Literary SPLITS

Did I mention I’m in better shape than most women half my age? –50 year old Paula May, in reference to her exercise regimen

Did I mention I’m in better shape than most women twice my age? –60 year old Al Barker, in reference to his exercise regimen

Running a marathon makes the turkey taste so good. –Al Barker, in a newspaper article about his running the Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving Day

The female winner, Ann Heaslett, didn’t make it to the awards ceremony, as she was rushed to a local hospital immediately after the event and treated for dehydration. In all likelihood, I should have joined her. –Scott Ludwig, after finishing the 24 Hour Endurance Run in Olander Park, Ohio

Ray Krowelicz, bless his heart, referred to me as the ‘south’s newest phenom in the ultra ranks’ in the Running Journal. Where else can you be a ‘phenom’ at age 47? –Scott Ludwig, after completing the 24 Hour Endurance Run

How many runners does it take to run Hood-to-Coast? Twelve Atlanta Track Club Masters or one Scott Ludwig. –Mike Popick, discussing how to put a team together for the 195 mile relay

Our exclusive interview with Frank Shorter wasn’t ‘exclusive.’ Actually, it wasn’t even real, as we made it all up. –Editor, making a correction in issue 3

Losing an incredible amount of speed. I read that a runner loses 1% of their speed every year after age 40. If that’s the case, I must have aged in dog years. –Scott Ludwig, discussing his biggest running disappointment in 2002

Remember, we welcome any submissions (photos, articles) for this newsletter. We can make use of just about anything; we even used an article from Runner’s World for something useful—rolling it up and swatting a fly. –Scott Ludwig, sharing his special affinity for a rival publication

Any one I want. -Valerie Reynolds, veteran marathoner, when asked which marathon she would use to qualify for the Boston Marathon

I know I am on the lunatic fringe, but it’s a lot of fun out here on the Darkside. –Paula May, discussing her running partners

Running an ultra is not like a walk in the park. It is like a day in hell. –Normer Adams, after completing the JFK 50 Mile Run

Compared to other races, it was probably the most enjoyable race that I have ever run. –Normer Adams, adding to his previous comment after the JFK 50

I will never run that freakin’ race again. –Scott Ludwig, after completing the JFK 50 Mile Run

Hey, here’s one who’s not bleeding. –Volunteer to Scott Ludwig as he finished the Appalachian Trail section of the JFK 50

I tried to lock on to a runner in front of me. I was so mentally disconnected from running at one point, I had to focus on imitating what he was doing so I could do the same…and all I’m talking about is putting one foot in front of the other. –Scott Ludwig, during the canal section of the JFK 50

You can check out, but you can never leave. –Keith Wright, after spending a summer training with the core Darksiders and returning to his home in New Jersey

Don’t run marathons. –Coach Roy Benson, offering running advice to Scott Ludwig before his first marathon in Gainesville, Florida in 1978

For some unknown reason, some runners just’ don’t believe in ‘prerace hygiene.’ Did I mention the bus ride to Hopkinton takes over an hour? Now seemed like a good time. –Scott Ludwig, discussing the 2002 Boston Marathon

Darksiders know that moonlight running is best. It’s cooler, there’s no traffic at 4:00 a.m., and at that time of day, no one will have called or come by to spoil your running plans. –Paula May, giving her opinion on the best time of day to run

Run early, before you actually wake up. –Keith Wright, giving his opinion on the best time of day to run

Incredibly, a cow has never beaten Scott (Ludwig) in a footrace, keeping a remarkable streak alive that is now in its 24th year. –Anonymous

Imagine running a quarter mile at 75 seconds. Now do 100 of them without stopping. You’d STILL finish a half mile behind the leaders. –Larry Rawson, while broadcasting the Boston Marathon

The weekend was short and precise: drive to Tallahassee Friday after work, spend the night, run the marathon, and return home—all done in less than 24 hours. –Scott Ludwig, describing how the phrase ‘business trip marathon’ was coined following the 1994 Tallahassee Marathon

