Halfway There!

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25 marathon distances completed in 25 weeks! During training I quailed at 3. After the first one in Florida, I questioned whether or not I could do another.  Yet week after week, I have continued to exceed that initial expectation. There were many who doubted or expected me to fail in this quest, deservedly so, because I was not always sure that this was an achievable goal. Yet here I am, almost 6 months down the line, having conquered the west and parts of the south.  There is still a long path ahead of me.  An extremely hot summer is starting to rear its ugly head. Many of my big, “destination” races are behind me.  But I think now is a great time to summarize my accomplishments and my challenges in order to approach the second half of my quest with fresh eyes if not fresh legs.

Miles Run

I have run more miles this year in six months than I have run in any two years previously. 838 miles this year.  655 miles in marathons routes. 183 miles in support miles.  It is tough to be disappointed in those numbers. Of course, I am.  My goal is 12-15 support miles through the week and had I hit that goal, my total miles for the year should be over 1000.  I have some good reasons for this.  I need to judge the wear and tear on my body as a day to day operation.  Although physical stresses have been at a minimum comparatively speaking, there have been days when running on damaged feet, legs, knees,hips may have been detrimental to the prime directive – a marathon a week in a different state.

Side Quests

I have been able to complete a number of side quests this year falling into three categories: 1. Running in State and National Parks 2. Volunteering at local races 3. Joining group and social runs. Some states I hit the trifecta and completed all three side quests.  Other states I failed to complete even one.  Partially, the same physical conditions that limited my miles in a week also limited my participation in local runs.  The other major factor was traveling logistics.  In some cases, I would get into town the day after a social run or on race weekend, my marathon fell on the day when other organizations planned their runs, if there were even any local races. There were also weeks that after running a marathon on Saturday, I did not have the energy to volunteer at a race on Sunday.  You can be sure this makes me very hesitant to sign up for a weekend Marathon double header.

Sponsors

Although I haven’t had a company offer to pick up any race entries or traveling expenses, I have become an ambassador for two great companies: Salming and Spandits.  Salming is a fantastic international sporting company with a focus on shoes, equipment and apparel and Spandits is a wonderful company from my home state of Maine focussing on quality spandex apparel. As an ambassador, I am not a paid employee, more an enthusiastic fan dedicated to spreading the word about their phenomenal companies.  In return I receive product and discounts based upon referrals I make.  The more referrals I make, the more product and discounts I earn.  If you are considering trying either of these great companies, I have discounts to offer that benefit both you and me.  Please visit my Ambassador page to request current codes and current discounts.

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20% Discount. Submit Request on Ambassador Page

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10% Discount. Submit Request on Ambassador Page.

I would also like to take the time to thank a number of people who have contributed to my emergency fund. I do have a page set up through Crowdrise. that was designed to alleviate any unforeseen costs or situations that should arise.  Although, I have dipped into that account on a couple of occasions, that has not exceeded funds I had already earmarked and set aside.  So instead I have be using those funds to purchase additional race entries for the rest of the year. Starting with this week’s race in Iowa, you will start seeing shout outs to people who contributed to that site and made these extra races possible.  You can still contribute on my Sponsors page or
Click here for a direct link ——> GloboRun’s Crowdrise Funding Site

Interviews

The first interview was recorded before I started my trip but released in late February. Super Joe Pardo has made it a mission to help others make their dreams a reality and he has a great interview style. From what many of my friends have said, my interview begins at 25:01.

Super Joe Pardo’s Dreamers Webcast with Derek Zardus

The second interview was recorded just before my 8th marathon with an old friend, Chris Day.  Chris has been a passionate follower of inspirational stories that remind us that people are doing amazing things in our world, everyday. I was flattered and maybe a little embarresssed to be included in such illustrious company. I believe it was not only made available online but also on the radio in a couple markets. Released the beginning of March.

Writing
At times I have been overwhelmed with the logistics of traveling and aligning my many directives with my schedule. Due to Internet and data access issues, writing has been one of the first things to drop. I’ve kept somewhat consistent with the marathon route reviews (by which I mean I am only 5 marathons behind). Expect at least 2 posts a week moving forward, both catching up with the marathons and writing about my experiences on my side quests. I should also soon have a mini book on preparing for a personal marathon.

Thank you so much for following along on my journey. Constant words of support and care are delivered online, on the phone, and in person everyday. You can follow me on Facebook by name, though I also post many of the unfiltered and unfocused photos at GloboRun’s Facebook page. Also I am on Instagram as @derekzardus and Twitter as @globorun. If you haven’t already, sign up to get my updates via mail on the side of this page. Thanks again and we’ll see you later this week.

And The Winners Are…

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It is with great pleasure that I can now share this earth shattering news.  I am one of this year’s Salming Ambassadors. This was, by no means an easy feat, and despite the support and help of so many of my friends, family, and colleagues the end result was not guaranteed.  In fact, in the final three days, I went from first place by a hair to second place with Mr. Andrey gaining a phenomenal 350 votes in final voting!  I obviously have a lot to learn from my fellow teammates on how to reach out in the electronic world.  I am fortunate that Salming extended the ambassadorship to others on the leader board who they felt would best represent their brand. Congratulations to all the athletes who entered the contest and made an effort to promote such a phenomenal company.

There are so many people to thank for this opportunity. Firstly, I truly appreciate the way Salming Running North America put this contest together and managed the voting process.  This is an amazing position within their company that they left up to the general public to decide and I appreciate their trust and discretion.  Certainly, I appreciate their support as I finish my quest of 50 marathon routes in 50 states in 50 weeks.  Secondly, I’d like to thank everyone who voted knowing that this is an important step in my future plans in the running world and industry.  Aside from supporting a company I believe really has the best interest of runners at heart, I can hopefully learn more about the industry and how they research, design, and market the footwear that carries us forward on our fleet footed quests. Thirdly, I would like to thank those who went the extra mile to garner me votes.  People reposted my contest link on their Facebook Wall. They harangued husbands, wives, significant others, family, coworkers, and even clients. They regularly asked if there was anything more that could be done to earn extra votes.  I would not have been in a top position if it wasn’t for your very vocal support. Lastly, I would like to thank the folks who didn’t vote, yet also didn’t unfollow me despite my constant pleas for help.  I understand.  It’s against your religion or the email verification process made you nervous, or you don’t believe in contests that appeal to a democratic process.  Despite this, you continued to check in on a daily basis and support me in a myriad of other ways and for that I thank you.

For those of you interested in trying Salming for themselves please either contact me directly, on Facebook, or in the comments below for a 20% off discount code I can offer to friends and family.  I have worn their Miles shoe and it is the most comfortable running shoe I have worn in a while.  I will be getting the newest versions of their most popular running shoes and you can expect detailed reports on the quality and experience that each shoe provides.

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