights on page 8. Our feature article on Shannon McGinn Running with Dogs and Cancer focuses on her love for endurance running and her love of dogs (particularly the two who run with her). Like many endurance athletes she s overcome a lot including battling cancer twice in her 20 s. McGinn recounts what it was like running bald despite how people stared...and she endured this not once but twice. A testament to perseverance she was a Boston Marathon qualifier after her first marathon and went on despite her cancer to break into endurance racing. In athlete profiles we cover Shangrila Rendon Len Forkas Beth Ann Telford Monica Sanchez and Molly Cochran. Rendon from So. Cal. is a renowned Filipino-American endurance triathlete who I had the pleasure to meet at Griffith Park near the Hollywood Sign for a run on February 26. She s a Guinness World Record Holder as the Fastest Female to complete the International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA) World Cup Quintuple race as of 2015. Forkas an entrepreneur from Reston Va. created Hopecam an organization connecting kids with cancer to loved ones via video. Forkas turned to endurance running to cope with his son s cancer diagnosis and eventually completed the Race Across America (RAAM) among many other endurance events to raise money for the charity. He s going to attempt RAAM again this summer. Beth Ann Telford just completed the unthinkable in January 2017 she and 33 other athletes competed at the World Marathon Challenge and ran 7 marathons on 7 continents to raise awareness for brain cancer which she is currently battling. We also profile Monica Sanchez a Hispanic-American endurance triathlete who ranked 1 in Spain in 2015 and achieved Ironman Gold ranking for 2014 with a personal best of 10 08. Last but not least there is Molly Cochran ultra-runner turned adventure racer from Rush City Minn. who discusses how she balances work hours and three kids and trains for one or two big races each year. So why did we call this issue The Cancer Awareness Issue We really hope that after you read McGinn s and Telford s stories you ll be inspired but what they ve done despite their illnesses. They are an inspiration. Cancer Awareness Months for those who are interested are as follows January Thyroid Cancer Cervical Cancer March Colon Cancer May Melanoma Brain Cancer June Sarcoma Bone Cancer September Childhood Cancer Leukemia Lymphoma Ovarian Cancer Prostate Cancer November Lung Cancer Pancreatic Cancer As for my own adventures exactly one month after having cervical spine surgery the doctor said I was good to go. I am up to running over 9 miles and have started incorporating speed work. I am ready to get out there and fill my schedule with as many half marathons as I can. If my body holds out I will go for an ultra within the year Alix 3 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 LEN FORKAS BETHANN TELFORD SHANNON MCGINN TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITOR S LETTER ATHLETE PROFILE 3 WELCOME SPRING By Alix Shutello NUTRITION 10 Dean Karnazes By Alix Shutello Dean Karnazes is on a mission this year to run the world this year - 203 countries - and will invite people from around the world to run with him. He thinks the world could use some humanity right about now. This issue is jam packed (again) with amazing athletes who do amazing things for themselves and others. 6 Fight Away Colds this Spring with Citrus Fruits By Liz Greenlaw Citrus fruits boast a whole host of other health benefits that can help us ward off winter colds and inflammation. 12 BethAnn Telford Ran 7 Marathons in 7 Days to Raise Awareness about Brain Cancer By Alix Shutello When Bethann Telford felt a pop in her brain during the Marine Corps Marathon she kept going. After learning had brain cancer Telford partnered with Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure http to raise awareness about her disease. COACHES CORNER 8 Your Faithful and Enduring Choice to Go the Distance By Gary Dudney Endurance sports are more than just running a distance. They are about building up and maintaining our inner psyche. 16 Molly Cochran Mother of Three Turns to Adventure Racing By Alix Shutello Molly Cochran 41 is an ultra-runner turned adventure racer from Rush City Minn. A mother of three Cochran is no stranger to racing she started competing at age 12. She decided to break into adventure racing to preserve her body but still race hard core. SUBSCRIBE AT WWW.SHOPENDURANCESPORTSANDFINTESS.COM ENDURANCE RACING MAGAZINE http ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE http Twitter AlixShutello EndurRacingMag Twitter AlixShutello EndurSportsFit Pinterest http enduranceracing boards COVER PHOTO CREDIT HELENA PRICE SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION Subscribe today at Russ Lyon Sotheby s International Realty CorioVelo Badwater and The High a movie by Barry Walton THANK YOU TO OUR ADVERTISERS 32 8 MONICA SANCHEZ SHANGRILA RENDON FEATURE EXECUTIVE ATHLETE 14 Running For Life By Richard D Ambrosio Shannon McGinn is a cancer survivor who suffers from a leaky mitral valve and chronic back pain she has run in more than 350 races and completed more than 65 ultras and about 30 marathons. 34 Racing for a Cause Hopecam CEO Len Forkas Leverages His Talents to Help Kids with Cancer By Alix Shutello Len Forkas races to raise awareness for Hopecam a non-profit which raises money for children with Cancer. This year Forkas will do Race Across America (RAAM) solo to raise money for his organization. PRO ATHLETE PROFILES 28 Monica Sanchez Endurance Triathlete By Alix Shutello Monica Sanchez 44 is an endurance triathlete who ranked 1 in Spain in 2015 (Ironman 70.3 distance) and achieved Ironman Gold ranking for 2014 with a personal best of 10 08. Sanchez who is American-born lived in Spain for the past few years before relocating to the Washington D.C. area and has a dual citizenship in both countries. RACE REPORT 30 Uberman (Ubermensch) One Creative and Strong Enough to Master the Whole Spectrum of Human Potential By Dan Bercu Swim in the Atlantic bike across California run in Death Valley... that s what s in store for you if you compete in Uberman. 30 A Woman of Many Firsts and a Woman on the Brink Shangrila Rendon By Alix Shutello Shangrila Rendon 35 is an ultra triathlete and Guinness World Record Holder as the Fastest Female to complete the International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA) World Cup race as of 2015. Rendon is the only Filipino (male or female) who has completed the most number of Ironman races in consecutive days. Rendon competed a Decaman Switzerland 2016 to chase her demons away. CONTRIBUTORS ES&F is made possible by the contributions from athletes and seasoned writers who bring their unique ideas expertise and perspectives to the magazine. Our regular contributors include - Gary Dudney Endurance Runner and Author - Richard D Ambrosio Contributor Features - Liz Greenlaw Contributor Nutrition - Vanessa Spiller Contributor Project Athena STAFF - Alix Shutello CEO & Publisher - Courtney Cornelius Executive Editor - Christiana Ferrar Graphic Designer - Michael Choi Ad and Graphic Design 5 NUTRITION Fight Away Colds this Spring with Citrus Fruits By Liz Greenlaw Winter citrus fruits are well-known for their high Vitamin C content but they also boast a whole host of other health benefits that can help us ward off winter colds and inflammation. cally with vitamin B12 and iron without enough folate in the diet our energy levels drop and we feel more fatigued throughout the day definitely not something we want to experience during training or racing whole (with the fiber intact) the natural sugars are offset by the fiber which makes it less likely for your blood sugar or insulin to spike. Want to look good for your workout too Well look no an extra bonus there are some beauty benefits to these winter citrus fruits. