Friday, February 20, 2009

Drake Well Marathon Website = Operational

I am very happy to announce the the Drake Well Marathon website is now open for all those wishing to register, see what the course is like and start making plans! You will not find a better value out there for your dollar than this wonderful race.

Or, if you are made of oodles of money, you are welcome to spend $11 for the chance to then pay $171 to run the NYC Marathon. (ouch!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Right Thing to Do.

Perhaps because a vast majority of my life has been in or around athletics, stories about sacrifice and compassion in the sports world really get to me.

Well, HERE is another one.

For those of you who want the abbreviated version, here it is:

In a tight basketball game, two friendly, but heated, rivals were playing in the second quarter of a a high school game in Milwaukee. Dave Rohlman's team had just been awarded a technical foul. The individual who volunteered to shoot the free shows went up to the line and "...looked at the rim. His first attempt went about two feet, bouncing a couple of times as it rolled toward the end line. The second barely left his hand."

Horrible player. Nope. (Well, maybe as I don't have his stats on hand.) But the act was intentional. You see, Rohlman's Dekalb, Ill team was awarded the shots because the opposing team from Milwaukee had inserted a player into the game who was not on the pre-game roster. Was this a nefarious trick by the opposing team? Not at all. The player inserted into the line-up had shown up late to the game because he had, hours earlier, been at the bed of his mother who passed away from cancer. Showing up, he asked if he could play. His coach gladly let him which awarded Rohlman's team with the free throws.

After initially refusing the free throws, Rohlman was told he had to take them. Insert the airball thrower. It didn't take long for take long for the Milwaukee players to figure out what was going on.They stood and turned toward the DeKalb bench and started applauding the gesture of sportsmanship. Soon, so did everybody in the stands.

"I did it for the guy who lost his mom," McNeal told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It was the right thing to do."

Dekalb ended up losing the game. But do you really care who won? Look inward today and do something because "it was the right thing to do." You will end up winning regardless of the score.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Interview with my hometown paper

The other day I received a surprise phone call from my hometown paper. they wanted to do an interview about both my new book and also the upcoming Drake Well Marathon. Glad to do both, the following is the result.

Rauschenberg's new book chronicles ‘marathon year'

By Allison Seib
Monday, February 16, 2009 10:57 PM CST

“If you think you can do something, you probably can,” says running legend and author Dane Rauschenberg.

Rauschenberg's book, “See Dane Run: One Man, 52 Weekends, 52 Marathons,” which hit shelves recently, carries this inspirational message.

Although the book chronicles the Titusville native's experiences in 2006 when he completed the seemingly impossible feat of running a 26-mile race every weekend for 52 consecutive weeks, Rauschenberg said the book is not just intended for runners.

“It's a book not just about my running,” he said. “I tell people they don't know what they can do until they try. I have had a lot of people tell me they aren't runners but that [my book] was an inspiration.”

Whether he has ever changed anyone's life with the book, he said he doesn't know for sure. “If I can put [someone's] foot in their shoe and get them out the door, I'll take that credit,” said Rauschenberg, who now lives in Salt Lake City.

According to his mother, Barb Rauschenberg, of Titusville, once her son puts his mind and heart into something, she knows that he will put all his effort into accomplishing his goal.

“He said that after he graduated [high school], he wanted to go to Penn State,” said Barb. “And I told him, ‘Wow, Dane that's an expensive school.' But he put himself through college and law school. He is very determined.”

Dedication is just what Rauschenberg needed to accomplish the feat of running weekly marathons for an entire year.

He ran on weekends, flying to various locations and paying for airfare, accommodations, and rental cars. He returned home to Washington, D.C., during the week to work a full-time job at a patent company.

“The traveling was a difficult thing,” said Rauschenberg. “I had to maintain a full-time job, and I had to make sure I was home on Mondays. I had to pay for the entire thing out of my own pocket. The entire year was unbelievable.”

With eight months of planning the previous year, Rauschenberg set out to run the impossible, but he did not run without cause. Knowing that his goal to run 52 marathons would make news across the country, he ran in honor and support of the charity L'Arche USA, raising money and making the public aware of the charity.

“I knew that what I was doing would be able to get a lot of attention for a charity,” he said. “Not many people knew or have heard about L'Arche USA.”

L'Arche USA, originally a French charity established in 1964, is a foundation that brings people with and without developmental disabilities together to learn, support and build relationships with one another to enable growth. The first U.S. L'Arche began in 1972 in Erie.

