Nashville in November

The 50th Anniversary of the Pedorthic Footwear Conference (PFA) took place in Nashville from 11/5-9 properly entitled the “Golden Age.” I was the keynote speaker for this anniversary year with my presentation called, “Active In Our Golden Years.” It was a pleasure meeting many new people at the expo and at my book signing. I had the opportunity to recap how I accomplished my 20/20/20<5@45 feat and to share how we can stay fit in our own “golden years.”

Please check out this video clip (under 5 minutes) of my speaking engagement.

My last blog featured the first of seven reasons why I accomplished the feat – personal inspiration. The second reason for my success this summer was my Support Team. The 7 Consultants at included Vasile Faklis (Biomechanics), Mike Forgrave (Equipment), Dr. Peter Fort (Sleep/Recovery), Stacie Nevelus (Massage Therapy), Marc O’Meara (Nutrition), Jacqueline Moore (Mental Outlook), and Ray Helsing (Training). These 7 people were my source of information and guidance while on the road. I leaned on them and their expertise on many occasions. I cannot thank them enough for their input and unconditional support.

In addition to my 7 Consultants, there were others that played a major role in helping me. Sekyen Shikse directed daily operations and really took care of me. I could not have done the 5 month event without her love and care. I spoke to my brother Brian almost everyday as he is the very gifted director of the website. Brian has always “had my back” in whatever I try to do in my life. Then there were friends and training partners, like Anthony Velardocchia, Wayne Johnson and David Putnam, who I spoke to every week helping me solve problems and discuss strategy to make it through the races and the travel.

Whatever your dreams, goals, or aspirations might be – you need your own Support Team as well. It does not need to be a professional team like mine, but it does need to be a group of people who care about you and are aware of your goals. It can be family, friends, or associates. Your spouse or child could be a huge help to you attaining your aspirations if you include them. Do not be shy to share your aspirations with the people in your life. Their support of your effort, time, and commitment will lead you on a path of success.

I will blog again at the beginning of December sharing My Mental Outlook in the 20 week event and the key element that I speak about at my corporate and sport seminars in order to make a lasting change in your life.

Finishing Up In NYC!

It was very special to finish up my 20/20/20<5@45 in NYC at the 5th Avenue Mile. I had many friends and family present to celebrate my last race. They traveled in from Arizona, Illinois, Florida, and Kansas for a long weekend. We visited “Ground Zero” and the Brooklyn Bridge area on Friday before the race. Megan, Nandi, Brian, Sekyen, me, Rena, Vasile, and Dwayne all came out in support!

Also on Friday, I was the guest at Foley’s Pub and Restaurant for lunch adjacent to the Empire State Building. The owner, Shaun Clancy, had me autograph a baseball to put up on his “sports wall.”

On Sunday, the weather was another beautiful day in NY. I did not feel that much speed or bounce in my legs before or during the race, but I just gutted out a sub-5 to complete the 20 race quest. The video below shows a bit of my warm-up in Central Park, a foot massage from Sekyen (one of the things my massage therapist and guest consultant, Stacie Nevelus, recommends before a race), and a little race footage with avid reader of the web site, Bill Zink from NY by my side…

Here is a photo after the race with Vasile Faklis, friend, guest consultant and sponsor of We started with his race in Tarpon Springs (#1) and finished in NYC (#20) – just as we planned. From Tarpon Springs, FL to NY, NY…

As promised, Paul Hermann and Mike Flores from Paul and Mike’s Excellent Mile in Amarillo, TX (Race #14 on our schedule) traveled up to race at the 5th Avenue Mile. It was great to see them again! All we needed were their cowboy hats after the race…

It has been an incredible trip. I have traveled over 45,000 miles in 5 months attending featured one-mile events throughout North America. I have met so many wonderful people on my travels and I want to thank them dearly for their support and new friendship. I will continue to write my blog entries detailing HOW I managed to complete the 20/20/20<5@45 feat. I will share my training, recovery, nutritional intake, biomechanics, etc in my blog entries, so please look for these additions every other week. Also, if you are in the Nashville, TN area in early November, please come out and attend the 50th Anniversary of the PFA Conference (Pedorthic Footwear Conference). I am the keynote speaker at the PFA Conference recapping my 20/20/20<5@45 journey and talking about what we need to do as older athletes on Saturday, November 8th.

