Monday, November 28, 2011

Very flattered.

I am very excited and honored say I was chosen to be the latest interview subject on the blog Human Potential, which is my buddy John's blog, "Sherpa John" to most, which has been going on for several years now and I have been reading it every step of the way. As I said I was very honored to be interviewed since some of his past interviews have include such usual suspects as Karl Metlzer, who has only won about three of the 100-mile races I have been in. Anyway, here is a link to the interview. John and I have known each for years now, having been in one of our first ultras together almost six years ago now.

Anyway, here is a link to the interview and I hope you enjoy it, I had a lot of fun being interviewed. Unfortunately, I fee bad, because I writes way too much on a whole and made a lot of extra work for john as a results, but I did warn him that I can write as much as I talk.

Interview: Jim Lampman

Also, I have some other exciting news, but I will wait until things are up and posted before I say anything official here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2012 Race Schedule (a lot choices still to make)

I have outlined my 2012 proposed race schedule in an attached document. I am basically I am looking to complete as many 100-mile runs as I can feasibly do in the next calendar year (hopefully at least six). I have several of them what I will be or hopefully will be returning to for my second (NJ 100, Philly 100, Burning River 100,), third (Beast Summer 100, Beast Winter 100), fourth (Virgil Crest 100) or even sixth time (VT 100). This will be my third year at the McNaughton in Vermont 200-mile run; the first year in 2010 I only did the 100-mile; second year in 2011 I did 155-miles without sleeping and this coming year I will be going back to get it done by implementing the same solid sleep/run schedule that was planned out for my friend Ryan O’Dell’s successful 200-mile solo run that I did 155-160 miles of it with him four weeks after my own 200-mile attempt. I always do the Finger Lakes 50K, because it is in the local race series (WNY Ultra Series), I am good friends with the race directors (as with most local RDs) and I will most likely get my VT 100 service hours volunteer there after I finish my race again if I can do VT. I will also be trying to add a few of new 100-mile runs to the list with the Old Dominion 100, Pine Creek Challenge 100, Viaduct 100, and Oil Creek 100, but I have to make some choices on those races. I have wanted to do Oil Creek 100 for a few years now, but it always has been the same weekend as the Canandaigua 50-Mile Around The Lake Run, which I have done the last six years and am currently in the hall of fame for that race for the second most number of finishes in that race’s history. Forunutely, those two races are not the same weekend for next year, so I will try to see about doing both of them in 2012.
As I said, I have the intention of racing as much as I can, it is what I like to do for many reasons – not just because I like to run, which I do, but because I enjoy the ultra running community and I want to see just what I am capable of – I would like to see if I have it in me to complete my goal of 100 100-mile runs. 

Proposed 2012 Race Schedule (some choices still to make)

February 21-22 
Beast of Burden 100-Mile, Lockport, NY
 - Registered (3rd in a row)

March 24-25 
NJ 100-Mile, Long Valley, NJ
 - Registering soon (will be 2nd)

April 7-8 
Philadelphia 100-Mile, Philadelphia, PA
 - Registered (Will be 2nd)

May 10-13 
McNaughton in Vermont 200-Mile, Pittsfield, VT
 - Registered (3rd)

June 2-3 
Old Dominion 100-Mile, Woodstock, VA
 - Need to decide on June race

June 16-17 
Mohican Trail 100-Mile, Loudonville, OH
 - Need to decide on June race

June 30 
Finger Lakes 50K, Hector, NY
 - Registration opens in January

July 7-8 
Viaduct Trail 100-Mile / 200-Mile, PA
 - Registered

July 21-22 
Vermont 100-Mile, Woodstock, VT
 - Registering if open still in January (6th in a row)

July 28-29 
Burning River 100-Mile, Akron, OH
 - Need to decide if possible with schedule (2nd)

August 18-19 
Beast of Burden Summer 100-Mile, Lockport, NY
 - Registering as soon as possible (3rd in a row)

September 8-9 
Pine Creek Challenge 100-Mile, PA
 - Still researching race

September 24-25 
Virgil Crest 100-Mile, Virgil, NY
 - Registering as soon as possible (4th in a row)

October 6 
Canandaigua Lake 50-Mile, Canandaigua, NY
 - Registering as soon as possible (7th in a row)

October 16-17 
Oil Creek 100-Mile, Titusville, PA
 - Registering as soon as possible

This is going to be long, but explains how I feel about ultra running...

[Term paper for Psychological and Sociological Aspect of Physical Activity class; It's just a paper for a class, it's not like a dissertation or anything major like that, but it definitely could be. I also could have put way more work into it than I did, but hey, it wasn't bad for the night before it was due.]