“I wanted to raise $52,000 to coincide with the 52 marathons and 52 weekends,” said Rauschenberg. “I've raised $44,000 [this far], but the Web site is still open [and taking donations]. I'm still hoping that people will keep giving.”

Aside from raising awareness and funds for a charity, Rauschenberg said other memorable moments have come out of this experience.

“I ran a race in Niagara Falls that started in Buffalo, N.Y., and at the time my personal best was three hours and five minutes,” he said. “I had no idea that as I continued I would get faster. In the 42nd race, I set a new personal best, but I also broke a three hour race. To get faster and drop six minutes was extraordinarily memorable.”

Another memorable race for Rauschenberg was his 51st. It was a weekend he knew had no scheduled marathon anywhere in the U.S.

With no race to run, Rauschenberg and his family set up a marathon in Titusville at the Ed Myer Complex.

“It was hard to top the Drake Well Marathon,” said Rauschenberg. “To have people come together across the country and bring it together [in Titusville] was amazing. It was definitely a memorable race.”

Rauschenberg is helping plan another marathon on Aug. 9 this year in conjunction with the Oil 150 Celebration in Titusville. The race will be held at the Ed Myer Complex once again.

“A lot of [the marathon] is going to be run on the bike path. Studies have shown that marathons have boosted economies by thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Rauschenberg. “We would love to have the community's support. And anyone who can volunteer would be greatly appreciated.”

Coming back to Titusville to run a marathon was like a reunion for Rauschenberg, who is a 1994 Titusville High School graduate. He began running track and field during his junior year; however, he admits that while in high school, swimming was the sport he mastered, not running.

“Brent Henderson [THS track coach] never really pushed me to join the track team, but he was someone who I highly admired,” said Rauschenberg. “He kind of helped me lay the groundwork [for what I have accomplished] just by being such a great guy.”

In his book, Rauschenberg not only names Henderson as an inspiration, but other Titusville natives who made an everlasting impact on his life.

His family is another support system that he credits for his success.

“From my personal life, my parents have just been supportive of everything that I do,” he said. “They were like, ‘Are you sure you can do this?' and I said, ‘I think so,' and they were behind me 100 percent.”

He added that his parents, who have experienced tough times themselves, must have been an inspiration on some level. His father suffered a hunting accident when Rauschenberg was a child and his mother overcame heart complications and surgeries. He said he found inspiration in how his parents dealt with their problems.

Rauschenberg now works with a running company. He also travels while making motivational speeches.

With some ideas in mind for another “impossible” race, Rauschenberg said he would like to do a 3,000 mile, cross-country run in 60 days from Los Angeles to Manhattan.

“It won't happen until next spring or possibly next fall,” he said. “I know what I can do with my running. It would probably be a good book.”

Rauschenberg's book is available in stores and online at Rauschenberg directly ships books to customers who order the book on his Web site, so he said he is willing to autograph purchases.

For more information on the marathon to be held at the Ed Myer Complex in August go to

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Drake Well Marathon Website

Happy to say that the Drake Well Marathon website will be functional in just a few days!

In the meantime, here are the registrations prices and the link to register:


$55 by 03.30.2009
$65 by 05.31.2009
$75 by 07.31.2009

Half Marathon

$35 by 03.30.2009
$45 by 05.31.2009
$55 by 07.31.2009

Kids Fun Run

$10 by 07.31.2009

Stay tuned for more info!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

7,000 miles...and counting

I have only been keeping track of my running miles since 2006. As detailed oriented I am to these miles (I get made fun of constantly for my spreadsheet) I don't mind the fact that I don't have my miles previous to that. I know I have a paper log somewhere that has the miles I ran in 2004 and 2005 but I know those weren't all that much. Maybe 1500 miles each year or so. And someday I will find them.

That said, on Friday, I decided to total up my miles for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. For some odd reasons I had a feeling I was nearing a milestone. I was right. On my last mile of my 2nd run on Thursday, I ran my 7,000th mile since the beginning of 2006. Wow.

I started to think about that. I know people who have been keeping track for 30 years. I know people who have run 5,000 miles in one year. But all that doesn't matter. We compare ourselves against our own personal bests fare more often than we do others (or we should, at least). And 7,000 miles is a lot of damn miles. That is akin to running from my current home in Salt Lake City to my hometown of Titusville, PA and then turning around and running back...and then doing it again (If I could walk on water across Lake Eire, that is). And then having 312 miles to spare.