The word ‘Darkside’ is appropriate for the group for two reasons: (1) it is not like your ordinary local running club, and (2) the members do a great bit of their training in the dark (literally). –Scott Ludwig, describing how the Darkside Running Club got its name

Once you say it, you gotta do it! –Darkside regulation

Whining and excuses are forbidden. –Darkside regulation

Maintain enough mileage to allow for guilt-free food (or drink) binges. –(maybe the most important) Darkside regulation

Get bigger shoes, dumbass. –Kelly Murzynsky, offering advice to a runner suffering from black toenails

The fact that you even asked this question say there’s no hope for you. Learn to play the accordion instead. –Al Barker, answering an inane question posed by a beginning runner in Runner’s World

Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here. –Al Barker, responding to yet another inane question posed by a beginning runner in Runner’s World

gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee… –Scott Ludwig, imagining what his black lab Magic thinks about when the two of them go running

When the aliens come, they’re going to eat the fat ones first. –Al Barker, explaining why he runs

Starting off too fast in a race and slowing down later results in a positive split performance (first half faster than the second half). More appropriate terminology for it would be ‘premature acceleration.’ –(We’ll say) anonymous

I ran 39:06 at the Charles Harris 10K—the last three miles with an untied right shoe. I could have saved a minute had I stopped to TIE my shoe as opposed to what I did—swing WIDE with my right foot so I wouldn’t step on the lace. –Scott Ludwig, discussing his performance in a 10K

We’re always looking for new runners to ‘cross on over’ to the Darkside, so they too can capitalize on the things we consider a privilege to enjoy—health, fitness, camaraderie, passion, enthusiasm, dedication, and knowing that these things make any goal possible. We’re even able to make the rather extreme goals sound reasonable. –Scott Ludwig, discussing what the Darkside Running Club is all about

On a particularly cold morning, Al couldn’t understand why his ski cap wouldn’t fit over his head. Turns out he had taken a cat sweater out of the closet, not his ski cap. –Scott Ludwig, on Al Barker getting ready for a winter run

Put me down for a turd. –Al Barker, returning from a visit to the desert and reporting to Badwater crew chief Paula May, who was monitoring everyone’s ‘intake and output’ during the 135 mile event

The last wine station, one of the busiest, was also serving raw oysters. –Andy Velazco, reporting on the peculiarities of France’s Medoc Marathon

Long day after long day after long day—things that never would have been possible or would have been considered inane became commonplace. –Gary Griffin, discussing his string of ultra performances in the middle of 2002

On top I saw the snow and couldn’t resist doing ‘snow angels’ in the middle of summer. –Sandy Geisel, commenting on her activities after the first 3.7 miles of the 100 mile Western States Endurance Run

If YOU think a distance is ‘far,’ then it most certainly IS. –Scott Ludwig, debating on what constitutes ‘far’

If you condition your body to adapt to high mileage, the principles of tapering and recovery do not necessarily apply. –Scott Ludwig, discussing one of his philosophies of running

The ‘craplek’ strategy is my patented running tactic where, due to diet and caffeine consumption, I take numerous ‘pit stops’ during a race to relieve myself. The ‘pit stop’ requires me to pick up the pace to catch a designated group of runners who are normally faster than I am. The ‘craplek’ also affords me both rest and a lightened load, which allows me to complete races greater than the marathon with a strong finish. –Fred Johnson, discussing his approach to running ultras

The temperature was 119 degrees Fahrenheit—in the shade—at 2:00 p.m. –Andy Velazco, on the conditions in Furnace Creek two days before the Badwater Ultramarathon began

Imagine 300 people in a room…for almost three hours…with weak air conditioning…and temperatures outside over 120 degrees. –Scott Ludwig, on the conditions of the pre-race meeting before the Badwater Ultramarathon

Yeah, but it’s a dry heat. –Gary Griffin, on the conditions in Death Valley, site of the Badwater Ultramarathon