Ultra runners, endurance runners, or “those idiots”; these are just some of names given to those individuals who willing choose to run distances farther than a standard marathon of 26.2 miles. The marathon is still considered by most to be the pinnacle race of running, which is interesting, because in the ultrarunning community a marathon is considered just a weekend training run. That is not meant to belittle the accomplishment of finishing a marathon, because simply starting such an event is an extraordinary feat, it’s just a statement of fact. Thinking of running in such terms doesn’t happen over night, but is the result of being thoroughly absorbed into the ultrarunning lifestyle, and make no mistake about it; it’s a lifestyle, not a sport.
            James Lampman wasn’t always the ultrarunner he is today, and had very humble beginnings in the sport of running. He had always loved to be active as a young child, and constantly made adults wonder, “Just what are they feeding that kid?” He went on from chasing his sister around the yard to winning the “Fastest Runner” award in his second grade gym class, which still hangs on his wall to this day.  This experience, of excelling at something he enjoyed and had fun doing, would serve as the basis for what he expected of future sport experiences. (Coakley 1992 p. 12) 
            Years later in Junior High, James would join the Cato-Meridian Modified Track & Field team with a handful of friends, and join the distance squad to run the 800 meter and 1600 meter races. Even at that early level of competitive running he favored the long distance races, where it was more of a test of endurance than how fast your were, like shorter runs or sprints.  As well as wanting to do an activity that he enjoyed, his other main reason for joining the team was, because it was something he could do with his friends. He had missed out on his opportunity to join the school’s Modified Cross-Country team the previous fall, but his friends had joined, and they encouraged him to join the team the next fall. James was less of a competitor when it came to sports, and was always more concerned with the enjoyment he got from the activity and the camaraderie with this friends and teammates, which will continue to be the case through the rest of his sports experiences. 
            When it came time to join the cross-country team the next fall a few of his friends who had urged him to run cross-country with them had decided to join the football instead, in the hopes of glory and girls. With the accomplishments of his first track season James had been ready to show his friends how proficient he had become as a runner from training throughout the spring and summer, which according to White (1992) addressed his need to display his competence in the sport to his peers. James had wanted to quit the team since his best friends were no longer on the team, but his parents (mostly Father) had encouraged him to at least stick it out for the season, and if he didn’t want to do it next year, he didn’t have to. His father wanted him to take responsibility as a young adult, and uphold his promise to be on the team (Coakley 2006). Also, the small school had a limited number of runners, and every boy was needed to have a full roster to compete for the season. So, he stayed with the team for the rest of that season, and return for a second season of track in the spring. This is in keeping with Martin’s (1991) findings that, “encouragement from others may influence perceived ability which in turn influences sports participation” Throughout his continued experiences on modified and high school running teams, James was encouraged by parents, coaches and runner buddies to continue on with his running after school.
            After his graduation from High School, James went off to attend a college that didn’t offer a varsity running sport, because he felt that he wasn’t good enough or fast enough to compete at the collegiate level. White (1992) found that an individual is likely to participate in a given sport if they have a perceived competence in the sport. Although he was quite competent in running, he was less than ambitious about having to be under the pressure to perform at the high standards needed to be on a college team. He didn’t want the sport to become like work, where it would stress him out, and possibly make him burnout on the sport. He wanted to continue to run, but on his own terms and at no cost to you enjoyment to the sport, but in what arena could he do that? (Coakley 1992)
            Once at school James found a group of individuals with ideals about running not unlike his own in the form of a newly created Running Club on campus. He was easily welcomed into the group; they too enjoyed running in a stress free fashion and sought to run unfettered by coaches or ridged training schedules. The club was to carpool out to a series of runs the first few weeks of school, which included a 5k run and a half marathon. The club thought the latter of which you had to be insane to attempt, and James thought he would attempt, after all the club was paying for it, and even though he had never run that far before he was confident he could at least finish the race. He ended up surviving the half marathon and completed another 10-mile race a month later.
            Throughout the year James moved onto the marathon distance and completed a number of these, but still had not found what he was looking for with running. Even at this distance it was the same as it had been with the previous distances, it was a running culture of individuals. In marathons runners have a very “me” mentality, in which they are all trying to individually meet their own goals, and there’s not a lot of camaraderie for your fellow runners. He felt like an “outsider” in the sport, because he didn’t possess the perceived ambition that everyone else (“insiders”) had to succeed in face of others failing. (Stevenson 2002) This would be reflected in the fact that everyone at the starting line would be all business and getting into the right frame of mind while waiting for the race to start, and almost no one would be joking or catching up with friends before the race. 
