2015 Resolutions, Winning and Ramblings!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

2015 Resolutions, day 24 of the New Year… are you still on track?  are you waiting something else to happen first?  Have you embraced the “new” you,  you had imagined for  2015 and is now a part of “you”?    My hope is that you are still on track, despite the difficulties or set backs that life can present.    For me, I have had a mixture…. getting sick did not help and unexpected work activities, but I am sticking with it and plan on realizing the 2015 I imagine.

As some of you may know I am currently coaching a JV basketball team at Christian Life School, this is my third of coaching high school basketball, which has been a great joy in my life.  We are not a standout team, have diverse range of abilities and for a few have a difficult time understanding English (I have three exchange students from China on the team)!    Our team experienced our first victory last night and it is amazing to see how a win can alter  the energy level and emotions of these boys.   In reflecting on their emotions and attitude during and post game, let me share a couple thoughts.

1. Winning is much better than losing…. or is it?  Would they have appreciated the win, without the series defeats to start the season.    Does winning validate a team effort in the same way as a personal victory?

2.  When does winning actually start and when does it really end?

There perhaps a more appropriate word than winning, but lets continue to use for now.   I believe winning is a mindset, an attitude and a reflection of what makes  you,  “YOU”.     As we embrace 2015, with a open mind and hopeful spirit to live life in new ways and to embrace the past as our foundation to grow,  what will be that attitude and the winning spirit be to  move you  forward and through the setbacks? It is during these times, that many of us need to “win”, experience that team or personal victory.      Over the years it has been many things for me…   have a great training run,  watching the time I invested in the kids I coach for track and cross country experience in personal best in running times or distance,  getting that first person to sign up for one of our trail events and recently receiving numerous entries for the Hilloopy 100+ Relay.   I hope you discover and embrace your “wins” throughout the year.

I just had our informational track meeting on Thursday,  in addition to having meetings after school, I also had a table set up in the lunch room.  Since I do not teach at the  school, it is  also my way to recruit some kids. This is our 4th year of high school track and 2nd year of middle school track,  the one thing I can count on is that I will have new faces and kids that were on the team the previous do not always return for the next year!   So I was very excited when nearly 40 kids signed up the first day and I know at least another 10-15 will sign up by the time track officially starts on March 9th.  It is going to be a great track season!

The XC Thrillogy Trail Series and Hilloopy 100+ Relay are off to a great start!   We have  numerous entries for all five trail events and for the Hilloopy 100+ Relay!   We are still in need of sponsors for the Trail Series and Hilloopy, so if you or the company you work for would benefit form such a relationship please contact me, Brian Thomas @ 262-925-0300.   Sponsorship for the Hilloopy is completely unique, it is free!   http://www.XCThrillogy.com for more details

Our next event is the Hills Are Alive Trail Run and Walk at KD County Park on March 14th.  KD County Park is Kenosha County’s newest park and the first eco educational park.   What is unique with our event is that you can decide race day what distance you are ready to rock!  The walk will either be 2.5miles or 5 miles and the run will be either 5 miles or 7.5 miles.   We will be running on the a 2.5 mile loop trail around the park. This will be great for first time trail runners and walkers and perfect for those wanting to test their fitness level.    For more information visit  http://www.xcthrillogy.com/hillsarealive.html    I hope to see many of you there!

Thank you for sharing a few minutes and one final quote I hope you enjoy.

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. Michelangelo Buonarroti

Weclome to XC Thrillogy – Kenosha Running Company First Blog

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”  Victor Hugo     This my friends has what brought us together,  “A Dream”.

The excitement of a new year,  creating and embracing new opportunities, living a life that chases dreams and having the courage to fail….   this is where I begin the first blog of 2015 for;  XC Thrillogy  Trail Series, Kenosha Running Company and myself (Brian).

Disclaimer:  I should warn you that I am not an English major or a writer, at times I will write as I would speak, and despite my best efforts I will have a typo or two,  but  most of all I will share with you  the passion I have for  this life I have embraced.

I have been running for nearly 41 years (started running formally in 7th grade track) and have been dreaming for as long as I can remember.  My first running experiences were chasing cars with the neighbor’s dog.   Trina, despite being the neighbor’s dog, she was really my dog, we did everything together especially run!  She loved chasing cars as we lived in the country and I loved chasing the dog.  Wish I could chase cars again with that dog.

I grew up running during the first running boom during the 1970’s, where shoes were almost all minimal and no one knew it!  When running and jogging meant to completely different things and virtually no one ran just to finish.  The idea of a “Color Run” or “Mud Run”  where unheard of and pushing yourself until you “chucked” was move the norm.   I ran high school cross country and track, but was not a standout in anyway except in perhaps my attitude.  Perhaps with better coaching I could have ran a little faster, but who knows… but I do know that I have run ever since and cannot imagine not running.  Running is just a way of life.

From the 70’s to 2015,  yes a little time travel and keep from boring you too much!    I have dreamt of always  coaching at the high school level, starting a running event series and opening a running store.  Some of the greatest gifts running has embedded in my soul is to stay the course, be patient, overcome setbacks and stay focused on the dream.  In 90’s I coached middle school and high school track(for five years) at Hanover Central in Cedar Lake, IN and in 2010 starting coaching track and cross country at Kenosha Christian Life School (high school), dreams being fulfilled.   In 2014, it was time to start realizing another dream and to start the first running event, the Hilloopy 100+ Relay.   Despite many efforts to start planning nearing  eighteen months in advance, logistical issues beyond my control did not allow this to happen and the planning started five short months before our event.   I reached out to like minded friends and runners, they embraced the idea and we tried to hit a home run for our first event.   Despite our efforts, time and experience were not on our side and we cancelled the event eight weeks before the date of the event.  Yes a setback, but one to learn from and overcome.

I learned that I need to hit a few singles, learn on a smaller scale, start to build relationships and a business.   The first event was going well, working with Kenosha County Parks Department and having the first race at the park ever,  XC Thrillogy Trail Run on October 3rd, 2014, was coming to life.  I have run these trails for nearly 20 years and for most runners in the area they are unknown,  it felt great to introduce some of these trails and share the “love”!   The Wednesday, before the race I marked the course by spray painting the course and went through nearly 20 cans of field marking spray paint. The next day, we got over 2 inches of rain…. course markings mostly gone, part of the course was to run through a babbling creek (which turned into a churning river), I had to change the course and I relied too much on myself for managing the course.  Yes several lessons learned that day!   In the end I asked how many would run again if I hosted another trail run and received great encouragement.    The seed for the next trail run was planted, the Hateya (means to leave a footprint) Trail Run.

The Hateya Trail Run (December 13th),    course was marked with staked signs, brought on a course manager (Freddy Garcia), decided to time the event ourselves,  involved a charity Women and Children’s Horizon http://www.wchkenosha.org and started a tradition of serving chili &beer with a bonfire post race.  Finally we experienced success and a solid foundation is being created.

Here it is  2015, we now have six events planned for 2015,   four trail events, a 50k, 30k & 20k run on a 5k cross country course and the Hilloopy 100+ Relay.   The Hilloopy 100+ Relay, will probably be the most unique running event in the Midwest, will be for team of 2-10 runners embracing a “Jimmy Buffett” like tail gate party while your team runs 33 loops of a 5k cross country course. I encourage you to start forming your team today!  I will detail these events in the future, you can also visit http://www.XCThrillogy.com  for more information.

In the coming posts I will share insights into my running, coaching, race directing, etc.   Feel free to reach out to me as you like, email is briant@kenosharunningcompany.com

Have an amazing 2015 and beyond!

Brian Thomas

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt