Spring Thaw Virtual 50K, Ohio

Happy Mother’s Day, all!

We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy, while enjoying this spring weather/heat!

We just wanted to give a shout out to Frank Smith who kept his monthly marathon streak alive last weekend when he completed the Spring Thaw Virtual 50K in Ohio. Frank ran 31 miles in 7:01 on an 80-degree day! Nice job keeping it going, Frank!!

Have a great weekend!

“Running Not Cancelled” 50K

McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Happy Sunday, everyone! Yes, we have race results! Actually, it is just a single result and a virtual one, but a result nonetheless.

As many of you know, our longtime athlete from Ohio, Frank Smith, possesses quite the running streak. He has completed a marathon or ultra-event every month for over seven years! In these uncertain times, it looked like Frank’s streak might just screech to an unceremonious halt. Fortunately for him, and for athletes everywhere, event directors nationally are taking a page from the swimming community, who have been running “postal swims” for years, where each athlete swims on their own and posts his or her time to see who wins.

Frank ran the “Running Not Cancelled 50K” last weekend (in Ohio) and finished in 6:46. Well done, Frank! And long live streaks!

Wishing all of you continued health and safety . . .

Glendale 4K, Antelope Canyon Half Marathon

Scott and Melissa Wiegand

We’d like to recognize a few race performances that happened last weekend. Congratulations, Scott, Melissa, and Mark!

Glendale 4K
Scott Wiegand (pictured) – 19:09 – 3rd in AG!
Melissa Wiegand (pictured) – 20:52 – 1st in AG!

Antelope Canyon ½ Marathon
Mark Livingston – 2:11 – 1st in AG!

It appears this might be the last race results posting for a while, but if you’re out on a hike or run or ride and happen to snap any photos, we’re happy to post them here. Hang in there, athletes. We realize we have a bit of a bumpy, unknown road ahead, but we’ll get through this.

IM New Zealand, Run Hard South Carolina Marathon, Mesquite Canyon Half Marathon

Congratulations to Frank Smith, Liz Flint and Rebecca Felmly!

Frank kept his years long, monthly marathon streak alive with a 4:35 finish at the Run Hard South Carolina Marathon. Frank finished 1st in his AG!

Liz Flint finished her first Ironman at the epic Ironman New Zealand. Liz finished in a solid 15:30! Nice job, Liz!

Here in AZ, Rebecca Felmly finished the Mesquite Canyon ½ Marathon. Go Rebecca!

Have a great weekend!R

Black Canyon 60K, Lost Dutchman Marathon and Half Marathon, 24 Hours of Old Pueblo MTB Race

Heather Wilson and Eero Allison – Black Canyon 60K

Happy rainy day! Our athletes shined in several long-distance running races last weekend along with one very long MTB race!

Black Canyon 60K Ultra-run
Eero Allison – 6:54- 2nd in AG!
Heather Wilson – 7:54 – 7th in AG!

Lost Dutchman Marathon
Jodi Ehrlich – 4:23 – 6th in AG!



Lost Dutchman ½ Marathon
Melissa Wiegand – 2:22
Scott Wiegand – 2:28 – PR!!
Laura McGhghy – 2:11

24 Hours of Old Pueblo MTB race
Kyle Higham and his team completed an impressive 12 laps in 24 hours.

Scott and Melissa Wiegand – Lost Dutchman Half Marathon



Phoenix Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K

Kathy Stanley – Phoenix Half Marathon

We had some nice running results from last weekend!

Phoenix Marathon
Melissa Samuelson – 3:59
Phoenix ½ Marathon
Kathy Stanley (pictured) – 1:51 – 8th in AG! 5th straight year of running this half!!
Phoenix 5K
Scott Wiegand – 30:09
Good luck to those of you running Lost Dutchman this weekend!

Pancake Run 5K, Columbus Marathon, Surf City Half Marathon CA, RAGNAR Relay AZ

Michelle Muellner – center – RAGNAR

Our athletes not only enjoyed some great race performances last weekend, but almost certainly had some of the best race outfits we’ve seen!

Pancake Run 5K
Joan McGue – 30:27 – 2nd in AG!

Columbus Marathon
Frank Smith – 4:48 – 1st in AG! This marathon was run over a one mile looped course!

Surf City ½ Marathon, CA
Melissa Wiegand – 2:27 – course PR!