A crew member for another runner said they put a thermometer on the blacktop road and it read 141 degrees. –Scott Ludwig, commenting on the conditions of the Badwater Ultramarathon

Paula had prepared some Raman noodles for me, the first food I had in 36 hours that remotely resembled an actual meal. It was heavenly. All five bites. –Scott Ludwig, commenting on his calorie intake at the 121 mile mark of the Badwater Ultramarathon

We may have started out a little rocky with a few squirts of sun block in Scott’s eyes and looking like the Keystone Kops for those first 17 miles, but we caught on and had the pit stops down to a science by the time we were on the home stretch. –Badwater crew chief Paula May, in a letter to her crewmembers after the event

I was reading that they can’t have aid stations (at Badwater) along the route because people waiting for the competitors in the sun and the heat would die. –David Letterman, talking to Badwater champion Pam Reed on his show

It will be a cold day in hell before I ever do THAT again. –Scott Ludwig, after running his first marathon in 1979

The two hazards we were warned about never materialized, which were (a) watch out for rattlesnakes warming themselves on the road after dark and (b) watch out for local rednecks riding around after midnight throwing beer bottles at you. –John Saunders, discussing comments from the Race Director at the Bethel Hill Midnite Boogie

A friend once told me ‘after your first hundred (marathons), you will just begin to learn how to be a long distance runner. –Andy Velazco, after finishing his 100th marathon

Taper my ass. –Scott Ludwig, discussing his history of failures with tapering before a race (issue 6-B)

So, in no particular order, Pennar offers: bird excreta, occasional 100+ degree heat indices, zero shade, and a 4:00 a.m. start. –Gary Griffin, on the appeal of the Pennar 40-Mile Run

Never say how bad Scott looks or get into a pity party with him. He is going to have some very low points and will piss and moan; just change the subject and try and figure out if it is a fuel/hydration issue or is he is just being a p___y. –David Sowers, offering advice to Scott’s Badwater crew

I would not have dreamed of attempting a 100 day streak of running had it not been for the sick, degenerate example set by Sir Scott of the Darkness, and I am certain that this helped me to reach a new level of endurance and self discipline in my training. –Prince Whatley, discussing one of the factors contributing to his PR at Nashville’s Country Music Marathon

I can believe a guy ran a 2:05 marathon; I can believe a guy ran 26 minutes for 10K, but ain’t now way I believe that Andy Jones kept his pace under 6 minutes a mile for all 41.2 of those Strolling Jim miles. –Carl Laniak, discussing the hilly course at Strolling Jim

Beat Richard Schick. –Gary Griffin, asking Scott Ludwig for a ‘favor’ at Strolling Jim

Runners just don’t do that in ultras. – Richard Schick, after both Scott and David Corfman out kicked in the final 400 yards and finished ahead of him at the Strolling Jim

Reminiscent of the dirty haze surrounding ‘Pig Pen’ from the Charlie Brown comic, the flies formed a dense cloud around Scott and Gary. –Fred Johnson, discussing the conditions at the Posey 50K in Tallahassee

Comedian Will Ferrell passed me around the 25-mile mark, and I didn’t have the legs to stay with him. –Scott Ludwig, commenting on his finish at the Boston Marathon after running the course backwards prior to the race

When I arrived at that glorious finish my watch read 3:33:30 and I had tears in my eyes. –Gary Griffin, on his finish at the Boston Marathon

The Darkside newsletter is what runners REALLY talk about…not that garbage in Runner’s World. –Fred Johnson, discussing his views on Tales from the Darkside

I hate Runner’s World. –John Saunders, on his application for membership on the Darkside

I never got to break the tape at the end because they couldn’t hold on to it. –Kelly Murzynsky, discussing her victory in the extremely windy conditions at the Blue Angel Marathon

As I watched the traffic go by, I could see motorists shaking their heads as they saw this tall, skinny Jersey boy running in a driving rainstorm. I pointed to my chest, and muttered, to no one in particular, ‘Hey, I am a DARKSIDER!!!” – Keith Wright, running in difficult conditions getting ready for the Boston Marathon