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body helping with cell production and skin elasticity which offset the signs of aging and the high vitamin C content in these fruits is the main necessary ingredient to producing collagen. So stock up this Spring to make sure you get through the rest of winter feeling healthy and energized And don t forget to get creative with your choices if you re tired of the same ol orange go with tangerines or try tangelos. Make it a goal to try one new citrus fruit each week for the rest of this month (such as citron or kumquats) and I promise that your immune system won t regret it Spring is the perfect time of year to enjoy the bright yellows pinks oranges and greens that offer vibrant colors to our I always recommend that my nutrItIon plates and interesting tastes to our palclIents focus on the whole Intact ates. All those bright colors signal the cItrus fruIt IncludIng part of the peel presences of flavonoids which have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. and any whIte rInds to ensure they re Grapefruits oranges lemons and limes are a potent source of minerals and antioxidants that help keep our immune systems strong during the colder months when we re more susceptible to getting sick. They stimulate the liver which helps our detoxification pathways and are cleansing to our internal digestive tract. On top of that eating the whole fruit (not just the juice) packs a powerful dose of fiber that keeps us feeling fuller for longer and keeps things moving to help us eliminate waste on a regular schedule. Additionally consuming citrus fruits gives you the added benefits of both potassium and folic acid. For endurance athletes in particular potassium is a very important electrolyte that s needed by the body for proper heart muscle and nerve function and it works in tandem with sodium to keep blood pressure levels in a healthy range. Folic acid (or folate) is one of the main B vitamins that s involved in energy production metabolizing amino acids and cell division. Folate works synergisti- gettIng the entIre range of flavonoIds present In the food. I always recommend that my nutrition clients focus on the whole intact citrus fruit including part of the peel and any white rinds to ensure they re getting the entire range of flavonoids present in the food. Just the juice doesn t cut it and can actually suppress your immune system because too much sugar flooding the blood stream at once is bad news even if you re an athlete When eaten PHOTO CREDIT http 6 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 7 ERM COACHES CORNER Your Fateful and Enduring Choice to Go the Distance By Gary Dudney author of The Tao of Running Consider for a moment that no one forced you to be an endurance athlete. For whatever reason you chose that path for yourself. Now think about what a consequential decision that turned out to be all the time you ve spent pursuing your endurance goals all the physical and mental challenges you ve faced and overcome all the people you ve met and all the amazing adventures you ve had along the way. Some might question your choice. You re addicted to it they say. You re on the crazy fringe. You re wasting time with all that training. Don t listen to them. Yes endurance sports may be a huge commitment but the rewards good physical and mental can be equally huge. Endurance athletes are persistent curious and exceedingly bold. Beyond just becoming more fit they are driven to explore the very limits of their physical and mental possibilities and learn things about their innermost selves. In fact endurance training not only helps you discover yourself it also helps you develop the very things about yourself that you find admirable. For example in pursuing endurance sports we learn how to overcome pain or as the Navy SEAL saying goes we learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It is a struggle at first especially when the pain ratchets up to unbearable but then you surprise yourself by finding ways to bear it anyway. It trains you to bear uncomfortable situations in other areas of your life. Endurance athletes are bold selfexplorers. We want to know what we are capable of doing. We don t sit in an envelope like a polite thank-you note. We constantly push and jab at the edges of the envelope to see how far it will stretch. It s like we re on the Starship Enterprise these failures and use them to fuel the urge to succeed the next time around. There s no sweeter feeling than to return to the point in a race where you failed in the past and just blow by that point and go on to a personal best. When failures occur in other areas of our lives we know better than to quit. We know to get back up and use what we ve learned to try again. Why did we choose to be endurance athletes Maybe because as we trained for that first marathon first triathlon first ultra run or first century bike ride we felt certain qualities growing within ourselves good health the ability to accept pain the ability to face down difficult situations the ability to deal with failure...and simply the ability to endure in a tough world. endurance athletes are persIstent curIous and exceedIngly bold. beyond just becomIng more fIt they are drIven to explore the very lImIts of theIr physIcal and mental possIbIlItIes and learn thIngs about theIr Innermost selves. within our own selves wanting to boldly go where no man has gone before. We force ourselves to encounter difficulties and then learn to cope with them and keep pushing on. Life is going to be full of difficult situations. We are graduate students at the University of Deal With It so see us when the going gets tough. We also learn how to accept and embrace the inevitable failures that come with always pushing our limits. We learn from PHOTO PROVIDED BY GARY DUDNEY 8 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 9 ATHLETE PROFILE Dean Karnazes Dean Karnazes decided the world needed some humanity so starting in November with the NYC Marathon he s embarking on a global expedition to run a marathon in every country of the world in a one-year time frame. There are 203 countries and I m working with the US State Department and the UN to get the necessary passports and permits. As you can imagine the planning logistics and sponsorship negotiations are every bit as complex and difficult as the running itself but I like the challenge of all these elements. I m inviting the local people in each country to come run with me when I visit. It might be naive of me but I think humanity could use something like this right now. Let s stop fighting with each other and start running together This is my small contribution to the world I love. Read Karnazes new book The Road To Sparta 10 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 11 ATHLETE PROFILE BethAnn Telford Ran 7 Marathons in 7 Days to Raise Awareness for Brain Cancer By Alix Shutello Since a young age she has participated in many types of sports and athletic activities from organized soccer softball and field hockey to running mountain biking and skiing. A lifetime of activities and pushing physical and mental boundaries prepared her for her most difficult challenge In 2004 while running the Marine Corps Marathon she felt a pop in her head around mile marker 19...and over the next couple of months started to experience problems with unsteady balance and unclear thoughts. After several weeks of tests in the early months of 2005 she learned that her life would forever be changed she had brain cancer. That April Telford had her first brain surgery and then had to learn to walk talk and move all over again. As her rehabilitation began she was determined to run again. Six weeks after surgery she ran her first 5K race and trained throughout the summer to run and finish the Marine Corps Marathon. She stopped at that same mile marker 19 both to reflect on her journey and to silently thank her doctors family and friends who supported her during her struggles. Since then Telford has undergone a second brain surgery a neurostimulator implant and bladder augmentation surgery for issues related to her brain cancer. Through it all she has competed and finished the Boston Marathon Continued on Page 14 Beth Ann Telford ran the world...literally. In January 2017 Telford joined 33 competitors (25 men 8 women) from 13 countries who competed in the World Marathon Challenge a race in which athletes run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days (in Australia Chile United States Spain Morocco United Arab Emirates and Antarctica). Telford was both the only female American athlete and the only athlete running with brain cancer ran to raise awareness for brain cancer and for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure http abc2. org . Telford who lives in the Washington D.C. metro area was born in the summer of 1969 in Harrisburg Penn. 12 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 FOR THOSE WHO DARE ABC 2 is BOLD. They act with urgency and embrace risk in order to speed new treatments for patients like me -- BethAnn Telford extreme athlete and 10-year brain cancer survivor Brain Cancer Breakthroughs ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 13 BethAnn Telford with Mike Wardian Continued From Page 12 (four times) Marine Corps Marathons (twelve times) the Lake Placid Ironman (twice) and the Kona Ironman World Championships (in 2012). Telford who is sponsored by New Balance Sports Science and CorePower Yoga trains with AJ Morrison of Multisport in Motion. AJ has been my trainer for years and also a dear friend. We use a training schedule called Training Peaks. I also train at CorePower Yoga as well as with the Arlington County Fire Station 5 as we train on stair climbing once a week Telford said. In addition to pushing her