Inspiration can come at you like a lightning bolt at any time, the trick is to have the ability to harness its power and turn it into something good. This interview with Wasatch 100 legend, Jim McGregor, is a good example of getting zapped with a good idea, and after regaining consciousness, creating an unforgettable experience. Oh yeah, this episode of Mr. Goodyear’s Neighborhood is brought to you by New Belgium’s Fat Tire, Wasatch Seasonal Pumpkin Ale, Stella Artois and the Tan Van.
Tan Van: Banyan Collective founder, podcast genius and media mogul, R. Brandon Long, has owned a tan Dodge camper van for over 15 years. The hard charging '87 Dodge Xplorer has been the vessel for the Long family vacations for many a road trip and was in fact the inspiration for the National Lampoon ‘Vacation’ franchise. The Tan Van now moonlights as the onsite podcasting studio at a trailhead near you. Trailhead podcasting in a Tan Van was the first lightning bolt.
New Belgium’s Fat Tire: The aforementioned R. Brandon Long himself moonlights as a master of ceremonies, ‘emcee,’ at various outdoor adventure events. Recently, R. Brandon Long was emceeing at the Skyline Mountain Marathon and I, your narrator and co-host of Mr. Goodyear’s Neighborhood and otherwise known as ‘John,’ was also at the Skyline Mountain Marathon performing duties as an event volunteer and assistant to R. Brandon Long. As the day progressed, it became hot, we became thirsty and the aforementioned Fat Tire was consumed. R. Brandon Long and I discussed many things during our time together at the Skyline Mountain Marathon, one of which was Brandon’s idea of recording a live podcast in the Tan Van at the Indian Trail trailhead in Ogden Canyon. As we were discussing this idea, Jim McGregor ran though the finish line of the Skyline Mountain Marathon. Jim is an ultra running legend and received a standing ovation as he finished a very tough Skyline marathon. From 1996-2010 and starting his ultra-marathon journey at the age of 53, Jim McGregor successfully finished the Wasatch 100 Mile Endurance Run 14 times. For 15 years, Jim ran Wasatch with precision timing splits as accurate as a Bulova quartz watch. Regardless a fluke DNF in 2001, Jim had mastered the Wasatch 100 course. I offered and Jim graciously accepted a cold Fat Tire at the end of his marathon. It was at this moment when lighting struck again. The 2015 Wasatch 100 is only a month away. We have a Tan Van trailhead podcast scheduled in a week’s time. Let’s get Jim McGregor on Mr. Goodyear’s Neighborhood to school us on his mastery of the Wasatch 100.
Wasatch Seasonal Pumpkin Ale & Stella Artois: Cut to Ogden Canyon and the Indian Trail trailhead 5 days later where R. Brandon Long and ‘Todd to the Top’ are wrapping up episode 207 of the Ogden Outdoor Adventure Show. They’ve already warmed up with a hike on Indian Trail and a recovery pumpkin ale. Jim arrives, we drink the rest of the pumpkin ale, climb into the van and start the interview with a Stella to us each. It’s an epic 55 minutes as Jim explains to us there’s no such thing as muddling through a 100 mile race and to wear new socks that have never been washed at the start line of Wasatch. There’s a cute blister story somewhere in there involving a roll of duct tape, vaseline and Jim’s wife. ‘Drink like a fish, eat like a pig’ Jim proclaims and ‘take care of your feet.’ Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about running a successful Wasatch 100 is covered by Jim: Training, gear, nutrition and a tutorial of the course itself.
You don’t need to be an ultra runner to enjoy listening to Jim speak about the Wasatch 100. Listening to Jim speak of Wasatch is listening to a man’s love story. The pain and suffering Jim endured during his time on the Wasatch Front, and the people he’s met and the friends he’s made while on the trail has made him a better man. Congratulations, Jim and thank you for the time in the Tan Van. It really was an amazing and an unforgettable experience.