In 2009, will be preparing for three events: First, I will focus on my speed for just one mile event – the Masters Indoor National Championships in Maryland at the end of March. I will be looking to break my indoor time of 4:37 time in 2007. Second, will be going international as we race in the “Greek Isles Miles” in June of 2009 in Greece. And third, we will prepare another feat that contains speed, strength, and endurance later in the year that will be very unique.

Please feel free to continue to pose any of your questions to the Guest Consultants. Just email me and I will forward your question to the appropriate consultant. Thanks for all your support in completing our first event in 2008. I look forward to hearing about all of your fitness exploits. And remember, you can “accelerate at any age.”


In Honor of Judy

It is Race #19 on the 20/20/20<5@45 schedule after I failed to make the 5 minute cutoff in Falmouth, MA. Sideways rain, strong headwinds, and water over my ankles in the last quarter should have told me not to run in the event and just save my body from the race pounding. However, since I had traveled all that way I decided to give the Main Street Mile a shot, but by the half mile point, I knew there was no chance of breaking five minutes in those crazy conditions (no one did). So I chose to bounce back on Tuesday evening, with the “Sprint With Judy.”  

The “Sprint With Judy” One Mile Road Race took place in Woodstock, CT, just over the MA border. I was looking to run one more event in MA , but mile events were not available and this was close enough (as my Mom and Dad grew up in nearby Webster and Dudley, MA). Judy Nilan was a social worker at the Woodstock Middle School. The school and staff that loved her so much started a 5K road race in her honor in 2006 called “Jog With Judy.” I ran in the auxiliary portion of the fund raiser entitled, “Sprint With Judy.” Instead of the 5K road race, the “Sprint With Judy” takes place on one Judy’s favorite running roads, but it is a mile. So instead of a jog, it is a sprint. In 2009, the organizers will make the “Sprint With Judy” a part of the 5K festivities every May. I have been invited to not only race again in Woodstock next year, but also to speak to the Woodstock school system. It should be a great time! Here is a photo with Race Director, Chris Mayhew, congratulating me after the “sprint.”

If you would like to donate to the Judy Nilan foundation, you can send a check to the following address:

    Jog With Judy Fund
    c/o Chris Mayhew
    Woodstock Middle School
    147B, Rt. 169
    South Woodstock, CT 06267

Thanks to Dr. Brian Bigelow in Nashua, NH, I was able to perform at a high level on Tuesday evening, even though it was my fourth race in nine days. Dr. Bigelow is a avid bicyclist and runner himself and he knows the importance of making certain that I am in proper alignment. I ran a 4:45 and surprisingly felt some bounce in my legs before the race.

I fly to NYC tomorrow afternoon. The 5th Avenue Mile in New York City on Sunday will be my fifth race in two weeks. I am hoping to conclude my 20/20/20<5@45 quest in NYC on 9/21. My 20 week time period concludes on 9/27. There would be no better ending than to break 5 minutes in “The Big Apple.”

Race #18 Finally Finished

After the disappointment in MN, I flew back to Florida for about 20 hours, then flew back to Boston after I received an invitation from Charlie Olbrias, owner of, to run in his 9/11 invitational event. I participated in one of Charlie’s open events on July 4th, The Boom Box Mile, and he has been watching my race results ever since.

The new #18 event took place in Mansfield, CT called The Last Mile Country Mile Road Race. The race took place on a beautiful country road. The Last Mile Racing Company did a superb job with a lead car equipped with a digital clock on the back for all the runners to see as we wound through the course, a trail vehicle to be certain to keep other cars away for the runners’ safety, and a side bicycle to monitor the race and other traffic. It might have been a small event this year in its inaugural year, but the quality of the runners were very good. I ran a 4:48 finishing in first place after hanging on to the lead runners after their quick start. Sekyen shot this video from the back of the lead vehicle as she was granted permission to videotape the race. You can hear her voice at times as she shot some extensive race footage. The organizers gave me bib #18 for my 18th race. I hope you enjoy the racing below:

After the race, I got to know the other racers invited to the event. Sam, Nick, and Andy are not only great runners, but also fine young men. It was a pleasure to get to know them more on our cool down and at the post race meal with the organizers. Charlie and his wife Sue with their two young daughters Olivia and Madison, Gary and Patty who helped put on the race, Nick and Sam made it over to the post race dinner, and beautiful Sekyen.

