A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Catching Up with Dane and Dar

Over the past several months I've written about two friends on separate journeys towards a similar goal. In their own ways, both men inspired me to step up my efforts to motivate others to join me on my personal journey to live a more healthy, active life.

I met Dar Giess at the Youth Beef Industry Coungress in late March. A fellow native of the Great State of Kansas, Dar and immediately became friends for life. After I shared the story (and before/after picture) of my transformation from a 270 lb. couch potato to a 210 lb. Ironman (70.3) triathlete during my speech to these future beef industry leaders, Dar said I had motivated him to get back in shape and lose 60 lbs. before the Annual Cattle Industry Convention in February 2011. In doing so he wanted to also raise money to support youth programs in the beef industry. So I made a deal with Dar, pledging $2 per pound and promising to help spread the word about his effort. Dar checked in with me via text (his favortie form of communication) on October 7 and I'm pleased to report that he is well on his way towards his goal.

I look forward to taking an updated picture of a leaner, meaner Dar when I see him at the Minnesota Cattlemen's meeting in December.
 "I started at 309 and weighed 273 this morning," said Dar. "I am trying to run one good mile and can almost make it without walking. I feel like a hippo but am determined to keep it up. I also have my 13-year-old run with me. She beats me three power poles but someday I will push her hard! I am not dieting, just being sensible. I am 54-years-old and yesterday Lynnie and I made it 26 years together. If I can do it, anybody can. Its not easy when you get that heavy but just chip away."

Keep it up, Dar. I can't wait to see you in December when I come up for the Minnesota Cattlemen/Women's Convention!

I met Dane Rauschenberg two weeks later after running the St. Louis Half Marathon. Dane had run the full marathon and was boarding the same flight to Denver. After learning the story of Dane's journey to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks back in 2006, I asked Dane how he felt about beef's role in an athlete's diet. "One simple sentence," Dane replied. "I love beef."

Dane strides towards the finish of
the Boilermaker 15K wearing his
Team ZIP (Zinc, Iron and Protein) jersey.
Since that chance meeting Dane has shared his love for beef running three events as a member of the Team ZIP/BEEF running team: The Boilermaker 15K (sponsored by the New York Beef Industry Council), the Chicago Half Marathon (sponsord by the Illinois Beef Association) and the Quad Cities Marathon (sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council). This week will join me and the Kansas Beef Council's Beef Endurance Team at the Kansas City Health and Fitness Expo and KC Marathon on Saturday (I will be running the half!).

Dane continues to run an event nearly every weekend motivating runners and non-runners alike to "ignore the impossible." "If you ignore the impossible it's amazing what you can accomplish," says Dane. "My goal is to inspire people to give their all, regardless of what their 'all' may be. I try to help people realize that without effort, nothing will happen. But with the right attitude, few things stand in your way."

For more on Dane's story, check out his recent interview on KWCH-TV in Wichita, KS. Dane was the featured speaker at the inaugural "Prarie Fire Marathon" in Wichita this past weekend, where he finished second in his age group with an impressive 3:07:46. Read his recap of the race on his blog, See Dane Run.

Keep running, Dane, and eating beef, of course. I look forward to seeing you this weekend in Kansas City.

Ride on!


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