I sit back and think about that and I say Wow again. My legs have done that. I have been lucky enough to be able to run that distance. In fact, of those miles, 2544.69 have been during a race. That means 36% of every mile I have run in the past 3 plus years has been in competition. Holy cow.

Yet in spite of all of this, I am planning to run across the country soon. And the plan is to do so in 60 days. That equals roughly 50 miles a day. So, I plan to run 1/2 the miles I have EVER run in 1/20th of the time. And I have no doubt I can do it.

This is the kind of spirit I try to give to people when I speak. When I first planned to run 52 Marathons in a year I had run 6 lifetime marathons. I had no idea whether it was even possible to run 52 in a year. But at the same time I had a feeling *I* could do it.

So if you are wondering if there is something out there that may or may not be possible, don't worry about. That is wasted energy. Begin thinking about how you are GOING to do it and start using that energy to figure out how you are going to do it and how you will celebrate it when you are done.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dane at REI

On March 3rd, 2009 I have been asked to give a speech at the REI store in Salt Lake City. CLICK FOR DETAILS.

My speech will cover topics ranging from how I began running in the first place to anecdotal recaps from Fiddy2 to a free-from Q&A with the attendees. You needn't be a runner to attend this free event - but bring your sense of adventure!

I will also be signing copies of my book after the speech which starts at 7 PM, so come on down!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Splits 59

After spending the last two weekends in the greater Los Angeles area running both the Carlsbad and Surf City Marathons, I was looking forward to getting back home and sleeping in my own bed. One of the many questions I am asked when giving my speeches about my 52 Marathons in 2006 is "How did you recover each week?" To me this is an existential question akin to asking Michael Jordan how he could elevate his game at certain points or how Michael Phelps could swim better than everyone else this past summer. Without a doubt there is a training aspect to all of their success as their was to mine. but some people could train as hard as Jordan or Phelps and never be as good as they are. There is something simply to be said about having the right DNA.

That said, I do not think that my protoplasmic ooze is anything that scientists need to study right now. and when asked the question above, I usually answer in a way that I think the person asking me might be meaning, as in "What did you do to try and keep yourself from crashing every week?" Without a doubt, what work best for me was the run the day after the marathon. It was paramount to my success both mentally and physically. So even after my sub-3 hour marathon on Sunday I knew I would be going for a nice little jaunt on Monday.

This recovery run would be a little different, however. A few months ago while in LA, I had gone for a run with my friend Jimmy and some of his running buddies. One of the guys I ended up running with for the longest time was the proprietor of a women's running apparel store in Santa Monica called Splits 59.

Jonathan was his name and he was training for his first 50 mile run just a few weeks later. I gave him a few pointers from my ultra-running experiences and wished him well. And well he did running very respectably in a toughie of an ultra. I later looked up his store and found there message to be a refreshing one indeed:

"Each piece in our collection is designed to inspire you to get up in the morning, find your second wind, and keep moving forward. Because the reward of forward motion is feeling good about who you are now, and who you will become."

Without a doubt that is an auspicious goal! I became a fan of the stuff immediately although my need for a cute running skirt is pretty low. That said, when I was asked to help lead a run from the Splits 59 store on Monday and give a little pep talk to the runners who would be there, I was more than happy to do so.

Much shorter than my normal speech, and to a much smaller audience, I was nonetheless happy to help the women who were gathered before this run know that they were just as much a runner as anyone else who laced on their shoes. Whether they were training for a race or running for health purposes only it was enough that they were out there. That was what was important.

I led some of the ladies through the first loop of a potential three-loop run and then fell back to run with some of the less-fast ladies. Finally picking it up to run with Jimmy's wife (while Jimmy himself made sure the ladies made it safely back to the store) I got a great 5 miler in and was happy to make a few friends.

I left a few copies of See Dane Run with Jonathan at his store and bid my new running friends good night. My tired butt needed to go home. Nevertheless, I really think that the apparel and message of the store is a strong one and you should definitely check it out.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Surf City Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 4; 3rd Edition
78.6 miles raced in 2009
Race: Surf City Marathon
Place: Huntington Beach, CA
Miles from home: 701 miles
Weather: 50s-70s; sunny/foggy

After my 3:10 pacing effort at Carlsbad last week, I was looking to run a race a little selfishly this weekend. I have never run a sub-3 hour marathon in February so I thought that the Surf City Marathon would be an excellent time to do so.

