North Face Endurance D.C. 50M: Ron Howard
Ron Howard is working his way to a 100M. With the support of his local crew, November Project DC (NPDC), I am positive he will get there. Here he takes on 50M at the North Face Endurance Challenge DC.
What was your last race? 50 mile North Face Endurance Challenge DC at the Algonkian Reginal Park in Virginia.
How far was the current race? Was it a new distance? This race was my first 50 mile, but it won’t be my last.
How long have you been running consistently? I consistently started “running” in May of 2017 with November Project DC. Prior to that it had been roughly 20 years since my track days in high school. I have generally hated running most of my life. It has just recently become a passion.
What made you sign up for this race? Terrain, location, recommendation? I signed up for this race for a few reasons. I dubbed 2017 the year of the ultra and it fit into my rhythm of 4-5 weeks between ultra races; many from November Project tribes attend and participate in the event every year; and I wanted to get a 50 miler under my belt before signing up for a 100k and eventually a 100m.
What did you eat the most at the aid stations? Well, that’s generally a though question for me since I also decided to go vegan in 2017. So, it’s usually fruit, chips, and potatoes with salt. This was the first race that they offered canned potatoes instead of boiled potatoes and I will have to say they are disgusting. They made up for it though with offering vegan friendly soup.
High moment? This one is easy. A small group of us ran a shake out the day before the race with Diane Van Deren and Dean Karnazes (picture) sponsored by The North Face. To run side by side with these Legends was just amazing. If you want to talk race wise, just look at the huge smile on my face as I crossed the 50 mile finish line. It speaks for itself.
Low moment? There were a couple of these throughout the race when I had to fight my brain from telling me to stop.
Do you listen to music? If yes, what's your song of the moment? I no longer listen to music. I feel more connected to the ground, nature, and my body without music.
Would you do this race again? I would absolutely do this race again. I give it a high recommendation, minus the canned potatoes of course.
What race is next? Unofficially, in three weeks a group of us will be attempting the 4-state challenge on the AT (Appalachian Trail.) from Pennsylvania to Virginia.
Officially, the Ghost Town Trail Challenge 50k in Blairsville, PA on June 15, 2019. Unless I am running as a guide for one of two charities, Athletes Serving Athletes or Achilles International, all my races will at least be a 50k.
What shoes did you wear? This was my first big race with my Hoka ONE ONE Torrent. The trails were a disaster of mud after the deluge of a storm the night before, but not one slip did I experience.
What race vest did you use? The Osprey Duro 1.5 Hydration Vest. It’s also good to know that the 2L bladder does fit in this vest. I drink and sweat A LOT so hydration is important to me.
Favorite local running store/brand/community? My favorite running store is a local one, Road Runner Sports in Maryland. They have amazing knowledgeable staff that outfitted me with the proper size running shoes after being a clueless distance running newbie. Proper fitting shoes has reduced my toenail loss significantly. My favorite brand currently is Hoka ONE ONE, I love their shoes.
My favorite community. ABSOLUTLY. HANDS. DOWN. November Project DC (NPDC)! The positivity and encouragement of this group of humans is amazing. If it wasn’t for NPDC I still wouldn’t be running, I would be carrying an additional 30lbs., and would be completely out of shape. I couldn’t even run a mile straight back in 2017 when I started running with NPDC.
Dream running destination? Race or holiday. It’s a hard choice between Western States, Badwater, and The Barkley Marathons. I’ll take all three please.