physical boundaries Telford dedicates herself to raising awareness of brain cancer and to finding a cure. She has been featured on the front page of The Washington Post for her efforts in raising awareness for brain cancer research. Telford also works fulltime as an events coordinator at the US Government Publishing Office under the Executive Branch of the President. I just love my job and what I do to make others mostly federal workers enjoy the work place and celebrate various holidays and recognize their accomplishments she said. In addition to her work her training and her fundraising Telford has a very full life she lives with her partner Dr. Robert Latin who she s been with for over 15 years. She has testified before the FDA on the benefits of advanced drug therapies advocated through lobbying Congress and participated as part of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) and White House briefing held during the fall of 2014. She has also had two grants awarded to the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Florida in her name and has been featured in countless articles books and news stories including a Discovery program documentary. Telford never lets her cancer get in the way of her success. I am fighting cancer and still have the ability to run bike swim when others cannot especially children who are our future. When I am having a tough time just getting out of bed to train I remember those who can t...and I know I am fighting for them too and need to keep going to find a cure. More on Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure http ABC2 is a DC-based nonprofit organization that drives cutting-edge research and treatments for brain tumors. ABC2 has awarded more than 100 grants totaling more than 20 million in brain tumor research funding to highly qualified investigators and physician-scientists from 54 institutions. Race Stats Competitors in the World Marathon Challenge spent about 59 hours in the air flying 38 000 km from the start point in Antarctica to the finish in Australia. Successful participants ran 295 km or 183 miles in total. Four competitors with health challenges ran BethAnn Telford (brain cancer) Sinead Kane from Ireland (blind) Luke Wigman from Great Britain (British soldier badly injured in Afghanistan) Ibrar Ali from Great Britain (British soldier badly injured in Iraq). More on the challenge at http html FAQS 14 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 About the World Marathon Challenge 2017 World Marathon Challenge Provisional Schedule & Destinations DATE ACTIVITY 18-Jan Arrive at Punta Arenas Chile 19-Jan Pre-Departure Briefings for Antarctica 20-Jan Flight to Marathon location at Union Glacier Antarctica 21-Jan Antarctic Acclimatisation 22-Jan Cold Weather Gear Testing 23-Jan MARATHON 1 - UNION GLACIER ANTARCTICA - 23 JANUARY Flight to Punta Arenas 24-Jan MARATHON 2 - PUNTA ARENAS CHILE Flight to Miami 25-Jan MARATHON 3 - MIAMI USA Flight to Madrid 26-Jan MARATHON 4 - MADRID SPAIN Flight to Marrakech 27-Jan MARATHON 5 - MARRAKECH MOROCCO Flight to Dubai 28-Jan MARATHON 6 - DUBAI UAE Flight to Sydney 29-Jan MARATHON 7 - SYDNEY AUSTRALIA Celebration 30-Jan Rest & Relaxation Free to Return Home PHOTOS AND VIDEO Training Video - https meghan.tucker.73 videos vb.823734643 10154913243459644 type 2&theater CorePower Yoga Training Video - https pg TeamBethAnnTelford videos ref page_internal Photos also posted on BethAnn s Facebook page - https TeamBethAnnTelford Photos on BethAnn s Instagram Page - https ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 15 ATHLETE PROFILE Molly Cochran Mother of Three Sets her Sights to Adventure Racing By Vanessa Spiller Molly Cochran 41 is an ultra-runner turned adventure racer from Rush City Minn. A mother of three Cochran is no stranger to racing she started competing at age 12. My main sport was track and cross country in high school and college at the University of Wyoming. I expanded into other sports after college she said. After college Cochran competed competitively in duathlons and cross-trained to maintain fitness. It wasn t until she gave birth to her third child that she put speed work aside and trained for her first ultra-marathon. suggested she try Adventure Racing. I had never heard of it Cochran said. Later that year Rossman hooked her up with a team looking for a female to compete across the country at USARA Nationals. So here I am barely 32 and my first adventure race was 30 hours long Cochran exclaimed. Molly Cochran Photo Credit Vanessa Spiller asked me to race a 72-hour adventure race (Infiterra Sports Michigan MIX Expedition Adventure Race) which I completed. That same year I was introduced to my current adventure racing partner Gregg Pattison and we continue to race together as Team Orion. We race mostly expedition-length adventure races our favorites being 72 hours and longer. I personally try not to race anything less than 24 hours if possible Cochran said. HOW COCHRAN TRAINS WITH THREE KIDS Cochran trains most of the year ramping up in spring and summer for events. I do most of my training alone training inside on my treadmill or bike trainer depending on weather and my family obligations. Cochran who is married with three very involved kids (ages 10 12 and 15) definitely has to carve out time in around her family obligations. Many days Cochran works out between and at their activities fitting in whatever she can wherever she is. Continued on Page 18 Cochran quickly immersed herself in the adventure racing culture. Adventure drives me she said. I love exploring an After the birth of unknown trail or I love explorIng an unknown traIl my last child in getting lost biking or gettIng lost bIkIng gravel roads. 2006 I decided I I love paddlIng In the raIn on tough gravel roads. I was tired of doing love paddling in the speed work. For waves In traInIng to buIld the mental the rain on tough 20 years I did speed stamIna. I love lookIng at places waves in training I ve never been and dreamIng about work to maintain to build the menmy speed on the tal stamina. I love what It d be lIke to go there. I love shorter distances looking at places the challenge of navIgatIng crazy but I enjoyed longI ve never been terraIn and fIndIng the control rIght distance running and dreaming where It should be. preferably running about what it d be for hours at a time Cochran said. I like to go there. I love the challenge of realized ultra-marathons were right up navigating crazy terrain and finding the my alley so I continued on that path. control right where it should be. I love having a teammate pick me up when I m A RUNNER TURNS TO ADVENTURE at a low place and I love being the teamRACING mate who helps another. I love that the Cochran was training with friend Mitch team in adventure racing is better than Rossman on a long-distance run when the sum of its parts. her fate changed. After discussing her athletic background which includes Cochran kept up with her teammates running mountain biking kayaking and and after the race was hungry for more. most recently orienteering her friend The next spring in 2009 another team 16 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 17 ATHLETE PROFILE Continued From Page 16 days Cochran works out between and at their activities fitting in whatever she can wherever she is. I have run hiked and biked on many of the roads and trails in our community and nearby communities during my kids swim practices or violin lessons Cochran explained. Other times it s just easier to be on the treadmill or bike trainer between loads of laundry and taxi driving the kids. The treadmill or bike trainer may be boring but that only builds mental stamina for less-than-ideal racing conditions or racing obstacles that occur every race. WORK LIFE BALANCE Cochran trains for one or two big races each year given her budget work hours and family obligations. She works as a classroom assistant at local schools during the school year to help pay for her kids activities and her race entry fees and is fiscally minded when it comes to buying sports gear. I am not sponsored so I don t use any special clothes food or equipment. For years I got most of my workout clothes from thrift stores and I still get my fair share there she said. My racing partner Gregg built my most recent bike from a no-name carbon bike frame made in China so I paid only about a third of what it would have cost from a bike shop. Cochran trains on her kayak to build upper-body strength. She acquired two identical treadmills for 250 total that have lasted for years now. Her only splurge is her shoes. I do have a lot of nice running shoes that I ve acquired over the last few years while I was working for a local running store because I had a good discount She said. KEEPING A MENTAL FOCUS Cochran attributes her success to an iron will. I am very stubborn and do not