Personally, I think about Badwater every day: some days I don’t know how I can run the 135 miles across Death Valley and up Mount Whitney, and then there are days when I think I have a chance to win it. It sure would be great to find out which thought is closer to reality. – Scott Ludwig, answering the question ‘Why I want a slot on the starting line of the 2003 Badwater Ultramarathon’ on the race application

I understand that the extreme conditions in this race, including but not limited to temperatures in excess of 130F, wind, dust, high altitude, and radiant surface temperatures in excess of 180F, make the risk of dehydration, altitude sickness, significant skin damage, blistering, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, traffic accident, renal shutdown, brain damage and death possible. –Warning to entrants on the application for Badwater

You know you’re on the Darkside when you only plan vacations where there is a weekend race. –Paula May, explaining one way of knowing you’ve ‘crossed over’

1. Runners like to talk about their accomplishments. 2. No matter how impressive you believe your accomplishments are, there is always someone one step ahead of you. –Scott Ludwig, discussing the two universal truths about running

A little less whining and more technical information would have been nice. –Al Barker, reviewing the book ‘To the Edge’ by Kirk Johnson, a Badwater veteran

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ –Scott Ludwig, reviewing the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’

Dad, am I going to be on time for my soccer game? –Josh Ludwig, age 6, to his Dad immediately after running a hard-earned 5K PR

His inspiration is contagious. I just know that one day when I’m long gone, the only person in my family who would have a remote interest in my marathon medals and race awards will be someone who KNOWS the blood, sweat and tears it takes to earn them; someone who’s BEEN there. That person is Josh. –Scott Ludwig, on having his 17-year old son on his Badwater crew

I look back on it with both horror and gladness. –Gary Griffin, thirteen months after crewing at Badwater

Running is often difficult…it is hard to breathe, it makes you sweat a lot, and your legs ache and burn and they get tired. –Gary Griffin, remembering why he runs

As the South Africans say, you have to run at least one Comrades in your life; but to really know the course you have to run it both ways. -Andy Velazco, after finishing Comrades and thinking about running it again next year when it is run in the opposite direction

Around mile 53 I blew lunch in front of my crew and lost my pasta dinner and anything else that was in my stomach. -Mike Brooks, recounting a highlight from running Badwater

In the ultrarunner world, Badwater is the Holy Grail. -Andy Velazco, Badwater veteran and 2004 Badwater crew member

Run every run like it is your last. -Keith Wright, on his personal philosophy about running

When you step off that concrete, you’re in Alabama. -Stranger to John Saunders as he was looking for the ‘Run to Alabama’ finish line along the Silver Comet Trail

I ended up with 22 stumbles and three actual falls, and the three falls were quite spectacular. -Paula May, commenting on her Hot to Trot 8-Hour Run

We didn’t finish last, however, so we can be thankful for that. -Mary Lane Johnson, after completing the Summer Beaches Run

I fell off a bicycle once, and it was standing still. -Al Barker, recounting his athletic prowess as a youth

Why is it so much easier to get into a routine of sitting on you’re ass than it is to get into exercising? -Stephanie Sudduth, lamenting after a self-imposed break from running

I’ve never been handled. -Paula May, when asked who her favorite handler is

I think they deliberately call it a 5K instead of what it really is; 3.2 miles. -Rick Ryckeley, writing for a local newspaper about his participation in the Panther Prowl

Today was a day that required walking the uphills. And by uphills, I mean the flats, too. -Al Barker, after battling the heat in the 2004 Boston Marathon

Years from now, people will look back on this race and we’ll be remembered as heroes. -Prince Whatley, talking to about the 2004 Boston Marathon finishers

It’s not a run if you don’t go anywhere. -Scott Ludwig, discussing his views on running on treadmills

Any run that requires me to use my hands to advance is no longer a foot race. -Scott Ludwig, after running—and climbing–the Oak Mountain 50K, a notorious trail run