            At some point during his second year at college James would be introduced to the idea of “trail running”, and the concept of a “ultra” run that covered a distance farther than a marathon. This experience exposed him to the group that would later make up a good portion of his social world, the ultrarunning community. He immediately identified with the norms of this group, and noticed a huge contrast to the landscape of marathons and those runs of even short distances. Gone was this “me” mentality, and it was replaced by the over feeling of a “we” mentality, in which everyone was part of the group, and we were all trying to finish the event together. This was apparent even from before the start of the run when everyone was talking with friends, introducing themselves to newcomers and carrying on as if they were all meeting to go on a Saturday morning jog together instead of a 30-mile trail run that would last some hours. 
During the run, it became less about what your finishing time was going to be, and more about whether or not you were going finish the event at all, because it wasn’t a given that you would finish and there in lied the challenge. Everyone offered each other words of encouragement, and helped others keep moving through the tough parts of the course, getting everyone to the finish. Elise Braner (2009), coach of the North Face Endurance Challenge program, commented, “…ultra-running is more than just a race. It is about building a community and connecting with other athletes out on the trail. It is more than just about you and your race, but how you can leverage the relationships built on the trail to help you finish.” (A Marathoner’s Experience, para .5) James would return to this event every year after that first, and each time it would feel more like a meeting of good friends to take on the trail together, and less like a competition. After being made aware of ultrarunning and participating in the community it fosters, he began to form an attachment to it and a desire to continue to be accepted within it. (Funk 2009)
After that initial positive adventure into the world ultra running, James had an idea of his possible potential for success in that running community and positive impact of the people involved in that community, which both concreted his eventual commitment to that community. (Stevenson 1990)
For the next few years James would become the familiar face of a youngster in a community dominated by veterans at ultra runs in Western New York and the Northeast U.S. The average age of a participant in most endurance runs 50-miles or longer is usually around 42 years old, which at the time at the time of James’s first 100-mile trail run was his age flipped. Although he had completed a few dozen marathons and shorter distances runs, several ultra distance runs and was decades younger than most other finishers in such events, he still felt small by comparison to those runners around him. It wasn’t that they were necessarily faster than him, because that didn’t matter, it was that many of them had run distances that many people dread driving, and he wanted to be counted among them, among those who some might say are of questionable sanity.
It wasn’t until the completion of that first 100-mile trail run in the mountains of Vermont, that James finally felt at least on par with most of the runners in his community. He soon realized however that everyone in the group had their thing, and everyone looks at everyone else in the community with awe, for one reason or another, no matter who they were. Some people hold course records; others have done prestigious runs in various parts of the country and world; and others like James raced as far as they could as often as they could, and maybe never won a race, but was always back at the starting line the very next race to run again. According to Stevenson (1990), these accomplishments by individuals in the ultra community “produced valued identities and reputations” (p.12), which were constantly being reinforced by other runners, family member and friends. Stevenson (1990) continues by say that “these identities therefore acted to reinforce the athletes’ decision to continue in their commitment to the sport.” (p.12)
Over the past several years, since his introduction to the social world of ultrarunning, James has been accepted into the ultrarunning subculture after demonstrating to the community that he too lives the ultrarunning lifestyle and places value on the ideals of the group, such as: maintaining an injury free body and improving personal performance through training and help from the group. (Donnelly 1998, p.3) James is a member of Ultrarunning Matters, an ultrarunning club/community based in Syracuse, NY, with members all over the United States. The club offers members of the group a social world in which to share knowledge and discuss topics pertaining to ultra running, and a network of peers who can offer encouragement and support to fellow runners as they continue to explore the potential of human endurance. This encouragement comes to individuals about to participate in an upcoming event and congratulations to those who just completed an event.
The running club is comprised of ultrarunners, which include: race directors, doctors and healthcare professionals, academics, students, and individuals in their twenties, sixties and every age in between, Everyone has some to offer the group as far as an expertise in some area of knowledge that is pertinent to the rest of the community. Even with his young age James is able to contribute to the group because of the variety of running events he has completed by offering information about the runs to other that might be considering the same events in the future. 
James looks to continue to run, and be involved in the ultra running community as a whole, for many years to come. As long as he retains the physical ability to run, has the support and encouragement of family, friends and peers (and runner peers), and opportunities to see just what he is ultimately capable of. He’s very hopefully of his continued future in running, the oldest individual to complete one of his most recent ultras was 72 years young, and he was still smiling as he crossed the finish line after 30 hours of being on his feet to cover 100-miles. “Once you become an ultra runner, there is no turning back” (A Marathoner’s Experience, para. 6).

