You all know Rik, the ever stubborn father of the group and reason we're out there. Steven, who ran the last 16 miles of the Peak Ultra last June, and has spent countless hours crewing for Rik and I. Kate, we're still trying to get out and run a race with us, but you've probably seen her at an aid station or two.
Rik, the patriarch of the team, continues to be the veteran and senior voice. He's been passing on his wisdom of minimal training, maximum suffering on race day to Steven, the youngest member of the team. Rumor has it that Rik is going to test Steven's spirit this summer at the Peak 50k.
Greg got this name based on how he is when we hike. Always plodding along and crashing thru the brush, but generally happy to be out there. Like moose, you rarely see them run, but when you do, you make sure you get out of their way. Often times, pie is used as an incentive. His wife's love for Moose helped with the nickname.
Greg joined his wife (Mandiee) in March of 2012 and ran his first ½ marathon. Two months later faced a year old pinky swear and ran his first 25k in May with “Tink” at Pineland Farms. He’s currently the most and least dedicated of the group, hating it so much in-mind pre-run, but happy with the accomplishment once finished. His greatest weakness is that the group all knows that he’s easily swayed away from a run with a frosty beer or perhaps a Scorpion Bowl.
A name that fits Mandiee perfectly, in pink obviously. Her long legs gives her amazing speed and the ability to bound over objects on the trails. After years of telling her that she had the build of a runner and should give it a shot. We got her to finish her first 5k in July of 2010.
While Mandiee still thinks she’s not the best runner of the group, her ability to ‘bound’ down the trails still amazes us. She brings the core strength to the group due to Pilates and line dancing making the rest of us humble during ab work outs and yoga nights. After finishing her a first 10k in May of 2011 she pressed forward finishing her first half marathon in March of 2012. To ensure a much needed break from running, she and the moose are currently expecting little
Barkevious Mason in the spring of 2013
The Puma - "NHPuma":
Loni's been known as Puma to me for as long as I've known her. While she may not be as quick as a puma in a sprint, but her feline like ability to silently watch from a distance, survey her surroundings and will wear you down with her un-slowing pace.
Loni is the first Non-“Robert” member of Team Robert joined in crewing and pacing for many years before finally participating. In true team form and jumping in with both feet, she decided her first race should be a triathlon. In the summer of 2006 she finished the Contoocook Carry and has continued to move on to bigger and better things. She’s responsible and the host of most of our Fox Forest Fat Ass Summer Series Trail Runs and knows the woods of Fox forest better than anyone I know. Having finished countless 5ks, ½ marathons, road marathons, trail marathons, and 50ks she still has her eyes set on breaking the 50 mile mark. In the fall of 2012 she set a personal best of 47 miles at the Vermont50. She hopes to finally get the monkey off her back in 2013.
The Ferret - "Tink":
Common characteristics of the ferret are; curious, persistent, and fearless. All makes perfect sense to me. Leah's fearless hockey playing is what attracted me to her in the first place. Her curiosity is what got her into running with me, and if you read her blogshe's very persistent in her research amongst other things. A once non-runner "unless being chased" is really coming into her own finishing a half marathon on the roads and in the woods in 2010.
Leah's come a long way in two years. Along with many shorter runs she's finished a road and trail marathon. Section hiked on the MS Greenway, Long Trail, and Appalachian Trail. Climbed the infamous Mount Katahdin in the deep woods of Maine. Dawned goalie gear for the first time and has led her team to only their second championship in 15 seasons. In true family form she’s teamed up with her father to run the Vermont50 relay...twice. And has crewed me and the team at countless events.
The Rabbit - "Taps":
Grant, being a brewer of beer and having 5 beers on tap at any given time made the moniker an instant hit. He's taken the enthusiasm that he has for making beer and put it into running. The rabbit name character was an instant fit as he continues to be the fastest of the group holding team fastest times in most distances.
Since 2011 he's finished several 50ks including setting a PR and Team-Best at Pinelands in May of the same year. He finished his first marathon at Stonecat later the same year. Hiked the entire Belknap Range in one day, and this fall finally eclipsed the 50 mile mark at the Vermont50. He's currently training for the VT100 in July and the most important race he’ll ever run, his marriage to “Wicks” in June.
Always the leader of the pack, Josh's token, fittingly, is the wolf. Sometimes playful and bounding with joy, sometimes all-business hunting through the woods with a purpose, but always looking out for each member of the group. The four-leafed clover paw pad on the wolf is a nod to Josh's trail name, earned when he found the lucky plant on the Long Trail. (Although I've been running with a 4leaf clover on my water belt for the better part of 2 years prior)
In 2011, I finished 3 more 50ks and another 50 miler. Following that up with 6 50ks and and 50 miler in 2012. While i feel like i'm the leader of the pack, i'm often the most lost. With training ranging from 2 miles a day for over two months, to weeks on end in a endless run of Zero Days. I go from streaks of endless energy to days where i can't seem to put on my shoes. I am certainly a person of extremes. I suppose this is why I went from a 5k to a 50 miler all of those years ago. I think, like most ultra runners we all have a flame or spark that pushes us on in the rough times of a race. Right now, my flame is faint, I've got a lot of work to do before July...