Scheduled to speak on both days of the expo and sign copies of my book all day long, I knew I would have a great deal of energy taken out of me the 48 hours before the race. Nevertheless, with the relative ease of the Surf City Marathon course, I figured that I could still get that sub-3 on very little recovery and very little rest on the days before the race.


I was fortunate enough to meet many old friends and make many new acquaintances during the two days of the Surf City Marathon Expo. A special thanks goes out to my friend Rachel 26.2 for getting me a sandwich when I did not have 5 minutes to tear myself away from my booth to grab a bite to eat.

For the second time in as many weeks I got to spend time with the great Steve Scott. In case the name does not ring a bell (and it should!) Steve is America's greatest miler ever. Having run 136 sub-4-minute miles in his career, more than any other athlete in the world, Steve held the American record in the mile for over 25 years.

When it was finally broken by Alan Webb in 2007, it was amazing he had held it so long. Well, fortune smiled on me again as I was able to meet and talk with both Steve and his wonderful wife and tell him how in awe of his talent I was.

After the expo was over, I skedaddled back up to LA where I was staying in an attempt to hit the hay. 4:30 AM would come very painfully early if I did not do so quickly.

Race Day:

Yeah, even going to bed decently early did not help. Ugh. Why did I pick a sport which makes me get up so darn early?! My girlfriend and I made the drive from LA to Huntington Beach hoping not to hit too much traffic once we got there. Too bad on that one. A long line of cars awaited to park about 1/4 of a mile from where I wanted to go. With 20 minutes until the gun, I jumped out of the car and decided to let her fend for herself. Aren't I sweet?

Then I remembered that as a "vendor" I had my vendor parking pass and could park in the lot just ahead. As she got close to me and the police officer waived us through, I hopped right back into the car. After parking, this left me with just enough time to use the bathroom, check my shoes and get ready to run.

I wormed my way up to the front, partially able to do so because, well, people let me and partially because I had been presented with bib number "1" by the nice people at the Surf City Marathon. Talk about pressure. But man does the sea of people part when those low bib numbers come through!

At the front, the announcer, Rudy (who had been drawing people to my booth all day long at the expo) caught my eye from his perch up above the runners. He announced my name to the other runners who very kindly gave me a cheer. I waved to all of them, including my girlfriend who had also made her way to the front - of the spectators.

With the start-spangled banner behind us and the always inspirational wheel-chair racers under way, our race was about to start. An air horn later and we were underway!

First 6 miles: 6:19, 6:48, 6:39, 6:54, 6:37, 6:41

I knew the first 6 miles or so contained almost all of the major hills in this course. As such, I had no problem going out a little fast in the first uber-flat mile to throw a few seconds in the bank for the first hill.

Plus, when you are at the absolute front of a race, you have almost no choice but to get caught up in the adrenaline. My first mile felt great but I knew that was not what I was trying to average on this day.

What I did not expect was the need to pee so bad, so quickly. At mile 4 I hopped off the road to relieve myself and then again at 6 I needed to hit the porta-potty. Holy mackerel, what was I in store for today?

Up to mile 12: (6:58, 7:04, 6:54, 6:43, 6:46, 6:44)

Coming out of the porta-john, I saw that the women's leader had made her way past me during my break. I hoped that she was hoping for well under sub-3 or I was going to have to chase her all day.

Almost immediately after exiting I got a pebble in my shoe. There is no messing with a pebble in your shoe so I stopped and took my shoe off to get rid of that! Then about 100 yards later, I had to stop again as the tongue on my shoe was not properly tucked back in. I laughed out loud at the number of stops I had already made in the race.

About a mile or so later I settled into a good pace with a few runners who would be around me all day. One was Darin who was shooting for his first sub-3. the other was Barry who had finished a place in front of me at the Santa Clarita Marathon in November. Here he asked my age and when I told him 32 he said something akin to how he was 57, or 15 years older than me and he hoped that I could continue to do what he did at his age. I then said, well since you are 25 years older than me, I at least hope I can do math better than you. That got a pretty good laugh. Finally, Barry's friend Rob, rounded out the pack. A very genial fellow, we would see much of each other.