Don’t you feel better after you take a day off? -Countless people to Scott Ludwig after they find out he’s run every day for over 25 years

Al talked me into entering the Western States lottery via the ‘buddy system,’ and to his delight and my dismay our names were selected. -Scott Ludwig, dreading Western States

That sure sucked. -Scott Ludwig, after dropping out at Western States at mile 62

Scotty’s feet were hanging off the bed about fifteen inches from my face. If you have never seen his feet, consider yourself of good fortune. Most of his toenails are black, his toes look like they have been hammered and shaped by some crazed artisan, and they stick out in every direction imaginable at the same time. Some of his toes were covered in what appeared to be electrical tape, others in duct tape, that much was clear. -Gordon Cherr, waking up on the motel floor following a short night’s sleep after Scott’s Western States failure

Carl Laniak gave it to me because he thought I looked fast before a race started. Boy, was he wrong. -John Saunders, explaining how he got the nickname ‘Speedhog’

When you can’t run a 10K at the same pace you ran your marathon PR, your racing career is over. -Scott Ludwig, reflecting on his loss of speed)

What is anal glaucoma? Essentially, it means that I just don’t ever see my ass running fast again. -Scott Ludwig, adding to the previous comment

I was pretty much a bloody mess. -Gary Griffin, commenting on the aftermath of the Mountain Mist 50K

Strap a twelve pound bowling ball on your back and run a timed mile at the track. -Scott Ludwig, suggesting how to determine the effects of weight gain on one’s running

Fred maintains a 7:45 pace the first few laps and by lap three or four I find myself yelling at him to calm down and slow down too, because I think he is going out way too fast and a crash is coming, maybe in another two or three hours. But it is inevitable at this pace. -Gordon Cherr, offering his expertise about eventual winner Fred Johnson at the 2003 Tallahassee 50 Mile Run

Fred, I am sorry that I doubted you this day. -Gordon Cherr, regretting his previous statement)

For the next three days I took my air cast off each afternoon and hobbled three miles. -Scott Ludwig, keeping his streak alive after running across Georgia in 1992 and suffering what doctors thought was a stress fracture

I love the way the running articles ‘tell it like it is’ as compared to other running magazines that gloss over all the ‘real stuff’ that happens when you run. -Mary Lane Johnson, on why TFTD is her favorite running magazine

In my estimation, the distance was closer to 57 kilometers or so. -Scott Ludwig, following the Oak Mountain 50K

2003 was different, as I did 17 doubles (52.4 to 62 miles in two days). Those weeks I only did a three mile run on Wednesday—I needed to recover. -Brenton Floyd, describing a ‘typical’ week of running

The most important thing I’ve gained through my association with the Darksiders is a group of friends who believe in and practice friendship. –Susan Lance, on being a member of the Darkside Running Club

Run, bitch. -Obviously intoxicated bar patron to Prince Whatley as he ran by at 4:30 a.m. on a cold Tuesday morning along the sidewalks of New York City

After reading the article about ‘what makes one a Darksider,’ I realized that deep down I am a Darksider as well.’ -Jonathan Beverly, editor of Running Times, after reading an issue of absolutely true…Tales from the Darkside.

I noticed that this year Mr. Beverly entered the Boston Marathon but failed to finish, most likely a result of the extremely unfavorable heat. Sorry, Jonathan; your DNF rules you out as a Darksider. A true Darksider would have completed this year’s Boston Marathon…crawling on their hands and knees just like the rest of us. -Scott Ludwig, commenting on Jonathan Beverly’s previous statement

The part about Jonathan Beverly failing to meet Darkside standards because of his Boston DNF cracked me up. I dropped out of that race (in 2003) myself, so I guess I’m screwed as well. -Kevin Beck, Senior Writer for Running Times

Eat less. Move more. Don’t smoke. -The entirety of Al Barker’s condensed version of a self-improvement book

It took me a solid twelve days before I was rid of the virus that my ‘friends’ at work began referring to as ‘Ebola.’ Actually, I lost so much blood during those twelve days that they weren’t far from the truth. -Scott Ludwig, recounting a bad experience while suffering from E coli 1057

