My Story Part 1

How did I get my start with running ultra marathons? That is a question I get asked a lot. Now I could just give you the short answer and say, “I read a book”, but that would be a very short and boring post. So, lets start at the beginning….

I was born February 9, 1988 in Newport Beach the day was pleasant, not to hot, not to cold…. JUST KIDDING, lets not start from the very beginning. That would be a very long and boring story.

How about right here….

I attended Serrano Intermediate School and each spring they had an after school track and field program. Students were encouraged to pick an event and train for about 1 month. At the end of that month, three middle schools would have a track meet and compete. It was a lot of fun and a great after school program.

During this time, some of the runners from El Toro High School’s track and cross country team would help coach us. My brother Justin, was on the El Toro cross country and track team and he encouraged me to participate in this after school track program. I took his advise and joined the program. I chose the running events. I was selected to run the 800, a race that to this day I personally feel is one of the hardest events in track. I trained hard for the 800 and felt prepared when the day of the track meet arrived.

I’ll never forget the day of that track meet. All the participants got out of school early and we were bused to a high school. There was a feeling of excitement all around, none of us had ever competed in an event like this. The time for my race had arrived. I lined up on the starting line and waited for the gun to go off….it felt like an eternity.

“BANG” went the gun and I was off.

I don’t remember much about that race, but the one thing I do remember is, I came in dead last. It was a horrible feeling and I told myself that I would never come in last for a race again.

After middle school, Justin and my Mom encouraged me to participate in cross country and track at El Toro High School. The Cross Country team was one of the top teams in the state all thanks to Coach Hagin. He was a great head coach and really loved the sport of running. He was the type of coach who really loved all of his athletes.

I was never the best on the team. When the team went to state my senior year, I was an alternate on the team. I was an average runner, my times were decent and I could honestly say that I never came in last place for any race. I had a successful high school cross country and track career. It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school that things really started to change.

During my junior year, I got a job at B. Dalton Booksellers, who would have thought that getting a job at a book store would change my life. One night, I was organizing the books in the sports section when one book caught my eye, “Ultramarathon Man Confessions of an All Night Runner” by Dean Karnazes. I pulled it off the shelf and read the description. It was about this guy named Dean Karnazes that ran crazy distances of 100+ miles. I bought that book and read it cover to cover as fast as I could. This was back in 2004/2005 and ultramarathons weren’t that big. I had no idea that races over the 26.2 mile marathon even existed. That’s when I came up with an idea to run 100 miles in 24 hours or less before I graduated high school.

My Senior year came around and I still wanted to run 100 miles before I graduated, but I had one problem, I had to qualify for one of the 100 mile races and I had to be at least 18 years old. I didn’t have enough time between my 18th birthday and my graduation to accomplish everything I needed. So, I decided to come up with my own 100 mile run. The next obstacle would be to convince my parents to let me do this.

One night at dinner, I decided to tell my parent’s what I wanted to do. With a little bit of hesitation, I eventually told them what I had planned and I thought I was going to get some discouragement from them.

“Are you sure you want to do that?”

“That sounds dangerous.”

“Absolutely not.”

“NO”

To my surprise, none of that happened. Instead, my Mom said, “Okay, why don’t you do it for charity?” It was on, I started to plan my first 100 mile run. I got the course marked out and I wanted to raise money for CHOC Children’s (a local children’s hospital).

My first 100 miler went very well. I was able to complete it in just over 23 hours. We were just a bunch of high school kids that didn’t really know what we were doing. I recruited a couple of my friends to be on my crew and follow me around the streets of Orange County. It was 23 hours of adventure and an experience that I will never forget.

After that successful 100 mile run, I was hooked and quickly began planning my next adventure.

To be continued…

Taken during my first 100 mile run

Taken during my first 100 mile run

Why 400 Miles?

The one question I’m asked the most goes something like this:

“Why run 400 miles? The last run you did was 200 miles, why not run 250 or 300? Why double the distance?”

I’ll let Michael Jordan answer this question:

“Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan

I get it, 400 miles is a long distance to cover, running with no sleep. Its hard for people to comprehend why someone would want to put their body through so much pain and fatigue. People think its crazy, and they probably should.

Though it may be crazy, its a passion of mine. To push the body to the brink is something that I love doing. Its an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line for a running or endurance event, be it a 5k, 10k, marathon, or ultramarthon. It is something that gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. To work hard towards a goal and accomplishing that goal, there is no better feeling than that.

So, to put it in words that anyone could understand, I’m running 400 miles for that sense of accomplishment. I’m running 400 miles to see if it is possible. I’m running 400 miles to see how far the human body can be pushed. I’m running 400 miles for The Ryan Seacrest Foundation. I’m running to do something that no one has done before.

Join me on my journey and follow along.

When's the next run?

DSC_2005.jpg

When's the next run?

That's the question I get most often! 

Are you Planning anything?

Maybe I am. 

I don't want to bore everyone with the details, but It has been a wild year. After my 200 Mile run for Choc Children's, my Wife and I welcomed our first child into this world. We have been enjoying being new parents. If I have one complaint about being a parent...Parent's can complain right? It's that I've gotten a little out of shape, but if that's the price I have to pay for the joy that raising my son brings me, then so be it!!

Over the past few weeks, I've been able to get a routine down and I'm slowly getting back into shape.

So, am I planning anything? Maybe I am. What is it you may ask? Stay tuned to find out....

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Below is an overdue thank you video shot by Greg King, to everyone for the successful 200-mile run. We took a small break from social media to rest after the run, but A Cause for Endurance is back with exciting plans for the future! The *incredibly* successful event (that raised just over $17,600!!!!) could not have been possible without your support, your donations, and your willingness to help. A Cause for Endurance thanks you, CHOC Children's thanks you, and the countless kids that will benefit from your generosity thank you. Feel free to like, share, and comment on the video below. We have more events planned to raise even more money for worthy causes. Let's get the word out!

A TURN-BY-TURN GUIDE FOR THE UPCOMING 200-MILE RUN!

Print it out! Keep a copy for yourself! Get out on the streets with me! 

None of this would not be possible with your donations, and your support. So along with supporting the kids at Choc Children's, I really hope to see as many people as possible outside, on the streets, on the big day. 

Don't hesitate to get in contact with me if you have any questions, and a direct link to donate is right there above us in the header. 

As usual, get moving! Get involved! Donate to the cause! 

- Jesse 

It's here! the course map for the upcoming 200-mile run on 2/10/17!

The course map for the upcoming 200-mile charity run is now available and posted above! I really want to see everyone out on the course with me, even if it's just to say hello! Your support is what makes this possible and your donations are what bring hope to the kids. 

If you have any questions on the course, or would like a larger copy for yourself to print, please don't hesitate to get in contact with me.

As usual, get moving! Get involved! Donate to the cause! 

- Jesse

Run on over again and watch our newest video!

The talented Brad Alexander created this short video for A Cause for Endurance to show what it is we are doing and why we are doing it. Take a moment to view the clip and spread the word! Repost for the kids! The more people that know about this incredible upcoming run, the more money we can raise for Choc Children's. So, as usual, get moving! Get involved! Donate to the cause! 

Run on over and watch the new video!

To give you guys a bit more information on the upcoming 200-mile course, a family friend, Greg King, and I collaborated to create this video for A Cause for Endurance. Greg was amazing at filming and putting it together and it is finally ready for viewing.

If you wanted to know a bit more about the upcoming adventure for charity, now's your chance! 

Make sure to check our events calendar to not miss out on the upcoming fun for CHOC Children's. Also, remember to moving! Get involved! And most importantly, donate to the cause!

- Jesse