I will be trying for my third race of the week as I race on Cape Cod Sunday in Falmouth, MA called the Main Street Mile. This race takes the place of The Front Street Mile in Maui, HI. After what happened in MN, I needed to double up on the races this week. Many of my support people did not think the trip to Hawaii was a good idea in the first place as they thought the added jet lag was unnecessary. They were opting for the Magnificent Mile in Raleigh, NC or the Main Street Mile in MA –  so since I was already in the area, I thought I would venture to the place where my family used to go on a summer holiday. We used to visit my aunt and uncle in Easton, MA on Cape Cod for the July 4th holiday. I have never raced on Cape Cod before, this will be my first time and I am looking forward to racing on Sunday afternoon with rainy conditions expected at race time.

The Minnesota Mile

After flying to Minneapolis on Friday and then driving 3 hours to Duluth on Saturday, Mother Nature caused me a few problems on Sunday that I did not overcome. With rain and a headwind, I failed to break my 5 minute goal. I ran a 5:01 on the wet brick road of Duluth’s main street called Superior Street. The Minnesota Mile is a great race with 7 different heats that range from a kid’s race to the elite race.

I was disappointed to not take advantage of the quick beginning of the race as the long slight incline takes place in the second half of the race. At the half-mile mark, I knew I was in trouble as I was at about 2:26 with the incline still upcoming. The organizers of The Minnesota Mile are the same organizers that put on the famous Grandmas’ Marathon. They put on a fabulous race with prize money, chip timing, and a point to point course.

From the beginning of my 20 race journey in May, I stated that if I do not break the 5 minute barrier in one of the selected races, then the race does not count toward my aspiration. So I now must find a replacement for the Minnesota Mile. I am sorry that the Minnesota Mile became the first race that I failed to break the under 5 minute goal.

I will make the decision to run in HI, MA, or NC next week in the next 48 hours and let the schedule show my changes in the races.

We thought that I would experience a few of these difficulties during these five months of racing. Adversity and persevering through it is definitely part of this journey.

My Most Eastern Race #17

Thanks to the assistance of PJ Gorneault from Caribou, ME who I met at Race #7 in Bangor, I found an opportunity to race in Bar Harbor, ME on August 30th. I contacted PJ after the Downtown Mile in Lowell, MA was canceled at the beginning of August. PJ informed me about the Eden Athletics Running Club on Mount Desert Island, ME putting on the first ever Jack Russell Downhill Mile. It worked out very well for my schedule as I could drive on Friday about 3.5 hours from southern Maine to Mount Desert Island and then race on Saturday morning.

Frank Hague, President of Eden Athletics, was instrumental in helping me make arrangements from the moment I contacted him about the opportunity to race in Bar Harbor. Frank is the leader of a wonderful group of athletes that were very welcoming on my trip to their community. The runners know that they are fortunate to live in one of nature’s spectacular places. Couple that with Acadia National Park and its 45 miles of carriage roads, a gift from philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, it makes for an outdoor athlete’s summer paradise. From the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, the sunrise can be seen first in the United States. 

The mostly downhill course winds through a residential area. It has a small patch of incline in the first quarter mile and a few portions of flat, but it is quick course. The idea for the event and course came from Tom St. Germain, who is an Eden Athletics member and a chef who works long hours at the Jack Russell’s Steakhouse. Tom got his wish for runners to come out and feel the fast turnover on the mile course. As the race progresses over the next couple of years, I am sure that the very caring organizers will alter the fifty yard finish on the grass and keep it on the road to ensure the safety of the racers. I finished in 4th place at 4:36 for race #17. I came in behind 3 runners preparing to do excel at the Philadelphia Marathon in November: Judson Cake, PJ Gorneault, and Evan Graves. I enjoyed the cool down run with them after the race as I learned more about the area and their upcoming aspirations.