quit easily she said. I am very driven for me quitting is not an option. Cochran explained she s experienced a lot of discomfort during racing and can get crabby and emotional and she s not afraid to show it. I m not one to hide my emotions so my teammates get the pleasure of knowing what s on my mind I love the adventure of not knowing what s around the next corner in the race. That alone drives me for days on end she said. Amazingly with all the ground Cochran has covered through the years she s experienced only limited injury. Aside from a sore hip caused while running she s stayed strong and injury-free. Adventure racing requires little to no running so I am very happy to have it in my life to take the place of my first love running. I appreciate having the gear and ability to participate in a variety of endurance sports so when the inevitable injury occurs I can switch up my training and still experience the endorphins I long to experience she said. Cochran is now training for the Adventure Enablers ( World Championship event the Cameco Cowboy Tough World Championship Adventure Race this summer in Wyoming. It s a 5-7day race). Vanessa Spiller s primary focus with Adventure Enablers is Business Development. Adventure Enablers is a race management company headquartered in Front Royal VA and they produce a variety of multi day adventure races mountain bike races trail runs and a half marathon series. For more information on Adventure Enablers visit 18 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 19 FEATURE - CANCER SURVIOR Running For Life By Richard D Ambrosio Photos provided by Shannon McGinn Shannon McGinn is a cancer survivor who suffers from a leaky mitral valve and chronic back pain. She has run in more than 350 races and completed more than 65 ultras and about 30 marathons. Shannon McGinn is amazed by the fact that sled dogs are able to run 50 miles in about five hours. Dogs and ultra runners are meant to be together she once posted on her Facebook page. McGinn a cancer survivor who suffers from a leaky mitral valve and chronic back pain has run in more than 350 races and completed more than 65 ultras and about 30 marathons. She is an avid dog lover and with her husband has dedicated a great deal of her life rescuing dogs. McGinn is well educated. She earned a BA in Fine Art a Masters in Art Therapy an Ed.S in Marriage and Family Therapy and a JD (law degree) focused on Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Public Interest Law. McGinn and her husband Sidney Dos Santos from Woodbridge N.J. rescue dogs when McGinn isn t racing or getting out with their own two rescues Enzo about nine years old and Piper probably around three years. Without running my dogs would be miserable McGinn said. It comes natural to them. Up until last year Enzo McGinn s Endurance Monster loved going out for long-distance runs sometimes as far as 14 miles. Piper who only recently joined the family is a sprinter. They help me appreciate how special our sport is and why we humans need to get out the door every day. There is nothing like running through the dirt trails with your dogs and seeing them covered in mud and muck because they had a blast. A long and often painful journey trail running came later in life for McGinn she started running when she was about 9 years old. I tolerated cross country because it made me a better 800-meter runner she admitted. McGinn refused to run long distance in high school. I told my coach it was too far. I was the last one done on long runs and couldn t understand how the other girls didn t hate it. McGinn often ran when injured (e.g. plantar fasciitis tendonitis) but that didn t stop her from earning 12 varsity letters at Randolph High School in New Jersey where in her senior year she was captain of her cross country winter and spring track teams. She ran for half a season in her freshman college year but pain eventually forced her to take an uncharacteristic competitive break. For a few years I was focused on strength training. I would go to the gym seven times a week. Running was always a way I could get back to being a healthier weight but I did not always enjoy it. When McGinn met Dos Santos in 2001 he was more of a runner than McGinn. He would take me trail running and show me routes where he rode his mountain bike she said. He signed them up for their first 5k. I was lifting then and running only for cardio not to train for anything she said but still I beat him by 10 seconds. McGinn eventually enrolled at the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables Fla. By the end of my second year in 2005 at 5 2 and always about 115-120 pounds in high school and college I was now 10-15 pounds heavier and feeling uncomfortable...and I realized I needed to take better care of myself she 20 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 was regularly running a 2.4-mile route along the beach when she noticed some stubborn fatty deposits in her left breast. That odd lump turned out to be cancer she said matter-of-factly. She had two types of cancer-- and one was very aggressive. Because of her mitral valve issue McGinn s cancer treatment came with the risk of ventricular heart failure. If I couldn t complete it my risk of recurrence was about 50% higher than women who did not have the aggressive cancer I had. McGinn ran during the first two rounds of chemo walked a lot during the third and rested a lot more during the fourth. She resumed running and racing again during the 18 rounds of immunotherapy that followed and in between surgeries (two mastectomies and two other minor surgeries). I tolerated cross country because It made me a better 800-meter runner.....I told my coach It was too far. I was the last one done on long runs and couldn t understand how the other gIrls dIdn t hate It. All by myself with my bald head in a bandana at the park I freaked people out she remembered. When the rounds of chemo destroyed her red blood cells and made running too hard she walked. By the last round of chemo I slept a lot and hoped to not get sick. One day she was Googling races and stumbled across the Western States 100 website. I thought it was a spoof creating this site that suggested people ran 100 miles. Then I saw the paces and thought...this is real. A seed was planted but I didn t know it. She ran her first 10k non-stop that November. Her last infusion was in December 2007. Dos Santos ran-walked McGinn s first half-marathon (2 01) in Key West the following month three weeks after her last round of immunotherapy. By this point I was in love with running. I figured out how to train painfree. Running was enjoyable she said. McGinn ran her second half-marathon in September 2008 in 1 41 and then set her sights on an ultra. I needed to see how far I could go. Continued on Page 22 Starting over I spent the next year starting over walking then run-walking and then I ran my first 5k after chemo in 27 55. I was thrilled. After that first 5k race McGinn raced at least one 5k or more every weekend for almost two years averaging about 55 races per year. ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 21 FEATURE - CANCER SURVIOR Continued From Page 21 She registered for the Philadelphia Marathon and ran her first Boston Marathon qualifier. Philly also served as a training run building up to her first attempt at a 50k the New Jersey Trail Series Watchung Winter 50k. That January in a snow storm alone and in last place McGinn stopped at 23 miles. I had no experience with that distance and I worried I would lose the white trail marking in the snow-covered trees she said. McGinn registered for the Boston Marathon for the following year but soon discovered she had a mass on her thyroid. (She ran her first Boston Marathon in 2013 the year of the bombing she had just left the finish line when the bombs went off. She has run Boston every year since.) I was worried it was a recurrence she remembered. It threw off her training. That March a running friend lost his son to brain cancer. McGinn was invited to join a group of friends on a 24-hour ultrarelay team to run the Virginia Run for Cancer the same weekend as Boston. She opted to run the relay. In June 2010 the mass (benign) was removed with half of McGinn s thyroid. But she was undeterred. She registered and later that year ran a 100-miler then another 24-hour race (18 days after the 100-miler) all while still racing a 5k or 10k most weekends and clocked a 3 15 at the NCR Trail Marathon in Maryland. Finding Love McGinn met Dos Santos in 2001 when she was a therapist and he was a corrections officer in a Rahway N.J. maximum security prison. Sidney taught me how to stay safe in a dangerous environment and kept me supplied with corn flakes so I didn t have to eat prison food for lunch McGinn recalled. Dos Santos persisted for a year asking McGinn on dates. I didn t want