Michelle Muellner (pictured, center) – team of Ultra Running Bunnies 2 – 3rd overall in the mixed masters division with a time of 33:53!

She Power Half Marathon

Sunrise swim lesson – McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center

We want to give a shout out to Melissa Wiegand who ran the She Power ½ Marathon last weekend in Chandler. Melissa finished in 2:34. Her next race is the Huntington Beach ½ this weekend!

Good luck to everyone racing the Pancake Runs this weekend!

And finally, here’s a nice sunrise photo from a swim lesson at MMR. One of the perks of being a swim coach!

Endurance Exchange, Tempe, AZ

I enjoyed attending the Endurance Exchange held this last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A triathlon summit, of sorts, which included professional coaching seminars, like what we used to have at the Art and Science of Triathlon International Coaching Symposium. Presenters included Boston Marathon director, Dave McGillivray, along with former head nutritionist for Team Sky, Dr. James Morton.

One interesting tidbit from Dr. Morton’s presentation, The Carbohydrate Paradox, was Team Sky’s practice of “sleep low/train low.” Meaning, go to sleep low on carbohydrates (not eating carbs at dinner, for example), and then not eating carbs before the next morning’s training. We learned about AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), an “energy switch,” if you will, that controls cell growth, among other processes, and even promotes mitochondrial health. In a low-carb state, this AMPK switch turns on sooner, instructing the muscles in ways such that the muscle becomes “better trained.” Basically, a better muscular adaptation to stress is achieved in this low carb state.

Dr. James Morton

However, this doesn’t negate the need for carbs to finish long rides (like the 6-hour variety), where the Team Sky riders might use water for 3 hours and then go to carbs) or to finish high intensity training. It’s a periodization of sorts that changes daily, but it seems like they’re on to something!

Overall, an interesting 3 days to be sure!

Dean Sowards . . . A kick-ass inspiration

Dean Sowards – IMAZ 2017

When I posted our weekly race results yesterday, I included a photo of one of our athletes, Dean Sowards, who completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon last weekend. If you read the post, either on Facebook or our website, there’s a good chance you glossed right over his results. He finished in 6:56. And yet, he was by far, the most impressive finisher of the day

Dean is battling Stage 4 cancer.

He was diagnosed in 2015, and up until that day, he’d never really been sick a day in his life. He took hormone and radiation therapy for about two years and was considered cured.

In 2017, he wanted to do something epic during remission. He decided he wanted to become an Ironman. He bought a bike and a wetsuit and completed AZ 70.3 and IMAZ.

Dean and son, Peter, Coeur d’Alene 70.3 2018


In August of 2018, after experiencing “phantom” leg pains, his therapist ordered an MRI. The cancer was back. It had metastasized and spread to more than a dozen spots in his body. He was given 24 – 36 months to live.




Dean and friend, Scott Chaffin – Rock ‘n’ Roll 2019 (just after finishing chemo treatments)


He started chemo in September of 2018 and continued through January of 2019.

Dean and I met just after the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, when he came to me for swim help. He’d DNF’d his four previous swims due to anxiety and what he thought was poor technique. We did our lessons and wow! He went on to complete three half Ironman swims and three full Ironman swims in 2019.



Dean Sowards IM Santa Rosa 2019

Cancer-related kidney issues hampered his training in 2019 (he didn’t train at all the last half of 2019), but that didn’t stop him from participating in three full Ironmans – Santa Rosa, Florida, and Arizona. He didn’t complete these races, but he did finish the swim and bike on all courses.

Dean and family IMAZ 2019



He is not slowing down in 2020. He just finished Rock ‘n’ Roll, and next, he’ll be toeing the line at Oceanside 70.3, Escape from Alcatraz, IM Canada (with his son!), IMFL and IMAZ.

IM Canada is being held exactly 24 months from the date he was given 24-36 months to live.


Dean and best support group EVER! Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2020

Currently, he’s combatting new lesions as they occur. He underwent surgery in December to fuse and kill new cancer lesions in his L5. And they’re trying to figure out how to deal with spots in his hip and scapula. Dean has full body scans every 90 days and is always meeting with his team to devise new battle plans.



Dean’s support system is second to none. His family, his friends, the T-SHIRTS!











Bill is excited to be stepping in to write Dean’s training plans this year and we can’t wait to see what he’ll do. He inspires us daily, and we’re hopeful that in relaying his story, perhaps you will be inspired, too!