When I was registering for the race, one of the organizers gave me bib number 500 (saying it was for 5:00 minute mile). Then before I could leave for the starting line, another organizer came up to me and made me laugh as he then exchanged my bib number to 459 (saying to think positively for an under 5 minute race and wished me well). Here is a photo with Tom St. Germain and his son Walker and Frank Hague – thanks guys for a great event!

I am planning to fly to Minneapolis, MN on Friday morning right after McCain addresses the Republican National Convention of Thursday evening (that is, if Hurricane Gustav doesn’t cause too much trouble on the Gulf Coast -there are reports that they might alter the start of the convention). We will see what Mother Nature brings us this week. I am planning on running the Minnesota Mile in Duluth, MN on Sunday September 7th – this will be my first visit to Minnesota during this 20 week trip.  

“Wicked Good” Race in Salem, MA

Last Friday evening on August 22nd, my Mom, Sekyen and I drove down to Salem, MA for the Derby Street Mile. Salem, Massachusetts is historically known for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and Derby Street is a one-way road that runs through the main part of the tourist district adjacent to the harbor. The Derby Street Mile is put on by the Salem Parks and Recreation Department and they did a superb job in putting on the mile race that had 20% more participants than in 2007. This point-to-point race is faster at the beginning than at the end as the third quarter goes slightly uphill as well as a portion of the finishing quarter. I knew a couple of the runners who ran the Derby Mile in past years and noticed their slower times. So I was aware that I had my work cut out for me. Last year, only 3 participants finished under 5 minutes, this year there was 4. I finished 4th in 4:56 with my slowest time yet, but after the hectic week that I had with my two clinics in Vermont and New York, I was happy to run a sub-5 minute mile and keep the streak going now at 16.

As you can see in this short video, Salem Parks and Recreation hired the local police to lead the race with a police car and a policeman on a Segway. Also, Doug Bollen put on a fine post-race celebration at a local hotel with refreshments and awards that was enjoyed by all the participants.

I am looking forward to my trip back to Maine to train and then race in Bar Harbor on August 30th. It should be a wonderful week to visit with some family, train everyday, and then travel to a race without having to board a plane. I hope to run a faster time after a week of training, less travel, and more sleep.

Our Only Midwest Stop

On August 7th, Sekyen and I flew into Springfield, MO for our only midwest stop on our 20 city tour. After checking out Missouri State University and the historic Walnut Street area, I won the “Maui Mile” race in 4:43 on Saturday, August 9th. Here is a brief video on our trip, race, and Hawaiian theme with race director, Richard Johnson:


After traveling to 15 road races around North America, I have seen many different ways to time a race, but in Springfield with the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners, they showed me a new way to time the event. They use a “wired bib,” so when you go through the finish line, an individual records your time by slapping your bib number with a paddle. This wired paddle records your time after going through the finishing chute. Now depending on how fast you are going, the slap can be soft or hard. The instructions for using the “wired bib” inform you to attach the bib in your chest area. I usually pin my bib much lower on my shirt. And if you pin the number on your shorts, well – good luck…check out the video above to see my finishing “slap.”

This was also the first road race that did not stop traffic or close down any roads. Richard announced at the beginning of the race to be aware of these conditions. I am glad that nobody got hurt crossing over a dangerous wooden railroad intersection in the final quarter and that nobody got hurt with ongoing traffic. 

Richard Johnson gave out some very cute, unique Hawaiian awards. Here are a couple of photos of me receiving my “Maui Mile Monkey.” I put this delicate award in my carry-on bag on its way back to Sarasota.

It seems like we have not been back to reload in Sarasota for quite some time. While at my home base this week, I have appointments with  Stacie Nevelus and Dr. Tammy Keifer, my massage therapist and chiropractor. They have already begun working on my right hip (si joint). This was the cause of my recent back pain as the hip injury referred into my lower back. After my second treatment on Friday, I hope that I will feel better before I board a plane to New England. 