to complicate the very serious business of working inside a prison with relationship stress she said. I finally agreed. It took only a few minutes outside of the prison environment for us to realize we were a great match. Dos Santos a licensed pilot regularly trolls websites like Pilots n Paws providing transportation for rescue dogs. (The volunteer pilots fund the trips themselves.) McGinn supports him the best she can. For Sidney transporting dogs (50 so far) became one way to turn flying into something bigger than just getting from Point A to Point B to log his required flight time she said. I just support everything he does and try to accompany him on trips when I can. McGinn posts photos and stories about the dogs Dos Santos rescues online at Sidney s Freedom Flights. LoSt and Found Their passion for dogs bound them in a special way. McGinn and Dos Santos eloped in February 2010 and were finally hitting their stride as a couple. But there was one thing missing. McGinn had grown up with a small poodle that lived to 20 years. She was my friend from the time I was one year old. She passed away when I was in college McGinn said. I wanted a running dog so badly. I was working from home had a fenced yard stable employment but the local shelter wouldn t approve them for an adoption. Frustrated McGinn focused on her running. At the Freedom Park 24 New Year s Ultra Morganton N.C. one of McGinn s friends asked her how the dog search was going. I told him not good but we were still looking she said. Driving home to New Jersey the next day enzo Is specIal. he doesn t care for attentIon or affectIon. he tolerates beIng petted. but he loves to run. 22 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 New Year s Day Dos Santos spotted a small dog in a snow bank under a highway overpass in a deserted region of North Carolina. Coaxing him into their car Dos Santos and McGinn took the dog to a local veterinarian. He was a mess when we picked him up covered in ticks and fleas matted hair. I thought he was deaf and blind at first McGinn said. The dog didn t have tags or a tracking chip but he did have Lyme disease heartworms two leaky heart valves and problems climbing stairs. An extensive local search turned up no forlorn owners. He was so emotionally damaged he would scream and run in his sleep right into walls and then wake up. It took about two months for this to stop she said. McGinn was determined to help. The dog now had a family and a home and McGinn had her running dog Enzo Ferrari Dos Santos named after the main character in The Art of Racing in the Rain a book McGinn was listening to on the road trip to and from North Carolina. Enzo is special. He doesn t care for attention or affection. He tolerates being petted. But he LOVES to run McGinn said. When he was cleared by the vet in February 2011 Enzo began running with McGinn. He ran 156 miles in 28 days and has gone as far as 14 miles. McGinn joined an online forum associated with the Iditarod when she got Enzo to better understand how to run with dogs. What dogs can do as runners is amazing. Dogs are the ultimate ultra-runners she said. But really the best thing I learned is that running or walking in a pack can help a dog quickly determine who family is. room For one more It was November 2014 and Dos Santos was online looking at possible rescue dogs for adoption. We were thinking of going away for our birthdays but I suggested we cancel our trip and use the money to pull a dog from a kill list McGinn said. They found a high-kill shelter in Lumberton N.C. and sifted through the Urgent Code Red photos. When we saw Piper s photo we saw she only had a few days left to live and there was very little interest in saving her. She was listed at 20 pounds and had similar markings to Enzo. They had her pulled the next day and boarded with a vet so she could be spayed and begin a heartworm treatment. Continued on Page 24 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 23 FEATURE - CANCER SURVIOR sInce survIvIng cancer I have had a strong desIre to leave a posItIve mark on the world. I want people to remember me In a good way as someone who cared about others and dedIcated her lIfe to helpIng. everythIng I do Is to that end though one day she Is certaIn thIngs wIll slow down for me. Continued From Page 23 of going away for our birthdays but I suggested we cancel our trip and use the money to pull a dog from a kill list Shannon said. They found a high kill shelter in Lumberton NC and sifted through the Urgent Code Red photos. When we saw Piper s photo we saw she only had a few days left to live and there was very little interest in saving her. She was listed at 20 pounds and had similar markings to Enzo Shannon said. They her pulled the next day and boarded with a vet so she could be spayed and begin a heartworm treatment. Enzo wasn t so certain about his new sister when she arrived. Enzo wasn t so certain about his new sister when she arrived. He hated her with a passion. He couldn t look at her and her presence in our home was making him crazy. The spare bedroom became Piper s with baby gates in every doorway to keep the dogs apart. Piper likely had spent all her life on the streets so she wasn t people-friendly she understood little about how to adapt to humans or live in a house. She was always in a heightened state of fear McGinn said. It was impossible to train her. She would snap at me when I fed her or if I was near her for too long. If I talked to her she growled back. For the first week all I could do was sit in the same room and not look at her. Piper also was on exercise restriction for a month due to her heartworms and allowed only leashed walks to the yard. Over the next four months McGinn and Dos Santos employed behavioral modification techniques everything McGinn had learned as a psychotherapist. It was so dangerous in our home because of all the fear and aggression and the fact that Piper was still in treatment for conditions that made her feel bad (giardia and heartworms). Soon Piper was cleared for exercise and Dos Santos and McGinn took her walking and running short distances with Enzo. This helped their relationship grow more quickly than anything else we did. Each run seemed to help Enzo accept Piper more McGinn remembered. In January 2015 Dos Santos rented a plane and he and McGinn flew both dogs to the Key West Half Marathon. Traveling together solidified their bond. We took the gates down. Enzo finally accepted Piper as his family. Piper taught Enzo how to love and accept another dog and taught him to play. Piper now is safe with people including kids. She even occasionally runs with Madeline the 8-year-old daughter of one of McGinn s training partners. dual concentration in Sports Psychology and Sports Performance. Alanna Garrison Kast met McGinn at a Team In Training meeting for coaches in late summer of 2010. She was training for her first ultra the JFK 50-miler. I was panicking about a sudden onset of shin splints. She was happy to hear about my foray into ultras and gave me some helpful advice. I have no idea now what that advice was but I know it made me feel better. She invited me to join a 24-hour team a few months later and my ultrarunning career began. For the last six years Kast has been running with McGinn about twice a week. It s rare to find a training partner who you can call on Thursday and say hey there s a trail 50-miler two states away on Saturday let s go -- but I have found that rare friend in Shannon. Continued on Page 26 driven to Serve Certified by the RRCA USATF and NFHS McGinn is in her seventh year coaching runners through her company Creating Momentum LLC while also pursuing a Masters degree in Kinesiology with a 24 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 25 FEATURE - CANCER SURVIOR Continued From Page 24 Shannon has a huge heart and is always looking for ways to make each runner she comes across more comfo able in his or her own skin said Garrison Kast to make people see themselves as real runners regardless of where they are in their own training progression and to gently nudge folks toward great hidden potential. She is an excellent coach if you are willing to put in the effort. And most importantly she is a one-in-amillion friend. Although her coaching pretty much serves as a full-time job McGinn also works part-time as a therapist on an inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation unit. The patients suffer from acute mental illness and all require locked observation for safety. New York University recently asked her to come on as an adjunct teaching Forensic Art Therapy. In 2016 McGinn founded the Creating Momentum Running Club. Members compete in a virtual race series scored on their real-life races share ideas and compete in photo contests. Club members can win gift certificates to Running Warehouse. I m acutely