I’m expecting to see an Adonis bathed in a golden light. He will be a man with a perfect physique, and catlike movements, like a leopard stalking game. He will be surrounded by adoring ultra marathoners, answering their questions, deciding their race strategies and approving their regimes and generally holding court about the fine points of ultramarathoning. -Jim Bonds, anticipating his first meeting with Scott Ludwig

To say his mechanics are piss poor is putting it mildly. I wouldn’t bet on him finishing a two mile run with a tailwind—without stopping for a breather…or a smoke. -Jim Bonds, moments after meeting Scott Ludwig and seeing him run for the first time

You don’t have any elite men in the field yet? Well, you have one now. -Scott Wolf telling Peachtree City 50K Race Director Scott Ludwig of his imminent entry in the event (note: Mr. Wolf did not enter)

It’s all in the head, and if there’s nothing in the head to begin with, it’s that much easier. -Craig Snapp, explaining his philosophy of running

In July of 2001, Brenton became the youngest person to run a marathon in all 50 states and D.C. when he completed the Snow Mountain Marathon in Winter Park, Colorado. It was time for him to slow down, so he only did 21 marathons that year. -Betty Burrell, discussing the accomplishments of her 16-year old grandson Brenton Floyd

What made the day distinct wasn’t what Bob Ray did, but what (he) didn’t do for the first time in 13,885 days. -Mike Klingaman, describing the day that Bob Ray decided to end his consecutive days running streak of over 38 years

He had my total focus, attention and interest until he said his body was ‘ripped like a prizefighters,’ which—unfortunately—was on page 4.’ -Scott Ludwig, expressing his thoughts on Dean Karnazes’ autobiographical book, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner’

I am getting happy feet watching the runners go by. -Gordon Cherr, while observing runners circling a two-mile loop during a 50-mile ultramarathon

I have an entry for next year’s Florida Ironman. I need to learn to swim. -Andy Velazco, optimistically expressing a personal goal

‘Ya gotta want it bad, Sarah, ya gotta want it bad.’ -Rob Apple offering advice to Sarah Tynes on what it takes to finish the Vermont 100 Mile Run

As much as I wanted to finish that run, missing the cut off after only 24 miles was almost a relief in some way…a mercy killing. -Al Barker, after being pulled from the tortuous 2006 Western States Endurance Run

I’m telling you if I could have eaten aluminum and pooped out a can of beer I would have. -Danielle Goodgion, recalling what she would have like to done to help Scott Ludwig as his pacer at the 2004 Western States Endurance Run

At Badwater there is a 60-hour time limit; I finished with almost 23 ½ hours to spare. At Western, I missed the get-your-name-listed-in-the-results time of 30 hours by less than 17 minutes. If this alone is not an indicator as to which race I thought was ‘easier,’ nothing is. -Scott Ludwig, comparing the difficulty of the two events

I am working on my speed and will return to ultra runs after I turn 85, when I enter into a new age group. -Lloyd Young, 84, looking ahead to 2008

I want to be just like Lloyd when I grow up. -Al Barker, 61, commenting on the running prowess of Lloyd Young

If my mother knew what I was doing, she would be turning in her grave, but the exercise would do her good. -Charles Cohn, 75, discussing his prowess for completing long-distance events

99.9—the percentage of the total time elapsed between miles 20 and 30 that either Gary Griffin or Scott Ludwig spent whining to the other about how miserable they felt. -Gary Griffin, analyzing a 50-mile ultra in which he and Scott both competed

I’ve literally seen more doctors in the past five months than I have in the previous 35 years. It would be one thing if they were all for one or two ailments. But they were for a variety of problems: ticks, foot infections, e coli, cuts requiring sutures, and water on the knee. There were others as well, but I kept them to myself as I didn’t want my doc to think I was a hypochondriac. -Scott Ludwig, recalling a particularly difficult time towards the end of 2006