As we reentered the Pacific Coast Highway, Darin and I were soon running pretty even. We chatted here and there and joked around about things to keep our mind off the fog that was lifting far earlier than we hoped it would. Nevertheless, the weather remained cool and foggy at least for a few miles more.

Up to mile 17: (6:47, 6:41, 6:49, 13:26)

As we made the turn back down the PCH, Darin and I caught the female leader. I had mentioned that she did not look as strong as she had a few miles later and predicted we would pass her soon. Around mile 14, I proved to be right.

About a mile later we began cresting what would be just about the final bump of a hill of the whole course. Here I saw my girlfriend for the 3rd time of the day and stopped to give her a nice sloppy kiss. Darin said "That will get you some bonus points."

I missed the clock at 16 as we turned off the PCH and started down the adjacent bike path. By now the sun had completely burned off the fog and the wind that we would face when heading north was ever-present but cooling. I missed the clock as I was once again concentrating on finding a bathroom. I had to really go! Finding a bathroom I did my business as quickly as possible and jetted out again. as I passed Rob, he said: "Rocks in shoes, girlfriend kisses and bathroom breaks really don't slow you much do they?"

To mile 23: (6:41, 6:50, 6:39, 6:42, 13:41)

I caught up to Darin here and ran for about half of a mile with him before feeling a surge and deciding to harness it. Picking off a runner every half or mile or so I steadily moved up from about 30th place. Regardless of my placing, people still got excited about seeing the runner wearing the "1" bib. I could only hope the leaders got the same excited treatment. Making the u-turn on the bike path now meant we more or less had a straight stretch to go. The Sun may have been in our eyes but the wind was at our back.

Heading up the bike path, hordes of runners coming the opposite direction right next to me streamed by. Up on the PCH, hundreds and hundreds more headed either to the half marathon finish or were marathon runners who would be putting in their 4-5 hours today. Unfortunately, while the PCH was closed, the bike path was not. Most runners/walkers/cyclists not in the race were pretty considerate. some however, seemed oblivious to the racers around them.

Even worse was when, at mile 22, two race participants got so overjoyed at seeing a friend with a dog that they darted across the pavement to give it a friendly little pet and went right into my path. No motor skills or agility could have stopped the collision and unfortunately I think the girls got the worst of it. Not quite sure what they were thinking but then again, I am not quite sure what most people are thinking most of the time.

Final miles 7:26, 7:00, 7:04, 1:25

At the very least I used the interlopers' ignorance of etiquette to give me a little surge. About 200 yards previously a runner who I had passed a few miles back had passed me. I was later told by a few runners that they were using me as a target as I continually picked runners off who were fading. Well this collision gave me the boost I needed to pass this runner and a few more. As we headed down the bike path towards the Pier I saw one or two more runners who looked ripe for the picking.

We turned right before the pier and headed right back the way we came for about half a mile before beginning the last little stretch on the PCH. Up a cruelly placed but very small hill I passed one more runner. Now just mere steps away from the enormity of the half-marathoners to our left, we began the last 3/4 of a mile. Race volunteers were doing a fantastic job of not only keeping the halfers corralled to their side but also continually telling spectators that they had to get off the street so marathoners could pass. Obviously, many of the spectators thought the admonishment could not possibly have been directed towards them and one or two nearly got run over.

Nearing the finishline I saw my girlfriend once again and smiled big for her. Rudy caught sight of my bib and once again gave me a wonderful announcement. I waved to the crowd and ran underneath the finishline in 2:58:28 for my 11th sub 3-hour marathon in 19th place. Since going sub-3 for the first time in my 54th marathon, I have now done it about once ever 3.6 marathons and almost every single time I was actually trying to do so.

I turned and saw Darin finish just 7 seconds behind me for his first sub-3 ever!! He later told me that I was a great help in him achieving this. I told him that he was the one who did all the work but I was happy to take any credit he wanted to give me. Way to go, Darin!

The "ouch" story of the day goes to Rob, however. Sprinting like a madman towards the finish, Rob ended up with the worst imaginable time ever: 3:00:00. For anyone who has ever tried to break a huge milestone time goal, I think you can imagine how awful that is. I can only hope Rob has gone sub-3 elsewhere i his running career.

I quickly changed clothes and drug some books out of my car. Many runners had stated that they wished to get one after the race, so I threw some water in my throat and sat down at my table. A few books signed and about an hour later, I finally decided ti was time to go treat myself to a double cheeseburger.

I think it was well-deserved.