aware of the fact that I have only 168 hours per week to get everything done said the peripatetic racer coach student and wife. Just like running I always feel like I need to keep moving to feel at peace so that is what I do. Since surviving cancer I have had a strong desire to leave a positive mark on the world. I want people to remember me in a good way as someone who cared about others and dedicated her life to helping. Everything I do is to that end though one day she is certain things will slow down for me. Currently McGinn s daily mileage is too high to take Enzo out as much as she used to Dos Santos takes him for 3-5 milers now. It is sad because I miss my running buddy. But he can t do 8-12 miles with his heart valve issues McGinn said missing the irony that she has the same medical issue yet she can still go the distance. When I was diagnosed with cancer I initially had no real ability to think too far ahead. My coping strategy was to stay in the here and now and not let my mind wander too far into the future. The unknown can be dark and scary especially when thoughts about the fragility of life can intrude like uninvited guests McGinn said. The stress of cancer once caused Dos Santos and McGinn to break up in 2009 but they got back together six months later. Cancer made things stressful for us and I think we needed to be sure we were together because we wanted to be not because we had to be or should be just because we navigated something very serious together...our journey through cancer she said. Sidney supported me leaving my job as an attorney to return to work as a therapist while trying to start Creating Momentum. He knew that running changed my life and that it defined me now. Before the end of that year we found Enzo. Enzo is the sweet soul who turned Sidney and me from being a couple to being a family. When Sidney and I talk about the future now we talk about dogs. We talk about buying a lot of land somewhere big enough to put a trail to run or walk dogs. We talk about rescuing old dogs who need to live out their final years in a l oving environment. We talk about rescuing bad dogs who like Piper need time to decompress. We talk about how having a place to run them safely will help. McGinn is thinking of launching a trail race (she s even come up with a name Four Seasons for the Dogs ). We can let people come meet the dogs they are helping by racing. But this is all just a dream for the future...something else to work on when things in my life slow down a bit. As far as what this all means to gives me it gives Sid it gives us a real sense of purpose. 26 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 27 ATHLETE PROFILE MONICA SANCHES ENDURANCE TRIATHLETE By Alix Shutello Photos provided by Monica Sanchez Monica Sanchez 44 is an endurance triathlete who ranked 1 in Spain in 2015 (Ironman 70.3 distance) and achieved Ironman Gold ranking for 2014 with a personal best of 10 08. Sanchez who is American-born lived in Spain for the past few years before relocating to the Washington D.C. area and has a dual citizenship in both countries. Sanchez is supported by a number of organizations to compete at the highest levels of the Ironman triathlon. Her sponsors include Kiwami Tri for triathlon clothing Luggage Forward for bike shipping the Bicicosta cycle center in Alicante Spain and Playitas Resort (a training center) in Fuerteventura on Canary Islands. Sanchez started competing as a marathoner at age 24. In 1997 she qualified for Boston after completing the NYC Marathon. I instantly fell in love with longdistance running and continued to run marathons until 2010 becoming quite competitive as a long-distance runner Sanchez said. It wasn t until Sanchez was 38 that she broke into endurance triathlons. In 2010 Sanchez began cycling as a form of cross-training. I was having some recurring injuries from all my running she explained. Six months later she competed in the Cozumel Mexico Ironman. I became just as passionate about long-distance triathlon as I had been about marathons and competed in nine Ironman triathlons around the world she said. His expertise and guidance was instrumental in my achieving athletic success as well as in developing the confidence in myself as an athlete. Mental fortitude another important aspect to training involves dedication she mentioned. To succeed at Ironman I believe comes from your love for the sport Sanchez said. I find that I don t look at training as a chore because my focus is on achieving the goal and I recognize that in order to succeed I have to put the work in. Race day is the product not the process the process is the training that leads up to race day. on training Training according to Sanchez was a way for her to achieve her dreams. Competition she enthused brings her a great sense of accomplishment enjoyment and peace all at the same time. As a physical therapist I have a great appreciation for the human body what it can achieve is a great gift. Working to help others achieve their goals in physical therapy inspires me to achieve my own she said. Sanchez attributes her success to her coach Pedro Freire who lives in Portugal. Sanchez trained with him in Europe and he served as a coach mentor and friend. on nutrition Sanchez used to eat Gels and other products sold for endurance athletes but changed her diet to include more natural foods. For my first few years in longdistance Ironman I attended several educational events about nutrition by Brian Shea founder of Personal Best Nutrition and thereafter I modified my plan to meet my specific preferences to keep my intake as natural as possible she explained. Sanchez who is single realizes it s much easier for her to find time to train than a person with a family. Nonetheless she admits it s very challenging to juggle working as a physical therapist and training for a long-distance triathlon. In addition to 28 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 i inStantLy FeLL in Love with Long-diStance running and continued to run marathonS untiL 2010 becoming quite competitive aS a LongdiStance runner. that Sanchez works as a long-distance running coach spin instructor and language tutor so her schedule is busy. My friends and family understand that when I am training for an event my time is limited. I m fortunate to have the support of those people who know me well and are close to me. Most of my close friends are also triathletes so they will join me training from time to time. But that being said it is quite challenging to manage real life one s career and family with training for Ironman events she said. I do not see myself slowing down at all. I actually anticipate that I can yet improve greatly. My cycling has improved the last few years and I am focused on working on my swim and maintaining a healthy body to continue to run well. Resources Kiwami Kiwami Triathlon Apparel for Adults & Kids Custom Printing Luggage Forward Reliable bike transportation service. https www. Coach Pedro Freire https www. coachpedrofreire __ mref message_bubble and Triatlo Teleperformance os Belenenses ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 29 ATHLETE PROFILE A Woman of Many Firsts and A Woman on the Brink An Interview with Shangrila Rendon By Alix Shutello Shangrila Rendon 35 is an ultra triathlete and Guinness World Record Holder known as the Fastest Female to complete the International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA) World Cup Quintuple race as of 2015. Rendon is the only Filipino (male or female) who has completed the most number of Ironman races in consecutive days. Rendon completed a total of 8 Ironmans in 8 consecutive days as part of Decaman Switzerland 2016. ES&F Have you always been a triathlete or endurance runner cyclist How did you get started on the path to such impressive distances Rendon No I am not one of those athletes who has always been athletically inclined or competed during high school or college. My focus then was to finish my bachelor s degree and eventually my master s degree. I started running for only 15 minutes on the treadmill and built up from there. Until 2009 I didn t know how to swim I was scared of water. Until I started competing seriously I never owned a bike (or knew how to clip and unclip my shoes ). By 2014 before I broke into ultra triathlons my resume included one 300-mile ride many 200-mile rides four 50-mile races four Ironmandistance races and over 30 marathons. ES&F So why did you decide to move to ultra triathlon distances Rendon I decided to race ultra triathlons out of curiosity. I wanted to find out how much more I can push beyond my body s known limitations. Besides if my body can endure the distance why not go for it I am very passionate about the ultra triathlon. There s always something to learn and improve. I love the challenge and the people in the ultradistance community. Last but not least I want to inspire people and to show that amazing things can happen and are possible. As living proof I aim to move people and give them hope. ES&F Tell us how you prepared for Decaman Switzerland. Note Decaman Switzerland consisted of 10 full Ironman distance in 10 consecutive days and it was held on August 23rd - September 4th 2017. One full Ironman distance is 2.4 miles swim 112 miles bike and 26.2 miles run. Rendon Good question... do I tell people what they would wanna hear or do I tell everyone what really happened to me prior to Decaman Switzerland A few months before Decaman I was in a severe depression. I was training but I was unhappy. I dragged myself out to train meanwhile I d cry during a run without knowing why. Having had a problem with alcohol before I also went back to drinking alcohol excessively. Two months before Decaman in June 2016 I went to outpatient rehab. The rehab didn t work so I took myself to inpatient rehab in July one month before Decaman. How did I prepare for Decaman Switzerland while in rehab and fighting for my sobriety I worked very hard and did the following 1) I cleaned up all negativity in my head. 2) I regained my spirituality through journaling and meditation and surrendered the things that I don t have control of to my higher power. 