Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HRG Runner Profile: Jonathan Kirk

I'll get right down to it: Jonathan Kirk is training for a 100 mile race. Yes, that's right -- there are two zeros in there, and that's equivalent to 160 kilometres! Kinda makes any other distance seem piddly, doesn't it?

Then again, it takes a special kind of person to not only want to do it, but then to stick to a rigorous training program over the course of several months, including 100-kilometre weekends, a few very early morning runs in the dark and one all-night run to Peggy's Cove and back.

Since discovering Jon's blog, I've been following his progress on his blog with a mixture of awe and curiosity -- what on Earth makes someone want to do something like a 100 mile race? Most of all however, I've been just so impressed with his determination. Yet another runner from whom to draw inspiration!

Leadville is less than two months away, so I was grateful that Jon took the time to answer my questions for this week's HRG Runner Profile. I wish him all the luck in his continued training as Leadville approaches, and I know there will be cheers resounding all the way from Halifax when he's standing at the start line in less than two months!

So without further ado, I give you Jonathan Kirk!

HRG: How long have you been running?
JK: I have been running since I was 11. I'm 39 now so that makes 28 years. I have taken a few breaks in those 28 years but I always came back to a new sense of purpose and wanting to run again.

HRG: How and why did you start running?

JK: I started running because when I lived here as a kid I never learned how to skate and hockey was expensive, so running was the cheapest and easiest thing to do.
(PS: I still can't skate to this day...anyone give lessons?)

HRG: Favourite part of running?

JK: Knowing sometimes that I have done more then most people by 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

HRG: Least favourite part of running?

JK: Sore feet.

HRG: Favourite time of year/weather to run in?

JK: I love running the spring, summer and fall. I almost always take December/January off from running completely. This helps my overall recovery from a long running session. I really like running in the rain -- keeps me cool and I just run that much better.

HRG: Favourite route (training or race) to run?

JK: I really like my Purcells Cove road loop. It gives me nice flat sections and great hills for 30 kilometres. Favorite race is the Hood 2 Coast Relay. It’s the mother of all relays. Think of the Cabot Trail Relay times  1,000: 1,000 teams, 12,000 runners. Just a classic race.

HRG: Favourite distance to run?

JK: I like running between 15-20k. I like racing in the half-marathon.

HRG: How do you keep motivated?

JK: I like having a goal and I usually tell one person about this goal, so that person can  hold me to it.

HRG: Best pre-race meal?

JK: Pasta, a little sauce, nice big salad and garlic bread......YUMMY.

HRG: Best post-race meal?

JK: The pulled pork sandwich with a side of Mac-n-cheese from Boneheads. They are make the best BBQ in Halifax.

HRG: Upcoming race goal?

JK: Right now I'm training for my first ultra-marathon. I'll be running in the Leadville trail 100 miles (or 160 kilometres) race. This race starts at 10,500 feet above sea level and tops out at 13,000 feet above sea level. Leadville is one of the hardest ultra-marathons in North America and only 53 percent of starters finish...This is going to hurt a lot!!

HRG: Tips or words of wisdom for new runners?

JK: New runners should know that not every day will be a good run day. You will struggle and it may hurt, but just keep moving forward, it does get better.

This is one of the best quotes I read once:
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Say you're running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is unavoidable reality, but weather or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running.

~ HRG: Thanks Jon, and good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, did you know two other senior masters runners (51 and 56) from Halifax are training for the same race? They have each already completed the Vermont 100 miler, a 50 miler in West Virgina, and several 50Ks at the age when most mortals are condsidering adopting a life of leisure! Now those are two though guys!! Keep up the great blog! It's a pleasure to read!