I present two clinics next week, one in Vermont followed by a clinic in New York. Race #16, The Derby Mile, will take place in Salem, Massachusetts on August 22nd evening. I am looking forward to my coaching/speaking, training, and racing in the New England area.

A Warm Texan Welcome

After Vancouver, we traveled to Amarillo, Texas for “Paul and Mikes’ Excellent Mile” on August 2nd. Amarillo is in the northern part of Texas and sits at about 3500 feet altitude. It is the home of Cadillac Ranch, the Quarter Horse Association Headquarters, and the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon. 

“Paul and Mikes’ Excellent Mile” is put on by the Lone Star Runner’s Club members, Paul Hermann and Mike Flores. Paul and Mike are running enthusiasts that began their mile race 14 years ago as an opportunity to see who can run the mile faster between the two of them. It takes place in Thompson Memorial Park on a course that goes up at the beginning, then down for the first quarter mile, the second quarter goes slightly down to flat, the third quarter goes slightly up, and then it finishes with a slight down finish with a turn to the left. It is all contained in the park and it makes for a nice mile race. I finished in 4th place winning the Masters’ Division in 4:50. So many participants and their families were so kind to come up to me and wish me well. I thanked them for coming out and showing their support.

I must especially thank Mike Flores for taking me to see Dr. Freeze two times before the race. For the first time since I began racing in May, I was suffering from an hip/back injury that occurred after I jumped off a sidewalk while running on Sunday in Vancouver. Also, I must thank my lovely partner, Sekyen, for her therapeutic massages. I was worried that I would not be able to race on Saturday, but due to their help I was able to meet my sub five goal.

Paul and Mike informed me that they will meet me for the “grand finale” at the 5th Avenue Mile in New York City. On September 21st, Paul and Mike will pack their cowboy hats and Texan flair and run down 5th Avenue.

After meeting with my web designer in Phoenix for a few days, I will be flying to Springfield, Missouri for race #15 called the Maui Mile on Saturday, August 9th.

The Beauty of British Columbia Doesn’t Disappoint

Sekyen and I flew from Sarasota, FL to Seattle, WA, picked up a rental car and drove across the border to Canada, drove to Horseshoe Bay, and then took a ferry to the Sunshine Coast for the Sea Cavalcade Mile. It was a long day of travel as we finally went to bed around 4:00am eastern time.

Gibsons, B.C. hosts the “Sea Cavalcade,” a three-day festival with fireworks, talent shows, various sports competitions, a parade with a three-plane flyover beforehand, and kids activities. Part of the festival is the Sea Cavalcade Mile which takes place just before the parade. The Sea Cavalcade Mile was my smallest mile event with a small group of competitors, but the beauty of the area and the friendliness of the people more than made up for the lack of participants.

The Sea Cavalcade Mile is a point to point race (mostly following the parade route). The race begins at 11am just prior to the parade. The course begins with an incline in the first quarter, then goes slightly downhill. I ran a 4:49 coming in second place. Here is a photo of the race directors Larry and Teresa Nightingale, and mens’ and womens’ winner, Neil Holm and Kim Boskov.

It was nice to meet people that wanted to come out and say hello and tell me about their various stories with track and field. Here is a photo with Mark Benson, who participates in the mens’ pentathlon in Canada along with his 75-year old father. Mark got his Dad involved with the pentathlon a few years back and his Dad fell in love with the competition. These are wonderful stories how the love of sports competitions brings families together.

The parade that followed the mile race had a variety of themes. Here is a photo of Japanese exchange students who we met while sampling some fine Asian food at a Thai restaurant the previous evening. There is a strong Asian-Pacific influence in British Columbia which makes me feel right at home after all my years of living in southeast Asia. I can eat Asian food at every meal and never tire of the cuisine. Here in Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia, I had a large selections of restaurants.

We are traveling to Amarillo, TX on Wednesday. The race in Amarillo will be at 3500 feet altitude, so it will be very different than the race here in Gibsons, B.C. in Canada. We look forward to Race #14 in Amarillo and the challenges that come along with it!