3) I practiced gratitude and thanked the people who supported and cared for me. 4) I gave myself a pat on my back and practiced self-care. 5) I fed my mind by listening to audiobooks. 6) I resolved any underlying personal and or family relationship issues through therapy. 7) I cleaned my eating habits e.g. high in nutritious food no candy sugar creamer gluten cheese milk oily foods etc. Continued on page 32 30 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 31 ATHLETE PROFILE Continued From Page 30 8) I learned to be satisfied with the basics in life. I didn t have access to car phone or computer while I was in rehab. 9) I practiced good habits and followed structured daily schedule e.g. I woke up at 3 30 am. rode my bike to Rose Bowl Aquatics at 4 am swam until 7 am and returned to rehab at 8 am. Before breakfast I completed an hour of high quality training on my trainer and ran on treadmill during breaks. I went to sleep by 10 pm. 10) I trained myself mentally. My training periods were mostly indoors except when I had to swim. There was rehab facility only allowed me to go to Aquatics. I didn t have access to a phone or computer so I biked on my trainer without Netflix music or anything else. I completed long runs on a treadmill. I logged 5-6 hours on trainer and 3-4 hours on treadmill split into different times depending on the break I had in rehab. My swim also consisted of several laps on 25-yard lane to complete back-to-back 4k-yard swim at 5 30 am in the morning. Besides training I sucked up the freezing cold shower at rehab the water won t warm up as quick as it should. I just told myself it s good training for cold swim. By doing all the things mentioned above I became the person and athlete I wanted to be. I was ready. I aimed to finish 10 full Ironman in 10 consecutive days during Decaman Switzerland. On the 9th day I experienced a pinched nerve on my lower back during the last 15 miles of the 112 mile bike this pinched nerve caused my legs to numb and therefore I was in severe pain until the last miles of the run. I was short of 10 miles to complete the full marathon on the 9th day as so I decided to DNF (Do Not Finish). In all I completed 21.6 miles swim 1008 miles bike and 225.6 miles run in 9 consecutive days. I officially finished 8 full Ironman in 8 consecutive days. 32 ES&F Tell us a little about your training and who you train with and what your work life balance is like. Rendon My typical day Wake up at 4 am be at the gym and lift weights make my veggie juice smoothie for breakfast see an athlete for swim session do my own swim workout and then workout more depending on my next upcoming race. Since I am racing Trans Am in June 2017 I climb hills on my morning bike ride. After the ride I may be working on projects as an Engineering consultant or taking care of my coaching business Feisty Fox Coaching. I throw another high intensity 1-hour workout in the middle of the day then go back to working on projects. Throughout the day I am constantly in communication with my athletes in and outside the United States. At 4 pm I working on projects. I prepare dinner and dedicate the evening hanging out with my wife Vineta. When I m with Vineta I pick up the phone only occassionaly such as when an athlete has an emergency. ES&F What do you do for your mental training It takes a certain mental fortitude to do this sport. What drives you and keeps you sustained during competition Rendon My training is always harder than my race. I train solo for long hours as I listen to audiobooks about lives of Olympians and great athletes or books written by ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 coaches and motivational speakers. Having a purpose that I truly committed myself helps with my mental training too. My goal is to inspire the world. I am not racing only for myself. Instead I am racing to give home and inspiration to everyone. Hence whenever I m about to breaking down or wanting to give up I dig deep and remind myself of my purpose. f give up too early without putting up a good fight will I be able to fulfill my purpose I ask that over and over again. During training I do lot of visualization. I put myself in a scenario in which I am already racing. I ask for myself if I m already at the race if not how am I supposed to carry myself in order to fulfill my purpose Lastly I believe in myself. I have already achieved many of my goals but I am always changing my goals and going for new ones. ES&F Do you budget for your competitions each year Rendon Before I commit to a race I do research on all the expenses including flight food registration etc. then evaluate whether I have money to race without sacrificing other financial responsibilities. I am very picky about what races I participate in due to limitations on finances. And when I race I don t want to just finish I want to do well be at the top. That said I invest money time and energy. ES&F What about pain or injury...anything slowing you down Rendon Believe it or not I haven t been sick or injured for almost 3 years now. I practice proper recovery routines eat right and sleep rest enough. I also listen to my body very well. Read more at ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 33 EXECUTIVE ATHLETE Racing for a Cause Hopecam CEO Len Forkas Leverages His Talents to Help Kids with Cancer By Alix Shutello Len Forkas 57 is an entrepreneur founder of Milestone Communications who uses his abilities as an endurance athlete to raise awareness and resources for his charity organization Hopecam. Forkas launched Hopecam in 2003 in response to living the experience of having a child with cancer. Hopecam helps homebound kids with cancer who often spend months in treatment connect with friends family and classmates via tablets and web cameras which enable them to communicate with one another between home and school. The service helps patients overcome the burden of social isolation & loneliness In January 2002 when his son Matt was diagnosed with leukemia Forkas could see that he had felt abandon by his classmates. At the toughest time in Matt s life when he needed his friends the most he was stuck at home undergoing treatment Forkas convinced the technology officer at his son s school to connect his home computer with a webcam in the classroom. This was before Skype and Facetime had been invented. Once connected Matt s friends encouraged him through treatment. Forkas turned to exercise to cope with the stress of his son s illness. His longest event was the Marine Corps Marathon when Matt was born in 1997. He raised 5 000 racing the JFK50 in 2003. Each year I raced more money flowed to the charity . He completed seven JFK races. In 2004 Forkas began competing in half Ironman races and by 2007 he was racing full Ironman distances. He went on to complete 5 Ironman s using each event as a fund raiser generating up to 40K each year. what driveS me iS the bravery and Strength oF the chiLdren Fighting cancer. whatever mentaL Strength i have comeS From the thought that theSe chiLdren are Fighting For their LiveS. that my son survived and I am paying back each time we can relieve the loneliness and isolation of these brave children he said. Continued on Page 36 As I pushed myself physically the contributions increased in a beautiful upward spiral Forkas explained. In 2010 for example I cycled to Rochester N.Y. with four friends in four days covering 500 miles raising 10K. That was when I discovered that I could ride back-to-back centuries and recover quickly Forkas said. He went on to complete