Works Cited
Braner, E. (2009. Oct 6) A Marathoner’s Experience as an Ultramarathon Coach.
Message posted to

Coakley, J. (2006) Th e Good Father: Parental Expectation and Youth Sports. Leisure
Studies. Vol. 25 Issue 2, p153-163

Coakley, J. (1992) Burnout Among Adolescent Athletes: A Personal Failure or Social
Problem. Sociology of Sport Journal. Vol. 9 Issue 3, p271-285.

Donnelly, P., Young, K. (1988) The Construction and Confirmation of Identity in
Sport Subcultures. Sociology of Sport Journal. Vol. 5 Issue 3, p223-240

Funk, D. C., Beaton, A. A., Alexandris, K. (2009) Operationalizing a
Theory of Participation In Physically Active Leisure. Journal of Leisure Research. 2nd Quarter, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p177-203

Martin, D. E., Dodder, R. A. (1991) Socialization Experiences and Level of
Terminating Participation In Sports. Journal of Sport Behavior, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p113-127.

Stevenson, C. L. (2002) Seeking Identities: Towards Understanding of the
Athletic Careers of Master Swimmers. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. Vol. 37 Issue 2, p131-146.

Stevenson, C. L. (1990) The Early Careers of International Athletes. Sociology
of Sport Journal. Vol. 7 Issue 3, p238-253.

White A., Coakley, J. (1992) Making Decisions: Gender and Sport Participation
Among British Adolescents. Sociology of Sport Journal. Vol. 9 Issue 1, p20-35

...and so it begins.

Over the years I have always wanted to start a running blog to keep track of my adventures, but I just never got around to it for whatever reason: school, work, life, etc. I think the problem is that I am just more at home talking than writing; I am a born talker and storyteller by family decent and the story goes that I never had a first word, honest, apparently I just started talking in complete sentences. My sister always says, the trouble is that once I started talking I did not shut up, which my teachers throughout grade school can attest to, I never could be quiet in class. This also got translated over to running once I got into that; as any that has ever run with me before can vouch for me, I can and do talk constantly during a race or run, and I can talk for at least a good portion of two days (my buddy Ryan can attest to this, his 200-mile run last June where I accompanied him for like 150-miles).

It is my hopes to bring some of those talks and such that transpire in a race to the written page here to have accounts of my adventuring with the many fine individuals out there sharing the trails with me in our common goal of finishing.

I am currently on break from races for the rest of the year until January, not by choice mind you, but paying for school does put a pinch on my race funds otherwise I would most certainly race as often as possible. Let me explain a little...

In 2011 I completed six 100-mile races, as well as three other 100-155-mile runs (pacing, DNFs of race >100mi.) all in eight months and I would like to see if I can do even more racing this coming year in 2012. I was once running a marathon with a friend of mine a few falls ago with her as her first marathon to company her through to the finish and she spotted someone that had a 100 Marathon Club shirt on and said, “That doesn’t sound that hard, you have probably done that with your races divided out. You should have a 100 100-Mile Club, now that would be nuts.” What can I say I liked the idea, and I have 17 official 100-mile finishes in the last five years towards that goal and am looking to up the number completed in each year: 2007 – 1, 2008 – 2, 2009 – 3, 2010 – 5, 2011 – 6. I figure even if I race somewhat conservatively I could be starting that club by the time I was 40-45. There are almost 90 100-mile runs in the U.S. every year, I could do like at least 15 of them a year with shorter races mixed in if I had the backing. I have the intention of racing as much as I can, it is what I like to do for many reasons – not just because I like to run, which I do, but because I enjoy the ultra running community and I want to see just what I am capable of – I would like to see if I have it in me to complete my goal of 100 100-mile runs.

I would like to end with a couple of quotes:

"I still think you may have been left on our doorstep by some running clan, and mom was so nice she took you in." - My Sister, Ellen

"You are the stupidest smart kid I know." (Luke on Jim's running) - Friend, Luke Tatusko

"You are crazy dude. Like you seem all mild mannered, but behind that is a total psycho." (Bret on Jim's running)
- Friend's roommate, Bret Weed

Run Happy

Run Happy, simple right?

People always tell me that I look happy in races: smiling at the start, 30-miles in, 80-miles in during the night being poured on by rain and tromping through mud, then more than a day later still smiling at the finish. I always tell people that running should be fun and that if they ever see me running and I do not look happy, tell me and I will stop running. I plan on doing this running thing for the next several decades: having the pleasure of seeing some awesome trails, meeting some new friends, seeing old friends and eating some great food along the way. The way I see it I am given the privilege of running, when I race or go for a run I am not running because I HAVE to run, but rather because I GET to run, so why wouldn't that put a smile on my face?

Welcome to the blog, hope I do not disappoint.

Run Happy.