the Sebring 400 in 23 hours in 2011 thereby qualifying for Race Across America (RAAM). In September 2011 Forkas completed the Adirondack 540 in 47 hours another RAAM qualifier and signed up for RAAM solo 2012 What drives me is the bravery and strength of the children fighting cancer. Whatever mental strength I have comes from the thought that these children are fighting for their lives. I do these things for one simple reason I owe a huge debt of gratitude 34 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 You CHALLENGE yourself. You EXCEED expectations. Photo Courtesy of Vic Armijo to help children fight for their lives EXTRAORDINARY ability Why not use your Hopecam connects children with cancer to life. By providing the technology to connect children in treatment with their friends and classrooms Hopecam (a 501c3 non-profit charity) decreases the loneliness and anxiety they experience during this frightening time. Their mission to promote healing by defeating social isolation is supported entirely by donations. On June 13 2017 Hopecam Founder Len Forkas will compete in Race Across America (RAAM) a 3 089 mile solo cross country bike race from San Diego CA to Annapolis MD that must be completed in 12 days. It is considered the most difficult bike race in the world. Len s goal is not just to finish strong but to raise 1 million for Hopecam to connect another 1 000 children. Help Hopecam raise 1 million for children with Cancer. race-for-hope Make a one-time donation via text message Text Hopecam to 20222 to give 10.00 Text Hopecam25 to 20222 to give 25.00 Are you a champion Be our champion RIDE. RUN. SWIM. INSPIRE. Email info to learn how your races can benefit Hopecam. ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 35 EXECUTIVE ATHLETE Continued From Page 34 Forkas biggest accomplishment as an athlete came when he completed RAAM 2012 in 11 days 4 hours winning his age division (50- 59) and finishing 10th overall from a field of 47 athletes from 20 countries. In the process he raised 350K for Hopecam. His experience training for and completing RAAM was the impetus behind his book What Spins the Wheel Leadership lessons from our Race for Hope in 2014. Forkas who speaks on the topic of mission-driven teams and leadership has raised 300K in honorariums and book sales all to the benefit of the Hopecam Charity. These resources quadrupled the scale of the charity and in September 2016 Hopecam celebrated connecting its 1 000th child to over 10 000 classmates in 44 states. i do theSe thingS For one SimpLe reaSon god Saved my Son. i owe a huge debt oF gratitude that i am paying back each time we can reLieve the LoneLineSS and iSoLation oF theSe brave chiLdren. To continue his mission Forkas started training for RAAM again and in June 2017 he will cycle the RAAM 2017 as a solo cyclist with the goal of raising 1 million for Hopecam. Preparing for RAAM right now requires 20-25 hours a week of core-cardiostrength training and an additional 10 hours a week of logistical coordination for a 12-person volunteer team to plan prepare communicate and fundraise for the June 13 start date. Add the public speaking events to the mix and I have a very full week Forkas said. How does he do it all Passion for sure. I am an amateur athlete non-sponsored and my mostiimportant priority is to find the balance between serving my family and friends my team at work and the Hopecam team and maintaining a strong base of running and cycling. What drives me is the opportunity to discover new physical boundaries and use these race experiences to create awareness and resources to help more children with cancer. Race Resume 2013 Forkas and his son Matt summited Mt Kilimanjaro where Matt raised 25K for Hopecam as a college student. 2014 First Virginia resident to complete the Lifetime Fitness Lead Man Series finishing the marathon 50-mile bike 100-mile bike and 100-mile run. 2015 -Completed the double-triple bypass in Colorado -Completed La Ruta de Conquistadores mountain bike stage race in 2015. 2016 -Competed in the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel race in Emporia Kansas -Completed the double-triple bypass in Colorado -Competed in the world time trial championships in Borrego Springs CA cycling 350 miles in 24 hours. Twitter lenforkas Book webpage https Wikipedia page https wiki Len_Forkas Business page http Charity page http Race blog raceforhopecam 36 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 37 ADVENTURE RACING Uberman (Ubermensch) One Creative and Strong Enough to Master the Whole Spectrum of Human Potential By Dan Bercu The 2016 inaugural Uberman Ultra ished in 5 days Alessi finished the entire Triathlon (October 20) was epic and uncourse solo in 8 days. like any other offered on earth. For those looking to venture beyond the closed Relay Racers John Chung Shangrila courses of a double triple or quintuple Rendon and Norbert L ftenegger distance format to something almost completely off the grid this race is for At 11 59 p.m. on October 20 John Chung you. Athletes must complete a 22-mile stood on the dark shore of Catalina Island open-ocean swim from Catalina Island wearing nothing but a Speedo swim cap Calif. to the Palos Verdes Mainland. The and LED light. There were no floodlights biking portion consists of a 400-mile starting guns or even spectators. With a bike (with 20 000 feet of climbing) from shout he jumped off the pier and into the Palos Verdes to Death Valley. Athletes ink-black Pacific Ocean. For 16 hours he finish by running the 135-mile Badwater swam toward the California coast dodgcourse from Badwater Basin (the lowest point in the Western the uberman ultra trIathlon reflects Hemisphere) to Mount Whitney the hero s mental physIcal and spIrItual (highest peak in the continental journey. uberman Is a human Interest US). Not only did the race push the boundaries of human limits it united a group of endurance triathletes who wanted to try something new in the world of endurance triathlon. 20 000 vertical feet through mountains and desert passes. Fifty-one hours after starting she guided her bike out onto the Badwater salt flats and passed the baton to Norbert L ftenegger. At 11 p.m. L ftenegger eased Rendon off her bike and began running toward Mt. Whitney. He was following the famous Badwater course The toughest footrace on earth. He ate mostly squares of Swiss chocolate drank plain water and slept in the dirt. During daylight hours the soul-crushing emptiness of Death Valley laid itself before him in straight roads that went on forever. He had no music or heart rate monitor to distract his thoughts. After 43 hours he wound up the switchbacks and touched the Mt. Whitney trailhead at 8 600 feet above sea level. The race director pinned a small diamond-shaped U on his chest and hurried back down the mountain and into the night. Start training for the 2017 Uberman Ultra Triathlon October 10-12 2017. CONTACT DBERCU BERCULLC.COM WEBSITE story whIch takes place at the far edge of everyday realIty. The Uberman Ultra triathlon reflects the hero s mental physical and spiritual journey. Uberman is a human interest story which takes place at the far edge of everyday reality said race director Dan Bercu. In 2016 seven athletes competed Tobias Frenze (Germany) Scott Sambucci (USA) Sam Brenkel (Scotland) and Giorgio Alessi (Italy) competed solo. John Chung (USA) Shangrila Rendon (Philippines USA) and Norbert L ftenegger (Austria) completed the relay. The relay team fin- ing squid boats 5-story freighters and an occasional shark. After the river-like current dragged him far to the south he pulled himself ashore at Abalone Cove on Palos Verdes a 28-mile swim. Shangrila Rendon then helped haul Chung her 200-pound relay partner up the sandy embankment. She gave him a bear hug then clipped into her road bike and began pedaling 400 miles toward Death Valley. Rendon is accustomed to tough conditions however and currently holds the Guinness World Record for fastest female Quintuple Ironman. She rode through 50-mile-per-hour gusts of Santa Ana winds which blew her sideways into opposing lanes of traffic. She climbed 38 ENDURANCE SPORTS & FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 OCTOBER 10TH 22 Miles CATALINA ISLAND TO LOS ANGELES 400 Miles LA TO BADWATER 135 Miles BADWATER TO MOUNT WHITNEY CONTACT DANIEL BERCU DBERCU BERCULLC.COM WWW.UBERMAN1.COM& FITNESS MAGAZINE MARCH APRIL 2017 ENDURANCE SPORTS 39 Every athlete has his or her specific goals and reasons for racing in whatever event he or she chooses but overall most would agree that the journey to the finish line is what resonates in most athletes minds. PHOTO CREDIT RON JONES SPIRITMOTIVATION DRIVE MOTIVATION DRIVE SPIRIT To push one s body and soul to the outer limits of our capabilities To push one s body and soul to the outer limits of our capabilities PHOTO CREDIT RON JONES